Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I'll bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween. ~Author Unknown
It’s one of those spooky, cool evenings with crispy leaves scattering and blowing in the wind that would’ve been the highlight of my year about 40 years ago as we collected treats which would’ve provided a sugar high for the weeks to come. Now it’s become a time to see how much the neighbour’s kids have grown over the past year and catch up on the news with their chauffeurs. We sure remember those days when our kids were twisted tight as springs and now it’s only the cats that are wound up. Here is Stanley checking out the jack o’lantern I carved before supper. You can see he’s Mister Cranky Pants as he’s just woken up from a nap. There are fewer little ones each trick or treating each season so I have to be sure not to buy too much candy as the big kid here doesn’t need it. He keeps making foraging runs out to the dish in the front entry and I continue to threaten him there may be one more little one yet to arrive. So far we’ve had about a dozen goblins.
Today at work the costume theme was 50s and 60s so there were lots of poodle skirts and sweaters in evidence. Wearing my 1974 themed jean outfit of bell-bottoms, embroidered jean jacket, sandals, t-shirt, jean bag and tie around my head sure made me nostalgic for those simpler days. Especially with all the insanity at work today – 2007 style. This leads me to share some profound thoughts forwarded by one of my retired summer neighbours “retirement is still great. I keep reading your Blog so I know you are ready to retire and will have plenty to do when you do. I don't understand people who wonder what they will do when they have all that free time--I can tell them they will wonder when they ever had time to work. You sound like you are extremely busy, you already sound like you don't really have time to work. You better retire.” I most sincerely wish this were the case in the short-term. Sigh. And I can assure you that I was not the only person in my workgroup harboring these feelings by the end of the day.
Off to get ready for another day tomorrow. Just two more before the weekend. Yeehaw.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Actually the CBC was the most fun I had during my workday (defined as working when you’re paid mileage to travel for your job) as the remainder of it kind of sucked. I arrived to do the orientation sessions and …this may sound like déjà vu to some loyal blog readers because I’ve described the scenario I’m about to relate and it is not the first, not the second not even the third or fourth but more like the fifth or sixth time the events have unfolded as I am about to recount. The presenter ahead of me is supposed to finish by 10:10 a.m. and I come in to set up. I made my presence known at 10:10, again at 10:15 and finally stood in the doorway glaring like Snoopy on the top of his doghouse at 10:20. By 10:30 he concludes and sends the group off for a much needed break. I attempt to set up and am told by several of the new employees that the first HR presenter this a.m. couldn’t get the projector/laptop to work. I try to call HR at the urging of the tardy presenter just leaving although I did inform him that if they answered my call for help it would be the first time in 18 months they had ever answered the phone when I’ve been in difficulty. He smilingly comments on my negativity and heads off. As I am unfortunately correct about the lack of help from HR the ICP I’m doing the presentation for arrives with her laptop and we move to the room next door as there is a projector set up. By now it is 10:45 (remember I am to start at 10:15) and I have less than two hours to cover more than two hours of material. I am NOT impressed as you can imagine. The ICP heads off to HR to complain about the poor setup and threaten the HR Director that I am on my way up. When she was told the first HR presenter had GONE HOME after his presentation, she was livid. She tells me that as her huff arrived and she left in it the Director was frantically dialing technology folks and asking how much a projector cost. My nerves. I was unable to force myself to go up and deal with the situation as I was not feeling that strong and we have a large mortgage on this new house. And this just takes us up until noon but I’m too discouraged to continue on with the afternoon’s antics. To think that I’m headed back there tomorrow – different venue so hopefully things will go smoother.
On a more pleasant note we received an email from the baby daughter saying she had an 80 on her biology exam for muscles. And if anyone has experienced the torture of trying to commit all those Latin names to memory you will have to admit that is not a shabby mark. She is now slogging through a nursing paper. What fun. I am certainly pleased that I am not doing a term paper on any topic myself just now. If I was thinking of taxing unused areas of my brain I should be studying my Spanish for this winters getaway.
Tomorrow evening is scrapbooking and it looks like two of the shift workers in my circle are available to attend so that is a pleasant end to the day. I’ve got Swiss steak in the slow cooker for supper and have firmly instructed (none of that hinting stuff required here - this is heavy duty) the life partner that I expect an accompaniment such as rice or noodles to be waiting for me when I get home – or else! In my empty nest state I’ve gone from idle parental threats to idle partner ones.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
After work on Thursday I rushed home to get into camp before darkness caught us. This resulted in me just jumping into the clothes I had laid out and against my better judgment allowing the great white hunter to be in charge of packing the perishable provisions. This resulted in us spending the weekend without the brown bread I had stayed up late on Wednesday to bake as well as the milk. A caffeine deficiency headache from tea withdrawal was the outcome as after one encounter with canned milk (which had apparently been frozen) that separated in the tea into chunks I decided to wait for a decent cup of tea in the civilized world.
