A little oops…

So, I messed up. I was supposed to post three times last week and failed. I posted once. I wasn’t feeling so hot most of last week. I will make up for it today, however. I present you with a short story, written by me. It’s not great but it’s not horrible. Feel free to critique at will. Just please don’t be nasty. Also, it is mine. Don’t take it and use it for your own or anything.

An Eternity

The rain hit the window and was producing a slightly depressing state. The grey sky reflected her feelings as she stared out. She sighed and glanced around the room. Books covered every flat surface of the tiny apartment. A careful observer would notice that they all had one thing in common. Vampires. Twilight, Dracula, Fifty Shades of Grey, Lilith, Salem’s Lot, Interview with a Vampire. She had found and read nearly every book that she could find. She had movies of all the same titles strewn about the couch. She had looked up every last legend that she could find online.

When she first met Alex, she had thought that he was amazing. He was a true gentleman. He opened doors for her, held her hand, brought flowers, everything that you could possibly think of that you could want in a boyfriend. True, he was a bit old fashioned and seemed to think that technology was pointless but that just made him more endearing to her. It wasn’t until he started to ask her about her thoughts on supernatural creatures that she began to think something was odd.

At first the questions were typical. Did she enjoy werewolf movies? What about vampire movies? Did she believe in ghosts? She had started to think that Alex must be some kind of crazy ghost hunter. She started to research him. Everybody has an online presence, right? Not Alex. In fact, the only references she could find to any Alexander Drioux were scattered and not of this century. There was mention of one from 1622 and another that appeared in 1836 but both of those men were living in France. She managed to find another Alex Drioux in Canada in 1911 but again, that couldn’t possibly be him.

Then she found the picture. It was an old picture that appeared on a website of notable French families from the 1800’s. Next to a very pretty young girl was a man who looked exactly like her Alex. The caption for the picture had the man listed as A.L. Drioux, a family friend. The girl in the picture vanished several years after it was taken and was never heard from again. A.L. Drioux also vanished. That was when she started to wonder. Alex had near perfect French and had told her he grew up there and moved to Canada for college, eventually coming to the United States to experience New Orleans. That’s where she had met him, just three months ago. Alex never needed money. His parents had left him a trust fund, he explained. They had died when he was only ten. He had no siblings and his parents had been only children. All of his grandparents were also deceased. Alex was alone in the world.

He loved her name, he had told her. Charlotte was such a regal name. He had laughed when she told him everyone called her Lotte.

“May I call you Lotte? Just like in the Phantom of the Opera, perhaps?” His voice had that vague accent that made his words seem to run together.

After discovering the picture, she asked him about it. He had chuckled. It must be some old ancestor.

“Perhaps you could do my family tree for me some day, Lotte? Maybe I have a coat of arms someplace that you could find.”

She had giggled but it hid unease. Something was off, not quite right. That was when she had started digging into vampires. For two weeks she had not spoken to Alex but she had dug through books and movies, scoured the internet trying to find every piece of information that she could. Finally, yesterday she had called him and asked him to come over. She was beginning to think she was crazy but she had to ask him.

The knock on her door brought her out of her reverie. She walked across the room and peered out the peephole to see him there, looking composed, as always. She opened the door and smiled at him.

“Lotte,” he said, smiling at her, “I had begun to think that you were not interested in me any more. I missed you.”

Alex went to come in, like he usually did but she stopped him. He couldn’t see the mess within and she knew as soon as he saw it, she would have her answer. Her hand rested on his chest for a moment as she leaned upward and kissed him gently. He smiled back at her. Then she stepped back and let him in.

Alex looked around the room and his eyebrows went up in surprise. He walked quietly over to the table and picked up a book.

“Dracula? I had no idea you were so interested in vampires.”

“It was research,” replied Lotte quietly. She reached into the folder sitting on the table and pulled out the pictures she had found. He had seen them before but he seemed to see them in a new light.

“I see. You think that is me?”

Lotte nodded. She was hardly breathing. “Is it?”

