Tuesday, April 29, 2014

So There's That

So, I might have done something a little (read: lot) , shall we say, scary? I have been extremely bored and unsettled in my career. I'm not sure ever was "settled." There have been pockets of contentment, there have been many times that I have loved what I was doing. Nursing is a very taxing yet rewarding career. It's hard. You are underappreciated, overworked, and constantly tired. On the flip side, you have those particular patients you connect with. Those patients that truly appreciate you. Perhaps you saved their life. Perhaps you explained what was going on in a language they speak (heaven knows many doctors don't put things in layman's terms). Maybe you sang to them when they were scared. Who knows. It could be anything.
I have been a nurse for going on 14 years. It weird to think about that. In those 14 years, I honestly cannot remember going a full year without wanting to do something else. I got my nursing license when I was very young. Perhaps that played a roll to my burn out? I have a TON of very different interest. Maybe that's it? I don't know. Bottom line is that I have finally decided to change this. If y'all recall, I posted at the beginning of the year about making my life better. To me, this means being happy and living well. Learning something new and perfecting that.
I have toyed with going back school and finishing my degree. I have thought about going back and getting my RN. I have thought about going into photography. I have thought about moving away and starting over. Nothing has ever really felt right. Like I said, I have so many differnt insterest. I have thought long and hard about what is going to make me happy. This is what I have come up with:
1) I need to make money. Doesn't have to be a lot, but I need to be able to live off it. I'm single and most ceratinly not independantly weathy weathy.
2) I need to be able to continue to learn. I have a problem with becoming bored. I need to feel like I'm progressing. I love to learn new things, it makes me feel better.
3) I HAVE to have a creative outlet. I have found that I am happiest when I'm able to be creative. Nursing is fast pace, there is always something to learn, you make money...but you don't get a lot of creative license when you're messing with someone else's life.
4) I have to enjoy what I'm doing. I mean, if I'm going to put the effort into going back to school, then I'm going to do something that I enjoy.
What have I come up with, you ask? Well, I'm have signed up for Culinary School! Yay!!! It's going to be so freaking awesome! It's something that I love, I can be creative, I can make money and I will always be learning. There is so much more that went into making this decision and knowing it's the right path. Y'all, I'm excited. I start in August. It's a 21 month program, but sinice I have some credits that I'm transferring in, it will cut that down a bit. Also, those credits will cut down on the cost.
So. There it is. Cullinary School. Better life. Happiness. What do y'all think??

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ok, But Seriously

Here's the deal...being late to your doctor's appointment is very rude and inconsiderate to the office staff. We try our hardest not to show annoyance, but it's difficult. See, we go by a schedule. When a patient is late it throws everyone off, and at times it's difficult to make that time up. Now, there are always exceptions to this. It's not irritating when one calls ahead and lets the office know. That way we can prepare. There is an art to The Doctor Schedule. It's a fine line that we all have to balance on. Mostly it's just unfair to the other patients who do show up on time.
Yesterday we had several patients who were like 10-15-20 minutes late. That's a big deal. That's a whole appointment time. It threw our schedule so off. Then out of those patients, half of them added on things for us to see them for. You know, since they are here and all. Golly.  Obviously we are here for the patients, but it can be so annoying. 

Rant over.

Sorry if that offends anyone, but it's the truth. Like I said, there are always exceptions. It just seems to be a new trend around these parts lately. More so than normal. 

So! Been a long while since I wrote. It's been an interesting couple of months. In February, I did a month of no spending or Target going. It wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. I saved a lot of money, and learned a ton about my spending habits, and what I need to/want to do financially. I think I'm going to do a month of no spending every other month, or maybe every two months. It's really eye opening how much one spends on miscellaneous items. REALLY eye opening. It was probably the most personally beneficial thing I have done so far this year. 

Sad thing is that I have been neglecting my Pins of Interest. The beginning of the year is so busy for my family. More than half of the members of my family and most of my close friends have birthdays in the first 3 months of the year. It's crazy. Fun, but crazy. Seems we are always celebrating birthdays. It's such a good time, but it leaves little time to do much else.

So! Goal for the next coming weeks is to spit out some new posts, new Pins of Interests, and another month of no spending. Anyone wanna join me? It's fun, I swear! It's like a little game with your finances and self discipline. 


Thursday, February 6, 2014

It's Still Winter in Texas

So Dearies, it's still Winter in Texas. Now I know that we don't have it all that bad when it comes to the winter months in Texas. In fact, most of the time we have very mild, noninvasive weather. That's a perk of Texas. I mean, when was the last time you heard someone say, "I think I'll move to Texas for the snowy winter weather they have down there." I'm going to hazard a guess and say never. You've never heard that. You've never said that. We freak out when there is a little bit of white on the ground because it's never ever there. In the winter, the ground is brown. Very ugly brown.

