Sunday, January 17, 2010


Who here has ever rushed to the Emergency Room after throwing up one time? If I live to be 100 I will never get this. And I swear on my mother's grave (wherever that ends up being cause she's alive and well, so far) a woman came in today who had pelvic cramps and low back pain. Her period had started. Today. And she came to the ER without even having taken a Motrin. And, not unlike this video I happened across today, she had the same problem in the past. About a month ago.

How can this be happening? And yet, it's every single day I work. Every single one. I keep thinking I missed something, like something happened since I was a kid and people had common sense. And every, single day I have more and more trouble not responding in a manner that would lead to my termination.

Like today. A young couple brought their 6-month-old baby in. He'd apparently fallen off the couch and hit his head on the floor. It was carpeted and the baby wasn't hurt. But judging by the degree of marijuana smoke on the parent's clothing, I wasn't surprised he rolled off. And when I came to the part of the nurse's note asking about 2nd hand smoke, I almost said, "It's obvious the baby is exposed to 2nd hand smoke because you two smell like a flash fire at an Amsterdam cannabis cafe " And would that have been so bad? Really? I mean, what kind of retaliation could I have possibly expected? Are they going to go to the CEO's office on Monday and tell him the nurse was rude by commenting on the pot smell on their clothing?

I'm thinking a lot about taking an ER position in a large teaching hospital ER 130 miles from here. In a big town. You know, where everybody isn't related to everybody else and not so many people wear camoflauge. I put in an online application tonight. It's funny because when I updated my application I discovered I'd applied at that facility at exactly the same time of year in 2008.

My boss got fired, that time. I was heartbroken. And really, really mad. But in the end I didn't feel good about bailing out because I was angry. Not a good ending. So I stayed. Another 9 months.

The trouble is, I no longer want to be a nurse most of the time.

And all of that being said, there I've gone again and focused on precisely what I don't want to attract in my life, thereby ensuring I'll get more of the very same. I so suck at the Law of Attraction for which I hold such high hope.

Tomorrow we go away. Back to the cabin in the state park. And first, to a larger town to go shopping for groceries at a particularly gourmet grocery store in that vicinity that one of the ER docs told me about. We'll check into the cabin and unpack and then we'll go on north to the big city and the gourmet food and then, afterward, we'll come back and start a fire and spend the next 4 days reading and hiking and sleeping and soaking in the tub and doing some art, I hope.

Oh, and the jigsaw puzzle.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

play day

I almost bought a new camera, today. I mean very nearly, as in ordered one and applied for the interest-free credit and got approved and clicked on SUBMIT ORDER. And then I chickened out and canceled it. I hope. Instead of charging $1300 on a new credit card, I downloaded the owner's manual for the camera I got for my birthday 2 1/2 years ago and printed it out. Then I went home and played.

This is Calpurnia.
Although the next two photos are very poor quality, I like them because it makes Maggi appear ghostly.

Sometimes I really love my life.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lain Kali Tengok Nila

Okay, so I'm randomly going through blogs again this morning to check out what's out there like I said in the previous post and I find this fucking thing. This is some funny shit. What is it about people who speak foreign languages cursing in English that is so damn funny? Started my day off just right. Protein shake, Tylenol, St John's Wort, Claritin, little Asian girl posting some really awkward swear words. Makes life worth living. Next is coffee. Then a real, live hair appointment and it's on to Hot Springs (me and Bobbi). Just hope we don't run across any barbaric fucktards out there (waves of laughter resuming). "But hey, the honk was a looooooooongg one"! Oh my God, I'm never gonna get out of my seat.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Herpatology and the Domestic Arts

Another day pissed away in hedonistic pursuits. Slept till 9:30, which I know isn't late for me but you don't. Got a massage. Ate 4 cupcakes. You know, the usual. Oh, and surfed the net looking for websites I like and might someday wish to emulate.

I've been thinking a lot lately about an alternate career. Something involving more sitting on my couch and not so much of this healing the infirm. At this point, it's strickly a fantasy but it will eventually become a necessity.

