The random ramblings of a perpetual procrastinator. These are the life & times of a nursing home CNA navigating the ups & downs of living with someone who's living with a disability. A sometimes amusing, sometimes bittersweet look at my journey into real adulthood.

Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Year's Eve Story.

Two years ago I spent New Year's Eve at my MIL's house, although at that time she was just Jenn's mom.

I got all dressed up & did my hair for the party -  but not for DJ.  It was another "fancy day" with the bestie.

Aren't we adorable?

Bestie was in the middle of his tour in Iraq, & so I outlawed military talk while he was home.  I told him if he needed to talk he could, but I didn't want anyone else to do it.  So naturally, that's all that anyone at the party wanted to talk about.


But, there is a point to my story.  It was during all that military talk when DJ noticed it was making me cringe & tried his hardest to distract me from it.  It didn't work, but it was a very sweet gesture on his part.

It was after that night that DJ & I started talking amongst ourselves, not just when I was with Jenn.  That lead to our "first date."  I use the quotes because it wasn't a real date.  We made pizza at his house, & then his mother got lost somewhere on the road so we to babysit his little sister while BIL & SIL went to save MIL.

Regardless of how unorthodox it was, we've been together ever since & we'll celebrate two years together in January We have a beautiful home, a herd of furry babies & an all around happy life together.  Even though I make fun of our "first date" to this day, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way - just don't tell him that.

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope that 2011 is everything you hope it will be!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Executions for everyone!

As I was reading the news this morning I stumbled across this little gem, courtesy of Tucker Carlson at Fox News.

In case you don't feel like reading it, Tucker says that NFL quaterback Michael Vick should have received the death penalty instead of time in jail for dog fighting charges from a few years ago.

Where, oh where, do I begin?

Let's say first & foremost, I am one of the biggest animal lovers you will ever meet in your life.  I have a page on my blog dedicated to my pets.  I have to change the channel when the sad SPCA commercials come on.  I have to shield my eyes when I see an animal that's been hit by a car.  And growing up with a dad who hunted constantly was a challenge for me.

I'll also cop to the fact that when the Eagles signed Michael Vick I wasn't all warm & fuzzy about him getting a second chance at being a millionaire.  I said, on more than one occasion, that he should have had to work a 9-5 everyday like the rest of us instead of living a lavish life.  However, as time has gone on, I've realized that he's paid his debt for his actions & 19 months of confinement from his family & his freedom was enough of a punishment.

But for as angry as I was (& trust me, I can get pretty angry), I never would have suggested that he deserved to die for that behavior - and that is because I am a rational person.  What normal person would come to the conclusion that animal abuse warrants death, even when there's such debate about whether or not it's fair punishment for murdering a person?  And even if you think it, who goes on TV & says it to the world?

Again, please understand that I am not excusing Michael Vick's actions at all.  What he did was totally unacceptable, & there is no excuse for his behavior.

But let's call this what it is, Fox News.  This is not about Michael Vick.  This is one more reason to disagree with the president.

"I'm a Christian. I've made mistakes myself. I believe fervently in second chances," Carlson said. "But Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should've been executed for that. He wasn't, but the idea that the president of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs? Kind of beyond the pale."

It's hard for you to believe the president would stand behind someone who killed dogs?  The president - the most powerful man in the free world, who at times has to make decisions that mean innocent people will be killed. 

My question to Tucker is this:  where do we draw the line on second chances?  Who decides what is forgivable, & what is punishable by death?  You?  I surely hope not, because it's obvious that your judgement is somewhat lacking.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I guess if I have to.

It's 9:30 in the morning.  I had to set the dreaded alarm to wake up this morning, which I never have to do (thank you 2nd shift!).  I'm currently blogging getting ready because I have to leave the house in an hour.


Because I'm going to a freaking crappy buffet with my freaking coworkers to exchange gifts.

Why did I ever agree to this?

Actually, I didn't.  The coworkers I'm not all warm & fuzzy about decided on this plan - because none of them have anything to do.

Look fellow bloggers, I know I watch a lot of Maury & Springer before work, but I do actually get a lot of things done.  I have to cook a meal, tend to the animals, help DJ get up & dress, etc..

I do not have time to drive to sed crappy buffet, pretend to like the people I'm there with & then turn around & come back home so I can rush to get DJ & I ready. 

Oh right, did I mention I have to go to work later?  That's right.  So I should be eating crappy buffet, & then  going to work at my very physical job for 8 hours tonight.  Good plan!

Again, the people who planned this adventure have no clue - one is on medical leave, one is on a month long vacation & the other is a charge nurse who never leaves the damn desk all night.

Wanna know what the icing on the cake is too?  I decided not to go last week, & then one of the coworkers I do like says, "You're the only reason I'm going."  Guilt trip much?

