Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Day

I had Chinese food, of course. The family went to a movie, and I went to work.
My Fortune Cookie told me:
Follow the fire-breathing chicken, except on Tuesdays.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I'm Sorry

To my coworkers: You know how I kept insisting, all day, that what I had was an allergic/asthma thing? How I touched the phone, the mouse, and the keyboard? Well, I was wrong. You were right. I have a temp, an attitude problem, and green snot. I also have asthma, but there do seem to be microbes. (I'm sure that the attitude problem is caused by microbes. Really. Don't stand close enough to bug me or you'll really catch it.)

I went to the yarn store on the way home, and spent , um a lot of money. So much for the knit from the stash thing that's going around the blogsphere. But, if sock yarn doesn't count, than maybe laceweight really doesn't count. I which case, forget I said anything.

I am hiding in my bed. My son is playing computer games on, and I have captured the last box of Kleenex. Send in orange juice.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Take My Husband, Please

It is the first night of Hannukah, and we are having latkes. I also, for the first time, wrapped all the kids presents and put them on the buffet. They will pick one each night- some are big ( a camera) some are small (a box of fresh colored pencils and an art paper pad). My darling, sweet husband, who yesterday made latkes for sixty people at the preschool party ( I of course, was at work. It is a rule- it does not matter how few days a week I go down to- I'm currently at three, I will be working the day of the play, party, school, picnic, field trip, or performance. Always happens. Nurses have to ask for their days off months in advance, and school seem to mention these things at most, a month in advance. Sometimes a week in advance.) my husband is makinf latkes again tonight. So I tell him- pick up some applesauce. No, he says, it's in the refrigerator. No, I say, we are out. How? he queries I would know if anyone ate applesauce. Well, said I what if I commando crawled down to the kitchen in the dead of night, ae it, and recycled the jar? Hmmm? What if I stood RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU and ATE it? We were out of applesauce.

Then, the man goes and gives me ballroom dance lessons for Hannukah. Well, gues that just makes the apple suace thing look petty.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Smug Soup

Spent a domesticated day cooking and knitting. As of 9:15 PM both children have a new pair of slippers (three strands of worsted wool). That's three balls down from the stash and four warm feet. Nice score. Then late this afternoon I delivered some lasagnas and some jars of soup. As I attempted to keep control of my ego from all these charitable activities, it occurred to me that taking food to people who are sick, with sick family members, or funerals to plan is one of the few morally unambiguous acts that one can perform.

I remember hearing in an anthropology class that a healed fracture of a long bone, e.g. humerus or femur, is the sign that a group of people had become a civilization. A broken long bone takes months to recover from and without orthopedic intervention, it seems to me that a person would never really recover their prowess at hunting or gathering. Someone had to feed them. It's a basic of human life, feed hurt people, feed hungry people. Pop own head with pin so fits through doorway. Remember: you might be the next one in need of a large foil pan of lasagna. Or chicken soup. Whatever.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Stash Busting

So, while I was rooting in my closet, like a truffle pig, looking for a grey ball of Red Heart Symphony that I clearly remember buying las t year, it occurred to me to write of my stash. The closet has lesser stash, the stuff I would be most likely to give to a New but Sincere Knitter, or to make a washable hat out of. Or something. Although, there's four balls of something variegated that I got from some European vendor that are still waiting for instructions from the muse. I should take those out of Lesser Stash and move them into Prime Stash.

Prime Stash is the Twelve Tubs. Somehow, 12 seems like the right number of tubs of yarn to have. Thirteen makes me edgy, which is why the emphasis on stash slimming, as the super bulky stored in the armoire seems to have become part of my consciousness lately. Ahem. One may wonder where I keep my clothes. Well, that is challenging. I hang things in the closet, of course, and there are dresser drawers, of course, but the Lesser Stash has been gaining altitude lately.

So, logically, I decided to begin by using up super bulky. When White Buffalo Unspun went on sale at Elann three years ago, I was sized with panic that I would never make a Cowichan Sweater if I didn't buy, uhm, a lot. Priscilla Gibson Roberts excellent book was still out of print at that time, so I was stalled in my knitting efforts, and uhm, well, it never goes below freezing where I live. I mean, we also don't have central heat, so we do suffer, some, but only in that character building way that causes the children to sneak over to the heater and turn it UP and then I march over and turn it DOWN, and this goes on until we blow a fuse, and then Mr. Wooly has to find the fuse, and then usually go out and check the breaker box, because, yes, the fuse box is functional, but it has two breakers of it's own. Electricity is an afterthought in this house. In fact, after we bought it and were having the foundation replaced, and then the inspector wouldn't sign off until we updated the electrical service- after that, and before he replaced things, the electrician brought a large field trip of apprentices, because it had been YEARS since he had seen a house that was completely knob and tube. Kind of exciting, really, to see the little sparks kind of leap down the wires. SO, back to heat, and why we don't really have any. And Cowichan sweaters, and why we really don't need any, because 362 days of the year they would cause heat stroke and require my loved ones to require IV hydration.

So, how to get rid of it? The Mason Dixson knitters had the idea- a blanket. I had just been to see the Quilts of Gee's bend, and between the Pettigrews and the M-D knitting books, I was on my way to a log cabin knitted blanket. It has been an excellent project, so far, but less than portable. The only bag I could fit it in, when I was trying to spiff up the house and free up some seating for Thanksgiving guests, was a giant trash bag. A clear one, of course, because my family is trained that wool in clear bags is not trash. So, I am steaming along on that. It will be a fine heavy blanket, and it should intimidate decesndents for years to come.

Of course, one log cabin is never enough, and I got distracted in the middle and made a quilt in the courthouse steps variation, and then I got all the balls of hand dyed worsted to gather and started a rainbow blanket log cabin style, out of those. That can now just barely bee stuffed into my biggest tote bag.

