Friday, November 30, 2012

Beauty in the Parking Lot

At 4:45 a.m. I am not usually thrilled to hear the alarm clock for work.  There are some nice things about going to work so early, though.  One is, I usually get off early enough to have a little time before supper.  It's nice to be able to run some errands and such.

Another nice thing is that I sometimes get to see the sunrise.  I'd actually already been working awhile when my supervisor told me to go look outside one morning this week.  The view in the parking lot was so wonderful, I thought you'd like to see it as well.

It was so glorious.  It's amazing, really, that such beauty is available on a daily basis...for FREE!

Just a little reminder, anyone who leaves a comment this week, or becomes a new follower will automatically be entered in the drawing for the Purse With a Past.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Flash Decorating

Yesterday the Director of Nursing (DON) for our clinic became a new grandma.  She worked most of the morning but knew that her granddaughter or grandson would be born early afternoon by planned c-section.  One of the other nurses, Kelly, asked me to help her decorate the boss' office when she stepped out for a few minutes.   I was a bit perplexed when she handed me a couple of packs of Post-It Notes and told me to "Hurry!"  I caught on, though.  I'm quick that way. Others rushed in to join us.  We all quickly returned to our work stations with innocence all over our faces.

I think it turned out well, showing our great taste and classiness.  

Elegant, don't you think?

  Since the gender was as yet unknown, we chose to use a pink and blue theme.  

I expect others will be contacting us, wanting us to decorate for their parties...maybe even weddings!  Feel free to use this idea.  You could even Pin it on Pinterest to show your great sense of style!  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Useless Information

Yesterday's post was kind of heavy.  Today's post is not, so just relax and prepare yourself to learn some rather useless information.  I've been glancing through this funny little book...

... and I'd like to share some of what I've just learned.

First of all, do you know why we call a sandwich a sandwich?  Well, it comes from  an English nobleman from the 18th century.  He liked to gamble.  He didn't want to waste time taking meal breaks so he often had a servant just bring him sliced roast beef between two pieces of bread so he could keep gambling while he ate.  No utensils were needed  It's not known that he was the first to eat this "fast food" but he was a well known guy and he ate this way frequently in public.  Guess what his noble title was.  He was the fourth Earl of Sandwich.  There you have it.

Have you heard why we call the whiskers in front of the ears sideburns?  It turns out that one of the first to wear this style was Civil War General Ambrose E. Burnside.  Somewhere along the way the syllables were reversed and to this day they are referred to as sideburns.  

Do you know what it means to talk a blue streak?  That refers to someone with rapid speech? It is thought to come from comparing fast talk to lightening and the bluish hue it gives.  In modern times it also refers to someone who simply talks on and on.

Do you know what a pipe dream is?  We use that term to refer to someone's plan that seems rather absurd or unobtainable.  It originally came from those who used pipes to smoke opium.  The use of opium contributed to wild fantastical ideas by its users, called pipe dreams.  

You have heard the direction to keep a stiff upper lip.  To us it means to act stoically; to show little or no emotion.  Well, we are back to talking about facial hair, moustaches in particular.  During a time when British soldiers were growing moustaches, they found it difficult to hide their emotions or to properly stand at attention.  Any twitch of their lip made the facial hair twitch.  So, they had to learn to keep a stiff upper lip.                                                                      

Do you have a skeleton in your closet?  You know, do you have any dark secrets?  This term was quite literal at one time.  English physicians once had a hard time learning anatomy.  Only the bodies of executed criminals could be dissected, at least until 1832.  Even then, when it was legal, people were pretty grossed out by the idea of their doctor dissecting a cadaver.  Many doctors only got to dissect one cadaver so they sometimes kept them later as skeletons, enabling them to further study bone structure.  Because it creeped people out, they kept their skeletons hidden.

So, now maybe you know more than you did a few minutes ago.  Was it life-changing for you?  No?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Healing Purpose?

(This photo has nothing to do with this post.  I just liked it.  
The painting in the background is by my talented mother.)

Last week at work I re-met a lady whom I'd met last year while working at hospice.  Last week she was just accompanying someone who was in for a colonoscopy.  Last year she was at the bedside of a young woman who had suffered a sudden event and was sent from the emergency room to our hospice home.  Over the course of a few days she'd gone from independent living to being on her death bed.  I was with her and her family as she breathed her last.  I was the one who said those sad words, "Time of death...."

At the surgical center where I now work I am finding that I often meet people from my past jobs.  I guess that isn't surprising as this is not a metropolis.  Working at hospice I often got to know patients and family members over an extended period of time.  Even further back, as a chemotherapy nurse, I developed friendships with patients and their families that often spanned a number of months or even years.  Actually, that was one of my favorite parts about those jobs.  Many of those patients gave more to me than I ever gave to them.

