Sunday, July 27

Ruby Red

After quite an awful, stressful, anxious-filled day, God has (blatantly) smiled upon me. . .

Sitting in my dad's office, working away on the 10-year high school reunion, I heard .7 seconds worth of a man humming on the TV out in the living room. I immediately stopped typing. Could it be? This late at night? .5 seconds later I was up off the chair, sliding on the hardwood floors into the next room and yes, there he was on the big screen: Professor Marvel!!!!!

So I am working happily, singing along with my peeps, the munchkins. "but we got to verify it LEgally to see. To see. If she. If she. Is morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably, and reliably dead!"

I love me some ruby red slippers & yellow brick roads in the evening!!!

Sunday, July 20

Just an Ordinary Sunday

So you know, nothing big happened today,

Taught Treehouse.
Worked out
Boyfriend struck by lightning while on Costa Rican zip line.

You know, normal Sunday stuff.

Saturday, July 19

6 month update

OK, so in January I posted my New Years Predictions list (because I hate the word resolutions). So, halfway through the year, how am I doing?

**Run the Portland Marathon in under 4:59:59 OK, so it wasn't the Portland marathon, but I did run 26.2 miles in under 5 hours which might have to be good enough for this year. Not sure if the ol' knee is up for another one in just over 2 months.
**Traveled to a foreign country nope. Does Montana count? haha - kidding Charla. totally kidding.
**Been more girly check and check. have you seen my toes this summer?
**Wed John Krasinski and bore his children, Grace & John I'm dating a Jon. that has to count for something.
**Bought a new golden retriever puppy YES!!!! woo-hoo!
**Been given a free ride to Duke nursing school so, it's not Duke and it's definitely not free but I am in nursing school which is a miracle in itself.
**Had a tan for at least a month YES!!! i know, i know: "tan skin is damaged skin" but come on. it beats the heck out of being pasty white.
**Made for darn sure Hillary Clinton is not my president shoot, I didn't have to do a thing. Thank you America!
**Attended 3 out-of-state weddings (heck, there has to be at least one other person I know that can make this come true) still only on track for 2 out-of-state weddings
**Been early to events (because just being on time isn't good enough) hey, I'm doing better. . .
**Had an actual conversation in Spanish that does not include asking someone where the library is YES!!! prepping Jon for his roadtrip
**Not cried while teaching Treehouse - except if I'm in physical pain YES!!! not that I'm proud of this, but I did actually cry in the Treehouse because I was in physical pain. This was promptly followed by a half hour nap on the floor of Beth's office.
**Stumbled upon buried treasure in my backyard OK, so it's not buried but I consider playing with my puppy in the backyard a definite treasure
**Solved world hunger AND world peace still working on it. haven't given up yet!

Friday, July 18

Rae Coleman

Yesterday I worked with my first "patient." Since Linfield Nursing school is so amazing, they have a "simulation lab" (henceforth known as the SimLab) with very expensive dummies that talk. OK, the dummies don't talk but there is a speaker in their mouths where our professors, who are behind the 2-way mirror, speak into a microphone as though they are the patient.

Yesterday, Beth (fellow member of Team Wild Catheters. . .get it? because we're the wildcats?) and I went into our hospital room (SimLab) and found our patient. Ray Coleman - a 34 y/o construction worker who was getting ready for ACL surgery. Our task was to go in and ask Ray a list of pre-op questions that were given to us. So we enter the room and do everything we've been told to do before getting down to business:

wash hands? check.

introduce ourselves in a professional manner? check.

confirm 2 types of I.D on patient? check.

Problem: the birthday listed on Ray's official hospital wristband does not match the birthday Ray told us was his birthday. The cameras pick up the moment my panic stricken face meets Beth's panic stricken face (yes, we are also being video taped by no less that 5 moveable ceiling cameras strategically placed throughout the room while the rest of Team Wild Catheters watch us in the Debriefing Room.) I believe the length of this look could be described as: an eternity. We never said a word but I'm pretty sure my face said, "oh my gosh, what do we do?" and I'm pretty sure Beth's face answered "I have no clue what to do!"

Several things start running through my mind as I have never been in the SimLab before and we were given no prior instructions: is this just a typo? Did they accidentally put the wrong wrist badge on? Isn't Rae the feminine spelling? Beth says she will go and get the charge (head) nurse. I can only assume she's going to leave the SimLab and go next door to the control room to figure out what the heck is going on.

We have informed Ray of what the problem is and he suggests calling someone. Well, what do you know? there's a phone in the room with a phone number to call the charge nurse. well that's handy. While Beth is calling whoever is on the other end of the line, I try to use my "therapeutic communication" techniques that I've been reading & being taught about. Then I realize it's a lot easier to just be myself and talk to Ray about why he's nervous, what he's most looking forward to doing when his knee is better, etc.