So, I agreed...& now she's not sure if she's going.  Her BF has to get a drug test for his new job, which is actually very important...but how could she leave me with these sucky people that we can't stand?  Who will sit with me & judge them?  Sniffles.

Who am I kidding?  I don't need help with the judging part.

But I will feel lonely, so think of me.  Wish me a speedy lunch with no traffic on the way back!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Only 363 more days!

I had a wonderful (but hectic) Christmas, & I hope it went well for all of you too!

We had DJ's family over for lunch on Christmas Eve.  I made chicken parm & spaghetti.  Yum!  Afterwards we exchanged gifts.  DJ's mom got us a Wii!  And DJ's little sister loved the iPod touch we got her.

That night I went to my mom's house for our annual Christmas Eve party.  I was exhausted by that time, & I swore I wasn't going to stay very late at all - so naturally I drove my aunt home at 10:00.  Just for the record, she was also "not staying very late."  You can see how well that worked out for us.  But, it was a great party.

On Christmas morning I headed back to my mom's to open gifts with our immediate family - & by immediately family I mean14 of us.  It was chaos as usual, but I wouldn't trade it for anything - except maybe a venue that wasn't 45 minutes away.

And to top it off, my mom, stepdad & sister came over for lunch yesterday so we could exchange gifts with DJ. My mom got us a ton of cute stuff for the house, my favorite of which is zebra accessories for my bathroom. It looks so good with the teal paint!

DJ & I got my sister her very first guitar.  She's taking lessons at school this year & she loves it.  DJ is a  fantastic  guitar player, so he was really excited to give it to her - & she loved it, although she was a little too shy to play for us.

My family left in the early afternoon, & DJ & I spent the rest of the day hidden from the outside world.  I gotta tell you, after all that crazyness, being alone was the best part.

It's going to be a busy  week, & I can't promise I'll be back before then.  If I don't get a chance to say it, Happy New Year to you & yours from me & mine!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wordless Thursday?

This totally should have been my Wordless Wednesday picture.

funny celebrity pictures - Yukon Cornelius
see more Lol Celebs

So awesome.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Santa's (Un)Happy Helper.

I don't know if it was the antlers, or me...probably me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

No, I won't wear the antlers!

DJ has a very large extended family.  My MIL is one of 6 children, all of whom who have children & grandchildren - lots of 'em.  Every year they get the whole family together shortly before Christmas because everyone is doing their own thing on the actual day.

Our Sunday afternoon was at the party.  It's loud & chaotic, but I think that's the way family is supposed to be.

Every household is asked to bring a covered dish, a dessert item & drinks to share.  I planned on taking pot roast in the crockpot - but the roast wasn't  defrosted in the morning, even though it had been sitting out overtnight. FML.  As a last minute substitute, I made pasta with sausage & cheese instead.  It was yummy.

A few weeks ago another blogger shared a recipe for pummkin pie dip.  You essentially make the guts of the pie, & use ginger snaps or apple slices for dipping.  It was super easy to make, & turned out really well - but no one but BIL touched it.  I don't think anyone knew what it was honestly.  Sigh.

They have a raffle to raise money for the next big party, Easter.  We also played some games & a whole lot of bingo.  By the end of the party, DJ & I both had our fill of the togetherness - but all-in-all, it was a really fun day.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Meet me on Monday

Meet me on Monday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Java at Never Growing Old.  Just answer the questions & link up!


1. What will your Christmas dinner consist of?

We're having a Christmas Eve lunch with the boyfriend's family.  I'm planning on chicken parm & spaghetti, salad, beer bread & who knows what else.  My family will have more traditional food (ham, turkey, etc), but we don't have a sit down meal.  We just have sandwiches, potato/macaroni salad & other finger foods.  And we never forget the Polish food!   It's nice, because extended family & friends come & go throughout the night, & every eats what they want when they want.

2. Do you watch commercials or flip through the channels?

I do a little of both.  Sometimes I'm too impatient to wait, & other times I just have to watch because the commercials are so funny.  Did anyone else see the Penelope Cruz commercial for Kahluah??  Love it!

3. How long will you leave your Christmas decorations up?

My family will be here on New Year's Day for pork & sauerkraut, so I'll keep them up until then.

4. What movie makes you cry every time you watch it?

Steel Magnolias.  No matter how many times I see it, it gets me everytime.  You would think I'd learn my lesson after a while.

The armadillo cake is one of the funnier points in the movie.  If you haven't seen it, you must!  Total chick flick, but I love it.

5. Do you have a Facebook?

Yes - & I'm an addict.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

On tap for today.

