Thursday, December 27, 2007

Goodbye, My Friend

I said Goodbye to a wonderful furry friend today. Brandy, who is about 16 years old, had health problems (chronic pancreatitis and thyroid disease) and was recently found to have a malignant tumor in her mouth. Even with pain medication every 12 hours, I could tell she was in pain at about the 9th hour. I wasn't going to let her suffer. So I did what has to be one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. We made the final trip to the vet's office and I said goodbye to my sweet Brandy. I can only hope that she's in a better place, free from pain and me sticking gooey medicine in her ear twice a day. I will miss her waking me up in the morning by head-butting me. I'll miss her little routine of sitting in front of her food, staring at it and then turning her back on it, only to return in about 3 minutes and eating it. I'll miss seeing her sitting in the front window when I return from work and then running to be at the door as I open it, meowing her greeting. I'll miss her curling up in my bathroom sink watching me get ready for work, making it impossible to use the water! I'll miss her presense, her sounds and the look of love in her eyes. Having to say goodbye to such a wonderful pet that you absolutely adore makes one think they never want another pet...

I miss her so much....

Monday, December 03, 2007

Merry Christmas

The following link is a short ditty about all the merchant catalogs with covers that scream Holiday Decorations, Holiday Gifts, Holiday Clothing, etc. It says it all for me.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Winding Down 2007 & Still In Limbo

It's the end of November and so much is still up in the air. I'm still waiting on that offer from the State Department. After a slight glitch, which caused the State Dept. to withdraw their offer, I have been reinstated as a potential candidate. Amazing how previous employers can screw up your future long after you no longer answer to them. Accusations are difficult to defend, especially when it's your word against theirs. Apparently, my heartfelt letter along with letters of recommendations from another previous employer convinced them that my version was closer to what happened than that of my previous employer. The bums!

I'm making plans to be with my son and his wife when their twin boys are born in early March, 2008. Seems like just yesterday that I got the news that just blew me away...Mom, do twins run in our family?? They don't, but they do now!! It's 2 more boys for my son and his wife and my son now has his golf foursome! Gavin, their first child and my first grandson, will be about 21 months when The Boys are born. I am now faced with the old Birth Date do I manage to be there when they are born? With my first grandson, I got there a couple of days after he was born. However, this time, the twins will be scheduled sometime in early March and they do elective C-sections on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Wish me luck with American Airlines!

My daughter is settled in Washington DC with her job with the Foreign Service. She's thrilled to be back in the states and doing what she's doing. It's so nice to see your grown kids so happy! I love it...

Well, back to listing things on Ebay (one of the fun things I do). Life is good, even though it seems to be on hold right now. I'm convinced that the best thing for me will occur. If it doesn't include joining the Foreign Service, it will mean other better things are ahead for me...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Closer To My Goal

Time flies. My FBI man has completed my background check and has filed his report to Washington. He said I was A-OK and, as he said, a slam dunk for the job. Getting through the complete medical exam was just a barrel of fun. Yeah, right. But after all the tests, I'm pronounced in great health. So, more waiting. I could get an offer of employment in a week or in 6 months. There's just no way of knowing when it will come.

I'm a day late, but....God Bless the families of all those who lost their lives to a bunch of cowards on 9-11-01. And God be with our troops who are fighting so that terrorism won't be able to reach our children, grandchildren or any other American ever again.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Life in August

Life is good....very good. I found out last month that not only am I going to have another grandchild in March, I'm going to have 2 more grandchildren in March! Twins are on the way! There's no history of twins so I guess my son has started something good. We're all so excited and now that makes 2 more reasons to fly to see my 2 new grandchildren when they arrive in early March!

My quest to join the Foreign Service is progressing. The ex-FBI agent has been conducting the background check on me, talking to all ex-employers and co-workers, friends, business references and neighbors. In the meantime, I've been undergoing a bunch of medical tests to make sure I'm a healthy candidate for the job. One more test tomorrow and I'm done and will (hopefully) have a clean bill of health! The deadline for the agent to submit his report is September 2. I guess I just sit tight and wait. Some more. It's just a long process to get a job with Uncle Sam, but well worth it.

