Category Archives: family

Unemployment Update

I’ve been home now for a little more than a month.  The last time I was off work this long was when I had my hysterectomy back in 2007.

The dogs don’t understand why I’m home all the time . . . but they are grateful for the extra attention . . . and extra cookies . . .

I’m getting a little bored . . . there are only so many applications you can fill in one day.

I need to work on my “Honey Do” list of projects around the house.

I need to get moving on the cross stitch project I’m working on as a wedding gift for my niece.  She’s getting married in a little more than a month and I’ve barely gotten started on it.  Ugh.

I have an ever growing pile of books that I could/should be reading . . .

I’ve discovered that unemployment brings out the same “oh you poor thing” response that I heard so many times right after Prince Charming died.  I have actually laughed at people who give me the “oh you poor thing” and “You are in my prayers” speech.  I’ve started responding with the “Oh, shit, this is nothing.  I’ve survived WAY worse than this.  I’m going to be just fine thankyouverymuch.” and I enjoy the wide eyed reaction . . . yea, I’m going to hell for that . . .

I’ve had more than a few “thank you but we’ve chosen someone else” responses to applications.  I’ve had a couple of interviews that seem promising. It’s not as bleak as I thought it was going to be.

I’m trying to figure out a response to “where do you see yourself in five years” question.  Hell, I’m still trying to figure out the widow thing and now you want me to have a five year career plan . . . my career plan is to find a stable job and make enough money to pay the bills for the next 12 years until I can retire . . . but I can’t say any of that to an interviewer . . . can I?

A friend told me today that I should accept this time off as a gift and enjoy it . . . I’m trying really hard to follow that advice . . .

But we all know I’m a worry wart and won’t . . .

 

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What Day Is It Again?

Being suddenly unemployed is stressful.  I’m worried about how I’m gonna pay the bills.  I’m worried about finding a new job.  I’m not exactly a spring chicken . . . which I was reminded of when I had the phone interview with the lady at unemployment office.  I have 35 years of administrative assistant experience.  I have 25 years of experience as an executive assistant.  I have 9 years of experience being a bookkeeper.  I’m worried about screwing up my unemployment claim and not getting any help . . . . and then when I realized how little money I would get with unemployment, I’m back to worrying about paying the bills.

Being suddenly unemployed is also somewhat relaxing.  I don’t have to punch a time clock, so I don’t have to go to bed early or get up early.  I can lounge around in my jammies and answer emails and research jobs.  I can have lunch in front of the TV and watch my soaps.

But one thing that I discovered quickly is that I have no concept of days anymore.  It’s only been a week and I have no idea what day of the week it is anymore.  I almost forgot that I needed to set out the trash last night.  If it hadn’t been for a lovely reminder text from Stepdaughter, I would have forgotten to pick up Grandson #2 from school and take him to t-ball practice today.

I’m embracing this new career development as a chance to see what else is out there and I’m overall excited about the future . . . when I’m not stressing over tiny details.  But I think I need to get into a routine of some sort . . . and I’m kinda hoping I can win the lottery and stay retired!!

 

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Angels Watching Over Me

It’s been a bit of a rough weekend here . . . my position at the lovely local Catholic School has been eliminated because of low enrollment . . . we don’t have enough kids enrolled for next year to generate the income needed to support the current amount of staff and faculty.  I found out on Friday that my services were no longer needed . . . and Friday was my last day.  I cleaned out my office and started a second round of semi-retirement.

To say that I’m a hot damn mess is an understatement.  I received a generous severance package that includes my two weeks of vacation pay but I haven’t been “let go” from a job in over 30 years and have all kinds of worst case scenarios playing in my head.  Yes, it’s scary and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment, but it’s okay . . . I know that I’ve got this and can face the new challenges ahead of me. Heck, I faced my worst nightmare and am still standing and I’m pretty sure I can face this.  After all, there’s Rocky and Millie and their undying devotion and dedication to making me smile. I’ve seen several beautiful bright red cardinals in the back yard which is a sign that my guardian angels aren’t far away.

Like I said, I’m a hot damn mess but have managed to keep it together . . . when the boss told me that I was being let go . . . when I opened the front door and saw Rocky’s happy face and started to panic that I had no idea how I was going to support us . . . when I saw the sadness in my Mom’s face as I told her and I saw the sadness in her face when she realized that the job I loved was gone.

