Monday, June 30, 2008

Bike riding and BBQ


   Yesterday we went on a lovely bike ride. The weather has been so rainy that it is difficult to get a ride in but yesterday was perfect and we are going for a ride after supper.  Rick is grilling chicken so I will need to ride after the meal.  Not much to say today just if you want to see pictures from the ride check out the link.  I am rushed so will write more later.  Bye all.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

This is all over

  This subject is near and dear to my heart.  Should be to us all that can't afford health care.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

       We had a lovely night.  Went down to the river.  A fancy restaurants, good food.  I had blackened Walleye, fresh asparagus, salad.  The weather was nice.  Good breeze.  Nice looking man to spend the evening with.  Couple of fresh IPA's or Indian pale ales to you non beer drinkers.   Good blues music on the way home.  Now I am trying to talk my nice old man into a fire pit with a good dark red wine and a dance or two around the warmth of the fire.  Watch out city.  Julie is off for her long stretch.  Early morning rise and biking by the river.  You can't tell me it gets better then this.  This is what makes every breath a special one.  Ommmmmmm.

And just because

  I ran across this and it always make me smile and want to dance and sing.

Baby Eagle


         If you have been continuing to follow the blight of Eagles you already know their last offspring developed Avian flu and has a large mass on its bill.  The lastest update sounds promising though as it is shrinking and drying up some which will make the surgery safer.  It is thriving and getting big.  Hopefully next year we will get to see them in the nest like next year.  What a year they have had.

      I am done with work now.   A severe storm blew up suddenly and we got just soaked here but hopefully it will be nice later.  We want to sit by the river tonight and listen to some live jazz and sip on wine.  Let the sunshine in.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Work and BIL

      I am on my last night of work on my stretch.  I might pick up a day later in the week as we are so busy, but haven't decided.  I am ready for a rest though.

      My BIL was over today dropping something off for us to store for him.  He has gotten kicked out of his 2nd place he was staying.  His beard and mustaches is long and dirty looking with his black teeth peeking out.  He is truly scary looking.  Since he has long ago gone through his money he is probably detoxing since he is sick.  Turns out he quit his job as he says it was affecting his health.  Hummm.  So this is better?  This is what end stage alcoholism looks like.  You can talk to him until you are blue in the face, but he is in such complete denial and refuses to change his lifestyle even if he is dying.  Rick gave him some more money and the first, the very first thing he asked him is, do you want to get a beer?

     I was really hoping maybe hitting bottom would be the key.  He found a place to live and got a job.  But it was short lived.  We should be getting the estate money this week so he will be flush for awhile.  But he will blow the money I bet before the year is out.  If he lives that long.  This is the saddest thing.

    Well, I have to get supper ready.  Have a great day.  It is hot and steamy here.  Thank goodness for DC.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday's Song

     It's Tuesday and I have 2 more nights of work left.  Yippy.  Bad thing is I have to be charge on this night from now on.  It is stressful because we have new nurses, nothing against new nurses,  and pulled help on this day so lots of questions and I have to be on top of everything.  When I do charge more often it gets easier, but since I don't have to do it often it does cause me a little stress.  But I will get through it.  I just hope it isn't as busy as it was this weekend.

     I was working with a young nurse this weekend.  This is the nurse I had mentioned that it was D-day one day and she didn't know what that was.  She was talking about voting for president and how excited she was about voting.  I asked her why she had chose the candidate she is voting for and she said she likes the way he talks.  Which of his issues do you agree with I asked?  Issues?  Man oh man. 

   I told her to go home and study marxism, in fact study all the ism's.  Communism, socialism, capitalism etc.... so she could really make a informed vote when the time came.  In school these days they make all that sound OK.  They make you ashamed to live where we do.  Ashamed of all the things we have accomplished in our short history.   Yes we do have problems but...... Be careful what you vote for.  Especially if you have no clue what your voting for.  It's scary.  Of course they didn't know who George Carlin was either so maybe I am just getting old.

   But seriously.  When I was in my teens I studied all the ism's on my own.  They all sound so good on paper.  Its in theory that the true problems show up.  We should be able to learn from history, if they would teach it correctly.


    OK, off my soapbox.  We didn't get to ride yesterday because we had.....Rain! What a surprise.  Now I have ridden in rain lots of times and it can be nice, but not with lightening.  I did do some exercises and have the painful back to prove it.  And I am officially going back to my healthy eating as I have been so bad lately.  Just eating what was sat in front of me.  Shame on me.  I have been using Spark people again to log my eating and exercising.

