Sunday, November 30, 2008


A funny thing happened whilst walking in the south of France...........I broke the navicular bone in my left foot. This is a large, crescent-shaped bone at the top of the foot close to the ankle, and the fracture goes front-to-back. Didn't trip, or go over on it, or anything - it's a stress fracture, which means it occurred with no definitive injurious action. I spent the whole second week of the vacation limping around with a Tensor on that foot, thinking I had simply been doing too much downhill walking and that my lazy foot was just protesting. Came home, kept walking on it, and it kept hurting. I, being a nurse, of course didn't consider the pain a signal to get it checked out until a good 6 weeks had elapsed since the pain started. The X-ray done in our ER didn't, according to the physician who read it, show a fracture, and I was sent for a bone scan, which did indeed point out the break. So, I am now in an air cast (removable cast which is also sometimes called a robo-boot), on crutches, and ordered to stay off it as much as possible. Great.

So, I ask myself, how on earth will I get my Christmas shopping done? I mean, it's a really good thing that I had already picked up a bunch of things for Sweetie during the year, and he gave me hints for another couple of items. I have to get a parcel together for the BC branch of the family & get it mailed off soon. It doesn't help that my two nephews both have December birthdays, either. At least it's my left foot - and I drive an automatic.

Sitting around the house is boring! I am watching and re-watching DVDs to keep myself from going nutburgers. Can't go for walks - can't go for long shopping trips - certainly can't work, not in a job that calls for a lot of walking every shift - good thing I still have a ton of sick time in the bank. I think I need to call the Divine Miss M. about going for dinner..................

Counting my blessings: interview at ten tomorrow morning for a Surgery position; at least I can take the damned cast off to bathe and sleep.

Monday, October 27, 2008

And they're back........

Well, we 're back from our holiday in the south of France. It was incredible - the weather was phenomenal, the people lovely, gracious and welcoming, and we cooked us some incredible meals in our rented accommodations ( which, despite being quite shabby and somewhat less than advertised, still had a view that more than made up for its inadequacies. Oh, and as a total aside, the place is for sale! ( Beware, though - the showers leave a lot to be desired unless one has a supply of duct tape, there are no screens on any windows and believe me, the French mosquitos are savage, the place has NO a/c, and the garden is largely untended. The pool, however, is monitored weekly by a young man who obviously lives locally .

Our neighbors to the left, Josèe and Henri, were kind enough to clue us in to the fact that the "septic" was smelling - and that smell was impacting their lives. We took their advice and treated the flush line with the recommended chemicals. Between Josèe's English and my French, we managed to establish a dialogue. We commiserated with them that they were next door to a property that was being rented out for sheer profit, and assured them that we were simply seeking a quiet, private escape from the madness of our daily lives. This lovely couple, who are retired and spend half the year in Paris and the other half at their Côte D'Azur property, invited us to accompany them for a hike in the mountains nearby. Unfortunately, it was at a point in our trip that we had no time to spare, but we thanked them profusely for their offer.

We never dined out while we were there. Oh, yes, we did pick up some "street food" while cruising the markets and streets in Nice, buns with meat or salmon and cheese, or slices of pizza, or individual Croque-Monsieurs, but we never actually sat and had food at a restaurant. Cooking our own meals was so satisfying for us, we really didn't need to eat out. The beef (steaks) we had were fairly flavorless, but the veal steaks were delicious. My baked sweet & sour pork chops were to die for, and the sausages I first browned, then braised in beer and chanterelles were yummy. Kevin made a marinara with ground veal, and we had that with pasta, crusty bread, and a salad. Chicken was barbecued in sauce, and it was just fine. Dessert was fruit and cheese - for me that was figs and St. Poulin, for Kevin it was grapes and Parmeggiano Reggiano.

The bus - ah, the bus. If we weren't in time to catch the "express" from Place Saint-Michel, which stopped one gate away from our villa and only ran each hour, we had to hike down the Grande Corniche, a 12+ minute hike down a steep grade to the bus stop at the Col de Quatre Chemins. Fare was 1 Euro, with transfers allowed within 74 minutes. We went to Nice numerous times, to Monaco, and to Cagnes-sur-mer using the Ligne D'Azur bus lines. Bus number 84 took us down from our mountain to Beaulieu, then the number 100 went to Nice, to the Gare Routiere. From there we either walked to where in Nice we wanted to go, or hopped another bus. We did take a taxi from Beaulieu to our villa our first day - it cost 35 Euro - about CAD $50.00, and the poor driver hit a curb on a tight turn while making his way up the mountain. We each had 5+ bags of supplies, and it was really necessary for us to take a cab home. The bus home either dropped us at the Col de Quatre Chemins, requiring a 17-minute walk up the mountain for us, or, if we had timed it right, was one that hit the Place Saint-Michel stop - this detour enabled a stop one gate away from our villa.

