The Skills of a Football Player…and a Fantasy!

[Original Post Date: Oct 8, 2012] Randy and I got back from Kansas City last night, after spending the weekend in Missouri. Once again, in comparison to the people we encountered in Chicago a few weeks ago, I found locals clad in red to be quite friendly!

We went to yesterday’s Chiefs game.  It was fun to go, but alas they did not win.  And yet, believe it or not, the incredible fans around us were well behaved!

Chiefs! We try to go once a year….a goal!

Have you ever considered the skills of a football player? I have!  And they’re quite similar to what most employers look for in a good employee.  Here’s a sample of five…

1.  Meeting the challenge

2.  Determination

3.  Communication skills

4.  Performing under pressure

5.  Goal setting

…read on for more transferable skills of a NFL player…. The skills are not much different from what employers desire!

I’ve always wanted to help out a professional, or a semi-professional athlete find work upon retirement, or following an injury. Someday!   I’ve also always wanted to (one of my many fantasies), kick one right through the uprights!

It’s Good!

As far as football injuries, I did a little research:  The Top 5 (with the research saying that most injuries occur during competition and not during practice):

1. Hamstring Strain

2. Sprained Ankle

3. Knee Cartilage Tear

4. Hernia

5. Anterior  Cruciate Ligament (ACL)*

*  [Update to this…..oh, NO Jamaal Charles, what are the Chiefs going to do without you???? On Sunday’s 10-11-15 game against the Bears …… who won 18-17 : ), he sustained this type of injury (right knee) and is out for the rest of the season. I love watching him play! for ] Charles missed all but two games of the 2011 season because of a torn ACL in his left knee.

We’ve all had, correction, I know I have had #2 more than once. Randy has had #4 more than once. We’ve all heard of a football player tearing #5. Thankfully, we don’t see back injury or brain injury on this list although I’m sure they happen.  Here’s a link to NFL players currently on the injury list….and on the mend … makes ya think.

Oh, and how much $ does the average professional football player make? About $1.1 million. Source: Randy Botkin ha ha! Now of course that means some make $10 million+++ and some make $100,000. Is it worth it? Makes ya think again. Especially if your career lasts oh about 3 years and your life can be shorted maybe what 20-30 years? Source: Randy Botkin again!

Here’s your pay for the day Mr. Manning

BTW, you may recall Peyton as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos missed the entire 2011 season due to a neck injury requiring him to have neck surgery twice. Rehabilitation counseling was incredibly important to him, I’m sure.

I often work with clients (ones who experienced an injury while at work) with some type of back injury and are no longer able to do the work they did previously.

Have you ever thought about what you do now for a living and if something were to change, what you could do in the future to make money?  Something I help people to think about all the time….makes you think once last time I hope.

More to come … and the final.    Chiefs: 6   Ravens: 9 Booo


Another update: 10/14/15: Chiefs better get better this season!


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce.


Vocational Resources Plus, LLC * * 515-282-7753  *


Felix…One Cool Cat!

I miss my Felix….he had to be euthanized late afternoon on Friday, September 11, 2015. He was not eating and had lost way too much weight. It was so sad and I felt so bad that I couldn’t help him other than loving him and petting him. Dr. Michael Forret, our outstanding vet since 1994) diagnosed Felix with a stomach tumor. Felix didn’t have a temperature and his vitals were okay, indicating thank goodness that he wasn’t in too much pain.

Felix showed up in our neighbor’s garden in June or so 2002. Jacob heard meowing and checked it out, bringing a completely black fluff ball back with him. I remember the first night….just holding this black kitten out in the garage. He pretty much was a garage/outdoor cat, but certainly loved coming inside and hanging out in the mondo, sleeping on the futon, or just chillin’ wherever suited his liking!

2013-12-31 13.18.23Fluff Man. At his glory he was over 15 pounds, all claws and one incredible meow!

I heard once that good cats get petted as much as they want in heaven. They get whatever they loved here on earth… their pawtips! Felix had a great life and yes, he had his share of injuries (broken paw, chipped ear) and vet procedures (one front incisor had to be removed). He always smelled like he was wearing leather and had recently been at a (smoke-free) bar. He had a beautiful wart under his left eye. He was downright cool.

