Tuesday, March 13, 2018

So, almost a month in, a lot has happened.

Beginning of March, there was apparently a glitch in their schedule system and it gave me an entire week off. I figured if it was a mistake they would have caught it and called me or something. Nope. I was getting a badge holder from the supply room and it was right across from the managerial office. The manager AND the HR lady were there and said hi how's it going. I told them and they both riveted their eyes on me and said 'What? That isn't supposed to happen!' HR lady apologized profusely about it and the manager said they can't keep track of all 200 employees so next time bring it to their attention.
Okay then.
My schedule other than that is all over the board. Not liking that as I have to check it almost every day to catch any changes.
Car is still running good, so relieved to have a car finally and it's sturdy and reliable. Don't have to worry about an oil change for about 2000 miles yet. Gas prices of course are up again so I'm careful with my driving and where I go to conserve gas.
Oh, my rolling cheap desk chair finally broke one of the wheel housings. No way to salvage it and so was on a hunt for a new chair just like it since I knew they ran about $25. Looked online...checked some places, commiserated with Katie about it and then realized there was a Staples right down the road and they likely would have it. Go driving down there, went immediately to that section but didn't see anything less than $80. Walked up to the front where the manager was dealing with a customer and showed him a picture of what I wanted, he directed another employee to help me so we go back there. I could tell the guy was new and didn't know the stock that well...been there done that. I looked up and on a top shelf was a model that looked a bit like what I wanted. Pointed it out, he said well we have that one here, (no arms is one of the features I was looking for) I told him no, that is not on the floor and so he looked and went to find a ladder, found another employee that moved the big ladder and brought it down. I told him I just needed to know how much it was because my budget was about $25.
He scanned it when we got to the front and said, 'Well we can do better than that, how about $8?"
Ummm saywhat?
"It's on clearance, so $8 plus tax." I couldn't get my wallet out fast enough and carried it to the car.  Leather/vinyl seat, bigger seat and back... basically an upgrade to what I had for less than $10.  SCORE!

Katie has found a suitable roommate replacement that almost literally walked in the door of her work. She's a new coworker and let her know she was looking for a place that was closer to work. Well guess what... taadaaa! Her name is Trisha and I think we'll get along nicely, no nasty habits (Katie says she smokes the clove cigarettes but is trying to cut back),and has a wish to learn 'crafty stuff'. Also she has no car, so is taking the bus and now it will be my turn to help out someone who may need a ride occasionally. Just recently Katie says Trisha found a new job that is MUCH closer to where we live and better pay etc. so she will be much better off.
So yay! And ... sadness. Katie is planning on moving out by the end of this month. Sniff. Gonna miss that girl.
Now on to some other stuff. Amber was officially diagnosed with hyperthyroid. I always suspected she had some sort of issue due to how skinny she was and never gained any weight. Recently in the past year and a half or so she's been shakey. As in her whole body was shivering like she was cold or nervous or something and she started having a higher heart rate and that's when she decided to go see the doctor. Her blood pressure and her heart rate were higher than they should be. She's on anti-thyroid medication and something else to lower her heart rate and bp. The doctor had her go in for a sonogram of her neck to see just what her thyroid was doing and luckily she had the money for all of this. She's too late for getting Covered CA but if the diagnosis is pushed as being life threatening she might be able to get in on it before she has to have surgery. She says the meds make her feel drowsy and loopy which is to be expected, she's been running on a high metabolism for years I suspect. It'll take a few weeks for her system to equalize with the meds so can hope that she'll get better.
So... kind of a relief to discover what was going on and a small amount of worry if she has to have surgery to remove some or all of her thyroid.

