Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I had to work this morning so we had our Christmas last night. Santa managed to get in and out while Lisa and the kids were out visiting and I was at work. There was the usual frenzy of ripping paper and tearing off of bows. I thought Santa was pretty good to us all. I was a bit disappointed that Jared was so negative about most everything he got. Jamie seemed pleased. The kids went with their Dad this morning.

Our best gift will be getting into the Townhouse. There has been a bit of a glitch with that. $3,500 of our funding fell through so we will have to scrape to make that up but I think we can do it. I can sign up for overtime now and the only limits are no more than 96 hours a month and no 16 hour shifts back to back. I got one 16 hour shift for next month and on Monday I will sign up for all that are available to me. I could work days off but I prefer to work 16 hours a couple of days a week rather than give up a day off. We will make it happen.

We have had a very good year. Some of the things I am thankful for - The opportunity we have to build a life together, that we have been able to meet our financial obligations, the wonderful town we live in. I am thankful for a healthy mind and body, for a family who loves me, absolutely awesome friends, my many animals that allow me to love them and make me smile every day.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How bizarre, how bizarre

We got an email from our broker today saying there were 2 bids put on the townhouse that were substantially higher than ours, both over listing price which was $155,000.00. As we were sitting on the couch feeling sad and looking at different real estate sites to see if anything new had been listed the phone rang and it was the listing agent for the townhouse we had bid on before this one. It's in the same complex and, basically, the same townhouse. The main difference being this one was offered by HUD. She said if we were still interested they would accept our bid of $120,000.00 for the townhouse as the other bid had fallen through. SO - we are going on over to Simi Valley tomorrow to sign the offer and take a check for $2,000.00 to get the process going. This unit has all appliances except for a refrigerator (which we have), the other one only had a microwave. Our payments are projected to be about $400.00 less than what we are paying for rent now. There is one drawback to this townhouse - it has no yard at all, only a patio. Murphy and Cujo aren't going to like that and I am not too fond of it. Hopefully house prices will go up a bit by the time Lisa gets out of school and we will be able to sell it for a profit and by a regular house with a yard. On the bright side, we will be putting money into something we actually own and will also have quite a bit more living space. Life really has been good to us.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Early Mornings

I really enjoy the early morning hours, once I get up and get going that is. On the days I have to work I get up at 5:00 so I can either walk or Nordic Track before going to work. I like to sit in the backyard for a few minutes after I am done - look at the stars in the sky and kind of touch base with God before I start my day. If Murphy has come out with me I will hold him in my lap and give him kitty loves for a bit. I love the peace and quiet of that time of day.

Since we put the Christmas tree up last week I have started turning the tree lights on when I get up in the morning even though there is no one to enjoy them but me. Murphy seems to like to lay under the tree. This morning I snapped this picture of him just before I walked out the door.

I am on my own at work from now on. My trainer is on vacation for 2 weeks and I was scheduled to go on my own on January 3 so they just had me cover her spot for her vacation. I found out last week I will be working the 4:00PM to Midnight shift instead of the 11 PM - 7:00 AM shift. I feel very fortunate to be able to land the earlier shift. I was hired for the later shift and planned on working that for at least a couple of years until a spot on a different shift opened up. I know the later shift would be a slower time to work but I really, really, really hate being awake all night and trying to sleep in the day. We have had some really busy days this week. It seems like we have had an extra dose of suicide calls, I guess this is a hard time of year for some people. I've had a few unusual calls too - like the guy who called to say someone had stolen his identity and now they were trying to steal his life and his soul. He thought they were at his apartment and he was going to go back there and kill them. He called back later and told me they weren't there when he got home. I tried to get him to let me have someone come talk to him but he hung up on me - those are the kinds of calls I remember, the ones who need help that we are unable to reach.

We are putting a bid in in a Townhouse, not sure if we will get it or not but if anyone out there has an extra prayer to spare pray that our offer will be accepted.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A New Doctor

I think I probably am the invisible part of our blog. I would rather sit and talk about things, then write them out. But, for the first time, in a long time, I want to write. . .

I had been under the care of the county mental program for the past year or two. Since J has gotten her new job we have been fortunate enough to have "real" health insurance. So...that is where this post comes from.

While trying to "work" with my county pdoc, I was put on a medication that seemed to work okay, but I got tired of what it was doing to me and eventually weened myself off. I had gone to him on my visits and tried to tell him what it was doing to me, but he wasn't interested in talking about it. Over the time of being with the county I had tried various meds along with this one particular one I have recently come off of. None of them seemed to work. Even though I was diligent in trying them out. I must add in here also, that during all of this I was in therapy, which helped me to deal with life.

