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It was a busy week, though not overwhelming. I made to-do lists, completed them, and made new ones. I went to the hospital a bunch of times to check in on my precepting students. Most are doing well, but one has issues. That's on my to-do list for next week. I thought I might get out early one day, but it didn't happen. That's ok, because this coming week is a short week for me.

I will be leaving Wednesday after our test for my photo class. The weather is looking interesting--could be sunny, could be some snow. I'm hoping for both. I have camera stuff scattered all over the room, sorting out what I am going to take with me. I guess I should think about other stuff too, like clothes and food.

One thing I learned from previous trips is to bring my own food, particularly when we are based in a small town. it's no fun coming back hungry from shooting the sunset, to find that all the restaurants have closed for the evening.

house with Nung

I asked Malida to have her niece go over to our house construction and take a picture. She sent back about 20 variations of this pose, sometimes looking at the camera, sometimes looking away. No shots of just the house.

I'm kind of fascinated by how they make the foundation. They will start on the roof this week.

I bought our tickets to Thailand the other day. We will go for three weeks at the end of July, and return about 5 days before school starts back. Other than spending a few days in Bangkok, and a few days in Laos, we will spend most of the time dealing with house stuff, such as where the toilet will go, and what the floors will look like.

I think we will stay at her cousin's house in the village. She's one of my favorite people there, so I am looking forward to that, and to being able to spend some time there. The village is one of my favorite places, and it will give me some time to explore the area a bit. The road that goes to the village continues to the east, and I want to see where it goes. I suspect it ends up at the Mekong, and the eastern Thai border. I'll report back, with pictures.

feather river malida

Last Sunday we took a drive up along the Feather River and had lunch in the town of Quincy. It was a beautiful day, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We ended up driving for about 300 miles, which seems like a lot of driving for lunch.

bear creek

One of the creeks that dump into the river. They were everywhere. If you see me on Facebook, you saw the black and white version of this. This one seems a bit softer and friendlier. Whatever that means.
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Good to know. Thanks automatic translator thing.

I'm taking today off, as I am pretty much all caught up with things, and there is no reason to go in to the office. All the preceptorships are set up as well, so no reason to go to the hospital either. Malida is home, working on an essay about Fahrenheit 451, and I'm messing with some photographs I took after work yesterday.

Butterfly 1a

It was supposed to rain yesterday, and it did for a while, but mostly it was a nice day. I had to go to the hospital early to meet with a preceptor and student, but was back in the office by 7 am. I finished off my to-do list for the week, and tried to figure out an issue with our test security that has presented itself. Once I was done with all that, I headed over to the old city cemetery to walk around a bit and see if the flowers were blooming.

They were.

the dance

Many of the plots in the old cemetery have been "adopted" by people who plant flowers and maintain the environment. This has made it a lovely place to visit at almost any time of year. As I have mentioned before, it is one of my favorite places to take a camera, and I am never disappointed.

butterfly #2

There were lots of monarch butterflies around, though some of them seemed to be at the end of their lifespan and were falling apart. Someone told me that the lifespan is only about 3-4 weeks, though they seem to make the most of the time they have. We should all be like the butterflies.

I need to start making our plans for the Thailand trip. I'll probably work on that today. We will spent most of the time in the village, working on our house, but will spend a few days in Laos as well.

A first for me this time is that we will drive from Bangkok to Ubon, which takes about 8 hours. One of Malida's friends, and her car, is joining us. I am looking forward to that. I love a good road trip.
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It is a lovely Sunday morning. It rained a bit yesterday, but this morning the sun is out and shining in on my little office. It is starting to feel like spring, for real.

My students finished their clinical rotations on Friday, and I took them out to lunch after, as is my custom. We went to a place within walking distance of the campus, called Meet and Eat. I had never been there before, and it was pretty good. Our union has a meet and greet there every semester, and maybe I'll go next time.

The students very kindly gave me a little basket with a bunch of goodies in it, including some tiramisu cookies and a mason jar full of Russian candies. The Russian candies seem to be mostly variations on concentrated sugar, but they are good.

cup

They also gave me a new coffee mug, explaining that they didn't think my Hello Kitty mug was big enough to sustain me through four hours of lecture. I like it, and will use it. It is the perfect size for a four-hour lecture.

