Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cruise... car... cruise...car...cruise...

Another beautiful sunrise this morning as I was walking the dogs. I get up all foggy-eyed... then as I walk the dogs I wake up (after throwing on whatever is closest/handy that is somewhat decent). This morning my darn mutt Peanut wanted to start waking up at 4am! GRRRR! She'd better not do that tomorrow. Of course it didn't help that there were sirens (police? Ambulance? Fire?) off and on from about 4:30 until I got up. Not sure what that was all about. I only live about a mile from the Freeway, so I think when it's quiet outside, you can hear the sirens on the freeway. So... I'm a tad tired.

This morning was busy. One of my nurse co-workers (she's one of the bosses for the nurses) had sent me an email last night that they were going to have a "mock" accreditation review of one of my charts. Okay... (no notice... so it is what it is... (which wasn't bad)). I briefly mentioned to my supervisor about them wanting to audit one of my charts (the nurses share the same client), but left it at that without, I guess putting emphasis on it. So, this morning she came in and apparently was told in passing that this group was coming to our clinic for a "mock" review. She freaked. (And I might have too, if I were in her shoes), so she was running around like a chicken with her head cut off. And of course... apparently I should have sent that email that *I* got on to her. I *did* try to mention it yesterday (at the end of the day)... Okay... so I'll learn. *smile*.

I think I met with 4-5 clients this morning and that includes a no-show. SO... I had a busy morning (tomorrow morning will be busier if everyone shows up).

I left about 1pm and headed down to my Doctor's office. She basically asked how I was feeling, did a "systems" check and said I was okay (I am) and I can start eating normally again. (YEA!). So, tonight I celebrated by having some Ice Cream (about a 1/2 scoop of Baskin & Robbin Chocolate Chip ice cream).

I also stopped by another clinic that we work with to meet a couple of the providers there and introduce myself. I hope that was productive.

On my way back from town I stopped and got my nails done (since I'm NEVER out of work that early... (I was on my way back home about 3:30pm or so). At least they are done and that just
gives me more time to enjoy my 4 days off. (Although I'm really hoping I can get help and finish tiling the LAST bedroom that has been on hold for about 6 months now... I put it off while my snowbird friends were on island).

On top of my appointments in the morning, the afternoon will be filled up with case staffings and then after work I have a Physical Therapy appointment. Then, my friend Carmel has invited me to come into town and listen to some local Hawaiian music with her. If I finish my PT in time, I may just do that.

Okay... time to sign off. It's almost 10pm.

Aloha!
- Kris

P.S. Oh... and the header? There's a new cruise sale thing on this weekend and I've found a couple I would like. There's a cruise that leaves Hawaii and goes to Sydney this fall and then there is still the one that goes around from the west coast to the east coast via the Panama Canal. OR... do I save the money towards paying cash for the car I want??? Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

what day is this?

This was the sunrise as I got up and walked my dogs this morning...



Okay... as I sit here... I'm asking myself what day this is. I think it is Tuesday (as I write this). Oh well, I guess that means I only have two more days to work this week... THAT's good news!

I went in to work this morning and found out half way through the day that I had a memorial service to go to at 1pm. So... I had to reschedule my afternoon appointments (just one)... fortunately I was able to do that.

I got out of work about 6pm.


Tomorrow is a new day. And in the afternoon I get to go meet with my regular doc to discuss what transpired over the past couple weeks (the mild pancreatitis).

Time to sign off.

Aloha!
- Kris

Monday, June 28, 2010

Short post.

Tres Dragon boats...


So... I had a 12 hour + day at work today. I had missed last Thursday afternoon and Friday, so I had a lot of catching up to do (only 64 emails waiting tho!). I even had a couple no-shows (which later turned out to be excused) and still didn't get out of there on time. Of course, it didn't help that I was meeting with one of my Nurse Case Managers at 5:30pm and a co-worker after that!
I was able to come home and catch most of the last hour of "the Bachelorette." Its not as exciting as it was for me, because I read the spoilers online, so pretty much know how things are going to turn out.
Okay... time to sign off, take the dogs for a walk and head to bed.
ALOHA!
- Kris

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chillin' at the beach...

So... yes, I *did* make it to the beach today and got to sit down with some friends and also to meet some new people (which is what I like to do!).
sorry for the spot along the left side... but it WAS a beautiful day out today! And I *did* have a good time. I spent a couple hours there than came home and got my dogs and took them to the Dog park. Bruno had a hard time at first, but he did much better by the end. I think if he is around just 1-2 dogs he does better, but when he gets ganged up on, or another dog comes at him a little TOO enthusiastically, then he has problems. As it turned out, a couple peers that I work with were there at the Dog park with their dogs, so we stood and talked for quite awhile (and my dogs got along just fine with theirs).
After we got home, we had to get baths/showers. The dogs AND *I* were stinky after being there. Of course, they're worn out now. *smiles* But, they smell good. I've been watching the movie "The Calendar Girls."

