Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Custody issues

As I am (due to switching a shift with a co-worker where I will pay the piper later) just finishing up another set of five days off, I am thinking life is good! Mind you I have paid a few dues last week when I was sent home/called back to do a LN and sleeping, doing a LD then attending a union meeting all day before a LN and sleeping. I would have paid for the chance to see the look on the HR Director (my former boss) face when he walked into the district management/labor meeting to find me there – first time we’d seen each other since he did me a favor by advising “if you gave me two weeks notice, I’d understand, you do what you have to do”. The situation was described by my colleague as “awkward” for those in the stands. I explained the only thing which caused me any distress was having him proudly proclaim that an OHN (Occupational Health Nurse) position (mine and the other co-worker who bailed) had been filled by an RN (albeit a smart one and we all have to start somewhere) with no OHN qualifications or experience as if that was equal to my four year certificate, national credentialing and 18 years of experience with four employers…So the five days have been good for R&R and I’m okay with heading back in for one LD tomorrow and two LNs. A positive from Thursday spent in town was the opportunity to Frenchy’s shop before the LN where I scored a great pair of M.O.B shoes in beige which are new but just broken in. Yeehaw! When I arose from my slumber on Friday afternoon I applied myself seriously to domestic chores (only because I was planning to act like a teenager the entire next day without grownup responsibilities) to be able to attend a scrapbooking day.

Saturday, as days spent mostly for pleasure was a good time. I managed to work on several projects I had lined up and learn some new techniques while enjoying a few laughs, getting some nice freebies, being fed by someone else and shopping for new scrapbooking toys – what is not to like? I stopped for $300 worth of groceries on the way home which quickly brought the ‘being a teenager mode’ to a halt.

Stanley as pictured here has become the object of a custody request, as in the youngest daughter’s phone call of yesterday which informed that Pets Unlimited in Fredericton (where a roommate works) has shampoo which makes cats not allergenic. Hmm, not sure how the cats feel about being shampooed, considering they don’t care (as about many things) if they cause problems and are more in favor of doing the bathing themselves. Apparently the allergic roommate is now not bothered by Winston (a kitten who has been welcomed into their household) who has been treated thusly and so the push is on to reunite Stanley with his original owner. Concerns that Stanley will physically abuse the kitten not react well to the move; require extra financial resources etc. were settled. Discussion ensued of various transportation variables as the bridesmaid will be traveling to Halifax to have her dress tailored and requested Stanley be driven there. The final decision however was that Stanley should be retrieved when the bridesmaid was home the last weekend in June for her sister’s wedding.

The boy wonder continues to lobster this spring, managing most days on four to five hours sleep – I can vaguely remember when I was his age and could handle that concept. His lobstering alone is a matter of concern for those of us over the age of 23, but considering the risky behaviors he engages in on land, I should not be alarmed. He continues to transport himself on the generosity of his father due to the truck in pieces in a friend’s backyard awaiting a rear end.
Have had some discussions with the bride-to-be lately and plans are coming together for the nuptials although the focus this next while is on academics. She is finishing up her final week of practice teaching, volunteering the next week in a city classroom with someone who was a former university mate before she graduates on May 8th. Although David Suzuki’s ideologies differ from the father of the graduate who advocates killing fish, it will be a pleasant change for these Anglophone parents to hear in his message in a language we understand. After that she will be able to substitute until the end of the year while she awaits the opportunity to apply for job postings for September. Hopefully, some kind of term position will offer itself as it is a cruel and unusual punishment to study for six years in a language which is not your first to find you have to wait your turn. We are all thinking positive thoughts, so add yours along.

Also had a chat with the oldest daughter who is involved in doing a fundraiser at the bank displaying her cultural roots (fish chowder and blueberry buckle) with the explanation that “oatmeal bread might be too weird for these people out west” and that the dessert had to be explained. And to think that we consider the Quebec situation an issue in our one big country eh? She described going out for a few laughs with a female welder and her friends who included some mature Greek Canadians (described as mature and macho enough to buy your drinks and hot) which was a nice diversion on the weekend.

