Friday, January 31, 2014
Work was crazy today, not so much because of appointments (I only had 2 scheduled), it was just everything else that they wanted me to get done ASAP! For example, yesterday I found out they wanted me to have a webcam and software set up on my computer. And of course... today they wanted me to get installed and up and running TODAY!
We started off the morning with our typical Friday morning meeting, my boss had said to bring my "objectives" for the new year (performance objectives) to the meeting, so I figure, since they seem to have absolutely NO bearing on my ability to get a promotion, or get a raise, or a bonus, why try to be creative or too challenging... so I just used the same ones from last year. But then I had to go back, and drag up the online form and type them onto that (with SOME cutting and pasting), and then send it to my supervisor... who digitally initialed it, then sent it back to me to "initial" and then it was supposed to go to my "senior rater." SO... I sent it to him, and he said he wanted it to come from my supervisor! SO... I had to send it back to her, so SHE could send it to him, even though it already had her "initials" on it.
On top of that we had to do something called an "Individualized Career Plan" (or something like that)... which meant, logging into another system, updating my profile (which at least I had one there, but it was with data from Hawaii). I have to take at least ONE course... which will take at least EIGHT hours... (so I am setting aside February 13th to get it done). BUT... to take that one (ONLINE) course... I had to submit a request to my supervisor and her supervisor.
That's just kind of how the day went... all day (or at least all morning). Then this afternoon was spent on a video teleconference, watching and listening to some guy read 3 hours worth of his notes for an Ethics course. I really needed to get the credit hours (I need 6 this year, that was worth 3). But, man, was it boring.
After work I had to run some errands, go by the bank, pay a bill, and then get gas. I thought I had my nail appointment today, but it's tomorrow, so at least that was one less thing I needed to worry about today. And I *did* take over the on call phone (my supervisor got called out last night at midnight!). I will have it the next two weeks (so I can earn a couple extra dollars as I go through this period of getting $600 less a month for awhile... because the Govt said they over paid me my 1st two years here).
Okay... it's 10pm, I am going to sign off and try to head to bed at a decent time tonight. Bruno is begging me to go out potty.
So... Auf Wiedersehen!
Thursday, January 30, 2014
A statue in the fishing village I visited in Malta
These eyes descend from an an ancient Phoenician custom. They are referred to as the Eye of Osiris or Horus and the Phoenicians believed that the eye protected them against evil. Tradition says that the eye of Osiris protects the fishing boats from danger and also wards off any evil spirits.
This belief lives on to this day because every Spring you can still see fishermen painting the eye afresh to give them maximum protection!
So... work was busy today, but thankfully I had two appointments that got rescheduled. That gave me a break to get my notes caught up and to stay up on today's notes. It seems like every day there is *something* extra that needs to be done though. Today it was going into the computer system and updating emergency contact information, and responding to emails and feeling pulled between two departments. I decided to eat lunch in my office, as I did the notes for my 11am appointment and then wanted to check my personal emails and my facebook. Well, wouldn't you know it, a call came in that should have gone to the "on-call" phone, but since our staff know that I pull on-call for the other two, they came and got me. That wasted 15 minutes or so of my lunch (and then I had to get some additional information and write up two reports, that took another 15 minutes or so). UGH!
My blood labs are still coming in. My Ferritin is within range, but one of my iron labs was low. AND... surprise, surprise (sarcastically), my Cholesterol was high. I've not been wanting to start taking fish oil. Guess I'd better reconsider that.
Other than that, tomorrow in addition to the rest of my work and an afternoon of training, I'm supposed to write up some job objectives and sign up for some career stuff online. (The career stuff is a waste of time, the ONLY way I will get promoted is to leave this job and this area... unfortunately there is NOT a career progression path here where I am). That's not to say I don't like being here, I do. But, sometimes it is aggravating, they want you to do more and more (see more patients), and yet they put more and more requirements on you (i.e. training, more documentation... changing what you put in the documentation, etc... etc).