Time to sign off... morning is going to come early! I'm hoping to go into work early, because I have notes that I didn't get written on Thursday, that needs to get done. AND it's going to be a short week. (I am taking Friday off as a "comp" day).
Aloha!
- Kris

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday

(last weekend at Ala Moana)


It's been a very lazy (and probably much needed) day. I had my PT this morning and then came back home and took a nap (I didn't fall asleep until about 2am and then the dogs had me up at 6am). I've taken them for a couple walks today. The weather has been very overcast, with some sprinkles. Hopefully tomorrow will be a nicer day and I can get some quality beach time. I've been invited to a "promotion" party at the beach tomorrow, I may go to that.
Not much else going on today... so I'll keep this short.
Aloha!
- Kris

Friday, June 25, 2010

TGIF

The view from the park near my house (with a zoom lense)...

So, I spent all day today in training. It was good, it dealt with client interviewing techniques and assessing for suicide risk. One of my co-workers went through the training with me, and then there was another person there that graduated the year after I did (she's running a local crisis program). I was also able to see a peer that I don't get to see very often (she's one of them that I used go out on the Pontoon boat with last summer.). It was good because she got to educate the others about her program that she works for.

The training itself was good... and I felt good that I was able to make a comment that may make it to the presenter's internet page. It's just one of the assessment tools that I use... "On a scale of 0-10, where do you rate your hopelessness". It's not an original question of mine... but it's one I use and one I brought up today. It'll appear on his suicide assessment "tips" page. Hey... if it helps someone else... that is all that matters.

Not much going on tonight... just chillin' watching some TV and a re-run of House (I don't think I have seen it before). Tomorrow morning I have a Physical Therapy appointment at 9am. I'm not sure what I'll do the rest of the day, I guess it depends on what the weather is like.

Okay... signing off.

Aloha!
- Kris


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yea... doing okay!

Took the pups for a walk at the park when I got home...


So... after my crazy morning and work and taking too long, with too many last minute interruptions, I made it to the doctor's office for another set of "labs" and my appointment. I had to wait for about an hour for the results, and thankfully, my Lipase level is back down under 300. Whew! SO... I get to start again... supposed to slowly... but tonight I had some grilled chicken, some corn and some mashed potatoes. So far everything is doing okay. I finished up my appointment a little after 2pm, and then just came home (there's a part of me that says I should have gone back to work to finish up my notes and wrap things up at work... but I decided I don't always get a couple "free" hours off. So, I came home and took the dogs for a walk, brushed them, swept my floors (too much dog hair accumulates quickly!), and washed my bedding. Not bad for a couple hours off, eh?
Tomorrow I get to be in a workshop on suicide all day. I hope it's good training. I'll take any kind that I can get! *smiles*
Okay... signing off for today...
Aloha!
- Kris

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy Hump Day

Dragon heads (of the Dragon Boats) at Ala Moana


So... another busy day even though I had gaps in my schedule. It was so busy I didn't even get to eat lunch! It's been a HORRIBLE diet day... crackers & banana for breakfast and crackers and a banana during the day (does that count for lunch?). I'm looking forward to having some soup for dinner!

I'm writing early so 1) I don't forget to blog later 2) in hopes I get to bed earlier tonight than I have the past two nights.

Please send positive thoughts that I can find my work phone (fortunately I don't get too many calls on it...) but I *can't* find it and I *definitely* don't want to have to pay to replace it! It's a Blackberry. I haven't seen it since Friday. GRRRR! I've looked all over my office, my apartment and in my car!

Okay... signing off.

Aloha!
- Kris

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Is it only Tuesday?

Add ImageIf you click on the picture you can see a larger view, they had "Dragon Boat" races going on this weekend at Ala Moana beach.


So... today was one of those days where I had to hit the ground running. I started off in a meeting watching two people verbally spar for almost an hour. It was interesting, because they are professionals and one would roll their eyes and the other would keep interrupting. LOL! This morning was busy, but fortunately, I had two no-shows today (one didn't surprise me, but the other did). I had to get through a TON of emails... and I sat through a meeting this afternoon. It kept feeling like it shouled be later in the week. Isn't it Thursday or Friday yet?
I'm still doing my modified diet. I had rice with a little brown sugar for breakfast, I had leftover soup over rice for lunch (which I didn't finish), I think I've had 3 bananas so far today and then tonight I had more of the soup over rice (leftover from lunch) along with some crackers. Oh yea, I had crackers today too. I have found that if I eat very much, I start getting a "little" queasy, but I haven't thrown up at all (thankfully). Other than that, I've been drinking watered down sugar-free koolaid. Great life, eh? At least I should drop a couple pounds... that's a nice side effect. And don't worry... if I get sick or start throwing up... I *will* go into the ER as ordered by the doc.
Okay... I'm signing off... it's about 9:30pm and I've been watching "America's Got Talent."
Aloha!
- Kris

Monday, June 21, 2010

Crazy day...