God I miss him. Pets are so important to people’s lives. I keep on thinking I see him out in the backyard, or under the house where he had a special spot to sleep.  I will never forget the sound of his meow. Or how he would bump your arm just enough so more cat food would land in his bowl (he taught that to our white cat Alaska…) Oh, and he taught our dog Bella how to jump the backyard chain link gate (booh).

Felix was also known by me as cafe’ kitty, as he would lay non-chalantly on the curb of our driveway with one paw either crossed or draped over the edge. And when one of us would make the drive up our driveway, we’d have to go very slow because Felix was leading us up (like a sheep dog) and at times would just plop down in front of the car. You simply had to stop. Silly cat.

I also remember one time many, many moons ago….when Felix was missing for 10 days. I thought he was gone for good…and prayed he wasn’t. But returning from church one early, crispy cold winter morning (back over 10-11 years ago when we celebrated Mass at St. Ambrose), there he was down the street. I yelled stop the car, opened the door and ran through the snow to him, picked him up and hugged him sooo long, then carried him home. For the next 10 days following the “rescue” he slept with me, snuggling right up. We figured he was stuck in someone’s garage or house…as he had gotten really thin. Then Fluff Man returned to his normal acting feline nature and back to his hunting escapades (oh the critters he brought him and left right outside the back door….!)

Image result for black cat with green eyes cartoon in heaven

I love you Felix, AKA Fluff Man and am heart broken.

One way to say I love you to a cat is to gaze into their eyes and slowly close your own! I love you! Our neighbors liked Felix all and all, and people would comment how huge he was! I know Felix’s feline sisters Samantha Josephine (who also came into my life in March 2002…an Aqualand store bought from the kitty window) and Alaska (who also showed up…followed Jacob down the street) back in 2012 misses you too. Cats that are “a find” are the best!

Oh, and BTW, Jacob is getting a tattoo of Felix here shortly…..based on his drawing of Fluffman. Maybe I should too?!? (Maybe a henna one!)

Image result for black cat with green eyes cartoon in heaven

“Righty-O” Felix the Cat, the Wonderful, Wonderful Cat….Whenever he gets in a fix, he reaches into his bag of tricks!

Take time to love your pets…..unconditional love is all they know! Prrrrrrr. Here’s a link to a post titled People and Their Pets…Got Cat? where I write about vocational assessment and psycho-social factors, such as pet ownership.


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.


Happy Labor Day 2015 to All of Iowa’s Workers!

Iowa has a great reputation for strong work ethic (from what I heard, ask most any Floridian employer and if you’re from Iowa….you’re hired!)! Click here for a free online Occupational Work Ethic Inventory (OWEI).

Personally, I am proud of my children (and my husband’s) work ethic. Recently, my son Jake covered for a person who called in sick; resulting in working 11 hours in one shift. The next day, his boss from Jimmy John’s offered him a raise!

Image result for zombie burger

Jake is a fan of Zombies!

Arin, although at this time she still works her two jobs at the Des Moines Public Library (Library Aid at the Franklin branch) and Zombie Burger as a host; is dropping down to only one day a week at the library through September. She will then be working only one job….as she needs time to be a 19 year old! Working 60 hours a week takes its’ toil on a person. Plus Arin’s considering going to college! (She has strong interest and entry level skills in sign language.) Psssst:  Arin, check this out about DMACC’s program in ASL.

Workers Monument, by Artist Michael Stutz, State Capitol Grounds, Corner of East 9th Street and East Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa

As you know, I’ve written many times about my husband’s work ethic….he’s amazing! And now, I’d like to write a bit about Randy’s father, James C. Botkin. Jim worked for over 30 years for AT&T. He was a union member.

2002-12-30 AJ with Gpa Jim

AJ and Grandpa Jimmy, Christmas Eve, 2004

James Botkin Union CardJames Botkin’s Union Card, Communication Workers of America

I am pretty convinced we learn work ethic from our parents. Here’s 2 more plaques/awards G’pa Jimmy received for his dedication to his work…they read:

AT&T Jim Botkin 30 YearsTELEGRAPH SERVICE 1887 – 1991 JIM BOTKIN In Recognition of Your Invaluable Contribution. (I’m thinking 1887 is when American Telephone and Telegraph Company was a start-up!)

Happy Retirement G'a Jimmy!

