Friday, July 28, 2017

A note of thanks, and other stuff

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for the positive comments on my last post! I've been overwhelmed with good wishes both online and in person since I accepted my new job, and I feel very loved....and very lucky. I have so many wonderful friends, both on this blog and in "real life". Thank you for listening to me complain about the job I'm leaving for the last few years and the difficult (and often discouraging) job search. I look forward to regular blogging again now that the search is over and finding a new job is no longer something I have to worry about!

I have one week left at the last day is next Friday. Yesterday I finished my Guardian ad Litem training, and I go to court to be sworn in on August 8th, the day before my first day at my new job. Our GAL trainer, Kareem, told us yesterday that if we're ready we can be assigned our first cases next week. I took him aside after class and explained that I'm starting a new job and would like to hold off until September if possible. The newest cases all have preliminary court hearings on August 22 and I simply can't ask for time off a week in at my new job! He was wonderful and understanding. I explained that when I signed up for the GAL class I had been job hunting for years and had no idea that I would find a new job this summer. He laughed and said, "That's how it works. When you open a new door in life, other doors start to open, too!" He also suggested that for my first case it might be best to take over one that's in "monitoring mode", where another volunteer had to leave the program mid-case but all of the initial court hearings are done. He said he has a few like that and there probably won't be court dates for them for at least 90 days. That sounds like a good plan to me! After 90 days, I'll have accrued some personal leave time and won't mind asking for a morning or afternoon off to appear in court. Visiting the child can happen after work or on weekends, and I can write my monthly monitoring reports anytime. So by the end of this month I should have my first Guardian assignment, too! New doors are indeed opening for me all over the place!

Life is pretty exciting right now. After months and years of feeling stuck, it's exhilarating (and kind of scary, too). Thanks again for all your encouragement and support!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Pure Joy

The day I've been looking forward to for years now is finally here! I've accepted the job at the school!!!!!!!!

The pay is a tiny bit more than the starting pay at my current job, which is better than I had hoped for! Much to my relief, I won't have to have a second part time job to make ends meet. This is a relief since my volunteer duties as a Guardian Ad Litem will be a second (unpaid) job in itself.

I'm just thrilled. Can you tell?! Haha!

I've been so unhappy at my current job, for years now. And for years I've been looking for a new job and a way out of retail management. My job at the school will give me state benefits: health insurance, retirement, etc. Not to more working nights, no more working weekends, no more working holidays..........! I'll be on the same schedule as the teachers: two weeks off at Christmas, a week off at Easter, and two months off in the summer. I still can't believe it!

Thank you all for your kind words, good wishes, and support. Today, I'm the happiest blogger in blogland!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A pretty picture, and another update.

This beautiful creature was fluttering around my backyard the other day. I ran for my phone but only snapped this one picture before it flew away.

I've been too busy to post much. Tomorrow I plan to call HR about the job I'm being offered and finding out how much money they're offering me. If it's acceptable I'll turn in my letter of resignation at the bookstore and begin working out my 2 week notice. Tuesday I'll be in court all day as part of my Guardian ad litem training. My classes will be done next week, and I'll be back in court getting sworn in on August 8th, the day before my first day at the new job....provided I accept it. It's been a busy, but productive, month.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Quick update...

I'm this close to having a new job. In fact, the school called yesterday to tell me that I'm their pick (!!!) ....the only hurdle left is that I'm waiting to hear from the HR department what salary they can offer me. I can't say yes until I have that crucial bit of information! I know that even the best case scenario is going to be a pay cut, but as long as it's not too drastic I'm going to go for it!

Please continue to send good vibes and positive thoughts my way for an offer I can live with... I really, really want to say YES to this job!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The "Green Thing"

I saw this on Facebook, and wanted to share it with you all. I think some of my older readers especially will appreciate it! It made me laugh.


Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own grocery bags, because plastic bags are not good for ...the environment.

The woman apologized to the young girl and explained, "We didn't have this 'green thing' back in my earlier days."

The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."
The older lady said that she was right -- our generation didn't have the "green thing" in its day. The older lady went on to explain:

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn't have the "green thing" back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable besides household garbage bags was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags. But, too bad we didn't do the "green thing" back then.

We walked up stairs because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn't have the "green thing" in our day.

Back then we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But that young lady is right; we didn't have the "green thing" back in our day.

Back then we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right; we didn't have the "green thing" back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blade in a r azor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But we didn't have the "green thing" back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service in the family's $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before the"green thing." We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the "green thing" back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart ass young person.

We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off... Especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smartass who can't make change without the cash register telling them how much.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The fish guy

As I've mentioned before, my husband sets up and maintains aquariums for a living. He has accounts at nursing homes, hospitals, doctors' offices, and schools...including the school where I had a job interview last week.

When the interview was wrapping up, I mentioned to the principal and assistant principal that I'm married to the guy who takes care of their aquarium. Their response was gratifying:

"You're married to the fish guy?! We love the fish guy! He does such a good job and our aquarium is beautiful!"

They went on to add that if I start working there, we'll be able to have lunch together on the days when Gregg is there cleaning the aquarium. I took that as a good sign!

Speaking of "the fish guy",  he helped me set up a new (bigger) aquarium for my African cichlids a couple of weeks ago. I showed you a picture of the bigger male a while back. They were outgrowing the 30 gallon tank they were in originally. Now they're in a 55 gallon and doing great!

Arranging the pieces of coral during set up.

He's an artist! :)

The biggest male.

It's hard to take good photos of fish!

A breeding pair swimming in the filter flow.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A really good day!

I've had a wonderful day!

First, I got a call yesterday for a job interview this morning at 10am. It's for a secretary position at a middle school. I don't want to jinx myself, so I'll just say that the interview went really well and no matter what happens, I'm satisfied with how I presented myself. I'm cautiously optimistic, and I definitely think I would love the job. And if it doesn't work out, that's ok too!

Then as soon as the interview was over I had to dash across town to my very first training session to become a guardian ad litem. I'm super excited about the work I'll be doing with abused and neglected children in our community! The people overseeing the training are wonderful and I know I'll be learning a lot in the weeks to come. We've worked out a schedule to complete our training (including one full day spent in court observing hearings) by the end of July. By early August I should be sworn in and ready for my first assignment. 

All in all, it's been a good day!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day!

Jumping in on a work break to wish my American friends a Happy Independence Day!

Yes, I had to work today, but it's dead slow. The mall we're attached to closed early, and I don't understand why we didn't, too. Oh well. We're making time and a half (along with holiday pay) to basically do nothing. There's over an hour left to go and I think there are maybe three customers in the whole store. We'll be done and out of here fast as soon as we can lock the doors.

Have a good one!