Sunday, March 30, 2008
We got a few more flurries here last night but as I was wrapping up the first aid class the trailers were being loaded with skidoos and heading for Upper Clyde where apparently there is still good snow pack.
A faithful blog reader advised that "your references to the shore captain always remind me of Garrison Kellers reference to “the current occupant” ie George Bush" and of course that is very apt. With the shenanigans of late 'current' is always a good term.
Off to the district facility tomorrow to welcome back the colleagues to the funny farm and of course run all my errands after work. Isn't that what it's all about?
Saturday, March 29, 2008
This afternoon’s news included a call from daughter # 2 saying that she and her partner had found a great apartment in the city and were filling out a rental application - they were pumped. I had a chat with daughter # 1 about her sorting stuff and moving plans and a brief visit from the prodigal son as he accessed the public shower we run here. But no news or photos of the head shaving have appeared as yet.
Speaking of the nursing student there was a good article in the Chronicle today about the provincial nursing shortage where 500 RNs will be required by 2010 so obviously a graduate’s market:
Website aims to attract RNsJanuary report projected nursing shortage of 500 by 2010By JOHN GILLIS Health ReporterSat. Mar 29 - 6:04 AM
A review of Nova Scotia's health-care system released in January said the province would have a shortage of 500 registered nurses by 2010. (ANDREW VAUGHAN / CP)
Nova Scotia needs nurses and won’t be able to produce enough in the province to meet growing demand and fill the spots of retirees.
The province is reaching out to nurses across Canada and around the world with a new website that provides information in 13 languages about what they need to know to work in Nova Scotia.
The site, www.atlanticcanadahealthcare.com, went online in January with promotional videos on living and working in the region.
Languages offered include English, French, Mandarin, German, Dutch, Arabic, Tagalog, Russian, Spanish, Hungarian, Persian, Japanese and Poshtu.
The site expands on a successful one created by the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia, said Sara Telfer, professional conduct review co-ordinator with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia.
Those two organizations and their counterparts in the other Atlantic provinces developed the site with $70,000 in funding from Health Canada.
A review of the provincial health-care system released in January said the province would have a shortage of 500 registered nurses by 2010.
The province needs to hire 175 to 225 licensed practical nurses and 150 to 200 registered nurses to staff the more than 1,000 new long-term-care beds it plans to open by 2010.
Ms. Telfer said some foreign-trained nurses who are already working in Nova Scotia or completing the licensing process have given the site a good review.
"They all thought it was fantastic and wished that they had the same type of an informational tool prior to coming," she said. "They knew that they wanted to come here and (heard) what a great area of Canada this is to live in. But there are so many different avenues to go get the information they needed that it was hard to make sure they had it all."
Taras Matveev, a licensed practical nurse who emigrated from Russia and now lives in Halifax said it can be stressful moving to a new country.
"Having access to information in your own language simplifies the process and enhances understanding," he said in a news release. "Hearing and seeing someone from your own country is reassuring and encouraging."
The colleges hope people like Mr. Matveev will pass on the link to friends or family who may be considering a move to Canada. The site also uses software to rank it prominently in search engines in various languages for international nurses looking for jobs.
Nova Scotia Nurses Union president Janet Hazelton was also impressed with the site.
She said the union often hears from nurses in other parts of Canada seeking information on working in this province.
"To direct them to this website is going to be very useful," she said.
Ms. Hazelton said it’s unfortunate that Nova Scotia faces such a shortage, and she has reservations about actively recruiting nurses from developing nations that have their own needs.
"If the nurses are coming, we need to make it as easy as we can to get re-gistered and be able to practise," she said.
Ms. Telfer said the site will expand to include information about other health professions. She said the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia is preparing material to add to the site.
The Team Leader at work was telling me on Friday that one of our Drs daughter is graduating from the BN program and has been hired by the Annapolis Valley Health Authority which sent a stretch limo to pick up the Dal students, gave them a tour, list of accommodations, sponsored them a nice lunch and generally courted them like rock stars when they were choosing their jobs.
This brings me to the Boomer news of the season that the Magnetic Hill concert, which has been rumored for the first part of August, will announce on Monday whether it will feature…The Eagles. Now for a couple that loved them since we were all young not just young at heart this is great news. Will I be hitting redial when the ticket sales open? You bet! This has spawned talk of a week’s vacation to head in that direction in a camping way. Gotta have your dreams.
I’ve just finished up my library book, which is entitled, The Travel Detective by Peter Greenberg. Some of you might recognize his name from NBCs Today Show. He has some good tips but he is pretty intense…. just reading about him is exhausting, I can’t imagine traveling or living with him. Come to think of it he doesn’t mention anyone but occasional friends so likely no one else can imagine it either.
Must go get myself together for the morning, as I’m all broke up from using unfamiliar muscles to do CPR and crawl around on a cement floor. Getting too old for that game. Now if we were talking about standing in the outdoors for hours waiting for a middle aged group of rockers that would be different.
Friday, March 28, 2008
I am celebrating the fact that the two team mates are back to work on Monday - yeehaw - so hopefully I'll be able to get caught up. The stomach bug making it's rounds 'appears' to be settling so the prospects look good for getting back to normal - whatever that is.
