Sunday, February 1, 2015

January recap

In the spirit of trying to get back in the swing of things, here are some pictures from a little "minication" Eric and I took two weeks ago. I had a Friday thru Monday off, and he was on vacation Friday thru the following Saturday, so we went to Frankfort KY for a few days, leaving Friday after my doctors appointments were done (the reason I took Friday off) and drove back Sunday afternoon.  Our "excuse" for visiting Frankfort was a shop called the Woolery, which sells weaving looms, spinning wheels, fiber, spindles, and rughooking supplies. The key here is the number and variety of products sold. I am interested in getting a spinning wheel and this was a way to see and try a variety of them, including the brand I was considering.

This is the wheel I have my heart set on. Hopefully it will be mine sometime this year.

The Kentucky River and an old bridge. We walked the river trail, had a snack at a college coffee shop, spent a good hour or more in the shop, where we met other fools who drove from out of state just to shop there (we met couples from Florida, Ohio, and Tennessee there, along with us who traveled 5 hours to get there); we went to a local winery, had dinner at a local restaurant, and enjoyed two nights in a very nice best western. On the way home we explored the shorter tour of the Marengo Caves in southern Indiana. That was awesome!

And I did buy a new lace drop spindle because it was pretty, and some fiber to spin up because I liked the colors.

We came home and I immediately worked the next 11 days straight, sometimes 9-10 hour days, and I got slammed with cases (5 cases per day the last 2 Friday's when a normal day is 1-3 cases max per day...) I began a writing day on Tuesday with 40 open cases and was able to close 16 of them by the end of Wednesday (most were close to being closed, just no time to finish the paperwork until this week), but then added back in 9 new ones, getting 3 emergencies on Friday plus two 24 hour ones... Needless to say I am exhausted. I spent yesterday reading for a bit and relaxing, and playing everquest with Eric now that the desktop is working and we can enjoy playing together again. Today I plan to do as little as necessary too, because Monday it begins all over again.

I find my job challenging and sometimes stressful, lately even overwhelming because of the sheer volume of the cases coming in. We have some new people who will enter the rotation soon, as they finish up training, but have been running short staffed for what sounds like forever. Some positives of my job are seeing newborns and sweet little ones, going into old houses and imagining what some of them were like in their heydays, and being in and out of the office. Most cases aren't terribly "serious" although all need to be addressed, and for that I am grateful too. It's just how they seem never ending sometimes. There are times I think there but for the grace of God it could have been (or was) me once upon a time, and there are people who leave me humbled by their strength and their faith. I was touched by one woman who said to her adult child "you can talk to her, she's one of the good ones who really care." I think every one I work with really care, but sometimes there isn't much we can do. I do a lot of praying.

Aurora is back from Costa Rica and had the trip of a lifetime. Brie is struggling with a loss of hours and lack of security in her job situation. Patrick is in the process of moving out and into an apartment. Reimond is looking at a possible promotion of sorts at work, and his girlfriend has been accepted to Penn State,her dream school, next fall. Classes are resumed/resuming for the college kids for spring semester, Eric is back on overnights, and life is trying to find what passes for the new normal.

I still have not mailed out Christmas gifts, despite their being done. Not home when the post office is open... So kids will get gifts in February I guess. I am hoping Eric can mail them Monday before he heads to bed.

That's the update! Now time to get another cup of coffee and the next item on the list.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thanks for the nudge, and a Happy New Year!

Thanks for the nudge, and happy new year!

First, some recent photos for color:

Skye at preschool last week.

A cross stitch tragedy: after almost 8 years of inconsistent effort, I found a small (I believe) coffee stain that had been covered over by the drape to hide it... I tried spot cleaning and it wicked out into a horrid puddle of brown that I couldn't live with. So I soaked it in cold water and orvus and prayed, rinsing it in clean cold water and soaking more... The color ran on the silks and stained other silks, and the background fabric also bleached, and I am so sad. Other stitches have said its cool, to keep going and to see if I can duplicate the bleed on the other side, but I can't. My only decision now is whether I want to try and save the beads or not, because there are so many in it already. Not a single sitting project by any means. I have ordered new fabric to start it again, and if I need to I may scavenge from it, but I may have enough on hand still.

This is my new to me car, a 2012 Nissan Versa. It handles well and gets great gas mileage, so I am pleased. Given my work schedule of late I have primarily driven back and forth, but with gas prices falling it's almost cheaper than train fare, and faster a commute too.

I finished my Christmas sewing late, and need to mail things out this weekend, but I have been on non-self-imposed bed rest the past four days. I got hit with a horrid case of viral gastroenteritis, and have been soooo sick! I literally have been in bed other than a trip to the clinic on Tuesday, where I was given a shot in the butt of phenergan, a prescription of that too, and was told I needed to take things easy. I was sent home, told to drink plenty, and take it slow. The virus screwed with my pulse and blood pressure and they were out of whack, which explains some of the shortness of breath etc I have been dealing with lately. I plan to go to work tomorrow to deal with anything pressing, and do have a doctors note. Then while I am babysitting this weekend, at least I will have a couple more days. I am feeling better, but not yet me.

Aurora is safely in Costa Rica, on her biology class trip, and I am hoping she is enjoying the rain forest. Patrick, Reimond, and Brie have been working. Eric is picking up overtime as it comes available, and I have worked weekends and holidays over recent weeks that helped to burn me out. 

My job is going ok. I am a perfectionist and my job is one that doesn't ever go as you expect. I like it, am challenged by it, and occasionally frustrated by it. But there is still so much to learn and I try so hard to do it right. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by it all. The big thing I have realized is I need to find some balance, between work and taking care of me. Meals are a challenge because even though I am in charge of my office versus field work, I hate eating on the run, but I also hate taking away from the time I have for visits when it seems like a never ending battle to find/meet with the families we are concerned about. On Friday I had my first door slammed in my face, but I have heard it won't be the last time it happens. My current case load is fairly manageable, but missing 4 days of work has my already knotted stomach anxious about what I may have left undone that needed handling. My performance is measured in outcomes, including how quickly I make first contact, when I get signed off by my supervisor, and other deadlines that are mandated both by the state and federal governments.  My numbers are not great right now, no matter how hard I try, and it is a combination of circumstances, types of cases, etc. those factors do get included, but none the less I worry about my performance. I am trying so hard!

I am not knitting much lately, although I did start a cross stitch sampler for the new year, and I have been reading quite a bit. Most of my tv watching has gone by the wayside, and I only play everquest on the weekends, hit or miss fashion. I have realized that there are things that can function without my direct supervision, but there are times it feels like everyone has their own agenda and expectations of me and I am not living up to what everyone wants right now. Felling a bit stressed as I try to find my way. 

Anyhow, I am not making any major New Years resolutions, just continuing to try and move forward on being the best person I can be, with Gods grace and direction. I am slowly losing weight (not holding my breath that the 4 lbs I lost being sick will last), I am walking about 15 miles per week, and I hope to begin doing the yoga again. I also hope to focus on projects around the house. That's it. Nothing too major. 

Hope everyone has a blessed new year!