Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another Year, Another Squirrel...

Last year I wrote about my thoughts from the previous year, and my wishes for the next.  Here's a part of the post:

And what am I looking forward to in 2011....?
 - a new house
 - new responsibilities in my chosen career
 - travel!
 - finally getting to a place where I can enjoy other pursuits... maybe writing a book...?!?!

So let's see how I did...

We got a new house that we are slowly working on.  Bought the house in late February and didn't move into it until August 1st.  Or, actually, didn't get possession of it until then;  we're still in the process of moving in.

I am now Paramedic Coordinator and sit on the Humboldt County Emergency Medical Care Committee, so that part of my life is slowly progressing.  Plus, I've been chosen as a new speaker for our physician's group, so soon I will be lecturing at the annual meetings.

Travel - this year we went to Bonita Springs in Florida, Maui, Medford in Oregon, and to a conference in San Francisco.  We took many local road trips further exploring our area, so I think that counts too.

Funny how life got even busier.  With the move and everything there was no time to get the quilting or knitting or watercolors set up.... Although, I did make it through the whole month of NaBloPoMo and joined BlogHer in the process.
So, new resolutions:
 - to get back into my healthy veggie habits... hubby's just going to have to have a milkshake along with his salad
 - to get back into a regular fitness routine
 - to continue to improve as a physician and further develop my career goals
 - to write, frequently, and start the outline for a book
 - to enjoy every minute that I can with my family and friends
 - to get organized with my quilting and actually finish most of the projects I have started (you can follow my progress here)
 - to go to one new place this year and explore!
 - to remember to thank God weekly for everything he has given me and my family
 - and, darn it, I will pet that Cheetah!!

As for my resolutions.... um, yeah, so how about some for next year, shall we...?

 - we're getting a dog, so the fitness part will be easier
 - to continue to progress in my profession
 - to not forget to pursue vigorously my creative side
 - to continue to enjoy the love and company of family and friends
 - to thank God daily for the many blessings He has bestowed on me
 - and, I think I might have a cheetah connection to pursue in the next year...

HAPPY NEW YEAR's... May your fondest dreams and wishes come true!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

All the Lonely People

This is cross-posted from the professional blog I write for....

I know that the holidays can get really depressing for a lot of people, but I had three patients over the weekend that really got me depressed because of their situations. I always said that I would never make a good psychiatrist because I would tend to internalize and identify with my patients, and so that’s why I enjoyed surgery so much. There’s quite a bit of distancing that happens when you’re behind a mask looking at a square of skin.
As an E.D. doc, though, we’re up close and personal with a lot of our patients, so it’s back to internalizing and not having the luxury of a sterile sheet between you and your patient.
Patient One crashed their car. They are homeless, so their car is like their home. Everything they own is in there. They had just gotten kicked out of one “fleabag” motel and were on their way to find something better along the coast when they lost control on a curve. Now, all they have is the clothes on their backs. Well, actually in a hospital bag because they were stripped down to a hospital gown when they arrived. They’re bruised and battered and slightly torn. And, they have no one and no where to go. I can discharge them because, luckily, they didn’t suffer any major injuries. But, they have nothing. So they get admitted. Social Work and Discharge Planning can figure out what to do with them in the morning.
They used to have a life, and friends, and a home. But then they were forced to take early retirement from their work. They lost their home and their social network. They can’t afford housing on a fixed income. So they roam… in their car… from place to place.
Patient Two had a nice home, and a wife. Then their wife died and a part of them died too. So they turned to alcohol to help deal with the pain. Soon their nice home deteriorated as did their health. They have a neighbor who checks on them from time to time. Their neighbor brings them in whenever things get too bad. Patient Two can’t see their PCP because they have an outstanding bill, so the E.D. becomes their PCP. Diabetes out of control again? Yep. Bad cellulitis on your legs again? Yep. Anything new? Yep, pressure ulcers on my bottom from not getting up out of my chair for the last three days because my legs felt too bad. Am I going to be admitted? Yep.
Patient Three has a psych history. They’ve been in and out of the system their entire life which is only 50+ years long so far. They have the look of a 90 year old man. A neighbor stopped by because they hadn’t seen them for a few days and found them looking slightly worse than usual. Not eating or drinking. Somehow, though, they continue to smoke despite the rattling cough in their lungs. How the cigarette paper doesn’t just rip their Sahara Desert dry and cracked lips to shreds is beyond me. Must be the warm stale beer that somehow is within reach. Another admission for “Failure to Thrive.” It’s the least I can do.
Three hots and cot… at least for tonight… at least for today…

All the Lonely People

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stocking the Shelves

I was thinking of the movie "Sleeping With the Enemy" today while unpacking boxes and setting up my pantry.  Did you ever see the movie?  I still get a little freaked out when I think of that creepy music.

Anyway, I was placing cans and jars on the shelves, organizing things just so.  As I was turning all the labels to face one direction, the creepy music started in my head.  I shook it off until I started hanging my dish towel... all in a row with stripes aligned... scary...

Nonetheless, it's nice to get settled finally into the new house.  Or, at least start to.  We are almost done in the kitchen.  Now, to get the rest of the rooms done and the other 80% of the move over...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

And the Winner is...

The Red!  She will be coming home with us on January 18th... 
And, now the hardest part... thinking of a name...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The King's New Throne

We're in the process of moving into our new home, and over the last several days, we've slowly started bringing things from our rental up to the house.  One of the objects in the old house that my DH wanted to make sure we removed was the toilet seat.  So, as an early Christmas present, I bought him a new one.

I guess because I've been living in a rental for the last 13+ years, I haven't thought about the importance of having something new that only you have used.  My hubby made it plain and clear that he wasn't sitting somewhere where others had been.  So today we had the ceremonial removal of the old throne and the placement of the new one.

I did take a picture of the old ring sitting on top of the burn pile, but the actual lighting will have to wait until another day... it's started raining and who know when it's going to be another burn day.  Then we'll have the ceremonial lighting of the ring to show that a new king has taken the throne...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Burnt Offerings

I don't know why, but I get very excited whenever we have a burn day.  With all of the vegetation clearing we have been doing on the property, we have piles of limbs, leaves, briars, etc everywhere.  I want them gone.  So, whenever it's a burn day, I am up on the property starting my fires as soon as I get up in the morning.

Since we're also in the process of trying to move up to the house, I have also been carrying boxes of paperwork (receipts, bills, etc.) from prior moves that need to be burned.  You know, the kind of things that have personal information on them, and you just don't want to throw away in the paper recycle bin.  So, I've saved them... for a while... like several years.  And, now, I am in the perfect position to get my fire started and destroy personal information in a convenient manner.

Anyway, I was looking at the pile of papers I had pulled for today's fire lighting, and casually glanced from time to time at what I was actually putting in the fire.  Hmm... car payment bill... glad I don't have those anymore.  Here's the receipt for one of the many credit cards that got me into trouble... no more of those to worry about since I only have one department store card (with a limit of $100 at that), and all my other cards are debit cards.  I tossed in the flight information from one of multiple cross country trips to see my mother.  Soon after, in went the orientation materials from my residency in Minneapolis.

We were sitting around discussing memories of Christmas recently, and I remembered being so broke at one point in Minnesota that I had $0.45 in my checking account.  The decision going home that night was to spend my last $3.00 in cash on gas, something to eat for dinner or a small bag of cat food.  I bought a dollar in gas, got the cat food, and had just enough spare change in the car to add a can of Spaghettios for dinner.  That experience definitely made me more financially responsible.  Thank, God, for residency meal tickets... they helped me make it through until pay day.

So, today, I started seeing my burn day as an offering... I gave thanks for the ability to not have to worry about gas to go to work, feeding my cats or myself, and for not being financially irresponsible and adding extra debt to my life... of course, don't talk to me about my house and remodel... we'll call that an investment for the future...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bonus Feature

I saw this on another blog post.  I am sure most of you have read this somewhere before, but I thought it was worth posting...

Written by Regina Brett, Plain Dealer Columnist, Cleveland, Ohio

Life Lessons

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come...
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Letting the Puppy Out of the Bag

Ok, I think I can finally admit it... we're adding a new member to the family.  And, almost like having a real baby, I have no idea the sex nor what the new member is going to look like.  Which is driving me crazy.

See, I've never gotten a pet like this before.  We've always been a family of "oh, look, free puppies" and picked one out of a box kinda crowd.  Or, "let's go pick someone out at the humane society" as I did with my other three fur-cat children.

I've never had to mail a check to someone, find out that I'm number something in line, wait until several other people have made their choice, and then get to choose from what's left over.  I've been more of the "let's play for a while and see which one I like best."  So this whole breeder thing has got me worrying about how this experience is going to play out.

But, let's talk positives:  we're getting an Australian Shepherd from a well-known local breeder.  We know that she tends to breed both working and family dogs with excellent skills and wonderful personalities.  And, I will be able to choose from the three girls that were born in the litter of eight.  In this picture, the three are the uppermost puppies on the left, a red and two blues (one being hidden by her brother in the picture.)

Of course, as soon as I said I had told the breeder I preferred a girl, DH said he wanted the black one on the bottom right (which is a male.)  I tried to explain female vs. male characteristics and traits, merle vs solid, and how we had to judge temperment, dominance level, sociability, etc to which he answered, "Fine, as long as it's the dark-colored one."  This is going to be a long 7 weeks...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Idle Threat, I Think Not...

Given the lack of responses to my last posting, I will now start posting thoughts about my most recent dream....

Social media is definitely starting to affect all aspects of my life including, not surprisingly, my dreams.  Last night I was dreaming that I was wandering through a house with an upper apartment.  I was in the apartment when suddenly a storm brewed up.  I was excitedly watching the storm through the window when the house started to shake.  I backed away from the window only to feel the room I was in shudder furiously.

As I wondered what would happen next, the room felt like it was lifting and spinning end over end as can only happen in a dream.  In the midst of worrying if I was going to die because I knew I would soon be crashing to the ground, I suddenly wondered if I had my cell phone close by because I would want to video record the destroyed building and post it on Facebook...

Really?  Death staring me in the face.  Complete and utter devastation, and I am thinking of how cool it's going to be posting everything on Facebook...?!?

Maybe, I've got to get out more... step away from the computer...

Featured Post...

The Mid 40's are in the Books

For some reason I never got around to writing about traveling to National Parks numbers 44, 45 and now 46...! Back at the end of June...