I still can’t talk.

Diagnosis:  Laryngitis

Treatment:  steroids, z-pak, fluids, voice rest (plus ice cream)!

My sweet grand baby is very puzzled (and a little frustrated) that Gran isn’t as interactive as usual.  I’m amazed at how much I talk to this 8 month old person! I really, REALLY didn’t realize how much I converse with her– until it became painful to do so.  On a similar note, I am also surprised at the number of times I talk to myself.  That’s disturbing on a number of levels but I’ll leave that for you to dwell on…. I’m going to try to NOT think about it.

Also, my dogs respond to VOICE commands–although they are learning gestures– some of which are less than animal-appropriate.  They do, however, respond to “the look“.  You know–THAT look.  The one mothers use when a six year old is about to spill some crazy family secret at the PTA meeting??  Yeah, that one. Once they catch my eye, it’s instant guilty face…..  I’m surprised at how smart they are. Conversely, the cats never listened anyway, so not having a voice isn’t an issue.

If this isn’t remedied in 48 hours or so, I’m not sure what I’m going to do.  It will be grossly inconvenient!  Right now I’m confident it will resolve–that’s what I’m betting on.  My second job has been interesting–I’ve emailed staff members  instead of calling and I’ve had to postpone a couple of things.  No real issues so far… Gonna go take a nap with my sweet little Peanut!

Perception & Presentation

I’m going to start this one with an update:  My cold/sudden onset crud has resulted in complete loss of my voice.  I am EPICALLY MUTE at this point in time.  When I attempt to speak, air flows through my vocal cords and nothing comes out.  It’s odd for my vocal parts to be abnormal; I’ve never completely lost my voice before.  Hmmm….  Yes, I’m getting it checked.

Also, I found out I did not get the job I interviewed for.  Really, I’m confident they made the choice best suited for the position and (after the initial surprise of NOT being selected) I felt a little relieved.  Part of my desire to have the job stemmed from the opportunity to work with/learn from a particular person whom I admire professionally.  Well, as I learned about not getting the job, I also discovered this person will be moving on to another professional opportunity.  Yay! for her and Boo! for us.  It’s crazy how things work out sometimes.   It reaffirms my belief: Be open to the possibilities around us and situations will unfold as they are intended.  Make sure we are not a source of resistance in our own lives.  After saying that, I will move on to the real purpose of my post.  I would like to objectively critique my interview, in retrospect, so I can improve professionally.  How objective can I be about myself??  Guess I’m going to find out!

Here I go:

*I choked on a couple of key questions–which I had rehearsed!  I covered this in a previous post,  so I won’t beat that horse again.  Lesson?  Don’t blow the easy stuff.

*I anticipated the interview questions to take a different approach (not sure why) and felt off-kilter as it progressed.  I believe my life and professional history appeared disjointed, over-busy and disorganized when that is not the case.  Lesson??  Had I properly summarized and directed the process, that would have been more readily apparent.

*We had some technical difficulties, which always happens, and my presentation had to be done in reverse.  I did not take full advantage and did not present my material as well as I would like. Lesson??  Prepare more for the unexpected.

*I think I may have shared more of my personal self than they were interested in.  This blog, my second job which I love,  how I felt about certain topics that came up–Maybe, maybe not.  I think it’s important to know a team member’s heart and get a feel for the core person inside the skin.  Not sure what changes I would make on this one but I think it was a factor.

*I did not have many questions prepared for them regarding the position.  I THOUGHT I did going in, but compared to the volume of questions I received, my list was pretty short and mostly answered during the interview process.

The whole thing has been a great opportunity for growth and I now know some great professionals a little better.  I’ll be staying in my current position, which I’m so fortunate to have, and feel it was designed especially for me.  I am happy with my attempt to reach out and test the waters, however I’m also very happy to stay home!

Slowin’ My Roll

Good Morning World!!  Good news??  Blessed with another fantastic day.  Less than ideal


news??  I have a cold.  Not the little snuffley kind I can dab with a tissue; it’s the kind that feels like I swallowed broken glass & my socially backward cat is hiding inside my head.

When I woke up this morning I immediately made coffee.  For me, it makes everything just a little better…..BUT  I didn’t put coffee in the basket, so technically I made hot water.  (Hence my FB status).  SADNESS…..  However, I’ve remedied that problem.

The reason for my post??  Be careful and aware of the viral bugs creeping around you!  Wash your hands, wash your children’s hands, clean door handles, faucets, phones.  Be aware my friends & hopefully you dodge the seasonal crud.  Gonna go sleep this one off!!

