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Sunday, May 28, 2006
Annother day in ConsumerLand
Now Playing: Hate Me By Blue October
Topic: Rambling on

I have never been able to just get what I needed. All my life from childhood on has been a struggle, it cost for shoes, it cost for coats, my parents would worry about how clothes, shoes etc would get paid for, often my grandmother bailed them out (she's done the same for me more often than I like to think of) Or, worse, we got hand me downs from people at my parents jobs, church etc. I hated that at the time but some of my favorite clothes at 8,9,10, were hand me downs, I just had to have them long enough to feel like they were mine instead of someone else's discards.
All the time my ex & I were together there was never enough money. It was a constant battle to keep everyone fed, clothed & a roof over our heads, he didn't work a lot of the time- he'd get a job, keep it for 6-10 weeks & quit or get fired for not showing up. I didn't work a lot of that time then too... But I had little kids at home, it was cheaper for me to stay at home with them than pay a babysitter, he wouldn't watch them, if I worked the kids were babysat. That was all there was to that. the ex could not/would not watch the kids while I worked for more than 2 days in a row. I don't know why he couldn't take it but he couldn't & so we were almost never a 2 income family. This meant that we were constantly broke. It did not help matters that we brought out the worst in each other in terms of money & spending. One of us would say: 'Man, I wish we could just go out to dinner tonight' & the other would say: 'well, we do have that money for the electric bill...' & off we'd go, we supported in each other the worst, most spendthrift behavior you can imagine! In that way we're much better off seperate. He still doesn't do much better at making ends meet to this day
The best thing about my job is that it pays enough. Enough that we have what we need & a few luxuries to boot... I've had to watch what I spend though, & I do love to spend unfortunately. As I said, my Grandmother has bailed me out & helped with the extras like shoes when people outgrow them too soon & she always has helped me with school supplies each August. For the most part though I manage - I do get a little from the ex each month now that he's in the service (allegedly- still don't belive it) & that little helps, but I know better than to count on it, if & when he leaves the service I doubt I'll continue to recieve any money, he's not too good at keeping up with things like that & he's also known to resent paying it, he feels because I was at home with the kids when they were babies & under 4 while he was working. That I 'owe' him & he shouldn't have to pay support. So I know that there is likely going to be a time when that $225. doesn't come in anymore & I hope to have the money thing going even better than it is now by then. Either that or I'll have to do more overtime at work than they're already forcing on us, (up to 4 hours mandatory every week & they're so desperate that they're paying double time for overtime over the mandatory 4!- I haven't done any of that but I might this week- because of the holiday weekend we have less hours available to do the overtime on -Sunday & Monday are closed up for available hours to work- So I'll have to go in on one of my days off to make the time up & if I'm going to be there for 3 hours I might as well be there for 4! especially considering it's a 40 minute drive each way.)
The point here was that I've finaly applied for & recieved a credit card. (a real one, not the secured type for like 300 bucks.) I belive that's the difference between the poor & the not so poor, everyone nowadays lives paycheck to paycheck I belive, but credit cards just make it easier. When someone needs something you can get it. I've been in the situation where we've gone out, got groceries for 2 weeks, had a meal out, like Burger King or something & then got home & someone's broken their shoe or spilled something uncleanable on their coat. There's no extra money in the bank, just enough for gas for me to go to work & back every day for the 2 weeks until the next paycheck & to buy milk & bread. There's no help for it but for the kid to deal with it with the credit card I could go get the shoes, or worse yet, the car breaks down, in the past that's always meant tearful phone calls home & money wired to me from my mother or grandmother who can't afford it any more than I can but at least have credit cards so they can help. Now I won't have to ask them for help, I'll be able to put a repair on the credit card. I'm still mulling over the whole pay all your bills with the credit card though, the commercials make it seem so easy, pay all your bills through auto pay with the credit card & then just pay the credit card bill each month - That way you don't have to think about it. But of course there's interest, you're paying more to pay your bills because of the interest rate on the credit card (a pretty good one on this card I have to say, at least 'til the end of the year)Someone pointed out though, that if you're paying the money you'd have paid the bills with, to the credit card company then you're paying over the minimum balance & thus would not be getting too bad of an interest rate or getting too behind on your debt. Of course if you're paying over the minimum payment routinely they're likely to increase your limit too!
Then of course I hear my father's voice on credit cards, how they're a slipery slope & you'll end up in debt to your eyeballs & be unable to pay it off. I also have had friends who did get into trouble, both my closest cousin & a former friend ended up in enough trouble with credit card debt that they had to have their money doled out to them & the payments for the cards automatically taken from their paychecks. There's never a decision in adulthood that's all good.. there's always too many pros & cons to everything!

