Wednesday, January 30, 2013


This morning, I lay in bed thinking a while before I finally got up. I usually do.

It's sort of amazing. After a lifetime of sometimes making myself sick about what others think, I'm just...over it. All that background noise of my life has just simply stopped, and it has left me free to notice other things. It seems miraculous, and I can't explain it any better than that.

Much to my horror, I've been hacked. I discovered it when I came home from work and found a crapload of DAEMON mailer notices. (I'm not very good at keeping up with my sorting through things, I discovered that I have a goodly share of dead people on that list.) In desperation to save you all, I printed out my contact list, and deleted it from my computer so that no matter what, at least you are not getting a flurry of e-mails from me with malicious links in them.

I then checked my virus control which assured me that everything was fine with my computer. I ran a scan anyway, and before I headed for bed, it was discovering some malware. Hopefully the problem is solved. I figure to go back in and enter my own e-mail in my contact list and see if these e-mails are still coming. If not, I'll re-enter my contact list. Leaving off the dead folks, of course.

I'm not sure where this came from. I know that I received a suspicious e-mail from my sister in law. There was no message...just a link. I didn't click on it. I received another e-mail of the same sort from a sister that I haven't heard from in a couple of years. I didn't click on that link either. Unfortunately, Tim was intrigued, and did. That may have been it. It also strikes me a suspicious that I had just opened a Google account for my tablet, and linked both the yahoo and google account. Google has had some issues.

Anyhoozle, if you receive an e-mail that purports to be from me, and it contains a link along w/ "I could hardly believe it!" or "I LOLed," do NOT click on the link, for the love of Dell. I apologize to anyone who may have been infected.

The 4:30 alarm comes pretty early, and I'm not a person to spring out of bed. I generally lay there for 15 minutes, pondering things. This morning was no different, except that after my pondering, I sat up and realized it was 2 AM. I tried to go back to sleep and could not, so my day started a little earlier than usual.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Day three: I worked out. Today I added weights. I do chest, back, quads, hamstrings, calves, biceps, triceps and abdominals. I also did a cardio workout because I enjoy them, even though I've been told that I should not be doing a cardio workout each day (fitness gurus out there: tell me why?)  I don't think that I will enjoy weights, but they are a necessary evil.

It's still cold and snowing here. It's been a rough week here, weatherwise, but not so rough as Australia's Tropical Storm Oswald. Jeanie's town was hit by tornadoes and they are without power. BB's neck of the woods is once again dealing with flooding. Be safe, Oz peoples.

Tomorrow afternoon, we will head to Erie to visit my cousin who has miraculously begun to come around after being in a medically induced coma and ICU since like December 16th. After the first of the year, he began to show signs of improvement, and now he is in a rehab. Calls for one wang-doodle of a family celebration, don't you think?

Saturday is housework day at chez Debby and Tim, so let me get back to it.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Physically fat

So, after a nice day at work, I headed home. The weather was horrible as it has been for the last 4 days, and I picked my way along very carefully.

I got to my gym and went inside. They tell you that 'it's not recommended that you do a cardio workout 2 days in a row', so my intention was to use the room w/ the video set up. You select your workout, and you follow it. My understanding was that it was a private room.  I had seen a core workout, and I figured that it was as good a place to start as any. So I was working out in my black yoga pants, and my stretchy tee that seemed long enough until I started bringing my knee up to my elbow, etc.

Halfway through my program, The door opened, and a very lithe woman comes in, sets up about 10 feet from me, and begins doing her own little work out.

Here's the dealio. She's working out and making it look like no sweat. No pun intended.

Meanwhile, I was lying down and jumping up, and doing modified situps, all this other stuff. My shirt was riding up, and when I lifted my legs, my pants legs slid up, and I couldn't remember if my legs had been shaved recently. I knew that my face was beet red. I knew that I was sweaty. I knew that I was expending a lot of energy not grunting like a tennis player. I got so self conscious that I didn't even finish my workout, even though it was winding down to the home stretch.

I went out to the treadmill, and climbed on. I did a brisk walk.

I like the exercise. Mostly what I like is knowing that just a few months ago, I could not have done some of this stuff. Now I can. Surely that's a positive sign.

Tomorrow morning, I meet with the weight trainer, and a weight program will be set up for me that I can alternate w/ my cardio workout, and I figure that I'll sneak in and do that core workout as often as I can, either before or after my other workouts.

