Sunday, October 26, 2008

Me Neither

That is I have nothing new.
But also feel like writing something.
Visit with Ferrey's was fun. Guy who owns the winery is such a flake. At the winestore check out, there were news articles of him, under glass, that showed him in yoga poses, with his stringy jet black dyed hair. he looked like the Natural Law people who did yoga flying. But also like an older guy trying desperately hard to appear younger. Uk. During our hike there was a bear in the area, like very close. Other people saw him/her, but we just saw bear scat and trees that s/he was tearing at to get berries, and a wet spot on the ground where s/he was coming out of the creek. Exciting!
I am finishing up my Post RN Mental Health course. I think this is actually the best part of it, as we are doing a case study and evaluating treatment etc for 2 people. We then present to the staff...who probably won't like my conclusions. So far my 1st assignment for it I got 100%. And being a show off by posting it.
I am preceptoring a nurse from the UK right now. She is trying to get her Canadian registration.
Joshua, Bill's kid is doing OK, though he needed a special dressing for his wound as he got an infection. Poor guy.
We have a huge amount of yardwork to do. And in the fall I am hard pressed to motivate myself to do it. I am much more eager in the spring. the weather is supposed to be beautiful this week though, highs of 16, which should help. And it looks nice out today.
I'm off until Oct 31st, then do a set of 3 nights. I was supposed to only work 3 days my last set, as I took off the night shift for my course, but then was asked to do a crisis admission for a teenager. If I didn't work, the kid would have had to stay in ER, so I felt bad and worked it. Which was fine, I only was there for a 1/2 day as I facilitated a discharge plan. Good work Nurse Lisa.
I have always found Hallowe'en stressful. Costumes overwhelm me, and I found it a holiday like New Year's Eve, where somehow, no matter what I did, I felt like I should somehow be having a more awesome time. It was always a let down.

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Nothing Much New

But I fell like posting any way. Work is going fine, getting into the swing of things, and feeling like I might know what we are trying to do. So it is not just my family who wonders what the heck I do all day.

Next week, we have a Halloween party at work, I hate them. I don't like dressing up and trying to think of something to wear, that doesn't mean going out an buying lots of stuff is hard. I took a look on the internet, and found some ideas. Then yesterday I was downtown at Winners, and found a long black dress so, I am going as a witch (typecasting?). The thing is we are not even having the party on Halloween, because there are a bunch of people who do not work on Friday, we are doing it on Wednesday. It will be a potluck lunch, so at least the food will be good.

Grace and I have a standing date to watch Amazing Race 13 on Sundays. We thought we would try an catch the early one so that I don't have to stay up too late. Both Sam and Grace are coming over for supper this week, not sure if Sam wants to watch AM with us or not. I think I will try a recipe from the Nigella cook book. I still have not done laundry from my trip, so that is on tap for today. And I am going to try and do some ironing, time to switch closets around and put the summer stuff away.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Ever since Tim played basketball in junior high he and I have wanted to go see an NBA game. When the Grizzlies left Vancouver I forgot about it. But Tim didn't. He took me to the Raptors game on Tuesday. It was great, much better than basketball on TV. We had really good seats too. He had four tickets so Grace came too and Ty, it was nice to see him again. The arrival home at 1 a.m. was hard on this old girl but was worth it.
We had a good visit in Kelowna last weekend. All there seem to be doing well, so either they are fine or are really good actors. Went on a wine tour at a place with a flaky owner (stores the wine in a pyramid because it gets rid of the negative ions) but good wine. We also went to see Paschendaele. They mention Rocky in it! There is an actor from Rocky who plays a teeny part. Will is fine too, it was good to have a whole three days to just visit with everybody. Could have done without Fred.
The weather is still warm but is supposed to get cold starting tomorrow so I have been rushing around trying to finish up yard work. Everything that has to be done is OK but there a few things it would be nice to take care of.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I applied

I turned in my "pre-application" to be allowed to apply for the PhD program at the library school on Friday. It was two days late; but nice Joanne in the office said, "We don't get very many of these; I don't think it'll be a problem." I had total anxiety about writing this thing! It was only two pages, and all I had to do was say what I wanted to do, who I wanted to work with, how it built on my academic / work experience so far, and with which department I could partner. But I think I had a big anxiety block.

If I get in, I will do it part time, while still working. And will obviously cut down on other things going on in life currently. But I will still make lots of time to stare off into space.