My concern, now, is the effect seeing me has on the survivors.  I am seeing them at a time when they are likely a bit nervous as they are coming to our center for a procedure.  They are vulnerable.  Then, in I walk.  Does it give them comfort to have someone they already know enter their room?  Maybe.  I am happy to see them and greet them with joy, but I know that the sight of me represents painful memories as well.  That doesn't make me happy but it is what it is.

As I thought about this, wondering how I could make it easier on my current patients, I realized I may be looking at it all wrong.  Maybe these meetings are a time when I'm supposed to offer something of a healing presence.  Do you suppose that I can say or do something that helps them through their grief?  Maybe just knowing that I remember their loved one, cared about their loved one, sometimes even still mourn their loss myself could be healing for them.  I don't know.

Yesterday a patient came in who was a family member to one of my previous patients... a nurse herself who became a friend and mentor to me, even as I cared for her.  I gave her chemotherapy over the course of several years.  I loved her!  When I saw her family member, I knew they would know me.  My friend/patient had kept my photograph on her refrigerator and had included me in some of her family events.  Since her death, though, I'd only seen her family a few times.

I prayed before I entered his room.  I wanted to help him face his procedure.  I did NOT want to cause him pain.  So, I went in smiling.  We hugged.  We talked.  I tried to pay attention to what he might need to hear.  Finally, I felt he needed to hear me say some of what she had meant to me.  I told him how I still go to her grave site sometimes to pray.  I told him I still think of her.  I still miss her.

THEN, we moved on.  We talked of his life now, four years after his loss.  We talked of his family.  We talked of the future.  I think it was good.  I realized then, that maybe these meetings could be more than just painful reminders to people.  Maybe they could have a healing purpose.  Maybe that healing is for me, as well as for them.  I don't know.  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Purse With a Past ... Give-away!

Ha! I was cleaning out some stashes of unfinished projects Saturday and I found THIS ugly thing!

To find out how I came to own this ugly purse, simply click here. I had truly intended to redo this purse right away.  It had good "bones" but that Anarchy stamp on the front was not acceptable.  Well, true to my nature I tucked it away and forgot about it... until now!

I dug it out and decided the time had come!  I messed with it for quite awhile before deciding just what I wanted to do.  Finally, I made my choice of fabric.  I went from Anarchy to Flower Garden. Really all I had to do was apply (sew) the new fabric over the top of the Anarchy symbol.  It was easy.  I've no idea why it took me so long to accomplish this little make-over.  I kind of like how it turned out.

The thing is, I don't really need a new purse.  So, look it over.  Could you use a new purse?  I've decided to bless someone else with this cheerful little beauty!  Don't hold her past against her please.  To enter this give-away, either leave a comment on this post for me or sign up as a new follower.  Either way, I will put your name in the drawing.  It will be fun, huh?!

I will announce the winner in about a week so keep checking back.  Sneaky, huh?  I leave the announcement date kind of vague so you have to keep visiting my blog.

Also, this is a linky party!  It's not my party but I am attending a linky party at a blog called, 
... I liked the blog name.  Come along if you'd like!  You can be my plus one!

After that party I am joining in at Repurposed Ideas Weekly.  Let's go!

And if you are interested in entering more give-aways,
try this link.

Words Optional

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Praying for a Stranger

Recently I wrote a post about making Prayer Monkey Hats for a co-worker's unborn twin grandsons.  I finished them, along with several other hats for other orders this week.  I've been working on them in the evenings after a day at work.   As a nurse, I am on my feet the entire day but this is a sitting down job, and I enjoy doing them so much, it doesn't feel like work at all.    I thought maybe you'd like to see how the monkeys turned out.

I received some nice comments on that post, most from followers I "know".  I love reading those!  I also received a comment from a woman in the UK that found my blog by accident that day.  She left a nice comment and also an invitation to join her today on a mission.  She is holding a blog hop, today.  It is different than most as it is really a giant prayer chain.

This prayer chain is on behalf of her friend, Kerry, shown in these photos.  Kerry is a mother and blogger who suffered a ruptured aneurysm and brain hemorrhage.  Her husband is now posting on her blog in her place.

Today, we (me and my readers) are invited to join the blog hop of prayer, praying for the recovery of this young woman.  We are praying for her return to her home and her family.  Anyone who has been around a patient suffering from this type of brain injury knows that the path she is on is difficult and challenging, not only for her but also for her family.

 So, today I am praying for Kerry.  I am praying that she will be able to fight off infection.  I am praying she will be able to work through the exhaustion and confusion and find her way back to her life. I am praying for the healthcare workers surrounding her, for their skill and wisdom as they support her recovery.  Perhaps you'd like to join in on this big prayer as well?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Home for Thanksgiving

Yesterday we were at my Mom's home for Thanksgiving.  I've never lived at the house where she now lives, yet it feels like home to me.  I guess that is to say, my Mom feels like home to me.  We tease her about looking so serious when she works.  Trust me, she has a beautiful smile.

We were a pretty small group this year but we most certainly had plenty to eat!
I won't be stepping on the scale any time soon.

