Sunday, March 06, 2011

to heck and back...

me and a fellow agent protesting in Madison, WI.

Wow - this last month has been tough. I am a State Worker in Wisconsin - for some, that might be enough information. But in case it isn't - the public sector has been amidst controversy with the new governor. As part of his budget repair bill, it will cost me $400 more a month for health care and pension benefits. I am not excited about that, but I am okay with it. The State is in a tight spot and we need some checks and balances. However, in addition to this lifestyle modification, the governor is trying to take away collective bargaining rights. I have never been a huge pro-union person, even though I have been a member for almost 20 years - but where is counts for me is my physical safety on my job. The union bargains for me - that after I handcuff an inmate in a prison or jail, I can sit in front of a glass partition with my eye on them - instead of sitting next to them like we used to have to do. I am a relatively small person, and I used to have to snuggle in the back of a transport van with much bigger men in the name of safety - um, really? And I could lose that bargained agreement. So all that said...the month has been kind of long. I haven't felt like doing much of anything outside of the necessity stuff. I have been sad that 20 years on the job, and I feel like I am being forced to take many steps back. It's truly not a partisan, political thing for me. Generally I am pretty positive about my job - so this has sucked. I have found myself eating at my desk so I can avoid the other apathetic souls sitting around conjuring up "what ifs". no fun. I have heard my dad and father-in-law both proclaim that State workers are getting what's coming to them. wow, really no fun. I have had friends say they hate unions and democrats on facebook...really, totally no fun.

I think it is exciting Michael Moore was at our Capital yesterday. wow!

I recently decided enough of that. I have been having fun with co-workers naming what fun and free things we can do to keep our spirits up. It has encouraged a lot of ridiculous conversation - I mean, fun and free encompasses a lot of things - some unmentionable in this public forum, em...So I feel better - I love my co-workers - I am truly worried for some who are single parents or the only breadwinner in the family. however, I hate worrying in advance - time will tell what will happen. WI is in utter stalemate right now and the governor's disapproval rate is at 67+% in his second month in office.


So fun and free, I figured I had better practice what I preach...since I have a nice stash of fabric and yarn, crafting has been sort of free for me lately. I have added a few pieces to compliment other fabrics for the latest swap round of {Urban} Home Goods - a Modern Swap. What a talented bunch, I am humbled to be included. I made my partner 4 placemats and a trivet-y thing with insul-brite lining to protect the table from hot food. I hope she will love it.

I used a string quilt tutorial here...
see the toasters in there?

I have really enjoyed spending some quality time with my sewing machine. I think it needs a trip to the dealer for a good cleaning as a treat. It has served me well for over 12 years, aint that something? (fun and free)

Now onto a sock that has been eluding me. I am involved in a single sock swap among friends - I was halfway done with my socks foot when lo - I found an error mid-leg. It took a week to stop feeling sorry for myself and to get up the nerve to pull it back - now I have to conquer this stinker!

Have a great week!


Anonymous Georgia said...

Good for you for choosing to put some positive into the universe rather than more negative. Hope things improve soon!

6:06 PM  
Blogger Auntly H said...

Hugs to you.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Mereknits said...

I just happened upon your blog and I want to wish you luck. I agree with you, our country would be in a sad state with out unions. I don't agree with everything a union does, but better, safer conditions are so important. I have family in Madison and I have lived in Oconomowoc. Florida is under a new Gov, and he just gave away billions for a fast rail service, all to get back at Obama. Doesn't make any sense to me.
Take care,

7:34 PM  
Blogger Jean said...

Oh, what a week! So sorry about the sock and more important, about your work. Bless you for putting such an optimistic face on things. My thoughts are with you in WI.

8:42 PM  
Blogger amber said...

I'll be thinking about you... Reading one person's account is so much more eye opening than seeing a big mass of people. I think it's easy to forget about all the little things collective bargaining have done. Stay strong!

1:37 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Good luck! I liked reading about your personal side of this and love it that you are being positive. It's always too easy to just look at the negative side of things but that doesn't get us very far.

Love your placemats!!

8:42 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

As a state worker (California) my heart goes out to you. God bless!

5:30 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I LOVE your swap gift (those toasters!) I used to be a cop, so I related to what you said about safety on the job... I never joined the union but did get looped into a 20 person law suit once (that was thrown out very quickly) and almost wished I had! It is all very complicated and it sucks that you have family and friends that are tough about it to you!

9:10 PM  
Blogger Hilary said...

Ugh, I'm so sorry. :( I think it's really easy for people to make broad statements (e.g. "I hate unions and democrats") until they realize that there may be a personal connection I'm so glad you're sharing your experiences. It's never black/white or all good/all bad. I wish people would realize that it's ok to disagree with some of the workings of, again, unions or democrats without just HATING them outright. Because where is hatred going to get us?!?!

Anyway, I'm glad to hear you're finding time for fun and joyful things like crafting. I love your trivet and placemats...that green fabric with the white-ish circles is one I'm currently obsessed with and am going to make (ok, my mom is making them :) ) into curtains for the baby's room!

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:47 PM  
Blogger peaknits said...

...and because it is my blog, I get to delete anonymous posters:) I'm not talking politics, I'm talking personal heartache.

10:18 PM  

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