Wednesday, May 31, 2006

HNT...The San Francisco Treat

I'm in San Francisco for a conference so I'm half assing HNT for the week. This first picture is from Alcatraz looking back across the Bay to San Francisco. Wind was blowing like crazy but at least there is no fog. It has been a great week and I'm off to bed in order to be up at 5:30 am to get ready to fly home. I miss the boy and the cats! So here's a little San Francisco treat for you...

I was briefly incarcerated here so I figured my mostly covered nekkid-ness would work from inside a jail cell. More pictures to follow once I'm home and get everything downloaded.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Ladies, Be happy...

I went to a lecture today on Female Sexuality: Satisfaction and What to do when you aren't? Ladies, be happy if you do NOT live in Australia. Several studies have been conducted asking woman about sexual dissatifaction related to both physical and nonphysical factors. Studies showed that 71% of woman in Australia were dissatisfied sexually! Only 24% of US woman were dissatisfied.

Unfortunately the rest of the lecture really wasn't all that interesting. It was sort of common sense...physical problems, stress, lack of interest/attraction, emotions...all can play a role in sexual satisfaction. Duh! At least I got an hour of continuing ed for it.

Now off to bed, I'm still on central time in my head and it's telling me it's late.

Friday, May 26, 2006

A little trip

First off, thank you to everyone who left encouragement, prayers, and well wishes yesterday. The next few weeks, months, whatever will probably see a lot more of me being vulnerable. All I can do is take care of what I can take care of and try not to worry about the rest.

With that in mind, I made the decision to go to the conference I had planned to go to. So, tomorrow morning I fly to San Francisco for a week. It is the annual national PA conference. This means a lot of my classmates from grad school will be there as well as some co-workers and professors. I'm excited. I'm rooming with a classmate and we plan to have just as much fun as we do education.

A little trek to Alcatrez, maybe an afternoon in Napa and about 30-40 hours of CME! And no work! I always use these trips as an escape anyway so this one couldn't be better planned. Oh yeah...I'm also going to eat a shitload of seafood!

Hopefully there will be a few photo opportunities as well. But again, thank you to everyone that has my family and I in your prayers. Thank you!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

HNT...most vulnerable

This is me at my most vulnerable...

For a few reasons. First because I think it is the most revealing picture I have ever shared with HNT but also because of what it means. I have mentioned a rant is on the way. I'm not sure if it will get published and those closest to me have already heard it. Instead of a rant, I think I'm going to rename it a "release" and this might be enough.

My mom is dying of cancer.

She has been for five years so one becomes numb a bit to the reality of it when death has been hovering for so long. Well, this past Friday her main oncologist called me at work to ask me if I could talk to her about why comfort care/hospice might be the best option at this point. I have medical training, I have a "good" understanding of the science behind treating or not treating an illness. But, my God, he just asked me to explain to my mom they why you should "give up".

I use the phrase "give up" because if my mom decides to NOT have any further chemo that is what she sees it as. Giving up, giving in, letting it win. However, you look at it. It no longer allows her to be involved in her care. So, how do you tell a strong, faith filled woman with a Midwestern grit that all the medical treatment in the world won't treat her cancer anymore?

So...I feel vulnerable. I have cried more in the last five days than I have in a long time. Remember, I don't cry a lot anymore. I have had "the" conversations with my mom and dad about life. I don't want to be the responsible, strong, educated, level headed one in this situation but it's falling on my shoulders somewhat. Someone has to do it right?

Well, over the last few days with people very close to me I have allowed myself to not be that person and to completely breakdown. Completely exposed my true emotions about the choices to be made. Tonight...I did that in front of a complete room of the middle of bible study tonight I completely and totally fell apart talking about something unrelated to my mom's health and healthcare choices. Then as we were closing after I had finally composed myself, our group leader asked the group to pray for me and while they were praying I was blubbering, snorting and bawling my eyes out. I don't "DO" vulnerable well...

