Wednesday, May 29, 2013
I live in an ancient mobile home in very poor condition with a seemingly endless list of fix-its. My salary does not go far enough and every week, I pray I still have both jobs. Oh, yes, I could work up a great pity party should I choose to do so.
But not today.
Yesterday morning, an explosion of sirens announced a disaster and the noise carried on for a while. The freeway is nearby, so I did not pay attention after I gave my usual "God be with the first responders" prayerful response to someone's emergency.
A couple of hours, I stepped outside to run an errand and discovered that the sirens came into the park. A home burned. Totaled. One of the four residents was home. Rumor has it she got out and then went back in to get her car keys. She was removed via ambulance suffering from burns and smoke inhalation. I walked past her house and, from what I could see without getting in the way, the skeleton of the home is all that is left. They have a guard there 24 hours so no one steals the copper piping (or whatever).
The Red Cross puts them up for 3 days and then this family has nowhere to go. No one knows if they will come back. The answer from our new managers about a community effort to help this family was very noncommittal.
If it were my home, I would have nowhere to go and I would likely be mourning 2 cats as well...
Thank you, Lord, for all the blessing of my life. Prayers for this family!
Monday, May 27, 2013
I always wanted to join the military. I tried each branch five times when I was a teen in Juneau, Alaska. It got to the point where the enlistment crew just shook their heads as I walked through the door. I could never pass the physical, but I really wanted to serve.
My grandfather was in the Norwegian navy before he emigrated to the US. His engineering prowess was put to use in designing ships during WWII. Dad was in the Army during the Korean War, but he served in Europe. Both grandmothers were nurses during WWII. My great uncle is entombed on the USS Arizona. My younger brother joined the Navy at 17. He was in Desert Storm and tons of other places. He just rejoined the reserves full time and is doing what he loves aboard ship. He was loaned to the Army and served in Afghanistan. On 03/27/2009, his roommate, Frankie Toner III was killed on base in Afghanistan. A nurse was also killed. Frankie died protecting the other service personnel.
I will always be sad that I could not serve, but I could not be more honored and proud of those who have. I never forget that, when someone serves, their family also serves. I know firsthand what it feels like to listen to the news with my heart in my throat, unable to breathe until I know my loved one is safe. I mourn Frankie's death and am so selfishly relieved that my brother stayed at his desk that fateful day.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Cilantro is our tiny cat who thinks she's the biggest cat in the world. Today she is 17. That would not be remarkable unless you know that she survived that horrid tainted Chinese cat treat scare several years ago. Every day since then has been a blessing!
She sleeps next to me every night and snuggles first thing in the morning. Then she demands that we exit the bed aka her throne. Everything has to be her way. She runs the house and ignores Juneau, our Maine Coon, as much as she can.
Happy birthday, baby girl! You are so loved!
Monday, May 20, 2013
Praying for the victims, survivors and first responders. I have been through tornados and would not ever want to experience one again. This is just horrifying.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
I wish I blogged with humor like Teeny Bikini, ChicChantal or Stonecot. I wish I blogged with the appreciation for movement like _Linda, Ramona or Nonie-C. I wish I blogged with the zest for self-improvement like OnToVictory or SkinnyInMyHead.
I appreciate these gifted and sincere bloggers. But I also read something deeper than their normal spin. Beyond the humor, the zest or the drive, their words are suffused with positive attitudes in the face of adversity.
Me? I have a positive façade. At work, I hear people being negative about Mondays, uber positive about Friday etc and I always say “_______ is one of the seven fabulous days of the week.” I DO mean that, but, inside is another story.
Friday evening, I saw my check engine light came on. This was after both of my trusted service centers had closed until Monday. My reaction was to be nearly paralyzed with fear. I could not sleep. What if I got stranded going to work today? Do I dare go grocery shopping on my lunch break? How will I get to the Laundromat? What if I can’t afford the repair? On and on.
