Friday, February 28, 2014

Yay! Friday finally!

A random building in Malta...

So... I am VERY happy it is Friday! It's been a tough month, work-wise.  Over a course of this past month - over 15 1/2 work days I saw 98 clients. (of course, that doesn't take into consideration times for meetings). Over the course of the past month, I put in about 30 hours of overtime that I won't get paid for (doing that mandatory training that would have taken me away from patient time, and that was 20 of the hours of overtime) and on top of that, I have been on call for 3 of the 4 weeks of this past month. SO... am I glad to see Friday? Am I glad to see the month of February come to an end? You bet! It's been a tough month.

Today itself was fairly easy. I had two meetings and two appointments. I managed to get my notes done, so everything is caught up... and I even got my peer reviews done.  AND... I don't have to go back to work until next Friday. I'll be getting some training closer to home... I'm going to be taking a course in "Scream Free Parenting" and "Scream Free Marriages." Should be good and come in handy with the population I work with.  And while this past month, I was the top performer, the next two months will look like I am a slacker since I will be out of the office for 1/2 of both months (for training and for leave). With the system they have in place for performance expectations, it's just impossible to meet (at least on a consistent basis... especially without getting your employees burnt out).

So... not sure what I am going to do with my "free weekend." I'm thinking about driving over to France, but I had hoped that my neighbor could go with  me, but her daughter has a dance competition tomorrow.  So... I've got to decide if I want to go by myself.  I want to head over to a town known for its French pottery (not really thinking I'll buy anything... but will check things out... if I get more pottery, I think I would prefer to get some more Polish Pottery).  Then I want to go check out some cute French towns in the Colmar region.  Maybe I will see how I feel when I wake up.

My boss is supposed to call me sometime tomorrow to see if she wants to meet me for lunch on Sunday, up near Heidelberg. I wish I knew whether or not she is going to want to meet me for lunch... otherwise I might change my plans and go over to the Alsace on Sunday.  I think the weather is supposed to be better on Sunday.

Oh well... guess I'll see how I feel in the morning and whether I wake up in the mood to go somewhere. *smiles*

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Almost Friday... again

Maltese cross on a church in Malta

Today was probably the best day of work all week, although I started with a headache.  I had one no show today and one cancellation, so that gave me time to catch up on my documentation... so all I have left are the four notes I have to write for today and then the notes I will have to write for tomorrow (morning).  I feel better when my notes are done... or at least I'm not so far behind. I wrote up 2 assessments today and about a dozen notes.  I found out that a couple of our nurses are quitting.  (they are actually going to lose two paid nurses and a volunteer nurse).  We are also going to lose one of our best nurses this summer when they have to move back to the States.  We are getting ready to undergo a major inspection and I think that has everyone on edge and feeling stressed.

I actually left work right at 4:30 (mark THAT one on the calendar)... and stopped to get gas and I still managed to make it home by 5:10pm. I *like* that.  I took the dogs for a short walk and then tonight I've been watching "Survivor" (first episode of the season).  Then I've also been making some banana bread and some muffins. I can't wait to have one of the muffins! Num, num!

Okay... signing off...
Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Happy Hump Day!

A tiny waterfall along the way where I walk the dogs...

Today was another busy day... and another frustrating day.  I started off the day with a headache which didn't help.  We had our normal Wednesday morning meeting... and it was announced that my co-worker would be leaving.  Then it was just one appointment after another.  I finished up just before lunchtime and went to talk to my supervisor about one of the appointments I had this morning only to find her and my one co-worker looking at jobs to apply to online... apparently they had both applied for the same job and while both were reportedly told they were "well qualified" neither of their applications went forward.  I asked my one co-worker about her job interview for a position back in California and she said she wasn't real happy with a few things about the job (probably because she found out she would actually have to work).  Today was one of those days where the happiest news I could hear, would be that the job *I* interviewed for, is interested in hiring me. THAT would REALLY make my day!

My boss gave me grief today for comparing my workload to others. This was in part to my complaint to her about something that was said this morning.  Because the one co-worker is leaving, they are going to limit who the clinic (the Behavioral health side) can see. Well, my one co-worker, (who does very LITTLE work) suggested that we could do some of the work on the Social Work side of the house.  This made me angry, because she has NO clue how busy I am and I felt like she didn't have any right to say so. It was almost like she was volunteering her service, when she knows that she is limited about who she can see. (she can only see 20% of patients that aren't domestic violence related)... so while it looks like she is offering "our" services... she wasn't really offering hers, but others in the room might not realize that.

Anyway... it was just frustrating... because when I look at the past month... I *have* seen more patients than anyone else and it hasn't been without using MY own time - time that I won't get paid for and time that people don't seem to care that I put in.  The answer I get (got) from my supervisor is to not put in as much efforts, don't document everything on every person.  Yea... like that's right.  ARGH... so yes, it has been one of those days.

After work I went grocery shopping and managed to spend almost $90!  That's a lot. I *have* stopped buying meat for my dogs (I was getting them deli meat to have as a treat after I get off work, but I think I realized that it probably was making them gain weight due to the sodium levels).

Tonight I watched "The Voice" and I have been watching a movie on TV. I think it is titled "Flight" and it had Denzel Washington in it. It was about alcohol and drug addiction. If I were still doing groups for substance abusers, it might be one I would show to them.

