Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sylvia the Linus Dutchi and her changes Part 1

We got Sylvia on February 24, 2014 after searching for the right bicycle for me for a long time.When we were looking I had a few requirements. It had to be strong enough to carry stuff; it needed a low step through for my knee; it had to be small enough to fit me (I'm a very spritely 5'1"-3" tall. It depends on who measures me and my shoes at the time.) It had to feel right. I didn't want black; most of the bikes around here are black and I wanted a blue bike. Good thing I was flexible on the color!
I rode so many different bikes I almost gave up. I rode Treks, Giants, Birias, Raleighs, Specialized, Schwinns, a Montgomery Ward bike, and other assorted Craigslist contraptions. I rode old ones and new ones. I was beginning to think I would never find the right one for me. Then we heard about this little tiny shop that had just opened up, Transit Cycles. The owner let me take a spin on a black Linus Dutchi and it felt good and I could get on easily and just go, but I hated the grips and the brakes sucked. . Of course, me being me, I had to keep looking.
A few days later we went back and I tried out Sylvia. I didn't like seat or her grips, but the fit felt even better than the black one had. Plus she wasn't black. Duncan was willing to trade the rear rack for a front one and trade out the grips for some black foam ones so we put the deposit down and left her to be adjusted. Two days later the small size is available in blue. Oh well, she was already mine.
A week later we went to get her. On the final test ride to make sure she fit and was adjusted properly I found an old drum set. Her front rack carried home the little drum with no problem and that sealed the deal. She could carry stuff and she liked it!

The oldest picture I could find.
After a few months of riding I really hated the saddle (it pinched and not in a good way!) and my dear husband got me my Brooks. It's a B67s and has been the most comfortable saddle I've ever sat on. Now that it has some miles on it, it just keeps getting better and better. 
After about 4 months I had destroyed the rubber in the pedals she came with. Linus was really nice and offered to replace them, but I said no thanks. I tried some other rubber block pedals, but in less than 2 months they had cracked and were falling apart. I think the weather here just destroys the rubber and I hate plastic pedals. I did some research and ended up getting these bear trap pedals in green. They are nice and wide for my feet and they grip my shoes nicely. The only downside is that they really hurt if they hit you. Someday I hope to have rubber pedals that don't fall apart so fast, but until then these ones rock.
In this configuration she took me to work and on many adventures. Then I outgrew her 3 speeds and we got new wheels with bigger gears from my husband for Christmas. That's when the party really started.

To be continued.......





Wednesday, May 20, 2015

All done! In more ways than one!

I went to school today to finish up the last of the paperwork that needed to be sent in to State Board. As long as everything is in order I'll have my number in 2-4 weeks. Then I can get a job! I can't wait, but I'll use this time to finish some of the things I've been neglecting while at school.

It's so pretty!
Sylvia's basket is finished and on her. I think it looks great and it doesn't seem to affect the handling at all. If anything it makes it a bit easier to turn her when going slow.  The wood came out really nice, I'm glad we went with a clear coat to bring out the grain without changing the color. My husband has really good taste in wood! There's about 7 coats on it so it should hold up for a while.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I aced the test and earned my basket!

I got the results last night and I did great!!!! My obsessive checking every few hours even though the tester said Wednesday paid off. I'm really proud of myself and now I just have to apply for my certificate. Then I can get a job! I can't wait!
I didn't miss a single step!

I have earned the basket and as soon as the varnish on the wood is dry I'm going to put it on Sylvia. It's a great looking basket and really feels sturdy. We went to the shop planning to get a Wald 159, but it was love at first sight with this on. They had a used one mixed in by accident that had a reflector. The shop threw in the reflector for free because they couldn't sell me the used basket. It belonged to another bike.


It's the perfect size!

The basket is 16"x 13"x 9". It's a much more sensible size for the front of Sylvia and will hold what I need it to. I can't wait to get it on there.


Perfect!
I plan to used hose clamps to attach it to the front rack. That will keep it out of the way and keep the weight down low. It's going to look great! Even better, it's going to work great!
Have fun!


Monday, May 18, 2015

I'm making myself crazy

This is how I feel!
I took my state test and the waiting for the results is making me crazy. The testers were very nice people and my actor was a very sweet lady, but they couldn't tell me how I did. I just have to wait for my pass/fail to be posted online. It's been a couple of days, and I was told that it would probably be posted on Wednesday, but I'm going nuts. I've been trying to keep busy varnishing a board for the basket we got for Sylvia and writing and riding and other stuff, but it's not working.
Basically distracting myself is a waste of time, but there's nothing else to do.
I had been using a cute little basket we got at Fry's on clearance, but the welds kept breaking. I can't wait for the new on to be done and on her. She looks snazzy with a basket.

