Monday, November 22, 2010

Road Trip.

As I type to you tonight, I sit facing my pool with it's very sad winter cover on it.  I face it because I am at a new desk looking out the window in my new updated family room.  Behind me is our new sectional sofa that I drove six hours to pick up today, all so we would have somewhere to watch the Lions piss away another Thanksgiving Day game.  Well, also because I am sick of sitting on Al's dog bed and watching him have a nervous breakdown trying to get me off it.  Did I mention Al had fleas this week?  I think not, but if that's not dog karma I don't know what is - get off my dog bed bitch or I will infest your nice new carpet with fleas.

Anyhoo, six hours through west Michigan and northern Indiana is a snoozefest, ya'll. I had lots of time to have random thoughts, and now I pass them on to you.

To The Pigs in the semi truck that looked at me through the little air holes:  I am SO SORRY!  I wanted to take each and every one of you home with me.  And I know where you were going.  I felt so bad that for six minutes I was never going to eat pork again. Until I remembered bacon. And Bill's pulled pork.  Godspeed Pigs.

I wonder if the Amish ever feel the lure of the Velvet Touch Peep Shows?  Right next to a farm there was a place offering $10 Dances.  Amish dude would be so busted, because really, everyone would know it was your wagon parked outside the purple building.

I am considered a grown adult, but names like Big Bone Lick State Park, and Dick Nutley County Road still make me giggle.

My life came to a brief standstill while listening to Tom Jones sing "She's a Lady" on my iPod.  I realized after all these years that he was taking his lady to dinner, not to Deeenah's. And that his lady was a winner, not a wiener.

While on my drive, I realized that just like there are shitty nurses that you wouldn't want to touch your loved ones, there are shitty truck drivers that are driving right next to you.  Sleeping.

I passed three wineries, and felt like it would have been the equivalent of adultery if I stopped for a tasting without Bill as my wingman.

And last, when arriving home, I realized there is really nothing sexier than my husband assembling a couch.  Unless you count when he uses power tools.

Come on over and sit on my new couch, listen to Tom Jones and drink wine with me.   We are taking a breather from project back room so I can bitch about the holidays in an appropriate fashion.  Stay tuned for the eating bar project - coming to you in January.

And next time you eat bacon, thank those pigs on I-69.  

Thursday, October 21, 2010


The other day I was helping a patient.  She looked at me and said "I remember you.  You took care of my husband. He died, and you were wonderful with my family."

I was a little taken aback, to be honest.  This lady was relaying one of the hugest moments in her life and I was racking my brain to remember it.  She remembered me, even though we were both at an entirely different hospital than the one her husband died at.  I would have expected "You look like the nurse that...." but no, she knew it was me, she didn't have a doubt.  Yet, I couldn't place her face.

She told me "You said something to my daughter; who was angry when someone told her my husband was "in a better place", and I will never forget it.  You said: 'A lot of people will come to you with cliches that you will hate to hear.  Try to remember that these people don't understand that it's normal and natural for you to be angry, in pain and that you need to heal.  Don't hate them for their words, love them for their effort to comfort you'."


I do remember saying those words, to an angry woman who was distraught that she lost her dad.  In moments of grief and shock, I try hard to be real.  I refuse  to succumb to cliches, preferring silence if I have nothing to say.  I felt honored that this woman remembered my words and that they helped her when she needed it.

That led me to thinking about our words, and the words of others.  I thought about how words we speak and hear impact our lives and relationships.  I thought about how we need to choose our words wisely and learn how important silence is, as well.

My mom's words, for example, are not words that I can rely on.  I have accepted that fact, and from it I have learned that I will try to always stand behind the words I say to my children. My Grandpa's words were wise and while I didn't always agree with him, I honored him and find comfort in the memories I have of the things he said to me.  My Dad struggles with words, so I treasure the ones that he offers in his uncomfortable, touching way.  My husband has learned, I believe, how important his words are to me and because of that, makes an effort to say them when he would rather be silent, believing I already know them.  My friend's words encourage, inspire, evoke laughter and passion and tears.

I think of the words of relative strangers that have impacted me.  "You really aren't college material" led me to graduate in the top 10 in my nursing program.  "You have a gift" makes me push through when I want to walk out the door of the hospital and never look back. "Your smile is beautiful" makes me put that smile on in moments that I want to wear a pout. "It's such a shame you've let yourself go." led to a moment of clarity and a promise to persevere and finally get healthy.

