Am I the only loser around WordPress?

A little query for my readers. Are you losing posts? Not so much your own but others posts? Are you reading every single post of every single blogger that you follow?

Maybe reading is the wrong word because I’m sure as a conscientious blogger you hang on every single word of every single fellow bloggers amazing posts. I suppose what I mean to ask is are you sure you are being alerted to each new post by WordPress in whatever system you have set up for those alerts?

I am supposed to be told every time a blogger places a new post on up on the site. I’m not sure this is happening. I just randomly spent some time in that little section that details all the blogs I follow and I will swear within an inch of my life that I have never seen some of those posts show up in my email alerts.

If this is true then where are those post alerts and why do I only get some and not all? Is this an arbitrary, random system that will, on a whim, decide that a post isn’t worthy of my attention and not tell me about it? Is there another dstecca out there getting alerts to bloggers they don’t follow and not understanding why?

I follow certain bloggers for a reason and I don’t want to miss their posts. I enjoy their posts and often interacting with them and I feel cheated if I am somehow out of the loop.

The alternative to my apparent loss of posts is slightly more worrisome. Maybe I am losing my mind. Quite possibly I actually have read all the posts and I just don’t recall, but don’t you think something, some little nuance would stand out as a memory, no matter how faint, to fire those synapses and send a mental sticky note saying “idiot, you just read that one two days ago and even commented on it.”

Will someone out there reassure me that my mind is sound and functioning correctly. Will someone please tell me that they have also lost a few posts here and there or found themselves questioning why WordPress may have singled them out to receive only specific posts.

Wait, I hear something. A faint voice–growing louder. Could this be the explanation I seek?

You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead – your next stop, the Twilight Zone!


Ambition–what is that?

I have none today, ambition that is. Maybe it’s the weather. Rain has returned to the great Pacific Northwest after a really long dry spell. Looking outside, this is the autumn we know and love here in Washington. Cloudy, gray, rainy drizzle. While not particularly cold it’s just sort of draining.

That’s exactly how I feel today-just drained- with not enough energy to attempt doing anything worthwhile. So I have not done much but sit on my rear-end, nap, look at some old pictures of life events, and blog a bit. Twice I have attempted to start some homework and twice I have quickly put it all aside. I can’t get the energy up to write about attitudes and emotion work when right now I feel like I have neither.

My text used the term malaise in a recent chapter. In that reference it was referring to living conditions in rural versus urbanized areas as they apply to social issues. Malaise is the perfect word for today and my being: a psychological state of unhappiness. Although I don’t feel unhappy, I do feel blah so maybe I can stretch the definition a bit. Blah must be close to unhappy don’t you think?

I think part of my malaise is due to some familial concerns that I have little control over but wish that I could influence in a positive way. It’s difficult to see a situation and have no ability to do much about it when your head is screaming out directions and emotions and suggestions right and left. I simply have to hope that the right and best decisions will be made.

I have also spent some time in the last few days trying to make some decisions about school. Minor things like do I take a class just to get it done even though I think I will have issues with the professor or do I wait for a professor that I anticipate clicking with but which means I put off a class and the degree for longer? I opted for the wait-for-the-hopefully-better-fit-professor over the let’s-just-get-this-done route. I realized that I don’t have to finish this degree by any imminent deadline and I would rather get all that I can out of the courses I am taking. If that means waiting and/or giving myself a month or two between classes then that’s what I will do. With that comes the need to drop a few core classes for now, add a few electives that I was going to take later and basically just rearrange the order of progression. That decision means that I will start my first 400 level class in just about two weeks. This was a class that I figured I would take just before my senior seminar. It is focused on gender and society, which I’m really interested in. I hope it was a good decision on my part and only time will tell. Fortunately, I don’t have any other classes going at the same time and with holiday time coming up my work schedule will have some openings giving me (hopefully) time to devote to the work I expect to be associated with this class.

I am patting myself on the back as I did not even consider moving my Statistics class until later. This is the one class that I don’t look forward to but I’m keeping that promise to myself that it was not going to be my last class before seminar. Yeah me!

Well, not surprising but just spending a few moments here on the blog has raised my spirits a bit. I just heard from the TV in the other room that the local football team has pulled out a win-Yeah Seattle!

Maybe I can tackle that homework in a bit. We’ll see and if not it will be there tomorrow along with the rain.

Saving lives, one mini baby at a time

The new parents in our family received a really useful gift from the husband’s place of work after Gisella was born. It is a clever kit that includes a DVD and blow up life-size baby of about 1 month. It is designed to teach or review infant CPR and choking.

In fact, I found it online here and this is a picture of the kit.


My daughter brought it over today along with the real baby in our life. She and the husband had just watched the video which I think is great. Although she is a nurse, and like every health care provider must re-certify in the basics of CPR on a regular basis she eagerly viewed the video as a reminder.

