Home Again!

Tommy and I drove back from our friends’ lake house yesterday. We left around 10:30 in the morning and arrived home about 4 hrs later at 2:30 in the afternoon. It was really great to be home. I totally missed my girls and they missed me (which I think is incredibly awesome!)

Alyssa made dinner: a delicious chicken Florentine with roasted tomatoes and garnished with fresh basil. And for dessert she made a peach tart from scratch. She’s a great cook; not afraid to try new things and she really enjoys doing it. There has been many an evening before the quarantine when I would be working late and Alyssa would text me that she was making dinner. I wanted to go through the phone and hug her!

So I begin working for the summer today. I’m still in a bit of disbelief that I was given the opportunity to work for the summer. I was making arraignments to work for an agency that I worked for before being hired by the DOE. Just for the summer. As I was trying to make that happen my supervisor called with the offer for the summer working DOE. I then had to get back to the agency and cancel those plans. All is well, and set in place.

Today was the first day and it went pretty quick. The kids are young and very typical. I’m not used to that. This one little boy scraped his elbow and when I went to wash it, he kinda freaked out a little, he was afraid it would hurt. (He did let me wash it and it did not hurt). The students in my regular school albeit a bit older in chronological age but not developmentally would never question me when I would tell them to wash a cutie the hand hand or finger. They would just do it. I prefer the students in my school over typical students in a regional school, not just because of the boy’s reaction and back talk today but I really love my students. I understand them and I get it as a parent. I’ve been fortunate that my girls being so typical have allowed me to visit the world of typical parenting; while I was simultaneously living in the world of special needs parenting. I love my kids. I really have the best of both worlds.

At The Lake!

We have awesome friends, Bill and Martha who own a vacation home in the Adirondack mountains. About 25 minutes or so from Lake George. It’s simply beautiful up here. The house is right across the street from Loon Lake and they have lake front property and access to Loon Lake. Yesterday Tommy and I arrived here early and took their boat out on the lake. Bill and Martha have a pontoon boat which is pretty much a very, very comfortable living room with a motor on the water.

I found out today that I am to begin work on Monday. I thought the start date was July 1st. Guess not. A minor adjustment and not a big deal. What is a big deal is that my time of working changed from AM shift to PM shift. I do not want the PM shift. So I emailed my nursing director asking her to please change my shift. I’m waiting for an answer.

So anyway we’re up at this beautiful house and spent lunch and the afternoon on the pontoon boat. Bill and Tommy were fishing while Martha and I just sat back and enjoyed the sun. It was a great time. The weather is beautiful and so is the scenery. In the background are mountains and everything is so lovely and green! Tommy caught 3 fish, I believe they were perch and kind of small so he threw them back. Still it was cool that he caught them. Up here they are in I think phase 3 of quarantine. We were able to eat inside a restaurant last night, but we were the only people there. I don’t know how many people they are allowed to have in the restaurant at one time. There were also tables and chairs outside with only one couple seated.

We have dinner reservations tonight at a restaurant, I don’t know if we’re eating outside or in. We shall see.

Working This Summer

I received a call from my supervisor asking if I would be interested in taking a nursing position at an enrichment center in Brooklyn. My first instinct was to just say, “No” and I did just that. But then I shut my mouth and got quiet and let my supervisor speak. I hate when my mouth is quicker than my brain. Turns out the location in Brooklyn is right over the bridge. Perfect. So I quickly backtracked and accepted the job. I didn’t think I had a chance to work for the DOE this summer. Nurses were being chosen based on seniority and I don’t have a lot of time in. Instead I had contacted an agency I worked for before I was hired by the DOE. I was hoping they had work for me that would last for the summer. I had just sent over my updated resume to the agency when my supervisor called. Talk about timing! I quickly wrote the agency people an email rescinding my availability and left off on good terms.

I start work in Brooklyn July 1st. The 4th of July falls on a Saturday this year so we have July 3rd off to make up for the holiday. I’m not complaining. I also begin my second semester of school on July 1st. It should be an interesting time. My first class is “Care of the elderly patient.” I’m not particularly interested in care of the elderly to be honest. But I guess I should get myself interested by the time July 1st rolls around.

