Monday, February 28, 2011

Crazy Coupon Ladies

This week was my first official week as a "couponer."

Yep.  I'm pretty sure I'm on the verge of becoming one of those crazy coupon ladies who get totally high off of free groceries...

Unless I totally flake out which is totally a possibility since I pretty much stink at commitment.

Unless I do so fantastical that I get to quit my job because I somehow miraculously figure out how to feed my family organic food for free every month...

Wednesday I went online to Coupon Closet and perused the match ups for the Homeland flier.  Basically, this saint of a woman named Carrie clips coupons religiously.  She takes the Homeland sale bill (Homeland doubles coupons up to a dollar every day) and matches up online and paper insert coupons for items that are free or extremely cheap.

Since I do not subscribe to the paper, and had only purchased one paper, I was limited to clicking on her links (seriously, she has a link that you click on and then just print the coupon) and using those coupons.  If you are at all  interested, the thing I must tell you before you go visit her and start clicking and printing is that you should create a coupon email address so your inbox is not flooded with other junk.  She gives this advice and it seems very wise.  I ended up wasting lots of time signing up for some name brands to send me emails to my new coupon address so that I could get online coupons for peanut butter and waffles and such...

I went to Homeland on my way home from work Thursday.  I had $17 dollars worth of coupons, printed strictly online and I refrained from printing anything I classified as not needed or just pure junk.  I was strangely nervous.

I didn't have a Homeland card.  I didn't know if the checker would really double the "do not double" coupon.  I was afraid I'd get the wrong item and then I'd be stuck with name brand stuff when off brand would be cheaper and on and on and on...

I stopped at the eggs. I had a coupon that I could use to end up getting them for $0.45 each.  I noticed a lady perusing her printed coupon and the eggs at the same time as me...

I wandered over to the lunch meat.  The same lady was grabbing some lunch meat with a printed coupon.  We each got a 12oz shredded turkey pack for $0.50. 

We stopped at the yogurt.  The display with the valid coupon was empty.  My heart thumped.  My palms started sweating.  What was I to do?  I really, really, really, really WANTED that free yogurt.  I eat yogurt nearly every day.  My daughter packs it in her lunch...My first failure as a couponer was looming at me, and I was uncertain of what to do next.

"Are you looking for the YoPlus yogurt?" she asked.

"Yeah.  I guess it's all gone.  I'm new to this coupon thing.  How do I get a rain check?"

"I don't know.  I've only been doing it about 3 weeks, and I've never needed to get one.  I guess we just go ask customer service."  And then we totally launched into a conversation about Coupon Closet (she even had her handy dandy shoebox with her, complete with scissors, I noted) and her various trials and successes with couponing.  Apparently she has a coworker who is hooked as well, and now they both swap coupons every Monday morning and share shopping bargain stories with each other.

I swear, by the time I walked away, I felt like I had made a new friend who I knew was trying to pay off two cars that will be paid off hopefully by the end of this summer.  She works, but is trying to convince her husband that she can quit after they get their cars paid off and if she does REALLY good couponing...

Basically, I just met a soul sister in the dairy aisle at my local Homeland. 

After I hugged her, kissed her on the cheek goodbye and had a moment of prayer over her desire to quit working*, I skipped down the aisle to Customer Service to get my Homeland card and rain check for my free YoPlus yogurt....

I happily checked out for $5 even, with $16.79 worth of groceries. And $3 of that was for cheese, which I did NOT have a coupon for!  I felt like that was pretty good for my maiden voyage into the land of couponing...

As I gently laid my eggs on the floor of my back seat I realized I forgot to ask for my new soul sister's number before we said goodbye.

Perhaps we will meet again in the frozen food aisle as we scavenge for our favorite frozen pizza that we will inevitably be getting for free.

Or perhaps the whole hugging/kissing/prayer thing totally freaked her out and she will never visit that Homeland again as long as she lives.

*Please understand, Gentle Reader, I'm only kidding about the hugging/kissing/prayer thing.  It sounded like a crazy thing I'd do, and I might have if I hadn't been in such a hurry to get home!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A New Washer and a New BFF

So you heard all about getting the washer home a few days ago...I am sure you have been waiting for me to tell you how I came to own my very own front load washer, right?

Well, you see, it all started with a trip to Kohl's a few months ago.  I took some Christmas money with me.  I needed new jeans, you see...

Yada yada yada, I ended up only using a small amount of Christmas money, and the rest I put on me debit card...

Why yes.  Yes I did catch some grief from my husband regarding that shopping spree.  My only justification was that I was saving money for new floors.  And keeping my Christmas money for that endeavor seemed like a totally logical idea.  Never mind that I spent the money regardless, the green paper money stayed in my cash stash, so in my mind it was never spent!

I am nothing if not completely logical at all times...Unless it suits me to be illogical, and then I can totally justify that illogical thought process.

Fast forward to last weekend.

My favorite husband announced that Ultimate Electronics was going out of business and they had everything on clearance.  He wanted to go get a new washer.  I threw on my socks and shoes, grabbed my cash stash and headed out the door in my yoga gear sans makeup.  I was in the passenger seat with the garage door opened in 2 minutes flat.  Strangely, it seemed as if the rest of my little clan took forever to meander out to the car.

We went to Ultimate Electronics.  They had two Samsung washer right next to each other.  Only one was like $600 more.  I asked my helpful sales associate, Harvey what the difference was.  He was wonderfully honest and told me that the other had a steam cycle that most people would not use and was therefore probably an unnecessary expense for us. 

He was instantly my best friend.

Sadly, his status as my BFF did not last long.  The only washer they had in that particular model of washer I had picked out was the one on the floor.  What you need to understand, Gentle Reader is that I have no problem whatsoever buying floor models.

I once bought a floor model dishwasher that had recently had the front panel changed, for $150.  It had a $100 mail in rebate for Maytag at the time, so I walked away with a brand spanking new dishwasher for $50.

I bought a new stove several months ago.  I also got the floor model for this stove, as they had recently changed all of the burner grills to cast iron, and this particular stove still had the porcelain coated burner grills.  I happily bought it for $400 less than the newer model, with an additional 20% off for taking a floor model.

I am doing a little happy dance right here on my couch as I type this blog thinking about my bargains...

I am sure my whole face lit up when good ole Harvey told me he only had the floor model left...

"Well, since this is the floor model can you take any more off of the price?"

"I'm sorry, ma'am.  We are being liquidated by a liquidating firm, and I can't give you an additional discount.  In the past I would have been able to offer a deeper discount for floor models."

Now at this point my darling husband tells me my shoulders slumped and my face fell.  I'm tellin' ya.  I was like a little kid who's had his candy taken away!  I literally had to walk away and think about if I really wanted to buy a washer that I could not get a deeper discount on!

Obviously, I opted to get it.  My on again off again BFF Harvey told me that he could get me one still in the box from another store if we would go get it. We opted for that one since he couldn't give me an extra $120 off like I had been secretly hoping for...