Alex looked at her carefully, as though thinking about what to say next.

“If I said that it was, would you believe me?”

Lotte nodded.

“If I said that it wasn’t, would you believe me?”

Lotte nodded again. “I just want to know the truth Alex.”

“What do you want to hear?” he asked her. “Do you wish to be spirited off by some vampire like in those silly stories?” He pointed toward the copy of Twilight sitting on the table.

Lotte thought it was interesting that he never raised his voice or sounded annoyed. He merely asked her as though he found her amusing. For the first time, Lotte found herself somewhat frightened. Alex took a step toward her and she instinctively stepped back, as though she anticipated a monster being there.

Alex sighed and took a step back.

“Goodbye Lotte.”

Alex turned and walked out of the room, quietly shutting the door behind him as he left. Lotte stood there and stared as he left, wondering. He had never answered her question.

Alex walked down the flight of stairs back out into the rainy day. He pulled the hood of the rain jacket he wore up. He started down the sidewalk feeling let down. Another girl who he had thought could love him, gone. He continued down the sidewalk until he came to a small café. He stepped inside and ordered a coffee and beignets. Coming to New Orleans had been a brilliant decision on his part. The food was fantastic. The waitress brought him his order and he sat in the chair and pondered. He took a sip of the coffee and pulled a small notebook out of his bag. A black and white picture fell out of the front. It was the same picture Lotte had found. It had been taken in 1855. Alex had loved Marie. Then she had begun to suspect that he was not who he claimed to be and eventually she left him for a gentleman that her parents picked out. Alex turned to the back of the notebook and crossed out Lotte’s name and phone number. Perhaps next time, the girl would not think he was a monster. In four hundred years he still had not found a girl who would love him for who he was. He would not give up though. After all, he had an eternity to find her.


Reflections on a quote

“From childhood’s hour I have not been as others were, I have not seen as others saw.” -Edgar Allen Poe

This particular quote has always been one that has spoken to me. I suspect that’s at least partially because of the fact that I was a sensitive child. I didn’t have a lot of friends and I never felt much like I fit in. When you cry at school, you get labeled a baby and nobody wants to be friends with that person. I was also very much a reader. I can see the benefits of that now but at the time it felt as though I was cut off from other kids. I didn’t like most sports (hockey and baseball being the exceptions) and I was incredibly uncoordinated in any case. So while other kids played games during recess in middle school, I sat off to the side and read a book by myself.

I loved Star Trek for the ideas that it proposed. Meeting new species and exploring the world. A place where everybody was equal. I made up stories in my head and read books about secret worlds in closets or by traveling through a tesseract (my spelling may be off there…). Ultimately, all the books resulted in my realizing that I see the world through a different lens. Or perhaps the books resulted in that lens being different. Either way, I saw things differently. Time resulted in that sensitive person building a thick wall where I saw lots of things but never felt like I was a part of those things. Going through high school and generally feeling like you’re an outsider looking in is a strange thing. I have no nostalgia. I look back at those years and it’s like recalling a tv show. I watched things happen around me. I have wondered sometime how that experience is different if you actually experience it.

The people who see life through a lens, separated from it – the outsiders, I suppose – are a unique group of people. What happens to those people? Well, I know that in my case, I eventually had some therapy and accepted that those were my experiences. Time can’t be turned backwards. It is what it was and thinking about how it could have been different is a useless thing. Other people don’t handle things so well. I laughed when I saw the seen in Billy Madison where he calls up a kid he bullied when he was in school and later that kid saves him. I laughed through Napoleon Dynamite, thinking about how, in a slightly bigger school I might have been able to find a few more people and perhaps have had some of those best friend moments where you look back with someone and laugh about an inside joke.

