Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Time to go back to work already?

Well, this has been another of those 'very short set of days off' again as tomorrow I head back for a 12 hour day shift. This reality is tempered by the excitement that I'm going to Moncton on the weekend to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band with Tom Cochrane/Red Rider and The Trews opening for them. And it's actually turned into a Thelma & Louise kind of trip as the shore captain has three boats to be unloaded Sunday morning and four on Monday morning because they are all heading out the next few days after a week of full tides. The tickets were purchased on his credit card, are non refundable, I have a shift off work and there is no way that I am missing this event. The plans include a nap for me on Saturday morning after working nights on Friday while the travel partner teaches her exercise class, runs errands and we're off. We are organizing to stay over at the teacher daughter's place as a stop along the way and head up to NB Sunday morning. It'll be a long run back in the middle of the night to make the Monday morning routine but I am positive (if previous concert history is any indication) that it will be worth it. 

There was a bit of excitement for the boy captain on Sunday as he attended his first car rally in a couple of years with the prompting of his main squeeze. Her father was involved in a significant rollover of several times forward and once sideways with the rally car and although not seriously injured, there were some tense moments for the family. Within two runs the fiancé of the lad's girlfriend asks mister to accompany him in the race as his partner (after witnessing the crash) has opted out. "Of course" is the expected answer from such an adrenaline junkie as this. What would you expect from someone who learned to ride their bike at an early age by pedalling as fast as he could to stay upright until he ran into a tree? He is, as I type, raking irish moss and staying overnight in a low rent motel about 90 minutes from here. Discussion of the graduation for the girlfriend and if he had a pair of dress pants elicited quite a face. Sigh.

The days off were busy as we had our western guests for a return visit and invited friends so eight of us for supper. The life partner grilled scallops and steak on the BBQ and we had several salads and brown bread, then chocolate cake with cream cheese chocolate icing and blueberry pie with ice cream. I am still full today. Mind you, I'm a bit off my feed today as one of the guests made some pretty mean margaritas with the Don Juan tequila I brought back from Mexico a couple of years ago. They taste even better mixed in a gravy boat if you don't have a shaker. But they don't sit well on top of the aforementioned menu. I did manage to see the guests off, do three loads of laundry, catch some rays, read the paper and walk the dog and am finally back to myself this evening. 

Had an online chat with the western daughter today as she was being driven out to the industrial work site. She's enjoying her new position as the money is better, safety is more of a priority, she's only a few shifts away from being paid as a second year electrical apprentice and she's learning lots. Although she assures me that she's strong, she's still pretty feminine and attractive to work in such rugged conditions. This is a good position until at least going back to school in the winter for advancement. Also had an online chat with the teacher daughter who is looking forward to a new school year with grade six french immersion. The relaxed days of summer will morph into a very different schedule in a few weeks. As well, I had a phone call from the nursing student daughter who will be starting her final year of studies shortly as well. But not before she and the boyfriend head off to....Iceland for about 10 days. They've rented a camper after finding a great sale on airfare and are all set to go. Isn't that what starving students do?

Well, time to pack the lunch for tomorrow. Hard to find a lunch kit big enough to hold 12 hrs worth of food but then again it requires getting time to actually eat it doesn't it?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Do not poke the bear

Another Sunday off - what's up with that anyway?  Well, it comes with working your way through the schedule and thus through those weekends. And I will actually have only three shifts to work Wed, Thurs and Friday as we're off to the Bruce Springsteen concert on the weekend.

