BAD kitty!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

First of all, we won’t even MENTION that it is the last day of the month.  I say it constantly, but where does the time go??

Anyways, background for this post…

A while back, Kimm and I decided, in one of our HGTV crazes, that we needed to freshen up the living room.  It was boring, it was ho hum, it needed more life!  Yet, we are not wallowing in money, so whatever we did had to be relatively cheap.  All of this added up to a trip to Pier One where we purchased candles, bowls, coasters, and a BEAUTIFUL red vase (along with some fake lilies??).  This may not sound like much to the average person, but to us it transformed our living room.  We laid down a bamboo place mat on our glass coffee table, arranged the candles, a cool orange bowl with multi-colored stones in it, and a sprig of the lily on it, with the coasters (two different sets–one brown and teal, kind of glazed looking, the other brown and maroon, like pottery) on each side.  Much nicer than what we originally had–plastic coasters, a pile of books, and all of our TV/VCR/DVD remotes.  Then the vase, with another sprig of lily in it, was placed on top of our DVD holder which is next to our large entertainment center.  It added just THAT touch that transformed our living room from “everything from Salvation Army” to “these girls have some interior design sense.”

So, back to the title of this blog…Madeline, one of our cats, REALLY liked the new vase and lily–oh she liked it so much that she would often try to jump up on the DVD case and try to eat the fake lily.  We tried to stop this behavior immediately by using the dreaded water bottle (which she hates, but seems to forget about the minute that she is done being doused!)  It worked for awhile and the vase was safe and she seemed to forget about its existence.  That is, UNTIL last night.

So what happened last night you ask?  Well, I couldn’t sleep.  Now this is EXTREMELY unlike me.  Normally I am able to fall asleep at the drop of a hat.  However, lately, usually the night before I have to go in to work I will have difficulty falling asleep.  I want to sleep, but I can’t.  I start thinking about work, and how I won’t do anything but work and sleep for three days and then I CAN’T stop thinking about it.  Thus I don’t sleep.  Now last night I did not have to go into work the next day.  I was tired.  I read for about half an hour like I usually do before sleeping.  But the moment I put the book down and tried to sleep, I COULDN’T!   Very frustrating.  I must have laid (proper grammar?) there for a good hour trying to get to sleep, but nothing.  Eventually I got up and turned on the TV–I was able to watch the last episode of Top Chef that I had missed.  During the entire program, my eyelids are closing, I’m exhausted.  I turn off the TV after it’s done, go back into the bedroom, AND… I STILL CAN’T SLEEP!  I am getting mad, this is so insanely frustrating.  So back to the couch I head, hoping to fall asleep to the TV.  I turn it on, very softly this time, and I DO fall asleep.  Happiness!  Bliss!

But then, you guessed it, BAD KITTY, aka Madeline wakes me up–I wake up to the sound of a crash.  Yep, it’s the BEAUTIFUL red vase, in pieces.  I can only assume that she was upset because I was taking her sleeping spot during the night, or that she was hungry and that by FINALLY falling asleep I missed her cues.  All I know is that the vase is broken into pieces that cannot be glued together and I am angry and that I am again AWAKE!!  I talk out loud to the cat, saying something incomprehensible, like, “I can’t believe you broke that vase!”   (I don’t use many expletives!)  I pick up the vase, feed the cats (yes, she was rewarded for her BAD behavior), and head into the bedroom, hoping to fall back to sleep quickly, in an area where if anymore damage occurs due to BAD kitty, I am not in hearing distance!

Broken vase

Staged broken vase shot

Guilty!

Madeline–guilty!

Of course, the next morning, Kimm sees the broken vase and she also is not happy.  In fact, she tells me that the cat is on her “shit list.”

Yet, I can’t stay mad at Madeline…even though that cat does not like me (oh yeah, that’s another story…).  Mostly I feel bad for her because over the last few months, her right front tooth has been going rotten and is slowly falling out.  I was looking at it yesterday and it’s very loose.  Every day now we check her mouth.  Pretty soon I won’t be able to call her “Snaggletooth” anymore 🙂

Snaggletooth

She doesn’t look too happy, does she?

