Angel Note

Angel Note
"If Music be the food of Love, Play on!" -- Wm. Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

No More

LadyBug had her LAST RADIATION TREATMENT TODAY! I drove her up to make a special day of it. The office gave her a certificate of completion and a bottle of sparkling apple/cranberry juice. Kissa went with us, since she had the day off from work. We went to see Skitl and StarGazer, who took us to lunch at Applebee's. 
  
This was the perfect day for this too, since I was able to stop off at a town between here and there and pee in a cup for the drug test required by my new job. I go in tomorrow morning at 8:30 to complete the last of the paperwork, then I start in full-time! This job will work out to a part-time job once school starts, and I will continue until that salary is no longer necessary. Could be awhile. I'm sure if they'd double my current salary as a teacher, I'd be happy to work just for them.... No, I guess not, since I am more than halfway to retirement. Now AFTER retirement....
   
We are also only a month away from our Relay for Life. We have been trying to raise money for our team's pledge, but it has been slow-going. We are having a 20 mile bike-a-thon, and a karaoke contest, then on the night of the relay, we'll sell S'mores and hot cocoa. Around 2 a.m. that should be fairly welcome.
   
Right now, though, it is time to cook some spaghetti and enjoy an evening with the family (and the Scottish soccer coach we are hosting!). Take care!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Take 2!

So I submitted my book to Cedar Fort Publishers. They are not as well known as some of the big publishers, but they have some very nice books, and their vision statement is in line with what I want. They received my book yesterday. I know my brother Twist also sent his book to them. If Stick sends his in, maybe they'll give us a bulk deal?
   
A few of the things I really liked about this publisher is that 1) they want to deal with new authors; 2) they are looking for books that have higher values; and 3) even though most of their books are church related, they have some fiction & fantasy books already published! I really feel my story, and especially my protagonist will please them. Now I just have to find out whether or not they like my writing style!
    
I also have a couple of updates. First, I had my interview with a company just north of us that I worked for last year. There were four computer-based assessment tests, along with a video conference interview with about a half-dozen corporate members. I've never had this big a deal for an entry-level job in my life! Even for my teaching job I only talked with a few people.
  
Lastly, LadyBug finishes her radiation treatments TUESDAY! We can't believe there are only two appointments left! Afterwards, we still have however many months of reconstruction, but we are THIS close to at least being done with treatments. A lady in our town has been battling MUCH longer than us, and is losing her battle. I saw her daughter at the post office today. I can't believe the strength her family has in the face of such a devastating loss! They are truly inspiring to us.
  
We truly appreciate all the prayers on our behalf. There isn't a day that goes by where we don't feel the blessings from them! We may have trouble, but as we have seen, not only could things be worse, but they also keep getting better!

Monday, June 20, 2011

More From the River...And IN It!

A few more pics from our river, down by the main street bridge. What you CAN'T see is the walkway that normally goes under the bridge! You can see a line or two where it SHOULD be!



Saturday, June 18, 2011

If the Creek Don't Rise

Today we went to the wedding reception of a student who just graduated from high school. She was planning on attending college right up to the point where she met and started dating her husband. Now he will finish massage school, and she will go to Cosmetology school. He is about 8 years her senior.
   
After, we decided to drive to the river crossing nearest our house. Several years ago, they put in  a little bridge. You can't even see it right now from the flooding. I snapped a couple of pictures and decided to post them here. We have cooler weather this weekend, which annoys some people, but hopefully will keep the snow in the mountains from melting any faster.
   

   
I then sent a resume for a job here in town working in assembly for a company that manufactures carbon-fiber products such as prosthetics and such. It is an evening shift from 4 pm until midnight. I rarely go to bed before midnight right now, so that won't be a problem. The pay is good, so I hope something will come of it. It is also advertised as a temporary position, which has potential to be permanent. If hired, I'm not sure if I would stay once the school year starts, or go back to my college voice students. I know which I'd RATHER do, but will have to see what happens.
   
Tomorrow I will also speak with the manager of the grocery store where the rest of my family has worked. They have a 4 am shit that goes for a few hours unloading freight. I could consider even doing both jobs, but I would end up sleeping away most of the day. I have to balance providing for my family with whether or not I work myself into an early grave!
  
Well, I'll figure out something... Lord willing, and if the creek don't rise....

Friday, June 17, 2011

On the Hunt

I find myself in a situation I have not been in for years. Starting tomorrow, I will be ACTIVELY seeking a job. Not to worry, I am not leaving my career, nor am I leaving this school. But I can no longer just wait and hope the Temp agency will call me.
   
Two times now, I have applied with this particular agency, and they have found me work within days both times. This year, however, it seems not as many people are hiring temporary employees. I will not point political fingers, but this economy is just not where it was even a year ago! And it was bad enough then!
   
Anyway, the gist of the matter is that I was speaking with my bishop tonight, and he told me I need to look at this as a situation that may possibly become permanent. If, for some reason, LadyBug is unable to EVER go back to work, it will be up to me to make up her lost income. 
   