The words of loved ones are what ring in my ear when I am lonely, scared or unsure of myself.  "You are my best friend and I want to spend the rest of my life with you" spurs me on when I am overwhelmed with the work and the bills and the responsibilities that come with "the rest of my life".  "Be amazing" is what I say to my children when they are unsure of what lies next.  I know they will be, because they are.  "Be Here Now" takes me back to the moment, this moment, since I have a tendency to always be thinking of the future and what it needs to give me. "

Sometimes there are words that slip out of my mouth, that I meant to only think and not say.  Often those are the words that result in laughter as well as mortification.  I thank Nana for that, it seems that I inherited that trait from her.  It's what helps make me, well, me and that's OK too.  I love my words, I love the words of others and I hope I always grow older, wiser and more content by living with them.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Farewell, Tooth Fairy

Of all the Special Guest Star roles you play in parenting, Tooth Fairy is my favorite.  Santa - overrated.  You do a boatload of work and He gets all the accolades.  Easter Bunny - seriously? That's the one she blew up first.  "I am not going to that Dressed Up Person, Mommy.  He is a big fake rabbit, he does not talk and he scares me."

But the Tooth Fairy - now there's a rockin' job.  As Tooth Fairy you are: pretty, sparkly, tiara wearing, wand brandishing and loaded with cash flow.   It's simple work; staring in awe at your sleeping child, which I believe is one of the most beautiful sights on Earth. You also get a keepsake; an adorable little piece of enamel that you save simply because you would never part with it.

Over the summer, Casey asked for clarification about the Tooth Fairy and other parental lies she has been told.  Because I believe the straight dope is best in both my personal and professional life, I told her the truth.  She walked away satisfied that her hunches were correct, and I walked away feeling a tiny bit emptier inside because I realized the older I get, the more my Super Powers as a Mom are fading away.  While cleaning the other day, I unearthed a wand at the bottom of Casey's toy box. I put it away with my treasured things, just so I could remind myself that at one point in my children's lives, I was their Sparkly Fairy.

This morning while we walked to school, Casey stopped short, put her hand to her mouth and spat out a bloody tooth, which she promptly handed over to me.  I looked at it, and the realization hit me: my Tooth Fairy Days had come to an end.

Casey watched me staring at her tooth and said "Mom, if you want, you can give me money for that one.  I will put it under my pillow for you."

I wasn't sure who was getting the better end of the deal; Casey, who would get a dollar, or me, who got to pretend she was a believer one more time.  As it turned out, Bill put the dollar in her tooth fairy bear's little pocket. I looked in on her sleeping and felt tears well up in my eyes knowing that Tooth Fairy Bear's job was done for now. I would pack her up and put her away for my someday Grandchild.

When your babies are babies, everyone tells you that "they grow up so fast".  At times, you are so mindless and exhausted that you wish those days away.  But tonight, as I sit here and wonder where Motherhood will take me next, I want to stop the clock and keep my babies in their beds, safe, loved and happy.  My blessings are many, and being the Tooth Fairy is one I will treasure the most.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Office and other thoughts...

Sometimes I think I miss out because I don't watch a lot of TV.  I don't know crap about "LOST", I have never seen "Glee", and thought "Friends" blew.  (Apologies to Alida). Fortunately for me, however, I live with TV Man.  TV Man believes that five TV's in our little house is only OK, because there still isn't one in the bathroom.  With the help of TV Man, I gave birth to TV Boy.  And between TV Man and TV Boy, I get exposed to some funny stuff, whether I like it or not.

Seinfeld was probably first.  I found it annoying, they talked too loud and I just didn't think it was all that.  Over the years I would occasionally snort at Kramer or laugh at teeny little Elaine shoving people and saying "Get Out!" Most of my love was reserved for George's parents, and to this day I can get my work friends to laugh when I see an Orthodox Jew and ask them if they like Mahhhbull Ryahhh. But that's about the extent of my Seinfeld love. Eh, not so much.

