start where?

It’s been so long I almost forgot how to do this. I honestly considered shutting down the old blog and starting fresh with a new one – simply because I felt I had left this all too long. But the ebb and flow of blogging and writing for “fun” can sometimes turn into this feeling of obligation followed by avoidance. Crazy right? So I opted to hold my head up and dive back in to switch things up yet again.

Here’s what has been keeping me busy….

For my chicken followers:

My flock of 30 day olds that I got back at the end of May are near fully grown – I have recently integrated them into the “old girls” flock and they should start laying in the next month. We culled off some of the roosters, there are a couple more to remove from the group and soon I will have a lovely and diverse flock of Buff Brahmas, Ameracauna X’s, ISA Browns and a couple random heritage birds. I commit to sharing some pictures soon!

Roller derby:

I am still obsessed with playing, and the team I play for has evolved. We played in our first home bout this summer and we won. The sad part of that is I took a fall during that game and have been set back with a nagging knee injury. I have started skating again but still experience stiffness and pain and I see the ortho again tomorrow. Cross your fingers that something good and productive comes of this appointment.

Work:

I went a bit nuts this year and took on three on-call jobs with the thought that “I’ll have diversity, flexibility etc” which was true…for a while. Recently I secured a permanent position at one of my on-call gigs, dropped one of the three and remain on-call at the one I really want a permanent gig at. Now, I have security and benefits!

Family:

I was lucky enough to have my family from Europe come visit this summer and spend nearly a month with us here on the island. It was fantastic to be able to see my nephew learn how to ride a two wheeler before my eyes, have camp outs in my backyard, and some tiny hands helping me in the garden, with the chickens and pretty much anything I did. I cherished every moment of it.

Climate:

I live on the west coast of BC and typically we get very excited with the week or two heatwave we get in the summers here. This year, no word of a lie, it rained yesterday for the first time in months. Every single day was sunny and beautiful blue skies. It was incredible and I blame this for keeping me from my computer. How can you argue that?

So there it is…the catch-up in a nutshell. What’s happening in the next while? I plan on going mushroom picking next week and I can’t wait 🙂 I’ve been studying the National Audobon Society Mushroom book, watched some docs on mushroom picking and have a craving for some chanterelles! Most definitely will share pics of my successes (or failures).

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whoa…you have a blog?

Yes I do. I just completely left it untouched for over one month. We all do this right?

Although it is completely negligent of me to bury my outlet, I have had time to think up thoughts, you see…

Topic for discussion:

What is your labour truly worth?

My job is in the caring field and I chose to go in this direction. It’s really something I feel drawn to. It certainly isn’t the money I can assure you that. But my philosophy goes something along the lines of “caring for and helping people is rewarding” or something like that….

One of my 3 jobs I find more exhausting (physically and mentally) than the others and let me brief you without too many details but enough so that you can understand my reason for discussing your worth in labour.

The other day I showed up to work at a location I was last at in December – clearly I would be a bit rusty on the specific procedures but I consider myself “with it” enough that I am great “on the fly”. Immediately I am left alone with four individuals that do not remember me or really know who I am – and it’s 7 o’ clock in the morning (on a Sunday).  Things were off to a rough start. I spent 2 hours convincing one individual to move out of one room that someone else needed to use ( you can use your imagination to figure out which room that might be), cooked pancakes for everyone, assisted with 3 full on baths/showers/help to get ready. I was sweating by 9am. But really, this is kind of what I had expected – although it had been a while since I had worked in a place like this, I expected the chaos.

What I did not expect was yet to come.

In a nutshell, I was groped by one of the people in the house. Not like a gentle kind of possibly accidental one either. I was pinned down and my upper torso area (again figure it out) was grabbed while in front of the other people I was supporting. I was shocked, embarrassed and extremely distraught at what happened yet I had to pick up and carry on until the end of my shift. Of course there was paper work to be filled out and incident reports etc. but I seriously had to carry on like it was no big thing.