    Lots of running around to do today.   Rick is at the lawyers finally closing the estate.  It will make my BIL happy.  He has been hounding them all last week.  As the lawyer said tongue in cheek, we have bonded with him, LOL.  I have been through that bonding.  I am glad they are keeping him in the loop and having a meaningful dialog with him.

    Zoey and the guinea pig Chester are getting along better.  I still think Zoey would rip him to shreds if given the chance,but at least I can pet Chester now without Zoey grabbing something and chewing it up or barking like crazy.  Chester is to the point where he likes to be petted also.  We are all getting along.

    It is quiet here.  Peaceful.  I did like the craziness of last week though.  Miss those kids.

  Well, time to shower.  My back is killing me so when Rick gets back I am going to have him help me with the TENS unit.  It helps but is a pain to try and keep on and put on. Take care all.


Monday, June 23, 2008

A new Week

         Last week was so busy and the weekend wasn't any better.  Work was non-stop.  I will have 2 more days and then my week off.  If it goes as fast as last week did it will be here in no time.

         The kids made it home OK.  They had a blow out and it took them forever but they arrived safely.  I sent Mackenzie the picture she made.  My little martian.  Don't it make her blue eyes green.....

       I wrote the city a email commending the clean up crew for my basement problem.   They really saved the day and the basement smells wonderful.  And on fathers day to boot.  I don't know what we would have done if they hadn't cleaned it so well.

     We made it the entire night without rain.   Haven't had that happen for awhile.  It is suppose to be nice today so I am sleeping until 2 and then hopefully a bike ride.  We keep having to much going on lately to ride much.  We need to get in condition for our ride.  We need to get a hitch on the new van also.

    The new van is working wonderful.  We still have been driving the old one alot because Zoey gets such muddy paws.  She likes the new van though.

    Well, not much to say.  Sorry to hear about George Carlin.  Some of his stuff was classic and I think he might have been the first to put it on records.  Not sure of that but he could make you laugh.  I loved his observations.  RIP.

         Bye all.

Friday, June 20, 2008


    Everyones face looked like this this morning.  Both kids pretended like they couldn't wake up and Mackenzie started to cry.  I want to stay!  It was so hard.  I wanted them to stay also.  So we talked about the next visit and promised to save all our pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters so we could see each other again.

    We did a sweep of the house and were sure they had gotten everything, but found a shirt and shorts from Gabe behind the door.  They will be too small by the next time they come.  The house seems quiet and we are already missing them.  I tried not to let them see me crying as they pulled away.

   We had fun while they were here. Went hiking and I finally hit the infamous Chucky Cheese.  It actually was pretty fun.

        Now work tonight.  I got up at 5:30 this morning so spent the rest of the day trying to nap.  I just am not a napper.  I husband can sit in one place for a minute and fall asleep.  Wish I was that lucky.  So tonight will be a little difficult but I will sleep like a dream tomorrow.

       More rain and hail today.  Hope it just stops. Enough already.  I will have to catch up on everyone's journals.  But now.  Now I am getting supper ready.  BBQ chicken.  Yummy.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hello everyone

     Today is the last full day of my grand children's visit.  It has been so much fun and it is great to get to know them again.  We have been going to parks, museums and swimming.  Gramma is exhausted as I am out of practice.

   Yesterday we donated money to the American Red Cross for the flooding victims.  The kids saw first hand the destruction on their trip across Iowa.

     I am pretty proud of the people of Iowa.  They have rolled up their sleeves and gotten to work cleaning up with little complaints and pointed fingers about who was to blame.   The mayor is right along side them cleaning, not shooting his mouth off.  The people left when told it might not be safe.  Very little looting. Some businesses are already opened again.  Neighbors helping neighbors.  This is a huge disaster with years of damage ahead due to flooding fields.  My heart goes out to them all.  Many lost everything they owned.  So if you see a red cross station looking for donations, don't pass it by.  Who knows when it might not be your town next.

     Today we are not doing anything special.  Just enjoying them.  I am having spaghetti for supper we are just enjoying each other.  I find myself mad at my son.  I know he was miserable but part of me still thinks, he made his bed.  Better and worse etc....  For the kids you stay together.  I have to work on that.  My granddaughter is so sad.  It breaks my heart.  I know my son hasn't been happy for years though.  Just a terrible sad situation.

     Anyway.  They are sleeping late but will probably be up soon.  I have some blueberry muffins to make.  Bye all.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Grandchildren made it

Doesn't Zoey look content.

         They are both bigger, smarter, and more energetic then the last time I saw them.  I am having a ball.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

This Fathers Day Stinks


     What with all the rain and things today of all days my sewer has backed up in the basement.  Can you say smell!  Here I spent all morning dusting and vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom and then OMG, whats that smell.  I looked at Zoey, she has some pretty room emptying gas at times, but she was sleeping soundly.

