Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Taking a Break.

It's almost the New Year.  I have decided that I'm going to take a bit of a break from The Book of Face.  I will be periodically checking my messages, but for the most part I will not be using it.  I have things that need doing, and there are better ways to use my time.  I tend to open Facebook as a default for boredom, or to fill time and I feel like I'm wasting moments that could be better spent doing something else.

I do plan on going back to school for my Bachelors degree soon.  I need to figure out what kind of time I really have to devote to this, so I can take an appropriate amount of classes.  I want to still have time to enjoy my life, and not be glued to a textbook every moment I'm not at work.  I did finally do my CCRN exam this past October and it felt great to finally get that accomplished.  Finding the time to study for it however wasn't the easiest.  I need to make some changes to how I do some things to give me the proper amount of time to study.  There's also a CEN Exam that I'm considering taking.  Not because I need to, but because I can.

Some of my family drama from the past several years is in its final phase of resolution. I'm going to have to be satisfied with how things are, because I just don't have it in me to fight anymore.  I'm just happy to have it done with.  And hopefully that really is the End of It.

Vacation picks are already done for the next year, and I'm looking forward to my time off.  Headed back to NY this summer for my son's high school graduation, and plan to see a few friends while I'm there and take a few days for myself afterward to roam the country wherever I like. 
There is also potential for an early Spring trip to a warm sunny locale with a good friend and his fantastic wife to be.   Just reapplied for the passport I lost during my 4 or 5 moves in 2 years.  I finally gave up looking for it.

Hoping that some of the other curveballs that life has thrown manage to level themselves out, so I can take a few deep breaths and just Be. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Almost another new year

Another new year is upon us.  I honestly don't know where the year has gone.  Lots of things have transpired in 2015, but not nearly as much has been accomplished as I intended.  The best I can say is that almost all of the boxes are unpacked, and whatever isn't unpacked at this point is likely to stay in boxes indefinitely. 

Life is busy.  There always seems to be a lot going on, and 1000 things to do, but no matter how much is done there are still 1000 more things to do still.  There hasn't been nearly as much downtime as I would've liked to have, and not nearly enough "Us" time to just be and enjoy each other.  As much as I wish it would, that's not likely to change much, because Life.... Is life.  And life is busy.

Made a bunch of new friends this year, and they feel more like family.  Thank you all for accepting me into your "tribe".  I'm honored.  Still have the Family Drama.  Hopefully I can fully divest myself of that before the NEXT new year!  I also have a new addition to my family.  My Niece had her first child on Christmas Eve.  Welcome to Calliope Elizabeth.  I cant wait to meet you and have me some baby snuggles.

2016 is going to see at least one huge milestone.  My son is graduating from high school this year.  I may not be there every day, but he is the most awesome kid I could've hoped for and I love him to the moon and back, and I'm so proud of him for becoming the man he is today.  I miss him every day.

All in all the last year hasn't been exactly what I hoped for , and didn't always go according to my Grand Master Plan, (Life rarely does), but I'm happy, (mostly) healthy, and employed.  I'd say that's not too shabby.  My Grand Master Plan is still there for this year, somewhat changed from last year, but in a lot of ways similar. 

So, as this year comes to a close, and a new one dawns, lets all raise our glasses and be thankful for what we have while wishing each other the best for the New Year.  (And of course, wishing for world peace)

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

It's good to be home

Just came back from a long weekend at "Secret Location" Colorado.  It was a family trip to have a freaking blast with a bunch of pretty much strangers.
Ok.. They were strangers to me and GFB, but sort of known via the Blogosphere by BFB.  Needless to say, I was a bit nervous going into a completely unknown situation.  I was told that the hosts were aware of our relationship situation and that the invitation had been indeed extended to ALL OF US. Still.. Nerves and such.
I swear this was the single most awesome group of strangers I've ever had the honor and pleasure to meet.  Everyone was friendly and welcoming, and yes... There were some questions about the relationship, but I don't mind having a DTR conversation with someone who is genuinely interested and not being icky or judgmental.
We had 3 days of shooting in the desert, beautifully awesome weather, a ton of fantastic food, decent booze (AFTER the shooting was done of course), and great company. 

