Monday, April 30, 2012

Never Thought of That!

Hotel Pets

A man wrote a letter to a small hotel in a Midwest town he planned to visit on his vacation. He wrote:

I would very much like to bring my dog with me. He is well-groomed and very well behaved. Would you be willing to permit me to keep him in my room with me at night?

An immediate reply came from the hotel owner, who said, "I've been operating this hotel for many years. In all that time, I've never had a dog steal towels, bedclothes, silverware, or pictures off the walls. I've never had to evict a dog in the middle of the night for being drunk and disorderly. And I've never had a dog run out on a hotel bill. Yes, indeed, your dog is welcome at my hotel. And, if your dog will vouch for you, you're welcome to stay here, too."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Crazy Life

I just got off an hour call with my sister, Roselynn. As I said, she's in hospital with a whole slew of issues. They operated on her last week for a problem with her sinuses and took out her adenoids and tonsils. She's had a rash of problems ever since. She spiked a fever and got dehydrated and ended up back in the hospital. They found she had pneumonia, iron deficiency, and yesterday, tore a stitch out.

At any rate, I was cancelling the trip but she said she wanted everyone to come anyway. She can't take the canoe trip but she can go to the beach. She said seeing everyone was what she wanted. So, we'll go down on Saturday and I'll head back home on Thursday. That will give me a few days to recover from the long drive. It is roughly 12 hours and even with Mike to help drive, it will be hard on me.

I get four weeks of vacation a year but I usually have things I have to take some of that for that have nothing to do with vacation and so end up taking only a week or two for real relaxation. This year, I'm changing that. I'm not going to use vacation unless absolutely necessary for illness. This isn't usually my plan. It just happens that way. Instead, I'm taking extra care to horde it. I have invitations from Texas and England. I want so much to take those two trips. Life is short.

I'm going to get ready for church now.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Backyard on Easter Sunday

Backyard Egg Hunt 2012

Egg Hunt, 2012

A Positive Outlook

I overslept. I sat up too late, as usual when I'm more or less a slug. I sat around and did nothing yesterday. Only left the house to go eat and came right back to my chair. I read off an on but mostly just wasted time. It annoys me. It is as if my mind belongs to someone else and they've taken my body hostage.

Sarah came over late and watched t.v. while I just sat. She did cut up with me a bit but mostly we both were slugs. Well, she's only 5 so it is a bit unusual for her.

Today it is cold and I'm stiff and achy. So, when the clock went off, I didn't respond very well. And now I'm feeling very guilty about it.

Because... I don't want to be this way. I want to jump out of bed, awake, feeling good, and be out and doing something that means something. I don't want to have no energy, stamina, and interest.

It is just one of those weekends where I've given hours of my life away. I know part of it is the weather but I keep feeling like it is my fault. I should just get up and move. Then, my body informs me that it simply doesn't like what I'm asking. Today, my hands and feet are bothering me but it is mostly just this tired. I was doing well most of the week. Beginning to get to bed earlier and get more, not better, sleep. I could tell it was working. I blew it the last two nights. I simply have so little time when I can do my own thing, a weekend is not enough, and so I sit up too late. Just like I did for years. Before I was given this fibro curse.

I am going to get dressed. I am going to get lunch. I am going to read something besides blogs. Maybe doing it will give me a more positive outlook.

If I can just get up.

In the Backyard

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Long Time No....Rant

My son was telling me this week about someone who complained that I never call them. I've heard this before but for those who wonder where I've been or why I don't ever call anyone, I've been exceptionally busy and tired.

As most of you know, if you follow the blog on Blogger or on Multiply, you know work has been pretty.... well words defy me. Let me give background for anyone reading for the first time or for those who have forgotten and feel slighted.

I am called the Landlord liaison (not what I was hired for). I handle 400-500 active landlord accounts and there are roughly 1500 active and inactive landlord files in my office. This means I set up and maintain these files. I answer questions from potential and new landlords and I do training sessions for them. I also give them advice on tenant problems. I make any necessary changes to their files.