   So now the kids are due in a few hours and my house stinks to high heavens.  The workers are down there working and hopefully will have some tips to rid the place of the smell.  I have a ton of bleach I can use but bleach triggers my asthma big time.  We may end up in a motel.  Any suggestions?  I have never had this happen before.  Fortunately my basement isn't a finished basement.  What a mess that would be. 

     Of course I could sleep in my new van.  I think it is comfortable enough.  So, hope all you fathers out there are having a better fathers day then my husband is.

  Well, it turned out to be the city's sewer that backed up so at least I didn't have to pay for it and they sent someone out to clean it.  So here are 4 fathers scrubbing down my smelly basement and getting it to smell like a rose.  The house is 100% better.  They also disinfected the basement with antibacterial wash. And they were very prompt. 

   The kids still aren't here though they are in Iowa.  Detouring here and there and slowly making their way closer.  Soon they will be in my arms.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New van

  Below is a picture of my old van.  It was falling apart and looked simply awful but still we got years of use out of it.  I needed something more reliable though.

      So today I bought a 2007 Hyundai Entourage limited.   It had great reviews and I love the inside.  It rides like a good car.  Leather seats that are heated in the winter.  All the toys and fold down stow and go back seats.  Low miles and the body is in great shape.  So...ta da.   A new van to drive my grandchildren around in style.

      Nice improvement.  Of course on a gravel road we will not see it this shiny as often as I would like.

Floods and Grandchildren

       This is the weekend my grandchildren are suppose to come for a visit.  In fact they are on their way.  Trouble is a lot of Iowa is underwater.  Roads are flooded all over across the state.  How to get here.  I want to hug them so much.  I haven't seen my granddaughter is 3 years.  But I want them safe.  So everyone please say a prayer for their safe travel.  I miss them like a part of me has been removed not to mention my son has been heartsick since he moved here.

    It finally motivated me to get my antique bed home.  My MIL left her bedroom set to me.  I only brought the bed so far.  The dresser is next but I have to move the dresser in this room to the other bedroom and what to do with that dresser.  I wonder if my son would like it.  Anyway, I haven't got the pictures hung yet but here is the bed with one of my MIL's quilts.  It seems strange to see it here.

          I love the headboard on the bed.

     We are going to go test drive a minivan today.  It is the Hyundai Entourage.  It has a great safety record and actually the interior is very nice.  We also are looking at a
Chrysler Town & Country.  Last week I was going to buy the Town and country but it was sold before we got there.  I want a used one, 2006 or 2007.  The thought of driving off the lot and immediately having your car go down in value keeps me from buying new. Plus the cost.  So, anyone have either of these and any opinions?

     Thats about it today.  Maybe a ride later and keeping a eye on the flooding.  Maybe by tomorrow evening I will be hugging my grandchildren.

Friday, June 13, 2008

In support of porta potties

           In support of the porta potty

   I have a theory that more women are overweight then men due to lack of wash room facilities in our nations walking and biking trails.  There is something about exercising and fluids that go hand in hand.  The harder you exercise the more you are suppose to drink.
    However....  I have to be very careful about that and I know I am not the only woman out there with this problem.  I have to be very careful to only drink back in what I have sweated out and not a drop more or I will have to make a potty stop.  Thus lies the problem.

   Lack of adequate facilities to relieve ones self in privacy.

   Now a man has the best of both worlds.  Due to the nature of the beast he can casually stand there doing his Christopher Columbus imitation, one foot propped on a rock, one hand shading his eyes as he intently stares at the horizon for new worlds to conquer.  From a distance and sometimes even close you aren't 100% sure what he is doing.  He can confidently go where no man has gone before.   But the woman?  She wants a man to have gone before....the man who places the porta potty's!

   A woman can't pretend she is doing anything but what she is actually doing if forced to void in the wild.  Go to any trail USA of any distance and behind any bush of any size you will find evidence of hopefully bio gradable tissue.  When women are in the wild they are scanning the horizon also, but they are looking for the next best place to go.

    I have to plan my travels very carefully and know the exact distance from every Starbucks to the best and cleanest place to make a privacy stop.  On a long trail or out fishing though it is a challenge.

       My favorite fishing hole has no natural ground cover.  It has banks.  Muddy banks with spiders lurking in them.  I have been known to fish for 6 hours in 100 degree temps without drinking a drop of water.  Pass out with dehydration instead of excitement when I catch the big one.