It's over now though and it's almost 9:30pm, so I had better sign off and head to bed.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I like flowers (you knew that, right?)... I currently have 3 bouquets of tulips around my house.

It was another busy day at work, although I did have one cancellation (or was that yesterday?).  I had one appointment that should have been seen by someone else (because that provider has been involved in their lives in the past), but it is, what it is.  I worked through lunch today to get my notes done from this morning (so just have three notes to write from this afternoon). I thought about bringing work home (two assessments that need to be written) but by the end of the day, I just wanted to get out of the office.   I left work about 4:45 and got home about 5:15. The weather was overcast when I got home (so no sunset photos tonight)... but it was up to the low 60's today which was nice.  (Not that I got out to enjoy it during the day).  My one co-worker (the one I talk with the most) put in her 2 week notice today.  I'm going to miss having her there at the office.  And... I know that I will end up with some of her work/clients (and need I remind people that I have seen more patients than anyone else in our clinic for the past month?). Oh well... I'll do what I can.

Tonight I just had leftovers and I've been watching "The Voice." Not much else going on...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, February 24, 2014

Busy Monday - again and sunset photos from tonight

Thought I would share some sunset photos from tonight... guess you must know by now that I *love* sunsets!

So... work WAS busy, but I did have one cancellation, so I caught a break and I was able to keep on top of my notes (so I got them all done, with the exception of the last appointment of the day). 

I started off kind of cranky, because my one co-worker said she was going to apply for the position that I just applied to, in Korea. Normally it wouldn't bother me, but I *KNOW* she would never accept an assignment there. (It's too cold and has a lot of snow).  So then it feels like she is doing it just to keep people like me from applying.  GRRRR. (and yes, she IS that kind of person).  Having worked with her, I would NEVER give her a favorable review to anyone. She only sees 1-2 people a day and STILL can't get her work done.  Having said that though... she apparently did have an interview for a position in Monterey, CA last Friday. THAT would be the ideal place for her, weather-wise.

Anyway... I then got busy with all my appointments and even just ate lunch in my office (why bother going down to the lunchroom where there is often more people than chairs and the volume level in the lunchroom gets to be WAY too loud for my comfort).  And too, if I just stay in my office and eat lunch, I can check my facebook. *smiles*

I've been chatting with my one co-worker (that I get along with the best) and she's going to come in tomorrow and put in her 2 week notice.  I'm going to miss her and the clinic will miss her as she has been the most productive member of the team on that side of the house. (Although this past month, I've had more contact hours than she has).  I feel like I am being mean to say that our head chief deserves it after the way he treated her last week.

My former co-worker who is down in Italy has had a tentative offer for a job in the States, but now it has been almost 2 months and he still hasn't gotten his final offer. I hope he doesn't have it rescinded on him, like mine was on me last year (when I had the job offer for Italy).  And no word about the Peace Corps job, my guess is that I'll get notified some time next week that someone else was selected (I only have a 5% hope that I will get the job).

Not much else going on. I did manage to get home right after work (amazingly)... and watched "The Amazing Race" and right now I'm watching a re-run of the Olympics closing ceremony (since I missed it last night for some reason).

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lotsa walking today...

Thought you would enjoy some photos from today.  I took the dogs out for a mile and a half walk early this afternoon and then took them out for a 3 mile walk at the end of the day.  That was after a lazy morning (I didn't go to bed until 2am last night... so woke up at 8 and let the dogs out, then I laid back down and by the time I woke up, read my emails and facebook, then took a shower, I didn't come upstairs until about 12:45pm).  The first walk was down the hill and back up a narrow trail I haven't been on before (but had we continued the way we were going, it would have been a much longer walk).  And since it was still nice out, I decided to head back out about 5 to "do the loop" (the 2.5 mile walk... but then ran into my neighbor who was out walking alone (her husband is at work and her daughter was babysitting),  I ended up taking her straight down the road (past the 4 corners) and showed her the part along the road where you can see the military post from.  I think just about every time we walk, I show her some new way to walk in our neighboring woods.  On the way back we were talking about places to eat and dinner... and decided to go check out one of the local places to eat.  My neighbor had been there, but I've never been there (even though it is located in our town). We didn't get there until 6:30 and they close at 7, and normally don't serve meals after 6, but then said if we were willing to have the Schnitzel and the German potato salad, we could go ahead and eat (they also said we could have fries instead of the potato salad). We both agreed that Schnitzel would be fine... so we stayed and ate (and the Schnitzel WAS good... so was the salad). Then we got treats to bring home with us... I got a slice of Black Forest Cake (I've eaten most of it, but now I'm stuffed)... and I got a Florentine cookie and a shortbread cookie dipped in chocolate (I'll have those later in the week, possible one of them tomorrow at lunch).  Anyway... it was a nice way to end the day and I don't have to worry about making dinner tonight.

I'm watching the Olympics, right now the cross country skiing is going on... I was hoping to see the closing ceremony tonight. 

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Saturday, February 22, 2014


I took this last week when I went to find the Johannes Church here in Stuttgart.

