the RATS of moose

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

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Day After Christmas

{{sigh}} I love the day after Christmas.... I love shopping on the day after Christmas.... we roll out of bed whenever.... we get dressed at a slow pace, we eat breakfast (at least 2, one of candy/cookies, one of actual semi-nutritious food)... we wander out the door... today I think it may have been slightly before noon. By then, the first wave of rabid shoppers is gone (passed out at home already from all the frantic grabbing and jostling, no doubt), the second wave of shoppers is at lunch, the traffic is managable and shopping is a delight.

Mom and I went out today. Kay was home nursing her cold and Dad babysat the dogs. We had a list, only veered off it once (who can pass up Bed, Bath and Beyond?? we went without coupons even!), got everything on our list but milk (oops... breakfast will be a little tight) and only stood in line for an extended time at Kohl's. And we purchased absolutely NOTHING that we needed. Only stuff that we wanted!! It was a totally successful day! Whisks and pine smelling lotion from Williams-Sonoma, tools (what else!!??) from Sears, fingertip towels from Kohl's, gift labels and more Christmas lights (half off) from Target, marzipan from Horrocks, kitchen doo-dad from BB&B.... total success!!! And fun! Ate bad food for lunch, too!! Corn dog nuggets from A&W washed down with diet root beer (does that redeem us??).

Was productive once we got back to Kays house.... won't say what just yet.... hee hee hee

Have to head home in the morning... rats rats rats.....

Wanna come help me pack????

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas night

Christmas night..... a wonderful time to wander out of the house for a drive..... all is quiet, not much is bright.... traffic is non-existent, nothing moves much. On this one night a year, it is nice to see.... nothing. Most people are where they should be, which is not at work.

On the other hand, I am extremely grateful that Walgreen's drug store was open. I am at my sisters house and she has the cold-from-hell. I wandered over to the store for some high-power cough syrup and miscellaneous meds. But I only saw 2 gas stations, 2 restaurants and the movie theater open... oh, and the video rental store. Not bad considering the shopping district I was traversing. Always cool to see a large parking lots totally empty.

Nativity silhouette

Peaceful Christmas to all.
And to all a good night.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Gotta love those Santa presents!
New Earrings

Saturday, December 24, 2005

There are good reasons to live in a condo with a heated underground garage and maintenance staff in the winter.... reasons like my sisters driveway. All 6 concrete miles of it covered with solid ice tire tracks 3 inches high!! Okay, so maybe it isn't 6 miles long... but after I took the scraper and shovel to it, it felt like 6 miles.... on the other hand, it was a good 6 miles of exercise to work off all the Christmas cookies and whatnots.... ;-) Guess I won't complain. However, instead of seeing the ice tire tracks and avoiding them, we can slip and fall on the totally invisible sheet of ice that will form ALL OVER the driveway tomorrow!! Walk softly and wear big cleats!

Things things you should not see on a grocery store shelf in Michigan in the winter time.... anything with a "Bass Pro Shops" label attached. bassproshops_logo I caught it out of the corner of my eye and had visions of minnows and nite crawlers dance in my head! Blech!!! No, I did not investigate. Instead, I bought a bottle of wine from the "3 blind moose" vineyard.... ;-D Moose with blind glasses, you gotta love it!

It's Christmas Eve.... what are you doing here reading? It's time for church.... Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I am so disappointed in your behavior

{{{{{sigh}}}}} I've never liked the grocery chain that is right around the corner from my house. Now I know why... they have Valentine's Day cards on display. Today. Right now. I was picking out a Christmas card and there they were in all their blend-into-the-Christmas-card-display red. It was sick. I left the store.

