25 February 2006

Can Anyone Tell Me

What kind of bird is this?

This morning our front yard trees were covered with dozens of these birds. None of the neighbors had feathered friends in their yards. They stayed for several hours before taking off. The only attraction seemed to be the juniper bushes nearby. A few birds at a time would be eating the berries off the bushes. We've never seen anything like them in the yard before. We're not birders so can't identify much beyond the commoner ones, like, robins, blue-jays, red-winged black birds, sparrows, starlings, morning doves, quail and pigeons.

15 February 2006

What's This?

Not too long ago I was asked in a job interview "How do you handle impossible situations?" I almost laughed hysterically but managed to come up with something believable like, "Oh, I get creative".

Impossible situations? How about every day of my life! I provide transportation and "translation" (now THAT'S a joke right there) for my in-laws on all their many medical appointments. It can get..uh..complicated.

For example, right now Halmoni is in the midst of getting her cataracts removed. This requires no less than 12 appointments. There is the initial consult, then for each eye the pre-op visit, the surgery, the one-day, one-week, and one-month follow up visits. Finally the vision check-up. There are multiple eye-drop instructions that are different for each eye and change on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. ("Use the white drops in the right eye on Tuesday but by all means don't put them in the left eye until Thursday, and be sure to use the yellow drops in BOTH eyes until next week at which time you discontinue it in the left eye only but be sure to RESUME it in the left eye on Wednesday" etc.) By the way, the second eye is operated on two weeks after the first one so for a while you are figuring out post-op AND pre-op instructions at the same time. It's confusing for ME! Imagine how it is for her getting everything in a foreign language. Furthermore, I understand precious little of what Halmoni and Halaboji say. Although, I have to hand it to Halaboji in that he is sharp as a tack and understands my "Korean" better than just about anybody.

Anyway, the eye-drop instructions are so complicated that I was making up some charts to clarify it in my own mind when I got the idea to make up daily charts in Korean for Halmoni. I wrote the day of the week on top of the page and then made RIGHT and LEFT eye columns. Then I drew tracings of the bottles and labeled them with Korean words such as "pink top", "white and blue bottle", and "yellowish liquid". (Yes, I made good use of my electronic Korean/English dictionary. The problem is, Korean, like English, has SEVERAL words for each meaning. I was sure hoping to get the right one.) Finally I wrote the number of times the drops should be applied beside the pics of the bottles. It wasn't so bad. I had to trace the bottles and label the columns only one time and then made photocopies onto which I added the day names and number of applications. I was so proud of myself. Until looking at the picture just now I see I misspelled the word "left". Ah well, the important thing is she can understand it.

Halaboji goes in for his cataracts next!

Yes, I got the job. The question is, do I have time for it?

Tools of the Trade

I'm bringing all these items to class tonight because the ESL students are supposed to gain a "competency" of understanding how to take Rx drugs. From my experience on the nurse advise line you'd be surprised how many native English speakers don't know that a teaspoon equals 5 ml. Or, that a Tablespoon is 15 ml. Or that a ml. is the same as a cc. Or even the abbreviation for teaspoon or Tablespoon. The pretty flowered spoons for stirring tea are to show them what NOT to use when dosing. I'm also demonstrating a bottle of eye drops but forgot to put it in the picture.

04 February 2006

We Take to the Woods

Yeah, I know I promised there'd be no snow pics on this blog, but what are you going to do when it ends up with snow where you want to go.

We took a little drive in the mountains today-on uncleared roads. Right, that's what the 3/4 ton diesel powered truck with 4 wheel drive, 5 gears and a lift kit is for. Still, I kept waiting for a mud-slide to block the way or something. Triple A doesn't come to closed back-country areas.

As you can see by the antenna, I was sticking the camera out the window and snapping pics while the truck was in (slow) motion. You know those ads where the 4WD vehicle zooms across a snowy road with no trouble? Don't you believe it. Those roads in the commercial are flat and straight.

A little too much adventure, but I DO have to admit, just a bit grudgingly, that the scenery was good enough. And not too cold out either, so, I actually even got out walked in the white stuff a little. OK, I concede. Snow isn't THAT bad as long as you don't have to shovel it, don't get stuck in it, don't get ANY of it on your body and don't get too cold in it. Good thing I've come around since plans for a show-shoeing trip are in the making.