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.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I feel like a loser

I have done nothing for at least the last week.

When I say nothing, I of course mean working out.

I'm not going to make excuses for myself because the whole point of buying a treadmill was so that I could work out without going anywhere, which was my biggest hurdle.

However, I haven't been sleeping properly, which I think has added to my generally bad mental mood.

There's nothing wrong with my life.  Sure, DJ & I hit little bumps in the rode like everyone else does.  But we've got a great relationship, a beautiful home & a horde of naughty furballs who we love.  I have no reason to feel so down in the dumps - but I do.

I'm working on trying to pinpoint what it is, which has been difficult since none of the usual suspects are the cause this time.

But today was better.  For the first time in a while I slept properly, & I feel better already.  I've decided to give myself a few more days to try to figure out what's causing my funk & (hopefully) keep on sleeping.  Then, it's back on the bandwagon...or back on the treadmill, I suppose.

I'm not going to give up, I'm just going to accept that I'm starting over - & I'm determined to make it work.

Friday, July 8, 2011


I did really well with the whole exercise thing for  few days, & then it all went to hell.

My life has gotten in the way, once again.  I hate to use that as an excuse, & normally I wouldn't, but for the past few days & have done nothing but run back & forth to the doctor's office in an attempt to get all the medical requirements taken care of for school.  Kind of important.

And due to all that running back & forth, I'm not sleeping.  Makes me want to jump off a bridge.

But, as of tomorrow morning, that running around should be done...for the time being.  So tomorrow afternoon it's back on the bandwagon - no excuses.  There's no reason that I can't find 30 minutes to workout.

Did anyone else experience this in the beginning, or is it just me?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 1: This already sucks

Although I have no delusions about my fitness, I do work in a very physical job & would like to think I'm not a total mush.

I'd be wrong in thinking that.

I got on my new treadmill for the first time today.  My goal was to power-walk for a full 30 minutes - & I did!  Yay for small miracles!

Even though I achieved my goal, my joy was short lived...because I felt like I was dying.

Not only did my feet hurt like hell (I have this.), the sweat was pouring off of me.  BTW, I am sorry for the lovely image you probably just got in your mind.

It's humbling to realize that, at age 26, a brisk 30 minute walk in my air conditioned house has that effect on me.

But, that's the reason why I'm taking this journey.  Everyone has to start somewhere.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

There's always room for one more

I went out to breakfast Saturday morning & ended up with a new addition to the family.

Meet Oliver!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Getting started

I picked up my new treadmill today.  Although it's currently sitting in a box which my cats are treating like a jungle gym, it's not staying there for long.  It's going to be put together tomorrow morning, & my new, healthier lifestyle begins.

I've decided to do the Couch to 5k program that everyone is raving about.  Since that's a 3 day a week program, & running just isn't going to cut it for my fitness goals, I invested in a workout dvd to supplement.  It's one of those old school, Billy Blank tae-bo style workouts.  I love those things.  And if I do it with consistency, it's going to seriously help in decreasing the size of my fat ass.  Bonus.

Instead of focusing on a weight loss goal, I'm going to set my sights on actually running in a 5k race at the end.  I have some very fit family members who are already runners, & I'm sure I can talk them into participating.  Although it seems out of reach now, I know I can do this.  I cannot wait to feel the sense of accomplishment I'll have when I finish!

Wish me luck (& make sure you hold me accountable)!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Well, that was rude.

Last last week a new resident moved into our unit.  I'm not sure what her story is, but previous to coming to the nursing home she lived on her own in a senior citizen highrise.  For people who are confused moving into a new place full of people you don't know & suddenly having a roommate is a very difficult transition.

This particular resident is having trouble sleeping at night - so she rings her call bell a zillion times.  It's sometimes frustrating because we each have 20 residents to take care of.  There's definitely time to devote a little one-on-one time to each of them, but it's really hard to constantly be running back to her room "just to chat."

But, we've all done our best, because becomming familiar with her surroundings & the new people is what she really needs.

So imagine my surprise when we got report from the nurse last night & were told that this resident's family requested that she have all her meals back in her room (and stay in there pretty much the entire day...alone) because they don't want her in our dining room "seeing some of the other residents."

And I knew exactly what residents they were referrinf too.  There are people with end stage Alzheimer's desease, who have totally lost the ability to speak, but who frequently have loud vocal outbursts.  There are people who have lost the ability to move their arms & legs, so they are very contracted in their chairs.  These people are elderly & can't do things the way they used to, so some spill their food.

But, these are still people.  They deserve to be treated with dignity & respect, not only by our staff, but by visitors as well.  They are not the scourge of the earth.  They are someone's parents & grandparents.

I know the stigma that sourrounds nursing homes.  And I also know that, if you're not used to it, some of the things you see can be jarring.  But at the end of the day our purpose is to take care of those who simply can't do it on their own anymore.  Those things are meant to be embraced so that these residents have a good quality of life until the end.

The ignorance of some people will never cease to amaze me.

Monday, June 6, 2011

For the better

It's about to get real up in here.

I  am not in shape.  Well, that's really an understatement.  I am overweight is more like it.

For the longest time I've ignored that fact, especially because I'm with a man who loves me the way I am.

That's all well & good, except I'm totally not healthy & neither is he.

It's time to make a change.

The other thing you need to know is that I have little to no will power or ambition when it comes to exercising.

If it's too hot/too cold/Sunday through Saturday, I will not exercise outside.

In fact, the only way I will exercise is in front of the TV where I normally enjoy sitting & making my fat ass fatter.  How sad is that?  I'm sort of ashamed of myself...sort of.

And so, I bought myself a treadmill.  It's should be here sometime this week or early next week, & my journey to work out everyday will begin.

Honestly, I'm excited to get started!  This is going to sound so stupid given what I just told you about myself, but I've wanted to get into running for a long time.  I know a few people who run habitually, & in addition to being ass kickers, they always have more energy & feel so much better than I do.  I'm jealous.

It's going to be a long, slow process to start - just walking everyday in the beginning.  But I do plan to get there.

I'm telling you this because I need you to help hold me accountable.  Ask me if I've worked out.  If I say no, tell me to get my lazy ass off the internet & onto that treadmill I just paid good money for.

Trust me, you are not going to hurt my feelings.  I need this.  I know myself.

This is going to be a long, hard journey, but it's definitely one I'm ready to take. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Off to see the wizard.

Yesterday afternoon while I was watching the news a tornado watch was issued for some surrounding areas, including the county I live in.

Normally I just ignore them.  I know that sounds terrible, but I have been fortunate enough never to see a tornado in my area my whole life.  Plus, I'm a lover of crazy summer thunderstorms.

Last night was different though.  When the warning was issued I started to get anxious.  I was upset because I was scheduled to work at 11 last night, & I was planning to be napping when the wicked storm was supposed to hit.  DJ wasn't going to be home, & I was convinced that the house was going to be blown away without me knowing.  He assured me I was crazy, like usual.

Although I slept a little, I kept having bad dreams & ended up waking up long before my alarm was set to go off.

I turned on the news, & what do you know?

The report was bad.  The storm was headed to us, & would be on top of us within a half hour.  People were reporting seeing tornados where it was already raining, & the meteorologists were seeing cloud rotation close to me.

When the storm was about 10 minutes away & a few towns over, the weatherman said, "There is definite cloud rotation.  We can't confirm whether or not a tornado is already on the gound.  It's heading for Renee's house (I know I souldn't joke about this, but wouldn't that have been funny?).  You have 10 minutes to get into the basement."

