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Why Nursing?

Why Nursing?

One of my friends/coworkers asked me the other day –

“Why did you go into nursing?”

“Why Nursing?”

Oh gosh, what a question. After these last few months, I have seriously asked myself “WHY?” so many times and have honestly forgotten why I went into this career. So let me try to tell you why I chose nursing.

What has helped me keep going during this slump in the career? To be frank, paychecks and student loans. I got bills to pay!! Yes, this may seem cold, but you don’t have to keep reading if you don’t want to. I’m pretty sure everyone has gone through questioning their career.

Why is there a slump and why am I questioning this? Maybe I am just not where I should be in my career; or maybe the where I am has me so drained I have nothing left to give. I have a strong feeling it is the latter reason to be frank. My job is wiping me out emotionally, mentally, and now it has taken a toll physically.

Now, to answer the question. I went into nursing because it was a fluid career. Nursing gave me an opportunity to travel and find a job anywhere I went. That is honestly why I went into nursing. I was not one of those people who went in initially because they really wanted to help people and cared about people. For me, that came later as I started to develop in my clinicals. I care about people, but I am not always the best at communicating how to them.

I graduated five years ago. Wow, that feels like a lifetime ago. If you’re a student nurse or even a new nurse you should keep a journal of their first few years in the real world. I wish I would have kept one during these past two years on a Medical-Surgical floor. Journals are amazing at self-discovery and reflection. All I have is my memories of how new I was a couple of years ago and how familiar it is to me now.

Why nursing? I am seriously unable to answer that still. I don’t know why nursing. I don’t even particularly think I’m all that good at it. I recognize that is something you’d never want to hear your nurse say, but it is the truth. I feel confident in my nursing skills, I just suck at bedside manner. I think inside my head a lot. However, overall, I’m gonna do my best to get you (the patient) better. I just need my patients to HELP me HELP them. That’s a whole other blog post and maybe a huge reason I am just feeling so burnt out on this whole nursing career.

Crochet for days!

Crochet for days!

HOOORAY! This is CROCHET FOR DAYS! Because we did this Mood Scarf for 31 days! KitKat and I finished our Mood Scarf, ok ok – we are 85% done. We have to crochet the border on it, she needs to sew in ends, and then wash and block! How exciting! It only took us close to three months since that is the amount of time she is with us in those three months! As we were finishing up the scarf yesterday, for our last day, she was already asking to do ANOTHER project! What the heck?! ALREADY?! Let’s finish this one first — Looks over to the five projects I have in the works at this very moment. Oh dear, she watches me too well doesn’t she?

 

Anyway, cool things I liked about doing the Mood Scarf.

  1. I got to do a project with KitKat (step-daughter of awesomeness).
  2. It encouraged both of us to really dig into what mood we were feeling that day – in its own way it was a mindfulness journey.
  3. We both ended on the same color/mood we started our scarves on.

I would tell anyone, ANYONE, who is into crochet or knitting to do a mood scarf of their very own if they are looking for a project. I really enjoyed it. It is a quick (I mean a month-long project but it really doesn’t take very long to do each day), the results are fun and fabulous, and you really have to be honest with yourself.

What do I plan on doing with the left over yarn from the Mood Scarf project? I plan on finishing my other projects first, is what I would say if my hubby asked me that question. But since I asked for you cause you’re curious, I’m gonna make a ripple picnic blanket with it and some other yarn from my stash! HAH! Just don’t tell the husband.

The Days are all crocheted on and are as long as the kitchen island!
Just me goofily wearing my scarf. It is very big!
KitKat showing how tall hers is on the second to last day we had left to crochet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here was our layout for your viewing pleasure and maybe project inspiration.