I am not feeling even a teeny bit guilty about being on days off as the week was a very long one. Did a 12 hr day shift on Monday and those are always hectic to begin with, plus I was trying to help a 'new' older staff member who had worked with us 18 years ago.  Add in some juggling of new uniform try ons - it was really hot and sticky and I thought I'd have to call for a surgical consult to get out of a couple of them which were just too tight across the shoulders, not to mention the clerk couldn't add and called me back to add on to my bill as of course I'd shopped over the voucher amount and had to cover that myself, but I did get a nice pair of black Alegria shoes which are great. Then in addition to all the other confusion I had a union teleconference meeting on the phone for over an hour. I did the Neonatal Resuscitation Course on Tuesday and home to wait for overnight guests. Wednesday I dealt with plumbing issues as our houseguest attempted to help me solve the flood in the mud room. We googled the condensation/leak problem and he decided it was likely the check valve in the water tank. They headed off to visit and I did a LN on Wednesday. On Thursday afternoon when I got up the shore captain said "the plumber's been here and changed the tank" to which I replied "how do you know that?" The answer was "here's the bill and there's a new water tank in place." He sure worked quietly but he likely thought he had to as the note in black magic marker capitals on blue paper posted on sleep days on both doors warns QUIET PLEASE! SLEEPING UNTIL 4 PM. Mind you, his wife is a nurse as well so he's surely been educated about not poking bears like shift workers. Thursday LN was busy but it was just a rehearsal for Friday which was a circus! I finally sat down at 5 a.m. for a cup of tea after having seen every RCMP officer in the county working that night as well as EHS crews from several areas. Oh the drama!

This has been a weekend for weddings with two of my younger nurse coworkers getting married as well as the daughter of the western friends, which is the reason they traveled back for the vacation. The rain held off for a bit and all the Facebook photos of all were beautiful.

Had a nice surprise yesterday when the only son dropped in to introduce the hairdresser student girlfriend he's been seeing since the spring. They were heading out for a rally and although she's petite and feminine, she was apparently driving one of the rally vehicles. I'm thinking she considers mister a fixer upper project as she was attempting to organize him with his wardrobe and hygiene products - she even had a list. Oh to be so young and naive again. Was surprised to find she had a rather mainstream haircut with only a red streak, not much experimenting going on there as is often the case with such students. She was really pleased to be finishing her studies shortly and on to making some money as she's got a spot set up in her mother's spa and we both agreed that working fast food as she had done during high school was good for making you want to get an education and NOT work fast food all your life. Told her that the lad's sisters had discovered that very fact themselves.

Have had a few brief chats with the electrician daughter and all is going well in the new job. In fact, she hasn't had a day off since starting last Saturday. Busy, but learning lots, being treated okay and making good money - what's not to like about that eh? Looking forward to a few days off after the 26th. Making the move to new digs so that will take some of the time but sounds like a nice quiet area and a townhouse so moving on up.

We were out for the evening last night to visit with friends as a local couple they know was heading back Stateside. It seemed like they hadn't been here long and in fact hadn't as they'd returned once to New York, stopped in Boston to visit her mother then off to Scotland to visit his family and a four day excursion to Iceland. Ahhh. The shore captain was quite the party animal and as the sober driver I finally put my foot down after midnight and took him home. Needless to say he's back to his 8:30 pm bedtime tonight. Got to get rested up for supper tomorrow with our prairie friends and some locals. I have the desserts done already and just have to hide them from late night boy captain raids. Time to sign off as the 22 lb. cat has just taken over my chair when I got up for a cup of tea. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The shore captain is keeping early mornings (and thus off to la la land by 9 pm) all this week (well, most weeks who I am kidding?) as he has boats coming and going. The lad is off to see his girlfriend this weekend and left in a cloud of expensive cologne on Friday pm. So, it's just me and the animals enjoying the beach house. Off to pick up a few groceries shortly but first to update you. 

Looking at return to work tomorrow although I can't say I'm feeling as if I've had my usual days off.  After spending most of the afternoon of my 'in between days and night shift' on the phone for meetings,  a good chunk of that night shift doing the nine online NRP pretests which we have to pass to do the course on Tuesday and then answering the phone for a call back ambulance run the next evening. It wasn't the overtime which attracted me but it has been a while since I climbed in the back of an EHS rig so just wanted to see if this old gal could still swing it. An interesting ride to say the least, one of those situations where you say "well it seemed like a good idea at the time" kind of like labour. After a 45 minute wait for a cab at the EHS base (taxi had gone to the local hospital through some sort of miscommunication) I was on my way back. Only caught a short nap as the driver had what sounded like bronchitis and a loud cough brought me fully awake and disorientated as in "why am I in the middle of an ashtray in the fog with a bald headed man driving through the middle of nowhere at 3 am?". Got to hear his life story (demented father-in-law they'd cared for x 12 yrs., complete with adult protection et al, who was placed in a nursing home, fell and broke his hip within 12 hrs. of admission and died within the week) as well as the 25 yr. old son who was trying to die in the regional hospital ICU as he was a junkie who had been septic but was now recovering and they were looking at rehab. This lad had completely wiped out bank accounts for his parents and caused such grief that I was grateful the story came as I was exiting the cab so I could escape the pain. I headed back inside to find that the fun had continued and so I was glad to make my way out to the car and home. Arrived as the shore captain was getting up at 5 a.m. to head over to the plant, he didn't look surprised to see me in my uniform but said "yeah, I heard the phone ring at some point and woke up to find that you weren't in the bed so I figured it was something like that". Good to know that he's so concerned about my security - you know if the abductors called and lured me somewhere anytime after 9 p.m.....