My real job is a housing specialist. I'm one of 5 now. We maintain and process files for tenants on the program. We had two firings last month. This increased each person's tenant caseload by 53 tenant cases. I now have 356 tenant accounts. Within six months each person's tenant accounts will number roughly 400. Each of us has to process roughly 140 re-certifications ever single month. It varies by about 40 more or less each month. I answer calls from all of them who call... want to guess that number?

I am unofficially the technical support for my department. This means I am the first person called when computer disasters strike. This means, computer problems for 10 computers come to me before they go to tech. If I can't fix it, tech gets a shot. Most things I can fix. Network problems - we call tech. Problems range from hang ups, printers not working, files not opening, unexplained crashes, and user issues. I determine if we need tech. Usually we don't.

I am one of 5 case managers who do move briefings twice each month. We rotate who does it. And if someone doesn't want to do it or can't for some reason, I volunteer. You stand up during the entire presentation. These are PowerPoint presentations that last about an hour. Um... I create the PowerPoint presentations, create our forms, and schedule the monthly recertification appointments every months. Could someone else do some of these things? Yes but the majority of them don't want the job... they've seen me do it for years and I suppose they figure it's too much work. It is. But could they, yes. And frankly, the time it would take to train them would take longer than it takes me to do it. And they're not going to learn voluntarily.

In the last two weeks at work, we've been preparing for internal audits of process, procedures, duties. I was interviewed over these things one day this past week from 9 a.m. until 11:30. Next Monday, a different group will do a financial audit of our files. I could get questioned over that. I also can't do my other duties during these. So... I get behind.

I come home at 5 p.m. and believe me when I say I have NO social life. I have friends, on my blogs, on Facebook and a few I see in person when they ask me to lunch. I have my granddaughter, two sons, and daughter-in-law that I may see two or three times a week, depending on what they want. Sarah used to come over every Saturday and spend the night. She won't spend the night anymore but when she comes, my time is her's. I see Mike on Sundays and we go to church together, have lunch together and I may take a Sunday afternoon nap . . . if time permits.

On top of all this, I am making crocheted items for Sarah to wear. I write when I'm not brain dead from work. I am in the process of editing a novel. Lately, not so much but it's there. I have to do my own repairs. The children come and help from time to time. Thank goodness Randy did my remodel in 2010. The roof is now repaired and all the things Jerry and I wanted to do but couldn't are almost done. Only a kitchen remodel is left. Then it is just painting. He'd have loved that front porch. We always wanted one. It was my birthday present from Randy. I'm trying to get him to come build a deck on the back. If he doesn't... guess who'll do it?

I have a wall still to repair in the bedroom, all rooms need painting, kitchen floor needs replacing, laundry room needs a new floor, kitchen sink is new but the drain has a leak and needs repair, yard has to be cut every week or so, along the track needs clearing. Who do you think does all this? I do.

I also have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. If you're not sure how these affect me.... because you've not been in contact with me.....if I move furniture, paint walls, repair floor, and carry boxes of files, the next day I can't walk very well, and can't use my hands, arms, and anything requiring my back. I suffer severe pain most days. No, I do not take pain killers. I have to work. I work in pain. I have terrible leg cramps and a bad shoulder that means I can't sleep on either my right or left sides for more than a few minutes. So I'm constantly waking in pain and having to turn over. I have migraine headaches that, for the last few months have been unusually absent... thank God.

Incidentally, the only phone calls I've received in the last 60 days were from my children, my aunt, my sisters, and my two brothers. Obviously, they weren't the ones complaining and they didn't wait for me to call them.

Folks, I'm tired. Very, very tired. All the time. So, if you're feeling slighted, or neglected I'm so sorry! Get over it. I'm too tired to pet you. I'd love to hear from you, or see you, or get an email from you. But if you're waiting on me.... you might want to carry a book to read.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Another Long Day

I got nothing done today. My day started with an interview with the scheduled audit. I was interviewed by the Nan McKay team for an hour and a half. In fact, I was the only case manager they did interview. I think it was the most comprehensive interview about policies and procedures I've ever seen. I got asked everything... even things I didn't want to be asked. I left the interview to lunch and came back and managed to get some items mailed out and then had to pull folders for file auditors coming next week. We have to pull more tomorrow.

