Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Tradition

To make the holiday a little brighter I'm spreading around the Xmas cheer, or rather the holiday themed blog posts. Go read a little about a particular family tradition of ours at my friend Bart's blog Crazywhack Shiznit for Your Brizzle. While you're at it, don't forget to wish him, his wife, and new baby girl Merry Christmas!

I'm off now to wrap presents before heading off to the hospital while attempting to not channel Scrooge.

Happy Holidays!

Oh, here's a little something I forgot to add to my post over at Bart's!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

An Award and a Meme

Many thanks to LizSara for gifting me with this award! I'm not sure than I'm that deserving of it considering my lack of substantial (or any!) posting lately. Skip on over to visit my favorite Brit Blogger!

Here are the rules for this award: Pick 5 blogs you love and pass this award on to them as I pass it on to you. Don’t forget to link back.

I'm passing this one to 5 times 2 bloggers, one of whom gave it to me (because even though I lurk more than comment, i love to read her blog)! But I'm giving the award with a price . . . read on . . .

In other news, hold on to your hats folks! Diane over at the Mommy Diaries tagged me for this meme:

1) Take a picture of yourself right NOW!

2) DON'T change your clothes, DON'T fix your hair... Just take a picture.

3) Post that picture with NO editing.

4) Post these instruction with your picture.

5)Tag 10 people to do this..

so you're going to get a glimpse of CelticBuffy, live and in person! (drum roll please . . .)

Yes, this is me, scrubs and all, just home from a shift at the hospital. Oh so lovely and tre chic! Green is a Christmas color so at least I fit with the season. LOL.

Not only do I tag these lovely bloggers, I'm also passing along the above award to them also (with an extra one going to Diane):









*Bohemian Single Mom

*Juice Notlaw

*If you're reading this consider yourself tagged and post a link in the comments so that I can see you too! If you blog anonymously, like I do, be more creative than me in taking a photo while disguising yourself! Have fun! :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bah Humbug

The title says it all folks. That's how I've been feeling the last few weeks. I've not been posting because I feel down and what I would write would be negative, whiny, and depressing. Not to mention bitchy.

I need to break through this fog so that I can write again and at least be mildly entertaining. So, don't worry, I'm still here, still reading other blogs, and trying to sleep my way through December.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Creativity? What's That?

Well hello there! I'm somewhat surprised that you're still here, even though I haven't been around much for the past month. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

The new job is going well. It's crazy, exhausting, busy, demanding, and challenging but, wow, am I learning a lot! Talk about great preparation for nursing school! The physical activity of this job is seriously kicking my butt. My body feels like I've been beaten when I wake every morning. Perhaps a new mattress would help?

Anyway, I do like the job. I don't like the pay. I knew going in how much of a pay cut I'd be taking and am wondering how crazy I must be to voluntarily slash my income like this. Granted I'm paying for health insurance and that cuts some of the take home pay. I wonder, though, how finances are going to go over the next couple of years, especially with the mounting medical bills.

As for Anime, a rheumatologist in our area has accepted her as a patient. The downside is that we can't get in until April. The initial appointment is not one that can be easily scheduled as I've been informed that we can expect to be there for most of the day (appointment time is 8 AM). I'm still looking into rheumatologists outside of our area.

I feel as if my creativity has abandoned be as of late. My desire to write, or even dream, has fled for the time being. If you see it, send it back my way would you please?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Anime and the Vampire's Latest Results

As many of you know, Anime has been having health problems for over a year now. You can read about it here and here and even here. Her orthopedist, after determining that her knee is just fine, felt that further investigation was needed into why she has constant pain, why she's always so tired, and why minor infections knock her out health-wise. Much blood was again sacrificed to the vampires of the lab for spinning and culturing and whatever else it is they do for blood work. The results? Due to some items that showed up in her blood (in large concentrations) the thinking is now that she may have lupus or possibly rheumatoid arthritis, or something along the lines of an autoimmune disease.

A couple of rheumatology offices in our area flat out refused to see her because they don't take patients under the age of 16. What!? She'll be sixteen is a year! Another of the offices said to fax over her labs and they would review them before making the decision of whether or not to see her. If they don't we will be forced to drive 3 1/2 to 4 hours away to find a pediatric rheumatologist. No matter who sees her she will have to undergo more testing to determine what it is that's ailing her.

While I feel relieved that someone believes me when I say that something is wrong with her, I'm also tremendously worried and scared that something is really wrong with her! Of course I scurried home to research lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and various other autoimmune diseases that one would need a rheumatologist for. It knocked me silly to see that she hit almost all of the symptoms for lupus other than a couple that I don't know because she hasn't had those tests run yet. I'm not a doctor and I'm not diagnosing her but this is what the referring doctor thought might be the problem, and after reading what I've read, I'd have to side with him because so much of it fits. And that scares me. No matter what it is, it scares me. My baby, my first born that is so like me, more than likely has some disease that she will have to deal with for the rest of her life.

She's not scared. Too her it's just one more doctor we will have to go see and, KEWL! she will probably get to miss school to go for the appointment. She's like it to be in one of the cities farther away so that we could go shopping (oy! teenage girls!)

I hope that I am over-reacting to all of this, I really do. I want a healthy life for her. But my gut tells me that there's something wrong, a healthy teenager wouldn't be feeling the way she does, wouldn't have constant leg pain, be tired after sleeping for 12 - 14 hours at a time, run unexplained fevers, be scarily pale, have rashes that come and go, chest pain and trouble breathing when the chest X-ray shoes no pneumonia or bronchitis.

Keep your fingers crossed and send good vibes this way please, that we can get in to see the doctor here in town. Hope that we can get a definitive diagnosis when we do see someone so that she can start on some course of treatment and maybe she will start to feel more like a regular teen.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Flying By

Where has the time gone?!?!

The days have simply flown by this past week. Of course getting up at 4:30 am every morning and then being so exhausted that I'm ready to go to bed before the kids are, just might have something to do with it. I have worked the day shift this week, meaning I start at 6 AM. Can I just say . . . yuck. I am not a morning person. . . at least not that early of a morning person! On the bright side the job seems to be going well. I am officially out of orientation and will start on my own when my next shift rolls around on Tuesday. Crazily enough, I like it. (Seriously, I never thought I'd like a job that requires me to wipe the behinds of people other than my babies.)

I got off my butt this week and sent in my initial application for college, leaving the actual nursing school apps to be filled in and sent. The initial application is for the prerequisites that I need to take during spring semester. I must be a glutten for punishment schoolwise as I already have a bachelor's degree, and half of a master's degree, and am now heading back for another bachelor's degree. Or maybe I just want to be paying student loans until I die. Yeah, that must be it. :P

Today was spent painting 1/2 oft the upstairs and rocking out to the radio. The kiddos are off visiting grandparents and I will pick them up tomorrow. Last night I enjoyed 7 hours of having the house entirely to myself (unheard of around here!) and watched 8 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and bawled my eyes out while watching the latest episode of Ghost Whisperer. All in all it was quite lovely and refreshing.

I think Mr. Irony is questioning my sanity when he came home to find me dancing around the house, paintbrush in hand, singing the lyrics to Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne. Yo, I am a motherf***ing princess , ok?!

Now I have about 500 some blog posts to catch up on in my reader. What have you been up to?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bits and Pieces

The last few days have been crazy busy around here. What I'd intended to be a peaceful day on Sunday was a busy day, visiting the cemetery with grandpa, the kids, and my mom, driving out to the old farms, combined with 3 hours of driving there and back. Monday was 9 hours of training for the new job, after which I was completely fried. Tuesday was parent-teacher conferences. I am, unfortunately, one of those parents that likes to touch base with each and every teacher (if possible) so that meant roughly 3 hours at the school(s). We also crammed in winter shopping (still need more mittens!). Yesterday was my first shift on the ward and today I head back in for another 3 hour training session followed by 7 hours on the ward.