The students now begin their preceptorships, which is the last big hoop to jump through before they graduate. Normally I would be at the hospital this weekend setting things up, but I was able to get it all done last week. Go me! With the accreditation stuff being done, I now have all sorts of time to get caught up on things before the next big thing comes along.

I went to the first session of the landscape photography class yesterday. I'm really looking forward to it. We will be heading over to the east side of the Sierras again, but further south to a place called the Alabama Hills. I was last down there years ago at the very beginning of my big trip across Canada and the US. It is a six-hour drive, because most of the passes over the Sierras will still be closed.

We will also spend some time in Death Valley. That's the part I am really looking forward to. I spent some time researching locations last night, and decided that I will probably stay down there a few extra days, as the end of the class trip is the start of spring break.

mook

Mook is hanging out with me this morning. She has since moved from the desk to a comfortable spot in my reading chair, warmed by the morning sun. I looked over at her a second ago and she started purring. She's pretty content. Chocko is in the other room, in her usual spot, curled up next to Malida. I wouldn't mind being a cat.
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I'm sitting at the hospital, waiting for one of my students to call and tell me they need me for something. It's their last week before being turned loose for their preceptorships, so they really don't need me for much of anything. I have spent most of the morning setting up the preceptor stuff and orienting the summer teacher to the hospital.

healing garden in the spring

It is a beautiful, but chilly morning out there. I think we might drive up to the foothills on Sunday to see if we can find some wildflowers. I wish I had time to go down to southern California--the wildflowers look spectacular. It was one of those super blooms back in March of 2003 that prompted me to buy my first digital camera, so I could take some pictures on the way home from visiting my mom.

house

Malida got a text from her niece this morning with a picture of the beginnings of our house in Thailand. This is looking toward where the front door will be. amazingly, it already looks a lot like what I sketched out last August, and I can easily identify where the rooms will go. . I guess I'm a nurse-architect now.

mohr in march

Speaking of new construction, they are starting to pour some of the foundational elements for our new nursing building. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I expect to see a lot more activity and progress. I might actually still be around when we move in. Now that my mood has improved, I am back to thinking I will work another 3-4 years before I retire. Maybe. I'll see how life goes.

I'm looking forward to our last day of clinical tomorrow. As I almost always do, I will let them out a bit early and take them to lunch somewhere. They are still deciding on where they want to go. Apparently the decision is complicated by the presence of both a picky eater who doesn't like Mexican food, and a vegan. Whatever they decide is fine with me. If I had a vote, though, I'd vote for tacos.
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It was awfully nice to go back to work this morning and not have to think about accreditation stuff, other than thinking about what to do with the big pile of papers and reports on my desk. I decided to leave that for tomorrow.

It was a relaxing weekend. On Saturday, we got up early and headed down to Marin County to hike out to Tennessee Beach, which is a fairly secluded spot on the Marin coast. It is a two-mile hike in, but not a very hard two miles. It was a spectacular day, so even though we got out there early, there were already all sorts of people on the trail.

Malida on the trail

Malida stops to take a picture of something along the trail. This view captures everything I love about West Marin. We are so fortunate to have this huge swath of land preserved for all time by the creation of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area back in 1972, just as developers were salivating over it.

We got down to the beach and hung out there for a while. We packed a picnic lunch and ate it as we watched the waves come in. Malida brought a book and read for a while, while I took pictures. I took a number of pictures for people who saw my camera gear and figured I knew how to use their iPhone camera. I always like taking pictures for people.

Tennessee beach

Our little corner of the beach. It was such a lovely day--sunny with temperatures in the high 60s, and just a gentle breeze. By the time we made it back to the parking area in the early afternoon, Half of San Francisco was there looking for a parking spot.

We headed over to San Rafael Joe's for a late lunch/early dinner, and had a delicious meal. I've been eating there since I was a kid, and it was a favorite of my grandparents. I had many late-night meals there when I lived in that area.

