Monday, June 30, 2008

I've A New Man in My Life

That's right! I'm in love. After 3 consecutive days of getting lost in the city of Detroit last week, I finally made the decision to buy myself a gps navigational device. I don't want you to think I'm a bit of an idiot getting lost in a city I've lived in all my life. I'm really not. I am a fairly good naviguesser. But guessing is pretty much what I do and when I need to get specific about driving through some of these neighborhoods, guessing isn't good enough.

The straw that broke the camel's back (note to self: find out where that saying originated), was asking two rather interesting looking fellas, who more or less scared the s#!t out of me, where a certain street was. For the life of me, I couldn't find it. Not surprisingly, the street sign had been stolen, removed or whatever, but probably stolen. That's why I can't naviguess my way anywhere in this city. There aren't any road signs!

I decided to buy the TomTom. I programmed it first with a woman's voice but then changed it to Tim. I like Tim and his sexy accent. He gets me from point A to point B by the fastest route and usually without a glitch. Unlike the other men in my life, so far, he has never been wrong.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


I've come to the last bit of the afghan from hell and I'm stumped.  I'm almost out of the merino boucle and mohair loop.  I need to save some of each to do the fringe.  However, I don't think it's wide enough.  Not for two to cuddle together.  That's kind of how I picture this fabulous blankie being used on a cold winter's night.

So, do I knit to the bitter end and use only 2 yarns to fringe with or do I stop now while I still have enough to make fringe from all of the yarns?  It's frustrating to get this far and not know how I want to finish.  I'm also having a tough time saying goodbye to this yarn.  It's been so wonderful to work with and when I'm done, it's going to live in a new home.  Of course, it's a home I go to quite frequently so at least I'll have visitation rights.

It seems I've been working on this forever.  In truth, I only started in earnest in April.  Most of the time, it sat in a bag in my living room while I knit a sweater (still not done), scarves, hats, fingerless gloves and competed in Sock Wars III.

It's officially time to say adios to this rather warm and smooshy item.  Maybe 2 more pattern repeats then a nice little bath.  For the blankie, not me.  The Panopticon did a great little post on how and why we block.  Like swatching, it's something I always do.  The instructions say this will block out about 10-15 % larger so that should help my final measurements.  This piece calls for blocking with a steam iron and pressing cloth.  Since it's been all over the place, I'm going to give it a bath in Soak and then pin it to place on my high tech blocking board which doubles as my antique dining room table.  Don't worry, I'll put the pads on the table first.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Boldly Going Where I Haven't Gone Before

There is something I do that I dislike more than anything else. I spend a FORTUNE on my hair. I don't do it because I want to, more often than not, I feel I need to. This is because I have very stubborn gray hair. Hair that takes an hour to process in order to get 3 weeks of coverage out of it (if I'm lucky.)

Because of this, I've pretty much stuck with blond. I have a darker base and blond highlights. When my gray grows in, the blond hides it for awhile. The damage that years of processing have caused are great. My hair is not very healthy looking though I can smooth a lot of that over with products. Beneath that product, my hair is frazzy: fragile and frizzy.

I am reluctant to tell you the cost of this maintenance. It's frivolous spending at it's best and all because I think I'm too young to be so gray. Who tells us this? Why do we feel so compelled to look so youthful? What in the world is wrong with looking my age? I know that with my back problems, I feel older than 51. What's wrong with looking 51?

There is another aspect to the finances of hair color that annoy me. While I'm sitting in the stylist's chair, I'm acutely aware that he or she is making twice the amount of money that I do. No offense to any stylists out there, but do you really need to charge what you do? During these rough economic times, salons have not dropped their fees at all. Why should they? "They" have us feeling that if we don't keep this up, we'll be old and haggard looking. When I went to the salon yesterday to complete step 2 of my boldly going places project, there was not a single empty chair in this hip establishment. Not one. The only people getting just a haircut were me and the men. Everyone else had some sort of color concoction on their heads.

So, there you have the why of it. The how of it all has been a long time coming. For the past two years, I've let my hair grow. It was super short (think Sharon Stone short) and very blond. In two years, it got just past my chin. This mop was curly enough that I could diffuse it and hide the gray that is at the root. This allowed me to ignore my color issues for 6 weeks instead of the 3 I was used to. Since December though, I've been thinking it's time. Time to stop this. That was about the time I read Oprah's October magazine issue about gray. Jamie Lee Curtis was also making the talk show rounds and sporting her short gray hair. These two things were liberating events for me. I had my last run in with a colorist in March and had now acquired close to 2 inches of gray growth at the top. Yesterday, I let Tiffany have at it. It's all gone. Hair. Blond. Gone. The only things that aren't gone are my self esteem and the money in my bank account.

