Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Retirement almost……life is good

How to update a nursing blog when……I am not working? Gotta ease into it - that's why it's taken over three weeks to post. I have done a few (very few) nursing related tasks, some domestic chores and LOTS of relaxing. 

Shortly after the last posting I headed to the city and attended a sponsored immunization day with my Public Health buddy who kindly hosted my stay. We enjoyed a wonderful supper of Greek food with a former OHNANS colleague who had returned from a garden tour of China. And no, not rice paddies as the shore captain rudely asked. China hasn't been on my list and her reports of huge crowds, various inefficiencies and cultural misunderstandings didn't convince me to add it to the travel bucket list. Interesting but only likely if I won a trip. The immunization day was stacked with former coworkers from my public health days of nine years ago, as hard as it is to believe it's been that long. The speakers were top names in the immunization public sector and the venue and food were swishy as vaccine companies sponsored the event. One of the speakers who does a lot of global humanitarian work chatted with me in the buffet line after giving a talk about dealing with the anti vaxxers.  i was explaining to her my life partners 'perceived risk theory' where he drives while talking on the cell phone (not hands free) while speeding and only uses a seat belt because the pinging signal forced him to but……if he finds food in the fridge which is one day past the expiry date (or more accurately best before date which a company has created hoping to sell more product) he is alarmed, makes a big deal and chucks it in the garbage. Told her it was a good thing I was in charge of having the kids vaccinated. She giggled and said "interesting" in a way which led me to believe this vignette might end up in a future talk. As we filled our plates with an assortment of wonderful foods she said over her shoulder to me "when I was doing work in Africa last month a mother gave me her definition of rich when she said……being rich is being able to choose what to have for supper". Wonderful words. 

I attended my first aid / CPR instructor recertification at Universite Sainte Ann which was a frequent stop for meetings when I worked (15 years ago now) with the school board as well as the teacher daughter's alma mater. There was a large immersion group on site and apparently the global recruitment has resulted in at least half of the student body being international students now, many from former french colonies in Africa. Am able to teach until 2018 now. A few local courses for the fire departments,  the tweaking of the resume and a current CPR card for work were the main reasons for giving up a rainy day. 

The shore captain celebrated his 59th birthday so we had a few folks over for surf and turf (musk ox burgers and grilled lobsters) with cobb salad, garlic bread and chocolate cheesecake for dessert. Since we were feeding a chef amongst the group we had to try to impress - apparently we were successful. Good conversation, beverages and catching up. 

I had a physio appointment and decided to continue on in my travels so set up a road trip. Enjoyed a lovely lunch in Mahone Bay on the veranda of a cafe then enjoyed the sunny day as I took the scenic route along the coast which I haven't done for a while. In to the city to enjoy the backyard with Pete the grand dog who has benefitted greatly from obedience school. A nice evening of catching up with the kids followed. I walked Pete in the morning - about that poop scooping - not the first time I've held warm turds in my hand but have been paid to do so previously. Headed over to a childhood friends place for a visit with her and hubby and then she and I 'did lunch' at Ma Belles which is a lovely cafe/tearoom downtown. We toured Evergreen House (Helen Creighton the folklorist home) which is where her writers group meets and this was a a lovely way to end the afternoon. Took the kids out to Salvatores in the Hydrostones for pizza and there was quite a long wait (was worth it) while we watched a pop up truck across the street feed a long line of customers tacos. Lovely evening. 

Slept in, then headed out for Cape Breton to visit a friend from OH&S days. Stopped at Walmart and browsed the craft section as I stocked up for my fall rotation. Took a straight run along to CB island and didn't stop until the Farmers Daughter in Whycocomagh where I enjoyed a sandwich with a cup of tea and bought some muffins for my friend - ate two before I got back into the car - this update didn't surprise her. Had a wonderful weekend of visiting and entertainment - top notch B&B, I give it five stars. Wonderful catch up on the education system and it's frantic end of school silly season. We did some research for our planned Rocky Mountaineer trip in BC when she retires next year. We could add a trip to Seattle or a west coast cruise - all sorts of
Governors artwork
possibilities. Great supper, breakfast out at Flavours (yummy breakfast wrap) shopping downtown, a ceilidh at Governors with great fiddle music and snacks followed by a stroll on the boardwalk before supper. Sunday was a chance to sleep in and a late breakfast. A cruise ship was in town so we browsed the craft sale and then headed over to the former Holy Angels girls school for author's readings. Stephanie Domet from CBC radio, Lesey Crewe (who is hysterical) and several others I didn't recognize read ad there was a panel discussion. Tea and oatcakes (of course) with the book signings. What a wonderful way to pass a rainy afternoon. Caused us to make plans

attend the Cape Breton Writers Festival the first weekend in October. It's held at St Anns College just before the Celtic Colours festival. Wished we lived closer, a brief goodbye and then I settled in to the car a little after 5 pm and with only a quick stop in St. Peters at Tim Hortons, I drove straight through, arriving home before midnight. Had considered staying over but….my friend had to go towork on Monday and I didn't want to rub it in that I didn't.

