Tweet This

So I signed up for Twitter today. Not really my idea, but my work wants us on there & linked with them so they can let us know about overtime “opportunities” (they call it opportunity, I call it forced labor- well, no, I know I’m lucky to have a job, but I’d really prefer to do my 45 hours & be through with it) They’re giving jeans passes for those who sign up this week (yes, I work in a call center & they still make us dress business casual– we don’t have video phones so I don’t really see the point)They’re also stating that they’re going to let us know if there’s open times for extra time off, which I could like very well, of course, I’m not holding my breath, this is our busy time of year (you’ll notice I said 45 hours above, not 40. We’re on mandatory OT for Feb & March for sure. )

I think my worst feeling about Twitter is that it’s making our collective attention span even shorter, back in the mid 1980’s people complained that MTV was making everyone’s attention span about 3 & 1/2 minutes due to the length of videos, a hour long tv program seemed like a commitment to “the youth of today” (that would be 1986 as ‘today’) I didn’t buy it myself, being a reader from way back I have & had a long attention span, however, now I work with college students (working nights I’ve got a lot of younger people around me as opposed to the daytime crowd who’s median age is probably still younger than my own age, but still more in the 25-36 age group where the night time people are more in the 19-30 age range for the most part. So in less than 25 years we’re down from the 3 minute video attention span to 160 characters? Scary to say the least.

The other thing which makes me say Twitter just  might be the devil is that it seems obscenely self involved to post stuff ( I can’t quite bring myself to call it ‘tweeting’) I only follow my middle daughter, my work & a comedian I’m somewhat obsessed with due to the Sirius radio comedy channels (Bob Marley-  he’s from Maine & is wicked funny) I mean who cares what I had for dinner or did on the weekend, I realize blogging isn’t to far off that, but I can always call it a journal & I have never really worked hard to publicize the blog thing, as a matter of fact I’ve taken the links to it off of almost everything (I really don’t want the ex to read this thing, not because it’s all that incriminating or insulting to him (although there have been entries which weren’t exactly flattering) but more because he just doesn’t need to know & he’s already friended me on facebook, I just haven’t approved the request.

There’s also a bit of irony in my signing up for yet another thing I probably won’t keep up with. Somehow working 4 10 hour days seemed to give me a lot more time to myself, maybe it’s how I choose to spend the time I have rather than there being more time but it seems as though there’s never enough time for anything during my work days & the 2 days off I have I don’t spend at the computer any longer.  Yes, I admit most of what I’m doing is watching tv or reading or playing cards or monotony with the kids. The motivation to get online is close to nil right now.

Maybe It will pick up as the winter progresses, we’re supposed to have a storm Friday so perhaps then (at least until the snow knocks the computer out)

My username on Twitter is ReBecky68

New Year, New Plans?

Doubt it.

I’m going to try to get on here more often & write again, there just isn’t much to say these days, just work, home, hang out with the kids & get up & do it all over again the next week. Christmas was rough, we had a bigger focus on doing for others rather than what we were all going to get. Which was nice, as far as it went.

On the 23rd one of my co-workers, who works part time asked me if I’d be willing to ‘let’ her work for me on Christmas eve. She was looking to pick up some more hours & my boss had let her know that I hadn’t been eligible to take Christmas eve off & with the ice storm they were calling for on that night sounding very terrible I really didn’t want to come in on the 24th at all for more reasons than family ones.

Of course the actual day conspired to bring us all closer together as the power went out early in the day. We had planned to have roast duck, but ended up having Beef Bourgingnon because I could cook that on the stovetop- since  I have a propane stove top which I bought to take campingbut have used much more often during power outages, it was a little weird opening the gifts without the Christmas tree lights lit, but it wasn’t a bad thing, we spent most of the rest of the day in the dining room where I keep the kerosene heater, playing games & staying warm.

New years eve I worked, which is just as well, it was my wedding anniversary, had our marriage survived, this would have been #16. It’s probably for the best that it didn’t survive though, I know my life is a lot more comfortable & easier on my own with the kids than it was with the ex.  The only unpleasant spot on New Years eve was Drunken Customers, I can not understand what would possess someone to call a business while drunk. People call though & rant, rave, slur & yell a lot on the holidays.

I Was Just Thinking….

How long it’s been since I even looked at my blog, let alone posted. (sorry, it’s been a little crazy at my house)

How odd it is that when one thing is a problem  or improves, a whole bunch of other things do the same too.

Is the rumor true that my boss is no longer employed at our company. He disappeared sometime Thursday evening (I didn’t even notice until 1:30 when I wanted to be sure I was logged out of my computer)  & didn’t show up Friday & I’ve been hearing rumors.Mz Val

How can we be more than a week into the school season & mr 10 hasn’t had any homework yet (he says he’s going to have a spelling list next week & that the teachers didn’t want to ‘burden’ them too much the very first week)

About the marathon rummy game the kids + ms 19’s bf & I played last weekend & wondering if I can convince any of them to play again this evening (maybe not until midnight again though)

That it might be more fun to just settle in the living room, catch up on the tv shows on the DVR & embroider some more tonight instead. I’ve almost finished a project I am embarrassed to admit I started in 1998 as a housewarming gift for a co-worker, we’ve worked together at another job & still see each other in town occasionally,  she’s divorced, moved & moved again since then & I’ve made this piece into a hanging for my kitchen instead of hers.

