Saturday, April 28, 2007

An Announcement From the Message Goat



I said...* AHEM?

Thank you.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Message Goat speaking. I have an announcement to make regarding a sad event which happened near Bohemian Road Nurse's beloved Podunk.

As you all know, Belinda, Bo's best friend who is pregnant, also has a very dear and precocious 5-year old child who (much to the child's chagrin) Bo calls "Little Bunny Foo-Foo" (who is the light of Bo's life) (next to her own niece, of course.)

(Foo-Foo is rather outspoken in her precociousness. One time Bo couldn't control herself and hollered out at Foo-Foo in a McDonald's parking lot the following phrase: "Little Bunny Foo-Foo is my FAVORITE kid in the whole wide world next to Auntie Bo's niece!" Apparently, Bo has made that embarassing statement quite a few times because Foo-Foo hollered back politely: "I know, Auntie Bo...")

Anyway, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Message Goat digresses. On with the reason for my announcement.

The reason for my announcement is a very serious and heartbreaking matter. It seems that one of Little Bunny Foo-Foo's classmate's house suddenly burned down, leaving the entire family with absolutely NOTHING.


The two children, a five-year old and a three-year old, barely got out of the house wearing only their flimsy jammies--- and no shoes.....

Thus, Bo and Belinda are going to join the just-organized effort to help this family. The school sent a letter to the parents giving notice that the children most need clothes...and toys. (And this information caused Bo many bitter and painful tears as she can't abide the thought of a young child being without clothes and toys---and especially being without one single toy....)

What's worse is that this disaster happened in a very small town about 7 miles away from Podunk---a town so small and poor that most of its citizens are pretty poverty-stricken and have very little to give. The Podunk region is mostly a depressed region with a low salary/wage base, and most people here live paycheck-to-paycheck with no health insurance or much in the way of belongings.

But the generous and helping spirit of humanity lives strongly within the local churches and school community---and so a collection request has gone out.

Thus, Bo and Belinda went shopping together on Friday after work, to Walmart, to buy the children some things. They each bought the little girls some shorts and tops sets, with some packages of panties and socks. Bo also bought the two children each a "baby doll" with clothes and accessories.

(In fact, Bo liked the toy department so much that Belinda practically had to physically drag her out of there. Because... uh...Bo is rather well-known for her child-at-heart personality--- and would actually play with toys herself if this behavior would not cause her friends and relatives to commit her to the looney bin....)

Anyway, when Bo mentioned this tragic story to her sister (who was up at their mother's home for the weekend), both Bo's sister and mother immediately donated generous cash donations, enabling Bo and Belinda to plan another shopping trip to Walmart for Tuesday!

And then....Bo's sister handed her something else....

It was an envelope.....and it was from Bo's niece, who is a college student at Texas Women's University. Inside was her donation for the children. And this gift again caused Bo much tears---this time tears of joy--- because of the heartfelt spirit in which it was given.

Bo's niece is a college student---and everybody knows that college students are usually broke, not having a whole lot of cash themselves. In fact, Bo's niece goes to college 5 days a week and then works very hard for minimum wage all weekend long at a video store. For her to give such a cash gift had to hurt her pocketbook. But she gave it immediately, without hesitation, for two small children who she doesn't even know.

And so, the love of one light of Bo's life flows to the classmate of Bo's "other" light of her life--- and Bo's heart overflows with happiness.

And you will find Bo and Belinda again at Walmart, Tuesday after work, shopping for the children.

(And Bo is already anticipating the thrill of going to the toy department again.....)

Your Message Goat will provide further information on this issue as it develops.

Thus, that is all for tonight. As usual, snacks and alfalfa hay will be served in the back pasture after this meeting.

Oh yes, and one more thing..... Bo asked your Message Goat to remind everybody to hug their loved ones and tell them how much they are loved every day.....

* * * *

Words to the kiddie song:

"Little Bunny Foo Foo"

(Written By: Unknown, Copyright Unknown)

Little Bunny Foo Foo,

Hopping through the forest,

Scooping up the field mice,

And boppin' 'em on the head...

Down came the good fairy and she said "Little Bunny Foo Foo,I don't want to see you scooping up the field mice and boppin' 'em on the head. I'll give you three chances, and if you don't behave I'll turn you into a goon!"

The next day:

Little Bunny Foo Foo,

Hopping through the forest,

Scooping up the field mice,

And boppin' 'em on the head,

Down came the good fairy and she said "Little Bunny Foo Foo,I don't want to see you scooping up the field mice and boppin' 'em on the head. I'll give you two more chances, and if you don't behave I'll turn you into a goon!"

The next day:

Little Bunny Foo Foo,

Hopping through the forest,

Scooping up the field mice,

And boppin' 'em on the head...

Down came the good fairy and she said "Little Bunny Foo Foo, I don't want to see you scooping up the field mice and boppin' 'em on the head. I'll give you one more chance, and if you don't behave I'll turn you into a goon!"

The next day:

Little Bunny Foo Foo,

Hopping through the forest,

Scooping up the field mice,

And boppin' 'em on the head...

Down came the good fairy and she said "Little Bunny Foo Foo, I don't want to see you scooping up the field mice and boppin' 'em on the head. I gave you three chances and you didn't behave. Now you're a goon!


The moral of the story is:



Wednesday, April 25, 2007

To Deacon Barry: My Obsession


I was going to entitle this blog posting:

"My Obsession --- For Deacon Barry"

But then...I looked at that sentence again and noticed that it didn't quite right.

In fact, it ... uh.... sounded rather scandalous---OOPS!

So I changed the title of this posting to:

"To Deacon Barry: My Obsession"

Let me explain.

