Saturday, June 30, 2012

Shopping Day

I don't really like to shop too much.  I thought I wasn't quite a natural woman but as it turns out, I've heard other women say they don't like to shop.  How about you?  Do you enjoy shopping?

Perhaps I should qualify my statement about shopping.  The truth is, I LOVE to shop on line.  It makes me feel guilty, though.  I feel I should be supporting local businesses, especially the small ones.  Do you feel that way?  So, today I am going shopping and I am leaving my living room to do it.

First on my list is a new washing machine.  Our's came with the house.  When we bought the house 8 years ago I thought the washing machine looked like it was on its last leg.  It died a noisy death this week. It has carried us along for 8 years, though, so I won't complain.  I wouldn't likely buy a washing machine online, either, so it makes sense I'd have to go out and about for that.  I'm not looking for fancy or pretty.  Our machine sits in our basement laundry room where looks are not important.  I just want clean clothes.

Next, I have to shop for work shoes.  Previously I've worked where I could wear closed toe hiking sandals, even without socks.  I've loved that for Summer!  However, I now work at a surgical center so the rules are more strict regarding staff footwear.  I'm really, really tempted to shop online for shoes.  I've had some great luck with Zappos and places like that.  If the shoes aren't quite right they are easy and free to ship.  They usually get them to me in 1 to 2 days as well!  I like to reward good practices such as that but I am determined to shop locally first.  Nurses out there, any advice on work shoes?

I probably  need to stop at a grocery store today as well.  I don't really know what I need just yet, but I am sure I need something.  I always do.

The first bit of shopping to be done today, though, is to hit a giant yard sale (garage sale).  Do you call it a yard sale, garage sale or something else?  Our whole subdivision has one week-end every summer where they pool their advertising resources and do their yard sales on the same day.  I do NOT enjoy having a garage sale, do you?  However, I actually do enjoy attending yard sales so that part of my shopping day will be delightful.  Do you enjoy garage sales?  Maria and Cordy will be garage sale-ing with me so that will make it fun.  Cordelia always adds a touch of sparkle and class to any adventure.

(file photo)


(file photo)

I can hear the traffic in our neighborhood already picking up.  I don't feel the need to join those out for the early finds.   I'm content to look over the left-overs when I get there.

So, although I don't really enjoy shopping, I think this will be a good day.  I hope it is for you as well!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Andy Mason Concert

Yesterday I picked up Maria and Cordelia and we headed to an Andy Mason Concert.  He's been here in town for a couple of days and Maria and Cordy had already been to at least one concert but were eager to attend again.  Andy is actually a friend of their's and has been staying at their house so they got to enjoy some private concerts as well.

Maria and Eric, in fact, were hired to create one of Andy's videos.  One of my favorites was a song about making a burrito.  Cordy's little diaper clad bum was featured in that one.  It was pretty cute!

Andy does more than entertain little kids and their parents and grandparents.  He wrote a song, sung by Amber Wiley, called "Smile".  ALL the proceeds go toward an organization called Smile Train.  Check out their site here.  They work to repair cleft palates for children around the world, giving them a reason to smile. I love that Andy does this.  If you want to help, go to Andy's Site, scroll down and purchase the song, Smile.  I'd recommend his other music as well.  It's just fun!  Let me know what you think!

Cordelia had such a good time at the concert!  There were lots of children there and they really got into it.

Andy, Warming Up the Crowd

 Cordy Doing Some People-Watching

 Cordy Making Friends


 Chillin'












Thursday, June 28, 2012

Where There is Smoke There is Fire - Somewhere

Yesterday morning I felt like I was driving to work in a fog.  No, I don't mean I was sleepy.  It really, really looked foggy.  It wasn't, though.  For one thing, it is dangerously dry here right now.  I wish it had been fog, but it was smoke.  Every direction I looked was a smoky haze!  I couldn't tell for sure the direction or origin. I'm still not sure as there are fires to the South of us, West and North.  Again this morning the smoke is making my eyes water.  It's really a breathing hazard as well.

We aren't really all that close to any of those fires, not so far this year anyway.  Several years ago the mountain near us was on fire, though, and it was close enough that we had ash dropping in our yard.  It was just a little taste of what people all over the western U.S. are experiencing right now.  So many lives are disrupted; so many people are worrying about their homes.