HAPPY RETIREMENT JAMES C. BOTKIN     ~ 30 Years Service With AT&T   1961 – 1991

A fond memory I have of my very loving and silly father-in-law is how is always answered his home phone so professionally and succinctly: “Botkin Residence”.  My dad on the other hand would say before he picked up the receiver, “it’s your nickel.” And Dick raised it to  .10 Cents…and up…as time progressed. (Need to do that with the minimum wage here in Iowa…….$7.25 is one of the lowest states.)

To all workers out there, THANK YOU  for each and every day you work. All workers deserve dignity and fair wage.

And to all those workers who are no longer able to work, BLESS YOU. Be sure to take some time to be grateful for how our workforce operates.

Statistics for You: As of July 21, 2015, Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent in June from 3.8 percent in May. The state’s jobless rate was 4.4 percent one year ago.  The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.3 percent in June.  Source:

Please let me know how I can help your client return to work. And if the client cannot return to work, I can help with that too! A life care plan that incorporates vocational rehabilitation or a loss of earnings evaluation become valuable tools to help resolve complex matters of employment.

Enjoy a Safe & Memory Filled Labor Day 2015!


 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Ever Had a Real Lemon? Customer Service Has to be Peachy!

Ever had a real lemon of a car? Ever had horrible customer service regarding it? Let me tell you, recently (original blog date May 18, 2015) two guys representing Teen Challenge and their vehicle donation program hauled away my daughter Arin’s first car….a used green VW Jetta.


Ooohh, that car >:(

Arin had saved her money from working for a long time at her first job at Okoboji Grill as a host and at age 16 bought it with cash. Pretty impressive that girl is, huh! She, with her dad, “found” the car at Farley’s on the East side which we DO NOT recommend….see below for a nasty review.

Yet for the time she drove her first car (what was yours? mine was a blue Maverick), AJ loved her car and driving! Many an adventure until…..the day the Jetta crapped out; she was returning from a day trip to Lake Red Rock. I had to search for her and her friend stranded on the side of a gravel road (imagine what was going through my motherly head)!

Luckily I came across a group of firefighters close to a town who were gathering ‘fill the boot’ donations and upon my plea for help, one kind firefighter  took charge. (Note: I love and appreciate firefighters ~ recently, Des Moines’ Fire Chief sent my husband Randy a card congratulating him on his educator award…very cool!)

I followed the firefighter’s pick up truck, and he found the young stranded motorists…. then the tow truck and the COSTS that ensued. We got the car fixed temporarily in Pleasantville; then more fixing in Des Moines. Arin drove it for another year, and the cost to “fix it” (read: new engine) cost just as much as she originally paid for it (like $6k).

Image result for car engine cartoon

Do the math and gag with me.

Here’s what Randy wrote about it (the auto purchase) nine months ago (~9/14) in a Google business review of Farley’s Wholesale Tires & Autos ~

“Would never do business with this company again.  Bought a used 1999 VW Jetta only to find out that someone had put Radiator Stop Leak in the car.  It did the job on the radiator but it also caused the thermostat housing  and all the other hoses to be so clogged causing the car to overheat and this killed the engine after 1,500 miles.  When I went to Pat Farley to see what he was willing to do he told me that it was a used car and that he would not and was not willing to do anything.  I had to put a new engine in the car, replace numerous hoses and coolant joints and flush the engine 5 times to clean it out and get it back on the road.  Have had numerous problems with the car.  Please beware of this individual and his company they are crooks who do not care about their customers, they are just trying to make a buck.” ~ Randy Botkin


Lemon, as in a bad car, or something affected by an unfixable original manufacturing defect.

Anyway, a few weeks ago Arin purchased a new car from name of dealership, a Black Ford Fusion, and being used, hopefully it will not be a lemon like the Jetta. Thank you Teen Challenge for accepting our donation and for helping the youth you serve.

Bye Bye Jetta
Bye Bye Jetta

Jetta LightsBTW, do you have a Jetta 1990-2005 that needs new lights? (Update: sold em on Craig’s List!)

Randy had replaced these headlights (new headlights really make a difference in visibility!), and removed them before the car was towed away. For sale on Craig’s list too!