So....for the past month of so I found myself on no meds....starting to have a clear appetite calming more tired feeling.....and....paranoid thoughts coming back....insomnia...irritibility, bordering on extreme anger....but, my mind was not tired. I hate being tired. I have been alittle scared to not be on meds, but at the same time I am loving it.
Last week, I found a list of docs on our health plan and randomly picked one--she, of course, was not taking new patients, so I got stuck with another doc in the same office. This whole week I didn't want to go and see him. I thought, "I can do this on my own", "look at me, I am okay right now". I almost cancelled the appt twice. But, Friday came and J and I drove out to see him. He met with us separately. And then together. When I met with him he wanted to know about my childhood, my dreams, basically, my life. He wanted to know about the illness--the feelings, etc. While I talked with him he just wrote things out and really listened to me. He didn't want to know what the other doctors had said--he was making his own assessments.

The prescription pad. . .
The first one he wrote out for me, said this:
"I'm a good person
I'm training my mind to select my thoughts in a
healthy way, so as to be the source of my own
tranquility and self-esteem.
I am pleased with me for this wise choice
of thought"

He said to practice this exercise 60 times a day.

Now, mind you, I have never had a doctor help treat me with this type of exercise. After he wrote that he wrote another for some sleeping meds--so I could start on that part of the illness.
He believes thought process and chemical imbalance contribute--so we are going to work on both. When J came back in the room, I remember the doc saying, "we are a team". Just typing that sentence makes me want to cry because I am grateful I did not cancel my appt. I am grateful I have a partner who is willing to be a part of this team to help maintain this illness. I believe I have, once again, been blessed in finding this doctor--who is listening and willing to help.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Meeting

I had my meeting with the Bishop last night. He told me he had asked to meet with my because of my relationship with Lisa. He asked me the nature of our relationship and I told him I considered Lisa my spouse. He asked if we had a domestic partnership and I told him yes we did. He asked if any discplinary action had been taken against me by the church previously, I told him no. He said he would have to begin proceedings to do that and I told him I understood and had no problem with him doing that. I told him I understood I wasn't required to attend any council or proceedings that were held and that I probably wouldn't. As we talked more he told me who the council would consist of and that the purpose of it was to set goals and outline a program of repentance. I told him I had no plans to make any changes. I told him I was more at peace now than I had been in the last 15 years, he said that was good but implied that the relationship wasn't. I told him he could think what he would but that I had been blessed more in the last 18 months than I ever had been before. I told him we survived 8 months with neither of us working and there is no way we should have. I told him the fact that I was even able to have a conversation with him was a blessing because a year ago my voice was such that I could hardly talk. I told him he could attribute the blessings to whatever he wanted but I chose to attribute them to the Lord working in my life. He didn't have much to say about that. He told me would still be welcome in church and hoped we would continue to come. He said on Sundays he sats up on the stand and watches us with the kids and is amazed that we are there, that we are smiling and happy and enjoy being there, and that was good because that is where we should be. I guess in some ways that confuses me because in one breath he is telling me the relationship can't be good and in the next he is telling me he can tell we are happy, but I just let that slide.

Anyway, he is going to get with the Stake President and start proceedings. We agreed there would be no reason I should have to be there. He made it clear that he didn't know what action would be taken but the most severe would be excommunication.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Meeting With the Bishop

When Lisa went to pick Jared up from Cub Scouts this week the Bishop was there and invited her into his office for a chat. It seems like our run of annonymity has expired. I should be getting a call from his executive secretary sometime soon to set up an appointment for me to meet with him. The long and short of his conversation with Lisa was that she could either resign her membership or be excommunicated. I imagine I will be given the same choice.

Not too awfully long ago the thoughts of a meeting like this would have filled me with fear and uncertainty. It no longer does. I am willing to go meet with the Bishop, listen to what he has to say and answer questions he may have. What I am not willing to do is resign my church membership. I feel like if I do that I would be saying I know longer want to be a part of the organization when in reality it is the other way around. I also don't intend on going to any church council or court they may have. I feel no bitterness and understand he has to do what he feels is best. I guess I have been preparing myself for this moment for the last year. No matter what they choose to do in regards to my membership I know who I am and the Lord knows who I am. That is good enough for me. I know it will break my parents hearts and that is really my only regret.

The people in this ward have treated us very well. I don't know how many of them are aware of the nature of our relationship but I know a few are. It isn't something we really advertise but, if asked, it is also not something we deny. I don't plan on altering my pattern of church attendance. I will be working Sunday days for at least the next 4 months so attending will be out for that long.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Job

I didn't realize I haven't posted since I learned I had a job. I started on September 28. The job is much the same, but at the same time quite different, from what I did in Page. I think the basics of call taking are the same no matter where you go. There is certain information that you have to get. That is a huge part of the job. I started taking calls my third day on the desk and by the end of last week I was doing the majority of it on my own. I think I will like the job OK.

