Thursday, August 30, 2007

This Is The Day.....

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! ~ Psalms 118:24

1. "Never talk defeat. Use words like hope, belief, faith, victory." ~ Norman Vincent Peale ~

2. "Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all." ~ Dale Carnegie~

3. "The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." ~ Winston Churchill ~

4. "Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.
Nothing can be done without hope or confidence." ~ Helen Keller ~

5. "You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it, however." ~ Richard David Bach ~

6. "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." ~ Theodore Roosevelt ~

7. "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." ~ Thomas Edison ~

8. "I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles." ~ Christopher Reeve ~

9. "The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will." ~ Vince Lombardi ~

10. The secret of joy in work is contained in one word -- excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it. ~ Pearl S. Buck ~

11. "The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react."
~ George Bernard

12. "To do something, however small, to make others happier and better, is the highest ambition, the most elevating hope, which can inspire a human being." ~
John Lubbock ~

***I-am-in-love with this sunrise pic! I want to enjoy the view in person and be frolicking in the water. :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Positive Proof of Global Warming

One of my former hospital co-workers sent this among others in an e-mail tonight. :)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

CapeMay Beaches (more on sidebar)

I removed the stripercam view of my favorite CapeMay location because I think it was slowing things down for people. It can be clicked on in my sidebar though if anyone is interested. I get my little daily fix looking at it. :) It is the southern most location in NJ. The beach is a lot longer than what they are showing. Around the other side of the lighthouse is Sunset Beach on the Delaware Bay. You can see the ferries traveling back and forth. There is also a sinking concrete ship on the other side. (can read the history in the link) If you dig in the sand on the bay side you can find Cape May diamonds which is fun to do. The kids enjoyed that - me too! They probably have it on zoom to get the lighthouse although it is certainly close enough to walk to. I haven't been there in a few years and long to go back.
Maybe next summer!

I thought I would try posting it and presto -here it is. Since it is a live feed, I am thinking it will go dark later and all you will see is the flashing lighthouse. I look forward to seeing it in the morning again. Can you tell the Ocean is on my mind? :)

I love historic Cape May with it's beautiful Victorian homes and shopping district. Here is a link to Angel of the Sea and some other bed and breakfast inns.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bloggers Remorse

You've heard of buyers remorse -right? Well.. have any of you bloggers ever had bloggers remorse? I have for sure. The worst is waking up the next morning and then recalling what I did at 2 a.m. There are few things that will cause me to miss my first "manna from heaven" cup of java. BUT, the immediate bloggers remorse I feel upon opening my eyes in the morning will cause me to head directly to the computer without passing go, to remove said offending/revealing/embarrassing post or comment. Ha! Sometimes I will just get into bed and then realize I can't leave that post there and so I will get back up, turn everything on and then remove it. Does anyone else do this?

That's what SeaSpray's secret place blog is for except I haven't moved most of the drafts over there yet. It's also for writing things that I know I will never post publicly. Although sometimes I can get a bit squirrelly that it is still feeding into the internet and so I do check that it is still private. And of course the most secret of the secret doesn't even make to my secret place blog because some one somewhere can read it. Not that they'd care- but I do.

As a matter of fact there are a few people in the blogosphere that I have trusted enough to run my concerns by them via e-mail and they have been reassuring- hence I haven't closed the blog or stopped commenting. And yes..I can get a bit frisky (right Angel?) but only in good fun and I would think everyone would know that I am just goofing.

Fortunately, it is my policy to NEVER mention anyone else in anything identifiable so it is more a matter of me embarrassing myself; which is o.k. with me to a point.

So the most recent thing I did was change a title. I changed it from "The Phallic Symbol Wins" to "The Charger Wins". Why you ask? Because it hit me that I was not comfortable calling my son's car a phallic symbol. I guess I would be o.k. with "The Schwing Schwang Wins" . I don't know though, I think "The Charger Wins" is keeping it simple and now I feel better about it.

Speaking of phallic symbols-check this out. Does this look like a flower to you?

C.W. Kim (photo)
An artist's (Sandor Shapery) rendering of the tower proposed for 11th Avenue and A Street.

Check out this link to read more about this proposed design for a 40 story residential tower at a gateway to downtown San Diego.

Hmmm...I wonder if THIS post will make past my blogger's remorse until morning or beyond a day? ;)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

We Shall Miss You

Cross on the Ocean Custom Holy Card
One of the sweetest and most thoughtful women I have ever known passed away this week. My husband's great Aunt Frances. She would have been 96 today.

The first thought I had when I heard the news was that she would be with Uncle Archie now. They were married over 60 years and I do believe they were the happiest married couple that I have ever met. Truly! You could not think of one without thinking of the other - they were like peas and carrots. They were so very much in love and it grew stronger through the years. They did everything together. They loved God. They loved each other and anyone else that had the good fortune to meet them. They never had children but they treated everyone else like they were just as special.

During the holidays they always brought some scrumptious pies from their favorite bakery. The time they invited us up to see footage of their trip to Alaska they served warm apple pie and offered it with cheese on top. I liked it but still prefer it plain or ala mode. It's funny the things you remember, but I had never seen that before. :)

After they retired they traveled and one of their favorite places to go for the winter was out west. It was out there that they fell in love with the native Americans and began to support mission work for them.

They attended the same church in one of our local towns for their entire lives unless they were traveling. She was born in 1911 and her father had been one of the pastors of that church. Uncle Archie's father had been a judge in that same town. They had the gathering after the funeral in the hall of this church and if God ever allows glimpses from heaven down here, then I am sure they were watching yesterday. :)

The pastor was telling me about the church history yesterday. The current structure was rebuilt after a fire in 1936 but the property dates back more than 200 years. There is a small cemetery on the church grounds up on a hill which is visible from the highway. He said they have people from the civil war buried there. My m-i-l said there are relatives buried there. It would be interesting to take a walk around and read the names. Just down the road is the house Uncle Archie was born in which remained in the family until some time in the late 80's or early 90's. A relative was taking a lot of pictures of the surrounding buildings near the church because they will be taking them down to enlarge the busy 4 way intersection that is there now.

