Friday, November 30, 2012

Today, I was working with a nervous girl, one who reminds you of a bird. She darts and she tries to get out. She cannot sit still. She does not look at you. Today, I poured water for her and talked to her in a low soothing voice. I smiled at her. I did not touch her. I did not lock gazes with her. I poured the water, again, and again, and she listened to the sound of it, cocking her head. It was not long, and she was helping pour it, hand over hand, watching the water splash and make bubbles. She was still and attentive.

At one point, I glanced at her, and she met my gaze. She smiled. She reached out her hand and she touched me. She initiated the touch, cocking her birdlike head. It was magic. It was truly magic.

When I took her back to her room, I hugged her, twice, and she let me, briefly. Proprioceptive input. I smiled. I talked softly.

I walked out of that room, and as overwhelming as this week has been, I tell you, there is no doubt in my mind that this job is where I belong. I have found my place.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A New Level of Pathetic

I have told you about my technological deficiencies before.

Today, I reached a new low. An Amish boy explained to me, step by step, how to hook up the clinic's Wii.

I've been getting spammed like CRAZY lately, so bear with me while I make it perfectly clear to them. When I was talking about 'limp', I was referring to the fish not my husband. We do not need viagara here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Two days a week, I drive an hour and 20 minutes to get to work. Ironically, that particular clinic is in the town where I was born. I've not been there in years, so I needed to google the shortest route. I printed off the two pages of instructions.

I did not know how simple it would be when I set out, which caused me to be so mindful of the road that I missed a great deal of the scenery. Turned out that those 2 pages of instructions could have been summed up into 2 sentences: 62 N to 60 N. Turn left just before you drive into Lake Erie.

The drive home was beautiful, because I did not have to worry about road signs and directions. I drove along the lake enthralled by view, gazing out across the white capped water made gray by the leaden snow clouds above it. I was sorry not to have my camera. I saw a castle like building set back facing the lake, and further down, there was a gazebo peaking from a small cliff. There were vineyards everywhere. When I was a baby, my parents earned extra money by clipping the grapes, hauling the grapes in one basket and me in another. I drove along, looking and daydreaming, and suddenly I realized I was in a town I hadn't driven through that morning. Yep. I was so intent on the scenery that I missed my turn and managed to add an additional half hour to my drive home that night.

The job is challenging, but I will come to love it. I can see that already.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I'm dead, but the fish ain't.

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I drive 1 hour and 20 minutes to work in the morning, and put in my hours, and then drive the 1 hour and 20 minutes back home. The job is fine, and it's all very challenging as all new jobs are. I had some research to do for a project after I got home, and I had a column to write too, so I'm pooped.

Today, I signed my name, using my official title. I never used it before, and it was one of those small and memorable moments.

I got home tonight, and Mary called me. I was listening to her and blabbing and then, suddenly, I looked and my beta was wrapped around the filter in an odd way. I tapped the glass. Nothing. "Oh, Mar," I said, "I think my fish is dead," and she matter of factly told me that I was sure he was dead one other time, but he wasn't. At the same time, I lifted the lid from the tank and suddenly, the filter just popped clear out of the water. I let out an ear piercing scream. Not sure why except that dead fish make me squeamish, and things shouldn't oughta be popping out of the water...that's kind of jarring. Mary said, "What???!!! Is he dead?" And I said, "Nah, he's swimming around." You know, only a true friend would respond, "Oh, good." Everyone else would have been making fun of me forever.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tim's First Day

Tim got his deer today, on the first day of buck season. He and his son Mike went into the woods.For the first year ever, we will be taking him (the deer, not Tim) to be professionally butchered. Being as how we are both gainfully employed.
(At present.)
We don't take anything for granted here.
 Tim with his eight point.
I asked him if we were getting it mounted.
Answer: "No. The rack is too light."
It will be nice to have the meat in the freezer.
The antlers will wind up in the 'man cave'.

First Day

Today is my first day of work at my new job. I am very excited.

I am not nervous at all. I did not have a schedule or a reporting time, something that I'd forgotten about in the rush to get ready for the holiday. Turns out, so did the lady who hired me. Friday morning, she came to work for the sole purpose of getting in contact with me. She was very grateful that I was so patient with her about the whole thing. She told me, for the first time, that they were sure of me as soon as they interviewed me. Wow. That is quite an honor.

Sort of makes me feel better about being square in the middle of the interview, catching something in my peripheral vision, turning to the window and gasping, "Oh, dear heavens! It's snowing!" I mentally slapped myself in the head for that one several times. ADD much?

She is anxious to have me on board, and I am anxious to be on board.

