Many people talk about “work at home positions.” There are many opportunities out there especially for teachers to teach online or for some kind of social media projects. I have to confess that I have signed up for some of these over the summers when I am free and have a little difficulty with navigating the software. I have been considering trying again for one or two who keep sending me information.

When I returned from teaching in the Middle East, I signed up for one and did a demo. I still remember my husband helping me set up my computer and then he helped me film. I don’t feel a natural in front of the camera but since this is the way the world of education is moving, I have to try. They haven’t really worked well long term for me. Although I am pursued by employers to try. I tried grading tests online and found that some of my scores didn’t match their scores. It was challenging. The other day I arrived at an interview for a school nearby in the immediate area. It wasn’t a call for that particular school but I knew they would be hiring, so I went in and introduced myself to the Principal and met some of the other teachers interviewing for schools which were 40-45 minutes away. I met another teacher who had been teaching in Abu Dhabi the same year I had. We didn’t seem to know the same people but I am sure she looked familiar. I am trying to keep things very simple because of my husband’s health…(cancer)…and I have a tendency to over extend or try out for everything and then be royally “screwed” when too much lands on my plate.

It is kind of like being on the cusp of a challenging area. You know you own a home or you are running a business or teaching in a challenging area. You give it a 100 percent but you keep your eyes wide open all the time. Florida is kind of like New York City in some ways. One street is wonderful and then one street away, you have pit bulls running loose, stories of petty crime, groups hanging out, and news of police activity in the area. I always thought I might live in a smaller area but as the world continues I realize no one is immune from the present. We all must adapt to changes. I was so happy to hear last night that President Trump facilitated the release of three prisoners from North Korea. In 2013 when the economy was very bad, the news station Al-Jazeera interviewed us as were located on the South East Corridor or something like that. They thought we were brave to open our store as times were not good for small businesses. We enjoyed a little celebrity and it was an interesting day. Times have changed and the economy is improving. Times have even improved for small businesses so I see that good things are out there. We just have to learn to continue working and waiting patiently. I won’t deny that Michael’s health scares me at times but we continue along like two snails plodding our course. We have worked hard and diligently for everything we have. Sometimes I just feel nervous about Mike’s changing health. We have always been very high energy but I am learning to adapt and to be supportive and more patient with everything.

Thanks for listening.

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Some mornings we could all use a friend like this to get us going.

Tony Fahkry “A person walking in the desert leaving footprints with cloud in the deserts Algodones Dunes” by Nathan McBride on Unsplash Show Life You Mean Business “Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.” — Dale Carnegie I have lost count of the times I experienced frustration over the years, since it rears its ugly […]

via 8 Effective Ways To Overcome Frustration Right Now — COMFORTS&FASHION

“Blind Betrayal” by Nancy Mehl inspires me to research further into her series “Defenders of Justice” as this is the third book of the series. The author is very skilled with writing dialogue which moves the plot along with developing the character’s intentions and idiosyncrasies. What is refreshing about this book is that the major character, Casey Sloane is a character with flaws which make her more endearing to the reader. I have to admit that when I am watching “48 hours” I tire of hearing, “Oh, she was so beautiful, and so perfect. She didn’t have an enemy in the world and she made all the right choices. She and her boyfriend were perfect for one another.” Hmm…and then we discover they weren’t really perfect for one another. I would rather have a believable character that I can identify with than someone on a pedestal.

The plot involves Casey Sloane escorting a reporter to testify in Washington before a grand jury. Casey is part of the Marshals Office. I enjoyed that there are also subplots including a budding romance between two agents and several minor subplots as they travel with the reporter to Washington. In the course of the assignment, we discover more about the plots through carefully diagrammed dialogue and well-researched events which happen as they are blocked from delivering the reporter to Washington.

I enjoyed reading “Blind Betrayal” as it read easily and I finished it in three days. It is perfect summer reading or for when a sudden heavy rainstorm or snowstorm unexpectedly happens. I would read the other books of the series. It appears that the other books follow another U.S. Marshal as part of the Defenders of Justice Series.  I feel intrigued by the author and the acknowledgment she gives to retired U.S. Deputy Marshal Paul Anderson. Mehl definitely makes good use of her resources and ties the plot and the characters together with excellent intent! I do believe that more insight and research of the characters of Benyamin Mattan and Al-Saud would be very significant to intriguing the reader. I could see the character of Casey Sloane continuing in a series of book as her job develops as does her relationship with E.J. The reader will want to know what happens as she is a very believable character.

