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The BOMB

Welcome to the BOMB.



The Blog Of the "Mother" of Bandit.
Bandit is my Hairless Chinese Crested--he's the "normal" one. I, on the other hand, am unrepentantly "pet-crazy." You know the type--the spinster who lives in the haunted house three blocks over with 72 cats...okay, so I don't have 72 cats, and my house isn't haunted--but my dogs wardrobe is better than mine! Need I say more? :~)
I've never been consistant at journaling, so the timing of my blogs will be sporadic at best. I just hope they are as entertaining to you as they are to me; however, be forewarned: Most of my blogs will be about The BaldOne. In spite of his Don King "do," I think he's just as cute as any of the Brothers B!
Now, if I can just remember not to get him wet--or feed him after midnight...

About Me

My photo
My bags are packed and I'm always ready to seek out an adventure with Bandit and Moggy in tow. Bandit is my ten year old Chinese Crested, who I frequently call The Bald One or The BaldOne Boy (like he was one of the Baldwin Brothers). Moggy’s full name is Pip-Moggy. He’s my gansta-resuce kitty. I couldn’t decide between Pip (which are the spots on die and domino tiles) and Moggy (or Moggie when I mistakenly thought he was a she), so I combined the two. Moggy refers to the British term for "cat of unknown parentage .” So in essence, I have an almost bald dog, and I’ve named my cat “Spot.”

Fun Stuff (I'm doing now or have done)

  • Artistic Attempts weekly (alternating between Painting With A Twist, That Art Place, and Peniot's Palette).
  • Bunko with the Belton Bunko Babes monthly.
  • Participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
  • Spades and Liverpool Rummy with the Spadetts weekly.
  • The Mighty Texas Dog Walk, Austin (fund raiser for Service Dogs, Inc--they train shelter dogs to be Service Dogs, then give them free of charge to people with disabilities.)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Ping Pong Ball Collecting: Funny or Futile?

I recently viewed a short 20-second video on line that gave me pause.  At first glance it's a funny little short with a toddler gathering ping-pong balls and placing them in his cup with his chubby little hand.  Each time he bends to retrieve a ball, another ball he has previously placed in the cup falls out, hits his shoe and rolls away.  He toddles to the fallen ball, bends to capture it and out pops another ball. This repeats a couple times until,  becoming frustrated, he throws a temper tantrum and  tosses the cup and all of the balls onto the deck. Someone titled it, "My life summed up in 20-seconds." 

What I started watching as a funny little snippet turned quickly into a statement of futility as my initial uplifting thought of "always chasing the dream," was quickly replaced with darker thoughts of, "No matter how hard I try, I can never get ahead,"  "Nothing I do is ever good enough," and, "One step forward, two steps back."

Then I wondered why  the adult was videotaping the toddler rather than teaching him to put the cup on the deck and bring the balls to it. Or cover the opening with his hand when he bent over. Or trying any number of possible solutions to his delemia. Why didn't they teach him to think outside the box--or in this case, the cup? 


Surely this video has some redeeming quality.  Of course it does.  It actually has several truths for me hidden in it.  So what can I take away from this video?  At least four lessons (and that's with little or no analysis).

First, sometimes clutching the dream too tightly can kill it--sometimes you have to put the cup  down in order to capture, and hang on to whatever you are seeking--whether it be a dream, a prize, a goal, or a ping-pong ball.   It may seem like you are giving up, when in fact you are merely regrouping.

Second, throwing a tantrum and giving up because achieving the dream takes dillegent effort, is never going to make you successful.  Success always takes a lot of hard work.  And there almost always will be what appear to be failures or setbacks along the way. The only times you actually fail are when you allow the frustrations and failures to define you--or you  give up and just don't try.

Third, if you see, or know, a better, or different, way to do something, and it causes no harm, by all means try it--or help someone else try it.  You might actually find the solution--or lessen someone else's frustration level.

Finally, surround yourself with dreamers, cheerleaders, teachers, and inventors-people who will encourage you, uplift you,  and open your eyes to new possibilities--avoid people who videotape your frustrations  and failures just so they can post it online or enter it in a contest.

And a bonus:  don't play with ping-pong balls if there's a camera or smartphone around--unless of course you are Yan Weihao, Ping Pong World Champion (2017).