Yesterday we got up way early, at 4 am, did some stuff, had breakfast, and went down for a nap at about 8. We woke up again at 10, did some stuff, went out for a walk, and had another nap at about 1. We got up and did some more stuff, had dinner, and to bed by 8. I think we needed the sleep.

beach

This last picture is one I took while Malida was reading at the beach. I posted it up on Facebook, and it got a lot more attention than I thought it would. I'm always kind of surprised when that happens. I never really know what people are going to like.
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It has been an exhausting week. After two years of preparation, we finally had our accreditation visit this week. It went pretty well, though we won't find out if we passed until about the first week of August. I feel mostly good about it, but have learned not to count chickens, etc.

carel

My boss waiting at the airport to pick up the review team on Tuesday.

There were three "peer reviewers", and they flew in from all over--Oklahoma, Phoenix, and Brooklyn NY. They are all nursing instructors from various programs, and reminded us of us.

They spent three days looking for evidence that the information we put in our self study was accurate--that we are actually doing what we say we are doing. We put together an evidence room with all the pertinent documents, etc., for them to review, and took them around to places on campus to meet all the appropriate folks.

evidence room

Someone very helpfully put a bedside commode in front of one of our evidence tables. In case we started to shit bricks or something.

At one point during the visit, one of the reviewers (the one from Brooklyn) was in my office looking through student files. She tells me that our student handbooks says that the students should have some required document, and asks me where she can find it in the file. I look through the files she has out, and can only find it in about half of them.

She looks up at me over the file she is perusing, and says, in a nursing school professor voice, "Your handbook says they are supposed to be here--why are they not here?"

I know that voice, as it is the same voice I use when I ask a student why they don't have some piece of vital information I expect of them. I feel my colleague, sitting across from us at her desk, willing herself to become invisible. I wish to join her.

Instead, I take the file from the reviewer, and assure her that I will find the documents. I ask her what would happen if I can't find them. She holds me in her gaze for a moment and says, "That would be bad."

I found the documents.

And that was kind of how it went for three days. We had a final meeting with them yesterday morning, where they told us their findings. After the meeting we took them to the airport and sent them on their way, and breathed a sigh of relief. It was over.

I had to go to the hospital after that to set up some preceptorships, and then came home and collapsed. In the midst of my nap, one of my students called, crying, because she thinks her preceptor doesn't like her. I gave her a little pep talk, and she felt better.

beignets

Beignets and coffee from our visit to New Orleans two years ago to attend a seminar to learn how to prepare for the accreditation process. At the time, I didn't imagine all the blood, sweat, and tears that would go into this. I was just thinking, "Free trip to New Orleans!"

I am glad it's over. Now I can move on to the next big thing, whatever that is.
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Mook is being friendly this morning, walking back and forth across my desk and rubbing up against me and everything associated with me. She just came up and rubbed her nose against mine. I think she likes me.

We had been thinking about driving down to the Bay Area this morning to do some walking around, but the time change caused us to sleep in until about 8, and we decided to stay closer to home. We'll do normal Sunday stuff instead, and maybe go hiking next weekend. I have a busy week ahead, so it's ok with me.

After next week, my next landscape photography class will start up, and my Saturday mornings will be taken for a while. This semester we are heading over to the other side of the Sierras again, but further farther south, down near Lone Pine, where there are some rock formations, and within distance of Death Valley.

Yosemite falls

Yosemite falls from when we were there over the winter break. I'm thinking about entering some photographs in the State Fair competition this year, and looking through to see what I have. I think you can enter more than one photo, so I will probably put a few in.

I was looking at the entry instructions and it pretty much starts out with, "Read all the instructions first," which is how I generally preface the instructions for things I give to my students. They don't, generally. Neither do I. I just jump right in and start filling stuff out.

Anyway.

hugs
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It's been about a week since my last entry. It's not that I don't have stuff to write about--more that I lack the motivation to write. There's been plenty going on lately. I don't think motivation is really the word I'm looking for. It's something else, but I don't have the word for it.