Everywhere I look, I see all these physically fit people that remind me just how far I have to go. I am hopeful that I'll encounter some friendly fat folks just embarking on this journey. It would sure make life easier.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Well, today was a day of discoveries, alright.

Remember the pants I lost? Well, I found 'em finally. I must have changed clothes and laid them on the bed, because I found those pants and a sweater that I didn't notice was gone between the mattress and the footboard. Yay.

I worked out today. I was trudging along at a 3 mph pace on the treadmill, and some very physically fit man was running next to me. I mean, he was FLYING. He'd run like none other, and then he'd slow down. Next thing you know he's running again, feet pounding at an incredible rate. Then he'd slow down. I looked over at him, and and wanted to kick him in his ridiculously low BMI butt, but decided that it was nothing more than jealousy on my part.

Tomorrow, after work, I will work out again.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Another Change

Today, I took a deep breath and I walked into a fitness center. I walked out with a year's commitment, and a badge that will let me into the facility all hours of the day...or night. I have a trainer.

I went to school with the woman behind the desk. She assured me that "The hardest part is walking through the door for the first time." I looked at her, and thought, "Well, good then. It is all downhill from here."

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Useful things that I have learned this past week.

Tablets are flipping frustrating to type on. Inadvertent finger twitches cause the thing to go crazy. I never realized that I had inadvertent finger twitches before.

Cara thinks that  "Soft Kitty" song is a cure all for all frustrations, but I find that it's got its limitations. Fer instance, when one has discovered that she has inadvertent finger twitches. Then the song is just irritating. So stop singing it at me, Cara. Now.

There are worse things than a washer that is noisy when it spins. That would be a washer that is quiet because it no longer spins. But I have a new washer coming tomorrow. I haven't met it. Tim picked it out.

Bob commented that I've come a long way. You know, I think I have. There is a certainty that no matter what happens during the course of a day, at the end of that day, I will still be standing. I will go in, and I will try my best, and my best might not always be enough, but I will learn from the experience. Just like everyone else in this world.

Today is Cara's 23rd birthday, and she is home for the weekend. These days are rare and I do not take them for granted.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Yesterday, I feel like the work situation has taken a big step towards resolution. That is a huge relief from my shoulders. I really love my job, and I am lucky enough to be in a field where I see God moments on a daily basis. I have had my successes. One of my clients reached up of his own volition and gave me a hug. He almost broke my neck, but the fact is that he has an aversion to touch, and it has been a huge impedance to his treatment. So yeah. Today was quite a big deal. And there are other successes too, those moments when it 'works' and I see that I have chosen the right thing, that I have found the way to tap into that client's inner workings effectively. I am beginning to see that for all my nervousness, that I am going to be good at what I do.

I am so very lucky. I can scarcely believe it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Notes from a Trip

Once upon a time, there was a little girl. One who liked the sound of the trains late at night, the far off whistle of that train as she was all snuggled up in her little red and white bed with the red silhouettes of animals marching across the footboard.

In the day time, when there was a train crossing, she would count the cars. In those days, before seatbelts, before car seats, she would stand on the hump in the middle of the car, and lean over the front seat. She liked that almost as much as hearing the trains in the dark. 

I've been doing a lot of rushing between sites, rushing to make meetings, and appointments, working late, doing things that I have never done before, worrying about whether I am doing them right. I am a bit of a perfectionist, and last week was humbling. I learned a lot though.

Last night, leaving one job site to make the hour long drive for 2 1/2 more hours of training after a full days' work, I was harried and hungry. I couldn't be late. Had to eat. Wouldn't you know? There was a train crossing. The lights started flashing. The gate started dropping. I grumbled.
 And the train whistled...there were three engines. I thought, initially, "Aw, ceeerrrr-rap...this is going to be a long train." And there were more regrettable thoughts but it amused me to discover that I automatically began to count the cars (1, 2, 3...) and the thought made me remember being a child. I counted on, (22, 23, 24...) hearing the rhythmic clacking as the freight cars went by (39, 40, 41...), feeling that rocking too (54, 55, 56...)
It also tickled me a little to think (68, 69...) that these train tracks were within three miles of where I'd been that little child, and that maybe the train whistle I heard at night all those years ago was echoing from this very crossing (80, 81, 82...) I found myself getting day dreamy and relaxed. (98, 99, 100...)

There were 114 cars on that train, and when the train clear, that little girl from all those years ago continued her drive.