Uncle Archie had become frail with Parkinsons and she arranged to have a live in with him at all times. Even though it was difficult she managed to keep him out of the nursing home except for once when he had fallen. I don't remember when he passed away but it was in this decade. She missed him everyday of her life. On some occasions she would look at me with little tears in the corner of her eyes and say. "I miss Archie so much." But that ache in her heart never stopped her from being cheerful and encouraging. She was a gracious woman who always put others first. She did have to go into a nursing home in her latter years but it was a lovely place and no doubt SHE was a blessing to all who encountered her there.

When I think of Aunt Frances the thing that stands out the most is her faithfulness to God. We most definitely had a spiritual connection. Her countenance radiated God's love. She reminded me of the retired school teacher who first taught me about God when I was a little girl. Actually, Aunt Frances had been a school teacher too. I am certain both women impacted many people for the better by sharing their faith in the Lord.

Knowing that my mother lived alone, both she and Uncle Archie always remembered to ask about my mother and included her on our Christmas card.

She ALWAYS sent a lovely thank you note for a gift received or after any occasion that they had been invited over. Even though her eyesight was failing during these latter years she continued to send the thank you notes. Sometimes she would have additional words of encouragement and always she would have a nice scripture verse included. I loved getting a thank you note from her and have saved every one of them.

During her eulogy yesterday the pastor said that hers was easy to do because of the kind of person she was and the life that she had lived. He said there were so many people that had good things to say about her. My husband had said we shouldn't be sad because she had a very good and full life. He was right. She lived life to the fullest and was a blessing to many.

Aunt Frances.... we will shall miss you greatly, but we rejoice in knowing that you are with your two great loves in your life -God and your dear husband. I can just picture your beautiful smile while reuniting with all those you love. I have no doubt that you have heard the words..."Well done thou good and faithful servant." :)

Love Prevails

Love—is anterior to Life—
Posterior—to Death—
Initial of Creation, and
The Exponent of Earth—

~Emily Dickinson~

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." ~Albert Pike~

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The First Time

From the moment our sons were born I have derived great pleasure in sharing in their "first" experiences. It has been a joy to see life through their eyes. The first time they did anything was usually an exciting moment and often a milestone, a marker for their lives progressing forward. It still is.

These ordinary things seemed miraculous to me.

The first time I saw them, totally naked -their perfectly formed little bodies .. fresh from God.
The first time I heard them cry.
The first time time they nursed at my breast.
The first time their little hands clasped onto my finger.
The first time I felt their little warm breath on my neck.
The first time I saw them in my husband's arms.

The first time they smiled, they laughed or recognized something or someone.
The first time they rolled over, sat up, or ate solid food.
Their first words.

Their first Christmas.

The first time they crawled.
Their first steps.
Their first pair shoes.

Their first Birthday.

Their first pets.
Their first friend.

The first time they saw the ocean and played in the sand.

Their first day of preschool.
Their first ride on the school bus for their first day of school.
Their first bikes and the first time they could ride without training wheels.

So many first times through the years..all cherished moments in time.

This morning I was fidgeting with something in my purse and when I looked up through the rain drizzled windshield, I saw my sons and my husband dressed in suits helping to carry the casket from the funeral home out to the hearse.

It struck me how this was another first time..their first time being pallbearers together. Not the usual "first time" that I have come to anticipate as a mother. A poignant memory never the less. My husband and older son have done this, but it was younger son's first funeral experience. And it was the first time they had done this together.

To everything there is a season.

The Charger Wins!

Son did get the 2006 Dodge Charger. It looks like this but has a white racing stripe across the hood, roof and back. I love the color! It is a midnight pearl metallic blue. It hugs the road and is fun to drive.

We've enjoyed seeing him derive such joy from his new car. I am seeing expressions that remind me of when he was a little boy excited about his new bike or Lego set. :) It's also fun watching his friends come over to see it and then go out for a ride.

He has always been a very responsible kid and I have no doubt he will continue to do so with his car. Never the less, I find myself tossing out advice about auto safety. In my opinion the most difficult time as a parent is when they start driving.

Maybe it is because I totaled a car - a brand new 1972 Mach I when I was 17. (not mine)
Maybe it is because of all the MVA injuries that I saw come through the ER.
Maybe it is because I am a mother...his mother.

I feel like I can never impart enough wisdom to him. I thought I cut the umbilical cord but evidently not all the way!

He brought it home in the rain and it has been raining steadily ever since. Unfortunately, when everything dries he will have a perpetual dust covering his car. That is because we have a little dirt road right of way at the end of our property that goes to the land locked houses in the back. Our vehicles are constantly getting covered by the dust that flies up form the dirt road anytime someone drives by. I have no doubt he will be washing his car often. :) Older son did when he got his first cat - a black Grand Am. :)

I like the Dodge/Chrysler names for their cars. Challenger (bringing it back in 2008), Charger, Viper, Crossfire, and Avenger. They sound intriguing, exciting -emotion evoking. :) Maybe it's memories of bygone days...I loved my Challenger.

I want to get a new vehicle once I get established in a new job. We went to car dealers for 6 days before we agreed to this one. I haggled, schmoozed, haggled, left and returned. Son test drove a lot of cars. Haggled some more. It is a painful process...but I know those prices can come down and they did.

Toward the end, we were at the dealer that we bought this car from but hadn't decided on it yet. They knew we liked it and they knew we had one more dealer I wanted to go to - the Honda place. Son and I had gone to Chrysler 3 or 4 times, this place 4 times, Toyota once and they were not very customer friendly I must say, although son did test drive the most cars there. The sales guy who had been talking to us for 4 days now comes out just when we were about to leave to check out the other place and says, "I'm not supposed to do this but you know we aren't open on Sundays and so we take cars like this one ( obviously trying to make us fearful that the car could be sold to some one else. It bothered us but we didn't react) and we put this on there saying we will take an additional 300.00 off any purchase. You can have this if you buy the car but don't tell my boss." SERIOUSLY?! They had already taken a couple of thousand off the car in increments and now this. The 1st thousand came off right away. Then gradually the rest and we got it down to 18,195. I joked that I wanted it down to 17,999 but the stayed firm stating that they were down to bare bones and not making a profit. So, now the 300.00 brought it down to 17,895. Good! Son always wanted this car but I was trying to be thrifty and practical. Auto insurance is expensive in NJ and it had to be figured into the cost of his monthly payment.

