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10/31/03  Fri  (1145):   Happy Halloween everyone, and I have a new cousin, I guess 2nd cousin, who was born at 0038 this morning.  Don't know her name (I was pushing for Kathi Lynn) yet, guess I'll find out later. 

My horoscope:  'Excellent day to get involved in one or more conspiracies. If you can hold secret meetings in darkened rooms, so much the better!'

Well, Charlie is gone, boo hoo!  I had to go in for a couple of hours this morning to finish my ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) testing and he left while I was out.  I woke him up about 0645, before I left, for a hug & a kiss, then had to go.  I called him after I got out, shortly before 1100 and he was just about to El Centro.  He decided to go ahead & go down I-8, we figured it wouldn't be closed now.  He said there was mile after mile of burned out hills & valleys.  He couldn't get any pics as he was driving and there was no place to pull over.

So let's back up.  When last we met I had worked two nights in a row, found out Charlie was safe, and we were pretty much house-bound with all the smoke & air quality.  Charlie said he couldn't think of a better place to have to spend some time.  I have to make sure Jake & Liz know how much he appreciated being able to stay here, especially "since they don't know me from Adam!"

We didn't make it up to H&G's on Monday, I was tired and barely made it thru dinner.  Tuesday we sat around in front of the big TV watching the fires, then some movies.  Wednesday I had to go in for ACLS class, basically 0800-1530.  Stopped at home before & after to feed & water the kids and download some pics.  I had left some movie times at a couple of places for Charlie in case he wanted to get out, but he stayed here, watched the waves & TV.  Woke up Thursday morning and the wind was really blowing, stormy-looking clouds all over the place.  The wind was blowing so much there were a lot of whitecaps out in the ocean.

Had to laugh, the birds were trying to fly into the wind (it was coming from the south) and they were really having to work hard to get anywhere.  A murder of crows tried, landed on the beach, hopped a little then tried again.  That's the way they made their way down the beach.  The seagulls were flapping hard, some gave up, swung around and soared off north - they didn't even have to flap their wings.  It was almost cold last night.  I guess for some people it would have been cold.  Charlie and I would make good roomates, he has the same philosophy - the colder the better!

The homeless guy had been given a ticket by the police and was run off.  Then Wed a guy and a girl were there, moved into the patio area of the house next door (which is empty).  She had a nice little area set up, used the side of the house between the house & wall as a changing area.  We could see a hair dryer and a bunch of other stuff.  I finally called Paige (she knows the people who own the house) to let her know some more homeless people were staying there and were making themselves very comfortable.  I didn't see them this morning, guess they left, except I think they're using the BBQ area as a storage area.  One of the doors is open and there are plastic bags of stuff there, which weren't there before.

Anyway, I passed the ACLS skills sections & written test so I'm good for another 2 years.  My BLS (Basic Life support) is good until May of 2005.  With the ACLS I now have enough CE units to cover the minimum of 30 required to renew my California license next year.  Yes, I'm keeping it!  Definitely not going to let it expire.  Besides, I'd like to come back once in a while as a traveler to see everyone.

I'm going to straighten up around here, go by the house to feed & water the kids, then come back for one last night at the beach house.  This might be the last time :(   When I come back as a traveler I'll have to suggest they go away somewhere!
11/1/03  Sat  (0324):   I was looking at the list, tomorrow is Plan Your Epitaph Day, which is a good idea.  Who knows you better than you!

My horoscope:  'A tricky situation will arise today, but you will rise to the challenge and draw it to a satisfactory conclusion. Oddly, you will hit upon the right thing to do by suddenly recalling an old Gilligan's Island episode.'

Made a trip home, taking some of the stuff I'd wagged over here the past week so I wouldn't have as much to take home this morning.  Sat down with a hamburger and then was going to watch some TV, then come here to work on the pictures, they're all uploaded to the website, now I need to put them in order.  Anyway, the last thing I remember was watching Will & Grace, which started at 1830, and the next thing I knew it was about 2230.  Surfaced thru the fog to find Sammy was back and lying on the the back of the couch behind my head, purring.  Pet him for a little bit, then fell back to sleep.

Anyway, now I'm awake so here I am - in front of the computer.  And guess what, it's raining outside, well, sprinkling really.  I hope it's doing this all over the County to help put out the rest of the fires.

I have to work tonight & Sunday night, then I think I get a couple of days off.  I need to get the pictures in order so everyone can check them out.  But, I also need to get with it and get packing!  I only have 4 more weeks of work, my last day is 11/26 which is the night before Thanksgiving.  Can you believe that!  Hopefully I can be out of the apt sometime the following week.
11/1/03  Sat  (0751):   Well, time to saddle up and hit the trail, darn!  Just need to finish gathering up my stuff, how in the world did so much of it get all the way over here!  At least Fiona & Vladimir will be happy, I'll be there to give them attention, and starting Monday there will be boxes to try & get into.  Fiona can get in my way while I'm trying to pack stuff!
11/4/03  Tues  (0910):   Today is National Chicken Lady Day, who is the Chicken Lady? What does she do?

