Well, I haven’t really been anywhere, just have been ENORMOUSLY busy both at home and at work.

Last week, although it was a short one (we get Columbus Day off) seemed to slog along like it was an instant replay of some B-grade movie.

I’ve been working intently on trying to get some data gathered so that I can present an intelligent and persuasive argument for reclassifying the job titles for the people that work for me.  That way, I can hire Jeremy who has been with us as a temporary since May.  The thing is, even though he’s done an excellent job, under civil service rule, he’s not qualified to do the job that he does so well.  Which really sucks.  So, I’ve been researching other colleges and universities throughout the nation trying to find something that might be equivalent to what we do.  I know I have my boss and his boss convinced that it’s time to change the titles, I just don’t know if we can come up with a meaningful title that accurately reflects what we do.

We are (at this point in time) a word processing center that does more than just word processing.  While we do a lot of the word processing, we also do computerized grade sheets on spreadsheets (writing the macros ourselves), administration of various software programs for test creation, web site design for the faculty and administrative offices, Power Point presentations, and other tasks that we are asked to perform.  Word Processing Operator just doesn’t do it any more, since there is so much more to it than just typing these days.  We’re required to adapt to changing software without any training, we’re graphic artists, we’re consultants for software.  SO much, but without any really meaningful titles.  Suggestions?

My foster sister’s husband adopted her son last Thursday.  He called us Tuesday night after they got the court date and said “Aunt Pat, want to go to my adoption?”  “You betchya,” I told him.  “We’ll be there with bells on!” 

His father is such a schmuck for signing away parental rights so he could get out of child support.  He wasn’t even smart enough to make a convincing argument for “I’m not such a great father and by doing this, I’m doing something good for my son.”  Just “Good, no more garnishment of my pay.”  Putz.

Lisa’s been sick with what seems to be the same thing that I’ve been fighting off for the past month or so.  A nasty, lingering, dry, hacking, nonproductive cough that racks me to the point where I hurt.  Joe had a touch of it last week, too, but seems to have developed some more flu-like symptoms than Lisa or I have had at this point.

Work has slowed down for Lisa and she’s trying to find something to fill in her days.  Our ad on Craigslist generated another job.  A woman who just moved here from Massachusetts with her husband wants her back yard roto-tilled.  No shit, her yard is no bigger than our family room!  It measures 10′ x 20′ — the elderly woman who owned the place before them had myrtle and other ground ivies planted in the yard so she wouldn’t have to screw around with mowing.  This couple wants grass and, even though her husband weed-whipped the stuff down to the ground, the ground is still thick with rhizomes and ivy roots.  She’s right.  It needs to be turned over.

A former customer of Lisa’s called her today and asked her if she’d be willing to give him some help at his shop for a couple of days a week. 

We each have interviews at the post office this week, for part-time jobs through the silly season.  Hey, for $11 an hour part-time, why not?

I’ve always said that people who really WANT to work always find work. 

Joe has found a house he’s interested in buying.  It’s only $49,900 in the listing and he and I drove by it a few days ago.  The roof needs some work, but doesn’t seem to be in too bad a shape.  The place obviously needs some work but, as long as there aren’t any major structural flaws, I think it would be a good investment for him.  He’s determined to have his own place and not pay rent so that, when he leaves the place, he walks away with nothing.  He’ll be making an appointment with a real estate agent soon and Lisa and I told him we’d ride along and help him “inspect” the place.  I thought I’d be sad at the thought of him leaving home, but I’m actually excited for him to be striking out on his own.  And, I’m thinking his room would make a great home office…

Saturday we went to a local Indian Reservation to get smokes for Lisa and my Aunt Wanda and Uncle Bob.  Lisa has never wanted to “commit” to the carton size supply but, at $5 a pack every day, she’s KILLING me in our bank account.  So, off we went and she bought 4 cartons for $10 apiece.  That’s $40 for about 6 weeks’ worth of smokes as opposed to $200. 

We wandered around some great antique shops while we were out and took the long, winding, scenic route home.  It was a sunny day — but cold.  With some of the trees turning, and that bright sun, it was a pretty drive.  Unfortunately, the trees aren’t all changing colors.  They’re so stressed from lack of water over the summer, most of them are just dropping their leaves without the change of color.  However, most of the sumac and other ground growth is in full color.

I’m about two-thirds of the way through the afghan I’m making for my daughter.  I’ve got a pretty decent rhythm down now and, with football in full swing, Sundays are spent doing nothing but knitting.  I can get a fair amount of it knocked out each evening, too.  I should be done before Thanksgiving, if all goes well.

Thanksgiving.

That’s only 5 weeks away now!  Linda, Brandon and the boys will be here in no time.  Here and gone — I’m sure that short time they’ll be here will go by in the blink of an eye.  But, I’m grateful for ANY time with them.  We’re starting to buy some stuff for Thanksgiving, a little at a time.  We also found dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets that I know little Brandon should like.

I guess I’ve prattled on long enough…

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