Saturday, September 22, 2012

Just frustrated...

I know I have a lot of things to be thankful for. A new job, a wonderful husband, fantastic daughter and great family. I am building my skills and presence as a writer. Things have definitely turned around in the last two months. But I'm still struggling with some things.
My main concern is financial. It's frustrating when you can't give your family the things they would like to have. Now, I have a great family that never shows any frustration or resentment about it, but I can't help getting angry. My daughter wants to try new things and have new experiences. And with all that she has overcome, I hate telling her no. She's actually very reasonable in what she asks for. But I have to make the decision to get her the things that she needs and can't always afford to give her what she wants. The same thing applies to my husband. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful man in my life. He stepped up and dealt with a very difficult situation when we struggled with me not working. And he never complained. He takes care of us. I hate knowing that there are things he wants to buy and do that have to be put off.
I'm not going to go into specifics about why money is so tight right now. Those who know me well, know my situation. I just needed to voice my feelings. I know things will get better. And we still work together to make things work. I just wish it were easier.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Jenna's sailing adventure

We had a very busy day today. Jenna got to go sailing for the first time. With the wonderful group at Sailing Angels Foundation, she got to experience the thrill of being on the water under the full power of sails. I can't say enough good about an organization that is so willing to give children with special needs and others as well this wonderful opportunity. Such an amazing thing. I recommend to anyone in the Clear Lake area of Texas to look at this group.
Jenna took to it like a pro. She helped with the main sail and helped steer. She couldn't stop smiling. It was such a thrill to see. I hope she gets to do it again someday.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Busy times....

It's been a while since I've had time to sit and write. My life has gotten very busy in the last month. Lots of changes and new schedules.
The first and biggest change is the new job. I have almost finished my first month at American National Insurance Company. I love my new job. A great environment, great coworkers and a job I enjoy has made easing back into work much better. I know that there will be good and bad days. All jobs have them. But I feel like I have finally landed in a  company that believes in taking care of their employees. I have educational opportunities that I have never been offered before. I'm excited about this. But this is not the end of my creative outlets. I still intend to keep writing. I am still working on articles and my books as well as my blogs. I just may not get here as often. But I know I need the creative outlet as well.
Jenna has gone back to school now. She has started her junior year and is going to have a very busy year. She has a lot of exciting classes and is involved in the church as well. Hard for me to believe that she's already an upper classman. Two years left!!! (Scary!)
I have also been invited to submit another article to RealCity. So thrilled to be given that opportunity.
I feel like I'm finally getting my voice out there. I'll keep everyone posted.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The beginning of something new...

Tomorrow is the first day of my new job. I'm nervous and excited at the same time. It feels strange to know that tomorrow morning, I'll get up and head to work for the first time in sixteen months. The time off was both a blessing and a curse. The first few months were wonderful. I got to spend time with my daughter, my husband and my friends. I also started some new things. I learned a lot more about cooking. I started blogging and writing again. I also got involved with advocacy work for chronic illnesses. I started practicing yoga. I think the new interests have definitely helped add character.
After I was home for a few months, the monotony started to set in. I felt like all I did was housework and appointments. I started losing touch with people. I found myself starting to feel depressed and isolated. With very little personal contact other than a sixteen year old, it got boring and tedious fast.
Would I change it? Maybe. I'm grateful for the time I had at home with my daughter. I'm also very blessed with a husband who stepped up and dealt with the changes that my unemployment brought. I'll always be glad for the new skills and hobbies.But......
Now I'm starting a new chapter. Starting a career in a new field that looks much more exciting and more fitting to my skills and my mentality. I have been lucky to land a job that will give me a chance to advance, to build my education and to network.
I'm nervous about starting a new job. It'll be a learning experience, but I'm going in with a positive attitude and the true desire to learn the skills necessary to make myself a valued member of the team. It's a chance for me to branch out of the rut I was in. It also gives me a chance to give back to my family and take care of them the way my husband has been caring for us.
So, tomorrow morning I will get up, put on my business attire and go in with notebook in hand and a willing and open mind to start learning. I'll let everyone know how it went....

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Good news...

I know I haven't posted in a while. Been kind of busy here. The best news of everything is that I finally got hired. I start work on August 13th with American National Insurance Company. I'm thrilled and excited beyond words. I feel like my long and unanticipated vacation is finally over. I'm ready to go back to work.
I also got an article published for RealCity online. I'll be attaching the link

I'm very proud of both of these accomplishments. I feel like I'm finally established in the world again. I will be getting back to writing more throughout the next few months.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Now for an update...