Fire is so strange when you think about it.  It is so scary and so destructive.  It can be life-saving or life-endangering, used as a campfire or storming along as a monstrous wildfire.  It is also very beautiful and very powerful.


When I checked on Facebook this morning I found a lot of photos, such as the one above. I am a bit ashamed to say that I am mesmerized by the photos.  The power of fire is just so incredible.  However, it makes me so grateful for people who have taken the time to learn to battle fires on our behalf.  It sounds like one of the worst jobs in the world to me.  They purposefully run toward the danger while people like me just want to get far away.


I can't imagine what it would be like to look at a photo such as that knowing one of those houses was your's.  My heart goes out to those folks.  And worse, I see video on television of people unable to cross the barrier to get to their neighborhood to try to get to family members, not knowing if they are safe.  I am certain I would not handle that very well.

Looking at so many photos of all those fires made me realize how small and insignificant people are in relationship.  This world doesn't even really need us; maybe we just get in the way.  That makes it all the more incredible to me to know that God treasures us and cares about us.  I don't always understand why that is, but I am ever so grateful.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Starting My Morning Off Right

My new job requires me to be up and about plenty early.  I got up at 4:50 yesterday and left the house about 40 minutes later.  Although sleeping a bit longer would have been lovely, I don't really mind because right now I am getting to enjoy the sunrise on my way in to work.

As I drove I was listening to KLOVE, as usual.  One of the songs I was hearing was Alive, sung by Natalie Grant (click on the second arrow to hear a taste of it).  My view was a magnificent as the song!  What a lovely beginning to the day!




Tuesday, June 26, 2012

On Being the New Girl

My first day at my new job was just lovely.

There are some good things about being the new girl.  For one, your new co-workers aren't yet sick of your scrubs.  All my uniforms will be new to them, well, at least for about 10 days.

Another good thing, not much was expected of me the first day.  Of course I didn't know the routine and mostly I was just to follow people around, observing what they do.  That was fun.  Today I will go with one patient (I've been assigned to a child) from the beginning of his journey until he's ready for discharge.  That includes being present with him during his surgery.  That will be interesting!

The part about being a new girl that can feel most awkward is the same part that was difficult as a new kid in elementary school... lunch time.  Having only 30 minutes didn't give enough time to go out to lunch.  I'd brought along something I could eat, though, and was happy to just go outside and sit at a picnic bench.  It was fine but it did make me remember those awkward new girl days from childhood.

Recess and lunch were the most scary that first day at a new school.  In the classroom you pretty much knew or were told by the teacher what to do, but lunch and recess had less structure and more time to look awkward.

I hadn't brought much lunch yesterday.  I just prefer to eat real light when I might be in a stressful situation.  That's a Crohn's strategy.  That's kind of why I avoided the staff lounge.  I didn't want to have to already explain why I wasn't eating much and all the Crohn's stuff.  Funny, huh?  Especially since I am ok with telling it here on the internet for anyone to read.  Go figure.  Anyway, 30 minutes turned out to be much more time than I needed to eat.  I texted Mike.  I texted Maria.


I texted my sister, Tina.  I texted my friend, Kerry.  I still had some time so what did I do with it?  I pulled weeds near the picnic table.


See what I mean about looking awkward?

Lord I Lift Your Name on High

I love to sing.  I love to hum.  I do it a lot.  As I clean, as I drive... I'm sure that is not unusual.  Music has a lot of power!  It has so much power, I've decided to be careful what music I listen to as it influences me so much.  Several years ago I decided to keep the radio in my car set on KLOVE.  Why?  Well, they refer to their music as being "positive and encouraging".  Hey!  That's what I want to be!  I learned that if I listened to that on my way to work, I was able to maintain a positive and encouraging attitude a bit more throughout the day.
  
I am also on our Worship Team at church.  I enjoy that a lot!  

(stock photo from 123rf.com)

OK, that photo may not be of me but I'm pretty sure I look kind of like that when I sing...except I am older...and I would not wear sunglasses in church...and my microphone is on a stand which I am scared to approach... I don't usually wear a hat because I think my head is already kind of large... and the wind machine is not ever on me when I sing... there may be a few other differences as well.   OK, I'm no more than an average singer, I'm middle-aged and I generally sing standing very still with my hands to my side.  Even clapping when singing is difficult for me.  Other than that, I pretty much look like this person.

Seriously now...