So! It stands to reason that Texans would hate the ice and snow. If hate is too strong a word, then perhaps strongly dislike. Let's face it, it's foreign to us. Thus the annoying, terrible, I-am-a-brand-new-awkward-horse style of driving. I roll my eyes every time I hear someone from out of state complain about the driving here. I'm going to let y'all in on a little secret: we all know. Many here can't drive on a good day, so why would you think that ice/snow would improve that? It wouldn't. Is it frustrating? Sure. But, I hardly think it's news to anyone around you. Just be patient.

Anytime I see anywhere in the north covered in snow, I just shake my head and say, "Bless your hearts." That much snow just suuuuuuuucks. It's pretty, but I wouldn't want to be out in it. Unless I was learning to ski. But that would mean I was on vacation. And, if I'm on vacation, I'd rather be at a beach. I digress! In conclusion, today with its one inch of powdery snow, is about all I can handle.  :-/

On a much lighter note, as part of my Spending Less Month, I'm baking bread. It's always scared me in the past. My mom bakes bread. My best friend Alison, her mom has always baked bread. Why should this scare me? Well, I'm not entirely sure, but I think it has something to do with proofing yeast. It sounds gross. It looks gross. But the end product of freshly baked bread...holy cow there is nothing better. So y'all cross your fingers and toes that it goes well. I want some warm rolls with cinnamon butter at the end of all this. Doesn't that just sound good when it's cold outside?   :)

Happy snowy day Y'all!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

4th Pin of Interest...Baked Fajitas

So. Freaking. Good.

This was such a simple and quick dinner. It was lovely. My sister, Danielle, made them one night and I decided that it just sounded so good that I had to have them as well. This is a recipe that we got off of Pinterest...of course...but it's unclear who posted it first. There are a ton of variations to them, so make it how you like it. This is just a great alternative way of fixing an awesome meal. Oh! And, the clean up is EASY!!

So, let's talk ingredients:
Chicken- I used boneless/skinless tenders and cut them into smaller bits
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
1/2 Green Bell Pepper
Onion- sliced, not chopped
Rotel w/ green Chilies- this is totally optional. I didn't use it because I like my fajitas simple
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Chili Powder
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
1/4 tsp Salt
(to be honest, I didn't use these spices. I used my trusty homemade Chili mix. It has all the same seasonings, and it's awesome. I used enough to coat the chicken- about 1-1 1/2 Tbsp)

Preheat your oven to 400.

Cut your chicken into either strips or small bits
Slice your bell peppers and onions how you like them best. I like smaller pieces, some people like slices.

I put my chicken in a bowl, added the olive oil and spices and mixed until it was coated well. This is where you'd put the rotel in. Then put it in a glass casserole dish.

I put my peppers and onions on top of the chicken without mixing them.

Put dish in the oven for about 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, I took some tongs and mixed the chicken and peppers with out stirring. I just kinda flipped it in the dish. Make sense?

Cook for another 10 minutes and flip one more time.

At this point I turned the oven to broil to get some crispy bits. I let it set on broil for about 5-7 minutes. Watch it the whole time because you don't want to incinerate your dinner, just have some crispy edges.

Take it out of the oven, grab your tortilla's and go to town.

Seriously the whole process took all of 30 minutes. Maybe. It's quick and it's good. Mix you up some beans or what ever else you like on your fajitas, and you're good to go. I put my Avocado Dip on them and it was so awesome!

Anyhoo, that's the most recent Pin of Interest.

For my next one, I'm thinking a piece of art is in order.

Later Chickens!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I Am a Nurse

To say I would rather pass out than accidentally inhale the fumes emitting from that small cup, is a gross understatement. I'd much rather undergo a lobotomy wide awake, than handle what I was about to. That may be a slight exaggeration. Regardless. I held my breath for about 45 seconds, a  few shades short of turning blue, and went for it. Previously, I made the mistake of breathing normal, thinking it couldn't really be that bad. I was wrong. And spent the next 6 minutes gagging and trying not to throw up, making up for that mistake.

See, as a nurse, you do a lot of really gross things. I could probably write a book about it all, but I'm not sure everyone's stomach is made of steel. I mean, when I was going through nursing school, I never once thought the words, "It's an anal swab, it's aerobic. It didn't go in the butt. Don't they know the difference?" would EVER come out of my mouth. Or even cross my mind, for that matter.

I never once thought that I would see fruit flies come pouring out of an open (and dripping) ulcer that was covered up in an ACE wrap. Never. Neither could I have ever imagined the smell that would emit from said ulcer.

Never in 5000 years could I imagine being in a room with a patient who had an infected amputated leg, and every time he moved the leg, or coughed, or laughed, blood would squirt about three feet out of the wound.

