Sunday, May 20, 2012

On Migraines, The Avengers, Class of 2012 and Getting Old. Very Old.

This sleep deprived weekend has given me a headache

 I'm enjoying a beautiful sunny day, with two hours to go before I have to drag myself off the couch and into the shower (do I really have to worry about personal hygiene?) before the last day of my "on" 3-day weekend shift. I woke up with a migraine, not a great start to the morning, but I am fortunate to have medication that really kicks the crap out of the headache. It isn't a narcotic either, which is a good thing. I don't think it would be good to report to work stoned, so to speak.

 The Avengers at a theater near you

In my absence yesterday evening, my husband and son saw the movie "The Avengers". They enjoyed it, despite the fact that I wasn't there, which always dampens their spirits. Really? Well, no. My son was a little annoyed when his dad pointed out the impossibility of a scene where one of the characters reached out and grabbed a plane that was going Mach 1 or something. He does that sometimes. Mostly he just goes along for the ride, but once and awhile the engineer in him rears its ugly head. Don't hate me honey. You know I love you. Honey? Where are you going?

It was just a matter of time

Not actual mother, only representation for visual purposes..

Switching gears, my elderly mother is continuing to adjust to the loss of her freedom following her children's decision to take away her keys, and subsequently, her car. It has been several months now, and a bumpy ride for her and all of her children. Her reaction has been a roller coaster of resentment, acceptance, resentment, acceptance, etc. None of us wanted to put her through this ride, but all of us agreed it was time, both for her safety and for everyone else on the road. I only live about 45 minutes away, but still find it difficult to visit as much as I would like. Phone calls fill this gap, but even this is often difficult for me. She is usually very down, our conversations depressing and confusing (which is a major factor in our decision to take away her car). I feel guilty and selfish to be so concerned about how it makes me feel, which only intensifies the guilt.

I once read a bumper sticker that shouted Growing Old: It Ain't for Sissies! I could be wrong, but I don't think the word sissy is at all related to the taunting term used for males who don't live up to masculine expectations.
I could be wrong, but I don't think I needed to explain the use of the word "sissy".


Not my niece, classmates, or school colors. Also, how do they know which cap is theirs?
June Graduation, Class of 2012!

The other day, we received a nice surprise in our mailbox. Nice because it wasn't another hunk of junk mail, and nice because it wasn't another flipping bill (as if we'd pay it anyway). I jest, evil Bill Collection Agencies.

It was nice because it was the announcement of my niece's high school graduation. Her photo graces the front of the announcement, absolutely adorable and soo grown up.

This makes me ill.

I'm sick because I realize I am getting very, very old. I am in utter and complete denial that she has reached this milestone. I was just cradling her in my arms five years ago. How dare she grow up.

Damn her!

Nonetheless, I am very proud of her, which is surely only a smidgin of the pride felt by her parents. My "baby" sister will probably have on display pictures of my niece as a baby, toddler, preschooler and elementary student, preteen and teen pictures of her maturing through the years. And I will cry.

Damn her!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Apps, Super Moon, etc.


 In Brazil Super Moon illuminated the landmark Christ the Redeemer statue

Apps additction

Whenever I have some free time, I pick up my new iphone and search for apps. When I first heard that term, it annoyed me. I'm not sure why. It just did. Maybe because I didn't know what the heck they were talking about. Oh sure, I knew it was short for application(s), but it just didn't apply to my life at that time. But now that I own a smart phone, I am beginning to understand some of the lingo. Probably just a mere fraction of the lingo. In fact, if I were to enter a wifi bar, or whatever those things are called, I'd probably embarrass the heck out of myself. I can just imagine someone starting a conversation with me. My facial expression would probably resemble a deer-in-the-headlights look.
Oh the terror!
For now, I am content just learning how to use my phone, which befuddles me most of the time. Heck, when I first started to receive calls, I kept disconnecting the call instead of answering it. What a moron.
I will learn. I've just created a different learning curve, that's all.
However, my learning curve resembles a snake having seizures.

One year anniversary

I am quickly approaching the one year milestone at my first job as an RN. Hard to believe at times. At other times, feels like I've been there for years. Just depends on the kind of week I'm having. Or day. Overall, it has been good, and I am so grateful for being hired at this facility. It is a great opportunity, and from what I hear from some of my former classmates, far less stressful than their hospital job. And the best perk for me is that I get to know my patients. They aren't in and out of there in 2-3 days like the hospital patients.

Is that the sun I see?

Lately, we've been seeing a lot of gray outside, and not much else. This morning, the sun has just told those clouds who is boss, and everything is green again. It is so purdy. And while I'm on the subject of things celestial, I missed the Big Event: The Super Moon. I was working and didn't see that big moment when the moon was at it's closest point to earth. Would have loved to be home with my telescope. But I saw some pretty neat pictures from around the world capturing the moment. There is something on my wish list that I will see one day: To go out west (New Mexico specifically) to see the stars at night. I've heard they are so bright, so numerous, it looks as though you can reach out and pluck one right out of the sky. I will probably faint from the sight. Yep, I'm a star gazer geek. It will be a glorious experience for me.

