Sunday, May 27, 2012

Grey Skies and Giant Flesh-Eating Bugs

That is about as close to OPPOSITE of sunshine and butterflies I can think. I tried so damn hard earlier this week to be positive. I tried to be positive about even things that weren't so positive. Back when I talked about Yin and Yang last year, I was sort of being sarcastic. I do that sometimes, but my husband doesn't think it's often enough. I was really kind of serious, too.
This week has, in actuality, been a big ol' steaming pile of donkey shit. It has been very un-positive. Last Sunday, I had Kelly bring something to the mall that I'd forgot. As he left, he ran over some glass and just a half mile away goes hella flat. That was bad enough. A new pair or set of tires is not so much in the budget. Carrying on, around Wednesday, the toilet in the master bath decides to pull a Niagara Falls. I got some plumbing advice. I thrust my arm in the dark, icky back tank water. Alas, it is not to be fixed, but a part replaced. We didn't quite get to that. You see, there was an unfortunate accident in MY car on Thursday. No one was injured, Thank God. However, it isn't drivable. I have a great brand-spanking-new Camry to drive while I await the verdict on mine.
Rewind about 10 days ago to horrendous rain locally. There was flooding by the stick water on the main thoroughfare near our house. Apparently, Kelly got water in his fuel line when his car was riding the waves. It's been doing ok, but yesterday it wouldn't crank for him. Usually, he lets it sit a couple of hours and it starts right up. We had to be at dinner, so we left it sitting and then came back after. Sure enough, it cranked right up.
About 5 minutes from home, I get a call. It stopped. I make a big circle to get back and it didn't appear to have sputtered, drifting off to the side to stop, but stopped dead middle of the lane like a Tonka truck on a race track. Holy. Shit. Balls. We can't push it off to the side because there's a ditch that Kelly avoided falling into like an Olympian balance beam dismount. It was a tense situation. It's after midnight in a sketchy location. We were in a sketchy location as I had turned to avoid the stop sign where a truck threw a big assed rock up on my car last week and knocked a chunk of paint off. Luckily, a Sheriff's deputy came by. He called a city cop to come. That's some good police work there. I digress. It just so happens that I had a tow guy's card in my purse from Thursday. We wondered if he'd give us a BOGO, but no dice. He did get there in a half hour or so. We only had a few drunks shout at us and there were just a few near misses with cars trying to get around both of ours and the PoPo.
A big shout out of thanks to Travis Y. for checking on me when he saw me sitting at the Humane Society Thursday. Good people, he is. A big WTMFS to Nissan. My Altima has an invisible bullseye apparently. Kelly's isn't looking much better. Is there an Altima-hater's society out to get us?
Alas, it is Sunday night. I am going to deep breathe my way through the end of my shift. I'm going to sleep tonight. I pray in every religion and every language that this week goes more smoothly.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Positively Bright

Well, meeting Kelly Cochran was surely important in my life.  I'm striving every day to be better, more positive and hopeful.  I was inspired by my last post to really start something from an idea.  It is a baby idea, but it is live.  I started a grief support page on Facebook.  It's called Just Breathe.  I really need to trademark that. 

The response has been exciting.  People are sharing the page, talking about it and talking on it.  I'm thrilled!  I really want to morph it into a chapter of TCF or just local spin offs.

Today, I came home and saw my beautiful calla lilies blooming.  I've returned at night so much lately I haven't seen the yard really.  I have two sets of these that were gifts years ago.  Look at these beauties!

They might not be roses, but they are so beautiful that I stopped to take a moment with them today.  I decided on my one evening home that I'd treat myself.  I tried to cover my white hairs.  It's not the worst disaster ever.  Next, I polished finger and toe nails.  I have my paraffin spa heated and am going to treat all four paws to that when I finish typing.

The next four weeks are going to be a roller coaster of activity and emotion.  Keep your fingers crossed my positive attitude sticks.  Or else, you'll have to use YOUR filter with all my bitching.  Que sera sera.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Support, Not In a D-cup Way

I am struggling to do something to help others that is not in my day-to-day work.  I am a codependent to the core!  Having identified that in recent weeks, I'm breaking out of it and learning to redirect my tendencies.

Before Olivia was terminally ill, I wanted to work with a hospice organization.  I wrote my graduate school essay on it.  In my personal life and work life, I have gained a tremendous amount of intimate knowledge of the dying person and process.  I am not a licensed professional.  I am a bereaved daughter and mother and peer support person.