I tried something new this morning. In an attempt to prevent a sinus infection I brought out a purchase from a while ago and actually used my neti pot. It's quite an odd feeling, having water run through your nostrils. I'm not sure how well it worked but it did show me that my nasal passages are getting blocked (yes, too much information). I'll use it consistently over the next few days and see how well it works to clear out the sinuses.

On the fun side I finally got my hands on a Wii Fit! Woohoo! Action, Actress, and I have all been using it for the past couple of days. I find that I enjoy it more than Pilates and I do actually work up a sweat. My favorites so far are the yoga and the balance activities. This morning I had the bright ( ha! pun coming) idea to use the Wii Fit in conjunction with my time under my sun light. (bright = sun LOL. I know, pretty lame). I was much less crabby when I was finished with both. Although the crabbiness stems from only having roughly 5 1/2 hours of sleep last night.

Hope you enjoy your day!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Two Days Too Much

Full days.

Too much at once.

Needed by those close.


Brain is fried.

Body is tired.

Sleep is beckoning.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Own Dia De Los Muertos

Did you know that Dia De Los Muertos officially runs both November 1st and 2nd? How fitting for my needs today. Today is the day that my beloved grandmother was born onto this earth. She has been gone for three birthdays now and I have tried to visit my grandfather on this day each year (I didn't make it last year). The date of her birth and the date of her death are burned into my brain and the years inked onto my body. On this day I have felt a need to be at her home and at her grave. How fitting it is, then, that the Day of the Dead extends into this day also?

So that is where I'll be today. The kids and I are making the trek to the home of my grandfather and from there I will make my way alone to her place of burial. Today is a bright beautiful autumn day, which makes it all that more peaceful for me.

A Day Late

If I was truly aspiring to NaBloPoMo I would be disqualified as it is now 12:08 am on November 2nd. This morning I had no inspiration for blogging and this evening it was extremely late before I could get to it.

I have started a new blog for my journey through Soul Coaching. If you're interested you will find a way to find it. I feel it is a bit more personal than Serving Up Life and thus am leaving it off of this blog.

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Too Much

Being overly ambitious I had signed up for NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo in addition to Soul-Coaching, all happening during the month of November. Throw into the mix a new job, doctor's appointments, and just regular life. I'm thinking that I've over committed myself.

I'm definitely keeping up with Soul-Coaching, however I'm cutting myself some slack on NaBloPoMo and NoNoWriMo. I will write but if I don't meet the goal I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Life is just too important to add more guilt to the mix, don't you think?

Anime Update

Anime doesn't complain about her health very often so if she says she doesn't feel well I tend to take it seriously. For about the last week and a half she's been very tired, going to bed extremely early, and has looked more pale than usual. Tuesday night she started running a fever. Wednesday found us back at the doctor's office.

Now to back up a little. Monday found us back for a re-check with the orthopedist. She has improved range of motion in her knee but the pain level is still high. This time the doctor listened when I recounted the differential diagnosis of post-strep arthritis (he ignored me telling him this the last time we were there). He's now decided that he is quite likely the wrong doctor for us to be seeing, as he deals with sports injuries and nothing else. He ordered an MRI of her knee to rule out anything that may have been missed there and then wrote orders for what seems like twenty-million different things to be tested via blood work. He plans to get the results in, compare with all of the blood work done last February, and refer us on to the appropriate physician.

So we ventured to the hospital bright and early (6:30 AM!) on Tuesday for the MRI and to our regular doctor on Wednesday for all of the blood work. When I picked up Anime at school to head out for the blood work, she complained of having trouble breathing. Since we were there already, I simply told the receptionist her symptoms and asked if they could squeeze us in. They did and . . . walla! She has bronchitis! So in addition to having to wear a knee-brace (a shiny new bendable one now versus the immobilizer she was in) she's now taking antibiotics and using an inhaler.

My asthma was very bad as a kid and I used my inhaler(s) often. I even used a nebulizer for a bit of time. I hate the thought that any of my children might need an inhaler. I have done whatever I can to make sure their bodies are healthy and strong because I didn't want their childhoods to be like mine . . . an uncountable number of asthma attacks and continuous bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia. I'm wishing and hoping that the inhaler will not be a continual thing for Anime. I don't think it will as she's never shown any signs of asthma.

We're on the hunt now, for whatever it is that seems to have knocked her immune system down and is causing all of the pain. Even if it is determined, once again, that it is post-strep arthritis, then I will push for some type of treatment for her, because she just hasn't been healthy since that initial attack of strep 13 months ago. I can't believe that there isnt' something that could be done to help her feel better.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One Word Answers

I've been tagged by the wonderful (and unfortunately ill with pneumonia) Emily for this one word meme! I rarely get tagged so I'm a little tickled to get this one.

1. Where is your cell phone? Nightstand
2. Where is your significant other? Work
3. Your hair color? Blond
4. Your mother? Hurting
5. Your father? Stressed
6. Your favorite thing? Books
7. Your dream last night? Weird
8. Your dream/goal? Writer
9. The room you’re in? Office
10. Your hobby? Reading
11. Your fear? Blindness
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Employed
13. Where were you last night? CubScouts
14. What you’re not? Wealthy
15. One of your wish list items? Travel
16. Where you grew up? Clique-ville
17. The last thing you did? Typed
18. What are you wearing? Pajamas
19. Your T.V.? Scrubs
20. Your pet? Spoiled
21. Your computer? Thinkpad
22. Your mood? Tired
23. Missing someone? Friends
24. Your car? Economical
25. Something you’re not wearing? Undies?!?!
26. Favorite store? coffee-shop
27. Your Summer? Sunny
28. Love someone? Consistently
29. Your favorite color? Yellow
30. When is the last time you laughed? Yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Sunday

Now pop on over and send Emily healthy get-well vibes!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Friends Once Again?

Thanks to that social networking site Facebook, I have been able to reconnect with two of my best friends from high school. While one of the gals lives about four hours from me, it turns out that the other lives only 10 minutes from me now and we are meeting for lunch tomorrow. This will be the first time I've seen her in almost 17 years and I'm nervous and a little scared.

You see, I allowed myself to lose touch with these wonderful gals during my marriage. Mr. Ex didn't have a lot of use for my former friends and there were always family events happening when I would have the opportunity to see them. For example, at the same time as this friends wedding, we were invited to a family reunion in another state so I didn't get to the wedding.

I've changed so much over the years and I'm nervous about meeting each of these women. We were young twenty-somethings the last time I saw either of them. Now I'm almost forty and have been through more life changing events than any one person should go through. Will we still have anything in common? Will it be a letdown to finally see each other again?

Or will it be the beginning of a new, mature friendship? The kind of which I've been so lacking in for the past 17 years? Mr. Ex's sisters became the only people I did things with during our marriage. One of those sisters I've kept for my own since the divorce, the others have dropped me in favor of their brother. My spirit has been longing for some real life friends with which to visit, call, have coffee, and just hang out with. I'm hoping that this long lost friend and I can find that once again.

And Yet Another New Job

As the ModernGal so succinctly commented on this post, one job can certainly lead to another. That's exactly what it did for me.

After accepting the previously mentioned job, and being scheduled for yet another interview at the second hospital for yet another position, I was finally called and offered the job that I had been hoping for! It's not a dream job, it's an entry-level, foot-in-the-door job as a nursing assistant. Apparently they appreciated the fact that while I do not have the certification to be a certified nursing assistant (yet), I do have certification as an EMT. Starting next week I will be working in the surgical/trauma ward handling all of those lowly duties that a nurse does not usually do.

The pros of this position outweigh the pros of the previous accepted job as a therapy aide. This job requires more use of my brain and skills than simply transporting patients from point A to point B and back again; my starting pay is higher with room to increase the pay (at the previous position I would have come in at the top of their pay scale); I have the chance to work 12 hours shifts, thereby being home more often for the kids versus being gone from 7:00 to 5:30 five days per week; fewer miles to drive to get to work; insurance for the health system of which our current doctors are a part of (versus having to pay more for out of network providers or switching all of our doctor to new doctors yet again). The biggest con is that I will work rotating shifts but on the plus side, never later than 10 pm.