In my last posting, I talked about about being excited because my new cleaning lady "raises paint ponies" which, as many people know who read this blog, I am obsessed with.


I think paint ponies are the coolest things in the universe!! And I'm fortunate enough to live and work in an area in which paint pony breeders are very common---and thus, there's lovely paint ponies all over the place---and I stick their pictures on my blog whenever possible.

I love to look at the paint ponies, feed them pears, talk to them, and take pictures of them. And one of the saddest things that happened to me when my old computer went kablooey was that I lost all my pictures---including those of all the paint ponies around here, waaaaaah!

One of my ex-husbands (not the biker---the IBM programmer) is coming to Texas in the spring and he said he'll fix my old computer in order to get all my pictures back for me.

Anyhoo, Deacon Barry asked me what a paint pony was. And so I'm making a special blog posting just to give him the answer. (Plus, I just love talking about paint ponies!)

And here is the answer to his question:

A paint pony is a particular breed of American horse which is colored in a certain, fascinating way. In fact, they're specifically bred to be colored in those ways.

Paint horses are very similar to the Pinto breed, discussed here:

Some people can really get into spirited arguments over the characteristics of these unusual horses, with some arguing that there are very definite differences between "paints" and "pintos" by virtue of their breeding. And yet still others insist that there are no "breeding differences"--- and that the only "differences" are the horses' coloring varieties.

In fact, I've seen people argue these issues to the point of pistols-at-dawn over whether a horse was actually a "paint" or a "pinto", but I'll let you read the definitions and check out the pictures for yourselves and see what you think.

Personally, I am one of those who think paints and pintos are very different in their breeding and "looks", but my sister is one of those who lumps them all into one category, stating: "Aaaah, they're all just pintos....", which causes me to cringe every time she makes that unholy declaration....

I have nothing against pintos but I just don't think they're the same as paints. (Where is my "second"? I should do like they did in the olden days and challenge her to a duel over such statements....)

(In Texas, you don't challenge someone to a duel in the classy ways that they do it in other countries---like lightly slapping them in the face with a beautiful glove or something. Around here you do it the old-fashioned Texan way, which usually begins with the sentence: "The HELL you say!" when a sentence one finds mortifyingly offensive has been uttered within their hearing....)

(Like if somebody called your paint pony a "pinto" or something....)

Anyhoo, there are various horse associations for paint ponies---

and also for the pintos.

And such associations frequently have rather strict horse coat coloring requirements for membership.

Horselovers, especially Texans, LOVE their paint ponies, and I've seen some of the breeders come up with some absolutely STUNNING color combinations. I prefer the ponies which are mostly white with a few large "patches" of light and medium brown, with long white manes--- but there's a zillion lovely paint pony "looks" which make my heart flutter and sing Road Nurse songs whenever I catch a glimpse of the beautiful creatures...

There is no prettier sight than a paint pony galloping through a green pasture, white tail and mane flying in the wind.....

(Don't tell Bonita-Mae, the little paint pony out in Pasture #3, that I said anything about preferring the white and brown paint colorings---she's a Piebald Pinto and is covered with little grey and white "spots". She'd absolutely KILL me for saying I prefer the other colorings, even though she's gorgeous in her own right.)

(You know how vain and sensitive these high-falutin' paints and pintos can be....)

Anyhoo, I'm desolate that I lost my lovely paint pony pictures in my old computer. But....I have one consolation left. I have my collection of paint ponies statuettes from The Trail of the Painted Ponies. Here are my favorite ones:

Here's the one called "Many Tribes":

And here's the Holiday Painted Pony called: "Nutcracker Pony":
And here's the one simply called "Blondes":

(And I'll let you guess which one was given to me as a gift because the giver stated that it "reminded" them of me)....

Unfortunately, I can't afford too many of these beautiful figurines. My big dream is to line a wall with them. But it's going to take me awhile because they're expensive.

(What I wouldn't GIVE for the "retired" pony called "Horsefeathers" or else the one called "Cheyenne Painted Rawhide"....)

(Anyhoo, how's that for an answer about my favorite subject---painted ponies--- Deacon Barry?)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I Finally Did It.....

Some people have asked me whether or not I finally got my apartment unpacked since moving here last October.

They ask me this for good reason---because they know me well and knew that I hadn't done it.

They know that I am notorious for delaying my unpacking for an ungodly amount of time on any occasion that I have moved residences. In fact, I let my last apartment languish unpacked for a solid year simply because I didn't like the apartment.

But I really like this apartment. But even that fact didn't get me to unpacking after I moved in----I simply unpacked some of the stuff I needed and let everything else sit in boxes..... since last October.

I guess it was because after I moved I got all involved in my job, and then the holidays began, and then Lu-Lu got fired, and then I got appointed as the Manager, and then we started having problems with my secretary and Geena-Lou...

...and then I had to fire the secretary and Geena-Lou, and then Jane-Anne started having problems with her diabetes AND got pregnant, and then I hired Belinda (and she's pregnant, too) (and developing frequent cravings for cheesecake, if I may add) .....

...and then I finally hired another LVN (and let's pray to GOD that she works out)...and then the hosptital bought our office building and so we had to move our office....and then....and then.....

You can see what happened. So I figured I had a perfectly good excuse for not unpacking this place for nearly a year.

But I finally had to get serious and start unpacking---and "putting things together"--- in the last couple of weeks because Belinda suddenly decided to take a strong stance with my laziness. And she found me a very... er.....blunt... and aggressive cleaning lady to help....uh... "motivate" me.

And when I say "blunt and aggressive", I mean it.

Do you know that my new cleaning lady actually told me to make my bed?

She actually informed me: "I don't do beds, so you have to do it."

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that there was an old cliche about cleaning ladies "not doing windows". But this one doesn't do beds.

