Tuesday, 16 April 2013

what next?

On September 10th. 2012, I worked my last shift as an R.N., deleted  my in & out box, handed in my keys and drove home. I felt a wave of relief as I did all of this, as I was tired and no longer had any new goals or visions for my future there. Thus, a new life began for me. In hindsight, I entered a place that was not familiar to me; there was a heaviness to the atmosphere, a miasma, that hung over my brain and soul. I did not recognize who I was without a schedule, or a position. No network of peers at work to push and pull me. And the loss of goals and visions was new to me, I had always thrived on new ideas and projects. Almost everyone whom I met that knew I was no longer employed, said the same thing; "now you can do whatever you want". But, my inner response to that was "I don't know what that is". That inner response was frightening.
 I began to focus on a new goal, and that was to remain in a space of reflection and remembering and to stay away from 'busyness' for the sake of being busy as a way of coping. It was a tough go for me, as anyone who really knows can vouch for the fact that I have always multi-tasked. I decided to mourn, and slowly allowed myself to acknowledge that this is a stage I must experience and not fill with emotional flagellation over things not accomplished. It is relatively easy to compare onself with others, and in so doing, achieve nothing.
  Kudos to all my friends who encouraged me to set a new pace, to change my course, grieve as necessary, and look forward.
 

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Turduckin/AKA Muscovy

 
These  rather unattractive birds can easily be found hiding in the shade of trees, and are in the habit of ignoring you as you pass by. This one glared me down on our lengthy walk to find a Publix store this afternoon. Need more sun screen than we first thought, and because we turned right instead of left as we left the hotel, the walk was much longer than anticipated. We walked through lovely residential areas & my mind is now busy with wondering why we would spend another winter in Vancouver.
A 10 am pick up tomorrow to shuttle us off to the ship; a man named Tony driving a red van. Does this sound legitimate?
 

Friday, 15 March 2013

Fort Lauderdale

We landed yesterday around 5pm, and took what seemed to be a harrowing taxi ride to our hotel, about 13 miles, to the Sheraton Plantation. A most beautiful hotel with rooftop pool, hot tub and  panoramic view to  help us get orientated. We got our bags into the room and then headed out to stretch our legs and get some supper. We were very hungry, after a 12 hour day of flight snacking, and found the Macaroni Grill. Here we found out why the Macaroni Grill on Davie Street in Vancouver closed a few years ago. We forgot that in the USA, a small portion means large, and so, we ended up taking back 2 doggie bags which became today's supper. From now on we will remember to order for one off the menu and share it.
  I woke up to a sick husband this morning, he had been up most of the night while I innocently made up for lost sleep from the night before. So, while he stayed in bed, I went out to explore, and figured out that we are on the public transit route.After a late breakfast at noon, he rallied, and we caught the first bus, #22 to the main terminal 10 miles away. You pay cash on the bus, no tickets, no transfers, and were told that if we planned on taking the bus back, it would be worth our while to get an all day pass for $4.00, which we did. We were both surprized at how huge and flat the city is, it sprawls out, and the roads are wide with an average of 4 lanes in each direction all the way through the city. It felt very much like Orlando. The bus ride took us all the way downtown to the main terminal and from there we took  the #40 till we thought we were close enough to the water to get out. I guess we should have asked.....but it was warm, and a long walk never hurt anyone, plus, we saw a lot. We ended up on the beach, and watched the massive yachts weaving their way amongst the freighters. We thought the yachts in Vancouver were large! We travelled back via the bus again, this time took the long way and saw even more of the beach side of the city, and then  into the inner parts. It was such an adventure 'people watching' on the bus!! We were usually the only white people on the bus,and by that, I mean skin and hair, oh man, do we need some color!
The buses and stores are all air conditioned....much to our chagrin. Bur.....

Thursday, 7 March 2013

In case of death....

