Friday, October 30, 2009

From the trenches

Well, a short note on my break from work. I’m just waiting for the nurse mentoring me to get back with the pizza order – wow life is hard in this position – not. It’s been a fairly steady shift for the first four hours but has settled nicely now and we’re into the eating and routine night work.

The flu continues to cause us major headaches in healthcare of course. I’m doing my best to help out as I’m a staff nurse now – I keep reminding everyone that “I don’t do that anymore” with a large smile on my face. But I’ve already decided that staying up all night beats what I was doing before. Yeehaw!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Staff Nurse

Well tomorrow I will describe myself as a staff nurse, working for the nursing department and woohoo am I ever looking forward to that after today's final running of the gauntlet. The insanity started before I made it in the door and continued as I exited with the boxes of stuff from my former worklife. I did my best to tie up the last minute details and pack up the office but it was a losing battle. When the memo went out (at 2 p.m.) from management to say that I was no longer going to be in my position - nothing like leaving the notification until I'm walking out the door - there were a few drop ins and phone calls from co-workers who had been ambushed by the news and wanted details and explanation. This was not helpful as I ran towards the finish line. The most positive event in my day was that the garage found the leak in my tire (must've run over a nail or a hook) and plugged it, then brought it back to the parking lot for me - can't ask for any better service than that can you?

As I said goodbye to the final summer neighbour who is heading stateside tomorrow I have to acknowledge that winter is coming. Sigh. I was explaining to her that I would doing the H1N1 immunizations for work WHEN I was working my regular shifts not on my days off in between, bad enough to have to multitask but at least not extra days, so decided to clarify that for you. Wishing safe travels tomorrow for her.

The son's 22nd birthday was celebrated today (glad I wasn't having labour induced today actually) and he enjoyed the flying monkey I (again) purchased in Portland for him. Loyal blog readers may recall that I'd left the bag somewhere on my way back to the ship last year so had to repurchase. He was most impressed with his red neck wallet which is made entirely out of duck tape (camo and plain) and is marketed as waterproof and the boxer shorts with lobsters. His western sister had left him a t-shirt which tickled his funny bone as well as covered his back. He was a happy camper when he left the house at 8 p.m. saying he'd be back shortly..... haven't seen him since.

Well, must go get my uniform ready for the morning - haven't said that for a while - and hit the hay.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Final day

Well, so much for promises of photos the following night. Life has been a little more intense than usual (if you can believe it) here lately and as I type this I find myself contemplating a final day in my present position as tomorrow I am released from my situation. Yeehaw! There does not appear to be any transition planning from my superiors for my departure so tomorrow so I’m a bit ticked that it looks as if I left suddenly or didn’t give almost a month’s notice. No way am I going to wear that one! And there has been chatter of me ‘giving a few days to the program’ in addition to my staff nurse role and although I’ve been doing my best to explain that four – 12 hr. shifts in rotation – two long days, followed by two long nights and four (occasionally) five days off IS full time…I’m not sure the message is getting through due to the 'no plan' problem.

The final push to clean out the office – the desk has never looked so great – along with keeping up to the daily routine and attempting to do the MUSTS on the to-do list have more than occupied my last three days. I’m sure it will be a sprint to the finish tomorrow! I begin my orientation on Wednesday and will experience the really early start on Thursday as I’ll need to be at work by 6:45 a.m. I’ll be keeping the shore captain’s hours before long. The nights I had acclimatized to while doing 7 – 7 in long term care so I should be able to get myself out of the house after supper without too much difficulty. I’ve been breaking it to the life partner in stages that I’m not planning to leave supper cooked on days I’m not here as I did years ago when doing LDs – there are no children home whose nutritional status I'm concerned about now. And I’ve made it fairly plain that I won’t be hauling carcass out of bed after sleeping the day and whipping up a gourmet meal. At present he’s approaching it with the ‘she’ll get over it’ routine.

This evening I made a birthday cake for the lad who will be 22 tomorrow. He had requested ‘that chocolate cake you put potatoes in’ and so that is cooling on the counter as I type. Wow, it just seems like yesterday that I was waiting to have labour induced!

As promised I am posting some cruise vacation photos. Beginning with the one on the left I'm really missing - the bed turned down and chocolates out. Sigh.