I was filling out the forms when he bolts back in the room and says, "We're gonna put the window etching on the car for you in case it ever gets stolen." I questioned it and the price to which he said it cost 189.00 and then I balked and he said it would be covered in the price. Also that he would get an insurance discount for it. I let it go and now am annoyed at myself that I let myself get pushed into it. It won't give him any discount because it already gets the discount for the anti-theft device and our agent said it wasn't necessary and they made a 100% profit on that. (sigh) Now it was back up to 18,084. I know it isn't that much money but it is the principal of the whole thing. Lesson learned.

I think the dealers have a lot of leeway with how they work the payments/interest - new vs used, etc., etc. I still think we did alright with the car price but it does bug me that I don't know by how much. They saw me coming when I bought my blue T-bird. At that time I didn't know you could haggle with them and I bought it for sticker price.

Of all the sales people we spoke too, I liked this guy and dealership the best - even though I don't 100% trust them. there was a family quality too their business. Also our rep was of Italian descent and from the city and so he reminded me of my Italian neighbors when I lived down at the shore. So there was an emotional component there as well.

Dr. Schoor from The Independent Urologist talks about the importance of word of mouth for a business and I agree with him. I would totally recommend this business and I would not recommend the Toyota place. Chrysler was good too maybe not as friendly but still good.

Then Monday we went to get the car and decided son should get an extended warranty. It still has a warranty and I never get the extended ones for myself but figured since he will be a student and he doesn't earn that much that maybe he should have the added protection. Turns out we haggled about that too and we got the cheapest one for 8.00 less than what was first offered although I do wonder if it what we agreed to was what they wanted all along?

I was hoping to see son bring the car home to our house but it turns out that our salesman needed a ride to a local golf course down past our house so that he could pick up a Corvette and wanted to know if I could take him. I said yes but I should have said "Yes -if you agree to reimburse us for the window etching! :)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Babaganoush! (an inane, yet true post)
There is war, famine disease, pestilence and then there is Babaganoush. Babaganoush!

Yesterday, I was in our local Weis grocery store perusing the hummus . I love hummus, especially roasted red pepper hummus. But, this isn't about hummus. It's about Babaganoush! So, while perusing the hummus, I had my first encounter with Babaganoush. Babaganoush? What isBabbaganoush? Babaganoush! Oh heck! I don't care what Babaganoush is....I just like saying Babaganoush! Okay, it's made with eggplant...I will like the Babaganoush. But I really bought it just because I like the word. Babaganoush!

I had fun offering the Babaganoush to family and friends today. Babaganoush is a great word. It's a fun word to say. Go ahead...say it! Babaganoush! No one wanted the Babaganoush. Younger son tried the Babaganoush and said it was okay. I think he'll do anything right now because he is getting a car this week. (the Charger) Maybe fresh would be better but I do prefer the hummus.

Anyway, it became my personal quest to have everyone say the word -Babaganoush at least once. Everyone humored me except my husband. He refused to say Babaganoush. (this started in the morning with him) So, it became my mission to get him to say Babaganoush. I know this is ridiculous and that was partly my point, my goofy humor but when he wouldn't say Babaganoush it was as though he threw the gauntlet down. The line was drawn.

Try as I might. Try as I may. Him say Babaganoush - no way, not today!

I could see in his eyes he wanted to -they were downright dancing with amusement. I could see he was holding back a grin. I can't even tell you some of the things I said to him to coax him into saying Babaganoush. Then late morning he left for work without saying Babaganoush. I know he must've said Babaganoush to himself. How could he not?

He came back home around 2pm. I already had a plan to get him to say Babbaganoush. Suffice it to know that he wasn't with me 30 seconds and he caved, saying Babaganoush with a big smile on his face! BABAGANOUSH! ;)

P.S. I do confess to trying to force feed older son the Babaganoush earlier tonight! We have a history of teasing each other and can get really goofy. He ended up barricading himself in his younger brother's room. I managed to get the door unlocked and we were having a pushing match with the door. I am no match for him and when I walked away (hoping to trick him) he bolted out the door and out into the front yard. I did try to pelt him with a couple of cherry tomatoes but missed although I did manage to get a blueberry down his shirt before this all started. :) I do admit that when the boys were growing up, I never let them wrastle with doors as that is a crush injury waiting to happen.

I guess SeaSpray still has to grow up. ;)

P.P.S. In my opinion, the Sabra roasted red pepper hummus is excellent. I am totally into using my food processor now and want to try making a hummus from scratch.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

ER Wimpgar

I came across this recently when I was cleaning out some old papers and thought some of you might appreciate this.

The following Wimpgar was a collaborative effort among the ER staff I worked with when I first started working at the hospital about 20 years ago. Most of the people have long since moved on. They were and are some of the most compassionate and dedicated professionals I have had the pleasure of working with.

My M.I.A. ER nurse friend from Miami may remember this. BTW - this nurse was my first friend at the hospital and the first one to invite me back to hang out with the ER staff and is therefore responsible for my corruption - in a good way. :) Ha! One night we were walking out after our shift and she said to me,"You know...we are totally different and I don't know why I like you...but I do." I agreed because I felt the same about her. She was/is an excellent nurse and a good friend. (just never see her anymore!)


You know they are wimps, but how do you document it? Wimp titers can be ordered by MD's, but most facilities take days for results.

The Wimp Scale will make an accurate, quick, and uniform assessment.

Give 2 points for each applicable categories.

__ 1. screaming upon arrival
__ 2. hyperventilating
__ 3. crying when uninjured part is palpated
__ 4. asking inane questions; Do you have a doctor here? Have you ever done this before?
__ 5. exacerbation of pain when audience arrives
__ 6. prolonged compensatory whining
__ 7. requesting general anesthesia before registering
__ 8. demanding 100% of the staff to give 100% of all nursing attentions 100% of the patient's

0-4 wimpitis vs chronic whiner

4-10 acute & chronic wimpitis

10-16 terminal wimpitis

Nursing Intervention

a. Put in room far away from nursing station
b. Banish all family and clinging loved ones to OP
c. Refuse to cut any clothing, especially tight long underwear- explain said cost of garments
and need to be thrifty, review sky rocketing health care costs
d. Ignore all crying & associated whining, unless death is imminent.