But the thing that finally broke me . . . was my silly Echo Dot.  Today, Amazon released a new skill – Christmas Sounds – and I had to try it out.  Because I’m a total dork when it comes to Alexa and all the cool things she can do.  I asked Alexa to play Christmas sounds and since I haven’t enabled the correct skill, Alexa has no idea what I’m talking about . . . so she plays Christmas songs from Amazon Music . . . and the song she chooses to play for me is none other than “O Holy Night” by Bing Crosby.

Yes . . . a Christmas song by Bing Crosby is what reduced me to a puddle of tears . . . because “O Holy Night” was THE song that the junior high choir that Prince Charming and I were in back in the day sang EVERY CHRISTMAS.  We started practicing it when school started in August and sang it practically every day until Christmas.  For three years.  I know every word.  I can still sing my alto part perfectly . . . and this song is the one thing that Prince Charming and I had in common all the years we were apart.  I thought of him and could remember hearing his beautiful bass voice singing his part . . . and he thought of me and could remember hearing my (according to him) lovely alto voice.  When we got back together that first Christmas, it was a joy to be able to sing the song together again every time it was on the radio.  And Bing Crosby was one of Prince Charming’s favorite singers of Christmas songs  . . . to hear our song sung by his favorite singer at a totally random moment in April was a sign that I’m not alone.  He’s watching me and telling me that I can do this . . . I can face this and I’ll be just fine.

Even when I’m not all that convinced of it myself just yet . . .

 

 

 

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#singlegirllife

Over the past four years, I’ve learned to adapt to the #singlegirllife . . . but since I didn’t really have a choice or a say in the matter I jumped in with both feet and hoped for the best.

I discovered the joy of not having a routine for household chores.  If I want to change up the grocery day, it didn’t upset anyone . . . except when I ran out of dog treats for Rocky and Millie.  If I want to do laundry at 7 am on a Sunday (yea, it’s happened), then I can without fear of waking anyone up.

If I want to go to The Big City on a Saturday morning and visit the local needlework shop, I can do that . . . as long as I don’t stay gone too long and make it home in time to give supper to the puppies.

I discovered the joy of choosing whatever I wanted for supper.  If I wanted to eat Cap’n Crunch over the sink with a glass of chocolate milk for supper . . . that’s what I had.  If I wanted to grab tacos from Taco Bell on the way home from work because it’s cheaper than cooking them myself . . . I headed to the drive-thru.  If I wanted to eat spaghetti four days in a row . . . I ate spaghetti four days in a row.

I learned that I can do the yard work myself . . . even though I don’t really enjoy it.

I learned that I can handle making decisions about home improvement or home repairs relatively intelligently . . . even though the entire process brings out massive amounts of anxiety and triggers a horrible panic attack.

I bought a car.  I bought a washer.  I bought a computer.  I bought furniture.  All things I’ve never done before and had no idea the amount of detail and research involved in such purchases.

I’ve learned that I can stand on my own two feet.  I haven’t lost the house.  The utilities haven’t been turned off.  I haven’t killed the dogs.  I’m not broke.  All things XH predicted would happen within six months after the divorce . . . and it’s been 7 years . . .

But there is one thing that I am struggling with.  Something so small and insignificant that it makes me laugh that I’m having a problem with it.  The #singlegirllife means that you are the one that takes care of you when you’re sick.  I have the flu.  I very mild case with some general muscle and joint aches, some severe tiredness, and a stupid headache that won’t go away.  I’m feel like poop . . . and I’m cranky . . . and I want someone to bring me soup, bring me tea, snuggle on the couch with me while I nap . . . and there isn’t anyone here to do that.  Sure, Rocky and Millie do their best but without opposable thumbs, they pretty much suck in the food prep department . . .

Yea, there are some other really bad drawbacks to this #singlegirllife . . . but today this is the one that’s really pissing me off . . .

And, yes, I’ve said more than once to no one in particular but directed at Prince Charming . . . I really hate your ass right now . . .

 

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Longest Week EVER

Today was my first full week at work since December 19 . . . with Christmas break, the MLK holiday and snow days caused by the horrible weather we had early this month I’ve only worked two or three days a week for almost a month.  It was heavenly.  Until this week . . . no holiday, no snow days, and the anniversary of Prince Charming’s death all conspired to make this a long awful week for me . . . I am thankful that it’s over . . .

