hillarygayle: (Hillary Top Hat Flowers)
1. What is a favorite Christmas/Hanukah tradition of yours?
I might say my favorite thing about Christmas married to Bryan is that we DON'T have any stressful, must-do, gift-giving related traditions. We don't get each other gifts and we get Ganon very little (because he gets so very much from Bryan's parents as their only grandchild).

I DO watch Muppet Christmas Carol yearly, though. THAT is one of my super favorite Christmas traditions. Best Christmas movie in the world.

2. Do you listen to Christmas music while wrapping/bagging gifts?
I do. I'm a sucker for holiday music.

3. How soon do you start playing holiday music?
November. Usually it's before Thanksgiving; to me, Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's make up a "holiday season" and are one major reason that "happy holidays" is my phrase of choice.

4. If you could change one thing about the holidays, what would it be?
I'm not into gift-giving, nor do I like having to tell people what I "want for Christmas." The first one is stressful as I try to figure out what other people might want (this is easy for some, dead impossible for others), and the second one feels selfish. I wish we could all just agree to have experiences together rather than buying stuff.

5. Have you been naughty or nice? Remember, Santa is listening.
Well if Santa has been listening to me, he's been hearing a lot of cursing because I'm a doctoral nursing student and I work in the ICU for clinical. There's a buncha cursing involved. However, I have dedicated my career to saving other human lives and in my downtime I organize a group who does random "do-gooder" stuff for the less fortunate, so hey. Maybe that gets me some points. ;)

Yesterday. Wow. That was the longest Christmas Eve I have EVER EXPERIENCED, but it was absolutely worth it.

Christmas Eve Eve
This day was Creechmas! We opened gifts in the evening after we picked up my car. Ruby Rhod is everything I wanted her to be. I will miss Leeloo; she was an incredible car and exactly what I needed when I needed her. She was the perfect car for the person I was. The person I am needed Ruby, though. I'm happy. Highlight of the day: Ganon was inspecting all of the things Ruby can do (Bluetooth phone connection, heated seats, sunroof, the fact that you literally cannot lock the keys in the car because the presence of the key fob allows you to auto-unlock!), and exclaimed "I will miss the Element, but this is the high tech-est thing I have ever seen!"

Final selfie with Leeloo. Man, I hope she goes to someone who loves her as much as I have. Such a great car.

Final selfie with Leeloo

Selfie with the new car, Ruby Rhod! Honda HR-V EX AWD. Ganon quote "I miss the Element, but this car is the highest tech thing I've ever seen!"

First selfie with Ruby Rhod

I had no idea what to get my in-laws, but fortunately an opportunity presented itself. My mom-in-law Christy is stressed about the number of people (and which specific people) are coming for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. After she & Walter went to bed on the 23rd, it occurred to me what we could do...so we cleaned up the entire downstairs of the house. Ganon & Bryan & I all pitched in, and if I do say so myself, we got it seriously looking nice. My goal was for Christy not to have to lift a finger before guests, and I think it worked! They were both so impressed when they came downstairs & saw what we'd done. I was pretty impressed with my inspired gift. What do you get someone who has everything they want? The opportunity to NOT do something they DIDN'T want to do! :)

In addition to my car, which I feel was a fantastic Christmas present, I got a Mophie Juice Pack case for my phone (in lipstick red to match my car!), the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani eyeshadow palette (OMG I WAS SO EXCITED) and the greatest cardigan Think Geek has ever produced.

This cardigan, y'all!!! #agentsofshield #thinkgeek #geek #femme


Christmas Eve
Yesterday was an early-ish (8am) breakfast at a place called Jake's Uptown in Frisco, which had Oatmeal Pancakes. DIVINE. I want the recipe. We loaded Ruby (Bryan is incredible at packing cars) and set out on the 7-8 hour journey home. There was a short stop at Texarkana so I could buy some stocking stuffers for Ganon; we are getting him a "coupon" for his own bicycle but we want to let him pick it out. I wanted him to have SOME surprises.

That stop left us running late, so we didn't go home first. We went straight to my Aunt G/Uncle A's house when we drove into town at 18:50 for the Keller family Christmas, at which there was AN INSANE AMOUNT OF DELICIOUS FOOD as always because my family can Straight. Up. Cook. Home afterward for about 20 minutes, then I headed to church at 21:45 for midnight mass practice, and sang nearly the entire time from 21:45 to 00:30. It was a BEAUTIFUL service. So much music; we sang almost every Christmas song I know. The candlelit "Silent Night" was beautiful. We had the choir, a handbell choir, a brass quintet and even Dr. Bill playing the violin. I'm so happy we did that.

At home we filled Ganon's stocking, put a few small gifts under the tree, & headed to BED.

Christmas Day
So far this morning, J has come over for his 2nd testosterone shot, which he gave himself this morning with a ton of encouragement & some instruction! At 1:30 we have lunch at my Aunt Mary Gaye's house, and then supper is going to be "breakfast for supper" at my mom's, where the nieces & nephews will open their gifts and I will have begun World War III with Nerf weapons. Best aunt ever.

Tomorrow for Boxing Day, we are "dessert bombing" Two Saints kitchen with so many Christmas desserts.

I hope you are having a lovely Christmas, LJ. Mine is delightful, even if I will need some rest after it's all over.
hillarygayle: (Hottie Daffodil Sunglasses)
I realized I have not been keeping LJ updated on the continuing saga of our microwave. I told it in bullet points in an email this morning, & I like that format so we're gonna continue it here.

  • Leave for Wakarusa

  • Get a phone call from Q saying the microwave is dead.

  • Come home, microwave is indeed dead.

  • Check outlet, check breaker (both of which Q had already done, of course).

  • Microwave is dead as a doornail.

  • Being the search for a new microwave. Don't find one.

  • Take a trip to Hardy.

  • Come home, buy a floor model microwave at Home Depot.

  • Wait 2 days for Daddy to install.

  • During installation, find that we are missing one vital piece for installation.

  • Go to Home Depot. Receive exactly no help & piss poor customer service.

  • Come back home.

  • Take microwave back to Home Depot. Receive better service but still no part.

  • Return microwave.

  • Do not find any other in-stock microwaves that are acceptable.

  • Go to Lowe's.

  • Find a great, brand new microwave on sale for $160 down from $260.

  • Buy it.

  • Wait 2 days for Daddy to install.

  • Open microwave, find buckling & denting consistent with very hard drop or fall.

  • Scream.

  • Take microwave back to Lowe's.

  • Customer service lady insists on return.

  • Bryan suggests exchange would be easier.

  • Customer service lady insists on return.

  • Return microwave.

  • Find that they have the same one in stock.

  • Take it to register, find that the sale is over & it's again $260.

  • Inform manager of issue.

  • Manager honors sale price.

  • Manager asks customer service lady "Why didn't you just do an exchange?"

  • Scream.

  • Bring home.

  • Wait one more day for Daddy to come install.

That's where we are now. So we have been an entire month without a microwave, and let me tell you, I did NOT realize how much we used it. Especially for leftovers. If you don't have a working microwave, leftovers are not nearly as convenient.

In other home improvement news, my basement has a sink! I have always been confused as to why it didn't have a sink in the first place. The laundry has always been in the basement from the time the house was built in 1979. With the house being that old, I can't imagine why they didn't put a sink down here in the first place. In the 70s, there were a lot more hand-wash clothing items & pre-treating stains was much more labor intensive. Plus, if you ever have to rinse something off or pour something out, you had to go upstairs. Not anymore! It took the plumbers only from 8am-10:30am to finish it, too. We were concerned it might be complicated by the fact that the tiny basement corner that contains the washer & dryer (and thus the water & drainage lines) is a reinforced concrete safe room. There was a possibility that drilling through the wall was going to be a giant pain, but it was ok. They had to use what they called a "hammer drill" but whatever. It worked quick, & I got a sink! It will allow me to rinse things out before laundry, pour out my cold coffee when I'm studying (I use the basement as my school "office"), but most importantly: the dehumidifier!

We have a dehumidifier in the basement. I notice when it's running, the entire house feels less humid. Problem was, without a sink down here, we had to use the dehumidifier basin & then empty it out in the washing machine as it got full. This meant it would never run more than 6-8 hours before needing emptied, at which point it would either turn itself off or leak (only a couple of times). Now we can set it beside the sink & run a hose so that it's constantly emptying into the drain, and it can run continuously!

We've actually been doing a LOT of great organization around here. Bryan is very good at thinking of organizational systems. We both create them. Then I am very good at maintaining those systems & tweaking them as our needs change. Ganon has gotten to the point where he can help us with things, like picking up & sorting his toys without being told each step to take. He can make his own bed now, as well. We made a toy organizational system in his room and we put a new set of closet organizers in mine & Bryan's room. It helped with a LOT of stuff.

I've also gotten someone to start cleaning my house every other week. This took a lot of hemming & hawing & wincing on my part. It triggers a LOT of feelings of inadequacy: why can't I keep my house as clean as I want it? The truth is, when the house is clean & organized, I feel much better. My mind is much clearer, I am less distracted, & I feel less foggy. That said, I'm not a very good housekeeper. I let things get cluttery a lot. When we clean up, we do a surface clean on an urgent basis, usually because people are coming over. I don't think about moving furniture to clean under it. I don't clean things up unless I can SEE the mess and it bothers me, or it's stopping me from doing something.  I do feel bad that I'm not the Tazmanian Cleanliness Devil my mother is. I feel guilty about it. But the fact is I'm not, and I decided to grit my teeth & shoot a text to a nice lady who came very highly recommended by 2 of my former coworkers. Any lady recommended by 2 nurses (especially 2 that I know personally) is probably a good fit.

Thus did Hurricane Olga come to hit my house yesterday while I was out. I figured she would be good, so I wasn't too fazed by the price she set me. When I came home, I realized I'd gotten one HELL of a bargain. The floors gleamed. Every horizontal surface was shiny. The bathtubs were so clean you could eat off them. The toilets looked immaculate. EVERYTHING looked immaculate! I was SO impressed.

She's going to come every other week. I feel like this is a great arrangement. So I'm not that great a housekeeper under normal circumstances: fine. But with Olga coming every 2 weeks, I will have a reason to keep the horizontal surfaces uncluttered (so she can wipe or dust), things put away, & laundry not overflowing onto the floor. Every 2 weeks it will be exactly this clean once again, and when something starts out clean, it makes you less likely to mess it up. Ganon made his bed this morning, & so did Bryan & I. I think this is going to be a worthwhile expenditure.

Yesterday I drove [livejournal.com profile] girlwithoutfear  the airport. She has a convention where she's going to sell jewelry in Nevada. There was a lot of going back & forth with [livejournal.com profile] asqmh & Bryan about things that Olga needed, & whether I knew where they were, etc. on the drive. But we got her there on time, & then Ganon & I went off to get my annual drug test for school.
We arrived at LabCorp (what a difficult place to find!) and went to the 7th floor...where they told me I couldn't have my drug test because Ganon was with me. What? It is apparently their policy. It's too "dangerous" to leave him in the waiting area by himself, but he couldn't go back with me & stand outside the door or come into the testing bathroom with me. I think the ladies genuinely started to feel bad for me when I asked why he couldn't just come in with me. "Because you might have him pee in the cup!" I must have looked as astonished as I felt, because they kinda started to sadly laugh.

"I guess if that's the policy, you must've actually had someone TRY that?!" I asked incredulously. They said they had.

Hating the world at that moment, I stomped angrily down to the lobby (Ganon apologized that he made me miss my drug test, & I told him it certainly was NOT his fault) and fired off some very colorfully worded texts to Q & Bryan to get my frustration out. Also Bryan usually has some great ideas. He was asking about [livejournal.com profile] thejessone, since she lives in Little Rock. "She worked last night. She's asleep," I told him, not wanting to wake her up. She sleeps little enough as it is, and when you wake her up she almost never goes back to sleep. Just as I hit send on that text & went back to scowling at the world...Jess walked in the door of the lobby.

I just stared at her for a second before my brain kicked back into gear. I called her name, and then she stared at ME for about the same amount of time. We both asked what the other was doing there, though in retrospect I'm the one who deserves that question more since she actually lives in Little Rock. :) We were both there for a drug test! Hers is for the agency she signed on with for travel nursing. I know she made my day for sure, and she told me that it made her day 1000% better that she'd met up with us.

An incredible accidental meeting like that certainly deserves lunch. We ate at Panera. :)
Tomorrow, Q & Bryan & I leave for the Lake of the Ozarks to spend a weekend with our friend Rob & his wife at their lake house! I'm pretty excited. It sounds like a lot of fun. SWIMMMMMMMMING! Games! Nintendo 3DS! Rob's cooking!
hillarygayle: (With Chopsticks!)
I realized I have not been keeping LJ updated on the continuing saga of our microwave. I told it in bullet points in an email this morning, & I like that format so we're gonna continue it here.

Leave for Wakarusa
Get a phone call from Q saying the microwave is dead.
Come home, microwave is indeed dead.
Check outlet, check breaker (both of which Q had already done, of course).
Microwave is dead as a doornail.
Being the search for a new microwave. Don't find one.
Take a trip to Hardy.
Come home, buy a floor model microwave at Home Depot.
Wait 2 days for Daddy to install.
During installation, find that we are missing one vital piece for installation.
Go to Home Depot. Receive exactly no help & piss poor customer service.
Come back home.
Take microwave back to Home Depot. Receive better service but still no part.
Return microwave.
Do not find any other in-stock microwaves that are acceptable.
Go to Lowe's.
Find a great, brand new microwave on sale for $160 down from $260.
Buy it.
Wait 2 days for Daddy to install.
Open microwave, find buckling & denting consistent with very hard drop or fall.
Scream.
Take microwave back to Lowe's.
Customer service lady insists on return.
Bryan suggests exchange would be easier.
Customer service lady insists on return.
Return microwave.
Find that they have the same one in stock.
Take it to register, find that the sale is over & it's again $260.
Inform manager of issue.
Manager honors sale price.
Manager asks customer service lady "Why didn't you just do an exchange?"
Scream.
Bring home.
Wait one more day for Daddy to come install.

