Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Happy Room" Update

Do you remember this? My cousin asked me to show a picture of the weird wreath I made. I finally remembered! That cartoon was one about a potato who (that?) went to the doctor for lab results. He was told his triglycerides and cholesterol were good, but that his carbohydrates were really high.

The day before I had this highly sophisticated and clever little one up there.

I try to change up the style daily. Sometimes it is medical humor, sometimes kid humor.
It is always clean humor,
never mean humor.

Well, I am happy to report that I think it is working well.
I've had several folks tell me they come by every day just to read the joke for that day.

My door is usually closed most of the way but 
I often hear footsteps stop by my door,
followed by chuckling.

That makes me very happy.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hold On To Your Earrings!

Tonight, on the way home from work, I stopped at the grocery store for a couple of items. When I got out of my car I was stunned by the power of the wind! It was crazy! I could FEEL my earrings trying to sail off without me! We've lived here for 10 years and I am still amazed by the freakishly wild Wyoming winds.

My earrings came from my Grandma Rose, very precious to me. So, I had to do the man-with-a-hat-walk. Do you know what I mean? It is that walk that men do when they are wearing hats that want to blow off. I know I've seen Mike do that walk so I knew how to handle it. I turned a bit sideways and tipped the crown of my head into the wind. That way, the direction of the wind encouraged the earrings to stay in their piercings rather than rip out of my ears.

Anyway, I made it without loss of earrings. See? They are pretty, aren't they?

After I left the grocery store I saw a flashing sign that the highway department had set up. It was warning of 70 mph wind gusts! Good grief! Oh well. Me and my Grandma Rose earrings are safely home and still intact. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bode Love

Bode is so aggravating as he steals muffins off the counter, knocks granddaughters over with his enthusiasm and poops in the flowerbed. However, he is always, always thrilled to see me and greets me by gifting me with one of his favorite toys. There is something to be said for that.

This is Something I Can't Understand

Yesterday I came home from church and turned on the television to learn that Marlise Munoz had been disconnected from life support. She is the woman in Texas who was brain dead but pregnant. Her baby was at 23 weeks gestation. I tried but could not find out if it was a little girl or a little boy.

I just sat down and cried, tears pouring down my cheeks. I couldn't stop thinking about the baby within her who likely struggled as it was deprived of oxygen. I hope he/she didn't suffer long. I cried because while a father is expected to protect his children, the courts ruled that the father in this case had the right to end his or her life this week-end. I can't understand this.

In a way, I think the father in this case is a victim himself. He is the product a society that has taught him that a baby is not a real life unless the parents say so. I know that he has suffered a great loss, already. I expect his emotional suffering is going to last a lifetime and I don't want to be judgmental. I just can't understand this.

I realize this case is not common. I doubt that Marlise ever put much thought into whether she'd want to be on life support if it would save her baby. Her family could not have been well prepared for the kind of decisions before them. There was nothing but pain and suffering in this whole scenario...that is, nothing except that new little life that was trying to survive. I really can't understand this.

Probably as a way of comforting myself, I went to for some inspiration. I admit, I was looking for like minds. I was not disappointed. There, I found people who valued the unborn and were willing to speak out on the behalf of the weak. There I found people willing to go against the flow in order to protect those fragile lives. Maybe you will enjoy this quick clip as well.

It gives me hope.

Friday, January 24, 2014

E:60 - Perfect

Yesterday I told you how I'd been going around to other churches talking about True Care Women's Resource Center? Well, during one of those services a guy came by the pew where I was sitting and handed me a note. It told me the name of a YouTube video he thought I should watch. It is an ESPN video and so naturally I was confused as to why this stranger would want me to watch it.

I put the note in my purse, planning to watch it sometime that same day. Well, life gets busy and I get forgetful. I found that note and just watched that video last night. What a surprising clip! I think it is worth sharing here.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Kathy Ireland Talks About Abortion.

Worship service at our church is one of the highlights of my week. Yet, I've not been at my own church for the last two week-ends. Instead, I've attended 5 services at other churches. While there, I did one of my least favorite things...public speaking. What would have made me do such a thing?

I've been going around speaking about True Care Women's Resource Center and the work they've been doing locally. The reason I did this was because the work they do is so important. I admit, I was pretty nervous for the first talk. As I was getting ready to go, I asked my introvert-pastor-husband, "How do you do this week after week?"  He gave me a hug and said, "Because what you have to say is important." What I had to say was that we needed to keep working to save the lives of babies. We need to offer a better choice for those experiencing an unwanted pregnancy and we need to do that without judgment, but with compassion. We need to promote the liberal idea of letting these babies live.

This week thousands went to Washington for a peaceful march, a gathering meant to show that there are many who want to stand up for the rights of the unborn. I am not really the marching kind, but I would have loved to have been there. When I watched clips of it on tv, I was warmed to see so many teenagers there stating they are the prolife generation. It gave me hope.