We did however, make it in to the camp before the light left us and were shortly joined by the #1 son and his girlfriend who walked in. A quick supper and then an early night as the journey was enough allow us to sleep like logs. The great white hunters were up before dawn and off to their tree stands until noon. This allowed the ladies the luxury of sleeping in before making a lumberjack breakfast. Being well fed, the wood fire stoked and the peacefulness of the wilderness led to an extended nap for the hunters before venturing out again. While they slept I assisted my guest in the fine art of cross-stitch, which she mastered quickly. Here is a photo of the boys heading out in the skiff down the lake through that blaze of autumn colors.Returning at dusk to a warm camp and stew for supper led to another fairly early night. Saturday morning saw the prodigal son return early as he lost his patience for sitting in the tree much to the chagrin of his father who had managed to bag a deer. This meant he had to return to the camp to find his assistant and retrace his steps – a rather rugged journey. While the gang headed out for the retrieval I cleaned the camp up for leaving. After their obstacle course/endurance test of returning with the deer, we stopped for some birthday cake as the # 1 son was 20 on Saturday and then headed out to register the deer at the station and hang it in the barn.
Of course two days in the woods leads to a day of cleaning up. So this meant five loads of laundry on the line, as it was a breezy, sunny fall day. A walk with the dog and then I headed over to the old house to scrub the walls in the kitchen and bathroom as the dampness has caused some mold spots. One of the hazards of leaving a place empty in the dampness we’ve had lately. I couldn’t interest any of the usual suspects in the movie so mister accompanied me to see Elizabeth. This meant he had to whine on the way home about how too much time was spent on that foolishness with Sir Walter Raleigh and all that talking about it. I had no energy to explain that if he only wanted to see the Spanish Armada and some of the other footage that would be called a documentary not a movie with dialogue. Such is the hazard of trying to insert a story of some type, especially (egad) should it be regarded as a chick flick not just a war yarn. He did drive at least.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
LONDON (Reuters) - A surge in naked sleepwalking among guests has led one of Britain's largest budget hotel groups to re-train staff to handle late-night nudity.
Travelodge, which runs more than 300 business hotels in Britain, says sleepwalking rose seven-fold in the past year, and 95 percent of the somnambulants are scantily clad men. "We have seen an increased number of cases over the years so it is important that our staff know how to help sleepwalking when it arises," Leigh McCarron, the chain's sleep director, said in a statement.
One tip in the company's newly released "sleepwalkers guide" tells staff to keep towels handy at the front desk in case a customer's dignity needs preserving. The company said naked wanderers often ask receptionists such questions as "Where's the bathroom?," "Do you have a newspaper?" or "Can I check out, I'm late for work?"
Studies have found that sleepwalking can be brought on by stress, alcohol, eating cheese or consuming too much caffeine. It generally takes effect an hour or two after going to bed, when people are first slipping into a deep sleep.
Asked Thursday why she thought 95 percent of its sleepwalkers were naked men, a Travelodge spokeswoman said: "We have more men staying with us than women, so that could be a factor."
Now that would cause some workplace trauma I'd say. Ugh. Have a good weekend.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Today at work was the day we had chosen for humor so the dietician (you wouldn't normally think of them as funny eh?) and myself distributed some jokes. You would be surprised at how difficult it is to source clean, politically correct but still funny jokes. We also handed out popcorn (no movies as no one has time to watch them and it makes them cranky to remind them) in all the departments. We left the inpatient nursing wing until last as I told my sidekick that these were the toughest nuts. When we arrived with the goodies one of the staff asked what the treats were for and I replied "the workplace wellness committee" but was quickly ambushed by a long service staff member who said "oh they're just trying to raise morale or something by handing stuff out" to which I replied "the only one who can increase morale is yourself" She then turns to me and says "you should make it so I can take a week's vacation as there's no replacements" I told her I'd left my magic wand at home today. As I walked away I thought, now I took extra worktime I don't have to do some of these activities this week and why did I do that? Some people need to retire even before I do. This is going to cause even greater RN shortages as highlighted by an article in the media today:
TORONTO (CP) — While the number of nurses working in the country is climbing, the increase isn’t rapid enough to offset pending retirements, the Canadian Nursing Association warned Tuesday. Nursing schools are graduating just under 8,400 nurses a year but 12,000 a year are needed to replace those approaching retirement age, Lisa Little, the organization’s associate director of public policy and communications said from Ottawa.
Little was commenting on an annual report on the size and distribution of the Canadian nursing workforce released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. "Out of the CIHI report we learn that more than 50,000 or 20 per cent of the RNs are eligible to retire right now. They’re over the age of 55," she said. "And there are more RNs employed in the ages of 50 to 54 than any other age group. We have a very skewed distribution." The report suggested the percentage growth in the national nursing workforce has actually exceeded that of the Canadian population over the past five years, growing by five per cent compared to three per cent growth in the population as a whole. But it also noted the average age of working nurses continues to creep up, reaching nearly 45 years of age in 2006.
Little said increasing the intake in nursing schools is only part of the needed solution. Finding innovative ways to keep nurses healthy and working longer also has to be part of the approach.
A little later on one of the admin staff wandered by a group of us in the hall and asked "why is there a camisole on the railing in the stairwell?" One of the group there was a staff member has a rather diminished sense of humor and who remains at work but on most days has actually retired. I turned to her and mischieviously said "that's yours isn't it?" to which she replied "what's a camisole?" Some folks lead really sheltered lives.