I had attempted this morning to borrow the high-speed internet access of a friend up the road while calling Dell to get my wi-fi operational on my netbook as somehow in the Bell turbostick debacle it has been altered. This was not to be as after much discussion with two Dell techs I was advised that there was a nominal charge to purchase an expired warranty service which would give me 30 days of tech support but no parts if required. When I asked for a costing of ‘nominal’ I was told $60 - $150 which I pointed out is not my definition of nominal, and if they were hoping to teach me a lesson for not buying the extended warranty this hadn’t worked as I would do anything in my power to NOT give them anymore of my money and furthermore I’d only used the netbook about 30 times in total. I opted to contact Bell and it likely comes as no surprise that Bell does not support wi-fi only the turbostick but as I told the tech “you couldn’t help me with the turbostick either that’s why I am paying $250 this month for something I don’t have and you must see on the file the hours I spent on the phone with tech support installing and uninstalling software which has now affected my wi-fi!” When she directed me to visit I was particularly unimpressed so I asked “and just how would you suggest that I do that since I can’t connect?” An attempt at system restore to a date pre-turbostick was unsuccessful so my next call was to a local computer tech that the shore captain uses – with a name like Cyber Geek how can they not be good? After admonishing me for buying online he told me I’d need to bring the netbook in for them to look at, but reassured it was likely minor and they wouldn’t charge if so. I told him if it was more than $50 I wouldn’t bother and would instead have an expensive paperweight and at any rate the shore captain was to be billed as I was still owed payment on the laptop I surrendered for the boat. The word for Eastlink locally is end of May for broadband access – all digits crossed. My friend has a heart condition and it’s not likely a good idea for him to be a spectator to events such as I took to his house yesterday.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Adventures of Stanley

Woohoo! I am heading into another set of days off and I am going to spend all day scrapbooking on Saturday - doesn't get much better than that! And it's a good thing too as I did double duty today as I spent the entire day in a union meeting, stayed in town as it was too late to return home and so visited the library then did a walk, a quick Frenchy's shop where I found lovely beige M.O.B shoes which are perfect and only just broken in - what a find - along with a uniform top, great baby clothes for a co-workers baby shower, a pillowcase, three good books and a great zippered shopping bag to put it all in.

We have had another feline situation as poor Stanley is recovering from another AWOL experience - this one was likely over 24 hours as I missed him on Wednesday morning as I left for a LD. When a rattling of the treat bag doesn't produce him you know you have a problem. Upon arriving home I discussed the situation with the shore captain and he agreed that Stanley hadn't been present when he left earlier than I did. As dusk was fast approaching I headed over to the woods behind our deck with the treats and heard a frantic meowing. I located poor Stanley crouched in a thicket with a severe case of PTSD and no amount of cajoling would bring him out. Took the dog for a walk, left the front door open while I was gone etc. But it took a twin effort of the life partner herding and me cutting him off at the pass while we chased him around the house. A false start where the shore captain left the front door open and we had to repeat the effort, this time with the front exit closed. He was so traumatized that he headed for the basket on top of the mudroom cupboards hyperventilating. He was finally coaxed down with treats and settled. Yesterday morning he was purring and pleased to find himself in the basket on my bureau as opposed to being in the wilds with all those critters. Will be a while before he attempts that again me thinks.

All the excitement kept me from finishing up my borrowed copy of 206 Bones which is the latest Kathy Reich's novel. And it is (of course) a real page turner. So home I go to read a few (very few) pages before I head off to bed.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kobo and more

I’ve just completed a stretch of five (count em five) days off and I think I can understand how those who are retired talk of their days being so full they can’t imagine how they ever worked as days off (at least this many in a row) are trying that lifestyle on. It was good to finally have the days off all together as they’re meant to be in the rotation. I had anticipated having to do three 12 hour days and one LN but the scheduling Gods smiled on me and I won bigger than the Powerball. I headed in for my first LD today, dropping my vehicle off to be serviced and being picked up from the garage by a coworker at 0630 hrs. to head in to work. Things were progressing at the usual frantic Monday morning pace when the Nurse Manager phoned at quarter to nine to say “you’re going to find this bizarre but I’m sending you home to come back tonight for a LN as we’re going to be short as someone’s ill, so you won’t be able to work tomorrow days either”. I quickly reassured her that I didn’t find that bizarre at all, but very welcome as with our collective agreement we are paid double time for a shift switched without 24 hour notice. Yeehaw – I get to do one night shift in place of two days – doesn’t get much better than that for this night owl! I was able to sneak a nap after the cleaning lady left the sparkling clean house I’ve already stopped off and visited a friend on the way home who served me tea and cookies while letting me check my email on his high speed connection – great internet café I told him and likely more of a morning break than I was heading for at my place of employment.