I fantasize about a bed and breakfast. I really love entertaining. The whole thing; cooking, dressing up, decorating. I love it. That's why I usually need to be institutionalized right after Christmas. I overdo it. Too many late nights baking cookies. While we're on the subject, there is little I enjoy more than being up in the kitchen really late at night, everybody else in bed, in preparation for a holiday dinner. I am in heaven those nights. I put Martha Stewart on tv (if she's not on satelite, I plug in my old, homemade VHS tapes from the old Martha Stewart Living show) or just some old movie on TCM, and I cook. With the dinner not until the next day, or maybe the day after that, there's no pressure. Nobody is going to ring the doorbell in a minute wanting to be fed. I still have a good night's (or half a night's) sleep before all of that.

But back to the B&B fantasy, there is no real attraction at my house with which to lure the public. Nor is our small town much of an attraction, particularly since the tornado turned the woods across the street, as well as a good part of the whole town, into what looks a lot like Hiroshima. We do have a little-used cabin on 20 acres with which we could do something along those lines. Not a B&B exactly 'cause, don't you have to live there? But some kind of retreat place and I could cook and bring it out there and do massage and spa treatments on the premises. Something like that. And it's pretty
out there and, so far, no tornado damage.

There's probably a way to make money out there renting it out on weekends (while I work) if nothing else. It's a cool place, built of strawbales. That's an attention grabber. But then, there is that huge, black snake who sheds his/her skin in the loft. Any snake extermination suggestions? Then again, I did see an article in National Geographic about a high end spa in the west that offered snake massages. Hmmmm.....(tapping chin with forefinger)...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Is This Heaven or Just Alabama?

I'm doing what I've sworn off and here it is after 2am, again. The thing is, it's the only uninterrupted time of the day. The only time nobody is calling or stopping by or when I'm suppose to be doing something else, aside from sleeping. So it's natural that I gravitate toward middle of the night hours. I always have.

I watched To Kill a Mockingbird again tonight. I will never tire of it. What an incredible film. And book. My absolute favorite. I've watched it so many times, over so many years that I've become confused about my relationship with Gregory Peck. Is he a family member of mine or simply somebody I've seen on tv? Like Andy Griffith and Aunt Bea, his voice sounds as familiar as my own Father's. And as comforting.

In fact, there is something about old movies in general that I adore. Despite the ability to differentiate fact from fiction, I feel as though I'm glimpsing another time, when watching them. Only really seeing into the past and not a movie set, either, but back to a real moment in time, long since lost. As if the children's bedroom in the Finch house, where Jem lie on the bed following his Bob Ewell debacle, were the one in my Grandmother's house on 27th Street in Lincoln, Nebraska when I was a little girl. But it feels that way. It was just off her livingroom. And it's the same with the porch, the big, old trees on the street, the wallpaper behind the panel door where Boo Radley hid in that bedroom. And my hair was cut exactly like Jean Marie Finch (Scout) who I've always had mixed up with my niece, Angie. They are one and the same, Angie and Scout and me, I guess, by virtue of my haircut the first 10 years of my life.

If there is a heaven and if by some mix up I get to attend, I will have a seat in that porch swing beside Boo on the front porch of the Finch house on that October night, Bob Ewell lying in the woods across town, a butter knife stuck up under his ribs. Or even Grandma Fricke's house, Lawrence Welk playing in the livingroom and me trying on plastic wigs. I'll take either one.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Janus: God of the Doorway (and possibly closets)

January is the most curious of months. I want to sleep and soak in the tub and sip broth from rustic, hand-thrown pottery bowls. And is it just me or does everybody open their refrigerator and, although it looks like this, not be able to find anything to eat?
All that damn food and nothing to eat (except for Cinnamon Roll-flavored Yoplait Light that I just retrieved and am eating after spotting it in the above photo).

