Saturday, September 29, 2007

of bugs and blessings

Another picture of our buggy friend. I could not believe how bold that thing was, it was not afraid of us at all. I expected it would hop away, but it just stayed put. And by the way, in the picture with my daughter holding it, it's front... leg thing there is not broken off. I thought that at first, but the video was taken after it and has all it's creepy appendages intact.

So enough about the bug. The other cool thing that happened today is while we were outside pulling weeds, the neighbor across the street and just south came over and asked if he could help us. I've never met that neighbor. It's really a quiet neighborhood, but folks aren't very outgoing. Our neighbors directly across the street don't speak English, and I know there are some other Spanish speaking families on the street. Really I know both neighbors on either side, and the ones 3 doors north, and that's about it. But now I know another! He came and asked if I minded if he helped, he could take care of my bougainvilleas that were really out of control. Well, I wasn't going to turn it down. He mentioned that he'd seen other people helping me, such as when my church family fixed my roof last year, so he figured there was no Mr. in the picture. I don't think he will ever know how much it meant to me for him to help. The yard is something I just have not been able to keep up with on my own. I'm trying but it feels like I'm fighting a losing battle. Today God sent in reinforcements :)

A little bit of homeschooling

This morning, the kids and I were doing some yard work. Snugglebutt (age 7) was bemoaning the fact that he doesn't have enough money to buy the video game he wants. So he asked me how people get money. I said that usually, they work for it. I reminded him of the fact that I go to work 5 nights a week and work for the money I get. He wanted to know how employers got money to pay their employees, so we had an impromptu economy class. Then, it was on to science, where this little guy was our guest instructor. I'd love to be able to homeschool full time, but I guess I'll take what I can get.

And now that our yard looks a lot better (I won't say good - you can't go from frightening to neat just like that!) we're all ready for a nap.

What to call this?

I'm a wuss?
Afraid of little buggy?
Attack of the killer praying mantis?
It's a funny thing you know, when one screams like a little girl in one's front yard, one tends to attract a lot of attention from neighbors :P

So I was out in my yard doing yard work, and I found this on my sleeve. I managed to get it off me, and DQ thought it was cool. She ran to get our beloved "cammy" and we started taking pictures. DQ picked the thing up. This is the result. Right before I hit the record button, she said "Don't get my face, I haven't taken a shower or done my hair!" which explains the "I won't get your face if you don't lift up your hands!" comment.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I think I figured out what we'll do.

I really wanted to go to Canyon De Chelly, but it's a little far away (click on that link, you'll see why I want to go! Or this one!) Instead I think we'll go to Flagstaff and see things like The Painted Desert, The Petrified Forest And maybe a Meteor Crater

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I refuse to go to work tonight.

Or tomorrow night, or the next night, or the night after that... for the next 16 nights in fact!! AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME, NEENER NEENER NEENER! Because I'm officially on vacation! I'm telling you, those last few hours this morning felt like a few weeks, but here I am!

While I'm on vacation I want to:
Clean up my yard. Because hooboy, you don't even know. It needs it.

Declutter my house. Yeah. Bulk trash pick up is coming up soon, yeeeeeeehaw!

Go somewhere. I'm not sure where. But at least overnight, I wanna get out of Dodge. Looks like I'm going to have to leave out at least one kid. If I plan it so Sam can go, DQ won't get to. If I plan it so DQ can go, Sam won't get to. But DQ is going to Ohio on Oct. 6th. Not that anybody else really would want to go there, it's still a trip away from here.

Make caramel apples with the kids.

Visit with my niece from Ohio, which I will actually get to do because she'll be here!!! And guess what?! She's pregnant! With her first baby! I'm so excited for her! Yeah, I don't know if I mentioned it, but my sister is a grandma! I have a great-niece now, because my nephew's girlfriend had a baby. They live in Montana and I haven't even seen a picture of her :( So when I turned 40 this August, that fact didn't help me feel any younger. But at least I reached 40 without being a grandma myself... so... But I can't wait to see my niece with a baby bump!

Go clothes shopping with DQ. She is in serious need of pants. Oh the poor thing... she had a mishap the other night on stage during their performance of the one-act plays they've been practicing all year. It involved squatting, and the back of her pants. I didn't notice, but I guess other people did. She said "didn't you see me kinda squatting for the rest of the scene?!?!" Well no, dear, you were playing a CHIMP!!!

Cook. I want to make stuff to put in the freezer so I can not have to use my brain on dinner so often.

But I think the main thing I want to do, is of course, SLEEP!!

Awww shucks!

Look what Janean gave me! A Blog Star award! Thanks so much, not sure why, because I haven't had much to say lately. But I appreciate it all the same. I'm not so good at giving out awards, because I don't want anybody to feel left out... I am blessed and inspired by so many blogs out there, some who stop by here and some who don't. So I'll just take this opportunity to say - keep blogging!! Even if you think you have nothing important to say, you just never know who you might bless.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My sidebar again

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We're getting there!

1 week...

Until VACATION!!!!!! No, I'm not looking forward to it at all.

I'm finishing up with my current trainee this week. She's doing really well, and I have great confidence she will be a fantastic 911 operator. This morning we had a caller reporting an accident involving a fire hydrant, and so we called the water department to let them know it would need to be repaired. After that, we discussed why we would call the water department and not the fire department to fix the fire hydrant. Our next call was from a lady who said "My water just broke!" Trainee stammered a little bit, and then said "oh, ok! Let me get you on the line with the fire department for medical help" and transfered the call. I asked what the hesitation was, and she said "I almost told her to call the water department! We can't do anything about water problems!"