He also told me not to look at dishwashers yet as they were going to be marked down more and that he would give me a call if a black one came in (they had at least one more shipment of those coming) so I could look up the model online and see if I was interested.  He took my name and number with the promise to call me when the next shipment of dishwashers came in if I felt the price was low enough.

That Harvey.  He knows me so well.

No wonder he's my BFF.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Mother's Wisdom

My beautiful Mother and Grandmama.  Two women who have given me more wisdom than I ever asked for.


Can I get a Woot! Woot!

I was telling my mom ALL about it on my way in to work on Monday morning.

Me:  So, he got home with the washer that evening, and we started to unload it.  Now, he had asked a friend to help unload it, but Larry had knee surgery at the end of November, and I wasn't sure he should be lifting it.  And I'm pretty strong, y'know, so I decided I could help him.  Only I couldn't get a good purchase on the box it came in.  He told me to go ask the neighbor, Colby, to help unload it.  I said he needed to ask himself.  Which he flat refused to do.  Men!  They are so stubborn.  I suggested we get Molly to help, as she was just sitting in the recliner watching Disney and he scoffed at that too.  Finally, we decided to take it out of the box because then maybe I could grip it better.  So we took it out of the box, but it was still ungainly, and I was afraid I'd drop it.  I enlisted Molly's help.  Studmuffin said he'd get it from the front if we'd get the sides.  And then he lifted it.  But we didn't really have a good grip on it, so we ended up just moving our arms into different positions as he muscled it from the back of the truck to the ground.  After he sat it down commented how heavy it was.  Molly & I nearly wet our pants laughing at our uselessness....

I imagine this was my facial expression...
Mom:  WE just left ours in the box when we got it unloaded.

Wait a second here, Gentle Reader.  Did she just interrupt my ongoing ramblings to criticize my always carefully thought out actions?

Me:  Well, like I said, if you had been PAYING ATTENTION I couldn't get a good purchase that way.  But it's okay because Studmuffin got it out, and I'm pretty sure the damage he did to his shoulder was only minimal.

Mom:  Well, let me tell you what your dad would have done.  He would have gotten some boards and made a ramp off the back of the pickup, and then slid it to the ground.

Me:  Mooooom!  Why do you have to be such a know it all!?

Mom:  Cackle, cackle, cackle, cackle!

The farm wife in all her practical farm wife-ish ways.
No, Gentle Reader.  This was not a laugh.  It was a cackle.  A cackle elicited at my poor expense...*Sniff*

Me:  Mom!  Nobody likes a show off!

Mom:  Cackle, cackle....

And I would like to present to the audience that it is indeed true that a mother's wisdom, imparted after a bout of stupidity is NEVER appreciated.

The End.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Red Neckedness

Last Friday, at roughly 6:45am when the sun was just starting to give some light to the world, I heard Kelsey begin to bark. It was her "I'm a big dog and you better watch out because I can totally take you" bark.  Or something like that...I don't actually speak dog, but if I did, I'm pretty sure this is how she'd talk. 

I was standing at the sink in our kitchen, admiring the view out my front yard waiting patiently for my cup of coffee to finish.  My mind was wandering.

"I'm really glad I bought that three dollar tube bird feeder to hang out this window.  It seems to make the bird seed go further.  And I get to watch birds directly out my window.  I wish there were birds out there right now.  I wonder when the hummingbirds will come back?  Where will I hang this feeder when I put out my nectar feeder?  It will have to be some place that I can see easily.  And Kelsey can't catch the birds.  That limits my possibilities...."

I heard Studmuffin come through the living room, and say something to me, in a hushed voice.  I didn't bother to turn around as I heard the back door open and close.  I was pretty sure he was going to tell the dog "shut up" and I had not been awake long enough to engage anyone in conversation.

I am NOT a morning person.

Just as I picked up my fresh brewed cup of Donut Shoppe coffee, I hear "Bam!  Bam!"  What in the world?  I turned around, cup of life's blood thankfully unspilled, and firmly grasped in my hand to the back door opening.  My husband burst through the door, with his gun on his hip...

"What are you doing?  You don't even have shoes on!"

"I woke up to Kelsey barking, looked out our window and four coyotes were in the yard.  I thought I'd try and shoot them before they were gone."

I perused his appearance...

"Do you think you could at least have bothered to put some clothes on?"

Yes, Gentle Reader.  I know you find such shenanigans distressing and that you are clutching your chest in shock and bewilderment.  My husband went out to shoot at coyotes.  At 6:45 am.  Without his shoes on.  In his UNDERWEAR!!!

"Did you at least shoot one?"

"Nah.  It was too dark.  I couldn't see them through the scope." 

Strange that.  He couldn't see the coyotes at dawn in a scope that is not night vision...In fact it is a scope that he bought at Gibson's in 1984.  Or somewhere around there.  Either way.

That thing wasn't helping him bring down any predators at 6:45am.

In his underwear.

Oh, and I know you are just dying to know what he loudly whispered to me:  You're gonna want to blog this!

He knows me so well.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chocolate and Tattoos

I have so much to tell you about!

My new washer, nursery drama, redneck moments...However, today I will just give you a blip of the stuff jostling in my brain to get out.

First, I will share an epiphany with you.  I have a frequent flier patient who is 25 years old.  He has kidney failure, lung problems, and circulatory issues, and he is a train wreck.  He likes heavy gold jewelry.  You know the kind with giant links and huge crosses?  That's his type of jewelry.  He is covered in tattoos.  He has a Nike swoosh on his back and lots of Chinese emblems, and of course a barb wire around his bicep.  The PA Sonya asked him about the one on his right pectoral the other day as she was preparing to place a catheter to drain a fluid collection from around his lung...

"It says destroy. Because my body is destroying itself."

He has no tendency towards drama or neediness.

Oh.  Did I mention he is blind?

Why would a blind man cover himself in tattoos?  How does he know what he's getting?  How does he know what they will look like?  And what is the deal with the heavy gold jewelry?  How does he know what it looks like?

I gotta say, he is one strange skinny white guy...

I got invited to a bunco group tonight as a sub.  They had bowls of snack food at each table...I ate 4 caramels, a handful of M&Ms, some chocolate pretzels, and even a few Twizzler licorice bites.  Then they served a giant slice of chocolate cake with fresh fruit...I opted for strawberries.

I feel great right now.

But I'm pretty sure I will be hung over tomorrow.

Did you know i have reactive hypoglycemia?  This is a condition where your insulin release is okay, unless you eat a huge abundance of sugar or refined carbohydrates.  Then your pancreas has a massive overreaction and dumps insulin like crazy.  The result is a huge sugar crash...Which makes you want more sugar...

I remember the first time a physician told me I had reactive hypoglycemia.  "You made that up.  I am just fine."  And I walked away from that know it all nephrologist and went about my work.  A few weeks later I had a cardiologist mention the possibility of it to me following a discussion on why I loathe donuts...I sneered at him (behind his back) and returned to work, disgruntled that he could not be bothered to bring me a breakfast burrito.

