Saturday, January 28, 2012

Random thoughts

Yesterday was my last day of training and Sunday is my first day on the job.  All alone.  All by myself.  I had been mapping out all my stops and setting up appointments when I was notified I had to change my schedule.  I will have, in total, about 7 hours just in drive time on Sunday.  Sigh.  Not what I signed up for, but I'll roll with the flow.

There will be nights when I may not get home until well after dinner time, so I am wildly searching for family friendly crockpot meals.  If you have a favorite I would love to try it.  I do think they are getting tired of soup, though!  I don't mind them eating sandwiches every now and then.  And they will eat canned ravioli (gag) but that is only every once in a while.  I want them to have healthy, hearty meals.

If you haven't been over to the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog, you are really missing out!  They have the most amazing recipes.  I'm headed over there now to see if I can use some of the casserole recipes in the crockpot.

Is it just this area or has your winter been strange too?  It's been mild and windy.  Very windy, in fact.  We've had tornadoes, sunshine, rain, days at near 60 when it should be in the high 20's / low 30's.  This really makes me wonder how this will affect the temperatures later in the year.

According to the almanac:

Jan 29-31: Snowy, cold.
FEBRUARY 2012:temperature 26° (6° below avg.); precipitation 3.5" (2" above avg. east, 1" below west); Feb 1-5: Snow showers, cold; Feb 6-9: Showers, mild;Feb 10-16: Snow, then snow showers, cold; Feb 17-20: Snow, very cold; Feb 21-25: Sunny, turning mild; Feb 26-29: Heavy rain to snow, turning cold.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


During a lecture this afternoon to one of the kiddos today about anger and coping skills, I realized what a hypocrite I am.  I owe you an apology. My last post was completely negative and I allowed my frustration to get the best of me.  I am sorry.

This past week I did part of my training in the office learning the mounds of paperwork that is required and part of my training out on the road, doing what I will be entrusted to do.  I will be doing the same thing again this week.  I know, going into this type of work, the burn out rate is high.  The turnover rate even higher, yet I still remain eternally optimistic.

If there is just one child, one family that benefits from what I do then I am happy.  I know that this job, specifically, is not what I want to do for the rest of my life, but the experience I will gain will be phenomenal.

I am naively optimistic that everyone will want and welcome my help.  Realistically this will not be the case.  I think that will be the hardest part for me, seeing a family, a mother, a child, a father that chooses to remain content without considering his/her possibilities.  It does not make them less than me or me more than them.  I just want to show that change is possible.

Once upon a time, I was a single mom.  Working full time, going to school, raising 3 boys - it's not easy.  I tried to do it without help until I realized I couldn't.  I had to rely on family.  I had to rely on government assistance.  I hated it.  It makes me feel weak to have to ask for help.  I understand the nuances of change.  I really do.

I cannot fathom that I will ever doubt man's ability to change.  I just hope that change is for the better.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Have you ever just had one of those days?

I got up this morning did 3 loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen and living room, and decided I needed to go to town.  Now, when I say "go to town", it's an event, not just a trip to town.

Both the kiddos needed a haircut and I needed a few groceries.  Since when did it cost $30 (total) for two kids haircuts?  At Walmart??

After my few piddly little bags of groceries, my wallet was $75 lighter.  Now I'm not blaming Walmart for the cost of groceries I'm just saying that's where we went.  Decided to go to the car wash and vacuum out the winter crud from the car and decided to throw away my walmart receipt.  Big mistake.

Got home, unloaded, sat down and realized I didn't remember bringing in the bag of two whole frozen chickens. The kids helped put the things away so I checked the fridge.  Nope.  Freezer?  Nope.  Truck of the car?  Nope.


Of course the customer behind me either didn't notice they got two free whole chickens or they chose to wallow in their good fortune and not turn them into customer service (I called to see if they'd been turned in and they hadn't been and because I couldn't produce my receipt, I'm out of luck).  That was enough for at least four dinners for us.  I hope the people that got the chickens truly needed them because that's the only thing that's keeping my anger in check.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A thin line

When I go home to Tennessee, I always go through a tiny little town, Hazel, Ky.  I love it.  I don't know if it's the fact that is where my father is from, the nostalgia, but I love going through Hazel.  I always drive well under the speed limit to truly enjoy that thin line between Tennessee and Kentucky.

There used to be a diner, a barber, a post office and a grocery store.  Now it is an antique paradise.  I can remember visiting Mammar, that's what my sister and I called my dad's mother, and she would let us walk to the grocery store from her house.  We always felt so big.  We would get into the store and the same woman, whose name escapes me, with her beehive hair was operating the old manual cash register.  Molly and I picked out our delicacy and charged it to Mammar's account.  

There is nothing like going home.

The people who live here have created Hazel's Art District.  I will have to stop next time.

The main drag

One of many antique stores

I just loved the star

I'm not sure I understand what it is that makes going home feel so good.  I know when I cross the state line I am nearly home.  I breathe slower, deeper.  If the weather permits, I drive the rest of the way with the windows down.

I've driven the boys past my dad's childhood home, taken them to the cemetery on more than one occasion to "meet" Mammar, and walked the main drag with them.  I want them to understand the importance of family and the importance of history.

Mom, Dad, Molly, and me

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Time to grow up

My life as a full time student has ended, for now.  I am officially a grown up.  And for the big news . . .

that's right . . .

I have a job!!  A big girl job!  I work for a company in southern Indiana that contracts with the state to provide home based services.  I am a case manager / youth counselor.  I have not given up my dream of going to grad school and am waiting to see if I am accepted, but for now I wanted to share my good news!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Winter Haiku

Blizzards, which, cold, snow
Ice, don't eat the yellow snow
Wind, blowing, cold snow

Written by youngest squirt
Winter 2009