Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bad to Great to Just Good to.....The Undiscovered Country

I have talked about my work situation several times in the past, but for those who don't feel like reviewing (I don't blame you), I work as a government contractor and have since 1998. For FEMA, specifically the US Fire Administration. More and more, contractors (at least at our location) have become second-class citizens, too. It's interesting work, but when the time comes for the contract to be renegotiated it can be stressful to say the least.

And guess what time it is?

Yeah, it's Howdy Doody time again. And in my 4-5 times going through the process, this has by far been the worst. Without going into huge amounts of detail, here are the basics:
  • The end of the contract is March 31
  • The company I have been working for is not eligible to bid, which means we WILL have another company in place on April 1
  • However, they are not going to ask for bids. Instead, they are going to roll us under an existing contract on campus
  • There is a possibility that the contract we will be rolled under is the contract I left in July 2010 to come here
  • They are monsters from the depths of hell
  • And my boss has decided that come hell or high water he will NOT be here on April 1
I think that about covers it. So, I am actively job hunting now.

I have worked on this campus for almost 14 years. While there are some wonderful benefits to being here, I can't help but think it is time for me to move on. The problem is that the training and clearances I've received in the past year and a half make me eligible for jobs in and around the beltway of DC, and I *really* don't want to travel that far.

The man I work for/with is very set in his ways, to say the least, and I am looking forward to being away from him. He is a dear, sweet man and he means well. But he does this:

I received a return phone call this morning from Bob Smith at Long Name of Place regarding the Long Name of a Project that I had called him about and left a message yesterday. He gave an affirmative answer, so I posted the Long Name of Document this morning.
when he could say this:
Bob called, he said yes. It's done.
It drives me NUTS. He is also Italian, Catholic, and Army. If you are any one of those three things, he loves you. If you are all three, you are an angel sent from heaven. He wears all this on his sleeve, and it is very VERY obvious that he give special treatment to those he likes.

It is also very VERY obvious that he has a problem working with professional women. I could have had his job at least 3 times for things he has said to me or asked me, and I'll leave it at that.

The most recent information is that we might know something by next week. Stay tuned, and keep your fingers crossed for me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Put your left foot in....UPDATED

Yoga tonight! I'm excited. I used to do yoga every morning with that guy on the Oxygen Network, I can't remember his name. It was fun. I'm anticipating being in pain tomorrow, though, and I can't wait!

(yoga happens)

It was great! Matt went with, and including him and the instructor there were only 6 of us. I'm a bit sore this morning, but not too bad. I signed up for another 3 weekly classes. I'm looking forward to it.

I just need to remember not to eat anything that will make me gassy!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Getting it Together

I have always been quiet, a bit shy, and reserved. I have never thought of myself as a confident person, and have always envied those that were in school and in the workplace. I always secretly hated myself for not speaking up in circumstances where I didn’t agree with what was being said or done.

Then one day at my former work a coworker absolutely floored me by telling me she envied me for my confidence and strength. She actually said that she thought I “had it together.” Me! Having it together? I was shocked. I still am. Isn’t it amazing what other people see in us that we never see in ourselves?

I think I’m in the middle of a mid-life crisis of sorts, even though I certainly HOPE this isn’t my mid-life. I mean, in a way I guess it is. I’ll be 37 at the end of the month, and 37x2=74. That’s not a bad age to go, you know, in terms of quality of life. It isn’t OLD, in my opinion. But my dad’s dad and mom’s mom didn’t make it that far. But age is just a number, you’re only as old as you feel (and other clich├ęs) and I don’t feel old at all. Really! It probably sounds like I’m trying to convince myself, not you, but I really don’t feel old! I do know people my age who feel their life is OVER at this point, and will be wrinkly with their hair falling out by year’s end. That’s not me.

My hair IS starting to turn white, though. And I LOVE IT!!!!!! It is gorgeous, I’m so happy about it.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. The past year or so has been trying, a lot of things have happened that I don’t fully understand/haven’t worked out yet. I’ve met a lot of new people that I haven’t quite all sorted out yet. I’ve been in this new job for about a year and a half, and it’s been (shock, shock) good and bad. More on that in a later post, though. In short, a lot of things have changed, are in the process of changing, or will be changing shortly.

