Santa stop here

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Just popping in to extend best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Prospero Ano Nuevo from my family to yours. I've been busy working nights and finally finished my rotations through nine med-surg units. As of January 1, 2012 I'll be in my "permanent" position...a floor to call my own at last! I will continue working nights and trying to manage the rest of life in the few waking moments during the day when I'm not trying to catch up on sleep.
All is well.  The hubs had minor knee "surgery" last month (arthroscopy) which confirmed a torn meniscus from so long ago the missing part was no longer in existence. He was off work for three weeks, returned for a few days and was off on vacation for nine days after that. Now he's back to work...the well-recuperated knee is doing fine.
The kiddoes are well...excited to be out of school for the next week. Commercial Christmas is very low key this year.  We didn't even put up a tree (Bad Mommy moment #217). I felt a little guilty and went out and purchased a tiny cypress with red bows attached to set on the coffee table. I'll plant it outside once the weather warms up. It makes the Charlie Brown Christmas tree look like the majestic tree adorning the White House lawn.LOL!
The kids are watching "A Christmas Story" as I type. I picked up a copy at Costco last week just because it was on sale and the family had never seen it. I think it will become part of our holiday tradition along with the Grinch and all of our Christmas CDs which are loaded into the player the day after Thanksgiving.  There is a potato, ham & cheese "breakfast pie" in the oven. It's a concoction I came up with after watching some chef on Good Morning America a few weeks back. If it turns out well, I'll try to remember what I did and post the recipe : ).
I still have a bit of baking to finish (I tried my hand at gingerbread biscotti and failed...will have to make some adjustments next time) and some sleep to catch up on before I go in to work tonight, so I'll close for now.
May the love of Jesus  which is so apparent during the Christmas season extend throughout the new year!
Until next time...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Well, folks, I meant to get online and blog all about my birthday (2 weeks ago) and everything that's been going on, but I got side-tracked visiting other blogs. Now, it is almost 1:30 a.m. and it's raining, and my bed is calling my name.  I have church at 8:00, so I'll cut this a little short and promise to get back sooner than a month from now. Sound like a plan?
The day before my birthday (which is actually my SIL's birthday) we tried Five Guys' Burgers and Fries, and it was a fun evening out. My parents, sister & her family and my brother and his wife (the actual birthday girl du jour) joined us. The kids didn't have school on my birthday, which was Friday (not because I'm just that special but because it was a teacher in-service day), but the high school still had a Friday night football game, so I got to sling nacho cheese with the Band Boosters on my actual birthday. My SIL gave me a copy of Cupcake, a book about Vanilla cupcake who feels plain next to his fancy friends, then his friend, Candle comes along, and they look for a special topping for cupcake. It is the story of my life, and I loved it! I'll have to let you all know how the recipe in the back of the book turns out...when I get around to making them! My mom gave me some nice clothes which means I can purge a few more outfits from my "over-crowded-with-out-of-style-digs" closet. Woo-hoo!
On Saturday, the hubs, the kids & I tried a Jamaican restaurant not far from our house. They had a live band (not because I'm just that special, but because they always have live music on Friday and Saturday nights ;-). The short version of the long story behind that decision was: I bought a $25 fundraiser card from the Athletic Boosters from my daughter's school where several different participating restaurants give you freebies and discounts when you show the card. Well, the bigger deal was you go online and register for a $25 gift certificate for any of the participating restaurants. I decided to do it then and there, and the Jamaican restaurant (which we'd been thinking of trying anyway) was one of the choices. Win-win. My adventuresome son tried the special of the night: curried conch. I had jerk chicken; the hubs had jerk pork and curried goat. The daughter played it safe with "Rasta Pasta" which looked pretty good. I had a great time.
To close out the weekend of celebrations, we attended a jazz orchestra concert at the wonderful outdoor pavilion on Sunday evening. The weather was just perfect. We set up a couple of chairs and spread a comforter on the ground. I'd made baked chicken quesadillas and loaded them in my insulated carrier along with a cooler with salsa, chips & guacamole. My sister and her two kiddoes joined us, and she brought a birthday cookie and miniature wine bottles. Did I mention the weather was perfect for a concert under the stars?
My cousin took me to lunch at Mimi's Cafe a couple of days later and gave me a gift bag filled with my favorite snacks and guilty pleasures. Thanks, B!
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention all of the phone calls, texts and messages posted on my facebook wall from friends and family members that made my day, too.  Thank you all for helping me celebrate!
As far as work is concerned, I'm working from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. now. I love the (sometimes) more relaxed pace of the nights, but am still finding it a little difficult to adjust my sleep schedule (which is why I'm up at 2 a.m. blogging on a night I'm not at work!). In a couple of hours I'll get up and go to 8:00 mass and Sunday school for the kids (I'm not teaching this year because my schedule is far from set in stone. I never know when I'll be working or not, and that's just not fair to the kids and other teachers). Then, I'll come home and sleep from 11 a.m. until around 3:30, and get up and fix dinner and head off to work around 5:30. The kids do not have school on Monday, and Mike is on vacation, so I'll let them hold down the fort while I sleep from 9 a.m. until around 3 p.m. and do it all over again. At first I was concerned about doing that three days in a row, but I have found that I actually prefer 3 days in a row. Then, I can flip back to my regular sleep schedule (sort of) for three days and revert back to my wakeful nights the night before I go back.  I'm thinking I may stay on nights whenever I interview for my "permanent" position at the end of the year...just a thought. I'll see how it goes on other units and let you know.
Until next time...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Long, hot summer

