Thursday, July 31, 2008

Minority status as viewed by a nurse

One out of eight women in the USA is a nurse. This includes me. Techinically I fall under the moniker of 'advanced practice nurse', but this is not revelant for now. My current job is in the community. I meet with people in their houses to address their health care needs. To qualify for this type of service, they need to be under some sort of government assistance. As such, they need to be poor. Thus, my patients are mostly minorities.

At the risk of stereotyping, I must say I enjoy the Asian Americans the most. They are very thankful for my visits. They offer tea. They offer cookies. They smile and are very polite. Their houses and persons are clean. They have an acute awareness of the mind body connection. That is to say, what they feel in terms of illness is linked to things unseen. Spirits, old age, ancestors miling about. And what they see as wellness is not always delivered by medications. In fact, they often do not take medications, even when prescribed. This is not a novel concept, lots of patients do not take their meds for various reasons. But the Asian Americans view meds as a foriegn concept.

Which is a complete 180 from the majority of Americans out there. I cannot count the number of young (20-45) year old patients on multiple medications. What I mean by multiple medications is twelve or more. That is not to say that all medications are bad, and the medication regime doesn't make sense for that patient. But fuck. When did we, as prescribers, start to lose our minds?

Wait, I lost my train of thought.

I also enjoy the Hispanic Americans. They also are thankful for my visits. They keep a clean house and person. It is nice to be appreciated. And welcomed. It cuts down on 85 % of the work for me. That it is to say I usually have to spend a large amount of time breaking down barriers. And this is understandable. I am a white woman coming into a ethnic enclave. I am part of a system that is not providing what they expect. I am asking all sort of personal and private questions. Questions they have answered before and yet nothing changes. They still are sick, even with the twelve pills.

I have been a nurse long enough to know that I am not responsible for taking on thier illness and letting them live and breathe inside me. I cannot be in the trenches because I am the provider. I lead them if they are willing. I sit beside them if they are not.

It is a balance I have achieved to avoid the burnout that affects most health care workers out there. This is my life, being a nurse. As much as being Mrs. Hall. It is a long term commitment which I hold dear. And I am not going any where.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mr. & Mrs. Hall talk during dinner

This was the exact conversation I had with Mr. Hall when I got home from swimming with the kids on Sunday.

Scene: A married couple in the kitchen, sitting down, eating homemade Reuben sandwiches.

Mr. Hall: Man, I had to cut out the old shower faucet. All of it. (takes a swig of Mike's Hard lemonade).

Mrs. Hall: Mac had explosive diarrhea right after we got to the pool.

Mr.: It wasn't that I had to just replace the knobs and the spout, I had to cut the entire faucet out.

Mrs.: And you know how he is, all fricking squiggly. I literally had to put my knee to his chest as I changed his swimmy diapers. All naked chubby legs flailing about. (throws up arms to emphasize squiggly-ness)

Mr.: And then they had built up the wall behind the shower with concrete (raises eyebrows and shrugs shoulders while taking another swig) so the knobs I had to install weren't long enough.

Mrs.: And I started yelling at Pancake because she wouldn't help me and I couldn't keep Mac still and his diarrhea was all watery from the pool. It was all over him. And those swimmy diapers don't hold squat so we can basically just toss his red towel. (sticks out tongue in yeach gesture)

Mr.: So I went to store and got some longer handles. I like the white ones better anyway.

Mrs.: And then we took a shower in the ladies room. He does have such cute little naked buns and tiny little penis. So cute. (smiles then makes a grumpy face) The water was like sharp razor needles though. Both kids cried as I scrubbed them.

Mr.: It won't be done till tomorrow. It's turning out to be quite a headache. But the water is back on for you. (belches really loud, manly belch, little Mac imitates him, they exchange smiles)

Mrs.: Yeah, I think I have been so thirsty because I know the water is off. Sooo thirsty. (gets up and gives Mr. Hall a kiss on the cheek)

End scene.

Honestly, you just cannot make this stuff up!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I went to my new work place today. It was surreal. Like David Lynch level of surrealness. But I don’t want to talk about it, yet. But I do want to write, so here is a meme taken from Ajooja’s blog (see link to your right).

What time did you get up this morning? Buttcrack of dawn, we had to drive 1.5 hours to see where my new job will be. The sun was super bright.

What was the last film you saw at the cinema? It has been like six years since I went to the cinema plex. With two kids, there is no movie that could justify the cost of tickets and a babysitter. YEAH NETFLIX!

What is your favorite TV show? A blend of 30 rock and The Office.