Posted by Becky at 12:56 AM EDT
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Thirteen things I got done during my days off
Topic: Thursday Thirteen

1 I wrote in my blog a couple of times.
2 I did about 4 loads of laundry. (I did not, however, fold them)
3 I got 4 rows of sets & seeds planted in my garden.
4 I slept in & got some rest.
5 I changed my filter for my well water. (it really needed it)
6 I made bread, brownies & chocolate chip brownies.
7 I made a pretty good (if I do say so myself) chicken divan.
8 I got the house smelling a little better by airing it out (4 kids, multiple friends in & out, 2 adults, 1 dog, 2 cats & 1 kid is a bedwetter. you take a whiff!)
9 I cleaned the house up a little, you can't tell, see above about the way the house smells & you'll know why it looks as bad as it did when I started.
10 I built a media rack for my videos, dvds & cds.
11 I went on not 1 but 2 drives in the country just sight seeing & talking both with kids & without
12 I had a meaningful discussion with miss 16 (ok, that was Monday night, but I was through with work so it still counts.
13 I got my shower done, this thursday thirteen written & still have time tonight to watch the news & maybe even watch something else!

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Books on Tape
Now Playing: Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve
Topic: Rambling on

Listening to a book on tape makes me a lot more thoughtful, I truly belive listening to the story rather than reading it stilmulates different sections of your brain. I don't like it BETTER than reading but I do like it a lot. I never thought I would, but a year into working where I work now, with a 50 minute drive each way I had to do something to alleviate the boredom, I don't always have a book on tape going, -only about 4-5 a year. I love music & listen to it most of the time,- just occasionaly I ge bored with music though,- just occasionaly- & books on tape are great. I'll read things on tape I'd never have read by sitting down & listening. The only Larry Mcmurtree book I've ever finished was via a book on tape. currently I'm reading Oryx & Crayke but Margaret Atwood. I'm not a huge Atwood fan, Lady Oracle & The Handmaids Tale are the only books by her I've read all the way through (I'm not one of those obsessive people who once they start a book have to finish it, when I feel like it's not working I give up) The book is a doomsday-future book Depressing but Compelling & I've taken to sitting in the car at work & at home to finish parts of the book before going into work or into the house at night. (The true sign of a good book on tape for me!) I have a love hate relationship with futuristic novels, I like/love them because I was raised with a 'day after/threads' mentality. The idea that society will collapse in my lifetime. The breakdown will not neccesarily be BECAUSE of a nuclear war, (Steven Kings Superflu scenario in the Stand or even his more recent Cell Idea are perfectly plausible to me too. Especially in light of the Bird flu possibilites currently confronting the world) I hate these books for the same reason, because I am a mother & I don't want my kids to inherit a world like the ones portrayed in these stories.
The book is all about genetic & biologic splicing, a future where they splice pigs & baboons to make artificial organs for people, it's a vision of a distant gloomy future, even the childhood memories of the main character recall a world we don't quite live in currently. Though it did give me a chill watching the news the other night where they were talking about alligators in Florida biting people (Killed 3 this last week) the chilling part for me was the mentioned the reason for the alligator activity is that the Everglades are in a drought & they're looking for water, the Everglades being in a drought was in the book though they eventually burned in the book... I'm halfway through currently & don't want it to end. I have way too many unanswered questions still & I don't think 3 cds are going to cover it!
The force of the story seems to be altered hearing someone else tell the story, I think they affect you differently, I can say this with some authority because I have listened to books by authors I have read (Margaret Atwood, Steven King) & the books on tape/cd seem to stay with me longer. They are more likely to haunt my imagination & take me out of myself. I think though, that if I worked 15 minutes from home I would never have listened to them, it takes some distance driving to really appreciate them. Going up to Mass for vacations 2 out of 5 years I have had a book on tape to listen to. The first was one of my favorite books as a young teenager, set in the 1500s & 16 (then 12) didn't like it but miss 9 (then 5) did, we started listening to it on the way up to Mass at 11 or so at night & when I realized 16 had fallen asleep I went to turn it off & this little voice piped up from the back seat 'hey, I was listening to that!' I had to convince her that we'd listen more when her sister was awake. then 2 years ago when we went up we all listened to The Hobbit, I did'nt know it when I rented it from the library but it was not a regular reading it was acted out with different people doing different voices, that actually worked out better because they all were able to listen to it, even mr 6 who was then 4 going on 5, he was the most impressed & recently asked me what we were going to listen to on the way to Mass this summer, I don't quite know though, the things that would thrill the girls are not likely to hold mr 6's attention & vice versa, I've been thinking about trying the Lord of the Rings- we could do 1 book a year- but I'm afraid we couldn't finish it in the trip. We had to listen to the last tape of the Hobbit at home due to length. We shall see though, I still have nearly 7 weeks to decide after all!

