Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Interview

Last Thursday I went on an interview.  I was a bit nervous since I have not been to one of these in quite a while.  Plus the fact that interviews always make me question just how qualified I am anyway.  They always seem to ask the strangest questions and you never are sure what answer they are looking for.

I have been looking for a different job for a while.  It is not that I don't like the job I have, because I do, it is just that I think that a change may be for the best.  Especially since I come to work everyday wondering if it will be my last.  After all, this position is grant funded and with all of the cuts that the state government is making, I feel that if my grant is cut even by $100, I will be out of a job.  Couple that with the fact that I have been told there is no longer a need for me since "your last diabetic is graduating in May" and I figured it was time to start actively looking.

Around the tenth of this month, I received a card in the mail looking for resumes for a job working for the state.  Now, I was a bit worried about applying for that since it is a state position, and like I said before, a lot of states are making cuts. In the end, I decided to apply anyway and see what happened.

I sent in my resume by email, which I have noticed a lot of employers now accepting them this way.  You never know if it gets to where it is going or if it is lost somewhere in cyberspace though.  But I guess it is the same as sending it by snail mail since you are never certain it got where you addressed it.

About a week after I sent it, I was contacted and told that I had been "chosen" for an interview.  First hurdle cleared!  She told me that I needed to get online and fill out an application and then she would mail an application to me also that would need to be filled out.  Why can't they just use the one I fill out online?  Because everything for the state has to be done a dozen different times!

I made it to the interview with just about two minutes to spare before my scheduled appointment time.  Which was actually pretty good since I had forgotten the shoes I needed and had to go back home to get them and then drive through water that was beginning to flood over the road.  Things seemed to be looking good!

When I was called back for the interview itself, there were three women sitting at two tables pushed into an "L" shape.  I am seated at a table with one of the women and the other two are at the other table.

The first lady tells me that the way a state job interview works is that they each have a packet of papers in which there are several questions written on them.  They will go around the group and each ask a question.  As I speak, their job is to "write everything you say".

What?!  Everything I say?  Holy cow.  Now you have just made me even more nervous!  But, I take a deep breath, tell her that is fine and she begins.

Her first question is "Do you have a reliable source of transportation?"  I nearly get up and leave at that.  My answer is 'yes', but what goes through my mind is the conversations that I have had with The Boy.  We have been talking to him about looking for a job and he keeps telling me that he has to "have a reliable source of transportation".  I tell him that as his mom, I am his reliable source of transportation.  He tells me that "moms don't count"!  So, I really have to think before answering this question!

This interview goes on for about 30 minutes with a pass the buck sort of question and answer session.  Each of them asking a question and me answering while they scribble down answers.

At one point, I look at the lady sitting across from me and see that the question is above where she is writing.  Just below that, there are lots of words that seem to be things that need to be either said or implied in my answer and she circles each of those things.  Then there is a scale from one to five that I can only assume means to evaluate how I answered the question with a five being very good.  Now mind you, I couldn't read everything that was typed, let alone what she wrote, but that was what I could make out.

As I watched her write what I had said, I noticed that she was circling mostly fours and fives.  That made me feel a lot better about how the interview was going since a lot of the questions that were being asked I felt like could only be answered if you had held the position before.

Once I left, however, I got to thinking about the whole set up.  Maybe that lady who was seated at the same table as me was a ringer.  Maybe her whole job was to circle those fours and fives to make the person being interviewed feel better about how it was going.  Maybe her scores didn't count at all!  Maybe those other two women were back there circling ones and wishing there were zeros!

The more I think about the whole process, the worse I feel about it all.  Maybe I shouldn't have told them a couple of the things I did in the hopes of clarifying my application.  Or maybe I should have done some more research on the types of questions that were going to be asked.  Or maybe I should have just told them that according to The Boy I am not a reliable source of transportation and gotten up and left right then!

Either way, now all I can do is wait.  I don't know how long it will be before they make a decision one way or the other since I forgot to ask and they didn't offer that up.  Is that because they didn't feel I needed to know since they had already made a decision earlier in the day?  Is that why they didn't tell me when I could expect to hear?

Jeeeez.  Can I just win the Mega Lottery and not have to worry about any more interviews?  Please?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea
Welcome to Friday Fragments, once again hosted by Mrs. 4444.  Go see what she has to say.  And when you are done with that, visit everyone else that has linked up.  And, when you are done with that, link up yourself!

If you were here yesterday, you know that I was scheduled to have an interview. And, if you were here yesterday, you also know that I forgot the shoes I was going to wear.  Well, today, you will be happy to know that I was able to make it home through the water that was across the road and get the shoes that I needed.  I then made it to my scheduled interview with about a minute and a half to spare.  And wouldn't you know it, I had to wait on them!  Guess I will continue to wait on them to see if they want me to work for them.

Tonight is the night of the last of the fish frys in the area.  Next Friday is Good Friday and the don't have one then.  We have been to three different ones this year.  Plan on going tonight, but not sure which one.  And, my grandparents have finally been convinced to come out with us!  I am so happy about that!

I have got to get all of this paperwork off of my desk!  It is starting to get toward the end of the year and I really need to get it all filed and counted and whatever else needs to be done with it!  Anyone not busy and wanna come help?!

Crazy Man just called a little bit ago.  Wants to take Lucille to Boyfriend's house to change her oil.  Then tomorrow, we are hoping to get out for our first ride of the season.  That is if Mother Nature reads the letter that it seems many are writing to her and the sun comes out.

