Saturday, November 30, 2013


Ephesians 4:31-32
English Standard Version (ESV)
31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

(In case you can't tell, I used this photo to represent BITTER cold.)

 If I said the word "bitterness" to you, what comes to mind?  A food? Maybe a person? Have you ever talked with someone and found yourself thinking they were very bitter? I've experienced that from time to time. Sometimes I meet someone and within minutes, their bitterness oozes out and sometimes a bit of it gets on me. It makes me want to go wash it off. It makes me want to get far away from that person.

When I went online to find a definition of that word I first found, as you would expect, a reference to taste. The second definition, though, referred to feelings. Words associated with bitterness were:


Those are not very positive words, are they? However, we all have those feelings from time to time I suppose. Does that mean we are bitter people? 

I'm not sure why but that word has come to my mind on several occasions lately. Something I've noticed is that most of us have trouble avoiding bitterness.  Do you think it is associated with a mentality of victimization? Do you know what I mean? We all have things in our past that we could latch onto to feel we were victimized in some way. We've all experienced times of being treated unfairly. I think it is our response to those experiences that determine whether or not we are going to become bitter.

I don't even know why I am writing about this. I don't have much of a psych background. Sure, we had to do some of that in nursing school but truthfully, I wasn't that good at the psych stuff. Also, I don't remember ever learning about bitterness and its effect on people during those class discussions. So, I hope you aren't looking for any insightful answers here. There you go. That is my little disclaimer.

The only thing I'm thinking is that there is a strong link between bitterness and the lack of forgiveness. Think about it and tell me if you agree. When I tried to examine things from my past that left me feeling angry or resentful, I noticed that there were a few feelings of bitterness that still popped up. There were maybe some people I needed to forgive. Ouch! I wanted to think about bitterness in others, not myself! 

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I have a few things to work on. I'm still nurturing several areas of bitterness. Did I say "nurturing"? Yep. I realized that I kind of wanted to keep those things on a nearby shelf, so to speak, so that I could pull them out and dwell on them when I wanted to have a pity party or just enjoy a good "mad". I may even want to pull them off the shelf to use as an excuse for my own behavior sometime. Oh come on! You do things like that, don't you? I'm not the only one, am I?

Here's what I know, though. Bitterness leaves a terrible taste in your mouth. Bitterness spreads to others. Bitterness can be neutralized when sprinkled with sugar. Maybe forgiveness is the sugar. Oh, hey, that sounds kind of insightful, doesn't it? I'm so proud of it, I will say it again...

Forgiveness is the sugar.


Faithful Friday

Friday, November 29, 2013

Jamberry Nails

Maria gave me a present recently... Jamberry Nails! Have any on you had these?

They come as a set, kind of like stickers, on a sheet. You warm them with a hairdryer, stick them on, trim and enjoy for days!

I think they are pretty fun! Thanks, Maria!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

thank you

dear LORD

thank you for all you've given me

faithful family
comfortable home
delicious food
time of rest
time of play
useful work
freedom to worship


thank you for all I don't understand
thank you for the gift of faith
so that
i may always know you are in control

thank you for difficulties that make me stronger
illness that makes me appreciate health
storms that help me seek your protection
weakness that leads me to your strength

thank you

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Learning a New Job - Again

Last Tuesday, as I told you, was a horrible day at the surgical center where I work. When we learned of the death of one of our nurses, we were all kind of a mess. Even now, it feels rather like a bad dream. I walk by her office every day, half expecting to see her working there.

I never thought her job as a health history nurse was something I would want to do. In fact, there was no one else wanting her position. We're all nurses who enjoy direct patient care rather than a desk job. But her work was important. She made the first contact with most of our patients. She did a lot of the behind-the-scenes tasks needed to determine if a patient was safe for surgery. I'm sure she also calmed many patients and gave them confidence in the care they would be receiving at our center.

Much to my surprise, I found myself thinking I should volunteer to take on her position. As I said, no one else wanted it. I took a few days but the thought lingered. Sometimes I get the feeling the Holy Spirit is directing me. This was one of those times. Instead of thinking of the reasons I would not like her job, I started thinking of some of the positive aspects of it.