Posted by Becky at 11:40 AM EDT
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Workin' for the Weekend (already)
Now Playing: Badlands By Bruce Springsteen

The work week is beginning tomorow/today- it's after midnight yet again, as my too optimistic boss puts it, with our schedule it's always Monday or Friday and I like that but what does it say about the job (or my attitude about it) that sometimes even 2 days in a row in that building doing what I do seems like too much. It could be worse, I could work Saturdays, every techno geek workaholic gadget junkie seems to reserve Saturdays to torment tech support people like me, they save it all up & call in Saturday morning with a list of complaints- usually on issues which are either so tiny (when I use fast forward at 60x the programing skips around & doesn't show in linear fashion x60 like it does at 15X) or which are already known issues that we'll fix with software (I don't mind telling people that, I do mind when they either start telling me how the engineers should fix it or ask to be transfered to an engineer to tell them their opinions on what would fix the problem)
I do appreciate my job, I like it a lot better now that I've been there so long that I don't have to deal with every little thing, almost completely just tech. A person I know now who used to work where I work asked me how long I'd been there & when I said nearly 5 years she asked why I wasn't a supervisor or a trainer. I missed a lot of oportunitys because of missing time due to weather & not even being elligible to apply, I've missed others because I liked the schedule I was on & getting a promotion would have meant starting out at the bottom of the pile & having to work 3-11 pm or worse yet: 5pm to 130 am. Now if they ever start a third shift there I'll be first at the door to become a supervisor - I think that would be the ideal schedule, though I'd be bummed out if I had to give up my 4-10 hour days.
Yeah, I am boring, my work diatribes are so boring it's even boring me. In other news Everyone under 18 in this house is gearing up for the end of school which will occour on the first of next month. I do not understand why they don't just end it the Friday before since they've already got that Monday off for memorial day anyway, why go to school for 2 & 1/2 more days? I don't make the rules, I know nothing about them, after all I'm just a 37 year old homeschooled nobody, far be it from me to question the reason the school wants to let them run around their tennis courts & playgrounds for an extra 2 days (they're already in play mode, the first half of this week was SOL tests in VA & since they finished those it's nothing but field days, game days & play days from now to the first of June!) I don't know why I'm complaining, after all those are 3 more days I don't have to worry about what they're eating for lunch at my house! Always a concern, I always think during the winter when I have the added expense of heat that in summer it'll be so much cheaper. Then it gets here & I realize I spend at least as much in food for the kids for summertime as I did for heat! (sometimes it seems like even more) I do like having them home though, I've always been the type of Mom who lets the kids stay home for the slightest little sniffle or cough when I'm home already, I can't miss work though, it's the type of job where if you miss more than just a few days you're in danger of losing your job! not convenient to a single mom of 3 but luckily my kids are pretty healthy.

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Lost in the Garden
Now Playing: Champagne Supernova By Oasis
Topic: Rambling on
I am missing my camera phone SO much right now! It stopped responding when I plugged in the charger & had to be repaired, I Hate the temporary (if you can call 8-10 weeks projected a temporary thing!) replacement phone, there's no camera on it, the ring tones are atrocious & it's bigger than my phone, to add insult to injury the young punk who swaped the phones told me that he had removed my picture messaging service (why be charged when you can't use it?) & activated everything that my old phone had, on this phone. When I went to add a ring tone that I can stand to the phone I couldn't do it so I had to call their technical support (I work tech support & so I know what it's like to try to make a stubborn piece of plastic, metal & silicon chips work right with a bumbling idiot following your commands over the phone) so I am easy on tech support people, I'm also easy on anyone in a call center environment (that doesn't extend to actually listening to telemarketers- but I am polite as I tell them 'no thank you' & hang up the phone) The woman I got when I called about my phone was obviously fairly new at her job, she put me on hold about 10 times (I am not exagerating) but she got the phone working, I had to program it to accept that I had the service that allows you to get ringtones & games etc. & then, because I know how things go with this type of issue I had her check & sure enough the punk I dealt with in person did not take off my picture messaging- she removed it but did not apologize, at my work I have to apologize for the oversights of others every day!
The reason for the diatribe on the phone is that I would really like to have pictures of my progress in the garden, the guy who dug it up last Saturday came back on Thursday evening (Unexpectedly- I didn't expect him 'till this Saturday- good thing I didn't spend the money I owed him!) & finished the job of tilling it into smooth dirt. So yesterday evening we were a picture of domestic bliss, Chrissie riding the lawnmower around, me making raised beds in my garden, the kids moving logs & sticks out of Chrissies way & helping me pick rocks, sticks & weeds out of my raised beds, I'm not exactly as healthy as I should be & so I got 2 beds ready to go, probably, judging by the size of the garden, (the guy expanded it a little on 3 sides) annother 8-10 beds to rake up & clean out, I figure if I do a couple a day on my days off I should be ready to plant by the end of the month... (I would feel worse about this if it wasn't for the fact that the news said last night that we're going to be in the 30's overnight 2 or 3 more nights in the next seven days & I hate losing things to the cold, I'd rather leave it alone until it's warmer-) I looove having a vegetable garden! I can't think of anything more magical than having actual food that I grew & can just walk out my back door & go choose! Mr 6 is the most enthused about the whole thing (not too surprising, he's bottomless & especially loves tomatoes & cucumbers) but the girls have helped off & on & are expeceted to help some more this afternoon (if it ever gets warm out there- annother cool one, I understand the need for spring before summer but is it EVER going to get warm?) We'll be putting the half fence up this afternoon & I'll have to decide what I'm doing about the green bean climbing apparatus, I've heard that poles with strings stretched between them works better than just poles. That would require string, which I don't have at home & I'm broke for the moment so if I decied to do that it will have to wait until after my next payday!
I had had ideas of taking pictures of the progress of the garden & putting them on my picture site, so I'd have a record of it & could look back over time & see how much better it looks when the veggies are actually coming in...& of course I thought that might help to motivate me to weed it a little more this year, last year it was a mass of weeds & I think that's why my squashes, watermellons & pumpkins would get to be about 2 inches in circumfrence & then turn black! it was either that or the kids overzealously using the plant food on the garden I haven't figured out which it was.
Anything is better than the previous 6 years in the trailer with no space for a garden at all & I am really glad I have the option now. I hated not having one after 3 years with one in our rental places with the ex.
I set myself an hour online & the alarm I set just went off so I'm going to the garden now- gray clouds or no gray clouds. pic of the lawnmower since I have none of the garden currently!:

