Saturday, July 28, 2012


I can’t believe it is almost the end of July.  The summer is flying by and I’ve only gotten about a quarter of what I wanted to done.  There are so many projects on my list right now including crocheting presents, sewing for my daughter, and writing.  Oh and let’s not forget that I still have to clean my office and get organized for school in the fall. 

This weekend we are doing prep for meals this week.  Vicki did the shopping yesterday so today we are going to work on getting things prepped for meals for the week.  She already made trail mix.  I need to start a bag of things to take to work.  She won’t be up for a few hours and then it will be full speed ahead with all the things on the list. 

One of the things I want to do is make a list of the gifts I want to make including to whom they are going and whether I have the yarn for the item or not.  Then I can start checking things off.  I also want to include on the list what projects I have yarn for.  This will hopefully keep me on track for getting things done.   

For my writing projects, I just need to get organized.  All of what I want to do is in my head and I just need to get it down on paper so I have a check list to get things checked off.  It helps keep me focused because too often I get off track as I’m doing one project something else will pull me away.  These forays into other topics and projects are fun but it prevents me from completing a task. 

One last project I have to deal with in the next month is prepping for classes in the fall.  I need to clear up the previous classes stuff and get ready for the new classes.  Lots to do, I need another me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Simple Solutions

Health issues can be a struggle.  Our society has turned to science to “fix” us.  In doing this I think we’ve forgotten some of the best and simplest solutions to some health problems.  Most people are quick to go to their doctors and say “I can’t sleep I need a pill” or “I can’t breathe, give me a pill.”  

A friend and I were just discussing how physical activity can lead to sore muscles and other aches and pains.  I believe that we are so used to our non-physical lifestyle that our bodies have forgotten what it is like to lift and work hard all day.  In the old days, people spent most of their days doing physically taxing chores.  Their bodies were used to the demands put on it.  Now though we spend more time on our computers than physically working. 

There are several things we can do to ease some of the aches and pains.  Massage, meditation, essential oils, water therapy, heat, ice are just some of the easy solutions.  I have headaches and migraines.  Often it is due to stress.  All of my stress sits in the muscle in my right shoulder blade.  If I can get someone to work out the knot I get, the headaches go away or at the very least ease enough to begin the healing process.  Massage is also good for aching joints and a variety of other things.  It is amazing how putting your hands on someone to move their muscles can help them heal.  They have the touch of another human which gives them a feeling of being cared for and the massage to help the process.

Meditation can also have the same effect on a person.  It calms, reducing stress and lowering blood pressure.  It relaxes which will help with insomnia and other sleep issues.  Essential oils can help with relaxing or energizing as you need.  One scent may make you relaxed and help you sleep and another may help you wake up. 

A hot bath or shower will ease aching muscles, clear lungs, reduce stress, and more.  Combine it with essential oils and it works twice as hard on the issues.  A heating pad or bag of ice can help focus healing in one area.  If you stop the pain and rest then the body will work on fixing the problem. 

I’m not a health care provider in any way.  I have suffered from pain in one form or another for a long time so I know these things work.  They are simple, easy, and effective.  Please remember though if something is different or doesn’t go away with these simple home remedies to seek out a health care provider.  Most of these solutions have helped me go to the doctor less which means less money out of my pockets.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Work Ethics

I had to fire a worker.  I don’t like doing that as I feel like all my student workers are part of our family in Special Education.  However he is the third student worker where I’ve had serious issues with work ethics.  Some of my biggest issues are no call/no show; cell phone use during work hours; socializing during work hours; and quality of work. 

No call / no show is when someone is scheduled to work and doesn’t show up or call in sick.  I’m pretty flexible with work hours I think.  I’ve let students off work because they were tired from late nights of studying.  I’ve let students out to meet with professors or to study.  It isn’t like I’m a hard nose and say here is your schedule and be here or else.  However, I’ve had four student workers who haven’t been able to get the concept that when you are scheduled to work you should show up or call if you can’t.  I’ve started telling new employees that the best solution is to email me and if they don’t get an email back then I didn’t get it.

We all use cell phones.  Mostly you can’t have any type of interaction without someone having their cell phone handy.  I get that people want to stay in touch and have a life outside of work but here is the thing.  If it isn’t an emergency or even urgent put the cell phone away.  You won’t shrivel up and die if you aren’t on it constantly.  I’m guilty of checking my texts and answering my phone but I also make a point of getting my work done. 

Socializing is part of the work environment.  There is always someone who wants to chat because they need a break.  However, when you take work and it takes twice or three times as long as it should to get the job done because you are chatting that isn’t working it is socializing and I don’t pay for that.  I’m all for conversations when there isn’t anything to do but when there is work at hand stay on task. 