I am wondering about starting a peer support group for bereaved parents.  In discussion a few years ago, there was interest to have one locally.  A few of us met for coffee once.  But, the actual committee that met determined that a structured program led by a therapist was more in line.  The other moms I knew then and I disagreed.  We wanted people who had walked our walk to talk to.

I find myself doing this all the time anyway.  I am wondering if there is interest in the triad/Piedmont area* for such a thing?  If you will, let me know either publicly or privately.  I have another mom who is interested in helping get it off the ground as well.

Gifts our loved ones have given us can't be measured by the years they lived.  These gifts are measured by the love we shared with them. ~ Pat Loder

*Mt. Airy, Pilot Mountain, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point, etc.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Pinch of This; A Dash of That

What a full week! I'm going over in my head everything I want to write down so I don't forget. I have done that every day and I know I'll forget something anyway.

I think I'll do a good-bad-good sandwich. I had a supervisor a few years ago who swore this is the best way to incorporate anything negative. I'm not sure if anything would make being bitten by a poisonous viper better, but let's try that. 

Yesterday started out with the best home cooked, served in bed breakfast ever. I felt like a queen! Then, I went to work on shrub trimming. That is a sweaty, nasty job! There's an abundance of periwinkle that is overgrown around them and camouflages everything. As I moved the trimmings, a vicious piercing stab was felt on my arm. I saw the thick, green thing slither away just in time to summon enough strength to yell for my neighbor, Jamie. She's not very nice, but I figured she wouldn't let me die. The fire department at the end of the street's quick response was also helpful. After lots of pain, fainting, injections and who knows what else, I was fine enough to go back to yard work. 

Then, we went to see the Avengers and it was fantastic! Oh, my goodness…those bodysuits Black Widow wore made me wish for a nasty c.diff infection so I could lose weight fast. Loved it totally!

On Thursday, my friend Laura and I went down to Concord Mills. We made a day of it, even though the big event was meeting Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess. It was soooo fun! On the way down, I was worried my nails didn't look good enough. I polished them going down Business 85. Anyone who has driven that stretch from Davidson County to Charlotte can attest that this was quite the feat! We went into BAM first thing to plan our day. I needed logistics. I sounded so knowledgeable that the store manager assumed I was her people. Don't I wish! After hours of shopping, trying on fancy clothes, eating at my favorite rib place Sticky Fingers, and wearing ourselves out, it was time! Holy shit! There was nobody an hour earlier, and then suddenly, we were on the next to last row of chairs. How is this possible for HER people??? *snickers*
Here comes the slide show…

Who brings little kids to this? Is 'fuck' part of preschool vocab now?

People brought their Beyonce clones to be signed

Ah…my short moment! This is Jenny's pose. That's
Copernicus the Homicidal Monkey in person! (Nails aren't even visible)


We were wiped out on the way home, but still had enough in us to sing out to music and chatter. It was a great, great day. Note to self: never go sleeveless when there are pictures involved.

p.s. I didn't really get bitten by a viper or any other snake.  The tube was either the green extension cord or the water hose.  I did get bitten this week, though. There were two matching sites
 that looked like snake holes. They itched like a mo'fo', too.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Meeting of the Minds

Today, I went to an annual workshop called Because We Care.  That's a program for bereaved parents at my hospital.  I go to the workshop regularly.  I have for 5 or 6 out of the past 7.  It's usually informative in some way.  Listening to parents tell their stories is heartwarming.  The food is hit or miss.

Today, was the best one ever!  Our speaker was Kelly Swanson.  She had me at "tube sock boobs".  I am chronically sleep deprived.  I held it 'til about 3:30, then I struggled.  Normally, I'd go to the bathroom and splash water or take a nap on the toilet.  I massaged my head.  I tapped my face.  I did whatever I could to NOT miss what she was saying. 

Kelly is outrageously funny, but has wise words.  Her talk on self-care netted me a three hour nap tonight.  I am a good student. :-)

There was also this fantastic food.  Who knew hamburger steak could taste gourmet?  And, really, I am going to need a recipe for tomato pie.

It was a good day and it led to a great evening.  Rock on, Kelly.

Here's a fancy head shot.  I like to know who I'm reading about, don't you?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother’s Day in the Life of a Motherless/Childless Woman

Mother's Day has been my least favorite holiday for four years. You see if I want to be with my mother and daughter, my only option is to visit their adjoining graves. Mother's Day in a cemetery sucks ass.

