Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It goes beyond, "Never leave your drink unattended"

I really wish I had the time to do this properly but I simply haven't had time to work on my blogs and I've run out of already prepared ones.

I had to post this one this week because of it's pertinence and the dangers out there. I have wanted to do a several blogs about alcohol. I am by no means a saint and I'm not proposing prohibition but I do think one can never be reminded often enough of it's dangers. This is only one of them, Impaired Judgement.

I can't help but feel that drinking has a great potential for danger and it seems to have grown. More young women are drinking on tv and acting out of control. I can't help but think that young girls and maybe even boys are getting an impression that they don't need to be getting.

I think girls think that drinking is harmless. I also think that maybe some guys think a drunk girl is an easy target. I had my number of out of control partying when I was young and I was ALWAYS with people I knew and trusted.

Let's not forget the stories of women like Natalie Holloway and I have to be honest, good men usually hate having a drunken date to have to take care of while they puke and stumble and pass out.

It goes beyond never leaving your drink alone anymore.

You decide.

(The following was reported in the Pennsylvania Beaver County Times. Since this just happened I suspect it will get even bigger as it spreads in the news. I have never heard of this in the news. I doubt that it's the first time but you can't even trust the bartender anymore.)

Police: Ambridge rape caught on tape
December 28, 2010 12:30 PM

AMBRIDGE — Ambridge police say they were able to view the details of a rape in a borough bar early Sunday before charging a bartender with the crime.

In court records filed Sunday night, police said James Sumpter continued to feed drinks to the reported female victim until she passed out in the bar after it was closed; once the woman passed out, video taken from security cameras in the bar appeared to show he raped her.

Sumpter, 37, of 939 Beaver Road, Second Floor, Ambridge, is charged with rape and unlawful acts related to liquor and malt beverages, meaning he continued to serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated customer.

Have a Happy Healthy and safe New Year's!!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Update on Mom

It turns out she had stroke on the mri but her syptoms are greatly improved so it really wasn't bad but apparently she still had a clot in her carotid artery surrounded by plaque. So the vascular surgeon decided to take her to the OR for carotid endarterectomy, alot of lay people call it a roto-rooter. Which it basically is, it's the removal of clot and plaque from the carotid artery to prevent any disruption of blood flow to the brain again.

Here's a great video for anyone who likes visuals. My sister played this for my mom and dad from her phone. They used to enjoy watching televised surgery when surgeries were first showed on pbs. We actually recorded surgeries on vhs, way back.

Dad hasn't seen her except for the video of her I took on Christmas day. I took a video greeting of each of them on my phone to show the other, since he's still stuck at home.

I found out they were going to do surgery on Christmas day and asked work about getting Christmas off and then the day for surgery was moved to Sunday but they still gave me the 2 days off to get home and see her. I mostly stayed with my dad and made sure he was ok.

She did great. Surgery was a total success. She'll be home tomorrow or tuesday! She's so very lucky! Lots of support and prayers!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Magic of Christmas

A gentle fire roars it's mighty flames, low but majestic.

Childrens voices distant melody rings throughout the air.

Cold frosty windows fog from the warmth within.

Multicolored lights glow in the reflection of the glass balls dangling from crisp pine branches.

Outside the snow floats through the air effortlessly, never landing or disturbing the roads. Just present upon the ground and riding on the night air like stars in the vast darkness of the heavens.

It's Christmas.

There is a joy and love in the atmosphere which can not be described. It can not be captured in a bottle, a gift, or a photo. We can only pass it along as love. Go about your Christmas and stop yourself from yelling, short temperedness or cruelty. Love your loved ones as your Christmas gift to them first and make their material presents the icing on the cake. Also take a moment to be thankful and think of those who have no one or nothing in their live, giving to them as well.

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A few of my favorite Christmas memories

My father's train set.

Watching the train whiz by puffing fake smoke into the air. The sounds of the train against the tracks. "Chug, chug, chug, chug..." The little whistle of the engine. The lights and fake snow lit up in the darkness and a fire glowing in the fireplace. This is a toy train at my work cafeteria that I videoed for my boyfriend's father because he loves trains.

Christmas caroling.

I actually went around our neighborhood singing. I loved singing Christmas carols. We would stop by the church convent and rectory. It was just a group of little kids no formal adult organized us. We just wanted to sing door to door because we loved the season.

Our tree.

We always had a real one and we waited til after the second week of December. It also worked out that we never had a tree or decorations up for my birthday. I don't think that was intentional but I did like not having my birthday overshadowed or Christmas undershadowed.

Christmas breakfast.

Just as much as Christmas dinner was a feast, so was breakfast. I even ran around the house ringing a bell to wake everyone up early so we could start the day as soon as humanly possible! Yes, I was a brat!

Christmas music.

We had an old stand up wooden stereo that my parents played records on until it collapsed after some 50 years. We would play everything from Vienna boys choir to Mitch Miller's sing along! This was long before radio stations played Christmas music from November 1st on, so you got nauseous of Christmas music. No one should ever have to get sick from too much Christmas music. I honestly think they are going to ruin people's love for it.

Baking Christmas cookies.

I love baking but most of all I love making cut out cookies and I'm certian my love of those came from baking Christmas cookies. The moments spent decorating and bonding with the my mom and sisters were priceless. I could go on but won't. What are some of your favorite memories of Christmas?

May you all enjoy your holidays and remember to be thankful for what you have and those in your life.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mom and Dad

Last night I woke up late in the middle of the night. I lay wide awake from 4:30 until close to 6:00.

One of the reasons I started blogging is to quiet my mind. I used to write all the time when I was younger. It never became polished or mature. I'm not sure when I got away from it.

I laid in bed awake becoming increasingly more and more stressed as I worried, which led me to be more and more awake. I should have gotten out of bed to write. It often helps, but I didn't.

I couldn't help but keep thinking about my parents but mostly my mom. Yes, my mom. My dad is trudging along with his recovery after 3 weeks of hospitalization. However being hours away from them, I really don't know how well he is doing until I see it with my own eyes. I did however hear how mean he was being to my mom when I stopped there over a week ago.

I love my parents. I love my father but he has many downfalls as we all do. He can be a real grouch when he's miserable and he's down right miserable right now.

It's taking a toll on my mom. I know it is. I've seen it. We've all discussed it. I told my dad that he is being mean, in case he was unaware of it.

I just hung up the phone after talking to my mom in the hospital. She had a TIA today. A TIA in a mini sroke or forewarning to a stroke. Basically the symptoms resolve quickly. She looks healthier than my dad but looks are often decieving. She's the one I worry about the most. She's no where near as resilient as my father and she has the high blood pressure and Diabetes. When this whole thing started with him, I was honestly more worried about her. Being alone, would she wear her life alert button like she swears she will? Is she feeling well? Are you eating and sleeping ok?

I know TIA's aren't so bad, thank god, but it's what you do afterward that counts and honestly your risks for a stroke increase greatly and her risks are already very high. On top of it all, we just had a patient with a TIA who developed into a massive stroke. So not all TIA's are minor.

I know they will die someday. I think about that. I see death and suffering and illness everyday. Being exposed to that on a daily basis makes you have to detach somewhat from emotion. You can't think about the people in that ICU bed as a mother or father. That can make it hard to handle when it happens close to you. I know that their days are numbered just as much as my own. It's why I say live life to it's fullest every day and appreciate those in your Life. We don't know when our time is going to be up.

"You get Santa Claus and I don't......"