Music has come naturally to me when helping a really frightened patient.  Whether starting an IV or wiping a bottom, humming lightens the moment.  Maybe it just lightens my mood but I think it helps the patient focus on something besides the task at hand as well.

I was once called to the side of a young adult patient nearing the end of her life.  She was conscious and uneasy.  She'd previously told me she was a Christian so with her permission I prayed for her.   Then, knowing she had been active in her congregation, I asked if she wanted me to sing to her to help her relax.  She said that she did.  I started singing Amazing Grace  then moved on to the The Old Rugged Cross.  She listened politely but I didn't feel it was calming her that much.  Then, I decided to sing Jesus Loves Me.  Even though she could only barely make sounds, she started to sing along!  I kept singing but tears were rolling down my face.  She looked and sounded so beautiful to me.  

I thought she fell asleep at the end of that song so I sat quietly by her side for a bit.  When I was about to leave she opened her eyes and whispered a question.  I had to ask her to repeat it several times but finally realized she was asking if I knew the song, Lord, I Lift Your Name on High.  I was so happy because it is a song our worship team sings so I knew all the words.   We sang that song over and over and over with her voice only a whisper and mine choked with tears.  The quality of our voices did not matter.  Finally, she was tired and able to rest.  I left quietly, fully aware that I'd just been allowed to be part of something truly beautiful.  

Maybe I will have the opportunity to sing with her someday in heaven when we will have strong, pure voices.

To hear a sample of the song that meant so much to her, click here.

Monday, June 25, 2012

New Job Day!

I have been kind of quiet about my career swerve since mentioning that I resigned my position at Hospice.  I've been feeling like a quitter.  The last two weeks, after I gave my resignation, have been rather brutal.  I'm not talking about the patients. I love, love working with hospice patients!  I also enjoyed working with some very wonderful co-workers.  The long hours (sometimes 14 or even more) and the increasing patient load were just a bit much for me.  OK, they were a LOT much for me.    I don't know if it is because I have Crohn's that I seem to get more worn out but I'm going to use that excuse.

Anyway, it is time that I look forward.  I will be working at a surgical center.  I will not be working the long shifts.  I will be home on week-ends.  I will get to start a lot of IV's (yes, don't be scare of me but I do like starting IV's), and I will get to calm and reassure people.  I have a dear friend who already works there and I look forward to working with her again.  She speaks highly of the other personnel there so I know I am going to meet more friends along the way.  I will have a lot to learn but it will be great!

Here's to new beginnings!




Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Word From Pastor Mike: Christians are Messy

Over the years I've often heard people say they believe in God but don't want to belong to a congregation, they just prefer to worship on their own.  I think worshiping alone can be really satisfying and precious time.  I also think there is a reason that Biblically we are given examples of worshiping as a community.  In our recent church newsletter Mike speaks to this...

"For several years now, as the weekend approaches, I have been praying for people to come and
worship. As I drive to church on Sunday, I see the cars parked in our neighborhood and I pray, “Stir
them up, Lord.” I believe that we all need weekly help for our faith journey. God strengthens our
spiritual lives in Word and Sacrament worship."

What do you think?  Do you feel the need for weekly worship?  Maybe even more often?

Another thing I've often heard is someone stating they don't want to attend church because it is full of sinners,  perhaps naming names and pointing out their sins.  To that I say, "Of course!"  Sinners need a place to go for redemption and to receive the gift of God's forgiveness and grace.  I once heard a quote that a church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints... or something like that.  Mike had some words about that as well...

"Life is messy. Christians are messy. Church institutions aren’t perfect and they never have been. So
why worship? Why shouldn’t we be a bunch of Lone Ranger Christians? Why not worship by yourself
in the great outdoors? Well, the Bible certainly encourages times of personal devotion and prayer
but the Bible never conceives of worship without people in community. We need each other and we
all need God."

Sometimes Pastor Mike is a pretty smart guy, huh?

He and I have also been talking about being authentic people.  One way to do that is to be more open about our shortcomings.  Sometimes people believe a pastor and his family all lead crisp, clean and well-managed lives.  I kind of like letting people believe that, actually.  That is because I am a prideful person and I am working on that.

