Sunday, June 28, 2015

Comfort Authors - A whole different kettle of fish

I think those of us who reread books are very familiar with the comfort read.  It’s the book that gives us comfort when we are feeling down, maybe because we are in a reading slump, perhaps RL is zapping us, work is more stressful than usual, there could be many reasons why we need a comfort read.  Romance in general is a comfort genre literature, we know going in that there will be a HEA, but the comfort read is even more so.  We’ve already read it, we have taken the journey with the hero/heroine already and we want to take it again because the first time we traveled the road, the trip was so enjoyable.  All us rereaders have those books.  But I just reread a book I haven’t read in a number of years and I realized that the author herself was a comfort author.  I’m speaking of Jayne Ann Krentz.  I haven’t read any of her newer books in a few years now, but I loved her books back in the day and each one gave me the warm fuzzies when I read them.  Her stories are predictable and I know what I’m going to get and I like it.  There are no surprises, just a comfort feeling along with the “I just like these people” thought.  I recently purchased as couple more of her back list as ebooks and I know before I even start them that I’ll be feeling literaturely cuddled after I’m finished reading them.

JD Robb gives me a similar feeling when I reread one of the In Death books.  I know and really LIKE Eve, Roarke and the gang so it’s a level of contentment when I reread one of their crimes and how they solve it.  While her novels are all crime related and seemingly not comfort, still, it’s knowing all the characters so well that makes it so for me.

I’ve been trying to think of other comfort authors but I’m having a hard time thinking of them in terms of authors and not specific books.  If it were books I was pondering, I could come up with quite a few, but authors is harder for me.

Anyone have any authors they consider “comfort authors”?
'til later

Friday, June 26, 2015

Random Ramblings

It’s still busy and I really should be concentrating on what I’m getting paid to do, but I don’t think it will hurt if I take a few minutes here and there as what I’m doing is pretty routine and my mind is once again taking flight.


The snobby snob in me can’t help but chuckle at the flogging of the dead horse and the utter ridiculousness that is the FOURTH installment in the 50 Shades phenomenon.    For those who pay attention to such things, I haven’t read the books, will never read the books, haven’t seen the movie, will never see the movie.  I’m annoyed at the fact that so many have read these books and the buzz has been out of this world for, from what I’ve read, is poorly written fan fiction.  There are so many fabulous authors out there who write well written books that will pass by completely unnoticed by the general masses who then read garbage.  To me it’s not unlike Keeping up with the Kardasians winning a Golden Globe for  best acting.  It’s wrong, it’s just wrong.

So I couldn’t help but laugh at the indignation of so many who are discovering that book 1, from Christian Grey’s POV is just one of three and the author has 2 more of the exact same book planned.  Good grief - talk about flogging a dead horse!! 

I read some reviews on GoodReads and word is – it’s garbage.  I can’t help but hope the author plummets down to earth where she never should have risen anyway.  I tell you, I am such a bitch some days.


I’ve been designing – sort of – my own calendars for a number of years now through Vista Print.  Every month was a different scene from North and South each and every time the calendar ended in August with “The Train Scene Kiss”.  I brought it into work and as more and more people from work watched and loved it, I began to order more calendars for coworkers – just to share the love.

Well people, we have come to the end of an era I’m afraid.  For the first time since 2011, North and South screen caps no longer grace the months.  Nope, I’m figuratively doffing my cap and passing the calendar torch onto Outlander. 
 These are a different kind of calendars.  Instead of starting in January, as most do, mine start in September so it’s getting really close to time to order them.  Because we often plan schedules 2 weeks to even a month ahead of the current date, I have 2 of them on my desk, the current month and the next month.  So I’m needing September soon.  A few other people do the same thing and some of these happen to be fellow fans of Outlander.  So I’ve designed the calendar – just have to hit that pay button and the order will be winging its way to VistaPrint.  I just hope Richard/John will forgive for leaving him behind as I move on to Sam/Jamie.  I will love you always John Thornton and at least we have 2013.
Bet you all thought you'd never seen the day.


