Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
My first reaction was complete disbelief. I thought... well he can't be dead. He's probably just hurt or something. Turns out the worst was true.
Then I read an article (here) of what happened. My reaction turned to anger.
Stupid, stupid kid! What were you thinking?
But then I thought, "You were a stupid kid once too." I can't count the number of times I would play or walk along the railroad tracks. If you live in northwest Indiana, they are everywhere. Most kids walking home in my neighborhood alone, no matter which direction from school you walked, had to cross railroad tracks. We took life for granted. My sister and I would even climb in between the train cars. How completely stupid that was!
I can't be angry with Jeff. He was a your typical kid doing what a typical kid would do. Even the headphone thing. How many kids these days do we see running around with head phones on all the time?
My biggest concern is Jessica. She is a single mother. Jeffery was her entire world.
How do you console a person who has lost their entire world? I don't have the words to even attempt making sense of this for her. It doesn't make sense, and a large part of me is wondering how God could be so cruel.
I still remember when Jessica found out she was pregnant. She was terrified. She was young, single, broke, and absolutely scared shitless. But you know what? She turned into a terrific mother. I watched her work two and three jobs at a time to keep a roof over their heads and food on their table.
The proof was in Jeffery.
He was kind and loving. When he was younger, he always had a hug or a cuddle for everyone.
He was funny - always telling jokes and being silly. You couldn't be in the room very long without him making you laugh. Jessica and I would take him all kinds of places, and we would have a blast. He especially loved the beach and could spend all day there if you let him.
He was compassionate. We would do the Cancer Walk every year, and Jeff "got it." He may have been young, but he understood. He truly cared about other people.
Rest in peace, Jeff. We're all going to miss you down here.
If you have a dollar or two to spare, please consider donating to this GoFundMe account for Jessica. She did not have any life insurance for her son and will need all the help she can get.
Monday, February 9, 2015
Moving Day - 1
Our first day of moving did not start out well. I rented a U-Haul, but hired movers to load and unload the truck. Our first moving company started off poorly. They were 45 minutes late. I appreciated them calling to let me know they were stuck in traffic, but them being late already started us off behind schedule. To make matters worse, the two hour job that was quoted to me took four hours. Four hours!!! We hired the movers to arrive at 8 and be finished by 10. We didn't end up making it on the road until 1:30pm. Keep in mind that we had an almost 11 hour drive.
If you want to drive to Virginia without many mountains, I highly recommend taking I-70 out. The easiest way from Indianapolis is taking I-64. However, this route is very mountainous. You go through the major high mountains in West Virginia. Dad's defibrillator is set very sensitively, so he can't have many elevation changes. Because of this, a friend recommended 70 all the way over to Washington, D.C and cutting down to Virginia from there. Except for the really expensive tolls, it is a wonderful drive. You still go through mountains, but it isn't that terrible.
Unfortunately for us, we hit a snow storm in Pennsylvania. It was absolutely terrifying! They had complete whiteout conditions and the road was a skating rink. Our goal was to make it to Somerset, PA. The snow was so terrible, that Dad and I ended up pulling off in Washington, PA for the night. Instead of getting about 6.5 hours in the first day, we only got 5 hours.
Moving Day - 2
I don't think either one of us slept that night. We were so worried about making it to Richmond in time for the movers we had scheduled. I know I was pretty bleary eyed and living off coffee. Thank goodness the hotel had free breakfast in the morning.
When we woke the next morning, it had snowed about 4-5 inches, and it was still coming down. We hit the road at 7am and ended up driving in more snow for a good 3-4 hours. The good news was that the roads were treated at this point, so we made it mostly ok. The rest of the way was rain, and it was sunny by the time we hit Washington, D.C. and on into Virginia.
We got to the apartment complex around 3 and the movers came around 4. These movers were excellent. They got the entire truck unloaded in an hour. Plus, the asked which room to set things. They set up the beds for us. Top notch movers! I highly recommend them.
Overall, the drive was pretty terrible. I think it would be decent in the summer.
I'm sad to say this, but I hate my apartment. I can do this for a year, but I will not renew a lease here.
To start off, the building manager lied to me. She went on this big speech about how they are an awesome place to live. They are easy because you can pay your rent online...blah blah. We arrived at 3:00. She handed us a checklist to mark off things that are wrong with the apartment, and we were told we had about 15 minutes to finish the checklist. Umm... ok. That's not enough time. Then when we returned to sign the lease, she informs me that they do not take credit cards. What? It's advertised on your website and in the emails yous sent me. I ended up on a wild hunt in Virginia trying to find someone who would give me a money order (long story).
Looking back, we should not have signed the lease. The problem is that we were essentially homeless at this point. If we didn't take the apartment, we had no roof over our heads... so we signed. Big mistake!!!
The apartment was absolutely filthy when we arrived. I didn't realize how filthy until I actually started unpacking. There was dried food in the refrigerator. The cabinets were dusty. The place smelled stuffy, like it had been closed up for a long time. There was hair in the bathroom sink and the tub actually had a dirty ring around it. The nastiest one - a bug trapper in the bathroom cabinet filled with dead bugs. I am disgusted. They didn't clean a thing. There I am at 3:45, with movers arriving any minute, and my apartment is filthy. I did a mad dash through the apartment and cleaned what I could. The first night was spent scrubbing everything.
In the days after we have found one thing after another that is wrong. The hood fan doesn't work. The towel holders are falling down in both bathrooms. The windows and patio door leak air really bad. (I cringe to see our electric bill.) We found live bugs, which the maintenance man informed us were stink bugs and not roaches. Thank God! The heater is making a knocking noise. I tried to hang a picture on the wall and the whole freaking wall came peeling down. Apparently it's cheap dry wall.
