Daily Post 174: Small Steps

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I’m going to try to make this a quick writing since it’s already almost 11 pm. I don’t have work tomorrow, but I am trying to stay on a decent sleep schedule, so staying up much later wouldn’t be a good idea.

I’ve been doing pretty alright this week. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I’ve only worked Monday so far. Tuesday was school. Today was a day off. Tomorrow will be a day off as well.

So much time off… it’s almost like I’m unemployed. Only halfway joking… After spending so long working so much my brain can’t wrap around this whole “not being at work” thing. I’m completely soaking it all in, though.

I got a 91 on my first exam. Not super awesome, but not shabby either. I’m waiting to hear back as to what questions I missed. I got a fair amount of studying done this morning. That was a good feeling along with doing chores and feeling like my life is starting to get mildly under control again.

Ox and I met in town for lunch. We went to Costco to put gas in both cars. From there we went to Office Max so I could get printer ink and a hole puncher. I’ve been doing better about making to-do lists. I even went as far as to make my own custom to-do list sheets in Google’s Sheets app.

I like them. There’s color. I have my daily, repeating tasks on there so I don’t have to write them by hand over and over and over. It makes a part of my brain happy. Tonight I finished working on the weekly sheets and monthly sheets. Those are most likely going to need a bit more tweeking, but it’s a good start.

After Office Max we headed back to Costco since most of the things we wanted to get were meats or frozen things. Ox got me a Ninja Foodi while we were there. : x

It’s expensive. At least, to me it’s expensive. I totally didn’t need to have it. I was doing just fine cooking meals without it. But holy fuck does it open up so many more things for me to do. I could cook my very own chicken, without having to get a rotisserie. I can try all of those instant pot recipes I keep seeing. I cannot wait for it to be next week so I can meal plan again.

I feel irresponsible and yet adult-ish at the same time. That was money we could have spent on debt. But I have a toy that can help make my life easier. It’s confusing. I like it. I want to use it. I want to make awesome meals for everyone with it. Awesome healthy meals in line with everyone’s goals.

Speaking of… I tried a new recipe tonight. I found it while I was looking for keto recipes during one of my breaks Tuesday. It seemed promising and it was. Super simple and well liked by everyone. I’ll definitely be making it again.

Other than that… I had to get stabbed three different times today. School is requiring that I get boosters for my vaccinations. Lame. The RN was super nice, though. I’m going to go through my papers and find the immunization forms that I have so those can be added into my medical file since none of them are there for some reason. Glad I have those from mom. Maybe they’ll prevent me from having to get more needles jabbed into my arms.

Ox and I have been doing really well with the Darebee exercises. That was one of the things I wanted to try to do as a goal for my 30-day Push thing. The only downside with that… Ox is his own person and if he wasn’t on board with doing this with me, then I’m sort of set up for failure at the get-go. You can’t control anyone other than yourself, so making a goal that depends or is co-dependant on someone else isn’t a smart move.

He and I talked about it and so far, like I said, we’re doing well. I haven’t been making it to the gym like I was hoping I would. I’ve been really productive and I don’t feel bad about how I’ve spent my time. Maybe I need to reevaluate some of the goals so they’re more realistic. I’m happy that the Darebee goal is going well. That’s still taking steps in the forward direction. It’s 10 minutes, roughly, each day that we’re both doing something together. We don’t have a team name yet. Hopefully we come up with something badass. We also have our “theme song”. At least, that’s what it feels like. We’ve used the same song for the past three workouts. It works though. Good pace, good rhythm. You can’t argue good.

I think I’m going to go for now. It’s getting later and later as I sit and type this. General conclusion, it was a good day. Dinner was awesome. I got to cross stitch afterwards. I started watching Black Clover with Ox. I found the good pair of sunglasses that were missing for forever. I have a new kitchen gadget of amazingness.

Yeah… it was a good day.

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Daily Post 157: An Early Morning Writing

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I have a bit of time before work. Weird I know, but Ox and I went to sleep super early last night so I found myself awake at 1 am. After staying in bed, doing a bunch of nothing, I decided to get up and type through what I could of essentially another week of not writing.

Sunday was extremely nice. Ox worked on the addition. I finished listening to my book along with doing the reflection sections. I went to the gym. I want to say I cross stitched along with doing laundry, though laundry might have been Saturday. I don’t honestly remember. Pretty sure it was Sunday though since I didn’t get the chance to fold mine or put it away.

I made green curry which didn’t go over very well. I did get to try out all of the different kinds of veggie rice which I’ve been picking up here and there. Butternut squash. Broccoli. Beet… None of them were really all that awesome sadly. And I think I used too much of the curry paste since everyone mentioned it was too spicy for them. I thought it was pretty good with the cauliflower rice. Maybe a too much spice but it wasn’t bad. It was nice to have made it again after so long. Maybe next time will be better. It would have been nice to use shrimp instead of chicken.

Anywho, I slept well Sunday night. Physically and mentally I was tired and in need of rest. Monday was alright. I was with Float RN and New RN at work. We didn’t do awful. I did get home sort of late but that’s alright. I don’t remember what was for dinner… I think I had leftover green curry.

Oh. Something else for Monday… I went to the gym again. That night I had a dream about mom, which I’ll make a separate post about. I think it was a good dream. It answered an important question I have been asking myself.

Tuesday was sort of a low day. I woke up from the dream about mom which might have been why I was low energy, along with having been to the gym two days in a row. Meal planning hadn’t happened so I didn’t have a shopping list hanging over my head. I spent some time on the computer transferring the Grammarly writings for my reflections into Word documents so I could print them at work. Eventually, I went into town to meet up with Ox. We took care of the tags and registration for the Trax. After that, we went to my new sports bar for lunch. I haven’t been there in a while, so it was nice to go.

When we were done eating, I stuck around with my Chromebook and my cluttered stack of papers from home. I haven’t been keeping up with my “in” pile, so since I had a meeting at work I had to be to at 4:30, I figured I would kill some time before heading that way. I plucked away through the countless pages in my notebooks. Pages for school. Pages for work. Pages for personal to-do lists. Pages from meetings… So many pages, most of them no longer relevant or needed.

I went through each page, one by one, transferring the information still needed onto a new page; a master page. From there I could get a clearer view of my life. What things had fallen through the cracks, the lines? What tasks still remained scratchless through the months of eeking by that I’ve been doing?

I still need to have my FA fill out my TB test form for school. I had totally forgotten about that… I still need to submit my CNA form and CPR recertification. School’s not 100% officially done yet, but it’s a lot closer than it was. My new condensed master list gave me a regrouping point and tons of loose leaf pages of paper to fold up, marking them as taken care of and accounted for.

While I battled the pages of my life, Ox had gone to take care of some chores himself before heading home. About 30 minutes into the task of organizing my life, I got a phone call from him. He had found out some news financially which changed our time frame for paying things off. He was still nearby so I said for him to come back to me. It would be nice to take a break from all of the mental work I had been doing since he left. He said I was going to be mad at him…

My heart ached. Money can be frustrating and I agree with it being a sensitivity from my past that sometimes I don’t want to handle issues immediately, but the news he had told me wasn’t all that bad. It didn’t make me not want to see him. It most certainly didn’t make me mad. It made me want a hug to know that we were still ok.

Ox did come back to the sports bar for a few minutes after a bit of coaxing. I took a break from my tasks. We had a cigarette together. He explained the situation in full to me. We made a game plan for what we knew still needed to be taken care of. Things are still ok and I’m still not mad. I’m proud of both of us.

Ox left to go back home, for real that time, and I went back inside to continue figuring out my life. I ended up getting a text message from work saying the meeting was canceled.

Oh, darn… guess I’ll have to break out my sad face as I continue working on my stuff and listening to music without a deadline or a social interaction looming over me, said no introvert ever.

Since I didn’t have a time crunch on me anymore I finished up with my papers. I even got to type up the recipes I’ve been using so often, finally. FINALLY. That’s only been on every to-do list I have made for nearly the past month. The recipes aren’t formatted fully. No prettiness with different sized fonts or bloded section headings, but all of the information is in the computer finally. Maybe that can be my project this weekend or during the downtime of my upcoming vacation.

I even got to do other tasks with my freed up time, like setting the cards for my upcoming travel so they don’t get locked down. Woo!

Once I felt satisfied with all of my productivity and accomplishment, I came home. Mama Ox made dinner. I read the writing about my dream to Ox. He held me afterward as I cried and let my heart chakra heal more. I booked a hotel room in Omaha for Wednesday night since Thursday I had my leadership class. Eventually, we went to sleep.

