Gimme Shelter


Yes I am sheltering in place even though Mother Nature is about to unleash her wrath and fury upon the land where I live. I’ve received numerous worried phone calls and texts from friends and love ones of concern at my half-baked plan to stay. Their feelings that I should evacuate, or should have days ago, have been coming across loud and clear.

Agreed, it’s all a bit freaky. The worst hurricane in the Atlantic in history!! Yikes. This doesn’t leave for a good nights sleep mind you. And yet, I plan to stay and wait it out. Am I simply nuts?

Well, no, I don’t think so. Having been an emergency worker for 20 years, I wouldn’t choose to shelter in place without giving it some good hard thought and without reasons. Maybe my reasons are emotional ones: my pets and my mother, but I still feel the gamble is worth it.

Where I live is not in a flood zone and my apartment building is a cement box. I’m on the first floor and have hurricane windows on most of windows and on the ones I don’t, I put up my shutters. I have candles, canned food, batteries and will fill up lots of things with water, including my bath tub. And then I will simply wait.

Sure, we may lose power, but after being without power for 11 days in New England in the middle of winter without a wood stove, I guess I can handle it. I have a small battery charger for my phone, and if my car doesn’t get wrecked, then I can charge my phone in my car to let folks know I’m OK.

As long as my Mom, my pets and I’m OK, I really don’t care if I lose stuff. There is nothing I own that is more important to me than my ‘family’. Things can always be replaced. If it blows away or gets wet… so be it. Maybe I’ll end up in the land of Oz…

And the upside of these disasters is that it always brings out the best in humans. Maybe Mother nature does this to reminds us of our need to care about each other. My neighbors have been great. (Note: my neighbor for Canada flew BACK to be here for his Mom and just stopped by to make sure I was alright and didn’t need any help!)

So, yes, I’m staying and hopefully it won’t be a mistake. If it is, well, it won’t be my first mistake. If it’s the last, well…we all gotta go sometime.

Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away

The Rolling Stones

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Please Don’t Go!


So many of you who follow my blog know that I handed in my resignation letter today at work. Yes, this–April Fool’s day, just to add a little humor to my bosses day. NOT!

It turned out to be not the day I expected, after tossing and turning most the night about how it would go and all the reasons why I should definitely do it….

I walked in at 6 am to the peace I have all by myself first thing and was soon joined by a few others of the early comers. One was my partner at the desk this week, filling in for my usual front desk mate. She has been the charge nurse, and one that has been a thorn since I started.

She started in immediately yapping about how someone told the manager about how she talks on her phone all the time at the desk (which she does) and how it ticked her off. It is true that some of the time she is communicating with Doctors, but much of it is idle chit chat with men and it makes my load harder. So I admit, I may have been one that mentioned it in my speech the other day to the head boss after she yelled at me. But others have complained about her too.

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Stop causing trouble in the work place!

Long story short, I told her I understood her frustration about pettiness because I was resigning for that very reason. And she was shocked that I was resigning! I was shocked she was shocked. Begging me to stay and be on the desk next week too, she completely flipped her attitude and focused on me, how great I am and that I should not do it.

This gave me an opportunity to express my feelings about what goes on there and how it all makes me uncomfortable and unhappy. To which a fellow co-worker agreed! It felt good to get it off my chest and she seemed to understand and gave me a pep talk. It was quite a change.

Later on in the morning, I went into the big bosses office and he knew immediately I was resigning. Actually I had heard earlier, they usually just tell folks to leave right away, so I was prepared. I told him very nicely thanks but I just couldn’t handle it anymore. He took it well and said it was fine if I stayed the two weeks, so I figured they didn’t hate me anyway.

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Please don’t hate me……

When I was working the desk with my immediate supervisor, who I figured would take it very poorly, she was very dismayed. She wanted to know what was the final straw–even though I tried not to tell her. After hearing it, she too gave me a pep talk and said that she wished I would take the weekend to reconsider. Again, second shock of the day! If anyone was going to ask me to leave, I figured it would be her. And when the big boss stood next to her, he wanted me to reconsider too (even though it was an after thought…he isn’t a very strong manager).

