Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Video Version!

Michael is correct. Here is some additional information about Norse Funerals, Hel, and Valhalla

But the event was still fantastic! Here's video proof!

Send Him To Valhalla!

Over the long weekend Mike and I went back to Kamloops to visit the requisite family and friends. One of the highlights was finally finally giving my dear old hampster, Jude, the viking burial he's been waiting for for over a year. It was about time - my parents had kindly loaned me a small corner of their deep freezer in which to store him. (Yes, I had thought about cryogenics, but it seemed as if the science wouldn't arise quickly enough....)

Being that my father works for the Ministry of Environment, and that it's already fire season in the Interior, my dad joined us for this occasion (and made his own special contributions!), and helped us choose a prime spot for the burial (read: downstream from town, and secluded from bypassers so they can't see us to report us!). A couple of my friends joined me, too! It was a little ridiculous, but It was fun (aside from the part about deceased hampser). Here's the photographic account:

Building the raft. Mike's dad taught me the Boy Scout method for lashing bits of wood together!

It's done!
Strapping Jude to the raft. I kept his shroud on to preserve the good memories.
With Jude and the flame sustainer on the raft, it was top heavy. We found a few more floating logs to help stabilize everything.
Jude in the rushes. Good  bye, little friend!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Nursing Adventures: Job #2: A New Hope

Springtime is whizzing by at an alarming rate. I can barely believe that it's nearly June! Mostly, I've been focusing on settling into my new post at an acute rehabiliation facility for kids (think: post surgery, brain injury, respite, not drug rehab for kids!). I mostly work with children recovering from brain injury, but there's a pretty nice scattering of different cases.

I'll tell ya, the work is completely different from what I've been doing the past two years. Gone are the workdays spent "hanging out" with the kids. I'm now a fully-engaged "walk-till-you-drop" nurse, stethocope in hand, clogs afoot, and a closetfull of scrubs to keep my civvies free from sputum, sweat, soiled diapers and who knows what else! I've been learning how to wrangle feeding tubes and body casts, ceiling lifts and mechanical baths. Some of it is coming back - the same stuff that I did while I was working as a care aide a few years ago. The tubes are quite new to me, though some of the children need feeds 5 or 6 times  a day, so I'm getting plenty of practice. What's most new to me is the omnipresence of parents and families. Some parents stay with their child around the clock and perform all of their child's care except for that which the nurse must complete (preparing medications, for example. Though even then, I might just prepare them and pass them to the parent to administer). In many cases, I absolutely love having parents around. Parents know their children best. Parents can more easily detect when something is wrong. Parents care only for their child, which means they will get 1:1 attention throughout the day (as opposed to when I have a minute to spare to change the tv channel for them or turn them onto their other side). Parents who assist with care mean they free up a few extra moments for me to spend with the kids who don't have anyone else around.

Buuuuuuut..... it's because they are the utmost experts that I often feel at my least confident. I've had many moments of total "uuuuuuuuh...." because I went into a room to treat a patient, only to have the parent ask or comment or notice that I'm doing something incorrectly, or unusual, or fumbly. I can take it from my colleagues - they absolutely know that I'm new to the game and are generally unbiased and willing to teach me. It's terrible to hear it from a watchful parent. They want to know that their child is receiving the best care possible - that's why they come to the hospital in the first place! Who am I to be inexperienced with their baby? Their brain injured, or dying child?

This is going to take some time. The good news is that I think I'm getting the basics down. Gotta do that quick, because the plan is to stay at this job until the end of September. October is when I transfer to my new job - the one I applied for in the first place - back at Children's Hospital, on the medical floors as part of the Nursing Resource Team. The Lion's den. Rawr!

That aside, here are some fun pictures from my recent endeavours!
Mike and I took in a gread day at Granville Island - I bought life spot prawns at the fisherman's wharf, and we shared fish 'n chips!

My latest knitting project! I call it the Knobby Neckie!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The April Up-And-Up

My Apologies! April was a busy month! Here are the highlights:

Ok, My birthday wasn't in April, but it was this week. I had a wonderful, low key birthday where I met a friend for lunch (and cupcakes), had supper and a show with my honey-bunch (Rock of Ages after dinner at Hawksworth), ate cake and received a number of wonderful gifts (cosmic/Karmic or otherwise!) I realize I'm not thrilled to be getting older, but at least I'm doing it in style!

The above two pictures didn't even happen in April, either. That was March. I discovered an unwrapped jolly rancher inside the package (weird!), and our wonderful "upstairs neighbours" moved away so we spent a day cleaning up their empty apartment. I just loved seeing four shirtless dudes working!

This is a Maple Bacon donut from Cartems Donuterie near downtown Vancouver. They're a bit pricey, and you have to visit the Downtown Eastside to get them, but they are absolutely worth it.
I went to a canning class at Save-On-Meats. I loved the class because I:
a) didn't have to do any of the prep work or clean up
b) came home with 4 jars, each filled with something different, rather than 12 jars of the same thing if I'd canned at home....
c) didn't have to do any of the prep work or clean up.

I now have a jar of preserved lemon (and no idea what to do with it), strawberry-rhubarb jam, pickled beets (pictured above) with carrots and onions, and a fruit sauce (with apricots, dried cherries and cran!)
Michael left me a cheery plated dinner one evening when I came home late and he was out playing sports. At first I loved that he made it - and then I realized it was "whopper Wednesday"...

I went to a baby shower for a friend a few weeks ago, too! It was a fun fete, and well organized and attended. A highlight was (besides who is almost certainly the cheeriest, happiest mother-to-be I've ever met) the pro photog and the option to take mustached photos with friends!