Thursday, December 31, 2020

Goodbye 2020.......Hello 2021!!!

    2020 is coming to an end. It has been an interesting year to say the least. Last year at this time none of us had any idea what 2020 would hold. Now as I sit here reflecting back on it all I can say is wow that was a wild ride!! 
    So much has changed in the world this past year and we all have a new normal we are slowly getting use to it all. Even though some of us are fighting the change with a fierceness, it is unfortunately inevitable. It is all just crazy that now masks, social distancing and the pandemic scare is now our everyday life. We are all also so up in the air about our future government leaders, this is scary to me. The new president is very scary to me and I am afraid of what kind of guidance they will bring us. I think the America we all knew is changing slowly for the worse right in front of us and no one is fighting for it!!! I wish I could make a difference in the world, just thinking maybe I will just keep praying for us all.
    This year has been a challenge for us but we also had some really good times. We made some GREAT memories with our family and friends, tried new things and crushed some goals!!! Of course we also had our setbacks but we overcame and conquered it all. Derek has been the BEST husband ever, taking care of me. All in all we can say we survived to live another day!!!
    So from here on out I plan on living my life to the fullest!! So bring on 2021! It will be as amazing as we make it!!! 

    "There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind!"   -CS Lewis

2020 Year in Review:
        Started the year out with our family: riding bikes in Arkansas
        Back to New Mexico for a fun hike: Guadalupe Mesa
        Pagosa Springs: sledding, snowshoeing and skiing at Hesperus (not for             me!!!)
        Hikes: Eye of Sandia, Slot Canyon
        Hikes: Kelly Mine, Las Conchas, Jemez Mountains (Obsidian finds!!!)
        Utah adventure: North Canyon hike, House on Fire Ruin hike, Cedar             Mesa Area, Natural Bridges Trail
        Covid 19 scare started and everything shutdown
        Poor Maxx didn't get the gigging birthday party he wanted, stupid Covid         19
        Hikes: Las Conchas trail
        Got our new Cyclone!!!! 
        Quick visit home to see kids!!!
        Started at Taos NM 
        Hikes: Williams Lake, Middle Fork Lake
        Bikes: Angelfire Bike Park, GRAVITY PASSES
        Bike: Angelfire Bike Park
        Kids in for Vacation: Jemez Hike, Overnight backpacking up to Middle             Fork Lake, Maxx trip to ER in Taos after cutting eye, Frisbee golf
        Hell Hike: Las Minas Trail looking for Staurolites (no luck)
        Moved to Albuquerque for new contract
        Angelfire holiday 
        My cousin Lenette had heart surgery and is better!!!
        Mountain Bike wreck at Angelfire broken shoulder for me, surgery             then rehab
        Moved back home to recoup
        Family time (love love love)
        Monster Truck Rally in Miami OK
        Kanen and Alexis wedding shower, new baby coming in April 2021
            Accepted Jesus Christ into my heart
         Jesica and Chaz celebrated 7 years of marriage, Maxx was very                 upset he wasn't at their wedding and Jett was....LOL
        Kanen and Alexis married, beautiful ceremony and nice weekend away
        Survived therapy
        Started riding with Cara in NWA, also rode in Siloam Springs
        Moved RV to Cave Springs and started working at NWMC in Bentonville,         AR
        Lost my Aunt Onnie
        Christmas shopping fun
        Holidays with kids
        working again
        last hike of the year in Elm Springs AR around Partners Lake
So from our RV in Cave Springs Arkansas HAPPY NEW YEARS to all!!!! Let's make this next year the BEST!!!!❤life

