Monday, June 14, 2010

Just another cog in the wheel

I didn't intend for the title to sound so depressing. Things are really going quite well with the new jobby-job. I will admit, though, that I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I've become a piece of a corporate machine.

Don't get me wrong. I realize that hospitals are also run with a business model in mind. The corporate stuff is just a little more in your face when you work big-box retail pharmacy. But like I said, things are still going great. Everyone I've met has been exceedingly friendly and they have not been bothered by my multitude of questions. Once I get settled in and feel comfortable with the whole retail way of pharmacy (b/c it's WAY different than hospital pharmacy), I have a feeling I'm gonna be quite happy with my decision.

It's back up to Springfield for a few days for some more training (and maybe a little detour to the outlet mall in Branson on the way!). All the while I'm furiously trying to cram in as much studying and review as humanly possible without losing my mind, because my board exam is only 16 short days away!! I'm very much looking forward to getting that beast of a test over with and then settling into a new routine as I adjust to being back in the working world.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A ten year accomplishment shattered in a split second

So, I was driving home from orientation on Tuesday afternoon. By the way, the drive to and from Springfield stinks. Two-lane country roads most of the way, twisty-turny hills, run-down gas stations...not my idea of a pleasant drive. I was very excited to get home and therefore was allowing my bad habit of a lead foot to get me there a little quicker. Then I got to Greenbrier. Then I noticed a cop up ahead coming toward me in cross traffic. Then I hit the breaks and crossed my fingers. Then I noticed him slow down as I passed him. Then I watched him turn his lights on in my rear view and make a U-turn. Then I said some very unlady-like words.

Yes, I got pulled over for speeding...about 30 miles from home no less. I've been pulled over once before about ten years ago in early under-grad. Ten year clean driving record exists no more. The funny thing was this time after the cop introduced himself he proceded to ask me if "I had a legal and justifiable reason for exceeding the speed limit?" Uh, what? I wanted to say that the reason I was speeding was because I think its stupid to require people to go 55 mph hour on a four-lane highway, but instead I said something dumb like, "uh, I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention to the speedometer." But seriously...ARE there legal and justifiable reasons for speeding? If so, please let me know because with my lead foot, the odds are against me that this will be my last ticket.

Also, I must mention that Faulkner county is still stuck in the 1960's when it comes to techonology. The officer wrote a phone number on my ticket and told me to call it to find out how much my fine will be, so this morning I've gave it a ring. They ended up telling me that they won't be able to tell me how much money to send in until the first week on July because that is how long it will take get them to get my ticket entered into the system. That seems utterly ridiculous. I want to know how much it's gonna cost now, Faulkner county. Join the 21st century. Sheesh!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Saying goodbye to one of the best dogs in the world

This is Abby. She was our family pet for the last thirteen years. She was the runt of her litter and ended up staying slim and trim her entire labrador jowls for her! She had the softest, blondest coat in the world and really long toes and nails. She always smelled like a hamster because we kept cedar chips in her dog house to deter pests. She loved milk bones and scrambled eggs. She was a little neurotic and always energetic even into her elder years until her arthritis forced her to slow down. During her puppy years she tore down all of the wood trellis around the bottom of my parents deck in the backyard...ALL of it. She loved going for walks around the neighborhood or hiking in the woods. She loved being brushed and petted but HATED baths. She definitely had a stubborn side, but she was also incredibly loyal and affectionate. After a long thirteen years with our family, it turned out that yesterday was her time to go.

I hope you're having fun in doggie heaven, Abby. I miss you so much already!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Welcome to the Real World

P-school is DONE!

Graduation is OVER. It was a whirlwind of events, family, friends and fun times. Thanks to all of you out there who helped me celebrate and/or sent me well wishes.

I originally thought I'd have a couple weeks of vacation before the new job would begin based on a convo with one of the high-ups a few weeks ago, but then I got a phone call on Tuesday from a different person who informed me that I'd be starting Monday morning (tomorow) with several days of Springfield, MO! I guess they don't have a training facility in AR? Anyway, here I sit in my little hotel suite chillin' out and watching the end of Lost.

So orientation starts bright and early tomorrow, and then later in the week I'll be back in LR starting my training at stores around central AR. Lets get this party started!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I still don't really believe it's true.......


Big news folks: I FOUND A JOB!

I've excepted an offer from T@rget pharmacy. I'll be working at a store here in LR and will also float to other stores around the area as needed. I've only ever heard good things about them from other people in the profession and they've got a good hours, major holidays off, and a great benefits package to boot (and I might even get a store discount....Squeeee!), so, yeah, I'm super excited.