And so, that is what I did.  I took my laptop, knowing I would lose power & not get news reports from the TV.  I just hoped the internet would hold out.  It did not, by the way. 

Next I trapped my 2 girl cats in the basement, which was easy enough to do with a bag of treats.  Then, I had to carry my dog downstairs.  She had never even seen a flight of stairs until we lived in this house, & she is not brave enough to venture down.  Once that was done, I had to fight with my boy cat.  He doesn't like to be held, so it was an  epic battle...that I ultimately won.  I essentially hog-tied my cat, covered his head with my shirt & ran down the stairs while trying desperately to hold on.

Once my fur babies were safely downstairs, I didn't dare open the door.  In my panic, it didn't occur to me to grab my flashlight or candles or anything I might actually need.   No, no, instead there I was with 3 misbehaving cats, a terrified dog, my cell phone & a laptop that soon proved to be worhtless when the internet failed.

In an attempt to keep myself calm, I talked to my mom & MIL periodically.  I had no idea what was going on.  There was no way for me to know what the situation with the storm was.  My only view of the outside world was through a tiny (& dirty, because I don't clean it) basement window.  I couldn't see anything because the sky was black, except for occasional pink lightening.

I'll be honest, I was pretty freaking terrified.  I was also sure this was not going to end well.  Thankfully, it did.  We got a severe thunderstorm & nothing more.  Everyone was safe.

We were without power for a few hours, so when I ventured back upstairs I lit every candle in the house & read a book by flashlight.

DJ got home shortly after the power came back on.  And although I was able to laugh a little about my disaster precautions, I was still a little on edge.

In hindsight everyone will probably think it was silly of me to go so overboard, but I don't think it was.  Not only did the newscaster say it was specifically headed to my town & I had 10 minutes to take cover, but I knew this was coming since 3 in the afternoon.

Call it a message, or maybe a sixth sense, but I was sure this storm was going to be bad & I needed to be awake when it arrived.

I guess the moral of my story is this:  trust your instincts.  They're right more often than you think.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Step 2

Last week my MIL dug out what was supposed to be a small flower bed in front of my house.  It ended up looking like this:

It didn't end up so small, but that's okay because I know have big plans for the space.

Yesterday afternoon we continued our work, & this time I had a lot more to contribute.  Yay for feeling like I have a purpose!

That soil desperately needed to be tilled to get rid of all some of the rocks & even it out for planting.  Since it finally stopped raining here & the mud patch finally dried out, it was rock solid & raking was a chore.  I've got a giant blister on my hand to prove it.

Once that was done, we lined the flower bed with logs to frame it out.

Now it looks like this:

Much better.

Tomorrow is the big day:  planting.

I work tonight, so I'll get home around 7:30 tomorrow morning.  The plan is to get out of my dirty scrubs & into something suitable for gardening, then heading straight for the greenhouse.

I'm going to be planting until I pass out from lack of sleep for as long as it takes to finish (hopefully!) so that everything is in the ground before it starts to become unbearably hot around here.  And trust me when I tell you, those days are quickly coming.

Can't wait to share pictures of the finished product!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm a crazy person.

My MIL & I resumed work on my flower bed in progess today.  One of the things we did was frame it with logs from the wood pile in her backyard. 

My FIL  thinks it's necessary to have a very large wood pile, even though they have a very small fire pit.  MIL is sick of looking at it,  so she tries to pawn the logs off onto anyone who will have them.  It was a bonus for me, because it makes the flowerbed look really nice.

But, back to my point - which is the fact that I'm crazy.

It's nothing new, but I've got one more reason to add to the list:  I'm not ashamed to embarass myself.

My little SIL just got a giant trampoline for her birthday last week.  And even though there's nothing slim or trim about me, I couldn't resist jumping on it.  So there I am, in all my jiggly glory, jumping on a trampoline...while the classy neighbor is doing yard work.

While I was busy making a fool of myself, little SIL was begging me to go swimming.  As much as I love the pool, I was far too lazy to go home for my bathing suit.  But because I love the pool far too much, I went ahead & jumped in - fully clothed.

I'm positive that after it was all over the neighbor probably thinks I should be committed, but I'm kind of okay with that.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Back to the grind

My lovely, eleven day vacation is officially over.  I go back to work tonight at 11:00.

It rained almost the entire time, so most of my to do list didn't get finished, but I'm not worried about it.

The rainy weather forced me to take some much needed relaxation time, & I'm thankful for that.

This was my first real vacation since switching jobs last year, & it also happened to be the first vacation that I didn't spend dreading my return to work.

That was a really great feeling.

Here's hoping the good feeling from this time off hangs around for a little while longer - even if I am back at work.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Yesterday morning my MIL came over to take a baby from our lilac bush.  While she was here she asked, "Do you want a flower bed out front?"  Immediately afterward she started ripping the grass out along the front of my house.

No time like the present, eh?

By the end of the day, this is what we were left with:

It's way bigger than we originally planned, but we expanded it to encompass a patch of yellow flags I planted to hide some ugly sewer pipes in the middle of the yard.

The plans for the little patch of earth expanded with the digging too.

Instead of just a flower bed, I'm going to plant ornamental grass, flowering shrubs & other manner of BIG things.

The next phase is letting it dry out a little after the week of rain we just had, & after that it's onto tilling the soil by hand to remove grass clumps & rocks.

But soon - very, very soon - it will be much more than just a patch of earth.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I'm writing this post at 12:30 AM, which may be why I'm really unsure of what I want to say.

During my vacation I've somehome managed to toally reverse my sleep schedule.  I'm not even sleeping in until 9 or 10.  I've been falling asleep between 11-12 & waking up by 8 everyday.

That's a slight problem, considering that I go back to work at 11:00 PM Sunday.

What to do?

So far this evening morning I've been watching ridiculous things on Netflix & am cooking a meal for tomorrow.

It's helping a little, but the fact that my animals are all passed out around me & DJ is lost in computer land is really dragging me in the direction of sleep.

Staring at this computer screen isn't helping either.

What's a girl to do?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: So gross...

I know it's Wordless Wednesday, but I think this requires some explanation.

My vacuum wasn't working properly, which usually means there's a clog.

This is what I emptied out of the vacuum hose, & it makes me question my decision to own pets.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Ten

It's raining today.  It's been raining since Friday. It's supposed to rain until at least Friday.  It's left me with a total lack of inspiration.

Imagine that?

So today I'm phoning this one in.  I'm not being a Tuesday Ten hater, I'm just saying that I don't even have the energy it requires to make my Tuesday Ten creative & funny like my buddy G.

(Do you see what I did there, Gini????  I'm totally impressed with myself now.)

Anyway, enough of the inside joke.  Now to the Main Event:

1.  I took my mom shopping for a Mother's Day gift last night.  It was a week late, but that was her fault.  She wanted to get Ugg boots, but ended up with a ring instead.   That made me happy. 

2.  I came home from the grocery store to find a flock of geese milling around the field behind my house. Random.

3.  I'm still on vacation, & I don't go back until Sunday night.  The plan for the rest of the week?  Laziness.

4.  Maury reached an all time low today by having a stained blanket tested for an angry wife.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea that Maury could have gone any lower than he already was.

5.  Is it wrong of me to want to delete some distant relatives from Facebook?  Is it wrong that I don't care if it's wrong?  Then, do those two wrongs make a right?

