Life Skills Classes

Okay, now. I know we’re already offering this one, and of course we have our blog!

How about learning to shop on your foodstamps – get the most for your “money”? Shopping for the day you come off your foodstamps? Learning to budget to account for the amount of foodstamps you receive, so that when you budget your new income, it’s not a hard adjustment to make – if I get $290 in foodstamps now, I have to include that $290 in my food budget for when I’m not on foodstamps anymore.

Budgeting – see above. Also learning how to enjoy life on no-to-little income. You can share your tips and tricks with us!

Hygienic concerns.

Cleanliness (don’t look at my house. Seriously, stop on by, we’ll share a cup of tea and a conversation. Cross my fingers, we’ll hope to make it a good one!)

What would you like to know? How to change a tire? How to make proper change? How to wash clothes – read labels? How to sweep and cover the most space? Mopping? Canning? Sewing? Wood-working? Metal-smithing? Real life, hands-on skills? How to wash dishes and get all the grease off? Water conservation – that one I need to work on, myself.

Participatory classes.

Real teachers who will answer your questions.

So much more than a computer screen or someone on a video telling you what to do.

What do you think is most important to learn? Work with us to customize a program to meet the needs of the community.

First Days at a New Job

The kids and I have been rewatching episodes of a t.v. show where the mom got a new job, really without discussing it with the rest of the family – discussing it, but not really listening to the concerns of all involved…. The other day, I was talking to a friend about her new job, and the way the people at home still expected her to be available at all hours of the day, even when she was scheduled to work. So, we wanted to take a moment to discuss some important first days events and preparation.

10 More Minutes, Mom!

10 More Minutes, Mom!

The alarm goes off and you hit the snooze button, maybe hoping for ten more minutes. You programmed your coffee maker the night before, or you’ve already alotted time for a quick coffee stop on the way in to work. In a perfect world, you laid out your work clothes the night before, you take a perfect 15-minute shower (quicker if you can), your curling iron or blow-dryer is all ready to go for your hair, your makeup technique takes you no more than 15 minutes, and you can be out the door in 45 minutes from the time you jump in the shower to the time you leave for work.


Getting Ready

If you’re a guy, you do the normal guy things, and still have plenty of time to get to work. You filled your car’s gas tank and don’t need to worry about being late for work due to stopping for fuel (remembering that you’ve already factored in grabbing a quick coffee). Knowing how frustrating traffic can be with seemingly¬†everyone headed to work at the same exact time in the same exact direction, you leave a few minutes earlier for added travel time. It goes great! You get to work, sign in at the desk or punch your timecard, whatever your first day demands are, and you report for duty. Yay, you!




Having Arrived

Now that you’ve arrived, you want to settle in – but what is the best way to do that? Do you greet people or wait for them to come greet you? Are you shy, and wait to see who the “leader” is, or do you take initiative and introduce yourself all around? Do you take a moment to appreciate your new work environment? Or do you dive right in, getting busy with whatever there is to do?

What kind of language do you use? Are you polite to your colleagues? Your customers? Do you respect yourself and others?

Getting a new job can be exciting, but also wearying. It can be physically and mentally draining. Are you prepared? Have you psyched yourself up? Are you ready for the hours you’ve committed to work – whether full-time, part-time, or seasonal? Are you going to give of yourself or are you going to take advantage of new people who don’t know you or what to expect from you? It’s okay to ask for help, to ask for instruction. In fact, one of the things we do here at LYDIA, Inc. is match clients with peer mentors. But. Tricking or otherwise manipulating other people into doing your work for you is not very responsible. It falls under “fraud” and can cause problems in the future – when you’re asked to complete a task or develop a program and you have no idea how to finish the job.

See, each choice we make has consequences. If we take a job and promise to commit then we fail to perform, it results in job loss. If we take a job and haven’t prepared ourselves, our families, or even our friends, it results in animosity, loss of friendship, and can even cause a loss of trust from others in you. This loss can cause a breakdown of community. What steps can you take to strengthen those relationships now instead of leaving them to weaken and eventually break? (Not taking the job is always an option, but weigh the pros and cons¬†against your responsibilities here.)


