Minnesota: winter and road construction; kinda like my life

Minnesota has two seasons: winter and road construction

Road Work Ahead Sign

My life is like road construction

If you’ve ever lived through road construction here, you know all about the countless detours, roadblocks, pot holes, closed off-ramps, closed on-ramps, crumbling bridges that are falling down, and not to mention passive-aggressive drivers (so typical of Minnesota), angry drivers, and buick drivers (you know who I’m talking about…..the ones who won’t take that Buick past 50mph in the fast lane). The roads and bridges in Minnesota are a mess and worry-free routes are few and far between. Kind of like my life: in perpetual road construction.

Over the past several years, I have experienced numerous major life-changing events.

Many of them were purposeful and intentional. Exactly one year ago, I sold my big house of 19 years, bought a tiny cottage near the lake, and had plans to downsize, simplify, get back to basics, unwind, relax, and enjoy life by the lake. The sailing was smooth and the winds were light. I even landed a fabulous job with excellent pay. What could be better? I downsized my mortage payment by 60% and I increase my income by 50%. Finally, things were looking good! But as so often is the trend in my world, fair weather is often short-lived. The winds picked up, the storm blew in, and I got relentlessly slammed in the face, time after time after time, like a Minnesota blizzard in February.

We wintered fairly well…

0418131458with the exception of one episode of frozen pipes during a -20F cold snap. But, that antique cottage that I bought? As soon as the spring melt began, it was under water. Literally. I had to vacate the basement, deal with rot, mold, and an entire reconstruction of the basement level. I got ripped off to the tune of $7000 by a contractor. General contractors came and went through my house like a revolving door. IMG_0510I ended up doing my own contracting, but on the bright side, I learned a lot about construction and my new table saw is a dream!

And that fabulous job that I landed? Well, it didn’t take long for those waters to turn bitter. I don’t know why, maybe I’ll elaborate in another blog post, but early on at this new company, I developed a really bad feeling. I watched another revolving door, this time of employee turnover and a ridiculous amount of firings. Eventually, I became a target, I know I’m slow on the uptake, but after I crawled out from under the bus at least three times following getting thrown under there, I knew something was up. Things started to come to a head a few weeks ago, when I was wrongfully and formally disciplined by two of my supervisors. I’m still scratching my head, totally perplexed and unable to come up with a logical reason why either of those supervisors thought it was a good idea to confront me in a public place, at a facility where I do visits, with colleagues coming and going, and the bustle of a busy center to formally issue me a written warning. I gave myself a few hours to let the shock of that hostile confrontation subside, and began my own investigation. I started with the source-the person who alledgedly lodged a complaint against me. As it turns out, this person had no idea to what I was referring. This entire incident was unnecessary, but my supervisors jumped the gun, put the cart in front of the horse, didn’t do any research on the matter, and plainly DIDN’T DO THEIR JOB, all at my expense. In an instant, I lost the trust of a colleague, and my faith in my employers evaporated. The information that I uncovered from my investigation compelled me to file a formal grievance through the official company grievance process for the conduct of my two supervisors and an ancillary staff member. My grievance was investigated, and I was 100% COMPLETELY cleared of any wrongdoing. They had absolutely nothing on me, and in fact, stated that I was a very good nurse.   I was assured by human resources that there would be consequences to the people involved who misrepresented, misconstrued, and lied to and about me. I was also told to expect an apology, and when I asked Human Resources, I was promised that there would be no backlash against me for filing a grievance, (which often is the case….that’s why few grievances are ever filed) nor would I be subject to further scrutiny, micromanagement, or excess examination. My fear was that going forward, I was going to be in the proverbial fish bowl. Needless to say, any trust that I had in my supervisors was totally shattered, but I decided to move forward and move on from this unpleasant incident. (And to start looking for a new job)

You're Fired Yellow Sticky NoteI never did receive that apology. However, I was hopeful. One day, my supervisor called me while I was out in the field, and asked me to stop by her office because she had something for me. Silly me, I was hoping for that long-overdue apology. What I got instead, were termination papers. I was told I was being terminated because my activity on social media violated company policy. Seeing my termination papers sitting there on the table awaiting my signature, and being completely exhausted from fighting to keep my position at this corrupt, oppresive, hostile company, after being thrown under the bus repeatedly, I realized there was not a single word that I could utter that would make a difference, so I accepted my termination effective immediately.Obviously those reassurances of no backlash or further scrutiny were lies.

I believe I was wrongfully terminated by a hostile corporation and I am dealing with that now. However, in my correspondence with them, I am seeing a lot tune-changing. HR even suggested that the formal written warning, actually was justified and appropriate.  (even after she cleared me) Double jeopardy? The ironic part, or maybe it was a sign from the universe, earlier that same morning, I had publicly announced on the internet that I was going to take a break and rebuild my blog and build my natural nurse practice. Within a few hours of putting that out there, I was out of a job. Coincidence? Divine intervention? Chalk it up to “stuff happens”? I have no idea.

I’ve already had interviews and job offers, I have more interviews scheduled, and I have lots of options. Problem is, I don’t know if I want another “job”. I’m tired of working for someone else. I’m tired of corporate corruption and medicare fraud. I’m tired of walking on eggshells in a hostile work environment. All I want to do is make a difference. I want to help people.   And I want to help you. That’s were this blog comes in.

This blog is about living better, living healthier, living more naturally.

It’s about ditching a lot of conventional, modern knowledge and going back to nature’s medicine cabinet. I am currently enrolled in an aromatherapy certification course. Following completion of that course, I will be taking an herbal medicine course. I believe that our health system in broken, untrustworthy, corrupt, and frankly, on a collision course toward disaster. I truly do believe that nature is the best medicine and that we have strayed so very far from the healing therapy nature provides. I make herbal tinctures, and natural soaps and detergents, and immune boosting fire cider and kombucha, and healing essential oil blends, all natural deodorant and toothpaste, and even my own liqueurs. What we have now call ‘alternative therapy’ used to be THE therapy for thousands of years. And that, my friends, has become my passion.IMG_0384

So as I rebuild this rusty blog that nature seems to have reclaimed just the way it does when you neglect your back yard, start to watch for a lot of good information here. My goal is to help you help yourselves in the most cost-effective way possible. But in order for this adventure to take off, I need to at least make a little money. You’ll be seeing links and ads, and such. You can trust that every link,ad, etc you see on this blog are things that I endorse. And I will try to give you many options. Take essential oils, for example. I have several sources, and I don’t necessarily endorse just one distributor the way some aromatherapists do. I hope to eventually carry my own inventory, but that takes money that I don’t currently have, so I will be recommending a few different sources of essential oils that you can buy online. Be Young Essential Oils, or Mountain Rose are my go-to oils currently-both very good, just follow the links.  This is a work in progress,  so as I get this thing dusted off in the coming days and weeks, please visit often and  leave comments and questions.   I greatly appreciate your support!

PennySue Mueller


Penny Mueller
Email: Penny Mueller




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