    On bike trails you can always tell when a woman has to go.  All of a sudden with Lance Armstrong speed she pulls way ahead of the pack to try and buy herself 4 minutes of lead time to squat behind a bush or boulder. 

    I think more women would exercise and fish if there was a porta potty every few miles.  After all.... a girls got to do what a girls got to do.  And after a couple of kids and a few years you have to do it a little more often.

    The lucky woman has a long suffering spouse set out as lookout.  Ready to scan the trail and shout out a warning to you.  "Biker"!  "Just turned corner two".  "ETA 3.4 minutes".  "Get a move on"!  You squat there with the tall grass tickling your cold bottom and try to hurry mother nature.  Cussing under your breath that some other is biker sharing Your Trail!  How dare they!  Didn't they know you would have to void!  5-4-3-2- Up with the pants.  Hurriedly looking down and commenting loudly on the pretty little flower you are looking at under the shrub which is why you squatting there as the smug male biker rides by.  He knows what your doing.  I do not know for sure but I wouldn't be surprise if the male bicyclist didn't even have to get off his bike.  Its just not fair..........

   So if you got this far you are probably wondering what in the heck I am doing up at 6 am writing an entry about using the porta pot!  The answer is simple.  Can't sleep.  Going to ride today and I had to void!

Thursday, June 12, 2008



   Yesterday I was suppose to be off for a meeting today.  So I only slept 4 hours after working all night..  I wanted to go to Lemars and look at a van.  Did I mention we are looking for a new mini van?

   Anyway when we were up there the clouds started to look very threatening.  We rushed home.  We could see funnel clouds all over all the way home.  Very threatening weather.  I wish I had my camera.  Don't leave home without it should be my motto.  I could have gotten some very cool shots.

   At home work called and told me I needed to work at 11 as someone had called in.  Yikes.  I had only slept about 4 hours out of 30.  Off to bed.  A hour later I got called that our external disaster plan was put into effect due to the scout camp getting hit plus the weather was hammering us.

   We got 2 blocks from the hospital and the police had the roads blocked off.  They opened them up for me though, :-) 

      We didn't end up getting any further severe weather that night, but we were very busy.  The patients we got from the scout camp went to our ICU's and they canceled the disaster plan but since I still had to work at 11 I stuck around for my shift sipping on a energy drink.

    I suppose everyone has heard about the tragedy at the Scout camp.  My hearts go out to the families.   We also have several towns and our farm fields under water.  It just keeps raining and raining.  In fact it looks like it is going to rain right now and some area's are having severe storms again today.

   With that in mind I slept as long as possible.  If I get called in again I am rested.  Hope this all settles down soon.  Stay safe all.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

You know you getting older when....

  You buy clothes from Blair catalog.


      Throughout the years my MIL was always coming up to me with her catalog saying,  "Look Julie, isn't this cute"?  "Yes", I would say thinking she was going to buy it.  "Do you want me to order it for you"? she would ask.  "Heaven's No," I would reply, with a hasty, "not that is not cute, but I really don't need any more clothes". 

  Sometimes thinking I was being polite she would order it anyway and give it to me for Christmas or my birthday.  Oh gosh, how thoughtful of you.  They would go to the bottom of my closet drawer.

   I alway thought of the clothes in that catalog as being for women in their late 60's on.  That is the type of woman I saw wearing them, gray haired ladies.  It looked to be full of polyester and bold flower prints or matching sweat suit items.  Nothing a young hot chick like me would ever wear.


    Well.... now we are still getting her mail forwarded here.  Last week the Blair catalog came.  As I was getting ready to toss it a shirt caught my eye.  And I bought it.  3 of them actually.  And they came and I like them.

       My MIL would be so proud.


Sunday, June 8, 2008



      Don't you think this graphic looks like me?
   I heard we had more moods to choose from but Wow.  It should fill every emotion that's for sure.

  Right now exhaustion is a good one.  I am down to one more shift.  We have been so busy.  We got 9 admits yesterday.  It keeps you running.  I was charge for 2 nights, but last night got to just enjoy taking care of my patients.

     The weather has just been one storm after another.  The ground is just mushy and the rivers are all running full and over full in some places.  Once again my basement is leaking.  And hot and muggy.  I couldn't even get my hair to dry yesterday.  Now that makes me cranky.  We are planning on finally replacing our furnace we have kept going with duck tape and bubble gum and getting central air.  I will feel like I died and went to heaven.

        My youngest is finally moved over into his new home.  Still has no groceries or shampoo but now has toothpaste.  They showed up yesterday at 5 right when we were leaving to go out to eat, LOL.  That will teach him to call first.

        Well.  Time for me to hit the hay.  I slept terrible yesterday so really need to get rested up.  Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dante's Inferno.

     I was at my son's the other day and saw an old book on the table from 1948.   Dante's Inferno. 

         Turns out my son rescued it from the auction.  I didn't even know my MIL had this book.  What a wonderful book.

"Through me the way into the suffering city,
Through me the way to the eternal pain,

Through me the way that runs among the lost.
Justice urged on my high artificer;
My maker was divine authority,
The highest wisdom, and the primal love.
Before me nothing but eternal things were made,
And I endure eternally.
Abandon every hope, ye who enter here."

The graphics were just wonderful illustrations by Gustav Dore. I hadn't read the book in years.

     Of course when I was a moody teenager it was on my must read list and I spent many a deary day quoting passages of this wonderful book to all who would listen.  What a dork I was.  However.  It is still a great book and it did my heart good to see my son had saved it.  So I was checking on line and found this interesting site.  A very abbreviated version but still good.

Dante's inferno.. a virtual tour through hell.
   Makes me definitely want to stay on the straight and narrow.  It justs shows one part of the book.  Not purgatory or arriving at heaven.

 You have to get the book to read the rest of it.  The poetry is among the best.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A different day.


        Thank you all for your emails and replies. I feel better this morning.

       Death is a part of life and I do understand it.  Believe me.  I also believe when it is your time the most skilled doctor won't be able to save you.  Karma.  So many times you feel a sense of relief the persons suffering has ended and they are on their way to a brand new journey.  Yes...I do believe in a afterlife. 

     I guess I was just unprepared for this.  Shocked.  He was so healthy looking.  So it hurt.

     I worked oncology for 10 years.   Loved it.  People would ask me how I could work that department and get to know all these people that would eventually die.  Well believe it or not not everyone dies from cancer anymore.  We have some very successful treatment out there.  But  with the ones who didn't have a good outcome it was wonderful to be able to help them and keep them comfortable.  And a honor to get to know them and their families.

     So I will get by this. I work tonight starting my long stretch.  Should be interesting as my back is really on the brink today.  We also are expecting severe storms.  My computer has been off more then on lately due to the lightening storms all over.  Strange weather.

     Speaking of which.  I can hear  the thunder so I should close down again.  Thanks again.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Life...and Death

   I am so full of sorrow today.  If you think nurses don't care then you don't know people.  Some hide it better.  Some can not show it until they are alone.  Some choose not to share.  But we hurt.  I am hurting sooooo bad tonight.  Broken and wondering why I keep doing this to myself.  Why did I choose to put myself into this position.  I could have been anything.  Done anything.  Painless things.

   I feel emotions are a good thing.  I believe in feeling your entire emotions.....but sometimes, tonight, maybe I am wrong.  Maybe not feeling this would be nice.  Nice. I probably won't post this.  I did post it on my other journal.  Will I ruin someones night.  Make them sad.  Invite them to join me?  In my sorrow.


Bad day off

       Nursing is a great profession, don't get me wrong.  But it also a profession that you have to take a lot of classes for the rest of your life.   And they always seem to fall on your day off.   So today, instead of enjoying my day off I have to sit in on a  hour boring class.  And learn again about things I already know and have known for years.  So the hospital has proof they have competent help working there.  The fact that they are adding a 8 hour day to the front of my 4 day 12 hours a day stretch doesn't seem to matter.  That fact the most of them say they couldn't work that many 12's in a row much less that many with another day added to the front.  Sigh.  Whine.  Waaaaaaahhhh.

   So anyway.  That is what I am up to. Class from 8 to 4.  I hope it is a stormy awful day so I don't mind being in.

     My son spent the first night in his new home last night.  How exciting for him.  Of course he didn't buy a single bit of food but his computer and game system are there.  His room look sad and lonely.  And dusty.

      Well, off I go.  To fill my head of proof that I can do the job I have been doing for the last 29 years.  Bye all.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The almost finished house.

      I thought I would show the almost finished house.  Not finished because I know he will decorate the way he wants.  We just set the furniture so we could get an idea.  I think it looks pretty good.  Personally I would have used a satin finish instead of a semi gloss but that would be my choice.  Anyway.  Here is the living room before and after.

      The kitchen

      I like the way the archway turned out.

     The upstairs bedroom is being painted.  I like the color.

        We didn't get a ride or photo shoot in today.  What did I do?   Look for a new van.  I found a couple I really like.  So pretty.  Now to talk them down in price and test drive them.  We also went to some flea markets and just lazed around.  Feels good to just be lazy.  Tonight I am watching a movie.  We have bad weather again all around us but not here yet.  What a spring we are having.

       Take care all.