I appear to be making progress is my quest for a large suitcase as I posted a message to Buy & Sell on the district bulletin board and had an email today with the offer of a large, new one for daughter # 1. As well, along the way I've scored a charcoal grey Samsonite set and the promise of another set all in good condition which sounds to me like his and hers bags. Obviously if I'm going to be cruising the high seas I have to have decent luggage. We've gotten into the habit of traveling to Cuba with yard sale suitcases which are given to friends along with the contents of gifts and thus flying back almost baggageless. It played out last spring as a bit frumpy with all the matched luggage of the cruising set. So my arrangements for the speaking circuit are falling into place. As well while I was in the ecologically correct mood of purchasing used goods I found an ad for an office chair for the Man Cave - a real step up from the hazardous piece there now and have put my name in for his and her 21 speed bikes. So I'm a real shopping pro.
I must get my first aid course materials in order. I certainly enjoy teaching first aid but giving up my weekend off I'm not so keen on. I have a final course booked next weekend and then....that's it until next winter if there is an interested group. The dragging the bags, disinfecting the Acthar heads, ordering materials - which didn't arrive in time despite the promises, it gets old fast.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The gastro bug appears to be slowing which is a good thing as many other issues have jumped up to fill the space. There wasn’t even a space in the parking lot by 9 a.m. and in the middle of everything else during a rotten spring storm a quick ambulance trip to the nearest maternity facility meant we escaped having a delivery. The place was hopping and there was an overflow crowd waiting.
In the ER waiting room I came across a colleague from many years of nursing who had gone home from a night shift and then fallen down with two jars of pickles so was awaiting suturing of her hand. She was filling me in on the details of LPN who had died suddenly at the Manor as they are still trying to ascertain what the cause of her death was. Apparently her daughter had come home for the funeral and delivered locally (likely due to the shock of the situation) and she and her beautiful baby girl were discharged so she could attend her mother’s funeral. How very sad.
I made sure I got to the post office to mail my demo DVD off to the entertainment company. By the time I sent it quickly and insured it the price tag was almost $20 but I just kept thinking of all those perks on the cruise circuit as I hauled out my debit card. You do have to invest in your future. I had some nice photos emailed to me by one of the IT guys who breeds LRDDs (Little River Duck Dogs to the unfamiliar) today so the presentation is coming together nicely for next week.
More festivities tonight as tomorrow is the only son’s girlfriend’s birthday so we had a family supper / early celebration. I stopped on the way from work and picked up a cake and ice cream at Sobeys where I had the bakery lady write happy birthday and her name beautifully on the cake. I left it in the mudroom with the candles for dessert and sent the boy out (what was I thinking?) to put the candles on, light them and bring it in. The first indication anything was wrong started with upset groans from himself and then “no don’t come out here” in response to my query as I thought he was having trouble with the lighter. His sister headed out to find that he had in fact dropped the cake while attempting to take the cover off and it had fallen on his father’s insulated coverall suit, which had been dropped on the floor, good thing it was washed yesterday. Mister was kind of distraught as he said, “you can’t really read her name” while he piled the icing back on top and admitted to breaking four of the candles in half as he jammed them into the cake. That boy is always the entertainment no matter the occasion.
I’m off to the district facility in the a.m. as the weather forecast for tomorrow is much better than today, as I try to wrap up all the ends I can for the returning vacationers on Monday. I have a presentation to do for the local EMO tomorrow evening on pandemic planning so that will keep me out of trouble.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
On the negative side the first email of the day was from a nursing school classmate who I’d contacted about the planned get-together to catch up with the visiting classmate. She advised that one of the local classmates had surgery a few weeks ago for breast cancer (the day after her mother was buried) and was awaiting news on treatment plans. I remembered I had to drop the car at the garage when I was well past it and had to backtrack before even making it in to work and that doesn’t speak to the bill to retrieve on the return trip in the afternoon. The saga of the stomach bug continues, although I am trying to convince myself it is slowing down using the power of positive thinking. The workmen are encroaching on the hallway, stairs etc. outside my office door which has become an asbestos remediation zone. I need to go to the district facility and was hoping to do that tomorrow but…another storm is predicted so it’ll have to be Thursday. Sigh.
On the positive side I managed to snag a set of Samsonite luggage for $40 – used twice and cost over $400 new from a ‘childless by choice so disposable income colleague’ posted on the intranet bulletin board – for those days you feel like running away. My computer nerd friend who doesn’t give up fought with the DVD of my presentation and managed after an hours struggle to copy it for me. Let’s face it….great art should be preserved. I had a message from a friend saying her son had been granted a $21,000 per yr. award until he finishes his PhD – she’ll soon be able to say “my son the lawyer and my son the doctor” Can you just imagine how proud you’d be?
Not sure whether it’s negative or positive but daughter # 1 locked the keys in her car an hour away at WalMart while she was taking two teenagers to a movie. So…her father met her brother on the highway with the keys and gave him the gas card (don’t tell the secretary at the plant) to replace having to deliver them himself. It’s not as if we haven’t all done something like that – himself included.
And finally can you believe the story of the hoax the poor man in Jacksonville, Oregon suffered at the hands of a Craigslist posting? What a nightmare:
Thursday, March 20, 2008
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22.): The first day of spring might not seem as encouraging as it usually does. There may be extra responsibilities on your schedule that prevent you from looking for buds on the trees. Chin up!
