sharpchick_2011: (Romani q of s)
Have recently joined the ranks of the unemployed. I resigned my position with the non-profit where I had worked for slightly less than 25 years.

For the last five years, I've known - and journaled in my leather journal - that it was time to go. Recent changes at the organization that I had hoped would be for the good are, unfortunately, not.

The universe has been sending those prickly little signals since mid-January. The tiny voice in the back of my mind has been saying this does not feel right. I had steadfastly given it 60 days, and 60 more days, hoping for a more settled feeling. I know when all aspects of myself are not integrated, and at a meeting a week and a half ago, I knew it was nut cutting time.

No epiphany, just a strong sense of peace as I committed to leave. I am wrapping up loose ends today, have a plan for financial safety for a few months, and right now, am diving into the things I have wanted to do, but never had the time.

Most of which includes spending a lot of time with dead people...

You can't fight the cycles. There are many sideroads on the journey.
sharpchick_2011: (Caddo solar cross)
Saw the new doc on June 14.

*Love* him. We can have actual conversations. He upped my neurontin, gave me some lasix for the edema (and potassium to replace what the lasix will wash out.)

I can see the bones in the back of my hand and am able to squeeze the ball much harder than in the past.

And tonight, I used my manual can opener to open two cans all by myself. I had to stand at my kitchen table, which is lower than my counter, and brace my left hand against my body, but I did it.

And didn't spill a drop...
Most of the special kiddos in my life have their birthdays in the spring and summer.

So I've been going to a lot of kiddo birthday parties, listening to squealing, screaming, and watching them stuff themselves full of sugary, calorie laden treats.

I can wipe a few mouths, indulge a few kids, commiserate with their parents, and then -

Go home.

I love the grammy role.
Work is still a major source of stress in my life.

At the end of each work day, I get my [very hot] car, exhale deeply and start the A/C.

Then, as I drive home, I visualize all that toxic bullshit collecting in a cloud and exiting through my exhaust system. The cloud gets fainter and fainter the farther I drive.

As I approach my driveway, I envision the circle of white light surrounding the cottage. I pay attention to the flower beds as I walk up the sidewalk, and pause if I see a hummingbird on the feeder.

Then I open the door to my sanctuary. The tension leaves my shoulders and back (in part, because I put my purse down), and I smell the comforts of home.
The journey is good.

It's so wonderful when you learn to let go.

sharpchick_2011: (Romani q of s)
This sideroad on the journey - the one with the RSD - has turned, probably predictably, into a saga.

In which I pontificate... )
Every time I think things have toned down to a dull roar at work, I should know to get vigilant.

Because Something Will Happen.

Like the sexual assault - patient on patient - of a woman at ASH. A woman with developmental disabilities.

I am so tired of that kind of shit.

I don't care if it only happens every year or so.
The cottage felines have gotten used to having me in the house more often.

And the guys are getting positively canine-ish. They follow me around the house and settle within a few feet of me.

Bathroom included.

The female bettas in the community tank are as houseproud as Frick is.

You never know when a betta killer might
be disguised as a thermometer

The girls even brush against me - just curious, or asserting authority, I cannot tell yet - as I am vacuuming the tank when I do water changes.

The rasboras flee to the other side of the tank - in a shoal.
The journey is good.

sharpchick_2011: (Troll)
For the last few weeks at work.

Writing the report about the Arkansas State Hospital.

No, it's not any better, and that's the problem.

Click here to read Behind Closed Doors.
sharpchick_2011: (Cat with lime)
About the Arkansas State Hospital.

As I look at the incidents, I can't help but think of this...

Or this...

Ya think they'll mind me playing it over and over at the office while I write?

Maybe I'll wear my earphones...
sharpchick_2011: (Troll)
Today did not start well at the office. The IT guy and I had to mix it up first thing, because, well - yeah - when you install a Microsoft product on a computer, you have to use the product key to register and actually get to keep it after the first 30 days.

I told him he needed to come take care of that, because otherwise, I was just gonna X out the little box and get to work.

I had a deadline - so I pushed my office door mostly closed and got after it.
We all have availability signals in my office.

Mine are very easy to read, and everyone knows them.

Door open - I am working but not on anything time sensitive, so I can take questions, look up the stuff you should have bookmarked on your own computer, and help you out.

Door pushed mostly closed - I am working on something I need to get out, but it's okay to approach if I can answer your question while I am typing, and don't have to look anything up for you.

Door closed and latched - I don't care how many letters you have after your name, leave me the fuck alone.
So here I was, blowing along on another complaint against the Arkansas State Hospital, and had to finish and submit it today. Had great quantities of paper all over my desk, in chronological order...reading from various ones as I type.

My door was mostly closed but not latched. In my peripheral vision, I saw it ease open.

I looked up. In my doorway stood one of my co-workers.

I hardly even heard her question as I stared at her outfit.