Did I ever think that I would have the following conversation with a parent?
     Parent: How much Tylenol should I give little Jimmy?
     Me: Do you have the bottle in front of you?
     Parent: Yes.
     Me: What does the bottle say?
     Parent: 2 tsp
     Me: Well, how much do you think you should give little Jimmy?
     Parent: 3 tsp?
Seriously? No.

This isn't even scraping the surface of a day in the life of a nurse. Nurses work hard. They put up with a lot of crap, both from doctors and patients (or patient's parents as it were). But, nursing can be rewarding too. When you get a patient who is deathly afraid of getting his blood taken, and says he always passes out, to give blood by distraction and with out passing out...that's rewarding. Seeing the gratitude on his face, and to see absolute awe in the face of a grown man, proud of himself and realizing that he could actually get his blood taken withOUT passing out...that's awesome.

When you give a kid a shot and he screams in happiness that he is the bravest boy he knows because he didn't cry once...that's awesome.

When you get the undying love of a patient because you talked said indecisive and stubborn patient into going to the ER because they were in excruciating pain and could have thrown a clot...that's awesome. So are the hugs and smiles that come EVERY SINGLE TIME that patient sees you.

It's awesome and rewarding to be a part of a patient's care. It's tough work. There are a ton of things I'd rather not do, or discuss, but that just goes with the territory. Nurses are under-appreciated, and over-worked, but they come back day after day to take care of you all.

So! Next time you see a nurse, give them a hug and say thanks. Trust me, it'll make their day.

That's all I have for now Chickens! Later!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

3rd Pin of Interest - Mouth Watering...Laundry Detergent?

Oh. My. Gosh.

My sister and I made homemade laundry detergent and it smells heavenly. I want to keep the jar open and use it as an air freshener in my room.

I avoided Pinterest for a very long time. I have been singed up for years, but I never got on. I always thought it was a time suck (it is), it's filled with loads of stuff I can't do (it is), it will steal my soul (it has). But! I gave in to the temptation and it has proven to be very interesting and handy. It's given me a project for the year! What more could I ask for?

Let's talk detergent.

It's necessary. It's costly. It's so much fun to buy. Is that just me? I love to buy laundry detergent. I love Downy and Tide. It makes my clothes and bed smell like heaven. But it is so friggin' expensive!

Pinterest to the rescue!

For this Pin of Interest, we have How Does She? to thank. I've read a lot of blogs on detergent. Weird? Maybe. It's really interesting to me for some reason. Anyways, I've read a lot about it, and this blog seemed to put it the easiest way. There are some things I changed (of course), but I really did try to stay as close to the recipe as possible. I've never made detergent, and if this is going to keep my clothes clean, I don't want to screw it up.
Your ingredients:

Box of Borax
Box of Super Washing Soda (different from baking soda)
Baking Soda-her recipe called for 4 lbs! I only had 3.
2 Bars of Zote Laundry Detergent
OxyClean- she called for 3 lbs, I used about 6 heaping scoops because we only had a HUGE box
Downy Unstoppables
One gigantic mixing bowl

So to start, you need to shred the Zote into tiny pieces. A lot of people that I've read about use the fine grater on the cheese grater. Or their food processor. I don't have the patience to grate. I certainly am not fancy enough to own a food processor. So I went with the 3rd option: Microwave. Yep, microwave. I cut up the first bar into chunks like this:
Then I put it on a plate and set the microwave for 30 seconds. I didn't know what was going to happen. Turns out, nothing did. So I added a minute. Then it started to bubble up like a marshmallow. It was awesome! 
Just a fair warning, it is burning (literally) hot when you take it out of the microwave. What you need to do is let it cool completely, then you can peel off the layers and crumble them. Danielle and I used a butcher knife and some other random baking thing my mom had lying around the kitchen to make the crumbles even smaller. We found that if you cut the bars into smaller cubes and put on several different plates, then it goes a lot faster.
See! Several plates and a butcher knife.

Then This hand little pastry utensil
helped us further. 
Once that you have grated, processed, chopped or pulverized all of the Zote, then you just dump in all of the other ingredients. Now. Let me tell ya something. It's important that you have the patience to make the soap fine. If it's too big, it won't dissolve in the water. If it doesn't dissolve, then it sticks to your clothes. If it sticks to your clothes, and you put them in the dryer, it will leave burn marks on your clothing. SO! Patience. I have told everyone that I've talked to about this to have someone help you with this part. It is time consuming either way you do it. Unless you have a food processor. Then you are lucky. However, I'm not sure I'd want to clean this soap out of the processor, it's tenacious. And, I wouldn't want my future food to taste like Zotey soap. Mmmmmmmm.

So! Dumping. Ingredients. Make sure that you incorporate all of the ingredients as uniformly as possible. That was there is enough of everything in every load of laundry that you do.