The point of this blog is about serving your customers well. I will do all I can to take care of my customers and provide quality services! You can expect me to be professional and caring. I am fully knowledgeable of my role and understand my business objectives completely. This combined with my passion for my work and my company’s offerings make it easy to deliver the best service possible. Plus I’ll treat you like a peach!

Peach, as in a particularly admirable or pleasing person or thing.

Please let me know how my consulting services could help on a litigated case involving disability and work. I’d love to help!


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce

Vocational Rehabilitation Services with a Focus on Placement

Vocational Resources Plus LLC offers an array of vocational rehabilitation services with a focus on placement.

Vocational rehabilitation is a set of services designed to facilitate the return to work process (also known as placement) for individuals following a serious accident or illness that disrupted employment.

Placement is the bottom line of vocational rehabilitation, and therefore is the most in demand service.  Placement can be simply defined as finding suitable employment. Continue to read on for more detail on Vocational Resources Plus LLC’s placement services and procedures.Vocational Resources Plus LLC designs unique placement services to return-to-work problems that arise on workers’ compensation, personal injury and disability cases.

The objective of each placement assignment is to research key details on an individual’s employability. This information provides the base to plan for courses of action. Action is presented in the form of service delivery, case management, and reporting services.

The goal of each service is to identify strategies that are proven to achieve positive employment related results. The objectives that are set forth in a client’s plan will effectively place individuals back into his or her working world.  This ‘pathway to work’ expedites resolution, details the scope of occupational loss, and ultimately addresses the monetary figure of claim that is in litigation.~Vocational Resources Plus LLC offers one of the most comprehensive placement services available in the local market to address workforce issues and attributes of occupations. The value of designing a service specifically based on the individual’s personal background, work history, transferable skills, knowledge and abilities, coupled with his or her interests, aptitudes personality factors and various vocational related attributes is higher than the actual cost of providing the service.

The case is covered carefully while the individual and all representatives associated with the claim are provided with specific details of the situation to better understand the priorities of successful rehabilitation. All services are documented and a narrative report is useful to evaluate the claimant’s rehabilitation potential, to determine the extent of loss of job, or pay, or of employability.

Specific details on level of cooperation to secure employment, worker qualifications compared to existing employment opportunities, and compliance regarding recommended therapeutic intervention or physical exercise are a few examples that are assessed for the individual to adjust to their situation.Vocational Resources Plus is often called upon to help when a case is in litigation or has the potential to become overly problematic and costly. Referrals are welcomed from attorneys and self-insured employers!  The strategy of assigning your difficult cases to a knowledgeable consultant saves time and reduces long-term effects of any claim. 


~ Vocational Resources Plus LLC commits to helping with the needs of its clientele by providing consulting services that exceed the standards of practice expected in the field of vocational rehabilitation.


Vocational Resources Plus LLC

Job placement is a professional procedure. The purpose is to assist the job seeker to find a job matching his or her knowledge base, skill sets, abilities, work capacities, interests and aptitudes, as well as needs for location, work scheduling, level of earnings, benefits, plus more!

Comprehensive placement on average can take 4 weeks ~ 6-12 months (based on available employment opportunities and client cooperation). Placement is broken down into 4 phases: Information Gathering, Accessing the Labor Market, Placement and Follow-Up. Other services such as Job Seeking Skills Training, Vocational Counseling, and Outsourcing are available on an as needed, individualized basis.

Within the first few weeks of placement, the placement specialist may be able to discern if success at obtaining employment is likely or not. All case activities, research and results of efforts are reported. Expert testimony is available.

Phase I ~ Information Gathering

This phase is time intensive and involves meeting the client, orientation, paperwork, appraisal of qualifications and transferable skills, and participating in other preliminary processes. The individual’s skill set is matched with existing employment opportunities. Resumes are prepared, reference building is performed, specific, information details are gathered and goals are set.

Timeframe: 1-3 weeks. The placement specialist can spend from 10-15 hours per week on preliminary processes. The placement client spends as much time as necessary to support this phase.

Phase II ~ Accessing the Labor Market

This phase involves designing a flexible marketing strategy to assist the client in establishing informational interviews and job interviews. Results are evaluated to help make decisions and to clarify career choices. It involves identifying and contacting businesses in appropriate markets and industries to assist with finding adequate profiles of persons to meet marketing needs and job opening requirements.