It was shortly after this exact moment that I thought to myself
“holy crap…is this really worth it?” Like how much do people really put up with at their jobs to earn their keep?

I know there are tons of examples of crap situations in the workplace. I just wanted to get it out and possibly get a discussion going….

I’ve moved on (I think) and have found better things to focus on in my week – such as the fresh oysters we picked, shucked and feasted on tonight.

I’m back blog…hopefully for good.

-SM

losing my way but finding other ways

Yes, I have been working through some personal challenges. The course I have been stressing about has totally rocked my world. Somehow – for the first time in my life actually – I have totally dropped the ball and failed to realize that I needed to register for an exam at least a month ago for this course. I have completely missed the deadline (and have until tomorrow now) to either sort it out or cut my losses. When I realized this the other night I totally freaked out at myself. How did this happen? How could I (the person that rereads instructions at least 9 times before starting, or checks the alarm clock at least 7 times before allowing myself to fall asleep) bugger up so majorly on one of my courses? Needless to say I have been sorely disappointed with myself but I have allowed myself at least to move forwards and focus on getting myself back on track.

UGH! I still can’t believe I did it!

Anyways, things have been happening at light speed. Last weekend I went down to Seattle to visit my sisterfriend (John’s sis), her hubby and their new bundle of joy, Adele. She is sweet as pie and I forgot how much I love holding new babies. It was too brief a visit, but it was great to just hang out, cuddle new babies and enjoy good company.

This most recent weekend I played in my first full contact scrimmage for roller derby. I was so nervous, slightly sick (today I am full-blown sick) but managed to have the best time! Our team won, I managed to get a few good hits in there and didn’t hurt myself (minus one pulled quad muscle).

My “baby” chicks are no longer babies. Yesterday John and I decided to put them outside for a few hours in a separate run, next to the older chickens we have.

Today it’s back to business!
Until next time,

-SM

Ok…let’s try again

Wow, I realize what a downer I sounded like in that brief and depressing post.

 

I remembered some excitement to discuss actually!
Since I have been slacking on the health and fitness side of things, yesterday John, the pups and I went to Coombs Market and loaded up on all things fruit and vegetables. We have been eating a lot of fish lately…but that’s about it. So we filled our bags with tons of goodness which has kickstarted my desire to fuel my body with goodness. So, in contrast to my Negative Nancy sounding post below, I have found some inspiration to get going.

Also, in an effort to recruit more ladies to play roller derby, John became my unofficial Hype-Boy. He put up posters and spread the gospel of derby to the staff at the market! Go John!
So, there was something good to chat about.

Perhaps now I’ll do some reading for school 🙂

Inspire Me

I am fumbling with writing. I am struggling with making time to write, exercise or finish a course I am taking for school. Not because there isn’t time….I think I have pushed myself for so long that I have completely shut myself down to these tasks now. I am not even sure how to kickstart this “slump” I find myself in.

Where the hell is the time going? Why do I have a mental block when it comes to completing my personal tasks? Ideas? How do you keep yourself in check?

 

Overworked and underskated

Lately it feels like all I do is work. We’ve had a bit of a break from rollerderby (not by choice!) due to scheduling conflicts with our spaces etc….and it’s killing me! I feel like I am in withdrawal from skating since it’s been a week now. I must wait until Thursday….a lifetime away.

Yesterday (while I was at work of course) John checked out a local farm trader bazaar type thingy. Basically a bunch of local farmers brought their new livestock and sold them to other farmer people. John brought me home a present…..

well four presents…..

 So now we have four babies and 12 hens. Our egg production is surprisingly decent considering our hens were free castaways. We average about 5 eggs per day – which is plenty for us and we can sell a dozen or so to friends every week.

The new baby chicks are a bit of a test run to see how demanding chicks are since we have 30 coming at the end of May. So far (and it’s only been 24 hours) they remain adorable and cheepy.

