Monday, November 29, 2010

The oxen whisperer

Well, to begin...the explanation for the title. On Saturday morning my work partner and I were dropped off at the intersection of the 100 series highway and as we started (me) and scraped ice (she) my car, we heard ox bells.There were two not quite fully grown oxen making their way down over the hill towards the main road. So we hopped in the car and sped across the intersection to head them off. I deeply regret that I did not have my camera as my friend leaped out of the vehicle and pointed the ice scraper at the larger of the two oxen (and obvious ringleader) while I headed them off by pulling in front of them with the car and honking the horn. The less determined of pair headed off into the cemetery graveyard but the other fellow stood his ground. My friend was trying to remember the terminology for stop, having more livestock experience than myself but....the two of them were out for a romp so I'm not sure it would've mattered. I found one of the local residents and said "are those Ray's oxen?" but he replied "no, I've called Dale" and there he came at a breathless trot with a rope and a bucket of feed. Both oxen were wandering behind the cemetery fence as we headed home to our beds. 

After a short nap we headed out to Yarmouth on my mission. I was very excited to actually claim my rain check for the kitchen center. I managed to pick up all four things which the shore captain had cut out from their flyer as well (and I think that was a first as well) not to mention that my friend won two $5 gift certificates from Coles books so a very productive stop. Off to do some gift research for the offspring then back to Staples and WalMart. Picked up all sorts of sales and goodies and out to the car by 6 p.m. to find that we were in the middle of a hail/snow storm which preempted a trip to Frenchy's and made for a slower trip home as we were in and out of the inclement weather.  

Made it just in time to get supper on the table as the menfolk were keeping long hours with the last minute preparations. Part of the preparations were putting on the buoy catcher (or cage) on the fishing boat which left on Sunday. A buoy catcher is needed during lobster season so that rope from the traps doesn't get tangled in the prop as they steam by. This necessitated crawling around on the slip wearing chest waders and apparently the shore captain took a tumble, flapping around for a while before righting himself. But the major problem of the exercise was finding the bolts and nuts to apply the cage with. Did the prodigal son know where they were? How about the Captain who takes the fishing boat? Nope. A search of vehicles and storage areas was futile. So, the shore captain takes a run to the hardware store to pick up some more. When the tide goes out, leaving the stern exposed and they prepare to put the cage on.....there are the bolts with the nuts threaded on according to the boy. 

At home the shore captain and prodigal son were having a 'discussion' and when I checked to see if there were any casualties the boy says "can you imagine, the hired man talking back to me like that!" which caused me to point out that his father wasn't even the hired man, he was the third man or 'nubbins' in local slang. When I asked his father how things were going he said "fine if I don't try to tell him anything" so I suggested that he should start doing just that! I am planning to apply for a position as UN peacekeeper when lobstering is over! The best part was the shore captain making comments that things were left until the last minute. And no, he wasn't struck by lightning but I did point out to Mr. Last Minute that he wasn't short on gall. The lad said "he thinks I can't do it" and I told him the problem is that his father is afraid that he can and is working himself out of a job as he has 'letting go' issues. 

I am sure there is a message for both of them in the quote of the day 
"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." Buddhist proverb

Sunday was spent in pursuit of education as I did a Red Cross Level 1 Disaster Course. Something to add to the resume for international missions and certainly interesting for doing community support for fires etc. Lots of good eats and friendly company.

Very pleased with the kitchen center as I've tried chocolate chip cookies and bran muffins with great success, the biscuits were too dense but I continue to experiment. Makes life a LOT easier with the cookie dough especially. 