So all day I had to look at the spot where our vase used to be and think how lonely that spot looks, how empty.  That vase was PERFECT for that spot.  I guess that means another shopping expedition to Pier One will take place in the near future!

Published in: on April 30, 2008 at 10:24 pm  Comments (1)  
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Four for Fun

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Four jobs I have had in my life:

1. Registered Nurse (for almost a year, gulp!—and have I mentioned that I’m not sure I like most people, especially when I have to take care of them when they are sick—people can be VERY demanding)

2. Relay operator (for those of you who don’t know what this means, you’re lucky—if I’m at an interview I say, “Relay is telecommunications for the deaf and hard of hearing—I help them utilize the telephone like you and I”—however, just between you and me, it means I sat for 8 hours a day bored to tears while deaf people communicated to non-deaf people—and these calls took FOREVER—ordering a pizza—at least 15 minutes, making a doctor’s appointment, same thing, calling an 800 number—forget it, you are there for at least an hour…and I didn’t hate the job as much as my fellow co-workers did—they would give you much more of an earful if given the chance)

3. Teacher’s assistant (various college campuses—hey a girl has to make some money while working through grad school)

4. Cashier—at a grocery store—my very first job!

Four jobs I WISH I would have had in my life:

1. Wedding planner

2. Coffee shop owner

3. Doctor

4. Interior Designer

Four places I have lived:

1. Holyoke, MA (currently)

2. Milwaukee, WI (the grad school years)

3. Waukesha, WI (the college years)

4. Sheboygan, WI (born and raised!)

Four places I’d love to visit:

1. California (to see Frank and family!)

2. Georgia (to see Jenn)

3. Hawaii

4. Ireland

Four places I like to be:

1. Home (I’m such a homebody)

2. On vacation (it’s always nice to see and do different things)

3. With friends and family

4. Bed–I love my bed!

Four places I have been on vacation:

1. Door County, WI

2. P-town, MA

3. Niagara Falls, Canada and United States

4. Los Angeles, CA


Four movies I could watch over and over:

1. The Shawshank Redemption

2. Legally Blonde

3. It’s a Wonderful Life

4. Tipping the Velvet

Four TV shows I love to watch:

1. Gilmore Girls (unfortunately, no more new episodes—but reruns and7 seasons on DVD!)

2. Lost

3. Top Chef

4. America’s Next Top Model (don’t think less of me!)


Four websites I visit daily:

1. FrankNotes

2. My Space

3. Agawam Public Library

4. Mayo Clinic

Four of my favorite foods (boy this is a hard one to decide ONLY four!):

1. Pizza (I could seriously live on this…)

2. Cheesecake!

3. Grilled cheese and tomato soup (especially on a cold, dreary day)

4. Warm, chocolate chip cookies


Four foods I don’t like:

1. Pumpkin (sorry Mom, I never learned to like this one and I STILL tell my Friday night pumpkin story!)

2. Shrimp (before I became a vegetarian I would always keep trying because it just seemed THE thing to like—I mean, most people love shrimp)

3. Olives (black or green, either smell and taste horrible)

4. Canned mushrooms/frozen spinach (I know, I know—that’s two things, but they’re both vegetables—anyways, there’s just something wrong with a food that in it’s fresh state is wonderful goodness, but when canned/frozen is absolute gross—canned mushrooms are slimy and frozen spinach is stringy—YUCK!!)

