Friday, May 31, 2013

Nursing Reform Bill

May 31, 2013

Senator Barbara Boxer, D-California has proposed a bill in congress that establishes nurse-patient ratios, protects whistle blowers, and invests in nurse mentorship. Its a long time coming. California has had minimum staffing ratios since 2004. It is imperative that we maintain a safe environment for our patients.

What the lay person may not always realize is your nurse is your first line of defense when you are hospitalized. They are with you 24 hours a day and are your best advocate. We are a team, physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapist, etc. But only your nurse is responsible for you every minute of his/her shift. We will most likely be the first to notice a change in your condition and report it to your physician. We will make sure you receive all your medications, get bathed and fed, get to tests on time and be there to listen to you. We wil advocate for you. We are an invaluable asset to your speedy recovery. And when recovery is not possible it is most likely a nurse who will be there to comfort you.

This bill was before the senate in the past. I hope it is passed this time. Proper staffing ratios allows us to provide the kind of compassionale care that all patients deserve.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Life Goes On

May 28, 2013

I have been enjoying a sort of mini vacation this weekend. And because I have to work Saturday I have today off as well. I decided to treat myself this weekend and pretend I was on vacation.

Friday, in spite of the dreary weather I met friends in Branford for Happy Hour. Donovan's Reef had great food in spite of the surly bartender and unhelpful hostess. But we had fun, Annie, Annemarie and Lauren. Yes, Margo's daughter is now old enough to join us for drinks. All the kids are. When did that happen? I loved seeing her walk in but I still think of them as little kids. Life does go on!

I went to the gym every day which was a good thing since I ate and drank with abandon. I planted flowers and herbs which is not something I enjoy doing but the yard looks so pretty and I love having fresh herbs on the deck. Basil, parsley, dill, thyme and this year I put mint on the deck. Leigh Ann has assured me I would like mint juleps and if I don't I can always make Mojitos. I went to brunch on Sunday at Splash in Westport. A really delicious buffet brunch and pretty setting. And good friends and  funny stories. Nurses really have the best stories!

And I had a cookout. Yes, I started the grill and put on the traditional burgers and hotdogs all by myself! Yeah. I did a great job on the burgers but Josh did push me out of the way to finish the hot dogs. And I made all the traditional sides. Potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans and this year fennel and orange salad. Thanks Anthony! I did have a few moments ( okay, maybe more than a few) of remembering other picnics with the "traditional" family but as I said, life goes on.

So, today I'm catching up. Cleaning, paying bills and going to work later to get ready for Epic go live on Saturday. Hoping as time goes on that next Memorial Day the feelings of loss will not be as great. After all, life goes on.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Top Ten

May 26, 2013  


                               Top Ten Quotes You Don't Want To Hear

1. "That charge MUST be a mistake."

2. "I spent the weekend walking on the beach thinking about us."

3. "I need to be alone to think."

4. "This house is killing me."

5. "I can't make a budget."

6. "I won't ever hurt you like that again."

7. "Nothing happened."

8. "We just held each other."

9. "You ruined my life."

10. "You don't have to worry about me, Lucille. I'm gay."

Numbers 8 and 10 are my favorites. I can even sometimes laugh about them. Thankfully at the start of the summer of 2013 I won't have to worry about hearing these again. A real step forward. And if you are just in the beginning of divorce it will happen for you as well.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Laundry Day

May 22, 2013

Does anyone under thirty know how to fold clothes? I know you do, Eric. Even when you were in eighth grade and I picked you up from Cheshire Academy you were neat. Am I wrong in remembering a garment bag? Pants and shirt and jacket neatly hung up with your tie draped over the hanger. While Josh had his clothes rolled up in a ball. The shirt I so lovingly ironed totally wrinkled. Just thrown in the back of the van. I AM remembering it all correctly, aren't I?

I know my kids don't fold or iron. Ironing wouldn't even be necessary if the clothes were only folded properly. Am I the only one who feels this way? Is folding a lost art? I know it doesn't take brains just a little thought. I love to take things out of the dryer and fold them neatly. Is it something Jennie taught me? Or did I just learn by watching her?

And not only folding but laundry itself seems to be problem. Everything thrown into one wash. Whites, colors, delicates, towels. sometimes so stuffed in there I don't think they really get cleaned. Why? It actually hurts me to see it! Am I responsible for this flaw? Did I fail at some critical parenting detail? And is there still time to turn it around?