Taps for Taz

This day marks a milestone in my personal growth.  I’m going to retire Taz, after a lifetime of loyal, comfortable service.

My gray Taz t-shirt (short for Tasmanian devil-cartoon character) came into my life in

Created by Robert McKimson

1993, stuffed into a hand-me-down bag that made its way through the family.  Actually, there were two Taz shirts.  One of which my son wore for a night shirt as a toddler & when he got older I stitched the Taz figure onto the back of a denim jacket for him.  I continued to wear the other Taz t-shirt for years & years (& years).  My Taz t-shirt & mom sweats were my go-to uniform of choice. When I cleaned, painted, ate, slept & otherwise lived my normal life-Taz was there. Over the years Taz lost his luster & started peeling a little around the edges.  It didn’t matter, as I was in the same condition.  He had a little hole here & a stain there, but his attitude still came through.  I grocery shopped, washed the car & napped on the couch with Taz guarding me.  Taz & I spent so much time together that my almost-adult children declared a boycott and refused to go in public if I wore him.  My Sweetie started making fun of me too and he felt the shirt was decidedly UNsexy.  (NO, I didn’t wear Taz on dates!)

Anyway…. I’ve had to begrudgingly admit that Taz has had his day and it’s time for Mom to

Mom's new uniform??

update the wardrobe.  After some solemn thought & much closet purging, Taz has moved on to the box of dust rags & car wash cloths.  I’m thinking of replacing him with a nice  1970’s chic tie-dyed model…Hmmm…..  I can already see my (now adult) kids rolling their eyes!

Humble Pie

Another bit of humor–shared by a friend.  I can’t take credit & I hope I don’t resemble any of these scenarios….However, I did try to change the TV channel with the key fob for my car.  Really–It could happen to any of us…

That will be $5.37!  That’s what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bell said to me I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint, two dimes and something that used to be a Jolly Rancher. Having already handed the kid a five-spot, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when the kid with the Elmo hairdo said the hardest thing anyone has ever said to me. He said, “It’s OK. I’ll just give you the senior citizen discount.”
I turned to see who he was talking to and then heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of me. “Only$4.68” he said cheerfully.

I stood there stupefied. I am 56, not even 60 yet? A mere child! Senior citizen?

I took my burrito and walked out to the truck wondering what was wrong with Elmo. Was he blind? As
I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil Old? Me?

I’ll show him, I thought. I opened the door and headed back inside. I strode to the counter, and there he was waiting with a smile.

Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me, like I could be that easily distracted! What am I now? A toddler?

“Dude! Can’t get too far without your car keys, eh?” I stared with utter disdain at the keys. I began to rationalize in my mind!

“Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly! It could happen to anyone!”

I turned and headed back to the truck. I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn’t turn. What now? I checked my keys and tried another. Still nothing.

That’s when I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror. I had no purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror.

Then, a few other objects came into focus:

The car seat in the back seat.
Happy Meal toys spread all over the floorboard.

A partially eaten doughnut on the dashboard.

Faster than you can say ginkgo biloba, I flew out of the alien vehicle.

Moments later I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life. That is when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach: hunger! My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my burrito, only it was nowhere to be found.

I swung the truck around, gathered my courage, and strode back into the restaurant one final time. There Elmo stood, draped in youth and black nail polish. All I could think was, “What is the world coming to?”

All I could say was, “Did I leave my food and drink in here”? At this point I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, and then go straight home and apply for Social Security benefits.

Elmo had no clue. I walked back out to the truck, and suddenly a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention. He was holding up a drink and a bag. His mother explained, “I think you left this in my truck by mistake.”

I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized.

She offered these kind words: “It’s OK. My grandfather does stuff like this all the time.”

All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing 85 in a 40 mph zone.Yessss, I was racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius. And no, I told the officer, I’m nottoo old to be driving this fast.

As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall. I handed

her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket. I promptly sat in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blankey.

The good news was I had successfully found my way home.

P.S. Save the earth…… It’s the only planet with chocolate

Tips, Tricks & Situations in Retrospect

Recently I interviewed for a job that is very unlike my  current position  It was a long interview; I half-jokingly referred


to it as a roast.  However,  when it was over I felt motivated and inspired–decidedly un-roasted.  Everyone (yes, there were many) went out of their way to help me feel comfortable. I  believe it went well over all and   I’ll know in a week or so if I am selected.

