Thursday, April 30, 2015

May Day Eve...Spring Photos

Here are some pictures I took while visiting Raleigh, NC earlier this week. It's so pretty up there this time of year.

These were taken on my mother in law's street. You'd never guess her house is only a couple of blocks from downtown Raleigh.

I also took some pictures in her back yard. I love all the flowers.

We visited a park one afternoon and spent a little time by this lake. 

My mother in law and her husband.
We had a great visit. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Family time

Tomorrow I'm off to Raleigh, NC to spend a few days with my mother-in-law and her husband.

My MIL was recently diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia and Gregg and I have been trying to visit as often as we can while she's still in the early stages of the disease. I've been promising her a visit for almost two months now but what with one thing and another, it hasn't worked out. After deciding not to take the new job, I arranged for a couple of personal leave days so I could go. She sounded so happy when I called to tell her I was coming! I love her like a second mom. She's always treated me just like a daughter since the first day we ever met. I truly lucked out in the mother-in-law department.

 I'm hoping her husband can get a break while I'm there to go play golf or do something else he enjoys. I know that her declining condition has been difficult for him and he doesn't get many chances to get away. She can no longer drive and so all the shopping and errands fall on him now.  She doesn't have the concentration to cook anymore, and they've hired a woman to come help with the cleaning once a week. Then there's the burden of helping her remember to take medications and getting her to her never ending medical appointments. The man has the patience of a saint and has been so good to her! We're lucky she married such a good man late in life. (They married 15 years ago when they were both in their mid- sixties). His health is still good and his mind is sharp. I feel so sad for him and want to support him as much as possible--he watched his first wife die slowly of cancer. I can't imagine how painful it is for him to see his second wife declining to a disease as cruel as dementia.

But....for the time being, she's still doing reasonably well, and Gregg and I plan to make the most of whatever good time she has left....and to support his stepdad as much as possible throughout. I wish we didn't live almost 3 hours away, though.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sleeping Easy

So I made the decision not to take the new job that I was feeling so anxious and conflicted about. Tonight I composed an email thanking the lady who offered it to me, but letting her know that for personal reasons I would have to decline. After hitting send, I felt an enormous sense of relief. Tonight I will be sleeping easy for the first time in a week. I think that's a good sign that I made the right decision!

Oh, and here's something nice I wanted to share.  My little miniature rose bush is blooming! It's growing in a large container on my patio. I love it's sweet little flowers!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

....or maybe not?

Well, the saga of the new job continues.

I talked over the position with my potential new boss, and some aspects of it aren't what I had expected.

*The salary is less than I make now, "but only for a couple of months!" and then "we'll give you a raise after that if everything is working out". That's not what I was told two weeks ago.

*The work week will not be a sweet 32 hours as I was told at first, but a full 40. (Not that I mind a 40 hour work week, but that means less money for more work.)

*There will be a whole lot of travel on a regular basis. I'll be reimbursed for mileage for in-state driving, but it will be a whole lot of wear and tear on my (new) car. And a few times a year I'll have to fly to other states. Which will of course be paid for, but I hate the thought of being away from home that often. Call me silly, but even a night away from my husband and dogs makes me homesick. Knowing that I'll be gone for several nights several times a year bothers me. My home life means everything to me, and even if it makes me a weirdo, I just hate the thought of being away so much.

*There will be a pre-employment drug test, and then random drug tests from time to time. I'm offended at the very thought of that. It's not as if I'll be flying a plane or driving a school bus, for Christ's sake! What a ridiculous invasion of privacy. My biggest objection is that I'd have to supply a list of medications I take, and that's no one's business. (I take antidepressants for OCD. I'm not ashamed of it, but it's not my boss's business.) Also, if I used recreational drugs (I don't, but if I did) as long as I did it on my own time and didn't show up to work impaired, again, I don't think that's anyone else's business but my own. It would be understandable if I worked in the medical field (and had access to prescription drugs) or if others' safety was at risk (again, if I was driving a bus or flying a plane) but since none of those things will be a factor, I don't think I should have to supply bodily fluids at my employer's whim.

*And the last thing: there would be a 6 month probationary period. During which they could fire me for any reason whatsoever. I know that someone else was in the position for about nine months last year, and when I asked why that person left after such a short tenure, I was told "she just wasn't a good fit". That's scary.

But. When the woman offered me the job at the end of our discussion, I said yes. I should have asked for time to think. My head was spinning and I was excited and nervous and not thinking clearly. Now I'm wondering if this is really the right job for me. I don't have to go do any paperwork until next week (the last discussion took place over the phone) and so I'm trying to decide what to do. I feel terrible about the prospect of calling them back up and saying "never mind" after jumping through so many hoops to get this job. And a former boss and two former coworkers of mine gave me wonderful references--I was told that all three took the time to really elaborate on my strengths and that they all gave me glowing recommendations--and I feel like I'd be letting them down to refuse the job (that's silly, I know).

