Friday, November 30, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 30 - The End

Well, I made it through the entire month and posted a blog every day.  They say writing is like any other exercise.... you need to keep practicing to get good at your art.  Getting into the habit of writing every day is a lesson in self-discipline.  Sure, some days I just got my post in under the wire, but overall, I'd have to say, once again, it was a good experience.

Hopefully, I can keep the flow going during the rest of the year... I hope you hang along with me for the ride...!  And, I can assure you that during the next 12 months, we're going to long in a LOT of miles.... ;-)

Thank you for reading, and good night!

maybe next year I'll try for the NaNoWriMo... hmmm....

Thursday, November 29, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 30 - Dixie

What else could I do except wish my beautiful dog a Happy Birthday!!

and to share her birthday video....
Cheers to many more years together...!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 28 - Rainy Days

It's the start of the rainy season and the dogs are already bored.  It's funny because a year ago we didn't even have one dog and now we have two.  One dog is hard enough to keep track of, but two... wow, are they terrors when they get together... especially these two.  They are too smart for their own good, and being cooped up in the house all day makes for some frustrated dogs.
Which kind of made me start thinking about grade school.  We used to love rainy days.  Recess was held inside.  We could draw on the blackboards.  Gym was held in the parish hall, and when they had just polished the floors you could take your shoes off and slide all over the place.  Or we did folk dancing.  I honestly think I can remember the steps to some of those dances... for some reason, the song "Never on a Sunday" is coming to my head... weird.

We played games like Duck, Duck Goose and Heads Up, Seven Up!
I wonder if any of my classmates ever cheated and looked down at the shoes when you were supposed to keep your eyes closed.  It was so hard though, waiting, with that thumb stuck up in the air, wondering if you were going to get picked.  Or standing in the front of the room, wondering if that cute boy would realize it was you... tapping his finger... letting him know you were thinking about him...
Yeah, grade school memories...

Although, I think I could still hold my own in Duck, Duck, Goose... 
not sure my knees can though...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 27 - Pink Elephants

Yesterday I wrote about dreams, and today I am writing about hallucinations. 

Now, I can honestly say, I have never been so drunk as to hallucinate.  In fact, the only people I have known to see things while intoxicated also used some other substances.  Although, I did have a friend who imagined she was "flying over the sand dunes" during a trip to San Felipe while in college.  But I don't think that's the same thing.

As a kid, I always imagined being drunk like that scene in "Dumbo" where he and Timothy get drunk and he sees pink elephants.  This leads to that awesome visual sequence involving the song "Pink Elephants on Parade."  I imagined being drunk would be fun, kinda like that... then I went to college and learned about the reality of hangovers.

We get a lot of patients who are under the influence of various sundry substances.  Some of them are still seeing things when they get to the ED, which can be interesting or not, depending on their flavor of hallucination.  Then there's the ever-popular formication which is the medical term for the sensation of "bugs crawling under the skin."  I have had patients actually try to show me "where the worms are" and "can't you see it there?"  Um, no, I can't but ok.

Enjoy the fun kind of drunk:

Monday, November 26, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 26 - Collective Unconscious

We all share common dreams.
I'm not talking about goals and ideals, I am talking about the stuff that happens when you're asleep.

We all seem to have similar dreams.
Like being back in school, realizing it's the end of the semester and you're missing xyz that you need to graduate;  some class that you're enrolled in but never went to and never turned in the required papers for.  You know you've already graduated so it doesn't make sense.  I've had that dream about every stage of my education.  I remember a dream where I was back in grade school making up a class so I could graduate from medical school.  My DH has related his "back to school" dreams.  His usually have to do with some certification that he forgot to finish.

Another common dream is the flying one.  I used to be able to fly on command, but I haven't had the focus I used to have to consciously realize I was dreaming and allow myself to fly.  Now that's a weird sensation.  I've had a lot of friends talk about how they used to do it all the time.

Friends have also talked about their superhero dreams, their traveling dreams, and their wish fulfillment dreams.  I'm including erotic dreams in there too.  Somehow, we all share similar themes.

And what about when you're learning a foreign language?  I remember living in Mexico City and dreaming in Spanish.