We had time to visit with my sister, Tina. She  has fancy glasses, doesn't she?

My nephew, Steven, and niece, Stephanie, kept things lively.  We were all in jeans except Steven.  He was pretty snazzy, James Bondish actually.

My Mom's Christmas Cactus was a bit of an overachiever, already blooming.
My Mom started it from pieces of my Grandma's Christmas Cactus, making it all the more special.

So, that documents our day.  How was your's?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Unlocking the Fullness of Life with Gratitude

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. 

It turns what

 we have into enough, 

and more. 

It turns denial into acceptance, 

chaos to order, 

confusion to clarity. 

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home, 

stranger into a friend. 

Gratitude makes sense of our past, 

brings peace for today, 

and creates a vision for tomorrow."

                                                                                                 ....Melody Beattie

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Angel Tree

One of the things I really love this time of year is the Angel Tree that goes up at our church.  Do you have one?  If you aren't familiar with the Angel Tree Program click here.  You'll learn that this program is associated with Prison Fellowship.

Each year the tree at our church is decorated with angel shaped tags.  Each tag has a child's first name and some little details such as their clothing size and a description of a gift they'd like to receive.  One I picked up is for a 13 year old girl named Hope.  She is wishing for a new pair of jeans or a lime green sweatshirt.  That doesn't seem like so much to wish for, does it?

The children who's names appear on these tags have at least one parent in prison.  It is tough for a parent in prison to do any Christmas shopping for their child so we help out a bit.  We don't care if the parent gets credit for the gift.  We don't care what crime the parent committed.  We care that the child feels loved.  Here's words from their website that explains the mission...

Angel Tree, a program of Prison Fellowship, seeks to reconcile prisoners and their families to God, to each other, and to their communities through the transforming love and grace of Jesus Christ. Through your support of Angel Tree, prisoners have the opportunity to send their children a Christmas gift and the Good News of Jesus Christ!

I love being a small part of this program.  I am aware the purpose of the program is not to make me feel good, but it does.  I really don't care much for shopping but each year I have to say that I really enjoy making the purchases for these children we don't even know.  When I read the words above about the mission of the Angel Tree Program I realize their is a much bigger picture than just the part we play in purchasing these gifts.

Do you have an opportunity to share in some kind of special Christmas Program such as the Angel Tree?  I'd love to hear your ideas. I think we can inspire one another!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Prayer Monkey Hats

A coworker asked me if I could make two monkey hats for her twin grandsons. They aren't actually born yet.  In fact, their mother is trying hard to keep them from being born too soon.  Each day they are NOT born is a great accomplishment.  Each day gives their little lungs a bit more time to develop and increases their chances of a healthy entrance into this world.

The request is for two little monkey hats.  When Maria and I make our hats for Wyoming Rose Boutique, we make them up as we go.  We just kind of free flow it, yarn sculpting.  It's more fun to us than reading patterns.  The trick this time is that since there are two of them, I have to pay attention so that I can make them the same.

I decided that while I crochet these hats for those tiny little boys I would pray for them.  You've heard of prayer shawls, right?  Well, why can't I make prayer monkey hats?

Monday, November 19, 2012

"Grandpa, You're My Friend Boy!"

Maria and Eric and our beautiful granddaughters, Elise and Cordelia, came over last night.  We love that we have the opportunity to be around our granddaughters as much as we do!

Not long ago, while visiting at my Mom's a few hours away, Cordelia got two of her teenage cousins to play with her, directing them on a dinosaur hunt.  Not long after that I found a bag of little dinosaurs and sparked an idea.  I bought the dinosaurs so that we could start a new tradition at our house.  You guessed it, Cordelia goes dinosaur hunting.  Now, Cordy is a vegan so I want to make it very clear that when she hunts dinosaurs, it is not with a bow and arrow or a gun.  It is just about the hunt... just finding them.

So, this is how it works.  We all take turns, as directed by Cordy, either hiding the little dinosaurs or hunting for them later.  This is repeated over and over.... and over some more.  She really, really enjoys this game!  Mike got a little creative with his hiding...

Maria held Elise, who I think is anxiously awaiting the day she can join in.

A few members of the family were more interested in the football game than the dinosaur hunt.

I won't be naming any names, though.     

Mike is such a patient and fun grandpa.

I heard Cordelia say, "Grandpa, you're my friend boy!"

Sunday, November 18, 2012

10,000 Reasons

Do you have a favorite Christian Contemporary Song?  Or maybe an old classic?  What is speaking to you right now?

I enjoy singing along with Matt Redman on 10,000 Reasons.  Do you know that song?  If not, please click on the name and enjoy it today.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Can We Talk Privately?

This past week kind of wore me out!  I know you can tell in my blog posts when I'm rushed....sorry about that.  Because I work at a surgical center, this is a very busy time of the year.  You see, people who have met their insurance deductibles throughout the year decide to have surgeries and procedures they've been putting off.  If they get those surgeries done before the end of the year, their insurance company picks up more of the bill.  That makes sense to me.