Why I’m suffering so much writer’s block just lately, some of it is Chrissie & her daughter living with us, it’s chaotic, seldom quiet & also, a lot of what I might write could be intrusive to their lives so I am sort of keeping mum.

How difficult it was to find 13 meals for 5 people for $100. (especially when you include breakfasts for everyone & something for me to eat every few days before I go to work – to minimize my consumption of junk from the snack machines at work) that was my whole food budget for the next 2 weeks (although I may have child support in September- if we get it at all it will likely show up the day before I receive my next paycheck- this does some good, but it would be much better received a week from yesterday!)CamclimbIV

About how to spend the money…I’ve just finished paying off a loan I took against my 401k this week & as I’m more than a little hard up with no overtime at work I’m going to take another loan right away so when the deductions start back up automatically I won’t notice it so much.

With this new loan I’m going to: get myself back on track with my bills (I’ve been robbing Peter to pay Paul for way too long) get our bathroom floor redone (A hole has opened up right in front of the toilet, which, while it doesn’t go all the way down through the base floor is very deep – we haven’t had any linoleum in the center of the bathroom floor for at least 18 months either- which explains why the floor is falling apart) pay off one major bill which, while it was neccessary at the time I accrued it, is a huge, major inconvenient drain on my finances now & put away money for Christmas.

Year of the Snake

I know it’s not (mr 10 is very into Chinese astrology & would be very upset by my stating that)

This year however, needs to move on through the snake thing & go on to something else- I admit Raccoons & skunks have been heavily represented in my life this year too & I’d just as soon not see any more of those either.

Earlier in the year we discovered a large brown snake was living in the bench with an open & shut seat for storage. Then, Tuesday, we went to the river.

SwimTS8-9Everything was lovely to start, it was hot & sunny, we had 3 hours of time to spend, Ms 19, ms 13, Chrissie’s daughter Sami, Mr 10 & I  jumped into the water in near record time, we found a snapping turtle just after entering the water, he was only about the size of my palm in size, about 2 & 1/2 to 3 inches across & Mr 10 moved him up onto the shore where he burrowed back into the mud & left us alone. The younger girls jumped off the rocks, I worked with mr 10 on his learning to swim thing (he’s very motivated this year, but he’s so skinny he doesn’t float very well) even ms 19 got up on the rocks for a group jump into the water with ms 13 & Sami (mr 10 has to become proficient in the water before I’ll let him try jumping at all- a lot of his motivation for learning to swim) SwimAll8-9

After an hour or so I was water logged & ready to go read my book (book 8 in the Southern Vampires series- I finished it tonight & am moving on to the treasure trove of books my mother has given me from her already read piles) I text-ed with Chrissie who had stayed home to put out job applications & read, the kids came up & ate their random sandwiches, drank their sodas, we shared pretzel & nacho cheese combos & the kids went back in the water.

My first clue that something was wrong came when I heard Sami say “Was that…?” Then mr 10 shrieked: “It’s a snake, run” I looked up to see the 4 kids all grouped together & running through the water en masse to the shore, they came up the path shrieking, fussing & screaming, pointing back toward the water where I couldn’t see anything at first. Ms 19 professed to having seen it first but telling herself it was a stick. Sami was adamant that she saw it first.

SnakeswimAfter a few minutes when the water had calmed down the kids pointed it out to me swimming around in the water in the general area where the kids had been before freaking out, it was about 2 feet long & not particularly thick. As we watched it went over to the rocks & swam back & forth in front of them along the edge of the water in an apparent victory lap as if to say “Ha! These are my rocks & you people need to go on with your lives & not bother me any longer” It was about 20 minutes before I had planned to leave & for once I had no argument from anyone about leaving early.

This is a fairly popular swimming & fishing spot, I’m sure the snake doesn’t bother the fishermen but I wonder how others who swim there will enjoy this snake’s company!

Post note: You may or may not be able to see the snake in the last picture, I know it was in the picture when I took the picture, but since all my pictures come out of a cell phone, I’m really not surprised it’s nearly impossible to locate the snake in the picture!

Looking Forward…

To vacation. Just a couple weeks ago, at the fourth of July, I found myself wishing the days between then & 7/17 (when we leave on vacation) away. I reminded myself that when we come back on the 26th, there will be just 5 days left in July & then only 20 days until school starts again for my younger kids & that I don’t want to wish the whole summer away, especially since it has not been too terribly hot yet (I understand Thursday & Friday will make up for that somewhat) I’m trying not to wish it away, but the 2 days left to work are making me crazy, we’re still slow at work & since we’re still on mandatory overtime (even though we’re slow) I worked from 3 to 130 tonight & will do the same tomorrow- that makes the day drag on & on when it’s slow. I admit, I’ve ripped through 4 & 1/2 of the Sookie Stackhouse, Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris in the past 3 or 4 weeks (I have a feeling I’ll be through with #5 tomorrow night- Thursday at the latest. I also read another book from another Vampire series (I had to wait to read #3 & read Vampire Interrupted by Lynsay Sands & was also reading Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman before I started all this Vampire stuff!).