6. On my way to my next door neighbor's house this morning, I found 4 four leaf clovers.

7.  I don't care if chips & salsa aren't a suitable lunch.

8. According to some religious zealots in my area, the world is going to end on Saturday.  I'm glad I had vacation this week.

9.  I bought a new lunch box last night.  It has owls on it.  You know you're jealous.

10.  Given what the poor people in the south are currently bracing themselves for, I find it a little offensive to see a "flood watch" symbol in the corner of my TV screen.  The worst thing that's going to happen here is that we may not be able to use a low-lying road for a while.  Not really a flood, if you ask me.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A room full of sweaty, fat guys

I'm sure that title left you wanting to read more.  The thought of a room full of sweaty, fat guys is oh-so-appealing.

You must be asking why I would ever be writing about sweaty, fat guys in the first place.  It follows the usual theme of my blog posts:  everything is DJ's fault.

DJ is the VP of a gaming club in our area.  His club hosted a tournament for a tabletop game called Warhammer over the weekend.  There were approximately 50 sweaty, fat (and sweaty, thin) guys playing in the tournament.

It wasn't all bad though, because there were some super hot chicks hosting a bake sale too.

And the time & effort these sweaty, fat guys put into building an army to play this game is amazing.  I thought I'd share some pictures of the artwork...& some other things I took pictures of when I got bored.

In case you thought I was joking about the sweaty, fat guys.

The dragon was painted by one of the few ladies in the group, & was the winner of the painting competition.  Girl power!

We had a bake sale to raise money for the club.

Cake Pops decorated like the dice used for the game. Yum!

They were short one name tag, but leave it to the women to come up with a suitable replacement.  He wore that plate all day.  Heehee!

Even though he makes me hang out with sweaty, fat guys, I do love him.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Of course it would rain.

Normally I love rainy weather, but I had a plan for this week.

I had a plan to get things done around the house during my vacation.

At the top of my to do list was to finally stain our deck.

So, naturally, it's supposed to rain off & on until at least Wednesday.

There goes that idea.

What a pisser...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Just one of those days...

Last night was my last night at work before my 11 day vacation.

So naturally, nothing went smoothly at all.

Actually, I shouldn't say that.  Everything was fine until about 4:45 AM.

At 4:45 AM I was on my way to empty my dirty linens, & as a passed one of the resident's rooms I heard the most awful noise.

A nurse & I went running in only to find sed resident totally naked, covered in poop & bleeding from the head - because she slipped in a puddle of her own pee.

Needless to say chaos ensued & before it was over I was covered in all manner of bodily fluids.

Have I mentioned lately how much I need this vacation?

Monday, May 9, 2011

To do list

As of 7 AM on Wednesday I am officially on vacation.

Yay! Yay! Yay! Super yay!

We're not going anywhere, but we have lots of at home projects to work on during my 11 beautiful days off.

Who wants to take bets on how much of this stuff I actually get done??

Here's the list:

  • Stain the deck
  • Do some miscellanous yard work & planting
  • Go to the optomotrist
  • Go to the dentist
  • Bake tons of yummy stuff for a bake sale for an event DJ & his friends are having
  • Take all my deck & porch furniture out of storage
  • Clean all the furniture since it's in shed covered in mouse poop.  Ummm...ewww
  • Do something about the nest of mice in my shed. What exactly, I do not know. Any suggestions are welcome.
  • Have the first cookout of the summer
  • Spend lots of time with my family
  • Make some trips to local farmer's markets.  I know I've got some local followers.  Green Dragon or Leesport anyone?
  • Relax. Relax. Relax some more.
If I get done with half of these things, I'll be such a happy girl.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms in Bloggyland from my "fur babies" & I!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Life is short.

A coworker of mine passed away yesterday.  She was 61-years-old.

Having had surgery for a previous back injury, she dealt with chronic pain.  As it slowly worsened over time, she attributed it to "getting older."

When she couldn't take it anymore & saw a doctor it turned out to be much more.  She was diagnosed with cancer only a few short weeks ago, & it was already too late.

She was always friendly & helpful; very easy to get along with.

She will be missed.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It's FINALLY done!

Anyone who's been reading my blog for any length of time (although I'm not entirely sure anyone is still reading since I'm a bad blogger) has inevitably heard about my purple room.

DJ & I moved into our house in February of 2010.  Most of our house was unpacked & set up quickly...but then there was the purple room.

Our spare bedroom, which was always meant to be DJ's computer room, has been filled with boxed of unpacked stuff & all manner of things we've had nowhere to go with.

There were several unsuccessful attempts to clean out the purple room in the last year, but it never got totally finished because I'm lazy.  I have no other excuse.

But, life on 3rd shift has changed me, & even on my nights off I find myself wide awake until at least 7 AM.  So, there I was at 2:30 this morning with nothing to do & I faced the fact that this task was long overdue.

And finally, we have use of the spare bedroom...and a whole lot of junk to sell at a yard sale.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Who's with me?

Seems to me, no one I know in my own life, so I've decided to throw it out there to Bloggyland.

Anyone else excited for the Royal Wedding tomorrow morning?

I'll be at work when the coverage starts, but I set the DVR - which is nice because I can fast forward through the annoying crap.

I know that this wedding has nothing to do with this country, or anything truly important for that matter...but I don't care.

I think it's fun to get all caught up in the "fairy tale," as it were.

We're going to see someone become a for real princess, complete with gaudy carriage & all!

Maybe I'm a dork, but I don't care.  I'm looking forward to it.

Who's with me?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Something's missing

Last night at work my unit was overstaffed, so I was pulled to the Alzheimer's unit to help out.

There's never a dull moment on that unit because the residents are totally mobile & totally confused.

Even though they're in their 70s/80s/90s, they think they're in their 20s/30s/40s & they need to pick up their children at the bus stop right away. 

Last night was no exception.

I was doing some paperwork when I heard an alarm - which means someone is crawling out of bed.

I ran to his room hoping to prevent a fall.  And staning there in the doorway was the resident - wearing a long sleeve camoflouge shirt & an adult diaper...pants mysteriously missing.

I managed to help him to the bathroom & back to bed without giggling.  As I was leaving, I heard some comotion back out in the hallway, so I ran back out to help the nurse.

Imagine my surprise when I encountered yet another resident with a long sleeve shirt & no pants - only this time, without the courtesy of adult diaper or other manner of undergarment.

Yep.  This is my job.

Wouldn't trade it for anything.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

The weather report for today was not good, so imagine my surprise when I woke up to clear, sunny skies.

It's raining now, but my family had plenty of sun to complete the egg hunt portion of our annual Easter party.

I'm the only "kid" who doesn't participate in the egg hunt anymore, which means the hunters range from age 5 to 20 - so my family comes up with some cruel inventive hiding spots.

Oh, & my aunt's dog also participates...& she knows how to open the eggs on her own.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I've abandoned you, Bloggyland.

I don't know what the problem is lately.

Maybe it's the switch to life on 3rd shift.  Maybe it's trying to get our ducks in a row so we can finally get a mortgage.  Maybe it's dealing with all the red tape required to start school in September.

Whatever the reason, I've been feeling uninspired lately.  I haven't had anything worth blogging about.

But I'm hoping that will change soon.

I've got a long vacation coming up in a few weeks that I plan to fill with a ton of fun stuff!

Easter is approaching quickly, & family functions usually provide some good blog fodder.

And then, there's always work.

See you soon!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My choice

"You can tell me to shut up anytime," said the charge nurse who had to know she was asking very personal questions about my relationship. 