Today was the first day of the lobster season as the fleet headed out to set traps.  After self medicating with gravol, pacing for a bit, jumping out of bed several times before 9 p.m. complaining that he was NOT going to be able to sleep...the shore captain slept like a log and he and the boy Capt. headed over by 5:30 a.m. to get ready for the big day. I called to see when they'd be in for the second load of traps and headed over at 10 to get some photos. Apparently the only problem of the morning had been miscounting of buoys so a couple of traps had to do a return trip but nothing major. It was cool, they were a bit later than anticipated and I stepped in salt bait with my better sneakers so they have to be washed but other than that not a problem.
leaving with the 2nd load of traps
FV Kylie Ann headed in for 2nd load
Captain, hired man and nubbins loading traps
When I got home and started my domestic chores of making brown bread and cookies for lobster lunches, harvest soup (yummy with pork, squash, apples, carrots and potatoes) and herb bread and doing some laundry. I checked the mailbox and finding a bill from Bell Mobility I called their toll free number because...I don't have a cell phone with a monthly bill. When I reached 'David' we discussed that I have a cell I add time to with a card and the turbostick was canceled in the spring. It turns out that the $60.25 I 'thought' I paid the house phone bill last month through my online banking was applied to my defunct account. David assured me that I would be refunded the money in......74 days! When I questioned that length of time he advised this was because my account was inactive. I said "nothing personal David but you must be really proud to say you work for Aliant Mobility when such a large corporation does crappy things like keep my money for two and a half months after a simple error!" So I await my refund cheque which will arrive in the winter, must actually pay my land line phone now and will most certainly remove the turbostick account from the list of online banking payees. 

The menfolk did not have a lot of awake time after arriving home, eating supper, showering and falling into bed. They'll be up at 2 a.m. to head out to haul traps as they are able to haul them one minute after midnight. Another long day tomorrow for them. Hopefully the nubbins holds up as the boy Captain is concerned that he has to take someone of such an age who gets so many cell phone calls. Hard to get good help I told him. 

If you're looking to check out what's happening in the world, here are some stats: 

Should you be looking to start a cruise in Fort Lauderdale (sigh) or just travel there I offer the following article: 

And since it is getting that time of year for advent calendars and of course in this household 'the bear finding Christmas wall hanging' I include this link to some directions for a cute advent hanging:  

I'm off to town tomorrow for a massage appointment, grocery shop and a go at Frenchy's. Life is good. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cheesecake and Parrot Security Screening

In the middle of two LNs. Took half a cheesecake to share last night. I tried the recipe from the Kraft - Whats Cooking magazine that arrived. And yes I did use light cream cheese. It's yummy and easy as far as cheesecakes go:

I'm also anticipating that I'll be able to make lots of cheesecake with the Merry Christmas to me present I'm picking up on Saturday. I got a call from Canadian Tire that the rain check for the KitchenAid Professional Stand Mixer is in.

I have coveted this for some time and when it went on sale last week sent the shore captain in search of it while he was shopping for a compressor . He came home instead with the rain check. I'm amazed as I've NEVER had a rain check promise fulfilled at Canadian Tire in my life. So, should the LNs and our families be good to us a friend and I will head up on Saturday when we arise and pick up some goodies (hopefully) out of this weeks flyer.

This is of course one of the busiest times of the year as our area readies for lobstering. Here's a link to a local blog with a couple of videos for those who haven't witnessed the frantic:

The western daughter called with greetings of the lobster season and shared that Calgary was out of the deep freeze as it had been in the - 40s last week brrr and was the second coldest place on the planet after Antarctica and that was only by 5 degrees warmer! So 3 c and sunny was positively balmy to her.

In these hectic times a little levity is required. The parrot security screening story is one which I can't take credit for but was related to me by the shore captain's secretary who had not been having a really rough week with family illness (her father with a high risk history out west having major surgery so she and her son had visited for 10 days) and death (mother-in-law passing away at the local nursing home the day after she returned) and was quite giddy when she told it.

