the RATS of moose

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

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I feel the need for a new t-shirt.....

I fell off my chair when I read these....

I want to be the Happy Bunny Poster girl..... hee hee hee

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Have olive, need a 'tini....

It looked like a giant olive zipping down the road with pimento brake lights....

Monday, August 22, 2005

A Meme... My first Meme....

What fun!! There I was, just minding everyone elses business and reading blogs and blogs and blogs... and I found one about a meme.... And I read it. And it was interesting....

A meme is: "A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another." In the blogger world, a meme is like a theme passed from blog to blog.

And she asked for volunteers.... so I stuck my hand up... and she answered!!! Here are the questions (and my answers-warning... diarrhea of the fingertips in progress) from VetMommy :

1. What kind of nursing do you do? What is the best part/worst part of your job? I do things not connected directly with patient care. I have a 2 part job, Emergency Medical Services Coordinator and Trauma Coordinator. For the EMS side, I go out to fire departments and give continuing education (CE) classes every month to the EMTs and paramedics. I also provide CE for the ED nurses who answer the ambulance radio. The position also includes lots of paperwork I'd rather not do, some meetings to go to, policy to set, re-education to deliver and a lot of PR between pre-hospital providers and the ED staff. The other part, Trauma Coord., comes from my hospital being a Level II Trauma Center. I keep all the data on the injured patients we see in the ED and admit or transfer to other hospitals (and the deceased victims of injury). I do the same for all violence patients seen in the ED. I provide CE for nurses who are trauma certified, do a lot more paperwork and do quality assurance work to make sure we are complying with the state rules and regs on trauma. (Do I sound like a desk jockey yet, or what???) The job is a lot more fun than it sounds.... The best part? Being able to get out of the office during the day!! Even in bad weather.. the change of scenery is great! And makes me the envy of the ER! The worst part? The never-ending paperwork!!!

2. Is your greyhound retired/rescued from the track? What's his story? WOW!! Where did you get the greyhound info?? I don't remember posting anything about the dogs.... They aren't mine. They belong to my sister. She rescued Spinner about 5 years ago, got Cricket not long after that and then I'm not sure who came next... she wound up with one of Crickets daughters... Lily... and added a cockapoo to the mix when the pet psychic (?) said Cricket needed a baby to take care of. (That may have been shortly after Spinner crossed the bridge.) Ummm... yup, that's it... Winnie (named after Grandma) the cockapoo, then Lily the barn dog. Cricket was helped over the bridge not too long ago when it was decided she had bad dementia. They have all been great dogs!! Unique, each of them!
I have 2 catz.

3. My sister loves Chicago, but sadly I've only seen the airport. What sites and restaurants would you recommend to a visitor to Chicago? The Bean. Start with the Bean. I like to walk and shop... so Michigan Ave, Oak Street and State Street are a must for a day of window shopping and such.... Marshall Fields on State is an absolute MUST for the architecture!!! I never tire of walking thru that building. Lunch in the Walnut Room is another must! Especially at Christmas with the tree up! If you are really energetic, keep walking north to the Lincoln Park Zoo. Totally free!! And fun... and where I fell in love (but that's another story!). Then walk or bike the lakeshore...absolutely beautiful and full of people for watching on the weekends. The museum loop... Field, Science & Industry, Art Institute and Comtemporary Art. Get a neighborhood map and do the tour.... Swedish/Nordic in Wrigleyville, Greektown, Chinatown, and all the Indian shops on Devon. I'm horrible with the eats part.... I know that there is a popcorn shop on Michigan Ave that always has a line out the door... winter and summer... start there to stimulate your appetite.... best breakfast (for me) is in the 'burbs at Lumies on Roosevelt at Summit in Villa Park. Lunch would be any Portillo's for a dog or Italian beef or burger.... Dinner... hmmm... there is an Italian place downtown... I can find it but can't name it... It's in the middle of the shopping!! Carson's Ribs! nuff said about that. Fanny May Candy for Trinidads.... Any farmer's market... I don't eat dinner downtown much (once a year, maybe) but have a favorite in my backyard... Anyway's.... good personal pizzas and I have a shrimp spaghetti dish I always get.. YUMMMMMM!!!!