This week I started a three week training course that is mandated by the state for all dispatchers. The worst thing about it is that it is Whittier and it is a 75 mile drive one way. We decided we could afford for me to stay there one night a week so I stay on Wednesdays. It is like most training, some very interesting and some quite boring. Tuesday and today the class was on critical incidents. I think I listened with different ears than I used to, realizing that many of the things discussed (earthquakes, wildfires, mass transit accidents) could very well happen on my shift. In Page there wasn't much chance of that. Today we talked about things like suicidal callers. It was kind of a hard class for me because it brought to mind calls I have handled that I would rather forget. I have a ton of memorizing to do. I have over 200 codes and several pages of abbreviations I will be tested on next week.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nature fascinates me

I love nature. It constantly amazes me. I love to watch a spider build a web and wait for it's prey. I have several hummingbirds in my yard that are constantly flitting about, chasing each other from place to place. When I go to the beach I like to watch for little creatures as I walk in the surf. When I see the squirrel across the street carefully making his way across the powerline I wish he would come down and visit for a minute, let me touch him. It has been a new experience for me to watch the metamorphosis of our avocado tree. When we moved here in January it has fruit on it ready to pick. Towards spring time the leaves started to drop but it was different from what I am used to seeing. I never seen the leaves turn color, I just saw them on the ground and they were already brown. As far as I could tell the tree was always in full leaf. Next a whole much of little antenna like things started to grow, then they blossomed out. The next thing I was was teeny tiny avocados. Now they are almost full size. The tenacity of grass amazes me. It can look totally dead but give it a bit of water and it turns green again.

It is beautiful outside this morning and my heart and soul longs to take a walk in the desert, among the red rock and blue waters of Lake Powell. I want to stand high above the lake and watch the boats go by, sit and watch the crows soar and play on the breeze, feel the comfort and peace that is there for my heart and soul.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I got a call from the LA County Dr. on Friday, Sept 11. He wanted to ask me questions about the spasmodic dysphonia. I don't think he was familiar with the disorder or the treatment. He asked questions about botox dosage, how the shots affected my voice, what some of the medical notes meant. I answered all his questions and he said he would have to think about clearing me for the job. in about 5-10 mintues he called back with more questions. He asked me if I was aware of what the job entailed. I told him I had been a police, fire, 911, EMS dispatcher for 5 years in Arizona, that I had handled building fires, suicides and shootings. He still seemed unconvinced. I asked him if he had been able to clearly understand me during our phone conversations. He made the comment that he had had to ask me to repeat a couple of times. I told him that was OK because I had also had to ask him to repeat himself a few times, he was asian and had quite an accent. I told him if he was looking for someone with a pretty voice that was something I would never have. I asked him to please not reject me because of this because I knew I could do the job, I have done the job for 5 years and I am a darned good dispatcher. He said he would have to think about it and call me back. In about 5 minutes he called back and said he would clear me for the job. I was so relieved I was almost ill. I have been quite nervous. It seems like I have been fighting so long to get someone to let me dispatch that now it is almost here fear I oversold myself. Even though my voice is really doing quite well I think I will always be leary in any situation where I have to talk alot for prolonged periods of time. I hope I can get some speech therapy once I get some insurance.

I texted a bunch of people and told them the news and talked to Mom and Dad and Bill. I talked to Charlene that night. It was good to talk with her for a bit but she seemed either tired or distracted. I asked her how she thought my voice was doing and she said it was great. Then she said "It really frosts my butt that you can dispatch for LA County but you couldn't for Page PD." I miss her a lot.

Mom called me just a couple of days before I got the above mentioned phone call and wanted to know how I was doing. It was good to talk to her. Dad and Bill were out fishing so it was just me and her on the phone. It was nice to have her be able to hear and understand me and she didn't even have her hearing aids in. She told me to always remember they love me no matter what.

The weather has cooled off a bit the last couple of days - there is just a touch of fall in the air. I like it, now I just wish it would rain.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I am so frustrated with LA County - I don't know if I want to scream or cry. About a week and a half ago I got a letter from the requesting all the medical records relating to treatment for spasmodic dysphonia. I had a whole packet of papers Dr. Bansberg had given me when I had my injection in December so I faxed them all over. There had to be over 20 pages. Just today I get another letter asking for any notes from treatment from Sept. 10, 2008 until present. I had the injection in December and one more in March of this year. The records would read the same as most of the 20 pages I faxed in before. I called the phone number and, or course, got voice mail so I told the lady about the 2 treatments and that the records would read the same as all the previous ones and asked her to give me a call. I have no faith in her actually doing that as when I faxed in the other records I had asked her to call me if she needed anymore information, which she didn't do. Instead she sent me another letter which took another 6 days. I called Dr. Bansbergs office and asked them if they would fax the records over and sent them a fax with the information. I hope they follow through.