That's where we are now. So we have been an entire month without a microwave, and let me tell you, I did NOT realize how much we used it. Especially for leftovers. If you don't have a working microwave, leftovers are not nearly as convenient.

In other home improvement news, my basement has a sink! I have always been confused as to why it didn't have a sink in the first place. The laundry has always been in the basement from the time the house was built in 1979. With the house being that old, I can't imagine why they didn't put a sink down here in the first place. In the 70s, there were a lot more hand-wash clothing items & pre-treating stains was much more labor intensive. Plus, if you ever have to rinse something off or pour something out, you had to go upstairs. Not anymore! It took the plumbers only from 8am-10:30am to finish it, too. We were concerned it might be complicated by the fact that the tiny basement corner that contains the washer & dryer (and thus the water & drainage lines) is a reinforced concrete safe room. There was a possibility that drilling through the wall was going to be a giant pain, but it was ok. They had to use what they called a "hammer drill" but whatever. It worked quick, & I got a sink! It will allow me to rinse things out before laundry, pour out my cold coffee when I'm studying (I use the basement as my school "office"), but most importantly: the dehumidifier!

We have a dehumidifier in the basement. I notice when it's running, the entire house feels less humid. Problem was, without a sink down here, we had to use the dehumidifier basin & then empty it out in the washing machine as it got full. This meant it would never run more than 6-8 hours before needing emptied, at which point it would either turn itself off or leak (only a couple of times). Now we can set it beside the sink & run a hose so that it's constantly emptying into the drain, and it can run continuously!

We've actually been doing a LOT of great organization around here. Bryan is very good at thinking of organizational systems. We both create them. Then I am very good at maintaining those systems & tweaking them as our needs change. Ganon has gotten to the point where he can help us with things, like picking up & sorting his toys without being told each step to take. He can make his own bed now, as well. We made a toy organizational system in his room and we put a new set of closet organizers in mine & Bryan's room. It helped with a LOT of stuff.

I've also gotten someone to start cleaning my house every other week. This took a lot of hemming & hawing & wincing on my part. It triggers a LOT of feelings of inadequacy: why can't I keep my house as clean as I want it? The truth is, when the house is clean & organized, I feel much better. My mind is much clearer, I am less distracted, & I feel less foggy. That said, I'm not a very good housekeeper. I let things get cluttery a lot. When we clean up, we do a surface clean on an urgent basis, usually because people are coming over. I don't think about moving furniture to clean under it. I don't clean things up unless I can SEE the mess and it bothers me, or it's stopping me from doing something. I do feel bad that I'm not the Tazmanian Cleanliness Devil my mother is. I feel guilty about it. But the fact is I'm not, and I decided to grit my teeth & shoot a text to a nice lady who came very highly recommended by 2 of my former coworkers. Any lady recommended by 2 nurses (especially 2 that I know personally) is probably a good fit.

Thus did Hurricane Olga come to hit my house yesterday while I was out. I figured she would be good, so I wasn't too fazed by the price she set me. When I came home, I realized I'd gotten one HELL of a bargain. The floors gleamed. Every horizontal surface was shiny. The bathtubs were so clean you could eat off them. The toilets looked immaculate. EVERYTHING looked immaculate! I was SO impressed.

She's going to come every other week. I feel like this is a great arrangement. So I'm not that great a housekeeper under normal circumstances: fine. But with Olga coming every 2 weeks, I will have a reason to keep the horizontal surfaces uncluttered (so she can wipe or dust), things put away, & laundry not overflowing onto the floor. Every 2 weeks it will be exactly this clean once again, and when something starts out clean, it makes you less likely to mess it up. Ganon made his bed this morning, & so did Bryan & I. I think this is going to be a worthwhile expenditure.

Yesterday I drove Alice to the airport. She has a convention where she's going to sell jewelry in Nevada. There was a lot of going back & forth with asqmh & Bryan about things that Olga needed, & whether I knew where they were, etc. on the drive. But we got her there on time, & then Ganon & I went off to get my annual drug test for school.

We arrived at LabCorp (what a difficult place to find!) and went to the 7th floor...where they told me I couldn't have my drug test because Ganon was with me. What? It is apparently their policy. It's too "dangerous" to leave him in the waiting area by himself, but he couldn't go back with me & stand outside the door or come into the testing bathroom with me. I think the ladies genuinely started to feel bad for me when I asked why he couldn't just come in with me. "Because you might have him pee in the cup!" I must have looked as astonished as I felt, because they kinda started to sadly laugh.

"I guess if that's the policy, you must've actually had someone TRY that?!" I asked incredulously. They said they had.

Hating the world at that moment, I stomped angrily down to the lobby (Ganon apologized that he made me miss my drug test, & I told him it certainly was NOT his fault) and fired off some very colorfully worded texts to Q & Bryan to get my frustration out. Also Bryan usually has some great ideas. He was asking about Jess, since she lives in Little Rock. "She worked last night. She's asleep," I told him, not wanting to wake her up. She sleeps little enough as it is, and when you wake her up she almost never goes back to sleep. Just as I hit send on that text & went back to scowling at the world...Jess walked in the door of the lobby.

I just stared at her for a second before my brain kicked back into gear. I called her name, and then she stared at ME for about the same amount of time. We both asked what the other was doing there, though in retrospect I'm the one who deserves that question more since she actually LIVES in the town! We were both there for a drug test! Hers is for the agency she signed on with for travel nursing. I know she made my day for sure, and she told me that it made her day 1000% better that she'd met up with us.

An incredible accidental meeting like that certainly deserves lunch. We ate at Panera. :)

Tomorrow, Q & Bryan & I leave for the Lake of the Ozarks to spend a weekend with our friend Rob & his wife at their lake house! I'm pretty excited. It sounds like a lot of fun. SWIMMMMMMMMING! Games! Nintendo 3DS! Rob's cooking!
hillarygayle: (Bryan & Hillary)
2013 was an extremely eventful year here in the Creech household. There were some extremely tense moments (applying for graduate school), some really exciting ones (getting my acceptance letter), and some sad times (closing of Weiner High School felt like the end of an era). Here's my year in review as gleaned from my Twitter feed saved in LJ posts.

January: The deadline passed for graduate school application at University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. I'd already turned mine in back in November 2012, but now the real waiting starts. January 2nd passed without any particular bad luck (it used to be a bad day for me most of the time), though I did get CRAZY sick over New Year's holiday. Ganon got into video games for the first time with Lego Lord of the Rings. Commander Hadfield earned the love & admiration of the geek community with his tweets from space. Finished the very last Wheel of Time book ever, 14 years after being introduced to the series by Bryan. The Wakarusa lineup is released; I was super excited about ZZ Ward, Of Monsters & Men, Ozomatli, STS9 & Galactic. Observed my first open-heart surgery by the surgeon with whom I work most often. I was later primary nurse to that same patient.

February: For the first time, I had to show my teeth to a group of nursing students. In one week, 4 of them were late on weekly papers. I gave them a speech about it & they acted terrified. :D First jonquils of the year, shortly followed by daffodils in my back yard. Visited a Trader Joe’s for the first time, and all of my loyalty is transferred from Whole Foods to TJ’s. :) Discovered SleepyTime tea for insomnia. Yelling goats in YouTube videos were a thing. Bryan took the EAST lab students from Weiner to their competition in Hot Springs. The entire school did a Harlem Shake video.

