Thursday, March 18, 2021

March 18

 Y'all, I did a charge dayshift on Tuesday. DAYSHIFT. I'm honestly trying to remember the last time I worked a real, honest to god dayshift from 7a-7p. I can't think of it in the past 5 years, so question mark if it ever even happened? Maybe a partial dayshift when I used to pick up at home hospital, but that was 7 years ago so...

Anyway, DAYSHIFT. One of the new dayshift charge nurses got hired into the position, trained for it, completed orientation, signed up for her shifts on the next schedule, said schedule got finalized and released, and then she resigned two days later having accepted a job elsewhere. This nurse is a dumpster person in general, so while I'm not sad to see her go I am annoyed that she screwed all the other charges over. Like, why even bother signing up if you literally know you're leaving? Ugh.

But anyway, that's why they needed coverage help. So me, being the poor sucker that I am, agreed to a dayshift. BOY HOWDY is it different from nightshift. For starters I had to be there during the daytime. Shocking, I know. But I am a permanently midshift type of person. My brain becomes functional around 9-10 am, and firing on all cylinders around 11a. Which makes me perfect for mids, and capable of nightshift. But when my alarm went off at 0515...not my best moment, and many regerts. 

I also have the reputation of being a true shit magnet, and all the nightshift people thought it was hilarious when I showed up for report at 0645. They laughed their way out the door with warnings to dayshift about me. It was a beautiful two hours of nothing happening, and then promptly at 0900 it was like someone threw a grenade made of critical patients into the department. I shit you not, there was a STEMI and two Code Strokes AT THE SAME TIME. I activated two of them at once with the emergency page system, and they had me on hold for a second because they were already activating the first one from triage. Then we had a trauma come in, and then there was rumors of a CPR arriving, and at that moment the triage nurse called me and kindly asked me to fuck off back to nightshift.

But the crowning moment of terrible day was when I sent a very, very sick looking lady to one of our trauma rooms because I thought she might die any second and it turns out that BONUS FUN she was also covered in bedbugs. Like, crawling over her. I thought the primary nurse was going to kill me.

Then 7 pm rolled around and honestly it wasn't so bad because the day flew by but I don't know if I'm cut out for that early life. Consistently being awake at 0515 sounds just terrible. But it was very nice to get out of work and have a couple of hours at home to wind down. Who knows, maybe I'll do it again sometime?

***

Look at my garden! I got most everything put in, and we're building a third bed which will get the cucumbers, more tomatoes, and more squash/zucchini. Plus I impulse purchased a couple of strawberry plants yesterday, so we'll see how those go. 



Thursday, March 11, 2021

March 11

Can you believe it? One whole year since the WHO declared COVID a pandemic. One entire year. Shit's wild.

Things are getting better here in Texas. Our positivity rate in the hospital is down to single digits and trending in the right direction. Our ICUs have beds on the regular now, as do the other inpatient floors. More and more people are getting vaccinated. My husband, sister, and brother-in-law, as well as most of my immediate friend group, have gotten both their shots. Other friends have appointments soon. We're still not comfortable hanging around inside, but fortunately the weather is getting nicer so we're able to gather outside. 

Overall, I think there's lots of reason for optimism. The only catch is that yesterday Texas eliminated the mask mandate - our governor seems to think that people did such a good job at mask wearing and not making poor choices that they can now be counted on to voluntarily make those same decisions...

It remains to be seen how this will affect us. Many businesses are continuing the mask requirements, but many more are not. It's too early to decide if we're fucked again or if we've made enough ground against COVID that this won't ruin us, but all I can do is let y'all know how full of rage I will be if this wrecks yet another year of my life because people can't act right.

***

In other news, look how well my garden seedlings are doing! Another few days of hardening off and they'll be ready for planting. I am so excited!



Sunday, February 21, 2021

FeBRRRRRuary 21

Remember that time one post ago when I was like "this is the best snow day ever!" and we had a cozy fire and cheese board and I snuggled with the cats and the husband while watching the snow fall outside? Yeah, the power went out like two hours later. And then came back on for an hour, and then flickered off again for an hour. We got a notification that there would be rolling blackouts for a while, breathed a sigh of relief when the power came back on, and then promptly realized the pipes on one side of our house were frozen. 

I'll spare you the play by play, but the short story is that we were without power for around 36 hours total, intermittently from late Sunday night to Wednesday around noon. The "rolling" blackouts were more like regular blackouts. Our house got down to 45 degrees at its coldest. We didn't regain running water in our main bathroom until Thursday.

