Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Need Help to Save Herman!

No, you don't have to donate anything, or e-mail all your friends (I hate those e-mails). My mother has gone with my step-father on an extended visit/vacation for the summer. Won't be home until September. SHE LEFT ME HER (&*()*^&^ ORCHID! Listen, Lola has a brown thumb peeps! I fought against it, but the orchid came home with me and I have named him, Herman.

Herman's beautiful white blooms have fallen off! I looked on-line and I've only watered him once a week. He's growing a new leaf and its beautiful and green. But is Herman supposed to molt? I mean, should I panic about the blooms falling off? He's in indirect sun and I'm careful not to water him inside the leaves, so he won't rot. HELP!

In the meantime, I ignore Herman for the most part. I've been working. Possible new job, mum is the word. It's a secret! Probably find out this week.

Also been to Texas and back to visit my grandmother for her 97th birthday. Can't remember if I've already blogged about that or not. Anyway, I've also been working in the pottery studio. Pictures below are of a chip bowl and salsa bowl set and my first pitcher (with my first handle).


Sunday, May 20, 2007


Back With a Wimper

Hey y'all! Lola is BACK from vacation!

Well, I was down in Texas for a week to spend time with my grandmother. I was there for mother's day (apologies mom!) and for her 97th birthday. I had a hard time trying to get her to let me wait on HER for a change. Stubborn. But then, she has made it to 97!

The only rough spot on the trip was once I'd gotten back to RDU airport, picked up my luggage and was waiting for my ride (thanks mom!). She was late. Mom doesn't DO late though. Then it got to be later, and later, and later. She didn't answer her cell phone. No biggie, she often forgets and puts it in the trunk with her purse. But it got to be and hour from when my plane landed. I went back inside and looked, walked over to passenger drop-off and looked. Nada.

Folks, I have to say I was getting worried. My mother is not only punctual, but would find a way to call me on my cell phone if she were delayed. I actually called the Highway Patrol and they told me that there had been no fatal accidents that day where next-of-kin had not yet been notified. Relief. But, what if she'd been in an accident on the loop? I called home several times, but my step-father hadn't heard anything either.

It was at that moment that I hear my name being called. There she was waving at me as she walked down the sidewalk. She'd been inside the whole time waiting for me to come out. We'd passed each other a minimum of 3 times and had not seen each other! Ah well, it all ended well.

Then we went out for Japanese food. I had vegetable soba with mixed tempura veggies. Delish! Not all Japanese food is cooked on the table folks.

I'm here, laundry is going, and I'm sleepy. More later. Pictures too.


Monday, May 07, 2007



Hello all! Sorry it's been awhile. Let's see. I've been throwing pottery and am still not very good, but definately improving. Tonight I actually threw a lemon juicer! Pictures will, of course, follow if and when it survives firing.

Also, have been toying with the idea of writing again. It feels right. But I always get overly critical and go back and edit, re-edit, and re-edit after a few chapters and NEVER get done. So, I've also been reading a fan-fic site that a good friend found and while some are good and some are awful, it's good fun. Then it occurs to me - a small fan-fic could be a good way to get back into writing and maybe not "overthink" things.

I'll let you know. By the way, the term "lemons ahead" in fan-fic may mean a sexual scene that is rated M - for mature. The piece I'm writing is not a "lemon", but ya never know!

Love y'all,

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Does Anyone Read Kanji?

A pottery update!

I really enjoyed my handbuilding class. Looooovvvvved it! Then I took a beginning "pottery on the wheel" class and "frustration" became my watchword. So much was going on at work, and rehearsing/performing a show and etc., etc. ... well, I was having problems. And then, every night on pottery class night SOMETHING would come up!