So I make my own dang bed even though I pay her a small fortune to come clean my apartment. (I wonder if she does windows?....)

She also tells me exactly which cleaning products to buy. And of all the nerve, she told me she "prefers Barkeepers's Friend" instead of Comet. I have 4 brand new big containers of Comet but suddenly I had to go to Walmart and find Barkeeper's Friend for this sassy cleaning lady.

She also tells me exactly what kind of toilet bowl cleaner, dusting solution, tile cleaner, and glass cleaner to buy. Which are all completely different than the brands I already have. What's with this girl? She even made me help her take out all my trash to the dumpster the other day.

And you can't argue with her at all because she'll simply dismiss the whole conversation and say something like: "Listen, I don't have time to argue---I've got to go feed my horses after this."

I did try to get on her good side and gave her my dressage horse-riding helmet for which she actually looked pleased to obtain. I also gave her my old German riding boots which were fairly new, custom cut at the calves and knees, and she looked pleased to get them, too---until I told her I'd lost my boot jacks for getting them off. (So I pulled and tugged until I got them off of her, because she had insisted on putting them on....)

(And it's not that easy to get German custom-fit dressage riding boots off without a boot jack....)

Guess what kind of horses she raises.....?


Lord, guys, if I play my cards right she just may let me come out and see them some time.....

...and so I guess I really don't mind buying the "Barkeeper's Friend" afterall....

Anyway, about her liking "Barkeeper's Friend" instead of "Comet". What is the dang difference? I've used them both and they seem the same to me. Oh well, if Belinda hired her for me at least I know she's honest and won't steal.

So anyhoo, I've FINALLY unpacked most of my stuff and gotten much of the apartment put together, so that this cleaning lady will get off my case.

She does give my apartment weird looks, though. It is because I decorate apartments as strangely as I knit---in all kinds of colors, weird "styles" and color-combinations, all strung together. I couldn't care less about "proper decorating" techniques.

I use a lot of the stuff I've gotten from my travels overseas, the beautiful art objects my mother buys or makes for me---and I place all this stuff in and aruond the objects I own which I call my "Early Modern Walmart" decor.

I'll mix and match "nice" or "quality" stuff with Walmart stuff. This drives my family nuts, but hey, it's my apartment, ya know?

So who cares that I put my Toulouse Lautrec prints over the stove next to some Walmart collanders? I think they look fine that way---and it was my blog readers who suggested the red color scheme, which I love.

And who cares that I hung pots and pans in the dining room? There was no room for them in the pitifully small kitchen.

And who cares that I decorated my hall in "leopard motif" with a "phone nook"---even though I don't even use land-phone lines (and thus, none of my land-line phones are hooked up) and I only use a cell phone? I just like that phone table---it's oak and was quite a bargain at the Goodwill Store.

I still don't have the back bedroom or all my knitting stuff unpacked, and I still have one bathroom which is completely blank of furnishings---but most of the apartment is looking better. In fact, it's become my refuge. Especially the balcony, where I put some flowers in the hopes of attracting the pretty birdies.

It is my apartment where I can relax and re-charge.....

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Making Lemonade Out of a Lemon Week....


I knitted Belinda a baby sweater for her upcoming baby. (I'm still working on the baby blanket---getting ready to cast-off and then do a hand-crocheted trim).

Hope the sweater fits....

I know, I know, it's weird colors, but remember what I told you---I never knit anything but psychedelic stuff....

(I'm working on a camouflage sweater for Jane-Anne's baby since she said camouflage would "be cool"....)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I Saw Belinda Cry Today.....

* * * *

Today, I saw Belinda cry for the first time in my life.

And it tore my heart out.


Once for the reason she cried. And secondly, because it hurt like hell to see my best friend cry.

She was sitting next to me at my desk, asking me about her five-year old daughter's allergy medicine. And then suddenly she stopped talking and broke down crying, her teardrops falling onto the files lying on my desk, leaving tragic little wet spots on the manilla folders.

"What can a mother do?" she cried helplessly, her delicate hand fluttering to her face, wiping her tears with her hand since she didn't have a Kleenex.

"You send your child to school every morning----and you think they're going to be safe.....and then you hear about these terrible things happening in schools---like what happened in Blacksburg, Virginia at Virginia Tech. And I've got another daughter coming soon! And...and I really want to know?----what....WHAT?...can a mother do to keep her children safe?"

A terrible lump rose in my throat. I had been trying to control it all morning because I was heartbroken over the same reason that she was---and I was truly afraid that if I started to cry that I wouldn't be able to stop...

And what's worse is that I had no answer for Belinda.

And it was then that I felt a rage rising in me---the rage that comes from seeing my best friend cry--- and knowing the terrible, terrible reason for her crying---but also knowing that there's absolutely nothing that I could do about it.

I didn't have the appropriate words to say that would bring her relief or comfort. I didn't know what to say! I felt so damn helpless.... I didn't have the solution that would give her relief that her children will always be safe... and that nothing bad would ever happen again in this world....

And so I'm putting here the picture of a little gift that Belinda once gave me. It is a picture of the Bible of her religion.

It is a living piece of proof that love and hope exist in this world. And that this love and hope exist despite the myriad of differences in our humanity---no matter what religion one is, no matter what color one is, no matter what country one lives in, no matter what political beliefs one holds---no matter WHAT differences there are between we of the human race....

Because Belinda is a different religion than I am--and her Bible is different than my religion's Bible. Hers is a religion which has been ridiculed in this town----just as I've been ridiculed for being a recovering alcoholic.

Belinda and I have never let our religious differences or my shame about my alcoholism affect our deep and abiding love and friendship for each other, through thick and thin, in this sometimes treacherous world.

And one thing about that Bible that Belinda gave me....