The foremost thought in my mind right now is that if I had never disclosed this on my medical app then I would more than likely be working now. I almost didn't disclose it, not intentionally, but just because I didn't think about it. If the lady at the desk hadn't give me my app back to fill in a couple of missing boxes it wouldn't have been on there. I debated about whether to put it on or not and decided it was best to be honest. Guess maybe my judgement was off there.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I was chatting with my oldest friend a couple of nights ago - I have known her since I was 15. In fact I met her 37 years ago this month. She has been a very good friend to me, always willing to lend an ear when I needed one, never hesitated to kick my butt if she thought I needed it. Someone had told her husband of my sexual orientation and he came home irate to think she had been friends with me all these years. I guess I was a little stunned at his reaction. I have been to their home many times and while he and I weren't really friends we did chat a bit if he was around while I was there. It hurts my heart to think our friendship made their home uncomfortable, if only for awhile. I wonder if I will ever get used to that kind of anger over me and my choices. It reminded me of when another friends husband decided I was hitting on his wife when we were nothing but good friends. It changed that friendship forever and I suppose this will too. I can't imagine being comfortable going to her home to see her when I am over that way knowing it will more than likely cause her grief. For most of our friendship neither of us knew of my sexual orientation. When I realized it she was one of the first people I talked to because I trusted her and I knew she really cared about me. When we rarely even touch each other and it is even more rare for us to hug hello or good-bye. It's always been that way. I don't understand things like this but I guess I need to start thinking they will be the rule rather than the exception.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I think my medical exam went fine. The Dr. seemed more concerned about my decades old knee injury than he did my voice disorder. I had to do several things to demonstrate me knee was OK but he only asked if I thought the voice disorder would interefere with my ability to do the job. I hope to hear something from someone in the next couple of weeks.

Yesterday I drove into Glendale to attend a SD support meeting. Lisa took time away from her school work to go with me. I know she really couldn't afford to do that be was awful thankful she did. It was kind of nice to walk into a place and not be afraid to speak. They were all impressed that I was going for a dispatch job. Made me a bit concerned about my ability to do it for some reason. All I know is I want to give it a try and if I don't make it then at least I will know and I will find something else to do.

I sometimes wonder if my last thyroplasty II surgery isn't beginning to kick in. It seems awfully strange to me that it would this long after the surgery - over 18 months. I normally have to get a botox shot about every 4 months. It has been 5 months now and I still have a fairly smooth voice most of the time. I don't have any volume and both of those things lead me to believe it is the implant. I remember when I came out of surgery Dr. Bansberg expected me to have a breathy voice and that is kinda what I have now. Maybe it will get stronger with time. Trying to figure all this stuff out makes me quite tired sometimes.

I have also wondered if interacting with people doesn't wear me out. That seems kind of a silly thing if it is true. I have noticed a couple of times before and then yesterday I was ready to go to bed by 8:00 and the only thing I did that was really different was go to the support group meeting. Maybe I have just lived inside my own head for too long.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tomorrow is my medical exam. I am a little nervous about it. I have been having some really rough voice days. If I had known this background process was going to take so long I would have waited a couple of months to get my botox injection. I can't afford to get another one now, I had no insurance for the last one and will be quite awhile paying it off. When we were home for July 24th weekend I felt so hopeful because I thought my voice was doing really well but I have really struggled since I have come back. If I can just get the job and have a chance to show them I can be really good in the job I hope they will work with me. When I get insurance I can go get a botox injection to hold me for a few months.

I have emailed with a couple of people who have had the SLAD-R surgery for spasmodic dysphonia and have been very pleased with the result. They go in and sever the nerve to the vocal cords that is carrying the message to spasm and route a healthy nerve to them. The success rate is 85 - 90%. I wish so badly I had had it done a year ago even though my insurance wouldn't have covered much of it.

I have felt all along like this whole process of moving here, from us finding the house to me getting the job offer to how we have, amazingly, made it financially has just gone like it should - everything has just fallen into place. I am trying to hold onto that knowledge and feeling but I am having a bit of a hard time finding it right now.

I guess what will be will be and I will roll with the punches and work with the hand that is dealt to me. I think I am just really ready to have a winning hand where my voice is concerned.
I wonder if I could really talk if I would babble incessantly like this guy I saw at the water park today.

Monday, July 27, 2009

It's hard to believe July is almost over. Seems like time goes by way fast anymore.

We have had a pretty enjoyable summer. Lots of trips to the beach. We usually take a foil dinner with us and cook it on the grill before we come home. We have a small portable grill that is just right for 4 foil dinners. We took the kids to Hatch for the July 4 weekend. They didn't want to go very badly but had a good time once we got there. Cameron and Jaden were there and they all played all day every day. We went on lots of walks, spent time playing at the park. We went up one day and looked for fossil snails and took a lunch with us. We went fishing one night and cooked hot dogs. Both of the kids caught a fish. I decided it was a waste to buy a license for me and Lisa since neither of us got to fish. Everyone was really good to us. We did all of the activities on July 4, breakfast in the park, kids races and games, potluck dinner that night and then fireworks. The one mistake we made was to come back on July 5. The traffic out of Vegas was horrible. It took us about 3 hours longer to get home than it should have.

Lisa and I went back this last weekend for the July 24 celebration. I enjoyed it immensely. We teamed up for the horse shoe tournament. We did pretty good before we got beat out. I just enjoy being with my family and it was nice for me to be there with just Lisa.