My mom died in March 2006. It was a challenging Mother's Day that year, but because I had Olivia, it wasn't devastating. Two years later, I had no Mother's Day. I remember going to the grave sites and just weeping. I have many sad days in a year. I am working to be able to handle them better, but until the time when I'm again the mother of a living child, I don't know that the second Sunday in May will be anything but cause for heartache.

Having said all that, there are a couple of things that make this year different. First, marrying into the Sanders family netted me an amazing Mother-in-Law. She is a woman of strength, resilience, care and love. She welcomed me and treats me as one of her own. We've had some moments that she probably doesn't even realize are important to me. We sit alone and talk about very important things or not important things. She offers to make my favorite foods just because. She supports me in every way and makes me realize that blood isn't necessary to feel parented.

Second, a random person sent me beautiful flowers at work. There's no name on the card. No one will claim responsibility. The card makes me cry happy tears.

I also received a card and flower to plant outside from my little friend Ivy, who hangs with me two afternoons a week. To be recognized and honored as a mother, even though my daughter isn't physically here, means more than I can say. Thank you, Ivy, and mystery giver. Your thoughtfulness helped make this Mother's Day less sad.

Tomorrow, I get to celebrate my Mother-in-law. I will still go to the grave sites, but I think it will sting less because there is some happiness in the day for me. I hope so. Happy Mother's Day to all of my dear family and friends! Whether your children are with you or not, the title of Mother never leaves.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sookie Stackhouse and The Bloggess

"These two are in no way related" you're probably thinking.  You are wrong!  They are two characters I love.  "The Bloggess is real!" you may be screaming.  Jenny Lawson is real and quite a character.

The Sookie Stackhouse novels are written by Charlaine Harris.  Let's Pretend This Never Happened is written by Jenny Lawson.  I have read all of the Sookies, except for the newest, which I will purchase and have signed when I meet Ms. Harris tomorrow night!!!!  She's coming here to Salem College for a discussion and book signing.  My friend Christi and I bought tickets yesterday.  I took off work a month ago in preparation.  I am thinking of putting on my best Sookie look.  Should I go that way or just as my fabulous self?  I might embarrass Christi in costume.

Jenny, I am patiently waiting for you to add a nearby city to your tour.  I would dress up like Juanita or James Garfield, or Copernicus for you.  I'd bring you my own private stash of Xanax or Klonopin.  I can't take those anymore and I never throw anything away.  I am always Johnny-on-the-spot with ability to throw together fantastic nachos just for you.

So, tomorrow night I get to meet one of my favorite modern authors.  If I had a , I'd go back and badger Whitman, Hardy and Chaucer for drinks and convos. 

What should I ask Charlaine Harris?  I want to know which of the characters is her alter ego.  I want to know if there are other supes that will appear in later books.  Other thoughts?

Jenny, what will it take to garner a meeting with you?  I'm not getting my Sookie   taxidermied in custom made clothing.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I Don’t Wanna Work (whining involved)

But, I don't wanna bang on these drums all day. That's the hubby's plan.

I find myself feeling the true meaning of burnout.  The link is an excellent description from the Mayo Clinic.  Maybe I've been there for a while.

 I LOVE the job that I do.  I said that not too long ago in the post about being a Navigator.  Loving what one does is not the same as loving the job.  To all of my BCH peeps, I think you're amazing and I am so lucky to have great clinical staff around me. 

My job constraints are what I struggle with.  My standard schedule is 11a-11p.  I am assigned to 4 units, plus responding to the ED traumas.  Twelve hours of feeling pulled all over the place is hard.  I have done it for over three years simply because I love what I DO

I find myself wishing more and more that I could take a long break and just write.  It's impossible when I work this regularly, then the part-time hours elsewhere.  I do it and don't sleep enough.  I miss out on feeling good enough to keep my house pristine.  I miss out on settling down to watch my favorite show when it's on. I miss out on finishing the library book I checked out two weeks ago, when on vacation, I can read 5 in a week.

I used to juggle so much more when Olivia was alive.  But, that was from home and not a concrete guideline.  I was a different person, then, too.  For my other blogger friends and already accomplished writers: How do you organize your time if you're not just a writer?  Where do you fit your dream into your reality?

*This blog is my personal view.  I am not an official Medical Center Spokesperson.*