What do you usually have for breakfast? Ultraslimfast bar.

What is your favorite sandwich? A specialty sandwhich named, El Rueben de Mrs. Hall

Favorite item of clothing? Sundress and painted toes.

If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Well, pretty much any hotel so that Mr. Hall and I can have crazy monkey sex without the kids around. Doesn’t matter the local, just a CLEAN hotel. We are not fussy.

Where would you retire to? A world traveling cruise ship.

Are you a morning person or a night person? Morning. The kids are not full of stick yet, everybody is cute and fluffy from a night’s rest. The day is full of energy and so am I.

What did you want to be when you were little? A princess. Still do.

How are you today? Overwhelmed, pooped out, but exhilarated all the same.

What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? Pretty much every day really.

What was the last thing you ate? Angel hair pasta in a pesto sauce with roasted veggies, made by me. Very tasty.

Do you wish on stars? Hell yeah.

If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Deep purple.

How is the weather right now? It is nighttime, cool and 70.

Last person you spoke to on the phone? My lovely friend, discussing my plans to move. Very sad, but she is such a cheerleader for me. I will miss her so much. I heart Ms. J.

Hugs or kisses? Hugs with a side of boobie rub.
When was the last time you cried? Yesterday when I was talking about getting this new job. It is like a dream come true. I have worked so hard to get where I am, I can’t help but be all weepy with joy.

What are you afraid of? The usual mom stuff, not seeing my kids grow, my husband not living with me till we can’t control our pee anymore.

How many keys on your key ring? One car key. I like to keep it simple.

Do you make friends easily? Yes. I am a happy, positive person. This attracts people. Creating a true friendship is the hard part.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sex and marriage: observations on the male drive

As I weave my sexuality back together, I can't help but envy Mr. Hall. Or men in general. Apparently, all it takes to become aroused is consciousness. And if they are near the one who reciprocates the love, then it is unbridled, this arousal. This is especially true for Mr. Hall.

There was an incident, about six years ago, when I was about four months preggos. Chubby, but not obviously pregnant. Pregnancy induced horrible cystic acne. Short boy hair cut (don't ask). Still throwing up. Mr. Hall and I had spent the day at a water park. Me being chubby, horrible cystic acne and short boy hair cut. I felt fugly. And when we got home, he began chasing me around. What the hell?, I thought. Can't you see me? What has gotten into you? And he said, "I've been staring at you all day, I just couldn't wait to get home."

That is when I realized---my husband has permanent love goggles on.

Some five years and two kids later, it remains much the same. Saturday was a day of filling sippy cups, braiding hair, mowing lawns, laundry, blah blah blah domestic bliss blah blah. And we fall into bed. And the chasing begins in earnest. What the heck? I think. And I ask, "What was so arousing today? Was it something I wore? " I mean, I do look good these days, what with the 35 lb weight loss. ABut no, none of this was the ticket. Although it does help, he said.

"It was just being around you, sorry it's not more complicated", he said smiling.

My husband is awesome. I need to follow this lead. To be aware of how much he is to me and all the places he excites me. Letting the love flow around me at all times. Not just when I let it. Hee hee.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Where the deer and the antelope play

I am a romantic. I can wax poetic about anything. Really, I can call out the beauty of a ham sand which, polyester or tuft of hair in the shower drain. What is even easier to romanticize is the the place where I am. It is easy to wax poetic about the place where I am now; because I know it will be the place where I've been.

The place I am now is walking the wee Pancake to the grocery store. It is two blocks away from home. She talks endlessly about all things most important to a five year old. What color her favorite flower is, what color her favorite tree is, her shiny new sandals, "Aren't they pretty Mama, can I wear them to school?" And we hold hands and talk about what she wants her birthday cake to be, chocolate or strawberry. It is gorgeous outside. Movie gorgeous. Warm and syrupy. Not quite dusk, but sunset light all the same.

And I get all misty for being able to walk two blocks to the grocery store. All sad because we will be moving to the country soon. And I get all sad, knowing that we have certain things we do here, where we are now. Certain places we go and know exactly what to expect. We know who will be there and what we will order. We know where the good parks are, the one with the best slide and the local house cat who always stops by for a pet. The cat that will lay there and tolerate the most roughest of grabby toddler grabs. And it never bites or hisses, it just reluctantly moves on to the next kid.

Where we are now, will be where we have been. It wasn't our choice to be here in the first place. But we call it home now. But home is a fluid and finite thing. The only permanence is us, the Family Hall.

