Ellen’s Regular Week :)

Ok, let’s give this a whirl! ¬†Thanks, Alma, for setting all of this up… and to Roberta for your wonderful directions ūüôā ¬†I’ll probably make my own account later. ¬†I’ve often wondered what everyone has been up to myself, but I realize I’ve been pretty bad at staying in touch actively. LOVE Facebook for at least brief glimpses into everyone’s lives at least!

I am still working at the State of Nevada Welfare Department–I started there almost a year and a half ago after the fiasco of having to leave my last job at the Housing Authority. ¬†I truly miss it. While I still work with the same clientele, it’s been a difficult transition going from Director of Public Housing at my old job to an entry level worker at the welfare department where it’s a bureaucratic nightmare. ¬†No one wants a “peon’s” insights or suggestions, and if you ask too many questions you’re considered an upstart. ¬†God forbid anyone in my unit suggest to my supervisor that she hold a meeting… that kind of thing. ¬†My boss is incompetent and lazy (most of the employee population can be described as that, sadly), and there really isn’t any upward mobility, so needless to say, I’ve been looking elsewhere. ¬†I’ve been desperately trying not to fall into complacency there, but it’s difficult when no one cares if you go above and beyond, and slackers get away with everything. ¬†It’s a far cry from my old job where I worked 50-60 hrs/wk and my boss appreciated my efforts. ¬†Thankfully the Executive Director at the Housing Authority is retiring this Friday (Yay Good Friday!) and there’s an entry level position I’m submitting an application for on that day. ¬†I don’t mind starting over since there is a lot of upward mobility there and people know my work ethic.

At welfare there are days I feel like an adult babysitter since my job entails making sure anyone receiving Federal cash assistance is meeting a certain amount of self-sufficiency activity hours per week. On the upside, it’s truly a joy when I’ve been able to be a personal cheerleader for someone after he/she successfully completed a high school equivalency program or obtained employment. ¬†Most people don’t want to be on the TANF program, and¬†thankfully it’s a minority that try to live off of it and jerk me around. ¬†I enjoy my coworkers within my unit immensely, and it’s never a dull day with the clients. ¬†ūüôā

Most evenings are pretty chill in the Escobar household, though this past month I started participating in mixed Martial Arts. ¬†Mikey has been going there for 8+ years and is a 2nd degree blackbelt, and for years he’s encouraged me to go. ¬†They had a special for the month of March where family members could attend for free, so I finally decided to check it out. ¬†It’s been exciting, hard work, and I’m meeting some new friends. ¬†My shins hurt like a mother from Thai Boxing, but as they say, “no pain, no gain!” ¬†I’m going to focus on the stand-up classes for awhile so I can build my core up again, but then I want to start going to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes again. ¬†I did some of those this past month, but I strained a hip muscle while attempting to buck off people heavier than me, lol. ¬†My massage therapist had a fun time working out my glutes, let me tell you! Otherwise we enjoy walking in the evenings, and sometimes I hit the gym to go to water aerobics or to power lift (I won’t lie… figuring out how to use some of the power rack equipment with good form has boosted my self-confidence!). ¬†At home I’m lazier, but I’ll find Mikey doing his Convict Conditioning program which I don’t do consistently enough, haha.

After our evening workouts, we check on our eBay businesses (we resell stuff from Kohls primarily), and prepare outgoing packages while we eat dinner and watch a show. ¬†We’re currently watching “Breaking Bad” on Netflix, which I’m enjoying. ¬†Mikey crossed the $20K gross threshold¬†on eBay this year and had to pay taxes (I think after expenses and taxes, he was left with about $2K, oops), but mine is still more of a “hobby” so I can fly under the radar. ¬†Our house rather looks like a department store, haha, but it’s fun hunting for things on 90% clearance and having a little extra income. ¬†Today I’ve been balancing my time between listing items and doing yardwork ūüôā

Saturdays we usually get up and make a delicious breakfast of homemade hash browns, eggs, and nitrate-free bacon along with our twice-daily green smoothies. ¬†We’ve gone pretty much close to organic and non-processed as possible. ¬†Sometimes we hang out with Mikey’s family… we try to spend some time with his mom since she doesn’t drive and is retired now. ¬†I usually go with her to church on Sundays since her kids¬†aren’t active anymore. ¬†Otherwise we use the weekends to spend time together, relax, and do cooking/other housework. ¬†Yesterday I repaired my dripping shower faucet ūüôā ¬†I’ve really come to enjoy plumbing repairs over the years, and there’s something empowering about doing it myself. ¬†I learned a lot from my former maintenance guys that I supervised.

With the mild winter we’ve had this year and the ever increasing warm temperatures, we’ll be starting to plan mini-excursions around Nevada for the summer time. ¬†We really like going to nowhere Nevada and explore/hike. ¬†Our next step will be to invest in some actual backpacking gear so we can stay overnight in the wilderness rather than always returning after a few hours of hiking. ¬†I’m always amazed that I never hiked when I lived in the South, especially with all the wooded areas and beautiful waterfalls. ¬†We’ve never gone down to Vegas to see trails there, but I just heard about some areas down there called the Gold Butte that I want to check out. It apparently has some amazing rock formations and is fairly close to the Grand Canyon. ¬†But if not there this year, then I have yet to check out Yosemite National Park and some others that are relatively closer. ¬†Last summer for our anniversary we went to the Great Basin National Park in Ely, NV (7-ish hrs away) and tried to find some ghost towns (most were unsuccessful ventures, lol), and then went with Mike’s family to Elko, NV (5-ish hrs away) where we hike in the Ruby Mountains annually. ¬†Both were really fun trips, though I was fairly wary driving to Ely since the majority of it is driving along the “Loneliest Highway” in the nation and I was terrified we’d get stranded in the middle of the desert for some reason. ¬†But, then I overcame those fears in order to go off-roading in my little Civic (yes, I still have that sucker!) to see petroglyphs and earthquake faults. ¬†ūüôā

So to wrap stuff up for now, you can see my life isn’t all THAT exciting, haha. ¬†But I try to stay busy, partake in self-improvement activities, and veg on weekends. ¬†I’m re-reading my favorite book series currently (The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan–Ashley–you really should start it!!!). ¬†I hope everyone has a fabulous upcoming week and a nice Easter! ¬†Miss all of you!