Hopefully I'll be saying how good Life in September is soon.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Foreign Service...My Oral Assessment

After waiting many months, I finally came to Washington DC for my interview, affectionately known as the Oral Assessment. Along with the interview, I had to take a proof reading exam and write an essay on one of 14-15 topics. I love to write so writing on the topics was fun. All the topics were great but I picked one and began to put my words on the screen. I finished way ahead of the 45 minute time limit. Then I went to another floor, down a few halls and through a couple of doors and sat down at a computer for the proof reading test. I felt good about that part too. Then back to the first office where I met with 2 people. Many questions were asked and I felt I was giving the right answers. Well, right to me but were they right to the interviewers?? When it was all over, I returned to the waiting room to await their decision. After about 10 minutes, they called me back into the conference room and said..."Congratulations!! You passed the oral assessment and we are now extending a conditional offer of employment with the Foreign Service!" I was soooo relieved!!! The hardest part was over. All my worrying and wondering was over. They then briefed me on the process that would begin. The background security check would start Monday (7/23/07) and I would be contacted by someone in my area who would want to meet with me and ask "a thousand questions." This person would also, I understood, visit my neighborhood and previous employers as a routine part of the background check. No measly telephone calls for the US State Department! I will also have a complete physical and submit the results to the FS. At that point, once I'm deemed a good risk, I will be placed on a list of eliglble persons and from that list, they will pull people for different locations. I was told to NOT go home and sell my house or quit my job. This process could take 30 days or it could take 6 months. He told me that if I did not receive a formal offer of a job in 18 months, I would have to apply all over again. I was afraid to ask how often that happened. So, basically after waiting 8 months for the interview, I now get to wait some more. I can deal with that, knowing the tough part is behind me.

So, I'll just go about my life like nothing is going on. Everything is normal, day to day stuff. And one day, when I least expect it, I'll get that letter with the formal offer. Then life will change....I can't wait.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Date in Washington DC

I finally got the notice I was waiting for. Finally. After making the application back in November, passing the test to be certified in Microsoft Word (it wasn't as easy as you might think) and then waiting, waiting, waiting....I finally have a date for an interview with the Board of Examiners on July 19th. I will finally know if I am going to be offered a position with the Foreign Service. It's in my hands now. There will be an hour long interview by 2 people, one examiner and one current Foreign Service person in the area I'm applying for. There will also be an essay question, one I choose from a list of several. They don't care what I write but how it is written. Knowing how much I enjoy writing, I feel certain I could write about anything. Let's hope the nerves don't kick in too badly. My daughter will be arriving in the Washington DC area around the 8th of July so I will be able to stay with her. She said she'd even drive me to my interview. How cool is that...daughters are so wonderful!

I am also leaving on June 18th for 9 days in Hawaii so that I can be with my son and his wife to celebrate my grandson's first birthday. And what a celebration that will be!! In Hawaii, the first birthday is very special and you have a Baby Luau. I can't wait to see them again. They were here in Fort Worth last December but now, Gavin is walking and babbling so it will be like seeing a totally different little boy. He's sooo cute! See?? What a little ham!! His uncle is a professional photographer so I'm sure I'll have an abundance of wonderful shots of him throughout his life.

Life is good...let's hope it's still good after July 19th. Hopefully, I'll return to Texas to report I've been offered a position with the State Department. If not, Plan B is to find a way to move to Kauai so Gavin can have a second wonderful grandmother around him as he grows up.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Tokyo, Japan 2007

I just returned from a 2 week vacation in Tokyo. Actually, the trip was to visit my daughter who lives there. She's been there for almost 2 years and in July will be moving to Washington DC, so it was now or never to get over and see her. I had a wonderful time! The subway system is a much as I wanted to, I didn't venture out and ride it by myself. The thought of getting lost in the Tokyo system brings up visions of blank looks from people when I say...I'm lost! The food was wonderful and no...I didn't have any sushi. No sushi for me!! Shibuya is one of the districts and there is a huge intersection that, when it's green for the pedestrians, it's mass people walking in every direction. You better be out of the intersection when the light changes! We saw beautiful temples and at one, were fortunate enough to see the ending of a traditional Japanese wedding party. They were slowly walking across the temple grounds, with the person holding the red umbrella over the bride and groom and the wedding party processional behind them. Very beautiful. We shopped a lot and one place we shopped was Asakusa, where there is a temple, surrounded by rows and rows of vendors. They sold everything...traditional Japanese items, souveneirs, sweets, leather goods, chocolate covered bananas on a stick (mine was yummy) and many other goodies. And no trip to Tokyo would be complete without a trip to DisneyTokyo. We chose to go to the DisneySea rather than the Disneyland. It was wonderful!