You will only need 1-2 Tablespoons of the mix per load, depending on the size of load you usually wash. I'm terrible and cram clothes into the washer, so I use 2 good Tablespoons. Actually, I just use my 1/8 cup scooper and scoop it out that way.

This recipe makes a ton of detergent! The fact that you don't have to use all that much per load is awesome! It's way more inexpensive then buying the brand name stuff. And, if you figure that you don't have to buy separate fabric softener, you will realize that by making your laundry detergent, you really do come out on top money wise. The cool thing is...it works!!  I've used it and so has my sister. I washed clothes, she washed towels. Smells good and clean! We ended up splitting the spoils because a) she helped with the tedious task that is Zote and b) it made so freaking much! Just store in an air tight container. I used some Mason jars, a Glad thingie, and an old Animal Cracker container.
 Well, that's all I have on Laundry detergent. If you want to make some, and need some help, just ask. :)

Later gators! -----do it--->

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Perfectly Imperfect

So, I borrowed from an old blog I had that I never really wrote in. I've totally changed this up, but the jist is still the same. This has been on my mind the past couple of days. Lucky you, I am now sharing it! Yay!

"Fault lines should be worn with pride." -Incubus

I have my favorite bands and Incubus is most definitely up there. I hear their music, the poetic way they phrase the most simple of questions/statements, and I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Another band that can get this kind of reaction outta me is Muse. Surprise! Now, Matthew Bellamy is one clever and amazingly talented musician. He can write the most profound music and lyrics, then go out and play the piano and guitar with flawless ease. He makes it look as easy as breathing to him…and it very well may be. I’m only slightly VERY in love with him. Maybe that's why I have seen them, I think, seven times in concert. When I hear any of their songs, my heart beats a little bit faster and I get a huge grin on my face…the world just seems right. End cheesey, mushy music moment.

So anyhoozits, I was listening to “Talk Shows On Mute” the other day and it really got me thinking…as Incubus regularly does. That line, “fault lines should be worn with pride,” got stuck in my head and just kinda twirled around in there, marinating. I kept singing it and repeating it over and over again. And, I’ve come to the conclusion that our fault lines (imperfections) should be worn with pride. It’s really sad that we compare so much of what/who we are to what is considered mainstream, normal or cool. We watch the TV, we read the gossip, we see the models and we critique ourselves on those things. When we don’t add up, when we don’t fit in, when we can’t even come close, we go to extremes to make that happen. We become anorexic, we hate our faces, we belittle our own intelligence and our bodies, we become dependent medications/drugs/alcohol/name-your-poison to even us out... and for what? A bunch of heartaches, headaches, and low self esteem? (Side note: this is in no way saying that medications aren't sincerely needed. I'm very pro-medication for the right reasons)

We should celebrate our differences and imperfections. Honestly, this is what makes the world a much more interesting place. It’s sad that we’re so blasted hard on ourselves. I wish that I could say that I’m not included in this, but I’m so very guilty it’s not even funny. Ok, it's a little funny. Just think how wonderful it would be to not care about your flaws or about what makes you different? Wouldn’t it be fabulous if we could be like, “Yeah I’m fat, you’re ugly, he's poor, she’s gorgeous…let’s be friends.” To be able to say that, actually mean it, and not feel self conscious would seriously be ideal. It’s so hard for me to not compare myself to those around me. It’s difficult to not be hard on myself for all the things that I lack. What we need to remember is that there are no rules, no "normal"…well, there shouldn’t be.

I have these talks with my besties all the time. It's so funny because we are always sarcastically saying how awesome we are. It's true. We are awesome. But in that same breath we are wondering why we look this way, I need to lose weight, why can't I find a dude that's as cool as me (hehe), why why why? That girl over there did. So and so got married, why can't I? I mean, who hasn't thought that? We are silly. It's so hard to do, but really we need to concentrate on what's important. Everything else will fall into place after that. However, knowing and doing are two very different kettle of fish. This is something that I will probably have to work on my whole life. Ideally we would just be happy with who we are and to heck with everything else. We need to realize that we are perfectly imperfect, and that's totally fine!

Anyways. I’m done ranting. I’m going on and on and I’m not sure it’s making sense. It’s just some things that were on my mind. They are always on my mind. At times, it consumes my mind. Makes it mush. Makes it hard to focus. Wouldn't it be wonderful to not have to worry? It really would.

So my chickens, let's work on being nicer to ourselves this year. Let's work on being nicer to each other. And, let's celebrate our fault lines and imperfections. All we can do it try, and I say we work on trying!

Hugs and butt pats!

A funny PS: my other favorite line in this song is "I hate to say it, but you're so much more endearing with the sound turned off." Ever been around someone when you feel like this? I have. I'm going to try to be nicer about my thoughts though. :) Work in progress folks, work in progress.