Highlights of the weekend...

*EXPLOSIVES!!  (Totally legal, appropriate person with the right permits etc)  I got to blow stuff up.  Made a shot from around 330 yards, into something roughly the size of quart of paint, (taped together dynamite!!)  with a fairly new rifle (.223) that apparently had a loose mount for the scope.  Needless to say I'm totally stoked and pretty proud of myself.  I also made a shot from about 50 feet or so (maybe less) with a silenced .22 rifle into a very small bit of dynamite. Way less of a boom than the other, but still really fantastic!  BFB also had a fantastic shot into a much larger quantity from the 330 yard mark!
The same person who brought the explosives was also nice enough to bring a bowling ball mortar.  This was so cool.  Black powder, bowling ball, blasting cap, and pull the string to make a big boom!  Also a neat factoid.. The holes in the bowling ball give this thing a hell of a whistle for the duration of the balls flight. (imagine blowing across the opening of a beer bottle at high speed) 

*2 mag dumps from a Tommy Gun.  If you've never had the opportunity to try automatic weapons, I highly recommend it.  It's a fantastic rush and causes a bit of a permasmile.  Which for those of you who know me, is a huge difference from my baseline RBF (Resting Bitch Face)  I think I smiled all weekend long!

*A few shots from a .50 caliber rifle.  Talk about power! 

*Chicken butchering.  Now, Me being ME, I did not participate in this ceremony.  Although I think GFB was the ringleader.  Several of the participants ended up with some blood spatter, and sort of looked like something out of a crime scene, but it made for some damn fresh and tasty fried chicken.

*AWESOME, FANTASTIC, WONDERFUL, TASTY FOOD!  Thanks so much to Desi and Farm Mom for all work they put into feeding us all so well.  Cooking for 35 people is a challenge, and they did an amazing job!

Something also has to be said about the firearms.   I didn't count, but I'm going to say conservatively that there were about 20 people at a time between the 4 ranges (Pistol...25 yards,Short Rifle...100 yards to sight in rifles and plink, a Trap Range, and a Long rifle range... about 1000 yards, with targets at 250, 330, 500, and 750 yards) and likely 100 different guns circulating through over the course of the weekend.  Many of us were (with permission of course) shooting other peoples weapons and shooting weapons that were entirely new and unfamiliar to us.  The road to get to the parking area went directly through the Long Rifle range, and our impromptu outdoor bathroom facilities were somewhere over the ridge beyond the trap range.  With the exception of a few scraped knuckles, a bit of sunburn, a nasty foot blister, and a nice scrape of an elbow from a gun with a lot of kick causing said elbow to ride on some rough plywood, there weren't any injuries.

With all the news lately about how "Guns kill people" and all the anti gun sentiment I think this is significant.  If you listened to some of the extreme anti gunners out there, you'd think it was a near miracle that we all came out unscathed.   And I see lots of comments attached to these anti gunner's posts about Dumb Rednecks, and Ignorant Gun Owners.  I just want to point out that the combined intelligence at The Range this past weekend was staggering.  We had at least 5 police officers, more Military (active and retired) than I can count, MENSA members, Military consultants, an Emergency Medicine educator with years of experience, several published authors, scientists out of Los Alamos, a Critical Care Nurse, an Emergency Physician and much much more.  Many of us were prepared with medical equipment of various kinds, and I don't think we used more than a couple of Band-Aids all weekend.  This is because we were prepared, we used safe procedures, and we respected each other and the weapons we were using.