4. What home improvement project are you most proud of? Totally unfair question... that's like asking which child you love more! Each project has it's own charm.... there was the nesting week shortly after I moved in...closet shelves and little things. There is the never-ending backyard landscaping that is waiting, once again, for the temperature and humidity to drop before I restart. There was the fence installation (where we had 5 people trying to wrangle a 2-man post-hole digger!). And then there is Tsunami Toilet. I suppose she's the winner... mostly because I am in love with my new toilet!!! ;-)

5. What's your favorite vacation destination?
No contest.... Birch Lake in Minnesota, just outside Babbitt... which is just down the road from Embarrass, where Dad graduated high school and where the coldest temp in the nation often resides..... 35 degrees this morning (Aug 22). There is a reef named for my dad's parents in Birch Lake. Borrow my cousins husbands boat, camp on the island and motor over to Stump Bay for some walleye! There is no place like it on earth. I love it!

Like this meme? Want an interview of your own? Instructions:

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying “Interview me.” You must leave your blog address so I can think of good questions for you! Caveat: Offer is limited to the first 5 responders with a blog.

2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person’s will be different. I’ll post the questions in the comments section of this post.

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Happy meme-ing!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

35 Afterburner
You go to an event and take pictures all day, hoping that just one will come out.
I think I got it this time! :-)

Chicago Air & Water Show 2005

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Today was boring.

Strangely, I was productive.

It rained.

It's too humid to wear pantyhose.

I've work a skirt to work 2 days this week.

They liked yesterday's skirt better.

It required pantyhose.

I hate pantyhose.

I cheated.

I wore thigh-highs.

I had the wrong shoes with it.

I should call my friends Sue and Laurie and have them go shoe shopping with (for) me.

Then I would have the right shoes.

They would be the totally coolist shoes.

They shop like that.

I was so well put together yesterday (except for the shoes) that someone asked me if Sue had dressed me.


Friday won't be over soon enough.

The weekend won't be long enough.

Three day weekends should be mandatory.

I'm on medicine for GERD now... the doctor thinks that's what tried to kill me 2 weeks ago in the car.

I think it was aliens.

Probably aliens from south of I-80, where all aliens in Chicagoland come from.

Prolly from one of the dead cornfields.

My power supply is buzzing.

Is that bad?

It's bedtime.

Can you tell?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Pop Pop Fizz Fizz

It has come to my attention that there are 2 versions of flat pop (soda, soda pop, whatever). Traumatically induced flatness and passively acquired flatness.

I got out to the truck this morning and found that I had left my interior lights on all night. Oops. The good news is... I discovered the lights were still on **after** I started the truck.

Back to flatness (which has nothing to do with my chest).

Also in the truck was a can of Diet Pepsi (I will not drink the red-can-who-shall-not-be-named) left over from yesterday. There most always is a dead can sitting in there. Some days it's empty. Some days not.

If I am at my house, where the truck is parked in the open, usually on a slant, I just open the door and dump it out. It disappears into the asphalt and I don't think of it again. If I am at BBs place, I usually don't dump it out. Something about the parking garage and the puddle still being there when I get back that night keeps me from dumping (right there in public for all to see). Somehow the pop-dumping exhibitionism at my place doesn't seem so bad.

Anyway. Dead pop.

Some days I forget it is dead.

And I drink some.

Some days it's not so bad dead.

Some days it is.

And I wondered why.

So I experimented (it's amazing how bored I can get on the 25 minute drive home from work).

The first street I travel on leaving work is very very very rough for about 8 or 10 blocks (the town doesn't have enough $$ to pay the garbage men, let alone repave the street! On the upside, they only just this month had their first murder all year.... that **has** to be a record).

(BB is all of the sudden into stoplights.... why he wants one I will never know).

So, I swilled half a can of pop between work and where the road disintegrates and left the rest to bounce around in the can for the remainder of the drive. Temps in the icky range while the sun was still up, but truck parked in shade once home. Overnight temps in 60-7o's.

In the morning, I tasted it.

YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UCCCKY!!!!!!!! ROTTEN BAD BLECH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Truly dead pop.

The next day I left half a can sitting on my desk at work.

Came in the next day. Tasted it.

Drinkable. Not real thrilling, but drinkable without making you make that WHAT-DID-I-JUST-DRINK grimace with your face while you are running down the hall convulsively swallowing while holding your head face down with puffed out cheeks so the pop won't make it into your posteroir pharynx at which point you will be FORCED TO SWALLOW looking for a drinking fountain or sink to spit into where the patients and their families won't see you and wonder why the staff is vomiting into the drinking fountain.......

So... is it the bumpy road and traumatic decarbonation that makes the taste bad or is it the overnight temps in the truck?