I just talked to Malida's mom on the phone. She is telling us that they planted the first beam of our house yesterday (which is today here). The stars were aligned for the 9th of March. It should be done by December, at least the structure itself. We have to figure out the inside next. We'll be going over at the end of July to take a look. I hadn't been planning to go, but I changed my mind the other day.

On Wednesday I got an email indicating that my sabbatical proposal would be declined, as it is more of a departmental objective than a personal one, which is true. I decided to take the rest of the day off, as a personal objective, and met up with my friends Charlie and Gracie at the museum.

us three

It was renewing. I felt a lot better being with my friends. We saw some exhibits, had a nice lunch, and walked around and enjoyed the beautiful afternoon.

I found the inspiration for my next photo project. I need to think through it some more, but I am looking forward to jumping in to it. I'm not going to strictly define it--I will let it take whatever direction it takes.

On Thursday, my boss and the dean met with the sabbatical committee to argue on behalf of my proposal, and I was given 60% release time for a semester. That means I will still have to teach my classes, but someone else will take over my hospital duties for a semester. That actually works out to about 40%, but I will get some additional time next summer to finish it up. Or something like that.

march

There was a march on campus the other day, to protest the results of yet another shooting of an unarmed young black man. It was good to see our students have a voice, and it was good to see our administration support them in this.

I spent most of the rest of the week preparing for our long-anticipated accreditation visit next week. The reviewers arrive Tuesday afternoon, and will depart on Friday. My boss was kind of stressing about it, but we are as ready as we could possibly be, and I am sure we will do fine.

red rose in the rain

I received a note from a friend last night, telling me of bad news, for which I had no words. If we were face to face, I would give her a big hug and not try to say anything.

Sometimes there just aren't any words.
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It's kind of cold and rainy this morning. I have my little space heater on-- it is like a warm blanket of air surrounding me. My own little office campfire.

I went to a funeral for an old high school friend yesterday, down where I grew up. There were a number of people I hadn't seen in a while, and some that I hadn't seen since high school.

One woman came up and said hi to me, and I initially thought she might have been someone's mom, but she was actually one of my friends from back then. Once I got over the shock, I realized we all look like it's been 44 years since we graduated. I had a bit of a crush on her back then, and I enjoyed getting a chance to talk with her without being all shy and nervous.

My friend who passed was a sheet metal worker, and his friends made him a pretty awesome sheet metal coffin. Instead of putting flowers on top, we slapped union stickers on it, and gave it a bang with a hammer. I thought that was a pretty cool way to send him off.

fnork

The Fnork Stick was also there, resting against the coffin.

The Fnork Stick was Gary's hiking stick. We all went camping up Lake Chabot one summer, in the regional park. Gary's brother worked in a liquor store, and brought along lots of beer and whiskey. We spent the night around the fire drinking. At one point Gary grabbed the Fnork Stick and wandered off into the woods.

Shortly thereafter, the park rangers arrived. They pointed out that we were all underage, and shouldn't have beer and whiskey, and started pouring it all out. At least the stuff that wasn't hidden in the bushes.

While the rangers were standing there deciding what to do with us, Gary came running out of the trees, down the hill toward the campsite, brandishing the stick and yelling, "FNORK, FNORK!" over and over.

The rangers started to pull their guns, but Gary stopped and gave them a Buddha-like smile, which effectively lowered the tension. One of the rangers asked him why he was yelling "FNORK", and Gary said, "It's my Fnork Stick!"

The rangers took the rest of our whiskey and beer (the stuff that wasn't hidden) and decided to let us go with a warning.

That was the story everyone remembered about Gary yesterday.

Rest in peace, old friend.
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It has been raining quite a bit here, to the point that some of the rivers are starting to flood. We are in no risk, but I guess they have set up sandbag stations in many of the little towns near the rivers. There's also a lot of snow falling in the Sierras, which should be good for our reservoirs come spring.

I like the sound of the rain, and it put me to sleep last night. I was fortunate that when I was out at the hospital today, it wasn't raining, but it was when I went back to the campus at mid-day, and there were no parking spaces, so I just came on home.

