…Or the Restocking and Re-evaluating My Work “Pen Pouch” Post.
As a nurse I always need to carry around something to write with and an array of other such supplies with me while I’m at work in order to maintain my basic level of functioning and it so happened that I kept putting off restocking this “pen pouch” that I keep with me up until now. I’ve stayed prepared with regard to keeping a stockpile of my necessities at home, but have failed to replace two of my used up items for the past three days until now, so I figured that I’d take this opportunity to share my “essentials” for my workplace “pen pouch”, much like the well remember pencil cases in school, I still carry a “grown-up” version of this now and I’ll share with you my present day arsenal of supplies.
- The handy-dandy drawstring pouch: this pouch keeps my whole arsenal of items together in one place, it started out as a little light blue Korean Air toiletries bag that I’d reused for the same purpose and used to the end of it’s tattered life till I needed to find a new bag to replace it with, which I ended up finding in the party favor bag section at Target (comes in a set of 3), not the best material, but serves its purpose. What makes the drawstring bag so nice to me is that it keeps every item facing up in my pocket, keeps it organized, and keeps it from falling out while I work.
- Body shop lotion (happens to be an almost empty British Rose this time): fits well in my pouch and isn’t a sticky sort of consistency for lotion. Originally I never carried lotion, I imagined it carried to many germs and often still do, but my parched, dry hands as a nurse always needing to constantly wash my hands doesn’t give me much choice since the alternative is to let my hands get dry, cracked, and bleed instead, so the choice is quite easy. Also this lotion doesn’t happen to be my favorite from that shop, that’s part of why I use it since I don’t want to run out of my favorites so quickly, but my coworkers love the smell, so all the same.
- Lip moisturizer: I keep this on hand in case my lips get too dry, as a nurse there are days that I get so busy that I hardly drink water or don’t drink at all (rare with this, but it has happened) and my lips feel the effect of this deprivation for sure and so this is yet another item that I imagine to be crawling with bacteria, but I use it in those moments of desperation when my lips feel too parched. It so happens to be Burt’s Bees this time, not my favorite, but I’m trying to use up my existing lip moisturizers in the meantime to avoid being wasteful.
- Dry erase marker: I like this one in particular because it’s clear and so I know exactly when it’s start to run low as a kind of warning “low battery” type of comparison except in pen form. I need this item for work to keep the patient’s boards updated (this is the first of the two replacement products that I mention).
- Permanent marker: this is a semi-multipurpose item used for a variety of labeling purposes at work (from dressings to IV bags, etc.) (which accounts for my second replacement item).
- Scissors: another basic necessity (from cutting gauze to various dressings, koban, medications such as Lidocaine patches, etc.).
- Pen: this one is from the Muji store and I believe has six colors (I’ve used up the black ink and have also broken its end piece at this point), but I still like this pen quite a bit in part for the colors/how it writes, but mainly because it’s permanent for official documents and has a large grip for my patients to hold since many of them are elderly or have suffered from strokes and so their dexterity is often poor and the larger size of the pen helps them to write/sign.
- Erasable frixion pen: this along with the pouch that holds my items is likely my favorite thing. It’s the best erasable pen I’ve ever tried, I’ve already run out of two and I’m on my third. It’s just so convenient for me. I don’t want to use pencil because I know I’ll make a mess of it and I feel a little less professional not using a pen of some form, also it erases a million times better than other “erasable” pens I’ve tried in the past and rarely smudges either. It allows me to make changes on my report sheet without making it look like a complete and total mess with scribbles and x’s left and right. It’s certainly raised many eyebrows among my coworkers and certainly did for me when I first saw someone using it.
- Highlighter: rarely used items, I could probably live without it, but is occasionally utilized for me to keep track of things, but I must say I’m using it even less now that I have my erasable pens.
- Pen light: absolute neuroscience nurse essential, my workplace even supplies us with extras in the med room because it’s so often used on our unit to assess patients. So always a pen light as well.
In this short post I’m just going to give two ways to clean a microwave:
The first is by using a solution of one part vinegar and one part water, 1-2 cups of the mixed solution should be adequate. After putting this solution into a microwave safe container (I almost always use a pyrex or a glass baking dish), the solution needs to be heated for a few minutes in the microwave. I see many sources on the internet suggesting 3 minutes, but I usually do at least 5 and will sometimes repeat heating the solution as I wish.
The second method is nearly identical to the first, but rather than vinegar it calls for water and one lemon. Whereby in this method the lemon juice is squeezed into the water and the lemon is left in the water/lemon juice mixture and heated in the exact same manner as mentioned above for the water and vinegar mixture.
The whole point of either of these two methods is to cause the steam from the given solution to soften any debris within the microwave to make it easier to clean and wipe down. The only thing left to do it the wiping and scrubbing in the microwave itself.
Of course also remember to be careful with the hot liquid while you clean.
I took down some white Christmas lights that I’d used to adorn my wardrobe for many years today, for so long I felt that the wardrobe didn’t quite feel right without it and I’d almost taken it down on one other occasion a couple of years back, but today it felt like it was finally time. I’ve enjoyed how it looked all this time, but I think it’s time for it to go and this is my farewell to my cozy fairy lights, I’m just ready for some change.
