Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Confessions of a Nurse

As I've said, I work at a surgical center. It is an outpatient facility, meaning patients usually go home after they recover a bit from their surgery. There are two phases of their recovery.

After patients have surgery they are taken immediately to the recovery room, now referred to as PACU (post anesthesia care unit). They remain there until they are awake, breathing safely on their own and stable enough to be moved to the post-recovery area. 

A lot of our patients are children who've had their tonsils out, ear tubes installed, hernias repaired, dental work requiring anesthesia and a variety of other surgeries. We also have many adult patients having their gallbladders removed, kidney stones resolved, plastic surgery, lap band placements, nasal surgeries, etc. 

I was assigned to the post recovery area yesterday and I did have a mixture of adults and children to recover. Usually patients are in a medical type of recliner while in post recovery. Most often when children are brought out from PACU we have one of the parents sit in the recliner and we place the child in their lap. Isn't that just the best place for a child to be when they are scared and/or hurting?

Anyway, that was rather a long build up to tell you about the dumb thing I did yesterday. 

I entered the room where a young boy was recovering in his mother's arms. I was preparing to take the boy's temperature and to go through the discharge paperwork. The boy's grandmother was in the room and I was talking with her while I was doing all this. Without even thinking, I used the temporal thermometer and swiped it across the forehead to take the temperature. The only problem was, I TOOK THE MOTHER'S TEMPERATURE! As I said to the mother, "That really gives you confidence in my highly professional assessment skills!" 

Then guess what happened!? Yep, I went over the edge. I laughed and laughed. It's not my fault, really. Remember, I suffer from the Genetic Laughter Seizure Syndrome

Eventually I pulled myself together, kind of. I still needed to go through the discharge instructions. I admit I had a couple more giggles slip out even then. Thank goodness both the mother and the grandmother were people who also enjoyed a good laugh.

Anyone else want to make any confessions of dumb mistakes they've made at work?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Power of Words

When our son, Ben, was a 6th grader, he became known for his love words. In fact, his teacher told us that he went to a big dictionary in their classroom and taught the other kids a word-a-day or something like that.  Yes, he was a quirky kid but what a good idea!

I like words. They have a lot of power. For example, say the word "lemon" a couple of times. Are you now thinking about a lemon, the sourness of it maybe? Are you remembering what it is like to suck on a lemon wedge? Is your mouth starting to get all slobbery wet? See! Words are powerful!

Some of the best words get overused and they tend to lose their power. "Awesome" is the one that comes to my mind. That was a great word and should have been used only when viewing the Teton Mountains or when talking about God. It kind of lost its power when it started being thrown about frivolously. OOoooh... frivolous is a good word! It refers to something of little importance, but it is a big word with strong letters.  Hmm.... interesting.

One of my favorite words in "integrity". It isn't particularly cool sounding but I like the meaning of it...

Definition of INTEGRITY (from Merriam-Webster online)

: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility
: an unimpaired condition : soundness

: the quality or state of being complete or undivided :completeness
Recently I heard a man say that he may not be the smartest guy but if anything, he was a man of integrity. It caught my attention because it is a word I don't hear much, but one I'd used on our boys. I told them both I wished for them to be men of integrity.  Although I don't remember using exactly that word, we expected the same from our daughter. One of my great joys is to see them all develop into adults with integrity.

If "awesome" is an overused word/concept, I'm thinking maybe "integrity" is an underused one in our world today. I'm not going to blab on about all the people we see on television who seem to be lacking integrity. You all know many examples, I'm sure. It is kind of depressing, isn't it?

Here's a challenge, though. Try to think of people you know who do have integrity. When I did that I realized that I do indeed know a lot of people who do the right thing, even when it is hard, people I know to speak truthfully, people who can admit when they've messed up. It made me feel good to realized that I am surrounded by people of integrity.

Isn't that awesome?!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Trading Spaces

Saturday morning Mike and I had coffee together. It is not often that we get to sit down for morning coffee together. Usually I am the problem, often leaving for work about 5:30 a.m. We were enjoying a leisurely moment, making plans and talking about a variety of subjects. It was nice.