So, today I worked in her office. It felt sad to me to be there. It was different. I didn't get time to dwell on the melancholy, though. There was an overwhelming amount of work to be done.

Thankfully, I am not alone! There are others filling in, others helping me figure out what I need to do and how I need to do it. Everyone was pulling together as a team today. We had work to do. We had people depending on us.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Peaceful Anticipation

I don't know why, but yarn just fills me with a peaceful anticipation. A new skein of nice! I love to feel it, squeeze it and plan a future for it. A skein of yarn is just full of potential.

I really, really love planning new crochet projects. I am usually dreaming up things for Wyoming Rose Boutique but this next project is more important. It is for my sister, Tina. It is not a secret; she knows about it. That is, she knows I am going to make some sort of poncho for her. She also knows it will be purple. She loves purple! But, she doesn't really know what it will look like as I don't know yet myself.

Yesterday Lisa left a comment that she wants to learn to crochet like me. Well, Lisa, here's how it goes for me. I mess around for quite some time as I try different crochet stitches. I look online and/or through crochet magazines and books. I pretty much never actually use a pattern. Even when I do, I find I keep changing it up. Often I study pictures of things that I like and then I try to figure out how it was made. It involves a lot of guessing. I admit that I often waste a lot of time before I even get going. Then, halfway through a project I think of ways I want to change it up.

So, I'm going to touch this yarn, squeeze it a bit and see if I can figure out what this purple yarn wants to be. I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Discount Time!

We have some new listings at Wyoming Rose Boutique.
Here are a few...

Maria and I decided to offer a discount that is available only to the readers of our blogs.
If you are making a purchase at Wyoming Rose Boutique use the coupon code:

This code will automatically give you a 15% discount on any of our items, 
including the brand new ones.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Tree Monkey Guy

Remember this....

 and this...

 and this?

That was early October, the result of a LOT of snow arriving before our leaves had fallen. The limbs were too heavy and trees all over town were broken. It was one of the strangest things I've ever seen. Everywhere, limbs down. It looked a bit like a tornado had come through. 

This morning I went out and looked up toward one of our broken beauties.

The shattered limbs still looked sad.

We also had several large limbs that were kind of like wishbones.
They were stuck up there with some dangerous potential.

So, this afternoon we had tree surgeons (arborists) come to complete the amputations.
I heard a lot of thunks and booms as some of the limbs hit our house.
I don't think they were hurting anything but I decided it
was a good time to go to clean the basement about then.

I heard one guy on the ground call this other guy a tree monkey.

You probably can't really tell but he has a chainsaw up there.  He also had a long pole thing with a curved saw on the end. That looked wicked! I've climbed many a tree in my life. I've climbed them carrying things like dolls and later, bologna sandwiches, but never a chainsaw. 

Just so you know, climbing a tree with a bologna sandwich did not turn out well for me. I was a 5th grader and I'd ridden my bike about a mile down a country road to meet a friend by Little Lake Alice. We had brought our lunches and decided to eat them in a tree. I'm not sure how far I got into the bologna sandwich before the limb my feet were resting on gave way, plunging me to my fate. I hurt my wrist.

I may have been kind of a tough kid. I stayed and played for about an hour after injuring my wrist. Then, I rode my bike home. I did realize my wrist wasn't working quite right but it was a sandy road so I needed both hands. I ended up kind of hanging it over the handle bar and trying to steer with my forearm. When I got home I was still doing ok until my Dad turned to my Mom and said, "Grace, I think Susie may have broken her arm." Then do you know what I did, more than an hour after my injury? I cried. I guess the idea of a broken arm (wrist) was worse for me than the actual pain of it. And, yes, it was broken.

Huh... I didn't realize this was going to be a post about the first time I broke my wrist. I meant for it to be about the tree monkey guy.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Dark Day at Work

She's not in her office
Have you seen her? No?
Has anyone heard from her?

Nurse, friend to all.
Was she sick today?
One sent to check on her.

The waiting.
More waiting.
We don't know for sure, but we start to feel it.
Remember once before when she lost hope?
They helped her before.
They will help her again, right?

Too late?!
No, it couldn't be true! 