I know I’ve bitched about this before but I will continue to do so until JUSTICE IS SERVED!!  They have a thread again at AAR for freebie or ebook sales.  There are a couple lately for books I would love to get and they are on for a great price at Amazon.  Amazon –dot COM that is!  It’s an entirely different story at  And of course it’s through my favourite publisher (not) Harper Collins/Avon. 

Sex, Lies and Online Dating by Rachel Gibson (love her books) - $1.99 $8.99

Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas - $1.99 $8.99

Your Scandalous Ways by Loretta Chase - $1.99 - $7.99 (squeal of a deal there she said sarcastically)



I received a mood calendar as a gift a while ago and I brought it to work.  I love this calendar and changed it every day to reflect my mood.  Coworkers are starting to check my mood before checking how I am.  Lately it’s mostly been on the negative side of things, but starting Thursday, July 2 (Wednesday is a holiday here in Canada) the calendar mood will be starting to change.  Why you ask?  Well, it’s cause then we will be into the actual month I head once again to RWA – this years in New York, to meet up with my people again.  I think anticipation is even higher this year as I missed last year, mostly because of the depression but also because I had another big project, new bathroom that I had to pay for.  This year I’m getting new siding but that’s not going to stop me from RWA.  There are SO many people I’m looking forward to seeing, but a special shout out to Wendy,SuperLibrarian.  We will be roomies again after several years apart and my first question will be “Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, what do you have against Jon Snow that you are glad he’s dead????” 

Mind you I haven’t watched Game of Thrones for a few seasons now, it became just to bloody bloody.  I have tried a couple of times over the other seasons since and then there would come a scene where someone got stabbed in the eye and that was all she wrote.  But from the first season that I was an AVID watcher, Jon and Daenerys and Tyrion were my favourite characters with Jon being #1.  AND THEY KILLED HIM OFF!  As if Ned and Robb and Catelyn all dying wasn’t enough.  As if what’s happened to Sansa and Arya isn’t enough?  I’ve lost track of the little boys.  So did they then have to go and kill of Jon??? Why, Why, Why?

 Then I can hardly wait to see Lisabea and Rosie – I hope Rose is going again!!  Of course there are so many other too, but the four of us seem to hang out the most.

Now back to the point – see how I ramble and get off topic?  So now that I will be in countdown mode, my mood will be picking up until I’m up to daily bouncy

 This has nothing to do with anything to do with romance but it is a real bug-a-boo I have.  I’m on the phone a lot anymore at work.  And I can tell when the person is speaking on a cell phone.  Cell phone reception/quality is TERRIBLE a lot of the times.  I’m constantly adjusting my phone’s volume, calls cut out, they are mumbled and I can’t hear what they are saying, they are calling while in traffic and all I hear is background noise.  A lot of the nurses who call in have been issued cell phones and I think the company they worked for must have ordered the cheapest cell phones they could get.  It makes me so cranky (and then I have to change my mood calendar) whenever I get one of these calls and chance are when I’ve had to ask for the fourth time for them to repeat something that I can’t hear, an impatient tone in my voice may come through – not at the person I’m talking to, but the cheap piece of equipment they are using.  I’m cranky enough as it is since I don’t like talking on the phone, but talking on the phone and not hearing what the other person is saying, well, many of those kinds of calls a day and I really need to de-stress at the end of the day.

Anyway - that's all I have for now

'til later


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Recent Reads

Outlaw Hearts by Rosanne Bittner

Why this one:  I LOVE THIS BOOK

Genre: Western

Steam Level: pert ‘near perfect

Outline: At twenty, Miranda Hayes had known more than her share of heartache and loss. Widowed by the war, orphaned by a vicious band of rebel raiders, she was a woman alone in a harsh, unyielding frontier. Then she clashed with the notorious gunslinger Jake Harkner, a hard-hearted loner with a price on his head, and found within herself a deep well of courage...and feelings of desire she'd never known.

Hunted by lawmen and desperadoes alike, haunted by his brutal past, Jake had spent a lifetime on the dusty trail--and on the run. Until he met a vibrant, honey-haired beauty who was determined to change his violent ways, who loved him enough to risk her life to be his outlaw's woman.

From the vast plains of the Midwest across the Oregon Trail to the sun-drenched valleys of southern California, from the blazing Nevada desert to the boomtowns of Colorado, Miranda and Jake struggled to endure amid the perils of a lawless wilderness. In a world of heart-stopping danger and burning desire, could their hard-won love survive the shadows that stalked their happiness?

