Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Fountain of Youth (or the perception thereof)

In my short experience of being a real nurse, it seems that the "fountain of youth" lies in your attitude towards life and how you deal with stress. The personalities of the 90 year old's I have met amazes me at my "quarter of a century" mark. Granted, there are quirks with many different people, and this is not where I will discuss my views on death and those who die. I write to detail the personality quirks I have noticed.

My great grandma is 97. Even though I have known her all of my life, the first real memory I have of her is at my grandpa's wake. Many family members were at her house (she was 80 and was still living by herself and to this day still is), pictures of my jovial and loving grandpa were around her house. The one picture I remember most was when my grandpa was 10ish, and he had moderately long curly hair - he even had a pronounced curl that curled on his forehead. I think I remember it the most because my mom always told me stories of how when my grandpa was a young boy he never wanted to cut his hair - stories her grandma (my great grandma) had told her as a child.

My great grandma is the one of the most loving, most forgiving, and most laid back members of my family. She has experienced tremendous loss but still finds strength to persevere with a smile. It is this quality that I think helps you live until you're 100 with your wits about you. ALL of the 90-some year olds I have experienced working with in the hospital are incredibly "with it". (They also appear remarkably young for their age!).

Essentially, what do you do with your stress? Do you deal with it productively? or do you dwell? I'm sure all of the patients I've dealt with in their older age have experienced traumatic events, the difference is how they deal with those events and every day events.

(They also probably don't eat at McD's everday...)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I am naughty

I've been quite the slacker. Not posting, not writing, not being creative. I've been distracted. Life is distracting at times. What do you do? Keep on keepin' on I guess. I started grad school this fall, and that is definitely very distracting, and I have a hard time not getting distracted when working on it. Maybe I get so distracted because I am trying too hard to multitask? I know I'll be on more, writing more because it seems that I write the most when I should be writing papers and such. Keep in touch.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

His side of the story

"I can't remember how long it had been."

"When I first saw her, the place was ours. Everyone else seemed to drift to the sidelines, muted. Her radiating smile, it was for only me. I embraced her small frame, intoxicated by her scent and feel. Oooh how I wanted more from her."

"She touched me softly, sweetly, sincerely. We were finally alone, it had been a long time since I've felt such affection. I couldn't resist. Then she said it."

"She said 'Now's not the time, please be patient, please wait for me'."

"How could she do such a thing? What a tramp."

"Did it really matter? I didn't know the full story. She's here. With me. Right now. That's what matters. She continued to show me innocent affection throughout the night. I've never felt such sweet, guiltless, touch."

"How I wanted more."

"And that's where we left it. I know she wanted to continue, I couldn't wait to see her again."

"In the days and weeks that followed, it was relieving to think about her less and less. With the change of seasons comes the winds of change for man. Regardless of my feelings for her, she wasn't ready for me. I had to move on."

"She yearns for me now. Now that she can't have me. Typical stupid girl."

"Maybe down the road, we'll meet again. She's too quiet, she won't let her feelings be known until it's too late again. It wouldn't really change anything now."

"Now, I'm gone."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Life is a garden, dig it!!

Since I'll be staying in the big house over the summer, I am going to have a real garden. No more gardens in pots, a real, growing, in-the-ground garden!!

Day 1

Day 2

Stay tuned!


Golden Retriever Puppy (if you couldn't tell)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Living in a Recession

Growing up poor, I grew very ashamed of our economic status, and vowed to never to live that way of life again. All I wanted was to be able to have as many nice clothes as the popular kids and to not have to use my free lunch tickets (which I thought the other kids knew I used because I was poor).

The Goodwill was my least favorite place to go. I remember being so ashamed because that is where we had to buy our clothes, while everyone else who went to town to buy clothes always went to the mall (a rare treat for my sisters and I). We were the poster children for the giving trees out around Christmas time. One year, I got really lucky and got so many presents. (This year, I hope to return the favor). We never got a lot of food from the food bank, but I remember going to the store with my mom's monopoly money (aka Food stamps) to get groceries. If anyone that I knew was behind me in line, I would always let them go ahead of me so they wouldn't know that I was using Food Stamps. I would also wish that the checker would go faster so this traumatic ordeal would be over quicker.

It is funny how perceptions change when poverty is more widespread. That's why I like the fact that there is a recession. People have to adjust, and money and jobs and job losses are perceived differently. The idealist in me hopes that people affected by a recession learn to not take money and wealth for granted. However, with the success of locally funded charity programs, it seems that people were already aware of their higher socio-economic status and provided for those who were not as well off.

Because of school, I had been holed up in the house or Hastings many days (and nights). When I went down town recently, I was shocked by the amount of buildings and office spaces that are now vacant with "For Lease" signs above their entry ways. It is almost like a sick game because I try to jog my memory and think of what used to be there... for instance, Last Best Candles on Higgins: vacant, Pumpkin Carriage on Orange: vacant, Stoverud's on Higgins: vacant (pink signs helped my memory), etc.