One of the procedures that people put off and put off and put off is a colonoscopy.  Who can blame them?!  Have you ever had a colonoscopy?  Do you wonder what it is like?  Do you prefer to NOT wonder about this subject and wish I'd not bring it up?  Too bad!  OK, if you are a young person (under 50) and aren't having any symptoms associated with your colon such as cramping, bleeding, diarrhea, etc. I will excuse you now...  UNLESS, you know and love someone who is 50 or older or experiencing any of those embarrassing symptoms.  If that is the case, buck up and read on because it could mean saving someone's life.  And just so you know, colon cancer can happen at a younger age.  I've cared for several colon cancer patients in their 30's, maybe even 20's, but it is much less likely at that age.  It is more likely after age 50 so that is why the recommendation is to start screening for it then.  However, if you have a family history of colon cancer, talk with your doctor about an earlier screening.

Colon cancer often begins as a little polyp on the inside wall of a colon (large intestine means the same thing as colon).  The little polyp is kind of on a stalk, like a mushroom or something.  Many polyps are not the cancerous type, or even precancerous, but some are.  When found early during a colonscopy the doctor just snips it out of there and, Ta Da, that often is all that is needed to cure a person's colon cancer.  It is done before they even wake up!  If left there, though, a cancerous polyp will eventually grow into a mass and invade the wall of the colon.  If still ignored it can grow through the wall and from there the cancer cells can travel and start trouble in other places in your body, such as your liver.  That is what it means for cancer to metastasize.  It means it has left the boundary of the original site.  Obviously, the earlier a cancer is found, the better chance for an easy cure.  The process of growing from a precancerous polyp to a cancerous mass can take several years, leaving a nice window of opportunity to stop it.  It would be foolish to miss that chance.

Back when the show, ER, was a hit I used to watch it and see all the dramatic things they did in the emergency department to save lives.  I was working in a GI Lab at the time, the place where colonoscopies were performed daily.  I complained to Mike that we saved lives every day but no one ever makes a hit TV show about that!

This is a topic about which I can give you some insight from both a patient and a nurse perspective.  In the past I had a job where I gave sedation to patients during their colonoscopies and I have also had several of my own.  I have dealt with Crohn's Disease as well as recurring Clostridium Difficile so I am no longer too squeamish when discussing colons and bowel habits.  I've also worked many years as a chemotherapy nurse so I know a lot about what it is like for people with colon cancer.  So, be brave and read on.

Anyone 50 or older should have a colon screening to check for colon cancer.  I know, I know... there are plenty of you thinking you'd rather just die from colon cancer than have this done.  People have actually told me that.  That is only because they are not aware of the misery of colon cancer.

The preparation for a colonoscopy is the worst part but at least you get to go through that in the privacy of your own home.  Different doctors prescribe various methods of cleaning out your colon.  None are fun.  They all involve depriving yourself of food for a day or two.  Additionally, you are required to drink a lot of clear liquids to flush yourself out.  I wish that were it.  It's not.  You also have to drink some salty tasting stuff that gives you potent diarrhea.  Trust me on this one.  You do NOT want to start drinking the stuff before you are safely tucked away in your own home the evening before your procedure.  If you have more than one bathroom in your home you may want to tell you family which one you will be using and ask them to use another.  It would be bad to be running to the bathroom only to find the door locked.  Last time I had a colonscopy I just took a book and a chair to the bathroom so that when the magic started I was close to my destination.  Be prepared, this phase of the joy can go on for hours with many bursts of activity (aka diarrhea).

By the time you report for your colonscopy you are feeling pretty dried up.  Your insides are likely quite pristine.  Your back door may feel raw.  The good news is that the worst of the process is now behind you (pun intended).  It's true, though.

You will have to get into a hospital type gown and yes, you have to leave your underwear off.  I get asked that question from time to time.  You will have an IV started on you.  No one really likes that but it won't be more than you can endure.  When you are taken to the procedure room you will be asked to lie on your left side.  It is nice if you have a blanket or sheet over you.  The nurse or anesthesiologist will administer lovely medication through your IV line.  I've had colonoscopies done where light sedation was given and at times I was a bit of aware of what was going on.  Usually now, though, it is done with a deeper sedation and you won't know a thing.  When the medication begins I kind of like the little whirly feeling but it is just a second or two and I'm asleep.

During your nap a scope will be threaded into your large intestine so the doctor can look around.  Air is infused through the scope to open up the colon.  You don't need to think about all that, though.  The next thing you will know is that someone is telling you it is over and time to wake up.  I really didn't like that part because I wanted to sleep more but there is time for that later.  Because there are different medications used, there are different waking up experiences.   Some types are out of your system pretty fast, for the most part.  Others kind of linger and you may not be really even remember how you got home.

