Taking a deep breath

Ready to ply
Ready to ply

For many reasons. First of all, the summer is a little more than half over, from my teacher point of view, and there is so much I want to accomplish, and so many people I would like to spend a little time with. And the biggest reason I have had to stop and take a deep breath is that I have been trying for 7 months to get my NJ teacher’s deferred pension going. With very little success!

Needless to say, things are very different from when my husband filed for retirement in 2001 in NJ. At that time everything was done on paper, with people talking you through it on the phone, and now, there is a mire of a website to navigate, with very little help on the phone to be had (well, I hung in there at one point and was on “hold” for 1.5 hours). State bureaucracies are all pretty complicated, and in a state with the the population of NJ, I guess it’s more complicated than most. And I imagine that the workers at the pensions bureau have a lot on their plates, too much to do, and not enough staff to handle the volume.

In the last few weeks I have been contacted directly by a very lovely person at the Pensions division, and it’s been a huge help. Hopefully I am coming to the end of the paper trail nightmare. But on Wednesday when I received two letters requesting information that I had already provided, in two different formats, my frustration level soared. So on Thursday I declared a Wallow Day. Worked on cheese and did a lot of spinning, had a Harry Potter movie marathon going in the background, interrupted by some time spent with the goaties, interrupted by fruitless phone calls. Yesterday I did a few errands and popped in to work to get caught up a little and also spend some time with colleagues. For a bonus, I got a phone call from my NJ school district telling me they have sent their end of the documentation to the pension people (or the documentation that they can put their hands on, 13 years later!). Yay!  And then I continued spinning our new lovely roving (Coopworth/alpaca). I think I may be ready to do some plying today. I think my blood pressure is probably back to normal now, and it’s a beautiful day!


3 thoughts on “Taking a deep breath”

  1. Sorry to hear about the problems with the NJ bureaucracy. Seems these days it is getting harder and harder to talk to a live human, anywhere.

  2. Government bureaucracy can be nightmarish. We have similar issues here in Texas. My summer is just about over…starting back to school next Tuesday. Didn’t get everything done, of course, but had a lot fun and did get in my visits to old friends and made some new friends. 🙂 Do you purchase your alpaca and coopworth locally? You have goats only, right? Enjoy your beautiful Maine days…we are at 101 degrees today and likely to be the same for a couple of weeks. At least the hot weather came much later this year.

  3. Wow, Kim, glad I am not in Texas, although I lived in Israel and I remember those 114 F days! We had Coopworth and Coopworth and Border Leicester X sheep for 12 years, this past spring we just sold the last of them so I could make my life a little simpler, and to focus on the goats and maybe, perchance, getting a small licensed goat dairy up and running in a few years. We get our alpaca from my husband’s cousin in North Jersey who just began raising them a few years ago. She has been very generous. If you ever are looking for Coopworth, we certainly have a backlog of it! Yarn and roving, both. I don’t do many Sheep and Wool shows any more, so I should be hawking it on the internet. Another project I have not focused on!

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