In June we went to Las Vegas to my nephews wedding. All of my brothers and sisters were there except for Lewis and he couldn't get off of work. It was nice to see Laraine, I don't get to see her often enough. We took Jamie and Jared with us. I think it is the first time either of them have been out of the state and definitely the longest trip they had been on. It was just an overnight thing but it was a chance to spend time with family.

I think I will probably go to work next month. I have my medical exam on August 6. I signed the conditional job offer a couple of weeks ago. I finally got tired of waiting and started making phone calls. I guess my file was just sitting on someones desk - anyway, I got the ball rolling again. It is time for me to go back to work.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I have been thinking about the experiences I have been blessed with in my lifetime. Some seemingly small and insignificant yet they still stay with me. Others larger and life changing. Some I like to take out and look at again, remember them, the smells, the sounds, the feelings. Others I would like to erase from the tapestry that is my life.

This last week I did some catering at Universal Studios. We worked on Stage 28. It is where the original Phantom of the Opera was filmed back in the 1920's and has been declared an historical landmark by the State of California. While this is probably an insignificant event it is one I will likely remember for a very long time. I enjoyed the work but was also really captivated by the place and it's history. It is supposedly the oldest stage in the world. I worked with some nice people and made a bit of money too.

When I think about some of the experiences I would like to erase, if I look closer, I see the threads that are attached to those experiences and wonder if those threads would have been woven into my life in a different way if i had not had that particular experience. Some of my best friends have been made from going through a negative experience.

I remember things from my childhood - I am sure my love of reading began when my mother used to read me a story before naptime every day. I didn't want to go to kindergarten because I knew I wouldn't get my naptime story.

Even some things that are looked at negatively at the time can have a positive effect later. I remember hating to weed the garden, now I love to garden. I remember wondering why Mom got so upset when the dogs would lay in her flower beds. Now that I have my own flower beds I love to tend I understand her frustration.

I think of my experience of working for the Page Police Department and, although it ended badly, having Charlene come into my life for those 5 years was definitely worth it. Going to work there was something I *knew* was right from the moment I was offered the job. I haven't had many moments like that in my life so when I do have one it tends to stick with me.

My voice disorder is one experience I wish I never had to experience. I keep looking for something good that has come from it but its pretty tough to find anything. Maybe that it has made me a better listener, made me really think before I speak. There has to be a reason for it, maybe when I find the reason I will be able to come out on the positive side of the experience.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I am going through a bicycling phase. I have ridden into Santa Paula twice in the last couple of weeks. It is close to a 20 mile round trip, maybe a bit less. The first time I went I really wasn't intending to go all the way. I thought I would just get on the road and see how far I could get and I got there. My 7 mile bike route isn't nearly as challenging as it was when I first started it. I am getting better at using my gears to be able to maintain a steady pedaling speed regardless of terrain. We try to get out with the kids at least once a week and all go for a bike ride. We should do it more often, we all really enjoy it. Lisa and I have set a goal of being able to enter a 5K race. We have only *trained* one day for it because she hasn't been feeling well this last week but we'll get there.

I think I am adjusting to having the kids here all the time. I still have aggravating days but I am getting better at letting things go, letting Jamie stomp around the house muttering to herself, trying to do a little less eye rolling when Jared cries over everything from not doing well on a computer game to the way Murphy meows at him. When I wake Jamie up in the morning and she give me that toothy grin, or I hear Jared singing in his room as he gets ready for school it really does give a bright start to my day.

A situation came up with someone Lisa considered a very good friend that has probably made me more sad than upset. This woman watches Jared after school several days a week and has even kept the kids so we could have an hour or two to ourselves. When Lisa mentioned having Jared invite her boy out to spend the night she told her she wouldn't allow that because of our relationship. One of my first thoughts was that I didn't even want her watching Jared anymore, I don't want him around someone who views his family as something wrong and bad, even though Jared seems to have a pretty level head about our relationship he still doesn't need to feel that from others. It made me a little angry to realize that this woman would be totally fine with her boy staying overnight with Jared if Brad and Lisa were still together, even though the household was totally dysfunctional and unhealthy and there was abuse going on on more than one level. It's a man and a woman together and that is how it should be. It makes me sad for Lisa too because I know she really trusted this person.

We have been going to church every week since we have the kids here. People have been really nice to us and I have actually enjoyed it on occasion. Jamie is having a really hard time and some Sundays cries a lot before we leave. She really misses her friends from the other ward. Jared seems to be doing OK with it all, he is even getting involved in Cub Scouts. We are going to go talk to the Bishop about our situation within the next couple of weeks. I really don't care how people are towards us, and I'm not concerned about any action he may take against us, I just want people to be good to the kids and let them be involved in things.

We have had an unexpected benefit from Brads recent health problems. Once his mother got into his finances we have received over $2000 in child support we never thought we would see. It still amazes me as to how all of this has worked out for us. Things have just been there, and happened, when we needed them. I really do feel very blessed and fortunate. I feel more content and at peace than I have for a very long time.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I've been here almost 4 months. Sometimes my other life seems so far away. It is starting to get hot and I am running out of projects. Today I thought I should start putting a quilt together again but I really don't have any place here I can do it and I can't feel comfortable spending money on batting and backing right now. I am beginning to get bored and am realizing I should have gotten a job somewhere, doing something, until my clearance was done. It would have occupied my time and also given us income. We work a catering gig once in awhile but not really enough to make much money.

Brad (Lisa's ex) has been in the hospital more than he has been out the last few weeks. Yesterday he had his left leg amputated below the knee due to complications from diabetes. We have had Jamie and Jared for . . . a long time now, I don't even know how long. It has been a challenge for me - I never really wanted kids and while I knew kids were involved in this deal I didn't realize it would be full time. There is so much about parenting I don't understand. I was totally unprepared for a life that is centered completely around children. I'm not sure if that makes me selfish, or just unaware. I suppose this is how it is in most families, I really don't know. I am trying to get better at it but I don't think it something I will ever excel at.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I took the polygraph last week - I am so glad to get that done. The examiner passed me and now it has to go through quality control for final approval. He said the only thing he could see was that my breathing was very measured. I know it is, I do that so I can maximize what voice I have. Not sure what the next step is. I know the people I put down as references have been getting a questionaire on me.

Today as I was mowing the lawn I was thinking about this whole situation and how strange it has been for me. There are times I get nervous about the job, hoping all goes well, hoping I can do it, hoping my voice will cooperate. Underneath it all there is just this feeling that all is going to be OK. It is very hard for me to trust it and I don't understand it at all.

I have changed my prayers from a few minutes on my knees to spending more time in a sort of meditation thinking of the things I am grateful for, saying the things I need assistance with, thinking of others who need help and then just spending some quiet time listening, not thinking of anything in particular. I have often drifted off to sleep by the end of it but I like doing it that way, In a way I feel it is more sincere than what I used to do.

We went to the beach yesterday and were looking in the tide pools. I saw this little multi-legged creature swimming around and, for just a moment, I wondered why I couldn't have been born as one of those. Not much thought process or brain power and probably a very short life span. Then I thought of how we consider being a human the ultimate form of life and if it really is

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Twice today I have gone outside and got the scent of burning leaves on the air. The smell takes me back to spring time of my childhood when Mom would start to clean the yard and get ready for spring planting. I loved helping her rake and burn weeds - well, mostly I liked the burning part. My Mom is nearing 80 now and she still loves her flowers and her garden. We always say her greenhouse is her 7th child. Both of my grandmothers also loved flowers and gardening. I guess I come by my love of it naturally. Grandma Barneys hollyhocks always grew the best caterpillars. I loved to go collect them, put them in a jar and take care of them until they spun cocoons and turned into butterflies. She also grew gooseberries - every year we would have to go down and taste them and every year they were so sour they took all the moisture from your mouth.

I also heard a rooster crow when I went outside today - more memories of home. We always raised chickens both to eat and for the eggs. Seems like we always had an ornery rooster in the flock. I probably still have a scar on at least one shin from being spurred more than once by a rooster. I loved when we would get baby chickens in the spring. They would come in the mail. A couple of boxes of peeping yellow fluff. Dad had a pen built for them and he hung light bulbs in it to keep them warm during the night. It was also fun when we had a hen that wanted to sit. When we went to feed the chickens and collect the eggs if there was a hen that wouldn't come off the nest we would tell Dad and he would put her in a special nest and collect several eggs to put under her. It was fun to see them hatch. I also remember seeing lambs being born, Dad having to go out in the cold of night to help Grandpa pull a calf, teaching a calf to drink from a bucket, feeding dogie lambs with a bottle . . .So many good times.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Life goes on here. Not much new or exciting, just life. I guess that is how it is supposed to be. The weather is starting to be warm on a more consistent basis. I have lots of pretty flowers growing and a few vegetables. I really do enjoy working in the yard.

I haven't heard much on my background check. I am going to call them this week and see what the status is. I faxed one document to them twice because they said they didn't get it the first time. I didn't hear back so I think they must have got the second one but I don't know for sure.

I got my botox shot but it is always a bit difficult to tell how effective it is going to be for a few weeks. There are many times when I regret ever having the surgery done but I guess that is really useless regret. I went to Page after the shot, spent the night there. Bill was in CA so I was there by myself. He had left a list of things he needed me to do or check out. I also picked up some things I didn't get when I left. I had breakfast with Charlene and Sheila the next morning. It was really nice to see them. I didn't think Charlene was ever going to quit hugging me. After breakfast I went to Hatch to help Janett out for a few days after her shoulder surgery. I stayed at her house all but the last night. I really enjoyed being there with her. Susan and the baby were also there. I spent time with Mom and Dad each day and one night they took us all out to dinner for our birthdays. When I left Dad hugged me and told me to be careful and that he missed me and was sorry he couldn't do more for me in my life. I told him he had loved me and that was all I needed. He had tears in his eyes. I had said goodbye to Mom the night before because I knew she wouldn't be up when I left. When I packed my little cooler for the road she had put a sweet roll in it along with a note that said "Give Lisa a hug for us." I am so blessed to have such good parents.

Friday, February 27, 2009

I just got back from a nice walk. I am having a hard time wanting to exercise like I know I need to but I am still managing to do it most days. I miss being able to walk around the golf course, see the road runners, bunnies and lizards. This morning I walked around some of the neighborhoods around here. This is an interesting area. There are lots of older homes but also lots of newer, modern homes. I love the older homes because most of them have a front porch. Reminds me of summer Sunday afternoons at Grandma Barneys. She had her chair, Grandpa had his chair and the rest of just just sat. I like that the house we are in now has a front porch. I have a really old chair my Mom refinished for me and I have put it on the front porch. Many mornings I eat my breakfast out there. The porch here really needs to be repainted and I am working, half-heartedly, on getting the old paint scraped off so I can paint it.

I like this area but I still feel pretty much out of place here. I thought maybe I would feel a bit at home in the LDS church here but, I don't. I feel almost like a stranger, an intruder here. Maybe its because I know nothing about anyone or anything. When I walk by a house I never nod hello or say good morning to someone I know. The only people that seem to even recognize me are the ladies at the DMV - LOL how sad is that?

I have scheduled a botox shot in Scottsdale on my birthday. I have been stressing about what to do because I knew I wouldn't have insurance before I needed one again and if I go to a Dr here I am pretty certain he will want to do all kinds of diagnostic tests before he will give me a shot. I might be able to scrape up enough for a shot ($1200) but I would never be able to pay for the tests. Not sure why it took me so long to realize I could just go back to Scottsdale one more time. Hopefully by the time I need the next one I will have insurance. The move here hasn't helped my voice as much as I had hoped it would. I would really like to try out some speech therapy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We have been here just over a month though at times it seems much longer. We are all slowly adjusting to each other and our new surroundings.

I have dug up a bunch of places to plant flowers and have planted some vegetables. Just this morning I noticed I had radishes coming up. I can't believe how many weeds and how much grass I have put into the green recycle bin. I am also about ready to hang my hammock in the back yard.

Some days I enjoy all this free time and other days I am really, really, really, ready to go back to work. I think I must be struggling a bit with depression. I don't know what else would cause me to feel so tired and worn out all the time. I try not to nap during the day - which is a huge change for me, I love naps - because I want to be able to sleep well at night without taking ambien. It also might make a difference if I didn't go to bed at 8:00 every night.

I had an interview with the background investigation unit last week. I think they have finally started on my background check in ernest. I worry about my voice more than I do the background check. Once I can get some insurance I am going to look into speech therapy. I can talk to Murphy and the birds, and most times Lisa, just fine but if it is anyone else my whole throat seems to freeze up and I have a hard time getting the words out.

We went to Jamie and Jareds baptism last Saturday. I guess this is one occasion where my obliviousness worked to my benefit. People weren't overly friendly to me but no one was overtly rude either. Lisa said she noticed some disapproving looks and I guess there was talk afterwards about how brazen Lisa was to bring *her* (me) to the baptism. I guess I didn't think I would ever hear myself being referred to in those terms but - it is what it is and if people choose to dislike me that is their right. If Jamie and Jared had asked me to stay away I would have but they didn't and it was their day so I went.

We have been to the Ward here a couple of times and to a Universalist Unitarian Church once. The UU church was different but I liked it, it was very peaceful and uplifting. We will probably go back there again this Sunday. People at both places have been very welcoming. The missionaries have been over a couple of times. This last time they almost insisted that we give them a date when we would come to church and stay for the whole 3 hour block. We finally got through to them that that just wasn't going to happen. If we wanted to do that it would be on our own timeline. They didn't make an appointment to come back again which is probably just as well.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I have been working in the yard most of the day. I am tired, sweaty, have already broken my new shovel and uncovered a rock that is too big to move alone so I decided to take a break and write a bit.

I am pretty amazed at how at peace and comfortable I am here. I really do like this area. The population is just over 14,000 and the elevation is 469 feet. A bit different climate than I am used to but I am loving the nice weather. When we went to Walmart yesterday I realized that it is probably time to start planting a garden so I have been working on the garden spot today. I enjoy yard work much more than I do housework.

We have been to the beach a couple of times. The weather has been just beautiful both times we went. Yesterday it was mid-70's, not a cloud in the sky and very few people. I really hated to leave. I am thinking I might be making a few trips to the beach on my motorcycle before I start work.

I talk to Bill at least once a week and email him a weekly update as to what I am doing. I know he doesn't hear well on the phone and it is much easier for both of us if I can write and he can read. He never responds to them but tells me he enjoys them. He always sounds good when we talk.

Not long after we got here we went to the wedding of a couple of Lisas lady friends. It included a dinner and we were set at the same table as a very nice couple, Vicki and Helen. Vicki is from Monroe, UT, not awfully far from Hatch. They seem like really nice people. We are going to meet them at the beach for dinner in a couple of weeks. Helen is a nurse so she might be able to help Lisa out some along the way. I'm hoping for a good friendship to develop.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's been a rainy, overcast and I haven't accomplished much of anything. I kinda gave my permission to just take the day off. Lis and I did go for a good walk today, we walked to the grocery store and got stuff to make hummus with. Even though it is rainy and overcast it is still 60 degrees outside. Lisa is working tonite and I am just sitting here listening to the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball game on the computer. The house is so quiet. I am sitting in the living room, I am trying to get out of the habit of basically living in my bedroom. I have moved my laptop out and leave it in the living room rather than the bedroom. I remember when I was a kid my mom used to say if I had a bathroom and food in my bedroom I would probably never come out. I was feeling a need for some comfort food tonite so Murphy and I shared a package of mutton.

I got a job offer from LA County, Santa Clarita station, this week. I accepted the offer. They still have to do a background check on me and it will probably take about 3 months to complete. That is pretty standard I think. I kinda wanted to work at Simi Valley, and I will still test with them tomorrow, but I have trusted the process with this move so far and I will continue to do so. I worry alot about my voice holding out. I know I need to take this time to really work with it, read out loud, meditate every day. When I did my oral interviews my voice was so good. When I talk to just Murphy it is so good. Makes me crazy trying to figure it out. I hope this last botox shot will last until I can get some insurance. I might ought to put a $1000 aside just in case it doesn't.

I found a place to fix my motorcycle. They came and picked it up yesterday. The initial quote was almost $600 but when he looked at it it was just the radiator overflow tank instead of the actual radiater that was damaged so it should be quite a bit less. I told him to tune it up for this altitude while he had it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

We are in our house and have most of the stuff put away. We stored a lot of it in the garage because there just wasn't room for it all in the house. It is a nice house, it is older and has been re-done. The outside and the yard need a bit of work but I don't mind doing stuff like that. We are in Fillmore. It is an agricultural area. We have a lemon tree and an avocado tree in our back yard. I love being able to make fresh lemonade. There are numerous fruit and produce stands just a few miles down the road from us. The weather has been amazingly warm. I have been in shorts and bare feet and we sleep with the windows open at night.

We got the truck loaded and unloaded OK. The only mishap was unloading my motorcycle. It high centered on the truck before coming down the ramp and I think I tore the bottom out of my radiator tank. I tore the bottom out of some tank. I hope I can get it fixed in the next couple of weeks. This is perfect motorcycle weather

My animals seem to be adjusting well. Sammy has plucked some feathers but I have seen him with less. He seems to want to spend more time with me than he did before. It has been a long time since he wanted to come sit with me. I am really proud of Murphy. He has been such a good cat. I love that boy, he always brings me comfort.

I interviewed at 2 different locations for LA County Sheriffs office. Both places talked like I would be among the top candidates. I also went to an open house for applicants at Simi Valley. That is where I would really like to work. It will probably be 3 months before they make a decision though. If I am out of work for that long I will be stir crazy.

I think it is more of an adustment for us to make a life together than either of us thought it would be. I think probably about 5 days is the most we have ever spent together at a time. I get homesick, I always have ever since I was a kid. Sometimes I long for something familiar. It's hard to realize that my family is now almost 10 hours away instead of just over 2. I sometimes wonder if I am just not spouse or partner material. Maybe I am only good as a friend. I will probably end up being some crazy old lady with a houseful of birds and cats and will make news of the weird and strange on the internet.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I have most of my things that can be packed packed. Some of it will just have to be loaded. I will pick the truck up in a couple of hours and get a few hours packing in this afternoon. I hope to get enough done that Lisa and I will be able to finish it after we get in from Phoenix on Saturday, that way we can head out early on Sunday. Unload the truck and load up her apartment on Monday.

I think this is still a bit surreal to me. I went for a walk around the golf course this morning, watch the sun on the vermillion cliffs, looked at the canyon carved by the Colorado River. I love this area. I don't think I am able to get my mind around the fact that this morning is the last time I will be able to see those things for awhile.

We had kind of a scare with my Mom this last week. She went into the hospital with a rapid heart rate. They couldn't get it stablilzed so they had to put her our and shock her heart to get it back into rhythm. She went to see the heart Dr yesterday and he said she is OK but if this happens again they will have to take her in and do something with the electrical impulses to her heart. I worry so much about her and not being able to be close by if she needs me. I'm glad Janett, Barb and Lewis are all right there.

A couple of days ago I got a call from another dispatch center in LA County for a job interview. I have one in La Crescenta on Jan 15 and one in Santa Clarita the next day. The next week I am testing for a Corrections Officer position with Ventura County. I have some good possibilities lined up now I will just pray that something will come through.