My Thoughts: Take this review I did last year:
I read this book years ago when it first came out and it blew me away at first reading. I’ve reread it a number of times since then and I've loved it more every time.
Jake Hackner is an outlaw. Pure and simple he’s a bad guy. He’s in town loading up on supplies when Miranda Hayes accidentally shoots him. He manages to get away and heads out of town. He finally holes up at a farm to recover a bit. Little does he know the farm he ended up belongs to Miranda. She is a young widow whose husband died in the Civil War. After raiders kill her father and take most of their belongings she decides to head out west to look for her younger brother.

She finds Jake and nurses him back to health. And during this time she sees something good beneath the outlaw exterior. She asks him to take her out west since he is headed the same way, but he refuses.

Later he has a change of heart and decides to look for her to help her. He finds her at station after she’s  been left behind by the wagon train she was with.  She’d been bitten by a snake and the nasty scoundrels were taking advantage of her illness.  Jake saves her and thus begins a truly amazing love story between an outlaw wanting to go straight and an incredibly strong woman. They are desperately in love with each other but time and time again Jake’s outlaw past comes back to try and destroy them.

This is one of those epic type books. It’s a long book coming in at 501 pages with teeny tiny print. It spans over 20 years. Bad things happen to good people and it isn’t always easy to read. Each time I read it, I have to take breaks due to its richness and length. It’s like a truly rich feast that is best eaten slowly in order to savour it.

Jake is one heck of a hero. He’s not all good. He definitely has shades of gray to him. But what saves him is his almost worship of ‘Randy’. He knows he’s no good for her; staying with her can bring her great heartache.

But Randy sees past his outlaw ways into his hidden heart and realizes he is a victim of his early circumstances. She sees the lost little boy inside and that inside he really has a good person wanting to come out. She refuses to let him give up no matter what fate throws at them.

This really is a heart in your throat, breathtaking book. I have a list of about 10 books that seem to stand out above all others. Outlaw Hearts has always been one of them and I know it always will be. So I'm spreading the word early on this one, you don't find much better than this book

 And add a Hell to the Yes!! – even if it is a review I did previously.   I don’t know how many times I’ve read this book now, but it just doesn’t get old and I fall in love with Jake and Randy all over again – not that I ever fell out of love with them.  The love and devotion and passion that exists between them is timeless.  They have to fight so hard to keep it going so that when they do overcome whatever has kept them apart, it’s even better, their coming together.  Randy is the goodness that Jake needs in his life to keep him on the right path when it would be so easy to go off it.  And Randy needs Jake because he needs her.  She sees the goodness in him where no one else does and because he had such an abusive past, she needs to keep reinforcing him that he is good.  He truly does treasure and cherish her, and she stands by him through good times and bad.

She has another book coming out next month with Jake and Randy, apparently one she’s been wanting to write for years now.  I already have it preordered and I can hardly wait until it appears on my kindle.

Grade: 5 out of 5

Will I read it again: A Resounding YES.  Again and again and again.  I can’t get enough of it.


Night Whispers by Leslie Kelly

Why This One:  I really enjoyed Bringing Down Sam and Reforming Jake and I really enjoyed them and went searching for some of her back list

Genre: Contemporary

Steam Level: simmers for a while then breaks out into a full boil

Outline: Thanks to her sexy radio talk show, Night Whispers DJ Kelsey Logan has become infamous! Suddenly, men all over Baltimore are desperate to discover the true identity of Lady Love, the sultry siren who keeps them up all night. But the only man Kelsey is desperate to have is sexy, stuffy Mitch Wymore.

Mitch is having a hard time believing that his bratty childhood nemesis has grown into the temptress the whole city's lusting after. A woman he's lusting after. He might have been able to keep his libido under control if Kelsey hadn’t made it clear she wanted to seduce him.

My Thoughts:  Leslie Kelly is a good writer.  I just finished a reread of Outlaw Hearts and loved it all over again.  Sometimes when you finish reading a very good book there is almost a restlessness that comes over while you search for the next book.  But Night Whispers had a very soothing effect on me and was a perfect book to read after.