Apparently her son had purchased a parrot while in Calgary. Enough said. He was flying Air Canada (they do not allow parrots to fly with them so remember this should it happen to you) and she was flying West Jet (who do, so remember that as well) and brought the parrot to Nova Scotia for her only son. It did appear to me that she was not a big fan of parrots to begin with and less so after the following experience. He purchased a carrier - not clear if it was a parrot carrier or simply generic - but at any rate this carrier had to scanned through (as we and all our stuff has to be) at the airport security. As she stood in the security line she was told that the parrot had to be taken out of the carrier and the container scanned. One of the security personnel apparently had worked in a pet store previously and advised she should ask for a separate room to take the parrot out in . The secretary did and said (disgustedly and you'd have to understand what an absolute clean freak she is to really appreciate this part) "it was probably the room they use for strip searches, ick" and it seemed this was the worst part for her. It did make sense when you visualize the parrot up very high in the ceiling of the terminal if not. The parrot apparently didn't appreciate the security screening any more than humans do and protested loudly, got caught in the female security person's hair and more. Back in the carrier, on to the plane and home to Halifax. The secretary said that they called as the son (and parrot) headed home to Fredericton and the response was "the bird threw up" so he must have had motion sickness. She spent the drive home worrying about if he was concentrating on driving, had put the vehicle off as he was distracted etc. Arriving home she waited for a phone call or message and finally checked email finding a message that said 'the bird and I are beat, night' so could finally relax. I was hysterical as I listened to her tale, sounded like something I'd get caught up in.

Okay, enough to pick up my partner in crime for the night. Hasta

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

You call that tech support?

Survived my days off even though they included a trip to the city. Managed to catch a few z z z s after a night shift and then on the drive down play secretary for some government applications. Arrived in time for the shore captain to catch the bureaucrats then a parking lot meeting with the hunting buddy to drop off fish, another drop off to the son-in-law as the teacher daughter was working late on report cards and then grabbed supper at Aroma Cafe Latino and pretended we were in Central America not frigid Nova Scotia for a few moments. Headed down to watch the Mooseheads (play and actually win) while we visited a bit with the daughter and son-in-law in the stands.

Saturday brought a trip to the Seaport Farmers Market, Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council Christmas Market and a stop at the Brewery Farmers Market. This meant yummy treats in the form of a pastries, sausage roll, mango lassi and more. I picked up a beautiful blown glass hummingbird for a co-worker who provided great support during some recent professional issues and a cute cedar 'fish' for my closet. So a great wander to get into the holiday spirit. Took in a second Mooseheads game on Saturday and headed out to Q for supper. It was a great, reasonably priced, casual meal as always:

Aside from a 1:06 a.m. ? prank call to the shore captain's cell phone a very restful weekend. Sunday morning was breakfast at Cora's and then home. Had a nice visit with the baby daughter who had requested "if I don't take anything can I stay here?" for the weekend. This of course as a follow up to the shore captain having purchased one pillow as she had scoffed a pair of pillows I used for the guest bed from the hall closet. It turns out that he'd only bought one because....he says "you don't want to know how much this cost" and when I DID ask he answers "$36" so that was the obvious cause for the solo purchase - he didn't have $72 on him. Had a nice supper before the daughter headed back at 6 p.m. Fredericton bound after her brother put air in her flattish tire and a call looking for her debit card which apparently must be in her car somewhere. 

By the time the alarm clock rang at 5:20 a.m. on Monday I had not fully recovered from all my shenanigans of the weekend, especially as my shift had been moved back a day but what can you do? Headed out to work a LD and hitched a ride from the 103 meeting spot. It was in actual terms a manageable day - one of the very few we've had in months - so although it was steady we were able to feel as if we were keeping up at least. Lots of domestic duties on the home front and an early night for another LD.

Tuesday was not to be the gift of the day before. By 1 p.m. my co-worker said "that's it! today we ARE getting lunch!" and calls to the inpatient floor for an RN to come relief us for the meal break. By 2 p.m. the relief nurse had been there an hour and none of us have had lunch when the phone rang....Nurse manager for me - "can you go home right now and come back for a 12 hr. night shift as someone called in sick for tonight and I've called everyone?" After explaining that I picked up my co-worker a few km. up the road and we traveled together, thus making her an orphan, a quick check of the time sheet found her a ride home at 7 p.m.and I headed out. When someone commented that I was quick to accept the offer I said "I will eat a late lunch at home, nights have got to be better than this and I will escape the male drama at home, it will be double time for tonight so I'm not heartbroken and I'm outta here".

