Thursday, March 31, 2011

Work is

Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy. ~Kahlil Gibran

I really meant to meet my goal of a post almost every day. But I got lost in the work for a few days this week. After Monday, I've been trying to locate a new home for everyone living in that group home I mentioned. Plus I still have all my regular work and meetings to make sure other people in other homes or locations are still doing Ok and receiving the supports they need. I am behind on reports and paperwork which is the only thing the bosses look at unless someone complains.

Today I had 9 client meetings at one home with the same professional consultants providing information in each meeting (RN, RD, RT, PT, ST, BACB, QMRP, etc). No lunch, though there were pastries and water. I was very tired and irritable by the time I arrived home.

I love my work. But I am so drained sometimes by the work that I just don't have anything left. I wish that all the service providers loved their work and weren't mostly in it for the money. It would make my job easier and happier.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday, Monday...

“When the music changes, so does the dance” ~unknown

I drove out of the garage this morning, got about 6 garage doors away (yeah, I'm a bit slow when I first leave home in the mornings), and realized it felt like I had a flat tire (I did). So I called AAA (30 minute wait), my boss, then checked my voice mail at work. Out of 10 voice mail messages (not too bad for a long weekend), there were two which were very ominous sounding.

Once I was at the office, I called the family who had left the two ominous messages, to discover they had moved their family member home over the weekend. It seems they spoke to their brother at the group home as they do every Saturday he isn't visiting them, and when he was finished he didn't hang up the phone completely. The family listened since the line was open, and heard interactions they never would have suspected from the provider. They eventually taped some of the interactions they overheard. When it became obvious this was not just a one time event they drove to the home to pack up the essentials and get their brother out of there.

Shockingly this is a provider that I would never have imagined would verbally mistreat any of the folks who live in the home (and neither did the family). But they did and not only were they verbally abusive, they were cruel about some of the things they said.

This man with a moderate cognitive disability, OCD, and anxiety disorder has a history of being verbally and physically abused in the past. He is always worried about not doing things right and not doing what he is supposed to be doing. He also just got out of the hospital in the past month after having cancer surgery. These people told him he was a liar, that he was a lot of trouble and he never helped out, and suggested to him that he might need to go back to the hospital if he didn't be quiet and chew his food.

Needless to say, much of my day was concerned with this issue. I was shocked, then really angry. I spoke to one other man in the home and sadly confirmed that this is probably the kind of thing that has been going on for a long time. I am going to find new, hopefully safer, kinder homes for the other three men. No one else will move into this home, ever.

But it worries me on another level. The folks on my caseload frequently can't advocate for themselves. Some of them are non-verbal. If this home which I thought was a good one, was able to fool me and others for so long, what homes can I trust? It is scary.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Unconscious Mutterings Week 426

The power was out for several hours last night for the first time in a very long time (apparently a large tree fell in the park and took out lines and a transformer). It was very strange to be confronted with how much I take for granted about the availability of electricity and what a huge part it plays in my life. It isn't that I didn't know; it's that I seldom think about it.

Anyway-- it came back on. Netflix movie night was saved (The Social Network was our choice this week). And our network, internet access and the satellite were all back up before midnight.

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Recommendation :: I always listen to recommendations; don't always agree, but I always listen
  2. Toilet paper :: supply
  3. Scissors :: runs with
  4. Blaze :: fire
  5. Frame :: html
  6. Process :: procedure
  7. Flight :: booked
  8. Irish :: Notre Dame
  9. Glasses :: sun
  10. Campaign :: contribution
Weekly word list can be found at Unconscious Mutterings

Thursday, March 24, 2011

If you know yourself

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."
~ Sun Tzu, The Art of War and other Laws of Power (Mobi; Translated from the Chinese by Lionel Giles; Kindle version)

I have discovered many different quotations over the years attributed to Sun Tzu and his treatise The Art Of War, but never actually read it. I discovered it for free on Amazon and downloaded it to my Kindle a few weeks ago. I've been reading through a little at a time during my lunch every few days. I checked and apparently it is no longer available from Amazon to customers in the U.S. I find that odd.