Seeing the world differently is not such a bad thing. It’s only when you allow it to separate you from the world that it becomes bad. The world is a rough place and it certainly could do with more kindness. That doesn’t mean that in those dark times it’s a good thing to build up a wall and become isolated. This is much easier to recognize more than twenty years later but it’s an important lesson and one that I suspect few people realize. Perhaps, as children, we need to learn to protect ourselves, especially if we are very sensitive. Perhaps the world would be very different if sensitivity was viewed as a good thing instead of a bad thing. Just some things to think upon.

Fitness, Healthy Eating, Running

Diet changes that stuck (and some that didn’t)

Over the past few weeks, I have been trying to evaluate what I still need to do in my healthy eating and fitness quest. I mean, progress was made for sure. I am in a much better place than I was a year ago. There is still a lot of room for improvements though, so I thought I’d stop and look and what’s working and what isn’t and more importantly, what needs to change.

So the first thing is in the fitness arena and that really involves the facts that a) the running is going well even though I don’t always get to run as much as I want and b) the rest of the fitness stuff is not working so well. I don’t like being in the gym. I like the actual process of lifting weights, usually but I have reservations about dragging my butt in there especially when there is a nice track that I can run on. I’ve even fallen off on the yoga which is very bad because it means I’m getting no muscle work. That needs to change. I need to figure out a way to get some kind of strength training in on a regular basis. Even knowing that it helps my running that much more to go and build muscle, I still struggle. It’s a work in progress for now.

The remainder of this is food centric. The positive things include that I have eliminated a huge amount of bread from my life. This includes cereal which has always been a weakness for me. I think once we get to a place where I feel more inclined for warm oatmeal and (healthy) baked breakfast stuffs this will be better. Just getting rid of the bread has helped though. Of course this past week hasn’t been good in terms of bread because I made this wonderful bread with cheese yesterday for dinner (it went with spaghetti, which is worse but I digress) but I’m going for the thought that as long as it’s not a typical part of my diet then it’s good. I’ve still managed to eliminate most of the processed foods from my diet. This is very good because they are the worst for you, obviously. I’m trying to focus on including yogurt more and increase veggies again. It’s easy to forget the veggies. Again, hopefully shifting to a place where I can cook with the oven without melting in the kitchen will help.

I’m trying to come up with a good tracker for my bullet journal. If I find one, I’ll share. That’s where I am though. It’s an ok place. Just keep moving forward, right?

Life, Nursing School

Nurses are patient advocates

This statement has been said to my class since the first day. A nurse’s first and most important job is to be an advocate for their patient. To ensure that the person they are taking care of is being taken care of in the best way possible. That their rights and dignity are protected. That they walk out of the hospital (or where ever else) well (or as well as can be) knowing that somebody was doing their level best to listen to them and care for them.

We’ve all seen the memes talking about how nurses spend all day taking care of patients to the neglect of their own needs. Skipping breaks, not going to the bathroom, staying well past their shift end to chart because the didn’t have time to do it. All of that is par for the course and yet so few people realize it. Those who come to the hospital are rarely at their best and often are going through their own personal hell. It’s fair, I think, for them to not realize that they are not the nurse’s only (or perhaps even primary) concern. Nurses don’t often get recognized for they what they do although I will say that they are at least treated better in the eyes of public opinion than teachers often are. That’s a blog for another day though.

So the video of a nurse being arrested for protecting her patient’s rights is disturbing to me. It should be disturbing to anybody and generally, people do seem outraged. But seriously, does it have to come to this? Do we need to come to a point where a nurse needs to stand and print out the hospital policy for a police officer and still ends up in handcuffs for refusing to violate the very policy that she is showing him. A violation which I would guarantee would cost her her job and would likely cost her her nurse’s license. And still people defend this police officer.

Really? Let that sink in. There are people who think the police were in the right to handcuff a nurse for refusing to violate the duty she has to her patient. For what? A vial of blood that by the officer’s statement was to prove the victim’s innocence? First off, does anybody really buy that? They wanted to prove his innocence? We don’t have a legal system that works like that. Secondly, anybody who thinks that the police have a right to tell you to disregard the rules of your employer because the police said so needs to really think about their position here. That’s a dangerous precedent that places the police above the law.

