Thursday, April 16, 2009

Too Tired To Blog

I spent all day with my mother again. Unfortunately, Barry the plumber was there most of the day too. He was his usual unpleasant self. As he watched me make a bank deposit online, he said, "Don't yer bank charge you extra to do that?" My reply was, "No Barry, the bank would prefer that it's customers do all of their banking online. In fact, given your charming demeanor, I think they would probably pay you to exclusively bank via computer."

Much like my friend,
Bellesouth, I had to explain the ridiculousness of yesterday's events to my mother. She laughed at their moniker, but overall felt that their protest was a guise. "They're just pissed their guy lost."

Other than my shining moment of wit, bathing and dressing my mom and being her lady in waiting while she offered political commentary---all I did was take some pictures of her two dogs.

Lola, the Parson Russell Terrier and Bonnie, the Weimaraner.
Lola is very nosey. She likes to play with her toys.

She guards the front porch diligently.
Bonnie is a handsome old lady. She is also very stuck up.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In Case Of Emergency

In is my opinion that every person should have a basic knowledge of basic first aid. I would also recommend that everyone take a class at their local Red Cross on how to perform CPR, the Heimlich Maneuver and use an automatic defibrillator. You may never use it, but if one day you find yourself in a situation where one of those skills are needed, you will be glad you spent an evening or an afternoon learning how to do it.

As part of my job, I am required to be certified in Basic Life Support (CPR), plus Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP). Each of those certifications need to be renewed every two years.

Today was my NRP recert. Here are Nurse Angela and Stacy taking their written exam:
Here is Nurse Susie taking her written exam:

Here is Nurse Laura, our instructor. She is a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse. She is very funny. After our written test, she will make us "run a code" with a fake baby. Even though we know it is pretend, it can be very nerve-racking.
-Here is our patient, Resusibaby Annie:
Nurse Laura tells us she was born as soon as her mom got to the hospital. She is limp, pale and is not breathing! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO???? I decide to give the baby some oxygen.

I think I am so smart.

My baby doesn't respond to just the oxygen. So we had to give chest compressions to. Then I decide to intubate the baby so I can get more oxygen to her lungs (which was difficult, since this baby did not have a throat or a windpipe, so I had to pretend)

Then it was Stacy's turn. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO, NURSE STACY?
She decided to give Annie oxygen too!
We decided that it would be easier to intubate the baby if we took her face off. It was.
She lived. We saved the day. The end.

Woo Hoo! I am re-certified until April 2011! Whew.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Day In Mostly Pictures

My mom called me early this morning and asked me to come pick her up. She told me they wanted her out of the hosptial by 11am. This picture was taken at 1pm. We were still waiting for her discharge papers.

This is what your arms look like when you: a) have a bleeding disorder
b) have been taking Prednisone for a long time and
c) have a dumb ass trying to start your IV.

My mom has great veins. She offers herself up to nursing students when she is in the infusion clinic because she knows they will be able to get her IV in on the first stick. She also lets phlebotomy students practice on her in the lab. They never miss. They stuck her SIX times to find an IV before surgery. That IV didn't even last through the surgery and she was stuck THREE more times. Both arms are covered with bruises, above are the lightest ones.

She lost 12 pounds in 5 days in the hospital. All she wanted was a milkshake when we finally left the hospital.

She got a coconut shake. She loved it. Drank every drop.

Storm coming in from the east.

It looks scary on the right side of the freeway.
But so gorgeous on the left side.

I'm tired. Going to bed.
Back to Mom's house tomorrow for nurse duty.
Woo Hoo!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dog Days Of Fontana.

We have always been a "Dog" family. As long as I can remember, almost everyone in my family has had at least one dog in their home. Much to the chagrin of my Grandpa, Chuck, the dogs were treated as family members. Grandpa would bring a dog home, tell us it was a hunting dog and we were to keep away from it. Well, as soon as he would leave the house. The dog came in and was spoiled.