So... I woke up about 8am and let the dogs out and then I laid back down in bed and read my emails and Facebook.  I got up about 10 and a little later (after shower and getting a bite to eat), I went for a walk with my neighbor.  We did a longer walk than normal (about 3 1/2 miles, maybe 4 miles?). I took her around the loop, but took a detour on one road that ends... (so I took her to the end of the road).  Technically I shouldn't walk that far when I am on call... because I wouldn't be able to get back to the house in enough time to make it to where I'd need to be within a half hour... but oh well.  It was a good walk and when I got home, my fitbit told me I had done 10,000 steps (now I've done about 13,500.

I had some lunch and rested with the dogs and then left about 3:30pm to go get my nails done and to do a little shopping (whooohooo... I got new socks and underwear! I guess if I were smart, I should have waited until I got to Hawaii, it would be cheaper there than here).  Then I headed into work for a couple hours. I know I have a busy week coming up, so I wanted to get prepared for the upcoming week (i.e. get my notes prepped).  I also did my online timesheet, so I wouldn't forget to do it on Monday.  I was looking at what the clinic says is my "productivity" is over the past couple weeks... Two weeks ago, my time was just 27 hours of work (out of a possible 29 hours I was available to work... because we had meetings for 3 hours and then the clinic was closed 1 day...).  This past week, I had 31 hours of work (okay... some of those are couples and some are intakes)... which is more hours than I worked.  I had 1 day of holiday (Monday), I had 2 hours of meetings, 4 hours of training (when the clinic is closed) and I was off 3 hours.  Not sure that all makes sense.  What I *do* know, is that I worked too many hours (in my opinion), and that's not even including the 20 hours I worked over the weekend to do mandatory training that I didn't get any credit for doing.  Oh well... I guess I can moan and complain all I want, it won't do any good.

Other than that... not much going on... I didn't get home until about 9, so I took the dogs out, made myself a personal pan pizza for dinner and now I'm watching some news on TV. I've also been fighting with my computer. It took me an hour of shutting down my computer and re-booting, to get the touchpad on my computer working. ARGH!

Okay... signing off...
Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Friday, February 21, 2014

Travel plans!

This is what the sky looked like when I got home and took the dogs out for their walk. It started to sprinkle before we returned home. It has been raining off and on all day.

So... today was a frustrating day at work.  I had a meeting and two appointments this morning and then tried to get some notes done.  This afternoon we had a "town hall" meeting with one of our European reps (Region Reps)... and that went okay... but the whole time I was thinking... I could be doing my notes.  Then we got about an hour break and were told to return at 3:00 for more "mandatory" training (related to an upcoming inspection).  Since no one tapped at my door and told me to go... I didn't (neither did another Social Worker... the one that is most likely going to quit in a couple weeks).  I was in the middle of typing up one of my assessments... and wanted to at least finish that. When I finished, I thought about going over, but at that point, I figured I'd get into trouble for coming over late, so since I would get in trouble anyway, I might as well stay and hopefully get my notes done (because I really didn't want to come in over the weekend to get them done).  My boss did give me grief... and then I get frustrated, because I feel she doesn't want me to do as good of a job on my notes as I feel I need to (for the Peer Reviews).  And she's telling me I need to have 7 appointment scheduled per day (never mind that we have 1 hour meetings on 3 of those days and we have a 1/2 day of training on one of those days). And never mind that at least half of my sessions include 2 people.  (And this is coming from a person who only sees an average of 2-3 a day (but, she does have supervisory responsibilities) and she has oversight for the one Social Worker that averages 1-2 appointments a day.  I feel like I just have a higher standard of work ethic and just want to do a good job.  I think it is totally unreasonable to expect me to see 10-14 people a day in 7 hours and write 50-75 pages worth of notes.  JUST NOT DOABLE!

I'm still feeling angry about asking to take a couple hours of comp time off on Wednesday (because I did go in and do 20 solid hours of work over the weekend) and being told "no" because it was my choice to come in last weekend (it was). When she and the other Social Worker get done with their monthly meeting, they go home early and sometimes that is up to 2 hours (or they go shopping, check their mail, get gas, etc).  And, I'm still upset about the comment about not wanting an "old lady" working in our Clinic (I'm definitely not the oldest and I know he is not talking about me, there are at least 2-3 people older than me in our clinic).  It's just wrong to have that mentality, especially over a position that you have no control over who might be the next person to be hired into that position. So... in that aspect, this week has been more frustrating than normal.

On the upside... I did ask my boss about taking off in April and have been told I could go... so I've made reservations to go spend 10 days in Hawaii! WHOOHOO! BEACH TIME HERE I COME!  I'm just disappointed because my Snow bird friends won't be there, they will have returned to their respective towns (St. Louis and Duluth, MN).  So... last night I decided to call my snowbird friends (Bette & Walt) and I spent about an hour and a half on the phone with them. While talking with Walt, I started looking at the cost of flying to Hawaii (it was looking expensive to go to the Maldives or the Mauritius Islands)... and found it would be cheaper to go to Hawaii (and then later a friend posted an even cheaper fare if I could go a little earlier).  And... my former Landlady offered to let me stay at their house if I came. SO... I *am* going to Hawaii. YAY! I go for 10 days and leave on the 4th of April.  I can't wait to spend several days on the beach and snorkeling! And I'm looking forward to watching several sunsets at Magic Island and to going back to "The Little Village" restaurant and going to Zippy's. I may even head over to the College to pick up some "Alumni" stuff and check in with some of my former professors. I hope to catch up with some friends who are still there and check in on some former co-workers.  There will be so much to do there!

