Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Did I tell you a jammed my right shoulder? Try this: go from a standing position to sitting on the floor and notice how you might use one arm to brace yourself from falling in a heap. That's what I did on the grass at the bus stop 10 days ago. I've sat on the grass 5 days a week for 6 weeks now and managed to not injure myself. But on that day, YOWZAAA!!!!! Pop went something, followed my shooting hot pain through my right arm and fingers started going numb. I wondered to myself, "Now you're in a pickle. How do you propose to get yourself back to standing with a limp right arm?'" Right about then a lawnmower guy came by needing to mow that patch of lawn. It was either get off my butt or death by mowing. Me and my dangling arm managed to get up, on the bus, and home.
Interesting disability. I can't or couldn't:
1. run the van gear shift
2. reach across for a seat belt
3. pull up pants
4. pull arms in & out of sleeves
5. pull up left bra strap
6. shake hands w/arm extended
7. hold anything weighty, like a jug of milk or the iron
8. reach laterally across my body

But time has passed and I've swallowed plenty of Tylenol. Some mobility has returned, but I gave up and went to the doctor today.
X-rays show nothing broken, so it's a muscle tear of some sort, curable with more pain killers, more time, & some physical therapy.
I have learned to LOVE my left arm. So dextrous!. So helpful! So good in a pinch! So handy to have! kiss kiss kiss
On the way home from the doctor I fulfilled a life-long fantasy. I pulled onto 12th ave road directly behind a wailing firetruck, hit the gas, and sped a mile down the street on his tail. And NOBODY was in my path because he, of course, had cleared it. Oh it was fun!. All these cars pulled to the sides except me happily zipping past and feeling like I had won something. Cross that off my bucket list.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The wheels on the bus go round & round

Whatever was I worried about? I feel like one of my four life problems has just fallen off the radar. I tell you--bus riding is soothing. Snooze in the AM. Reading the PM.
Interesting characters and famous lookalikes. Thusfar I've sat next to Johnny Depp
(as his Jack Sparrow character) and Stephen King.

I love my new office, my location in the office, the new walk I take both at lunch and after work, the huge windows which allow me to see thunderstorms arriving from the West, the double monitors, and the smoking hot printer which can print, copy, & fax so fast my head spins.

I've lost my bus pass once. (A 30-day pass, used only 8 days) But it miraculously came back the next day.

So I've been all surprised/happy for 2 weeks now and here's the irony. On the day my Nampa office closed, I came home to a phone message from a nurse friend. She works at Midland Care & Rehab where their head medical biller had just walked off the job. #2 biller was promoted, leaving a vacancy. Was I interested? (Let's see--Midland Care is about 2 miles from home. Yes, I am interested.) Then the administrator called me. We set up an interview, but in the meantime I started work in Boise and found I liked it. I tell you, there is nothing so sweet as a fact finding interview when you're not desperate. Bottom line: We are not exactly perfect for each other, but if they want to make an offer, I'm willing to compare apples to apples (salary/paid time off) and make a decision. Another week has passed. They haven't called back I am happy with that too. I mentioned I could give them a list of a dozen other women more suited to the job. Whatever happens, everybody wins. Then I dropped my bus pass in the administrator's office, though I didn't know it until the next day.

Anyway, the past year and half of job fretting and stewing is gone and good riddance to it. Actually I feel really blessed to be able to keep my job, my great boss, and the new corporation chose a building site 1/2 block from the bus stop on this side of Boise, which allows me to get to work by 7:30. If they had chosen anywhere else..........I guess I'd be begging for that care center job.

ha ha The care center had a black labrador lolling on the black leather couch in the admin's office. I was told "if the dog licks your hand, you get the job." He didn't.

------change of subject-----
Chanel treated Kevin & I to "Wicked." WOWOWOWOWOWO!!!!! I told her I have to go again watch it from backstage. The stagecraft was as fascinating as the story.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The color of mud

So---I have never shopped for floor vinyl or carpet or formica or anything else in the home improvement world. Did you know it is possible to go to RC Willey and not find a single couch you like? This is because everything they sell is the color of mud, or was the last time I looked--years ago.

Therefore I should have not been surprised after 5 minutes of looking in Nampa's premier chi-chi floor covering store to find---kitchen vinyl is all the color of mud. ONly 5 minutes to flip through each and every sample (100's) and hate them all, though I wasn't shopping for myself. I was shopping on behalf of Grandma Ison and her buckled kitchen floor. Whatever happened to pretty vinyl, with little flowers and pastel coloring? That's what she has now and I was fairly certain she would want the same again. Why is the hip look all slabs of granite, muddy at that?