Welcome friends, family! I realized it had been a while since I've been online, but didn't realize it had been almost two months. I've tried to switch my background to reflect the transition from summer to fall. It's a little plain, but I didn't want to spend too much time hunting around for backgrounds this morning. Let's see, where do I begin...?
Work is going well.  I'm on my 5th of 9 rotations through medical-surgical units at the hospital.  So far, I much prefer the medical patients over the surgical ones.  I survived 5 weeks on the palliative care unit and actually enjoyed the serenity of caring for those near death. Sounds kind of morbid, and it really is difficult to explain.  I'm currently on an orthopedic-trauma unit, and it is tough. We get 'em, fix 'em, get 'em up and moving and out the door. Patients are constantly coming and going, and it's pretty tough to keep up. I'm doing my best. While I have loved the opportunity to rotate from floor to floor and experience different areas of med-surg care, I am looking forward to being assigned to one unit where I can really learn the ropes, the doctors, the medications, etc. and "settle in." That will come later this year or January 2012.  Meanwhile, I start working nights next month. I'm already trying to prepare myself mentally for staying awake all night.  I'm generally a night owl anyway, but it'll be different having the responsibility of five or six post-surgical patients in my care the entire time. Wish me luck!
The kids started back to school this week, and it has been quite the transition for them.  We started back on vitamins and allergy tablets a couple of weeks ago, but they've continued their summertime practice of staying up late and sleeping in up until Sunday night. Tsk, tsk (that's intended for me and them).
If you've been keeping up with the Texas heat you know that it really was a long, HOT summer around these parts.  I lost count of how many consecutive days of temps greater than 100 degrees after 35 or so. You walk outside to the car and feel as if the heat will blister you before you can get the a/c going.  Aaron still attended a couple weeks of band camp and participated in the 4th of July parade with the high school marching band.  Alisa attended a week of dance camp and a week of band camp.  My parents took them to Holly Lake, Texas for a little R & R at their time share.  All in all, we didn't do much.
We did manage a couple day's get away to Corpus Christi, TX back in July. The hubs has always wanted the kids to see a "Texas beach" and everything worked out so we took off. I'll post a separate blog about that a little later with a couple of pics.
I'm trying to distract myself from the kitchen for the time being.  I have my annual exam this afternoon and have to fast for blood work. I called the doctor's office to see if I can just run to the lab around the corner and have them draw blood so I can eat. My stomach is rumbling and I haven't quite gotten to the "over the hump where I'm no longer that hunger" point.  It doesn't help that the house still smells of pancakes and bacon because I got up and fixed breakfast for the family! Talk about sacrifice. My tall glass of ice water just isn't hitting the spot.
I'm off to hop around the blogosphere for a bit before I head out to run errands. I have missed blogging and catching up with what's going on with my fellow bloggers. I plan to poke around at least once a week to see what everyone is up to. Until next time....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sunrise Blueberry Muffins

Ever since I saw a commercial on television for Denny's all-you-can-eat pancakes for $4.00 per person, I have been craving breakfast foods. Since I started working I don't really get up early on my off days and make breakfast like I used to. On days I do work, I choke down dry cereal in the car or nibble on a breakfast sandwich or something equally portable on my way to work. Who in the world is hungry at 5:30 in the morning?!
Anyway, today was a nice lazy morning.  The hubs is on vacation so he didn't get up early shuffling around the bedroom. I worked yesterday and will be back at work tomorrow, but I'm off today.  Naturally, the kids are on summer vacation and have no extra-curriculars today.  Woo-hoo!
I rolled out of bed a little after 9 a.m.  Delivery men showed up between 9:30 and 10 to deliver my husband's birthday gift (way long overdue living room furniture!). They were done in no time, so I headed to the kitchen with a "rumbly in my tumbly" and food on my mind.  Hmmm, I pondered what to make? Potatoes and onions with cheesy scrambled eggs? Pancakes and sausage patties? Muffins and fruit salad?  Ahhh, breakfast sweet breakfast. I finally decided on Cajun breakfast rice, sunrise blueberry muffins and a fruit salad with minted green tea or orange juice for brunch since morning was almost over. Anyway, here's my version of the recipe for the muffins...

Sunrise Blueberry Muffins
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup vanilla yogurt
2 tsp (or so) grated orange peel (zest)

Glaze (optional)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk
2-3 drops almond extract (lemon or vanilla would probably work fine, too)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease bottoms only of 12-cup muffin pan (I sprayed with baking spray just before filling them).
Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, beat eggs and add oil, yogurt and orange peel. Mix well.  Add to flour mixture stirring just until moist.  Gently fold in blueberries being careful not to crush them.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake 12 to 14 minutes (until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean). Cool slightly (I removed the muffins from the pan and placed them on a cooling rack with wax paper underneath)
Meanwhile, prepare glaze by combining powdered sugar, milk and flavor in a small bowl and mixing with a rubber spatula until smooth. Drizzle over cooled muffins. Enjoy!
*I normally split a warm muffin and slather real butter on it, but I refrained since these have the glaze drizzled on them.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Two in One Fun

Today is May 28, 2011 and I have not posted a thing since Easter Sunday. Shame on me. Today was busy but in a most fun way. My friend Angie texted me earlier this week that a couple of our friends were coming in town for the weekend and asked if my schedule would permit me to join them for brunch, dinner, drinks, or whatever else they were getting into. My work days this week were Sunday, Monday, Friday, so I texted her back that I was not working on Saturday. I got my hopes all up just thinking of a "girls day out." I honestly cannot remember the last time I've been out with just the girls. In all honesty, it was probably when we went to Cancun for Chermain's 40th birthday a couple few years back. Then, I got home and remembered that Saturday would be Alisa's dance recital beginning with a dress rehearsal from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. then a return by 5:30 for the show from  6:30 to 9:00 p.m. I figured Sunday was out of the question, too, since I've worked every Sunday since I started working back in February. I told Angie to keep me posted on whatever plans were brewing but I let her know that my chances of participation were getting slimmer by the minute...
(L) Gina, Angie, Melissa; (R)  Sandi, Chermain & me

The next generation of besties!
Well, as it turns out I got to meet "the girls" for Mexican food (they chose a restaurant near my house and all came my way) between the dress rehearsal and the recital. I didn't know the "mini-me's" were included or I would have brought Alisa. Then, I enjoyed an evening of tap, jazz, ballet and contemporary dance at the recital...Alisa had already changed out of her costume after her last performance, but we took a couple of pics anyway.
Here are Alisa's faithful subjects: Aunt Shannon, Leyla, Aaron, Xavier and Tia. Her dad and I were in attendance as well. I was behind the camera. Don't know where the hubs ducked off to. Below are Alisa and her brother and cousins again. She did a great job in both of her numbers. I'll have to try to post a couple of her costume pics on here at some point. For now, I must turn in. Tomorrow is my first Sunday off since I began working back in February, and I need to be well rested so I don't fall asleep during mass. Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Until next time...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He is Risen!