But our wonderful waiter Elston, from Goa in India showing us the visual dessert menu has got to be a close second.
And of course the Broadway musical we saw - Memphis - which was still in preview mode - fantastic! Just a little taste of the over 500 photos captured digitally. Ah, how quickly we are back into the daily routine again. Mind you an entire day spent scrapbooking at Croptoberfest and a lazy day on Sunday as it was really windy and rainy so the cruise ship didn't make it to our town and I missed my port lecturer opening act. We took in the Trailer Park Boys latest movie on Sunday and called it a night. Not Memphis but not bad.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Home and hello again

Well, although we’ve been back since last Saturday there have honestly not been five spare minutes, let alone about 20 to update you on all the changes here in the zoo. But tonight, I’ve simply decided to park myself in front of the keyboard and at least make a start.

My friend and I finally decided we had run out of excuses and had to come home from our vacation after all. We had a great 13 day New England/Maritimes cruise on the Celebrity Constellation although the weather didn’t cooperate very well. We had six days of gales, rain, fog and really rough seas. On the way back to New York it blew 50 knot winds! We’re good sailors and the stabilizers worked really well so it wasn’t a problem for us but the American passengers were cranky. Well, not all of them as we had nice tablemates for dining with. We dropped off our purchases from Boston, Portland and Bar Harbour in Halifax and left them in the trunk of the car when we stopped on the way through. Had a nice visit with my Boston cousin and his wife while we were there on one of our very few fine days and found some great bargains at Macy’s to boot. We sourced free wi-fi throughout the trip and so were able to keep in touch with home and brag on FaceBook about our travels. I promise to post some photos tomorrow when I update again. I first have to download and sort the 500 or so pictures I (we) took. There was a surreal experience where we met a couple from Saskatoon who had lived locally in the 70s as they were military and the man was the shore captain’s Scoutmaster. When they found out where we lived they wanted to know if we knew him – when I realized he was describing my husband we both were incredulous!!

When we visited with the keeper of the car (daughter # 2) in Halifax on the port of call she was pleased that the groom’s stepmother had been able to intervene and get them the local wedding reception venue they wanted. So now she has confirmed with the minister and the date is set for June 26, 2010. Wow, 2010 is going to be a big year for her with her BEd graduation in May and then getting hitched the next month.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I gave my notice from my ‘office job’ and so today did a cardiac monitoring course (which I did finally by this afternoon find I was remembering some of rhythms) and will start orientating to shift work on Wednesday the 28th. With staff discussions of who is working Halloween night and thus costumes and eating…I remembered how much I missed all this. With the H1N1 immunization as well as many other pandemic panics looming in my (almost) previous position and no systemic plan for dealing with any of the crises let alone the gap my departure will leave, I give thanks daily that I am about to be released from that version of the pain. I’ve been receiving a mixture of pleased but confused welcomes from my co-workers and congratulations from friends who are pleased I’ve made a good choice for me. I’m into the countdown now.

I had a call from the cleaning lady who is coming in the morning to ask if I’d gotten a new vacuum and I said n-o…. w-h-y? Apparently my machine died last week when she was cleaning (not sure if it had anything to do with the fact that I was away for two weeks before that) and she had her husband bring up her vacuum. She maintains that she spoke to the shore captain who assured her I was getting a new one anyway as it was dying. Since this was a complete figment of his imagination I was a bit less than impressed. I could deal with the fact that he had neglected to advise me of the death of the machine as his short term memory (except for sports) is atrocious. We worked out a plan for adjusting to my shifts and she mentioned that her sister’s estate had an Electrolux that I can buy – so she looks after me in many ways.

I think she needs to take the shore captain on as a project as on Monday he had a dentist appointment (which he had booked) and which I convinced him to attend, reminded him of and sent him to work with the appointment note. When I spoke to him on the way home (he had driven an hour each way to the appointment) and asked how it went he said “it’s a long story”. When I assured him I had time he admitted that he has been 7 minutes late and the receptionist wouldn’t let him in. When I agreed that the appointment was for 3:30 p.m. he said “well I had to wait for the dentist last time for 15 minutes” Now Mr. Type A Personality does not wait for anything – not sure if he thinks he’s too important to, or if his ADD prevents it but he is ALWAYS late for everything and the people in his life have just adjusted to that. If he says 6 it’s at least 6:30, he’ll be late for his own funeral, you know the type, and no one expects him to be on time. So to think that someone had reeled him in at the age of 53 was quite amazing to me.