Adding to my angst, the day that I was offered the job and said yes, I went in to work and got my ass handed to me yet again for nonsense and work politics. I regularly get blamed for things that aren't my fault or are out of my control. Somehow I've always been a bit of a scapegoat and the dressing down I got on Monday afternoon was truly unfair and undeserved. For the umpteenth time I left in tears. I'm 40 years old and I've never had a job (until now) where I leave crying on a regular basis. Part of the problem is that I'm easygoing and generally kind to everyone, and I hate conflict and confrontation. I'm too quick to accept responsibility and blame when I feel I've offended or inconvenienced someone and people take advantage of that. I know, on an intellectual level, that I'm a great employee--hardworking, dependable, friendly, and responsible--and my recent job recommendations are a testimony to that.........but my self esteem takes a hit every time I deal with another conflict at this job. And the whole time I was thinking, "I could give notice and quit right now! To hell with you assholes!" but of course I didn't. I'm not an impulsive person and especially not when it comes to something as important as my job security. Because even as miserable as I am at the bookstore, I do have a certain amount of security there after 4 years and if I truly had serious issues there is an HR department I could appeal to for help. So far I haven't said anything about the new job in case I decide not to take it after all.

So now I have a decision to make and it's not an easy one. I have anxiety issues sometimes anyway, and my anxiety level is waaaayyy off the charts right now. I haven't been eating, or sleeping, I've been tearing up at every little thing, and sometimes I almost feel a panic attack coming on. Yesterday at work my heart would start to race, I would start sweating, and then I'd get dizzy. Change is hard for me under the best of circumstances, and this set of circumstances is far from ideal.

On the bright side, my husband has been so wonderful to me. He keeps telling me how proud he is of me, no matter what I decide. That he supports me 100%, unequivocally, always. He calls and texts me at work sometimes just to say "I love you" "I'm proud of you" and "I've got your back no matter what!" Marrying him was the best decision I ever made! His love and kindness mean everything to me, and I know that with a happy home life like I have, this other stuff is just that--stuff.

So what do you think, my dear blog friends? I would love some feedback from you. I'm not talking about this with anyone in my day to day life because I want to keep things private until I reach a decision. Should I stay (and continue looking for a new job) or take the risk and try this new position that I'm so conflicted about?

Friday, April 17, 2015


Well, as I mentioned in my last post, I've been interviewing for a new job. Last week, after a one-on-one interview with the Executive Director of the agency where the position is located, I got a call back requesting that I come and meet with "a few members of the board of directors".

A few members. Okay. Sure.

When I got there, I was directed to a room where nine people were seated around a table waiting to ask me questions! Holy Moly! Talk about a nerve-racking experience!!

I had already had one hell of a morning, trying to get ready and get to the interview on time. First, I discovered that the hose I had on had a run in them. Luckily, I had a brand new pair still in the packaging to change into....except, when I went to put them on (in a huge rush) one of my fingernails snagged them, creating an even bigger run in that pair! So I had to put on the original ones with the smaller run and hope no one would notice. (I don't normally dress up that much for the bookstore. I hate wearing heels with a passion, and my current job involves too much walking on a daily basis to ever wear them. So hose are not an item that I have in abundance in my wardrobe!) Okay, so then I was dressed and about ready to go.....and I couldn't find my keys!! I tore through the house, looking...looking....looking.....finally, out of desperation (the clock was ticking by this time) I grabbed a spare car key we got when we bought the Scion. Okay, finally I was ready to go. I headed out the door, only to discover it had started to pour rain. I went back inside for an umbrella....which I couldn't find either! I ended up putting a plastic bag over my head!!!!!!!!!!! And arriving at the interview exactly one minute late. Whew.

Then I discovered that there were nine people waiting to ask me questions. It took an hour, during which I felt the nervous sweat rolling down my sides. I was so happy to get the hell out of there when it was over! What a morning!

But, I must have done well. The Executive Director called me yesterday and told me that the board had voted to move forward with my hiring!! I have to supply them with 3 professional references, and at some point next week after they've been contacted I'll be sitting down with my potential boss to iron out the last details of my contract.

So, wooooo hoooooo!!!! It looks like I'm getting a new job!

As soon as everything is finalized, I will share all the details here on the blog. For now, it's enough to say that I'll finally be using my degree in Human Services, it will be only 32 hours a week (four days, Tuesday through Friday from 8am-4:30pm), the pay will be a bit better than I'm making now working a full 40 hours, I will have state benefits and health insurance, and no more working nights, weekends, or holidays!!!! I'm just thrilled.

Especially now that the nerve-racking interview process is over!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Spring is officially here! I hope everyone had a nice Easter. Here are a few pictures taken in my yard. I love this time of year!

Baby House Sparrows
The lady that lived here before us loved iris!
Whew! These azaleas are so pink they almost hurt your eyes!
Black Walnut tree.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Normal blogging to resume, a thank you, and other assorted stuff!

Finally, our new computer has arrived!!

I'm so excited. It's better, faster, and far more up-to-date than the old one. Figuring out Windows 8 hasn't been quite as bad as I expected, but it's definitely different.

Normal blogging will resume shortly! And I'm about to give the blog a makeover, which will include a name change that I've been considering for months. I hope everyone will continue to follow my new and improved blog!

I would also like to thank everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday on my last post. I'm so grateful for my blogging friends around the world--you all make my life richer! My week off was relaxing, I had several get-togethers with friends and family that spanned the whole week and made me feel very loved and appreciated. And forty, to my surprise, feels pretty good!

While I shopped for a new computer, I took a  lot of photos to share, including some that will be a very belated addition to John's Blog Walking post from March. And there's been an exciting development in my search for a new job! I think my days of retail hell might be numbered! Since I don't want to jinx myself, I'll wait until everything is definite to go into more detail.

Oh, and today is April Fool's Day! Stay on your guard, everyone....there are lots of tricksters and practical jokers out there!