In it is written the same thing that is written in my religion's Bible--- something which gives both of us courage, hope, and endurance in the face of the terrible tradgedy which occurred in Blacksburg, Virginia.....

....which I read to her as we sat at my desk crying over that terrible tradgedy....

"He will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore." --- Revelation 21:4

All of our hearts, here in Podunk, go out to the victims, families, people of Blacksburg, Virginia, and also to the entire country. We are thinking about you constantly, and please know that our prayers and love for you are constant.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

All Road Nurses Borrow Their Songs....

A storm is brewing, as you can see by the above picture of the clouds circling Podunk....

Well, I finally got the new computer up and running correctly, albeit with a lot of gnashing of teeth and cussing.....

And everybody's suggestions did help! (Except, of course, the ones about buying a Mac, as I can't afford to do that right now--but believe me, I will consider that option next time I've got the cash...)

And then also, I will confess, that I also found out during the course of the whole sorry mess, that I had one of my plugs stuck in the wrong hole--- so I'm partially at fault on the sound issue.

(I feel better now that I've confessed about that matter---but I'm still not taking back ANY of my insults about Bill Gates because I definitely feel that he foisted the "Vista" operating system onto the world before it was "user friendly", okay?)

Anyhoo, I finally got all my computer's attachments (digital camera, iPod, etc) working, and I also have sound in its speakers and sub-woofer. So I'm back in business. Except......

I'm in one of my Blue Funk moods, drat it all....

And as a result of my Blue Funk mood, I've been discouraged, I've been crabby, I've been sassin' doctors, I've been making "comments" on medical blogs whereby I've done the blogosphere equivalent of "snatching people bald"----and I've, in general, been a giant poop. And the Midol didn't help.

Ah, but it's a terrible thing when a road nurse is in a Blue Funk. She searches, she ponders, she cries, she wonders, and she frets......she wants nothing more than to make the world a right place again.....but sometimes the solutions are far from apparent.....

I suppose I could make excuses and say it's only natural because of all the ups and downs my company office has been through since December.

First, Lu-Lu's demise---leaving the office in chaos whereby the owners appointed me the boss. Then Jane-Anne's diabetes kicked into high gear, especially after she got pregnant, which promptly put her into the hospital. Then I had to fire two people (one of who I really cared about)---but then I was able to hire two people in their place (both I really care about).

And then the dadgum hospital bought our building! The nerve. And so NOW we have to move our office to another building next weekend---what a pain in the behind.

What's worse is that, ever since they made me Branch Manager my road trips to see patients are less frequent than they used to be since I must now devote a lot of my time to my managerial (aka "office") duties.

This is the worst punishment---because, as you know, one of the most important Rules of a Road Nurse is:

A Road Nurse Must Be Free.....

And I haven't been all that "free" lately. Belinda's been doing my field work. Because I've been tied to the office a lot getting ready for our upcoming move and the training of the new employees. And also, I've been spending a lot of time fretting and worrying about the future, with questions such as:

"How am I going to get this office running efficiently after all these personnel changes---especially with two pregnant nurses?"

(Just the other day I had to rush out of the office to the aid of Belinda, who had nearly fainted while driving. She did manage to pull over to the side of the road to avoid an accident and was able to weakly call me on the cell phone. I rushed out of the office in a blind panic and went to find her. She was weak from not having eaten any breakfast, and one of her "pregnancy migraines" had set in, making her feel faint and unable to see. I sat there and fed her apple juice, took her blood pressure and blood sugar, and then drove her to a place where I made her eat some lunch. She felt better in awhile and was able to continue with her day, despite my insistence that she go home and to bed....)

"How am I going to come up with ideas to build the census of patients with all the competition of other road nurse companies?"

"What if something happens to one of Belinda's or Jane-Anne's unborn babies in their frail health?"

"How am I going to meet the Owners' expectations of stepping up to the plate, which means catching up on all the past backlog of work in our office that Geena-Lou and my ex-secretary didn't do for the last three months--- and turn things around into a efficiently-run office after they and Lu-Lu pretty much ran it into the ground?"

"How am I going to keep my promises to Belinda and Bonnie that I'll provide them with a better workplace than we all used to suffer at our former road nurse companies?"

"What if everything blows up in my face and I'm a failure?"

"I've got seven employees (two of them pregnant) depending on me to keep their jobs safe...."

Anyhoo, I know I made a promise on here--that I would sing a song for all the good advice I received from you wonderful people for my computer woes. And I'm in the mood to sing, anyway, because of my Blue Funk Mood.

And so, in keeping with my promise (and also because of my Blue Funk about my career frettings) I'm going to sing y'all the "Borrowed Road Nurse Song".

I say it's the "Road Nurse Song" because all road nurses have one they sing, either out loud or subconsciously, on the road. And I say that it's "borrowed" because most of us borrow our songs from our memories of other songwriters' songs. (Maybe some road nurses make their own up, but I've never met one. Usually road nurses use one that's already made up and simply fits the bill, ya know?)

Mine is borrowed from the movie, "The Sound of Music".

It is the song I sing in my pitiful heart whenever I am sad, happy, morose, discouraged, frightened, melancholy, feeling tragic or hopeless, feeling thankful to the Lord, or any other emotion which besets or overcomes me while on the road---and causes a need for my psyche to give my feelings an outlet somehow--- instead of percolating malignantly in my pea-brain.....

Ask any road nurse..... and she'll tell you.....that the longings and yearnings of her live, beating heart drum along with the song she sings as she drives the road on her daily rounds.....

Over the weekend, I was feeling just such a sadness and melancholia about all the problems and changes in my job that I just described above----and so I drove around yesterday, taking pictures......

