Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Confessions of a Nurse

I think I have already made it pretty clear that sometimes I say things in an inappropriate way. It is a gift, really.

Recently, while at work, I did it yet again. Have you ever seen these funny little blue booties? We have to wear them over our shoes at work when we go back to the OR area. All of our patients have to wear them when they go back to the OR area as well. 

The problem with these dumb blue booties is they come kind of wadded up and people have a real hard time even finding the hole where their foot enters. Several times a day I find a patient struggling with them and I do the shoe salesman thing, squat down and put them on for them. I was doing just that one day when the patient made some comment about how easy I made it look. 




I chuckle and say, "Yep. I'm a highly skilled professional. That's what I went to college for, to learn how to work the booty."

Yep. That is what came out of my mouth. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

What Kind of Blog is This, Anyway?!

Admit it, that question crossed your mind, didn't it?

Perhaps you first came upon my blog when you were looking for a quick but delicious cookie recipe. The next time you stopped by you maybe happened upon one of my Movie Reviews.

Sometimes I'm talking about matters of faith or even featuring one of my husband's sermons,  but the next thing you know I'm telling you to get a colonoscopy.  I may be confessing dumb things or doing the world's worst tutorial. I've posted on things from birth to death. I post everyday but you really can't count on a particular theme from me on any given day.

When I look around at other blogs I find some that have cooking themes, some devoted totally to crocheting, others that are all about spirituality. There are people who seem to have an endless supply of tutorials, recipes, etc. I follow some of those blogs. They are kind of cool. Mine, though, just isn't like that.

For awhile, I worried about this. I thought I should pick a theme and go with it. I never settled into it, though. I just kept flitting around from topic to topic. When people ask me what my blog is about, I don't really know what to say.

I guess my blog is just about life. Sometimes life is routine, sometimes it is extraordinary. Sometimes the routine IS extraordinary.  Those are the best days!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Good to Be Alive

 Good To Be Alive

Jason Gray

from the album A Way To See In The Dark

Hold on 
Is this really the life I am living
‘Cause I don't feel like I deserve it
Every day that I wake and every breath that I take You've given
Right here, right now
While the sun is shining down

I wanna live like there's no tomorrow
Love like I'm on borrowed time
It's good to be alive

Hold on 
If the life that we've been given
Is made beautiful in the living
And the joy that we get brings joy to the heart of the giver
Then right here, right now
This is the song I'm singing out

I wanna live like there's no tomorrow
Love like I'm on borrowed time
It's good to be alive
I wanna live like there's no tomorrow
Love like I'm on borrowed time
It's good to be alive

I won't take it for granted
I won't waste another second 
All I want is to give You
A life well lived to say, “Thank You”

I wanna live like there's no tomorrow
Love like I'm on borrowed time
It's good to be alive
I wanna live like there's no tomorrow
Love like I'm on borrowed time
It's good to be alive

I won't take it for granted
I won't waste another second 
All I want is to give You
A life well lived to say, “Thank You”

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Fresh New Art

Our daughter, Maria, has been doing more and more commissioned paintings. 
She's very good and she's very busy, but we were lucky enough 
to be gifted with a recent painting ourselves. 
It's not just any old painting.
This one was personalized just for us!

We LOVE it! 
Some of you will recognize it as the farm where Mike grew up. 
Mike and I lived there 4 years after we were married as well. In fact, that was Maria's first home. 

Maria painted this using a photo I took a couple of years ago. That girl has some talent!

Thank-you, Maria! What a precious gift!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Tears in the Darkness

I want to tell you about Ben Steele... again.  Ben is the father of one of our friends. I met him a time or two but I have to say, at the time, I really had no idea who or what he was. Truthfully, I didn't really ponder him much at all. He was an older gentleman who seemed nice enough. I had heard he was an artist. Mostly, though, he was just Rosemarie's Dad and I didn't ask many questions about his life. It is a good lesson to me. No one is a blank canvas. Everyone has a story worth telling. Ben got a chance to do just that.

Ben was a Montana boy who went off to war during WWII, ending up in the Philippines. He just wanted to serve his country and get back to being a cowboy in Montana. His life took a very awful detour! Ben ended up among those Americans captured. He endured the Bataan Death March. He survived a horrible sailing to Japan, where he was held as a P.O.W. He was close enough to Hiroshima to hear the explosion when the bomb dropped!

Ben Steele is the key character in the book Tears in the Darkness, written by Michael and Elizabeth Norman.  It is one of the most difficult books to read. Don't get me wrong, it is well written. The problem is, it is brutally honest. The things Ben and the thousands of other Americans and Filipinos endured are so horrible, I could not have imagined it worse.

Ben Steele saw such atrocities! He suffered disease, injury and near starvation. Even as I type these words I know that I am not giving you a good picture of what happened to him. It is so horrifying, I can't quite bring myself to tell you more.

A few years back Mike's Mom gave us the gift of a trip to Oahu. Our first day there we toured Pearl Harbor and learned more about the horrors of war that had occurred in that beautiful place. Somehow I felt that I didn't have the right to enjoy Hawaii until I'd suffered through some of that. I guess that is kind of how I feel about this book. I felt it was important that I finish it; that I try to understand what this kind art instructor from Montana had endured in his youth.

It is a hard experience, even to just read about. I just looked back at my old posts and one year ago I talked of this book, even though I'd not yet finished it. Honestly, after that, I had to put it aside for awhile. Only recently did I bring it out to finish. I do recommend this book, but not for the horrible stories so much as the bright spots that shined out, even during the worst times.  It is incredible to read about the courage those men had. Many risked their own lives to help each other. Mostly, though, I was so impressed by the unbelievable endurance shown by men such as Ben Steele.

The best part, to me, was the place of peace and forgiveness that Ben Steele eventually managed to settle in. After reading all that he went through, all that he saw, it is hard to understand how he finally came to let go of the anger and hatred. It's all there in the book, though.

From the point of historical value, this book really gives more depth to what you may have learned in a classroom about that period in time. I learned so much! Anyone who values historical perspective will find value in this book.

As I prepared this post, I found a wonderful site where you can hear Ben Steele himself tell part of his story to the couple who authored the book. It may take a couple of seconds to load up but I hope you will take the time to listen. Ben Steele also documented many of his experiences through his art. He's a gifted artist and his work is sprinkled throughout the book.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Power to Influence

Not long ago I made a minor mistake. I apologized. What I received for my apology was a single sentence that was thought out and constructed to make me feel small in front of others. It wasn't any big deal. I didn't let his opinion define me as he doesn't even know me. I admit that I did let his words float around in my head the rest of the day and they had the power to bring me down a bit. I still don't know exactly how to control those kind of thoughts but by the end of the day I had pretty much wrestled that one to the ground.

I have attended enough communication and relationship workshops to know that no one but myself is responsible for how I feel. Others can try to demean me or lift me up, but the ultimate responsibility for my feelings is me. Yea, yea, yea.... I know that. But, like most people, I allow the words of others to affect how I feel about myself, at least for the moment.

By contrast, I have so many friends and family that make me feel valued. Again, I know that only I am responsible for my feelings but they make it so much easier for me to feel good about myself! That's what I want to do for others as well. I want to make it easier for people in my day to feel good about themselves.

I don't want to pass out empty compliments but I do want to notice people more. Sometimes that may be what they need the most, just to be noticed. I'm going to try harder this week to do that. If someone bags my groceries with good care, I want to thank them and let them know that I noticed. If a patient is showing courage in the face of great fear, I want to commend them. Perhaps they haven't attended all those relationship workshops and they will allow me to influence how they feel. If so, I'd better use that power wisely and use it for good.

How about you? Do you have stories of times someone's words helped you feel better about yourself?

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, 

people will forget what you did, but people will never 

forget how you made them feel.” 

― Maya Angelou

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I Did It Again!

What is wrong with me?!

 Years ago, while speaking on the phone with a hotel desk clerk, I was enjoying listening to her fancy British accent. We were in New Mexico so her British accent was rather unexpected. The problem is, I am a chameleon when it comes to accents, picking up the accent of those around me. Usually I can keep it in my head but sometimes it slips out. That's what happened with her. The last sentence I said to her came out in a British accent.... likely not a very good one! I'm sure she thought I was making fun of her but it wasn't intentional. Apparently I can not help myself!

(Photo of Big Ben by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee, .from 

Recently I was waiting in line at Hobby Lobby. I was listening to the clerk speak with the customer in front of me. The clerk had a sweet southern accent that just wrapped itself around me. When it was my turn to check out she asked me if I'd found everyting. I responded with something like, "Yes, thank-you. I sure did." That seems appropriate, right? Well, the problem is, it came out in an accent from the deep south.  I am not from the deep south. The clerk didn't seem to notice anything because of course she did not know my normal accent. Well, then I had a real predicament. If I spoke normally, she might think I had been making fun of her. If I continued in a southern accent on purpose it would be deceptive and likely not good enough to fool her anyway. So, for the rest of the conversation I just tried to be as non-verbal as possible, answering with smiles and nods. I didn't know what else to do! 

