Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Grandpa's Odd Collection

My grandpa (my mom's dad) had a unique collection and this only one small corner of it. LOL! Back in the day he was a dairy farmer in western Pennsylvania, this is the pole barn. Just to give you an idea of how big is is, five school buses can fit side by side in this building and is about two stories high. All four walls look just like this.

When I was a kid we collected aluminum cans for extra change. Back in the mid 80's it actually would pay pretty well! Anyway, somehow my grandpa took this to another kind of collecting while he was visiting us out here one year.

When he started digging he found not only other collectors but some very unique, old and some really cool cans and bottles over the years. There are some that are worth quite a bit of money, lol, who knew?

Both of my grandparents are gone now but the farm remains in the family and the cans..............? ...................... well, it would not be grandpa's farm without them so we all keep them and laugh about them every year at the family reunion.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Two Goals

My husband and I went to a Jimmy Buffett concert this year, our second one so far. He puts on an AMAZING show!


I have made a short term and a long term goal for myself. Lately I have been feeling like I need to find something for me again. For so long I had school to focus on I need that kind of focus again. Not that my family is not enough, I love my kids! They are amazing in so many ways and I love being their mom but when they are in school and I am home from work, I need something.

I have been going to the gym for several years, weight lifting mostly and a little running. In the past I have done a few 5k's but never really thought about serious training for anything. Until now.................................. I am training for a 5k at the end of January, this is my short term goal. I have also been asked to join a MS150 team for next year. I am very excited about this! Yes, this is my long term goal.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Harley

This is me, my 2007 Harley Nightster and my best friend with his Harley. I LOVE to ride but unfortunately where I live it is now cold and snow is on the ground. My friend, well, he is lucky enough to live in a state where he can ride year round.

I had always wanted a motorcycle, dreamed of riding on the back of one, owning one. People though I was crazy. Now I am an ICU nurse, I see several motorcycle accidents in my unit and some of the doctors have fun pointing them out to me and asking when it will be me in that bed. Usually I just laugh, what can I say? I know the risks, I always put on my gear but I know there will come a day when a car does not pay attention or my tire will blow out and I will crash. Riding her benefits me in so many ways! Of course the thrill of the ride itself is great but it is also a way for me to get out by myself to truly be alone. I love to get out of the city and just enjoy the ride. This bike is some of the best therapy I could ever have to get away from in insanity in my life.

As a side note, the friend in the picture has his own blog. You can find it listed as Adventures in Chrome, go on give it a click!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

His Mom NEEDS to Go

Somehow I was able to get myself into this position after all these years! I did not, however, attempt to get up from this........... I lowered to my back then got up! I may still be flexible but I don't want to push my limits!

This picture does show how I am feeling though. A little up-side-down and twisted from the normal. I think my stress level is at an all time high. I hate what it does to me physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is not healthy to be this uptight.

I feel that my biggest stress is his mom living with us ........... STILL!! Four and a half years ....... WAY to long to have anyone live with you that you did not give birth to. I have talk with my husband many, many times about this but I don't see any action being taken. He has two brothers that are single, only one of them has a 16 year old boy that pretty much comes and goes on his own, I think this needs to be THEIR problem for a while. I thought a decision had been made but I have yet to see any action after five months of talk. I want my house to my self, I want to sit in my kitchen naked if I want, I want to have sex in any room of the house when the kids are gone. These are not wild ideas, they are simple and normal.

Why does he want his mom here? When I ask him this he says he wants her gone too but that is not what I read from him. I am very close to making him choose, me or her in this house but I know that it would bring ugly words and bad feelings to do that. I can't take it anymore.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cold Medicine, TSA, & the DMV

I just like this picture, it was taken the last time I was in Florida with my husband and two friends. We all left the kids at home and headed south for a week.

Have you ever noticed that society has really lost touch with reality?

This is the time of year when we all start coughing, sneezing, suffering from stuffy noses and sinuses. UGH!!! I know this is not a new thing but it really bothered me today. To get a decent decongestant a person has to take a plastic card to the pharmacy, show your ID and pay for it separately. Oh, I forgot that I had to sign some separate thing that verified something or other. Good God, are you kidding me?! There is always going to be SOMETHING junkies come up with to help with their drug making, with holding these items is not going to stop them from doing it.