I’m hoping for a great semester of course. Last semester went relatively fast and I had great support from the course instructors. Hopefully this semester will be similar.

People I miss

There was a video conference meeting today for work. It was great to see everyone’s faces and hear their voices. I’m glad we can have that type of meeting in this day and age especially during this time of quarantine. Years ago it would have been a audio conference call. As I was listening to the meeting I looked around the screen and couldn’t help but notice how much I missed everyone at school. People I counted on seeing every single work day. I’m facebook friends with a lot of staff but there are some people who’s presence you just have to be in to appreciate them. Some of the staff I’m friends with are very affectionate and will hug and kiss as a greeting and it’s so, so nice. I know it’s part cultural but they make you really feel loved and cared for.

Then there’s the staff who never fail to help you out in a jam. Like Joe, who does a ton of IT work. He’s awesome and will always make time to help you out when your computer isn’t doing what it is supposed to do. There are so many staff members I truly adore that I can’t mention them all for fear I would leave someone out and offend someone.

My school has the best para processionals. I really mean that. One of the classrooms that I’m in and out of every day has quite a few medically fragile students in attendance. It’s pretty much “my” class and they are “my” students. Their teacher is great. She cares for these students with all her heart and it shows. The paras in that class know their students so well and they know when to call me and they trust me and I trust them. It’s probably my favorite class because we are all so comfortable with each other.

Then there are the students I care for who are scattered and in different classes. Because I care for one student in that particular class I get to know the teachers and paras in those classes too. It’s nice. One student/para 1:1 assignment I adore are ones I’ve taken care of since I began working at Hungerford. The mom and I have a pretty nice relationship and her son is simply amazing. He is challenging to his para a lot of days, and I know she really cares about him by the attention and care she gives him.

I think that is the beauty of District 75, where I am assigned. The students require so much care whether it be physical, emotional or nursing the staff can’t help but be invested in that student. District 75 is not for everyone nor for the faint of heart. I’ve seen Hungerford staff rise to many challenges with their students and meet those challenges head on with the student’s best interest at heart.

My gosh I really miss everyone. We didn’t have a typical goodbye back in March when the quarantine began. Everyone was nervous, apprehensive, and unsure of what was going to happen next. Our goodbyes to each other were not the typical goodbyes we give to one another, hugs and “see you after the break!” Looking forward to a school break yet knowing you were returning in a week or so to pick up just where you left off with the same staff and same students.

As of today we don’t even know for certain that schools will be open in September. Or what kind of school schedule the District is planning. I for one want to return to work, hell I want things to simply and magically return to “normal.” Poof! There we go.

A Change of Motorcycle

The other day, late afternoon I took out my Harley to just go around the corner. I did terrible. I stalled out, gave too much throttle, dropped the bike. Tommy was worried. He was afraid I would get hurt eventually. Since I had the Harley I’ve been riding in parking lots, shifting gears, breaking and I was very comfortable with that. I didn’t feel comfortable/ready to ride that bike even around the neighborhood. I got tired of the parking lot and figured around the corner was safe. Not so much.

So yesterday Tommy and I went online and searched for a smaller motorcycle for me. Something more beginnerish than the Harley. I followed Tommy’s lead. We went to the Honda dealer here where we live and the salesman immediately recommended the Rebel. I sat on it and talk about comfort! I felt like the bike was made for me. So we went home and searched online for used Honda Rebels. I found one at Asbury Park, down the NJ shore at a dealership for an awesome price. I called and the bike was available. So off we went along with Samantha who is dying to learn how to ride.

The salesman was nice enough, not too pushy. But the bike sold itself. The paint is immaculate, no scratches or dings and hardly any miles on it. The price was more than fair. I wanted to buy her and Tommy agreed. So my awesome husband bought me the bike!!

