Daily Post 165: Moment by Moment

Standard

Today was alright. It’s rainy and dreary. I went into work to help with change over. My FA is back from her week-long meeting in DC. I’m glad to have her back. I think it did benefit the team for her to be out of the facility. We learned to trust each other. We learned how to function without her. At the same time, she learned that she can trust in us, too; that the clinic won’t burn to the ground without her here.

Currently, I’m in a bit of a low mood, though, and I know I am. One of our new patients passed away on Saturday. I didn’t know her well, but it still sucks. It still makes my body and heart ache with shared sorrow. She had a family. She had a life outside of the clinic and her absence is going to be felt by many people, just like mom’s was and continues to be.

It leaves me feeling… something which there aren’t words to express. Shared sorrow is the best I can do and like so many times before in my writing, it doesn’t feel like enough. Those words do not express the depth or complexity which are emotions. Maybe nothing ever truly can. Emotions are felt, not explained.

The rest of everything that has happened in my life feels trivial compared to the realness of life and death. Almost like it’s disrespectful to write about how my life continued to go on while her’s ended and yet I couldn’t have stopped my life anymore than the doctors could have kept hers going.

I went to Walmart and got two new skirts and a pair of shorts. I’m in smaller sizes than the last time I bought clothes. I went to the gym and had a good workout.

Sunday I went to my first “family gathering” with Ox. I met his aunts and cousins. For the most part, I spent the three hours sitting on the front porch enjoying the sunlight and breeze while cross stitching which sparked all sorts of comments from the family members. I felt extremely accepted. There was good food and good conversation. It wasn’t the horrific social event I had envisioned in my mind. I wasn’t shamed out of the home for having purple hair or tattoos.

I also had my first run-in with a tornado warning while Ox and I were out shopping after the family get-together. There’s a big difference between practicing a drill and real-life camping out in a Walmart layaway listening to nature rage around you. I made a post on Facebook to let everyone I was fine and that I made it home safe.

Saturday I spent the whole day sick and in bed. I slept about 16 hours and was better for taking it super slow and easy. Ox was amazingly fantastic in caring for me and allowing me to sleep the day and sickness away.

Lil’ Ox and I got to color a bit together Friday night once I got home from work. It’s the first time in a while that we’ve done something together. Ornery Ox even talked to me for a little bit Sunday during the family time. It was nice. I know I haven’t been extremely involved or present with the kids for a while. This weekend was a small step towards correcting that.

The past two weeks have been sort of rough, work-wise. I’ve been working five days. I can only imagine what they would have been like if I were still trying to take the Human Anatomy class. This coming week is most likely going to be more of the same, but next week should be a little lighter.

At the moment I don’t really think there’s much else to say. My heart isn’t in it right now; in writing, I guess. I don’t necessarily hurt, but I ache. One day at a time. One moment at a time. One task at a time. I’m sort of back to that I think.

Friday is my next day off. I think if I can make it to there then I’ll be alright. I know I’ll be ok. I know I’m not not ok right now. I’m just sad and that too is ok. Sometimes life is sad.

Advertisements

Daily Post 159: The Week Of Everything Changing

Standard

Written Sunday, March 10th
Edited Saturday, March 30th


Alright. Here we go.

I’ve known for about 10 minutes now that everything for my entire next week has changed and this is me trying to figure out how to get all of the millions of things I still need to get accomplished accomplished.

The change: The kids are not going back to their mom’s tomorrow. It’s spring break. She told both Lil’ Ox and Ornery Ox that they would not be staying with us this coming week. They would be going home to her. Not so anymore. She contacted Mama Ox and said the kids could stay until Friday evening.

I guess for most people that wouldn’t be a big deal. As an introvert that throws a massive giant wrench into everything in my life. Not just everything. EVERYTHING. Yes. A capital everything.

Right Brain: There’s going to be two additional people in the house to think about, plan around, and interact with. I need more than 24-hour notice for this shit. I need like a month’s worth of advanced notice. At least two-week notice. Two weeks is at least professional. How the hell am I supposed to just magically function when all of the solitude and quiet time I had been looking forward to has just been snatched from me? Blindsided. Yeah. I’m pretty sure that’s what this is because you told the kids it wasn’t going to happen, but oh look. Now it’s happening. This thing, this situation had a snowball’s chance in hell… I didn’t plan for this because it wasn’t an option. What the fuck? Fuck you, Universe.

Ok… Now that that’s out of my system…

This is where I get to practice Change Mastery from my first leadership book, I suppose. I know my initial internal tension to this situation is purely spurred by a sense of self-preservation and the threat that this change is going to interfere with all of the things I had planned to get done this week. To prove to myself that I can still get everything accomplished I’m going to write out my upcoming days. With a clearer view of my obligations, I’ll be better able to see how to handle my time.

