Friday, August 21, 2009

Life At The Youth Shelter...

Well, it has been an interesting week! Didn't get many hours in this week at the shelter, and to be honest, I felt like walking out on the first day.
I only worked for 4 hours on Monday and it felt like an eternity. What did they have for me to do?? Supervise lunch, make sure the kids did their chores...then nothing really. I just wandered around basically asking if I could help out. Sure, I could clean out a large room full of donated goods, which would only take about 3 weeks if I hurried. I was very dissappointed to say the least. I did not pay $14,000 for an education to be the lunch lady or the cleaner. Not to mention, morning is not my friend and to be there by 8 or 8:30 a.m. was a fate worse than death. I've been used to the afternoon shift for years. And to make matters worse, they only wanted me to come in that early to make breakfast!! No way...this is a 24 - 7 shelter and I decided to talk to her (the administrator) about doing afternoon shifts. After all, I'm free help and they can take advantage of that to a point, but I should be able to make my own hours. I decided to talk to the lady about it the next day.
When I got there Tuesday morning, one of the kids was standing outside, looking like 'ordered but not picked up', so to speak. She informed me that the shelter was completely on lock-down until 5p.m. and nobody could get in until then. It would have been nice to have been told this, but I wasn't. The poor girl was stuck standing outside for the rest of the day, and it was hot. We ended up driving her to a friends house. I realized that this was probably breaking some kind of rule, but too bad. I couldn't just leave her out there.
Now I was really annoyed.
I didn't go in on Wednesday, but gave them a call. She apologized for not informing me of the meeting. I told her that I would be busy until Friday, because frankly, I was pissed off. I said I would give her a schedule and would she mind if I worked the afternoon shift. She said, (thankfully) that would be fine. O.K. I was happy with that.
I decided I would work from 1 to 7p.m., Monday to Friday and a few times a week, go and help out in the various programs they have in the evening, such as Anger Management, AA and NA. That would fill in the rest of my hours. She is fine with that. Praise the Lord!!
Today I went in with some trepidation, as I did not want to be stuck in the kitchen all day again. I was thinking as I walked in, 'Be assertive, Tory. Insist on them teaching you the ropes!!' O.K. So, after I made the evening snacks, (a fruitbowl and dip), and being told I would be resposible for them every day, (crap!) I went to the front line and told one of the women, 'O.K., teach me about the intake process!' And she did!! I then read some of the residents files and spent some time talking to the kids themselves, one on one, in a casual kind of way. It was great! They were so willing to tell me about themselves, which I was surprised at. I thought they would be hesitant to speak to a newcomer. But, for each and every one I spoke to, my heart broke for them. Sad, sad, sad.
But all in all, it was a really good day. I'm so glad, as I really thought I would have to look for another placement. Something usefull, but today I believe was useful and I'm very happy.
I'm tired tonight, because I was getting used to my life of leisure at the 'love nest.' I don't work tomorrow, but on Sunday evening I'm going to help out at the NA (narcotics anonymous) meeting. I'm really looking forward to that. It is an open meeting and is mostly made of people from the community, not too many kids from the shelter go there. It will be a great learning experience.
Other than that, not much else is new. I'm still waiting to hear from the interview I did on Tuesday to see if they want me to do counseling for them. I hope they do.
That's it for now.
Take care.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Well, hello all. Been so busy this summer, but no excuses for not blogging. But I'm back. A lot has happened, so it may be a long read.
We're up at the love nest, and are having a wonderful time. I was supposed to have found my co-op before June 9th but it was impossible in such a small town, so it took me awhile and today I have started working in a youth shelter run by the Salvation Army. Not the area I'm looking to work in full time, but perfect for experience, you know how unpredictable kids can be. They are between the ages of 16 - 25. Should be interesting.
Tomorrow I have a interview to do Christian Counseling at the Salvation Army Church, part-time. That's going to be fun. So, my dreams seem to be coming true and by the time we get back to Toronto, in the fall, I will be ready to take a full-time post somewhere. Yay!!
Ashley and the grandbabies came up for a week 2 weeks ago. They are getting so big and I miss them so. Would you believe Scarlett is 2 already? And yesterday was Ariel's 7th birthday. We had a lot of fun and spent most of the time at the beach.
Beach, Beach and more Beach seems to be the theme this summer. NAI hubby had 2 weeks vacation and he, Holly and I went to a terrific beach about an hour from here. It was so beautiful but even with sun block, we all got a little too much sun. However, the next day while we were in the food store, Holly suddenly exclaimed, 'OMG, what's wrong with you?' I was going to tell her, 'My mother had DID, I'm riddled with anxiety, my ex screwed me around for 20 years and my feet hurt.', however that's not what she meant. My face had swollen to twice it's size around my forehead and nose. Holly, being the compassionate and loving daughter that I raised her to be, then started yelling, 'You're the Elephant Man!, which made NIA hubby walk away from us. Sigh....
We were going to go back to the beach the next day, but when I woke up I was still very swollen. Plus, just to top it all off, poor hubby had the beginnings of cellulitis which is quite serious. So, off to the hospital hubby and I went, hoping for a group rate. Poor hubby had to go back to the hospital for 3 days straight for I.V. antibiotics. As for me, they think it's an allergy, but have put me on antibiotics for a sore on my head. What a way to end poor hubby's holidays. Plus, we had made a big picnic for the beach for nothing. We ate macaroni salad, tomato salad and sandwiches for 4 days. Ugh..
I had my 51st birthday in July, (don't tell anyone) and I think it was the best birthday I've ever had. It was perfect in every way. NIA hubby and Holly outdid themselves this year and I felt very special..and old..
Anyway, it was wonderful and I must be getting old because I find myself reflecting on how great my life is these days. I really do. I'm overly blessed and soooo happy. All my relationships are excellent and satisfying. No stress in my life at all even with my new 'elephant man' look. Actually, it's getting better. At least my new boss didn't run screaming from the office, which could have been fun.
So, (I know I always say this, but) I will be blogging more often from now on as I would like to keep a journal, of sorts, about the early days of my new career, so I can look back and laugh at myself and how unsure I am at this point. And to see how much I learn and grow. But don't worry, I won't make it too boring, I promise.
Gosh, I've missed writing this blog. It has been great having it to just jot down the crap that goes through my head. I guess you all know that.
I'll write again tomorrow and let you know how I made out at work and at the interview.
Take care and thanks for hanging in with me.