It was wonderful to get out in the daylight under such Big Sky, and play with all of the great people I met.  I already have it plugged into my calendar for next year.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Deprarture day

Departure day is tomorrow.  For the first two days I'll be doing more driving than anything else.  But I have a brand new car to do it in.
More updates from the road when I have an internet signal. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

On the road again, and other stuff

It's time for me to start planning ( and I use the term "planning" very loosely) my summer road trip.  I have three consecutive weeks of vacation this year from the end of June to the middle of July.  I plan on something similar to the trip from last year.  I've started looking at maps, and ros and places.  SO far the plan is this...
Drive from home and head toward Phoenix.  Stop somewhere the first night.  I have a campground in mind, but they DON'T take reservations, it's first come first serve, and I may be kind of late getting to that area.  Ultimately I may end up sleeping in my car.  I've done this plenty, and can actually make myself pretty comfortable in the back seat. ( I usually sleep curled up in a fetal position for part of the night anyway, and I'm not that tall.)  I DO have a reservation the next night at a campsite in the mountains of Arizona, about 4 hours outside of Phoenix.  I have plenty of time to get there, and can get set up in a leisurely fashion, and have time to take in some of the sights, either that evening or early the next day before the trek into the city.  Have a hotel for the weekend, while I hang out with the Bestie and her GF.  Possibly doing lunch with an acquaintance that has transplanted there from NY as well, if she happens to be back in time. 
From Phoenix, my plans become looser and looser as I travel toward (likely) New Orleans.  No real particular reason to go there, except I've never been, and it seems like there should be a cool thing or two to see or do while I'm there.  I may stay the night, or I may stay 3.  Who knows.  It all depends on camping availability, or cheap hotel.  (I AM on a sort of budget) I may stop in Galveston Island On my way to Louisania.
From there I think I'm headed toward Memphis.  Again, solely because I've never been, and there's plenty to do and see there.  Can you say "Graceland?"  From there I'll start the journey home.  I may be gone 9 days, or maybe 2 1/2 weeks.  Depends on my mood, the weather, my aging car (over 100,000 miles these days)  and whatever my whim of the day is.
I'll probably be posting pictures here, or to my Facebook most of the way.
I'm really looking forward to this trip for a few reasons. 
1) I miss my Bestie, and I don't get to see her nearly enough. 
2) I really enjoyed my trip last year, and I think it contributed to some personal growth for me.  It provided me with a sense of Self, and with a really big needed boost to my sense of independence. 
3) Sometimes you just need to "Get Away" and take a deep breath or two.  I need this.
4) Seeing new places and doing strange things is fun. 
Regarding #4.. see roadsideamerica.com.  It's an online guide to offbeat tourist attractions.  They also have an app for that.  I used it last year, and some of the stuff it led me to was truly ridiculous.  But I didn't really go out of my way to see things.  If it was along my route, I stopped and checked it out, sometimes for 5 minutes, just to take a picture so I could say "Yep, I was there", and sometimes for an hour or two because it was really fun.  I plan on using the app again this year, and am counting on a bunch of unique stuff. 

In relation to my aging car, I have been seriously debating replacing it.  But theres really nothing wrong with her (fingers crossed) and I'm finding it hard to justify spending the money.  I HAVE the money, but I'm not sure I want to spend it now on something I don't need.  Keep in mind that if my car craps the proverbial bed on this road trip, I wouldn't have any second thoughts or feelings of guilt replacing her at the first car dealership I come across!
Probably looking at some sort of small SUV or Crossover.  Leaning toward a Mazda CX-5.  Gets good performance reviews, apparently drives like a dream, with albeit sometimes sluggish acceleration, which I can totally deal with especially if I get it in a manual transmission.  And it's within my price range.  or can be if I can talk the dealer down a bit, and get some good incentives along with my trade.   I haven't talked myself into it yet, but haven't talked myself out of it either!