Posted by Becky at 12:05 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, May 20, 2006 12:32 PM EDT
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Thirteen Random Questions
Topic: Thursday Thirteen

1. If you got to pick celebrity parents to raise you, who would they be?
maybe Demi Moore & Ashton Kuscher?

2. If you never had to worry about money, how would you live your life
differently? I would not work, I'd have a governess for my kids so they'd
be around all the time so we could go out & do things anytime, We'd build
a house just the way we wanted it & have horses, We'd go on cruises & tour
the UK & Africa etc. I'd have body guards to keep my ex away.

3. Would you rather be a man or a woman if you came back? Men get all the
fame, money etc. but women get all the emotions. Probably a woman

4. If you were trapped at one age for the rest of your life, would you
rather be 15 or 75? 15, when else can you be so certain you're right even
if you're dead wrong?

5. What do you think would be the worst job for you to have? Anything in
the medical profession, I'm not very empathetic.

6. If time machines really existed, when would you want to travel to?
either the 14-1500's or the 1700's,

7. What two things would you change about your body/appearance? two? well
my weight of course, & probably get a reduction for my chest.

8. What two things would you change about your partner's body/appearance?
I have no partner.

9. What is a disgusting habit that you have? As if I'd say on here! (according to some people It's discusting that I show up 20 minutes early for any apointment I have - Anal I believe was the exact wording)

10. Do you pick your nose in the car? Never gave it much thought.

11. What is your least favorite aspect of adulthood? Having to get up & go
to work every day I'm scheduled.

12. If you were to be born into another race or culture, what would you
pick? I don't know, but I can think of a few I would not pick...lol...

13. Name one event that changed your life? Probably my Ex moving out & leaving I was hurt at the time but it's been really great since I recovered from the initial shock.

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Questions in Triplicate
Now Playing: Hand in My Pocket by Alanis Morrisette
Topic: Stuff & Nonsense

3 Names you go by:
Her/She (that's my ex- I don't feel too bad about it he refers to his
current wife to me the same way, as if he couldn't say 1's name to the

3 Screen Names you have had:

3 Things you like about yourself:
Tendency to look on the bright side in most situations

3 Things you don't like about yourself:
Too Emotional
Not as Much Patientice as I Need

3 Parts of your heritage:
More English

3 Things that scare you:
Loss/Death of My Kids
Financial Ruin

3 Of your everyday essentials:
St Johns Wort

3 Things you are wearing right now:
A smile

3 Of your favorite bands or musical artists:
Led Zeppelin

3 Of your favorite songs:
Bittersweet Symphony, The Verve
Clocks, Coldplay
Wish You Were Here, Incubus

3 Things you want to try in the next 12 months
To get healty
Painting my Dining Room
Keeping my House Clean (man, I am SO Boring!)

3 Things you want in a relationship:
For him to go to his own house every night

2 Truths and a lie:
Purple is my Very Favorite Color
I Prize my Quiet Time above all else.
My Quiet Time is not really very Quiet.

3 Things about the opposite sex that appeal to you:
The Penis has it's own appeal
The abillity to fix things (yes I know there's guys out there as clueless
as I am too)
They're much more likely to take you at face value & not look for the
hidden meanings in your bad mood

3 Things about the same sex that appeal to you:
They're neater & cleaner
More likely to be interested in reading

3 Things you just cannot do:
keep my feet warm
eat oysters
smoke cigarettes

3 Of your favorite hobbies:

3 Things you want to do really badly right now:
Have enough money
Have some heat I can just turn on instead of having to go get kerosene, bring it back, fill the heater & light the heater (I'm writing this may 17th which adds insult to injury)
make my back stop hurting

3 Careers you are considering:
The one I have now,
Becoming a supervisor at same place
Becoming a quality assurance specialist at the same place

3 Places you want to go on vacation:
Like places? or places on my vacation to mass? I'll take this as dream places:
UK/British Isles et al.

