Monday, January 31, 2011

Boredom Leading to Productivity Leading to Angry Child

Remember I said I was going to clean out Popcorn's drawers yesterday?  Remember I said I was going to make her help me clean out toys?

 Well, I got both girls drawers cleaned and closets straightened.  However, Popcorn's room is daunting at best.  I enlisted the help of my husband for the first time ever in cleaning her paraphernalia.  To say he was surprised to see things such as this is an understatement!  This, my Gentle Reader is all too typical of things I find in her room.  That, as I'm sure you can see, is a chicken bone in a cup of shape bands with a magnetic bookmark, and various other treasures such as a retractable pencil and a Littlest Pet Shop collar!

Now what about this lovely treasure?  Well, that would be a cow tooth.  Yep.  A cow tooth.  Of course, Studmuffin has only himself to blame for this one.  He extracted it himself from a skull he found in one of the pastures.  He carried that very skull home with him so that I could put it on display in our flower bed or garden, of some such other classy place.

Yes, we are redneck that way. Don't hate me next summer when I have shasta daisies growing out the eye holes of my very own cow skull!

So, I'm sure you can imagine I was not at all surprised to find this lovely rubber fish that is really intended as a lure gracing her nightstand, proudly displayed for all visitors to see.  There was also an assortment of rubber worms, lizards, and even craw fish!  Oh, the wonderful things that we have seen!  
When we put our house on the market in South Texas, I decided to do all of the deep cleaning and decluttering that only occurs in the event of selling a house and moving.  I found a perfectly complete cardinal nest with feather's included in her bedroom window, hidden behind her blinds and curtain.  I was rather dismayed as I had specifically instructed her over a year before that "No, you may not bring that bird's nest in the house.  Birds carry mites."  Silly me.  I thought those instructions were perfectly clear and easily carried out.  I did not realize that a five year old translates that to "Hide the bird's nest in your window so your mother won't find it."

Obviously her collecting things is nothing new.  She has brought home complete mouse skeletons that an owl regurgitated.  That was just too precious.  Let me tell you. Maybe almost as precious as the countless turkey feathers she has brought in.  Or how about the fake aquarium she made out of a gallon Ozarka bottle?  She had her daddy poke holes in the lid, filled it with water, and suspended glow in the dark fishing worms on string and put fake rubber plants and some pebbles in the bottom.  She tied little pieces of plastic to the ends of the string so she could make the fish bob up and down in the water.  Paula thought they were dead fish floating when she first saw that lovely creation.  Silly me, I didn't think to photograph that before it finally got tossed.                        
The lovely little cups you see perched on her doll trunk are cups she endeavored to rescue from the trash after our Christmas Eve candlelight service.

Our cleaning spree led to the realization that no matter how clean Popcorn's room is, and how many party favor toys and kids meal toys I tossed out, her room was over crowded.  This called for serious measures.

Drastic measures to be exact.

We decided to tear apart the bunk beds in Bookworm's room and move the queen bed out of Popcorn's room which always serves as the guest room. This was a sad task.  It was like saying goodbye to a piece of their childhood.  No longer will they be climbing up the ladder when company comes over and hanging upside down off of the top bunk to share secrets.

Or fighting over who has to sleep on the top bunk.... 

This is the final result.  As you can see it's a relatively small bedroom.  

My daughter had an absolute fit and said I completely ruined her room.  Apparently she feels she will be too confined in a twin size bed.  I do not doubt this as I've found her completely sideways in her bed when I woke her in the morning.  And I ask you, what can possibly be done to ruin a lime green room?  There is so much personality in that color alone!

And when my mother called to check on the kids today, and ask if I was feeling better, I told her all about my feeling betterness and the productivity it led to...

She replied, "So where will I sleep when I come stay?"

I just can't win.

Gentle Reader, I informed her that we had already discussed that when our parents came, they could have our bed and we'd take the air mattress, and anyone else under the age of 60 should be okay on the air mattress. We are also hoping to buy new couches soon, perhaps one with a sleeper sofa.  After all, our couches are only 13 years old.  However, if my children do not get well so I can actually go to work, we will not have money for new sleeper sofa couches!

And, no, I do not appreciate further complaints from family members who may be planning on staying with us. 

Just for future reference.

And for the record my mother informed me that they will NOT sleep in our bed.

I will end this post in the wisdom of Charlie Brown:

Oh good grief.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sickliness and Thoughts...

I've decided that we should build on to our house.  I think we should turn our bedroom into a family room, and build out to make a larger master bedroom and bedroom for Popcorn.  If possible, we can tear down the wall between our existing rooms and make a larger den.  If not, then Popcorn's existing room can be an office, and the other a den.

