Elka chewed through my beloved first pair of carbon plated running shoes yesterday. I reluctantly bought them last year before the Cherry Blossom because they are expensive and, yes, maybe I thought I was too slow to deserve them, but they are a dream to run in. The perform best for the first few hundred miles and they are like running with little trampolines in your shoes. But after the best spring-ing-ness faded, I still wore them for workouts and long runs for almost a year now thinking that they’d be gentler on my aging joints, holding off on buying my second pair until just a few weeks before my marathon this year.

I texted the destruction to Paul who told me to buy another pair immediately, haha. I do not track any equipment technology, I don’t really care about all the different brands of shoes or watches – this is Jeremy’s area of fun. Last year, all the carbon plates shoes were just that – carbon plated shoes. This year, they’ve realized people want to train in these shoes, so now the carbon plated shoes are themed, there are the daily trainer shoes and the racing shoes. So I bought the daily trainer shoes from New Balance arriving tomorrow. After I put the order in, I read some reviews and realized that they are so responsive and the stack height is so tall, that they are technically illegal to race in. So you know, if I place in the marathon, I’ll be disqualified. I have mixed feelings about this if I race in an illegal shoe even though, you know, I want to finish in 4.5 or 5 hours. This is the kind of terrible thing about a marathon – if you run faster, it’s over sooner and if you run slower, it just goes on for a million years.

My marriage to Jeremy has turned into just talking about two things: 1) training (biking and running) or 2) Pokemon Go. Jeremy told me last night about a study that shows that drafting will save you 6 minutes in a marathon. He said – no matter how fast or slow you go, it’ll save you 6 minutes. Drafting is really important in biking, but it’s less clear the advantage for running. Six minutes is a lot! But lots of people hate other random people running right behind them, maybe me included, but 6 minutes is nothing to sneeze at. It’s a lot of time. I’ll think about it.

Summer kid update.

Vince is getting on a plane in a few hours to take red eye home. We haven’t “seen” him since Christmas, though through FaceTime, I feel like I see him all the time. He had a good summer, taking one biology course, which he enjoyed immensely and put a lot of work into it (to the surprise of his father. I like biology and Jeremy finds it…full of memorization) and working at the coffee lab testing various roasts and brewers (?) and running in to the general frustrations that come with research. He bought some rollerblades and enough friends spent the summer on campus that he did have people to hang out with which is what I was initially worried about (my own summers on my college campus were lonely-ish, I had full time jobs, but few friends on campus). The biggest issue with the summer is/was moving so we got a few frantic calls regarding moving logistics. Last summer, he came home and we rented a storage unit for him for the summer. All he needed to do was move his stuff into the unit which he did himself by renting a zip car (he didn’t really have any college friends at the end of his freshman year). This year, his lease ends the 15th (he is renting a school apartment) and his new lease (non-school) starts the afternoon of the 1st. So, he could put all his stuff in his friends’ apartments who are mostly in non-school apts, but turns out that their leases all end on the 31st. So the question is where to put stuff for the 12-18 hours where no one has a lease (and where to sleep!) when the month turns over. And the whole town of Davis moves on the 1st, so procuring rental moving vans is tricky. But he figured it out mostly on his own – just a few calls to us to vent his anxiety/frustration and the terrible/terrific realization that he will have to move many times in his life – and now all the boxes are tucked in a friend’s apartment with assistance of a truck-owning friend and the return airplane flight got moved from the 31st to the 30th to tend to the moving that will need to happen on the 31st. He is leaning into and relishing college life, I enjoy watching it unfold from here.

Edda had a really wonderful summer at camp JCC with her counselor from last year, Isabella. Edda gets to swim and get tan. The field trips came back this year and Edda and Isabella enjoyed them together. Edda has also successfully weaned off of Keppra and remains only on Trileptal (which I’m not sure she needs either) and seems happier and more alert. Laughing more frequently which is always a joy for me. I navigated the closing of her aftercare with some despair, but coming through with much help from various people for pep talks and ideas and logistics. Two more weeks with everyone home, probably driving each other crazy and then, we are all off for the new school year.

Matilda, cubanos, doggies.

