My Challenged Gag-Reflex


I love giant emojis. Beats an actual image of me, gagging.

I was chatting with a friend of mine who is a nurse that had posted about getting called back to work. I told her that I really appreciate her for what she does. I can’t do it. I tried.

About 15 years ago, I wanted to be involved in patient care so much that I thought that I would make a great nurse. I’m a nurturer and care-giver by nature, so I had initially thought that nursing would be a good job fit. I went back to school, got a 4.0 GPA in all the core courses. I stopped just short of the Anatomy & Physiology course because it became glaringly obvious that my gag-reflex is weak. I’m talking REALLY weak. Weak gag-reflex does not a good nursing student make.

Hell, I can’t even cut up a raw chicken without heaving over the sink. What made me think I could deal with torn HUMAN flesh is beyond me.

I have been pooped on, peed on and thrown up on by my human kids and never even broke a sweat. Figured, after that? I could deal. NOT! Let one of my fur kids barf on the floor and I am done; gagging and sweating to the point that J shoo’s me out of the room and just handles it.

The absolute turning point for me was phlegm.

Several years back, when I still saw my ADN as a reality, I was shadowing an employee who was working in Environmental Services. I was writing her annual evaluation, and needed to see her job performance in that department. We were assigned to ICU. I was fine most of the morning, cleaning rooms with and without patients. Then we got to THAT room.

It had one of those suction canisters in the wall. It did me in, and badly! In said canister was the king of all lung cookies. 🤢 I was done. Totally done. I’d never even CONSIDERED hockers to be a part of nursing. Let’s just say that was the final nail in the nursing coffin.

Fast-forward to last month while I was training to move patients. I went up to Dialysis with one of my second shift guys, D, to bring an ED admission to his room. Our patient had come up by stretcher, so it was an easy transport. We got him to his room. He was ambulatory, so he was able to walk with assistance from the stretcher to his bed. D and I got the patient up, and caught a whiff of what inititially smelled like stale cigarette smoke. The two of us got him into the room and that is when the poo-smell hit us like a shovel to the side of the head. We got him onto the bed, and God bless him, he started cussing up a blue streak! His ¥€^+  &$*# colostomy bag had broken.

He was pretty much mortified, and I was doing all I could to not visibly gag. D, my partner, thankfully, did all the talking while yours truly did a lot of nodding and swallowing. Somehow both of us made it out of there without anyone being more embarrassed than some of us already were.

Another shining example of my lack of cast iron stomach happened just last week, here at the house. Now, don’t judge us. Seriously.

Plenty of people have stuck things in their ovens to get them out of the way and then completely forgotten about them until they pre-heated the oven the next time. I had a friend that lost some plastic bowls that way.

That said, we pre-heated the oven to 350 to bake potatoes. I figured I’d put them in before the oven was totally pre-heated, because they were massive and would take forever.

OMG! There was the pizza pan with the remnants of pieces-parts of the chicken we’d had the week prior. We’d carved the bird and put the carcass back on the pan we ‘d brought it in from the grill on and had to run out after dinner. We put the pan in the oven to keep our big dog, Petey, from snatching it off of the stove top while we were gone, because chicken bones+canine=a probable trip to the vet. So because we are both a little ADD, we forgot about it, and out of sight is out of mind. Right?

Let’s just say that the odor of what was left, when I pulled it out of the oven left a taste in my mouth that probably will not be forgotten for a while.

What makes you gag? Have you ever stuck something in the oven and forgotten about it? Share, please, so I don’t feel like a total freak of nature!

Until next time….

So. Many. Grapes. Plus, I’m Still Here….


How’s it hangin’, y’all?

I know…it’s been a while…way too long, actually, but the summer months…plus class, plus challenge, plus harvest, plus increased responsibility at the day job, plus wine…So, yeah.

August was crazy-busy…lots and lots of canning…plus hummingbirds, who where visiting the backyard in bulk. I promised you some pictures, so here they are:

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September was spent doing some professional housekeeping, organizing my office, and reconciling with a long lost family member, who I am so grateful to have back in my life.  We also got to watch our plumeria actually bloom, which is pretty cool.



My mom gave me a cutting in a pot some years back and it hasn’t ever bloomed before. I’d never smelled one outside of a bottle of lotion, and understand that is what lei’s are made of in Hawaii. Mine FINALLY bloomed. The first blossom opened and blew off in a storm, so we brought the plant back in the house and I got the picture at left the other night.