It's like the so called security at the airports. Take me word for it, it will not be a suicide bomber that attacks the next plan or air port. It will be a normal, average person that just snaps from all the crap we have to go through just to get from point A to point B. Here is a REALLY good question that I would love to ask; this no more than 3 ounces of liquid put into a plastic baggies is saving us HOW?

Even getting a drivers license renewed in my state has turned into the biggest pain in the ass that there ever was. We need ........ a freaking birth certificate, not a copy mind you but one with the state seal. Oh my God! What the hell is THAT about? So, this means the health department is making a killing by charging each person $15 for one of these fine documents. We also have to have our proof of insurance and some kind of proof of residency such as a utility bill or payroll check. Is this not completely insane? I think the next time I go, I will take a urine sample and a vile of blood.

I just feel that we are putting so much time, effort and money into things that are so small and stupid and not looking at the things that actually might make a difference.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Grandma's Rings

I did not know that this picture was taken until a day later, this is the national cemetery they are in. It took me a while to find them, so much had changed since I had been there. I would go more often, however, it is in a different state and I also believe that they are with me and hear me everyday. I miss my grandmother very much and wish that she was here to see my kids and how wonderful they are. I would like for her to know that she is the main reason I picked to work in the ICU.

One of my favorite memories is the day she asked me to go with her to the back bedroom of her house where she pulled from her vanity a ring box that had her wedding ring and her mothers wedding ring. She said, "These are for you." I was only about 13 at the time but I still remember how I felt when she handed them to me.

At my wedding, I wore them both on my right hand. My grandma was to sick to be able to leave the house by then but with those rings on, she was with me.

I have since had the prongs replaced and the gold shined up. They asked if I wanted to replace a few of the diamonds, HELL NO! They are special, there may be a chip or two that can only be seen with a jeweler's loop but to me they are perfect and part of me. I put them on and feel her close to my heart.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Promise To Myself

This cabin is a great retreat and I feel the need to be there again!


I've been feeling a bit down for quite a while now. I am having a difficult time finding motivation to get things done. One thing I do realize is that I need to write more and maybe share a little more, getting it out seems to help me see things more clearly and feel better. Plus I have the added benefit of someone telling me when I am the one being a jack ass! So ......... with a promise to myself I will write more.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Patient's Death

I took this picture at Smathers Beach in Key West a few years ago. It is an amazing place to visit and I want to go back soon!


I'm sure I have mentioned that I work in an ICU and a registered nurse. I love my job, I love what I do and I love the people I work with. We try to take the same patients back when they are in our unit for a long time. Most of us get attached to the patients and the families, I do.

Dealing with death is something we do on almost a daily basis. I have removed IV fluids and feeding tubes, I have given does after does of morphine to help with air hunger and pain to make the transition easier for the patient. I have sat in the room with families to hear their stories of the loved one in the bed and even held one or two as they cried.

Tuesday evening toward the end of shift my patient coded and died. He was only 42 years old but very sick. This one I am having a difficult time with for more than one reason. I did get attached to the family from the first day I took him as a patient last week. He was pulling through the traumatic surgeries and was remaining stable. There was no warning sign with him, he just crashed suddenly. We worked for a long time trying to get him back but, as I have said to my husband, when it's your time nothing can stop it. For the first time in my career I am going over and over in my mind the entire day and even the previous one trying to find a clue, wondering if there was something I missed. The nurse working beside me that day has said that I missed nothing, she was right there but still........................................... this one is haunting me.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

She Is Leaving!

This is Galveston Island, Texas in June of '07. We have close friends that live about 30 minutes north of the island, a very nice place to visit.

My husband and I just got back from a kid free vacation in a very remote location. It was wonderful! On the day before we left, I got some WONDERFUL news ---------------- my mother in law is moving out by spring!! This bit of information took so much weight off my shoulders and helped me to relax even more last week. As you read from a previous blog this situation has been going on for way to long and has been one of the biggest sources of my stress. I was not here when this conversation took place but according to my husband she wants her own place again. I am so happy and counting the days.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

They Grow So Fast

My daughter turned 12 in June and she had a slumber party, this is just one end of the living room that her and her friends decorated. They had a great time! Before the slumber party I took her, my son and 6 of her closer friends to play lazer tag. THAT is a lot of fun!