Wednesday I worked with my FA and New Nurse. It was good to see my FA but I could tell she was tired. The day went smoothly. New Nurse and I are getting along. I printed out all of my reflection writings and put them in a binder with page dividers at the beginning of each chapter. It’s nice and clean and organized. My binder is thicker than the book I read… Yeah… -_-;

I got a bunch of other tasks done for work. It was a nice day. When I left I drove home. I had to take care of something with the car insurance when I got home, but that got figured out and resolved rather painlessly. I heated up dinner and ate. I packed up everything I wanted to take with me to the hotel. Ox helped carry my things out to the car. I headed north, stopping for gas along the way.

Mother Earth and I were supposed to chat on my drive up but that didn’t work out as planned. I chatted with a former student for the hour and a half drive instead. It was good to catch up with him. I messaged Mother Earth when I arrived at the hotel to see if she still wanted to talk, but she was watching a movie, so we rain checked our conversation for a later time.

Ox and I talked for a little bit. There were tons of things I could have done. I had my laptop so I could write. I had my cross stitch, so I could stitch. I had gym clothes so I would work out in the fitness room… Instead, I went to sleep. I know that sounds lame, but I was tired. I set my alarm for 6 am thinking maybe I would hit the gym before getting ready for my class, instead.

I had a hard time sleeping that night. I kept waking up only to roll over and go back to sleep. I woke up before my alarm to a group text message at 5:45 am saying my DSS class was canceled due to the weather. That was after receiving an email while I was at work addressing another class mate’s concern over driving in the icky weather. Class wasn’t going to be canceled so plan drive time accordingly… Well… now class is canceled because school’s are going to be closed for the day. Sorry guys. We’ll let you know when it’s rescheduled.

Whatever. At that point, fuck it. I’m going back to sleep. It was still snowing. The roads were awful. There wasn’t a point in getting up and I really couldn’t do much of anything where I was at. I couldn’t work on my work projects. I couldn’t go grocery shopping, not that we had ever figured out a shopping list to begin with… It was cold with a six-inch tall wall of snow between me and my car… Yep. It’s the perfect time to simply not worry. It’s quiet, silent. I’m alone. I’m just going to be for a while, even if that means sleeping until I feel awake.

When I woke up again I went to the lobby and had breakfast. I talked to Jon for a little while. It was an unexpectedly chill and relaxed morning.

Around 10 am I trudged out to my car and got most of the snow brushed off. I was even able to make it out of my parking spot despite the wall of snow the plow had left behind me.

Right Brain: Go, Awesome Little Car! You can do it! I believe in you! You show that snow who’s bawce!

The drive home wasn’t terrible. The further from Omaha I got, the better the roads were. Lincoln didn’t get near as much snow as the areas further north did. Despite mostly clear roads, I was still glad to be home and out of the car after my drive. Ox was running behind at work due to the weather. I was grateful to see him when he got home. There was tons of sexy time, hence why the early bedtime that night. Definitely made up for not going to the gym.

I slept well, I think. I feel mostly rested though I know with being up so early today that I’ll be exhausted by the time I get home. I still have 15 minutes before I need to “get up” so I think I’m going to crawl back into bed and cuddle with Ox. I didn’t expect to get through writing, to be honest. I’m glad I did, though. One less open loop in my brain to contend with.

Daily Post 152: Finally Up to Today

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Just a warning… this will most likely be long-ish post.

It’s 7:30 in the morning. Both kids are already up. Bacon is thawing so we can have breakfast in a little bit. Ox is still sleeping, and though I thought I heard Mama Ox moving around, she must have gone back to her room because I didn’t see her when I got up to use the restroom and make coffee.

I’m hoping to have enough time to catch up on my writing before the day starts in full swing. I sort of feel like the Universe is snickering at me behind my back in that regard since the last two or three posts have all been about events from over a week ago at this point.

Continuing from my last post… Ox and I were “beta-testing”. I had finally admitted after maybe about an hour of not knowing that I wasn’t 100% sure what he had said and that I was sorry for that. I was sorry if I had misheard. I was sorry if I was making a big deal out of nothing. I was sorry for being myself and confused about the emotions I felt.

Ox: I said wife.

Everything inside me went still. Quiet. Calm. I don’t think I have ever felt a warmth like that within my chest before. If I have, it must have been in a slightly different way because nothing comes to mind. It felt like I belonged. It felt right. It felt like I had finally been given something I hadn’t realized I ached for.

Me: Ok. I’m your wife.

And that’s how that went down. No proposal. No romantic down on one knee. It was simpler than that. Deeper than that. It was the stating of a fact and an acceptance of that fact as true. Undeniably accurate.

There still aren’t plans for anything legal or formal. I don’t know if that means it’s less “real” to others or not, but as one person put it I didn’t get married to make them happy. If they want it to play out a different way, they can make their own choices. They can do it differently and in a way that works for them.

This way worked for me and Ox. We affirmed something to each other that I think we’ve felt and known for a long time. That we’re not going anywhere. That we’re together regardless of what the government says or recognizes. We’re loyal, considerate, compassionate, respectful and supportive of each other without a piece of paper saying that’s how we’re supposed to be.

I have a new word, a new title to go along with all of the other ones Ox uses to identify me. I’m his kitten. I’m his Jennifer. I’m his wife. And I’m ok with that.

I don’t really remember a whole lot about Thursday after that point. I don’t think a whole lot happened for the rest of Thursday which was totally ok in my book. Thursday was a hell of a long day full of lots of stuff.

Friday I worked. It was the last day before my stay-cation week; this past week. I was with my FA. It was a smooth day. I didn’t go to the dojo. I came home instead. I was tired. I’m pretty sure I went to bed early-ish.

Saturday and Sunday happened. I don’t remember much about those days either. Well… now that I think a bit harder on it. I do.

Saturday started out rough. I had gotten groceries to make protein waffles to go with the eggs and bacon for breakfast. Papa Ox is doing really well with sticking to a keto diet, but it does sort of suck to feel like you can’t have any of the stuff you like or are used to. I’ve had a recipe from my sister-in-law for a while. It was a recipe she had made for me one morning while I was visiting my older brother. It had turned out good, but since no one was on the “healthy eating” train until recently, I never really had a reason to make the waffles.

Well, that was my project for Saturday, the only downside was I had tried making a homemade syrup and it had turned out awful. And I’m not just saying that to be down on myself. This was Grade-A awful stuff and I don’t even know why it turned out that bad. I followed the recipe…

But it sucked and I was left in a “breakfast is ruined” state before it even really began since I had tried the syrup when I got up that morning. The recipe said to refrigerate it overnight. You can’t have waffles without syrup… You just can’t.

So what was I going to do to recover? Drive to the gas station so I could be out of the house and have a breakdown. That will totally solve all of this.

I called Ox while I was there.

Me: I don’t know what’s wrong, but I’m trying to figure it out and I’m sorry.

We talked on the phone for a little bit. Having distance between me and the crushing feeling of everyone being awake and not having a place to retreat to helped me start to feel a bit better. Hearing Ox’s calm voice helped. I found a different recipe to try on my phone. I came back home and made it, and though it still wasn’t what I had been hoping for as far as a syrup goes, it was passable for the time being. Breakfast was salvaged.

After breakfast Ox and I went back into town. We went to Bed Bath and Beyond to look at waffle makers. We have one, but it’s not a very good one. You can’t pop the waffle molds out to wash them. That really bothers me since I’m a bit of a germaphobe. If I can’t clean it “properly” with hot water and soap, then it’s most likely not clean and shouldn’t be used.

Bed Bath and Beyond didn’t have what I was looking for. Mom had a waffle maker that had different plates that could be swapped out. I was looking for something similar. While we were out Ox and I stopped at a grocery store. There was a particular syrup brand mentioned in the protein waffle recipe that was low carb and ok to use. Walmart hadn’t had it when I went grocery shopping the day before which is why I had tried to make my own.

The store we stopped at on Saturday had a HUUUUGGGGEEEE selection of this particular brand. Walden’s Farms. They have salad dressing, syrups, jellies, all sorts of stuff. And so far, everything we have tried has tasted pretty alright. We got a couple bottles of syrup; one pancake and one blueberry. Breakfast on Sunday went over much better. Everyone is ok with the new waffles and the syrup is a pretty good substitute for normal pancake syrup. You can tell there’s a bit of a difference, but it’s not a bad difference.

So that was last weekend. I got a bunch of the chores done. I’m not sure when I got through chapter two, but at some point, I did that. That was a bunch of emotional stuff. I meal planned for the coming week and had a grocery list made out. I went to sleep Sunday night looking forward to not having to get up early for work.