In my recent job changes I have been joking about all the paperwork, background checks, fingerprinting, badges and such that seem to be involved when working with babies and children under the age of eighteen. My daughter and the husband noted that while I don’t have to have a badge and they anticipate that my fingerprints will check out clean with the FBI they did ask me to watch the video on infant CPR and I readily agreed. In my previous occupation I had and still hold CPR certs, Basic Life Support certs, and just passed the expiration on Advanced Cardiac Life Support certification. These were mandatory for surgical assistants in an oral surgery practice and the dental field in general has long encouraged staff to have minimum training in CPR for each and every practice. It just makes sense and in the case of surgery, we had to be capable of maintaining life support if needed for our patients.

This little video was about fifteen minutes long and for someone who has this background was rather redundant but no matter how many repetitive moments it held, it is so worth the time for anyone, grandparent or otherwise to know this basic and important information.

What surprises me is that hospitals are not sending new parents home with this kit. It states on the website that the kit is $35 which I assume goes back into education and covers the cost of components of the kit and such. Why wouldn’t a hospital simply eat the cost of these kits and offer them to every new parent? They should. How many new parents are going to have the time to enroll in an infant CPR class? Yes, I know that you can now find these types of classes online also, which I suppose is a fine idea if you have taken the class already or have a background in healthcare but what an outstanding gift to send home right next to the baby in the car seat.

I see possibilities here especially as I will have access to postpartum staff while I am screening newborns. I think this idea is so well worth exploring some inquiry needs to be done once I am comfortable in my new job. It certainly couldn’t hurt to ask why these kits aren’t available and it just might spark something that could potentially save a baby’s life.

Can I Share? Epic flashes, armpit breasts, and the lose of womanhood

No stunning epiphanies. Nor did I find a way to achieve world peace, rid my community of crime or solve the feud between political parties.

The event of epic proportions I refer to was a menopausal hot flash greater than any I have experienced to date. So momentous in fact that I had to write about it before I can begin my day.

I feel I need to de-brief and sort of come to terms with the meaning behind this event.

I refuse to use the word suffer when it comes to hot flashes, although at times others may suffer because of my reaction to them as I erratically and vehemently toss off blankets, sheets and every layer of clothing covering my body,  but suffer I do not as they are a natural process of change. In that scenario the cat actually gets the worst of it since she insists on sleeping almost on top of me and only adds to the heat being generated from within my body. Many a night she has been rudely flung to the end of the bed as I scramble to rid myself of even the slightest covering.

This might be TMI for some, but if I’m going to have a flash it seems to come right around 3AM. I have no idea why. Anyone?? I have experienced them during the day, usually while working at my previous job as they have now been going on for the last few years. My body is taking its own sweet time in turning off all the hormones folks and as I am unable to gauge the end of other lady functions accurately due to removal of lady parts years ago I am at the mercy of all of these internal switches turning on and off willy-nilly until they decide they are just done and shut down for the last time.

Most of these illusive hot flashes come and go, waking me with that spreading internal warmth turning to the feeling of being on fire from the inside out without too much incident as long as I can bare all for a minute or two. The fire goes out relatively quickly, I go back to sleep after soothing the offended cat and all is right with the world.

Last night however, actually looking at my clock it was only 2 1/2 hours ago, I woke after the fact covered in so much sweat I am planning on changing the sheets on my bed when I have a moment today and my sleeping attire is headed to the washer post-haste. I actually woke rather befuddled from this one so who knows what was really going on. I was still covered and cat draped so the onset hadn’t been enough to motivate me to start flinging cotton and animal around the room, however this inaction in disrobing might (and I can only guess at this) have contributed to the puddles of sweat that were able to collect in crevices of my body I didn’t even know I had.

When my mind could actually register the situation I realized I was wet from head to torso. My face had beads of sweat running from my hairline to the pillow, and the back of my head was sticky and matted. I refused to raise my back off of the bed but I could easily make out where the rivulets of body fluid had caused adhesion of my t-shirt to both myself and the sheet. The greatest discovery came though when I made contact with the extremely large puddle of liquid between my breasts. Here comes another TMI alert for my sensitive readers.

I do not by any stretch of the imagination have a large chestal area. In fact I have that middle age lady syndrome of armpit breasts that occurs after breastfeeding three children. When us great moms lay down at night our breasts head east and west and disappear somewhere in the area of our armpits. Because of this phenomenon, you know the amount of sweat I encountered had to be of epic proportions if it could actually puddle in what would, during the day, be my cleavage.

I vaguely remember thinking just how gross and amazing that all was at the same time that I blotted the area with my t-shirt before it ran down my neck and over my shoulder to join the back sweat soaking into my sheets. I glanced at the clock. Yep, right about 3AM again. Is 3AM the witching hour for hot flashes or what? Maybe it’s different for every body as said body tries to adapt to the disappearing womanhood it claimed as its own for so many years.