So here’s the thing: many people came to me begging me not to go–even folks that haven’t been very nice. In the locker room I told the gal at the desk how I appreciated that she had been kind about my resignation, and that if I stay, we must try to work together well. I felt like I had somehow drawn a line in the sand today: no more abuse. Like things had turned slightly.

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Yeah, I’m turning slightly, but only to lick my back!

It’s hard to find jobs around here and I heard the home care stuff isn’t so hot. I just started my insurance today and have doctor’s orders that I’m suppose to take care of now. It’s a hard decision.

Will these folks be any better? There’s still one that was very standoffish today, but I can avoid her. I did feel like there was slight progress today. And I now know that someone is retiring and I can get her shift which will be easier.

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This is me making a rash decision..

I’m considering it. No rash decisions now like in my old life…. I’m honored that they asked me to stay, but not fooled into thinking I’m anything special. I know I do a good job, but I also know it would be really hard for them to start training someone all over again, and that’s probably why they don’t want me to go!

 

Chillin’


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So here it is: the new computer! This time it’s a real laptop. I’ve been using a chromebook which is OK, but has major limitations, like it’s nearly impossible to print with it.

It was time to upgrade. This one is pretty sweet, despite learning Windows 10. Ugh. That has been a nuisance, but mostly because I am a creature of habit.

Currently I have a Comcast tech rewiring the cable. Yes, I know: I am a traitor again. Back to the evil empire. But the Verizon data plan, even with 18g
of data, is somehow disappearing. The whole router thing just didn’t work — I could never watch movies or YouTube without worrying about chewing up data. It got too annoying. My life can be too stressful enough now at work  (sadly), if I want to watch  a movie, then I don’t want to worry about data for goodness sake!

I’m free now. Honestly, I have no love for any of these huge companies. But every once in a while you may get a decent tech to the house  (my guy was a lovely man here from Haiti), or less likely,  a competent representative on the phone.  When you do though, it’s like a breath of fresh air. They really seem to care and speak like real humans, not computer drones. It makes me utterly grateful.

So now I will relax, watch what I want, listen to music and no more counting gigabytes. Just gonna chill.

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Just chillin’

Gossip


“Rumor travels faster, but it don’t stay put as long as truth. ”
― Will Rogers

Why is it when you put more than two people together, you can’t expect anything that is said to stay between those two people? Well, not usually anyway.

The easiest way to keep a secret is without help. ~Author Unknown

I suppose there are some people we can really, really trust with our deep dark secrets or thoughts, or even just our every day stuff. But for the most part, it seems like if you get two people together, it’s like having birds sending messages over the airwaves.

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I’m just waiting to tell everyone where the seeds are!

“Every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies.”
Jane Austen

It seems that even if we just happen to tell someone something in passing, or casually–if it feels like some juicy tidbit, a grain of gossip, it gets passed along to the next person only to grow into something larger than the original seedling.

Maybe the person passing on the gossip feels empowered, or that they are somehow gaining an ally by the telling of this tale–but in the end, no-one really wins. Somehow the truth gets lost in all this telling and re-telling–kind of like that old story of telephone we used to play as kids: passing on a phrase, whispering down the line until the last person has some complete distortion of the original statement!

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Every day or two, I strolled to the village to hear some of the gossip which is incessantly going on there, circulating either from mouth to mouth, or from newspaper to newspaper, and which, taken in homeopathic doses, was really as refreshing in its way as the rustle of leaves and the peeping of frogs.

