Saturday, October 31, 2009

Almost on vacation

A week to go!
October has been insane-so freaking busy.
We did a presentation to new ER staff on Wednesday on treating the psychiatric patient in ER. I enjoyed doing it. We do another 2 this week to hemodialysis staff on managing difficult patients-as they have some challenging ones and are having a tough time. I like doing this stuff a lot, but between teaching, working, and preparing this stuff, I require a vacation!
This 1st group of nursing students is almost done-I have to do all their evaluations this week as well as do orientation for new group coming in.
Help, running out of time.
Had another instructor shadowing me yesterday as it is my 1st time teaching-nervewracking, but she said I'm doing a great job, so that was reassuring. I am enjoying teaching a lot-it is nice to share information and I find I am learning at the same time, it takes a lot of energy to teach-have to be thinking all the time. It was good to have instructor shadowing me-reminds me what it is like for the students, which you can forget.
Also have to rake a whole lot of leaves-which will be my relaxation time I think. I can just zone out while doing it.
Went to massage several times last week as neck was seizing up. Saw another guy as 1st went on Sat when my regular therapist was not on. I kept rebooking with him because I thought-well, fine, just for this episode. But he kind of gave me the creeps after a while. He is funny looking-but whatever-buck teeth (with a lot of gum recession), short, thinning, blonde hair, round glasses. And he talked the whole time, often getting into stuff that I thought-dude-you don't know what I think about this and you are verging on offending me. Like talking about mental health issues-he knew I worked in psychiatry-and sort of verging on saying that mental health issues were basically treatable with a change of attitude. I suspect if it were that easy, there wouldn't be a mental health system. Referring to other patients of his-not by name, but really telling me too much. Yuck. Then telling me about problems within his clinic and how he was going to be leaving and sometimes sounding almost passive aggressive about it. Will be going back to my regular person thanks very much.
Will have to spend much time in Scottish pubs, relaxing.

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Done at the Terrace Building

Yesterday was my last day at the GOA, at least being on site. On Monday I am back up the hill to the IBM office, which I am really looking forward to. I like the people and it will be nice to be home over the winter. Last week was a lot of saying goodbye to people, all of the HR team rolling off and returning to their home office. We had a catered lunch on Tuesday (the Lingnan provided the food) and then a drink thing on Wednesday. The nice thing about the lunch was that there were lots of left overs, so it was a Chinese food lunches for the rest of the week. I felt sad about leaving some of the people, not so sad about others (evil project manager and hr team lead). But the people that I will miss said they would also miss me, so that made me feel good. A year is a long time for a project and I am glad to be done.

Jim and Sandi were in Edmonton this week, and Allison and I got together with them for supper on Thursday night. It was a really good visit, nice to hear that Sandi is feeling well enough to go back to work. I was thinking about having them over here for supper, but my house is kind of a disaster zone, I will be lucky to get it set to rights by the time Mom gets here. I am getting very excited about our trip, only another week to go.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I got co-op job offers Friday. And so ends a two-month saga - 19 applications, 11 interview invitations, 10 interviews, 3 second interviews, 3 office receptions, a lunch, and 5 offers. The accounting recruitment process is very long. For example, for E&Y there was a first interview on campus, a second interview downtown, an office tour, a lunch, and then an office reception. Most firms do some variant of that, which makes the whole experience very draining.
In case you were interested (which is a rather tenuous assumption), they are:

Solution 105 Consulting - Data Analyst. This company does forecasting and budgeting for companies needing to manage their utilities.
PricewaterhouseCoopers - Tax associate. One of the largest accounting firms in the world.
Auditor General's office - Staff auditor. Audits government agencies and departments on behalf of the people of Alberta.
Running Room - Junior accountant. Chain of stores selling running shoes, apparel, accessories, and offers running clinics; publishes a running magazine.
Merit Contractors Association - HR Research Assistant. Non-profit that provides a benefit program, advocacy, and training to non-unionized workers and contractors in the Albertan construction industry.

Quite a range there. Even the three accounting ones are totally different. I was quite disappointed that I didn't get offers from either of my top two choices, Ernst & Young and KPMG (both large accounting firms)... but I suppose I should count my blessings and so on. I really have no idea what they base their selection process on anyway, so I don't know what I would need to change.