I'm probably a *little* grumpy today/tonight... because even when I stay late and do more, it doesn't get appreciated. (like... hey! I really appreciate how you stay on top of getting your notes and assessment done in a timely manner! Instead, I get... well, I'm behind in my notes too!). Argh!
I am going to get a 3 day weekend, because I am taking Monday off to sleep in after watching the "Super Bowl." (GO HAWKS!). I may have to take another day off later in February because I need to get my dogs in for their shots, they are due in February. In March I will catch a break... The first part of the month I get to do some training to help parents not be so reactive to their children (and to their spouses). Then on my birthday I get to head up to Ramstein for a week of training to help people with PTSD. I've had two other trainings in this area, this is the 3rd one that is recommended.
And... if I can afford it... maybe I'll plan a vacation for a week in April.
Okay... signing off...
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Work was very busy today, we had a staff meeting this morning for an hour, and then I had 3 appointments this morning and I had 3 scheduled this afternoon. The last appointment of the day didn't show up though. I worked to try and get my notes done (today I seemed to be running behind on ALL of my appointments and even ran into my lunch hour!). I had to talk with my supervisor twice today, and she gave me a referral for marital counseling, but said I needed to talk to the Provider that made the referral, I tried to catch him, but he was out of the office, so I went back to doing my notes and the next thing I knew, it was quitting time and he was headed out the door. I did talk with one of our docs who had seen the person referred, but quite frankly, that wasn't of much help (pretty much just said to talk to the other provider). Oh... and they came into install a new phone today... that I'm supposed to "log out of" and log ON to" every day. WHAT THE HECK? Like I need one more thing to do. WHO logs in and off a phone?
I did get another assessment written up tonight (so I am basically caught up on assessments, but I need to go back and tweak one that I did last week, and then submit it, it was one I was waiting on some guidance for). Tomorrow I have another busy day scheduled (but I did have one appointment call today to reschedule their appointment for tomorrow). And Friday is scheduled to be busy in the morning and in the afternoon, I am scheduled for training all afternoon. No rest for the wicked. I *am* taking off next Monday though to watch the Superbowl (it will get over here, about 2am Sunday night/Monday morning).
Okay... it's about 10:20pm, way past my bedtime again, so I had better sign off.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Work was fairly busy today, I was able to finish up last week's notes. And I got most of today's notes done, with the exception of the last appointment today (which was a new intake, so I brought the work home and have worked on it a little).
On the way home I was day dreaming and thinking about photography and passed the stationary speed camera and looked down and I was going about 4km over the speed limit. I hit my breaks as soon as I realized it, but I hope I don't get a ticket. That's what I get for day dreaming while driving. And I know that speed cam is there... I pass it every time I go that way to and from work. Argh!
Okay... signing off...
Monday, January 27, 2014
So... I only had 1 meeting and two appointments today, you would think I could get everything caught up... but did I? Nope! Well, I spent one of those hours having an informal chat with the head boss, I was going to say I "wasted" an hour... but when the head boss has an "open door" of sorts... I think you should take advantage of it. I stayed up and did all the assessments last night, and I got all but one put into the computer system. I am holding off on entering the one assessment, because I had talked with my boss about it and wanted further guidance. I had another intake this morning (so that was about 2 hours for that one)... so I brought THAT assessment (two of them) home tonight and did manage to get them typed up tonight. I got all my notes done for last week, except for Friday (so I just have to get them done by tomorrow). There were only two more notes to write (for Friday), but the computer system was being wacky at work this evening and taking way too long, so I finally gave up so I could leave work by 6pm.
This morning I did go in and I got my "annual" labs done. They only drew 5 tubes of blood (sometimes I have had 7-8 tubes taken!). The only results that were back in today were the CBC results... and that looked normal. The rest have to be sent to another hospital to be processed and if it is typical, some take a couple weeks to get the results.
Okay... now it's about 10:15pm. Looks like another late night. After I got my assessments typed up, then I sorted out my vitamins, I have about 6 weeks worth now that I don't have to worry about them for awhile. Between now and then I'll be meeting with my doctor to discuss the results of my labs and see if I need to tweak my vitamins (not take as many of some or take more of another).
