Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Nurses Week

 This week I lost a colleague, co-worker and friend. 

  This week that is for celebrating nurses and all that they do, the world lost a great nurse. There will be news stories devoted to her, but it rocked the worlds of all those who worked with her, knew her and loved her.

  This week while many of us will be enjoying food, prizes and gifts to say thank you for all the sacrifices we make, one group of us while be mourning the loss of a friend and drawing close one another for comfort.

  What can I tell you about her? She was a nurse. She cared for her patients, not always in the tender, gentle, stereotyped way that TV and books glorify as the hallmark of a "good nurse". But always with her patients best interests and well being in the very fore front of her mind. She cared for people with great skill and a good heart always. She volunteered for disaster relief even though it pulled her away from her family at times. She always helped those around her with good nature. In the end she was a good person and she was a nurse, in every embodiment of the word and was proud of that title.

  On this week when you are celebrating Nurses Week, remember those around you and celebrate them. Not this trumped up idea of what the "ideal" nurse is, but the people that they are. Who they are and what they do, because you never know if you will not be able to tell them how amazing they are tomorrow.

 This Nurses Week I will celebrate who she was, a colleague, co-worker, friend and a nurse.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pinned It, Tried It: Sharpie Mugs

  We've all seen pictures of these cute, personalized mugs floating around on Pintrest.
Like this one.
Mug sold on Etsy by RevellHouse

  There are also a million tutorials telling you that this can be easily and cheaply at home with only a few supplies. Ok this sounds like the sort of thing that is right up my alley, and after some research I gathered up my supplies.

-White porcelain mugs
-Oil based Sharpies
(according to my research normal water based Sharpies do not work as well because they   tend to fade over time)

  I cleaned the mugs well and began my doodling. For anyone under the impression that this is a clean craft, think again. The oil based ink takes time to dry, and on more than one occasion I ended up putting some part of my hand into my half finished design and mucking it and myself up. Good news, the oil based ink comes of easily with rubbing alcohol.

 I let the whole lot dry and then put them into a cold oven, 

and then cranked the heat up to 350 degrees.

  When the oven reached 350 degrees, I set the timer for 30 minutes and left them to bake.
After the timer went off I turned off the oven and let mugs cool completely, which turned out to be overnight.

  Now came the big test, could they be washed without any parts of the design washing off?

I did "use a no scratch" abrasive pad on my mugs.
In fairness only some of the extra heavy areas that had very thick ink did chip off.
Any of the mugs I had that had a thin layer of ink stay put no problems.

  Sharpie mugs are not as straightforward as many of the tutorials will lead you to believe. You do need a special type of marker which does kind of defeat the original premise of being able to grab a mug and a Sharpie and make a cute coffee mug.

  The craft is also a lot messier than anyone lets on. Since these oil markers will stick to just about anything just remember to put down something to protect your work surface.

  Even though a couple of my mugs chipped I still think this is a cute and worthwhile project. Later I did simply touch up the areas that did not stick and reheated the mugs. I would recommend keeping in mind to keep your layer of ink as smooth and thin as possible. The mugs that I did this with had much better outcomes. I'm also going to attach a "Handmade" tag to these when given as gifts and recommend they be hand washed, just to be safe.

  In the end these mugs were a ton of fun to make and turned out to be very cute.
Who wouldn't be thrilled to get one of these?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Separation Anxiety

  Do you ever throw a resume at your dream job? Even when you know you are horribly under qualified, you'll never get an interview and you just don't stand a chance of even getting looked at?

  Well you should.

  I did just that recently. I had no interest in really leaving my place of work, I have friends there and have been taking on more and more responsibility. All in all things have been good. Then one day one of those stupid job websites sent me an alert to tell me that a hospital very close to me had an opening in the Trauma ICU. I have always wanted to work in trauma and on a whim I threw my resume at it.

  A week later the craziest thing happened, I was offered an interview and then I was offered the position. My dream job.

  Now I'm into my last week at work and I am going through some serious separation anxiety. I know this is the right thing to do, Trauma Hospital is 10 minutes from my door and it ends a 35 minute commute. I now have the opportunity to go back for my Bachelors and be more of a presence in committees. It also means I have more time for me. 

  So why am I so sad?

 I have all I could want coming to me and yet as I walk through the halls at work I am often hit with waves of sadness when I realize that soon I won't be be taking the familiar strolls down the faded halls that I have come to call my home away from home. When I see the familiar faces I have come to call my other family I have sometime felt suddenly lonely knowing that they will not be there anymore. Yes we fight and get on each others nerves, but I have grown to love everyone and to count on them in a crisis personal or work related.

  Don't get me wrong, I am giddy with excitement, but it's almost like that first day of High-school. You are so happy to be moving up in the world, and yet are so over come with all the "what-ifs" that it can be paralyzing. 

  What if no one likes me?  
  What if I hate it?
  What if I screw up?

  In the back of my mind I know that my safety net will be gone, all the relationships developed over 3 years will no longer be there, all of the security of knowing exactly what to do will be replaced with uncertainty.

 Yep, exactly like the first day of high-school.

  But just like the first day, there is no going back, no running and hiding. The best I can do is make those of me that I am leaving behind proud. I can only take what everyone taught me,all the knowledge and skills they passed on to me and do my best, and learn again.

  So as I say my good byes to, with each hug I give and receive, I make a promise.

"I will do my best and never forget where I came from"

Thursday, April 3, 2014


 It's been a nearly a year since my hubby set up my garden.
 The growth that I have seen has been incredible,
 and  has made me see 
 how much my garden has mirrored my journey in nursing.

Things start out slow.
Small things are both exciting 

Then things start to take shape.
You begin to see amazing things in places you never imagined.

Things begin to blossom.

You find beauty in the everyday
appreciate what you took for granted before.

The smallest, mundane things 
become the most satisfying rewards.

Enjoy the journey,
find wonder in the small things,
reap all the rewards no matter how small.
Grow your garden.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hello Again...

 Looking at my last post I feel a little sad, wow it's been a long, long time since I have had the time (and the drive) to sit down and write. Something that gave me great pleasure not so long ago. 

  With spring having sprung I decided to start on some spring cleaning, closets have been swept clean of 10 year old clothing, the garden has been cleaned and reseeded and I have decided to return to blogging.  I find that now that I am deeper into this world we call nursing that there are times when I need to sit down and really think about what happened and how I feel about it and sometimes seeing my thoughts in the form of words is helpful.

  To all the new nurses and students who may stumble across this post, I suggest that you make time to sit and just think. I know this sounds silly but in reality in school and in the working world it is often so hard to find a moment to sit and just go over things in you head, sort them and file them away. I am the type who is always on the go, moving on moving up, but eventually things caught up to me and I began to feel overwhelmed and I had no idea why. 

  I stopped to "think" because I had to, something inside me broke and I had to stop and ask myself what was really going on, and it was hard.

  Things are better now, and one of the things I decided was to return to blogging if nothing else to "journal", for a lack of better words. 

  So here we go, a lot of things have stayed the same and a lot of things have changed. There are changes coming, I know that because nothing in this crazy world I have chosen ever stays the same for long, but that is why I love it. 

  So thank you to those of you who read along and welcome to my corner of the nursing world.