I get that it is a college job and not your dream job.  Here is the thing – treat it like it is because if you come ask me for a reference you better have performed to a high level of competence.  I have three student workers this summer and when they are here the work gets out and is accurate.  I don’t have to double check their work or get them back on track.  I just give them a list and it gets done.  One of my workers I give him a list and think it will be enough to keep him busy for the full time.  Then he is coming back to say – I’m done what else? 

Working isn’t fun.  It is a means to an end.  If you need money to survive so you can make it through school then you have to work.  I appreciate the students who come to me with a strong work ethic and get the work done.  Their work ethic helps build a respect that most people their ages don’t get.  It shows a maturity and responsibility level that is above and beyond the average. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Back to Work

I didn’t hate getting up.  It was good to go back to work and get into the groove.  I chatted with two of the new faculty and helped them settle in a bit more.  However, over 110 emails to weed through today.  It took me until 2:00 to catch up and I’ve weeded out and handled all the ones that were simple to do.  Now I need to go back and look at the tougher ones and figure out what I’m doing.

No naps for me today even though I wanted one about 8:00 am.  I tackled the emails today and started on some of the stuff on my desk.  Tomorrow I’m going to tackle the rest of my desk.  Hopefully by Friday I’ll have it all back under control. 

For now, I’m looking for bed before midnight.  I was going to say before 11 but realized it was already 10:30 – that isn’t going to be enough time to deal with the emails (MORE OF THEM) for my personal account and get to bed before 11.  Midnight it will hopefully be. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Done - Next?

Well I finished off Beth’s shawl.  It turned out amazing.  There are pictures of it below.  It is incredibly soft and beautiful.  The four ending rows were okay to do but the last one was a bit of a pain.  It took me just as long to do the fourth row as it did the other three rows combined.  However, it was well worth the effort and time.

Now I’m moving on to other items for holiday gifts for my faculty and student workers.  No I’m not telling as some of them read my blog.  However, they are shorter projects which I can do in one sitting of a couple of hours. 

Yesterday I worked all day on Beth’s shawl.  Today I’ve been working on budget (yuck) and shortly I’m going to suggest we watch movies so I can spend a relaxing last day at home before I go back to work tomorrow. 

I’ve been tempted to look at my work email to see if there were a lot but I already know there were so I’m going to just wait for tomorrow.  That is tomorrow though and today I’m hoping to spend a bit of time just relaxing, crocheting, spending time with Vicki and Ken, and watching movies.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mixed Bag of Stuff

We had a wonderful visit with the girls.  It was super busy and there wasn’t enough time to do everything we wanted.  That is usually the case with their visits.  We did have a lot of great people at our house on Sunday.  It was great to see everyone and I know the girls really loved seeing those who were able to make it.

Wednesday Ken, Vicki and I trekked off to Madison to check out a new store – Gordon Food Services.  It is sort of a wholesale club without the fees.  There are some great deals in there and it is a well organized store.  You need to know prices and be prepared to buy larger quantities.  They don’t just carry store brands but some name brands as well.

Last night we had another love incident in our neighborhood.  Our neighbor across the street had his mailbox damaged.  Well really it looks like a stub so they have no mailbox anymore.  The people next door were having a party again.  I’m sure that someone had too much to drink or other mind bending things.  I heard a ruckus and the cat even perked up from her nap but I didn’t see anything.  We have a great neighborhood if only this one house would not be so destructive to the neighborhood. 

Today will be bills and writing.  Vicki is off to volunteer and I’m hoping to get the bills paid and another chapter written in my novel.  The novel is progressing nicely.  I just need to stay on track.  I’m planning to stay in my jammies today and just write.  My desk is a mess.  My office is mess.  I’m going to attempt to ignore that and get the next installment written on this one novel. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

They're Here!!

We got the girls from the airport last night.  It was so hot and so busy there I didn’t get out to give them a hug but I’ll get plenty while they are here.  Stephanie is off early to visit her friends in Ripon. 

Last night Ken even got out of bed to talk to the girls for a while.  We chatted with the five of us.  Stephanie likes her afghan but says it is too warm.  Virginia on the other hand likes it because it is warm.  I’m glad they like it and it will get used. 

After everyone went to bed I got in some more writing.  I’m working my way through a chapter and hope to finish it today but that depends on how much down time I get from visiting people and activities.  I’m probably going to get minimal writing time while the girls are here.  That is okay though because the girls are here!!! 

It is unbearably hot outside still.  We are again in the triple digits today.  Virginia and Stephanie are used to it but it knocks me on my bum.  When I went out yesterday I felt like I’d walked into a wall.  My glasses steam up when I go outside.  That is a sign that I shouldn’t be going out as far as I’m concerned.  Hopefully by Sunday it will cool off enough to be tolerable but I’m not holding my breath. 