Curiosity has me wondering just how many more of these things I will have before all is said and done. I honestly and quite readily deal with these interludes just fine, and as noted in a previous post, prefer them almost 100% more than a migraine headache. Those have disappeared into another realm thankfully.

I know that some women find this time in their lives to be a struggle. Their sense of self as a woman is changing and depending on their own self concept and the addition of body image, gender identity issues and societal views on aging, it can be rough. I’m doing okay. The cat may think otherwise.


Didn’t someone once say something like “it’s funny how life works out”

I presented a letter of resignation to my new boss yesterday. I like my boss. I like my co-workers. I am not leaving out of frustration or angst or some long simmering feud. I will not return to brandish heavy weaponry to assuage a prior wrong done to my person.

The short and complete story is that it simply was time to move on.

This was my first career:

I was a dental assistant. I thoroughly enjoyed the job. I did not enjoy the employer. During that career I got married and became a stay at home mom which I loved.

This was my second career:

I was, and still occasionally am, a doula and childbirth educator. I loved this job. Unequivocally. This was the best career in the world. One that really fit who and what I am and believe about life and mothers and women and babies. I faced a conflict though as my children grew and this career seemed to want to sneak into special moments that I felt needed to be reserved for my children. I let this career go with much regret but one does what seems right at the time. I have however never quite been able to let go completely as every now and then I run into a couple who seeks my service.

Later, when the little people in my life had grown a bit it seemed time to get back into the working world again and again making the decision that seemed appropriate at the time, I went back to career number one. It actually was relatively easy to slip back into the dental office even after twelve years away. That return has guided two separate jobs in the last fifteen years. The last five of those at the position I just resigned. That position in an Oral Surgery practice was truly the culmination of a dream I had since attending dental assisting school way back in 1978. I loved surgery and I vowed that one day before all was said and done, that I would work for an Oral Surgeon. Through the keen eye of a fellow dental assistant, some luck and my wit and charm, I landed a position with one of the most respected surgeons in our area. This man had practiced for nearly 30 years and had a following to match.

I was in heaven. But this surgery was nothing like the extractions I had been doing for years as an assistant in a general dental office. This was SURGERY.  This was half dental, half medical, with all the trappings of an outpatient surgical practice and the need to be fully capable of saving a life if necessary.

Oh, the things I learned. The amazing surgeries I assisted with. The great staff I came to call my friends. The emergencies that I never expected but as a part of a trained team, handled rather well I believe.

Borrowed from Sclar Center, Cosmetic and Reconstructive Dentistry, Miami

Then the arthritis reared its head, or more appropriately settled in my hands and all that you see above was to be no more. Holding heads to maintain airways, holding and manipulating small sharp instruments, working with tiny parts and pieces became a part of my past. Thanks to some ingenious re-working of my job description, I hung on and was able to stay at the office turning into a jack of all trades.

Then my daughter announced her pregnancy, my original employer made the ultimate and this time final decision to sell his practice and slowly step into retirement and I had some decisions of my own to face. I knew I wanted to care for my grandchild. That was a given and an offer that I refused to turn down. I also knew that I was more than ready to stop being a full time employee. My hands were tired, changes were coming to the office and it seemed rather apparent that fate was standing in front of me telling me to take advantage of what was right in front of my face.

When the decision was made it felt right. An opportunity opened up before me and as I am a firm believer in grasping opportunity as it dangles right in front of your face, I am now employed in a part-time position which allows me to care for my granddaughter; takes the stress and strain off of my hands and in a rather ironic way brings me almost full circle in my career path.

So this is my latest and I believe my last career. Grandma and caregiver to this precious, beautiful baby girl:

and this position one or two days per week:

I will be doing hearing screenings on newborns at one of our local hospitals.

I get to be back in an environment that I love and feel so comfortable with: the postpartum unit of a hospital. I get to work with and educate new parents and most of all I get to interact, even only briefly with new babies. What could be better than that. This position allows me to manage myself, my interaction with families, develop affiliations with hospital staff and probably more than anything, have fun at my job.

It is time to say goodbye to surgery; to dentistry. It’s time to work a little bit less and have a little more time to be a student, to take care of myself, to enjoy my family and to just be. We talk a lot in sociology about “doing” social topics. Doing gender, doing race, doing group dynamics. It’s time to jump on that bandwagon. For the near future I am going to be “doing Debbie”, whatever that may be.

Maybe I’ll write a paper on that subject. The “doing” of oneself. The discovery of one’s personal reality in middle age.  Maybe I’ll just let things ride and see what I discover. I have all the time in the world and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.

And now…

Obviously being a grandma means pictures inundating the far reaches of the galaxy for any and all to see.



And Gisella’s dad tried his hand at photography. If you are wondering, she is in the cat bed.


Ending on a cuter note