Monday, January 26, 2015

Twenty Six Bosses in Forty Years

Forty years is a long time to work, and I am approaching that milestone in August. As of a month ago, in those forty years I had twenty-five bosses. I just learned last week I am in for another one. Usually one makes their own work and job choices, but that is not the case this time. The only difference is that since I have been working part time for almost a year, it doesn't matter as much. Eighteen of the 26 bosses were female and eight were male. In the early years of clinical nursing, and then nursing management, they were 100% female. When I moved to the corporate office, they were mostly male. All told, they each lasted about one and a half years - although most of the time it was because I was moving myself along the career ladder. Only one of these bosses I would consider a true mentor - someone who looked after your back and really cared about you. I was very lucky to have a mentor in college too. You'll know it when you have one! I have worked in four separate organizations - three health care facilities and systems and the federal government. I have been a patient care giver, a boss to about 1,000 nurses in the critical care arena, and an internal consultant with no direct reports. I've learned to adjust to whatever is thrown at me. It should be no different this time. (Photos taken from the websites of the organizations I have worked for).

Sunday, January 25, 2015

What I Notice on the Mall and Capitol Hill

Yesterday we took a ride down M Street SE. Today, before the snow flies, we decided to take a typical walk to the Mall from our house. The landscape changes with the seasons. The sun was trying to come out, and it was close to 50. But there is usually not a lot of activity before noon. We always pass by the duck pond at the American Indian Museum and stop at the Smithsonian Castle gardens. The Washington Monument is a typical landmark in just about any photo, but looked really pretty behind the African American Museum of Art. A unique fur tree stands in front of the castle, and the massive mall improvement project is well underway. The familiar sound of any merry go round was heard loud and clear - but there were no takers. The large orange steel beam, also known as art, reminds me of the same structure in downtown Milwaukee on the lakefront. There are a lot of empty benches along the path on the way back towards the Capitol. At the US Botanical Garden the little babbling brook is well hidden; the gargoyles stare down at us from atop the Palladian windows, and the collard greens are ready to be picked! The Bartholdi Fountain spot is a great place to sit and put your feet up for awhile. As we approach our house, the barriers to the Capitol become more obvious and directions to the freeway near the House Office Buildings garage exits pop out against the notable red brick rowhouse backdrop. What one doesn't usually see is the train track that runs behind that notable rowhouse, and the sidewalks that can attack you if you don't keep your eyes on the ground. It's a lot different from Milwaukee and a lot warmer too. Can we skip the snow please?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Drive On M Street and Barracks Row

We didn't want to drive directly back home after brunch so we took a detour on M Street. Things have changed a lot since we first moved here - on the other side of the freeway - and will continue to progress for many more years to come. The Nationals Stadium stands in the distance, but the path has been cleared for yet another condominium, shopping, restaurant complex. The ice skating venue has a few customers at Canal Park. The new Harris Teeter just opened amid another complex of apartments, condos, and restaurants. My husband still prefers the one on Pennsylvania Avenue, although this one is much closer to us. Up the street is the Navy Yard complex. It appears that the many year freeway and road construction project may finally be coming to an end. But the train track renovation will soon take its place. We turn around at the Wagtime Shop where I have a "gallery wall" of pet portraits. There is a fenced in area where the pooches are allowed to romp as weather permits. Turning up on Eighth Street and Barracks Row, several urban art pieces are displayed on the sides of buildings. Marine Barracks is well protected by a high fence with guards on all corners. It's a rather dreary outing as there is much less activity at this time of day and year. It all feels so familiar to us now as if we have lived here forever. I guess that's a good thing. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

From Heels to Flats

I always had a variety of shoes to match my closet full of clothes for all seasons - especially in Milwaukee. I also had a large closet to house all these clothes, shoes, and boots. Most of the time I wore heels with my work clothes - some were up to three inches - making me an imposing five feet eleven inches. Maybe it helped when I had to deal with obnoxious physicians. My coworkers gave me a Nordstrom going away gift certificate when I left, and I happily got two new high healed pairs of shoes for my new job here. However, our closet space here remains practically non existent. I am also several years older, and the sidewalks are lousy. So most of my heels and work shoes sit in a file drawer in my office. Because I walk a couple blocks to the office, I always wear my flat "home shoes" or boots to and from work and change in to my work shoes.  But over the last year, I have not even worn any of these work shoes or boots once. They have all been exchanged for a single pair of flat shoes that have a silver or gold hue depending on whatever it is that I happen to be wearing. It must be a sign of the times... working less hours a week, edging towards retirement, personal priorities changing, clothes purchases only have to do with weekend wear rather than work. It's just another transition, and in my mind, a very good one. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Midsomer Murders, Inspector Morse, Lewis, & Gentley, Sherlock & More

The Wives of Henry the Eighth was my first introduction to Masterpiece. Over the years I have learned to love the classics. But since we have traveled to London three years in a row to visit my husband's old medical school classmate, England has become even more endearing to us. We find the US contemporary crime dramas a bit too gross and realistic. It's too much - and in many instances - worse than every day news. I don't care for graphic violence and misery. So we have become addicted to everything masterpiece mystery and beyond starting with Midsomer Murders. The characters are fun, the music is weird, and it is humorous. We always feel good watching an episode. Half the time we can't understand it, but the countryside scenes are delightful. The only question I had of the lawyer giving tours at Oxford was "where were the locations that Inspector Morse and Lewis were shot." We saw the Sherlock phone booth in downtown London next to the building he "fell off." Now there is Grantchester and Father Browne - oh, and don't forget George Gentley. My husband loves the sidekick who yells at everyone. There is something sweet about all of these programs and it goes to show you there are entertaining stories beyond Downton Abbey and Pride and Prejudice.  We love them all. It hardly matters where you live or when you watch them, but it still feels the best on Sunday evening. The Masterpiece theme song keeps playing in my head.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cole Haan Shoes Finally Bite The Dust

They don't look too bad if you look down. But from the sides and bottoms they've seen better days. These Cole Haan walking shoes have traveled across the globe to Iran, France, and many points in between. For the last many years they were relegated to afternoon walking shoes where I work. The hallways are long and potentially slippery, so these do nicely. But, they started to fall apart within the last couple of months. The plastic on the bottom has just plain worn out. It will be hard to throw these away - but they are not worth repairing. The light color also makes it look even worse. So I'll just have to bite the bullet and get another pair. It's only been about ten years!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Visiting Grandson

Since our son and his family moved away six months ago we obviously don't see them as much as we used to. So it was nice to know that we would have a lunch date with our grandson today because he was off from school and his mom had a meeting in town. They usually drive in but this time they took the 3-4 hour train ride. So I took an extra hour off, and my husband picked me up from work so we could pick him up at Hotel Monaco right across from the portrait gallery. They loaded the luggage in the car, Mom went to her meeting, and we returned to our neighborhood for lunch. Since it was his choice, we went to MatchBox on 8th Street and found out he likes turkey as much as I do. He said it would be his last real meal because he has a state wrestling tournament this weekend. It's hard to believe he is already 11 going on 12 because he acts so much older. I got dropped off back to work and Grandpa and he have a few hours to do something. What that is I don't know, but it's nice to know they'll be together for awhile. It's not like living just down the street, but it's not so bad. At least it's a lot closer than Milwaukee.