Monday I had a text message from my FA saying patient census was down and that I didn’t need to come in to help with change over. Score. I still had my meeting with the head of the LPN program at 9:30. I drove down and met with her. We talked for about an hour. She gave me some things to look into as far as the application process goes as well as some ideas for as which classes to register for and how. She gave me a few names of people for me to contact in regards to financial aid and my application, and with that, I had a clearer idea of what I needed to get done for school and when.

Tuesday Ox and I met in town for lunch at Arby’s and to do grocery shopping at Walmart. I woke up tired from not sleeping well the night before. The simple act of walking out to my car to drive had me short of breath; like I had just finished a light workout at the gym. When Ox and I hugged I told him how I was feeling. It didn’t feel like sickness. I wasn’t overly congested or anything. It was just hard to feel like I was breathing right. I didn’t have an arrhythmia… I didn’t get it. I didn’t really think there was a reason for me to be feeling the way I was, but regardless of that, this was how I was feeling.

I had planned to try to get my blood drawn after grocery shopping. The school needs to know my immunization status for a few things as part of the application process.

Ox: Why don’t you save that for Thursday. Today we’ll get lunch, do the shopping, then go home.

I was on board with the “not doing much” idea. Lunch was enjoyable. We tweaked the shopping list a bit to try doing a homemade cauliflower crust pizza since the frozen one had been alright, but not awesome. The shopping trip itself went well. We spent about $110 dollars, keeping a few things I wanted as a separate transaction. Mama Ox had left $60 sitting on the kitchen table for me, so it worked out well.

When Mama Ox got home later that night she asked me how much the grocery bill had been. I told her the amount and that it had worked out perfect. Everyone paid a quarter. She said, no, that she needed to give me more money. As she tried handing me another twenty I asked if I was allowed to not take it. It felt wrong to take more money because Ox and I eat the food, too. It’s not like I was buying stuff that we weren’t allowed to touch. We all ate the same meals and that’s what I had bought on the trip. It was food we all were going to be eating and we all had contributed. So if anything, I owed her $10.

Mama Ox: Next time.

She that certain smile… I think it’s a mom thing. It’s that smile where she knows she’s won and you’re going to accept her decision. End of story.

I sheepishly took the $20.

Me: Next time.

I don’t think Ox’s parents are used to someone being as proactive around the house as I am, or as concerned about balance and fairness. I used the extra $20 yesterday to get Halo Top ice cream for Papa Ox since it’s something that had come up in conversation. I really wanted to find SO coconut ice cream since it’s even lower on carbs, but sadly the Walmart I was at didn’t have that brand. Point being, I still used the money for the family. I didn’t spend it on myself because I didn’t think of it as “mine”.

The new pizza crust recipe turned out better than the frozen store bought one. There wasn’t corn starch in the homemade crust and it had more flavor from added spices. It was still pretty soft though instead of crispy so you had to eat it with a fork. I may or may not have forgotten to spray the foil for the first two crusts as well… >.>;

That was a disaster avoided due to Ox being amazing and helping me salvage the crusts. I now have a bag of almond flour so take three of the pizza crust will hopefully be an outstanding success.

So, that was Tuesday. My breathing got easier as the day went along so I’m still not sure what was up with my lungs in the morning.

Wednesday I went in to work for what I thought would be two hours of helping during change over which turned into 5.5 of making sure the clinic didn’t burn to the ground. Yeah…

So the story behind Wednesday…

I woke up thinking it would be a “normal” day. Normal for dialysis. Oh, how foolish of me.

Right before I got into the shower I got a text message from our float RN. She was going to have to leave the clinic for personal matters and wanted to know if I minded staying the rest of the day to cover for her. Um… Last I checked I wasn’t an RN yet so unless my FA was also going to be at the clinic there wasn’t much I could do as far as covering for her. I could be a third person on the floor, but I couldn’t be charge RN.

I told her to give me a few minutes to figure some stuff out. I had planned to use Wednesday to get through chapter three in my book. I didn’t really have time obligations, but working a mostly full day was definitely not having a “stay-cation”. Arg…

As I was driving down to the clinic I tried to call the float RN to figure out what was going on. Her cell phone doesn’t get good reception in the middle of nowhere so I couldn’t get through to her. I tried calling our new tech who was supposed to be at the clinic covering for me this week, but she didn’t answer either. I wasn’t all that surprised. I was calling right at the start of change over. I talked to Ox a bit to let him know the limited information I had. I told him I would keep him posted as to how my day changed.

When I got to the clinic I went straight to the floor. Good thing, too. The new doctor was rounding on our patients with my FA and the nurse practitioner and shit was hitting the fan. Never fear! PCT Jen is here.

I haven’t sweat that much during a change over in a while.

We got all of our first shift patients rinsed back, taped up, and out to go about their day. We got all of the machines disinfected, restrung and ready to go for second shift. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I’m pretty sure I rinsed back three of our patients, reset four of the machines and initiated four of our second shift patients. Out of eight, I did half.

Everyone was extremely grateful that I came in. I stayed until around three. That allowed the new PCT to go to lunch. That allowed my FA to talk to the doctor and round with him for the second shift patients. That allowed the float RN to leave once all of the second shift patients had received their meds. I was able to run an extremely important lab over to the hospital; one that was almost forgotten to be drawn.

I apologized to my FA for not knowing about the lab.

FA: Thank you. But it’s not your job.

Accurate… but my FA shouldn’t be the one to make sure everything gets taken care of either. There has to be some level of reliability, and right now it’s really hard to defend our float RN. She’s a great person. I don’t mind working with her as much as I did in the beginning. But when your boss can’t count on you to cover the shifts your scheduled for or to complete the tasks you’re supposed to be in charge of… I don’t know. It’s rough. And there was more than just those two situations that the RN dropped the ball on Wednesday.

I checked my email while I was at the clinic. My yearly review is coming up so I have a self-assessment to complete. More writing… I could feel my fingers glaring at me as I sat down to type out a few of my answers. I didn’t get it finished, but I’m over halfway through it.

I also got to talk to the social worker and my FA about the Wall of Fame I volunteered myself to do. I have some ideas brewing in my head. Unforantetly I haven’t done much in the way of progress on it. The week just hasn’t played out to let me do a whole lot in that regard.

I also got to talk to my FA about the few things I still needed to get taken care of for my LPN application. She gave me some information about the CPR class I need to take. I guess there’s an online option where all I will have to do is show up, provide proof that I’ve completed the online section, test out of my skills, and call it good. I’m down for quick and easy.

So Wednesday was a good day in the end. I’m glad I was able to help my team. It was good to see my patients smile at me. They hadn’t thought I would be there all week so it was a pleasant surprise when I walked out onto the floor.

Patient: What are you doing here? I thought you were on vacation.

Me: I’m here to join the party. : 3

So, five and half hours later, I clocked out and headed home.

Thursday started out better. I tried to register for a class online and found I couldn’t. The step by step instructions started with “click on this tab” only… I didn’t have that tab on my student page for the college’s website. I didn’t know if there was an issue with my application or what, but since I couldn’t complete the first step there wasn’t much else I could do on my end. I showered. I had breakfast. I meet Ox in town to have lunch at our Chinese place again. After we ate he asked if I wanted him to drive me to the different places I needed to go.

Me: I wouldn’t mind spending more time with you.
Ox: In that case… I’m going home.
Me: Wait! I meant I would mind spending time with you. I totally mind.
Ox: Oh… In that case… I’m going home.

I love how we can banter with each other like that. He did stick around, driving me to the clinic I needed to go to for my blood draw. That actually went extremely smoothly. No resticks or anything. They will automatically send my results to the college. Woo. Another item I can scratch off on the college to-do list.

After that, we went to the Lincoln campus to figure out the registration issue I was having. That got taken care of and while I was there I went ahead and registered for Human Anatomy. That’s going to be $417 dollars for just the one class. It will be another roughly $300 to $400 for the two books I need, depending on if I get hardback or not. Since I need the code which comes with the books, it wouldn’t be a good idea to buy them used or to try to rent them through the book store. The upside? These books will also be used for Human Physiology, so theoretically I won’t have to spend much, if anything, on books for that class. We’ll see…

I didn’t have to pay anything on Thursday for the class and I opted to wait on buying the books. I wanted to talk to Jon to see if the book he used was the same one my class was requiring. I sent him a message asking him to send me a picture of his book later when he got home. He said he would and if it was the same one I was welcome to use it. Code and all. Sweet.

Ox and I then went over to the Hy-Vee store where we had successfully found the pancake syrup over the weekend. I wanted to get salad dressing for Papa Ox since a lot of the meals I cook are served with a side salad. We also got a few jellies to try out.