This is going to be a post on some notes I’ve taken from the book “60 Ways to Keep Your Brain Sharp” by Bonne Beth Sparrman, BSN. The book is divided into 4 sections of: physical activity and related preventative measures, nutrition, intellectual stimulation, and social and spiritual stimulation. This bog post will only be covering select parts from the first section of “Physical Activity and Related Preventative Measures”. In this post I’ll be emphasizing my favorite sections and tips and make short little notes on the remaining bits:
- Go Hiking. I love this one, because I too love hiking, I’ve only done it a couple of times, but I’ve loved going every single time. In Sparrman’s book she starts of writing about a Swedish man named Stig (pronounced Steeg and means “pathway or wanderer”). I loved Sparrman’s description of Stig’s childhood surroundings of “Rolling hills, plenty of water, and pine forests surrounded his home, beckoning him to wander wooded paths foraging for mushrooms and wild berries” (p. 16). Clearly hiking has physical benefits, but it does so much for mental health as well including boosting creativity and reducing depression.
- Go Swimming (or even better swim in a lake). According to Sparrman the benefits of swimming include: increased blood flow to the brain, decreases depression, improves memory, and is a physical activity that is safe for joints (p. 21-22).
- Garden. I’m an on-off gardener, at times I’m out toiling around in the dirt, while at other times I just spend the greater sum of my hours indoors. In spite of my fickleness regarding this activity, I really do enjoy it when I do it. As for what Sparrman writes about gardening, she says that working with the soil gives a boost of serotonin to our brains that improves mood (apparently through the aid of a good microbe called Mycobacterium vaccae). People who garden also have a lower risk of developing dementia than those who don’t and being out in the sunshine increases the production of vitamin D, which is yet another mood booster and even helps to improve our immune systems (p. 33-34).
- Try Pilates. Apparently pilates works not only the body, but the mind as well and has an emphasis on deep breathing. Some of its benefits including healing sore muscles, helps prevent injuries (how I’m not sure), decreases stress, and calms the mind. I’ve never personally tried pilates, but I may try it now and after reading this section of the book I went on Youtube and checked to see if I could find any video that I might want to try and came across this one that I might try to give a go at some time soon (p. 36-37).
- Get a Massage. According to Sparrman massage decreases cortisol (our stress homone) while increasing the “feel good” hormones of serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. I’ve only gone one time to a massage parlor and wasn’t too thrilled with my experience there. The lady that massaged me was too rough and didn’t understand English so I couldn’t make any of my preferences known to her. It was a rather uncomfortable experience for me. So far my good massage experiences have only been from family and friends, but perhaps I’ll try a “real” massage again sometime soon and will hopefully have a different experience (p. 55).
- Additional Tips: maintain a healthy BMI, stay active, partner dancing, get enough sleep, quit smoking if you’re a smoker, breath more deeply, and always wear a helmet for activities that call for one to be worn.
Sparrman, B. B. (2018). 60 ways to keep your brain sharp. Eugene, OR: Harvest House.
This is the list of the essential four things I feel I need to get done whenever I endeavour to clean the house, as a sort of foundational base clean or starting point from which I can later move on to more specific areas. These are my four:
The order matters as well for there is a reason for this order. Laundry is first so that it runs while I work on my other chores, dishes are next because getting them washed clears up more kitchen space and often I can wipe up the counter as I do so and since the next step on the list is the floor I can wipe the crumbs right onto the floor seeing as it would need cleaning next. If the floor space in the house is neat and clean most of the house will already look nice and tidy. Last is the trash seeing as this will have likely filled up as I cleaned and as the day has gone on. This isn’t any sort of deep clean list, this is just a starting point for cleaning generally speaking, at least in my mind these would be the logical first four steps to house cleaning endeavors.
So yesterday when I had breakfast with some of my coworkers I noticed myself complain more than I’d like to see myself complaining, we were all collectively complaining (ex. about people who were rude) and most of our discussions involved good and valid points…but still, I didn’t like seeing myself complain as much as I did. I thought it was unattractive of me to do so. The reason is in part because I reminded myself of one of my least favorite people and didn’t like having that person reflected in myself. I think complaining has its place in this world and can even connect people. Change happens when people think things can be better than they are, that’s why I’m only being allowed to express complaints every other day. On some days one has to allow the world to be as it is and seek out peace, whereas other days one can see the world for what it is and unapologetically seek to change it. This rule is to help me seek out more peace and more self-contentment while not changing who I am or the things I stand for. I’m not sure yet when I’ll first enact my rule for myself, I’m afraid of failing to follow my own rule, but hopefully very soon.
Though I consider myself very far from where I’d want myself to be as far as green living goes I do feel I’m making some small progress, the example I’m giving now is of the reusable gift bags. I purchased 6 so far (three Christmas themed, one floral, one Alice in Wonderland, and one birthday), all from Etsy shops (from Not Paper Bags and Heirloom Gift Bags Plus). The first time I used the bags was for my sister’s birthday and now we’re using it for Christmas again. I told my mom that from now on we’d use the reusable gift bags and surprisingly she was perfectly happy to go along with it, the only problem is I’ve yet to buy enough bags still. It’s definitely made a difference though, as even with an incomplete stockpile of gift bags, the few I’ve purchased so far are able to go a long way. So it’s my hope that my family and I will grow and continue this newfound tradition and it’s my hope that you might consider trying it out in your own home with your family as well dear reader. Also might I add on a completely different tangent that I think my mom did a lovely job of decorating our tree this year with her ribbon arrangement, the gold tassels and the top of berries.
I should have made this post much earlier, but other things were on my mind and procrastination is my specialty. Better late than never though and I still want to make this seeing as today is the last day of Autumn. My mother and I enjoy decorating for this season and I figured I’d share our decor for this year, plus it’ll give me the chance to delete some pictures from my phone seeing as posting them here will result in duplicates.