Sunday, September 27, 2009


So Ralph got a's a one year contract, which is great. The only downside is that the job is in Alaska. So he left on Thursday and is currently in Canada, at Prince Rupert and today he gets on the ferry that will take him to Juneau.

I sometimes wonder if people who have pretty safe jobs even realize that there is a recession going on. I know this, people are shocked when they get laid off and then even more shocked when they realize how hard it is to get a job right now. See, even if a company is doing all right, they aren't hiring. People hear on the news that the unemployment rate in CA is what....10%, 11%? But do they realize what that translates to in actual people who want to work who are just unable to find a job?

Ralph retired from the Coast Guard in January, 2008. He would have liked to stay in, he was on active duty for the last 8 years, but he had too many years in, so he had to retire. In 2008, he worked a total of 5 months after retiring. By the way, we get no retirement benefits. He was in the CG for 34 years, but only 15 of those were active duty, so no retirement benefits until he is 60.

So he went up to Alaska last year for 5 months, the only work he could find. Then he came home and tried to find something locally. After about 6 months, he realized that there was nothing going on locally, so he broadened his search nationally. Finally, he found another job in Alaska.

Construction, especially large construction projects, are just not happening right now in CA. And even if they are getting funded, there are so many people lining up for those few jobs that it's pretty near impossible to get one.

We are very lucky in that we always have lived the life of saving. Always lived below our means and socked money into the bank. We have no debt, except our mortgage. I wonder how many people can say that, after having the breadwinner out of work for a year? That doesn't mean it's been easy. It hasn't been. But we made it. And now we have income again. And now we'll start to replenish our depleted savings accounts.

Monday, September 21, 2009


We went to a Brownie meeting today to see if Marielle would be interested in joining. It was rather chaotic...first meeting of the year and then I guess last year the Daisy and Brownie troop met in the same room and today the Daisy leader decided they need to break apart and have separate meetings, which just added to the chaos. The talked about what activities they wanted to do as the year went on, but they didn't have a specific activity for this meeting and Marielle was rather unsure about joining. Then, as the parents talked, the kids all started playing tag. After that, Marielle decided she did want to join.

So, looks like there's going to be a Brownie in the house....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Let's Go Fly a Kite!

It was a perfect day for kite flying today...the weather was in the high 70's with a nice, stiff breeze coming off the Marina.

Ralph got the kites up into the air and then the kids took very short turns holding them. I really think that Ralph was the only one who flew a kite for more than 3 minutes.

But it was a lot of fun, anyway!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday, Monday...

Well, the good news is that Marielle had a blood draw today and everything came back perfect. Whew, a load off my mind. It's so hard, having had a child with cancer, when they aren't feeling good and the symptoms are nonspecific....head hurts, tummy-ache, sore throat, not eating, throwing up....

I flashback and think, "Oh NO" but with the blood results today, I feel much better.

We still don't know if Ralph has a job up in Alaska...we are hopeful and should hear very soon.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I haven't written much...

Because Marielle is still feeling a bit under the weather, we are getting used to the new school year routine, I've been pulling my hair out about Marielle's teacher's attitude but don't like to put anything out there for everyone to read....

I'm stressed because Ralph might have a job....that's a good thing, but it would mean a year away from us, up in Alaska, that's stressful and my hip is getting better but my knee on the other side isn't.

See why I'm not writing? Just hate to whine....