With all of that taken care of, Ox drove me back to my car and we headed home. Once we got home I began taking care of dinner. I had started it before I left since it was a slow cooker recipe. Shredded buffalo chicken bowls. It turned out alright, but it was definitely missing something that I can’t put my finger on. Not sure if I’ll be making it again in the future. I did listen to about half of chapter three. That happened while we were waiting for Mama Ox to come home. I got a bit of stitching done during that time as well.

Instead of cross-stitching after dinner like Ox had wanted me to, I went back to plucking away at my to-do list. I signed up for the CPR class I need to take. That was $55 dollars, but work will reimburse me for it. I set my debit and credit cards up for travel during my trip. I transferred $600 of my tax return to my credit card to cover the plane ticket and rental car I had already paid for. I updated my calendar. I set up the account I needed to begin making payments on the Trax since we’ve had that information for a little bit. That allowed me to put more papers away rather than having them scattered around my desk. I also created a “school” sub-calendar on my Google calendar since my class starts on April 1st. I’ve been told it’s not a joke and class actually will start that day. We’ll see… >.>

Oh! I also posted a daily post as well as my DSS assignment on Thursday.

For the record… the only reason I remember half of this stuff is because I actually wrote out a to-do list for Thursday so I have something to look back on. By the end of Thursday, I was beat. I felt like I had gotten a lot of stuff taken care of, which, I guess I kind of did.

Friday was another good day. It started with a phone call to Jon. It’s been nice talking to him so much. After talking to him I came inside and began writing for a bit. I didn’t get as far as I wanted to before I had to shower and head down to work.

I wasn’t there as long as I had been on Wednesday. Everyone was still glad to see me again which warmed me. It was just the float RN, the new tech, and myself. Originally my FA was supposed to be there, but personal matters came up which kept her from being at the clinic. The day turned out alright. The three of us found a rhythm that worked well. I helped end treatments and clean/reset machines. The new tech helped with ending treatments and walking the patients out. The float RN initiated the treatments for second shift. As the new tech got freed up, she began initiating treatments as well. Once all of the machines were restrung and ready to go, I also jumped in and helped start treatments. I’m the fastest and most experienced with our machines, and while, yes, the new tech is going to need to hone her skills, she’s going to be going back to Cap City for three weeks until our clinic is opened to six days a week again. Yesterday was not the day for skill honing. It was about surviving, and we did, and the system we found worked really well for us. I’m proud of us. Go, team!

I stayed at the clinic while the new tech took lunch. I checked my email again and replied to a few surveys that were sent out. I made sure some of the closing tasks were done so New Tech didn’t have to worry about them. When she came back to the floor I clocked out and hung out for another hour or so making CVC termination packs. I got to chat with our Administrative Assistant (AA) for a while. I got caught up on her new grandbaby stories and I told her about my continuing adventure with schooling. She’s happy for me.

Oh… And something I don’t remember writing about… On Thursday I found out that I made the Dean’s list for the fall quarter. All I did was take a CNA course. I don’t feel like I earned or deserve recognition for “academic excellence” but never the less, I have a certificate saying that I did well.

Both my AA and FA say they’re proud of me and are looking forward to me being a nurse. They say I’ll make a good nurse. I don’t know how I feel about that. There’s a part of my brain that shrinks away from those comments. It wants to say, “I don’t want to be a good nurse. I just want to help people.”

Another part of my brain feels like being “good” means there’s the potential to let people down or not live up to expectations. There’s the potential to fail. I guess that’s something I need to think more on since there’s a bit of discord there. Overall it was a good conversation. I’m looking forward to seeing my AA again on Monday once I’m back at the clinic.

Once I finally left work, I headed to the Beatrice campus for my college. I wanted to talk to someone in financial aid. After getting registered for my class, one of the other tasks I had tried to complete at home was putting my current loans back into forbearance since I’m officially a student again. That hadn’t been the one-step process I had been hoping for. The website did say that the school could send my information for me, though. I also had questions about additional loans. I mean, really, I didn’t have a lot of questions, but I felt better about talking to someone in person if they had time.

When I called to inquire, the woman I spoke with said any time was fine and to stop in whenever. So I stopped in. Yes, they will automatically send my information to the loan company so there’s nothing further I need to do with that. The deadline for scholarship applications with the school ended at midnight that night, Friday night, so if I was quick, I could still potentially get assistance through scholarships. There was also a step by step sheet of instructions for completing FASFA which wasn’t a lost cause. She explained that even though I already had loans that I might be able to get additional assistance for my new endeavor. It wasn’t guaranteed yes, but it wasn’t a guaranteed no, either. The worst they could say is no, and the application process was free to find out.

I thanked her for taking time out of her day to meet with me. I said I had a clearer idea of how to go about my next steps and that I appreciated her help. From the school I headed back home, stopping at the Walmart in Beatrice for a few extra things we would need over the weekend. Ox wanted me to try to make a keto brownie or cake type recipe for Papa Ox. I wanted to see about finding the keto friendly ice creams I had mentioned earlier in the week. I also needed to return a spice shaker I had bought on Tuesday.

Since I’ve been making my own spice mixes for a while, I’ve been wanting a larger container to keep them in with a shaker top. I haven’t been able to find anything in stores and I don’t want to buy something full of spice already, just to dump it out so I can use the container. That just seems ridiculously wasteful to me.

Well… while Ox and I were at the store on Tuesday I found one that I thought “might” be ok. It was pretty enough. It seemed larger than the containers I was currently using, but I wouldn’t really know how I felt about it until I tried it out.

Fast forward a bit to Tuesday evening when I emptied out a Kraft grated parmesan cheese container…

It’s… perfect.

It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for this whole time. I can fit multiple batches of my spice mixes in it, so I don’t have to worry about mixing them so often. Wooo! And there’s a second one in the fridge that’s almost empty and the tops are different colors so it will be easy to tell my spice mixes apart. Omg. My brain was/is so happy over how perfect they are for what I want. I don’t even have to worry about icky glue being on the side of the container because the container design was shrunk wrapped on. All I had to do was cut it off and poof! Perfectly clear, unmarked large plastic container with a shaker top that can come off if I would rather scoop an amount out instead.

So much happy.

Anywho, since I now had the perfect shaker already at home, I didn’t need the smaller one I had bought from the store. That got returned, and once that was done I was able to officially head home for the day. It was later than what I was expecting, but I had taken care of everything that I needed to and it felt good.

When I got home I told Ox about the scholorship application deadline and the FASFA application. Papa Ox and brought home dinner with Ornery Ox so I didn’t have to worry about making anything for the family. I heated up the leftover shredded chicken and began plucking away at the “paying for college” stuff.

I got the scholarship thing done well before the midnight deadline. I figured out FASFA, too, so that should be processed by the college before too long I hope. I had a half cup serving of the black cherry Halo Top ice cream. It’s not bad. Ox and I got some laundry put away. I got two more posts up on my blog. I got a phone call from New Tech letting me know that she hadn’t been able to get to creating the needle packs, but everything else should be in order for Monday. I told her that was fine and that I appreciated her covering my week off for me. We most likely won’t see each other for a while since she won’t be at the meeting on March 5th. I told her if she needed anything to feel free to call me.

And I think that’s about it for Friday. I woke up around midnight and had a hard time falling back asleep. Lame.

I woke up at 7:30 like I said when I started writing this and so far it’s been a good morning. I’ve spent most of it typing and recapping the past week. It’s not what I had in mind when I wrote my DSS post about starting “weekly recaps” again. I haven’t been all that awesome about getting to the gym or writing daily either, but I think I’m staying afloat.

I’ve been back and forth from the computer a bit. Ox and I made breakfast for everyone. The waffles seemed to go over well, though the kids aren’t giant fans of the new syrups. They don’t know that the waffles are made with oatmeal and cottage cheese.

I have plans to finish listening to chapter three in my book once I’m done writing this post. I’ll most likely cross stitch while I do so. Once I reach the end I’ll make my zucchini brownies for Papa Ox along with a batch of “normal” brownies so we can try to work through a bit of the stuff sitting in the cabinets while the kids are here.

Once I complete those kitchen projects, I’ll start work on the reflection sections for chapter three. This chapter is about purpose so I feel like it will be a bit easier to get through it than the previous two chapters. Purpose is a bit more defined for me. I might not have to dig as deep to find the answers to the questions asked. Only one way to find out… >.<;

I’m not sure what time it will be once I complete that task or if I’ll even be able to see that task to its completion today. It would be nice to start the laundry. It would also be nice to figure out the meal plan for the coming week along with the shopping list associated with it. I would like to make green curry. God that would be so awesome to have for lunches.

Anywho, today should continue to be a chill day. We have blizzard advisory warnings for today into the early morning of Sunday. So far it feels pretty nice outside. Cloudy and overcast, but it’s not ridiculously cold, so I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s been raining off and on. It would suck for temperatures to drop and for the roads to freeze over. I haven’t had to deal with black ice yet. At least not that I know of.