However, this time I went home and googled it.  And I decided that those quack doctors may actually know what they are talking about.

Shocking, I know.

Tomorrow when I wake up with a splitting headache and generalized crummy feelings...I will bemoan those dang doctors who pointed out the cause of my post sugar irritability.

Because I'm pretty sure it's their fault.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fear of Commitment and Distraction.

I didn't always have this problem.

I blame it on nursing school.

Or, more specifically, my bowing to pressure and deciding to run for our chapter of the National Student Nurse Association President.  Let's just say it lead me to understand that I NEVER want to be in management, meetings with the Dean of Nursing are not all they're cracked up to be, and that if you want to KNOW something is done, you've got to do it yourself, or nag, nag, nag to be sure it's getting done!

Now I get itchy at the thought of truly "committing" to something.  Like taking call.  Or agreeing to a full time position at work.  I don't CARE if I'm working 32 hours, and four more makes me full time!  The label FULL TIME gives me hives...


I recently started helping with our ladies ministry at church.  I stated that I feel very lead to help women connect and feel welcomed in the church.  I asked if I could be given the names of visitors, prospective members, or new members so that I can contact them and say "hello."  I have a hard time spotting new faces since I am in the toddlers in Sunday School, and I am in choir during the welcome time.

Guess what?  I am now over the Hospitality committee!  YOIKS!  I immediately started scratching my neck and saying, "Well, okay.  I guess that's what I was wanting to do anyway.  And heaven knows I can talk to strangers...Or posts...Or whatever."  But actually being responsible for hospitality.  That makes me a little sweaty.  I totally want to do it, I just don't want to be committed to doing it...Kapeesh?

Oh, and speaking of toddlers, that class is a classic example of why I fear commitment.  Studmuffin and I decided we wanted to lead an older kids Sunday school.  Like 4th grade and up.  Well, it was spring time of 2009 when we approached our children's minister with this, and she said that she had a spot coming open in August, but could we fill in for the two year old class in the mean time?

Well, we are still in the preschool area.  Another couple came and asked to do the 4th grade, and since they DID NOT want to do preschool, we ended up moving down to the 18-24 month class.


So.  We decided to take a six month hiatus starting in September.  Only our replacement ended up having knee surgery, and nobody else wanted the class, so we figured, "What's going back a few months early matter?"

A lot.  Now, we are about to start a second toddler class, as our baby classes are bursting at the seams, and I am seeing no light at the end of the tunnel for some time...

By the way, if you happen to go to my church, and you read my blog, and you are looking for a place to serve, might I suggest toddlers?  I happen to know a great class you can step into IMMEDIATELY.  They really truly are the sweetest kids.  But I am longing for an adult Sunday school class...

As you can tell, lately I've been having LOTS of commitment issues.  I hesitate to agree to sleepovers because I'm tired.  I balk at the thought of going out.  I'm tired.  I am crunching numbers, trying to figure out how I can work less.  I'm tired.

Our church offered a coupon class last night.  I went into it with all sorts of a crappy attitude.  You see, I've found that in the past, I would never have bought the item I just got if I hadn't had a coupon.  Or the off brand is still cheaper.  Or the item with a coupon did not meet my nutrition standards.

Obviously, I was desperate if I was going to a class I was pretty sure was a complete waste of my time.

But go I did!  And, let me tell you, the things she had to share were amazing!  She went from spending $1000 per month on groceries (she has 5 kids aged 5 and under) to budgeting $250 for groceries!  That includes food, toiletries, cleaners, diapers, etc.

That was pretty inspiring!

However, I am still not convinced.  You see, in order to coupon, one must actually get a Sunday paper, so one can actually have coupons to clip! 

Earth shattering, I know. 

However, If I subscribe to the paper and fail to clip my coupons, then I will be mad at myself for wasting money on the paper!

I hate when I realize I'm not doing something well...Because then I just tend to give up!  I realize that's not a pretty attitude, but it's the truth!

And, hey...I admitted to crushing on Steven Tyler, which virtually all of you found revolting, so we can all be pretty sure I'm truthful about who I am!

It is so dramatic to be me.  Pity my husband.


Did you know we took a class at church to help us find our place in ministry?  It was a hoot.  I found out all of the wonderful things about me that I already knew...  Even the things I'd like to pretend I didn't know.  Some of them pretty painful...

I am a Sanguine/inspiring personality.  How about I list some of the traits of that personality?
bubbly, carefree, changeable, charismatic, compassionate, childlike, expressive, extroverted, friendly, spontaneous, warm, people-centered, ...

Doesn't that sound like a wonderful person?  How about I list some of the more, shall we say, ugly truths...disorganized, easily distracted, exaggerates (to that I say NEVER!!!), impulsive, impractical, restless, superficial, undisciplined,...

I also learned that while I'm really great at coming up with ideas, I lack the follow through to get them done!  Hey!  Lucky me, I married a melancholy/conscientious personality, and they are guhREAT at follow trough!  Woot!  Woot!

Confession:  If I want something done, but don't particularly want to do the task I need completed (like replacing the kitchen back splash) I simply start it.  I don't even have to be starting out well.  You see, my husband is a SUPER perfectionist.  He will take over within no time at all!  He very firmly believes that if he wants something done right he better do it himself.

And while I realize many of you think that is a very sneaky tactic to take, it's really no secret around here!  It drives him crazy when I start something haphazardly with a half formed plan in my brain, (which is how I start every project) so he takes over, draws out a blue print, develops a plan of action, makes forty dozen trips to the store and gets it done in twelve times the amount of time it would have taken me...

But I didn't have to do it!  And to that I say, AMEN!

I also learned that people with my personality need to "learn the thinking arts of reflection and self-examination to combat their tendency to distraction, tangents, and shallowness."

Oh, how that makes me laugh...I am sooooo distracted and tangentish...And probably shallow.  Shallow in the sense that in the moment of you sharing your tragic moment with me, I'm totally there with you, but I will easily forget and move on.  That's probably part of me being a great nurse.  I am genuinely caring about my patients and their plights.  But I can easily leave it behind when I'm at home. 

Another statement that was painfully dead on:  Emotions are fleeting, and I's frequently experience quick reversal of feeling.  They may go from sulking to elation....tend to be talkative, extreme, vivid, and emphatic.


That emotions are fleeting thing makes me think of high school.  Remember the silent treatment?  I was TERRIBLE at that.  I would forget I wasn't "speaking to her" or I was totally bewildered how someone could ever stay mad at me!  I just didn't have the stick-to-it-ivenes to harbor that anger or resentment!

Okay, so now that we've established I'm shallow, forgetful and distracted, unreliable, and easily charmed, is it any wonder that I get all itchy when expected to make a commitment?

However, if I'm lucky I can talk really fast and use my charm and exuberance to convince you to do the job I just signed up to do, and let you have the blessing of finishing it...

And I will use my extreme talkativeness to cheer you on!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Studmuffin:  What's for dinner tonight?
Me:  It's Thursday.
Studmuffin:  Pizza night?
Bookworm:  Praise the LORD!