I bet "mental health" is our most-frequently-used tag.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

First Day at the New Project

Back to work today, down at the Terrace building again, I came home for lunch today, had a turkey sandwich, (thanks to the Ferreys). Nice to be a place where you know most of the people, and don't have to keep introducing yourself. But as with all projects, the first few days are a lot of reading, and it is kind of boring.

Last night Geoff, Sam, Grace and Allison came over for dinner. Geoff drove the younger Ferreys back to school, and stayed over night. I made a pork roast, which was pretty yummy if I do say so myself. Nice to see everyone again, and catch up on what is new.

I just got back from voting, it was lined up outside the door, but since I had my card, I was able to zip right in, and no line up at my polling station, so in and out in a couple of minutes.

I got an appointment with the specialist, for the 5th of November, so that is good.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Home Again, Home Again Jiggetyjig

And happy to be here, I love to travel, but coming home is wonderful.

London was fabulous, going back to someplace is great, cause you don't feel that pressure to see everything because you may not be be back again. On Thursday morning I went to the V&A, they had an exhibition of the costumes of the Supreme's. With interviews from Mary Wilson. It was so cool. Intertwined with that there was also information about the civil rights movement. In one of the parts they were talking about the riots in July of 1967 in Detroit, and it reminded me that we were there on our way home from Expo at that time.

Anne and I stayed at the Hilton, in Holland Park. A really nice area of London, and a bit quieter than some other places. I booked using the IBM Corporate Rate, so got it at a reasonable price, well reasonable for London. As Anne said it was great to have access to the lounge, they served breakfast in the morning, Tea in the Afternoon, and drinks and hot hors doevres at night.

All of the news in Britain and over in Portugal was all related to the world financial crisis. it was kind of scary, because of course there was not much news from Canada, so i did not have any idea if our country was sinking along with the rest of the world. I did look at the CBC website a couple of times, and got a little reassurance there.

Because I did not take any pictures when I was at the Algarve, here is the link, showing what the suite looks like, the only difference is that the tile at the head of the bed was green. if you click on the links at the top of the page, you can see what the resort looks like.

I was quite impressed with some of the green measures that are being taken at the hotels, none of them have recycling, at least not the same way we do, but in order to turn on the electricity for lights and the air conditioning, you have to put your key card in a little slot, inside the room. So when you are out and about during the day, the room is not being cooled when there is no one in it. I remember when Theresa and I were in Britain that books were pretty reasonably priced. Well not any more, I think that they pay more than we do here. I took a cab to and from the airport, I thought it would be massively expensive, but found there was not that much difference between Edmonton and London.

I have been just enjoying being at home, so nice to be in my own bed, and making coffee in my own kitchen. Starting to gear up for my new project, it will be great to be home for the next year, and walking back and forth to work is another bonus. I will be posting pictures from the trip and will send you all the link.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Stuart McLean

I just got back from a whirlwind trip to Seattle to see Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe.  I didn't know they were on the radio south of the border, but they are, and he said at the show that they have twice the ratings on the radio than they did the last time he came to town - eight months ago.  So it's apparently going well for him.

The show was great- hilarious, with two new stories, and one old one, and lots of really good music.  Every thing was really funny, and well done, I guess like the radio, only live.  He signed autographs after, and was really nice about it.  First he got all the kids to come to the front of the line, since it was getting late.  Then he had time to talk to everyone - listened to stories, posed for pictures, the whole bit.  Really pleasant, the whole time.

The rest of Seattle was good - we went down yesterday afternoon, and back today, so not too much time.  We stopped at the outlet stores, and I bought a blazer.  Seems like the kind of thing that will come in handy, I guess.  Occasionally I need to impress people.

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Lots of thanksgiving

Cabbage rolls are cooking, pies are made, kids are home, the sun is shining. The only down part of this day is that Geoff has to work.

Montreal in Fall

I'm staying at my friend Annie's post-major-work-event in Ottawa. My friend Luke is here (from undergrad) doing his PhD, and so we've all been walking, eating, drinking, and shopping in 18 degrees. There are lots of leaves still on the trees! Not very much red; more yellow.

I was in Ottawa for a library human resources summit -- it's something that I've worked on (with a committee, of course) for the last 18 months! We were trying to get together a bunch of the library decision-makers to come up with possible strategies to deal with the HR issues we have in front of us (access to library education, prof dev, leadership, etc.) -- and I think it went very very well. Lots and lots of work the last 3 weeks for me, and the 2 days were super intense, as we did some retooling of a few program pieces as we thought we needed to -- so I feel very good and very tired. I got applause for the work I did. Thanks, librarians, for being applauders.