Monday, May 20, 2013


May 20, 2013

I was recently beheaded on Facebook by my ex-husband. I know the proper term is unfriended but beheaded is so much more to the point. I suppose he didn't like my comments about the pictures he so kindly shared with me. Why, David Graboff, would you do such a stupid thing? Besides the whore comment the only other thing I would like to say is it is too bad your biking excursion involved a harness.

Did he forget that I would see them or is that the reason he posted them? I will admit I was shocked when they appeared on my page. And it did set my recovery back. But as always, his happiness supersedes the feelings of others. And for those of you who feel my comment was "mean" when you have walked in my shoes then I will give credence to your thoughts. When the man you trusted for your whole adult life sticks a knife, not in your back, but directly in your heart, then give me a call. A knife which, by the way, is still there because I'm afraid to remove it lest I fall apart completely.

But I will carry on like it doesn't matter. Because I don't know how to do anything else. And I have found that although time doesn't lessen the pain it does make it easier to bear.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

New Haven Restaurant Week

May 16, 2013

Restaurant Week was several weeks ago. I love to try new places and I love to support the New Haven community. Even though they increased the time you have to pay on the parking meters, which was a really stupid move. It's hard enough to get people from the suburbs into big, bad New Haven. This just made it worse.

But I'm a committed street parker. It's part of the fun of the adventure. I have been known to drive around for quite some time before succumbing to a parking lot. But now I need a lot more quarters or find a meter that takes credit cards.

Anyway we tried only two restaurants this time. Josh never ate at Goodfella's so we went there. I've been there many times and I know that I've gotten the same food at Ladies Night for a lot less but it was a place even Hilary would enjoy. So the four of us went one night and more important than the food was the fact that we were all together. The other choice was Crown 116. A place I knew Josh and Jocelyn would love but not so much for Hilary. We went on a night she was working and had amazing drinks and a delicious meal. I picked off the menu and got a great appetizer. Crostini made with burrata, prosciutto, fruit preserve, olive oil and sea salt. I could go there just to have that again. Yummy. And just to top off the week we went to Lenny and Joe's on Long Wharf that Sunday. Not part of Restaurant Week but I had an yearning for fried seafood. Beautiful setting. I've always loved to eat there no matter what the restaurant because of the location. Typical fried seafood. But the best part was I had my first soft shell crabs of the season!

So, now you know why I drag myself to the gym. Hopefully I can break even between eating and exercising!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Yard Work

May 15, 2013

I know I've written about yard work many times. But it is a major thorn in my side! I love pulling up the driveway and seeing it look neat and pretty. I went to buy plants the other day and even though it is a little early I planted a rose bush, blueberries ( WHY?) and some small plants on the little slope at the end of the driveway. I always wanted to have plants there. I was so excited about my purchases.

I found the shovel and went to plant. That went fairly well. Except for the rose bush which I tried to plant at the side of the house but kept hitting something white. Was it the drainage pipe or a gas line? I didn't want to do something stupid so I came around to the other side. OK. Success. All the plants were in.

I should have stopped there. But I knew the next few days would be rainy so I decided to fertilize. I'd never done that before but there was the spreader. Is that what it's called? And there was the fertilizer. So I poured it in the spreader and off I went. But nothing was coming out. Is it supposed to be moist and gummy. I didn't think so. I stopped every few feet to unclog the opening until I was finally exasperated. So I started flinging fertilizer all over the lawn. I knew I shouldn't but I did. I just wanted to get it out of the spreader so I could be done.

I have to admit I cried a little. I felt defeated by the lawn. Why wasn't the spreader cleaned out from the last use? Why was I even stuck doing anything with the lawn? Why hadn't I just called Brian? But I cleaned out the spreader and put it away to dry. I will try again next week. But I will call Brian to mulch. I'm not crazy enough to do that myself!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mark Sanford

May 13, 2013

I was not following the South Carolina congressional race that closely. As I've said I'm not really that political. All I knew is that Steven Colbert's sister was running against MARK SANFORD! What else did I need to know? I figured Elizabeth would win handily. But I was wrong.

The voters of South Carolina elected a known liar into office. Amazing. He not only lied to and cheated on his wife and kids BUT he also lied to his office staff and more importantly to his constituents. But I guess lying and cheating doesn't matter anymore. Because those same constituents voted him back into office. They shiouldn't be surprised when he lies again. Because from my own life experience I have come to realize that lying and cheating gets easier and easier the second and third times around. And to think we spent millions of dollars trying to impeach Bill Clinton for getting a blow job. But this guy is getting PAID to run off like a coward with his "soul mate." And then to parade the babe in public with his son!! I would really like to sit down and have a long chat with Jennie Sanford. I bet we would get along famously. And the trespassing charge! Kudos, Jennie. He should have thought  about watching the Super Bowl with his son before he destroyed his marriage. But I know, "I'm divorcing you not my kids." Famous last words.