I've always wondered what my dogs and cats are dreaming about... do they chase rabbits around?  Are they running and playing?  When they whine and cry are they looking for a treat or in distress?

I studied about dreams in college, and I remember reading a theory that they are our brains "dumping grounds."  We encounter so much stimulation that our brains would be overwhelmed processing it all so it selects the sounds it chooses to hear, the sensations it chooses to focus on, and the sights and smells it filters out from the cacophony of impulses around us.  Then when we sleep, all the extraneous data gets dumped.  Talk about making treasures out of trash...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 25 - Doc in the Box

We have a process in our ED called Rapid Assessment and Discharge.
Basically you examine the patient and decide:
a.) this patient can be discharged with just a script
b.) this patient can be discharged after some simple intervention, lab or x-ray
c.) this patient just needs some labs or x-ray and then might need something else
d.) this patient is going to need a LOT of work

Today, I was the Doc in the Box making the decisions.
I actually enjoy working in triage.
You have to think fast on your feet.  Make decisions with a small amount of information.
You then order what you think is necessary so someone else can come along and complete the workup, or the disposition (deciding if a patient is admitted or discharged to home.)
Sometimes the problem is obvious;  like poison oak rash, or medication refill.
You write up the chart and discharge the patient.

Other times, you have to figure out not what is wrong with the patient, but what their true intent was in coming to the emergency department.  One of my residency instructors used to say that everyone coming to the ED had an agenda.  My challenge was to find out what it was.  For some, unfortunately, it comes down to seeking pain medication.  For others, they just need someone who will listen to their problems and reassure them that everything will be ok.  Some, I will never figure out...

But, there's the true challenge... to keep trying... or just write a prescription for Vicodin... 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 24 - A New Year

It's amazing to think that it's been a year since we started living in our home.  We bought the home in April of 2011.  The prior owners rented from us until July 31st, and then we gained the house that night.

We didn't actually spend the first night in the house until after Thanksgiving last year.  Before then, the contractor actually lived in the house while he was building the dormer and did some of the preliminary work.  So now, it's been about a year since we started sleeping in the house... officially, we didn't move in until around April of this year, but I still consider our anniversary in the house when we started sleeping there for the first time...

Friday, November 23, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 23 - On Writing...

I often tell my hubby not to bother me while I am writing.  It's hard work getting in the right mood.  And, then, once you get in the right frame of mind and start the flow, if you get interrupted, you can lose it, just like that!  Think Coleridge and the "Kubla Khan." 

Written in a frenzy after awakening from an opium high, Coleridge wrote freely until he was interrupted.  When he went back to his work, he had lost his flow and rhythm and the poem was never finished.  Just imagine what might have happened.

"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery."
 - Samuel Coleridge

If anything, this past month has been challenging.  One is finding the time to actually post, and then there's finding inspiration.  One week to go... wow!  This month is flying by...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 22 - Giving Thanks

Here's wishing you and yours a
Wonderful and Blessed Thanksgiving...!

Dear, Lord. We thank you for the many blessings You have bestowed on us. We especially thank You for the gifts of love and family. In Your name we pray... Amen

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 21 - Morning Person

I love mornings... 
I am, and have always been, a morning person.
You know, that annoying being that bounces out of bed
and is ready to go! go! go!

I think that's why I did so well in surgery...
Get up at 0430 to be at the hospital by 0530
so that pre-rounds could be done by 0630
so that rounds could be done by 0730
so that surgeries could start at 0800...
yeah, man...!

Oh, and, uh, I only sleep about 5 and a half hours...

Which is why sometimes I can get photos like this...
Don't you just love sunrises..?
They hold so much promise...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 20 - Seeing Things

I look at a LOT of films.
After a while, you start to see things in them that aren't there.
Like this chest x-ray, anyone else see a parrot here?

Maybe it's the fact I worked a 15 hour overnight shift...

Monday, November 19, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 19 - Comfort Food

I think I've written about this before, 
but there are some places you just like to go to when you're traveling.
Like the Black Bear Diner.
This is probably one of my husband's favorite travel restaurants.
Their pancakes are big and yummy...
And, they seem to specialize in homey comfort food.