The day began with surveillance to try to gauge how the bug battle is going. Trust me you do not want to be working in Infection Control if there is a gastroenteritis outbreak. The only thing worse than being ICP is being a direct care nurse - been there, done that and it's exhausting!
While I was checking out charts and sick calls one of the staff updated me on a terrible situation at the nursing home next door last night. One of the 52 yr old LPNs came to work for a night shift and was giving meds when she collapsed in a resident's room. She was unable to be resuscitated. I had worked with her for a few years and she was always very good to Mom, treating her as if she were her own mother. In fact she often used to leave a message on my office voice mail if I wasn't over to visit, perhaps because I was working off site, saying "your Mom is a having a good day, very bright and we're having a cup of tea and talking about you, just wanted to let you know". She was one of those remembering others with a small gift over the holidays or if you were having a tough time. She was expecting the birth of her first grandchild within the week or two and was over the moon about that. Her poor family both by relation and her work family - must be devastated. We never know how much time we'll have do we?
One of the better things which happened to me was winning a digital tire gauge from Biomedical Engineering week. There was a survey to complete about all the team members and submit for a prize - I only knew one on the list so it sure wasn't for having the most correct answers - this made those who had 100% a little testy. I am thrilled with the prize as I think one of my tires is down.
I'm kind of fragile today anyway as I'm sleep deprived as the new wall oven was being installed by the man home from his cusk (fish) meeting at 11:30 p.m. as he picked it up in town, with me assisting him to remove and wrestle into place the new one. When I asked if he knew how to wire it in and he assured me (as he does regularly) he's got things under control, I thought....well the life insurance is paid up and this would be accidental.....However, it appears to work fine and will be good for cooking Easter dinner. When I protested the dead oven couldn't stay in the front hall as the cleaning lady was coming he said "does she have to clean everything?" The obvious answer to that is "hopefully" so we wrestled the defunct oven (which he didn't want to put out in the rain - not sure why or what he hopes to salvage from it as it's dead as a nit) with him with a knot in his face, onto the spare bed temporarily. He was really pushing it to even protest this morning, I was in too much of a hurry to deal with him.
When I was reading the Chronicle Herald online (as I didn't stop in the monsoon to pick up the paper copy out of the box this morning) as I can do with the high speed here at work (during my lunch break at 1:30 with the door locked and a Cuban jazz CD up at a fair volume) I noticed one of the blogs was called Soulseeker and it is a feel good place - think Chicken Soup for Everyone so enjoy:
I'm off for an outbreak teleclass session - talk about timely! Happy Easter if I'm too busy baking and visiting with offspring to update for a couple of days.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
For example, I had to leave early to be at the district facility handling the situation at my home base on the cell phone on the way up – memo to self to pick up a hands free attachment as our provincial law in changing April 1st about cell phone use. I sorted out the crises du jour which involved a run to pharmacy for vaccine, attended a meeting, did some office work for two of my colleagues, responded to the in house calls and finally managed to make it down to Mental Health (it was hard to answer no when they asked if I was checking in) to pick up the stoneware crock I won in the silent auction last week, went shopping at the book display for a cookbook (as if I need another one of those but I can’t pass them by) and then headed home.
I’ve spent the evening attempt to polish the submission to DFO. I say attempting as the author of the document had a foggy brain from the head cold, which slowed the process even more. Hard to capture what someone wants to say when they don’t know how to say it.
I noticed that my cruise travel partner of last spring has headed out to Calgary to begin her studies for flight attendant. She was telling me that 84,000 people per year apply to WestJet and they take 25 so those are pretty slim odds for most. The only other person she’d seen again and who would be going out west with her was someone named Gus. When I asked what his claim to fame was she said, “he speaks five languages” Oh, is that all?
I had an unexpected email from a nursing school classmate who lives in BC that I haven’t seen for almost 10 years. She’s flying out for a visit so we will all get together for some catching up. Nice surprise.
There was no call from the appliance store about an oven today as promised so the man has his instructions…either come home tomorrow with an oven or don’t show up. Accidents do happen but a month in this household is a long time without an oven and we are expecting a houseful this weekend who would like to have shake n bake chicken and lemon meringue pie.
Monday, March 17, 2008
I’d like to thank my prairie buddy for suggesting that I should use Vick’s on the internet cord so that Gary wouldn’t chew on it. Well guess what? I didn’t buy a large jar, figuring the $3.50 investment of a small one was all I wanted to risk and that’s a good thing. When the resident handyman rubbed the menthol on the phone cord not only did Gary continue to sniff the cord…he licked it all over. Mind you, his eyes watered and he squinted and blinked but he just couldn’t help himself. Now, in fairness he didn’t actually chew on it but if the real reason was deterrence, I think it’s only a matter of time before he goes back to teething on it. Sigh. The likely only result will be a phone cord the size of a piece of rope with all the attendant feline fur. He is one incorrigible delinquent for sure.
Today was one of the worst workdays that I’ve put in for quite a while. I was met at the door with the news that we had a major gastroenteritis situation underway; one of the clerks had left a message on my cell phone over the weekend. First I heard of the whole thing, although my boss had been called a couple of times apparently. Staffing was at a beyond condition critical situation with the added pressure. The Nurse Manager was on her first day back from a southern vacation and really having some bad stuff to deal with. I am now covering for the entire district for the next two weeks and there were several serious situations in the other facilities. One of which I have to investigate first thing in the a.m. onsite there.