But there are things that made my heart happy this week . . ..

I figured out the 5k races I’ll be doing this year . . .

I finalized my vacation schedule for this year . . . three cross stitch retreats and a trip to Florida . . .

Rocky seems to be responding well to the meds for his arthritis.  His “slow getting up in the morning” turned into a significant limp and I took him to visit Lovely Vet to have it checked out.  Turns out the limp was a sprain of some sort and the “slow getting up in the morning” is probably arthritis . . . “he is getting older, you know” is how Lovely Vet described it to me.

The school where I work is installing new playground equipment for the little kids (k-2) that moved into our building earlier this year.  I’ve gotten to watch the workers install the equipment with great delight . . . I’m going to swing on the swings and go down the slide this summer during my lunch hour!!  Today’s highlight was watching a bobcat expert move a huge pile of mulch from the staging area to the playground area.  It was fascinating!

So now I’m headed to the couch with my dessert of choice to watch “Friday Night Frasier” on Netflix . . .

Even during the darkest weeks, life is good . . .

 

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So Much For Flying Under The Radar

January 20 is a sucky day for me . . . it’s the anniversary of the day that Prince Charming left this Earth.  I probably shouldn’t focus/obsess over the date but I can’t help it.  It’s the day my life changed forever . . . through no fault of my own and not necessarily in a good way . . .

Last year about Christmas time I realized that January 20 was also Inauguration Day.  The day we got a new president.  A day full of all the pomp and circumstance and ceremony . . . stuff that I normally love.  Yes, I’m a patriotic geek.  I live for this kind of stuff . . . and suddenly I realized that one of my favorite events was going to be happening on my most un-favorite day.

Shitdamnhellfuck . . .

So I put on my big girl panties and dealt with it.  I was able, somehow, to separate the two events and keep them separate . . . as long as I forgot that the date was January 20 . . . it wasn’t easy but I did it.

I got through that day . . . like I’ve gotten through a bunch of other terrible, awful, horrible, very bad days (bonus points if you get the reference in that sentence).  By putting one foot in front of the other.

I was home today because the school I work for is closed for the Martin Luther King holiday (another day that kinda sucks for me because the day Prince Charming left was also Martin Luther King Day) . . . and I heard something that took my breath away . . . something I was totally not expecting or prepared for . . .

“January 20 is the one year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration.”  Said by one of the hosts of CBS This Morning . . .

Shitdamnhellfuck . . .

Just when I thought that I was going to be able to have that day fly under the radar . . . I got Gibbs slapped (bonus points if you get THAT reference) up side my head . . .

The next few days are gonna suck . . .

On a positive note . . . I’ve also learned that Saturday, January 20 the Cincinnati Zoo is having a first birthday party for media darling Fiona . . . for my favorite hippo . . .

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November 26

I had some work done to The Little House over the last month or so.  Nothing terribly serious . . . just a repair to a drain pipe and replacing the basement shower.

Just enough to trigger my homeowner anxiety . . . am I doing the right thing?  Oh shit, how expensive is this going to be?  Is this ever going to get finished?  Will it be what I wanted?

Everything turned out fine . . . project wasn’t horribly over budget but a rainy streak did put a bit of a damper on getting the outside stuff done quickly.  Shower is done and working fine . . . except I needed a light for the shower.

Did some research.  Did some shopping.  Found a workable alternative to installing a light in the shower.  I bought a “project light” to put on the floor outside of the shower to shine light into the shower.  Works just fine.  Light was on sale at the Big Box Hardware Store.  Pretty pleased with the solution if I do say so myself.

Brought the light home and took it out of the box.  There’s a space on the instruction/warranty booklet for the purchase date and the serial number.  And it suggested stapling the receipt to the booklet for easy reference.  I did not hesitate to do those items.  Because it’s what my Dad did every time he bought an appliance, a tool, or just about anything.  There’s a drawer in my parent’s house with all sorts of booklets – some of them for things they no longer own.  Dad’s advice was “You never know when you might need that” and so I also have a “information” drawer with all sorts of instruction/warranty booklets . . .

Yes, I heard Dad’s voice tell me “you better fill that out, Pamela” . . . when I saw the booklet in the bottom of the box . . . and I couldn’t rest until I had it safely in the drawer.

Yes, Dad . . . I did listen . . .

 

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