The three hours at home were spent observing the prodigal son dealing with the justice system to have a year and a half old motor vehicle ticket settled. Since this would involve sitting in court all afternoon tomorrow and ticking off one of the local RCMP officers who mangled the ticket (and yes he would be right but at what cost?) My advice was accept the fact that he will pay $600 more for his insurance due to a ticket he didn't actually get - no seat belt vs no rear tail light - and move on. He was not pleased with my counseling.

As I attempted to get online following the legal interventions I discovered that I couldn't get connected. After trying all the unplugging, replugging, rebooting that I could think off I finally broke down and called an Eastlink tech (where I learned that it was snowing in PEI) and was referred to Cisco (Linksys) my router company. After a very lengthy discussion with a tech whose first language was not English - mind you I don't speak Hindi - he has me plugging in the LAN cable to my laptop, tells me it's only the wi-fi that's a problem and he can assist me with that but .... they only provide free tech support for the first year of the router. I assure him the router is only a few months old as we've only had high-speed internet since June but....when I search out the receipt as he directs I discover that it was in fact purchased (by my niece's husband who was setting up the computer system for me) in September 2009 as that was when the wireless internet was promised but not delivered so in reality it was only used for a few months. He checks with his supervisor and advises that I can have tech support for the low cost of $29.95 - on a $65 router! I tell him that he can put the router where the sun doesn't shine and that I will make sure no one I know ever purchases a router from Cisco! I call the local computer shop where the tech is out on a call but the phone answerer thinks he has a router, I should call back in the morning. I attempt for hours to call The Source where there is no answer. So I give up, do two loads of laundry, a load of dishes, pick up stuff to make surfaces for the cleaning lady to clean in the morning, make a loaf of brown bread and serve up leftovers for supper and head out to work.

The night as you can imagine was....l-o-n-g... due to the sleep deprivation and switched shifts. I did survive it and was pleased to find that I'd lucked into a birthday party celebration for one of the RNs. However eating the amount of food we did at 3 a.m. as we were busy until then was NOT a good idea. I made it home this morning and crashed into bed. I awoke two hours later to the smell of....Mr. Clean. It took a few moments to realize that the cleaning lady was in house and cleaning very quietly in the kitchen. I stumbled up to allow her access to the sleeping quarters and checked the computer. You guessed problem getting online. So much for expert tech advice! Before long a recently widowed neighbour who I've been assisting with some paperwork called and then arrived for another interaction with the bureaucrats session. After a lengthy phone conversation with a civil servant who was actually quite helpful we discovered (three months since her husband's death) that you have to change your marital status with the Canadian government to widowed before anything can move forward. Now I must be missing something but a death certificate doesn't do this? The official word is "no, as you might not have been legally married but just calling him your husband" Hmmmm, not something that I'd be doing in my world.

So as I try to divert myself from all the last minute lobster season preparations I  make it a habit to pick up some links to include in my postings and here is one from a friend of daughter # 1

Also a link from a great writer, teacher and mentor who has recently begun blogging:

And how could a looking forward to retirement  blog not mention around the world trip planning:

Must go as the couch is calling my name for an afternoon siesta.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Crazy on You

Today I feel like Curious George - you remember that little monkey? - unfortunately George fell out of an airplane, fortunately he had a parachute, unfortunately it didn't open, fortunately he landed in a haystack, unfortunately there was a pitchfork. You get my drift eh?

To (or rather tonight) is the shift I scored off - rather a fluke as I have only two other RNs under me on the seniority list but I'll take it. This means I don't have to head back to work until tomorrow evening which is a very good thing after the last two frantic day shifts! And to top it all off, instead of staying at camp for a couple of days after all the kerfuffle to get out of the house on Sunday morning when I came home from work on Monday evening after a very full day I was met by the shore captain, prodigal son and house guest who were in the process of cooking up a man meal - strip loin steaks marinated and ready to BBQ as they trailed the dish across the hall, perogies baking and all of them underfoot. The house guest stayed over to go duck hunting and got caught in a rain squall and left, the others headed off  to gainful employment so Tuesday evening was a more routine return to home experience.