Write those stories down

We are creatures of habit. I leave the library with books by women authors, usually crime stories and my husband leaves with spy thrillers by men authors. We have a great genealogy section at several libraries in Florida. The problem is if you are the only one searching the database and you try to complete the information and then you realize how much you are lacking.

So if you have those stories to pass on, do tell. They need to be heard. I know that my grandfather, age 23 owned a candy store in the Village and I found some evidence regarding this. But what about my great grandmother who had a twin and they were separated at birth only to discover years later that they lived within 10 blocks of one another in New York City and were similar. I don’t know her last name or any information other than what I heard my mom telling me in passing. Since she has passed away, the stories died with her. So, tell those stories. When you go to the Genealogy Center at the library, you see very serious researchers doing the same thing and feeling the same way: curious about their past. Somehow it is those documents which present a clearer image of my parents: my father preparing for my birth, working in Manhattan for Bohacks; I research the apartment they lived in Queen, New York which now rents for $1700 a month for a one bedroom/bathroom/kitchen which is similar to prices in Florida. I remember visiting my grandmother’s apartment and peering out those large Bay windows at the beautiful trees outside and watching the people go by. I remember asking my mother at the age of 10 if I couldn’t go downstairs , using the elevator by myself, and buy an ice cream from the Good Humor Man. I remember her emphatic “no, no, no.” Even then, I had a strong independence streak, stubborn.

At the time my parents married, in their early 20’s , my mom was working as an editorial assistant and my father was an engineering clerk. When I was the same age as my mom, I was finishing college and preparing to go overseas for a year as an au pair. It is somewhat soothing to have these memories because you see some kind of a progression and as you read the documents, you understand more of the times. I understand why they left the city of Queens for the mountains. My father only had the promise of a job with the state but for several months, we existed living in sleeping bags, and almost camping out as my brothers and father worked on the country house. To make a living before his job came through with the state, he drove workers to their place of business: kind of like a Lyft Driver today. He borrowed money from his best friend to purchase a farmhouse with 11 acres which he eventually paid back in full. Those were precarious times. So when I catch myself thinking “shouldn’t things be different or when I feel glum, I need to look back over those papers and remember.” Times weren’t really any easier for any of us.

Thanks for listening. Enjoy the weekend.

I have always kept a journal and find it helpful at times to review. Yesterday, I looked back through the first year after we closed our store. It was a busy time for doctor appointments for Michael as was the next year. He had a biopsy and several painful kidney stones, and a removal of his gall bladder. It wasn’t until this year that the treatments for his cancer were finally grasped upon as working and successful. About January of this year, our life started to glide a little more easily.

And during these two years since our store closed, I held down more than one adjunct job, was hired by a couple of private school jobs (both of which I told them I had to take off when Michael went through surgery). I was a gap stop in the adjunct job hired suddenly when one instructor bailed suddenly. Now I understand there is a reason they bail suddenly but I completed the semester. Both private schools had very challenging commutes which combined with my evening adjunct classes were very difficult. I subbed at a variety of schools from very challenging (we don’t often have subs) to we don’t really need you as we have our favorites. I tried rating exams online, picking up a few classes outside of my comfort zone while adjuncting, and I was a tutor for students wanting to pass the English portion of the General Knowledge test ( A test Florida teachers need to pass before getting the Professional certificate).As I struggled with the math portion, delaying my certification several times before passing…I understood. I even tutored a man whose first language was not English who needed to understand and comprehend the words and concepts used for the Real Estate Exam. That was interesting!  I went on many interviews and once was hired by a contracting company only to be let go without explanation less than one week later but they kept me waiting for it to begin for almost a month. As it involved tutoring math, not my strong point, I kind of understand that they were probably waiting and had found a math teacher. It was a busy and stressful time for both of us.

