Saturday, November 30, 2013

Day 30 - Whew!

Painting by local artist Shawn Griggs that will soon hang in my home...

Well, I made it through another NaBloPoMo...

I hope you have enjoyed the postings, and
will stick around and continue to follow my postings.

Tonight I drove back from Sacramento where I have been working for the last week.
It's about a 5 1/2 hour drive back to my home in Humboldt County.
Lots of time to think and ponder over the last month,
and all of the events of the day.

I find it interesting, that I can work at a job where one minute
I am trying to save someone's life with CPR and drugs and electricity,
and in the next minute I am pulling cotton from a cotton swab out of someone's ear.

Where else are you going to find a job like that...?

Well, it's good night for me...
and good night on another year of NaBloPoMo...

I'll continue to post albeit not as frequently,
but do continue to visit!

And thank you for reading my stuff... 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Day 29 - Happy Birthday, Dixie!

Many of you know that I have two dogs, Dixie and Dillon.  They are Australian Shepherds, and today Dixie celebrates her 2nd birthday!  Since I have no children, and my dogs are like my kids, and since I am the world's greatest Pet Parent Geek, I have made a video for Dixie's birthday... again...

Yeah, just like I did last year...

Don't judge me...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Day 28 - Thank You

You are a person I can talk to,
who understands me and the words I say.
You even hear whatever's left unsaid.
You really accept me.

With you I never need pretending.
Don't have to be someone that I can't be.
When we're together I feel I'm worthwhile.
You really accept me.
You really accept me.

Thank you for loving me as I am, my friend.
Thank you for letting me be myself.
It's so good to know you love me as I am.

You know the good and bad about me.
I don't understand the things you see in me.
Though you know all these things about me
you really accept me.
Yes, you really accept me.

Thank you for loving me as I am, my friend.
Thank you for letting me be myself.
It's so good to know you love me as I am.

When a person's loved for what he does that's not unique,
cause there's always someone who can do what you can do.
When a person's loved for what he is, not what he could or should be
he becomes a special person, that's what you have done for me.

Thank you for loving me as I am, my friend.
Thank you for letting me be myself.
It's so good to know you love me as I am.

 - Music and lyrics (as much as I can remember) by Tom Franzak

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Day 27 - Thanks for the Memories

On this day before Thanksgiving, I thought I would share my
postings from previous years...

I hope you will be sharing tomorrow with loved ones...
I'll be sharing mine with hospital staff and patients.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Day 26 - Some Days You're the Squirrel...

I'm doing triage in the ED for the next 2 days,
and today made me want to drink a lot of these...

 I have one more shift to get through....
will probably post more tomorrow...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 25 - Jeep Jeep

If you've been following my blog for any length of time, 
you know that I love my Jeep.

I bought it when I started my internship in Chicago, 
and it's come across country with me from Boston to Minneapolis
then onto New York, and then all the way to California.

We've traveled locally...

acted as a livestock vehicle

or as a doggy mobile

But, unfortunately I've been having a few more problems
with it recently.

First the air conditioner died which then led to the 
serpentine belt burning up which led to me and Dixie being
stranded for 3 hours in the middle of nowhere 
waiting for a tow.

The Jeep seems to be better, but now I will be commuting
back and forth more frequently to Sacramento,
and the Jeep nearing 100K might not be the best choice
for making the 600 mile round trip.

So I need to look for a new car...

Something small and economical like this:

When what I really would like is something sporty and flashy
like this:

And, I even like the color....

Of course, if I can hold out one more year, 
the new Fiat Jeep crossover should become available...
I've been waiting for it...!
And, it would be the next generation of Jeep!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Day 24 - Seeing is Believing Even More

I love reading, and I love watching movies.
Kismet is when what I've read comes to life on the big screen,
or on the little screen.
I'm working in Sacramento this week, and so I have a lot
more free time to read.

Did you know that the TV show "Dexter" was from a book?
I didn't, and this week I am reading "Darkly, Dreaming Dexter."
It's awesome, and having seen the first couple of seasons of the series
I can almost imagine Michael C. Hall reading it to me.
But, that's just one of the voices in my head.

Other stories/books I've loved on the big/or small screen:

The Hunger Games (so far.  I'll go see "Catching Fire" this week.)
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (I like the original Swedish version better.)
Shawshank Redemption (I still cringe during parts.)
Hunt for Red October (favorite line:  I will live in Montana. And I will marry a 
round American woman and raise rabbits, and she will cook them for me.)

What are your favorites...?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Day 23 - I Weep For the Future

One of the best lines from the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

I worked triage over the last couple of days during my ED shifts.  No where can you see the failure of the health care system, and society in my opinion, so readily as on the Front Line of medicine... the Emergency Department triage room.

- patient with three year history of stomach pain who came in because it hurt more the day before while they were driving but they couldn't get a ride to come to the ED until tonight and they came because their mother told them they should have it checked out because there might be something wrong.  Um...

- patient with very high blood pressure can't get needed prescription because insurance won't cover combination med.  Pharmacy has been calling cardiologist for over a week to get new prescription but no one returns their calls.  Insurance will cover meds separately so I write a prescription for them.

 - pregnant patient can't get doctor because they don't have MediCal yet and has to wait to be able to get into a practice that accepts MediCal.  She goes to a free clinic where she can get prenatal vitamins but none of the recommended blood work or other prenatal tests.  She's now almost 5 months' pregnant.

 - patient with kidney stone blocking their ureter gets sent home with scripts for antibiotics and pain medication and told to follow up in urology clinic to have stone removed.  They never get a follow up appointment because they don't have insurance and their MediCal application wasn't filled out because they neglected to do it.  They didn't fill their prescriptions because they "don't have any money to pay for medication."  Crystal meth, alcohol and "pain medication they borrowed from someone else with kidney stones" are what they've been using to help with the pain until tonight when 3 weeks later "the pain is like the first time."

 - patient with gallbladder pain who tells me they "can't just change my diet that easy" and who wants to see if they are "sick enough to have it taken out" because they are "tired of waiting for the referral from my doctor" to see a surgeon to schedule surgery.

 - child brought in with a cold.  They have a "runny nose and are congested."  Do they have a fever? "No."  Are they eating/drinking/peeing/pooping normally? "Yes."  What are you concerned about? "Well, I wanted them checked out."  Did you call your pediatrician? "Yeah, but they can't see them until Monday, and I didn't want to wait."

 - patient with chronic pain who was upset that they had to change doctors and insurance because of the ACA (affordable care act) and who now can't get the pain medication they were used to because it is no longer on their insurance formulary.  "Can you write me a script for it?"  Are you going to pay out of pocket for it?  "No, I don't have any money." Um...

**please read my disclaimer that these views are my own and do not reflect the medical groups for whom I work nor the professional organizations with which I am affiliated.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Day 22 - Stress Relief

If it wasn't for these:

I would need a lot more of these:

I am addicted to games on my iPhone and iPad.
You might wonder why a well-educated, well-traveled
40ish woman would be doing playing Angry Birds,
but it really helps me to unwind after a crazy day.

For a few moments, I don't have to think about anything except launching
those crazy birds across the screen and blasting the heck
out of a bunch of insubordinate piggies.

My husband thinks I'm crazy and asks,
"how can you sit there and play that thing?"
I simply answer,
"very easily."

My younger patients find it funny that I can talk to them 
about Angry Birds, and Plants vs Zombies,
and Candy Crush (although a lot of adults play that),
and Jetpack Joyride, 
and... and... and....

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day 21 - Road Tunes...

I drove to Sacramento today to start a ten day run of shifts in two of the local ED's here.  I've been making the same drive over the last 10 months, and it looks like I'll be doing this over the next year.

It's about a 5 1/2 hour drive, and I carry my trusty iPod and iPad with me to play plenty of music since there are several hundred miles of hills and forests with no radio signal.  Well, no decent music radio signal.

I've written before about my eclectic taste in music.  In fact, every year during my birthday month for the last several years, I write a post a day based on taking a spin on the old iPod wheel.

As you can see, very varied...

So today, I thought I would share with you a sampling of the musical accompaniment to my 5 1/2 hour long drove... I started with the song, "Living in the Moment" and didn't hit shuffle, so all of the songs were alphabetical through to the letter "M."  

"Living in the Moment" - Jason Mraz - my new "soundtrack" for life
So I just let go of what I know I don't know
And I know I'll only do this by
Living in the moment
Living our life
Easy and breezy
With peace in my mind
With peace in my heart
Peace in my soul
Wherever I'm going, I'm already home
Living in the moment

"Living Proof" - Gregory Isakov - one of those Starbuck's freebies

"Locked Out of Heaven" - Bruno Mars - love the beat
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
Oh, yeah, yeah,
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,

"Lollipop" - The Chordettes - classic favorite
Call my baby lollipop 
Tell you why 
His kiss is sweeter than an apple pie 
And when he does his shaky rockin' dance 
Man, I haven't got a chance

"(The) Look" - Roxette - from my college days
Loving is the ocean,
Kissing is the wet sand,
she's got the look.

"(The) Look of Love" - ABC - high school song

"Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well" - Mike Doughty - "Grey's Anatomy Sountrack"

"Lookout Weekend" - Debbie Deb - college dance favorite

"Looks Like We Made It" - Barry Manilow - yeah, maybe, but still

"Lose Yourself" - Eminem - 
Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted. one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?

"Louie Louie" - The Kingsmen - college staple

"Love is in the Air" - John Paul Young - fav from "Simply Ballroom"

"Love of My Life" - Jim Brickman - sigh

"Love on the Rocks" - Neil Diamond - sigh on the rocks

"Love Shack" - The B-52's - my friends and I had a whole room dancing 
to this one on a New Year's Eve in Laughlin
Huggin' and a-kissin'
Dancin' and a-lovin'
Wearin' next to nothin'
'Cause it's hot as an oven
The whole shack shimmies
Yeah, the whole shack shimmies
The whole shack shimmies when everybody's
Movin' around and around and around and around

"Love Song" - 311 - sultry cover hit from fav movie "50 First Dates"

"Love Story" - Taylor Swift - yes, I like Taylor Swift

"Love Would Never Do Without You" - Janet Jackson - I remember this video full of eye candy
There's no easy explanation for it
But whenever there's a problem
We always work it out somehow
Work it out somehow

"Lover Come Back to Me" - Dead or Alive - another college dance staple

"Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" - Journey - mmmhmm... 
You make me weep and wanna die
Just when you said we'd try
Lovin', touchin', squeezin' each other

"Low" - Flo Rida - if I could hip hop, it would be to this
Shawty had them apple bottom jeans (jeans)
Boots with the fur (with the fur)
The whole club was looking at her
She hit the floor (she hit the floor)
Next thing you know
Shawty got low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low

"Luck Be a Lady" - Frank Sinatra - Vegas/gambling theme song

"Lucky" - Jason Mraz - just a fun song

"Lullaby" - Dixie Chicks - our wedding "gathering song" and one of "our songs"
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

"Lump" - Presidents of the United States - don't ask em where I first heard it, but I love it!
Lump lingered last in line for brains
and the one she got was sorta rotten and insane
Small things so sad that birds could land
Is lump fast asleep or rockin' out with the band?

Hope you enjoy them... maybe you'll add a little variety to your music collection...!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 20 - Felt Good on My Lips

Since we moved to NorCal, we've spent a lot of time in the Wine Country.
We're only about 3 1/2 hours north of Sonoma County,
and from there it's a short drive to Napa.
We became members of the Coppola Winery
and have been getting wine shipments.

It gives us an opportunity to try new wines
and learn to refine our palate.

Of course, we've also gotten familiar with a lot of other wineries
in the Napa Valley...

My husband and I have had several discussions about the price of wines.
He's asked how could one wine possibly be worth
more than another of a similar vintage.
Is it the label?  
Is the taste really that different between 
a $100 bottle and a $20 bottle.

Then I tried these...

We had a wine and mushroom party at our home
a couple of weeks ago, and one of my guests who is a 
wine aficionado, brought these to share.

The one on the left was a red, 
very "loamy" with currant undertones.
The one on the right was a white,
deep yellow in color and sweet like a brandy.

Both tasted as good and amazing as could be
for about a $$$ a bottle.

My husband tasted them too...
and he agreed,
there really is a difference...

And, you have to taste a lot of different bottles
to appreciate it... 

 No fear, this is the collection after the party...
and, a good time was had by all...!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 19 - Counting Chickens...

We bought our home in the Spring of 2011,
and it wasn't until later that summer that we got
our first chickens to put into the existing chicken coop...

A bantam rooster and two hens.
The rooster and one hen were promptly eaten by a bobcat.

I then started collecting more bantams
which we called the "mutant chickens."

We added some guinea fowl,
six of them...
two females and 4 males.
Two males went back to the breeder and
the two females
were killed by a bobcat.

I detailed most of this in a post
involving goats and a bear.
At that time I tallied up all the new chickens and fowl.

Somewhere in here we got two dogs,
and there have been no more bears or bobcats;
 that we've seen close to the property, at least.

Then this February we got turkeys...
six of them,
Unfortunately, both males.

Then we had the chick explosion a couple of weeks ago,
adding 22 new chicks to the group,
of which 1 mysteriously disappeared.
I hope another bobcat isn't around,
but maybe another hawk..?

So, we have a LOT of chickens...
but we thinned the herd down a bit 
voluntarily over the last couple of days.

Yesterday, 5 of the pullets and 3 of the younger chicks
went to a new home.
Today, a turkey and the remaining 4 "mutant" bantams
went to a new home.
The remaining turkey will be gone next week...
a friend has bought him.

So, as of today, we have
one remaining male guinea fowl
the "fluffy chicken" - one of the original "big chickens" we got
the "chicklets" - Hawkeye, Muffin Top and Madge (they're our best layers)
Roosters - big white Frederico & the "pocket rooster" Ollie
Hawkeye's Twins - two cockerels that just crowed for the first time this week
the pullets - of which 5 remain
the new chicks - of which 8 remain including
Sunshine (who will remain on the farm)

We'll have to see how many of the pullets and chicks
turn into hens and roosters...

If anything we'll get some more of these....

Monday, November 18, 2013

Day 18 - Going in Tile...

 We've gone from this....

to this...

And this...

And, this...

Now the glass men are coming in to give me estimates on a shower door,
and everything still needs to be grouted,
and the fixtures need to be placed,
and the toilet and vanity need to be set,
and the walls need to be painted,
and, and, and and.....!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Day 17 - A Cut Above

I spend a lot of time suturing in the E.D.
Usually I like to pull these patients back right away so I can get started on them, 
because I know that I'm going to be with them for a while.

Recently, despite an earlier post, I've started playing music while I suture.
Closing music.

Most patients say that it helps them to relax.  I wonder if I could write off my SiriusXM subscription
since I always ask the patient what their favorite music is.

I've had requests for country, and 40's.
Rock, disco and blues.
And, I've found you can't always predict what someone likes to listen to.

Recently, I had an ill-dressed, grumpy 60ish patient who cut his head on a door and had two serious lacerations that I had to repair.  He'd been surly to the nurses, and answered all of my questions roughly and with as few words as possible.

I gathered my supplies and brought my iPhone into the room.  I asked if he would like to listen to some music while I sewed.  He looked at me, and gruffly told me that I wouldn't have his favorite music available.  I assured him that I could play anything.  He responded with, "I like classical music.  Do you have any of that?"

Looking him square in the eye, I asked him, "symphony or pops?"  He held my gaze for a just a beat and then smiled.  "Symphony of course."

While I set up to suture him, he was silent for a moment and then stated, "guess, you wouldn't think someone like me would listen to classical music."  I assured him that I never made assumptions about people.  He then went on to talk about his love of Western movies as a kid and how the background music was classical music.  That's where his love of classical music grew.

We listened to Brahms while I closed his laceration.  For a few moments, we left the E.D. and were transported to a more gentile time.  When men tipped their hats to women, fought for their honor, and rode their horses into the sunset.... Not a bad way to spend part of my day... 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Day 16 - Muckin' Around

From this....

To this...

We had a chicken explosion as I wrote about last month,
so the barn has been getting quite a beating.

If you've never had a chicken coop, it takes a bit of upkeep.
And, at least once every couple of months,
you have to go in there and totally clean it out
and replace all the shavings.

Today was the day.

And, now the chickens have a nice clean home
once again...

Now, if only those turkeys would "spread the love"
a bit more around the barn instead of in one big pile... 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Day 15 - Many Miles Left to Go...

some of the places we've been this year
Just got home after being on the road for the last 11 hours...
I don't know about you, but I've written many times
about how much I love taking road trips
and traveling down the highways and byways I've never been on before.

What was supposed to be a short 3 hour drive turned into a
"while we're here let's check this out" adventure.
So, it's late, and I'm tired,
but so very thankful to be home...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day 14 - Meditative Mantra

"Create in me
A clean heart, oh God.
Let me be like You
In all my ways.
Give me Your strength.
Teach me Your song.
Shelter me in the shadow of Your wings.
For we are Your righteousness.
If we die to ourselves
And live through Your death
Then we shall be born
Again to be blessed in Your light."

Whenever I am facing a challenge, I like to hum this to myself over and over
As I breathe deeply and try to find some calming energy.

How do you relax yourself before a strenuous event?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Day 13 - Symbiosis

Don't you just love nature...?

sorry this is short...
preparing for an exam...
more this weekend...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day 12 - Sad Panda

Last year I wrote about the fact that I look at a LOT of films...
And, sometimes I see things that aren't there... like that parrot...
Or what I call the "sad panda"

It started off with this one...
I copied the image of a brain bleed to show during a slide presentation
and realized that it looked like a sad panda
having a really bad day...

Then I just started to collect images...


long face "sad panda"

Round face "sad panda"

droopy eye "sad panda"

not so "sad panda" sticking tongue out

not so "sad panda" really sticking tongue out...

I've really got to get out more...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Day 11 - Hoarder in Training

There's something I find fascinating about that television show
"Hoarders" because for the most part I've always thought
there but for the Grace of God go I...

You see, I can totally relate when the person they're interviewing
talks about how they can't get rid of that one clothespin because
it was the last one from a set that their mom/grandmom/aunt/special friend
used to have and the memory of them is tied up in that one inanimate object.

I have boxes of things that I don't know what to do with.
They're silly things, and I know I should get rid of them,
but somehow I can't.
I think back to when I bought them,
or acquired them,
or were given them, 
and I know I can't just throw them away
or give them away.

It really does stress me out.

Some things I know I have to let go.
I stop and wonder if I died today and someone
was going through my things,
would it really matter?

But, I'm still alive, and it does.

Now, don't get me wrong.
I'm not like "house of stuff so you can't even walk through it" bad,
but, there but for the Grace of God...

I also wonder about objects that I pick up at vintage stores
or at yard sales...
but, I'll leave that for another post...

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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...