Friday, October 26, 2012

Fall trip

Just a quick post to let you know I haven't fallen into a bottomless pit somewhere! (Oh, and the below pictures have nothing to do with my recent trip, but didn't want to leave you high and dry!)
Last week, I left hubby at home and drove to Gatlinburg to meet up with my nursing school roommate, whom I've not seen in over 20 years! In fact, the last time I saw her was in 1989, when we were flying from Albuquerque to Birmingham, and had a few hours layover in St. Louis. She came to the airport and we got to talk for a little while, but my hubby, daughter, and foster son were there, as were her 2 little girls, so not much was accomplished. Before that? 1975, nearest I can figure.

We met when we went for our nursing school interviews. She was from Helen Keller's hometown, and I was from Birmingham, and there was no guarantee either of us would be admitted. In fact, there were lots of gals there, and there was more than one weekend of interviews, but we found each other and almost immediately decided to be roommates. We were 17. Amazing, huh? We've been friends 43 years now.

Gatlinburg was gorgeous this time of the year, (which is why she trades her timeshare for that time and place), and the weather was nice, but all we did was talk. And talk, and talk, and talk. We did go outside to eat a couple of times, but that was it. Her poor husband just took naps and watched TV and just generally chilled out. He's her second husband, and it was the first time I'd met him. What a nice guy!

I took my cameras, because that's where my photos are, and she brought her wedding photos, but the only pictures we took were of us together on the tiny balcony just before I left. We have vowed to do this every year, so I can plan to spend more than just 24 hours and we can do some shopping or sight-seeing or something. Husbands are optional.

So it was a wonderful interlude, but now it's back to the yard haunt. It's coming along, though there's still lots to do. I had requested 2 vacation days this week just to enjoy the weather and work on my haunt, but it's hard to squeeze a month's worth of Hallowe'en into only a week. I need to be cloned! Pictures and details to come later.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Excuses, Excuses

It's 25 days 'til Halloween, and I haven't even started to decorate--inside or out. I don't even have a plan. I had an idea, given to me by my daughter, but it involves some building, and that's not my forte. Maybe I can execute that one next year, and it will give me time to find someone who's handy with tools. In the meantime, I have no idea what I'm going to do THIS year!  AAAGGGHHH!!!! 

Tomorrow is supposed to be chilly and rainy, so I won't be able to do anything outdoors.
I think I'll just start decorating inside and maybe that will put me in the mood. Last year I just started putting things up outside, and it evolved into a funeral theme almost by itself. I'm hoping the same thing will happen this year, but it feels really odd not to be knee-deep in Halloween preparations by now.

Work has been really busy lately.  Since we are a non-profit organization, relying mostly on Medicare and donations, we are especially budget-conscious. Our computer system is the dollar-store version of the kind we had at the hospital and is dealing us fits. It makes charting longer, not faster, and there are so many Medicare requirements for documentation in order to get reimbursed, it just seems endless. One of our nurses is out with her knee, and another with illness, and they hadn't yet filled my preceptor's position when she went to days. With the census high, and the staffing short, we've all been putting in extra hours. I work with a great group of guys and gals who really pull together with a minimum of complaining. It would be easy to deteriorate into a pool of negativity, but they don't. We're hiring as fast as we can, so this will hopefully ease up by December.

Remember way back in 2008, when I made a little star quilt for M, a blue star mom?

She left the hospital not long after, to work at a long-term rehab facility, and I haven't seen her since then. Well, she's been one of the home hospice nurses here for a while, and I didn't know that until just before I started working here. She is transferring to inpatient hospice nights, with me, and will be on board the first week of November. Another friend from my hospital has applied for a per diem position on  nights, too. Funny how so many critical care nurses seem to end up in hospice.

I must say, though, I am most impressed with the leadership in our little organization. Not only does our manager work shifts or partial shifts to help, so does our VP, who is an RN! I have never known a Director of Nursing who truly COULD do our job, much less one who WOULD do it. They truly care about us, our patients and families, and not just the almighty budget. It is such a pleasure to work here.

I don't get a chance to read blogs at this job, so every week there are over 400 posts in my Reader on my offdays. There are about 22 more hours of computer videos I am supposed to watch for my job. Add to that, Windows installed IE 9 and erased all my pictures and bookmarks. I'm trying to get everything back to normal, but I haven't gotten it all figured out yet, and I can't seem to get caught up. If I don't comment as much, please forgive me. I'm trying to get as much read as possible and sometimes I have to choose between reading more posts or commenting.

One of these days I may even get to sew again!