At home right now, The Hubs and I are working on finishing the basement, while the Wif is working on getting some stone under the back deck, so it's not mud-slop, and starting to work on garden boxes out back.  The fence guys should be here soon as well.  I'm afraid they're probably going to be here while I'm gone, so I'll probably have to pass that responsibility off to someone else. (sad face).  Hoping the Hubs and I can make good progress in the basement, so we're to the point where he can deal with running the electrical, which really doesn't seem like a 2 person job.  I'll gladly help him if I'm home and he needs/wants the help, but I think for that I'd be more likely to be in his way.  I just don't want to leave him in the lurch while I'm gone.  Also I actually Enjoy working with him.  We seem to get things done pretty well, and over the course of the project so far, we don't hate each other.
This is a new experience for me.  In a previous relationship, The Ex and I never could've done this.  Any more than an hour and I'd have been upstairs either crying or so mad I wanted to break things, or both.  I always thought (or was led to believe) that this outcome was my fault.  That I was in some way to blame.  I could never question a method, or ask "Why are you doing it this way?" and heaven forbid I made a suggestion on how I thought It might work better.  Today, I live in a whole different world.  I like this world.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

What is "safe" anyway?

Today I think I saw a half a dozen posts about the current Measles outbreak, 3 posts about kids and gun safety, one warning about the laundry detergent pods.

Ok folks lets get realistic.  The "Great Vaccine Debate" is going to rage on.  The Anti Vaxxers aren't going to just suddenly say "Oops... We made a mistake.  Never mind.  Lets all get out kids vaccinated"  Not going to happen.   I don't happen to agree with them, and think their behavior is irresponsible.  I'm sorry their children are going to suffer because they're stubborn, and in some cases downright moronic.  There is absolutely no basis in science for their claims of harm from vaccines.  That being said, I believe that as misguided as they are, the have the right to decide what's right for their families.  But they do not have the right to force the rest of the sane world to deal with the ramifications of their decision.  Decide you don't want to vaccinate your kids, fine.  But don't bring them out in public where they become a vector to infect the rest of us.  Don't expect your insurance, or public assistance to pay for incidences of illness that could've and should've been prevented by you vaccinating your child.  Prepare to homeschool your child.  I do agree that there are exceptions, for example the child that is allergic to a vaccine, one who is too young to be vaccinated, or has an illness that makes vaccination unsafe.  But misguided thoughts that vaccines cause autism, or that the illness has beem eradicated and vaccines are unnecessary, and or that they are a ploy by vaccine manufacturers and physicians to make money is just ridiculous, not to mention dangerous.

 The Anti Gun folk, are going to bash guns and blame them for whatever they see fit that day.  You're not going to change their mind.  I see all the joke posts on Facebook and similar social media about guns being at home all day alone and not killing anyone.  Well, it is true.  Guns don't kill people.  Irresponsible people with guns kill other people.  There have been several incidents in the news lately of people being "accidentally" shot by their own gun when it was inadvertently fired by their own child.  I firmly believe these were not "accidents".  the defintion is an unexpected act that is not planned or intended, an incident that occurs by chance.  Having a loaded gun with a round in the chamber that is unsecured and in an area accessible by children (or anyone not properly trained in the use of firearms for that matter) and having the trigger be pulled by said child or individual isn't unexpected.  Children touch EVERYTHING.  Yes, the incidents are unfortunate, and were not intenede, but you cannot claim that the outcome was unexpected.  Firearms need to be properly secured when not being handled by someone properly trained. 

Laundry detergent pods causing illness when ingested by children.... Huge shocker.  People are up in arms and upset and want the manufacturer to change the design to make them less attractive to children.  What???  What's wrong with you supervising your children?  Or not putting stuff like that where your child can reach it.  I totally that you cannot have eyes on your child each and every moment of each and every day.  But supervison and educating your child goes a long way.  My child was always very active, but never got into chemicals under the sink, never tried to eat laundry detergent, never stuck his fingers or anything else in a light socket, never drowned or almost drowned in our swimming pool, despite having easy access to all of these things.  Do I think it was just luck or random chance that my child never did these things?  Nope.  I supervised my child, and taught him what was and what wasn't ok.  (For the record, he also never shot me, himself or anything else despite the fact that we had guns in the house.  Because they were secured, and never left loaded where he could see or reach them.