Then, a relative of the grateful variety fell ill, and so I spent the last three days speed knitting her a shawl. It took on ball of Red heart Symphony, and about twenty yards of a second ball. Sooooo if I could find the grey ball I bought last year, I could use up both of those, and then give that shawl away, or keep it in case of Sudden Shawl Emergency. ( Was it A A Milne who pioneered the art of capitalizing to make things look Important? If so, it may be a greater contribution to my happiness and amusement that Winnie The Pooh himself.) Which led me to the Lesser Stash, which made me see the Encore worsted, which made me think of a round blanket, made in wedges, like a beach ball. Wouldn't that be fun?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Wrong Side of the Bed

no, I didn't get up on the wrong side of the bed- I was a healthcare consume rather than provider. Everything's fine, now, and we got great care, but damn, what a weird few days. It was in the hospital that I work in, too, so I saw so many people doing double takes . Oh you- what are YOU doing here? Sort of a constant refrain.

For no particular reason, here is a picture of a small wet dog.

I finished a pair of socks while in the hospital, and I cannot show you a picture because I have already worn them and the yellow heels show too much dirt. After I wash them. Started another pair- remind me to NEVER take the sock in progress out of my purse, as its presence was the only thing that kept me from loosing my mind. Kept my nose out of the chart, and that was damn difficult.

Started a sweater out of Big Kureyon. If it gets past the edging stage, I'll take a picture.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Happiness, brought to you by the letter M.

This is Mr. Nurseknits guest blogging. These two images are creating smiles around here in the spontaneous and giggly way. I love that one word (that at first he claimed he just made up and didn't know what it meant) doomed Senator Allen and threw the Senate to the Democrats. (Of course, it still couldn't have happened had he not been a lousy senator, an unrepentant racist, and facing a Democratic wave, but it was the start.) The wife loves to say Madame Speaker and just grins and then she adds, "First. Woman. Speaker." (Actually, there might be exclamation points instead of periods there.) Mmm, Mmm, good.

Friday, October 27, 2006


It is almost Halloween. I love Halloween. I love people who love Halloween, even when they love the scary stuff and not the cute stuff. It is the holiday that has no stress. There is no dinner to cook, no service to attend, no relatives to see. The decorating is not strenuous, but you can go over the top if you feel like it. Pumkin carving is a magic, paganesque thing to do, and I looove to carve pumpkins. The kids eat pizza for supper and junk and candy, and get to be whatever they wand. I have extra alien eyeballs to wear, and I am looking forward to a fun time by all. Oh yeah. Let the mini candy bar eating begin.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Not On the Team

It has been brought to my attention for, oh say, my entire life, that I am not a team player. I have, of course, learned to disguse this much better since the time in fourth grade when I protested my assignment to a group project with the words "but he's stupid and she's mean!!!!" I'm saying here, that no one ever talked to me anyway, because I came from our subdivision's Official Weird Family, but I'm also saying that I was a less than graciouse dork. ( Note on a subdivision: you either understand this as a housing entity or you don't. For those who wish to try and understand, even slightly, the anti- human design a "sub" is, let me describe. It is, first and foremost, a large street that feeds onto a usefull street, a street that goes somewhere. This large street, which is NOT called Main St, or This Way Out St., or anything at all useful, is the only way in or out of the sub. Branching from the access road, like the auxillary blood vessels that frequently swarm around tumors, are the rest of the sub's streets. These streets also go nowhere. They twist and turn, are emphatically not grid like, and have nothing in them but houses. Poignantly, they are sometimes named for the type of plant life that was scraped off the site by the builders, but you will see no Birches, Oaks, or Maples on the streets that bear their names. There are no stores in a sub. There are no office buildings, no pizza joints, no liquor stores, no drug stores, no nothing. In the area I grew up, there was an elementary school in each sub, and a junior high school shared by four subs, and a high school shared by twelve subs. The elementary schools were built on an identical floor plan, so that if you ever happened to find yourself in a different school, say for a cousin's school play, you knew instantly where everything was. The houses also displayed the same regularity. We had your colonial, your ranch, and you split level, and that was it. No one ever had to ask where the bathroom was in someone elses house. Ok, enough about the sub, but let's just say that as members of a different faith, the first "broken home", and college educated mom, we were different. Different is bad, dude.)

Ok, so more about me. Today at work there was a code. This happens at hospitals- they are full of sick people, and sick people sometimes give on things like breathing and need to be nudged back. So, I'm in the bathroom, and I hear a code called to the floor that I am on. SOmething odd happens. I do not skip wiping, rip my pants up and run like hell to the room. I do not push the cart. I do not grab an ambu bag. I am not on the team. I wash my hands, and think, wow, I'm not an ICU nurse anymore. Don't get me wrong, there were stacks of people there, all doing the stuff you're supposed to do. They didn't need me. I wasn't the PICU nurse anymore, shoving to the head of the bed untill someone better than me got there to bag. I did not place my standard code IV ( the saphonous vein- top of the foot. Usually unsullied and cradled nicely betweet the metatarsales- you don't even have to see it. You can use the force.) It was really, really weird. At some point, I went around and checked on some of the other patients, and then they needed another central line tray but the person they asked didn't know what that was , so I got one and took it in, and then I wandered back to my office to go remind myself why I had been on that floor in the first place. Right- a diabetic was waiting to learn the mysteries of the glucometer. I had a diet coke, went back up, and did my spiel. For someone who's not so into being a team player, it was weird that I felt so left out and lost.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ugly Babies

We've all seen em. Some just garden variety ugly, some syndromic, some true craniofacial disordered. But what to say? I think my favorite is "oh he's so alert!" or to comment on whatever cute toy is tucked into the stroller. But my go to pharse "what big brown/blue/green eyes he has!" was blown out of the water today by a mom who casually replied "yeah, they're fake, but they fool everyone. Totally worth the two grand co-pay."

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Diabetes, with sugar on top

Ok, so how do I tell the dudes that ignoring your diabetes can cause erectile dysfunction? I'm thinking, well, people who are sanguine about their big toe being chopped off are hard to motivate. Not so, says the husband unit. It's all about the blood flow. So, if I can find a way to discuss this in an individual setting -( In a class, I'd be fine. No one is going to accuse me or misunderstand me in a class setting. I hope.)- if I could find a way to, uhm, bring it up to them, I could perhaps improve their insulin compliance. But no one in my department does, so I don't have anyone to learn how from.