But it could have been so, so much worse. We were already prepped with lots of non-perishables and water storage, as well as the means to convert non-potable water to potable. We are very fortunately not suffering from busted pipes like so many are. My husband bought a generator during early pandemic times, so we had that up and running - thus we didn't lose anything from our refrigerator or freezer, and an LED shop light was able to brighten our entire living area. The generator also powered a tiny electric space heater in our bedroom, so while it was uncomfortably cold it wasn't dangerously cold. Our kitchen has a gas stove so we were able to cook hot meals. And in the most selfish move possible, I ran an extension cord from the generator to the heat lamp over my vegetable seedlings and houseplants. I have spent this winter nurturing these tiny plants from seeds and they have helped my mental health so much. As stupid as it sounds that I devoted a precious resource to take care of plants, I would have been devastated to lose them.

As for our hospital, it fared much better than most. We never lost power and while there were some ruptured pipes it was nothing that shut down the overall hospital - we lost the OR for a day, and some other various units had flooding issues. But we weren't shitting into kitty litter like Dell Children's staff were in Austin due to a total loss of water. So honestly, it doesn't matter how bad it was at our place, I consider myself fortunate.

We knocked on a few of our neighbor's doors to make sure they were okay and didn't need anything. Blessedly they are all fine as well. Once our power came back on, we even went over to my sister in law's house and threw snowballs at their kids - it was the best of snow days. Things are back to normal for us, and the weather is supposed to be a balmy 65 degrees the early part of this week. We're going to be fine.

BUT - there are a lot of people who are not fine, so if you have a good thought to spare please send it our way. If you have the financial ability, you can consider that as well. There are a lot of people in need right now, and anything at all is appreciated - here is the link to a good compilation of places to donate to if you feel so inclined. Dallas-Fort Worth and Waco are the biggest metroplexes near us, but there are people in need all over Texas.

Stay safe, y'all. And if you live literally anywhere but Texas, thank your fucking lucky stars that you're not a part of ERCOT on our little isolated power grid island. Because in a shocking spoiler twist no one could have POSSIBLY seen coming...decades of lack of regulation and a "don't mess with us" attitude led to a very preventable crisis and I'm OVER IT.


*Let this be an unofficial ad boost for Champion generators, the real MVP of this past week.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

February 14

Last I checked, I was a resident of Texas. Warm, sunny, mild-winters Texas. So imagine my surprise when I looked at the weather forecast last week and saw that it was going to be below freezing for DAYS on end! The AUDACITY. Doesn't the weather know we here in central and north texas aren't prepared for that nonsense? 

 Anyway, it's currently snowing outside and it's been below freezing for a long time already and not supposed to even get above freezing again until Friday. FRIDAY! I do love me some snow though. I even bought a pair of real winter boots early last year and then felt real stupid about it since it immediately became spring and I put them in the back of my closet because it was a thousand degrees outside. But then fall and winter coincided with COVID, and all of a sudden our summer socially distanced driveway beers with our friend/family group (a total of 7 people, many of whom work from home and became our outdoors sanity bubble) turned into cold weather wool socks and hat and parka while still sitting outside freezing to death driveway beers. I've never been so happy to own ridiculous winter boots. I'm going to put them on today to go roll around in the snow like a child. I can't wait! 

 We also beat the rush and went grocery shopping last week, and prepped ahead for a fancy valentines dinner that we picked up yesterday. So today? Snow fun, then hot chocolate on the stove like mom always made me as a kid, and then fuzzy sweatpants and a FANCY charcuterie board for dinner. I know it's 17 degrees outside, but damn if this isn't a good day.

***
And look at my plants! Our HVAC system is very uneven so a couple of the upstairs rooms are way too warm to be comfortable. We're hopefully getting someone in to look at it next week. But in the meantime, it's a perfect greenhouse! Check out my vegetable seedlings!



Sunday, January 31, 2021

January 31

I just sort of realized that I've been doing charge now for 8 months. It's been interesting! COVID has really been a wild ride in terms of learning how to manage a department. Most days I feel like everything is on fire - shit really has been wild. But I think I'm somehow - miraculously, blessedly - doing a decent job at it. I've heard from multiple people that they like working on the nights when I'm in charge. I think that is a huge complement, honestly.