I couldn't go to Washington. Instead, I went to YouTube. I was looking for clips from the Walk for Life and I did find some. However, I found this interview with Kathy Ireland that I thought said it all so well.  It doesn't take long to listen to the whole thing. I hope you will do that. She makes some really important points and says it all with such kindness. I like that.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Precious Times

I shot out of work today and went straight to pick up two very adorable little girls. Their parents were looking forward to a quiet evening with guests. I was looking forward to a less-than-quiet evening with the girls.

Once we got back to our house, we ate a quick dinner then drug the toys out to the living room.

 Elise is still a bit short to reach into the toy boxes so I turned them on their side.

With remarkable speed, toys were strung around, better to pick and choose from!

One highlight of the evening was Cordelia making a drawing of the solar system, all by herself, then telling me the names of all the order.
She was pretty proud!
Me, too!

Bode kept an eagle eye on the toys.
After finding him chewing on a toy we realized he thought we'd
strung out a smorgasbord for them so we had to clean up some of the toys.

And guess what!? Elise found two Spidermans!
She was so excited and she had a very specific plan in mind.
They both had to be wrapped in blankets but it was was NOT appropriate
to wrap them up in one blanket together. She reprimanded me for that
so I grabbed another blanket and did it correctly.
She then made me situate her in between them both and watched
as she read a book to them.
As you can see,
they were enthralled.

I watched those pretty little girls
and said a silent prayer of thanks for this
precious time in my life.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Hear Pretty People

Here's what I'm thinking about this evening...

With my new position at work, I am on the phone much of my day. I speak to nearly every patient that will be coming through our surgical center. One day I realized something interesting. When I am speaking to a patient, I usually develop kind of a picture in my head of what I think they look like. That's probably not too unusual. I expect most people do that. The thing that caught me by surprise was when I realized I nearly always envision each of them as being quite attractive. Is that weird?

I've been pondering this oddity. I know, everyone is beautiful. However, I picture people to look more like actors or models, not like the average person. You know what I mean, right? We really do have lots of patients who come through who are physically beautiful, but maybe not quite as perfect as I picture them on the phone.

One day, I was wondering why all my phone people seem so pretty to me.  I may be speaking to someone who hasn't showered in days, who has food stuck in his or her teeth or for some other reason would normally seem unappealing to me. Yet, as he/she speaks to me, my mind makes them all shiny and maybe even smelling sweet. Does that mean I am a person who has trouble accepting people as they are? I hope not. I'm going to put a different spin on it, because it is my blog and I can do as I wish and make myself seem as shiny and pretty as I wish as well. Because of that, I am going to guess that this phenomenon means I'm an optimist. Who knows what it really means...but I like  it.

Now, I'm wondering about the visually impaired. Do we all seem more beautiful to them? I hope so. It wouldn't make up for them missing out on beautiful sunsets or intricate flowers, but it would seem like a bit of compensation for what they miss.

And last, I am wondering if the same works in reverse. Do patients develop a mental image of how they think I look? I hope they picture me like Jennifer Garner!

Never mind. It doesn't really matter how they envision me. I think from now on, when I'm on the phone, I'm going to picture myself to look like Jennifer Garner.

P.S. to my family, I'm just having fun here. I like looking like me.

(photo from        

Monday, January 20, 2014

Combined Quirks

Elise is adorable. Elise is smart. Elise is quirky! 

I know that right now my Mom is laughing and saying, "Of course!" She always talked about how our children were quirky, and so it is no surprise that our grandchildren are the same.

Well, here is one of the quirky things about Elise. She LOVES Spiderman. We just so happened to have some little ones around, leftover from one of our boys. She finds them every time. When we are out shopping, she can spot a Spiderman toy a mile away!

Another quirky thing about Elise is that she sometimes brings a blanket and simply says, "Baby." What she wants is for one of us to wrap her up very snug, arms tight against her side, and hold her like she was a baby (which she is but don't tell her that). She does not giggle or even smile during this process. It is a very, very serious event for her. It's pretty funny.

Well, they were all over visiting tonight and Elise combined those two quirks. She wanted Spiderman wrapped up like a baby! I was happy to oblige. Again, she was very, very serious about the process. She held him close and kissed him. It was pretty sweet.

Thank you, Eric, for taking a photograph of this sweet little quirkster.

I like quirky little people, don't you?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Grace | Laura Story

Crafting and Kindle

OK, don't be scared. I'm off my soap box. After my rant last night, I think maybe I need a bit of relaxation today. I worked overtime hours this past week and I need some fun. Don't get me wrong. I'll still be multi-tasking, doing laundry and picking up around the house. In between my domestic responsibilities, however, I will be creating.

Yay for creating something...anything! 

