Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What I Have Learned So Far

The boxes are not all empty yet, but I have learned some things already about being a California Girl

1.  Smaller is okay!  So far I really like the layout of this 1200 square foot condo.  Being the end unit is a real advantage as I can pretend all the property next to me is, well, mine.

2.  Having someone else doing the yard work is very nice.  I know, Jay has done 95% of the yard work for the past few years, but Jose is doing a great job!

3.  Having someone else doing the yard work could become a problem  Now that Jay doesn't have the yard work to do, he is trying to find things to do, in the house!  No Honey, please don't unpack anymore boxes.  

4.  Living in a different environment than I have for the past 60 years is a nice adventure.  Waking to sunshine everyday, and learning to schedule around the heat of the day has been fine, and fun.

5.  Cats do adapt.

6.  Fresh is best in the kitchen.  

7.  Ground turkey is fine to use, though some seasoning adjustments will need to be made.

8.  Picking fresh citrus off a nearby shrub is a great feeling!  

9.  No one needs 23 kitchen towels.

10.  Wireless is nice, plugging the computer IN makes it work better.....that battery doesn't last long.

Monday, August 27, 2012

It's a New Day

My first Monday in my new chapter.  I've mentioned to some that this big move is almost like an opportunity to reinvent myself.  Instead of preparing for a big change, I can now live a big change.
Some things may seem silly, but I think silly and simple is better way to start.
For instance, using a list to go shopping.  Buying what I know I will USE before it expires!!
Planning ahead, for meals, for shopping trips, for chores.

I asked Lynn last night what he wanted for dinner, and he put in a request.  So that is what I went to the store to purchase today.  The St Helena Safeway will probably be my most often go to grocery store.  Yes, things are a bit more expensive but it sure is fun to see some different labels.  I made the decision while standing at the meat counter to make the marinara sauce with ground turkey instead of ground beef.  Maybe I can make the transition to using turkey where ever I used ground beef.

The Farmer's Market is on in Napa again tomorrow, and I will go there!  I want to also find a reasonably priced placed to get some pots for the deck, and first build an herb garden.  I'm told I can grow herbs here just about year round, how exciting!

I did buy a fresh basil plant to have here on the counter.  Just putting my nose in there and inhaling deeply makes me swoon....again silly.....

More to come after I find my printer, so I can load some photos to use.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Goodbye Birth Center

This one is tough.  Not because it was hard to say goodbye, but because it in my last position I never felt like I got much past hello.  I loved taking care of birthing families.  Those of you who KNOW me, know that this is a true passion for me.  Assisting women and their families welcome a new life into their world.  It was a miracle every time.
25 years ago I went to nursing school.  I went because I wanted to be an OB RN and I was so lucky to have been accepted into a residency at Tacoma General.  I met people who were caring, helpful, frustrating, but mostly they welcomed me as part of the team.  Several of those nurses I first met are still good friends.  After about 6 years I added teaching prenatal classes to the mix and and loved every minute of that.  How fortunate I was a few years later when a local OB hired me to help her in her new practice where she built a free standing birth center for women who wanted an out of hospital birthing experience and provided me a wonderful space and support to continue teaching.  There are clients I had who also have become forever friends.  So many women have touched my life in ways that I will be forever grateful. 
Then 12 years ago Lynn was recruited to a new job in a new area and since I had been married to him for 26 years at the time, I thought I ought to go with him.  I told him that I wasn't going to work nights again, and he said I should do what I wanted to I signed up to work per dium at the local (and only) hospital in the area.
There were a few Doc's who were a pleasure to work with and a few nurses.  But there seemed to always be such a lack of leadership on the management team..  In fact there were 7 different managers in the 12 years I was there.  I shouldn't have been surprised when after taking a pretty good fall while at work, and being off work to recover I never heard one word from anyone asking how I was doing.
Most of the nursing staff were long time employees working in the birth center.  They had worked together for a long, long time so 'breaking in' was hard enough, that given my limited working hours, it just became almost too painful to continue to try.  This was especially hard since I had come from a working environment where it was such a joy to go to work everyday.  Where my experience and knowledge were valued and appreciated.  I've always been really easy to get along with and have lived by the thought that it is so much easier to just be nice.....
Three of the long time nurses passed away during my 12 years.  One was a drowning accident, two from disease.  Three of the nicest people I worked with.  It was a gut wrenching time for the department.
As new staff arrived, I did my best to introduce myself and get to know them, to make them feel more welcome than perhaps I had felt.  But as time went on, it became more clear that you were part of that shift group or you were almost invisible.  An unforgettable moment was when I was overwhelmed with a coughing episode in my clients room, and left the room.  Got to the hall, right across from the main nurses station and leaned against the wall with my legs tightly crossed, hacking and coughing and gasping.  Not ONE of the FIVE nurses at the station gave me more than a cursory glance as they continued to chat amongst themselves.  Not one.  After getting myself calmed down and able to walk to a water fountain I realized that I really was on my own in this place.
Ultimately I spent most of my working hours with the clients.  Listening to them, coaching them, encouraging them, helping them to have the kind of birth experience they told me they wanted.  For the most part they expressed their appreciation and that is really what it is all about.
I've been blessed to be present at the births of thousands of births in the past 22 years.  And privileged to  have been involved in the education process for a thousand more.
Now that I have moved, and visited the two nearest hospitals in the area, I have come to realize and accept that my days of being an OB RN have come to an end.  I just don't have the stamina or energy to do it again, and possibly face that same cold working environment that I just left.
I don't think I am ready to give up the world of birthing women yet, so I might dust off my Doula bag and put myself out there, if I can find a market for that here.  Maybe even doing some teaching on a small scale.  Time will tell.  For now, I'll keep learning as much about my new city, county and state as I can and do some research.
It was a great run......


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dinner in Napa

First of all, I'm so excited to have figured out how to copy the photo to my blog!!

Hello out there from the Napa Valley!!  I'll do a full post of my trip later, but I wanted to share about our dinner tonight.  I arrived on Tuesday night, and tonight was our first meal out being California residents.  We chose this great spot called the Norman Rose Tavern in downtown Napa.  Lynn had had lunch here with the CEO of the Napa Clubs and liked it.  It had been a while since we had a hot meal together, and we both ended up ordering the half roasted chicken dinner, with potato salad and the best fresh green beans I have ever had.  Sorry I forgot to take a photo, I was just plain hungry...

Downtown Napa is only about a 15 minute drive.  Yes, there are TONS of EXCELLENT restaurants in Yountville, our hometown, but we haven't felt quite ready to try any of them yet.  Maybe next week.

While we were eating a nice looking couple came in and sat at the table next to us.  Several people greeted the gentleman and he sure did look familiar to me.  I think someone called him Kendall, but I couldn't be sure.  He looks like someone I have seen on something like Top Chef.  Will have to search that out a bit.

Our furniture and belongings are due to arrive on Sunday.  I'll have to take some before and after shots of the rooms.  I have to say, I sure enjoy stepping out onto the deck in the late morning with a cuppa coffee and bask in the sunshine and admire the truly blue sky.  I hear there may be rain over the weekend, though there hasn't been any measurable rainfall since Memorial Day.  And then expected to be HOT again next week.

The cats are doing well.  So far Rocco (who traveled with me) is already loving being outside.  Lays under a shrub by the deck in the shade and surveys his new territory.  We did walk over and pick a couple more lemons today.  The limes still seem a bit too firm.

Saturday we are going to the Farmers Market in Napa.  Hopefully I'll remember my camera and get some good shots of the place.  Next week will be busy unpacking, so I'm really enjoying this "down" time.

Until later....

Monday, August 13, 2012

Seven Day Countdown

A week from right now, I'll be on the road, with my van packed with precious cargo.  Most precious will be Rocco, my grey kitty that is already so confused.
The moving van is scheduled to arrive between 8 and 10 and they have allowed 6 hours to load.  I can't imagine it will take that long, but we will see.
With lots of help from Krista (most darling and wonderful daughter in law) and sister Carol I've been making good progress every day.
But today I consider the countdown clock to be running.  Seven more nights.  3 or 4 nights will be sleeping here in the Lynden abode.  The others will be at Sister Carol's, so I can spend a few days saying farewell to friends and family in the King/Pierce county area.

So today I say FAREWELL to the Lynden fair.  It is actually the Northwest Washington Fair.  It is held this week in August.  Starts on Monday, ends on Saturday because goodness, things don't happen much here on Sunday's.  More about that on another day.

When we looked at this property to buy, the agent cautioned us about this week of the fair.  The normally very quiet, peaceful clean neighborhood we live in is only a block from the fairgrounds.  And for this week, it is ANYTHING but quiet or peaceful.  In the beginning, 12 years ago, it was also pretty clean.  But I have noticed over the years that there is more litter each year.  I don't know whether people just quit caring or what.  This year the pick up will be up to me, since Lynn is already ensconced in Yountville in our new home.  So I will go out each morning and pick up the debris that people seem to think is okay to drop in my yard and garden.  Bottles can's wrappers.

This is the first year too that we don't have a pass to get in.  Lynn would always buy a weeks pass so he could go in every night after he got home from work and enjoy some fair food and music from the small stage venues.  He also had gone with Krista for a concert each year.  Their DATE!  This year they were supposed to see Heart.  We have seen many acts.  A highlight for me was seeing Willie Nelson driving his big RV up the street on the day he was performing.

It was very cool for the first 6 or 7 years when every grandstand show (0ne at noon and one at 6) was proceeded by skydivers.  I would sit on a lounge chair in the back yard and enjoy watching them float to the ground.  I do enjoy listening to the concerts in the back yard too.  Unfortunately two days the show is the demolition derby (today and tonight!) and a tractor pull.  I still don't get the whole tractor pull thing.  But it is so loud and overwhelming it vibrates the ground enough to cause my wind chimes to sing.

I have loved introducing my Grands to the fair.  From the year Jillian was just a year and half, then adding Ethan to the day, all the way through having Carter and Henry join us the last two years.  I will miss that part of the fair most of all.  We would go through the animal barns and laugh at the silly pygmy goats, wonder at the baby piglets that are born each year up there.  Cows, horses, sheep.  I grew up going to the Puyallup Fair, and when Fischer Scones finally arrived up here two years ago I was THRILLED. Just texted Todd, who is working sound at one of the stages over there, to have him bring me some scones!

The midway is alive and festive every night until about 11 pm, which isn't too bad.  It is the only week of the year though that I make sure the doors and windows are locked at night and when I leave the house.

One memorable year, darling Sammy (our doggie)who was part border collie, twice escaped the house and yard and would go up and go right into the goat barn and start herding.....

I'll be here Saturday night when the fair ends, and Sunday when all the carnival trucks and vendors and people who trailer in their animals load out...most likely a good cry will happen at that point.