I ended up going with PricewaterhouseCoopers - it was a straight toss-up between that one and the Auditor General.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Who is getting a flu shot?

Reading Week!

It's finally, gloriously, reading week. It feels like it came none too soon this sememster! I kicked off the break by going to Victoria for the weekend. My church there had invited me to come and preach on Sunday. After a whole summer preaching in Barkerville, I thought that I wouldn't be nervous, but it turns out that preaching to strangers with no expectations and preaching to people you know with high expectations are quite different. It went well though. At this point I'm pretty confident in what I have to say, but less so in my delivery. It seems that I spoke suffciently slowly, however, as several old ladies patted me on the hand and told me they could hear every word. No comments on the words they heard, of course, but at least they could hear.

I have big plans for reading week, but I'm not sure how realistic they will be. Still, as long as I get something done this week, and don't spend a whole week wasting time I should be ok. One of the nice things about Victoria is that I was staying with my friends Jeff and Kirsten, both of whom are in school. They had a bunch of homework this weekend, so I just brought along my own books. I think I got more reading done in Victoria than I would have in Vancouver.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday at last

Why do the weeks seem to be getting longer and longer? It seems like a month since last Friday.
Just sitting here waiting for the pizza to cook. We went over to Tim's right after work and did a few things. We have been spending quite a bit of time there. Things are coming right along. He is putting new power into the house so he and Geoff have been doing a lot of wiring. There are light switches and outlets every couple of feet now, and when it is all done there should not be breakers tripping all the time.
Tim's friend Clint (very good friend indeed) has sprayed all the kitchen door and drawers white. They look just great. Geoff and I have been trying to peel off 50-year-old mactac from inside the cupboards. They made that stuff to stick in those days. We have been using a heat gun to loosen the glue, then peeling it off bit by bit. Last time we were in Edmonton we got new hardware for the doors - it is going to look very different in there. He put in his new bathroom window which is the same size as the old one but looks twice as big.
We had to go to Calgary last weekend for the diocesan synod. So that was one weekend down the drain. Although we did sit with Jonathan Hoskin and enjoyed talking to him. Karen and Mike Larsen were there too so had a chat with them.
Pizza is ready.

Off to Quebec

Henry is going to Quebec in November the 27th. He has a swearing in ceremony on the 26th and then goes to PQ for 14 weeks. Don't know about Christmas, but Mom has invited us to her house. We probably will wait until the last minute because don't know what is happening with Henry. Happy and sad.

A Death in the Plumber's Family

I had a plumber here to replace my scummy old sink and equally scummy old toilet, and after he got the sink in, he had to leave because his dad was dying! Terrible. But as I told Lisa, he still has to switch the H and C taps so they are correct and I can't pay for the 45 minutes of phone calls or lunch.

I'm writing a grant to the national research council in humanities -- although if I get (highly unlikely) I can't accept because you can't work and hold this grant, and my salary is way higher anyway. But it's an exercise in clarifying thoughts and proposal -- and I got good feedback thus far: many corrections to make before next week, but they said it's "important work." Yeah!

Todd is in the hospital again -- he has a baby toe infection, this time in other foot. He had surgery yesterday and they amputated the whole little toe. This is crappy, but he won't have problems walking, and he'll heal faster and better because they just removed the infection source. Still, poor bird. He's had a really tough year.

I hear the Ferreys are coming to Schmoozy! Even though you got a 'dear friend' letter. Hello, mail merge?!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Teaching etc

Had my students last week fior the 1st time as instructor. I think it went pretty well! It is nice to be around enthusiasm-helps me keep mine.
Remember this Grace-instructors like students. Or they should.
Makes me think of a conversation I had with a patient on the weekend (I worked Sat Sun on the unit after teaching Thurs/Fri), where I said that as a nurse, you should like people in general. As a nursing instructor, you should also like people.
It is going to be a busy rest of the month. Am presenting to new ER staff on treating psychiatric patients in ER-with our educator and another nurse. Also teaching, working, and another presentation with the hemodialysis group on dealing with challenging patients.
We're going to Gabor Mate on the 6th-he's talking about stress/disease. Timely yes.
I am so looking forward to our trip-it is feeling realer.
We did a bunch of fall clean up yesterday-sigh, there is still a lot to do.
But is raining today-so can't do too much. Well, I could, but then I'd be wet.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dad Hiking Bare Foot?