Speaking of him taking his roommate responsibilities seriously...I called the local Source store where they'd ordered the charger for my iPod shuffle as it seemed like it should've been here by now. When I spoke to the one person who usually knows what's going on and receives my trust he says "oh I'm sure I saw that was in a couple of days ago, what do you mean you weren't called? I'll check" He returns shortly to read off the packing slip "shuffle usb charging cable, called August 8th at 5:20 pm, left a message with a man". So, as I told him "well that narrows the list down to two and I have my theory as to which suspect didn't give me the message".  And yes, the charger works perfectly with my eBay iPod shuffle and enabled me to remove Sky's choice of music, sync with my 100+ playlist on iTunes and enjoy the tunes while the dog and I get our exercise.

But added to the list of male transgressions is also the 'not paying attention while watching TV' one. I handed him the daily newspaper with an article inside about teachers (which of course with a teacher daughter is of interest). When I questioned him later as to what he thought of it he said "well, I read about the indoor air quality but I couldn't make a connection". I was surprised and said "so, you didn't turn the page but just looked at what I handed to you because you weren't listening to the instructions?" Can't even blame it on the coverage of the Olympics as this isn't a new phenomena for him.

Now, of the two males in the household, apparently the younger of the two (or so it was revealed by one fisherman talking to another while awaiting cases at the court house - but that's another story) had sold his mossing punt. This raised questions as to how he was planning to continue to rake irish moss and since the materials and most of the labour had been supplied by his father a few years ago, was it even to be called 'his' punt? After tracking him down the junior captain claimed that he had a new outboard coming out of the mould at the boat building shop that evening for the same price as he'd sold the punt. Explains all the fiberglas in his clothes lately but I'm sure that's still only a partial story. As they were working on installing the various metal fixtures in the boat and getting ready to use the grinder, the only son asks his buddy to pass him the safety glasses which apparently raised the question of "what's up with you being all about safety today?" to which he replied "my mother's the RN working in Emerg tonight and getting something in my eye isn't the way I want to see her." Might also have to do with having had a piece of metal in there before and passing out after having it scrapped off as well as arc welders flash from welding in the dark last week and the accompanying nurse yak about all of that. Whatever the reason - I'll take it.

And while on the topic of safety and reminding me of the Twitter feed I receive called Overheard at my Workplace, I offer the following story. One of my coworkers was telling another about cattle as her husband had called for the phone number of a local farmer as Molly was in heat. It seems (with apologies to all vegans everywhere) that Molly is to be bred, not eaten, well actually her babies will be eaten but that is the way of the farm. The coworker's teenaged son is involved with 4H and this time of year with exhibitions there are livestock competitions to work towards awards etc. I walked in to the office to hear "they should never have given him that big a cow, it wasn't like ours who are very calm and like big dogs, even though Molly weighs 1450 lbs. she just follows you around. This one had never been broken in and when they were doing fluff and buff and used the clippers he just went right out through the stall and it took three men to help get him back". Only in the country.

Speaking of ranching country - had a phone call from the western daughter advising that she had gone for an interview with a new company and I was pleased to see that they recognized her as the smart, hardworking female we do and offered her a position. This sounds like it will be a better fit with a safety focus, more hours, better pay and also another female electrician on staff. Appears she had a good first day and will have lots of work.