OK, so I am here to tell you that we goof up also.  We make mistakes over and over again.  One thing about writing a blog is a person can just put up a few pretty pictures and it looks like all is wonderful.  We do have a really nice life, but we do not have a perfect life.  By showing our shiny side on my blog, I worry that someone will think they themselves lead a lesser life.  So, let it be known that like everyone, we are sinners.  Like everyone, we are offered a chance of forgiveness and healing.  Now, isn't that what it is all about?  I think I will head to church now to be with all the other faulty people.  I fit in there.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cordelia Fun

I have been fortunate enough to have some Cordy Time this week.  Yesterday she was out and about with her parents.  Maria texted me and I found out they weren't far from my location at that moment so I made sure our paths crossed.

Cordy was so excited and hugged me say, "Grandma, you are a surprise!"  Then she turned to her parents and said, "These are my friends, Mommy and Daddy!  They are my family!  And Baby _______ (you'll have to wait until her birth to learn her name) is going to come out and she is my sister!"

The day before that I enjoyed some shopping time with Maria and Cordelia, followed by swimming time and a picnic.  Mike took a lunch break to join us for lunch.  It was one of those weather-perfect days and the morning was pure delight.  I hope you enjoy the photos...














I will forever be grateful for my family.








Friday, June 22, 2012

Ben, Happy Birthday to You!



Happy Birthday, Ben!

Some of you may look at this photo and just see a smiling, handsome guy.
Some of you may know you are looking at a very intelligent young man 
who already has made an impression on the banking world.
Some of you may know this young man recently followed through 
on his dreamof starting his own investment advising business.
Some of you know him as a fun and loyal friend.
One of you knows him as a kind and caring husband.
One of you knows him as the lovable little brother you fiercely protected.
One of you knows him as the big brother who spent hours teaching you
how to play Nintendo, beginning when you were too young to sit up.
One of you knows him as the son who loved for you to push him higher and higher
and give him "underdogs" on the swing.
One of you knows him as the little grandson who snuggled with you
while you read "Jerome" to him...and  continued the custom
even when he was in high school.
One of you knows him as the grandson who lived nearby
and came to enjoy time with you many Sunday afternoons.

I know him as the little baby I first held in my arms 27 years ago today.
I know him as the little guy who climbed my Grandma's plant stand at the grand old
age of 8 months old and has been climbing things ever since.
I know him as the sweet boy who said, "I will always live with you, Mama!"
I know him as the 16 year old boy who still said, "I love you, Mom" in front of his friends.
I know him as the college student who came home because he
worried about his little brother being lonely.
I know him as the college student who met the love of his life
and proudly brought her home to meet the family.
I know him as someone strong enough to follow his dream.
I know him as a man of integrity.

I know him and I love him.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Coolpix

My new Nikon Coolpix L810 arrived!  I haven't yet read the instructions and I know very little about photography but I'm having fun already!  These photos represent about an hour of yesterday evening as I went in search of beauty.














Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I Dare You!

We all know who Susan Boyle is now, but we didn't always.  I dare you to watch this all the way through without smiling...



(photo from Huffingpost.com)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Is There a Support Group for Multitaskers?

Are you a multitasker?  It is a good thing to be able to multitask, right?

I am a big time multitasker.  That works out for me in my nursing career.  It is a rare thing for a nurse to have the luxury of being able to focus on one thing or even one patient at a time.  Multitasking is not only helpful but it is a necessary work skill.  I'm sure that is true in many professions.

Like all good things, though, moderation is important.  Multitasking can also become an obsession.  It can get so ingrained into your personality that it is nearly impossible to do one job at a time.  I'm sure many of you have experienced that.  It can reach a point of being totally disconcerting.

For instance, I might decide to do the laundry this morning.  As I go to get the hamper to take it downstairs, I realize I need to stop in the bathroom to get the towels to wash as well.  After I grab the towels I see my ponytail holder and grab it, planning to pull my hair out of the way.  Spotting a few items of dirty clothes on the bathroom floor I snatch them up.  With towels over my shoulder, dirty clothes under my arm and my pony tail holder in my hand I head down the hall.  I notice the photo on the wall is crooked and so I reach up to straighten it.  I see that it is dusty so I turn to get the dust rag from the hall closet.  After dusting the photo I keep going, dusting the rest of the photo frames and moving on into the living room to dust there.  I pick up the magazines that are on the coffee table and start back down the hall toward our room where the magazine recycling box is in the bottom of the closet.  Right by the closet I see that the little waste basket needs to be emptied and so tie it up to take to the larger trash bin in the kitchen.  On the way there I see Bode waiting at the backdoor to go out to do his business.  I go to wrestle with the sliding glass door, realizing I am carrying wet towels, dirty socks, old magazines, a bag of trash, a dust cloth and a pony tail holder.  I empty my arms by dumping all that stuff on the nearby table.  Have I accomplished anything?  Oh yes, I did manage to dust a few things.