So while I'm feeling a little nervous about meeting new people, learning a new position, and all of the potential screw-ups that I could make providing patient care, I'm excited to have something fall into place.

I debated long and hard between the two positions, hashing it out with Mr. Irony and my mom, but in the end went with my gut. Upon being offered the first position my feelings were "Meh, it's a paycheck", but upon being offered this position I was "Yes! This is where I was hoping to be!". Decision made. Now I guess we'll see if it was a good decision after all.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

MSN Money and Me

*cross-posted on

Who knew that a simple comment could drive site traffic so high?

The other day I commented on the blog Student Scrooge. The post was in regards to tipping and the practices used by servers to increase their tips. I don't comment a lot but this was one post I felt I had the knowledge with which to back up my comment. What I didn't know was that this post would be used by Karen Datko on MSN Money in her post dated October 21st. Or that she would choose my comment to be included as part of her post.

The lesson? Words are forever. You never know how they will be used, good or bad, so think about what you say (or write) before it comes out of your mouth.

While I'm tickled to be included in this article, I'm also happy that what I wrote was not something that could come back to haunt me. Not to mention that I enjoy looking at my site meter to see where all of these visitors to my little site are from.

Living Up to Her Name

We all get annoying calls from telemarketers. Our household gets the same two calls every few days. One is from a satellite company, the other from a credit card debt reduction place. The credit card one starts out with some line about "did you know that your credit card debt is close to $6000. " Blah, blah, blah. I don't even have a credit card and the SO's is paid in full. Anyway . . .

Actress answered the phone the other day to be greeted by this call. She has heard it before and usually hangs up but this time . . . well this time she was in full actress mode. She let them get into the spiel and then said (very melodramatically) " But, but I'm only 10 years old! I don't have a credit card. I don't even have one of those bank account card thingies!"

The rest of us were rolling on the floor laughing. I think the caller didn't know what to do because Actress said that she heard nothing on the other end and then a click as they hung up.

The things kids think of! :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A New Job

As the title of this post implies, I was offered a job. It is with one of the local hospitals as a patient transporter for the therapy departments. I have to admit that it feels a little odd to be going from a job where I was self-directed (for the most part) to a job where my main responsibility is getting patients from their rooms to their therapy sessions. On the flip side it's a low stress job that gets my foot in the door, offers health insurance, and no evenings required. Flip it again and it is also a low paying job with little room for pay increase, as I'm coming in at the top of their pay scale. However, since I'm in no position to be choosy, I'm just happy to have a job with a hospital.

I have interviewed for two other positions with a couple of the other hospitals and am currently waiting to hear the verdict with those. Both pay $2 - $3 dollars more per hour and both have rotating shifts. One of those positions rotates between days and evenings, the other between days and nights. Both have slightly better insurance plans and would fit better into my ultimate plan of nursing as they are both positions to work as a nursing assistant. I'm trying not to compare right now as I may not be offered either one. Not to mention that I really hate to start somewhere and then quit.

I thought I'd be a bit more excited than I actually am, as far as the job goes. I guess I tend to view this as a job, nothing more, nothing less. I know that it's best that I'm home in the evenings and I'm happy about that. I have to admit that I was somewhat disappointed in the pay. It will make things tough, financially (although not as tough as living off my emergency fund). If I listen to my emotions I know that I would prefer the nursing assistant position that, while it entails much more, also pays more and has the potential to earn more (I'd be coming in at the bottom to middle of the pay scale, the bottom being higher than what I've accepted for my new position).

However, I will smile and say that, either way, I'm happy to soon be earning a paycheck again!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'm A Film Writer

I ran across this quiz when doing a little surfing tonight. I found it on Faust's blog who found it on this blog. I guess I've never seen myself as a film writer. Hmm.

What kind of writer are you?

You Should Be a Film Writer

You don't just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.

You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.

Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.

And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Your Weekend Update

Another week gone, it's already October 18! Where is all of the time going?!

Anime has had two sessions of physical therapy. It seems that she also has bursitis in the right knee. Now the doctor didn't mention that to me but he put it in the notes for the physical therapist. That makes sense, considering the initial swelling was in the area of the bursa and that is where the majority of the pain is. I'm amazed at how much muscle she has lost in the right leg in just the two weeks she's been using crutches. It is truly "use it or lose it"!

The kids have gone on a short trip to a shopping mecca with my parents for the three day weekend that they have from school. I stayed home to work on fencing the back yard with Mr. Irony but the weather seems to have decided to not cooperate. It's a little hard to put fence posts into wet ground. Instead I'm playing around on my new Lenovo Thinkpad. This is the first major purchase that I've ever made that was all for myself. It was hard to spend the money but I will use it for school and for my writing, not to mention finally having a decent computer with which to edit my photos! I even went out and bought myself two sweaters! I must have a shopping bug. LOL.

Honestly though, I have very little clothing. I have about 3 outfits that were my "teacher" clothes, one dressy skirt, two dressy outfits (thanks to my "second" parents whom I got to keep in the divorce) two pairs of jeans, 3 sweatshirts, one pair of sweatpants, and a various collection of T-shirts that came mainly from my last lengthy serving gig. I don't mind wearing beer T-shirts around the house and under sweatshirts but I don't care to wear them, to say, the kid's school, etc. My goal in shopping is to find myself just a few sweaters that are nice to wear with jeans and cords, and around the house when I'm cold (which is almost always starting now and running through June). I have to admit that I almost didn't buy the sweaters, even though they were from a discount retailers and it wasn't over $40 for the two of them.

Last night Mr. Irony and I were able to go out for dinner at Panera's, go shopping (for me and we found curtains for the living room), rent a movie and eat dessert in the living room. Ah the joys of a childless evening! :) Although, Mr. Irony's daughter and a friend did come home from college late last night so it wasn't a completely childless evening.

Today I have to run out and do a little more shopping, yes I know, it's becoming a habit! I have to pick up the now-fixed saxophone, exchange Action's snow pants for a larger size (before they all disappear!), buy myself some socks (down to two pairs!), and find curtain rods for those new living room curtains. When that is done I will then get to choose from 1)painting in the dining room/kitchen area 2)organizing all of my files - for which I need to buy a filing cabinet or box or 3) sort through boxes in the basement.

Or maybe I'll just play around on the laptop. : P

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More Medical Updates

Yesterday was the orthopedist visit for Anime. We are lucky in that fact that after much poking, prodding, bending, stretching, & questioning, the orthopedist declared her to have tendinitis in her knee. Remedy? A knee brace, two weeks of physical therapy, a return to the orthopedist two weeks hence, and NO volleyball (or sports of any kind actually). Sucks to be her, as by the time she can return to volleyball, the season will be over. She thinks this has ruined her shot for making the freshman team next year, but there is still junior olympic volleyball in the spring to prep her for that. I had tendinitis in my foot my freshman year of high school so I can sympathize somewhat with Anime. I'm relieved that it is something minor (although it doesn't seem minor right now) versus something major that would require surgery.

Switching over to me (and yes, it's always about me :P ) I finally received the results of my heart screen. Good news on something! My EKG was normal. My CT scan for calcium in my arteries scored at zero, which is really, really good. My risk for developing heart disease currently stands at 3%. The rest we already knew, a body mass index of 27.5, HDL level of 27 (so not good), and a cholesterol level of 283 (so really not good - excuse my poor grammar). I have increased my activity level by walking 3 to 4 times per week and have started to include Pilate's in my life again (albeit inconsistently). Mr. Irony is cooking heart healthy meals for me, I eat no meat except fish now, and have given up all dairy. I've also increased my daily intake of veggies. On a side note, soy ice cream isn't all that bad I've found. Once I have medical insurance again I will take up the cholesterol issue with a doctor to explore can be done medically. I hate taking medicine so if you have any tips as to what else I can do using natural remedies, send them my way!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Overcoming . . .