{{{{sigh 2}}}} it's nearly 9 pm and I haven't packed for the weekend yet... have to make an appearance at work tomorrow. don't really want to backtrack from work to home (10 miles, not a big deal) but i really don't want the truck to sit at work full of presents.... guess I will drive home..... i shouldn't complain.... it's easier to get on the tollway from home than work anyway..... and truth be told, i would probably backtrack on the expressway to get to the tollway here anyway if i left straight from work.... rats rats rats.... i have such a headache... excedrin isn't cutting it today.... time to go pack.... can you go to Christmas Eve service in jeans?

where's the vicodin?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Feliz Navidad

{{{sigh}}} I succumbed. It's funny the things you take a stand on. There are the big things.... politics, religion, education (HAHAHAHA to intelligent design, we can only hope Kansas sees the light... oh, wait, that's the new star over Bethlehem.... they will probably be blinded by it.... we better wait for a full eclipse.... then we can scare them to death in the dark by making monkey noises)... and there are the little things..... refusing to pay 2 cents more a gallon for gas at the station on the 'right' side of the street and fighting traffic for 15 minutes to get to the 'other' side of the street..... not wearing make-up, even when you know everyone else will be (I look worse in it than out, why bother?).... and tape. Yup. Tape. I am in the middle of wrapping presents and ripping tape. And wrapping and ripping and having little pieces of tape stuck all over the edges of the table and my arm and pants and can of Pepsi and you get the flavor.... So... I was wandering thru Wally-World today (bad move 3 days before Christmas... who am I kidding... it's a bad move ANY day) and hanging on the endcap was the 3M (I think they once employed my dad... maybe my mom too... I can't remember... it was before my time... or at least my memory... which, by the way, should be blessed by no less than the Pope himself due to the fact that it's holier than a colander just slammed by 00 buckshot, information pours out as fast as it pours in... faster some days...) pop-up wrist mounted tape dispenser, just made for wrapping presents... I swore years ago that I wouldn't pay a gazillion bucks for something that I could replicate by ripping and sticking.... But... I was at Wally-World and it was 94 cents. So was the refill. So I bought that too.

What in hell took me so long?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Grumble, grumble, grumble

He beat me playing Scrabble..... rats rats rats..... Now I'm only ahead by 9 or 10 games..... rats rats rats......


Is there anything better in the winter than blue jeans fresh out of the dryer?

It's a Christmas Miracle!

It's a MIRACLE!!! While Mom was here for Thanksgiving, she gave her poor beleagured Christmas Cactus some TLC and LOOK AT THE RESULTS!!!!Christmas Miracle 1 All it took was a little dressing up in Christmas Festive Foil, a liberal application of red food coloring and the darn thing perked up AND MULTIPLIED!!! Let me refresh your memory..... this is beforeXmasCactus8... such a sorry little thing..... But..... THIS IS AFTER Christmas Miracle 2 IT'S TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!! Santa must have come early to this house!! What a miraculous recovery!!! I can HARDLY BELIEVE IT!!!!!!! But, WAIT, THERE'S MORE!!!

IT BLOOMED YESTERDAY!!!!! Christmas Miracle 3 WOW! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?????? I never thought I would live to see such a stunning turnaround! I must call the Guinness Book of World Records! I'll call the news!! CNN surely will want to do a story! Holy Cow!! Can you believe this bull..... ;-)

Umm... well, I may have overstated the miracle recovery.... I am a pathetic plant babysitter. I felt so bad about the plant Mom gave me that I bought 2 new ones at Wally World last weekend. So far, I havent' killed them. Mom's plant is still here... although I'm not sure how... maybe that should be my miracle story....

"Chris hasn't killed it yet!"

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I'm shopping for whom?