I love my Kindle. In addition to feeding my ongoing addiction to mystery, thriller, paranormal, and romance novels, without causing further storage problems for me, I am thrilled with always having access to books. I would like to build an electronic reference library for myself, but it will take time. I still like the feel of my hard cover books, and for anything that requires a diagram, illustration, or picture for full understanding, a real book is best. But honestly for just reading or even searching, and even for quick reference books, my Kindle rocks.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday afternoon storm

mar 2011c 009-1

mar 2011c 012

mar 2011c 017-1

Strange clouds, rainbows, and a few minutes after these were taken, there was hail-- very unusual Southern California weather.

Monday, March 21, 2011


This was the view out the window on Sunday. I keep telling myself that we need the rain.

mar 2011c 013-1

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Unconscious Mutterings Week 425

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Jacob :: Black
  2. Green :: eyes
  3. Cupcake :: Wars
  4. Acts :: of treason
  5. Thunderous :: sound
  6. President :: Obama
  7. Anxiety :: provoking
  8. Matter :: antimatter
  9. Diner :: Diners, Drive-ins and Dives
  10. Absence :: does not necessarily make the heart grow fonder
Weekly word list at: Unconscious Mutterings

Friday, March 18, 2011

The way to state the problem

"The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." ~Bertrand Russell

hmmmmmm..... that sounds true for just about every problem (thinker or no), doesn't it?

If you find the right way to define a problem, the solution is easier to craft or at least begin to see the basic design of the solution. Isn't that the same concept?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Quake/ Plate Activity

I find the earth's movement around the world to be very interesting. I know there are always hundreds of quakes every day. But it certainly looks as if we are in a very active period.
USGS Recent Earthquakes - world wide

Do you have an emergency kit/bag/backpack? I have mine stocked and under my bed. I also have one in my car (and each family member has one). We have a few other supplies stashed in different parts of our home. If I didn't live in a seismically active zone, I'm not sure I would have an emergency kit packed. On the other hand, though I have my emergency kit and my bookcases (and water heater) are attached with straps to the wall studs, I haven't finished putting quake wax and straps on things like televisions, art work, and nick knacks, though I do have the supplies needed to do it.

St. Patrick's Day

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
~Irish Blessing

I did a little research, as I am not at all familiar with the history of St. Patrick. I found an article entitled "Who Was St. Patrick" and also St. Patrick's day facts on I wonder if St. Patrick's Day isn't a bigger holiday here than it is in Ireland?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Just meandering around link to link to link (while avoiding any attempt to look at the work I brought home from the office):

Herbs'n Oils: recipes and uses for various combinations

Musing By Moonlight: eclectic and interesting writing

An Origami a Day : With instructions and quite an archive too.

From Roses to Rainbows; which was interesting enough to peruse a while; life and quotes and thoughts about all things; which led me to the next blog via sidebar link:

The Junk Drawer Blog; life, humor, bits of this and that (guess that's why the name seems clever and appropriate)

A Delicious Decade: brings back some music memories

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mondays are.

"Mondays are the potholes in the road of life." ~attributed to Tom Wilson by quotation site Think

Monday's are difficult (all those voice mail messages and emergencies waiting from the weekend; all those emails to be answered containing "action items"). I spend most Monday's picking up all the pieces left from the weekend. Monday's after a time change are more difficult (sleep deprived, odd out of sync feelings). Monday's after a time change and a dental appointment on the previous Friday with an achy mouth all weekend and some problems now, are terrible.

I went in; did some things that couldn't wait, told my sup that I couldn't hang any longer, gave him a few things that needed his and director approvals, and left for home in a daze (only a couple of hours shy of the actual end time for my day).

I went straight for the nap. Four hours of sleep later, I feel better. My attitude is adjusted. I might be able to face tomorrow, though I still need to go back to the dentist.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Unconscious Mutterings Week 424

I say and you think...
  1. Judge :: Dredd; weird that that is the first thing that comes to mind as I don't recall liking the movie.