I hope everyone had a most blessed Easter holiday.  I had to work and we were short staffed because several employees called in, but it was a good day. I sure miss attending church services, and will be so glad when I can schedule my own work days!
Here is an "oldie but goody" frm Sandi Patti that I always think of when Easter rolls around.  I hope you click on the link and enjoy it as much as I do year after year.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Best day yet!

Well, folks, I knew the day would come when I could actually blog about a GOOD day at work.  Actually, any day is a good day at work since I truly love taking care of my patients.  Sometimes it's just frustrating because I'm not great at time management and prioritizing tasks and such so it feels like I'm running all day long without food, drink or potty relief only to still be behind at day's end. Yesterday, was no such day, let me tell you!
I wasn't working with my preceptor because she took on the role of charge nurse, so I was with another nurse.  We had four patients between the two of us.  I took 3 and she took one. (That's the brakes folks when you're a newbie resident!)  I was actually able to get all of my assessments done and charted and morning meds passed before my lunch break, which was around 1:30 (vs the 3 and 4 o'clock lunches I've been taking). I returned from lunch and discharged one of my patients and was actually caught up enough to admit another, but that patient ended up going somewhere else, so I just had the two patients at the end of the day.  I clocked out around 6:55 p.m. versus 7:10 or even 8:00 I clocked out one day last week! Aahh, did that feel good.  I'm so looking forward to many more days like that and even better.  I needed that little boost of confidence because it's time for me to move up to four patients, and before yesterday, I could barely manage with three.  Keep those prayers coming, friends. I've come a long way, but still have so far to go.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Five Question Friday -15 April 2011

Aaarrrggghh! It's tax day! Only not really because for some reason the government has extended the deadline to Monday, April 18th...go figure. I also don't really have to panic because my taxes are already done (as of Wednesday, that is LOL!) Seems like last year we had already filed, received and spent our income tax return well before April 1st.  Anyway, I digress...
Fridays just don't seem complete without those five little questions from Mama M at My Little Life! Feel free to join the fun if you please. The rules are simple: copy and paste the original questions to a new post on your blog then answer them. Pop back over to My Little Life and add your blog to the list so others can check out what you have to say about the goes. Feel free to answer any or all of the questions in the comments below.

1. What is your favorite sign of spring?
That's a toss up between all of the trees budding and the winter weather giving way to warmer breezes characteristic of spring 
2. What was your best birthday ever?
My sister might be offended if I don't say the surprise "prom" birthday party she threw for my 40th birthday, but I think my 25th birthday was definitely one of my favorites.  I was back stateside from my Peace Corps assignment in Honduras.  I decided to travel out east via Amtrak to see some of America and visit friends I had met in Peace Corps. So, I spent my 25th birthday footloose and fancy free doing the things I loved: traveling and spending time with friends.  They even hosted a potluck dinner on my behalf and someone brought home-made cinnamon ice cream! A perfect segue into the next question...
3. What is your favorite dessert?
Cake (7-up cake or white cake, white frosting) and ice cream. I'm not ruling out all of the other scrumdiddylumptious affairs...I love a good cheesecake, cookie, cupcake, pie or cobbler, too!
4. What is the best excuse you've ever used to get out of a ticket?
Remember that question some weeks back about being superstitious? Well, I'm going to knock on wood before I answer this one. I've never had to use an excuse to get out of a ticket. I did get pulled over once by Officer Jack, the police that had just visited the Parent's Day Out program where I worked. I thought if I painted a big smile on my face and greeted him with a sweep of my open-palmed hand in a circular motion and a "Hi, Officer Jack" like he taught the kids, he may have mercy on me. He was only pulling me over because he noticed my registration was expired. I had the new tag in the car with me and was waiting until I went to the dealership to get my oil changed so they could deal with the sticky mess of removing the old one and applying the new one.  Officer Jack reached in, swiped the old sticker off in one swoop, stuck the new sticker on and sent me on my way. No ticket (or need for excuses) involved!
5. Do you wake up before your alarm, with your alarm, or after hitting snooze several times?
I've recently discovered that I like the nice soothing alarm tone on my cell phone so I've been setting that.  However, I usually wake up before my alarm(s) go off then doze back off until I hear the chimes.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Five Question Friday -08 April 2011

It's late, but it's officially still Friday in my neck of the woods, so I thought I'd go ahead and post/answer the questions for Mama M's Five Question Friday.  I won't bother with all of the rules and links and such as it's pretty much a done deal (well, okay, I'll link <this space> back to Mama M's blog just in case you want to pay her a visit, which I highly recommend).  Anyway, tomorrow is a work day, so I shan't tarry.  Here goes...

1. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I could write a list of things I'd change, however, in the interest of time (and the fact that the question clearly states ONE thing)...I'd change my "tendency-toward-procrastination-poor-time-management-disorganization" flaw.

2. Write about a time when you got lost.
Years ago, I learned on PBS that homing pigeons have this thing in their brains that lets them go out on a mission and find their way back home. Well, thank goodness I'm not a pigeon because I don't think I have one of those. I can get lost going in and out of stores in the mall--not that I subject myself to that torture very often. When I was in high school, a friend got me a temp job at DFW international Airport. The day before I was to report to work I decided to take a test drive so I'd know where I was going. Thank heavens I did.  Not only did I NOT realize there was a south entrance and north entrance to the airport, but I didn't know which one I had used to get where I was. I found where I was supposed to go without incident, but on the return trip home I must have looped back and forth for an hour before I finally got my bearings and made it home trembling, broke and out of gas.
3. Camping or 5 star hotel?
Each has it's place. On the whole, I'm kind of a country girl at heart and really enjoy camping with my kids (in my parents' pop up tent if that counts).