Sunday, January 26, 2014
So...slept in a little today, then took a nap. That's kind of been my theme on weekends lately (when I am not traveling) it seems. I did get the dogs out for a couple short walks today and Bruno & Peanut got to play with Tequilla and Ballou for awhile, they always enjoy that.
What I *did* get accomplished, was I got my Christmas stuff taken off my dining table and put away. And, I wrote up something like 7 assessments this afternoon/evening. At least it is done. I will need to tweak a couple of them when I go into work tomorrow, but that shouldn't take too long if I get an hour of uninterrupted time.
Tonight I had some salmon filet's for dinner (most of 2 of them, I shared with the pups) and I had some brown rice. Tasted good.
Okay, it's 10:40pm, WAY past my bedtime, so I had better sign off.
Friday, January 24, 2014
This morning Bruno woke me up about 3am and again about 4am. I let the dogs out both times and somehow managed to fall back to sleep, amazingly. But, it left me feeling tired today.
Work went okay today, we only see clients for a half day on Fridays, the rest is taken up with clinic meetings and trainings. I had one cancellation today, and was able to get a couple notes written during that time. But... I still have a LOT of paperwork to get done, so most likely will go in sometime this weekend.
Not much going on tonight... just playing on my laptop. Still feeling lazy. My shoulder is feeling a lot better, it's achy when I wake up, but I continue to have some headaches.
Okay... signing off.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Work went okay today... I wasn't as productive as I had hoped to be. I had a client show up way early for an appointment (when I had been hoping to work on notes)... and the client wasn't feeling well (shaking/twitching and has significant medical issues) so I walked the client over to the clinic to make sure they were seen by a doc (and THEN I met with them about an hour later). One of my co-workers said I should have just had one of our techs walk the client over to the clinic... and to be truthful, I didn't even think about that. I think it goes back to treating others the way I would like to be treated. I would like it if someone cared enough to walk me over to the clinic to make sure I was okay before leaving me there. (There was a question whether they would have to go in an ambulance to the hospital, I wouldn't have gone there... but I wanted to make sure they were okay). So... that kind of blew my weekend and then this afternoon I had two appointments, one was another intake. I am getting WAY behind on my intake paperwork! YIKES!
Tonight I went over and talked with one of my neighbors for a little bit. (They are Americans and I don't think I have actually talked to them since before Christmas!). Anyway, apparently she had a minor fender bender (well, kind of caught another car with her bumper as she was pulling into a parking spot in her new car that is only 2 months old!). Oops!
Okay... signing off.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Work went okay today, not TOO busy. I had a new intake today that went long (so I got a half hour lunch... had a Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich). I was able to get most of my notes from last week done, but I have several assessments to get written. Tomorrow morning I think I will have some free time so that I can hopefully get those assessments done. I brought work home to do, but just don't have the desire or energy to do any of it (I'm watching Biggest Loser). I'm also having a problem with my computer tonight. For some reason, the touchpad on my computer keeps malfunctioning and not working, so I end up having to hook up a mouse to be able to use my laptop. I tried downloading the driver software for the mousepad, but that doesn't seem to help. Part of my problem today is that my computer had another update. Argh!
Today I've still been dealing with my achy shoulder and headache, although tonight my shoulder is feeling a little better. I've just about gone through a whole bottle of Tylenol in the last week. Tonight I was talking with one of our docs and she said that my head wound probably should have had a stitch or two (but... but... I don't like needles!).
Okay... signing off... hoping to be in bed by 9:30pm or so.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Xewkija the village of the Rotunda Church, was the first hamlet to be raised to the status of a village. Its name is Maltese and Arabic for a place where thistles abound.
Xewkija is dominated by the mammoth Rotunda parish church, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. It became the first parish outside the town of the island of Gozo on 27 November 1678. It was Bishop Michael Molina who, after visiting the hamlet during a pastoral visit, decided the large community living around an old chapel of Saint John the Baptist, deserved better pastoral care.
The old chapel was rebuilt at least twice. The foundation stone of the Rotunda, the parish church, was laid on 4 May 1952. It was built around the former church, itself raised on the site of a still older church. The community was, until the middle of the twentieth century, made primarily of farmers and fishermen. They had made all sort of sacrifices to build the earlier churches. Undaunted by sacrifices, in 1952, these farmers and fishermen bound themselves to a weekly offering to raise the enormous rotunda. The dome, 75 metres high, with a diameter of 27 metres, and a circumference of 85 metres, is one of the largest in Europe. Its total weight is calculated to be around 45,000 tonnes. It was consecrated on 17 June 1978. The church has enjoyed Archipresbyteral since 10 February 1893.
This church could be seen from almost all over the island of Gozo... Unfortunately, it WASN'T one of the churches we visited.
So...yes, today I've been grumpy. I think because I woke up all achy (shoulder/head). I've been taking Tylenol (3 at a time) and once they kick in, I'm mostly okay... but until then... I ache.
So... grumpiness today... well, for one, it was a busy day and I didn't have a chance to get to my notes from last week. So... now I'm going on past 3 working days for some of those notes. Two... tell me who pulls a fire drill AFTER the end of the day? And I'm grumpy about that on several levels.
#1: I saw the Fire Marshal in our building talking with the guy in charge of the building. I even made a comment to the guy that "wow, I've never seen him here when there hasn't been a fire drill" and the guy just smiled at me. I thought maybe he was here because we are getting ready for a major inspection and they were discussing that.
#2: The fire drill. Those of us still in the building after we SHOULD have been out of the office... had to go out to our "meeting point" and wait for a head count. (SAYS WHO? Tell me???) But we like sheep led astray... just dutifully follow everyone. I was frustrated at myself in a way for being a conformist and not just heading to my car instead. They didn't give the "all clear" call until 4:50pm... no one gets overtime for those 20 minutes... but we all just stood there (including myself) and complained about it (I had all my stuff... I could have just left). Anyway... that didn't help my mood as I was close to getting out of the office at a relatively good time.
#3: I mailed a package on January 9th, Priority Mail, via the USPS/Military mail system and while it shows it was "accepted" at the post office here... it doesn't show anything else. They'll blame it on the East coast weather they are having today.
Okay... keeping this short... Bruno is whining to go out, it's almost 9:30pm and bedtime.
Monday, January 20, 2014
Well, I got up about 6:15am, so I could be ready to leave by about 7am. The taxi driver showed up early and off we went. I got to the airport a couple hours early (the front desk guy recommended 2 -2 1/2 hours early)... just to get there and sit. The airport is smaller than Stuttgart's, so an hour would have been plenty of time! I just didn't want to risk it with traffic and such (which was just fine too, I think because most of the traffic was coming INTO the city, not going out). I got to Munich about 11 and had a 7 hour layover there. I caught up on emails and facebook, and then I read a couple of the American Papers that Lufthansa hands out for free... and then I decided to splurge. I rented one of those nap-pods and took a nap for about 3 hours. They're pretty nice, but spendy, something like 15 euros an hour! YOWZA! It was a nice way to kill a dreary afternoon. I got up in time to have some dinner (Shrimp scampi) and then boarded the plane to come home to Stuttgart. The flight from Munich to Stuttgart is only about a half an hour. I got my luggage (and no where did I have to show my passport, coming or going!)... caught the next train to Rohr then had to wait about a half an hour for the train to Goldberg. After that, it was a stop off at the dog sitter's to pick up my dogs (they are always SOOO happy to see me)... and we got home just after 9pm. Now it is almost 10pm and bedtime.
Things about Malta:
*I was surprised that they drove on the opposite side of the road (I should have known that, they used to be a British colony).
*I think a LOT of British snowbirds come to Malta for their winter vacations
*It was cleaner than I expected... it was cleaner than Rome
*Gozo was a nice island, although I would not recommend Oasis Tours, all they did was drop you off at the various places and didn't tell you anything about the places.
*I don't think you can do all the routes on the HOHO busses in one day. Not sure you can do it in 2 days.
*It reminded me a lot of the Aryan Island of Innishmoor, only because of all the stone/rock walls separating properties.
*I bet it is absolutely beautiful in the late Spring and early fall.
*The rain is dirty there... wonder if it was coming off the African deserts...?
*I enjoyed that almost everyone spoke English
* a one way trip on the city bus is 1 euro 30 cents, an all day fare is 1 euro 50 cents. (interesting)
*They have a Hard Rock Café at the airport! (I did not know that until I got back there this morning).
Okay... time to sign off.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
So, I got up early in hopes of watching another sunrise, but unfortunately no luck. So I came back to the hotel and laid back down for awhile, something I shouldn't have done because then I didn't get to do everything I had hoped to do today. I did do the HOHO bus, but kept missing it. The only place I ended up getting off was at the fishing village (with all the colorful boats in the above photos) of Marsaxlokk. I had hoped to have enough time to explore the Blue Lagoona rea, but alas, that didn't happen. From what I understand, the water was too rough, so no boats were running in the area anyway. I got back to my area about 5 pm, but got off way too early before my stop, so I went exploring.
Right now I am sitting in the lobby of the hotel listening to live piano music with probably at least 50 elderly British folks. It is a nice way to end the day.
Tomorrow I have to get picked up at 7 am for my flight back to Germany. I wish I had a few more days here.
Okay, signing off.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
So, this morning I got up at the crack of dawn - actually, before that, and walked across the street, to watch the sun rise on the ocean! This was one of the photos I took!
Then I came back and had a huge breakfast at the hotel (all you can eat for 6 euros!). I had planned to do the hop on, hop off bus, but I saw the local tourist shop at the hotel had a tour to the island of Gozo (A place several of my friends highly recommended) for 18 euros, leaving at 8 am and returning at 5pm, so I hopped on that. After a short bus and ferry ride, we arrived at Gozo.
This was probably my favorite stop, as I got to explore the Oceanside, jumping and hopping across craggy rocks (constantly reminding myself that I wasn't allowed to fall!). This a place known as the "Blue Window". It was quite lovely!
This was one of the MANY cathedrals I went into today, and not the one I would have most LIKED to go in. There was another Cathdral that is apparently the 3rd largest in Europe and while we passed it several times, it wasn't on the places the tour went to. This particular church, Basillica is known as the Ta' Pinu Sanctuary. It is a national shrine where in 1883 a woman was said to have heard "the voice of our lady speak" (okay, no comment from me here...).
I hate having pictures spoiled by scaffolding! This was at the Citadel in Victoria, which is built on one of the many flat top hills in the center of Gozo. It's origins can be dated back to the late Middle Ages. At one time, apparently the entire population of the island took refuge within the Citadel walls at sunset. The walls of the citadel date from the 16th to the 18th centuries.
We stopped in one of the seaside villages for lunch, I think it was Xlindi Bay. I just had a piece of breaded fish and some potatoes (their version of freshly made fish and chips). It was good. I walked around the town a bit and along one low lying wall area and I kept hearing a strange sound. It sort of sounded like one of those "rain sticks", well, what it was, was when the waves came up and then receded, the rocks would tumble down across each other. It is hard to describe, but I was fascinated!
I was on the trip with a lot of British people, although there were only about 18 of us on the tour. I really enjoyed two of the couples I met. One older guy I sat across from on the bus, I asked him of the places he has traveled (from England) where he has enjoyed the most. Come to find out he had not traveled outside of England until 5 years ago, before that, he had not been on a plane or outside of England for 56 years! WOW! He said that his wife passed away about 5 years ago and had been quite sickly, so she wasn't able to travel and he didn't want to go anywhere without her. He now has a "partner"/lady friend that he travels with. It was an interesting day. After coming back to the hotel for a bit, I decided to head over to the Hard Rock Cafe tonight. I got off at the wrong bus stop, but the directions were not very clear as to how to find it. I did see the Hilton hotel (where I finally went in and asked directions!), man was that a swanky place, with its own marina and lots of VERY expensive yachts parked there? WOW!
I got back to the hotel about 10pm, coming back was easier!
Now I need to check the weather report and figure out what all I am going to do tomorrow (to included the HOHO bus). So will sign off for another night. Oh, and the good news? I got over 20,400 steps in today!