I have to say that I am not at all an ER wimp. That 1st rabies vaccine is a tough one and I didn't make a sound..because I passed out. No I didn't -I handled it. Sutures no problem. Blood work -can I watch? Keep me waiting? I'm a patient patient. Kidney stones -more drugs please, still doesn't touch the pain and I am nice and try not to bother the staff.

I will say that a couple of weeks ago, I did for the 1st time ever have a mini meltdown after being in the ER for 11 1/2 hours, from 17:00 to 04:30. Just a few tears while waiting to go up as an admit to the floor. This is because I was in pain, FREEZING, exhausted, hungry, alone, and concerned with the dx while I was an ER patient. I know better. I know how hard they all work. I heard the rigs rolling in one after the other. I will do a future post on this experience. No - I am definitely not an ER wimp.

But put me in the Urolgist's office and I AM A TOTAL WIMPETTE!!!

My urologist is a great doc and he and the office staff go out of their way to ensure that I am comfortable, etc., but do an office procedure - I don't care what it is - I am a wimpette, even if I have percocet in me. I find those uro procedures to be exquisitely uncomfortable!

I wonder if there is a UROGAR or more appropriately a UROWIMPGAR? :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Phallic Symbol Verses Practicallity

The quest continues for younger son's 1st vehicle.

When he and I were leaving the house to go scout out vehicles for the 3rd time, husband said make sure he gets something with front wheel, all wheel or 4 wheel drive. "O-k-a-y-y-y" we say.

After, being in the lot looking at several used vehicles(sm, midsize and utility) we come across a 2006 Dodge Charger, Midnight Blue Pearlcoat with a white racing stripe. One guess to figure out which one son liked. :) My concern is that it is rear wheel drive although they say the esp which is what rwd Mercedes cars have, makes a difference. I guess also there are some safety concerns with front wheel drive? But then what about all wheel? And I know 4 wheel is good.

That being said, he drove the car down to our house to show husband. He pulled up to the corner to turn around and park outside in front of our house. Our neighbor (son's friend's father) was out, so son beeped. It was immediately apparent that he liked the looks of the car. He called his son out and the rest of the family came out too. That was sweet and we hadn't even shown it too my husband yet. So, I got out and let friend get in and they drove to end of road to turn around. The car looked good from the back too.

It warmed my heart to think of them in the car and the excitement of the moment. These 2 were born 2 days apart and have shared a lot of memorable moments together. They will be 19 in October. (actually last night after we got home - son, his friend and I shared hilarious stories from past years until 2:30 in the morning)

My first sporty car was a used 71 Dodge Challenger that I purchased 3 years old. I LOVED that car! People used to say I looked like the Dodge girl in it. The guys in the lake would stop by and comment that they liked the car when I would be waxing it out front in our horseshoe driveway. I always liked the lines on it. My only regret was that it was green with a white roof. Green is not my favorite color, but it wasn't bad. Now if it was BLUE with a white roof - perfect! (I recall A Doc I worked with who owned 2 Porches saying that a sports car should be either red or black) I still loved the car though. Then someone rear ended me and pushed me into the car in front of me while I was commuting down below to work. It was never the same after that because there was always a gas smell when the windows were open and the body shop never found the problem.

But I digress. See, apparently..this car triggers memories of bygone days for me. I think it did for my neighbor too. We were all looking at it in front of our house and then my neighbor (the husband) got in the back seat. I told my husband that it was only rear wheel drive and it didn't seem to bother him. He was probably thinking of his 1970 Barracuda!

So, it was a phallic symbol eye candy on wheels! It did hug the road. Son and I are both tall. He is easily over 6 feet and there was plenty of room for both of us. I know he would have to get used to the car but 3 different times he went over the speed limit without realizing it as it didn't seem like it was going that fast. It was a great ride!

Son is a part time sports reporter/writer for a newspaper and sometimes he has to go to different locations to do interviews. He will need a reliable and safe vehicle to commute back and forth to community college and for his job, etc.

They dropped a thousand off the price. The mileage is high with 26 thousand on a 2006. Otherwise seemingly good condition. We are not mechanically inclined so we wouldn't really know. It is certified and there is a warranty although those can vary.

The salesman was smooth because when I commented about the high mileage, he said, "y-e-a-h...your right." I commented on some other things to drop the price more and he did the same thing. He didn't engage me. I could see what he was doing but that wasn't the time to expend energy as we are still looking.

I am good at wheeling and dealing and know for a fact that I got good deals on both of our last two vehicles. The 1st time I had checked out a vehicle at one dealer and then managed to get one in the same category at the 2nd dealer with more options for significantly less money. The 2nd time I went back to that dealer 1st, let them know they were 1st and we looked at so much. I knew what I wanted and they just weren't coming down in price. So after at least 3 hours, I told them thank you but I needed to look elsewhere. He said to wait that they had ONE more too look at. THAT ended up being the one and it was perfect for what we needed at the time. The dealer saw me coming with the blue 1985 T-Bird I bought. My 1st born was 5 and sitting in the back seat for the test drive and I loved it so much I think I was actually bouncing up and down in the seat with glee as I was driving it around. It was September and I could've haggled a bit but I didn't know to then. So, I learned my lesson. Our boys fast outgrew the back seat in the T-Bird as there was no room back there!

So, now we are going back to the 1st dealer we went too and son is going to test drive a Dodge Caliber. That does have frd and is better on mileage. Cheaper too! I do like that both vehicles have side airbags.

The thing is used vehicles have higher interest rates whereas the new vehicles have 0% interest rates. The Caliber has a lifetime warranty on the 2007s. They were discussing 3-6 year loans. SIX year loans! Then there are leasing programs. I am not crazy about them although we did it once and it worked out fine. We came under the mileage allowed. He will probably have to add mileage since he will be on the road so much.