I’m not at all sorry to be leaving, I only wish it was for a longer vacation, so much for 14 days, I’m doing well to get the 10 I have. One good thing about this setup is that I have 4 more days for the rest of the year, of course, once you get to November, the days available close up tight & then you end up having to roll paid days off over to the next year (worse yet is the need to save a day or two for Christmas time, then get turned down when you request the day or days off meaning you absolutely have to roll the days over to next year {if they let you- which my company doesn’t always do}) The kdis are very excited about going on vacation & every day come to me with more & more plans, ideas & packing innovations. (Mr 10 is determined to get his & his sister’s boogie boards up to MA even though I don’t think there will be room for them in the car, he initially tried to stow them beneath the front seats but they’re too wide to fit, now he’s trying to convince me that they won’t be in the way if he just lays them in the trunk before we put the clothing bag, the air mattress  & our individual bags of toiletries & entertainments. They probably won’t make that much difference & I am sure we’re going to end up taking them with us I am a pushover for the most part when it comes to things like this.

Busy Times, Buying Time.

In some trouble with work, I did something I shouldn’t have & for a couple of days, it looked as though they were going to fire me for it. It was a momentary mental lock up on my part, due to my own reticence toward a job requirement which is way out of my comfort zone & that I should have addressed with my new boss long ago (my old boss knew & shared my issue & so enabled me not to have to deal with the issue, I’m still grateful to her for that, although if I’d gotten over it anytime between July & March I might not be losing the chat option now.

So it’s back to the phones, it’s a measure of how much I hate the phones that by the time I was told I wasn’t getting fired I’d worked my way around to managing getting fired & was disappointed, amusing to think I’d rather be fired than talk on the phone. Amusing but then again, not all that amusing

Maybe it is time for a change, from the comfortable paycheck confines of my current world, maybe I should look around for other things to do, something which I actually like to do. Of course, I have yet to find anything marketable that I actually like to do!

I’ve been so flattened by the issues at work that I haven’t been to the garden at all. I intend to go today before work. I’m also saddened that I really liked this new boss & now he’s going to think of me as a poor worker & damaged due to this situation. Of course, just going back on the phones isn’t all, if I do poorly I’m out the door, if my quality scores are bad I’m out the door.

The turning point for me on the losing my job vs. staying on was when I realized I’d have my 401k  money to help me out while I looked for another job.  It’s better to keep it in the investments, I know, but as I said before, the future was starting to look a little brighter when I thought I was going to be booted out of my job.

In reality though, I’d probably have lost my house, my car & my kids so it’s for the best that I’m still working there. Frustrating, annoying & draining though it may be.

Groceries, Acquaintances & Perms.

Wal mart has slowed down considerably just lately, we are creatures of habit & so every other Friday we can be found leaving home just after the school bus drops the kids off, on our way to grocery shop, usually with a stop at the bank to get cash out first (because with this new schedule, I never get up early enough to go to town before the kids are out of school for the day) Then it’s off to C’Burg where we pay bills, eat dinner somewhere (just lately, it’s dollar menu through the drive through) & then go to walmart to grocery shop & just the last few weeks (with the exception of Easter weekend) it has been not too crowded & no large lines to check out. Which has been very nice. It has helped that we’re timing it so that we’re shopping between 5 & 6, which is often dinner time for many, so there are fewer people in the store.

The prices are getting better I have to say that, My favorite tuna fish, those bumblebee tuna sensations things went down 18 cents since the last time I could afford to look at them which is nice. Some things are down a lot, some only a little, the kids have been on a BLT kick for quite awhile & bacon has come down 50 cents or so in the last few months. Ms 19 is against cooking bacon because she doesn’t like the spatters, but recently she began cooking it in the oven on a cookie sheet with a cake cooling rack over it & she says it’s much easier, less greasy & everyone likes the bacon better than when it’s pan fried (I’m not a bacon fan & really don’t like much of anything with a smoked flavor so I couldn’t say, but if all 3 kids eat it without argument- I’m for it!)

As quiet as walmart was, we couldn’t get out of there without seeing 4 or 5 people I knew, some from work, one from a job 3 jobs ago! Which is crazy but we see each other about once a year somewhere or other. She’s not from here either so we have a sort of a bond. And her grandchildren were 2 years behind ms 19 in school so we’d run into each other occasionally there too.

Chrissie decided against the perm this week, we’re planning on next week I guess, more time for me to think about the ill advisedness of even trying this after so many years (the last time I did a perm, it was for Chrissie, but it was in the trailer so at least 5 years ago)