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Life of late

One last frigid glimpse of my beloved Connelly. Burrh!
One last frigid glimpse of my beloved Connelly. Burrh!
The Shrek float.
The Shrek float.
My favorite float. Who can resist an enormous skull with a nasty habit? I sure can’t!
My favorite float. Who can resist an enormous skull with a nasty habit? I sure can’t!

It’s been a hectic few days but I did find the time between moving back and forth to enjoy Kingston’s St. Paddy’s Day parade which is held just a mere hop, skip, and a jump from Connelly. Some friends came over beforehand to cook me brunch and we made the most of my apartment’s minimal furnishings. Then it was off to enjoy the festivities. It was a cold day, but people came out in droves to celebrate. Admittedly, I was a bit tired so I cut out early to take a nap. Pretty lame, I know. The days leading up to this were all about packing, moving everything by myself (including a queen-size bed), renting a cargo van, hitting a deer with the rental, Petunia hyperventilating the entire seven hour trip because she was terrified of riding in the van, trying to find someone to sublet my place (easier said than done), saying goodbyes…the usual craziness.

Life of late has been all about letting go, looking forward and wanting to sleep all the freakin’ time. Nevertheless, I’m really excited to be returning home for a little while. It’ll be great to see all my old friends and play Auntie Jaime to their little munchkins. I’m also pondering my plans post-Yellowstone. So many options. Last night, I convinced myself that I was going to boondock across the country in a stealth van. The pluses of that plan outweigh the minuses but we shall see… If this sounds up your alley, you definitely have to check out Nomadic Fanatic on Youtube. That dude is my hero! Last night I was up until 4 am watching his videos. Yikes!

Packed and stacked, especially in the back! (Name that tune.) If there’s one thing in life I excel at, it’s most certainly packing.
Packed and stacked, especially in the back! (Name that tune.) If there’s one thing in life that I excel at, it’s without a doubt packing.
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I ♥ Fantasy: Sykes & Rothfuss

It’s been while since I’ve written a post on my favorite reads and since I know a few of you who actually take my reading advice, I figured I’d catch you up. This edition is dedicated to the fabulous first timers.

Tome of the Undergates by Sam SykesTome of the Undergates: The Aeons’ Gate Book One by Sam Sykes. My brother found this book in the dollar bin at his library and their loss has certainly been our gain. When he finally got around to cracking this sucker open he was pleasantly surprised. Then, like a good bro, he passed the goodness on to his favorite (and only) sis. I’m amazed to say that this fast-paced, well-written, creatively-detailed adventure is Sykes’ first book. It’s about an unlikely team of mercenaries who are paid by a priest to retrieve a very special tome. The tome has accidentally fallen into the hands of demons and with it they plan to open the gates of hell. The fate of the world hangs on a cowardly thug, a priestess with a limb of death, a young wizard, a dragonman, a female feline/human hybrid, and their dwarf leader who seems to have a split personality. Their journey sweeps you up from the very beginning and by the time you’ve read all 486 pages you won’t know where the time went. The cliffhanger ending with definitely leave you jonesing for more and luckily Sykes has provided us with just that. Aeons’ Gate is a three-part series with Black Halo and The Skybound Sea following. From what my brother has said, the other two books are not as good because our merry band of misfits gets broken up so the enjoyable banter is lacking. Nevertheless, he still rates them fairly high. Tome of the Undergates is a 5 star read from the Hazard clan so for the fantasy lover who enjoys interesting characters and a fair smattering a carnage, you can’t go wrong.