She was eating a tuna fish sandwich much like the ones a mother would pack in a school lunch, before the days of Lunchables and the like. There would be a piece of fruit, and a cookie. No drink. They sold milk at school. Milk for two cents, a whole pint of it, white only, no chocolate, in a glass bottle with just a paper tab that pulled out, long before the days of tamperproof packaging. Sometimes you'd drop your bottle on the way to the rack where the bottles were returned. The cafeteria would get quiet and everyone would look, and you wished that you could hide...

And when that little girl got to her meeting, she was relaxed and quiet inside, and she was not late. She took a moment to come back to the present, and went to work once again.

Friday, January 11, 2013


I've always been sort of self effacing. I feel like a dumb person quite frequently, and I embarrass myself on a regular basis. I never miss an opportunity to point out my own shortcomings.

The new job has been a challenge, mostly because I work in 4 different sites, and I'm struggling to keep it all straight in my head, to be where I am supposed to be, do what I am supposed to do.

One site is difficult. They have not taken to the changes from corporate very well. They are angry. Moreover they are immature. Lots of vulgarity and swearing, and angry rhetoric. Petty. I tried to explain to my supervisor the difficulty that I was having. I was planning to have a sit down with my site manager there, and wanted to apprise her of this so that she knew what was in the works.  I gave her an example that to me summed up the pettiness. She was quite upset and called the director of the facility. Long story short, lots of pissed people. It doesn't matter, not really, because they were pissed long before I got there. They've just got a different target now. Me.

In the middle of this chaos, I made another mistake. I changed an appointment. Working at the corporate level, I use a different e-mail system now. Except that I needed to contact that supervisor on another e-mail system. After several months of not using that, I made a very foolish mistake. The first block of that system asked for the sender. I entered her e-mail there instead of my own. The e-mail did not send. I did not realize it.

That supervisor is angry. Rightfully so. She waited for me to show up, and I did not. I had a training. I realized my mistake when I sent a second e-mail to apologize, and to tell her that I'd sent an e-mail and it did not send for what ever reason. That e-mail did not send either. I asked for help, discovered my mistake, and sent out yet another apology. Her e-mail was angry, and pointed out that I was unprofessional and an embarrassment to say the least.

I studied her words. I had it coming, and I replied to it saying, "It was. You are right. The mistake was not intentional, and once again, I am sorry for the inconvenience." She's a tough person, but fair. I have no doubt that once I work with her, we'll get on just fine, but she has every right to be angry. It was a stupid mistake.

My supervisor at the angry site had said, "You need to stop being so thin skinned." I am overly sensitive to criticism. I know this. Listening to non-stop complaining about losing a long term employee has made me feel awkward and unwelcome. That's not my imagination. It bothers me.

Now I made a mistake which made another supervisor angry.

I was very discouraged last night, but I decided this: As a new person, I am being watched. I am being criticised. Sometimes I deserve it. Sometimes I don't. But with all the criticism flying around, the one thing that will never happen again is that they will not hear me criticise myself. They will just have to find their own ammunition, because I am no longer providing it for them.

Today, I went to work and it was different. I bit my tongue when I felt stupid.  I said nothing. I found that I was biting my tongue a lot. Surprised me.

At the end of the day, my coworker said, "You seem different today..."

I smiled. "Really?" I said. And that was all I said.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Different, take III

I've been stressing about work a lot, but I made a promise to myself Monday morning: "Self," I said, "it's going to be a rough week, but you will get to Friday and you will still be standing."

Today, I made up my mind not to leave work until I got my five reports written. I had the talk with my supervisor. I feel like we're on the same page at least.

Then I knocked out those reports.

Feel like a ton has been lifted from my shoulders.

And that, my friends, is VERY different.

Different on the Inside.

It's one thing to be different on the outside, but it is another thing altogether to be different on the inside.

My company is in the midst of change. This change does not affect me, a newcomer, as much as it affects those who have been there a long time. I came in with the changes in effect. I am doing it 'the new way', because it is the only way that I know. Those who have done things 'the old way' are a bit more resentful at the forced change.

I have a negative worksite. Just one. I fit in well everywhere else. It's obvious that I am new, but I work hard, listen hard, and try my very very best.

But there is that one worksite. I have tried to be mindful of their feelings, but it's been difficult and uncomfortable. I am replacing someone who left after 10 years in the position, and I am viewed as the one who 'took her job'. Each time that I ask a question, I see their frustration at training the new girl, when they had someone who knew her job without asking questions.

I have resorted to trying to ask as few questions as possible. It is not working. I need more input. I need some training. I have reacted as I always react in these situations. I have found myself feeling pressured and harried, and when I am harried, I do stupid things...I forget my cell phone, or leave papers lying about or try to hurry and appear stupider than I am.