So another state I can cross off my list for retirement. Looks like moving out west is my only viable option. And before anyone accuses me of being a man hater let me assure you I am not. I just wish I could meet a man who is trustworthy. Lying about cheating is an even worse offense than the actual cheating. And humiliating your spouse in public is cowardly and unforgivable.

Congratulations to the voters of South Carolina. You obviously don't believe in the sanctity of marriage. Tell me again why you don't believe in marriage equality?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Nurses Week

May 8, 2013

I have always wanted to be a nurse. It's the only profession I ever considered, except for law. And that would have taken too much time. After all I wanted to get married to my "soul mate." I wanted to be Jesse Brewer. Who remembers her? I have never regretted my decision to become a nurse even though the soul mate part didn't exactly work out.

But when my daughter called me in her freshman year at college to tell me she wanted to switch her major from teaching to nursing I actually cried and begged her to reconsider. Nursing is hard. The hours are brutal, the physical part is tough and working with mostly women is not an easy task! You are constantly dealing with people who are in stressful situations. Staff as well as patients. You work weekends, nights and holidays. Sometimes even your birthday! Which I hate!!!

But there are few professions where you can make such a difference in someone's life. Even for a short period. To be able to ease someone's anxiety, relieve their pain and help them return to their lives is an amazing thing. I love working in the Recovery Room or, as it is now called, the PACU. The relief on the face of my patients as I lean over and say," Your surgery is over. You're waking up," is so gratifying. 

I'm not going to pretend that it is paradise. It is stressful and challenging each and every day. I am so proud of Hilary for listening to her instincts instead of mine. Even if there is a lot of truth to my warnings. Especially the one about snowstorms. You are never going to get a call to stay home! More likely you will have to get up even earlier than usual so you won't be late.

So, happy nurses week to all my fellow nurses. I am proud to be counted among you. Let's encourage each other and mentor new nurses. And let's take care of ourselves so we can care for others.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Springtime in Connecticut

May 5, 2013

My yard looks so beautiful! Everything is blooming. Brian did spring cleanup and today Dom mowed the lawn. When I look out my back window in the morning I feel so happy to see the birds at my feeder and my trees in bloom. A time of renewal and reenergizing. This weekend was mild and sunny. A beautiful time in New England.

Of course last year I felt totally different. The flowers and trees just reminded me of all I had lost. I couldn't imagine how I would keep up with the yard work. I didn't even WANT to keep up with it. But  I have gotten used to hiring people to help me. Dom has been mowing the lawn for years and I guess I will be getting used to looking outside and seeing Brian, not a stranger anymore, doing the things outside that Dave once did.

So progress is being made. I love to drive up my driveway and see the daffodils and peonies. I have always loved the view outside my bedroom window of the back yard in bloom. In a week or so the apple tree will bloom. That was always my favorite. The doors and windows are open and I can hear the chimes outside. Friday night Hilary, Annie and I ate Indian food on the porch. Asure sign that summer is just around the corner.

So I lost some but now I realize all the things I had and kept and gained. My kids and friends and a new daughter-in-law. No they didn't get married but I can act like they did. Maybe the ceremony will follow! ( What do you think, Howard?) And now two new kitties who are taking their sweet time adjusting to their new environment. And I seem to have found my smile and sense of humor.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Landslide Fleetwood Mac

May 1, 2013

Happy May Day! The beginning of longer days, warmer weather and happier moods. Yesterday I was driving home with Hilary from lunch at The Cheesecake Factory and I heard this song by Fleetwood Mac.

They were one of my favorite bands when I was young. I remember being in our apartment in Stony Creek one hot summer night. I was alone, as I frequently was during our marriage, because Dave was on-call. I was ironing, yes ironing! On the third floor with the windows wide open and watching a Fleetwood Mac concert on TV. I have wanted to be Stevie Nicks for as long as I can remember. Her long blonde hair and all those flowing scarves. I sang along with her that night and pretended I was a star.

I didn't sing yesterday. Hilary hates when I sing. But if I was alone I would have cranked up the volume and joined Stevie.


Took this love and I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
Till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
And can I sail through the changing ocean tides
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Oh oh I don't know, oh I don't know

Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older I'm getting older too
Yes I'm getting older too, so

I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I, I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I'm getting older too oh yes
I'm getting older too

So, take this love, take it down
Oh if you climb a mountain and you turn around
If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring you down, down
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills

Well maybe the landslide will bring you down
Well well, the landslide will bring you down