Just this "one thing" that I can't get out of, or the two days I was so sick I considered going to the emergency room, and then the girl threatening me at work who got herself fired and really shook me up .... yep, not making any of those up either. What started as a simple scheduling mishap (hers) actually turned into a shouting match between her and our boss, with me trying to stay out of it all, but then she started pressing in on me, walking into my "space" three times with me backing up (no, I don't "do" fights - especially at work). This caused my supervisor to go to get her boss and this girl jumped in front of the supervisor trying to block the door, it almost looked like a basketball player who was trying to draw a foul. And I think that's what she wanted, if I'd pushed her away from me, or even made contact, if my supervisor had done that as well, things might have turned out differently. Neither of us touched the girl (and there were witnesses) and the BIG boss called us all into his office and listened to all sides and then told the girl that she'd been written up too often and etc., etc., and this was not only the final write-up but cause for termination. Ouch. I hadn't caused it, I hadn't caused it to rise to a shouting or shoving match, but in the end - I was shaking and it was a rotten day.

I actually liked this girl for the most part, and she has a child she's raising as a single adult. I had not thought she would be capable of acting as she did, but none of it was professional and I had felt personally threatened in a small way. So ... I didn't go to pottery class. In fact, I went out and had a nice BIG margarita with a nice BIG cheeseburger and horrible-for-me fries.

Anyway, for the next session, I switched to Monday nights for pottery and I really miss my good friends in the Wednesday class ... however, I am starting to throw things I might actually keep. Pictures will follow if they survive the bisque firing.

In the meantime, I do have a few pictures to share. First of all is a wall hanging that is my name written in the Japanese Kanji. I hope. I really don't know if this is right at all. It's supposed to be "Victory", which is the translation of the meaning of my name ... Nicole (fem. form of Nicholas which is "victory of the people").

If ANYONE can read this, can you tell me if it's right? I'd hate to hang it up and tell everyone it's my name if it's actually means "idiot" or something.

And here is another handbuilt piece where I was playing with negative space and ended up with a Dr. Seuss tree:

And lastly is a piece inspired by the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes". It's a present for my brother since he IS Calvin in our family. That is if I can bear to part from it! Notice the snowman is yelling out.

Later y'all,

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Tears and Cheers for Virginia Tech

I can't say much on this subject, it goes too deep for mere words. My heart and my prayers go out to all those of Virginia Tech.

I really can't blog about this yet, it still makes me cry. But I will say that I am deeply saddened by the losses and deeply touched by the heroes such as Professor Librescu and RA "Stack" as well as several others.

I can not recall the name right now, but there was a teacher slain of international reknown who had been one of those on the leading edge of studying the engineering of how CP (cerebral palsey) muscles/structures/responses worked. Having had a dear, dear Uncle with CP and having friends with children with this condition, this hits very hard at my heart. Those foundations working to cure CP has been my grandmother's favorite charity for ... forever (close since she turns 97 next month) because of her sister's child - my Uncle Gene who played basketball from a wheelchair with my brothers and myself.

It hurts to think of that much potential simply ... gone. Destroyed in a mindless act. Then expand that loss to include all 33 victims (yes, I know that includes the shooter), and the sheer POTENTIAL of all those creative, bright, PEOPLE being lost ...

No. It's better to think of those who rose to the occasion, those known and not known, who in small and big ways are exceeding their potential.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


I have a STALKER

Yep. Now, I'm not belittling the persons out there battling REAL stalkers, but I don't quite know how else to describe what's going on.

For those new to me, I am a COTA/L. That's a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistance / Licensed. I work with the geriatric population in a skilled nursing facility.

That said, there is this patient ... shall we call her Ms. "Susan" (which is SO not her name, for privacy). Well "Susan" is a small little lady who is quite young, only 67. And trust me, with my population, that's very young. She's had a massive stroke in the past, but is pretty functional ... or she would be if she'd try. I won't describe everything, but she's in a wheelchair that she propels herself, but is not walking well at all. She's VERY needy emotionally and tends to "latch" on to people.

"Susan" ... how to put this nicely ... has an issue with, well ... she has to pee often. VERY often. She also is a smoker and is constantly trying to get people to take her outside to smoke. She does have schedules, for bladder continance (which she is continant) and for smoking. The problem is she doesn't like following her schedule and is always looking for people to take her either to the bathroom or out to smoke.