When I'm most vulnerable and feeling the most pain, I curl up with a stuffed animal and attempt to disappear within. I can outline a different stuffed animal for each of the most stressful or emotional low points in my life. This poor little guy has been stuck with a big task....the little panda bear just joined my collection after the boyfriend went to the San Diego Zoo. Poor little guy didn't know he was going to have to curl up in the arms of a scared, vulnerable woman.

I don't know what my mom's treatment choice will be. That's for her to make. I'll tell her what I think. I'll tell her why. But I can see both sides of her personal choice too. Cancer sucks! In her eyes, I will try to pull it all together. But this is what I'm really doing....

Saturday, May 20, 2006

A rant to follow...

I'm working on a rant but until then some mindless word games will work better and are probably safer. So I stole this one from Lime.

: a rock on the outside, scared on the inside

I SAID: "He broke his leg, he broke his leg" as Barbaro pulled up short today.

I WANT: to not be a smart, responsible adult some days

I WISH: Not very often

I HATE: Cancer, dishonesty, being helpless

I MISS: My mountains

I FEAR: being alone

I HEAR: my kitty pseudo snoring/purring next to me

I WONDER: will things ever calm down?

I REGRET: the lost of a first true love

I AM NOT: going to wallow

I DANCE: like Lime...pretty much anywhere. In the shower, around the kitchen, in the living room and any club we ever get too (and yes, I've danced ON the bar!)

I SING: all the time but never well :) "If God gave you a bad voice, sing twice as loud to punish him" (Aaron Alme)

I CRY: at all three of the Triple Crown Races as they make their last turn. Today I bawled through the whole race.


I MADE: my first banana bread out of the Sesame Street cookbook when my mom wasn't home...the doggy wouldn't even eat it :(

I WRITE: with emotion

I CONFUSE: most people

I NEED: an escape.

I SHOULD: get off my butt and finishing cleaning my house.

I START: more than one thing at a time

I FINISH: when I get around to it

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

It's been a year of HNT????

I'm in no mood to be festive so all I'm able to get up tonight is my very first photo. My mom is in the hospital again with more complications related to her cancer and I'm sort of grumpy.

So here is my first picture. It tells you a few things about me right off the bat if you don't know me. I like my feet and I also have reoccuring injuries to my feet...this particular event involved a shampoo bottle in the shower leaving that evolving bruise at the base of my third and fourth toes. I also like to read...that is a copy of Cold Mountain. I also appreciate good looking men...that's Jude Law next to my big toe. I'm Christian...that's a toe ring with little crosses all the way around (it's been on since May of 4 years ago???) I watch a lot of TV...that's the TV remote next to my toes. The only change since that picture is I have removed the TV from my bedroom. Amazing what HNT reveals about us uh? Thanks fr sharing yourselves.

So Happy Anniversary to everyone that's been around since the beginning, thanks for joining to all those that made it such a success, and welcome to those continuing to join the madness. Happy HNT!

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Marriage is a sacred vow. Have we as a society forgotten the commitment that "sacred" and "vow" imply? Why do people cheat? Why do intelligent, smart individuals find it impossible to be faithful. Characteristics like honesty, trust, faithfulness use to be taught, honored and respected. Where are we headed???

Please pray for my friend.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

HNT...i've stuck with it

January 2005 I made a resolution to get more organized. I have always prided myself in my mental ability to remember dates, meetings, schedules, assignments, tasks, etc. I made it through high school without any form of written planner. In college I at least started using a planner to write my class schedule in but after the first week or two of classes I rarely used it. When assignments were due, I just "knew". I also don't make lists. Never have, still rarely don't. Drives certain people crazy that I don't write things down.

Over the last two years, my roles have changed. I have multiple responsibilities; larger career related roles, numerous separate groups at one church, more personal commitments. It become obvious I had to keep them straight because slowly I began dropping things here and there. It led to undue stress.

