Thankful Thursday: Sick days

No, I am not thankful for being sick.. no no no.
What I am thankful for is my new employer gives us 5 days of paid leave on the day we start. I am not concerned about having a short pay check because I’m staying home some this week. I have been working so hard to get a steady pay check, and they are helping me maintain that income by being generous and offering up 5 days up front. How cool is that?


Simple, short, and sweet. That’s how I roll today.


Being sick is yucky.

I came down with something two Thursdays ago.  Just felt congested and full of junk. The winds were whipping stuff around so I thought it was allergies.
Last Sunday I felt good enough, with some OTC meds on board, to work in the yard a bit. Did a few gardening things and I was happy. Took a hot shower then rested on the couch the rest of the day.
Monday came and still the junk was there.
Tuesday came and I started to lose my voice. WHAT?!? How can I NOT talk?!  If you know me, I’m a talker and this is like a disability for me. Ahhh!!!!
Thursday came around and I realized I have had this thing for a week. It’s more than allergies. Thursday night a cough started. A gross wet one at that. 

I have been on the couch since Saturday morning. I have watched nearly everything I DVRd. There’s just a couple movies left to sleep through today and then I’ll be all caught up on the DVR and can make room for other things.

Today I’ll be seeing my doctor and she’ll fix me right up. I hope!!??  That’s only an hour away so I should probably make myself presentable for her… don’t you think?

Annie has a little cough too, so I’m hoping to get her in today as well to see her primary doc and we’ll figure out what’s wrong with her today too.  Maybe it’s just allergies for her since it is sporadic, but it’s still weird and I don’t like it.


Stay tuned for Thankful Thursday this week. What are you thankful for this week? 

I hope you remain well and don’t cough up junk like I am.

Thankful Thursday: Pay Checks

It’s been a year since I had a paycheck. 

Last week: MMC Racing told me he could see a new deposit in the account on Friday. I jumped for joy, quietly, at my desk.  It is finally real. I have been working for three weeks and not for free!! Wahoo!! They paid me! YES!!!!!!!! They really like me and will pay me to do my job! *faint*

I felt a bit guilty going clothes shopping at Banana Republic for work before I had money coming in. I needed new clothes, but it didn’t mean it didn’t feel weird spending several hundred dollars on clothes. It nearly made me sick!!!!  My stomach churned as the cashier rang up each piece of clothes.

Also last week, I spent a little bit on Pampered Chef  products.  I had a party, and I couldn’t pass up a 65% (or something crazy like that) offer!  O picked up a few must haves for the busy chef.  I can’t wait to cook a WHOLE chicken in 30 minutes in the microwave!!  Super awesome way to get dinner done quickly on a work night.

I then spent a another bit on doTERRA essential oils. I feel this was a must have also.  I need a little balance and immunity booster now that I am around a bunch of people. I didn’t protect myself soon enough though…I picked up a cold.  Soon, I’ll feel MUCH better thanks to my EOs on board.

I am so very thankful for being a household monetary contributor again. Wahoo!!!!


Thank you, Miss Annie Marie Fussy Butt, for leaning your head on the wall this morning. 

This is not something we have seen you do before, but it was something Samantha Michele did all the time.  We never thought it looked comfortable, but she did it nonetheless. Today, while I was toweling off from a warm shower, trying to wash away my cold, I saw you laying with your head propped up on the wall.  I called Daddy over to look. I was in instant tears.  You were so cute doing what we were used to seeing, but it wasn’t the dog I expected. Your Daddy blocked my view trying to help me stop the tears, but it was too late. They came for Sam as they often do.

Then later today, you were snuggling on the couch with us, and Daddy asked if you were the best dog? Your arm went from straight up to bent. You love having the straight leg up in the air, so it was touching that you lowered it.  Sam was the best dog ever; that was her title in this house.  You are an amazing and awesome dog, Annie, but you haven’t earned that title quite yet. You have at least 10 more years to earn it, okay?

Thank you, Annie, for reminding me of our Sam today. While I didn’t need the tears, I do need her and you in my life.

Thank you, Annie, for being so very different from Sam. If you were the same color or had the same temperament, I’m not sure how I would survive. You wouldn’t know what your name is, I could guarantee that.

Thank you, Samantha, for letting us be your parents for 15 1/2 years. You will always be special and I will keep your memories close to my heart. I hope you’re ok with me letting Annie have a piece of it too.

Thankful Thursday: People Wearing Purple

I know, it’s corny.  When the folks at work wear a stunning shade of purple, I feel better. There is a guy with a fancy tie he wears with his pale purple button down shirt.  A young lady wore a perfect purple skirt today which brightened up my rainy day.  A piece of wrist jewelry caught my eye at the end of the day. I oohd and ahhd over it. I knew I should have worn the purple dress I had planned on Sunday, for today!! Tomorrow it is. I love how I feel in purple, therefore tomorrow (which is today if you’re reading the day it posted) will be a purple day.