So yesterday, as I was looking through my diaries, datebooks…I knew that the fault was not in either of us but perhaps in our stars…but then I looked at the positive side of this…Michael is doing well and we are still here, both of us. Yes, he tires easily but his treatments are working and we know this is a certainty. Yes, I have had my challenges these past two years but I am still proceeding along and still working as an adjunct with the same university as when we had our store. I am still optimistic that my needs are more realistic now and that I will take into consideration commute time and other factors before blindly diving into a new job. But I noticed, yes I have been working a lot and it hasn’t been an even stream but mostly a patchwork quilt, at times stressful and at times impossible. We both made it through. Michael is doing better but sometimes times or moments can be disheartening but we move on. During the two years, we managed a trip to Catskills vising my hometown and relatives and my stepson near Baltimore. We careened down those Hunter Mountain hills and revisited the beauty of the mountains. Michael helped me with understanding the concepts and the math of real estate as he had been a realtor for several years. When I had late night classes teaching the Deputies and it ended at 10 p.m, he was there waiting for me as he worried about me driving home so late after a full day. I was there for him and he has been there for me. Not an easy task at times.

There was the time that I collapsed, not so long ago, as he went through the painful process of having a biopsy done. I caused a big fuss as no one was listening to his pain and the hospital policeman was send to speak with me. He concluded after little session after I calmed down by saying, “My wife would probably be the same way.” It is never easy to see someone you love in pain. I feel ok about things realizing that we have come a long way in two years. A couple of days ago while at the hospital, Michael pointed out one of his surgeons, Dr. M. who had removed many of his vital organs touched by cancer. She was very tall, slender with beautiful blonde hair. As she hesitated and my husband waved her to proceed in front of our car, I silently “thanked her” and we moved on silently. We had good timing as I hadn’t met her before. Good timing has been a key ingredient in this process: good timing to discover his cancer when we did.

Thank you. Enjoy the day.

I entitled this “The Morning After” as it was a restless night. First, I crashed tired after my final day of the term handing out the final, wrapping up the class. I always feel anxiety for my students taking the final. My best surprise this term was an older woman, first generation college, loving education, old-school who took my class. I was proud of the work she did and of her presence in our class which spoke volumes. I woke up around 4:00 a.m. and was up for the next hour as the bed shook. I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from: I thought the neighbors next door; a raccoon under the porch; the pug breathing hard, so finally I just gave up and moved to the guest bedroom and promptly fell asleep.

I walked the pug 5 blocks enjoying the early morning meeting one of our neighbors. When I returned, I felt motivated to make a nice breakfast for Michael and I. Afterwards, I planned on grading the research papers and finals preparing to turn in my grades . So, I woke Michael up as he was sleeping soundly and it was around 9:00 a.m. Tomorrow is his shot day and the week prior to his cancer shot, he gets very lethargic and doesn’t feel good. I guess the shot wears off and the days before are stressful. Mike begins telling me about his dream. He tells me about the dream involving a cruise ship, our grandchildren, losing the car, guerrillas’ in warfare running around in a mall while I was shopping for shoes as he was looking for the car I had parked but he couldn’t find it and the school project he had retrieved was getting wet but he was the only one soaked. Wow! So he says to me, “Freud could spent a month analyzing this dream.” No kidding. There were so many details.

Then I began thinking about the bed shaking as he told me that in his dream he was running. Just like the motion of the bed last night. The dream was so real to him. I dream very short dreams which I promptly forget, but his dream really affected him. Then I thought of the pug pacing and waking me up several times last night as if he felt his angst and was running with him away from the guerrillas’. The pug is so attuned to us but especially my husband. So, tomorrow is shot day and I am going to the VA with him and visiting the Recruiter’s Office. Yesterday, while I was at my part time job, Michael found me a job that I may qualify for outside of teaching with my guardian ad litem experience. Usually, I see openings for nurses and medical staff. I have worked with another adjunct   with someone from the Education Department at the VA, so I guess it is a good idea to speak with someone. I am becoming more comfortable with the idea of researching a few jobs outside of teaching.

I feel good about the beginning of today. I like the fact that it is Sunday and that I have finished grading most of the classes’ work and that tomorrow is the shot. I like the fact that I am going also and making the effort to look. I feel encouraged. If Freud is in the house, do I want the dream analyzed? Nah, I feel something is purged and I don’t want to know all the details. I have also decided that I don’t need to read all the students evaluations of my class. I am happy that three students told me yesterday how much they enjoyed the class. I will go with that as I will remember the one bad evaluation. This is just the stuff I remember!

Enjoy your Sunday and have a great week.