But, my policy has always been that I prefer people to ask me questions instead of discussing my life amongst themselves behind my back.  I hate that.

It was such an odd conversation that I felt it was worth sharing.

She started with, "He's in a wheelchair, right?  And you're okay with that?"

Yes, DJ uses a wheelchair.  I think the fact that we've been together for over two years & own a home is evidence enough that I'm okay with it.

Then we went on to, "So you really love him, right?  You don't just pity him, do you?"

Yes, I do really, really love him - despite how it may seem when you read some of my blog posts.    Although I do pity him, it's not becase of the's because he has to live with me & my ever-changing mood.

And you're going to love the next one. "The muscular dystrophy, what exactly does that effect?  I mean, does his penis still work?"

I'll just say yes.  We won't elaborate any further.  You're welcome.

The conversation then turned serious.  This nurse knows my MIL, who works at the same facility as me.  So she knows that DJ's father passed away a few years ago.  Her next question was, "His dad was pretty young when he died, are you okay with that?"

No, I'm not okay with that.  Even though DJ & I weren't together when his dad passed away, I'm sad every time I think about it & I wish things has turned out differently so he could still be here with his children. 

As it relates to DJ & I, I use the bus theory.  None of us know what the future holds.  I may walk out my front door later today & get run over by sed bus (although it's highly unlikely, since there are no buses on my road).  Along those same lines, I don't know what will happen in DJ's future.  The truth is, his disease effects his body in adverse ways.  And on top of that, he smokes & eats like crap.  More likely than not, we will not be in our 90s together.

If DJ lives to be the same age as his father we will have spent 24 years together.  Although no one hopes for an end date to their relationship, I am smart enough to know that some people go through their entire lives never having the love I get in one day with him.

What I told that nosey nurse was, "I choose to be thankful for the time I have."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ain't that a pisser.

Although I can't be certain, I think my gentlemenly turkey from the other day met an untimely demise.

The people who own the turkey live near a cluster of other houses in an ugly turn on a windy country road.  Oh, & did I mention they also have a flock of ducks & chickens too?

It isn't the prime location for your wild fowl.

And, I noticed on my way home from work this morning, a turkey didn't quite make it across the road.

Although I can't confirm it's "my" turkey, I was still pretty devastated.

Moral of the story - don't let your free range animals graze in an area where people are speeding around treacherous curves in the road.

Other people, I mean.  I would never drive too fast on a windy road.

R.I.P. Turkey.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday Ten

Lately I don't have the energy to string together enough cohesive thoughts to make an actual blog post, so I'm stealing an idea from one of my favs, Ms. BFG herself.  Stop over & take a look...after you read mine, please.

Here's my Tuesday Ten

1.  Yesterday morning when I was driving home from work I saw a turkey politely waiting to cross the road.  Only after I passed did he look both ways & start to cross.  Total genteman.

2.  Dear Mother Nature, Please decide to just be warm.  I can't handle one nice day followed by many not so nice days anymore.  It's cramping my style.  Thanks!

3.  I have been saying I'm going to decorate for easter for a while now.  Still not decorated.

4.  I don't now why everyone always makes fun of Rachael Ray (& by everyone, I mean my grumpy boyfriend & his friend) but I love her.  In protest, I think I'll cook only Rachael Ray meals for a while.  Sucks to be him.

5.  Speaking of the Food Network, did anyone else watched the Chopped All Stars Tournament??  I am so not a fan of the guy who won.  I didn't appreciate his comments about the other (better, more well established, etc) chefs.  In poor taste, random guy.

6.  I requested to extend my upcoming vacation (before it even started) & I'm crossing all my fingers & toes that it gets approved.  Eleven days off.  Oh. My. God.  My head might explode from joy.  I hate that place.

7.  Does anyone else love making up your own situation approtiate hash tags on Twitter? #ido

8.  I woke up this morning afternoon & when I opened my living room curtains the first thing I saw was some dude driving a riding mower up the road past my house.  Weird.

9. I'm addicted to crappy horror movies on the Sci-Fi channel - especially when they involve crazy, unrealistic sea monsters.  Dinoshark, I'm looking at you...with love.

10.  I've got 3 terrible, horrible, no good, very bad cats.  Anyone want them?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

About last night

My 3rd shift life started earlier this week.  Although there have been a few speed bumps, for the most part things are going really well.  I'm adjusting to a new sleeping schedule, & a new routine at work, but I'm excited.  I know I made the right decision.

Why then, you must be asking, are things going well only for the most part?

Last night I met my charge nurse - someone that everyone (from CNAs to nurses & back again) has warned me about since I accepted this 3rd shift position.

And let me just say, she lives up to my expectations.  FML.

I think annoying is the best way to describe her.  She's the kind of person who needs to be taken with a grain of salt, & that's exactly what I'm going to do.

Instead of talking about her, I've got a cute story for you.

During 3rd shift most of the residents are in bed.  The CNAs make rounds throughout the night to take people to the bathroom if they're able & make sure the ones who can't are clean & dry.

So, there I am, making my rounds at some ungodly hour of the early morning, when I meet a celebrity!

I go into a resident's room expecting to have to wake her up.  As soon as I click on the light she pops up in bed, all bright-eyed & bushy-tailed, & says, "You know I used to be Ginger Rogers, right?"

I wish I had thought to ask for an autograph.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Things I'm doing at 4:00 AM

  • Not sleeping.

  • Watching Stargate SG-1 on Netflix.  I'm trying to take a greater interest in the TV that my boyfriend is actually willing to watch after several years of him suffering through Maury & Judge Judy.  Love him!

  • Complaining.

  • Looking at the house that was clean yesterday, which is now untidy...again.

  • Reflecting a little on my first night of 3rd shift - although I'm trying not to do that too much.

  • Still thinking about how smokin' hot Patrick Wilson is. I watched Morning Glory earlier tonight.  Super cute movie.

  • Also thinking about how smokin' hot Ryan Reynolds is.  I watched the Proposal earlier too.

  • Googling pictures of smokin' hot men for your viewing pleasure.  You're welcome.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Tonight is my last night working 2nd shift & my first night working 3rd shift.

It's a bittersweet moment for me.  I'm ready to start the next chapter of my life, nursing school.  Working 3rd shift is necessary in order for me to achieve that goal.

I will be getting to know new residents, whose lives I know I can positively impact.

But, I am also sad.  I will miss those residents who I've become so close too.  After spending 40 hours a week with them for almost a year, the idea of hardly seeing them anymore is breaking my heart.

They have become like family to me, & I love each of them. 

These are people who have lived long, incredible lives.  And even though I'm sometimes so busy I can't imagine that I'll ever get finished with my work, I always make time to listen to their stories - which is the most important lesson I ever learned.

Throughout my career I will meet & care for many patients.  I will treat them all with the same love & respect, but I will forget most of their names & faces.  No one can remember everyone, & I think that's a good thing in the end.

But the names & faces I'll remember vividly are those of my original residents.

The people who say, "Hi there, honey bee!  How are you today?" 

The people who say, "I'm so glad to see you! You're one of the people I feel close to here."

The people who say, "You're my little princess, & don't you forget it."

They've shared their wisdom, as well as their goodnight kisses.  I have been through silly moments, frustrating moments & downright disgusting moments with these people - & every single one has been worth it.

When I started this job I had never worked in health care before. I was terrified because I had no idea what to expect. It was these residents who really taught me how to do this job, better than any book or lecture or clincial practice ever could.