Horoscope:  'Good day to put a few kumquats, some of those teensy little ears of corn, and a few brussels sprouts in a tiny little bowl, and leave it on someone's doorstep with a tiny little note reading "Dear Big People...."'

Well, I figured my luck couldn't last!  Went into work on Sat and saw I was assigned to 2West.  There was only one vent pt and I managed not to get that one.  Although, it would have been okay, he's alert & oriented, even though he was hooked up to a lot of stuff and meds had to be given thru the G-tube.  I like doing that, don't ask me why.  I started with 3 pts and they were pretty easy.  Got an admit around 2300 and she was a very easy pt to take care of.  I was working with Cyndy & Diana (we'd just done ACLS together) and it was a good night, they're not afraid to work.  Sunday I had 3 of my pts remaining and as there were only 9 to start I got them back.  Got an admit around 0200 and believe it or not I was thru with all my charting by that time!  So I had plenty of time to get her admited without any stress.  She'd had a really low heart rate in ER, they'd given her 2 doses of atropine and she still had the pacer pads placed on her chest.  I left them just in case. 

There was one point where her rhythm changed to some funky rhythm, at first bigeminy, then two beats with a long pause between.  As Kelly and I stood there and watched her rate droped to about 36.  She grabbed the atropine and I ran in with the dynamap to get her vital signs.  Once she woke up her rate increased and her rhythm went back to a normal sinus rhythm in the 60's.  I kept the atropine (makes the heart beat faster) handy for the rest of the night.

Went over to Home Depot yesterday morning and got some nice boxes, tape, tape dispenser (decided I didn't want to have to deal with ripping strips off & getting them tangled), and some bubble wrap as it was a pretty good price.  But didn't get anything done, came home and fell asleep and basically slept the rest of the day & night, off & on. 

Today's goal is to get the wall unit emptied and most of the other stuff in the living room packed.  I work Wed/Thurs so won't get much done, but then I'm off Fr/Sat/Sun.  Called Jake and Liz last night to make sure they got home and they did, didn't have to go over and resuce Sammy from lonliness!  I'm invited for dinner Friday night which should be fun, Becky will be there.  I plan to get some pictures of them, I've realized I don't have any of them!  They really liked the present Charlie got them, Bombay Sapphire Blue Gin with a glass that has blue in the stem; we decided they needed two sets so they'd have two glasses.  He said it wasn't necessary but I told him Charlie really appreciated being able to stay there.  He said "any family of yours is always welcome." 

Everyone at work is sad I'm leaving.  One of the day Charge Nurses told me she hated to see me go, "you're such a good nurse and an asset to us."  Respiratory & lab people also have expressed their "displeasure" that I'm leaving.  Ran into Wendy (one of the clinical managers) as I was leaving yesterday and she said again she was sorry I was leaving but I was welcome back at any time.  So, guess I've done a pretty good job :)
11/4/03  Tues  (2223):   I got a couple of boxes done then decided I wanted to work on pictures.  I have a bunch of them from Charlie's visit, you can start here.  Heather's new baby girl is named Kyia Sue Dawn Nichols, I still would have preferred Kathi Lynn!  Charlie sent me some pictures and I'll get them put up on the family page soon.
11/5/03  Wed  (0918):   Today is National Young Readers Day.  Everyone should read at least a book a week; if you're like me, it's more like 2-3!  Reading can take you away to different lands and you can learn a lot, plus build your vocabulary.

My horoscope:  'Remember: people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. It's ok to throw mashed potatoes, however.'

The screaming, whining kid next door moved 3-4 months ago so I thought I'd have some peace & quiet; however, across the way was another.  This kid screamed & cried EVERY day for what seemed like hours!  But they moved the end of October, yay!  Too bad it wasn't sooner, but at least I'll have a month of peace & quiet.  It's been wonderful.

Except, when the people downstairs from them moved out they replaced the counters with tile so there was a lot of whining saw noise.  I wonder if that's what they're doing to all the apts now when people move out.  If so, it'll be noisy again!

Finally it's cooled down, as a matter of fact it's quite cold!  My fingers are cold and I've been wearing my sheepskin-lined slippers, which I didn't get to wear much last winter.  It was nice to be busy around here yesterday and not break out into a sweat!
11/8/03  Sat  (1300):   Today is Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day; hmmm, wonder what that could be??

My horoscope:  'You've been finding that the best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray. Or is that awry? Awiggly? It's something along those lines. Anyway, the thing to do is to fire your mice.'

I purposely did not write in here yesterday, if I had, it would have been full of 4-letter words!  Kate called Thursday and wanted to flex me off for 4 hours.  At first I said no, but heard the frustration in her voice, she had to find someone so I finally said yes. She said they had 5 beds available and unless they were slammed I'd get the rest of the night off.  So my greed did me in, I wanted a night off.
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