P.S. I will post new pics of grandbabies on photo blog.

Friday, May 15, 2009

An Homage To A Great Teacher!

Well folks, it's all over but the crying. I am finished school, and after my practicum, I will be officially graduated. I'm even getting a graduation picture, just like a real person!
Today I went by my school to sign off on my marks and I wanted to bring my wonderful Professor some sort of gift for all her efforts. I was going to get her a plant, but that just wasn't good enough for this wonderful lady, so I ended up getting her a ginormous slow cooker. She loves food, and she is probably one of the busiest people on the planet, so I thought that would be a good idea especially since she has growing teens to feed. We must have hugged and kissed each other a hundred times. It was like we missed each other all ready! But she was gracious enough to give me her personal cell # and e-mail address, promising to remain good pals forever. And I will be keeping in touch with her, as she has single-handedly changed my life. You know how you can pick out just a few people in your life that you know changed the course of your future? Well, she's one of those people for me, and believe me there hasn't been many in my life. I could sing her praises all day long. She really cared about our success, and her job is completely thankless. Some of the stranger types seem to give her a hard time, for no reason, but, if you show up, listen to her and do as she teaches, you can't lose. She is also very musically talented and gave me one of her CD's, on which she wrote all her own music. Her voice is smooth and beautiful. Holly and I were floored. God Bless You, Doc....Don't stop doing what you do. You made me believe I could actually do it and you will forever be my mentor, my model and now, my friend! Love you!

Friday, May 01, 2009

How Time Flies...

