So very True - Image by Anne Taintor

So very True - Image by Anne Taintor
I would like this on my very own business cards

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Livin' it up

Now that I am aware that my days of leisure are about to come to an abrupt end, I am livin' it up.  Today I am headed to my friend's private lake for a long swim in the 85 degree weather.  Should be super fun.  Tomorrow?  Coffee and a crossword, maybe more swimming....The next day who knows?  Monday, August 2nd?  Work.

Update:  I wrote this yesterday before we went swimming.  Now I am experiencing stinging pain on my right shoulder.  My husband is in pain over 80% of his body. It is the first time in 5 years we have been sun burnt at the same time.  Matter of fact, it is the first time in 5 years that I can recall my husband being burnt.  Must be the meds he is on for his heart and cholesterol....Poor guy took off his shirt so his belly is the worst.  He looks like Mr. Crabs.  I look more like a patchwork quilt of pure whiteness with dots of pink and red.  The older boy has some red spots.  The youngest one, who resembles an albino most of the year, turned a deep brown.  I just don't get it....At least I don't have to work like this, yet.  Well--except for delivering now since one of the drivers abruptly quit without notice.  Just didn't show up.  Which is why our swimming adventure can to a quick end.  Ironically, it was a good thing.  How bad would it have been if I wouldn't have been called in to cover the little turd's shift?!?!  Every summer this happens in the July 20's.  I refer to it as a case of the july's (which may be related to snowboarditis).   I am sure it is related to the weather rather than job conditions.  As the temperature goes up, absenteeism rises.  I guess it was a good thing that I didn't have a job yet....

Friday, July 23, 2010

In Which I Get a Job - for real this time!!!!

After 6 frustrating months--2 weeks left until my unemployment money runs out--I received a decent job offer, which I happily accepted.  The job is not in the planning field.  Not even close.  It is actually one that may bring personal happiness through work.  I am looking forward to that.  It is a social work type job with an assisted living facility.  I like people.  I like problem solving.  This is the best of both. Hopefully it works out well and I won't have to be unemployed like this again.  While I did enjoy not working during the summer months, having plenty of free time, having a clean house and sleeping in each morning; the overall lack of money really sucked.  If I have to work in order to afford the basic necessities then at least I can work with something that provides some enjoyment.  

Granted it doesn't come close to what I have made hourly in the last 10 years either but I can work my way up and the freedom, flexibility and reliability are worth it.  Additionally, my friend (whose job I am filling because she quit to fulfill her dreams--and I wish her luck because that takes balls) says it is a wonderful place to work and she absolutely loved it.  I trust her because she is the most straight forward person I have ever met and if it were a crap-hole full of nasty politics and unhappiness like the last black hole of ectoplasam where we worked together, she would have told me and she would have worded it like a sailor and there would be no mistaking how she felt about it.  It was on her glowing recommendation that I even applied for it.  So props to you, Mare, you rock!  Hope you succeed in the next endeavor because I don't plan on giving you your job back should you want it again :)

What I learned:  I had no luck applying for jobs on craigslist.  Yahoo! Jobs, Monster and CareerBuilder all seem to be shams.  No luck ever--only scam jobs or job listings ripped from other sources.  In the end, good old fashioned job service proved to be one of two viable sources.  The other source was  I found a contract position through it however I don't want to move so that offer wasn't accepted.  

Finding work this late in the game was stressful.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do beyond August.  At least the feds approved the extension of unemployment so technically I could have received another 33 weeks of unemployment but still, it is not enough to live.  I will be happy to no longer qualify for food stamps.  I will be happy to have benefits.  I will be happy to a have job.   Now that I cashed in my retirement, I can go shopping so I can have nice new clothes for my nice new job.  Woot!  Woot!  Now that is also something to be happy about.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Weed n' Feed

Sometimes being unemployed is a good thing.  Maybe not so much being unemployed but at least not being employed as a city planner.  Yes, that is what I meant.  Examples of such epiphanies include newspaper articles regarding zoning issues in the city where I used to work.  For instance, the hot button issue of current times is medical marijuana.  In Montana, it is legal to possess marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.  I will not get into the gist of what is required to obtain said card although I am sure the state legislature will be changing these rules as it seems that anyone can claim the need, with or without a debilitating illness (I know this for a fact as a number of the young men that have worked for my husband have received medical marijuana cards for “chronic pain.”  This “chronic pain” has never interfered with their ability to attend work, go folfing (aka frisbee golf), skiing, snow boarding, boating, partying, 4x4'ing, etc.  The only thing “chronic” about their pain is it is a pain caused by longing for smoking of the chronic.).