The shock.
The gasps.
The denial.
The tears.
This doesn't feel like reality.

Strained smiles for the patients.
We can't make our eyes smile.
Do they see the pain?
Can the patients feel the darkness of our day?
Too much silence.
Too much.

Prayers for her family.
Prayers for her friends.
Prayers through tears.

Didn't she know we would want to help her?
That's our business.
We are the helpers.
We were right here all along.
Did she feel alone?

Just last week, what was she saying  about depression?
She said it takes over your mind and you just shut down.
I thought she referred to her past.
Did she know she was referring to her future?

Should we have known?
Could we have known?
Could anyone have known?

She said she was doing better.

Ugly word.
Grief and guilt, tangled up with anger and confusion.

We lost her to despair.
We lost her to pain.
We lost one of our own.

She was kind.
She wouldn't have hurt any one of us.
She hurt all of us.
She hurt herself.

How to understand this?
How to explain this?

Lord bring peace.
Only your peace can heal.
Only you bring lasting hope.
Lord bring peace
  and hope
     and healing.

Lord in your mercy,
    hear our prayer.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Caption that Photo!

This photo is from several weeks back. I just came across it and wondered what was going on.

Any caption ideas?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Joy Comes in the Morning

Joy Comes in the Morning
(Bill Gaither)

If you've knelt beside the rubble of an aching broken heart
When the things you gave your life to fell apart
You're not the first to be acquainted with sorrw, grief or pain
But the master promised sunshine after rain

Hold on my child joy comes in the morning
Weeping only last for the night
Hold on my child Joy comes in the morning
The darkest hour means dawn is just in sight

To invest your seeds of trust in God in mountains you can't move
You have risked your life on things you cannot prove
But to give the things you cannot keep for what you cannot lose
Now, that's the way to find the joy God has for you

Hold on my child joy comes in the morning
Weeping only last for the night
Hold on my child Joy comes in the morning
The darkest hour means dawn is just in sight
Yes, The darkest hour means dawn is just in sight It's just in sight

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Joy-Sprinkled Day

I had the day off yesterday, just an ordinary day off.  There were a lot of tedious types of things to tend to, such as getting prescriptions filled, dealing with some insurance paperwork and refinancing our house. OK, the refinancing part was actually pleasant as our mortgage guy is also a good friend...still, it was a lot of paperwork. Anyway, there was time for family sandwiched in the middle of it all.  When I get to wrap some of my free day around family, that makes it a good day.

Maria, Cordelia and Elise were at the mall so I went there to meet up with them. One of my favorite things is to take the little girls to find holiday dresses. Doesn't that sound grandma-ish? Usually, I think of it kind of late in the game and the dresses are rather picked over. This time, I was more on the ball. It was fun!

As we approached the little dresses at JCPenny, Elise made some kind of excited little sound and ran right at a particular group of dresses. I didn't get my cell phone out fast enough to capture the excited little bobbing and bowing actions she made. She was pretty delighted with what she saw. Even as little as she is, she likes to look pretty!

Cordelia wasn't sure she could choose as they were all so pretty.

However, she is a fairly decisive girl. She held quite a few up to herself and it looked like she was going for a hot pink dress but with a bit of guidance, chose one that was a bit more Christmasy.  You'll have to wait for Christmas photos to see the one she chose.

We held up various dresses for Elise, trying to make she sure she saw them all. Maria would hold three at a time and let her choose her favorite. Then, keeping the favorite in the line up she'd add a couple more. Elise never wavered. She stuck with that very first one she saw and just kept grabbing it and bringing it to me. That girl knows her mind!

Then, it was time for Maria to look around a bit so I followed the girls around, snapping photos because they were just so very adorable. I loved that they wanted to hold hands all over the store. Other people kept ooohing and aaaaahing at their cuteness.  I enjoyed smiling and accepting compliments on my beautiful little granddaughters.

Shopping really is exhausting, though!

Then, we moved on to mall lunch. Again, it was just an ordinary event, but somehow more special because it was shared.

