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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Olive Drowns Her Phone

The phone rings. "Olive why aren't you here?" Where I think. The dentist office. I had forgotten to go. A sure sign of my declining mental state. That is something I have never done. I remember my appointments. Period. Well not anymore. When the hygienist called I was in the shower. I was so appalled at my omission I talked to her and made another appointment. The cell phone got wet. Well duh Olive.

The front screen went white and the camera died. The inside part worked. Sort of. When it felt dry I think. I did feel inspired when this happened and put the blow dryer on it. Joe said that made it worse. Worse? I spent a night alone at the yellow house and the phone died entirely. I was in the woods, no street lights, and no phone. Freak out city. Maybe.

The next day I promptly go to the Verizon store. I would rather have an eighteen gauge needle placed through my big toe than go there. The service woman was droll at best. Stated my replacement would be mailed in two days. She did not care one wit about the woods, lack of lights or a working cell phone. The phone arrived in two working days but in four actual days you Verizon people. The instructions for switching the phones are written out in five steps. The old phone has to be returned via FedEx in ten days with every thing erased from it. Verizon this sucks. Our bill is way over a hundred dollars a month. This is the customer fending for themselves. Makes me want to drive right over to the Apple store and get an iPhone. In reality I am far too thrifty for one of those. I am always a bit mystified by people who claim to have no money or say they can't pay their bill yet have high end cell phones.

Five easy steps not in Olive's world. Joe and I both tackled that whacked exchange of phones. Joe ended up calling Verizon to activate the new phone because doing it yourself would take ten days and by then they want the old phone returned. The person on the phone was very helpful. She talked Joe through putting the info back into the phone. Joe did all the heavy lifting on this one as I have the patience of a sand gnat. A gnat with grimy teeth.

Olive Out

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Granny, Great Fun, and Yard Sales?

I saw in the classifieds an add for a yard sale that said, " Wrought iron patio furniture." I go to yard sales every Friday so I was chagrined because this was the only one listed. The add actually repeated itself several times and talked about patio this and that a lot. This should have been my initial clue but feeling a tiny bit slighted by the lack of sales I pressed on. Also I had been awake since o'dark thirty and it had been hours since I had any sort of coffee.

All in all it was an extremely happy day as I drug my Granny with me to this sale and every where else I went. I have GPS in my little car and Granny has it in that big thing she drives but no we had to go in my "yard sale Jeep". It would hold a patio table. Plus that way I pay for the gas and we could get lost! Which we did. I have my six dollar map. I know how to read a map. We were just talking and having such a good time we were about six miles off course. I turned around and found that dang house. Low and behold not one but four patio sets and an iron chaise. Clearly not a yard sale.

She had to be dealer. Two of the sets would have worked for us. Ahem, not for two hundred and seventy five dollars. Her bottom price was one seventy five. The big newer ugly one was for over three hundred dollars. Obviously this woman had Home Depot dollars dancing in her head. Or something this mental health nurse doesn't want to know about in her head. I predict she sells not one of them. As Granny was talking to her she was telling us how she loves to shop at thrift stores. Really?

Olive Out

Monday, March 22, 2010

What Scratches, Poop and Health Care Have In Common

Joe and Clovis had a tough, challenging and surprising day recently. Clovis is our elderly cat. He is under House Arrest. He was attacked by a neighborhood cat at the old house and nearly lost an eye not to mention his life. He does not go outside at the old house at all. He has learned a set of new skills. He is now litter trained. Mommy is so proud! Joe has trained him to ride in the truck. At first he rode on a pillow like the prince he is but I have since become concerned about his safety and now he travels in a pet carrier. When he is with us at our yellow house we do let him outside, for short periods of time. He is very puppy-like in that he follows me around. When I decide to go in the house he does to. He seems hesitant to stay outside by himself. Do cats have PTSD?

On a recent morning leaving the yellow house we prepared to get the C-Cat. He clearly did not want to depart EVER. I held the pet carrier and Joe picked the little devil I mean prince up and attempted to put him in the carrier. Clovis went all Tasmanian Devil on us. He scratched Joe, in at minimum, three places. He climbed Joe's torso clawing all the way. Joe prevailed. Off the two of them went in the truck. CC and I went in my car. About thirty minutes into the drive Joe calls and tells me the cat had an accident. An Accident? Yep says Joe of the diarrhea all over my truck variety. He stopped in a parking lot and rearranged the cat and cleaned the truck to a degree. It was awful. This is where anyone who knows Joe knows he loves me! He is so calm and kind with this cat.

Upon arrival at the old house CC and I let Clovis out of the carrier. Joe asked why did we do that. He needs a bath. Whew! Joe was spot on. Stinky cat was an understatement. Clovis is nearly thirteen years old and bathes himself all the time. When not sleeping twenty hours a day. I do not like to bathe cats. Who does? We mull over it and decide how to proceed. We put him in the kitchen sink. Gross and uncouth I know but at work height for the clawing cat to unleash himself. Having the sprayer was immensely helpful. He hollered, howled, and whimpered. Finished he was one drowned looking cat. I bleached the sink thoroughly yall. We did not receive one scratch. He forgave me and sat on my lap for the remainder of the evening.