Haven't heard from Devon in a while. I assume he's doing okay since he's still posting on facebook. I even reposted a picture of 'I will always be your mom' sort of thing that sometimes we just want a call or a message that says 'I'm okay'. He liked the post and didn't even think to actually do what it said. Sigh.
Love that boy but....
So that's my life up to now. It actually rained down here for a little while, we're getting some cloudy weather and all that.
Oh I actually sold a necklace and earring set this morning and shipped it off since I had the day off.
Oh EDD notified me end of last week that they set up a phone interview since I had marked I wasn't looking for work due to getting another part time job. Well it happened to be when I was at work. So I rescheduled it and the next available was the following Friday. When I would be at work. Calling them did no good so I just let it ride. I got the phone call while I was busy, listened to the message, called back and I got an answering machine. Explained the situation and said if they had any other issues to call and leave a message as I am now working 7 days a week part time at two jobs.  Next thing I know, the following Monday, EDD sent me the previous payment and the current one. I have dutifully and truthfully answered all the income questions every time so it's not like I lied and said I'm out of work still.
The bad thing is, I forgot to transfer the money over to my main account and the landlady then deposited both last month and this months check! BOING! I bounced the $700 check for this month. She's very understanding though and I told her I would be getting paid this Friday and clear it up.
I  haven't bounced a check in YEARS! So, deep breath and moving forward.
I think that's a long enough post for now. Sorry for that, happens when I don't do it every week.
Hope everyone else is doing okay.

A lot of emotional stress that people go through, some people figure out a way to handle it. They have a strong enough support system to keep going and keep moving forward. And some people, they feel like they don't have that outlet. Terrell Owens
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/terrell_owens_429902?src=t_keep_moving_forward
 "When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. When life is bitter say thank you and grow." - Unknown. (random quote site, no author given)
A lot of emotional stress that people go through, some people figure out a way to handle it. They have a strong enough support system to keep going and keep moving forward. And some people, they feel like they don't have that outlet. Terrell Owens
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/terrell_owens_429902?src=t_keep_moving_forward

Friday, February 16, 2018

First 'full week of work'.

Monday and Tuesday were deadly boring other than catching that bat. Today I actually finished all the videos and was assigned another 'mentor coach' that worked in that department. But he was going to be transferring to customer service desk in a few weeks.
This made me feel so good! I got to actually talk to customers about plants and product! What I didn't know I found someone who did.
If you've ever been in a Home Depot you've seen them with those handheld phone things? Well that's called a FIRST phone. Everything you could possibly need to access is on that for employees.
I didn't get one yet.
I had one but made the mistake of answering it when it rang. That's a whole other situation for later.
I was introduced to one of the supervisors in that department, 'Bob' yes he was a Bob and when I was introduced he said, 'Oh! You're the Bat Patty!' 
I'm apparently famous now among the supervisors.
So yeah, saw how the department was set up, helped people and as you know you're helping one and another shows up and have to stop what you're doing.... but it was good. I also got to water some of the plants. Realized quickly that I didn't have gloves. Gonna need those definitely, they have a dispensing area sort of? In the break room for gloves, knives, and two other things I don't remember. So you just go there and grab what you need and then bring them back when you're done. Going to bring my own though and see if they're okay.
Also need a new hat that's appropriate, shoes are fine though. They actually don't require steel toed or heavy duty shoes, everyone runs around in sneakers or whatever.
It really felt good to get in contact with customers and explain products and plants. Most of the time I was on my own unfortunately, but hope that someone saw what I was doing and passed it along.
It was rather eerie at a few points when customers were almost textbook what I had seen in a couple of the videos. (Oddly enough an irate customer was talking to one of the supervisors about an employee they were NOT happy with and it was straight out of the video I had just watched a few hours earlier. Talked with a customer who was looking for a product that we didn't carry and I had to refer him to.... pause... Walter Andersens. He already knew what I was going to say and goes there frequently for shopping because he's in several plant groups.
But, overall felt good about being busy, feet were tired at the end of only a 5 hour shift but that's to be expected.
Whew! I was leaving and one of the ladies from the back office I think was walking out I heaved a tired sigh and she said 'tell me about it', I told her it was my first day out on the floor in garden and how I actually felt I was a real employee now.