I stopped at the store on the way home and bought a boneless pork butt and made some carnitas in my instant pot. It turned out great. I should probably write down what I tossed in there so I can do it again next time. I like the instant pot for this kind of stuff. I was going to say more, but I don't want to start sounding like one of those crazy instant pot people who have 6 of them and cook everything in them.

catbird

I found this beat-up old cat thing at some antique place out in the middle of nowhere a few weeks ago. I stopped and asked how much, and it wasn't much, so I bought it. I put it out in the back yard near the fountain and Trippy the squirrel. I decided to let Malida discover it on her own.

She didn't, so I started looking out the window and saying, "Oh look, there's a white cat sitting out there." She would glance out the window and say something about how there are always cats sitting around in our yard, which is true, but not notice that this is a fake cat with wings. I finally had to drag her out there to show her. She likes it. The flamingo is looking up at the clouds.

catbird2

I saw this cat sitting in a tree the other day along the creek trail. I was reminded of a picture someone posted of some geese sitting in a tree, which I saw just before I saw this cat. I guess it's not odd for a cat to sit in a tree, but it seemed odd at the time. I've seen this cat before, and he is usually in the tall grass, hunting for whatever.

My doctor's office called last week and reminded me that I am due for a check-up and labs, so I will go in for my labs tomorrow. I thought about eating a salad for dinner, but then I ate the carnitas instead. I was actually supposed to get some lab tests done back in November, but I kind of blew it off. Typical nurse.
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bw angel

My favorite angel.
Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, Ca.
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Well, I had a nice little entry in my head, all ready to go, at about midweek, but never sat down and wrote it. I did remember the subject line though, which came to me out of nowhere as I was driving to work one morning. It's true, too.

It has been a mostly uneventful week. I believe it rained some, and there were some big fluffy clouds another day. I sat outside for a while looking at the clouds. It seems like it was fairly cold all week. I had my little portable heater on quite a bit.

My office at home is either too hot in the summer, or too cold in the winter. I think it is because it is the furthest room away from the heater/air conditioner. Now that I have the shutters on the windows, it should stay a bit cooler in the summertime.

I love that there is so little going on that I can spend time talking about whether my room is too hot or too cold.

rose

I met [personal profile] gracegiver for coffee the other day and we had a nice talk and took a walk around the neighborhood. The coffee place was just around the corner from the first apartment I lived in when I moved to Sacramento, way back when. I didn't have a car then, so mostly walked or rode my bike. I hadn't walked around that area for a long time, so it was good to see some of the old places. It was good to see[personal profile] gracegiver too, as she is one of my oldest LJ friends, and someone I always like to spend some time with.

After our visit, I went to the dentist for my teeth cleaning. The hygienist was off, so the dentist did it. I have been going to the same dentist for about 30 years now, and I like her. I asked her if she had any retirement plans, and she said she plans to work for at least another 5 years. I told her I was thinking about having to get used to a new dentist, and she said she had the same thought, as her dentist would be retiring soon.

dentist light

The other day someone asked me what I take pictures of. "Dentist lights", I replied.

Things at work seem to be going well. My boss was out of town for most of the week, so it was relatively quiet, and there were no meetings. I lectured on SHOCK, which is one of my favorite lectures. I oriented my substitute to the hospital on Thursday. He will be covering for me during the time the accreditation people are here in a couple of weeks.

I found that I am quite particular about how I like to do things in the hospital--I don't think I really recognized this until I saw someone else not doing it my way. I had to let it go. He can do things the way he wants to do them. At least I won't be there to fret about it.

thing

"What else do you take pictures of?"

"Things."
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hot dog

Cheese dog with mustard and onions, from the hot dog place I have been visiting since I was a nursing student back in the 80s.
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We had pretty much decided to stick close to home yesterday, but after I wrote my entry, I decided that maybe getting out would do me some good. So I talked about it with Malida, and we took off up the hill to the Auburn State Recreation Area. It was a bit rainy, but we figured that the ride itself would do us some good, so off we went.

