I'm back in the Old Dominion. We are 20 minutes from "town" which consists of 2 realtor's offices, 3 cafes, a library, a craft store, two jewelry stores and a really good Thai restaurant.
The drive into "town" is definitely worth it because we are living on the water. Again. This time, the "rivah."
I have a few shoddy pictures from my phone. More to come soon. I timid to use the Best Man's data as we are having to use a MiFi which only has a certain amount of data in the monthly fee.
The Best Man is trying his hand at fishing- with nets, pots and rods. Hopefully, he will catch something decent sometime this week that we can fry up for dinner!
I've only worked two days so far. Day one consisted of watching videos and reading policy manuals. Day 2 I got to ride along with another therapist. This week I have at least one more ride along and computer training. Nothing terribly exciting to report at this time. Besides the fact that it's beautiful here. Words can not describe the serenity I feel while sitting on the dock watching the water drift by.
Next stop: trying my hand on the home health circuit in Eastern VA!
As we made our tour of good ol' VA over the past week, we stopped for a day to look for housing. The first stop was an older home. Very quaint (ie small) with new paint and a new kitchen. It was just off the main road. This means it was 4 miles from town, which consists of a real estate office, a craft store, 3 cafes which serve as bars in the evening, a thai restaurant, and several store fronts that were for sale. We were invited to church and Sunday school in under 10 minutes.
We had time to kill before our second appointment, so we drove by to see if it was legit. There were 4 homes, each consisting of two town homes, a couple of them with a small apartment (maybe the size of a garage?) on either side. They looked nice from the outside and were about 1 mile from The Food Lion. When we got a tour later in the afternoon, we were unfortunately surprised to see that the inside does not match the outside. The townhome was very spacious, however extremely outdated and greasy. This one was quickly scratched off the list of possible choices.
Our third option canceled as they decided to rent to someone for a year, which is understandable. However, this left us with only two options.
The final appointment wasn't scheduled until the evening, so we drove around looking at other places to snoop.
We drove by the one apartment complex in town that offered a 6 month lease. It was similar on the outside to the townhome, however it was hard to tell how many apartments were in the large box like buildings. The grounds and homes were very run down and two of them were even boarded up. The cars in the parkling lot were all old and run down as well. We nixed this off our list.
The Best Man had spoken to an older gentleman on the phone about his "fishing cottage." We didn't have any pictures to go by, so the gentleman spoke with The BM on the phone for a good 17 minutes (to be exact). His "cottage" is 3 inches off the ground on cinder blocks. There was a flood back in the 80's. He didn't think it would flood anytime soon, but you know, wanted to mention it, "just in case." There was a community dock near by and you could see the water on both sides. The gentleman repeated several times that it was an older place and needed some upgrades, which lead us to nix this without even making an appointment to see it. However, we did drive by to snap a picture or two. . .
We drove down a sand road and passed other cottages. Most of them had out houses out back and even in one case a port-o-potty.
After seeing the home itself, we were pleased to see our intuition hadn't steered us wrong.
Now, up to this point our only option is the small home just outside of town. We had one other home to see, however it was more expensive and would be a longer commute for me. We drove by to get an idea of the location, length of commute and scope out the exterior prior to meeting with the home owner later in the day.
This home is located on 3 acres on the water. Complete with pool, hot tub, private dock, crab pots, and a guest house. We were interested in renting out the guest house. Our jaws dropped the minute we pulled into the drive. A majestic weeping willow greeted us as we entered, veiling part of the house. Behind the house green lawn could be seen, as well as the pool and the guest house. We giddily drove back to town discussing our options, weighing commute distance, internet availability, rent, water access and peace of mind.
In the end, before we even saw the inside of the guest house, we decided there was decent internet access for The Best Man, we'd do it.
We headed back to town to eat and kill some time before going back out to the property to meet with the owner. We went to a local cafe and got some sweets to snack on while we worked on our lap tops. The cafe had free wi fi, local art, and sweet treats! I foresee this being a hangout spot for us during our stent in the area.
Then, we went to dinner at the Thai restuarant downtown. It was amazing. We split our favourite dish, Panang curry, medium hot. It was fantastic. The BM, overheard one of the owners mention "a honeymoon in Thailand." When she came to refill our water, he asked her about going to Thailand for our honeymoon. She was thrilled to talk and mentioned a few "must see" cities. She spoke of how cheap it is to visit, the most expensive aspect is the plane ticket. She said "you must go for 2, 3 weeks, at least. No 5 days." Online, I'd seen that certain types of the year are more rainy than others, so I was surprised when she said we could go whenever. March and April are the best. She mentioned that the air prices are more expensive when "the kids get out of school." She suggested going after that time. Later, when we went to leave, she said she'd contact the Embassy for more details on traveling there. She'd let us know when we returned she said. She must know their food is amazing because of course we will be returning.
Finally, we drove back out to the property on the water. The pool house, if you will. I jokingly cursed the home owner, saying she picked the time of the appointment to coincide with sunset to seal the deal. When I knocked on the door I was startled to hear a dog barking and see the place was filled with furniture. I had been under the impression the studio was unfurnished. We were instructed to give ourself a tour of the big room. Although it was one large room there were separate living areas for the "kitcken," "bedroom," and "living room." The large bathroom had a walk in shower, titled with one inch stone tiles. Also located there was the washer and dryer, which would be staying there.
One of us tentatively asked about the furniture. "When would you need the place? Next, week? Well, I'll some how get my but in gear and get it out of your way. I have too much furniture to fit in my new place. I need to sell most of this." We suggested she could leave whatever she needed right where it was as we have no furniture. She seemed pleased with this idea. Next, we had a self guided tour of the grounds. The hot tub abuts the guest house, with the pool located in between the two homes. Past the big house, the private dock juts out into "the rivah." I was in too much shock to take pictures of this gorgeous place. Needless to say, we threw money at the home owner and pictures will be had when we move in next week! I should mention, that the home owner if good people and we are really looking forward to getting to know her.
Here is the reason why I have so many suits. I must change up the various tan lines!
Over the next three weeks during my stay at the beach, I will attempt to capture photos of myself wearing all of my bathing suits. This was inspired by the crazy cat lady former CI and her husband's visit here. They commented on the fact that I wore 3 different suits over their two days here. Like this was abnormal. Then, when they noted I was wearing yet another suit the next day in a picture online, I was inspired to wear all my suits and take pictures for evidence. Check back for updates! :)
Types of boats, including sail boats, "T" tops, schooners.
Ways to catch seafood: clamming and flounder gigging. I asked my patient how to know where to go clamming, the response: it's a guess. To gig a flounder, from what I can gather, you wade in the water and try to sneak up on a flounder and then "gig it" which apparently means to spear it.
Ways to prepare seafood:
Conch stew. You can apparently get the conch removed from the shell by boiling it or just sticking it in the freezer. Conch Stew, depending on where you eat it may have a variety of other seafood and veggies in it. None of the ladies I spoke to had made it themselves, they just new how to evacuate the conch from the shell.
Steamed Crabs: Place live crabs on a wire rack above a pan. Cover with one can of beer and lots of Old Bay, making sure the crabs don't pinch you or roam off the tray (this sounds to be the tricky part). Cover the pan, cook on the stove top. When you notice that the crabs are no longer clawing to get out, begin your kitchen timer for about 10 minutes or so. Eat up!
Phew, that flew by! I'm already done with my four weeks of working here in North Carolina. I now have the next three weeks to attempt to relax while living here. Most of this time will be spent catching up on wedding planning (flowers, photos, music, all the big stuff) and scrapbooking. I'm finishing throwing together my high school scrap book. I'm almost done and then it's on to making a "VCU" book as well as a "Greenville" book before making a vacation book and then finally a "traveling PT" book. I also have scarves to finish and earrings to make. Lots and lots of busy work.
My crazy cat lady former CI and her husband came to visit this past weekend. We had some tasty food and some relaxing times on the beach, as well as good conversation. Can't beat that! Later this week, some old friends will be coming for a visit, then early next week we are back to VA for an doctors appointment and then family time in Richmond and Arlington prior to heading to MD for the first VT football game of the season on Labor Day. Then, its back down here for a few days until more visitors arrive. Then we will be packing everything up and heading back to VA to live.
Don't ask me where. Don't ask me how long. I have no clue. Details to follow as they are made known to me. At this point I'm busy with phone interviews and dreaming up honeymoon plans! :)
I don't suggest having the tv on The Price is Right during your first encounter with laughing gas when you are already extremely nervous. The music and sound effects in combination with the tipsy feeling of the laughing gas is similar to that scene in Willy Wonka with the boat ride and the tunnel starts swirling around and around and around. Creeepy!
My two year contract for my first job out of school is up next Wednesday. I managed to weasel my way into having my last week of work off with PTO and flex days. I'm DONE!
I'm tired of not getting respect. That's what it all comes down to. I didn't go to school for 7 years to get two degrees and $80,000 (before interest) of loans to be disrespected. I think the worst part of it all is being told things like "you are too compassionate."
Are you kidding?
This is health care for crying out loud. What would I be doing here if it weren't for my compassion? I sure am not in it for the money.
My older co-workers tell me "it's like this every where."
If that's the case I will change my job every year until I find people that do not accept the unacceptable.
What it comes down to is this: If you allow people to walk all over you they will time and time again. I refuse to be a doormat.
I will continue to stand up for my patients and what is right. That's the kind of clinician I am.
In closing, I'd like to sing another song:
Kiss. Kiss this. And I don't mean on my rosy red lips!
Aaaand, on that note, I'll be having dental surgery tomorrow and then moving to the beach on Sunday! Whoop whooop!
Life has caught up with me again. I'm running full speed, trying to get it all done and enjoy it at the same time. I have 7 more work days left, before having dental surgery, packing up and driving (hopefully not too drugged up) to NC.
I will begin my traveling career with an assignment in Morehead City, NC, on the coooassst!. We will be living in Emerald Isle, which is also on the coast, a short drive away.
I've been busy trying to purge all the material stuff I don't need. I can't count how many trips to Goodwill the BM and I have made! There is still too much stuff left! We are hoping to sell some furniture, the washer and dryer, etc. I hope to get some more things packed over the next few days so come surgery time my car will be all packed up! I've also got lots of jewelry making to do. Several nurses on the floor are asking for earrings before I leave. Also, I've had a request on my site today for 5 pairs of bridesmaids earrings- from someone I don't know (this is a first!).
I must get cracking!
Hopefully, I'll be chill enough and not running around crazy when I get to the beach that I will be able to update more. But, its also likely I'll be busy playing in the sun and sand!
and other times you accidentally, on purpose think it's cute to spit gum in someone else's mouth (only to make it easier to kiss of course) and then get mad when they spit it back in your ear (only to get even of course).
Karma is worse on the receiving end and apologies are worse on the giving end.
I am sorry.
Next time I'll ask to spit it in your hand when I'm finished chewing my gum.
5. Do not make out in broad daylight in the parking lot of your apartment if you are in your early to mid 30's. 4. Do not let brain mets be an excuse for your relative or loved one to behave atrociously to health care workers. DO apologize on their behalf. 3. Do not spend all your time indoors. Make sure to spend a little time outside. Collect some freckles. 2. Do not forget to reach out to those around you. You will be surprised at how one kind thought or action turns into another. 1. Do not forget to send kind words, thoughts, and/or prayers to The Hokie Nation.
I am lame. I know. I never write anymore. My excuse is that I have a life outside of this box we all call "computer." However, this is not the case. The Best Man sits for hours on end each evening at his box and I at mine. I really could write. I'm lazy.
So that's it. I'm lazy. And lame.
The Best Man's Brother's Best and Only Girl wrote this post tonight which prompted me to write.
I have much to say regarding her post, however I thought I best save that for another day.
However, I will say I do believe Erikson would say this is a case of Identity versus Role Confusion. Obviously, The Best Man's Brother's Best and Only Girl has her identity creatively constructed via any art medium she chooses, however is frustrated with those losers who are struggling over lower life stages such as industry versus inferiority.
Okay, so I was a psych major in undergrad, what's it to you. Oh yeah, and I forgot I wasn't going to talk about that.
What I am going to talk about (and yes, I do realize that I should never begin any sort of writing with any kind of potential with any stating "what I'm going to talk about is...", but I just did, so oh well) is wedding planning.
We now have an officiant and catering quotes. And (heaven forbid, but this is really the best thing of all) most importantly A CAKE! So, I've been preaching to all my SC friends down yonder how great my favourite local grocery store cake is for the past 1.5 years. They have their own variety of grocery store cake which they rant about. What is the best part of a cake, I ask you? THE ICING. I mean obviously, the icing makes the cake. The icing down here is horrendous. Terrible, I tell you. These people make this their wedding cake? Really? With nasty icing like that?
Oh, I digress. So, anyway, I had pretty much signed the deal in my head and heart that I was going to get my cake from the local grocer. On a whim, The Best Man and I went to local pastry shop and did a cake tasting before we went to the grocer for our official must be made in pen and ink appointment. Turns out not only was the local pastry shop cheaper, but the almond flavor (the only flavor of any importance in my opinion) was much more palatable.
So, needless to say, we have officially booked THE CAKE. And an officiant. And hopefully we can soon say we've booked some food and some hotel rooms for ourselves and guests, however I do hope these last two will lessen their bills before we commit.
Well, that is all. Well, that and bekind to your fellow artist, for you never know whom will be painting a life like picture of you.
P.s. Now I want to paint. Or at least make pretty jewelry. . . mmm wedding jewels...
They say Greenville, SC is "close to everything and next to nothing." The Best Man and I have been seeing a lot of the "nothing," so we ventured up to a close by "everything" which happened to be Charlotte, NC.
We saw a Ben Folds concert on Friday night, which was a perfect way to start off our laid back weekend. Hysterical! Chatroulette is the way concerts are heading. At least I hope so.
The two of us spent the rest of the weekend wandering around, eating, drinking, seeing. Normally, I feel the need to plan every minute of time in a new city. Besides the concert, the only other plan we had was getting margaritas at Cabo Fish Taco. The rest of the time we poked into art galleries, boutiques and bars.
It was so nice to have a slow pace without plans. I may have to change the way I vacation! Perfect trip. Now, unfortunately, back to reality!
As I was driving home from work today I realized I needed to have a serious discussion with The Best Man. I was bringing home two boxes of Girl Scout cookies- the best ever- Thin Mints and Tagalongs!-and knowing our love of sweets knew this could pose a problem.
Ice cream is his go to sweet, however he will quickly gooble up candies, chocolates (that he's bought for me), and cookies. I love cakes and cookies and icecream all equally. I show no sweet preference over another, you know unless one has a lot more chocolate than the other, then I'm distracted enough to show favouritism.
So, I did what any smart girl would do when backed into a corner. I hid the box of Tagalongs.
I walked up to the apartment thinking if there was any way to compromise. I mean, come on, these are GIRL SCOUT COOKIES. This is serious stuff here. So, out of the goodness of my heart I decide we can each have one sleeve from each box (Tagalongs will stay hidden until Thin Mints are demonlished).
I am going to marry this guy, so I had to take drastic measures and share.
Then I came inside with a serious face asking to sit down and talk.
I'm sure The Best Man thought another one of my patients had passed away (we've sadly not been saving many lives here these days it seems). Then I asked what his favourite Girl Scout cookies where.
"Somoas." He has bought two boxes that have yet to arrive.
Coconut!? So, no bargaining here. He'd get his two boxes and I'd have to share mine or have mine demolished while I was at work saving lives and all that jazz.
I then revealed my box of thin mints and was very thankful to find that he doesn't care for them much.
They are safe!
"What about tagalongs?"
Looks like all the anxiety was for nothing. I just hope he realizes what a sacrafice I was willing to make. I mean, really, SHARING Girl Scout cookies. That's big time.
Ps. Tagalongs are now called Peanut Butter Patties, but that's a whole 'nother story.
I know the rest of you don't want to hear that four letter "s" word again anytime soon. No, not that one, the one that ends in a "w."
We had our first s**w fall down here last night and the town was in a frenzy trying to prepare for the 3 to 4 inches we got. I was so excited because we've only had one weekend of ice. No real s**w until yesterday! Wahoo! Well, the sun is brightly shining today, so most of it is already gone. Sadly, I did not get to play in it. But nevertheless, it was still exciting.
Today is The Southern Belle's birthday. She is one of my closest friends at work. She keeps me sane and she lets me rant and rave to my hearts content. The Southern Belle is a SC native. She is classy and smart. And today is her birthday! We are going to celebrate by dinner at a nice restaurant prior to going to her favourite Irish pub. We will see where the night takes us from there.
Tomorrow the two of us are going to see "Valentine's Day." Cheesy? Yes. Necessary? Another yes.