Today, I decided, after another sleepless night, to do it differently. Today, I will speak to my supervisor directly. I will ask her why she thinks that I am struggling here. I will wait to for her answers. Once I know how she feels, I will tell her how I feel. I will assure her that I want very much to be a functional member of this team. Then I will ask her how we can make that happen.

Today, I will be different on the inside. I will not suffer silently, agonizing, berating myself for being stupid. Today I will approach the job as a professional.

Friday, January 4, 2013


It struck me as ironic. So much in my life has changed in the last five years. So much. Yet for all the changes, at heart, sometimes, I find myself clinging something, some little crazy thing, refusing to let go, refusing to give it up, afraid of the change.

Hard to explain, but I have an example. My hair. 

I don't have great hair. I never did, not really, but it used to be long, really long. Then I spent a summer trekking around in the swamps without a hat, and sunburned my hair. I had to get quite a bit cut off.

Oh, the trauma.

And then came cancer and my longish hair became no hair at all.

Oh, the trauma.

I'm going into my fifth year cancer free, and my hair's been growing back, and I've been fretting about it, and working with it, and using all manner of hair glop and supplements. I wanted my long hair back. In my mind, it became equated with health, with a return to life before cancer. I don't know. But I really wanted that long hair.

I work in offices now. I've been carefully spiffing my wardrobe up, one piece at a time. I've been watching how other women dress, and how they carry themselves. I've come to the conclusion that I will never be like them. I'll never have the confidence that they do. I don't think you can just pick that up at 55, but this job is teaching me a lot.

This morning, I studied my reflection in the mirror as I fussed with my hair. My hair has a strange trick. It goes from okay to 'meh' to gees, I should have gotten my hair cut a week ago, all in the span of 24 hours, seems like. So I made up my mind to stop and get my hair trimmed on the way home from work.

On that drive home, it struck me: I'm ready for a change. I want that change. I want to be different.

While I waited for my stylist, I picked up a book. I picked out a hair cut. I pondered my own hair. I thought it might work. When I showed it to my stylist, she studied my hair. She told me that it would be shorter. I told her I didn't want to grow it out anymore. I got my hair cut. I made the decision, and I didn't waffle about it, and I got it cut.

Furthermore, when I walked out, I bought a can of hair product that I'd been eyeing months now, wondering what it would do for me. Not quite finished, I went to the makeup aisle. I needed makeup, and I really liked the minerals I had bought a couple months ago, and then used up, and couldn't bring myself to spend the money at Christmas time to replace them. Today I spent it.

I stepped out into the cold wind, and walked to the car with my two little bags.

Generally speaking there would be this niggling feeling of shame at spending that kind of money on myself.

Today, there wasn't. Today, I felt like I deserved it.

When I told Tim that I'd spent $60 on myself, I did not feel the need to apologize. Tim did not act as if he was waiting for an apology.

Today, I was different.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Pamela Patchett, I think I have your kid.

This morning, I was putzing in the kitchen when I heard a scream from upstairs.

"What happened?" I called out.

*no response*

"Cara?!!!" I began to head towards the stairs.

There was another scream, longer and even more piercing. I raced up the stairs, and threw open the door. Cara stood in the hall, doing a crazy hopping up and down thing but appeared to be unbloodied.
She grabbed me and pushed me in the room, shrieking, "Get in there! Get it! It's on my pillow! It's huge!"

And there it was. On her pillow was a spider. It was large, but it was substantially smaller than I had been led to believe. It was not as long as her arm.

She stood in the middle of floor screaming her head off as I went to the bathroom to grab a piece of tissue. "If this gets away, so. help. me! ...hurry! HURRY!!!!" I returned to the room, and plucked the spider from her pillow, and headed back to the bathroom as she helpfully continued to shriek. "Don't drop it! Don't lose it!" I opened the toilet, dropped the tissue in and flushed.

When I re-entered the hallway, she was standing at the door of her bedroom. "Did you flush it?"

"Yes," I said.

"Did you REALLY?"

And I said, "Yes, Cara."

She looked at her bed. "The pillow has to go. It's unfortunate, because it was a good pillow, but it's out of here. It's collateral damage."

I looked at her. "The pillow is fine."

"I can't sleep on the pillow."

"You'll be fine. Really."

I headed back downstairs. By the time that Tim got in, the thing had grown considerably, and made hissing noises as it reared up at her.

Pamela? Come and get your kid.