I have not discussed any of this with my husband.

He will argue and list all of the ways this is not possible.  Money, easements, money, time, unstable economy, money....I will weep and wail and moan and eventually stick out my chest, all to no avail.

So.  I will simply share this little fantasy with you for now.

I am bored.

Yes.  I said it.  The word that I do not allow my kids to utter.  Popcorn was sick last Wednesday through Monday.  Bookworm has been sick since Friday.  She started vomiting last night, which was something new.  She is white as a sheet, and at this point I can't imagine her going to school tomorrow.  Yesterday I went between complete exhausted, head congested, eyes aching, unable to breathe, to brief spurts of energy where I would do a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher, then be completely exhausted, and my head would feel as if it was going to topple off of my shoulders.  And that was while taking pseudoephedrine and drinking cups of Earl Grey and chamomile tea.  The only time my throat wasn't killing me was while drinking a hot beverage, so I alternated the two.

Last night I was tired of the television playing kid shows all day.  And I had no desire to look at the computer or a book.

I made Studmuffin play Scrabble with me.  Actually, he suggested it, as he figured he could beat me in my weakened state.  He started out with a 96 point word.  He spelled "soldier," used all of his tiles, got a 50 point bonus, plus a double word score.  I never did catch up after that.  However, we followed that up with Seinfeld Scene It, and I won at that one.  Barely. 

I couldn't sleep last night.  I was hot, then freezing, then hot...Then Bookworm would start hollering my name, and we'd meet up in the bathroom and she'd puke while I held her hair.  I'd give her a cold rag and water to rinse her mouth out, then I'd stomp back in the bedroom and glare at my husband's sleeping form as I crawled back in bed bouncing and yanking the covers as much as possible in an effort to disturb his sleep. 

It didn't work.  By 5:30, when I'd had maybe 3 hours of sleep.  I crawled in bed, and sat up on my elbows and put my face nose to nose to him and stared at him until he woke up. 

He nearly fell backwards out of bed, "What the....?"

"How can you sleep through all of that?"  I barked.  Then I yanked all of the covers off of him, tucked them around me and turned my back to him...

Bookworm yelled "Daddy!!!" maybe 10 minutes later. 

HE DID NOT WAKE UP!  So, I did what every mother has to do in those situations. 

I kicked him.

He actually stirred.  I said very LOUDLY, "It's your turn."  And I may have kicked him again.

The important thing to note here is he actually got out of bed.  And I finally slept.  With no more cold/hot flashes. 

And I actually ate breakfast this morning and it tasted good.

But my child is still pitiful.

I think maybe I will clean out Popcorn's drawers while they are at church this morning.  Then, if I'm lucky, I will be able to convince her to part with some toys today. 

But I'm not promising anything on that score.  I used to simply suggest that she had to get rid of or figure out how to make her room neater, and she'd willingly part with all sorts of stuff.  She has started to dig in her heels, and is now unable to part with much of anything...

What did you get accomplished this weekend?  Hanging out with friends?  Did you go out and enjoy beautiful weather?  Perhaps you cleaned a closet...Do tell!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fluffiness, Calories Burned, and A Lecture...

I just can't decide if Oliver is fairing so well this winter.

 Seriously.  He wasting away before my very eyes.
 I decided to weigh him a week or so ago.  Translation:  I made Studmuffin weigh himself, then weigh himself holding this big ole ball of fluff...I was not feeling any desire for him to see my weight, then tack the cat's on top of it!

The poor fella is down to 16 pounds.  I am not at all sure if he will make it through the winter at this rate.  We are due for another cold snap come Monday night.  I would fatten him up on some good bacon or some such, but he turns up his nose at human food.  No, he is ecstatic to dive into his cat food every morning, then follow the kids to the dog bowl when Kelsey is fed.  He has no compunction about burying his nose in her Pedigree Healthy Weight food and going to town.

Go figure.

Speaking of unsightly jiggly in the wiggly.... 

It was 75 degrees today.  I made my former walking partner be my current walking partner and we went to burn a few calories...I'm not sure if I burned more calories walking or yacking my jaw.  I was home with a sick kid today, so I fear she had to take in a LOT of stored up words....We are expecting snow and ice come Monday and Tuesday with it staying well below freezing until Friday.  With Oliver's weight dropping at such an alarming rate, he may have to be camped in the garage for a few days.