And then there's the unescapable stuff - the business from back home that couldn't help but affect our (MY) lives. I had applied, and been interviewed for, a position in our hospital before I'd gone on vacation. I had hoped to have full access to my email via the WiFi at the villa, but the system as it was set up didn't support cookies - so logging into email was impossible. When I finally stopped at an internet cafe in Nice and accessed my email, I found that I hadn't been offered the unit manager position I'd applied for. Nice, I thought - let me know in an an0nymous email rather than in person. This news, quite understandably, put rather a pall on the holiday. I did my best not to let it drag me down too badly, though, for the sake of maintaining a positive mood during our holiday.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Okay, we're a week from vacation departure. One week. Seven days. Yup. The way things are going, we may never come back from said vacation.

1. The Vermin Issue. No, not mice again, that's done. The unit of this block of townhouses furthest from me (as in 4 units between mine and it) has bedbugs. So, first I had to make a last-minute request to my (wonderful, obliging, accommodating, perfect angel of a lifesaving paragon) house-sitting lady to have her supervise the inspection the management company insisted had to be done since Icould not blow off my shift. Result - NO presence of bedbugs in my townhouse. Now the management company has informed us we all must allow exterminators in our homes, and must move all furniture away from the walls, empty all closets, etc. In brief, I am being ordered to tear my house apart before Friday morning so that a toxic chemical (probably Diazanon) can be applied to my beds, furniture, and all over the baseboards. For what?

According to the health care region's housing regulations, this is not required, since my unit does not touch the infested one. So, I am trying to get in touch with one of the Lawyer Referral's members to advise me on how to tell the management company to go pound sand - their document says they will have a locksmith open my door if I do not allow them access.

2. Toxic Boss Strikes Again. I have been summoned for my annual evaluation this Thursday afternoon. Oh, joy.

Countering that, though, is the fact that I am having an interview for the position I applied for on Friday morning at ten. Yahoo!!!!!

3. Flaky Villa Owner. Yes, the same twit who has been paid a hefty amount for us to rent her property in France and then listed that property for sale on the internet, her again. She has informed our travel agent that, contrary to what we were told all along, she will probably not be meeting us at the villa when we arrive - she may have to be in London that week. Oh, she'll leave the key under the flowerpot by the door. WTF?????

4. Machinations of a Manipulative Ukranian Mother. Since the boyfriend has let the maternal unit know we're leaving town in a week, she has played the "may be a medical emergency" card. All of a sudden boyfriend gets an email from her announcing that his paternal unit is not looking well and has to go see the doctor sooner rather than later. Thank the Deities that they're in another province! We are now screening calls.

Please send good thoughts on our behalfs - that we survive all of this and get safely away to the Côte d'Azur!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cross Your Fingers!

I just submitted an online application, complete with resumé and cover letter, for a Unit Manager position on one of our facility's Medicine units. I have been thinking of making such a move for almost a year - I've grown very weary of carrying the whole site on my shoulders every single shift; as well, the dysfunctional dynamics of our current team, from the big boss down, are making me literally sick. If I get this job, I will be once again working under the director who mentored me for six years.

So, my friends, I would be really grateful if you would cross whatever digits you can free up for me - that I get this job and get out from under the regime from hell. The posting closes this coming Friday, and if they want to interview me, I hope it's the following week, as we're leaving the country on vacation on the 30th. It would be nice to celebrate my new job on our trip to France!

Oh, and the house is now rodent-free. I found the entry point and sealed it after stuffing the whole with crumpled tinfoil. I did, unfortunately, have to execute three of the little vermin before I figured it out.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dumb Mouse

So, as was inevitable in a house built on a concrete slab with no basement, I ended up with a mouse in the townhouse. I saw him last night, running from behind one of the desk units to behind the media storage unit. Fine, I thought, I can deal with this rodent. Stopped at Safeway after my shift today and picked up 6 spring-loaded traps, baited and set 4 of them and placed them in likely spots where said rodent would be running. Mr. Mus musculus would NOT get the better of me.

The mouseman showed up, twitched his nose & whiskers, and cursorily inspected the 2 baited traps it encountered - without tripping either. Just to hedge my bets, I also placed an empty jar against the crack where entertainment unit met the wall, lid nearby. I don't necessarily want to kill, a humane catch-and-release would work for me too. Although I kept a close eye on the usual place of appearance for the next hour, no sign of the fuzzy intruder.

