Thursday, August 28, 2008

They Call It "Staff Training"

Apparently the career world is full of meetings, well at least my career world has been for the last two weeks now and it doesn't seem to be changing in the near future, just getting worse with the addition of three conferences! So when I found out that we were having the annual "Staff Training" today I thought 'oh just another meeting.' If a catered BBQ, awards ceremony, and bowling are a staff training meetings that I could go to meetings for the rest of my life! Today I got paid to eat a very yummy lunch, watch my co-workers get some awards and prizes, then go play a couple of rounds of bowling all for 'staff training'. And I thought I lost all of my perks when I left the clinic! The first thing Gordon said was "Welcome to working for the government!" True that! And I am loving it!

I also have computer access now and have completed a flyer and brochure for the community. I'm pretty excited to have my little creations handed out all over the county. I just hope all my hard work will pay off with some great volunteers!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ok Place, GREAT Company

For a little get away before school starts Gordon and I went with some friends from my old job to Fairview, Utah (Yeah I had never heard of this place either) to camp. We left Friday evening after work and came home Saturday evening so it was a very quick get away indeed. We camped under the stars listening to the coyotes in the distance. We left our dogs home with my parents so it was a ‘true’ vacation (I feel like I have kids sometimes…sheesh!). We (as in Gordon) went fishing in the morning and the rest of us hung out by the lake. Wendy had brought this 8 person floating that we decided to float on while the boys fished. It was fun for about an hour then we (as in me) decided the bugs weren’t worth it anymore. We went back to camp and told stories and played a couple of games of horse shoes. It was Gordon and my first time playing. We won our first came. Gordon’s new name is the Ringer because of all the ‘ringers’ he made while we played. He was a natural; I on the other hand was real good at throwing them too far or too short. Although I did score the winning point!
Troy & Gordon getting their fishing poles ready
Wendy, Stacey, & I had the big floaty all to ourselves!
Us playing a friendly game of horse shoes
Gordon aka "The Ringer" got two in one!

Aside from our camping trip, life has been a bit crazy for the moment. Starting a new job is very stressful. The position I have been hired for is a brand new position. I have no one to tell me if I am doing something right or wrong which can be awesome or overwhelming! I am a volunteer coordinator for the Aging Services department. This entails me finding senior citizens that want a volunteer and finding senior citizens to volunteer. I am in charge of the volunteers for three different Senior Centers in the county too. I have to arrange meetings and trainings. All of this I have never done before but I am loving it! I don’t have computer access right now, but as of Friday I have my own phone with it’s own line and my business cards are on their way (sweet!). So working on flyer's, paperwork for volunteers, and pamphlets are very difficult at the moment. I have to use other people’s computers so I have not even had a chance to sit at my own desk. Right now it’s just a storage area for all of my paperwork (which is what it will be in the future too I suppose). I have been going out with some of the case workers and ombudsmen meeting senior citizens that are on state assistance. That part has been very interesting and enjoyable. I am beginning to find out how much I enjoy senior citizens. I love to listen to them and all their stories. They always think I’m a little junior high girl that has gone to work with my parents for the day and are very surprised when I tell them I am a new staff member. Some situations are very sad. It’s difficult to not bring that home with you. Towards the end of the week I am emotionally drained. I enjoy my new job thoroughly. I am excited to really get going, but for now I am still going with co-workers and seeing what we’re all about in my department.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Firsts and Lasts

I have experienced some firsts and lasts in my life this week. Lets start with the firsts. Since it was my last week at work, one of my coworkers, Hilda, made me this Mexican candy called mangoneada topped with chamoy sauce. It’s pretty much just smashed mangoes that you freeze like a popsicle and then put the chamoy sauce which is NOT a sweet sauce, it’s more of a salty chili powder sauce over the top (it looks like tigers blood, but boy was I wrong). I really liked it. There were only a handful of us that liked it. It was so nice of her to go through all the trouble to make it for me. She had made it previously and I wasn’t there when she brought it so she made it up to me by bringing as a going away treat.

The Latino girls at work (put me next to a bunch of Mexicans and I look Mexican, NOT Asian!)

Another first I experienced this week was pulling weeds. I have never pulled weeds before in my life. Never had a reason to. But my grandma’s yard was looking pretty raggedy so my mom saw a good service opportunity and I jumped on the chance to help. I must say, I’m a pretty good weed puller. It gave me some practice for when I have my own yard I have to weed. The before and after was like night and day! And my grandma was so happy to have such a beautiful yard to gaze at again. And to have someone to visit with for a couple of hours.


I promised I weeded, I was just spraying some anti-weed spray to finish it off.

Now for the lasts. I attended my last inservice meeting at my work. I checked in my last patient and answered my last patient phone call. I worked my last day at the clinic. I also had my last day to work with all my coworkers that are like family to me. It was a very exciting and rough day. They surprised me with a 'Good Luck' cake and a card that was signed by everyone (I also had my last drup rep lunch and he bought me a cake too). I'm truly going to miss each and every one of them. I’m glad I have the opportunity to move on and establish a name for myself in the career world, but I sure am going to miss my friends at the clinic.