Complicating this is the low literacy/ low vision of these clients. In general they can't or won't read, so I'm dragging the vcr around the hospital as it is. If they were readers, well, there could be a hand out. Or I could send them to the ADA website. But if they were readers, they probably would be compliant diabetics, and I don't get those clients. (Now there's a dream job: compliant diabetics. They'd stroll in, display their fully filled out blood sugar diaries, trade recipes with me for low fat, low sodium,tasty stuff, you know. Then we'd discuss the best way to work in daily exercise, and then they'd stroll back out, their blood sugar better than mine. I don't think compliant diabetics have a clinic, sadly.)

So, here's the question, if they don't care, why should I?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mail Call!

Wonderful stuff in the mail from Beaverslide Drygoods. I only ordered one of each thing, to see if I liked it. I like it! Quilt bat is the big white thing. Really nice wool. I thought a quilt bat would be junk wool, but I was wrong. I could spin it, it's so nice. That's only $12US of roving, wich is wicked cheap. Much happiness. Son Two is cute, yes? He looks like his mom.

Monday, September 25, 2006


I am sitting here forcing my son to do homework. Is it pleasant? It is not. The sun is slanting in in a hide and seek kind of way, the street lights will be on soon. And WE have not been able to go out and play. Yes, we. I want to go out. I want to pick flowers out of the garden and kill crabgrass. ( I took the lawn out years ago- there are still places where the crabgrass comes up. ) I want to talk to another adult who- unlike my patients or my coworkers- doe not want me to do something for them right now. I want my kid to develope the work ethic that has served me so well over the years- do the worst first, and then knock out the rest, then do whatever the hell you want.

Following my own ethic, the first patient I saw today 1) spkoe another language, 2)had a major medical issue that I was supposed to teach her how to manage, and 3) had a psychiatric illness. The MDs keep refering her to be taught, because she clearly does not know how to manage her illness. Problem is, she has been taught by every member of our department, and she can't learn. She lives with her little tiny old mom, she of the poor vision, the poor hearing, and the poor motor skills. Mom is supposed to make this lady straighten up and fly right, except mom- get this- is still working. I have no idea why, but I imagine that it is to make money to pay bills, as the daughter has no income. That's the only reason I would be working at age seventy. So, she is not home at lunch to give medicine, the patient can't take medicine, and the MD's refuse to put her on what they term a "less elegant regime". Well, hell yeah. What's less elegant than being disabled, non English speaking, and sick? What's less elegant than being so psychatrically disabled that you can't get it together enough to get on SSI? What is less elegant than having been saved in the ICU and being released into the world certain to end up in the ICU again? THere is no real inpatient psych anymore. We just dump them on their relatives or the street.

My son has still not done his math. What on earth am I going to do with him. Hopefully, one day if he's hopelessly mentally ill and homeless, I won't look back and realize that it was becuase I couldn't make him do arithmatic.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Vermillion and Aztec Gold

Or so says the Jaquard bottles. The roving is something that spins nicely but is really drab as a yarn, so I dunked.

Today is the last year of the Jewish year- tonight at sundown the new year begins. ( I cleaned house in a really quick, Flylady kind of way.) Last week I met the first person in the history of my life who seemed to feel that Hitler was not all bad. I mean, I know they exist, I read the newspapers. But I never knew that there were nurses who felt that ( wrong headed) way. Rocked me pretty bad, especially as it is someone I see at work. For the record, she knits and sews.

SO, I contented myself today with my house, a visiting friend, my beautiful back yard, yarn, and color. Tommorow I will spend most of the day alternating between praying and keeping my kids from being the loudest kids in the congregation The syagog has hired private security to keep bad guys out.

Monday, September 18, 2006

OK, I left

And I didn't like it. I missed the blog, I missed the message in a bottle feeling I get whenever I post. SOmewhere, out there, there have got to be other people with the didning room overwhelmed with fabric, the bedroom buried in yarn, and the garage filled with dye. I keep hoping for some sign that the mothership is coming back for me, but instead I must search this globe for others of my kind.

This is a quilt made by my great grandmother. When I suggested to my mom that perhaps she and her sister would like one of the less damaged blocks, framed with the history of the quilt on the back, she said, and I quote "why on earth would you want to frame a rag?" Uhm I don't know. So, it remains mine all mine, but I'm not sure what to do with it.

We built a tree house. Technically, a tall house next to the tree, since no one else in the 80 some years this backyard has exsisted thought to plant a tree in it, and thus the tree, a Santa Rosa plum, is only 4 years old.

Well, the bottle is cast out.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Blog Vacation

I will be taking the month of August off, off blogging, not off work. Thrilling accounts of playing with string , fabric, and healthcare will resume in Sept.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Doing the Rachael! I copied the pattern from a blouse I loved , but had worn to death. I should do a close up of the buttons, because I stacked the wee red vintage ones on top of larger pale green- Coke bottle green- buttons. The fabric was already embroidered.

It was really difficult to work with black. I've never had good vision, but this was tough. Maybe age. Time to get new specs, I guess.

Yes, the picture shows my large self. I'm going to try and live with that. It's actually very flattering, in person, but nothing is flattering enough to make me look skinny.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A very odd day

Weird day. Had one little old person I had to teach ho to self inject, and she was brilliant. Understood soap, water, handwashing, not an issue, lets keep it clean, how do I dispose of the needles, thatnk you very much. She had been described to me as frail, difficult, hard of hearing , and not well educated. Well. So much for report.

Second was a small business owner who needed the same teaching. College educated, young ( that would be MY age), laptop at the bedside kind of person. Got angry when I mentioned that soap was an important part of washing ones hand, that licking ones fingers pretty much negated the effect of washing hands, and that yes, you have to wipe the spot on your skin with alcohol. "How about hand lotion?" "Uhm, what?" "Hand lotion. Alcohol is very drying, everyone knows that, and I don't like the smell. Hand lotion is much more soothing." Well, it's to kill any germs on the skin's surface before you PUNCTURE it with a NEEDLE and inject your medication. "Germs", I was informed, "don't run in her family." I knew I should have finished that MS, because golly, I did not know that .