This happened to be the same weekend the House passed the health care bill. Joe says when he was getting into bed that night, "I got scratched, pooped on today and the whole world changed. A more dreadful day I cannot imagine." I love him to pieces.

Olive Out

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thanks Lola

Oh what fun blogging is! I ran into a friend, Lola, at a yard sale on Saturday. She is the mother of my dear friend Shelly. It was delightful to see her. She made me feel special. She immediately recognized that I had lost a substantial amount of weight. She inquired how I did it. The same way Shelley did I said. Weight Watchers. I have lost over forty pounds last year and continue to lose. That's four sacks of ten pounds of potatoes. Really? French fries are the enemy as are mashed potatoes. The enemy sure does taste good. I am now addicted to high fiber cereal. Who knew? Shelly is my hero in this weight loss business. She lost something like seventy pounds and has maintained that goal weight for many years now. She and Lola are close. I admire them for that. They take care of each other.

Lola also recognized Joe. She said "Hey Joe" instead of his actual name. That was especially cool as Joe is not really Joe. We all had a good laugh. I changed his name for this blog. I change every one's name to protect the innocent and shield the guilty. That she is one of the dozen or so people who read the blog endears Lola to me more. I wanted to give her this shout out as she is so lovely and made my day on Saturday. Thanks Lola!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Riot of One

A prison has certain sounds. They are rhythmic. The prison usually sounds the same at the same time every day. A prison is all about routine and sameness. The two I worked at were both operated like military organizations. I was always getting those military titles confused. It is frowned upon to call a Lieutenant a Sergeant. I had always worked where people were terribly informal so I had a challenge when trying to use all those proper titles. The nurses did not allow the inmates to call them by their first names.

I was in the habit of arriving early to work every day. This worked well for me. I did not feel rushed going through all the locked gates, the x-ray machine, and the metal detector. You also need to stop at the front desk and trade a chit for your prison door keys. Everywhere you go you must unlock and lock the door. It requires thought. A bathroom key is critical.

One morning I arrived early. It was about six-thirty am. I was in the first cage with a Sergeant. The inmates would have been eating breakfast in shifts by this time. The officers were changing shifts. The noise inside the prison was wrong. It was loud. Too loud. The Sergeant said something about the noise being off and I agreed. He said "It sounds like a riot". It did. Not that I had any expertize in the matter but I just knew it did. The officers controlling the gates left us in the cage for a while. I imagine they were calling people in charge. At that time not a lot of officers are present on the yard. When we got in the front door they let the Sergeant in. Not me. I was left in the office part of the prison. I could see through expansive windows onto the yard.

The prison has a couple of mental health dorms called J1 and J2. The mental health inmates are classified according to severity of mental disorders and level of supervision needed. There are a large number of level three inmates in J2. Level three mental inmates need close supervision. They see the mental health staff frequently. One particular level three inmate named Sam was a fairly tall well built man. He was known to be quiet and respectful. He had been working out for months. Buffing up. Muscular. That morning he asked a Lieutenant a question in the dining hall. I heard it was a simple request. I don't know the truth because I wasn't there. The officers are trained in dealing with mental health inmates but that doesn't mean they listen. I am just saying a staff member has to be mindful that these guys are not stable by any degree. Sam took the Lieutenant's billy club away from him.

Then it was on. The full force of the officers were on Sam. Sam went out onto the large grass yard. The inmates in the yard were cheering for Sam. I witnessed this from the office windows. He was pacing with the billy club. He looked angry and fierce. He had been working out for this moment, planning it. It was his and he owned it. Four officers jumped on him. Then a fifth. He was the Sergeant who was in the cage with me earlier. All I could see was arms flying. Eventually, Sam was subdued and taken to the Medical Unit. It felt as if this scuffle took a long time but it took a few seconds in reality. I viewed it in slow motion it seemed.

The officers at the front let me onto the yard. I went straight to the Crisis Stabilization Unit. Since it was still the night shift there was one night nurse on duty. I helped him with Sam. Sam was on the floor bucking. All the officers had some sort of minor injury. Sam had NONE. The night nurse and I, after calling the doctor, gave him three injections. Which was no small feat. The officers used the shock shield on him. It's a Plexiglas shield that covers the torso with a built in taser. It was effective. He calmed enough to have the injections in his buttocks.

Meanwhile out in the yard there were about ninety mental health inmates virtually unsupervised. They were too dumb, stupefied, and starstruck to act. But they could have taken over that yard. One of the more irritating occurrences that morning was that the Warden did not Lock Down the prison. I would have. I would have put every inmate in their cell for the remainder of the day. But I am a simple nurse not security. After Sam was put in a CSU cell I called Joe. I told him it would be a swell day to mail my retirement package.

Olive Out