4. Have you donated blood?
I donated blood many moons ago when I was in college and received a follow up letter informing me that my blood had been destroyed because it contained some antibodies or something and I was ineligible to donate ever again.  Many moons later I went with my hubs to give blood and they asked if I'd like to donate, too.  I explained my predicament, but they let me donate anyway.  I got a similar letter in the mail and have not donated blood again since.

5. Do you have a budget or do you 'fly by' most months?
For the past umpteen years we haven't had enough money to budget. I just paid what bills I could and then rolled the unpaid ones over to the next month and prayed for the hubs to work some extra shifts or something.  Now that I'm working and we're crawling out of that downward spiral and looking toward college planning, etc, I foresee a budget in our near future.

Whew! That was fun and now I'm about 30 minutes. That may just be a blog record for me! Good night my friends. Until next time...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Not so fond memories

Ever had one of those "accidents" where you know you'd laugh if only you could have seen yourself in slow motion?  Well, I had one today, folks!  It had to do with the swimming pool in our back yard, but first let me give you a little background on said pool.
When we bought our house, we were NOT looking for a home with a pool in the yard.  We just happened to like everything else about the home and thought the pool would be an added bonus. Well, years later we have come to see the pool as a bonus all right: Biggest Old Nuisance Under the Sun!  Sorry if it sounds like I'm whining to all of you who have pools and love them or those of you who wish you had a pool but don't. We actually love the pool but hate the expense and maintenance mainly because money has always been tight. Hopefully, we'll enjoy it a lot more now that we can better afford the tools and things we need to keep it running smoothly.
Anyway, let me get back to today...We had Ray, the one and only "pool guy" that has served us well over the years, out to replace a pipe that was cracked in the big snow storm last February (as in 2010 - we didn't even bother cleaning or running the pool all last summer if that gives you an idea of how much grunge was on the bottom of the pool).  Ray brought his pumps and helped us drain the water from the pool.  There was no way we could think of turning on the pump and attempting to suck water through the filter at this point.  I had on an old pair of shorts and a t-shirt and flip flops.  Well, I walked down the steps into the now empty shallow end of the pool with a five gallon bucket and a plastic dust pan in hand to scrape the algae/decomposed leaves/marine life mixture off the bottom of the pool. When my flip flop hit the sludge, it refused to stay in one place. I cannot even recount with any degree of accuracy what actually happened.  All I know was my flip flop slid and so did I and the next thing I know I'm flat on my back in the gunk and Mike is asking if I'm okay.  I'll recount my injuries and have you figure out the rest: I scraped the skin off of the top of my right foot (almost like a burn), bumped my right knee, scratched my right forearm, hit my left elbow and the back of my head hit the bottom step on the way down.  Ouch! Now, I do remember that part.  Luckily, nothing was broken or in need of stitches.  I marched inside, showered the gunk off, applied some antibiotic ointment and a couple of band-aids to the scrapes, took an Advil and strapped an ice pack to the goose egg on the back of my head before heading back outdoors to resume helping with the "Project Let's Get this Pool Up and Running."  I took the less hazardous job of spraying down the gunk from the safety of the deck around the pool, thank you very much.
This is yet another story I can add to my "not so fond memories" of our swimming pool.  Another story involved me vigorously brushing the deep end when all of a sudden the pole I was using decided to telescope into a shorter version of itself throwing me off balance.  I didn't let go in time and ended up doing a cartwheel over the pole into the deep end.  I somehow scraped something on the edge of the pool that time, too, but I wasn't seriously harmed.  I remember thinking, "Good thing the neighbors didn't see that!" as I emerged sputtering from the water and dragged myself out of the pool.
Shouldn't I have fond memories of kids with paddle boards and goggles playing Marco-Polo and me floating lazily on an inflatable raft sipping a root beer over Sonic ice?  Maybe this summer...maybe!
Until next time, my friends

Friday, March 18, 2011

Five Question Friday-18 March 2011

T.G.F.F. I mean seriously, people Thank God for Friday seems to be the only day I even think of blogging. Actually, it's not the only day I think of it, but it does seem to be the only day I actually sit down and do it! I thank Mama M over at My Little Life for the inspiration in the form of five little questions that give me something to gab about.
Work is going relatively well.  I often think back to when I read Thomas the Train books to my kids. We had a pop up book where Thomas crashed into the station master's house as he and his family were eating dinner. As dishes and food flew everywhere, someone exclaimed, "Thomas! You great clumsy ox!" That's kind of how I feel at the hospital.  I'm slow and still trying to find my "groove." I look up drug compatibility and watch the clock as I administer "slow push" IV drugs. I like to be very thorough, but unfortunately it throws me behind and I feel like the "great clumsy ox" when I've spent most of my shift trying to catch up.  I didn't eat lunch until 3:40 the other day, and I still had 3:00 meds to give one of my patients. My preceptor finally said, "Eastlyn, stop. Go and eat. We will catch up when you get back." Boy was I thankful for that break! In the hospital, we have codes for everything: code blue means someone stopped breathing, code red means fire.  I teased that they'll have to implement a new code: "code resident" meaning a resident somewhere in the hospital has collapsed outside a patient's room with a handful of syringes and pills, an empty stomach and a full bladder.
Anyway, back to 5QF...feel free to join the fun.  Just click <here> to hop over to Mama M's blog and get the original questions and official rules. It's a blog hop so you can also see what others have to say in response to the questions! It's a lot of fun.