I first purchased a nice leather binder with a yearly calendar with two pages per week. I found it at Walmart for $20 and filled it with pages from Franklin Covey. A year later I was actually still using it. In fact, I purchased my 2006 calendar in August or September 2005 because I had dates going into it that far out. I have also started traveling a fair amount for work and have been hauling the same computer/carry-on bag since my senior year of undergrad. It has been extremely useful and has carried my laptop safely accompanied by some pretty robust textbooks through the years. But it is huge and heavy when full.

Now I'm taking the organizing one step further and streamlining. Don't pack as much, have my calendar always accessible (either in paper or electronic format), only take what I'm really going to have time to work on/read when I travel. It's been working so I decided I needed to use a smaller, classier bag to travel with for my computer, binder and light flight or meeting needs.

This is what I settled (think power meeting), classic (think professional and "grown-up") and my computer, binder, keys, wallet and a small novel all fit! I love it!

Friday, May 05, 2006


Stole this from Os and he was gracious enough to give me a letter. So here it goes...

This is how it works: Comment on this entry and I will give you a letter. Write ten words beginning with that letter in your journal, including an explanation of what the word means to you and why, and then pass out letters to those who want to play along.

TENACIOUS: That sounds better than "hounding" right? Throughout life I have always been persistant when my mind is made up. I once wrote "The Greek" (the head trainer for the Denver Broncos) and Mike Shanahan letters every two weeks to try to get an intership with the team in athletic training. I didn't get an intership but when The Greek came to Helena that summer I had a personal audience with him. Last year when I had a boss who preferred I hadn't been there, I pulled up my boot straps and held to my morals to make it through. Tenaciousness is a good thing.

TACKLES: as in football. I LOVE the sound of a good hard hit on the football field. A bit on the morbid side but there is that sudden collision of forces that makes my blood rush. I don't want to play football, just revel in watching it. My favorite place to watch it from...the side line of course in case those tackles lead to an injury.

TEA: From late September until about mid April I have a hot cup of tea nearly every night before bed. It started in college when we had a hot pot to boil water. It use to just be plain Lipton Tea. As I have gotten older, my taste in tea has changed. I like tea that comes in silk tea bags, tin canisters, flavored. My current favorite is Ginger Peach. When I don't have hot tea, I have hot cocoa. Something about going to bed in the dead of winter with a little warmth right in your middle. Comforting.

TACOS: One of my favorite foods, but I'm picky about my tacos. My favorite is a homemade taco bravo. Start with a griddle, coat it a bit more than lightly with vegetable oil. When the oil gets hot, lay the small soft corn tortillas on it. Let them get slightly crisp on one side while the softer "up" side bubbles. When you take them off only lightly dab with a paper towel and fold in half. Then fill a regular hard taco shell with meat, then cheese, then onions and then only a VERY VERY light sprinkling of lettuce. Add sour cream, guac and black olives. Then smear the inside of the slightly cooled soft shell with refried beans. Fold it over your loaded hard shell. Enjoy with ice cold Kokanee (A Canadian Glacier brewed brew that I can not find for the life of me here in Minnesota)

TROUBLE: I was always called a goodie twoshoes growing up because I listened to my parents, got good grades, and didn't break the rules. Now, I'm an adult. I'm educated. Now...I like to cause trouble. I prefer to call it making waves, or causing a stir. When something strikes me as unjust or unsupported or simply opposes common sense I will make ruffles until I get the matter fixed. Some cause that "making trouble". If "making trouble" is what it takes to get ridiculous polices and procedures changed, I'm going to continue making trouble.

TRUSTWORTHY: I'm trustworthy to a fault. People can trust me to the core. But on the other hand, I trust others often too willingingly. I like to believe that others live their lives with the same morals, standards, and expectations which I have. I've been burned more than once...they don't. So if you are looking for someone to lean on, I'm a good bet but after getting burned too bad a few times don't be put off if I take a while to trust you.