  2. Safe :: space

  3. Boulevard :: Jackson Browne

  4. 27 :: 3 cubed

  5. Next ::

  6. Ma’am :: yes? ; reminds me of cowboy manners (in the movies), which reminds me of Paula Cole's "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone"

  7. Desktop :: wallpaper

  8. Club :: Med; never been

  9. Violet ::Ultra-

  10. Enamel :: Cloisonné
Weekly word list at Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mind of a Gnat

Saturday is the day of errands, laundry, and housework. I tend to be busy in flurries of necessary activity, followed by breaks filled with more welcome activity.

At one point I was walking out of a room to do one thing, thought about another closely related thing I needed to do, got out the items needed for that as a reminder (because I was right there), and couldn't remember what it was I was leaving the room to do in the first place. This all happened within less than one minute and the two frelling things were extremely related! When I finally remembered (a few minutes later) what I had originally intended to do, I told my husband that I must have the mind of a gnat.

The phrase "mind of a gnat", made me wonder if anyone else had said that very thing. Of course someone else had used the phrase before. Google came up with 78,000+ possibles. And so I found this post:
What I know for Sure.

I wandered around a little on the blog and liked what I saw of this person's thoughts, so I'm putting the link here and in the sidebar.
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There)

It wound up being a good thing to not immediately remember my intended chore, after all.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sympathy and concern for Japan

I cannot imagine what an 8.9 earthquake would feel like. I cannot imagine an earthquake lasting 5 minutes. The tsunami's that hit afterward were obviously devastating and even though some of those also hit our west coast, the damage and loss of a life here is minor in comparison. The aftershocks continue in Japan as evidenced by the seismic maps. Latest Earthquakes, World Wide . The ongoing devastation from aftershocks, fires, nuclear reactor emergencies, is just mind numbing.

The Northridge quake scared the heck out of me and it only lasted several, escalating in intensity, seconds. For years after, the rumbling of a truck would provoke an adrenaline response. I still always expect a minor quake to continue to grow in intensity like that. I cannot imagine the psychological damage this disaster will cause for Japan's citizens and residents.

Ways to contribute in the U.S.:

Send a text message "REDCROSS" from your cell phone to the American Red Cross at 90999 to donate $10 to donate through your cell phone or call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit the American Red Cross web site.

Global Giving will provide funds to several different agencies helping in the Relief effort: Text "JAPAN" to 50555 to donate $10 through your cell phone, or visit the web site at Japan Earthquake Tsunami Relief to donate directly

This Huffington Post has a whole list of agencies and ways to donate to the Japan Relief Effort.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day. ~Dalai Lama

I think I probably miss that mark on quite a few days, and probably quite a few possible friends.

I have never been able to do/handle/manage the 'lots of friends' thing. I don't think I really tried, but I don't know that even if I had that I would have stuck with the effort. I have tended to do a whole advance and retreat dance with people all my life. As long as things felt like a good balance for me, I was happy. Unhappy came with too much alone time or too much people time. When we were younger, my sister was always very social, and I was the gal with her head buried in a book when she wasn't looking for love in all the wrong places. Some things change. Some things stay the same.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

City Primary Election Day

Los Angeles Primary Nominating and Consolidated Election is occurring today. In addition to city council and community college board seats, there are ten ballot measures for the City - on everything from new taxes and fees, pension calculation issues, increased funding and new expenditures, revisions in budgets, and on and on.

One of my former Poli-Sci Professors is running for re-election/nomination on the Los Angeles Community College District Board.