Well this evening as I waited for the menfolk to make it out of the woods from taking the provisions in - I've been baking up a storm for the redneck weekend. A loaf of brown bread, chocolate chip cookies and a chocolate cake for the boy's birthday on Saturday. I've received word that the prodigal son (who stayed for supper) will be bringing the girlfriend along for the weekend so I must get some more social craft activities together (had planned to read) for tomorrow's trip in then time to crawl into the nest.
Monday, October 22, 2007
I pulled a stunt which was in the same league this evening. I got out the passport applications and started filling them in. This meant digging out supporting documents such as birth certificates etc. And trust me this part of the exercise was under protest from mister. When I have the things mostly completed the man looks at this passport and says "these don't expire until next year" so that's a savings of over $150 and all the angst we were getting into. Arrghh.
Definitely time to call it in for the day due to lack of sleep. We're off to visit tomorrow after work with friends (former coworkers) who are having a meeting in Rose Bay the next couple of days at Salty Rose Cottages: here's the link:
Then we'll stop on the way home to pick up some groceries for the camp. Wednesday evening will be spent baking a birthday cake for the soon to be 20 yr old son and then Thursday we'll leave right after work for the redneck vacation as my team mate who's covering for me calls it. Yeehaw it'll make it a long weekend.
Only said nice things about coworkers behind their backs
Smiled at a stranger
Told someone you loved them
Recycled your household items
Hugged someone today
Donated clothes to a shelter
Complimented a stranger
Donated to a charity
Called someone you haven't spoken to in a while
Adopted a stray animal or found a home for it
Wrote a thank you letter to someone who has helped you recently
Gave a massage to a friend
Baked a treat and brought it to work
Let the impatient person go ahead of you in line
Smiled at a stranger
Lent the TV remote for the day (esp. important for men)
Volunteered at a local non-profit
Planted a tree
Sent cookies to a neighbor
Bought lunch for a homeless person / asked how they are?
Fed a parking meter
Played music for strangers on the street
Put out birdseed for your feathered friends
Sent only positive inspiring emails for one day
Bought coffee for the person behind you in line
Picked up litter along the road
Bought a flower for a stranger
Left a small gift at the door of a family suffering severe illness
Returned your shopping cart to the corral
Sent a letter to someone who made a difference in your life
Started a conversation with a lonely person
Made breakfast or did the laundry others do for you
Asked if someone is ok and really listened to their answer
Sent an anonymous greeting card to someone feeling down
Let someone into traffic in front of you
Wished retail workers a good day as well when greeted
Apologized if you’ve been a jerk even if the other person is wrong
Visited an animal shelter with treats for animals and staff
Helped someone pick up dropped papers, luggage etc
Told someone they were amazing and have deep potential
Smiled and said hello to other people at work in the hall
Spent time with a friend, cleaning the car, cooking together
Read a book to someone
Did a job like mowing, shoveling, housecleaning without charge
Fixed the date for someone you’ve been meaning to see
Left a positive anonymous comment on someone’s journal
Got to know a friends pet you find difficult
Passed on a funny joke or thought for the day
Sponsored a child
Sent a postcard to a stranger (ex Postcrossing)
Wrote a poem or story for someone you love
Held the elevator or door for someone
Fulfilled someone’s wish either online or in person
Thanked your boss for something they did for you
Spoken kindly to service workers
It was great to start the work week off on a positive note. I got more out of the exercise than the recipients I think, seeing all their surprised smiles after they discovered I wasn't doing a survey to do with infection control. We've continued on with two draws today (and will continue for each day this week) so the mood has been fairly upbeat. My mood is decidedly upbeat as MAC (Medical Advisory Committee) has been rescheduled so I don't have to stay late and argue about hand washing. After reading that last sentence I realize it must sound like I would have been attending a daycare meeting. Sigh.
And yes the movie Mr. Woodcock was a great big of escapism - silly, predictable and screamingly funny - at least to two jaded middle aged folks who were tired of being grownups and needed to laugh out loud in the dark. How could you not enjoy Billy Bob Thornton and Susan Sarandon I ask you?
Smile for the day
I am five feet, three inches tall and pleasingly plump.Recently, after I had a minor accident, my mother accompanied me to the emergency room. The ER nurse asked for my height and weight, and I responded in a serious tone, "Five-foot-eight, 125 pounds." While the nurse pondered this information, my mother leaned over to me ... "Sweetheart," she gently chided, "this is not the Internet."
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Joie de vivre. We all know people whose engagement with life can only be described as joyful. Fittingly, nature rewards these happy-go-lucky types: Being optimistic in middle age increases life span by at least 7.5 years—even after accounting for age, gender, socioeconomic status, and physical health, according to a large Yale University survey. What's behind their hardiness: They minimize the destructive effects of stress.
"Of course, optimists get stressed," says David Snowdon, a professor of neurology at the University of Kentucky who studies aging. "But they automatically turn the response off much more quickly and return to a positive mental and physical state."