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Using the Crook as an Unexpected Snare

Recently my five-year old neighbor came to greet me as I returned home.  He carried a ball in his hands and, as will happen with those learning the finer art of coordination, it escaped him.   As the ball rolled under my SUV, my neighbor started to clamber under, then realized the ball was outside his grasp, and he would not be engaging in a safe practice.   He spied my cane and asked to borrow it. I gave him my cane,  thinking he would turn it around and use the handle as a crook to snare the ball. 

This being his first attempt at retreiving a ball from beneath an SUV, he did not think the same way.  He preceeded to hold the handle and point the end under the vehicle. As he swiped the ball it drifted further under the SUV and ultimately became wedged.

Before I could say, "lets turn the cane  around and use the handle to snare it," his father joined us and took over--except, he held the cane by the handle as well.

Not wanting to correct or critique the father in the son's presence, I smiled and silently thought to myself, "Like father, like son." 

He tried a couple times.  Each time the cane tipped the ball, it rolled further away. Finally, on his last attempt, the father shifted his angle and successfully retrieved the ball, in part due to his longer reach, and in part due to the new angle.

I wonder how much easier would the task have been, if he had simply used the cane in an unexpected way? 

More importantly, how often do I use the tools at my disposal in the same timewarn way?  When was the last time I approached a problem with fresh ideas?

How long has it been since I used the crook to unexpectedly accomplish my goal?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

I Might Be a Jane Austen Novel

OMGosh. Not only am I currently IN a Jane Austen novel...I think I most likely AM one! 

For instance...
I am usually the one trying to persuade others to go on a trip. I don't think I'm disagreeable--although I do like to stir things up by playing devils advocate from time to time.

I usually like playing cards (or board games), but again, I am not disagreeable. Some who have played with me, and have seen my competitive nature might not agree.  However, they're wrong.

Someone I know has fallen ill--not dramatically so, but interestingly so.

I don't think the  piano player hates me, but I know she's no longer my friend.

All of my dresses ARE nightgowns.

I once took a walk with a cad.

Everyone, girls and boys alike, tell me their secrets. But I don't despise them for it. Unless they tell me they are secretly rich, skinny, and beautiful blonde bombshells. But I still don't despise them. I just plot their next accident....

My Mother is neither dead nor ridiculous; however, I do have numerous females who treat me like a daughter. (Thanks Moms!)

My Father was in Finance in the Air Force--he made sure everyone got paid--so he was very popular.  He was very good with numbers and was chagrined when I told him I no longer balance my checkbook. I do closely monitor my accounts online--much closer than I did when I actually wrote checks and balanced my checkbook.

I once fell off a cliff at a picnic--does it still count as something gone  horribly wrong if I only sustained scratches and missed out on the rest of the afternoons activities?

I don't dance publicly. The resentment would be directed at me--actually, I think it would be ridicule.

Would the military commander with no morals be the same as a non-military leader or authority figure without character? Those seem to abound all around me.

I am the woman with the absurd hat. It was actually a gift. I'm not really a hat person--although I would like to be. If I didn't have to get all dressed up to be able  to pull off the look.

My surviving garden and house plants, are astonished they are still alive so I guess my garden IS an astonishment--to my plants, my friends and neighbors, and especially the plants I apologize to when I bring them home.  I tell them they were picked because they looked strong, and if they survive me and the winter, I'll pot them. 

Three men in my life?  I've got only two.   Alas, neither Bandit nor Moggy are marriage material.

If a charming single man attempted to flirt with me it WOULD be terrible. Especially if he were also handsome, sexy, rich, and emotionally ready and able to sustain an adult relationship.  In fact, it would be so terrible  I'm not sure I could handle the terribleness of it....however, in the spirit of Jane Austen, I'm not going to take the easy way out and forgo the testing, so try me! ;~)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

"How Many Boobs Do You Have?"

My Supervisor sent out an email reminding us to place our upcoming leave requests because she wanted to work on the schedule. I had already placed about half of my  sick leave requests for the "Prehab" I'm doing in preparation for knee replacement surgery I hope takes place in late summer. So I finished placing the rest, and added the other appointments listed on my latest appointment printout from the hospital:  a mammogram, a couple of iron infusions, labs and follow-up appointments with my Hematologist and Primary Care Physician, etc.  If I could have remembered my Dental appointment I would have entered it as well.  