Last picture of 2020!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020



Sitting in the Covid/ICU is a stressful place to be, with all the constant loud beeps, alarms and occasional Christmas tune filtering in. It is no fun. This is not a job for the faint of heart, one must be flexible and resilient to do this kind of work day in and day out. You also need a servant heart for this kind of work. 
     All the personal protective equipment (PPE) is a pain in the patootie to wear. We have to change into OR scrubs just to go into the unit. Then there is the shoe covers, N95, surgical mask, gown gloves and face shield.....sheesh. This all has to be put on just to go into your patient's room to do anything. Then change and redo just to go into your other patient's room. Off/on/off/on LOTS of hand sanitizer and hand washing all day long. You get pretty warm and kind of smelly by the end of the 12 hours. Our poor patients also have a hard time hearing us through everything so we end up yelling towards them all day. 
It is also hard to hurry into a room if a patient is dropping their oxygen saturation or crawling out of bed just because of all the garb we have to put on. Stress level rising.
    Today I did not have an attitude of a helper. I felt more like crawling in a hole and covering my head up......shhhhhh just go away! Covid 19 has been horrid and brutal on all of us, patients and staff. The poor patients and their families have suffered terribly with the no visitor restrictions we have enforced. It is a sad day when a patient is dying and no family is allowed in. We as nurses, techs and respiratory therapists sit with them and hold their hands until they pass. No one dies alone on my watch. I have shed tears for my patients during these times. I have also shed tears with the families while consoling them on the phone, really hard to do. 
    I do not feel like a hero, just dong my job. I can also say that as healthcare workers we are tired and really stressed out. I say that but I also know that we will all be there day after day to hold those hands and to care for our patients. We will adjust and take care of business just as we always do.
    I just want people to know that when I wear a mask in public or around my family it is out of respect. I am protecting you from me. If I had Covid 19 and gave it to my grandson or his Mimi, I couldn't forgive myself.  I have seen first hand what this horrid virus does to a compromised person and even healthy people, I don't wish that on anyone. SO please consider where I am coming from when I wear my mask, be careful not to judge. My mask-my choice. Let's all just hope and pray that this virus goes away, I am scared it may be awhile before that happens. We all need prayers for strength and safety.  We ALL need God. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

3 Selfies later

    New contract...first day jitters: Where do I park? Will I fit in? What if I fail? Am I walking into a hot mess area? Where is the bathroom? Will they like me? All these and many many more questions are running through my head as I walk in.  I am my own worst enemy because I put so much pressure on myself. I also set myself up for some failure due to the fact that I want everyone to like me! But what's not to like about me?? I am funny-somewhat punctual-very helpful- give criticism willingly and laugh at awkward moments! I have been known to laugh during a code and at a fall of a coworker, friend or family member. See I am very likeable!!
    Due to everyone's friend COVID 19 I get shuffled into a tiny room by myself. Waiting on "Josh" to arrive. After we get all the initial paperwork done it is Selfie time!! Back to that tiny room to remove my mask. 3 Selfies later I have one that should work, well that's what I was thinking. Unfortunately my badge picture is a total cone head looking version of me. What the heck?? I just knew I took the best selfie and looked half way decent. Boy was I wrong. A good friend of mine said to "accidently" lose it in a couple of weeks and redo the selfie. Good idea Cara!!!
    So, paperwork done, badge done...waiting on "Josh" again. In a short 15 minute wait on ICU Director I learned a lot about "Josh". Father of 2, wife is stay at home mom, they live in Searcy AR and he is a sorta new traveler.  He actually reminds me of Violet's boyfriend Luke on Mom. Really nice guy though.
    This ICU has 12 beds which is right down my alley. The Director and staff seem really nice and easy going, they are all relatively young nurses. Which shouldn't be surprising to me. I mean after 18 years it doesn't shock me that I am now considered the "seasoned" nurse. Sheesh! I never thought I would be the most "adult" on the unit. 
    Today was long and good all in all for my first day back to work since July. I really was nervous for nothing, just like riding a bike-easy to remember. I am so glad to be back in the mix, I really missed it. I really like being a nurse and caring for people. Prayers that all goes well during this contract. I look forward to being of service to others in their time of need. 
    Funny thing happened when I got home, I got stuck in my scrub top! I found out that they don't stretch and my left arm doesn't move really easy. Took me a minute to maneuver out of this predicament. For a hot minute I thought I was going to be stuck until Derek came home and saved me. That would have been funny!
    And yes I know where the bathrooms are!!!!❤

