Santa stop here

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...