1. Have you ever testified in court? For what?
I'm thinking probably not. That's something I would remember, right, like the whole swearing in and vowing to tell the whole truth so help me God?
2. Do you still have your wedding dress?
Yes I do, but I don't know why. My sister-in-law who is smaller than I was when I got married used it and had it altered. My one and only daughter is already bigger than I am now, so she probably won't want to wear it (not to mention poofy long sleeves probably wouldn't suit her taste). What do you do with a wedding gown once the wedding is over?
3. Is there a special place you like to go when you're happy, sad, stressed, etc.?
Sadly enough, I don't think I have any "special place." It is a goal of mine to one day establish a little uncluttered corner of the house where I can go to hang out in peace and quiet, pray, meditate or whatever. In the meantime, I guess the comfort of my snuggly bed is my refuge/sanctuary.
4. If you have kids, do they sleep with you? If you don't have kids...will you let your kids sleep with you when/if you have them?
When my son was born, I was so nervous about having a tiny little helpless human being entrusted to my care that I kept him practically attached to me at all times...including bedtime. His bassinet was within arm's reach of my bed, but usually he was in the bed with me and the hubs.  When he was about 9 or 10 months old, I tried placing him in his crib in his nursery, and he stretched out and slept...well, like a baby. He seemed to be glad to have his own space. When my daughter came along, she might have slept with us for the early nursing days, but she slept in her own crib, too.
5. Do you watch late night TV?
I used to watch Jay Leno on occasion, but because (1) he's no longer on and (2) the TV in my bedroom doesn't work, and (3) I'm exhausted whenever I crawl into bed, I have given up on late night TV.
That was fun, now I'm done...gotta run a few errands, cook a couple of meals and get ready to work all weekend long. Have a great weekend. Until next time...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Five Question Friday-11 March 2011

Oh my, it's Friday again already. Everyone knows that means time for Five Question Friday, hosted by Mama M at My Little Life.  Click <here> or on her name to visit her blog and get the rules and original questions to copy and paste on your own blog.  You can also link your blog to hers so others can read what you have to say in response to the questions.  Too much trouble? You're welcome to answer the questions in the comments below, also. Have a great weekend.

1. Do you know what your REAL hair color is?
It's whatever color my hair is now: mostly black with an ever increasing number of grays in the mix.  Although at times my hair turns a little lighter shade of "so dark brown it looks black" in the summer with pool chemicals and sun and such, I've never colored my hair.
2. Do you plan ahead for summer, or fly by the seat of your pants?
Unless there's something for which we must plan in advance, like a family reunion, it's usually the fly by the seat of our pants "planning" in the White household. Money is always the deciding factor, and there's usually not a lot of it to do much with.  Mike and the kids both have summer birthdays so we do "plan" how they'll celebrate. Maybe that counts for something.
3. What is your favorite meal to cook?
Oh, gosh, I love to eat, so practically every meal is my favorite meal. If I had to choose one favorite meal that's not too much work but still feels special, I guess it would be smothered pork chops, sweet potatoes, cabbage & cornbread. Soul food = comfort food.

4. Do you get offended by not receiving thank yous?

I'm a little hypocritical here, and I'll tell you why...I do enjoy receiving thank yous, but sometimes I forget to write them myself.  Years after my hubs and I were married, I was "cleaning out" some old boxes and found a box of thank you notes from our wedding.  Mostly, they were blank notes and envelopes, but some were written and addressed, but apparently never mailed! Imagine the horror! Oh, Miss Manners would be so displeased as it was well past the allotted 6 week grace period for accomplishing such a task.
I truly dislike shopping. So, if I've taken the time to grab my purse, trudge to the shopping center or heaven forbid the mall and browse through racks and shelves of stuff looking for just the right thing for someone, I am offended if they never so much as acknowledge receipt with a thank you. It can be a phonecall, an email or an old-fashioned note in the mail (which I probably love the most to break up the monotony of bills and ads),
5. How did you meet your best friend?
Well, I met my traditional BFF when we were in grade school.  We're nine months apart in age, so she was a year ahead of me in school. Our families had been invited to a cook out at a mutual friend's house, and that's where we met.  She was tall and thin and had a long ponytail, not to mention she was the "older sister" I never had. We became fast friends that summer, and we still keep in touch today. I loved the sanctuary of her quiet "only child" home, and she loved the chaos and confusion of my childhood home shared with a younger sister, two brothers and a dog. Although we aren't as close as we once were, we always pick up where we left off, giggling uncontrollably as we bring each other up to speed on life's ups and downs.
I met my more recent BFF, with whom I chat, rant and rave, listen, share recipes, etc., when my brother introduced us several years back and then married her in 2006. Guess I'm a lucky girl to have several "besties."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fix Me, Jesus, Fix Me!

For some reason today was an emotional day for me.  Every now and then, I think my cup (and eyelids) overfloweth.  I'm still trying to find the balance between work and home.  It doesn't really help that my 12-year-old pleads with me to stay home and take her to school which is exactly what I'd do every school day if I could continue to do so. I explained to her once again that we all have to give up things in order to keep moving forward financially.  Also, there was a fatal accident on the interstate near my house, and I was late to class this morning.  Then, I get there and one of today's speakers was a nurse talking about palliative (end of life) care for our patients.  Now, keep in mind I get all bleary-eyed when I discharge a patient home after caring for them for a day or two.  I can only imagine how I'll react when I have to deal with losing a patient.  The presenter this morning did say it was okay to cry with the patient's shows you're human and that you cared for their loved one.  However, she also warned us not to cry harder than the family and have them consoling you instead of vice versa.  Uh oh. My eyes were wet with tears during her entire presentation. As she spoke of the palliative care unit at our facility and signs of "active dying" and having difficult talks with patients and their families, I was reminded of my beloved father-in-law.  Palliative care is where he spent his final days before he passed the weekend after Thanksgiving last year.  A flood of emotions washed over me, but I tried hard to keep the tears from spilling over for fear that they wouldn't stop.  I was seated on the front row staring at the presenter face to face. I could practically count her teeth as she spoke. If a single tear fell and she made some compassionate remark, I would have had to excuse myself and ball my eyeballs out for the rest of the presentation.
A few rogue tears did spring forth afterward as I shared with my coworker seated behind me that the presentation made me so sad I didn't know how I'd possibly deal with a "near death" patient any time soon.  And here I thought I had gotten over being such a big marshmallow!  I told him I was a little embarrassed that I felt like crying when no one else in the room seemed the least bit bothered by the content of the presentation (didn't mention the whole FIL bit because that would have been too much for me to verbalize and bear). He said the only reason I didn't see more tears was that I didn't turn around.  He was a little tearful, too, because he is currently working on the palliative care unit and has already experienced death and dying patients..
If all of that wasn't enough, I went to church tonight to have ashes smudged on my forehead in the shape of a cross to remind me that I'd come from ashes and to ashes I would someday return.  The season of Lent or the 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday is a time of spiritual reflection, a time of sacrifice in memory of God's ultimate sacrifice (John 3:16).  Then the choir sang Fix Me, Jesus, Fix Me. Did I ever feel like I needed some fixing today...