Over the last couple of weeks, I worked out a budget so I can eventually get out of debt. The day after I paid off one bill, I discovered additional charges BF had not told me about. He watched some pay-per-view movies and had $8 of texts (I have not added texts to our cellphone plan and see no reason to change that). Both surprises were small dollars, but it was the principle. I learned about one through an email confirmation of the order and the other by downloading my bill. Those small charges, coupled with the anticipated increase in utilities (heat means room conditioner runs and a leak means high water charge) mean there’s less to spend on negotiable overhead (groceries and gas) and other things continue to be deferred (hair cut, clothes). He does not / can’t / won’t work so keeping things going is all on my shoulders.
Until things improve, I am tabling my pursuit of Paleo eating. I have lots of staples in the house that I can eat until the pressure on my paychecks lightens. I have brown, red and black rice, about a year’s worth of beans, lentils and cereal. Sigh. I have loved the increase in energy, the absence of digestive issues, absence of mental fog, etc. I will continue to do the best I can, but I must, at least temporarily, surrender to my more practical side.
My knee is feeling better, but I am still very tentative with it. A couple of weeks ago, because it was so bad and because my balance is not great to begin with, I fell 3 times. The cumulative effect of that was a concussion. That makes me even more tentative. As I age, each fall is increasingly dramatic and too much drama. Losing weight will help with balance. I know this, but I am not acting on that knowledge.
I was very close to suicidal a couple of week ago. I got some support and stabilized my thinking. I don’t even have the energy to be depressed. However, not to fear. I promised I would not act on those thoughts, at least not any time soon. Cilantro is a very old cat. Her 17th birthday is Wednesday. Juneau is not quite seven. I promised Juneau I would not leave her. If I did leave, Cilantro would be put down, BF would be homeless and who knows what would happen to Juneau. My cats are so sweet and innocent. I cannot bear the thought of their lives being terminated or turned upside down because of me. When I met Juneau, the shelter rep put her on my shoulder and she purred in my ear and into my heart.
I DO care about my BF, but I know in some ways I would be better off without him. Unfortunately, the way he’s going, that may happen. Among other things, he has heart problems and diabetes, smokes (outside for me) and does nothing to take care of himself.
I am marking time, unable to move forward. I feel as if I am treading water and there is no end in sight. On the other hand, I cannot give up. The increased weight, the impact that would have on my life, is not the answer.
I’m not sure what to say about work. At job #1, the latest wrench is that my coworker gave less than 3 days notice and left. Her new situation is great for her, but it left the department in a lurch. She handled patents, trademarks and copyright releases. We hired a temp who is handling just the patents. I am on the team that’s handling the balance until her permanent replacement can be found. It won’t be the temp – she does not have the background and the agency is too expensive. I’m in over my head, but I treasure the education.
I spent about a week compiling stats and creating an Excel chart of those stats for my boss. I was gratified to learn that he was impressed. I had to relearn how to do the charts (had not done them in over 7 years), but before I could create those, I had to gather and quantify the data. This was a manual process because our new system does not have a robust reporting feature for our legal matters. I had to learn a new formula (took me a few days to find it) and then pull that into the charts in the specific format the VP wants. Tomorrow, I will present and explain the charts and stats to the rest of the legal team. I anticipate that there will be changes based on their feedback.
In last week’s legal meeting, my boss mentioned he was working on something that required reading statutes and interviewing our technical staff before enlisting outside counsel. After the meeting, I asked him privately if I could assist. Statutes and interviews can be paralegal work. He said it was a good idea but he was not ready for me to handle it solo and that we would work it together. I am so stoked! The chances to work one on one with him, to learn from him are rare!
I lose sleep over the volume of work, but I am never bored. I am usually mentally challenged and I LOVE that!
Every Saturday, when I go to job #2, I brace myself for layoff. The job is not interesting or fun, but it is easy and the money is greatly appreciated. I do enjoy the people and the customers. Saturdays are very long and I think that dreading the day is the worst part. The afternoons are long and Sunday, my one day off, is usually consumed with errands and chores.
I could ramble on. I am a deeply flawed human being. Right now, living is impossible and existing is all I can manage. Here it is the end of the first week since the Spark Solution came out. I ordered the book when it was first advertised and was anticipating the arrival, deferring some choices until it came. The book came and I have yet to read it. I have yet to do anything that the team wants. I am sure it will be a valuable asset once I dig into it. www.sparkpeople.com/sparksolution.
Thanks for listening…
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