Looking over the schedule she sent me, I was excited to see familiar names. That is the best thing about this job, I think. I know who I'll be working with, because I've worked with them already. I know some of the clients. I am going back to the same place I did my clinicals, and I was so comfortable there. It's a new job, but it feels like a homecoming.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

William Wakes Up

There is a lot to do at Grandma's.

Fish to be fed.

 Icicle lights to be untangled.Who's the idjit who put them away last year?
 As long as I was on the floor with a camera

Nice Weekend

I am grateful for so much. I am grateful that the kids were home for Thanksgiving. Although Brianna and William could not join us for the day, they did come Friday evening, after Brianna got out of work. Dylan and Brittani and Cara and Brianna all ran around the house wearing out little William, bouncing him on the bed, sliding him down the slide. Lots of squealing and happiness. I was grateful for that time.

Tim said it was the best Thanksgiving dinner I ever made. That made me happy too.

Saturday morning, everyone got up and headed back to where they belong. The house seemed empty, but I was grateful to see them go, as strange as that sounds... had begun to snow.

The predictions are always dire, and I hate to see the kids travelling when the roads are bad. They left early and everyone got home safely. The majority of the snow went north of us anyways. I was grateful for that, too.

The first snow is always so pretty.

You cannot help but feel Christmas-sy.

William came this morning, and we have had a fun day. He's followed "Ba-ba" around. He helped me clean the kitchen. He loves washing dishes with me. I turned my back, for just a minute, and he leaned off his chair enough to lose his balance. One arm was in the dishwater up to his elbow. The other was clinging to the chair which had rocked back against the cabinets. I set him upright, laughing at his predicament. He looked at me and grinned and said, "Bubbles!" And his little arms went right back into the dishwater.

He helped me clean the bathroom. I heard a howl and discovered that he'd managed to turn on my electric toothbrush and scared himself silly.

When his ba-ba got home from church, we went to the mall for a while. We got a little bit of Christmas shopping done, but primarily, we were there to wear little William out. 
We did.The End.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Today is a full day.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. Dylan and Brittani are headed home and I have not seen them since last May. We'll be celebrating their engagement. Cara is headed home too. We have not seen her since we went down to assure ourselves that she was okay after her car accident in September.

When they were babies, I could not have conceived of going such a long time without seeing my children, but now they are grown. They have their own lives, their own friends. That's as it should be. I have raised them to be independent.

Today, they will be coming home, and I wander through the house, getting their rooms ready, trying to see the place through their eyes.

I'll fix their favorite dishes. I'll have ham and turkey both.

I'll get wine.

I'll try to make it perfect, because there is just this time, and then they will disappear back into their own lives, and I will become, once again, a peripheral figure.

I never want to miss a chance to incline their hearts homeward, no matter how briefly.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Here's a lovely little story...

The more things change, the more they're different

Remember when you were a little kid and you'd fall down and skin your knee and then your mother would paint it orange with mercurochrome while you caterwauled?

I'm kind of old to be caterwauling, period, and mercurochrome is no longer permitted by the FDA, active ingredient being mercury.  My mom is no longer around to paint my knee orange. There was a key fob with an automatic door lock involved, and we sure didn't have those when I was a kid. Other than that though, it was exactly the same.

Well, except for that fact when a little kid falls off the porch and skins her knee, people rush to pick her up and dust her off and assure her that she's fine. When a full grown adult falls off the porch, the only response you get is snickering from the neighbors across the street standing on their own front porch smoking.

That's another dang thing. When I was a kid, people smoked their cigarettes in the house where you couldn't see the neighbors falling off the porch.

But other than that...


Woo hoo!!!! Finally found my poor dead handset.

Nah. Am not telling you where I found it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Edited for your entertainment

Remember that I took the second shift job back in May to be on the same shift as Tim? We had a couple weeks together, and then he got moved to first shift? So now I'm working first shift? Today he started second shift.

Today was my last day of work at the house where I've been working. I've worked extra hard (9 straight days in a row, getting up at 4:25 every day) so that I could have this week to prepare for the holidays. I know it will be totally worth it. But tonight, I'm tired. I'm going to watch "The Straight Story", and then go to bed early.

And no. I haven't found the stupid phone yet.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I've been busy. I have worked the last nine days straight. Tomorrow is the last day at the house. I'm going to take the rest of the week to prepare for Thanksgiving. I've got such a very lot to be thankful for.

I've been a bit of a ditz. It was a nervous stretch of time between the interview and the hiring. Add that to my work schedule and trying to keep up with the house stuff, I said, I've been a ditz.

In the midst of the busy-ness, I remember seeing the telephone in a very strange place. Very out of place. I remember clearly thinking, "Good grief. Why would that phone be there? I need to put that phone back. It will never be found if I leave it." I was in the middle of something. I don't know. Long story short, I did not put it back and the stinking phone has been missing for several days now. It's the second handset, but it's the only one that the caller ID button still works on, so that's a bit aggravating.