Waking up in Hawaii... and walking my dogs... what a beautiful morning...

At least until I got to work, and then it got nuts. It makes me think of that song "It's another Manic Monday." *smiles* As soon as I was through the door, one of my co-workers came in kind of a panic mood and needed some help with a situation... and I ended up working that issue between each of the appointments I had this morning. Fortunately, one of my co-workers offered to take my 11am appt, but then I spent that whole hour dealing with the other situation and doing my notes.
I left a little after noon for my doctors appointment, but first needed to stop and get labs. And, in a nutshell, the one lab value they were concerned about, went UP instead of down (and I think we all expected it to go down, especially since I'm on this restricted diet). SO... I have to go back for more labs on Thursday afternoon and I'll see a doc that day and then I'll get to see MY doc the following week (she is out of the office this week). I think it has ME more concerned that they are wanting to see me every other day, that tells me this is serious. (or more serious than *I* want it to be). Time will tell. Tonight I'm having soup over rice and I'm on a more restrictive diet than before (basically the brat diet... Bananas, Rice, Applesauce & Toast). I'm wondering if I can have egg? Like a poached egg over toast. Maybe I'll call the nurse tomorrow and ask.

Tomorrow is scheduled to be busy and tomorrow after work I have my Physical Therapy appointment. I had to miss my appointment on Saturday because I was sick. My foot IS improving though, so THAT's good news.
Okay... I'm going to sign off... I'm watching "The Bachelorette" tonight and they are in Iceland!
Aloha!
- Kris

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Better day Sunday...

So... after taking it easy this morning I decided to head into the beach (if I'm going to have a sore tummy, I could have one at the beach, right?). I *have* been feeling better today. I spent a couple hours down at the beach this afternoon, then I came home and showered, then took the dogs over to the dog park. Oh yea... did I forget to mention that while I was "floating" at Ala Moana, I was doing so with my I Nano... (I had it tucked up under my hat), well... the wind blew my hat off, ALONG with my Nano. And no... I couldn't find it. So... I probably shouldn't have... but I went and bought a new Nano... I got a 16g. You can bet I won't be in the water with it unless I have it in a waterproof container! This is the 2nd one I lost (at least the 1st one was a "cheap" I shuffle).

Okay... signing off. I have to get ready for tomorrow. I'm going to work in the morning because I have such a full schedule... then I'll be off for the afternoon to go in for a follow-up from my ER visit yesterday.

Aloha!
- Kris

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Gastritis, mild pancreatitis

This was an interesting "scooter" that we saw while in Rome.


So... After enjoying a wonderful crab dinner last night, (and over-eating) I woke up about 5:30 choking with acid reflux. That's almost an impossibility for me, as my tummy is so small, then I threw up (with food in it). And THAT's unusual too! I felt miserable most of the day, I slept and rested, hoping it would go away. A friend on Facebook suggested that I try warm water, so I did, about 4:15pm and threw up even more of last night's dinner. THEN I became concerned. I worried that there was a blockage or something (that wouldn't let the food go on down). So... I went on into the ER. They were nice and I figured I'd be there for 6 hours (that seems to be the going rate for ER visits). They took blood, put in an IV (ouch) and got some anti-naseous medication started. Then I had to go for x-rays, which came back normal (thank goodness), however, the x-rays apparently showed a minor issue with my pancreas (I have a congenital defect - a divided pancreas). I had one of my lab values that came back a little elevated (Lipase) which is related to the pancreas. SO... I have instructions for a light, bland diet over the weekend, and I have to follow up with a doctor on Monday afternoon. I know it's silly, but I am hoping I can work Monday morning (fortunately I don't have any appointments scheduled for Monday afternoon because I was supposed to be in a meeting then.) Time will tell. I hope I feel better tomorrow. I was too ill to go to the beach today, even though it was a VERY beautiful day out. I am hoping I can go tomorrow.

Okay... time to sign off...

Aloha!
- Kris

Friday, June 18, 2010

ahhhh... Friday!


Interesting symbol on a building in Venice, Italy



So... today was busy, not as crazy as yesterday, I still ended up there at work for an extra hour, then I hooked up with some friends and went out to dinner. *I* had some crab tonight....mmm... good! (Bette, we went to Dixie Grill).
Not a lot to write about tonight. After the emotionally draining day I had yesterday, I slept like a rock last night. I'm still a little emotionally overwhelmed... but this too shall pass. Oh, and when I did my timesheet today, I ended up with 11 hours of comp time for this pay period. I'm just thankful that I can claim it!
Hopefully the weather tomorrow will be cooperative... I'd LOVE to go spend some quality time at the beach.
Aloha!
- Kris

Whoops!

Well, hopefully only a couple people read the blog that I just deleted that was posted overnight. I should know better than to try and write a post after I have taken my ambien *chagrin*.