And she meant it.

Watching American Idol Wednesday Night:
Popcorn:  Is that one judge guy a retired rock star?
Me:  Steven Tyler?
Popcorn:  Yeah.  The long haired one.
Me:  Baby, there is no such thing as a retired rock star.  Once a rock star, always a rock star.
Studmuffin:  Your mom is secretly in love with him.
Me:  No I'm not.  But I have to admit I find him strangely attractive....

This is me.  Sorry but it's true....

American Idol Thursday Night:
Popcorn:  I'm pretty sure I can win American Idol.

Oh, the confidence of youth!

The kids have been wondering what Steven Tyler sings.  Call me crazy, but I haven't whipped out my Aerosmith tapes for them...I shudder to think of them busting out, "Love in an elevator!  Livin' it up when I'm goin' down."  Or how about "Dude looks like a lady!"


Friday Morning, rushing around to get to the bus on time:

Popcorn was given the task of feeding the dog and cat, her sister was waiting in the car.  I was scrambling about, grabbing cell phone, pager, and whatnot...Popcorn was struggling turning the doorknob with her gloves on. 

Popcorn:  Curse you gloves!

Really?   A nine year old cursing her gloves?  I think this may be evidence of avid reading...At least that's what I'm going with.

I am choosing to ignore Dr. Doofenschmirtz role in this whole dialogue.  Never let it be said that we watch an excessive amount of Phineas & Ferb..."Curse you Perry the Platypus!"

Now, I know I posted this conversation on Facebook, but it is one of those great mom moments...

We were at a quick stop on the way home from my grandmama's funeral.  It had been a long day.  We walked into this quick stop and they had one of those little restaurant things that are found only in convenience stores.  You know what I mean?  They have the big stainless shelves with heat lamps on them, and they hold such wonders as pizza pockets, fried burritos, egg rolls, chicken livers and gizzards...

This particular store even added barbecue sandwiches and a cooler area with chicken salad and tuna salad sandwiches and these gargantuan chef salads.  I opted for that ginormous salad.  Seriously.  It was so good and so fresh and I could barely even finish it!

Popcorn did not want food.  She only wanted Fritos.  I felt she should learn about the joyous wonders of a deep fried pizza pocket...

Me:  Baby Girl, it's been a long day & I'm not cooking when we get home.  If you choose to eat Fritos then that's your dinner.

She opted to buy an over priced Lunchable to go along with her Fritos.  And can I just say that we still have that dad gum bag of Fritos in the pantry?  Oh, and we did buy a pizza pocket and all four of us shared it.  The girls agreed that their lives had been sorely lacking without that little gem in their culinary experience.

Yep, that's me!  Expanding my kids culinary palate at every opportunity!

Next we will move on to chittlin's and cracklings!

Attention:  I do not think I used culinary correctly in this post.  At all.  But, it is late and my brain is tired...So culinary it is!

But I must ask one burning question:  What do they call them in your part of the world?  Chittlin's?  Chitterlingis?  Chittlings?  Inquiring minds want to know...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Care and Maintenance of Curly Hair

Guess what?  I was inspired for a blog post by the lovely Taylor!  You know Taylor, right?  What?  You have not discovered the joys of reading about the Lumberjack's Wife, who is actually married to an electrician?  Well, you simply must dart on over there and take a peak at her!  Go ahead!  Click here to learn all about her...

Recently she did a post on being beautimous.  And in this post she did some ranting about her hair, and how she makes it the beautiful creation that it is...Well, of course I was immediately reminded of my intense hair routine. 

Surely you have noticed how immaculate and perfect my hair is, no?  Well, let me tell you that it has taken 35 years to embrace this curliness that is my mop, and it took lessons doled out like pieces of forbidden sweets from my niece Molly to get all of the secrets to caring for curly hair...

Gentle Reader, yesterday a doctor told me that my hair reminded him of Harpo Marx.  Am I the only one who struggles to find a compliment in this statement?  Perhaps you should cease reading this for truly no good advice can come from a girl with Harpo Marx hair...

Or Carrot Top.  Or Shaun White....

And why is it so hard for people to think of a woman with hair like mine?  I'm not even demanding an attractive one!  Just a woman!  Is that too much to ask?

Did I fail to mention Molly was only 16 when she was instructing me on proper care and maintenance of my crowning glory?

Never say I am above taking hair care advice from children...I'm not above dressing like a fool and posting pictures of myself dressed as Wonder Woman on this here blog, so of course I will take advice from the mouths of babes!

Here I am with my Grandmama Dolly.  She never hesitated to dole out advice on what I should and shouldn't do.  I'm pretty sure my Wonder Woman post fell into the shouldn't do.
I have many, many tips to share with you, and lucky for you I will share all that I can think of with you right here in one post!  Aren't you lucky?

The first step is to never comb your hair.  Do not comb it.  Do not brush it.  This messes up how the curl lays.  I know if you are reading this for the first time, you will be confused and your entire being is shying away from not combing your hair.  But I beg of you:  PUT AWAY YOUR COMBS!!!  The very most you can do is comb your fingers through it with conditioner in the shower.  But that is all.  Do not comb it once you are out.  RESIST all the teachings your mama gave you as a young child.  You are no longer Indian leg wrestling with your brother on the living room floor, so your hair does not become as matted as it once did.

Complete topic change:  Today "Way Down Yonder in the Indian Nation" was going round and round in my head.  I have no idea why.  The sad thing is I couldn't remember all of the lyrics, but lucky you, I googled it, so here's a Youtube link so you will not be racking your brains for what follows, "I ride my pony on the reservation..."

The other tip she GRADUALLY gave me was product. It really is all about product.  At that time she swore by Garnier Fructisse leave in conditioner.  I still use this occasionally, but my staple is John Frieda Frizzease products and Dream Curls are my favorite hair products.  I am also loving L'Oreal Everstrong shampoo and conditioner.  Be sure you get the sulfate free kind.  Sulfate is not the curly girls friend.  I've actually read where curly haired people should NEVER shampoo their hair.  I have done this from time to time.  The trick is to really scrub your scalp when using conditioner.  I confess that my hair became weighted down and did not have good body with this method.  Also, in summer I had to shampoo it to get the chlorine out, so that method has really fallen by the wayside. 

Another scandalous secret I have to give you is this:  Cut back on the frequency of washing.  Seriously.  Once I dropped back to shampooing my hair twice a week, the difference was dramatic.  The thing about most curly hair is it is naturally more coarse and dryer than straight hair.  I don't know why.  It just is!

Gentle Reader, this is an example of what NOT to do.  I decided to try and roll my hair in a Farrah Faucetish style.  This was the result.  Scary.  I know.  My hair takes to rollers VERY well...Perhaps if I'd gone with a large barreled curling iron...Alas, I made one attempt at actually styling my hair, shrugged my shoulders and asked myself "Why?" and have not been tempted since.
I have yet another tip to give you:  I don't blow dry my hair.  I simply put in some anti-frizz serum, spray in some Dream Curls and let it air dry.  That is it.  In the mornings, I will wet my palms and spritz in some more curl activator and I'm good to go!


