Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I started getting sick Sunday afternoon. I knew what it was the minute I felt it coming on. People have been coming to work sick for a week and now I have it. My head hurts. My joints hurt. There is a muscle in my lower back that just aches and aches. I haven't been able to breathe out of my left nostril for 3 days. I stayed home from work yesterday and came home at noon today. I am about to go to bed after I type this and it's only 4. Blech.

We got a letter from the insurance company telling us to go to one of the furniture companies listed in order to find a replacement sofa and loveseat. I stopped at a local place right after work today. They knew right away how to fill out the forms and what to look for. I found a beautiful Flexsteel sofa and complimentary chair. The furniture people filled out the forms and faxed them in. We should know within a couple of days if our quote was accepted. If so, we will get new furniture! Yay!

I went through all the things returned to us from the garment place. I ended up making piles. The largest pile was the "keep" pile. We also created the "consign" pile, the "Goodwill" pile, and the "rummage sale" pile. Now all our closets are cleaned out and organized except for 1 and that's Bob's job.

When I took the consign pile to the consignment store I found out I had a $15 credit. I got 2 new faux Kate Spade purses and some baby clothes to give as a gift to a co-worker going on paternity leave this week.

Oh! Speaking of that. There were 5 of us that talked about and decided to go in on a gift for our co-worker. He and his wife are struggling financially just like the rest of us and they didn't yet have a carseat. The wife is having a C-section tomorrow and co-worker's last day before leave was yesterday. We agreed to pool our money and get them the carseat. However, our boss caught wind of the plan and emailed me. She said she heard we were going in on something and she would like to join us. Not only that but she planned on getting a gift card with our pool of money. Who does that? Who butts in to a group gift and then demands we give them a certain thing? I ended up emailing her and telling her it wasn't an office thing but a lunch bunch thing since the 5 of us go to lunch once a week or so and that we had decided to get a carseat. She emailed back to say we should open it to the whole office and the carseat is fine. Oh, thank you! It worked out in the end and our co-worker was touched beyond words. I wasn't there to see him since I was sick but everyone said he was really choked up by the gift. Awesome!

Today I got an email from my boss saying that I had to watch my unexcused absences because in the past 2 months I'd been sick for 2 days and had taken 2 days to deal with the aftermath of the fire. I emailed her back to say I knew that the sick days were considered unexcused but that the fire wasn't something I could control and why would those days count against me. She said that any unexcused days were days not planned for ahead of time. I agree but who can plan a fire? One of my co-workers said that it just goes to show that our boss does not have a great deal of empathy. I guess I have to agree. I am just counting the days until she goes on maternity leave. Only 7 more days.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Weekend

Things have been OK. Work is still...the same. My boss is frustrating. My co-workers rock for the most part. My job is just OK. I put in an application with my dream company in Madison, WI. The competition is fierce and the odds of getting a job there pretty nil, but you never know.

We got our clothes back from the garment restoration place. I have yet to go through everything and put it away. It seems an overwhelming task. Bob and I are going to go through it all together and make piles to keep, give away, and consign. There is just so much. Who knew we had so much stuff?

We spent most of yesterday at the MN Landscape Arboretum. It was beautiful. Everything was in bloom and it was just magical. We brought a picnic and had lunch and then spent hours just wandering around enjoying the blooming beauty.

Our patio garden is planted and booming. I planted geraniums, snap dragons, and petunias. I also planted morning glories for Bob. So far all is growing and doing well although 2 snap dragons snapped off in the straight line winds we had today.

Today we did a whole lot of nothing. We did go to Target to get things we needed. $100 later, we drove home in the middle of an amazing storm. At one point we thought we would be taken in a forming tornado. As we were driving home, we could see the clouds above us rotating. The winds were high and fierce and all the cars on the road slowed to a crawl. It was scary. We found out later that a tornado touched down in Coon Rapids and Hugo. The devastation in Hugo is immense. Homes destroyed, lives lost, people hurt and unaccounted for. It's so sad and just so unbelievable.

I realized tonight that I moved here 10 years ago Memorial weekend. It was really May 31st 1998 but it was Memorial weekend. There was a severe storm that weekend too. I spent my first night in an interior room in the basement. Hail damage was prolific throughout the metro. It was scary then too. Weird that the weather was much the same 10 years previous.

Tomorrow I hope to get some laundry done, run a couple of errands, grill a nice dinner, and maybe get a start on going through our clothes. I just know that I am so thankful for the extra day off.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Want My Clothes Back

We still don’t have our clothes back from the clothing cleaner/restoration place.  I called them today and they said to call on Monday to schedule a time to have everything delivered.  I can’t wait.  Just think about your home and every piece of fabric there.  Every curtain, towel, blanket, sheet, shoe, handbag, leather, throw, hotpad, tablecloth, doily, and piece of clothing you own has been taken from you EXCEPT your 7-day emergency supply (which wasn’t as plentiful as it should have been).  Tomorrow marks three weeks since the fire and Monday will be 3 weeks and 3 days without our stuff.  I can’t wait to get our stuff back.

I called State Farm as well to check on our claim.  Looks like they will reimburse us for a new couch and love seat.  That is good news indeed.  They questioned why I bought new pillows and towels until I reminded them that we will have gone almost 3 ½ weeks without and needed something to get us through.  We will be reimbursed for that as well.  Yay.