I think they ought invent something that connects the handset to the base. Like a cord, maybe. Sure would make my life easier. I bet I could make a million bucks off an idea like that...

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Great Hunter

Tim is getting his stuff ready to go hunting. He's excited. Every year he hopes to get a bear. Every year I hope he doesn't.

Tim has not gotten a bear before.

We'll see if my luck holds for the 2012 Bear Season.

Late edit: my luck held and no bears were shot. It has been an ongoing argument for almost all the years we have been married.  Bears are opportunistic feeders, and will eat from garbage dumpsters. With my own eyes, I have watched them fish a baby diaper out and devour it like it's gourmet. I don't believe in killing something that you don't mean to eat, and I don't mean to eat bear meat. Tim believes that you can tell a garbage eater from a bear who eats his natural diet.

He's now sprawled on the couch watching Clint Eastwood. The soundtrack to High Plains Drifter grates like fingernails on a chalkboard. *shiver* I don't get why that movie is considered a classic.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ask me about my day...

Today, my cell phone rang.

I jumped a little. My cell phone rarely rings. When I answered it, it was one of the people who had interviewed me. My heart gave a little lurch.

"Hi!" she greeted me, "how's your day going?"

I tried desperately to figure out if this was going to be good news or bad news, and finally gave up. I said, "Well, I suppose it depends entirely what comes out of your mouth next."

Turned out, I am having a great day.

I got the job. I am a COTA.

Monday, November 12, 2012

It's been a great day, but the fish is depressing me.

Well, Ka-bluey II spends a great deal of time on the bottom of his new home. Probably going to die on me, in an effort to show me his appreciation for his new digs. To convince him that life is worthwhile, I did stop to buy some freeze dried blood worms.

Stay tuned, I will update you on further developments as they happen.

Today, at work, I was bustling around, and keeping myself busy. Several people have asked me about the COTA job. I don't know. I plan my schedule week by week, and try to not get my hopes up. Someone did say that I was the only one to apply for it in house. That would be good news there. The longer that I wait to hear, the more certain I am that I didn't get it. I start listing all my shortcomings to myself, and before long, I've justified their decision not to hire me.

I know. I'm a mess.

Anyways, today while I was working, a nurse suddenly stopped and turned to me. Startled, I stopped too. "What house did you come from?" she asked. The fact that I did not work out at my previous placement is pretty common knowledge, and is one of those shortcomings on that list I recite to myself when I start to get discouraged about the COTA job.

"B4," I said. "I came from B4."

She said, "Well, you take it for what it's worth, but they lost out. You are just great."

You know, that was nice to hear, and I told her so.

Later, the manager came to me and gave me enough shifts to finish out the week. Not too long after that, her boss popped in and asked me when I would know about the COTA job. I told her that I was hopeful to know one way or the other by the end of the week. She said, "If you haven't figured it out, we are trying to find a way to keep you here."

You know, today was a pretty affirming sort of day, and every now and again, it's good to have one of those.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tim and Debby experience a social life.

I've been kind of 'on' Tim lately. We don't, as a couple have a lot of time together. He's very much a worker, and so am I, but while I'm very glad that he is what he is, lately, it just bothers me that we have so little time to share, just doing fun stuff together, having a social life, stuff like that.

This weekend, we are going out with friends to a comedy show. I'm looking very forward to it. So is Tim, surprisingly. He's heard the comedian on the radio, short spots, each morning on his drive into work, and he thinks the guy is hilarious. I'm looking forward to a relaxing night, a nice meal, conversation, lots of laughter.

Last night, Tim and I went to Lowe's. Our house is too damp and we know this. There are many reasons for this, but one a biggie is this: We do not yet have central heat, and the wall heaters make too much moisture. The house is also very well built...airtight, really...which traps the moisture inside. We have a dehumidifier for the first and second floors, and we really needed another. Just so happened that we came upon a sale. We snagged that dehumidifier quickly and then wandered over to look at the exhaust fans. Tim wavered. He felt we should hold off on buying a new fan, being that we already had the dehumidifier in the cart.

I studied him. "Tim? Why? We've got the money for both. We both work hard. Why are we still pinching every penny? Both of these things are necessary, and will have to be bought at some point. This weekend, we've got the time to install that fan. So why are we waiting?"

Long pause. He didn't say anything, but he stood there thinking. He finally picked up the exhaust fan and put in in the cart along with the duct work kit to hook it to the outside of the house.

It is an adjustment.

We'd been talking about replacing our bedspread. We bought it the first year the boys were away in college, which makes it ummm...8 years old. (Wow.) In any case, I found this and thought it would match with the walls in the bedroom. When I showed it to Tim, I discovered it was on sale. It also had free shipping. I was a little surprised. "Gees. Should I buy it now, do you think?" and he said, "Yes." So I did.

