Big Day for my Sister

I still live in the area in which I was born and raised here in Slovenia. If you are not familiar with this country that declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, I am here to explain who we are in central Europe. Given that I haven’t left home, my sister is still nearby. She has been attending nursing school at the University of Maribor and I wanted to get her something special for graduating. It is a big milestone in her life, as it would be for anyone who completes a career program. It isn’t good enough to go out and celebrate over a bottle of wine and a meal.

I wanted something appropriate and symbolic of her destiny. I tried to picture her in her nurses’ garb attending patients in a hospital. I saw it! There was a stethoscope around her neck. I could get a special one so she would remember me whenever she wore it. We are close and depending upon where she lands, we may not see each other as often. While in school, she wasn’t that available either. Her studies required considerable timer and attention. I was thrilled that she would be getting a job even though it might be in another city of Slovenia. We are a small enough country that I could take the train and visit. Meanwhile she would have my gift.

For a novice, choosing a stethoscope for a doctor or nurse isn’t an easy task. There are many kinds, including a pediatric model. I wanted a basic type and one with every bell and whistle. So, what is the difference between a top-tier model and a journeyman’s device? I certainly didn’t know, so I went and found a web site called Ward Heroes to help me. Sure, you can go by price, but you still might not get what is right for a general nurse. There are classic stethoscopes and those best for cardiac care. I wanted the cutting-edge design with the appropriate length of tubing and absolute accuracy when it comes to acoustic performance. After all, these things are used for patient assessment and diagnosis. Interestingly enough, the chestpiece comes in several shapes. The tunable diaphragms on either side are there to capture a wide range of frequencies, thus enabling the nurse to listen to adults and children alike. Low frequency is accessed with light pressure while the higher frequency with a firmer touch.  The tubing clarifies the sound and they have come along when in recent years without rubber latex or plastic. Now they must be resistant to skin oil and alcohol.

I now know a lot more than I did and am sure to make the best selection. I got a dual head, stainless steel chestpiece, an aluminum headset, soft eartips and a stethoscope that converts to pediatric use. It is a real gem as far as I can tell from reviews. I checked it out with the experts and am sure it will perform as expected.

Things I Find on my Phone

I had so much junk on my phone, that I took an hour to delete old contacts, texts and emails. It had gotten to the point where I could barely find anything. Since I use my phone constantly, this was not a good place to be. During the cleanup process, I stopped dead in my tracks. I found some old vacation photos from a trip to Piran Beach and the adjacent town. The air is crystal sky and the sky the deepest blue. No wonder I remember it so fondly; there I was reading in a beach chair from justbeachthings and swimming among the white foamy waves. We had fun just relaxing at the shore and dining on a hotel patio at night, where we could watch the setting sun. If we gazed in the distance we could glimpse small strips of sand.

What is on your phone? No doubt photos of special people and great times with friends. We all ctake photos by the hundreds. I just had a few from the day at Piran, however, and I am going to make sure they stay in storage and never get lost. I remember the warmth of the day and the kiss of sun on our browning faces. They don’t call it the Slovenian Riviera for nothing. There are 46 kilometers to explore. The coast is dotted with resorts and inns for the droves of tourists who come by to have coffee in the shade of a pine tree and sit on the sand. In the interest of clarity, the beach I frequent is in the gulf of Trieste by the Adriatic Sea. I hope the geographical reference helps you envision my vacation spot. Photos online will reveal the magic of the place and the long sandy beaches that stretch for miles beyond. Sand is not characteristic of this particular spot.

Sovenia is called the pearl of Europe for good reason given the scenic vistas of our fabulous walking tours throughout the country. While there are many fine beaches like Mestna and Izola, they are not well known as the getaways they are. I am here to tell you why I find them extraordinary with Piran at top choice. It is a romantic coastal town for one thing with wonderful Venetian and Austrian-inspired architecture. The beach is one of the best places to swim. The sand is modest given the plethora of concrete paving, but it helps you get to the water fast by stairwell.  There is a nice strolling promenade from which to view the water. You can put your beach chair nearby and people watch in all directions. It helps that you are on the edge of a small peninsula.