Ties that Bind

Another part of getting ready for a new job is to prepare your friends and/or family. Talk it over with them. Discuss your hours. If you’re able, discuss your job requirements or duties. Talk about the impact this new job will have on your “normal” life. Will you still be available to run errands, drop everything and take the kids to the doctor’s? Will you contribute to the house, or eating out, or putting gas in the car (if you have roommates or if you share transportation responsibilities)? What will the people still at home be expected to do? How will your new job change the expectations on you?

The things we give up in order to do another thing we want to do is called opportunity cost. Sometimes, this means giving up time with friends and family for our jobs, or our hobbies. Sometimes, it means choosing friends and family over the job – a new promotion, better pay, and more hours at work to take you away from your families. Sometimes, it means there are some really great things to do, activities to enjoy, and all these choices require a decision. So then you must choose – what you don’t choose is the cost of your current opportunity.

a full hand

Pick a Card, Any Card

Remember, the job is a great thing to have. It’s an accomplishment. So is strengthening your relationships. So make sure that not only are you ready for the first days of your new job, but so is everyone else important to you. And congratulations on getting a new job. We wish you the best and we’re here to answer any questions you might have.



Steps to “Size Up” Your Current Situation

Sizeup – as presented by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)

The nine steps in “sizeup” are:

Gather the facts.
Assess and communicate the damage.
Consider probabilities.
Assess your own situation.
Establish priorities.
Make decisions.
Develop plans of action.
Take action.
Evaluate progress.

So how can LYDIA help you in your current situation? Continue Reading →

Managing Your Medication

Medication Master_List

So I am attempting to get our “lives” in order before my oldest leaves for the summer to spend time with her dad’s family. In an effort to keep us all together, I made calls to the pharmacy to order refills of prescriptions. I did not find a master list that suited my personal needs, so I created my own. While re-ordering medication, I instructed my daughter on how to call the pharmacy and to follow the prompts. Continue Reading →


We have been very busy the past few weeks, moving the household, arranging our furniture, and getting back on track with our schedules.

Routines are very important, not just for the children but for yourselves. With a “fluid” routine, you know what’s coming up for the day – what to expect – and what you need to prepare for those activities. You know that you’ll eat 3 large, or 5-6 small meals a day. You know there’s after school activities, or what time you’ll be home from work. You know what time you’ll most likely sleep and what time you awaken each day.
You know the stressors you’ll face, and you know how to overcome them (if you don’t, give us a call. We’ll help you find answers).

Being fluid is also important. Not flexible – as someone once explained to me, flexible = a breaking point. Fluid bends, flows, wraps around and pushes through whatever it faces. Water – liquid/fluid – can cut through stone. It can carry so much weight – imagine being in a pool, or at the beach, and floating on your back. Fluid. Being fluid means that you realize there will be unexpected events, things you have to face that you may not be fully prepared for – and face them anyway.

Sure, there’s some change. Some growth. This is a good thing. It can be scary, at times, and we hesitate to face these new things, these slight interruptions to our routines. But we can learn to welcome them, to embrace the good ones and learn from the irritating interruptions. We learn to be fluid. We learn to let go of these stressors and to embrace all that life brings. We stand in the midst of the storm – the confusion, the doubt, the fear – and we are the peace. We teach our children, our families, even our friends to be fluid. Be fluid. Be at peace.


On Shaving

Many times throughout our lives as men, it is necessary for us to shave. Reasons for shaving can range from military service to job/safety requirements. While there are some articles that say having facial hair may help land you a job (having to do with taking risks, or appearing more experienced), if your face rug is wildly out of control, or if your face looks like a puppy with mange, then shaving is your best option for job interviews.

Continue Reading →

Daily Cleaning Schedule


How do we get through each day, maintaining our lives and balance?
How do you, our clients, our readers, our support, make it through each day?
One of the ways we can strengthen our own well-being is by keeping a maintained home. For some of us, that will mean we first must do what is commonly referred to as a “deep-clean”. We won’t discuss that at this time, but we will talk about maintenance. Continue Reading →