(Please note: this picture was taken while we were still working on the house.)

I was quite excited about this, and I went back to our bedroom to try to picture it after I placed that order. I got this sinking feeling. Our drapes will not match. Neither will our sheets. When I told this to Tim, he said, "I'm not really worried about that."

Like I said, it is an adjustment, for BOTH of us, really.

Here's my fish, Ka-bluey, II. Ka-bluey I met with a bad end, slipping down the drain, and causing the shriek heard 'round the world, which brought Tim at a run (gratifying to think that if I were being murdered in the bathroom, he'd run, but for his part, he was pretty darn mad to be running when no actual murder was taking place.) But, I digress: William can say 'fish' now. Brace yourself: Gratuitous grandbaby picture to follow.

This is William on his slide, and he can spend a half hour or more, climbing up his slide, chanting "up, up, up," to himself. Then he gets himself seated and tells himself, "Wheeeeeeeeeeee!" as he pushes off. I could watch him forever. And there is nothing more pleasant in this world to listen to a small boy babbling to himself as he wakes up from a good night's sleep. I do enjoy this grandma gig.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Stupid, revisited.

Well, the election hysteria is over. Thank goodness, because it was getting very old. The hype, the political phone calls, studying my husband from an opposite side of the fence. But our president was re-elected. This morning, facebook was crackling with election fallout, and I am relieved to say that it was mostly civil. "I live in a democracy. I will not always get my way" or "It's time to pull together and turn this country around." I loved this picture and posted it.

But then you've got the flip side:

5 hours ago near Thatcher, AZ · ..Im buying more guns now 8 people like this..

 Corrisa: and lots of em too huh!?! 5 hours ago via mobile · Like..

Chip:  YUP 5 hours ago via mobile · Like..

Corrisa: corrisa needs a gun too i think haha 5 hours ago via mobile · Like.. Dale Ruttan Too late, the prices will be unbelievable tomorrow at the open of business. 5 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1 ..

Debby: The same exact same thing was going around the last time he was elected. Nobody stomped on your rights then although everyone was screaming that it would happen. Why don't we ever see anyone coming back and saying, "Hmmm. Gun prices were NOT unbelievable at the open of business. Perhaps I over reacted..."? 53 minutes ago · Like..

Chip: Because its a possibility 43 minutes ago via mobile · Like..

Debby: Okay. So when that possibility does not happen, are you coming back to say, "Hey...maybe I over reacted?" 31 minutes ago · Like..

Chip: No but i was prepared 22 minutes ago via mobile · Like..

Debby: for what? Something that never happened. Thank God~! 20 minutes ago · Like..

Chip: Prepared for somthing that might happen whats wrong with that?

No sense even discussing it. I hope the dummie is prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse and Alien Invasion as well.

You know, the exact same bullshit went around when Obama was elected last time. It didn't come true then. It is not going to come to pass now. People with mindsets like this scare me more than our president.

I am glad that the president won by a healthy margin. My greatest fear was that the vote would be close and I'd have to listen to four more years of complaining that Romney had won the popular vote, but lost the electoral. Obama won, and if we are wise, we will all turn our attention to our country.

Monday, November 5, 2012

What's around that corner???

It is interesting that after interviewing for one COTA job, I discover an ad in the paper looking for COTAs (yes...with an 's' at the end) to fill full and part time positions. I also know where there is a per diem job. (They call you when someone calls off).

After months of nothing, now it seems like things are about to open up a little, and this is a big relief.

But the interview is over, the resumes submitted and now it's time to wait.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Big Stink, part three.

Well, stinky stuff is starting to become a recurrent theme.

His truck (dead mouse). My car (dead broccoli). And then...this KITCHEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you empty your trash can every day? I don't. Not really necessary, generally speaking. Tim and I do not generate a lot of garbage. But today, I realized that my kitchen stank, and that it was the garbage. The lesson for today? When your husband cuts up squirrel in your kitchen, and throws the body parts into the trash, the garbage needs to go out, right away.

Me and my sweetican will be discussing that one right away.

Job interview? It went well, I think. If I am an accurate judge of things. I should know within a week or two. They asked me if I had anything to add before the interview was over, and I said, "Only that I signed on to this facility for this very chance, for this moment, for this interview. I really, really want this job, and I can assure you that if I get it, you will have no reason to be sorry that I was placed in it."

I very often have the tendency not to promote myself as I should. Today, I did it differently.

*nibbles fingernail*

You don't think I went overboard, do you?

In any case, I don't want to get my hopes up, but I am hopeful.

Anyways, here's a happy for you.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

For Sophie

"New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings." Lao Tzu