Over all, I think this audit is about more than how we do things. But we will see.

I've had indigestion for days again. I'm taking meds for it. I get flare up of it every week or so and once it settles down I'm fine for a bit. I suspect I'm in a fibro flare as I've had muscle pains, extreme tiredness, and the indigestion.

I'm headed off to bed now after an evening of pretty much nothing. I watched two t.v. shows and cruised a bit and I'm done. Tomorrow is Thursday so still two days before I get a break.

Loraine had to reschedule. It isn't a problem for me so we'll meet on Friday.

Forging Ahead... Blindly

I've been AWOL quite a bit lately. Work has been horrendous and I'm exhausted. Not to mention I've had so much pain I just have been unable to do much of anything after I get home.

This past Saturday Mike and I moved furniture. Actually, I did and he showed up later and helped me finish. However, there is a price for such things. I've paid in spades.

Problem is I've been exhausted to the point I can barely get through the day. I'm on my way to bed now but felt I should probably stop and post something so folks would know I'm still around.

I haven't had a lot to say either. Dave lost his job and is still looking. I went and ordered a sofa. I've put in my vacation time and am going canoeing with my family the second week of May. Did I say work is horrible? The 50 extra cases  have simply swamped us all. We have an agency evaluation going on, requested by the new director.

Must say this to get it down... I want corroboration in the event something happens. I had a dream about two weeks ago. Dreamed the new director was setting up an office in our department, which is about 10 minutes from corporate, and staff were helping him set up, asking if there was anything he needed. I woke with no resolution or explanation of the dream. Let me state I never dream about work. I can't remember ever dreaming about my job since I've been at the housing authority. The only job I ever dreamed about was one I was fired from years ago when I told the bosses they were unprofessional and crass (they liked telling dirty jokes, despite my request not to be told dirty jokes). Too long to tell it here but lets just say that the dream happened before I was fired and fell into a category that clearly pointed out a problem I was having and that it would be resolved. It was solved by the firing. I have no regrets about it.

My theory is that at some point in the near future, the ed will be overseeing operations of our department for some reason. My theory is there are more staff changes coming. I've told this dream to two other people at work right after I had it. They laughed. I never laugh at dreams I have.... I usually end up crying over them. I actually hope this dream is beans.

I'm going to lunch with Loraine on Thursday. That will be a nice change. Always good to visit with a friend.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fading Lights

I got word that a friend of ours from 1978 died last week of pancreatic cancer. I haven't seen Mark in over 30 years but this news upset me terribly. He was a GI who our pastor had met while canvassing at a rock concert. He was converted and I never met a more charming and warm person. Mark always had a smile and when he talked to you he looked directly into your eyes. He sometimes preached and he was so good. He meant everything he said and he always said good things. There was such a sincerity in Mark Gonzales. Over the years we wondered about him and his wife Terri. Where were they? What happened to them?

 As soon as I heard the news I immediately thought, "I have to tell Jerry. He'll be so upset." And of course, that is impossible. Because Jerry is dead, too.

And so went the evening. I came home and simply became something else. Less than human, really. I didn't know what I was crying for and all I could really think about was how much darker the world becomes when the bright lights are turned off and how so many of the lights in my life had gone out. Too soon.

In 1978-79 we all lived in a place called King's Kastle, a church, christian school, and, lol, nearly a commune. It was a big old house in Frankfurt, three floors and a huge basement with a wine cellar that was turned into another living area. Communal kitchen on the first floor but some of us had small electric burners in our rooms.  I actually had a tiny two burner, bread-boxed sized stove! Our room was probably 20x12. Every room on second, third and basement floors were living areas for tenants. The pastor and his wife, a bit more than mine and Jerry's age, lived on the second floor. School and church were on the first floor.