So I guess that’s enough procrastinating on my part. Time to go back and half-heartedly proof-read my writing and get it posted so I can continue going about my day.

It feels good to be caught up. It feels good to say I’m in school. I’m officially working on being a nurse. I’m one step closer to being an RN, mom. I know that would make you smile.

Daily Post 143: Not A Productive Thursday

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Written Thursday.
Posted today because I’m a slacker and Life happens.

I wasn’t as productive as I had hoped to be today, so I don’t feel like there’s a lot to report.

I felt good last night; Wednesday night. I felt like I had found motivation and purpose and drive again. So it was pretty frustrating when I didn’t really wake up with those feelings. I slept really well. I felt rested. I had written a little to-do list last night. A small, manageable amount of things to work on while Ox was at work. There shouldn’t have been so much friction inside of my head towards actually getting any of it accomplished.

By the time Ox got home from work around 1, the only things I had managed to convince myself to do were having breakfast and lunch and taking a shower. I spent the rest of the time in bed.

We talked about it and for the moment I’ll leave it at that. We didn’t fight or anything. Just talked about personal stuff that I’m going to keep personal until I’m done thinking on it.

Eventually, I did sit down in front of my computer and update my calendar. I organized my tax papers and put them away where I could find them easily for when I get around to actually filing them. I bought and downloaded the first book for my leadership class since Audible had it on their site. They have all of the books I’ll need for my class so now my only worry is the narrator being crummy.

I went through the rest of my “in” pile, which included a piece of mail from the community college I took my CNA course at. I guess that’s tax deductible, too, or something tax-related. There was another tax form in the letter so I filed that with all of the other ones. We’ll see what becomes of it. I didn’t even know it was something I should have been expecting. Hooray for going through stuff I suppose.

I called the car dealership around 2 pm to see what the status of my car was. It still needed the alignment but all of the other work was done. It would be finished later in the afternoon and they would call to let me know when it was ready for pick up.

I started cooking the bourbon chicken so it would be ready at a decent hour, and from there I curled up in bed with Ox to stitch for a bit and start listening to my book.

Eventually, my car was ready so we drove into Lincoln to pick it up. I had set aside $1500 for the repairs. It came out to $1075. That means I have more than enough to still buy the headgear and new gloves I want for the dojo. It would be really nice to actually go to at least one class at the dojo tomorrow. I haven’t committed to it yet. I guess I could always toss my gym bag into my car and have it with me. I won’t know until the end of the day what my mental status is anyway. I guess it doesn’t do me any real good to make a decision now when I don’t know what the day will be like.

Oh, and the car drives way smoother now. I hadn’t realized how not smooth it was until I was driving back home 1k poorer. The car is much quieter. There’s definitely less road noise and it doesn’t pull to the right anymore now that the struts aren’t busted. I even have a code to get a free car wash. Too bad the temperatures aren’t going to be above freezing for a while.

The bourbon chicken didn’t turn out the way I wanted. Ox said dinner was good, but I had expectations on what it should have been like and it didn’t turn out tasting anything like what it “should” have so I’m thoroughly not impressed.

Positive note: the cauliflower rice I tried wasn’t bad. I plan to make green curry soon and use that instead of the black rice like normal. I haven’t made curry since before I moved to Nebraska.

I think that’s about it for today. There’s work tomorrow. Not sure how that will go. There’s the possibility of the dojo before coming home. The kids will be here this weekend. The dragon’s den is still pretty unusable so I don’t know how well I’ll fair.

At least I have a normal week to look forward to next week. No training another person. Just me on my own doing my own thing. That will be nice.

Daily Post 142: Tax Forms and Other Things

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Written yesterday. Posted today.

So… I feel like I have a lot to write about.

Yesterday ended up being a decent day even though it started with a rant about how horrible socializing is and how my day was falling apart around me. I felt mildly better after writing. Ox and I made plans to still go into town. I made my shopping list. Mama Ox spent a majority of the rest of the morning in her room so the immediate interaction I had with her when I woke up was pretty much the extent of it. Not having someone in the kitchen talking me to while I planned out the grocery trip helped ease the friction in my brain.

Ox came home to pick me up. As we drove into Lincoln it began snowing. We had a really nice lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings. I haven’t been there in a while since I liked my sports bar in Orlando so much more, but it’s an ok substitute. I got to have wings and a side salad since we were there early enough for the lunch menu.

After we ate we went across the street to do the shopping at Walmart. I got a small stockpile of seasoning packets since I’ve gone through all of the ones I had. I’ve been enjoying the GrillMates marinate packets for when I cook chicken. I also picked up rice to go with the bourbon chicken recipe I’m going to be making tomorrow.

Originally, the game plan was to cook the bourbon chicken for dinner last night, but since it’s a slow cooker recipe and we didn’t get home until close to 3 pm, we opted to save that for Thursday instead of waiting to eat dinner until 7ish.

Ox and I moved the insulation out of my dragon’s den together. Though no other work got done I was ok with the small progress we made. We also discussed the setup of the room more. We talked about building a custom bed frame so we can have drawers for our clothes. We also discussed furniture and have a better idea for dimensions and the spacing of things. We talked more about what will be going in the dragon den, which included my own twin sized mattress. I’m very much looking forward to having my own little corner of solitude.

I ended up cooking a dinner of BBQ chicken thighs with mashed potatoes and a side salad. It wasn’t a very complex meal but it was satisfying and filling and it seemed to go over well with everyone but Ox who isn’t a huge fan of chicken. He had a bowl of cereal for dinner instead but was content with it. At least he said that he liked it.

I got to cross stitch a bit last night, too. That, too, wasn’t a lot of progress, but some progress is better than none. I feel like I’ll get more done tomorrow while I’m sitting around waiting to pick up my car.

Anywho, that was about the extent of yesterday. It was a cold, snowy day that didn’t start anything like I thought it should have, but overall it turned out to be an ok day. I even put my clothes away and got Ox’s at least dried.

Today didn’t have a super awesome start. The snow as still coming down at 8 pm when Ox and I went to sleep. When we woke up there were about three or four inches of snow over everything, including my car. I spent time scrapping my windows, letting my car defrost the rest of the way as Ox and I had our morning cigarette together.

The drive to work was far from relaxing, but having my trip back to Lincoln from Fremont two weeks ago as a reference point, I can honestly say I’ve driven through worse. I left an hour early for work and pulled into the parking lot of the clinic on time. I drove 35 mph most of the way down. The roads sucked. There were no track marks from other cars that early in the morning. Most of the time, at least on Hickman Road, I didn’t even know where the center of the road was. Everything was ice and snow and sometimes there were black patches that looked like asphalt. Luckily there wasn’t a lot of oncoming traffic for that road, but it still wasn’t a cool feeling not knowing if I was too far over or not.

Right Brain: Doesn’t matter. I stayed on the road. Go me!

Highway 77 was a little better, but not by much. I was glad to pull into the clinic parking lot at the same time as my FA. The float RN called out due to the roads. She lives significantly further away from the clinic, and further north so she got more snow. With how crappy the drive was for the brief time I was on the road I totally don’t blame her for not coming in.

It was a pretty smooth day today at work. The tech in training is getting better. I know her first few days on her own is going to be overwhelming for her, but the only way for her to find her own flow is for me to not be there. I plan to take a serious step back on Friday. Essentially I’ll be there as a cheerleader. It’s going to be hard to not jump in and help. I’m not good at watching other people work.

We got her checked off on the few skills she needed to be observed performing. So yeah… after this week she’ll be a full-fledged Patient Care Technician. I think if she can get through the overwhelm of the first few weeks on her own that she’ll be fine. She needs to prove to herself that she can do it.

I had a bunch of emails at work today. Tax forms got posted, so I printed those. There were new emails about my leadership course, so I printed that information out. I have dates for all of the class meetings along with what our reading content will be. I plan to see if Audible has the books so I can listen to them while stitching. That would be super cool. I’m really looking forward to Emotional Intelligence 2.0. I want to jump straight to reading that one. Too bad that’s not until May or something like that. It’s one of the last books we’ll be reading for the class. So not cool. ;-;

I got to talk to my FA about taking time off in March to actually travel to Orlando to see my dad and stepsisters and Jon. She’s ok with me going so now I need to iron out the dates that will work for seeing everyone. It would be nice to see Warren #2 while I’m there and my home clinic teammates and my former coworkers at Full Sail. There’s Sir and Big Bad and my Blacksmith. There’s the potential to go to my old dojo and roll with the guys for a night or two. There’s a part of me who wishes I could see Mother Earth but I don’t know how to approach that aspect of my life just yet. I want to see my therapist, too, even if it’s only to give her a hug and to show her how amazingly well I have done since moving.