Here are four habits that longevity experts say are at the heart of a sunny disposition—and that you can adopt, too.
1. THEY WORK THEIR CELL PHONES
Perhaps your neighborhood gossip is on to something: All that chitchat keeps her plugged into a thriving social network—and people who socialize at least once a week are more likely to live longer, keep their brains sharp, and prevent heart attacks. One reason: "Just talking on the phone to a friend has the immediate effect of lowering your blood pressure and cortisol levels," says Teresa Seeman, PhD, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at UCLA.
"Our research shows that having good long-term relationships provides as many physical benefits as being active or a nonsmoker." Make the effort to connect with the friends you already have. Call now, and before you hang up, schedule a lunch date—personal contact is even better.
2. THEY EXPRESS GRATITUDE (WITHIN REASON)
Buoy your spirits by recording happy events on paper, your computer, or a PDA. People who write about all the things they are thankful for are optimistic about the upcoming week and more satisfied overall with their lives, according to a University of California, Davis, study. They also feel physically stronger.
"It's hard to be bitter and mad when you're feeling grateful," says Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, author of the upcoming book, "The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want." But don't overdo it. Women who kept a gratitude journal only once a week got a bigger boost in happiness than those asked to record their good fortune three times a week. Find the frequency that works for you - giving thanks shouldn't feel like a chore.
3. THEY'RE RANDOMLY KIND
Do you perform five acts of kindness in any given day? That's the number of good deeds that boosts your sense of well-being and happiness, according to research by Lyubomirsky. Your karmic acts can be minor and unplanned - giving up your seat on the bus; buying an extra latte to give to a coworker. You'll find that the payback greatly exceeds the effort. "You see how much you're appreciated and liked by others," she says. Be sure to keep up the good work: When Lyubomirsky asked her study subjects to space their five good deeds over the course of a week, the actions started to seem routine and lost some of their therapeutic effects. But don't fret if you can't make the quota daily. "Being spontaneously kind also delivers rewards," she says.
4. THEY REAPPRAISE THEIR LIVES
Yes, you can rewrite history—and feel better about yourself in the bargain. Set aside a little time each week to write about or record—or even just mentally revisit—an important event in your past. Reflecting on the experience can reshape your perception of it, as well as your expectations for the future, says Robert N. Butler, MD, president of the International Longevity Center-USA in New York City. When creating this "life review," you get to list all your accomplishments—an instant self-esteem booster. Organize your historical review by epochs: your postcollege years, early marriage, career, motherhood. Subdivide each section into triumphs, missteps, and lessons for the future.
It's helpful to look at the bad times as well as the good. Perhaps now that a few years have passed, you'll be able to see how that breakup or failed job opportunity opened other doors and finally forgive yourself—and your ex-boyfriend or would-be boss. "Even if a memory is painful, it's good to work through it," says Butler. "If you can come to terms with past events, you'll be better able to handle tough times down the road." So be honest, but also go easy on yourself. Remember: You are the heroine in this tale.
The Best Kind of Pessimist
If you're an irritable sort who thinks of your eternally cheery neighbor as a delusional Pollyanna, are you doomed to poor health? Not if you're an active pessimist, a feisty spirit who loves to complain, criticize, and generally mix it up with others—but then takes action. "Active pessimists do battle with life. Being that engaged is actually good for them and can provide some of the same benefits that optimists enjoy," says Toni Antonucci, PhD, director of the Life Course Development Program of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.
Passive pessimists, on the other hand, feel paralyzed by gloom, have given up on themselves and life, and will likely live fewer years because of their bummer attitude.
I’ve been trying this on this weekend as I’ve slept in both days – the best treat I can give myself as a NON-lark - morning person. Yesterday was a rainy, windy day with the shore captain unloading fish and so the animals and I took advantage of it to veg out. I did manage to make brown bread, an apple cake and do two loads of wash but this was decidedly a low output day compared to my recent schedule. After supper we headed up to friends up the road for an evening of snacks, beverages and conversation until the life partner (who had been up since 5 a.m) fell asleep upright in a straight backed dining room chair so it was time to take the old fella home.
Today was a slow starter for us with Dutch apple pancakes, the Sunday paper read and crossword completed before starting anything more strenuous. It turned out to be a day to get some ‘around the place’ tasks crossed off the to-do list. While I hung out laundry as it was breezy but gloriously warm (in the 20s) the newly interested gardener put mulch around the shrubs we had transplanted last weekend. Then I convinced him to hang up my old fashioned washboards in the laundry room, the pencil drawings of birds in the living room, as they needed to be relocated since the bookcase was installed, and even redistribute the duck decoys on the top of the kitchen cabinets. They of course were wearing a years worth of dust and it was a two-person job as each one had to be taken down, washed and then put in a place approved by the interior designer because two of them had gone to the top of the bookcase. I was even more pleased as he went on to fix some seams in the flooring. Really pushing my luck here I thought, as the races will be on TV shortly. As I am considering that if this is what retirement is like for us I could certainly handle it…it occurs to me that mister is particularly accommodating as hunting season is shortly upon us.
