My name is Jana.  I’m a nurse.  To be more precise I’m a Licensed Vocational Nurse.  I specify this as for some reason when people ask me what it is that I “do” and I say I’m a nurse their following question is ALWAYS: What kind of a nurse are you? Once I say LVN the response is always the same “Oh…… (followed by uncomfortable silence)”.

This pattern builds one heck of a thick skin if the truth be told but if the truth really be told, I am and do much more than that.

We all are actually… More than the sum total of what we “do” however I refused to stay within the confines of that pretty little box which was so cramped & limiting that I clawed, gnawed & ripped my way out of it.  I am not going back into it and you can’t make me. No way.  No how. 

Unknown to me at the time in April 2014 I became a Whistleblower which when looking back in the rear view window of my life has changed me in a way that redefined not only my life but what was my career in nursing…

Therapy. A lot of therapy as would have it is the place I’m in now as I continue to work through the aftermath of what’s left of me and my now tarnished career after standing up and doing the right thing…

It’s a mess but I have discovered in this lengthy process that writing and documenting my experiences has proven to be an invaluable form of therapy for me.

Doing so gets me out of my head and puts all that mess down on paper or computer screen. It’s healthier for me this way as the mind can only manage so much internal processing before it implodes.

This year 2014, when I turned 43 something clicked within my brain and I realized that I’m halfway through this lifespan. Now if you’ve ever had this ‘click’ happen to you then you know how horribly paralyzing it can be. It’s at this very moment that one can go 1 of 2 ways:

  • 1. Mid-life Crisis in which case you live out the rest of your life regretting and apologizing for your temporary loss of self-control, mind & horrific choices or
  • 2. Accept & Embrace the unique hot mess of a creature that you are and get on with it!


Why? Because when that click clicks you find yourself faced with the question:

So what are you going to do with the rest of your life woman?  I say woman because I am one but it works the same for men too; duh.

The answer came through one simple question posed to myself: If money wasn’t an issue what would you do Jana?

My answer: I’d write, garden aka: play in the dirt growing stuff and create.

Easy right? Well, yes and no. I’ve always been an energetic, robust & energizer bunny type of person.  It’s annoying, I know.   Even as a kid people looked forward to my daily nap time as it was the only time during my waking hours that they didn’t have to worry about where I was or me getting hurt or into trouble. I’m clumsy & accident prone. That hasn’t changed over the years.  

I’ve decided that is because my legs, hands and arms just can’t keep up with my brain.  Some may call that being hyperactive with neurotic OCD traits and many other labels but it works for me and I’ve learned that I’m really good at a lot of stuff, suck at some things and kick ass at others so I decided to start writing about my adventures and so was born my blog https://theartofthisnthat.wordpress.com.


And now a warning: My blog is a lot like a fruit salad, an eclectic mélange of whatever fruits are in season or in my case an eclectic mélange of thoughts and experiences that literally pop into my brain and refuse to leave. 

You never know what you’re going to get as my mind works at the speed of light and is literally all over the place even if I am the only one who actually knows exactly where everything is on my desk that looks like rats have been nesting on it. 

I created this blog because I love sharing my life’s experiences and lessons.  

All of them; the good,  the bad and the ugly.  Some of my life experiences have been barefoot walking meets poop filled potholes others joy-filled all-is-right-with-the-world rides.  The classic movie National Lampoon’s Vacation best sums up me and my crazy life so far. 

I’m Clark.   I’ve also accepted & embraced this knowledge.  I can promise you that anything I throw up on here I’ve had first-hand experience at and done.  My Pinterest account is where I store all of my OMG I’m so going to do that!!!! Projects and experiments which in all honestly will probably wind up on here once I’ve actually done them.

Actually, that reminds me…. I have a side-kick partner in crime & blissfully organized chaos.  

He’s my husband bless his soul.  Poor bastard.  I don’t drag him into all of my epiphanies, experiments and projects from hell but I do drag him into enough of them that I want you to get to know him. 

Miguel will also tell you that every single time I come to him with a new idea and he hears the word “easy” come from my mouth he immediately cringes inside, smiles on the outside and knows the project or mission as I fondly call them will be anything but easy but more of a project from hell. But he helps me anyway.  

Miguel is also the only person besides Rat Bastard who figured out how to use our beloved OXO can opener you know. Countless others, including me failed miserably when trying to figure how it worked.  

I used the mystery can opener like a board game for unsuspecting guests with the intention of someone being able to show me how to use it.  

Handing each experiment a can & the opener. No one but Miguel cracked the code.  Told you he was smart. 

I kept the opener knowing one day I’d figure it out which I never did.  Miguel did.  This will make sense as you keep reading…….