OK, so that hasn't happened yet as I'm still sitting in the rocker typing my blog.  It will, though.  It might not go down quite like that but it will be some form of me flitting around and likely not accomplishing all that I expect.

One of the weirdest multitasking issues I have regards brushing my teeth.  Why do I think that I must do other things while brushing my teeth?  It is really quite counter productive but I almost never JUST brush my teeth.  I do it without thinking.  Maybe it is because brushing my teeth requires only one hand and I don't think the other hand should be lazy.  I don't know but I've found myself doing dumb things while brushing my teeth.  I really do take towels to the laundry while brushing my teeth.  That is dangerous!  I could fall on the stairs and get the toothbrush jammed through my throat!  I've even discovered myself out getting the mail with the toothbrush in my mouth!  Do the neighbors really need to see all that? That is just silly but what can I do?  I don't plan it.  I don't even realize I'm doing it most of the time.

(stock photo from 123rf.com)

Ooops.  Now I am in the kitchen, computer on the counter, stirring oatmeal in between typing sentences.  That may have something to do with why my computer is held together with duct tape.  When will I learn? 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Butterfly Release

Last week the hospice where I work held a kid's camp for children who had experienced a loss.  On their last day they invited others to join them for a butterfly release.  I thought Cordelia would enjoy that so Maria and Eric brought her.

Cordy came appropriately dressed, wearing a butterfly dress.  She waited politely for her butterfly.



I suppose I expected the butterflies to be in some big container and all be released at once.  As it turns out, they are shipped in individual little packages.  I was told later that they are sent chilled but kind of wake up as they warm up.  I didn't verify that but it seems like it could be true.  All I know is they handed out little triangular shaped boxes to each of us.  I could feel mine fluttering.

A lady gave a sweetly worded reading and let us know that as those kids were releasing their butterflies it was to signify them releasing their deceased loved one, or at least releasing the pain.  I don't think Cordy really got that part but it helped me understand why they were doing this.

I hadn't brought my camera so used my cell phone to capture the experience.  It kind of looks like Cordelia was holding the butterfly but she just had her hand up as the butterfly flew off past it.



They butterflies were beautiful.  It is just amazing to me, all the detail that goes into the beauty of their wings.

Have you ever been to a butterfly release?  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

To My Children, A Word About Your Father

Dear Maria, Ben and Sam,

First of all, let me say, "You are welcome!"

Thanks to my fine choice you three have experienced the fatherly love of a good man.  All right, I admit, I didn't really think much about his fatherly potential when I chose him.  Nevertheless, I'm taking the credit.

You already know he was and is a fun person.  You  have to admit he was good at taking the time to play.  He was the one who would pretend to push you into the hot lava or shout out, "Kid Hunt!"  He also played a lot of Crazy 8, Candy Land and Old Maid.  He's a quirky guy with lots of character and I think that just adds to the adventure.

I hope you always knew of his love for you.  He made a lot of sacrifices on your behalf... all three of you.  He always put your needs before his own.  I think you know that, too, don't you?  He wasn't always confident that he knew how to parent but you always knew he would be there for you.  You knew he was steadfast and fiercely loyal to his family.  Even if you never really thought about all that, I'm sure it must have helped you feel more secure in a world that doesn't always feel safe.

Ben and Sam, in a world where boys aren't always shown how to be good fathers, you were given that valuable example.  Maria, because of him, you were able to recognize a good man for yourself and a good father for your own children.  For all of you, he's taught by example the value of integrity, generosity and perseverence.  He's also let you see his love for God, family, music, Montana, baseball and goofy dogs.  I don't know how all these things molds you, but I think those things, to you, will always be associated with your Dad.

So, again, I say, "You're welcome." Above any gift I ever bought or made for any of you, providing you with this man for your father was a stroke of genius and I know you are thankful.