And so I sang my song...... my heart bursting with love with each picture I snapped of my beloved home as I belted out the words of my particular "borrowed song".....

....and I thought of all you guys as I sang the song--- and how much I wish I could take each and every one of you along with me in my battered Jeep, showing you my territory, introducing you to my beloved friends and patients, (and taking you to get a taste of the best biscuits and jelly you'll ever taste in your life)......

They may not be the most interesting of pics I've ever taken. But these pictures were taken less than 2 miles from my home. And these are the sights which I leave in the morning----and they are the ones which greet me when I come home each evening.

These sights are much beloved to me and I visualize them as I sing my song..... and so here goes....

(By Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers, for the movie, "The Sound of Music")

(Prequel to main song:) (Which are my thoughts before singing):

My day in the hills has come to an end, I *

I know a star has come out to tell me it's time to go, B*

But deep in the dark green shadows, A*

Are voices that urge me to stay, S*

So I stop and I wait and I listen, F*

For one more sound, for one more lovely thing, t*

That the hills might say.....


(pic is a nearby bridge where I watch hopefully for ducks...)

The hills are alive with the sound of music, T*

The songs they have sung for a thousand years, T*

The hills fill my heart with the sound of music, M*

My heart wants to sing every song it hears,


(pic is some local buffalo---which are laying down right now in anticipation of the rain which came later that evening.....)

My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds that rise, f*

from the lake to the trees, M*

My heart wants to sigh like the chimes that flies, f*

from a church on a breeze,


(an old red barn that I fear will collapse on the hefers' heads every time they mill around in there....)

To laugh like a brook when it trips and falls, o*

Over stone on its way, T*

To sing through the night, L*

Like a lark who is learning to pray,


I'll go to the hills when my heart is lonely, I *

I know I will hear what I've heard before,


(here's some more stupid buffalo again---if you ask me, I think they're simply lazy and love the excuse of laying down when it's going to rain, just so they can lollygag in the clover....)


My heart will be blessed with the sound of music...


And I'll sing once more......


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Buffalo Gals Won'cha Come Out Tonight?....

Er.....lately I've noticed that I've been on a rant and have done the blog equivalent of "snatching some people bald" in the "Comments" section of some medical blogs discussing controversial topics. N*

Now they probably want to snatch me bald.

In fact, I've done it so much lately that perhaps I need a Midol......

(I did get a picture of some buffalo today, which I'll put up soon. And the damn things were laying down---must be gonna rain tonight.)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Bill Gates--Get Your Butt To Texas....

I am going to SCREAM.

My old computer crashed and burned. It blew so badly that the computer man gave it CPR to no avail.

(And believe me, it ain't that easy to intubate a computer for a Code Microsoft. Do you put the ET tube into the CD drive? Or do you put it into one of the USB ports? Or perhaps the Ethernet port since that's where its "lifeblood" comes from?.....)

Anyhoo, the CPR didn't work and the computer man "pronounced" it after about $85.00 worth of CPR. So....I went right out and drove the hour and a half drive to the nearest town with a computer store. Once there, I sashayed into the computer store with Visa card in hand---and bought myself a brand spanking new Gateway computer---which the computer salesman told me is more powerful than a speeding locomotive, is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, is faster than a speeding bullet----and best of all---IT HAS WINDOWS VISTA, yaaaaay!!!!!

At least, so he told me....

But to my everlasting utter mortification, I soon found out that it is NOT Super Computer.

Do you know why?

Guess what Windows Vista left out?

It left out the ability to recognize my digital camera, my Ipod, my printer, my sub-woofer, my speakers, and my own brains.

. If ANYBODY, and I mean ANYBODY, knows how I can figure out how to make my hardware work on this dadgum, dadblame, egg-sucking, porch-sitting, yard-dog-petting, Bisquick-using, greenhorn, from-a-big-city, contraption (and thus "recognize" my hardware)....

I would be eternally grateful to you till my dying day----and I would then personally sing you "The Borrowed Road Nurse Song"--- right here on Tales of a Bohemian Road Nurse....

Monday, April 02, 2007

I'll Never Wear Lilac Panties Again....

I'll be a teenage idol, j*
just give me a break, I*
I'm gonna be a teenage idol, n*
no matter how long it takes, Y*
You can't imagine what it means to me, I*
I'm gonna grab myself a place in history, A*
A teenage idol that's what I'm gonna be... ("*
("I'm Going to be a Teenage Idol", Elton John)


It's beginning to look like spring...and I especially love all the colors. And the glorious dogwoods are beautiful but they don't last long...

You know, I always wanted to be a teenage idol.

But that did not happen.

As you know, I became a nurse instead---and now I'm a nurse "boss". And being the boss is definitely not very much fun because you have to be responsible and "on-call" all the time. You have to work weekends a lot, whether you're "on-call" or not, have to fire people.

What's even worse about being a boss is firing somebody you care about, which happened last week when I was forced to fire Geena-Lou.

I won't bore you with all the details, but it all boiled down to her trip to Houston. While she was gone, it so happened that Jane-Anne was in the hospital. This severe shortage of staff meant that one of the owners of our company came up to my branch office to help me out with the managerial duties, mainly Geena-Lou's office management stuff.

And when that happened, I think that Geena-Lou realized that the jig was up.

By that, I mean that it was discovered that Geena-Lou was horribly behind in her work---and if I had to be truthful about it, it was because she was goofing around a lot ever since Lu-Lu left. She was so far behind in her work that we found stuff from December in hidey-holes all over the office--- stuff that she'd hidden so that nobody would "know" how behind she was.