I enjoy it when my kids bring their friends over to the house. Right now I have two 9 year old boys playing some shooting game, in true 9 year old boy fashion. Listening to them is funny! My daughter has a friend over as well, they are much quieter but their conversations are getting more interesting, when I can hear them. She has not quite gotten boy crazy yet but does have a crush on the one that plays George in the Harry Potter movies.

One of my best friends just had a baby, spending time taking care of this tiny little boy had made me realize just how fast time has gone by! It does not seem that long ago that my girl was only a few weeks old and only 6lbs. Then came my smiling boy that giggles, well he still giggles but he is much bigger now. They grow up so fast I feel that if I blink too many times I will miss something big.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Dressed Up Dog

This is what my 12 year old daughter and her friend did when they got bored. I came home to find my dog dressed in her cloths. She looks a bit irritated but did not fight it!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Step In the Right Direction

These are my furry babies. I had to be very careful about sliding out from this cuddle so that I could get the picture.

I am just worn out. I know that I am not the only one that is physically tired from day to day living. Today was one of those very unproductive days that leave me feeling guilty. My daughter had her middle school enrollment this morning and that is pretty much the only thing I did. I am always telling other people that taking one day to sit and enjoy a good book or take a nap. However, if I take my own advice, I am full of guilt. This is one of those days, I feel asleep with my son, that was nice, but he must have got up because the next thing I know my phone is ringing and my friend tells me it is about 4:00.

I have never thought of myself as a Type-A personality but lately I am beginning to wonder if I am. Lately I have been having trouble dealing with things I can not control, it makes me insane. Yesterday I was asked if I was a perfectionist, I'm not sure, again I didn't think I was but .......... I asked my husband if he thought I was and he said, "You have a tendency to lean that way but not completely" OK, so maybe that 's a yes. hhhhhmmmm So the question is, how do I fix it?

I have not been myself the last few months. Usually I am the leader in all things goofy, trying to make people laugh, making it a point to embarrass my daughter in public but not lately. Now all I want to do is find a dark place to lay down and be by myself. I don't want to be around people, I don't feel like doing much of anything that I used to. I finally called a psychologist and made an appointment but left feel disappointed. I was told that they don't do the counseling that I was hoping for but he is more than happy to give me a few cards of therapists he recommends. He did talk with me for about an hour, however, then told me he feels I would benefit from antidepressants. First let me say that I have nothing against antidepressants, I took them while in nursing school, it is what helped me deal with school, full time job, kids, husband, clinicals, studying, etc etc. Anyway, I am having a really hard time getting myself to take them now. So, I have six cards of "good" therapists and a bag of medication. Not what I expected from this appointment but I guess it is a step in the right direction.

Monday, August 4, 2008

My Mother In Law Lives Here

My mother in law lives in our house. I bet there really is not much else I have to say about that. When I agreed to let her move in I was right in the middle of nursing school AND it was told to me that it was TEMPORARY. Here we are four years later and no steps toward a change.

This, I would say, is the foundation of my stress right now. I finally had a talk with hubby about it and put a time limit on it. She does not pay us rent, she does not help with food or any of the utilities and we have her on our cell phone plan. I am done. He works for a railroad so is gone quite a bit so I don't think he quite understands what it is I am feeling. Not only is she costing us extra money just by being here but one of his brothers really oversteps his welcome in my house because his mom lives here. He will walk in without knocking, goes through the refrigerator, get on our computer and various other things without asking. I have a real problem with that. I told hubby if he did not say something to his brother I will and it will not be nice at all. Now, she does have her own space complete with big bedroom, full bathroom, walk in closet and an entire other bed room that she uses as her living room. She does not help with any house work and usually spends her days on the phone or reading a book. My kids are 9 and 12 and this is not the kind of example I want set for them. She is a very lazy person and seems to be happy living that way. Well, of course, why not. Living with us she does not have to do a damn thing. She is physically able to live on her own so she needs to go do it. What I don't understand is why does she not want to have her own place? This is why I put a time limit on it, I know, I know, it sounds harsh but like I said, no one asked me if she could stay here until she died.

Other issues I have with this arrangement is;
if I am at work and hubby is at work, she is letting the kids do what ever they want and NOT following the rules we have set. Apparently she also feel she is entitled to go on OUR family outings ALL THE TIME, being informed of where I am going and what I am doing and actually getting irritated when hubby leaves the house without telling her he is going. Last I checked we are both in our 30's and don't need to check in with mommy every time we want to leave the house. If on the rare chance she is watching the kids, that is one thing but when they are not being left then it is none of her business.