Has it really been that long since I wrote?? Wow!
O.k. All the latest that's fit to report. I will be finished school on Friday, May 7th and then have my big exam the following Monday, May 11th. From the 12th until July 3rd, I do my practicum and that's it, I'm done!! I am on the honour roll, can you believe it?? It was a shock to learn that. I never did well in school before, but I really enjoyed this course. I've learned a lot.
Now for the fun part...we have given up our apartment for July 1st and will be living up at the 'love nest' for the summer. I really wanted to get out of this town, as I hate it here as does Holly. We are so excited to be up north we've already started packing. I really shouldn't say 'we' as it is Holly who is getting us ready to go. She has been so helpful to us, while I've been at school. She's kept the house clean and made some great meals. I'm very proud of her. She is finally done with high school and is really looking forward to going to a bible school in Toronto in the fall. So, we will be moving to Toronto in September and I know I will be able to find a job there. I know of one place in particular that works with Native men who are alcoholics and since I'm native, I would do well there. They are a new agency and are always looking for people, so that would be great. But there are so many opportunities in Toronto, I'm sure I will find something I like.
Holly has also been working on getting her driving license and should have it by July.
Life is very exciting right now, and there's a lot of pressure for this final exam. Please say a prayer for me to remember everything as it's worth 70% of my mark. Whew!!
Right now my mood is very positive, excited even, and everything is going so well. I feel like we will be starting fresh and living a new life, which always excites me. We all have 'Jazz Wings' over this! I think I'm a gypsy at heart. I have never stayed in one place very long except when the kids were growing up and going to school. I didn't want them to have to adjust to a new school all the time, so we stayed put all through their school years. It was a good decision as now they have friends who will probably be lifelong, BFF's!
Everyone in my 'petting zoo' is doing fine except for one fatality. My sweet Heffalump died about a month ago. He first got something called 'Bumblefoot' and lost weight rapidly. Holly began to hand feed him smoothies and oatmeal and we even took him to the vet for some antibiotics. He seemed to rally a bit and gain a bit of weight. But the next week he again lost more weight. I looked in on him one day, and he looked just awful. I picked him up and held him for about an hour. He died in my arms, being petted and talked to which he loved. He tried to squeak for me but barely got it out. I know he was only a hefalump, but I was truly sad to see him go. I loved him very much and if I was feeling down, I would pet him and he'd talk to me and give me wet little kisses. I really miss him. Sleep well, my little sweetheart! I have him in the freezer so I can bury him up at the love nest.
Anyhoo, you may or may not be glad to hear I have quit smoking for nearly 2 months. My life is really not worth living anymore, and I still crave it terribly. Everyday I say to my family, 'I'm smoking tomorrow and you can't stop me!', and everyday they reply, 'O.K. Go ahead'. And every day I don't, but I haven't got a clue why not?! Can anyone give me just one good reason why I shouldn't smoke, cause I can't think of one. Everyone says, 'So you won't die.' That's it, that's the reason. Are you kidding me? Do I really want to live longer and be this miserable?? I really can't see any good reason why I can't smoke. But I tell you what...if my Doctor ever says, 'Tory, you have terminal cancer.', I will leave his office, go to the store and get the biggest pack of smokes ever. And I will enjoy every there! Sigh....
Actually, I think it would be so hypocritical of me to counsel addicts while smelling of cigarettes. That is honestly the only reason I quit. Plus Holly kept nagging about some crazy second hand smoke stuff...whatever...brat...sigh...why doesn't she move out?...sigh..
O.K. I'm over it...
Anyway, I will be able to write more often once I'm up at the love nest, as my summer will be my own. Boy, I really can't wait. Holly and I are going to be alone for a lot of the time as NIA Hubby will be staying with his mother on work days and just coming up on the weekends until his holidays kick in. So, Holly and I are going to go to garage sales, fishing, lots of swimming at the beach and in the pool after dinner. We will be going to the driving range, the farmers market, reading, I will work on my book, and she will continue with her Hebrew lessons. Not to mention I have some books pertaining to different therapeutic measures that I'd like to read before I start a job in the field. I also have several books I want to read for pleasure as I have read nothing but psych books, reports and other technical things for so many months now, I have to get caught up on the Twilight series, at least that's what my girls tell me. Actually, I read the first one and it was really good.
Anyway, Holly and I are also looking forward to experimenting with food this summer. She has become very interested in cooking lately, and has learned a lot. We watch the food network together a lot and I answer her questions. So, we've gotten together a bunch of recipes to try out. NIA hubby is mostly a meat and potato's man, so we're going to cook with recipes I don't think he'd like.
Well, this was a long post, but I have a lot of stuff happening right now.
I hope you are all well. Yes, Forsythia, I will be blogging once again starting in July. Hi Andrew, I hope you're doing good. I will catch up on all your blogs tonight.
Take care

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Still at school....So just a quick note...

Whew~been so busy with tests, tests and more tests..I feel like a lab rat. But I'm doing fine as far as marks go. I just got my mid-term marks and my average was 90%. Not bad for an old lady when there's so much memory work. I have thought and thought about the kind of counseling I'll be doing. I started out wanting to counsel abusive men, and I still may do that, but I'm leaning more on Christian counseling at a church. Well, it could all change again before I'm done, so I'll keep you posted on that.
Holly is doing fine, trying to finish up her high school and then off to pastor's college. Hey, maybe she'd let me be a counselor at her church. Oh boy, mayhem....I can see it now.
Other than that, there is so much not new around here right now. Except, once I get my degree, we will be moving into the city, (Toronto) to be closer to my wonderful mommy-in-law. And work will be better there as well. Sometime in the next few years we will be moving back to the Ottawa area as I miss it so much. I absolutely hate where I live now and I've been here for nearly 6 years and have never warmed up to it.
Holly has been learning to speak, read and write Hebrew. It's hilarious to hear her. She tells me that she is actually dreaming in Hebrew at this point, which is really good. It's funny when I go past her room and she has a Hebrew radio station on...Shalom, you crazy kid!! Actually, she will need it for pastor college and this will put her ahead of the others as it is usually one of the courses you take in order to study the bible.
All the animals are doing well. Lumpy is as fat as ever and the birds are still evil, but we love them. Poppy has 6 eggs on the go right now, but she's not sitting on them much. Maybe she's fed up! Oh well, who has the time for 6 babies right now? Not me, if I can help it. And poor Bunny has lost 2 or 3 teeth in the last few months or so. I think she's older than we think.
Anyway, consider yourselves up to date on my boring life. So sorry I'm posting so little lately. Maybe once I get a job, I'll be able to post all day, every
NAI hubby is doing just fine. He's busy at work and managing just fine without me, which is great. I love that about him....I think.
By the way, I seem to have lost my Title Header and no matter what I do, I can't get it back. Any suggestions??? This has been a problem for months and it's driving me crazy. Oh, well.
By the way, I'll be posting new pics of the grandbabies in the next few days. You won't believe how they've grown. You'll find them on my photo/video blog.
Take care