Everybody needs to pass air after a colonoscopy. My mom didn't allow me to say fart so let's just say you are going to need to putt-putt, toot, whatever you want to call it.  Because you are all cleaned out still, it won't smell bad.  Let it go.  Although the doctor tries to get all the air out as he/she removes the scope, some is still left behind.  It's just air so don't be shy.

Be forewarned that any type of sedation or anesthesia leaves you a bit untrustworthy as your perception or memory may be a bit off.  For instance, someone I once helped afterward thought that a window was an aquarium for a bit.  After I had one of my colonoscopies I did a funny thing.  Mike brought me home and took care of me.  Neither of us knew, though, that while I was relaxing in the recliner and entertaining myself with the computer, I was up to no good.  The next day I read my e-mails and was surprised to see one telling me my shoes had been shipped from Zappos.  What shoes?  I followed the link and saw a pair of shoes that looked vaguely familiar but cost a lot more than I would normally spend on shoes.  Yep.  I'd ordered them while under the influence!  The worst part of the story is that I kept them.  Well, they were really cute!

I like to put a photograph in each post but I'm a little concerned about the photos coming to my mind for this post.  Maybe you could click here to see Katie Couric getting a colonoscopy while still awake.  Or click here to see a drawing of a colon so you know just what I'm talking about.  I think I'll just stick on another photo of me in a pair of scrubs.  Pretend I'm the nurse about to start your IV.  Don't worry; this will only hurt a little.

OK, so now go and make that appointment!  I won't argue with you that it is fun.  It's not really that much fun.  You might feel embarrassed and uncomfortable for a bit.  It is sooooo worth it, though.  Be brave and just get it done.  It is so much easier than later dealing with the regrets and the "if onlys".  Plus, you must might get a cute new pair of shoes out of the deal!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Mini Craft Sale

So, yesterday was crazy.
I woke up at 4:00 for no apparent reason.
I hate that.
I worked from 6ish until noonish.
I met the family for mall lunch.
I love that.
Mike and I visited some friends at the hospital. Get well, Allen!
I went to the bank.
I went home and slept for 10 minutes.
I went to see Maria, Elise and Cordy.
I love that.
I went back to work where we were having a little shopping get together with invited vendors right in the clinic lobby.
Wyoming Rose was one of the invited "stores".
That was fun.
Home by 8ish.
Sorted through crafts.

Today, up at 5ish for another early day at work.  Sorry.  I will try to write something more interesting tomorrow.

Here's a photo from our craft table last night.  Maybe if you have a photograph to look at you won't realize how short and sweet this post is.  No?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Why the Cross?

This is me getting ready for work Wednesday morning.

There are certain things I need to accomplish before I am ready to head out the door:

  • Secure my hair so I don't drop DNA on my patients.
  • Find my name tag from my purse so I don't have to write my name on a piece of tape (not classy).
  • Turn the sound off on my cell phone.
  • Load my pockets with a pen, my key used at work, my cell phone and maybe some lip gloss that I won't remember is in my pocket until I'm heading back home.  I have a weird little system of putting work things like the pen and key in my right pocket and my personal items in my left pocket.  
  • Choose a cross necklace for the day.
That last bullet point is very important to me.  I will give you an example of why.

Awhile back I entered a room to get a patient ready for a procedure.  I'd not met him before and knew only his name, his physician's name and what procedure he was to have that day.  Not long after I started filling out his paperwork with him he began telling me a lot of things about his past.  He had a criminal background, family troubles and a lot of other stories.  After quite awhile of talking he suddenly stopped and said, "Why am I telling you all this?  I never tell people anything about myself!"  I said some things to put him at ease.  He told me more things.  After starting his IV I had my hand on the doorknob when I turned and asked him if he'd like me to pray for him.  He just seemed so frightened and alone. He was eager for my prayer, so I prayed, leaving the room soon after the prayer.

Later, I peeked in to see how he was doing.  I was telling him that I don't always ask patients if they want me to say a prayer but that something told me he would appreciate it.  He then told me that he knew why I was prompted to pray for him.  He went on to say that before he came in for his procedure, he had a strong feeling that he was going to die that day.  After the prayer, he told me that feeling was gone.  Oh my!

My patient later told me he figured out why he told me his life story like he'd done.  He said it was because I was wearing a cross.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Recliner, My Crochet Hook and a Pile of Yarn

After working a full day yesterday I went shopping for groceries then zipped home to do a few chores, prepare food, etc.  I was rushing because I wanted to get some crocheting done!  Why is that so much fun for me?

Although Maria and I aren't real excited about doing any craft fairs in the near future, we were invited to bring Wyoming Rose Boutique Products to a little private sale later this week.  (For those of you local, it is at my place of employment at 5:30 are invited)  There will be other items there, not necessarily handmade.  It's just a pre-Christmas shopping kind of party with food and friends.