Did a consult for a friend who is studying - supposedly challenging the Continuing Care Assistant course but I'll put my money on that the material is stolen from a Bachelor of Nursing program. I can't believe the hoops she is being required to jump through - likely to justify the fees they've charged. She will have her PhD at least when she finishes. We had a nice visit and collaborated with the friend (student's fitness instructor) who has painted the interior of our house. It looks wonderful! With the upcoming family wedding we will be having an increase in guests and it has been nine years since it was originally painted. The crack filling was the main project and it all looks marvellous. 

We celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary in low key style with halibut cheeks for supper and a bottle of wine left by friends from supper. We did however, opt to take a matinee (older folks go for that time of day) and thoroughly enjoyed the movie Spy. A parody on 007 films with the chubby, irreverent Melissa McCarthy (Jude Law, Miranda Hart of Call the Midwife and Jason Stratham of Snatch fame) could not go wrong on a rainy Saturday afternoon. On Sunday we were treated to supper at our chef friends and it was splendid! He served us parsnip, apple and garlic soup then bacon wrapped pork tenderloins, potatoes, asparagus and carrots and chocolate drizzled cheesecake. Ahhhhh he hasn't lost his touch.

A former coworker accompanied me to my appointment to have the ligaments in my back injected by the rhuematologist which is just about as much fun as it sounds. We made the best of the day as we left early, had a nice lunch at The Salt Shaker Deli and shopped the historic streets of Lunenburg. I took the advice of my colleague and only purchased the shells, starfish and sand dollars at the craft store and bought magnets at the dollar store to hot glue on for ornaments. "You always used to be crafty - you can do that" she encouraged. And at 1/2 the cost I did! We stopped at DQ and discovered that Orange Julius are available there now, so a perfect ending to the day. 

A rather involved project this week was to apply to Operation Smile. This is the organization that provides cleft palate and lip repair as well as plastic surgery for burns globally. Locating, scanning and uploading various certificates took on a life of its own. I am hoping the credentialing committee won't look too closely at my misspelled diploma of tropical nursing. The first arrived with my surname missing the C and then the replacement copy (as the original transcript wasn't stamped with the LSTM initials) was misspelled the same way. I am awaiting another copy - hopefully third times a charm. And this is six months later, there has been another class since we finished. As I keep stating….their only efficiency was taking the payment. I am hoping to convince the credentialing committee that I have enough paediatric experience to do the pre and post op position on a mission. With various vacation commitments (all eagerly anticipated) I will be free by next April from the looks. A LSTM classmate asked where I'd like to go and the reply was………anywhere. I discovered a website about 'how to backpack' proving there is a how-to guide for everything:

Stoney Island Beach
The weather has been a bit unsettled this week but I managed to get in a short beach visit with my buddy and an acquaintance home from NWT who cooks at a spot along the Dempster Highway. We had to hide in the dunes for shelter from the cool winds but it was a glorious day in the lee. More of those need to happen. 

And this drizzly morning I excavated my bedroom closet - donating clothes, discarding papers, locating some artwork for the walls of the northern abode and organizing my wardrobe. As I'm such a transient person there isn't the usual ritual of storing / retrieving seasonal clothing as my schedule doesn't always correlate with the weather. I sorted my clothes for warm / cold / vacation / missions and am actually able to walk in the walk in closet now. Each inclement day I'm attempting a small project - more manageable in chunks. 

Other than blogging, I haven't been doing much writing but…I read an article in the newspaper about a creative writing website online which gives you three random words, 15 minutes which countdown on a timer and you write a story. It must contain all three words or will not qualify and whatever is written will be posted when the timer ends. Here's the link:

It was fun. It's a digital version of writing exercises you'd do in writing group or creative writing class. The aim is for free flow writing which increases creativity.