And do NOT use a towel on your hair.  It makes your hair more frizzy.  Keep an old t shirt on hand.  Wrap your hair in the t shirt.  You will be amazed at how absorbent an old tee is!  And your hair will thank you for it!

I'm ending this post with a not necessarily good hair picture.  If, indeed, any of these could be classified as "good" hair pictures... But as I was browsing through old blog pictures I spotted this cleavage showing picture of me syringe feeding Herman.  It made me sad and long for the days when I had bottle calves who eagerly ran to me when I approached the corals and sucked on my knees, elbows or whatever skin surface was available, knowing I surely had a meal coming to them...

I wish my girls could experience the joys of bottle calves.  There are more life lessons than I can ever post in something as foolish as a post about curly hair...Responsibility, getting up at o'dark thirty to feed your calves before you ate your own breakfast and came back in to get ready for school and be on the bus by 6:50 and death...

Those were hard lessons, but they were fun.

I miss farm life.

Now isn't that a strange statement to end a post about curly hair with?

How to Get Out of Taking Call on a Snow Day

The director of nursing for our department came strolling through on Monday evening...

She was avoiding eye contact with me.

"Soooo, does anyone happen to know who has call for nurses tomorrow night?"

"Oh, quit pretending.  I know it's me." I replied with my typical submissive attitude.

"Well, okay." And she thankfully found humor in my crummy attitude.  "I don't know if you will have to stay  tomorrow night or not.  You may want to bring a bag just in case."

I rolled my eyes and replied, "I know.  I was planning on bringing one."  And then I stated, quite loudly, "However, I think some of the other staff in this department need to get a little Jesus in their hearts and take call for me!  Y'know, since I was here two nights for the last storm."

Crickets chirping...

My favorite nurse replied, "Well, I have my kids this week, so I can't take it."

Another nurse called in first thing Tuesday morning.  She sent me a text letting me know, with the statement, "I realize I'm on call for Wednesday, so if they make you stay overnight I will be there by 7am."

Excuse me, but how does one reporting nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea ascertain they will be returning to work at 7am the following day?  Hmmmm....

I arrived at work Tuesday morning at 8am.

Turns out that my cry to Jesus was heard!  My director called my hero nurse, Tom!!!  Tom got a little Jesus in his heart when Janet asked him to take my call for me Tuesday night!

Can I get a hallelujah?

Anyhoo, as it turns out, Tom was allowed to go home.  But, the thought was there, and that is what truly counts!

Yeah Tom!!

So, next time you feel downtrodden and oppressed, just look your boss dead in the eye and call on Jesus!  ESPECIALLY if you work at a Catholic hospital... Apparently, that whole guilt thing works out well!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Did you know we had a blizzard last week?

Studmuffin had the grand idea that he would rocket down poised on two trash can lids.  Yeah, it was a rather glorious tumble down the hill.  I'm only sorry I didn't get pictures snapped of it as it happened!

Thursday I got to stay home with the family.  They had all been trapped in the house since Monday night, as our roads were impassable, and I'd been held hostage at the hospital.  We decided if I could make it 20 miles home, then we could surely brave the roads to go sledding!

I had bought a genuine old fashioned sled complete with wood and metal runners a few years ago for two bucks at our town wide garage sale.  Studmuffin sneered and wondered when I would ever use the thing.

Well, it worked great!  However, since we are a family of four, we had to get creative on sledding gear.  We used this lovely blue laundry basket, circa 1996. 

How do I know what year it was bought?  Well, Gentle Reader, it was the laundry basket we bought after we got married!  We had both always just used laundry bags to get back and forth from college.

Notice it is navy blue.  Remember in the mid 90s when everything was navy blue, burgundy and hunter green?

We actually ended up sledding for two hours.  We were all a little sore the next day from trudging back up the hill with sleds in tow...

Well, and crashing may have added a small measure of soreness.
Please refrain mentioning how dwarfed that sled looks under a full grown woman!

I was also sore due to the fact that I had a wipe out of epic proportions...

On my way back to the pickup!

I was carrying my trusty trash can lid, and as I walked up the slope to the pickup grass was showing up through the snow.  I allowed this to mislead me into believing I had traction.  The next thing I knew, my feet flew out from under me, I did a 180 in the air, and landed on my shoulders, bonking myself in the head with the corner of the trash can lid!  I rolled my ankle in the process, and my upper body landed on the pavement...

I laughed.  Loud and long.

What else are you going to do?  Let's be real.  There is nothing funnier than a good fall.  Especially after you force yourself to hold in the laughter until you ascertain the person is not seriously injured.

Then it is laugh until you cry and cross your legs to avoid wetting your pants.

Because falling is funny. Don't pretend you're above laughing at others expense!

Other people were using cardboard boxes.  The best cardboard box was rapped in duct tape.  That sucker went farther and faster than any contraption besides the actual sled!  Popcorn was trying out a box while she let someone else use the trash can lid.

I would have no readers of this blog if you did not enjoy laughing at others misfortunes!

I will end this post with an embarrassing picture of my husband who laughed lovingly at my fall and repeatedly asked why I did not drop the trash can lid before bonking myself with it...

Because clearly, any quick thinking individual would be able to plan falls more gracefully than I did!

And can I please have a show of hands for all who gleefully tromp their kids at Twister?  My beloved mother scolds me for "not even letting your kids win at Twister."  My answer to that?  There is no glory in a hollow victory!
And I hate to lose.

Oh, and since I know many of you have been holding Oliver up in prayer during this trying winter, I thought I'd post a picture letting you know how he's doing...

I'd say he's fair to middlin'.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snow Days at Home

Studmuffin and the kids had four uninterrupted snow days last week.  As you will recall, I was trapped at the hospital, being held hostage...

 I actually was allowed to come home Wednesday night.  I stayed home Thursday and spent the day sledding at the park.  I will post pictures of that tomorrow.

Can we just take a moment and reflect on the fact that there ain't nothing sexier than a man playing with his kids? 

It just makes my little heart go pitter patter...
However, I had to return to work Friday morning.  I came home and found Studmuffin and Popcorn had been quite industrious...

And Oliver had not...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tuesday's Recap

So, for any of you who are behind, I had to stay at the hospital due to a recent blizzard here in Oklahoma.  You can catch up here and here.

I entered into Tuesday morning tired and bleary but resigned to my fate of staying at the hospital at least one more night.  Possibly two.

They gave me a five dollar voucher for the cafeteria for breakfast.  I opted instead to eat a packet of oatmeal that I found in our break room cabinet.  I had no idea whence it came or who's it was.  There is a relatively good chance it was mine...However there is an equally good chance it was not.  I really did not care.  I was stuck there, and the others weren't and I was going to eat that oatmeal.  I knew if I went to the cafeteria I would load up on junk I didn't need....