On handwashing I had this odd conversation with another nurse about handwashing in disgusting bathrooms. Worse, or better that skipping and using Purell or washing outside the bathroom, at a nice sink that is pedal or sensor operated, thus protecting mine cuticles from contamination of the last person who inexpertly washed their hands and then touched the taps. This other nurse has rocking hand hygein, and I would let her do a sterile dressing change on my very own body, any time. We figured it was a draw, but neither of us ever wants to be seen NOT washing our hands in the bathroom. We both wash in the bathroom, and then at the very next sink, to get the bathroom sink cooties off.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Who's Got the Power?

So, me and 2,000 or so of my nurse friends went to Oakland today. These things always charge me up- at work, I deal with nurses who won't even fight for their own overtime and here I get to hang with folks who will actually carry a sign and chant themselves hoarse. More details on the CNA site.

Note: A previous version of this post had another picture. I was contacted and asked to remove it so I give you Martha Kuhl, CNA treasurer, addressing the crowd instead. Note the poster to her left. We all got cool t-shirt versions of that.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Change, and Me

I read back to how devastated I was when I started my new job. I felt stupid, lost, confused, and inexpert. Ithought I hated the job. I think I hated the feelings I was having. As they say on Wayne's World, "We fear change." I don't know if enough practice would make me any better at it- any more that falling off a cliff more often would make me a better cliff drop survivor, so I'm not sure how to do that. The job itself is pleasant. I haven't figured out how to tell stories about it and still keep patient confidentiality. Not enough story backlog to blend details.

I was watching my Big Son at karate today, and I realized that a month of being in the dojo has desensitizing me to people yelling. They yell all the time in karate; really, really, loud. If the kids aren't loud enough, they give pointers on how to yell louder. He's pretty chuffed about his yelling abilities. I was completely unnerved by yelling, prior to this. Even yelling that was not directed at me, was not even in my language, was not even really near by. Now, not such a big deal.

Annie the little dog is lying on the bottom shelf of the book case, her little body fitting there neatly. Very cute, but if I get up to get the camera, all dogs will follow me down to the kitchen in hope of biscuts, and that would be the end of the cuteness.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Settling In

The new job? The one that was causing me despair? I'm better now, thanks for asking. The hard part about it- being all over the hospital, working with all departments, discharge planners, home health, hospice, out patient services- pretty much everything the hospital has to offer- the hard part is I have to see where the hospital fails its people. Its patient people and its worker people. I hear every weird story there is to tell, and some of them are true. I see overworked people frantically trying to shift some of their overload to me, and I ain't taking it. I see department clashing over which is whose and whose is whats.

But, I also see where people work together, even when none of us know exactly how to solve the problem. Little groups of nurses and doctors and family and patients, all trying to figure out how we do something we've never done, how to fix problems we've never heard of before, how to make sick people well and hurt people better. So, yeah it's ok.

Knitting: I'm making this.

Sewing- I'm obsessed. I'm taking a class next month, and I have now got a new way to spend money and get goods inefficiently. ( You know, like knitting socks. Why just buy socks when you can spend thirty hours a pair knitting them?)

My little son keeps telling me he's not going to ever grow up. I keep having violent stabs of fear that this means he will die young. It happens, you know, all the time, for no reason. I just don't want it to happen to him. I think it means that he likes being who he is, and that he lives totally in the present, as he should. But I don't think that I will ever be un-broken after my time as a pediatric nurse, especially a PICU nurse.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hey hey

It's summer vay-cay. Yep the big son is out for the summer. Of course, the little son just started four day a week preschool, but still, it's summer. Well, no I don't get any vacation time this summer, because I am still fairly low senority, and we can't really go any where, because my smart husband is still sort of mostly unemployed. But summer, none the less. Perhaps the weather will cooperate. I am off tommorow, and Saturday, and Sunday. I own giant heaps of yarn and fabric, I have two charming children, a brace of dogs, and I live in a lovely town near the actual Pacific Ocean. If I had been told, during my long boring suburban child hood, where I live within walking distance to NOTHING, not a payphone, not a pretty view, NOTHING that I would grow up to live within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean, I would have not believed you. I like it here, yes I do.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The towel bar fell off,

And so , of course, I am repainting the bathroom. The usual insanity- if I have to spackel, I have to paint, and if I have to paint, I have to match the paint, and if I have to match the paint, I have to go to the groovy paint store that matches colors by computer, and if I have to go to the groovy paint store, I have to walk by the paint color display, and voila two gallons of new colors. Every thing in the bathroom and pantry, which is what we call the odd little room at the bottom of the kitchen stairs, the almost room that you walk through to either go left,into the bathroom, or right, into the family room, every thing is pulled out and newspapers are everywhere.

After much deliberation, I chose an intense robins egg blue. You shall have pictures tomorrow. The other color is a shiny white. There is a lot of woodwork and cabinets in the pantry, and I may have to add another color, just to keep the blue green from being overwhelming.

Adding another color is my usual solution, be it knitting, quilting, dyeing, and now, painting. Color is good.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Worst thing to do on a hot day:

Assemble the fan. The one I bought last year, on sale, for six bucks. Should have bought ten of them at that price, but there you are. Now it is assembled and blowing directly on my head, and It is possible that I will not burst into flame. But I might. All the little screws anf things seemed so complicated when I didn't have anything cooling me off now seem trivial and simple.

The all batik log cabin is coming nicely, yes?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Clue Fairy

Today on the elevator at work in my Major Medical Center, I overheard the chief of All talking with the Director of Everything. We had a power outage in our parts last night, and many of us were battery powered for a few hours. I live in the part of the world known for earthquakes, and I have a semi organized plan of how to deal with earthquake aftermath, presuming I am alive and in need of warm clothes, small bills, bottled water, or non perishable food. Most people have something together here- if not the official Earth Quake Kit, some awareness of where the bottled water is or whatever.

The royals are discussing the outage and how they fared and bemoaning that they had no batteries, water, or radio to tell them what happened. Yes, they felt fear. Yes, they were woefully unprepared. So, the two of them, in this discussion ( we have very slow elevators), were both planning on being more prepared for these thing. Were they :

A) planning on stopping by the grocery on the way home to pick up some water, some batteries, and some granola bars, thus having at least one days needs provided for?
B) planning on buying an official, over priced emergency kit, such as is sold almost everywhere around here?
C) planning on sending a designee to a class to learn more about disaster preparedness?

