Time Keeps on Ticking, Ticking, Ticking…. Into the Future

imageHello, faithful friends of Midwestern Plants!!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that autumn brings less and less topics to write about, let alone that season of white groundcover! =-O It is time for me to hibernate to a three posts a week schedule. It’s a sad situation for me, as I do truly love to write.

I have kicked around starting another blog, however the topics I want to write about are a bit more sensitive than plants. I follow so many ‘upbeat’ blogs about being happy, and how to change your life to be more happy. Yes, they’ve helped me somewhat. However, I feel the need to rant!! I’m not totally sure about this, however I feel that if I could get things off my mind, and there are possibly folks out there that feel the same, I would feel better. The topics would not be happy ones or following the norm.

I’m not going to make any mention of this other blog on MP, as I don’t want to get a ‘cross-contamination’ of followers… ‘Trolls’ are what I’m talking about πŸ˜‰

Otherwise, my life has been filled with wanting to find a different career. I religiously (nightly) search the job offers in the non-profit field and can’t find anything over $10 an hour. I GET IT! It is non-profit work, and it’s not money that brings you to this field, it’s wanting to make the world a better place. However, I make well more than that now, and can’t take that huge of a pay cut. I’m still looking and I’ve also signed up for more intense grant writing classes.

Another passion would be writing. I look for those job offers, however making $2 per blog post is fruitless also. There are so many scam websites out there, it’s hard to weed through all of them. Getting there. Do I write a book then??? Hmmm.

Worst case, I ask my boss for a raise and an ‘official’ promotion. After our designer died in 2013, I’ve been doing her job, for the most part. We have a contracted landscape architect, who draws the plans in AutoCAD (I use DynaSCAPE), then I tell him what plants I want. I don’t get to visit the site, I use Google Earth and other photos of the area, which is LUNACY! I recently got to go out and ‘set’ plants, because the original design got a bit off because of how the hardscape was laid out. It was a lot of fun, however the exposure (sun/shade) was completely off from what I was told (deep shade). I don’t feel our clients are getting the amount of service they should be getting for the price they are paying. This may be a HAIL MARY for me. As if he tells me he’s not willing to do this, well, then I may need to leave. I’m sure he knows I’m underpaid for this position, I should be getting another $15,000 a year for the job I do according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Otherwise, life has been pretty good to us this past year. We got to do a lot of camping at new and interesting places. By far, Door County was our favorite trip and we’ll be back there next 4th of July. Most of our trips have focused on areas where we could kayak. We even had fun at Merrick State Park, where the freight trains, about 100 feet away, would blow their horns (and sometimes shake the camper!) as they traveled by every hour. Kickapoo State Park near Danville, IL was a fun trip, because we were able to kayak every day we were there. Nice! Even better, I had read last summer that the park was doing to be closed, due to Illinois broke-ass status. Welp, money must have been found somewhere, as I just looked at the statuses of the forest preserves here, and many are not closing! Yeah!!!

My husband just told his boss he was free to work every Saturday in November… hmmm. That might mean I’d be free to do that 50,000 words challenge (NaNonFiWriMo) National Nonfiction Writing Month.

I’ve also been looking into all the ‘free’ college courses that are popping up as apps. EdX is one in trying now. Hopefully, going to learn some CSS styling πŸ˜ƒ Neither of these activities could be done if I was posting M-F.

On a sad note, a close friend of mine died this last Sunday of lung cancer. He was only 51. A few weeks ago his doctor told him he only had a few more weeks, so throw a Par-Tay! And a party he did throw! He’s part of a group of musicians that travel to different churches to play, so a stage was set up in the garage and everyone rotated up to play. It was awesome and sad at the same time. I would think because of his faith, he didn’t have much to fear. He knows he’s going to the good place =-)

Lastly, I’d really like to thank all of you blogging buddies that make writing here such a pleasant experience! I looked into many other blogging sites available (Blogger, Weebly, Tumblr… ) and felt WP was the most friendly and easy to use. I think we chose wisely!

So, on that note, I will leave to you continue on through your reader =-)

PS – IF anyone in the non-profit sector would like to throw me a bone about getting involved, please send me an email!

Β© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

43 thoughts on “Time Keeps on Ticking, Ticking, Ticking…. Into the Future

  1. we cross our paws and fingers that your plan works and that you will earn a mountain of green papers and happiness too :o) we still wait that someone throws a bone or a ball so we could buy some dogy toys and some shoes more, butt… like you said … such bone throwers are hard to find…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a retired corporate human resources exec, I can truly feel your frustration. Life is not fair, and smaller companies can get away with more than larger ones can when it comes to paying fair and equitable wages based on legitimate job descriptions. Non profits feed your soul but not necessarily your wallet. Tough call. If you set up a rant website, please send me an email so I can check in. Ranting is sometimes very good for the psyche. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the encouragement! I’ve only worked for a large company once, and would NOT go back. I felt like I did little for my large salary, however could get nothing done when I needed to and had to compete with other co-workers (and cliques) to get anything done. Too much paperwork, managers and few folks actually DOING the work.
      I totally get the lower salaries in non-profit. I will try to better my knowledge, so I can attain at least a livable wage.
      I will send you an email about the rant site, however be aware it may be evil. I’ve not gotten that ‘ranty’ on MP, maybe on GMO stuff, however I intend on writing about subjects that may get me in trouble =-O