I went, last night, to see Matilda with Sofie in the title role. She smashed it out of the park – 90 lines, a solo song, I am so proud of her. I missed Alice intensely this week, wishing she could see Sofie, not only at the play, but also to see all the hard work Sofie and Mike did together. Going through the lines every night, 1,000 times according to Mike – Mike voicing all the other parts.

Jeremy made cubano sandwiches this week for dinner with Mike and Sofie on Tuesday.

I’ve been quiet on the blog because I worked at the hospital a lot this past week. I did myself a favor and took time off of my desk job while working a full time nursing schedule for a week. I did this because Vince is coming home!!! And I didn’t want to put in any shifts at the hospital while he is here.

Elka and Pip are good friends. I can’t believe it, really. They will spend a long time happily playing with each other.

Hot and no shame.

It is hot here today! But we were outside this morning, Jeremy biking and me at the dog park with the doggies and Edda at camp. I’m working 3 shifts at the hospital in 6 days which is a totally normal amount to work, but unusual for me. So I’m trying to rest a bunch and taking time off the desk job. I finished my first shift yesterday, the next is tomorrow, I’ll have the weekend off and then finally the last one on Monday. Then I don’t have to be at the hospital when Vince is here! I came home last night and snuggled with the doggies. I think I look a lot like my mom in this photo.

We are hosting Tianpei for a month while he is between gigs.. He told me that he made it to the final round of auditions for the NY Phil (violin) a few years ago. Then I realized I have no shame anymore. I’ll practice my dorky ukulele right in front of him, no problem – basically playing Mary had a Little Lamb, missing notes, slightly out of tune and not on the beat. But I don’t care. I would have been mortified to do that 25 years ago.

Isabella and Edda

We had a nice weekend. Vickey asked what my plans were for the weekend and I said it was to be nice to my husband. Haha. Mission accomplished. Friday night was nice, Isabella was here with Edda and we ordered out pizza and wings from CS pizza and really enjoyed ourselves. If I could eat only one food for the rest of my life, it would be pizza. You can put almost anything on pizza and it’ll be delicious.

Hair & guitar

Jeremy was asked to fill out a form which asked what color his hair is. He was about to check off “brown”, which he has done his whole life, but then he thought maybe he should check off “gray”. He asked the person at the desk (? – do you think my hair is brown or gray?) and she replied – I think you should mark off gray. And then I think Jeremy was a little taken aback and she kindly defended herself by saying – the choice is marked gray/partly gray. Hahaha. Just a few days ago, I found a gray streak (meaning a clump of hair that is all white) on my head in the center of my crown. I’m contemplating a hair style which will show off this streak. I kind of love my gray hair(s) – so few women go gray, but I enjoy it.

That evening, Jeremy asked if there was any brown hair left on his head. I said he had a stripe effect on the back of his head, but I’m not even sure that that is brown anymore. I think it’s dark gray.

I reluctantly gave up Spanish – I just couldn’t make it happen, it was frustrating and I was not making good enough progress to feel like I was drawn to it everyday. It felt like a chore, I don’t want things that feel like a job. But I got a guitar free from Edda’s closing camp. I’m trying it out. It’s for sure more fun than Spanish. Sofie wants to take lessons with me in the fall. That is an interesting proposition.

Quick business trip.

Jeremy went to Detroit/Ann Arbor for one night. Outbound flight was 3 hours delayed. About 50% of the flight was masked. At the conference, Jeremy was only one of the two people masked. We know so many people with covid the past few weeks. We are wondering when we’ll get it again. Jeremy got a reminder to get his 2nd booster shot. He hasn’t gotten one, it seems moot now since he got sick in April with a more current version of Omicron.

I’m not on Instagram really, so I make Jeremy follow people that I’m interested in. Olivia from Peloton got married a few weeks ago and I really wanted to see the dress. Jeremy obliged. I love the photo and I’m ok with the dress.

We also texted about our pokemon woes.

Jeremy wanted to get a ride in on Tuesday morning before the meeting and so he borrowed this bike from the hotel. I’m not sure what kind of workout he did on it, but it has coaster brakes! It’s been a long time since he rode a bike with coaster brakes.