So I've really been trying to catch up on my sleep and try to calm down while I'm here. We went to a comic book store I love and today, Luke & I are going to see an art show on rock music. Eating very well. Delicious microbrew!

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Thursday, October 09, 2008


There isn't actually a lot to report here. I have been feeling somewhat busy, though I think that is just because I have been tired lately. Sleeping is never a problem for me.
Richard is making chili right now. He has been making food and freezing it for lunches for the last couple weeks. He has also bought a lot of gladware.
My leg/back is quite a bit better from physio, though I still find that it is annoyingly weak. Noticeable with stairs and stuff. I still don't know if WCB will cover it or not. I didn't fill out forms very promptly, which does not help. I think I should find out this week or next. It's just for the physio really, which I can claim on my extended medical if WCB doesn't cough up. Though WCB would cover more I think.
Our trip to GP was good, though it is a long ways away. The drive was beautiful, the whole way is quite scenic. Sandi and Jim came to visit. the Long's house looks quite nice. We went past our old houses, went to the Wapiti River Park-picked rocks there, and went to Saskatoon Lake too. Mom and I went to visit Rose and Ed Pardell. Ed is still working...82 years old I think. It was good to see Laura, Wilf and Henry and Jim and Sandi too.
I just read a good book about a serial killer, 'Heartsick'.
Joshua, Bill's (Richard's brother) son is home from his heart surgery. His aorta was narrowed, so they had to operate as his blood pressure was super high-I think 200/120 at times. It's a big surgery, similar to Dad's. I'm guessing that they resectioned the aorta. Anyway, he is recovering well.
I'm looking forward to seeing Theresa, Geoff, and Will next week. I'll be off work the whole time they are here, I believe. I hope weather is nice, I'd like to take them on the Greenway walk, the Rutland area. We haven't turned on the heat yet, but it is getting cooler out. Richard will resist it as he is reading a book on greener living. he thinks we should hang out our laundry all winter. Which we probably should, but I think the clothes would take about a week to dry.
I will be preceptoring a nurse from the UK for some shifts. She sounded nice on the phone. I am feeling somewhat frustrated with work, not the work itself but some attitudes there. Sigh, when will psychiatric nursing enter the 21st century? Anyway, I discussed things with the educator and manager (who are both excellent), so hope that things will change. I'm sitting on the nursing practice committee-and I did some research on substance use by in-patients as it is an issue. It is early days yet, but I am hopeful that perhaps it might develop into a hospital-wide arm reduction approach. I am probably being too optimistic about things as it is such a huge bureaucracy.
I'm also representing our residents association with the supportive housing place that just opened downtown-for people with mental health and addictions to get people off the street. I'm also on the board of Lifestyle Equity. So perhaps I am justified in feeling busy.
Or else I am lazy. Because when I have more things going on outside of home, I do proportionately less work in home. As evidenced by the sorry state of our yard.

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London Town

Jude and I have been having a good time in London. My thesis is in (YAY) but I still have a scholarship application due next week, so that has been hanging over my head. However, it looks like I will have it in on time, so can RELAX and enjoy the big city! Yesterday we went to the National Portrait Gallery - Judith saw a lot more stuff than me. Guess I was just being slow! Then we headed over to Victoria to see a matinee of Wicked. We were one row from the front and you could see every detail! The costumes were just incredible. And the flying monkeys freaked me out.

I am so proud of us - we have navigated the transit perfectly and not got lost whatsoever. We have been walking quite a bit too, rather than blindly taking the Tube everywhere. We found a bookshop that only stocks mysteries called Murder One, which was quite cool, and replenished our book supplies. Today I had to work on my scholarship this morning and am meeting my friend Jason this afternoon, but Jude and I will meet up for tea (free in the Executive Lounge of the hotel... and man am I ever enjoying my access to the Executive Lounge!) and will go find a nice pub or something tonight. Been really nice having some time to spend with Judith - am very glad I skipped out on work for a couple of days!!

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Left Lisbon, Landed in London

I have made it safely to London, and met up with Anne.