Next exposure to a sitcom was King of Queens.  Please note that we never watch these shows until they appear in syndication. Why? I am not sure, but that's how it is. Now Carrie Heffernan, I like.  I think if I was an East Coast Girl, Carrie and I would get along fine because a lot of the time, people just piss us off.  And what I love about Carrie (and what I love about me) is that if we're pissed off, the men we love know it. If I had to pick the closest sit com husband to mine, it would be Doug Heffernan (minus the weight problem).  He (pretends to) listen to Carrie and sets her straight when she has crossed the line.  Otherwise, he just allows her to spout off and offend people and generally make an ass of herself. Those who love me will see the connection.  Carrie also has her Dad, Arthur, who reminds me of Nana.  Arthur (like Nana) possesses the radar that knows exactly when to have a crisis, thus sending Carrie (me) into brain explosion overdrive. Thank you, King of Queens, because of you I now have a daughter who uses the phrase "Fatty McButterpants".

Sometime last year we began watching "The Office".  This, by far, is my favorite TV Man gift of all.  I cannot tell you the number of times I have stopped in my tracks and through the magic of DVR rewound the scene to see if they really said what I thought they said.  For instance: "Is this it? I mean is this...two bowls of M&Ms and some balloons? You know what Phyllis? I think you need to step it up. I think you need to get the lead out. Because if I'm not mistaken, we gave you your wedding shower here. We all came into this room and gave you a golden shower. Well you know what? Where's my golden shower Phyllis?" or  this one: "I am greatly concerned about having a convict in the office. And I do not care if that convict is white, black, Asian, German or some kind of halfsie. I do not like criminals."

How can you not laugh at that stuff?  It's clever, it's quick and it's the reason women over 40 wear Poise pads.  Thank you TV Man, for the Office.  And thank you, for exposing our son TV Boy to Family Guy when he was nine years old.  Our boldest parenting move ever, I believe.  The lesson we learned there is "Because the child is laughing hysterically at this show should not justify picking up Season One at Costco without ever viewing the content yourself." Oh well, the boy is now an almost man with an amazing sense of humor.  That's so important in this family.  You have to laugh.  You have to make people laugh.  So I guess I will watch a little more TV, because I will expose myself to gems such as: "I've had two men fight over me before. Usually it's over which one gets to hold the camcorder."

And that's the way it is.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Backing In

Bill and I laugh at the fact that we manage to back our way into many things. One example would be letting the rental car agent in Miami change our entire honeymoon itinerary, right down to the accommodations. Mercifully, the Honeymoon Gods smiled down on the newlyweds, and to this day we consider the Island City House in Key West one of the most magical places on Earth. Thank you, rental agent whom we did not know for changing the reservations we held for six months. Eighteen years later we still sing your praises.

In the spirit of our honeymoon experience, I backed myself into a new job last month. After an exceptionally horrific night at work, I began looking for other options. I knew that with a possible twenty years left to work, I could not afford a mental breakdown. I love what I do, but I do not love where I do it and whom I do it for. The hospital I currently work for is not something I want to discuss here, other than to say it's not a good fit for me. (Is that OK, Bill?)

While surfing nursing job availabilities, I applied for a position called "Assistant Clinical Lead" at the hospital I had previously spent 20 years working for. Reading the job description, I ascertained that this was a Charge Nurse type of position, and that I was well qualified for it. Wanting desperately to work somewhere quieter and smaller, as well as for someone I had worked for in the past and admired immensely were the motivators I needed to press the send button that uploaded my resume.

Friends, I got the phone call. I put the heels on. I dressed tastefully. I interviewed. With one group, then another, then some more and I got the job offer. I accepted. And here we are.

I backed my way into my very first managerial position.

My first clue that Assistant Clinical Lead was not a Charge Nurse Position came when when one of the interviewers asked me how I would handle a situation where "both of my charge nurses called in sick"? Well, I thought, no big deal, I am the charge nurse so I must be one of the sick ones. It's not really my problem. Fortunately, I did not blurt this out. The frontal lobe for once cooperated and I was able to recover with a reasonable answer. But while answering I realized that I would not be a charge nurse, I would be a manager. In the middle of an interview. Backing in - mercifully, without the "backing in noise" to alert anyone.

So now, I, who have been told by my new boss that my lack of a BSN is not problematic, that I have a solid reputation and experience and the wherewithal to do this job, am the Assistant Nurse Manager of the Emergency Room. By accepting this task I am leaving my old comfortable job, with the people that understand me and love me despite my many shortcomings, which is enough to bring me to tears. But that's another post.

Will these new job people accept me? Will they return my smile? Will they understand when I say that I don't know something but will make every attempt to find out? It's getting to be crunch time, and I am a little scared and a little intimidated. I am leaning on Bill, who is my Mentor of All Things Zen and Practical, for his knowledge and support. I will be looking for other Mentors, who will help me make the transition from regular sassy ER Nurse to Manager that should watch her sassy mouth and set a good example. I need to breathe, I need to stand tall and I need to make a difference.