Yeah. C. They both were sending someone else to a CLASS on how to buy granola bars and water.

No wonder you have to form a study committee to get the trash emptied.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Fleece Washing Season

For lo, the rains have left , and fleece washing season has come to the land. I am in a spinning rut. However, this is the only unwashed fleece left hanging around, from Lambtown last year. I thing it's, uhm, I forget. Corridale? Any ways, I snipped off all the tips, because they were hard to wash in the first batch, and I didn't like the color after all that effort. Thus, tip clipping.

Spinning. Well. I suck at it. This may be related to the fact that I have spent not more than a few hours at the wheel the entire winter. Some spinster I am. I am planning on luring- er- inviting the lovely E over to tutor me, perhaps with some perfectly washed locks of whatever it is. Really, I am lucky to live near her, because if there were a fleece shortage I could mooch off her monumental stash for the rest of my natural life.

Actually, calling a room full of carefully stored fleece a stash is putting it mildly. More like a horde. But, I am diverting attention from the lack of my spinning progress by hinting at that of others. So, to spinning.

I think that a big part of the problem is that after I have washed and drum carded, I am too attached to the fiber to subject it to my sucky spinning. Likewise, the lovely roving I have purchased is all being saved for some special project for when my spinning does not suck. Double that if I have hand painted it and it came out pretty. The chances for a beginning dyer to make a roving that will spin pretty, and then knit pretty, well, it's pretty slim. I hate to have my pretty roving made ugly. I have heard that good fiber is really better to learn to spin on, but hey, it's my horde, yes?

Work: well, the two nurses in my old unit who I liked who are still hanging into the PICU have started smoking. One of them is a lapsed smoker, but the other is smoking FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HER LIFE. The rest of them are as (expletive deleted) as ever. My new job has me ranging free and wild through out the hospital, and in three short weeks I will no longer have a keeper, I mean preceptor, and then the fun will begin.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

UFO Rolecall

As in UnFinished Objects. Lambchop has a reason to look alarmed. There are six half finished socks. Four started sweaters. Four scarves, two fluffy, two warm. Something that I think was meant to be felted. Six or seven flowers that needed the ends sewn in. A poorly conceived icord and bead thing. The dresser, in the background, has some suspicious yarn things on it, but this all came from the table I use as my nightstand. Yes, just one spot. See? You feel better about your housekeeping already, don't you?

Now, I know why I stopped on the sweaters- they got boring, or something went wrong, or some other sweater waggled it's fibers at me. I even remember throwing over each and every one. But the socks: there are questions. Socks are meant to be boring. That's why I knit them- round after round after round. A little mild excitement at toe and heel time, but soothing and repetitive. There is always a sock in progress in my purse. So, why? Why did I stop? When did one ziploc bag of sock yarn and size zeroes become more enticing than another? When did I buy so many sets of zeros? (losse knitter- have to size down.) I have no idea, but I plan to make amends and rekindle our fires. Women and Koigu first.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

I wish it were better

But it's not. Second day, same as the first. I find it tedious beyond measure. The hardest part is that these nurses really find themselves busy. The pace is a whole different thing that the unit, which I knew, but didn't really know. I feel like I can hear the second hand ticking, very slowly, the whole damn day. I have never had two eight hour days last so long in my life before. The worst part is that they really don't want me to do the teaching for pediatrics. I guess I should have realized.

As usually, I am also full of good ideas (snort) of how I will do better at this, and it makes me have to stand on my own tongue for a good part of the day. As with all nursing jobs, it will be better when I am cut loose from my preceptors and don't have to worry about what they think. But it's a long slow day, and it will be a long slow six months before I can get a different job.

Quilts: I am reading this .book.
I love it, and think that you should love it, too.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Alrighty, Then

Hey blog land! My new job sucks, but in new, different, less exciting ways! Yeah! Relentlessly cheerful to the end! Six months, and then I can bid on a new, exciting, sucky job! Yeah! But seriously, folks, I knit ten rounds on my sock today, and that's nine more than my last job usually afforded! Exclamation! Go Team! Go, Me! Yeah, Sole Breadwinner!

And now for something that is not bullshit:

In Harlot Fashion , stuck it on a bush and took a photo. Don't know who it's for. Practice on working outside my comfort zone, color wise, and also a wee bit of machine quilting.

Monday, May 01, 2006

About Time

I Think I started these at Christmas? The Turkish inspired socks ( check out Anna Zilborg's
serious fun, but lots of ends. I just tied them off, as is more traditional. Yeah, I'm real worried about the tradition, here. They are fraternal socks, and that's how we like it around here.

Had my last day at the old job. I'm no longer a pediatric critical care nurse. (But the PTSD should last forever.) Guess I'll have to edit the blog. Strange, because I have always been a pediatric nurse. They hired me because of my experience as a pedi nurse, so I will still have that connection. If it works out, it will be a nice job. If it doesn't work out, then I will be changing jobs Q year, until satisfied.

Here's an odd note: the dictionary provided by blogger does not recognize the word "blog".

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Made for Each Other

My nerd score was:

I am nerdier than 83% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Couldn't beat my partner who was proclaimed "Supreme Nerd" in the same test, but pretty nerdy nonetheless.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

more fishy happiness

Fishy Quilt! Raw edge applique, machine embroidery, total happiness. Will most likely end up being for my bed.

Two more weeks of working in hell, then something new. Just found out that my preceptor (trainer, in nurse speak) knits. Oh, joy. Perhaps I will work with fangless co-workers.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A Nice Day's Work

Nothing like a baby sweater to make me feel productive. Two balls of dk something, and some white for i cord and ribbing. I'll buy buttons when I know who I'm giving it to, as there are no babies on the horizion, at the moment. It actually took three days, but two of those I had actual work to show up at, and so it would take , I think, about one happy day on the couch to complete. I think this is my new favorite baby sweater- I am going to make a whack of these out of all the random baby yarn I seem to buy. I guess I could make these out of wool, too, for afghans for Afghans. I think they would look nice, all stripey.