At the end of our meal, Elise is insistent on doing one of her favorite things...putting things in the trash. Seriously, that little girl is nuts about garbage. She spots garbage cans with an eagle eye and announces, "Trash!" so no one misses the joy of seeing a trash can. When it is time to put our lunch garbage in the trash, she is in her element! I especially love that she claps after each trash deposit.

After we parted from the girls, I went with Mike to help him choose new glasses. That was fun...

Thankfully, he did not choose these glasses...all the more reasons for me to feel joyful!

Yep, it was an ordinary day, sprinkled with joy.

Friday, November 15, 2013

I've Told You a Thousand Times!

Well, today is the big day! I've hinted at it all week!

OK, it is not that big of a day, but it is big enough to me that I feel I should mention it...

It is my 1000th post!

What?! That's crazy! I would never have started out with a plan to write 1,000 posts.  That is like giving myself 1,000 assignments. I'm way too busy to do that! What was I thinking?

When I realized I was nearing my 1000th post I actually felt kind of upset with myself. You see, one of the biggies on my bucket list is to write a book. I've actually got it started but I really don't often work on it. Yet, I find time to write a daily post. Sometimes that takes just a few minutes of my time but often I mess around at it quite awhile. I've also written quite a few posts that I discarded before I actually published them. I told Mike it made me sad that I'd used up so many precious hours on my blog instead of working on my novel. Mike said the nicest thing. He said, "Maybe this is more important."  It was a surprising comment but maybe he is right. It made me try to think of reasons my blogging may be worth the time I've spent on it.

1)  I documented bits of our family's life. I'm not very good at journalling and I do not keep up with our photo albums very well. Maybe this makes up for it a bit?

2) I get to show off photos of our beautiful grandchildren. That may seem pretty self-serving, but those girls have other relatives who live out of town and I know a couple of them look for those photos nearly every day.

3) Maybe someone read one of my efforts to inform regarding medical conditions. Perhaps someone I don't even know, after reading my blog, decided to get a life-saving colonoscopy. Maybe that didn't happen but maybe it did.

4) I've made new friends through my blog. Really! It takes the whole penpal idea to an entirely new level. 

5) It makes me exercise my brain a bit. Sometimes (often) I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to post about but I just start messing around and something comes out. At other times I see or hear something that makes me start mentally writing future blogs.

6) I've become much more interested in taking photographs. That leads me to seeing more beauty in my day. Really. I find myself "framing" visions as though I would photograph them, even when I don't have a camera with me.

7) The most important thing I try to do with my blog is to share my faith. I realize a lot of religions are not about evangelizing but Christianity is very much about sharing. When you are a part of something that brings such order and peace in the midst of such a chaotic world, why wouldn't you want to share it?

8) I look busy when I am writing a post. It gets me out of housework for a bit.

I don't write this blog because my life is so fascinating. I am fortunate enough to lead a pretty calm life. Many people have more interesting things happening in their lives. Many have deeper thoughts or more entertaining ways of expressing their ideas. I know this. I'm grateful, though, that blogging is available to all of us. All you need is internet access.  Oh, that just made me think of important reason #9!

9) I can encourage others to blog! You don't have to do it every day and you don't even have to tell anyone about it. If interested, just go to and follow the instructions to get started.

You, too, could have many mornings that start like this...

See what I did there? I shared my faith with a photograph. 

It seems weird to stop with 9 reasons so let me think of a 10th....thinking...thinking... oh yeah!

10) It is fun!

So, to celebrate, I will do a little more of #2 before I close and get on with my day.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hospice Nurse as Travel Agent

I have been going through some of my old posts this week. I guess you may have noticed that. I was trying to decide which post I thought was most important, of which post was I most proud. I think it is the one comparing working as a hospice nurse to working as a travel agent.  I wrote it in January of 2012. Currently I am not working as a hospice nurse but I am so grateful for that experience. This post helps me remember some of my feelings about that work.

Anyway, the following post is the winner (I am the only judge and my blog was the only entrant) of my "best post" contest. 


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 into my head...the thought that I am now some sort of a travel agent, someone who's main job is to assist travelers as they prepare for a big, big trip.