Is there anything better than Christmas shopping when it's snowing??? It was so totally perfect.... I got up late.... 11... oops.... puttered around and finally took off around 2 and motored 15 minutes south to Bed, Bath and Beyond to pick up what I couldn't find yesterday (different store), then drove for 40 seconds across the parking lot to IKEA (Swedish for "It's good to drive 300 miles to our store"). Gawd, I love that store!!!! When I went in the store it was spitting snow.... when I left, IT WAS SNOWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Big fat fluffy flakes with just a touch of wind, falling so hard you couldn't see the street.... Stuff? Did I get stuff at IKEA? How could I not???????? It takes an act of congress for me to get thru that store without spending *something*!!!!!!!!! I mean, really.... prices start at $.50..... how can you not spend????? {sigh} I love that store..... This is the new front door rug..... Marienta Ruta-Green I love IKEA!!!!!!!!!!!! So do the catz....Check it out

And I love China-Mart... aka Wal-Mart... I like it so much I went twice. And Home Depot... and Murray's Discount Auto Store and Best Buy and REI Outdoors (and Dairy Queen) and the mall.... Yup... I hit them all today... and finished up with a stop at Jewel. Not bad for 8 hours of work.... heh heh heh.....

And, yes, I did manage to get those presents on my list... I am down to just a couple of little things... Tomorrow it's the other mall and the Containter Store!!

Gotta have stocking stuffers!

Saturday, December 10, 2005


I think I have just consumed the worst saltine ever made. Actually, I consumed several of them because I couldn't believe that all of them would taste THAT BAD. And soup just isn't the same without buttered saltines. I will not buy off brand again.

Started Christmas shopping (yes, on this bloc it will be CHRISTMAS, not holiday) tonight. hee hee hee... one should not go Christmas shopping when she has had only 4 hours of sleep.... one tends to forget who she is buying what for..... heh heh heh..... one for you, one for me, one for you, a bagful for me..... will try to do better tomorrow.... although, I think I should get points for creative rationalization.....

One more week of night shift.... can't decide if I'm happy or sad about that... my life sure has been quiet... no phone calls, no unexpected visitors... no administration!!!! I like the last part the best.

The snow in Chicagoland is bee-u-tee-ful!!!!!!!! I got about 6 inches in the backyard. Patio furniture dressed in winter white.....Patio Furniture Dressed in Winter White I'm sooooo tired of the newsies and talking heads complaining about the cold temps and the snow and lousy driving. Sheesh... get over it. This is Chicago. It snows. And sleets. And rains. Sometimes all at once. If you don't like it and all you can do is whine about it, MOVE TO MIAMI.

The gangs need more bystanders for target practice.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Multi-tasking to the Max

So... tonight at work I took my entire desk (except for my keyboard and books) and dumped it into a box. It was the only way I knew to start housecleaning. I am doing well so far.... Rules are: 1) I can't rearrange anything in the box. 2) I must deal with it as it comes out. 3) Use the garbage can. So far, so good.

And, I am ripping all my Christmas CDs to my laptop... for some reason I can't get the local radio station to either come in on the radio or stream on the desktop computer. Speaking of which.... BB was wonderful and got me (um.. procurred for me, at no cost) a wireless keyboard and mouse for the desktop. That way I can totally remove the keyboard when I want to spread paperwork out on the desk... ;-) I am a happy girl.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

...but nights off are longer....

Okay, there is a down side to nights.... went to bed Friday at 9 am, slept till 2ish pm, got up and did stuff... which included going out to dinner with my BB to celebrate our 2nd anniversary!! We supped at Emmett's Tavern & Brewing Co. on the advice of JT, one of the paramedics who frequents my ER. (Good Choice, JT!!!) The food was wonderful, the service was attentive and the ambiance was FABULOUS! Emmett's is located in an old warehouse-type building in downtown Palatine, just a short drive from BBs place. The ceilings were 20 feet high, the 3 dining rooms spacious and quiet with lots of big wood trim around the doorways and windows. I sat with my back to a fireplace and was totally toasty warm all evening! BB had Filet of with red wine mushroom sauce (which looked totally wonderful, even *with* the fungus on it) and I had Pan-Fried lightly breaded Walleye fillets... total heaven! There was soooo much on the plate that I brought some home for left-overs... which sounds bad, I know. But don't knock it 'til you've tried it! Besides... leftover walleye has an added benefit.... memories..... sitting here munching on cold walleye fillets takes me back to a trip I took with my best friend, J, many years ago to my cousin's house waaaaay up north (just shy of the Canadian border) in Babbitt, Minnesota. For the life of me, I can't remember if cousin Lynne's hubby, Dave, had cooked dinner the night before, or if we had gone to my aunts house for din-din, but *somebody* made us a whole gi-hugic plate of walleye. We ate till stuffed and saved the rest for the next day. Well.... the next morning found us sprawled out in the living room, zoning with the TV, with a plate of cold walleye between us. By the time my cousin got up, it was all gone..... (Who, us?? Eat *all* the leftovers?? Noooo, we would never do such a thing..... {burp}). And this morning's walleye is just as good as that was.... and *THAT* is saying something about Emmett's cooking.... nothing, but nothing, is as good as walleye fixed by the relatives.....