Keep in mind–MANY things went well during the interview, however……  Do you hear a BUT coming???   Of course there’s a BUT coming…. BUT I choked on a couple of areas and I was supremely off-guard.  Get a load of this:  I went blank when asked what my strengths were.  OH YES I DID.  I practiced this one and still went blank.  I had notes and still went blank.  S.I.G.H…..  Here’s my short list:

I multi-task effectively, I do my best work under a deadline, I work independently & require little supervision, I am calm in stressful situations (except job interviews, apparently), I make an effort to be open & approachable to others, I place great value on honesty & teamwork,  I set & maintain healthy boundaries in my professional (and personal) life, I utilize resources appropriately-keeping an eye on cost/benefit, I am loyal &  dependable without being labrador-ish….That’s the short list!  Oh well.  I hope they were able to see what I was unable to say.  The whole thing resulted in an hour-long hot flash, which brings me to my next category of  “stuff” I’d like to share.

Dressing for an interview:

Wear elastic-waist pants to keep from walking around with your fly open.  No, not grandma elastic or sweats.  Church elastic please.

Wear comfortable shoes, NOT something you aren’t accustomed to.

Wear a jacket/sweater to cover up tell-tale sweating (yes, even if you swelter–don’t faint)

Wear waterproof mascara.  If you talk honestly about something you’re passionate about, you may tear up (Oh yes I did-twice)

Try to get into the room FIRST (not last) and spit out your gum BEFORE everyone else enters, so they don’t hear it sound like a golf  ball when it hits the bottom of the can.    I didn’t & it did.

Ah, human nature and my learning curve.   Tom Petty said it best–The Waiting is The Hardest Part!

Senior Humor

Some ‘Senior’ personal ads seen in ”The Villages” Florida newspapers.  Received via email from a funny senior friend.

(Who says seniors don’t have a sense of humor?)

Sexy, fashion-conscious blue-haired beauty, 80’s, slim, 5’4′ (used to be 5’6′), searching for sharp-looking, sharp-dressing companion. Matching white shoes and belt a plus.

Recent widow who has just buried fourth husband, and am looking for someone to round out a six-unit plot. Dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath not a problem.

I am into solitude, long walks, sunrises, the ocean, yoga and meditation. If you are the silent type, let’s get together, take our hearing aids out and enjoy quiet times.

Active grandmother with original teeth seeking a dedicated flosser to share rare steaks, corn on the cob and caramel candy.

I still like to rock, still like to cruise in my Camaro on Saturday nights and still like to play the guitar. If you were a groovy chick, or are now a groovy hen, let’s get together and listen to my eight-track tapes.

I can usually remember Monday through Thursday. If you can remember Friday, Saturday and Sunday, let’s put our two heads together.

Male, 1932, high mileage, good condition, some hair, many new parts including hip, knee, cornea, valves. Isn’t in running condition, but walks well.

Mental Health & Substance Abuse–Comic Relief

As some of you know, my second job is in the area of substance abuse/mental health.  Much of the industry is gloom and doom, with the recidivism rate being astronomical.  I use this video periodically in my classes to give a little comic relief.  Thought I’d share!

I have shared this from YouTube and  I cannot  take credit for its  creation.   However, it has provided many much-needed chuckles & grins!

Silent Sunday~HOME

Wild Honeysuckle

White Yarrow

Wild Rose

Field Lily

Daisies sprouting along the driveway

Queen Ann’s Lace A.k.A Chigger bush

Depression ~OR~ Something Else

From WebMD.com

Depression Symptoms: Physical

Depression is sometimes linked to physical symptoms. These include:

  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Insomnia, especially early-morning waking
  • Excessive sleep
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

Depression can make other health problems feel worse, particularly chronic pain. Key brain chemicals influence both mood and pain. Treating depression has been shown to improve co-existing illnesses.

This summary is as concise, specific and clear as it can be. It is short, sweet and to-the-point which makes it easy to read and process.  WebMD is known for being easy to read, making it an excellent resource.  So why am I posting this?

The symptoms for depression are also the symptoms of multiple other illnesses.  I think the post is too short and sweet, and could serve to discourage patients from seeking medical help.  How many times do patients seek medical care to be told there’s nothing wrong with them physically?  I frequently hear sad, discouraged patients talk about how blown-off and dismissed they feel because their health problems are not easily deciphered and the MD tells them: “I think you’re depressed”. I hate to see something as serious as depression treated as a catch-all with a list of vague symptoms.

What’s the point I want you to take away from this?  A diagnosis of depression requires more than matching symptoms to a list on the internet.  Seek medical attention if you have symptoms–talk to your medical professional reasonably and give specific information.  THEN get a second or even third opinion if you feel you aren’t being heard.

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