I like the trope of this story, heroine has had life-long crush on hero but she was just the pesky little sister of his bed bud.  Mitch had mostly lived with Kelsey’s family growing up due to his own lousy home life, but he always felt like he was standing on the outside looking in.  so when Kelsey comes back into his life and things are combustible between them, he’s very reluctant to start anything, not wanting to upset the family who raised him.  But things burn hot between him and Kelsey.  He was kind of wild as a young man but he’s gotten a bit stuffy over the years and Kelsey unstuffs him.  She drives him crazy with some of the things she does, she’s kind of a wild and crazy heroine, and he particularly hates her job, though he does admit she’s very good at being a late night, very seductive DJ.

He finds himself living on the wild side again and he finds he’s enjoying it and falling more and more for Kelsey all the time.

While I didn’t enjoy this quite to the level I did Bringing Down Sam and Reforming Jake, still, it was a very good treat when one was needed.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Will I read it again:  Probably not – but NOT and I repeat NOT because I didn’t enjoy it.  But I’m trying to be realistic.  I’m buying books at a very scary pace and I already have so many to read the first time as well and a number that I reread frequently.  If I was much younger, my answer would probably be different though – heh, heh, heh.

Alex by Irish Winters

Why this one:  No real reason, it’s just where my finger stopped when trying to pick the next book to read

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Steam Level: I’d say warm – not boiling but nice and warm

Outline: He’s trying to forget . . .

Alex Stewart, ex-Marine and tough as nails boss, ditches the success of his fledgling business and flees to his cabin in the deep woods. He’s had enough. Four years after the deaths of his wife and daughter, he’s stuck in the anger stage of grief. He wants to be left alone. Life used to make sense. It just doesn’t bring him joy. Nothing does.

She’s trying to remember . . .

Left to die in those same deep woods, Kelsey is the last thing Alex expects to find at his cabin. She’s everything he’s running away from. Responsibility. Memories. Having to care about someone else beside himself. To make matters worse, she can’t remember anything except her first name. Neither can she explain the marks on her body, nor why two darling baby boys haunt her dreams.

But Alex can . . .

My Thoughts: I struggled with how to rate this book.  I liked the characters, I liked the story but there several plot points left untouched after being introduced and one was a GLARING plot point that was never addressed and since it was MAJOR to the story, the lack of follow-up was very jarring.  And sadly, this was too big a mistake and I can’t ignore that fact and it brings down the grade of this book.

The book opens with Kelsey running through woods and finally collapsing against a wall.  It then switches to Alex, the founder of a group of former army snipers who help out in the world trouble spots.  His own life exploded a few years previously when his wife and young daughter were killed and he hasn’t really recovered since.  He’s full of anger and frustration and decides he needs to get away from it all and visit his very rustic cabin in the woods with his two inherited war dogs.  He comes across Kelsey and can tell right off the bat that she is in very bad shape.  She’s been badly beaten, has scrapes all over her and is in a very weakened condition.  On top of that, when she regains conscious , she has no memory of who she is or what happened to her.  He’s resentful at first, having to take care of her, almost blaming her for the state she’s in, but he very quickly gets past it and sees that she is someone very special.  He falls deeply for her and is determined to help her in whatever it is she needs.  As he is a very angry individual, his almost blaming her goes along with his nature at the time so he reaction didn’t bother me at all and then he is so sweet and protective of her that I really liked him once he took off his grouchy uniform.

Kelsey is a good heroine.  She has gone through some horrendous things that most of can’t even imagine dealing with and a large part of the book is spent with her grieving and finally and slowly being able to move on with her life with the help and support of Alex who has been through that difficult and painful journey himself.

So – what are the problems?  Well for one thing Alex mentions that he’s been married twice. We know of his one wife but nothing else is mentioned about the other one – what happened to her, why did he marry her, was she the first or second wife?  I had all kind of questions running through my head and why start that thread if one isn’t going to do anything with it and just leave it hanging?  But a much worse thread left hanging is the fate of Kelsey’s abuser.  It’s never mentioned and this is such a huge oversight all things considered that it really did spoil what could have been a great book.  It’s a complete fail by the author and I’m very shocked that it wasn’t fixed through editing.