There's a scene from "Memphis Belle" where one of the characters
is describing his dream of opening a chain of restaurants
which would all have a common menu.
The girl he is trying to impress makes the comment that
"won't that be boring to have the same food everywhere?"
and, he answers, "No, it's comforting."

And, it kind of is...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 18 - Cooking Shows

I love watching cooking shows.  "Chopped," "Sweet Genius," "Iron Chef," etc.   And, to be honest, I never used to watch them until a friend came over for dinner and started talking about "Chopped."  I was intrigued, so I started watching, and now DH and I are hooked.

I love to cook, and I have learned a lot about cooking and using different ingredients just by watching the show.  Like, I have learned to heat up my oil with the garlic in it instead of tossing the garlic into the hot oil.  And, some nights staring into the abyss that our refrigerator can be at times I feel like I am on an episode of "Chopped."  Let's see... how do I combine an overripe tomato, a can of mushroom soup and some leftover pizza into a meal...?  Hmm...

Anyway, DH and I have a lot of fun trying to guess which contestant is going to be cut, or discussing which dish we would never eat, or trying to figure out how to remake a dish we've seen on the show at home.  We make fun of the contestants, and add "and you suck" when Chef Ron Ben-Israel pushes a dish back that he has just tasted.  Not nice, yes, but a fun bonding experience nonetheless.

Hmm... wonder if I can make that pumpkin souffle I saw on "Iron Chef America" Thanksgiving edition... where can I find me some of them ramekins...?  Yeah, I said it, ramekin.   That's Chef Talk, you know....

Saturday, November 17, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 17 - I'm an ED Doc

For those of you that at this point still don't know what I do, let me tell you...
I'm an ED doc... not ER, we're not an emergency Room any more, we are an
Emergency Department.  We handle emergencies.  Mhmm... remember that...

I have to admit, I did "grow up" watching, 
"M*A*S*H," "Emergency," "ER" and "Rescue 911."
I was in medical school when "Scrubs" got started.
I was a surgical resident when "Grey's Anatomy" and "House" started.
Very often, I have been asked if it's all like it is on TV.  
And, except for the really good looking people that seem to be everywhere, it kinda is.
Ok, yes, there are some good looking doctors out there, come on... 
but not to the extent that there are on TV...

And, I've never climbed up on a patient and ridden on the gurney with them down the hallway...
Although, I have run down the hallway with a patient, or two, or several...
I've seen the gamut from birth to death.
I've seen the inane and the insane.
And, yes, sometimes we need to take time out for ourselves and do a quick dance...
It beat crying in the stairwell feeling sorry for ourselves...
and, yes, I've done that too...

So, my blog is about my life, most of the time from outside the ED doors,
although most anyone will tell you they want to hear what happens
inside the ED doors... like my photo... about percocets and a candy bar...
hey, it's all about "customer" satisfaction these days...

Friday, November 16, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 16 - Road Dogs

Dillon and Dixie
We're on the road for the weekend, and the dogs are with us... as always.  Praise the Lord, they travel well.  Pretty much toss them in their kennel and they sleep the whole way.  Kind of like space travel.  You're put into a state of suspended animation, and when you awaken, bam!, you're in a new place with no idea how you got there.  But, still happy to be there.  Cause you're a dog, and you're happy to be anywhere.

I thought I had done the ultimate training when I taught Dixie to pee on command.  Dillon is not too far behind.  We still don't trust him in the hotel room like we do Dixie, but I am sure that will come in time.  We make scheduled stops to let the dogs stretch out their legs and heed the call of nature.  They get fed on time.  It's just like having kids.

Except hotels don't generally charge you a "cleaning fee" for children... Although, maybe they should... have you seen some of those kids checking in...?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 15 - Medical Dramas

Still have a cold, so will be brief.
I love watching medical dramas, but some of the "inexactness" drives me crazy.
Like guts.
Guts are long and round and tubular with mesentery hanging off of them.
They are NOT little pink garden hoses just popping out of the stomach.
Let's make them more lifelike shall we...?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 14 - Heal Thyself

I have a cold so this will be a short post.  The first day sucks the most... then it generally gets better.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 13 - On Trauma

I work in a small community hospital.  Most of my day to day patients are what could have been seen in a primary care provider's office if only we had enough primary care providers.  They're the coughs and colds and bladder infections.  The fevers, chills, and hangovers.  Then there's the acutely drunk, the acutely high, the acutely should have passed out quietly at home but friends/family/the police freaked out and brought them to the ED for us to deal with.  .