Am including a shot of my black eyed susans here which I think I've gotten settled out by the mailbox at the end of the driveway. They remind me of the trip down the driveway at Grammie's in River Phillip to get the mail from the mailbox when we visited on summer vacation. A bit of creative landscaping was required to keep them from washing into the ditch but they now seem happy in their new home. The canine footprints show they've become accepted as part of the local greenery. I have harvested some of the prolific ornamental onions as the gift which keeps on giving and rescued some of my shrubs from the briars, but overall my gardens have to learn to be self sufficient.

Okay, have eased in to my Sunday morning gently enough it seems by downloading music and posting to the blog and I'm off to provision the household as we have friends from out west coming to stay over on Tuesday night. Looking forward to traveling with and spending the day with my buddy tomorrow so that will make the work day a bit more enjoyable. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tweet, tweet, arrghh

Today is my last 'day off' until heading back to work for another set of shifts. I am at least going to score time and a half for one of those made up holidays which I've already had the actual weekend off and it's going to rain anyway.  What is not to like about that? I have had a weekend of single hood as the shore captain headed to the city to finish installing siding with the son-in-law. And I have to say that eating what (and when) you want, reading as late as you like in bed and keeping your own schedule does have something to recommend it. Reality will arrive with his return tomorrow.

I have been a busy girl on my time off as I've headed to the wild blueberry U Pick twice and harvested enough of those beautiful blue beauties to make two pies, a blueberry buckle and a blueberry coffee cake this afternoon. It's amazing that any of them turned out because my time was divided between baking and climbing up and down the step ladder attempting to silence the smoke detectors. Not really sure why they've malfunctioned but the electrician (when I finally reached him) told me that there could be dust or insects in them but their lifespan is about seven years, so they likely need to be replaced. The shore captain messed with one in the mud room last month, and decided a new battery was required, but we've known for some time that he's not an electrician. Since the darned things are wired in and in a series, they both blat together and the animals are not amused. The cats are particularly cranky but the poor dog had a canine mental breakdown complete with shivering uncontrollably, crying, digging at the doors and ultimately (when I didn't respond quickly enough as I was yet again on the phone trying to reach the electrician) she peed in my shoe in the front closet. Now, sorting shoes and scrubbing the hall closet is not something I generally do when baking either but it's just been that sort of afternoon. The electrician told me how to disable them by pinching the clip inside them to disconnect the power - and I'm a pretty determined woman when I put my mind to something so I'm here to tell you that this does NOT work. Since the detectors are wired in directly the only way to shut them off completely is to throw the switch for lights and all, this however is looking like a good alternative at this point. He did however tell me that he will replace the detectors tomorrow as they are heading down this way. How this is going to work with me sleeping tonight in order to go to work tomorrow is another matter. Sigh.

After recovering from night shift and doing the routine chores I was set to go on Thursday so picked up a buddy and we headed to a local town to run errands. Hit the Zellers store (as it will be closing) and picked up some great bargains. My friend even bought a new suitcase, one of those spiffy lightweight hard sided ones. She also found a pair of sneakers at the shoe store and we both did well at Frenchy's. Had a great lunch at Old World Bakery and Deli where we enjoyed a great sandwich and calzone respectively. It was a therapeutic outing as she has spent the weekend at a wedding in the city and all that family togetherness.....you get the picture. I haven't dared ask for an update on the social excursion since their expected return today.

Yesterday I headed to see my sister, my niece and her children who were visiting. They had had an eventful week including a call to 911 by Grant who had just turned two last week. When the RCMP came to investigate the call and asked "did someone here call 911?" my niece indicated Grant, who was standing on a chair beside her, helping to do dishes. We are planning a family BBQ when the other niece is posted 'back east' so will catch up with all the great nieces and nephew then. As they were readying to leave more of my sister's in-laws arrived for a final visit and one of the sister-in-laws was telling me about her pastor husband who was making his way home from Malawi that day where he'd been educating ministers for two weeks. Quite a challenge, not to mention over 24 hrs to get back.

After the visit I headed over to the yard sale which I'd previewed online and selected my treasures. It was an elderly lady's home, who had been a great historian and contributed to the genealogy of the area and had written a number of books. She had lovely collectibles and I made my way home with a beautiful steamer trunk, storage jars, antique tin and jug, casserole and tote to take it to a pot luck, and a chamber pot - so yes I do now have a pot to pee in.

