Wednesday, January 30, 2008

visitations / funerals

a friend of mine from my book club lost her mother early monday morning. she had not been in the best of health and vicki said they used to say her mom had 9 lives as numerous times in the past they thought she would not pull through only to rebound and enjoy life some more. this past weekend, that was not to be the case.

visitation was this afternoon/evening. i wanted to go yet must admit i had some reservations. this was the first visitation i would attend since russ died. what i think affected me as much was the memory of my mom's death. in a little over 2 weeks it will be 2 years since she died. today was also bitterly cold, -30+ wind chill. schools were closed due to the cold. this was also the exact weather when my mom died. i remember some relatives and close friends were unable to make her funeral due to the cold weather. i had not been outside all day and the thought of it was not appealing for many reasons.

i drove with bob and 3 other gals from my book club. strength in numbers definitely holds true. we stayed for part of the visitation but i knew i was not ready to stay for the funeral service. i think everyone understood but to be honest, if they didn't, too bad.

when we got home, i decided it was a good night for chili. that also triggered memories. i remembered how my mom always cooked chili in the winter about once a week and how it always tasted so good, especially on cold nights. well, tonight would definitely qualify as a good chili night. i also remembered how last year we only had chili once. as much as russ loved chili, it went right through him, so bob and i decided, it wasn't worth it. well, life changes and goes on whether we want it to or not. and days like this are hard but we also learn how important it is to take those baby steps. i'm proud of myself for making it through the day. one day at a time.....

Friday, January 25, 2008

cold, snow, bitter cold, more snow

this has been a different winter so far. yet when i stop to think about it, it really reminds me of the winters when i was growing up. back then we would get much more snow than we have gotten say the past 10-20 years or so. the same with the cold. we have really been spoiled the past few years, we have avoided that bitter cold we have recently experienced.

traditionally when it gets really cold, single digits or below, it is too cold to snow. the same has been true this year yet we have experienced both. it seems the weather warms up for a day or two, we get the snow and then, it returns to the sub zero weather.

we have already reached close to our season snowfall this year and we are really only 6-8 weeks into true winter in wisconsin. we typically get snow into april and on rare occasions may. moving here from illinois i noticed the biggest difference is that wisconsin has little to no spring. we tend to go right from winter to summer.

where am i going with this thought? i have been reminded a lot lately of what my oldest son matt asked me this past summer. we were sitting around and he asked, "mom, do you think grrr will make it through the winter?" matt didn't as he thought the snow and especially the cold would get the better of him. as i think about the winter we have had thus far, i know matt was right.

russ used to love the season's changing and for the most part winter, cold never seemed to get the better of him. his last 6 months of life he was forever cold. it could have been 80+ degrees out and he would have said he was cold and wanted a sweater on. even last winter, and we had a really mild winter, he was forever cold. it would be nothing for him to wear long underwear, a turtleneck, a wool shirt and then a fleece jacket - inside!

our upstairs stays warm in the winter but our ground level, the family room, and sun room, which became his bedroom and living quarters the last 4 months of his life once he could no longer do stairs, gets pretty chili in the winter. the sun room (his bedroom) has windows from floor to ceiling on 2 sides. it made a wonderful room for russ to be in, in nice weather with the view and all, but it has been pretty darn cold lately when we get our cold snaps.

matt was right, i don't know how he would have survived. as much as i miss him, i know he is warm right now in God's loving arms and enjoying the snow from afar. keep warm everyone! early next week, we may get up to close to 40 degrees. i can guarantee you that people in wisconsin will be wearing shorts!!!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

empty feeling

the boys both went back to school today - the house seems lonely already.

the packers lost - too many missed opportunities, mistakes and not enough offense.

really cold here(below zero) - plus i have 4-7" of snow to look forward to tomorrow.

it was 4 months ago today that russ died......