Speaking of work, my boss quit. I feel like I'm escaping a shipwreck. Only two more weeks before I change departments.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Isn't my partener sweet? All those nice things to say. Got me a new spindle, from the Bosworths, made out of a moose antler. (Excellent visual of me spinning on a whole antler.) Just made from part of the antler, I mean. I like it. I'm trying to spin at least a tiny bit every day. I have a three day streak going. Photos tommorow.- wait there's a photo on the website. Scroll down.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Guest blogging

Guest Blogger: Woolywoman's partner

Ten random things:

1. Woolywoman and I have a pinky pact that we will not gain weight. This pinky pact has been in effect for over 10 years in which time we have collectively added 70 pounds. I still madly desire her. I don't know how she stands my lard a**.

2. You need to take your mittens off before you pee. Obvious to most, but must be pointed out to someone under five years old.

3. Don't make fun of comic strip characters who spend a small fortune on vet care (Kitty the cat was saved!) until you face a similar dilemma.

4. Thinking about a problem by framing it in terms of, "If I were single, I would do ..." doesn't help one little bit because you aren't single and you're unlikely to be until one of you dies.

5. Almost anything can be fun to read to your partner. We have had fun reading the phone book (I never knew there were so many different types of Christians), the rose catalog, and the molecule of the month. (Check out how that hemoglobin folds ... ooh, la la.) More conventionally, we have read Travels with Charlie to each other twice.

6. Expensive jewelry is the only appropriate gift to accompany your partner's giving birth.

7. The Ritz Carlton in Chicago can make you feel special and the Ritz in Atlanta can makes you feel like you don't belong there.

8. Mouth feel is real and you can be trained to pay attention to it even if you had no idea what it was before it was pointed out to you.

9. Ditto the importance of presentation for food.

10. It can be hard to come up with ten random things, but fun. One last thing is you either get the brilliance of snakes on a plane or you don't. I do. Woollywoman doesn't.

This has been a post of the emergency guest blogger network. Please stay tuned and we will resume regular programming shortly.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Must Have More Pond

Thanks to all of you who commented or emailed- I appreciate the support. I'm changing jobs, going to a lower stress position. I'll be teaching people who are going home and need to know how to deal with whatever medical gizmo we've stuck to them. Even when people are going home to die, that's much better than staying in hospital to die.

The hardest thing I have done is stand by people when they learn that their child is going to die. Eventually, most people find some way of dealing with the ultimate loss- that of their child. We humans are not meant to outlive our children. Though the bad things happen whether I am there or not, I have just been there too many times, and I need a break. Caring for people who are going home; either to die or to get well, will be a nice change. I have been looking at the same plastic plant for a very long time. Heck, I don't even know my way around the hospital very well- just my current floor and then CT, radiology, etc.

I am wearing the one Turkish style sock that I finished a long while ago. I am hoping to encourage the progress on the second sock- only twelve rows to completion, but I have BAD SSS (second sock syndrome)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

uncertain in an uncertain blogsphere

I think that the whole medblog world is rattled by Geeknurse being shut down. He was always so careful with his photos, always got permission, damn informative, and really a lovely writer with a tender heart. It's made me wonder what I'm doing with a blog, other than staying in touch with my darling brother (who could leave a FREAKING COMMENT once in a while, as you're the only regular reader I'm aware of.) I scare the knitters with the nurse stuff, I bore the nurses with the knitting stuff, I only post once a week or so, and I'm basically a navel gazer: all questions, no answers.

Like much of my life, I'm neither fish nor fowl. A woman, but not feminine. A writer who has stopped writing, an irritable mother who nontheless thinks that having children is the best thing I've ever done. I'm a nurse whose content to be not a superstar on the unit, happily taking the less technical patients and dispensing baths and bedchanges life it's part of my personal religion.

I knit, but not the freaking hard stuff, I spin, but only sometimes. I've never had a religious experience from a craft activity. I'm only as likely to like a knitter as anyone else. I don't feel instantly understood by anyone, wether or not we like the same activities, and I have missed the boat on the whole craft as spirituality thing. I'm a fish who likes a nice small pond. Not that I'm the biggest fish in it, by any means, but because I know every nook and cranny of my world and there are very few surprises. Even the deaths of my child patients does not surprise me, although it cuts me.

So, what am I doing here?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Slowing down here in blogland... has been a bit grim, here. People I take care of have been dying in an unusual proportion. One of the dogs had an expensive injury. The current quilt sucks, I can't seem to knit, and the house is beginning to rebel at the lack of a vaccuum cleaner. I bought the last one at Costco, and liked everything about it except that when you accidentally push it downstairs, some important part of the motor rattles around and it dosen't seem to turn on, anymore. Anyhoo, Costco doesn't seem to carry them at the moment and I am way to exhausted to go out into the world looking for a vaccuum cleaner. I actually tried to go to Target, but then I got all sleepy instead. I have been buying books, however, and actually reading them, so I may be revisiting reading as a passage. And, I saw my first movie in 9 years: Curious George.

Friday, March 10, 2006

What Have I Got In My Pocket?

Today was remarkably cold for us- snow was spotted in the skies. It wasn't proper, gutsy snow like what we had in Michigan, it was snow with no follow thru. The result of this arctic blast was that I abandoned my No Coats at Work policy* and went back into the house to get a jacket. I got to enjoy a favored pastime, much neglected since I moved to these balmy shores: pocket archaeology. Much can be told about a people by what she has left in her pockets. IKEA shopping list. Was I nuts?? Where was I going to have this bookcase? And then I went to the bookstore- Oh yes, that was a good book- where is it now? Move along. Petrified breath mint, no recollection. Must have been a restaurant meal- hope I wasn't someone's alibi. I always was impressed when I watched lawyer shows and they would ask " Where were you on the night of April 15, 1989?" And the witness, like, had an answer. My answer would have to be more along the lines of "I have no idea." I have no idea, actually, about any dates in my life, in particular. Probably the clear sign of impending neurological catastrophe.