Monday, August 11, 2008

And I Was Beginning To Worry

I don't know why I was worrying...I have no reason at all to worry...but I was doubting myself and my drug test. Maybe it's because I took the test last Wednesday and I didn't hear anything last week. But they called me today and let me know that I passed.

So my last day at my current job is Thursday and then I start at the health department Monday. It hasn't quite hit me yet that I'll be working in my field of expertise so to speak. I'm excited and oh so nervous for the change.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

There's Something Missing

All day today I have felt like I am missing something. From the moment I woke up I've felt incomplete. I went through my daily routine in my head today as I was driving to my friend's baby shower making sure I remembered to do everything: I brushed my teeth and I was wearing a bra (those are the main things I check to make sure I have done and am wearing. I've forgotten both of those are different occasions).

Then it hit me. I'm missing my husband.

Gordon has only been gone for one night and I already miss him terribly. We have been apart for much longer before, but I miss him. He's the part of my routine that I'm missing. It's no wonder I feel incomplete. My life seems out of balance when we're not together. It would be a bit easier if I could talk to him, but he's backpacking and I'm pretty sure he doesn't get phone service in Wind Rivers. He is not expected to be back until Thursday or Friday of next week. One night down, and five or six more nights to go. BOO!

Friday, August 8, 2008

My Favorite Family Tradition

This past week we went to Bear Lake with my family. It’s sort of a family reunion, although I have never thought of it as that before this year. When I think of family reunions I think of tons of relatives that you have never met before. I know everyone that comes up to Bear Lake. It’s my mom’s sisters and their families. No weird extended family members. Just a lot of cousins and their kids, along with aunts and uncles, and Grandma, and Great Aunt Annie. So many people that when we went to get ice cream shakes the entire place was packed, all with my family! Every year I always see new faces, which really are not new because they are just the faces of cousin’s kids that are getting older. One day at the beach we had put up our canopy and made our home for that day. We went to play in the water and came out to get warm and notice that there were three new canopies set up next to ours. Gordon made the comment, “Gees, could those people set up their stuff any closer to us,” to which I replied, “Their part of my family.” He was a bit embarrassed, and said that he didn’t recognize any of them. I don’t blame him. There are a lot of us, and we keep growing!

Kind of a dark pic but that's my family outside of La Beau's

I love going to Bear Lake. I have been going since I was one month old. I was born to be a beach bum. We didn’t have a boat or owned our own waverunners until 6 years ago, so the beach and the lake was all I had to enjoy. I now enjoy the beach more than the lake, but that’s only a recent change. I like to go for a waverunner ride every once in a while, at least twice a day when I’m up there, but I spend most of my time laying out on the beach. Our days up there usually consist of the following:

7:00am Wake up
7:30am Walk/run/ride bike (that’s a new addition starting this year)
9:00am Breakfast
10:30am Head for the beach
5:30-6 pm Come back from the beach and get cleaned up
8:00pm Eat dinner, hang out, tell stories
12:00pm Go to bed and wait to do it all over again in the morning

We usually spend a full week up there when we go. I love having a full week of absolutely nothing to do! It’s heaven! Gordon couldn’t wait to go this year. He had just finished up his summer semester of school the week before we went, and he couldn’t wait to go on the waverunners and do nothing.

This year was a bit different because we brought our dogs. But they did great. My cousin’s little girls (which by the way are Gordon and I’s favorite little girls ever) fell in love with them immediately! They use to have a Yorkie but had to get rid of it and Maddie kept saying how much Briggs reminded her of her old dog. Our dogs loved all the attention they got from them too. It was so cute because Sydney, whose three, heard Gordon call Abbi the “Abbinator” (like the Terminator, but with Abbi in front of the ‘inaotr’) and she went up to her Grandpa and said, “Grandpa, the Abbinator kissed me!” It was adorable! She has the sweetest little cartoon voice. I just love to talk to her.
Maddie & Kaylee with Abbi & Briggs

Gordon and I played with the girls for the few days they were up there. We had so much fun with them. Last year they buried Gordon in the sand, and he did the same with them, so we kept the tradition alive and did it again this year. One difference: they buried me this year too! I have never been buried before so it was fun. (side note: I think that Kaylee and Madisen both have crushes on Gordon. It’s fun to watch them interact with each other. I love to watch Gordon with them. He kept saying how cute they are. We missed them when they left.) We also begged my Uncle Larry to tell ‘Beef Woman’ stories. ‘Beef Woman’ is a character that he made up so long ago. I don’t even remember how she became to be ‘Beef Woman’. I only remember one story about her, and now there are so many stories that it was fun to hear them all. They’re scary stories. Some of them are so ridiculous, but somehow I still got scared and was worried Beef Women would come and get me in my sleep.