Anyway, I heard today that some people were coming JUST TO SEE OUR LITTLE KID HATS.  That would be great except we've sold most of them and only have a few on our website.  So, I interrupted my work on a pair of baby booties for Elise and set to work on a new project.

I spent my evening in my recliner, snuggled up with a pile of yarn...

And out of the mess I created this guy.  I think he is kind of cute.

I still had some time before I had to go to bed for today's early work start.  You guessed it!  I grabbed some more yarn!  It's addictive, people!  I can't help myself!

Have a great day and try to create something that makes you happy as well.  Let me know!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Too Sweet

These photos of Uncle Sam playing with Cordelia are so precious ... are going to need to eat something salty to counter balance all that sweetness.

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Confessions

Our daughter, Maria, has started occasionally doing a post on her Confessions.  It may not be what you are thinking, but it is fun to read.  In fact, take a second right now to click on the link above and read what she has to say.  

Today, Maria invited others to try confessing.  I've heard confessing is good for the soul so I decided to give it a go as well.

Actually, I'm remembering that I've done a post on Confessions of a Pastor's Wife.  You are welcome to click and read it as well.  It's not the same as Maria's Confessions post, though.  Her's have bullet points!  I love, love bullet points!

So, following the lead from Little Things are Big, here is my list for today:

  • I, too, have some double jointed toes.  I am also pedi-dexterous and I'm very proud to have passed those genetics on.  What this means is I often pick things up with my toes.  It is quite handy, really.  I hook my big toes together when relaxing.  This creeps Mike out, making it all the more satisfying.
  • I don't sing in the shower either.  I do sing and hum a lot of other times, though, often without realizing it.  I used to try to stop myself but then I asked, "Why?"  I hum at work all the time.
  • As a kid I once noticed a lady who had a tic that caused her to twitch her nose frequently (upward, not side to side like on Bewitched).  Apparently I was fascinated by it and tried it out a few times.  THEN, it became a bit of an uncontrollable habit for me!  Who knew that nose-twitching was habit-forming?  I am now cured but don't ask me to show you because I'm afraid I could backslide.
  • I love interesting teeth, but with the common use of braces now days, they are rare.  I have straight teeth, never needed braces.  I always admired people who had teeth with a bit of an overlap or maybe eye teeth that protruded just enough to give their lips an interesting shape.  Today's teeth bore me.
  • I love eating hotdogs cold, straight from the package.
  • I always wanted freckles but with my olive complexion I found it was not to be... until NOW!  I am developing freckles on my hands and I'm so happy!  (If you want to be my friend you will not say mean words like liver spots or age spots.)
  • I always wanted to be a redhead.  Again, it wasn't for me.  I was really proud, though, when Mike and I produced a redheaded child.
  • I am too proud of the fact that I can crochet like the wind.
  • Sometimes I crochet to avoid doing things I don't want to do, like cleaning the bathroom.
OK, That's 10 confessions!  I am exhausted but I think I do feel a bit better for having told you these things.  Want to try it?   If you are a blogger, try a Confessions post.  It would be nice if you linked it back to Maria's blog, Little Things are Big.  Hey, let's make it a blog hop!  Click below where it says Click Here to Enter and you can join the hop.

If you are not a blogger, you most certainly are invited to air out your soul by "commenting" your confessions right here and now.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Lord Shall Renew Their Strength

Isaiah 40:31

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; 

they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and 

not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (KJV)

May your strength and hope be renewed this day.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Week Behind Me

It was so warm this week!  We've had a lot of temperatures warm enough to be outside without a jacket.  For those of us who live in cold country, that has been an unexpected way to start November.

Bode was even chasing a wasp this week.  Just so you know, he's a Vizsla. Vizslas are hunting/retrieving dogs but since we don't hunt, Bode has honed his skills in a new direction. This dog doesn't seem to enjoy playing fetch but he does enjoy using his skills for insect-hunting.  It doesn't always work out that well for him (he's been stung) but he keeps trying.

Earlier this week I got to implement some other skills myself.  I got to be a hairdresser at work!  OK, I really don't have any training in that department but I did start cutting all my doll's hair at a very young age.  Sadly, their's never grew back.  This time, I was cutting some hair from the head of a patient preparing for a surgical procedure.  I learned a cultural tip regarding hair and Native Americans.  They were teaching me that they believe it should be returned to Mother Earth.  So, I carefully banded it before cutting.  The family members gathered around as I cut, taking charge of the hair in a respectful manner.  I then shaved the area and the patient was good to go.

I worked long, hard hours this week.  It was a busy, busy week at our surgical center and each night I came home pretty wiped out.  It was good, though.  I enjoyed my work and had interesting patients to care for.  I had several patients who's first language is Spanish.  Although most could also speak English, they allowed me to practice my Spanish on them as I prepared them for surgery.  It seemed to distract them from their worries as they helped me with my words and accent.  I am quite limited with what I know but because our class focused on phrases and words specific to nursing, I was able to say quite a few things.  It was fun!