  3. Also I agree about the non-profit thing it’s like.. people can’t make a living by helping others? It’s a lame way of setting it up. It seems people complain if non-profits pay their employees nice. A good example of this not sure if they still are is Keeneland Horse Race Track, in Lexington, KY. My dad worked there for a time growing up and they were non-profit and paid their employees nice and had BEAUTIFUL grounds and still donated millions per year to charity. Win-win needs to happen more often like that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I agree fully. Non-profit does not have to mean full volunteer staff. I’m not asking for a padded salary, just enough to put food in my pie-hole. I have am a good worker and work hard. Whatever company I work for, they definitely get their money’s worth outta me πŸ˜‰


  4. Hi Ilex – At the risk of overstating the obvious, if I you cannot pursue your dreams due to the level of income required, then perhaps you and your hubby could sit down and see if you really need your current lifestyle or whether a simpler lifestyle would be a possibility. I know so many people living in large houses who really do not need 3000 sq ft and 4 bedrooms (e.g.). I know people who have constantly chased the $$$$$ in their work, only to find that the inherent extra responsibilities are making their personal interests even less achievable.
    Perhaps this is a good time for both of you to get away for a day or so with the sole intention of discussing what is really important to you both as individuals and as a couple, and see where it is not in synch with your current lifestyle.
    In my opinion, being retired, one should never sacrifice ones hopes and dreams. You only get one life and one day it will end. As I have said in many posts, it is very sad to hear somebody reflect on their life with “I wonder if I ever could have……………?”, or “Perhaps I should have …………..?”, or “If only I had………………?”
    As for ranting on a Blog? Go ahead! It might generate some perspectives that you were not aware of! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great Input, thanks!!
      We are not extravagant folks. Due to the economy dumping in 2006, my husband loosing his job the next year and me deciding to go to college all within 3 years, our savings took a hit. We were lucky to still stay in the black, due to not having any debt, aside from a mortgage. In the last 3 years, we have recovered most of our savings, but I’m still down $100,000 of the value on my house. Our lifestyle is so on the down-low, I would not know where to cut it. We shop at the Goodwill for clothes, I run yearly checks on every utility we use to look for better rates, we don’t have cable TV, my house is 1,100 sqft (can’t get much smaller!!), I color my own hair and don’t wear makeup (I’m not a girly-girl – I only have 6 pairs of shoes!!)…. I think you get my point. We are in ‘savings mode’ for the future and of course, if I mentally snap, we’ll need to cover me until I find a different job. 8-}


  5. Sounds like you have much to look forward to, Ilex. When you see that open door, jump for it – it didn’t open by itself.

    Also, I’m so sorry to hear about your friends untimely passing. I hope you, and his family and other friends, will find peace and comfort in the many happy memories you collected together.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Three posts a week…it really is a sad time of the year again. Except for the holiday pots. That may be my favorite post of the year from you. Just don’t get there quite yet. πŸ˜‰

    I wish I could offer you some insight into where to look for something new and more in line with what you want to be doing. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open – I know that all of my friends who have switched careers to something more in line with what they want to be doing have never regretted the decision. It always seems to be that pesky “I need to eat” thing that gets in the way of more people doing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! So true.
      In his defense, he hired me during tough times (2011), at least for me. I took a low salary as landscaping jobs were almost non-existent & I needed $$. Since then, I’ve only been getting ‘cost of living’ raises. I never got a ‘chunk’ raise for when I took on all the extra duties. I like design. I don’t like working with people, however I get over it. It’s easier to work with people when you know what they want, instead of just presenting what the boss likes over and over and the customer wonders if I’m daft!
      I recently got him to pay for my health insurance. That is about $4M a year. That helped a lot!
      I’ll write a post when I finally confront him… sometime in November.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It is! Thank you for your well wishes! I know I’m appreciated… If I left, it would be a huuuge hole to fill, especially if my replacement had no training from me. This is what happens when you put so much on one employee. The company benefits ($$ wise) from not having to pay more than one person, however if said person leaves, it’s a huge blow to the company.
      I was trained for 6 months. So much of this job is knowledge of each of our clients. Something you can’t be ‘pretrained’ with coming into the job.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. When I retired in 2011 I wanted to write. I wanted to take good photos. I never expected to do it for $$. If you can and do then that’s amazing. It’s so tough to break in but if you don’t try the writing you will never know. I’m of an age where the years seem to be going past way too fast and the body isn’t so strong. If I could turn the clock back I would try different things but it’s too late now. It’s easy to say go for it but you have to pay the bills. I hope you find that ideal role or get the raise. Blog away, rant on. I’d like to read your hidden thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Andrew! You’re always so straight forward. I just emailed a dog charity that needs someone to help them with their WP blog site. I think this will help me break out and gain some confidence. Obviously, I’ll be helping some furries also! Maybe that would be enough to quench my writing/non-profit thirst. We’ll see =-)


  8. Oh do keep writing! I have only just found you on here. I also work as a garden designer in the uk. I am self employed, so dictate my terms, and I always buy all the plants and set them in position for the gardeners to plant. It gives me much more control of the situation. And then I work as a travelling head gardener, visiting the gardens and helping the gardeners setting out bulbs for the spring, and bedding for the summer etc. All the best. Karen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words! I started doing a similar business as yours when I finished my horticulture degree. The economy here was really bad at the time.
      I do like the folks I work with and it would be awesome if I could just roll right into the design position at my workplace.
      I just flew over to your site… Veeery nice! I’m now a follower =-)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for your participation on the blog-o-sphere. I enjoy the variety of your posts. And I too have considered taking a class in writing so as to improve the general style of my reports on the life of Mongo.

    Liked by 1 person

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