Today is my Thursday.  I am off on Friday because we will be driving to IA for my cousin’s wedding.  I can’t wait.  I need a day off and this weekend should be fun.  The only difficult thing is that there are about 17 different events occurring on Saturday, May 17th here in the Twin Cities and I can’t be here to participate.  Sigh.  Still, the weekend should be fun and filled with family plus a road trip. 

They finally cleaned the vent outside our apartment yesterday.  It still smells faintly of fire, but it could be the walls and carpet now since those have yet to be cleaned.  I guess the plan is for new paint and carpet in the coming weeks and months.  It’s taking longer than we would like but some of it is because of our building management’s insurance.  So, we will wait and see.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Why is May Always so Hard?

Someone asked me in my comments if I'm OK. The east answer is no. I'm not OK. I mean I am fine physically. I'm alive and I walk and talk and eat and sleep. But I'm not OK. I want to die. I want to cease living. I want to not hurt so much anymore. I want to be a better person for Bob and for myself and it seems I cannot get better.

I almost just closed this blog rather than post anymore. I didn't want to write about what's been going on. It's hard to put into words what I am feeling and it's hard to write it without it sounding like a whining teenager mooning about life at 15. Still, writing helps me. It helps me sort things out. It helps me gain perspective. It helps me to feel better. So here I am writing about the suck that is life right now. I hope it helps me feel better because I'm about full up with pain and depression right now and could use some good news.

So the fire happened a little over 2 weeks ago. We lived in a hotel for 1 whole week. We had to buy a bunch of stuff because never having gone through something like this, we gave almost everything to the clothing restoration people and didn't think about needing towels, hot pads, washclothes, work shoes, underwear, socks, and a shower curtain. I did submit it all on our insurance claim and we will be reimbursed but it took a huge chunk of our already tight budget to do it.

We found out on the Monday after the fire that the building vents were getting cleaned. The fire happened on a Thursday. Why weren't the vents all cleaned on Friday? Who knows. Instead, smoky, sooty air circulated throughout our building for 4 days before the vents were cleaned. Not only that but the vent directly outside our apartment has not been cleaned at all. We mentioned it every day once we returned from the hotel to the apartment. We heard apologies and excuses and nothing was done. Whenever we would leave the apartment we could smell the smoky air smoldering just outside our place. It even crept into our apartment. We just had it cleaned and now it was smelling because of the vent. This week I was talking to our insurance claim rep and I mentioned the vent. She asked questions and ended up calling out apartment manager. The apartment manager showed up at our door a couple of hours later with the fire marshal in tow. Bob said they looked around and left. The next day the vent cover was replaced but it's clear the vent has still not been cleaned. There is still a strong smoky odor coming from the vent and it still smells in our hallway and subsequently our apartment entryway. Gah.

Tomorrow is mothers day and I am having a dreadful time of it. Bob casually asked if I wanted to go to church and I about bit his head off saying, "NO!" He asked why and I reminded him of the day. He apologized and left the room. Poor guy. I'm really having a hard time with the not conceiving/being a mother thing and don't know quite what to do about it right now.

In addition to my feelings of failure and inadequacy about not being a mother things at work have taken a terrible turn making me feel even more failurific and despondent. The first full day back at the office after we moved from the hotel back into our apartment, my boss called me into her office and out of the blue issued me a formal written warning for poor job performance. I was embarrassed and devastated. I still am. This makes job hunting within the company harder because I now have to disclose this to whomever chooses to interview me. I can spin it that where I am isn't a good fit and my skill set is better suited to the job I'm interviewing for but it's so competitive out there. If a manager has a choice between 25 candidates without job performance issues and me, who do you think they will choose?

The written warning has also negatively affected my motivation and work ethic. I cry every morning upon waking. I get home, make dinner, clean up, and go to bed. I loathe my job and my place at the office. I heard back from one of the jobs I interviewed for and they hired someone with 4 years of property and casualty experience. I have not heard back from the other job I interviewed for even though last week was supposed to be the deadline for hearing back. I even emailed the manager a light note asking if he found someone to fill his position yet. I didn't hear back. I can only imagine that he spoke to my manager and she mentioned the written warning to him.

All of this makes me wonder what in the hell I'm doing with my life. How have I messed things up so badly? I make barely enough to keep up afloat and it seems moving up is not in the cards right now. I can't quit because our healthcare comes from this job. I wish to God they would just fire me so at least I can collect unemployment. My life is a drudgery. A toiling, horrible dead end and I see no way to change it right now without putting Bob's health in jeopardy. How did I get here? I had such good hopes, dreams, and intentions. I wanted things to be better for us and instead I just end up making things worse.

So no. I'm not OK. I'm stuck. I want to change. I want things to be different, better, greater but I am afraid to move because of all the bad stuff that's happened lately. And yet I also think that I can't change because of me. That I mess up everything. I make things worse. I can't do anything right. Despite my best efforts at work, I've been written up for poor performance. Despite applying and interviewing for jobs left and right, I've not been hired out of the department I'm in now. Despite graduating from college I'm no closer to knowing what I want to do with my life or how to find a job in the Communications field. (Actually, what I want to do with my life is what I've always wanted to do. That's never changed but our circumstances have and I can't be a stay at home mom to a passel of kiddos.) Despite medical intervention and our best efforts, we've been unable to conceive. It may be the age of my eggs. It may be Bob's swimmers. Yet somehow I can't help but feel like a complete failure in my inability to conceive and bear a child. That may be my biggest hurt in all of this after all. No matter what, if everything else were fine and dandy, I cannot conceive and bear a child. I'm not OK and I don't know how to get better.