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Showing posts from 2016

Post election thoughts

The thoughts expressed here are solely my own.  I feel the need to state that up front.  I'm striving for neutrality and fairness.

3 days ago we voted.  As in any election, only one candidate can win.  Unlike past elections, the response has been quite different this time.  This whole election cycle has been different than most, a large part of this I feel belongs to Facebook, Twitter, and social media.  Another part of this is how we perceive everything we see on a screen as truth.  Whether that screen be in our living room, on a desk, or in our hand.  This was not a clean campaign on either side.  And many non-candidate groups ran their own negative ads or portrayed the candidates out of context.  I personally found it hard to judge the positive merits of the candidates while being overwhelmed with the negatives.

More so in this campaign than in others I think we have made our decision and judgments based on the character we see of the candidate from words and actions that we h…

Teachers rock

Last night I saw a linked post a friend posted. And I read it. And it was awesome. So of course, I reposted it. Since I'm not feeling original this morning I'm sharing what I posted:

Honestly, I've discovered I love substitute teaching. However I will admit I would never would want to do it full time. Teachers put in hours of work outside of the school day. They leave me these detailed plans on how to run their classroom when they schedule a day off or are out sick. Could you imagine creating an entire plan for the day for someone to cover for you while you are ill? Teachers rock and they totally deserve our respect.

http://mandacarpenter.com/a-public-letter-to-the-guys-i-overheard-talking-about-their-teacher-friend/

Pawtuckaway North

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A few weeks ago I did something I've never done before, I went hiking alone.  I've always had my kids with me, or gone with a friend.  This time I went alone.

It was the first day I was not scheduled to teach or work for someone.  I had a lot of work to do for my businesses, but I decided I really needed a mental health day.  I also had to be back to pick Jacob up from school to get him to New Heights, so I picked Pawtuckaway since it was close by.

It was a great hike!  The top of the North Mountain does not have stunning views, in fact I walked around a bit before I realized I was at the top.  There are a lot of trees, and Pawtuckaway is not a tall mountain.  Parts of the trail were pretty steep and I had to climb rocks.  Not what I was expecting, but it was a great hike.

Yes, I climbed up this.  And another slope that was all rock.


The view from the top.
I had a few reasons for trying solo hiking.  Mostly I needed time to think and recharge.  It was really cathartic to jus…

Climbing out of a well

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I was having an email conversation with a friend who was cautioning me not to be persuaded to do something for someone.  And suddenly all I could think of was that I was at the bottom of a well.  

I wrote:
I feel like I’m at the bottom of a well and trying to climb up wet sides.  I keep slipping backwards and am not making quick progress.
And honestly, that's what I feel like.  
I feel guilty saying I'm behind because my mom died.  And it's not completely that, it's almost 2 weeks of driving to a hospital out of state every other day.  It's 2 1/2 months of driving weekly 2 states away to visit.  It's the guilt I was feeling for not driving down more frequently.  It's the time spent in the car, 4-6 hours each trip, plus the time spent visiting.  During all that driving and all that visiting I wasn't getting any work done on my business or volunteer work.  I wasn't getting projects and housework done at home.  I wasn't doing fun summer things with my …

Goodbye Grammy

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Cancer is an evil thing.  I haven't posted regularly about it, but we've been driving to CT almost weekly to visit my mom.  She seemed to be holding her own.  And then a quick phone call the day before we were planning on driving down... 'can you come now, we don't think she is going to make it through the night'.

In under 30 minutes we're all in the van headed south. Plans for the afternoon and evening forgotten. I don't think any of us realized what we were going to see when we got there.  She did so well to hide the pain and discomfort on our last visits. It was upsetting for the kids as this was not the way they remembered her.  This was the beginning of the end.  She was asleep due to the pain medications, but not completely pain-free.  She seemed so close to passing and leaving the pain behind. But then she lingered, and didn't seem to get better, but did not get worse.  So we drove home late that night.

The next morning John and I went down alon…

Summer 2016

We've had a super busy summer.  Not the lounge around lazy days of summer type of summer, but a working, traveling type of summer.

In early June I wrote a quick post about my mom.  She was hospitalized suddenly and the diagnosis was terminal cancer.  This began a summer of driving down to the hospital roughly every other day for about a week, and then weekly drives to a rehab hospital, and then to her home.  Each drive is 2 or more hours each way so I'm spending 4-5 hours in the car just driving one day each week.

In between, we had summer camps and classes.  Almost every day had something scheduled.  On the days we were home we were busy with housework and paperwork.  There is a lot of administrative work in running a small business.

Suddenly it's the middle of August.  And we've done very little as a family.

This past week we took two day trips as a family.  We went to the Flume.  We took the Downeaster to Portland, ME.  We bickered a bit, we hung out as a family, an…

Reduced class schedule for the summer

This is turning into a very busy summer. We'll be driving to CT about once a week, 2 kids have camp, I'm working at a camp for 3 weeks, and we're trying to fit in some family fun before our oldest leaves for college this fall.

This means my class schedule is reduced.  There is no Saturday Heartsaver course this month.  Too many conflicts means that I do not have an open Saturday to offer a weekend class.  The next Saturday course will be Saturday, August 6th.

Never good enough

No matter what I say or do, it is not the right thing.

I know no one reads my blogs, but I enjoy them. Even if I don't write as often as I should.

Tonight I am just sad.  I never seem to have the right words, or am not completely present when others expect me to be there.  I don't do enough, but I'm always exhausted trying to keep up.  I start to wonder why I continue to try, but then something else pops up that I need to do.  So no time to think.

Time to sleep, my day starts so early and ends so late.  What I do is often not enough.  Struggling to do more in the small space of time each day allows.  But it never seems good enough for those who judge by what I do not by the intent behind it.

I just need a few hours to sleep so I can start each day over again and hopefully do better.  I know it will never be good enough for those with super high standards that I will never reach.  But I will try.

Sudden change of schedule

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Sometimes life throws you a curveball.


Friday night I get a few texts and a phone call.  My mom is in the hospital, and it does not look good.  Can I come down right away?

I have a class scheduled for Saturday.  Granted it is a small class, but I have students who have paid for a course.  I am a Training Site of 1.  I do not have a backup instructor.

I spent part of Saturday's class checking my phone.  Surgery scheduled for Tuesday.  I have classes Sunday, Monday, & Tuesday.  I start emailing all my students.  Sunday's class for a Girl Scout troop will be rescheduled.  Tuesday's class rescheduled.  I finish my class, run home for dinner, and hit the road.  She's been transferred to a hospital about an hour & a half away.

This is cancer.  It is huge.  She is in a lot of pain.

The challenge with being self-employed is I can't call in sick.  When I have to reschedule classes it impacts more than just me.  Tuesday's students are rescheduled for 2 different …

Blog neglect

I love having a blog, I love writing.  The challenge is that lately I have less and less time to write.

I own 2 small businesses. When things get busy some things get pushed to the side.  Writing in my blogs is one of them.

Last October the 2015 Guidelines for CPR & First Aid were released.  Shortly thereafter a price increase for training materials was announced.

Since then I have been taking instructor update courses and preparing for a price increase in my courses.  I've also been teaching and awful lot.  Awful lot is my term for, well... quite a few classes.  It's my generic term for, well, quite a few or an awful lot, of classes on my schedule.  You see, in addition to my community courses, I teach courses for businesses and organizations.  I've been traveling quite a bit the past few months and next month is shaping up to be just as busy.

What this means is my blogs get neglected. :(  For example, I started this post 2 days ago, and 2 days later I'm finally f…

Beware the Ides of March

Every March 15th we say this.  This morning I was wondering... what exactly does Ides mean?  What is an Ide?  Or is the singular Ides?  I think it means something like mid or middle... Inquiring minds want to know.
So I looked it up.  Google is always a good friend when I'm curious about something.
According to Dictionary.com, Ides comes from the Latin word idus, roughly marking the 15th day of March, July & October and the 13th day of the other months of the year.  It's the halfway point of each month.  
The Ides of March is a metaphor for impending doom.  Julius Caeser ignored the warning "Beware the Ides of March" and was stabbed in the back on March 15, 44 BC - also giving us the term backstabber.
This is just my summarized version, use the link above to read the full explanation.

Spinning in circles

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I think we all start the new year off with resolutions, goals or just really good intentions.  And then, well, life just gets in the way.

One of my 2016 goals was to blog more.  And well, you can see where I'm at with that.

Part of my excuse is that I am currently spinning in circles.  I came down with a mild head cold in early January.  I laid low, rested, drank fluids, and was back at full steam in just a few days.  But I also jumped right into a new exercise routine, got busy, forgot to keep up with the fluids... and relapsed into a miserable head and chest cold that lasted almost a week.  I can't think clearly when I'm sick so a lot of things did not get done. But enough about my whining.

At this exact moment, I am sitting at my computer, it's snowing outside, the littles are up and we have our first snow day of the school year.  I'm not subbing because of the snow day.  Good day to get caught up on blogging right?  Except I'm still spinning in circles.  I …

The winning CPR meme

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Several months ago I entered a meme contest.... and I won!  I had several entries and I realized today I never posted all of them or my winning entry.  So here it is.