I can do this. I backed my way into this job. That in itself tells me it's mine.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The new job conversation

Hello, Nana?

Susan? Is that you? Hello? Hello?

Nana, it's me, Kim. Who is Susan?

Oh Kimi. It's you. I don't know who Susan is. I need some dinners, and no Salisbury steak ones.

Nana, I got the job I interviewed for. The management position. I'm so excited.

What? A new job? Where?

Remember Nana, I told you, at Providence in Novi.

NOVI? PROVIDENCE? Well who is going to take care of me now?

It's OK Nana, my friends will take good care of you when you have to come in, and I will bring you to Beaumont when you need to go there.

Well, that's no good. You won't have any friends. They will all be mad at you for leaving that nice hospital. Now what will I do?

Nana, really, it will be fine.

Well, you just go ahead and do what you want to do.


Nana? Nana?

Dial tone.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Facebook Groups I Would Like to Invent...

Join The Group: Guess what? Millions of women have been pregnant before you. Yes, it's an event. But it's really only a big deal to you and about 4 other people (or 8 or 16 if you have one of those massively divorced families).

or you could sign on for...

Is she an elephant? Because it seems like her gestation has been that long. (A sub group of : Announcing your pregnancy the day after conception)

Become a Fan of: I don't want to see your naked pregnant belly every week. Or ever. Is nothing sacred anymore? Save it for the man who inflicted you.

(Is there a theme here? Yes, friends there is. I am letting off some steam in the semi-privacy of my blog as to not offend or be branded the Pregnancy Ruiner.) This girl is just a smidge weary of cervical effacement, mucous plugs, morning sickness and public display of your pee sticks.

Become a Fan of: Kindly stop threatening me with being the 97% who won't post that:
They believe in God.
They support the Troops.
They want a cure for autism.
Someone died of cancer.

Rest assured, I am still upright after every email I deleted that swore I would be struck dead if I failed to forward it to another ten innocent victims. Most likely I will be here until said God decides it's my time to leave. I love my country and support my troops. Autism is a crushing horrible disease. I have loved many who have died of cancer. Saying it here hasn't changed a thing. Neither will posting it on Facebook. The End.

I hereby also refrain from playing games that include posting my bra color. How exactly did that "help" breast cancer awareness? Do a self exam, have a mammogram. Do something but for God sake do not make Facebook responsible for your breast health.

Biiiiggggg Breaaattthhh. There now, that's better. I feel somewhat lighter in the lobe now.

Monday, January 4, 2010

It rubs the lotion on it's body...

Remember that line? In Silence of the Lambs? (One of the greatest movies ever, BTW so if you haven't seen it you should.)

It must be January. Because I wish I had someone to tell me what to do and how to do it. Granted, I prefer not to be in a hole in the basement with the orchestrator of my life being a serial killer, but you get the idea.

I am the worst winter person ever and I find it so difficult to get motivated. My house needs to be completely lit with those Seasonal Affective Disorder lights. I need them spotlighted on my noggin to trick me into thinking it's Spring. Right now? I have boxes all over the living room surrounding a tree that needs to come down and Christmas crap that needs to be put away. I have sheets that need changing and a Nana that needs to be visited in the rehab center. (She is doing great, by the way). I need to go to the gym and sloth on the elliptical and oh, P.S.: we have no groceries. I have to work in two days and also have some dude coming on Wednesday to fix our TV, which takes about six minutes to turn on. (I find it somewhat amusing to watch the TV try to start, I will it to just grunt because if it grunted, it would help. Please note that the boy people in the house do not share my amusement). I am getting Cable Guy reminiscent hives in apprehension for Wednesday. I curse the people who cut our combined time off at work, I desperately need a mental health day.

I am digressing. I need Ritalin. I need to get going. I would make a list but then I would start drawing on it and then I would want new pens and then I would go to Casey's art box for them and then I would notice she needs her quilt washed and then and then and then...

OK - regroup. Slacker Radio to the rescue. My "Clean the House" Compilation. Prince, The Time, Michael Jackson, George Clinton "Do Fries Go With That Shake?" All the musical gems that make me unable to sit still.

WHOOP - I am momentarily motivated. So long holidays - come on May. You can get me moving but you can't make me like Michigan in the winter.