There was a 2006 Mustang that was really nice and less money but the Charger seemed to be a better built car. But what do I know? Although the dealer said it was too.

Today will be another info gathering mission and in my perfect world we will hone in on something tomorrow and then negotiate - negotiate!

If anyone made it to the end of this long post - I welcome any insights or suggestions you might have. :)

P.S. It is now 11:24 p.m. and after going back to the same 2 dealers we have been working with, I can honestly tell you that I am beginning to hate this process. Son took the Caliber out and it is only a 4 cylinder and I have to say I wasn't impressed. That might not mean anything since I don't know anything about cars, but I didn't care for it. It didn't seem like he had room and it didn't seem to have power going up a hill. In all fairness he didn't floor it either but I would prefer that he had a 6 cylinder. I remember driving a 4 cylinder up a mountain near the ski area and I thought we would start sliding backwards.

We drove into a GM and Ford dealerships but didn't stay. We went back to the Chevy dealer who has the 2006 Dodge Charger that we both love. Son drove a 2006 Chevy Cobalt (4 cylinder) which was o.k. but really didn't even come close to the Charger. Although it was 6,000 less. He took the Charger out again and I know he really wants it. The Charger is sweet for a lot of reasons. :) I did manage to get them down 55.00 in monthly payments but still too pricey in my opinion for a young guy starting out and even with the esp feature I am still concerned about bad weather.

When we got back tonight, I called a neighbor who works for Mercedes and knows everything about cars and dealerships etc. Until recently, this guy always drove new Mercedes for free. He never had to have car insurance either. His job has something to do with test driving the prototypes and so he drove them everywhere. Some of those cars were amazing! His recommendation is to check out Honda, Toyota and Hundai. (not sure how to spell that) He feels son should start out with an economy type of car and of course I would put him in a Hummer if I could. :)

So, we're going out 1st thing in the morning to tackle this. I am finding this more difficult than usual because I am trying to get him the best for the least amount of money as he is responsible for all payments and insurance. He just can't afford to do 3 year payments right now. Vehicles are so expensive, even used ones. I wish we could just buy a good used one -cheap enough to buy outright so he doesn't have any payments but then it's a roll of the dice.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I Did A Ditzy Thing At The Urology Office Today!
It is a prerequisite that if you step foot in the urologist office you will surrender your urine. Actually ...I think it is the law. It ties in with the order of the universe or something and you can't mess with it.

As far as I am concerned -it is liquid gold because I am so happy that all the plumbing is working. Dr. Schoor from the Independent Urologist blog has said they call it the champagne of body fluids. :)
Pic above: what really happens in the bladder when the urine arrives. I have it on good authority that this is what urologists see when they scope your bladder. They don't call it the champagne of body fluids with out reason.

Trust me when I say this: every ounce of urine flowing in and then out of the bladder without assistance or pain is reason for celebration!

I'm pretty sure drug reps carry their own plastic cups no doubt touting the latest urology drug. You can tell who they are because they are the ones fighting each other to be the first one in the bathroom to leave their sample before the other reps so their drug gets promoted first. O.k., not really, but it could happen. :)

Yes... I know...another URINE story. It's true, I'm obsessing again. :) Don't be too concerned though because if I do go back to work in a hospital -I will be able to regale you with stories of other bodily secretions like blood, sputum and fecal matter. But for now, y'all will just have to settle for another post about urine.

S0, what happened today?

Well let me preface that with an explanation of my usual experience in surrendering the champagne of body fluids. I have been going to this urology office for about 19 months, minus a few in between. I go to the front desk to check in. The receptionist then gives me a plastic cup with my name on it and a wipe for a clean catch urine. As soon as the rest room is free, I go in to make whizzie winkles and then leave my prized champagne of body fluids behind a metal door which is directly behind the toilet.

This metal door opens on both sides of the wall so the nurse/assistant can get the sample for testing. They open the door often to check to see if the sample is in there yet. You don't know how many times I have been so very tempted to pop my door open at the same time they do to say, "hi!" but I restrain myself because I don't want to scare them although the thought of doing that amuses me greatly.
( not scaring them but just saying hi)

Today, I had a consult in their satellite office. I was there once last year and then again today, so I am not as familiar with the set up.

So I take my cup, go in and make whizzie winkles. But I don't see any place to put it. Hmmm...
I wash up, grab a paper towel to hold it and exit the rest room. Hmmm... no one else is holding urine. I'll give it to the receptionist. No, she probably doesn't have gloves and what if it spills (there was no cap) ...something isn't right about this. What to do? What to do?...

I decide to go sit by the other patients. I am juggling my purse, my book and my big jug of water along with the open cup of urine. I manage to sit down without spilling or dropping anything. I smile at the woman I sat next to, but she is looking at my open cup of urine. I look over at the man and he is staring at my open cup of urine. I know... I make pretty whizzie winkles.. :) Oh wait - they aren't admiring the urine they are afraid of it or what I might do with it.

So I casually announce that I am just going to go over to those empty seats on the other side of the room. Again, I juggle everything and make a smooth transition over to the other side and I place my open sample of urine on the rug by my feet. I look up to my left...nice Monet. I look back down at the urine. I don't plan on kicking it but what if I forget? So I moved it in front of the empty chair to my right. You know...It just doesn't look right to have an open cup of urine on the rug in the waiting room.

I just settle into my chair and open my book when I hear the receptionist tell the man to place his sample in the little metal door in the bathroom. METAL DOOR?? I jumped up, grabbed my urine and raced in front of the man and said, "Excuse me, but I didn't know they had a METAL DOOR!" And really, I didn't have to race as he was elderly and walking slowly. He smiled graciously, while seemingly amused - I don't know.

Ahhh...mission accomplished. However, now I was worried about our urines co-mingling if he were to have a shaky hand so I told the receptionist but she wasn't concerned because we had different names.