One of the things I did when I wasn't at work this week, was shop.  My friend, Nicole, spearheads Operation Christmas Child at our church.  They send boxes around the globe to children in need.  The boxes contain an assortment of little gifts for these children, some of whom have never received a Christmas present.  Our youth group sent about 300 boxes last year and hope to send 500 this year! What a big goal, huh?  They offer a variety of ways we can do it, from packing our own boxes (they will provide them) ready to ship to donating money for them to purchase more things to put in the boxes.  We can also donate money to go toward the shipping costs.  If you click on the link above, you will find opportunities to pack-a-box online, without even going shopping.  It is a fun way to share the joy.  Do you have any special joy-sharing things you like to do for Christmas?

To start off this last day of the week I slept in!  Yay!  I was up before 7:00 a.m. but I still slept past the 4:30-5:00 a.m. alarm I need for work.  I REALLY hate it when I wake up at 4:30 on days I don't have to go to work!

 When I got up this morning I took this photo from our back door.  Apparently our reprieve from winter is over.  No worries.  I have my favorite coffee cup and I'm in my favorite chair.  Looking outside I see the street in front of our house is pure ice so it looks to be a great morning to pick up the crochet hook and watch some Netflix.  What are your plans for this day?

Friday, November 09, 2012

Just Leaf It Up To Us

As I drove home from work yesterday I remembered that today is the day our city will be picking up our bags of leaves.  That was good news because we had a lot of bags tucked in different places around our lot.   It was bad news because I'd had a 9 hour day of running and I was tired to the bone.  Our bags all needed to be hauled to the curb.  It needed to be done before dark.  Sam helped me, thank goodness, as it turned out that we had about 60 bags to haul!  That's a lot of leaves!

Other people on our street had their bags out as well.  A few had five or six bags.  The people across the street had two bags.  Our 60 looked pretty ridiculous.  We don't have more trees than everyone else but we live on the part of the block where the road curves.  It seems leaves come blowing down the street and they don't take that curve; they just settle at our place.  

Oh well.  That's how it goes.  Sometimes other people's problems land at our doorstep and become our's.  We can handle it.  We got the job done.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Last night was our final session of Spanish for Nursing.  My friend, Donna, and I felt sad as we walked away from it.  It was such fun!  We made some new friends, too.

Our instructor, Patricia, was delightful.  She told us a lot funny stories, mostly regarding the misuse of words.  She told us of a pastor visiting in Equador or Mexico or somewhere (I've forgotten that part).  He was introduced to a large crowd and received warm applause.  When he stood he meant to say that he felt embarrassed by the attention.  For embarrassed he used the word embarazada.  Unfortunately he told the crowd that HE was pregnant!

She warned us of some word usage that could confuse us.  For example, the word for constipation is constipado.  That seemed easy enough.  She warned us, though, that many Spanish-speaking people use constipado to describe nasal congestion!  It wouldn't be good if someone was trying to tell us they had sinus congestion and we tried to give an enema!

She also told us about the word, Papa.  Apparently she was teaching a prior group that Papa with a capital "P" stood for the pope.  The word, papa, meant father.  The word, papa` means potato.  When she taught that, someone said, "So the pope is a big potato?"

For our final class our instructor brought along a friend of her's who doesn't speak much English.  The friend had her 14 year old daughter and 5 year old daughter along.  Although the girls are bilingual, they were told to pretend they could not speak English.  We did nurse talk, trying to find out where they had pretend pain and such.  It was really funny and enjoyable.

I did have a little hispanic patient yesterday at work.  It felt good to be able to tell him to not be afraid, etc.  I don't think he was much impressed by me but it is ok as I impressed myself!

So, now the hard part... remembering what I learned!  I want to keep practicing.  I was afraid I was too old to learn a new language but it turns out I'm not.  Also, I've learned that I really like the Spanish language.  It sounds pretty to my ears.  I hope that I can find sensible ways to continue learning it.  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

I Just Can't Help Myself

I don't think the above photo has anything to do with this post.  However, I don't really know what this post is about so maybe it does.  Let me explain...

Sometimes I start a post on a certain topic but I don't finish it for one reason or another. Maybe I thought of something else I wanted to discuss or perhaps I just got bored with it and decided to come back to it when I was more enthused.  Those posts get saved as drafts and now and then I go back and finish finish my thoughts.

As I was just looking through some of those drafts I found one titled, "I Just Can't Help Myself" but I couldn't remember what it was about.  I clicked on it and as it turns out, it was a title only.  For the life of me, I can't think of what I had in mind when I wrote that title.