So because of this I don’t know if I can recommend this book.  It should serve as a warning book to authors.  Alex had such great potential to be a 4.5 or even 5 star book, but the author torpedoed that for me by completely ignoring a vital piece of the story.

Grade: 3 out of 5

Will I read this one again:  Sadly no.  Though I do want to try another book by her since it was absolutely not the writing itself, nor the characters that didn't work.  It was a plot hole I couldn't get past.

Take a Chance on Me by Susan Donovan

Why this one:  I’ve read this book a number of times now and it never fails to cheer me up and make me laugh.

Genre: Contemporary

Steam Level: A nice rolling boil

Outline: They've Got Nothing In Common...
For animal behaviorist Emma Jenkins, romance has been at the bottom of her daily "to do" list since making it through a messy divorce. But everything changes the day six-feet-of-gorgeous Thomas Tobin walks into her office with a quivering Chinese Crested named Hairy, a canine that looks more like an underfed rodent than a dog. Sure Thomas is sending her mixed signals-but that charming smile just sent Emma's dormant sex drive through the roof...

But Animal Attraction-
Thomas isn't looking for a fling. In fact, he wants nothing to do with women. He just wants to know if Hairy witnessed his owner's murder. But something tells him that asking Emma to help him with the case will spell nothing but trouble-trouble in the form of serious temptation.

And the Willingness To Take A Chance On Love
Thomas knows that relying on Emma's expertise-and her soft touch with a weird dog that has somehow become his-may be a crazy way to track a killer. Especially when Emma's down-home warmth makes him want to believe that anything is possible-even true love.
My Thoughts:  This is one of those books that every so often I get an urge to read again.  As I said above it never fails to cheer me up.  The characters are all delightful, each and every one of them, including and almost especially Hairy, the Very Ugly Chinese Crested who is in some ways the real star of this book.  I’m not even a dog person but he is such a hoot.  Sometimes we get his POV and it’s hilarious.

Thomas Tobin is a grouchy bear of a hero – one of my favourite kind.  But he has a reason for his grumpiness.  He’s a lawyer who masquerades as a hit man in order to catch they bad guys who want to have people murdered.  He doesn’t really see the best of mankind in this role.  In addition, he questions his very masculinity when he and a former fiancĂ© were told his ‘swimmers’ were in pretty bad shape and he’s probably never be able to father a child.  His former flame didn’t take the news so well and really did a number on him.

He meets animal behaviourist and heroine Emma Jenkins when he kind of inherits this ugly, traumatized Chinese Crested dog Hairy when one of Thomas’ informants is murdered and Hairy was his dog.  Hairy is very high maintenance and the advice that Emma offers Thomas to help poor Hairy out is LOL hilarious and almost makes Thomas squirm in embarrassment.  Both Thomas and Emma are wildly attracted to each other but both have issues.  Emma’s ex has done as big/bad a number on her as Thomas ex did on him and it’s cute watching them completely misread each other.  But attraction and love eventually wins out.

If you are looking for a book to make you smile, possibly laugh, with a wonderful grump of a hero and warm, loving, smart heroine, this is the book for you.  It would be under the “if you like” type of Rachel Gibson, Julie James, Susan Andersen kind of book.

Grade: 5 out of 5

Will I read this book again: Yep, already have a few times and I know I will again.

And that's it for this latest batch
'til later

Thursday, June 18, 2015

This and That

Work has been busy so I haven’t had time to do much as far as posts go.  This is a good thing/bad thing.  It’s nice to be busy once again – which is good,  but then I don’t have time to do posts for blogging, which I’ve gotten used to doing again so that is bad.  But both my care coordinators are off doing other things so I have some free time.

Not only that now, but my fellow worker bee who was supposed to work this upcoming weekend from 12 to 8 has managed to get trapped in Scotland an extra day so I said I would work the day for her.  I may have time in the evening as it’s not really that busy on the weekends after 6:00 pm or so.  And as I kept telling her – take a large suitcase with holes in it so you can bring Jamie back in your luggage.  She’s a real fan of Outlander too.  She said she would do that – but she would keep him and not share.  Maybe now she will.