Early on I felt as if I was just a warm body at the desk who existed solely to answer the phone and put stickers in books. Now I feel like I'm actually managing problems as they arise. It's been insanely busy over the past few months but somehow I have coordinated things at the last second every time. Initially I was terrified to make an ambulance wait in the hallway, but now I feel comfortable doing that. If I have only one open room and I'm getting three transfers, it's okay to park the young stable patient with a positive cell phone sign against the wall for 30 minutes if I have to - let the granny in afib take the room instead. I've learned to be more comfortable with going up to these patients to explain to them why they're in the hallway for a brief time, and the communication seems to really help. I now get up from the desk to go retrieve a stretcher, or run a med to a room for another nurse, or help clean a room real quick. 

I've gotten past the fear of missing something, and instead tell people to leave me a note on the desk if it's important. I've learned that it's okay if I don't page out a sepsis alert immediately - a three minute delay in the sepsis page means I have had the chance to talk to an upset patient, or run a blanket back to a room, or silence a monitor if needed. I've managed to get away from the desk, which was my biggest hesitation. I didn't want to be the charge nurse who just parked my butt in a chair for 12 hours and became increasingly disconnected from bedside nursing realities. 

The coworkers who tell me they enjoy when I'm charge truly keep me going at this. I am so relieved that I have been a positive influence - they tell me that I'm approachable, realistic, and never make them feel shitty for not knowing something. It probably helps that I drop F bombs like every three seconds, but hey whatever works. 

Hopefully I can keep this up - I want to get even better at being a resource for all the staff. I want to advocate for changes that will help us at the bedside. I want to speak my mind when it will benefit coworkers. Above all, I want to continue growing and being good at nursing and a good nurse.

***

I was thinking about this all today, because it was twelve years ago today that I passed my NCLEX exam. TWELVE!! Can you believe it?! Twelve years ago I was a brand new graduate nurse, afraid to pass and afraid to fail. It really has been a crazy journey, and while it's never been easy it has always been an adventure.


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

January 20

I am so very heartened by the speech from Biden today. He's right - this has been a really tough time, and that may be the understatement of the year. But I am hopeful that things will get better. And to all the little girls out there - let this be a lesson that you CAN make it to the top. Our country has now had a woman in the second highest office. That is something to be proud of.

As for the state of things, let's hope that the vaccine effort will be one of the first things to get better. We need to get COVID under control. Like, yesterday. The ICU is officially completely full at our hospital - as in every physical bed is full, and there are no more rooms left to staff. So what did we do? Converted part of our ER to a satellite ICU. We now have a ten bed unit in the ER, staffed by ER nurses and assisted by a nurse floated from critical care. Shit's wild. I'm off the next few days, but am dreading next week when I'm back.

***

My little snake plant is growing! It's now giving everyone the middle finger. The first picture is when I first got it, and the second is from yesterday.






Friday, January 15, 2021

January 15

My husband and I have a NYE tradition which has lent itself perfectly to COVID isolation - we buy some fancy meats and cheeses and make a big charcuterie board in the early evening, nap on the couch for a bit, and then make a FANCY steak dinner. This year we've learned way more in the kitchen, so he made a bearnaise sauce, I made sauteed ruby red chard in the leftover steak fat, and parmesan red potatoes rounded out the meal. It. Was. AMAZING. And then we watched Anderson Cooper get giggly drunk in an empty Times Square while the ball dropped at midnight. 

And I cried. On the dot, at midnight - well, 11pm our time but you get the idea. Watching an empty New York celebrate with a few guests and random mask wearing people, it just hit all over again just how fucked this past year has been.

I'm living through one of those world-altering events that will be written about for centuries to come - if this planet doesn't implode first. 

But you know what? I made it through, and there's the tiniest hint of a light at the end of the tunnel. I've gotten both doses of my vaccine, our hospital has finally stopped elective surgeries so we're not holding 30 COVID patients in the ER every night, my immediate family has managed to either avoid COVID or remain thankfully minimally symptomatic, and my husband and I are making the most of the forced lack of social activities to save our money, educate ourselves on a variety of important life skills, and renovate parts of our house so we don't lose our minds. I also signed up for online tele-therapy, and have my first session in a couple of days - as much as I appreciate the five of you who still read this blog allowing me to brain dump on a regular basis, it seems like it will be more productive for me to brain dump onto a professional brain dumpee. 

My indoor plants are growing, although I'm still fighting fungus gnats on a regular basis. I just ordered a ton of seeds and started to plan out a spring garden, which I am very excited about. I got a fancy little brass planter with a built in light for Christmas, and I think that'll be my seed starter spot for this year. It holds 24 egg carton pieces, so it'll be perfect. 