Actually, the owner later admitted that she had used Geena-Lou's absence during her trip to Houston as an excuse to come over and "look around"---because she had been suspecting for awhile that that certain problems were amiss. And innocent me---I had no idea. Because Geena-Lou had heretofore been an excellent office manager and had always done her work very thoroughly and in a timely fashion. But somewhere along the way things went awry.

I can't for the life of me figure out why Geena-Lou didn't realize that she could only hide her delinquency for so long---papers have to be filed in order that the company gets PAID, ya know? And I don't know why Geena-Lou started slacking. Maybe she was resentful about the the fact that she knew I planned on bringing my best friend, Belinda, on board. Or maybe it was that Geena-Lou has always tended to have a little bit of the "martyr" in her---in fact, one of her favorite things to say was: "I have to do all the work and yet it's the RN's who get the BIG salaries".

Which definitely isn't true by the way. Because RN's have TONS of work to do, too. Believe me, there is no inequality in the work load between nurses. We all work our tales off, RN's and LVN's alike. Although I do not think that it's fair that LVN's get paid less than RN's, I don't have any control over that.

Anyway, maybe Geena-Lou was just tired of home health. But I sure wish she'd just have come to me and been honest about it instead of doing it in a way which forced me to fire her---because it turned into an unpleasant incident and now she's not speaking to me. If she'd just been honest about things a long time ago, I'd have understood and been fine with it. I respect honesty and don't hold grudges about the things people decide to do with their careers or personal lives. If she'd have said she was "burnt out" and wanted to leave, I'd have said fine, wished her well, and we could have stayed friends.

In fact, it KILLS me that it happened the way it did. As you all know, I cared greatly about her, both as a co-worker and a friend. But I guess there's nothing I can do about it now.

And I have learned a valuable lesson about being the "boss"---which is that I've got to be attentive and "check on" peoples' work habits instead of just blindly trusting that all the necessary work is being done. And incidentally, I'll admit that I'm just a LITTLE pissed off about the fact that I've now got to do all the "catch up" work that Geena-Lou left for me---THANKS A LOT, GEENA-LOU....

Oh well, life goes on. You know, I wasn't always a "responsible boss". In fact, I'm going to make a confession here....

(Get ready....)

I'm a recovering alcoholic now. But in my drinking days, I was quite a wild girl. Although I never took it to work with me, my personal life was in shambles, the product of a rebellious, willful, hard-drinking, biker chick. Whoo-doggies, was I wild and undisciplined... *


In fact, I went to jail a few times.


Yes, it's true---I've seen the inside of jail a couple of times...and I'm highly ashamed to admit it. (And I must say that the experience was somewhat boring every single time. I don't care to go back there unless they let me take a few good Pat Conroy novels and some knitting supplies. )

The first time I went to jail was because I threw my purse at my second husband. And he deserved it. Ok, I'll admit that I have a temper (must be the Scotch/Irish blood in me) but he really could be a horse's patoot sometimes and my purse really wasn't all that heavy. In fact, I missed my shot and hit the wall beside him. I'd been drinking wine at the time and so my aim was off.

And how in the hell was I to know that the damn neighbors would hear my purse's THUMP on the wall and call the cops? The idgits. Haven't they ever gotten mad and thrown something before?

I've thrown lots of things in anger, I can tell you---hairbrushes, trash can lids, pot holders, dish-rags---usually whatever thing I had in my hand at the time my hsuband pissed me off, ya know?

Anyway, in that particular county, which is Overland Park, Kansas, there is the strangest law you ever heard of. It is this: if you do ANYTHING of a violent nature in a "domestic dispute", even if it is something so stupid as throwing your own dang purse at your own dang husband, you WILL go to jail.

And I did go to jail, dammit.

And for that matter, goddang!!! What kind of world is it when you can't even throw your own dang purse at your own dang husband??? I ask you!?! Isn't that a wife's right?

Well, I had never been to jail before, and so I really didn't know what to expect. The cops seemed nice enough. I took their niceness as a cue that going to jail really wasn't all that bad. In fact, once the cop driving me to jail realized that I had written a thesis on a psychological topic, he told me all his psychiatric problems---all the way to jail. By the time we had arrived, he said he felt a lot better.

And then they put me in a GLASS holding cell!!!! My God, GLASS, mind you! I asked the cops what in the hell I was supposed to do if I had to use the toilet in there---because I would be on display for all to see---and they replied: "You just have to use it."

When they shut the holding cell door, a lady cop had the decency to ask me if there was anything else I had to say before they locked me in there.

I replied: "Yes, I'm a little parched. Could I have an orange juice or something?"

She replied: "Who the hell do you think you are, Private Benjamin?"

I didn't get any orange juice.

Okay, my husband came to bail me out about an hour later. And for that sin, I got a year's probation for "Misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct", including the requirement of going to a class called "Anger Control".

The day I arrived at the Anger Control Class, I sat down next to a friendly-looking lady and thought I'd be chatty before the class started.

"What'd you do to get here?" I asked her.

"I went to bail my husband out of jail," she replied. "And when we left the police station I hit him with my purse on the police station's steps. They arrested me for hitting him with my purse."


As I said before, GODDANG! What kind of world is it when you can't even hit your own dang husband with your own dang purse???? I ask you!?!

Okay, I sailed through that year of probation with no problem and never thought of it again.

But .... unfortunately... I had not learned my lesson about my alcoholic drinking yet. I kept drinking and my behavior continued to be always the greatest. And then I committed a really BAD sin.

I drank and drove.

Yes, I admit it, and I take full responsibility for this terrible, terrible thing that I did. And I will print all negative comments on my blog site for those who want to scream at me for it. It was a criminal thing to do and I thank God each day that nobody was hurt.

Luckily, it wasn't a big accident. It was at a stoplight and I lightly bumped the guy in front of me when we both stopped for the red light. There was no damage to his bumper but there was a slight dent in my Jeep's fender (and it really was "slight" because it only cost $60 to fix.)