 Yay for baby chicks and lots of eggs!

I guess I am true to form….always switching things up – and yet again I’ve changed up my theme for this blog. I was so inspired by a beautiful spring morning that I just had to give it some colour 🙂

 

These lovely flowers are what got me going this morning: ( ——————>)

 

And yesterday morning the beach got Benji going!

 

 

 

Ahhhhh spring! Bring it on 😀

Bitter Sweet Work Stuff

be a mess emo boy b/w

be a mess emo boy b/w (Photo credit: EmoHoernRockZ)

Well I want to thank you all for your thoughts, ideas and input. It’s been tricky to decide what to do and emotional for me…I am always emotional but definitely NOT emo. (I feel like this last sentence could be my new catch phrase: Sarah Marie: always emotional, definitely NOT emo.)

I am taking the higher paying contract job and remaining on a casual basis at the job I love. I feel I get the best of both worlds: the freedom to build my own schedule, more money but still get to work where I really love. I figure this is a temporary scenario until the time is right in the future to apply for another permanent position at the place I love with better hours. My boss there totally understood but she was sad – which didn’t help. But I appreciate the chance to have both and realize in today’s tough job market (especially on this island) I am extremely lucky!

I had a couple of sick days this week – I wasn’t entirely playing hooky either, I actually did feel on the brink of a nasty flu (aching muscles, ear aches etc). With that time I did some productive things from the comforts of my bed and couch: I wrote some short stories and joined twitter. Totally random and unrelated right?

You may have noticed on the side above Jean Luc Picard a ticker with my twitter stuff.

The short stories were partially for an assignment for a course I am taking (well one of them was) and also for random enjoyment. Perhaps I have found yet another hobby to dabble in…and perhaps with some polishing I may share one of them sometime…..we’ll see.

Tomorrow is a marathon workday for me so I’ll likely try to check back in after the weekend. Happy first weekend of spring! I’m off to do the roller derby workout before bed.
Adios Amigos

-SM

With a little help from my friends

I know…I need to tell you all about the scrimmage on the weekend past. More on that later.

Right now I am faced with a tough decision to make and in a pathetic attempt to avoid making the full decision solo, I am soliciting input from my friends and readers.

So…for the month of March I have been making a conscious effort to track my mileage and gas receipts for my commute to and from work.

The scenario:

In January I got a permanent part time position at a job I really love. The downside is, I work 5 days a week for an average of 4-6 hours each day. I drive about 40km in each direction to my place of work. The sick reality is gas is costing approximately $600/month. This is a little less than half what I take home in pay (after union dues, taxes etc.)

Recently I inquired about a job cleaning fancy vacation rental properties. Not glamorous by any stretch, but my Mom and I used to do this privately a few years ago and made some good mad money. The plus side of this opportunity is as follows:

A 10 minute drive to and from work. $2/hour more to start (compared to my current job) with a raise in a month or two. I work solo most of the time at swanky beach front properties.

The dilemma:

I really really enjoy my ppt job. BUT it is costing me to do it. So the decision seems obvious from an economical standpoint but I still feel torn.

The risk:
Right now there are some days scheduled in the next couple of weeks for the vacation property job and I’d need to give notice NOW to my current job. But there is a risk that there is not guaranteed every day work quite yet but will get busier as the nice weather approaches. Oh geez…just writing this all out is making my head spin.

Do I give up my ppt job and ask to stay “on-call”? Sure this is an option I suppose.

Ok….tell me what you think.

Thank you for reading and your input – I REALLLLLLY appreciate it.

-SM

One more DAY!

So tomorrow is scrimmage day. For those of you who may be interested, I thought I would share the link if you want to watch it live online tomorrow.

By clicking here you can watch all the excitement tomorrow. I am in the first scrimmage and the whistle blows at 12:30pm PST. I’m on team black!

Hope you can check it out!!

Happy weekend, I’m off to tune my gear and head out to see the chickens.
Adios 🙂

-SM