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    Good Grief!!!!

    Saturday, November 8, 2008, 9:42 PM [General]

    One of my hobbies is Emergency Preparedness. I love reading and participating in discussion forums on the subject and have learned so very much from the folks on the forums.

    I just left one that has left me feeling very disturbed. Someone posted a warning that Obama was going to take their guns away, and as a gun owner I don't think that is a possiblity and think that an assault weapons ban is a good thing.

    You would've thought I was telling them I wanted to cut their balls off. It even digressed to the point where one guy posted a picture of himself pointing a AR 15 toward the camera with an implied threat not to try and take his gun away. Talk about an ad FOR gun control!!

    For crying out loud! At no time was I advocating banning all weapons. Just that civilians don't need to be posessing AK 47 type assault weapons. 

    I come away from this exchange with the opinion that the folks owning automatic weapons are a bigger threat to the nation than the imaginary bad guys they're arming against.

    I've requested that my membership be removed from this particular discussion group. I should've read more of the posts and found out what kind of bunch of loonies I was getting in with before joining. 

    With guys like this running around. Makes me want to stock up on ammo more than the criminals.

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    Feel like a hypocrite...

    Saturday, December 22, 2007, 7:56 PM [General]

    This has been the week from hell at work (one of many past and many more to come).

    I've often encouraged others to take care of themselves. Reminded them that an individual can't be all things to everybody. To be mindful of the present and don't worry about what one can't control.

    Now if I can only follow my own advice.

    I've stressed myself at work to the point of having chest pain (again).

    I know, I know, all chest pain is cardiac until proven otherwise, and this is transient and situational. The doc's checked me out. It starts when I drive up to work and ends when I go to sleep.

    I work on a Medical-Psychiatric unit (a hybrid unit that takes care of the acutely medically ill that also have some psychiatric/cognitive/dementia/substance abuse issues). I'm proud of my quirky little unit. We take care of the folks that no one else wants (the psychotic/ the demented/the sometimes manipulative/the sometimes violent).

    The nursing shortage means getting nurses to work in the hospital is tough enough much less trying to get some to work on my unit.

    I've been orienting nurses pretty much non-stop for a couple of years now. We hire them, I orient them sometimes two nurses at the same time, they quit, hospital hires another: revolving door.

    I haven't been happy with my level of nursing care for a long time. Much of my time is spent filling out paperwork. I've even developed a checklist to help me keep track of what forms I still need to fill out on a daily basis.

    My shift ends at 3 pm. It's been as late as 6:30 pm this week before I get out of the hospital after going to hide and chart.

    You may ask "samhain, you idiot, why do you stay at your job?" Believe me, I've been asking myself that for some time.

    My coworkers would have to be the reason #1.

    I can't abandon them. They struggle to do the best job they can under tough conditions and if I left, the only thing that would be accomplished is that they would be another nurse short.

    I can't say my patients are the reason because 1) I've taken care of them out on the unlocked units before Med-Psych was established, and 2) I haven't been happy with my level of nursing care in some time. Nothing unsafe or unprofessional, just not enough of it.

    Leaving my unit wouldn't be an answer because I listen to the other nurses on the other units and other hospitals. I've been a nurse for 13 years, in this hospital for 15 years. I know it's not any different anywhere else, and worse in some places. (There's a hospital in my area that's nicknamed the "salt mines" by some of the nurses that have escaped).

    I've worked as a clinical educator for a couple of years and I was miserable away from the bedside. It was the same no-win paperwork mill but without the sense of purpose that I had (sometimes) at the bedside.

    It's becoming more and more difficult to encourage our nursing students that come to my unit for clinicals. I feel like I'm lying to them. I teach them every trick I know how to manage their time, keep up with the ever increasing paperload, anything to make their day easier and their patient care better when what I really want to tell them is "RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN, GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN".

    My social worker on the unit fed one of my patients the other day, and instead of feeling grateful to her for going above and beyond the call of duty to care for my patient, I felt ashamed that I wasn't able to do it and jealous of her for being able to do that (yes I did thank her profusely and kept my shame to myself)

    We are beginning to implement a computerized charting/medication system that will probably take two years of hell to implement. There will be much knashing of teeth and wailing to which I want to respond "just shut up and do it or get out", but that won't help so I'll nurture and teach as best I can.

    This is the one hope I have that will save the career of nursing for me. It's a slim hope because I'm old enough to know one doesn't solve problems, one only trades off consequences. If this doesn't free me up to do the patient care I want to do, then I'll need to leave nursing all together.

    I've been practiceing: "would you like fries with that?"

    peace (more broken-hearted than peaceful)




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    Empty house

    Saturday, November 24, 2007, 6:27 PM [General]

    My wife and offspring have driven to the northern part of the state for a couple of days to attend a funeral. My wife asked me to stay home because she's worried about me needing to rest after the rough week at work instead of driving for two days.

    I agreed to stay behind knowing if I went (as I want to), she would be anxious and worrying about me being exhausted.

    So here I am sitting in an empty, quiet house. I feel lost. My normal cues of what to do, when to do it, sounds to respond to are absent. I look over at their computer desks next to me expecting to see them and they're not there.

    I can wander off into the woods for days without a problem since I'm used to being in the woods alone. Here in the house is a different story. I found myself just wandering around the house trying to figure out what I was going to do next so I went and took a nap (which is what Mrs Autumnwood wanted me to do anyway).

    I'll be glad when they're home safe and sound and my world will be back to normal. I won't be lost anymore.

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    I wonder what Freud would say...

    Saturday, November 10, 2007, 3:03 PM [General]

    I was just looking at my friends list and saw a pattern that has repeated itself (as patterns do) through out my life.