* No Coats at Work is in response to several factors. Most importantly, my job takes me into the Germ Factory- land of unkillable Microbes. I won't even wear my work shoes into the house. They stay on the porch. Of secondary importance is that my hard won shared locker is a tiny cube shared with a night shifter. This means that her coat is already taking up all the oxygen in my locker, until she drags her weary ass home. Ridiculously, this tiny cube of a locker is equipped with a hook- a coat hook, in fact, although it is far to small to suspend anything larger that a sweat sock. This hook is precisely poised in the center of the cube, in a perfect location to snag sweaters, tear linings, and rip pockets as I jam my coat in and then try to extract it at the end of my wonderful eight hours and forty five minutes. The locker jam/extraction cycle also causes perma wrinkles. There is the lingering pain of a stolen leather jacket at my last job, when I foolishly left it on the back of a chair. The most important reason, however, is the candy butt Californians who bundle themselves ( and their helpless children) in arctic garb whenever it falls below 60 F. I refuse to let my blood thin out to this degree.

Finally, th phrase most likely to be on my tombstone:
Madness takes its toll; please have exact change...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Before and After

Knitting Olypic failure. Too small, gauge too loose, cable too odd, sleeves too long to give to smaller friend. Should have ripped it out midway, when it all seemed bad. Plus, note to self, the neck is not 40% of the body on a plus sized person. Duh. At least it's still yarn.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Hey, I'm a Quilter!

Well, at least a sort of quilter in a very beginner, this is just the top kind of way. Pattern from Quilts from The Quilters Gift, a nice easy how to book by the same artist that illustrated The Quilter's Gift. TQG is a nice children's book about it being better to give, blah, blah, and art for arts sake, blah.

Notice the left side pieced blocks are sort of bass akwards, and no, I was not emulating the Amish
Work. What can I say. Another nurse had her last day today. Another nurse started to cry when I gave her report and she saw who she had left to work with. When will management wake up and smell the coffee? I know I've tried to make them a cup, extra black, no sugar, and they were not interested

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Back Home

SNOW! We had a lovely time. Son One and Son Two spent all their time sledding and drinking hot chocolate. I spent all my time talking, knitting, and drinking hot chocolate. I finished the Noro Kureyon EPS sweater, but it, uhm, has issues. Maybe it was the Olympic pressure.

Work. Well, I would rather lick the floor in the OR than be in charge, and I have been in charge for two days. Every single patient is on a vent. Every single patient is on drips. Every one of them would have their clock hand point at mortal peril if they were on Mrs Weasley's excellent clock. I think I want to work at the supermarket.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

my favorite feet

I'm going to see my favorite feet- and the friend who walks around on them next week. What to pack? BESIDES yarn, that is.

These were some of my first socks and first dyeing experiments.

Work blows. the only thing worse than working in a dysfunctional unit is being a patient in a dysfunctional unit. Two more nurses have left. I applied for another job today. I have a numb spot inside where the sore spot used to be.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Magical Goodness

You are Kinomoto Sakura
You are kind and generous, often underestimating your own abilities. Though you may not often know it, you have a lot of talent. Relying on your friends is both your strong point and your weakness.

Take the "What Magic Girl are you?" Quiz

Oh, yes, I am a weirdo. An OLD manga fan.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Burned Out

WE are all burned out, I think at work. The mix of lazy, ambitious, caring, calculating, hard working, self rightous, well meaning and short staffed has worked its toll. Many nurses are, or are planning on leaving. Or talking about planning on leaving, in the way nurses do. A waste. I certainly am burned out. I'm trying to leave. You would think with the nursing shortage, that HR could process things in a more timely fashion. Hmmm. Here's a quote:
"For all you days prepare, and meet them ever alike: When you are the anvil, Bear. When you are the hammer, Strike."

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Obsessed, again

Mermaid-San! I think she needs some beads. Pattern from Runo.

Some one asked how I make the faces- I follow her directions and I wing it. Re-did baby dolls head. I just couldn't get past the fact that he looked microcephalic. So I sewed him a new head, 25% larger that the old one. New pic next time I down load. Not sure what I'll use the old head for. Making dolls means that your WIP are pretty ghastly- dismsmbered bits, some of them smiling up at you.

What breed is Annie? I dunno. Sort of chihuahua, I think. Definitely a dog. We had the vet check on that. Although she does use a bunny cage as her crate....

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Dog Blog

Or is it Blog Dog? Little Annie, courtesy of the Fresno Pound. Go look for yourself.

Finished the mobius, pics next time, after I darn in the ends.

Work already called asking for a 3 AM start. Uhm, no, thanks. We are also short tomorrow, and thus, I think I do not need to start the shift half asleep and depleted.

Friday, January 27, 2006

So Tired

I had a hellish busy day. It was 4 o'clock before I hit clear water, and only because the oncoming nurse is a fabulous human bean and took off all the orders from the chart that I had not taken off from my other patient. Bless her. The really sick kid, the one with the surgical belly and the fever and the tachypnea and the low platelets and the overall bad prognosis and the screaming lots and lots of screaming. Her, I had actually done all the order, and many of them had been taken off by the other nurses, bless them. Have I mentioned how much I love ward clerks? Have I mentioned that we did not have one? Did anyone else know that parking was something you did with a phone? What happens to that call if you are too stupid to figure out how to pick it up? Do YOU know where the blood orders are stocked? I do , know, but the place looked like a medically based yard sale, and a visit from the form fairy would have been helpful.

I am obsessed with doll making. Is that good?

Or should I knit, now?

Maybe sit on the couch, and stare, blankly at these nice people who are playing toys and stealing noodle out of the dish this guy brought me. Oh yeah, that's my husband.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

National Get A Clue Day

Go read the Head Nurse
I think she has it. Perhaps, if that flies, then we could have National Don't Drive Like A Doorknob Day.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Another Day Off, Another Doll

Look, a sister! I think I'll make a brother, next. I need to lower the nose.

A Room of One's Own

Ok, well, not exactly a room. A table. Mom's table. Do. Not. Touch. Anything. On. The. Table.
Do. Not. Put. Anything. On. The. Table. We have some rules around here, ya know. I'm making another doll. Why? who knows?

Work really blows. The neurosurgeon was nice to me, though. It's always nice when a brilliant and famous person pours you a cup of coffee when he pours his own. My co workers suggested that I was over reactive when I FLIPPED out that no one hung the unit of blood that had been ordered at 4pm YESTERDAY. I guess I'm just funny that way. And the other patient, the central IV line that my very confused (head trauma) patient had when I left? Ripped out before I got to the parking lot. What is it about head injuries that makes people so very, very strong? I dunno- I mean I had him unrestrained, playing video games, and using the commode. (With his line in.) I got him back this morning tied down, chewing on his restraints, diapered, with no line. I looked at him, a big man sized person who was still really a child before his injury, and now, more than ever is child like, and I said "Damn, John, what happened?"
"I dunno, but I'm real glad to see you." There is no sincerity like that of those who live completely in the present.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Harlot made me do it

Yes, I like so many, have fallen under the Harlot's spell, and bought that damn book. I have resisted so far (Over a year- I think that's a personal best for not buying a book that I was ambiguous about.) It struck me as a one trick pony, and I was a little annoyed at the model. She is just a bit precious for me. Once I actually bought the book and read that she is an opera singer, somehow she annoyed me less. I expect drama from opera singers. In knitting book authours, not so much. I did actually gag while reading the ficticious surmise of Herr Mobius's wife suddenly dreaming of inventing not only the circular needle, but the very same mobius technique in the book, all of which, of course was tragically lost. I'm feeling headachy just thinking about that bit. The book is a one trick pony, but it's a damn good trick. The cast on is the main thing, and a handy chart for number of stitches to cast on for the length of (circumference of?) the scarf you want. I'm using a bunch of odd ball purples and blues, just adding them in as I reach the end of each ball, and I will cast off in I cord when I get there. I'll probably buy the cast off yarn, because it would bum my cool to run out midway.

Work wants me in at 3AM. It is nice, because I get the night shift differential, and it assures that the nurse who does nothing who starts at 11 AM, has an assignment- mine. But thn there's the getting up at 2AM part and that blows. Plus, I would need to go to bed right after Son One and Son Two, and it somehow leaches all the joy of being a grown up to go to bed at the same timeas the kids.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Yet another hobby?

Meet the doll family. I have no Idea why I am doing this. There is a yard of fabric soaking in tea and a pinch of red koolaide right now,making skin toned fabric, so that I can make more of these things.

Work- well, lets see. go read Jo.
She has a good post on the hobbyist patient. Luckily, as a pedi nurse, I rarely see these. One Munchasen by proxy I will remember till the day I die. ( This means that the mother slowly poisoned and disabled her own child, so that she could be seen as a hero for saving the child. ) One teenager who refused to walk for so long that she needed actual rehab because she was now too weak. That, and a can of ass whupp, and psychatric help that was in the hands of those far more skilled at that kind of thing that I. A few here and there, but nothing like what adults can do to themselves.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Damn, yet another hobby

I found the coolest site. A Japanese dollmaker who has generously put up a doll making class -complete with patterns- online. Her site is here.

I haven't made a doll since I was a little girl, and I have to say it was fun. Obsessively so, as I started yesterday and finished after work today.

Work- no drama today. Two kids, one with a rare syndrome and one with- oh wait- another rare syndrome. Both, luckily, with parents who have decided to stay in it for the long haul. Can't write about them. But keep this in mind- you may see a funny looking kid somewhere, the store, your kids school, the park- they are just kids in there. Under whatever scars or bandages or odd features they have, they probably still like Pokemon, or Hello Kitty, or whatever else kids like. They can most likely hear you talk, see you look, and have opinions about things. You, the outsider, don't need to know what they have, how they got that way, or what their chances are of ever being any other way. Just smile, if you are the type to smile at kids, comment on the spiderman tee shirt that they are wearing, or the baby's pretty blue eyes, or the darling toy they clutch, and go about your business.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Not Another Hobby

A new dragon! One more way to play with wool.

I started the day with Kelly the Dog peeing on the bedroom floor. On a pile of magazines and other crud. I had been meaning to clean, and so I did. But, hey, now I'm much cleaner. She's not usually much of a pee-er. (That's Annie who hasn't really embraced housebreaking.) But Kelly is a big food snatcher . Since she got caught , and yelled at, she did the correct doggie thing and peed. Just to show us how much she cared. One more day off.

Work- haven't heard about my transfer to the pedi floor. I am taking the next chemo class next week, tho. If I get a three day position, I think I'd work on the moon. I might even go to adults, if I had to. Welllll maybe not that far. If I have to wipe butts, I want them to be cute little butts, not big old wrinkly butts.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Baby Dragon

I have found a new obsession. You need to, too. Go to and get yourself a felting kit. You will not be sorry.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Bitch nurses

I have spent most of my adult life, and all of my childhood, thinking that nurses were somehow, someway, good people, just because they had chosen to be nurse. I have had that opinion, despite evidence to the contrary, for so long that it is like one of my toes, or the phone number to my childhood home. I have explained the lazy nurse as tired, the sharp nurse as stressed, the uncompassionate as inexperienced. Today, I have changed my mind. My current unit has finnally made me wake up and smell the vomit. There are nurses who lie about having given meds. There are nurses who chart things that they never did. There are nurses who leave patients to lie in shit, gargle vomit, and moan in pain. There are nurses who belittle coworkers, mock physicians, and overall game the system to a breathtaking degree. It makes me weep, only I'm so damn angry that I'm tachycardic and hypertensive, and so it's that mad sad crazy kind of weeping that I never want my children to see.

Then there are nurses who buy lunch for hungry family members, wipe butts with tenderness, discover and correct med errors with grace, finness, and tact. There are nurses with the skill to see the small changes in a patient that are the road to doom, and make sure somebody elses sees thos things, too, and writes some damn orders to prevent said road trip.There are nurses that change beds compulsively, bring in toys for little patients, and sit by you and hold your hand when there are not enough drugs in the world to take away your pain. There are nurses who sit by people who do not speak the same language, handing over one tissue after another, only because they can see that person is crying and they want to let them know that you are not alone. There are nurses who will close your dead eyes with tenderness, wash your cold body, and hold onto your mother or wife when they see you like this. There are nurse who will scream for the team and ambu bag the breath back into you, shock your heart into a decent rhythm, and all but stuff your soul back into your body if they think that you are not done here on this earth.

My only problem is that both kinds of nurses seem to live on the same planet, work in the same units, and get the same pay.