Friday, January 18, 2008


my meeting went as well as i think i could have hoped for today. the director of the oncology program was very kind, informative and honest. she explained that this new job has been in the works since june as the oncology program has been growing. we seemed to get along well, discussing physicians who we both knew and worked with 20 years ago, and shared ideas and philosophies about managing staff and patient care. i was asked some tough questions but i think i handled and answered them well. she gave me a few indications that she was interested in me and hopes to have something in writing to share with me by the end of the month.

i respected her honesty so even though i will continue to pursue other options i will also hang tight until the end of the month. patience is something that is not always easy to practice but once again it is something i will try to do.

an unexpected highlight happened as we were talking in the open cafe like area. one of my neighbor's walked by and asked me if i worked there. i stated no but i was finding out about some job opportunities. my neighbor looked at who i was meeting with and said, "oh nancy's great, you should hire her!" i hope it didn't look like this was a set-up! LOL.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

things starting to look up?

(another picture taken from our yard with all our snowfall)

i had my telephone interview yesterday. HR called me at 9am and when i hung up my phone said 10min 55sec. HR basically reviewed my resume with me, confirming dates and job responsibilities. After that was completed HR asked me to define my definition of customer service and give an example of how i have given good customer service. pretty quick and harmless. still not sure why it couldn't have been done on monday. oh well......

this morning i e-mailed the nurse who runs the cancer program to see if she could shed more light on this new position that is being developed. she e-mailed me back 5 minutes later and stated she had already contacted HR to set up a time for me to come in to discuss this new position. YEAH!! maybe there is some hope afterall.

i will meet with her on friday morning. hopefully i'll have a better feel after that what the position will be and if it might be a good fit for us both.

2 nights ago i had my book club. it was my turn to host it. i actually had fun getting ready and thinking about what food to serve, etc. one of the gals even commented to me that i was starting to look like my old self again. as much as i hated hearing that maybe i have looked like sh-t the past few months, it was nice to hear a compliment.

on a final note, it's my sister's birthday today. happy birthday sue! i'm sure gene and russ are singing to you today.

Monday, January 14, 2008

frustration with the job search

i had felt really good 2 weeks ago about getting out resumes. it had been a new year's resolution to get out my resume early and get on with my life. there were a handful of jobs i applied for, some of which i felt qualified for, others just seemed might be a nice change to try. the nice thing with nursing is there is so many opportunities out there and so many jobs.

there is even this one job that lately i have felt good about, it would be helping oncology patients. that is what i did many years ago and has always been a passion of mine. my mom's mom died of breast cancer when i was in nursing school and i know that she is what lead me down that path. even with bob's and my business we have always had a few oncology patients so i have been able to keep my hand in oncology.

it has been over 20 years since i have applied for a job though. last thursday someone from HR called for me, unfortunately i wasn't home, and left a message stating he wanted to set up a telephone interview with me. we played phone tag thursday afternoon and friday. he called me this morning stating he wanted to set up a time for this phone interview and asked when i would be available. i asked how long it would take and he said 10 min. he said it was to make sure i was qualified for the position and to answer any questions i might have about it. i said i was available now, or tomorrow morning, etc. he suggested he call back at 9am tomorrow.

i was polite but after i hung up i thought, what the heck?!? why not just do it then? i had the time, and obviously he called me, so he had time. how long was it going to take to see that having more than 20 years of oncology experience i was more than qualified? i just don't get it. IF i qualify after tomorrow, then i will have to go and meet with someone in HR, and then if they like me, i will finally get to talk to someone that i will work with and really get down to the job stuff.

i realize that HR serves a purpose but i also think that there is a lot of layers involved to just make things more difficult than they need to be.

from people i have talked to this is pretty standard for at least health care positions in the milwaukeee area. no wonder there is a nursing and other health care professional shortage! boy was i ever out of touch to think that you could apply for a job and have something a week or two later. with bob and i having our own small business we were able to do that and it seemed to work. if i saw a resume i liked, i called them, talked a bit with them, and then set up a time for them to come in and really see what it would be all about.

at this pace, it could be march before i start working. i had no idea this is what i was up against. to make matters worse, the guy from HR said they are tweaking the job description from what had been posted but when i asked how it might differ, he didn't have the new one in front of him yet. AWWWWWWWWWGH.

guess i'll head back to the want ads and drawing board. as much as this job looked promising, bills will never get paid waiting on it.

on a better note, we have again had snow so we are back to our winter wonderland. AND the packers won on saturday. with the cowboys losing yesterday, the final NFC game will be played in green bay on sunday. Go pack go!!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

tornadoes in january?