Tired but it's a good tired
Whenever you're in one of the stores and don't see an orange apron anywhere, I totally understand feeling lost. Have some patience and when in doubt head to the customer service desk and tell them where you need help, they'll call someone over. It's a big building and this is the beginning of spring hiring, so some of us are tied up with customers.
Oh yeah.
I told the lady I was buying it from (Wanda a coworker at Beverly's) that I was bringing a checkbook so she brought the pink slip. Drove it around the parking lot and into traffic a bit, she told me the little nuances, tires, oil change and wipers had been done very recently. Forgot to ask about the brakes. 2001 Honda CR-V SE. They bought it used in 2005 and it's in great condition. Ignition switch is a bit dicey sometimes but the heating and air conditioner work and it runs good. I'm happy with it.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Orange is my primary color now.

I am officially an employee of The Home Depot.
It is a completely new experience for me. The whole corporate mentality, the constant repetition of  their core values, I can see people working for Disney might get this sort of indoctrination.
Don't get me wrong, this my be the better thing to happen for me.
I had orientation for 4 hours on Saturday (2/10) with about a dozen other people. Met the General manager of the store, the HR lady, one of the assistant managers... they were all in there pitching the welcome wagon. Videos were watched, they supplied donuts and tangerines which I think I was the only one that took advantage of them. 8am and I think I was the only one with a spark of energy in that group. I was one of the oldest ones too!
My schedule for the next three weeks is M/T/F 10-4 and two of those weeks will be training.
Video/computer training.
For five and a half hours a day.
Everyone is friendly and helpful, they are really eager to welcome new employees to the company and it truly is different than my previous job. I can't remember having this much attention and acceptance ever at the nursery. Different people I'm sure but it's a mental attitude too.
So today was the video/online training. Dozens of videos about safety, core values, taking orders, even two videos on how to water plants in the garden section!
Oh and there was a video about why they were non-union and how to handle union solicitors.
But the highlight.. the truly spectacular point was ... I caught a bat.
The room for the training/meetings is about 40x20 with tables in the middle in a long rectangle. I'm in the far upper corner doing my training, it's around 3 in the afternoon, and I hear all the voices behind me. ALL the department heads and the upper management are having a meeting because inventory was coming up. So I turned up the volume a little on my headset and continue my video watching.
I hear a commotion behind me and some shadow passed overhead. I thought, oh geez a bird got in here! The heck? I turned around and two of the women are ducking and I look up and discover it's a small BAT!!! A BAT!
Holy Crap! How the hell did this thing get in the room! There's only two doors and they lead to a hallway, one end is a closed external door and the other is open to the rest of the store.
I pause the video and take off the headset, tell everyone to calm down but some are trying to stop it holding up a folder and stuff. I'm just like 'come on bubbus... poor thing' it flew around then landed against one of the walls and gripped a poster that was there. I holler that we need a net and one of the leads runs out to the POOL section to get a net. SMH. Of course as soon as I moved toward it, it took off. I suddenly realize this is a BAT! Teeth! Possible other stuff and take off my light jacket.  A couple of rounds around the room and we finally downed the poor thing on a table against the wall. Little thing has a short tail and is smaller than the palm of my hand, a bit bigger for the wingspan. I carefully pick it up in the hood of my jacket and it's got its mouth open panting poor thing. One of the leads comes over and wants to get a picture of it. Need to find her tomorrow and ask her to send me the picture. One of the managers actually got video.
I take it to the exit door which one of the leads is holding open and I release it behind some dumpsters where it promptly flew off.
A bat.
I go back inside and the guy returns with a net.
I have no idea where it came from, could have been in the ceiling and something spooked it, not sure if it came through the door.
A bat.
Oh at one point after I had captured it I said, 'Aren't you glad you hired me?'
I'm being watched by the ENTIRE management crew!
I went back to my corner and continued watching the video.
I will have to do some research to find out what species it was. I saw a separated tail so that says a 'free tail bat' which I think there's only a Mexican variety locally.
ANyway... I'm pooped.
That was sooo exciting!
Oh I will be getting a look at my prospective car this week on Thursday. Hoping my tax money hits the bank within a week or two and then will likely update with pictures then.
Oh, Katie has picked out a dress, it was only the third one she tried on and it looks stunning on her!
More details on that later too, I'm really whooped gee it's after midnight and I've been awake since 6. Rain woke me up.

