Last week, I purposefully only worked 2 shifts. As a side note for those of you non-nursey folks, we shift-working nurses usually do three 12 hour long shifts and that equals a full week's worth of work. Something else that's of note, I'm no longer considered a full time employee, but am now working as a Superpool employee. The Superpool is where the best and greatest of nurses go to work, hence the "Super" name.
You didn't buy that right?
Superpool is a variation of a PRN (per diem) status. In a nutshell, it means I can work as little as 2 shifts per month or as much as a full time person. My time isn't guaranteed and I don't accrue vacation time, but I can essentially pick my own schedule, making life extremely flexible. I also no longer pay for benefits, which means I got a significant bump up in my hourly wages. I officially switched in January and it's worked out incredibly well so far. I mean, I can just work 2 days if I choose. So that's what I did last week.
What did I fill open days with you ask? Uh, lots and lots and lots of yard work. Our flowerbeds were so overgrown and ugly, it would've been embarrassing to take a "before" picture. So I didn't. But 3 days of weeding, trimming, raking and mulching and the front and back beds are looking presentable. I'm pretty certain we'd become that "eyesore" house that every street has. I promise, however, we don't display lawn gnomes or leave unsightly trash, such as stained mattresses or busted vacuum cleaners on the corner.
I'd post "after" pictures, but last night/all day today, we've had thunderstorms, high winds, hail and some flood-causing rainfall. Enough rain to wash out a considerable portion of my fresh mulch. Gah! And I thought the dog would be my mulch-nemesis. So it saddened me to see my lovely flowerbed contents floating out into the street this morning. Maybe later this week we'll replenish the many barren spots. Or maybe we'll just reclaim our "Ugliest yard on the street" title.
As a result of this torrential rainfall, I had my first near-deathish experience today. Maybe that's a little melodramatic, so I'll paint a picture for you and you can decide how close to actual death I might have been. Living in the coastal bend, we're barely above sea level, making flash floods or just regular flooding a very real issue. So I'm on my way to work this morning in this ugly storm that's been hovering over most of the night and morning. I get about halfway through my 45 mile drive to the hospital when literally the bottom falls out of this black cloud looming overhead. Visibility is down to mere feet and the water is rising rapidly all around me. I knock on my emergency lights and stop on a bridge just to buy a little time for the rain to slack off a tad. Hail and high winds and major lightning start in on me and the car is literally rocking back & forth in the wind. Between the super heavy rain, high winds, lightning, and hail, I was near panicky and felt like a sitting duck on that bridge. I could see over the bridge that the roads beneath were under at least 3 feet of water. Finally, the rain lets up enough to move forward, but I soon find myself trapped about half a mile further down the highway where the water had gotten so high, I was sure my little low-riding Jetta would NOT make it through. So I parked it once again on the side of the road and waited for almost an hour while it continued to pour. I was determined not to become one of those idiots you see on TV floating along in their car, but the thought flashed through my mind multiple times. Finally, a nice man in a large truck and a cop helped me to back up/turn around, led me through a less flooded parking lot and got me safely turned around. It was dang scary! For those of you espanol-inclined, I will probably be on Univision at some point today - the weather watching SUV pulled up next to me to film the massive flooding and the dozens of cars that were stopped along the sides of the highway.
So that was my excitement for the day. Needless to say, I didn't make it to work, but I did eventually (slowly) make it home safely, where I quelled my anxiety with pizza and brownies. We'll try it again tomorrow.