Timeframe: Commonly starts in the 3rd week and continues as long as feasible opportunities are identified, up to approximately the 6th week. The placement specialist averages 5-10 hours per week. The placement client spends as much time as necessary to support this phase.

 Phase III – Placement

When the client has sufficient opportunities available and is cooperative with placement procedures, this phase unfolds. When the client is placed, follow-up occurs at appropriate increments. If the client is uncooperative or if excessive barriers do not allow for a successful transition into the workforce, other Vocational Resources Plus, LLC services are available or referrals can be made.

Timeframe: Starts at approximately 3 or 4 weeks into the assignment, depending on the client’s situation and continues until placement occurs. A minimum of one month of post-placement services are offered. The placement specialist averages 1-5 hours a week. The placement client spends as much time as necessary to support this phase.

*Phase 4 ~ Follow-Up Post Placement

Once a final job offer is accepted, the placement specialist will extend involvement to assist the newly-hired individual in various aspects of transition, including any steps that must be taken to resign their position from their current employer. Post-assignment contact is also maintained between client and employer to assure the mutual satisfaction of both parties.

Timeframe: Starts at time job begins, depending on the client’s situation and continues until mutual satisfaction of both parties. The placement specialist averages 1 hour a week for four weeks. The placement client spends as much time as necessary to support this phase.

Thanks for reading….now give me a call!  There’s a sample employment packet the client receives, it’s located on my website. Take a look around at all the resources available! I have even more to share!

515-282-7753 or email


 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.


The Peacock: Poem, Feathers and Symbolism in My Life

The Peacock

Peacock at Blank Park Zoo 05/21/2006
Peacock at Blank Park Zoo 05/21/2006

written by Amy E. Botkin 1/24/15 CRHP Retreat

Look past the strutting and into the beauty. As the morning begins, we praise. The sun shines through the multicolored stained glass. We reflect on our journey through life. Our hearts flutter at joy in such holy surroundings. The mixing of colors, teal, green, yellow, blue….they glow, spread, encompass….our hearts, our faith.

Peacock at Full Glory!
Peacock at Full Glory!

Today We Renew!






The symbolic meaning of the peacock From Wiki Peacock feathers have been used for healing for tens of thousands of years in every culture throughout time. They are said to carry Spiritual healing energy that can be used to assist people seeking balance and harmony in their lives. In Hinduism the peacock is associated with Lakshmi, who is a deity representing benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion and good luck.

I read a writer’s analogy of why she is so drawn to the peacock: ‘It’s because of its dichotomy. On one hand, the peacock is this beautiful bird, with connections to the divine. On the other, the peacock can be a terribly obnoxious bird – they emit horrible screeches and can be awfully aggressive. She believes in a theory that the peacock is a perfect symbol of humanity itself…’

Another PeacockThe peacock naturally replaces his feathers annually and is therefore a symbol of renewal.

I have peacock feathers in my office. They were found at my in law’s house in Creston when we were preparing it to sell back in 2005. The “multitude of eyes” upon the peacock’s stunningly beautiful fan tail feathers watch over me while I work! I strive for being true to my own colors and simply being myself.

Learn from the peacock, spread your feathers embrace your spiritual nature, walk tall, and display your talents with confidence and grace. Be beautiful and an open minded person ~ the one that looks at the world with eyes wide open, the one that is not afraid of challenges!

To Thine Own Self Be True“To Thine Own Self Be true” ~ William Shakespeare

The Peacock is a reminder to all of us to show our true colors. The peacock can help us shed the old feathers of the past and to take back the true beauty of our individuality. This increases self-respect and confidence. Here you’ll come to a True Colors Personality Quiz. Please take it and enjoy! I found out my strongest is orange, then green, blue and gold!

In performing more research I found that Peacock energy can help you on your spiritual path and breathe new life into your walk of faith. And that’s another reason I am so blessed that the women at our table during my CRHP ~ Christ Renews His Parish ~ retreat in January 2015 chose to be called the Peacocks. Our choice was based on the inspiration from a picture we saw in our parish’s (All Saints Parish) gathering space of Father Bob Harris saying mass on his recent trip (helped to sponsor the trip for many people in our community) to the Holy Land (Boy that would’ve been awesome!). The Peacock is often found in Catholic Churches, and above his head (Father Bob’s in the picture) there was one!