My Nana, Ferne, my mom and her sister, Marian, and I could not resist. To this day I don't really understand the concept of an "outside" dog, I actually find it a little mean. Dogs are pack animals; they want to be with their pack, even if the other members are humans. The women in the family "ruined" a: German Shorthaired Pointer, an Irish Setter and a Springer Spaniel. Finally, Grandpa gave up and stopped bringing home hunting dogs.

My grandparent's house was without a dog for a few years. Around my 6th birthday, my uncle brought home a male Springer Spaniel. We named him "Tigger". He was from champion lineage, but as a result of irresponsible in breeding, he had problems. Bad ears that was prone to infections and too many "jowls". To add insult to injury, he was a little dimwitted. We loved him nonetheless and he was welcomed into "our" pack.

When Tigger was about 6 months old, my Aunt saw a man beating his dog. She started yelling at the man to stop. He was pissed because the dog had eaten his peppers in his garden. Aunt Marian said if he did not stop, she was going to report him. He said; "If you care so much about this dog, you take her!" She did. That is how we got our second Springer Spaniel, Daisy May.
Grandpa had not been thrilled with Tigger's arrival. When Daisy May showed up, he almost blew a gasket. He started bitching about how much money it would cost him to feed the dogs, the cost of the grooming, the cost of the vet bills, etc. He said he wasn't going to pay for any of it, "You three need to get a God-damned job to pay for those God-damned dogs. I am not gonna pay for a God-damned cent!" I knew he was all talk, but over the next few months, he kept repeating the same thing, over and over again.

Eventually, Nana had enough of his bellowing, so she told him; "Chuck, you be quiet. I am taking the dogs for a walk each night and while I am walking, I collect cans. I will pay for the dogs with the money I get for the cans." My Aunt Marian and I thought Grandpa would say he didn't want his wife walking around town collecting cans like a hobo, but he didn't. Both were stubborn and neither would give in.

So every night, after the 11 o'clock news, Nana would walk her dogs and collect cans. I would go with her most of the time. I would wear my roller skates and skate along side her. We would head out on Orange Avenue, cross Sierra Blvd, stop at City Hall so the dogs could swim in the fountain and I could practice my groovy roller disco moves on the smooth cement. Then turn on Palmetto, take it down to Arrow Blvd and maybe stop at the Post Office if we needed to mail some letters, then back onto Nuevo Avenue. We had a routine, unless the dogs needed a shorter or longer walk.
Nana was getting a bit obsessive with her can collecting. She would even go through garbage cans looking for cans. It was embarrassing. But neither Nana nor Grandpa would budge.

Until one morning...

My Aunt Marian woke up late for school, so Nana had to give her a ride. Marian was so late, that Nana had to drive her wearing her housecoat and slippers. On the way to FoHi, Nana saw a can in the middle of the road. Marian saw the look in Nana's eyes and said "Don't you dare! You will make me really late!" So Nana kept on going and dropped Marian off in the nick of time.

On the way home, she saw the can. Since she wasn't dressed, she didn't want to get out of the car. So she drove up slowly along side the can, opened her car door and leaned down to pick up the can. When she did this, her foot slipped off the gas pedal, the car started rolling forward, Nana fell out of the car and the car's back tires rolled over her right ankle before heading down Nuevo Avenue without her.

Luckily, Dr. Goldstein, our family doctor, was just coming to work. He saw Nana lying in the middle of the road and rescued her. A little later, Grandpa was coming home and he noticed a fuzzy pink slipper in the middle of the road. Then he noticed that Nana's car was on the side of the road. He went home to see what was going one was home. Nana's coffee still sat at the kitchen table, the paper open. He was worried. Just then, the phone rang. It was the doctor, he told Grandpa that Nana was okay, and she had just sprained her ankle. Grandpa asked how, the doctor told him about the can. Then, Dr. Goldstein said; "You know Chuck, if money is tight, I know a few people who are looking to remodel. I could probably throw a few jobs your way."

Grandpa never gave Nana a hard time about the cost of dog ownership again.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Don't You Have Something To Do?

Shouldn't you be:

At church?
Walking off all those calories you consumed at the Seder?
Participating in a Pagan festival celebrating fertility and spring?
Hanging out with relatives, eating too much?