Thanks new work people for surrounding me in my favorite color!!!

Is there something simple in your day that makes you happy? Tell me about it!!

Thankful Thursday: New Work

Who would have thought, I would be thankful for work outside the home?

Well, I am.  Today I was able to dig in on a new project.  I am working with another new hire, who is really a rehire, who knows her way around the office protocol and politics. Thank goodness I have her!!

She is guiding me through the process, helping me understand the relationship between my department and others, and basically being there for me for all kinds of questions.  Yeah!!!

I am enjoying my days, though I miss Miss Fussy Butt and fresh air.  I am very thankful for this opportunity and the people I am interacting with at work.

Think about your work: What are you thankful for?

Thankful Thursday: What do you believe?

I believe everything happens for a reason.

I do not practice an organized religion. I do not go to church. I wasn’t raised in a religious household… But I do believe everything happens for a reason.  Yes, even the shitty things.

I don’t think we (and I mean I and maybe you in ‘we’) understand why things happen when they happen.  Maybe we need to learn a lesson. Maybe we need a change we didn’t know we needed.

I feel like during this last year, I needed to learn a few life lessons.  Being unemployed left a lot of time for reflection, remembering, thinking, and rerunning situations on how I would have done things differently.

We decided to adopt / rescue a fur baby while I was off work.  We figured, what other way to get a job offer than to have a responsibility at home that requires full time attention?  Right?  We were contemplating buying an ultra expensive car, but opted for a puppy instead.  Annie has been an amazing addition to our family.  Samantha didn’t love her like we do, but Sam was a great big sister.  Sam showed Annie how to “speak” on command.  Sam was a quiet well behaved girl and her mellow personality may have rubbed off on Annie.  Taking care of Annie was a full time job, with sleepless nights, whimpering, pottying, and learning the rules of the house.  I wouldn’t give it up for anything.  I learned more patience than I thought I could ever have.  I remembered what it was like 15 years ago to train Sam and this time, I hope, I did it better.  Annie is maturing into a very wonderfully obedient little girl. I would like to think it was all the time I put into her in training in the first months of her life with us.  We would never have gotten Annie if I was employed.  There wasn’t time to dedicate to a new baby while we were both working full time.

I was able to be with Sam every time she had a seizure.  We were there with her, every single time.  I was able to stay home with her and hang out with her while she recovered.  She never had to be alone during those times.  If I was working, she could have had a seizure alone.  I am so thankful to have been home with her every single time.  After she passed… I felt like this was the reason why I was out of work with no offers for so long.  I needed to be home with her.

I had time to practice writing — the thing I said I have wanted to do but never put time into doing.  I wrote over 50,000 words in November with thanks to NaNoWriMo.  I explored writing, researching, and practicing my craft.  I do not have a finished product (yet), but I have a lot of great words in two different books that will be finished one day.  Writing my living memoir was my therapy.  It helped me reflect on work, what I want to be when I grow up, and how I got into the position I was in.  Writing helped me to refocus me.  One day, I’ll be a published novelist — not sure when — but one day.  Without this time off, I would not have made the time to start the two books I did.

If I had a job this past year, I would never have applied for jobs at the company that has offered me this project manager position.  I would never have rewritten me resume in such a way that it peaked the interest of the hiring manger. I never would have gotten the call from HR to interview for a position I didn’t apply for.  I never would have had this opportunity – if I was working.

Did my unemployment happen for a reason, was it just bad luck, did I do something to deserve it? It could be all of these things.  Now that the ‘dry spell’ is over, I am very thankful it happened.

What do you believe?

Today is the big day

Today is the day I start my new career as a Project Manager. 

I am nervous and anxious. A little scared. A lot excited.

I have been thinking about becoming a project manager for years. I started working on projects at State Farm Insurance way back when I was in my early 20′s. That was exciting and new. I loved it.  I was my project managers’ right hand woman.  I had about 5 project managers I supported at one time. 4 of the projects worked together, but separate (that is a LONG story). The 5th was a project manager that only worked projects of the utmost importance to the inner workings of the company. How cool is that?? I learned about the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) there.  I followed the rules and learned what I needed to learn. This was a great job to learn from. I worked with some amazing people — a few of which I am still in contact. Yippee!  I was really young then and didn’t have the training or experience yet, but it felt like it was the right path to take — in the future.

We moved to Saint Louis where I was granted an amazing opportunity to work for The Boeing Company on the F/A-18 AMC program.  Another project based environment, but this time using Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), not the PMBOK.  This was a new set of rules to learn in a “new to me” environment.  I’m a process geek, but I don’t think I knew it until then.  I really learned to love following processes, writing processes, and trying to get folks to adhere to the processes.  CMMI and I become one.  I supported several project managers, but life was very different than I was used to for the PjM.  I stuck to configuration management — and was happy.