  • Late lunch at the Middle Eastern restaurant to deliver Scentsy stuff to a friend
  • Stopping at my mom's (ughhh...) to drop of pictures of sister & I
  • Picking up  the last gift for the boyfriend
  • Buying gift cards for the people who are too hard to buy for
  • Finding a mega roll of wrapping paper for the ridiculous box sister's gift came in
  • Trip to the grocery store for pot roast & pumpkin pie dip supplies.  Christmas party on Sunday!
  • (Try to) Figure out what the hell is wrong with the vacuumm
  • Laundry, housework, blah, blah, blah, etc.
What is everyone else up to this weekend?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Our first tradition.

This is the first Christmas DJ & I are spending in our house, & now we have a tradition to go along with it.

I participated in an ornament swap organized by lovely Brittany at Unexpected Surprises,  I was paired with the equally lovely Becky from The Details are in the Fabric.

The pacakge arrived a few days ago & I was so excited to see my ornament.

It was a pickle.

It's a tradition in Becky's family, & she decided to pass it on to my family.  I LOVE it!

For those of you who don't know, the pickle ornament gets hidden in the tree.  The first person who finds the tree has good luck for the entire new year!  If a little one finds the pickle, he or she gets something extra special from Santa.

My stepdad's parents always had a pickle on their tree...and I never found it.

Now I'm going to be the one who hides the pickle somewhere deep in the tree!

So Becky - thank you, thank you, thank you!!  I love it, & I only hope that you like your ornament just as much!

Coming soon...

I participated in an ornament swap, & I got my package in the mail yesterday!

I've got a special post planned - now I just have to find the time to work on it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

With a capital "G."

As you probably know I'm a transplant to the rural area where I live.  I was born in raised in the city, & I embraced my ghetto roots this morning.

I should probably be ashamed of what I did, but instead I'm going to share it with you.

Here goes...

I used a box of generic Tuna Helper to make tuna noodle casserole for dinner.

It doesn't get much more ghetto than that.

The fact is, I need to go grocery shopping.  As I was looking through the cabinets last night deciding what to defrost, I saw the Walmart "tuna skillet" dinner staring back at me & thought, "I've got bread crumbs & frozen peas.  Hrmmm..."

So dinner was born - no defrosting necessary!

I just ate a few spoonfuls after it came out of the oven, & I have to say that it was pretty friggin' tasty.

You can take the girl out of the city,  but you'll never take the city out of the girl.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What are you waiting for?

Please, please, please stop by my cousin's new blog Through the River and Over the Woods.

She's got lots of tales about college life - everything from finals to Quidditch.

I know you'll love it, so follow her!

She's a very sweet girl, & I'm sure she'd be glad to follow you back.

Is it foul smelling?

The first few times a nurse asked me that question I was a little surprised.

I mean, isn't the answer obvious?

For those of you who may be new here -  I'm talking about poo...not the honey-loving bear, either.

But, I quickly learned that not all of it is foul least not to a health care employee.  So, as you might imagine, if one of us thinks it's foul smelling, it means there's likely some kind of problem.

I'm going to stop talking about stinky stuff, at least for now.  Hope I haven't lost everyone or the rest of this post is going to be rather lonely.

The point of all this was to say that I've learned a host of icky interesting things since becomming a CNA.  I decided to look for some buttons or stickers or other little doo-dads with CNA humor to get to my co-workers for Christmas.

In my search I came across all kinds of jokes about bedpans, incontinent pads & "sweatin' with the oldies."  Trust me, we love us some toilet humor.

But then there was something a little more grown-up, which really resonated with me.

(And this is the part where I get all emotional & stuff.)

The quote I found was intended for recent Nursing Assistant graduates & read:

"Of all the skills you will ever learn, the greatest one you will ever hold is the caring touch of a loving heart."

When I think about this simple statement I'm reminded of all the smiles, laughter, & joy that go hand in hand with all the yucky stuff.

I am happy to pay attention to whether the BM is foul smelling, put ointment on someone's prolapsed uterus & all the other strange things I do in a "normal" work day, because my job is to love people.

How many of us are lucky enough to say that?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Close the curtains & lock the doors.

I have been really looking forward to this weekend, because it's my first full weekend off in a while.  When you do the kind of work I do, two consecutive days off is the best thing ever!

So there I was on Wednesday, praying for the week to move quickly toward my weekend off & cookie baking with Jill - and then a coworker asked me to switch Saturdays.  Tomorrow is her son's 2nd birthday, & she would have had to leave his party early for work.


Now I'm working Saturday.  No weekend off.  No cookie baking.

All I've got is Sunday.  And as such, I've cancelled all my plans for that day.  That day is going to be for DJ & I.  Because when I do have days off, I'm always running around - but not on Sunday.  We're going to shut out the world & have a whole day together, which I'm really, really looking foward to.

And there's other good news on the horizon too!  Since I'm working this Saturday, I have off next Saturday - which means a 3 day weekend for this girl!  Woot!

The family Christmas festivities begin next weekend too, which is also something I'm looking forward to.

