Category Archives: Uncategorized

Performance Evaluation For A Snow Plow Operator

Today I had my quarterly performance evaluation.  It went fine.  I want to improve my competence in writing treatment plans incorporating  language specific to Psychosocial Rehabilitation,  a new emphasis in our State Human Services Department. I continue  to work on it.

Our current Republican  governor thought it a great idea to have all  State employees evaluate themselves every three months and set quarterly goals. Well, that can probably work for me and many  other State employees.  I wonder,  though, how the snow plow operators set quarterly goals?  I suppose in the off season they are mowing ditches and filling pot holes. How do you quantify improvements on snow removal? What a nuisance for them, though!

What goals would you suggest snow plow operators strive toward?  Tell about your work evaluations.

Lift Thine Eyes To The Hills

There is a somewhat short butte four blocks east of my house. It is a city park. This outcropping of rocks, grass, and trees is as wide at the top as one football field, and as long as two football fields.  Poderosa pines cover the sides,  and is home to a large flock of vultures in the summer and fall. It is in the middle of a well established residential area . There are walking trails, a play ground,  and picnic areas on it.  It is an easy climb to get to.

The butte is fairly flat at the top, and on the western edge there is a water tower.  The water tower is shaped like a grain bin and is about three stories tall. It sits squat on the ground, and it is visible for blocks. It is visible from my house. I have seen it countless times over the past 30 years.  It has always been a blotchy, rusty,  silver color.

Imagine my surprise on Wednesday when I was driving past the park and I noticed that the water tower was now a delicate shade of baby pink. No one paints in the winter, so it must have been painted months ago, and I didn’t notice until now. I was shocked, not only that it was pink (what an odd color) but that it took me so long to notice something so close to me. It made me wonder what else I am not seeing.

What have you failed to see that was in plain sight? How are your powers of observation?

Best Laid Plans

Over the weekend I made thank you cards for the good Samaritans that pulled me out of the snow last week, baked two loaves of zucchini bread, wrapped them and tied them with ribbon. When it was time to go to dog class Monday night, I put everything in a tote bag and took it along.  Neither of my Samaritans was there.  One is on vacation in Mexico, the other under the weather and skipping class.  I left one loaf for the other staff to enjoy and YA has already polished off quite a bit of the second loaf!

When have you had best laid plans go awry?

Simple Pleasures

Work and life in general have both been rather trying of late. The other day I was sitting in the living room, rather dazed, on a sunny Saturday  morning when I noticed the sun pouring into the dining room onto the leaded glass windows of our oak dining room buffet. It was a lovely, peaceful sight, and I told myself I had to start noticing and remembering things like that when I was stressed.

There are lots of things that are simple pleasures that can make all the difference in a person’s life.

What are the simple pleasures that keep you going?

Baboon Podcasts

Husband commented the other day that he thought the Baboons should make podcasts because we have so many  things to talk about and say to one another. It is an interesting idea. I don’t listen to podcasts. I probably would listen if I had a longer commute, but it takes me less than 5 minutes to get to work, and when I am at home I decompress by listening to music. I know that the topic has come up on the Trail before, and that  Baboons listen to them.

What podcasts do you listen to?  What sort of podcasts can you imagine Baboons creating?


I was so hopeful. For 15 years I have been the only therapist at my agency, indeed the only therapist working west of the Missouri  River (100 miles to the  east) and south of Williston  (a 2 hour drive north) who does therapy with young children. My colleagues all seemed to profess a profound fear of the under-5 crowd and would not treat them, referring them all to me. I plan to retire in about 18 months. I worry about my region’ s littles, and who will see them when I am gone.

Last spring we hired an older,  master’s level social worker who was excited to learn play therapy and who was excited to read all the materials and books I gave her. I supervised her with her cases and she really got it. Now, due to personal issues with her significant other, she is moving to Colorado.  Sigh! It is back to the drawing board and profound hope that someone will show up who I can mentor and support to treat children.

Who have you mentored? How did it work?

Animal Helpers

Luna, our grey cat, gets very excited whenever I change the sheets. She leaps onto the mattress and starts clawing at one of the corners, as you can see in the header  photo, and then jumps on the sheets and blankets as I try to flatten and adjust them.  You can see the excitement  in her face in the photo. Sometimes she lets me cover her completely  with the sheets and blankets,  leaving a distinct,  cat-shaped bump in the newly made bed.  She also helps Husband as he packs and unpacks his Rez suitcase, rubbing all his clothes and sitting in his suitcase. She is such a help!

Our terriers were great supervisors, always so curious about what we were doing and wanting to be part of the action.  When we would dig in the garden, they would dig along side us, sometimes digging up what we had just planted. So helpful!

How have your animals helped you?