I had a VERY long day at work yesterday, I didn't get home until almost 9:30pm. It was one of those very emotionally draining days. I got to work and had to deal with a crisis situation that then evolved into an all-day type thing as I continued to try and deal with my "normal" schedule (with several clients scheduled in the morning and case staffing in the afternoon). Yesterday was one of those days where it felt like work should have just been cancelled (at least some appointments so we could deal with the one situation).

Yes, I *am* okay. *We* will be okay. It was just a tough day. And, I will ask your prayers for a Mom & Dad who have had to deal with so much tragedy already in their family, as they deal with another one.

Okay... so even that is more than I probably should have said here... but please... do pray. And now I've got to sign off and get ready for work.

a hui hou,
- Kris

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Food for Thought?

These little "cherubs" were on the Leaning Tower of Pisa... I liked them and thought they were unique!

Wow... WHAT a crazy day at work. First appointment was a couple (great couple, easy session), then there was a minor (major) crisis thought popped hot at work today, so I ended up spending an hour with my supervisor reviewing a case, then I was late for an appt and had two to see for a shorter amount of time than I had hoped for. Then I had one of my nurses ask me if I could see one of her clients this afternoon and that turned into a long appointment... then I spent another hour and had to draft some correspondence regarding the case I was dealing with the morning. If it isn't one thing it's another. And today was one of those rare days where I decided NOT to do any notes and as it was... I didn't get out of the office until about 5:30pm. And I was sooooo close to being able to leave at 4pm. I think my job should be subtitled "Expect the unexpected."
*smiles*

Tonight I watched one of my favorite show... "The Unit" and now I'm watching the 2nd hour of "So You Think You Have Talent." (I'm still upset they sent the young girl home that performed with 3 other kids as back ups. She had an awesome voice (I think she was Filipino) and she had an amazing voice. She was on last night. They sent HER home... and sent through some VERY questionable ones!

Okay... time to sign off. Pretty soon it will be time to take the dogs for their walk.

Aloha!
- Kris

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Holy Cow! *smiles*

In Rome they had these cows scattered around the city. This one was at the train station. (Remember them Michelle? *smiles*).
Work today was consistently busy all day. I think I had 5-6 clients and one couple. I even managed to get off work on time (well, almost) to make it to my Physical Therapy appointment.
Not much going on tonight... just watching "America's Got Talent" at the moment. I have another busy day scheduled for tomorrow. I think it will be this way all summer.
Signing off & saying Aloha!
- Kris

Monday, June 14, 2010

good day at work...

Santorini, Greece


So... I started out with a fairly busy morning (and surprise, surprise... everyone showed! They are getting stricter on holding clients responsible for missed (and not cancelled) appointments). I got to meet with a couple new clients and then this afternoon I was in a meeting to discuss all of my clients and then had to set up a couple appointments with some that there are concerns about (that I'm not already scheduled to see).
I have to say, one thing about my job, no two days are alike. Today it was just my supervisor and myself there. At least there didn't seem to be any major crises... THAT's good! Tomorrow we will have help (if a crisis were to pop up). I ended up working 1 hour of overtime, but tomorrow I have a Physical Therapy appointment right after work.
Oh, and it looks like I won't be getting a Honda anytime soon... they couldn't get the payments down to where I wanted them (AND the interest rate was more than I wanted to pay)... so I guess I'll have to hope my little car holds out awhile longer. I'll get a car/vehicle when I am meant to get one...
Okay... time to sign off... I'm watching "The Bachelorette."
Aloha!
- Kris

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Beach day and auto shopping...

So... today felt like a REAL beach day (maybe because it was?). I went on into Ala Moana beach (still my favorite!) and spent about 3 hours there... and floated on my "floaty" for about an hour... THAT was nice. My legs feel like they got a little more sun, but the rest of me is doing okay. I put my earphones in and soaked up some sun listening to some of my favorite tune!