This statement was one of the most frightening things I have heard. I have always held onto the hope that LadyBug will be able to eventually return to work. The truth is, we just don't know. And with all the bills that have piled up over the past little while, if we don't find a way to stay ahead, we will quickly be buried.
    
So, I will stop thinking of this job-hunt as a quest for a one-month gig. I need to see this as a renewable resource for the future. Once the school year starts back up again, I will return to teaching, and that includes my duties as a member of the adjunct faculty at the nearby college. Those students will easily save us, especially since no part-time job can compare with the hourly wage I get as a collegiate-level instructor!
   
The one thing I will hold to is my refusal to work Sundays. I know this puts me at a disadvantage, but I have to believe that if a job is the one I should get, the Lord will provide a way for me to obey his commandment of keeping the Sabbath day holy. I will not pretend to be better than those who have worked or now work on Sundays, but as long as I can remember, I have been able to find the jobs that allow me to stick with this tenet of our faith.
    
Other than that, I don't care what I do. A very humbling matter that has come to me is the fact that even with a Master's Degree, I am not qualified for most labor-related jobs. While all those who have getting-your-hands-dirty work experience were learning different skills, I was working in a telemarketing cubicle. While some were getting life experience in garages or farms, I was getting more classroom experience in summer classes, or retail sales experience.The crux of the matter is that most companies that are looking for help are looking for EXPERIENCED help, and will not look twice at someone like me.
   
So again we are asking all our friends and family to keep us in your prayers. LadyBug is doing very well thanks to all the prayers on her behalf. Now we ask for your faith for us to find a good job for me. 
   
One thing I have been very selfish about thus far is the fact that a job with any potential to help us would mean I would not be able to spend much time (if any) with my family this year. I know there have been years where others have not been able to come for various reasons, but i have never missed a family reunion. It is one of the things I look forward to most all year long. This summer, however, I may just not get much of a summer after all. I hope that things will work out. In whatever way the Lord will allow, regardless of what that means. We still are looking at options, but for now I will also be clipping the proverbial Help-Wanted ads.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

$$$$$$$

I am going to use this as a sort of forum right now. I have one question. 
   
What are your opinions on "Debt Management Programs?"
   
We are looking at some options for finally getting rid of the elephant in the room. Just wondering how everyone feels about all of those.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lemonade Stand

As a teacher, I sometimes get to see students at their absolute worst. But I also sometimes get to see them at their absolute best. Today was one of those days.
   
The girls across the street are still in the elementary, so i get to see them every week in "Singing Time." Yesterday and today, they have been running a lemonade stand. They have a picnic table set up, with cups and a big jug of the refreshment. They stand out by the street every time a car drives past with a sign advertising their wares. 
   
I saw our former city Pageant Queen drive past, slow, turn around and come back to pay the 25 cents for each girl that they were charging for only one cup. They were excited just to see her turn around, and they chattered as they got ready for her.
   
I had only been mowing my lawn for a little bit when I heard a sound behind me. I turned to find the girls with me in my back yard, holding a cup. One of them was holding it out to me.
   
"Here," she said, smiling. "This is for you. It's free."
   
I thanked the girls, finished mowing the lawn, then got 25 cents to go across the street and buy another cup! Between the free cup, and the cups that got blown all over the yard by the wind, it's a good thing the girls made some money, because mom & dad probably paid more for supplies than the girls actually raked in!
    
Even so, it was a sweet gesture, and renewed my faith in the next generation!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Painting Ideas

I am still stripping the old paint off, but here are some preliminary plans. let me know what you think....
   
A
B
C
D

50% and 93%

As of this week, LadyBug will be 50% done with her radiation treatments! She so far has only gotten a little tired. No other adverse side-effects from the radiation. In another three weeks, she will be done with ALL her initial treatments, and can focus on the reconstruction surgeries.
   
And, as of today, I am down 65 lbs.! That means I am only 6 lbs. off from my "Target Weight." I am confidant that by the end of summer, not only will I have reached my target weight, but I will have passed it, reaching a weight I haven't seen since before moving here 16 years ago! Now my only problem is finding new clothes! I have a couple of boxes of clothes that are now WAY too big on me! I will take them this summer to my family reunion, but I will also be prepared for a yard sale, just in case!
  
The bike is coming along steadily, if not speedily. I am in the process of stripping the paint. After that, I will coat it with automobile-quality primer, and repaint it. I'll post more photos once I have something worth posting.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

DIY Fun

So I think I may have found my next project. It combines a couple of my hobbies and passions: biking and creative fun. Here is my find as I brought it home today:
   
  
It needs new tires and tubes, most likely a new chain, possibly new gears, new handlebar grips, and who knows what else! I will take my time doing this. It may not be finished until this time next year, because of the parts I will have to buy over time. In the mean time, I will strip the paint off of it and repaint it. I already have a seat for it, since my old bike seat fits it quite nicely. Eventually I will replace that as well, since it is my OLD seat for a reason! Here is what the bike looks like now (this takes two photos...):
   
   
    
Wish me luck!