My daughter was worried that I wasn't seeing enough or going to enough places to really see Tokyo. I told her...90% of the reason I'm here is to see you, 10% is to see where you've lived and eaten and walked and shopped. That's the Tokyo I wanted to see and I did. Spending time with my daughter was just what I wanted to matter what we did or where we went. I hope she understood that and realized that thanks to her, my trip was one I will always of those 'once in a lifetime' trips we always dream of. Thanks Ann...and I love you very much!

Sheryl Crow, Sit Down and Shut Up

Sheryl Crow, you've crossed the line. First of all, I think you're looney, have lost touch with reality and are sadly mistaken if you think you speak for the masses. I've tried to just ignore you and it's been fairly successful. Until today. As I sat here listening to Mark Davis on my local talk radio in Fort Worth, Texas, he related to me your newest grand ideas for greening up America. No one...I repeat NO going to tell me to use one square of toilet paper to wipe myself in the bathroom. I know you were being generous when you went on to say that we could use 3 squares for, well, our more messy needs. Maybe you think that's a healthful and sanitary way to take care of business in the bathroom, but you're (sorry to be repetitive) just plain looney. Just who voted you spokesperson for the world??? I'm sick of the whole bunch of people in the entertainment field speaking as though they were experts in every field, putting down those who ARE experts and using their time in the spotlight to spew their personal feelings on any and everything. Yes, we can use the OFF button but there are so many people who, just because they love your music, will believe you actually know what you're talking about.

Another great idea Ms. Crow has come up with is a Dining Sleeve. She thinks that way too many napkins are being used to wipe our faces at the dining table. This Sleeve would be detatchable and washable. At the table, when you're chowing down on some very tasty BBQ ribs, you would just...wipe your mouth on your sleeve. And don't forget, you could probably wipe your nose on it too and be perfectly Green! No thanks again, Ms. Crow. I think I'll just take my cat, Brandy, with me and let her lick my face and fingers for me. I hope you aren't laying awake at night coming up with these rediculous ideas.

I hope that this most recent bit of advice you've so generously shared with us serves to let people know that you really are only a great entertainer and certainly not to be taken seriously in any other arena. I can't wait for your next album...I'm sure we will be graced with song titles like One Sheet Woman, Take A Chance and Hold My Hand and No More Fingertip Kisses For You.

Monday, January 01, 2007

December 31, 2006

Happy New Year! Oh Seven is just around the corner. I can hardly wait to hear all the gunfire from the idiots that live a couple of streets behind me. Maybe I'll get lucky and they will have moved!

Quite a bit has happened since my last entry here. First and most important, my new grandson, Gavin, is wonderful! My son and his wife and Gavin were here the first week of December and that's when we celebrated Christmas. My father was so proud to hold his first great grandchild. He held him for most of the 3 hours we were there the first night. I have to say this being a grandmother thing is terrific. I don't feel any older just because I have a grandchild. Holding him in my arms definately gives me a feeling of great love and pride. Love for my son and pride in what a great father he is. I just wish I lived near them...I'm in Texas and they live in Hawaii...on Kauai. Maybe I should be planning my retirement.

Last December, I left the healthcare field. I just hit a brick wall and experienced burnout. It didn't help that I didn't enjoy the work any more either. I tried my hand in the 'private sector' and found I just wasn't the Executive Administrative Assistant type. We parted in October. In the meantime, I made the decision to make a huge change in my life. (No...not a sex change!!!) I decided to apply for a position in the Foreign Service...a branch of the State Department. I'm waiting to hear from them now and the holidays have definately affected the speed with which they respond! This would mean selling my house, my car, most of my furniture and who knows what else. It would mean training in Washington DC and then an assignment somewhere in the world where there is an embassy. I'm ready for that kind of change and I'm not good at playing the waiting game. Now that the holidays are over, I expect an email...a snailmail...a phone call...ANYthing! Ack...I wish I had more patience...wish me luck!

That's all for now. It's going to be a quiet night at my house tonight. Who knows, maybe I'll be somewhere exotic next New Year's and I'll make up for this one!