Saturday, December 31, 2005

An End of the Holidays Thought. And Happy New Year!

I always hear all these stories during the holiday season. I got this this this this and this for Christmas. I get all these presents all eight nights for Chanukah. Selfishness in children and selfishness in adults. So and so got me THIS but so and so only got me THAT. Or I see the gross over commercialization of the holiday season... in the malls, on the streets, at peoples homes... The amount of presents and the amount of $$ spent on these presents is always completely amazing to me. I got presents when I was younger, but I never remember it being completely over the top. I don't get Chanukah presents anymore though. My parents stopped giving me and my sister presents years ago, and I stopped giving friends and family presents gradually over the years. Rob and I decided not to give each other physical gifts this year in exchange for the gift of the effort to spend more time with each other, making even more room in our busy schedules for quality time together.

In this spirit, sort of, I was re-reading one of my favorite childhood books from the Little House series by Laura Ingals Wilder. I was reading the series namesake, Little House on the Prairie. And I got to thinking as I read the chapter entitled: Mr. Edwards Meets Santa Claus. It's a bit of a big excerpt but I'm going to retype the part that got me thinking.

Before I quote, for those of you who don't know the book by heart like I do, Laura Ingalls and her family are living on the prairie in Indian Territory with very few neighbors. The don't have a ton of things as they are so isolated on the prairie. Mary and Laura for example share a tin cup to drink from at meals. That year the winter is wet and rainy with no snow. Mary and Laura have accepted the fact that Santa Claus won't be able to get to them for Christmas because of the bad rain and because the river has risen too high for him to cross. They are disappointed, but understand the problem. Their parents are disappointed also but try and cheer Mary and Laura up. Then, out of the blue, their neighbor, Mr. Edwards, shows up with presents from Santa Claus! He managed in the heavy rains to walk 40 miles and back to the nearest town and braved the rising river to "meet" Santa Claus and bring the girls their presents.

And here's where I bring in the quote...

"Something was shining bright in Laura's stocking. She squealed and jumped out of bed. So did Mary, but Laura beat her to the fireplace. And the shining thing was a glittering new tin cup. Mary had one exactly like it.

These new tin cups were their very own. Now they each had a cup to drink out of. Laura junped up and down and shouted and laughed, but Mary stood still and looked with shining eyes at her own tin cup.

Then they plunged their hands into the stockings again. And they pulled out two long, long sticks of candy. It was peppermint candy, striped red and white. They looked and looked at the beautiful candy, and Laura licked her stick, just one lick. But Mary was not so greedy. She didn't take even one lick of her stick.

Those stockings weren't empty yet. Mary and Laura pulled out two small packages. They unwrapped them and each found a little heart-shaped cake. Over their delicate brown tops was sprinkled white sugar. The sparkling grains lay like tiny drifts of snow.

The cakes were too pretty to eat. Mary and Laura just looked at them. But at last Laura turned hers over, and she nibbled a tiny nibble from underneath, from where it wouldn't show. And the inside of the cake was white!

It had been made of pure white flour, and sweetened with white sugar. Laura and Mary never would have looked in their stockings again. The cups and the cakes and the candy were almost too much. They were too happy to speak. But Ma asked if they were sure their stockings were empty.

Then they put their hands down inside them to make sure.

And in the very toe of each stocking was a shining bright, new penny!

They had never even thought of such a thing as having a penny. Think of having a whole penny for your very own. Think of having a cup and a cake and a stick of candy and a penny.

There had never been such a Christmas."

And that's that. I think the world could learn from a simple passage like that. Simplicity is so much nicer than greed. And I'll bet there are still plenty of children in this world who would love a cup to drink from and a stick of candy. Every time I see holiday craziness and holiday commercialism, and all that, I think of this passage. It's so simple, but I think it says so much. Plus, the book that surrounds it is so much fun to read!

And on that note it's time to get going. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Candy Canes Part II

I just want to say, that on the 26th, I went to CVS and bought candy canes for 50 cents for a box of 12. I got $3 worth. That's 72 candy canes. That's A LOT of candy canes. I'll be happy with my hot chocolate for a good amount of time! YAY!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Good Morning!