As far as I can tell the oatmeal did not give me food poisoning.

I spent a relatively uneventful morning stocking bays and fiddling with paperwork and auditing charts.


Because there weren't any DOCTORS there for me to do actual work.

Yes.  No doctors.  No physicians assistants...Oh!  That reminds me!  I must rewind to Monday night.  I arrived at my department expecting to be alone.  I had been unable to find my pager at home, so I figured I'd left it at work.  I went to the back to hunt it down, expecting to be alone...I about jumped out of my skin when I rounded the corner and someone was there!  One of our PAs was there.

And she was not happy about it.  She let me know how displeased she was that two of her partners had put off 4 procedures for her to do the next day and "I live out where the chickens and hawks nest together and there is no way I will make it in tomorrow, and I'm your PA tomorrow."

"Well, that's interesting.  The call crew is required by the hospital to stay until the storm is over, or roads are clear, or whatever.  The others haven't gotten back here yet."

"Well, sweetie," she replied in her most syrupy voice, "you can bring these patients down here to help me do them in the department instead of at bedside if you want something to do."

"Well, quite frankly, I've been informed I will only be paid 8 hours a day, unless we add an emergent case in the evenings.  So I'm pretty sure I'm not allowed to clock in at 7pm to do procedures with you."

And she rolled her eyes and repeated that it would be easier for her and give me something to do...

I found myself strangely unmoved.

Fast forward to about 10am Tuesday.  I get a fax that says a patient needs a temporary dialysis catheter stat.  I find that very exciting as I have no doctor or PA to place said catheter.  I have already been informed that our PAs (all four of them) are snowed in at their houses, can't get down their streets, and the call doctor is completely booked at another hospital.  And, apparently the other three doctors are snowed in at their houses also...


Fortunately, the ER doctor had agreed to do any lines that we needed done.  We just had to bring them down to his department, as of course they can't leave the ER unattended or understaffed...

Guess what?  This patient was on a ventilator and multiple drips and his labs looked like his demise could happen way too easily for my own comfort!  I called his nurse and she informed me that he had been a full code shortly before...

I paged the ordering physician to be sure he was aware of the situation and how we were going to get dialysis access for his patient...

He called me back in less than 30 seconds..."Interventional Radiology, this Andr.."

"Andrea?  What are you doing there?"

"Well, sir, the hospital required that the call crew come in."

"I thought none of your doctors or PAs were there," he answered.

"Well, no they,"

And he interrupted me again, "That just doesn't make sense!  Now, what did you need?"

I instantly found favor with him as he was sympathetic to my plight...I explained my plan and made sure he was okay with me taking his patient off the vent, bagging him down the hall to ER and getting his dialysis line in.

"Yes.  He needs it now."

Cool.  Just so we're all on board.  God was good, and we got the patient down to ER, the line put in him and delivered back to ICU without a single mishap...


And that was the most exciting thing that happened all day long patient care wise.

Actually, it was the only patient care I did.  I ran down 4 flights of stairs to help the tech in MRI to discover she didn't actually need help.  So I ran back up 4 flights...

I ran down 3 flights of stairs to check on something random in the Nursing Office...I ran back up 3 flights of stairs.

I ran down 2 flights of stairs to get lunch.  I was planning to use my voucher to get a cup of hot soup.  Did you know they prepared corn chowder or chicken noodle as their soups of the day?  Are you kidding me?  WHERE IS THE STEW?!  I WANT CHILI!!!  And on Wednesday when I went to get lunch the soup was Cheeseburger chowder!  I had never even heard of such a thing!  I suspect that with the bad roads they were desperate for supplies as more people than ever were eating every single meal there.  I bet they just browned some burger and threw it in Tuesday's rejected corn chowder!

Returning to Tuesday:


Well, I did field some calls about add ons and discussed with the doctors if they were urgent and scheduled them for the following day.  But let's be real:  Those weren't keeping me hopping.

My friend Shonda showed up around 5pm.  She was starting her call the next day, and the hospital picked her up so she could be there to start the day bright and early.

She immediately wanted to order takeout.  Strangely, we could not get a single restaurant to answer the phone or agree to deliver in what had now become a ground blizzard.  Doesn't the food industry want to make money?

We all trudged down to the cafeteria.  Taking the stairs, of course...

Now that I've listed my trips up and down the stairs, hows about I tell you what I ate Tuesday?

Chicken strips with gravy
Sugar cookies
Fountain Dr. Pepper
Fried Bean Burrito
TWO snack bags of Lays Original potato chips
Chips and Salsa at about 10pm...

I swear I was eating like I did in high school all over again.  Only I was doing it with the knowledge that my metabolism and digestive system were not prepared for such an onslaught.  The good news is that after our supper settled I made Shonda go walk the tunnel with me.  We have an underground tunnel that connects the main hospital to Bone and Joint and also to Behavioral Medicine.  Seven laps equals one mile.  I made Shonda power walk it with me, and I made her do lunges with me down one of the stretches two times.  She refused to do it every lap...

We then ran up the stairs (okay, not really, our legs were a tad trembly) and went to forage a mattress for her from the broken bed graveyard.

We had decided that come what may, we were sleeping in the bays of our own department.  We work here dang it!  We deserve it!  Imagine our surprise and dismay when a pack of people came dragging linen in to sleep in what was now fold out chairs.  Thankfully, they had apparently found 7 of those to be used in place of the pool floats they had provided them the night before!

After getting Shonda all set up, we decided to use our powers of mind control to see if perhaps the surgery people would let me use their shower if I promised to keep it top secret and  not tell a single soul, I pinkie swear and will be eternally grateful and significantly less smelly...

Especially after all of those stairs and lunges!

Apparently my mind control skills are better than I thought...

Or I really did stink so bad they were eager to get me clean and deodorized! Can I tell you that I never knew using a public shower could be so blissful?  I pilfered a pair of surgical scrubs and headed back down to settle in for some HGTV....

Where I consumed entirely too many chips with salsa.  We then headed to bed.  I actually slept much better on Tuesday, considering I did not wake every time a stretcher rolled down the hallway...

That is until 3am.  I started coughing.

And coughing.

And coughing.

I was afraid to wake my roommates.  I went to get a drink, tiptoeing in the break room so as not to wake Jeff...

I kept coughing...

I grabbed my blankets, and went to the itsy bitsy couch in our lobby.

A lobby I had sworn I would never sleep in, as it was unlocked, had a giant cherry paned picture window that took up the entire hallway wall, and all of the people sleeping in our department were using the lobby as their path to their beds...And any Tom, Dick, or Harry could come through looking for a warm place to stay...

I finally fell asleep sometime after 4am.

And I slept through four random strangers (okay, hospital personnel, but I did not know them at all) walking by me to go back to work, Shonda leaving to shower and returning to blow dry her hair...

Until she woke me up at 6:35.

I was a wreck.

By the time I left work at 2pm on Wednesday I was a mess.  I realized that due to a vomiting child on Saturday night, restlessness knowing I was going to have to stay at work on Sunday night, hospital noises on Monday night, and coughing on Tuesday I had slept only maybe 18 hours.