I love visiting All About Romance.  Years and years ago when I thought I was alone in my obsession with romance books I happened to come across this site and discovered that low and behold, I “had people”. 

There were indeed others who were as nutty about the genre as I was.  There has been many an interesting discussion on the boards there and one of the recent ones that caught my eye was authors who blow up HEA’s.  And one thing just about all romance readers consider sacrosanct is the HEA.  As a writer of romances, the worst thing they can do is mess with the HEA. 

The happy end is an essential part of the whole experience of reading a romance book.  I’ve seen over the years a few ‘new-to-the-genre’ speculate that maybe it’s not so necessary, that maybe we, the readers, should be a bit more bendable on the issue.  But for the true romance fan, that just is not an option and woe betide the author who messes with it.

I’ve had a lot of bad stuff happen to me over the years and I expect that almost every single romance reader can say the exact same thing.  It’s a very rare thing to skate through life with no pain.  Romance is our oasis, our escape from whatever might be hurting us and to mess with an HEA is like the oasis just being a mirage when we believe we’ve reached it after a long and painful journey.  So don’t mess with it.


I'm not proud to admit this, it's my dirty little secret but I watch soap operas once in a while to de-stress when I get home from a hard day at the office.  Though often they have the opposite effect, they raise my stress level at the end of the day.  But I’ve come to the conclusion that they are anti romance.  They appear to be very similar on the outside, beautiful women, handsome men, lots of passion and love.  But when you see the inside they are everything we are against in our romances.  Adultery rules the day.  Marriages, even the ones that would appear to last forever, end.  Children are raised with a sense of entitlement and worst of all EVIL triumphs every time.  Luke and Laura, Bo and Hope, Steve and Betsy, Victor and Nicky, Erica and any man – none of them worked.  The main ones I watch, when I watch them these days, are The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful.  There isn’t a person I can route for in either of them.  Victor never gets his just desserts,  Brooke continues to sleep with her mother/daughters/sisters fellas.  Hypocrisy abounds and any kind of loyalty/friendships dissolve when it comes to lust.  So why do I watch them every so often?  I don’t know – I really can’t answer that question.  It makes no sense that I watch something where every single character is sleazy in some shape or form.

I have a whack of reviews I’ve been working on too – so they will be up next.

‘til later.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Just a quickie

Post, in case anyone was thinking I'd taken a powder.

I'm in the country, visiting the sisters and the country sister, as opposed to the countr mouse only has limited wifi so I don't really want to use a lot.  Plus we've been shopping, shopping, shopping in little country boutiques.

And I've been deeply immersed in Outlaw Hearts. Sigh.  Now I'm onto other books, reading when not shopping in this fresh country air.

'til later.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

This and That

After my whine of yesterday, no the matter isn’t cleared up and I didn’t sleep very well again last night, but I’m not going to focus on it.  Instead I’ll let my mind wander where it will.

It came!!  It came!!  I woke up this morning and Roseanne Bittner’s Outlaw Hearts loaded up on my IPad.  I shall be busy reading for the next few days.
Yes, at times I can be a screaming fan girl.  Not often mind you, but on occasion.

Thank goodness SYTYCD was last night. 

There are a few of us who tweet while it’s on and it’s ever so fun, much more than joining the thousands and thousands who tweet using hashtag SYTYCD.  That can be the problem with Twitter during popular shows, you just get lost.  But I like the intimate feel of me and my own fellow SYTYCD peeps.  We can all keep up with what we all think of the dancers.  Last night was quite good.  It’s a different format this year and while I do miss LOUD Mary Murphy, Paula Abdulla wasn’t that bad; much better than she was towards the end of her AI run.  And Jason Derulo is quite good.  I don’t know if they are going to go with guest judges like they did in past years or not.  But I’d be fine if they stayed with the 3 they have.

I’m still not liking my hair.  It’s been a couple of weeks now since I got a lot chopped off.  Usually by now I’ve figured out how to style a new doo so I like it – but not this time *heavy sigh*


I hates those moving GIF thingies. 
They seem to be all the rage but – and this is just my opinion – they are stupid and distracting and they bother my eyes.  I would much rather just have a straight picture then something that moves for 6 seconds or so then goes back.  GoodReads seems to be a breeding ground for them and I’ll be honest.  If I’m trying to read a review that contains them, I’ll just skip it.  GoodReads was bad enough, but now I’m starting to find them on other romance sites I like to visit.  I wish people would stop using them.