But, I digress.... the down side of night shift.... got up Friday at 2pm, went to BBs, ate dinner, by 9 pm I was soooo ready for bed I couldn't keep my eyeballs open.... finally got there, laid down, closed my eyes and by 11:20 I was wide awake and rarin' to go! Fortunately, BB couldn't sleep either so we puttered around with his new toy (TV on the computer) for a while and finally crawled back to bed at 3 am. Then it was awake by 7:30 today! Sheesh... it's 10:30 now and I am ready for a nap again.... I envy BB... he is still asleep. I may just join him once I pop the birthday pie out of the oven (his birthday today!).

Happy 44th, Babe!!

Nights are forever...

If the staff had their way.. nights *would* be forever for me. Which is a slightly backwards way of saying that night shift is going well for me. I was a little concerned that I wouldn't be able to sleep during the day (quit laughing, Mom) and would have headaches and be non-functional while awake. So far so good... only one bad day/night. The morning shift has commented on how lively I look at 7 am when they drag in. I'm actually enjoying nights. I am much more productive in the office (no where else in the hospital to wander, everyone is closed). I have slogged thru about a months worth of work already... only have 5 more months to go!! hahaha And... the staff is getting something out of this that I should have provided years ago.... teaching time. And what, you may ask, am I teaching? Rib retractors... Rib Retractors Rib retractors? Umm, yes, among other things.... Instruments...Instruments and all manner of other medieval torture devices (user end, not receiving end). ;-)

Why would I do this? Well, it all started a couple weeks before Thanksgiving when several things came to the attention of me and my boss. There was a very severely injured patient in the ER one night who required the use of some of these instruments. It was only after the fact that we learned that some of the staff wasn't as familiar as they could be with the tools, so I started thinking that some education would be beneficial. There were a couple of other things that needed attending and since late November/December are my slowest months as far as meetings and classes go, I volunteered (yup, no one held a gun to my head, no one twisted my arm) to go to nights for a few weeks to strengthen the staff and impart all my worldly wisdom (gag) to the after-hours crew.

So far, so good. I've had 2 very good scavenger hunts so far (Hi.. your patient has this problem, you need to do this procedure, pull the equipment). And there have been several really good questions raised about general department procedure and stocking and stuff... And... (side benefit!!!) it's been a darn good review for me. There's nothing like trying to teach someone else something you are rusty with to motivate the learning gene! And... ever since I started my equipment review, the docs have been asking for a small tray of instruments to create a temporary breathing hole in your neck and I have been diligently trying to figure out what to put in the tray and where to *procure* the instruments. Well, shocker of all shockers... when we were digging thru some of the little used/covered-with-dust-bunnies stuff, I FOUND two! pre-packaged trays of just such pokey-holey equipment... one of which is expired which means I can open it and PLAY!!! And contact the rep on Monday to get more!! WHOOPPEE!!! I had *no* idea that we even had this stuff. Makes me wonder what else is in there!!! Will pass on to the boss that the equipment lists need to be re-typed and posted in the room where all this stuff is. How can we use it if we don't know it's there???

It was a good day.