Saturday, August 29, 2009

Betty's got a new job!


I haven't told ya'll about my new job that I started back in June, have I?

Well, I am officially receiving a paycheck again. I like that part. The one hour commute...not so much. Living in an upstate rural village between two major cities sentences those of us hoping for some kind of career to a commute. Hey, at least it got me a spiffy new Honda Civic and a beautiful green iPod nano.

So I am working for Magellan. Some of you know the company and may be seen screaming running in the opposite direction of your computer. Others of you may be saying to yourself,"Huh?". Well, Magellan is the country’s leading diversified specialty health care management organization. That's quoting coporate. You've gotta be careful blogging about your work you know. It could get you in trouble. I don't need any extra trouble in my life. I've got enough right now thank you.

So I'm working as a district EAP consultant for the Greater South Carolina District of the U.S. Postal Service. Magellan Behavioral Health, a division of Magellan Health Services, has a contract with the USPS to provide EAP services to them. Now the next question you may be asking is "What the heck is EAP?".

Well, EAP stands for Employee Assistance Program and/or Professional. Most major corporations and companies have these in place for their employees. So, of course, the US Postal System is no exception. They want to avoid someone "going postal" as much as the next company. So I consult with management, assess employees needs for support, provide short term counseling to employees, and assist the organization to support employees' health and wellness. If you are curious click here to read more.

The Great South Carolina District is all of South Carolina except for a small little part near Charlotte, North Carolina. I don't provide short term counseling for all of the district, only those within twenty-five miles of my office in Columbia. As for the consulting part, that does cover the entire district. So I'll go to different post offices through out the state and provide presentations to employees and consult with management and union reps on organizational issues.

I have a virtual boss, kind of like Charlie on Charlie's Angels.

So my new job requires me to have some internal motivation since no one is watching over me too closely. It's kind of like private practice but with a paycheck and set hours. I get to be as creative as I want to be or not and for the most part set my own pace. Plus I'm gaining new skills that I know will benefit me professionally in the future.

All in all, it's a good gig!
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Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Day of School '09

Okay, better late than never with this bear of very little brain. Anna Mae became part of the learned community of Clinton by beginning 4-K (otherwise know as preschool) this year. And she was sooooo excited. There was no hesitancy about leaving Mama behind. Here she is on the front step of our little house.


And here's our 3rd grader, big guy Gavin, avoiding the paparazzi!


They both seem very excited about the year ahead. I think back to last year to one of my earlier posts when we first moved here. I was a mess. Crying all the way home, I didn't see how I was going to be able to live happily without my peeps nearby. I worried that my children wouldn't flourish and grow as well here as they would back home in Indiana. Even though there is a part of me that pains me to write it, my worst fears were just boogey men...not reality. The kids are doing well. Gavin made it to third grade (although he has informed me already that he might not make it to 4th about fears,huh?)and Anna isn't asking Mama anymore why she is crying. We're all doing better.

That doesn't mean I still don't want to come home...but I'll tell you later about that. For now, let's just say we are all doing the next right thing.
First Day of School '09SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Down on the farm...


The farm at Thornwell Home for Children.

Full of olfactory memories of childhood for me.

Sunday afternoon before the official start of school we headed over to see the babies of one of the mama goats. Patrick and the kids made weekly pilgrimages to the farm during the summer as a part of the Dr.'s Summer plan to avoid boredom. I, on the other hand, having started working full time on June 1st (notice great gnashing of teeth), didn't have the pleasure of the weekly farm visits. So this day was my first visit.

Thornwell Farm

It was a beautiful summer skies, white puffy clouds and the smell of farm animal manure. As we talked to the goats, explored the barn, pet the pigs, and hee-hawed with the donkey/mule, I noticed my spirit becoming lighter and lighter. Patrick and the kids ran over to the playground behind one of Thornwell's homes but I wanted to stay with this feeling. I realized it was all the farm smells that was creating this joie de vivre for me. It was like I was able to share the summer joys of being a kid with my kids at that moment.

I showed Gavin where the haymow was and encouraged him to climb up the ladder to see it. He was kind of hesitant to go but I told him about how I had played in my Grandpa's haymow as a kid. So up the ladder he went.


Then it was off to the slide of death...


This too brought childhood memories back as well. All the unsafe playground equipment and swing sets we risked life and limb on played on our children were having the time of their life with. It was a good Clinton moment.

Old school slide

Thornwell Home for Children is not only helping create good childhood memories for our children but for so many other deserving children as well. Please take the time to watch this video about Thornwell. It may help you appreciate your childhood as well.

Down on the farm...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We have a winner!

From here is the winning number:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-08-18 13:53:43 UTC

Angela said:

"I love that they have events for the girls to take part in!"

Congratulations Angela!
We have a winner!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Fairies of Summer, a special giveaway...


South Carolina summers are hot. Actually that's an understatement. They are really hot and really humid. Of course the fairies need a place to cool off and we had the perfect oak tree to shade them during those hot days. The same one we used for our fall fairy house. So Anna Mae and I went off to hunt for materials to build their summer home. She pulled the wagon all around the yard and here is what we found...


Mr. Ant decided to help us build the house. Anna Mae wasn't sure if he was a "good ant or a bad ant"...I looked to see if she was wearing her red slippers when she questioned his goodness.


We discovered a cute little mushroom in the yard too. South Carolina has the most interesting mushrooms. I may have to do a mushroom expose sometime here at Betty's. Now you know mushrooms pop up where fairies have been. So we knew that our summer home would be put to good use. We also found some pretty purple flowers to decorate the house with. Making sure to follow the rules of Fairy House construction the other materials used were moss, pine cones, rocks, sticks, a broken bird's egg, dried hydrangea flowers, bark, acorn tops and magnolia leaves.

My creation

Back in the spring Light-Beams Publishing read about the Unplug Your Kids Blog Challenge and they contacted me. They wanted to reward those who were participating in that challenge with the book, Fairy Houses by Tracy Kane. With great generosity, Light-Beams Publishing not only offered three books as giveaways in that challenge but also sent me an extra one to do another giveaway at another time. What better time to offer fairy house inspiration than with a book about fairy houses? So if you would like an opportunity to win Fairy Houses by Tracy Kane here's what you need to do:

  1. Visit Light-Beams Publishing and leave a comment about their website.
For additional entries do the following:
  1. Click the "Tell a Friend" button at the end of the post and tweet about this (with a rt@laterbetty) plus follow me on Twitter. Then leave a comment with your user name and if you tweeted.
  2. Click the "Tell a Friend" button at the end of the post, choose another social network (our favorites are technorati, kirtsy, stumble upon) and show some love. Then leave a comment with what you did.
  3. Follow me or subscribe to my feed and leave a comment that you did.
  4. Go over to Later Betty's Bargains, check it out and follow that blog; leave a comment here that you are following that blog
  5. The big one worth 5 entries: Build a Fairy House and blog about it; leave a comment with the link.
Leave a comment for each entry. Be sure I know your e-mail address to contact the winner. Giveaway is open to anyone in North America and closes at midnight est on Tuesday, August 18, 2009. Winner will be chosen from, will be emailed and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. Thanks for entering! On your mark, get set....go!

Anna Mae can't wait to see your fairy house!
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