Happy Pre-Halloween

Good Afternoon and Happy Pre-Halloween.

I love Halloween but this year didn't have any plans. So I got together a small group to meet up for Messenger Pizza and beer at Pre-Funk tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to it. We had Messenger Pizza last week after our roller skating adventures and it was so delicious. I'm really looking forward to it.

I'm sure you can tell by now my eating is a bit off. I am fearful of the scale check-in on Tuesday as I know I have gained. I'm afraid to get on the scale here at home. I checked in with the scale last week sometime and was up slightly but still around the norm for my weight these days. It is tough knowing that the hard work and time you spent a few weeks ago is now gone and there is nothing to show for it. I put on a pair of old size 14 jeans a few days ago as the jeans I am currently wearing are in the wash. Yep, still a no-go.

Kenyon and I have been talking ourselves into eating out way more than eating in. Since we have our massages and stay at Anniversary Inn tonight we will eat out again. They serve you breakfast in the morning, which I am super excited about. Then tomorrow night is pizza and beer. I MUST get a plan in place for Sunday to clean up my diet and rev up the activity.

I'll pop in with a re-cap of our trip to Disney on Ice Frozen, our Anniversary Inn stay, and my Halloween get together. If you are celebrating today and/or tomorrow have a ton of fun and eat some candy for me.


Thursday Musings

Good Afternoon. I'm killing a few hours before I meet up with my sisters for dinner and then Disney on Ice Frozen. The little girls are going to love it! Our weather is a bit cold and rain is on the forecast. I hope it holds off until we get into the pavilion and also hold off on our trek home. I don't really want to stand in line outside in the rain!

I found out yesterday that I'll be moving to my first trainer Rosa for my two week of prescription training. I am glad I'll be back on that team as I really like it and there was a lot of positive energy for the eight weeks I spent on that team at the start of my training. I will now have to adjust from night shift calls back to day shift calls. I need to stay really focused on the task at hand which is progressing in the areas they need me to so I can move on.

Unfortunately it messed up for Vegas plans in two weeks. I ended up with several days off in a row and it crossed our mind to get in the car and drive to Vegas this weekend. Instead we pushed the trip back a week in hopes I'll be back to my planned schedule in Phase 3 and moving along with my training. That is my goal. We still wanted to do something so we then though about a quick trip to Jackpot, NV for a night or two. Then Kenyon mentioned staying at The Anniversary Inn here in town. We stayed there for our first few wedding anniversaries but haven't been in a few years.

We already have massage appointments in Boise booked for Friday so we will make a reservation for a night at The Anniversary Inn and make it a get-away that is close to home. It is just nice having time to spend with just Kenyon. For the next two weeks we will be on opposite shifts.

Well, that is all the update I have right now. My eating has not been on track and I've given into several meals out and some stress/emotional eating. I'll be popping into my Tuesday AM meeting these next two weeks as my schedule now allows it. I suspect I'll show a gain but it isn't the end of the world. Need to re-focus and get back on track (and TRACK!)


The Official Word

I got the official word at work last night that I won't be passing my Phase 2 training phase.  In order to pass you have to have four days of evaluation scores of 3 or higher.  I've not gotten a 3 on most of the call taking scoring items at all this phase.  My trainer told me on Sunday that I was to work on controlling my callers.  That appears to be my struggle right now.  Despite feeling like Monday went better we had a bit of a heated discussion about my training, to which I teared up.  I seem to be doing that a lot these days.  It is embarrassing to see "emotional" show up in your evaluation.

I got to work yesterday and was told I would be taken off the console and would be riding with an officer and that today I would also not be working the console.  I talked with the supervisor that told me I would be going to what they call prescription training.  It is where you go to a new trainer and they focus on the area that is causing you the most trouble.  They try to take out all the other components and zone in on just that issue.   I'll find out later today which trainer I'll be moving to.  I am mostly worried it will mess with the Vegas plans we have set up in two weeks.  I think I should end up with a trainer that has the same days off as I as expecting to be in two weeks.