Friday, June 27, 2008


"We know, Mr. Weller--we, who are men of the world--that a good uniform must work its way with the women, sooner or later."
Charles Dickens

I don't really know what IT is about a man in uniform, but I like IT. So do all of my girlfriends. A certain group of friends and I call them MIU. Men in Uniform. It just so happens that this acronym was the same one used for the place we worked. We could discuss MIU all day and for all the bosses knew, we were discussing work. Nice.

Kevin as a MIU in The Guardian. Not only does he have some nice ribbons, he has IT.

Jack. IT is Jack.

Red is a powerful color. Fiery red. Intense. Strong. Passionate. That is what red says to me. Tiger has IT in his Sunday Red.

Who's your Tiger? Kenny Rogers has IT and ice for his pitching arm. Perhaps he needs a nurse...

The inspiration for this photographic journey into my mind. My very own lineman. I don't know if he works for the county, I think he works for DTE. Look at this daredevil out playing with electricity during a blizzard and right in my own backyard. There is something about a MIU who knows how to accessorize with a tool belt.

Giorgio Armani in, I'm quite certain, Giorgio Armani.  He knows a thing or two about accessorizing and seems to have his finger on the pulse of IT.   This MIU makes some bad-ass uniforms.  And yes, a suit is a uniform of sorts.

David Beckham in Giorgio Armani. Now that's more like IT!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

You could live here too...

...if you'd bought Spacely Space Sprockets stock

I loved Rosie the robot.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hold Your Lamp Up

"Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom"

Merry Browne

Prior to nursing, I had many different types of jobs like waitressing, accounting and sales clerk. In all of those positions, I rarely came across the types of people who don't want to encourage, nurture or teach new folks like I have in nursing. This is unfortunate because although there is plenty of theory prior to ever laying a hand on another human, so much of my kind of work is learned at the bedside.

There is a dog eat dog mentality that is pervasive in my profession. All of us in this field have heard the statement "nurses eat their young." At times in my career, I've found this to be true. Nurses, during a time of such critical shortage, should be kind to one another but often, are not. They will refuse to help another nurse or be difficult to approach. Instead of offering pearls of wisdom when asked a question, they will tell a new nurse to look it up and provide as little assistance as possible. They will gossip. They will belittle one another in a public manner. They will overburden the weak among them with the hardest assignments. Not infrequently, the recipient of this subtle, or sometimes outright hostile treatment will be a new graduate. Make no mistake, whether subtle or overt, this bullying is a form of violence in the workplace.

This type of abuse has been given the name of lateral violence. Finally, nursing professionals are beginning to band together to at least discuss this problem. My Michigan Nurse Association publication came in the mail yesterday and included the following article: "Lateral violence: Calling out the elephant in the room." It's about time. Isn't our job tough enough without being cruel to one another?

Just in case you get the idea that I'm having a rough time orienting in my new role, I'm not. When I met my preceptor at the death pronouncement of our patient Monday night, she greeted me with a hug. A welcome to the fold kind of hug. Now this is what I'm talking.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

News From the Front Lines

Aha. Just when you thought you'd heard the end of Sock Wars, here I come with an update. An unsatisfactory end to the game was announced. A winner was selected from the remaining 300 assassins by picking a postcard from a pile. Tongues have been wagging on the Sock Wars site on Ravelry. I care not. I'm dead.

Those socks I started still have a life of their own. They are now done and in transit to the target. I hope you are reading this SoCalLadyR. Well, actually, I hope you read this when you get home from your trip. No matter how fabulous these socks are, they can't compare to what you are doing right now. So enjoy them then. Thank you Knitsatia for doing such a great job finishing these socks. I couldn't have done it better and I certainly could not have done it faster than you.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Rudee To The Rescue

Today was more like a Rudee needs to be rescued day, or how not to make a good impression your first day on the job.

Today was my first day of orientation on the actual job.  So that you aren't confused, last week was all corporate speak.  I'm already fluent in that language but was not allowed to clep out.  I had to take the classes just like everyone else.  So, today was the day for me to shine and show them what I'm bringing to the table.

I hooked up with my preceptor at 10 AM by telephone just to make sure she knew I'd be with her today.  She knew.  She said she'd call me back at 4 PM once our shift started.  She called a bit early but only to tell me nothing was shaking but keep the phone on and she'd let me know.  