After a dog walk and some more puttering it is time to think of supper because we’re headed out to the movies. Mister has agreed that we should see Mr. Woodcock and although a 15-year-old male gave it two thumbs down he also loved Superbad so I’m not counting his review. I will keep you posted as to whether it suited 51-year-old senses of humour.
Too bad every day can’t be a weekend day but then I guess then it would be…. retirement.
Friday, October 19, 2007
The quote of the day by Socrates sums it up as "the unexamined life is not worth living" There are folks who drift along never questioning life - must be boring I'd think.
I remembered to renew my RN license online this afternoon and a good thing as it's due Oct 31st. I've thought of it a few times but the $446.88 in one lump sum put me off. I've started this year off properly by having the payroll deductions started so it won't be as painful in 2008. Although the amount was less years ago (I think $75 the first year I graduated) the timing sucked as fees used to come due the end of the year with Christmas etc. so we lobbied for an end of October date 20+ yrs ago. This will be one expense that I will think long and hard about dropping even into retirement as an active RN license opens many doors for example to overseas missions, casual shifts in long term care, various short term projects etc. And to let it go after this many years....
I was reading the online posting of CubaNews today and there was a description of the socialist system as: bureaucratic arteriosclerosis and work indiscipline. Not that this couldn't apply to our capitalist system just as well....especially the healthcare system. No, I don't want to think about it as it's officially now the weekend and all that is behind me for another two days.
I submitted my resume and some clippings of articles I've written on nursing in Cuba to Saltscapes for the project they're undertaking with some pieces needed on various healthcare topics. Might be a nice diversion from the realities of my life. We'll see.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Tonight I spent some time polishing my resume...for a chance to freelance for Saltscapes on healthcare issues. I sure wish it was for the dream job but alas not the case. Today at one point I couldn't remember what my name was when I answered the phone (yes it was that bad of a day) thankfully it was the Team Leader who said "it's ok, it's only me and I know who you are" While I was giving flu shots I was discussing giving her new position a chance (and yes I do see the irony) with a staff member and said "oh come on now, don't you remember the first few months I had in this position, do you think the last 18 months have been fun?" She smiled and said "I was just thinking how the person before you had such a good ride and as soon as you took over...bam" I told her I'd described it to my husband as "as soon as I put my hand on it, it blew up and the crap hit the fan". When I called my two team members with a question on herpes (no, no not a personal question about me) one of them said "we have no idea as usual you are way out there with something we've never heard of" To which I replied "boldly going where no man has gone before at Warp Speed 5, make it so" and hung up.
I came home to (again) park in the tall grass on the edge of the driveway as I was unable to make it past to the house. This time it was because mister was attempting to fix the wiring on the trailer he tows with his truck. As I pulled in I heard a crunch and when I crawled out over the thistles I discovered two small wheels under the car "oh" he says "those are off the tender for the sailboat" I advised him he'd better hope I didn't have a tire puncture or he'd be a busy boy in the a.m. He had managed by fiddling until dark to get everything but right turn signal and brake lights working. Good thing that's not his day job. I told him he needed his teenaged son or one of his youthful buddies for that. He was too frustrated or traumatized after all that to think of going to camp tomorrow to put out carrots, now maybe he's thinking Saturday. I'm just glad that tomorrow is the start of the weekend!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
And to cheer you up a bit here's a clip my boss (who has a 10 yr old son) sent - the YouTube video is hilarious - it's entitled Mom Song:
Today in my search for something else online - much like looking for something in a dictionary or being distracted by a sunny corner and a book when you had been doing housework - I found information about crises. Now I think the term is highly overused as many folks version of crisis wouldn't even register on my scale. But then again I do lead an interesting life I suppose.....but I digress. I was amazed to discover that not only is there the classic mid-life crisis but also quarter-life crisis and on and on:
The term, "quarterlife crisis" was coined in 1997 by Abby Wilner. Similar to a mid-life crisis, the quarter life crisis afflicts twenty-somethings when they hit life after college and the real world leaves them feeling isolated, dissatisfied, and lost. Internal and external expectations about who they should be and what they should do with their lives leads to anxiety, depression, and other disorders as a result.
"Mid life crisis"
- 3000 men polled
- BMW - Boxster is favourite
- Top ten mid-life crisis cars (enough said)
- it would appear I may have transferrable skills in this area
- seems to be a PR person for movie stars ex. Kramer hired one
On a positive note....as of this afternoon we are booked for a 2 week winter getaway- yeehaw! Have managed to get a good price on a Cubana flight from Montreal to Santiago de Cuba on Jan 30th using Airmiles from Halifax to Montreal to connect. Even with an overnight on the way back it's still cheaper (and less hassle) than Halifax to Holguin. I need something to hang on to as the mornings get increasingly frostier.
