Friday, October 16, 2009

I Saw God Smile Today

With all the uncertaintities in our world, unemployment, financial crisis, people forgetting how to be nice, scams, and whatever else anyone can think of, I am sure of one thing. God exists. He smiled at me today.

Not to take anything away from this beautiful phenonomen, and I wanted to share it with Terry when he came home, I took a picture of it. Actually it was a video and blogger won't allow me to upload it, so the above is not my actual photo. Then, needing an explanation of what this was, I sent my video to the local news channel. The meteorologist said this is called a circumzenithal arc and I had a great shot of it.

I always knew rainbows were a symbol for God's Promise, but this puts a whole new spin on it.


Monday, October 5, 2009

I'm Back!!!

I had been off blogging for so long I could not remember my password. How I remembered today is beyond me.

To update on the unemployment situation. I had a couple of interviews (2 to be exact). One was my former employer calling me back. I knew the people, they knew me and it was a job in my former department. I was told I was 1 of 3 people being called back for a position vacated by someone who retired. The interview went great. I left feeling pretty good. 7 days later I got a call stating that I was not a "good fit" (huh???? YOU called me). No one got the job. HUH?

I was hurt and disappointed. I would be able to accept this more graciously if I lost to someone who actually got the job. I felt used. Was it quota for NY Unemployment insurance to call back X number of people? I was so upset I made coq au vin. That'll show 'em.

I also decided I'm in control. I determine my destiny. I can look online for jobs that don't exist like I've been doing for 9 months or do something else. I applied and was accepted to community college in a 2 year program Health Information Technology/Medical Records. This all happened since Labor Day. Less than a month. I'm now applying for financial aid, grants, scholarships. Also, I have to take some placement tests since I don't have SAT's or any college math. My unemployment benefits continue while I'm in a certified training program that has job potential. I start school in January. I had actually been thinking of taking some medical terminology/coding courses long before I was laid off.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


This phase of unemployment is difficult. It is hard to search deep down and try to identify who and what you are. I know I'm a good person, wife, daughter, mom, aunt, grandmother and friend. Part of a person's identity is what they do for a living. I was a student, office clerk, secretary, lab assistant, computer consultant. I'm none of these now. So what do I want to be?

I've had this opportunity to re-define part of my identity and I'm not sure quite how to go about it. Several years ago when Ali was in 11th grade, I took in one of her best friends for 9 months while caring for Terry's mom. There were a lot of challenges, yet rewards as well. When Ali was in grade/middle school I would take kids from my Sunday school class home for a meal and a chance to get out of some pretty tough neighborhoods (streets that are frequently in the news because of drive by shootings). On more than 1 occasion things I took for granted where beyond their comprehension. Such as, 1 girl asked why I had 2 ovens. It was my dishwasher. She had not seen one in a kitchen before. Another walked in my house and asked who lived was where our bedrooms where. They all INHALED whatever I put in front of them. I ran into one of these kids 2 years ago and she gave me a BIG hug and was so happy to see me. She was barely 19 and pregnant, dad not around, but neither was hers.

Terry and I discussed way back then that we would like to be foster parents "someday". The conversation has popped up again and again over the years. It has been discussed quite a bit in these past few months. How can we make this work? What are the risks, what will it cost (in time, $$ and personal compromises). There is NO way Social Services compensation makes this a profitable endeavor. How can we make this work.

It has been suggested that I be a nail technician (by my hairdresser), a doula, nurse, medical aid, administrative assistant, sales, and caterer. The common thread in all these career paths is I am a person who is drawn to the caring of people. It is who I am. It is where I find "doing" what is natural to me. I'm not sure where to start; even to the point of which of these paths to pursue. I feel like a deer in headlights.

I have enjoyed going to Pulaski every Monday afternoon to babysit my grand-daughter while Wendy taught 1st Communion class with Ben and Josh. I never had this much time off EVER and it has been such a gift to comfort and play with Grace. I go up there about 2 hours ahead of time which gives me time with Wendy. This has also been quite a gift as we've had time to talk one-on-one. First Communion and Grace's baptism was yesterday.

Not that I need an excuse to go up there, but it was a reason. That is what I'm missing being unemployed, a reason to do something - today, for it can always be done tomorrow. I have enjoyed just being home. I also miss not being in touch with other people, so I need to move on from this freeze frame.

While I've been sort of looking for a job, Terry gets a call from a former employer (17 years ago) and wants to talk with him about a job. Long story short, he is switching jobs. The salesman at this place is retiring and the other can no longer be on the road due to health issues. The only name that came up from customers and the 2 salesmen is Terry's. He wasn't even looking and he got a better job! He is already so much more relaxed. After 40 years of being on the road and to be put inside doing counter work was killing him, literally. Time clocks are not his thing. He also said that when he's on the road, he gets to choose who he talks with. Inside on the phones and the counter you get every type of lunatic all-day-long. There is no escape. Another thought we're tossing around is whether to sell our place and move to Oswego County near Wendy/Patrick and the kids. How do we make that work?

So as not to drag out this saga any longer, we are going on vacation to Virginia this Wednesday. Alison is joining us. We will be staying at Terry's sister's home, right on the York River. Private beach and dock. Being near the water always centers me. Eating seafood & wine is also very nice. Being with family is especially important as well. It will give Terry and I time to talk about our options away from here. At the end of the day is not the time to really discuss what lies ahead. He is so wiped out by then.