I actually excepted their offer a few weeks back, but (as alluded to in the title of this blog) I've been a little hesitant to go public with the news. I've never been hired for a job way far in advance of when I could actually start working....and I guess with the stinkin' economy and what not I've just got this silly fear in the back of my mind that they won't have a spot for me anymore when the end of May roles around. I'm being ridiculous, right? I mean, I've got the offer in writing...that counts for something, ay?

My tentative start date is set for the last week in May. I'll be training for a while up until I take (and pass **fingers crossed**) by board exam sometime in June or July. Then I'll be let loose on the world dispensing drugs and educating patients.

It's been a roller coaster the past few months with this whole job search, but at last it looks like I just might be able to breath a little sigh of relief. High five people! Leah's got a job!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Rundown

I had truly intended to spend the day cleaning the house. Once the rain set in around 10AM or so I made the executive decision to forego that plan and instead spent the day lazing around doing things that make me happy. Here's how I spent my Sunday:

1. Sunday Morning Ritual:

For the past 2-3 years Blue and I have had this ritual on Sunday mornings that involves reading the Sunday paper and watching CBS Sunday Morning. (Occasionally we throw in a trip to Shipley's but we haven't done that in a while--trying to get back our girlish figures...or mine at least). Sometimes this routine makes me feel like an old fart, but I love it none the less and don't plan on giving it up anytime soon.

2. Some Mii Time:

Yes. It's true. The Billings-Allen household has joined the world of Wii. I received one this past Christmas and we've have been hooked since. We're currently obsessed with the new Super Mario Bros. We've beaten the game the first go round, but are now trying to find all the hidden star coins in order to unlocked the secret worlds. Man, do I sound like a nerd or what? :)

3. Point-and-click shopping is dangerously fun:

My good friend Kat turned me on to this fantastic website. If you haven't heard of it I would recommend checking it out. They carry a myriad of household products...anything from toilet paper and toothpaste to floor polish and even things like batteries and stamps. Their prices are comparable to the local big box and they ship your order to you in 2 to 3 business days for no charge. I spent at least an hour today perusing the products and creating my product shelf. I'm looking forward to receiving my first big blue box in a few days.

4. I L.O.V.E. cooking Sunday dinner:

And this ladies fantastic group of blogs/websites gives me great ideas. I've noticed lately that others have mentioned her on their blogs, so you may already be familiar with her fantastic world of food, photography, cattle ranching, home schooling, and all out frontier living. I spend at least on hour or two a week exploring her world and almost always end up with a new recipe to add to the list. I'll be making one of her dishes for our dinner this evening: Cajun Chicken Pasta. Sounds mouthwatering, eh? Speaking of, I think I'm gonna go get it started right now. Check her sites out the next time you need a food idea.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Guess what came in the mail today...

Squeeeeeee! The MSL December issue. It's extra thick and I can't wait to tear into it to see all the glorious holiday craft and food ideas they've come up with this year.

I'm not gonna lie. There are some days that I just want to be this woman. Okay, maybe I don't truly mean that, because I love my own life. I suppose I just hope to one day have the means and time to own an acreage filled with flower and vegetable gardens and an orchard and farm animals and dogs (absolutely no cats allowed, though!) and the most comfortable of comfortable houses with lots of room for crafts and creative projects and space to display antiques/collectibles AND we can't forget the fantastic kitchen to do all my baking and cooking in. Call me crazy, but it's a lifestyle my little heart desires.

Speaking of collectibles, I have a secret: I like to collect things. Okay, okay. Maybe it's not such a secret to those of you who have seen my dining room (and the bookshelves that contain all my cookbooks in said room). The cookbooks are really the only collection I have going at the moment...but reading Martha always reminds me of all the other possibilities that are out there. Dishes/serve-ware/stemware, etc; milk glass; knife rests; salt cellars; antique jewelry...the options are limitless. Now, I'm not saying I want all this stuff. These are just some of the categories that I consider when thinking of the possibility of starting a new collection at some point down the road.

It all started when one of my uncles passed down to me a rock collection around the age of seven or eight. I kept it in this bright blue hat box and would take all the rocks out and look at them and then I would organize them and tuck them back in their home. When my mom would take me to the library I would check out "rock" books and pick out rocks that I didn't have to keep in mind for future acquisition. When we'd go to gift shops that had the bins full of all different kinds of rocks, I would beg to pick out one or two to add to my box.