Freddy likes to leave the Christmas decorations up through January 6th, the second Christmas. Before he came along, decorations were cleaned up, the floor vacuumed and everything put away by 10am on Christmas morning. But I respect his wishes and now I leave them up. The only time it bothers me is when I'm in the living room and then the urge to take things down is almost more than I can stand. The Monday after Christmas I just took a couple Christmas pot holders and a Christmas hand towel into the laundry room and threw them in with another load of clothes. That's all. When we do take the decorations down, which I wasn't doing until the 6th, there's always something that needs to be washed and air dried and that takes time so I thought I'd get that little bit of it out of the way. On Tuesday, the same thing, only this time it was a few of the Santas I had in the cabinet in the livingroom. I just put a few of the Santas in the spare room. And then I put them into a bin. Wednesday, the placemats and a couple of candles. New Year's Eve I went ahead and took the garland off the fence and porch railing, just in the back of the house and only after dark. Well, and in the front, too, eventually. But that was all.

Monday, January 4th, I took three ornaments off the tree. Just three. A glittery reindeer and two red balls. That's all. Tuesday the 5th, I gathered every candy cane off the tree and put them in a bowl. But something about removing those candy canes opened a door that I could no longer close and in the course of an hour, every ornament, every icicle, every string of red beads was off that tree and in the bins with the lids clicked into place and stacked in the metal shed in the yard. But I didn't take the tree down and I didn't remove the lights. I made it through the 6th! I kept my resolve to respect my husband's wishes! I mean, right? Didn't I? (Why do I feel like the Grinch?)

I should say here that my life occurrs in increments of 4 days, Monday through Thursday, as I work 12-hour shifts Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the hospital and have no energy to do anything but take baths and put on makeup and pack my lunch those days. So the 6th was yesterday, Wednesday, making today Thursday, the last day of my life this week. And I went out of town yesterday (another blog) so I didn't take down the tree. The danger with that is that I have an internal switch. A toggle with two settings: On and Off. That's it. Nothing else. No other options. On or Off. So, by taking the day off from un-decorating yesterday, I inadvertantly flipped my switch to the Off position. And the tree still stands. Just the tree and the lights.
Only God knows how long it will stand there. Last year it was February.

And then there's the organizing obsession. I'm not that kind of person any other time but in January, something about putting away Christmas decorations makes me suddenly want to organize the years and years worth of clutter in my house. This year, we had a guy build shelves in the closet. I had Freddy buy lumber in June for me to build those shelves and finally this week we had Chad, a nice guy who helps us (a non-procrastinator), built those shelves. This is what the closet looks like, now.
And...are you ready?.....the floor looks like this!
You'd really have to have seen it before. The closet floor has never looked like this (except briefly, immediately after the tornado when it was covered with about 2 inches of water and there were no walls or ceiling and once when the room was first added to the house). My children will think I photoshopped these images but I swear they're authentic. My closet is organized. Every Mother Earth News, every Martha Stewart Living, every National Geographic, every Country Living magazine is stacked in order of months (okay, just the Country Livings are in monthly order, but still!). The shoes are lined up on a shelf. And the shelves are all painted. Believe me, I'm as shocked as anyone.

And the weirdness continues. Earlier this week, I went to Walmart and bought two bookshelves. Those bookshelves were very nearly my undoing, as it turned out. The first casualty was when I loaded them into the cart. Note to self: Always put the lightbulbs into the cart after loading the heavy items. But besides the broken glass (and they were those $8.39 halogen bulbs, too, damnit), I may have bulged a disc lifting the boxes into the cart. When did those things get so heavy? I gotta start doing Pilates, or something. Then I brought them into the house by myself (a nice young man loaded them into the back of my vehicle for me at the store but he wouldn't come home with me). But the kicker was when I was sitting on the floor with the contents of the boxes scattered all around me on the floor and some of the long boards standing up, leaning on the foot stool. As I looked at something to my right, the tallest of the boards to my left fell over, striking me in the left side of my face, right above my eye. I'm pretty tough, though, so once I quit crying I finished putting the shelves together and now we have these (note the empty shelves on the bottom right).

Every single book we own has a home. No more sideways stuffed books and double stacked books that have to be moved to gain access to those in the back. One book at a time so all the titles are clearly visible at all times. They're not organized by subject, yet, but that's another week.

Tomorrow it's back to the ER. My work here is done.