There are plans for a trek to the city this weekend however and I discovered that the shore captain had gotten tickets to both the Friday night and Saturday afternoon Moosehead hockey games so that's a good plan. He apparently has some kind of a meeting Friday in the city and I opened the mail today to find that I'd won (courtesy of answering a question on a poll of the WFNS regarding the Giller winner, Gaspereau press and limited publishing run or e-book) a weekend pass to the NSDCC Christmas sale:

So I shall be able to amuse myself while he meets with a government agency and give the pass to the city daughter for the weekend. May be able to pick up some Christmas gift ideas or at least some holiday spirit as it's been too mild to be thinking of Santa yet.

The man incidentally got tickets for February 3rd to see Heart at the Metro Center and I have to say that Nancy and Ann Wilson have always been his other women, the kids grew up listening to tapes/CDs of these chicks - they have sold over 35 million albums over the years so what can we do? As the only son says about What About Love (which I offer you the YouTube link to here in the 1990 live big hair version:
"that's another great song to come on the radio when you're out there fishing, gets you pumped right up - we sing to it!" I can't imagine what Crazy on You would do to them. It sure describes my day though.

This morning I was awoken by a phone call from the shore captain who was in full panic mode at the plant as he was attempting to complete the documentation for shipping fish, the tractor trailer was to arrive in about an hour and he couldn't get the forms he'd completed to print. His secretary is in Calgary as her father has had part of his liver removed, has a bad heart etc. but is actually making a slow recovery. I talked him through turning off the printer, shutting down the computer and letting it print. A short lecture on NOT hitting print many, many times when it doesn't print the first time I am sure fell on deaf ears.

Turn on that fireplace!
Back problem what problem?

As I puttered about the house getting breakfast and picking up a bit, thinking this is a good day to spend in the pjs with the animals inside.Well, the animals agreed anyway as you can see here.

I heard the dog bell and found one of the local fishermen standing on my back doorstep. The same one who had called about bait (actually one of many who had) while the bait provider was at camp asking if the shore captain was home. They of the much free time and only thing on their minds. Since it was 9 a.m. and the shore captain is legendary in his work hours ex. 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. many days I said "Is he home? Have you been drinking? When have you ever seen him home at this hour of the day?" He protested that he was sober but needed to know about bait. "Right now?" So I moved to the phone dialed the shore captain said "someone here wants to talk to you" and handed the phone to the visitor. He has his chat, thanks me and leaves. Not 10 minutes later he is in the yard again so this time I head him off in the doorway and he tells me he has been to visit his captain and I must take a message. I wait with pen and paper poised and he says "1000 lbs of mackerel and 1000 lbs of herring" which I promptly record, wait and then realize this is the entire message. I think of my last two days with absolutely insane 12 hr. shifts in the Emergency Department of life threatening illness, great small p political upheaval and general angst and manage not to smile, musing to myself 'I guess I can handle that'. When he is on the fifth admonition of "make sure you give him that message" I point at the door and say "NO PROBLEM" and look pointedly at his truck. Even he gets the message and exits.

The phone rings about another 10 minutes on and it's the shore captain AGAIN with the printer problem returned. He is extremely frustrated, + + stressed and has completely lost his problem solving skills. I offer to head over and do a crisis management plant visit but no....I have to spend 10 minutes trying to talk him through some solutions. Imagine trying to describe to someone in grade primary how to do cardiovascular surgery and you'll have no inkling of how successful THAT was. I finally insist I am heading over and make the 20 minute trip to assist. It was a fairly simple fix, although dealing with the shore captain was another matter. There was complete pandemonium until I said "this is like work but everyone here is breathing and YOU are breathing too fast" so he calmed himself a bit. The truck arrived was packed and left with proper documentation, staff were directed, garbage was picked up, nobody died. I did discover at one point that I was still in my pajamas and fastened my jacket up. I stayed for over an hour - screened calls, took messages, took one phone out of his hand when he was on another one, sorted out some of the paperwork, saved the files to the secretary's computer in case this should ever occur again, wrote the directions out on paper and put them under his desk blotter, picked up some of the mugs, dishes etc and brought them home to wash and exited without looking back!