I know I won’t be able to do everything and see everyone. But at least I know there’s a possibility of it actually happening. The subject wasn’t immediately shot down. In fact, my FA wrote my tentative dates down and said if they changed to let her know. I can’t put into words how grateful, honored, and appreciative I am of her support. I feel like I matter to her as a person. I’m not just an asset. What I want matters and she tries really hard to make sure I’m happy and content both at work and in my personal life.

The new schedule for work came out today as well. That’s a big deal because our clinic will now have two techs, but we’re still only open three days a week. That means there are not enough hours for both of us to meet full-time requirements without covering at other clinics. We were told we would trade off weeks with our sister clinic in Lincoln. One week I would be in Beatrice, covering our three days, and the new tech would be in Lincoln. The next week she would be in Beatrice and I would be in Lincoln.

Neither of us wants to cover anything in Lincoln. XD

Well… with the new schedule, the first week I’m in Beatrice. Score. The second week I cover four days in a row at the Lincoln clinic. Boooooo. But, bright side, I’m either Census 1 or Census 2, which means I don’t have to stay until 9 pm to close the clinic. I’ll be one of the first people, if not the first person, to leave. Not a perfect situation since I still have to go to that particular clinic, but I’ll take it as an acceptable compromise. If I have to be there at least I’ll be out as fast as possible.

My FA also mentioned that she wants me to come to one of the regional FA meets that are held monthly. Sort of like how I sat in on the FHM meeting back in November I think it was. I’m very interested in seeing what those meetings are like. I don’t expect that I’ll contribute a lot, or that anything will really be expected of me. But with the push to have me become a preceptor for our clinic and my participation in the leadership course, our Regional Operations Director wants me to participate in one of these meetings. Like… He specifically spoke to my FA about having me attend.

Right Brain: No pressure or anything… brb while I go hyperventilate by myself in a corner… x.x

Apparently, there was talk about me become a regional float tech for the company since I’m so highly requested whenever there is a staff shortage. My FA told me about that today, too, and how she had vetoed that idea. Part of me is honored that my region as a whole feels like I would do well in a position like that. The other part of me is glad my FA told them no. I like where I’m at. I like knowing my schedule and having a clinic that’s “mine”. I like having “my” patients. I don’t mind picking up overtime every once in a while. I’m getting better at saying no; or at least saying, “I would rather not be the first pick if possible. If I’m the last resort, ok, but I really would like to be able to not have to cover that shift.”

It’s a weird feeling. I never thought I would be here when I started my own training as a dialysis technician. I didn’t even know if it was something I would be able to do. I knew for sure when I was in Orlando that I wouldn’t be able to maintain working 16 hour days. I admit to still having a hard time finding balance with the gym and dojo and school and life while working 12 hour days, but I think I’m more successful with it here in Nebraska then I ever could have hoped to have been in Florida.

I also have had so many more opportunities here to explore and branch out. Being the only tech in my clinic meant I had to step up and learn new things and cover more tasks. I don’t know… I just feel like I’m doing really well and that’s a weird feeling. I never thought about excelling or being a role model/trainer for other technicians. I just wanted to help people and to give my life some feeling of purpose because I didn’t have one when mom died.

I’ve come a long way and I feel good about that, but also sort of solemn and heavy because I wish I could share that with mom physically. I wish we could talk on the phone and I could hear her excitement and pride and happiness for me. Adult me knows she’s proud of me. Adult me knows she’s happy for me. But it would make my inner eight-year-old happy to the point of tears to actually hear it in her voice. To feel it in her hug. To see it in her smile.

Sometimes good things still suck and while I don’t think any of the positive stuff that’s happened for work really falls into the “sucks” category, it’s still tinged with this feeling of sadness because there’s still a part of me who wishes things were different.

So yeah, lots of stuff happened at work.

After work, I drove into Lincoln to drop my car off. Ox and I got dinner at Slim Chickens. They have pretty good salads. I was happy with a healthy dinner since I totally had a donut at work this morning. >.<;

We also stopped at GNC and got two more cases of Bang. Mornings can never be bad when I have that to wake up to. Maybe I should have focused on that yesterday morning rather than how I had to talk to people on my day off… something to keep in mind for next time.

Right Brain: Damnit! I have to talk to people… but at least I have a Cotten Candy Bang. All is still right in the world. : D

When we got home I printed out the other two tax forms I needed. One for the interest I’ve paid on my student loans along with one for my HSA account through work. I don’t know when I’ll actually file my taxes, but at least I have all the forms, that I know of, that I need.

And now I can feel accomplished because I’m at the end of writing. It’s pretty much bedtime, so I don’t think I’ll get to stitch at all, but I’m pretty sure I’m ok with that. I have all day tomorrow to be at home. I don’t have a whole lot of actual chores to do. I need to update my calendar with all of the new dates I have. I want to try to get in touch with my dad. I want to put the rest of the clothes away and cook dinner and other small things like that, but there’s not a whole lot in the way of obligations tomorrow. Really just dinner, which I did to myself, and picking up my car once it’s done.

I think tomorrow will be a good day. I’m looking forward to it.

Daily Post 107: Lazy Rainy Day

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I’m trying to eek writing in while Lil’ Ox is in the shower.

The day started around 6 am with breakfast and a Cotton Candy Bang. When the kids woke up we continued playing Stuffed Fables. By 9 am Mama, Papa, and Lil Ox headed out. I showered and got dressed so Ox, Oronry Ox, and I could head into town to run errands.

Of course, we forgot that today is Sunday and nearly everything has screwy hours. The game store we wanted to go back to didn’t open until noon. The place we wanted to eat at didn’t open until 10:30. It was a rainy, dreary type of day and even though it seemed like we were hitting brick walls anytime we tried to do something we eventually made it work.

We went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to look at pot sets. I was worried about buying one because I didn’t want Mama Ox to not like it or be angry or hurt because she wasn’t part of the picking process. There was a really good return policy with the store, though. If you didn’t like the set you have a year to return it as long as you keep your receipt. Well… it’s hard not to take something home with a return policy like that.

We ended up getting a set that happened to be on clearance. We got a roughly $200 set for $70. Can’t really beat that. And if Mama Ox totally was against it we could bring it back. I still had to fight off anxiety for most of the rest of our trip. I’m always worried about changing things or getting something new. It’s her space and her stuff and I’m the outsider messing things up. I didn’t want the new pot set to be another thing I’m doing wrong.

By the time we were done at Bed, Bath, and Beyond it was late enough for use to get lunch. We went to a burger place. At first, I was frustrated. Everything was on Texas Toast or fried or very much a “I shouldn’t be eating this if I’m trying to lose weight.” My options were pretty much five salads. Six if you included the side salad as an option.

It made me wonder if this is what people with food sensitives go through. It sucks feeling like I’m keeping people from having what they want or making things more complicated. It mildly sucks to feel like people won’t take a bullet for you and go to a “healthy” place instead of a fast food place. Not that Ox has ever done that. He’s amazingly supportive for the most part. Except for this morning where he tried to foist off a donut on me. >.>

I’m proud to report that I didn’t eat the donut and that it’s wrapped up and sitting on the counter still.

Anyway… yeah. I didn’t think I was going to enjoy lunch and that I was going to be spending money to make everyone else happy but that I would be getting shafted with a shitty salad. I ended up getting a cranberry and bacon blue salad. It turned out to be better than I had hoped for. I would be ok with going back there and getting that particular salad again. That helped.

By the end of lunch I was getting tired. All of the driving around and all of the social interaction from yesterday and this morning, combined with the worry about the pots and stress I put myself through with trying to figure out what to eat… I really just wanted to be done with figuring things out.

We decided for our final stop to be Walmart. Ox and I picked out blackout curtains for the room. I got another roast since I’m going to run out of my breakfasts before the week is done. I couldn’t find the stevia packets I wanted, but I remembered to get a replacement container of basil and dryer sheets for the house.

Ox and I got to have some alone time together since Ornery Ox went back to the computer room and no one else was home yet.

When Mama Ox got home we explained the deal with the new pots and went through the old pots and pans, getting rid of the ones that were peeling and icky. We still have to figure out how to arrange things in the kitchen, but I think the new pot set will work. I cooked my burgers in one of the skillets tonight. I like the weight and feel of it. It feels good. Balanced. I like how easy it was to clean up. The set had good reviews online and so far, through my single use of one of its skillets, I have to agree with everything I read.

While I was in the kitchen cleaning, Ox put up the curtain rod and curtains. I like them but we won’t know how effective they are until it’s a sunny day and I’m trying to fall asleep at 7.