Here’s one of my favorite passages from page 440:

…Lenk brought the axe down again. “I’m having difficulty understanding women.”
“Ah, yes.” Denaos scratched his chin. “The eternal question on two legs that only gets more annoying with every passing thought.” His hand drifted lower, scratched something else. “Fortunately for you, I’m something of an expert on the subject.”
“Yeah?”
“No doubt, ” the rouge replied. “What do you want to know?”
“I suppose…” Lenk’s hum hovered in the air as he leaned on the hatchet’s handle, staring contemplatively out at the forest’s greenery. “Why?”
“The best place to start,” Denaos said, nodding. “Well, to understand women, you must first understand their place in the world. And to that end, you must first know how they came to occupy this world alongside us.”
“How?”
“The theories vary from faith to faith, but here’s how it was explained to me.” He cleared his throat, sitting upright as though he were some scholar. “The Gods first created man and gave to him their gifts. From Daeon and Galataur, we received the art of war. From Silf, we received the talent of deception. And from Khetashe, as you know, we received the urge to explore.”
“Go on.”
“But there was a difficulty. Mankind lacked purpose. There was no reason to go to war, no reason to lie, no reason to wander far and wide.”
“And?”
Denaos shrugged and lay back. “And then the Gods created women and suddenly everything made sense.”

Okay, now on to the pièce de résistance: Patrick freakin’ Rothfuss! Holy s#@t, there’s just no way it’s humanly possible to write two back-to-back books this awesome the first time around. How? How Rothfuss? I want to know. This is literary crack. Do yourselves a favor and immediately get your hands on The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One and The Wise Man’s Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two by Patrick Rothfuss.  Just do it, you’ll thank me copiously by giving me your first-born (no thanks, that won’t be necessary). This is a double Hazard 10 out of 5 stars (if that were possible). I finished The Name of the Wind about a year ago and The Wise Man’s Fear probably three months ago and now I’m practically peeing myself waiting for the third installment. I’m not even going to try to explain the plot but you can preview the books in the links I’ve given you.

Funny story. Last week, me and two of my co-workers were discussing the books we’ve read recently. Alex mentioned that he just finished the best book and Erin expressed the same sentiment about one she had just finished. Come to find out, it was the exact same book: The Wise Man’s Fear. We all had gotten ourselves completely hooked independently. Now Alex keeps asking me if I know when the final installment, Doors of Stone, is coming out. For now it remains a frustrating mystery. We all agreed that if the wait is much longer, we may have to read the series again just to tide us over. You have to check out the review of Doors of Stone by the author himself on Goodreads. It’ll make you chuckle.

Speaking of books that have left us wanting more, the sequel to Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings is just days away from being released. Come March 4th, Words of Radiance will be in my excited little clutches. Words cannot describe my anticipation. I literally called in sick to work because I couldn’t put The Way of Kings down. Yup, I’ve got a problem and I suspect it’ll get worse before it gets better.

Last but not least, for those Ender’s Game fans out there, I begrudgingly watched the movie last night and was over the moon to see that they stayed true to the book (at least as much as a movie can). And just like in the book, I was crying like a wee baby by the end.

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2013 in review

Here is the annual report for my blog. To compare, here’s what 2012 looked like (plus an explanation as to why I blog). It looks like Jess, once again, wins the prize for the most comments. Good work girlfriend! I’ll get a package of goodies out to you soon. Thanks to everyone for reading! I know it’s been a wild and crazy ride. Cheers to a fantastic 2014!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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2013 in review

I love that WordPress issues this annual report because I look forward to it every year. So without further ado, here are the 2013 stats for this blog. For comparison, here is last year’s report (as well as an explanation as to why I blog). Not too shabby! Things are improving every day, which is a great sign. Cheers to a crafty 2014!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,700 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 45 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Pondering some needed changes

smoothies, selfie, pit bullI’m thinking about all the changes I NEED to make. The upcoming New Year didn’t prompt this idea of change, it was more driven by seeing a few recent photos of myself. I’m shocked by how my health and weight has gotten away from me these past few months. Depression is a real bitch! I’m not going to place blame on myself. I’m hard enough on myself as it is.  Blame will get me nowhere. It may even make me want to eat more and that would be counter productive. There are many things I know I need to work on and some of those are eating healthier, growing stronger, exercising more with Petunia, and being comfortable seeing myself in photographs. So now my daily routine is going to consist of replacing more snacks and meals with smoothies, taking Petunia for a long walk, going to an exercise class at the gym, and taking a photo of myself and posting it (I can’t promise that it will be pretty.). Just the thought of the photo idea makes me cringe. But I’m willing to make strides to get out of my comfort zone. And this is just the tip of the iceberg for me. There’s plenty more revelations to come, these are just the few I’m putting into full effect today.