I arrived home to find the back door open in the mudroom as the wind must've blown it when the early morning visitor didn't latch it when he left. I noticed the dog was lying in the doorway to the mudroom and did a quick feline headcount - no one absent. Whew! The prodigal son told me that when he was attempting to have Gary come inside the other day that Keely flushed him out of a tuft of grass and herded him in to the house. Today she was apparently doing security duty. Earns her keep. No more back spasms but one of the physicians at work told me that she has 'oil which cured her dachie' as she raises dachshunds who are known for having problems with their long backs. Not sure if you use the oil internally or externally but I shall find out if the problem recurs.

Spent the afternoon catching up on stuff about the house, phone messages, making appointments and now I've had a call from the shore captain (yes I was brave enough to answer when his number appeared) who is on his way home for supper. 

Am posting two blog links here for you to enjoy should you find yourself looking at running away - it is never far from my thoughts here:

Tomorrow will be a new day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fur Daughter Recovery

On Friday afternoon as I was getting ready to have the dog take me for a walk there was a change of plans. When she got up from her nap beside me at the computer she was having difficulty standing up as her hind legs weren't working right and she was walking to one side. She didn't appear to have any pain but a very confused look on her face and readjusted her stance wider as if she was walking on ice. I took her outside to see if her leg was just asleep and she fell down repeatedly. Almost brought tears to my eyes. Her back, hip and legs seemed in alignment and there were no tender spots though so I was thinking in terms of a CVA (cerebral vascular accident or stroke) or TIA (transient ischemic attack or mini stroke). I called the vet who was booked for the rest of the day but was given an appointment for the next morning. The receptionist was very kind but said "well, she is an old dog if she's 10" and I took exception to that as she is still very puppy-like. I went for a solo walk which just felt lonely and had myself psyched up for all kinds of bad decisions as fur children are part of the family. Within two hours however the symptoms had completely subsided and she was her usual self without the bemused look. She did get to spend the night (even though it wasn't inclement) in the mudroom though. The morning was a very tense trip (as she has panic attacks in a vehicle) to the vet who checked her very thoroughly and diagnosed a bone/soft tissue misalignment similar to a slipped disc in humans. If it reoccurs and doesn't settle spontaneously she'll prescribe prednisone (popular Rx for critters) but it may never happen again. So the transport was more stressful than the news.

After that intense news here is a great link for a smile - also known as 'fractured English'. I shouldn't be too smug though as I don't have a great command of Mandarin myself:

Speaking of world travels, this weekend in the travel section of the newspaper I found an article by Nicholas Rapp. He is traveling around the world having made the trip from New York to Buenos Aires putting his Land Cruiser on a boat to South Africa, flying across to pick it up and now making his way north headed for the Middle East. Here is the link to his blog:

As well as adventuring vicariously through him, you can also donate $ for gas through PayPal to assist with his trip. My favorite quote of the paper article was in reference to what kind of gun did he carry? "well, I have no gun. I keep pepper spray handy, but running away when I need to is still my best plan" which surely translates no matter which country you find yourself in eh?

The men in my life are having travel adventures today as well, not necessarily as exotic as Asia or Africa or even that unusual in this household but....

I was awoken at 8 a.m. - on a Sunday which happens to be my day off - to the sounds of two middle aged men sounding like two kids getting ready to go outdoors and play. Which they were as they readied themselves for the trek (hopefully) in to camp. Due to the extreme flooding and road closures they had been unable to access the recreation property and I have spent my four of my five days off providing B&B services. This morning the road closure sign had been removed as apparently the bridges had been inspected and cleared and they were in high spirits. The prep required several calls to the prodigal son who hadn't found his way home last night but apparently was on his way to the shore from 'wherever' to work on lobster gear. There were accusations of missing ramps to load the 4wheeler and gas cans, wet clothing and towels found in the buddy seat from the son's trip in to camp in October while we vacationed western parts and several calls to the accused. The preparations took over an hour, a good lot of the groceries and baking from here, made lots of mess with the mud and sticks tracked in on the boots and lots of reminding required from moi "do you have newspaper to start a fire etc?". I was pretty excited myself to see the back of them but I was more into making sure if they were able to access the camp, they didn't forget anything essential and actually stayed there until Tuesday as planned. I handed over the waterproof camera for documentation of the flooding, wished them well and smiled as I watched the truck, two 4wheelers and camo clad lads exiting the driveway in the sunshine.The plan is that they'll either be back within a few hours or not home for two days. Fingers crossed, fingers crossed.