Love,
Mom





Saturday, June 16, 2012

Celia's Link to My Grandaughters

I am getting excited!  Maria and Eric will be welcoming their new daughter next month!  That little baby is quite definitely HERE now.  Maria is looking "full of life" and she's at the point where we can even see when that new little grandaughter has the hiccups!

When we were waiting for Cordelia's birth I remember feeling like my arms just needed to hold her, just as I felt as I waited for the births of my own babies.  I'm starting to get that feeling again!

One of the things I did before Cordelia was born was that I chose a piece of my jewelry that would someday be her's.  I know that seems rather premature but my plan was to be wearing it in photos taken the day she was born.  I'm particularly proud of that idea.  I chose a cross ring given to me by my friend, Celia.  I wear it often and I hope that for Cordy it is something she will remember having seen on me. For some reason the photo cuts off the bottom but trust me, I was wearing the ring in this photo.


For this new little person I want to do the same thing, only different.  I want both girls to feel special and to know they are individually precious.  I am narrowing it down.  I am thinking about a cross necklace, also from Celia, that I will give to this new baby.  

I didn't know it at the time of Cordelia's birth but there is another link to this tradition.  When Cordy was about a year and a half old, Maria and Eric purchased the house where my friend, Celia, grew up!  So, those girls will always have a link to Celia as well.  Cool, huh?

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Word From Pastor Mike... Life is Christmas, Good Friday and Easter

Not long ago the phone call came.  We were prepared.  We knew it was coming.  It was the news that our friend, Claude, had died.

Mike had pretty much known Claude his entire life.  They'd gone to school together for 12 years.  They'd been kicked out of confirmation together.  I didn't meet Claude until I moved to Turner, MT when I was 15.  At that point in his life, Claude was all about fun and friends.  I don't think anyone was ever bored when Claude was around!  Claude also had a sweet and kind side.  He seemed to notice people that others may have overlooked.

About the time Mike & I were planning our wedding, Claude got sick.  In fact, he was to be a part of our wedding but was too ill to attend.  We didn't then know that Claude would never again be well.  He'd have times of better health, but his illness was just the beginning of a long list of trials for Claude to endure.  Somehow, though, Claude managed to make his life meaningful around all the suffering.

Mike was asked to preach the funeral sermon for Claude.  He was honored to do it but I know it was hard for him.  I was unable to go to Montana with Mike because I couldn't find coverage for work.  I hadn't read the sermon until recently, when Claude's wife requested a copy.

I've always told Mike he did fine funerals.  I don't think he took that as a compliment but really, he has a way of bringing peace to people.  As I read Claude's sermon I was really caught by something Mike had written.  He described life by our major Christian holidays.  I know that you all didn't know Claude, although some of you did.  Nevertheless, I have a feeling that the words Mike spoke might bring you a sense of peace or understanding over the loss of someone you knew and loved as well.  I didn't exactly ask Mike if I could publish this but I don't think he'll mind.

"Life is Christmas, Good Friday and Easter. Jesus modeled this life for us. He was born. He had a calling in this life. He suffered and died. And then there was Easter. A new beginning.


We live. We do stuff. And hopefully we feel like God has given us gifts, purpose and calling in this life.  We may even suffer in this life and of course, we will all die. Our hope is in God for a new beginning.


Life’s not a game of perfect. God works with sinners, guys who get kicked out of Confirmation. God opens doors, shines light, gives second chances, forgives sins, builds faith and more.


And when it’s all over we come to moments like this. A service. A commendation. We say to God, “You take over from here. We don’t have the power in us. So we’re trusting Claude into your hands. He’ll be okay and we won’t lose heart.”


Like Mike said, "God, you take over from here."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Computer is Ill!

Computer problems.... back soon!

Newer is Not Always Better

At a park in Sarasota we found this really old looking picnic shelter.  

I was charmed by it.


Nearby was the replacement picnic shelter.


See what I mean?  Newer is not always better.



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Anniversary Road Trip

Mike and I enjoyed ourselves Saturday .  We took a road trip as we celebrated our anniversary,  There is still a lot of Wyoming that we have not seen.  This trip was to Saratoga.

We made some friends along the way.


Bode came along.  We walked  him many times. He is not a natural boy dog, though; He hates to potty away from  home.  Isn't that weird?  We were gone for nearly 9 hours but he declined to relieve himself until we returned home.  We even had him look at a lot of water; that didn't do it.


