Sunday, August 21, 2011

Good things happening

I just came in from picking green beans. There aren't many this year because Art, the random hopeful gardener at our house, so marveled at this year's volunteer tomatoes that he allowed them all to thrive in our raised beds. There's only so much room in the garden. I think my neighbor Jennie and I will be canning tomatoes. I haven't done that in nearly 30 years, but it will be fun anyway. The last time, my children were toddlers. This time, hers are. So cool!

I've been accepted into the dispute resolution mediation program! After taking the 40-hour basic training, I passed the exam and had my interview on Friday. Here's what I'll be doing in the next year or two to earn a certification in mediation:

Minimum 6 observations and Professional Standards Evaluation
Family mediation training with written essay
Minimum 12 mediations (with another mediator) and final staff approval

Electives - 12 credits in a minimum of 3 areas:
DRC (Dispute Resolution Center) in-services (monthly, usually in the evenings) - 1 credit
Observing/mediating small claims court sessions - 1 credit
Role playing - 1 credit
DRC related projects - credits dependent on project
Additional DRC trainings - 2 credits per day
Outside trainings - 2 credits for first day, 1 for each additional
ADR confernces - 1 credit per day (in the spring)

In a couple of weeks I'll start by observing other mediators in actual sessions. This is a perfect volunteer activity for me because I can work it around travel and other activities. And I can use what I learn in all kinds of places in my life.

I got a second opinion on my tingling-feet issue and, on my family doc's recommendation, I had an MRI on my back on Friday to make sure nothing "evil" is going on. No evil! Looks like a 60-something's back with a narrowing between L2 and L3 that got aggravated when I sat down too hard. I am relieved. I'll continue to see my chiropractor. Both he and my family doc say a year is not an unreasonable amount of time for this healing to take. My next goal is to not worry that everything is a terminal illness. I suspect that came from my childhood, as my sister has the same problem. I'm ready for that fear to be removed.

We are hosting an old friend and two older nuns - friends of our friend - at our house this weekend. Yesterday we visited the Klesick Family Farm, the organic farm that delivers our fruits and vegetables each week, then drove to Snohomish, a town north of us with a main street populated by antique shops and tempting food places. We yielded to the ice cream store. This weekend Snohomish is the outdoor venue for multiple music groups. Lots of Pacific Northwesterners in their summer clothes wandering around - old tank tops, shorts and white legs! Young tattooed people and older souls like us, some aging hippies. A nice crowd and a fabulous, sunny day with temps exceeding 80 degrees - not too common for us, so extra special. Today the guests and the random hopeful gardener are spending the day in Seattle at Pike Place Market, Space Needle and an Argosy cruise to Blake Island for a native salmon dinner and entertainment. I am taking a break from hostessing to prepare for a meeting with our CPA on Tuesday. Our little group has spent the last two evenings playing Boggle and Rummikub.

It feels fabulous to be at the computer in my shorts and summer shirt and sandals, listing to my wind chimes and the birds outdoors. I think I'll settle into the aidirondack chair on the deck and catch up on my reading.

Good things happening!


Olga said...

My tomatoes were very disappointing this year, but at least no late season blight. I do have a good crop of grape tomatoes and my grand daughter loves those. Green beans got a late start so it remains to be seen whether we will get a crop before first frost. Italian peppers are gang busters, tho'.

Good luck with your certification program. It sounds ambitious yet doable. We are heading for a mediation session next week over a parking lot built without a town building permit. Unfortunately, it was the town that built it so I am not convinced will get any satisfaction. If you have any tips, please send them along. I'm nervous about Mike who doesn't hear well but pretends he can and will take conversations to some pretty strange places sometimes.

#1Nana said...

We have glorious weather too. I drove down the Columbia River to The Dalles earlier this week and it was a spectacular view with the sun glinting off the water. We also have a bumper crop of tomatoes. I've never tried canning, but I'll chop and freeze them for adding to soups and chili.

Sally Wessely said...

I am going to have the same problem with tomatoes. I haven't had a vegetable garden in 30+ years, nor have I canned since that time. I too will be canning tomatoes. I am sorta, kinda looking forward to it. I don't think it will be as grueling as it was when I was younger, plus I have my husband to help.

Congratulations on being accepted in the mediation program. I think that just rocks! I am so impressed. These programs need people like you. In some ways, I think this would be something I would also enjoy doing.