At 8 PM, I got a little worried and gave her a ring.  Nope.  Nothing going on.  You can't rush these things you know.  I cleaned my kitchen.  Right after I was done bleaching the sinks (I love bleach), she called to let me know we had to go out to pronounce a death.  In the city.  On fireworks night when 500,000 other people are down there.  No problem.  I get on mapquest and print my directions and tell her I'll meet her there.  I make the 25 mile drive in record time.  To the wrong address.  Oh, I had the street right, but I was 10 miles away from them.  It seems I had not heard the first digit in the sequence of numbers.  Only in this city could you have 2 separate streets named the same.  One long continuous one I understand, but these were 2 different streets.  I had flashbacks to the last home care job I had where I had to flag down two transvestites to help me figure out where I was going.  That was the last time I asked women dressed better than me how to get anywhere.

Now mind you, I was a little nervous being in such a dicey area at 10:15 at night.  It looks a whole lot different in Detroit at night than it does during the day. But if I'd been there during the day, there was probably no way I'd come back at night. Alone. Lost.  I wasn't worried until I got stopped by the railroad crossing and sat there for 3 minutes with no train in sight.  I did the only courageous thing I could and crossed the tracks. I didn't say I was bright.

It was the deceased patient's family who gave me directions on how to find them.  Twice.  All I can tell you is hearing things like the Kentucky Fried Chicken will be on your left-that means you are going in the wrong direction.  You want to turn around and head north.  Huh?  Since I'm heading east, if I turn around, won't I be heading west and not north? What she meant after several times driving east and then west, was I should make a left at the KFC.  Are you following me here?  I was getting directions from a woman who was probably dressed better than me.

My last direction before I made it to their house was to make a right down their street.  Theirs would be the house with the porch light on.  I shit you not, when I made that turn, every single house on the block had their porch lights on.

Tomorrow, I'm gonna get me a GPS thingymabob.

"The Earth Isn't Going Anywhere, We Are"

George Carlin
May 12 1937 - June 23, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

You Never Can Tell

While recuperating with my back this weekend, it seems I've gotten an amazing amount of knitting done. I can't show you because it's a gift, but it's almost there. You've seen peeks through the past few months of this project but never the whole thing.

I am many tens of thousands of stitches into this and there is light at the end of the tunnel. These are incredibly bulky yarns which makes each stitch tough. I'm doing this in a split rib pattern so every other row is ribbed. Each row is done in a different yarn and takes nearly 30 minutes to complete (it's knit from side to side.) I have countless hours invested in this. I only know there is light at the end of the tunnel because the yarn is almost gone. Later, I'm going to do a search for any stray skeins that didn't get wound or got put away in an odd spot. This is not an easy task since there is yarn stored all over the place.

The agenda has been pretty much stretching, sit on the heating pad, motrin, stretching, knitting and an inordinate amount of movie watching. Last night it was Charlie Wilson's War, Shrek the Third (again) and the Back Nine at Cherry Hills. That was an excellent documentary about the 1960 US Open with Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Ben Hogan was a very handsome man. In the videos of him, it appears he may have had a nice gluteus most maximus back swing. Sigh.

Today, I watched Georgia Rule, Ocean's 13, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp and Pulp Fiction (again.) I don't know why, maybe it's the music, I just don't know, but this song and this scene always make me happy:

Now John Travolta? No maybe about it here; he does have nice assets. There is also something incredibly sexy about a guy who can dance like that. Whew. Is it hot in here, or is it just me? Could be the heating pad....

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Do Good(er)

"If you haven't got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble."
Bob Hope

Many years ago, I wasn't really the most charitable person around. Perhaps my biggest problem at the time was my inability to get any ends to meet so I spent most of my time just trying to keep a roof over my head and tummies full. Times changed and so did fortunes. More importantly, so did my awareness of the needs of others.

It could have been my youngest child's disabilities that opened my eyes. I've often thought that if nothing else, she has taught me humility. This is not to be confused with humiliation. Living with Miss Rachie has given me many life lessons and the first starts with being humble. An awareness if you will, of my own importance in the larger scheme of family and community life. Her needs were first and foremost for every single member of my family.

It's taken me years to come to the realization that although we have it tough, thousands more are much worse off than us. I've only to take a stroll through Rachel's school to see the truth of this. Kids abound who are more impaired than my own whether it's from a physical, mental or combined impairment. My own child can feed herself and walk. She isn't dependent on a ventilator or tube feedings. I'm thankful each and every day for what we DO have. I'm quite certain that many parents of kids at Rachel's school would give anything to achieve the level of function that Rachel has.

I'm one hundred percent certain that these are the lessons that have molded me into the do-gooder I've become. I will be anyone's champion. Do you have a cause? Just ask and I'll help you raise money for it. At the very least, I'll contribute my time and creativity for raising awareness and funds. I've done it many times for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. I've done it for Katrina and other disaster victims, an all girls Catholic school in Southwest Detroit, the homeless, impoverished military families and Autism awareness.

