Social Worker

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Changes so quickly

It's amazing how quickly life can change. You're trucking along and thinking status quo and then..wham!!'re reminded that life happens.

On August 3, I got a call from Beth that my mom was very sick. She wasn't breathing well and couldn't talk. She made it to the hospital and was later life-flighted to Tyler. She had aspiration pneumonia and her lungs were very ill. She was pretty much stable through the weekend, but the doctors kept her sedated so her body would not have to work too hard. On Monday, she had what appeared to be a stroke and became much more ill. Her lungs were ill, her kidneys stopped working, her body was retaining all fluids and medicines she was given by IV. Things continued to get worse and worse and by Thursday the doctors told us to begin thinking about what her wishes would be. Thursday evening, a CT scan was done on her brain and there was a 7cm blood clot. My sisters and I decided on Friday that she would not want to remain on machines and we allowed her to rest.

My mom passed away on Friday, August 10 at 6:10pm.

This was one of the hardest things I have had in a very long time. My sisters and I supported each other throughout. We had to plan the funeral and find a way to pay for it all. The beautiful part of it all is that the three of us, who don't always get along, never fought or disagreed throughout the week or through the funeral. We were able to find a beautiful casket and the funeral home director was so nice. We found a beautiful place to lay Mom to rest on the side of a hill in a cemetary near her house. We were supported by so many people, including our Daddy and stepmom. You could really feel the love and support throughout. It's really difficult to put into words.

Some of you know my mom or know my relationship with my mom. For those of you who don't, I think it's sufficient to say that she was very ill for a long time. She struggled with her own life and her own demons and her illnesses eventually just took her over. However, in her final days she gave us the most beautiful gift of all. I can only explain by starting from the beginning...

On Friday, Beth had sent me a text message that she didn't think Mom was going to be around much longer. She was travelling to Palestine and found out Mom was ill. When she arrived, she sent me a message that Mom did not look well. I immediately called her and she was crying and trying to talk to Mom. Beth told her that I was on the phone and she said "boy or girl". Since I don't know the sex of the baby, I wasn't able to tell her. I'm not sure what went through my head at that point, but I called Dad to check on Beth then called Stacie while Howard called my aunt Susan. This part is weird for me because I never react this way when Mom is sick. Regardless, I did not feel that I wanted to go to Palestine. Stacie decided that she and her family would travel to Palestine and I asked them to keep me updated. Stacie and Don helped support Beth through those first few days. They paid for a hotel and helped Beth with food and made sure she was okay. I think Stacie and Beth really bonded during this time and Beth was able to feel the support from Don. When Mom had what we think was a stroke on Monday, I headed to Tyler. I feel like Mom was telling me that Stacie and Beth were ready for me to help. Maybe I should have been there all along, but I think that they needed that time to mend some unsteady parts of their relationship. Then, as I said above, the three of us stood together and supported each other and never disagreed throughout this ordeal. I think Mom gave us this time to come together and to be there as a family again with her. On Thursday, Don called Dad and told him that his girls really could use him now so Dad came to Tyler and took us to dinner. We talked about Mom and what she told him years ago about her wishes. We cried to him and he gave us that extra push of strength that we needed to take care of Mom. Through the weekend, the visitation, and the funeral, Dad opened his home to us and to Mom's family. He kept us fed and comfortable. He bought us comfort food and gave hugs as we needed. I overheard him telling someone that he was so proud of the three of us for standing alone and taking care of our Mom and that we did a beautiful job. I truly believe that Mom created this and stayed with us a little longer just so that we could find that strength and love among us.

I want to thank everyone who has been so supportive and shared their prayers and love with us. I know that Mom is looking down and is so happy to see all the people who loved her and loved her family.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I don't know where to begin

I just have so much to tell!! I made it through the summer semester and it was the hardest one yet. I don't know my grades yet, but hopefully I did okay. I start my internship this fall with Texas Neuro Rehab Center and will be learning more about medical social work. I'm looking forward to something new in the work/school field.

But....for the really good stuff.....

I'm getting married and having a baby!!!!!!!!! Yes, to all those who know me and know my dreams, they are coming true. Look back to May 25th post and that's the first hint of Howard. He is truly the love of my life, my soul mate, the one meant for me. We look at each other almost daily and ask "where have you been all my life" and "really? you're still here?" We are both so amazed at the feelings and love between us. And believe it or not, we felt this way before we found out we were pregnant. We had actually already talked about marriage and he had moved in with me. So, then the baby came along and although it's a little fast, we both feel like we are more than ready and have more than enough love to give a baby the best family possible.

Baby stats - We are 9 1/2 weeks pregnant. The baby is healthy and so am I. We heard the heartbeat last week and we both cried. Howard has researched all the healthy foods that I should be eating and is fixing my lunch (on most days ;-)) and is really making sure I'm staying healthy. I lost one pound at our last doctor appointment but the doc says that's okay because I am too overweight anyway. He just doesn't want me losing too much during the pregnancy. Our next appointment is August 15 so I'll keep everyone updated.

