Friday, January 29, 2021

shake that axe


I got my Pfirst hit of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine today, and I'm Pfeeling Pfine.  

So Pfar.

After receiving the shot, I waited the obligatory 15 minutes among the foliage.  At that point, I was reasonably certain that I was still alive, so decided to go back to working.

My second and final hit will ideally happen in three weeks.  I've talked with a few people who got their second shots this time around.  Their experiences sound similar to the Shingrix 1-2-punch.  First one's okay, second one hits harder.  We shall see.

While I awaited my turn at the shot juice table, the woman who'd checked me in told me a story:

"When I was at girl scout camp one year, I was learning to swing an axe and got stung by a bee.  My whole arm puffed up, and I was sent to the infirmary.

"The nurse in the infirmary told me she was going to have to give me a shot of Benadryl, so I said, 'okay'.  But then she proceeded to tell me that she'd never given an actual shot before.  She'd only ever practiced on an orange.  I really didn't need to know that!"

Then it was my turn for the vaccine, and I was inoculated without incident after getting my paperwork in order.  I told my inoculator that it didn't hurt, she'd done a good job...

... a little confidence builder just in case I was her first, after the orange.

Looking forward to hopeful immunity.


Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
4. Share something you are looking forward to.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

got the club goin' up...

... on a Tuesday.

Okay, that's a reference to a hip hop gangster thug song that somehow made it into my brain on this snowy Tuesday.  The lyrics say something about having to work weekends (selling drugs?  I don't know gangster-speak), so he parties on Tuesday.  Well, I guess Tuesday is a party day for me as it's the end of my "weekend".

I went out for a snowy fun run, and while I was dashing through, that song started playing in my head. But I don't know the words, so it was just kinda,  "hummuh humm huum  on a Tuesday, mmm hummm humma...

I honestly don't even remember why I know that song exists.

Snow had been falling all morning and was supposed to taper off around noon, then the forecast was updated to keep on a-snowing, so I just got dressed and went for it.  It was actually a lovely day in its own way.

The snow was very light and fluffy... on a Tuesday.  Everybody sing!

I broke out my shoe traction things.  What are they called?  I want to say "microspikes", but I think that term applies to those more robust traction things that are for winter hiking. 

Anyway, I broke out the stretchy things with studlies and was glad I did.  There was more snow out there than I'd expected.  

The tutor  matching service I contract through asked us to complete a survey about online learning due to the pandemic and resulting "learning loss" if any.  

I do feel there's been learning loss.  My students say they feel less engaged in the lessons and don't feel as comfortable asking questions during an online class as they do in an in-person class.  These are high schoolers, I'm guessing the impact on elementary and middle school kids is possibly greater.  But then, they had iPads and such when they were babies...?

I realize that not everyone learns or has the same preferences when it comes to socializing.  I enjoy going to my job at the old folks' home mainly because I get to leave the house and do something useful among other people.  Then I can tutor a bit online from home and do something else that's useful.  It's a nice balance for me, thankfully.

on a Tuesday.  Or otherwise.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

a first

I don't know about you, but it feels like this week just flew by.  Sign of age?  Today is Sunday, right?

We're still dealing with a bit of COVID-19 heightened precautions at the old folks' home, but hope to be able to relax back to the prior "new normal" next week.  At times, it feels like overkill, but our facility has been a benchmark for keeping our residents COVID free, so there's that.  All that PPE does get hot and cumbersome, though.  Apparently, a "hot" nurse has found a way to deal with it.

Uhm... I totally get it, but  I'll pass.

On that note, I'm scheduled for my first hit of Pfizer vaccine this coming Friday.  Of the people I've talked with who have received their first dose, they report side effects from virtually nothing to a little fatigue and headache.  They'll be getting their second hit around the time I get my first.

Speaking of firsts, I went into one of our residents' rooms to find the woman, Dorothy, not looking well.  She was slumped a bit in her chair with an anguished expression on her face. I asked if she was all right, and she told me she was having "such a hard time breathing".

Dorothy is typically very talkative and witty.  Although her body is in decline, her mind is sharp as ever.  She dresses up nicely every day and does her hair and makeup.  

So her appearance was not typical.  She was still in her nightgown, no makeup or jewelry.  She asked me to unhook her bra, which turned out to be no small task.  It was an awkward reach to access the hooks, of which there were three, because of her position in her chair.  Darn those old lady bras with fat straps and three hooks!

Anyway, I got it undone, which seemed to help, and she's since returned to her usual chipper self.  I realized that is the first time I've ever unhooked another woman's bra.  As I struggled, I remember thinking, "maybe a straight guy should do this since it's a task more from their perspective."

And somehow, this post has become mostly about underwear... 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

SilverLiningness Sunday

Yesterday was a workday for me, and it was thankfully nice and mellow.  My boss and assistant boss both have Saturdays off, so it's the day of the week that I'm "in charge".  Last Saturday was when we had that latest COVID situation frenzy, so while that was exciting, I was happy for a mellow day yesterday.

After work, Magnum and I went for a walk.  We're back to earning points for cash at his work's health incentive program.  I shoot for 10,000+ steps a day for maximum points.  

So we hoofed it about 4.5 miles, and my linked app credited me with about a measly 3,000 steps for the trip.  I don't think so!  Not only that, but we were nearly hit by a irresponsible bitch woman in an SUV failing to yield to pedestrians (us) in a crosswalk.  

So I figured I'm due a Silver Liningness blog post.  Onward.

Winter bicycle update:  I thankfully decided not to buy a third bicycle, deciding that three's a crowd.  My new winter tires have arrived, and I'm going to put them on Ariel and see how they are on dry pavement.  Others have told me they just leave them on from November-ish to March-ish, and they're fine even on no-ice days, so we shall see.  Here they studly sit beside me, patiently awaiting employment under the watchful eye of Catbug...

Why do I have a Catbug plush?  That's another story.  Anyway, I figure if I don't like the feel of them on dry roads, I'll just change out the tires.  It'll be good practice for flats I don't intend to get.

Whachu reading?  I've just finished reading a couple of books by Japanese authors.  They were recommended to me from my Kindle for some reason.  Both books were strange, but I liked their strangeness.  I think.  

Certainly not for everyone, but I went from going, "okay, what is the point??" to "Hmmm, lemme think about that for a bit" with each.

Working in the time of COVID.  This week, the CEO of the healthcare system I work for mandated that COVID vaccines will be required for employment as of April 1.  We've already had some fallout from staff who don't want the vaccine.  I'd decided to get it at the end of this month before the mandate was announced.  I'm thankful to have it available to me and at the thought of protecting our senior residents.  Fingers crossed it does the job.

In closing, I'm thankful for nice long walks, even if I don't get credited the full step count.  And I'm thankful for not being run over by a motor vehicle.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

all the things!

For this week's prompts from Mama Kat, I had trouble deciding on which one.  So screw it, do 'em all!

1. Share a favorite recipe you’ve been loving lately.

At work, during our morning breaks, the cooks will make us "anything we want" (within reason).  I ordered up this breakfast sammich early on, and now it's my fave.  The kitchen calls it the "Abby Special"

It's really not much of a "recipe".  It's just eggs (scrambled or over easy, surprise me) with melted cheddar, spinach, and tomato on a toasted English muffin.  

Simple.  Satisfying.

2. Write about what helps you stay motivated during these unprecedented times?

I do miss going to PEO meetings and events and have trouble staying motivated to attend the zoom meetings.  I recognize that's something I should work on rather than just waiting until we can meet in-person again.  

I'm glad I signed up for those monthly Tortoise and Hare races.  They are a nice respite from fact that there are no big races and provide some fun competition and motivation to stay race ready.  Really, I did not necessarily want to run in the crap conditions last Sunday, but was glad I did it in the end because I want those 5 points, dammit!

I also stay motivated by doing fun DIY projects around the house that I otherwise wouldn't make time for *anyone detect the dripping sarcasm there?*

3. Write a blog post about something that made you smile this week.

4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: enough

I've been thinking about how I have more than enough clothes these days.  I don't get out much except to go to work at the care facility, and our work clothes are issued to us.  Tuting is all online, and everything is super casual with that these days.  

Half my closet is clothes I haven't worn in nearly a year.  Anyone else? What are YOU wearing?

5. Write about the last argument you witnessed (could be a silly one)…did you take a side?

This isn't that recent, but once when we were on a family road trip, we stopped at a McDonald's for lunch.  There were two young female employees working the counter, and it was apparent that they didn't like each other.  We observed a short exchange as they put our order together:

McD worker #1: Stop touching my boob.

McD worker #2: Stop putting your boob where my hand is.

No violence ensued, but you could cut the air with a knife.  It stands as my favorite witnessed argument.  I did not pick a side because either one of those girls coulda kicked my ass.

6. Share a memory about something you did as a child that made a family member angry.

I was always an adorable child who never caused any anger.  I'm sticking with that story.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

slippery sloping

The first week and a little bit of 2021 is in the books.  The world didn't exactly chill out after 2020 ended did it? All part of the adventure.

I was at work yesterday, and a new rehab admit tested positive for COVID.  This was just the third time we've had a positive resident during the COVID times.  In each case, it was determined that the virus was not contracted in our facility, so I'm happy with how successful containment has been.  It's a bit eerie and stressful when it happens, though.  Like that scene from Monster's Inc.?  When the monster comes back with a toddler sock stuck to it?  

Yes, that's totally what it reminds me of.  But in the previous other cases, no other resident contracted the virus after the positive case was contained in Monster's Inc. fashion.  Hopefully, that's once again true in yesterday's mayhem.  But days like that make me feel like, yeah, I should get the vaccine.  A lot of those old folks and invalids have become like friends.

ya think??

In other news, I ran another Tortoise and Hare race this morning.  There's one race per month, October to April, at various distances.  This morning's was a 5K, thankfully not longer.  It was freaking icy! It snowed all day yesterday, leaving about 4 inches on the ground.  

This morning was chilly, and despite the path being plowed, what remained was a sheet of ice.  Really, it would've been better not to have plowed at all, and just let us pack the snow down.  