Well, what do you know? In comes the charge nurse. . .our instructor. well that's handy. Beth and I fly through the rest of the interaction: removing Ray's jewelry (nose ring, watch, ring), taking his pulse oximetry (better known as pulse ox on ER), determining he needed oxygen, administering oxygen & applying a nasal cannula. oh yeah. we're good.

Debriefing Room conclusions:
Pro: we caught the error, we called someone's attention to the error, we went for the pulse ox first instead of going straight for the oxygen tube, we "therapeutically communicated" with him
Con: we did not "therapeutically communicate" with him soon enough

Next up: BP clinic at the old folks home!


I have done several hard things in my life:

*survive the chicken pox
*accept that fact that there will never be another new episode of Saved by the Bell or Friends
*leave home to go to Linfield
*leave Linfield to return home
*eat 2 boxes of Twinkies to become the Linfield twinkie eating champion (no comments!)
*make it through "The Lost Years"
*swim an out-and-back in Hagg Lake
*Pilates class
*give Linfield even more money
*say good-bye to my little L.O. apartment
*keep the attention of 100 5-year-olds each Sunday morning

But I think I can honestly say the past 21 days have been the hardest span of 21 days I've gone through.

Think of it like this: You are a car. Your owner loves you, washes and waxes you and drives you all over town. And then you're sold. (can't believe I'm writing this. this is the dumbest metaphor ever. . .) So you sit on the lot and wait for someone to buy you. And potential buyers walk the lot. Most look and walk right past. Some pause, take a longer look and then just keep on walking. A couple times you even get taken out for a test drive! But the test drivers never come back a second time. So for years you sit. and sit. and sit some more. By this time, you actually enjoy your spot in the back of the lot. The cars next to you have been back there with you for years too and you've gotten really close. You get all of the perks of being for sale: washing and waxing and cleaning - without the hassle of random people driving you on dusty roads and asking all kinds of questions about you.

And then one random day, a day that's really not out of the ordinary, you see someone walking the lot that you recognize. And they're not even there to buy a car, but to see someone else at the dealership. But heck, since this person already knows the car, they decide to give it a test drive for old times sake. And the test drive is so fun that the person comes back the next day for another test drive and before you know it, he's bought the car. Which is ironic because he wasn't even in the market for a car. (seriously? I'm seriously writing this? somebody please stop me. it's for my own good.)

So you turn into a race car and drive around 100 mph every day. Sometimes the driver accidentally swerves into the neighboring lanes or applies the brakes too hard because the driver hasn't driven in a while and the car has been sitting on the lot for years & is not used to going over speeds of 10 mph (per the sign in the dealer's parking lot).

Then the driver parks you in his garage because he's going to be gone for a while. But he tanks you up & puts a cover on you so you will be protected while he's gone & ready to go when he's back. And then you sit. again. and you sit some more. And it's just like being on the dealer lot because there are other cars in the garage to be with (apparently this guy has roommates because he surely does not own more than one car. I want to make that abundantly clear.) and it's great just to be able to sit & talk again and not worry about getting dusty or a craked window on the open road.

But you think, although it's more wear and tear and upkeep on yourself, you like going 100 mph. You like being driven all and seeing places you've never seen before. Sure gas is expensive and sure you're bound to get a flat tire one of these days. But when that happens, you patch it up or put on a spare until you can get another tire & be good as new again. And sure, you don't get to spend as much time with the other cars but that's OK because they all have owners too.

So for 21 more days you are garage-bound. And for 21 more days you come up with as many other lame inanimate-object metaphors you can think of because you really have too much time on your hands and clearly an imagination to big for your own good. If this post has been too deep for you, please let me know and I will send you the Cliff Notes version. If you see me on the street, feel free to slap me for writing a CAR metaphor. I really could go all night though. . .let's see, what's next? fruit: I was like a week old banana. . .or carnival rides: everyone loves the bumper cars because they're so much fun but when you only have 1 ticket left, everyone goes for the roller coasters. . .sporting equipment: why does everyone want the flashy, colorful soccer balls? what's wrong with good ol' reliable black and white size 5? See - I really could go all night!

Thursday, July 17

Heaven on Earth

Thursday nights are turning out to be my favorite night of the week. Yes, it's like my "Friday" as far as school goes.

But even better, there exists a house in Tigard that could not be more friendly to enter.

The food could not be more delicious.

The company could not be more loving.

The atmosphere could not be more inviting.

And saying good-bye could not be harder.