Not much going on tonight... just watching the Olympics. I was bummed to see Canada beat the US in Men's Hockey.

Okay... signing off...
Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A beautiful Sunset and an OMG!

Here are some photos I took tonight at sunset... beautiful, eh?

Work went okay... my first appointment was a no-show (so I am going to see them tomorrow) and then I had one of my other appointments call and reschedule for next week. So... I caught a break there and was able to get a few notes (including 2 assessments) done this morning.

The OMG comment is... we got a new Social Worker (an older woman, just googled and she is 63) and she thought she was being hired to be a regular therapist and instead she got here and was supposed to be a medical Social Worker.  She actually thought she was going to a different location as well.  Anyway, one of my other co-workers has wanted the job this person was hired for, and so made the suggestion that maybe the two of them could switch positions.  Between the two individuals and the hiring company, they figured they could make it work.  But the head boss of our clinic, apparently said absolutely NOT.  And apparently several people heard him say that he didn't want someone "that old" working in our clinic.  OMG! That supervisor is SO not allowed to say that!  That is definitely an Equal Opportunity complaint!  And unfortunately, while the supervisor was thinking he could force the one Social Worker in our clinic (who is the most productive person on their side) to stay in our clinic if he refused to let her go... well, I think we are going to lose her altogether. She doesn't feel she can work for a supervisor who treated her the way they did.  It wasn't just the age comment, but the supervisor basically said that she would not be allowed to move over to the other position and that they would do everything they could to keep it from happening and even went to say "over my dead body!"  REALLY... who does that.  While I like this person as an individual for the most part, they tend to have a "bully" attitude when it comes to work situations. 

So... it was an interesting day.

Tonight I *did* make it home in time to take the dogs out for a walk as the sun was setting. It was about 52* when I was coming home. Nice.  I've been watching the Olympics tonight... I watched the Woman's figure skating and now I'm watching the Women's hockey game (US vs Canada).

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Half-day... and interview

Another sunset photo from the other day.

So... the day started off with our weekly meeting, which didn't feel very productive for me. I kept thinking that I could be upstairs working on my notes. I did manage to get 3 or 4 notes from yesterday written. And then I had another intake (couple) and another appointment besides that one. I finished up about 12:15 and left about 12:30 (although I went over to the clinic to talk with a friend there for about 20 minutes before I actually left).  I ran some errands this afternoon, I stopped by a travel agency to look at a couple trip options (I realized later that I don't think they included the flights). I went over to see about getting a date set up to have my servicing done on my car, only to find out that they know longer have the Volvo contract and have moved to a town about 20 miles south (to Tubingen). So... now I have to decide if I want to take it down there, which means I would basically have to take a day off... or if I should try to get it in to the other local shop here.  The advantage of taking it to Tubingen, is that the same people who have been servicing the car, would be the ones continuing to care for it.  I'm just not sure I want to waste a day off and I don't think they are open on weekends. 

I got home about 3pm and took the dogs out for a nice walk (well, a little over a mile, I'm not referring to the weather, which was very overcast, but not rainy).  Then I came back and waited to call DC about the interview.  I think I got nervous, I feel like my mind went blank on some key questions.  They said they are interviewing 10 people and basically, I feel like I blew the interview. I did write a thank you note already and I hope it makes up for some of the blunders I made in the interview. They said they won't be able to make a decision for about 2 weeks.

Tonight I'm just watching the figure skating (Olympics).  I have 6 assessments to type up so I should get off here and try to get at least a couple of them done. If not... I still have time open on Friday that I could possibly get them done.

Okay... signing off

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Happy Monday!

Wow! What a BUSY day. All 9 people show up (two appointments were intakes) and in between all the appointments, I had to deal with a call from one of our docs with a concern (and then had to follow up with my supervisor).  Did I get any notes done today? Nope. And then because I talked with my supervisors (again) after work,  I didn't get home until 6pm.  I'm taking tomorrow afternoon off (because I have my interview with the Peace Corps at 4:30). I was going to just leave at 2:30 (take 2 hours off), but since my 1pm appointment cancelled (had a family emergency), I decided to ask for the whole afternoon.  I did ask my boss if I could take the afternoon off as Comp time instead of leave and she said "no", that it was my choice to come in and do my training this weekend. Never mind that had I tried to do it at work during the day, that it would take away time from seeing patients and would probably take twice as long because of the interruptions that happen on a daily basis.  See... those are the kind of things that perturb me... Granted, I probably should have tried to make some arrangement, like if I come in and do the course over the weekend, can I take an afternoon off? That's trading 20 hours of work for 4.  I think that's one heck of a deal.

Oh well... let's just say that I'm going to really keep my fingers crossed that I do well with the interview tomorrow.  The PC is one of the top gov. smaller agencies to work for. It's an agency that I believe in, and I think it would be awesome to work for them.

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, February 17, 2014

Did you miss me?