The hardest part about this transition is knowing that I will not get to see some of them ever again.  Although I will get back to this unit in my travels, those days will be infrequent & some of my dear loved ones will be gone.  And given what their situations are, I am not able to say goodbye to them because they wouldn't understand if I did.

The blessing is, most of them won't realize I'm gone.  They're happy to see me, but when it comes to patients with Alzheimer's & dementia, out of sight really is out of mind.  While I'm glad there will be no hurt feelings on their part, my own heart is breaking.

So this is my tribute & my goodbye to those people who not only taught me how to do what I do, but also to love what I do.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Wishing this was the view out my window instead of what's actually there - gray skies, rain & slushy stuff.

Image from here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sounds like a plan.

So, everyone knows how I hate "the math."  I think this is how I'll get through the next year & a half.

memes - Insanity Wolf: Divide by zero
see more Memebase and check out our Courage Wolf lols!

Sound good?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Starting to panic a little.

A week from tomorrow I switch to my 3rd shift life.

I'll be honest, I'm a little terrified at this point.

I've never worked 3rd shift before. 

I have some great friends & some family members who work 3rd shift where I do, so they've given me the rundown on how it works.  I'm sure I can do it - but you know, I'm a nervous Nelly & that will never change.

I haven't heard anything good about my new charge nurse (from both CNAs & nurses alike).  I've worked with all kinds of people before, & I'm not afraid to work from someone with (how shall I put this?)  personality issues, but things always go more smoothly when you get along well with your co-workers.

So I'm trying to keep my cool & realize that everything is going to work out ok - but the countdown is killing me a little.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Big, ol' sigh of relief.

Remember when I was studying for my placement test, & the math was killing me?

Remember when I did all that studying, & then there was no math on sed placement test, but there was random science & so I was sure I failed?

Remember when I accepted that I'd be taking the long route to being an RN, but was committed to my Plan B?

Yesterday I had my interview with the director of the nursing program I applied to.

We reviewed my scores, & let me just say that I kicked that test's ass!!  I scored in the 99th percentile overall, & in the 96th percentile on specifically the math portion.

Then we reviewed my high school transcripts & my references.  I can't thank the lovely ladies responsible for my wonderful references enough.  Their very kind words & their belief in what I'm capable of mean so much to me.

It was at that point that the director said the words I've been longing to hear,

"You can consider yourself accepted if you meet the rest of the requirements."

The rest of the requirements being background checks, fingerprinting & not being a secret drug addict or felon.  I can safely assume that, those being the last hurdles, I'm in.

At that point she could have told me to get the hell out of her office & slammed the door in my face, because I got what I came for.  But to further improve my day she kept the compliments coming.

She asked me, "I'm sure you qualify for an RN program anywhere.  Are you sure you want to come here?"

She being an RN herself, so that comment meant a lot to me.

When I explained that the best RN program in my area didn't agree, but that I wasn't willing to give up on my goal & that yes, I really did want to attend her school, she said, "Well, it'll be refreshing to have someone as bright as you in our program."

Have I mentioned that I love this lady?  Because if I didn't, I do.

So to celebrate I went out for dinner with the people I love & a boy name Colin. (That was for you, Jenn.)

Afterwards we continued the celebration with more people & lots of alcohol.  It was St. Patrick's Day after all.

I've got a rare Friday off today, & the weather is going to be gorgeous.  I plan on doing lots of outside things in the yard & capitalizing on my leftover good mood from yesterday.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

(Semi)Wordless Wednesday

This is my cousin, a PA State Chess Champion, & his big ass trophy!  He placed 1st in his division at the state tournament a few weeks ago.  I'm so proud!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just popping in to say hello!

Things have been a little disjointed in my life at the moment.

I'm very much looking forward to my nursing school interview on Thursday - but everything about my job is bringing my down.

I'm in a funk, & I feel like everyone is mad at me for some reason that I'm not privy to.

And some of these mad people are people who I know would never be mad.


So anyway, until this dark cloud passes over my head, I'm taking a little hiatus from blogging. 

Hopefully the mood will strike me soon or an idea will fall into my lap.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

She did what?

I've talked about my mother before on my blog.

She's a little nutty, & it's amusing to laugh at the crazy things she does.  And once again, she didn't disappoint today.

She's at war with her neighbors - but she's the only one who thinks so.  Shortly after we moved into the house where she lives now (10 years ago), she & my stepdad were making some improvements on the backyard.  They built a new, bigger deck & garden area.  These neighbors, who I will admit are a little off, approached my mom in the backyard one afternoon to adress their "concerns" with the home improvements.  While I can't recite the entire conversation, I can tell you how it ended.

          Crazy neighbor:  How would you feel if someone new moved in & suddenly made all these


          Crazy mother:  I don't really fucking care how you feel.

I think it's safe to say any cordial, neighborly relationship was over at that point.  From then on, my mother spied on them through an upstairs window, & Mr. Neighbor purposely threw sticks & shoveled snow into our yard.

Well, not to be outdone, my mother had a fence built - down only one side of the yard, which happens to be between these two houses.  Really mature, right?

After that, she continued with her spying, but they were powerless to throw random things into the yard anymore.  That's pretty much how the relationship has continued over the better part of a decade.

She spies so much that she knows all the following informaiton:

  • Where & when they grocery shop
  • When they are planning a birthday party for their children
  • When they are having medical issues
  • When the couple separated, & ultimately reconciled
Crazy, huh?  Yep, that's my momma!

And the saga continued this evening, when my mother attended a school board meeting.

Why you ask?

Because Mr. Neighbor works for the school district, & they are planning to make spending cuts - so she wanted to know if he would be fired.

She seriously needs to get a life.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lazy Sunday, lazy blog post.

I was woken up a little too early by my dog, & then kept awake by a snoring, beg-hogging boyfriend.

I had the largest pile of laundry I've seen in a long time taking up space in my bedroom.

I desperately needed to mop my kitchen & bathroom floors.

So, I devoted the day to getting this house in shape.  Here's what I did today.

  • Started the laundry at 10:00 AM.  Still going strong at 6:30 PM. FML.
  • Mopped those nasty floors.
  • Cleaned some stuff, & then cleaned some more stuff.
  • Took my entire vacuum apart because it wasn't working.  Found so much fur in the hose that I should have named it & put in in a designer bag like Paris Hilton.
  • Organized both my living room closets
  • Argued with my dog everytime she needed to go outside.  She doesn't do rain so well.
  • Febreezed the shit out of some stuff so it doesn't smell like cigarettes.  Even though I have a strict "No Smoking" policy in this house, it still stinks.  I'd really like the boyfriend to drop that nasty habit sooner, rather than later.
I also listened to my Jon Secada Pandora station for hours, & when that got old started on a marathon of Chopped. 

Who else loves that show?  Cheese curls & elk - c'mon now!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The four words that ruined everything.

I was on cloud 9 yesterday!

I found out on Thursday that I got the 3rd shift position I bid on!!  Third shift is much less demanding & stressful, not to mention that my weekend schedule now coincides with MIL's.  Yay!

But the bigger news is, I checked the mailbox before I went to work yesterday afternoon & there was a letter from the nursing school I applied to - & I passed my placement test!!!!

That was the biggest sigh of  relief that I've had in a while.  I'm so glad that I don't have to go through it again.  Now I can move on to the next phase of the admissions process, which is submitting transcripts & references & having an interview with the program director. 