It's been an up and down ride lately. I've gotten a few more rejections on job applications which brought me down. Then I got some good news. I submitted an article on which was accepted for sale. My first submission and it was accepted....YIPPEE!!!! As you can tell, I'm just a bit excited.
I also submitted an article to an online publication for my first draft today. If it gets accepted, then I'll release the name of it. I hope it does. I have a few other irons in the fire too. Hopefully something will pan out.
Had a decent day today with the weather. We got to see sunshine for the first time in a week. I didn't know quite what to do with that. I start a week of appointments this week. It's going to be busy. I'll post as I can.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

So excited.....

I am SO excited with this:

Hi Jennifer!

Your article "Advocacy for the Average Person" has been Approved

Thank you for submitting your article to After careful consideration your submission has been approved and it is now listed for sale.

I'm still surprised.  It makes me feel so thrilled to have something like this. Couldn't have happened at a better time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Link to WordPress blog

My battle
This is the link to my WordPress blog.

Day after day of rain....

I know we need the rain here in Texas, but after a few days of it...I get a little stir crazy. I have been watching it rain every day for the last four days. The upside to that is the cooler temperatures. It's been nice not to have the +100 degree weather for a few days. I know it will be back.
As for other things, I'm getting an opportunity to pitch some article ideas to an online magazine as well as some blog ideas to a nonprofit online. Hopefully, both companies will like my writing and it will be the beginning of my online career. Not that I've given up on my books. I'm working on my children's book and building the characters and plot for my suspense novel. Between all these, I'm working on three of my own blogs. I have this one and I have two on Wordpress, a personal one and one dedicated to chronic illnesses. I intend to build on that one.
I'm excited about these opportunities, but I'm also nervous. I guess I'm just feeling the usual self doubt that I know I'm notorious for. I know I need to believe in myself. I have experience with writing and I definitely enjoy doing it. I just never thought about trying to make any money with it. It always seemed like a hobby instead of a vocation. We'll just have to see what happens. I'll post more as I find out....

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Totally frustrating...

   I feel like I'm spending more and more time on the computer lately. I am constantly looking for work and not having much success. It seems like companies are looking for more education and experience than the low pay that they offer for mid career, non-managerial positions. I have years of data entry experience but without all the current software, database and web skills, I'm totally had. Not sure what to make out of this situation.
   I am trying to build my online reputation and presence, hoping that I can land some freelance work. I would love to be able to do that. But even with all the jobs being advertised for freelance or work at home, most of them are scams of one sort or another. One example is a company that tries to bring you in as a "customer service person" with no sales. When you dig deeper, it turns out to be a company that sells multiple products to it's members. The job they are trying to fill is someone to take orders for memberships over the phone.   They also expect you to pay for a membership to work for them. They also work under multiple names, listings, and phone numbers. That way, you can apply for them many times without realizing it's the same company unless you REALLY study the information provided. I can sum this up in one word...SCAM!!!
   At this point, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Have to find something soon.But it's hard for me to work crazy hours with my daughter needing so much of my time. I also have my own appointments to manage. I guess I'll figure out something. This is the time when I wish my brain would function faster and more logically so I could come up with something. Until I do, I guess it's more time on the computer.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wow, she's growing up...

I just sat here and helped my daughter apply for her first job. She applied online with Dominos Pizza and with Kroger. It's hard to believe that she's old enough to be looking. She's also been doing work with a local preschool program. She's definitely made some vast jumps in maturity this year.
She's now had a boyfriend, a breakup, a volunteer job, a new church and youth group and many other firsts this year. It's been a crazy ride.
Now we're just waiting for the school year to start. She'll be a junior this year. Hard to believe. It seems like it's going by too fast. We're already looking at colleges and coursework. We're also choosing her class ring. I'm proud of her, but I'm not ready to face the facts that she's almost an adult. Where did the time go?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Just taking a minute to check in...

Today is a bit of a rough day. There seems to be a lot of high stress situations occurring at once. Not going to get into too many details about it today (protecting the privacy of those involved). Just trying to cope with the constant bombardment of stress from every direction.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sitting here feeling a bit vague...

Today seems to be one of those days where nothing sticks in my mind. I seem to be suffering from many random thoughts but no solid ones. Sometimes, when I feel like this, I just want to be able to record my inner thoughts. It would definitely make for an interesting conversation. One of those random, stream of consciousness things. I have found several websites I can submit my writing on, now I just need to focus my thoughts.
I feel like I have a lot to say, but I'm having trouble organizing it. I might have to just sit down with a pen and paper in a quiet place and see what I get. Could be interesting. I'll let you know.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Here's my opinions on a controversial issue...

I know I'm about to ask for it with this post, but I'm throwing my opinion in on the health care law. My view on it is based on several positions.