I will let you know what we've decided on when we get back May 21st. I will also be meeting with some professionals to discuss a path that is healthy for me and my family.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Savor The Day

Each day brings beauty. Some days I have to look very hard, but it is always there. One days beauty is not the same as the next.

Today, it may be difficult for many of us to find the beauty, as our sweat Emma Rose is in heaven. I can't say she left us, for she will be forever with us. And although your Uncle Terry and I did not physically hold you, we hold you in our hearts.

Tomorrow will bring a different beauty.

Good night Sweet Pea.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Pictures

Sunday was a spirtual, fun, tiring and long day. We went to church and the service was moving and powerful. We went to the Saturday night vigil the night before as well. The vigil service was the most spirtual experience I've had in a long time. Tears filled my eyes more than once. Emma Rose you were in everyone's prayers.
Gracie fell asleep in my arms.
Patrick's parents had just arrived from Florida the night before. We are so blessed that Wendy's in-laws are such fun people. We love being with them. Also, Patrick's brother Terry (there are no less than 4 Terrys between the 2 families) and his wife Lisa and 3 kids were also there. Lisa is soooooo very pregnant. She looked ready to deliver at Christmas and is extremely uncomfortable. Her youngest was 13 lbs. No gestational diabetes. Lisa is due the beginning of May. Keep her in your prayers.

Gracie is getting SO big!
Nana and Cousin Sarah

Our little Easter Bunny!

We brought Bama with us to the service and she said she enjoyed the service very much. After church we headed up to Wendy and Patrick's.

Bama, Ben, Gracie and Josh

Just as we arrived home my mother, brother and nephew arrived from Rhode Island and New Hampshire. They are here this week. I'm glad my sister decided to take this time. It gives us all the chance to visit. My nephew, Peter, is signed up for the Marines immediately after graduation. He will be leaving for Paris Island July 3rd. He's a great kid and I'm glad I'm getting the opportunity to meet him again. Last time I spent any time with him he was in grade school. I wish him all the best and pray he stays safe.

By the end of the day, I felt the same as Grace.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Adventures in Costa Rica

Ali is spending this week in Costa Rica with school. This week course counts as her science credit. Ali read a 700 page book on facts of the Rain Forest and a report of each chapter has been completed. She will have to write a paper at the end of the trip.

Alison's trip began on Saturday morning at 1:30am leaving campus. As the plane touched down in Atlanta, the plane blew 2 tires. It took over an hour for a bus to come out on the runway and they missed their connecting flight. I think Ali thought this was a premonition of how the trip would go. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Alison called last night (Monday) from the beach in Puerto Viejo. They hiked through KekoLdi Indigenous Reserve. They spent the rest of the day with the Bribri Tribe, observed tribal use of native plants and animals. As the group were mingling with their hosts, Alison noticed a snake inches from a women's barefoot. It turned out to be a VERY venomous viper!!! Alison got credit for finding the first snake. She also told everyone all the facts about this particular snake. The tour guide high five'd her. Ali said that she is amazed at how much she is learning and how much she already knew and it is being used now.

Alison is awaken by monkeys (outside) at the crack of dawn. Similar to roosters, I suppose. They have seen 2 and 3 toe sloths, toucans, monkeys, etc. She is taking lots of pictures. During the hike yesterday the guide stopped at a tree and found a nest of termites, plucked one out and ate it. He offered one to Alison. At first she declined and then she thought, I'm here to experience everything I can and she ate a termite! Said it tasted like chicken. Kidding, she said it tasted like a peanut.

Alison took Spanish in high school and a semester her freshmen year in college. When she knew she was going to Costa Rica she bought a Learn Spanish tape. Alison said when people would order things at the coffee shop she works at, she would translate the order in Spanish in her head. If the guide isn't around Alison is the one who can translate for the group. How proud am I???

Today they will hike through Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge along beach to Punta Mona (Monkey Point). They will observe sustainable methods of agriculture, harvest items for dinner and prepare dinner from local fish and garden fare. After dark they will look for nesting leatherback turtles on the beach.

Alison told her dad that one thing she has learned is that if you work hard enough for a goal, you can make it happen, even in tough times like this. It was only day 2 of her trip and said it was already the best week of her life.

Terry and I could not be happier either. We are so thrilled for her. I don't know what this trip will mean for her in the future, but I do know it will make a huge impact.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Uplifting Experience (pt. 2)

I cannot say enough about the staff, nurses and the doctors who took care of me on Thursday/Friday. It was obvious they all enjoyed being there. When I complimented the care I was given, the nurse would tell me how much she enjoyed her job. She accredited the office manager running a tight ship, but also believes in having fun. It showed.

I took one pain pill on Friday when I came home and a couple of Tyenol before bed "just in case". I have not taken any meds since. I did laundry, and dusted and took a nap. I feel wonderful.

I'm not sure what I look like yet. I am so taped down and gauzed up, a little swollen and bruised. The unveiling won't happen until Friday. Right now they look like the Bride of Frankenstein.

I do know how the women in very low dresses on the Red Carpet keep everything in place. There is NO execuse Janet Jackson for that fashion malfunction at the Superbowl a couple of years ago. I think I could outsell Billy Mayes's Mighty Mendit. This stuff is strong.