The bike is beautiful, a 2015 with 2600+ miles on it. And red! I never saw myself on a red motorcycle. So after we got it home (strapped in the back of Tommy’s truck), I played a bit in the driveway and was so comfortable I immediately started by going around the corner. The difference for me between the Honda and the Harley was night and day. I was so incredibly comfortable! I stopped home, talked to Tommy and took off again, this time going further around the neighborhood. Came home, went out again a little more into the neighborhood. Truth be told I did stall a couple of times but they weren’t “oh shit” moments. More like ok…move on, fix that. I then rode further than before and I was good after that and came home. Now we just have to sell the Harley. If anyone’s interested let me know!

One Semester Down!

I finished my first semester, 12 credits with the online college I’m attending to earn my Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing. About 2 years ago I started with a different college but it seemed like all I was doing was writing a paper every week. So I took a break and re-evaluated. I saw an ad for the college I’m attending now and asked for more information. Of course they called me back instantly and I began the application process. It took about a month or so and I was in. They accepted a lot of my credits from years ago when I was attending college for my associate’s in nursing so that was great. I was also assigned a mentor who I really like. Nancy is a nurse also, with her Masters degree. When she first contacted me she asked if it was alright that she set up my classes per semester, like what to take and when. I was more than fine with that. This college requires that you take 12 credits per semester. At first I was intimidated by that. But this semester I finished with over 2 weeks to spare. So I’m off from my schooling until July 1st when my next semester begins.

I never thought I would say this but I don’t dislike school. It’s not my absolute favorite thing in the world but it’s not terrible. And I feel as though I am learning, the worst is when you feel as though you’re just wasting time or glued to the computer because you have a weekly paper or project to hand in. That was what my nursing theory class was like at the first college I attended. Weekly papers on each of the well known nursing theorists. Boring. This past semester I attended a live class via webinar and interacted with different nurses from all over the country. It was cool. And I learned more advanced nursing assessment skills and my assignment was to perform a video recorded head to toe assessment/exam on a volunteer (thank you Alyssa).

I am looking forward to the next semester but don’t get me wrong I’m happy to have this time off. I’m really glad I chose this college. My mentor is wonderful and always looking to help if you need it. I don’t feel like just another number in an anonymous online class. 12 credits down! Yay!

My Shoe Closet

So yesterday morning I finally decided to clear out my shoe closet. Our house was built in 1935 so closet space is a big deal to us. When we renovated we managed to half our front room/sun porch and create this great, at least 6 foot long closet with sliding doors. Finally we could all hang up our coats at the same time and we said good bye to coat trees and lengths of hooks. Winter was especially challenging before the new closet; winter coats are so big and can be bulky.

So getting back to my shoes. I am a self admitted shoe whore. Have been since I was a teenager. Shoes are awesome (as are bags but that’s another blog post). When I moved out nor my moms house to Tommy’s apartment I left boxes and boxes of shoes. I could only take so much at a time. So my father loaded up his van and put all my shoes in it and personally drove them over to my new home. My new neighbors thought my dad was some guy selling shoes out of his van. He laughed and laughed, Tommy wasn’t laughing as much as my dad. So my shoe collection was relegated to the basement, where most of them sat and gathered dust since I was then working as a nurse and my most worn shoes were sneakers or nursing shoes/clogs. Then I had Thomas and my foot grew (yes ladies that happens and NO ONE tells you about that…) so my shoes that my dad ever so comically hand delivered no longer fit.

Even when I was a stay at home mom, I still bought shoes. I loved a good high platform sandal. I could run after my kids in platforms! Ahh those were the days lol! When I worked at the allergist’s office the receptionist happened to be another shoe whore so we got along swimmingly! Plus at that job I wasn’t walking a lot I pretty much stayed in my office the patients came to me. The dress code was whatever you wanted to wear (no scrubs) so I was free to express myself via my shoes. And the patients would notice my shoes and give me compliments, it was funny.

My days of high heels are over but I still love a beautiful platform sandal. For my 50th birthday my girls bought me this awesome pair of Chloe high platform sandals. I adore those shoes they are gorgeous. My girls really know their mom!