Sunday, January 31, 2010

Well, Poop. Literally.

The storm came.

Remember we had rain and snow over Christmas and once again since then?

Did you know our puddles never dried up?

Do you have any idea what this means to me?

Well, it means that my moat is full. I'm back to scullery maid duties. Yes. I live in a castle, but not as a princess. I decided to post a refresher post for any of you who may have forgotten about my wonderful adventures of living in a castle.

Click here to learn all about it!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Out of My Everfluffin' Mind

The storm came. Of course it did. I said it wouldn't so it came...

Sarah came to stay with us. Her entire town lost power the first night, so she loaded up her car and came to see us. We lost power for a few hours late Thursday night, but it was back up by morning. However, I just got my internet back today, due to the ice accumulation on my dish.

It was a good thing Sarah was here. She kept me productive. When I would have sat on the couch and read a book all day, she busted out the dad gum quilt square for her sister's graduation quilt that their grandmother makes them. I felt compelled to work on mine too. I hate being crafty, and dang it, I already did 3 crafts for Christmas! I thought I was done with all things crafty until at least December 14th, when I would officially become panicked about the homemade gift exchange for my family...

But I showed Sarah! She is currently napping on the couch after finishing up her block. I decided to show her who's boss, and catch up on all of my blog stuff. Of course, I also worked in cooking all of the meals, the laundry, baking a batch of cookies and 3 movies since the storm started... Oops, I think she's starting to stir. I need to hurry up and get to the point of this post so I can get back to the quilt block before she wakes up!

Last night as we were eating dinner, Studmuffin said, "Has anyone seen Oliver?" All action stopped. You see, last time we had a cold snap, he decided he was a house cat. Every time a door was opened either a dog was running out as he was dashing under the dogs legs to get in, or 2 dogs and him were trying to run over the top of the children as they came in covered in snow and ice. It was like a menagerie in this place. But, back to Oliver's whereabouts...

"Well, I thought he was hiding in the garage all day."

"We saw him under the bedroom window when we were playing."

"I think he ran under the garage door as I was leaving for work, because it raised back up as I was driving away." Oliver is famous for dashing back into the garage after we've chased him out when we leave. You have to stay and make sure the door is all the way down, or he will dart in at the last minute, and we'll come home from being gone all day to discover the door has been up.

Well, none of these statements told me for sure that Mr. Flufferpants was okay. I got up from the table and opened the garage door. He was not on his usual chair, or in his usual corner where he hides when he doesn't want to leave. I opened the garage door, and he didn't immediately dash in. I called him. No mass of black and white fur came running to me. Holly came to the back gate and stretched and whimpered to me, but no Flufferupugus was to be seen.

I decided to check out the front door. I opened the door. Nothing but snow and ice met my eyes. I called again.

No response.

The family, obviously deeply concerned about the whereabouts of our precious Lord Fluffy was finishing up dinner and had broken out a carton of Braum's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup frozen yogurt. Glad to see their distress was not affecting anyone's appetite!

I put on my coat and snow boots and headed out to look for him. I decided I should check the back yard before I got too adventurous. I stepped out the door, called his name, and...

He walked to the door of the doghouse. He stretched, blinked, yawned and looked at me. I called him, "Oliver! Come here, kitty, kitty, kitty..."

He blinked his eyes at me, stretched one paw out the doghouse door, to daintily touch the ground....He quickly snatched the paw back, keeping it poised in the air as if it had been burned, and let out a long, demand "meow." Which, in my expert cat wisdom immediately understood to mean, "You are out of your everfluffin' mind if you think I'm walking across that snow to get to you." And since, I understand cat lingo so well, I climbed the 2 foot snow drift off our back porch, walked to the doghouse, and scooped the big ole ball of fluff up.

And carried him to the safety of the house....

Where he promptly laid down in the middle of the floor....

And proceeded to show the entire family his disgust at being left in the cold all day....

by falling asleep right smack dab in the floor where every person that walked by had to step over him.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Grocery Shopping 101: What NOT to Do

We interrupt this post for an important public service announcement:

Before we begin our lesson, I have a follow up statement on Facebook. Apparently, if someone signs you up, whether you even touch the account, everyone in the universe finds out you have an account and immediately wants to be your friend. I have no idea what to do with all of these friend requests I have in my email. Well, I know what to do, just not how to get there..I do not know my account name or password. I'm giving up and asking Studmuffin to show me that tonight. So, I'm officially going on the record as saying Studmuffin better not gripe when the house is a pit, and I have no time to talk to him at night, because I simply did not realize how far behind I was on the lives of every single person I've ever met.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programing.

We have a big storm coming our way. I got off work about 15 minutes early today, so I thought I'd run to Walmart on my way home and pick up a few "nonperishables" per Studmuffin's instructions. I had roughly 30 minutes to grab my stuff and git...

Lesson Number One:

DO NOT go to the store straight from work when you haven't had a chance to eat lunch. The little packet of oatmeal at 11 am doesn't count. You will end up with all sorts of "necessary" stuff that will jack your budget all up. Remember: It's January 27th. I had $17 left in the "grocery" envelope when I walked into Walmart with debit card firmly in hand...

I have a handy list of sudden necessities that I discovered I needed as I sprinted through the store. You'd think the idea that I had to hurry would have limited my purchases, but apparently it allowed me to not contemplate anything. Grab and go, baby, grab and go. Anyhoo, here's the list:

2 cans of refrigerated pizza dough AND a box of Chef Boyardee pizza mix. Tomorrow is pizza night at our house, but I'm not sure we needed a pizza each...

Nacho Cheese Doritos

Poblano peppers and onion and buns, all for a hamburger, ya know, because I'm pretty sure I will want to grill up a burger in the snow/ice/wind.

Spinach & artichoke dip. Is this a nonperishable? I feel pretty confident the crackers I grabbed to go with it qualify.