So... auto shopping... (my poor little Ford Focus feels like its on its last legs (wheels)... so I have a friend who used to buy & sell cars that I talked into going with me to look at some cars. I'm strongly leaning toward getting a Honda. So... do I go with a small SUV (like the Honda CR-V above) or do I go with a Civic sedan (below).
My friend strongly recommends the SUV. He says I like to do a lot of activities ( i.e. beach stuff, camping, boogie boarding, etc) and that I would be better off with an SUV. It's a safer vehicle, and I could carry all my stuff. He knows that I plan to leave Hawaii within the next year or so and thinks that an SUV would serve me better (i.e. if I end up in Germany where they get snow or one of the northern states).
I, on the other hand, kind of like the Civic... it's more like the size of my current car. I'm at least settling for a 4-door... because I have found it would be easier to accomodate traveling with friends. (My poor friends Walt & Bette are getting too old to get in and out of a 2-door car!).
Anyway... so my friend went with me to the Honda Dealership. I did see a couple of both types that I like. No YELLOW ones though... but found pretty blue ones that I like. Not sure how much I would get on my trade-in though. I wish I could pay outright cash... but I can't. And if I didn't like traveling so much... then I might be able to. Right now my extra $ is tied up to where I don't have access to it (part of it is in Stocks and with the market the way it is right now... I wouldn't want to sell if I don't have to).
I also may still look at the Fords again. I kind of like the Ford Fusion. But... the re-sale value on the Hondas are better. Right now I think the car payments will be somewhere between $450- $500. I'd love to pay it off early... time will tell on that one though. Anyway... the dealership said the financing places weren't open tonight... so they'd get back to me tomorrow. Time will tell.
Other than that... I am feeling rejuvenated with my beach time today. I just can't explain how much I love laying in the sun or being in the water. That IS one thing I'll miss when I leave Hawaii. Guess I'll have to find a place where I live next time with a pool and a sauna! LOL.
This morning the dogs had me up at 6am (ugh!)... but then after doing some chores, I laid back down until about 10am. THAT was nice too!
Okay... time to sign off so I can make sure this gets posted tonight.
Aloha!
- Kris

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pups and parks

Not sure why the coloring of this picture was so blue... so when I got home, I reset the camera on my phone to its default. BUT... it WAS a pretty day up on the North Shore today. No turtles again today, this is about the 4th time I've gone up there and haven't found any turtles! :-(
I took the pups to a dog park for the first time today. Bruno had it rough... he didn't like the other dogs sniffing at him! Peanut did better, just had trouble with one 6 mo LARGE puppy that was double her weight (or more!). He wanted to play and she wasn't sure what to do with this lumbering huge dog that wanted to chase after her! (it was another female). Bruno actually warmed up to another dog named Bruno... that one had been in a car accident with its owner and the owner died. The dog was there with a "Foster" dog family who were rehabbing it. He was part terrier/chihuahua or something... but poor dog ran with his head awkwardly tilted most of the time & most of the time he ran kind of sideways. They said he was paralyzed at first, so he's come a LONG way. Maybe my Bruno was more tolerant of him because he could sense something was not right with the other Bruno. Anyway... the dogs have been tired & sleeping a lot since I got them home.
Other than that... I did go to PT this morning and then later this aftrnoon I went and got my nails done.
AND... for some reason, I thought I had posted this last night, but I must have gotten distacted by the pups! Whoops!
Aloha!
- Kris

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday, friday...

So... this is how my day started... I got to listen to the awesome Army's "Strolling Strings." They've been here on Oahu entertaining and "strutting" their stuff. They were FANTASTIC (I wish they would have played longer... but oh well, I'm thankful for what I did get to listen to). I googled and found a link about them where you can learn more about them if you want:

http://www.usarmyband.com/strings/strings-promo-brochure07.pdf

Then I got involved in a discussion with one of my co-workers and the next thing I knew it was time for lunch... after work and a graduation ceremony for some clients, then I had to meet with my supervisor for about an hour... followed by an hour for a training session and then it was time to get off work. I actually left about a half hour early and headed over to the gym.

We had a scare in our family today. My older sister's husband thought he was having a heart attack. My sister happened to be off & got him right to the hospital where they gave him some nitroglycerin & aspirin & he felt better, they decided to take him into another hospital where they are better situated to diagnose & treat cardiological problems. They did a heart catheterization (sp) and fortunately didn't find anything. My sister said it might have been an esophageal spasm? They are going to keep him overnight for observation and to run some more tests on him in the morning. Please keep my sister & her husband in your prayers.

Other than that... I went & got my haircut tonight... its short(er) again. *smiles*

Oh... and I don't know if I mentioned that I was looking at a Social Work position in Kuwait (and wondering if I could handle a year over there)... well... no worries... they closed the job about a day after it opened. Not sure why. So at least it's a decision I don't have to make right now. (I would rather go to Europe... but a year in Kuwait would have been interesting....).

Okay, time to sign off... I need to take the dogs out for their walk soon.

Aloha!

- Kris

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another day... 'nother dollar...

This was a photo I took last fall... the full moon over Cartegena, Columbia


So... a co-worker offered to see one of my new clients this morning, which freed up some time for me. That was a nice gift. The rest of the day was busy and I ended up at work for an extra hour. Tomorrow one of my other co-workers (who has a caseload as big as mine) is going on leave for a week (this coming week was the week *I* was supposed to be in training for the week). I have one co-worker that doesn't carry a caseload (and can't... long story) that will be covering for the absent one next week. Tomorrow though it will just be me and the one other co-worker. Then Monday it will be just me & my supervisor. Fridays are our "light" day, we use it for training and catching up on paperwork (and hope there are no crises). Tomorrow I get to hear some violinists who will be playing for our clients and staff, that'll be a nice change.

I *did* find out today that it looks like I can take off July 2nd and have a four day weekend. There's a part of me that would like to take the day off... because it's going to be a rough summer and I need to take advantage of the days I *can* take off. On the other hand, I want to save all of my leave time for later in the Fall for which ever vacation I end up taking.