And to wrap up, the quote of the day is a good one by someone who rarely takes a bus anymore:
“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”- Oprah Winfrey
Monday, October 15, 2007
First I started out on Friday evening with a visit from daughter # 1 main man who dropped by with a gift certifcate for us to Charlotte Lane (complete with schedule of events to make you drool like a labrador retriever) I was getting ready for my busy weekend 'off' by making sweet n sour pork for the potluck at the writing workshop on Saturday (It was a beautiful setting and a great opportunity to get together and eat all day) Then I decided to make some squares as I was feeling guilty about the real estate agent sitting at the old house for the afternoon by herself - yep, she did for two hours as there wasn't one visit to the open house and it was a beautiful sunny fall afternoon. Guess she was right about those things not working here. Sigh.
After the writing workshop I headed into the hospital and sat with my brother-in-law for the night (he's recovering from a stroke) and his wife is exhausted. He was restless but I managed to catch a few ZZZs and so headed home in the late morning in time to take my contribution for the community benefit (yes we still do those things here) to the hall. Apparently over $2000 was raised - awesome!
The afternoon resulted in the transplanted garden shown above. It was a beautiful warm day so it worked out just right. My friend the landscape designer with the great eye is responsible for the artistic arrangement. I was tasked with pulling out the grass (we each have our own talents) and the man in my life dug some holes for us. He is someone who likes to look at gardens but not work in them if you know what I mean. He came to the project late, left early and wandered off for lunch and had to be retrieved by yours truly (and all this after being threatened to cooperate) but we did get two hours of work out of him. As my friend said "it's fairly obvious he's not commited to the project" I told her it was also because he was being told what to do not the reverse.
This morning was to have been a call for jury duty for the shore captain. He had completely forgotten about it and was headed out the door to deliver fish to another plant when I remembered. I encouraged him to call the 'hot line' number they provided and luck was with him as the jury call was cancelled. Whew. He would've been in a bad way if it had been on. I'm not sure if being the man without a memory would hold up in front of a judge.
My day today was unbelievably frantic - it involved several breeds of communicable disease at once (mercifully not in the same individual) and all the excitement that creates, the phone was in overdrive, flu vaccine arrived, no one was happy, my lunch was eaten at 2:30 on the run, and I felt like I'd been paroled when I managed to 'scale the wall' after 4 p.m.
On a positive note the nursing student continues on with her academic success - an 83 on a nursing assignment on lit searches. She is working on a group project on nursing in the 80s and that is 1980s - hardly ancient history in this old nurse's opinion.
I have retrieved the Hallowe'en decorations much to the delight of the felines - you wouldn't think of it as a cat favorite holiday would you now? I must catch Stanley next to the pumpkin lights as he is the appropriate black cat for the season. That's tomorrow's photo op.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Times like this make us all realize that we simply never know what the next day will bring. It has sure made me determined that I have to follow through on the connections I've promised myself I will and make an escape plan from the indentured servant employment position I find myself in....life is too short! Need to focus on what's really important!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I got an A- in Anthropology on my first test and a B+ which is really good in my nursing class...Lise who usally does really well is cursingme because she got a C+.
Her father conquered his fear of technology and learned how to reply to email with this message "must be something in the water, keep drinking it, good work" which I would say speaks volumes.
Makes the frantic of settling into the insanity of work a bit more palatable. And there was some frantic going on here. I locked myself out of my office (twice) this morning and had to be rescued by a) cleaning staff and b) maintenance staff. First I'd left the keys in the desk drawer in my euphoria to escape on Friday of the long weekend so couldn't get in, then I exited the office when summoned by a patient and while out a fire drill was called for my office. All this before 9:30 a.m. This tone was maintained for the rest of the day but tomorrow is an out of office experience so I'm bundling up my stuff to get on the road again. Distance does bring some solace from the local angst.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
In order to have some hope I attempt to make winter vacation plans with the life partner. This is not an easy feat. You would think that a man who makes decisions all day could be more decisive about something as straight forward as vacation dates. Apparently not. So, we need to travel the first two weeks of February due to work coverage issues and flight availability. The travel agent has already indicated that the flights from Halifax to Holguin begin Feb 9th with Air Canada Vacations and will cost $871.50 total per person. This does not suit work coverage issues as it will leave the plant about a week without ground staff. It appears mister's 'plan' is to a) hope for something earlier in Feb- how? magic, corporate jet? b) travel through Toronto - not an option, only two days earlier and $200 more + you have to get to and from Toronto. I am at this point exasperated and not wanting to travel with anyone who cannot make their mind up. I have emailed another agent (why I'm not sure unless it is to placate the indecisive) for confirmation of what I already know. Sigh. And to think once the decisions are made, he is a good travel partner.
In honour of the anticipated flight I offer the following funnies from WestJet:
West Jet is based in Calgary, Alberta. It's flight attendants are famous for trying to make the in-flight safety lecture and pre-flight announcements more entertaining. Here are recent examples:
On West Jet flights there's no assigned seating. You sit where you want. Passengers were having a hard time choosing seats when a flight attendant announced, "People, people we're not picking out furniture here. Find a seat and get in it!"
On another flight featuring a senior crew of attendants, the pilot announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude. We'll be turning down the lights both for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of the cabin crew."
On landing, an attendant said, "Please be sure to take all of your belongings with you. If you're going to leave anything, make sure it's something we'd like to have."
"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane."