Here is my daily smoothie recipe:

  • Spiru-tein (perfect for the vegetarian or for someone who wants a flavored smoothie)
  • 1 carrot
  •  a handful of kale
  •  a handful of spinach
  •  1 orange/apple
  • 1 celery stalk
  •  1 banana
  •  approx. 5 almonds or walnuts (I like my smoothie a little crunchy)
  •  a few slivers of ginger
  •  a dash of turmeric
  •  a dash of cayenne pepper
  •  a dash of cinnamon
  •  1 tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil
  •  1/4 of a bag of frozen mixed berries
  •  flax oil
  •  water

I pretty much use what I have. Avocados are a great addition too. Sometimes I add oats for a thicker texture (they pair perfectly with an apple and cinnamon smoothie). If I’m going to make this twice in one day, I half the amount of fresh fruit so I’m not breaking the bank. For example, I only used half of a banana this morning and I will use the other half for my dinner smoothie. I will also hide a spoonful of tincture in there if I’m feeling like I need it.

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Some inspiration: from death-beds to goats in wells.

It’s a mere 9:39 am and already several great articles have reached my desk. Yup, and “my desk” is actually code for my bed because the first thing I do when I wake up is check my email, which contains my favorite blog updates, and then it’s on to a quick Facebook and Instagram check. All of this happens whilst still tucked in. I blame this laziness completely on Petunia because she encourages me to stay in bed for as long as my bladder can possibly stand. If she had her way, she’d stay under the covers all day and never go potty or even eat. Most days I have to force her to get up. Last week I performed an experiment by seeing how long it takes for her to get up on her own. Well, I didn’t see her until 2 pm! I’m not sure how she does it, especially her bladder! Needless to say, that experiment only lasted a day because her natural inclination for laziness trumping necessary bodily functions made me worry. She needs me, what can I say.

Whoa, that was quite an unplanned tangent, sorry about that. My original desire in writing this was to tell you of the post I read on the blog Inspiration and Chai called “Regrets of the Dying.” It’s written by a former palliative care worker who assisted people during the dying process. She took note of the regrets people expressed on their death beds and shared them in this post. I strongly suggest reading it but if you’re too busy (or lazy like Petunia), I’ll give you the cliff notes version. Here are people’s death-bed regrets:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Now ever single word in this post is pure gold and the author does a great job at offering sage wisdom on how to go about changing these regrets; however, one part especially resonated with me:

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

This definitely reminds me of what I was trying to convey in my “Being Genuine in all Endeavors” post. Being genuine is about honesty and telling the hardest truth first, no matter the consequences. The truth can be extremely painful or in the very least uncomfortable, but you must stay the course and not be tempted by easier, more convenient and less confrontational paths. I do believe that the truth–though it may cause emotional upheaval in the interim–sets you free in the end.

These death-bed regrets aren’t novel by any means. I think if we actually took the time to make a list of our own regrets, they’d be differently worded variations of the same exact sentiment. The problem is that we never actually take the time, do we? Now a new year is quickly approaching and I’m definitely not one to embrace the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. I mean, why wait until January 1st to do something positive for yourself, your family, your friends and perhaps all of the lives you have yet to touch? Why not start thinking about those regrets right now and putting together a gradual plan of attack? Seems like a grand idea to me.

If you need a little more motivation, my girl Kris Carr posted this today. It’s a story about a goat that was stuck in a well. Because it was a safety hazard, a man began to fill in the well, not realizing the goat had fallen in. Instead of giving up, the goat stomped down each shovel full of dirt that came down at him until he was able to walk right out. Let me tell you, that is fodder for the best children’s story since the Little Engine That Could.  Heck, this story trumps the little engine because it’s probably true. Goats are rather miraculous creatures and I’ve heard of them accomplishing far more impressive feats. (I’ve even met one that enjoyed drinking antifreeze and experienced no ill effects; they’re nature’s vacuum cleaners.)

