Location: Oregon, United States

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Catching Up

I was talking to my mom today, and realized I had a bit of catching up to do. First of all, meet Digger, who is an Arabian/Saddle horse mix. Before you panic on my behalf, rest assured he is not mine. A friend of Paul's from work, Connie, bought him. Here's the short story: Connie had sent pictures of Digger to me about two months ago, and my immediate thought was, "That is the cutest little horse! If I was in the market to get a horse, I would buy him in a minute!" And then I dismissed the thought, because, of course, I'm not in the market. A few weeks later, Connie called and mentioned she was considering buying him and asked if I would be willing to help her out by taking care of him an hour or two a week. My only question was, "What if I want to take care of him every day?" So we went to meet him, she bought him, and he has moved to his new home as of last week. When he is acclimated, Connie will call me, and I will begin to go and groom him and exercise him. He is only two, so no riding yet, but that is okay by me - just breathing the horsey air is enough. To me, this is the best of all possible worlds - I get to take care of a horse without paying the vet bills or the boarding fees!

The kids are back in school and adjusting pretty well. Stephen came home after the first day and said, "That was my best first day ever!" Thomas got a math problem right, and was asked to teach the class while they went over the remainder of the problems on the assignment. William came home from his first day and when I asked him how it had gone, he answered, "Bad," and slumped his shoulders and pouted. Then I said, "Well, what about Japanese?" "Oh, well that class was okay." "And English?" "I like the teacher in English." "And math?" "Math is going to be easy this year, and the teacher is nice." So his day was not so bad after all. Since the first day, they've continued to do well, even starting their homework spontaneously before dinner (gasp). There have been a few incidents of bullying and teasing, which my kids don't handle well at all, but those are being addressed and the kids feel empowered by the process. Thomas will be in a play this year through the community. Stephen decided to let him go it alone this time around and maybe they will do one together next season.

The dog has been sick since about February. Happy, but sick. She was diagnosed with Giardia and medicated, but as soon as her meds ran out she was symptomatic again. In this case, symptomatic means pooping in the house because she couldn't hold it. Not something you can easily ignore. So we put her back on meds and got sent to a specialist. In the midst of treatment with the specialist, she got a rash that required antibiotics. After that, an ear infection, but only on the surface. All of these things added together started to look like allergies. So now we get to go to a veterinarian allergist. Ouch - Ka-ching. Part of me just wants to give her benadryl every day and call it a done deal. Oh, well. Another good reason not to buy a horse, as it seems the dog is creating enough veterinary bills to cover it. Meanwhile, she seems to be happy and energetic as long as we keep her well stocked with tennis balls. (Which, as a side note, I find myself washing and scrubbing with a toothbrush on a daily basis. This is not a chosen past time, but one that saves me the trouble of cleaning little ball-marks off the walls, floor, cabinets, and trim. Ugh.)

Paul's job has been stressful lately, with pending changes and new management. He feels secure about his future, but the atmosphere in the department has been tense at best. For now, I'm just going to leave it at that. If you want to know more details, you'll just have to email me.

The garden. One thing I discovered about the Northwest is that fall is a great time to plant perennials, because it rains all winter and the plants get well established. So that means it's a great time to shop for perennials, too! I've found a nursery nearby that carries a wide variety of plants - this was beginning to worry me, as the first nursery I really liked has closed and that meant I was stuck with Home Depot and whatever I could find at the Farmer's market. My favorite new plant, which I hope will thrive, is a bouganvilla (sp?) . Yay. Paul worries about me and the garden, as it is always changing and never "done", which to him equals cash outflow. But I set a budget and remain very patient about planting only what I can afford and keep alive, so we have worked out a peace treaty. For now anyway. It should last until about springtime...

My job continues to be challenging, stretching, exhausting and rewarding. I had my six month review toward my licensure this week - normally a two year licensing process, but I work part time, so I'm on the God-only-knows-how-long-it-will-take plan. But the review was good and insightful. Strengths: I am a strong clinician, empathetic. "Growth areas": because I'm empathetic, I care about what happens to my clients and tend to carry that around with me, which can lead to burn-out. This is only too true. So I need to learn to detach a bit more without becoming callous. One approach that I've always used is to view the client with "unconditional positive regard" which my supervisor reminded me is from Carl Rogers. I plan to read up on him to see if we have anything more in common. Perhaps he can teach me how to detach a bit.


Blogger ~bethany joy said...

thanks for the update, its good to hear from you.
miss you!!
bethany joy

7:57 PM  

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