Wednesday night we were watching the show Modern Family on ABC.  I love that show!  I find it absolutely hilarious and have even gotten Crazy Man watching it too.  If your sense of humor is anything like mine, God Bless the ones you live with then you will be wiping away the tears from laughter.  There aren't a bunch of shows that I find amusing on tv, but this is definitely one of them.

I think this weekend I will probably be trying to gather things up to mail to my swap partner.  Lots of ideas, but none acted on yet.  Which just tells my partner that I am not the 'crafty' type of person she may be hoping for!  Because you those 'crafty' folks started to work on their ideas when the mention of a swap was brought up I am sure!  Hopefully she will like what I pack anyway.

We only have 32 days of school/work left this year!  Well, that is not counting the 20 days of summer school.  If they have summer school this year anyway.  With all of the cuts that the state is making, nobody is really positive at this point that the funding will be available come summer school time.  Wouldn't bother me if we didn't have it since I am not paid anyway.  Of course if I get this other job that I just interviewed for then I won't have to worry about it anyway.

Okay....gotta run.  Those organizational fairies still haven't shown up.  And I know that I filled that form out in triplicate requesting their services.  If I could just find my copy on this desk.......

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dear Someone Letters

shortmama

I have finally made it to Thursday.  And let me just tell you that I am really happy for that little fact.  For one, I am just glad to have made it that far with the chaos that is happening here.  Another reason is because it is time for the Dear Someone letters hosted by Short Mama.  Click on over there because there are more letters where these came from!

Dear Mother Nature,

Look.  I know that I asked for no more snow, as I am certain many others did.  However, I think that what I really meant was no more lovely wet stuff falling from the sky.  I know, I know....you have to have the rain to make spring flowers.  I understand that, truly I do.  But you have to look at it from my perspective too.  When you pour that much rain out of the sky, I can't get home because you have filled everything so full that it is now flooding.  And that ain't cool.  Because I like to be at home in my own bed to sleep.  So, could you pretty please just slow down on the wet stuff?  Just a little.  I'm not asking for it to completely cease. Just slow it down so there isn't the flooding.  After all, if it floods, the flowers can't grow underwater.

Thanks,
I'm Not a Duck



Dear Sinatra and Ziggy,

I know that we haven't been at home much this past week.  But it isn't because we don't want to be.  Mother Nature is working against us.  Maybe if you would contact her, then there would be three of us asking nicely.  Look at it this way though....at least you have as much food as you want when we have to pack and leave in a hurry.

Love and miss your furry and purry-ness,
Mom and The Boy



Dear Crazy Man,

I just don't understand.  If I had days that I could take off, I would much rather wait until I could spend it with you and The Boy or when I had something that absolutely had to be done that I couldn't get done any other time.  Not to go to a funeral of someone that I hadn't become acquainted with until a short time ago.  I know that you felt "obligated" but I just don't understand.  And I am trying, really I am.

Love,
Your Wife



Dear Organizational Fairies,

Why have you not come to clean off my desk yet?  I have wished for you to come and organize it all and let me know the color of the desktop and yet you have not shown up.

Please come....quickly,
Leaving the Door Unlocked



Dear Boy,

I love you son.

Love,
Mom



Dear Interviewer,

Hopefully when I talk to you later this afternoon I won't make a complete and total fool of myself.  After all, I am wanting this position that I applied for.  Or at least I think I do.  I really think that I could do the job with the right training.  And I am hoping that you will think the same thing by the time we are finished talking.  I was told that I would be the last interview of the day.  Maybe that will be good for me and I will be the only one that you remember.

Sincerely,
C'mon....Give Me A Chance



Dear Superintendent,

Hopefully the above mentioned interview goes well and I can give you my notice soon.  It would do my heart good to be able to dump all these forms in your lap and tell you that they are due April 15th.  Yep, it would make me smile!

Sincerely,
Keeping My Fingers Crossed



Dear Me,

Get it together!  You will be fine this afternoon.  Even if you did forget your shoes for the interview.  You will have time to go get them and all will work out wonderfully.

Signed,
Just Believe



Dear Readers,

Don't forget to head on over to Short Mama's to read more Dear Someone letters.  Better yet, join in!  It may just save your life sanity!

Thanks,
Ima Hick

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge

Time for another photo challenge at I Heart Faces.  This week's challenge is "Focusing on Angles".  I thought this was a nifty picture for that.



This wasn't taken with my newest camera.  Just a Kodak point and shoot.  That is probably why it looks a little blurry.  Or at least it does to me.  
Either way, I love the colors.  And The Boy can smile!  Not often that you see that!  Which is another reason I love this shot! 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Morning Musings

This morning, as we were getting ready to leave, I got a phone call.  Now, you know, if the phone rings in the mornings, it usually isn't the best of news.  And this was the case today.  

My mom was calling to say that they noticed that the water was on the rise and that if it has rained as much north of us as it has rained here in the past couple of days, then dad felt I may have some problems getting home this afternoon.  Which means that I should pack some clothes and grab what we need in case the roads are flooded and we can't get home after work/school.

So, ten minutes before we were scheduled to walk out the door, I am throwing thing in bags.  When we go into town over the weekend, I have to pack clothes for both me and The Boy.  Luckily these things were still in the suitcase.  Of course, they are all dirty, but at least there is something.  We grabbed the dog and his crate and food to drop off at my parents' house on the way.

I didn't get work clothes, just what was in the bag.  There was no time.  As it was, I walked in the door at work at exactly 8 instead of 7:35. So, if the roads are flooded and we can't get home this afternoon, looks like we will probably be at my parents' house.  And, I guess I will wash what I have and if they don't like what I am wearing, I will come home.
 