5. One more, one more…Tofurkey (if you haven’t tried it, believe me you’re not missing much…it really tastes like ass!)

Four of my favorite books:

1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

2. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

3. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

4. Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

Four life-long friends (I hope!):

1. Jenn

2. Frank

3. Michele

4. Kimm

Four hobbies:

1. Reading

2. Cross-stitching

3. Cooking

4. Watching movies

Four of my favorite smells:

1. Freshly baked bread

2. Shampoo

3. Baby

4. Rain

Four things I regret:

1. Not finishing my master’s thesis so I could get my master’s degree

2. Living so far from family

3. Losing touch with close friends

4. Getting into so much debt

Four things I am proud of:

1. Going back to school and getting my nursing degree

2. FINALLY paying off (most of) my debt

3. My ability to keep plugging away

4. The fact that I can still be nice to people even when they are driving me CRAZY!

My four favorite holidays:

1. Christmas (the food, the gifts—buying and receiving, being with loved ones)

2. Thanksgiving (hello, the food!)

3. Four of July (I love fireworks)

4. Valentine’s Day (who doesn’t love a little romance?)

Four future goals:

1. Buy a home

2. Have a child

3. Get my Nurse Practitioner degree

4. Travel!

(Just have to add a note mentioning how annoying computers can be…like, for example, formatting. When you have something “just so” on your word document, and then you copy and paste, it should not mess everything up so that you have to fix it all again…I mean, WHAT’S THE POINT!?…I guess, another lesson in patience…GRRR)

Published in: on April 29, 2008 at 9:30 pm  Comments (2)  
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Spring and Snowmen

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Yes, at last, spring (for however long it may last–which is usually a blink of an eye, before the stifling humidity of summer arrives) is here in Massachusetts!  The weather has been gorgeous–warm, breezy, and sunny.  It reminds one of childhood, when the only job you had to think about was what you were going to play that day–tag, Barbies, making a tree tent, riding your bike, going to the park, playing on the swingset.  I’m reminded of these things every day, mostly because I can hear the kids out the window, screaming with delight as they play in the park across the street.  I’m truly glad that there are kids that still play outside and aren’t holed up inside, watching T.V. and playing video games.

So as far as the grown-up games…yes, we grown-ups still get excited about spring, although usually for different reasons.  This year, I’m all excited to spruce up the deck area again.  So that meant I had to clean it up from last summer.  Yep, the procrastinator in me left all the pots with plants in them on the deck all winter.  So I had to wait for them to thaw before being able to clean them out.  Yes, I’m also a little anal–I want to have REALLY clean pots to put fresh dirt into!  So on Monday night I dumped all the old, dead, scary- looking plants into trash bags and washed the pots.  Now they are fresh and ready to use.  We won’t go shopping for more plants until a little later (believe me, I’m not fooled into thinking this beautiful weather will last for long!).  But when I feel ready, the pots are also ready.

Clean pots

Clean pots 🙂

To add to the wonderful weather, I noticed yesterday that the leaves were out on the trees!  Now I don’t know how that happens so fast.  I was watching, watching, watching…nothing!  When I don’t watch…LEAVES!  This is a picture of the leaves on a tree next to our deck–I call it our “treehouse.”

Trees with new leaves

The leaves are here!

So what better to do when it is springtime, than to start thinking of winter!  Well, I’ve been feeling rather crafty as of late, and since I don’t do so many crafts, I fall back to what I do know…cross-stitching.  And I’ve been working on some snowmen ornaments for a bit, but now they are just about done, as I’m on the last one.  It is a little funny to be working on Christmas ornaments in the springtime, but at least I’ll have cute new ornaments for the tree this year.  This is the one I’m working on now–“Snowman with Sled” (very creative name, right?)

Snowman in Progress

Snowman in progress…

And here are the three that I have finished–“Snowman with Broom,” “Snowman with Bird,” and “Snowman with Snowballs.”

Completed Snowmen

Snowmen ready for the tree!

There’s something kind of relaxing about cross-stitching.  The going is slow, one stitch at a time, but then when you’re done, you have something cute.  I mostly worked on these when Kimm was watching the Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs–as you can tell, I’m not that much into hockey.  But for those of you who are–they did win the first round of the playoffs, 4 games to 3 games, over the Boston Bruins–but they did it the hard way.  They won the first two games, then they lost the next, won the next, lost the next two, and FINALLY won game seven!  I guess they wanted to make sure that their fans got to see them play as much as possible.  Let me just tell you, living with a Canadien fan during that week was STRESSFUL–thank goodness they won.  But now they go on for the next round of the playoffs, against the Philadelphia Flyers.  So I’ll have more time to stitch and hope that they win for my sweetie’s sake!

