Just shooting the poop with Lori
He travels the world on the backs of others|
Insignificant in his stature and size
His journey carries no mission
Randomly roaming at the will of his host
Sated enough to never question his trek
Life is an open adventure without worry
If the excitement of his dusty trail dulls
Another bus awaits to grant passage
With a furry friend to carry him home
Ah the wonderful life of a flea
|I was in nursing school and 6 months pregnant, on September 11th, in 2001. I was a mom already with an almost 3 year old and a 6 year old. That morning I was at my clinical's for the psyche rotation of school. We, student nurses were in the lounge talking with the patients for our needed school reports. We were tasked with gleaming an understanding of mental health issues in our society by spending time just listening to the people we were caring for. An over-sized television was playing in the background but muted to allow the conversations, when a view of the news popped on the screen. The room became hushed as the vision of the first plane crashing into the tower played on the television. Quickly, we unmuted the set and the chaos of what we were seeing took shape. I will never forget the pain that gripped at my heart, but then the panic of what happened in the moments and days that followed are ingrained in my memory. The scene kept playing over and over on the television as newscasters kept trying to report the event, until the second plan hit the second tower and the small room I had been locked down in erupted in a chaos of it's own. I was sent to this hospital to learn about mental health issues that afflict many of our most vulnerable people, and here I was watching one of the most stressful events of society unfold before our eyes.The reactions were varied and wild among our patients. There were both cheers and anger. Some became violent directing their anger at the television and the staff. We, student nurses were whisked from the room for safety, left to watch through the windows as the uprising was controlled. Our instructor greeted us in the hall and filled in the details of what was happening in the rest of the world. She told us to call our families, but told us that we would have to remain for the rest of our clinical's. I live in the midst of a military community and the response of the local base was swift. My oldest child was at a private school and my youngest was at daycare. We were told that we had one hour to pick up our kids, as the base was going on lock down and all military families had to return to the base immediately. I was petrified not being able to leave. I remember calling my husband in tears to see if he would be able get to the kids. It brought to the forefront the enormous amount of fear the families at the center of it all must have endured. Thankfully, he was able to get to them but my then little kindergartner now a grown man still remembers being so afraid. The kids were not allowed to take their backpacks home and a bus with armed guards from the base was sent to retrieve the military kids. They herded them on as quickly as possible. When I finally got to talk to my son he just kept crying because he was so worried about his little friends and his new backpack that he had gotten for school. This momma's heart was broken for a little boy who couldn't understand the pain and misery surfacing in our country. We did our best to answer all of his concerns and questions at the time, but the one returning thought through it all was that I was so very thankful that I wasn't having to explain how his father or mother were killed at ground zero or in the plane filled with heroes.I didn't have to tell him that his family member wouldn't be returning home. From the incredible sadness grew pride for my fellow Americans, both the fallen and the men and women called to serve, the ones that willingly took their posts to keep us safe. There were the firefighter,EMT's, and policemen that ran toward the danger while my only worry at the time was my little family at home. I will be forever indebted to these men and women for the price they paid.
Where were you when the sky turned to ash?
Where were you when the towers crumbled?
Did you cry at the site of our nation in pain?
Did your heart break as the multitude searched for loved ones?
Were you there when so many gave their all?
Were you there to see the helmets buried in the rubble?
Did you see the American flag flying in the haze?
Were you there when the faces worn and weary sought safety?
Were you there when strangers became comrades?
Where were you when the American spirit soared?
Where were you when our nation came together in fear?
Where were you when we cried for all that we lost so dear?
Did you pray for all the souls lost at the Pentagon?
Did you feel great pride for the ones who stormed the plane?
Did you see the firemen and police run toward the danger?
Were you there to witness the rescue of so many?
Were you there to catch the images of the people in the stairwell?
Were you there to watch one person help another?
Were you there when our servicemen willingly took their post?
Were you glued to the television in hopes of seeing the good come from the bad?
Did you see the boats filled with people in the New York harbor?
Did you see the citizen’s rise up to mourn and honor the people lost?
After 9/11 did you hug your children tighter?
Did you ask God to never see another day such as this?
Were you thankful for a President so strong?
Did your sadness turn to anger at the evil cowardice of this act?
Did you remember what it is to love America?
Where were you when the sky turned to ash?