She was wearing a sweater with a pair of blue jeans, and some gawd-awful khaki green balloon skirt thing over the jeans, ending in a pair of stilletto heels.

The woman is my age.

It was on the tip of my tongue to ask her if she had, in her search through her closet this morning, forgotten to take off either the jeans or the skirt, or if she was wanting fashion feedback from me...

I just came home and googled the get-up. The closest I could find was this fashion faux pas, which I think accurately labeled the problem.

Bubble bum.
sharpchick_2011: (Default)
But a really neat work thing happened today.

Not at work - as in, at the office.

I was working at home today on the same problem I've been working on since mid March this year.

But things are going according to schedule on that project.
So the really neat thing played out in text message.

A social worker I know sent me a text this morning, asking how he could get a jail to let a detainee come to the ER at UAMS on a doctor's order.

Okay - doc wants someone at the ER - must be pretty bad. Allrightythen, that one's a no-brainer.

So I replied to him.

Have the physician call the jail administrator and tell him the doc is sending an ambulance for the detainee.

He said okay, thanks.

Forty-five minutes later, I got another text from him saying, it worked! thanks.

Of course it worked.

I haven't been doing this for 23 years for nothing...
The journey is good.

Sometimes good shit happens.

sharpchick_2011: (Cat with lime)
Hot. Fucking hot.

I don't care which town it is - it's just hot.

I can tell by the birds hanging out in the trees in the garden when the birdbaths are empty.

I'm filling them once a day during the work week, and at least twice on the weekends.

The birds thank me with song. As soon as the front door hits me in the ass, they are all over them, splashing away. (I have one on a pedestal and one on the ground...the mourning doves looked so exposed and uncomfortable perching on the elevated bowl, I gave them their own. Now the male cardinals like it, too.)

And every day or so, I stand with the nozzle for the garden hose set to that misty setting, and in about two or three minutes, the hummingbirds take me up on the offer - zipping in and out of the spray, not fighting at all.
Special delivery from the United States Post Office took on new meaning yesterday.

I had been expecting my $100 worth of DVDs from Amazon, coming priority mail.

Seasons 2 and 3 of the X Files and The Tudors.

Was glancing out of the living room window at my next door neighbor's grandkids playing in the sprinkler shortly after noon when something whizzed by the window, airborne.

Landed with a thump on the porch.

I opened the door and saw the box.

And the quickly retreating ass of my substitute mail carrier.

I'm all for economy of effort - especially in the heat - but we don't need to be hurling mah movies at mah cottage.

Postmistress and I will conference tomorrow morning.
*Do not* want to return to the office tomorrow.

But the madness at the Arkansas State Hospital continues, so I must.
The journey is good.

sharpchick_2011: (Smite)

Let's don't stop there...
sharpchick_2011: (Troll)
Work, work, work...

I said I was not going to do office work this weekend.

Thursday, I emailed a video clip of some nastiness at the Arkansas State Hospital to the feds so they would have it for their upcoming visit on Monday.

While I was also converting incident reports for emailing to them.

And burning documents to CDs to take to a hearing to which I have been subpoenaed - on ASH.

They replied to say they had gotten the email, but their server had stripped the attachment, so could I just burn them a copy of the DVD and run out and overnight it to them?

Pissed me right off, they did. So I let them know by reply email.

That I am not their secretary and errand chick. And that I can give the surveyors the DVDs when they get here on Monday, because we ALL - ASH and I - know they will be here on Monday. It's not a secret, as much as they would like to think it is.

So now, I'll be delivering said DVDs to their hotel - tonight when they get here.

Shit. And all six other words George Carlin said you can't say on TV...
Got up to relentless heat yesterday morning - was already almost 80 degrees and very humid when I began my chores.

Along about 10 a.m., sweating like a fiend, I noticed the Sharpchick mobile had a flat on the right rear tire sitting in my driveway.

More Carlin words.

Called my handy-dandy roadside assistance folks to send someone to change the flat.

Naturally, he got lost.

And naturally, he was one of those guys who think women can't give directions.

I finally said, young man, I know where I am - you don't. This will be a whole lot easier for both of us if you will shut up and listen to me.

When he got here, he exclaimed over my essentially brand new tires and wondered how the tire went flat. Looked at me as if he expected an answer.

I suggested he change the damned thing, let me sign the invoice so he can get paid, and be done with it. My tire guys will tell me tomorrow how it came to go flat.

And look! he exclaimed. You have a real spare, not a I don't have to tell you not to drive more than 45 miles an hour.

Okay...I don't do donuts, thankyouverymuch.

And you don't have to tell me how fast to drive...
Did some major rearranging around the cottage - mostly of the piles of genealogy stuff...threw out a lot of paper because I found I had already scanned and transcribed it.

Lately, I look at the family history papers with an eye about how my son will look at them when I'm gone.

I think he'll be a whole lot more likely to hang on to the flashdrives than boxes and cartons of reams of paper.
About 7 p.m., all the windchimes in the garden began jangling.