Happy Holiday for all those who may celebrate a holiday. I personally am VERY much looking forward to lighting my menorah tonight. I LOVE Chanukah because I LOVE lighting the candles and then I REALLY LOVE watching the candles. They're SO PRETTY! Fire is just FASCINATING! :) It's just very peaceful to watch the candle flame. (Especially with my hot chocolate with my candy cane) It's all warm and comforting and happy... :)

But first...... I have work. YES I have to work today, that's the breaks when you working a hospital, and YES as a therapist I still force people OOB even on Christmas. Last year I still had rehab groups on the rehab unit as well as making people in the hospital get OOB. (But my groups were fun!!!! I played cheesy music like the Chicken Dance and the Hokey Hokey and YMCA and Hands Up, and the Electric Slide and the Macarena and The Limbo and alllllllllllllll that, and we danced and did all the "moves" that went with the music... It was pretty cool. And it went REALLY well for range of motion and strength and all that. The patients all thought I was NUTS, but it was fun.) Today as it's a new hospital and they don't have a rehab unit, so I'll just be doing the Acute Care thing. And I'll have help this year. That's nice. AND I get paid at least time and a half if not double time. AND I'm working tomorrow so just in case the hospital's policy is to pay the doubles on the "celebrated" day instead of the "actual" day, I'm covered. Being Jewish has its bonuses sometimes. I can watch movies and eat Chinese food anytime. So I don't mind at all giving the day off to those who it's important to so they can spend the time with their families etc. And I'll ALWAYS have Thanksgiving off. That's always nice.

And on that note, It's time to be offfffffff..... Time to get people up. Have a great day all! Happy Happy!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Candy Canes

There isn't much that I like aboot the holiday season. I dislike the gross overcommercialization of it all, the CONSTANT replaying of all that music, the advertisements that begin in September, the lights on all the houses especially when people go WAY overboard, the pitiful looks I get when I say I'm working on Christmas because so many people are too ignorant to realize that there are people out there who DON'T celebrate Christmas and they just don't get it, all the FOOOOOD that's out there ESPECIALLY if you work in a hospital.... I can go on and on.

There are 3 things I can think of that I like aboot the holiday season. In no particular order...
One, all the great baking and even real food cooking recipies that are out there especially on the Food Network. It's always great to collect a whole bunch of recipes that I can try out during the year.

Two, Gingerbread Houses. I am FASCINATED by gingerbread houses. They're so much FUN and imaginative and I love seeing all the amazing things that people can do with them. Making houses and scenes and whole villages and all that. It completely fascinates me.

And 3, Candy Canes. I LOVE Candy Canes! And they're in abundance! And after Christmas they all go on saleand you can get like 50 of them for like $3 or something like that. Candy Canes besides being Yummy are fun to look at, bright, and often colorful, and I LOVE to put them in my hot chocolate. I often on winter evenings sit down with a mug of hot chocolate. I find it SO comforting and relaxing. And it's so much fun to see the candy cane hanging over the side of the cup. PLUS it gives the hot chocolate a minty fun flavor. I very much enjoy candy canes like that.

Our apartment building had a holiday party dinner as they do every year, and I stocked up on a bunch then. They were scattered around on the dessert plates, and when everyone had picked over the desserts I took the rest of the candy canes. And I got some from work. My boss gave us each a little packet of candy for the holidays. :) So I have a stash. And I'll get some after the holiday when they're all on sale. :) that makes me happy. So YAY for Candy Canes!!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Player Piano

Someone recently, I forget who, asked me if it was true that there was someone playing the piano all day in the hospital lobby. Well it's semi-true. In the main lobby/atrium area there is a piano. So yes, there's music most of the day on most days, but the piano plays itself, as player pianos do.

Even so, it's a pretty elegant touch for a hospital lobby. What else can you expect from the wealthiest community on the East Coast? The hospital caters to its clientele. (Again, making it a nice place to work when it spills over to you as staff.) It IS kind of nice though to walk down a hallway on the second or third floor and peep down over the banister into the atrium and hear some nice music. (Well, mostly nice... I'm REALLY sick of Christmas songs... but that's another story for some other time) Suffice it to say though, I do generally enjoy the pianos presence.
Its a pleasant touch. :)

I LOVE The Little Old Ladies

I had the CUTEST patient today. I love the little old ladies. She was completely adorable to work with! We were getting ready to walk and then
“Who are you again?”
“I’m Carie, I’m a Physical Therapist”
“Do you know Martha?”
“The nurse Martha?” (There’s a nurse on the floor named Martha)
“Is she a nurse?”
Is she a Therapist?”
“Who is Martha then?”
“My granddaughter”
“Does she work in the Hospital?”

“No. She’s young, you’re young I thought you might know each other.”

I was ROLLING inside it was so funny. I didn't want to be laughing at her. But it was SO CUTE!!! YAY for Little Old Ladies!!!! :)

Monday, December 19, 2005


An update on some of the daily goings on in my life......

We gave our deposit with the caterer on Sunday. (Thanks Mom and Dad) YAY!!! So now it's REALLY official. Sunday October 22, 2006. And we've chosen a caterer who'll provide us with yummy dairy food at a really yummy price. :) I guess now I have to tackle bands and photographers and oh yeah, the wedding dress. And I'm sure that there are a TON of other details that need to be tackled. I have no doubts that they'll all show up in their turns. It's like a never-ending planning event... all for one day, for one party. But fun and exciting all at the same time. I love having my "sparkly sparkly" on my hand. It's still so new and surprising to see it there, and yet if it's not there I do notice it. YAY for the SPARKLY SPARKLY!!!

Work remains good. I'm definately liking the slower pace, and the environment and the people and I LOVE my desk as I've said multiple times, the only ploblem is that I'm having trouble with my status and my benefits. I thought transfering withing the system would be easier, but it's turning out to be harder because I'm working full time in one and per diem in the other and my status is all weird. So to make a looooong story short, I've been on the phone with human resources from 2 hospitals and things are still moving as slow as molassas. My supervisor told me though that if I need a Dr. I'm covered. I'm just hoping that's right if something happens. I don't want to make any voluntary appointments until I KNOW it's all squared away though. And I need to go to the dentist! But I do like the job, and I'm really happy with the transition. Sometimes I'm completely amazed that I did it. But it really was a good thing for me, and will be even better for me in the long run. So I'm glad, even though I'm tired at the end of the day from all the absorbing I do. And have I ever mentioned that I LOVE HAVING MY OWN DESK!?!?!?!?!?!?!? TEE HEE!!!!!

Hmmmm what else is new. I've been reading the Chronicles of Narnia. I started re-reading The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe because I wanted to refresh my brain before I saw the movie. I've never read the rest of them. And Rob has MOST of the rest of the series, so I've been reading them. They're pretty enjoyable! It's nice to get lost in another magical world for a time. I love it when I can get totally immersed in a story. These are like that. PLUS, I love reading and re-reading childrens books. They're mindless and enjoyable and relaxing. And much easier to get lost in much of the time. I can't even count how many times I've read the "Little House on the Prarie" series. Those were my FAVORITE books growing up and remain so still. (Though new, Harry Potter is a close second though!)

I've been doing/planning for doing some baking. I LOVE the Food Network! I think the only thing I like aboot the holiday season is all the cookie and cake and pie and food recipies that emerge. Plus I'm fascinated by gingerbread houses. And the gingerbread house competition that I watched on the Food Network was AMAZING! The things that people can make with food! It was completely amazing the detail in not just houses but cities and towns and scenes, it was really cool!

And that's that! My update on the mundane and exciting in my life. Hope all your lives are JUST as exciting... :)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Hospital Holiday Party

This week we had a holiday party @ the hospital. I was SCARED!!! People had described it to me as a food orgy. Not a party, not a large lunch, a FOOD ORGY. FIVE separate people told me that. FIVE separate people in FIVE separate INDIVIDUAL conversations. FOOD ORGY. I was scared. It sounded like A LOT of food. Like A LOT, A LOT of food. It REEKED of overindulgence and calories and eating WAY more than one should. It was almost TOO much to look forward to. How much food could POSSIBLY be out there? I mean, looking forward to a lunch party is one this but a food orgy? It sent off warning bells and whistles and red flashing lights....

Well, it was A LOT of food. But I think food orgy was a bit of an extremist term. Or maybe not. I couldn't eat about half of what was there so I didn't think it so bad. It was set up like a buffet, and there were multiple table lines of the same stuff. There were like 15 different dishes. There were PLATTERS of shrimp. That's what EVERYONE went on about, the shrimp. Well, there was A LOT of shrimp. It was a shrimp orgy. :) I don't eat shrimp. No shellfish for me. So there went the orgy part. J There were dishes with shrimp in them and there was meat stuff that I couldn't eat. There was some great pasta primavera, eggplant rollatini, veggie sushi, pastry puffs with cheese and spinach, spring rolls, and a bunch of other stuff i don't remember. There was eggnog and a sherbet punch, there were cookies and cannolis and cream puffs and all that. It went on from 11-2, but I went down during my lunch 3/4 hour and got food and brought it back upstairs. It was too crowded to stay down there and eat standing up balancing stuff. And I was glad it wasn't the scary food orgy I thought it would be. Although I suppose if I were eating a bit of every dish there had seconds… and I stayed down for more than the 15 minutes it took to go through the line and get my stuff it could have been a food orgy, but I was ok. I didn't get sick, I wasn't feeling horribly sluggish that afternoon, I had a nice meal, and that was that.

And the hospital really did a nice job. The food was very good, there was a lot of variety, there was plenty for me the vegemetarian to eat without feeling deprived, a bit of something for everyone, and more than enough to go around. It was though, more of a holiday party than I had ever seen any company/hospital put on. But I guess that's what you get when you work in such a neighborhood. The stuff that the residents as patients want rubs off on how they treat their staff. Which is REALLY nice.

And that was the holiday party. A potentially scary thing but it turned out nice. Another new reason to like my new job. Although I STILL maintain that my desk is the best part!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Lamps and Lightbulbs

YAY for light! I love light. I really love sunlight, but our apartment doesn't get a lot so I settle for the artificial kind. Light makes me feel more awake and bright and well, who really wants to sit ina dimly lit room trying to get stuff done? I like light, and LOTS of it.

Yesterday, the hospital had a lightbulb and lamp sale from Energy Star and The CT Energy Efficiency Fund in association with Connecticut Light and Power. They were selling energy efficient lightbulbs and some lamps to go with them. All @ AMAZING prices! A dollar a bulb for the equivalent to a 60, 75, or 100 watt bulb, and 5 dollars for a three-way bulb. And tall torch lamps with the bulbs for five dollars. They had some other fancier lamps for $15 and $20, which was a GREAT price. The room was mobbed. They sold over 600 lamps yesterday.

We needed more living room light, so I got one of the torch lamps :) and I also got a bunch of bulbs. I got 7 bulbs and a lamp for $15. 5 100 watt equivalents, one free 60 watt equivalent (buy 5 get one free) and a three way. I was VERY happy when I got home and had all that light in my living room. Light is a good thing. :)

And that is my BLURB for my BLOG for today. Time to go get more peoples OOB! Have a good rest of the day all!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

On Hugs

Anyone who knows me well knows some of my philosophies on life. I believe that there are three "cure alls" in life. Smiles. Hugs. And Ice Cream. (Preferrably Chocolate) I found this piece on hugging @ the hospital. I thought it was cute. It made me smile. :) Something about hugs made me smile. OF COURSE I then had to go and eat ice cream. :) I hope that it does the same for you.

Notice: The Surgeon General has determined that hugging is good for your health.

Hugging is practically perfect. No moveable parts to wear out, no periodic checkups, low energy consumption, high energy yield, inflation proof, no monthly payments, no insurance requirements, theft proof, non-taxable, non-polluting, and of course, fully refundable.

Hugging is all natural; organic, naturally sweet, non-fattening, no pesticides, no preservatives, no artificial ingredients, and 100% wholesome.

The best people places and times to hug??? Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

No More Labcoat!!!

You may remember, at some point I don't remember where I wrote aboot my labcoat pockets. I love labcoat pockets. They're so USEFUL!!! They hold EVERYTHING! Pens, pencils, hilighters, chapstick, hand lotion, gait belt, goniometer, stethoscope...... etc etc etc. You name it, I probably had it in my labcoat. And if I didn't have it in my labcoat, I had it in my clipboard folder.

Well, no more labcoats at my new job! OY! We have a uniform, which is great, khaki pants, black shirt. I never have to think aboot what I'm going to wear in the morning. But I don't have all my pockets! I have to carry my goniometer and pens in my folder which makes them more easily lost, I wear my gait belt which can be a pain in the neck because it's so loooong and I trip over it when the tuck ins come loose, and I don't even carry my stethoscope anymore. It's WEIRD! And so much harder to get used to! I miss having my chapstick and lotion around. My hands and lips are SO DRY in the winter with the dry heat in the hospital and all the hand washing. My fingers are starting to crack open. (time for the corn huskers lotion)

I'm getting used to it, as I'm getting used to being in a new place with a new routine and new rules, but I do miss my labcoat. It's SUCH a different environment... not better or worse, just different. I miss some things and peoples I left and not others. And I LOVE things aboot the new stuff, and some things arent 100% great. I just need to adjust I think, and change for me is hard... I REALLY do miss my labcoat though. Oh well. I guess that's the tradeoff for my own desk. Which when thinking about it, is SO MUCH BETTER!!!! TEE HEEE!!!!!

I love having little pictures around, and a place to keep things like extra food in case I forget my lunch, or extra pens, and paperclips, and papers and reference books... The desk is so much fun! Like my own little home away from home. I like having some personal space that's always free instead of sharing a tiny space with 20 other people and not always guaranteed a place to do what you need to do or a safe place to keep things. YAY for desks!!!

Anyways, so that's my lament aboot labcoat pockets. And of course my goings on aboot my desk. I think that's going to worm it's way into the conversation a lot for a bit.... :) :) :)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Week One in Review Week Two To Start

Well, I'm starting Week Two at my new job.

So far so good! I had orientation on Monday and Tuesday which was a process, a lot of repetitive safety, fire safety, policies and procedures etc, but there was also A LOT of customer service and satisfaction. The hospital is in the 99th percentile for customer satisfaction nationwide according to the Press Gainey survey. And they've been there for the last 15 quarters. WOW! So they take customer satisfaction VERY seriously, and likewise almost HALF of orientation was dedicated to that. And I got a lot of it in my departmental orientation as well.

People are really nice, really accomodating, and really helpful. There's some kind of learning curve, my clinical skills are fine, just learning the computers, and the lay of the land and the goings on etc. The hardest part?? Learning everyones names!!! The best part?? MY OWN DESK!!!! With My OWN COMPUTER!!!! That's exciting. :)

I spent a lot of time last week learning stuff, treated a few patients, but I was perty slow. Which I'm not used to being, so I feel REALLY unproductive... but like I said, there's a learning curve. :)

The second best part??? I got the weekend schedule at the end of last week, and until June I'm working only 5 Sundays. That's like a MILLION percent better than where I was. I'm planning on doing some per diem work to earn some more $$$$ but that's MY choice. And I get paid extra. :) I was off this weekend! :) And guess what!?!?! I'm off next weekend too!!!! TEE HEE!!!

The third best part?? If I work late I get paid for it! That's nice. The culture of working late I'm finding is so different. Before, we were SO far behind that we could have been there 48 hours straight and still not get it all done. And we didn't get paid extra for staying late. So we didn't if we could help it. If something important came up we did, but on the whole we left on time. Here, we're behind, but nothing that can't be fixed if we all stay an hour or so later. And we get paid for that hour. So we stay. It's SUCH a difference! I'm looking forward to my new paycheck, a higher salary with getting paid for my extra time. That'll be NICE! :) :)

And on that note I've gots to go to work now. Don't want to be late. But I wanted to give a blurb on the goods so far of my new job. More laterer!!!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Final Date! FINALLY!!!

Rob and I have FINALLY decided on a final date and place for our wedding. It took FOREVER to find the right place for the right price. And after all that looking we ended up deciding on the place we thought we might want to have it originally. Our Synagogue. :)

Family and Friends.....
Save the Date!

Sunday October 22, 2006

It's right after all the holidays, Rosh Chodesh actually, so WE DON'T HAVE TO FAST! YAY!
We haven't put down $$$ or signed the contract yet, but the Congregation and Caterer have both penned (as opposed to penciled) us in and reserved the time for us. We'll probably get all the paperwork together sometime next week.

Now comes the task of finding a photographer/videographer, and band, and dresses, and flowers and all those other details. I'm sure there are pleanty more things that will have to be done that I'm not thinking of but they'll come up eventually I'm sure.

I'm feeling better though that we have all that finalized. I feel a bit calmer.
YAY for getting married!!! I'm SO EXCITED!!!! :) :) :)