And in the middle of the confusion two of the maintenance men appeared with carts saying that I needed to move my office back this morning and starting moving equipment and furniture around me. When I followed my stuff down the hall I found that the smell of skunk was still apparent from the newly laid floors, everything was piled in the middle of the floor and the window was partially covered with cardboard and the snow was blowing in around it – talk about cold! With all the excitement I didn’t get hypothermia as I was flying around trying to sort out the various crises and didn’t even get out the door until 5 p.m. Couldn't be further away from retirement than that if I tried.
I am on day 1 of at least 2 for drafting a submission to the Minister of Fisheries but the shore captain was momentarily distracted by a phone call to the Executive Director of the association as they planned their latest skirmish. Then a weather report/state of the fishery with a local fisherman was his next incoming call. In between there were skirmishes with the offspring and guests who need to be transported home, various clerical issues with several others and a conference call with my professional association. My nerves.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
You can see the black electrical tape connecting and various pieces of line surrounding the obviously unconcerned juvenile delinquent. I have no hope that this will be the last incident...and I thought the household repairs would diminish when the kids were grown.
Before I finish up my PowerPoint for the library, Keely and I are off to take a stroll in the (hopefully last major) snow of the year. Since spring is only four days away I live in hope.
Speaking of hope I'm providing a link to a story in the Sunday Herald regarding a project in Africa. The author is a distant cousin, Joan Baxter who volunteers for the NSGambia Association:
Now this is true generosity of human spirit.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Not only did I finish The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve (good but not as good as The Pilots Wife) I have to agree with one of my workteam on that one, leisurely pursue the Saturday newspaper – you could do Club Amigo in Guardalavaca:
for $588 leaving next weekend, which is an excellent value even for more money as we had a lovely week there a few years ago – and correct grammar on a Health Promotion term paper (content was good but the writing skills unfortunately came from her father’s side of the family).Since I’ve had lots of time on my hands to be surfing today I’ve come up with some eclectic offerings for my efforts:
First in response to Googling ‘nurse blogs’ I found a blog about using simulation in nursing education including lots of other links to e-education – very geeky but interesting and likely the way of the future for nursing students, am guessing it would appeal to the term paper author:
This was followed by a posting on a nursing blog about the nursing shortage, which although written about our American cousins could easily have been posted from Canada:
I agree the shortage of nursing is created by the work place situation in the hospital settings. There will never be enough nurses due to the fact of the revolving door situation. As fast as we can train nurses, experienced nurses are leaving the professions. Some nurses are leaving by choice, others due to burnout and injury.
As nurses are required to work mandatory overtime and work with morbidly obese patients nurses continue to have back injuries on the job. Unlike some professions that restrict employee hours to prevent client injury, nurses are required by employers to remain on the job after the shift or be faced with client abandonment. Due to the conflict between family responsiblities and work some nurses may have to leave the profession.
There is little support for nurses for childcare back up if the nurse is faced with staying late at work. For example if the nurse is forced to stay at work due to other staff nurses calling in sick, who will pick the child up from daycare? It is okay if there is a family member who can help but what if there is not? The nurse would be in trouble with CPS (Children’s Protective Society?) or in trouble at work for leaving the assignment. The nurse may need to change jobs or leave the profession.
Another issue is that nurses do not take care of each other. Too much back stabbing. If we took care of each other like we did our patients there would be no issues retaining staff.
Compared to engineers and other professions with the same time of education, nurses are poorly compensated wage and other perks. It is funny that nurses have worse insurance than people who are not in the healthcare industry. Nurses have a long way to meet the equality of other professions.
And finally a neat story about using rescued dogs to encourage hesitant readers as they are nonjudgemental, attentive, appreciative of the attention and generally a good audience:
Made me remember fondly all the dogs and cats who were ‘schooled’ by multiple offspring in earlier years.
Friday, March 14, 2008
“ Obviously, where art has it over life is in the matter of editing. Life can be seen to suffer from a drastic lack of editing. It stops too quick, or else it goes on too long. Worse, its pacing is erratic. ”
Must've been the big storm we're waiting for which wound everyone up - as if we need another winter storm. I managed to squeeze in some 'talking down off the ledge' activities with the continued purging - I'm up to over a dozen large recycling bags full and the shredder motor was in serious peril this afternoon.
I stopped for a massage after work and I told the therapist she had saved me physically as I hadn't been for almost three months and I think I'm taller now. I'm off to sit in the sauna as that's recommended to 'remove the toxins which have been loosened' which is one good way to end the week.
I had read the report of the study quoted below, which had in a timely fashion been released in time for International Women's Day but the editorial by one of my favorite role models (Slacker Mom) was even better:
Nothing like Lysol to make her wild for you
By GAIL LETHBRIDGE
Fri. Mar 14 - 6:10 AM
FORGET THE ROMANTIC FLOWERS, the box of chocolates and the racy lacy lingerie, boys.
If you really want to get your gal in the mood, take home a nice bottle of vintage Lysol, fill a bucket with steaming hot water and try on a pair of yellow rubber gloves.
Pour a bit of the Lysol into that bucket of hot water and take it all upstairs, Big Boy.
Head for the bathroom. Get down on your knees and scrub that toilet bowl like your life depended on it.
Oh yeah, baby. Let’s have some of that Toilet Duck, too.