Other than that little scene this morning, the day has been wonderful!  I am hoping to spend some time today perusing my swap partner's site.  This weekend, I got myself all partnered up by Short Mama who is hosting a Spring Swap.  I have some ideas as to what I will be packaging up and sending, but I haven't made the final decisions yet.
 
I picked up The Boy's report card on Thursday evening at Parent/Teacher Conferences.  He did really well.  All "A" or "A-" with the exception of one "B+". He is sooooo much smarter than I will ever be!  We visited with several of his teachers.  One of them told me that he was going to let The Boy teach for the rest of the year!  Another told me that he was at the top in his class.  We asked his math teacher if she thought he would have any problems if he took both Algebra II and Geometry next year, and she said that she felt he would do just fine.  That is something that I worried about, but if she feels he will do well, then I will fight with him to get his allowed to do this.
 
The only thing that I had an issue with was that the DNA Donor had showed up before I was able to get there.  Normally, that is no big deal, after all, at least he showed up.  However, when he shows up to something like this, he always makes his opinions known....loudly.  

This time, it seems that he told the counselor that The Boy didn't want to go into the classes that we had been talking about for next year.  He said that those classes were of no benefit to him, but that he wanted everyone to get him to take as many college courses as he could so he could earn dual credit.  The counselor asked The Boy what he wanted, not what Mom wanted and not what DNA Donor wanted.  The Boy told her that he wanted to take two maths and two sciences next year in case he decided to take the pre-engineering course at the Career Center his junior year.

He did have questions (which we had already discussed together but think that he wanted to make sure that I was telling him the truth) about how a pre-engineering course could help him when he wanted to do something with computers.  When those were answered, he repeated again which courses he wanted to take "if possible" next year.  Now all we have to do is wait and see how the schedule pans out.
 
Everyone thinks that handling a young child's needs runs you ragged.  And they do.  But personally, I think that getting that teenager on the right course for what he feels he wants to do with his life is even more stressful.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dear Someone

shortmama
Short Mama is hosting her weekly Dear Someone letters.  I love these things!  If you want to join in or just see what others have to say, head on over to her place.
And now, without further ado..... 

Dear Doctor #1:  I sure do wish you would have listened to me.  If you had, then you wouldn't have forced me to waste both my time and my money on tests that I had already told you the results for.  Just because I am not a doctor like you has no bearing on whether I know what my body is doing.  Maybe you should learn to listen to your patients.  I don't want to know about some disease process that I do not have.  I want you to talk to me like you have heard what I have said and about MY disease process.

Sincerely,
Poorer for Visiting You 



Dear Doctor #2:  Of course you agree 100% with Doctor #1's course of action.  Was there ever really any doubt?  I have yet to hear a doctor who sends a patient to another one ever disagree with the one he sent his patient to.  Trust me when I say that tomorrow you and I will be having a conversation and I plan on letting you know exactly how I feel about it all.  Depressed my a**.  I am pi**ed off!

Sincerely,
Be Prepared 



Dear Doctor #3:  I am loving your job!  More specifically, I am loving your paycheck.  How many folks can say that they live in a fabulous home and drive fabulous cars by only being in the office for a half day a week?  And, did you know while you are not in your office, you have some not so brilliant people taking care of things there?  Yeah.  Like the someones who lost the question that I really need an answer to on Monday.  And then again on Wednesday.  I guess I will have to say that third times a charm and try again soon to get an answer.

Sincerely,
Lucky I'm not Dying 



Dear Medical Schools Across the Country and Around the World:  I know that in every graduating class that someone has to finish last.  However, do you have to funnel the bottom of each class to my area?  Can't you skim the top of a few classes so we have some options here?


Thanks, 
My Health 



Dear Body of Mine:  I am really quite sick of you.  Honestly.  You are turning against me no matter what I do.  Seemingly falling apart from the inside out.  You are going to have to stop rebelling and start playing by the rules.  Otherwise, we will have to continue having to deal with Doctors 1,2, and 3.  And heaven knows that I am over that.

Sincerely,
Straighten Up 



Dear Subconscious:  I know that you are in charge of dreams when I am fortunate enough to sleep deep enough to have them.  I don't know what kind of games you are playing.  I feel like you are trying to insure that I am crazy.  These dreams nightmares are starting to get old real quick.  Maybe you and Body of Mine need to get together and work things out amongst yourselves.  Otherwise, I am going to have to figure out how to get rid of you both.

Sincerely,
Really Need Some Decent Sleep 



Dear Boy:  I am so glad you finally let me cut your hair.  After taking off nearly three inches, you look older and ready for summer.

Love,
Mom of a Boy....Not a Girl 



Dear Crazy Man:  You get my birthday gift out of the box and I will let you take yours out of the package!  Deal??

Love,
Your Favorite Wife

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Remembering When

When I was around three or four, we moved to the house that my parents and Little Little Brother still live in, and which happens to be about three miles from where I live now.  I remember the day we moved in.  The house sat (still sits) on top of a big hill just off of the gravel road and right before a curve.  Across the road and back a ways on the property was another house that employed big mean dogs to keep you off of their property.  And around the bend from there was my grandparents' house, where my dad had grown up.  When the leaves were off of the trees, we could see each others house.

Grandma and Grandpa lived on a huge 425 acre farm with cattle and crops.  The house they lived in was built by my grandpa.  My grandma tells me that she and my dad laid the real wood flooring while my grandpa was working as a mechanic in town.  The big garage out back of the house has my tiny little footprints pressed into the concrete from the day it was poured.  There was a 50 gallon barrel that sat at the corner of this garage and gathered rain water.  We used to sit in the swing that hung between two giant trees and shuck corn and break beans.  They sold this place over 20 years ago.