Now, I'll be doing it for moms who've suffered infant loss. If you'd like to do this too, you can.

There is a group on Ravelry called Wrapped in Care that was started by Susan Rainey (yes, one of the Rainey sisters who knit so well.) If you don't belong to Rav, you can visit The Rainey Sisters blog to enlist in this worthy cause. I know that this hospital is not in my neighborhood, but this cause is in my community of fellow mothers. Believe me when I tell you, I'd rather have my Rachel with her abundance of "issues" any day than leave a hospital empty handed and brokenhearted.

Shawls that are knit or crocheted and donated will be used to wrap the infant in for photographs and given to their mothers as a keepsake. This is not macabre in any way but is something tangible to hold on to for life. It's something to show that for just a bit of time, they did have this precious little human in their lives.

Don't click on that last link unless you have an abundance of hankies nearby.

Friday, June 20, 2008


I am very familiar with the corporation I work for. After all, I've been an employee off and on since 1992. For others though, it is my health system's first impression on a new employee and I find some of the things we do to new people, right out of the gate, to be foolish. I'm quite certain this process of hiring and training a new employee is quite expensive. A decent effort should be made to try to retain new employees right from the beginning. More often than not, this opportunity is squandered by placing education into the hands of people who aren't teachers but instead, long term employees who have slipped into these rolls.

Tomorrow is my fifth straight day of orientation, which is now known as onboarding. Just as I suspected, this is a term made up by inhumane resource worklife service types to disguise just what it is newbies will be doing. Since Monday, I have been alternating between extreme back and butt pain, mind-sucking boredom and overwhelming fatigue. There is never a really good process for doing this, at least I've not encountered that, but I do have some observations I believe would be worthwhile for employers to consider.

  • Don't bombard your new employee with corporate double speak for 8 straight hours and then repeat it for three consecutive days. After a certain amount of time, you are only inducing a semi-comatose state and I'm quite sure, after 7.5 hours, your listener only has eyes for the clock. They certainly aren't paying attention to your outdated videos.
  • Make an attempt to have your expert speakers slow the hell down (it may help if you'd allot more time for them to say what they need to say.) My brain can't process what my ears are sending as fast as needed when you present me with a speed speaker. Especially, if that speaker is from benefits. What I heard the other day sounded like someone trying to pull the wool over my eyes (not that I mind wool.) Please don't present me with someone who wants to scold me for my aversion to the stock market at this time. Been there, done that. I unfortunately know intimately what terms like "Black Friday" mean. No speed talker can convince me otherwise, especially when I suspect this person gets a commission if I sign on. There is not enough wool in the world that could get me to sign up after hearing the speed spiel.
  • Please make an attempt to provide your new employees a comfortable chair in which to sit during your horrifically long sessions. Just today, a knowledgeable speaker (who happened to be really interesting) lectured about skin wounds and the path to no skin breakdown in the hospital and home care setting. Jeeze! Nurse Rudee could barely listen because I was solely focused on the intense pain over the bony prominences of my gluteus most maximus. I am beyond certain if I looked, I'd find non-blanching red spots over my ischial tuberosities. Damn, I hurt. If you are intent on torture being a part of this process, you are succeeding.
  • Please don't hand your employees "new" cell phones and make them sign a contract to replace them if lost at the full market price. Savvy cell phone users know these items were not too gently used AND quite old since that particular cell phone company no longer sells that model. 
I don't think I can offer more at this time. To be honest, I can't deal with my back and butt pain right now. I'm wishing I had one of those morphine pumps I learned so much about today. That might work. Tomorrow, sitting on my ass is not on my agenda.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Who's Zooming Who?

As I stood inside a gas station last night waiting to pay for my purchase of a bottle of coke, I watched the pump price climbing outside as my tank was being filled. As it topped $50, I was mentally searching for my last known bank balance, wondering if there was enough in that account to cover this purchase. As my tank had been empty and I know it holds only 17 gallons, I did another quick equation in my brain and calmed down a bit. No need to jump out of line and stop the pump. I'd hate to go over my balance and have the bank tack on another $35 for an overdraft fee.

I got home from my errands and sat down to knit. I was watching MSNBC where a few energy headlines were being discussed. The first issue was about allowing offshore drilling in the states. I don't know how I feel about this. Is it smoke and mirrors? Is there enough there to make a difference and to take on those risks?

The second issue was discussion about the Enron Loophole Law created by none other than the dastardly Ken Lay and cronies. The first question I had was why can't this guy's legacy die like he did? The second is more important: what the hell is the Enron Loophole Law and what does it have to do with me paying $68 to fill my tank today?