I intend no insult towards anyone or their beliefs. This post is meant solely for discussion purposes. I would also like to wish a belated Happy Chanukkah to everyone who celebrated! Happy Kwanza, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

"You get Santa Claus and I don't... He doesn't come to our house" pouted my little friend down the street.

I was about 10 years old. She was about 8. I didn't understand and neither did she.

I grew up with a large population of Jewish families and Catholic families. I didn't understand what Jewish was for a long time. As far as I was concerned we went to different churches and ate different food. It wouldn't be until 9th grade when I adamantly entered our township's public school system (I had been through 8 years of Catholic school already) that I would begin to learn what Judaism really was.

I never blog about religion and very carefully discuss it among people I don't know. I have very personal beliefs about religion. I consider myself to be spiritual but not religious. Mainly because, as far as I know, there is no religion or definition for what I believe and I honestly haven't experimented enough with foreign religions, ie, Buddhism....

Many people complain about the commercialism of Christmas and I don't deny that at all. Do children know what they are celebrating at Christmas? Do adults? I wonder how many people actually attend a Christian service on Christmas? What do you think? It reminds me of the one Sex in the City episode. The one where Charlotte celebrates her last Christmas before becoming Jewish for Harry. Could you give up you Santa? Could you give up the presents for another person, or for your religion? Do you think that it's too commercial and has lost almost all of it's origin? Is it too materialistic?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Travel Tuesday "My birthday in DC"

It's travel tuesday folks and that means time for a quick update on my life as a travel nurse!

The long and the short of it is that I went to DC to celebrate my 39th birthday and stopped back home on my way in. I saw my dad, who was discharged home from the hospital the day before. He had been in for 3 weeks! I was so happy to see him at home but wow he's so miserable. It's just gonna take alot of time and patience for him to heal.

The next day I was off to DC. I spent that night with my niece and her boyfriend. We went to an outdoor Christmas fair. Walked around downtown and looked at the City's tree. They have 50+ smaller trees surrounding the main tree. These trees each represent the 50 states and several territories and are decorated individually with their appropriate decor.

We went to a place for dinner called Bon Chon. They make the most delicious chicken! I would describe it as candied and deep fried.

There's also one in NYC.

The next day I got to enjoy two of my favorite activities, Drag show brunch! Food and a show, it doesn't get much better. Honestly, if you've never seen a drag show, you really must!

Over the next few days I got around to several museums. The highlights of which, were The Newseum and The National Museum of the American Indian. Both of these are fairly new museums. The latter has an extraordinary volume of information. A very extensive and interesting collection of all natives to the America's. A museum I highly recommend to everyone! It's the most recent addition to the Smithsonian museums, which by the way are all free.

The Newseum was not free but well worth the money. The largest museum collection devoted to the media in all of it's forms. The evolution of tv and all written materials. A timeline spanning the earliest books all the way to the news today via the internet. They had an entire floor devoted to Katrina. There's a large piece of the Berlin wall

and the antenna from the top of the North tower of the World Trade Center salvaged after 9-11.

Please note the back wall. It is all the front pages of newspapers reporting 9-11. They had a similar display at the Katrina exhibit. Both were chillingly surreal.

All in all a great time. I will revisit my trip in a follow up blog later about my Birthday dinner!

Monday, December 20, 2010

What do you want for Christmas?

Are you done your holiday shopping? Don't know what to get someone? Dread the holiday shopping?

There are a few tips for the shopping impaired, namely men. Hey, it's not my fault and I really don't mean to generalize but really come on.

Here's a few tips for anyone who is shopping challenged.

1. Know who you are shopping for. Find out something about them if you don't know them well. Buy them an item used in a hobby they enjoy.

2. Repeat past gifts. If it was a hit before it will be a hit again, unless you have bought that same hit every. single. year. for 10 years.

3. Don't buy something practical. It's not the season to buy a useful gift for cleaning or ..... UNLESS, they actually ask for it, or like my fathe, enjoy practical gifts and while we're on the same topic..........

4. DO buy what they ask for!!!! AKA ask them what they want!!!!!!!!

Now on that note, what do you want?

Me? There's honestly nothing on my list. I have become less material but I also buy myself anything I need. Most of the things i want most aren't tangible.

My interpretation of this season is really more for giving. I enjoy giving a great gift. I don't enjoy getting my hopes up and being let down, so I really don't do that. I am happy getting anything at all. I definitely think Christmas should focus on children. It's really a holiday for them.

May you all recieve the most precious and important gift of all, Love.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I'm on vacation in DC

So I'm in DC for a few days having fun. I haven't had the chance to check in and read too much here. So I will be catching back up on everyone's blogs later this week.

The last time I was here was with my ex for the day several years back. One day was too short. The first and only other time, was high school for an overnight trip with the German exchange students.

I didn't appreciate this city back then. Hell, I didn't appreciate anything back then. Let's not even get started on our exchange trip to Germany.

Have you ever wanted to go somewhere that you went to as a kid and wished you had paid attention and took a real interest in?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Can I do better?

Canidobetter.com is a website about couples. Really, it's a singles site in disguise. I say that because every link you click on there takes you to a sign up page for singles. Which makes this even more cynical. It's basically a site about mismatched couples.

but beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

I was driving to work and heard the morning show. You know, every city has a morning show. They were talking about this site. The dj actually sent his photo of him and a photo of his wife, so that people could vote on whether or not they could do better.

I couldn't believe it. Ok, I could believe it, but I thought it was very disheartening. I was sad for the people who decided to go there and post their pictures. They will never find happiness. In their mind all that they see in their mate is their exterior. Honestly, if someone needs to use this site to feel better, then they should just end their relationship and seriously get help for their insecurity.

Now as far as the comical application of this site, it's a great idea. I just don't think that everyone is using it for humor and entertainment.

Thankful Thursday quote-

"Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life."
-- Christiane Northrup

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wikileaks, are you next?

I had originally set out on a blog about the wikileaks. Then as I discovered more and more about it, I realized I had it wrong. So that's a blog for another time, but what got me started was the headline of many articles suddenly diving into the leaking of secure information and whether or not a business is at risk.

Back home several years ago, we had a teenager who hung themselves and didn't die for several days. There were many employees who felt they were doing no harm in looking up the medical chart of this patient. Claiming sheer curiosity, they wanted to see what happened to this child who lived near them, or went to school with their kids... They all had excuses and reasons, until they were fired.

The facility in turn decided to police all log ons and computer use. They warned everyone that it is never appropriate to look up a patients records unless you are directly involved in their care. They strictly enforced this and access to your OWN records. That meant looking up your own labs, mri's... were all restricted and in fact would be penalized.

The funniest was my mom. Mostly she would say "so and so is in the hospital, you should go see them while you're at work", but she used to ask "how is so and so?" I guess she followed my lead after she realized that all I will give out is the same medical status that the media and public have access to, critical, gaurded, stable.....

The bottom line was, it's WRONG!! I have unlimited access everyday to private medical records and I don't abuse it. In fact I do everything I can to protect it. It's also why I rarely write about a patient. I can neuter their gender with a "they", "themselves".... I can hide their identity behind initials K.B., B.G......, although I prefer pt x. It's just even further detached from the original person. I read many blogs from nurses who've blogged about patients and take the least precautions. It would be different if I had only medical professionals as readers. I might blog more about patients, but for now it's really just to explain how important life is and that your loved ones aren't here forever.