I see a huge problem these days with personal responsibility.  I see it at the grocery store, and at the Mart of Wal, or just about every public place where I go when people don't supervise their children properly, where people don't put their shopping carts back in the store or in the cart corrals, where people throw their trash wherever they feel like, where they exceed the posted speed limit despite the fact that road conditions warrant a serious slow down.  I see it daily in how people treat eachother, and in the disrespect that is shown on a routine basis.  I see it at work where people abuse the medical system, and don't take responsibility for their health, at the expense of others. 

When did these kind of values become commonplace?  When did it become acceptable for these values to be so pervasive in our society?  How long is it going to be acceptable to behave like this?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

I hate working with this person (you know the one, or at least the "type")

No matter who you are, what town you live/work in, what field you work in, or where you work, there is *always* someone that you periodically work with, that you would almost rather do the job yourself than have to work with them.  Sometimes it's just a personality clash, we all have those sometime. Sometimes it's nothing you can put your finger on, but you Just. Don't. Like this person.

Regardless, tonight I had to deal with this person.  I don't work with her frequently, but every time I do it seems like a ginormous clusterf&*k.  I'm not going to call this a personality clash, and it's definitely something I CAN put my finger on.  No matter what's going on, she always has to stick her nose in, because she knows more than you.  But she's also generally the first to complain about a heavy workload.  Or what she percieves as a heavy workload.  "I'm not doing that, I'm too busy."
"The supervisor told me I didn't have to do X, She said I only had to do Y" 

And despite the fact that she thinks she knows more than you, and always has to stick her nose in, or give her opinion, she's actually not that knowledgeable, and in fact if you think about it, it's kind of frightening.  Because she really thinks she knows her shit.  But in reality, she's actually kind of dangerous to work with. 

I find this a difficult situation to deal with, because there is usually very little you can really do about it.  Confronting the person, even in a subtle and not nasty way, isn't effective, because they are always right, and your opinion of them doesn't matter to them, because you're wrong anyway.  Reporting anything but blatatnly inappropriate or dangerous behavior to your supervisor kind of seems like tattling.  (Please keep in mind that if the situation is truly dangerous, and not just annoying, I would report it withut a second thought.)

Right now I'm just thankful I don't have to do this very often.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It's a shame what some people will do to a nice house.

House hunting adventures.  Because of regulations for BFB's job we need to move inside city limits within 9 months of his contract date.  That puts us at July 1st.  We have a contract in place and should be closed before the end of February.  Still not totally in the bag, but damn close.
We've been inside a few houses, and looked at over a hundred online.  Some are very nice houses, with prices I wish we could've afforded.  But alas.. the budget won out.  We didn't want to eat Ramen every other day for the next 10 years.  Some other houses were very nice, just not what we were looking for.  Some houses we knew would be gamble, and the smart part of our brains won, and we didn't go that direction.  Others, just UGH!
Just a couple tips for anyone out there trying to sell your house.
1) Paint is cheap.  You're more likely to sell your house if the buyers arent repulsed and revolted by your paint job.  Your 4 year old princess  may have loved the cotton candy pink, with silver clouds on the ceiling, but Me.... not so much.
2) If you can't paint well,or don't know what the hell you're doing, hire a painter.  A crappy paint job is (in my opinion) worse than the obnixious hot pink.
3) Put good pictures of your house in your listing.  If the pictures look like crap, I don't see how great your house really is.  And I'm deleting it from my list.  It amazed me during our search how many real estate agents took and or used really crappy pictures.  And make sure yor house is clean when the photos are taken.  Packing boxes I can understand , as well as things that indicate your house is lived in.  But dirty dishes in the sink, visibly overflowing trash, and cluttered countertops, walls, floors, couches etc.. don't attract buyers.  If you can't be bothered to clean up a little for the pictures, what does that say about how you take care of the house the rest of the time.  I'm assuming if you can't take out trash or do dishes, then you definitely haven't had time for event the most basic maintenance tasks, and that there will be issues with the house.  If you have pets, they probably shouldn't be in the pictures.  Do you really want a prospective buyer to know you have 6 indoor cats?  I think not.
4) If you're going to advertise in the listing that you just put in a new tile floor, please be sure you actually knew how to install and grout tile.  If the tile job is brand new, I expect even spacing, unbroken tiles and even grout lines.  Just like with the paint comment above, if you don't know how to do it and do it well, please hire a professional.  Please.
and last but not least
5) If you have pets in the home, try to take them with you for a showing, or at least notify the agents that a pet is in the home, and wether it is or is not friendly.  If you MUST leave your pets home, they should be crated, to allow potential buyers to move through your home safely.  One home had a dog loose in the back yard.  Friendly, but still. Yet another had a dog or maybe 2 little dogs gated in a laundry room.  A laundry room I was unable to get into to look at because of the yappy barky dogs. The same home with the yappy dogs, also had a nice pile of dog crap on the downstairs rug.  Um.... Gross.  And I'm so NOT BUYING YOUR HOUSE!
6) I hate the scented candles and sprays that overpower my nose.  If you have to spray these in the house, I'm not enjoying the scent, I'm wondering what odor you're trying to cover up.