I remember "running away" once.  I packed a little suitcase, put my shoes and jacket on and out the door I went.  With shoelaces flopping (because I was too young to know how to tie them yet) I went around the bend to Grandma's house because that was the only place I knew how to get too! As my mom stood at the door watching me, she called my Grandma to let her know that I was on my way.  I don't remember what happened after that, but evidently I came back home!

We were on a "party line".  I don't know how many people know what that is, so maybe I should explain.  I remember there being four different houses on the same phone line.  Each house had a different ring.  When a call would come in, I imagine that there were people in all of those houses who stopped and listened to see if it was their ring. And, when you wanted to use the phone to make a call, you carefully picked up the receiver to hear if there was a dial tone or someone talking.  To this day, I rarely answer the phone on the first ring and I always listen for a dial tone before making a call!

I remember there being a giant mud puddle that would appear in the curve when it rained, and my Big Little Brother and I would always be running through it with our bare feet or with our bikes.  Not one time do I remember my parents complaining that we were a mess.

I remember that at one point there were only four kids on the entire 5 mile road.  There happened to be another boy and girl who lived a couple of hills over from us.  That girl and I became best friends and still are.  Our parents used to put us together on Halloween every year.  We would start  Trick-or-Treating at the beginning of that road just as the sun set.  Everyone on the road knew who we were of course.  They made, not bought, the right amount of treats for us all.  No skimping!  House after house had popcorn balls and oranges and still warm from the oven cookies.  When we knocked on any door, we were immediately invited in, and while the adults visited, the kids tried to eat as many of the goodies as we could before stuffing the remainder into our bags as we headed out the door to the next house.  When we would get to the next house, there would have been a phone call from the previous house letting them know that we were on our way.  There was never any reason to check the treats before eating them, because the treat makers ate right along with us.

I remember getting up on Saturday mornings and putting on your "town" clothes.  We went to town once a week.  I don't remember everything we did while we were there, but it had to be several things since we only went once a week.  I do remember going to visit a Great Aunt and Uncle.  He always had a pocket on his shirt and I would always find a silver dollar in that pocket!  There were always Circus Peanut candies on the coffee table too.  We would do grocery shopping while we were in town.  I didn't know until after my grandparents sold the farm that you could buy meat in the store!

It is amazing to me how things have changed in just a few years.  And I am certain that as I get older, I will continue to wish that things were the way they used to be.

I think that is part of the reason that I live where I live and how I live....because I loved that place.  And I want my son to experience at least a little of the same things.  I love the memories that I have.  And I want The Boy to be able to remember with love when he could look out and not see/hear his neighbors.  Or when he was able to have chickens run wild in his yard.  Twenty years from now, I want him to look back and wish that he could return to a simpler time filled with things that he wants to re-create for his own children.  I know I do.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mad and Glad

Is it really too much to ask for a simple "thank you"?  I have always thought that those two little words could make a person's day or break their heart.  I try really hard to make sure that I speak those words when someone does something for me.  No matter how big or little.

Did you load the dishwasher?  Thank you.

Did you empty the basket of laundry that I just don't have the energy to fold?  Thank you bunches!

Did you bring me a warm blanket while I was so sick in the hospital?  Thank you.

Are you the one who finally got an iv started in me when I was sick?  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Are you going to let me stay at your home while we visit your area?  Thanks.

See.  Nobody has to do what they do.  It is a choice.  And if we don't give them the thanks for doing it, then why would they want to make the choice to help you out again the next time?

Think about it.  Don't you appreciate when you do something that is your choice and you get a thank you?  Doesn't that make you feel like they appreciated your help?  And, most of the time, you will consider doing something for that person again, right?

Last October, my mom bought some material to make a baby blanket.  She had just recently found out that a girl in her office was pregnant and the material was on sale.  She found what she wanted and paid for it.

I asked her if she wanted me to take it home to make the blanket or if she was planning on doing it.  She told me that it would be a while before the shower, so she thought she would be able to handle it.  Great.

Skip ahead to last Thursday.  My mom calls me to tell me that the baby shower was going to be Tuesday (today) and says she never got the blanket done.  She asked if I would make it for her.  I told her that I would.

Yesterday after school, I put the material on the tables here at school/work and spent an hour getting the blanket done.  I dropped it off on my way home. My parents were not home from work yet, so I left it in the bag hanging on one of the kitchen chairs.

I have not heard from her yet.  How hard is it to call and say "hey thanks, it turned out nice" or "that thing is pretty ugly, but thanks anyway for taking the time to do that" or even "thanks, I found it here"? 

Evidently I am expecting too much.  After all, family doesn't require thanks, right?  Maybe not, but it is still nice to hear.  Aren't they the ones who taught me as a child to always say thank you?

I know that I have taught my son to have manners.  Please and thank you are major words in his vocabulary.  Matter of fact, I have been told that he is very polite.  How would I have been able to teach him this if I hadn't been taught?

And, I guess some would argue that a parent doesn't have to thank their child for doing whatever.  But, I don't agree with that either.  You can't teach your child how important those words are if you never use them.

There are plenty of people out there in the world who feel that kids don't have the respect and manners that they used to have.  How can they when they aren't being taught?  Or at least the teachings aren't being followed by the parents?

I am probably making too big a deal out of all of this.  I have been told recently that I blow tiny little things out of proportion.  And, according to them, this is one of those times.  But, dog-gone it.....I am crabby lately and this just irritates me!

shortmamaswap

One thing that isn't irritating me right now is that I have decided to join in on some swapping fun.  Around Christmas time last year, I joined in on a Secret Santa in the bloggy world.  That was a bunch of fun.  Now, I have found that Short Mama is having a spring time swap.