Have any of you ever done something like this? I would sure feel better if you could tell me I'm not alone in this weirdness.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Commercial Break

Mother's day is coming up and we have just put a bunch of new items up on Wyoming Rose Boutique!

Stay tuned for your regularly scheduled blog...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Yesterday Bits

Yesterday started out quite cold and with lots of snow piled everywhere. We had so much snow, Walmart disappeared! Well, perhaps it is just a matter of perspective. Also, notice that the snow packed and icy road is all melted.

As the melting continued, it became a great day for icicles. 
All of these were gone a few hours after this photo was taken.

I enjoyed a lot of family time as we celebrated Maria's birthday.
Yes, I know you shouldn't cut the cake before the candles are blown out...
unless your dog happened to reach it and leave a nose mark in the corner.
That figures. Really, I just have bad cake luck.
And in this case, a bad dog!

I didn't even try to get the cake out of the pan. 
It is just better that way. If you don't know my cake decorating history,
please click here.

Cordelia was invited to help her Momma blow out candles.

It was a lovely day!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Beautiful Daughter!



Her loveliness goes way beyond what you can see in this photo, though, because it shines outward from her heart. She has such a determined sense of kindness and caring, she brightens this world! She is known for her artistic eye and creative talent. She teaches and shares her skills with others, pointing them toward their full potential as well.

To watch her mother her two little girls is pure joy for me. She mothers with a wonderful mixture of wisdom and gentleness. Her sweet girls are lucky children to have such a mother.

I will always be grateful that I was given the gift of mothering her.

I am so proud of our daughter, and today is her birthday!

Happy Birthday, Maria! I love you so much!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Don't Mean to Be Rude...

Dear Winter,

I think you may have misunderstood me.

Yes, I am grateful for all the moisture you gave us recently.

But really...

You could step aside now.

Give Spring a chance. 

It's the honorable thing to do. You've had your turn.

You've done your job.

But you are getting to be a bit annoying.
What if I wanted to sit down on a nice bench and listen to the birds?

I don't mean to be rude but I'd like some gentle Spring rain now, instead of snow. 
Don't take it personally.
Your snow is beautiful.
I like rain, too, though.
I don't have to scrape it off my windows.

You are welcome to come back after next Fall... but don't rush it.

Your's truly,

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spirit of Selflessness

“It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” 

― Anne FrankThe Diary of a Young Girl

As I looked at some of the images from Boston yesterday, I noticed something that I think is important. In image after image I saw people helping each other, risking their own lives rather than running away. I think it is important to focus on that fact. Whether it was a group or a single person responsible for this evil, there were so many other people behaving with kindness and caring, showing goodness and a spirit of selflessness.  I'm holding on to that. I need to look for the light in the darkness.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Mike and I went out to hear a movie last night. Yep, that is right. We went and HEARD a movie. Actually, we saw the first half hour or so of it. Then, the emergency flood lights blinked on and then off again, followed by darkness except for the little tiny runway lights that light the stairs. The picture was gone but for some reason the sound continued.

I quickly thought the worst, that something bad was about to happen. I shouldn't admit it but I was kind of glad we were seated near the emergency exit as I was already planning an escape. Nothing bad happened, though. They turned on some lights that shone on the blank screen and the movie sound kept going. So, we stayed and continued to listen, despite the technical difficulties.

A lot of people went in and out, one guy right behind us started talking on his phone. I gave him a look and he got up and walked out, still talking. I think we stayed and listened for maybe 20-30 minutes more. We could still tell what was going on and it was a good movie. I kept hoping the screen would light up again but it didn't.

Eventually, even the sound was turned off. We found out that a power surge had caused all the theaters there (8 of them) to lose their pictures. They had managed to restart half of them but they were giving us rain checks for our's.

So, here's my review on the movie we heard...

The movie was 42 and it is a sports movie about Jackie Robinson. Well, it was a baseball movie but it really wasn't about the baseball. It was about the first black player given the chance to play in the previously all white professional baseball league. It was not an easy thing that he did; it was a dangerous situation. It is so hard for me to realize the hatred and stupidity he had to face.

This movie isn't all about difficulty and angst. There is also some romance as he proposed and married his beautiful wife, Rachel, early in the movie. It is about family as well. When their son was born he pledges to be a better father than his own had been.

I have to admit I never really thought of a baseball player as having such an important role in our country's history. I do, though! I think racism is one of the ugliest things this world has slung out there. I don't think it was Jackie Robinson's plan in the beginning but I do think he used his athletic talents in a way that led to some very big, very positive changes. Click here if you want to read more about him.

I give a score of 4 (out of 5) for this movie. It is pleasant, informative and exciting... as far as I could tell. I only hope I get to see it someday!

Then, here's a funny thing that happened AFTER the movie. We came home and I turned on SWITCHED AT BIRTH on Netflix. I've been watching it on and off for awhile. Quite a few of the characters in this show are deaf and use American Sign Language. Well, I started the episode and they made a little announcement that for that episode only, they would not use sound. The entire episode would all be in American Sign Language! I just thought it was ironic that I came home to watch silent television after attending a movie with ONLY sound. Irony, I guess.

Well, have a lovely Monday. I hope your week starts off well.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Wyoming in the Spotlight

Last night, a little after 7:00 p.m., I glanced out the window and everything looked kind of lit up. I went out on the deck and could see that it was raining, but in between the rain clouds there was bright sunshine peeking through. It was hitting the tops of the trees about a block over. These photos don't really do it justice but you can kind of see how they were being spotlighted.

Then, I looked to one side and I saw part of a rainbow through the trees. Can you see it? It wasn't there very long but it was just so unexpected. Remember, we were buried in snow earlier this week. It was like a gift and it seemed to color the whole sky.

When I looked the other direction I was treated with beautiful lighting on the mountain. It was so bright and crisp! Moments after I took this photo the clouds moved and the scene dulled. I felt so grateful for that I'd walked out onto our deck, in the rain, at just the right time to enjoy show.

"For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land." (Psalm 95:3-5)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Happy Birthday Pastor Mike!

It's Mike's birthday!  Yay! I'm so glad he was born!  A big THANK-YOU to my mother-in-law, Carol. I celebrate you today as well!

A funny thing happened at work yesterday. Apparently, a lady from our church sent in birthday wishes to our local station. They announce it during their early morning show. Her message was very specifically to Pastor Mike, not just any Mike. It was from Susie. One of my co-workers saw it and, thinking it was from me, was talking about how sweet it was. (In case you don't know me, my name is Susan but I am also called Sue or Susie.) When I told her it wasn't me, she got kind of embarrassed and apologized for bringing it up. I told her it was all ok. The truth is, it IS from another woman and she DOES love my husband, but I don't mind.

Susie is a woman who is very precious. She doesn't have Down's Syndrome but she's dealt with similar challenges. After Mike first came to this congregation for an interview the congregation took a vote to see if they felt he was the one to be their pastor, Susie's was the only dissenting vote. You see, the previous pastor had a Down's Syndrome sister who was Susie's best friend. She thought if she voted against Mike, maybe that pastor would return, bringing her best friend back. Doesn't that just kind of break your heart?

Anyway, Mike learned this story and when we moved here, he took special care to treat Susie tenderly. Isn't he a sweet guy? She soon loved him. Now, at the end of any church service, she hustles to the fellowship hall and selects some cookies for him. She brings them out to him while he is still shaking hands with people at the sanctuary door. She does this so that he won't miss out on the good cookies. How adorable is that?

So you see, I wasn't jealous even though I know Susie loves Mike. I think he loves her as well. I would never want to interfere with such a sweet relationship.

That story may help you understand what a great husband I have. He notices people who may otherwise get overlooked. He's good at that. He knows how to make Susie laugh and how to make her feel valued. I love that about him!

Mike also has a very mean side to him, though. Yep, I'm telling you it's true. It's a very dark side not seen by many. You see, I am 8 weeks older than is he. Each year, those 8 weeks are just miserable. He's cruel with the old age jokes! This year his theme has been all about taking me out for a meal where I can order off the senior menu. Isn't that rude?! So, yes, he's good and kind to a lot of people, but don't you feel bad for me and for all I put up with? Anyway, I'm so happy it is finally his birthday so I don't have to be older than him anymore...until next February.

Happy Birthday, Pastor Mike!

To read Maria's birthday wishes to her Dad, click here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Innie or Outie?

Which applies to you? Wait! Please, don't tell me about your belly buttons. I don't really want to know that. I want to know if you are an introvert or an extrovert.

