Midwest Knit Girl

Ho! Ho! What?

Posted on: December 7, 2008

First of all, WordPress has  changed their dashboard since November 30th which was the last time I posted. Surprised the heck out of me when I signed in. I mean, I like change but they just made a huge number of changes earlier this year and a LOT of people were unhappy. Should be interesting to see how folks react this time. Anyway…school, work, knitting, the Christmas tree and the hubster is more interesting so read on.


I took the placement testing for school on Thursday, December 4th. In case anyone isn’t aware of my situation, my last day of work is December 19th at a company I will have been at for 24 years, 8 months and 3 days the day I leave.  Thanks to the poor economy, process improvements within the role, and outsourcing responsibilities, a group of 7 in our area were laid off.

Before you feel sorry for me – and please, don’t – I am blessed with a generous severance package. I am not, however, blessed with a college education. I’ve taken numerous business courses through the years, I’ve taken Lotus Notes Development Training (two levels) and I’ve done quite a bit of LOMA coursework. But that’s not a degree, obviously. That said I decided to get some kind of coursework under my belt to have something fresh on my resume when I begin the job search process late next year.

I first thought of signing up for a Medical Office Specialist program but it takes 18 months. While I have a good amount of time to go to school, I don’t have 18 months. So I changed to a 28 credit program called Legal Office Specialist. This is supposed to be done in 1 year or 2 semesters and school starts January 12th.

Though I don’t know if my final goal is to be a Legal Office Specialist, I feel the skills and knowledge I will develop in this course can only enhance the current business skills developed over the many years at the company. Based on a suggestion from the school class adviser and my own logic of thinking this through, having this certificate will open a number of opportunities that might not be open otherwise. Right off the bat there’s the plus that the school partners with 12 major law firms in downtown Minneapolis for internship and job placement opportunities. Furthermore, having this knowledge can be brought into many different kinds of businesses, not just law firms.

So how did I do on the placement testing? Reading comprehension and writing are at college level (yeah!) but algebra is only at high school level. Not a surprise there and I’m not concerned about that because there aren’t any courses I’ll be taking that require college level algebra placement. The next step is orientation on Monday night and registration. I’m excited but also a little nervous.


Only 10 more business days to go at work. I’m incredibly stressed which is asinine in my opinion. My responsibilities should have transitioned to others by now but they haven’t because those who were supposed to be developing the transition plan didn’t. Now I’m forced to document each and every single solitary step of every task I do. Hello??? They have also assigned a very green (6 month newbie) employee to absorb this knowledge from me. Allow me to repeat myself –  Hello??? Look, I had three months of training for this position and I am STILL asking questions and you want a brain dump in 12 days?? I think not. Plus make sure year end accruals are submitted and accurate? Oy.

I’ve spoken to a couple of other people at work and they said to not freak out about it and that what will be will be, but I can’t help it. I had a double migraine episode last Tuesday (when I was originally going to the placement testing at school) and had a migraine yesterday. I have had more migraines in the last 18 months (the length of time in this role) than I did total in the 5 years before that. I’ll just plug along and do what I have to do but sheesh, give me a break.


Last night I started a mini sweater ornament from the Last Minute Knitted Gifts book that still needs to be stitched together. Let me say straight off that I could have had this done in the time they say it could be (1 – 2 hours) but I used some thick alpaca yarn on size 1 needles instead of sock yarn on size whatever it called for. Hehehe. Let me tell you, those K2tog’s were a challenge when doing the decreases!!

Click to go to flicker and see larger:

Mini Knitted Sweater

Christmas Tree

The day after Thanksgiving we drove to a place about 40 miles south of us to cut down a Christmas tree. Hubby was exhausted just walking from the truck where we parked to start looking for a tree to where we picked one out about 30 feet away. When he started to cut it down I thought he was going to need help, it took him much longer than he has taken before. Normally, it’s bim, bam, boom and it’s cut. He dragged the tree to the truck and we put it in the back and then we sat for about 5 minutes while he caught his breath before we headed to the payment area. There he stayed in the truck while I went and paid for the tree and bought a wreath. That took about 15 minutes so he had more time to rest. From there we went to a church nearby where they offer a lunch and have a bazaar to buy things from over the Thanksgiving weekend. This has been our tradition for a number of years. Once we finished up there we headed home where the hubster took a nap.

But about the tree. It’s little! I’m 5’5″ and it’s not much taller than me. The place we put it in the house is near the front door so it can’t be too big around or you hit it as you pass by. So it actually worked out perfectly. But it took until this past Friday night for us to get the lights on and the ornaments – he does lights, I hang the ornaments. Teamwork.

He doesn’t know this but when I put the ornament up that we bought our first year together I almost balled my head off. All I could think of that very moment was – will I be doing this all by myself next year? Or will be still be tag teaming?? He was in the garage so he didn’t catch this. Crap, tearing up now about it. Seems like a good place to move on to the next topic, the hubster.


Just when I think I have my emotions in check BOOM. I don’t. Just like now when writing what that I got all teared up – I actually GOT teared up. It pisses me off. I’m pissed because they can’t tell us how long he’ll live and yet how do you plan your life? I know I’ve bitched about this already numerous times and I likely will continue to do so. I think my BF is right, I need to find a group for people who are caring for a loved one with cancer. I have to find a way to deal with the emotions and have an outlet.

Next steps with hubby is a CT scan on the 16th and the results of it on the 30th. This will tell us if there are changes in the cancer, specifically, if it’s worsened or not. If it’s worse, then there’s a high likelihood he comes off the study, if it hasn’t and he can continue to deal with the side effects, he can stay on it. Remember that this is not intended to cure the cancer, it can’t. It can, however, help him to live longer. But since it’s a fairly new study there are no statistics to know who has lived longer on this med. Ugh. Enough of that, I’ve just depressed the hell out of myself again so…I think it’s time to put a load in the dryer, review the files I brought home over the weekend (not sure if I’ll actually do this or not) and stitch up the mini sweater.


1 Response to "Ho! Ho! What?"

Just a note of encouragement. My brother has stage 4 esophageal cancer, and after a prediction of 3-6 months, he is still here, almost two years later. It could happen.

Blessings to you and hubby.

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Down, Stella!


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