This is Johannes church here in Stuttgart. A friend had posted a picture that he found online, and I had not seen the church, so since I was out today, I thought I would go find it and see about taking some photos.  As you can tell by looking at the photo, it was a NICE day.

Sorry I didn't post the last couple days.  I ended up deciding to head back into work about 7pm on Saturday night, thinking I could knock out that training I had started on Friday.  I finally gave up about 7:30 Sunday morning and I had only gotten lessons 6-11 done.  I was amazed at how long it was taking!  And that's without going through each of the lessons, just doing the pre-tests for each module.   I think if I had to go through each lesson, it would have easily taken me 3 times as long. So... I didn't get my blog done Saturday night, because I was at work all night (and I have to say... I worked straight thru... didn't get on Facebook or any other sight during that whole time).  I came home yesterday and crashed until about 2 and then got up.  Ended up deciding to go back into work last night because I wanted to get the course done. (technically, I am supposed to  be allowed to get this course done during my work hours, but since we have been under SO much pressure to see more and more clients... I decided to just do it on my own time).  Last night I went into work about 8pm and didn't get done til about 3:15am. I think I figured I put in about 20 hours this weekend getting the course done (plus about 4 hours on Friday).  Too bad I don't get paid for that time. *smiles*  It feels good to have it completed though.  I came home and went to bed about 4 and got up about 10:30 or so.  It was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day out today. I took the dogs for a walk (about a mile or so)... and while I was on the walk, my boss called, she was in Frankfurt (on her way back from the States) and asked if I would pick her up at the airport. I told her to give me a call when she landed and I would head over. I told her where to meet me and she was right where I wanted her to be when I got there. I only live about 15 minutes from the airport. 

Before I went to pick her up, I went ahead and vacuumed out my car and wiped down the inside. (It desperately needed it!). After I dropped my boss off at her house, I went over to the REAL (pronounced RE-al) store to drop off my empty pop bottles and I picked up some more soda and they had some nice looking tulips in, so I picked up 2 bunches of tulips to decorate my table with.  I also went through the car wash, so now my car is clean inside and out! (until it rains).

After getting my car washed, I used my phone to figure out where the Johanneskirche (Johannes church) was, because a friend had posted a picture of it online (the friend lives in my home town and is always posting pictures from various places, not ones he has taken... but he was in Germany the first time I was here 30+ years ago... I don't remember where he was stationed, but I never had the opportunity to meet up with him when I was here before).  Anyway... he had posted a picture of the church and I had never seen it before, so I thought I would go find it today. And hence... the photo above.

I got home and took the dogs out for another walk and I've been watching the Olympics. I was happy to see my favorite couples in the Ice Figure Skating, win GOLD for the US.  I made myself a steak for dinner and some potatoes.  Since I still had a bone leftover from last week's steak, both dogs got steak bones for a treat tonight.

Now it's about 8:45pm... I'm hoping to head to bed by about 9:15pm or so. I have a VERY busy day tomorrow, with 9 people scheduled.  While I was at work this morning (after I finished the course) I went ahead and prepped some paperwork for tomorrow.  This week (well, Tues-Thurs) are going to be VERY busy.  Anyway, I've got to get my sleep schedule back on track...

Okay... signing off. Hoping my friends in Hawaii (Bette & Walt) are able to see my blog while they are there.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Friday, February 14, 2014

Pajama day!

A friend/peer that I worked with in Hawaii is on vacation in Paris this week. So far, from her Facebook postings, it looks like she is having fun.

Guess what I did today! I wore PJ's to work! *smiles*  Not sure if I mentioned we were talking at the end of the day yesterday at work (some of us Social Workers) about what we should wear today, since we wouldn't be seeing clients - a couple of us joked that we should wear pajamas today... so I thought I would surprise them and WEAR pj's! I wore a pair of PJ's where the bottoms are polar fleece and the top was just a long-sleeved (polar bear) shirt.  I thought about wearing my footed PJ's, but I thought that would overkill.  I ended up wearing my pj's most of the morning (I was in my office alone all morning) and then changed before lunch time.  This morning I finished up something like 8 notes from yesterday and did a training on combating trafficking (of people).  This afternoon I came back and tried to get through my "Foundation" course that I have to do.  I managed to get through something like 5 modules.  After the first 4 questions of the first module, I started typing out all of the questions and then highlighting which answer chose for each one. I've done that for basically 4 1/2 of the modules.  Basically there are 20 modules, and for each one, there is a pre-test. Some of my co-workers who have taken it, told me that if you pass the pre-test, you don't have to do the course for that module, otherwise they said that you have to go through the course for that module and then take the test (which may note be applicable to whatever is in the course apparently).  My co-workers (downstairs, they are not Social Workers), said it took them something like 3 days to go through and it doesn't sound like they passed very many of the pre-tests.  They said I'm probably doing better than they did, because I'm prior military. I don't know if that is it, or just my "google" skills (I'm googling all the questions on one screen, and then the test is on another screen).  I'm half tempted to go in this weekend and finish up the course.  It would be nice if someone gave me some credit for doing it on my own time... or gave me comp time for coming in on my own time to complete it. (Supposedly it is mandatory).  I was looking at this next week's schedule and I'm very busy all three days.