From a West Jet employee: "Welcome aboard West Jet Flight 245 to Calgary. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle and pull it tight. You'll find that it works just like every other seat belt. However, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."
"In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you're traveling with a small child, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you're traveling with more than one child, pick your favorite."
"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."
Overheard on a West Jet Airlines flight into Regina on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain was really having to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Regina. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"
Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal
An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the Passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline." He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the
passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?"
"Why, no, Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?"
The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"
After a real crusher of a landing in Halifax, the attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal."
A plane was taking off from the Winnipeg airport. After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made this announcement. "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Flight Number 293, nonstop from Winnipeg to Montreal. The weather ahead is good and we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax... OH, MY GOD!!"
Silence followed. Moments later, the captain returned to the radio and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant spilled hot coffee on my lap. You should see the front of my pants!"
A passenger yelled, "That's nothing! You should see the back of mine."
Monday, October 8, 2007
We had a busy weekend of comings and goings with daughter # 3 and boyfriend arriving Friday night, daughter # 2 arriving Saturday afternoon, daughter # 1 and the prodigal son visiting on Sunday and daughter # 3 leaving that evening. In between there was a first aid course conducted in the living room, multiple meals, visit from grandparents, laundry and baking. We fed 8 for Thanksgiving supper and it was great to have almost the whole gang here together. We've decided with the addition of partners to our family that we need a foldable table. This plays directly into my plan to have a scrapbook table so I will keep my eyes open for the Canadian Tire flyers.
Our last summer neighbour is heading home tomorrow and dropped over today with the orchid we share custody of. It works like this...she bought it here last summer and then left it with me over the winter. When I and the cats didn't kill it I returned it to her this summer when she arrived. She got it blooming again and so today it was again returned to the bathroom windowsill. We shall see if it's luck continues in this house. It's always sad when the summer folk head south, means that the cold stuff is really coming. Plans for a side trip to Vermont in June when we travel to Cape Cod for fishery meetings in June keeps my spirits up.
Now this is the kind of message a mother likes to read from a first year university student makes it easier to go to work in the a.m. for that tuition:
I got an 87 thats right a A- on my very first university
bio test yay!!
Friday, October 5, 2007
Today at work was one of those days and I don't mean that in a good way. Suffice to say I had interactions (of various degrees of intensity/pleasantness) with administration, staff, physicians, other facilities, family, patients, and more. By noon I could cheerfully have walked away without looking back. A colleague asked if I liked my job and when I matter of factly said "no" she agreed that she wouldn't like it either. On a positive note - the pirate shirt was a big hit.
At one point a frantic mother of a university student called me - I have no idea why as I have no connection to her issue but perhaps she thought I was Public Health, perhaps she said the M word and switchboard put her through - and said that a) there were more cases of mumps at the university b) the university was offering MMR immunizations in a building which was quarantined and the students were leary of entering (they're smarter than the authorities already apparently so don't need to go to school) c) the student wouldn't be home in time before the local Dr. office closed could she come to OPD? - in case you were wondering the answer to that is NO!!! d) the professors at this university had voted over 84% in favor of striking d) this mother stated "she might lose her semester and I've just paid over $13,000 and that's only until January - did you know it was that much?" I assured her I was quite an expert on the cost of tuition and thought to myself 'lady it is the ONLY reason today that I am sitting at this desk talking to you'.
I was thrilled / relieved that the father of these children offered to follow through on his plan of the pick up in Halifax even though he has to be up at 4 a.m. tomorrow and has four boats in during the day. I was not relishing the thought of a 6 hr return trip after the day I'd put in. There was an update a while ago from daughter # 1 who had located them on the way back reporting that her sister was 'pumped' - I would say that was a given - and eating KFC as they headed home.
As I sit typing this Procol Harum is entertaining me on Sirius radio with Whiter Shade of Pale and I am instantly transported back to November 1972 when I was on a Mediterrean cruise with EduCanada while in grade11. We traveled on a former WWII troop carrier the SS Nevasa and yes...it was as decrepit as it sounds and... the trip of a lifetime. The food was disgraceful served by furtive foreign crew who leered at us silently, we had dorms with over 20 bunks squeezed in which were very far below deck and patrolled by a Nanny who made sure we were IN bed, we were expected to do homework, had a cranky spinster chaperone and less than 5% of the students were able to function and not seasick at sea. I was in that fortunate group thankfully. For a total of $400 we flew to England, on to Naples to the ship, day trip to Rome, on to Greece - Athens and Mycanae, Tunisia and Carthage, Malaga and then up around the Bay of Biscayne to Southhampton for a few London days of theatre, Tower of London, Big Ben, St. Pauls Cathedral etc. before heading home. There were 12 of us from NS, about 200 from Saint John NB, 500 from Newfoundland (lots of Catholic girls schools) and another 500 from Birmingham, England. Every night up on the top deck there was a crowded disco (remember makeup and punk were popular then) with a British crew member as DJ and the last song was always Whiter Shade of Pale which signalled the end of the evening. Just hearing the first few bars of that music takes me back to the swaying deck full of bell bottomed jeans, army surplus jackets and long hair. Magic.
