Friday, May 28, 2021

make the cold nights feel like summer days

Back in late February, I got a LinkedIn notification about  a job opening.  It sounded like something I might like to do, and I felt qualified, so I went ahead and completed an application.  Other than the automated acknowledgement that they'd received my materials, etc., I never heard anything from them.

...until a couple of weeks ago.  Seemingly "out of the blue", I got a phone call.  The hiring manager was  personable, explained the nature of the job a bit more, asked if I was still interested and if so, would I come in for an interview?

Yeah... sure... okay... despite the fact that I'd just taken on a promotion at the old folks job.  

Long story short, I've given my notice at the old folks home and start the new gig on Tuesday.  I'll be working in the testing center at the local community college - coordinating activities for various standardized tests and academic exams.  My inner test nerd is happy, and it fits well with my tutoring experience.

Although the job was posted over three months ago, they'd halted hiring until the campus had their COVID policies more solidified, which apparently has happened.  So, I'm thankful and looking forward.

In the meantime, it's been a bit of a bumpy ride lately at the nursing facility.  Short staffing (remember me fretting about this as it loomed on the horizon??) has made for grumpy conditions, and it's difficult to get applicants right now.  Our chef has seemed rather cold to me this week, but he has the right.  He was away on a much needed vacation last week.  Upon his return, he was met with

  • a cook who quit and didn't complete his 2-weeks notice because the new job offered him a fat bonus to start right away.
  • I put in my notice.
  • various dietary aides are quitting or wanting long vacations since school just got out.

and last, but certainly not least:

I've enjoyed my time there, but really, it feels a bit like getting in the lifeboat of a sinking ship.  I don't know what upper management is doing to increase staffing as there's a lot of competition for workers right now.  Plus, I've said it here before:  I've learned that geriatrics isn't really my bag.  

A coworker friend who will likely take my position asked why I decided to take the new offer.

"Better pay, better schedule, more along the lines of my interests... Other than that, I dunno 😉"

Self care.  It's a good thing.  Speaking of which, I was enjoying a lovely morning bike ride earlier this week and came upon some dear deer just hanging out.

Such rides sure beat the slush fest from a couple weeks ago.

Thanks to everyone for the kind thoughts and words regarding Malcolm.  There was a well-attended celebration of life at his neighborhood cul de sac last weekend, but it still seems unreal at times.  


Linking up this week with MamaKat for the prompt:

5. Summer is coming! What are you most looking forward to?

Friday, May 21, 2021

I see the sunrise, just like the other day

We started out as coworkers, and eventually I was sort of his boss.  Malcolm was one of the young "pups" of which I found myself the den mother.  

When I  think of Malcolm, I think of how patient he was with the elderly residents in his care, kindly coaxing them out of their confusion or loudly but gently asking them to "PUT IN YOUR HEARING AIDS".  Like the rest of us, he tired of wearing the gowns, the N95 masks, etc. but he did it without complaint, looking forward to when the residents could come out of their rooms and socialize.

And mostly, he was just a sweet kid.

In the  kitchen, he was known for his "legendary" breakfasts.  Working the day shift, we could order anything for our breaks, and the cooks gladly obliged while we all marveled at Malcolm's metabolism.  They loved his huge orders, and he was also their "go to" whenever they needed a taste tester for new recipes.

He once casually asked me what my favorite lunch special was, and I voted for chicken saltimbocca.  The next time the cooks prepared that dish, Malcolm took it upon himself to stash a serving away for me.

I can honestly say that, although he was so young and I'm old enough (and then some) to be his mom, I'm a better person for having known Malcolm.  He found a new job about a month ago and left our care facility after deciding he didn't want to get the COVID vaccine just yet.  I told him he'd be greatly missed, but it was a good new opportunity for him.

He tragically died last weekend.  He was just 19 years old, taking the year off before starting college because of the pandemic.

From what we've been able to gather without being too pushy, he smoked some weed that was - unbeknownst to him - laced with fentanyl.  

Dammit, Malcolm.  Damn world.

This whole work week, we've shuffled along like zombies, trying to remain cheerful if only in appearance.  A couple of residents have picked up on it, and I confessed that I'd unexpectedly lost a good friend.

They offer sweet words of comfort and encouragement since, heaven knows, they know grief, having lived as long as they have.  I still couldn't bring myself to tell any of them that it was Malcolm we'd lost.  

Rest In Peace, sweet Malcolm. 


I still hear you and believe I see signs of you letting me know that you're still here with us, but just out of reach.  All these little coincidences...

I'm grateful to have known you.  

I'll never forget you.


Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: light

Thursday, May 20, 2021

the human experience

Greetings, blog friends.  It's been a minute since I last checked in.  Suffice to say I've had a busy week.  A week that's included loss, new opportunities, healing and introspection.  In summary:

  • dealing with the sudden and surprising loss of a young friend
  • trying to "be there" for mutual friends regarding that first bullet
  • having a somewhat unexpected job opportunity and subsequent offer
  • deciding to accept the offer and resign my current position
  • while working on healing regarding that first bullet

Ah, the peaks and valleys of life, eh?  Gotta run now, but I love and appreciate you all!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

cry me a river

 We're on the second day straight of slush falling from the sky.  Not quite rain, not quite snow, but wet and messy.