There’s nothing like the sight of a man scrubbing a toilet bowl to get her in the mood.
And if you really want some action, check out the kitchen floor after you’re finished scrubbing the bathroom.
See that buildup in the corner? That hasn’t been touched in years. Go for it, Big Fella. She’ll think you’re George Clooney.
And you can throw out all those bottles of Old Spice too. The scent of disinfectant is the thing that will make her wild for you.
Or at least this is the gist of a new report that says married men get more sex from their wives if they do more housework. This little piece of obviousness comes from something called the Council on Contemporary Families.
The co-authors — a psychologist and a sociologist, both men — report that "equitable sharing of housework is associated with higher levels of marital satisfaction and sometimes more sex too."
Since when do we need trained psychologists and sociologists to do studies that state the obvious? You’d think they’d just cracked the double helix the way they’re waving this study around.
What are they going to do next? A study that says the grass is green?
I wonder how many bathrooms they could have cleaned in the time it took to do that study. And how many bottles of Lysol they could have purchased with the money they were paid to do the study?
Women have been saying this for ages. Were the men not listening or something? Is this why they had to do this study? Because they thought it was news?
Well, men, listen up: Housework is the female Viagra — if you’re the one doing the scrubbing, cleaning and disinfecting, or a least splitting it 50-50 with your better half.
So the next time you get love on the mind, don’t look at her with bedroom eyes. Gaze at her with I’m-going-to-scrub-the-toilet-bowl eyes.
If you throw in a good basement tidy up and a couple loads of laundry, you could very well be looking at days or weeks of perma-smile, if you catch my drift.
Most married women aren’t complicated or frigid or dysfunctional. They’re just exhausted from carrying the burden of housework and child care. Share that burden and you never know where things could go.
It’s simple. It’s free. It’s obvious. It’s housework. Think of the possibilities, men.
Freelance slob Gail Lethbridge hates housework but loves a clean house. Visit her blog: giftedtypist.com.
I have another suggestion and that would be to...have a functioning oven. Apparently a local oven shipment is arriving on Tuesday which is fortunate as that was the last allowable day in my world. This is in part because daughter #3 is arriving for Easter with a guest from her residence as well as her boyfriend, daughter #2 will be home as well and they will be expecting and I am reassuring they will have a baked ham for Easter Sunday. Or else!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
It takes a million years for one gene to change in our bodies. One million years! I'm bringing this up because, physiologically, we're the same humans we were 300 years ago. But look at how things have changed in that short time. Some things make life easier now: washers and dryers, transportation, abundance of food, electricity, etc. But some things make life today more insane: cell phones, traffic, increased population, fake food, TV, busy schedules. I heard a statistic from a doctor-friend that we make more decisions in one day than people used to make in a year. No wonder we're stressed out and reaching for doughnuts or alcohol to cope.
One of the best ways to fight stress is to get pleasure out of life. So try to make time for the things that are really important to you. Many of us get so caught up in our work and our routine duties that we end up feeling isolated, depressed or trapped. We forget the big picture. We all need to take time out to experience the good things in life, the things that give us genuine pleasure. Here are some suggestions from the booklet, Coping with Stress, by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Mental Health Association:
Hobbies – Whether you enjoy photography, crafts, sports, or any other hobby, the key is to do it on a regular basis. Build time into your schedule to enjoy these activities and make them a priority. Consider it "nourishment for the soul."
Gardening – Whether you have a backyard or live in an apartment, consider the soothing quality of tending plants and watching them grow. The results of your work are obvious and continue day-to-day and month-to-month as you watch your flowers or vegetable patch take root.
Volunteer work – Helping others helps take attention away from yourself and this may reduce your anxieties. Find an organization whose goals you support – volunteer to do something you enjoy. Donating money to charities is very worthwhile, but you may also benefit from personal involvement.
Vacations – Taking a break, for a weekend or a few weeks, may be refreshing, but be aware that vacations can be stressful if they are poorly planned, too expensive for your budget or if you are under constant pressure to make decisions about where to travel, eat and stay. Plan ahead and don't try to pack too much into the time available.
Enjoy nature – We are lucky to live in a country with open spaces and many municipal, provincial and national parks. If you live in the city, walk in your local park, smell the flowers, enjoy the trees and the birds. If you can, try to get away from the noise of the city occasionally.
Today I headed to the district facility for an Emergency Measures Organization Health Liason meeting – yes, it was as painful as it sounds – and some paperwork for my vacationing in DR work teammate. And to think I should have been cheerfully celebrating World Kidney Day today on March 13th. Yes that was the organ being recognized today. Now not that I don’t think this is an important topic but…seriously folks what’s next? Universal Thyroid Day?
Lunch was a highlight – in part because the cafeteria had rappie pie, which I LOVE ever since a nursing school classmate introduced me to it 34 years ago. Here’s a good article, which captures the flavor if you pardon the pun by a fellow writer of the writing group I attempt to attend:
For the initiated it is a French Acadian dish made of grated potatoes, meat etc. and baked (you know for those of you who have an oven).