I'm sick to death of these people: banks, brokers, politicians of both parties and Ken Lay. The greed sickens me. Although I have better use for $68, I can pay for it without giving up necessities. I don't spend like I used to though and my incentive rebate sits in the bank earning a paltry interest rate. I do worry about people who can't pay for gas. To top this disgusting news, Michigan released the new unemployment rate of 8.5%. Four hundred of those were colleagues of mine just one month ago. I wonder if their temporary unemployment checks will pay for their gas.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Surprise Swap

I am admitting that once again, I am a sockmaniac. More precisely, I am a member of a Yahoo group called Sockmaniacs. The most fun I have on this site is participating in swaps. This last one was a book or yarn swap and I thought that was fun. Participants entered a wish list for either a knitting book or yarn then added a few things about general likes and dislikes.

I shipped off a package stuffed with yarn, fun things and some coffee beans to Jean in the Pacific Northwest. Debbie from California sent me this lovely assortment of knitting related gifts:

Ann Budd's Book of Sweater Patterns
Nicky Epstein's Knitting Beyond the Edge
Burt's Bees Tips and Toes Hands and Feet Kit
A pound of Starbuck's Sulawesi coffee
And the little poodles?

Well, the poodles are salt and pepper shakers that are kissing. They're held together by magnets. I collect salt and pepper shakers and I have to say, this set is pretty cute.

Thank you Debbie, I feel completely spoiled. It's obvious to me that you put a lot of thought and effort into this package. After the week I've had so far, my only plans for tonight are to make a pot of coffee, put my feet up and check out those new books. But first, I'm going to go fill those adorable shakers.

For you sock knitters out there, follow the link above to sockmaniacs and join us. You won't be disappointed and it's a great way to meet others who like to do what we do. International knitters can also join. The next swap theme is international and I'm already thinking. Italian, Norwegian or Australian. There are some pretty fabulous yarns and patterns out there in this great big world of ours.

Oops. I did it again!

I've got to stop my politics from slipping out. If you truly knew me, you'd be fully aware this is a complete impossibility. It would be like asking me to stop breathing.

And the band played on:

Violet Hill (viral version)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Bum is Numb

I'm off to sit through another 8.5 mind and butt numbing hours of orientation. Even though I've worked for this organization for many, many, many years, I still have to be oriented in a process they no longer call orientation; it's now known as onboarding. I'm sure this is because they want it to seem like a much more exciting process than it is. I've had all of this information, much of it annually, several times. Yesterday, the entire day was spent discussing corporate expectations. ZZZZzzzzzzzz.

I don't think I'll be getting to the meat and potato portion of this process until Wednesday or Thursday. I hope it's a bit more stimulating than what I've been through so far. The hardest part of yesterday was the fight to keep my eyes open. I didn't want to be rude, but after they served us pizza for lunch, I had an overwhelming desire to slip into a carb induced coma. It took every ounce of energy I had to keep my eyelids from closing.

Today, I plan on Espresso loading as a strategy. Maybe I'll take my laptop so when I slip off to Panera for lunch, I can at least see how interesting today is for other bloggers. I'm also completely wrapped up in As The Sock Turns on Ravelry and I don't want to miss a thing.

Monday, June 16, 2008

War! What is it Good For?

Absolutely nothin'!

I thought this Sock Wars III debacle was over. Wrong! It seems the woman running this thing got fed up and declared the war to be over. Three hundred out of eleven hundred or so participants were still alive. She decided to end the contest by making everyone who was still alive send a postcard to Ireland so she could draw a name and declare the winner that way. She gave only about a week's warning in which to post a card to Europe. Jeeze. There are knitters still alive on just about every continent. In the meantime, Ravelry boards are aglow with reasonably upset participants who've knit their fingers to the bone in the attempt to be declared the one with the fastest needles in the world. Also don't forget that winning the grand prize is worth a pretty penny in yarn.

On another front, the knitter who killed me sent me an email Saturday declaring she was dead and had never received the sock and 1/4 that I so thoughtfully shipped to her. Oh contraire my dear assassin! I did ship them on June 3rd and the USPS says they are languishing in one of their Florida postal offices due to neglect on the receiver's end. She failed to pay attention to the fact that the USPS attempted delivery (they left notification) and were holding the package in the hopes she'd come in and get them. They've been gathering moss since June 5th.

Tomorrow, I'll call that post office in the hopes they can ship them back to someone who cares. I'll finish them myself for my former target.