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, January 27, 2018

"Second Interview" update

It was actually the next step in hiring process. In house drug test where she gave me a stick to put in my mouth for ten minutes, fill out my background check information and fill out my availability schedule. That was it.
Drug test, no worries there. Didn't even have anything with poppy seeds recently. Background check, a little bit of a hiccup since one of the questions was had I been at my current address for ten years. I had to put no then they wanted my last address. I couldn't remember my freaking address number! She said it was okay but down yes instead and when/if it came back I could give her the right address. Availability was another small hiccup. I put down 8am-8pm Friday, Monday and Tuesday, Wed/Thursday were out and I had told her that already. Also the bus doesn't run on weekends but I told her I could get rides and by the end of February I should have a car. She told me to put down no weekends until March 1 and after that it was a must. I told her that was not an issue.
So, I believe she said that orientation would be on Feb 6 (a Tuesday) and a likely start date would be Feb 10. But..that's a Saturday so we'll see what happens. I didn't realize what days of the week they were until just now. She'll be sending an email for the time I'm supposed to be there.
I got there way early so I could get a badly needed haircut at the Fantastic Sams that was right in the same shopping center. I got that done and had enough time to meander through their garden center. The plant section alone was about the size of the section I was in charge of at the nursery. More plants per foot but still, way smaller than I thought and will see what they want me to do. There is a separate cashier for that section but I'm going to be customer service. Said so on my file she left on the desk.
She had to use the restroom and had left my file right there. On the cover were her notes I suppose from the first interview and Dept 09 is cashier which she had crossed out and put Dept 28 YES. Also that I had been at Walter Andersen's 19 years.
Here's hoping that three months down the road they'll want to make me full time. Also by the time August rolls around I am going to have to find a new place or new roommate. Sigh. That decision is going to completely depend on work of course. I HATE moving. (I've said that before haven't I?)
With a car it's easier but I don't want to start a new job and then six months later tell them I'm moving out of the area. So I'm stuck in San Diego for at least another year. Did I Say 'stuck'? It's great here, the weather is good, just expensive to afford to live here. When my interviewer lady asked why I was applying at Home Depot I gave her the expected answer, 'my go to place for hardware' 'I like how the employees are supported' and also that if I have to move they are all over the country and I have a good chance of getting a job transfer to another location. She nodded in agreement there so I was right on the money with that.
It will all play out however it does and as usual I'll roll with the punches and come up on my feet.
(As of this writing 1/27 still no W2 from the nursery. I checked with a friend that is still there, they haven't seen them either. They have four days.)

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do." Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

It's finally happening....