Looking for eggs?

Biting the butt of a chocolate bunny?

Don't you have:

A bonnet to put on?

A hot bun to cross?

An egg roll to attend?

A parade to watch?

Stop reading this and go do something!

Happy Easter, Belated Happy Passover, Belated Happy Spring, Happy Pagan Celebration, etc.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What Did You Call Me?

We seem to have an issue with names in our family. I have about 4 or so names that I will answer to and Mr. Misha has at least 5. I am not talking about pet names, I am talking about names our family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances call us. We are not criminals. We do not have records. We are not in the witness protection program. It just happens that I have a very common first name, so I got a few nicknames. My husband on the other hand, he has a stage name, a Polish name, his legal name, his other stage name and his married name- Mr. Misha.

It gets even more ridiculous with our dogs. Both of our dogs are from rescue. We didn't get to choose their names, they came with them. Our Cocker Spaniel's name is Mimi and our Pug's name is Harley. They weren't names we would have chosen for them, so consequentially they have received a long list of alternative names while living with us.

If I list them in a evolutionary kind of way, one can see how the names developed.

Pugnacious Bean
Harley Bean Barley Corn
Butter Bean
Baby Headed Pug
The Dutches Of Snarfleshire
Adopted Chinese Baby from Szechwan Province
Dim Sum Dog
Ching Chong China Pug (not Politically Correct, I know)
Mrs. Swan
Crotchety Broad
Bolivian Fruit Bat
Pug Roast

Cockie Spannel
Cocker Spannel Channel
Cocker Doodle Doo
Princess Wigglebutt of Cocker Doodle Doo
Velcro Cocker
Chenille Afghan Dog
Leggy Blond Supermodel Dog
Cocker Chops
Pin Nosed Cocker
Jeebus Lamba
They seem to answer best to their actual names and their breed. The poor dogs are probably so confused.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Eye Popping Television

Behold, the cuteness that is our little girl pug, Harley. She also goes by Puglet, Bean or The Dutchess of Snarfleshire. We are a bit ridiculous about our dogs. So it is no surprise that if there is a show on about our breed of dogs, we will watch it.

The other day, Mr. Misha and I were watching this video about Pugs:

Everything was fine until we got to the part about the eyeballs. Mr. Misha has a thing about eyeballs. He doesn't like to talk about them. He doesn't want to touch them or see them touched. And when this show started talking about how Pug's eyeballs are known to POP OUT- he almost lost it. It really traumatized him.

Now, every once in awhile, I will hear him in the other room petting our little pug and saying to her, "Don't worry, Daddy won't squeeze you too hard. I won't make your eyeball pop out." Thank goodness she doesn't understand English.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


My mom is having surgery on her back today.

She is scheduled to go under the knife around 7:30am PST.

Send some good vibes or juju or prayers or whatever her way if you are so inclined, will ya?


Wednesday, April 08, 2009


I had a doctor appointment Wednesday afternoon at 4pm.

Guess what time I was finally seen?


How long did she spend with me?

5 minutes.

What happened?

Nothing. "Keep doing what you are doing, come back in a month."

But when I got out of the exam room at 6:05 pm. The receptionist had gone home- AT 5PM. So I will have to make my appointment another time.

Two hours and five minutes I will never get back.

Monday, April 06, 2009

I Had A Couple Of Babies Sunday Night-I'm Exhausted.

I am getting this one in just by the skin of my teeth. I am only getting this post in because all but one of the pregnant ladies in town delivered their baby in the last 24 hours. The last one is here and I am slowly trying to coax the baby out. I am watching her baby's fetal heart rate and her contractions on a flat screen TV here at the nurse's station while she sleeps. I am waiting for the next busload of pregnant ladies to drop in. Last night was fun, but I would have appreciated time to pee and 15 minutes to shove some food in my gullet. Tonight, I get to eat my lunch AND write this-such luxury!