Speaking of burning calories and wasting away:  I bought a new Jillian Michaels DVD this week.  Apparently I had an extra nine bucks burning a hole in my pocket.  Actually, I have lost my hand weights.  I ask you, how does one LOSE hand weights?  I have been doing Jillian's 30 Day Shred DVD, and I really felt that I actually needed the weights to truly justify "replacing hours in the gym with a 20 minute workout."

So, when I went to buy groceries Wednesday, I ran to the sporting goods section in Walmart...Well, not really RAN.  It was more of a lengthy hurried stride.  Which is pretty much my normal. I hurriedly walk everywhere I go....

I walked away with new hand weights and Jillian's Yoga Meltdown.  

Here's news for you!  I hate working my arms.  I consider hauling my 16 pound cat from the garage to the front door a sufficient arm workout.  Her Meltdown workout has excessive push ups.  

I swear, if she made me do one more push up to a side plank (only they aren't push ups in yoga, but I can't remember, or spell the real name.  And I'm too lazy to google it) I was going to go grab one of my brand new purple 5 pound weights and throw it through the TV.

Only my arms were too weak and wobbly to throw a weight at the TV.

Here's the good news:  The workout is tough.  I really didn't expect to be sore from a yoga workout, but it turns out that if you go an extended period without doing much with your core, and you bust out this thing, you will feel muscles deep with in your belly that you never even realized you could flex.  Only you will not realize they are there until the next morning.  Every time you breathe.  Or move.  Or sit down.  Or laugh.  Or cry in pain...

Just sayin'.

If you're looking to shed some inches I would totally recommend any of her workout DVD's.  

You can get serious results in 30 minutes or less.  And let's be real.  Who can't squeeze in 20 minutes for a workout?  Most of us spend that much time on facebook and blogging and staring at the TV, crashed out on the couch. 

 So, now that I've lectured you on your lack of exercise in life, how's about I move onto another bandwagon altogether?

I despise plastic bags.  I live in windy Oklahoma.  I challenge you to drive down the road and not see a dad gum plastic bag on a fence.  Or a high line pole.  Seriously.  They are the bane of my existence...

I actually ditched plastic bags way back in 2007. I spotted reusable bags in my local Walmart and immediately snatched them up.  I still have some of those original bags.  I have even washed them in my washer.  They lost their shape, and are kinda floppy, and the clerk has a devil of a time folding them out, but they are still usable!

My mother in law gave me an ACE hardware bag the other day.  I was sitting in Braum's eating a junior deluxe burger with my family, and had brought the bag in with plans to buy some groceries before we left...

The tag caught my eye,  and I had to share the statistics with you.  I think it will change how you look at plastic bags forever.  Here's a link to the maker of the bag if you want to learn more.

14 plastic bags contain enough petroleum to drive a car a mile.

380 billion plastic bags or wraps are thrown away in America each year.

17 cents per bag in disposal costs, wasting millions of tax dollars.

Is that not ridiculous?  Go ahead and carry your own bags in your trunk.  Carry them in with you to the store.  You will get a nice little warm fuzzy feeling that you did a small thing to make a difference today.

This lecture is now concluded.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Crock Pot Chicken

Today I'm sharing a stand by recipe I use when I have a hectic schedule, and I don't want to mess with dinner.

Except we know that come 6o'clock, the family will be expecting dinner.  As will I.  And I get cranky when I'm hungry, and never want to cook when I"m starving, which results in me snacking and spoiling my dinner while I'm preparing the meal that I don't want to cook, but feel that I must because eating out is wasteful...


And while we're on the subject,  how come my friends kids meekly eat a bowl of cereal for supper, but my kids act as if I'm starving them when I mention it as an alternative to cooking?  I warn you, Gentle Reader, if you cook for your family on a regular basis, their expectations will be raised.  And sometimes you will be punished for your diligence in providing nutritious food for them.

She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 

Moving on:

I will first give you the recipe for the dish I made today, but then I will follow it with some change ups that I often do.  The main idea here is to use what you have.  Oh, and I have a beloved sister who's MAN does not like to eat '"yard bird.  To that I will say, try this with pork chops.  They will be tender and delicious.  For that matter, you could use pork tenderloin too, or whatever you have.  Again, pretend I'm Rachel Ray.  "Use whatever you've got.  It will be just fine."

Crock Pot Chicken
Boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 green bell pepper that you need to use up
1/2 onion that also needs used.
See that jar of pesto you bought with great ideas of using?  Grab it too.  The great ideas are about to flow.
Minced garlic
Salt & Pepper
Greek seasoning
Stewed tomatoes

At about 10am, place still frozen chicken breasts in your crock pot that you just bought.  You are super excited about this crock pot as it has handles that lock the lid in place.  You will be dancing around your kitchen with visions of transporting food and not living in fear it will dump at any moment.  Dance the samba as you bust it out of the box and wash it in warm soapy water...It helps ease the pain of saying goodbye to your old crock pot who's handle broke off the lid.  Twice.  It is now irreparable.