In my personal life, everything is coming up Millhouse. As to the rest of things...COVID isn't going away any time soon. Our hospital bought a little time by cancelling elective surgeries, but we're still on track for being overwhelmed. We've got refrigerator morgue trucks as backup, extra travelers coming in, and our ICU staff are tripled most nights. Our ER is getting training on a bunch of ICU stuff, like certain paralytics/sedation, vent care, etc - because our other backup plan is to convert a section of the ER to ICU holds. So, not comforting. But, hopefully, one day this will pass. One day.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

December 26

It's Boxing Day. Normally this is the day of the season that everyone gets to stay home in their jammies after an exhausting two days of holiday activity. This year? It's the third day of stay at home holiday celebrating for me. This is the first time I think I've ever had off December 24-26, in, what? Eleven years of nursing? I so desperately wish I could have traveled to see my family. I want nothing more than to wake up and have coffee with my parents, and open gifts around their tree, and see my 94 year old grandmother, and spend time with all my friends, and meet the brand new babies, and snuggle with my parent's cat. I wish I could go to my in-laws' house and watch their kids climb all over their new playhouse, or have dinner with my husbands parents. But I'm not. I'm home, for the third day in a row of this Christmas holiday, and that's just how it is. 

Because I want COVID to go away. I want things to be like they used to, but they're not.

And seeing all the Facebook pictures of big family gatherings, or people posting check ins at the airport, or getting an invite to "stop in and say hello" if I'm in town this year just makes me angry. It's because of this shit that I've been stuck in COVID hell for 9 months now with no end date set. How many 94 year old grannies will we watch die next week in the ER? Will I have to be a part of the decision to NOT intubate someone because it's the last vent in the hospital and someone with a better chance of surviving will need it? Will I be the last person a father of three sees before he dies of a COVID related pulmonary embolism? Will I be the one to turn away the family who just showed up at the triage desk hoping to see their 40 year old sister after her massively debilitating stroke? How many more days will I have to go without that cup of coffee with my family because everyone else is selfish enough to think their actions don't matter?

Friday, December 18, 2020

December 18

I'm vaccinated! 

It's not the end of things, not by a long shot. Our hospital is down to a precious few ICU beds, and we're just now getting waves of the people who caught COVID during Thanksgiving, spent a week without symptoms, and then a week or so being sick at home but not bad enough to come to the hospital and are now 7-10 days into symptoms and crashing. 

It's dire at work. Every day. Our RTs had a discussion yesterday about vent triage - we intubated two people back to back in the ER and someone mentioned that we were down to single digits for available ventilators. But not to worry, "some of those people are going to die soon, so that'll free up the vents if we need them." NOT the reassuring news one wants to hear.

So, yeah. I got my vaccine yesterday, and am looking forward to this being over one day. But that day is not today, and we're going to keep going until it is.


***

My pancake plant that arrived in the mail a week ago looked pretty sad when I first got it - most of the leaves were smooshed during transit, so while it looked great as soon as I took it out of the package it dropped a lot of leaves over the next two days. I was worried the plant wouldn't survive, but then noticed yesterday that I have a tiny baby leaf coming up and more on the way. It's gonna make it! Once it's a little bigger and healthier I'll repot it to something better looking. 

Plant babies! I love this!




Wednesday, December 16, 2020

December 16

Well, that was fast. I got the email from work last night that we've got vaccines and just need to sign up. I responded to the email that I was interested, filled out the survey and signed all the consents, and am just waiting for the response email with a link to schedule a time to get it. 

I'm nervous and excited. Obviously there's the possibility of side effects, as with literally any medication or vaccine out there. But having followed the CDC and other countries' data and recommendations, and trying to keep myself as educated as possible on this process, I can firmly say that I am getting this vaccine as soon as I can. 

Because there might be side effects. Maybe. But you know what else has side effects? COVID. Up to and including death. I've watched more than enough young healthy people stroke out or 60 year old people desaturate and be brain dead on a vent or grannies gasp for air on a non-rebreather a week after their family get together, and I'm at the point where I will do literally anything to make this pandemic stop. 


***

In plant news, a friend of mine gifted me this newly rooted sansevieria. Isn't it pretty? I have just the spot for it, too. When I find the right plant stand, it will live next to our drawer side table in the office. The drawers sit next to the desk, and all of our electronics are on top of it - printer, router, etc. The plant and stand will be perfect to hide cords and cables!