Theoretical Monday: Wake up early for work. Survive work. Make sure to take pictures of patients for Wall of Fame. Potentially stay a bit late to start piecing things together, or work on piecing things together during my breaks. Come home. Put images of patients into .psd files so the pictures can be printed. Create .jpg files of images and put them on a flash drive so I can take them into town with me for printing. Make grocery list. Find a tailor shop that would be willing to do the stitching for the curtains needed for the Wall of Fame. Cook taco skillet for dinner. Go to sleep.

Actual Monday: Mostly successful. Woo.

Theoretical Tuesday: Potentially get curtains created. Go to campus to talk to Financial Aid about my award statement. Get pictures printed. Meet with Ox for lunch. Go to Wells Fargo for Dart account number. Do grocery shopping. Make sure to pick up a black poster board for the Wall of Fame (maybe two to be safe). Come home. Put groceries away. Make sure pictures are in the car so I can take them to work with me. Print out template of film cell of picture borders. Potentially cut borders for pictures from black poster board (might save for Thursday depending on time). Watch CPR class video. Print out certificate of completion to take to class on Thursday. Cook spaghetti for dinner. Go to bed early for work. I think that’s it for this day…

Actual Tuesday: Forgot patient information at work. Drove to Beatrice to retrieve information. Went to Beatrice campus to talk to Financial Aid. Did shopping in Beatrice instead of in Lincoln with Ox. Completed CPR video. No progress on curtain making. Files completed for pictures. Plans to print them at work Wednesday with FA’s printer and picture paper.

Theoretical Wednesday: Go to work. Survive. Potentially mix acid if the tank is low enough. Work on Wall of Fame during breaks. Stay late as needed to finish loose ends. Begin typing up essay for entry submission. Go home. Brisket for dinner (make sure Ox knows cooking instructions). Eat. Go to bed.

Actual Wednesday: Pictures printed. CVC packs made. Worked on pictures at home. No brisket for dinner. Can’t remember what it was changed to.

Theoretical Thursday: If unable to finish CPR video on Tuesday, finish Thursday morning. Go to work if needed to finish Wall of Fame. Come home. Eat early-ish dinner (Mama Ox will be cooking for the family). Go to CPR class. Get recertified like a bawce. Come home. Go to bed.

Actual Thursday: Worked on Wall of Fame stuff for a majority of the day at home. Figured out the curtains myself. Passed CPR class that night.

Theoretical Friday: Go to work. Survive. Potentially mix acid if unable to do so Wednesday. Complete Wall of Fame if needed. Submit entry for Wall of Fame if not already submitted. Go home (blessed silence). Burgers for dinner. Hot chocolate with peppermint Smirnoff as a reward for being a badass.

Actual Friday: Mixed acid. Completed Wall of Fame. Submitted entry.

With how back and forth I’m going to be between Beatrice and Lincoln it doesn’t really make sense to get a hotel room on any of the days the kids are here. Both Ox and Mama Ox have offered to help with the cost of getting rooms since they know I have a hard time sleeping while the kids are here and I have a lot on my plate at the moment. Nothing on my week’s overview accounts for wanting to make progress on my second leadership book. There’s no time allotted for personal time or decompression. No cross-stitching. Just wake up, go, sleep, wake up, go, sleep…

Ox has already explained to the kids that kick out time for the bedroom game systems is 7 pm, so I’ll be able to have a little bit of time “alone”. It might not be a true alone but I’m grateful that the family is pulling together to make sure that everyone is cared for and thought of, including me.

We’ve already sat down as a family, kids included and figured out the meals, which means my next step after this writing is making the shopping list. That was the biggest hurdle this past week; not knowing what to cook for dinners because no one gave me input on what they wanted so grocery shopping didn’t really happen. It was haphazard and sort of sucked for that part of my brain that thrives on structure and plans.

I need to print out or write down the information for my Finacial Aid meeting. I can save that for another day, though. I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what needs to happen and when. There’s more acceptance to the change now that a bit of time has passed. It’s not the awful change my poor little introverted brain thought it would be. Most of the days I’m going to be out of the house, and there’s the evening where I’ll have quiet time to look forward to. I can count on that time. My light at the end of my days.

We’ll see how it goes, but for now, at least I have a battle plan figured out so I can flex and change as life does. Go me. Let’s do this.


I survived the week of the 11th – 16th. I didn’t have a very strong sense of accomplishment when the Wall of Fame was completed. Most likely because my FA ended up helping me because she didn’t think it would get done on time, so things weren’t completed the way I wanted them to be. Quality is in the details, and some of the details were different than what I wanted as the designer. It’s over though. I don’t have to stress over it anymore and the patients love it. I’ve seen a few other entries for our region so I doubt we will win, but I like our wall and I guess in the end that’s all that matters.