Yes, your chicken is still frozen.  You are not good at remembering to pull the chicken out the night before, and really you have all day to cook it, so just don't fret!  Yes, you will realize that the instructions in your crock pot say to never place frozen meat in it as it may not get done...Know that you have only thawed meat before putting it in a handful of times in your life, and since you are throwing this in so early, it will be done! 


Take the pesto and rub it onto the chicken.  I think you should use maybe 2 tablespoons, but it was all eyeballed, so you don't really know, do you?  Grab a clove of garlic and chop it and throw it on the chicken. You spy your Greek seasoning.  As you have a longstanding love affair with the stuff, it is inevitable that you will share the love with your chicken.  Sprinkle a bit on.  Next you will need to take the enormous green pepper and slice it up.  Long strips will work best.  That way you don't mistakenly place bell pepper on your child's plate.  They will not eat it.  And you will be sad because it is a waste of precious bell pepper.  Give a little wistful sigh because you wish you had more peppers...See that onion half?  Just kind of break it up and throw it in.  Remind yourself that you have stuff to get done, and speed is of the essence here.

Now, turn that crock pot on low and walk away...

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

When you return from picking your kids up from school (a little after 3o'clock) you will decide that you want some rice with that chicken!  Well, lucky for you, you just happen to know that you can add rice and pasta to crock pot dishes about 2 hours before needing to serve them.  Take a gander at your liquid.  Measure (okay eyeball, you never have been good at truly measuring) about 1.5 cups rice.  You will decide on this amount based on the knowledge that you will need leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  You have a family of four, so the extra half cup should leave enough for you and hubby to pack for lunch!  Sprinkle the rice around in the liquid.  You will notice that the liquid appears to be a little short for this quantity of rice. 

Here is a critical decision in your recipe.  Stirring some cream of mushroom, a package of onion soup mix and half a can of milk is always a yummy base for this.  However, you will realize that you do not have cream of mushroom.  Nor do you have dry onion soup...Time to grab that can of stewed tomatoes you keep on hand for just such situations.  Pour the tomatoes over and around the chicken making sure the rice is well covered.  Shrug to yourself and decide your body will be happy at the reduced sodium and fat content of the dish.

Let cook an additional 2 hours.  You can drop the temperature to warm if your family is not assembled and ready to eat when your rice is tender. 

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."

Okay, so here's the change ups you can add.
Mix the rice with cream of mushroom and milk as described with a packet of onion soup mix. 
Buy wild rice.  Keep it on hand.  You will fall in love with it, and you will mourn when you realize you are out and have to use plain old white or brown for recipes.
Use tomatoes with green chilies in place of the stewed tomatoes.
Poblano peppers are fabulous in this.  Actually, any pepper is fabulous in this.  However, your small children will consume enormous amounts of water when you throw in some jalapenos from your garden.
If it's summer time, throw some thick sliced squash or zucchini in the pot.  I don't recommend the squash with the creamy rice mixture.  Stick with chicken broth for your liquid.  Also, don't throw the squash in too early, or it will be slimy mush.  Yuck!

I know I have used many other ingredients in this particular basic recipe, but these are what I can pull out of my feeble brain on short notice.

Now, here is where your persistence in finishing this entire post pays off, Gentle Reader.  The key to making this recipe truly successful is cooking extra chicken.  It has a wonderful flavor and is perfect for making chicken quesadillas, chicken pot pie, and even chicken spaghetti down the road.  Simply shred (or dice if you prefer not to soil your lovely hands with chicken bits) the chicken and place desired amounts in freezer bags, label and toss in the freezer. 

Do the mambo as you celebrate in the knowledge that you have come one tiny step closer to being a Proverbs 31 woman...

She is clothed with strength and dignity.  She can laugh at the days to come.

Excerpts of scripture are taken from Proverbs 31, New International Version

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hunters and Gatherers

Studmuffin mentioned he wanted donuts or pancakes this morning.  I was not in the mood for making pancakes.  I wasn't so hip on donuts either.  As in, my hips do not need a giant bear claw, which is what he will surely return with if he knows what's good for him.

He had the audacity to suggest I go get the donuts!

I mentioned that getting donuts clearly fell into his roll as the man of the house.  He is always priding himself on being a hunter and gatherer.  Therefore, he must go and gather some donuts to feed his family.

Okay, and I may have thrust out my chest then bent to put some dishes in the dishwasher to drive home the point.