On Tuesday (Monday is a holiday) I have 10 hours worth of appointments (because I have four intakes and those are worth an hour and a half each). So... my first appointment is a couple I haven't seen for awhile, then I have an intake for a couple, and then I have another couple coming in. Then in the afternoon I have another intake on a couple and then an individual appointment for the last appointment of the day. 

On Wednesday I start off with a staff meeting, then I have two intakes, and an appointment with a couple.  After lunch on Weds, I only have one appointment scheduled and I plan to take 2 hours off (of leave... despite working this weekend most likely).  SO, out of a 6 hour day, I will have 6 hours of work. 

Thursday I'm scheduled for 6 appointments - 3 single appointments and 3 couples appointments (so that will give me 9 hours worth of work).  SO... yea, busy day. My guess is that I will have a hard time keeping up with my  notes this coming week (another reason I am thinking about going in this weekend... to prep for those appointments). 

Friday I don't have any appointments scheduled and I think I will leave it like that. I have a staff meeting in the morning and then the clinic is closed in the afternoon for training (but, it will be the training THEY mandate... It won't be like I can work on my Foundations course then).  So... if everyone shows, I will have 25 hours worth of work (Out of a 28 hour week, and I will have 2 one hour meetings... so basically, I'll have 1 hour to get my notes done).   As I said... busy week next week.

Not much else going on. I stopped by the Post Office after work and picked up a Canister of Protein Powder that I had ordered.  Then I came home and took the dogs for a walk, we were happy to see Ballou and Tequilla (two min pins that live in the neighborhood).  Bruno and Peanut play really well with them and I don't have to worry about Bruno being rough.  Although Bruno likes to pick on Tequilla, and he probably weighs 4 pounds less than Bruno.  Tequilla was putting Bruno in his place today though... it was funny.  I should ask Ballou and Tequilla's mom her name again.  She's a really nice kid. I think she's about 26 years old and today she was so happy as she told me she just bought her "flat." (Her apartment).  She seems pretty content to have her own apartment and her two dogs and working.   I'm happy for her.

Tonight I've been watching the Olympics.  For dinner I just cooked some chicken (on the stove with a lid) and then added some broccoli and some Teriyaki sauce then had it over brown rice.  It was okay and the dogs enjoyed the part that they got.

Okay... signing off... BTW... HAPPY Valentine's Day!

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Windy rainy day here

I took this photo the other day... not sure if I posted it here or not... but it is what I'm choosing to post tonight. *smiles*

Work went okay today, my first appointment called in sick (and she definitely SOUNDED sick), unfortunately I didn't have anything open later today and tomorrow the clinic is closed (but a few of us will still be there working).  So, this morning I only had 1 appointment. And then I had a doctor's appointment for myself with my regular provider. It was basically a "catch up" session. I hadn't seen him since my Endoscopy/Colonoscopy, the fall I had and I wanted to see him about the outcome of my labs.  He said that my Endoscopy shows I have Barrett's Disease (I thought I had the precursor to that, but maybe I am misunderstanding). He did up my Prilosec to compensate for that.  Then my Vitamin D was pretty low, so he's put me on a mega dose for awhile (even though I am already supplementing with Vitamin D, among other things).  No real comments about my shoulder or head, those are healing fine (I didn't expect any comments)... and then because my arthritis is giving me worse pain, he is switching out my Diclofenac for Celebrex. I am pretty sure I've been on Celebrex before, but maybe it is time to switch it up and see if it works any better.  He also gave me two types of medication for my head cold, which IS getting a little better, hopefully by next week it will be ALL better. And then I think I got a couple refills on meds, altogether I walked out of the Pharmacy with 7 bottles of medication today (and feeling VERY thankful I don't have to pay out of pocket for it).

This afternoon I had appointments every hour (1, 2 and 3) and didn't leave the office til 5. I have probably 7 notes to write tomorrow before I can start my online training course that I have to get done.  Thankfully the clinic is closed tomorrow, so I hope I don't get too many distractions.  We were joking that those of us working should wear our PJ's... I'm half tempted to (or at least take them in and pretend I wore them to work! *smiles*  I have some fuzzy polar fleece pants and a top that I could wear (I could wear the top under the Sweatshirt I was planning to wear and switch out of the jeans into the pj bottoms when I got there).  Of course... I wouldn't wear them very long.

After work I had to run by the store to pick up a loaf of bread and that turned into a bunch more stuff. (They had Peanut Butter on sale and I needed eggs...).  I got home about 6 and took the dogs out between the rain squalls we have had to day. It's been so windy tonight that it keeps knocking out my internet.  I'm trying to watch the men's ice skating.

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Just try to get home at a decent time! *smiles*

Sunset photos from tonight. *smiles*  It's not over the ocean, but I have always been a sunset lover.

Work was okay today, not TOO busy, this morning I caught some breaks, but this afternoon was busy and so I have 4 notes to write tomorrow sometime. (I had 2 couple sessions this afternoon).  I did get the morning notes written.

After work I went to check my mail and was happy to GET mail. I had ordered some computer paper and some steno pads for work, and they came in today.  Then I also got new bedding that I had ordered from Macy's.  It's a bright red floral pattern (and new flannel sheets).  So, tonight I went and switched out my bedding and now I have a new comforter and new sheets on my bed..  You know what is sad, it's almost cheaper to order new comforters than it is to take them to be dry cleaned or laundered over here.