Unfortunately for me, there was a cop sitting there watching the whole thing. And I was busted.

He made me do the "walk the white line" thing on the road. You know, that thing where you have to stand still and touch your fingers to your nose---and then walk straight on that white line?

I did the finger-to-the-nose thing great---in fact, I was so confident that I even started getting a little fancy and started saying sassy things to the officer like: "Ya want me to do my eyebrows, honey? Wanna see me do my nostrils?" , all while dancing around him while touching my fingers to God knows which part of my face. I think I accidentally put one of my fingers into my ear but I tried to make out like it was "on purpose" by saying: "Betcha thought I couldn't do THAT, Officer! Wanna see me do the other one? Told ya I was SCONE COLD STOBER! "

He didn't say anything about the "scone cold stober" remark. He just bided his time. Because he knew.....

He knew I couldn't walk the white line. And I couldn't---BUT NOT BECAUSE I WAS DRUNK, dang it!

I have a relatively severe case of Meniere's Disease, an ear disease, and thus my equilibrium and balance are ALWAYS off. I couldn't walk a straight line if I were dead sober.

Unfortunately, in my inebriated state, I said just that to the cop.

"Sir, I have Meniere's Disease and I couldn't walk this stupid white line if I were sober."

He took me to jail. And this jail wasn't as nice as the Kansas jail. And that is because Texas jail is SERIOUS JAIL.

They actually take all your clothes and then give you "jail clothes and shoes" to wear. When they were handing me my jail clothing, I decided not to be intimidated by their mean attitudes.

Hell, I'd seen "The Shawshank Redemption"---and so I felt well prepared to endure the guards' "mean guard attitudes" depicted in the movies. Hah, I thought to myself, they weren't going to scare me, the dang turnkeys...

And then the clothing guard handed me a pair of jail flip-flops to wear. And the stupid things were three sizes to big. And as anybody knows, flip-flops that are three sizes too big are just NOT good, okay? Poor dumb guy just didn't realize that he had not heard me correctly when I told him my shoe size.

"Uh, Mr. Guard, sir?" I began politely. "I'm afraid that these flip-flops are way too big for me...."

And then I realized my mistake ("Shawshank Redemption", remember?) and so I quickly tried to reverse my blunder and hurriedly blurted out: "Oh, I'm sorry---my bad, I forgot---you guards don't give a shit if my shoes fit, right? Okay, that's fine, sir---this is jail and I'm a lowly prisoner, right. Don't worry about it, sir---I will 'fit in' with everybody else and wear those big flip-flops."

He looked at me incredulously---and then at his co-worker---as if I was the STUPIDEST GOON that ever walked the earth, but I determinedly held my head high and kept on going through my "processing" phase of entering jail with no loss of dignity. As I said, I'd seen "Shawshank Redemption", right?

Next they took all of us newly-arrested idgits to our cells. It was about 3 am and I asked a guard when breakfast was served. She replied: "In about a couple of hours. You might as well go to sleep--and you'll have to freeze because we don't have any extra blankets."

I shivered on my cot for awhile, dreaming of breakfast time. My cell mate snored away, unconcerned. But I lay there, unable to sleep---hungry---and entertained myself by imagining how warm and cozy the jail cafeteria would be, where I could have one of those tin jail trays you see in the movies--- with some nice scrambled eggs, maybe some bacon or sausage, a biscuit, and some hot coffee....

But then suddenly, at about 5 am, I was frightened out of my wits by the sudden flinging of two flattened brown paper sacks into our cell. I saw straight up on my cot and said: "What in the HOLY HANNAH was that?"

My cell mate, who had awakened at the noise of one of the sacks landing in the sink, yawned and replied: "That's breakfast. A balogney sandwich, an apple, and a milk. If you don't want yours, I'll eat it."

Later in the day, two similar flattened sacks were again flung into our cell.

"Let me guess," I said to my cell mate. "Lunch?"

Anyway, later in the day we were all taken to see the judge, where he would "set our bail". They chained all of us females together in one line, and the males in another. And then a guard led us to an area where we would sit and wait until it was time to go before the judge, all chained together. The guard left us briefly to go check the courtroom to see when it was time for us to come before the judge.

And of all the bad luck, I had been chained on one side to a sarcastic, sullen, street-wise girl named "Flash Cat". I didn't mind being chained to her, but I was trying to be a "good girl"---I didn't want any trouble. But stupid "Flash Cat" kept sassing and goading the male prisoners, making smart-alek comments, showing off for them, and generally drawing negative attention our way---which made me very nervous.

And then....of all THINGS...."Flash Cat" suddenly and expertly "picked" the lock on the handcuffs that shackled her arm and mine together---separating us!!!! Oh my GOD--- I thought I'd DIE! I thought FOR SURE that this infraction would get both of us more punishment than just that of the DWI. I was frightened out of my wits!

And then... you know what that jackass "Flash Cat" did when she got her arm free from the handcuffs? She started showing off again for the males sitting across from us, showing them that she had unattached herself from our "chain gang" handcuffs---and she started waving her free arm up and down to show them that it wasn't shackled!! (In fact, just the the thought of her doing that made me put a picture of a silly spotted donkey here to show you what I thought of her actions....)

(I hate donkeys...)

(And don't be fooled by spotted donkeys---they always try to masquerade as paint ponies...")

Anyway, this crazy girl's behavior panicked me. Lord, I thought---that's all I needed, for the guard to return and think that I had something to do with getting loose from those handcuffs---risking myself having an "attempted escape" added to my DWI charge!

Quickly, (and since the alcohol was wearing off of my foggy brain), I came up with what I thought was a good solution to the problem....