But the important thing is he's gone to get some donuts right now.  He is fulfilling his roll as provider and I'm fulfilling my roll as trophy wife.  All is right in my world.

And while this may mean I will have a period of self loathing following my consumption of pure sugar and carbs, I will just be sure to throw in an extra workout today.

Or at least one workout.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dear Levi Strauss

Dear Levi Strauss:

I understand that frayed jeans are all the rage right now.  I understand that all of the cool people wear jeans with tiny frayed patches on them.

What I need you to understand is that I will wear each pair of jeans that I purchase a minimum of four to five years.  The pair that I finally resigned to house cleaning and yard work only has been worn since 2004, and they were my absolute favorite jeans.  They are a pair of 515 size 10L.  While I could reasonably wear them for a while and no one would know that the crotch was in danger of disintegrating at any moment, I would hate for that disintegration to happen as I was climbing out of the car at the grocery store!  The pair of jeans I bought before that were also a 515 size 10L.  I bought them between the birth of my girls...They have paint stains in three different colors, from two different houses, the right pocket is torn loose from catching it on the tomato cage in the garden (not sure how I managed that), and sadly both knees are blown out.  They are so thin that if I run my fingernail down them, a series of small snags is left behind...

Dear Levi designers, do you understand the level of bliss my body felt each time I slipped into those perfectly shaped to fit, soft from countless washings pair of denim jeans?  Apparently you do.  That must be the reason for selling flimsy thin denim that will block no cold Oklahoma wind that comes my way. Surely your understanding of our love for broken in jeans is what spurns your current weave and fabric makeup. 

What you don't seem to understand is that the level of comfort that I found in that pair of jeans can only be achieved with multiple wearings.  No manufactured method of breaking in denim is as effective as wearing a pair for six years two to three times per week.  No amount of stretch that you cleverly sneak into each pair of jeans can equal the comfort found in a pair of well loved and well worn jeans.  The stretch is not my friend.  That tiny bit of stretch simply means that by the end of the day I will be required to wear a belt to keep them in place. 

Sadly, I conceded defeat to your machinations of selling shoddy workmanship as high fashion when I bought a forty dollar pair of jeans with a frayed spot on the right thigh and the back pocket.  They were the only pair I could find that fit in length, hip and waist and were flattering to me...

And, gleefully, they are a size 8L.  I realize that this is not a reflection of weight loss, or inches lost, as my other jeans still fit the same.  I am on to your clever schemes of making clothing larger so that we will feel better about the ever increasing waist line of our society.

Oh yes! I understand your trickery.  And, yet I succumbed.  I did a little happy dance as I zipped them into place.

So you win denim fashion industry.  You win.

But I am not happy about it.

Aside from the downsizing.  The downsizing is working out just fine for me thank you very much.

However, you can rest assured that I will wear this pair, like every other pair of jeans I've ever owned, until they are falling apart and risk causing me public embarrassment.


A Loyal Yet Disgruntled Customer.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Skunks, Potty Mouths, and I Didn't Sign Up For This!

My dog got sprayed by a skunk yesterday at about 5am. I know the time because I actually smelled it in my bedroom!

I would like to announce that this is exactly one year and 8 days since my niece Sarah spotted the adorable ferret/gerbil which was actually a skunk in our culvert!

I had to change scrubs when I got to work because I could still smell skunk...

My bedroom smelled like skunk last night.

I fear that my house STILL smells like skunk, but my olfactory bulb has adjusted...Darn that rapidly adjusting sense organ!

Bookworm is pretty pumped to be on leadership at school. She is the hall monitor in the mornings and the line monitor in the lunchroom...

She heard a kid say the "P" word today. She informed the kid that he shouldn't say bad words.

"P isn't a bad word, IDIOT!"

I asked what she said to him then..."Nothing! I didn't know what to say!"

"Was he in 4th or 5th grade?"


Kids these days. She was quite disillusioned. I think she realized she has been given much responsibility with no authority.

I had a "why am I nurse?" moment today....

A patient was very unstable with a massive infection in his left kidney. The urologist had tried putting a stent in the kidney and giving antibiotics. They both proved ineffective. Subsequently, the patient went into septic shock. Septic shock results in increased heart rate and massive dilation of the vessels, which causes blood pressure to drop dangerously low. Other stuff happens, but I was concerned at this moment that the patient was on 3 medications to bring up his pressure and his heart rate down and he was still only in the 80s for his systolic (top number,) and his heart rate was still in the 120s, and his platelets were 12. Platelets are needed to make your blood clot. We like them to be over 150.

Did you catch that? He was 12. We like 150...

I personally like to think that we can actually stop bleeding if it happens to occur.

"Dr, I'm not sure about putting this patient on the table. Can we do this in the ICU using ultrasound?" Translation: I really wanted this to be on the ICU nurses plate, not mine. Just bein' real here.

He looked at me with his serious face and said, "I can only do this under fluoro (that's xray to you non radiology folks). We have to bring this patient down."

"I'm a little uncomfortable with this patient's stability." Never say I give up easily.

"Andi, if we don't get this drain in his kidney, he's going to die."

Allllllllrighty then.

I went and got him. But I wanted to say, "I'm afraid he's going to die on the table."

We don't say that stuff out loud though. Instead we do our job.

And sometimes I think I'm crazy for doing it.

But when I stop and think about something so simple (if using live digital xrays to insert a line into the kidney to drain the infection is simple) can make a life or death difference....

That's pretty cool. And I'm glad God gave our doctor's the knowledge to know what to do. And I'm glad He has made me a small part of it.

So, who wants to grow up and be a nurse?

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Best Meal is the One You Didn't Cook!

Bookworm cooked Mexican Casserole for dinner tonight. She was so proud.

And she ate 3 helpings.

Just to be sure I understood how much she truly loves Mexican Casserole and how deprived she is that I don't prepare it more often. I'm now off the hook.

Guess what? I don't think any Mexicans eat Mexican Casserole. My sister Paula changed the name to green chili casserole. I'm just not politically correct that way.

Do you want the recipe?

Here ya go:

1 lb hamburger, browned.
cream of chicken
cream of mushroom
tomato sauce
green chilies

Combine all of the above, or substitute the last 2 ingredients with tomatoes with green chilies. Pour over a casserole dish lined with crushed corn chips or tortillas. Sprinkle generously with cheese. Bake at 350 until it bubbles. Let set about 10 minutes to set up.

Serve with corn, a tossed salad and salsa for garnish. My kids like to scoop the casserole onto chips.

Umm...Of course there is no picture. Why would I have a picture?

I actually ate lunch today, so I was able to come home and do a 30 Day Shred workout then eat some supper. Did I mention my lunch was at 2:45? I wasn't too hungry come supper time! Of course I ate. Hate to disappoint the little chef!

I am such a giver...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Struggle

I listen to the radio on my way to work. I used to listen to Alistair Begg every morning, but since my time has changed, I only hear a few minutes of him. If you've never listened to his sermons, and you have a local Christian talk radio, I recommend you try to catch him. You will be challenged.

Anyway, this week I was listening to KLOVE. Their morning show has been discussing My One Word. It's like a non-New Year's resolution. You enter into a time of prayer with God, and you decide what He wants your one word to be for the year. This will be a word that you focus on to bring you closer to God and to see Him in more things. The morning show has Lisa and Eric, and he finally shared his word Friday after offering up teasers for what his word would be. He didn't want to share it until he was absolutely certain, but he did share that it dealt with relationships.

Friday he revealed that his word was Deeper. He wanted to have deeper relationship with God, his family, and his friends. He said he realized that he was using his own insecurities to prevent him from reaching out to others...

I was immediately struck by something.

I am not allowing myself any new deep relationships. I have allowed my own insecurities to keep me from reaching out.

I had fabulous friends in Texas. The best friends of my life are in Arlington and La Vernia. I always said they took better care of me than even my family could have. They were a large group and they were through our church, and we all really looked out for each other.

I don't know why I have lived here since July of 2008, and I have failed to establish those bonds here. The only answer I can come up with is fear. I don't want to bother them. I think they are too busy for me. Most people here have lots of family close by, so I have convinced myself that they don't need more friends.

So, I don't do all of the things I did in Texas. I don't call randomly through the week, just to chat. I don't want to bother them. I am at work during the day, and I don't want to interfere with family time in the evening. I hate to take up their busy Saturday with useless chatter...I know I talk too much, and I'm hyper, and I realize that I can be overwhelming for some. So I've completely backed off.

I rarely invite people over for dinner. When we lived in La Vernia I always had company over. I had a Bible study group that met at my house monthly that doubled as a "ladies night out." I would cook an enormous amount of food, brew pots and pots of coffee and we'd stay up until all hours of the night laughing and talking. In addition to that I would try to have at least one couple over monthly for dinner. I have always loved cooking for people. I never want to eat out or carry out because I truly love fixing the big meal and sharing it with people I love.

Since we moved here I work the same amount of hours, but since I'm no longer floor nursing, my days are shorter, so I work more days. That makes me more reluctant to invite people over because I'm so dad gum tired. I don't want to go through the whole rigmarole of cleaning the house for company. I don't want to cook the big extravagant meal. I just want to collapse on the couch.

So, today I went onto facebook and I committed to going to a Sunday school class party in February. Even if it does involve volley ball...Which I am terrible at. Even if I do hate to participate in events that I can't excel at. I will make the leap and go.

I also plan to invite friends over for next Saturday night. I haven't decided who yet. Mostly it will be whoever can come. Maybe I will bite the bullet and invite several couples over and we can play a round of games. (Games I can win, mind you.) It's ridiculous that I don't do this more often. Every time I have made myself invite people over, they always come. And we have a great time...

So, after reflecting on the revelation God gave me on Friday I think that my one word for this year will be closer. I have made friends here. I just haven't made close friends. They are good friends, but I have failed to make myself vulnerable to them. I have refused to depend on them, or make myself dependant on their support. I know God wants this for me. I know he wants me to be able to call someone close by when I'm having a "I can't take it anymore day, I'm talk about it," instead of someone hundreds of miles away. I just need to make the effort instead waiting for them to come to me with a crisis.

Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever feel that you will wait for a person to be vulnerable with you so you can feel safe to be vulnerable with them? It takes a lot of courage to be real with someone. But I'm going to do it. I'm going to reach out and throw up my feelings all over the next person I meet. I'm pretty sure we will be friends forever as a result...

Don't you agree?

Friday, January 14, 2011

"You could have licked it right in front of me. I'd still eat it."

I have had a very busy week at work. Don't you just wish I'd shut up already with the work stories?

Too bad. They're all I've got right now, but if you'll hold on to your pants I'll bet you'll be glad you read this...

Or not.

Yesterday was cuh-RAZY! We were ridiculously behind. However, it was due to unforeseen circumstances in which we had multiple add on patients. Please understand, if we are adding on a patient, they need to be seen. Infected abscesses (yummy), clotted dialysis grafts, acute hemorrhaging...All of these things need seen to double quick. You also need to understand that with all of these acute problems, we have routine patients. Follow up checks on abscesses to see if they're healing, biopsies of just about anything you can think of, and so on make up a portion of what we consider "routine." Please understand that I know anyone with a mass on their lung that needs biopsied does not consider it routine. However, it is not urgent. So, if your appointment is for a routine procedure, there is a chance you will get bumped back for the more critical patient...

This is health care people! Not Burger King!

So we were busy. One sign of extreme busyness is when you are explaining to a doctor what you've done thus far, and asking what else he might need, and does he want you to call pharmacy, and does the patient need to start on their back, then be rolled to their belly...

The doctor will stop you.

"Andi. Do you think I'm going to yell at you?"

"No, but I'm not sure what you're going to need for this procedure, so I'm trying to avoid the 'look' followed by the quiet, tightly controlled voice."

He gave me a hug and told me it was going to be alright.

I've never been hugged by a doctor. I typically avoid such shenanigans as they are not appropriate, and no lady better be hugging my husband, so I never make hugging seem welcomed from male staff...

But I really needed that hug. So I hugged him right back. It turns out I was going to need all the support I could get for later on....

I was supposed to be off work by 4:30 yesterday. At 6pm I was getting the last family members of our last outpatient to come see their loved one. This particular family consisted of a wife, an unknown silent woman, and a "son." I say "son" because I later realized he was in no way their son, other than they were good friends, and the patient was old enough to be his dad, so he called my patient "dad."

Is anyone bored yet? I'm giving way too much detail here, I know....

So, I go out to the waiting room. I'm tired. I'm hungry. I'm thirsty. And, yes, I needed to pee.

"Okay you guys can come back now."

Son: Are you married?
Me: Yes.
Son: Do you have children?
Me: Yes.
Son: Do you want more children?
Me: starting to wonder where exactly this is going, Umm, no. I'm good with two.
Son: Well, do you want to practice making more babies?

Yes, Gentle Reader. That was my reaction exactly. Stunned silence followed by profuse blushing, and this statement: "That was inappropriate." And I turned and walked out of the waiting room.

The family followed.

So did he. Drat.

Son: Do you want to go to Vegas? Do you want to get in a hot tub? Is there any chance you might be single soon? Did you know I'm a complete creep? Did you know I have no moral values, and that I am a direct reflection of what is wrong with society today?

Okay, he didn't really say those last two sentences...But he did say lots of things, things I'd rather forget...I did learn he owns a bingo hall. And that he wanted to be the one to drive my patient home so they could hit the strip clubs.