Maybe that will make me happy again!  Being able to gather things that I enjoy for spring and send them to someone else?  At least that is how I understand that is the way we do this....  If so, then I have three weeks to gather my items and send them along to whoever Short Mama hooks me up with.

I read about this last week, but couldn't decide if I wanted to join in or not.  After thinking all about it and coming up with a couple of ideas, I decided to spring forward with it!  Plus, the bonus is that I will be getting a package also! And I love mail!

If you want to join in, and you know you do, then just spring into action and link up.  But hurry...you only have until tomorrow! 

Monday, March 15, 2010

I ♥ Faces

This week on I ♥ Faces, the theme is Bundled Up.  When I read about this, I immediately thought of the following picture:
This probably isn't the best picture in the world, but it is one that I love.  The Boy is bundled up enough that his breath is starting to fog up his glasses! We were trying to figure out how to get the big tree that the ice had brought down across our lane out of the way.

This is only the second time that I have entered a picture.  Neither of the ones that I have entered have been altered in any way. Why not?  Because I either like them the way they are, or I haven't figured out PhotoShop Elements yet!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Birthdays!

This is a momentous post for a couple of reasons.  

First off, today is my Crazy Man's birthday.  He is old.  That is all I am going to say about his age!  

He is the love of my life.  I have had to go through a lot of things to get to him.  And I wouldn't change it since I know the outcome.  I think that I knew the minute I met him that I loved him.  But it took several years together and apart for me to be able to tell him.

I wouldn't change anything about him, even if I was given a magic wand and the powers to do so.  I wish that I could give him the winning PowerBall ticket so that he could have all the things that he would like to have.  And so that I could laugh at him when he buys the most ridiculous things!  But it would make him happy, so that would make me happy.

Happy birthday Crazy Man!  I hope that you have many more.  Especially since I know you will always be soooo much older than me, no matter what the numbers actually show!

Secondly, this happens to be my 100th post.  Cool, huh?!  Even better that it falls on Crazy Man's birthday since that is his age!  Guess that means it is happy birthday to this blog also.

Come on over, there is birthday cake for all!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Fragments....finally

Mommy's Idea

It is Friday Fragment time again.  Hosted by Mrs. 4444Click on over there to see how everyone else is doing.

As for me, I am happy about Friday.  I am also happy about the fact that I have a place to put down the fragments of this week.  I have been so busy that I am not sure that I have even had a full sentence thought this week!

I live 30 minutes from "town".  Because of this and the price of gasoline, I try to only go into town twice a week.  Once because The Boy has an appointment and the second to meet Crazy Man on Friday evenings when we usually stay there for the weekend. As of today when I go, this will be day four this week.  Next week, I have to go three days.  I just want a day at home!

So why did I spend nearly every afternoon in town?  Well, on Monday, we went to the Autism Center for a meeting.  On Tuesday, The Boy had his regularly scheduled appointment. Wednesday, we actually were able to go home after work/school.  Thursday I had an appointment at the hospital.  And now today, it is back to Friday and we are planning on staying in town again this weekend.

The appointment I had was for an ultrasound of my thyroid.  Again.  I really believe that the only thing it is going to show changed from last year around this time is that it has gotten smaller.  So why did I do it?  Because if I didn't do it, basically the doc told me that he would do nothing for me.  And I guess so that I can prove that I know what is going on with my body.  Silly me for thinking that I understand my own body.

Last week, the endocrinologist decided that he wanted to draw labwork again.  Lovely.  They ended up sticking me twice and bruising me pretty badly.  They couldn't get it the first time because the only vein they can usually hit wasn't healed up from the last time.  And, the labs show that since lowering my meds, my levels are becoming non-therapeutic again. DUH!  He also discovered that my vitamin D level was half of what the low range is.  So, he added a supplement to see what would happen.  And after three months, they will bruise the crap out of me draw labs again.

In better news....  We can see a bracket!  Yay!  A bracket, a bracket, a bracket!  No.  Not the March Madness bracket.  One of those brackets on a tooth.  You know.  For braces?  Yeah.  THOSE brackets.

Now most people don't get all hyper and turning cartwheels in the streets for that, right?  Well, I am not most people.  See, when The Boy had braces put on over two years ago, there was one tooth that was growing in the middle of the roof of his mouth.  An oral surgeon had to go in, under anesthesia and much drama, to attach a bracket to this rogue tooth and have a chain looped out of it so that it could be reeled in over time.

And that time is now!  Three weeks ago, you couldn't see the bracket.  Today, it is plainly visible.  All that has to be done now, is to get it turned the way it is supposed to sit and get it all comfy in the hole that is available.  Once it gets comfy and happy in it's new home, all the braces can be taken off and we can go happily along our merry way!

Who knew a bracket could be so exciting, huh?!  I know you are smiling and cheering too.  Don't deny it!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pennies for Patients

Yeah, yeah, I am still alive.  Although it has been a crazy week to say the least.  And, it doesn't look like it is going to be getting any slower any time soon.  There has been so much happening this week, that I have not had the time to actually sit down and type anything until just this minute.  I don't even know where to start!  Maybe I will just post random things on Friday and go ahead with what I had planned for Monday now.  Yeah...that would probably be for the best.

Remember when I was looking for ideas for our Pennies for Patients campaign?  Well, we came up with some things to do to try to raise money.  One of those was a hat day.  The kids paid a dollar to get to wear a hat all day at school.  We sold chances for all sorts of things to be given away.  And then we sold water balloons for a dollar to throw at one of our teachers.

Through all of the three weeks that this took place, the kids could bring in any type of money to be added to their classroom total weight.  When we did this last year, I decided that it would be easier to weigh the money (since most of it comes in as change) than to find the time to count it all each week.  The class with the most weight would win a pizza party. 