Time to shake off my daydreaming and get the welcome wagon out for Turkey Day.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Think something happy
Which we decided were instructions which could work for various life circumstances. I'm assuming it was brains storming to deal with labour. As a team member said "I like the order, drugs should be first" Ah, those were the days spent teaching hopeful expectant parents prenatal classes.
I was sure pleased to be on my way home after a full day of interpersonal interaction. The sun came out and a few peaceful moments spent in the veranda before supper were worth it all. We had an unexpected visit from our summer neighbour bearing gifts of food and drink from her freezer/cupboards as she is leaving Tuesday. The benefits of living here year round. It is always so sad when those friendly squares of yellow light in the neighbouring windows disappear in the fall.
I sent the shore captain on his way out to free the felines where they had become tangled around a tree and he was making his way back to the steps with Stanley when he inadvertently brushed past the dog. What a hissy fit (literally) as he (Stanley not the rescuer) had a breakdown! Every time he sees Keely he forgets he hates dogs and goes around swelled up like a puffer fish for a while. The dog just looks at him with bemusement as the other two cats don't act like that. Gary thinks he is a dog and of course Klyde is the boss and they both know it.
Well tomorrow is Friday - Yay! Will hopefully be seeing all the kids this weekend. And a chance to try out my new pirate t-shirt. We shall see how that plays out. If it is deemed inappropriate I shall reference the Physio Assistant's shirt which reads "I'm not a Doctor but I could take a look at that for you" As one of the orderlies used to say "when I go I'm taking them all down with me" because he'd been there for over 40 yrs. and had something on everyone so had immunity to many issues. He did go out in style in his own way on his own time. I shall employ this way of thinking as I am blessed (cursed) with a long memory.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
We are in the final preparation for offspring arrival to the empty nest for the long weekend. Tonight it was another loaf of bread and in a nod to the old guy, a cherry pie for himself. Plans have been somewhat complicated/prolonged by the withdrawal of offer of transportation on Friday by daughter # 2s boyfriend for the baby daughter and her boyfriend from the city. This has been remedied by the plan that father will drive to Halifax for the pickup Friday by 6 p.m. Daughter # 2 and her boyfriend will make it down by Saturday afternoon.
In the end I find I am left with a package of Maple Leaf bologna (in a nod to her Newfoundland culture) which I will likely send back to the room mate who is now not coming to visit. She probably was spooked by all the last minute travel arrangement changes and thought she'd get stranded. I was reminded of a friend from Cape Breton who related how her son brought home an Indian university mate from St F X for Thanksgiving and she scrambled to figure out what she could feed the Muslim lad.
I have arrangements made for loan of the automatic defibrillator simulator from the local Medical First Responders for the first aid in-house course on Saturday afternoon for two. A barter arrangement for a local landscape designer/fitness instructor and daughter #3 so at least they both catch on quickly. It will ensure I have help in transplanting my perennials to my flowerbeds for sure.
This evening while making supper the phone rang and it was a fellow who we’d gone to school with MANY (30+) years ago who was home from BC visiting his parents asking to see the old house. They were looking for a summer/retirement home, were only here for a few days and didn‘t want to bother with real estate to view. We showed the place and regardless if they ever decide to put in an offer I was finally thrilled to find that they loved the house as much as we had 20 years ago. Restored my faith in human nature.
Off to the district facility in the a.m. for what is shaping up to be a grueling day. A team member suggested that just checking into Mental Health might be a plan by the end of the day. Sigh. On a more cheerful note there was a message from the cleaning lady advising she’d be here in the a.m. Yeehaw.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Off to catch up a bit on what Temperance Brennan is doing in the Kathy Reichs novel. In my younger years it would've meant a flashlight under the wool blanket to read by. I have to limit myself at the end of the chapter and send myself to bed. It's that good!
Monday, October 1, 2007
I think I’ve done pretty well considering I’ve been awake since before 6 a.m. because as the shore captain (who was feeling sorry for himself as he’s too busy to go) said “everyone and his grandmother is headed down the harbour for the first day of ‘outside season gunning’ or duck hunting as it’s called in the rest the world. There was a steady stream of outboard engines droning by our bedroom window as day broke. The dog was also feeling neglected with all the activity (must be in her genes) as the boats moved past her doghouse.
I was certainly pleased I’d rescued my hibiscus from the veranda, as there was FROST on my car windshield this morning. Now mind you, I parked in the shade and it was removed with lots of windshield washer fluid, wipers and the defroster (no scraping yet) but…this is getting serious – we’re into fall now! The plant is almost 9 ft. tall and this is the most blossoms I’ve ever seen so it would’ve been a shame to murder it.
My first stop of the day was at Canadian Tire to purchase a buddy seat, which is for the back of the 4 wheeler. This is to replace one trashed by offspring and is much better than the rack I’ve been perched on my last two trips in to camp. I arrived at orientation to find that it was running over ½ hr late and that we were using the CEOs laptop/projector, as the other setup wasn’t working. Talk about pressure before even starting! I managed to not blow anything up, get through the material and allow for a bite of lunch for the participants but it sure wasn’t easy. The joys of technology.