I got the clinic to a good place since I had my vacation to Orlando the following week. I didn’t want to leave with things needing to be done and I got all of that accomplished along with the Wall of Fame project. I think I handled the week decently for what I was given.

Daily Post 152: Finally Up to Today

Standard

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 107: Lazy Rainy Day

Standard

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 074: Another First Day

Standard

I’m back home after my first day at the Beatrice clinic.

The quiet night of studying I had originally planned has changed. And with being tired already this post is most likely going to be a bit all over the place.

The morning started off well. I didn’t get as much sleep as I most likely should have but I was ok with that fact. I got enough to sleep to make it through the day and I enjoyed the time I had with Ox last night. With the sadness I’ve been contending with and my period, and his head cold… there hasn’t been much in the way of sexual interaction.

It’s not a bad thing. It’s not like I think our relationship is ruined or in dire straights or anything like that. It’s just how things have been playing out for us recently, and I’m very aware that “recently” doesn’t leave much in the way of data since we’re still under the two-month mark.

And actually… I paused there for a second to check my calendar. I got home, here, in Nebraska, on February 13th / 14th. So really… today/tomorrow is the one month mark.

I’ve only been here one month…

No wonder things still feel new and mildly overwhelming most days. Putting my timeline into perspective helps me feel less like I’m overreacting. I feel less bad about being tired and sad and… the tangled mass of everything that I am which I still haven’t worked through and which I won’t be able to work through tonight.

Today was my first day of feeling like I was going to work. I know I’ve been at the Capital City clinic for two weeks now, but I didn’t think of that as “my” clinic. I knew it was a temporary thing and it wasn’t where I wanted to be. The team is nice, I’ve already bonded with some of the patients there, but for those two weeks it was holding out in the hopes that I would like “my” clinic more.

And I do already. I enjoy the drive more. I have literally no stop lights on my way to work. It’s mildly annoying driving that early when people leave their brights on, but the drive home was amazing. The sun was out. I was out of work early enough to enjoy it. The only thing that was missing was my sunglasses, but I’ll make sure to not make that mistake again.

I felt a little out of my element for most of the day because I was.

Me: Do you want me to set up that machine?

Me: Do you want me to make needle packs?

Me: Where are the extra cloths?

Me: Where are the band-aids?

Me: What do I do after this step on the machine?

Me: How do you adjust the parameters?”

Once I’ve been there for a few days and get a feel for the new machines and interface I know I’ll be fine. Once I get a flow for how to open the clinic on my own I know I’ll feel better and more confident in myself, but right now I’m back to feeling mildly incompetent. I’m also working with a totally new patient population again so I have the anxiety of, “Oh god. What if I miss the stick and that’s their first impression of me?”

The treatment initiations I did went smoothly, if a bit slow. I thanked each patient for their patience with me, and all of them said it wasn’t a problem. I didn’t get bad vibes from anyone and I do think we’ll all warm up to each other in the coming weeks. The more I’m there the more we’ll get to know each other.

And I have to pause again for dinner…. brb…

*  30 minutes later *

So yeah… I was writing about work…

I’m not as big of a fan of the trainer I was with this morning. She’s nice enough, but I feel I get along better with the other two people I’ve been spending time with. All things considered, it wasn’t bad. And I guess the biggest take away is that I know I’ll get better, It’s just going to take time. By the end of the week, I’ll feel more at home in the clinic. I’ll have a routine down for the drive there and back. I’ll have a better idea of how to close the clinic and what my “normal” go home times will be.

I do like the nurse I’ll be working with. That’s a plus. Like… a huge plus. I also love the person who will soon be my FA. I spent a fair amount of time working with her on the floor last week at Capital City. I think her and I both mesh really well and I’m looking forward to being able to work with her to make our clinic better because I do feel there are a few things that can help make things flow smoother.

Anywho, I didn’t go to the gym today. Mainly because I forgot my gym shoes at home. I forgot to put them in my bookbag when I switched everything over from my gym bag. I’m not going to need my gloves and shinguards for a while, which in a way makes me sad. I miss sparing. I miss my dojo. I miss being able to hit and kick things and pushing myself hard. I miss jumping boxes and flipping tires like a bad ass. I also know I’m not there at this moment and that, for now, all I really need is a backpack, so that’s what I’m going with.

Ox is going to have his kids this coming week since they’re on spring break. They were supposed to be here Tuesday night, tomorrow, which left me tonight to have to myself. I had planned to study. I had planned to write, which I’m glad I’m doing.