I'm signing off for now, I am struggling to stay awake on my day off, but life calls, and I have to jump in, I guess.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Scrapbooking: Hobby then, work now

 Picture representation. Not actually my stuff, but very close.
I'm too lazy to take a picture of my mess and download it
Been thinking about my scrapbook hobby lately. Wondering why I can't whip up enough enthusiasm to dive back into it. I think part of the reason is the disorganized mess that have turned my supplies into an intimidating pile of work. I think if it was already cleaned up, with everything in place, I might want to sit down and begin playing again. Ha! What a fantasy that is.

I think another reason I haven't picked up scrapbooking again is that I feel so behind. I started out making albums in chronological order, as is a mistake many scrappers make. This means we are going back in time, often 20-30 years. It becomes difficult to keep up the pace when I keep adding new photos to my stash. I feel as though I will never 'catch up'.  And I won't.

So I did end up choosing a few more current themed scrapbooks, and it was very enjoyable to be working 'in the present'. But, idiot that I am, I still felt as though I had to go back to the beginning. Sigh.

Eventually, I will get the energy to tackle the mountains of scrapbook stash and begin once again to enjoy an old hobby.

Until then, I will work on my procrastination skills.

After all, I wouldn't want them to get rusty. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Breaks, Oysters and Chores, Oh My!

I'm right in the middle of my three days off from work. Of course as you can imagine, this is a good place to be. The world is my oyster. I really don't understand why I just used that phrase. I have never had an oyster, and am rather hesitant at the thought of slipping something slimy down my throat. I also don't understand how this is tasty, if it isn't chewed. Or as we say in the medical world, masticated and then swallowed. I guess I will have to try one before I comment any further on oysters and their general contribution to the day's unlimited possibilities.

Right now, even though it is beginning to 'warm up' outside (52 degrees), I feel chilled so I pulled out our little space heater. Predictably, our lab padded over to it and plopped down right in front, blocking the heat. We are puzzled as to why she can stand it. After all, she's wearing a coat of fur, for goodness sake. She's an unusual dog, for sure. I guess it is comforting to her. So much for me warming up.

Meanwhile, back to my exciting plans for today. First, I will work on my skills as a part-time fixture on my couch. I will surf the net, check into facebook for awhile, read my email, as well my work's email. That last activity seems crazy. I'm supposed to be spending my time not thinking about that place. But I check in once a day anyway. Looking for announcements about this or that patient being sent out to the hospital. If it is one of mine, I am immediately concerned, wondering what changed since I last cared for them. The emails never reveal why they have gone out. So I have to wait until I work again to get the details.

Today, I will also have to drag my sorry tush out to shop for groceries. A chore that doesn't exactly thrill me, but is better than work. At least I am my own boss. If I want to go to produce before the cereal aisle, I will not be reprimanded for going against protocol. If I want to stop and pour myself a free itty-bitty cup of coffee and spend the next 20 minutes drooling at the dessert counter, I can. On my own clock. Wow. Now there's an oyster!

When I arrive home with my bags of stuff, Daisy will be jumping up and down with pure joy, knowing this signals her play time. I will let her out, throw the ball a few times, bring in a bag or two of groceries while she waits, panting with excitement. This activity will continue until the car is unloaded. Then our well-behaved dog will lay in the grass, hovering protectively over her treasured ball, waiting patiently for my return. Meanwhile, I will be in the kitchen tossing groceries away, resisting the temptation to tear into that bag of chips.

Lastly I will have to face the cold, ugly truth. I need to figure out what to make for dinner. As I may have mentioned in a previous blog, it is a task I despise. Unfortunately, it is my day off so I have no excuse as to why I can't whip up a hearty meal for my family. It's just that I'd rather not put forth the effort. Last night we ordered pizza. I was thrilled. Today I must cook. What a difficult life. I'm such a whiner. But I just don't wanna.

Just the work of thinking about all of this makes me sleepy. So I think I will nap first.

Must be well rested before tackling the day.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Good times in very windy city

Wow. Building a city next to Lake Michigan. A beautiful view but hell on your hair. Nonetheless we are having a great time celebrating our anniversary. 

Driving and parking in Chicago is rough. So taxis are the main mode of transportation in this city. But we have had several brushes with death during our taxi rides. I'm convinced the taxi drivers are not satisfied until customers are pasty white, sweating profusely and calling loved ones for their final goodbyes. Arriving at our destination, we are in shock over the fares but feel lucky enough to be able step out onto the curb. And so we shell out fifty dollars for the five mile ride without a blink. Okay, the fare is not that much.

We are leaving today, after one final destination to the Shedd Aquarium. We will be pulling our car out of garage storage and driving there ourselves. I suppose this means we will enjoy our time, instead of recovering from a harrowing Chicago taxi ride.

Good times. This IS a beautiful city. We shall return. And walk a lot more.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chicago Road Trip

So happy I'm not working today. Another nurse anxious to pick up some extra hours took my shift. Now I am free to do the mountains of laundry and pack for our mini road trip to Chicago.