One, as a consumer: I have been unemployed for over a year and uninsured. In Texas, insurance is a limited option. If you don't have a policy through your employer, your only options are purchasing a private policy, which is very high with only a few companies to choose from, get on the county program you qualify for (which can lead to changing doctors and driving moderate to long distances to the nearest clinic) or trying to qualify for medicaid. Unfortunately qualifying for assistance is practically impossible (See my post about medicaid). I also have chronic illnesses, which until now, excluded me from private insurances. I also have a daughter with autism. So, I do support the policy of getting rid of preexisting conditions. I also agree with the ability to keep my daughter on mine or my husband's insurance until she's twenty-six.

From another standpoint: I used to work in the medical field. So I got to see things from a different standpoint. I got to see how little the doctors got paid by the insurance companies. I also saw the bureaucratic nightmare that is created by the policies themselves. It makes it difficult to provide appropriate care for patients.

I feel that the entire insurance industry needs to be revamped. Payments to doctors need to be regulated and brought into accordance to standard prices. In other words, quit paying doctors under market value. The money that these companies earn from premiums and other forms of profit should be reorganized. That's why I like the stipulation that a certain percentage of all profit in the company must be paid toward patient care.

I also like the idea of insurance exchanges. I like the idea that I could shop for insurance and get the same rates as people in other states.

I know the law has a great deal of work that needs to be done to make it efficient and workable. I'm not saying it's perfect. But I have felt for a long time now that something needs to be changed in regards to healthcare. I have never felt that in this country, that so many people should be without basic healthcare while insurance companies among other companies get richer and richer. I feel that it's time these companies give back to the people who built them up in the first place. I just hope this law can be worked out, streamlined and efficiently put in place to allow everyone in this country to quality healthcare for a REASONABLE price.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A little insight into chronic illnesses and conditions...

I've been sitting here realizing how much my life has changed thanks to a chronic condition. It has turned my life inside out. I have realized that I'm not the same person I was. I have different limitations and different tolerances. Although I have learned to tolerate this unwelcome change, sometimes it gets very frustrating.
One thing I have noticed is my tolerance level for things is greatly diminished. I get frustrated very easily and don't like dealing with stress. This is making finding work very difficult. It also makes it difficult to drive and do things on my own.
I have learned to slow down. That's something I never thought I'd do. But it has not been by choice. I sometimes look back and get angry for the things I struggle to do that used to come easily. But I'm learning to view things with grace and patience.
I will admit, my sense of humor has vastly improved. I either laugh or cry about things, so I've decided laughing is better (doesn't make my eyes hurt as much!).
I do have to admit that my friends and family have been a huge part of my ability to learn to cope with this. I know the road for the last few years has not been easy, but with everyone's help, I have learned to accept this as part of my life. I wanted to take this time to say thank you to everyone who has been there.
I have been sitting in front of this computer for a while now. I sit for several hours every day looking for work. I'm trying to find something virtual....anything. I have sent out so many resumes that I feel like I'm probably hitting the same companies again. It's frustrating trying to find something when your own health and mental outlook stand in your way. I'm hoping to find anything other than customer service or sales. I can do them, but I'm afraid it would send me on a downward spiral mentally and physically. Hopefully, with all the emails, resumes and posts I'm sending out, someone will give me a chance.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Still looking for work...

I am getting very frustrated with this job search. Not much out there, and the few jobs I find are low pay for high education and experience. I'm centering my search on virtual and freelance work now. Hopefully something will come through. Trying to get out there as much as I can, but it's frustrating.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My page...

I will be using this blog to deal with issues that are important to me..

Tonight, I will be addressing a problem that is really bothering me. Most of my friends know that I lost my job over a year ago. Most also know that I deal with some health issues that have made it very difficult to find work. I have been looking for a job, but in the meantime, my family has struggled to stay afloat. (This is not the issue!) When I lost my job, I lost my insurance. Without it, my medical costs are a major expense. I have applied for help through the Texas Health and Human Services for medicaid. Here's where the problem begins.

I have been denied assistance because...according to medicaid, I don't qualify because of finances. When I asked what was counted as income, I was told that ALL dollars count, which means your gross income (who here lives on gross income?), and any child support you might receive. (Last time I checked, child support is support for the CHILD, not for my own use). To add insult to injury on that point, if you have your child support through the attorney general's office, your support is taxed before you receive it (so you don't get your full amount).

When I asked if there were any other options for me, I was told I'd have to apply for a gold card through the hospital district. Two problems with that idea.... 1) It's at least twenty miles to the nearest clinic (I don't drive very far by myself right now) and 2) I'd have to change my doctors (with my health issues, NOT going to happen!)

I can't help but wonder what has happened to assistance programs for Texans. I find it incredible that unless you're living out of a box or are willing to lie to the agencies, it is practically impossible to get help. According to what I was told, for a family of three to qualify for adult medicaid, they cannot exceed $275 a MONTH!! (Yes, you read it correctly). I just can't figure out how people like me, who are lucky enough to have a spouse that makes enough to pay our bills, is able to get any type of help.

What has happened to this country that it's citizens are reduced to this?