Wedding info - We have set a date for October 6, 2007...but...we don't know where or how right now. We're still trying to figure out how to pay for it all. My parents are willing to help a little, but they don't want me to go overboard so they're only offering a little. Howard's parents will help some, but they just gave his sister an expensive wedding in May so they're a little broke at the moment. I'm sure we'll figure something out by mid-August and then will start sending out invitations. We really don't want a big wedding. We are limiting ourselves to 50 guest each because we each have pretty big families. The place we want to have it has an excellent package and all I would need is my dress, cake, and catering. They even have decorations and flowers!! The package includes a photographer and a wedding planner so that would make my job easier and a lot less expensive. And the best part, I would be a's a castle!! Check it out at It's still in the dream category, but we're getting closer and closer :-D

Well, I think that's enough shocker (!!!) for the day. I'm gonna go chill on the couch and enjoy my semester break.

Love you all!!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

On the upswing

I have had several good days in a row at work and I feel like I'm on the upswing of this funk I have been in.

I hate to say it, but I think it all started with that no-show man I was trying to see. That all started at the end of September and beginning of October. It lasted until late April and I think it really brought me down.

I've met this new man and have been getting adjusted to being with someone who is really nice and cares about me and my feelings. Now that I'm beginning to trust it a little more and feel more confident, things are looking up. He is supportive of my career and my school. He thinks about me and wants to share his own daily details with me as well. We are really having a lot of fun and talking non-stop. We have good communication and...well, I just don't quite know how to explain it. I think it can only be described in these words: "When you know, you know".

So, I'm feeling more attached and committed to work and am almost ready to start another semester (starts next week) and I think I can do this. It really feels good to be positive again!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A-A- and more news

Second semester down..and I made A- in both my classes. Yay!!!

Oddly enough, I have met a really nice man just after learning that the last one was terrible for a reason. I am not sure that I want to say too much about him yet because that didn't pan out so well with the last one. He's really sweet and I am enjoying my time with him. We have seen each other every day (well, the ones I was in town for) since we met two weeks ago. I was out of town last week and we talked every day. We get into these conversations about everything and nothing and suddenly it's 7am or 5am or something crazy like that.

I'll keep you all updated, but I'm all smiles and giggles right now.

Now..on to a new semester, beginning May 31. Hopefully I will post more before then. I'm thinking since the first semester I had B+ and second semester I had A-, then this summer I'm shooting for As. Wish me luck!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Work blues

I'm feeling kinda blah at the moment about work. I keep thinking that it will turn around and I will get back into the groove, but it's just not happening. I don't want to talk to people on the phone. I don't want to visit with people. I don't want to be the one who people come to when they have problems or questions or need things or want things. People just call and email and ask me for more and more and ....ahhh!!!!

I think it's called Compassion Fatigue and it could be a little bit of Burnout but ....come on......

Any advice?!

Monday, April 30, 2007


I turned on word verification for leaving comments because I got this hilarious comment about headaches and children and 12 yo and so on...anyway. If you want to leave a comment, you have to type the goofy word it gives you...sorry!!


I can't concentrate on this paper!! It's a policy analysis and I am working off a group assignment regarding the National Fatherhood Initiative (for another class). I know, drama, and I created it. I just decided on my topic today so I need that sleep time where the paper just writes itself and I wake and frantically type it all out. So, I think I have decided to go to bed and write it in the morning. It's not due until 5:30pm so I will have some time tomorrow. I did a lot of work today and it's only the first of the month so it's a lull time at work...knock on wood!

On the bright side, I found out today that I earned the $500 stipend for doing a certain task on time at work. I don't know when I'll see it, but my supervisor thinks it will be tomorrow. Hmm...sure could use an extra $500, although it will be more like $300 or so after taxes. Still...

Does anyone think I might have ADD? Not, ADHD, but ADD. I cannot focus most of the time and I am easily distracted. I think I'm going to talk to my doctor about it.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Profile pic

Anyone have any idea how I change my profile pic? I remember having to do something weird and it needs a url, but I'm lost....


You would think after six months of drama from a certain member of the opposite sex that I would be grateful for this relaxation. Don't get me wrong, I slept most of the weekend and almost all day today. But, there's something unsettling about this calmness. Ugh!! I bet it's that constant craving for drama that my little sister and I share. Is there a pill for that?!

Well, there's always's 9:30pm and I haven't started a paper that is due on Tuesday. So, I'll get my drama fix then ;-)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Wow - I look lazy!!

I have not posted in a very long time. I apologize for those of you who were reading it :(

My second semester of grad school is coming to a close. I have no idea what to think about grades, but I'm pretty optimistic. I'm thinking As or Bs, at least! I took some really great classes this semester and am really enjoying being in school again. My Domestic Violence class was my favorite and I learned a lot. I think I've found my second passion and am looking for a way to combine the two.