Wednesday, July 16

Pet Peeve

People who drive in the middle and left hand lanes that get passed by people in the right lanes drive me nuts! If you are not passing someone. . .move over!

I'm not a fan of speeding, but I do like to at least go the speed limit.

Thank you.

Monday, July 14

Oh deer

I saw the most beautiful sight I've seen in my life yesterday. I know that may seem like a bold statement but I think it's true. I'm sure a sunset in the Black Butte meadow is up there. As would the view of the bus stop in Delphi, Greece.

But this was in my own backyard.

I went out on my deck with my not quite 4-month-old puppy so that we could head out to the shady part of the grass to play. Henry paused at the top of the stairs and I stood on the deck and turned to my right.

And there she stood.

The most beautiful, majestic looking doe. She was huge and she was looking right at me. I don't know where she came from but she found her way to my backyard.

The last thing I wanted was for Henry to be anywhere near her so I whipped my head around, called Henry's name about a bazillion times and grabbed his collar when he got close to me. I whipped my head back to the right and she was gone.

I threw Henry in the house and searched the backyard. Nothing. I don't know where she went or if she'll ever be back. It's quite a different feeling: seeing a deer in the backyard of your suburban house.

No one else was home. And as random as this sighting was, I'm thankful this was a "delight" (thank you Beth Moore) just for me.

Thursday, July 3


Today is the three year anniversary of "el accidente", my first ride in an ambulance, my first surgery and the first time I thought about being a nurse.

And it's the 21st anniversary of this as well:

Yep, you read that right. I broke my left radius and ulna on July 3, 1987 and I shattered my right wrist on July 3, 2005. I really shouldn't even be going out of the house today.

Tuesday, July 1

Montana - Friday edition

As I boarded my first flight I was greeted by a friendly young flight attendant named Seth. He was very perky and made me wonder if I accidentally bought a ticket on Southwest. Nope, this was definitely a prop plane and I definitely just walked across the tarmac to climb a ramp to the plane. This particular leg I nabbed an aisle seat and lucky me, there were several teenage girls across the aisle and behind me. There’s nothing I enjoy more than listening to gossip, Hollywood (at this point I checked and no, my sister was not on the flight. Don’t worry, she knows she loves that stuff. It’s even on her blog) and how stupid certain people they know are. As the 35 minute flight continued, Seth and Kaylee provided excellent service. I even received an entire bottle of water! Wow! And the (FREE!) snack was mini crispy bruschetta with rosemary baked in. Basically, I ate 50 calories worth of glorified croutons. By the end of the flight, it was determined that these girls were actually 5-6 years older than me. How do I know this? Because they were talking about where they were when Mt. St. Helens blew. They were all in kindergarten and thought it blew in 1981 or 1982. It took everything I had not to pull a, "well actually. . .it was 1980 because it happened a week before I was born."

Off at Sea Tac and one hour later back on the same plane with Seth and Kaylee. The two of them had their shpeel down when going over the pre-flight instructions. They must be newbies because no one is that excited about cushions also acting as a flotation device. The only bummer – OK, it was a big bummer – was my seat assignment. I purposely reserved a window seat because I wanted to look at Montana as I flew over it. I’ve heard so much about it and seen so many pictures and movies (Hello? A River Runs Through It) so I find seat 11A and lo and behold, I do not have a window. WHAT? That’s ridiculous! I have WINDOW seat! That implies I should get BOTH: a window and a seat. Here’s what happened: on a plane the windows don’t line up exactly with each row of seats. Sometimes your window is a little in front or a little behind. Sometimes you may get TWO windows. (jackpot!) well in my case, I didn’t get ANY window. I got a wall. Well that’s just super. Luckily Seth gave me some more croutons and water so that made it all better.

Landing in Missoula. . .why is the sunset still visible at 11pm? Kind cool but jeepers, how do you sleep? Who am I kidding, when was the last time I was trying to go asleep before 11pm. The Missoula airport is. . .how do I say this. . .small. Which is ironic because it’s a massively huge state and the bitterroot valley is surrounded by these looming mountains on both sides (which are GORGEOUS by the way.) I turned on my phone once inside the terminal because I’m so popular that someone surely called me and left a message in the past 1 hours and 15 minutes while I was on the plane. Turns out not one but two people loved me! The first went a little something like this:
Hi Laura. This is Gary from the Townhouse Inn in Hamilton. It’s about 9:10 and we haven’t heard from you yet today so we’re going to assume you won’t be coming in tonight. I wanted to let you know that we’ll be releasing your room to any walk-ins. Please give me a call back if you have any questions.