Once we finished the three weeks of our campaign, I had planned to take the change to the bank that I use to have it counted.  The problem with that is that the bank told me that that they did not take bulk change without it being rolled. How silly is that?  So, instead of having them count it, I had to count and roll it all myself.  Well, not really alone since my father in law and my Crazy Man helped.

After it was all rolled (which took nearly a week!) the grand total was $567.25! This was less than what we brought in last year, but not bad when you consider what is going on with the economy.  And, since we only have 157 kids that participated, that works out to be an average of $3.61 each.  Not too bad!

We threw water balloons on February 19th.  Outside.  It was a little nippy, but it was actually the warmest day that we had been privy to for several weeks.  I brought my camera and gave it to a friend/co-worker who took all the pictures since I was busy coordinating the goings-on.

I filled all of the water balloons at home the night before.  There were only about 200 of them total!





 The kids had a really good time.  And, truth be told, so did the adults!  We are already trying to come up with something to top the water balloons for next year.

I am really proud of the kids.  They did a really good job raising the money that they raised.  I am also equally impressed by our music teacher for volunteering to have cold water balloons thrown at him on a cold and windy February!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

Yay!  Friday!  And with that comes another episode of Friday Fragments, brought to you by Mrs. 4444. Click on over there to join in.

This week has been a long short week.  With The Boy being sick on Monday, I have had to pack 5 days of stuff into 4 days.  He is still not feeling 100%, but he is definitely on the mend.

I think The Boy is growing again.  Either that or I was wrong by saying that he is on the mend.  His usual bedtime is 9pm and then he is awake by 6:30am and out of bed by 7am.  The past couple of days he has come home from school and wanted to take a nap.  Then last night, he started to eat and eat and eat.  I love the fact that he is growing.  The bigger the better!  Although, I am going to have to get another job to buy the clothes he will need and the food he continues to consume.

I went to the high school on Tuesday to help the science teacher draw blood from some of her students in her A&P class.  They are studying the circulatory system and had asked if they could type their blood.  So, it was up to me to stick the kids and keep a controlled level of bleeding.  After I had stuck the first student, the teacher realized that the solutions we needed to proceed had been misplaced.  Ended up that I went back on Wednesday and we started all over again.  If you have never done this, it is really neat to see and do.  The kids thought it was great!

Our school's girls basketball team won the district tournament last night.  They have done really well the past several years and have placed in state a couple of times.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that they do as well this year at the state level.

The boys team is much better this year than last year.  I think they will be even better next year.  They aren't quite up to the girls level, but everyone knows that girls are better than boys, right!

I finally got all of the change counted for our Pennies for Patients campaign.  I will post next week with pictures about everything related to that.

The Boy has finals today.  Well, four out of seven are today.  The rest are on Monday.  He says that he is ready for them and thinks that he will do well.  I am sure that he will be fine.

Little Little Brother is signed up to take the ACT.  In case you aren't familiar with the term, it is kind of like the SAT.  He has to do well on it to get into college.  Hard to believe that he is old enough to be looking into colleges.

Crazy Man's birthday is coming up soon.  I have got to figure out what to get him as a gift.  He shouldn't be that difficult to get things for, but he is.  Guess I am going to have to do some research to see what I can find for him.

Not much else going on this week.  Hopefully the weekend is nice and sunny and warm.  Well, it probably won't be warm, but I can at least hope.  Have a good weekend!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dear Someone,

FamilyofShorts blog button

Another Thursday has made its appearance and that means that it is time for Dear Someone letters once more.  These fabulous pieces of mail are brought to you by Short Mama, so hop on over there to read all the letters.

Dear Short Mama:  Welcome back.  Hope that you and yours are crying less and remembering the good things more. 

Dear DNA Donor:  You are an idiot.  There have got to be more people in this world who look at you like they aren't sure how it is you have gotten this far in life than just me.  When you ask The Boy questions about a meeting that you knew about, but decided not to attend, and only get "I don't know" in response, welcome to my world.  Do not get mad at me because you can't find out the answers.  You have a phone, I have a phone number.  Put the two together and you will more than likely get answers to those questions.  If you don't tick me off by acting as though I am the idiot.

Also, I would appreciate it if you didn't tell The Boy to lie to me.  Yeah, I know.  You didn't use those exact words.  But when you hand him money and then tell him "don't tell your mom"....that is basically the same thing.  I don't care if you give him money.  Heaven knows you have more of it than I do.  But when you tell him that he should keep secrets from me, (and  not about just money that you hand him but the other things too) that is telling him that I am not to be trusted with any information.  I pray that others are keeping their hands off of him and that he isn't contemplating drugs, because you just taught him that it is fine to keep secrets from his mom.  Again...you are an idiot. 

Dear Family:  You have hurt my grandma's feelings.  Yes, I know that she and grandpa would not have gone out to eat with you on Monday night for my nephew's birthday, but she still wishes that you would have at least asked. 

Dear Department of Family Services:  I understand that you all have more than you can possibly handle in one day.  But here is the deal. If you have seen something in a hot-lined home that sends up red flags in your mind, please open a case file to make sure that the child receives what you feel they need to remove those flags from your mind.  Don't just make the suggestion and then walk out while dictating a letter saying that there is no reason to open a case file.  God gave us the ability for our mind/gut to throw red flags for a reason.  Pay attention.  Or get a different job.  Please. 

Dear Boy:  You, my dearest son, need a haircut.  I know you don't like them. But I am afraid that people are going to start calling you a girl.  Besides, you look so much older when your hair is shorter.  With that thought, maybe we won't cut it.