I totally ignored his existence and blushed and sweat, and was totally at loss for what to do. He kept talking. As I drove home, I realized I should have told him if he didn't stop bothering me, he had to go sit in the waiting room. Instead, I just tried to ignore him and only acknowledge the patient and his wife.

It didn't work....

Let's move on to today, shall we?

We were swamped. NOBODY got lunch.

Sadly, if nobody gets to eat, I feel better about the situation. Misery really does love company.

I had a piece of toast for breakfast at 6:30. I had two tablespoons of peanut butter at about noon, followed by a snack size Almond Joy....

Strangely, I was still hungry at about five when I rolled a patient to the dialysis clinic. Life is just full of mysteries, isn't it?

Want to know something strange and totally random? There are 3 nurses named David in dialysis. They were all working this evening...

Dave: Man, you guys have been hopping today. We have had a ton of your patients come through.
Me: I know. I don't think any of us even got lunch.
Dave #2: Hey, we have some pizza in the back.
Me: I will totally take it, but first I have to get Julie (my patient) some peanut butter and crackers. She is hungry.
Dave: Oh, the pizza is right by it.
Me: Thanks...

Only I didn't see the pizza and came out with only Julie's snack.

Dave: Where's your pizza?
Me: I didn't see it. I hope to get off soon. I'll be okay...
Dave #2: Wait. I'll get it for you.

And he brought me a piece of canadian bacon pizza with pineapple on a paper towel.

"Thank you so much. I am so hungry I don't even care if it has pineapple." I really don't care for pineapple...Another fascinating factoid that you should totally know, seeing as my husband is half Samoan.

Dave #3: I can't believe you're just eating pizza that David carried to you, and you really don't know where it came from.
Me: Dude, I am so dang hungry, you could have licked it right in front of me, and I'd STILL eat it.

And then they totally wanted to test it out, but I wouldn't let 'em. I do have standards y'know!

Instead, I walked down the hall happily scarfing down pizza before I reached my department so the other starving staff wouldn't feel worse about their lack of food, and have to be secretly bitter that I got a free piece of cold pizza with pineapple which I don't even like and I don't even know for sure where it came from.

The End. I'm off to grab my fifth piece of takeout pizza.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

We start our basketball season today. I can hardly wait. We also have tickets to the Thunder game tonight. Woot! Woot!

I am still in my pajamas.

It is 11am.

My Christmas tree is mocking me. I choose to ignore such mockery...I will shove it in a box soon, and that will be that...


I got a new green purse last night. I heart new purses. Bookworm immediately swooped in and grabbed my old red one....What sort of purse do you carry? Is it a clutch or more of a satchel? Is it traditional and goes well with everything? Does it make a statement, or does it just quietly serve a purpose?

I feel a purse should make a statement. My favorite purses have been red, green, and yellow. Purses must also be relatively inexpensive so I can replace it on a moments notice with no guilt over the price tag. This one was a mere $19.99 at Target. Purses must be large enough to carry my entire life in, including my Nook. I have discovered my Nook needs to go nearly everywhere with me. I just started the Count of Monte Cristo. Do you realize it is over 3000 pages? That does not bode well for me...I have a short attention span. And I would never have finished it in the hard copy form, as I refuse to read books that make my arms tired. Are you shocked at my level of laziness?

Bookworm bought an accessory last night. This is a momentous occasion. She never wears anything that draws attention to her. She bought it at a kiosk in the mall, walked to a trash can, took it off it's cardboard and immediately slid it in here hair. Yes, I could have made it for 99 cents, but this is such a huge step toward growing up, that I let her buy it and wiped a tear from my eye...I fear boys are only a few steps behind! But hopefully not.

Popcorn had a gift card burning a hole in her little pocket, and she chose some accessories of her own from Claire's. She has always been the queen of accessories: Earrings, hats, scarves, bracelets, but I thought this hat and bottle cap necklace were just too precious.

And yes, I just walked in their rooms, snapped a picture and dumped it onto this here blog with no editing or multiple shots...

Isn't it great how I can't even be bothered to artfully arrange my purse, but instead just take a picture of it where it landed on the hearth? And isn't that feed scoop next to it awesome? It's tough saying which I love more! And, it is laying right where I dumped it when I carried it home. I knew I wanted it, but had no idea what to do with it, plopped it down there, and there it has stayed...

Again, please do not take examples from my laziness.

Now, I'm off to finally drink a cup of coffee today, and feed my family a quick lunch before we have to head to the gym for games...

Oh, and I'm still resolutionless, and I really don't see that changing any time soon! What about you?

Purse style, and resolutions. These are the burning questions in my brain this morning.