The positive out of all of this is that I will get a new trainer.  I have really struggled these last five weeks with my current trainer.  It is really hard to talk to her and often times I am frustrated and want to cry or start crying when we do try to talk.  I had the fear that my evaluation from Monday would say I was argumentative or defiant, which it did say that, as well as her saying I was placing blame on her.  NOT GOOD!  The supervisor said that she feels me showing that I want to do better is a good thing and that if I was being rude or dismissive instead that would be a red flag.  I do want to get better.  I do want to succeed in this job.  Training is tough stuff!

So, in a nutshell, work has not been going well.  I suspect they pulled me from the dispatch floor last night and again today to eliminate any further hostile working conditions.  I apologized to my trainer last night after reading that she felt blamed.  I told her I wasn't placing blame on anybody but myself.  She told me to stop apologizing.  I don't get her!  Sadly, I have to go back to her later in my training for police dispatch.  Hopefully I have perfected my call taking skills by then and we can focus on the new stuff I am to be learning at that time.

I'm still confident that I want to do this job and with time I will prefect my skills. The hard part to stomach is that when I first started with NPD it was new and exciting and I was really happy. The last few weeks have felt like a dark cloud is hanging over my head. I'll be happy for our massage appointments on Friday so I can get my shoulder worked on. They have been extra tight and sore for weeks.

Making a life change is hard. I know that when things are hard that is when we push more to overcome and in doing so can continue to grow. I'm working on being more confident, controlling my callers better, and consistency. I call it my three C's. I just need to stay focused.


Renewing My Driver's License

I splurged a lot this last week. I am actually not even going to get on the scale until mid-week at the earliest. I might wait all the way until Saturday. I don't want to get discouraged.

I kept on track early in the week and stuck to my goal of not having sweets at the PSAP seminar. I successfully surpassed the sugary baked goods at breakfast and snack breaks and the dessert at lunch. I also talked myself out of getting frozen yogurt on Thursday night after my birthday meal at Tucanos.

I enjoyed everything that I ate. I also ate at times that I wasn't hungry or that I didn't need to continue the indulgence. The last of the birthday cake is in the trash can and I've come up with a soft meal plan for this week. I need to reel it back in so I can continue to be successful to my weight loss goals.

I'd really like to see the 190s again. I had to renew my driver's license this week and found myself with a 92 minute estimated wait time at the DMV on Friday. Rookie mistake to go on a Friday to the the DMV. Regardless, my wait actually only ended up being one hour and 20 minutes.

I'd been debating the whole time on what I would put at my weight. I remember how excited I was to actually be able to list my true and accurate weight when I got down to 175 pounds and needed to renew my driver's license four years ago. Sadly, I am no longer 175 and I felt the need to adjust the weight. I consulted with my WW buddies. I didn't want to put 210 pounds, my actual weight, and I really do desire to be in the 190 again. So I decided to put 199. Jan from my 100+ Maintainers WW Group made the comment that you could really swing 10 pounds either way and probably be fine.

I stepped up to the counter when my number was called and went through all the usual questions when renewing your license. She asked if the height and weight were about the same. I told her no and that she can up the weight to 199. She paused for a moment and said, “I'll put 190.”

Jan was right. 10 pounds really does make a difference. It had me laughing none the less. I've got to wait 2-3 weeks for my new license to arrive. I got all gussied up for the photo. I hope it turns out okay.


Hello 36!

Today is my 36th Birthday. Since I have to work tonight I made sure to celebrate lots over my days off.

Thursday afternoon I got a call that our massage appointments were needing to be rescheduled since my therapist was ill. I was so bummed as my shoulder are really tight from all the work stress and could really have used some attention. We have re-schedule for next Friday. We still celebrated my birthday early be redeeming my free birthday meal at Tucanos. It was as delicious as always.

Friday my friend Jamie hosted a birthday party at her house. It was so much fun to see my friends and their kids. Since it was close to Halloween and Jamie's girls have many costumes to rotate through we made it a combined birthday/Halloween party. I brought over my box of tiny hats, glasses, and other fun festive items so everybody could get into the spirit.

Apparently I take blowing out birthday candles VERY seriously.