Today is my middle daughter's birthday, I actually managed to catch her on the phone and wish her a Happy Birthday.  She's 33 today. *smiles*

And other than that... I've just been watching the Olympics and talking with friends on Facebook.

Oh yea... and I took the dogs out for a walk after work, for about a half an hour (it got up to almost 50* today here!)... and while I was out walking the dogs I found a tick on Peanut and when we got home and I checked them over here, I found one on Bruno.  ARGH! I *hate* ticks!!!  Guess I'd better pick up some anti-tick solution!

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Somewhat busy day

Sunset this evening...

Today I only had 5 appointments, which allowed me to finish up yesterday's notes and to stay on top of today's notes.   It feels like I should have had three free hours today, but it sure didn't feel like that.  My first hour of the day was spent doing yesterday's notes and preparing for today's various sessions.

I did take off right on time (actually about 5 minutes early) so I could go get my hair cut.  Dang, haircuts are getting expensive (and my hair isn't long, as most of you know). They charged me $30 for a trim.  Then I had to run home and let the dogs out so that I could come back for the clinic potluck they were having tonight (at 6).  But, wow! The TRAFFIC!  I'm glad I have an alternate way to get home, because the quicker way was basically a standstill the whole way.  Going back to the Clinic I went the Autobahn and traffic going the opposite way was at a standstill. There was an accident (which I don't think was contributing to the earlier traffic problem) and then when I left about 7:45 to head home, I took the town route (going through various small towns) rather than the autobahn because it looked like it was STILL moving slow.

Okay... it's 9:40pm, I'd better sign off.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, February 10, 2014

So-so Monday

Some macro photos I took of a lily in a bouquet of flowers that I got this past Friday.

And yea... today was so-so. I wasn't overly busy today, but where I thought I could get my peer reviews done this morning, I ended up typing up a couple assessments (from my first appointment of the day... which was after a meeting).  Then I had one appointment that ran a little long.  I *did* get my lunch hour, that was nice. I had to run (walk) a couple errands.  It started snowing at the end of the lunch hour and snowed for about 10 minutes and then it turned to rain. Thankfully it had stopped by mid-afternoon.  I stayed late to get my peer reviews done, they were due to day.  Found out that the person who did mine, did them back on the 21st and that was the time that I had about a dozen notes that went longer than the 72 hours.  So... got "dinged* for three notes.  Do I care? Not really. I'm human, I can only do so much, and if you follow my blog, you know I am generally a hard worker.  Which reminds me of something... do you know, that we don't get the mandatory 15 minute breaks (in the AM and the PM) that most employees get?  I think we should. (I think we NEED it!).  Thankfully I don't smoke and none of my co-workers smoke... THAT would be hard.

After leaving work late, I stopped to talk to one of my co-workers that works downstairs (and comes in later, so works later)... it was good... I got to gripe. *smiles*  But then I didn't get home until after 6pm. The doggies were happy to see me.

Tonight I've been watching the Olympics and I made some cupcakes. We are supposed to have a potluck tomorrow after work (6pm)... I'm still not sure if I will go, but made the cupcakes in case I decide to come home and take the dogs out and then go back out.  It would be good to show my face, never know who I might be able to talk to.

Okay... it's already almost 9:30pm, and I still need to frost the cupcakes, so I had better sign off.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Watching the Olympics

 Bruno was sleeping on my arm this afternoon...
 Here's Peanut out on our walk, I think she is part blood hound, she LOVES to sniff and follow smells
The sun is setting over Steinenbronn (that's a church tower in town and off in the distance is a radio/TV tower).

So... today has been REALLY lazy. I haven't gone anywhere and haven't really done anything. I did take the dogs out for a couple walks. And I took a nap this afternoon.  Otherwise, I've mainly just been watching the Olympics. I've really enjoyed the Dance skating.  We have two channels showing the Olympics, but one is kind of showing repeat performances that have been on the other channel.

I had thought about going out for a bite to eat tonight. I'm in the mood for a good Schnitzel.  I sent someone a message to see if they wanted to go, but they didn't get the message until about 2 hours later and I had gone ahead and started making dinner here at the house (I had steak, potatoes and corn).  This morning I broke from my normal routine and I had French toast for breakfast.

Tomorrow is the start of another week, but at least it will be a relatively short week, work-wise.  The clinic is closed on Friday, so I won't be seeing any patients, but I will be doing an all-day training. I hope I can keep up with my notes this week.  I have a couple breaks in my day, one or two tomorrow, but during one of them I have to go online and get some peer reviews done.  My boss is gone TDY for a week. I'm glad I'm not on call... I'd prefer the other person have it when my boss is gone, that way there doesn't end up being a conflict (seems like something always comes up when I am on call and my boss is gone).

Okay... I'm going to sign off.  I hope my friends Bette & Walt made it to Hawaii and are enjoying the warm weather there!

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Non-paid overtime...

Another shot of yesterday's sunshine... I *almost* made it home before the sun set... so glad it is staying lighter later.