One of my lunch mates said “no oven yet, you’re being too picky” to which I replied “it just has to fit in the hole in the wall” We were discussing that the ground is getting softer so I might have the option of burying a body so mister had better get his act together. One of the others said when two couples were out together and her girlfriend’s husband had been smart mouth she said “you’d better be walking towards the ditch when you say that because it’s too far to drag your body” and we all cracked up – talk about nurses macabre sense of humor. The discussion turned to bedside weapons – here in Canada we’re not big on the handgun in the night table drawer but there were suggestions of golf club, baseball bat, lead pipe (it was really homework for a welding class), cane and the ultimate….a pair of scissors!!! This by the mildest mannered of the bunch – those are the ones you have to watch – as she says, “they’d do the most damage and starts listing off the various injuries possible.
It reminded me of the story the shore captain related upon return from his fishery meetings on Tuesday. The association he is a board member for, has an Executive Director who is someone we went to high school with; she still looks much the same with slender build and blonde hair although she has two grown daughters. They were discussing a possible volatile situation where a former member of their group intentionally over fished his quota and was finally being dealt with through legal means i.e. marine lawyer and sheriff seizing assets so the situation could be dangerous. She calmly mused that she should advise the RCMP of the upcoming affair as she lives alone just a few kms down the road and this character has no common sense or self control. My husband agreed this was a good idea and she continued conversationally to say “you know I have a hammer in the desk drawer at the office and I’m not afraid to use it and I don’t mean for carpentry” My speechless husband just nodded and she concluded with “if you don't believe me, just ask my two ex-husbands” eliciting another quick nod. He hadn’t recovered from that exchange when he recounted the events to me the next day. I nodded knowingly as it's always good to keep him on his toes.
The road trip did allow me to partake of Staples sale of a 2 GB flashstick (regular $60 for $20 this week) which is now holding my presentations as a laptop backup. The videographer has had technical difficulties with her computer upgrade and printer interface so no DVD pickup today but she did manage to complete it this evening so that will be an early in the week errand now. At least I know it’s done so I go ahead with the online agent application process and the DVD will be ‘in the mail’ So another reason to look forward to the weekend as the excitement builds with each step ticked off in the process.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Today when I was taking my self imposed lunch break and reading the newspaper I found an article mentioning you can measure your 'burn rate' or how fast you go through money. Here's the link if you dare (and if you're not on dialup connection either):
I was taking my lunch break from purging the old files in the office - today I was back in the 80s - and managed to toss five full recycling bags. I have made the commitment to the Site Manager that I will NOT move the antique materials from the person I replaced back into the office. And the move back is expected within the next two weeks. I hate moving office!!
As the man of the house has headed off to the city for meetings overnight to do with his industry I'm left to enjoy life on my own for the evening. This required a stop at the video rental store where I picked up Away From Her - excellent but tough to watch after Mom and Sicko - how can you not enjoy Michael Moore? Well, I guess some folks don't but I enjoy sarcasm. After a dog walk, supper was pancakes in front of the first movie and then Keely gets to stay in - it is a girl's night after all.
I was amazed by the following news story - on a number of levels. I'm not sure how four days qualifies as a vacation, why would a daughter panic if she didn't hear from you in that time, why would she be calling that often, and why would they have to make peace with her? Our daughters make fairly frequent contact (for which we are pleased) but hopefully would not phone the police if their father and I were spontaneous.
'Missing' couple surprise daughter, police on return from vacation
Mon Mar 10, 5:39 AM By The Associated Press
MELBOURNE, Australia - A Melbourne couple returning home from vacation today were shocked to discover police about to hold a news conference at their house about their suspicious disappearance. William and Heather Ostell's daughter, Angela, had not seen or heard from her parents since Thursday. She went to their house and discovered the front door unlocked, their car gone and their dog home alone. So she called the police and reported her parents missing.
Homicide detectives were holding a news conference at the Ostell's home to appeal for information when the couple drove up, shocked at the commotion. Heather Ostell, 58, told reporters that they had taken a "spur of the moment" holiday and had not been able to reach their daughter to tell her. They arranged for neighbours to take care of their pet dog, and left the door unlocked by accident, and said they regretted worrying their daughter. "I'll have to make my peace with her," Ostell said.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
In my online meandering I’ve found a quirky travel site:
it plays to a generation I’ve added to with titles such as Hostel Sex: A Practical Guide (which those of a mature age might want to skip) but it did mention a link to an Amazon Kindle:
Which although I don’t plan to purchase in the next little while as it needs some of the glitches worked out, costs too much, doesn’t have the title selection I’d like, and I don’t really buy a lot from Amazon not to mention that it seems to be available in the U.S. versus Canada while being a bit weird yet, it holds promise as a future traveling companion.
As well there are links to foreign language which are a bit less painful than some of the Spanish texts I’ve collected over the years without opening. And definitely more fun than studying anything remotely connected to my day job! The male Spanish voice emanating from the laptop speakers took the animals by surprise. If only we had a high-speed internet connection so I could actually do it! Yes, yes I know – no whining, not even about returning to work tomorrow.
Friday, March 7, 2008
I’m including a photo of a very scary item well…. actually it is to Gary. And we haven’t figured out why - we’re quite amazed as it’s the only thing we’ve ever seen him be frightened of since he came to live with us as a baby kitty. He’s not particularly nervous, as cats go; in fact he’s usually the brave one of the in-house feline trio. But last night the life partner thought it would be amusing to toss this potholder like a Frisbee at Gary, it landed beside him and when he looked at it he jumped about two feet straight up in the air, pupils dilated and then in the stalking mode. We’re not sure if it’s the blue center or what! The other two cats were a bit nervous after his reaction but conquered their fears within a few moments, esp. after the dog (trying to figure out what all the fuss was about) went to investigate – wasn’t food so she left shortly. This evening the fear factor was still in evidence although Gary has allowed himself to almost sniff the scary object. Thinking it will discourage him from nocturnal shenanigans I’ve elected to place the potholder on the kitchen bar. We’ll see.
