Friday, March 24, 2006

Curiosity Didn't Kill the Nurse -- but it was close...

I had to have a "procedure" yesterday, nothing difficult, just a same day surgery to make life a little easier and maybe get the whole menopause thing to kick into a higher gear. I didn't even tell my daughter until the night before because it just wasn't that important.

Although I've felt better, I don't feel all that bad today...although I would have taken today off work if I didn't have a cart full of charts and a deadline in which to review them.

I wouldn't even have blogged about it, if it weren't for the mystery.

Who sent me flowers? 10 red and white roses, to be specific. Delivered to my desk in my department this afternoon and signed only, "Thinking of You".

They're not from Roger. I called the florist, and they can only tell me that someone from out of town sent them. My daughter didn't send them (although she says if she'd thought of it, she would have). Mom would have signed the card "Love, Mom". My brother would have signed it "ooga-booga" or "The Greatest Steve the World Has Ever Known". Robyn would have sent me something she made (she makes incredibly cool stuff). Gavin lives here (and has no money and wouldn't know how to go about ordering flowers). My sister lives here. My nieces don't have a clue where I work. A vendor or pharma company would surely have put something different on the card. My exhusband won't even send me his half of Gavin's dental bills, much less flowers. It's unlikely that any of my other friends from out of town know that I work in this department...so who the heck sent them?

Curiosity makes me crazy. All my life, I've understood just how the proverbial cat felt.

Even so, someone's apparently random act of kindness sure made my day (and has the whole department talking -- and it's fun to be the object of office envy for a day). So, Mysterious Person, thank you!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Extreme Volunteering

I spent most of the day Saturday working with a pet rescue group, getting ready for OKC's Giant Charity Garage Sale.

Instead of working directly with pets (which I've found to be dangerous -- more on that later), I get to work with people's castoff stuff...unloading, pricing, packing and stacking...in another couple of weeks, we'll move all of it out to the fairgrounds and then spend some very long days wheeling and dealing and amassing money by nickels and dimes for homeless animals.

This is a great thing to do in the springtime, in warm sunshine and balmy breezes, with a crew of similarly minded folks (pet rescue people tend to be a lot of fun). We work out of a storage unit facility, so there's no heating and no air conditioning, and little protection from the elements when the doors are open.

This Saturday it was 38 degrees and pouring rain. Most of the crew didn't show up (probably wimped out like my friend Bev), so those of us who did worked like...like...well, not any dogs I know. My dogs tend to spend a lot of time lazing on pillows, even acknowledging my return home with a couple of tail thumps and perhaps an ear perk if they're feeling particularly lively. I suppose I could say that we worked like nurses...

Surprisingly, though, the bad weather brought out the donors in record numbers. Maybe it just seemed like record numbers because there were so few of us to get the work done, or maybe because the rain made for lots of extra work because the Oklahoma winds drove it sideways and right into our faces; we had to work so far back in the storage unit that it was hard to move around.

One couple dropped off 10 to 12 big, heavy boxes of stuff. When we opened them, they all turned out to be trash -- empty plastic bottles, burned out electrical equipment, broken pots. I can't figure out why they did this, unless they wanted a tax receipt without actually donating anything.

Most people, though, brought stuff that should be fairly easy to sell -- furniture, working small electrics, toys, craft stuff, clothes, shoes, dishes, pots, decorative and holiday stuff, even an English saddle...which someone marked $20 until I made them remark it. That riding stuff is expensive.

If you've gotten this far, you are probably wondering why I find it dangerous to work with the shelter animals.

Every time I do, I take one home. I just can't stand the thought of homeless dogs and cats. And since I'm down to two dogs and a lizard, I feel somewhat guilty that I haven't taken in another pet...all it would take would be pleading brown eyes looking into mine, or a hairy body leaning on my leg.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Nurse vs. Leprechaun

St. Patrick's Day is inextricably linked for me with my friend Bev. She has classical Irish good looks -- fair skin, red hair, and green eyes -- and is very proud of her Irish heritage. For the past 7 years, we've been talking about taking a trip to Ireland once Gavin graduates from high school.

I hope we pull it off. We're looking at B&Bs, couchsurfing (which I have actually tried and enjoyed -- thanks to Adele of Albuquerque), and a bicycle or walking tour; we hope to stay for 2-4 weeks. Bev's quite a homebody (she has perfected the art of "if you can't find happiness in your own backyard, you can't find it anywhere") but she assures me that we will make this happen. We're within a year or two of talking this trip, and I'm starting to get the trip planning itch.

She and I used to work together long ago, doing schizophrenia studies. On one St. Patrick's Day, we were visiting our patients in the hospital, and this conversation ensued with a psychotic but gregarious young man. Bev was wearing an apple green blouse that day, which really set off her eyes and hair.

Patient to Bev: "Are you a doctor?"
Bev (head down, writing a note in a chart): "No."
Patient: "Well then, are you a leprechaun?"

Both Bev and I are very good at accepting whatever we hear without a blink, but I can't begin to tell you how hard we laughed at this. Luckily, the patient seemed to think it was hilarious too.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Brothers -- Davin and Jeron.