A few moments later as I was enjoying a cup of tea and the newspaper,  the phone rang. It was the only son asking for the plant employee's phone number as he had run out of gas just past this fellow's house on the way home. Why he hadn't chosen to get gas last night on his way to 'wherever' is a mystery. Thankfully he was rescued on his way shortly, not requiring a maternal pickup this time. Ahhh.

Well since my walking partner is up to speed having been taken on a test run yesterday we should be off. I find it hard to concentrate while those sad brown eyes are staring at me and the large sighs are issuing beside me.

Back to work tomorrow for two LDs but I won the lottery when the ward clerk phoned yesterday to ask if I'd like to have Wednesday night off as there were too many staff. This is not a question usually asked of me as I am only third from the bottom of the seniority list and the time off question is seniority list down but...the most senior staff asked declined and the other was actually a newer hire. Of course I'd rather have a day shift than a night off but....beggars cannot be choosers and I'll take having the time versus being paid out. Here's a link which I've copied from Facebook so I hope it works which captures a bit of the nursey stuff:

Not sure if you have to be on Facebook to access it or not.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wash it for luck

So....the question begs to be asked "if you wash a rabbit's it still lucky?" And for those animal activists out there I am sorry but rural folks snare and eat rabbits and occasionally give a dry rabbit foot to the cats to play with. Excuse us for our redneck ways but Klyde (our Himalayan of the previous bad haircut) is particularly fond of a rabbit foot. He carries it around, plays soccer with it and loses it under the furniture so the cleaning lady finds it for him when she visits (which she did yesterday) and just generally enjoys it. This morning when I dumped the load of wet laundry into the basket to take to the line a very clean and damp rabbit foot fell out. Hmmm, not lucky for the rabbit but does it remove the good luck charm...

Main road to the camp
I am on the second of my five days off and very pleased to find the sun shining this morning as we have been the target of major precipitation and flooding in this end of the province. The water levels in the local rivers have caused evacuations and taken out bridges, making us glad we leave on the coast. The plan for the shore captain and his hunting buddy was to head to camp but with the state of emergency, roads closed as you can see here on the left and major flooding in that area it remains unclear as to whether that will take place. At any rate the buddy "needs to get away" so has arrived until Monday and I am doing a great job as innkeeper apparently as he has settled in nicely. 

Yesterday after two hours of sleep following a night shift due to the cleaning lady only being able to come Wednesday morning, making brown bread, a run to get $350 worth of groceries in the rain, baking brownies, putting away the trunk load of groceries, cooking supper and attempting to change the spare bed...I hit the wall when I realized that the 'guest pillows' were missing. The ones which are stored in the hall closet and thus not subjected to cats butts or other indignities and saved for visitors. The only plausible explanation is a shopping expedition by a non resident offspring perhaps on the last unsupervised visit? After a frantic search I phoned the shore captain (as it was after all his friend coming to stay and play) to pick up a pair of pillows (I shuddered to think of the cost) as he was getting his truck repaired in the local village. He arrives and I check the bag on the table to find.....ONE PILLOW!! Now I ask you - who would buy one pillow for a double bed???? The answer is apparently a man who has one friend coming to visit. My next project will be to match it. And yes, I admit that in my sleep deprived state I lost it and yelled and had to deal with the hurt look on his face! I think if I had used a weapon that a female judge would have understood.