I think that is part of the reason I enjoy it so much. It's like a hunt. You see what's out there, decide which ones you want to add to your group and figure out how to get them. Surveillance, strategy, and going in for the kill. Some people might say it all boils down to materialism, but I disagree. I look at as a hobby. Does it not sound similar to what all those boys do when they go deer hunting or fishing?

Though it would be fun to start something new, for the time being I'm gonna stick with cookbooks 'cause my little house would feel a little to stuffed with much else.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Trying to relax

I've officially been on vacation for nine days now. I feel well rested and the house has been deep-cleaned (for the most part). I've done some cooking and baking and caught up on a lot of television. I say all this leading up to my main point: I just can't seem to chill out.

I've developed this...well, I guess I'd call it a bad habit...of constantly thinking, "Okay, what do I need to do next?" over the past year or so. I've noticed that I don't just focus on whatever I'm doing. I've always got one hand in one basket and one hand in the other lately.

Don't get me wrong...I'm all for some multi-tasking. Apparently, we're supposed to grow better at it as we age (we as in's that for a stereotype?). I just don't like that I'm doing it all the time. I mean, I can't even watch TV at night with out also reading a magazine or looking at a cook book and planning the weekly shopping list, or doing my nails, or this, or that. I've tried to just sit there, but it usually ends up with me feeling this nervous tic-like sensastion and my brain screaming: "I'm not being stimulated enough!! Read something, plan something! Do it or I'll make you explode!" (Okay. Maybe I'm being a little over-dramatic here, but sometimes this is really what it feels like.)(Oh, and please don't tell me I have ADHD, 'cause I don't. Seriously.)

I think part of this issue is due to my brain not having yet transitioned out of the classroom mentality it has been working under for the past 3.5 years. I no longer have to worry about that weekly quiz in the class that I hate or the two back-to-back exams next week or the presentation on Friday. I mean I get some of this on my intern rotations, but it's different than being in class. Maybe once I graduate and land a job and settle into a routine that doesn't change every month my neurons will find a little more peace.

May 2010, baby! Let the countdown begin.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I love my siblings!

My sister, Katie, just sent me this for Halloween:
Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

I have tears of laughter streaming down my face. These things are fantastic...and so are my siblings. :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

853 miles, 4 tanks of gas, and 14 Sonic cherry limeades later...

I completed rotation #3 in the great little town of...

This turned out to be a great rotation! I never would have thought that I could enjoy working at a little independent retail pharmacy, but I ended up really liking it. Now don't get ahead of yourself and start thinking that I'm gonna go work retail now. I'm still leaning toward the hospital side of the profession, but I must say that if this pharmacy called me up and offered me a job I would give it fair consideration. They basically let me work as a pharmacist at my own little computer entering prescriptions and then sometimes filling them as well. Aside from all the great experience I gained over the month here are a few little observations etc. that I picked up in that little town just southwest of LR about halfway to Pine Bluff:
  • Pharmacy customers in small towns seem to be a lot more pleasant. They tend not to act like a-holes because you usually know who they are.

  • There is nothing decorative about having a fake well in your front yard, but they seem to be very popular in this town.
  • Don't forget your lunch very often because your only options are Sonic, Subway, or Sonic.

  • Dogs here are smart enough to look both ways before crossing the street. (I witnessed it several times!)

  • Some people out there, people that you would never expect, have the biggest hearts in the world.

I'll wrap things up with the best phone call we recieved that month:

Gentleman caller (GC): Do ya'll sell formaldehyde?

Rx: No sir.

GC: Well, do ya'll know where I could get me some 'cause I taxidermied a turkey and I think I left some meat in the wing 'cause its starting to smell pretty bad.

Uhhhh, what? Only in small town AR.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tra la la, My sister is getting married...

And I'm sooo excited!! She'll be the first one of us sibs to take the plunge. I'm a miniscule, teensy bit sad though, because it means she's moving to next week!! That's where Andy, her fiancee, just moved to for a job. She's there right now visiting so I haven't got to chat with her in depth to get all the delicious details, but I'm sure it was fantastic and I'm sure her ring is beautiful and I can't, can't, can't wait for the wedding. Hooray!

Congrats Katie and Andy!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

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I can't shake the feeling that my life is on hold. Interning is a little more involved than I originally expected. Maybe it stems from the fact that I didn't get summer off or that, because of my hosital job, I have to work 12 days in a row every two weeks. I don't know. I'm not all sad and stuff...just kind of annoyed and frustrated. I like having me time where I can relax and work on little projects or read or cook or clean or whatever. I need that kind of stuff to "re-charge." I've also been involved in this school game for almost the past five years. I certainly don't regret it and am excited for what I'm about to accomplish...I'm just ready for the next chapter of my little story is all.