We will be celebrating 27 years of wedded bliss, and a much needed getaway will be a wonderful break from our routine. A great opportunity to spend some 'us' time, that is, if we don't get blown away in different directions in the Windy City.

We will be staying within walking distance of the 'Magnificent Mile', or as I like to think of it, the 'Blow All of Your Money Until You are Broke Mile'. Should be good times. I am looking forward to dining out, which means no cooking, no cleaning, no swearing. I hope we can find some swanky restaurants with fabulous food and prices to match. You know, the type of pricey restaurant with a private surgical suite at the entrance for a quick kidney donation to cover the bill.

Coincidentally, our son will be traveling to the same destination this weekend for a middle school band trip. We did not volunteer to be chaperones. We have a particular affinity for our sanity. Plus, we are celebrating our anniversary, not our certain downward spiral into delirium. One hundred plus loud, sometimes mouthy fourteen year old kids can have that effect. I tip my hat, if I actually wore one, to all of those parents who volunteered to guard our precious flock. I hope our son behaves.

Meanwhile, I must move on. So much to do, so little time. For some reason, the coffee is not working it's magic this morning. So I am flying solo, sans caffeine. At least until lunch, when I will crack open a can of Pepsi Max, and get some last minute clothes shopping done for aforementioned son. As usual, I failed to read the fine print for the required attire needed for this trip. He will need some respectable clothes. Something he sorely lacks.

Sigh. I usually enjoy shopping, but not under a time crunch. This is going to bite.

So what in the world am I doing blogging about all of this?

I don't really know. I guess I'm procrastinating. And I like to write.

That is all.  For now.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Did I have a life before my smart phone?

Just as I predicted, I am playing with my new phone. A lot. I suppose that is to be expected. After all, it is my new electronic gadget/wizard/phone. I am mesmerized by all it can do. I am puzzled by all I don't understand about what it can do. But I have to back track for a moment.

This past Saturday morning, I was sitting on the couch, in a stupor from the previous afternoon shift from hell. I was not in the most pleasant of moods, and my family knew it. For awhile, they tip toed around me, aware that one false move on their part and I would turn on them like a rabid dog.

Thankfully, I began to emerge from this frightful version of myself, due mostly to my coffee-caffeine nudge. Soon, my son no longer feared for his life and began to talk to me. I was exhausted from three hours of sleep, but was anxious to spend some time with hubby and son to hear about their evening events in my absence.

After a time, my husband decided to go for a ride on his new Harley, what my son and I lovingly refer to as "The Death Trap". (A subject for a future blog, I guess.)  He wanted to run an errand yet again to the local Bikes Are Us store, for who knows what new accessory he claimed he had to have for his beloved bike.

Upon his return an hour or so later, I was just a level or two above comatose. He told me he had a treat for me. I replied that it better not be chocolate, as I had indulged a bit too much of the heavenly sweets lately. No, he assured me, it was not chocolate. Then he instructed me to close my eyes and put out my hands.

I knew before I opened my sand man crusty eyes that it was my new iPhone. I squealed with delight, rocketed off the couch with energy I didn't know I had, and slobbered him with hugs and kisses.
I wasn't supposed to see this phone until I staggered in the door after work that night. But he decided to go out in the morning to buy it so I could mess with it a few hours before work. What a sweetheart!

So now, instead of folding the laundry and catching up on my bills or other annoying tasks such as feeding my family, I am sitting on my duff, purple encased phone in hand. Downloading this or that free app, checking that all my contacts transferred to my new phone, checking in to my facebook app, which is waayy funner than it was on my old phone, may she rest in peace. I'm using my games app to play Angry Birds for the first time (I love those funny sounds the birds make when they croak!), downloading iTunes, etc. From time to time, I'm even making a phone call, or sending a text.

I know I did have a life before this smart phone. But what I have now is even better.

I have a life app. I think I will go tap into it now.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Weekend from Hell

I never thought I'd say this, but I am so happy the weekend is over.

My Friday-Sunday shift was one of the most difficult, frustrating, emotionally and physically draining experiences I have had since I began my nursing career.

And that was just the drive into work.

But seriously, (as if I ever am), it was enormously rough and I am so glad to have it all behind me. Friday night was bad beyond description. So much so that I had to censor it from this blog. (Drat, that would have been the most interesting part.) Well, if Friday was wretched, then Saturday was a close, disastrous second. Last night was tame by comparison, but by then I felt as though I had been run over by a semi. Run over, backed over and flattened.

It is days like these that prompt me to wonder why, in the name of all that is sacred and good did I decide to become a nurse. And then the bad memories begin to fade away and I remember.

It is the patients. I love taking care of the patients.

One day soon I hope I will learn how to deal with all of the stress, staff pettiness/squabbling, etc.
After all, do I really think this kind of crap is unique to just my job?

Now I will spend the next two glorious days decompressing. Then wake up on Wednesday and start all over again.

I guess it could have been worse. It could have been a weekend without coffee. Oh the horrors! I think I'll go pour a fresh cup right now.