The Peacock has a boisterous cry that holds a touch of laughter, as if to imply that nothing, including beauty, should be taken too seriously. When I am centered and grateful for all I have, I feel a more light-hearted approach to all things that come my way. Laughter is really the best medicine and helps to keep us healthy!

Peacock FeathersLook Upon the Peacock With New Eyes and Reflect on What Its Eyes Say to You!

Looking around my office, I have all sorts of eyes watching me! Not only the eyes on the peacock feathers, but my daughter, my son’s, nieces and nephews, husband, mom and dad, grandparents, in laws, cats and dog and rabbit, etc., …..and some old guy with a long white beard I have no idea who he is, but I think he has wisdom to share!

Eyes are the entry into the soul! And they are protecting me, encouraging me and telling me to continuously strive to make my work and my life pure of heart. A symbol of peacock in many cultures is of eternal life; the link between heaven and earth. And to have faith that we never truly die.

Peacocks mate for life, just like the two of us, Randy, making this a perfect theme for our vow renewal (25 years quickly approaching old man!).  Peacocks are pure of heart.  They pair with a mate and are loyal and faithful to their partners. My peacock feathers are now more meaningful. Thank you!

In closing, I share this tapestry and detail about it ~

Tree of Life

Tree of Life Peacock


BEGIN: Kalamkari began as the temple art of Andhra Pradesh and slowly occupied an important place in the arts and crafts of India. The artisan uses a pen-like brush called ‘kalam’, giving the technique its name.

The tree is one of the most potent of symbols. Its roots delve into the underworld; its trunk links the earth to the heavens – it transcends all three spheres. It symbolizes birth, maturity, death and rebirth embodied in leaf, bud and fruit. The tree of life is one of the most common motifs used by the artisans. Versions of the tree of life are manifold.

Here, the tree of life is transposed as a vase containing flowers and a variety of leaves. The flowers are those associated with fertility. Generally, a tree of life is flanked by worshippers, birds or animals, which could vary locally. Here the tree is flanked by a couple of peacocks. It is relevant to note that in Indian mythology, peacocks occupy a prominent place. They symbolize immortality, love, courtship, fertility, regal pomp and protection. When the auspicious tree of life and the important motif of a peacock come together, this painting’s worth is doubly elevated.

Colors like blue, yellow and green are more commonly used. Red is liberally used in the border giving a bright frame to a sober, meaningful painting promising prosperity and good luck. – END

In closing of this blog, I offer more from YouTube: Enjoy again!

Get ahold of me so I can help with matters of work and disability. Thank you for reading!


 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

1st Bug Bite, 1st Sunburn & 1st Boat Ride!

Living through my 1st Bug Bite, 1st Sunburn & 1st Boat Ride means summer 2015 is near!


“Summer” by Walfrido

The bite (thinking bee) sure made my right arm swell up and hurt. At the onset I thought, gee, all my workouts have produced hefty triceps (wouldn’t happen on only one side silly), but NO my arm for about a week looked like a football player’s arms.

The boat ride (thank you so much Ted & Beth Erickson!) Sunday on Lake Panorama was wonderful! Good thing the one (of a select few) plants I can really grow well is readily available at my house. My burn wasn’t bad, but I will prepare for sunnier days to come with my aloe vera plants.

2015-06-02 13.48.07

Here’s a Quick Juicing Recipe: 

Light and Lemony Aloe Vera
1 cucumber 
1 apple
1 lemon
2 tablespoons of aloe vera pulp

And click here for 30 Uses for Aloe Vera.

My love of coconut oil and essential oil is great for sunburn and other skin issues. Prepare for June, July and beyond. August will be really special this  year for more reasons than one! Okay, the big one is that Randy and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. What should we do?! Here’s a shot of us in 2012 celebrating August 4, 1990. You can take your own bottle of wine to DJango (yummy!)

Raspberry Wine for the Meal DJango
Raspberry Wine for the Meal DJango

We both look silly!

This week my sister Janice is flying in from Fort Lauderdale. We’ll be having some fun! And some sadness, as Katy, a friend Janice spent a lot of time with in high school committed suicide and there’s a memorial for her this weekend in Iowa Falls. I had a friend, Sally, who I too spent a lot of time with growing up, who did the same, that is commit suicide last year. It’s horrible. I love life so much, I am so incredibly saddened that mental health and hatred can really ruin the world for some.