We were hungry, so stopped in the town of Auburn for some breakfast at a place called The Edelweiss, which used to be a German restaurant, but is now owned by some people from somewhere nowhere near Germany. They specialize in big breakfasts with fresh ingredients. The place was packed, and we ended up sitting at a community table with some people who were on their way up to see the snow. We had a nice chat, and the breakfast was worth the wait.

After breakfast we headed up the road a few miles to the trailhead that leads to the Black Hole of Calcutta Falls, our destination. It had snowed a bit in the early morning, but the gentle rain took care of that. There was some sort of run/walk thing just finishing, and we saw many muddy people coming down the trail.

malida at the falls

Malida looks at the falls.

We made it to the falls in about an hour. The trail is actually an old railroad bed for a quarry railroad, which runs along the American River. It is pretty. I have tried to come up here before, but it was always too crowded. A cold rainy day in February seems to be the right time.

1915

A bridge abutment from the old railroad. If you keep going on the trail past the waterfall, it will take you to the quarry. I might do that this summer as part of The Great Aimlessness.

falls

The falls.

It was beautiful, and worth the walk through the rain and the mud.

I'm still feeling down, but felt better for having gone up there and walked around. I went out again today and drove along the river, and that was good. I decided that I am experiencing some depression, which is nothing new, and tends to come and go. I think I am more aware of it this time around though. I have a suspicion about why that is, but want to think about it a bit more before I explore it here.

I came home and wrote up a proposal for the sabbatical I am applying for. I sent it off to my boss and got her approval, and will see the Dean in the morning for his approval before I submit it. It was kind of a struggle to write, because I was thinking about not wanting to do anything art all. I know, though, that once this feeling passes, a sabbatical to write curriculum will sound like something fun and exciting.

And so it goes.
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It's been a strange kind of week, with a number of things that have occurred peripheral to me--to other people--but have had an effect on me. I haven't felt much like writing either, so it's been a week since I made an entry. I'm barely getting this entry writ, and spent about 5 minutes debating about whether to use effect or affect in the last sentence. I think I made the right choice, though I think I could have said "...they affected me..." and been ok too.

I'm not my usual happy self.

mercy in the rain

It has rained for a good part of the week. We can always use the rain. Malida and I had been thinking about going on a hike today, but everything is saturated, so we will wait until next week. Or maybe not. Maybe getting out and taking some pictures would be good. Part of me wants to just stay in and hibernate.

We went to see the tax guy yesterday. It was pretty much what I had anticipated. We have to pay about the same amount as last year, which is a good chunk. The new tax laws brought our tax down a bit, but they also adjusted our withholding down, so no net change, really.

As usual, I could tell that it wasn't going to be good news by the way the tax guy smiled as he ran the numbers. It's been so long since I got a refund, I can't remember what he looks like when I don't have to pay.

He suggested again that I needed to do something with my photo business, as I did make a little money off it last year. So I came home and itemized all my photo expenses for the year, including all the trips I took, and sent it off to him. Perhaps that will reduce the tax bill a bit.

Malida is planning a trip back to Thailand this summer, and I am on the fence about whether I want to go with her, or hang out here and drive around aimlessly. I'll probably go so I can see how the house is coming along. Since I am not working over the summer, other than one three-day class, I can spend the rest of it being aimless.

hello kitty

A little Hello Kitty sketch I made yesterday, for no particular reason.
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It was a pleasant and relaxing weekend here in zyzylyland. I had a board meeting for the nursing alumni association on Saturday, and, other than getting some noodles and grocery shopping, just kind of hung out on Sunday. It was nice.

piso mojado

This week started out pretty low key. I went in early to work this morning, made my list, and got almost all of it done by about 10. We had a team meeting, and I was on my way home by noon. Head down, do what needs to be done. It actually worked this time.

I stopped at Malida's work on the way home to take some pictures of her car for insurance. Someone rear-ended her the other day, and she will get a new bumper out of the deal.

We have great insurance that takes care of nearly everything. They sent me an app to take the car pictures, and the same app submits the claim, and gives approval. They had the body shop call me to make an appointment, and they are ensuring that Malida has a rental car, which will be there when we drop off the car. Our insurance is AAA. I've made a handful of claims over the years, and they have always gone out of their way to ensure that it is as low stress as possible.

well

We talked to the family back in Thailand. Uncle Father of the Girls is putting in the pump for the well that just got dug. I asked what Uncle's name is, and it is something like Sod, so henceforth I will call him Uncle Sod (Father of the Girls). He will start building for real in a few weeks, and we need to send some more money over.

