Monday, March 31, 2014


I wonder sometimes if I am just a foolish person.  Not in all aspects of my life - but specifically in my work

When our finances made it necessary after 16 years out of the workplace (and while I still had my kids in school,) that I find an income and health insurance, I had one restriction - no commute.  After 8 months of job seeking with poor response and no results, I drifted down the ladder in terms of the types of jobs I applied to.  I found that trying to get directly back to the management level or field I left was not going to happen.  If I applied for management jobs the response was negative due to being out of the market for so long and when I applied for entry level I was questioned about why I would do that work with my background.  Plus I was turning 50.

After nearly a year of job searching, I took the job I was offered,  and was pretty much running the small business after a couple of years.  The only reason I left after 5 years was because of a new hire who chased out a couple of us long time employees in order to rule the roost.  It was an awful experience to go through.  I still get upset when I think about it.

I cycled through  a couple of low pay, dead end jobs.  Now I'm in another small business finding that after a year I am, again, running much more of the business than I was hired for.  I am working a lot of hours, having sleepless nights and anxiety over my workload.

The owners of the business contribute a great deal to my anxiety because they over  promise and then dump a lot of their work onto the small staff on top of our already substantial workload. It's been escalating for months.  In fact we are all looking forward to them taking a week of vacation because it may give us the chance to catch up.  The fact that they get to go to a warm, sunny place for a week, away from the devastation they are causing and we get to clean up the mess is not lost on any of us.  But there it is.

So, today, on April Fool's Day, I  wonder if I am just a fool to care so much, to work so hard, to take so much of this burden to heart for business owners who have the attitude "that's what you get paid for" about their employees who are really working above and beyond our "pay grade."  (I am paid $16.00 per hour,  $4.00 per hour less than the person I replaced and $5.00 per hour less than I was earning 5 years ago.)

I hope to stop working all together later this year - thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I don't have to work for health care coverage.  In the meantime, this fool is trying to find a better approach to getting through the day, be a good employee and co-worker and still leave it all behind when I go home for the night!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


1.)  What is it about my appliances that makes them stop working in pairs?  First the refrigerator and hot water
heater stopped working within weeks of each other - thank goodness they only required repair which we deduct from our rent...the only benefit of renting that I can see.

This weekend I no sooner plugged in my new toaster oven (and used a magnifying glass to read the teeny tiny symbols on the dials) than I found my steam mop no longer steams. The warranty expired recently. Won't be replacing it with the same model, that's for sure.

2.)  These early days of daylight savings are hard.  I have more trouble getting a move on in the dark mornings and then find I want to do errands and stuff after work because it feels weird to go home and make dinner in broad daylight.

On the other hand, I refilled our propane tank and have already grilled twice since Saturday!

3.)  I have been wanting to write a long post about e-cigarettes, - perhaps I will someday again find the time and energy to write long posts about all kinds of things!

Anyway, my husband who has smoked since he was about 12 is now three months tobacco free.  He is not nicotine free, however.  And that is actually okay.  Tobacco is the carcinogenic aspect of smoking, nicotine the addictive part.  The "haters" of the e-cigarette are not telling the truth on this issue.  I am not an apologist for the use of nicotine.  It is a stimulant and may have other negative effects on health - so does drinking too much caffeine or alcohol and eating too much sugar or bacon. Just saying, when it comes to the health cost of smoking, it isn't the nicotine causing the problem.

I have a husband who is finally not inhaling tobacco smoke into his lungs. He stopped coughing within a week of being off tobacco.  He uses his e-cigarettes and snus packs and plans to decrease use of those over the next year. I consider that a major victory and all the e-cigarette haters can stuff their lies and misdirected outrage.  He has used his e-cigs in all kinds of public places for several months and has never had a negative reaction much less a complaint.

I am really proud of him for making this big effort.  He actually loves smoking and misses his tobacco. He has done this to improve his health.  I hope the anti e-cigarette people don't mange to make them harder or more expensive for people to use - the alternatives are so much worse.

4.) We have been recording the Jimmy Fallon Tonight Show every day and loving it.  His monologues aren't much but the skits, games and general feel of the show is so fun and upbeat.

5.)  I didn't write s biking post last weekend - I am feeling strange about that being the only subject I post lately...

We tried going off road - I have now run into something I am just not up for, even with my "hill assist."  It freaks me out and brings my fear of falling off the bike right up front and center.  So no more of that for me.  However, our nearby regional park,  Lake Chabot, is fabulous! Next time we go we are going to rent kayaks and paddle around.

Monday, March 3, 2014


View from the Double Barrel - sunshine!
 It was so windy on Saturday and the forecast for Sunday was for no wind with  0% chance of rain.  When we set out for Livermore the skies were ominously dark, but it wasn't very cold and, after all, a zero percent chance of rain...

We did some errands.  I got a cool jersey at the bike shop - short sleeves, so it will be a while before I actually wear it - and hung out waiting for brunch to start at the Double Barrel. It was getting windy and cooler - but we had a leisurely breakfast and as we left the restaurant the sun broke through.

Rain ahead....
When we reached the path back to Pleasanton, the skies turned dark again, the wind came up and we could see we were riding directly into rain coming down a couple of miles ahead.

We just laughed and peddled on.  What else could we do?

Luckily, the rain didn't come down in buckets, but we were plenty wet when we finally got home.  A hot shower and a cup of tea  took care of the chill.

Hey Maggie!!  The poppies are blooming!