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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Let's just hope

In my honest belief that anything--and I mean anything-- can be used for a higher good, I think this whole Ebola situation actually could fall into that category.  No, I'm not suggesting that someone losing their life to this disease is a "good thing" but it got your attention didn't it?

I think the US, in it's arrogance, thinks we have most things all figured out and we're on top of just about anything that can happen to us, when the truth looks a whole lot different.  911, serious Secret Service gaffs, and numerous other examples point to the truth-- that we really don't "have it all together at all."

Enter Ebola.  My belief is NO DALLAS HOSPITAL was prepared to take care of an ER walk-in, possible Ebola patient, much less Presby.  They simply drew the black bean when Thomas Eric Duncan walked into their ER.  If you've ever been to an ER, you know the craziness that is part and parcel of what goes on in a life and death environment.  Nurses put their lives on the line EVERY DAY in the ER, and everywhere else.  Ineffective communication, no training, no protocols in place, no drills, no experience and no hazmat suits, equals disaster-- I don't care how "good" you think you are. 

In my experience, Hospital Administrators make decisions around staff based on the "bottom line" of the budget, and what they are "required" to have in place by JCAHO.  In my 36 years as a nurse and experience in Administration, I have seen education and training for nurses cut repeatedly in order for the hospital to purchase the sexiest new ___X___ that administrators think will suck in more patient dollars.  Nurses?  Maybe next year, gals.

As a female dominated profession, we have ALLOWED this treatment. We have done NOTHING to stop it because the alternative was to abandon people (patients) at their most vulnerable.  Walk out?  Unacceptable.  Let someone die?  No way.  But these same nurses are "on their own" in a hospital lawsuit. More often than not we're simply disposable. 
                                                             

So, if anything good comes from this whole Ebola scenario, I'm hopeful that nurses will unionize so they can demand protection, education, shift breaks, staffing quotas, equipment, etc.  If nurses put their lives on the line every day, they deserve at least that much.  They deserve to be treated like valued assets-- not children.                  


Lastly, I'm ready for the truth to come out about how hospitals REALLY function.  Every hospital has it's horror stories and secrets, and it's time we all got honest.  I'm ready for the US, Presby (and the CDC) to act with some humility and admit we simply don't know everything, aren't the best, the smartest, or even the kindest. And we sure as hell aren't honest.  Enough with the spin.

 Maybe... just maybe.... that might be the good that comes out of this whole Ebola thing.  I hope so.
                                               



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ouch

Thank heavens yesterday morning started out so great because after I went to check on mom, I was on a bit of a downer.  When I got there, she was out of it but looked cold (body language) so I asked her, and she sort of just squawked at me.  With  wet hair also, I figured that was a "yes" so I covered her up with a blanket and left to run get her a blow dryer.

I know...seriously...a blow dryer for a few strands of hair... but what the hell.  I got one, came right back, and proceeded to blow dry her hair.  She was like an old cat getting it's head rubbed.  She closed her eyes, leaned her head forward, and sighed as I played hairdresser.  Hair flew in every direction but this was not about style as much as comfort.  I got her brush and brushed my "creation", as I laughed at myself.  Her hair is like corn silk and fine as it comes --what little there is left.  Trying to get it to do anything was just a joke.  So, I just brushed.

                                                 
The lady who used to do mom's hair decided it was too hard and uncomfortable for mom to lean her head back for a shampoo and I suspect she'd rather do ladies that are a tad more functioning than mom.  I get it.  I really do.  
                                                 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sounds fun, doesn't it?

This morning in the shower I had a total epiphany.  Now that we are going to have a grand baby in Nash it makes sense to think about where we'll stay when we go to visit.  Yes, we can always do the hotel scene but that's going to get old at some point and is frankly kind of gross.

So here's my idea: Benji and Andrea may buy a house at some point-- and with their permission-- my idea becomes a reality.  For their privacy and ours, what if we bought a Tiny House (movable) and parked it in their "someday" back yard?  Towable and fully customizable, we could have our own space and they could, too.  I'm thinking a tiny kitchen, Keurig or Nespresso maker, refrigerator/freezer, tiny bathroom and maybe a deck.... and, wow, we're set.  They come with full AC and lots of insulation so we'd be cool or toasty, depending on the season.
                                              
When we aren't there, they could use it for friends or other family, an office, or whatever.  They could even Airbnb it, too, for additional income.... but that could get creepy with strangers.  Maybe just friends or friends of friends. Dunno.