Selfie 1

Selfie 2

Selfie 3

Cone Head!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The "Dash"

    1971 - ???? a date yet to be determined by God. As scary as is to think about my death date, it is twice as scary to think I am squandering away that "dash". This past weekend I listened to a funeral service in which the Pastor discussed "The Dash". It has made me realize that the "dash" is quite possibly the most important time of all. Sitting and thinking about my dash has brought on many different feelings: sadness, happiness, embarrassment, fear and it has raised my anxiety level. "What have I done in my life?" "What does my dash look like?"   Reviewing your life is sometimes a very difficult thing to do.
    "Was I a good child?" Yeah, for the most part I was. I am the only girl, spoiled and  youngest of three children born into a middle lower class family. I got good grades, was a Girl Scout, played sports and minded my parents. I had friends, some of whom I still consider friends to this day. I earned a lot of badges in Girl Scouts, sold tons of cookies and even did community service. 
    My teen years were a struggle for me. We moved to Oklahoma in the spring of my 8th grade year. It was very, hard for me to move away from my life in Texas. I think this is when I became a moody girl for awhile. We lived in the country and this  was a curveball I didn't know how to handle. Playing sports was my only savior at the time., I made friends and was part of some teams. High school brought on an entirely new world I didn't know how to handle. Lots of the turmoil, I brought on myself. I was in yearbook, was in sports and even made student council president my senior year. Not bad for a shy girl.
    I had a baby my junior year, Jesica. This started some trials and more intense struggles for me in this time of my life. I was judged harshly by many people who didn't know me. But if I am being real here I wasn't the best person the first couple years of her life. I have no excuses for my actions and this I live with forever. I am so thankful for my mother during this time, she was my rock and major supporter. 
    I went to college-dropped out like an idiot. "What was I thinking?" Married Jesica's dad- again "What was I thinking?" Then I found myself divorced, alone and scared (I guess). So I drank and became someone I was not very proud of. Still to this day I do not like myself at this span of my life. I was an absurd lunatic who was kidding herself with her false bravado. 
    I married the man of my dreams- Derek. He has given me the love I had been looking for my entire life. He is my knight in shining armor. I finished college at the age of 30 and became a nurse. I struggled to make ends meet and keep everyone happy, forgot about me during this time. Even though I felt safe and loved at this stage of my life, fate threw another curve ball right at my head. My daughter and I parted ways for a little while. This threw me back into the deep dark hole. I became good at wearing masks and pretending to be okay, again to make everyone else happy. 
    Sprinkled in among all these years of my life I have lost many loved ones and lots of people I admire. Losing my parents hurt me the most. I changed once again after they passed away. I got scared again and feared life. I was an empty shell who was lost at times, I shed lots of tears. Mr. Maxx Wade pulled me out of that dark hole and renewed my life in the best way possible.  Our lives today are chocked full of greatness: lots of adventures, vacations and some amazing memories. I look forward to the future and making more memories with my family and friends. 
    After all of this review of my life I realize that the BIG, HUGE, slap me in the face thing that was missing in all those trials was a trust in God. I think He was there but I chose not to lean on Him. Like many others I was baptized when I was younger but I know I didn't believe that I had accepted Jesus into my heart. One Saturday in October of this year I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart with Jeana by myside. It was an amazing feeling and I felt renewed. 
    I now hope my dash becomes even better and more memorable because the Lord is beside me in my journey. I just hope when my time is up on this earth that all will be able to see, that I lived the best dash I could. I also want people to see my love for Jesus Christ. 
    We all need to remember it's our dash. We need to live life to the fullest of your being. Grab life by the horns and enjoy. It's only too late when they chisel that 2nd date on your tombstone. ❤life.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Veterans Day: November 11, 2020