Virginia is still sleeping so I’m going to work on writing until she is up and about.  Then we will see what mischief we get into.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Apparently I need a day of decompression before I can switch into vacation mode.  My intention yesterday was to get stuff done in the house and work on writing.  I got a few things done in the house but didn’t do any writing. 

I did spend the day watching things on the DVR and TV.  Yes I did the rare thing of actually watching live tv.  I hate commercials and I hate watching the same commercials throughout an hour long program.  I watched the Dog Whisperer last night and for the whole hour the same commercials aired.  I was annoyed and muted them. 

While watching the Dog Whisperer he was working with a German shepherd and it made me want a puppy.  I love shepherds they are so expressive and loving.  However, at this stage in the game I would don’t want another pet.  Vicki has her cat and we love having her in the house.  I don’t have any of the responsibility of the cat though.  Plus if I got a dog now I’d want Cesar to come and help me train him.  I can’t afford that. 

Today I’m alone in the house.  I have classical music on and I’m caught up on email.  I’ve got a great idea in my head for my book so I’m going to try to get that on the computer before Vicki gets home from volunteering. 

Late afternoon I’m going to hop in the van and drive to the airport to pick up Stephanie and Virginia.  I cannot wait to see them and give them a big hug.  From there I have five days to cram as much family time as possible into our time.

Now that I’ve had my day of decompression I am ready for the vacation and fun time! 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

No Alarm!

Happy 4th of July!  My one desire for today was to not set my alarm and just wake up naturally to see if I could get more sleep.  I worked on writing until 12:30 and went to bed.  This morning I woke up at 7:00.  I did go back to sleep and doze until 8:00 and lay in bed contemplating whether I wanted to get up until about 8:15. 

It was nice to wake up more naturally than to a demanding alarm clock.  However, I didn’t really get more sleep.  Apparently my body says 6 – 7 hours is enough.  This is okay for me it means I’m up to work on writing for a bit before we dive into the list of stuff that has to get done. 

The girls are flying in tomorrow.  It will be wonderful to see them in person.  There are a lot of things planned for when they are back.  Hopefully we can get them all in and still have some of those wonderful family moments.

Tomorrow I’m going to have time alone in my house as Ken has to work and Vicki is going to the library for her volunteering.  I’ll be setting the alarm so I can maximize the time I have alone.  For the time the girls are here I’ll have to see if there might be a day or two I can give the alarm a day off again.  Once the girls go back to Georgia I still have five days off but I think I’ll be making the most of the time by writing as much as possible so more likely to set the alarm.  I enjoy waking up on my own much more than I do waking up to an alarm.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen often.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


The concert was EXCELLENT!  Ken and I both enjoyed the concert very much.  I don’t think either of us would have missed it for anything.  It was great for me to see Ken enjoying the live music of his favorite group.  Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the music (mostly). 

I loved watching the people react and be enthralled.  I loved the drums.  I loved the music though I felt they could have turned it down.  The entire experience was a very positive one.

What I didn’t enjoy was the onslaught of chaos on my senses.  Before we even got to the gates of Summerfest I wanted to turn around and go home.  There was so much noise with music of all kinds coming from every direction.  It made me stressed just listening to it.  I felt like I wanted to go to all the volume switches and turn them down.  There was just a cacophony of noise with nowhere to escape from it.

The other thing I didn’t like was all the people.  Don’t get me wrong I love to people watch but the idea of trying to struggle through the masses caused me a lot of anxiety.  I was using my scooter for the first time in a large group.  This might have been part of my anxiety as I wasn’t sure how fast to go or how quickly it would stop.  I didn’t want to hit or run over anyone.  Plus I wasn’t sure how well the scooter would do over uneven ground.  It was actually really good.  I just didn’t like all the people.  The snatches of conversation, the smell of alcohol, the noise of so many people competing with so much music and other noise.  It was all just overwhelming. 

Once we were settled in our seats, the crush of people didn’t bother me as much, probably because I was in a protected area where I wasn’t in the way or jostled by the crowd.  Then I sort of got into the people watching thing.  We had EMTs there for a woman who looked like she got too hot.  We had a couple with a baby there – not what I would have done.  There was a whole section who once the concert started danced through the whole concert.  I didn’t see any drunk and disorderly which was good as that would have spoiled the night.  Everyone just seemed to be having a good time. 

Big downside to the night, we got home at midnight and Ken was up at three to get ready for work.  He will have a rough week because of the lack of sleep this week.  He really enjoyed the concert so I’m sure he thinks it was worth it. 

Back at the Grindstone

With nine days off, you would think I got a lot accomplished.  I did when it comes to spending time with my girls but off my to-do list?  No...