One controversial aspect of medical weed happens to be whether it is allowed by zoning.  Is it an agricultural crop?  Is growing it a home occupation?  Should dispensaries (stores where you buy medical marijuana) be allowed in all business zones the same as convenience stores and pharmacies?  Is it really a medical need drug – like Tylenol – or should it still be treated as an illegal substance (which by federal law it is still classified as such) –and if so, can it be sold in a store?  If my neighbor is growing it for others, do I have a right to now?  Should medical marijuana suppliers be allowed in school zones as it is technically not an illegal drug if used correctly with a doctor's endorsement.  The list goes on and on and on.  Not being required to answer those questions or really ponder the answers is another reason I am happy not to be a practicing planner.

Additional reasons for said happiness is that I no longer have to discuss the legal ramifications and “try” to explain all the issues to the general public at large.  Mainly, this is good because I no longer must spend hours speaking to mental midgets (and I am trying not be stereotypical here because I know many people who smoke out and are not mental midgets).  When a high person is in your office and is asking questions and spaces out during the answers and giggles every time you use the word “but” as a conjunction, it makes one's job rather difficult.  Also, I do not enjoy the smell of patchouli.  That is another reason I am glad I am no longer meeting with people about this issue in my office.  I am also not a fan of stinky dreadlocks.  Again, I shall reiterate, that I am not trying to be stereotypical as I know many who smoke and lead productive lives.  The truth of the matter is that every stereotype I mentioned is because I dealt with people like this will working as planner.  I also dealt with the people who wore those silly crocheted hats, the Rasta-kind I guess, you know what I mean, the kind that actually look more like a beret mixed with a hacky sack than a real functioning hat....

Bill O'Reilly was discussing medical marijuana the other day.  CNN brings it up constantly (which leads me to believe that they must have a number of staff members who are using medical marijuana as it seems to be a favorite issue of theirs, that and nasty ol' Lindsey Lohan).  Wal-mart fires workers who test positive even if they have a “medical” need for the card.  The issue is every where.  Well, everywhere except here since I really have no need to care anymore except for the fact that I am thinking about applying for a conditional use permit to operate an agricultural enterprise on my ½ acre to open my own ganja farm.  :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Old MacDonald

Week god knows what of unemployment.  No end in sight. Frustration lurks at times.  Pessimism pops its ugly head then optimism reminds me that I am unemployed in the summer.  I drown my sorrow in sunshine therapy while wearing my favorite sun hat, hair in pig tails and my cut-off dickies overalls (I'm a country bumpkin like that) and start diggin' in the dirt.  I borrowed a rototiller to put in a REAL garden this summer.  Not just the usual plants in pots like at my other house.  Tomatoes galore.  Heirlooms and hybrids.  Hopefully none are those genetically modified zombies.....

Raccoons have taken over my yard.  I am figuring out ways to rid the property of 8, yes 8, annoying raccoons.  While the little ones look cute, they want to eat my children and I don't like that.  My husband said I should sell them (the raccoons, not my children).  I am going to make that my job in the next few days by posting an ad on Craigslist.  There is no season on raccoons in Montana, therefore, I shall post that raccoons are for sale, $50 a pop, u-trap--  then I shall be a game guide and add that to my resume.

Still house-keeping part time.  Getting used to sweating under my boobs and not being able to change my shirt since I am working that hard outside the home.  That is soooooo sick.  Never, ever thought I would have a job that made me sweat under my boobs.  I have to wear a special cleaning bra.  I can't believe that I admitted that.  Will probably erase that part of the post....