Our final night shift was a very enjoyable one where I actually found the time to do some crocheting and I’m now back to where I’d ripped out the last set of nights. One of the hazards of night time craft work is that it takes at least twice as long with all the mistakes and starting over again. I was cleaning up my emails as I am deeply regretting the lack of connectivity at this point but I sustain myself by dreaming of the end of May. Can you hear me Eastlink? I had an email for Chapters/Indigo and when I checked out the offer it was to pre-order the Kobo e-book reader for $149 which is available the first of May. It is only the size of a paperback, but very slim (10 mm thick) weighing less than ½ lb. and comes preloaded with 100 books (a very eclectic list for sure – check them out), can hold up to 1,000 and a SD card will bring the capacity to 4,000 publications. It apparently holds a charge for two weeks or 8,000 page turns but it can be charged through a computer or a charger and for those older eyes the font can be enlarged. Here is the link to check for yourself:

The accessories list ‘skins’ for the e-reader in different colors and textures so it will ‘feel’ like a real book, which is not a concern for me at this point but who knows what I may want in the future? Apparently many libraries are getting into the act and making publications downloadable, at any rate there are lots of free e-books online and $10 isn't much considering a hardcover new release would be $32 and then you'd have to deal with the physical presence of it once you were done with it. I couldn’t resist and now I can’t wait. I won’t get any housework done, oh never mind, I don’t now but it may even impact on discovering surfaces for the cleaning lady to attack, but I digress.

After sleeping until noon on Wednesday, I made sure I was up in time to take the dog for a walk – this in hopes of wearing her out a bit for the car trip – an adventure which causes her to have panic attacks! Unfortunately although she’s 10 years old, she hasn’t grown out of the hysteria which begins when the key is turned in the vehicle. So, I covered the car seats with old sheets, shortened up her leash to hold while I drove and constantly ordered her to “sit” for the 25 minutes of sheer punishment it took to arrive at the vets due to the panting, whining and leaping. The amazing thing is that once the car stops she is so relieved to be out that she was extremely well behaved at the office and for the vet. The main reason for the self inflicted torture was to have a lump checked on her chest wall. I had diagnosed it as a lipoma (fatty benign tumor) which the vet concurred with, so that was good as I’m not a believer in dog chemo. Since it was such a challenge to get her to the vet the dog was behind in all her immunizations (actually since 2007 when the youngest daughter went off to university as she was the only one with the ability to cope with dog neuroses) so by the time the shots, tick medicine and exam were tallied up the damages were $165. Sigh. We got to repeat the drill on the return trip and of course, instead of running errands the journey was a one reason adventure due to the behavior of the canine passenger. Scheduling after a sleep day meant that I was mostly oblivious to the whole situation. MY nerves.

Thursday was spent very productively on all sorts of domestic chores from laundry to bread making and more. I called a friend and we headed out to White Point Lodge for an evening which was sponsored by the Writers Federation where readings by authors who had won awards such as the Thomas H. Raddall award were featured. We got to meet Linden McIntyre (The Bishop’s Man), Shandi Mitchell Under This Unbroken Sky) and Michael Crummy (Galore) and enjoy them reading from their books as well as chat with a previous winner - Donna Morrisey and Tom Raddall Jr. who manages the endowment and very well apparently as it’s grown from $1000 to $20,000 for next year. I told Mr. Raddall that he should be handling our nurses pensions not the government agency! It was a lovely evening and my friend bought us each a glass of wine so what is not to like about that?