There is an unfortunate disconnect between child welfare workers and domestic violence treatment providers. The problem is mainly in the professionals' duty to their client and who the identified client really is. For instance, in my line of work we are looking out for the safety of the children and that is our number one priority. So, if a parent is living in a violent environment, we are most likely going to require either the parent who is being abused to get out of the situation or to ask the abuser to leave. Well, this is not always the best solution for the person who is being abused. In DV treatment, the professional is looking at the safest solution for the person being abused. Sometimes, it is not safe for the person to leave immediately. Sometimes, it is something that can be resolved (although that is very rare). vision is to find a way for these two perspectives to begin to work together. The way I work with my families is that from the beginning, in most cases, it is in the best interest of the child to return to their family if the safety risks are resolved. So, what I'm really looking at is the best interest of the family to improve the entire situation. I haven't quite figured it all out, but there are many people who believe this needs to be worked on. My professor has promised to give my name out to anyone who has an initiative with this goal so I can become involved. Also, one of the ADAs in Travis county knows someone at SafePlace and she is going to give my name to this person as well. I hope to someday be able to work on this....just haven't figured out how yet.

In the romantic aspect, I finally dumped the boyfriend for good. I talked about him back in October and it has been very rocky for the past few months. He was disappearing from time to time and wasn't really very honest about a lot of things. I found out today that he is either married or has a girlfriend who he lives with. I know her name and all that, but I won't share it. I told him it's over and he very briefly tried to say he didn't know what I was talking about. He gave up quickly, thank goodness. Hopefully, he will just move on and maybe even get some help for himself. It really sucks that I wasted time on him, but you know, it's just another lesson learned. Although, I'm not sure what the lesson is. I guess I could say it's a repeat of that "listen to your gut" lesson. I have no idea why I can't learn that one. Oh..and the "listen to your friends" lesson.

I have some really great friends - Erin, Stephanie, Leslie, Beth, Stacie, Bethany, Verena, Rafael - and many more. All of them said all along that either (a) I should listen to my gut, or (b) he is no good and there's something he's hiding. Ugh!!

Work is stressful as usual. Oh, I wish I could talk more about that!! I had a very bad event happen and I thought I was going to either get fired or quit, but it turns out it wasn't as bad as I thought. I think I have lost the faith of some of my coworkers (not the close ones, but some at least) but I'm working on building it back up. I'm just a little paranoid about messing up again and I'm not sure if maybe I need a little change while I'm in school. I don't want to leave the agency, just maybe a position that will lighten my load. After all, next Fall is internship and that is going to be hard!!

Ok, I rambled enough. If I think of something else, I'll blog again. Hopefully, I'll blog again soon anyway. Tuesday is the last day of class and then I have a break until the end of May.

Hope all is well with you all!!!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ho, Ho, Ho

I feel like Santa!! I just delivered half of my Christmas presents and have the other half to deliver tomorrow....what a rush!!!

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas. Please be safe in your travels!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ups and Downs

I have been really up and down lately. I go and go and go and go and then....boom!!....I crash. The going feels really good and I have no worries in the world. Things fall into place and I'm getting things accomplished. The downs are yucky! I feel bad. I feel fat. My allergies bug me. Things at work feel out of control. Maybe it's the holidays...?! I don't know. I guess only time will tell...and this new medicine that my doctor added may help. Mostly, I think I just need a break from "real life".

Hope everyone is having a happy holiday!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Yep, I made it through my first semester of grad school with a B+ in both of my classes. I'm a little bummed because I thought I had an A in one of the classes. Then is the first semester and as you can tell from my previous post, I was a little stressed. So, come to think of it...I should be proud...yeah...I'm proud!!! Can't you tell??

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Well, I made it through my first semester of grad school. I haven't received my grades yet, but I think I have a good chance at one A and one B, if not two As. I really enjoyed the semester and the classes. I made a few friends and learned a LOT. One thing I learned is that going to grad school and doing the job I do don't mix very well.

There are lots of things that contributed to this "blah" feeling I am having, though. My unit lost two workers and a supervisor in the span of one month, which just happened to be about a month before I started school. So, the remaining workers were overloaded and I am the tenured worker. I already had some tough cases and it was just reasonable that I would continue to get the tough ones (tenured worker and all). My supervisor says "and you were doing so well with them and asking for more"...and I think, "well, am I not doing well now?". But I know what she means. I am a different kind of worker now. I forget things. I drop the ball often. I am always needing some type of help. I am behind in documentation. It is very stressful for me because for the first two years, I did not drop the ball and was NEVER behind on documentation and always had the highest caseloads because I have been the tenured worker in my units since I was six months into this job. People tell me it's no big deal because it is typical to be behind, but it's the combination of being behind and dropping the ball and not relating to my cases and ahhhhh......

I'm also a little bummed about the dating thing. I would really like to get back into dating or at least find someone special. I thought I had found that person as you can tell in some of my previous blogs, but he's hardly ever around. And I've lost that excitement about him because I don't see him or talk to him very often. It's just not fair that I really liked him!!