The life partner is cross as he has yet to go gunning because he has not one but two non-functioning outboard motors. The dog (and he) look longingly in the direction of the shots from down the harbour. He has been busy with boats still fishing and the prodigal son is in fact on the water as I type. It amazes me that he is, as on the night before he left he had stayed up all night to bait his trawl, ran the roads then had run out of gas by the dump on the way home at 11 p.m. and had to have two girls (who think I’m cute he says) come pick him up, retrieve a gas can and head back, returning by midnight. He was not very spry when 3:30 a.m. rolled around as his father was driving him to the wharf. I’m sure the Captain was thrilled that he slept the whole way out.

Had a surprise phone call from the western daughter to say that there may be opportunities with the bank to head east so she has a phone interview set up next week to begin the process should positions become available. It’ll be nice for her to be able to visit more often, although her youngest sister is headed out to Alberta to spend Christmas with her this year.

I’m waiting to hear back from the cruise ship that is heading into town on Sunday as to whether they’d be interested in my presentation on lobstering. Am hoping this would give me an in with the line/agent for DIY and a possible out of using the entertainment agency. A family friend sent the following suggestion which is entirely true if tongue in cheek:

When that cruise ship comes in, I think that you should organize a boarding party. The Somalis do it all the time, I'm certain that you can scrape some people together and manage well enough. The reason? That big ol' boat actually has better facilities and more services than the entire town.

The ship includes many amenities including two restaurants, a bar, boutique, cruise sales office, shops, aft Jacuzzis, aft pool, art gallery, arts & crafts room, spas, lounges, a card room, fitness centre, library, deck pool, promenade, salon and more. I bet they also have a movie theatre that shows newer films, too.

C’mon now, waddayawant? The Trailer Park Boys movie – Countdown to Liquor Day is playing in town this weekend. Actually I’m going to be having quite an active social life this weekend as I’m going to Croptoberfest (scrapbooking) from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, hopefully presenting on Sunday then taking in the movie. But for now I must go excavate this hacienda so the cleaning can begin in the a.m.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I knew it had been a while since I blogged but when I checked the date and found it was Sept 18th which is over two weeks ago....well it is a symptom of all the frantic in my life apparently. Where to start?

The meeting at work was a real hair raiser and resulted in my coming to the conclusion that I am not up for a fight I can't win. As I age I find I pick my battles more selectively and so I'd like to announce that I have a new (old) job as I'm heading back to be a staff RN. I took it as a sign that the uniform company was visiting so bought two very attractive ones. I gave my two weeks notice for the present position and will return from vacation to settle the office and then begin orientating with a cardiac monitoring course and will likely be doing shifts by the end of the month. The fact that I will make more money and be able to work my hours and leave the situations to be continued by others has a lot to recommend it. My only concern is that I will have to invest in a window shade for day sleeping.

On a positive level we are the proud owners of a new (to us) computer system thanks to our nephew-in-law and will put it to good use when the high speed internet finally arrives in....December. The road to the tower is in and so we wait to ensure we meet the deadline of broadband for all before 2010. Sigh. My brother-in-law was the courier for the computer and the shore captain was instructed to retrieve it from the trunk of his car as he golfed, no one noticed the hoist so that was good.

We attended the wedding of a friend's son last weekend in the city and it was simply lovely. Spent a wonderful couple of days visiting with the girls, shopping, eating - try the sushi at Doraku if you're ever in Halifax, attending Word on the Street and generally enjoying ourselves. With the help of an image consultant (mother of the groom) I managed to power shop (20 min. like a husband at Canadian Tire) my way to a beautiful pale peach suit which fits wonderfully over my spanx. We scoped out bridesmaid dresses and have a lead on those so things are moving along nicely. It'll be our turn come the summer - how did that happen?

Have had a wonderful time visiting with the western daughter this week and although I'll miss seeing her for the two remaining days it's great to see her doing so well in life and making us proud as she heads back to Alberta. We have managed to score wonderful finds at Frenchy's (everything from uniforms to jackets) and she has consulted and assisted me with my packing this evening. We celebrated both our birthdays and had a family feast on October 1st which means the shore captain won't have to cook for at least a week as he cleans up the leftovers.

Said goodbyes to two summer neighbours today and will visit a bit with the other upon my return so as the leaves turn this is what happens when we get deserted locally. The shore captain is chasing boats, getting ready for hunting and lobstering (in that order) and suffering a headcold so I'm most pleased to be traveling with a girlfriend for this cruise.

We're off in three hours to fly to Newark and then on to the Celebrity Constellation for the Canada/New England cruise. Will think of you all (ha) as we enjoy all the liner has to offer. Will be in touch upon our return October 17th or sooner with reasonably priced internet access.