I started to hear a curious thumping noise from the direction of the downstairs bathroom. Muting the TV, I went to investigate. What did I find but the mouse, trapped in a plastic wastebasket just a little too high for him to jump out of, even though he tried heroically. First I opened the inside door and unlocked the screen door. Then, I picked up the wastebasket, creating a frenzied increase in the escape effort jumping. I opened the screen and tossed the rodent free, into the grass and the night. Go, run, escape, and enter my domicile no more, fuck off and get lost! I told the vermin-infested critter as I closed and locked the doors.

Just in case the little bastard had friends, I'm leaving the traps out. Killing's okay with me, too.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

This & That, Or, As They Call It On Jeopardy, "Potpourri"

Yesterday there was a 40-minute pounding, full-bore, hailstorm out here in the west end. I mean, heavy downpouring rain and pea-to-bean-sized hail for the full 40 minutes. This went on from about 1640h to 1720h, and at 2130h there were still heaps of unmelted hailstones in the yard. I have seen a lot of storms both winter and summer in my 53 years here, but this one ranked right up there as an all-time STORM TO REMEMBER. The thunder & lightning, while sometimes really really too close for comfort, were spectacular, too - especially the booming thunderclaps.

My niece just got back from a trip to New York City with her two best friends from Kelowna. One of said BFFs works for Fairmont, and with her employee discount was able to get them all a room at the Plaza. Not bad for 23-year-old chicks in the biggest city on the continent! They went to MoMA, the Met, rode the subway & saw a rat (niece thought it was a prop for the tourists), took in a performance of "Rent" on Broadway, drank $20.00 martinis, and shopped their little hearts out. Niece brought me back a Betty Boop wallet (I <3 Betty Boop), a gorgeous pashmina, and the coolest puzzle cube that opens to different pictures of ancient artifacts - she got it in the gift shop at the Met.

No more nibbles on the condo, if you don't count the very pushy & shady dude who called me from the sidewalk right outside, bragged that he had already bought up 3 other units in this complex, and tried to intimidate me into lowering my asking price. No thanks, creepy dude, I'll pass. I am not discouraged, however - I know I'll sell the place eventually.

My honorary kid sister is coming for a visit next month! She'll be staying in my guest room, and we'll have a blast. I haven't seen her for five years, so I'm really looking forward to her visit. Note to the Divine Miss M - we will definitely, all three of us, go out for some kickass ethnic food if you're free. Maybe Lebanese or Turkish?

As of yesterday afternoon, my good, good, old and dear friend Groom Leader is no longer a resident of this city. He and his fiancee left by car (after she flew here to accompany him on the drive back) for her home in the States. He has his INS paperwork in order, and a week from Saturday they'll be married in a civil ceremony. While I know that he and his bride will be blissfully happy, I miss him already! (Yes, folks it IS all about me - after all, it's MY blog!)

Work continues to be stressful - both the duties and my issues with my supposed "leadership" persons - but as I don't want to blog myself out of a job, that's all I'm comfortable posting on that subject. Let's just say that I plan to take as many V and J days as I have in the bank - on the orders of one of my physicians who's on staff at the hospital. I have the advantage of being a very stubborn individual as well as a survivor, and for now my mantra is, "This, too, shall pass".

That's all for now. Hey, TB, any chance you can make it up here in August, specifically between the 12th & 17th?

Friday, July 04, 2008

Wow, almost five months since my last entry! Bad me! Maybe this post will make amends.

I just got a call from a lady who wants to look at my condo - since it's listed for sale on ComFree. Yes, I know I just bought it last year, but the enormous strain that living a good 45-minute drive apart has put on my relationship with the boyfriend makes the north side much more attractive. So, I listed the place.

The kitchen cupboards have doors now, thanks to my niece's boyfriend aka my student labor force. He did a really nice job repainting what were essentially junky, battered old pieces of chipboard, and the kitchen has a kind of Mediterranean/Mexican feel now. I also, in the interests of not startling prospective buyers, took down the sparklies that I had hanging in the loft window and put up nice, normal curtains in their place. And, as I'm a tad paranoid, I put away all of the non-antique family photos.

Now, I know that this is only the first call about the place, but I can't help but be excited. I'd rather sell it sooner than later, as I will then have to secure a place to live closer to my squeeze, and book the movers (I'm hoping for a closing date of August 31). Then, there's the packing. Oh dear gods, the packing. After moving a grand total of twice between 1977 and 2006, I find myself facing my second move in 18 months. I'll get through it, though, because I have to. I learned a lot from the move last year, so this one should be (marginally) easier. Plus, I have a lot of boxes still packed from the last move - bonus! (not to mention all of the empty boxes, which I flattened and stored in the crawl space - clever, no?)

So, please cross your fingers for me that I sell this place for the price I listed or close enough to it to give me some profit, that I find a rental on the north side quickly, and that the move goes well.

I'll update as things proceed..........