March: It snowed on March 2nd! Discovered OCC Lip Tar. New Kids on the Block released a new song & it wasn’t bad! My birthday! My first group of junior nursing students presented their final care plans. Spring break started out with Ganon getting a stomach bug. I got confirmed for Warehouse tickets for the DMB show…in the pit! Had my interview on campus at UTHSC just before driving to Dallas. Got a red Logitech bluetooth keyboard for my iPad, & it’s been one of the most useful things on the planet ever since. We started our spring break journey home from Dallas a day early…to beat the winter weather that was heading for Jonesboro. SPRING BREAK. WINTER WEATHER. I found that the best way for me to pull off a drunken tweet is to use Siri, because my typing remains too articulate.

April: I caved & rejoined Instagram. Gmail Blue was my favorite April Fool’s Day joke. :) We had to remodel our nurse’s station while actually remaining functional as a floor. The nurse’s station was relocated into our largest patient room. It was horrible & I came THAT close to a mental breakdown while at work. The Pegasus pipeline failed, flooding an Arkansas neighborhood with crude oil. Farmer’s market season opened, and I officially reopened my favorite room in the house: my porch. A couple of weeks after we remodeled the nurse’s station…we remodeled all the patient rooms. Could we not have just done that all at once?! Bryan’s & Daddy’s birthdays this month. I found out that I wasn’t going to be eligible to continue teaching clinicals at ASU, which was super disappointing because I wanted to teach while going to nursing school. I took care of an all-oncology team for a short time at work. Bryan was in Bye Bye Birdie, the final play put on by the Gifted & Talented program at Weiner High School. We went to the final prom at WHS, too. Oh, and I GOT ACCEPTED INTO GRADUATE SCHOOL! Doctorate in Nursing Practice, here I come!

May: A coworker in my hospital passed away this month; J was very young (40s) and his partner, K, was devastated. Our hospital did not extend spousal leave benefits to K, even though they’d been together for 15 years & it’s not possible to get married in Arkansas. I was highly disappointed. Got retweeted by Jeff Coffin, which of course made my day. Received a hand-carved wooden pen from a person who had previously been a post open-heart surgery patient of mine. Last graduation for Weiner High School, and Bryan’s last day of work there. They closed it down this month. Ganon, with his best friend Maggie, was in the “memorial” video for the school. Walking alone down the high school hallway in shirts that say “Our Time”. Everyone who saw the video cried like a baby at that. Dave Matthews Band concert in Dallas! They played several of the songs I very much wanted to hear. Met Mimi & Augie for a night or two in Hot Springs before me & Bryan went off to Wakarusa!

June: Started off with Wakarusa: which was a soggy, rainy mess. It was miserable for having to endure mud up to our calves & ride out an Ozarks spring thunderstorm in a freaking tent. It was amazing for seeing some GREAT music live. Seriously though, dat mud. I got to tell Bryan “I told you so” because he said he wouldn’t need mud boots. I got written up for customer service suspiciously soon after getting accepted to graduate school, and in spite of all the patients & families who said they felt “safe” when I was their nurse. We drove to Dallas to surprise Augie for Father’s Day. Texas liberals pulled off an astounding feat for the pro-choice in that state & I was happy to watch it unfold on Twitter. Wendy Davis filibustered the Texas legislature & I screamed along on Twitter when they attempted to screw her over at the last minute & then lie about it on the official record. I got super bad Animal Crossing envy…and then I got Animal Crossing.

July: Jumped through the millions of hoops necessary to enroll in a major healthcare university. I was thrilled to see my sister on the stage in a local production of Les Miserables…but stunned & sad that Trayvon Martin’s killer was completely acquitted on that same night. Q, Jess, Bryan & I watched the hysterical Sharknado one evening. Starbucks opened a stand-alone shop in Jonesboro for the first time. New couch for den; super amazing comfortable with chaise lounge at one end!

August: First on-campus week for graduate school! It was, of course, hot & humid as hell, being Memphis in August. Ate at a few places in Memphis I’d never eaten at before. I GOT A MACBOOK AIR! Bryan began teaching at Bay High School. Ganon started school there, which was not as traumatic as we thought. I discovered I was going to have to make a decision about whether or not a B was going to bother me during graduate school. I arrived at the conclusion that B stands for “balance”.

September: We put a moldy recliner out on the curb by the house…and it was gone in less than 2 hours. :D Bryan was surprised. The fair came around, and Ganon rode a grownup ride (the Scrambler) for the first time! He loved it & wanted to ride it again immediately. :) Took, and passed, my heart-sounds exam in acute diagnostic reasoning, a major milestone for the acute DNP program. Started going out for drinks & supper occasionally with my weekend Crewmates & sometimes the Captain. Ganon discovers flash cards on his iPod touch & tests begin to go VERY well for him. :)

October: The government shut down! I was very stressed about graduate school & work. I thought possibly my tendency toward B grades was because I was moving too fast on exams, but when I took one as slowly as possible…I got the same grade. Cue frustration. I did not get to go to Yonder Mountain Harvest festival, and that was sad. I began to resent always being pushed into computer-related stuff just because of my experience & comfort level with computers. I got the horrific, worst-cold-ever thing that was going around. Downtown Jonesboro gets a wine bar! Yay! The cheapest glass of wine is $9. Booo. I attended the ARNA convention in Rogers, Arkansas—and this time Bryan & Ganon went with me! It really made the trip more fun than ever. We stayed in the convention hotel, Ganon went with me to the “schwag room” thereby netting me a lot more stuff than I’d have gotten on my own. Won a position on the state nominating committee for ARNA. Q moved into our guest room, at first temporarily because of a particular issue, then on a more permanent basis.

November: ARNA convention bleeds over into November; it was the last weekend October/first of November.  Bryan got a freaking kidney stone! We cut the trip short and took scenic highway 71 on the way home instead of I-540, meaning I got some AMAZING fall foliage pictures. Also a stone from the Ozarks that I keep for…well, just because I like it. Along with several internet friends, we raised funds to buy our friend Alice a Nintendo 2DS and Animal Crossing to play with while she’s in the hospital. It went over WELL and now Alice is one of my ACNL BFFs as well as IRL. Discovered my allergy to hibiscus is worse than previously thought; accidentally drank some in a tea & my tongue swelled! Ganon got into Avatar: The Last Airbender & pretty much marathoned it in a few days. Feminist selfies became a thing and I loved it. Loving the weekend Crew at work & building great camaraderie.