Tuesday, December 15, 2020

December 15

Our hospital is on the list for COVID vaccines. Soon, like within the next week soon. I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's still far off, and although things are still getting worse and will continue to do so for the next few months, I have hope. I laid in bed this morning and tried to identify that hopeful feeling - I think it's just relief, honestly. Pure, exhausted, relief. Like the kind that you see when marathon runners lay down just past the finish line.

I know this isn't the end of COVID. Not even close. But it's a start, and I've felt lighter today than I have in a long time.

This won't be forever, and I can look forward to that.


***

Our office renovation Phase 1 is finally complete! We installed our new fancy desk, hung curtains, and arranged the plants. It's a usable office, and a very happy place for me - it's the sunniest room in the house, and will be full of plants eventually. Phase 2 will be one entire wall of bookshelves, with a little nook for reading (that's the spot of orange you see behind the armchair - everything purple will be hidden behind the shelves). I'm so excited! 







Sunday, December 6, 2020

December 6

Obviously when you start sentences with "the new grad nurses these days," it's hard not to sound A) patronizing as hell, and B) like an old fart. It's hard sometimes to remember back to when I was a new nurse at the tender young age of 24, but it's true and I was. I'm absolutely positive that the old fart nurses shook their heads at my antics back then, but here we are today and I guess it's a rite of passage to get to the point where you just shake your own head at the youngsters?

Anyway, one of the things I wish I could scream to the new grads from the parking garage rooftops is to PICK YOUR BATTLES.

Seriously.

More and more, I see a large portion of the new grads getting into a pissing contest with the malingering psych patients over stupid stuff. Like yes, you can and should set boundaries with them and stick firm to those boundaries. But getting butthurt that a longtime bipolar off-their-meds-by-choice meth and crack user is a twitchy bundle of profanity and saltine cracker wrappers? Tweakers gonna tweak, and there's nothing you can do about that. This is the life you chose when you decided to work ER - it's 10% acutely sick people that you can do something about, 40% nursing home based chronically sick people you're never going to fix, and 50% complete bullshit of all varieties. End of story.

And the other thing that kills me - when they try to out-argue these people. You're gonna lose your job before you beat these people in an argument. As I try to educate when I precept, when you're dealing with someone who will willingly shit their pants in the lobby to get back to a bed sooner, you will NEVER be able to shame them into any sort of better behavior. If they're willing to take off all their clothes and lay down naked in the hallway on the way back to the room because you won't promise them dilaudid and phenergan and benadryl waiting on their arrival, then you definitely aren't going to be able to have any sort of rational discourse with them. If they'll be willing to fire you as their nurse, unfire you, threaten to call the news on you, then offer to call the news because you're so awesome, then fire you again, then leave a 5 minute rambling voicemail to the patient advocate in which they forget they're leaving a voicemail and in that voicemail both accuse of you of stealing their crack, denying they have crack, and also saying you're the best nurse they've ever had*, OBVIOUSLY you can't out-crazy them.

Just pick your battles, and ignore the crazy by either rolling with it or removing yourself from the situation.

*THIS IS A TRUE STORY FEATURING YOURS TRULY

***

Also, look at the baby plants I have! Basil on the back left, dill and parsley front right, a tiny pothos propagation hidden back right, and a cosmos seedling front left that I got for free from the nursery because they said it looked sad.


Please ignore the yellow sticky traps and fungus gnats, unless you have advice on how to eradicate fungus gnats in which case HELP ME!

Friday, November 27, 2020

November 27

 Look at my adorable new birds nest snake plant! And isn't this 3D printed pot the best? I'm happy just looking at it. Right now it's living in it's temporary home, but when our office renovation is finished it will live on our new fancy desk. I'm pretty excited about it.

***

In hospital news, it's bad again. We're holding most nights because there's no ICU or medsurg COVID beds available. We're regularly seeing people stagger into triage with O2 sats in the 50s, and we see whole families of people who check in for COVID symptoms. It's going to be a long winter.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

November 15

It's 0200 and I can't sleep, so after rolling around in bed for a few hours I finally decided to get up, have a cup of ginger turmeric tea, and kill some time. So here I am!

It's been a beautiful few weeks of fall here in Texas, so last weekend my husband and I drove a few hours to Dinosaur Valley State Park. It was an absolutely perfect day. The sun was shining, the weather was crisp, and the dinosaur tracks were cool as hell. I'm excited to come back there one day in the summer and go swimming. Anyway, here's some pictures!