The next time I shout out my intent to enter a yarn smackdown, will somebody please get me to come to my senses?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

He Would Have Loved This Too

Photo: Matt Sullivan / Reuters
Tiger Woods celebrates after making birdie on the 18th hole to force a playoff with Rocco Mediate during the fourth round of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines on Sunday

Associated Press: updated 11:02 p.m. ET, Sun., June. 15, 2008

SAN DIEGO - In a week of epic moments at the U.S. Open, Tiger Woods delivered the biggest one yet.

It didn’t bring him another major, just another chance.

Down to his last stroke Sunday afternoon at Torrey Pines, Woods rapped a 12-foot birdie putt that bumped along toward the hole and swirled into the back corner of the cup without an inch to spare.

Read the whole article here.

My Dad...

...would have loved this.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Oh so tough

Today was my last official day as an ICU nurse.  It was a great day to work with only one or two kerfuffles and smooth going the rest of the way.  We had a pot luck that was amazing and the one thing I'll probably miss the most.  Our group could cook and gave great parties on a moment's notice.  Thanks my friends.  It was a memorable day.

I'm also going to miss my colleagues and my brand new shiny orientee, Heather.  Her enthusiasm for her job and desire for learning was the boost my tired old nurse's heart needed.  Thank you Heather, and not just for the six pack of summer ale!  You were a delight to work with and I will miss you.  I wish I could have been there long enough to see you through the whole orientation, but you've made my last few weeks wonderful.  

As for my good friends I've made over the years, I know we'll continue to get together.  It's also possible I'll still see them in a working capacity in my new role.  I hope so.  Still, it was a bittersweet day and I'm ever so slightly heartbroken to leave a job I loved.   I hope my back appreciates this change of pace.

Friday, June 13, 2008

What a Loss

I am so sorry we have lost this man.  His voice was one I felt I could trust.  

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Accidents Happen

Before my morning coffee today, my multitalented and always multitasking best friend fell off her porch. She called me while her boyfriend was driving her to the ER. She told me she had lost consciousness and had been vomiting. Far be it from her to call 911 after such a tumble. This is exactly who should be calling for emergency services. Hello! Head Injury? Time is Brain?????. I can't begin to tell you how many 20 year olds go to the ER by ambulance for menstrual cramps. Not my friend though. She is testardo which is Italian for STUBBORN.

She waited for her pony express rescue squad to get to her. Her rescuers had been notified by smoke signals. Really. The girl she had been talking to when she fell, called my friend's boyfriend who lives several miles away. He was still in bed as was my BF's son-so they called his cell phone to wake him up so he could help his mother who was in agony and only 20 feet away from him. Sheesh. When she called me she was on her way to the ER saying stupid stuff-like half assed good byes, so I got scared and got my ass over there.

When I got to the ER, she was in CT so I waited (and waited) and thanked the heavens I'd taken my knitting with me. Iris will be happy to know that my first square for her 3 Day blanket is done. I had no idea what I'd see when she came back from xray. I took comfort in the fact that her monitor was in the room and that although in a trauma room, she hadn't been in a BIG trauma room. I saw no blood on the floor and no trash cans overflowing or other signs that a terribly unstable patient had inhabited this room. So, I patiently waited.

While knitting, I couldn't help notice all the people (visitors) wandering the halls and looking into all the exam rooms as though the patients lying on gurneys were animal exhibits at the zoo. This is a pet peeve of mine. If it isn't your loved one, please don't stare. Don't look, just think tunnel vision.

Call me next time Fanny, I'll rescue you.

Anyways, MBF is only slightly the worse for wear. Jesus she is good for at least one scary frigging event every couple of years. I hope she is done for awhile now. You hear that Fanny? At the end of the morning, we knew she had failed her bone density test as evidenced by her fractured humerus which isn't so funny to break. She had a soft cast applied. She has a honking huge hematoma on her forehead and tends to bruise badly. She should be many shades of purple later on. No fracture, no bleed in her brain and more importantly, she has her wits about her and was shmoozing everyone. Thank God. Thats my BFF I know and love so well.

You Can't Always Get What You Want

Inquiring minds want to know:

What is up with shoe sales personnel? If a shoe I ask to see is not available in a size 10 medium width, why does the salesperson bring a 9 wide and tell me it may work? Does added width make the length of my foot shorter? I think not, but this has happened enough to make me wonder what the hell is wrong with them. I'm also curious why they bring out stilettos when I tell them I can't wear heels. Are they deaf?