Should try the experiment on a day when my secretary is not coming in next day so I can leave the thermostat in the office set at 80 to test that theory.

I know that in the past I have sunk to the level of drinking pop that has overnighted in the truck in the fall and winter with no recollections of yucky-pop-mouth.

More experiments to follow.

If I remember.

Memory sucks now-a-days.

The good news is that both parents passed the alzheimer's test I gave them. No alzheimer's. It may have skipped a generation and gone straight to my brain.


Sunday, August 14, 2005


Ladies and Gentlemen!!!!!!!!!!!!


THE NEW THRONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A Functional Bathroom

I have an upstairs toilet again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To celebrate, BB took me out and I bought a new toilet bowl brush!!! (It was the really expensive $20 one with a flexible neck to get 'way down there'.)

It is a totally expensive toidie (I spent way more than I will get out of it unless I live here 10 years) by TOTO ( It is tall with a huge tank-to-bowl hole (for a faster, more POWERFUL flush) and a very large (2 1/8 inch) trap (for those lincoln log days). I figured the price of the toilet should cover what I would have spent cleaning up the overflow mess again and again and again with a regular toilet.

I certainly learned a lot (like how I really DON'T want to remodel the kitchen). I now know the difference between floating and regular vinyl flooring. I know that the jerks at the Home Depot in Northlake will not get my business again due totally to their attitude when I needed help with plywood. I know that I loved all the staffers at Lowe's... especially the kid who's mother is a surgical tech... he and I had a nice conversation while cutting plywood. I know that BB has to wear an N-95 mask when we use the table saw and do things that ruffle up the dust around here..... he didn't breath too good Friday night... I know that what I preach (DON'T PICK!!!) is appropriate for remodeling.... I now have several ceramic tiles around the bath missing due to some overzealous grout picking..... I know a shitty dry wall job when I see one!! I know what water does to the subfloor and why my choice of a single sheet of vinyl for the floor was appropriate. I know that when you are disconnecting drain pipes and they break in your hand, it's time for new ones.... I know that I should carry my tools around in a toolbox (of which I have 2 sitting empty in the basement) instead of a bucket and a pail. I know that my wimpy 14.4v cordless drill is useless for driving screws thru plywood.... however, my Sears Craftsman 3/8ths inch electric drill (circa 1981) works extremely well. I know that once I have made my mind up about a specific item (the toilet model), I should call a bunch of stores instead of just one looking for it. I know I should listen to BB when he offers suggestions.. they are usually on the mark.... (round vs. elongated bowl). I know lotsa stuff now.

Just need to finish the trim and I'm done for this round..... although it's obvious that the whole thing needs to be gutted.... I am going to do a good job of covering all the flaws.

I am soooooo happy.... and it even has a soft close lid Soft closing lidfor those days when I drop the seat or lid..... Now, if I could only get BB to lower it for me.... heh heh heh.....

Speaking of TOTO... go to their site and check out the Neorest..... my next house gets one of those.....

I am in toilet heaven....

Saturday, August 13, 2005

I feel the need to screw.....

Behold..... The new bathroom floor.... I feel the need to screw it down. BB says I put in "more screws than I would have." I was raised in the house of overkill. Measure 16 times, cut once. Most of the things I build will outlast me. I love overkill. And, besides, the book said every 6 inches around the edges and every 8 across the interior.... I love overkill. I feel the need to screw

BB and I were having a good time cutting plywood last night at 11pm... heh heh heh
Laying floor It was fun with table saws and such. I am sure the neighbors appreciated the circular saw et al in the backyard at 10pm.... heh heh heh.... I figured it was no worse than the music they persist in blasting thru my walls at all hours of the day and night.

Now... to find the toilet of my dreams......TOTO

Time for a shower before spackle and breakfast......

Monday, August 08, 2005

Tsunami Toilet-part 17

Behold, the naked, holey bathroom..... T20 The vanity bit the dust yesterday after a discussion with BB about the best way to re-floor the floor. It was an interesting removal.... T18 Behold the leftovers of other people's lives.... how many of you remember pink foam curlers? Little green plastic dinosaurs. Assorted toys from fast food chains.... and money.... not enough to remodel the bath, but I got 12 cents out of the deal. It's all about the loose change, ya know.

I bleached the mold tonight. Will buy plywood tomorrow and start chopping things up.