Any one of the above things is enough to turn me off, and any one of them could be or WAS the reason I'm not buying your house.  And the one with the dog crap on the rug... was also the one with the poorly done interior paint job and the one with the sloppy tile work.  And the best part... If none of those things had been amiss, I might have bought that house.  Because it was one of my favorites in the pictures. 

At this point ther are so many houses on the market with similar floor plans and features, that unless your house is something special, or you've got a remarkable piece of property, you are competing with a hundred other houses almost exactly like yours.  The difference between a sale, and a disappointing showing could be as simple as taking out the trash, or cleaning up after your dog.
And yes paint is cheap, but your buyer doesn't want to have to paint before they move in.  SO maybe its time to rethink the unique paint job.

A New Year indeed.

Happy belated New Year to everyone.  (Really?  Who am I kidding.  No one reads this crap anyway!)
Anyway.. It's been a little over ayear since I started writing.  I haven't posted nearly as often as I intended, but having an actual life takes up a lot of time!  And that's what a lot of last year was about, starting to have an actual life again.
In the past year things have changed so much.  I've moved 1100 miles.  And for a relatively new (and complicated) relationship that had been up to that point, mostly long distance.  Started a new job.  Said goodbye to someone very important to me after helping him get through his last few days of life comfortably.  Endured more family drama in a week or two than anyone should ever have to deal with in a lifetime.  Started another new  temporary job, as for various reasons the previously mentioned new job, didn't pan out like I'd hoped.  Moved again for temporary job, as this job was about 175 miles from my new home.  Had temporary job become even more temporary when several people came off disability leave earlier than planned.  Started yet another new job.  Continued to endure family drama of the "I wish I could drop off the face of the earth and have no one find me" kind.  Spent a ginormous amount of money dealing with said family drama and dealing with the final stages of my long awaited divorce.  The divorce was final shortly before the end of the year. 
It's a new year.  I'm not starting out fresh this year like I did last January, I still have family drama.  Although it's not so bad I want to disappear anymore, just bad enough to earn me a glass (bottle?) of wine every so often.  The last new job has turned into "the" job.  I am happily getting to know people at work, and I am happy about going to work every day.  I'm enjoying what I do, and the people and patients I do it with.  That's pretty good. Some things are new this year.  We (reference previously mentioned complicted relationship) are deep into the process of buying a house.  Hopefully to be moved by mid March.  By that time we will have spent a year in the old place together.  Lots of memories.   The three of us are starting the next part of our adventure together in a place that is "Ours"
There's going to be a lot of things to do this year.  Lots of packing and unpacking.  (There are still boxes in NY with a family member that we still ned to figure out how to gt out here without breaking the bank.) There will be some remodeling, or finishing of some space in the new place, a garden to start, and hopefully some downtime for all of us to just enjoy being "US"

Last year was tough, in a lot of ways.  But nothing worth it is ever easy.

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
                                                                             - Theodore Roosevelt