Final thought relating spring and snowmen–it’s so nice out today I wish it was winter so that I wouldn’t mind having to go to work tonight!

Published in: on April 23, 2008 at 12:43 pm  Comments (2)  
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Happy Birthday Dad!

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

My father, Daniel Glen Van Straten, was born 69 years ago. As well as wish him a happy birthday, I wanted to share a little information about him for those who don’t know him as I know him. So I thought that I would share 15 (6 + 9) facts about him (I figure this will be much less daunting than my original idea of sharing 69 facts about him!)

1. My father was born in the year 1939. What happened this year? Well, nylon stockings (otherwise known as pantyhose) were first sold in this year, Gone With the Wind was out in the movie theaters, the Green Bay Packers defeated the New York Giants for the NFL Championship, John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath was published, a car cost $700, a house cost $6500, gas was 18 cents a gallon, postage stamps were 3 cents each, minimum wage was 25 cents/hour, and the average annual income was $1,729!! (information from “Schemer: A Boy Grows Up in Wisconsin”, by Daniel Glen Van Straten)

2. Oh yeah, my dad has published a book!! I still can’t believe that he has accomplished such an awesome task. I still think back to when I was in school and I procrastinated so much because I hated writing. But, somehow, I (according to my father) ignited a spark in my dad to write his story. The book was self-published in 2007 and tells the story of my dad’s adventures of growing up in the village of Shiocton, Wisconsin. This book is available on the Barnes and Noble website if you are interested.

3. My father is one of 11 children! The first born was a girl, followed by 7 boys, then 3 more girls. My dad’s parents were Aloysius Leonard Van Straten and Cecelia Fern Dietzler. His brothers and sisters (in order) include:

Joyce Elaine Josephine (November 5, 1923)

Roger Dale (March 7, 1926)

Gerald Aloysius (“Gug”) (June 1, 1928)

Donald Clark (“Donnie”) (September 20, 1931)

Leonard James (“Lennie” or “Jim”) (April 14, 1934)

Patrick Russell (“Dutch”) (March 17, 1936)

Carl Henry (October 17, 1937)

Daniel Glen Joseph (April 16, 1939)

Alice Ann (February 8, 1941)

Karen Mary (July 21, 1945)

Mary Cecelia (October 14, 1949)

Try keeping track of that many birthdays!

4. My dad is retired from being a librarian. I used to LOVE going to visit my dad at the library when I was a kid. It was always a special treat. Mom would take me and my brother to the library and first we would get to look at all the books and check some (or more like a LOT, in my case) out. Then we would get to go behind the checkout desk, to the elevator, and ride to the basement and visit dad. His office was always full of books because he worked in the card catalog department (this was way back when, when they actually had those card catalogs in the nifty long drawers that you had to pull out and look for alphabetically by title, author, or subject). Sometimes he wouldn’t be at his desk but would be at the card catalogs and I would be able to go up to him and say, “Hi Dad!” He was always happy for a visit from us!

5. My dad likes to camp. In his younger days, he was a Boy Scout leader for my brother’s troop and they would do some camping. Every year, for as long as I can remember we would go to Door County, WI, for vacation. At first we would live in a rented cottage for a week, but then, after I explained to my dad how much fun it would be to have a camper because my best friend Michele and her family went camping in a camper, we got a pop-up camper and boy was that fun! In fact, my parents still go camping twice a year–to Door County and also to the state park that is right in Sheboygan, WI where they live.

6. My dad has one grandchild–Eric Thomas. He is going to be 7 years old this year. He loves to spend time with Grandpa–in the garden, playing board games, decorating Christmas cookies, and pretty much anything else that Grandpa is doing. I know he keeps my dad hopping!