Okay... not much else going on... I made chocolate chip cookies when I got home and I've been somewhat watching TV and mostly surfing the web.

Time to sign off...

Aloha!
- Kris

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Comp time...

So... I ended up with an extra hour & a half of comp time today (that will come in handy later..).
This morning I had two no shows... but then they showed up at the end of the day, so I saw them then. (One is leaving the island in the morning and I needed to meet with them before they leave).

I didn't waste my free time though... I spent the "free" time updating my database of clients. I still have a lot to work to get it completely updated... but it's getting there.

Tomorrow morning I have a new client scheduled first thing, what a way to start the day. I think I have four appointments scheduled and two case staffings that I need to do... so it'll be a busy day.

Not much to write about tonight... other than if you are on facebook, please "friend" Cruise.com and vote for my pics that I submitted for their photo contest. Please?

Thanks & Aloha!
- Kris

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Quiet day...



This picture was taken last fall on the first full sea day, halfway between Fort Lauderdale and Jamaica (I was uploading pictures to a "photo contest" on the Cruise.com facebook page... it was one of many I've uploaded).
Work today went fine... I only had a couple appointments this morning (none scheduled for 8am and my 11am was a no-show). We celebrated my supervisor's birthday. I also found out that I *might* be able to do the coast to coast cruise this fall if I want (as long as I'm back by the 3rd week in October!). So... decisions, decisions...
This afternoon was a busy one, if I'm not dealing with clients, I'm dealing with case managers. Oh well. I *was* able to update my "database" of clients some... but stil have a lot more to do.
Overall, today was kind of up and down... regarding work. Long story that I don't feel like going through here. Remember... my mantra is "This too shall pass." I still have to say though, that I do have some great co-workers. I'll stand by that comment.
After work I had my Physical Therapy appt. Nice thing about having those... is that I have to leave work on time!
Okay... time to sign off and take the dogs for the bedtime walk, so I can hopefully get to bed before 10pm.
Aloha!
- Kris

Monday, June 7, 2010

Long Day...

Town in Corfu, Greece.

So... it was a 12 hour day. I had asked ahead of time if I could work late tonight to organize my charts. I got the charts organized, but didn't get all the names updated in my database. I also got all my notes done and a comprehensive psych-social done too (it was on a relatively easy case). At lunchtime a new client was in a crisis, so I only had about 15 minutes for lunch. Most of the afternoon was in a meeting, then I had a new client come in.

Not much else to write about today... No overtime tomorrow... because I have a PT appointment right after work. That's a good thing, I guess.

Aloha!
- Kris

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lazy days and travel planning...

This is my "reversible" ring that I got in Greece. The top is yellow gold, the middle portion (on this side) and the bottom part are white gold.
Here it is with the "gold" side up in the middle

And...here's what it looks like on. Right now I've just been wearing it on my pinky... trying to decide if I want to get it sized up a half notch or so. When the temperature is just right, I can get it onto my ring finger... but when it is warm and humid... forget it... there's NO WAY that ring is coming off (and I don't want to ever take the risk of having to get it cut off!).
So... I've basically done nothing all day. (okay... outside of walking the dogs a few times and giving them their bath... and doing laundry... and walking to Walmart...). I bought the "Honolulu Advertiser" today. It's the LAST one. They have been bought out and will be merged with the other newspaper we have here on the islands. I think it's been 154 years that the Honolulu Advertiser has been printing. I would have rather kept the Advertiser... it'll be interesting to see how the merge goes.
Oh yea... I drug my flute out and spent an hour or two playing that (the only songs I know are Christian songs). It was nice to play, although the dogs didn't quite know what to think about it

Other than that... I've been looking at travel opportunities. Since October is apparently OUT for vacation for me (so that means no cruise from the West Coast to the East Coast)... part of the reason I picked up the paper today was to look at the travel section. I would like to get to China while I'm here in Hawaii. I found a tour that leaves every Wednesday from here and goes to Beijing. It includes airfare, hotel, 2-3 days of tours (it's a week-long and allows you to have a couple days to do whatever YOU want to do) and it includes some meals. The main thing I want to see is "The Great Wall of China" (do you know that it is one of the view landmarks visible from outer space... like when the space shuttle flies? Wow!). Anyway... the "Great Wall" is on my bucket list (and it would knock off another continent and country from my list). The cost of the tour is just over $1,000. So... I'm thinking IF I can get my supervisor's blessings... I'd like to do it over Labor Day weekend. Anybody want to go with me? *smiles*
Okay... not much else to write about today. I *did* talk to my friends Nikki & Guy. They've put down their deposit to come back to Hawaii next year, although their landlord is jacking up their rent price an extra $400 a month! Yowza! So they will be paying $2400 a month for the few months they are here. I keep telling them they could get a better deal (WITH maid service!), but they are set on staying at the same place, it's familiar and they've been staying there many years.
Guess I'd better sign off and figure out what I'm wearing to work this week. I've already been given permission to stay and work late tomorrow night. Hopefully in the 3 hours I plan to stay late, I can get all my co-worker's charts incorporated with mine and I can get all his clients listed into my database, so I feel like I can hit the ground running... and maybe, just maybe I'll have a no-show? Tomorrow afternoon I'll be in a meeting all afternoon (to discuss all of my clients), after this week, the meetings will have to go out the door as I try to keep up with the workload.
Hope YOU have a great week!