Weekend update.

We toured a very nice aftercare camp for Edda on Friday. Arguably, it may be better than Edda’s old camp. The hours are longer (they have Saturday hours too!) and they have swim! So we are a “go!” for camp. It’s a tiny bit further from the house, so I need to straighten out the bussing from school, but I think I can manage that.

I was at the hospital yesterday and found out that our hospital is hemorrhaging (haha, punny.) money. They restructured cost centers (there are three cost centers, I gather and they reduced it to two and kicked out the person running one of them – there is an ice cream social to thank them for their hard work next Tuesday) and they are also looking to lay off about 30 management positions and no bedside nursing positions. I was most interested in reading the memo about how to stretch bedside nursing capacity. Basically, they are seeing that nursing will be short for the next generation (?) and so what can you do? We are still running our floor with 1/6 of the beds empty and have been for many months because we can’t staff them. So, in an ideal, fully staffed floor, I should have only 4 patients. I usually have 5. On occasion I have 6. They are trying to figure out, I think, how a nurse can cover 8 patients. So I read the memo. One idea is a virtual nurse (?). I was a little shocked about this. I’m not quite sure how this person would help me. Could they do all the paperwork and I would not have to chart? The thing about a virtual nurse is that, they are helpful when the patient is completely oriented and competent. But when the patient is slightly confused, or really confused, or hard of hearing, or english is their second language, etc – which is a lot of the the time, it’s hard to see how this would help me out. Here is a company that does it:

The other idea, which I like better, is to team the nurse up with another person 1:1 like a CNA or a LPN. I would prefer someone who can pass medications, so that would be an LPN. So two people would have 8 patients. The thing about this is that you can be teamed up with a person that completely annoys you or a person that is completely wonderful. As a side note, often, the first half of the shift, I’m completely annoyed – “Can I have some creamer? What’s up with Kosher meals, will they make them low-fiber? This water is room temperature, I take my medications only with ice water.” Argh, these are enough to drive me crazy, but then I settle and I’m ok with it. And then I don’t want to ask my server at a restaurant for anything.

Elka graduated from training school on Saturday. She did very well. But at home three hours later, she peed on the floor. I was disappointed. We are all terribly, terribly flawed. Ruby had this terrible leash aggression and would pull all the time whenever she saw another dog. Maxi had anxiety and wouldn’t let you snuggle with her and she had regular panic attacks. Elka is very loving – probably the most loving of all the dogs, but is the most unwilling to do what you say and still likes to pee in the house.

Party and sleep.

Sofie spent the night on Wed night. We had a little dinner party – Sofie and her friend Elen and Elen’s mom. Plus us and Eliana. Seven people and we had a great time (though I always feel like covid is lurking around the corner). Jeremy made turkey tetrazzini and talked to Elen’s mom about local planning/zoning. The dogs played. We like having these little parties and it’s loads of fun, but it always messes with our sleep schedule.

Jeremy thinks it’s an unreasonable goal to sleep slightly more than 8 hours every night. If we want to sleep 8 hours every night, it basically means no night activities ever, lol.

NP school.

I got into nurse practitioner school at Maryland at the campus 2 miles away from the house which starts in a few weeks! I’m so pleased that I got offered a late spot, but I’m going to turn down the offer. It would be a 5 year program which is 3/5ths time. The full time is 3 years. I think I would enjoy NP school, but I don’t really want to be an NP. All those people who want SSRIs, adderall, opioids (I mean, I get it. At times, I’ve wanted these things and I’ve wanted them quickly.) People who do want vaccines, or really don’t want vaccines. Antibiotics for viral infections. Ivermectin or who knows what. Or, honestly, the worst thing is missing something very important thinking that it isn’t important or never figuring it out despite trying very hard. I’ve been on the edges of this at the hospital and I can’t believe I ever wanted to be a doctor. I have other ideas. Anyways, it’s also true that I can’t really find the 10-15 hours a week to do this. Honestly, to do a good job at NP school it would be easily over 20 hours a week. I’d have to let go of doing my very very best which I hate doing. I’d also have to quit my bedside nursing job, which I don’t really want to do just right now.