      November 11, 2020 marks the 101st year since Armistice/Veterans Day has been observed. Started in 1919 after "The Great War" ended all fighting on the 11th hour or the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 to end World War 1. We as a country made it a federal holiday in 1938. It is a day of remembrance and honor to all those who have served and are serving in the military today. At Arlington National cemetery every year on this day they lay a large wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown soldier in honor of those who have sacrificed their all for us to live as we do today.
    I am very proud of my military family. My Dad Douglas McArthur, his brothers David Clay and Jack McArthur all served in the Army and Navy. Their example lead my brother Douglas McArthur, our cousins Jackie McArthur, Aaron McArthur, Lynn McArthur and my nephew Matthew Douglas McArthur all to serve in the Army and Navy also. I have other family members and many, many, friends who have served and are currently serving now in all branches of the military, whom I admire greatly.
    I believe we should cherish all of our veterans and help them as much as we can. It is the least we can do as a country for all they have sacrificed for us in their service. Sadly we have failed many of our veterans and this isn't acceptable at all. We need to fight for them as they have fought for us, we may never know all their names but we all have a common love....The United States of America.
    So this Veterans Day I say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the brave Americans who are now and have always protected our rights and given us the freedom we cherish now. Each and everyone of you are so valuable and I thank you all. God Bless ALL Veterans and active duty military. ❤ 
Matthew McArthur   US Army

Douglas McArthur   US Navy

My Dad, Mamaw Clay, Papaw Clay and Uncle David Clay  US Navy

Douglas McArthur (Wayne D Clay)   US Army 

Wayne D Clay   US Army
Douglas McArthur
My Daddy❤


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Life changing event for me.

    Roughly 100 days ago my whole world flipped upside down! My confidence was through the roof with my riding. I had done things I never dreamed I would be able to do. For June and July we had been spending a lot of time at the Angel Fire Bike Park. We had gotten to know the guys running the lift and Derek knew some of the regular riders. We had rode Upper Supreme DH the day before without any issues. But wait.....the day had started off good, it was our last day to be in Angel Fire before heading back to Albuquerque and starting a new contract. The last few days were so fun, the condo was amazing and getting to relax was the best of all. All summer I had been making good progress in my riding skills, which is what I had planned to do.  I even got brave enough to ride Chutes & Ladders, Upper Supreme DH and some others. 
    The night before it had hailed really bad on the mountain, it looked like snow almost. We got caught in the storm coming back from a short hike under the lift: we went to get some money I had spied on the ground...$20!! We had to run back to the condo in the hail, quite an experience. Watching the storm from the condo  was great, it was so beautiful. 
    The next day we wondered what the trails would be like. They were a site, broken tree leaves, small limbs and piles of hail all over the trails. Made for some unique riding situations. We met a guy and girl from Colorado and rode a few runs together. It was so muddy and the hail piles were deep in some places, really unbelievable. There was mud on everything!!! We were covered. 
    This day was turning out to be a challenge for me and a day of firsts also. I actually rode up on the lift by myself (1st time) and then all the way down alone (1st time), I was pumped and ready for more. Derek had gone up with a big group to ride Devinci Code, when he finished we took a small break to regroup. We headed back up on the lift excited and planning our run down. The plan was to hit Turbo Diesel, Bolder Dash, Chutes & Ladders and have a fun ride. Little did we know what was in store for us. The lift ride was relaxing as always and so beautiful. At the top we decided last minute to do Upper Supreme DH. I remember saying "Upright on 2!" 
    The drop was good but I am not sure how much I had my head in the game because I was going a little too fast. With the speed I was carrying I over jumped the first jump and landed on top of the next one which sent me over the handlebars. I remember sliding down the trail on my chest/stomach Superman style with Black Betty on top of me. When I skidded to a stop I could see Derek in the trail running back to me. He asked "Can you move? Are you okay?" All I said was "Get this bike off of me!!" 
Two guys came up behind us down the trail (don't know their names but great guys!) one of them went for help and the other stopped riders on the trail. By this time Derek had gotten me off the trail and I was sitting on something (log maybe). I remember seeing Riley and his uncle there, they were really concerned and also helped warn riders. I heard the gator coming down the road and I could also hear someone running. The running was Creighton (bike patrol), my bike angel. He was great! Derek and Creighton wrapped my arm and helped me to the gator. It was a short ride up to the lift, never thought I would ride down the lift like this. Black Betty made the ride of shame down behind me-poor girl!
    More embarrassment walking to the medical tent. The guys there were amazing and really helped us out. I am thinking this is where my elbow pad got cut off but I'm not really sure. The Angel Fire Ambulance crew showed up at this point and after getting my IV in, I was given 100mg Fentanyl for the pain and 4mg Zofran. It was decided by all involved that I would take the ambulance to Taos. Back to Holy Cross....YAY! It wasn't a bad ride, another 100mg Fentanyl prior to getting to the ER. Thank goodness because the ER doc was rude and not my favorite. The radiology crew sucked so bad!!! I had a fractured humerus and they tried to lift my arm up over my head!!! I was not nice at all in between my cries of immense pain! After all the drama in ER we headed down to Albuquerque. Funny how this split second had altered our lives BIG time.
    Sunday morning we loaded everything up in the RV and headed to Oklahoma. I slept almost all the way back to Oklahoma. Derek was/is a champ! Surgery was August 13th in Tulsa, OK done by Dr. Chalkin. All went good! I now have 13 screws and a wrap around titanium plate in my left arm! The worst part was the tape and the Davol drain, which Derek removed like a pro! It was nice to shower instead of taking a bath. Again I couldn't have done this without Derek!! 
    Therapy was another challenge. It was hard because they pushed me so much! Redbud Physical therapy in Grove, OK really helped me. During all of this I had developed some nasty insomnia which just made everything crappy. It seemed all I did was sleep and hurt. I slept on the couch and recliner for a month and a half, no fun whatsoever! The night me and my travel pillow could sleep in the bed the entire night was so great! 
    So here I sit roughly 100 days later, feeling so much better. I have completed therapy and have even been on my road bike again! It was a big milestone the day I put my bra on by myself!!!! I am just getting better and better everyday. I am so lucky that all I got that day was a fractured shoulder, some bruising and a few scrapes. I could have really hurt myself that day and I am so thankful that the good Lord above was watching over me. Most people would never get on a mountain bike again or hit a downhill trail. I guess I am not most people, because I am planning on hanging out at Angel Fire next summer and bombing all the trails like a BOSS! 
Morning of wreck