And, no I did not do much patient care.  Other nurses had arrived by then, and they caught on rather quickly that my decision making skills weren't the best.  Of course, it was pretty obvious when they would ask me a question, and I'd just stare blankly at them...

And when I told them I took the stairs (of course) to the cafeteria and didn't understand what was going on when I walked to where the cafeteria should be...But of course it wasn't.

Because I was on the wrong floor.

I made it safely home.  And I spent Thursday having good times with my family.

So there you have it.

Adventures in camping at the hospital.

What about you?  Did you have an exciting week?  Do tell!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Monday Night: Smuggling Mattresses and Escaping the Asylum

Studmuffin took this from our dining room window Tuesday morning.
Monday night, about 9:30, Julie (my friend and supervisor) and I went down to nursing services to learn about the lovely accommodations assigned to us.  They had promised call crews rooms to sleep in!  We could hardly wait to get our very own rooms, with our very own hospital beds complete with our very own white sheets that have that special hospital disinfectant smell...

Trotting down the stairs from the 4th floor to the second, I commented, "I can't believe they are letting the staff have rooms when there are families stranded here with their loved ones."

We checked in and found out we were roomies!  "I didn't even know the hospital had semiprivate rooms anymore" Julie commented.  We glanced at our room number and said, "Well, at least it's on Two Southeast.  That is just right below us so it makes carrying our stuff easier...

Now, admittedly, we were a little disconcerted to realize that we had to have the room stripped and be out by 7am, so the night shift could have a bed.  But we realized that of course they would be tired, so we smiled and readily agreed...

So, we returned to our department armed with our bag of linen, consisting of one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, one bath blanket, 2 towels and 2 washcloths...Oh, and one pillow case.  We gathered up our bags, our scrubs, and a pillow from our linen cart in case we wanted an extra one.  We commented to each other that we regretted not thinking to bring a pillow from home, but at least we had our own linen cart, so we could grab as many as we want.

Carrying our burden, we decided to cut through hte back of our department and go down the back stairs.  Julie and I are very anti-elevator....

We giggle about feeling like we are at cheer camp as we open the door to 2 Southeast, right beside the nurses station.  "We have room 2948 assigned to us," I chirped.

"48 has a patient in it."

"Oh."  Instant deflation...  I glance at the room numbers they say 2048, etc.  No nines in sight.  "Well, I guess this room must be at Joyful Beginnings.  I didn't know the maternity ward had semiprivates!"  And we started off down the hall...

Only to be halted by a dreaded statement..."Did they say 29?  The 29 hall is in Behavioral Medicine."

Julie and I stopped dead in our tracks.  We were NOT going to go dragging all of this stuff down one more floor, through the tunnel that leads under the street and back up two more flights of stairs to the Psych Ward.  (Sorry, Gentle Reader, we were not feeling very politically correct or sensitive at this point.) ESPECIALLY since we have a very nice department with cherry wood trim and hard wood floors, and big flat screen TVs...We turned right back around, marched back up the stairs, through the back door, and into our holding area.

To find that at some point between 4pm and 10pm the hospital had taken every single one of our stretchers.  We had no place to sleep.  Unless you count the small couch in our waiting area.  And we didn't.

"Maybe they didn't find the stretchers we stash in the back hallway," Julie offered.

We dropped our belongings and headed through the double glass doors to our procedural area and turned the corner to see....

No stretchers...Instead we see only

THE STUPID BED THAT NOBODY EVER STEELS FROM US BECAUSE IT'S OLDER THAN DIRT!  We always drag it back there out of the way, but we keep it in case we are in desperate straights for where to put patients.  We don't like to use it because it's a full size hospital bed and very unwieldy.  It is virtually impossible for one person to move alone.

As we stand and look at the bed, each silently debating which one of us is going to get the mattress, we happen to glance through a locked double door that leads to an are that is closed for renovations.  What to our wondering eyes should appear?


I tried the door.  It's the kind that has the metal bar you push against to open.  We happened to know we could go from our department to that hallway, but if you let the door shut behind you, there was no getting out.  We learned this lesson from one of our doctors.  One weekend he sent everyone home while he finished up dictating and signing off some old charts.  He decided that this particular door would be a short cut.  He went in, headed down the hallway, took a left where he knew the equipment elevators were located, and discovered the door was locked.

Woops!  He turned back around, mentally shrugging that that did not go as planned and headed back to our department.

Only to discover that he couldn't open that door either.  You see, our department is restricted access.  Especially because in the area we use radiology equipment, have a sterile environment, and lots of really expensive toys...

Not immediately concerned, he took off down another hallway...That door was also locked.  The poor man tried every door leaving the area, only to discover he was well and truly stuck...

And his cell phone had no service.  I guess he wandered around there for what felt like hours until he finally spotted someone walking down one of the halls outside the construction area, banged on the door and was saved...

He said he was having visions of him being trapped there all weekend with no way to reach the outside world and us finding him there banging on the door Monday morning...

So.  We knew we could NOT let the door close behind us.  We discussed wedging it open.  But what if by some freak accident the wedge came out?  Or what if a security guard came walking by and decided to close the door?  We took turns holding the door as we each grabbed a mattress and headed back to the front of our department...

Oh, wait!  I forgot to mention that by this time, the other call staff, Jeff had shown back up.  Turns out his bed was in Behavioral Med too.  He actually went over there to discover that his bed was "Cot #1" in a lobby.  Directly under a light.

He joined us in pilfering mattresses off of old beds in a "locked up" construction zone.  We laughed uproariously as we noted the cameras stationed, just like all over the hospital.  "Can you imagine if security happens to look at the screen as it flips through this hallway and sees us carrying off mattresses?  They will wonder how in the world we got in here!"  And we laughed the laughter of small children getting away with something... You see, our department has to be badged in and out of, so really, not many people would ever find our little treasure of mattresses.

So, the three of us are skipping back to our department, mattresses dragging beside us, when we hear...


We stop dead.  We look at each other.  Julie answers back, "Hello?"


We answer "Helloooo!" again.

And we round the corner to find six nursing department managers.  All carrying air mattresses.

Why yes!  They took our stretchers away, and offered up air mattresses instead!  Or pool floats.  We're not sure which.
"What are you guys doing here?"  One of them demands.

"This is our department.  We have to stay over night, so we are getting ready to go to bed."

"You were assigned rooms.  We have assigned these bays to other staff."

Jeff has always been irreverent.  He completely ignored the six indignant people and kept walking to our break room door.  Mattress firmly in hands...


"To the break room," one of us replied.

"Why are you staying here?  You each have beds in Behavioral Med!"

"We decided we were more comfortable in our own department."  They tried to argue some more, but when we announced we were sleeping in our staff break area, they relented.  My supervisor reminded them that they would have to have all staff aware that we may need to bring a patient down in case of emergency.  They agreed to leave Bay 8 pool float free, and walked out huffing and grumbling under their breath.