All-in-all, I entered about 20 requests.  I also threw in a one-day  annual leave request for the Friday before my 40th High School Reunion.

I've made the drive to Northwest Florida and back to Central Texas in just a weekend, but it does make for a tiring 2-day trip. Besides, I wanted to attend the Friday night mixer if possible.

A little while later, my Supervisor called me and she started off the conversation by saying, "I have to ask a delicate question. Please take this in the spirit in which it's meant." 

Right away I knew I'd done something wrong.  I'm kinda quick like that.

"Okay," says I, after first taking a calming breath and counting to ten.

"How many boobs do you have?" She chortled and barely managed to ask.

Immediately I realized what I'd done. I'm smart like that. "Did I place two requests for mamos?" I giggled.

"Yep," She snorted. We are both Registered Nurses with somewhat twisted and bawdy senses of humor.

"Well, I have two boobs of course--so naturally I placed one mamo for each boob."

We were both dying laughing, which of course only encouraged me to continue in fairly close succession:  

"And as a Nurse, I am a strong advocate for the smashing of the mammies."

Her laughter spurred me to add,  "Besides, I'm a glutton for punishment."

And, remembering my one day annual leave request I had tossed into the mix,  I  ended with, "We're so short-staffed I'll do anything for some time off!"

To which she replied, "I think we can come up with something a little bit less painful."   Dare I hope she would grant the annual leave request?

It's only a day; however, it's during a 2-week leave of another coworker, and our policy only allows for one of the Patient Care Coordinators (PCCs) to be off at a time. Of course, we've been working 2 PCCs  short for the past 9 months (and we never filled the vacancy that would have kept us at 7 several years ago), so we've had many a time when only 3  PCCs provided coverage during the week. As well as several times when there were only 2 PCCs. And of course there is only one PCC on the weekend, every weekend.  Friday is also an extremely busy day--even when we are fully staffed. I knew when I placed it, my request was a long shot.

She later told me while she is unable to grant the annual leave request at this time, she'd review it again closer to the date, and see if the new girl was up and running by then.

If not, I may have to reschedule that second mamo after all--and take the whole day for "recovery" time.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Falling Asleep at the Dinning Room Table

I left work half an hour late tonight-that's almost early for me--the new PCC (Patient Care Coordinator) is supposed to start next month--almost a year after the two PCCs retired--and the second position is posted. Again. We are all tired and I'm cranky. Covering my ward, plus part of ICU--plus part of a third ward (when someone is out, as has been the case this week--and almost every week, for forever), and covering weekends and holidays  is getting really old (especially when the admissions to my ward alone already account for 38-40% of the total hospital admissions).

When I arrived home, I loaded up the clothes hamper and Bandit and set off  for the laundry. I prefer the laundromat because I can do a mountain of clothes(6-8 loads)  in 3 hours. Tonight I only did a single load, so we were there less than an hour. Bandit and I listened to one of my library audio books while I waited until I could fold.  I ended up only having one disc left, so then we drove around in the general direction of the library, until we finished the disc and I returned the audio book.

It was after 10pm when we finally arrived home.  Moggy was waiting impatiently for us on the carport.  He readily came inside for his dinner and didn't even try to go back outside when Bandit went for his bedtime potty break.  If you read this mornings FB post, you'll recall he was a headstrong, unherdable cat who ended up staying outside when I left for work.  I guess he decided inside wasn't so bad after all.

I made a quick dinner, followed by falling asleep--AT the table--usually, I can at least hold out until I get to my recliner for book reading wind down time, before I actually crawl into bed. Not tonight. I slept, sitting upright, at the table until 2am.  Did I mention  I am past tired?

When I awoke from my 3-hour upright snooze, a quick trip was required, so I popped into the guest bath--I needed to replace the empty TP roll anyway. The door opens onto the hall and dinning area--I spied Bandit curled up in my clean clothes, and Moggy sprawled out on my chair.