Friday, January 17, 2014
So, I did make it to Malta, after staying up (typically) way too late last night. But, I have clean sheets on the bed and a fairly clean house.
I got to my hotel around 4pm, the top photo is taken from the top floor of the hotel. After checking in and getting situated, I spent a couple hours wandering around Sliema, where my hotel is located. I enjoyed checking out the tide pools near the hotel and listening to the waves. Malta, so far, reminds me of Italy a little, just not as dirty. I was hoping for a sea view, but alas, no luck, but, I think the trade off is that it's probably a quieter room.
Anyway, I'll keep this short, I keep dropping internet access. Tomorrow I plan to do the hop on, hop off bus, and get a good overview of Malta. * smiles*
Thursday, January 16, 2014
So... work was REALLY busy today and I didn't get ANY notes done (I will have to do them when I get back, I basically have 3 work days to get my notes done).
I am off call now too... and leave tomorrow morning for Malta. After work, I came home and then later this evening I ran the dogs over to the Dog sitters. The husband (of the couple that watch them) is getting ready to deploy and will be gone before I return. The wife seems to be pretty competent and is working, so she should do okay while he is gone, but I might call her in a month or so and ask her to either come over for dinner, or take her out to dinner (if I can afford it).
Which reminds me, I finally found out the "official" amount they are going to be deducting from my paycheck for the next 10 months... a little over $302 a payday (so OVER $600 a month). Argh! "This too shall pass."
I also found out today that my application for the one position I applied for in the DC area is actually going forward (I was "found eligible for the position and your name was referred to the selecting official for consideration.") It would be a VERY interesting position with a wonderful (Government) organization. This is a position that my supervisor has also put in for though, as well. I want to ask her if her application was sent forward as well, but I don't necessarily want her to know that I also applied. (If she was honest, she would probably tell me that she doesn't think I would be able to qualify for it). Not sure I want to live in the DC area, but the job has great promotion possibilities as well, and that's also something I'm interested in.
Okay...it's almost 10pm, I'd better sign off. I've got my bedding in the dryer, and I really need to vacuum and I'd like to mop (I'd like to come home to a clean house). If I can blog from Malta, I will. Hopefully I will be able to post some pictures as well. I also need to finish packing. *smiles*
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
So... OUCH! Last night I had gone downstairs and forgot the on call phone upstairs, so I went to run back upstairs to get the phone, and slipped on the bottom step (going UP thankfully, instead of down). But, I managed to put a small gash above up above and to the left of my left eyebrow. AND, I bruised my left shoulder really bad. So bad, that I went over to the clinic this morning and got x-rays. First impression of the x-rays seem to indicate that nothing is fractured or dislocated, so that's good. The doc gave me a sling to use as needed and some Tylenol for pain (he didn't want to give me anything else, because if I started having concussion symptoms, if I were on pain medication, it might be hard to tell whether it was from the medication or the head injury. I have to say... the Tylenol is not doing anything for the pain. BUT... I'm very thankful that nothing is broken and that I didn't need stitches (they wouldn't have stitched it up this morning anyway, as it had been more than 6 hours). I think hurting myself like this makes me feel more vulnerable to old age. Hrmph!
Work was fragmented today... I had a cancellation (we had a lot of ice on our vehicles this morning as it had rained last night, then froze... so my first appointment cancelled because their car door was frozen shut). We start out our Wednesdays in a staff meeting (for which I was thankful today), so I skipped the staff meeting (I let people know where I was going) and went over to the clinic to see if I could be seen as a walk-in. It didn't take long to get in, but there was some misunderstanding between the doctor and the radiology tech (the doc was putting in orders for the wrong x-ray procedure and apparently he had difficulty understanding that). I did go back over this afternoon (when I had a spot open) and the doc went over to radiology and told me that it didn't look like anything was fractured or dislocated, but he has to wait for the radiologist to review the results, before the final determination is made.
Tonight I'm just going to take it easy (although I *do* need to pack for my trip and get some things done around the house).
Okay... signing off...