3 Kids names:
Ones I wanted to use but didn't

3 Things you want to do before you die
See the whole U.S
Build my dream house
Meet a nice guy

3 Ways you are stereotypically a boy:
Not afraid of bugs, spiders or blood
Rock & Roll baby, all the way
Not afraid to at least try to fix stuff, tune up my car & change my oil

3 Ways you are stereotypically a girl:
Afraid of Mice & Snakes
I'm more comfortable in dresses than in pants
I like to embroider & do crafts

3 Celeb crushes:
Johnny Depp
Nicholas Cage
Sam Elliot

3 People you would like to complete this quiz:

Posted by Becky at 3:02 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Chaos reigns, at Home & Especially at Work
Now Playing: Talking Heads Once in a Lifetime
Topic: just letting off steam

Did you ever have a dream where you can not figure out what anything is, you try to read what's in front of you, you try to click on the link but none of them go anywhere, every button you press does nothing or opens up annother bunch of possibillities that you either don't understand or are not what you need? Welcome to my LIFE! I felt pretty good after yesterday, I felt like I had the whole new computer program at work under my belt, I could schedule a tech to come out, I could set up to replace equipment. Then Monday came, I knew it would be more difficult, the sheer volume alone, people who don't do business on Sundays & people who assume we don't do business on Sundays always call on Mondays so there's Lots of calls coming in. & there's a lot more random stuff, people who are mad because the tech didn't put the cable in where they wanted or left it hanging off the gutter, people who select tech because 'I thought it would be the fastest way to get a person on the phone honey' I was woefully under prepared for what today brought & I know, from looking at my co-workers faces that they were too!

In other news miss 16 finally got a picture of her boyfriend from KY. He's cute & I belive, considering her excitement over the pictures, that he's exceeded her expectations of how he would look. So all is very calm & even a little hyper/happy on 16's front.
Miss 9 is having a lot of fun with Chrissies daughter, they're sharing a room & are deep in cahoots when they're not at each other's throats.
Mr 6 is adjusting pretty well to watching tv in my living room, he definitley enjoys having Chrissies dog here, he loves to run & the dog likes to chase him so that works out well for both of them. We had the garden plowed (the guy still has to come back & till it & break the turf up more in depth) on Saturday. & he's having a lot of fun checking out the hills & valleys of the plowed area, looking for worms & digging up tree roots (I had to cut off 5 or 6 which were 3-4 inches thick) We had a little bigger area plowed to expand the garden this year, last year I was hesitant because I thought it would be too much to take care of & it was, but I also found that stuff will grow even if you don't weed much, you just have to look harder for the stuff that grew!

Posted by Becky at 1:05 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 16, 2006 1:18 AM EDT
Thursday, May 11, 2006
13 things I hope to do on vacation this year
Topic: Thursday Thirteen

^Miss 9 on 'vacation' last year- (we stayed home)

1 Go to the Salem Witch Museum
2 Go to Hampton Beach NH
3 See Ann & Tom & family
4 Take a trip to Boston for Shopping & sight seeing (at least once in the trip, maybe twice)
5 Go to Maine, See the places I spent a lot of time visiting as a teenager.
6 Go to Union Maine With Ann
7 Go to the Vermont Country Store
8 See all my Cousins ('Cept Kris)
9 Bore the kids by driving them past every hangout, house & place I ever spent time as a kid
10 Go to the graveyard
11 NOT Spend a fortune in gas (not likely)
12 Go to Hull, Ft Revere Etc.
13 Not Lose my patientice with the kids (too much)