So, times were slow, but I'm just glad to have remained upright.  I'll count that as a participation prize.  And I learned that my trail shoes are no match for ice.

And speaking of moving on ice.  I think I've decided what I'm gonna do about winter bicycle commuting.  Today, I plan to check out a local bike shop that sells lots of used bicycles and hopefully adopt a suitable one to call my own and dress up in winter tires.  

But nothing crazy.  There's always room for one more?

Friday, January 8, 2021

shots and studs

Interesting start to the new year, eh?  I'll just leave that at that, and stick to my own trivial little world since this is my trivial little blog.  But first, a meme:

On that note, it's been interesting to witness the roll out of the first round of COVID-19 vaccine at my workplace.  Several residents and staff have gotten their first hit.  Everyone I've asked has said that their arm is a little sore, but other than that, they feel just fine.  We are told that the second shot in about three weeks could be more noticeable with side effects of feeling blah for a day or so.  

I passed on this first round.  Personally, I'm not too worried about getting COVID myself, but I would hate to pass it on to someone - particularly any residents at the care facility.  I think the place has done a good job of screening employees and keeping residents safe, but I know they want all of us to get the vaccine.  I might give into the peer pressure and sign up for next month.  

In other news, I've been researching studded snow tires for my bicycle.  I've never wanted them, just like I've never wanted studded snow tires for my car.  But we've had some slippery days recently with more to come.  I've gotten lots of recommendations from people who use them, and I ordered a pair for myself.

Thing is, in Colorado, we get our snowy slippery days, then it melts and the roads are beauty until the next storm.  In addition to recommending the snow tires, many have suggested that I either (1) buy spare rims for easy tire changes - not exactly "cheap" for my bicycle, Ariel, or (2) buy a whole 'nother bike and mount the snow tires on it for riding on snow days.   A whole 'nother bike?  How convenient...

I'm taking Ariel for her annual Spa Day/ Tuneup at the bike shop today.  I'm going to try not to make any silly purchases.  I promise.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

let's pretend it's science

I was at work today, and one of our rehabilitation residents had on a Colorado Buffaloes - a.k.a CU - sweatshirt.

"Hey, I like your sweatshirt!  Did you go to CU?", I asked the white-haired woman.

"Yes, I did", she deadpanned.

"I went there too, always nice to meet a fellow alum, particularly here where there're a lot of Ram fans", I continued (Fort Collins is home to the in-state rival university of CU).

"Oh?  When were you there?", she asked.

"I graduated in 1990", I answered.

"Ah.  I was there... before that", and we giggled a bit as I went about my non-college-degree-requiring job.

My young coworkers know that I also work as a tutor.  I've told them, "I'm here for the 401K", as I've extoled the virtues of pretax savings.  Most of them are not at all interested in socking away for retirement at their current stages of life.

Tutoring is contract work, so no bennies.  It's a nice side gig, but I've typically had another side gig job, like now, that offers a 401K or other pretax savings plan of some sort.  Not a whole lotta money, believe me, but I like to contribute a little plus have some occupation to balance the tuting.

Also today at work, our dishwasher went on the fritz.  Not the machine in the kitchen, but the human who loads and unloads the machine in the kitchen.  Through a series of unfortunate events, she had to leave, which left us dishwasherless for a couple hours.  Anxious times, I tellya.  

I gathered my wits and headed to the alien land that is the dishpit.  Told myself, "I'm a retired mechanical engineer, I should be able to figure out a feaking commercial dishwasher".

And I did.

I went to college.  And today, I washed dishes, thereby saving the day.  

Wait, what? 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

wrapping up, moving on

Greetings on this new year.  Already on the 3rd day in, I'm a bit late to the party?  As it happened, I worked on new year's morning and was in bed like a good girl by about 9:30p new year's eve.  Likely, even if I didn't work new year's day, I would've been in bed like a good girl on new year's eve.

I took a moment to think back on the year to give myself closure.  It wasn't all pandemic all the time as I reviewed that I...

  • sold a house
  • bought a house
  • got a new job
  • got another new job after COVID nearly killed the other new job
  • zoomed
  • wore many a mask

  • climbed a horsetooth

  • climbed a mountain

  • rode (and crashed) a mountain bike park

  • Inktobered
  • voted
  • did many many COVID nasal swabs
  • ran some races

  • got older

Really, not too shabby ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.  

I'm not one who believes that everything will be unicorns and rainbows because we turned a page to a fresh calendar, but we'll keep on chugging.  One day at a time.

As mentioned, I spent new year's day with coworkers and the old folks.  The Pfizer COVID vaccine began shooting through our facilities last week.  From my casual conversations, I'd say about half of the staff are opting to get it while others, including me, are waiting for a later round.  Interestingly, it seems many of the ones getting it this first go around are office types who don't really give direct care to residents.  

My boss had COVID a month and a half or so ago.  She was telling me about the strange "brain fog" and fatigue she's dealt with ever since.  I recently read an article about concerning psychological symptoms showing up in a few people who've recovered from the virus.  

Okay, can we cue the unicorns and rainbows already?