As we were talking about our plans for a rare day with no obligations, I told Mike that I was planning to clean up the Rose Room. Funny Side Note:  I just looked up the post about naming my craft room. I had decided to go with Kate W.'s suggestion that I call it the Paisley Room. Somehow, over time, I find I often call it the Rose Room. I don't know when that change took place! It is the room where I do a lot of my creations for Wyoming Rose Boutique and where I also have a lot of leftover craft items from my Grandma Rose, so I guess that is how I started just saying the Rose Room. Paisley Rose sounds nice, though, doesn't it? Maybe I can combine the two names.

Anyway, no matter what you call the room, it had become a big mess of halfway completed projects, mounds of fabric and yarn for future projects, as well as miscellaneous items that had no other room to call home. It was time to overhaul. I wanted to go through each item, discarding, sorting and organizing as needed.

Mike then made a comment about moving his music room, full of, well, musical stuff. He'd been considering moving it upstairs. Well, we got the bright idea to switch rooms. So, we did!

First, we moved all of Mike's musical instruments, bookcases and other things out. They had nowhere to go yet, so his stuff ended up in the family room and living room. Then, we moved all my stuff down to his old space. It was not pretty.

I did not take time to do all that sorting, discarding and organizing I'd planned. We just picked up and hauled it down. What I am showing you in the photo above is only the tip of the iceberg.

Once the old Rose Room was empty, we began collecting his stuff from around the house and moved it in. We must have gone up and down our stairs a hundred times. Well, maybe not a hundred but it was enough to exhaust me.

By the time we had everything in its new home, we'd pretty much used up the entire day! It was kind of fun, though. It was a bit like moving but we didn't have to forward our mail or anything. We've lived in this house over 9 years. That is a personal record for me but it is also likely why I've accumulated so much.  Maybe the gypsy in me is what enjoyed the weird trading spaces day.

Now, I can start organizing, sorting and discarding. THEN, I am going to get back to the business of being creative!  I can't wait!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

He is With Us

He Is With Us

Love & The Outcome

Remember when
Your hope is lost and faith is shaken
Remember when
You wonder if you're gonna make it
There's a hand stretched out
Through your deepest doubt

We can't pretend
To see the ending or what's coming up ahead
Don't know the story of tomorrow
But we can stay close
To the One who knows

We can trust our God
He knows what He's doing
Though it might hurt now
We won't be ruined
It might seem there's an ocean in between
But He's holding onto you and me
And He's never gonna leave, no
He is with us, He is with us, always, always
He is with us, He is with us, always

We believe
There is purpose, there is meaning
In everything
We surrender to His leading
He wants nothing more
Than to have us close


Our faith is sealed
Our hope is real
Come what may
We're not afraid

We can trust our God, always, always
We can trust our God, always, always


He is with us, He is with us, always, always
He is with us, He is with us, always
Our God is with us

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Diets and Worms and Protestors

I think it is time for a little history lesson about Protestantism. I am not doing this post just so I can show this photo but it is a cool one, don't you think? I took it awhile back of a Lutheran Church in Melville, Montana. I would like to take credit for capturing the cool shadow on the roof but truthfully, I was not even aware of it until later. My sister-in-law, Sue, noticed it when I was showing her some of my photos.


In the beginning of the 1500's Christians were all of one flavor. They were all Catholics. Today, a Christian is either a Catholic or a Protestant. Martin Luther is kind of like the Father of Protestants. He didn't mean to be that but he is. He was a Catholic Priest at a time when some leaders within the Catholic Church were doing things that he thought were outside God's will for us. The Catholic Church and the political leaders of that time were wrapped up together with pretty strong control over the lives of the people.

Enter Martin Luther. He wanted to make some changes in the church. There were others who didn't want those changes to happen. That led to a lot of drama! Luther had death threats and narrow escapes. There were princes and knights involved in the story. In the midst of all that, Luther had some strong supporters.

Eventually it became important to write down what this new group of Christians really believed. Remember that the Catholic Church and the Government were kind of one and the same and they didn't take kindly to these people that wanted the changes, people referred to as Lutherans.