How, then, does one know who to trust? How does one just speak freely? I tend to be a very honest person. If someone at work asks: how’s it going? I will say: I’m having a tough day here. Ah, but then it gets blabbed all over the place and potentially back to where it shouldn’t (like management). Jeepers. Then don’t ask! Or should I just lie? That’s not my style though. I mean, I don’t even think that something as simple as this will be repeated as some important trifle needing to be shared.
These gems that seem to boost someone else are a mystery to me. Are they like Thoreau’s peeping of frogs–refreshing to some in small doses? Do they derive some sort of adrenaline rush from it? I simply don’t get it.
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PEEP!

By nature I’m admittedly a blabber mouth, but if someone tells me something in confidence and says: please do not share what I’m telling you–then I don’t! But apparently others don’t abide by these same codes. It’s just blah blah blah… Changing my behaviors more than I have may be near impossible after all these years. It may simply be suffer the consequences (as usual) for my honesty. So be it.

It would just be so nice if folks could just respect a conversation and keep it sacred between the folks that shared it. Eliminating gossip: from the work place, the news, families, completely–would make this a whole more honest world!

If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees. ~Khalil Gibran, Sand and Foam

Photo: New!


phone

 

The main reason I took this is because it’s with my new phone. I have a bad feeling my new phone won’t take very good pictures and I’m pretty disappointed. Oh well, such is life. I must be satisfied until I can afford a new one! I managed to get the SD card in from the old phone anyway. Live and learn. Slowly I am putting some new apps on it too, but it’s not such a great phone, so some won’t go. Like my banking app. This will be a pain. Ah how we get used to convenience! I will manage though…will just have to stick with my computer. Remember the days when a phone was a phone? Now we’re upset when it doesn’t manage our lives? Gee…too bad it can’t bring me love? Or can it?

Feeling Naked


So I had some photos for here today but then calamity struck and my smart phone died for good today. One second it worked, the next…the screen was black. Well, this isn’t completely true. You see, I had dropped it one too many times and the screen was quite cracked. In fact, there were hunks of glass missing from it! So much so, my co-workers had begun to tease me about getting glass shards in my fingers when I made calls. Ah, but I was reluctant to part with my phone. I loved my phone! Sad state of the world today when somebody loves their phone, no?

But luckily I had purchased a new one in advance for when the day did arrive (as predicted) and it would suddenly crash. I looked on my plan, and of course it wasn’t due to expire for over a year! And of course all the phones I liked were way too expensive. Then someone told me I could just go on Amazon and buy one! Sometimes I’m so dumb. Who knew? See I’m someone who thinks like this: why the heck would a carrier like Verizon have something like a plan where you couldn’t buy a phone from them for a two years when you could just easily go off and buy one somewhere else? Doesn’t that seem dumb? Why would they want to lose business like that these days? Get with the program people and get over yourselves. I mean they even let you activate these new phones online. Verizon does! I don’t get it! Actually I did it right on the phone itself!

So here I am now, with this crappier phone though (because I didn’t want to spend that much money yet) and it’s not quite charged, and I can’t get the back off yet to put the old SD card in for the camera and media stuff. I’m a bit frustrated right now. And it’s amazing how naked I feel without my phone. I no longer have a ‘land line’ either. My phone had everything on it too: all my banking, my social media connections, my contacts, my pictures, my music, my apps…well, my life. Sounds crazy…but it’s how I feel.

I guess there are plenty of people who live without cell phones still. I’m not quite sure how they manage. Not that I’m crazy with mine. It’s not like I’d go on a date and be on it the whole time I was with someone. There’s a point of rudeness for sure. But they surely do serve a wonderful purpose also. I’ve often wondered if Romeo and Juliet had cell phones how different that outcome would have been? Wouldn’t have been much of a tragedy then, eh? She could have just called and said, “Hey, so I’m gonna take this drug you know, pretend I’m dead…no biggie”. Would have saved everyone a lot of grief. But Shakespeare would have been out one really sweet play.