We finished playing through the first story of Stuffed Fables. The kids really wanted to continue playing into the second story but Ox and I both agreed it would be better to wait until we have them again to start a new game since we wouldn’t have been able to get to the end before bedtime. I’m glad they’re both so captivated by something away from the computer. I feel like we’ve spent a lot of quality time together and though it still takes a bit of energy, I don’t resent it. It’s not like the times I tried to play Minecraft. I enjoyed spending my energy the way I did.

It makes me more ok with the thoughts of future weekends. I think we’re all finally figuring out how to coexist together. I was still able to get what I wanted and needed to done.

I got to write. I got to go to the gym. I even got to do a bit of my own gaming. My goldsmith is level 36 or 37. I did a few of the challenges in my challenge log. I earned more credits so I can get promoted within my grand company soon. I want to spend about 30 more minutes farming mithril since my character’s buff lasts that long, but it depends on how long it takes me to finish writing and doing my last few chores.

Oh. Another thing that happened while we were in Lincoln was stopping by Goodwill to donate the clothes I just replaced. It’s nice to have the bag out of the house and not taking up space.

It’s supposed to rain all of tomorrow so I’m not sure if SCA combat will happen on Tuesday. The ground might be too wet still.

I’m mostly prepped for tomorrow. I still need to make my protein shakes, but Ox’s lunch is already done.

I guess there really isn’t much else to report.

Ox and I have been more sexual since I’ve been back from my trip. I like it. I don’t know what else to say. I like the way it makes me feel physically and emotionally. I guess there really isn’t anything else to say on that topic. I’m aware of the change. I’m grateful for the change. It makes it feel more ok to be me.

I started looking into the LPN program this morning. I have until October to register for classes in January. There are some prerequisites that I’ll need to take before I can start the program. I’m hoping I can still worm my way out of English 101. I’ve already done did that class.

I want to get the application process started, so I’ll add that to the to-do list for Tuesday most likely. Since I don’t have to worry too much about meal prep or chores or errands, I should have most of the day to pluck away at the paperwork.

Yeah… not a terribly eventful day unless you count defeating evil nightmare minions eventful.

Seriously, Stuffed Fables is a super cute game and I encourage anyone remotely interested in DnD type tabletop games to give it a shot.

And I guess with that I’m going to go so I can finish up the last bit of my to-do list so I can go run around in circles beating up rocks.

Daily Post 015: Rambling Through Introspection

Standard

I really need a different computer desk. In the beginning, when I thought I would have the office to myself, it was fine. I would have been able to have another table or a shelf or something to use as a work area alongside my computer. But now that the computer is in my room I don’t have space for that. All I have is a place for the keyboard and bearly any room for the mouse much less notebooks or papers or pencils.

It’s frustrating. It’s fucking up my system.

grove

We all know how that ended…

I’m waiting for my younger brother to bring me his extra kitchen table. I think that will help. I could take the Surface downstairs with me and work at the table instead of being cramped in my room. I think the separation of work and personal space is good for me as well. I function better with them separated. It’s why I went to my sports bar for lunch the past three weeks. After eating I would stay for a few hours and study. It was better than being at home.

Anywho. I wrote on Thursday. The day I got my first stripe for jiujitsu. That was a pretty intense moment for me. It still is. I feel like that writing, that letter to my mom is a fundamental moment for me. It’s one of those writings where anyone can read it, not knowing anything about who I am, and understand who I am as a person.

It is me. Unadulterated. Pure. Raw. It is everything I stand for, that I believe in. It is my core values. It’s my hurt, my pain, my life. It is my declaration of “I’m not giving up.”

I’m glad I wrote it. I feel that I found something within myself from writing it.

Friday I took my test to become a Certified EKG Technician.

I passed.

I am now qualified to interpret squiggle lines and to stick electrodes onto people’s chest like some mad evil scientist. Muahahahahahaha!

I honestly have no idea how I passed since over half the questions were things we never covered in class. They weren’t even things I saw online when I was studying on my own.

Things like the Holter setup and stress testing and lead colors and patient instructions. All sorts of “What the fuck?”

Seriously, by question 70 out of 120 I wanted to thunk my head down onto the desk I was sitting at so hard that it made an audible sound because there was no way I had gotten enough questions right to have a passing grade.

Apparently, I did really well at guessing, though. On a scaled grade where a 390 was required to pass out of 500 I got a 451.

I’ve already talked to the instructor and have plans to type up suggestions along with extra resources I found during the three weeks of the class. This was the first EKG course the school had offered in about a year, so essentially we were the guinea pigs.

Out of the three of use who took the test yesterday, all three of us passed. It was a good birthday present for my instructor. Her birthday was Saturday. I’m glad we all were able to figure it out enough to make it through it. I messaged one other girl who was in our class and let her know to research into the extra topics so hopefully, it wouldn’t be as overwhelming to her. She has a week before she’s going to take the board. Should be enough time to get some exposure to those topics at least.

So that was Friday. It was also my older brother’s birthday. I messaged him. I sent him a card on Thursday. I wrote a pretty personal message saying that I wanted to wish him “a day” because saying I hoped it was happy seemed wrong. I explained that on my birthday even though I had had a good day that I had cried myself to sleep that night because things were different. Mom wasn’t there. Even though it had been a “good” day, it wasn’t a “happy” day.

I told him that even though I knew it was going to be different for him that I was thankful that he was able to “have a day”. I said I was grateful to have him, Jon, Jace, and Lio in my life because I now fully understand just how much each of them means to me.

I know he’s a pretty private person and he wouldn’t really tell me if things were bothering him. I hope he’s ok, and I hope my letter helps him feel appreciated and valued. Yesterday probably wasn’t happy for him, but hopefully, there were some positive points in it and he was able to enjoy them despite the difference.

I didn’t do a whole lot after my test on Friday. My brain was pretty done. Like “melted puddle of goo inside my skull” done. I told one of my friends the hardest question I was going to ask myself the rest of the day was what type of pizza I wanted for dinner. And even then I didn’t actually get pizza because it was too much effort later in the evening. Absolutely no higher level thinking was allowed for the rest of Friday.

I had lunch at my sports bar with an angry orchard to drink. I came home and slept on and off for the rest of the night. I bought Chime Sharp from the Playstation Network for my PS4 since I liked Chime Deluxe so much. Don’t buy it. It sucks compared to the original game or Deluxe. I was very disappointed, even though it was nice to be able to play the game for a bit.

Big Bad and I actually spent the evening together on Thursday. We haven’t seen each other very much lately. I was enjoying our twice a week scheduled evenings. I don’t think that leaves him with much alone time, though.

It’s not the sex I miss even though it’s always amazing and fantastic. It’s the hug hello and the cuddles where we talk. It’s being able to share my day with someone. And of course our cup of coffee in the morning before our kiss goodbye and our, “I hope you have a good day.”

It seems silly to ache over not knowing when I’ll see him again when I leave. I mean… it would be what? At most two weeks? I’ve lived 27 and a half years without. I’m pretty sure I can survive two weeks.

I guess it’s the uncertainty that makes it feel like sandpaper against the inside of my skin. Right now our next meetings seem sort of ambiguous. I may or may not see him on that day. If I don’t then it may or may not be the next time. It’s like being told to wait without being told how long. If I knew how long to wait I would know how to manage my breath so I don’t suffocate before the next time I’m able to breathe. In this instance, it’s my energy instead of actual oxygen. No less vital, though.

Maybe that’s a bit dramatic and maybe that’s wrong of me. I recharge while I’m with him. After studying for 6 hours on Thursday my brain was so dead and overwhelmed silent tears wanted to run down my cheeks in frustration. He offered for me to come over for pizza. We played Mortal Kombat. There was amazing sexy time. There was no worrying about my test. There was wrestling where I got to show him how much I’ve improved.

We haven’t wrestled all that much in a while. I did really well. Totally didn’t get choked out with my own arm. Totally owning ALL of that accomplishment. /flex

He made Thursday night relaxing. Maybe “made” is the wrong word. We didn’t really do anything different. And maybe that’s why I like spending time with him so much. I was able to be me. He was him. We simply enjoyed our time together and the only thing that matter was our enjoyment. Outside influences like tests and work and interviews don’t really matter when we’re together. We talk about them. We acknowledge life. But when we’re together it feels like us.

It’s nice.

I enjoy being with him.

Maybe I enjoy it more than I should? Maybe that’s something I should evaluate and think about. He has his own life and own obligations on top of being an introvert. He also has his second partner.

Maybe once I have a job this issue will work itself out. Maybe I have too much free time. I do think a large part of it, though, is becoming emotionally attached because it’s not really the amount of time I miss. It’s the connection in my chakra that aches.

Yeah… definitely something to meditate on.