December: Started out with on-campus week at UTHSC. Took epi/bio final, came home unexpectedly to surprise Ganon. Went back, stayed at Doubletree downtown with Tashina & Kelsey; we decided this was going to be our way from now on. Was fairly cheap and a LOT of fun to stay downtown, catching the trolley to class & grabbing dinner & drinks at local restaurants. So fun! Passed all exams, turned in all final projects. Got procedure experience on cadavers at the MERI lab. When grades came back I had 2 A and 1 B, much to my surprise! Dr. Thompson told us “turn off school brain” but then Dr. Jordan proceeded to not allow us to with all her emails. Dropped down to 1 day per week at work. Got a lot more into Tumblr, decided Google+ was worth it for journaling after all. Discovered electric throws are AWESOME. Threw a birthday party for the Captain at a downtown venue. According to J, it’s the first time anyone has ever dared do it. It went VERY well. Another coworker died extremely unexpectedly, just a week before Christmas. Christy worked very closely with my floor & it threw all of us for a loop. Christmas road trip, complete with blowout & rescue by Action Wrecker Good Samaritans, kidnapping Jess, & huge shopping fun in Dallas. Bryan got MacBook Air, too! Year ended drinking Woodchucks & playing Animal Crossing & Cards Against Humanity with Bryan & Q in the den.
hillarygayle: (Agent Nekkid)
So we went to Wakarusa 2013. TL;DR version: it rained a lot, I really hate mud, the music was awesome as usual, & I think next time I want to stay in a hotel. Also: photos.

FIRST! Some definitions for your reading enjoyment:

FestyKid: This is a young person, usually not yet 21. I'm pretty sure they've never held a real job. Their parents probably bought their ticket. They were completely unprepared to camp comfortably under normal circumstances, much less the hellacious weather circumstances we got. They did a lot of drugs, and most gave me the impression they were not there for the music so much as the party atmosphere (& the ability to openly use drugs without legal repercussion); they probably had no idea who Widespread Panic & Umphrey's McGee were, and were mainly spotted at the EDM sets like Baauer & anything else playing at the Satellite Stage. Not all young people at Waka were FestyKids.

Wook (short for wookie): This is a shady type person at a festival. Unkempt & filthy, but that's pretty much the rest of us this year, too. These are the people who come rummaging through the campsites when everyone else is gone. You don't put a lock on your tent, because they'll just cut your tent open.

Ragestick: a decorated stick of any size that you can hold above a festy crowd so your group can find you. Can't find the Creeches? Just look for the staff of Asclepius made out of electrowire. :) Okay so I didn't make one, but if I did it would be that. They are as diverse & individual as people at festivals, & each one says something about the person who made it.


Thursday:

We sat in the security line for AGES. From 1400 arrival, to 2030 when we began setting up our camp. This was mostly because of the weather; we kept having wind/rain intermittently, and any time it threatened to get thunderstormy, the Powers that Were would shut down the festival main venue. Each time that happened, security shut down & stop letting people in. I felt this was a silly tactic; we could've at least been getting to our campsites. I was very glad we'd stopped at the I-40 travel center & filled up the tank.

The rest of Thursday; photos )



Friday

Was in only a marginally better mood on Friday morning. It started off with someone playing some surreal recording of instrumental sounds (I hesitate to call it music) with some guy doing pseudo-political, New Age conspiracy theory spoken word stuff over it. It was LOUD, and finally we got the guy to turn it off. Seriously, we can't have that crap at 5am...we're trying to sleep!

Friday, continued; photos )




Saturday

At first I was cranky because of the drips & condensation in our tent. Before I had my coffee, I wrote that I was "beyond disappointed" & "I am no longer a music festie fan if it means camping". I know myself well, though, because I also wrote that I reserve the right to change my mind. Especially for the right lineup. The fact remains, though, that if a hotel & shuttle is an option? I'll probably take it.

After the coffee, my optimism returned...or at least my resilience. Other people had tents down, rain flys blown away, EZ-ups torn & broken. Furniture was missing, the entire contents of tents were soaked, laid out on car hoods to dry. For novice campers, we did EXTREMELY well (I had chosen a good spot on our little piece of land, I had angled the tent so a natural trench ran around it, and I had driven in the tent spikes & the rain fly spikes and THEN put giant rocks on top of them). Even that morning I realized I'd see this as "what I am capable of" and feel less disappointment. I do. I may not LIKE doing this sort of thing, but I'm telling you, I will be EXTREMELY useful should we ever have an apocalypse.

Saturday continued, with awesome photos )




And then we drove home. We showered & scrubbed off the top layer of our skin, & passed out cold. :) The end.
hillarygayle: (Default)

My son, who has never known life without the internet or cell phones, and honestly can't even remember life without touch screens, is fascinated by the corded, touch-button telephones in this hotel. He keeps calling our room from Mimi & Augie's room.

hillarygayle: (Hottie Green Coat)

When I was young I hated my freckles. Most likely because everyone commented on them. They were distinctive & noticeable & with my red hair, they made me stand out.

Teenage Hillary would never have believed that 34 year old Hillary would be on her back porch without sunscreen, intentionally getting some sun on her face in order to darken her freckles for the summer. :) Because they are distinctive & noticeable & make me stand out.

Day off!

May. 11th, 2013 01:50 pm
hillarygayle: (Default)

I was supposed to be off yesterday & work today, but my director Ashley asked me if I would switch, so I did. That meant I got to go to the farmer's market this morning and hang out with Bryan & Ganon for the rest of the day! Again I'm in my backyard office with a pot of tea & my TV tray desk, but this time I am with both dogs & my boys!

Farmer's market was this morning. Second week, but it was massively crowded! I've never seen so many people at the market at once! They said last week, for opening market, they had 1,400 people. That's phenomenal for a town of this size (70k-ish). It's also an incredible change from the first season, when there were resellers (people had produce from California, for crying out loud). ASU made rules about what could be sold, ensuring everything was locally made or grown, and suddenly we had AMAZING vendors like Falls Farms, Blackwater Produce, Once Upon a Farm, Three Birds Baking, & Nine Oaks Farms! We got coconut balls, eggs, sausage, strawberries, and GOLDEN RAISIN BREAD OMG.

Best thing about this morning was Ganon. Last summer he was kinda "meh" about the farmer's market, which was disappointing to me because I love them so much. He didn't like people talking to him and spent the first 5 minutes hiding behind me, then the rest of the time asking me if we could leave. Today, though, he wanted to go with me. I was not optimistic, but I let him come with, and I'm so glad I did! He was entirely different from last year. Today he pulled me around by the hand from stall to stall. "Mama, let's find the strawberries!" "Mama, look at the puppies!" (The Humane Society had adoptable dogs out today). "MAMA. That guy has eggs. LIKE FROM REAL CHICKENS." "Peanut butter balls, Mama!" "Can we grow some cantaloupes, Mama? And what is a cantaloupe?" I'm pretty sure the "real chickens" statement was my favorite of all time. So he had a great time & it was totally fun, even if the peanut butter balls he got were mislabeled, and actually contained coconut balls!

I think the reason I love music festivals & farmers markets is that they feel similar. The moods at each feel very much alike. People are happy, outside, doing something they love. You very rarely see someone super cranky or in a bad mood, and everyone has the feel of a shared experience.



Bryan & I don't usually do holidays, but we are finding as Ganon gets older, HE wants to. For example, I haven't really gotten anything from Bryan for Mother's Day since my very first one, and I don't mind that. Ganon, on the other hand, DOES want to get me things. I have gotten no less than 5 homemade Mother's Day cards & posters since yesterday.