7. My dad lived on a farm when he was growing up. Some of the crops that were planted were pickles, sugar beets, and cabbage. My dad still retains his love of gardening and has a large garden that he plants every year. Now he plants corn, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, green and yellow beans, rhubarb, pumpkins, carrots, and probably more that I’m not thinking of. I still remember in my younger days my dad harvesting the vegetables when they got ripe. There would always be tomatoes on the window ledge over the kitchen sink and HUGE zucchini that my dad left out in the garden for too long and my mom would say, “Daniel, what am I going to do with zucchini that are this big? You know they are much nicer when they are smaller, less seeds and more tender.”

8. Famous people born on April 16th include: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Henry Mancini, Charlie Chaplin, Wilbur Wright, and a lot of other people that different websites say are famous but I’ve never heard of!

9. My father’s last name used to be Ver Straten. His great-grandparents, Martin and Gertrude Ver Straten emigrated to the United States from Holland in 1870 to Brown County, Wisconsin, settling on a 40-acre farm outside of DePere, WI (which coincidentally was where my mother grew up…small world!) The Dutch family name changed from Ver Straten to Van Straten after they emigrated to the United States. One of these days I would like to visit Holland, place of my ancestors.

10. Every year my dad goes deer hunting. It has been awhile since he has actually got one, but there is a distant memory in my mind of a time when my dad did get a deer. He goes up to hunt at Skunk Hill Lodge, a 160-acre piece of land that his father bought and which is still in the Van Straten family, used by many of my uncles and cousins.

11. My dad likes to pick strawberries. It is a favorite memory of mine of my dad going to pick strawberries. He would go for the whole afternoon and then when he came back the entire trunk of our station wagon would be full of strawberries. Then we could munch on them and mom would make strawberry shortcake. Mom also froze a lot of them so that we could have strawberries even in the wintertime.

12. My dad likes to make homemade Christmas candy. Every year he will make chocolate covered pretzels and peanuts, angel food candy that melts in your mouth, chocolate covered raisins, chocolate covered cornflakes, and peanut cake. It wouldn’t seem like Christmas without dad’s candy. I look forward to it (as well as my mom’s fudge and turtles) every year when I visit home.

13. My dad is a good ice skater. Usually every year when I come home for the holidays, he and myself and my nephew Eric will go to the ice skating rink. It’s a great feeling to rush along the ice without a care in the world (of course it usually takes about 20 minutes before I feel this way–the first 20 minutes I’m praying that I don’t fall or run into the side walls!). When I was young we would go roller skating and I still remember holding tight to my dad’s hand while going around the rink.

14. My dad likes to act. When he was in high school he had a lead role in the senior class play. When he was older, he was chosen to be Andrew when our church put on “The Last Supper.”

15. My dad likes sauerkraut! For those of you who don’t know what this delicacy is, it is white cabbage salted and fermented in its own liquid. Not very appealing to me, but I still remember when my dad was working at the library, he would pack a container of sauerkraut in his lunch pail almost every day. I guess that’s what you grow to like when you raise cabbage on a farm!

So, there you have it. Just 15 odd little facts about my father. But they don’t begin to describe the man that I love and look up to. Dad, here’s wishing you many, many more happy birthdays!

Published in: Uncategorized on April 16, 2008 at 7:34 pm  Comments (1)  
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Plans vs. Reality

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The plans included spring cleaning, organizing, and calling all the people that I have neglected as of late. The reality turned out to be a cold–that’s right, me, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, constantly blowing my nose, and generally feeling pretty miserable.

I have to say, not all was lost in the plans. Yesterday Kimm and I did manage to clean out and reorganize the pantry. What an undertaking! We’ve been meaning to do this since we got the new washer but we were waiting until my days off. We managed to throw away about 4 grocery store plastic bag sized bags of trash!! Then we have about three of those size bags full of stuff to try to give away to our good friend that we’ll be seeing on Tuesday. So instead of having to put back into the pantry two of the 4-shelf plastic organizers, we only had to put ONE back. That freed up a lot of space. Plus, we also still have one full shelf on the upper part of the pantry that is empty, just waiting for us to fill. All in all, very rewarding.