One of the ServPro dudes came by this morning before I went to sleep. The only places that are still damp are Mr. Misha's bathroom and the kitchen. So he was able to remove 6 fans and a dehumidifier. I am hoping that my eyeball juice will regenerate itself when this is all over- until then, I encourage you all to buy stock in Carmex and Visine. Mr. Misha and I are going through it like it's crack. I wonder how the dogs have not seemed to be bothered by the drop in humidity. I keep checking their noses and eyes- they seem fine.

I have the next 10 days off. Goals for my days off:

  • Get my mom safely through her hospital stay. She is having spine surgery on Thursday. If she survives the hospital stay without getting an infection or a bad bleed, I will be happy. Surgery scares her-recovery scares me. It's all about perspective.

  • Get a floor installed in my house. This is complicated by the fact that my landlord was just seated on a jury Monday. I hope the case is short and they don't deliberate long. I need her to be out of the courthouse so we can get the ball rolling with the reconstruction. I WANT THIS OVER WITH.

  • Get re-certified for Neonatal resuscitation. I have to do it every two years. It's relatively easy, it's just time consuming.

  • Get the dogs to the vet and get their shots up to date.

  • Get the house put back together and arrange a charity pick-up of all the stuff I am purging.

  • Get the backyard cleaned up and ready for the summer.

  • Get some sleep.

  • Get a pedicure.
I think that is a reasonable list? Isn't it? I will be enlisting the help of my nephew, Joseph, do all of the heavy lifting and manual labor. I think I can do it. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Happy Birthday Mr.Misha

Today is Mr. Misha's birthday. He is turning 45. I found out on our first date that he was born at the hospital that I now work at, birthing babies. The first time I met his mom, she told me the story of his birth. It is quite cute, especially when you hear it in her Polish accent. So that is how I decided to write it, in her words.

"Honey, za pains kept comink and I kept pooooshink. One time, before za next pain, an announcement came ofer za loud zpeaker; 'Lady and Gentleman, General Mac Arthur has joost die'. Well, I could not think, za pain come again and I must poosh. Zo, I am poooshink and poooshink, and zen, ze doctor he say 'Mrs. Knee-Klev-Itch, you have ze leetle general!' And zere was Pawel. Bud he deed not look like general to me, he look like za colt. Like leetle horse on my bellie, wit arms hangink off one of my sides and legz hanging off zee ozzer side. I am not big wooman, and Pawel was BIG boy. When Stan make to za hospital, he get so exzited that we have boy after two girl.....he forget he is on third floorz and walk right into window, knock himself out!"

Happy Birthday Husband and Thank You Emilia, for birthin' your son.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Forward Payment

My friend Lauren posted this on her blog. I think I was too late in responding, but I like the idea of making something and sending it out into the world. Hopefully, it will make the recipient laugh or smile or feel good in some way. So here I go:

I hereby pledge to make something for the first 5 persons who respond to AND agree to the conditions of this blog/offer. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

  1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. What you get is what you get.
  2. What I create will be just for you.
  3. It'll be done this year (2009).
  4. I will not give you any clue what it's going to be.
  5. It may be something that needs to be mailed, so you'd have to be willing to provide a viable address.
  6. In return, all you need to do is post this text into a blog or bulletin of your own and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to your note.

This offer is null and void if you do not post your own blog/bulletin to pay this forward.

So folks, act fast!

Friday, April 03, 2009

This Is The Rant Part Of This Blog

Okay, first of all I lied. I know I said I wasn't going to bitch about the fans anymore, but HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!