Jerry and I lived on the third floor and I was pregnant with Mike. It is here we met Mark, and a dozen others we came to feel were family. Soldiers, some with their families, far from home who found a warm place. We had church together, potlucks, ball games, parties, and even shopping trips. We had our own spaces, but we shared our lives. I've never had such a wonderful experience as living in that place.

Today I remembered it. And wished for it again.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Not Interesting Enough

Not Interesting Enough

I am a widow, as my regular readers know, since January 2009. My blog for the last three years has dealt with that journey. I've talked about the difficulties of facing the death of a spouse and the adjustments widows must make alone. I've also talked about how society sees and treats us. For those still in denial about my view on it, here is a very good example. The above link is to another Blogger site, Widows Speak, that I subscribe to and it sums up the world view of a widow pretty well. 

I have to say here that after I read this I was so angry that had the man in question been within two feet I'd have beat him to a bloody pulp. He is the stupidest of the stupid, the dumbest of the dumb. Anyone who has this kind of mentality should not be making television shows. I'm being nice here. Really, really, r-e-a-l-l-y nice. 

But read for yourself. 

The Power of Music

Saw this posted on Chris' FB page. I'm stunned, shocked, moved and hopeful. Amazing and beautiful reaction.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Jumble of Stuff

I have a four day weekend to look forward to. I've spent the last two hours sitting here reading blogs, Facebook, and G+ posts and drinking a cup of coffee. I have no plans for the day. Sue will come soon and clean house for me.

It . . . is . . . COLD in S Indiana! A chilly 46F!  For over a week temps ranged near 80F most days. Now, I need a jacket. I am hoping tomorrow will be a bit more comfortable. I must acknowledge that the day is beautiful through the window. Brilliant sunshine and a lovely blue sky. It is just that the breeze is cold.

Easter is this weekend. Church will be very hectic I suspect. We will probably have a lot of children and that changes the dynamics of the service. So, while I will go I don't know how I'll enjoy it. I have not got eggs to dye yet but I will try to  get them tonight. I don't think Becca even has a basket for Sarah at this point. Must be sure that she gets one. The yard is perfect for egg hunting.

My week has gone swiftly because I was busier than a hive of bees. An increase in files to manage is going to mean I'm constantly running to keep up. This is not a good thing as I've come home totally exhausted and unable to unwind. I'm really tired this morning because I sat up late but I woke at my usual time! I didn't get up until 8:30 or so but still, that seems early. I went to bed around 12:30 last night. I was watching t.v. shows.

Sarah was over for a bit with her parents. She is just growing up so fast. So funny. They went to the store to get us burgers and we watched t.v. We were watching a very old Popeye cartoon. This couple got married and the preacher said "I now pronounce you man and wife." Sarah didn't miss a beat and deadpanned, "Husband and wife" and looked at me. I, of course, agreed.

Play-doh may have to be put up for a while. She makes such a mess but just loves to play with it. I need to try a floor cloth before I do that but the last one I had didn't seem to matter. It is all over this messy carpet. I need to get rid of it.

Will I write this weekend? I hope so. My plan is to do so. I haven't done anything in a month and that is frustrating.

My blogs have become increasingly boring. I think there is just not much going on. I've planned to take off the second week of May to go on a canoe trip with my family in Florida. I also am planning a trip to the beach for a day at least. So, a few weeks and I can have a nice relaxing break... yeah. You all know how those have gone in the past.

Monday, April 2, 2012

WRoE: Accountability Day for March

I'm a day late with this but since there was virtually nothing done in March on my novel. I did 3 hours on the 3rd of March and that was it for the month. I think that's around the time we realized someone was getting terminated. I also had some pain problems during the month and wasn't resting well.

I don't suppose it matters. I'm frustrated by it but I'm not going to cut my wrist over it. It happens. It wasn't a good month no matter how I try and polish it up. From day one it sunk like a stone and I'm thrilled it is gone. April hasn't started terribly well either but it is early days yet.

On a positive note, I did get some things done around the house.... but it doesn't count for this.

I'll try and sit down and do some planning this week.