Friday, October 16, 2009

Study study

I'm actually really lucky this year. I haven't had a midterm yet, and will only have two altogether. My first exam is on Weds. and it's a final, since it is for my nursing class, and that is only six weeks. My first midterm isn't until Oct. 27. I have a lot of studying to do for my nursing 190 final though, because we have a tutorial exam in the morning and a lab exam in the afternoon. I am currently trying to memorize a bunch of developmental theories, and I've officially decided that Freud had some weird ideas. I prefer Erikson's theory.

I am really enjoying nursing, and this year in general a lot more than last year. I like the people on my floor a lot more. They don't seem as cliquey as last year, so that's really nice. And nursing is just so much fun! My tutorial group has 14 people in it, and what we do is go through scenarios and then everyone researchs one aspect of the scenario. During the next class we discuss the research. It's fun and I really like my group. The same group is together for the labs. They are a lot of fun. They started out slow (the first was a whole 3 hour lab on handwashing), but have gotten more interesting. I learned how to take blood pressure, using my purple stethescope!, and have been practicing on everyone I can get my hands on. I'm still not that good, but hopefully I will get better. We also got hospital gowns for the lab, because we have to be each other's patients. I think it's hilarious.

It was really nice to go home for Thanksgiving. I mostly hung out with my friend Jovita. She is getting married next summer and I'm the maid of honour, so I went to her place and saw her dress and learned how to tie it up. It's kind of like tightening skates I thought. Of course seeing Mom and Dad and Tim (and Sam since I never see him here) was really nice. I really didn't want to come back to school though. Long weekends never seem long enough.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Google Earth rocks

I am excited. I went on Google Earth and plotted our route from the Glasgow airport to Windy Yett Farm! It is just so cool. Wanted to see the farm closer but the resolution is not so good for it. I hope it really is there.
Sam and Grace are home for the weekend, Sam had said he wasn't sure he was coming but on Friday he showed up. Tim's coming over for turkey although we are not sure how much if any he can eat.
This is the first long weekend for a while I haven't had to work, so I am looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow and having left-over turkey for lunch.
The weather is stupid. It is cold out with snow on the ground but most of the trees don't even have yellow leaves yet. Ridiculous. Geoff froze his hands digging potatoes and carrots for supper.

Fiesta Latina

We went to the Fiesta Latina with some people from Richard's work. It was fun! We danced, though I could only do a song, rest leg/knee, then dance again. There were over 600 people there. I had no idea that the latino community was so large here. There were 3 dance floors and they were all full. I wish I spoke more Spanish than por favor and gracias. There was no auction for the Children's Hospital though.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pictures and Stories

I really liked Lisa's idea about posting a picture and having Mom tell us about it. So I would like to continue.


Lots of Company

for me in the last week. Theresa and Geoff came last Thursday, and stayed until Sunday, Grace came over Sunday night for supper and to watch the Race with me, then Wednesday Henry came for a visit. Well actually he is still here but I don't expect to see him much this weekend as his girlfriend is in town from Lethbridge and they are hanging out at his girlfriend's aunt's (Dawn Kunyk) for Thanksgiving. Wednesday night Grace came over and the three of us went out for dinner. Sam had a midterm, and he was getting ready for some co-op interviews, so he could not make it, and Allison had a meeting scheduled that night, so could not either.

It has nice having Henry stay, it feels as though it has been a very long time since I have seen him, and it is good to get to know him again.

As Theresa said I worked last weekend, and I am happy to say we went live with the new verison of the software on Monday. Of course it was a week filled with all kinds of issues, trying to get things stable, and people used to the new way of doing some things, but all in all things were good. I only have three more weeks left at the Terrace building, then I move up the hill to the IBM office for 6 months. Some people have already left the project, so I moved to a spacious new desk. My team lead Jeanne, went back to Kansas, and I moved to her spot, as I am the now team lead for Benefits for warranty. Don't get too excited for me though, I am also the Benefits team, since everyone else went back to their Ministry or IBM. Our Team Meetings are very quick, I get consensus every time, and no one talks back to me.

Winter has started, we got snow last week, and it feels quite cold, at least in comparison to the week before. usually when we get snow this early it does not stay, but I am not too sure if that will be the case this year.