Fix me with a starry crown. Fix me, Jesus, fix me
Fix me with a long white robe. Fix me, Jesus, fix me

Anyone familiar with this song?  Want to take a guess at the next refrain?
Fix me for my journey home. Fix me, Jesus, fix me

I thought of the victims of the car accident this morning. I thought of my patients and their families. I thought of my father in law, and I couldn't hold back the tears. Oh, how I tried to stop them!  I took a deep, cleansing breath (which was kind of shuddery as I exhaled), I tried blinking my eyes to "clear" my eyeballs like windshield wipers on a drizzly no avail.  Realizing I had no tissues in my tiny little purse, I dabbed at my eyes with the tail of my jacket and prayed that my nose wouldn't run, too. My daughter handed me a tissue from her purse and looked the other way. I'm sure it's rather embarrassing for a pre-teen to have one's mother balling in public for no apparent reason.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Five Question Friday -4 March 2011

Well, it's that time of the week again.  I'm going to get right to the point so I will not be beating myself up later that I spent "all morning" on my blog and neglected to get done the stuff I need to do today in order to be prepared to work this weekend.  This is a fun blog hop.  You visit Mama M at My Little Life and copy and paste the questions on your own post so you can answer them, too.  Then you add your name and info to the link on Mama M's blog so others can pay you a visit and see what you have to say.  You're welcome to hop around to some of the other participants' blogs as well.  It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers...

1. Have you ever forgotten your child in a store or at school?
I can't say I've actually forgotten a child as in hopped in the car and drove off without them present, but I did forget to communicate where to meet back up with my daughter when I sent her with a coupon to the dairy section to grab a package of  cheese.  I "found" her at the checkout as I was heading to customer service to have her paged.

2. Where did you go on your very first date? (Like...first first, not first with your spouse or current significant other!)
I want to say it was to the movies to see "Halloween" (as in the original one a way long time ago). If I remember correctly, it was a double date with my brother and his girlfriend (who was the sister of my date). Nothing like keeping it all in the family. My date's dad drove us there.

3. What's your "silly" fear? (We're not talking water and heights.)
This fear might just win the "silly fear" award of all times.  I have a fear of losing my teeth.  As in, those old episodes of Tom and Jerry where Tom gets his head slammed in a piano and when he smiles, his teeth look like wobbly piano keys hanging from his gums. I've had recurrent dreams where I awake (in the dream) with my teeth wobbling in my head just like old Tom cat.  You asked for silly...
4. Confrontation: do you cause it, deal with is as it comes, or run far far away?
I am not a confrontational person by nature, period. I'm certainly not going to initiate a confrontation with someone without cause, but I will do my best to "hold my own" and defend my point of view if I feel I'm in the right. Some certain family members may beg to differ.

5. Wood floors or carpet?
Ditto Mama M's response. I could just copy and paste it here and change  "white" carpet color to "dusty brown" (formerly dusty rose...very 1980's flavor for those of you who might not remember). In a nutshell, we have carpet throughout the house (awful linoleum in the kitchen and baths), some of which was recently damaged by a hot water heater leak (all of which has been damaged over time by kids and pet accidents as well as grown up fumbles, too). I love the look of hard wood flooring and some of the ceramic tiles, but at this point am unsure of just how much more "work" they may create-dust mop, wet mop, scrubbing grout, etc. For now I haven't got the money for carpet or hard wood or ceramic or anything else, so I'll just stick with my sickly carpet, do a little research and squirrel away my pennies until I can decide what I want. So maybe that was a coconut shell...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You know you're getting older when...

I've been thinking of this post for some time now, and wanted to do my very own "Top Ten" list.  Alas, I haven't managed to come up with 10 ideas.  So, I'll start with what's been rattling around in my head and let you all help me out.  Feel free to add your own observations in the comments section below!  Meanwhile, you know you're getting old when...
You run into your high school teacher at the grocery store and she mistakes you for your mother!
You spend way more time in the get well and sympathy sections of the card store than the "Congratulations on your wedding/new baby" section.
Some of the people you work with were born AFTER you graduated from high school and they're old enough to be done with college and in the workforce right along with you.
You can totally relate to the Three Little Pigs' retort to the Big Bad Wolf: "Not by the hairs of my chinny-chin-chin..."
One of those hairs on your chinny-chin-chin has the audacity to be GRAY!
Mention of shows you watched growing up (on your non flat screen, black and white TV with foil or a wire coat hanger on the antenna and no cable, digital whatever) draws blank stares from the younger crowd.
You remember when TV dinners came in an aluminum tray and had to be warmed in the real oven for 45 minutes versus the microwave for 5 minutes.
I sure hope this was worth at least a little chuckle.  Let me know how YOU know you're getting older.  Until next time...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Five Question Friday 2/25/11

Hip, hip hooray! It's Five Question Friday. I've missed this for the past couple of weeks. Sometimes feel like I don't have much to blog about; then along comes Friday and Mama M over at My Little Life offers up questions that are simple to answer and give me an excuse to blog--woo hoo! If you'd like to join the fun or find out what others have to say in response to the questions, click <here> to visit Mama M and copy and paste the original questions for yourself. This blog hop is a lot of fun. Here goes...