Let's turn my frown upside down...with a list, of course!

A couple things I'm looking forward too next summer:
  • Earning a salary again. It's been too many years living on a college budget, especially since those days of drawing a paycheck are still fresh on my mind.
  • Being able to plan, pay for and enjoy traveling/vacations. (So, so, so looking forward to this!)
  • Getting back some me time.
  • Feeling like an "official" adult.
  • Having the time/financial means to really give back...both physically and monetarily.
  • Getting a new car (not because I don't love you little 15 year old Camry...(translation: please don't die over the next 10 months!))
  • Taking pride in all the sweat and tears I've put into earning the "Dr." that will go in front of my little name. Heck yes. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Notion to Blog

If you can believe it I've thought about blogging pretty much everyday for the last ~2 months. Why haven't I blogged, you ask? Well, I kept chalking it up to not having enough time or being too tired, etc., etc.....but not anymore! I'm back.

As most of you are aware, I'm in my fourth year of p-school and have been working as an intern for the past few months. It's month three right now. Aside from missing out on summer vaca., interning has been better than being in far anyway. Here's a quick run down on what I've been up to:

Rotation #1: During the month of June I worked at the AR Drug Info center located on UAMS campus. This turned out to be a great rotation to start out with. It's basically a call in center and we got to be the ones to answer to phones (there were two other students there with me that month). We had to do a lot of busy work during down times when we weren't getting a lot of calls, but it helped me review some info. I'd since lost in the recesses of the brain. Overall: good.

Rotation #2: In July I did my "over-the-counter" focused rotation at P*rk West pharmacy in west LR. I did not enjoy myself very much at this site. The employees were all very nice and what was just BORING. The owner/pharmacist in charge of me had me spend most of my time sitting at a desk waiting for customers to come in who needed help with OTCs. Its a tiny store and therefore there were very few customers needing that kind of assistance. I also had to do a lot of presentation type stuff to faculty at the end of the month. Overall: ehhh.

Right now I'm working at another retail pharmacy in East End. I don't wanna go into detail until my grade gets locked in at the end of the month, you know, just in case my preceptor likes to search the internets, but it is going well so far...much better than last month.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I meant to take a vacation....I swear!

So, where to begin? I'm finished with school (woohooooo!) and have been enjoying my 3 weeks of summer vaca before my interning starts next week. I entered into this little break with the hope of chillin' out and taking some time to relax and laze around....but turns out I've been running around like a bullet train for the past two and a half weeks. Luckily I have the next five days before my first rotation to squeeze in some down time and you better believe I'm gonna take full advantage. Here's a run down of what I've been up to lately since I haven't talked to you in so list form, of course!
-School ended on Friday, May 8th. I worked at the pharmacy the next couple days in order to make some dough.

-I left for STL on Wed. with my mother (yes, we drove...yes, it was a long drive) to attend my little bro's graduation from WashU.

-Got back from STL Friday night. Went to my sis Katie's graduation from UAMS College of Nursing on Saturday and spent the rest of the weekend hanging with my other sis, Ashley, who was in town from CO.

-My mother hired me to re-wallpaper her master bath which I started on Monday. This involved taking down the old wallpaper (easier than I thought), re-painting the crown moulding, and putting up new paper (which turned out not to be the pre-pasted kind...arrgh!). I was expecting the job to take about 15 hours...ended up taking 25 (finished late Thur. night). If anyone asks you to re-wallpaper a very far away. (1st pic is post demo, 2nd pic is new stuff)

-Friday was Jill's highschool graduation from Little Rock Christian. Had family in town. Did lots of cooking. Had lots of family drama (but I'll save that for another time). Suffice it to say, she's more than ready to head to college (she's going to Quachita).

-It was back to work on Sat./Sun. I've been getting crap shifts lately because everyone is on vacation. Double Argghh!

-Monday morning I left with my brother to head back to STL to help him move home. We spent a couple days packing and cleaning and ate a final italian meal on The Hill. I headed back to LR yesterday in his car, and he presumably left last night in a U-haul. He stuck around to spend some time with his g-friend. He's happy to be leaving his apartment, but sad to leave her.

-Now I'm home and more than ready to savor these last few days before I have to start showing the world what I've learned over these last three years. Cheers to some Me time!