Only four more weeks until we leave for Scotland, I can hardly wait.

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Anxiety decreased

Well, I did my 1st little teaching bit yesterday-orientation to mental health and the ward.
I enjoyed it! It is nice to be surrounded by positive energy, I think it will be a good experience that I need right now-having been dealing with some nurses who feel that they can lecture/be rude/snide/belittling about the changes we are trying to put through with the nursing practice committee. For mental health 'professionals' they sure need to work on communication skills, I can tell you that.
Though it also makes me appreciate the nurses who don't do that. And there are some great people there.
I did another education thingy for 2 days this week-meant 7 days in a row workwise. This means I am greatly appreciating my days off.
It must be Thanksgiving, I am full of appreciation for things...

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Biff's Question Song

This is by the guy who played Biff on "Back to the Future". It's hilarious.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

less time, less money

It is official in November I will be working less hours. 4x8 as opposed to the 5x 9 or 10. It is a cut in pay but I am fine with it because it means I get every Friday off. I will have to watch my time very carefully so I am not stay 40 but only getting paid for 32, however lots of people are looking out for me and warned me of the potential. Not sure if they are concerned or just want to get me out of their hair. Henry went to his interview for the forces today and now he just waits and sees. Welcome to adult hood. I had a great visit with Judith it amazes me how we can not see someone for a while then it is like we talk every day.

Looking forward to November.


Monday, October 05, 2009

Well. We no sooner get one vehicle mishap cleared up and another one happens. I got hit in the back of the Altima on Friday night. Was going around what I thought was a traffic circle, but is not any more; there was a yield sign that I didn't see and a vehicle behind hit the tail light and bumper. So now we start with the insurance companies again. This one is my fault.
We were in Edmonton; we had gone because Barb was getting an alumni award from the university. I'm glad we went, it was a really good evening. We got to see the kids and spend some money on clothes for them plus go out for lunch. Did some shopping for the house and came back on Sunday. Barb came back with us so we are having a good visit. Geoff took her out to Babe's today and she has got some other visits planned. We watched House tonight - turns out it is her favourite show.
Jude was sort of on call all weekend, waiting for whatever it is she waits for at the end of a project. So she would come and go at all hours depending on how things were going.
Except for the accident it was a good weekend.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Truck Pictures

ICBC came and took the truck away today. It was written off, not surprisingly. They sent a tow truck for it, which was nice because I didn't have to worry about driving it through Vancouver traffic. It's bad enough with a truck that size, but when part of the side is sticking a foot farther out than it should, I get down right paranoid. The last thing that I need when driving a truck to the insurance place is to get in another accident. Note in the pictures my awesome job of strapping the tailgate in place so that I could get from Clinton to Vancouver.

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Thursday, October 01, 2009


Our trip to Oregon was fun. We raced down after I was off work on Friday, stayed over in Washington, drove rest of way Sat. Went to wedding Sat at 530. Then took our time driving home along the coast. Stayed at a motel along the beach on Sunday. We slept listening to the waves all night. We drove farther along the coast Mon. Met Wheeler Dave in Wheeler Oregon, where we stopped to look at antiques (Lisa grudgingly, Richard with excitement). He lived there with his wife, having moved after a trucking accident 20 years ago which left him paralyzed. He was also in the Vietnam war. He got his name because he rescued a girl from drowning a few years ago-dove in from the dock even though he was paralyzed.
Wedding was nice-outside in a lovely location. I lied and said I had to work Monday so that it was easier to escape. I should feel badly about that, but I don't. A certain person kept hugging me-ug-and by the end of the evening I felt irritated and ready to escape.
I start teaching next week. Well, actually it's just an orientation day, so pretty easy, just going through policies etc., answering questions. I am obviously nervous on some level about it though because I had a dream that it was the 1st day with me and my student group-and it was noon and I hadn't checked in with them or anything because I had spent all morning with a difficult patient. I panicked as the students were left all alone to fumble through everything. It's like the medication dream-where I realize at 6 pm that I haven't given any meds all shift.
The educator at work has asked if I would do/assist with a few presentations at work-which I think will be interesting. To the ER and ICU staff and for a course they put on for people wanting to work in critical care. I'd like to do that as I think it is important to get good information out on how to best nurse people with mental health issues. Which is actually 25% of the population.

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