Change can lead to uncertainty, uncertainty to fear, fear to……inaction? Lack of confidence? Call it what you will, same thing. So, when I read this post by the same woman who wrote the other one I discussed, it hit home, too. Go read it, I’ll wait.

(Insert generic waiting room music)

Back? Good. The part about confidence being an action and not a feeling is something I’ve always known, but never completely relied on or acted on. It was a good reminder to read this post, as I will have a LOT of opportunity this coming year to fall back on the ACTION of confidence.

At work, which I will discuss soon. I’m feeling a bit powerless right now at work. I know everything will be ok, but it is still difficult and stressful.

In art, which I may or may not discuss later as there really isn’t much to talk about. I’m still making jewelry, but it’s slow. 2010 was the first year I actually made a profit. Not sure about 2011 yet, but it was a good year. Slow, but I’m enjoying it.

In the house/garage and garden, which is also slow going.

In my relationships, which I may or may not discuss later. We’ll see. Things have been weird, and I’m not talking about Hooband (but we are in counseling. I’m trying not to feel ashamed at that, but there is stigma. We both like the counselor. I’m not sure how much it is helping, but at this point..). Some strange, interesting, and fun people have popped into my life this year.

I am NOT going to go taking fighting classes like the author of the blog post did. Ha! I am going to start taking some sort of classes, though. I found a yoga class that fits my schedule. I want to learn to spin yarn. I’m going to start WW again to lose weight, because working on it on my own again isn’t working.

I need to commit to cleaning a lot of accumulated junk out of the house, which will begin this weekend. I just looked around the house the other day and all I saw was….clutter. Nice clutter, to be sure! OUR clutter, accumulated separately and together. But still, clutter nonetheless. Need to figure out what to keep, what to pack up, and where to draw the line.

So, talk to me of confidence! Tell me what you think!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Meet the Flockers!! Part 1

I thought it might be fun to introduce the chickens one at a time. We currently have an even dozen: 8 girls and 4 boys. We have gotten chickens in three batches:
  1. The first 8, which consisted of 6 "Easter Eggers" and two Marans
  2. A batch of 5 Jersey Giants we found on Craigslist, and
  3. 2 more we came home with from Virginia, a buff Cochin and a buff Orp
This is Larry, the EE rooster we named after my dad. He's a decent rooster, not too aggressive but he will bite and while you can pick him up, he doesn't like it. My father is enamored with him and asks about him constantly. He even has several pictures saved on his computer and he uses them as desktops.


Honey, above, is a wheaten Marans whose comb is so long if flops over. She was the Hen Of Choice (HOC) at first, and was extremely timid. Recently she's gotten a bit more assertive. With the comb-over (hahaha!), she also looks pretty stupid for some reason and we made fun of her horribly, as in "Mama asked 'Brains or comb?' and I said "COMB!!'"

Peaches, who is a small EE hen with peach colored feathers only on her "chin" or muff. She's a quiet thing and doesn't seem to have much personality.

This is Daisy, the buff Orpington. We got Daisy in Virginia at about 6 weeks old, along with Tubby (below) and attempted to bring them home in the same Rubbermaid tub. Tubby beat up on Daisy, and we were concerned about permanent damage, hence the picture above. 5 hours on my lap, the FedEx driver almost drove off the road when he looked down and saw a woman with a chicken on her lap! So, the obvious name to me was (Driving) Miss Daisy.

Flash forward 6 months only to find out Daisy is a dude. So, Duke? It won't matter soon enough....

Tubby, aka The Fat Chick is about 2ish, full grown, and by far my favorite (don't tell the rest). She is just SO impressive in size and, uh, proportion. When she hops down off the roost you can feel and hear the THUD. If you hold her long enough she will fall asleep in your arms. I LOVE to watch her run, she looks so silly!

I had read that Cochins were fairly docile, but she uses her size almost as a battering ram, charging a group of the others if they look like she has food and scattering them, then digging in herself.....over and over. She also has a deep voice and she seems to bitch constantly, it is really easy to stereotype her into "fat human"