On the way home I did a trial run of the U pick and in 45 minutes I managed to pick two and a half pounds so $4.50 well spent. Couldn't stay any longer as I didn't have a hat and it was a scorcher of a day, so decided to go earlier, with a hat and a friend for company another time. When I got home and hung out laundry the cats were sprawled on the floor of the veranda on the cool tiles, catching the ocean breeze. Too warm for fur coats. As I sat outside trying to study my NRP (Neonatal Resuscitation Program) material for the upcoming course I heard a snort and crash and when I looked up realized that a really large white tailed doe had been about 30 feet away in front of the house, so we both eyed each other for a few moments until she bounded off.

Today I followed through on the U pick plan after picking up a friend and in about an hour we picked two large containers full from just one patch. Got caught up on the news, it was a bit cooler and headed home to start baking. If I can convince another buddy to accompany me I just may go up again as they will be open another ten days or so. Have sampled the pie, and despite the distractions it turned out well. Enjoyed it while I caught up on the news with some western friends who are heading here on a visit for a wedding.

Had a quick message from the baby daughter saying that her bike (which had been chained and locked to the front step) was stolen on Wednesday. Now I have to add worrying about the neighbourhood she lives in as well as the other two.

Some of the healthcare budgetary cutbacks are causing a bit of a stir at work and this promises to be an 'interesting' fall. Just what I want to do - spend my days off on union business - not. I'm tired of being a grownup. I leave you with the quote of the day here on the left. Now off to study some of the course material. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ahhh, days off

Just emerging from the other side of three LNs and still a bit fuzzy - not the time to do online banking I discovered - only attempting non financial tasks now until I'm sleepy enough to head back to bed. The aforementioned night shifts were manageable at least and aside from sleeping during some beautiful days, not too painful. These post night shift, turn around days erroneously called 'days off' by management are good for routine tasks such as domestic chores as evidenced by the three loads of laundry, two loads of dishwasher, sorting of magazine rack, and myriad paperwork since 2 p.m. At least I wasn't moving apartments in the rain for a university student in the city as my coworker set out to do this morning.

Ordered (with a Groupon) some Eckobrew refillable Kcups for the Keurig coffee maker the shore and boy captain enjoy. Saving the environment and money are the key points but apparently it makes a nice strong cup of coffee as a bonus. Now if they can just remember to put the cup under the stream of coffee all will be good.

Tomorrow morning I am heading on with a friend to tackle some errands. Good way to spend a predicted rainy a.m.  Not as long a journey as some I've taken but sure to be enjoyable. For those longer jaunts I found a great advertisement for those wishing to avoid luggage but still wanting to take it all with you - reminds me of wearing all eight pairs of your underwear for the trip one over the other:

And the stats point to the fact that luggage DOES go missing as we all knew:

Now breaking all the adult ed/prep rules I am recommending a link here for those interested in travel photography.  Disclaimer - I haven't tried to download or use these ebooks but they sure look good and are advertised as free so....

And if you're thinking of traveling, the destinations might as well be at least somewhat exotic such as:

And yes we are already thinking of a fall trip as we move into the later part of our short but sweet summer. Not likely be too exotic as the shore captain will be wrapped up in preparations for lobstering but ten to twelve stolen days in the Caribbean will still be great in November. 

Actually the poor shore captain could use some downtime this week with the way his luck has been running. Since this is the week of full tides he's been doing maintenance on the boat and slipped on the curb catching himself underneath his ribs. Didn't think he'd broken them (did that before so knows what it feels like) no difficulty breathing but it sure was painful to move so likely a soft tissue injury. And actually he is feeling much better today.  The same afternoon the large freezer malfunctioned and the refrigeration tech spent the day attempting to find/scavenge a part, even driving to the city but no luck. So this meant turning on two other freezers and transferring 10,000 lbs of bait and 200 tubs of trawl to alternate cold storage - not a small job. Then apparently something that was on the bottom of the boat he was working on - sounded like it was associated with the wheel, fell off striking him on the forehead and leaving a large scrape. Life in the fast lane. 

Now speaking of catching up on sleep, I offer the following info to encourage you to GO TO BED:

Taking my own advice, gotta be on my game for a Frenchy's shop. All kinds of plans for the next four days off. Later.