The day that I have been long waiting for arrived today. My 7 year old son sat down and read a book to me without me having to tell him words. "Green Eggs & Ham" was the monumental book. There were tears in my eyes as he made his way through it. He didn't read fluently, he struggled, but he did it all himself. Finally in the third month of second grade. Action has dyslexia so this a major milestone for him. He was so proud to read the book to me instead of the other way around. I'm looking forward to more events like this.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

From Three Jobs to Zero

Last year at this time I was working three different jobs. Teacher (sort-of), waitress, piano teacher. Fast forward one year and I have no job.

I've never before been let go from a job.

Whew! Now I can cross that off my list. :)

I was let go today from the restaurant. I was called 15 minutes before I would have left for work tonight and told that the last 4 servers (of which I was the last) hired are all being let go because there simply isn't enough work for everyone.

I know that it's because this restaurant isn't pulling in the business that they expected to bring in. I know it's not a reflection on my job performance because I know I'm a damn good server. I know that things are slowing down everywhere because people are a little worried over what's going to happen with this economy. None of that makes it any easier. It hurts. It's scary. I had a plan. I was going to waitress full-time and go to school online. So much for that. I seriously hope now that I am offered one of the patient care tech (read: nurse's aide) positions in one of the local hospitals. Or even the EMT position that is an hours drive each way. There are places I can apply, places where I would sit in a little cubicle and answer phones as a customer representative for various companies. I would hate that because I've done that and it isn't for me.

At least I have a little breathing room in the fact that there's money tucked away in the bank. Money that I didn't want to touch, but it's there if I need it.

Today officially is "Sucky Saturday".

Sinking job status & a Painful Knee

Remember my last post in which I stated I was scared about how this whole messed up economy thing would affect us, especially in the restaurant industry? Well, I'm scheduled for a whole whopping two shifts next week. That's right. Two. It would have been three except that I now have to take Anime to the doctor so it was dropped to two. Of course, everyone else has been dropped on their number of shifts also, so no one is willing to give up an shifts. I'm keeping my fingers crossed (and toes, and eyes, and anything else I can cross) that I am offered the aide position I interviewed for last week or possibly the aide position that I will interview for this Thursday at a competing hospital. It surprises me in a city with such low unemployment that I am struggling to find a full-time position. I could go to work for Mr. Ex and his brother-in-law. Excuse me while I finish my laughing fit. :) I know you should never say never (the story of my life!) but in that instance? NEVER! I can not cold call people trying to sell them advertising space. I'd rather be a bartender! (The bartenders seems to be doing well around here lately. Why is it when things get tough, people spend more at the bar?! Hmm.)

Anime had her follow up appointment for her knee yesterday. Not good. Pain all around her knee wherever the doctor touched ( and I do mean touched, not pushed or palpated, just simply touched). Monday will find us at the orthopedic surgeon's office for (most likely) an MRI of the knee to find out what exactly is going on in there. Our doctor did say that the post-strep arthritis may be complicating things as she's been having severe cramps in her calf since damaging the knee, and she has lots of pain after the knee is in one position for any extended amount of time. I'm just hoping and praying that whatever it is can be remedied through physical therapy and time. Why? We have NO INSURANCE and knee surgery is an expense that will take me years to pay for. Not good when you're trying to get a handle on your debt. Not that any of this will be cheap but at least it will be less expensive than surgery.

I'm off now to finish up my hot chai tea and then work on getting some of the painting in the living room finished. I work tonight and hope that it will be at least somewhat busy and that I won't be sent home early like last Saturday night.

Won't you do me a favor and click on over to CelticBuffy - Debt Slayer? and leave me your opinion of INGDirect vs FNBO? Thank you! :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Searching for Job Security

Finally, finally, one of the local hospitals called to see if I'd be interested in interviewing for one of the eighteen thousand positions I've applied for over the last 5 weeks. Okay, maybe not quite that many but I have applied for at least twenty various positions between the three local hospitals. This interview was for a position as a therapy aide in the rehab department. (no that "rehab" but physical therapy rehab) I have been amazed that it's taken this long. I guess having that EMT certification didn't mean quite as much as I thought it would as far as when applying for a nurses' aide or patient care tech job. I hope that even if I don't get this position, having met the recruiter and putting a face to the name will get my foot in the door for interviews for other positions. Seriously people, I've never had as much trouble finding a job as I've had these past two months!

Ironically, an EMT position has opened up in the hospital nearest to the town from which I've just moved. This hospital is about an hour's drive from my new home. How desperate am I feeling to get into a hospital position (with insurance!)? Desperate enough that I've applied for the position. The kicker? Folks, this is the ER that I talked about when I did my EMT clinicals. (To refresh your memory click here) Yes, for the right amount of money and health insurance I am willing to go to work there and drive 2 hours round trip. Of course, considering the way my job hunt has gone thus far, I probably won't be called for an interview.

Why am I looking for something other than what I'm currently doing? Yes, I like my job at the restaurant and I like (most of) the people I work with. However, I'm scared of what's happening with our economy. I'm worried that even if I worked 8 serving shifts per week (the max that we are allowed) I still wouldn't make enough to support the kids. As people start to tighten their belts, restaurants are one of the areas that are going to feel the pinch. My perspectives has changed a lot over the past two weeks as I listen to the news and read the financial blogs. I'm strongly feeling the need to be in a somewhat secure industry. People are always going to need the healthcare industry. That being said . . .

What the heck does it take to get into an entry level hospital position?!

*crossposted at

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Time Flies!

My how time does fly! It's been a busy week around here, from volleyball to soccer to work, with an acute care visit thrown in.

Anime had her best volleyball game ever this week! She was rockin', spiking, serving, doing it all. She had the heartbreak last week of being moved from the B to the C squad and has been trying to work her way back up to B. After her game this week she complained of her knee hurting on and off throughout the game. Around 7:30 she joined us in the living room to tell me how her knee was throbbing. She had iced it when we got home but the pain had only increased. I gently started to palpate the knee which caused Anime to start sobbing. A quick call to Grandma Nurse pointed us in the direction of the acute care instead of the emergency room. X-Rays showed no breaks or chips, leaving the doctor to guess that she has either a torn ligament or torn cartilage. (hmm, I had already figured it was on of those options. For this I paid $140.) Instructions included using an Ace bandage in conjunction with crutches until the pain subsides, followed by a visit to her regular doctor. So this coming Friday will find us at her (new) regular doctor to see what's up and if she can return to volleyball (or if we have to continue on to an orthopedist . . . no!!!).

I am still continuing to apply for any and all medical positions that I am evenly remotely qualified for. Nothing is happening fast in that area. I like my current job but I cannot make it on 3 to 4 serving shifts and 3 hostessing shifts per week. Not to mention that 25 hours per week spread out over 6 days per week is extremely annoying. I'm being told that as soon as the server manager comes back from vacation (two weeks from now) a couple of "slackers" are going to be let go (or more likely dropped to one to two shifts per week) and I will be gaining those extra serving shifts. I'm trying to be patient because the money is good and this job will work well with starting my nursing prerequisite classes next semester.

This weekend is as busy as the previous week. Today brings a (small) birthday part for Actress which involves seeing "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" followed by me working tonight. Tomorrow Action attends a birthday party, Actress goes to a friend's house, and Anime needs to be picked up from her grandparents (where she has been spending the weekend).

Hope you all get out and enjoy the crisp fall weather!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Gaiam's Pilates

As part of my cholesterol-lowering quest, and just simply a desire to be in better shape, so that I don't die of a heart-attack say, oh, this year, I pulled out my Gaiam's pilates with Ana Caban. I purchased this set of tapes - yes tapes!- so long ago that they are VHS tapes. Shocking, I know. I have the A.M./P.M. Pilates Mat Workout. I faithfully practiced along with these tapes for a couple of years, then stopped, then started, then stopped for the last time roughly two years ago. How cow batman! What a difference two years will make!

I am not the limber gracefully dancer that I used to be (well, okay I am in my mind). I struggled to make it through the P.M. portion, which is designed to relax and help you stretch at the end of the day. Nothing too intense but I still had to take breaks. And my back! I seriously did not realize how poor my posture has become. My back hurt and yelled at me, telling me how much I've let it slack lately. (I have scoliosis - an S curve- whole 'nother post.) I was somewhat sore and very disappointed in myself last night.

This morning? This morning I woke up feeling less stiffness than I've felt in a really long time! Normally it hurts to get out of bed in the morning. My feet and back usually feel incredibly stiff and I shuffle along like a penguin (so the kids tell me) until my feet have loosened up enough to walk normally.

I didn't do the A.M. version this morning. I remember it as being much more intense than the P.M. tape. I work a double shift today so I decided to stick with just the night-time version when I get home from work and start with the morning version tomorrow. We also went for a short walk last night, something we need to do on a regular basis as it would do Mr. Irony just as much good as it will do for me.

Today we are serving up sunshine and good breakfast blend coffee. May your neck of the woods be just as sunny!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Handbag Planet Giveaway

I love bags and purses therefor I will take any opportunity to win a new one that is beyond my current budget. Handbag Planet will be giving away 24 purses in 24 hours on October 15th. Go enter and see if you might be one of the lucky 24! Thanks Leanne for posting it on her blog.

Cholesterol and Coffee Dates

As I expected, I did not receive good news at my heart-health screening. I won't get the EKG or CT scan results until sometime next week but I did get the following information: BMI (body mass index) 27.5; HDL level (good cholesterol) 27; total cholesterol level - 283. I wish you could have seen the nurse's face when she read my cholesterol level. Apparently she hasn't encountered that many 38 year old females with a cholesterol level nearing 300. Just this info makes me worry about what the rest of the results will be. Although, I can't say that I'm too shocked about all of this.

So, in response to this alarming new information, I'm going semi-vegan. Semi-vegan? I will be eating vegan but allowing myself the occasional temptation (such as real ice-cream). This is fairly easy since Mr. Irony is vegan and I'll eat whatever you put in front of me as long as I didn't have to cook it. We also went for a walk last night and I'll be taking up Pilate's again and am considering yoga.

On another front - my twitter friends are aware of a long-standing weekly coffee date that my SO has with a female friend that he met around the same time he and I met. This week I was finally able to attend that coffee date with him. I tried to be neutral, giving this woman the benefit of the doubt and thinking that I could possibly walk away with a new friend. FAIL! The only time she spoke to me was to say hello and then upon leaving to say it was nice to meet me. Her body language, dress, and conversation left me believing that she's into him. She kept the conversation on topics that they had discussed previously, never once addressing me, and I was just left stunned and frozen. Even with the encouragement of my dear twitter friends (yes I was twittering during this) I barely got out a few words.

I've been in the position of having a close male friend and when I've met his girlfriends I've done my best to ask questions, include them, and get to know them. She made no such attempts. In my opinion it was painfully obvious that she didn't want me there, in fact she acted as if I wasn't there.

I voiced these opinions to the SO. He was clueless as to all of the vibes I had picked up. He assured me that he had no dating interests whatsoever in her. In fact, if we break up he plans to move out of state and possibly out of the country (oversea's contractor type of gig). He said he's never picked up that she might be interested in him that way but admitted that he can be kind of clueless. He apologized for how I was left feeling. I did not insist that he stop meeting her for coffee because I don't believe in ultimatums like that. If someone did that to me, I'd probably dig in and do the opposite, just because. I do hope, now that he's aware of my feelings, that his outlook might change a little. He told me that the only contact he has with her is that coffee date and an email that she sends to set the time. We'll see what happens. If I'm not invited to any more of their coffee dates then we will have a problem. I will assert myself. For now I want to see how this goes. If I'm honest with myself it bothers me extremely. There's a lot more I could write about this but I'm running out of time right now.

For now, hope you have a great day, and will try not to mourn the loss of the pumpkin spice lattes, which have now been replaced (for me) with hot chai tea made with soy milk. Would it be heart healthy to have a pumpkin spice latte made with soy or would the taste just suck?

Monday, September 22, 2008

ABC, No It's an EKG

You have to think the tune of that Jackson 5 song "ABC" when you read this post's title. It's stuck in my head as that.

Today I'm taking a step in being proactive in regards to my health. There is a history of heart disease in my family and after the results my dad got a couple of weeks ago, I figure I'd better start looking after myself.

Both of my parents went in and had heart-health screenings. This includes checking non-fasting cholesterol, an EKG, CT Calcium score (amount of plaque in your coronary arteries), blood pressure, and Framingham score (risk of developing heart conditions). Mom's was great, Dad's was not. Since I tend to take after my father in everything except having healthy teeth, I figured I'd better get myself checked out also. So today I'm going in for the screening. The hard part is that is takes up to two weeks to get your results back.

I know that I have high cholesterol. I actually took a medicine for it for a couple of years. Then, I did a bad thing. I stopped. Why? I knew that I would be losing my health insurance as part of quitting my job. If I had not taken any meds for any conditions for at least a year then I have a chance of them not counting as a pre-existing condition when I do find new health insurance. Stupid? Absolutely. I also stopped my anti-depressants at the same time. Not quite as stupid as stopping the cholesterol meds, but still not a good idea.

I'm quite positive that the results will require me to see a cardiologist. At the very minimum, they'll recommend that I see a physician in regards to the cholesterol level.

Ah well. At least it will be interesting to watch the tests run today, particularly the EKG. Then maybe, just maybe, I'll actually stop for that pumpkins spice latte I was craving last week, but never got around to buying.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An Average Day

Busy day today. Hostessing over lunch, wine tasting class this afternoon, and then a job interview towards evening. Not to mention Anime's volleyball match and Action's soccer practice, both of which I will miss.

Job interview, you ask? Well, yes. At the beginning of my job hunt I had applied for an assistant manager position of a retail clothing store. I hadn't heard anything back so I just assumed I wasn't what they were looking for. Lo and behold, the district manager called yesterday to ask if I'd come in to interview while she is in town today. I figured, it never hurts to interview so I'll go in today to see what they have to offer. I am a little worried about the stability of income at my current job. Not to mention that I've figured out that in order to make my previous income I'd have to work 4 split shifts per week plus one to two single shifts. That's six days per week, with four of them being double shifts. Granted, they are a new restaurant and it is the slow month here for dining out, but it never hurts to keep your options open, right?

I'm off, feeling better today, with visions of a possible pumpkin spice latte this afternoon.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Where'd I go? I miss me so . . .

After what seemed like years of job hunting (okay it was really two weeks) I started at a new restaurant last week. It is an organic restaurant in a green building, which is pretty cool. The food is AWESOME! I know this because they feed the crew at the end of each shift (lunch & supper shifts). I like the people I'm working with (so far). They seem just about as nutty as I am. Plus?! I am in the middle of the age spectrum for the servers there! Apparently experience counts there, not looks or age. None of the servers are the "typical" twenty-somethings, which makes me feel good. I've agreed to work as the lunch hostess and an evening server until they can work me into the server rotation more. While that's not the ideal, they very graciously bumped up my hostess wage to make it more tempting to stay until they can get me more server shifts. So this week I'll hostess Tuesday through Friday, train for the last night as a server on Wednesday, and work my first server shift on Saturday night. We'll see how it goes. I like it so far, except that I had to run out on Friday and purchase a pair of Skechers for Work (Skechers brand) because I was in pain! I can't wear my Shoes for Crews shoes here because they are not black and I can't wait the week or more that it would take for me to get a new pair through the mail. A couple of the gals at work wear Skechers for Work and love them. We'll see. I love my Shoes for Crews shoes and am going to order a black dressy pair as soon as I get a little ahead financially.

Anime and Action have fit right in and made friends quickly here while Actress is struggling. Part of it is her attitude. She hates everything here and seems to be determined to be miserable. She wants to return to our former town and school. I can understand that. She was popular and an "it" girl there. Here she must start over. She's also unhappy with the new family situation and is attempting to but heads with Mr. Irony. She wants to be in control of everything. She complains about everything. I'm trying hard to be patient. I moved to a new school at her age and it was so incredibly hard. So hard and so bad, my mother tells me, that I've blocked an entire TWO YEARS from my memory. I have NO memories of 5th or 6th grade. So I can understand how hard this is for her. But my almost 11 year old has turned into a moody bratty teenager (mood swings) and I just don't know how to help her through this. She's choosing to make herself miserable most of the time and it is affecting everyone in this house.

I feel lost because I just don't know what to do here. I've unpacked about as much as I can, as many things left are things that need to stay boxed until we remodel the basement and there's actually somewhere to put them. There's not a lot I can go out and do as I'm broke currently. I don't feel like reading and have been reluctant to write. I'm insecure over a situation that I know I shouldn't be insecure over but it's there just the same. I'm not sure if I should write about it here as sometimes Mr. Irony reads my posts and I'm just not sure I'm ready to discuss this with him yet.

I've been having a hard time this past week. I feel lost and somewhat adrift, insecure and unsure. Part of me just wants to hide out and cry because even though I have a plan (sort of, it kind of hinges on being actually accepted to nursing school next fall) I still feel like I don't know what I'm doing. Like I'm drifting through life. I realize that my life has been so consistently inconsistent over the last several years (okay basically all of my adult life) that having some consistency and normalcy feels strange to me now. It is somewhat disconcerting to look at my new home and think that this is where I plan to be for the next 11 years (when Action graduates from high school).

I've been realizing how I've dropped the ball with my kids. They are slobs, have no understanding of putting things away, don't do what they're told without having to be yelled at, and generally treat me like a doormat. I guess because I have been a doormat. I've been realizing how I well and truly gave up on myself and became Mr. Ex's doormat and thus, everyone else's in turn. He treated me with very little respect the last several years of our marriage and I just shut up and took it. I convinced myself I was supporting him in his goals when really I was just trying to not be noticed so that things would be calm . . . no waves. I reacted by being passive-aggressive. Now I see my children treating me the same way and I'm trying to break the cycle. It is hard, though, very hard. They think I'm being mean when I'm not. I'm trying to teach them to be responsible. See, they aren't this way with everyone, just basically me. When they are at other people's house or school I get complimented on what great kids they are, what good manners they have, how kind they can be. At home? Those children disappear.

I remember the me of my late teens and early twenties. I was kick-ass, people! I set goals regularly and I accomplished them! I had a circle of friends. I debated with others and spoke my opinions. I stood my ground. I was fun and interesting and not afraid to let people know it. Now? Now I'm just trying to get by, unnoticed, am scared of speaking my opinion because I'm scared I'll sound stupid. I don't accomplish much and feel pretty "meh" about most things. I want the old me back, but an improved old me, as I've had so many experiences over the last 19 years that make me even more interesting and knowledgeable than before. The question is . . . how do I get there?

There's a song by Fort Minor that, although the video deals with deployed soldiers, the lyrics make me think about the last 15 years of my life. Where'd I go? Where'd my world go? Did I really give up everything to schedule my life around someone else's desires, waiting for them to decide they wanted to be with our family? I want me back and I want the will back to not subjugate my dreams and hopes to someone elses.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Better Late than Never

I have been remarkably slow in acknowledging an award that was bestowed upon my little blog by two people that I love to read. My sincere apologies go to Frogdancer and the Grammar Vandal for the delay in getting this posted on my site. I admit my blogging stupidity in that I didn't know how to get the picture of the award from their sites to mine. Thanks to Vanessa for clearing up the matter for me!

So, finally, I present to you what was presented to me.

I was very touched by that fact that these two lovely bloggers read my own blog and thought enough of it to pass on their awards to me.

Now to pass the torch, so to speak, here are the seven blogs I am passing my award to:

Bella at Bella's Bold Brilliant Blog

Hayley-O of The Cheaty Monkey

BohoGirl of Chronicles of Me

Nichole of My Thoughtful Spot

Swishy of Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

Sunshine at ...and the pursuit of happiness

PrincessB whose blog is currently private so I won't link to it from here

and of course, even thought it makes eight, the one who started it all for me with her book "Bitter is the New Black"

Jenn of jennsylvania

This was really hard to do, people. There are SO MANY people that I read and love. I went back to those blogs that started me on my road to blogging. There are several that I didn't nominate that have already received this award, but whom I was also reading in the beginning. So thank you all, for blogging and inspiring me to begin my journey into the blogosphere! And thank you, to all of who who read my posts and share in my life!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Rest in Peace Grandma

Today we will drive back the town we just moved away from. Tonight we will attend the viewing of my grandmother's body at the local funeral home. Tomorrow we will attend the funeral and I will carry her casket to the grave along with 5 of my 14 cousins. How odd that I have been a pallbearer at both of my grandmother's funerals.

I was never close to my father's mother. It's only been as an adult that I have been able to see what kind of woman she was. She raised six children with little money and an alcoholic husband. I'm told he was not a mean alcoholic, but rather a congenial one, one that everyone liked, but an alcoholic just the same. She worked whatever job was available and ran a tight ship. She watched three of her children become alcoholics, two that died from it, and one that managed to pull himself out of it. She buried a seventh child as an infant. She loved each of the fourteen grandchildren, one of whom she never even got to meet, and loved each of her 20? great grandchildren (I've lost count of all of them now). She adored my son and he loved her back in a way that I never could. She lost her husband 28 years ago, moved to a new town, and in her late fifties took a job as a home health aide. She continued that job well into her seventies. In her seventies she suffered a leaking blood vessel in her brain and, amazingly, had a full recovery from it.

She was an independent, outspoken woman who did what was needed without complaint. She loved but didn't necessarily show it, as that was how she was raised.

I'm sorry grandma, that I didn't take the time to learn more about your history, where you came from, how you grew up. I'm glad that my children got to know you in a way that I didn't. I'm glad you didn't have to suffer long and that you are at rest.

Even though I never once heard you tell me that you loved me, I know you did and I'm glad that I did tell you I loved you, because I did and do.

I will always remember how you had candy corn for me every time I visited. I will always remember how you always had a dollar bill and a candy for each of my children when they visited and how, even in the hospital after your stroke you wanted me to find your purse so as to give each of the kids their dollar and their candy. I will always remember you grandma. I didn't expect to feel it as much as I do, I didn't expect to take your death so hard but I am. Thank you for being my grandma.

I will bring my camera and document the gathering of your large family with photos. Morbid as it may be, some of us only see each other at family funerals. Hopefully it will be many years before your remaining sons and daughter pass away, therefore it will be many years before I see these cousins again. I will take the photos and, at some point down the road, make a funeral book for each of your remaining children because you will not be forgotten.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Jobs & Hospitals

Update at bottom of this post.

Well, I had a second interview at yet another restaurant yesterday. I was brought back to meet the server manager so that she could "get a feel for how I would fit with the restaurant". I liked her and liked her descriptions of how things run there. But, I was told they needed to make a decision soon as they needed to hire one more server and they would get back to me shortly. I was also asked to give them a call if I was offered any other job over the next couple of days ( to counter said offer maybe?). This. Is. Frustrating.

It was brought to my attention that maybe I am too old? The plus is that I don't look my age. When people meet me they generally don't guess I am in my late thirties. Granted, I don't look like a twenty-something but people tend to guess my age to be around thirty or early thirties. I feel a little disheartened in that I have all of this experience and am getting nowhere fast with searching for a restaurant job. So today I am interviewing for a big department store for the position of lead sales. Not real excited about that but the fact remains that I need a job yesterday.

But what's really bringing me down is that last week my only remaining grandmother had a stroke. I started to write about it last weekend but couldn't finish it. It was bad in that it impaired her ability to communicate and to move on her own. Knowing her independent nature that totally sucked for her. My dad called this morning and she took a bad turn last night. Fluid filling the lungs and the best they can do now is to keep her comfortable. Dad didn't think she'd pass away tonight but has been told that it will more than likely be within the next week. Maybe this is wrong, maybe it's morbid, but I hope, for her sake, that it happens sooner rather than later. I don't want her to suffer, trapped in her shell of a body, unable to do anything for herself, or to communicate effectively with those around her.

My dad is at the hospital now (this is his mom). The kids and I will be heading up there tonight to sit for a while at the hospital.

Update: 3:00 pm

My grandmother passed away this afternoon. At least she didn't have to go through days of suffering, waiting to die. The one week following her stroke was enough hell for her, in my opinion, and I'm glad she doesn't have to go through any more.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Would you believe that I have to go back for a second interview with the restaurant operations manager after passing the interview with the server manager?! What the heck, people!? I had to go through less to teach children!

Show Me the Money

We are all moved in and are now into the joyous? process of unpacking. The necessities are out and put away (sort-of) but many boxes remain to be gone through. Several of mine contain winter clothes and blankets, not to mention books. And more books. Mr. Irony is graciously leaving space for me on his (many) bookshelves. But I feel kind of, well, dumb, putting my mystery novels and other such books next to his history volumes, classic works, and biographies. I've read many classics, I just don't own them. Ah, well. I'll get over it.

The big job hunt is on. I've filled out and dropped off several applications at various restaurants in the neighboring city. I've even included a resume of all of my experience as a server (going back over the last twenty years. Man, how does that sound? Yes, I've been a server on and off for the past twenty years.). I've targeted the restaurants that are either the busiest (think major mega-shopping areas) or those that are downtown (classy, moneyed area). I'd really like to get in downtown as I am in love with the downtown, not to mention that it's about 10 minutes closer than the shopping district. Of course, the restaurant that was on the bottom of my "want to work for" list is the one that called right away to set up an interview. There's nothing wrong with it other than it doesn't appear to be as busy as the others. However, everyone I mention it to says, "Oh! You should do well there, we love eating there." So we'll see. If they offer me a job I'll take it as I need income soon! I did have two walk-on interviews at two of the places I'd really like to work, but both said they'd pass on the info they'd gathered to the server managers. One restaurant is an organic restaurant on the river, very classy & upscale. The other is an Italian places that is always busy & that is my favorite place to have Italian. At the Italian place I was told that they are hiring 4 - 5 more servers and they'd pass along my info to the appropriate manager, who would call me for a second interview. Ugh. Seriously? People, I don't mean to be snobby, but this is the restaurant biz. Servers are in and out like a revolving door. What place does second interviews? Am I auditioning for a movie, waiting for a call-back? Please. In every restaurant job I've ever had I've been hired right at the first interview. Ah well.

Keep your fingers crossed that I walk away with a job today. I just want to start somewhere quickly so as to get through the training period and get on the floor soon so that I can start seeing some green!

I am also dropping off my application to be a substitute teacher in the local school district. Subbing sort of sucks but it does pay $90 a day.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Procrastinator Strikes Again

So yes, I'm procrastinating on everything again, blogging, unpacking, job hunting, exercising. I am "The Procrastinator"! That sounds so cool, I want to start my own comic. The only problem is I can't draw! ;)

I did update my personal finance blog so hop on over there today (or swim over there if you're anywhere that's getting all of the rain from Gustav!) and check it out.

I am off to drink more coffee while I fill out 3 more restaurant applications that I will drop off this afternoon. I saw that Macy's is hiring. Maybe I should apply there? Except I couldn't afford the clothes even with the employee discount! ha ha.

I promise to be back later today with more stories for you, my lovelies. And for me so that down the road (like, mmm, this weekend) I won't have forgotten the events of the past month.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm here, I'm here!

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth! I am still here! Between moving the contents of both my house and Mr. Irony's house, sending one off to college, and getting the other three off to their new schools, it has been just a wee bit crazy around here.

We have internet access now but my computer is not set up as of yet. I promise that as soon as it is I will be back on to fill you in on the craziness of the past two weeks. Has it really been two weeks!? Time does really fly, doesn't it?

Until then, enjoy your java! I'll be back around soon!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Meet "The Procrastinator"

Mr. Irony has asked me several times if I'm excited about the house and moving yet. I was down to the big city on Sunday to get some painting done in the new house and, yes, I was actually starting to feel excited.


I'm completely overwhelmed. What exactly was I thinking when I figured I could get ready for this move by myself?! I pick up the truck tomorrow and I am so not ready. I had planned to be done packing/cleaning by last night so that I could spend today finishing up painting in the new house. Instead I will be here, in our old town, frantically dumping things in boxes. And as if that's not bad enough, I still have paperwork to finish going through back at the school. I usually work well under pressure but my procrastinating has taken on a whole new level right now.

My butt is sore from all of the kicking that I've been giving it this week as penance for procrastinating. To top that all off I forget to call and cancel the cable, internet, and gas bills. To my credit, I did remember yesterday but got nothing but a busy signal with the cable/internet company.

I'll get it all done, one way or another. I'm just feeling fairly frantic right about now.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

One Missed Call

I happened to be around town last weekend and able to go out on two ambulance calls. The first was a routine transfer from the care facility to the hospital. The second was again from the care center to the hospital but, because of the nature of the call, we were met by the ALS (advanced life support) crew from the neighboring hospital. Both were interesting and good safe calls to go on for my first ever ambulance rides as an EMT-B.

The other day I missed the pager going off. I happened to catch the dispatcher saying something about a car accident and my town, sending me running out the door in case it was a multiple casualty situation. I knew I'd missed the ambulance going out so I took the pager with me and headed out to the highway. The local deputy's car went screaming past me so I followed him out of town. By the time we got to the crash site the ambulance was loaded and on its way back through, what we call a "grab and go" situation. Because the crash? Was car versus train. I knew it was only a single patient because dispatch would have called for a second ambulance crew if more than one person had been involved in the crash. I turned around and headed home, knowing that I was not needed. And spent the rest of the day kicking myself for being too slow to be there when my hands were needed.

I went to work at the restaurant that night and heard from friends more info on the crash. It was a lovely young woman that I had the opportunity to meet when I was teaching at her school a couple of years ago. A young woman who is active in her community, a giving personality, and her whole life ahead of her. She was not wearing her seat belt and no one knows exactly why she did not see the train.

And now I am feeling guilty for being glad that I was too slow to catch the call. Because the ambulance did not take her to the hospital. They took her to the funeral home and the county coroner. I have heard that at least one of the EMT's that caught the call was too wrecked emotionally to go to their job that day.

I feel guilty for missing it, yet guilty also for being glad that I did miss it. I don't know how I would have handled the death that occurred. It's hard enough knowing the hole that has been carved in the lives of her family, her boyfriend and his family, and the suffering of the family that she was on her way to see that morning.

I know that I will most likely find out how I will handle death on a call, as I plan to join the ambulance crew in our new town. This missed call, for me, brings to the forefront that small town EMT's more often than not, are answering calls for friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and most scarily, family. How does one handle that? Especially in the instance when the patient of that call does not survive? The loss that this community will feel for this young woman is overwhelming. How does one handle the knowledge that what you could do for that patient wasn't enough? I know that it doesn't matter who caught that call, with the severity of the crash, the chance of survival was slim to none, there was nothing that could be done to save her. My heart is just aching for that woman's family and friends, and for those fellow EMT's who caught the call and the emotions they're dealing with now.

There's no real point to my ramblings right now. It's just where my mind keeps returning to. We all go blithely along our way, living life, making plans, forgetting that we just never know what curve fate it going to throw at us. Go hug your loved ones, tell them that you love them. Marvel at the newness of each day. And drive safely and defensively. My fellow EMT's and I don't want you to be on that call that ends at the funeral home instead of the hospital.