While I'm in the attire department here, do designers really think I'm all that foolish? I wear a size 10-10-10-10-10. I do not wear a 6. Ever. Sometimes, a 10 is tight and I wear a 12. So, when I enter a store and find myself swimming in every size 10 they have, do they think I'm dumb enough to think a miracle has occurred overnight and I've gone down an entire clothing size or two? I think they do. I think that they think I'll buy that size 8 just to know I can fit my behind into it. I did in fact do just that the other day. I'm still telling myself I bought what I did because I liked the clothes-size had nothing to do with it.

If I am out eating Asian food and I select a Szechuan dish, does waitstaff think I don't know what the pepper symbol next to the menu description means? If there is more than one pepper, I think I know it means it's spicy.

I don't need to be told 3 times before they place the order that it's spicy. I get it. That may be why I'm ordering it. And I may even order it if there are three little pepper symbols too. Some like it hot.

And this just in from the Department of Redundancy Department: I was fingerprinted for my new job today. That was a new experience for me. I've had two fingers scanned by the drug computer at work, but never all ten digits. As Tony was printing me today, he told me he had heard the state would soon be requiring us to do this annually. Is that not beyond the dumbest thing you've heard? Will my fingerprints change in a year? I guess I could have traumatic bilateral hand amputations that would require hand transplants. That could necessitate re-printing if I was lucky enough to still be working after such an accident. Still, that's $40 a pop for employers that have staff that enter peoples homes. Not just nurses but EMTs, cops, firefighters, nurse assistants, physical, occupational and speech therapists, social workers, etc. You get the picture. What a waste. I'd like to know which numbskull in Lansing dreamt this one up.

Oh yes, it did not escape me that this entire fingerprinting exercise was a huge invasion of my privacy. Hello big brother-my name is Rudee. I will now be in the FBI's computer data base of known fingerprints. Maybe that can help identify my own hands after the traumatic amputation. What's next? A little spit?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The More Things Change....

About a decade ago, I was at work after hours with a couple of my female colleagues. We were discussing our different experiences with childbirth, each trying to top the other with horror stories. The phone rang and caused a brief interruption in conversation. The doctor the caller was looking for was paged overhead and we girls went right back to the task of discussing our tales of postpartum woe.

Several minutes had gone by and one of the gals, OK-me began discussing how during the birth of her youngest, she'd had a terrible laceration in her nether-regions and had asked the doctor to take a few extra stitches to tighten it all back up down there. She figured since he was in the area, why not make it look like it belonged to a teenager again? About that time, the doctor who had taken the call that had interrupted us came running down the hall, laughing her ass off and yelling simultaneously for us to hang up the phone. It seems the conversation had been broadcast overhead for everyone still in the building to listen in on. There were quite a few. Truth be told, just about the entire office heard that conversation.

It's one of my best rocking chair memories. I'll cherish the look on this doc's face as long as I live, standing there laughing with tears running down her cheeks. I love a good laugh, even if the laugh is on me.

I am the woman I am today because of the experiences I've had in life-including horrific childbirth tribulations and embarrassing slips of judgment. Some of my experiences have been good, some were bad. I'd rather some things had never occurred, but I don't suffer intense remorse or regret over decisions I've made. They are what they are and I do try hard not to repeat mistakes. I guess that's why I have such a hard time imagining what it must be like for women, in this day and age, to feel driven by shame over mistakes made. Enough so that they feel pressured to get back what they've already given.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rudee Lite

I've come down with a curious ailment. It seems I have acquired Short Timer's Syndrome. This problem began when I submitted my resignation at work 2 weeks ago. Symptoms include an unusual lightness of being and a smile that can't be wiped from my face. No matter what work throws at me, I'm down to my last two shifts on this incredibly heavy unit and I'm enjoying my ailment immensely.

Saturday is my last day as an ICU nurse. I've pretty much cleaned out my locker and just have my mailbox to clear out. I've given away a few things and I've bequeathed my locker and lock to the lovely new nurse I've been orienting.

The past seven years is the longest I've stayed in one nursing position without getting bored and feeling driven to move on. This ability to move to a different job and still do what one excels at is the beauty of nursing. I'll miss aspects of this job and I'll miss the friendships I've made, but I am ready. And I'm feeling lite, lite, lite.

Monday, June 9, 2008

What Can I Say?

To my friend Sandy: every fiber of my being is with you in thought and prayer today as you begin this journey.  

I thought you may like this mantra written by Kristen Haugen, a survivor like you. "Everyday I have to believe with a magnitude so deep that my belief becomes a reality."

May you be especially blessed during this day Sandy, and may your surgeon get clean margins.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What's In a Name?

When I named all three of my children, I researched their names. Not hard mind you, but I did look into their meanings none the less. My oldest was given a Hebrew name. She was really named by Hall and Oates. I always had a thing for them and named her after one of their songs. According to wiki, her name indicates a woman of high rank, and is sometimes translated as "princess" or goddess, or "high holy one". I didn't know it at the time, but she was really well named. I don't think she'd disagree.