Mike and I are opposites here. I am an extrovert, although not a very strong one. He is an introvert...a VERY strong introvert.  Weird, huh? He's a pastor! Who would have thought? I think most people would expect that a pastor would have to be an extrovert. They work with people all the time, they speak in front of crowds and they rarely have time to themselves. Well, Mike is a good pastor and he is an introvert. Labels don't define us now, do they?

Sometimes people think of introverts as being very shy. I wouldn't call Mike shy. One description  that helped me understand this was that  an extrovert gets energized by being around people and an introvert gets energized more by spending time alone. An introvert can spend time with others and even enjoy it, but they need to be alone to kind of fill up their gas tanks. That basic idea comes from the book Please Understand Me, which uses the Myers-Briggs Personality Test. We've had lots of family members take this test. It is certainly a great conversation starter! It goes way beyond introverts and extroverts.

Another book I would recommend if you are interested in learning more about introverts is this one...

This book theorizes that our society values an extrovert over an introvert. I think that is probably true. However, it goes on to tell why we need introverts in this world. Their ability toward introspection and observation can lead to a lot of great things. I love that Mike is an introvert and I think I always have. When an introvert opens up and shares their thoughts with you, it is pretty wonderful.

One of the lessons in the book was to encourage introverts to be sure to carve out their much needed alone time. Remember, that is how they are energized. That was quite a shock to me early in our marriage as Mike needed that alone time more than I did.  Now, I've come to value it myself even though I am technically an extrovert. See, we can learn from each other! We need each other.

I leave you today with this quote from Hermann Hesse. I just really liked it.

"Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary 
to which you can retreat any time and 
be yourself."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Walda, My Apologies!

Yesterday morning I left our house about 5:30 a.m. It was dark. It was cold! The roads were snow-packed and icy. In fact, the Interstate heading into town was closed because it was too treacherous.  My sweet husband let me take his vehicle truck (he likes us to call it a truck although it is a petite small SUV) because it has 4-wheel drive and my car does not. I was very grateful. There were some really high piles of snow and I was afraid I would get high-centered. Isn't he a great guy?

Anyhoo... when I came home last evening the sky was bright and everything was wet. I enjoyed watching cars spraying high walls of water on each other. It looked so cool! There was water everywhere! It was a different world than I'd seen at 5:30 a.m.  Since we are in a drought, I felt gratitude for all the moisture!  That is when I realized I owed Walda an apology. I treated her as an unwelcome guest when she was just bringing us water, fresh water! Sorry, Walda! My apologies for not giving you more respect when you were here.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Walda, You've Worn Out Your Welcome!

These photos were taken when I returned home from work last night. 

I had been working indoors for 11 hours, spending the afternoon in a windowless room. 
I had thought Walda was supposed to have moved on by then but it was still snowing!

The roads were getting treacherous and the sky still looked heavy. 
I thought our mailbox looked kind of cool, though.

You people who live East of Wyoming... look out!
Walda is a troublesome guest and she's heading your way.
I won't be sad to see her go.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Be My Guest!

My friend, Nicole, gave me a great idea!  I get to write a post everyday here. Not everyone wants to have their own blog but maybe sometimes you feel the thoughts and words bubbling out with nowhere to go. Well...I am offering you a chance to write a guest post here on my blog.

There will be rules...
1.     Nothing offensive.  Of course it is hard to know what might be offensive, Since it is my blog, I would make the ultimate determination. Yep, kind of like I'm the queen.
2.     I get to make grammatical/spelling corrections. I know, I make plenty of my own mistakes. If I notice them in a guest post, though, it will bug me and I will have to fix it.
3.     I can make up more rules on a whim. It's hard to know what rules I might need.
4.     I will decline any posts that I don't want to feature on my blog. I'd be nice about it but if your post seems wrong for my audience, I will let you know.

So, Nicole? Anyone? If you have some thoughts to share, write them out and e-mail them to me at onlythemanager@yahoo.com. Send photos as attachments if you'd like. Tell me a bit about yourself if you wish for me to do any kind of introduction.

The invitation is open indefinitely! Here's your chance!

Monday, April 08, 2013

Monday Morning

One of my favorite things about Monday morning is looking at the photographs I took on Sunday night of our granddaughters. It is my obligation and duty to share them here, so their other grandmothers get a peek at them as well... that's my excuse anyway.

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My Life as a Travel Agent

On a recent morning I was at work and as one of my patients was waiting for his death, I thought again about an idea that keeps popping int...