We grudgingly put up with it because we're nearly always running from drought, repeating the mantra, "we need the moisture".

Me upon my arrival home from work yesterday→→

And that's why I have raingear.

And yes, that's a lunchbag hanging from the handlebars.  I've begun bringing my lunch to work even though I work in food and nutrition.  I got tired of eating old people food.

Not that the food's bad, it's just quite hearty fare that makes me want to nap afterwards rather than complete the workday.  

And now I see an added  bonus is that my lunchbag matches my rain jacket.  Better than the Partridge Family lunchbox I had in elementary school.  


Saturday, May 8, 2021

you had me on the sunrise

 My days off are Fridays and Saturdays, so Saturdays feel like Sundays to me.  I was gonna say Happy Mother's Day, but nope, not officially there yet.  Not that I'm big into Hallmark holidays anyway...

I enjoyed a leisurely day yesterday, starting with a lovely morning run where I passed by this wholesome couple performing their morning preening.  

The male didn't seem to want his pic taken, but at least the female was quite into it.

I've never seen ducks nesting like the geese do around here.  Nevertheless, little ducklings seemingly pop out of nowhere each spring.  I'll keep watch.

Later on, I did some shopping.  I needed some shoes for work, and Sierra did me a solid once again.  I like to wear good quality running shoes at work since we're on our feet so much.  Good quality running shoes can be expensive, though, but I found these bargain basement pups for the ridiculous price of $15.

They felt super comfy in the store, but I was all questioning on account of how cheap they were.  I looked up online reviews when I got home, thinking maybe they're on par with grocery store sneakers,  but sure enough, they're legit.  

In fact, one of my favorite youtube shoe reviewers recently posted a favorable review, so I'm currently basking in bargain hunting success.

Later, I swung by Wolfgang's to look after his cat Maisey for a while.  Wolfgang and a couple of friends partook of some mountain biking fun in Utah and Colorado last week, so Magnum and I were on Maisey duty.  She is basically a sweet giant fur ball.

So far today, we've had a bike ride, a quick check in with Wolfgang, and a coffee outing - lovely day out that it is. 

Snow is forecast for the upcoming week, but I don't even want to talk about it.

Until then, there's a few other things to check off the to-do list, but I think I'll go look up duck nesting first.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

he doesn't know how much he cost

Catch the Kentucky Derby yesterday?  I love to watch  horse racing.  For one, it doesn't take hours like most sports.  A good horse race lasts about 2 minutes. But really, I just love to watch those animals running full out, trained athletes that they are.

The Kentucky Derby is the first of the triple crown races.  I didn't know a thing about any of the horses and just listened to the commentary while watching them emerge from the paddock.  The ultimate and unexpected winner, Medina Spirit, had 12-1 odds.  

After the race, trainer Bob Baffert was all praise for the "little horse" and quipped, "He doesn't know how much he cost".  We went on to learn that he was initially sold for $1,000.  

WHAAAAAT?  Did I hear that right?  I have a bicycle that cost more than that Kentucky Derby winner?!

But Medina Spirit apparently became known for his competitive spirit.  His current owner purchased him for $35,000 which is still super cheap for a race horse.  

I could see that competitive spirit referred to.  Coming down the final stretch, it looked like the bigger horses would pass him, but you could almost hear him say, "Not today, boys!"

Thanks for the show, little guy.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

the tooth, dark books, and old folks

I almost lost my fake tooth again.

Honestly, I'm embarrassed to admit this since I just got that fake tooth replaced and was all, "Oooh, this one's so much better!  I'm gonna fer sher take good care of it forever..."

Part of the thing's allure is that it's nice and tiny compared to that whole-mouth appliance thing I had previously.  

Long story short, it almost went out with the weekly trash.  I painstakingly rummaged through food scraps, coffee grounds, etc. and happily found it.  I now have tooth cases throughout the house in addition to my mouth!

Also this week, I finished reading My Dark Vanessa.  I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5.  It told a difficult and sad story well enough.  I usually enjoy these "forbidden relationship" novels for the psychological study.  Indecent, for example, was a fave and probably the reason My Dark Vanessa showed up in my recommendations.  But it was challenging to get through - blech, dark, and creepy.  Don't know if I would recommend it.  Now I'm reading something fluffy and light for contrast.

I've been lost on and off all week as to what day it is since my work schedule has changed. It's all good though, I'll get the hang of it.  So far, I enjoy the new position - more taking care of the young people who take care of the old people rather than taking care of the old people myself.  

Admittedly, geriatrics is not necessarily an interest of mine.  I can't imagine that anyone wants to end up in a nursing home, but there they are.  More often than not, I feel relieved for them when they pass away.  And it will  only be a day or two until someone else takes their slot.  It's most difficult for those who have a full grasp of their situation, which they thankfully, sometimes forget

So it's nice to see these caring younger workers handling it all so well.

And speaking of young people, we swung by Wolfgang's yesterday for some cat-sitting instructions for an upcoming fun trip of his.  He was convalescing after his second hit of COVID vaccine.  Achy, blah, with a headache.  From my small sampling, I've observed that younger people in general seem to have more side effects than older from the vaccine, whether Pfizer or Moderna.  My reaction was noticeable, but mild.  Yay for being in my 50's.  

Happy May.  I plan to watch The Kentucky Derby later.  

Today is Saturday, right?