He’s patient.  Very patient.  He’s also a Libra which works out great for me as he has all the traits and abilities I don’t like patience, artistic gifts (well I’m artistic too but his art is really art I just have the ideas and he helps me bring them to life. I draw stick figures and even they suck), he’s uber resourceful & can fix & build anything including things I break and I break most things that I touch plus he’s fun. Ridiculously fun & he laughs both with we and at me which is something I cherish but don’t tell him I told you.

Miguel supports and encourages my crazy creative brain plus we laugh hysterically nearly daily. Did I mention he’s patient?  I am not.   I am really not.  I’m serious, patience is not my virtue.

I take after my Portuguese father you know.  His mind is a vice and works like this too and he’s going strong at 70 and still cranking out amazing solutions to everyday problems, inventions, learning and sharing that knowledge to anyone who will listen.  Even if people don’t want to listen he’s got a solution for that too. 

He will follow you around sharing his knowledge with you completely unaware of your disinterest as he knows you may need this knowledge someday. This is where Option #2 comes into play listed above as I’ve accepted and embraced the fact that I am my father’s little mini-me.  

Plus Dad and I hate to throw anything away seeing it as wasteful (see Hoarders 101, pg.#1) but we’re super organized hoarders who can in a pinch pull out a screw, nail or mystery piece of hoard we’ve had no idea what in the hell it is or what its intended purpose was but it looks important.  Really important. 

So we keep it and hold onto it just knowing that one day we will need it and get to use it.  And then it happens.

The moment arises for us to improvise on a project that didn’t go as planned(which happens nearly every project) and we get to use a piece of our hoarded stuff as we know exactly where it is due to our superior hoarder organizational systems. We save the day finishing the project with a Cheshire Cat grin of satisfaction & life affirming purpose that is priceless.  Priceless I tell you.

Each and every thing I do and think, I do so thanks to my overactive imagination which has me living in a real time episode of Survivor.  Every single day.

I’m naturally competitive and there’s no way in hell I’m leaving that island. Plus it’s fun.  A lot of fun.

Currently I’m hoarding; I mean saving empty tuna fish can’s with their lids due to our uniquely amazing OXO brand can opener that removes lids differently than traditional slice your finger off and sprain your wrist models do.  

It allows you to securely snap the lid back on the same can creating a brand new container to store more beloved stuff I just know I am going to need one day plus I just know someday I’m going to come up with amazing repurposing uses for them.  

When I do, those freakishly idiot savant creations of mine will show up on here with pictures and DIY fool-proof or Jana-Proof instructions.  

I now feel compelled to give thanks for my beloved OXO can opener as it once belonged to Rat Bastard an ex of mine who as he fled the relationship and my home left it behind.

Rat Bastard was a Piscean male; one of the most eternally confused, conflicted, spinelessly wretched creatures walking the earth. 

However, he loved that can opener.  He loved it a lot.  He loved this can opener more than he loved me.  

He even asked for it back after his escape.  He asked multiple times.  We now love it too.   Thank you Rat Bastard.

I’m a whiz with duct tape too.  You have no idea.  You really really don’t.  Everyone should add duct tape to their emergency kits and have more roles on hand than you can even count.  It gets better with age you know.  Just like wine and cheese. 

I love wine and cheese too. 

See, you’ve just learned something new and we’ve just gotten started.

And there you have it; this is me. I also notice some future blog posts for me to write nestled within my introduction page to you.  See, I told you this was going to be fun and besides you now caught a glimpse into what is; my brain.  

Don’t be scared I’m mostly harmless.


This delightful creation is the sole property of Jana Leigh Thomas~Ortega, http://www.theartofthisnthat.com & http://www.theartofthisnthat.wordpress.com.  Prior written consent by the author must be obtained in order to use/reproduce its content; either in its entirety or lil tidbits.  Kthanksgottagobye! 😉


14 thoughts on “About

  1. I love you! Seriously, I really enjoyed reading your ‘About’ page. I’ve always got a bunch of things going and more ideas than my husband can handle. He gives me a special ‘look’ when I say, “Honey, I have an idea……..” I told my children today that they can’t help themselves, they are just exceptional. We are exceptional. The Pierce’s are execptional. They need to embrace it and go forward into this life. We are an exeption to the rule and that makes us exceptional. I think you fit that catagory too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • One day our ingenius Tuna Gish cans as well as our other brilliant re-purposing ideas will be the rage! Hahaha! Its true ya know…. That’s how stuff gets started; someone has the “idea” 😉 Your not alone nor nuts lol We’re just exquisetly crafty! 😉


  2. Hi Jana… I hope you won’t mind if I nominate you for the Liebster Award. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, and you are diversified and I beliee others will benefit from reading your blog as well.


  3. Pingback: What I learned about my Blog’s “Stat” feature… | The Art of This n' That

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