The holey bath must die.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Tsunami Toilet-Round 2

What a flipping mess. Rule one... wear rubber gloves. Rule two... wear eye protection. Rule three.. don't strip the bolt with vice grips before you take the nut off. Rule four... when using the circular saw to chop thru wood that is moldy, you should probably wear an N-95 filter mask.T5 This was the easy part. And it wasn't easy. I have many pics of my day on Click the pic and it will take you there.... there are a whole bunch.

I have 40 years of mold growing on the subflooring. The corners at the bathtub are so wet and soft you can stick a screwdriver thru them. (sigh) I think I may have to bite the bullet and gut the bath this week. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $309 for the new tub and surround. $200 for a toilet $200 for a vanity $200 for the sink $150 for the medicine cabinet ... $80 for a ceiling fan... drywall, plumber to fix the pipe.... the turd who roughed the sewer pipe in put it too close to the wall. I can leave it where it is and get a compact tank and toilet (yes, I found one tonight at Home Despot) or I can have a plumber put in an offset pipe and flange and get a standard toilet. Same $$ for the toilet. Prolly should have a plumber anyway because of all the wrestling I did with the pipe to get the flange off. (sigh)

Many choices.... 1) gut the room and hire a contractor to put in new ceiling, walls, exhaust fan, tub and floor, and fix sewer pipe. I can install the toilet, medicine cabinet and vanity, and linoleum. 2) let the subfloor dry for a week and put a coat of Kilz over it to coat the mold. (The tub is solidly in place, although the wall behind the faucet is a little mushy and the home inspector recommended I fix it). Install new subfloor just around the toilet hole, install new floor and add toilet. (cheapest way) 3) Consult Daddy 4) Consult Beloved Boyfriend. Choices, choices.

They will wait for tomorrow. At least the tub still works.

And, no, I am not peeing in a bucket. I have a toilet downstairs.

Bathroom Tsunami

Two and a half gallons of water doesn't sound like much...... until it is racing across your bathroom floor at tsunami-like speeds at one o'clock in the morning and cascading into the air-conditioning duct. I just pray that the little brown blobs didn't make it into the hole. I just stood there and watched. I couldn't move. But I'm pretty sure I know why my kitchen ceiling is warped. BLECH!!!!!!

Wet, wet, wet! Soggy and stinky!

Do not start remodeling the bathroom at 1:00 am. It is bad for your mental health. It does nothing but depress you. And it winds up your brain so you can't sleep. And it's yucky. I am totally grossed out at the thought of the germs living in the floor. And the kitchen ceiling. I may barf before this is over.

DAD-----WHERE ARE YOU???????????????

So.... today is remodel the bathroom day. It was NOT on my list of things to do.

I found a very nice do-it-yourself article on-line about replacing the toilet and the plywood underneith it. They use small words and short sentences. I think I will be okay.

DAD---WHERE ARE YOU?????????????????????

(sigh) I knew this was coming. I knew this from the moment I bought the place. I just didn't want to do it now. $$$$$$ How much is a toilet anyway??

Oh, well. I am off to measure and remove a toilet and cut up some plywood and go shopping.

Wonder if I should replace the tub while I am at it?

Monday, August 01, 2005

...and brain death has occurred....

I almost killed myself today.

No... not on purpose. I was the victim of an unintentional event. Funny things... swallowing and breathing..... you are not supposed to do them at the same time. It doesn't work well. I think maybe I'm not paying enough attention when I drink stuff. This time was the worst I have ever done. I actually managed to get some coffee (with milk) down past my voicebox. I closed my windpipe about 95% of the way... maybe more.... could breath out a little little bit.. this tiny tiny wheeze..... couldn't breathe in without sucking more coffee in. Absolutely refused to spit a mouthful of coffee out onto my dress/steering wheel/windshield/center console/radio/etc. Finally located a paper towel to empty into. Couldn't breathe. And was doing about 65 miles per hour down the tollway. Oops. Went to my meeting (with a bunch of trauma nurses in the middle of an ER... figured I was safe....) and hacked up coffee-flavored hairballs for 2 hours. I actually felt rotten enough to go see my own doctor (and not sponge off the ER doctors) when I got back to work. Did a chest x-ray... no infiltrates just yet. But my trachea burns. And it hurts to breathe. And my vocal cords felt swollen most of the day. It still hurts. Will be interesting to see how I feel in the morning.

I thought I had come thru the episode relatively unscathed until I got off work tonight. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home and got out of the truck and locked it. With the keys in it and the engine running. Brain death has occurred. Wonder how many brain cells died today while I was out of air?

Am thinking that the next time I do this I should just go for broke and spit up on myself rather than choke to death.

Just a thought.