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 10, 2006 10:51 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 9, 2006
Of all the things I've lost, I think I miss my mind the most
Now Playing: Not the Doctor by Alanis Morisette
Topic: Self Portrait Tuesday
My Head is elsewhere, that's not unusual, I multi task at work & at home all the time. I routinely plan 2 weeks worth of meals, the next 6 months budget, what I'm getting the kids for their birthdays or Christmas. While verbally walking people through their bills, putting a snowy screen back on a picture or adding programing or set top boxes to their accounts. I constntly help with homework while doing dishes or even taking a bath (Miss 9 only, 16 & 6 would rather die than be in the bathroom with me- especialy during a bath) I can do dishes, read, watch the news & type on the computer while yelling at people about the state of their rooms, the dishes they were supposed to do & the yard. (come to think of it that last one isn't exactly something to brag about) I don't know why I can't keep track of the days this week though, I posted my thirteen for Thursday last night before I went to bed.... I am REALLY losing it!
Part of the problem is I'm not on my regular schedule this week, I had Sunday off & am working all 5 week days this week instead of working Sunday & Monday & then Thursday & Friday only. The other part of my distraction is the reason I'm on a different schedule, it's because I;m learning a new computer program at work. I've been at my Job 5 years this July & I have of course aged by 5 years since I started but I really don't remember having this much trouble learning the original computer programs. Or all the other stuff I had to learn to do my job correctly (& belive me, there's a LOT to it!) I just absorbed it all & went on from there... & it's not like I'm not stretching my mind constantly. Just doing the job is a challenge mentally every day. Plus we have 2 hours of mandatory training every single week so it's not like I'm out of the loop (any loop at all...) This is the hardest thing I've done in about 2 & 1/2 years. (2&1/2 years ago we released like 5 boxes at the same time, all with different specs & functions & to add to it I was sick with the flu & something else for 7 weeks straight & barely knew who I was let alone how to fix those stupid boxes) This time I have no illness, it's just really hard going. Everyone else (17 of us, all learning this together) is struggling too so I'm trying not to take it personally but it seems like 4 days of training is not enough time to really learn a whole new system of work. Yes, that's all we get, 4 days & then they throw us out to the wolves (you read that: customers) to fend for ourselves. Add to that the fact that the person teaching us learned this system last week & has had about 7 hours of practical application & it's just a recipe for disaster. Just as I think I've figured some of it out they throw annother curve at me or there's something else you have to click on to make it work right!

So I took down my Thursday thirteen & will re-post it Wednesday night. Here's my self portrait for the week.... I was checking for gray hairs is the point there... I should have a full head of them by Friday night.

Posted by Becky at 10:14 PM EDT
Friday, May 5, 2006
the Lawn wars,
Now Playing: Outshined By Soundgarden
Topic: Rambling on

The yard is too big for us to mow with a push mower, but it's too hilly to comfortably use a drive on lawnmower with. I nearly rolled it down the hill this morning, lost my cell phone out of my pocket & then had to go looking for it in the grass. Lucky for me my daughter texted me at the same time I was looking for the phone & so I was able to follow my ear (I'm deaf in the other & have a lot of trouble telling the direction sound is coming from so I was walking in circles for a few minutes- listening for it & trying to tell where it was at) Then when I went to start the lawnmower it would not start for anything, it kept flooding & I'd have to go sit in the house for 15 min (longer really, because I couldn't go in the house & not mess around on the computer) & then try it again. I finally quit in disgust & Chrissy Mowed the lawn today. She says she likes to do it & that it was no big deal.. More power to her. I can see this is going to be a constant battle for me unless I perhaps drop some weight or something. It's obvious that lawnmower was not made to carry someone as big as I am.
I have always had way too much lawn to mow. the first was growing up, my yard was aproximately 1 acre large, a big back section & 2 large sections on either side of the driveway, at about age 11 I thought it would be a good form of exersize, my dad was one of those go around in squares around & around the yard type of people (my ex told me that this is bad for the lawn it will make it look terrible) & all we had was a push mower, no ride on here - so I figured a bunch of laps around the yard was just what my body needed. My Father disagreed, he felt I was a) too young, b) too uncoordinated & c) he actually liked mowing the lawn & didn't see the need for me to do any of it. Well I made it around the yard two times. both times as I mowed beside the neighbors fence I stepped in dog sh*t & after wiping my blue satin sneakers with the heart imprints on the treads (With rainbow laces yet) I summarily quit. Much to my fathers relief.
Then at 15 when I lived with my Uncle & Aunt I had, as part of my jobs (besided watching their kids 30+ hours a week & cleaning a 12 room house) I was supposed to mow the lawn. (hell, I was happy, I still had a lot of free time & they didn't even ask where I was when I went out on my own when they didn't need me) I have always been car crazy & at 15 with out a learners permit riding the snapper was the closest to driving I could get. it was probably nearly 3 acres all told that I had to mow & the 4 out of 6 months that the lawn was growing while I was there I mowed it all the time. 4 years later when my Uncle & Aunt moved out & my Grandmother & I moved in I was not quite as enthused, I was working 40 hours a week & still expected to mow weekly (my grandmother couldn't do it - she was 79 at the time & had never had a drivers licence,) I did find though that certain, shall we say, herbal smoking things made spending the majority of 1 of my days off on the lawnmower at least a little more enjoyable. I lived there off & on for the next 8 years, my ex & I lived there with my grandmother for a few of those years & we alternated parts of the lawn. often 1 of us would do the close work with a push mower & weed whacker while the other drove the big mower around & alternate weeks as to who did what. The last year we were there though my ex lost interest & basically ignored the whole lawn thing in favor of playing in awful bands (well, 1 was ok the other incarnations sucked) & I was back to doing the whole thing while caring for a 6 year old & an infant. The next fall we moved to Virginia & for the first year, though he did change jobs a lot he did work at least most of the time & I mowed the lawn (because as a stay at home mom I felt it was the least I could do since he was our sole support- such as it was) with an ancient lawnmower he purchased from a all the time yard sale type place for 15 bucks. for some obscure reason he & his best friend painted different parts of the lawnmower different colors & named it #24. (it is telling that ex is a Wallace fan & the friend was an original Earnheart fan. I could never get them to tell me if it was some obscure insult to the lawnmower or what exactly the deal was. It was a colorful lawnmower to say the least & it broke down constantly- which gave me an excuse to do only part of the lawn at a time. At the trailer the ex's & my relations were broken down to such an extent that I basically said 'If you think I'm going to mow a lawn while watching a 9 year old, a 3 year old & an infant you've got annother think coming' & he mowed the lawn grudgingly for the 15 months he lived there with us, the remaining 5 & 1/2 years were a constant struggle, He took the lawnmower with him when he left (he moved to an apartment so I'll never understand why) & I had to borrow neighbors lawnmowers for the next 2 years, then I got myself together enough to by a used lawnmower for $35 bucks I've paid annother neighbor about that much in the last 3 years since then keeping it running & last year with this huge yard I have now I nearly killed that poor lawnmower. I was determined that at tax time I would get a big lawnmower with my earned income credit (hey, being the sole support of 3 kids has it's benifits) & then everything cost more than expected & I didn't do it. so I got a loan against my 401K & bought this one. (after spending too much to look prosperous when my ex was here- but when he looked in the cupboard & the fridge - & he did look- they were chock full of food & that was what was important-)
So now this one seems to be a difficulty, not strong enough for the job & of course it was used so it's not like I can return it or anything- oh well, between 16 & Chris I guess the lawn will get done, even if I'm reduced back to mowing with the push mower & the weed whacker again!