So is your business next?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Travel Tuesday

Well, it's pretty early for looking at the next job but I figured why not think ahead. My recruiter called the other day. No, I haven't changed yet mainly because this company has alot of the jobs out west which will be benificial to me when I go out there.

Anyhow she called and asked about the next assignment. I want to spend some time back in Connecticut with Mike. I really miss him and need to spend time together.

Well, it just so happens that there's a position there at the unit I want and pays more.

It was just after 5 on friday, but I decided to leave a message anyway so I'd be the first she'd hear come monday morning. I left a very succint message and gave the highlights of why she should call me back to interview and it wouldn't be a waste of her time.

I guess I did too good of a job, becuase she offered me the position without an interview!

As far as everything else here, the weather has changed significantly and snows every day. Just flurries and mostly a light layer on the ground. I'm going home this weekend and then spending several days in DC with my niece and some travel nurses that live there. Its my birthday next teusday. I wanted to go away and do something different. I was thinking about Vegas maybe but decided on DC.

Stay tuned!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Beaky Buzzard!

In case you didn't know, it was change your profile pic to a cartoon character for the weekend in support against child abuse. A friend of mine had a great idea that goes beyond bringing attention to it. At this time of year and while it's fresh in people's minds, it's a great opportunity to donate a few dollars to a child abuse organization such as Darkness to Light.

I was very torn about what to pic. My first instinct for some odd reason was Penelope Pitstop.

I loved her as a little kid, my second instinct was torn between Gosamer

and while searching I found my favorite cartoon EVER! It beats out any episode of any cartoon ever. I have very few if any top favorite anythings but this cartoon is my very absolute favorite cartoon and I just wanted to share it. I LOVE youtube!

Here's an update for anyone who says it's a scam and/or claims that it's a way for pedophiles to access.....blah, blah, blah.............. It started as a harmless scam and then people added a twist saying that pedophiles would get to your childrens photos. Check this rumor and scam debunking site. It just proves don't always believe everything you read or hear but really what's the harm in some child abuse awareness?


Sunday, December 5, 2010

New facebook

Facebook is changing again. Yes, again! It goes live today.

This is the original faceook looke. I joined after this one. It's changed many many times since that.

It'll be more personalized. Something similar to the old myspace. Something I always liked about myspace was the personalization. Your page was kinda like your room. Remember all the time you would spend decorating your room while growing up? I guess it was more of a girl thing, but I think guys did it too, just different.

Actually, it's not that bad. Change is good. I love change. It means improvement.

The thing that concerns me, as they pointed out on 60 minutes last night, is the privacy. It has always concerned me to have the names of your family members, photos and there locations........... There are countless ways that privacy needs to be protected. I have never been one to hide in any way but I did turn my profile semiprivate a ways back and I rarely accept a friend that I don't know in person. I do wonder though about the pages that you "like". Are these pages aloud access to all of my information? Or can I restrict their access?

If it's up to me to restrict, then how? Seriously, I have a long list. Do I have to go through and restrict each one individually? I have thought about emailing them about privacy and what can I do, but I'm pretty sure it'll be a standard response and probably take awhile to get back to me too. Ultimately my privacy is in my own hands.

I am planning on doing a privacy overhaul. I think it's long overdue. Whether I need to or not. One can never be too safe.

Happy Facebooking! Oh and there will be a tutorial available. Like they did last time, they will also be giving you the option to keep your old page.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Somtimes the grass is just spraypainted greener on the other side (part 3)

Can you see yourself honestly or do you see the over inflated ego version of you or is it the repressed and self defeated version? It's very difficult to be a self critic.

I was going through my blog posts and drafts page. I really wish I could list the posts and drafts separately, since I have alot of drafts that haven't seen their day yet. That's besides the point.

I saw The Grass is greener posts, Part 1 and Part 2 and had another though. Beyond having to fertilize our relationships and nurture them. It expands on the fact that you should be working on yourself.

The whole point to grass being greener or not, really comes down to perspective. If you are looking at the grass you're looking the wrong way.

Isn't it when people are at their lowest when they find themselves "falling" into something with someone outside of their relationship. I believe if a person is looking at how sad they are and how everyone let's them down and whoa is me, that's the time when you will see grass looking greener.

When really you need to flip the perspective and look within.

I don't mean to be cruel, but maybe this could help someone. If you find yourself fighting all the time and seriously unhappy and all you can ever think about is how wrong the other person is. If you've found yourself in this situation before and how everybody else looks better than the person you're with in ever way. Then take some time and take a hard serious look at yourself and ask yourself if you change YOURSELF not others, could that maybe be what's wrong with your life?

If the relationship you're already in could be the great thing that you have always wanted, but it just needs a more mature version of you, isn't it worth a try. Personal growth is a very valuable thing!

Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.
-- Author Unknown

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Travel teusday

Here's a quick update while I'm still on vacation for Thanksgiving. I made my flights and made it to dinner without any problems. Thans to the wonderful forethought of someone in Philly. Years ago they created a train line that continues out of center city to each airport terminal. Why other cities don't have that is beyond me. Its one of my favorite things about Philly.

Got to see my dad in the hospital. What a crappy way to celebrate the holiday on top of feeling like crap. Its gonna be awhile 'til he's home. I was considering calling the airline to do a family emergency request and not fly to Florida on saturday but I flew anyway.

Now I'm here til tomorrow with my boyfriend at his parents place. Beautifl weather and relaxing.... No special plans.

I wouldn't have had a problem staying in Pittsburgh alone for the holidays. I could have thought of many good ways to spend it or even just worked so others could have off. Its more for everyone else that I came home or went to Florida. I wanted to volunteer for a feed the needy. I knew with traveling there'd be times I couldn't get home.

Monday, November 29, 2010

You say tomatoe and I say toe-ma-toe

There's an annoying commercial on the radio and I thought I would share it with you. They're talking about a caramel latte. The woman corrects the man that It's Car-a-mel not Carmel, stating that "Carmel is a city in Indiana". A person can definitely pronounce it according to it's phonetics and still be correct. Here is the phonetic dictionary pronounciation.

car·a·mel   /ˈkærəməl, -ˌmɛl, ˈkɑrməl/ Show Spelled
[kar-uh-muhl, -mel, kahr-muhl] Show IPA

I can't stand being corrected. It's one thing if I am actually mispronouncing a word, then please please let me know. I hate mispronouncing almost as much as being corrected.

The thing is, more often than not I am corrected for another's personal preferrence of dialect. At least that's how I feel. I am from Philly. It's not a stark Philly accent, but it's obvious with certain words, like "water". I don't care if people point it out and we chat about it, but don't correct me.

I like to think of myself as having good diction. I am very auditory and enjoy reading aloud. I find it almost derogatory and in fact I will not correct another person unless they are actually mispronouncing either.

Do people correct the way you speak? I had once been corrected for mispronouncing "chipotle" and until I did this blog I thought they were correct. It turns out we both were!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I love this silly Thanksgiving song

Remember this time of the year all year round.

"A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues."
-- Cicero

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Imagine the world without gratitude!

Let's think for a minute what that really means.

Living your life expecting yourself to receive everything and anything you get. Living your life miserable because, well frankly, you hate your life because you never appreciated anything you have and only ever want more more more.

Either way, you never take a moment to thank anyone for what you have. Not even yourself. I'm not talking God. I'm not talking your spouse. Not even your children, friends, family or doctor. Although ALL of these peeople should be thanked. I've heard the arguements, "they know I love them and appreciate them, I shouldn't have to say it", if that were true there'd be alot less divorces and heartbreak in the world. Quite honestly, doesn't it just feel good to hear the words, "Thank you" and "I love you".