View from condo

My staples

The Davol drain


1st ride back

My new plate and screws

Dirty girl right before wreck

Me with no clue what was to come later!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

New contract time!!!!

    Being a travel nurse has it's stressful times. The one that really unnerves me is when it's new contract time. It really isn't hard to do but, it is so stinking stressful! It is like taking that first step on a set of dark cellar stairs!! You always hesitate with the first ones but then you get to about the 4th one and the overhead light comes on, then it's easy peasy lemon squeezy after that. 
    Something else that intensifies the stress is if you go with another agency. This gives you a huge fear of the unknown, scary! I always get a nervous stomach, headache and I bite my poor little nails. It never changes for me, this is how I always react. 
    It seems that once a few prayers are said and it all comes together, I can relax and enjoy the feeling of relief of beginning a new adventure for us. I really like going to a new facility, meeting new people and learning new or different processes. It seems like when we go to a familiar town it is also helpful with not making my anxiety level go through the roof. This next contract will be nice because we will be very close to home in NWA. Yay! Holidays at home makes this Gigi very happy! 
    It is nice to also consider that a new contract can turn into longer than 13 weeks, which helps save money because we aren't traveling as far. Since I have been off since July we unfortunately need to play catch up on our financial situation. So OT will come in handy.
    Being in NWA will be nice because of all the bike trails and close frisbee golf courses for Derek. We will also be able to plan some nice hikes and adventures with some friends and hopefully get the kids out and about. 
    This is a win-win for all involved! Now that the RV park has called and everything is setup we are ready to go. Only thing I am waiting on is the MD to release me so I can get back to work! ❤life

Goodbye 2020.......Hello 2021!!!

    2020 is coming to an end. It has been an interesting year to say the least. Last year at this time none of us had any idea what 2020 wou...