I’ve finished Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje and I have to say that I was kind of disappointed in it for all the hype. I found it rather disjointed and hard to follow although it was certainly descriptive but I’ll read poetry if I want that. I finished it because a book has to be really terrible before I’ll really give up on it.
I was digging through collections of older digital photos to find some photos of the dog for the NS Duck Toller presentation, which will be coming up shortly at the library. The PowerPoint is coming together nicely and each one I do is getting a bit smoother. You get to a point where you have to say "good enough" and stop playing with it anyway.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
On Tuesday morning when I ambled into work I checked the voicemail, email and mail, changed the voice mail message, ran the patient census and generally got myself ready for the day. As I opened my appointment book my gaze fell upon the words ‘fit testing’ and it was all downhill from there. FYI - fit testing refers to N95 masks not the gym. I guess one way to look at it is that I didn’t spend any time stressing about it, but I sure hit the ground running at 8:15 a.m. There were various crises of too much air movement in the chosen room, move to another location, computer malfunction of fit testing technician, completely frantic workplace overall (perhaps due to predicted bad weather the following day) short staffing in multiple departments and general facility wide anger with a good deal of it headed in my direction. A former coworker and myself agreed that there has GOT to be a better way to make a living. I was explaining the employer was fortunate my husband had had big dreams of a new house, unstable fishing industry and two university tuitions remaining or I would be history. She shared that her husband had been interviewing for jobs in other areas of the province three to five hours away as his term position is up in March and he is determined to work so that insecurity is her employment motivation. It is to weep for.
By the time I made it home Tuesday evening there was nothing left in the way of enthusiasm to take me to scrapbooking so you know I was in bad shape! It was so apparent that the man of the house suggested I walk the dog and made supper if you can believe it. After a sauna session I was unconscious before 10 p.m., which is a rare event for me. I’m reminded of a photo a friend forwarded which sums up my work requirements:
Employee of the Month
This is the level of dedication we expect from all staff -
keep up the good work!!!
Today was a catch up day as I’m off for a Tri-District meeting in the morning which promises to be as much fun as a root canal. I managed to get some paperwork done and try to remedy some mess-ups of late. I spent the final moments of my day negotiating with a teammate who will now be accompanying me to a conference in Montreal. First I was going by myself, and then she got a scholarship, which covers ‘some’ of the expenses so we can share the cost to bill the employer. The accommodation question – I was suggesting an Inn which would be less than half of the cost of the conference hotel although it is a 5-minute walk away because I’d put my education request in to the boss with a note saying I’d check for cheaper accommodation. The back and forth was her wanting to be closer to the conference center in case we got taken out to supper by the exhibitors, it was too far to walk after supper etc. etc. I was thinking ‘how did we get to the princess is making all the decisions when I was traveling alone until last week?’ I need another vacation.
This afternoon I was discussing with the Administration Assistant that she really looked like she was ready for the vacation she’s leaving on next week – family Disney World trip for March Break – and she agreed. She was explaining that she’d had a phone call from the Pepsi sales rep who told her the matter was “urgent” so she explained she had to leave to set up an important presentation could it be more critical than that? “Oh yes” he insisted that she must call him right back. As she said “I work for a hospital, I understand critical” but when she returned the call it was regarding the Pepsi order for the pop machine, which she had called in that morning, and to have it urgently filled she should have called the day before at 2 p.m. I told her that even a stranger recognized how stressed she was in her voice and thought the order was urgent. She maintained however that she had talked to Deloris with a southern drawl who asked if “ya’ll wont ta buy some spring watta, it’s on speecshal this wayke?” and she had politely declined. I told her I’d solved the mystery as the tone of her voice had caused the folks at the Pepsi plant to think she’d “escalated” meaning she had to be dealt with by the next level supervisor as in a call center.
This evening in a nod to the missed scrapbooking I finished up the construction scrapbook. I have been tired of the project for a bit as it’s very much the same and so it felt good to say “done” Now I can move on to the cruise album which promises to be less homogenous and will certainly bring good memories. As daughter # 3 is arriving tomorrow p.m. I was trying to get things in order so we can visit. I fear that her only special request of shake n bake chicken will not be fulfilled, as there are no ovens to be had locally until next week. Tonight my husband looked in the fridge at the prepared supper for tomorrow and said, “oh, slow cooker surprise again?” Sigh.
Monday, March 3, 2008
I hadn’t turned off the cell phone because of all the turmoil back at work so while I was doing the orientation session as the newly hired employees were all looking at me, my cell phone played a Latin jazz tone which I answered it to hear my cruise travel partner of last spring says “hey girlfriend, you can run but you can’t hide” Ooops, so I quickly say “I’ll call you back in about an hour, hang tight”.
When I called her back I was so pleased and excited to hear that WestJet had accepted her as a flight attendant. She is headed out tomorrow for Calgary for a medical exam, interview etc. for just a few days and was tracking down her immunization records. Apparently they’ve been in contact since January so this is wonderful!! You go girl!