It doesn't have to be towards a specific person. I'm talking about just walking around aware that you have an opportunity that another person would give alot to have, or even you would give to get it back. It doesn't matter what your profession, your housing, whatever. There are people walking this world who would work alot harder than you to get what you already have. Sometimes people lose what they have and then when it's gone is when they finally "get it" and appreciate what they had.

After it/they are gone............it's just too late.

"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."
-- Oprah Winfrey

Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 22, 2010

Peach pie with tapioca

Ok, I may not being baking while traveling these days. I am not cooking much at all. I don't even have any of my recipes with me on my travels but I had to share a tip for Steph's post today. If you've never made pie with tapioca in it, then I suggest you do. It retains alot of flavor and moisture. Peach pie is my favorite and here is one compliments of allrecipes.com. Happy Thanksgiving!

Original Recipe Yield 6 servings
1 pastry for double-crust pie
5 cups sliced peeled peaches
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1.Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom crust. Trim pastry to 1 in. beyond edge of pie plate; set aside. In a bowl, combine peaches, lemon juice and extract. Add sugar, tapioca and salt; toss gently. Pour into crust; dot with butter. Roll out remaining pastry; make a lattice crust. Seal and flute edges. Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake 20-30 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on wire rack.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In the nick of time

I am flying to Philly on Thanksgiving morning.

I get off work at 7:30 and the flight leaves at 9:30. I am betting on smooth plans.

The airport is about 15-20 minutes away from work. I am taking my luggage with me and heading straight there.

Today I do a trial run to the airport. I don't want to waste time running into any gps glitches.

I also figure on Thanksgiving morning the traffic shouldn't be too bad at 7:30. I am going to look into checking my luggage the day before and then valet my car at the terminal, which I have been told they do there.

I've heard that traveling on the holiday is usually the best way to do it because most people arrive the day before.

So cross your fingers I make it out of work on time. No road glitches. No luggage problems. No parking hold ups. No security set backs........

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Frustration, Thankfulness, and Aging parents

I'm frustrated right now and to top it off today started out depressing, with me crying in the rain while my boyfriend left to drive home to Connecticut. It's moments like this, that made me delay and delay travel nursing. Among many of the excuses I made, one of them was my parents health. My mom is 76 and my dad is 79. He has been the sicker of the 2 over the years and this past few months it seems to be one thing after the next.

In fact he said that to me the other day on the phone in a frustated sigh. "I don't understand why these things keep happening to me?" I answered in my best nurse "ease" explanation. "Well, sometimes these things do happen and that's when you have to be even more careful than ever to be sure that everything that is working right, continues to work at it's best."

My dad fell in the middle of the night last night, and well, here I am 5 hours away. Thankfully there are 8 kids, with many of them in the area there. I just kinda wish I could talk to him, but as I well know there's no patient phone in the icu. So, I'll sit and write until my mom calls after she gets home from visiting him. I am very thankful for my sister and all her help she has given me in the past few weeks for so many different things. She's always been my go to girl. I'm also really thankful that my dad and I have talked several times this past week and that I sent him a get well card the other day.

Travel Teusday 11/16/10 ( I meant to post this yesterday)

My boyfriend came to town on friday. We did a duck tour
of Pittsburgh. That was fun. We saw the city, heard some of it's history and laughed at stupid jokes. I found out they officially have 446 bridges. That's three more than Venice, Italy , the former world leader in number of bridges.

We were going out for dinner. I put the address into the gps and off we went to see the 2nd most romantic view in the US, the Dusquene incline. An old coal cart converted into an incline trolley car to transport people to the top of Mount Washington, where all the upscale restaurants are, including the one we had reservations for.

Somehow we made it through the construction area and into town faster than I had expected. Good thing, since it would take us another 45 mintues of driving around lost to find out that the parking area address I got off the internet, was no longer open. The gps had trouble with the mulitple elevations too, so we couldn't quite keep on one path. By the time we realized it, I knew he wouldn't be able to enjoy the evening, meaning I wouldn't either. So we decided to go back toward home and find a place to eat there.

If it wasn't for the schizophrenic gps and the wrong address, we would have found it fairly easily.

We also saw the Cathedral of Learning. It's an enormous 42 story building which was built as a cathedral but is nonreligious. It's actually a part of the University of Pittsburgh. The architecture is beautiful but the best part of it is the 26 nationality rooms. They have 26 rooms and growing. Each room representing a culture in West Pennsylvania. They have German, Chinese, Israeli, African, Japanese....... and on. We both enjoyed the German, Ukranian and Yugoslavian rooms, being as they are our nationalities. Mike was raised in former Yugoslavia until he was 10, traveling across Europe and living in Austria for awhile until immigrating in the 70's.

The Austrian room

The Armenian room

Each room was prepared and individually modeled after a specific culturally appropriate setting. The Welsh room was a chapel and a classroom, modelled after the early settlers town buildings. The Ukranian room was a replica of a reception room where visitors would be welcomed into a home. Click the link above and you could take a virtual tour! Best of all, each of these rooms is utilized as a classroom for the University.

We also toured the 300 acre Allegheny Cemetary, dating back to the 1800's. The grand and magnificent mosleums were eerie yet beautiful. Then the wierdest part was when we got back in the car to leave and the gps spoke Afrikans. We didn't change the language and I did lock the doors!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Somtimes the grass is just spraypainted greener on the other side (part 2)

The grass is NEVER greener on the other side and on the rare occasion that it is, well, you actually changed yourself. If you put that change and the effort into your previous relationship it very well may have worked out too.

Let's think a minute about that saying.

Grass needs to be nurtured, right? Dead grass is dead because it wasn't nurtured. Some very smart and witty person came up with that saying, huh? Relationships need to be nurtured. Fail to nurture them and they may die. Some easier than others.

No one can enter into something without some amount of effort and sacrifice. Nothing in this world is easy or handed over and when you have that attitude you will find yourself very unhappy someday. We are all individually responsible for our own happiness and reflectively so in how we treat others close to us, in any relationship in our lives. Meaning, a person can make themselves miserable in treating the people in their life poorly.

There is alot to be said about gratitude. I heard someone say "I wonder if a little gratitude is too much to ask."? Personally I think it's moments like that, when we need to be even more thankful and grateful. Gratitude begets gratitude. You don't go out into the world expecting it back though, you must honestly want the best for others.

If you've ever read "The Secret" then you get it. It's a wonderful book about how we live our lives and quickly as I began it, I realized that I live my life in this way. More now than ever and even more so every day.

Research shows the most happy people practice gratitude every day. Even the little things because honestly some days that's all there is on your mind and it's a great place to start.

I heard not too long ago to treat your husband as you treat your dog! I thought, huh? Well, after the example, I got it.

When you come home and in the door and you say " Hi baby.......Ohh I love you too (lick lick, kiss, kiss).....You're such a good boy......Do you want a treat?.....I got you one, right here!"

Imagine if you said that to your husband instead of "Yo, Are you here?..........I'm home.........Did you start dinner.......cause I gotta get to this meeting by 7 and they're only serving chips......What do you mean you didn't start it?........I have to leave in 45 minutes!........Oh, hello by the way"

I'm not talking about building the Tajmahal to show your appreciation.

Just a simple thanks and maybe a kind gesture, like taking out the garbage.

I know what you're thinking too. That's hard to do especially when you are mad at them or don't feel that they deserve it, but then why are you with them? Then you'll remember the reasons and the little things you're mad about will look smaller. Better yet maybe it'll even inspire you to work on your problems and improve what you have.

I think the best way to appreciate others is to imagine them not in your life. How do you feel? How does that change your life? What do those missing people bring to your life?

Now go thank them for it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Travel Tuesday 11/09/10

I am dedicating my tuesdays to travel diary logs.

So this past week:

I started with an 11 mile hike with the hiking meetup. It's a big deal to hike the Rachel Carson trail. The trail is around 37 miles and named after Rachel Carson, a founder in the environmental movement. Every year on the longest day, 600 people hike this challenging trail.

Many of the people, were there with us. I was so happy to finish in 4 hours, until I found out the first people finished in 2 1/2 hours! Needless to say I haven't felt up to much exercise or running since that day.

I got to the Strip District which is a shopping area.

I wandered around but most of all I was there to find the chocolate store. I knew they would have my favorite and they did! It's a british brand called Dauphin and it's made of dark chocolate and earl grey tea leaves. It's heavenly. I would like to go back when the markets are open at the end of the week too. It's supposed to be a big shopping arena for fresh meats and produce.

My boyfriend set a date for visiting me and he's coming this weekend! Yay!!! He's driving, which he doesn't really enjoy alone, but for me he'll do it. Of course his time limit is 8 hours and that's how far of a drive it is. So I consider myself very lucky! He doesn't want to fly because of the recent bombs discovered after an anonymous tip about a commercial flight delivering a printer. Yes, a printer with bombs hidden inside of the ink cartdridge. I don't blame him there.

I'm planning a bunch of outings for his time with me but I mostly want to spend time at home with him alone. So I'll update you next tuesday very quickly, being as he'll still be with me and I want to spend as much quality time as possible together.

Tomorrow I will post part 2 of yesterdays blog. It's the part I like most.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sometimes the grass is just spraypainted greener on the other side (part 1)

Infidelity is not only for villains was my first blog on here and I still believe that it's true however............

I am in no way saying that it is not wrong to cheat. What matters most is how you respond to finding yourself in this situation. I have seen every different scenario as it pans out and I'm sure in time I will see more.

There's the chronic cheater who is incapable of monogamy.

The bored housewife.

The traveling salesman, the neglected spouse..............

It is human to cheat. It is human to fail at a relationship. It is human to handle it poorly. It is also human to handle it with dignity and kindness, because you still care about that other person, who may now be left behind to pick up the pieces. Possibly there is a chance at salvaging the relationship. I can't help but believe that there can be a chance.

The problem is that everyone involved has to want to salvage it. Most people don't have what it takes to do that. To turn your back on that high you are flying on when you have found someone who you think is the solution to everything that's wrong with your previous relationship. If you put that change and the effort into your previous relationship, and quite frankly yourself, it very well may have worked out too or at least ended dignified before an affair even occured.

Many people get lost in the situation and lose sight of it. It's never easy and never clean but it is in your control. You can choose to do something and be honest before anything ever happens with someone else. You can stop it when it is about to happen. You can stop it after it happens and say something or never do it again.

The thing is, their shit stinks too. Their socks are all over the floor. The sink is gooped up with toothpaste too. They don't get you flowers either. Their checkbook bounces too. Creditors hound their phone. They lose their physique.

I bet we all know some people who's fling failed miserably and maybe they even went back to their spouse.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

4 Year old killer? I think not.

In case you didn't here, I'll recap. A 4 year old is being sues for negligence in the death of an elderely woman who broke her hip when the 4 year old and a friend were racing bicycles with traing wheels. The elderly woman died a few weeks later.

I've heard this story several times in the past few days. Although it is tragic, I was shocked a little not alot because it seems nowadays anyone sues everyone but I also learned something bizarre. The judge stated that this child was close enough to their 5th birthdy which was on the books as "old enough to be sued." ??? Really at age 5 it's acceptable in the judicial system to be sued? How do you even think to do that?

They even mentioned that sueing the mother is not an option because, a parent's presence alone does not give a 4 year old carte blanc to act recklessly. Last time I checked, that's exactly how 4 year olds act. They run around without paying attention to who's around them and they destroy things. How is a 4 year old or even a 5 year old able to understand the repercussions of their actions? It's a long learning phase in their development. Somewhere after age 7 a child learns reasoning and logic but that could take up to age 12 with some kids.

I may not be a lawyer but it doesn't make sense. The judicial system should have dismissed it and if anything then go after the parent but honestly it doesn't sound entirely reckless. It seems that every time someones says "well, their close enough to the age" someone will later use that to lower the age and then again and again. Isn't that how we got here?


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dr. Oz, impotence, high blood pressure and strokes! Oh my!!

Dr. Oz had a piece on the Penis the other day. Yes, the penis!

Apparently it takes a celebrity Doctor to get people's attention about their bodies. He's been grabbing people's interest from the beginning. He's a good teacher. He talks to people like they are friends and patients. Not just a number waiting in line. His friendly approach and humor sets a tone of trust and people are more willing to listen, understand and believe him. More doctors and practitioners could take a lesson.

Anyway, he's talking about the importance of self testicular exams. Only 15% of men do them! He also meantioned the importance of self brest exam for women but we're talking about men. He continued on about the changes throughout life that occurs to a man. The importance of your all around health and being aware of any changes.

I still find it amazing that it has to be a celebrity for a person to listen.

I've seen many many patients who come in to the icu after a stroke because they stopped taking their medications. Then they ask why or how or what happened? Sometimes it's their second stroke, which occurred for the same reason!

Why am I mentioning this? Impotence, which can be a symptom of high blood pressure, is the most common side effect of high blood pressure medicines. The second most common reason people stop taking the pills is price or lack of insurance. They don't see the reality of it. They think the prescriptions and their health don't impact their family until they have a stroke and then the family has to survive without their income and find a way to get them the medical care they need to rehabilitate. Often times never getting back home from the hospital or nursing home. Then there are people who just don't get it! I knew a guy who would take the time to apply vitamin e to his penis but could care less about maintaining his blood sugar as a diabetic!

Cholesterol, blood sugar, smoking, heart disease, high blood pressure, Diabetes and many other conditions will adversely affect your health and yes impact the penis and it's function.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

11/1/10 I love Meetup!

So the other day I explored the meetups in my area and joined a few groups. Wednesday was lunch with the ladies and later that day was hiking. It was fantastic! I love meeting new people. I met such a variety of people and had such a wonderful time. I met a women from Australia, who told me about the nursing opportunities there. I may seriously consider that one! Then on the hike I met a nurse anesthetist who just finished travel nursing and her last assignment was in Connecticut as well. I've also been to a live music lovers group where I heard an artist I've never heard before, Carrie Rodriguez. She's a bit similar to the style of Norah Jones. Bought some cd's and had another great night out. Then hiking again the next day.

If you don't know what meetup is, it's basically a large network or national listing of groups. If there's a group out there that exists or if it doesn't exist yet, but you'd be willing to head it up, meetup will help you do that.

Basically search your zipcode for common interests. It's great for alot of situations but I honestly think almost anyone could find a way to apply it to their life's needs.

Whether you want to promote your business, or socialize and make friends after moving to a new area, or meet people to date without actually doing the online dating scene.