I think Dick Cheney, John Wu, Alberto Gonzalez and all those other sick motherfuckers had it all wrong. Don't water-board people. If you really want to torture someone, do the following; force them to live under these conditions:

  • TEN, I counted twice to make sure, TEN fucking fans and 3 damn dehumidifiers going 24 hours a day for 5 out 7 days this past week.
  • A Cocker Spaniel that has developed a manic-neurosis of some sort from the constant exposure to the two things she hates most in life-----WET PAWS AND LOUD BLOWING/SUCKING MACHINES. If there was a canine wing of Napa State Hospital, I think she would meet the criteria for admission. She is at least good for a 48-hour hold; she is a danger to herself and others. Is there a doggie DSM-IV?
  • A Pug who finds her schedule of burping, farting, licking and napping disrupted so she decides to ESCAPE every 40 minutes ALL DAY LONG.
  • A small neighborhood consisting mostly of nasty, nosey, bitchy old ladies who love to nothing but tell you; your dog is out again, she has shit in their flower bed, she is going to get hit by a car, she is supposed to be on a leash, the workers let her out, you need to do something about it, that POD is taking up TWO visitor parking spaces, "Are those workmen bonded? Because you know one of them is, you know...colored?" (That one almost caused me to have an aneurysm), your garbage cans are outside of your fence, how long is this going to take?, why don't you put the dogs in a kennel?, yada yada yada, blah blah blah...
  • A sweet, but lecherous neighbor who wants to touch your boobs all the time and is not shy about asking you if he can.
  • An extremely fast packing team that boxes up your stuff tapes it and stacks it in the POD before you realize that you needed it. Stuff like: your keys, medicines, Visine-because you have no eyeball juice left and Carmex- because you have chapped lips because the dehumidifiers and the fans have sucked ALL OF THE MOISTURE OUT OF NAPA (except in your home), DOGTOWN-they packed it!, the clothes dryer with clothes in it, the vacuum, the garbage can, your toilet paper, your Tums, and your will to go on.
  • Put two 40+-year-old men in a filthy man cave, they instantly turn into 12 year olds. You spend 4 hours listening to a loud conversation between Bevis, Butthead, Stan and Cartman.

After dealing with all of the above, I am ready to confess, TO ANYTHING. Seriously. If confessing means I get a hot meal, clean sheets, a bubble bath, some quiet and a few cocktails- WHERE DO YOU WANT ME TO SIGN?

All this bitching. I know, I know. I don't mean to sound so crabby. I am just tired and even though we got so much done today, there is so much left to do. The house needs to finish drying. The rest of the stuff needs to be moved out. Some cleaning needs to be done. Then the flooring needs to be put in. Then baseboards. Possibly new kitchen cupboards and perhaps some painting too. Then move all the stuff back in and unpack and put away all of the stuff.

I don't know what we would have done without such AWESOME landlords, the SPECTACULAR team from ServPro (Ray, Jason, Chris and Rosie- You Guys Rock!), Skater Dave (You are a brave man to tackle the man cave!) and Nephew Joseph (You are the hardest working teenager I have ever met!).

And thank you, dear readers, for letting me vent. Because frankly, I just don't have time for a therapy appointment right now and I don't have the cash for a spa day.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Damp House Drama Part Deux

The dudes from ServPro are here in my house right now. As I sit here typing this post, I have two fans and a dehumidifier blowing around in my boudoir. I am blogging from a wind tunnel, literally. I have been awake since 5pm Wednesday evening and I am blogging from a windy bedroom in lieu of sleep.

When the dudes first got here, they went straight to the scene of the crime- Mr. Misha's bathroom. They pulled out some detector dealios and pressed them against the wall to see where the water had pentrated into the walls. They went methodically throughout the house testing each wall. The last place they inspected was Mr. Misha's man cave. I overheard the discussion they had amongst themselves, "All this stuff in here is acting like insulation. It is like a terrarium in here. If this doesn't get cleaned out, we will have mold all the way up into the walls and ceiling."

Ooooooooooh. That didn't bode well for Mr. Misha. He was out helping his cousin with a computer problem and looking for packing boxes. I sent him a text telling him about the man cave. He called me and assured me that he would be coming home to attack the man cave ASAP.

Meanwhile, the dudes started removing the baseboards and drilling holes in the bottom of the walls. Then, they vacuumed. Then they brought in......... 

Which thrilled me because I so enjoyed having fans run constantly from Friday til Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday seemed so empty without their constant drone. Plus, I really missed the added bonus of exacerbating my lovely spring allergies. So now I feel pretty fricken lovely- sleep deprived, sensory overloaded, itchy, sneezy, snotty and dusty. As my friend Emily would say, Awesomesauce!