    The overwhelming number of women.

    In middle school, I felt more comfortable with the girls though they wern't too terribly comfortable with me.

    When I was in high school, I hung out with the girls, though I did adapt to the locker room environment of the track team ( I can burp/fart/and cuss with the best of them) I know, too much information...

    I work quite happily in a predominately female environment (nursing).

    The shifts on the crisis line were more enjoyable when I worked with a woman. There were more conversations and I didn't feel as awkward.

    At parties, I tend to end up in conversations with groups of women rather than with the men. My best friend is my wife.

    I've never been comfortable with male bonding. I wonder if that plays a part in why I feel comfortable with the Pagan philosophies which with some exceptions are overwhelmingly female centered.

    It's not that I don't actively exclude the male posters on the boards from invitations for the friends list. It's just I don't often think about it.

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    Clutter, Clutter, Clutter

    Sunday, November 4, 2007, 11:51 AM [General]

    One of my hobbies is emergency preparedness. In fact, second to B-Net the Equipped to Survive forums are my favorite.

    As part of my Pagan practice I view taking care of my mate and offspring as my primary function as a living organism.

    Part of that practice is planning ahead and putting things in place to care for them when things go wrong --- kind of a continuation of fathers storing meat, crops, and firewood for the winter, reinforcing the hut so my loved ones will be safe and warm while I'm away "hunting" (although now both my wife and I are the "hunters").

    I do get caught up with the "sexy" aspects of preparedness like socking away water, food, batteries for hurricane season, new gizmos, emergency punchlists (man, I love punchlists!!!), etc.

    What I don't spend enough time on is the mundane everyday things of keeping the house clean, managing the stuff we already have so we can find it, managing the money more responsibly so we can maximize savings.

    After Katrina, the friends we have that faired the best were those with good credit, good savings, and little debt. They were able to take advantage of housing opportunities as they became available as opposed to having to scramble to put together a downpayment on a house or just rent an apartment.

    The batteries, food, water, etc were just needed to get over the intial crisis, what was the kicker was the secondary crisis of relocating, putting the kids in new schools, finding a new job, etc.

    I've gotten the intial crisis covered to my liking based on past experience with hurricanes, now I've got to shift my focus on the bigger issue of the secondary crisis. How do I find the homeowners insurance file? Where is the kid's vaccination record, The tree fell on the car, where's the title?  Is the power off because the lines are down or because I missplaced the utility bill?

    peace (is a lotta work),

    samhain autumnwood

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    Rant Alert , Rant Alert

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007, 9:53 PM [General]

    Warning Will Robinson, Danger, Danger.

    (Gee, I miss that big bubble headed robot).

    This past Sunday was Layeity Sunday at my wife's Methodist church. For those unfamilier with it, it's basically "when the preacher's away the kids will play". The members of the congregation organize and perform the various tasks of the church service.

    It was interesting at times and excruciating at others.

    The sermon had to do with "oneness" i.e. being a part of the church as a whole and working together...

    The children's sermon backfired in a big way. The demonstration of oneness was to put a rope around the group of kids (yes, you know where this is going) and get them to leave the sanctuary as a whole group. What it ended up being is an adult trying to drag a bunch of school-aged kids to  Sunday school and the kids did what anyone being dragged with a rope would do. They pulled against it, screamed, and wiggled out of the rope.

    Talk about a metaphor for the tactics of some Evangelicals!!!

    It was a brilliant example of if you try to force something (even Sunday school which the kids always go to and have fun at) on someone, they will fight you. I don't think the guy doing the children's sermon caught on to that little fact which is unfortunate because he had a glorious opportunity to teach the kids what not to do.

    It was the member of the congregation delivering the sermon that really got my goat and my wife's goat as well.

    It was a intolerant fundy rant and a half. Something my wife ( a life-long Methodist) tells me is not part of the Methodist tradition.

    That made sense because the guy doing the ranting identified himself as a former Baptist (it showed)

    My poor wife was in tears when we left her church. She has long lamented what she describes as the hijacking of Christianity by intolerant, angry fundies. I was ticked off as well because of the poor light this put my wife's church in. I've been sitting in her church for 17 years (the longest running Pagan visitor to her church if not the only Pagan visitor) and with the exception of the  occasional nut-job (like this past Sunday) they've been very accepting and likable.

    I was sooooo tempted to go tell this fool "I left Christianity over 30 years ago and I want to thank you for validating that decision".

    The sad thing was members of the congregation came up to him afterwards and hugged him telling him what a wonderful job he did.

    Sounds like for some, they agreed with his views.

    My wife is actually wondering if her church, of which she is a charter member, is morphing into something ugly if maybe it's time to leave. We've even discussed leaving Louisiana altogether (let the fundies have it) and going somewhere a bit more progressive and modern.

    Why would a Pagan give a rat's behind about the theological well-being of a Methodist church?

    Simple. I love my wife and it pains me to see something she values become something ugly.

    What effects one of us affects all of us.


    samhain autumnwood (stepping down off of his soapbox).

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    First Online Journaling Experience: Does that make me a Journal Virgin???

    Sunday, October 21, 2007, 6:39 PM [General]

    This is an interesting idea for journaling and would probably be an opportunity to take some of the "rant traffic" off the discussion boards and free up some space for serious discussions.

    I'm a little leary though of using this format as a "true" journal because of the permenancy of the internet. ("come on honey let's post our honeymoon pics online, no one we know will see them:" fast forward 13 years and the child asks "mom is that you naked on the beach and who's the guy in the coconut mask?")

    I guess it will take some time to get used to and what the heck, it can't be any different than what I've been posting on the discussion boards.

    Now where did I put my coconut mask...?


    samhain autumnwood.

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