Well, it’s time to head home now so this is a short one.


‘til later

Monday, June 01, 2015

I’ve been going through a situation at work.  I asked for a few days off the end of this week and the beginning of next week as my sister who lives in the US is coming for a visit.  On Friday, she and my other sister are planning on meeting with and visiting my son, daughter-in-law and grandson.  I want to be there so bad to be the proud preening grandma.  But I was told I couldn’t get the time off.  I was told there were too many people already off but that is not the truth.  We have 10 full time people all doing the same job and we can have 1 off for every 3.  There were two people off on Friday.  Doing the math, that allows for one more person but no, I was told I couldn’t get it off.  I found out today that they are bringing in another person on Friday so I was optimistic that now we are only short one person instead of the allotted 3 people, I could get it off.  But nope – I was told that didn’t change things.  The person they are bringing in is casual, so even though she will be doing the exact same job as the rest of us, has done it in the past, she doesn’t count and I was denied the day again today.  And now the reason is strictly punitive.  I haven’t let this go since I was first told no since the numbers don’t add up.  I had a one on one meeting with my manager that went nowhere.  I tried to explain that we weren’t really short staffed it I took the days off and she refused to listen and didn’t even consider it for one moment.  I went to the union and they said I had to give my manager a chance to explain (which I already did).  We had an entire team meeting with a representative from HR there as, while this is effecting me at the moment, if they do this once and get away with changing rules, they can change them anytime for any reason.  And now I’m back dealing with the union again.  They are trying to get a one on one meeting with the HR rep, a union rep and my manager, but I don’t have any hopes such a meeting will happen before Friday.  My emotions have exploded.  I’m angrier that I can remember being, I’m sitting here trying to work almost in tears – and I DON’T cry at work.  But I haven’t let it drop and now I’m being denied the time off as punishment, I know I am.

I have been a loyal, positive, hard-working employee.  I was branded by a previous Case Manager as a trouble maker and that has stuck with me through two other Case Managers.  I was told by one that “she hopes I couldn’t sleep at night thinking about the amount of work I had” (at the time my work load was double what anyone else’s was).  I was told that when she walks down the row, she only “wanted to see the back of my head” (meaning I wasn’t talking to anyone but concentrating on nothing but work).  I’ve been called into the office twice and gotten into trouble for putting pictures into team emails – pictures it takes me – truly – one minute to find but it does make my emails fun and I usually get a few people replying “lol”  And anyone who is a frequent visitor here knows I just can’t do a post without pictures.  I try sending work emails without them but I just can’t so I figure I’ll just have to take whatever they dish out to remain true to me.

A few years ago now I broke my leg and came back a month earlier than I had to because I was feeling better and I felt that I was needed.  I was on the Supportive Care team then, the team that deals with people in their final stages of life.

Throughout this past year and a half now, despite going through the deep depression, I rarely called in sick.  I felt like it many a day and there were a few days when I simply couldn’t make myself get up and go in, but those were few and far between.

Many of the people I speak to on the phone comment on how nice and friendly I sound on the phone and despite the fact that making outgoing calls is very difficult for me, I am doing it and doing the best I can.

This has been going on since May 18 and I’m not sleeping that well and I’m getting nervous it might set off another bout of depression.   It will set me back, recovery wise, from the depression I’ve been trying so hard to stay on top of.  I’m so angry they are doing this to me but I don’t want them doing it to others so I’m falling on the sword so to speak.

There was a strike in February, though the union I’m in didn’t go out on strike though we fully supported the union that did.  It was during that time I lost total respect for the management of the place where I work.  Everyone has.

But I shake that off.  I care about the people I try to help and I see daily how the team I work on all care too.  I didn’t really plan on retiring.  Up until lately I loved what I did and the people I work with and the whole atmosphere.  I woke up looking forward to coming to work.  And while I still enjoy my co-workers and parts of the job, I don’t know if I can risk my mental and emotional health at a place that has become so toxic and whose focus is changing to punishing employees.

I don’t want to go back to that dark place.