Even the kitties are sensing the stress. They have been fighting every morning. They both puff up and their tails get HUGE and then they grab onto one another and roll around and scream at each other. It looks really painful and there are tufts of cat hair everywhere when they are done. I've had to separate them more than once. Now they have all these little cuts all over them from the fighting. I'm a little worried about them, but I think it's just that they need to be neutered. They are going through the dominance thing because they are both boys. Skittle has always been the bully since they were babies and now Callie is fighting back. Skittle just looks at him and seems to be a little scared at times because he isn't used to Callie fighting back. At the beginning of their arguments, it's actually kinda funny. I think I will get them neutered when I get some money in January and we'll see how it goes.

Then, speaking of lifelong curse. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I get some money, pay my bills, and have some leftover one month..and then am broke and can't pay any bills the next. Sometimes it has to do with how much I drive for work or how much I travel because of gas. I have to pay for all of my gas for work and then am reimbursed the following month so I guess it makes sense if I'm driving a lot one month I will have less money and then the following month I would have more.....I don't know. I think it's a family curse that just hasn't been broken yet. I always say it's going to be a light Christmas, but I am wondering if I will be able to buy Christmas at all this year. I have a few gifts out of the way and I'm just not sure where the rest are going to come from.

Wow, is this just the saddest, pity-party blog I've ever written. Let's cheer it up!!

In my social justice class, we had to do a group presentation. My group spoke about Social Justice Issues involving People with Mental Illness. I loved our presentation and really feel like it was the best. It seemed to be the best prepared and easiest flowing. I think we all received different grades, but I made a 94!!!! I was so proud to see an A on something I did in grad school. Then, I had this 15 page research paper due for that class. We had to use three works of art, film, or literature (and do research) on a population at risk for social justice issues. I watched "Brokeback Mountain", "Boys Don't Cry", and the first season of "The 'L' Word" and researched (duh!) Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered People (or GLBT). I loved "Brokeback Mountain" and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a very romantic movie. Really!!!! Anyway, I stayed up the night before it was due until 5:30am because I waited until the last minute. I have never done this before. It was quite the experience! My professor returned the papers on Thursday when we took our final exam. When we turned in the exam, he gave us our papers. When he handed mine to me, he said "Good work, Janet". (!!!!) I only heard him say that to one other person...while I was in the room anyway. Are you ready for this??!! I made a 96!!!! I could not believe it!! He made some really good comments on the paper and didn't have much criticism. It even said in the paper "really good work". This was exactly what I needed (in addition, I was able to answer all of the questions on the final and feel really good about it) to end the semester. Like I said, I really think I'm going to enjoy grad school.

So, how am I going to solve this "blah" feeling? I talked to my supervisor and told her how I was feeling. She told me to take some time off, use some "lock in" days where I forward my phone to her, and she will hold off on assigning me new cases for now. I took a week off for Thanksgiving, but that was just before the end of the semester and I didn't really relax much. I'm on call for Christmas day and the two days following so I'll be home alone on Christmas Day and I think I'm going to sleep a lot (granted I don't get called out on anything) and then I'm taking the 29th off for a long weekend. The family has decided to have Christmas on New Year's weekend so that will be really nice. Then, sometime in mid-January I will start the semester again.

Next semester I am taking a Tuesday night class on Social Policy. It's a required class and sounds a little boring. The good thing is that the other class I am taking is only 5 weeks long. The not so good thing is that it is Friday night and all day Saturday for 5 weeks. I chose the class because it is Contemporary Issues of Domestic Violence and is taught by a very popular professor. So, after 5 weeks it will be like I am only taking one class, but that 5 weeks is probably going to be very stressful!! I'm looking forward to it and I plan to be caught up at work and better prepared this semester. I'm thinking each semester will help me better prepare for the next and eventually I will have a plan. Either that or each time I have a break in semesters I will be scrambling to get caught up at work...haha!!

Well, I think I've rambled on enough. It's been a while since I had a real post so there was much to discuss. Hope all is well with whoever reads this.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Ok, I lost my password and it took me forever to reset it, but I'm back. Unfortunately, I am swamped with work and school and have a paper due tomorrow so I can't really update at the moment. Next week is the last week of school and then things will calm down (sorta) until mid-January.

Amazing when I think that the Christmas holiday is actually a break!!

Love you all and will post again soon.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Boys are no good!!

I was really prepared to vent about my most recent experience with the man from previous posts, but then Erin called and it's all better!! I know I am a good catch and he knows it as well. He told me I am wonderful, that I have a good head on my shoulder, that I have a career and goals, and I am working to achieve my goals. He liked that I enjoy football (and I do love me some football!!). He told me that I don't realize how wonderful I am....but I do realize it! I feel good about myself. Maybe I called too much, but I don't think I would do anything different if I was in the same situation again. He knew I was worried and if he cared he would have been okay with me calling so much. He was worried the first night that I was going to stand him up so he called me several times and I cared that he was worried so I thought it was cute and told him to get used to my life and my me if you're worried and I will tell you where I am. So, he knows I'm wonderful and he just forgot. If it's meant to be, then he'll be back when he's ready. If it's not meant to be, then it happened for a reason (because everything happens for a reason) and some day I'll know the reason. It was really great while it lasted :-)

To recap:
1. Shit happens, deal with it.
2. I'm wonderful so enjoy it.
3. Life goes on...I get to go visit Erin in Missouri on Friday, yay!!!