My son's name means strong and is of Celtic origin. My youngest daughter's name is also Hebrew and means, lamb of God. If that isn't a prescient accomplishment in naming someone, I don't know what is. At least I was more original than George Foreman who named 6 of his 10 children some variation of George.

My sister and I were named on the spot at the hospital and under duress. She was named after a famous movie starlet and I was named after my father's favorite book in the bible. My father put his foot down when it came to his mother in law for it seems she wanted both of her granddaughters to be named after her side of the family (Belgian.) We would have been Irma or Matilda if he hadn't named us first (not that there is anything wrong with those names-I just don't think he wanted daily reminders of his MIL.)

This naming business has been on my mind since yesterday. It's come to my attention that my new boss over at hospice told everyone at a staff meeting that Lucy from the ICU I work in would be the newest member of their staff. Now, I know most of these colleagues from frequent run-ins at work. It shouldn't come as a surprise that ICU's utilize hospice. A lot. My new coworkers were perplexed because they didn't know any nurses from my hospital named Lucy. When the error came to light, these women made a solemn oath to call me Lucy from that point on.

Since this is my new name, what does it mean? According to my source (thanks wiki), it's Latin and means light. I like that. Is that as in I've seen the light? I really like it.

St. Lucy is the patron saint of eye conditions. Just last week, I bought a new pair of readers and two pair of sunglasses, one an Rx and one plain. How fitting. This picture is a bit freakish with the eyeball thing going on.

Here are some other famous women named Lucy (I may be in good company here):

Lucille Ball

Lucy Liu

Lucy Lawless

Lucy van Pelt

Lucy Burns (she was a suffragette and we probably owe her our gratitude.)

I knew that in taking this new job, I was in for some badly needed changes. I'm embracing them all, including the new name. By the way, Lucille Ball was a stunningly beautiful woman in a way I Love Lucy never really showcased.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I Knit Here Too

Well, now that it isn't all hockey all the time here anymore, this is what I've been up to. This beautiful pair of socks is Terra Incognito by Pink Lemon Twist from her Earth Elements Collection. This may be the best value for six dollars I've spent in a long time. I'm sure to get more mileage from these patterns than six dollars worth of gas would get me. Her patterns are so detailed and written in both word and graph format. I learned to use knitting charts a year ago and as far as I'm concerned, there is no going back to the line by line instructions I'd learned to knit by-especially when it comes to lace. I did cut the leg shorter by one pattern repeat on this particular sock.

Terra Incognito in Dream In Colors Smooshy-Chinatown Apple Colorway

Once again, procrastination has bit me in the arse. This is "The Anniversary" gift I've been knitting for MONTHS. It isn't hard, but it is warm. Today, I need to work on this project that doesn't seem to end and it's a balmy 90 degrees or so out there. I am struggling just trying to find a way to knit it where the bulk of the project isn't in my lap. Air conditioning doesn't help when you are covered in Blue Faced Leicester, merino boucle, mohair loop and the secret yarn. It's hot no matter how you do it.

The Anniversary Gift for Dohamommeister and her better half.

I am still taking time here and there to appreciate the beauty of my garden. These irises are my favorite plant to look forward to and this week, they finally bloomed. This will be the plant I split when the blooming is finished. It started from one little plant about 15 years ago. On it's own, it has spread nearby. I want to plant it down the side of my house this year.

Yep, it's trash day. Don't look at the trash. I could learn a few things about photo composition. On the day I took this picture, I only had eyes for the flowers.

These are the death socks that finally killed me during sock wars. They are a tad big but I can use them as house socks. They were started by one knitter and completed by another. Each had their own interpretation of the pattern. So did I. The orderly knitting engineer within me has been smitten by the charm of this sock wars theme: my socks touched the hands of two knitters and came to reside in a third knitter's hands. I don't think it gets better than that in the charming department. The first pair I knit was more like the sock you see on the left with a rather lacy like increase. The second pair I started was more like the one on the right.

In this picture, you can see the sock on the left is the one I knit to try to kill SoCalLadyR. I sent detailed instructions to my assassin in the hope she could recreate my sock-or at least come close. I think my death socks were in Tofutsies which we've discussed has no memory. Even though the sock on the left in the picture below has soy in the blend, it's primarily wool and holds more memory. It was a pleasure to work with that yarn. Tofutsies? Not so much.

I have worn my death socks to work and they are comfortable. Thank you to both my assassins. It's somehow gratifying to know it took two of you to kill me.