It was a really late night on Friday night/Saturday morning as we didn't leave Jamie's house until 1am. Saturday afternoon I met Phoenix and her kids for my annual roller skating party at Nampa Roller Drome. Phoenix also invited a church friend and her family. One of the gals that works at the roller skating rink came by and commented, “You look cute. Which kid is having the birthday today?” I replied, “I'm the kid.” You are never too old to have fun.

After we met downtown at Messenger Pizza for some really delicious pizza. I had a 2 for 1 coupon so it made the 24' pizzas a pretty good deal. We all enjoyed it.

After pizza Kenyon and I went to my parents house to celebrate with cake and ice cream. Dad had knee surgery on Tuesday so he wasn't able to partake in other festivities this weekend. Mom got my favorite cake, german chocolate, and also Reese's peanut butter ice cream. Boy does she know me well! It was a wonderful treat.

I am excited about this next year of my life and ready to get the real party started! It's back to work for what I hope is my final week of Phase 2 of my training. Fingers crossed.


4th Annual PSAP 911 Seminar: Day Two

Day two of the 4th Annual PSAP 911 Seminar wasn't as fun as day one. I didn't get much sleep the night before and was awake from 2am-4am so I was already pretty tired. I decided to have breakfast at the hotel with those that were staying there from out of town. It was a really yummy breakfast and I could have eaten three more plates of the fruit alone. Yum.

The ISP honor guard was in full numbers on day two as was the Boise and Nampa Police Pipes and Drums. I always love seeing/hearing it.

Day two keynote speaker was Ron Price from Price and Associates. You could tell Ron was good at public speaking and he gave away some books to those that had the courage to speak up and participate. That was pretty neat. Does anybody remember the story of the young CEO in Seattle that increased the minimum wage for his employees to $70,000? I remember hearing he had ties to Idaho and went to school at Nampa Christian. Well, that young CEO is Dan Price, who is Ron Price's fourth son. It was almost like having a celebrity in that very room with us! Ron talked about leadership and the various types of leaders.

The first session of the day was Blue Courage taught by Vic McGraw who is the new Idaho POST Director. I had not had a chance to meet Vic but remember him coming on board when I was working at ISP. I had heard good things about the Blue Courage training but also felt this one felt flat. I just didn't feel it pertained to dispatchers as much as officers. I liked Vic's personal connection and stories to what he was talking about. I just didn't feel it was really a dispatcher topic. He talked about how police are the Guardians and the important job we do. He was also a bit short on time and ran through it pretty quickly.

My second session of the day was Amber Alert Training taught by Gus Paidousis. The best part of this training was Gus' accent. He was from the south and I loved hearing him say “momma and daddy”. It was the highlight of the day! I knew when I saw the topic of Amber Alert on the agenda that it would merely be a refresher from the training I attended in August. While it is always good and important information it is rather dry. You can't really spice up the topic of Amber Alert and make it funny. It is a very serious topic. So far the only two Idaho Amber Alerts issued in 2015 have both come from Nampa PD. It will be interesting to see Amber Alerts from the 911 side of the things vs from the ISP side of things.

The final three hour session on day two was the longest and most boring of the sessions. The State Of Idaho Sends Greetings was again taught by Bryan Taylor and it continued from the training on day one about subpoenas. This was where we actually saw some mock trials and went over the actual part of testifying in court, what to expect, and what the prosecutor and defense attorney will ask. I liked seeing this mock trial setting but felt all three sessions really drug on. There could have been more explanation along the way. Instead we were just watching a bad case of Law and Order. I really struggled with boredom eating/gum chewing and finally broke out my big-ass candy bar during the session.

I'd made a pact with myself to steer clear of sweets and treats (which were in abundance) but I needed some sugar to keep my eyes open. I keep things in check and only had one square of chocolate. I have the rest of this big-ass candy bar (as well as another one) in the freezer for a later date when a sugar craving hits.

I can't say it enough on how lucky I am to have been able to attend this session. Training is important in order to keep your job skills in tact. I am not sure if I'll be able to attend next year as I'll be the newest employee with the least amount of seniority. We will see what a years time brings.