Even Tim couldn't pass up the chance to bury Gordon
The girls wouldn't keep their hands off Gordon...
and he loved every moment of it.
We did NOT build this. We just thought it was amazing. Almost the real size of the Bear Lake monster I'm sure!
This year was also different because my dad was up there the same time we were up there staying at my aunt's cabin so we made a trip up to have a BBQ with him one night. It was a lot of fun. We played volleyball and let me just say that team Hardcastle rocked the court! (ok not really, but none of us are very good so there was really no competition, just playing for fun) My nephew got a very big surprise that night. My dad's girlfriend invited him and my dad to go see the Green Bay Packers play the Denver Broncos in a preseason game. I have never seen him so excited in my life! Green Bay is my dad and Skyler's favorite NFL team. It was all he could talk about the rest of the trip. They are also going to see a Rockie's game too. I'm jealous, but mostly because I want to go to Colorado too.
My dad manning the grill
He fell in love with Abbi

We had such a blast on our vacation. It was fun, and needed, to get away. I could stay up there all summer long if my life would allow. I can’t wait to go back next Thursday (while Gordon is backpacking, I decided I should get away too, even though I hope he is back by Thursday and can come with me!)

Doggie Friday: Only Because Gordon Is Doing It

Briggs is Gordon’s shadow. He follows him around, waits by the front door when he leaves, waits by the bathroom door when he’s showering, runs back and forth from the front door to the kitchen door checking to see if he can catch a glimpse of him leaving or coming home. He can’t get enough of him.

We took the dogs to Bear Lake with us this past week. We were a bit skeptical about taking them, mostly because of all the other dogs up there, but they did surprisingly well. We wondered if they would want to swim in the lake. I told Gordon that they would for sure want to play in the water because when we took them to the Uintahs they gravitated toward the river. I was wrong. Abbi was anti-water. She ventured in once, only to test the water. I think it was too cold for her. Ok wait, she did go back in one other time because she was chasing a seagull, but when she realized she was all wet and swimming, she turned around and looked at us like “save me!” Briggs, on the other hand, was a bit more adventurous than Abbi (surprising I know). The only reason for this sudden spurt of adventure was because he was following Gordon, and he followed him right to the water and to the wave runner. He too had a look like “save me” when he realized how far he had swam out. Both of them didn’t mind the water if they could touch the ground while in it. Knowing this, Gordon still tried to get them both to come in the water daily. Briggs, of course, would do it without a second thought.

Although Gordon won’t admit it, he loves Briggs almost as much as Briggs loves him. Before he left today to go backpacking, he gave Briggs a bit of an explanation of where he’d be and that he would see him in a week. It was cute.
Abbi always had her eye out for the seagulls
Briggs is oh so relaxed.
Abbi sunbathed
and Briggs took a dip in the water (notice Gordon is in the water too)

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Details

For those that have been waiting in anticipation about the details on my new job, the wait is over.

In May I applied for an open position as a Health Educator for a local county. This was the very first job I applied for after I graduated. About a week after I applied I received a phone call from someone from the county health department telling me that I wasn't quite qualified for the position and that if someone applied that had a bit more experience than I did then I would not be considered for the position. I was a bit defensive when this lady told me that. I made sure she knew that I felt very competent about myself and achieving the qualifications for the position. After this phone call I didn't hear anything back...until a little over three weeks ago when they called to schedule an interview. I was shocked and nervous because it was my first "real" interview after graduation. I prepped myself before the interview. I even went as far as looking in old class notes about tips on interviewing.

The interview went great. The ladies that I interviewed with seemed like such wonderful people to work for and with. I was so comfortable with them and my interview went much longer than we all expected. By the end of the interview, I had one of the ladies complimenting me on my public speaking skills. I never had that before in an interview.

Taking the advice from my class notes, I sent a thank you note right away. It had been two weeks after my interview and I still did not hear anything back from them. I was beginning to worry, so I got up the courage to call them to see if they had filled the position. To my surprise they had not. The lady that had to make the final decision was out of town and wouldn't be back until the week I was out of town. I was bummed, mostly because I knew I would be thinking about it on my vacation and would have to check my cell phone, both of which I did not want to do. Lucky for me only two days into my vacation I had a phone call from the health department asking me if I would accept the position. I eagerly accepted.

I don't know all of the details yet about what exactly I'll be doing but I do know that I will be working as a Health Educator in the Aging Services department. I also get to work closely with the department's dietitian, which I am so excited about.

Of course the position is not entirely mine yet...I have to pass the drug test first. So I'm 99% sure I have the job...oh who am I joking, I'm 100% sure I have it. (I had some of you worried didn't I)

I should start two weeks from today. I am so excited and nervous to start this position. I can't wait to start using my skills to help my community. I know that sounds cheesy, but I feel like I have a lot to offer and I'm excited to show them what I am all about.