And so I started waving my free arm in the EXACT same way that she did--- in order to make it appear that we were STILL shackled together!

If she threw her arm upwards, I threw my arm upwards. If she thrust her arm downwards, I thrust my arm downwards. If she swung her arm back and forth, I swung my arm back and forth in tandem with hers---and I looked perfectly ridiculous doing this. The other prisoners looked at me like I was insane...

The prisoner guys across from us started laughing their asses off at me for this stupid scene. And as I sat there panicking--- and doing my mad marionette arm movements---stupid "Flash Cat" had the audacity to laugh at me too. But to my great relief, she finally fixed the handcuffs, re-shackling us together--- and I was able to breathe a HUGE sigh of relief--- just in time, too, as our guard suddenly reappeared.

Anyway, I saw the judge and received my charges (misdemeanor DWI). My husband at the time (my third husband, the biker) bailed me out of jail shortly thereafter. For my crime, I received a punishment of 18 months of probation, mandatory classes on substance abuse, and mandatory attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous.

My third husband, the biker, wasn't impressed at all with my jail adventures. He had been in jail so many times that he could give you a complete and tasty-sounding review of every jail house's food from here to Las Vegas.

"Abilene has the best food," he'd say. "They give you biscuits and gravy for breakfast there."

(His sarcasm and devil-may-care attitude didn't piss me off so much as the time, right after we got married, that he used one of his old jail ID cards in order to prove his identity when I signed us up for Sam's Club memberships. That embarassed me no end...)

Anyway, when it was all over in the jail and I was bailed out, I was allowed to go back to the processing place and re-claim my regular clothing, thank GOD. The procedure in Texas jails is that you have to call out each piece of clothing's color in order to ensure that it really is "your own" article of clothing. The guard calls out the piece of clothing and you call back it's color.

The guard said: "Jeans..."

I had to say: "Blue..."

He said: "Shirt..."

I said: "Navy blue with stripes on it..."

He said: "Socks..."

I replied: "White..."

He said: "Panties...."

I dutifully replied: "Lilac..."

Suddenly, it was as if a bomb had dropped. Every single person in the entire jail clothing room stopped dead in their tracks to stare at me as if I'd just grown 3 more noses. It was worse than the flip-flops incident. The silence was deafening and you could have heard a pin drop.

The clothing guard and everybody else looked at me as if I were the reigning Queen from Planet Looney Toon.

"What?" I asked indignantly. I was getting a little tired of them looking at me like I was weird all the time. But then I realized my gaff....

"Oh for CRYING OUT LOUD!" I exclaimed, exasperated. "PURPLE panties, dammit---are ya happy now?"

Shit Fire and Save Matches, but those idgity lunkheads had either never heard the term "lilac" before or they had absolutely no color sense. But my saying of the word "purple" must have satisfied that stupid guard because he then handed me my lovely lilac panties (after fondling them for a second, which irked me no end---the pervert.) And believe me, they were true lilac, NOT purple.

(And if I may say so, they were quite lovely panties indeed, being from "Victoria's Secret".)

(End note: Alcoholism is a miserable, hideous disease---but it is the alcholic's complete responsibility for getting the help they need to stop drinking, which includes ABSTAINING COMPLETELY from anything--- alcoholic or narcotic pills---which produce any kind of "high" or other alteration of the central nervous system.

Drinking and driving is a very serious crime and those who commit it fully deserve their punishment. Because of my drinking days, I have paid an extremely high price for my alcholism, both financially, legally, and personally. Although I may seem to be joking about my alcoholism here in this post, it's not meant AT ALL to make light of drinking and driving. When I went to alcoholism rehab, I used to sing the song "Tears of a Clown" because, on the inside, I perpetually hold the ongoing heartbreak and guilt of what I've done in my past---and it will be with me till the day I die.

I pay for the sins I committed while drinking every single day of my life, believe me. And these days I am wholeheartedly committed to being sober now---at the price of completely changing my entire life style--- which for me means having to avoid restaurants, people who drink a lot of alcohol, and avoiding situations which "remind" me of alcohol. In fact, I can't even walk down the booze aisle at a grocery store.

But it is a small price to pay for being sober. I am sober today---instead of dead. And let me tell you, the way I drank, it would have killed me, just as it killed my father and grandfather (and other relatives in my family.) But I chose to live. And I am lucky enough to have a good job and friends. Some of my family has forgiven me for my past---but not all.

I have been trying to stay sober for 10 years, but I admit that I've had a few slips (see my posting called "Bombardiers and Birdhouses", although that posting may be messed up because some of my archived postings have all their sentences "running together" ever since I changed from regular Blogger to Blogger Beta.) (And I haven't had time to fix them.)

And alcoholism never "goes away"---it is always lurking there, within, waiting to trip you up---and thus I have to be ever vigilant and watchful of myself....

After all this serious talk, I almost forgot to tell you my good news!.....

Remember Bonnie? The LVN who helped me herd the Rickenbockers' cows back to their ranch that time?

Hallelujah, but I talked Bonnie into coming to work for me part-time, thank GOODNESS! So things are looking up. It is mine and Belinda's sincere hope that we can talk Bonnie into some day changing to full-time status.

(Oh yes, one more Texas nobody thinks twice of a woman throwing her own dang purse at her own dang husband---they don't start talking jail till you pull a gun on him....)


(Oh yes, and just one more little thing. You know that old saying that your mom always said: "Don't forget to wear clean underwear in case you're hit by a car?" Personally, I think it might be useful to slightly change this little mom-ism and say something like: "Don't forget to wear clean, NON-LILAC, underwear--- just in case you're hit by a car or have to go to a Texan jail"....) (HEH! Jes' jokin'!!!)