2012-12-09 20.06.45Now if I don’t post again until after the holidays, let me just say that I wish you and yours the best. Remember that the most valuable gift that you can give yourself and others is your undivided time and attention…we have so little of it these days. If you have some family dinners that you’re not looking forward to, you might just want to check out my post on getting through such events unscathed. More than anything though, please think about those regrets you may have and make a plan for gradual, positive changes. This is something you don’t want to wait on because tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us. I know it’s not the most joyful of subjects but it’s by far the most important.

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Drug use & cancer: An unfortunate contrast

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A field of Steph’s favorite flowers.

Yesterday, I lost an old friend to leukemia. We worked together at Planned Parenthood for almost nine wonderful years and let me tell you, she was one of the kindest people you would ever meet. Honestly, I cannot think of a single moment when she was mean or annoying or unfriendly or too busy to be kind. She was a sweet, gentle soul who was always giggling and despite impossible odds, she always managed to keep herself out of office politics. Steph was a young girl–several years younger than I–and not only did she leave behind her PP family but she also left behind a young son and husband. I can’t imagine how hard it’s going to be for her son to deal with losing his mother way too early in his life.

Steph’s struggles with cancer began in July of 2012 and yesterday her body finally gave up and understandably sought peace. Cancer is such an impossible battle. I watched it literally consume my sister’s body until there was nothing left. I admire anyone who bravely fights an illness of this kind and the people who stick by their side the whole way. Take it from me, watching a loved one go through something like that is beyond painful. It takes all the strength you possess and more.

I’ve noticed that people who face life-threatening illness tend to buckle down and prepare themselves for the fight of their lives. They develop an unshakable will and determination to do whatever it takes to live. However, I can’t help but consider the contrast too. I think of the people out there who have their health and are not facing death, yet they give up way before their time. A friend of mine lost the love of her life last Christmas Eve. His death was in part due to drug use. She has not gotten over this loss and probably never will. To add insult to injury, just a few days ago, almost exactly a year later, she lost a good friend to drug use. There’s a lot of shame around using drugs, so much so that even close friends are unaware of one’s private struggles with addiction. That’s a lot of energy spent hiding one’s pain from the world and I can see how it would be consuming. I hope for all of those suffering that the will to live overcomes shame and that help is sought.

Hard, deadly drugs seem to be becoming more prevalent in our society today. My 46-year-old brother has lost several friends in the past few years to drugs. He lives in Ocean City, MD and heroin use seems to be exploding there. This absolutely shocked me to hear because, first of all, I thought that only rock stars and Hollywood actresses did heroin and secondly, well…doesn’t everyone and their mother know that heroin is one of the worst recreational drugs one could ever take? If you’re going to a resort town to party, why the heck would you pursue a potential overdose of a toxic substance? Am I alone in this? I just don’t get it. When I was down there last, we went to Rehoboth Beach, DE for some food and they’d just busted a bunch of people selling heroin needles right on the beach. This is the place where we spent our summers as a family! Even in our hometown, they’re finding meth labs every day. What the hell are people thinking?

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Rest in peace my friend. Until we meet again.

It’s this contrast that I find puzzling. Some people will fight with every last fiber of the being to live and some easily give up. I’m not going to sugar coat any of this and I have no desire to be judgemental but this isn’t an issue of education or lack there of. The entire world knows that heroin, meth and the like are toxic and potentially lethal. When you begin taking drugs like this, you must know in some capacity that you are giving up on life in some way shape or form. Yes, it’s a form of escapism, and I know life is hard but when I think about people like Steph who face almost certain death and refuse to give up, I have very little pity for those who are feeling down so they need a drug-induced pick-me-up.