On Friday I was up in time to walk the dog and then headed off for a massage appointment, ran some local errands and was on the road to the city before lunch. I stopped in Bridgewater to unsuccessfully look for M.O.B shoes but did find some for $10 which will do for work and checked out the Singer sewing machines at Wal-Mart with an eye to picking one up on the way home if the advertised sale at Zellers didn’t work out. Made my way to the craft store in time to pick up two flower girl baskets and some craft goodies for moi – a good thing I don’t live too close to craft stores me thinks. Headed on in to daughter #2s and we ordered a pizza for supper before starting out on our wedding errands. Our first stop was at Fabricville where we selected lovely (if temperamental) material for the flower girl dresses. Then we managed to sort out the wine for the wedding situation with a taste testing at the NSLC bottle-your-own station and the discovery that this is possible to do in a liquor store only an hour from home. Aha! The father of the bride will have that on his very short list. We made a stop at Chapters so the bride to be could pick up two story books en francais (the French version of Scaredy Squirrel) for one of the flower girls who had her birthday party Sunday. The Zellers stop was a complete waste of time and so we headed back to the apartment where I was disappointed to discover that I couldn’t connect to the internet with my netbook, this is highly likely due to the Bell turbo stick fiasco. This continues to haunt me even though I have discontinued the darned thing and wait in fear for the May 15th bill. A call to tech support enabled me to toss the software and now I’ll need to test drive a wireless connection somewhere. Sigh.

Saturday morning brought a run to the Famers Market before the crowds hit and I managed to score a wonderful warm apple waffle. Yum. Bought some gardeners soap (which is great for stinky lobster bait hands) and got free bath salts, turkey pepperoni and kielbasa and great garlic cheese. Found lots of great craft ideas as well, just have to source more time for that. After daughter # 2 left to tutor for the morning I cut out the two flower girl dresses and had one blocked out by the time she headed back for lunch. Then she and the fiancé headed out to babysit and move furniture respectively for a couple in the south end as I continued to toil in my sweatshop. By the time they made it back at almost 4 p.m. I had one dress completed for a fitting and we headed out to the great niece’s place for her to try it on. This one will fit her cousin better so I’ll make the next one a bit smaller for her. After a nice visit, I was on the road at 6 p.m. with a pit stop at the Wal-Mart to pick up the sewing machine I’d promised myself and was home by 9 p.m. I discovered that mister had developed a cold in my absence (likely from the prodigal son) and was considering his condition serious if not palliative. I advised he would be needing more than palliative care assistance if he passed his bugs along to me as I’m too busy to be sick right now.

Sunday was spent recovering beginning with sleeping in, puttering and getting ready for scrapbooking on the weekend. The theme is sweet 16 so we’re instructed to bring photos of us at age 16. The romp down memory lane was a fun diversion for the afternoon as I located and scanned a few (very few compared to today’s standards) shots from that era. Supper of pot roast, sewing a pair of vent covers for the boat on my geriatric sewing machine which made dying groanie noises thus vindicating my new purchase, and finding surfaces for the cleaning lady completed my day. Now as a co-worker asked “do you have sense enough to go to bed when you have to work in the morning?” and when I asked her why she inquired she said “because I don’t” so mine aren’t the only bleary eyes in the a.m. at least.

If I was really disciplined I’d have studied for my trauma course as the long weekend in May is quickly approaching or….retrieved my new sewing machine from the trunk of the car and played with it instead. Choices, choices. Instead I had a 3 hour nap which has set me up well for making it through this night. Later

Sunday, April 11, 2010


My first experience with being internetless which means that I am composing this posting to save to a flash drive and upload at work tomorrow. When I gave the required 30 day notice to Bell Canada which came due on April 9th it appears that terminating accounts (with memories of the dialup debacle and subsequent loss of email addresses and messages) must be the only efficiencies they are capable off. On Monday I shall bite the bullet and phone them to find out the final tally. As I requested to be paid out for an extra shift I might be flush enough to swing it this pay. The total damages are likely $600 for three months of substandard internet service which according to Bell is due to being in a low service area. I am still living in hope that Eastlink will be connecting in our area next month. No one can ever accuse me of being anything but an optimist!

It’s been busy at work with coworkers off ill and lots of angst so with my frantic schedule it all finally caught up with me. I slept all day yesterday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m, was conscious for about four hours and crawled back into bed about 8 p.m. The shore captain was surprised /concerned when he discovered me asleep at 8:45 p.m. but he would’ve been more alarmed this morning, had he been here, to find that I didn’t awake until 10 a.m. So after 20 hours of sleep in the past 24 I’m getting myself back up to speed and can contemplate a return to work tomorrow morning. I’ve had a call from a coworker up the road who I’ll pick up on the way so it’ll be nice to have company for the drive. Nice to only have one day shift and then two nights before some days off.