She was instrumental in assisting me to regain my confidence 11 years ago. I had returned to college as an older student, took her class, and wound up tutoring state and local poli-sci and later numerous subjects (all poli-sci, geology, English). It was a great confidence builder. Without her urging I would never have even considered it. She has my forever thanks for that and all the other assistance and encouragement she provided that enabled me to keep moving forward to complete first my Bachelors, and then my Master of Science degree. She also has my vote as she is dedicated and hardworking. Go Mona!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Unconscious Mutterings week 423

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Ugly :: Betty, though I happen to think that America Ferrera is both pretty and talented.
  2. Shed :: light in the search for political truth
  3. Contrary :: me not so much; but I find bits of this interesting,, such as this at the same site by Sherman Alexie
  4. Yellow :: ribbon, tie a
  5. New Jersey :: state of but also the apparent setting of, yuck, ewwwww, several reality shows
  6. Point :: guard; You can take the Hoosier out of the state, but apparently you can't take basketball out of the Hoosier
  7. Actually :: Love Actually; a cute little feel good movie from 2003
  8. Endeavor :: shuttle
  9. Blondie ::the band of course, but also a comic strip
  10. Speck :: spot, dot

Weekly word list at Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, March 05, 2011

California Budget

Every Californian should check out this site and take the Next 10 Budget Challenge. It takes a few minutes, but the information is enlightening. I don't know the right answer to the state's money problems. My choices balanced the budget and resulted in a small surplus in the 2015-16 fiscal year, but I imposed cuts on just about all services and choices-- I tend to be a share the wealth, share the pain sort of gal. My political choices are most frequently described as " middle of the road ". The site does tell what percentage of people taking the challenge chose the same answers.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Friday at last

At the end of the work day, I still had a large number of things that I had to add to my Monday folder. I am trying to learn to live with the idea that it just isn't physically/mentally possible to finish everything that needs to be finished in one day with this large a caseload.

I needed a laugh or inspiration so I was wandering quotation sites again after I got home, looking for whatever caught my eye. Since Saturday's are typically my day for household chores this is where I stopped.

"Housework can't kill you, but why take a chance?" ~Phyllis Diller

Brainy Quote; Funny Quotes

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Working from home

Today was a telecommute day. I finished several reports, listened to a lot of phone messages and answered a couple of them (the rest I will answer tomorrow). It is nice to have the option of working from home one day every other week. Often I get more report writing done at home than when I am in the office. When I am at the office I am scheduling meetings, putting out large and small fires, and updating information and notes in the database.

The quantity of work required has gone up significantly in the past several months. Yes, I am grateful to have a job. Yes, I tend to like the work I can sometimes do, more often than not. But with the state out of money and the hiring freeze, the caseloads have gone up so high that it is impossible to get to everything that needs doing in a timely manner. Unfortunately like all bureaucracies, the paperwork and the illusion of everything being handled is all that management cares about.

I took a few breaks today. For a while, I was looking for a quote or two that might help me write something here. I didn't find anything specific to the topic of working at home, but I did find a random quote generator.
Random Quotations

This caught my eye:

"Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it."
~ Jane Wagner, (and Lily Tomlin)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

21 days

They say it takes 21 days to create a habit. It seems to take much less time to lose one. There are days I miss blogging. There are many days I don't even remember that at one time I had a daily bit that I shared here in this spot.

So many things have happened in the world-- conflicts, tragedies, triumphs. I watch from the sidelines and marvel at the rapidity of the ongoing changes. I still yell at the politicians, bureaucrats, CEO's, who appear on the news (yelling at the television is a particularly ineffective but sometimes satisfying activity). I feel happy at the individual triumphs which occasionally parade across the various news outlets (print and broadcast). I still feel satisfaction when the everyday person wins and the big bad collective (name your own villain here) loses. I sometimes weep a moment for the personal losses and tragedies of others. I must not be too drawn up into my own little world, if I can still feel for others.

On a personal level, there are ongoing changes too. I frequently feel like I need to catch up with life. It is an uncomfortable notion that I am not in the moment and attempting to race to catch up. Out of sync... not sure what stream of traffic I need to be in to keep moving.

There are the personal losses- deaths of those close to me. And I've reached the stage where the frequency of family and friends who are dying or have serious illnesses has increased. That is the cycle of life I guess, but even knowing or believing that doesn't make a difference in how it feels.

So the point of this is that lately I miss blogging and the act of frequent more personal writing more often than I don't. I don't think I suddenly have anything more important to say. It is simply that I do wish to write. So here I am again making a pledge to write more often; to (again) create a new habit ... to test the 21 days theory.