***

COVID has me scared again. I'm guessing that's why I can't sleep right now, but it's hard to drift off when the realities of things are bouncing around in my head. Our ER is understaffed due to high volume/sick coworkers/people calling out when they get overwhelmed. Every shift is busy and more often than not we're holding dozens of patients because there's no beds in house. Everyone has COVID. Nurses in various departments are calling safe harbor because it's so packed, and everyone is really sick. It's exhausting. I didn't expect people to actually listen to science and wear masks, stop going out to bars, and having giant family gatherings - but it's just disheartening and exhausting to deal with the fallout from it day after day with no end in sight. 

My immediate solution is to take ALL THE HIKING DAY TRIPS and also BUY ALL THE PLANTS and also RUN ALL THE 5Ks. So far, so good.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Coping Mechanisms

I've really been working on my stress relief these past few months. One of the perks, and also downsides, of having a blog is that you guys get to read about my struggles in real time. When I'm having a rough go of it, I tend to overshare - when I'm actually updating, that is. Obviously this year has been incredibly tough so I've been sharing quite a lot.

Anyway, I've been in a much better place recently when it comes to my anxieties with COVID, burnout at work, ER in general. I thought that maybe I'd share the coping mechanisms I've been using, in case it helps anyone else.

SPOILER ALERT: THIS BLOG IS ABOUT TO BECOME A CRAZY PLANT LADY BLOG

Ya heard! Y'all, I got into gardening and plants this year. Like, I'm already a crazy cat lady so it's a little alarming knowing that I have two obsessions now, but it's 2020 so I'm not apologizing. 

My mom has always been a master gardener, but pretty much the unofficial country version of one. She can grow a garden without a second though, knock out a season's worth of tomato canning in a weekend, choose the most complimentary plants for a flower bed, and have fresh cut flowers on the counter all summer long. It's amazing. She's also got the most adorable little plant hanging from her kitchen window, and I found out recently it's almost 45 years old. I didn't know plants could even live that long! I've always loved that little plant, and it was the inspiration for me deciding to buy a similar little hanging pot and start my own houseplant. 

When COVID hit back in March and we went on lockdown, my husband and I started a little vegetable garden. We put in two raised beds, and later added a third. We did below average with our first season, I think - some plants thrived, some immediately died, but most others seemed to grow but not put out any usable vegetables. I absolutely loved the process of planting and tending, and then using our own homegrown stuff but it was a little disheartening how much of our garden wasn't producing. After lots of discussion with my mom, we decided that I needed way more flowers to help promote pollination. It seems that all of our plants started the process of fruiting, but since we had no pollinators everything sort of stagnated. 

Fast forward a few months, and I've BECOME THE CRAZY PLANT LADY. Once I decided to get more plants, it just took off. I bought a darling little hanging pot which holds my first real houseplant - and I look at it every day and love it. But that was just the beginning! I've got a whole section devoted to plants on pinterest, a long list of pottery to buy for plants I don't own yet, and a notebook that I'm using to keep track of where I plant things, important information about each plant, and what goes wrong (or right!) so I can adjust next time. It's so, so therapeutic.

I have seedlings growing for rainbow chard currently, and I'm working on baby basil, dill, parsley, and mint to grow inside over the winter until I can transplant them outside. I just put in a flower bed with a whole bunch of easy to care for perennials that will look SO GOOD next year when they bloom. I have plans for our patio and where I'm gonna put stuff to make it a little plant oasis. My entire bathroom windowsill is full of plants, and our office windowsill will also be a plant haven once we're done renovation.

I feel so much less anxious, you guys. It's crazy how therapeutic gardening is, and I love it so much. I always thought I had a black thumb designed to kill any plant I came across, but it turns out I just needed time, a little bit of research, and the motivation. Thanks to COVID, I have all the time and motivation now, and am loving the research. My mom always jokes that everything she tries to teach me I learn about 15 years later (see cooking, time management, the importance of having lots of wine glasses, etc), and gardening is no different. 

Don't be surprised to read a lot more about plants on this blog in the future, because work is really hard and overwhelming right now and I'm trying to focus more on the good things going on. I'll still share anything interesting from the ER because I do still love what I do, I just need to focus on what's making me happy currently. Also you guys would probably rather hear about plants than my other new coping mechanism: running. Way less exciting to write about, and pictures of plants look far better than post-run selfies do.