Oh, I almost forgot. I won a $100 Visa gift card in the raffle at the end of day two. I'm usually not that lucky. WhooooHooo!


4th Annual PSAP 911 Seminar: Day One

The 4th Annual PSAP 911 Seminar was a fantastic success.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend some part of the conference each year. This year I was able to attend both days. I was hopeful that since my job is now 911 (vs ISP which was not) that I'd be able to learn a lot about 911 topics. This year there wasn't as many topics that pertained to dispatching and 911. I was still able to meet/network and chat with other 911 operators around the state to ask questions and get some advise on this new territory I've ventured into.

The PSAP Seminar is put on at no cost thanks to the amazing sponsors and vendors. The vendors are a huge part of making this event a success. THANK YOU!

Day One keynote speaker was Mike and Carrie Kralicek. Mike was a Coeur d' Alene police officer who suffered a near-fatal debilitating injury in the line of duty. Hearing his speech sure puts life into perspective. Seeing his wife Carrie and all she does for him now (and has continued to do for him over the last 14 years since his shooting) breaks your heart. It really makes you aware of how important marriage vows are and why “for better and for worse” and “til death do us part” should be taken seriously. I can't even imagine what the day-to-day life is like for this married couple and how hard it must be to wake up each and every day looking for some sort of positive. I am very fortunate to have been able to hear them speak. We were also able to talk more one-on-one with them during the breaks. I talked a bit with Carrie about the dispatcher side of being behind the radio when your officer is shot. I know the guilt the dispatcher felt the day Mike got shot. That feeling never goes away. You always feel connected to that person.

The seminar is designed that you attend two sessions one day and then two sessions the second day. I picked the best of the sessions on day one as I feel that was the better of the two days. My first session was What To Do When You Receive A Subpoena taught by Bryan Taylor with the Canyon County Prosecutor's Office. First off, I love Bryan. He taught a session last year and he is absolutely hilarious. He has humor all through this presentation and is very funny and energetic. I was excited to hear him again this year. In the short 13-weeks I have been a 911 dispatcher I can tell already that they gets called to testify many more times than those of us at ISP. I learned a lot from this course and hope to remember it when the time comes to have to testify. It is one of the scariest part of my job and makes me nervous to even think about it.

The second session of the day was Security Threat Groups taught by Nicole Fraser with the Idaho Department of Correction. Nicole was my sergeant in A-block when I worked at the men's maximum security prison several years ago. I sought out Nicole before the session started so I could say hello and see if she remembered me. We had so much fun talking about those we used to work with and it really made me miss my days at the prison. The session was really awesome and Nicole did a fantastic job with the photos and videos she shared. I can't say it was very relivent to our jobs as dispatchers but it was sure an interesting topic to discuss. It brought back so many memories of working at the prison and seeing the videos of inmates fighting made me remember why I don't work out there anymore. I miss some of my old coworkers but not the crap that goes on when you oversee inmates.

The final session of the day was a full three hours and we were all in the same session together. That sessions was by far the most emotional and ended the day on a bit of a sad note. Emotional Survival For The First Responder was taught by Sgt. Jamie Burns and Officer Brad Childers with the Nampa Police Department. I had heard Jamie speak of emotional survival at the first PSAP seminar and had known he had been shot in the line of duty. When I started my first week at Nampa we met with Jamie where he talked more about the shooting and the depression that came after. I knew it would be an emotional day as it is still difficult for Jamie to talk about. Brad Childers was shot in the line of duty while working for Canyon County Sheriff's Office. He and another CCSO Deputy Roth each took five bullets. Brad also had a difficult time talking about his shooting, which happened three years ago tomorrow. Seeing grown men tear up is tough. I was also sitting with the dispatchers from my agency who were all affected by the events of the shootings and know each of them men more personally than I do. Both Jamie and Brad's wives were also sitting at my table. It made for a very emotional few hours.