Dear Parents:  I do not have x-ray vision.  I can not tell you if your child has broken a bone unless it is seriously deformed or sticking out through the skin.  And if either of those are the case, then I am going to guess that you can tell if the bone is broken without my input.  If you continue to send me stupid requests like this, then I am going to start charging a co-pay. 

Dear Readers of this Blog:  Thanks.  And if you have anything that you would like to say in a letter to someone, go link up.  It will make you feel better.  Really.  It will.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Nashville Anniversary

This past weekend was our  2nd fake anniversary.  Unless you have been here before, you wouldn't understand that remark.  If you have been here, then you know that we were married on February 29, 2008.  And since that date only shows up once every four years, this past weekend was a fake anniversary where we had to choose a day to celebrate.  Instead of one day, we chose the whole weekend.

Crazy Man had racked up enough points on his Wyndham card from staying out for his job that we could spend a free night in a hotel.  He chose the Wyndham at Union Station in Nashville, TN.  I had looked at all of the pictures online, and it looked like a really nice place.  The quoted prices were in the amazingly hefty range also.

When we finally were able to get gone from town on Friday, it was after 6pm.  We were planning on staying with his sister that night, doing whatever we wanted to do on Saturday, stay at the hotel that night, then come home on Sunday.  And that is basically what we did.

On Saturday morning, we wanted to eat at the White Trash Cafe.  Upon arriving at their address, we discovered that they were no longer in business.  Too bad because what I had read about it said that it was really good.  We ended up having to eat at McDonald's.  And, by the time we made it there, it was almost dinner time instead of breakfast.

We then went to the flea market at the fairgrounds.  We spent several hours wandering around hunting for anything that was interesting enough to spend money on and bring home.  We found a couple of things, but nothing fun and interesting enough to share.

Once we finished at the flea market, we said good-bye to his sister and made our way to the hotel.  We were kind of concerned about where to park, but when I went inside, the lady at the front desk was telling someone else that they could either use the valet parking or park in an open lot themselves, about a half block away.  The valet parking was only about $6 more, and we could come and go as many times as we wanted to.  Plus that parking was just outside the front doors of the hotel.  We went with valet!

When I checked us in, I was told that our certificate from Wyndham had not arrived yet.  I told her that we would work on getting that as soon as we got into the room.  She gave me two room key cards and said that we would be in room 111.  She told me that to get there, I would have to "go through that door across the lobby and take the elevator around the corner to the first floor."

Silly me!  I thought I was on the first floor.  Nope.  The main lobby happened to be on the third floor.  And, I guess that made sense after thinking about it.  After all, the hotel used to be an old train station.  And, you can't very well have the trains coming through the lobby, now can you?!

So, out to the truck to get Crazy Man and our suitcase.  We got the guy to valet park our truck and in we go to find our room.

We get off the elevator, after going down two levels, and step off into a darkened hallway.  I started looking around and realized that there were just a few actual rooms to stay in.  Mostly there was a meeting room and all the other rooms that it takes to run a hotel.  I was not really excited about this, but figured that I would reserve judgment until I saw the room.  After all, it had to be good since it was supposed to cost nearly $300 a night.

When I walked into the room, I was nearly in tears.  It was a nice room with a king sized bed, a couple of night stands, a chair, a flat screen tv with a business type table against the wall...and no place to walk.  They had squeezed all of this into a tiny little space with seven foot ceilings, which made it seem even smaller.  I thought that maybe the view would save it.  But when I opened the curtain, I found this sight:
On the other side of this fence were the trains that come and go at all hours of the day and night.  I can sleep with train noise...as long as I have a couple of weeks to get used to it.  One night?  Not gonna happen.

I asked Crazy Man if he would mind if I asked if there was a different room available.  He said that he didn't care.  So, while he was attempting to get our voucher faxed, I requested a different room since I felt like we had been banished to the dungeon.

She re-keyed our cards for room 623.  This is what our second view looked like:
Not much to see, but at least there was something!  And, the train was not on the other side of the fence.

From standing next to the bathroom area, this is what the room looked like:

This room felt much bigger, probably because of the twelve foot ceilings.

We went up one floor so that we could get some cool pictures like this one:
 

And like these of the lobby:           

 

 
 

Once we got all settled in to our new room, we decided to go out and see what we could see until it was time for supper.  We found the Batman Building, which I am thinking is one of my favorite buildings:
 

We made our way to the mall once we realized just how close to the action we were and could walk instead of having to pay to park.  This is what Crazy Man got me for our anniversary:
 
 

I love going to Build-A-Bear!  I don't always come home with something, but this time we found Sgt. N. Cognito who says that he loves me when you press his foot!

By about 5pm we were starting to get hungry, so we made our way back toward the hotel.  We had gotten wind of this place:
 
 

Doesn't look like much but a house, huh?  This is Monell's.  They serve down home food.  Silly me didn't take the camera inside, so you will just have to trust me on the sights.  They took us into a back room where there were two long tables set up with about 15 chairs around them.  The waiter told us to find a seat, but not to leave any empty chairs between us and the others sitting at the table.

We ended up eating supper with 12 other people.  None of the plates matched. The only things offered for us to drink were sweet and unsweet tea and water. In the middle of the table was a lazy susan which held dessert plates and spoons and the drinks along with condiments.

And then they started to bring out bowls of food!  Potato salad, slaw, green beans, cucumbers and onions, macaroni and cheese, corn pudding, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, meat loaf, pulled pork, banana pudding, biscuits and cornbread and several other things that I have forgotten!  You get to eat your fill of all of this.  And when it is gone, they bring more!