Keek’s and KitKat’s Mindfulness Mood Scarf

Our Moods and colours

  • Adventurous/Excited – Purple
  • Happy – Orange
  • Calm/Relaxed/Peaceful/Content – Sky Blue
  • Average/Neutral/Med – Green
  • Bored – Brown
  • Sad/Hopeless – Dark Blue
  • Unsettled/Mixed emotion – Yellow
  • Stressed/Overwhelmed/Frustrated – Black
  • Fear/Uncertainty – Grey
  • Angry/Upset/Irritated – Red

Our Method:

  • Materials
    • Crochet hook – 5.5mm (I/9)US
    • Yarn – 1 Skien of each color should be fine (we used Red Heart Super Saver, wash it with fabric softener and it softens up nicely)
    • Moods/Feelings/Emotions
  • Pattern
    • Moss stitch
      • chain 26 +1
      • Row 1 – skin 1ch from end, *sl st into next ch, hdc, rep from * turn
      • Row 2 – ch1, *sl st, hdc, rep from * to end
      • Repeat row 2 throughout scarf

I had a lot of the yarn already in my stash from other projects, but KitKat and I purchased four more skeins at the beginning because we wanted a lot more emotion options added. I have seen other plans that only have found colours, but we felt that there needed to be a broader range of choices. Having done that, I am glad we did. The reason I have more than one emotion for each colour is because sometimes those emotions all seem to go hand in hand for me.

I hope this helps and inspires you, because that’s why I do these things.

Til next time,

Keeks

January Temperature Blanket

January Temperature Blanket

OK! January on the Temperature Blanket is completed! It stretches across our kitchen island and is currently six inches tall (the growing side).

Well, January is done!! Wow, already one month down of this year and onto the next. January, in parts, flew by and in other parts seemed to just drag on. Concerning work, the hospital is super full this month so work has been crazy, busy, and awful. We have a few nurses out due to injury and our floor is just overburdened at the moment, and as usual it seems in healthcare, we are understaffed.

Well, onto the temperature blanket, this picture is the 31 days done! It is looking pretty good so far. I’m excited to see how it turns out. The colors are much more vivid in person. That has really helped in the colour changes and keeping it fun and interesting.  There is one green row in there, the bright one, that’s when it hit above 53degrees.

 

Black Tea Hair Wash

Black Tea Hair Wash

Once a week, I do a black tea hair wash/soak. I first started this because I noticed I was shedding so much hair!! After researching, I found a natural solution could be doing a tea soak. The black tea also blocks hair loss (I was shedding puppies daily) because it has caffeine and can block DHT which causes the hair loss. So it reduces the shedding! For me this has proven to be true. Concerning cosmetic benefits, it helps bring a brighter shine to hair and naturally darkens it and brings out my natural highlights. The green tea helps stimulate hair follicles and prevents shedding, it gives the hair a shine, can help strengthen hair, and can help with dandruff. Thankfully, at this time in my life, I am not dealing with a dandruff issue. Hahaha.

I have been happy about doing my tea rinse and will continue to keep it part of my weekly routine. 

My method

Tea Items:

2 Tablespoons of equally mixed black and green tea.
30 drops of Rosemary
15 drops of Texas Cedar wood
10-15 drops of whatever other oils you’d like
1/2 tsp. honey
– sometimes I will add Sandalwood, Lavender, Bergamot, lemon, orange, tangerine.

My mix tends to smell very earthy and I love it.

Utensils:

A bowl
A pitcher
A Shower cap

What I do:

Boil water – I boil 1Litre
Add tea and oils
Let steep for a few hours or overnight
Take to bath and rinse

I always take a bath when I do the rinse. Bring a bowl and pitcher, because when you rinse your hair you will want to rinse it over a bowl to catch it a few times. I rinse my hair about 5 to 10 times over, place a shower cap on and let it sit for 20 – 30 minutes.

During this time, I listen to music, meditation sequences, or watch a show. There is always chamomile or lavender in my bath. So relax for the 20 or so minutes, listen,  put a facemask on, and let the tea just soak in.

Rinse after 20 or 30 minutes. You can shampoo/condition if you want; I do not.