The silver lining that came out of both officers being shot, going through a depression, and coming out the other side is that they each went on to respond to a call involving saving a child. Jamie was the first officer on scene of a six-year-old child that was found half naked in an alley on a cold morning in January 2006.  She had been sexually assaulted and bystanders had the 12-year-old boy detained. Jamie was the lifeline for this child that needed help. Had he not been able to pull himself together after his shooting, he wouldn't have been there to help this child in need. The same goes for Brad. In June of 2015 he responded to a report of a 3-year-old child that had drown in a pool. When Brad arrived on scene the 14-year-old cousin was doing CPR and Brad took over. The child lived and after many months of rehab in Salt Lake City was able to meet Brad when he received his live saving metal a few weeks ago. If Brad had not been there this child may not have made it.

As emotional as the day was, it is a reminder on how important the job of a 911 dispatcher is. When the caller dials 911, we are their lifeline. They called because they need help and my job is to get them that help. 911, and non-emergency, dispatchers have a very tough job. I am glad there are so many wonderful people that fill the seat next to me and that fill the seats all over the USA.

I'll report in on Day Two tomorrow.  


A New Overnite Oats Recipe

I've come up with a new twist on the old classic overnite oats recipe. If you aren't familiar with the world of overnite oats, it is a cold version of equal parts raw oats, milk (any type), and yogurt (any type). Then you can add anything you want to flavor it such as fresh fruit, frozen fruit, pumpkin, cinnamon, peanut butter, etc.

My new twist is that I've been using oat bran vs. oatmeal. I really like this change because the taste of raw oats is awful. I've always struggled to make my overnite oats taste good and I find with this substitution it is much easier to make them taste good.

I've been eating overnite oats frequently as it is a really easy and portable breakfast. May all time favorite is when there is a partially empty peanut butter jar that I made my O.O. inside. Doing this allows you to scrape up the peanut butter as you eat it. If I don't have an empty peanut butter jar than I just add in some peanut butter when I'm ready to eat it.

Here is my go-to recipe:
6 oz fat-free Greek yogurt
½ cup unsweetened Cashew milk
20 grams oat bran
1 Tbs chia seeds
fresh strawberries
16 grams peanut butter

I've been using a milk alternative such as almond, cashew, or coconut milk that you find in the milk section. I have never been a fan of milk and I don't like how much sugar is naturally found in regular milk products. I also prefer the unsweetened variety as I can then add my own sweetness.

If I am using fresh strawberries I prefer to add the base items and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Than I'll add my strawberries and peanut butter before I eat my O.O. If I'm taking it to go to eat at work later I'll usually just mix it all in together as it is just easier that way.

I also recently tried blending some strawberries in my Magic Bullet so it created a bit of a sauce. I omitted the milk and found this was a really good consistency and was very sweet and flavorful. I almost was able to get away without adding peanut butter...but...I really like my peanut butter.

You can find oat bran in the cereal isle at the store. I like using oat bran as a filler when I do have regular oatmeal as I feel it stretches my oats and makes it more filling. I'll often use 20 grams oat bran and 20 grams oatmeal when I made regular oatmeal on the stove. In the O.O. though I just use the 20 grams oat bran.

Oh, I should add that using oat bran does leave some of the oat pieces on your teeth after you eat. A minor setback to this new recipe.

Try it. You might find you like it.


Birthday Week Ahead - Caution: Food Temptations Loom

It is my “Birthday Week” and as usual I have schedule a lot in this week! It is going to be a very busy week with lots of food temptations. I've been working on my mental thinking on how to combat this week while not losing out on any fun or feeling deprived.

It will also be a crazy week for sleep as I worked night shift Sunday until 1am this morning. Then I go in for part of a shift tonight until 10pm as I have to turn my sleep around as I am attending the 4th Annual PSAP 911 Seminar on Tuesday and Wednesday. I am happy I get an opportunity to attend this year's seminar regardless of it being during my graveyard shift. It is a great opportunity to learn and network. This year I hope to learn more about 911 and talk with some 911 dispatchers from around the state.

So here is my plan for this week:

I'm really just going to take it one day at a time and focus on making the best possible choices on THAT day. The PSAP Conference is at a different hotel location this year so I am not sure what to expect in way of food. However, I know that I want to enjoy lunch with my NPD peeps, ISP peeps, and all other peeps I know from around the state. So, my plan is to not have dessert if there is a dessert options. In the past there has also been sweet treats during the break so I'll need to plan some sort of healthy snack.