Aloha!
- Kris

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Quiet Saturday

So... typical weekend for me... I stayed up too late last night, so slept in this morning. The dogs had me up about 7, but we laid back down after their walk until about 10am. I had my Physical therapy appt at 1, so lounged around surfing the web (and took the dogs for another walk).

I got my new "Professional" license in the mail today. Here in Hawaii our licenses need to be renewed every 3 years, they expire the end of June. So, I went online earlier this week (or was it last week) and paid for it. After my PT, I stopped by Office Max to get it laminated (that way it lasts longer). I was going to go up and pay my rent, but found out my landlady is out of town until the middle of the week. I'll drop it off to her later in the week. I also stopped by the bank to drop off a deposit. I'm going to switch banks, I haven't been happy with my current one for a long time and the new bank has better features. I also went online and changed my automatic deposit to the new bank, it should take effect on my next payday. I'll keep my current bank account open for another month or two, until I can get everything switched over.

This afternoon I watched "Mutiny on the Bounty." It was first filmed in 1935, wow! I don't know if I have ever watched the whole thing... but a good portion of it was filmed in Tahiti, so it was neat looking for familiar (or somewhat familiar) sites.

I took the dogs down to the little park near my apartment complex, they like going down there (so that's where the picture is from today). BTW, so far I like my new phone, it seems to to take pretty good pictures... that's important to me.

Okay... signing off.

Aloha!
- Kris


Friday, June 4, 2010

Grumble, grumble...

For whom the bell tolls? (Corfu, Greece)


So... can I grumble a bit? As of Monday I will have the (huge) responsibility for 116 clients and of those, 19 are considered high risk (i.e. suicidal, psychotic, recently discharged from a psych hospital, etc). Today was my one co-worker's last day. So... reality is setting in more. I *am* a little worried about the workload and the increased responsibility. I know that people we work for know that we are understaffed... I don't think we can quite get it through their heads (even though our head boss was reminded several times today) that as Social Workers, we have 6 TIMES as many clients as the Nurse Case Managers. We keep getting promised additional staff... we have been promised that we will get pay raises (I found out today that if we do get it, it won't happen until after the 1st of the year... and that's a long way off at this point!). They do have at least one person "in the pike" to be hired, but we have so much bureaucracy that it takes forever to get someone hired. I'll be surprised if we see the person working in the position before September or October. They are moving from the mainland, they have to get certified to work here (long story), and then they have to be trained and oriented to our system here.


I'm feeling ungrateful and yet don't feel I should be ungrateful. I *am* thankful I have a job. But then I go back to empty promises. I was initially promised a substantial hiring bonus, which got shot down from the top (above the boss we met with today). I asked about a student loan repayment. That didn't happen. Heck... I've asked about having our professional licenses paid for (that are due by the end of the month) and I've gotten the runaround about that... Many agencies pay for the Licensing and Credentialing of their Professional staff. I agreed to take this position with the understanding that I could take advantage of educational opportunities. I got to go to the first of the three professional development courses. I was signed up to take one of the courses in about a week and a half, but got bumped from that because another co-worker put in time-off paperwork (AFTER I was approved for the course). We knew that (I wouldn't be able to attend the one course this month) far enough in advance that I could have taken advantage of third course which was offered in April... nope. So... at this point... no educational opportunities in the "pike" for me. And, I know... my boss had no way of knowing that one of my co-workers would be leaving... but still... I want to grumble...okay?


I asked my supervisor about taking time in October to go on leave... she has basically said at this point, SHE is the only one going on leave in October. Even though both of my other two co-workers want to take leave that month as well (I just found this out after I inquired (first) in our meeting about taking time off in October). It doesn't help that of the 4 in our department (Supervisor does carry about a dozen cases, the other one doesn't... long story again...) anyway, three of them will be in "use it or lose it" status as far as their leave goes (I think two of them are already in that status). Basically, in our company, you are only allowed to carry over "X" amount of hours each year. It rolls over every October. I guess at this point I just need to ask the supervisor to tell ME when I can take leave (being low man on the totem pole doesn't have its benefits at times!).


And last December we were told that our annual national conference would be in August, to set the date aside... and we had to call and give them our credit card# to secure our rooms. So... right now it looks like just my supervisor and one co-worker (the same one that put in her leave request AFTER my training request was approved) will be going. I had better not get charged on my credit card or I'm going to be livid.