My interview is scheduled for March 17th.

And although my mood will likely change, I'm not stressed about the interview process right now.  I've had both good & bad interviews in my life, but I'm in a place where I'm comfortable with them.  It will be ok.

By this point you may be wondering why I was on cloud 9 & what 4 words ruined everything.

I was at work last night all in my good mood & such, & one of the nurses that I love brought me an envelope from the office.  She told me she didn't know what it was for, just that they asked her to bring it to me.  I told her it was my paperwork for my schedule change to 3rd shift.

She said she was really sad to see me go (she works on the horrible weekend with me), & had lots of questions about why I was going.  I explained the nursing school schedule was the biggest factor - Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday from 2-9:30.  She asked about my days off for third shift - every other Monday & Wednesday & every other weekend (the same as now, just on a different shift).

And then she said them - the four words that ruined everything.

"When will you sleep?"

My immediate reaction was, "It's only for a year & a half.  I'll be fine." 

But those words were like a ticking time bomb in my brain, which is why I woke up at 7:00 this morning, sick to my stomach...after having gone to bed at 3:00 AM.

When will I sleep?

After I graduate.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fingers crossed!

I've got another week or so wait before I  find out if I passed my placement test for nursing school.

In hopes of having positive thoughts & putting good energy into the universe for myself, I decided to make a change yesterday.

I put in a bid for a 3rd shift position at work.

If When I start nursing school, my schedule will be Tues/Wed/Thurs from 2-9:30, so I'll need to work 3rd shift.  Lately there haven't been a lot of 3rd shift openings at work, so I was getting a little nervous about being able to get the position I needed when the time came.

All of a sudden, a full time position was posted yesterday, so I didn't waste any time.  I submitted my letter of interest, & called to follow up this morning. 

I don't want to be a pest, but I got screwed out of a position I bid on a few months ago because someone lost the paperwork.  So as you can imagine, my level of trust in these people is not so good.'

True to fashion, this person still hasn't called me back, so I'll be stopping in for a visit before I start today.

Anyway, enough about the crappy office staff at my job...

The prospect of a schedule that would work well with school is not the only reason I'm excited.  This new schedule would mean I work the same weekend as my MIL, so we won't be on opposite schedules anymore.  Plus, 3rd shift weekends are Friday & Saturday, so I've be off every other Friday & Saturday night.

And, the icing on the cake is, although it would be a different shift, I'd work the same weekend as the co-workers that I love - which means we'll also be off on the same weekends.

At my job there are two types of job postings, ones where bids are based on seniority & others where it's first come, first served.  I'm really, really hoping that since this position just got posted yesterday I was the first one to bid on it.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Where have I been?

I haven't blogged for a while, mostly because I haven't had anything interesting to stay, but also because work has been C-R-A-Z-Y!

Here's what I've been doing in my absence from the Blog World:

  • Seeing a SteamPunk exhibit with my aunt
  • Hitting up the Border's liquidation sale.  I'm so sad to see my local store go!
  • Joining Paperback Swap, an online book club that my friend suggested.  Thanks, Steph!
  • Reading Patton Oswalt's Zombie Spaceship Wasteland
  • Catching up on my DVR back log
  • Not cleaning out my purple room
  • Waiting (im)patiently for the results of my nursing school placement test
  • Reading your blogs.
I've also been trying to ignore the Charlie Sheen drama, which has been a fairly successful endeavor.  Now & then I hear some random piece of nonsense about him being a warlock or having tiger blood or whatever, but I'm mostly in the dark & I'm comfortable with that.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Unfortunately, I may have to save your life one day.

I'm not unwilling to save your life, I just hope it never comes to that.

What I'm trying to say is, I took a CPR recertification course on Wednesday night.  It was weird interesting, to say the least.

The instructor was a little unusual, but I can live with that.  He's been teaching this class (& teaching in general) for over 30 years.  He was very nice & very knowledgable, just a little quirky.

Before the class started a woman came in & introduced herself as a newly trained instructor.  Before she taught a class of her own, she wanted to observe one in action.  Seemed reasonable to me, however, this woman was - how shall I put this? - a little "tightly wound."  This class probably wasn't the best for her to observe.  She couldn't handle the quirks.  And when the instructor tried to include her in the discussion, which was meant  to help, she ultimately said, "I'm not here. I'm just observing."

Umm...ok then.  But you do realize that you are actually here, right?

Then there was this really weird girl who showed up late.  She came in & announced she would only be staying for the adult/child portions because she didn't need infant CPR.  There are two problems with that.

  1. It's all sort of mixed together because the skills are generally the same.
  2. The test we have to take isn't given until the end, & you need to be present for that to be official.
But again, whatever.  It's none of my business anyway.

The weird part happened later on.  She ended up being there for the whole class, including the infant portion & test.  The Red Cross employees accidentially miscounted the supplies, so there weren't enough answer sheets for the instructor to make his own.  When we reviewed the tests we went around the room & took turns reading a question & giving the answer. 

When it came time for weird girl to read her question, she just blurted out the answer.  So the instructor asked her to read the question like every else did.  Instead of doing that she says (in a scratchy voice that I was hearing for the first time, "Do I have too?  I've been sick & I'm losing my voice."

Really?  Because it seems to me that you've been talking & being weird for the last few hours with no issue.

No issue speaking, that is.  There were definitely some other issues there.

We actually found out after this whole ordeal that weird girl had the extra answer sheets the instructor was looking for.  Somehow she just didn't notice - or  couldn't talk, so didn't say anything.

Despite the unusual environment, the class went well & that's one more thing crossed off the nursing school to do list!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The waiting game.

I woke up so early yesterday morning that I don't even want to mention the time, as it might frighten some of you.  I'm so not a morning person, but yesterday was the big day - the placement test for nursing school.

As some of you probably know, I've been dreading the math for a while now.

Turns out, the math was the least of my concerns -even though the $25 book the school suggested I buy to study was of virtually no help, which I'm slightly annoyed about.

Sure, there were some math problems I just had to guess on, but for the most part I was pretty comforatable with it.

The problem?  There was hardly any math.

There was a whole lot of "which word doesn't belong" & "what comes next in the series?" 

Ok.  I can handle this.

And then, this is where the problems started.  There was a natural science section, which I had no warning of at all.  This section had questions related to everything from earthquakes to diseases caused by eating undercooked pork.

I don't know about you, but I don't store that type of information in my brain in case I'm on Jeopardy for situations such as this.

While overall I'm feeling pretty good about the test, I've got a nagging feeling about the science section.  Hopefully my educated guesses were enough (it was all multiple choice) & I won't have to take it again.

Because I just don't know if I can get up that early anymore...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy freaking birthday.

We're having another  party at work today to celebrate someone's birthday.

He's one of the alright people, & he turned 50, so it's a big deal.

Everyone takes turns making an entree for these parties, so I offered to bring barbeque this time.  I'm fine with that.  No story there.

But, I do have a funny story about the most awful lady ever!

After I started working on my current unit at the nursing home, the first party we had was for the most awful lady ever.  I offered to make a cake, since no one else had.  I specifically asked my co-workers if there was something particular that this woman liked (at the time I sort of cared because she hadn't shown her awful colors yet).  Everyone told me it didn't matter & anything would be fine.

So, I made chocolate cake with cream cheese icing.  See, the thing about me is I hate cake.  I haven't eaten a piece of cake in literally years.  I have no idea what kind of cake people like to eat.  But, I do like chocolate & cream cheese, so that sounded good to me.