THUNDERSTORM: My favorite weather anomaly. My favorite place to listen to a a TENT. I love the heaviness in the air just before the clouds let loose. I love the pounding of big, fat raindrops splatting on the side of my tent. And the smell of damp earth after the big storm. All my favorites. If there is a smell to "green" it is the smell that you smell in Glacier Park after a huge downpour complete with echoing thunder off the rocks.

TEARS: I don't cry very often anymore. Use to all the time...a happy Disney ending, a puppy or baby commercial, movies, someone being nice. A good two months of pretty much constant tears when my husband left me pretty much dried me up. Now, it just seems like too much energy to cry again. I cried today though. The one thing that can make me cry 100% of the time is when I get very very mad. It has happened for as long as I remember. I get thoroughly, completely ticked off and about the time I'm about to spew what I'm really thinking, the tears well up. Any one know how to turn that faucet off?

TOMATO: a favorite "little kid" memory. Old style school lunch ladies (they made things from scratch!), spring, fresh garden tomatos, sliced thick and sprinkled with sugar. Yummmy!!!

TRAILS: Where I like to go when I need to think, re-energize, re-organize my head. Preferrably a less frequently hiked trail, preferrably somewhat darkened with overhanging trees. I like to just walk, find a cool rock to sit on, write in my journal, take nature pictures and walk the trail. Feels better when I'm done.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Implied Intelligence

Through out one's life, we interact with many individuals. As we go through life, we chose to advance our education, pursue a career, work in that career field. At least that's the plan, right?

As students we look to our teachers and parents for guidance. We trust those educating us are providing us with the knowledge we need to pursue our desires. Not so much true in grade school and high school...there we are being taught more the of the basics, everyone focusing on the framework for future learning and moral development. For the lucky, something we are taught in those years catches our attention and we develop a desire to pursue that farther as we advance to college, trade school, apprenticeships, etc.

Again, we look to our professors, mentors, future colleagues to guide our learning. It becomes our responsibility to learn about our chosen profession and then venture into the career world armed with the knowledge to do well in one's career. Please stop me here if I have said something incorrect.

However, I'm starting to believe once we enter a career field we may be making an assumption that is kicking us all in the ass. Let's start with a simple example. When you walk into McDonald's you assume the clerk at the counter has the skills to take your order, make change, and tell you to have a nice day. You don't expect that person to offer you ethical advice, manage your business portfolio, or cure your illness. Now, let's go to a more complicated example. When you work in the healthcare profession, it is implied doctors, PAs, nurses, have a baseline higher level of education and when caring for patients should be able to do so with the knowledge they learned to rectify the situation. You don't expect a healthcare provider to advise your next stock purchase.

As my high school teachers always said..."when you assume something you only make an ass out of you and me". I wouldn't say I have become an ass but I have become disgruntled when dealing with fellow health care providers as of late. By implying a medical degree gives one superior skills in caring for one's health is becoming not always a certainity.

I am not claiming to be any smarter than those I work with on a daily basis. Not in a long shot...there is so much more I have to learn. I am quick to point out areas I do not have knowledge in, actually sometimes to fault. But, at the same time, I do my job to provide the best possible care to my patients and expect those other individuals charged with the same responsibility to do the same. Oops...big mistake!

The "title" of doctor, physician assistant, financial advisor, software engineer, mechanic implies a baseline knowledge in that area of the world. What it does not imply is the common sense to relate to patients, clients, customers, and maybe more crucially, colleagues. THAT is what we don't get taught and I have learned is not safe to assume everyone has it.

Is it too much to ask for respect from fellow co-workers when working towards the same goal in whatever your profession? Is it too much to ask very highly educated individuals to ignore their textbook knowledge to actually logically think through a situation? Do they still teach "logic" in school? Uhm....just a random Monday rant.

Have a great week everyone.