As for problem in the back, I also have the same problem, according to the MRI results I got back. I am doing much better with pain now. I find chiropractic helps as much as anything. That and exercise.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Your plans for mediation work sound really interesting and rewarding. Glad you finally got a few days to enjoy t-shirt weather. It took a long time to arrive in Minnesota this year, but then we got more heat than we needed. Tomatoes aren't growing well at all here; something about too much rain and not enough sun. I love that your hubby let the volunteers grow. My hubby would approve; he says if the plants are happy, let 'em do what they want.

Teresa Evangeline said...

It sounds like you're in a really Good place. Canning with a neighbor sounds like it could be a fun thing.

Random Hopeful Gardener playing host while you take a break sounds good, too.

Congrats on completing the mediation course. I can well imagine you will make a great mediator.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

It sounds like such a wonderful time in your life, Linda! So full of abundance and adventure, learning and friends all around. That's so wonderful that you've passed the exam and are on the road to a new career in mediation!

Sandi said...

Sounds marvelous to have all those tomatoes! We usually have a bounty, but for some reason this year we got lots and lots of bean, but the tomatoes are not doing so well. Just a few of the cherry tomatoes are ripe each day, and only a couple of the larger ones. Not sure we'll have enough for salsa.

I also think it's such a wonderful thing to be going through the training for mediation. What a worthwhile role you've chosen for yourself.

DJan said...

I was in Snohomish today, too! I made three jumps and left by 3:30 pm, and now I am really tired. Tell your friend that when she decides to make her skydive, I'll be there! :-)

Linda Reeder said...

You sound so upbeat and content. that's a great thing! this is such a wonderful time of the year now that I don't have to go back to another school year. I love the crops in the garden, the warmth, and lazy afternoons.
Congrats on your progress in mediation. This sounds like quite a commitment you are making. Good for you.

Lynilu said...

I've considered looking into yet another career of mediation, too. I doubt I will get around to it now that I'm working, but I think it would be interesting. I'll look forward to hearing how it goes for you. Good luck!

fiftyodd said...

So impressed with your new venture !! I must follow your example and try something new, apart from my drumming lessons! Yep - chronic hip problem (me) - also find the chiropracter and exercises (hate them but worse if I don't do at least 3 times a week). Always 'nice' to find fellow sufferers. Dead easy to grow tomatoes in Cape Town.

marciamayo said...

So much for retirement. It's good to be busy.

Dee said...

Congratulations, Linda, on having been accepted into the dispute resolution mediation program!

Your other commenters all seem to know what this is, but I'm not at all sure. Will you be working with the courts or with social services? Will the disputes be of any type? Or are you trained in one chosen type?

I'd appreciate your posting more about this if that appeals to you. Or maybe you can send me to a web site to explore what dispute resolution mediation involves.

I do hope that mediating will be absolutely fulfilling for you in all the ways you've imagined.

Grandmother Mary said...

Good luck on your certification. sounds like a thorough and exacting process which is what I'd want behind a mediator I went to. Sunny and hot here with boat loads of tomatoes everywhere - abundant and cheap. I've been thinking about canning too- for the first time.

Out on the prairie said...

Sounds all very fun. i canned some pickles Sunday with a friend. At the end she asked whuy I had her gring a sack of salt. OOOps. I figured it in the brine and had her mix that while I sliced onions and cukes.You were suppose to toss the cukes with the salt and then brine them. Wonder if I have soogy pickles, we only did 6 pints and there are lots more on the vines coming on.Live and learn

Tracy said...

gosh, sounds like you are having a busy schedule. You know we've had very slim pickings on our tomatoes this year; very disappointed!

Beth said...

Congrats on your new path down the Red Road. Wonderful news.

June said...

Sounds as if you're having a PERFECT few days (at least)! Isn't it wonderful being comfy is minimal clothing?

Our beans did not do well this year. Too bad, I was looking forward to oven roasted green beans....and green beans in the freezer for February. I made a big pot of sauce from all the tomatoes that had accumulated on the kitchen counter and while it was simmering down, went out an picked enough to repopulate the counter.
Those, I think, will get skinned and frozen.
Your mediation training sounds interesting, but don't you dislike the idea of being caught between two people who want to . . . hurt each other? My IBS would kick up if I ever tried that!

Lili said...

I have yet to can tomatoes, but my Mom called me the other morning just to tell me she canned 6 pints (the rest are getting hit with blight this year). Good for you for your latest venture into a career in mediation! Your temps this time of year sound lovely. ~Lili