Then I just started chuckling to myself about my ditzyness. I mean come ON! I have earned frequent flier status when it comes to surrendering my champagne of body fluids. All I can figure is that I was preoccupied with not taking a wrong turn on the way down and I really had to make whizzie winkles when I got there, plus the metal door wasn't behind the toilet. However, it WAS IN FRONT OF ME ON THE OPPOSITE WALL! But I didn't see it. In all fairness, it does take a certain amount of preoccupation and finesse for a female to hit the target and today my whizzie winkles were non compliant and my finesse was no where to be found. Really, one would think that given my frequent flier status that I would be the master of my own urine by now, but alas...I am not...YET. I was also preoccupied with what I was going to discuss. But gee, even at the ER, patients might get stuck holding their urine although it at least has a cap on it. I should have known this! (Sigh!)

Speaking of frequent flier status I made the following comment over in Dr Schwab's Surgeonsblog a couple of weeks ago.

My nether regions have been exposed so much over the last 16 mos - I am surprised that every time I see a white coat or blue scrubs that I don't automatically assume the stirrup position, you some Pavlovian response! (would really be embarrassing in the waiting room!)

And then I said...

Well, I take comfort in the fact that even though they have seen the bajingo/sea biscuit area -they haven't seen the girls! :)

I am not superstitious or anything but I'll be darned because last week while I was an ER patient they called a guy named Ralph to come do an EKG and so now even the girls aren't a secret anymore! Ralph was very nice though. :)

P.S. My neighbor and dear friend who has often brought me to some of these urology visits, after reading this , has suggested that perhaps the next time I leave my pretty whizzie winkles inside the metal door that I should first tie a pretty bow around the cup. LOL! It would no doubt be a surprise and I think that is a hilarious idea, but because it is a medical office - I don't know how that would be received. But I will be smiling about it on my side of the door! :)

Update: Not long after I wrote this post ...I woke up one morning thinking about it and panicked ...because it hit me that ...OMG! I was a frequent flier to the urology office and I certainly knew the protocol for urine specimens. You do not EVER walk out into the waiting room with it. You are always supposed to leave it in the metal door ...IN the BATHROOM ..BEFORE leaving to go back into the waiting room. I had never seen anyone ...ever...sitting in the waiting room with a urine specimen. And ...I had been to that satellite office the previous summer and didn't have any problem recognizing the metal door for leaving specimens in... before leaving the bathroom.

Furthermore ...and especially alarming ..was that I went through a whole series of thought processes ..moving, balancing the urine, aware other patients were staring at it ...moving again and repositioning it on the floor. (I do think it is kind of funny ..that like broccoli in someone's teeth ...these people weren't comfortable telling me there is a door in the bathroom for the urine. And odd that the receptionist ...who looked right at the my urine and me ...did not graciously remind me there was a metal door in which to place my urine. Instead ...I think she chose to alert me to that fact via telling the next patient. Perhaps she was taken aback too?) I was oblivious to all of that ...UNTIL ..the receptionist mentioned putting the specimen in the metal door to the elderly patient. THEN ...the realization hit me!

(Could've been in a sitcom! :)

When I realized that this was beyond "ditzy", I was so scared that something was wrong with my brain! But, at that time ...every once in awhile ..I wold take Lunesta to help me sleep. The instructions stated to take just before going to bed and when you can have a full night's sleep. I took it in the wee hrs of the morning and was up early for the uro appt., which was an hour away. So ...I did not have enough sleep and this drug altered my thinking processes. I called the prescribing physician and he agreed that Lunesta could have caused that behavior. I was so relieved, but in my next appointment with that doc ..I again asked if the drug could've caused that and he said it could. I asked if he was at all worried about my mind and he said he was not.

That was one of the most frightening thoughts I have ever had in my life!

I have never taken that or any other drug in that category to sleep again. It scares me to think of something so potent that could mess with your brain that way and cause you to do such bizarre things and apparently based on other people's experiences ..worse things. It is also disturbing to think that there are people out there ...driving, working ...doing God knows what in a potentially mind altered state ...AND ...not even know they are doing anything out of the norm.

I never had another issue like that again since I never took the med again. Thank God! I'm glad that is all I did and not anything worse!

Suffice it to know, that I will never - ever take anything like that medication again!

Sunday, August 5, 2007


Being "willing" is one of
the greatest assets of anyone
who's about to undertake doing anything.

... And being willing and open
to do new things
is a way of welcoming everything
life (and the universe) has to offer you.

Yes, you get to focus,
and you get to choose ...

You get to create your future
the way you want it to be ...
AND, being willing & open and curious,
while moving forward
with a willingness to do new things
is an incredible asset. ~Sunny~

Scrubs- How To Save A Life

Since I am hospital minded lately, I thought I would put this Scrubs clip up. I love the song, "How To Save A Life" by the Fray, which was originally played on Grey's Anatomy. We should all be blessed with doctors that are as dedicated and care this much about their patients. I don't know how they do it. Not everyone could - that's for sure.

Anyway, for a long time now I have been thinking that I would prefer working in a doctor's office for various reasons. I still would. However, during my recent stay at the hospital I must admit I was feeling drawn back to that environment and actually to an area that I hadn't really considered and the work would be diversified. I like working around patients because a. I am a nurturer and derive satisfaction in helping them and b. because each patient is different -even if the same complaints- still different variables so almost always interesting. I also like being supportive to the medical staff as well. So, there are a lot of areas in a hospital in which those services would be appreciated. I want to go to a physician group or a hospital. I think there is almost always something going on in those settings. Of course down time is appreciated but not necessary. And as anxious as I am to move forward with this..I also feel like shy girl again. The whole idea of getting suited up for an interview and taking that first step through the door is a bit intimidating when you haven't worked for awhile. I know my resume is good. I know I will ace the interview. But it's just the first steps know?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

86 1/2 Hours!

Hooray! I DID it! 86 !/2 hours with out food. I could have eaten at 12 pm today but instead waited until 12:30 although I did start preparing my lunch. I guess that was stupid but there is something in me that if I have to hit this tough goal then I am going to go beyond it to prove I can really do it. It somehow gives me personal satisfaction to do that - not sure why. Maybe Sis, Dr Deb or Orcadia can figure THAT out. :)

I went to bed late last night so that I could sleep up to the time I could eat again as I didn't trust myself to be as strong in the morning. I was feeling dizzy while blogging last night and I didn't want to be up and around in the morning like that.