Tonight for Mother's Day, I am getting an early supper on the porch at Panera, & then a trip to the mall. ACCEPTABLE.

Pictures!

For fun! )

hillarygayle: (Hottie Pink Hat)
I am much more excited than I thought I would be about the end of ASU clinical teaching. I loved teaching the students, but I've been a bit overwhelmed with working. I think the fact that I taught clinicals on my own floor was a blessing & a curse: I knew exactly where everything was, how to do all of it, what we specialized in. I was the perfect teacher for that environment: someone who knows it inside & out, someone who loves it, & someone who loves teaching it to other people who want to learn it. On the other hand, it meant that I was working on the progressive care unit 3 days a week for 12 hours, then 1 day a week for 8 hours. THAT'S TOO MANY HOURS in such a stressful, high pressure environment.

I can't teach next year anyway. As of this coming fall, every teacher who does anything for the ASU BSN program has to have a master's degree already. It used to count if you were enrolled in grad school, but not now, so I am going to simply drop to part-time at my current job & call it a day. (The grad program is mandatory full time, so something had to give anyway.)


I am SO STOKED about Wakarusa this year! Bryan isn't as excited as I am, but he humors me so it's good. I can't wait to get back to all the craziness & all the music & all the fun stuff to do & things to eat & people to meet.

They released the stage schedule this week, and I found even more to be excited about. In the Revival Tent on Friday, only like 2 or 3 bands aren't on my "must see" list. I can sit in that tent all of Friday: from mid-afternoon to 3am, and I will ALWAYS be listening to a band I want to see! Of Monsters & Men, Ozomatli, STS9, Galactic! *dance* I am already making plans to stake out a spot on the left hand side, by the woods, with our backpack chairs, and soak up the music. I CAN'T WAIT.


SOOOOOOOOOO, prom! I did not do Nerd Prom (i.e. the White House Correspondents' Dinner) last night; I did Real Prom instead! Last night was Weiner High School's very last prom. Next year they will be consolidated with Harrisburg High School. A damn shame, too, because the junior class at WHS this year is silly, funny, smart, & very close-knit. Everyone was hoping they could graduate together from WHS as they started together in kindergarten. :(

So the prom could easily have been a depressing sort of event, but it wasn't. It was upbeat & fun, & they had tons of fun. Bryan wore a bow tie & suspenders, and he actually looks a heck of a lot better in that type of formal menswear than he does a regular tie & belt. He's decided it's his new dress up look, & I could not be happier about it. It looks super dapper while retaining a slight nerd vibe. I fangirled my husband. :)

Weiner High School Prom 2013
Bryan & one of his students. Prom is srs bsns.

More photos from WHS Prom 2013: Glowstick Apocalypse )

Creechmas

Dec. 26th, 2010 01:01 pm
hillarygayle: (Hottie Pout)
Bryan says it best: "We hang out for a few days with my family, have a low key dinner & presents...and then we drive for 7 hours home and run the gauntlet with your family!"
 Christmas Tree
He's not wrong. That's exactly how it happens.

On Saturday, after I got off work, we drove to Dallas. I "slept" most of the way, which is in quotes because Ganon was also in the back seat. This meant my sleep was punctuated with "Hey. Mama. Mama. Mama. Are you asleep?" I woke up a few times to eat & the rest of the times I just sort of dozed. Bryan was an awesome trooper & drove the whole way, listening to Wheel of Time on his iPhone. It was pretty uneventful, as Bryan had his entertainment, Ganon had his iPod touch, & I had sleep. Modern technology makes road trips SO MUCH better.

I spent Sunday sick! I ran a low-grade fever in the morning and I couldn't breathe all day. In fact, I slept most of the day, waking up at supper time, just in time for beef pot pie! THAT was nice. Sick in bed all day only to wake up to comfort food. Monday & Tuesday were better, spent shopping for Christmas gifts & generally going places we don't get to go when we're at home. I was irritated that the cell network didn't seem to handle Gowalla very well; I think it was so overloaded with people, you know? Booo. Christmas celebrations were on Wednesday, when we ate lunch & exchanged presents. We left for home at 5pm so we could spend as much time as possible with the Texas Grandminions.

I got a LUSH trip! Yay big! I got some Buche de Noel facial scrub & some Ultralight. Because of the mass amounts of snow dumped on Canada, the store only had what was out on the floor. This meant I could get a large bottle of Ultralight...or none at all. A large bottle is...rather expensive, but it'll last me all year. MAN, IS MY FACE HAPPY. If you're the kind of person who gets dry, extremely chapped skin in cold weather, this moisturizer is a great choice. I also picked up some light pink color corrector, which is this REALLY cool stuff: you use a dab of it in your moisturizer & it tints! You can do anything from a very sheer tinted moisturizer to a much more opaque one, like a base.

For Christmas I got a Sephora gift card (OMG YAY!!!) and this really adorable tiny Coach purse. Augie took Ganon shopping for gifts, and each of us seemed to get a Thomas playset. We happily shared these with Ganon. :D

When we got home, I slept all day & then went into work. Thanks to Bryan, I was the most popular nurse on 3 East...he brought me dessert from my mom's family party. Banana pudding, peanut butter bonbons, strawberry pizza, & pumpkin roll! Of course I slept all day on Christmas Eve, then went back into work. 

Work was weird on Christmas Eve. It's different: patients are only there on Christmas because they really HAVE to be. That means they're very high acuity, and there are very few of them.  Of my three, 2 of them were enough to make me worry the whole night.

Work got VERY bad about 4am on Christmas morning, when I found that I was actually in the staffing computer for Christmas night, though I had been promised I would not have to work both Christmas Eve AND Christmas night (it's hospital policy you only have to work one or the other). When I mentioned this to Carol, the house supervisor, she told me there wasn't anything she could do; my manager would have to remove me from the database. Before I left, I told Debby, the oncoming house supervisor for Christmas Day, that I would be calling in sick that night. Technically I could be written up for that, and obviously you can see why. If everyone called in on Christmas day, the hospital would be screwed. On the other hand, the people who work Christmas day are SCHEDULED to work Christmas day. I wasn't; it was sprung on me at the last moment. I figured if I was going to be written up for the first time, I might as well walk into it knowingly--but who wants to be written up for a call-in when it isn't their fault to begin with? Not to mention the matter of the policy.  All this outweighed my desire not to call my manager on Christmas day.  So when I got home on Christmas, i called my manager & asked her to take me out of the computer. She did, so no write-up for call-in for me!

I did not go to sleep on Christmas. I know, this is ill-advised, but I had missed all of my family Christmas parties up to that point. We opened gifts at my parents' house in the morning & had Christmas breakfast (biscuits & gravy, bacon, & eggs! YOM!).  I got some AWESOME red Dansko clogs! Danskos are all I ever wear at work; I have a matte white pair and a "petrol" black pair, which is black with an oil-slick finish. The red ones are going to look AWESOME with my blue scrubs. <3 I also got a "Shark" vacuum cleaner; it has bare floor & rug settings so I can use it all over the house. 