This is causing me so much stress that him and I are starting to have issues. We have not had "issues" before. We are a normal couple that of course has had problems along the way but this is way different. I would just like to be able to walk naked through my house when the kids are at school, I want to be loud during sex with hubby when he is home and the kids are at school. I want to be able to have quiet time in my own home!!!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Crazy Moms and School Supplies

I thought this was a cool shot, it was from our long walk I talked about yesterday. I had only the digital camera with me but I really wish I had brought along my SLR, I think it would have captured the color and texture better. Oh well........................... maybe next time.

I went to Target today to start school supply shopping today. OH MY GOD!! It was like the day after Christmas sale! HAHAHAHA Mom's were going insane gathering supplies, like there was a limited supply of glue sticks. They had their kids in on it too, "GET THAT BOX OF CRAYONS! NO NOT THAT ONE, THAT ONE NEXT TO IT!" As they frantically dig for black pins NOT THE BLUE ONES!! I did laugh out loud when I saw one mom try to get what looked like a 17 year old daughter, to get the pink back pack with a child-like design on it. At first I thought she was kidding but, nope, she was not. The look of disgust on the teens face was priceless. I do not buy anything that requires choice without my daughter with me, such as back pack, binders, etc. All the rest of the things such as paper, pens, pencils, I will usually get. To me, it was a strange game of football played MOM style -- block and pass, block and pass. As if there were no other store in town with school supplies!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

About Me

This is a picture taken while on a long walk through the woods, which there is plenty of where I was. I was in western Pennsylvania at the family farm that remains in our family. One of my favorite things about going up there is that it is about as far from any city or town as a person can get. That may sound, a be, hell to some but I do find a lot of peace when I visit. The "road" that you see is one used by the gas company so it makes a nice path to follow.

This being a new blog for me and a new one to read for you, I thought I will tell a little about myself. I was not to in depth on the profile.

I am a 35 year old mother of two wonderful children, one 12 year old girl that is a riot and a 9 year old boy that keeps most everyone laughing. I have been married for .................... well it will be 17 years this month. I am an RN in an ICU unit and I LOVE MY JOB!!!!!! I love to read, I read World War II stories, anything from Steven King, Jodi Picoult, Harry Potter, and am on the Eragon trilogy now (well the third one comes out next month) I own my own Harley Davidson motorcycle, a 2007 Nightster. Believe me, I get a lot of crap from a few doctors and even some of my co-workers for THAT! hehehehe I run about three days a week and lift weights in between. I am not a fitness freak and still enjoy my chocolate and coffee, I just try to keep fit to counteract the bad things. I love my dog and my cat both of which make it very clear who they belong to. My husband is a railroad conductor so he comes and goes which sounds bad but to tell you the truth, it fits us very well.

That's enough for now!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Heading OUT

Tomorrow the kids and I leave for about a week for the annual family reunion. For us it is about a 16 hour drive but always worth it. My mom grew up on a dairy farm that is now a beautiful place to vacation. I have many, many good memories as a kids running all over the land with my cousins, playing in the barn and getting so dirty it would take a wire brush to scrape through the dirt. Now my kids enjoy the same type of freedom on the old farm that I did.

For me this is more than just a week away, my stress level is far beyond what it ever has been, I don't know myself anymore, even my smile muscles are out of shape. Hubby is not going with us, this is a good thing that even he agrees with. This trip will not solve my problems but I hope it will at least relax me some so that I can go to my first counseling appointment with out sobbing uncontrollably the entire time.

My mom's side of the family is quite entertaining. Most of them actually are married to a distant cousin (and no.... I am not talking about Arkansas) I have been introduced to more than one aunt-cousin over the years. I am SOOOO glad that she met my dad out of state and that we live HERE.

There is not internet in the place I will be staying but I do plan to drive to the nearest town (about 30 minutes away) at least once with my lap top to find a wireless connection. I hate to put my few readers on hold just as I start this blog. However, I will have entertaining stories to tell!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Daughter's First Spit-Up Experience

I have two children, one of them being a pre-teen daughter. She is an amazing person that I am very proud of.