So, now I have a bright idea.  I happen to know that quite a few of my readers do not write their own blogs.  How do you feel about helping me with this post?  Are you feeling creative today?  I really could use some assistance.  So, use your imagination and make up a post to fit the title.  It can be a nonsense post, you could choose to go with humor or you could write something serious.  You can write it about yourself or you can write about what you think it is that I can't help myself over.  Just put it in the "comments" section below.  Come on; it could be fun!  You know your inner writer wants to do this.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Politics and Religion

In our country it has always been important to maintain the separation of church and state.  It is important to Americans that the government does not interfere with our freedom to practice our religion.  It is also important to us that any one religion not have the power to control our government.  I have never heard an American say that they want a government based religion.  I think the idea of separation of church and state is a value upheld by those of faith and those who deny a spiritual belief.

As it turns out, though, such an ideal is not always that easy to clarify.  I'll use an extreme example to more quickly get to my point.  What if a religious group believes in human sacrifice?  Clearly, our government would step in to uphold the laws of our nation.  I don't think many would disagree with that.  A more modern example would be rules and regulations regarding fire safety.  Another pastor's wife was recently telling me that their little congregation, having purchased an older church building, found they were required to spend $30,000 on a new sprinkler system in order to be allowed to worship in that building.  They may have preferred to spend that money to help a missionary or to buy new pews or something.  They did not have that choice.  They did not get to choose if they were willing to worship in a building without a working sprinkler system.  They were mandated to have a sprinkler system.  You see, church and state boundaries do cross.

Another example of the blurring of the lines between church and state regards marriage.  In our country's history we've seen the government step in to tell those of the Mormon religion that they can not practice polygamy, even though that was part of their religious belief.  Native Americans' beliefs regarding bald eagles conflicted with our government's protection of bald eagles.  Do you see what I mean?

Yesterday, I was asked if I believed that people should maintain separation of church and state when they vote.  The person went on to say that it was wrong for an individual to use their religious beliefs as the premise for how they place their vote.  I was kind of surprised by the question.  I was also in a hurry as I had patients waiting for me.  I don't really think it is always wise to discuss politics as work but I didn't want to just rudely blow her off.  My answer to her wasn't very well thought out but what I told her was that it is impossible for me to separate my beliefs from my vote.  How a person votes is totally based on their beliefs, religious or otherwise.

I thought about that quick little conversation off and on all day, and still this morning.  Separation of church and state is a very complicated and imperfect ideal.  I think it is an important ideal for our nation.  I think that in order to protect the rights of everyone, it is an ideal we must keep working to maintain.  I also think we need to realize there will be a blurring of those lines as well, such as the implementation of building codes, etc.

However, I don't think that it means we should not be allowed to draw upon our individual beliefs as we make our decision on how we vote.  That would be impossible!  Every day of our lives we are getting input from many sources such as family, co-workers, religious teachings and even the media.  All of that input can influence our values and beliefs.  To ask me to set aside my spiritual beliefs when I vote would be to ask me to go to the polls with no thoughts in my head.  I can't do it.  I am a whole person and I can't separate from myself.  Does that make sense?

Today, Americans have a chance to vote.  We have the right to vote as we wish on any candidate and any issue.  What goes on in our head, how we come to any decisions regarding our vote, is our own business.  With all the imperfections, with all the mess of democracy, with all the blurred lines, I am still grateful for the right to vote and the right to make my own decisions regarding that vote.

Monday, November 05, 2012

An Autumn Hayride for Snow White

Each Autumn friends from church invite the entire congregation to their farm for a hayride.  It is something the kids all really look forward to and the adults enjoy it as well.

This year the hayride wasn't on the usual wagon with hay bales.  It was a bit more uptown, having bench seats and everything.

We enjoyed entertainment from a real cowboy while we waited.  I like this photo.  Do you see the after-shine where the lasso had just been?  I thought that was cool.  I've no idea how that was captured but it no doubt has to do with my remarkable photography skills.  No?

For those of us who don't live on a farm, just seeing a horse close-up is a real treat.

These cows seemed a bit suspicious of me and were trying to get their babies closer to themselves.
I soon left as I didn't want to make them nervous.

Some of the kids enjoyed bobbing for apples.  I just thought they looked pretty.

We enjoyed our meal together, eating in one of their outbuildings.  It felt quite Western.

The best part for me, though, was the late arrival of Snow White.

After waiting and waiting and waiting for Halloween, Cordelia had been sick that day and missed out.  Her parents promised a Halloween II for her and last night was it.  They'd taken her trick-or-treating to a few prearranged homes before coming to the party.  She was so beautiful!  

For me, the thought of showing up at a party in a costume and discovering that everyone else was in regular clothes is rather a nightmare.  Not Cordelia, though.  She has great self-esteem and it did not bother her one little bit that she was the only one in costume.  I guess princesses are just used to standing out in a crowd.

Since she is a Wyoming Princess, adding a jean jacket to her gown seemed appropriate.

I loved this photo of my friend, Nicole, holding Elise.  Elise wasn't in the mood to wear her matching Snow White costume.  She carried off the casual princess look with class, though.

It was a peaceful and beautiful Wyoming evening. 

I wish everyone had a chance to experience this kind of evening in the middle of Wyoming.

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