Thanks, Erin! You're just as wonderful as me!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Love and Work

Things with the new man I met are not looking so hot. I thought I was ready for this dating thing. I thought I was protecting myself and could handle this. But now I'm not so sure. I really thought things were going good. He is really sweet and he compliments me way too much. He is fun and playful. Maybe he's just busy or maybe he just got scared or maybe "he's just not that into me". Or maybe I just called him too much. Or maybe, maybe, I really ready for all this? I was talking about him the other day with a friend and had a huge smile on my face. She asked, "is he the one?" and I had to stop myself. I think I was starting to think he was (!?!?) What am I thinking?!!

Work has been ridiculously busy! I'm running myself ragged and falling further behind. I'm distracted a little (see above), but I think I've kept my head in the game. I had three emergencies happen all in one day last week and people are expecting way too much out of me. I have tons of messages and to-do lists and expectations and deadlines and I am not sure how long I can keep this up. There is a small light at the end of the tunnel with two new workers coming on board, but it will be a while before the relief is felt. I'll just keep at it because that is what I do. I'll hope for the best. Keep me in your thoughts!!


I made an 88 on my first grad school paper! I was bummed initially, but then I realized it's an 88....on my first grad school paper!!!! Things are going to start looking up (academically, at least).

Monday, October 09, 2006

Vagueness and some NEW NEWS!!

I had a request to fill in some of the vagueness below..particularly in "Resolution". Unfortunately, it's work related and I can't say much. The question from "Resolution" was who hurt the baby. My coworker and I knew it, but didn't want to admit it. But...the person we thought, actually pled guilty...that never happens in my line of work!

From "Frustration", again work related, but I did what I thought was right...and was backed by many others...but was then overruled by the one person who can veto everything. I don't know if I can get any more specific.

On to NEW NEWS!!!! I met a man!!!!

His name is Eric and he's really sweet. For some strange reason, he thinks I'm wonderful (I'm just teasing, I know I'm wonderful). He's an Aggie (blah!) but he went to a Longhorn game watching party with me. He's a Nascar fan, but he watched NFL football with me and flipped to Nascar during commercials. He went with me to get new tires and even though I could tell he wanted to be the man and do it all for me, he let me make the decision (Dad says it's because I was spending the money). Anyway, I don't know what else to say right now. I'm trying not to get too excited because we have only been on one date, spent some time at the tire store, and went to the football things are new. But....he's just sweet and he compliments me way too much and I guess we'll see....:-)

Monday, September 25, 2006


There is a question that a friend and I have mulled over for two or more years. This question is particularly haunting (for those of you who know me might know what it relates to) and we were disturbed by wanting to know the answer. Well, we got the answer today....and we were right!! It's a bittersweet feeling, but it's a rarity to get this type of resolution. If it only happens once, a person is lucky.

Hope all is well with everyone!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Can't sleep

Yep, it's 2:30am and I can't sleep. I knew it would happen and I should have just taken something at 10pm and turned in. Ah...I am a stubborn fool.

I am coming to terms with some things and I'm sure my body will give up eventually. I just hope I make it through class tomorrow night (well, tonight). My professor talks really low so I will really have to work on it.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Why, oh why??? I am so angry!!! What in the world are we doing if we're not doing what we are supposed to be doing? Vague enough? Just needed to vent. Those who believe in prayer, pray that I will do the right thing and all will be okay. Thanks :-)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Cultural competence

Ok, I was reading this article for my social justice class and it said that Mexican-Americans tend to prefer including their family in their medical decisions and have their medical diagnoses shared with the family or have the doctors give the information to the family first and they decide if the patient should hear it. Then it said something like, Mexican-Americans who were more "acculturated" tended to prefer patient autonomy, which is the "typical" Anglo-American view that the patient hears the news and decides on their own medical decisions.

My issues with this is the "acculturated" part. Who is to say that the typical Anglo-American view is the "right" one and that if a person begins to have views like a typical Anglo-American, THEN they are considered "acculturated". AAAARRGHHHH!!! This is crazy!

So, that's not really what the article was supposed to make me focus on, but considering the class and the discussions we are having, that statement just stood out to me like a sore thumb. Am I wrong?

Oh, by the way, I actually spoke up in class today...woohoo!!

Monday, September 11, 2006

busy, busy, busy

Well, I guess I got myself in good now....haha!!

I have been so busy lately, I have neglected my blog once again. Lemme see if I can update:

*I started school and my classes seem to be going well. I haven't missed a reading assignment yet, although I had a few close calls when I underestimated some reading.

*I have an all time high caseload at work and my eyes twitch on a daily basis. I actually got a tension headache and pain in my shoulder when I had a conference with my supervisor on Friday. Talking about all of my cases, and they are some seriously intense cases, at one sitting turned out to be too much for both of us to stand...we finished talking today.

*I took a longer than normal weekend for Labor Day and spent some well needed time with the following people: (1)some special shopping with my sisters for my big sis' new job (CONGRATS!!), (2) some one on one time with my dad, both of us napping on our respective nap spots, (3) a Lifetime movie watching with my stepmom, (4) some "gossip time" with my little sis and even some time with her friends, (5) catch up on the annoying and teasing of my little brother, (6) play time and games with my niece and nephew, they actually talked Stacie, Don, Beth, and me into playing Uno for two hours, and so on and so forth. It was a fun, relaxing, long, and much needed break before going back to the grindstone. Although I'm not sure I've actually recovered from it, yet.

*I've spent two really great weekends with my little sis. One of the weekends was a pity party in which we both were PMSing and didn't have any money. So, we pooled our money, bought a $5 chocolate cake, and stayed all weekend on the couches watching TV and laughing. The other was a little of everything. We shopped, watched the Longhorns get beat by OSU at Buffalo Wild Wings (in College Station, and there were a surprising number of Longhorn fans there as well), and then...we took a "short" road trip to see Leslie in Baytown on Sunday. Yes, everyone, we drove two hours one way to visit my best friend from high school for three hours before turning around and driving two hours back. It was really fun, we saw Leslie's kiddos (they are SO big!), and we laughed of course. We decided that if Starbucks sold gas, your car would go ZOOOOMMMMM!!!!! (That one's for you, Beth!)

I think that's all I've been up to in the past few weeks. It only gets busier from here with the "meat" of the semester coming fast and furious. I'll probably post small things here and there and then I'll give a big update at the end of the semester...hopefully with good news that I actually get to continue in grad school.

Till then!! Love you all, Janet :-)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I'm a grad student!!

Tuesday and Wednesday of this week have to be ranked as two of the most exciting days of my life this year. I attended orientation for graduate school and I am ready to get to business. Let me see if I can catch you up...

The night before orientation started I was extremely nervous. I was excited and scared and worried and ready to go. The School of Social Work has a listserve so many of the students entering this semester have been communicating and getting to know each other. One of our classmates set up a group on so we were able to see pics of each other and get to know even more. Several of the students even met at a popular restaurant here as a social last week. I wasn't able to make it, but I'll explain all that later. Back to the night before orientation...I had a moment of uncertainty so I decided to email on the listserve and ask if there were other non-traditional students who would be attending school part time and working full time. I received a quick response from one person and she even made a bet with me that she was older than me. Then several responses began trickling in that there were several part time students. I guess I knew that would be the case, but just was having a panic moment.

I felt that night the same way I remember feeling when I was a child the night before school starts. I had a hard time making myself go to bed. I was rearranging what notebook, pen, and bag I would take. I even considered laying out my clothes, but since the cats tend to sleep on anything that I wear I decided against that. I finally went to sleep at one or two AM and a really good friend of mine woke me up then next morning by calling me when he woke up to make sure I would make it on time.

On a side note, I found one of my new classmates on myspace and we have talked a little through there. She sent me a message that night saying "you are NOT old". Of course, I know that 29 is not old. I remember; however, that when I was completing my undergrad degree at 26 that many, many of the students were much younger and I felt a little out of place at times. So, the reason for the side note...when I stepped out of my car on the first day of orientation (on time, due to my wonderful friend's phone call) there was the classmate!! Can you believe it?! She recognized me and I recognized her and we walked into the building together with several other girls we met in the parking lot.

From there, I met person after person and talked to them about their interests, their excitement, their backgrounds, and so on. For those of you who know me, I am NOT a talker/socializer. I was extremely proud of myself that first day for really just jumping into conversations and introducing myself. It helped a little that I am in social work and we are a friendly bunch, and that I didn't have a name tag (I have no idea why) so people would ask me for my name because they couldn't just read it. I really don't know what came over me, but I was loving it.

I came home yesterday evening on cloud nine. I felt like I really fit in and was not worried about beginning this experience. My wonderful friend (from the phone call that morning) sent me an IM and asked me if he could take me to see Snakes on a Plane to celebrate my first day at grad school and I graciously accepted. Let me say, quickly, that I did NOT expect that to be a good movie and maybe it was my good mood, but I really had a fun time and enjoyed the movie. Again, another story for another time.

On to today, I was running a little later because I was so hyped up last night and I didn't get a wake up call (wasn't expecting it, I have to be responsible for myself after all) but I made it to school on time. The day started out with seminars and faculty talking to us about different aspects of grad school. We were advised on schedules, learned about the computer systems, libraries, and just general stuff. We sat with a student panel who gave us advice on time management and study techniques and so on.

About halfway through the day (actually just after lunch) I decided that I really needed to do something about a problem I was having. Those of you who know me, know I am big. I'm just being up front and bluntly honest. The desks at the school are like the old high school desks where the chair and the desk are connected. I can fit in it, but it is not comfortable, I hang over onto the desk part, and my butt hangs off the side of the chair. It was okay for about 30 minutes of sitting, but after an hour I am no longer comfortable and I can't adjust because I'm wedged in anyway. I started thinking about the three hour classes I will be taking at night and the long days and then having to sit in this desk thing and I just didn't think that would be possible. I said something to one of my new classmates and she suggested I talk to the "contact" person who seems to be the "go to" person for questions when you're not quite sure who is supposed to answer them. Okay, the old Janet, the shy Janet, the self-conscious, scaredy-cat Janet, would never have considered this...but that's just not me anymore. I talked to the man who is the "go to" person and he knew exactly my feelings. He said "oh yeah, let me show you" and then we went from classroom to classroom and he showed me the tables that were in the corners of the rooms and explained that there are usually chairs there next to the tables and lots of students use them because they are not comfortable in the desks, big or small. He was so caring and when I asked "will I look like I am sitting away from everyone else", he replied "of course not, you will blend in and feel like one of the group". I LOVE IT!! I am SO meant to be a social worker. I love the mentality, the kindness, the understanding. I'm just so happy that I am doing this.

Some of you may think that I should have figured out the whole table with chair thing on my own. Let me explain..I did, but the rooms were arranged differently for orientation because of the topics and discussions we were having. At lunch, I just took a chair in my small group room and sat at a table. At first, I felt a little awkward because everyone was sitting toward the back of the room and the table was at the front. However, eventually two girls came to sit next to me and we started talking. It turns out that both girls are from A&M (blah!! I tried not to hold that against them) and they are interested in working for CPS and we had a great discussion about finding an apartment in Austin and moving and the differences between Austin and College Station and CPS and it was really great!

So, this is my experience with the first two days of grad school. There is so much more I can say because I really am excited and had a great two days. Although, tonight I had a flat tire (another story for later) but I did not let it bring me down. It's just life saying "yep, I'm still here". LOVE IT!!!

Back to blogging

I haven't been the best at blogging lately, but you know how life gets in the way. Well, my aunt emailed these pics to me today as suggestions for a different profile pic. My other one was very dark and you couldn't really see it all that well. Her email reminded me that people may actually be reading this and I could do better about post more often. So, I'll try to do better. Let me know if you're reading and what you'd like me to post about. I never know if anyone is really interested.

Thanks Linda!!! Love you and miss you!!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

It's all about me

I tried to resist these things, but they are so much, here's more about me!!!

People Envy Your Compassion

You have a kind heart and an unusual empathy for all living creatures. You tend to absorb others' happiness and pain.
People envy your compassion, and more importantly, the connections it helps you build. And compassionate as you are, you feel for them.

Your Emoticon is Cool

You're not feeling particularly up or down, just relaxed and calm. You're ready for whatever is going to happen next!

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have medium extroversion.
You're not the life of the party, but you do show up for the party.
Sometimes you are full of energy and open to new social experiences.
But you also need to hibernate and enjoy your "down time."


You have medium conscientiousness.
You're generally good at balancing work and play.
When you need to buckle down, you can usually get tasks done.
But you've been known to goof off when you know you can get away with it.


You have medium agreeableness.
You're generally a friendly and trusting person.
But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism.
You get along well with others, as long as they play fair.


You have medium neuroticism.
You're generally cool and collected, but sometimes you do panic.
Little worries or problems can consume you, draining your energy.
Your life is pretty smooth, but there's a few emotional bumps you'd like to get rid of.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is high.
In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.
You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.
A great connoisseir of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.


Your Hillbilly Name Is...

Sandra Dee Walker

You Should Drive a Saturn Sky

You're sleek and smooth, and you need a car to match your hot persona.
Besides, sometimes you want your top up - and sometimes you want it down.

You Are Socks!

Cozy and warm... but easily lost.
You make a good puppet.

Your 2005 Song Is

Beverly Hills by Weezer

"My automobile is a piece of crap
My fashion sense is a little whack
And my friends are just as screwy as me"

You breezed through 2005 in your own funky style!

You Are Mashed Potatoes

Oridnary, comforting, and more than a little predictable
You're the glue that holds everyone together.

You're a Wild Drunk

You can get enough drink. Seriously, you'll just go puke and start pounding them back again!

What Your Sleeping Position Says

You have a passion for everything - including sleeping.
Outgoing and brash, you tend to still shock those who know you well.
You tend to be selfish. You are the most likely type to hog the covers.
You gravitate toward comfort and don't like extreme situations.

Your Inner Child Is Sad

You're a very sensitive soul.
You haven't grown that thick skin that most adults have.
Easily hurt, you tend to retreat to your comfort zone.
You don't let many people in - unless you've trusted them for a long time.

Your Fortune Is

Man who eat meat and peas on same plate - very unhygenic.

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who have a split personality - cold as ice on the outside but hot as fire in the heart.

In love, you feel the most alive when your partner is patient and never willing to give up on you.

You'd like to your lover to think you are stylish and alluring.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was insecure and in constant need of reassurance.

Your ideal relationship is comforting. You crave a relationship where you always feel warmth and love.

Your risk of cheating is high. You can't resist desire and lust.

You think of marriage as something that will confine you. You are afraid of marriage.

In this moment, you think of love as something you can get or discard anytime. You're feeling self centered.