Dry and style. You’re done! Repeat in a week.

Also, my hair grows very quickly.

If I had a dandelion, I would make a wish.

If I had a dandelion, I would make a wish.

Dandelion

You know what I wish? Well, they may be simple, silly wishes but I have decided I have these few wishes that have been stewing in my brain for a few months.

1. I wish I was better at getting out of bed and ready in the morning. I sleep like the dead, so getting up in the morning is a terrible chore. I really want to be that person who is up at dawn and ready for the day in half an hour or less. Don’t get me wrong, usually I am up around 8 or 9 in the morning and get ready quite quickly. I do work evening shifts and don’t get home until after midnight. I am usually in bed and asleep by 1:30 or 2:00 am. But I really, really wish I could still get up at sunrise and get on with my day without being sleep deprived.

2. I wish I had more patience with myself. I like to think I am Type B, but sometimes I am so hard on myself and expect so much of myself I question that.

3. I wish I would make more time to write my thoughts, feelings, recipes, plans, ideas, gardening, projects, and many other things down. I need to put pen to paper and write down the things I have going on in my brain because I am so easily distracted I forget it within two minutes.

4. I wish I wasn’t so easily distracted. ….

Coming to terms with Endo

Coming to terms with Endo

Endometriosis, I have lived with this disease since I started my period. I have had endo pain since I can remember in my early teen years.

I made the mistake of thinking this was normal for women, you know, normal for pain during period and all that. It was terrible, ripping, stabbing, uncontrollable pain that would just wreak havoc on my body monthly and sometimes in between. People told me it was just cramps and you have to deal with as a woman.

When I was 19 these pains started happening more often in between my periods. Was that normal? I didn’t finally bring it up to my doctor until I was 21. My doctor told me it sounded like I was experiencing pain from something called Endometriosis. She did some scans, found growths once, but all the other times we found nothing. The negative tests were discouraging.

Fast forward….. I lived for six more years dealing with the increasing pain.

Last year in September I went in for surgery to get the growths removed. The doctor found…. A LOT and couldn’t believe I had let it go that long without getting it taken care of.

That being said, my pain has started to return and is taking a vengeance out on my body. I have never thought I would experience such pain from such a stupid part of my body, aside from the obvious child-birth pain women can experience.

I will continue with this topic at another time in the future.

Crochet Plant Cozies

Crochet Plant Cozies

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That is the plant cozy I crocheted before we left for England. I made two not of the same pattern though. I was inspired by all sorts of cozies I found on, what else but, Pinterest. A lot of the pictures were cute so I decided to give it a try. It is simply covering the generic black pot you find on IKEA fake plants. I have a lot of plants around the house but I have a few fake plants here and there in the bathrooms to liven things up and I wanted to give them a colorful jacket 😉

I am pretty sure I did not follow a pattern. I kind of made it up as I went along and kept telling myself I needed to write down the pattern…. but guess what I didn’t do?? I didn’t write down the pattern. I suppose that will need to make another.

My next goal is to make one for my larger ornamental grass that I have by the bathtub 🙂 Oh and here is the other one I made, just a little different from the first. …. and a different pattern… kind of. Ok, enjoy! I love free handing crochet stuff and just getting creative.

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Rattlesnake Ledge

Rattlesnake Ledge

 

That was where we started. That peak up there on the right is where we are heading to, the taller of the two peaks that is. Known as Rattlesnake Ledge. Apparently it is a popular hiking trail to Washingtonians but I didn’t know that till I researched it. IMG_7100

 

Tuesday night I told Mark we were going to do this. You should have seen his body language! He was not looking forward to it, apparently he didn’t have good experiences with the last hiking partners from what I gathered. I packed lunches for us (just simple sandwiches of course) and the next morning we headed out! Of course Jazzy came along 🙂

 

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We hit a few spots that were quite icy and slippery but they didn’t last too long.

 

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After much trekking we finally made it to the top. At one point I was disliking my idea of this hike but I was still thoroughly enjoying it.

