Doing What Needs to be Done

It’s been a crazy few weeks in the house of Lovie. Between the multiple unexpected steps in getting my cabin in the woods, dealing with a skunk infestation, and juggling bills and appointments – i’m trying to keep myself centered in the chaos.

Since my last post on the cabin, i have hired someone to fell the trees and clear up the area. I acquired the permit which is good for one year. Next i must schedule the site pad prep and after it’s inspection by the township, i can schedule the actual delivery. In the interim, the skunks living under my house have had babies and they are everywhere, even during the day. Because they can carry rabies and spray , the young neighborhood children and pets are at risk so i have no choice but to have them removed . I have scheduled a free quote and the average is $3-600 according to online sources.

Still, i move forward. I have taken on 6 nights a week at work, leaving me one day to take care of other things and relax a bit. The extra money is absolutely essential right now. It won’t be forever ( i keep saying that like a mantra) and it’s provided some breathing space from stressing over finances.

The other thing i want to start doing is posting one piece of art i have for sale with every post i make here at the end of my posts. Please take a look and if you have any interest- it sure would help me get through this . I don’t wanna turn this blog into a store, so i’ve chosen to just do it this way. My email contact is for questions, more info and details.

Thanks for your support in advance and Namaste!

9″x 12″ watercolor rooster $45- sent priority shipping and comes with border mat and backing

In Case You Never knew….

(Yes, …hi, it’s me…sometimes i have stuff to say and other times i go into seclusion for a bit- warning- long post)

I have recently realized that of all the things i have posted about on here, the one topic i have missed( not intentionally) is my actual job. I have mentioned a few times that i am a nurse, and how i paid my way through school without loan debt, etc. But i’ve never really explained what i do.

I never wanted to be a nurse. It was never something i imagined myself doing. And i especially never wanted to work with kids. As a single mom, i had my hands full with my own. Never the less, the universe knows whats best, and thats exactly how it happened.

At the time, i knew i had waited long enough to start a real career. I had worked in labor and unskilled employment since i was a teen. At age 30 i needed to get a sustainable, reliable job that would enable me to care for my children and self for the long term. Back then, newspaper ads were still where to find work.There was internet but job ads online were not commonplace. Every week i would see 10-20 jobs listed for nurses, and so that’s what i decided i would do.

What’s funny is, whenever i tell people i am a nurse the first thing i’m asked 75% of the time is “What hospital do you work at?”This is generally the idea in someones head apparently when they think of nurses. Not a bad thing but a very very very limited way of thinking. Kind of like someone saying they are a teacher and automatically people ask “what school do you teach at?”

Not all teachers work at schools and not all nurses work at hospitals. In fact , i have worked as a Nurse Educator- combining both- and not in a school OR a hospital. The nursing field is more diverse than most realize.

But what i have done for 90% of my career is private duty pediatric care. In other words, i work in people’s homes to care for their medically fragile child. Unlike a hospice situation, or a visiting nurse i stay for an entire 8 hour shift each night and its generally an ongoing situation( meaning 99% are not terminal). I have typically cared for clients under the age of 3(but have done some up to age 16) with a huge variety of medical issues-most listed under the broad category of “failure to thrive” as their initial diagnosis. This can encompass many many things such as prematurity, chronic and/or genetic diseases, and developmental delays of all types among other things. Generally nurses in home care do not care for those with very low medical needs- such as the majority of autistic kids, or those with minor disabilities. Those children go to CNA’s or Home Health Aids as their needs can be met by these licenses.I was an NA for a brief time at age 19 but quit after 2 months due to caring for an infant at home and back pain from the job. it was not a certified position then and very poorly regulated. Injuries were almost guaranteed.

So i started as an LPN. I began in the Mental Health/ Mental Retardation sector as a new graduate. After about a year in that facility i moved into private duty ( we call it home care in the field) with children . I remained in that area for many years , even throughout my studies to become an RN. Once i had my RN degree i needed experience in a hospital setting to gain any credibility here so i did a year in a Critical Care Specialty Hospital. That was nuts and super stressful. I was then offered a position as a clinical manager at a home care agency and i took it, only to find i hated all the paperwork, and began to teach onboarding classes for the agency part time.I was working all 3 jobs at once. Eventually, the company merged and a new , salaried position as one of only 2 Clinical Education Specialists was created. I was able to quit the hospital.and move out of the management position. I loved teaching but very soon they expanded my responsibilities so much that i was doing the work of 5 or 6 people. The hours( 60 plus per week including nights and weekends),lots of travel, and constant daily hassles with the upper administration became overwhelming and frustrating. I left that company and moved back out into direct home care with another agency, and have been doing that again since. Oh, and i tried a nursing home somewhere along the way but after only one night i knew it wasn’t for me.