So I just hope I can get this thing up and running at least for phone service by tomorrow. Sure, I’d love to get some app’s flying too, but I’d settle for my contacts at least. Although I did see the Facebook Icon on there….so that was a good start. Next tackle: yahoo mail and then WordPress! Night all!

 

 

 

Cell Phones


I am old enough to remember phones that dial and were made out of plastic. And ones where you had to sit in one place to use them. They were clunky, crackly and when Mom was talking you weren’t. There was no driving and talking and I was in the back seat of the car laying down with only a lap belt on. Sometimes I was even on my Dad’s lap helping him drive down the highway! But I digress……

It was simpler times, when you stuck your finger in some holes and dialed someone’s number and they answered; or you got a busy signal and you knew they were talking to someone else; or they didn’t answer the darn thing at all. And that was it! There was no  voicemail, or call waiting or conference calls, but there were party lines (which weren’t much of a party). And certainly all you did with your phone was CALL people!

But today…ah today…phones do just about everything besides call people! Cell phones that is! What did we ever do without cell phones I wonder? I often think if Romeo and Juiet had cells phones, they might still be alive today! Think about it: “Hello, Romeo? I’m not really gonna be dead. Like I took a sleeping that I borrowed from the priest, so I will only look dead. Ya, I know! Sick!”  Think about how history would have changed if cell phones had been around. Maybe Custer would have been tipped off by a quick cell call and his last stand wouldn’t have been his last? Or Mary and Joseph could have called ahead to a different place to stay and Jesus would have missed the Three Wise Men. Hey, you never know.

Cell phones have changed the world. For good and for ill. They have given us access to infinite amounts of data at our fingertips. And connect us to anyone, anywhere, anytime. But at what cost?

What happened to the days of long drives listening to the radio or talking to each other? Now each person is on their cell chattering away or texting someone. Or worse yet, driving and texting and endangering the lives of others on the road. And we all just feel so naked without our cells! Just about everyone has one. It’s part of everyone’s attire nowadays. I speak from experience.

I just had to get a new one yesterday. Actually had the sad misfortune to buy three: one for me, and one each for my two daughters. It was one of the most stressful situations I could imagine. Who would think? That little device kicked my butt. It was a smartphone. Smart phone-dumb human.  I’ve become accustomed to that lifestyle I’m ashamed to say. The smartphone lifestyle! Ugh. But being middleaged, I’m fairly clueless still about how to work the crazy things. How one small device can be so frustrating is mind boggling.

To start, now I have poorer service at home than I did on my old one! So that gave me chest pain to start. And I couldn’t load all my pictures or music. That put me doubly in a funk. Plus either my contacts had three entries of  person, or they weren’t in at all! I was up until 11 pm and fairly sick to my stomach with it all, when it struck me that this was all over a phone! Did I ever act like that when I was a kid over a phone? My gracious, what had gotten into me? I was stressing because I lost my Apps! Good grief! My mother doesn’t even know what an App is! And here I was up half the night with heartburn over this silly situation.

So I finally went to bed, determined to attack it the next day. Happily, I was on shift (at the ambulance) with a 22 year old! Joy of joys! I hit the jackpot! This kid was like Einstein to me! I was practically in tears by the time I got to work, but every problem I had, he would just say, “Oh, you just have to do this,” or “just press this button.” God I love that kid. By the end of the day, the thing had my contacts in a reasonable order, all the Apps I needed and I was managing my way around it pretty well. I still don’t like it mind you, but I will survive…and maybe even sleep tonight. Even my chest pain has subsided.

But the days of simple phones still call me back to sweeter times. Yes, I know maybe we have more freedom with cells, but what about the brain tumors they are giving us? The old phones are  symbols of the past. Devices that had just one job to perform. I suppose we can’t stop progress, but we sure as heck can be confused, intimidated or just downright turned off by some of it. Maybe we should turn them off occasionally?

“Hello? Operator? No sorry, this is 2012. You have the wrong century. But we really miss the sound of your human voice.”