Then today, we each attacked our own areas by our computer desks in the “computer room.” Kimm put up all of her Joan Jett pictures on the wall, as well as her hockey jerseys. She became very frustrated in the process due to the number of studs she ran into in the walls. Let’s just say that we’ll have to do some spackling before we leave this apartment! But she eventually got it all done. While she was doing that, I was stationed out in the bedroom, organizing all the nursing stuff that I had from my second bachelor’s program. I told myself that I WAS going to get that all filed away before I began my Nurse Practitioner program. And since the NP program is beginning in June, I knew I had to get my butt in gear! I actually managed to get the majority of it done (in between blowing my nose about 500 times!).

I did manage to call my parents today as well. The phone was answered by my VERY cute nephew, Eric. He is getting so good on the phone. He was extremely excited because he got to choose what the family ate for lunch and he chose Hamburger Helper (loved that stuff as a kid!). He was also going to help Grandma decorate Grandpa’s cake after lunch (my dad’s birthday is on the 16th). AND to top it all off, he was going bowling, because, get this, it is SNOWING in Wisconsin. That does not bode well for us in Massachusetts since whatever weather my parents are experiencing, I can pretty much be guaranteed to experience it myself in a few days.

Since then, I’ve been trying to rest and relax, and hydrate with orange juice. I have one and a half days to get myself better before work. I can’t wait to go to bed tonight!

Published in: on April 12, 2008 at 8:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Making Progress…

April 8, 2008

Today is an exciting day for me because I was able to (finally!) pay off another credit card.  That makes two paid off and two more to go.  I honestly never thought I would begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Being in debt is extremely stressful (as I well know), but when one is actually making noticeable progress towards eliminating debt, it’s an exhilerating feeling!

I should hopefully, barring any financial emergency, have the third card paid off next month, and the fourth by the end of the year.  Add to that my car being paid off by the end of August and I’m really looking pretty good!  Even though nursing has plenty of stress, the fact that it has helped me along the road to financial security has been worth every harried moment.

Published in: on April 8, 2008 at 12:31 pm  Comments (1)  
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Out with the Old, In with the New

April 4, 2008

With washing machines that is! Yes, the washing machine that came with this apartment (almost six years ago) has finally left the premises, to join other old washing machines in the place beyond the wild blue yonder. Yep, even though it was a dependable Maytag, it finally bit the dust.
OLD washing machine

                                 OLD washing machine

The machine had been leaking small amounts of water after each load for about a month or so. Then one day, it leaked more than a little. We had to start surrounding the machine with beach towels to mop up the water. Eventually we decided, maybe the machine has had it. I did call a repair person for some information and based on what I told him, he thought it might be either the tub seal (estimated cost to repair $250), the water valve (estimated cost to repair $150), or the water pump (estimated cost to repair $150). After hearing those numbers, we made the decision to go new. Of course, that couldn’t be easy. We find out that the pantry area that houses the washer has a door that is 25 1/2 inches wide and most new models of washing machines are 27 inches! Even I know that you can’t shove a 27 inch washer into a space that is less than 27 inches wide. So I end up searching the Internet and finally find a machine that is 24 inches wide. And of course something smaller would cost more than something larger, right? Right. But we suck it up and order a new Whirlpool Extra Large Capacity Top Loader Washer, costing us $428 (which in washing machine world is really $593. 37 after adding in tax, delivery fee, fee to carry to the 4th floor, and 4 year warranty). Thankfully we’ll be able to get $59 back on rebate for “free” delivery (but not on the $20 to carry it up to the 4th floor). And to add to it all, we had to wait two weeks for it to come in since they don’t carry that model in the store.

So we wait. And continue to do loads sparingly so as to avoid the post washing clean-up (empty the machine, sop up the water on the floor, hang out the towels to dry). And yesterday, the machine arrived!

NEW washing machine

                                  NEW washing machine

Talk about two happy people 🙂 Our delivery window was from 9am to 1pm. So that meant setting the alarm to get up at 8:30 (not fun) and waiting. We were lucky–they came at 9:45 am. It took the two men only 20 minutes to get the new one up the stairs, the old one down the stairs, and the new one connected. And you can bet that the first thing we did was a load of laundry! And then another.

