Thursday, August 27, 2015


I used to have a ton of shoes. As a teenager I had perhaps 45-50 pairs. I found a photo of them recently and realized I hardly wore any of them. It was mostly just a collection! Since I worked at a second -hand store I had easy access to used shoes. I thought for fun I'd catalogue my current collection. I wear every shoe I own regularly. A few are seasonal. I bought three of them new. One pair not pictured are slippers, which are new with tags from the thrift store for $5. 

Boots. These are LL Bean and I've worn them almost daily in the winter for two years. They have slight leaks now, unfortunately, but I wear them mostly  when biking to work, as it drizzles constantly in the winter. $89 new. 

My starting -to -look-ratty flats. These are New Balance and are great every day shoes. They are getting old though. They look a little better in person than in the photo! This is my old casual winter shoe. I'm going to keep them as backups to my new pair of casual winter shoes, which are pictured next. Thift store, well worn in already, $3. 

These are the same exact model as my work shoes and they  are going to be my winter shoes. Super psyched because they'll go great with a dress and tights and they are very comfortable. They are Alegria's Paloma. $120, new. 

These were in my neighbor's free pile on the spring and I've worn them all summer, unless I was wearing clothes that clashed. It's amazing how many red or things I own! (Although the shoes look pink, they're actually a true red.) The only shoe on my wishlist is a classier looking, neutral colored summer shoe for next year, as these will probably be too worn to go another summer. $0. 

My other go-to summer shoes. This is my third summer wearing these, and I wore them daily for the first two summers. They were on sale from LL Bean for $20 - worth every penny! I've never gotten Walmart flip flops to last that long.

  My old work sneakers (soaked in bleach!). I use these only for biking in the summer time, and I wear them as often as I go to work. Thrift store, like -New for $12. 

These were my first pair of heels that I ever have found that actually fit me. I had seen a pair of shoes in this brand that I really liked but couldn't find in stores anywhere. Then these popped up in a thrift store. Vey exciting day. I wear these with any kind of outfit that these don't clash with and have been my dress shoes for about a year. Trotters, $12, thrift store. 

Black pumps! I just got these on eBay, which are also Trotters and the same size as the previous pair, but unfortunately this toe shape is  bit tight. It would be impossible to get such an elegant line if they were super wide, though, so I'm more or less happy with them..they are my go-to dress shoe now. $40 delivered, eBay. 

I guess I have one more shoe wish which is a pair of wider Trotters in nude for next summer, and with a fairly low heel so I can wear it with all of my dresses as an every day shoe.

There you have it, a working collection of 8 shoes. I feel like just about all of my needs are met. I have lived with this many shoes or less for 6 years now and I don't have any regrets. It's a lot easier to take care of the shoes I have and I can invest in a good shoe that will last me a good number of years. If I get my shoe wishes taken care of for next year I will get rid of one pair and gain two, and then I will have 9 pairs. 

If only I could do this for my clothes! This does make me have hope that I could minimalize my clothes and be happy with the result. Not that 8 pairs of shoes is really minimalistic, but it's a lot closer than I used to live. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer update

Life has been marching onward! We went to the county fair today and had a lot of fun. The evening ended for myself and Tassie with part of a Joan Jett performance. Since we live just blocks from the fairgrounds we had gone home for supper, and we'd left Porter and Millie at home so Millie could go to sleep. Halfway through the concert Tassie and I went home so Porter could go back to the fairgrounds to listen to the second half of the concert. It was pretty impressive, to see Jett play. I was also proud of my daughter, as she and I were some of the only people in the crowd dancing! Couldn't believe it. 

In September I leave my "extended training" in the intermediate care unit and move back to the ICU. It's a welcome change, although I am a little more educated about just how stressful it could be. I'm not worried, though. I've always been comfortable in the intermediate care unit and it is basically just a progression from there. Not that I don't have a healthy respect for the differences and difficulties specific to the ICU :)

Tassie turned four this summer; Millie turns two this November! I had to check myself that it's really two that she's turning. It had gone by so fast. Also, I've been working as an RN for a year now! That's crazy  

As a friend recently told me, "life is good but the daily grind is hard!" Life is generally good but occasionally it's a struggle just to keep up washing  distress, wiping dirty faces and putting the kiddos to sleep. Alright, more than occasionally :p 

We still primarily use our bikes and trailer for transportation. I have been keeping track with Strava, a phone app and I average about 55 miles a week. It is amazingly satisfying. I don't have to make time for regular exercise because it's built into my life. My quads are rocks, too :) I feel mostly for Porter because while I sometimes haul the girls in the trailer, he almost always has to cart them around, and the girls by themselves weigh well over 60 pounds. He also, admirably, does the grocery shopping and whatnot without a car. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

On lunch

The title says all! Lunch at 3am. Life is going well. Seems like I'm working all of the time but I do get a fair amount of time off. The weeks just go by so fast! My two week cycle goes by so fast. Also, in news, I'm moving to the ICU in September. I've been working on the intermediate care unit for about 8 months now and I feel pretty comfortable most of the time. I've always felt pretty comfortable here, though. :) Alright. Done with lunch. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Coffee and Chainsaws

This morning I am stealing a few minutes by myself (with coffee :) ) at the kitchen table. The girls are on the porch eating their breakfast watching the tree maintenance guys trim the tree from the power lines out front. Um, spoke too soon! I was halfway through the sentence before this one and Tassie called out "Millie spilled all of my food!" Tassie was almost done, but now the girls are calling out "Nooo, nooo, nooo!" in unison because they want to come inside.

So that's probably why I don't blog a lot anymore. :)

Work is going very well. I even oriented a new RN the other day! I've now been licensed for just over a year, and soon will have been at my job for a year. Time flies, life is busy, my perpetual life theme.