I guess I'm not the only one tired at our house.  😴😴😴

Now that I've got my second wind, I need to clean off the table, clean up the  kitchen, and put away my clean-now-Bandit-smelling clothes. And go to bed for some real sleep. Or, I might just go to bed and deal with everything tomorrow. 😉

The best news I received today was actually threefold:
  1)   The article I submitted about a hard case my Social Worker and I handled recently was accepted for publishing on a nationwide VA website, and is in the running for inclusion in the eLetter that is sent out to everyone.
  2)    The mock-Joint Commission survey we just had, loved our care plans, so we continue to remain on track. Twelve years ago our PCC position was created in large part as a response to less than favorable reviews of VA Nursing  care plans. Over the years, our responsibilities have grown to include much more than merely documenting the care plan, but it's still our major focus.
  3)  Rumor has it Joint Commission is currently at a local hospital.  Since they tend to hit several in a row, and since we are currently "in the window" for our next due survey, we may actually have a real survey within the month.  This is good news because then it will be another 3 years before we are due again.  I'm too outspoken  (and tired) to be intimidated by people evaluating my performance. I've always said, I'm going to do my job as well as I can. If I'm doing something wrong, or subpar, tell me and I'll fix it. Until I hear otherwise, I'm gonna keep on doing it my way. So far, although I'm FAR FROM PERFECT, in my 27 years being an RN,  I've been able to answer all  questions they've asked to their satisfaction.

The bonus feelgood moment came today when an administrator passed my Supervisors office while we were talking. He saw her sign that says, "Adopt the Paulette Stance," and asked about its meaning. Paulette  is our Service Chief. I popped up and said it means to be strong and independent. My Supervisor added, "Don't take 'No' for an answer, especially when it's clearly the wrong answer."  He looked at the two of us and said neither one of us failed to be assertive.  Funny thing is, he's only observed my ID Meeting with staff and the Providers  once, and he's only been attending the Bed Huddle we have every morning with the Chief of Staff and sometimes Director for a week or so.  Because our new Director has only been here less than a couple of weeks, I've actually been on pretty good behavior. For me.  I guess my reputation precedes me:  Have Oppinion--Will Share.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Prehab

I started my Prehab today. Yep. Prehab. It's not a typo-even though the 'droid keeps trying to correct it. 

Last month my PCP (Primary Care Physician) and I had a heart-to-heart about my knees.  The steroid injections are no longer giving me any relief, so it's time to consider replacement.  We updated the knee x-rays and  when he reviewed my x-rays, he could see I'm not faking the pain--2 years ago, I still had some space with just a little bone-on bone action.   Now, I have no space--both knees are bone-on bone all the way across, AND I have bone spurs on the outer aspects of my knees. 

We talked about options, prayed about it, and he referred me to an Orthopedic Surgeon. He also cautioned me that the Surgeon  would probably encourage me to lose some of the weight I've put back on the past couple of years. I expected that, so I started back on healthier eating practices that very day: high fiber/high protein, low carbs (my downfall), and portion control.

By the time I saw the Orthopedic Surgeon a couple of weeks later, I had dropped 6 pounds. Even without being able to exercise. The Surgeon was encouraged that I'm taking this seriously and started eating healthier before I came to him, but he still wants me to lose 50 pounds (I was kind of hoping for 25 🙄). And he likes that I'm doing LifeStyle Changes rather than fad dieting. 

LifeStyle Changes are really the only thing that works over the long haul. It comes off slower, so it takes longer--but it's healthier and ultimately you're more successful in keeping it off. 

He also wants me to do Physical Therapy prior to surgery to strengthen my knees and get the edema (swelling) under control.   So today I had my initial PT evaluation.

My therapist gave me some home exercises (stretching exercises done on my back and side, so they are no impact).  They are the kinds of things I'll be doing during my post-surgery Rehab as well.  She also taped up my knees with some blue stretchy tape for some added support and stability. I wear the tape 3-5 days, the remove it and give my skin a 24 hour rest period, and then reapply new tape.  The tape makes quite the fashion statement. Luckily I don't wear light-colored pants to work.  We also set up additional Prehab sessions--which I'll be doing for the next 6-weeks--hence the "pre" rather than "re." And I'm back to support stockings to improve the circulation.

If all goes according to plan, the next time I see my Orthopedic Surgeon, I'll be 50 pounds lighter, we'll be able to see my ankles once again, and my knees will be stronger.  Then we will schedule surgery, and I'll get new knees sometime late summer.

So there you have it: healthy lifestyle choices+Prehab with support hose and blue tape+surgically enhanced new knees+Rehab=increased mobility and (eventually) reduced pain.

That's the plan. I'm off to Prehab now.