These are little nuances that drive me nuts and makes me want to look for another job. The first of October I will have been in this position for a year. At that point I will feel comfortable moving into another position (if one becomes available that I am interested in). I saw one advertised in Walla Walla (where my middle daughter will be)... but I would prefer to go overseas for my next job and that's what I am working towards. I have plans to take my youngest daughter & granddaughter on a cruise in April though... and for that I feel like I still need to be "stateside." I just wish it weren't so long away now.


Okay... I guess that's enough grumbling for today. I need to adjust my attitude. I do appreciate that I have a job. I do know that while the coming months will be harried... and challenging... that challenges can be a growth opportunity. I can work to become more productive and work on my time management skills. (Although... you do realize that I am more than doubling my current caseload which I barely seem to keep up with!). I know that I will have the opportunity to accrue a lot of overtime over the next few months, which may come in handy down the road by allowing me to save my regular leave time for the future. No worries about ME getting into "use it or lose it" status anytime soon.


I *have* been looking at some cruises. There are the ones going from the west coast of the US, through the Panama Canal to the East coast. There's one going out of Venice (again) for $899, but this one, while visiting Kusadasi again, also goes to a couple places in Israel and goes to Egypt. And... I would still like to go to China while I am still on this side of the world. Maybe I will have to look into creating my own tour (I mainly want to go to to Beijing to see "The Great Wall of China."). Maybe I can just fly over for a week? Maybe I need to pick up a Sunday paper to look at what travel tours there are going to Japan. Time will tell.


On the other hand... I probably should focus on saving my money because I will probably be needing a new car within the next year and it would be nice to put down at least half (doubt if I can have enough set aside to pay for it outright). I'm strongly looking at the Honda Accord hybrid. I'd even settle for one a year or two old, if it didn't have any problems.


Okay... signing off. This has been a long post.


Aloha...

- Kris


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Yowza!

So... I took the dogs to the Vet tonight for the annual visit... the appointment was for 7:30pm. But, they had a couple emergencies, one couple was waiting in the waiting area to find out how much money it would cost to save the life of their dog that had been hit by a car (apparently the dog's eye was bulging out... ouch!).

My dogs were healthy (Peanut could be a pound or two less apparently, but otherwise fine). They got stool samples taken, got checked for heartworm, got vaccinations, etc (over the course of a couple hours!). AND... it set me back about $400 dollars! OUCH! I'm so thankful my dogs are indoor dogs and don't socialize too much... they are less likely to "catch" something from another dog!

Work itself went fine... I still have a couple documentation issues I need to get done... maybe tomorrow? (That'll be a surprise). I have a new client coming in tomorrow and we will spend the better part of the day with good-byes for my co-worker that is leaving, tomorrow is his last day.

I attended the Memorial Service for a peer today, it was a good service. I felt bad for her family and my heart strings were tugged on when I saw her little 5 year old son, who didn't have a clue what was going on, that we were all there to say good-bye to his mama.

Okay... it's late... still need to walk the dogs and get to bed.

Aloha!
- Kris

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Busy day...

In Venice... I promise, I'm not lying!

So... I had a no show this morning, but another client did a walk-in. (No rest for the wicked). Although I was supposed to see the walk-in tomorrow for a regular appointment, so hopefully that means I have an extra hour open tomorrow. I think if I include some brief contacts with 3-4 clients, I had 10 client encounters today. Wow. I'm sure that's only a sample of what
is to come.
I *was* able to make it to the gym today for the first time since I returned from my vacation. I didn't finish all of my documentation, I left one long one that still needs to be completed... hopefully tomorrow. I think my schedule has me real busy in the morning, then I have a memorial service for a peer who passed away about 2 weeks ago, then only one appointment in the afternoon. IF I get some free time, I hope to continue to work on a spreadsheet of all my clients (all those 116 I will have!). I've got a lot yet to do on it. But... hopefully I can get it done and keep it caught up among all the craziness that will be.
Okay... signing off. I've been watching "The Unit" tonight and want to take the dogs for a walk as soon as it is over. Tomorrow evening I get to take the dogs to the Vet, just for a regular check up and I want the Vet to look at Peanut's right rear par... she's been chewing on it off and on.
Aloha!
- Kris

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

One day down...

So...
One day down this week and three to go (although we typically don't see clients on Friday, so that's a quiet day). Next week I will be responsible for 116 clients, yikes! Of those, 14 are high risk (i.e. actively suicidal, homicidal or psychotic!).

Today was fairly quiet... the calm before the storm. Tomorrow isn't looking to be TOO busy, but it'll continue to build until I am overwhelmed soon... This summer may be one of the longest I will have had for a very long time!

Not much to write about today... I went to Physical Therapy after work and tonight I watched "America's Got Talent" and the show where Julian (from Biggest Loser) goes to different people's homes for a week.

Aloha!
- Kris