Where were you when the towers crumbled?
|Ah, the workload is intense and the stress is heavier than a gold nugget tipping the scales in an awkward slant. It seems like I have ridden on this merry-go-round before. The horses on the carousel are all tired and weather beaten, but there are some of the same faces I have known and loved the past 2 years. Our troops have diminished for a multitude of reasons, the first of which is fatigue. We are tired, we are scared, and we are incredibly sad. We have watched the same movie from beginning to end over and over again, knowing that the ending could have been altered, if only just maybe, the politics of healthcare were different.Can we please work together to change the outcome? Get your shot, wear your mask, quarantine if necessary, and be kind to others. If we do this for one solid year starting now, and it doesn't work than you've earned the right to say I told you so! And more importantly, you can provide the answers of what will work, but fighting will do nothing but increase the stress for our country. The price is too high and we will be paying the toll for years to come.
|The world has gone crazy once more. We are masking and garbing as we did in the beginning. And the worst are the keyboard warriors fighting on social media. I have noticed when out and about in the world that manners have slipped to an all time low. My theory is that these same people have spent almost two years saying anything they wanted or thought about with the keyboard and no behavioral filters in place. So now that they are out in the world mingling once more the kindness factor has disappeared. My personal goal is to ensure that I do not allow the Pandemic to take kindness and manners away from me. I will still say please and thank you. I will still give people the benefit of the doubt. I will still root for the underdog. I will still give love where needed. I will remain proud of our military and our country. I will return my shopping cart to the bin and pick up the trash that I see. I will remain patient when waiting in line instead of yelling at the girl behind the counter. I will offer kind words instead of angry ones. This is a pledge I make to myself before I leave my home and has become my new mantra.We never know what others are going through when they snap at us for seemingly no reason, just breathe and repeat the mantra while offering kindness.
|Blogging, ah blogging, I blog and I blog and I wonder if there are readers for my random thoughts. And they are random and sometimes bizarre and fun! Such as have you ever seen a person across the room and just knew that you knew them but can't place them? Part of you hopes they don't see you, because you might have to admit that you don't remember them. And then it becomes an itch in your brain trying to figure out the connection with the memory. I have learned to just go up to the person and say, "Hey, don't I know you from somewhere?" It has led to some interesting conversations.Once it turned out to be the adult child of an old friend which they resembled. So seize those foggy memory moments, if nothing else it leads to great conversations and you might meet someone new.
Then of course I spend time trying to understand why my cat randomly attacks my feet as I walk. What is it that attracts the feline on some mornings versus others?
Then I wonder what it would be like to do my job while I was invisible or had super-human speed. Nursing done in the blink of an eye. Might be awesome! Which then leads me to remember the many times I wished I were Bewitched like Samantha and I twinkled my nose hoping to clean a room without effort. Sad, but it doesn't work.
Then I wonder why the stars seem to wink at me when I am staring at the sky. I like to tell myself that loved ones are sending hugs from above.
Then I wonder if people think my kids look as much like me as I think they do? Then I wonder if my kids think they had a good childhood? Which leads me to recall all the cuteness of them as kids. I wonder if they will tell their childhood stories to their kids one day.
OKAY, I think I figured out why I don't sleep well.... I am too busy w(a)ondering around. Have a great day.
|Games of the 60’s and 70’s
The Chinese Jump Rope was once a child’s game that I played daily. The real kits that were sold in the stores were striped rounded pieces of elastic tied together at the ends by knots. There was a colorful board with the rules written in bold print. I couldn’t afford the beast so mine were made by my mom from flat white elastic sewn together on the ends by a zigzag stitch. If it were to break she just pieced it together again. It was a game that could be played with friends or as a solo endeavor by strategically placing two chairs far enough apart to stretch the elastic. The rules have long escaped my memory, but there were levels with special movements between the elastic for the player to accomplish. Each level was a bit harder than the previous one and if you were unable to accomplish the task your turn was ended. There were also verses that we sang as each level was completed. For a long time now, I have been in search of a set of instructions for this game, but I will tell you in no uncertain terms, DO NOT GOOGLE, as apparently this game has new and despicable options that I was unaware of as a kid. When my kids were little and I was in my 30’s, I searched the internet to find this game (the kid friendly version) online and my computer went ballistic. Pornographic images cascaded on the screen and then a threatening banner warning of illegal content splashed across the monitor. I was never so scared in my life. I turned off the computer and don’t think I returned to using it for a week. I have never entered a search for the rules of that game since then and I was never able to teach my kids the joy of the simple game that I played as a kid.
Click-Clacks were a big thing in the early 70’s. It was a girly game that chased away many recess hours for us Catholic girls. It consisted of 2 sparkle-filled balls on a string. The balls were brightly colored and made sparks when they banged together at high speeds. It took a certain amount of finesse to get the balls flying hard and clacking in a pattern of high energy. The talent stemmed from the ability to maintain enough momentum to keep the action going for long periods of time. The winner was declared by the timer and the person with the greatest endurance. Click-clacks built arm strength and were great for building hand and eye coordination. However, sadly they also tended to put an occasional eye out, which is why they were pulled from the market. Who’d have thunk it? Glass balls burst from repeated battering! So for the sake of nostalgia, they made them small and put them on rubber bands for us to put in our hair.