My only tip is not to bring your agenda to the wrong place. Know what the group is or ask, or get a feel for it before you launch your agenda on them unwarranted.

For almost a year, I ran a meetup group that I started. It was fun but frustrating in many ways just getting it started.... but the thing that bothered me more than the work was the innappropriate agendas that others would bring with them.

My group was a foodies group. Hence an interest of some sort in food was necessary. Some people showed just to drum up customers for their business, or some were out to get a date. I have nothing against people wanting to make money or date. Just go find the ones that are for singles or networking..... unless you actually care about food. Some of the people never showed again after they got turned down for their business or a date.

I knew it would be perfect for me as I travel the country. I've found plenty of foodies, women's groups, hiking, live music and card games clubs.

So in a nutshell that's meetup! Check it out.


10/28/10 A Care Package!

My honey sent me a care package!

Consisting of pajamas to replace my missing pair, Ed Hardy winter skull caps, sugar free chocolates for guiltless pleasure, a carrying case for his (now my) gps and a sweet little letter. My baby rocks!

Marie Claire issues apology for insensitive provocative blogger

The magazine Marie Claire issued an apology on tuesday for posting a blog by a free lance columnist of theirs, Maura Kelly.

In her original blog she was discussing a CBS sitcom, called "Mike and Molly". She compared watching obese people to watching an alcoholic or a junky. The article was title "Should Fatties Get A Room?". Marie Claire approved the article before it was released but blame the blogger's provocative style.


Apparently the entire thing started with a CNN article about the show and other shows handling weight issues in tv and movies.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

10/26/10 "The Newbie is learning some lessons"

Travel nursing is gonna be good for me. I think it'll thicken my skin some more. It already has.

I'm a nice person but then nice people tend to get walked allover, right?

I can't decide if I don't like my recruiter or if it's the company.

I will be changing something, that's for sure. They had ample time and still didn't have housing for me before I started. So I had to live in an extended stay. That first room was the worst room I've ever spent a night in. Nonsmoking my ass!

So, I spoke up and asked for a new room and got moved. Then there was a problem with the door lock....... Needless to say I didn't enjoy moving twice in the first week I started this job in a metropolitan area with a ton of construction and traffic.

Then there's the fine print on the contract where I can be cancelled up to a certain number of hours in the total length of my contract. Another thing I experienced was the numbers game with my pay!!! I was told initally that the job pay was one thing and then when I got the contract it was much lower! Turns out that they supplement the pay to make it what they originally told me it was. I didn't find that to be very honest. Just tell me up front. They had to know I'd see it on my contract in black and white.

The last assignment and recruiter I had also played a numbers game with me about my monthly subsidy. Instead of the $XXX/month I was contracted for my paycheck reflected almost $200 less. They came to the difference by :

monthly amount x 12 months then divide that by 52 weeks and that's what I got paid which came to the newer lower amount. I would have appreciated being told that up front too. Why not forget about the first number altogether? Just give me the "real" number?

It is an ongoing learning process and no matter how many travel nurses I knew and spoke to before hand it's still gonna be a challenge but I still love it!

Monday, October 25, 2010

10/25/10 "You don't live in Mayberry"

I love the town I live in. My balcony looks out to a large river and small yacht club.

It's so quaint. I've always wanted to live in a town with a Main street you can walk to, with a picturesque running/walking path, shops, fine dining, pubs, coffee shops, famous bakery and a little theater, that shows old movies and cult flicks.

This theater is awesome. They are having a Grease sing a long, all month long horror fest, weekend classics with brunch, and much more.....

Since I arrived here, I thought to myself "this place looks safe". I decided to go to the Police department and ask them. Apparently on weekends the office is closed. So I had to wait 'til Monday morning to call.

I asked if they've ever had a homicide? Any attacks on runners? Is it safe to run after nightfall or before dawn? He said "It's safe BUT as long as you use common sense. Lock your doors..... People in this town like to think they live in Mayberry........"

I can see it. This place is a little slice of America, minus the delapidated buildings, graffiti and creepy people. Ok, most of America doesn't have Yacht clubs and I find them to be signs of obnoxious yuppie exclusion like Country clubs but this one is tiny and hidden and you get my point. Signs of the "not so nice neighborhood" are missing here.

I'm not an idiot I know that anything can happen anywhere but you must admit that there are locations where running before dawn is simply an invitation for trouble. I just find it surprising that some people in this world still refuse to believe that bad things happen everywhere.

How does someone not lock their doors and why? What is the reason? Is it to prove a point? Is it the simple lack of habit and lack of reality or do they refuse to believe? Is the changing world around them and their stand against it, really that important?

Needless to say, I lock my doors. I run with a cellphone and stay focused on my surroundings. My apartment complex has a gate and locked access to the building let alone my apartment. I am here all alone so my personal safety is important. I have mace for walking to my car at work but there is a shuttle to and from a gaurded garage. One thing's for sure I feel safer here than I did in New Haven, Connecticut.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

10/17/10 "Necessity aka Desperation is the Mother of Invention"

I discovered today that one can toast bread on a stovetop. I remembered back to camping. We would lean the bread on top of the gas stove on low.

You see, I kind of forgot my toaster oven. Ok, I actually left it behind on purpose because I am WAY overpacking. I knew I would and I knew it was a matter of practice. Moving every 13 weeks, you eventually figure out what you really need to take with you.

I also own a lot of clothes and JUNK. I left quite abit in my boyfriend's basement but I still had my truck full to the brim and the fact that everything else I own is in storage makes it even harder.

So I am learning what I can live without. Its very interesting when you think about and then try to live without. Luxury items are so taken for granted.

I grew up in a very thrifty household, being the youngest of 8. I was only lucky because I was the youngest that I occassionally got spoiled but otherwise we scrimped and got by on pennies and coupons and hand me downs...... We didn't have the latest or greatest anything. We were very late in getting a microwave and I thank my parents for that now. Because I remember how to reheat leftovers without one.

Take a large pan with a little water and place a small saucer upsidedown . Heat the pan 'til the water boils and place your leftover plate on top of the upside down one. Simmer covered until desired temperature.

What couldn't you live without? Think about though, is it really that impossible? I suppose it all depends on why you're giving it up. If its a reason that's worth it then you'll find a way to make life without it work, especially if its only temporary ;)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

10/16/10 "The Long Distance Relationship"

This one's not so much about travel nursing but your personal life while travel nursing or travel anything.

I am in a long distance relationship. When we were talking about it, the other day, I said "I don't think that I have ever been in one........" Then I remembered way back when I was young. There was a world of difference between 19 and 20. I had a boyfriend who was turning 21 long before I would. We were devoted and young. We were so sure we'd be married and together forever. The long and the short of it. He cheated and he didn't want to stay together.

I learned from that, just as I learn something from every situation in life, whether it be positive or negative. I learned that men have needs, even the least needy men. Of course, women do too, but I'm talking about men. Although, that's a good point. Any relationship, long distance or not, needs fuel to both sides. If one or both feel neglected, add in the simple fact that you're not physically close to eachother, and you have a potential for disaster.

There's a key here. You see, my boyfriend is 10 plus years in recovery and I don't drink much. I honestly believe that alcohol and drugs play a really big part. You ask the people with the most secure relationships, how they feel about throwing in alcohol and the opposite sex and you will find their level of security changes very quickly. You see it all the time on "Jersey Shore" or just go to any local bar and play fly on the wall. Its proven that people lose their judgement when they drink or do any substance. I feel bad for those young girls every time they go drinking. They are risking themselves to the men who are also drinking and lack proper judgement.

Anyhow, as far as the long distance thing. I'm making it fun and keeping it interesting. I have about 20 I miss you hallmark cards to send every other day, including an oversized one and several with songs of ours. I'm also great at sexy emails, texts and teasing but best of all is still up my sleeve and honestly NOTHING beats in the flesh.

He put the bar pretty high when I left. He gave me a gift and said I couldn't open it until I got there. It was a digital picture frame, already loaded with photos and some of our songs.

Its all a challenge but it's nothing we can't handle. When he said he was sick of these feeling of missing me all the time, I told him we should make the most of it and let it make us stronger and deeper. I honestly believe in taking a negative and finding the positive in it. More to come soon!

Friday, October 15, 2010

10/15/10 "Welcome to Pittsburgh"

I like pittsburgh so far, despite the enormous number of bridges and tunnels. I haven't googled it yet but I've driven thru at least 2 tunnels and I can't begin to count how many overpasses and 4 bridges.

Pittsburgh has 3 rivers! I happen to have an apartment looking out
my balcony onto one of them :)

This is a good thing except for my lack of knowledge of the area. So my boyfriend gave me his gps. What a great invention. I can imagine how helpful modern technology is for a traveler. However, it's almost a hinderance here. You see, gps has trouble with elevations. Something we first discovered a weekend away in Rhode Isalnd. It can't always tell which road or highway when there's one above or below you. So thank god I knew this and remained calm when it says " turn left" while you're driving on an overpass. Yikes!

As far as the job and stuff, there's more to come soon.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I have decided to continue on my travel nursing path. It was a tough decision, being as my boyfriend doesn't want to go with me. I never thought I'd meet someone special so soon on my travels but I simply can't stay at my first travel, especially being that its Connecticut.

So I am starting in Pittsburgh in a neuro icu in 2 weeks. I am taking a week for conferences back home and seeing friends and family. Then the last week before I start I am gonna take a vacation. Hopefully going to my sisters place in Myrtle beach.

I really haven't gotten on the ball. The only states I am licensed in are Pa and Ct. So I can't work anywhere fun yet. I am working on my California, Texas, and NY license.

See, there is a wonderful little thing that I don't have....... Primary residence in a "compact" state. There are about 20 someodd states that have total reciprocation among nursing licenses called "compact" licenses. One of those would make this really easy.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Don't ever forget!

That's the mantra for 9-11. We all know it. We all say it

I don't know anyone directly but I know many many people who lost close loved ones family members and friends.

The proposed mosque is an insult and an affront to the memory of everyone who lost their lives.

We the people live by the constitution. We have no choice but to abide by freedom of religion but we also have freedom of speech. Islam is a religion. It has its foundations and beliefs just as any other religion and it also has it's many different interpretations just as many religions do too. Our country may be viewed as cowardly by other countries because we will allow this to happen. We can however use our freedom of speech to speak up. We must talk about this and make our voices heard but there is no reason to insult others angrily in the name of those who died.

All this angry and rage and insult and negativity is so unhealthy. It is ONLY fueling the fire. The inferno that already exists among these extremist groups of Islam who aren't the only members of that religion. If we support all this hatred then we are no better than any bigot who "pre"judges anyone different, assuming that all Islamic people are haters and terrorists.

What ever happened to the love and the unity of post 9-11 that gave us the real strength to fight what the terrorists represent?

This opinion piece from Nikki Stern on CBS Sunday says it best. This is the link to the transcripted version and the actual video of her opinion piece.


Sunday, June 6, 2010


Ok so I haven't been here much. Its true. Its many reasons. Today I am feeling anxious. Its wierd. I am off for the next couple of days and have too much going on in my head to filter out what I need to do. Most important of all though I need to enjoy this time off.


I have been spending as much of my free time meeting new people and getting to know everyone. One person in particular. We met on his birthday. I can't begin to describe the chemistry that exists there. We hit it off right away and we are both looking for something serious. I have decided to stay for a second contract here to continue to get to know him better and see where this goes.

I know, I know it sounds crazy but some people seem to get it. I kinda set out on this adventure knowing that I wanted something serious. Thinking "He" could be out there and traveling would bring me to find him.

So as far as traveling. I still haven't gone anywhere due to my crazy schedule. My new contract will be 36 hours a week instead of 48. It will make travel much easier. There is no chance of me going to the Meditteranean, or Europe at all for that matter. Its far too expensive for me right now. I can't easily part with money. Its a fear I picked up after my ex destroyed our finances. I will, however, be going to Rhode Island, Boston, camping and the beach. The beaches here aren't really anything special but it is still the beach and that's where I plan to spend a lot of my Summer.

So I will be blogging but pretty randomly. Stay tuned and thanks for reading.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Diary of a Travel Nurse 4-21-10

So hear I sit with my brocolli rabe and garlic white pizza from one of my fav Pa joints, "From the Boot", (Yes I have to mention the garlic because believe it or not many places don't do much if ANY garlic on a white, shameful) and blogging on my phone. Tomorrow I am finally moving my furniture and giving up my PA apartment.

I must admit this running back and forth on my days off 200 miles is pretty annoying. Even for a road trip lover like myself. Before I know it my Connecticut assignment will be done and I'll be moving again.

Seriously, I was filling in my schedule, yes we self schedule just like I did at my old job (gotta love that), and realized that schedule ends 2 weeks before I leave there. Yikes!!

So I am planning ahead with what I want to do there but my schedule is getting too full already. You see I'm contracted for 48 hours a week. That's 4, 12 hour shifts. 3, 12's is tough enough but 4 is Wow! I can do it though, no problem and make damn good money and still enjoy the area some. I'm gonna do a trip to Boston and NYC but honestly if I don't get to NYC I'll live cause I've been and I'll be again. Pa isn't all that far from there and everyone goes at times.

Funny thing is I'm making more plans for going away than for stay-cations in Connecticut. I'm planning camping and a cruise. Then after this contract is up I will be going to either or both Germany and a part of the Meditteranean. One of my nieces is delivering a baby girl in May in Germany so I wanna go there. Then another niece is studying a semester at Sea in the Meditteranean. The Meditteranean is my dream location. I've always wanted to hit several spots there. It will be difficult to pick which one but I am going to at least one if not both.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ode to the Pa apartment

You were pretty good to me over the past 3 years. I never thought I'd stay here this long.

If it weren't for you I wouldn't have fallen in love for the first time after my ex, on the other hand thanks a lot for that fiasco. Lol.

If I didn't live here I never would have met several neighbors but most importantly Kathy and Valerie, and Chris and Adrienne but definitely Kathy and Valerie.

I might have never learned how to jump the fence to swim after hours. God, I am gonna REALLY MISS the pool :(

Thank you for sharing your space with me and my friends and my pets. Thank you for housing me during this past Winter and the horrendous amounts of snow fall. All 48 + inches.

You were my tattoo parlor for a weekend. Many people are thankful for that and you gave me what I always wanted. Not only the tattoo itself but the memory and experience of that weekend. I will never forget it.

You were at times the vessel for my dreams. Leaving them in my hands to make them come true as only the dreamer can do.

You were the recording studio for my singing along and my audience when there wasn't one.

You were the babysitter who looked after my cat when I left town for days on end only to return to a warm and happy kittyhug. Yes, my cat gives hugs. Its a wonderful thing.