But then I started talking to Ray, the hawt ServPro dude. He told me that he was coming back tomorrow and he was bringing a bigger crew. Then he rattled off the list of presents he was bringing me:

  • A POD to store all of my furniture
  • Packing boxes and materials.
  • People to pack my stuff into said boxes
  • People to move said boxes and my furniture into aforementioned POD
  • Dudes to clean up the garbage in the Man Cave
  • Dudes to haul away all of the garbage from the Man Cave
  • Dudes to haul away all of the moldy carpet and padding
  • Dudes to clean the walls, the floors and anything else that needs to be cleaned.
  • Chicks and Dudes to do anything we need to do to make the house better.

I won't complain about the fucking fans anymore, I promise.

The One Time

I am not very good at playing April fool’s pranks on people. In fact, I am not very good at playing pranks at all. Quite often, I will get blamed for other mischief making even though I may be completely innocent. I am not sure why I am the first person suspected when practical jokes are made. I blame my red hair. Maybe it is my sense of humor. Maybe it is my loud mouth. Maybe I just look guilty. But because I am always a suspect, I rarely even try to pull an April fool’s joke.

But there was this one time.

I worked with a wonderful OB tech. She was smart, quick and caring. She got along well with the nurses and all of the OB docs except one. I can't really blame her for not getting along with this one doc, no one got along with her. Not even the other doctors in her practice. When she was on call, the nurses would dread calling her. So this wonderful tech and this mean little doctor had quite a few altercations in the OR. The doctor was rude, she yelled, she threw instruments, she behaved in some unprofessional ways. The nurses and techs were constantly writing her up and patients were making complaints. It was only a matter of time before she would be leaving, we hoped.

One March 31st, a long time ago, the wonderful tech and I were working and the evil doctor was on call. The tech went on her lunch break and I got a call from the ER. They had a 6 month pregnant woman and the doctor thought she might have appendicitis. The attending doctor wanted us to evaluate her and the baby to make sure everything was okay obstetrically before taking her to have her appendix out. The ER nurse just happened to be a childhood friend of our tech, so I asked her if she wanted to play an April fool’s joke since was now after midnight. She agreed and said she went to high school with the patient (this was a small town) and she was sure she would play along.

I called our tech, told her we were doing an emergency c-section with an appendectomy. I told her that the evil doctor was the attending physician and to add a little more fuel to the fire, I told her that the only other doctor in the whole hospital she didn't get along with would be the assistant. SHE HAD A SPAZ. It was 3 am, she was doing an appendectomy, something she had never done before, with two doctors she could not stand and who had both been extremely rude to her in the OR. She stomped around muttering and slamming things for a good 20 minutes. I almost told her because she looked so freaked out. Finally, I told her she needed to get it together, this patient needed the surgery and she was coming to us; there was nothing we could do. She stopped talking and got to work.

The ER nurse had stuffed blankets on top of the patient's belly to make her look more pregnant. The patient moaned and rolled back and forth on the gurney to make it seem more realistic. As we wheeled her into the room, our wonderful tech sucked it up, stopped complaining about the doctors and started reassuring the patient that everything would be alright. We slid the gurney right next to the hospital bed so the patient could slide over and the tech pulled back the sheets. It was then she noticed the bunch of blankets. The patient hollered out, "April Fools!" I have never seen anyone more relieved to have a practical joke played on them in my whole life. I am still not sure if she has forgiven me for it.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I Think My Body Is Playing Some Sort Of April Fool's Joke On Me

I worked all night last night. I was busy. I did a lot of nurse-y things. I forgot to bring my pain meds with me. But I didn't really need them.

I came home. I slept solidly, without the aid of Ambien and during the day, for a whole 7 hours! I woke feeling rested, not achy or sore.

This is a little too much sharing, sorry, but I also have my monthly visitor with NO cramps.

What the heck is going on?

This is a very pleasant April Fool's joke.

Thank you, body and Mother Nature. Your kindness has not gone unnoticed.