Then there is this horrible grey area where unsuspecting people are being sold death in pill form by drug companies. I feel for the well-meaning folks who are hooked on prescription drugs, such as opiate pain medications (basically heroin hiding under a fancy name). We are told that drugs are bad and that they’ll kill you, yet drug companies slap a new name on a deadly substance, provide doctors with incentives to prescribe it, and now people assume that what they’re being given is safe because doctors know best. The only thing safer about these prescribed drugs is that there is dosage, side effect, and contradiction information provided. They’re most certainly as toxic and habit-forming as any street drug though.  They slowly modify and breakdown the body just like any other drug and people often forget that innocently mixing them with alcohol or even Tylenol can be fatal. With the best of intentions, people get hooked and if worst comes to worst and the doctor cuts you off, these medicines are so commonly prescribed that they can easily be found in the pocketbook of the person next to you. And if desperation takes hold, don’t worry, you can find it being sold on the beach in a family resort town.

I just don’t know what to think about all of this. Some people fight so hard for life, some do everything they can to escape it, and some are just duped. Your thoughts?

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The night and day of the past two days

Okay, let me just get this out into the open, I’ve been depressed lately. No biggie, it is what it is. So the craft event this past Saturday was just another firm groin kick for me. My table was in a gym with an orchestestra playing, zumba and a dance recital going on. And although it was rather cute and entertaining, I couldn’t hear a darn thing and there was no way any customers could hear a darn thing I was saying. To make matters so much worse, they put me next to Mary Kay’s saleswoman of the year. It was deflating to see people passing me by while they lined up to sample and buy her products. AND to make matters even more ridiculous, another soap vendor came up to me furious that I was there because she should be the only soap vendor allowed to participate in this event. She stormed off to complain and gave me the evil eye across the gym the rest of the time. If you know me, you know that limiting events to only one soap person is one of my biggest pet peeves. I don’t care what you say, all soaps aren’t created equal.

On the other hand, I did get the opportunity to catch up with another bath & body person I met in Beekman who I really adore (Made With Love), I met an awesome jewelry designer from Scotland (Style C), and bonded over natural skin care with a talented artist. So it certainly wasn’t a complete loss–no craft events ever are in my opinion. (Oh, and I would be remiss if I failed to mention my no-holds-barred mac-n-cheese and rice pudding consumption extravaganza–I’m putting on my winter pudge.) At the end of the day, despite the dismal sales and unexpected hassles, I was strangely jazzed about making the most out of Sunday’s event in Arlington. I spent the night gussying up my display, labeling products, making hair & body oils, making shampoo, etc… Why all this extra prep? See, Arlington is where my turtles are. This is the school where I spent years chasing and being outrun by them. I was coming home to my peeps and somehow I knew they would be sending me some good juju from the nearby swamps. 2013-11-24 13.31.33 Arlington was the first event ever where I had to set up a tent indoors. I still don’t really understand why it was necessary but I went with it. Since money was tight I literally had to go through my linen chest to find items that would pass for legitimate side panels. I found some old tapestries that I love and a shower curtain I made a few years ago. Yup, pretty bad but I made do. The morning was beyond depressing. People passed me by right and left. I could hear and see them shopping in the booths next to and across from me. The feeling of not being good enough quickly took hold and gloom set in. I just gave up. I buried my head in a book, didn’t bother to look up, and just resigned myself to the fact that this day was going to be a bust. I promised myself there would be no more craft fairs after this and that I would consider closing up shop. I mean, how can little ole me survive in a Mary Kay world anyway? I was a fool to think otherwise. Then a lovely lady with a lovely family came up to me and basically breathed a huge sigh of relief when she saw my table. Her feelings, concerns, and frustrations were palpable and I said to myself “this is my people.” We talked for a while and she ended up buying $50 worth of products. She was the much-needed reminder of why I do this because it certainly isn’t for the money. I invest more than I make. She turned the tide for the rest of my day. After her, it was like the dam broke and a wave of appreciative customers swept through my booth. My tension was gone and I allowed myself to just enjoy it all. During my downtime I wandered about and met other interesting characters selling their wares and caught up with the mega talented jewelry designer, Nancy from Draped in Jewelry. I even bought myself a walking stick from Laird McPherson to help me get around during hikes AND a new razor from the very talented Scott Chenevert of The Wooden Pearl (fact: I have not owned one for a while. Yucky!). Not too shabby.