Everyone loved it too - except for the most awful lady ever.  When I asked her if I had any cake she said, "I don't eat that."  Not, "thanks for the gesture," or, "I can't eat it because I'm allergic to chocolate & it would kill me;" just, "I don't eat that."

I can't stand this bitch.

One of my other friendly, understanding co-workers told me that the most awful lady ever doesn't really eat sweet stuff in general.  I can respect that, because I'm sort of the same way.  I live for salty snacks.  So, even though she was rude about it, I  chalked it up to not being a cake fan.

Flash forward to a few months later when it was time for my birthday party & another co-worker made a different kind of cake.  There I am in our break room listening to the most awful lady ever go on & on & on about "how good that cake looks," & how she's "going to eat some of that."

Now, if I were more adult I would have just let it go...but where's the fun in that?  What would I do to amuse myself if I weren't annoying my co-workers?

So, the next time we had a party:  chocolate cake with cream cheese icing.

I am a force to be reckoned with.  It's best if you learn that early on.

Clearly my message was read loud & clear, because the most awful lady ever is bringing cake to this party today.

I think we can safely chalk this one up as a win for me.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Getting prepared...again.

A few weeks ago I mentioned a placement test I was taking for a nursing school that I'm applying to.

The test was originally scheduled for groundhog's day, but got cancelled because we had an ice storm that day - although I didn't find out the school was closed until I got there, because we like to do thinks at the last minute in this country. FML.

In any event, it's been rescheduled for this upcoming Wednesday, which I'm happy to report is my day off!!

So, it's back to the math.

I feel a little better this time around, which is a good feeling.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Purple room: 1. Renee: 0.

DJ & I moved into our house a year ago.

For the most part, I keep the place tidy as much as I can.  But, I do work full time, & it's not always as tidy as I'd like it to be.

But, one thing I can't blame a full time job for is the state of my spare bedroom.

We don't have children, therefore no need for the spare bedroom.  So, it's been our storage space -  & there are boxes in there that have never been unpacked from when we moved a year ago.

It's sad, I know.

Today I was sure was the day.  I had no other plans.  I was going to clean that purple room.

And I started...but I didn't  finish.  Sigh.

I did make a good dent in it, & I'm going to do a little more each day until it's completed - but I'm feeling defeated for not getting it done today.

But, Big Bang Theory on the DVR was calling, & I couldn't help myself.  I mean c'mon - Leornard & Penny are going to get back together one of these days!  None of you care about that, but you should.  That show is so funny!

Wow.  It just became abundantly clear to me why I haven't unpacked my spare room after a year...

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's my party & I'll blog if I want to

Week 2 of the 31dbbb challenge is coming to a close.  Our gracious & supportive host Shelley Ellen from I'm Still Standing is hosting a giveaway to celebrate.  There's an iTunes gift card up for grabs, which I could definitely use because I'm slowly but surely whittling down my retirement money at the iTunes store.

All Shelley asks is that we write a post about what we've learned so far during the challenge.

So, what have I learned?  Here goes...

  • Shelley Ellen is a grammar nazi like me!  She found an error in one of my posts & politely pointed it out.  I'm always happy to meet someone who shares my love of proofreading.
  • I'm not as terrible at this as I thought.  I already do a lot of the things this program suggests (list posts, interlink old posts, email blog readers) & I got a ton of really great feedback on my elevator pitch.
  • My GFC number is not important to me.  I really want people to read my blog so I'm able to open a dialogue with them.  While this challenge hasn't increased my reader count drastically, I have met some great people who I will continue to chat with!
  • I'm officially addicted to Twitter, & I'm ok with that.
Sorry, Shelley - I know this probably isn't the kind of list you're looking for.  But it's been a long day, & I've had a few cocktails.  Despite my poor list, I can tell you that I'm loving this challenge & I'm so glad that I got involved!  Thanks for hosting, & for all your help!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Think spring!

The bitter cold weather is taking a break for the next few days, when the temperature here in Pennsylvania is supposed to be in the 60s!  It'll be back into the 40s on Saturday, but I plan to enjoy the nice weather while it lasts. 

Flip-flops tomorrow.  Woot!

The temporary warmth has me dreaming of spring with it's blue skies, budding flowers & chirping birds.

Image from Google.

Here's hoping winter moves on quickly!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 8 - Do you smell something?

This is the post I've been looking forward to!  The prompt for the day is to interlink some of my old posts into today's post.  I occasionally do that already, but not as a regular habit.

Those of you who have read this blog for a while know the thing I write about most is work.  But, I've gained lots of new readers as part of this challenge, & I wanted to introduce them to my favorite subject.

Last year I left my stable career as a call center supervisor for a local chain of department stores.  I was responsible for training & quality assurance.  I was with that company for 5 years, starting when I was 19.  And while I loved my co-workers & the company, the relationship had run it's course.  I was miserable because I wanted something more from my life.

I wanted my life to be about helping people; really helping people, not solving their issues with their online order or delivery of furniture.  And so, in the shakey economy I left my stable job to start over as a CNA at a nursing home. 

What a long, strange trip it's been.  And it's all documented on my little ol' blog - the good, the bad & the smelly.

Having never worked in healthcare before, there were a few jaw-dropping moments for me.  For example, the day I learned what a prolapsed uterus is.

And because being a CNA is a dirty job, I never have a shortage of stories about poo; like here & here.

But, it's not all fun & games.  I work with mostly elderly residents who are coming to the end of their lives.  When you spend so much time with people in such a personal setting, it's inevitable that they become like family.  So at times I have to blog about the bittersweet moments, like the first time I had to say goodbye & why cheese curls mean so much.

It may seem like I use my blog to complain about work.  I'll be honest, the job is stressful & I rely on my blog to vent so I don't drive my boyfriend crazy.  But I love what I do, & I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 7 - Link up!

I took a few days off from blogging over the weekend, but now I'm refreshed & ready to get back into the  challenge!

The challenge prompt for today suggests linking up with other bloggers, allowing you to expand on further topics, take an opposing viewpoint or promote another post that you think really deserves it.

I'm linking up with my SIL Jenn of South of Sheridan.  She's the one who got me into this challenge, & got me into blogging in the first place.

January 20th of this year was the International Day of Acceptance to promote disibility awareness.  Jenn asked her readers to ask whatever burning questions they may have had about using a wheelchair for mobility.  Please take some time to read the questions & answers here & here.

As I'm sure most of you know by now, my boyfriend DJ also has LGMD & uses a wheelchair full time.  When we started dating I got lots of perplexed looks from people, & I could see the wheels turning behind their eyes.  Much like DJ & Jenn, my attitude towards the situation is this:  I'd rather have you ask instead of just staring.

So, in that spirit I'm taking a queue from Jenn.  If you have any questions about being the other half of someone with a disability, please ask away!

You can contact me by:

I'd like to take questions until Friday, & then prepare an answers post for the weekend.

I'm excited to see what people want to know!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

DJ & I will be enjoying a fancy dinner at home tonight.  On the menu:

  • Steak
  • Shrimp
  • Baked potatoes
  • Ceasar salad
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • Canoli
It's going to be delicious I'm sure!  DJ is a very good cook.

Afterward we'll probably just rent a movie or play Wii. 

Have I mentioned lately how old & boring we are?

No matter what you're doing today, I just hope it's with someone you love.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 5 - Email me!

Today's prompt suggests emailing a new reader.  Guess what - I already do that!