I'm going track to the best of my ability. Tracking is key to keeping me on track. I'm not sure why nine years later I still think if I don't write it down that I somehow magically didn't eat it.

I'm going to conserve as many of my WPPA as possible for later in the week when we plan to use my Tucano's free birthday meal card, a birthday party with my friends that Jamie is hosting, and pizza with Phoenix and her kids after we go roller skating on Saturday.

I'm going to try to move when I can, even if that isn't formal activity. I'll be short on time early in the week but I do plan to move whenever I can. Just today my Apple Watch gave me my weekly summary and suggested dropping my daily activity goal to 400. I'm finding it harder to meet my daily goals on graveyard. If I wasn't adjusting my schedule so frequently (will be back to day shift in two weeks) then I'd really try to combat that. But for now, any movement = success.

Mostly I am going to take it ONE DAY AT A TIME. Here is yesterday's tracker:


October Birthdays Celebration/Bar Hopping

My friends and I had a wonderful time celebrating October birthdays last night. October is such a fun month.

Our meeting spot was Snake River Winery in BoDo where my brother works in the tasting room. Just as we were waiting for the others to arrive (terrible parking due to many events going on downtown) several other groups showed up at Snake River Winery to do some tasting. Since there isn't anywhere to sit we crossed the street to Bodovino Wine to grab a spot. We were also able to grab some food/appetizers there as my poor planning should have started with a food stop. It was BUSY downtown last night.

Once the group arrived we headed to Prost! where we hoped to have some German beer and food. This is where having no plan sort of got difficult. It was raining pretty hard and all the restaurants/bars were packed as nobody could sit outside. There wasn't enough seating at Prost!, Bittercreek, or Matador. I've had good luck in the past with 10 Barrel Brewing Co so we headed there to get out of the rain and hopefully get a seat. The wait for a table was 45 minutes. I knew the bar was open seating so I peeked around the corner and saw a huge table with just two people sitting there. I asked if they mind if we joined them (ensuring we were a large group of seven and only if they were sure). The nice couple, who appeared to be on a date, said yes.

We were sort of cramped for space until they left but at least we were seated, out of the rain, having some food, and my favorite Swill. I found out later Danielle felt so bad for them that she bought their beer. Sheesh! I did ask before barging in on their party but that was nice of her. I find people can't really say no to a Birthday Girl. Maybe I should wear my hat year-round?

I took these photos with my Apple Watch.  First we propped my phone up on the table.  Then Kenyon held it for us.

By the time we were done eating Danielle was ready for a cocktail so I did a quick search on area bars with late night happy hour. Thankfully the rain had stopped so we walked to Mai Thai for 2 for 1 drinks. I had a White Russian and a Captain Morgan and diet coke. Such tiny drinks or such a large price which is why I wanted to find a deal! By that time, Kelsey and Kate had gone home and Jamie and Kevin met up with us. Jamie didn't get there in time for 2 for 1 drinks so we headed to Juniper as they also had a late night happy hour.

Mark left us at that point to head home but we still had a group of six. They only had a four-top table but said if we wanted to crowd around it we could. I once again asked the guy sitting alone next to our table if he was expecting company, if it was okay if we sat by him, and that he could join us. He was still waiting to see if his two friends were coming but said we could sit by him. The drinks at Juniper were limited to certain ones so the four of us girls had a Moscow Mule. This was my first one and it was quite tasty but a bit tart. I heard it probably had more ginger beer than vodka in it. We also shared two rounds of the blue cheese fries, which were amazing.

At that point I think we were all ready to head home and my last three drinks went down pretty quick. We said our goodbyes as the rain was just starting to sprinkle again. Kenyon was my DD and we picked up Danielle. We dropped her off and got home around 1am.

I always say I am so lucky to have such a wonderful group of friends. I am happy several of them wanted to and were able to come and celebrate with me. I was hoping for more free drinks since I was wearing my birthday stuff but that wasn't the case. Regardless, we had a great time.