$2 basket that is soon to be replaced.
This morning on my little jaunt I was chased by this tiny dog and I swear it's yap was saying pass, pass, pass, fail. I had to make an emergency stop because the dog was a fast little thing and ran around the front of me. I almost squished it! Thank you husband for the brakes that actually work! As soon as I stopped the monster hopped back through the fence it had come out of. I'm glad I didn't kill it and took a different route home.
My mind is just going a million miles a minute and jump around is now it's theme song. (It's stuck in my head now too!) So this is just a brief update on what's going on in my world.
Have fun!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

My new offering bowl


My dear husband got me this wonderful granite bowl. Now I won't have to worry about cracking any more clay pots or anything. I love the mottled look of the natural stone and the sparkle of the mica flecks. It's perfect for me.

It's very sturdy!
It easily holds a week worth of prayer slips and assorted things to burn in thanks and reverence. I've used it and the outside didn't get hot at all. I felt comfortable setting it on the plastic table on my porch and it was great not having to bend over to add slips to the fire.

That's a dime on the rim!
Believe it or not it's part of a wonderful mortar and pestle set we found at Costco! I'd been looking for a good offering bowl after I broke the pot I'd been using and now I have one that will last for years. The pestle can be used to crush out the embers if I need to leave it for some reason. Safety First! 
Have fun!  

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I did it!

Yesterday I passed my final exam for school!!! Tomorrow I go and do my mock state board test and find out when my test date will be. I can't wait to get my certification and get a job! This last month has been crazy busy with all the studying and practicing I got to do, but it was worth it to get this piece of paper. Now I just have to hurry up and wait for my actual board test, which means more practicing and studying. It's a good thing I like to do it.
Yay Me!
The second mod of school was harder than the first so it ate up all my free time. I had a lot of fun though and I may apply at the place I did my second round of clinicals. The staff there were great and I didn't see anything that was in violation there. It's a much better place than the first clinical site. 
It's funny, the first clinical site had a beautiful new building and lots of new gadgets, but the staff was horrible. I found so many violations both health and board that I told my teacher about, it was pathetic. 
The second clinical site could use a building redo and better lighting, but it was clean and not smelly. The staff were efficient and friendly. They worked as a team and even crossed units when it was needed. Even the nurses helped out when I asked them. 
They are both run by the same management group so I wonder why they are so different. The first is in a more affluent neighborhood and the second isn't. I wonder if placement is the key. 
Anyway, if I can't get the place I want I will definitely be applying to the second clinical site. I want to go back to the hospital, but it feels good to have an option 2 if I need it.
Wish me luck on getting scheduled soon for the board. The soonest test date is the 22nd and I really want to get this done! Until then I'll be studying and working on my next story.
Thanks for all your support! 
Have fun!!! 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My second day of clinicals!

Today was way better than yesterday. The CNA I was with yesterday apologized for her behavior yesterday and was friendlier today.
The CNA I was shadowing today was really friendly and actually let me help her. I learned a lot and had fun too!
I got to do a shower for a resident. The CNA just gave me tips and was on stand by in case we got into trouble. It went really well and thanks to my Cosmetology skills the resident really enjoyed the shampoo. My teacher was also there and I got to have that skill marked off as done properly! That was a great feeling.
While I was collecting the trash from the rooms Physical Therapy let me pivot a resident back into bed! He said I did a really good job and he gave me a lot of pointers for working with people way taller than my 5'2" self. The resident even said I did it smoothly and didn't cause them more pain. Sadly, my teacher wasn't there for that one so it didn't get marked off.
Toward the end of my day I got to help a very nice resident to the dining room and I learned about what life was like back in WWII times. It was fascinating and it made me want to get back to sewing even more. Then I got to help a different resident eat lunch. They didn't need much help, but it felt good to make a positive difference in their day.
I still saw things that weren't "by the book" and a few that shouldn't happen, but today was definitely better than yesterday. I reported the wrongs to my teacher like I'm supposed to. It's a bit weird telling teacher, but she has the power to make a change and I don't.
I can't wait to see what tomorrow will be like. I'm really enjoying the residents and learning about them, but I'm still not sure what kind of aide I want to be. A part of me is leaning toward going to the hospital and being a PCT; another bit wants to become a restorative aide and work in Physical Therapy; and then there's the option of being a straight CNA in a long term facility.
No matter what type I become I'm glad I know that I want to go to school to become and RN as soon as I can save up the money. The type of aide I become will help me determine the type of nurse I become so it's an important decision, but it's still changeable.
Wish me luck, and if anyone has helpful tips or good ideas let me know!
Thanks!