It's been a tough time at work though. On Tuesday we had another officer killed in the line of duty. There was one in July (on the same day the news helicopters collided in midair, if you heard about that) then a couple days later there was an officer killed in a car accident. 2 months later, and here we go again. As with the last line of duty death, this officer was shot trying to arrest someone, and both were shot in the face. That breaks my heart. They were both husbands and fathers, both had two small children. The one on Tuesday survived two bouts with cancer and was determined to get back on the streets. He was offered a desk job, and he turned it down. He'd been back on his beat about a month after beating cancer only to have this hoodlum gun him down. I guess I'm pretty angry about it. I didn't know him, but I didn't need to. Is it the whole country or just this city that seems to be so much more violent than it used to be? Lord please come soon.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

What we did today

Now we just have to wait for them to get fired and pick them up on Monday!

Link: As You Wish Pottery Painting Place

What Snugglebutt made

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A "just in case you didn't know" thing

Because I didn't know before I started working for 911, and a lot of people don't seem to know this but...
As long as it has battery power, any cell phone can dial 911, even those without service. So when you get your new phone and give the old one to the kids to play with, it's a really good idea to take the battery out. It does take away the fun of the beeps and lights when you push the buttons, but it also keeps little ones from inadvertently dialing 911 and tying up lines that could be needed in emergency situations. I had one of these calls just the other night (why the kid was up at 3am, I couldn't tell you, but that's not the point...) and I was lucky enough to get the kid to give the phone to his/her dad (usually they just babble in my ear.) He was shocked to hear "This is 911" on the other end of the phone!

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Kind of upset that I'm not more upset

We had a call at work this morning that went bad. My trainee handled the call appropriately, in fact, she had it in the system within 24 seconds, which is amazing. That wasn't the bad part, it was the end result. It was a domestic violence call in which the mother was telling us her son had a knife. We could hear him repeatedly refuse to put the knife down, and say he didn't care if the officers shot him when they got there. Well, after he charged them, that was just what happened. The officers shot him. And he died. My trainee was upset by the whole thing. She was shaken when she saw that he'd been shot, but she burst into tears and practically ran from the room once she learned that he died. The supervisor called in peer counseling to talk to her, and then let her go home early, but she was feeling better by the time she left. My supervisor came over to me and asked me what happened and how I felt about it. I summarized what the mother said to us, then told her I was fine. Because, really, I wasn't bothered by it at all. I mean, I felt really bad for the parents, but it wasn't something I was going to take home with me and stew about. It's not my life. He charged the police with a knife in his hand and he knew exactly what would happen. But then I started thinking about it, and wondered how and when I got to the point where a 21 year old being shot to death is really just part of the job. And now I'm upset that I'm not more upset.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Look what I made and some other randomness

I'm pretty pleased with how it came out, considering I was really just playing around when I made it.

I know it's been a while since I've posted anything significant. I'm in one of those phases where most of what I have to say would like come out sounding shrill and not fun to read. I'm in a "I hate my job" phase and trying to figure out if God is telling me it's time to move on or I need to let God change my attitude and persevere. I know for a fact that He gave me this job, and until recently, I was really really sure it was where He wanted me to be. I've never been sure it was where He wanted me to stay though. I don't know whether it's something He gave me to get me back on my feet and give me confidence I could provide for my kids, or something He meant for me to do for the rest of forever. The thing is, working for 911 has changed me. I am no longer naive about how crazy/ignorant/mean/dishonest/deviant people can be, and I liked it better when I was blissfully unaware. At work I find myself making judgments in the first few seconds of a call based on the callers voice and word choices, and those judgments have a lot do with how much I'm going to care about what they have to say. When I'm not at work, I find myself just wanting to avoid the general population because I think what I hear on the phone is real life. Those one or two calls a night where I genuinely help someone used to be enough to feel that it was worth while. Now it seems like those are so few and far between, that the verbal abuse and general stupidity weighs more heavily on me than the feeling of doing good. My trainee and I were called the F word more times last night than I can even count.

Yes, I need a vacation! And I've got one coming up in less than 3 weeks! Two weeks! I'm really looking forward to maybe not being overwhelmed with fatigue for a little while. I'm also praying about it, because I got the crazy thought in my head that maybe I can pursue and old dream that I gave up a few years ago. When I moved out here, I dreamed of becoming a home birth midwife. In Ohio that kind of thing wasn't exactly legal, but it is here in AZ, and my ex-husband promised me he'd help me achieve that goal. Well, it was just another promise he didn't keep and when we were together, I couldn't do it without his help (because I didn't have my own money to pay for the training.) Then when he was arrested, I didn't see a way possible since my kids needed to eat and taking the time out to go to school wasn't going to work. But now, I think it's something I can do. I can afford it, I might even be able to get my tuition paid for through my job, and I can study at work between calls. The time I would have to serve as an apprentice might be a little difficult, but I can prepare for that and probably make it work. So if you feel like it, would you pray for me about this? I think the world would be a much nicer place for me if I could surround myself with the hope of new life.

Could you also pray for my 7 year old? He's struggling a little bit with understanding things with his dad. He said to me that he doesn't understand what's so bad about what his dad did that would cause him to be sentenced to such a long time in jail (30 years.) How do you explain something like that to a 7 year old without destroying their innocence? I don't think you can. I told him there were just some things he wouldn't understand until he was older, but I can tell that frustrated him even more.

I'll close with something from the slightly amusing kidstuff file - 7 year old Snugglebutt had a run-in with a thorn bush at school last week. It caught him on the back of the head, I'm not exactly sure how, and he bled quite a bit. When he got home he said to me "I don't even know why they have that thorn bush there, don't they know it's a child safety issue?!"

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