My patient, thanks to good medications, was reaching a level of comfort.  He knew it was almost time for his departure.  His daughter was by his side.  She wasn't going with him but she wanted to wait with him until it was time for him to go.  She was sad because she knew she was going to miss him, but she was happy for him because she knew he was going somewhere very lovely and exciting.  Although she couldn't travel with him at this time, she expected to join him at a later date.  

Together, they waited and waited and waited.  It reminded me of a train station.  I don't think in terms of the grim reaper or anything like that.  I was thinking of an elegant train that was coming and he was the only passenger at our station who was waiting to board at that time.  The station seemed pretty empty to me, but our traveler reported there were "a lot of people" present.  Just because I did not see them does not mean they were not there.

Although this traveler was originally reluctant to make this trip, as the train approached, he was ready.  In fact, I think maybe his mother was already on that train, coming to escort him to his destination.  I think this because he thought he saw her; he was watching for her.

His daughter left the room for a few minutes.  It wasn't long before I saw the train coming, I could hear it, I could see it, I could almost feel the ground trembling... almost.  I stepped away from our traveler for just a few moments to summon her so she could hug him good-bye.   I knew it was important to her to be present when he climbed aboard.  I could see pain in her eyes but she smiled as she approached him and held his hand.  She did not try to stop him from going.  Her husband joined her for the send-off and they were ready to say good-bye.  When they reassured me they were prepared, I quietly left their side.

When I returned, the train was just pulling out from the station.  The traveler's daughter was crying and smiling at the same time.  Her husband held her close.  It was quiet.  It was peaceful.  We all felt we'd just been very close to something amazing, something we could not yet fully understand.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Remembering Cordelia's Compassion

I've spent about the last hour going through some old posts. I kind of liked one I wrote about compassion.  Maybe you'd like to read it. Please click here.

Wasn't she just so cute!?

Just a few more days and then I will tell you what I'm celebrating!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Life's Interruptions

I have a big day coming up! 

I'm not going to tell you what it is just yet, but I will. 

In the meantime, I refer you to one of my early posts. In it I explained a bit more about how I came to name this blog what I did.  Click here for that post from February 2011.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Netflix and Googling

I was sick this past week-end. I started thinking maybe something was coming on Friday afternoon at work. By the time I arrived home, I knew I wasn't quite healthy. It was just a little virus or something, the usual achy muscles, sore throat and headache. It wasn't that big of a deal but I stayed home the whole week-end. I wasn't so sick that I couldn't have powered through but why share stuff like that with everyone else if you don't have to?

Saturday evening I was shopping around on Netflix for a series to start and I found Emily Owens, MD. I started watching it and liked it right away.The main character reminded me of someone, though. The more I watched her, the more she reminded me of a young Meryl Streep. She even sounded like her!

I don't know much about her personally but I have always admired Meryl Streep as an actress. I have always thought she was one of the best ever because she was so versatile.  The following clip demonstrates that point.

The more I watched Emily Owens, MD, the more I thought of Meryl Streep. Well, the great thing about the internet is that you can follow hunches like that. So, I researched and discovered that the main character's name is Mamie Gummer and she is indeed the daughter of Meryl Streep. I was kind of proud of myself. She may actually be her clone; I'm not sure. Google conjured up several photos for me. What do you think?

Look at their identical mouths!

Then, I stumbled upon these photos...

Mamie Gummer and Grace Gummer

Apparently Meryl has two clones.
It just so happens they are both actresses.

Then, I found this photo...

Mamie, Grace and Louisa Gummer

I am not certain that Louisa is an actress, but I'll bet she could be if she wanted to be.

Well, they also have a brother...

Henry Wolfe Gummer

Guest what!? He also acts as well as writes songs and sings.

Good grief! 
What a lot of artistic talent in one family!

I got curious about their Dad, then.

Don Gummer is a sculptor.
I guess that explains the double dosing of creative talent!

This is Don and Meryl in their younger years.

Here is a more recent photo of them.

They've done something right to be able to stay together after
all these years in the spotlight.

After reading more, even watching a couple of more YouTube clips, I came upon Sarah Heyward's blog post about her obession with the Gummers.  Apparently it is easy to get obsessed with this family.

Uuummmm.... maybe I've researched enough.

Photo credits:,,,,,,

Featured Post

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...