So what exactly do i do in home care? Well, that has varied based on the client.In the first 2 years or so i dealt with what we call low and medium tech kids. Low tech is any child without a trach or vent. Medium tech is trached, high tech is both. I specialized in high tech kids for about 9 years, which is what led to my position as an educator. These kids are generally hospitalized from 4-9 months after birth until they are able to come home on a portable ventilator. Yes, they have tracheostomies and yes that is scary at first. a childs trach in home care is not 2 pieces like what most nurses see in facilities and hospitals, which have inner and outer cannulas, and you only remove the inner part for cleaning leaving the outer one intact in the neck. It is one piece and when you have to change it out the whole thing comes out and a new one is inserted directly into their “neck hole”( stoma). Dealing with any medically fragile child scares off many nurses, but this, along with the noise and technology of a ventilator ,and the higher chance for complications scares off even more.It was my job to make them feel comfortable, yet knowledgeable. Ironically, what many do not understand is that when there’s a ventilator reading everything going on inside, you have way more advance notice of impending illnesses.The numbers change .You can also ventilate them manually much more easily as you do not have to struggle for a seal around their nose and mouth, and you become much more experienced with things that even seasoned hospital nurses aren’t comfortable with- especially making independent decisions. The skills you can gain in this end of the spectrum will serve you well in any future setting where calm/cool /organized collected actions are required. Panic is not an option.

Generally the vented kids are premature or very low birth weight. We call the ones under 2 lbs at birth “micro preemies”. Some preemies and micro preemies, however, can survive without a trach or vent and come home when they reach 5-6 lbs and are stable. They are so tiny, you would have to see one to believe it. A few i have literally carried around with one hand for a month or so. Their little heads are barely bigger than a golfball. The issues are vast- from undeveloped lungs, hearts and other organs, to nutrition issues requiring a stomach tube which usually attaches to a pump for feedings. I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge in these areas and too many others to count in the years i have been a home care nurse.

The job itself is going into the home and staying for an 8-12 hour shift . I work nights while the parents sleep. There are day nurses for while the parents work, and if vented, also an evening shift nurse too as vented kids always get 24 hour care per insurance regulations in most states.Individual cases outside of vents will vary in coverage. For instance, if one parent doesnt work, they will get less hours of nursing. The day nurses also go to school with the kids, to doctor appointments, and participate in their therapies( usually speech, occupational, and physical). Night nurses have less physically active duties- in general because ideally the child is sleeping- but most often are responsible for all cleaning, equipment change outs, med counts ,and most aren’t aware- more emergencies as these tend to happen most often at night.We also organize, do laundry, and deal with supplies and monitor for expanding needs or changes needed in treatments/ doctors orders.Of course we still provide direct care and give meds or treatments as needed but these tend to be less as enough sleep and adherence to regular schedules are priorities.Lots of diaper changes and untangling of equipment cords for safety – which becomes quite a challenge as children get more and more active as they improve and age.

Being usually the only caretaker for a shift, we do not get smoke breaks, lunch breaks, etc. We cannot run out to the store for anything( as in, bring your lunch, your medications and feminine products- you cannot leave to go get anything, sometimes not even out to your car). Night shift cannot order out so as not to wake anyone with deliveries.You can’t have friends visit or usually even give you a ride because of HIPPA laws. You are 100% responsible and liable for your clients care, even if the parents are home, awake or asleep. You cannot fall asleep so you need to bring stuff to keep you awake during the large amount of downtime in dimly lit rooms.If the next shift doesn’t come in or is late you must stay until another caretaker or a parent is able to get there.

Now i hope i didnt make it sound terrible because those are just some things to keep in mind.You get used to it, and it really isnt that bad. At this point i will tell you the bad things that CAN happen, but remember– it is my opinion that i would still rather deal with these everyday than work in a facility. It was that awful for me.

So, you may have clients families that aren’t very clean or hygienic. You may have some that are bat sh*t crazy or not very nice. There may be pets or even siblings you aren’t crazy about. You may not have great parking options or your case may not be in the safest areas. You may have emergencies and have to go to the hospital with them – riding along in the car so the parents can drive or in an ambulance if the parents aren’t available.And yes, you may have to do CPR and call 911 and have a child life-lined- However, in 20 years this last bit has only happened to me a handful of times.