According to the news of the day Lord Conrad Black has headed into prison to begin his six and a half year term for white-collar fraud. He and his wife Barbara Amiel arrived in his Cadillac SUV and she left shortly after so he could begin the orientation process. So the universe is unfolding as it should.
Except for the fact that the $40 oven part ordered in from the appliance store finally arrived, was installed by the lumberjack only to find that….it wasn’t the cause of the oven not working – it is toast – literally. So now we are back to square one and needing a new oven. Well better than cleaning it I guess.
I spent this evening composing (another) letter to the Minister of Fisheries. Meaning another one in, as many weeks as in letter and to another Minister – I’ve lost track of how many politicians over the years have been the targets of my pen/computer. I have spent the past almost 20 years attempting to convince the ‘author’ of these documents that he should simply list the points down and I will compose the epistle then we will edit as in ‘bones to tear apart’ but…no, he can’t do that. He has to stand like Milburne Drysdale on the Beverly Hillbillies dictating to Miss Jane although I don’t remember Mr. D arguing with her over a point of grammar! This means he has to be torturously directed to what he means to say, a process, which is time consuming. No, he can’t possibly write down points, he might as well write the whole thing and then it wouldn’t be right anyway he tells me. When we grudgingly agree that we are saying what is intended or one of us loses patience the letter is ready to go. Sigh.
I am going to reward myself with scrapbooking tomorrow night - that's the only kind of project I want to undertake.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
I’ve spent the past two days teaching Marine Advanced First Aid to a group of 14 in Port LaTour. The land and sea employees at the plant were the majority, and the home crowd is always the toughest, but there were an additional six local fishermen. My only regret was that I forgot to take my camera to record the festivities. I almost lost my breath in hysterics when I glanced over at one of the chubby, florid faced participants with a tiger striped triangular bandage on his head simulating a dressing on a head wound which the prodigal son described as a ‘do rag’. Mind you, he and his father made quite a team themselves, as they’re personally familiar with most of the injuries in real life between them. Made all the preparations worthwhile. Had fewer participants than I’d thought but this is the rule rather than the exception when booking classes, you usually have to overbook to just fill the seats. It was a good practice run with all the glitches uncovered – ordering books, gathering equipment, TV/VCR not available etc. for the other two I’ve got set up.
Thinking of traveling to the district facility isn’t as bad as it sounds, at least I don’t have to face the music on my own turf. Friday was a really rough day due to an urgent recall notice, which was the final straw. This will all be waiting for me of course by Tuesday.
With all the stress it’s good to know that my cardiovascular health is being protected as a feline owner:
Owning a Cat Good for the Heart?
Study Shows Cat Owners Less Likely to Die From Heart Attacks By Charlene Laino WebMD Medical News Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
Feb. 21, 2008 (New Orleans) -- Your cat may bring you a lot more than unconditional love after a tough day.
A new study shows that cat owners are less likely to die of a heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases than people who have never had a pet cat.
The findings emerged from an analysis of data on nearly 4,500 men and women, ages 30 to 75, who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study. All were free of cardiovascular disease when they entered the study in the 1970s. Over half, 55%, reported having a pet cat at some point in their lives.
Compared with cat owners, people who never had a pet cat were 40% more likely to die of a heart attack over the 20-year study period. They were also 30% more likely to die of any cardiovascular disease, including stroke, heart failure, and chronic heart disease.
The results held true even after the researchers took into account other risk factors for heart disease and stroke, including age, gender, race, blood pressure, and smoking. The researchers found no such link for people who had a pet dog.
The findings were presented here at the American Stroke Association's (ASA) International Stroke Conference.
Cat Lovers Have Less Stress
Researcher Farhan Siddiq, MD, of the University of Minnesota, says he thinks that pet lovers share personality characteristics such as low stress and anxiety levels that protect them against heart disease and stroke.
"Dog owners probably have the same characteristics, even though the data don't support it," he adds.
ASA spokesman Daniel Lackland, MD, a stroke expert at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, agrees that both cats and dogs "are good, they make you feel better. And studies have shown that a general feeling of well-being is linked to better overall health."
But, Lackland stresses, the findings should not detract from the critical value of controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes.
So should you go out and buy a cat in hopes of cutting your risk of dying of a heart attack? "For other medical interventions, we would need more evidence. But this has minimal risk -- unless you're allergic," Siddiq tells WebMD.
I’m wondering if having three in-house means you’re triple safe? I’m not sure I’m buying that less stress title there either.
And to conclude, you can’t say he didn’t deserve it:
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Justin John Boudin may have done his anger management homework, but he apparently didn't learn his lesson.
The 27-year-old Minnesota man pleaded guilty to fifth-degree assault charges for losing his temper on the way to class. According to the criminal complaint, Boudin was waiting at a bus stop in August when he harassed a 59-year-old woman. Witnesses say he yelled "Why don't you show me some respect?" at the woman.
The complaint says when she took out her cell to call police, he punched her in the face. When a 63-year-old man tried to stop him, Boudin hit him with a blue folder. Then he ran, dropping the folder. Police were able to track him down using the papers inside, which included his name and his anger management homework.
Prosecutors expect at a hearing in May he'll be sentenced to time served, which will be at least 120 days, and probation.