I was ready to get up at 10:30 am but made myself sleep until almost noon.

I got up and promptly put on a pot of coffee! I decided against going out anywhere today until I am certain as to how I will respond to the reintroduction to food into my system.

I decided on a tuna fish sandwich with that delicious sprout seeded whole grain whole wheat bread I keep talking about. I used 3 cans of tuna, 2 small celery stalks with leaves, 2 really small red onions, fresh parsley, fresh oregano and Hellman's mayonnaise. I put it all in the food processor until it was like a pate, then put it on bread and topped it with cherry tomatoes. I would have preferred it cold but it was time to eat. (I didn't eat all the tuna - I like to make extra to have around) While preparing it, I did take a forkful and I have to say it was an amazing experience. The sensation of it in my mouth - my senses were activated beyond measure. My tongue, the inside of my mouth and even my teeth were happy! The totally satisfying sensation of swallowing and feeling it slide down my throat...truly enjoyable. I don't think I will ever forget how that felt or tasted!
I was standing at my sink, looking out the window across the field and up at the mountains and the sky. After I swallowed, I said, "Thank you God, THANK YOU!"

I know that sounds dramatic but I often thank God when I have a tall glass of refreshing water that has totally quenched my thirst. My sons have teased me about it over the years parroting me with how I say it. :) I have this quirky thing where I take a tall 16oz glass (has to be glass), preferably blue or turquoise, run it under the faucet, letting it over flow until just the right moment. Now I don't know how long - I just know when to stop. Then I proceed to drink it all or most of it down and then say, Ahhh, thank you God for water!" and my boys have seen me do this since they were little. O.k., enough of my quirkiness! :)

I was full after that little fork bite and was definitely full after the first bite of the sandwich, but I ate the whole thing anyway and drank the coffee. It occurred to me that coffee might be harsh on my system as would the vegetables and if there is a GB issue than definitely the mayo.

Suffice it to know that it is not agreeing with me although at least I am not experiencing nausea. Maybe it is just the reintroduction of food to my system. I have a lot of right sided pressure front and back but that was happening with just water. Of course I can't help but to think of my kidney because of the flank discomfort.

I have good news though and that is my creatinine levels are normal and my kidney didn't look that enlarged as compared to other enlarged kidneys they have seen! So, I am thinking the urinary system must be functioning properly which ties in with the good renal scan report. I don't know what other criteria is used to make that assessment. And again she says another Thank you God and thank you wonderful, skilled, dedicated and compassionate urologist who got me through all that!

Food saga finished! :)

Maybe I will come back and post about my ED/med floor experience. Not the best - although I am sure the staff did their best. Makes me wonder if they were short staffed in both areas. Even though I felt awful -it could have been worse like with a kidney stone and them giving me morphine/dilaudid - NOT a good thing. or God forbid something really serious - so I still count my blessings.

P.S. I don't really hate the doc who discharged me. I was just mad at him for saying I couldn't eat for 2 more days! He's nice and a good doc. His reputation precedes him for being a good diagnostition. :)

Friday, August 3, 2007

Hungry But Grateful

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It has been 72 hours now since eating and I admit to feeling a huge wave of hunger now. The headache will not go away and I am trying to stay on top of it with Tramadyl.

Right now even the most boring tasteless food would taste so good. i was thinking about these foods while I was in the pool. After I got out, I showered, set my hair and then decided to have something really decadent. But...I am being a good's only HOT water. I figured if I heat it up it will seem like I am having something special after only having cold water and before that an IV drip.

The mind is interesting in how it responds to things. Just before my husband came to pick me up at the hospital yesterday, I had been thinking about how hot everyone was telling me it was outside. I decided it would be nice if we could stop at Dairy Queen and get a couple of ice cream cones and I knew I wanted a chocolate cone dipped in chocolate. Then I realized that I couldn't. It must've been one of those desert mirage type of thoughts just sneaking in there.

I was doing fine today until I saw the can of cashews my son left on the counter. "Look away!", I said to myself. Dramatic - but true. :) Then when in the pool earlier this evening, I thought someone was barbecuing -but no one was. Another mind trick.

I have also been thinking about what my first food would be. I thought about going out to lunch with a friend and having something special and maybe I will, but in all probability I will probably have something with that good whole wheat bread or a seasoned salmon I have in the freezer or both. Maybe with a salad with vegetables fresh from the garden and either a balsamic vinegar or blue cheese dressing. Tuna fish is crossing my mind too. Interestingly, I am not craving anything sweet, just something with substance and real tasting. Definitely no junk! I just pray to God the doctor who discharged me is right and that this will all go away. I will find out tomorrow. All prayers and good thoughts welcome. :)

I am really surprised that it is o.k. for a diabetic to go without eating anything for days and getting absolutely no nutrition in. I thought they were supposed to have 6 small meals a day to avoid low or elevated blood sugar. I don't do that and am prone to skipping meals depending on what I am doing, but still 86 hrs?

I remember once when I was a 13 I didn't eat for three days. My mother didn't have enough money left to buy food and she never told her brothers that she needed financial help and so we suffered in silence. I never told any friends. One day, my girlfriend and I were sitting on her front porch. She went into the house and brought out a bag of saltine crackers. She was eating them and never offered me any. I was so hungry but I never asked for even just one. I didn't ask for one because I thought if I did that she would somehow know that we were poor and didn't have any food. Sometimes, an elderly lady would ask me to get her mail for her and then pay me a dime. I would then go right down to the drugstore and buy a pineapple ice cream cone and sometimes that was my only food for the day. My mother was very secretive about it all and never applied for welfare as she was too proud to. And so I was silent too. I think the Italian family next door must've known and their relatives a couple of doors down because they occasionally sent food over. Then again...every Italian family I have ever known likes to feed people so maybe that was just their way..I don't know. Little Grandma could cook!

I learned compassion from this.

Also going through my mind is how awful it must be for the truly starving people in the 3rd world countries. Little babies, older children and adults with bloated stomachs. Parents not being able to feed their children. Watching the people you love die or watching anyone die of starvation. Feeling so powerless, hungry, hurting and without hope.

I know I have a lot to be grateful for.