1. Can you drive a stick shift?
Bet your bottom dollar I can drive a stick shift.  An old boyfriend (former sounds a lot nicer, but that was a long time ago and he probably is old by now anyway) tried teaching me on his little blue Chevette.  I remember stalling out every time I tried to take off before I got the "feel" for it.  My first car (as in the one for which I was responsible for making payments) was a 5-speed Toyota Camry. I loved Katie Camry with a passion, and she was an awesome vehicle.  Alas, I had to trade her in once I had kids and needed electric locks & windows and more space and such.
2. What are two foods you just can't eat?
I can only think of one and that's "chitlins" or chitterlings if you want to get all formal. They're pig intestines and I've never been able to get past the "what" they are and the smell. I'm told I'm missing out on some good eatin' but I'll gladly take someone else's word for that.
3. Do you buy Girl Scout Cookies? What is your favorite kind?
Because Girl Scout Cookies now cost $3.50 a box (versus the 75 cents a box when I was a Girl Scout) I don't buy them all that much.  Growing up we all loved the thin mints (especially right out of the freezer where of course we stored them so as to enjoy them beyond the month of February). I'll usually try all of the new flavors, but if I were to only buy one box (which is all I bought this year 'cause my little neighbor was just so stinkin' cute) I'd go for the Caramel Delights...the one that's like a Twix bar with a little toasted coconut on top.
4. How do you pamper yourself?
I run right over to the massage school and get a full hour massage. The students cost half of what the instructors charge and they're really pretty good since they're trying to get good marks for their portfolios.  I'll also escape to a weekend bed and breakfast scrapbook retreat once or twice a year, finances permitting. 
5. What is your nickname and how did you get it?
I don't really have a nickname, per se.  When I taught the 18-month-old class at Parent's Day Out, I introduced myself to my babies as "Miss E" and they shortened it to "E" so that's what lots of people call me now.  The Hubs calls me "Sue-Sue" although it has nothing to do with any of my names.

Well, that was fun and now I'm done.  Gotta link up and skedaddle to an appointment. I can't wait to get back and see what everyone else has to say about these questions. Have a great weekend.  I'll be working, which is a good thing!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My House Stinks!

Hey, Everybody! I am so ready for spring.  I thought that maybe changing my blog background my help expedite the change of seasons.  We've enjoyed weather in the 70's for the past few days, but I think I heard a meteorologist saying something about rain and a cold front, so I don't think winter is quite over for good.
Anyway...I've survived three days on the unit--two days shadowing other nurses and one day taking care of a patient of my own.  My preceptor (akin to a mentor) will assign me two patients Saturday which will be a bit more of a challenge, but I'm ready!  I must follow my preceptor's schedule, and she works Sunday, Tuesday, Saturday, which suits me just fine except that I have to miss church and teaching my Sunday school class for the next 7 weeks :(.  I keep telling myself it's only temporary.  The Hubs is off on Tuesdays so we're able to get the kids to and from school without a lot of shuffling and drama.  My daughter, who feared she'd never see me ever again, is thrilled about this schedule.  Kicking the student mentality is still a challenge for me.  On my days off I feel as if I should be looking up medications, preparing paperwork for "class" or practicing putting together care plans or SOMETHING! It feels strange to just show up on the job and go from there.
On Wednesdays, we have classroom time scheduled for half a day.  This week a chaplain from Pastoral Care briefed us on where their office is and what they do for patients and staff alike.  I never thought of them being available to us (the nurses) as well as the patients and their families.  The chaplain dispersed prayer beads which I wear on my name badge.  I'll have to take a snapshot to share; they really are quite pretty.
This week's other speaker was a diabetes educator.  Diabetes is one disease that just confounds me and I'm always open to more information on the subject.  Nurse D actually made us all give ourselves an injection!  I was a little wary at first.  My hands were really shaking, but she contends that we'll be a little more sympathetic toward our diabetes patients who have to give themselves insulin injections if we've experienced it ourselves.  She said we could always demonstrate this for our patients...ummm, the verdict is still out on that one.  I guess I would if I really had to but I'm not too anxious to flush normal saline (salt water) into the flab on my belly in front of my patients.
Even though I don't have to go to work per se tomorrow, I do have an appointment with a plumber.  The carpet in my hallway is squishy wet from the hot water heater leaking (hence the title for today's blog).  Tomorrow is my first payday and guess where that check is going? *sigh* At least I can rest assured that more checks will follow and one day I'll even be caught up (with bills, anyway).
Now that I know my schedule and all, I'll try to incorporate more frequent updates and get back to visiting you all.  I feel like it's been forever since I've been blog hopping and I miss hearing what's going on with you.  I know better than to log on and get started because a few minutes quickly stretch into several hours, and I have a hard time breaking away.  Thank you all for hanging in there with me.  I look forward to visiting you all soon. Until next time...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What a week!