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I was one happy girl to be up there! I picked a gorgeous day to do this hike for sure! So clear and crisp.

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Here’s the family up top in our panoramic picture! IMG_7031

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Our girl child brought her erasers of course! I encouraged her to though. IMG_7062 IMG_7152

 

 

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Today was amazing! Jasper was EXHAUSTED at the end of it all and so were three of the four of us! I still had tons of energy and was ready to keep on trucking doing things. But that was ok. We had a lovely hike and I would recommend that to anyone who wants to hike up a small hill 😉

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Cheers!

Took a walk down a regretful road.

Took a walk down a regretful road.

Today I was overcome with regrets. Overcome with the regret that I wish I could have been the person I am now 5 years ago. Five years ago I was just starting at Northwest University to finish all the prerequisites I had for nursing school. I wish I was who I am today then. I would have had a green house garden in my dorm room been a stricter vegetarian with stricter regulations for myself, I would have ignored dating boys for just a bit longer, I would have worked all my spare time at Starbucks and maybe even started working at PCC. I would have studied harder, crocheted more, embraced my hippie, and most of all… I would have believed in myself more.

I wish I could go back and tell that girl to just BELIEVE in herself. That who she is and wants to be is something she should never give up on. I wish I wasn’t such a stiff headed, pain-in-the-ass person sometimes to even be able to tell myself that.

I suppose we all reach this point, where we would like to go back with the knowledge and knowhow that we have now. I also realize, I had to go through all those things to be where I am now. I will never get rid of experiences who made me who I am.

To be honest, I didn’t make a lot of friends at University. I have one friend from there I still talk to on a regular basis and he means the world to me. But I wish I studied harder. I wish I would have been that person who had a green house in her dorm room, because honestly I had the BEST window to do so.

I wouldn’t have gotten married the first time around. I would have continued dating as my parents advised during that first year of nursing school, because honestly we would have broken up by then anyway.

I would have been able to get my first nursing job with a residency as opposed as at a skilled nursing facility.

However, if I did go back and redo all these things I wish I could have redone….. my life wouldn’t be the same.

 

But I would have had plants all warm with their COZIES!

Peppermint Extract

Peppermint Extract

Yesterday I had a very productive and busy day. I greatly enjoyed it! One of my little projects was making some peppermint extract 🙂 Next extract to make is gonna be lemon because I have a whole ton of lemons!! I also need to buy a couple more types of containers for these liquid concoctions. Anyway, onto the recipe/pictures.

Peppermint Extract

As you can tell, here are my instructions.

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1/2 cup peppermint leaves
1 1/2 vodka (I used 80 proof)
1 jar of choosing

Instructions:

Harvest peppermint
Wash the leaves
Dry them with a towel
Place the leaves in your jar
Cover completely with vodka
Close your jar
Leave in cool, dark place for the next month (or for the taste of your choosing)

I have not gotten to these steps yet:
Strain out solids
Store the extract 

Here is the peppermint plant before I went to town on it… we have harvested from this one once before. The first time was when Matthew picked the leaves to make his ice cubes for his headache water.

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Here is the after…. Apparently, peppermint loves it when you really prune them! They are also one of the hardier plants that will do ok during winter and come back the next year for more fun! Once harvested, it will grow back bushier than ever and we will be able to make more of whatever we want.

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The bounty!!

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So cute!

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I used one of my little jars. I love these jars! They store my face washes, salad dressings, small snack, face masks, and now I am gonna do some extracts in them. I seriously need more of these things!

I filled the jar entirely with the peppermint leaves then covered it with vodka 🙂 After which I placed it in the pantry to chillax for a month.

There it is! Hiding away like a little hobbit for the next month 🙂 CAN’T WAIT!

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I will let you know how it turns out and how I chose to store it and use the solid peppermint leaves 🙂 I was thinking it will come in handy for holiday time treats 🙂 Have a great day and have fun!