I really enjoyed my stay in Lisbon, it is a mix of old and new. The area where I stayed was quite modern, lots of high rises and freeways. The public transportation there is really good. But once you moved into the center of the city, except for the cars and the way people were dressed you could have been plopped down in some other century. The streets are very narrow and windy, with cobblestones. I walked up to the Castle of St Jorge, which is on the highest hill in the Alfama district. According to the brochure, the reason the streets are so windy is to throw off any invaders, who would get confused and go home cause they could not find the right road to go to the castle. The views were spectacular. the only downside, was a group of german school kids, brought back memories from 30 years ago, about how rude they were.

this is just a quick post, have to go and get dressed and head out to the National Portrait gallery. Will post soon, maybe with pictures.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

My Digs

This is my room in residence at VST.  It's pretty nice- high ceilings, as you can hopefully make out from the pictures.  It's a self contained bachelor suite, so I have a little kitchen area, with a double hot plate and single sink, and a bathroom.  It's enough to do most of my cooking, and there is a full kitchen down the hall for anything else.  I look out at a parking lot and another residence building, so didn't bother with any shots of the view!  All the furniture came with the place, which saved me a huge headache in moving.  It's pretty good- a small table with two chairs, a huge desk, chest of drawers (which I haven't had since I left home!) and a double bed.  Of all the residences I've lived in, this ranks among the most comfortable!

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

I love Mr. Darcy!!

My friends Jovita and Jasmine came up from Calgary yesterday because we got tickets to see Pride and Prejudice at the Citadel. It took a few phone calls to find each other because it turns out I suck at the city and at giving directions in the city. But we found each other eventually, and managed to find Auntie Jude's relatively easily. It was really great that she let us stay there. A lot better than squishing us all into my room on the gross stained carpet. So thank you!!
We wanted to get t shirts made. Mine would say Mrs Bingley, Jovita's Mrs Darcy, and Jasmine's Mrs Bennet, but we didn't find anywhere at City Centre Mall to get it done. But it would have been fun if we did!
I really liked the play. Except it kind of felt like Elizabeth was yelling the whole time. Everyone else was really good. I loved Mrs Bennet, she seemed so perfect. Mr Collins was really great too. Our seats were in the second last row, but that didn't really matter at all. Just being there was good enough for me, and I don't think there are really any bad seats, you can see everything from everywhere.
It was really fun to see Jo and Jasmine again. We all played rugby together, and it was almost like hanging out with them on rugby trips again. And we took lots of pictures of our rugby faces.
I have my first midterms next week. I'm a little nervous, but I think I'll be fine. But I should probably go study some more just to be sure.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Xmas list

Quickly here is list as Laura asked me to post. Mom and I went up to visit in GP and had a good time. Jim and Sandi came on Sunday, so we got to see them too.
I will post more later as am going to physio at 1 pm.
Mom has Lisa
Theresa has Laur
Geoff has Will
Anne has Theresa
Will has Grace
Tim has Geoff
Grace has Anne
Judith has Richard
Laura has Judith
Jim has Allison
Lisa has Mom
Richard has Tim
Allison has Jim


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Relaxing in the South of Portugal

Not quite the same ring as the South of France, but close. I am staying in the town of Albuferia, on the Algarve coast. The hotel, well it is a resort really, is beautiful, and once again my platinum status with Sheraton came through. Not only am I staying in a suite, but it is two story one, according to the description in the closet, a luxury suite. Not too sure why they post that in the closet, but it was the same in Porto, maybe it is a Portuguese thing. the Resort is called Pine Cliffs, because it is on the cliffs, and there are pine trees, though not ones like we have, they look more like regular trees, with pine needles.

To get to the beach, there is a long wooden staircase, not too bad going down, but coming back up is a bit tiring. All the beaches in Portugal are public, however the hotel does have lounge chairs, under canopies for guests of the hotel. The grounds are quite big, and if you don't feel like making the trek down to the beach, you can hang out at one of the pools, there are 3, two outdoor and one indoor. Or they have a large area that is park like, with loungers, and lots of trees, with a beautiful view of the water. the weather has been very good, around 25 degrees, so just perfect. I am feeling very relaxed and think I will be ready to tour once I get to Lisbon on Friday.

My suite has a bathroom, with a bidet and toilet on the main floor, along with a living room, and a balcony. The floors are tile. The stairs are hardwood, dark, and the bathroom upstairs has another toilet and bidet, and a big tub (though not as nice as the one in Porto) two sinks and marble on the floors and walls. The bedroom has a king size bed, another balcony off of it, and view of the gardens. It's gonna be hard to be in a regular hotel room after this.

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