Yeah, Gary, I have one question: WTF?!?! The second message was from my mom but I was so fired up that I just saved it and didn't even listen to it. Heck, she could have called to say we won the lottery, which meant I could afford to stay at the Holiday Inn (seriously, it was double the Townhouse Inn) or heck, buy a plot of land and build my house house in Hamilton to stay at, and I wouldn't have cared. At this point I was ready to hit something or cry. (clearly I have a split personality and anger management issues.) I called the previous day and confirmed my reservation and confirmed the late check-in. I started planning my threats to Gary while I dug in my (totally cute, new, pink Nike) bag for the phone number. “You’re going to book me in a neighboring hotel and you’re going to pay for it.” I realize a lot of the time I’m all talk when I get wound up, but perhaps the stress, lack of sleep and nerves would actually push it over the edge this time and I was fully prepared to regulate. I called Gary back and it went a little something like this:
Hi Gary. This is Laura (insert last name). You left me a message while I was on the plane and said you would be giving my room away. I’m not sure why that would happen because I called yesterday and confirmed my reservation and that my flight into Missoula was getting in at 11pm. Have you given my room away yet?
Gary: No, we haven’t had anyone walk in.
A Very Relieved Me: Great.
Gary: We usually don’t hold rooms past 9pm.
A Confused Me: (how is that even relevant for late check-ins and why isn't your entire staff educated on this policy?) Like I said, I called yesterday to confirm everything specifically so this wouldn’t happen.
Gary: Are you coming tonight?
An Annoyed Me: as I said before, my flight just landed in Missoula. I’m picking up my rental car and then I’ll be on my way.
Gary: We’ll see you when you get here.
A Still Annoyed Me: ok, bye

OK, so I could have been nicer but contextually, I’ve justified it.

The high schooler at the Hertz rental counter (on the same level and not quite 100 yards away from my arrival gate) was really nice, despite the fact that it was Friday night around 11:22pm and I know she would rather be with friends or asleep. Shoot, who wouldn’t? After denying all kinds of extra expenses and extra insurance, I was handed keys to my car for the next 21 hours: a Mazda 6. Oh yea. My night perked way up when I discovered it came with a GPS unit. Sweet! Now I won’t get lost on a rural Montana highway and end up in Canada in the morning! I don’t think I would have anyway, considering I had no less than 6 maps of Montana and Missoula of every range and size. I gave Shiela (the name I gave the GPS) the hotel’s address and situated everything I would need for the drive (and stay awake during the drive.) My phone in the first cup holder, a Winco bulk foods bag of M&M’s in the second cup holder, Google directions facing me on the passenger seat and radio stations reprogrammed to my liking. Said a prayer for protection and I was off!

Is it weird that I kind of felt grown up? Soemtimes I feel that way when I travel. I had all my reservations and confirmation codes, I had just rented a car and I was driving to someplace I had never been. In the dark. In rural Montana. (is that like saying suburban Tigard?) Yes, I was scared. Mostly that I was going to be struck and killed by a deer trying to cross the road. I shared this fear with several people (hotel staff, wedding attendants, airport shuttle drivers) and all of them confirmed this fear placed in me by the bride. They had all either been hit or had a close friend or family member whose vehicle had been totaled. Well great. I didn’t really like the look of the Mazda anyway. Maybe that hole in the passenger side door and dent in the rear bumper would actually improve it.

I passed establishment such as the Rear Stump along the way. I also played around with the radio stations and found a great 80’s station. That’s awesome! Montana loves the 80’s so I love Montana. I also called some VIP’s to let them know I had landed was on the road and they listened as I vented about the hotel situation. God bless them.

Slightly over one hour and several U-turns later, I pulled into the Townhouse Inn. Which, by the way, had a casino in it. I met Gary, was polite, and received keys to the last available room. Being the last free room I was the farthest away from the front desk, continental breakfast, security, you know, all that good stuff. Before going to bed, I let the VIP’s know I was in bed in the hotel. I also tried on the bridesmaid dress with the strapless bra I brought. . .for the first time. Yes, I realize I should have done this sooner but I had to know in case I had to head to the K-Mart next door in the morning. Everything fit and the girls were in place. (Ever since a flashing disaster I experienced at the reception of the first wedding I was ever in, I make it a point to see that just I attend the wedding, and not all three of us.)

Lights out at 1:30am with the alarm set to go off exactly 6 hours later. . .


Two years ago:

You remember Nicole? Marathon runner extrodinaire. She may have almost died by my side at the finish line but on the other hand, she may have been trying to kill me in those last 3 miles. . .I haven't figured it out yet.

You remember Justin? He's the one who nicely shuttled us around Washington, handed us gummy bears & skittles. Decent tennis player. Better than average fantasy football manager.