We enjoyed a nice lunch at a restaurant/hotel that is on the National Registry for Historic Places.  We walked around downtown a bit but it didn't take too long.


We noted that Wyoming has a lot of space without people.  

We like that.


 A storm was trying to build but not much came of it, at least not that we could see.


I love road trips with Mike.




Monday, June 11, 2012

I am Sooooo Smart

I am so smart...

Or so lucky...

No, 

I am so blessed!

  A decision I made 34 years ago still makes me very happy today.


Happy Anniversary Mike.

Thank you for marrying me.

I love being your wife.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Prayer and a Telephone Call

I had an unusual thing happen this week..

Sometimes I am really quick in making decisions but sometimes I am faced with a big decision that is painful to make.  That happened this week.  It wasn't anything bad, in fact probably either way I chose it would end up fine.  It was certainly going to have a huge impact on my life,though.   

I have a place I go when I need to just think.  I go to my friend, Sara.



Actually, she's not there.  I go to Sara's grave.  Sara was one of my early chemotherapy patients and I ended up taking care of her for years.  Sara was also a nurse and we became friends. I adored her.

This is not Sara's grave but it was a pretty photo 
depicting a quiet, peaceful graveyard.  
I don't want you to think I am creepy 
because I find peace in cemeteries.

When Sara's cancer returned, it was sad but not unexpected.  Sara handled it all so well; she taught me a lot about putting faith into action.  I miss her but now, several years after her death, I go to her grave to think, especially when my thoughts are about my life as a nurse.

On Wednesday, at Sara's graveside, I received a phone call.  I didn't recognize the voice right away but it was from another former patient.  I'd run into her on several occasions over the years but we've never been phone buddies or anything.  It was right at noon when she, Barb, called.  She told me that I'd been on her mind for a few days but that she'd suddenly felt the need to pray for me.  She said she was going to wait until after lunch but felt she needed to call me right NOW!

I wept a bit.  You see, I was standing there pondering an unexpected opportunity to change employment.  The new opportunity came out of the blue and I was going to reject it.  I felt that I should stay at hospice, even though there were many signs that I should move on.  My issue was that I felt hospice was where I could have the biggest impact on people, be the biggest help.  The call from Barb made me remember that there are other jobs where I might be able to be helpful.

Yesterday I went to work, still unsure of what I'd do.  In the morning I kept thinking of how much I loved hospice work.  I prayed over and over as I worked, asking that God show me what I should do.  Well, I am convinced that God has a sense of humor.  They day just got worse and worse.  One of the hardest things for me at hospice is the 12.5 hour shifts.  I have some arthritis issues, maybe associated with Crohn's but I don't know that for sure.  I also have degenerative disk disease so my back sometimes gets pretty crabby as well.  I end up aching with my joints crying out for mercy.  Yesterday I ran my legs off for 14.5 hours!  By the end of the shift, I knew what I had to do.

So, there you have it.  I was sad to give my notice but the calm I felt afterward makes me think I have listened to God.  I am so grateful for the time I had working with the dying but I guess it is time to move on.  I don't know if it is because there is somewhere else I am needed more or if it is just because God is being kind and leading me away from something that is so physically demanding.  Either way, I just want to do his will.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Baby Bump

Just to update you, Maria is busily growing grandaughter #2.  I think she is beautiful wearing that baby bump, don't you?


Thursday, June 07, 2012

Little Flower Girl

Yesterday I picked up Cordelia and brought her home to garden with me.  What a pretty little helper she was!  She really likes flowers and she really, really likes digging in the dirt.

I presented her with a pair of Dora the Explorer garden gloves but her Mom told me Cordelia specifically chose the rest of the outfit for her morning with Grandma.

I'd made the little dress she was wearing.  


She added the necklace and the hat made by her Mom.  Cordy fretted a bit on the way over because she realized she should have worn her garden hat.  She told me little kids shouldn't get sunburns on their heads.  I assured her the blue hat would help prevent that.


After we'd planted flowers and watered them, Cordy wanted to sort and stack the empties a bit.


Back at her house she asked me to take a picture of her smiling.  


I enjoyed a lovely lunch with Mike and later got to pick Bode up from the vet.  He was sooooo happy to see me!  He was all bouncy and happy but he kind of pooped out on the ride home.

He's doing well, though.


It was a lovely day, all in all.
I hope you all are having a nice start to June.

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