And, of course, it is time to pay taxes. Our appointment with the tax guy is this Saturday. I am curious what my tax bill will be this year. Last year the tax guy thought we would do better this time with the new tax laws, but I am doubtful.

From the way some people talk about their refunds, I suspect there are those who think that refunds are some sort of bonus that the government gives you, rather than your own money that has been sitting in the treasury since it was collected. I almost always have to pay, because I have less taken out. I never get that special government bonus.

malida bw

Malida taking my blood pressure the other morning. It was fine. I like how she looks in this pic.
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Today is my grandma's birthday. If she were still alive, she would be 111, which would be well beyond what she had hoped for. She died at age 93, believing she had made it to 100. She was happy.

February was the month for birthdays on that side of the family. My grandpa's birthday was February 14, and my mom fell right in between on February 10. One of my students took care of a patient today who was born on February 10.

onion2

We have some confused onions that decided to sprout in a big way, and Malida decided to decorate the house with them. I think she gets bored on her days off when I am not around.

onion1

Yeah.

********


I received a couple of pieces of disconcerting news the other day. The first was that there was some sort of issue with one of our tutors, which would require some attention, and the other was that someone I care about was experiencing a scary health issue. This was on Tuesday, and when I went in to work on Wednesday, my plan was to keep my head down and get out of there as soon as I could, because I just didn't want to deal with stuff and I was fretting about my friend.

Of course that didn't work out and I ended up dealing with all sorts of stuff. We have had an issue with water pooling outside our classroom after it rains, and then freezing when it gets cold, and I have called about it a number of times, including on Tuesday, when I almost slipped. I put up a sign warning people. But no one came to do anything about it. My colleague called again while I was teaching.

It was icy on Wednesday as well, and my colleague got on the phone again to see why nothing had been done to mitigate this hazard. As she was talking to operations, someone brought one of our students in who had slipped in the ice and hit her head. Shit.

I took her over to the health center, which was not yet open, so we went over to see my boss, who sent her to the ER. She's fine, but kind of shaken up.

I was so pissed at the college operations center, which is supposed to take care of this kind of stuff, and doesn't. I complained about this same issue last year, and nothing was done. The nursing department gets treated like shit there.

I wanted to write a flaming arrow letter to the dean after it happened, but decided I better cool off first. I beat a retreat to the hospital to watch my students find patients to take care of. I came back from clinical this afternoon and all the walkways are festooned with caution tape and signs exhorting students to be careful--"May be slippery".

Assholes.

Anyway, being away from the campus did wonders for my mood. I'm still fretting about my friend, though. If you have some healing thoughts to spare, please direct them her way.

bw river, yosemite

Here is another shot from our trip to Yosemite last month. In black and white, which is really just infinite shades of gray, much like life.
zyzyly: (Default)
This wasn't a bad day, as far as Mondays go. I almost always get off by noon on Mondays, and I was done before 12:30 today. I started at 5:45, so it's not like I'm slacking.

I woke up when Malida was getting ready for work at 4, and felt well-rested and ready to get up and have some coffee, which I did. I did some reading before getting ready for work. It was raining gently. I could have easily stayed home drinking coffee and reading, but I had stuff to do.

The first thing I did when I got to work, after turning on some music and making more coffee, was to make a list of the stuff I wanted to do today. Once I finished the list, I jumped in and started checking things off. The first thing on the list that I checked off was, "Make a list of things to do today". It's good to be able to have some success right at the start.

The rest of the stuff took me right up to our team meeting at 9:30, and then a subsequent meeting at 10:30 about the stuff we need to do to get ready for our accreditation visit in mid-March. I was able to check everything off before the first meeting. Mission accomplished. I have my first lecture of the semester tomorrow, and am ready.