No? Well, how about feta cheese? I'm pretty sure that stuff has a shelf life of like, forever... I bought a bag of spinach, sunflower seeds and strawberries to join this happy purchase. I already have leftover chicken and raspberry walnut vinaigrette to complete the picture.

Oh! Let's not forget Dr. Pepper with Imperial Pure Cane Sugar! Dr Pepper never goes bad! And, since it's going to be so cold, I'm pretty sure that I need the extra fluids to keep myself hydrated. I haven't had a DP in weeks, and I can already feel the burn...Burn baby burn, disco fever! Burn baby burn!

Let's see, what else did I find absolutely necessary to my survival during the winter storm that I'm going to have to go to work in anyway, so when am I going to eat all of this?......

There are Apple Jacks...Okay, actually the MaltoMeal version...Those truly are for my kids. I have no desire to eat those. And if they're going to be stuck at home, I know they will eat nonstop.

And bagels. Let me tell you, I haven't bought bagels in years. Literally. I even celebrated that little purchase with some cream cheese to go with it! I can hardly wait!

The rest is just boring soups and a loaf of bread and milk, just so Studmuffin wouldn't say I didn't get any of the stuff he told me to get...None of which I truly needed, but I'm sure I bought all of this emergency food, and we will not need it at all.

Nonetheless, my feta cheese and I are prepared!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Studmuffin set up a Facebook account when I wasn't looking. What is he thinking? He complains because I spend too much time in front of this thing as it is?

"All of the people who request me as their friend know you!"

You have to understand, he never seeks anyone out, and he used to agonize over why people wanted to be his friend, "I haven't seen them in years! Why do they want to friend me?" It took a while for him to catch on. Now he accepts every friend offer. However, I don't know that he ever posts, or whatever it's called.

"But I don't want to link up my blog to Facebook! People will know who I am, and where I live, and what my kids real names are!"

"Well, you don't have to link up your blog to Facebook if you don't want to," he replied with a look of confusion.

"But what's the point of my having Facebook if it doesn't bring me fame and glory?"

I thought he was going to fall off the couch laughing at me Gentle Reader....

FYI, I have thus far resisted even taking a peak at my account. Again I know my penchant for nosiness. I'm just trying to save myself from an obsession I have no time for!

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's a girl thing.

I sent Bookworm to take a shower after her sister. They stood in the bathroom and talked. And giggled. And squealed.

"Bookworm! You need to get in the shower!"

"She can't get in the shower because her sister is in there," my wonderful man stated.

"What do you mean? She can shower while her sister is in there!"

"No, she can't. When they are in there together they just stand around. Or sing. Or fight. Or whatever. But they don't do what they are supposed to do." He seemed very frustrated by this behavior.

"It's because they're girls. It's how we bond. We bond in front of the mirror while we try silly hair styles, or paint our nails. It's what we do. You're just going to have to get over it. I think it comes with having ovaries. Or a uterus. Something. Anyway, it's normal. Don't worry about it. Some day they will have their deepest, most earth shattering conversations in the bathroom. Trust me. It's a beautiful thing."

He still doesn't get it.

Poor guy.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Obviously it's not red enough...

I had my job interview yesterday. It went really well, but it was emotionally and mentally grueling. Here's few of the questions I had to answer:

1. Tell me about the most difficult patient you've had and how you dealt with them...
*You will be pleased to know that I didn't say "Avoided them as much as possible." Or, "Gave them a Texas sized dose of pain medicine when they asked for it." Some nurses may call that an angel dose. I call it Texas-sized...After 12 years in that state, I'm sure you understand.

2. Tell me about a confrontation you had with a coworker and how you handled it.
*Again, you will be pleased to note that I avoided saying "I stuck my tongue out at them behind their back."

3. Tell me about a confrontation you've had with a doctor and how you handled it.
*Let's see. Which one? How about the cardiovascular surgeon who hung up on me over and over and over in front of a family member when I was trying to give him some information about a change in a patient's status, and he wouldn't let me finish. I just continued to call him right back and give him facts. Or how about the same surgeon telling me that I can do what he tells me to do, even if it's not in the nursing scope of practice, because he's the doctor, and he ordered it, therefore, I have to do it? I continued to refuse to do it, to which he responded by calling me "difficult to work with, and deliberately insubordinate" and many other things. I responded to that by writing him up. He had to go before a physician review board for trying to make nurses do things they are not covered under their license to do. Or what about the time a doctor yelled at me that I "almost killed his *&%-ing patient" when I gave an ordered medication that the patient had an adverse reaction to? Okay that one, I cried. Hard. I mean, had to leave the floor, and hide in the break room cried. Believe me, I was already worried and stressed, and I didn't need him attacking me for something unexpected happening.

4. Tell me what you would do if you saw a coworker doing something unethical.

5. Tell me about your most challenging (health wise) patient, and how you handled it.

6. Tell me about the worst day of work you've ever had, and how you handled it.

7. Tell me about the best boss you've ever had, and why they were the best boss.

8. Tell me why the sky is blue.

9. Tell me why you want to work at our hospital.

10. Tell me why you're a nurse.

11. Tell me why, tell me why, tell me why....

It was exhausting.

I left there drained, and pretty sure they liked me, but also pretty sure I wouldn't get an offer. The really needed a full time position, and did not feel they would be allowed by administration to hire someone part time. I figured, "Oh well, it never hurts to flex your brain in an interview, and that closes that door."

Of course, they called and left a message saying they want to offer me the job.

Dang. That wasn't the response you expected was it?

Now I have to make a decision. Of course, some of that decision will be based on money. Their original offer was not enough for me to switch jobs and switch to night shift on top of that. It will also be based on if I can get my 2 shifts back to back. It is too hard to work one night on, one night off, one night on.

It was weird, because almost as soon as I walked in, I had felt like I wasn't going to work there. I felt pretty certain of it all through the interview as I sat in an ugly, window-less office, with no decorations. They even had a metal door! I understand this is the "county" hospital. But metal office doors? It felt very penitentiary....And I felt bad even basing a decision based on decorations. I don't usually decide if I like a place, or if I'm going to work at a place right off. It seemed strange to have that conviction so quick after walking in. I don't know what to do now. I will pray about it, and let you know.

So. All I know is this: I colored my hair red. But it obviously isn't red enough, because now I can't make up my mind. I told my mom that I was actually annoyed when they offered me the job, because now I have to make a decision, where I was relieved when I thought I'd never get the job. Mom said, "Andrea. When you apply for a job, you have to make a decision."


I know that.

I was just sort of relieved for a while when I thought I wouldn't have to make one.

Who likes to make decisions?

Not me.

Unless, again, it's coloring my hair. And that's not usually a deeply thought out decision. It's quick, it's final, but it's temporary. Hair will grow out. Color will fade. It may take a while, but it's just hair.

Other decisions are more permanent.

So, I'm thinking I should have gone for the brighter red. I'm sure my decision making would be more clear. However, since I learned the hard way several years ago that color can't lift color (duh), I will refrain from trying that!

Topic change:

My oldest daughter's teachers give them the questions they are going to ask on the test the next day. Literally. They have them take out work sheets from the material the test will be over. They circle or highlight the questions that will be covered on the test. Then, my daughter comes home, reads through them like twice, and then I quiz her. Lo and behold she makes a 100 every time. My daughter said the teachers want everyone to make A's. This seems kind of like padding your test scores. But, I don't know.

Is this normal?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How to deal with stress...

I recommend just coloring your hair.

I prefer red. I think that redheads have made a very firm decision. They know where they are going in life, and who they are.

Unless, you are a natural redhead, and you are currently confused about your place in life, I recommend maybe trying brunette. Perhaps blond.

The point is just change your hair color. It makes the world so much better.

What if you HATE the color you chose? Well. I'm sorry, but you made a bad decision...

Just kidding. That is actually what I say to my children when they are suffering consequences of poor decision making.

I have never done a post about my hair. But I think nearly every blogger I've read has at least one post about hair. Female bloggers, that is. What is it about that? I guess it's the way women communicate with each other. Part of our whole bonding experience...

Here is one of my senior pictures. This is before I went with the wild curly look I was sporting while trying to do the Julia Roberts maniacal curl...Sorry, can't find a picture of that either!

Did you know I once had purple hair? No, I don't have pictures. You see, when I was in high school, I started using 7 day color rinses. Or 30 day temporary color. As a matter of fact, you can read about the first time Studmuffin met me and I had an orange stripe in my head right here...Anyway, I had just cut my hair short for the first time since 2nd grade. The new cut just cried out for a new color. I decided to go with a deep auburn. Which turned out to be more magenta. I washed and washed and washed my hair. I decided maybe it was my imagination, and possibly nobody would notice. Until I stopped for gas at the service station near my parents house. A guy named Sam came out to chat with me. We stood and chatted and played catch up, and he suddenly piped up with "So, why is your hair purple?" So much for wishful thinking. Thankfully it was only a 30 day rinse.

Really, Mom? Was this ever really in style? I'm feeling some doubt here. And for anyone who is wondering I'm placing this picture in 6th grade. Just before braces and glasses. Yes, it just kept getting better and better.

Alright, so blogger thinks this picture should face this way. Even though I rotated it. Oh well.

Anyway, the main point of this post, is that one of the ways I seem to deal with stress is with hair changes. Semester exams my first year of college? I cut off my Pretty Woman locks (this is what I was going for, not what I was achieving. Please understand the distinction,) and went with short and frizzy...
This haircut occurred when I applied for nursing school. I hated it. I quickly tried to grow it back out to the wedding picture length. It felt like it took forever.

The day I took the nursing boards: Can you say pixie cut?

Ditto about the rotating thing on this picture.

Move to Oklahoma? I actually went back to my natural color, which is supposedly brown. However, since it has been over 15 years since I've seen my true color all over my head, that info is sketchy. I do know that my natural color has lots of silver high lights in it.

Contemplating job changes? I colored my hair back to auburn. I say back to auburn, because it has been varying shades of red since I was in high school.

Tomorrow I have a job interview. It is back in the field of my first love, cardiology. However, my department is going through some big changes, and we have some staff leaving and some going to be out for surgery. I really don't know how they will get by. I hate to leave them in the lurch in a difficult time. However, I really would love to get back to 12 hour shifts. So, I'm asking for prayer. I feel very positively that God has a specific place He wants me to be. He has a specific plan for me to serve Him in that place. Pray that God's plan will be clear to me.


Strange that my hair doesn't look anything but brown in any of these pictures, huh? I'm guessing it's because I actually took pictures of pictures since my laptop isn't hooked to my scanner and I don't want to mess with loading it onto this. Just trust me that I've had varying shades of red for some time, Okay?

I can't tell you how many times I've told my youngest to put her legs down, that nobody wants to look at her bottom. Apparently, I felt the same way she does. I wonder if my mom ever wanted to swat that little tush for being up in the air so often? Dang. I hate paying for my own raising!

Friday, January 15, 2010

More Basketball

Good grief. Why is this underlined? Why won't blogger upload my images? Why won't blogger let me save this post?

I have been trying to do this dad gum post since Monday, but it refuses to save it or let me upload photos. I finally got these done.

So, I give up. Here are pictures of Bookworm's first basketball game. It's only 2, but here they are.

The End.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Do you want to come to my Super Bowl party?

I have ideas for 2 other posts in my brain...

But I'm going to invite any of you who want to come to my Super Bowl party.

Why am I thinking about the Super Bowl? I have no idea when it is. I have no idea who will be playing, but I do know Studmuffin will be pleased if Bret Favre is playing, so I guess that means the Vikings this year...

However, Survivor usually premieres after the Super Bowl.

Of course, it's not on now. That means I have nothing to watch on TV tonight. That means there is no excuse to eat pizza in front of the TV.

Which is a good thing.

I need to clean house, because my in-laws are coming tomorrow night. The house HAS to be clean for them. You see, one time they helped us move. They helped us move from our first apartment to our second. I had already moved everything but the heavy items, and even unpacked most of it. They were there for furniture hoisting, primarily.

Can you guess what my beloved mother-in-love said when we were moving into our new apartment?

"This apartment feels a lot cleaner than your last one."


We had lived in the previous apartment for a year. So, I'm pretty sure any "unclean feelings" came from our own "uncleanness...."

Yes, Scotty.

I have clung to that statement for nearly 13 years.


I will never forget you made it.

Therefore, I must clean my house tonight.....

But, returning to the Super Bowl party:

I am pretty sure we will have to have a party at our house, complete with our 18 inch TV. We have a group of families that we kind of do "holiday" type stuff with. One of them has a big screen. Unfortunately, they all actually like sports and follow them closely. I am NOT a sports fan.

Not. At. All....

So, I need to have anyone who is a non-sports fan to come to my Super Bowl party. You see, I need someone to stand in the kitchen with me and eat. And laugh. And be really loud. Maybe we will be really wild and get up a game of dominoes or Skip-Bo. Who knows.

But we won't be watching the Super Bowl. Oh, it will be on the TV. Studmuffin will be watching it. But, the people in the kitchen eating their heads off with me will not be watching it...

However, we will be watching Survivor after the Super Bowl. So, you will need to either leave or shut your yap when it begins...


Maybe I should have a Pre-Season Premiere of Survivor Party instead.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Power of the Tongue...

We are doing Upward Basketball again this year. The girls love it. I thought I'd post some pictures since Sarah was gracious enough to take photos. I don't like taking pictures during the game. I want to watch, and if I'm trying to take pictures, I miss the game...So, Sarah came to the first game and took pictures for me! What would I do without a family photographer?

First, here's a brief synopsis of how Upward works. It is faith based. In the younger grades, there is no score keeping. They have to guard the girl with the matching clip on their shirt. This is to keep them from swarming the one girl with the ball. Also, they are not allowed to steal the ball from the other team, until the team gets the ball to their side of the court. I find this frustrating, but I can understand that some teams would never get the ball on their half of the court, and we are trying to demonstrate Christ to them. Teams are divided according to skill level at the beginning of the season, so each team should be reasonably well matched. The girls are paired against each other based on their skill level. This means you don't have an experienced player against a girl who has never looked at a ball before. Also, the game is began with prayer, they have a half time devotion, and they finish with prayer and are given awards for each game based on skills they displayed in each game including, best offense, defense, Christlike, etc. Anyway, the girls have fun, and it's a great way to learn the fundamentals of the game.

So, without further rambles, here's pictures of Popcorn's first game...

Have you ever noticed how integral the way you hold your tongue is to dribbling?

Stealing the ball or fighting for it is a hard skill to learn when your kids have been taught to share, be nice and not take other's toys...

Look closely. You will see that the tongue is even important for defense!

And running...

Shoot, it's probably even necessary for rebounding!

I forgot to mention that the girls play half court basketball. This way the church has 2 games going on all day long until the evening when they do 5th & 6th grade games.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dag Nab It!

So, I was rushing out the door.

Because I'm always rushing.

Yes, Mother. I know that it is my own fault I am so busy. I acknowledge that. Because, truly, some day I will not be so busy. Some day my kids will not be here for me to chase after. But, just think of all the things I say no to!

Like dusting!

And cleaning my refrigerator!

And washing my car!

Truly, the list goes on and on...

Like volunteering at school. Don't think I didn't just hear that collective gasp from many of you. But, I'll say it again. I don't volunteer at school. Oh, I do the class party thing when I'm not having to work...But that's not a real sort of commitment....I volunteered last year. But that was the only time. I had a friend tell me that I wasn't "the school volunteer type." As this was a homeschooling former teacher, I have to admit my hackles rose a bit.

Because. Really. What is that comment supposed to mean? And how can one take that as an even remote compliment?

So, out of sheer defiance against my friend Shelly, I volunteered last year at school. I volunteered once a week to read with children who were struggling with reading. I loved it. So, ha! That just goes to show what you know, Shelly...

Not the "school volunteer type." I showed her...

*I will confess something to you, Gentle Reader. I am not the school volunteer type. I'm just not. I don't get those moms who are there 5 days a week. I don't even fit in with them. I understand, the school needs these moms, because the moms like me don't volunteer. But, still. I just don't get it.*

And then, well, this year came about. And I just couldn't make myself do it. Yes, I enjoyed it. The problem is, I enjoy all of the stuff I volunteer to do. But something had to go. So, I'm not volunteering at school. So, ha! I showed my mother. I eliminated something from my schedule...

Overbooked. My big left foot!

Then, I decided in order to help with finances until I can find a job with the hours I want (and I'm kind of specific here), I would start working Wednesdays while the girls are in school. I work in a procedural department at this time, so I'm able to kind of come and go just to help out. However, that meant something else had to go. I stopped volunteering to help my music pastor on Wednesday mornings. After all, logistically, it is impossible to be at work and volunteering at church at the same time...

So, ha! That shows you Mom! I let go of another responsibility!

I am on a roll...........

But, none of that was what this lovely post is about.

Nope. It's not....

Are you confused yet? I am...

I was rushing out the door to take Popcorn to basketball practice by 5. I had supervised homework and piano practice and put together dinner after school. As we were heading out the door, I stopped and put the lasagna in the oven. Studmuffin coaches her team, so I merely drop off and return home.

I was sitting here, folding clothes (why do I hate to fold and put away clothes? It is so simple. Yet, I hate it...But truly, it's as close to doing nothing as you can get while actually doing something), when I realized I smelled something burning.

In my rush to put the lasagna in the oven, (I make mine with normal noodles, but add 1.5 cups of water to avoid having to boil them, so it takes an hour to cook) I had failed to place a pan under the casserole dish.

Of course it boiled over...

I took out the lasagna, uncovered it (you do this in the last 15 minutes) and belatedly stuck a pan under it...

But it was too late.

My oven is not self cleaning.

Can you believe that? I didn't even know non-self cleaning ovens existed until I'd been living in this house about 6 months and finally decided to clean it. Dag nab it.

This is what the bottom of my oven looks like now...

And considering, my lack of motivation to clean ovens, it will probably look like this for a while.

Just bein' real here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I think it's a ferret

Sarah stayed with us this weekend. She was supposed to go home, but when she was here to watch the girls game last weekend, she found out we were able to get Oklahoma City Thunder tickets for $10, so she decided to stay with us again. The girls got to go down to the tunnel, and high five the players as they ran in. I sent Sarah and her camera to take pictures, but more on that later.

But, returning to the topic of this post tonight, she went home this evening around 6:30. It seemed like she had barely left the house when she called me. "Did you teleport home? That was quick!"

"Umm, no. There's something living under the drainage pipe in your driveway. I think it's a ferret, or a rat, or a gerbil. It was black and white."

"Are you sure it wasn't Oliver?"

"No. I'm still sitting in your driveway waiting for it to come out again. It was a ferret or something."

"We're on our way."

So, here's what we saw....

The drainage ditch....

Sarah explained that as she was backing out, the ferret/rat/gerbil stuck it's head out of the edge of the culvert, came out, sniffed her car, and ran back in.

Here's the culvert that has been backed over more than once, and is a tad smashed in...
Studmuffin ran to get a flashlight to get a gander at the ferret/rat/gerbil.

The ice and leaves and grass that have accumulated and not had the chance to melt made it difficult to see the cute little thing/ferret/rat/gerbil Sarah had spied. She was still waiting around to see it, when Studmuffin identified the mysterious creature as this:

Hmmm....I've never seen a ferret/rat/gerbil with these particular markings!

Oh, Gentle Reader, when he spied the skunk, we died laughing. Sarah said, "Well now that you mention it, the black was on either side of it's head with the white right down the middle...She had never actually seen a skunk in real life, and her mind is always on the bright side. I love that about her. She prefers to see the cute, cuddly and harmless side of life. Not the stinky, pesty side.

We both agreed that this was beyond any shadow of a doubt a bloggable moment. She went back to home to college, Studmuffin went in to watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition with the girls, and I ran to get a camera.

I decided to just stick my camera over the edge and take a picture. I was scared to death he would come out the opposite side as I was fiddling around and spray my behind! However, I persevered.

Because, truly, there is nothing I won't do for a blog post. OK, well, there are some things, but clearly, I'm willing to risk embarrassment with crazy pictures and embarrassing stories. I might as well risk a stinky backside!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dear Prospective Employer

Allow myself to introduce myself. My name is Andi. I am a nurse. I love my job. I know I was called to be a nurse, and I always give my very best when I am at work. I have been an RN for over 10 years. I have been in the nursing field for over 15 years. I have worked cardiovascular, surgery, med/surg, and even radiology departments. I love try new things, and I love learning new things about medicine. I am sure you are now intrigued to meet me, just based on my amount of experience in nursing. However, as so many of you are looking for full time employees that you can squeeze every other weekend and 2 major holidays per year out of, I feel compelled to offer you further incentive to hire me.

Now, maybe you are not aware of it, but I have been mistaken for Linda Carter. Now, clearly, I am not truly Wonder Woman, but having the very mirror image of her at your hospital is sure to boost patient morale!

Second, I am able to provide entertainment for both your patients and employees as I go about my day. I will happily sing for you throughout the day. Whether you want me to or not... But surely, you want me to. Just simply turn your radio station to the genre of music you prefer, and I will quickly learn the songs and join in, adding my own harmonies to each song. Of course, if I'm unable to remember the words, I am very skilled at creating my own lyrics off the cuff...

Here is a very lame example of my lyricism: Accompanied by the tune of Singin' in the Rain:

I'm drawing up the meds, into my syringe!
I'm strolling down the hall to give you a small pinch.
Now, please just relax, and don't even flinch,
Or it will really hurt, and maybe even burn,
But for now, I'm drawing up my meds...

Seriously, how often do you find a nurse like that?

Next, I am bossy. Surely you realize how integral this is to have in a nurse. I am willing to give your patients instruction on their medications, their diet, and their exercise. Heck, with very little prompting, I will probably be ready to discuss why they no longer feel the "Spirit moving them" after leaving a Pentecostal church to join LDS! Only after they initiate the conversation, of course!

But, wait! My bossiness doesn't only include my patients...No, I'm perfectly willing to extend my bossiness to the physicians. Of course, after 10 years of nursing, I've learned the art of gently nudging. I will charm, I will nudge, and in desperate moments I will down right badger until the problem is addressed, or they can explain to me why it can't be done. In which case I will smile, be glad to learn something new, and say, "You can't blame me for trying!" After all, it never hurts to ask.

I will provide laughter. It will probably be mine. It will probably be loud. But, yes there will be laughter.

There will be prayer. Prayer when I start IV's. Prayer when the patient is having a procedure. Prayer when I start my day. Prayer breathed over the first sip of my coffee. Prayer as I call the doctor because something didn't go as planned. Prayer when I am at my wit's end, because really some patients take every last ounce of patience! Prayer, prayer, prayer. There will be prayer.

I will provide stories. Stories about my children, my family, what I saw on TV, my life growing up on a farm. You name it, I probably have a story for it. Even if it involves making myself sound like a total goofball who rips out her pants at church! If the story must be told, I. Will. Tell it.

And coffee. Coffee, hot black and strong will be brewed at the beginning of each shift, and again at 4pm, for the evening exhaustion that is bound to set in. And, of course that evening cup of coffee will be enjoyed with a single piece of dark chocolate. The simple sweet with the caffeine jolt will revolutionize the remainder of the shift.

So, in summary, you really, really need to hire me for a part time position. I will faithfully work 2 twelve hour shifts per week. I'm willing to pick up 2 Saturdays a month, and even a couple of minor holidays. Of course, I am really only willing to work one major, but in light of the obvious benefits you will receive by hiring me, surely you can find someone else, or even offer bonuses to cover the shifts I will be missing? Or perhaps find another part time nurse who wants one 12 hour shift per week, and will flip-flop holidays with me. Either way, I hope you understand the vast benefit you get in hiring the singing, laughing, praying, storytelling, cartwheeling, albeit bossy nurse, who can very occasionally be mistaken for Wonder Woman.

Thank you for your time.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A forgotten random conversation...

Some of you commented on the name thing. It reminded me of a conversation I had planned on blogging with the rest...

We had a nurse that was coming to work for us, but ended up not. She seemed extremely nice and enthusiastic. I love enthusiasm. I loved her smile. I loved her sense of humor. However, I had a hard time with her name.

It was Tijuana.

Yep. Tijuana.

Seriously. Pronounced just like Tijuana, Mexico. What were her parents thinking?

I would never name a child something that might turn out prophetic.

Might as well name your child Hooligan!

Now, I'm back to filling out online job applications....

I'm tellin' ya. I gotta get back to 12 hour shifts! These 8 hour days are KILLING me! How do people stand to go to work every day?

Thursday, January 7, 2010


How many posts have I titled Randomness?

First of all, what does it say when your husband emails you this link?

Second, I will share some of the random things that we discussed at work today. It was a busy day. A day where if it could it did go wrong. First of all, the biplane quit in the middle of our first procedure. Simply put, the biplane has 2 cameras that shoot live x-rays while we do procedures. So, you can have 2 views. But, since the biplane went kaput we had to stop, move the patient to a stretcher, take them to the single plane room and rescrub, drape and all...Very frustrating. That single procedure took over 3 hours. Ugh.

The biplane was repaired. We decided to use it to do a drainage of an abscess that had accumulated around a newly transplanted kidney. Clean, prep, drape...

My monitor blew a fuse or something. It would only operate on battery. I thought I threw a breaker in the wall because I had also plugged a sonogram machine into my cart, which I then plugged into the wall. I figured it was too much power on the single outlet. The sonographer moved her plug to another outlet and hers worked great. Not mine. I drug my cart all over the room, repositioning wires and leads to be able to continue to monitor my patient, trying to find an outlet before my battery died. The battery life on our monitors is minimal at best. I finally decided that my monitor had a malfunction, called another nurse to bring me a portable monitor, and Oila! I had full power!

No sooner did I realize that, than the doctor decided that due to the positioning of the abscess it was too risky to do the procedure under plain x-ray, so we had to undrape, move her to a stretcher, go the CT scanner (cat-scan as you may know it) and do the whole rescrub, redrape, resedate, the whole shebang....

However, we had some very interesting discussions during all of this drama:

The founder of a major grocery store in South Texas, called H-E-B, was named Harry E. Butts. No joke. The doctor insisted I was lying. I wasn't lying, but it turns out I was wrong. Woops. His name was Howard E. Butts. Guess it was some sort of urban legend I heard. I still stand by H-E-B as one of the best stores you can visit. They are beautiful. And affordable! Here is the link to that: History of H-E-B

Also, yesterday at lunch I read in The Chicken Fried News section of the Oklahoma Gazette, I believe, that a man had a remote control sphincter placed to replace the ostomy he had to deal with as a result of his quadriplegia. Again, the doctor said I was pulling his leg. Here's the link for proof of that little gem here. My first thought was, "What happens if you lose your remote? Or your kids get ahold of it? Or you tick off your spouse, and they stash it under the couch cushions until you're literally full of it?" It turns out I was wrong about the type of remote.

Mind you, the doctor told me about two twins with the last name Hogg. One was named Ima, and the other Urra. Well, as it turns out, there really was an Ima Hogg. She became known as the first lady of Texas. Who knew? Read all about her here.

Yep, we had some very meaningful discussions. Such as, all nurses are bossy. It's practically a job requirement. Tell patients what to do. Instruct families on home care. Gently nudge the doctor to write the orders you want him to write...It all comes with the territory of being a nurse. We are a bossy species. Except the single male nurse in our department. You never met a more reserved person. He actually asked me if it was okay if he went to the bathroom last week! Can you imagine? Seriously, most nurses are pretty bossy. But, for any of you who know me, I'm sure that's no surprise.

Speaking of that: By the time I finished with my procedures for a break I was suffering from the dreaded, but strange trifecta of nursing: I was dying of thirst, hungry enough to eat the first morsel of food I find...Even if I'm unsure of the origin...And, finally, I had to pee. Isn't it weird to be thirsty and need to pee desperately at the same time?

This same doctor and I had a very exciting case last week. He was trying to open up the artery in the right foot of a gentleman with gangrene. I had a hard time getting my patient to settle down and lie still. I kept giving him a tiny bit more medicine, and a tiny bit more. He finally relaxed and started snoring. Until he stopped. I said his name. No response. I yelled his name, and cranked up his oxygen. Minimal response. I started rubbing his chest and calling his name. He groaned, then drifted back off, and quit breathing again. I said, "Shonda! Get me a mask and crank it up to 15 liters! Jared! Keep him stimulated!" Then, I went and grabbed some narcan, which reverses the pain medicine I was using. I gave it in his IV...He immediately woke up and started yelling at me that he was hurting.


The doctor started laughing, and said he was glad I needed him around. You see, I had just done everything, and failed to ask for orders. Oops. But, it worked, and after all he was standing right there and could have cancelled what I was doing at any moment. He called me "Dr. Andi" for the rest of the day.

But that is not the end of the drama for this poor fellow. The doctor had to enter through the left groin to access the vessels he needed in the right foot. This fellow had severe vascular disease, kidney disease, and just had crappy health in general...As it turns out, the man had blockage in the artery near the point of entry. The doctor tried to use angioplasty, (a balloon) to widen the artery so he could access the area he originally needed... A risk for this is knocking plaque loose, which can lead to all sorts of trouble. I'd never actually seen it happen. Well, it did. It immediately blocked off the artery almost completely. This resulted in all sorts of extra chaos that we and the patient neither one needed.

So, the point of that story is after the drama that unfolded with the 2 of us last week, and our troubles this week, I think we may avoid any partnerings for a while...But I love working with him because he's quirky and crazy and he actually encourages me to sing with the xm radio during procedures! Who wouldn't love that?

Next random statement: Isn't it creepy when you go outside in the dark in your front yard, and you can hear something scampering in the yard out of the reach of the light, and your cat and both dogs are in the house? Yikes. Who knows what that was.

Oh! And one last random conversation at work. I was called to the CT department to help with a difficult IV. One of the techs was talking about the fresh eggs her hubby had brought home when he took their daughters to a family member's house who, apparently, has chickens. She was discussing how dark yellow they are and how, "eggy" they taste. You know I had to join the conversation, right?

Well, I volunteered that my mom raised chickens. She had to buy eggs for the first time in a long while recently, and was disappointed in not only the flavor but the price! I told them that her last chicken was recently killed, although she didn't know if coyotes, bobcats, or what were getting her chickens....

Scott died laughing. "OF COURSE Andi would have a story about chickens...And one that would include bobcats and coyotes!" They all laughed. I did too, but I secretly pitied them.

Poor kids. They just don't know what they missed out on living on the farm!

Studmuffin is Half Samoan

Are you surprised?

My sister isn't. She realized that Studmuffin was "different" from the rest of his family at our wedding. Of course, hers was a strictly visual judgment. You see, Studmuffin's brothers have red hair. And they are both fair complected. She knew his father had died when he was growing up, so she just decided that he must have had a different dad than his brothers. That was a completely wrong assumption. They all 3 share the same 2 parents.

But, despite their completely shared heritage, Studmuffin is half Samoan.

That's right. Not only is he 25% veterinarian, he is also 50% Samoan.

He has to be. That is the only rational explanation for some very interesting facts. First, there's his complexion. He has brown hair, eyes, and has dark skin. When we were dating, and he spent many hours driving a cabless tractor he was as brown as a berry. His teeth and whites of his eyes practically glowed in his face. However, now he has a desk job, so he will never reach that level of tan again. Of course, I don't have a picture of those days, but I do have this picture:

Now, if that isn't the face of a Samoan, I don't know what is!

The second piece of evidence I present to you is this:

Studmuffin's parents went to Hawaii. I have seen the coconut they mailed to the kids. I have seen the photo of my mother-in-law with a handsome dark complected man who placed a suspicious necklace of flowers around her neck. Studmuffin was born the year that this trip occurred....Coincidence? I think not, Gentle Reader. I think not....

The third piece of evidence I would like to provide you with is this:

You see, Studmuffin has an unusual midnight snacking habit. Whenever he wakes up and is unable to return to sleep, he wanders to the kitchen and grabs his favorite midnight treat. He eats cans of pineapple. That's right. Pineapple. I find this totally bizarre. Who gets up and eats pineapple?

What about cookies? Wait. I don't buy cookies. Over the lips, onto my hips and all that jazz...Scratch the cookies.

What about ice cream? Wait. I don't buy that either. His cholesterol is sky high, so we buy strictly sherbet or frozen yogurt.

What about a bowl of cereal? Yes! We do have cereal! And it's whole grain, so that can totally lower those vicious LDL scores that are so frighteningly high....

But, no. He chooses pineapple. Truly, it's a mystery of epic proportions....

One that can only be explained by one answer.

My husband is clearly half Samoan.

Don't you wish you could be fly on the wall for the completely insane conversations we have in this family?

Monday, January 4, 2010

What Makes Me Happy.

Well, I was blessed with an award from The Lumberjack's Wife. She is a lovely mother with 4 children, and she has a great sense of humor. Go check her out here.

So, there are rules. I HATE rules. Unless the rules are important to me, in which case the rules are imperative and everyone simply MUST follow them, and if they don't follow them they are ridiculous. But, moving on, here are the rules:

I must list 10 things that make me happy and try to make at least one of them part of my day.
After that, I'm to pass the award on to 10 bloggers who brighten my day. The problem with this, as usual, is that I don't actually know 10 bloggers, as most of the bloggers I know are much higher on the echelon of blogging than I am, and they can't be bothered with the likes of me. Also, there's the fact that I don't tell a lot of people that I blog, because I'm afraid they'll think I'm more of a freak than they already know I am. Weird. I know.

So. Let's begin, shall we? I'll start with 10 things that make me happy...

1. I love that I am a child of God and can rest in the security of eternal salvation.

2. I love my Studmuffin who makes me laugh on a daily basis. Unless he's deliberately making me angry because he thinks it's cute. Of course I still love him, but I do not love when he deliberately tries to make me go berserk.

3. I love my kids. They give me more laughter than I ever thought possible from 2 little bodies.

4. Chocolate makes me happy. Specifically Godiva chocolate that Santa graciously put in my stocking makes me happy. The very same chocolate I refused to share with my children. Yet, Popcorn persevered in asking for some of it. Studmuffin said, "Give up, honey. There is no way your mom is going to part with a single piece of that chocolate." To which she promptly replied, "Hide and watch, Dad. Hide and watch." I laughed so hard I ended up giving her a bite.

Okay a nibble.

More like a sliver.

But still, parting with even a crumb of Godiva chocolate is a sacrifice of immense proportions!

5. Coffee makes me VERY happy. Hot, black, strong coffee. Coffee brewing and spreading it's pungent aroma through the entire house. I love the gurgle of the coffee as it brews. I love cupping the mug in my hands and holding it near my face with my eyes closed. It is truly an experience. Yes. I could go on and on and on about coffee. But, I will stop there. Just please believe me. I. Love. Coffee.

6. Naps. I love naps. I try to take one every Sunday. I used to take one every Wednesday too. Alas, that has to go by the wayside now that I'm working 4 days a week. Dang it...Wait! I won't dwell on that. That is not something that makes me happy, so moving on...

7. Books. Lots and lots and lots of books.

8. Kelsey. I love my dingo. Seriously, everyone should have a dingo. You can read all about them here. But you can read all about my dingo here. Oh, and I love Holly. Even if she makes me crazy. And of course, who can resist Oliver the garage cat?

9. Hot baths. Long hot baths go well with books, chocolate, and even coffee! And naps! Hey, you can combine a lot of the things that make me happy with a long hot bath. Except a dog. And kids. And Studmuffin. My baths are to be alone. That's just the way it has to be.

10. And finally, I LOVE BLOGGING!

So. There you go. 10 things that make me happy.

Now, for the hard part. Ten friends to pass this happiness award on to. Let's see. I'll choose

#1. Dawn. She's my sister. So you know she is hilarious. Of course, she's craftier and more organized, but hey, in spite of those things, she's still pretty hilarious.

#2. Mom. She's pretty funny too. Of course, we had to learn our story telling and sense of humor somewhere! I guess she probably deserves some credit for that...

#3. Sarah. She's my niece. She's a photographer. She runs late most of the time. She is beautiful. And, of course, funny. And you should totally contact her for your next photo needs.

#4. Sandy. She's a blogging friend who inspires me to stop and listen to God's voice. She is great for encouraging you to remember that God is still speaking to us today, we just need to listen.

#5. Southern Gal. I haven't gotten to know her well. Of course, we only met through blogger land, but her posts make me smile, and she could use a pick me up since her son has pneumonia!

#6. Becky. I miss Becky. She doesn't blog much any more, but she is still my bloggy friend. Even if she is a trekky. I love her anyway. How can you not admire a woman who has 4 children, homeschools, and works at a pizza parlor to help out with finances? Talk about heroic!

#7. Heidi. She will make your jaw drop and you will laugh your socks off. She is the Milk Man's Wife. She makes me miss farm life. Seriously. You can learn tons from this lady. Check her out.

Hmmm. That's it. It's not 10, but I'm impressed I came up with 7! Have a wonderful day! And now, I'm going to bed. Good night.

Toes in the Freezer

Just now I had the most amazing conversation with Popcorn.

She was preparing a bowl of ice cream. Because, after all, ice cream is apparently necessary when it is a whopping 28 degrees outside.

I was preparing myself a cup of organic green tea. The organic is not really necessary to my existence. Neither is the green part, for that matter. Really, the only necessary ingredient to my existence is the caffeine. And the heat. Coffee would have been preferable.

However, I am out of coffee.

Well, that's not strictly true. I have some disgusting Walmart brand coffee that I made the mistake of buying. I plan to return it the next time I make a 6am run to Walmart. That's truly the best time to go because nobody else is there. But, other than truly disgusting Walmart coffee, I am out of coffee.

Because my wretched family drank it all when they were here.

Not that my family is wretched. As a matter of fact, my family is wonderful, and I'm more than happy to share a cup of coffee with them. It is only when I'm desperately needing my 4pm cup of coffee, and remember I'm totally out until I run to the store tonight that they become a wretched family. Because, clearly, it's all about me.

But the point of this post is not that I'm out of coffee. It's not that it's cold outside. It's not even that my child feels the need to eat ice cream when it's cold outside. The point of this post can be summed up in one statement made by Popcorn as she got out the ice cream:

"That feels good. You know, there's just never a bad time to stick your toes in the freezer!"

There you go. Next time your wretched family has drank all of your coffee, and it is time for a 4pm caffeine fix, just stick your toes in the freezer and all will be right with the world.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ice Skating

Popcorn turned 8 last Wednesday! Happy belated birthday, Popcorn!

Of course, I didn't forget her birthday, I just haven't had the chance to blog about our adventures! we started the day with a birthday wish on OK43 from the news crew there. Yes, I am fabulous. I will not mention the fact that I kept submitting it wrong, and I finally got it in at 8:55 am, and the very last thing they mentioned as they went off the air at 9am was "Happy 8th birthday Mindy." But, hey! It was said, and she heard it!

We met Studmuffin at CiCi's for lunch. I was so excited when she picked an all you can eat pizza, pasta, salad, and DESSERT buffet. I just love it when my kids are practical...And cheap. It brings a tear of joy to a mama's eye, I'm tellin' ya.

We invited a little friend to go skating with us. My girls had ice skated once before, but now that they have roller blades, they seemed to pick up the ice skating pretty quick. They each claim to have hardly fallen at all. If that is the case, I ask you to please disregard the wet spots on their jeans.

Have you ever noticed that kids will tramp through the snow even if there is a perfectly cleared sidewalk right next to them?

Also, this little birthday girl is practically incapable of walking right next to me anywhere. However, she is VERY capable of posing prettily at the sight of a camera.

We finished the day with her favorite supper: Spaghetti. We had store bought cupcakes since we were having a party for her on January first. She was just as happy with them as homemade... But I wasn't.

Oh! I'm sure you're wondering how I did ice skating. I did pretty well over all. I only had one big fall. But that was enough. When I hit the ice on my knees, my stomach rolled, and I seriously thought I was going to puke. But I didn't. I got up as quickly as I could so as not to draw attention to myself, and "skated it off." Of course, I didn't stop. I'm just not much of a spectator. Now, I fell a few other times. Once just to my hands because I hadn't realized my skate had come untied. I quickly remedied that. Another time I fell on my bottom. Popcorn had stopped to talk with me. As she skated off, she cut behind me. She lost her balance and grabbed my by the back of my coat. My skates flew out from under me, and I landed on my bottom. Of course, the only evidence of my scrapes is my knees.

Now it's a lovely shade of yellowish-green and purple. It was originally a 2nd knee cap on the inside of my knee. It looks a lot worse now, but it feels much better.

By the way, for any of you who may be wondering. It sure did hurt a lot worse to fall as an adult than I remember.