hot plate kate

rants and ramblings freshly served

My Garden — June 13, 2017

My Garden

I thought it was my garden.

My humble effort at creativity.

An experiment that has gone on many years.

With the plants I’ve always loved, with occasional newcomers.

Just simple harmless dirt, some flowers and weeds.
I didn’t ask you to help.

But yet you can’t keep your hands off of it.

Of course you think you can make it better, oh and neater too.

We wouldn’t want the garden to be messy.

I thought it was my place to play, to succeed and fail.

No, I can’t have even the dirt.

The Frozen Center of My Depression — June 4, 2017

The Frozen Center of My Depression

I feel like I have been doing well with my depression.  Having more hours of summer sunshine is always helpful.  Usually the effect is like a veil of fog slowly lifting.  Then winter comes again and I have to resist the urge to crawl under the covers.  In winter there is an urge to want to hibernate, and snarl at anyone who pokes me.

Despite the sunny days my depression has a frozen center which sort of nags at me. There is this pull to do something about the frozen center.  It is hard to describe the frozen center.  Perhaps it is the expectation I put on myself to be a contained sort of person, not to do anything wild or let go.  Maybe another person might respond to this urge by dyeing her hair with a color not found in nature.

I know taking care of the frozen center involves doing something.  What that something might be I am not sure.  Would it be a collection of small things, like getting a manicure or reading a book.  Or would it be something larger, like setting a goal and actually committing to reaching said goal.  A real goal, not a crazy one where I set myself up to fail.  Spending more time outdoors certainly couldn’t hurt me.

Maybe some people deal with the frozen center by having a gin and tonic or two.  I sometimes think about that, but given my family history probably not the best choice. Maybe it is time to look for a new job.

The frozen center is a question, but I am not sure what the answer is.

Male Privilege in Nursing? — June 1, 2017

Male Privilege in Nursing?

For the most part I don’t use my blog to talk about work.  I found this piece  on the website Nurse Manifest where author Jillian Primiano thinks that men in the nursing profession should consider their privilege.  She has recently graduated and is about to begin her first professional nursing job.

In my years as a nurse, and even a nursing student, I don’t know that I have seen this privilege amongst male nurses that she talks about.


Mother’s Day — May 12, 2017

Mother’s Day

It is getting close to Mother’s Day as I write this post.

Mother’s Day..what is it?  Many years ago it was a fairly low key affair with my mom. After I was married, for a while it seemed to be a battle for whose mother reigned supreme..his mother or my mother.  While my mother in law was still living, it was expected that we would always put her first..beyond whatever I might wish to do with my mother, or what I might like to do once I became a mother.

These days it is back to being a more low key affair that I spend with my kids.

It is also a time of reflection.  As my kids get older I look back to some of the difficult times I had with my own mom.  I hope and I pray that I can be a mom without all the drama I grew up with.

Today I was thinking about when to step back.  Sometimes it is hard not to hover and interject my own opinions over trivial things.

Most of all though, I think about how blessed(lucky, grateful) my husband and I have been by our children.  They are definitely more than the sum of our parts.

Keep Fighting — April 18, 2017

Keep Fighting

You have fresh scars from your battle

The scars don’t tell the story of the invader within

We’ll have to remain vigilant

Still waiting to hear if we have won the war

Against the enemy who started out so very small

Thoughts on Privacy, Growing Up and Marriage — April 14, 2017

Thoughts on Privacy, Growing Up and Marriage

Growing up I struggled to have some sense of privacy.  Those of us of a certain age will remember telephones as a device which had a cord that kept you tethered to a confined space.  We had two phones growing up.  If I used the one that was in a slightly more private area my mom would be sure to start buzzing around.

If I received a letter via snail mail, it would be a mistake to keep it around if it contained anything vaguely controversial.  Once I’d sent a friend a letter confessing I had mixed feelings about going through the Confirmation process in the Catholic Church.  She wrote me back, my parents found the letter and the parts where she referenced my feelings…well there was trouble.

I’d always had this notion that if you had a letter sent through the post office, it was for you alone, and it would be illegal to someone else to open it.  A few times my mom “accidentally” opened my mail, including my bank statement.  Because she accidentally opened it, she still then had grounds to yell at me about the information contained in the bank statement.

Experiences like that growing up taught me to guard my privacy more closely.

The digital age has changed things of course.  We do little personal communication via snail mail.  Many of us don’t have a landline, so there is cord to confine us to a limited space.

Some married people think that you should be open and let your partner have every possible password..for your phone, email, etc.  I don’t think that it is necessary, and honestly it isn’t a topic my husband and I have ever discussed.  Just because I am married doesn’t mean my husband needs to know the details of an email, etc, that a friend may have sent me…and vice versa.

What about you do you think you have the right to your spouse’s passwords?  Do you open his or her mail?

Family Motto, and other thoughts — March 31, 2017

Family Motto, and other thoughts

Surfing the internet the other day I came across a blog where the mother included the family motto.  I can’t remember the whole motto, but I do remember it included the line “Creating a Family of Significance”.   I wonder how one defines a family of significance? Would my family live up to her definition?   Her blog was full of those sorts of posts where one can measure their success as a parent.  Nine things you should never do for your kids, four things you must teach your kids, blah, blah.  Well I have already found out I am lacking as a parent because I don’t make my teen do all his own laundry.  I’m probably also lacking because my husband and I haven’t created a family motto yet.  I can’t really think of anything lofty, perhaps “In all things love, with plenty of fun and good food along the journey”.

While wasting more time, I came across an odd post about a Roomba and some dog poop.  You can use your imagination to figure out what happened next. Apparently the owners of the dog and the Roomba had autoprogrammed the Roomba to run in the middle of the night.  I have to say I was a little suspicious of the post.  I don’t have a Roomba, but if I did I’d almost surely trip on it going to the bathroom if it was running in the middle of the night.  My own dog would wake up and get aggravated with the Roomba, thus waking up the rest of the household.  A Roomba doesn’t look very big to handle dog hair.  They seem rather expensive just to free you up from the physical annoyance of doing vacuuming the old-fashioned way.  And if the Roomba doesn’t have the intelligence to avoid a pile of dog poop, it probably wouldn’t know to avoid whatever potential obstacles could be found on my son’s floor.  Writing that sentence, I know that could spark a blog post for those perfect moms with family mottos.  I still vacuum his room for him, and he still leaves the occasional set of earbuds on the floor.

False Promises to a Longer, Healthier Life — March 29, 2017

False Promises to a Longer, Healthier Life

Want to live the longest, healthiest life possible?  Common sense tells us to enjoy all things in moderation, eat your fruits and veggies, get plenty of exercise, sleep,  and have a good support system.

Broadly, of course these are good recommendations.  But then we take them a little too far, especially in the blog world.  It  is easy to find these promises, just research some of the more common diseases we hear about…diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, take your pick.  Of course how could I forget depression?

If you’d believe the internet, extreme diets and supplement usage can prevent most anything. Eat a kale-garlic-watermelon smoothie and you won’t get cancer.  Take a bizarre combination of supplements to ward off your risk of getting Alzheimer’s.  One can “cure” diabetes, if you just buy “my ebook” which reveals to you all the food secrets your doctor won’t tell you.

In some cases, recommendations to prevent disease come from a good place.  It was once thought that Vitamin E and selenium supplementation could prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Of course the real winners ended up to be the supplement companies.

If you believe some of the hyped up claims, do you then blame someone you meet when they are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, cancer or depression.  Do you think to yourself “If only they ate a better diet, and cut out all grains”  Do you stop to consider there may have been genetic or environmental factors that contributed to their disease?

I saw a rather careless post about some super smoothie preventing cancer.  I got really mad. Because in my family tree and the family tree of my husband, it just hasn’t been that simple.

Take The Wheel — March 28, 2017

Take The Wheel

There is a Carrie Underwood song called “Jesus, Take The Wheel”. I’ve always like the song, but never thought it applied to me. There is this belief that I hold that I must always be in control and self-reliant with the world, I must not let others know that I have weak spots. Of course a few people know that the cool calm exterior is just a facade.

I’d mentioned before in my blog my husband is facing some health challenges. We are still waiting to see what the potential magnitude of those challenges will be. As we make our way through the journey of marriage, it has recently really hit me how me how much my husband is both a source of strength for me but also my soft place to fall.

As he undergoes his own challenges, I know that I must be strong. I’ve had this thought though that I wish I had some one to hold my hand and guide me to do what is right through these challenges.

I go up and down on my spiritual journey. Having a source of strength, and a spiritual anchor draws me in. At times like this I often feel a pull to find a Catholic Church to pray in. Of course there is just that little minor fact that I am no longer a practicing Catholic. But it feels more like home than any other church I have attended. And my husband is not and never has been Catholic.

Jesus Take The Wheel



Teaching Your Children — March 27, 2017

Teaching Your Children

We teach our children many things. Some things we teach directly, like how to tie their shoes or how to ride a bike. Children learn by watching our behaviors, whether they be positive or not. We teach values to our children, perhaps hoping they will travel the same path we do in life.

I was reading a blog post from a dad who expressed the thought that traditional femininity was something his young daughter should be taught, and he would be active in the teaching process. By traditional femininity here I mean notions such as women should have long hair, women should strive to look conventionally attractive and they should cultivate sweet demure personalities. The girl growing up in this household would have little freedom.

I was brought up in a religious household where there was a certain brand of traditional femininity was taught. It was especially focused on females having little freedom, even as adults.

Growing up, I would often bristle at the things I was taught. For the most part I wouldn’t express it though. Having grown up in a household where a certain brand of femininity was taught, I realized certain things. These things wouldn’t have to apply to femininity alone, but anything you might think is important to teach your child. Your child will:
1)Buy into your value system
2)Maybe adopt some of your values but not others
3)Totally reject your value system

If your child doesn’t buy into your value system, eventually they will go their own way, no matter how hard you have tried to make them conform.

Some things my parents taught me I eventually tossed aside. Some other things they taught, though were definitely good life lessons.
Some of these include:
1)The value of reading and the library…My parents were both readers in their own way. My mom especially loved the library and we went there often as children. There was always a bit of excitement hoping you would find a hidden treasure.
2)My parents believed in making do. There was never a big rush to buy a new car, or other expensive purchases, even though they could afford it.
3)They were impeccable with their finances. They were both good investors. They would be horrified to pay a bill late. Of course due to hard work and some luck they tried to live their life together in a way that there wouldn’t be any worry. I realize that despite hard work, many people still have a hard time financially.

Now just because they had these values doesn’t mean their children necessarily grew up with the same values. I would say I am good with reading and making do. I don’t think my husband and I will end up with the same kind of nest egg when we reach retirement, but we do try to do our best. My sister, has probably destroyed her finances entirely in part due to her alcoholism.

Some things you might think are just common sense, things that everyone teaches their kids. Years ago, I went to visit my sister, long before I knew she struggled with alcoholism, and some things shocked me. She had many things stored at room temperature that you would normally keep in the refrigerator(at least at our house). I never asked her about it, but it was definitely a what the heck moment.

My husband and I have values we hold important. We hope we’ve taught our children well enough to be kind out in the world. Some of the smaller stuff though, it won’t be the end of the world if they change their mind.