Slan awaillia (sp?) or safe journey.

Serving It Up, Indefinitely?

Wow! Thank you so much to everyone who commented on my previous post! Everyone has such different and interesting jobs. I've loved reading all of your comments.

My gut is telling me to stay out of a school job. It's also telling me to go into waiting tables full time. There are many, many restaurants in our new city. My current bosses have given me a couple places to look into, places where their recommendations will help me secure a position. Next week, I will go in and fill out some applications. Working as a server will allow me some flexibility to be there for my children, more than I have been able to in the past couple of years. It will also allow me to take the time to figure out where I'm at and what I truly want. (Do we ever really figure that out, though?) So, that decision is made. Whew!

We closed on the house on Monday and were able to show it to the kids before I had to fly back to go to work. I am working another six days in a row until my last night and getting ready for a rummage sale on Saturday. That will leave me 4 days to paint in the house, finish up at the school, and finalize all of the packing before moving on Thursday. Surprisingly only Anime had no complaints about the house. Kids. It's hard for me to be as excited as Mr. Irony is right now. I still have so much to wrap up in our old town that I haven't fully wrapped my mind around the excitement of a new home. I have a feeling that once we're down there and I'm working on the house the excitement will burst through.

The kids are registered in their new school. Action is excited because he gets to have a locker as a second grader. Actress is trying to hide excitement about being able to start band as a fifth grader, otherwise she's moping around about everything. Anime is counting down the days until volleyball starts and until she can color her hair. (Yep, you read that correctly. The girl wants to color her hair to be a strawberry blond. It's naturally a deep honey colored blond. But I promised her that if she came up with the money she could do it at the end of the summer.) They're all nervous about being in a new school and making new friends. Poor kids. I changed schools twice as a kid and I do remember how hard those first few weeks are. Action and Actress are very outgoing kids and I doubt that it will take them long to make friends. Anime is more shy and introverted and I worry more about her. I hope that being in volleyball and band will help her to make friends quickly.

I'm, once again, back to running one from thing to the next. At least I know it's only temporary insanity. (I hope!)

I'm switching from my latte to iced tea to beat the heat and humidity for now. Hope you all make time to sit back and enjoy a tall tea yourselves! Make that a tall sweet tea for you southerners! :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Definitely Serving It Up & Doing Nothing Else

*Life is moving right along here. My manager at the restaurant is gone on vacation this week so I am attempting to fill his shoes by handling the front-of-the-house duties. This will be my 7th day out of 10 in a row down at the restaurant. Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. I really enjoy being there. However everything else is on hold right now. I have Sunday off and then put in another six nights in a row. August 9th will be my last day and I'm somewhat sad about it. However everything else is on hold right now until this crazy work schedule is finished.

*The kiddos spent the weekend with their dad and have been at my parent's most of the week. On Friday Anime and Action will go to their dad's again. Actress will stay home as she has a softball tourney this weekend. I've hardly seen them lately.

*The house is a wreck. It looks like several mini-tornadoes hit it.

*The car is fixed. Yeah! I had to have the drive train? drive shaft? whatever, replaced. Luckily there were still 5000 miles left on the warranty.

*The kids leave in two weeks for a vacation with my parents. They are going to the Black Hills in South Dakota. I'd love to go with them but there's just too much to be done right now.

*We close on the house on MONDAY! OMG!

*I pick up the moving truck two weeks from tomorrow. Two weeks. Wow. Two weeks. Where did the whole summer go?!

*I have one paycheck left from my school job. I have to find a job. But what kind of job?

So dear readers, here's the question for you? What do you do? What would you like to do? I have a chance to change careers/jobs, whatever, and I don't know what direction to take. Give me your suggestions please! Delurk, you twenty-some subscribers that are there but have not commented, and leave your job ideas! Please!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

No Drama Mama

Nothing new or earth shattering happening here lately. Whew! I don't know about you guys but I sure could use some quiet time.

Yesterday I took Action and Actress to a neighboring town to check out their newly remodeled swimming pool. They had 2 huge slides, a bigger pool, and a really cool um, I'm not sure what to call it. One of those areas with the things that shoot out water and areas where you could run through the spray, you know, whatever they're called. I honestly can not remember what those areas are called. So, anyway, we swam (even me), the kids did the slides, I read my book. It was just a nice, enjoyable afternoon.

Anime chose to spend the day with her grandmother. They went shopping, had lunch, and also had an enjoyable afternoon.

Today we are off to the big city. I've been non-so-patiently waiting for all the of parts needed to fix my car to arrive. It's only two years old but I'm going in today to have the drive train (shaft?) replaced. Luckily there are still 6000 miles left on the warranty. We'll have the courtesy shuttle drop us off at Barnes and Noble and while away the afternoon with Starbuck's and books. Action and Actress are going with so hopefully the time will pass quickly for them.

Have a great Wednesday!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"I know that it's time for a cool change "

Can you name that song and artist from the title?

I've been browsing quotes for moving trucks today. Then it hit me. This is really happening. We're moving. We're leaving the place that we've called our home base for the last six years. My parents will no longer be just down the road. I won't have a job where I know everyone and am comfortable. I won't know all of the kid's friends and their parents (and aunts and uncles and grandparents, yes it's a REALLY small town). I won't be able to call for a pizza and have them recognize my voice. I know there will be things that are better. I know that. But see? Everything is going to change.

And I'm scared.

So many "what if's" are crowding my brain today. What if this is too hard on the kids? What if they don't make friends? Worse, what if they fall in with the wrong kids? What if Mr. Ex and I really start fighting? What if I can't find a job that will at least pay my bills? What if the kids want to live with their dad? What if Mr. Irony and I can't make it work? What if I fall apart?

I sat down today to also do the paperwork for the January class of nursing school. And realized that, once again, I majorly effed up. I have been strolling along think I had plenty of time, after all the deadline isn't until October 1st, right? Wrong. It's July 1st. Or rather, it WAS July 1st. So, now the start of nursing school is on the back-burner for 12 more months because I was too blond to do the paperwork early. Although it does open up the possibility of getting into the one year accelerated program starting August of 2009. Anyway . . .

Today I have been somewhat paralyzed by the enormity of everything. Everything, EVERYTHING, is going to change in less than one month. The only constant will be the kids and I together. I have to get it together because they need me to be constant, steady . . . basically, their rock. Actress and Action don't remember anywhere but here. Anime remembers, but she's never done very well with change. Right now it all seems too hard, too scary. Sometimes, like right now, I wonder just how the hell I got to where I am. What happened to me that everything fell apart? I used to be such a go-getter. I used to set goals and achieve them. Regularly. Now? Now I'm lucky if I can remember what day it is. Seriously.

I was at W-Mart last week buying a sweatshirt and panicked because I couldn't find my wallet. I'd just had it, I remembered seeing it in my purse. Now when I needed to check out it was gone! I wailed across the check-out aisles to Mr. Irony, almost in tears. He graciously came to my rescue and paid for my silly purchase. As I went to bag the sweatshirt I realized where my wallet was. It was . . . tucked under my arm!!

These kinds of silly, stupid things have been happening more and more over the last few years. I honestly had no clue where that damn wallet had gone. And it was right there under my arm! Can I get any more blond? (And I can say this as I am 100% all natural Swedish/Norwegian blond.)

I have one more paycheck left from my education job and three more weeks of work at the restaurant. I have to find a job. Yet I don't want just a job. I need something that will provide enough for us and leave me with some sense of purpose for working. I don't know what direction to take, what type of job to look for, what I'm suited for.

I have the opportunity to change our lives. Hopefully for the better.

I know that it will all work out. I believe it will. If, it doesn't I'll deal with it. I'll push pass the panic attack and the nerves. I'll find answers to the problems. I have to.

Because I'm their rock and they need me and they're my whole world.