Whatever Makes Your Happy You Put In Your World

Whatever Makes You Happy You Put Into Your World

Stay safe this summer, have fun and relax. And be grateful for each day of your life! I personally have to really watch out for bugs, especially spiders, bees and yellow jackets, wasps and hornets; and poison ivy. There’s  a whole story or three on what bugs and poison ivy have known to do to my body…..NOT GOOD.

I need to be sure to keep an epi-pen near, or at least be sure people who I’m with know (if we’re outside) to help me to be cautious about what’s floating around…. And I have to make a new poison ivy kit for thhis summer (read: glass jar with vinegar, and small towel)….just in case.

I’m going to read my homework for tonight’s CRHP session now…’s beautiful outside! If you are curious, Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP, pronounced “Chirp”) is a spiritual renewal weekend designed to help individuals grow in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ and with others in their faith community. It is an excellent opportunity for Catholics to renew their understanding of the basic beliefs and traditions of their faith. And I’m helping to prepare the next women’s retreat in August for my parish, All Saints Catholic Church. That’s my next big event planned for this August, hosting a CRHP retreat!

Please let me know how I might help with life care planning and/or vocational consulting. I’m here for you!

Note: I changed my byline  as of 5/22/15


 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Why Do You Do Your Work? You May Be in Love!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend. Are you happy to be back at work?! I hope so. Do you love your job? I hope so. What motivates you toward your job? Is there a match, or a mismatch?

love my job mutuallyPersonally I am in Love with my Job!

Recently I met with Lin Phillips, a career counselor who is very skilled and talented at helping people “see the light” regarding what makes them tick at work…and in life. If you love your work, your life feels so natural. Not sure if you’re really in love yet?

Using the Why Do You Do Your Work? self-assessment scale below (or download a copy), indicate to what extent each of the following items corresponds to the reasons why you are presently involved in your work. Then ask yourself why. Send the scale and any of your notes if you’d like back to me and I’ll let you in on your own motivation!

[Please note I do not know the origins or where I found this scale and have made edits and additions for my blog. If anyone knows of its source, please let me know.]

2015-02-06 Red Rose I DestroyedWhy Do You Do Your Work?

Does not correspond              Corresponds moderately         Corresponds exactly

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because this is the type of work I chose to do to attain a certain lifestyle.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. For the income it provides me.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7

  1. I ask myself this question, I don’t seem to be able to manage the important tasks related to this work.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because I derive much pleasure from learning new things.

 1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because it has become a fundamental part of who I am.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because I want to succeed at this job, if not I would be very ashamed of myself.

 1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because I chose this type of work to attain my career goals.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. For the satisfaction I experience from taking on interesting challenges.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because it allows me to earn money.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because it is part of the way in which I have chosen to live my life.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because I want to be very good at this work, otherwise I would be very disappointed.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. I don’t know why, we are provided with unrealistic working conditions.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because I want to be a “winner” in life.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because it is the type of work I have chosen to attain certain important objectives.

 1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. For the satisfaction I experience when I am successful at doing difficult tasks.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because this type of work provides me with security.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. I don’t know, too much is expected of me.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because this job is a part of my life.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7

 Your Notes: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­


Image result for motivation

It’s an Organic Carrot!

Stay tuned for test results and descriptions of motivators based on this scale. Are you motivated to continue to read my blog! I hope so!



My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce


Employability, Hireability and Placeability ~ Got Ability? Need Proof?

To continue on with my post on getting level during divorce, I’m offering working definitions of 3 of my favorite ability descriptors which are Employability, Hireability and Placeability.

Although my vocational assessment and evaluation assignments span a variety of jurisdictions and are designed to meet referral needs, the concepts of Employability, Hireability and Placeability remain constructively intact.

~ Employability ~ Can try to prove


Simply put, employability refers to the capacity for a person to function in a job and to be able to move between jobs the person could actually do considering personal circumstances. There may be an overlay of disability, physical or mental limitations, or specific work-life needs that come into play when determining a person’s employability.

Employability depends on the knowledge, skills and abilities and how these assets are used within the context which work is performed or is sought. To evaluate employability, it helps to break the concept into manageable pieces. I take a look at the skills, attitudes and behaviors the person has developed through their work background and a variety of other life experiences.