Here's to a fun girls weekend! It's always nice to have good girl friends around when you need them!
The past two days I've gotten to work in the units. As in intensive care and cardiac care. Read: really sick people. In these two days, I've felt more useful treating those 3 patients than I have in a long, long time.
I've decided I like treating non verbal patients. I make them laugh. Really, it's a stitch. They can't tell me I'm being corny, silly or dumb, so I talk and talk. There really is no stopping me when I get going. Then they laugh and I like to pretend it's because they think I'm funny. In reality, it's just because it takes too much effort to mouth "you're ridiculous."
The best is when I'm co-treating with Shorty, a COTA, and we banter back and forth until we make the patient smile. Now, that's some funny stuff. The best is when I make fun of how short she is. That gets 'em every time.
Bring on the lines, leads, and vents! It's on, I'm bringing back purpose to my job and knocking out debility one treatment (and smile) at a time!
In other news, I'm not drinking soda. I normally don't drink a lot of the stuff anyway, but sometimes I get on a roll and then crave the sticky, sweet stuff. I haven't had a Coke or another soda at all this month. All 5 days of it. Pretty good, huh? Now, the hard part is going to be not having a rum and coke the next time I go out. I don't like beer...so I guess I'll be drinking a lot o' wine!
Recently I've been fretting about a self diagnosed brain tumor that has been affecting my vision. It is located somewhere in the back of my head near the optic radiations. It first affected my left eye, then vanished before reappearing (or should I say disappearing because of my lack of vision?) in my right eye. Transient vision changes that occur in one eye then reappear in another eye are not normally related to a tumor. You know, unless the tumor is shrinking in one direction as it grows in another.
So basically, I have a self diagnosed traveling brain tumor that is making its way from the left side of my head to the right.
Or so I thought.
When I was finally able to get myself an eye appointment, the optometrist asked questions like "why can't you see?" (to which I wanted to respond "aren't you supposed to answer that?") and made comments such as, "well, you could read that a minute ago" when I couldn't read even the big E on the top of the eye chart.
After two appointments in as many weeks, my old prescription was changed, then later rewritten to resemble the original prescription. The original prescription which caused me to come in for the first place because I couldn't see.
So at this point, I had changed my working diagnosis from a traveling brain tumor to a conversion disorder. Clearly, there was nothing wrong with my eyes or the optometrist would not have asked me why I couldn't see. Without any anatomical basis to my blurry vision, the only remaining answer is a conversion disorder.
I made an appointment a month away with an ophthalmologist, ie a real MD. I spent the next month hoping it was legal for me to be on the road and ignoring people at work because I couldn't see them down the hallway. All the while, I was trying to come to terms with the fact that I obviously had a conversion disorder.
When it was finally time for my appointment, the technician made me feel like a fraud when she questioned what I could and couldn't see. She wasn't able to correct my vision with lenses. Then the real MD came in and asked "has anyone ever mentioned an astigmatism?"
He then showed me a picture of the peaks and valleys of the surface of my right eye. The cornea is supposed to be round like a basketball. An astigmatism means the cornea cones out like a football. This can be corrected with glasses and soft contacts. However, my eye only cones out at the bottom and is rounded at the top. This is called an irregular astigmatism. It can only be corrected with hard contacts. I was told the cause could be due to a) illfitting contacts, b) a corneal deformity, or c) a and b.
I'm shooting for a) as this would explain why my vision was first blurry in my left eye and now my right.
Today I had my fitting for my contacts. They hurt. I squinted, cried, blinked and got asked what the heck was wrong with me by nurses and even a patient. However, I was able to wear them for 4 hours as I was asked.
I am shooting for 6 hours tomorrow. I doubt I will be able to drive in these things for a while as it is hard to look for side to side. Thus, unfortunately, I will still be driving with my useless glasses. Wish me luck!
K:"So I was helping this guy get cleaned up from the bathroom and-" The Best Man: "Wait, you were helping him? You mean you walked him to the bathroom?" K:"Well, I helped him to the commode and then helped him get cleaned up." The Best Man: "Wait, all this time when you've said you helped someone to the bathroom, you've been cleaning them up?" K:"Well, not all the time, sometime they just need help getting there. Anyway-" The Best Man: "Wait! So you see butts every day?" K:"Yes, and they are old and wrinkly. Are you jealous?"