After all that, we went to my Aunt Mary's for a late-afternoon lunch. THAT'S where I got all the fun Christmas food I'd been wanting. Sweet potatoes, broccoli, rice & cheese casserole, yeast muffins, all the good stuff. I have TONS of leftovers, including all the sweet potatoes. :)

I woke up feeling nice & refreshed this morning...after sleeping for 15 hours. Not kidding. WOW.

December 26 is really starting to be one of my favorite parts of Christmas. We hang out, just me & Bryan & Ganon, sometimes going to the mall for a little return fun or to check out the sales. Sometimes we meet up with my family for a movie, but sometimes not. Eating is always easy because of all the delicious leftovers. Today I had aforementioned delicious leftovers for breakfast: a Cajun ham sandwich & a cocktail of orange juice & Mt. Dew. Ganon is putting together a Thomas puzzle & watching Thomas on the new Apple TV, which was Bryan's gift from Augie & Mimi. Funny how, given all the Thomas videos on Netflix, Ganon is making MUCH more use of Daddy's new Apple TV. :D I'm thinking about the Bath & Body Works sale. This is the week for the super huge "rubber duck" sale they do twice a year, and it's the only time you can get the classic scents like Cool Citrus Basil & Country Apple & White Tea Ginger. And today they're $3. This might be worth getting my lazy butt out of the house. 

Updated!

Oct. 28th, 2010 07:30 pm
hillarygayle: (Utena Red & Black)
We've been updated on the house! The appraisal is done! The house appraised for higher than the selling price (it is only when it appraises for lower that there's some weirdness), so that's good. As of today, the loan went to the underwriter. Tomorrow I will let the mortgage company know what home insurance we'll be using, and they do something on the back end with that. They expect the loan back from the underwriter on Tuesday, and then we can close any time after that, I think!

THEN I CAN BEGIN TO BE RID OF THAT PINK CARPET.


I have not felt terribly well today. I think it's hormones. Everyone knows about PMS (duh) but in my case, hormones do not seem to affect my mood overly much. I have a tendency to get hard on myself when I'm PMSing, so that stinks, but with the help of my closest it's manageable. For me, PMS means a bunch of PHYSICAL symptoms...i.e., I get freaking sick once a month. -_- That is a pain in the face. Or in the lower intestine. OR BOTH.


I'm tooling around at home by myself. Ganon is over at Nana & Papa's house & Bryan is in parent/teacher conferences until 8pm. Just me, some coffee, & a package of TimTams! That's right, I found them in Target today! They're seasonal, October-March, and for the last 2 years they were only available in Target. This year the Caramel & Milk Chocolate varieties are available elsewhere, too, but you gotta hit Target for the Darks. Those are my favorite.
hillarygayle: (Agent Nekkid)
Night shift for the ugh. I really must remember that when I do not sleep on the day after I work, it takes me almost entirely the next day to recover. Today my head hurts, my stomach hurts, I have constant heartburn, and I have less energy than most slugs.

But yesterday was good. Yesterday was a Borg Day with Q & Jess. Jess drove down and we hung out all day. The goal was to march around Jonesboro doing cool stuff & eating & drinking our favorite things. This was intended to start with pumpkin pancakes for "breakfast" at IHOP at noon:30. We're all night shift workers, so screw the socially accepted standard of meal times. IHOP failed us by being closed for remodeling. BOOOO. Instead we ate at Cracker Barrel, which is the only other place in town for breakfast at noon. I hate their politics, but I love their sourdough wheat french toast. (Kinda like Chick-fil-A; their politics creep me out, but when you have a 4 year old begging for chicken nuggets, you'd rather get him ones that are actual chicken & not whatever McD's has.) After Cracker Barrel, we went to my new house!

That's right, we MET THE APPRAISER! She did her appraisal thing while I showed Q & Jess around the place. They agree that the capiz shell chandelier is awesomely bad, and that the pink carpet has to go, and that the den, living room, dining room & kitchen are perfectly laid out for having parties. My back deck is pronounced "EPIC" and the house in general is approved of. YAY! The appraiser is giving her review to the bank, and then something about that takes 3 days. On Friday, then, I should know something about the next hoop I have to jump through to buy this house so that we can START THE PAINTING!

After we hung out in my house for a while (we discussed porn in light of feminism!), we went to the mall for coffee & pumpkin cheesecake. This was awesome. We then walked to Target, stopping in at Lane Bryant & Maurices. I complain about Jonesboro a lot, but between Lane Bryant, Maurices, and the Target plus-size section, we actually have a fairly decent selection of plus-sized women's clothing (compared to other towns of similar population). I got a really awesome short-sleeved hooded sweater.

Then we took Q by PakMail to check her mailbox, and went back to Cracker Barrel for Jess's car. This was amusing because my family had JUST texted me asking if I wanted to eat supper...at Cracker Barrel. Nice. I did eat there again; I had different food this time.

So it was an epic day, in all. It's just that now I'm paying for it in a major way. *eats more Tylenol*
hillarygayle: (BPAL Fire Pig)
I want a fire pit! There's a big brick inlay in my NEW BACKYARD and it's just begging for a big square fire pit. We will be having a housewarming party. With FIRE. Because FIRE is WARM. SEE WHAT I DID THERE?

Marshmallow roast at my house, peeps.

So. New house checklist:

1) Paint on all interior walls. Warm color throughout, super-awesome accent wall in each room. Den gets painted eggplant or dark red or something else superbly bold.
2) Yank up that pink carpet. 'Cause damn, yo.
3) Put in some black walnut laminate flooring because a) cheap b) durable c) gorgeous. Seriously have you seen this stuff?
4) Put new countertops in the kitchen. Because the current stuff is pink. WHAT IS UP WITH ALL THE PINK I DON'T EVEN. It is not my color.
5) FIRE PIT.
6) Put our stuff in the house.
7) MOVE IN.
hillarygayle: (Anniversary)
Photos of our house at 2921 Turtle Creek Drive!

We will be replacing all the pink carpet with laminate flooring (probably Brazilian cherry or bamboo!). The den will be our entertainment room, our kitchen will be expanded into the dining room (we much prefer an eat-in kitchen), we don't yet know WHAT amazing possibilities the basement holds, and I am SO KEEPING that bad, incredible, chandelier.

Front Door

Pictures of my house! )
hillarygayle: (Default)
I like surprising people. This last week, I got the chance to BE a surprising person twice. :)

On Friday night, I got called off work at 5:30pm. I was pretty shocked, since we'd scrambled to find enough nurses to cover the patient load on the floor. Turns out they'd turned over the ENTIRE FLOOR that day: discharged all 30 patients and gotten 10 new ones. It just happened that way, but the odds of it happening are SLIM, so I was startled. Anyway, by the time they called me off, I was eating supper in San Francisco Bread Company with Ganon & Bryan. I remained on call until 11pm, so we decided to hang out for a while in Jonesboro to see if I'd be called back. Ganon wanted to play with the train table at Barnes & Noble, so while he & Bryan went back to the children's section, I stopped in the Café & ordered a pumpkin spice latte (love those darn things.)

There were 2 high school age girls sitting at the table next to mine, playing music on their smartphones. "I like this one," the first girl said. The music had Japanese lyrics! "Oooh, how about this one," said Girl 2. They went back & forth for a couple of songs, and then one of them started up a song I know very well: Moonlight Densetsu, the opening of Sailormoon. In Japanese. What else was I going to do? I started singing along loudly enough to be heard, and I kept singing through to the break in the first stanza. Both girls were GAPING at me. I grinned. "I've been a fan of that series since I was...younger than you, I bet." :D They will probably recall that story for years. Some random nurse in Barnes & Noble Café in Jonesboro, Arkansas, sang along with the Japanese Sailormoon opening theme song.

(I got called back into work later, to work on a different floor of the hospital. Booo.)

Yesterday we went shopping at Kroger. Bryan needed lunches (he takes frozen meals; quite fond of Stouffer's sandwich/soup combos right now), and we needed milk, etc. So we did our thing & near the end of check out, the girl running our cash register stopped, looking startled by something in our cart. At first I thought Ganon did something crazy, but then she turned to look at me & goes "Is that YOUR Dave Matthews Band bag?!" I laughed & said yes, & then showed her my tattoo. "Oh my gosh. We could so be friends." :D

Home again today. I go back in on Wednesday night. Right now I'm uploading a boatload of photos from the pumpkin patch harvest on Saturday. Got some very good portraits of my family, so I'm happy about that. Thanks to a coordinated campaign of harassment by my family members last night (I got Facebook messages & texts all saying "PICTURES PLZ"), I put up relatively small pictures on Facebook, just to get them up ASAP. Flickr will get my larger versions, since my in-laws like to snag desktops and print photos. I'll post as soon as they're up!
hillarygayle: (Hottie Red Earring)
Well, my Dreamwidth account has been neglected for too long. I'll tell you why: I do mostly mobile posting anymore. Even a look at my LJ will tell you that. Still, every time I come over here & poke around, I feel strangely guilty. I really do like Dreamwidth & I want it to succeed. Livejournal is really flying all over my nerves with their insensitivity to the needs & concerns of their users. The only things that have kept me from plopping over here entirely: 1) Lack of mobile posting ability to Dreamwidth, and 2) the fact that my LJ account is permanent. Back before they went all Corporate Nutjob on us, Bryan bought me a permanent account.

Today I have been prompted to post because IT'S CHILLY THIS MORNING! That's right, ladies & gentlemen: fall has come to Arkansas! I'm still not where I want to be here. Nirvana will be achieved when we live in Little Rock & can go on a bike ride along the River Trail when the weather is like this. When I have hills covered in trees & I can see the leaves changing colors along the rises.

Since the last time I posted, several things have happened. I've reached my 1 year birthday as an RN. I've been the charge nurse some nights. Been to 2 DMB shows, one of which was at Bonnaroo. That's a lot of STUFF. All of it has been fun, but having my job makes it harder for me to blog at all. I have to be very careful not to give out identifying patient information, but I WANT to tell the stories of what happens to me! Not trusting myself to do it in a non-privacy-violating way means that I simply don't tell them at all in writing. Must find a balance for this!

Right now I'm writing up my concert experience on Saturday. Lots of photos, some of them really good. I did NOT get to ask Jeff for a reed; by the time I got to where I could yell at him...Carter started throwing drumsticks. I'll let you imagine what the pit was like when Carter was tossing sticks. SCARY, YO.
hillarygayle: (Hottie Mask)
I'm not the type of person who marks the passing of time.

Other people make "end of the year" entries in December, or they make big "the progress thus far" entries on their kids' birthdays, or they mark big milestones with entries dedicated to whatever. Me? Nope. I might make a "It's my birthday! Give me cake!" entry. I might make a happy birthday entry for Bryan or Q or Ganon, or mention someone else in the entry I happen to make on their birthday. Might wish you a happy holiday. But I've never been one to mark the day or feel as though it's important that I do so, whether with a blog entry or anything else.

I think this is a function of my "now"-ness. As [personal profile] quiara has put it, I'm so inherently part of the present, so completely involved in this moment RIGHT HERE, that there are some things that escape me. I can be flaky, though I try my hardest not to be. I am often extremely forgetful of things that aren't right in my face (leading to severe absentmindedness). I don't remember birthdays (including my own) or holidays, I forget to buy gifts, I forget to send thank-you notes (though I do thank people at the time, always). I'm pretty much chronically late. I just don't think much about time, and the ways in which we mark its passing.

This program has been different. My social world, usually as widely varied & diverse & frenetic as I can make it, dwindled & retracted to a very small handful of my closest. I became the closest thing possible to "introverted" for me. It exaggerated my now-ness and heightened my absentminded & flaky tendencies. It was nuts. I was getting distracted from my nursing homework by more nursing homework. I had little time for family, friends, or anything that I wasn't supposed to be assessing or making a care plan on.

Now, after it's over, after I've graduated, gotten a pin & an official transcript & a bachelor of science in nursing, I feel as though I have been catapulted off a train and hit the ground to grind to a complete, breathless halt. Like running at full speed and slamming into a brick wall. Maybe it's more like a cushioned wall, since I have to say being homeworkless isn't exactly painful. ^_^ But it's noticeable. I suddenly profoundly realize the passage of time. I've missed a year, and suddenly I realize that fact. It's a sharp, acute feeling. I never feel older, but now, after this program, I do. That is so unusual for me.

So I'd like to thank those of you who've been close to me. To those few to whom I retreated, thank you for putting up with my bonus flakiness & absentmindedness. I will try to make it up to you; at least I'll try to get back to my usual amount of it instead of the elevated state I've been in this year. :D Thanks for still loving me in spite of my lateness, my absence, my preoccupation, and my backing out at the last moment on a million things.

To Bryan: thanks for watching Ganon when I needed to study. Thanks for eating take-out all the time. Thanks for being aware that my short temper & snappishness were results of elevated stress. Thanks for...I don't know. Just thanks for EVERYTHING. Thanks for loving me.

To Ganon: You won't remember this, and I'm glad for that, 'cause dude you HATED it. I'm sorry Mama had to be gone so often and for so long. I'm sorry you always had to stay with someone who wasn't me. I'm sorry I had to lock myself in the office away from you to take tests.

To Q: Thanks for sticking around when I was never online and even less present in person. Thanks for always telling me I was doing a good job at a worthwhile endeavor & that I'd get through it. Thanks for reminding me, continually, that Bs were just fine. Even when I insisted that I had internalized this. Because I hadn't, and was still trying to convince myself and you helped massively. ^o^ NO THANKS FOR TEASING ME ABOUT CROCHETING.

To the Ladiez & my local friends: Thank you so much for the support and a place to vent. To you as well, thanks for putting up with me despite my flakiness & my absences. I'm really sorry for my unreliability as a friend this year, and I'll be doing better now that this is over.

To my house: Holy crap, I'm sorry I neglected the daylights out of you. Gross. I don't have to go in to work until August 24th for orientation; I promise I'm gonna clean you up. <3

To all of you: thanks. You've put up with me through this & you're still reading. It's over now, so expect more commenting out of me as I have more energy & time to do it. I appreciate your stick-around-ness.

SO. Now begins the real life part of nursing. I'm excited to see where this goes, and I look forward to writing lots of vague, frustrating entries that don't violate HIPAA. ^o^

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HillaryGayle

July 2017

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