Saturday, October 30, 2010

The ABC's of Winston Love

Always you greet me with a tail wag, even when you can't be Bothered to actually get up off the Couch.  And though Drooling is a big English bulldog trait, you only get slobbery when Filling up with water.  Who would have thought that the Greatest dog in your litter would be the one they initially named Homer?

  I can see clearly now 
On days that I feel down, you Just have to put your head on my Knee and my burdens are Lifted.  Your Mug, especially your Nose that Only a mother could love (or so the ignorant People say) are Quite lovable to me and are only two of the things that made me fall in love.  My heart swells when I think about how you can only Roll over in one direction, when I think of your goofy Smile and of your Teeth that always stick out at the bottom.
Rough night 
I love the way you look Up at me with a Very innocent look when you know you've just done something wrong, and cherish your Wrinkles that no amount of botoX could erase.  You will always be my first baby.  Irreplaceable for over a Zillion years.    
Winston puppy

Friday, October 29, 2010

Slow but steady

Slow and Steady
a snail in our front yard

As I've mentioned in my previous post, I've signed up for my first e-class.  But due to a rather stressful week, I haven't really had a chance to do much with the daily prompts.  That is, until now.  Our dear Bubba is doing much better today, which has given me a chance to scribble a few notes while listening to him take a much needed nap.

I've picked up a new notebook (one of three I'm currently writing in regularly) and I've finally had a chance to read through the prompts.  I already have a lot of ideas scribbled in my notebook, but yet have to flesh them out.  I'm starting out a bit late, but my hope is that, just like the snail above, I'll eventually get where I need to go.  The first prompt: questions and answers.  I really liked the idea of creating my own FAQ on this blog, something quite handy for any new visitors out there.  I'm planning on playing around with it for a bit and then maybe adding it as one of my pages here.  For now though, a few answers to a couple of the more common questions I do get.  

What are you? (ethnicity) / You're not local, are you? 
The scene: I walk into a patient's room, they look at me, assume I'm one ethnicity.  They see my name (Russian), hear me speak (no local accent), and then the question comes.  "What are you?" or "You're not local."  I've been correctly identified as Filipino and mistaken for Guamanian, Japanese (huh?), and Thai among others.  Back when my maiden name (Indian) was on my badge, it added even more to the confusion. 

The easy answer: I'm Filipino and I am local.  No, I was not born in Hawaii, but I've been living here since 1992 and I can't see myself living anywhere else.  I was a military brat who moved here after my father was transferred to Pearl Harbor.  Before that, I lived in Great Lakes, IL, Charleston, SC, and Baguio City, Philippines.  I occasionally have a southern drawl when I speak to Southern folks, and I still use "y'all" and "Ma'am" frequently.  I (apparently) have a Filipino accent when I'm talking to my mother on the phone.  Otherwise, I have no accent (maybe American?)   

What kind of nurse are you?
 I'm a registered nurse board certified in maternal-newborn nursing and I work on an ob/gyn floor that is also the hospital's catch-all.  I started out with the perinatal special care unit where I took care of the women with high risk pregnancies: pregnancy induced hypertension, gestational diabetes, pre-term labor, etc.  I also work/worked with pregnancy and infant loss.  From there, the unit took on medical/surgical gyn patients:  hysterectomies, mastectomies, metorrhagia.  Then came the gyn oncology such as cervical and ovarian cancer.  And when the ER picks up a patient who is too unstable to transfer to another hospital, we take patients with pneumonia, asthma, or cellulitis, among other things.  Now we take care of brand new moms and their babies.  I suppose you could say I'm a Jill of all trades and a master of none.  But don't call me about your diverticulitis or your son's runny nose.  Just call your doctor. 

How many notebooks do you have, and what do you write about?
I'm currently writing in three notebooks regularly but I have several that I write in intermittently.  I write about anything and nothing.  I have a notebook for my morning pages (three pages of long-hand stream of consciousness in the morning), a gratitude journal, a notebook I keep memorable quotes and poems, a notebook on books I'm reading, and now a notebook for True Stories.  And those aren't even all of them. ;-) 

Any questions?


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My first baby

Soccer boy
Our first baby, Winston "Bubba" Thompson

I've been wanting to write for a while now, especially since I've recently signed up for my  very first e-course.  However, things have been a little stressful at home and I haven't really had much of a chance to sit and type nor have I really felt like it.  My dear sweet "Bubba" is ill and is needing much attention.  What I had hoped was just an irritating cough is now being treated as acute congestive heart failure.  The vet says we caught it quite early and we're hoping the medications he started will help him get back to his usual playful and energetic self.  We're to follow up with the vet on Monday.  Hopefully then he'll tell us that we can let Winston go back on walks again.  Meanwhile, it's lots of petting and cuddles for him.  And when the pup's face is this cute, wouldn't you be doing it too?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Looking up

Photo 63
monkey bars at the playground

  The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes -- Marcel Proust

After the whirlwind tour of Colorado and the hundreds of pictures I took, I admit I came crashing down after returning to Honolulu.  How does one recover from seeing one gorgeous view after another, to going back to the same house and doing the same chores day after day?  Perhaps had I taken a little more time to rest, I wouldn't have burned out quite so badly.  It's no surprise that I took all of 20(?) pictures in September and then promptly fell ill.  