I seem to require hand-holding in these situations from someone who loves shopping--Kevin. Tonight we ventured into the world again, but at Lowe's instead and found fewer choices but several quite grandmotherish pieces. We "checked-out" 3. Did you know Lowe's rents out vinyl samples for $10? Now you do. With Kevin at my side, I felt sort of triumphant and we drove to Caldwell fairly betting grandma would favor the light beige with little pink flowers.

In the past, Grandma has been a very slow decider. Her fading memory is part of the problem. If she makes a decision it will be forgotten 5 minutes later, so decision-making can stretch on indefinitely. This is where Lora Dawn's primo facilitating skills save the day. My plan was to leave the vinyl samples with grandma overnight, have LD sweep in Sunday afternoon, apply some great facilitating pressure. I figured by Monday morning we could call Biff ( floor installer) and say, "Order the flowers." Ta DA!

Well, well, We found Grandma in her TV room, looking at treasures. Kevin said, "Mom, come on out into the dining room. We have a little job for you to do." I had spread the 3 samples on the dining room table. "What's this," she asked? "Oh! I like THAT one." and she pointed at the muddiest of the 3, not the flowerdy one. End of decision. I nearly fell off the chair. We slapped the favored vinyl down on the floor, where it looked perfect next to her carpet. She said, "My kitchen floor is too light. It shows dirt too easy. This one will help conceal it." My head was spinning. She chortled, "Oh, I have been so worried about this. You two are the best shoppers and now I don't have to think about this anymore."

You can bet we had Biff on the phone two minutes later, placing the order. He said, "I wish I had more customers like your mother." (Quick deciders)

Is this irony? To the 10th power

Jocile & Richard, Biff will call us Monday to say when the vinyl will arrive. Then we can nail down a schedule.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I pull a "Morgan"

So I'm walking around the house in my sheepskin slippers, doing my ordinary business, and wondering why my feet hurt.

Lo and behold, when I sit in the Lazy-Boy and put my feet up, the shoes are on the wrong feet.

Now I'm paranoid. I have to check the slippers everytime I wear them. They just don't look that obviously R or L.

Morgan, your grandma takes after you. Who'd have thought? After all these years.......
.......what's going to regress next?

This is like great-grandma Louie Ison. She did her daily housework, went to RS meeting, came home, got ready for bed and realized she'd forgotten to put on her brassiere that morning. ha

My family ward wants me to speak about olden days women and RS. I think her story bears mentioning.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Freakazoidal commute from Hell

The corp called for a 2hr departmental meeting in Boise @ St. Alphonsus hospital. (My dept=8 people) 8AM yesterday. Did I drive? Not on your life. I rode with 2 co-workers and nearly freaked out. We left in 7AM fog. Why are people driving bumper to bumper at 55 mph IN THE FOG?????

Brrrrring. Wendee's speaker phone goes off. (She's the driver). It's her mom, who works in Boise, calling to warn of an auto accident on the connector, precisely where we need to go. Thanks for the bad omen. Traffic stacks up immediately and now we crawl bumper to bumper at 5MPH. Brrrring again. It's Lorna, co-worker, several cars back. She knows a variety of curse words for the situation. She's from Caldwell, thus having extra miles to work up a fine string. Brrrrring again. It's Robert, our boss, miles behind us. Also an excellent curser. The two cups of water I drank for breakfast hit my bladder. We crawl for 1hr 10 min, to the crash site which is now nothing but flickering flares. For crying out loud, a commuter bus passes us. And a commuter van. What I wouldn't give for a restroom.

I hate this, I hate this, I hate this. Wendee keeps up a line of patter. "Oh this is nothing. I used to live in Tacoma and do this everyday." Well, good. Keep your eyes on that bumper 2 inches in front of you. Lorna calls again and announces she's claustrophobic. She expects to get rear-ended any moment. Wendee and Nicole (in front seat) want to know if I'm OK? Frankly, FREAKING NOT!!!!

Yes, we finally get to the hospital at 8:10 and assault the restrooms. Facilitator Woman (from corporate Novi, Michigan) offers coffee and sympathy. I am so tense I could bite heads off. Boss Robert arrives 15 minutes later. We have our meeting. yada yada yada I ride with a different co-worker back to Nampa. The fog is twice as thick. We take a country road instead of freeway. Again, another car accident shuts down a 1-mile section of AMity.

Today I hear rumors that my boss's boss (Jill) will soon approach me for bus route info. Supposedly her commute yesterday, (though at a different time of day) put the fear in her too. I hear she wants an inservice on how to get from Nampa to Boise without death, fear, or tension.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Farewell to Cheetos, the gig is up.