Well, we’re going to be getting them tonight instead, which sort of messes stuff up. I have to work tomorrow which means going to sleep early to wake up at 3 am. It’s their vacation. They are not going to want to go to sleep super early and the electronics are in the bedroom. At the time I still didn’t really have my own “away” space in the house to retreat to when / if I began to feel overwhelmed.

Coming home, tired, to the news that his kids were going to be coming over shortly made me feel defeated. I have to study for this test. I have to be ready for another day full of new tomorrow. Another day of pushing my brain to its limits, trying to absorb everything as quickly as possible so I can prove that I’m worth keeping on the team.

I don’t have it in me to get my ass spanked at Minecraft by a seven-year-old in addition to everything else I have to keep going at the moment.

Ox and I have worked it out, though. We cleared a corner in the addition for me and set up a table there for when I need to have my quiet time. I can take the Wonderboom speaker Big Bad got me for my birthday and listen to music. I can study there without kicking the kids out of the room. I can use the Surface as long as it has a charged battery. I can cross stitch, and there’s a part of me who wants to take a puzzle out there to work on because I’ve been wanting to work on a puzzle since I’ve gotten here.

I know the closet where my computer is set up is my space, but that corner is more of a safe space at the moment then the closet since I can legitimately be on my own without being a hindrance to anyone.

As the weather warms up and Ox starts feeling better and I begin to spend less energy on settling in, the addition will continue to get cleaned up and worked on. I’ve already spent a day out there, I think it was last week, organizing and throwing things out. That’s why we were able to so easily create the space for me tonight we were able to.

I’m grateful that even though he called out of work today due to being sick that he took the time to make me feel as comfortable as possible. A lot of our situation isn’t ideal, but we’re both making it work as best we can for each other. At least that’s what it feels like.

I have about an hour left before the kids get here and I still need to shower and prep for tomorrow, not that there’s really much prep work to do.

I need to make sure my shoes get into my bag. I should get out of work around 1 pm so I would really enjoy going to the gym before coming home. I want to make sure my scrubs get put out so I don’t have to make a bunch of noise in the morning getting ready.

I want to take my contacts out since I’m home and I no longer have to deal with the day. I want to take my bra off and get into pjs and still enjoy a quiet night, maybe with the cup of hot chocolate I’ve been wanting for days but still have yet to make.

Different doesn’t mean bad. Tonight doesn’t have to be bad.

I’m worried that not wanting to do much with the kids means that I’m a bad person or will, potentially, be a bad parent, but this is another layer of new that I’m having to adjust to. I’ve never been in this situation before. Big Bad had kids but he kept me separate from them.

I haven’t had years to learn how to be a parent. I’ve sort of thrown myself into this situation and now I have to figure out how to fill this role. The past weekends the kids have been here have been a nice, slow progression. The first weekend I had the hotel room so after spending a few hours at home I would drive away and spend the night at the hotel. I wasn’t staying at the house with them.

This past weekend we talked to both kids and they were ok with me staying at the house while they are there. They enjoy spending time with me, and, as far as we know, they both like me.

This is going to be a week of no break. This is going to be the closest to being a parent I have ever been and there’s part of me who’s terrified. I don’t know how to do this.

It’s reassuring knowing that Ox thinks I’m handling things well, and it’s a bit easier to see myself surviving knowing that I have a quiet spot to go to when I need to. I could take the kitchen drawers out with me and paint them. I could cross stitch, or draw, or continue to pick through and organize things in the addition.

There’s more than just me being trapped inside of a room connected to the living room where everyone hangs out. I have a place where I can not be in the way.

I don’t know. I think things will be ok. I think I have a better shot of doing this “right” then I did when I first got home.

And with that, I’m going to go so I can shower and do the things I need to do before studying and going to sleep.

I know there’s still a lot about “The Great Before” that I need to write about. My 21-hour drive from Orlando to Nebraska, my first weeks here, all the things I have and haven’t done…

After a month of being here, I’m finally at my home clinic. After a month of being here, I have a quiet spot. After a month of being here, I no longer feel awkward moving around the house. I don’t feel awkward pouring myself a glass of milk or using a container to fill up my water filter.

There’s still a lot of adjusting to do and I know right now my main goal is to survive through March, which is sort of short-sighted of me I suppose since right after March comes April and mom’s death day, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. I need to survive the next two days while studying for my test. It would be nice to feel confident in it.

After my test, it’s surviving the rest of the week of the kids being here. After that, it’s continuing to survive the financial stress of March. April will be hard for its own reasons, but it will also be the point where things start truly evening out and I’m looking forward to it.

Hopefully, I can get back into the trend of writing daily. This has been nice, even if it did get interrupted twice.