Well who wishing for those snow days last week? Because we sure got them here in Texas.  Actually, I should clarify that what I'm really referring to are "ice/cold" days.  My kids have been out of school all week!  Monday they went to school; and early Tuesday morning that storm blew in dumping rain and sleet all over the metroplex.  I debated about going in to work.  My educator told us we'd follow the local school district as far as school closings go, but then she said we'd be really behind if we lost a day so we should try to make it in if at all possible.  She gave us a number to call to verify whether or not classes would be cancelled, but admonished us not to call before 7:45 a.m..  The roads were icy, but I had a route mapped out that didn't involve any highways or overpasses. I figured I'd just take my time and get there when I got there.  I made it about halfway driving 20 miles per hours before I decided to turn around and head back home.  Seeing an ambulance pulling away from a scene that looked like bumper cars at Six Flags with several tow trucks thrown in the mix should have been enough. Then I made it to a stop light where a car was having trouble getting traction. The truck beside me was spinning his wheels and I was just praying that I'd be able to move forward when the light turned green.  Before then, a small white car turning left in front of me lost control and came sliding sideways toward the hood of my car.  All I could do was keep my foot on the brake (so as not to be pushed backward into the cars behind and beside me), try to brace for the impact and pray that my van would still be drivable.  Luckily, his front tires hit the median beside my van and he stopped a couple of feet away. He and I were able to go on our merry little ways.  I was so thankful to make it home safely...what was I thinking trying to get to work in that mess?  About a mile from my house the educator reached me by my cell phone and informed me that classes were cancelled.  Good enough for me!
Needless to say, schools have been closed all week and will remain closed tomorrow.  My kiddoes couldn't be happier--they have a 6-day weekend.  Unfortunately, I don't think the temperature has risen above the 20's all week and the ice just isn't going away (well, except on the highways and roads that affect Super Bowl Traffic, that is), so it's not like they can go outside and "play" in the ice. I did go to work on Wednesday and today. I'm supposed to report tomorrow as well.  We were informed that hospitals are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and nurses are considered essential employees (translation: get your buns to work no matter what even if it means driving in the night before and crashing on a cot somewhere until your shift begins or spending the night after your shift if you're supposed to be right back the following morning.  I have an extra set of scrubs and toiletries in my car even as I type this!
Training is going well so far.  I'm getting a little antsy to get to the business of patient care, but will gladly accept whatever skills reviews they have to offer to help me keep my patients safe when I do finally get to work with them.
I'm guessing there will be no Five Question Friday this week as hostess Mama M. over at My Little Life has experienced an unexpected tragedy in her family.  Please keep her and her family uplifted in prayer. Click here to visit her blog and  let her know you're thinking of them in their time of grief. Until next time, my friends...stay warm and snuggle with the ones you love.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Day One is done!

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have officially completed my first day on the new job, and all went well. It was a lot of sitting around and listening to people from different departments welcome us aboard and talk about patient safety, expectations, benefits, protected health information, employee health, etc.  There was a minor mixup with lunch so we had a choice of pizza or a box lunch with a sandwich, chips, fruit and a cookie (the pizza was supposed to be delivered for lunch tomorrow, but accidentally came a day early.
Although it was literally in the 70's on Saturday, now, some big storm is supposedly heading this way (remember I don't watch much news so I'm just going by reports of those around me) and bringing us snow and/or sleet. Our instructor says they follow the local school district as far as closings or late openings, but she hopes we can all make it on in.  The temperature has currently dropped from the high 50's to 48 degrees. That doesn't sound like much, but the low is supposed to be 11 degrees for tomorrow with a high of 27! That's what we here in Texas call a drastic change even though I admit it's nothing like 27 degrees below zero (but it feels like that to us Texans, especially when we were wearing shorts and flip-flops only 48 hours ago! The temperature is not so much the problem as the precipitation.  It was just pouring down rain a few minutes ago, so when the temps continue to drop the roads will be nothing but ice. *gulp!*
It's getting late, and I may just have to get up and go to work all over again tomorrow.  Naturally, the kids are hoping for a snow day...
Thanks for all of your prayers and words of encouragement as I embark on this new chapter in my life career. Until next time...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Five Question Friday-28 January 2010

Wow, this is actually my third post this week. That's exciting (well, to me anyways since I was getting so lacksadaisical [you English teachers help me out with that one, please!] about posting).  I have tons of quirky little stories and fabulous new recipes rattling around in my coconut, but I just can't seem to get them posted on this blog.  I'll try harder.  Anyway...let's get on with Five Question Friday, a blog hop hosted by Mama M at My Little Life.  This is a fun way to learn more about your blog buds as well as hop around and explore some new blogs you might have overlooked before.  Stop by My Little Life for the official rules and original questions and join the excitement. Here goes...

1. If you had $1,000 to donate to a charity, which would you choose?
Probably Heifer International since it's roughly based on the philosophy that "if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day; if you teach a man to fish he eats for a lifetime."
2. Snow days: Do you welcome them happily or are they a pain in your butt?
Deep in the heart of Texas here we don't get many snow days, so we happily welcome them when we do get them. It's never more than a day or two, and they don't become a "pain in the butt" until we have to tack on extra days at the end of the school year or go to school on a Saturday or whatever to make them up.

3. What talent did you wish you had and why?
I'd love to be able to sew; then I could truly be that much closer to becoming the Proverbs 31 woman. I've always been impressed with people who can look at an outfit and recreate it with or without a pattern.  I was in 4-H as a kid and took home ec in high school, but to this day "make it in one day" patterns still take me a month to complete-LOL!
4. Are you a news, politics or celebrity gossip junkie?
No, no and no. Sometimes I think it would behoove me to pay a little more attention to the news so that I'm not caught totally off guard when someone mentions what's going on in Korea or what a shame about the Arizona victims.  I rarely turn on the TV on my own volition. The hubs just called from work to report that there is a bomb threat at the Cowboys' Stadium where the Super Bowl is supposed to take place next weekend.  That's not good, but I never would've known had he not called. Because it's about 15 minutes from  my house, I suppose I should tune in to the news and see what's happening.  Anybody heading to my neck of the woods for the Big Game?

5. What is your favorite "cocktail"? (Are you a beer person, a kiddie cocktail junkie, or perhaps your more the "Cosmo" kind?! Anything flies...doesn't hafta be alcoholic!)
Wow, ummm...hmmmm I'd have to think long and hard about that. I can say I am NOT a beer person at all, but I do like the sweet and fruity stuff: a combination of pineapple juice, cranberry juice & Vodka works for me! I've never been too big on traditional martinis or bloody marys & such.

Well, that was fun and now I'm done! Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend. Until next time...