If/when they move, we hitch it up and take it to their next home or if we're tired of it by then, sell it as part of their house and recoup our initial investment.  When I tossed my idea out at lunch, Dadamon died laughing-- and loved it.  He broke into a huge grin and said it was a really fun idea.  He did mention stuff like code issues, how to get it in and out if they have a fence--all stuff that requires a little more research on my part--not to mention home ownership for Andrea and Benji....you know...minor stuff like that.   It's ideas, thinking, playing, researching like this, that really keeps my motor going.

And did I mention I'm dying for a Tiny House?  Well, I am.



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Skillet brownies for the win

This morning I feel like a big old box of sunshine.  My slow cooker is chuffing away with a pot roast, the yard guys just finished mowing, blowing, and in a few cases raking, and I have the rest of the day to just get my happy on.  Again, that usually means cooking, or thinking about it.  My biggest quandary is what to cook next.  Sooo many choices, so little time.

Do I make zucchini bread or muffins, or one of the new little skillet brownie recipes I found?  With a blob of vanilla ice cream on top, sprinkled with toffee bits, I'm seriously leaning skillet brownies.  Plus, I get to use my teeny little individual skillets again.  And let's get real here...I get to eat one.  Or at least one anyway. 

On another note, I'm so tired of robo or out of area calls (to get around the do not call list), I'm seriously considering dropping my land line.  The ripple effect will be something to consider since several things will need to upgrade as a result but I'm about ready.  My partner will give me his automatic knee jerk "No" but he'll come around.  He always does.

The boys learned early if they really wanted something, to approach mom first and try to sell her on your idea.  If she buys in, Dadamon is simply a matter of time.  Mom will nag him for you.

**  If the boys are reading this, they are laughing their heads off.  They KNOW it's true.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Head bang, head bang, head bang...

                                                               
Today is Benji's 30th birthday and we are getting a new furnace installed.  Dang, my life is glam.  Considering our old one is a little over half Benji's age, it's time to quit putting perfume on this pig, and just get a new pig.  Since I need to be here to babysit the install, I've decided to at least use my time well and we all know that's code for cook.  I may even clean out the kitchen cabinets (and again I may not, too.)  It all depends on how hot it gets and for how long. Since we have two systems, Sis and I may be just fine. Right now is lovely.

What's NOT so lovely is dealing with the 1950's jicky construction issues of this old house.  What a hot mess.  Wait....listen...in the distance...do you hear a bulldozer?  I think I do. 
                                                    





Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Perfection!

After last nights big reveal from Andrea and Benji and watching FB light up with well wishes from their families and friends, I am one grateful MayMay to be.  I won't go into the story about how they orchestrated to tell the Gonzalez's and Harris' but let's just say a LOT of planning went into it and it was down to split second timing, Face Time and a Mac recording the whole thing, Benji texting delivery ninja Erin Spalding to "GO", and the doorbell wringing with no one there.  Just two adorable boxes sitting on the porch--one marked Gonzalez, and the other one Harris. Erin also did the gift wrap (which blew my mind in it's perfection and adorableness) but that's a whole different story.  If this is a look at grandparent hood, I REALLY LIKE IT already!  And we get a baby, too???  What a deal!                    
I also love the continuity.  Erin and Andrea have been close forever.  Erin was there with Marianne and me the day Andrea found her dress.  Erin was all bidness that day and told Andrea to try on her favorite dress LAST, and she was totally correct.  She was Andrea's only attendant in Capri.  And now this.  Wow.   I can't wait to see the next chapter. 

Thank you Andrea, Benji, and Erin for making such a HUGE moment even bigger!                                      

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

While I wait...

While I wait for the AC men to show up, I thought I might cuss and discuss for a second.  Today I know among other things that this too shall pass, whatever your this may be.  Even the Bible says "and it came to pass".  It does not say "and it came to stay".  Therefore, all the craziness that's going on in the world is temporary and the less energy and emotion we give it, the faster it will go.  Whatever we focus on, we make larger. Ditto negativity.  The only thing I know for sure that I can change, is my attitude, and concentrating on the positives always works. 

A gratitude list has been the quickest way for me to turn myself around and there's so much I've been given (and, no, I don't mean material stuff) and can be grateful for, that the list just goes on and on.  We all get down.  Just don't forget to get back up.

Yesterday morning I heard Disney voices outside and looked out to see Claire and Baby John with their nanny, walking Claire down the block to school.  Picture it...Claire all dressed up with her hair in a fetching side braid and Baby John in his shorts wearing a red baseball hat.  My face immediately split into a huge grin and I could not stop laughing.  Little stuff.  But b-i-g stuff.  The laughter, the joy, the peace.  Beats the heck out of the news any day. 

*** And the AC guy just drove up.  Funny how that works.