Please, don’t get me wrong. I have enormous respect for police officers. They do a job where they put their lives at risk by simply going to work. It’s not for the faint of heart. They get into some pretty terrible stuff and see some things that no person should ever have to see. However, at a certain point we need to look at what we are willing to allow to happen. No, not all officers would do this… although, those defending the officer are saying that he was following his superior’s orders, so perhaps they believe that any officer would have done the same. I choose to believe that most officers would not have gone that route though.

Ultimately, this is opening up a dialogue and that’s good. The nurse involved has said that she wants to ensure this never happens again. Perhaps we all need to have a dialogue though. Talk to the people who serve you. In every capacity. Take the time to listen to them and what they have to say. Police officers, nurses, rescue personnel, fire fighters, teachers… all of them have a unique position in this world. All of them do jobs that few people choose to do and most do those jobs as well as they can. A little respect and taking some time to actually listen would do us all a world of good.

Oh, and next time you get a moment, tell your nurse thank you.


Two days in my life

Since I have very different days depending on what I have to do for school, I figured I’d take the day in my life theme and show you two days that are just a little different.  As with all things nursing school, your mileage may vary based on how your program operates. 

Wednesday 8/23

Alarm goes off at 5:45. Debate with self about getting up. Decide to get up. Wash face, brush teeth, take medicine, get dressed. Find breakfast. Today, I am tired so cottage cheese and fruit wins. Coffee. So much coffee.

6:20 Wake up children. Argue with both children about the necessity of them getting dressed because I have to go to class. Feed children. Check bullet journal. Way to much to do. Study as children eat.

7:15 Inform children that we need to leave in ten minutes and that they need shoes. Remind son to find his glasses. Follow daughter around until she puts on shoes. 

7:30 Leave. Drive 15 minutes to drop kids off at camp. Drive 20 minutes to school.

8:10 Get to class. Lament that you did not study enough and feel lost on this topic. Take several deep breaths. Go to the bathroom.

8:30 Take test

9:40 Listen to lecture. Wonder what to eat for lunch. Check bullet journal again. Stress about how much there is to do.

11:45 Psych orientation for clinical. Math test review. Grades on psych test (!).

12:00 Drive to McDonalds. Eat single cheeseburger that took way to long to get (did they have to make the cheese??). 

12:20 Stop at grocery store to get items (OJ, apples, bananas) for teacher breakfast the next day.

12:40 Finally get to kid’s school. Head to office. Hand over food for tomorrow. Go to classroom to help teacher for PTO. Arrange books for an hour and a half.

2:00 Drive to pick up children. Call daughter’s doctor to find out if paperwork for school is ready. Drop off library books.

2:25 Get children. 

2:45 Get home. Check email, Facebook, fan fiction, start clinical paperwork for next day.

4:00 Make spaghetti for dinner. 

4:30 Dinner is finished early. Work on clinical paperwork some more. Eat dinner. Take more medicine.

5:30 Change and drive to Y to run.

6:00 Run. 3 miles. 

6:45 Drive home, get gas.

7:00 Get home. Start getting children ready for bed (showers, etc). Finish clinical paperwork (well most of it). Look over notes from lecture today. 

8:00 Threaten daughter that she will lose electronics if she doesn’t quit watching videos and go brush her teeth. 

8:30 Put daughter to bed. Sit on her bed and watch YouTube for a bit. 

9:00 Put son to bed. Clean out cat litter. Go back to kitchen and do dishes (most of them). Grab laundry basket from son’s room and put clothes in to wash.

9:40 Take shower, brush teeth, find scrubs for clinical. 

10:10 Check alarm. Collapse into bed.

Thursday 8/24

5:45 Alarm goes off. Argue with self about getting up again. Decide I have to get up. Wash face, braid hair, brush teeth, get dressed.

6:10 Decide on scrambled eggs. Eat breakfast. Lots of coffee. Find clinical paperwork. 

6:30 Drive to clinical site. Children are not my job this morning.

7:15 Find new clinical site. 

7:30 Clinical.

1:00 Leave clinical. Find lunch. Drive to daughter’s doctor to get paperwork. Drive to craft store to get paper for project that I have needed to do since May. 

2:00 Get home. Leave paperwork where I can find it. Count out how many pills the school will need. Put remaining meds in spare container for now. Put craft paper on table. 

3:00 Go pick up children. 

3:45 Get home. Remind children that open house is at 5 and we leave at 4:30. Go over clinical paperwork. Look at discussion board. Opt to do it later. Look over lecture notes again.

4:25 Remind children we leave in 5 minutes. Tell them to find shoes. 

4:45 Leave. 

5:15 Open house at kids’ school. 

6:30 Head home.

7:00 Remind daughter that she has to get ready for bed.

Repeat previous night’s antics.

All of this insanity is managed with my bullet journal. Soon I will have a post about the journal and what it looks like now. I realize I have been promising this for a bit. I think I’m trying for one blog a week guaranteed with extras if I can. So at worst, it’ll be next week. Honest! Until next time, lovely people!

Nursing School

What’s in my Nursing School bag?

So, I’m going to do a brief discussion of textbooks and other stuff that’s in my bag for school. IMG_2649

First things first. My bag. If I could do it over again, I think I would get the next style up from this but this is a good bag. It’s an L.L. Bean one. I wish it had more pockets and a water bottle holder on the side. Otherwise, I love my bag. It’s held up to quite a bit so far.


This is the next most important thing for a couple of reasons. One is that it holds all my school stuff. The other is that it provides me a way to amuse myself when bored. Not that boredom ever occurs during class… It’s an Apple MacBook Air. I wouldn’t have anything else at this point. I’ve gotten rather addicted to the MacBooks. It has a ton of storage space plus I have a Google Drive, so really there’s no way I could ever run out of space. Which is good because I have a lot of stuff stored. There’s an entire folder of nursing stuff (notes, care plans, etc).


I keep notes by hand. I swear by this method for keeping things in my brain. Writing is so much better for helping me to remember. There are actual studies that prove we remember better when we physically write things down. With the exception of my first semester, I have all of the notebooks for my previous classes. I feel like they may come in handy eventually… maybe not, but I have them. I also have the powerpoint on my computer, so there’s nothing missing.


So, not the actual book that we’re supposed to have, apparently. The snafu with our books means that several of the books we should have gotten didn’t get to us when we got books. This is the psych book I ended up with. It works for information because it has everything that the book we should have has. I will say that while I need an actual book, digital versions work just as well for some people and if you are one of them, save yourself the extra weight and get a digital copy of the book. I can’t handle working out of digital books. I also don’t have a kindle or ereader for the same reason. I need the actual book in my hands.

These two things go together. My bullet journal and my paper mate pens, which are primarily what I use in my bullet journal. This is the new one, that I have been promising details on and still haven’t gotten too. I will, I swear. Just know that this thing goes pretty much everywhere I go and with good reason. It has my brain written down, so that things don’t slip through and vanish. That has happened. Usually I remember an hour or so after the fact when it’s to late to do anything about the appointment I missed. This fixes that problem (as long as I look at it).


Pens, pencils, highlighters. The highlighters are possibly more important than the pens. Also, the little tabs in there are for my notebook, so I can flip to a section faster. This case has been with me for a year and it’s held up well. I think I got it at Walmart. That card was handed out by our nursing chairperson, who loves us and keeps reminding us that we can do this. I love her.


And then there’s this left over stuff. Ear buds, a protein bar, sunglasses and an umbrella. Plus a pen and pencil that were just tossed in there. Random goodies. Sometimes there are lifesavers in there too. You never know when you might need something. Like the umbrella. Or the protein bar. I need to keep chocolate in here, actually….

So that’s the stuff in my bag. I have another bag for clinical that has totally different stuff in it. I will try and do that bag at some point too. It’s usually much more interesting.