For me, that is a great way to relax and to feel all smoothed over and shiny again. What do you do to unwind? For me, reading is another favorite method of relaxation. Thanks to my new Kindle Fire HDX with the secret feature that reads to me, I "read" while making things. Today, I'll be "reading" a novel about Norwegian Immigrants finding their way to Minnesota to homestead. Aaaah! I can't wait to get started!

Today, I decided Wyoming Rose Boutique needs some attention. I'm in the mood to make new jewelry. I feel inspired!

Above is the sign Maria created back when we had time to do craft fairs. Now, with my full-time job and Maria raising two little girls while juggling her teaching and art, we don't do any craft fairs. We both still love making things for our Etsy shop, though! Anyway, I couldn't part with this sign. I just love it!

So, this is how I start with that creating process. I usually have an idea in my head. I gather up some things that seem appropriate for that little nugget of an idea. This is what I gathered up this morning. I'm not sure what I'll be using but some of these pieces looked like good possibilities. There are chains I purchased a while back. Sometimes I see new earrings that aren't anything I'd want to wear but they have parts that seem like possibilities for future projects. Additionally, there is a variety of different bobbles, charms and beads that may find their way into a new project today. 

I am getting so excited; It is time to quit talking about it and get to business! What are you going to do today? How do you best relax and refresh?

Friday, January 17, 2014

50 Million Americans!

I realize I write a weird blog. It's usually upbeat, but not quite always. Sometimes it is silly, sometimes bossy, sometimes sad. That's life, though, isn't it? Life is not flat. There are ups and downs. Having said that, I probably should warn you that today's post is very serious and rather a rant. I can't stop myself.

So, I'm going to tell you what has me going. This evening I heard on the news that the number of Americans killed by cigarette smoking over the last 50 years is now at 50 million. Think about that...50 million! That is 1 million people a year who's death is attributed to cigarettes. That is just in the United States! I simply can't comprehend how this can keep happening. How can we let so many people continue to die?  Think how panicked we would be if 1 million Americans had died during the last year due to influenza or chicken pox or alligators or strep!

Quite recently I was shocked to hear a man say he didn't believe doctors knew for sure that cigarettes could cause cancer. Although he had quit for several years, he decided to smoke again. Really? Two heart attacks, one requiring CPR, had not convinced him. Bladder cancer had not convinced him. COPD had not convinced him. He coughed and wheezed as we spoke. I had to wait while he caught his breath... more than once. It broke my heart.

When I was 24 years old my Grandpa Red died from lung cancer. I know I've talked about that before. He had been a smoker and it took his life. Grandpa had started smoking before he knew it was harmful. Those were the days when cigarettes were given to soldiers to help calm them. Before his death, he asked me to try to help stop young people from smoking. I've tried. I'm still trying.

I've been with people as they died from the result of those horrible cigarettes. I have seen their suffering. It is not a gentle death.

We have all heard of people who smoked well into their 90's. Well, I want you to know that they were the rare, lucky ones. 50 million people have been unlucky. Cigarette smoking causes damage to

E V E R Y...   S I N G L E...   O R G A N...  I N...  T H E...  B O D Y!

every single organ

all the organs

no organs are safe

This is a dreadful addiction. Most people I have met who smoke, began as teens. Sure, many knew better but we all know that those teen years are not always the best decision-making years. Did you know that it can take as little as 2 weeks for a teenager to become addicted to cigarettes? Also, for some reason the strength of the addiction is not the same for everyone.

I've known people who managed to quit cigarettes cold turkey. I've known people who struggled for a long time to end their dependence on cigarettes. I don't know the best way to quit but there are many aids available. Check out articles on WebMD, Reader's Digest or this Government Site. Seriously, just google "quit smoking" and there will be all sorts of help available. None guarantee it will be easy.

I'm done.... for now. Thanks for reading.

This one was for you, Grandpa Red.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Similarities Between Bode and God

Driving home from work tonight, a strange thought entered my head. My thought was this... Bode and God have a lot in common.

It's true. Here's a few of the reasons I say this...
  • Whether we are gone from him for 3 days or 3 minutes, he is always so happy when we return.
  • He loves us, even when we've ignored him all day.
  • He doesn't hold a grudge; he's all full of forgiveness.
  • He waits for us, and waits for us, and waits for us.
  • Bode is always giving us gifts. When we come in the front door, he runs to get his favorite toy and brings it to us.  
  • Dog and God use the same letters.
Thankfully, God and Bode are not quite the same.
  • God doesn't splatter dog food all over the kitchen floor.
  • God loves us more gently. Bode is kind of rough.
  • It is appropriate to take God with us wherever we go.
  • God doesn't use his big old head to knock everything off the coffee table in one big sweep, just to watch it fall.
  • We don't have to clean up the yard after God... or do we? 

