Thursday, October 31, 2013

Boomtown Family Williston Nd from Palm Trees to Prairie Pipelines: Celebrate with me! Its my Birthday!

Boomtown Family Williston Nd from Palm Trees to Prairie Pipelines: Celebrate with me! Its my Birthday!: So it is my Birthday...Yes I know it explains alot!  Born on Halloween, Red Hair, the whole package!  I celebrate the whole entire month of ...

Celebrate with me! Its my Birthday!

So it is my Birthday...Yes I know it explains alot!  Born on Halloween, Red Hair, the whole package!  I celebrate the whole entire month of October, yes the whole thing!  I was never really like this until later in life. 

Some times it takes an event to make you realize how blessed you are.  Many of us run around taking everything for granted...when I was 33 I found out I was adopted, it's a long story, but it was a surprise.   In true Redhead fashion I was pissed, very angry.  I think I went through all of the emotions you go through with grief.  It took me a long time to come to terms with the whole thing, but in hindsight it was a good thing and helped me stop and take a second look at things! 

What I did finally come to realize, is that my birthday is a very special day, a day for celebration!!!  I was chosen by my parents to become their child and a part of our family that was already 6 people, and I am sure quite chaotic.  I wasn't planned or thought out, There was never the discussion is the timing right?  ...I had 2 brothers and 2 sisters at the time.  I was the gift on that special day, to them.  I was one of the luckiest people in the world!  If I would have been kept by my biological mother I would not have had the blessed and gifted life I was given.  She was a 16 year old twin, the father went off to Vietnam and never returned and her parents were very hard working people who were struggling to make ends meet for their family of 4.  A baby, much less a grand baby, was not in the big picture for them.  I firmly believe that if I weren't given up for adoption I would have very possibly ended up in the system anyway!

I was never able to tell either of my parents Thank you!  Thank you for always making me feel like I was special. Thank you for giving me everything I ever wanted and more. Thank you for being loving but stern parents. Most of all Thank you for making me believe I could do ANYTHING.  I was taught at a very young age that whatever I wanted to do or be, I could make happen.  It didn't matter what, I could do it, and I am still testing that theory!  (And pushing the envelope at times)

My  Dad was my biggest fan, and I in turn was his.  I remember walking in parades for him yelling "Minney for Mayor" and he was always there for each and every crowning at my beauty pageants. He always made me feel loved.  There was always a warm smile for me and a definite pride I could see in his eyes.  I stood in the passenger seat visiting job sites on Saturdays as a young girl.  I ate on blueprints because there was always a new project to be bid.  He taught me that I could do anything a man could do, and maybe even do it better!  His laugh, infectious and even a little silly but he had a great sense of humor!  My Dad loved to take us out water skiing and that was the ONLY time in my entire life that I was happy to get up at ski glass in Lake Havasu... just he and I.  I am only sorry he didn't get to meet my babies.  24 hours before Logan was born he passed, I think it was so he could grab Logan on his way out and sit down on some park bench in the clouds and tell Logan all of my secrets and the best way to push my buttons.  I swear I see a little more of my Dad in him each year!  My Dad even knew when Ray and I dated in High School that "I should have never let him get away" and when we went on a date 10 years later I never let go!  I am the epitome of Daddy's little girl, in my world Father knows best!

My Mom spent every waking moment doing something for us kids.  She was the driving force behind our family, and a force to be reckoned with.  I know where I got my strength from, she was never ever exhibited and ounce of weakness.  I drew from that everyday and know that I am the woman I am today because of it.  She spent most of her days running me across the "wash" to dance class, or slumber parties or to Catherine's house to hang out and have Paprikash.  My Mom always made sure I had a dinner plate made after dance and would sit with me while I ate because everyone was already done. She was able to meet my babies very briefly...I know they wish they had more time to get to know her.  But they do know that my Mom molded me into the opinionated, resilient, fierce, saucy woman and mom I am today.

I did find out later that my parents spent the early part of their youth as foster parents.  During this journey in their lives they were blessed with meeting my sister Debi, that is when they transitioned from foster parents to adoptive parents.  If you are keeping score my siblings were : Danny biological (deceased 1991) Debi, adopted (63) Donna,biological (60) David (deceased 2010) Me adopted (44) Dana, biological (42) 

I take today and offer it up to the Birthday Gods!  I hope that there is some little soul out there that needs a family and that they are as blessed, loved and delivered to a parents that give them as charmed a life as I have had. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bloggers sharing their N.D. oil patch experiences : Energy News

Bloggers sharing their N.D. oil patch experiences : Energy News

Job Search in NoDak Challenges and Suggestions *Have a Plan*

I didnt realize what a responsibility a Blog was!  I have been trying to juggle Work, Life, Family, Politics and a host of other things that get in the way of me expressing myself.  I will do better and try to keep you all better informed and updated!  I love hearing comments so feel free to comment all you want.  I am going to get that other youTube video up one of these days too!  I have some strong feelings when it comes to just dropping everything and moving to NoDak without a Masterplan! 

Yes it is exciting being a part of the BOOM!  We are very lucky to be getting in on the ground floor of all of the novelty.  With growth there is challenges, be prepared for taxed services.  Some don't think about the big picture and take what money they have and jump in thier cars or on the train and head on out to the mecca of jobs... Some dont have the luxury of planning ahead and getting everything lined out, This might be the last ditch effort to try to get out of the unemploymetn cycle... It is not easy and it takes a little research and planning.  Try to do as much as you can BEFORE you head to Chilly Willy!