I planted hops in the little strip of soil next to our house! Tassie and I have been putting a little twig in the twine at the top of one day's growth and noting how far it grows every day. It sometimes grows 2 inches. I think they can grow up to a foot a day in the summer! I am intending for them to be multipurpose. They are growing on twine that goes over one of our windows, so it'll allow for some shade in the heat of summer. They also will provide hops for brewing, and supposedly they make good tea. Malt, hops, and yeast are the major (and usually only) components of beer, and if I can grow my own hops that will be a good cost savings. I haven't brewed in well over a year, sadly enough, but I have all of my equipment and I'm hoping to start again in the fall when I don't have to worry about high temperatures for the fermenting period. Brewing in summer heat without any heat control results in off-flavors. I do want to get a propane burner for brewing, because it's very hard on the stove to heat 5 gallons of water and boil it for an hour.

I need to blog more regularly because I  can always just put up some pictures and call it a blog post. It would certainly be a window into my life that some of you can't see from so far away.

Last night I was looking out our back kitchen window and I saw a beautiful, bright sunset, and what looked like firework sparks moving sideways, in an erratic pattern. It was moths lit up so brightly they looked like fire. I thought about walking along the block to see them up close. But it wouldn't have been so magical, would it?

I learned today that a group of moths is called an "eclipse" :)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Spring, Sweet Spring

I'm up at 6am, after 18 hours of sleep in the last 24 (after being up for a few nights in a row!) with a fresh pot of coffee and pancakes I made for myself. I haven't done this in forever! Normally I would not be functioning at 6am. Porter signed me up for a bike repair/maintenance class, so I'm going to get out away from the house (but not at work!) for a few hours. 

Trader Joes is right on the way home, and thus this last ride home I've brought home flowers, port, some beer, and some snacks for work. It's a danger zone for me. :) 

Spring is right around the corner. Daffodils are out and there are many green shoots coming up. However, this is kind of unusual in that it's been dry and warmish. 50s in the day. It's going to be a horrible drought this summer if we don't get more rain now.

Porter bought a bike for himself a few weeks ago and discovered it was too small. I think this might have been halfway purposeful, though, because it happened to be the perfect size for me and in much better shape than my own bike. So Porter has given it to me, and he has gotten a newish one for himself that is the right size. It is SO exciting to be be biking around as a family. We finally got the car towed away from the driveway and it's kind of peaceful. I cried a little when it left, because of the memories, but I know we made the right decision not to sink a bunch of money into  it. It was actually hard to get even the junkyard interested in it :( I feel optimistic about the biking because we are starting in the winter and have been rained on, cold, etc., and we are still doing it. We have discovered that it's not terribly expensive to rent a car for the weekend (although it's considerably more expensive now that I don't have insurance of my own) and there aren't too many places we go that are too far to bike to. 

The other day I decided to walk away from my bike a bit with the light on so I could see my front light (I'm still so obsessed!). I was shocked. No wonder a guy on the other side of the street said he wanted to smack it off my bike. It is very bright. Bright enough that I realize I need to turn it to the low position when I'm on the pedestrian paths. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Work, Sleep, Eat, Take Care of Children, Try to Clean, Repeat

Our days are full. Sometimes not full of anything that feels particularly productive, but full. A 1- and 3-year old combined are a full-time job, no joking, and with one of us working full-time and the other home with the kids, that pretty much takes up our time! I can't imagine what it would be like with both of us working full-time, as many parents do.

I have settled in the IMCU (intermediate care unit, a step down from the ICU but still more critical than the general medical/surgical floors), where I will do an extended period of "internship." I work with my own team of patients and am a staff nurse in that unit in every sense of the word. The goal is technically still the ICU, and it is expected that after a few months I'll be better prepared for the rigors of the ICU.  The ICU is certainly very, very intense and very invasive. I'm not sure what I feel about that. The loss of dignity any patient suffers when they are splayed naked on a table with needles poking into them, electric shocks permeating their body, and literally bone crunching calisthenics practiced by a medical professional bothers me. Especially when the survival rates of people undergoing such practices are extremely low, and even if "surviving," a patient may just barely get back to "alive." People usually suffer death or permanent damage following such an episode. Do you know anyone who has "survived a code" in the hospital? Is it worth trying at ANY cost to restart a heart beat in an essentially dead body? I am quite certain I wish to be a DNR but I'm still thinking about any exceptions there might be so I haven't made it official. It's scary to think of not being "resuscitated" but it's a scary thing to be dead to begin with, and so being a DNR is really just a way of avoiding all of the suffering that will go along with death if resuscitation should be necessary. Resuscitation does not return life to normal. Limited intubation might be OK for me, though, so I'm still on the fence about what I will specify.

I'd love to hear any thoughts on the ethics of intensive medicine as we practice it in the USofA.

On the other hand, I really do love the job I'm doing right now and I'm happy to be there :) I have been on my own for a few months now and usually I feel good about my work nights. Occasionally things are pretty overwhelming, but nurses who have been doing this for a long time say there are always those nights where everything seems to go haywire and there isn't enough time to do everything.

The girls are well, though Tass has a cold, and Porter is busy doing home improvement projects and getting the girls here and there to classes, parks, and the library. Life just keeps rolling on...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I joined the iPhone party! I got an older model on eBay and now I can take pictures on the girls, which I love �� Best feature, in my opinion. Not  going to be a very thorough  update but it'll be better than silence.
I  have been biking to work every day. The other day if was about 22 degrees out and I felt pretty legit.
Tassie went to school for the first time today! So exciting. She is going two mornings  a week. She didn't want to leave when it s time to go home. They have all the children between 2.5 and 5 years old  together. They make their own bread  ( yes,the children!)) and on Fridays she'll be bringing two vegetables  for soup.