Starting Finding Water has been a definite boost for me.  I was afraid that after having gone without writing for months, returning to writing three pages daily would be a struggle.  It was a pleasant surprise to find my pen gliding easily through my notebook.  These pages, along with the exercises in the book have given me fresh insight to my fear of completing projects as well as help me find my motivation in dabbling with different art forms.  I've rediscovered my interest in drawing after watching my daughter play with my unused art supplies.  I've formed a new interest in playing with paint after watching her decorate our front hall with her masterpieces.  I've gotten an itch to play around in the kitchen after seeing my sister's beautiful cake creations (to the point that I've been perusing cook books and browsing through kitchen supplies in different stores -- I just LOVE Compleat Kitchen!) I've rediscovered my love for dance and old movies after sitting down with my hubby to watch Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse in The Bandwagon.  I've even reconnected with a good friend who I haven't seen in a couple of months-- a big deal since she is one of my biggest supporters outside of my dear hubby.  And finally, I've begun to carry my camera around again, even when I'm "just" going to the playground with the family.  How could it take me so long to remember that I don't need new scenery every day to take photos, I just needed to take another look at where I already am?   

Week one (which took two weeks to complete) was supposed to be about "uncovering a sense of optimism."  I think I can finally move on to week 2.   

Here's a scene from The Bandwagon.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Will you light a candle?

In Memoriam
memorial candle at the Air Force Academy Chapel

In 1988, former president Ronald Reagan proclaimed the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. On October 15th, candle lighting ceremonies will be held throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan in memory of the babies lost. If you light a candle from 7pm to 8pm, you will be a part of this continuous wave of light. For the folks out here in Oahu, the ceremony will be held on the grounds of the State Capitol and we will be gathering there at 6:30pm. For a complete list of event sites and for more information about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, visit Remembering Our Babies, the official October 15th site.

Although I have not personally gone through such a loss, I have spent countless hours with those who have. Though some people are lucky enough to have a great support system in their families and friends, I have seen many who suffer alone and are at a complete loss when this occurs. October 15th is a day not only for these families to provide support for each other, but for the community to acknowledge their loss and let them know that though their babies lives were brief, they were still very meaningful.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

For Chris

A good day to smile

Happy Birthday to my dear Boo. It may be your birthday, but I'm the one with the gift-- another year with you. I'm not the artist with words that you are, so I'll just say it simply.
I love you.

Always and forever,

Monday, October 11, 2010

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~Albert Camus

a photo I took on our '07 trip to PA. And just like this trip, I don't know where the road leads.

Autumn. My favorite season. Funny that I'd end up living somewhere that doesn't have fall. Some people may find the season depressing: summer's gone, time to go huddle indoors. But I always loved the colors of the leaves. I loved the sound of the leaves crunching underneath my shoes. I loved how the softly knit sweaters felt against my skin. I loved the smell and taste of hot chocolate as I tried to get warm. I miss fall. But you won't find me moving away from Hawaii anytime soon. =)

Fall actually fits my mood as of late, though I didn't realize it until today. People usually associate cleaning things up with spring, but not me. Just as the trees shed their leaves, I've been feeling the need to shake things up a bit and get rid of a few things. Not just physical clutter, which we also have way too much of, but the mental confusion as well. The home de-cluttering was actually off to a good start. Unfortunately it had to be put on hold due to a family bout with the flu. Clearing the mental clutter will be the more challenging one for me. As usual, I've got so many things I'm interested in right now.

Along with starting a new blog, I began reading Julia Cameron's Finding Water this week. The first topic for Week 1: Beginners. Apparently, starting a project or a class is difficult for some people, scary even. Not for me. As I mentioned on my very first post, I'm a chronic beginner. It's finishing that I seem to fear, as my multiple projects/classes will attest to. Having said that, my goal for the rest of the year is to actually finish something that I've started. It doesn't have to be anything big, in fact the smaller, the better. It doesn't even have to be done perfectly (my biggest challenge because it would mean that I can't obsess over every little thing I haven't done or done "properly"). Completing a project would be so satisfying. Even if I decide not to do it again, it would still mean I'll no longer berate myself for either never trying it or never finishing it (and I can finally get rid of some supplies in my closet). So I guess the question now is: which project do I work on?

Was it me, or was I starting to ramble there? See? Clutter! ;-)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Welcome to my new home =)


In The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin mentions how her research "revealed that challenge and novelty are key elements to happiness." Perhaps that is why I'm a chronic beginner. I particularly enjoy novelty. Anyone following me from my old blog would know that I'm here to start anew. It may seem like this is "just another one" of the multiple things I like to start, but as long as I don't suffer through too many problems with Blogger, I hope to make this my new home. And hopefully, in this new home, I'll finally begin to truly understand.

Writing about ourselves doesn't mean we're self-involved. We have to start with ourselves before we can reach beyond ourselves. And whatever our intention, the way we see and write about the world always reveals who we are. - Susan G. Woolbridge