I got a beach chair a few years ago so I could sit and rest my legs. It folds up nicely and fits in the back of the car. My friends have gotten them as well and we are a group of seated bathers with bright smiling faces. I can’t wait to go again.

Ugh!

When I used to tell people I was from Slovenia, they thought I meant Lower Slobovia from the Lil’ Abner cartoon. I was not amused. It is a derogatory term for an undeveloped place that is socially backward and my home country is anything but. I probably shouldn’t have even brought it up but the comparison is inevitable for people who remember the rural character. My Slovenia is not Slovakia either. Oh my gosh. I guess it is good that I have a blog to set you straight. Here we go. We are a member of NATO and the European Union but were previously a republic of Yugoslavia. We achieved independence in 1991. We are a modern democracy in South Central Europe bordered by Austria, Italy, Hungary and Croatia. While this makes for a rich mix of regional cultures, we have our own identity. As an alpine country, the scenery is simply gorgeous and attracts visitors far and wide. Come one day and explore the beauty of our distant vistas. Closer at hand our towns and villages offer a wonderful tourist experience.

I do what I can to make foreigners welcome, as they have made me feel when I travel. In fact, I have been known to lead groups to enjoy the sights and sounds of my area. I get revved up when I meet new people and recently I was so sad to have to cancel a tour. I got a terrible cold and was too sick to get out of bed. I am sure you all know the feeling. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen too often. I am pretty healthy but I was really laid up with this cold. I had to call the doctor who made an immediate house call. They do that in my town. We have our distinct traditions.

After his visit, I followed his recommendations to get plenty of rest and avoid the public as I could spread the cold at this stage. I had to eat hot soup and not load up on heavy foods that could upset my system. It wasn’t functioning at its best. He also said to keep warm and grab a blanket if necessary. I have a nice quilt so that was simple advice to follow. His most interesting request was to use a cool mist humidifier from Humidity Helper so I could breathe easier.

I didn’t have one lurking in my closet so I called a friend who did me the great service of buying one. It took a while to find it as I didn’t want to order it online and wait for delivery. It did me a world of good I have to say. It is lightweight and portable and I plugged it into my bedroom so I could feel the effects while resting. The mist felt so good and helped to unplug my closed up nasal passages. It is an ingenious device that anyone can use. By all means, get one today.

Bad Date Last Night

Do you have a bad date night story? I think it is something everyone has to go through so that we appreciate the good dates that we have. You can write about yours in the comments so that I feel better, how’s that sound?

Back to my date last night. It was arranged by a friend with someone I did not know. A blind date. We had talked on the phone once or twice and texted a few times in order to get to know each other and to see if a date in person would be worth it. We both decided that it was a good idea although now I am not entirely sure why we thought this.

When we were talking on the phone about where we should go, it took us a while. He really did not seem like he wanted to make a decision. I should have taken that as a bad sign! I finally offered the idea to go to ŽMAUC. It seemed that we both like going there – the food, the cartoon decorations, and the music – so that seemed like an obvious choice for a fun night. I chose a night that there would be a DJ party and asked if we could go there a little early to get something to eat.

An early dinner meant that we could sit and talk for a while to see if we were compatible. But also gave us less pressure. If we did not have a good time while eating our food, we would not have to worry about talking over the music once the DJ started his set. We could also use the DJ as an excuse to leave – if the date was going well, we could always go somewhere quieter if we wanted to talk, and if we were struggling, I could pretend I didn’t like the music and wanted to go home.

We met up just outside ŽMAUC and the night started out bad. My date did not look much like what he said he did. To be fair, I don’t think he was impressed with me, either. He did not smile when he greeted me. I am not sure what ideas he had in his head but it certainly didn’t seem like I measured up!

We went inside and managed to find somewhere to sit. We ordered our food and I asked him a few questions about himself. I already knew about his job and where he lived from when we talked on the phone, so I asked him about other things – favorite holiday, places he would like to visit, things like that. He never once asked me a question. It did not seem like he wanted to know anything about me. That annoyed me and so I stopped asking questions in the hope that he would get the hint. He did not! We ate the rest of our meal in silence, and we didn’t bother staying long enough to hear the DJ.

I had some choice words for my friend who picked him for me afterward!