I didn't want to write anything about my updates until it was a sure thing.
I'm going for a second interview at Home Depot not far from where I live. It's pretty much a sure thing but I'm still being cautious until I sign the paperwork.
Part time and minimum wage but it's a job and compared to my old job maybe not as stressful? I won't be customer service specifically as that is a COMPLETELY different thing.
I originally interviewed for a cashier position, and yes this particular one has as many actual cashier stations as self service. After interviewing the first time the hiring manager said I would likely be hired but not for cashier as I was a better fit for the garden center. (Apparenlty she hadn't even looked at my application information and asked what my previous job was.) When I told her I was 19 years at the nursery she raised a brow and remarked on understanding longevity at a job.
Februry 9 would have been the start of my 20th year at the nursery. As luck would have it, I will be starting at the new job around the same time. Spring in the garden industry is pretty consistent on the calendar.
So, that's moving forward and even though it's part time there is (in the interviewers words) very small chance it would convert to full time. Most large retail businesses run on part time to cut costs and told her I understand that.
The only catch is, the bus that would take me up there only runs Monday through Friday. I will likely have to rely on Katie or Uber or something if I'm scheduled on Sat/Sun.
Bonus round!
A coworker at Beverly's messaged me last week saying she was getting a newer car and wanted to know if I was interested in buying her 2001 Honda CRV.
Staggered to say the least, it's one of the models I was looking at for a car.
I said yes but have no money until I get my refund in February. She asked what my budget was and mentally I was saying Zero...zero is good. I told her I had no clue because I have no money right now and asked her what she was asking for it.
$1500 plus DMV fees.
Picking jaw up off the floor, I said YES I'm definitely interested.
I was planning about $3000-5000 for getting a decent car so this is fantastic news!
She said no rush on it, she was going to be gone on vacation the following week and then would see about bringing it to Beverly's when I'm there and have me check it out.
133,600 miles on it and she got it new.  I am so ecstatic about this it's unbelievable.
So now I just have to let the people at my new job understand that weekends will be do able but by the end of February I'll have a car and commute will be easier.
 Whew! (Big sigh)

Kids are doing okay, Devon got a $1 raise like his boss promised, so he's making $14/hour doing warehouse work and still likes where he's at. Once he saves up enough he'll be looking for a car as well I suspect.

As for my jewelry selling, still trying to upload more items to sell, with no sales in the past month. It happens and I wasn't expecting things to rocket but looking into variations and different things.  With all the new technology it makes it easier to take photos on my phone and use the Etsy app to list the item right away. I have a portable photo booth thing and got it out once thinking I needed to do that and discovered that it really isn't necessary until I can put it up permanently.

Still don't know what I'm going to do about moving or finding a roommate by August.
More on that later.

"You have to always be alive and always be willing to move in a new direction." - Kevin Spacey
You have to always be ready, always be alive, and always be willing to move in a new direction.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/kevin_spacey_695835
You have to always be ready, always be alive, and always be willing to move in a new direction.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/kevin_spacey_695835

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

So another year gone by, wow.

Still no job, I am looking but without a car as I have mentioned before it's tougher.
Reflections on the past year and the coming year.
Last year was a shocker to be sure. Publicly, politically, personally everything had surprises around the corner.  I remember back in the spring last year that I felt something big was going to happen, a lot of big things happened but that feeling was very personal. I caused my own big change and I can only hope that the next step will be more carefully thought out and a step in the right direction. Which direction I have yet to figure out.
Christmas was surprising. I thought I would be sitting at home doing mostly nothing or be on the computer and actually a planned outing happened. We had the tickets to Sea World and actually went.
I had been feeling kind of off the day or two before Christmas. That sort of 'off' feeling of biological workings were not functioning correctly. I couldn't put my finger on it but was feeling bloated and full. We went to IHOP for breakfast which was fine, made me feel even more full. Had a blast actually, got to ride the Manta which is one of my favorite all time roller coasters. Got to see a 'reindeer' in the Santa's Village area (where the former Budweiser beer garden was, shows you how long ago I was there). I put that in quotes because there was a handler there that explained what exactly they were. I thoroughly enjoyed his information because I learned something I didn't know before. Reindeer are actually caribou, in a harness. Caribou are a LOT smaller than you would think. About the size of a pony and as some who are reading this know they drop their antlers at different times of the year. Winter for males and summer for females so the photo below of the animal and an antler, he just shed that a week before. The handler also had the second one that had shed just the day before. Really amazing! So, given that timing, all the 'reindeer' for Santa are FEMALES. (Yes some of you who know all these factoids bear with me.)

That was another first, had never been to Sea World during Christmas.

