A time for gratitude, as I find myself at the end...relatively...of a whole bunch of time sprinkled with extra stresses.
I am finished with all of my exams. I took the state certification one this week. A month for the results, but I am so weary of the pressure that I do not really care about waiting. I learned from one of the other people at the testing site that two major cities in our state have been holding large group trainings. The purpose is to meet the needs of all of the agencies, facilities and programs that are now mandated to hire people to fill these positions.
In a way, that is great, as the need is much larger than can be satisfied right now. That most likely will continue for the next year or so, so they say. In another way it is not so super; those large training groups are being provided with an instruction process that disadvantages those of us who are doing all of this the more traditional way. I am trying to not be all sour grapes about this. I am not bitter, just a bit torqued, is all. It is tough, this being a human.
I am trying just as hard to be grateful that the whole thing is over, at least until I have to begin taking courses for the required CEUs, if I actually pass this week's exam.
I came home on Sunday, after another long weekend with my daughter and all the boys, to find that I had not fully closed the freezer door and whilst everything was cool, it was also soft. I have been saving a bit here and there so that I could stock up on meat when it is on sale, and I was able to do that last week. So, all of that carefully spent money went into yesterday's trash pick-up. Steaks, tons of chicken, fish, berries, sausages, all of my favorite vegetables, a pint of ice cream for myself and several frozen treats for the little boys. A relatively small freezer on a small refrigerator, stocked and stacked with all the things I bought on sale, which means it was a lot, and because of my carelessness, it is all gone. I suck.
I carefully shopped yesterday and today and I think I am good for the next three weeks, or so. And, I am being careful about making certain that the freezer stays closed. It sometimes want to open a bit on its own, and it really does not freeze very well, but it is what I have and I am keeping a nice strip of my flower pattern duct tape there for insurance. The gratitude is for a painful, although not fatal, lesson.
I fetched CoolCat's ashes today. Another expense that probably was not a super-duper idea, but I used some of the money I had saved for groceries to pay for it. Yeah, I know. Stupid. Probably irresponsible as well. It was, it was just too important to me and I make no apologies for being so un-frugal. It is a small thing, but it allows me to hold on to part of him for a while.
One of the Thursday group members has a cat and a dog. I know how she struggles to support herself and her mother, so I offered CoolCat's food to her. I guess that is frugal behavior. The stuff will not go to waste.
You know, I have always believed that I would always choose to have a pet in my life. I can no longer have a dog, but cats are perfect for the way and in the place I live. I was pretty sure that it would not take long before I found another kitty to share my life, but as the weeks have gone on, I am less and less inclined to let that happen. The sweet cremation guy and I had a sweet conversation this afternoon. Nice.
On my way there, I looked west and saw the thunder clouds
and the panels of rain falling to the ground. It was so beautiful and I
cannot remember when I have seen distant rain like that. There are
lots of nice reasons for liking the flatness of the land around here,
and being able to observe interesting weather phenomenon is just one of
I miss him. Cats have interesting and charming habits and rituals, which gradually become those of their owners. That happens with dogs and other pets, sure, but not those other animals do not seem to be so precise about their rituals. I find myself still beginning some of them. I have muscle memory for some of the things he used to do. When I was leaving the house today, I paused at the chair where he napped whilst I worked at my desk to pet him. I do that sort of thing a lot. Like keeping his ashes, it seems like a way to honor and remember him. We did fine, CoolCat and I, and remembering him and forgetting that he is gone are ways to hold on to him, too.
This was supposed to be about all of the things I like. Sort of a positive-focal word fest. People and stuff and activities I like. Like work and my family, a couple of friends, a couple more friends who have good intentions, but are driving me further along the path of insanity. How I am moving forward and divesting and organizing and volunteering and writing and recent favorite books. Stuff like that.
The writing, however, goes where it wants. There are moments when I feel like the indentured fingers that just show up and do the work. The pay is poor, understatement, but it gets me out of myself. It is not one of my favorite things.