I am applying for a sabbatical for next spring. We can apply to take a semester off to do something meaningful, and I am proposing to write a new curriculum for the nursing program, which would result in the students graduating with a bachelors degree. I spent some time talking about it with my boss and our department chair, and they are supportive. It's something I am really interested in, and it would be great to be given the time off to do it. I like big projects.

Inexplicably, I am also thinking about taking another shot at a doctoral program. Part of me feels like it is unfinished business, and another part of me thinks it's just plain crazy. I talked about it with the department chair, and have half-convinced her to do it with me. I haven't said anything to Malida yet. To be determined.

The weather was crazy today. It was raining when I went into work, and when I peeked out a few hours later, the sun was out. Shortly thereafter it was hailing, and then it was sunny again, followed by cold and rainy. The snow level is supposed to drop to about 1000 feet tonight, which is well above where we are, but pretty low for this area.

uncle

This is the guy who is building our house in Thailand. He is married to Malida's mom's sister, which I guess would make him her uncle, but I think he is younger than her, so she just calls him "the father of the girls". The girls being Nim and her sisters Nien and Nung. Everybody gets a nickname in Thailand. I don't know anybody's real name.

I took this when we were there last year, as we were planning the house. He will be starting on it in a few weeks.
zyzyly: (Default)
I slept about 9 hours last night, with at least a couple hours of deep sleep, says my watch. I woke up restless, though, mostly because the cats were restless and walking all over the bed. They are now used to me getting up at 5, and when I don't, they feel it is their obligation to let me know I am not sticking to the schedule.

I'm having a bowl of soup for breakfast. I made a pot of cream of mushroom soup yesterday, just because. It was good, but not as good as I wanted it to be. Something is missing. I'll probably try again one of these days. I seem to remember there is another recipe somewhere here, probably buried in the big pile of recipes in one of the cupboards.

I was prompted to make soup after reading someone musing about getting a dutch oven. After I read it, I opened the cupboard to look at my dutch oven, and it whispered, "let's make soup." I like my dutch oven, and we get along well.

I have some ribs all rubbed up and chilling out, and will cook them this afternoon with some of those mashed potato balls that seem to be everywhere now. At least they are everywhere on my Facebook page. Or were, until I looked to see how to make them and couldn't find them anywhere. Anyway, how difficult can it be?

For most of my working career, I had to work weekends, and therefore weekends were no big deal. I liked my days off during the week, and felt it was a fair tradeoff. Once I started getting weekends off, though, I missed having days off during the week, particularly Mondays. There's nothing better than having Monday off. It's like having the world to yourself.

Now that I have had weekends off for about the last 5 years, I have gotten used to them, and have come to appreciate the anticipation that starts to build on Friday afternoons. Sundays have a tinge of melancholy, though, as I think about how the weekend is almost gone. It helps that I love my job, and don't mind going to it, but still.

When I retire, I'm going to take weekends AND Mondays off. It will be the best of both worlds.

Malida is at some work meeting this morning, and has left me to do the house chores. I have already cleaned the kitchen and done a load of laundry. I also re seasoned one of my cast iron pans that was looking in need of seasoning. It's raining outside, so I feel no urge to go out into the world. Right here is just fine.

Yosemite in the late afternoon, in black and white

Yosemite in the late afternoon, in black and white.
zyzyly: (Default)
It was pouring rain when I woke up this morning, but now the sun is starting to peek through the clouds, at least for a while. It's supposed to rain the entire weekend, which is fine with me. I need a good rainy weekend. I'll probably go to the store and buy a bunch of stuff to cook.

I completely overlooked that the Super Bowl is tomorrow. I guess that speaks to my interest in sports. I'll probably watch the game, just so I have an excuse to make ribs or something.

I had a nice first two days in the hospital with my students. It was good to see all my former students, and they all seemed happy to see me. It seems like half the nurses in the hospital are former students. They tend to hire a lot of our graduates, so it works out well for everyone.

tutubi

It is February, so time to post black and white images again. This is one I took last summer, I think. I actually like this better as a b/w than the original.

I'm thinking more about a summer photo project. I'm about ready to bust out the map and start planning. I love planning adventures.

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