(Edit, forgot to finish my side note about not feeling well)
We met up with Katie's mom and stepdad at a local Chinese restaurant, the food was good but I was off my feed still. By the time I got home I felt like I was going to burst open, one end or the other. Didn't sleep well and the next day.... yeah. Apparently blockage had occurred and it started moving again. I'm not sure exactly what caused it but I'm only now feeling better but still have that overstuffed feeling even though everything is 'moving' normal. Watching my food now and eating less because I'm feeling full most of the time.

I am getting my brain warped (yes that's right) around my next big life change of moving out on my own. Totally alone... somewhere. Have to wait for money to come in the next month or so before I can consider looking for a car. Already moving forward with getting my 401k dealt with. That's another funny thing.  I checked it about a week ago and I was about $37 shy of $23k. I checked it day before yesterday and it said I had $23,001.90. Woohoo! That was so weird, then I get my email statement and it's at some odd $22,000something again. Okay so I figure that it's the quarterly end, fees and such but apparently between those two dates of checking the amount there was a loss of about $80 some dollars. Fees are only about $5. I don't understand investing, all these years I've just been putting money into it from my paycheck, filling out the same paperwork every year and getting my statement.
Now I need to find someone I can trust, hopefully with my bank so I don't have to have money I need in a different spot.
Oh the good thing is I turn 59 1/2 in April so getting things set up and ready by then is a good idea. That's the first break point where I don't get penalized for early withdrawal.
I hate math and numbers. Banks scare me. Nice place to have money but dealing with forms and all that is one of my big anxiety points.

In the meantime, still making jewelry and putting it up on Etsy. Finished a commission for a coworker for earrings and necklace. Katie is finally back in the swing of her polymer clay so she cranked out some holly leaves and gingerbread men. For that after Christmas stuff..yah know.
She's promising some spring and valentines items so will be looking for that. I still need to make a necklace for her mom and sister for the wedding.
That's the other thing that's ramping up as well is wedding prep and plans.
Okay, need to go get some food and walk around a bit.
Thank you all for all your support and encouragement both with words and gift cards.

"Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction." - Anonymous.

Monday, December 18, 2017

ADOS: Attention Deficit..Ohh Shiny!