Occasionally I see a real sick person:  heart attack, pneumonia, appendicitis.  And, occasionally we get a trauma.  Inevitably, I will be asked, "don't you miss it?"  I usually answer, "Not really, trauma is easy."  I trained at a Level 1 trauma center, and we saw a LOT of trauma:  blunt force, penetrating, etc.  We saw it all.  People would ask, "gee, your weekends must be busy."  I would answer, "Not really, we once had three GSW's on a Tuesday morning.  Trauma in the inner city doesn't wait for the weekend."

But, there is something about trauma.  It's a high level excitement event.  Life and death decisions need to be made on the fly.  But, not really.  Trauma is so protocolized that it becomes a matter of checking all the right boxes, stabilizing the patient, and sending them to the appropriate location.  Sometimes an immediate procedure needs to be performed, but almost 75% of the time, nothing more than an IV, some fluids, pain meds and an x-ray need to be done.

Do I miss running down the hallway with my gloved hand in a hole on some patient's chest holding back the blood that was just moments ago spurting out of it as we make our way into the OR?  Do I miss seeing a CT scan like the one above and reaching for the phone to tell my attending I'm calling in the OR team, starting antibiotics and reserving a room in the SICU?  I have to be honest, sometimes I do.  Especially when the 5th pedi with fever checks in and joins the growing chorus in the din that is the E.D. 

It's then that my mind drifts to putting in bilateral trauma chest tubes, placing ICP monitors, and packing a wound during salvage surgery then "getting the heck out of Dodge."  Is that the police monitor I hear...? Another combatitive EtOHer coming in...?  Sigh....

NaBloPoMo Day 12 - Having Kids

Third of the way through... woohoo...!!

I don't often write about child abuse and my thoughts on population control (like a manditory "Depo-Provera vaccination" for all teen girls), but some shifts just get you more than others.  There's a quote I think of often when shifts like this happen.  It's from the movie "Parenthood" with Steve Martin and Keanu Reeves.  Keanu's character is a soon-to-be young father, and he says, "You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car - hell, you even need a license to catch a fish.  But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father."

Last night was about parents, who under the influence of various substances, probably weren't as attentive to their children as they should be, and the children are the ones who suffered... head injuries... intracranial bleeds... etc.  There's a lot of people recently calling for drug testing of welfare recipients.  Last night should have been about the drug testing as a qualification for parenthood.

I don't know that I've ever written about this before, but when I went to adopt my cat Winston I had to go through a long and lengthy process.  I adopted him from the Chicago AntiCruelty Society.  I had a rather lengthy application to fill out which included my needing to list my place of employment, provide a pay stub, present proof from my landlord allowing me to have pets in my apartment, etc.  I also had to have an interview which discussed everything from my work schedule, prior pet owning experiences, disciplinary tactics, and only then was I allowed to look at the kittens.  Much different from prior experiences of "pick one out of the box and let's go."

While doing my residency in Buffalo, we'd get a lot of patient with multiple children.  Sure, each one was that much more state support entering the household.  While I don't agree with the selective abortions and infanticide heard from China, their One Child Policy that encourages single children and punishes multiple births might be a consideration.  Along with mandatory drug testing, because seriously, how can you enjoy your child when your mind is clouded with methamphetamines... pot... methadone... alcohol... a combination of all or any of the above....?  I find it to be the ultimate in selfishness... which is the exact opposite of what you should be when you decide to bring another life into the world.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 11 - Beach Stroll

I love the ocean. 

Since we've moved to Northern California, at least once a month I've gone down to the beach.  Now with the dogs I go more frequently because there's nothing better than letting the dogs run, chase birds, chase each other, and splash around in the waves.  While they play, I walk with my head down looking for treasures.

There's nothing like walking along the beach after a storm.  Lots of things wash up on the shore.  Shells, rocks, seaweed... It's the start of sport crabbing season, so we're finding a lot of crab shells washed up on shore as well.  We also find crab traps, rope, bouys, etc.  It's really random.

I also look for rocks.  White rocks.  White polished rocks.  The purer white the better.  I have a collection of them in a basket just near my front entry way.  I actually convinced my husband once to carry a two pound rock back for me.  But it was white... well, nearly white... just a single streak of grey running through it... it's not my fault the rock was so big and hadn't yet broken down into multiple smaller rocks.

I thought I would share one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite poets from one of his poems... the one that starts, "My life is like a stroll upon the beach..."

The Fisher’s Boy    by Henry David Thoreau

My life is like a stroll upon the beach,
   As near the ocean’s edge as I can go;
My tardy steps its waves sometimes o’erreach,
   Sometimes I stay to let them overflow.

Today's Beach Walk 11/11/12
My sole employment is, and scrupulous care,
   To place my gains beyond the reach of tides, —
Each smoother pebble, and each shell more rare,
   Which Ocean kindly to my hand confides.

I have but few companions on the shore:
   They scorn the strand who sail upon the sea;
Yet oft I think the ocean they’ve sailed o’er
   Is deeper known upon the strand to me.

The middle sea contains no crimson dulse,
   Its deeper waves cast up no pearls to view;
Along the shore my hand is on its pulse,
   And I converse with many a shipwrecked crew.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 10 - Our House

I haven't written about our house in a while so I thought I would do so tonight.
The house was built in 1980 by a gentleman who was the landscaper at the local community college.
We found out students from the college actually built the house...
this explains a lot!

The house was then bought 17 years ago by the people we later bought it from.
They really didn't do too much to the house or the landscaping,
so we've (read my husband) been doing a lot of work on the house
and clearing the land of 17 years of overgrowth.

From the time we got the house, I knew that it needed a more contemporary look.
Our architect gave us a design and we started working on it last summer.
We like to call it the "Five Year Plan."
This is a little wrap up of Year One.

Step one... build a dormer to make more room for the master bedroom and bath.
Our carpenter got to work and BAM!
suddenly there was a hole on the side of the house...

A little framing and soon there's a new bathroom!

Here a frame...

A little covering...

A little siding, some new windows, and the start of a whole new look...

Cheers to the changes that will come in Year Two...!

Friday, November 9, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 9 - Dem Goats

I haven't really written much about the new goats
Laverne and Shirley.
One of my friends commented that after all the pain and disappointment
involved with the prior goats I probably didn't want to get too attached.
And, maybe she's a little right.

Laverne and Shirley were an afterthought.
As I wrote before, I really wasn't excited about bringing the goats back,
and then with what happened to Boots, 
I really couldn't let myself get any closer to them.

But who wouldn't love those faces..?
They are curious, obnoxious, daring, playful,
and they work their way into your heart somehow...
even when they're eating my rose bushes...

Darn you, cute goats...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 8 - Moon Rise

I don't believe much about Astrology.  
I know enough to know that my sign "Cancer" is a Moon sign.
This means I am supposed to love family and small puppies,
and I am supposed to keep a fabulous warm home.
Sure, ok... 

And, even though studies have shown that ED's really don't get busier during a full moon,
I know enough to know that anecdotal evidence is sometimes more reliable than scientific evidence.
Full moons usually mean badness, so I always worry when I see one heading out the door.
And, on this night, it was truly foreboding...

Still, there's something beautiful and magical about a moonrise...
I think this is the first one I actually saw from our new home;
that warm and fuzzy place that contains my family and puppies,
and from which I go to take care of other people's families.
Full moon or not...

Dixie feeling the Call of the Wild as the moon rises...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 7 - Flying High

My husband loves to hang-glide, and inevitably, whenever I have a day off and the weather is just right, off we go.  I have to admit, the first time standing there watching my husband voluntarily throw himself off a cliff was somewhat disconcerting.  Now, it's so routine, that I have learned to hold his lines as he gets ready to launch.

Isn't it funny, how after a while we start to learn the lingo of our partner's interests.  While I don't know anything about flying, I can listen to a conversation and even add to it just by everything I have gleaned listening to my DH.  I even sat with his friends once waiting for him to land and commenting to them about some new feature he had just explained to me on the ride up to the launch site.  It's like being able to speak a whole new language.

I could probably put his glider together having watched him many times.  I wouldn't let anyone fly in it, but I could probably make it look like it's supposed to.  Don't get me wrong.  I haven't become that blase about my DH's chosen hobby.  I still imagine 101 different medical scenarios that could happen.  I think about distances to local hospitals, what materials are available for splints or compression of bleeding wounds.  I don't think about it long, but I do like to have an action plan.  

I guess working in the ED I have seen too much and know too much about what can happen.  But then, I release the wire and watch my DH take off into the sky, rising higher and higher... and, all I can do it stand in amazement and awe.  And, I start thinking about the next trip... and the next launch... and how much I want to be right there beside him as he takes that one big step and then just glides away...

NaBloPoMo Day 6 - State of Disbelief

Still in a state of disbelief...

... will post tomorrow when I have recovered...

I feel, though, that our country never will...

Monday, November 5, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 5 - 47 Percent

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney said.  "There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it."

Although I couldn't put a number to this, before I even knew that Romney had said this, there were a lot of people saying this;  especially those of us in healthcare.  As an Emergency Medicine physician, my colleagues and I are on the front lines of the healthcare battle.  We watch while others make decisions on the type of medicine we are allowed to practice.  And, we deal with the consequences of a societal collective unconsciousness that feels that they are entitled to whatever they want, whenever they want it.

As residents, we scoffed at the patients who called ambulances for medication refills.  We balked at the parents with their manicured nails, blinged out cell phones and designer handbags who asked for prescriptions for tylenol because that way they wouldn't have to pay for it.  We lamented taking care of baby number 7 or 8 whose other siblings were in child protective services' custody because of drugs, or poor living conditions, etc. but whose parents were allowed to continue collecting support as long as they continued to have children.  I have been angered by patients on "disability" who use their money to feed their drug and alcohol habits, and who complain that they don't have enough money but "can't work" because then their support is going to be "cut off."

No, I did not spend the last 10 years of my life studying and working, at times three jobs, so that I can now be living paycheck to paycheck because taxes take away almost a half of my income so that you can have "free healthcare, free medications, and free childcare."  I don't want to hear you complain about how you couldn't afford medication that was necessary to your continued recovery but could afford a pack of cigarettes and beer to help wash down the narcotic medication you demanded and which was the medication you did fill.  So, now your simple infection is a full blown infection for which you will be admitted, given high cost antibiotics for, take up a hospital room for and during which time you will leave AMA (against medical advice) because you couldn't smoke/sleep with your boyfriend/feed your dogs/make a meeting that you just had to get to.  And, that will be "free" as well.  After all, you're not going to pay a bill when they didn't bring you water with ice and a lemon slice like you demanded.  Or you didn't get your next dilaudid shot at the moment you pushed your call button.  Why should you pay for bad service like that?

Today I read a post from another ED doc in Nebraska who said the same things I know a lot of my colleagues and I say often.  And, lately, more often than not.  No matter who you vote for tomorrow, I hope that as a country we can begin to see a shift in the mentality of this country.  I was raised to work hard, to get ahead, to make a difference.  We are propogating a society where a set of the population feels that it's "nice that people that have money share it with those that don't have as much so that way we're all equal."  That's an actual quote from a patient just a couple of days ago, and I was angered by it.  I hope the other 53% of you are too... and will vote to make changes happen.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 4 - Cows

I've written before how much I like cows... love cows... love cheese.

I was thinking about cows today as I drove home from taking the dogs to the Sunday Morning Pack Walk.  A field I pass is full of brand new baby calves;  some of which are "fresh outta da oven" and still steaming in the cool morning air.  It's amazing this annual event, when the moms are placed out in the field to give birth.  But, it also comes with a little twinge of sadness.

Now, don't get me wrong... I love a good ribeye as much as the next person.  And, I used to comment that I could be a vegetarian if it wasn't for ribeye steaks.  Having "gone raw" for a time, and now as I am getting older eating more vegetable base, I can do without the ribeyes.  Except maybe once or twice a year on a special occasion.

But, still.  Living in this dairy community and having a pack of critters on our property, I am much more cognizant of where my food comes from.  If I buy meat, which is getting to be more and more infrequent, I get it from our local meat market which buys from local ranchers.  Literally I see where my meat is coming from because I drive past it on a regular basis.

Our local creamery is also at the end of the bridge coming into town;  so I know where our milk, and ice cream, and CHEESE! is coming from as well.  If I could get more than a 1/4 cup of milk after about 30 minutes of goat milking I would be making my own... but, for now I'll leave that to the professionals.  Although, maybe one day, I'll raise a calf of my own... 

How about we leave that crazy idea for another day... but still, hmm....

Saturday, November 3, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 3 - Time Flies

Given that it's "fall back" tonight, I thought I would write about time.  I remember being a kid, and it seemed as though time passed by sooo slowly.  Remember that?

You'd be waiting for a trip to Disneyland, or your birthday, or a special event, and the days would just seem to drag by.  You'd mark each day off on the calendar trudging on through.

Now it seems like time just flies.  I set plans for a few months away, then all of a sudden it seems like it's here.  We have dinner plans, or special events, or even a row of days off from work.  Bam!  The next thing you know it's passed.

Tonight we're given an extra hour, and all I can think of is "thank the Lord I don't have to work a 13 hour shift."  I know most of us are thinking, "Yeah, I get to sleep for an extra hour."  But, I stop to wonder for how many people this extra hour is going to make a difference.  One more hour to spend with a loved one.  One more hour to wait for the birth of a child.  One more hour to...

Of course, if you're in a bar, it's one more hour in which to have another round... We did that once.  The bartender rang the bell and hollered "Last call!" then said "Just kidding...!"  An hour later it was "Last call!"  One more hour to spend with friends... that's the best way to spend time.

Friday, November 2, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 2 - Favorite Place

Today's prompt asks "If you could live anywhere where would it be?"

I think I've always said I wanted to live where the redwoods meet the Pacific...
So I guess I am Home.

I always imagined having a house where I could see the ocean, and a place to walk along the beach.
So I guess I am Home.

I wanted a house with some property where I could have lots of animals to enjoy.
So I guess I am Home.

And one day... it will be the home of my dreams...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 1 - Favorite Quote

Well, it's time for the annual NaBloPoMo aka National Blog Posting Month.  Yes, another year has passed, and it's another year I can't do the NaNoWriMo for various sundry reasons.  But, still it gives the impetus to write a blog post a day for 31 days.

I think writing has a lot to do with discipline.  Good writers have the discipline to sit and just write.  The writing itself is the exercise.  Just putting thoughts on paper and fleshing out a story, or a poem, or a novel... but I digress.

The topic for the first blog post is: favorite quote.

"Listen to the musn'ts, child.  Listen to the don'ts.  Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts.  Listen to the never-haves, then listen close to me.  Anything can happen, child, anything can be." - Shel Silverstein.

"The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live! - Peter's Law of the Sociopathic Obsessive - Compulsive

"Dying people lie too.  Wish they'd worked less, been nicer, opened orphanages for kittens.  If you really want to do something, you do it.  You don't save it for a sound bite." - House, M.D.

The first is from high school.  The second is from pre-med, post-baccalaureate studies.  The third is from medical school.  Different times in my life.  Different stations in life.  I went from a dreamer, to an adventurer, to a realist.  Of course, the true realist would appreciate House's "everybody lies" quote, especially when working in the E.D.

I used to collect quotes.  Save them like pennies for a rainy day.  I started in college when I needed a lot of encouragement at times.  Then I really needed them when I was trying to realize my goal of going to med school having been a pretty mediocre student in college.  Needless to say, I kicked butt and made it to med school where I didn't have time for quote collecting, but I did have time to read those saved up quotes and muddle my way through.

I think you need words of encouragement regardless of the source.  Some quotes dictate how you live your life while other help you live it better.  At this point in my life, I think it's more like Morgenstern on "ER" - “Funny how life is so like surgery . . . sometimes you can make that Rocky-Davis (incision for an appendectomy) in that right lower quadrant.. and then there are those days when your bowel ruptures and spills into your peritoneum and all you are left with is intense pain and sepsis . . . oh, brother, my kingdom for a ten-blade when that happens !”

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