To know if those skills, attitudes and behaviors are in demand, I then research and survey the person’s labor market to identify jobs that match the person’s background and capacities.

It works best for me to highlight the person’s skills and capacities in the best possible light! Skills are transferable regardless of disability, especially with creative adaptation and accommodation.

In addition, if there are avenues to match the person more closely with jobs (eg: short term training), further vocational research is performed with the results offered in a helpful way.

~ Hireability ~ Cannot prove


The term hireability is a way of describing the likelihood an individual might get hired for a job they are physically and psychologically capable of performing.

The most prevalent method of hiring is the interview, therefore, it is always helpful to view how a person presents their skills in various environments.

Further, hireability is about a person’s soft skills, including their style of communication, level of self-confidence, initiative, tact, and motivation. All these elements are important to a business who has hiring needs!

Throughout my placement experiences, I find businesses look to hire individuals who are responsible, trainable, friendly and able to work on teams. Reliable transportation, good references, a neat appearance, and a pleasant personality are commonly preferred.

Throughout my placement experiences, I also understand often is not necessary to assess an individual for hireability, and to rely on the person’s natural ability to succeed without the need to administer a “test”.

~ Placeability ~ Can try to prove

Best Placement

Placeability is the likelihood that a person will actually access, secure and maintain work within his or her labor market, usually in a specific job or occupation. Placeability is affected by labor market conditions (outside of an individual’s control) and is partly about how in-demand the individual’s transferable skills are and how well she or he can present those skills.

The dynamics of placeability include the availability of jobs in a certain geographic area; employer attitudes and policies, the evaluee’s age and culture; and specific occupational hiring requirements. I’ve had many years of work experience placing people and there are numerous variables!

If the person has barriers to employment, for example a functional limitation that would benefit from accommodation, resources are discussed to avoid unnecessary conflicts in the person’s working world. Please realize all functional limitations are restrictions but NOT all restrictions are functional limitations!

Here’s another rather important variable:

~ Willingness to Work ~ Can definitely prove! I have testified to this several times. If you are a job seeker and need proof that you are validly looking for reliable work, let me know if I can help. 

Thank youThe bottom line for any business usually involves making and/or saving money! Are you doing that? If you are employed, yes you are! I thank you! And I’m sure your business thanks you too.

Need a vocational evaluation consultation? Call me 515-282-7753 or


 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Randy’s Jobs…Work Ethic…and How About a Nap?

Last week I started writing about work ethic. Oh yea, and about my husband. There’s a reason or two for my post. But first, a little story about Randy.

As a teenager, one of Randy’s first jobs was newspaper boy. Okay, newspaper carrier. He tells me his mother, Marylin, ousted him out of bed at 4 AM, when she got home from her data processing job at a downtown Des Moines bank.

hit the hayMarylin Would Then Hit The Hay

Randy donned his bag, left home, and waited patiently at the corner for the newspapers to arrive. He then walked all round Saylorville (the little town not the lake!) to deliver the news for the Des Moines Register.

Big NewsHere Comes Big News!

When Randy’s route was done and he got back home he would return the favor and try to get his father Jim up out of bed. [Jim worked at AT&T in downtown Des Moines for 40 years.] Then Randy got ready for school. Randy delivered the newspapers on his route for 3 years. [I don’t know how many times we’ve had to revisit his route….by auto.]

Maybe that’s why he still likes to read the hard copy of the paper, or at least the sports section? Could it also be another reason he and my dad have this special bond? Click here for a blog about my dad’s work, including his Sunday morning Des Moines Register newspaper motor route delivery days.

Bottom line here, I believe that you develop your work ethic through the example set by your parents. Ahh, observation of the parental units! I sure miss Marylin and Jim. Both were very hard workers. And very caring people!

Botkin FamilyThe Botkin Family ~ Randy, Kyl, Marylin & Jim

 I have plans to blog about my oldest sister, Julie. She has a very strong work ethic. And Kyl does as well. Employers rank a strong work ethic as one of the top qualities they seek in the employees they hire or move up in the organizations. Okay, what is work ethic?

  1. the principle that hard work is intrinsically virtuous or worthy of reward.

Stay tuned and thanks for reading. Now how about a lil nappie poo? especially after the Super Bowl last night?!


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce