the RATS of moose

The Random Access ThoughtS of a mid-west, approaching-middle-age, nurse starting the next phase of life.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Popcorn and a movie

It's Julia Roberts night at the movies. First, Pretty Woman and now Stepmom. I haven't seen Pretty Woman in a long time. I like the line she says towards the end. "I want the fairy tale."

I want the fairy tale, too. I have the fairy tale. I have BB.

But I worry that in my fairy tale I will wind up being the wicked step-mother instead of Cinderella. And that the children and their mother will hand me poison apples or prick my fingers with spindles so I will go away.

Or, worse yet, they will be indifferent to me and nothing else. At least dislike in an active emotion that you can work with.

It may be too soon to worry about this.

I'll go back to my popcorn.

Well, isn't that sneaky?

Stream of consciousness posting is interesting. You can only do it once. A do-over is never the same.

I lost a huge chunk of my blog the other night... (the 24th). My fault. Hit the wrong button when it wouldn't publish. Stupid move. Don't hit the buttons before you read the directions.
I feel so sorry for BB. He walked in the door about 3 minutes before I accidently deleted about half my rant on time (and the lack thereof). I threw a temper tantrum. Intense, but not big and not long. (At least I don't think it was long. Geez, I hope it wasn't-because BB would have born the brunt of it.) I think I have finally grown up enough to figure out that I shouldn't hold a grudge against the people closest to me for something I have done. That's been a hard one. I'm still not good at it.

Anyway.. do-overs...... they are never the same. I had all the same thoughts but not the flow that I had Tuesday. (shrug) You can't go home again. (Well, except for sometimes... I mean, I have moved home more than the average adult child. I may have overstayed my welcome the last time. hee hee hee)

Where was I? Oh, the do-over. Well, I got it done and was all ready to post it and that's when I noticed that YOU CAN CHANGE THE POSTING DATE!!! That's not FAIR!!! That means you can FIB!!!!

How cool is that? I could write all my posts in one sitting (lord knows there is enough crap floating around up here to fill pages and pages with drivel) and just date them all differently! I could write like the comic strip writers do... a whole bunch at once, six weeks in advance.

(Sorry, I had to get in a quick fix of my favorite comic strip.)

Um,,, I got lost again. Do-overs. I did it this time, doubt I will do it again.

Next time I'll just start over. Then I won't have to be sneaky.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


The site ate my blog..... I am so distressed. I will try to fix it. After I jump off a bridge to express my distress.... (small bridge.... foot bridge over the ravine at the end of the drive... not to worry... my ankle hurts too much to jump from much higher!)


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I'm late, I'm late...

for a very important date. I feel like I should be wearing a black beaver top hat and a bunny tail. Time doesn’t go far enough. It doesn’t last long enough. I can’t seem to get everything done. Some days I can’t seem to get anything done. Which leads to a sense of failure. Which leads to depression.

Which is cured by chocolate. Heh heh heh

Which is why the scale is not going down. Oops.

Today in the office things were going so-so… not as fast through the everyday paperwork as I would have liked, but I finished it and got started on the project I need to have finished in the next couple of weeks. Popped out of the office into the ER for just a minute to help a medic with some equipment. Was almost back into the office when one of the nurses came barreling down the hall asking for help in that really-hurried-all-hell-is-breaking-loose kind of voice. So I headed back to the ER and all hell broke loose. Sort of… not sure just what happened. Too many patients not moving out of beds, too many patients needing 1:1 nursing care… the incoming patient wound up needing 2 of us. Stayed out there for an hour or so and then back to the office.. just in time to realize I missed the cutoff for the cafeteria… by an hour. On the day I failed to bring lunch with me. Oh, well. Went to the little coffee shop and paid through the nose for a sandwich.

It was good. I liked the Munster cheese.

Got back to the office and ate and IM’d with Mom and finally got back to work. Got really excited when 4pm came around ‘cuz I thought I could go… then realized I wasn’t scheduled to leave until 5. What a letdown. Isn't in funny how some days fly and some drag and it never seems to work out the way you wish it would.

Once home, I faced the dreaded “LIST”. So much to do, so little time. Worked my butt off and feel like I got nothing done. Cleaned and worked out, started the laundry… and looked at the “LIST”. Clean the shower (umm, maybe this weekend), cut cat nails (not a good idea right now-will do that on the weekend), paint the baseboards (I took the old ones off when the exterminator came-he did a lovely job with the ants. Should have called sooner. Baseboards… the old ones were weird… like they were made from Styrofoam. I tossed them. Bought some nice wood ones. Didn’t take the easy way out and get the pre-finished ones. I am stupid.), what else… oh, watch the video of Sunday Morning (done-I get the important stuff done), vacuum (done-at least the downstairs-will do the upstairs this weekend), change sheets (can’t-the other ones are in the laundry-will do this weekend-I am sensing a theme here.), add 'caulk windows' to the list… when I was out taking care of my new grass I noticed I could get water into the basement.. oops… gotta fix that; do bills (done). Crud. I didn’t get much done.

And now BB is here and we need to eat dinner.

I am out of time.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

High Class Dumpster Diving

I love BB! And I love the building he lives in! The average rent in this place is more than my mortgage... and the residents are somewhat transient and many are from overseas with short-term jobs and when they go, they throw out a lot of stuff. A lot of really good stuff. You find the best stuff late at night...

My beloved brought me just such a treasure last night! For several days I have been contemplating purchasing some cushioning pads to put on the floor so my shoes don't slip when I exercise. Stuff like this... Well.. guess what he found in the garbage room.... 4 beautiful blue interlocking floor cushions!!!! I love this man... So far he has brought home a nice little wood kitchen cart, a blender, a set of knives, speaker stands and a laptop computer!! It's a fun little garbage room...

Hmmm.. 10pm... time for more dumpster diving....

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Habeeb and the lost data

Well... Dell dropped the ball on this one.... Last week lightening blew out my ethernet port. I called (what a useless adverture that was.. can I activate a class action suit against Dell for fraud/false advertising? Everytime I see the television ad with the guy calling tech support at all hours of the day and night, he gets someone who sounds like an American-born-English-is-my-first-language person who can carry on a conversation that isn't part of a script. Do you think I have a case? The last two times I have called I have gotten Habeeb's cousin "Robert" who lives in Bombay. Both calls (had I blindly followed the techs advice) would have resulted in the loss of a considerable amount of data (yeah, yeah, my fault for not backing up but lets be realistic... how many of us back up our home computers? The only reason my work computer gets backed up is because it's done automatically everynight.). The first was the replacement of the hard drive without attempting data recovery... Habeeb/Robert told me my only option was to replace the drive. HA. BB managed to recover my data from the dead drive, un-virus it and install it on the new drive. Sheesh. In this latest round, after putzing around and going to command prompt and the tech realizing that, yes, I was not lying, the ethernet port was dead, his solution was for me to reload Windows. WHAT????? You want me to do WHAT????? Why on earth would you want me to reload Windows???? Well, it is well known that almost all problems are caused by software problems and reloading Windows will take care of those problems... blah, blah... HEY, HABEEB, I TOLD YOU THE LITTLE ORANGE LIGHT WASN'T BLINKING!!! THE PORT IS DEAD!!!! The rest of the call did not go well. I told him I paid for the extended warranty and they could just send a tech out with a new port. He had to check with his supervisor. Yes, they could do that, but according to my records I didn't have an ethernet port on my computer. Well, then, Habeeb, can you explain to me how I have managed to be connected to the internet via cable modem for the last 2 years? But your records say.... DIDN'T YOU HEAR ME??? I HAVE A PORT. I DON'T CARE WHAT YOUR RECORDS SAY. NOW GET OUT HERE AND FIX IT. I will have to talk to my supervisor. MAYBE I SHOULD TALK TO YOUR SUPERVISOR.... and so it went.) last week and got Dell to agree to send a new port (my dead port is part of the motherboard.. which I doubt they will replace, but all I need is an ethernet card...) and send a tech out to install it.

Meanwhile, BB is whispering in my ear that he has several ethernet cards that he will gladly install for me so I can be online again as soon as the modem is replaced. Of course, he tells me this AFTER the less-than-satisfying call to Dell. So, staying true to my roots, I cut off my nose to spite my face and said I would wait for the Dell tech and card. Besides, the earliest the cable people can come is Monday and I am out of town from Thursday to Sunday night, so who cares?

Well... the Dell tech calls Thursday, while I am out of town at my meeting. I call "Ed" back during a break and tell him that I am out of town for a long weekend and that I will call him Tuesday to set up an appointment. He says okay.

Oops... I forgot to call Tuesday. So I called today. Left a message. He called back (while I was away from the phone). He left a message. Said seein as how he hadn't heard from me for 5 or 6 days, he sent the part back to Dell and I would have to call Dell to have them send the part back. I will call Ed back tomorrow and remind him of our conversation. I will try not to shout.

And then there was yesterday when the cable guy came out. The video technician. Oh joy. The first words out of his mouth are all about how he doesn't know anything about the internet thingie and they just sent him to swap out the modems and he doesn't know how to install them... and and and..... 1 hour and 45 minutes and 16 calls to other techs for tech support for the tech... the modem is barely functioning... I have no idea of what he has downloaded into my laptop (as the big 'puter is still without a port) and I just want this kid gone.... sheesh.... Why didn't they send an internet tech? WHY, OH WHY???

And whatever became long-suffering BB (who has now listened to my lack-of-access rants all weekend)?

He came over tuesday night, popped an ethernet card in the big computer, cleaned up the mess on the laptop and everything works fine. I love him!!!

I think I will send Dell a bill for services rendered.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Here comes your next...

Good heavens... I wonder what my blood sugar was today...

sugar I think I have eaten everything in this photo at least once.. maybe 6 or 7 times...

I started yesterday... Actually, yesterday was pretty good... Hard boiled egg, english muffin and banana. A little skim milk and coffee and I was off to a good start.
Then came the custard filled bismark (my all-time favorite). Then the Grapeheads. And some Twizzlers. Some Hershey's miniatures. Arrived at Mom's for the weekend... added some peanut M&M's, chocolate chips and ice cream to the mix.
Today started with more M&M's. Then came the cookies. And the dark chocolate peanut M&M's from Wal-Mart. And the Frosty for lunch. And the chocolate covered almonds. And birthday cake with strawberries, whipped cream and ice cream. And more peanut M&M's. And pistachios.
My pancreas must be screaming right about now... I wonder if my A1c will show a spike? I can't imagine what my blood sugar soared to.

I do not recommend eating this way for extended periods of time. I'm pretty sure it's bad for your health. But... peanut M&M's are *always* at Mom and Dad's house. AND, it's Dad's birthday celebration... (I know, excuses,excuses).

But it sure tasted good....

So now it's off to bed to let all that sugar turn into fat!


(cable modem is still out... no blog Sunday.. maybe Monday, definitely Tuesday)

Friday, May 13, 2005


Originally uploaded by ChrisMoose.
Now all I have to do is figure out how to get this over to my profile... sheesh...

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Nature's Alarm Clock

Well... Mother Nature made herself known this morning... she rolled in just past 6:30 this morning and all hell broke loose. BB got up to close the windows (he is *such* a dear!!) and shortly thereafter the mother of all thunderclaps resounded in the house. Didn't think much of it, although BB says the power went out and he had to go downstairs and reset the GFI for the upstairs.

Didn't think much of it. Layed there and dozed cuz I knew the alarm would soon sound. Had the earplugs in. Thought I heard sirens.

Decided it was a daydream.

Alarm went off. Staggered to bathroom. Saw the flashing red lights bouncing around the walls. Oops.... not a daydream. The neighbor's house was SMOKIN'!! Got hit by lightening. It was impressive! It hit the townhouse row adjacent to mine.. 2 houses over from my roof (a 2 story house), jumped down to the one story end townhouse, traveled along the roofline and exited the shingles (which look decidedly frayed!) and maybe hit my building? Am not sure but that is when the GFI went off. And the cable modem got fried. And the ethernet port on the desktop quit working. Oops. (I gotta get the picture thingie working.... Chuck was busy snapping away)

Watched the firemen chop holes in the roof for a while and gathered up the modem and headed for work.
Which leads me to now. This will be the last blog until at least Thursday night, probably the weekend... Don't know if I will get reconnedted tonight at home and am leaving town for 4 days tomorrow morning. If I have internet access I will scribble. If not, I won't.

Pretty prosaic, huh?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

By Request

Medical shows.... I'm thinking I could rant for hours on the subject. Most of it would be bad.

Grey's Anatomy... only watched it twice. That was enough. They don't treat nurses very well. I was in the kill mode for the resident who went all over the place saying he hated nurses. We nurses just **love** little pecker-heads like him. We eat people like him for breakfast.

They taste like chicken.

Just remember, you learn all the really important stuff from nurses. We can help your career or hurt it.

How close to reality is Grey's? Not. I don't ever remember seeing residents deliver lab slips or carrying body parts around. The episode on organ donation was particularly distressing. That is NOT, I repeat NOT, how we go about procuring organs. That any hospital would even **THINK*** of declaring a "John Doe" a donor and setting him up for harvesting his organs without EXHAUSTING all posibilities of finding family set organ donation back about 100 years. Good dramatic license, bad for everyone on a waiting list. (remember my first post?)

ER.... well, I liked it in the beginning.. although the pace is faster that a real ER. If we did that much for the entire 8 or 12 hours of every day we would die of exhaustion.

House.. haven't watched.

There was one on Lifetime(?) that I liked for a while.. it was about trauma.... They seem to have sensationalized it lately and I got bored.

Really, guys, if we showed you what it was like on a day-today basis, you would be bored. It's 5 minutes of total excitement/sheer terror/horrendous overload surrounded by 7.90 hours of same-old-same-old.

M*A*S*H - never worked in a war so can't comment, but I loved the show!

Scrubs - can't stand it... another one so far removed from reality that I can't watch.

I keep thinking that all the lay people out there think all this stuff is real. And they are being so misinformed. And mislead. And when life in my ER doesn't resemble the show the patients complain. Bitterly. My work life isn't like any of those shows.

It's better.

Monday, May 09, 2005

So many tasks... so little time

I came home tonight and only saw one thing... the never-ending to-do list. Plant grass seed, re-seed my flower beds (*^#%$#^% rodents! ate half my flower seeds), mow the lawn, finish my kitchen cabinet, work on the basement some more, finish my quilt, complete my paver project.... I haven't gotten much accomplished the last few weeks.... illness and visitors and visiting has gotten the best of me. I am really happy that warm weather has arrived, but I wonder if I will ever be home long enough to get something done.

Maybe it would work better if I chopped the list up into little pieces and just set my sites on one thing at a time it would work better...

The catz are not helping me get anything done either... they have figured out how to undo the latch to the upstairs and today were up there contaminating the whole area with cat hair. So cleaning took front place today. Tomorrow it's laundry. Honestly, by the time you get done with the absolute necessary stuff it's bedtime. Sheesh.

Life is made up of little things. It's time to chop up the list.


Sunday, May 08, 2005

The birth of MooseRATS

Fla was right...5 minutes of work, um strike that.... horsing around, horsing around, horsing around (font check!!),and you, too, can be a blogger. Maybe my diarrhea of the fingers will pay off after all! (i.e-Maybe my diarrhea of the fingers will pay off after all!) Mom always said I should write.... well, Happy Mother's Day, Mom!! I'm writing.

(wake up!! wake up!!!! I haven't even gotten started! ;-)

The week that was...
age is creeping up on me... I swear it's only Wednesday. I am not sure where the week went, but I don't remember most of it. Two things do stand out... the dying man and the nasty-gram from medical records.

From Thursday:
Stayed late tonight... an older guy was brought in by ambulance. He was in really bad shape... lives alone.... I found some next-of-kin info in the computer.... the phone number had been changed to unlisted so I called the cops and asked them to go over and check out the address.

We were short a secretary (i.e. - had none) so I played sec. for a couple of hours. Nothing like doing a job you haven't been trained for to make you really appreciate the ones who *do* the job... I was almost useless.... 8 gazillion things going on, 4 patients actively trying to die, phone calls coming in and a billion more to be made.. page Dr A, call Dr B, call an ambulance to transfer patient C, enter doctor's orders into the computer (WAIT!! no one showed me how to do that!!)... and on and on and on.... Finally got relief and packed up my office and headed home.