There's just a few more gifts to pick up, & then all the work that goes into this holiday is done & it's time to just sit back & enjoy it.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Where, oh where?

I've decided I'm finally ready to get a tattoo.

I know what I want.  Someone whose work I trust is going to do it.  There's just one variable.

I don't know where to put it.

The tattoo is going to be a tribute to a few very important loved ones that are no longer with me, so I want people to see it.

But, I don't want a tattoo on my arm.

I don't hate tattoos on arms, I just don't think it's what I want for me.

Theoretically, I'd like it on my shoulder or my back, but no one will see it there.

And if being able to show it off is truly important to me, I guess I'm looking at arm or leg.

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's a family thing.

Good news!

Another beloved cousin started a blog!  Yay!

I'm so excited to have her.

Please visit her new blog Through the River & Over the Woods, & become a follower.

Monday, December 6, 2010

What do you do when you don't know what to do?

Yesterday I got a voicemail from a high school friend that I hadn't heard from in a while.

I sent her a message on Facebook a few weeks ago asking for her new address so  I could mail a Christmas card.  I never heard back from her.

I didn't listen to the message until this morning.

She's no longer living in Florida, the place that she moved to earlier this year.  She has been fired from her job.

She is deeply, deeply troubled.

I talked to her today, & it was like she wasn't even there.  It was a shell of the person I know.

She said things that made no sense at all, & other things that were very concerning.  Things that make me glad to know she is now not allowed to be alone.

Who would ever expect to be glad for something like that?

This is a person who has always had issues.  The kind that are taboo to discuss, even at this point in time.  The kind that have, at times, made it difficult for her to do everyday things.

Despite that, she has always been a great friend to me.  Even at a time in my life when I was making the worst possible decisions, she never looked at me with judgement.  She was nothing but supportive & understanding.

And now, when the little issues have piled into a mountain so big it seems she'll never be able to climb it, I want to do the same thing for her.

But I don't know how.  I don't know where to start.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

17 again?

It seems as though when I go to work I travel back in time to high school.

The biggest pot stirrer is out on medical leave, so & expected a few peaceful weeks without her.


I work with a guy who's been there for 30 years.  He's almost 50 years old.

This guy has decades more experience than me...not to mention that he's almost twice my age.

So why, oh why, does he act like a teenage girl?

We were very short staffed last night, which can be a stressful situation.

We had extra help for the first part of our shift, so I took advantage of it - while this guy was standing around talking to the nurse about our Christmas party.

Then, when our help was gone, he started complaining that no one helped him & blah, blah, blah...

Are you kidding me?

Build a bridge, & get over it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Taking a sick day.

From blogging, that is. 

I wish it was a sick day from work.  Ughhh...

I'm a little under the weather this weekend, which hasn't left me with much to say.

So, I'll be back soon.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I let him go because he didn't want to be my new best friend.

I came home from work Tuesday night to find my cat trying to dig through the sliding glass door to our deck.

This is not uncommon.  He does this if he sees the dogs lead laying out there, or if there's a leaf blowing around.  He'll just run back & forth chasing it around, & gets so disappointed if the leaf goes out of sight.

I assumed that was the case on Tuesday, but when I turned the porch light on to let the dog out I got a big surpprise.

This is what Scooter was so feverishly trying to get to:

Image from Google.

I've seen a lot of weird things since I've lived here, but that was my first toad.

He was headed toward the tall end of the deck, so I went outside to try to redirect him (& to decide if we wanted to keep him, because DJ & I were both thinkin about it).

The poor, little dude was definitely scared.  Everytime I tried to pick him up, he would dart in the other direction.  When  finally did pick him up his little legs were going like crazy to get away.  And the weird thing was, he was making a very unexpected noise.  No "ribbiting."  He was chirping like a little birdie.

In any event, he clearly wasn't interested in staying with us for a while, so I just took him back down into the grass safely & put him away from the dog's reach - just in case.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Guess who's excited.

This girl!

Wanna know why?

Perhaps some of you remember me lamenting about my dryer issues here.

Well, I was out of the house for a few hours today, & when I got back I was asking the universe (Out loud, because I'm crazy!) to please give back my iPod cord which has been M.I.A. for at least a week - but that's another story.

At that point, the boyfriend chimes in & says, "I don't know about the iPod cord, but would you settle for a working dryer?"

Turns out, there was no major crisis.  The contractors who built the house didn't turn that outlet on because they knew we weren't moving in with a washer & dryer.  So, the electrician stopped by this afternoon & all is working well.


Have you ever known someone who was so excited to be able to do laundry?

It's ironic, because I was just complaining on Facebook today about spending my day off at the laundramat - but now I don't have that problem anymore.  Yay!

So, I'd like to give a shout out to the universe (And DJ, since he made the calls!) for getting that all worked out...but, I would still like my iPod cord when you have a minute.