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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Is bigger better?

Yesterday a very nice mature man joined our group of supervisors at the family center as a volunteer. James actually works in Human Resources at our women's prison and he is big! He is currently in a program that requires 30 hours of community service and he chose us. I had to laugh at his reaction to the gym full of kids yesterday. He offered, "I don't hear this kind of language from the prisoners!" I was happy to know that it wasn't just my opinion that some of these kids are just plain disrespectful and don't appreciate the fact that they have a safe place to go after school. Like me James is also wondering what is wrong with the parents. I am looking forward to the difference this big man is capable of making on the situation. I can't wait to see what happens when he gets his feet wet. In this case I think big just might be better. You go James I'm right behind you!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Does a name matter?

In the two months that I have been working at our family center I have been called many names by the kids and the staff as well. I have made it clear that they are free to call me anything as long as it is respectful. The director is the same age as my oldest son and we have known each other for almost 20 years. We have always used first names. When I first started my job as a supervisor at the center she referred to me as Mrs. Gunn. Although the title annoyed me, as I have been divorced for 14 years, I didn't say anything. My badge clearly says Barbara Gunn. To make things even more confusing, my 12 year old grandson comes to the center almost every day after school and always calls me grandma. Most of the kids know that he is my real grandson and have picked up on the name, no doubt because age wise I am in the category of their own grandparents. I am aware that some children are raised to never use first names when addressing their elders so I understand that it may be uncomfortable for them to call me Barbara. A couple of those kids prefer to use variations of grandma, which is acceptable as long as their choice is accompanied by respect. The majority of the kids do use my first name. I know it would upset some older people, but for me it is a good choice. I often think of the word "god" and it sometimes makes me laugh. I know there are those who do not believe the entity even exists, but I am not in that group. I do believe in a body-less energy that is in charge of it all. As long as we use respect I do not believe it matters what name we use to refer to this entity.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Did I really win?

A couple of weeks ago I entered a photo contest sponsored by our local Cibola General Hospital. The assignment was to take a fall photo. I had a beautiful photo I had taken of aspen on Mt.Taylor so I decided why not? Here's a peek at my entry. Last week a hospital representative called to inform me that since mine was the only entry they had decided to use it. The prize is- the winning photo will be featured on the cover of Cibola Healthy Horizons, which has a large circulation. The rep had a small problem when she tried to stretch my photo to fit the allotted space. She said it looked grainy and asked if I had one with a better resolution. Well not really- this is it! Even though I technically won, sort of kind of, I have no idea if the photo will even be used. At this moment I don't really care and I am asking myself did I really win? Below is a mate to the "winning" photo that I took on the same day, also aspen on Mt. Taylor.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Money isn't everything...but

This month is offering me opportunities to increase my income that I didn't have even a year ago. Now that I am a member of the staff at Future Foundations Family Center I get paid for "work" that I previously volunteered to do- free. A few years ago I did a short stint as a Foster Grandparent for the school district. During spring break that year I spent some time supervising the elementary students who went to the center. Technically I was paid for my time by the city, but the amount was actually so little it didn't even cover my gas. I would rather have volunteered. Now I am paid for my supervising time on a weekly basis. This week, as a staff member, I was paid a generous salary to help with the National Walk to School event at our neighboring elementary school. Last year I volunteered for the same event. Later this month I will get paid to work at the annual Halloween Carnival sponsored by the center. I previously volunteered for the last three years. Not too many years ago a friend made the comment that I had volunteered my life away. Although volunteering does offer its own rewards, perhaps someone finally noticed my efforts and decided it was time for a change. I agree that money isn't everything... but when one gets to be my age it sure helps when unexpected expenses pop up!

Monday, October 14, 2013

It's just one of those holidays

I woke up with a start at 7:00 this morning thinking it was Wednesday. My very first thought was NO! I need to be at the family center RIGHT NOW to help with the walk to school event. How could I have overslept? It was then I realized it wasn't Wednesday it was Monday and it is a holiday. Apparently my dog, Ejay, didn't know what day it was either because he proceeded to jump up on my bed to make sure I was awake. That did it! No sleeping in whether it was a holiday or not. Today is Columbus Day. Whoopie!! I wonder what would have happened if Christopher Columbus and company had possessed a crystal ball allowing him to see the mess his new world is in today? Would he have just floated on by and not reported back to Her Majesty? Interesting question to ponder isn't it? Go Chris go!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Can you hear me now?

About three weeks ago, following my intuition, I decided to take advantage of a free hearing test offered by Livingston Hearing Center, which has an office in my town. I already knew that I had some hearing loss, but was not prepared to discover just how much. One thing led to another and I ordered hearing aids. Apparently everything happens for a reason. My hearing problem had become more obvious due to my new job at our family center, supervising children. I had no idea what some of them were saying. Interestingly, this job is going to provide the extra income I need to pay the bill in a relatively short time, resulting in no finance charges. Yay! Getting used to the device has not been as difficult as I feared it would be. It is funny the things I can now hear. One of the things I am most happy about is hearing what my grandson is trying to tell me, without asking him to repeat over and over. Of course there is the possibility that I was better off not knowing what he was saying! I have discovered kids today make up a lot. That is not the same as lying; they just have great imaginations.