The full schedule did allow for some R&R though as I managed to fit in a trip to Lunenburg to visit with a former work colleague. I made my way down to the Lunenburg Inn after sleeping until afternoon. The setting and the service are impeccable. My friend had a beautiful room provided with twin beds and the breakfast (French toast, bacon and fresh fruit, warm blueberry bran muffin) was included so what’s not to like? We headed over to The Knot for a great pub supper and then spent the evening getting caught up on the news. When I woke up in the morning saying I’d had a good sleep and asking if I’d snored my hostess did admit I had but mostly (as she lives alone) that she was surprised to hear someone else in her room, let alone snoring during the night. That wouldn’t be a surprise to me! I stopped on the way home for a Frenchy’s shop in Bridgewater and scored all sorts of good finds – enough to fill a large recycling bag – before heading home to wash my stash. The dog was pleased to have someone to walk as the warm spring weather is continuing.

I have plans to head down to the city to make dresses for the flower girls on the next set of days off. The bride- to- be and myself will shop for fabric, then start the dresses to enable a fitting by the flower girls before I head home to finish them up. A pair of M.O.B shoes are on the agenda as well so I’ll be ticking items off my to-do list as well. The June date is fast approaching.
Must study more for my trauma course as the May date is fast approaching as well. At least it’s more interesting than the ACLS I did last fall which was all a variation on a theme. Counting up those education credit points.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring or early summer?

Time for an update as it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. It might be because it’s spring and the weather is beautiful and I’ve been using any excuse to get outside, it’s so nice to hang the laundry with the lobster boats purring in the background. As you can see here on the right. The croci are fading, the primroses are budding and the temperatures have been more like summer which are much enjoyed by the kitty boys in the veranda here on the right. This has of course meant the ticks are out – ick – I found one on the wall above the prodigal son’s pillow and one on the dog under her collar. And no she hasn’t developed her annual neuroses where she constantly checks herself for imaginary ticks, but it is time to invest in some tick medicine I think.

The only son has been lobstering this week, albeit alone which is not a popular situation in our house, although he has had transportation difficulties. Yesterday morning as I was up at 5:30 playing Easter bunny and getting ready to head in for a LD I came back in from feeding the dog to find the boy standing in the kitchen which caused me quite a start as I had thought I was on my own. I questioned where his truck was “it blew up last night and by the time we got it on the trailer and off at Curtis’ it was 11 o’clock so I just came home and went to bed”. When I asked how he expected to get to the wharf he said “I’m taking Dad’s truck and he can get a drive over to the plant (with the visiting sister he meant) if he needs to, I’m not sure how much of a rage he’ll be in but he’ll get over it by the time I get in”. Or as I thought to myself ‘before I get home from work’.

The second daughter was home for the weekend so was the chauffeur apparently. It is her birthday today and I am reminded of only being in the hospital for 8 minutes before she was born just 24 years ago, now that was efficient! She spent her weekend visiting and working on wedding details as she got the invitations and wedding website all put together. The visiting included Eastering at her grandmothers and a sunburn of all things in April and measuring the flower girls for their dresses which I’ll sew this month. So things are coming together and she didn’t notice I wasn’t around much. She's enjoying her practice teaching, looking forward to hearing David Suzuki speak at her graduation and hoping for a job offer.

Speaking of jobs...My work day yesterday was spent dealing with the silly season as a combination of sun and ETOH caused all kinds of interesting interactions. As my coworker said “I’m having a déjà vu moment - is this 2010 or 1982 all over again?” Well, it might be 1982 as I don’t have many kids waiting at home any more. We had a cute little fellow in who surprised us afterwards with a large collection of Subway sandwiches which we managed to share with the entire staff in a loaves and fishes kind of spirit.

I had a good phone chat with a colleague last evening who has worked ER for some years and during the discussion on my needing to get up to speed on my IV starts, she told me someone had advised that you have to “be at one with the IV” which is a good way of psyching yourself up. She also reassured me that a coworker of hers who could insert an IV in a rock had a struggle with the new cathlons so I felt much better with my re-entry. Guess I better get my act together and start studying for the TNCC (Trauma Nursing Core Competencies) course which I’ll be doing over the long weekend in May. I’m glad that someone else didn’t want to give up the holiday weekend so I get to partake.

Off to assist with the inhouse nursing activities. Later.