2 evenings ago, south eastern wisconsin experienced multiple tornadoes. now if it were spring or summer it would be quite normal but in january? there has only been 1 other tornado reported in january in the state of wisconsin since the national weather service started keeping records in the late 1800's and that was in 1962. it is also not common to see 70 degree weather in wisconsin in january.

fortunately there were no deaths but over 30 homes were leveled around the racine and kenosha counties (just north of the wisconsin/illinois state line and about 30 miles from our house).

we had high winds at our home and what appeared to sound like a severe thunderstorm with the heavy driving rain. i can remember having occasional thunderstorms during winter months and it always feels so weird to hear them in the winter. fortunately no trees or other structures were damaged but our winter wonderland of snow is now gone.

Monday, January 7, 2008

cleaning up and starting over

yesterday, and for the most part saturday as well, was spent putting all my Christmas decorations away. the tree is down, and all the reminders of Christmas 2007 and past Christmases. I always marvel how much bigger and more open my house looks after it is all back the way it normally is. funny thing though, after a few months i don't look at it like that anymore.

now i have more time to dedicate to finding a job. 2 more resume's were sent out last night. now it's just a waiting game to see what will transpire and where i will end up. at least it's given me something to focus on which is good.

the boys are still home for 2 more weeks. the last time they left for school it was the time that russ died, creating a new life for me. this time when they leave i will hopefully be getting ready to start a new phase in my life again. time will tell....

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

happy new year!

2008 is upon us. how glad i am that 2007 (and 2006 for that matter) is behind me. there were many struggles for me in 2007 both with russ and personal so i'm hoping that as lori said, 2008 will be "my year" as well. i not sure it could get much worse.

today i have been updating my resume and applying on line for jobs. i needed to take a few months off after russ died to start to make my way back to the "real" world before i started looking for a job. i know i'm not really back yet but with 2 boys in college and neither bob nor i bringing in a paycheck, 1 of us needs to get back to work.

bob continues to pursue new paths and i continue to fully support him in this quest. we both know he could find a job in a flash (he is a pharmacist by nature) but i hate for him to just take something that he doesn't want because then he will not have the time to continue to network and look. i figure if i get something now, by the time he finds something if i don't like what i'm doing, i can quit and look for something else.

what do i hope for in 2008? joanne posted a few days ago and really got me to thinking. to be honest, i still haven't fully figured it out but here are some thoughts. i hope for a peaceful year, a calm year, a year without the stresses and pressures i have felt for so long. i know that won't always be possible yet i hope for more good times than bad.

i hope for love and understanding as well. this journey that i traveled on at times made me have many negative feelings about myself and others. i want to be able to put all that behind me and start to build on positive relationships as negative ones only bring me down. life is too short and no one is perfect so i need to try to be more tolerant.

i want to laugh more. too many tears were shed this past year, enough to last a long time. laughter soothes the soul so i will try to take life less seriously and laugh. i use to laugh a lot. i know i haven't laughed near enough these past 2 years. and i hope for joy and happiness for not only myself but for all my blogger friends and family.

for those of you still caregiving, i pray and hope for easy days, for i know that the road you are traveling will not get better. cherish those lucid times and remember to take long deep breaths along the way. don't forget the importance of touch with your loved one and tell them you love them. we all know how scared they must be.

for you caregivers no longer caring, i hope 2008 is also a year to find and rediscover yourself. take time if you can for just you. indulge yourself as you never had time to do before. you were all so unselfish with your time, now it's time for you.

i have to have faith and believe that God has a plan for each one of us. i hope both bob and i will find what we are looking for career wise and that both matt and mark will continue to make smart choices as they continue to grow into young men.

God bless us all!