You watched over me when I was sick with the flu for a week and when I fell skiing. Protecting me while I recovered.

You were my restaurant when I entertained others or even if it was just me.

Thank you. May your next inhabitants care for you as I have or better and be grateful and happy for all you offer.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Diary of a travel nurse

Well, I finally found some time to blog. I'm gonna start doing a travel nursing blog once a week. I still have some moving to do. I have til the end of April to give up my apartment in Pennsylvania. All that's left is the big furniture to go to storage and then clean. So even after I moved and started my job, I've still had to travel back and forth to Pa several times for moving. I think once it's done, time here will be more enjoyable and each assignment thereafter will transition more smoothly. I just can't believe the enormous amount of "stuff" that I own.

I think I really lucked out in my first assigment. There are many many travel nurses here at Yale. I'm networking like crazy and getting a crash course in the business. It seems like everyone has an angle on it. I've met a few people who have been doing this for many years. One guy started at UCLA and took a per diem job with them, going back in between assignments to work there for a few weeks. So he has seniority and tuition paid for his son some day. I tried to finagle keeping my job back in Pa but they haven't had per diem available for quite some time, so I did have to quit.

I've met some people who travel as a couple. I have a friend back home who wanted to travel with me. She and I were supposed to go to California together but she's nowhere near ready to go. So we'll go there in the future. I figure I'll get to California and never leave. Hence my bloggin name "Goin' to Cali !". I've always wanted to live there, since I was a kid. It's not to say that I would never leave there. I mean I love Pa. Alot of my friends and family are in Pa, but I do have family all around.

I'm hoping to go South after here. I fell in love with the Carolina's years ago and revived that this past Summer. My niece and her family live in Wilmington North Carolina and my sister occassioanlly visits and has a few houses there. I don't get to see my great nephew much at all. While my other sister has a few houses in Myrtle. So I'm hoping to find an assigmnent near Myrtle Beach or Wilmington for July. If not then at least a beach somewhere south of here. The Connecticut beaches aren't much. My plan is to do this for 1-3 years. There's so many places on my list that I want to go to but if anyone has a suggestion, please do. I've invited friends and family to travel with me. I figure even if they aren't a nurse, there are jobs out there that would allow for short term work and relocating. While I am a very independant person it would be nice to have someone traveling with me but at least I have my pets.

My cat Nala and dog Benny adjusted quickly. They love the extra space and big windows. The apartment is beautiful. Two bedrooms, a loft and 12 foot ceilings covered with windows. I decided to find the place on my own, taking the housing stipend and pocketing the leftover money. I think my dog Benny has more opportunity to socialize here. There's 5 buildings, each with about 50 apartments and an elevator. He needs to meet more and more people. He's still very shy with people but loves dogs. I'm gonna start him in obedience classes and doggy daycare.

I did a bunch of exploring yesterday and most importantly found a great cafe for breakfast and a little bar for hanging. Since I moved here I have been captivated by the mountain outside my window. It's actually a state park. Took my dog hiking there. The town itself reminds me of Atlantic City in a way. The mecca of Yale University, so excessively rich, is surrounded by destitution and poverty. It appears the community offers nothing for the children and teens to do other than a playground. So they ride the bus back and forth as if to cruise the streets. The locals have told me there is nothing available for them. The appearance of the community is not good. In Pa, or anywhere else I've ever been, the neighborhoods immediately surrounding a park would be pricier and well kept. It's just not that way here. The windows are boarded up and some of the buildings are in bad shape. I met an interesting local last night. He put it perfectly. There is no middle class here. You're either upper or lower and that's it.

Thankfully I'm on the very edge of the town but I still have my doubts. Two of my sisters helped me move here. The next morning they said "did you hear that noise last night outside the window?". Apparently there was a lot of fighting below and almost every night since. Well, until I started calling the cops, three times in fact. One night there was a party bus idling waiting for everyone to get in while they partied for 45 minutes outside the bus at 11 pm. My sleep is too important for that bs. It seemed to be the topic of every conversation with neighbors and I thought "Why doesn't anybody call the police?". I haven't heard a thing in over a week. Oh, and that next morning after I moved we found 2 cars with their windows smashed, parked directly next to me. The fence is smashed on the other side of the lot so you can see how people could get in or out easily. That being said, it is pretty high security to parking lot but also to get in the building. Everything, but your apartment door,works on electronic passkeys. Apparently the leasing office knows about the fence and they have been contacting the owner to no avail.

Most importantly, I have to tell you about the job. They are pretty much deperate here but appreciative and helpful. If I was looking for a permanent position somewhere, I would consider it here. They take good care of their employees. They opened a new building which they were compeletely unprepared to staff. The extra number of rooms, for all the units that moved, added a disproporioned ratio of patients to staff. So until they get enough new staff and have them up and running, there will be a need for temporaries. They have a high standard here. Considering it's my first contract, I'm not neccessarily an expert however the seasoned travelers tell me it's not like this. You see, the hospital paid us for a week's worth of orientation. That's a big investment. Most orientations for travel contracts are about 1-2 days. They've already offer me a continuation on my contract. I'm gonna pass. I want to keep moving. I didn't start this just to stay at my first assignment, especially in Connecticut. Honestly I wouldn't have even left if that was the case, although the money is great, but no.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

There are no bad ideas

I realized today that there is no such thing as a bad idea. Instead just make the decision you know you want and make it firm. Embrace it instead and don't look back. Then you can't go wrong.

Today was my last day of work. I've quit my job of 14 years. Waivering back and forth on a decision only delays ANY progress. I often do this. I think I am searching for perfection but at the same time just missing out on soooo much by making no decision at all. No decision in life IS perfect. That's the thing. Nothing is simple or easy and thank god. If life was simple and easy then it would be boring. As long as the decision is founded on good information but it's very easy to screw up a good decision by looking back on option #2 that you didn't pick.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Crunch Time from the Procrastinator's Point of View

I have been busy trying to make some head way through a few projects all adding up to a HUGE Life changing event/journey. I promise to keep my blog updated and will blog regularly very soon.
I have wanted to do travel nursing for quite some time. Basically, it's 13 week assignments at hospitals across the US. It's a huge decision with many factors. The long and the short of it is that I have been hired by a hospital in Connecticut. I was definitely thinking warmer as a fisrt stop but it's Spring I will be there until the end of June, so it won't be very cold at all compared to Philly.
Which leads to the next best reason. It's close enough for me to slowly adjust to this new journey while packing most of my belongings into storage.
So, please forgive me for not being around here much. Of course it doesn't help that I am a terrible procrastinator and a chronically late person. In fact I really got get going for today. Maybe this is what I'll do quick little blurbs, since I tend to get lengthy too easily. Lol.
Happy Monday everyone! Wish me Luck!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Prozac for the ears

Years ago I made up a cd of fun upbeat songs and named it Prozac. I couldn't find every song on the internet so I have an abridged an updated version for you today. Everyone who knows me says I am hyper, happy and fun loving. So, when I need a lift, you know it's gonna be good. I dare you to see how "F"ing great you feel after it. If you're not smiling uncontrollably all day long after this then you don't have a pulse. Give it a try and maybe you'll even find something new to love. All of these songs make you want to dance and sing, but ultimately SMILE uncontrollably. You can't keep yourself from moving and humming until you're out of your seat and on your feet. I have many favorites on here because they are all favorites but I'd have to say I am partial to the Pina Colada song because of it's message most of all and Amber is my signature song. It's quintessentially me.


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