NO LEAKING! It was great! “K” got up early this morning and she was so excited, she did two more loads of laundry. So all is well in our household now. Love new appliances!

Published in: on April 4, 2008 at 1:11 pm  Comments (1)  

You Know You’re A Nurse…

April 3, 2008

Just a little nurse humor that I received via e-mail from a fellow nurse…and boy how true it is!

You know you’re a nurse if… 

you would like to meet the inventor of the call bell some night in a dark alley.

you know the smell of different diarrhea to identify it.

you’ve been telling stories in a restaurant and made someone at another  table sick.

you’ve told a confused patient that your name was that of your coworker and to holler if they need help.

your bladder can expand to the size of a Winnebago’s water tank.

you find yourself checking out other customer’s veins in grocery store waiting lines.

you avoid unhealthy looking shoppers in the mall for fear that they will drop near you and you’ll have to perform CPR on your day off.

your finger has gone places you never thought possible.

you have seen more penises than any prostitute.

 

Now hopefully you’ve had your laugh for the day.  You know what they say…laughter is the best medicine 🙂

Published in: on April 3, 2008 at 1:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Parade Day

April 1, 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008, was the 56th annual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day parade–and the first time I ever participated in it. Holyoke Medical Center always has a large contingency marching and this year it was over 60 people. Everyone who volunteered received a free sweatshirt and umbrella. THANKFULLY the weather cooperated and it was a beautiful sunny day–probably one of the first really nice days we’ve had this year.

I awoke on Sunday morning and quickly got ready to meet up at the hospital. I skipped my morning coffee (who wants to have to go to the bathroom when you’re marching in a parade!) and left the house at 10:15 am. When I arrived at the parking lot, there were two school buses ready to transport everyone over to the KMart shopping plaza where the parade was beginning. I met up with Andrea, Elaine, Ana, and Stacy–coworkers–and got my umbrella and blue ribbon (for cancer). Ana had goodies from Sarah (another coworker who at the same moment we were getting ready to march, was on a cruise ship on vacation!)–Irish hats, bows, necklaces.

Pre-boarding

Elaine, Ana, Andrea, and Stacy pre-boarding

Ana and Andrea

Ana and Andrea–all decked out

Elaine and me

Big smiles from Elaine and me

Stacy getting pretty

Stacy getting some Irish spirit

After arriving at the plaza, it was still early. We all had one goal in mind–find a bathroom! We started at the diner that attaches to the KMart, but the line was long and moving incredibly slowly. So we abandoned ship and headed to the Stop and Shop, hoping for better luck. Nope! There was a long line there too. Stacy and Ana tried to sneak into the men’s room but ran back out after confronting two men doing their business! We finally got to go and then STILL had time to wait.

Paola in the Hat

My coworker Paola–I affectionately titled this picture,

“Paola in the Hat”

Waiting

Peggy, Andrea, me, Cherelyn, Ana, Hilary, Paola and Elaine

The parade officially started at 12:15 pm and I think we started marching around 1:00 pm–thankfully we were towards the beginning of the parade. I heard that there were over 300,000 people (!!!) watching the parade. It was a little crazy–everywhere you looked there were people dressed in green, drinking, singing and shouting.

Marching

Marching!

“Here Come the Irish”

Holyoke Medical Center

Holyoke Medical Center

Tired, thirsty, and hungry...

The End–Tired and Hungry

The parade route was 2.6 miles long and took me through parts of Holyoke that I have never seen, even after living here for six years. During the parade we twirled our umbrellas and did “The Wave” (although most of the time it didn’t look that great since the timing was kind of off–but it was fun doing it!) By the end I was starving and my thumb had developed a callous from twirling so much. We boarded the buses again and ended up back in the hospital parking lot–it was 2:30 pm. I drove home and immediately had a grilled cheese sandwich. Later that night I noticed that I had quite a bit of color on my face from being in the sun all day–it was like I had been to the beach! All in all, it was a fun experience and I’m sure I’ll do it again next year.

  Parade Girl

Parade Girl!

Published in: on April 1, 2008 at 9:04 pm  Comments (1)  
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