NOW…… let me tell you the best things, and these are the things that despite the low pay, crappy benefits, and sometimes boredom or chaos- make me love my job.

You are valued and not just another #. Almost 99% of the time- you are treated like family (or even royalty!) once they trust you. And once you have gained that, they are loyal, will fight to keep you and go out of their way to do so.They will make you comfortable- a nice chair to sit in, access to wifi, and even sharing food and treats and special holiday gifts ( within limits of course- there are laws- i usually get some cookies or a nice candle ).These families truly, deeply rely on you. Your are their life line.they have to work. They have to sleep.They cannot just call a babysitter if theres no nursing or drop their kids off at day care. Initially, once the client is released from the hospital, the family is a nervous wreck- they are scared, and unsure of themselves and strangers in their home. You have to earn their trust. It may take a few tries but once you find a good fit, you are golden. I can’t think of a more rewarding job in the world.

The kids are great. They rely on you as well. Nothing is more stressful to a child than inconsistency in care so it becomes a huge deal for a family to keep good nurses. All you have to do is your job, but honestly most nurses i have known do so much more. And this is because you are well treated , and giving back becomes a pleasure.These kids really do love you. While you cannot allow yourself to overstep boundaries or become overly attached, you genuinely begin to care for these kids as much as you would any child you care for daily for long periods of time. You want the best for them. You will fight for them and their care. You will worry similar to a parent when they get ill.

Also when i started out, i wanted to get as much experience as possible, and so for years i hopped around as a fill in nurse. I got to learn so many things… so many i can’t begin to list. I cared for terminal children of all types – cancer, rare diseases, organ failure- but those were rare. Mostly the ones i cared for eventually outgrew their prematurity issues and years later you would never even know how fragile they were.I worked with equipment most hospital nurses have zero knowledge about , unless they specialized in pediatrics..and even then, many home versions are more complex . It makes sense when you realize that in MOST facilities, there are separate “teams” to provide care for different things. Theres a “code” team ( to run life saving codes in emergencies), there is a respiratory staff, physical therapists, surgeons, doctors, dieticians,ENT’s, opticians, etc.Also — nurses aids- (who are the real super heroes in my eyes!) …the list goes on. In the home, machines and equipment must do more to make up for a lack of other staff. The home nurse must know and understand the equipment they are responsible for. He or she cannot call another department in the building and get help within a few minutes or hours.You cannot ask another staff member on duty for help. At best, you can try to reach someone on call in an office that might be available, albeit many miles away and might have an answer. But too often you get put on hold or the on call needs to call someone else, and so on. This is why you learn independence.

It’s been over 20 years now. I still cannot imagine or think of another job that is more interesting , rewarding and stable. I will likely do this type of nursing until i retire or get out of nursing altogether and pursue something completely different , like Entomology.

i hope this answers a few questions and clears up any myths about what a nurse does and where they work. The choices and diversity in employment are numerous and in demand. Theres a real shortage and has been for a vey long time. If anyone is struggling to choose a career, wanting a change or has a desire to be part of real change and hope every single day, i highly recommend looking into it as a career.


We Write Because We ….

Something to think about…

Has any one of you ever looked at your stats on here and just pondered the “why’s” of them? I do from time to time. For instance:

Today- a screen shot of my “stats”


a more narrowed-down version

What i originally believed these stats to mean has evolved over the past few years.At first i thought “Geeze, my content must have started to suck. I wonder what people would actually like to read about?” I went back to the posts which had the highest views ( February 2020) and they were about losing belly fat, my history related to alcohol, and life path in general… Hmm..

Over the next 2 years and 7 months ( at this point) i have varied my topics- social media issues, weight loss and bodybuilding, love and relationships, life applications and multiple projects i have taken on. There is no theme. There is no pattern. I’m not trying sell anything, become famous or change the world…There is just me, writing. The longer i write on here the more i realize it doesn’t matter how many likes, views or comments i have.

I have taken sabbaticals. Sometimes i have no cohesive thoughts, so cannot manage much in the way of a topic. Other times, like now, i am full of stuff to say. There’s no agenda. I write.

I write because i have to.

The start of this blog was the start of my being “alone” with myself. Not having that quick fix /sugar spike validation and reaction that is social media’s siren song.Those short, meaningless, witty comments and memes. The hiding-behind-a-screen triggers and invitations to conflict. I lost many connections, and no one came to rescue me from my loneliness. It became painfully clear that having over 1500 digital friends was misleading at best. I would have to be my own friend.

As a result, in the space of those 6 months, i learned to use writing as a tool not just for self- therapy, but a way to feel human again .

I write to express myself and maybe inspire others. I write to have a record of my journey through life.I write because it fills a space like nothing else can. I write, because it gives me hope and connection even when i am alone.

Why do you write? I’d love to hear from you.


Here We go!

Today i started clearing the woods- alone as it were. I posted these on Fb but i wanted another spot where i could store and share them. This is the start of a very long project. Hope you enjoy! Warning- pics and videos ahead!The bottom seems to be cut off a little and not great quality but here i am:)

This is basically what i’ve been doing all day

one of many piles
the start of a branch pile and the brick/stone pile
looking up through the start of a primitive path
looking down now through the path about halfway
about 1/3 of the way down to the bottom of the old fire pit ring here- many layers
and of course i am King of the brick /stone pile
THIS is the actual future cabin site- not site prepped yet though

I am the brick thrower
and the brick digger ( many buried layers)
and finally , the end of the day!

There’s so much more to do. i am just clearing it for the truck(s) to get up through to the site. I still have to get all my estimates for tree felling and deal with whatever that brings. I have to submit my permit application to the township which takes a minimum of 15 days for review and cross my fingers we get approved without issues. Then The site prep pad has to be put in and finally then i can reschedule the cabin delivery.

This is hard work folks.Dirty , sweaty, buggy and much scratching by thorny weeds. When i took my hair band out to get a bath several bugs flew out (gross!). Tomorrow my BF , brother and another fried are supposed to come help with threshing tools and a chainsaw- long day ahead.

But i am so excited. I will spend my time building my dream because i have 2 very good reasons to make it happen- my grandsons. Sure, it will be used in other ways but that’s the bottom line. I want to do something and have something for them that they will remember good times in. And that’s worth all of it.

What are your dreams worth?


The Perfect Storm

It could have been the end of things, but it wasn’t.

After having a weekend of traveling 10 hrs each way and standing on my feet for 8 hrs in between last weekend, i had hoped things would settle back to normal in a few days. After all, hadn’t i just spent about a grand that i really couldn’t afford to support my tribe? was not meant to be…..

What is a perfect storm?


an extremely bad situation in which many bad things happen at the same time

“A chance or rare combination of individual elements, circumstances, or events that. together form a disastrous, catastrophic, or extremely unpleasant problem or difficulty.”

“a series of terrible things that caused an even worse event.” 

You get the picture. In that famous movie, a combination of 3 things create the extremely rare weather condition , ultimately leading to a series of shipwrecks and multiple deaths.

And while no one died( in my immediate circle anyway) in the past week, there were times when i surely felt like my heart would explode from a convergence of stressors- all unrelated.

I can’t go into detail about the first issue, but in brief, an ongoing issue with my stepfathers dementia finally hit the tipping point and resulted in a physical altercation with another family member. He is now being put into a nursing home. I have waited 30 years for this. And while i hate that my mom has had to go through all of it, i am relieved that she finally saw the light and we will no longer have to deal with this man.He was hateful and mean before the dementia, and the condition only made him worse.

The second issue also just showed up unannounced. Our nursing agency had to switch to a new system for signing in our shift to comply with new state law. Its been a long time coming( we have known for over a year) but wow….what a huge pain in the arse. I still have not figured it out, making the process of simply charting take forever, and on top of it, the night it rolled out my client became very ill. I have been dealing with both since Sunday ( it’s Friday morning). Now, the entire family here is sick.

The third and final thing was the biggest. Remember that awesome cabin in the woods dream i had? Well, after thinking the worst was over ( getting financed and taking a cash out to pay for the site prep) , everything truly started falling apart. The site prep guy ( who was sketchy from the first) cancelled at the last minute after i had finally scheduled the cabin delivery date. As i scrambled to find a replacement, i learned that not only would most cost more than the first guy but they were talking 6-8 weeks out for the work to be done. Additionally i learned that i would need township permits. Soon after that, i learned that several large trees would have to be cut down because they were dead and at risk of falling onto the structure. By the end of the day Wednesday i was a complete raw nerve.

But, guess what? I didn’t die.

That night i chose to take a real mental break. Wednesday is the only night my BF and i have off together and therefore it’s date night . I blocked everything out and we did our usual ice cream and a movie thing. I got a good nights sleep, and woke early the next day- refreshed and ready to get after it.