It is the oddest sensation. It is like having my belly filled with ice chips and my jet pack roaring to life, all at the same time.

More on the jet pack later.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


My daughter, the wee Pancake, said, "Lets do a puzzle and then the Zombie."

The Zombie is the dance we do whilst watching "Thriller" by Michael Jackson. It is a gem of a video. It is earnest and forthright, and a testament to the pre-freak Michael.

Anyway, Mr. Hall was teaching Pancake the delicate Zombie dance moves. Her tiny brother, Mac-N-Cheese, was on my hip. And we all danced the Zombie dance. It was awesome. And a perfect way to start a Saturday morning. God I love my family.

Zombie on!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Five for Friday

There are five songs that currently sum up my current status in life:

1. Wanna be a Rock Star by Nickelback. It is a song of longing for what is not coming to fruition. And while I don't neccessarily want to be a rock star, I want to be my dream job to meteralize. I would also like a "bathroom I can play baseball in." And I do have a certain envy for the Girls next door.

2. Sheep go to Heaven by Cake. It is a song about paying your dues. And it is wearing. But, my heaven job will come. Meanwhile, "As soon as your are born you start dying, so you might as well have a good time." is my favorite line.

3. Old Man on the Back Porch by Presidents of the United States. To have fun Pancake, Mac-n-Cheese and Mr. Hall crank up the mirror ball and rock out to this diddy. And it is fabulous fun indeed.

4. Father of Mine by Everclear. Sort of sad, but not directly applicable to my life. It helps me be so thankful for all that we (the Family Hall) have. 5. I lied, there is only four.

What songs explains your current situation?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Good Yoga is like Good love

The nuts and bolts of my yoga love include losing 35 pounds and getting in touch with things. It is a 5 month journey that included sobbing and touching a lot of places unseen. This was a big surprise to me, since I thought the stuff about chakras was a bunch of hippy bullshit.

The sobbing though, that sucked. I had started yoga to exercise without being a gerbil on a treadmill. The first thing I noticed in the class was the mirrors. Again, I had lost 35 lbs. But I didn't have a full length mirror at my house. So, there I was, suddenly smoking hot.

And for most, this is a plea sent sensation. For me, it was a sound of alarm. It's true what they say, overeating is a sign of eating one's emotions. And now my emotions, my subterfuge, my blanket of fat and carbs was pulled away.

To add lights to my siren was the poses themselves. I practice the bikrahm yoga. The hot sweaty yoga. And I was not prepared for what deep breathing and holding postures does to you. I found myself becoming overcome with this pervasive sense of despair and sadness. It lived and breathed in me. It got bigger with each pose, with each twist. The floor poses almost killed me.

Yet I had nothing to be sad about. Make no mistake, I love my life. I love Mr. Hall Pancake and Mac-n-Cheese are the awesome planets that I orbit. So what the heck? Why the overwhelming urge to sob?

And I did what all over educated women do, read about it. And analyze it. And fight it with words and deep thoughts. But, for the first time in my life, I couldn't talk my way out of a icky situation. I had to let it out. And really, I knew what this was about. Things get trapped if you don't process them. The fester and get uglier as they take residence inside. I work with this every day with my patients. Of course I knew what the fuck was going on.

So I let it out one session. Cried and freaked the heck out. And then I took a long 3 month break.

And I went back this week and worked those poses like a bat out of hell. It felt good to be home.

But man, I am still limping two days later.

Well, I suppose, like good love, good yoga makes you walk funny.


Mrs. Hall

Working with crazies

I read a lot of blogs. Well, a handful really. But I read them loyally. I enjoy peeking into other's lives. It is what I do for a living. I work as a mental health caretaker of sorts. I don't actually want to say my job title, that would be a bad idea. But I work with crazy people. I love the crazies and they love me.

Well, almost. I just graduated and dammit I want to start my real job. I am at this point where I have been training for the real deal and am ready to go. I have gone on interviews and have two offers in front of me. One is full of money and in the sticks. One is an extention of my current job, less money and well, more entanglement.

Despite being married for almost eight years, I am getting restless geographically. I feel the need to move. Even if that means living next to the Amish.

But I don't want my job to be the theme of this blog.

I want to pick a more exciting topic. Like sex with my husband (Mr. Hall) or my kids, my little girl (Pancake) and my toddler boy (Mac-n-cheese).

Plenty of fodder there.

Any requests?

To begin with

This is the beginning of something very neat. This is part of me put out here, on the blogosphere. Hope everyone enjoys.

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