Today we went to visit with one of my best friends and her new baby. My daughter has never been around a baby as young as 3 weeks before so she was very excited about this. It was fun watching her hold and talk to this tiny little person. Now that he is a few weeks old now, he is starting to really respond to voices. It is so hard to remember my 9 and 12 year old being that small!

In the middle of his bottle he spit up. Well, maybe it was a bit more than spit up hehehehe it was everywhere! Of course my friend and I took this in stride but the look on my daughters face was funny. I told her to remember this moment when her hormones try to take over while she is with her boyfriend in the back seat of a car. I should mention that so far she is still not impressed with boys in general. She looked at me and said, "If he says he wants to have sex, I'll run!" Of course I know things will change but it was funny!

I love this friend of mine very much for many reasons but one in particular is her being the only aunt figure in her life. I have one brother than has never married, my husband has two brothers that are not married. I have wanted her to have another woman to be able to turn to that she can trust and that I trust to guide her should she not be comfortable coming to me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Insurance BS

Sometimes I feel like going into a room, turning off the light, curling into a ball and staying there. This is one of those times. I feel like today life hates me.

I have been waiting to get an appointment with this one specialist for a few weeks now and trying to remain patient about it. Today I finally get a call from the office only to be told that they can't take me because my health insurance was terminated as of July 1st. Excuse me? That is not correct, we have gotten our new cards, with higher fees of course but my name is still on them. I tell her I will call the insurance company and get back to her. THEY inform me that I am covered and the policy changed but all is well. OK, I call the doctor back and tell them what I was told. A couple of hours later I go to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription only to be told that when they tried to run it through I came back as not covered under this policy anymore. So ........ I can't get into the doctor and now I can't pick up a prescription. I call the insurance company back to inform this of this and get, "According to our records, it shows you are covered. Your policy changed..... blah blah blah .........." I call the pharmacy they again tell me I am not covered. I call the insurance company back AGAIN, ask for a supervisor, get some more of, "I can help you with what ever the trouble is......" I again retell this completely fucked up story and tell this person that I have now heard from two DIFFERENT places that I AM NOT COVERED so that means the problem is on their end. Round and round we go with this. I have yet to mention that we have had this same insurance for more than three years. Oh, yes, the even better news I receive during all of this is being told that my children were dropped from the policy as of July 1st. It's a damn good thing we have not had an emergency room visit!! How is it that a health insurance company can drop someone from the policy that is automatically paid from every check? To get them covered again we had to fax copies of their birth certificates. WTF?!?! None of us are new to the policy, no new births or deaths, nothing has changed so why the hell are they doing this shit? Oh, I forgot to mention that last week we had to send a copy of our marriage license to them. Good God what the hell is going on?! All I want to do is pick up my prescription and see the doctor...........................

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Right to Die

So here I am and how in the HELL did I end up here? Don't get me wrong, my life is not a bad one but as I look back at some of the choices I made I wonder WHY?? I guess that is a very normal feeling for just about everyone.

I have a great career as an ICU nurse that can be trying on the nerves and the emotions. I find myself questioning the ethical stand point of many people when it comes to some of the choices they make about their loved ones care. To be specific I am talking about the QUALITY OF LIFE ISSUE. We have come so far in the medical field but to what, and whose, expense? When and 85 year old patient is brought to us that is actively dieing and they have a legal document stating what they don't want, I very much want to stand behind that patient and what their wishes are. HOWEVER .......... in comes the children that over rides this document and tells us to pull out everything we have and "save my mom/dad!!!!" So here they are with a tube in every opening in their poor tired body, a triple lumen IV with every drip there is to keep blood pressure up, heart rate down, keep them sedated, nutrition, fluids, their arms tied down so they don't pull out the breathing tube and this is what they call "living". This will usually go on for a few days, only prolonging what is a natural process, so that we have to pull all these things one by one to finally let them die in peace. I understand giving a person a chance, "just to make sure" but if the person is 85 years old, or older, and they have very specifically indicated what they DO NOT WANT DONE, it makes me so sad and almost angry to put someone through this physical pain for the family.

I sound angry with that but believe me, it makes me tired not angry. These are just some of the topics I will be writing about in this blog. I am looking for any opinions you are willing to share, maybe they will help me to become a better nurse, mom, friend............