With Nate's job loss, I am remembering some of those money saving strategies my mom taught me as a child, and it is surprising that I am actually proud that I know how to live on a tight budget. While I am very grateful that I have a steady job that has little risk of being impacted by a recession, I know that there are literally millions in this country that are not as fortunate.

With my background in growing up poor and then becoming a poor college student, these are the money saving strategies I have learned over time:
Eat in or if you absolutely must eat out-use coupons and eat half and take the rest home for leftovers tomorrow (yes, you can survive on half of that gigantic portion of pasta). SPH sells a coupon book (for $10!) which has many buy one get one free deals in it, and I plan on using every single one.
Go grocery shopping often and at different stores so you learn prices
Buy in bulk when cheapest ($4 for 2 gallons of milk at costco!!) Cereal prices are not as cheap when in bulk (at costco) compared to some of the prices I can get elsewhere. Bulk at the Good Food Store is a little different. Watch your portion sizes.
Make that meal even though it feeds an army! Leftovers save you money.
Search the free ads and craigslist for things you absolutely need
Do you know that the hospital gives its patients generics whenever it can? You too will live if you buy the cheaper generic ibuprofen than Motrin.
'Tis the season for garage sales!

I know I haven't posted in a long time, but here's my comeback.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Blog!

Blog turned three this month!!!

Happy Birthday
Awesome MySpace Comments & Myspace Layouts

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Late Christmas Letter

Sent these out to some people and spaced out sending them to other people for who knows why (insert own commonly used excuse here).
Wow, I can’t believe it, I am done! I finally have a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Montana State University! This final year has been extremely busy. Beginning in January, I rotated through different floors in Missoula’s bigger hospital. I really enjoyed being in the E.R. and the Intensive Care Unit.

In May, I attended the graduation ceremony. My grandma and my dad came up from Las Vegas to celebrate with me and Nate. Also in May, I bought a motorcycle, a 1975 Yamaha 125. After I got used to riding it and riding in traffic, I upgraded to a 2009 Kawasaki 250. When gas was $4/gallon, it was relieving to fill up its gas tank for $6 and be able to ride around for two weeks.

In July, I accompanied my dad to Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Even though Missoula’s elevation is 3500 ft, I had a hard time adjusting to the altitude which ranged from 6500 - 14,000. The course was extremely dangerous, and living in the mountains has taught me that windy mountain roads are not to be challenged by driving up them as fast as you can. Thankfully, my dad delivered me to the top of Pike’s Peak in one piece.

August came and Nate and I ventured across the country to visit Minnesota. It was his first time there, and he loved it! However, when you spend 20 hours driving through eastern Montana
and North Dakota, I don’t know how anyone could think that Eastern Minnesota is not beautiful! Nate and Rob golfed at both of Giants Ridge’s courses, while my mom and I drove the carts. We also went fishing and caught several Walleyes (which we later devoured). Being a good tour guide, I gave Nate a North Shore tour, complete with stops at Split Rock Lighthouse,Betty’s Pies, Canal Park, and finishing up with a trip to Red Lobster (not very unique, but enjoyable). With the help of Emily and Maria, we also gave Nate a tour of Biwabik’s finest establishments, and made him listen to Da Yoopers “Second Week of Deer Camp”. Nate promised we could come back often – as long as we fly or take the train!

During this last semester, I have been busy juggling school, work, and more schoolwork. I’m excited to start a more normal schedule. I plan to take adult education classes and hopefully I’ll learn how to knit, speak Spanish fluently, and become a ballerina. I also hope that Nate and I will be able to take a trip to Belize (or some other tropical location) within a year.

Since I have been working at St. Patrick Hospital, I was able to transfer to an R.N. position on the cardiac/respiratory floor. I’m very excited to get this opportunity, and I know every day will be a learning experience. I’ll probably take the NCLEX in February, but I’ll be able to work as a Graduate Nurse from January until then while earning the same amount of money.
Happy Holidays!

I also included several pictures that I have already posted on here, which you can find by searching the tags for "pictures".

Nate and I at the Split Rock Lighthouse.

Rob bringing in the boat off of Lost Lake.

My mom and Rob at Giants Ridge.

Late but relevant post

(I wrote this on December 20, and yes, am posting it now.)

Fresh from my pinning ceremony, I am experiencing so many different and overwhelming feelings. This may be the result of 5 ½ years worth of stress finally releasing from my body or the “single” shot of celebratory-tequila Heather poured for me. For the first time, I am saddened by the sudden loss of my 23 classmates. Even though I had no family at my pinning ceremony, I still felt surrounded by people that I have grown to love as if they were family. It feels so surreal, as if nothing has really changed, and we’ll all see each other again on Monday or after break. But, tonight was probably the last time that I’ll see many of my classmates.

At these things, it is always said, “Stay in touch,” “We’ll get together,” “See you around,”….but, the likelihood of these events ever happening is very slim. It is more of a nice way of saying, "You are a good person, but I'll probably find any excuse in the book because I'm afraid of connecting up with you because I don't know what we'll talk about." I'm still every bit of a skeptic even after finishing school. Maybe this is just my own altered reality. I know I'm the one that is scared, maybe it is a bit of social anxiety, who knows.