I Was A Patient

A busy day at work in the ER!

I was a patient in the ED the other night. Totally unexpected, but then that's what ED visits are. I used to tell my Lifeline clients that no one ever expects an accident or illness but they do occur and then of course I would go into the benefits of the Lifeline program - but I digress.

I was triaged around five, went in a little before 7p.m. and was a patient there until 4:30 in the morning at which point I was finally brought up to my room. Exhausted, hungry and in pain - stressed from the experience and thinking about the additional expenses now added to our budget along with not understanding exactly what was going on and what was going to be done and future ramifications because darn it - the kidney stuff is healing and I am ready to pursue a new job in the fall,....I admit that somewhere between 03:40 and 03:50 -I had an emotional meltdown and tears started pouring out of my eyes for about 5 minutes.

I always rave about this hospital and the positive experiences but I have to admit this time was not a good one, but I know they tried. :)

Having worked in a hospital and ED registration for 20 years, I DO understand the pressures and responsibilities the staff has and I KNOW how it usually works and what their goals for the patients are. I know that because it doesn't look busy does not mean it isn't busy. They could be totally consumed with a life and death case or tied up because of the complexity of it even if not life and death and then multiply that x other patients. I know they want the patient out the door just as much as the patient wants to be out the door ! And I also could see and understand the patient's frustrations/concerns when it was a hellacious night for the staff and things were backing up. I know I was good at juggling the staffs concerns and needs along with the patient's and was usually able to keep positive communications going between the two. It's all about the wording and attitude. For example, I didn't exactly word things to the staff the way the patients and others did (softened it) and I didn't relay things back to the patient the way the staff said it, which admittedly, could be pretty funny at times and sometimes not. Sorry - again I digressed.

I AM a patient patient. I am also a supportive patient in that I always try to encourage them when they seem frustrated or reassure them that I was o.k. and tell them to go do the more important stuff like save lives - I can wait kind of thing. I think they appreciate my attitude because usually staff starts to confide their frustrations of the day whether in the hospital or a doctor's office. The ED Doc was so kind. He apologized to me 3 times and I told him not to worry about me and that he had more important things to do. I could see the compassion on his face while gesturing toward me with his hands, saying "Well, you too." Like in other words I was important too and I appreciated that because honestly, I was feeling forgotten. But I could also hear the rigs rolling in and rolling out again - so I knew.

The admitting dx was acute pancreatitis. No I am not a drinker. Ha! Actually, I drink so little alcohol that the 2nd sip of the 1st drink goes right to my head! Even after one drink - I allow time before driving.

I am confused at this point because according to the ED doc the ultrasound revealed sludge in the gallbladder which could be indicative of a small stone trapped in the duct which in turn would cause the inflammation of the pancreas. He recommended I stay so that it could be taken care of more quickly and I agreed.

I had been NPO all night and was admitted with the same orders. No big deal except that I hadn't eaten anything but bran cereal around 10pm Tuesdsay night and so I had already gone 30 1/2 hours without eating by 04:30. Even though I had nausea and the pain was exacerbating -I was still hungry. Go figure.

So, the confusing part too me is that the discharging doctor indicated he disagreed with the dx. He didn't seem to think sludge (sounds lovely) in the GB was any big deal, seemed to discount the possibility of a stone and said my GB looks perfectly healthy. My numbers were low with the amylase test and I don't recall the other test. He felt that it was all caused because I had a cystoscopy procedure earlier before I had become ill and that the procedure in conjunction with the percocet and the fact that I hadn't eaten had caused it all. I will add that it was really hot and I was feeling the heat after having left from the procedure that day. His orders were to not eat anything for 2 more days, drink only water, no restrictions, see him in 3 weeks and follow up with my urologist .

The nurses were really surprised because they all said I would be staying. I was also confused because they also seemed surprised that he was letting me drink water when they were saying that I had to be npo because food and water would aggravate the pancreas and it needs to rest. I have had stents removed in the office before with percocet but maybe I did eat -I don't remember. The thing is that I think I tolerate the procedures well and I said that too him but he said,"It doesn't matter - you still had a procedure."

I can honestly tell you that I hated him last night! I was really hungry and getting a headache. I took a Tramadl which helped a little. Then by bedtime I felt like I was getting a migraine and really feeling ill. I wanted my I-buprofen - works every time but I didn't dare on an empty stomach. Woke up with a really bad headache at 5 am and so knocked myself out with benadryl.
Now I just have a mild headache which I think has to be from no food since Tuesday night and on Tuesday during the day I only had a (really good) wholewheat bread salad sandwich. (Cucumbers, lettuce, onions and tomatoes with mayo and pepper) half a peanut butter sandwich for dinner and then the cereal at 10pm. (Not a diet or anything - just busy.)

So I calculated that I could eat again at 12 pm tomorrow afternoon. That will have been 86 hours with out food! Good thing I like water! :) Actually, the hunger seems to have plateaued although I would love a nice hot cup of coffee right now. I don't hate him as much right now and don't feel sick anymore just some right sided pressure when I drink and hopefully that will resolve by tomorrow. My husband and son know that they are on their own to feed themselves because why put myself in front of temptation? And now I am going in the pool! :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Baby Surprise! :)

Last night my almost lifelong friend (since I was 4 and she was 5) Caribbean Blue, told me she had some good news to tell me. She then enthusiastically blurted out, "Matt and Laura are pregnant!"

LOL! Matt, her son and Laura, her d-i-l are expecting there first baby in February. So, Erin (Matt's sister) and Mr. and Mrs. Caribbean Blue are ecstatic! BTW - so is Aunt SeaSpray! :)

(SeaSpray and Caribbean Blue are only children, but feel like sisters since they have such a long history together. In a regular conversation they will unexpectedly laugh and sigh simultaneously and generally have the same responses and timing. While they do have their differences they are still like 2 peas in a pod. :) Caribbean Blue's parents had SeaSpray call them aunt and uncle and so Caribbean Blue and SeaSpray have carried on the tradition with their kids. It's a good thing too because SeaSpray is an only child (raised that way anyway) and this is the only chance for SeaSpray to be an aunt and now she gets to be a great aunt! :)