Truly, as ridiculous as I found those air mattresses, I understood their frustration.  They were tired.  They were stressed.  It was now approaching 10:30, they had worked very hard to find beds for close to 200 hundred employees they had convinced to stay in case they could not return to work on Tuesday, and we had snubbed their bed to sleep in our own department.

But can I just insert here the sheer ridiculousness of removing our stretchers to heaven knows where for staff to sleep in, only to replace said stretchers with flimsy air mattresses!  And, they had not even thought to assign staff to their own department to sleep in!

Moving on...

We opted to let Jeff have the break room, and we drug everything except her desk out, and made our little pallets on the floor.  "I feel like we're camping," Julie said...I gave her a slightly askance look.  Julie is NOT the camping type.

We left her office to find Jeff in the break room, lights out, completely sacked out...

Well.  We decided we'd better be quiet and not wake him...We tiptoed to the family waiting area, grabbed some Sam's Choice Mountain Trail Mix and plopped down to watch HGTV's House Hunters...

And we commenced to picking apart each piece of property, every woman's hair style, and wardrobe.

Because we're girls, y'know.  And it was sort of a slumber party.  And we were trying to pretend we weren't going to be stuck at the hospital, sleeping in mattresses on the floor for an unknown amount of time.

Finally, at about midnight, we decided that we were wound down enough to go to sleep...

I think I finally fell asleep around 1am.  But only after we discussed my dad's claustrophobia, and his horror at the thought of burial, and his equal uneasiness with cremation...

Julie's habit of taking a hot bath as soon as she gets home from work, a shower before bed, and another hot bath in the morning....

And lots of other random things...

We both woke the next morning wondering how people sleep on hospital pillows, much less with code blues, rapid response, code strokes being announced through the night, and the final icing on the cake at a little before 6am, "CODE YELLOW, PHASE ONE....CODE YELLOW, PHASE ONE....CODE YELLOW PHASE ONE."

Great.  We were in official disaster mode.

We pretended to sleep a few more moments.  I shifted.  Julie said, "I can't remember for sure what I have to do for internal disasters."

"Call nursing services and tell them that your staff is aware, and we know that AIN'T NOBODY GETTIN OUT OF THIS PLACE until it is lifted.  Whenever that will be."

And we gave up on sleep and climbed out of bed and stretched an whined and stumbled into the break room.

To see that ex-military Jeff has made his mattress up neat as a pin, showered in the sink in the men's bathroom and was sitting down to a hearty breakfast.

The things you learn about people when you are snowed in!

I drug my warm up jacket on, Julie grabbed hers, and we headed out to the sky bridge connecting the hospital to the Professional Office Building to look at the blizzard that was in full force outside...

In more exciting news for that day, I went down to Nursing Services for something or other, wandered over to look out at the garden and saw where a tile had fell out and it was literally snowing in the building!  There was a little drift right there on the museum floor.

Side note:  Our hospital is the oldest hospital in Oklahoma, and we have a small museum near our west entrance that talks about the history of Saint Anthony, and has examples of antique medical equipment...

Return to topic:  I called engineering, and they came right down to check it.  I was back upstairs by then, but Jeff had gone to see the sight of a small snow drift on the floor INSIDE the hospital..."I have no idea how we are going to fix that right now."  You see, the blizzard was still in full force.  Snow was blowing in like crazy.  I don't know how they fix it, but the drift disappeared, the tile was replaced, and it remained there for the next two days.


Wasn't that post entirely too long?  Are you still with me?

If so, I will assume that you had a nice little chuckle...And I will continue this tale of woe on another day!!

Please come back...

Pretty please?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Preparing for Being Snowed in by Ensuring Total Exhaustion...

Our state happened to have a winter storm move in.  Oklahoma is not like those northeastern states.  We aren't prepared for large amounts of snow fall.  We expect large amounts about once a year at most.  Rather than own an abundance of expensive equipment, the state has only enough heavy equipment to open major roads.  And that is not clear roads.  Just open.  They will still be very slick and hazardous...That means that everything nonessential shuts down in the event of winter weather.

Guess what?

Hospitals don't fit that category.  I was on call for the hospital Monday and Tuesday.  Hence, I was required to go to the hospital and stay until the weather cleared up, or the replacement call crew arrived so I could go home.  Whichever came first.


I have so many exciting tales to tell you from my hospital camping trip! From eating my first fried burrito since I was in college to discovering a back way into a unit that was under construction and had broken beds...which we stole the mattresses off of.  It was not so good times had by all surrounded by moments of sheer hilarity.  Not because they were so hilarious.  But because we were tired.  And I was delirious.  I had very little sleep the two nights leading up to this hospital slumber party.

I have so much to say, I don't know where to begin.  I think I will begin at the beginning and post several stories for your reading pleasure over the next several days.  My only regret was that I did not have a camera.  I had a camera phone but they are just not the same, so I don't tend to use my phone as much...

Rewind all the way back to Sunday night.  I had seen the forecast.  I knew what my fate was going to be for Monday and Tuesday.  I was irritated and already past the point of no return exhausted when I tried to go to bed at about 10:30 Sunday night.

I laid down.  I tossed and turned.  I tried deep breathing and prayer and gradual muscle relaxation...I began to sink.  I was falling into dream land.


Dadgummit!  I had put some clothes in the dryer before going to bed and forgot to turn off the cycle signal.  It was 11 pm.  I stumbled to the laundry room, switched off the cycle signal, and went back to bed...

And started the whole prayer, deep breathing, muscle relaxation mantra over again...And, yes Gentle Reader.  Studmuffin was sleeping peacefully.  Which was good as he had to be at work by 5:30 am.

I rest.  I relax.  I was determined not to get out a book as I would for sure not go to sleep then, as I would need to read "just one more chapter."  I finally dozed...


What the hey diddle?

I woke with a jolt.  What was thaaaat?  Was that someone outside my window?


The dog isn't barking so it can't be someone outside....

Maybe I dreamed the whole thing.


Oh.  Well that explains it.  Popcorn is talking in her sleep.  Again....No biggie.  I sleep through that all the time!

Rest, rest, rest.  Relax, relax, relax.  Pray, pray, pray...


It is now 4am.  Studmuffin's alarm is going off.  "Fortunately," I sigh to myself, "I don't have to get up yet." And I attempt to sleep.

Rest, rest, rest.  Relax, relax, relax.  Pray, pray, pray.

To no avail...

At 4:45 I gave it up and went to turn on the coffee and make myself some oatmeal.

And that began the day of cleaning the house in preparation for being gone for a few days.  Ensuring there was plenty of food supplies for the fam, and disinfecting from the flu and strep bugs that had descended on our house...Cleaning.  Laundry.  Blah-biddy blah blah blah...

And awake I stayed until I went to bed at 1am Tuesday morning.

But that is a story for the next post.  Which is way more interesting.  I promise.  I will tell you all about the first night camping at the hospital tomorrow.  You will be glad I did...

I puh-ROMise!