The place is a nightmare!
I like my job so far, but it's a little overwhelming. They do things a lot differently at this hotel than they did in Indianapolis. The processes are similar, but different. I also need to get used to making decisions on my own. I'm used to asking permission to add rooms to a block - things like that. I sent an email to my revenue manager asking to change a room block and he responded with, "Well what do you think?" It shocked me for a minute until I realized it was my decision now. It really comes down to learning the new way of doing things. I think it will be a huge learning curve for me.
My coworkers are great and there are plenty of opportunities to grow and move up. I'm just hoping I catch on fast enough to not get in any trouble. That is my biggest fear.
Richmond in General
Richmond is starting to grow on me a little. I am enjoying the warmer weather and not having much snow. I have a slightly shorter commute to work, but only because I go in so early - 7am. If I go during the height of rush hour, it ends up being slightly longer.
There is a lot to do around here. Lots of historical spots and museums. Plus, we are only about an hour and forty-five minutes from Washington, D.C. I definitely want to see all the monuments and museums there as well.
Dad and I went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art on Saturday. It's free! I was seriously amazed at how much stuff they have there. It makes Indy's museum look small. I want to go back for sure. Dad pooped out, so I didn't get to spend a lot of time. We sort of did a quick run through. I would actually like to go back and do the tour guide visit. I think it would be very beneficial.
I still miss Indiana. Virgina is fun, but it isn't home. It will do for a few years until I can move up and back home (corporate office is in Indiana). That's the goal!
Friday, January 23, 2015
At first I was a little worried. I've never even visited Virginia before. I know absolutely nothing about it. Luckily I have several friends who lived in the area and even worked at the hotel I'm going to. They were great about explaining the city to me, recommending apartments to consider, and being honest about where we should move to (high crime areas v. safer areas). I ended up deciding on a a suburb of Richmond that will be about the same commute as what I already have. It's close to a really good hospital (about 5 mins) that will be perfect for my Dad to receive his healthcare. We picked out his doctors and everything.
It will be slightly warmer weather, which I believe will be good for my Dad. He doesn't do well in the cold. I am also really excited about my new apartment complex. They have a swimming pool (SCORE!) and a really nice walking path through a sort of wooded area. They also have a big exercise room. I think it will be easier to stay active with so many choices and with weather be a little warmer.
|Minus the water. LOL! It was just sitting up there.|
Nor do I need every single card or picture we ever drew Mom and Dad. I did keep a few of the favorite ones though.
I work until Wednesday, and the movers come at 8:00 AM Thursday morning.
On a side note, I started Weight Watchers again and am already down 5 lbs. When things calm down a little, I will update you on more.
Monday, December 29, 2014
My favorite thing about Christmas is putting up the tree. All of our ornaments are homemade and were given to us by family. I can pick out each one and remember when it was given to me. Or I remember the stories my mother told me about her ornaments. On the entire tree, I think only 2 or 3 are store bought.
On top of the tree is our beloved Christmas angel. My sister and I used to joke about who was going to inherit the topper after Mom passed away. I solved it by making her one for Christmas a few years ago. So glad I paid attention to my Grandma when she taught me to needlepoint.
I decided to make homemade gifts for everyone this year. The new thing I learned was crochet. My grandma, and her friend Audrey, taught me the basic stitches when I was little, but this was my first time doing several projects for people. Before I had only done scarves and blankets.
|Mad crochet skills! I know you all are jealous. LOL!|
This was the last year of ornaments from Grandma to the grandchildren. When she started getting sick and losing her eyesight, she made presents ahead of time for the kids. Even after she died, we had enough ornaments for a few years. I will admit that I cried while wrapping them. With the ornament, I gave each child a framed picture of my Mom holding them as babies. We wanted happy pictures of Mom, and in all the more recent pictures she looked ill. This is why we chose baby pictures.
|The last ornament.|
|Look at that face! She has been wanting that toy for months now.|
|Bub did a happy dance!|
How did Christmas go for you?
Sunday, December 7, 2014
I have officially been on Metformin for about three weeks now (almost four). Here are a few things I notice:
1. Lots of gastrointestinal problems. The constant sickness has gone away, but I will always have at least one diarrhea attack each day. They are always at the same time too, which confirms for me they are due to medicine. Not a major problem. Just more of an annoyance. Especially since it tends to happen during work hours.
2. Weight gain, which surprises me. This was supposed to cause weight loss, but I have gained three pounds. I wonder if this is due to the constant bloating problem I have? Bloating is another side effect of the meds. Not too worried at this point, but I'm keeping an eye on it.
3. No more headaches and blood sugar dropping out. I have had this issue for years where my sugar drops out and I get really sick. I used to carry snacks in my purse because it would happen so often. Not anymore since I started this medicine. I guess it's because my blood sugar is normalized now.
4. I'm never hungry. I have to remind myself to eat. This is another reason the weight gain surprises me. I hardly ever eat. I can go the entire work day and not feel hungry or sick from not eating. It isn't normal for me, so that has been an interesting change.
5. Just overall feeling better. More energy and less grouchy. Even my family has noticed the difference. The only time I feel really bad is that hour or so when the gastrointestinal problems hit.
I'm not saying I'm 100% and this medicine is perfect, but I do notice a difference. I'm glad I started the meds, but the bloating and weight gain is upsetting me. If this didn't change by my follow up appointment, I will mention it to the doctor. Overall I am happy with the choice. I hope the test results reflect something better.