There was a diet of Worms involved. OK, maybe that wasn't quite right the way I said that. A diet meant a meeting or a conference and one happened with the Holy Roman Emperor in the town of Worms, Germany. It was a VERY big deal.

The following is something my husband, Pastor Mike, wrote in a recent church newsletter.

Last month I wrote about the reading of the Augsburg Confession before the Holy Roman Emperor in 1530. The Augsburg Confession is “the” foundational document of the Lutheran church. The first German ruler to sign the Augsburg Confession was a prince who would be known as John “the Steadfast.”

John was born in 1468. His family was part of the aristocracy and so John received a formal education and training as a knight. He was involved in battles against the Ottoman Turks who were trying to overthrow Europe.

John read the writings of a German monk called Martin Luther. He became a supporter of Luther and encouraged his brother Fredrick “the Wise,” elector of Saxony, to defend and protect Luther when he made his famous stand before the Holy Roman Emperor in Worms, Germany in 1521.

In 1525, Fredrick “the Wise” died, and his brother John “the Steadfast” became the next elector of Saxony. This was the second most powerful position in the Holy Roman Empire behind the Emperor. In 1529, at the 2nd Diet of Speyer, Lutheranism was outlawed. John “the Steadfast”, along with other German princes, “protested” against this decision and so they became known as the first “Protestants.”

John “the Steadfast” was a brave ruler who insisted that the Gospel should be preached in its purity without human additions. John was a layperson, not a theologian, but he defended the truth of the Gospel. He is a reminder to all Lutherans that the Christian church will not survive without faithful laypeople who are willing to confess and defend the Christian faith.

That was kind of interesting, don't you think? Although I've been a Protestant my entire life, I don't know that I ever knew from where that name came. No I know and so do you.

Now, I'm thinking what my name would be.  Susan the ________?  I really like steadfast but I don't want to be a copycat.  I think I will go with Susan the Faithful? Susan the Loyal? What about you? What would your name be?

Friday, July 26, 2013

A New Camera - AGAIN!

My view of the world, at least for photographs, has changed. I just purchased an upgrade. Apparently that is how it goes with cameras. You get one. You see one that works better. You upgrade. This new (to me) camera actually belonged to our daughter and her husband, Maria and Eric. It is the one responsible for all those great photos at Little Things are Big. It is possible that their talents as photographers had something to do with it. Anyway, they needed to upgrade for some professional photographs Eric takes.

For camera people, this new one is a Canon Rebel XSi and I really don't expect to ever need to upgrade again. I just need to use it!! When I went to pick up the camera, I learned its name is Charlemagne...I think that was it. Maria? Are you reading? Did I remember the name correctly?

Anyway, Cordelia was witnessing the passing of the camera. She knew exactly what I needed to first photograph! She took be to her "tower". So, I now present my first Charlemagne (?) photo...

It was a delightful tower but I decided to do a series of Cordelia Photos.
 I need some practice but these turned out pretty nice I think.

I love that sweet little face! That morning she also brought me a rock, telling me to keep it because it was to show how much she loved  me. Later, while shopping, she told me she didn't need any toys, she just needed me.  All together now, "AAAAAAAAHHHHH..."

I'm telling you, this grandmother thing is the best!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Secret Tunnel

While it is not exactly a Secret Garden, our secret tunnel is pretty cool. While it isn't really a secret, there are a lot of local people who are unaware of its existence.

The surgical center where I work is across the street from the hospital. This cool tunnel runs under our parking lot, the street and a parking garage, connecting the two healthcare facilities. It is not just one straight tunnel. It has a few turns along the way. 

As it gets close to the hospital, there are walls with pictures painted by children. The colorful walls have been there for years. Sadly, I don't remember the story of who the children were that were allowed down there for the painting event.

It sure brightens things up!

Patients needing to go from one facility to the other can be wheeled through this tunnel but generally the public is not allowed access to it.

There are some old hospital beds stored down there.
There are a lot of big pipes as well.

Often, after working a long day at the surgical center,
I get to go through the tunnel to deliver paperwork to the hospital.

Oddly, it is one of my favorite parts of my job.