Delivery to Iqaluit
Iqaluit November 2010
When the friend arrived last evening to catch up on the news with the shore captain I absented myself to check email and chatted online with a former coworker who has headed to Iqaluit and is currently undergoing northern cultural immersion. He has posted some great photos which I have borrowed from Facebook that remind me of my time in Labrador three decades ago. Apparently it was - 7 c and snowing last night, he'd just enjoyed wings at the Legion and was planning a hike today with the camera. I mentioned that the last two months of the Canadian Nurse journal had advertisements for RNs to work for Princess Cruises and he noted that 'the ads made him think of me'. In this spirit I offer the following link to life at sea:

And if you're simply thinking of travel and not work a couple of neat links from my surfing of a few days ago:

Today as I was starting out with the fur daughter for a walk my friend pulled up as she had been out for a drive/walk/photo shoot and I convinced her that she could walk again with us. So we had a breezy but sunny trot and yak with a very frisky dog as she hadn't been on the leash since Wednesday due to the monsoons. We checked on the summer neighbours places which were both fine and so they should be as they've survived for many years and many rains. The solar gain from the windows, mild temperatures outside and infloor heating on have required the opening of the garden door to the veranda much to the delight of the felines this afternoon. Speaking of gardens here is a link to the friend of a friend's blog:

Well, enough catching up, it is time to unwind the clothes from the line and bring them in before I begin supper preparations for one shore captain who will obviously be home at a reasonable time as he has a guest to entertain, one house guest when he returns from a walk in the woods, and hopefully one wannabe captain who has finally finished painting the last of 500 lobster buoys and is off to transport some traps.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Burning bushes, oat biscuits and Kindle

 Quote of the day: All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on - Henry Ellis.

I finished up my shifts yesterday morning and the final night shift was a doozy by anyone's measurement. Ended up with my coworker spending an hour in the boss's office discussing a previous situation and then some more phone calls when I made it home. Sigh. Did get about three hours of broken sleep.

Had a great chat with the western daughter after I was somewhat awake and got caught up on her news. She has been accepted for her full time business studies beginning in January. No surprise there as she is a good catch as a student. Got a few (non technical) chores done, supper on the table and headed out to scrapbooking which was a great way to spend the evening. I am beginning to conquer the 2008 Maritimes/New England cruise album but there is a ways to go. Speaking of travel here are a few links I found surfing on Twitter:

Today was spent putzing around this place doing three loads of laundry, making a stew and some great oat biscuits to got with it from the Sobey's Inspired food magazine, here's the link:

Isn't the burning bush getting big?
The courier arrived at noon time with my white Birkenstocks duty shoes and they are great. I wasn't expecting the $46.24 customs bill either but the total is still $20 bucks cheaper than the city and exactly what I wanted. The driver left our backdoor open while I wrote the cheque and electronically signed the invoice and....Mr. Gary streaked out through the opening and into the woods. His belly betrayed him though and after a very brief game of hide and seek he returned for the kitty treats. Managed to take the dog for a walk after that and yes it is getting cooler but still beautiful. My burning bush on the left to prove it.

After the menfolk were fed and disappeared to snoreland this evening I was checking emails and found that the latest Kathy Reichs novel (Virals) is available on Kobo. A quick check confirmed it was also on Kindle so I almost put my knee out retrieving my e-book reader to download it wirelessly. Amazon makes it way too easy and it's certainly not a problem to rationalize that "it's only $9 for something that would be a $40 hardcover book" when you're pressing the BUY button. This is in no way a complaint, just a statement.

We were discussing Samaritan's Purse at scrapbooking last night as several of the scrappers are involved in packing boxes. Here is the link to the program:

The lady who hosts the scrapbooking has done a Samaritan's Purse mission to Nicaragua and she said "it's hard to pack a shoebox thinking of children from here and what they have, I remember the kids in Nicaragua would line up for a sticker - a sticker, imagine!!" Instead of throwing the shoebox in the recycling today I decided that would be on to-do list when I head out for my dental appointment tomorrow morning

Oh and before I forget, I'm adding the links for the photography teacher who is a great resource. She keeps a blog as well so even if you aren't local you can benefit: