taking a break from it all

We got back from Florida and it was a very stressful trip. Part of this is my fault because of never taking the time to think through everything that would be involved in taking this trip and the stress involved. Really what we should have done was go to the coast and sit by a pool and if the kids wanted to come see us they could have just driven up. Hindsight is 20/20, I guess.

I came back to a mountain of work and having to go in for an interview on Tuesday. It went well and if they offer me this job I’m going to jump on it. It’s a smaller group and less projects to manage. More public relations which I feel I would be good at. Less stress, it seems.

Charlie and I haven’t been the only people under stress lately. It seems like our group is kind of imploding with stress. Ellen had her surgery last week and Stacy has been taking care of her. Ellen’s aunt flew in and is relieving Stacy while she goes to work. Then, Ellen’s Mom takes over in a few weeks. I have to say I’m somewhat jealous of the treatment she’s been getting in contrast to Charlie’s parents messaging us two days after her surgery that they were going to Mexico and wouldn’t be available for a week or so and that they would call when they got back. I am thankful to all our wonderful friends who have been there helping and caring for us and keeping us from nervous breakdowns. I honestly don’t know what I have would have done without them because I have realized recently that I am indeed not a mountain nor an island and capable of self supporting everything. I do relay on others for support – not only Charlie but friends as well.

Its’ hard being a caregiver. Period. Truth is – it’s been a lot to take on. Everything has been stressful so – I’m trying to check out for a little while. I’m really tired of worrying about everyone else and want to focus on myself for a little while and not worry about pissing someone off, disappointing someone, not being all, doing all that I should. I’m tired.

I started drum lessons with Yvonne the other day. She is exactly the type of teacher I need to do this. She has me working on sticking exercises, repetition and simple beats. I have homework and I told her that I need to have time to practice before I see her again so we made an appointment for two weeks. I’m going to try to practice once a day even if it’s for only 15 minutes.

I am trying to be better about walking the dogs. I skipped the beer last night and instead took them for a long walk. I have to cut back on alcohol and accept a healthier lifestyle. I’m really not happy about the weight I have gained and am not happy with myself. I have to improve. I signed Sadie and I up for a race on Saturday and am taking over Ellen’s Peachtree training on Saturday mornings so at least it will give me a reason to get going on Saturday mornings.

I still have a lot of work to do – and, I’m trying to compartment it all so it won’t seem so daunting. Charlie goes back to work tomorrow so that will be a nice break for her, too.

So, I’m probably going to take a break from this blog for a little while too. For how long, I don’t know – but I will be out there lurking on your blogs for sure.



As always, things have been crazy hectic. I still don’t know about the job I interviewed for. I knew it would take them forever to make a decision. I think they are going to base the decision off of two upper management positions they are currently interviewing for. Once they make the decision on who they will be then they’ll decide who is going to be the senior PM. Which, makes no sense and in a way it does. In the meantime, I have another interview for the same position in another department next week. I’m curious to see if it will be the same template of questions.

Charlie and I are going to head to Florida on Thursday to take a little break and see her kids. I’m hoping it will be relaxing just to get out of town for a few days. I’m depending on friends and family to hold their shit together while we’re gone – or we’ll just turn our phones off. Maybe we’ll do that.

Last weekend, we had three day passes to the 420 fest in Atlanta. Unfortunately, it also rained almost the entire weekend. Never again will I buy a three day pass to anything outside. We were supposed to go to the festival with Ellen and her new squeeze – I’ll finally give her a name – Stacy. They went on Friday evening to catch the Snoop Dog show but it was pouring rain and Charlie and I decided to go have BBQ and watch the game instead.

The next morning, Ellen and I were going to run the 5k race together but when I texted her in the a.m. it was crickets after. I figured she and Stacy had stayed out late, she was bailing on the race and headed on down there. On the way she texted me that she did something terrible to her leg and couldn’t walk. I parked in the pay lot paid a significant amount for parking – almost wishing I’d taken Marta but remembered that Marta was almost as much as paying for parking and went and ran the race. I was trying to beat my best time [recently] of 32 minutes but the course was really hilly and I found myself stretching after mile 2 and walking the last hill and made it in 34 – I was a bit disappointed but at least I ran it. In fact, I worked so hard that I couldn’t drink my free 420 beer afterwards because I thought I was going to throw up. As I’m contemplating pouring it out I looked at my watch and realized that I had only 15 minutes to make it back to the car before my parking pass expired. I threw the cup in the trash (alcohol abuse, I know) and headed for the truck only to see the truck parked right next to mine was booted. I was so glad I went back when I did because I saw that they had chalked my tire and I was sure they would have been back to boot me if I had missed the time. Relieved I drove home to shower, pick up Charlie and head back down there. We were trying to at least make the most of the one day it didn’t rain during the festival and enjoy some of the music. Which, we did. We got there at noon and stayed until almost 4 – long enough to see that people were getting hammered and it was starting to be difficult to part the crowd with Charlie’s wheelchair. [All I needed was some drunk person to fall on her and it would have been on] So, we left. We stopped at the bar on the way home and we no more made it inside when it started raining again.

The next day we went out to brunch and stopped by the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for Charlie and a cane for Ellen. Despite her sitting in the ER most of the previous day they released her without doing sh*t for her and she was destined to pop pain pills until she could get in to see an orthopedic doctor on Monday. After that, we went home and I had to get the neighbor to help me take the stove out of the kitchen and to the street because they were delivering the new one the next day. I vacuumed, mopped floors, folded laundry and put clothes away until it was time to go to dinner on the way to picking Mary Ann up at the airport. We had heard from our neighbors that Spondivits down by the airport was great so we headed there. Sometimes it’s nice to eat outside of the neighborhood. We got there in 20 minutes and it was crowded but we no more ordered a beer and our table was ready. After ordering we got a text from Mary Ann saying she was still sitting on the runway. So, we ate dinner and decided to go into the bar area and have some more drinks and hang out until it was time to go fetch her. It was fun, we met some women that were in town from New York. Two of them looked like they were there trolling for men and the other one – newly married -was the one that struck up a conversation with us. We talked to her until her group got a table. We didn’t pick up Mary Ann until almost 9. It would have been great to have gone to dinner with her but it was late and I knew she probably wanted to get home.

Ellen saw the doctor today and ¾ of her quad is ripped and she has to have surgery on Friday. Fortunately, it’s outpatient but still it sucks to have it. All I can think is hoping this is the last of stuff this year – that we’re getting everything out of the way that can happen early in the year. Stacy keeps texting me joking that she’s going to call [Ellen’s ex] Louise to come and take care of Ellen. (she has a sick sense of humor that way – but we like her way more than all the other’s)

I know I promised you a post about the trouble Lee has been up to so hopefully I can post that this week sometime – maybe by the pool sipping a Pina’ colada. What a novel idea to relax by the pool and write about someone else’s drama for a change…stay tuned.



wall street

I know you’ve been dying to know how the interview went. I had it this morning and it went very well – as well as it could have been and there’s nothing I would have changed about it. I managed to say everything that I wanted to say and express every little detail in my answers to their questions. It’s a highly coveted position in my department and there’s currently only one slot open so it’s going to come down to whom they have in mind for the position. I did my best so we’ll see what happens – hey, I was shortlisted for my current job out of 80 people so there is that.

Despite our coveted positions we have a ton of work – a ton of it. I have about 10 balls in the air at any given time all wanting to drop on the floor and if one does I’m in trouble. We never run out of work and we have an endless amount of it. Never ending and it grows on a daily basis.

Other departments in our organization like to put all their work on us – like we’re all not working on the same project. I call our department “The Everything Pizza department” because everyone seems to think we’re responsible for everything on a project. (Honestly, you don’t know how tempted I am sometimes to pick up the phone and answer, “Welcome to Everything on your pizza how can I help you?”) They blame us for missing their milestones as well. We’re the bad guys in the organization, yet, everyone wants to be us. People in other departments who have applied for the job I have are bitter they didn’t get it and even more so when they see people like me brought in from the outside that got it.

But, it’s a race of the fittest and I owe my interviewing skills to the 1-1/2 year I interviewed with government agencies. Government agency interviews are the toughest to prepare for and the hardest to be accomplished in doing successfully. I’ve had interviews with panels of 2-15 people all from different departments. I’ve have technical interviews where I had to perform a task in front of the interviewers. I’ve had some who brought me in 3 times to interview in front of different panels than I had before. The only thing to do in these cases is prepare your presentation because that’s what it’s going to be – a presentation on your experience and why you are best suited for the job. They may ask you anywhere from 4-12 questions but what it comes down to is the same 4 over and over again- your education and experience, how you handled a difficult situation, what was the outcome and why you’re a good candidate for the job. All these questions are just worded differently in all 8-12 questions just to throw you off. They want you to tell a different story every time – not just the same story 8 times about the time you gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a project, saved it and everyone danced around, harmony for all.

So, anyway – that’s my speal for the day about jobs and interviewing. Who knows what will happen. It’s all up to the Universe now.

landscaping and people crashing – or not

Saturday, I started a landscaping job for my first client since I resurrected the landscaping business.  Charlie and I had bought a trailer and after much screaming coaching she is helping me back it up. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it up my client’s steep driveway the day we delivered the material. The neighbor lent us his dolly and I made a mental note to purchase one for the business.

Most of the day Saturday I planted trees and mulched in the back and in the front I took out 5 huge Spanish Bayonets. (There should be a law against planting these things in locations other than under your teenager’s windows) Even though by the time I was done with this my back was sore and I was hungry enough to eat the @ss-end off a sow it still felt better than any motorcycle class I had taught in a very long time. The whole time I’m digging holes I’m thinking these trees arn’t arguing with me, crying because it’s too hard being a tree and most importantly arn’t crashing through the fence. Yes, it was good!

I went home and got cleaned up, ate and Charlie and I went for a ride to go look at another vehicle. As we were coming back into town from looking at the vehicle the girls texted us saying they were at the hamburger/bar joint and to come by.  It was Mary Ann, Ellen and her new squeeze, Steph, and Mary Ann’s sister visiting from Maine. We sat out on the back deck, had beers, burgers and laughed. They were going on to the Clermont Lounge and My sisters room. Charlie and I passed on that. I remember a time when I would have been all about that. Now instead, I fantasize about crawling into bed with Charlie and watching TV as opposed to smoky bars and strippers – especially, when my aching back and muscles were telling me I needed to rest up for the 10 shrubs I needed to plant the next day, too.

We finally bit the bullet and ordered a new stove today. PRAY that it’s not a nightmare like the dishwasher was. Charlie gets her cast off on Wednesday, however, here’s the fine print: She can’t put weight on it for another month and has to put the cast back on with an Ace bandage when she goes out for protection of her foot.

So, the crutches and wheelchair arn’t going anywhere soon. She has a knee walker but since she crashed that at the Pike Nursery the other day she’s stayed off it – who would have thought knee walkers were so dangerous?! I looked over and she was surrounded by 4 women with Pike shirts on. I told her that had the wedding band not been apparent that she probably would have gotten a few phone numbers that day.

Oh, honey they were just worried I’d sue them.

Surrrrre, babe. Pretty girl in distress that crashed her walker. Uh huh. I bet lawsuit was in the forefront of their minds…..

This week I have an interview and hopefully more landscaping work this weekend. Fingers crossed!