For the most part it has been a relaxing day. They showed a re-run of the Olympic opening ceremonies, so I watched all of that (glad I got to see it). I did get the dogs out for two walks today.  I finally used my "Runkeeper" app to see how long our current walk is (the one I've been walking with the dogs most recently) and it is just under a 1/2 mile. I was hoping it was a little more than that.

Late this afternoon I went shopping (needed to pick up a couple cards and a lightbulb and I promised a friend I would check to see if our store had something she's been looking for... it didn't). Then I went to work, got there about 6:30pm and didn't leave until 9:40pm or so.  BUT... all my work is caught up (all notes are entered). I think I am going to start tracking my over-time, not that it will do any good, I won't get paid for it.  But, looking at the dates of the assessments I have done here at home, I can tell roughly how many hours and how many days/nights I have worked at home and not gotten any compensation.  Did I mention that I ordered a few reams of paper, just so I could have it at work to print out materials for my clients? I did. And I like to use steno pads to take notes while I am seeing patients and they aren't ordering those anymore, so I ordered a dozen, which should keep me in stock for awhile. 

Okay... I'm going to sign off (it's 11:30pm and I'm watching more of the Olympics).

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sure glad it is Friday!

Here are some sunset photos from after work today. Nice, eh?'s 11pm and bedtime.  But I needed to get my blog done.  I only had 1 appointment this morning (and a meeting this morning). I did manage to get an assessment typed up and a couple notes done, but I still have something like 12 notes to write from yesterday and today.  This afternoon I got stuck in a training that lasted ALL afternoon (so NO note writing). This morning I also got tasked with something else that "had" to be done today.  It's always something that keeps me from getting my work done! ARGH!  So... I will probably go into work sometime this weekend to get caught up. I think I'm going to start tracking all the time I *don't* get paid for.

One nice thing today... well, more than 1 nice thing.  But... I found out I am NOT on call this week (so I got to hand over the phone today).  2nd nice thing... my boss decided we needed some flowers, which are very pretty and very much appreciated.  3rd nice thing... I have a job interview scheduled for the 18th of February. It would be a GREAT job with a good promotion possibility. (BUT, it is back in the States).

Okay... I'm going to keep this short and head to bed. I'm still battling this head cold.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Busy, busy Thursday

Just another evening shot from last night.

So, today was another very busy day. I had a cancellation this morning and thought I would be able to get my notes done, but then someone came into the clinic in crisis and apparently everyone else was busy so they asked me to see the person. Consequently, I didn't finish up my notes and I have something like 12 or 13 notes now to write. Argh!

I almost called in sick (and if I didn't care about my patients, I would have!). I was concerned about my first appointment of the day and the last appointment of the day.  I was awake a LOT last night with this stupid head cold. I had trouble falling asleep, even after taking an extra half of my sleep med.  I think it may be due to taking the Pseudoephedrine at bedtime. So, tonight I took it about 5:30pm and don't plan to take any more.  The medication is for nasal and sinus congestion. I sure hope I sleep better tonight.

At the end of the day one of my co-workers helped me call the local electric company. I had gotten a letter saying they weren't able to withdraw the amount due.  Anyway, it sounds like it is a problem between the particular bank I use and the electric company. The woman said I didn't have to do anything that the situation should be resolved within the next week.  Then I had to go to the grocery store to pick up a couple things.  I didn't get home til just after 6.

Tonight I'm watching "American Idol." I did bring home an assessment to type up, but haven't done anything.  I guess I'm feeling frustrated with work, on a couple different levels (and being sick doesn't help).  I am supposed to have 2 hours tomorrow morning that I should be able to work on my documentation, I just hope I don't get any interruptions.  Argh.

Okay... signing off.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Another head cold... yuck!

Today it rained in the afternoon and we ended up with some low-lying fog. I took these photos after work while I was walking the dogs (I didn't make it home in time for sunset... was hoping for more color, but these turned out okay).

Work was busy today. I had a meeting first thing this morning and then had planned to finish up my notes from yesterday and then prepare for today's sessions. Instead, there was a walk-in that I ended up seeing (they were supposed to see another provider today, but that provider was out sick this morning and the person was in crisis. I was supposed to see them next week for Marital counseling (as a couple), so they asked if I would see the person... so of course... I did).  So... I had a 9 (intake), 10, 11 and then this afternoon I had a 1, 2 and 3pm appointment. (well, the 2 came in a little late and I didn't see the 3pm appointment until 3:30 (because it is someone that comes after school gets out)... so I didn't get done with that appointment until 4:30.  I *did* manage to get my notes from this morning done (and the 1pm appointment done as well). SO, I just have the last two notes of the day and then the first one (because it is an "intake" appointment).

And yes, I do have another head cold. This one seemed to come out of the blue. I started sniffling about 3am this morning (and then kept sniffling until time to get up). I probably should have just called in sick, I have felt miserable all day. But... I *won't* call in, because I know I have too many appointments (and tomorrow I have another busy day, although I do catch a little bit of a break, because one of my appointments called yesterday to cancel tomorrow's appointment and will be rescheduled.

Tonight I'm thinking of my friends Bette & Walt as they are supposed to be flying to Hawaii for a weather break (from Northern Minnesota). They will be able to hook up and see our friends Guy & Nikki while there. (And share my blog with them, as Guy & Nikki don't have a computer). *smiles*

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris