MadMom and Mutt

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Oh, Not Another

I would up over at Penny's just before bed. After I found out what my pimp name is...something along the line of The Magnificent Tease or Madam Tease-a-Lot...I decided to find this out about myself:

You Are Pork

You like to think you're the other white meat, but many people don't want anything to do with you.

You probably smoke. And it's likely that no body part of yours is off limits.

I'm not going to touch that with a ten-foot pole. Would you?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Oh, Just One More Then I'll Go to Work, Promise...

Your Deadly Sins
Sloth: 80%
Greed: 20%
Envy: 0%
Gluttony: 0%
Lust: 0%
Pride: 0%
Wrath: 0%
Chance You'll Go to Hell: 14%
You will get bugs, because you're too lazy to shoo them off. And then you'll die.

Good to know I'm not likely to go to hell. I'm relieved. I can go to work now.

Which Drug are You?

It's been a little too quiet here as I'm in the middle of working 5 days out of 6! Ugh! I'm more than halfway through, though. Only today and tomorrow and I'm good.

I wound up at Blogthings this morning and simply had to find out what drug my personality was like. Better living through chemistry and all that. People who know me a bit will probably not be surprised to find that:

Your Personality Is Like Acid

A bit wacky, you're very difficult to predict.

One moment you're in your own little happy universe...

And the next, you're on a bad trip to your own personal hell!

Go there and find out what you are!

Have fun until I 'see' you again. I will probably be in Trauma one of the next two days so I won't.

::chants, "Two more can do this...::

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Cakes and Silverware

I decided I was hungry before I headed off to bed. So I'm sitting here right now eating a big piece of cake from the local bakery. They make a fabulous cake, so moist there are hardly any crumbs and with a delectable butter cream icing. Sorry, but the newer whipped cream icings do nothing for me. I like my whipped cream on strawberries or Jell-O or ice cream sundaes. It has other uses (NOT huffing! Stupid idea, kids!) which will be reserved for another post, another time, maybe another blog. (Here's where I've been spending a lot of my time recently, if you haven't been there yet.)

I have my father and his side of the family to thank for my amazingly wonderful metabolism. I don't look like a movie star but I don't weigh nearly as much as I should for a woman who likes to eat as I do. Let's just hope my great metabolism doesn't translate itself into hyperthyroidism, as it did for Dad.

I'd like it to be known I feel a pang of remorse as I consume a huge piece of calorie and carb-loaded cake for those women who couldn't look at a piece of cake without gaining two or three pounds. It's this remorse, I think, that dictates my choice of forks. I always choose a small, dessert fork for a prize like this. I eat slowly as a rule and the smaller utensil magnifies that, providing smaller bites. (I have a suspicion that two other factors play important roles in my metabolism...that I do eat slowly. I'm usually the last one done at a dinner table. And that I drink a lot of water every day. I drink between a half-gallon or so on a working day and near or over a gallon when I'm off...more with strenuous physical activity.)

I'm getting to the end, the nitty gritty, as I scoop up any crumbs with the icing that's stuck to the Saran wrap. Somehow, the choice of a smaller piece of flatware seems to make it better. I don't know if it makes women who are more prone to easy weight gain feel any better but for me, it helps ameliorate, a tad, my choice to eat the way I do and not weigh 300 pounds. Please accept my sincere apologies for my diet and metabolism. If it makes you feel any better, I'll probably develop heart disease or emphysema in my 60's, between the diet and the smoking.

But, tonight, I very much enjoyed a large piece of bakery cake with a tall, frothy glass of cold 1% milkfat milk. It was wonderful...and now it's time for bed!

Life is good!

I Happened Upon

...a fascinating Wikipedia article on absinthe, if that tickles your fancy. Who knew there was a revival in recent years. Very interesting.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sadie's New Digs

Sadie needed a new bed. I'd taken the one from the living room down to Mom & Dad's when Dad was sick. (You can look through the March archives for more on my dad.) Yes, you heard right. This pup has three beds. Maybe I didn't spoil the boy completely but I'm apparently remedying that with the dog. I picked up a new bed at PetSmart on Saturday. Sadie was initially cool to it. You know, a new presence in the apartment and all. She's always got to assert that she is top dog, even if the second dog is inanimate.

Tonight, she finally decided to give it trial lay-down. She did it full-force, too, turning around a few times before settling squarely in the middle. Is that even possible with a round bed? I tell you, it warmed the cockles of my heart. Sadie is so dramatic. I think the living room bed is now her newest best friend.

She spent much of the evening trying different positions and generally getting the lay of the bed. You can't fully see it but, in the first photo, there's a pillow in the background that reads, "A spoiled rotten dog lives here."

Ya think?

Saturday, May 20, 2006

New Media Mavericks

It's time to pay the piper...or the Boca Butler, in this case. I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the hallowed halls of Boca Java / BloggersFuel coffe reviewers. Of all the kudos I've received over the years, this has got to rank right up there. Nomination for the Excellence in Professional Nursing Practice Award? Pshaw! Just give me free goods! (Really, it's only because I was "one of the first 500 to apply," but we'll pretend othewise for the purpose of this post.)

I make coffee at home in the morning on the days I work. Unfortunately, going off to a twelve-hour shift doesn't leave me much time to immediately blog about the brew I've sampled. This week, I've taken to brewing a "one-cup" (that's "three cups" on my ridiculously measured coffee pot) pot in the evening. Gee, I wonder if that could have anything to do with my recent bout of insomnia.

Last evening, it was New Media Mavericks. Here's Boca Java's blurb:

"'Unfiltered Truth' Lead the information reformation with this medium roast from the prized Tarrazu region of Costa Rica with excellent body and robust richness."

I fancy myself something of a medium roast girl so this was naturally the roast I gravitated toward first. I made this a couple of mornings last week before work and, although the aroma of the freshly-roasted beans and of the grinding made me blush with thoughts of the titillating taste bud tickling to come, the first couple of pots left me wanting...something. It simply lacked some oomph. (I'm not much of a taste-tester so I'm winging it here. Bear with me, huh?)

Now, I wouldn't know a coffee bean from Tarrazu from a girl from Kalamazoo. Well, maybe that one I could get. But, with the exception of Kona, the "coffee-growing" regions might as well all be located in Elizabeth, New Jersey for all I'd know. The aroma released during grinding harkened me back to the days when my family would go shopping at the local A&P on Friday evenings when I was a kid. How I loved it when my folks got their "Eight O'Clock" coffee ground. New Media Mavericks smells very much like that. Eight O'Clock coffee, freshaly ground, is my favorite fall-back brew. If I can't find anything else palatable, I reach for the familiar red (or green) bag.

New Media Mavericks has an interesting, slightly acidic bite to it, which hit me on the first sip and pleasantly continued through the whole cup. It also has a pleasing aftertaste and what I would describe as a smooth finish. But it seemed a little weak. Next day, I added some more beans "for the pot" and was a little happier but still felt as if I wanted to add sugar to it or something. I am a "just a dash of half-and-half" woman. I haven't used sugar in more than 5 years. I didn't get it right until the other evening. I used "four cups'" worth and a little "for the pot" for my "one cup" pot of java. Much better! I finally got the strength right.

I continue to enjoy the pungency of this blend and now know I must brew it strong. I think I might be happier with some more vibrant, dark-roasted blends. Maybe something from the islands? What shall the next brew be?...

Friday, May 19, 2006

By Jove, I Think She's Got It

I think I've finally found it. I have found the ultimate position of comfort for using my laptop at home. Does everyone go through this? I feel as if this is some kind of blogging milestone. You know you're getting serious when you endeavor to create an ideal blogging environment. Here's my solution...

~Lying back against two throw pillows propped on the left arm of the sofa.

~Legs outstretched, try to remember not to cross them (very bad for the back.)

~One square throw pillow wedged between me and the crease in the couch, in a diagonal orientation so my elbow can rest on one corner. This is my "mouse pad."

~Coffee table on my immediate left replete with cigs, drinks, ashtray and strongly scented candles.

~Lap top just where it belongs...on my lap. No pillow propping needed.

Of course, this doesn't feel entirely comfortable for the neck. Of course, that can have nothing to do with spending hours on end in front of the screen.

I'm really enjoying this blogging thing. Not only am I exploring my deeper (darker?), spiritual, feminist, goddess-in-training, sex-positive and sex-loving personality on No Ordinary Princess and providing proof there still are living, breathing Girls and Non-Girls at the BAGs site, I wound up creating yet another No Ordinary Princess blog on last night. I expect that to lay dormant for a while as I learn more about the technology through Blogger and learn to translate that to WordPress.

I've got to eventually figure out which format I like most if I ever plan to make use of the domain names I've got. All in good time. Since this is a solo pursuit and I don't have any web or computing experience, that's liable to be a long process. However, I hope to soon gain a lot more computing exposure and experience in a new ED/IS liaison position at my hospital. That will also put me in contact with all the cool computer geeks and I plan to not let an opportunity like that pass me by! I can be a sponge when it comes to something I have an interest in and this; blogging, html, web design, computers; definitely qualifies.

There are RN-to-MSN programs out there in Nursing Informatics. There's an organization for Nursing Informatics professionals. What's not to love about bringing my over 20 years of nursing experience in several specialty areas to work for me in a new, less stressful, more interesting (because it offers me a chance to learn new things) and potentially more lucrative arena?

So, I have found my blogging position of comfort now. Blogging will lead to an expanded knowledge of the internet and computing. Blogging allows me to figure things out for myself, rather than be spoon-fed information. Blogging could be the launch of a whole new life for me...Cheryl Rossi, Nursing Informatics consultant!

Technorati tags: blogging / nursing / life

Spiritual Cruising

As usual, the first place I went this morning was Nurse Pam's. She led me to the very interesting Killing the Buddah. I love the blurb for their manifesto,

"Killing the Buddha is a religion magazine for people made anxious by churches..."

The full manifesto can be found here. What a great sentiment. I came through fundamental Christianity a couple of decades ago yet my belief in the possibility of a God and Christ as His spirit made flesh to walk among us remains intact. Over the course of 20 years, I still hold that seed inside me but its visage has changed. It doesn't matter if God is an omnipotent being on a throne in the firmament or the connection between all sentient beings and the capacity for compassion and empathy that connection creates. It's irrelevant if Christ was really the flesh-and-blood embodiment of that omnipotent God on earth or simply the kernel of truth within me that allows me to appreciate the beauty of the world around me. If this makes sense to you, Killing the Buddah is a place you might want to check out.

I particularly enjoyed Jesus and I Broke Up and My Holy Ghost People, having been there myself. No, I've never spoken in tongues but I have felt moved by the Holy Spirit while worshiping with a wonderful little congregation in southern New Jersey many years ago.

For another look at themes through the prism of varying religious perspectives, check out Parabola, a magazine I now pick up regularly. Beautiful words. Diverse points of view. Very much worth a look.

Enough, already! Let's see if I can get through someone else's blog without getting sidetracked...

Technorati tags: self-awareness / spirituality

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Why So Slow Here?

Wondering where I've been? My alternate personality has been taking up computer time over at No Ordinary Princess. If you want the big picture, you'll have to check that out as well. I'm liking this new space and think I'll be dividing my time between the two.

Not interested in that but simply dying for new pics of my grandboy? Go here to check out weeks three, four and five photos. My favorites will soon be added to my Flickr photostream. I only found the new pics last night after work. Gimme a chance!

Oh, and I have been sampling my free coffees from Boca Java during my last work week. Hopefully, in the week I have off now, I'll be able to try them again and get my reviews out there. I need to earn my cafe, after all! Thanks, Bruce!

The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing and my garden is calling my name. ('Least I think that's the garden calling.) Asta la vista until this evening, probably after dark here in Eastern Daylight Time.

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

How I Know I'm Becoming an Adult

I bought a box of donuts tonight. God knows I do not need donuts. But I wanted them. So I bought them, along with a gallon of milk. I felt like eating a donut. The kind of donuts I chose have three flavors...plain, which I do not consider a real flavor, (A real flavor has actual flavor added to it. Flavor = sugar, in this case.) powdered sugar, (which is now into the realm of actual flavor) and, the ultimate taste experience, cinnamon sugar. (Yeah, now we're talking!)

In my youth, (or would that be a previous incarnation?) I would have reasoned, in that inimitable cheap PA German way, that the sensible thing would be to eat one plain donut along with one flavored donut as a serving. But tonight I threw caution to the wind. I ate two flavored donuts instead. I said, "Fuck it! I want flavor," and jumped into the abyss of hedonism.

It spread almost instantly. No sooner had I finished the cinnamon sugar donut than I pulled out a plain donut and gorged myself on a third!

Woo-hoo! Who knew I was capable of taking such risks!

I'm exhausted now...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Sadie's Home

Sadie lies at the other end of the couch, snoring her deepest snore. She is utterly content. Sadie's home.

I sprung her from the prison today. You know, the one where they make her lie in a small box all day and only take her out to walk once. You know, the one whose food she doesn't like and won't eat although it's the exact same thing she eats at home. You know, the place where she won't even eat a Greenie when offered. She must present the most pathetic image when she's at the kennel, or "the doggie retreat," as I prefer to refer to it.

It's not like there are strangers dealing with her. She is boarded there at least 3 or 4 times a year and the kennel is at her vet's. It's not as if they never pay any attention to her, although attention paid anywhere else is attention wasted, in Sadie's doggie mind. The kennel staff love her (what's not to love, after all?) and fuss over her whenever she comes in. Over weekends, the vet techs do some of the kennel work, feedings and such. These are people who really know Sadie and enjoy her.

But they are not Mom! It doesn't matter how sweet they are to her, Sadie will have none of this business of being apart from me. I appreciate the sentiment but really wish I could go away with a clear conscience, knowing Sadie was also having an enjoyable time.

So I picked her up this afternoon after I finished my ACLS recertification and she...was...a...madwoman! They informed me that she'd gotten through another boarding without developing diarrhea. Yay! That's three times in a row! Bet you never thought you'd see that news on the internet, huh? She whined and yipped in the car all the way home, very uncharacteristic of my Sadie. As soon as we got out of the car, she made a beeline for the grass for an explosive, borderline-loose, gaseous whopper. I think she must have held all her stool for the entire weekend, little bitch. (No, really, she's a bitch.) It doesn't seem to be continuing so I doubt we have a repeat of the rare, difficult to diagnose parasite she had last fall. No, it just seems like garden variety, "I've-been-holding-this-all-weekend-for-you" poop. Lucky me.

Seriously, I missed her a lot last night but could not pick her up by the 1 PM deadline yesterday and I was darn well going to see the grandboy on Mother's Day, if at all possible. So, Sadie and I both spent another lonely night apart. I'm surprised the world didn't careen off into space. I am awfully glad she's home now and she seems to need to replenish her sleep bank following her weekend imprisonment. We're both content and life is good all around.

Look at This

Is he not adorable???

Sunday, May 14, 2006

11 Things I Loved About Today

I got to hold and play with my grandson while he was awake and alert. At one point, he smiled at the print on the wall over my shoulder. I know it was not responsive but reflexive. It still thrills me no end that my grandbaby has an instinct and a reflex to enable him to feel pleasure and express it.

I had a good weekend with my mother. We spent some time together, she got to meet her great-grandchild. We didn't argue. I was able to point out when she crossed a line. We didn't kill each other. All in all, a very productive weekend.

I came home from my trip, visiting the most beautiful baby on earth (see evidence, above) and walked into my beautiful garden. I got to putz around in the garden before it got dark, deadheading a few things, filling the bird feeders and trying to train my clematis up the trellis. I got to tell my flowers how beautiful they are. My garden is a little oasis from the world.

I got to see Jen hold her baby as an adoring mother does. It reminded me of how I felt about Michael when he was a baby. Is there a special bond between mothers and sons? I don't know. I felt there was with Mike and me and I feel there is with Jen and Brendan. That makes me happy.

I ate some killer, grocery store strawberry cheese cake for Mother's Day. Who would have thought the little Giant Eagle would have such fabulous baked goods.

We drove through only a few sprinkles and had sunshine around us by the time we got home.

I was able to wash some laundry. I took warm, soft towels out of the dryer and folded them perfectly. They look so lovely in the linen closet. Simple tasks I can do very well make me happy.

There is a pungent aroma of spring in the air, like damp, newly-turned earth, moisture, fertility, rebirth.

I called my son up when we were about an hour out of Pittsburgh and said, "We've decided we haven't had enough time with the baby yet so we're going to turn around at the Donegal exit and head back. I'm sure we can get a room for the night where we stayed and we'll be able to spend all evening and much of tomorrow with you guys and Brendan." Michael's response, after a considerable pause was, "For real?" I told him, no, it just seemed like something fun to call and tell him. He told me, "But, it's not April!" It was precious.

We ate breakfast with Mike and Jen and Brendan, al fresca.

I got to watch my son and daughter-in-law interact with their son. They are such loving parents and far more relaxed about it that I would have expected only a month into it. They seem to be doing great as a family. I am so happy my son is able to love his child as much as he does. I hope that was something I was able to foster in him. I hope he always loves his family as he did today.

I am a lucky mother.

Happy Mother's Day to you and all the mothers you love.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

So Far, So Good

Well, I'm out in Pittsburgh visiting with my son, daughter-in-law and new grandboy. I did not commit matricide on the 6 (count 'em...six, that's one-two-three-four-five-SIX) hour drive out here, though it was touch and go at some points.

This is the view from my hotel balcony. (The guest room is now a nursery. What can I say? Obviously, their priorities are a little askew.) The hotel, a Quality Inn...very basic but serviceable and right across the street from Magee-Women's Hospital, one of the finest women's specialty hospitals in the country. Below is Magee on its lovely, tree-lined street. A few minutes ago, I watched a helicopter land at UPMC Children's Hospital a few blocks away. Some of the nation's best children's health care takes place there, including organ transplants for children. Kids are referred to P-bgh from all across the US for specialized care.

As long as I've been a nurse, 22 years and counting, it still gives me chills to be in the vicinity of great health care. I felt that way when I worked at Cooper, which was the first Level I Trauma Center in South Jersey and the perinatal referral center for that part of the state. During my tenure, we received transfers from every county in South Jersey for our specialized obstetric and neonatal care. That's saying something.

As much as I didn't like to admit it, I felt a swell of pride whenever I'd pull in to work and there would be a helicopter on the heliport on top of the parking garage. I was proud of the work we did at Cooper. I am proud today when we're able to save someone's life in my ED, which, I'm happy to say, happens with some regularity. It's not the adrenaline rush. Any nurse who's worked in high-pressure situations will tell you they move into "auto" mode at those times. The good ones function that way, anyway. The thrill is in having done the job well and achieving a good outcome as a result. The pleasure comes from helping someone who needed your help and doing so to the best of your ability. Please keep the adrenaline junkies out of my ER? Thank you!

Pittsburgh has got to be one of the most underrated, culturally rich little cities in the country. When one mentions Pittsburgh, it conjures images of steel mills and mullets and working-class people. But Pittsburgh offers some of the best university education in the world, world-class health care, a culture rich with people from all corners of the world, fabulous museums, restaurants, a wealth of history and a healthy sports mentality. Sports fervor means a lot if you've grown up in the Philadelphia area. The P-bgh fans seem to pull off their team love without the ugliness Philadelphia sports fans are saddled with (some of it deserved, much of it mere legend).

On to the important grandboy is simply gorgeous! He's over 10 pounds now and 22 inches long (that's two pounds and over two inches in a month). He's eating like a champ and Jen and Mike are doing great with him! They all seem to have gotten into a very nice routine, which I'm sure we screwed up by hanging around with him all day. He's just so damned content! After he's eaten, he likes nothing better than to scooch himself into a warm, little ball on your chest and drop off to la-la land. We tried to keep him awake a little more but he's still sleeping most of the time and is just so darned fun to snuggle! He smells so, well, so baby-ish and he makes the cutest little baby faces. He gets so comfy on you his little arms just hang limp down your sides like rags. I tell you, breastmilk must be better than heroin!

I'm looking forward to many weekend trips over the summer, especially after he starts spending more time awake and alert and after he starts smiling! One of the greatest feelings on earth is making a baby smile or laugh...Nirvana! Who needs drugs? Another couple of baby shots to keep you all 'fixed' until Mike manages to get some more photos up on his webpage.

Jen was able to put up with us interfering with their routine and futzing over her son like a couple of old hens with relative ease and grace. I hope she gets more used to me. I don't want to steal Brendan. (As for Mike, heck, I'm done with him...she can have 'im! ; ) I just want a share. I just want to play with Baby Brendan and teach him all sorts of bad things. (Oops...I probably shouldn't have put that out over the internet, huh?) Jen can have him most of the time as long as I get to catch frogs and blow bubbles and bake cookies and fly kites and make mud pies and generally get dirty with him! I wonder if I'll still be able to climb a small, low-limbed tree by the time Brendan's old enough...

There's a full moon tonight, hanging out with a few, lowlife clouds. I got to hold my grandbaby all evening while we watched
Ray and he (Brendan, not Ray) snuggles and snuffles and snorts and farts and makes silly, little baby faces. Jen and I seemed to do okay on our first 'real' visit. So far, so good. Now it's time for Nana to float off to Brendan's la-la land to dream of baby boys.

Life is good.

Happy Mother's Day, all!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Campus Calamity!

Head on over to Tennessee Guerilla Women for a fabulously fun post on the epidemic of erectile dysfunction on college campuses and its "root" cause. I know this is a little late in the posting but this one sure is a hoot! You'll thank me.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Possibly Dead

I obviously didn't gather all the information I needed before installing my Life Status button. It looks as if they tell you from the get-go how long it will take to turn from presumed alive to presumed dead. I needn't have wasted a month of my time checking on it. Oh well. Live and learn.

So long, Life Status meter. I think I can take it from here.

Why is It?

Why is it that men think women want or need their unsolicited advice and counsel??

I had a run-in with a co-worker last week, a male co-worker. I am embarrassed to say I stood in the hallway near the nurses' locker room and screamed at him to, "Shut the fuck up!" Or, "Will you shut the fuck up," or, "Will you fucking shut up," or, "Fucking shut up!" Something like that. You get the idea.

This, coming from the nurse who, days prior, had been informed she'd been nominated for the professional nursing excellence award. How's that for timing? How's that for professionalism? This young man (he's not much younger than I am but, to me, behaves more like a conciliatory son than a peer) has been offering me advice about my practice in the ER since he returned to us following a stint in the Cardiac Cath Lab for a couple of years. Granted, he has worked in this ED longer than I have. Granted, he's had more opportunity to acclimate himself to this institution's policies in the years he worked here and I didn't, if he chose to do so.

But I am a professional nurse, have been a professional nurse for 22 years and have always practiced in a professional manner. That necessarily means familiarizing myself with the policies, procedures and practices of any institution or specialty area in which I've worked and, pretty much, practicing within the prescribed policies or working in an above board manner to facilitate changes in policy that I believe are necessary for optimal practice.

I do not need someone who's spent the last two years working in another area of the hospital to return and give me advice about how I should practice in this ED. I am the one who's spent the last two-and-a-half years working in this ED. I am the one who's worked on a committee trying to institute and support positive changes in our policies and practice in the ED over the past year. I am particularly keen on the changes in our policies and practice that have taken place during my co-worker's absence because I helped define and refine them.

Yet he apparently feels it's his duty to offer 'sage' advice on how we should practice in our ED. Somehow, he seems to believe I need the coaching. He may well be unaware he's being patronizing or condescending when he does this. However, I don't think he's entirely unaware of the impact of his 'brotherly' wisdom on me.

When I joined him on a team last week and he began offering suggestions for tasks I could perform (mostly on patients who were assigned to his care), I'd had all I could take. This was the fourth or fifth incident in the couple of months since his return to the ED. I made a snide comment, a lioness' first snarl. I am very good at this and under ordinary circumstances with normal people this warning shot is usually enough. "Leave me alone. Don't press any further. Back off." My male co-worker is obviously not 'normal' by my standard.

The trouble with me is I am not a detail person. With tasks, yes. With projects, yes. With work, yes. With conversations, no. I tend to imprint the feeling of an interchange between myself and another rather than photo- or phonographically recording the exchange verbatim in my memory. I might not be able to tell you precisely what either of us had said but could offer, in minute detail, how I felt, what I was thinking, what I thought your motivation was in the argument or discussion, whether you were trying to fuck with me, whether I was trying to fuck with you. For me, the important thing is how an interaction makes both parties feel.

My co-worker, much like the first woman I had a relationship with, is a detail person. Detail people can recall precise phrasing of a given conversation, or at least they purport to. I would never know, unless I'd actually recorded it. Detail people record these conversations into some storage space in their brains and retrieve them when they are needed as ammunition in future discussions or arguments. It's all very disconcerting for us 'feelings' people because we have no way to defend against a supposedly sharp memory. As I said, we remember feelings.

As I dropped my snide remark, I was
feeling pretty pissed. I also felt any fool should get the message. My co-worker was, apparently, too wrapped up in recalling minute details to notice that I felt that way. I turned to walk away. He followed me. He may have laid a hand on me at some point in the exchange, I can't recall. I do remember him reaching to touch me, as if to pat my shoulder the way a father would his child, at one point. I recoiled and conveyed, through body language alone, that should he lay a hand on me, I would cause him immense pain and enjoy every second of it. I just might have, too, if he'd touched me. I was that pissed. Ultimately, after he followed me around the unit a bit and, I believe, even blocked my way at one point, I hurled my expletive at him, full force.

We wound up in the conference room with our boss. He continued to interrupt, talk over and otherwise ignore me so much in this conversation that I stood up, stomped my foot like a two year-old and screamed, "Will you please SHUT THE FUCK UP???" Kathy, my boss, is very good at mediating. I left the room feeling that she had heard me. My co-worker (who tried to outright
lie about the sequence of events, though I actually remembered that part and stood firm) insisted we touch hands to show we'd "made up" before we left the room. I think I would have rather placed my hand in a dragon's fiery mouth but I let my fingertips glance his hand anyway. I had to let Kathy see I'm willing to give a little, even with someone so patently and annoyingly ignorant. As I looked at his back as we walked out, my mind said, "I will never trust you again, Prick."

I'm willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt, even more than once. But once you've crossed the line with me, there is no going back. I will cover his back, because it's what I need to do for the patients. I will be civil to him and no more. I will not engage in personal conversations with him. I will rebuff every effort at reconciliation, and I'm sure he will try. You know those types who try to be your best friend to pretend the tension doesn't exist? That's him, as I see him. It's going to be mighty cold for him in my vicinity when we're working together. I wonder if he'll take the hint before the next ice age.

I will never trust him again.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006


C'mon, it's been a while. I deserve some candy!

~ ~ ~

I've never been a fan of Melissa Etheridge. Will they
kick me out of the dyke club for that, you think? Sheesh! And I just learned the secret handshake and password and all! Though I might be much more a folk, blues, jazz or funk girl, I still love Melissa's hair these days! God, I love a woman with smart, short locks, especially when she's
absolutely gorgeous ! ::sighs::

~ ~ ~

I've had a rather rough week. I've been doing an awful lot of gardening the past few weeks. No, I won't trouble you with pictures. Well, maybe just one. This is my "old stump" bed in daylight. The creek is in the background through the trees. This tree really must have been something in its day...the stump is about 4 feet across. I try to maintain as much of the natural environment as I can, provided it's pleasing to the eye.

That means I leave the English ivy but get rid of all the other vines. I hate vines! As much as I love wisteria, I hate to see it in the trees, twisting the life out of them. I destroy, remove, rip out and otherwise purge my immediate vicinity of parasitic vines with vigor. Which is why I find myself in my present position...

~ ~ ~

...'Roid rage! I showed my left arm, icky, weeping, scabby wounds and all from the poison ivy, to Dr. Bob at work last week. When the rash didn't start getting better after a dose of oral prednisone, Dr. Bob said I needed a shot. I was most concerned about the injection, but I needn't have worried. Dr. Bob does give a good shot. Things gradually improved but I couldn't understand why I was such a Bitch (note: capital "B") at work on Monday and Tuesday. It's not "that time of the month." Why was everyone trying to piss me off, to get in my way? Why was everyone arguing with me??

My skin started "crawling" on Monday but I didn't realize it until Tuesday. I finally figured it out and called the pharmacy yesterday to find out how long I could expect to feel this way. If I'd only had oral steroids, it would be fully resolved within a few days of finishing the course of medication. But, since I'd gotten a shot of steroids, the side effects will last longer! She couldn't tell me exactly how long.

Never again!

~ ~ ~

So, I passed up the Nursing Excellence Award ceremony for fear that I would either burst into tears or tell the wrong person off thus losing my present position and any chance of the ER nurse/computer person job I so want. I think blowing off the ceremony was the wise career choice.

I also called out from work today. My skin is still tingling all over, as if every nerve ending is covered by something no thicker than a soap bubble. I feel my clothes against my skin all over my body! I can't tolerate Sadie licking my arms or legs and she can't understand why. Again, staying home feels like the wiser choice if I really want to perpetuate my employment.

~ ~ ~

I started this post last night, was up until 5 AM before I got tired (another side effect of the 'roids. ARGH!) I'm now as fully refreshed as I going to be today and ready to hit the garden before the rain comes. Almost done my 'rock garden' so I'm sure to have pictures later today. Happy day!

Monday, May 08, 2006

I Hadn't Wanted to Mention This, But...

Since Pam has had such hardship with the delivery of her Blogger's Review Kit from Boca Java, I really didn't want to mention that a miracle recently occured here in southeastern Pennsylvania. I have been accepted into the hallowed halls of bloggersfuel reviewers. ( kit arrived Friday.) (Soooo sorry, Pam!) Since tomorrow is my first day back to work since then and I leave it to someone else to make me coffee on my days off, this is my first opportunity to sample Bruce's wares. I am still skeptical of the chocolate and caramel Blogger's Beach Blast and the vanilla-kahlua-caramel-flavored Blogger's Pajama Passion. They are, however, coffee names I could fully stand behind. The only thing better than the beach or pajamas would be the beach and pajamas!

I have selected New Media Mavericks as my first sampling. Here's the blurb,
'Unfiltered Truth' Lead the information reformation with this medium roast from the prized Tarrazu region of Costa Rica with excellent body and robust richness.

I inhaled deeply as I opened the package, savoring the aroma of the fresh-roasted beans. Medium in color but full of suculent fragrance, I practically floated away to heaven on the scent of the grinding. The pot is programmed, the filtered water poised. I hope to wake up to a little sip of Nirvana in the morning, slurped daintily from my way cool, new coffee mug.

Thanks for the suggestion, Kelly and Pam! Damn, I hope Pam gets her coffee soon!

Operation Million Cup

Here I am, all set up for my morning java and chomping at the bit to try my Bloggersfuels!

::walks away, chuckling, at finally becoming a
Boca Bitch::

Sunday, May 07, 2006

I've Been Led Astray

I started out a good girl, I did! Then I wandered over to that den of iniquity known as 21st Century Lesbian Trailer Trash. What should I expect with a name like that, huh? Pam seems a lot safer when she's blogging about coffee, but masturbation (that's a great Wikipedia article, btw) sure sounds like loads more fun! I, personally, choose to masturbate for the health and psychological benefits. I rub to facilitate my growth, in a manner of speaking. I volunteer to lead the study of the physical benefits of masturbation in the human female. ; )

Pam cited Purple Twinkie for her link to this fab poster. I didn't have much time to play there but very much enjoyed a few posts and Scott's 202 things. Scott led me to Paul Davidson who has an amazing grasp of the English language and a book being "officially released" tomorrow! How exciting! Look for The Lost Blogs in a book store near you. Sounds like my kind of beach book!

Being the risk taker I am, I pushed the envelope to explore the true source of such a
moving sentiment. "War can wait. Masturbate" stirred the passion for peace instilled in me from growing up in the land of the Quakers (another great Wikipedia article). True to my pacifist leanings, I hightailed it over to Talk about your cool site. Talk about your worthwhile cause. This is my kind of orgasm, erm, organization. This is a place where I could volunteer my time, money and services! Upfront and witty commentary, sage advice, highly sex-positive and the coolest bumper stickers I've ever seen!

This one was a particular favorite. This place might just push me over the edge into putting actual bumper stickers on my actual car! How have I ever lived without...

Don't be a hater, use your vibrator,"

Peace is power, fiddle with your flower,"

the vague, "
Do unto yourself, not unto others,"

Don't feel hate ejaculate,"

Don't invade just get laid,"

the obscure, "
Fap for freedom,"

If only our leaders would squeeze their peters,"

If you stroke it, war won't cum...,"

the oh-so-lesbian, "
Lube the toys, Don't send the boys,"

"Peace Is In The Palm Of My Hand,"

Protect the nation through self-stimulation,"

Saving the world, one Kleenex at a time,"

To make the world great you need to masturbate,"

Be a masturbator, not an instigator,"

Genitals for gentleness"

and what will likely be my first purchase...

I'm a peace hoochie, rubbin my coochie!"

is a girl to choose? "Oh, my!"

I have bookmarked the Cunnilingus Tutor for future reference or simply to compare notes. Looks like recommended reading to me. Happy cruising!

Have You Ever FELT the Wind?

I don't mean 'Bill Pullman and (Oooo, la la!) Helen Hunt strapping themselves to the Artesian well in Twister' wind. I mean a small gust, a breeze, a wafting, a caress, a whisper, barely enough to toussle hair. Have you ever really felt them? Have you ever taken the time and invested the effort to really open up your mind, your heart, your pores, your senses to the experience of a wind?

This is the reason I occasionally lie on my belly in the sun at the beach. This is aside from the fact that I'd look absolutely ridiculous sporting only the suntan I get sitting in my beach chair with an open book on my lap, under an umbrella with SPF 30 sunscreen on and everything. If I didn't occasionally warm up the backside under the world's largest tanning lamp, I would look like a sunnyside up egg! The reason I lie on the beach in the sun sometimes is to feel the sea breezes. I lie there, slathered in sunscreen, sweat dripping from my hair, behind my ears, between my breasts. I come to believe I cannot possibly get any hotter without spontaneously combusting. Then a breeze will stir...the best ones are accompanied by the sun passing behind a cloud...and all the heat feels worth it. I've lain in hell for 30 minutes (though it's probably only been around three minutes...I can get dramatic in the heat) for the joy and blessing of being kissed all over my back by an angel's breath...a wingbeat of wind.

Tonight, after I finished the day's tasks, I sat on my step and surveyed my domain. A breeze stirred the thin branches of the trees above me. I, in the hollow, didn't feel it. I was treated to the rustling movement above with only a wisp of a breeze touching me. I have wind chimes that have never sounded down here. I listen to the neighbor's chimes at the top of the hill instead. I love my little hollow.

A favorite wind is the one that brings a thunderstorm on a hot summer late afternoon or evening. In August, when the ground is hard and dry and the temperature is brutal. One would think the humidity alone would water the plants but that seems intent on watering only the humans. The air itself seems to soak up too much...heat, moisture. The clouds close in and swell. The sky turns an ominous grey or black. Then the wind kicks up, violently strong, whipping the treetops, sometimes bowing a might trunk. The scent borne on that wind is nectar to me. The air, heavy-laden with moisture, rushing in. The sense of coolness behind the wind. The smell of the rain on scorched earth borne miles to me with a promise of relief to come. The ground fairly weeps with joy, in anticipation, as do I.

Gardening Thoughts

I wasn't nearly as productive today as I wanted to be. I just can't seem to shake this cold. I finally broke down and bought some Loratidine (Claritin) as I'm beginning to think I might be developing seasonal allergies. Yuck! On top of that, I've got a wicked case of poison ivy. Have I mentioned that nearly all vines are evil and should be destroyed? I hate vines and the damage they cause trees. I approach vines with a vehemence usually reserved for a very select, very few co-workers. ; ) About the only vine I can tolerate is the English Ivy growing on the hillside outside my door. It seems to know its place and limits itself to the woody areas. Oh, or maybe that's just because of my incessantly trampling on it as I manically garden.

I did manage to get my "giant, old, hollow stump" bed planted. This was such an eyesore when I moved in a few years ago. My first full spring/summer here, I sawed, chopped and chiseled out most of the remaining center of the stump, filled it in with rocks (of which there is quite an abundance here in Pennsylvania!), play sand and marvelous garden soil. My impatiens did fabulously. My caladium did not. Not enough sun, I believe. This year I've once again opted for impatiens (hey, they're easy!) but with coleus (hopefully a little more shade-tolerant) and a lovely torenia, a favorite flower.

Here's the finished product, which I'll show you again in the full bloom of summer.

I also pulled the weeds from my cut-flower bed, raked the rock garden area and lugged the big rocks near it. Only another couple or few days. Hopefully, I'll be all done by the time of the big complex garden contest.

When I moved here in August of 2003, I brought my piddly couple of flower boxes, which hadn't fared well during my summer vacation, and settled in. The sewer runs directly behind my end of my building...don't worry, it's not as grizzly as it sounds. To my left, outside my door, runs Stony Creek, which lives up to its name. I can listen to it babble along as I fall asleep, if I choose. To the right is a hillside of about a 60-65 degree incline rising two full stories above me. My (second story) bathroom window is still below the crest of the hill. Sadie loves it up there when I let her go off-lead. Sometimes too much!

There was a sewer issue before I moved in that August which meant the heavy brush I'd seen when I viewed the apartment had been knocked down to allow heavy machinery and trucks access to the sewer line, which runs in a direct line from my 'front' steps. It sounds terrible but, really, it was a blessing! With the amount of labor that would have been involved for me to clear the way, even with a Ditch Witch, I probably never would have. A moldy basement apartment a month or so later meant all the foundation on my half of the building was exposed and waterproofed. (I dare not consider what horrible chemicals might have been used and are presently leaching into the soil!) This meant the jungle of scrubby undergrowth to the right of my steps was also cleared out. They didn't do nearly as good a job moving the soil back in place and didn't even pretend to grade it. No, I got to do all that, with hand tools, the following spring.

The removal of the screening greenery exposed a scene I never would have imagined. That spring, I discovered a marvel. Daffodils in clumps, trees naturally downed at the most appealing angles. Thickets of boxwood, hosta, a small, medium-green plant which likes moist areas (it completely blankets the opposite (much lower) stream bank) and has small, yellow, buttercup-like flowers. I was told it was a marshmallow plant but that seems not to be the case as I've searched for it and it's nowhere to be found on the internet under that name. Hey, if anybody knows what this flower might be, please let me know? That first spring, I started naturalizing plants into that hillside...azaleas, hydrangea, hosta, astilbe, daffodils of different varieties.

I continue working on the hillside; planting ferns, carnations and more azalea to come this year. I would love nothing better than to see a surprising carpet of color when one turns the corner to my apartment. It will continue all spring, starting with the daffodils, the muscari, lily of the valley, azalea, ferns, hydrangea...blanketing the entire hillside. Maybe I'll get see it eventually. ::happy sigh::

You'll be happy to know these are the rocks I moved from this asthetically challenged placement in preparation for a partial interment in the rock garden. I guess I was in a particularly kitschy when I decided on this arrangement.

I need more azaleas. I'd like some unusual colors...deep reds and oranges...but will probably settle for whatever they have on sale for 50% off following Mother's Day. Hey, I'm probably only going to be here another two or three years and azaleas aren't cheap! Tomorrow is the rock garden, maybe touch up a few containers that could use a little more spice. Some dahlias. Some gerber daisies. It's also time to plant my cut-flower garden. I have the seeds all ready to go...zinnias, Mexican sunflower, Texas bluebonnet, nasturtium, poppy, Four O'Clocks, larkspur, cosmos. I will not be planting sweet peas in that bed this year. They took over everything last year and didn't produce a single flower! I think I'll just throw the leftover seeds down the creek bank and let God gorw them if She wants to.

I'll certainly keep you posted, whether you like it or not. A new grandmother with a garden. It doesn't get any worse.

Friday, May 05, 2006

What I've Been Up To

My first clematis flower bud...

My clematis a few days ago...

My clematis last evening...

And that first bloom, fully realized.

This is what has been occupying my time. I am teaching myself to be a master gardener.

I've put in a new flower bed next to my outside steps with impatiens and begonias. I have plants to create a 'rock garden,' really just a slope in my 'yard,' where I'll half bury some of the rocks I uncover as I garden and fill in with sedum, alyssum, pincushion flowers and other interesting, creeping, flowering plants, mostly perenniels.

My 'Rock Garden' flowers and my nascent perenniel bed

I've also created a perenniel bed with columbine, Jacob's Ladder, dodecatheon and foam flowers. Many of these are native varieties. I have a border of daffodils behind the perenniels and have planted clumps of muscari (grape hyacinth) in front. It should look lovely next spring!

One of my columbine varieties

My next project, filling in my "old stump" bed with impatiens, coleus and, maybe, some torenia.

I've also been on a few good cruises and have updated my links to include some important (to me) political sites. Check them out, if you're at all left or progressive leaning...

I hope to squeeze some time in over the weekend to catch up on some blogs and blogging. Look for a post, soon I hope, about my Blogger Review Package from Boca Java! Seems they will even allow a piddly, little blogger like me to review their coffee. If they can do my palate justice, I hope I can do their coffee justice!

href="">Boca Java

Sorry this is a little sloppy but I really must get to work!

Happy day!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Interesting Feminist Blogging

I made it around to Lingual Tremors tonight following a grueling twelve-hour shift. I needed that, after the day I'd had. I couldn't help feeling drawn to the piece entitled Abstinence Avenger: Your Nighttime Bed Buddy. Who could? But this particular reference struck a chord with me. This excerpt is from a Planned Parenthood Fact Sheet on abstinence-only "sex" "education."
Abstinence-only sexuality education doesn't work. There is little evidence that teens who participate in abstinence-only programs abstain from intercourse longer than others. When they do become sexually active, though, they often fail to use condoms or other contraceptives. Meanwhile, students in comprehensive sexuality education classes do not engage in sexual activity more often or earlier, but do use contraception and practice safer sex more consistently when they become sexually active (AGI, 2003; Jemmott, et al., 1998; Kirby, 1999; Kirby, 2000; NARAL, 1998)

I realize I'm late in coming to this feminist phase in my life. I'm a late bloomer in many respects, apparently. I realize this might not be an original concept but it's the first time it's occurred to me. Isn't it obvious that our government has no interest in sponsoring anything that might benefit women, their sexuality, their ownership and the self-image of our young women? Isn't keeping them barefoot and pregnant to surest path to maintaining the subordinate role of women in culture?

If girls are armed with the evidence that their bodies are their own to control then they will realize they can make decisions about their bodies and sexuality on their own. They will realize their decisions do not have to hinge upon the ideals of or pressure from the men in their lives. They will, if they are taught to value their bodies, make their own choices to accept or decline offers of sex, protected or not. They will then not as often find themselves in untenable positions, frequentlty with insufficient emotional or financial support, which leave them little choice than to conform to their expected roles. If women learn how to protect, secure and own their bodies, America, as the typically white, male dominated culture we've all come to know and love would be sorely threatened. Of course they have no interest in so arming young, American women. American women with self-respect, confidence, real information and ownership of their own bodies would throw such a wrench in the machine. Why upset the patriarchal apple cart? Has everyone else already figured this out? Have I really been that obtuse all my life?

Oh, enough ranting at 3 AM...

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