Posted by Becky at 9:46 PM EDT
Wednesday, May 3, 2006

>>> The Class of 2001
Just in case you weren't feeling too old today, this will certainly change
Each year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to try
give the faculty a sense of the mindset of that year's incoming freshmen.
1. The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were born in
2. They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan Era and probably did not
know he
had ever been shot.
3. They were prepubescent when the Persian Gulf War was waged.
4. Black Monday 1987 is as significant to them as the Great Depression.
5. They were 11 when the Soviet Union broke apart and do not remember the Cold
6. They have never feared a nuclear war.
7. They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.
8. Tianamen Square means nothing to them.
9. Their lifetime has always included AIDS.
10. Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.
11. Atari predates them, as do vinyl albums. The expression you sound like a
record means nothing to them.
12. They have never owned a record player.
13. They have likely never played Pac Man and have never heard of Pong.
14. They may have never heard of an 8 track. The Compact Disc was introduced
when they
were 1 year old.
15. As far as they know, stamps have always cost about 33 cents.
16. They have always had an answering machine.
17. Most have never seen a TV set with only 13 channels, nor have they seen a
black-and-white TV.
18. They have always had cable.
19. There has always been VCR's, and VHS but they have no idea what BETA is.
20. They cannot fathom not having a remote control.
21. They were born the year that Walkmen were introduced by Sony.
22. Roller-skating has always meant inline for them.
23. Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show.
24. They have no idea when or why Jordache jeans were cool.
25. Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.
26. They have never seen Larry Bird play.
27. They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.
28. The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as WWI, WWII and the Civil
29. They have no idea that Americans were ever held hostage in Iran.
30. They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.
31. They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.
32. They never heard: " Where's the beef?"," I'd walk a mile for a Camel", or
"de plane,
de plane".
33. They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. is.
34. The Titanic was found? They thought we always knew where it was.
35. Michael Jackson has always been white.
36. Kansas, Chicago, Boston, America, and Alabama are places, not groups.
37. McDonalds never came in Styrofoam containers.
38. There has always been MTV.
39. They don't have a clue how to use a manual typewriter.
40. Do you feel old yet? pass this on to the other old fogies in your life.

Posted by Becky at 12:12 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 2, 2006
Why Am I Here?