I spent the bulk of the day making calls and in the end, i found a much lower price on a site prep, by a more reputable company, have appointments set up for tree service estimates, and have all i need to file the permit application. I decided to start working an extra day a week to get caught up on stuff and pay for what i need for my dream cabin , and i now know the man who has strained our family for decades will no longer be in the picture. That my friends is why it was “perfect”.

The storm that blew down my doors simply opened them up to a sunnier scenario.

Overall, at the end of the day, i felt stronger, more motivated and more educated in things that ultimately helped and will help me down the road. That’s how it all works. Our obstacles become our way. Our way to learn , grow, and become something better. Even when we can’t see the ending or purpose-even when things don’t resolve as we think they ought- even when we feel like we just cannot bear it.

I prayed my way through it. I am not ashamed to say that. I don’t bible thump, and i don’t make choices for others in that way. But for myself, i can attest to the power in it. The higher power.

My creator created the perfect storm -one that almost made me give up. But He was also holding me during that storm to show me a way to endure and not only live through it, but thrive.

Connect to your energy source. Embrace challenges. Trust in the universe.

And don’t forget to hug yourself and give thanks.


Not Drunk Again

Every now and again i go through the list of blogs i follow and take notice how long it’s been since someone posted.If it’s been over a year, i usually delete them. Over time, it’s been pretty disconcerting to see that it’s mostly the sober blogs that simply end and/or the person stops posting. Tonight there were 9 in the list tonight and because i havent posted myself in over a month i decided it was a good time to do my own sobriety update.

It’s been a successful year. I drank only one time and it was very little- 3 glasses of wine one evening a few months back. I have had nothing else- no slips and thankfully , no desire at all to drink. In fact, even thinking about it scares the p*ss out of me. I literally get nauseous.

This is stark contrast to any other year since i started my recovery. In a nutshell( for anyone new here):

The first year (November of 2018 through about April of 2020 – i made it 15 months AF) was a struggle with pink clouds, depression, anxiety, insomnia and boredom sprinkled in. But also lots of accomplishments and deep soul searching. Then i started thinking i could handle it again or moderate which eventually led to a relapse that lasted until January . At that time i redoubled my efforts. I had a better year, only drinking a handful of times. However, most of those times ended in extreme stress and turmoil and just about did me in emotionally and physically. By Christmas 2021 i realized i had no choice but to stop completely and haven’t had any problems with it since.

So- what changed me and what has changed?

I want to answer that for anyone new to sobriety, for anyone struggling or trying to moderate, and for anyone of my WP sober friends who have supported and helped me along the way.

The key to my own change was simply this. The fear of blacking out and being a horrible human. That sickening feeling the next day of not remembering what i did or said and that i never would. That dread of not knowing who i had hurt or how i got the multiple injuries i saw on my body the next day. The knowledge that worse could have happened and i would be at fault.Me, and nobody else.

I knew this wasn’t going to change. And the proof was right in front of me- in the pages of this blog and my private one. I saw the people on here who started right around the same time as i did or soon after and had stuck to it. The years of denials, the relapse, the justifications, the rationalizing and the extended hangover time were crazy to read and ultimately humbling. The proof was looking back at me from the mirror. And enough was enough.

But have no doubt- life hasn’t just settled into easy street for me because i quit. There are still the usual life problems to deal with- relationships, finances, work, and family issues. These don’t just disappear with sobriety , even though it may seem so at first- or at various points in recovery. Nope, they will always be there. But what changes/changed is how i deal with them. I no longer think about numbing myself to it all with alcohol. I know better. It doesn’t help, and it usually makes things worse. I know and accept that i have to deal with life every single day in the raw. Yes, the answer is to how that feels is this- it sucks..make that totally blows… sometimes- having no way out.It sucks knowing some people can drink and have no problems with it. It sucks to feel like you can’t have any “fun” anymore. But it’s so much better than the alternative.

Again, i post about this because i know when i first got on here and discovered a world of other people just like myself that were struggling, it helped to read their words. Posts just like this one were lifesavers to me because i knew i could get better, and that it didnt have to be forever . They helped because i didn’t feel so alone and isolated in my thoughts and problems. And they still help…

I hope someone reads this and it helps them too. Even if just for the next hour, the next day or the next week. Every day without alcohol is a victory. Celebrate it, and keep going. Never give up.Ever. The best is yet to come.

Today, I am not drunk again.