It was wonderful!  We really are looking forward to going back to try their breakfast one morning, since one of the folks we ate with said that it was even better than the meal we ate.

We waddled our way back to the truck and dropped the truck off at the hotel.  We walked the few blocks to see what there was to see.  We ended up going here:
 
 

The worst part about this was that most of the businesses that used to be there are no longer.  Matter of fact, the only sign I even remember seeing advertised naked karaoke!  And, we definitely did not want to see that! 

We finally saw all there was to see and went into this world famous bar:
 
 

We stayed for an hour or so and then made our way out again.  It took us probably 20 minutes to get out of the joint since there were people jammed in there so tight you couldn't move.

Walking back, I took a couple of pictures of the outside of our hotel:

 

This one is my absolute favorite one though:

 

I love how the clouds make it look all spooky looking!

On Sunday morning, Crazy Man wanted to eat at the Loveless Cafe.  So, we headed that way on our way out of town.  Once we got there, they told us it was going to be an hour wait.  And they were right on about the time frame.  Just shy of 60 minutes after we arrived, we were seated.

They are supposed to have some great biscuits.  Good enough to have beaten Bobby Flay in a showdown!  Yeah...they were good.  But the best thing they had was actually the blackberry preserves. Or at least I thought so!

Once we finished up there, it home again.  We had a great weekend for our anniversary.  Crazy Man says that he is going to try to make each one better.  As long as we are together, then the next one will be better, no matter what he plans.  I am looking forward to many more.  Both fake and real!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Autism Meeting

There are so many things going on here that I am not sure where to start!  Maybe if I had been here yesterday, there wouldn't be as much that I have to say.  But, that was beyond my control.  The Boy was sick yesterday.  He seems to be feeling better today.  Hopefully that will last, since he has finals on Friday and Monday.

By the way....a final, worth 20% of his grade....on a Monday?!  C'mon!  I am sure he will do fine, as long as he is there to hear what is being discussed, but there are plenty of others who won't do as well since nobody studies over the weekend!

Moving on to talk about what happened in the meeting with those who work with Autism Spectrum folks.

Where we are from, (or at least in the closest big town) they have just built a brand new autism center.  Housed inside of that is another group which was started because a local orthodontist (who The Boy sees) has a son who is on the spectrum.  Growing up, there was not really anyone around who could help get him ready for what he would need to accomplish in his life.  This group is now available to help gear these kids up to help them fit into the world around them. (His son has gone on to attend an out of state college and is an amazing artist.)

When we met with these folks the other day, they decided that The Boy would fit well into a group that they were going to begin.  This group would be broke up into smaller groups of kids/young adults who seemed to be on the same level of "Social Thinking".  The way I understand it, these groups would help teach how to deal with the public....the way things are said, reading body language, etc.

I was told that the group that they felt would work the best for The Boy would be meeting on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 until 6:30.  Each child/parent would have to sign a contract saying that they would attend all (or as many as reasonably possible) of the meetings.  Also, each participant would need to eat supper before they arrived so that hunger would not be an issue. She went on to say that each meeting would cost $25 and they did not send it in to any type of insurance, nor were they sure if any insurance would cover it.

I felt like this would be a wonderful thing for The Boy.  But, I have a few problems with it all.  First of all, we live 30 minutes away from where the meeting would take place.  That would mean that we would spend an hour of travel time and an hour of group time.  And, we wouldn't get home until after 7pm if we were able to walk out the door at exactly 6:30. (And how many meetings do you attend where you leave the exact minute they say everything is going to end?)

Another issue would be that I would have to get us home from school/work, get homework done and supper fixed and eaten before 5pm.  That gives me an hour.  I don't know that I could make that happen.

The travel issue is still a problem when you consider the fact that I try to make only one, possibly two, trips into town each week.  Especially considering the fact that gas ain't cheap!  Granted, there are some weeks when I make considerably more trips into town.  Doesn't make me happy though.

Another factor is the cost.  Yeah, she said that $25 "is really cheap therapy". And it doesn't sound like very much per week when you say it out loud.  But when you actually look at it added into your budget, I would have to come up with an extra $125 for March.  And it all averages out to an extra $100 a month.  I don't have that much extra.  We live paycheck to paycheck with every dime accounted for.

I kind of felt like they were thinking that if I really wanted to help my son, then I would do anything it took to do so.  And maybe anyone who reads this will think the same thing.  If that is the case, then think how you wish.  The fact remains that I don't have the extra, no matter what is on the wish list for things we want/need.  So, unfortunately at this point in time, The Boy will not be attending these meetings.

Another thing that was discussed was trying to get him into a Vo-Tech program through the school.  The one they were all looking at is a pre-engineering program.  They were hoping that he would be able to start going to it during his sophomore year (next year).  That isn't going to be able to happen though since he has to have certain math and science courses completed that are not offered until next year.

We are going to try to get him to get some of the classes done so that he can attend during his junior year though.  The counselor told me that if he does go to the Vo-Tech, he could possibly lose out on being either Valedictorian or Salutatorian of his class.  She said that the Vo-Tech classes are not considered to be "weighted" courses and if someone stayed and took weighted classes at the high school, it could push him out of the running.  I have discovered that I can appeal to the school board to get the pre-engineering classes designated as weighted if I make a good enough argument for it.

That is what we will do.  The Boy would love to be one of the top in his class, but he also would like to attend this Vo-Tech class.  I don't think that it would be fair for him to go to a pre-engineering class and be penalized for attending and doing well.  Therefore, we will appeal to the board should the need arise.

And that is what happened during our meeting.  It sure seemed like a lot more rattling around in my head before I typed it all out!