Fucking emotions… It’s like it’s never ending… /sigh

On a totally different topic…

I have an interview with the hospital on Monday after my phlebotomy class. It’s for a part-time patient transporter position. Totally hoping it works out. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow. I’m going to push for at least $10 an hour. I have eight years of “distinguished” customer service experience since I’ve been awarded multiple times for my work ethic. I also have my EKG certification, along with my other three certifications, and I’m awaiting my test date (still…) to become a CNA.

I am a good prospect. I know what I’m worth and I’ve crunched some serious numbers. I know what I can do and for how long, and even with this job I’m still hoping the lab assistant for phlebotomy works out a bit more than the central services tech position. While I do eventually want to move into the Central Services area, the secretarial phlebotomy assistant position I applied for has better hours to work with this part time job.

Currently, I’m more focused on my financial goal of having the credit card paid off by October than getting into the exact area I want to be in. After the EKG class, I’m actually sort of interested in telemetry. The heart is fascinating.

Being honest with myself, I really don’t know what I want to do in the hospital. There’s still billions of things I don’t know about. There might be something better than Central Services. What I do know is I need to kill the remaining debt I have. Working a full time and part time job may be rough, but I want to do it. The patient transporter position is an entry position, yeah, but I get exposure to EVERYTHING. Every department. I get to see way more people and potentially have way more networking opportunities.

Goal-wise, I want a part-time position by the end of March, which at this point seems fairly promising. I want an additional full-time position by the end of May. Sooner would be better, but by April I’ll be done with phlebotomy, so that would give me a month to find something with my increased hours of availability. I think all of that is doable. I plan to start going through the 30-day challenge again now that I actually have goals and shit I’m trying to achieve. Before I didn’t, which is why it fell to the wayside.

Because of the pending interview, yesterday was an extremely productive day. It helped that there was a strong summer sun yesterday. A nice, warm summer sun.

I started the day by running to the grocery store to pick up a steak and frozen hash browns. I wanted to do something special for breakfast, something different than my egg sandwich. It was the weekend. I didn’t have time obligations. I could relax and enjoy my day, and that’s what I did.

I came home and cooked. I cut the steak up into quarters, I cooked the bag of hash browns and I fried up an egg while my coffee percolator did its thing. Once everything was ready, I sat downstairs using one of the side tables as a workstation. While I ate I made my to-do list and grocery list. I cleaned the kitchen a bit and started laundry. I showered and eventually, I went to the dojo for Muay Thai conditioning. It wasn’t a super crazy intense class, but it got me sweating and I got to focus on the mechanics of my movements which was nice. I guess this week is spring break so the dojo was pretty empty. I don’t mind smaller classes. More one on one time that way. It was the first time I had been back to the dojo since Thursday. It felt good.

After class I came home, showered, again, then headed back out into the world.

I stopped at Target first. I wanted to get a new top for my upcoming interview. I ended up getting three black tank tops. I’m in a size large now. I don’t remember ever fitting into a size large. The red tank top I got while I was in Vegas with mom is a 2x. It’s a good feeling to see that much progress within myself.

I was originally going to get a black workout tank top, but one of those was $15 versus the three cotton tanks for $25. I figured it was more bang for my buck, so that’s the option I went with. With the outfit I like to wear for interviews, I wear the tanks under a sort of jacket… thing…

I’m sure there’s some girly fashion term for it, but the main thing is you can’t tell I’m wearing a tank top. It looks like a nice pretty top that isn’t distracting. It’s clean, simple, and professional looking. At the same time, it’s something I’m comfortable in, which is the only thing I personally care about.

I want to feel normal and comfortable, not awkward and out of my element. The more natural my clothing feels, the more me I feel, the more relaxed I’ll be during the interview, the better I’ll do.

There’s the added benefit that I get to reaffirm to myself that I’m still losing weight by having nice, new clothing that’s smaller than anything I can remember ever owning. The pants I’m wearing to the interview I’ve had since I was in high school. They’re super nice, black, comfy dress pants. I wore them for almost every band performance I was in. I love them, which is why I’ve kept them. They’re almost too big… In another month I’ll have to donate them and find a new pair that I like, which is going to suck because I love those pants so much I don’t want to get rid of them. I might look at having them tailored if possible.

About a week ago I actually got four new pants for $40. They’re actually super cool. They’re called fisherman’s pants. They’re worth looking into. I figured that was a really good way of sticking to my overall style of comfort, but not having to buy new clothing every month and a half. It’s a “one size fits most” style. All you have to do to make the pants tighter is tie the string tighter. The tops I bought yesterday work well with them, too, so I should be set on clothing for a little while. I might get two more pairs of the pants just so I have black ones. Right now I have olive green and red. The black tops go well with them, but I would like to have a bit of color variation. I could get a few brighter colored tops to wear with the black pants and the shorts I have and be set for a while.

I went through my closet last night and pulled out everything that’s once again too big. It’s a good feeling now that I am replacing the stuff that was too big with options that won’t need to be replaced due to weight loss. The pants really are freaking amazing… Seriously, check them out.

While I’m on the topic of being irresponsible and spending money… I also went ahead and purchased the shin guards I promised myself as a reward for passing my EKG board. I’m not going to back out of promises I make to myself anymore. Yeah, money is getting tight. I’ll figure it out. This was something I said I would do so I did it. No regrets. You can’t look at those and tell me they don’t look sexy as fuck. I cannot wait to kick the crap out of some punching bags with those things. Oh man. Legs of steel are coming.

I’m not sure what I want to do as a reward for phlebotomy yet, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

My next big goal as far as gear goes will be in August. If I get blue belt during belt testing in August then I’m going to get myself rash guard gear. It’s basically compression gear with a different name. I can’t even begin to think how much different my body will be if I keep training the way I am. It’s interesting and exciting to think about. At the same time, it makes me feel scared and vulnerable.

I’ll still be me, but with where I see myself being in August… I’ve never been that fit or healthy or athletic. It makes me wonder if I’ll be comfortable in my own skin. Will I recognize the person I see in the mirror? I already look at myself and can tell I’m thinner than I’ve ever been. It makes me feel shy. It makes part of me want to hide away.

All of the times I was picked on or ridiculed as a teen… Would those people be nice to me now? Would I suddenly be worthy of their kindness simply because I’m thinner?

It’s another thing to meditate on. It’s funny in a sort of sad, somber way. I’m becoming what society classifies as acceptable, desirable, wanted, and yet there is a frail part of my heart chakra that wants to cry at reaching even this point in my fitness journey, much less further, because for so long I felt unworthy even though I myself, as a person, as a soul, have remained the same.

What was it that made me so horrible that I wasn’t allowed to feel love and acceptance from people? What makes me worthy now?

It’s a tender scar, like so many others, which needs soothing.

Long, overly deep tangent…

After Target I went to the oriental market. This week I’m going to be making beef stir fry, stuffed heart, and spinach chicken couscous along with my breakfast sandwiches in the morning. I’m very much looking forward to trying the stuffed heart. The market has all sorts of interesting meat cuts. I’m looking forward to trying new recipes.

I came home, stashed the food away, ate, then ran up to Publix for a few remaining things. While I was out I got my hair cut and my brows waxed. Those two things were totally and completely a self-indulgence, but I think it’s worth it. I’ve wanted to get my hair trimmed for about two months now because the ends were getting icky, and while my brows weren’t Chewbacca bad, there was starting to be a little nagging voice in the back of my head.

I don’t want little nagging voices in my head during my interview. I want to feel confident and clean and at my best. So I invested in myself. That’s how I’m looking at it.

I came home, updated my resume, and printed out all of the information I needed, including my parking pass for tomorrow. I did go out and get Taco Bell for dinner which was extremely unsatisfying and a poor choice on my part. I had thought it would be a cheap option since through all of my productivity yesterday, including doing three loads of laundry, not just washing and drying, but actually putting away, too, I didn’t make food to have for dinner. I would have been better off going with a slightly more expensive option because then I would have at least felt like it was worth the money.

Oh well. Lesson learned I guess. Fast food really does suck and isn’t worth the money spent. I didn’t starve so at least one positive thing came out of it I suppose.

Today is going to be mostly a rest day. I need to run out to Publix for some fresh dill and butcher string. I want to vacuum. I need to dye my hair for tomorrow. I want to type up the questions to ask in the interview, and, if there’s time, type up my suggestions for the EKG class. I’m pretty low energy, though, and this writing has taken a fair amount of my morning, so the class critique is most likely not going to happen. I’m ok with that, though. I would rather have more time to work on it than cramming it all into one sitting.

Cooking at least two of my meals for the week would also be good that way I have food for tomorrow. None of that is going to get done with me sitting here, though, so I guess I should go shower and get a move on.