 (file photo Oct 2013)

Of note: While typing this post I had to jump up and stop Bode as he was chewing up one of those little blue plastic bags. You know the ones. They are meant to bag doggy doo doo when you take your dog for a public walk. Thankfully, it had not been used. This little side note rather highlights another way that God and Bode are NOT the same.

Anyway, as aggravating as Bode can be, I was feeling appreciative of his loving spirit tonight. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I Miss Mr. Rogers

Recently I was talking with a friend about my new job where I am usually the first nursing contact for all patients coming for surgery. My friend told me she thinks I must be very good at this job as she thinks I have a calming personality. I have some very sweet friends!

Anyway, she said this to me, "You are like the Mr. Rogers of healthcare." I took that as one of the nicest compliments ever! I loved Mr. Rogers. Our son, Ben, used to watch him a lot. I liked that Mr. Rogers was so gentle-natured. He taught children how to have fun with the items found around them. Most importantly, though, he was always, always nice. I'm most certainly not always, always nice, but I try and I admire that in others.

I told our daughter, Maria, about the compliment I received. Tonight, I received a special pin on Pinterest from her. I thought it was delightful and decided I needed for all of you to enjoy it as well. So, enjoy away...

Yep, the word lost one of the good guys when he died.
I miss him, don't you?

Monday, January 13, 2014

My Brother in a Skirt

I like to travel. I really haven't done that much of it, but I've done enough to know I like to be a tourist. When someone is going on a trip, I always want to go along. Unfortunately, that job/money thing complicates my travel plans. However, I've learned you can "see" a lot of places without leaving home. Sometimes I hear of a place that for one reason or another is of interest to me.  I like to look it up and see what it is like. Here, let me show you...

Have you ever wondered what it looks like in Idaho Falls, ID? Click here and you see some photos of it. It's pretty, huh?

OK, let's try Houston, TX. Click here and you will get a chance to see some of Houston.

Can you see how I can waste an evening bopping around the internet? Well, one night I was doing that and I was looking at photos of Lead, SD. I went to this site and clicked to the right to look through some of their town's photos. I stopped when I saw this one.

It caught my eye because that guy just right of the center looked a lot like my brother!
My brother did learn to play the bagpipes once upon a time, but he's lived in Florida for several years now. So, I downloaded the photo and blew it up a bit, trying to get a better look.

Hmm...that guy had a goatee. The photos is blurry but I can see that much.
I don't think I ever saw my brother with a goatee...but still.
I kind of thought I remembered he once told me he played in some parade.
Then, I noticed that my photo program made note of the year that photo was taken - 2005.
OK, maybe? He was still living in Wyoming then.
Wyoming isn't far from South Dakota.

I finally spoke with my brother on the phone and made him click to that site.
Sure enough.
It's him!
He had no idea a photo of him was on the site of Lead, SD.

Now, wasn't that a weird little surprise?
I found a picture on the internet of my brother wearing a skirt.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Impromptu Play-Doh Party

Last night, after our usual Sunday Night Family Dinner, I brought out the Play-Doh for the little girls to have some fun. Elise watched the pro go at it for a few seconds and she soon got the idea.

 She had a style all her own.

Cordelia was very focused. She knew exactly what she needed and she went to work on it.

Before we knew it, Maria was joining in on the fun.

Followed by our friend, Laura.

Next, Eric was drawn in.

He impressed Elise with his artistic talents as he quickly produced this bunny.

Maria whipped out a panda...

...and a little snail friend for the panda.

 I am not sure why Maria was so disapproving
of the work Elise and I did. Sometimes I guess those
artistic types can be kind of judgmental.

Bode lurked around under the table.
I was slow to realize he was cleaning up any that dropped.
Mike should have fun scooping the yard tomorrow!

Speaking of Mike, he never really got into it.
I think he didn't appreciate that we were all ignoring him.
He was really rather obnoxious, actually.

I think he just needed some attention.
It was pitiful, really.

 Well look at that!
Even Sam couldn't resist that soft, colorful stuff.

 Elise spent a LONG time tearing each piece of Play-Doh in her reach
into little tiny bits. She was very determined, very intent.

Laura made this cute little owl to match Elise's dress.
She gave it to Elise, who recognized it and said, "Who? Who?" as she
broke it down into little bits as well. 
Laura was brave; she held back her tears.

This is the result of Elise's hard work.

When did you enjoy the bright squishiness of Play-Doh?

Friday, January 10, 2014


I have a visitor here for a sleepover! Last time we tried this, Cordelia had a headache and then got sick in the night. This time, things are much better!

Immediately upon arrival she wanted to show me what she brought in her suitcase, right down to her hairbrush and her toothbrush. It was an adorable little show.

 Then we played some games.
She won 2 and I won 1.

Then this happend... fake nose-picking

...and fake eating of it. 

There was also fake sleeping.

 And there was most definitely lots of giggling.

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