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!