I made it 2 blocks and remembered that no family had shown up for the dying guy. So turned around and drove back. Called the cops back... no one by that name at that address. Shoot. Then I remembered.... the medics brought in some pill bottles showing that he was a VA patient. Called the local VA hospital... they dug a next-of-kin name and phone number out of their computer.... "Could you have the patient sign a release of information so I can give you this information?"

Um.. If he were well enough to sign a release I wouldn't be calling you..... They gave me the number.

Called the number... the lady that answered knew the patient.... She answered me in that voice you get when you get that phone call you don't want... "Hold for Dr. B., please"

The lady said she was the man's guardian. She would be right in. Yes, she had the guardian paperwork and the advance directive... a breathing tube, nothing else heroic. She'd be right in. I hung around for a while. She didn't arrive before I finally gave up and headed for home.

I don't think he will survive the night. I'm glad I went back to work. I hope someone will do the same for me if I ever wind up like that.

Am glad tomorrow is all on the road stuff.... I make a bad secretary.

Follow-up: The lady came in... papers and all. She had the opportunity to see her uncle and then talk to the doctor. No heroic measures. The man died a short time later.

I had an interesting phone call that evening also. Another lady... said her father had been found passed away that morning by one of her siblings. She wanted to know why there was a cardiac electrode in the garbage next to the bed. She asked if her dad had been in the ED (emergency dept.) recently. (He hadn't) So I asked a few questions... what town was he in, who had the sibling called (9-1-1). I know the procedures for that town and told her that the police had come and also called the paramedics who came out to ascertain death had occurred and that one of the tests was to put the person on a heart monitor. That's how the electrode wound up in the garbage. I explained the whole procedure and thought the call was over because she got so quiet, but she had started to cry. She said they found him that morning laying in bed looking so peaceful. Sobbing now, she just wanted to know if her dad had died in pain. "No, he was never in pain. He just went to sleep last night and didn't wake up."

May we all go so easily.

Regarding medical records... really, I haven't had those 6 charts in my office for 274 days! Each. I looked! They are not here. And besides... the work I did with those charts shows up on my computer as finished before Christmas. Maybe you could check the shelves again??? Really... my worst one is only 55 days overdue. (I have the trauma patient's medical records signed out to my office so my secretary (S) and I can enter their information into the state trauma registry. To eliminate this problem, S offered to do the charts in medical records if they would provider her with a computer that had internet access. They declined, so we still bring the charts to our office!) Will be interesting to see the outcome of my rebuttal tomorrow.

I love my job!! hee hee hee

Other stuff... Have you every had the chance to use a built-in navigation system in a car?? WHAT A HOOT!!!!!!!!!! My Beloved Boyfriend (BB) has decided he wants to move. So, we spent yesterday driving around in CIRCLES looking at apartment complexes and townhouses. Just punch the address into the nav system and it calculates the route and off you go! Saw some parts of town we never want to see again, found a bunch of garage sales (or garbage sales as BB calls them) and lots and lots of apartments. But all those circles finally made me dizzy so we went shopping. I love Wal-Mart. ;-D

What's that you say? No... I'm not with my mother today. Our little family put off celebrating until next weekend... My sister had an outing in Michigan on Saturday so we are a week late. But, Dad's birthday is this coming week so we will celebrate both! YIPPEE!!! Steaks and potato salad for dinner on Saturday!! YIPPEE!!! It's truly spring when we can go out and grill up at the summer house!

Ahhhhhh, it's good to see that I can still type ad nauseum.... I have no idea if I will be able to write every day. Will certainly write once a month or more... (don't want to set myself up for failure too soon...)

Oh... MooseRATS... how did I ever come up with that name? It came to me in a dream... Well, sort of... A couple of months ago I was laying around staring into space when BB asked me what I was thinking and I said RATS. "Rats?", he asked. "No, RATS. Random Access ThoughtS." And Moose is just my nickname... courtesy of Sue from high school. I must have had blogging on the brain from the other night and I really did come up with the name MooseRATS while sleeping. Welcome to MooseRATS.