She's currently in therapy, we're working on decreasing her pain in her left arm and shoulder. Well, she figured out (quite quickly I might add) that if she tells me during therapy that she has to pee, well, that I'll take her to the bathroom. My focus is on her during therapy and she gets her needs met (except for the smoking, although she's trying to get me to do that with her too). Welllll ... since I can obviously take her to the bathroom during therapy, then in her mind I logically can take her ANYTIME SHE NEEDS TO GO.

It doesn't matter if I'm treating another patient, doing paperwork, or eating lunch. It doesn't matter if I'm in another patient's room ... she follows me around all day long asking me to take her to either the bathroom or outside to smoke. I've explained 3 million ways that I can not take time away from another patient and that if she needs something she needs to speak with her nurse or nurse's aide. But I am the new flavor of the month and I've been "latched" onto, and now I'm being stalked.

It got so bad in the last few days that she was wheeling down the hall yelling my name at the top of her lungs to find out in which patient's room I was currently working. She even approached the administration to have me PAGED to come take a look at her arm, because it hurts. That's the excuse, when I get there she says "my arm hurts, but I really need to pee".

By the way, if you tell her you can't at that moment help her and refer her to other staff, she starts to cry. Her face is so mobile and pathetic when she cries it really hurts to tell her no, but I know better than to feed into these patterns. The crying never lasts an entire minute by the way, seriously. Very labile moods. Oh, and her family is aware of the situation and is sympathetic. Should I mention that "Susan" cries daily because she hasn't seen her daughter in "so long" and "I want to see her". At this point I do need to mention that her family visits her nearly EVERY DAY. This is not a negligent family. Just yesterday she cried because her daughter wouldn't be there until an hour later. Look, that don't cut it with me. I've got one patient who hasn't seen her child in over 10 years.

The Director of Nursing sat her down and told her in no uncertain way that this behavior could not continue. She was better today. We'll see if it continues, if the pattern holds, I'm told by other staff, she'll get worse again before someone else comes along to get her attention.

Until then, I am the prey and she is the stalker. I always thought that if there ever was a stalker in my life it would be an ex-boyfriend or something. Not an 80 pound woman in a wheelchair hollering "I've got to pee!" down the hall.

Just so you know. I like "Susan". She amuses me as much as she frustrates me at times. And she can be quite funny and sweet as well as annoying!

Later y'all,

Monday, February 05, 2007


Prescription for Happyness

I know it's been awhile since my last post, and I apologize.

Let's see ... went to see THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, and while I love the true life story (and am wanting to read the book) the movie was paced to slowly for me. It was nice, but ... nice.

My friend Mary had visitors this last weekend. From KNITTY! Trillian42 and her hubby came to visit and to see theatre in Raleigh. I was lucky enough to meet them and have dinner and get all aquainted in person. I have to say, they're lovely and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening. And Pam, Chris ... I don't ALWAYS talk that much ... just usually!

Well, my cough is almost gone. After two weeks it should be completely gone, but oh well. Unfortunatly, my ears are HURTING. I feel like I'm living in a well and am hearing everything through cotton. Loud noises HURT too. Finally had enough of over the counter medications and spent two hours in the Urgent Care today since my doctor has "no openings" for a month. Too bad you can't see your doc when you're sick. Although, I'm not really sick ... no fever or anything. Just pain and pressure.

So, I get a prescription to help the pressure. A pain reliever is recommended. Antibiotics are not called for at this time. All is good so far ... than it gets soooo much BETTER. Why? The doc said that sometimes drinking from a straw helps relieve some of the pressure. He then said, "why don't you get a milk shake from Chik Fil-A?". A pause. Then I said, "really?". He said yes and I smiled so big.

Medical permission to break my diet. How cool is that??????????? Not as cool as that delicious cookies and cream milk shake was this afternoon. When the pain came back I thought about another one, but I didn't want to form a dependent habit. So I'll wait til at least tomorrow .... :)

Lola is hurting but happy

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