We moved to San Diego where I worked in a few places, all using CMMI.  I found myself thriving in that environment, but also missing the PMBOK.  Should I go to school, take a PMP course, learn more about the PMBOK again?  I’ll admit it — I was scared and it intimidated me to even think about doing PMP work while I was a configuration manager.  I worked with project managers that were PMP certified and they didn’t look like they were having much fun or enjoying themselves.  They were stressed out over classes, work was demanding a LOT of their time, and the project never seemed to go anywhere.

What in the heck was I thinking wanting any of that?!  Now that I have been away from that for a couple of years, I realized it was the environment, not the PMBOK, that was causing their problems.  I had to remember: I have seen Project Management work — and work well! Following a methodology, when the boss / company / team are all on board, can be incredibly satisfying and successful.

I am sure I will have my ups and downs, we all do. I may not do it all right the first time, but I will learn from my mistakes and do it right (at least better) the second time around.  I will ask for help.  I will research and read more work “stuff” to become a better Project Manager.  I am sure I will get overwhelmed some days — I think that is to be expected –  I’ll turn to my rock and ask him for even more support than he gives me already. 

I am excited to see where this path leads. It has been a long and winding road to get here, but I think I am where I finally belong.

Thankful Thursday: The Same But Different

I am thankful for noticing the similarities and differences in our fur kids.

I recently gave a speech in Toastmasters on Border Collie colors. My speech was inspired by the differences I noticed in our 9 month old, Annie and our recently departed, Samantha. Sam had a rough coat, was tri-color red, and was not Merle in color. Annie is smooth coat, black and white, and not Merle in color.

I could use just one more cookie, Mom.

I could use just one more cookie, Mom.

Riding in the car

Riding in the car

We have noticed additional differences between our girls:

  • Samantha was not a snuggle-butt. Annie, as I think you may have noticed, is.
  • Samantha would sigh when we were too close to her and would move away. Annie buries her head in the blanket and “exhales loudly” through her nose but stays there for a long time.
  • Annie doesn’t wag her tail nearly enough. Sam was always wagging to tell you she was a happy girl.  It’s not to say that Annie isn’t a happy girl, but she doesn’t show it the same way.
  • Annie will look you in the eye, dead on.  Samantha, the ever submissive girl, would never look you in the eye.  Even if you had her muzzle in your hand and talked to her all nice and lovey — her eyes would be diverted.
  • Samantha was not very vocal — she learned to speak when spoken to (unless there was a problem). Annie will whine while chewing on a favorite bone. She’s not upset or hurt, she just whines in happiness.
  • Annie likes to chew on bones. Samantha was obsessed with balls.
  • Annie hasn’t learned to catch balls in the air yet. Sam was a pro from nearly day one.
  • Sam chewed through two metal crates.  Annie has scratched/chewed through two canvas crates.
  • Annie can “moo,” speak, and sing. Samantha only knew how to speak.

There will be more differences to be seen, I’m sure.  I am so thankful to be noticing the differences because these differences keep Samantha’s memory alive.

Special Thanks to my friend, JW, for talking with me this week, reminding me how awesome life is, and inspiring this post. <3

The last week

This is my last week of being unemployed.  Wow.  Now that it is right around the corner, I am anxious and excited.  A little scared too.

Will I be good enough? Will I learn quickly? Did I buy the right clothes? Are my chunky flats going to be ok? And when did I start caring about clothes and shoes? Will I be able to make it through 9 hour work days?  What will my schedule be?  Who’s going to cook dinner? Ahhhhhh!!!

Will Annie enjoy doggy day camp? Should I go to the office supply store and buy things I really love for my desk and organization? Am I over thinking all of this?

Maybe I am, but I also think it means I am more than excited and interested in this job.  I am spending all of these pre-job thoughts on it… I am not sure I have spent this much time preparing in my future career. Ever. 

I realized yesterday, while reading a Project Management text book my new boss wants me to read, that I didn’t fall asleep! I tend to fall asleep when reading technical / work books. Yes!!!  This is a huge change for me. 

This is the turning point I need. I wasn’t sure what change I needed. I thought I knew what I wanted.  Now that this opportunity has come my way, I truly feel this is the one. 

I very often thought I would be satisfied being the full time dog mom I have been. I would enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, but would it fulfill me – enough? I haven’t been writing like I said I would.  I have felt a lot of stress lately, and that stifles my creativity, but is that reason enough to not write while I have the time?

I still have stories in me and I believe they will come out, when they are ready.

Now, right now, I will strive to be the best project manager I can be. I look forward to the challenges ahead.  I will keep reading, learning, and practicing to be the best that I can be.

This does not mean I am giving up the blog.  I will do my very best to continue Thankful Thursdays on Thursday.  I will write when I am inspired, but learning new skills will take top priority.  Stick with me on this journey and let’s see where it takes us!


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