Been distracted a lot lately with various things. Been to Disneyland, been making stuff and sold a few things and then a movie happened.
I saw The Last Jedi and it was everything I expected and some I didn't expect.
I have never cried that much through a movie in my entire life. For all the right reasons. I guess I was in an emotional state because little things caught me off guard, funny things, reminders of other characters, and then there was Leia.
((pausing to choke up a bit))
Yeah..it was like that.
So my brains been a bit scrambled processing all the images and emotions through that entire 2 1/2 hour movie.
Amber, her boyfriend Wellman (first name is actually Joseph but because they have another friend that is also a Joseph he goes by his last name, like ya do) and a friend of theirs also came, I paid for their tickets on Fandango and they paid me back when we met up.
About Fandango, here's my adventure in online ticket ordering.
When I finally had money I just automatically when to that site and looked up tickets. Had to double check with Amber what would be a good time for her crew and it turned out it had to be Friday morning no later than 9. Fine, perfect I have the whole day.
So, looking at times I find the first listing for 9 am, hesitate, double check, triple check and then ordered them. Printed out the hard copy and let Amber know.
$66. For 4 people to see the movie. If it weren't for the guys paying me back it would hurt a bit more, but this movie was worth every penny.
Okay so that Thursday I look again after Amber and I had a discussion about neither of us liked 3D for different reasons and sure enough, I had ordered 3D Imax tickets! CRAP!
Messaged Amber and told her I was looking into refund/exchange rules and Fandango is really good about that. Can do it up to the time of the showing. GREAT! I didn't want a financial blunder that would delay the tickets and was checking other times. Standard showing was only a half hour later. SWEET!  I kept seeing how refunds are easy if you're a Fandango VIP member. Pause. Did I sign up for that last time? Hmmph, okay go to that page and just on a chance I hit the log in button and entered my standard email and password... Bingo! I HAD registered 2 years ago for the last movie!
So, enter in the info and then had to decide whether to get a refund back on my card or an exchange. The tickets were now going to be HALF the cost of the original set but I decided to get an exchange so the balance would still be on my VIP rewards and they never expire.
Badabing, badaboom, clickity click... DONE! BONUS! Because I used my VIP account I got a 'free' Last Jedi poster! (shipping and handling $6.95). Fantastic!
After the movie I went to a bead and gem show that comes to San Diego about three times a year. Got to meet up with a friend and former coworker there and realized as she was relating the typical gossip and travails of working there that as she talked my shoulders started to tighten, my chest kind of caved in...
I hadn't realized how much that job had burdened me over the years until she started reminding me of all the emotional baggage and stress that happens there.
I am feeling so much better now and despite being extremely tight on money feel a weight has been lifted. Didn't used to be like that when I first started working there. It happens, time wears people down and we move on.
So, I've been riding an emotional rollercoaster, but that is also due to another thing I had to take care of.
My medical coverage.
Now that I am without my full time job, I don't have medical anymore. I have two prescriptions, one is my 'aftercare/preventative' HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and a 500mg naproxen for my arthritis pain.
Both came up for refills and I asked how much they were, HRT is $120 without insurance, the naproxen is only $22. Comparitively, HRT was only $8 something and the naproxen was $2 something on insurance.
Balancing between actual quality of life and a precautionary pill that technically I could have stopped two years ago, I told them to hold the HRT indefinitely.
I now have coverage but that doesn't start until January, I have enough to get me through until next month which is also my return appointment for the osteo doctor.
Going back to the emotional thing. PMS is both ends of the female life cycle, Pre menstrual and Post menopausal. Mood swings, emotional upsets, hot flashes, you know the drill. A side effect of the HRT was pain in my joints among other things. Well guess what doesn't hurt as much anymore? I'm supposed to take the naproxen twice a day, morning and night with food. I've forgotten it a few times at night but haven't noticed any difference there. Now it also reduces the swelling in my fingers so I'm not about to give it up just based on not being in as much pain anymore.
And that's the way it is.
As for the kids, (I think I mentioned in a previous post that Devon is in Alaska now?) anyway, he found a great job working for an electrical/lighting supply place getting $16/hour and after his probation period gets great medical and dental. I'm so happy for him, he's loving the 'wild woods' life up there and now that he has a job the financial burden that hadn't been there before has been lifted.
Amber is doing good, bright highlighter pink hair and all. She's still going to New Mexico to surprise her kids for Christmas which is absolutely incredible. So happy that she gets to do that and I only wish I could go with her.
As to that, I still don't have a full time job. Options are limited due to not having a car. (Amber has a car and if I went with her would have to put up with her smoking so, love her to pieces but I'll have to stay home. Can't afford and don't want to drive that far again.)
Kiri from what I have seen is stable and doing great with her kids on her own now again.

So.. I think that's about it this time. I've sold two things on Etsy since I restarted. Oh! About that, when I was at Disneyland, I wore my lightsaber earrings that I made and not one but TWO cast members (both women of course) noticed them. I hadn't made cards yet unfortunately but told them my shop name and hoped they could remember it and see the rest of the colors. One of them asked if I had red ones and I replied, 'Of course!'.  No pings on that yet and then riding the bus to the Beverly's Christmas dinner a girl sat behind me and tapped me on the shoulder motioning to my ear. I was wearing some beaded wreath earrings I had just made and she loved them. I told her I made them, and luckily this time had a card I could give her. She saw my name and gushed, 'That's my AUnt's name!' she kind of got teary eyed a bit so her AUnt must have a big impact on her. (yes I stressed the first two letters because of how she pronounced it.)
So here's hoping better and brighter things coming next year.