Your Birthdate: March 19

You are resilient, and no doubt your resilience has already been tested.
You've had some difficult experiences in your life, but you are wise from them.
Having had to grow up quickly, you tend to discount the advice of others.
You tend to be a loner, having learned that the only person you can depend on is yourself.

Your strength: Well developed stability and confidence

Your weakness: Suspicion of others

Your power color: Eggplant

Your power symbol: Spade

Your power month: October

Your Ideal Relationship is Marriage

You've dated enough to know what you want.
And that's marriage - with the right person.
You're serious about settling down some time soon.
Even if you haven't met the person you want to get hitched to!

You are "Shocked"

John Kerry

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hmmm...dunno what to think

Your Outrageous Name is:

Betty Humpter

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A good few days

On Friday, Monday, and Tuesday, I was in training for my job and I really feel good about my work and my continued work with foster children and their families.

Friday's training was called "Secondary Trauma: The Cost of Caring". It was all about strategies to reduce the stress and strain working in Child Welfare can have on a person. It was like a full day of validation and relaxation. Excellent!!

Monday and Tuesday was a training on Motivational Interviewing. Erin began telling me about this when I was visiting in Missouri. She was so excited about it and now I know why. The trainer was very interesting and genuinely excited about this technique.

I really feel refreshed and that I have a new technique to use to help my clients help themselves. Now, back to work on the many, many voicemails I received while I was "checked out" for three days...but with a refreshed soul and a renewed confidence in my casework.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Just Life...

*At the moment, Skittle is determined to knock over my cup of water. I move it from the window sill to the desk and he just follows it. He wants me to stop playing on the computer and play with him.

*I am so unbelievably broke. My checking account is currently negative. Beth helped me out, but how am I going to recover. After I pay back the bank, help Beth and pay her back, and pay rent...that's it. Who's gonna pay the cell phone, phone, cable, electric, internet, car, insurance...and the list goes on....

*I have had visitors, been visiting, and taking trainings and meetings so much since June that I cannot check back into my job. I care and it's coming back in spurts, but it is slow.

*I spent the weekend with Beth and Leslie and I had a great time. I really miss Leslie. I know she loves her family and I wish we were closer so I could watch her children grow up. I also wish I was better about calling and emailing and so on. We've grown apart yet seeing each other this weekend was like we had never been apart. Except that she talks about her husband and children and I talk about my kitties and my job.

*Beth is really starting to look happy again. I don't know if it's puppy love or craving attention or real love or just attraction, but she's smiling and loving her own life. Of course, I'm going to continue worrying about her, she's my lil sis after all, but she's a big girl and she can make her own decisions. Now if only Mom would grow up too....

*I don't know. I know what I want. I know what I don't want. I don't think I'm quite loving myself as fully as I could yet. I have learned to pat myself on the back and be open about how I feel, but my physical appearance isn't what I want it to be.

*I joined eharmony for one month....and that's all I'll do. My first match (and he contacted me first) made my jaw drop. He's a grad student who wants to be a psychologist, loves children and wants to adopt older children (have I blogged about the little girl I want to adopt?), and likes animals. He's a really good match and we started the's a process....but he has not responded in several days and we are not to open communication yet. Do you think I should request "fast track"? Is that too forward?

*I guess I have a lot on my mind. I'll save some of it for later.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I don't usually do these, but what the hay..

You Are A Martini
You are the kind of drinker who appreciates a nice hard drink.And for you, only quality alcohol. You don't waste your time on the cheap stuff.Obviously, you're usually found with a martini in your hand. But sometimes you mix it up with a gin and tonic.And you'd never, ever consider one of those flavored martinis. They're hardly a drink!
What Alcoholic Drink Are You?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Is this for me?

I had this dicussion with someone today (thru email, of course) about the future of a young boy on my caseload. We have slightly different views on what should happen, but she began attacking my approach just got confusing. How do I handle this? Why is it that someone so professional with so much more education than me resorts to personal attacks? I don't know if I have enough "snap" for this line of work. I guess it could be that we were communicating through email and I could have misinterpreted it, but I don't think so.

How do I know if I am picking the right career?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

New Blogger

Hi everyone,
I'm new to this blogging thing and am not sure if I'm going to like it. It would be nice to have a way to get things out and off my chest, but I'm not sure if I want everyone to read it afterwards.


About me, I'm a social worker in the field of child abuse. I have been working with foster children for two years and I absolutely love it! These kids have been through so much and they are really great to hang out with. Oops, supposed to be about me...I am starting grad school in the Fall and I'm looking forward to that. I am working on my Master's degree in Social Work and someday hope to have my own practice. I want to offer therapy for children and adolescents, possibly contracted with Child Protective Services to offer help to abused and neglected children.

I'm 29, single, and have no children. I've never been married, never even been close, although I would like to get married and have children some day. I actually know of a six year old little girl that I would like to adopt, but it's not possible right now due to my current employment. I have two kitties, Skittle and Callie, who are the loves of my life right now. I never knew I could love animals as much as I love them. They are one year old and completely spoiled rotten because I love them too much.

Well, I hope this blogging thing works and I keep up with it. Wish me luck!!