I looked out the window. It was dark.

The patio umbrella and American flag were threatening to go airborne.

Ditto chair cushions on the front deck.

I raced outside, collapsing and securing said umbrella, and gathering chair cushions...stowed them in the cottage and went back for the flag.

Had just taken the flag off the mount when the most spectacular bolt of cloud-to-ground lightning I've seen in a while zapped close enough to me to feel it in my fillings.

I stood there amazed for a few moments.

Until I realized I was clutching a five foot metal flagpole.
The journey is good.

And you get a few more miles of it if you don't tempt Nature...

sharpchick_2011: (Candle)
Disability rights advocates in Arkansas - particularly those with specific interest in people with intellectual disabilities - are really bummed out today.

After months of waiting on both sides, the Honorable Leon Holmes, United States District Court Judge, ruled against the United States of America in its 2009 lawsuit alleging that the State of Arkansas unlawfully discriminates against people with intellectual disabilities housed at the State owned and operated Conway Human Development Center.

As we commiserated over the 85 page opinion that led to the Order of Dismissal, a couple of them - long time advocates of many years' duration - sounded as though they even were entertaining thoughts of giving up.

They are tired. So very weary.

I am tired. So many years of standing up for the right thing.

And only the Great Spirit knows how very tired people with intellectual disabilities are...tired of waiting to live their own lives.
We cannot quit.

I understand the sentiment, but we. simply. CANNOT. quit.

We need to rest. Back up, take a breath - maybe a mini-holiday.

And then, we must begin to reconnoiter.

I'm sure many advocates all over the state swore under their collective breath as they read that opinion.

But it is very valuable. We have lessons to learn from it.

In it lies the beginning of the framework of the new strategy.
The journey is good, but sometimes it seems never-ending, and detours us into a place we don't want to be.

We have a choice.

Let's make sure they do, too.

sharpchick_2011: (Troll)
It was another one of *those* weeks at work.

If you can believe it - and I have a hard time with this one myself - things are getting worse at the Arkansas State Hospital instead of better.

But the document gathering portion of the Medicaid fraud investigation is complete, and the Arkansas Department of Health is still on-site to see if the horrors I've described in my complaint to them warrant action against the hospital's license.

We continue to pressure Justice to come on down...

I got my subpoena for a TRO hearing from the attorney who has filed the class action against the hospital. June 16 is the day.

When my granddaughters were here last weekend while their daddy was on Grammy's roof, Jayden followed me into the woods to dump the wheelbarrow a couple of times.

At first, she was scared of the woods, so we went slow and I pointed things out to her - there's the nest for the baby cardinals in that shouldn't touch that plant, it's poison ivy...there's poison oak, and so on.

She was excited to discover a patch of honeysuckle in bloom, vines tumbling over each other in a riotous, scented mass.

Grammy, I can touch that one! I can even pick Daddy says so. Those are honey knuckles.

You sure can, Jayden...but I think you mean honeysuckle.

My Daddy says they are honey knuckles.

All righty then...honey knuckles they are.

Just had a visit from Comcast.

To pick up my equipment. The reason for my outage this past Tuesday was just as I suspected.

The tech doing the new install next door disconnected mine from the pole while he was installing the new service - my neighbor and I share a pole.

And the lead tech that Marsha sent out that night - there were two of them - couldn't wrap his brain around that possibility.

No...first he needed to rip through one of my perennial borders and get under my house to see what was wrong with my cable connection under the floor.

And was an arrogant SOB when I objected to that being his first course of action before he checked the connection at the pole.

I emailed Marsha - using my AT&T 4G, since I had no cable - while he was rooting around under the house and told her I was sending their damned equipment back with him, after he repaired his damage to my perennial border.

When he got out from under the house and went to check the pole, he then had to come into the house to admit I was right all along.

And was still a snotty little shit while he was doing it.

So I told him to go ahead and start unhooking the equipment, and to make sure and tell Marsha he was the largest part of the reason that $1,600+ a year just evaporated.

He refused.

Another email to Marsha to tell her to schedule that call for today.

And do not send Mr. Personality back to my house ever again.

Dish Network will be at the cottage for their install on Monday.

I was going to go with AT&T U-Verse, but I live literally on the wrong side of the tracks.

There isn't any AT&T U-Verse TV service out here. Although there is for part of my zip code...the part less than 3/4 of mile away from me, but on the right side of the tracks.

The chick on the phone for AT&T asked me to "keep checking back with them to see when it becomes available."

I laughed. She wanted to know what was funny.

I told her I figured that line was just part of her script, but I wasn't going to keep checking back, and the provider I selected would probably have a contract period similar to hers, so maybe AT&T ought to check back with me.

In a couple of years.

The journey is good.

sharpchick_2011: (Smite)
There seems to be no end to the horror at the Arkansas State Hospital.

Day after day after day.


sharpchick_2011: (Default)

May 2014



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