So, so , so sad. New employer = new health insurance. New health insurance has new rules. i.e. all adults on the plan are required to get a general physical every year. (Skip it if you please, but your % of copay, coins and deduct go UP.) I'm all about saving $$, so I went to chubby Dr. Kunz after, I don't know, an 8 year absence. I had the blood tests, etc etc etc. (But NO pap smear) YAY for hysterectomies! Does any woman in the world love having a pelvic? NO

Results: High cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar. bad

So Dr Kunz looks me in the eye and says, "Here's what you're gonna do, Jana. "

1. Walk 30 minutes minimum/day forevermore.
2. Take the lowest dose blood pressure med (and don't be surprised if it takes a while to regulate and you end up taking 3 types a day like everybody else.
3. Have a little visit with the hospital nutritionist
4. Report in once a week for blood pressure check and weigh-in.

5. low salt diet

Sisters, do you remember back in the days when I used to suck on salt rocks? I believe one of you told me I would get "hardening of the arteries." I didn't care.

Well that dr's appt was 2 1/2 weeks ago and how have I done on each?

1. Yes, 6 days a week. During lunch, after work, in fog, wind, light rain, with a backache and without.
2. Yes, but not sure if I like the sensation it gives
3. Coming up next weekend
4. 8 lbs down the hatch
5. I'm aiming for 2300mg sodium, the recommended for ordinary mortals. I think Dr. meant I should go lower but I can't do it yet. Just giving up Cheetos and the usual lovely fried salty things is challenge enough.

Good things:

1. I'm not so bitter, really
2. Food journaling is educational
3. Mrs Dash is not too objectionable
4. Stir frys are easy to cook
5. I'm not feeling hungry, which totally surprises me.
6. I've got a good mental game going. "Jana, don't give a rip about the total weight loss needed. Just stick to today. You can be good today and sin tomorrow." Thusfar, have not sinned tomorrow. Wait, that's a lie. I sinned @ the Ison chick yakfest.
7 . chicken breast and George Foreman grill--my 2 new best friends
8. My other best friend--IPOD Mozart, Billy Joel, etc keep me moving.
9. Kevin wanted to take me out to dinner and I turned him down. In 34 years, that's NEVER HAPPENED!

Well, that's the deal and I'm not going to write anymore about it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


So--I have decided to kick the old blog back to life.

As my daughter-in-law mentioned on her blog, 2010 was the pits and consequently for me, the writing well was dry. But I will do a little catch-up now.

My work: I now do my same job for Trinity Health instead or Catholic Health. Over the course of 2010 sixty people dwindled down to 45 as my co-workers saw the handwriting on the wall. At that point, Trinity announced it would re-hire 25 of us to help staff a new billing office in Boise. I pro and conned myself for several weeks. Should I take the severance package and unemployment and do some goofing off before job-hunting in Nampa? Or should I go for security and commuting to Boise? In the end, I chickened out for security and commuting. The transition to new employer was formal on Jan1, but here's the good news. The new building isn't ready and won't be for several more months. YAHOO. (Corner of Emerald and Steelhead
Way for any of you Boise-ites interested) So I'm still here in Nampa, a .07 mile drive from home.

When the time comes, I still won't drive. Snow, ice, darkness, rain, traffic, old car, gas expense, freeway driving in general--none of this works for me. I'm taking the bus. Get this: only $36.00 a month, a bonafide steal if a person can tolerate the 1 hr commute from Karcher Mall to office. With the help of Ipod, scriptures, books, and journal, I plan to tolerate it for one year and then evaluate.

The rest of my life: It feels like an ongoing fog. Years ago we had a neighbor lady come over and describe how she spent the year after her son's fatal car wreck with her head stuck in a gin bottle. At the time she said it (years after the accident), she looked none too recovered still. I totally get what she was saying now. When you grieve you look for comfort and hunker down. Enough said.

Kevin: still a Bishop and I still love having him be one.
Arielle: happily back at BYUI, starting her Sophmore year.
Chanel: a walking party, the best person to hang with overnight or anytime, for that matter
The cat: 16 years old, arthritic, takes a daily dozen naps and I am so jealous
Grandma Ison: thankful to be living in her home and so gracious about any help given her. Her kitchen floor is ruined and buckled from recent water problems. I never know how to deal with house repairs. Dean---help!?!?!
Morgan & Lydia: I never get enough of seeing and enjoying them. Having them closer is the silver lining of 2010's black cloud.