All in all, despite the rather unpleasantly cold experience of setting up and breaking down in something like 20 degree weather with a friggin’ zero degree windchill, it was a good day. I was even invited to be the soap vendor for a fantastic farmers market this summer.  I’m all over that offer! Oh and speaking of farmers markets…during the event, the folks from the Saugerties Farmers Market texted me to check on my whereabouts and to see if I was feeling okay. It’s so nice to know that they look out for me. I truly appreciate the extended family I’ve found in them. 2013-11-24 13.31.52For extra reassurance, when I got home and checked my email, there was a message from the nice woman I had met saying that she had excitedly used everything she bought (which included laundry soap, toothpaste, moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner–she must have been busy!) as soon as she got home and loved it all! Her gratitude gave me such joy. Thank you Kate for saying those nice things. You came to my table at the perfect time. I’m sure we all have negative thoughts and emotions that swim through our minds and sometimes unfortunately take seed. Luckily, sometimes life provides you with that one person, one stranger even, who is there, right on time, to remind you of who you are, what you stand for, and that you’re not alone.

So once again, thank you Kate, thank you Arlington, thank you to the wonderful vendors who’ve kept me company these past two days, thank you customers, and thank you turtles (I hope the swamps are treating you well.)!!!!!! Oh and happy birthday to my biz partner (and mother), Ling Ling! You’re the best!

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Meet the Artists

The Treehouse.
The Treehouse.

It’s that wonderful time of year when The Treehouse has it’s semi-bi-annual Meet the Artists Reception and Preview. Now is the time. Today is the freakin’ day people. Let’s do this! From 6 pm to 8 pm at 5 North Front Street in New Paltz, you can enjoy some snacks and beverages with the artists that make The Treehouse so darn eclectic and awesome. Come visit me. I would love to talk to you about what I do and answer any of your questions. We’ll laugh, we’ll cry, and we’ll have a great time doing it.

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The last reception was a hoot! I got to meet so many wonderful people and I can’t wait to do it again!

Also, this Saturday is the last outdoor Saugerties Farmers Market of the season. If you hear some disembodied whimpering right now, don’t worry, that’s just me crying. The indoor winter market will start up at the end of October but sadly, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it. We shall see. In any case, please make an extra effort to come see me this Saturday if you need to purchase anything before the holidays. I will have more $2.00 soaps and $4.00 Halloween soaps, plus $1.00 soapy sticks. Concentrated liquid soaps are also back in stock: Lavender & Tea Tree, Lemongrass & Tea Tree and Sweet Orange & Tea Tree–8 ounces for $8.00. These liquid soaps can be diluted and used for dish washing, body washing, hair washing, dog washing, laundry washing, washing out someone’s dirty mouth…pretty much any washing need you may have. Plus, dilute a little bit in water, add some vinegar and lemon juice, and you have a fantastic household cleaner. And behold the awesomeness that is the $6.00, 2.25 ounce deodorant made with beeswax; neem oil; lemongrass, sweet orange and tea tree essential oils; olive oil infused with herbs; and shea & cocoa butter. This is some seriously good stuff here–it’s like a salve on steroids–and I will have it available. It can be used as a lotion, as a solid perfume (because it smells fantastic!) or a deodorant. And if none of this sounds even remotely appealing, remember, I don’t just sell soaps in my booth. Heck no! I also sell bags, table runners, tea cozies, and jewelry so there’s lots of shopping to be had.