So, the other thing I’ve got going on is wine. Yeah…wine. My dad made a LOT of wine when I was a kid (I have memories of my baby sister and me going through the park when it was still called “Kilarny” back in the day, picking yellow dandelion flowers and putting them into paper grocery bags so dad could make his dandelion wine. He also made plum, apple, peach, apricot and wheat (just….don’t do wheat, LOL).

We have a friend with a ton of grapes and managed to get our hands on about 15 or so gallons of Noble muscadines…which we spent the better part of our last couple of evenings rinsing and de-stemming. Hoping to crush them tomorrow or Friday. Will kind of try to document that process here, as well.

In the meantime, here are a few photos:

I also had my first photo shoot in over a year, and it was soooo worth pulling the camera out of the bag and blowing the dust off of it. Hope to be sharing that adventure with y’all, as well.

I will try to be better about posting in the coming days. While busy, there just hasn’t been a ton of blog-worthy stuff to talk about…

Until next time…

A Little of This & A Little of That

I know, I know…I’ve been slack in keeping up with things in my happy little piece of the blogosphere.

Life…sometimes it just gets in the way.

As summer transitioned into autumn, the workload got a little crazy at the hospital, my workout schedule got a little more intense, and I really am not all that sure where the time went!

On the fitness front, I discovered, after having jumped on the scale Friday, that I am a mere 1.4 pounds over my goal weight, which tickles me…it means I have lost 41 pounds of fat. I don’t really put tons of faith in what the scale tells me, because my weight fluctuates. A LOT. I rely more on pictures and my tape measure, and apparently my BMI is in the normal range, and my body fat percentage is sitting at right around 23%, which is good for a woman of my age (or whatever…). I am just tickled that my waist is about to go below 30”, which pleases me to no end. 😉

I’ve been doing a workout that I found over at Simply Shredded, and shortly after finding it, I found a group of truly badass women over on My Fitness Pal who had started a group for this very workout starting back in September, so of course I joined. They keep me accountable. (Shout out to my girl, Charissa! 😉 ) Basically, it’s an upper/lower split, done 4 times weekly, plus a little HIIT cardio. I am totally loving it, as I am seeing really amazing results. Like, OMG, I have biceps and quads, n’ stuff! It’s a 12 week program and we’ve been taking progress pictures over the course of this, and I will refrain from posting any until we’ve finished in early December.

Well, the crazy neighbors finally got the rest of their stuff out of the house next door sometime back in early September and the steady stream of contractors, painters, and house cleaners finally stopped a couple weeks ago.

Today the new neighbors have arrived.

I have been silently repeating the same internal prayer to the Good Neighbor Gods all morning – Please Be Normal Please Be Normal Please Be Normal. My initial impression is that they may very well be. Of course, I had kind of thought that when the last freaks moved in, too, sooooo…..

I posted about this on Facebook earlier this afternoon, and there were some pretty frightening comments about the things that could go wrong over there, LOL…comments including rogue chickens and the like, LOL. One of my friends said that she was sure I’d be fast friends with the new people. I remarked that I don’t want friends; I want normal neighbors. You know…Can I borrow cup of sugar, or sure, you can borrow an egg, or even, hey, can we help you get that car off your foot?  Neighbors are great…I mean, the ones on our other side have been wonderful, and I love them to death, and know that they have our backs and we have theirs. This is the ideal neighbor-relationship. Anything closer is just asking for trouble. You get too friendly, and everything is wonderful until you have a falling out, and then suddenly your once tranquil neighborhood becomes fraught with tension. No thank you. I’ll stick to a friendly wave or hello across the fence. Because, really? Who honestly needs loud, drunk freaks carrying on under your master bedroom window at three in the morning. Been there, done that, and no…Just no.

Beyond that? The hubs and I are doing what the rest of the country is doing; keeping our financial heads above water, hoping the government un-shuts down soon, and just getting through it all one day at a time. We’ve been pretty nondescript this past few months, and that’s kind of a nice feeling, although it makes for ridiculously boring blog posts. In fact, this very post was inspired by the fact that a) I hadn’t written one in over a month; and b) I have six dogs that need baths, and I am getting really good at procrastination. Yeah, I’m so prepared I don’t even have an image to throw up there, LOL…

So, I guess it’s time to face the inevitable; dog bath x 6…

Until next time…