Now, you are in on the secret.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Baby Dragon, a Wethead and an Introvert

It turns out I wasn't quite done documenting Sam's 20th birthday.

I have told you before how miserable I am when it comes to baking cakes. If you have forgotten or just want to feel better about your own skills, click here and  here.  Really, I bake them fine, I just make a mess of them when I am removing them from their pan or try to frost them. Why in the world did I not always just make cupcakes? Problem solved. Of course that first link above will also take you to the crock pot cake recipe, which,  in my humble opinion, is the BEST CAKE EVER!  Yes, EVER.

The dumb thing about Sam's birthday dinner is that he doesn't really have much of a sweet tooth and didn't even care if there was cake. He had mentioned the day before that he wanted me to put a candle in a burrito for him. I provided the burritos for him and then I FORGOT to put a candle in it for him. It is possible that I won't be winning any MOM OF THE YEAR awards.

One of my favorite things at Sam's birthday gathering was watching Cordelia getting excited about the present she had chosen for Sam. She got him a figurine of a dragon emerging from an egg. She was so delighted with her choice and was certain Sam would love it.  Guess what!? He did! 

Elise did not really seem to care about Sam's presents. She did enjoy having her mother squirt her head with water.  Did I mention it was quite hot?

Funny little girl....
Actually, kind of a funny little mother, huh?

I have known and loved quite a few introverts in my life. I even produced one. I think Sam is still a little mad at me for taking him to preschool when he was three years old. He was really more of a one-friend-at-a-time kind of kid. He was always pretty comfortable playing on his own as well.

Anyway, Maria and Eric had a great t-shirt made for him. It was perfect and it made us laugh.

OK, I think I am done now.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Family Time Caught on Camera

We had a lot going on this past week-end... lots of family time!  We were entertained by Elise and Cordy, played Bongo Ball, toured an art museum, ate too much, saw our first Roller Derby event, played at the river and more! Here, why don't I just show you...

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Teen No More!

Our first child, Maria, became a teenager in 1994. That was 19 years ago! I think we had a year when our kids were 12, 20 and 24 but I think we have parented a teenager for 18 of the last 19 years. Yikes! We should be getting some kind of award, don't you think?

Anyway, today is Sam's birthday! I can't believe it has been 20 years since we welcomed him into our family. He has actually been a very sweet and easy child to raise. His good nature is why I feel he will still love me even if I show you this photo...

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!
Oh wait, I shouldn't use that term here as it may embarrass you.
Happy Birthday Samuelton!
Happy Birthday Sammer? 
Sammy Boy?
I suppose that is embarrassing as well.
OK, OK...

Happy Birthday Sam!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Yay! My Poster Has Been Flipped!

Years ago our son, Ben, started a weird tradition. He came home from college or somewhere (I really don't remember when this started) and found I had framed a couple of posters for the bathroom. One was hung on the wall and one was propped on the back of the toilet. I think I'd had it hung on the wall as well but the tab deal on the back, meant for hanging, was too weak to stay put. Instead of fixing the problem, I worked around it and just set the poster up. I likely thought it looked artsy that way.

For reasons beyond my understanding, Ben turned the poster around. He left it that way. I came in and righted the situation. He again turned it around. It was weirdly funny. It became a tradition, then, something he did every time he came home to visit. It was odd enough to be charming. 

This morning I got up and found this... Yep, my poster is flipped! Our son and daughter-in-law are here to visit. We have all of our children in one town! I am soooo happy!

One time when I was anticipating an upcoming visit from Ben, I left him a little note. It remains on the back of that poster, faded but still readable, "I love you Benj."

Do you and your's have any crazy little family traditions?

Friday, July 19, 2013

From Our Front Window

It has been a bit challenging to get home lately.

Once home, I am inclined to stay put.

It is kind of noisy, though.

And our house vibrates with the pounding equipment (I have no idea what to call any of those things rolling around out there).

It feels like we're having a series of earthquakes.


The dishes in the cupboard rattle like crazy!

There are lots of people around and I worry a bit about them working out in the heat.

But mostly...

I am just glad it isn't fire trucks I'm seeing out the window this time.

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