IMG_20130907_134315As always, I will be available via Etsy (and I’m working on adding a store to this site) but my vending schedule is still being worked out. If you know of any events that you think I’d like to attend, please let me know. I want to do as many shows as possible this season. Ling Ling is getting her scarves ready to sell (she outsold me last week…jerk!) so we’ll be able to divide and conquer the craft show circut.

Essential Oil Deodorant & Solid Perfume Bar: infused herbs, beeswax, neem oil, butters, tea tree, lemongrass, sweet orange, salve, body bar

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Perspective

2012-05-07 13.24.41 It’s been a little while since I’ve posted so I thought I would check in.  As of today, I’m a free agent when it comes to work– which is a completely scary thought. This past Sunday, I was lifting one of my patients (who is heavier than me–dumb idea, right?) and I literally burst the blood vessels in my head. Throughout the day, this turned into the mother of all migraines and I knew I should probably consider a trip to the hospital.  I tried to contact my supervisor to tell her of my situation but she never takes her phone with her and/or never answers so I knew I had to stick it out because Alzheimer’s patients aren’t safe to leave alone. So I put the needs of my patients first and worked through the pain for a grand total of 14 hours. This is not the first time that this has happened to me in this job. Usually the migraines are from not stopping to eat or properly hydrate but sadly, I have burst blood vessels in my head before because of lifting beyond my capacity. My supervisor (actually her husband) showed up four hours late to relieve me and found me a complete mess. By the time he got home, I could barely open my eyes and I was on the verge of vomiting. The pain was beyond comprehension. Eventually, I made it home, took two Aleve (my saving grace) and went to sleep with the complete joy of knowing I had to do it all again the next day. Monday comes and my head is still killing me, of course. I go to work and tell my supervisor what happened so she does the lifting for me that morning. The only problem is that she puts the patient on her couch without a pee-pad under her so she of course wets the couch. This becomes my fault because I should have been able to know when she was going to pee and lift her to get her changed. So I ended the day on Monday knowing that I had to choose between my health or my job.

To make matters very much worse, on my drive home from work I see a very fresh accident up ahead. There are about five fire trucks (presumably because it happened about a mile from a fire station) on the side of the road, no ambulance or police yet, and some people have pulled off. I keep waiting for someone to either direct me around the accident or tell me to stop but no one does. So I slowly keep on driving. I see what I think is a bumper in the road so I cautiously swerve around just a few feet from it. Then I realize that it’s not a bumper, it is, in fact, a person. I stopped my car right there next to him and froze in a complete state of shock and panic. Most of his dead body was on the left side of my car, one of his legs was on the right side of my car, his shoes were ahead of me. And my car is literally stopped on the fifteen-foot blood streak made by his head being smeared on the pavement. I couldn’t believe any of it. There were five or more first responders there and no one was managing the situation. This person’s body was just alone out in the middle of a dark, unlit, country road for someone (like me) to hit again. He wasn’t covered up, there was no one directing me around his body, there was no one there slowing me down, nothing. It felt like a complete disregard for life. I spent all day yesterday in bed basically. I just felt so lost. This morning, I finally searched for the accident to see what exactly happened. He was a 19-year old boy riding his bicycle. That’s all they know. It barely made the news.

2012-05-07 13.24.29It can all be taken away from us so fast and yet we live our lives like it’s forever. We’re one of the most intelligent species on the planet, yet we’re completely stupid. We worry too much, we’re afraid of anything that is even remotely meaningful, and we put everything off…even our happiness. What the hell are we waiting for? I just don’t understand sometimes. Clearly, I haven’t got any solid answers because I basically gave myself a brain aneurysm over a job. Once again, I must pick myself up and dust myself off and you think it would get easier but it doesn’t. And I’m not ashaimed to say that right now, I’m not okay. I AM NOT OKAY. And that is okay to say. None of us will ever be perfect so let’s stop striving for something that doesn’t exist. Sorry for such a depressing post. I promise the next one will be on the happier side. Pinky swear. Now, I’m gunna go make some lemonade out of these lemons because lemonade is freakin’ delicious!