Some of the most helpful hints are:  Do your best to find housing.  Some companies will not even look at your app or resume if you dont have housing   Make sure you can pass a background check.  For insurance purposes some companies will NOT hire you if you have a criminal background. Make sure your driving record is clean.  If you have a DUI your chances are much slimmer of getting employment right away.  Many Companies ask that you drive their company vehicles, a clean drug test and driving record is a must in these situations. 

There are some good people out there looking for a change and a great job.  Employment isnt immediate.  Many large companies are NOT just looking for that warm body to take that position, lesson learned, they want those who are looking to make this their community, with staying power.  It is expensive to train and hire people, assure them that you are looking to be here for a while. 

 I am including some helpful websites to assist in the job search.  Many of these you have jobs listings that would be great for both men and women.,-Llc-jobs , Bakken Staffing,,  Dont forget to visit the websites for the City and the County.  Both Entities are loking for good people and may not pay as much as the "Oil Patch jobs" but the benefits/ retirement etc are worth the difference in pay. 

Williston welcomes the workforce, but I can see now that I have been here for 7 months how the transient nature of the workforce makes you a little cynical.  It is difficult to make friends (and keep them) because suddenly they are moving due to a job relocation or thier position has ended.  I wish all of you who want to head to Williston luck, it has been a blessing for our family.  The kids are doing well in school and we are enjoying fixing up our home and the seasonal changes.  We also look forward to heading to California to thaw out during the winter.  I encourage questions and love to help anyone who wants to head to Williston for some hard work and a new lease on life!

Its a Slippery Slope!

I cant believe I let summer go by and didn't update all of you!...even once!!!  What a blast we have been having!  You would not believe the difference between SoCal and NoDak! Talk about incredible sunsets!  I have some rockin' pictures!  Especially from our trip to Glacier Park!  We have had our share of craziness.  We also have a new addition to family, Gunner Foxtrot Senior a beautiful Blue Weimerainer who has stolen my heart!  My job is definitely full of challenges. I just finished a few great projects that I am very proud of:

The County Housing 18 unit Apartments (for Essential workers and Law Enforcement) First of all I find it hard to believe that we have to BUILD housing for our employees, that was my first order of business as Project Manager for Williams County,   The quest to find housing for 1 person let alone a whole family is a hurdle.  We had to build 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments.  They are not palatial but they are home to many of my co-workers.  It gives them a chance to find a house or property to build their final nesting spot. 

Courtrooms and Judges Chambers, what a learning experience.  We had an architect that was a challenge to work with (being over 6 hours away) and had to get details ironed out to get the job completed.  In the long run we now have 3 courtrooms and a new Judge who was just sworn in.  I am lucky to have gotten this experience and they turned out amazing! We still have some kinks to iron out but any of you in the building business know... the last of the punch list is the biggest task. 

20 Bed Jail Dorm: Now this was an interesting project in so many ways.  Of course there is the learning curve on any project that might be new.  Jail... I haven't been in one before and certainly haven't been a "guest" before.  I had a marvelous Architect on this project and thanks to their staff made this project a breeze! Other than the excitement of entering and exiting the jail common areas, things went pretty well... coming in contact with the residents and occasionally being locked in a 6' x 6' area with a "trustee"(work release parolee, they aren't in general jail population but they aren't OK enough to release on regular parole) you hope no one does anything stupid! The corrections staff have a very tough job and they never ever get the recognition or Thanks that they deserve! 

Not only did I spend my Summer completing those building projects I had to deal with our own construction nightmares at our own house.  A little history for you... Ray came to the Bakken 7 months before we did and lived in a man camp that was provided by his employer.  Imagine a little room with a bed, desk, TV and shower/toilet... all the while we were waiting for our house to be ready back in California, Ray would come home about every 3 weeks.  You don't find as many stick built homes here and luxury housing is really not an option.  Many people are living with their kids/dogs etc in campers and toy haulers as a permanent option. You have homes that have been here for many years that are relatively expensive and then you have to modernize them (imagine burnt orange sculpted carpet with some mauve and teal wallpaper EVERYWHERE)  You can wait for a stick built house but it takes a bit longer because of our lovely weather fluctuations.  There is always the  manufactured home option that might take less time (you think) and get moved in... (that was our hopes, less expensive and less time, NOT)  We had ours add a basement (a must) and a cute little porch.  Now, we might not have 5000 square feet but will finish that basement one day soon and have another 1700 sq feet to send the kids when it is too cold to go outside to play. 

We haven't finished the basement because it had leaks!  Major leaks and had to have the entire thing re-insulated and all of the window wells (fire escape locations in the basement) sealed and the grading around the house compacted as well as this builder said that we didn't need gutters or any other weather/flood proof items on the house so those had to be added... SO we spent the Summer getting the leaking and damp/dankness taken care of instead of getting the (promised)added rooms downstairs done!  I hated dealing with construction crap all day long at work and then coming home to deal with even more of it!  But I think we are through the worst of it.

Many people are happy to have a roof over their heads.  We are happy to have to roof but we expect it to be done right!  It has definitely put some undue stress on our little family and now we can focus on getting those stinky boys downstairs to their own rooms and maybe even get our living room back! Onward and the Basement we go!