I read all of my comments via email.  If the reader, new or old, has email enabled I try to send a quick note to say thanks or expand upon the topic.

I feel like I've developed pretty solid bloggy friendships that way.

Yay!  Look at me being ahead of the curve for once!  Woo hoo!!

I've got a busy morning ahead of me, so I'll be brief today.

I'll pause for your collective gasp.

Before I go, I just want to share the best blog award I've ever received with you.  This award came from one of my favorite bloggers, who I've emailed back & forth with over the course of my time in Bloggyland.

I highly reccommend taking a minute to read the Sarcastic Lab Rat.  Definitely one of my favorites!

BTW, if anyone needs/wants to email me I'd love to hear from you!  You can reach me at .

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 4 - What am I not doing?

Today's task is to take a good look as a successful blog on my niche.

Hmm...someone who successfully talks about other people's bodily fuctions & how annoying DJ is sometimes?  That might be a little difficult...

Haha! Can you imagine if there were two of us out there??

Anyway, I do have a blog in mind:  Casa de Nicole.  She is the California version of me.  We're the same age, she's settling into life with her fiance & she deals directly with patients in a health care setting.

The difference between us? She's got a ton of followers & readers.  And I - well, I don't.

BTW, she deserves all those followers because she is lovely & amazing!

So what gives?  That's the big question of the day.

One of the things I've tried to do to meet new bloggers is participate in blog hops.  I've found a few good ones that I do on a semi-regular basis.  And while I have gained some followers that way, very few are people who actually read.

Miss Nicole doesn't do blog hops that I've noticed.  She does participate in giveaways, both hosting & winning.

I've got a confession to make.  Giveaways are my Achilles heal.

I read very few blogs that are primarily reviews & giveaways because they don't keep my attention.  Please don't send me hate mail, as I am not knocking those who host & sign up for giveaways.  People love giveaways! 

I'm not anti giveaway myself - I'm just seldom willing to jump through the hoops it takes to sign up for them.

Most require that you follow the blog to win.  That's fine, except I'm stingy about blogs that I follow.  I don't click that little button unless I actually have intentions to read it.

Ok, so, I'm done with my diatribe about giveaways because I don't honestly believe they are the true difference between us.  The difference is the exposure those giveaways provide.

Moral of the story?  I need to put myself out there more - which I'm trying to do, one challenge day at a time.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 3 - Put your best foot forward

Today's prompt was all about promoting what you believe to be your best posts & suggested outlets for doing so.

The eBook suggests that you promote only your best posts & not every single one.  While I see the virtue in that, lately I've been Tweeting every post I've published.  That's because I've got a ton of new Twerps, & I'm really trying to gain new readers (not just followers!) of my blog.

For now, I think that's going to work best for what I'm trying to acheive - more  readers, rather than "building a business" of my blog.

The special task for today was to find places to promot yesterday's post, other than Twitter & Facebook.  Well, I've already done the Twitter part, & I got really great feedback from current & new readers!  I actually haven't crossed the Facebook threshold yet, but I want to.  The reason being, I need a Fan Page.  I don't have one yet, but I want one! Although I use my own name on my blog, not everyone in my real life reads it or even knows about it.  Any of them may stumble upon it at some point which would be fine with me, but I don't want to openly invite them all in.

So, before I can move beyond Twitter & Facebook, I need to master those two first.  I'll be contacting my go-to blog helper today for assistance with creating a fan pag, my SIL Jenn at South of Sheridan.

But, I think there is a half-way meeting point between the suggested method & what I'm already doing:  my "Best of" page.  I've got a few of my favorite posts bookmarked there.  I think these really identify me as a writer, the kinds of topics I blog about most & the quirky, silly side of me.  One of the things I want to do during this challenge (in addition to sprucing up the "About Me" page! ) is to figure out how to better promote my favorite posts.

If anyone has any thoughts, please pass them along.  I'd love to hear your feedback.

And, to new & old readers alike, please visit my "Best Of" page & take a look at something new or something you may have forgotten about.  Tell me what you think!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 2 - Oh, how I love thee! Let me count the ways...

I tend to not choose the subject matter of my blog.  It usually chooses me.  Something will happen that is either so funny, so sad or (most frequently) so annoying that I just have to get it out of my system.  And that is how the subject of today's post came about.

There I was at work last night trying to think of a list for today.  This challenge is all about promoting my blog, so I was trying to come up with an idea for listing the kinds of topics I usually write about.  But, I wanted to do something different.  Hmmm...

Then it hit me, or rather, it talked in my ear.  Let me be clear that I blog about work a lot.  If any of you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I work in health care & my posts are sometimes graphic.  I'd like to start by saying that this post is not about poop, although there's bound to be at least one as we work through this challenge. Today's post, is about a coworker - the worst co-worker ever.

This is a woman in her 50s who has been at this job for 10 years.  Understandably so, she is tired, & doesn't have the same level of energy that she did when she started working.  But, she's more than capabale of doing the job, even if at a slightly slower pace.

But her age & her energy is not what slows this woman down.  What slows her down is constantly watching what everyone else is doing so she can write things down in her notebook (she actually does that!!!) & use it as ammunition later on.

Are you serious?!?!?  Who has time for that??  Look, I know I'm blogging about this woman & it probably seems like the same thing, but I don't think it is.  I'm venting my frustrations.  And, I don't have a notebook dedicated to dirt on my co-workers.

Anyway, back to my story: there I am yesterday at the nurse's station waiting to get report from the charge nurse.  I work with elderly residents & a lot of them are confused.  Some wear alarms so they don't fall & hurt themselves.  One such alarm was going off, & a co-worker that I love went to answer it.

Mean, horrible lady then whispered to another co-worker, "Oh look, she went for an alarm! I can't believe it."  Then she went onto say, "Some people don't answer alarms, or take your residents to the bathroom while you're on break, & maybe that's something the supervisor needs to know that."

See, I know this is all very juvenile, but the thing about mean, horrible lady is that she's never going to say anything to any supervisor.  She just likes to stir the pot.  She likes to cause trouble & have an attitude.  She believes that she will always get her way because we're scared of her, but in reality people go along with what she says because no one wants to listen to her.

This drove me crazy last night, but I refuse to get involved in work drama.  I  go, do my job & come home.  It does not control my life or make me sad or angry after the fact, & I'd really like to keep it that way.

But today, I need to write a list, & I've been inspired by mean, horrible lady.  If she thinks she's keeping tabs on everyone else, I hope she realizes we're keeping one on her - but not actually in a notebook, because that's just sad.  Anyway, here goes...

All the things mean, horrible lady does wrong:

  • Accuses people of not helping other, even though she rarely helps anyone else.  She's actually never helped me...ever.
  • Changes peoples wet briefs or incontinent pads without acutally cleaning the person because "it's quicker & then they're dry."
  • Lies about walking residents who are still able to do so in an attempt to look good for the nurse. 
  • Sits & watches while other CNAs (& sometimes people visiting residents!!) put clothing protectors on the residents before dinner. I FREAKING HATE THIS!!!!!!
  • Doesn't feel bad about sticking someone who is does not regularly work on our floor with the most difficult group of residents, extra assignment or shower to give.
So you see, instead of being a leader with all that experience, she's just a pain in the ass.  She is the number one reason that I go to work & suddenly feel like I'm transported back to middle school.  And honestly, she is the reason I hate myself for even letting it ruffle my feathers in the first place.

I just need to rise above it - but sometimes I just want to call her a stupid-face.