Jarts were a much loved family game. But we were smart enough to not throw them at people’s heads. Here was another game pulled off the market for safety reasons. I did get hit in the foot once and boy did it smart. But it never stopped us from playing a daily game of barefooted stretch. This was the game played with a kitchen knife, a pocket knife, or any sharp shiny metal capable of sticking in the dirt. Opponents faced each other in the upright position as the game started. Turns were taken by tossing the knife into the dirt and attempting to get it to stick. If it stuck, the opponent would have to stretch their leg to where the knife stood without falling. On your turn you could either cause the other person to stretch or use the opportunity to stick the knife in front of you to get unstretched. Needless to say, there were injuries along the way, but it never stopped us from playing.
There was nothing better than a neighborhood game of marbles. There were some 20 odd kids clustered around a chalked circle hoping to win their friend’s cats-eye shooter. I kept my prizes in a homemade cloth bag. My Saturday mornings were spent stooped over the nearest outdoor marble shoot.
My family spent many hours playing the great game of Monopoly. It also often ended with fights and tears. It was a long and mentally taxing game capable of sending a mere child to the poor house. That mere child was usually me, the doggie of the game. I always wanted to be the dog token, for which my brother gave me the endless “Dog” nickname. It made my mother so mad. As I grew up I got better about loosing at games but Monopoly still takes me back to those childhood days and I tend to get a bit competitive.
|With all love and affection, I am about to SCREAM my head off. The hospital system that i work for has rolled out a new call system offering bonuses for people that want to pick up shifts on various floors. Being that, we and all hospitals, are all short handed, not a bad idea on the surface. I personally did not enroll.. well because I'm old, appreciate my off time, and figured I could pick a random shift up if the urge attacked me. I work night shift 7 P.M. to 7 A.M. My sleep is very precious. Since I did not enroll, the powers that be decided to take my phone # from file. After having worked two nights in a row, I received first 3 Robo Calls back to back at noon. Now remember, I did not get to sleep until 9 A.M. It is the equivalent of calling day-shifters at midnight to see if they want to work somewhere in the hospital. And honestly, part of me wants to stay up until 1 a.m. to call the CEO's and let them know I got their message and maybe next week I will pick up a shift, but I just wanted to let them know. Oh, yeah you can go back to sleep now!
So it gets better,. I have now received 4 more calls at 3 p.m. with the same information. I had to turn off my phone which is our house phone and usually used for emergency calls from the kids. I was told that we can go into the system and refuse enrollment, however there is currently no outside access to this system. I would have to physically go into work to accomplish this feat. I understand the need, but this is now harassment.Emails are an option. Texts are an option or a posted site where people that are interested can search the available shifts and voluntarily choose to work. I am off for the next 3 days and will no doubt be inundated with calls if I turn on my phone.
Opinions, am I just cranky due to lack of sleep or would this bother anyone else?.
|So the state of Illinois is threatening schools that refuse to mandate mask wearing with multiple fines and loss of accreditation. They will not be allowed to participate in sports and their students will not be allowed to apply for state sponsored scholarships.State funding can be withheld for the districts. I don't care where you fall on this issue, but this is government overreach at its finest.From the very beginning of this pandemic they have politicized this historical event. If from the very beginning of this mess the CDC would have come out and said, "Listen up, we have some very serious stuff happening in the world right now. We beg you to work with us by doing your part. Wear your masks, get your shot, stay home when possible, and be considerate of others. We don't know all the answers but we will keep you informed as best we can." When you start ordering people to comply, the battle lines are drawn. Americans have a long history of government distrust and this only serves to fuel the fire.
I have my shot and I wear my mask, so please know that I am not advocating disorder. I just see this as a reason for many very tired people to continue arguing with the rationale of it all and to continue to distrust our officials. Would it not have been better to approach people on a more humanity based level. Such as, " We have heard you, you want your kids back in school and we do too. We want to make it the safest learning experience possible. Let's get them back where they belong, first with their masks in place. And we will continue to evaluate the necessity throughout the year. Let's work together on this. Our kids need an education, first and foremost.We may need masks the entire year, but we will decide together."
I am so worried about what this new mandate will bring for our state. There are hard heads on each side of the debate, but truly walking the middle line and helping one another will be better for society in the long run. What is happening in your part of the country?
|They say it's your Birthday, bobobba. So weird, woke with that song in my head. And guess what, it is my birthday. My present is a new dryer. The other one died this week. So yeah, for not having dripping wet clothes. My oven just died as well so that is the next big ticket item on the agenda. Not as worried about that because it's too darn hot to bake anything anyway. I'll get a new one before fall for sure. It always seems like August is one of the most expensive months next to December. It used to be getting the kids registered for school was expensive, now my appliances just keel over and die.
So, 1 poem for 100 days was the task I set for myself today. If any of them turn out well, I will be sure to share them with my blogging friends.