Thursday, June 9, 2011

Expanding Their Range

I am sitting here having a glass of wine, watching the rain and listening to the thunder rumble and the Gray Tree Frogs call. The area around the old swimming pool is a haven for frogs, and especially for these vocal tree dwellers.

I started thinking about all the creatures we take for granted around here that we never knew when we were kids... Eastern Gray Tree Frogs included.
I grew up a few miles from here in Southern New England. As a kid, I was familiar with the Eastern American Toad, Leopard Frog and Bullfrog.   It was not until years later, in my early twenties that I first heard the plaintive call of the Spring Peeper, and later still when I first heard the Gray Tree Frog.
Back then, summer nights echoed with the sounds of Katydids, toads, crickets and maybe the occasional night calling bird, but the noises are different now.
Speaking of night calling birds, I had read "To Kill A Mockingbird" before I had actually seen a live Mockingbird.  Back then I thought of them as birds of the south - never saw one up here until I was an adult.
We had Gray Squirrels everywhere in those days, but no Red Squirrels. Even the Northern Cardinal was a rare sight for me back in the sixties and seventies.

Today in our new yard, I see blazes of brilliant red among the deep green leaves as male Cardinals vie for prime nesting spots.  Red Squirrels chase each other in and out between the trees in the early morning, and the sound of the dueling Gray Tree Frogs is deafening on a warm, humid night.

 It seems to me that these critters are all relative newcomers to our part of New England.  It makes me wonder what factors converge to cause a species to expand it's range.   Is it a result of population explosion, or do various species just adapt to slightly different conditions?

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Karma Wheel Turns Again

Employment drama has again reared it's ugly head, friends. You might remember that I was cut adrift from my beloved admin job in an international design company back in December of 2008, sparking the creation of my first blog, "Deedee, Cut Adrift!".  Eight months later, after a harrowing and dreary stint of unemployment, the president of that company called and asked me to come back and serve as his executive assistant, which I happily did.  In the interim however, I had applied for a state job in the office where I had gone for unemployment services, and eventually, they offered me a job.  I accepted because the benefits and health insurance were much better, plus it was a shorter drive from home.  That new position was funded by the Obama Stimulus (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and as such, was a temporary position. 

In the meantime, my new operations manager decided that they really, really needed me as a permanent part of their team, so she set out to find a new funding source for me.  She found one, and at the beginning of this year,  I had to apply and interview all over again for my own job.  Early in March of this year, I was told that I had been chosen, approved and signed off on every level to stay as a permanent part of my office team as front desk receptionist and office clerk.  I was a virtual sure thing, and I have just been waiting these past few months for the final approval.  Then, a few weeks ago, the recession era state budget hit.

Now it seems they have less funding than last year and are rethinking how to distribute it.  All pending appointments are in Limbo.  There is a very real chance my position will be eliminated, after all.
 The ARRA funding which has been paying my wages in my state job thus far, expires on June 30th.  If the word does not come down that I have final confirmation before then, I will be unemployed again. Now that I have a mortgage, I could not live on what I would receive on unemployment benefits. We will be in financial trouble very quickly if that happens.

 I am not freaking out yet.  As I read recently on an inspirational webpage,  I believe that I will either be given a firm place to stand, or be taught how to fly.  I believe I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  I am now waiting for a sign.