Time to clean up, we are leaving on a lengthy holiday. A friend who has worked on cruise ships for many years suggests we discuss what we will do if one of us dies while on board. I admit that I do think about dying while packing, usually along  the vein of vanity or shame; never leave home without clean underwear kind of thinking. Shall I leave the apartment spit polish clean, or mess it up so it looks like a robbery has taken place. Is our will up to date & in order  or are our adult children, parents themselves, still to go and live with friends in Winnipeg.
  Time to wear my best jewellery and clean the oven.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Up lifting

I wouldn't normally make public my personal shopping habits, especially when it comes to bra shopping, but, today is an exception to the rule. Lululemon on Robson street has some pretty funky, and yes, pretty bras, and I thought that maybe if I wore a sporty bra, I would look like an athlete. Why not give it a try. There was a male staff person buzzing around the bra section and I asked him, in good fun, which bra he found the most comfortable. Ha ha, he said, my girl friend would recommend this one [pic attached], she doesn't wear anything else but this one, EVEN to yoga. I imagined myself sweating in a vikram yoga class and exiting in a healthy glow. Darling, why don't you get into the change room and I will bring you one to try. What size are you? Well. I may not be his darling, but I was quite taken by this confident male who didn't seem to be fazed by a cup size. The next thing I knew, I was in the fitting room, with my name written in chalk on the door....I said my name was Lisa. I couldn't bring myself to be even more intimate with this bra flinging gent.  The next thing I knew, he was knocking, "how are things going for you in there? I brought a few more to try on". [5]. He flung them over the fitting room door so they hung there in a tidy row, all on their respective hangars, and all the right size. There is nothing complimentary about a fitting room with its adjustable mirrors and glaring lights, and just as I was ready to bolt, he informed me that he was going off for his coffee break and Jessie would be assisting me as needed. Phew! By the time I had dressed and extricated myself, he was gone.
 As I entered the que for payment, I noticed the name tag on the tall young man at the til.....Jess. "Did you find everything to your satisfaction miss?" Well yes, I did thank you. As I turned to exit the store, I saw two female staff members in the men's department.
Isn't life grand.
 
 
 

Monday, 25 February 2013

City etiquette

Living in a city is if nothing else, entertaining. Starting in the elevator; eye contact is not necessary, but not frowned upon. State the current weather condition but do not make a personal inquiry. If another enters the elevator, do the 'elevator shuffle' and flatten yourself against the wall. Upon exiting the elevator, make full eye contact and wish your fellow rider [riders] a good day or evening whatever the case may be.
  Taking the translink has a whole new set of unspoken rules. If you are not interested in doing a seat shuffle each time the bus stops and gets fuller, seat yourself  on the back seat initially and stay put. Once on the bus, eye contact is permitted but must be brief. Compliments and asking for directions are  acceptable. If you are wearing strong perfume, expect someone to make an off handed comment. Be prepared for the worst of odours; body, the souring bag of empties, the unwashed, all not for the faint of heart.
 The west coast express has its own law. NO talking or eye contact acceptable. Make yourself as small as possible in your seat, become invisible. Plug your ears with your buds, and be prepared for a quiet ride. Fatigued commuters  will discreetly snooze until their stop. Do not prop your feet on the seat across from you if it becomes available. Tuck your knees in as far as possible, as otherwise they will surely touch the passenger sitting across from you which leads to an  awkward moment.
 The grayhound is a culture all on its own; wearied passengers who have brought food and drinks, pillows, blankets and all manner of technology. Know that if you make any effort to communicate, you must be prepared to listen for the extent of your shared journey, it is up to you.

  Be entertained.
 

Friday, 15 February 2013

#911

For the second time in 6 days I have needed to make a 911 call. I feel like I have a direct line to the dispatcher.
Tonight, the sweetest elderly couple was out for a beer and a stroll, and on their way home, his knees gave way and he collapsed. In a Brit accent, he apologized profusely for wasting my time, the time of the other two witnesses and the government's money. His wife said she was afraid he would never come home again, 'too frail', so, maybe they should simply 'plant him in their bed'.  They shivered from the temperature and the shock so I called Tom to deliver blankets. Then, cloaked in 2 afghans, they waited their fate. Hoisted onto a stretcher, his little wife 3 steps behind, they were moved into a warm ambulance.
A huge thank you to the 2  ambulance attenders who kindly and most respectfully assisted these elderly folk.