I was reading annother Local blog which had an entry about people coming
from other areas, thinking this was a good place to settle & on the
considerations they should take under advisement, I remember Chrissy
writing to me when I was planing to move here & bring my boyfriend, who
became my Husband & is now my Ex, with me. & she said you really need to
warn him what it's like, most people don't love it here like we do. I
fell in love in 1987 with this place & never looked back. Everything
thrilled me, From the maximum safe speed signs on the curves to the
taking my own trash in the trunk of the car to the dumpsters. (made more
sense to me than saving my trash up for a week & then debating the do I
take it out at night & run the risk of local dogs getting into it? or
attempt to get up early enough in the morning to get it out before the
trash truck goes by & then I have 2 weeks of trash next time? question) I
have never minded losing electricity in a thunder storm or a snow/ice
storm, I loved it as a kid because it meant everyone in my family would
be together & not watching tvs- or reading, each in their own room.
(though the 2 weeks in February 1994 did give even me pause to
reconsider) I fell in love with the mountains the minute it was light
enough to see them on my first day here back in 1987. I could not get
over how much nicer, easy going & polite everyone was here as opposed to
in my home state of Massachusetts, it was what I'd been looking for my
whole life, I had thought, originally Maine or New Hampshire or Vermont,
But when I went there & visited places I found people to be more laid
back but also kindof unfriendly, introverted & distrustful in the
northern New England states. Here everyone was willing to stop & pass the
time of day & take the time to talk to you. Being naturally or maybe I
should say genetically shy it was an amazing feeling to have people ask
me friendly questions. I, being a history lover was thrilled to find a
pharmacy with a lunch counter, drive up resturants & tiny grocery stores
with 5 or 6 asiles which still gave out green stamps. Just like I had
heard my parents & grandparents reminisce about.
I don't have allergies, (unless you count liars & my ex) though I may be
beginning to develop them.
I, being overweight belive midnight cravings are best ignored or anticipated.
I grew up in a home with a septic system & while we did have a well it
wasn't our actual source of water, it was an old well which I was allowed
to draw water from with a bucket on a clothesline up until I was 12 or 13
& my brother started tying the dog in that general area. then, when I was
15 or 16 they covered the well with a breezeway porch.
I don't mind driving 28 miles to work & back each day, I've read a ton of
really great books on tape that way & I belive it gives me a chance to
de-stress & decompress after my work day so I'm less likely to take my
work-stress out on the people at home.The same drive on a day off to shop
is not a problem for me either. sometimes I just take it philosophically,
If I can't find it in town here then I don't really need it that much.

I found, when I moved down here in 1993for what I thought was my
permanent relocation that there were lots of things I hadn't even known
about in 1987 & '88 that were really wonderful, I was only on the Blue
Ridge Parkway 2 times the first time I came here, the 2nd time I
practically lived there. I had a 3 year old & lived in a 1 bedroom
apartment with her & the space up on the parkway was a much needed relif
valve for both of us. I Don't make friends easily, (though compared to my
mother & grandmother I'm downright gregarious) but both of the first 2
times I was here I forced myself to become more outgoing. I was able to
connect with people I'd met in 87 again in 93 & 94, & Chrissy moved back
down not too long after I came back in 93, in 94 my ex & I got married &
his family ended up moving in with us a few weeks after our marriage.
this has turned out to be a really good thing in the long run because I
still count them as some of my many friends here but at the time the
stress nearly fractured our marriage before it even got started, about 6
months after they moved down we moved back to Mass. We tried to make it
up there, we really did, met a few really great people (you know who you
are!) But even with both of us working full time we did not have enough
money to get out on our own (we were living with my grandmother) after
our first daughter was born my ex wanted to bring her to meet her
grandparents & the rest of his family so we came for a visit, after the
visit we both started yearning to come back here. After yet annother of
his many serial affairs we decided to make a clean break & come back to
Virginia. That was in 1997 & though I've been back 5 out of 9 years for
visits to Mass I don't have any desire to move back there permanently at
all. When I came here I knew for sure I was truly home.

Posted by Becky at 8:44 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Annother Self Portrait (sort of)
Topic: Self Portrait Tuesday

Posted by Becky at 10:31 AM EDT
Monday, April 24, 2006
Famous Bands I've seen Chronological order, first first
Now Playing: Wish you were Here by Incubus
Topic: Stuff & Nonsense
1 Preservation Hall Jazz Band too many times to count 2 Iron Maiden & Twisted Sister (1983 Worcester Centrum) 3 Joan Jett & the Blackhearts & David Johansen (1985 Orpheom Boston) 4 The Firm (1985 Worcester) 5 AC/DC (1986 The Boston Garden- I was 16 my brother was 12 & I took him but would not take his best friend who ended up being my ex- he's held a grudge ever since) 6 The Firm again (Providence Rhode Island Civic Center) 7 Max Creek (1991 Living Room Providence RI) 8 Mettalica, Guns & Roses & Faith No More (1992 Sullivan Stadium with the ex, we heard Faith no More but didn't see them because he didn't like them & we had been delayed, -Massachusetts state cops can read lips you know...) 9 The Greatful Dead at RFK stadium Washington DC, 1993. 10 ZZ Top & George Thorogood (1994 Roanoke Civic Center) 11 Tori Amos (may 1996- some college in NH, a mothers day present from the ex, I was 8 months pregnant) 12 Cheap Trick (Fall 1996- free concert in Boston, I didn't actually see them, I had 4 month old baby with me but my then 6 year old & my ex went down to where they were playing & saw them- I could hear them just fine though) 13 Rush ( xmas time 1996 The new Fleet center Best ever because I LOVE Rush) 14 Bon Jovi & Peter Wolf (summer of 1997 great woods, my only concert at great woods) 15 Slaughter (summer/Fall of 1997 (some bar in Nashua or Manchester NH - we saw annother band there that summer too but I can't rememeber who...lol & no, I was not drunk, I was the DD it was our last gasp before moving back to VA & the ex & I tried to see every band we could see.

Posted by Becky at 11:55 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 23, 2006 3:02 PM EDT

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