Sunday, September 25, 2011

If the shoe fits~

I have a favor to ask. Can I have your shoes?

Our patients at Kingswood Hospital are often indigent and homeless. Believe it or not, several times a month we admit people without a pair of shoes. A single pair of shoes. While they are in the hospital, they are often comfortable wearing hospital issue socks with the treads on the bottom. In fact, this is sometimes all they can tolerate if they have been walking bare footed for a long time. Yes, sometimes they have been walking barefoot for days on end and show up at our doors with blisters, wounds and callouses.

If you can't imagine it, this is the time when you stop reading for a minute to tell God thank you.

When it is time for discharge, the plan is often a bus ticket to a shelter. Sometimes they don't actually go to the shelter because their homeless lifestyle is all that they are familiar with. Plus, shelters put you out every morning and you line back up in the evening hoping to get a guarantees. Think about that and then think about it without a pair of shoes. And think about it during the Michigan winter.

So when they are ready to leave the hospital, we need to give these guys a pair of shoes. Our staff donates a lot of shoes and clothing for our patients but there never seem to be enough shoes. High heels and dress shoes make up a good portion of the stock in our clothing closet. This is great for people who are trying to get a job interview and gain control of their lives. But not all that helpful if you are going to walk the streets of Detroit and sleep in a door way.

Do you have any shoes that are in decent shape that your family doesn't wear? If you could consider giving these shoes to our patients, you will make an incredible impact on a simple human need.

I have seen staff take the shoes off of their own feet and go home in stocking feet because there were no appropriate shoes in the right size for their patient.

I have seen staff go home to get their kid's shoes to bring back to a patient.

I have seen staff take up a collection to buy a pair of shoes because all of our ideas ran out.

I have seen a patient cry as he laced up a pair of used tennis shoes. I've also seen a man who had to wear women's shoes for discharge, it was all we could find.

I'll come get your shoes. You can mail them to me. You can drop them at the hospital. You can even send me a check to buy shoes if it suits your fancy. While you are going through your closet, cold weather clothing and jackets are appreciated too.



Luke 12:7
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I loooove~

1. I loooooove Autumn.
2. I looooove my new LL Bean clogs.
3. I looooove old movies.
4. I looooove coffee.
5. I looooove a clean house.
6. I looooove laughter.
7. I looooove Scentsy.
8. I looooove flannel pajamas.
9. I looooove my anniversary gift (that remains in lay-away.)
10.I loooooove you!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I (and my elbows)

Thanking the Lord this morning that I awoke an hour before my alarm went off feeling well-rested. What a difference that makes to my outlook on the day. I had a hard time falling asleep but as in all things, God is teaching me. What I'm learning is that I have to turn my brain off. You'd think with all the thinking I do I'd be accomplishing some remarkable things! It's astounding to me how hard it is for me to lay my head down and put my brain into neutral. Also astounding, once I do so I fall asleep within minutes instead of the average of 2 hours (seriously) it usually takes me.
I am experiencing what was once guessed tobe an ulcer; stomach upset and burning. Also suspecting I have fibromyalgia. Argh! I've teased about fibro because its existence is often doubted in the medical community. But having 16 of the known 18 pressure points is hard to ignore. I know I know I know, everything I am talking about is stress-related. And after several days of begging God to get me out of it I am sensing that this season is one where I will learn to be victorious in it.
My Gramma loved her family and that love was usually expressed in what was an overprotective attitude. We were coddled, never go to school or work with the sniffles. Being told, with love, that we were not strong enough to endure this or that challenge. That influence stays with me. What was love mis-expressed has a tendency to be a lack of my own confidence in my ability to deal with life today. That's not a good feeling. And since she is gone I will also say, it is not a good message to children. I still want to over-protect my own kids but the Holy Spirit helped me see the error in the good intentions a long time ago so I bite my tongue and encourage them to take a deep breath and face the hard things in life. Face them because we can. And what a gift it is to look back with pride and forward with confidence when you feel strong and able.
I would suspect that some of that influence could explain why my stress responses are so visceral...poor sleep, head aches, depression, body aches...Hmmm. The good news is that Jesus is not just savior but redeemer. He fills the cracks in our walls so that we can stand. So yes, this morning my elbows (how ridiculous) and neck hurt. My stomach is a bit burny. But I won't turn around and crawl back into bed. I'll go out with praise on my lips for the restful night I had and send the message to the enemy that I (and my elbows) will go to work and one day at a time, I (and my elbows) will gain victory.
Inside of this mortal skin I know I will always experience aches, pains and stress. That doesn't mean that I can't cope, Christ will strengthen me.
I can do all things.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head~

Ahhh, the long awaited day off! Of course, lately the day off is just a work-at-home day to catch up and prepare for the week ahead. No, I'm not complaining. On the to do list: cookies for a friend's son's birthday (M & M mini cookies in the oven.) A pan of lasagna by request of the men folk will be made shortly for dinner tonight. A pot of Italian chicken soup ala the Pioneer Woman also to be made for tomorrow's dinner with a big loaf of crusty bread and shaved Parmesan cheese. Changing the bed linens, dusting, laundry, etc.
It's cloudy and rainy in the Mitten this morning. No complaints about that either. I'm still in my jammies and taking the day slowly. Whatever doesn't get done won't get done. I need to make a grocery store run later but even that can wait if I don't want to venture out.
Due to work demands, I've had to pull out of the Scarf Sisters reunion. That caused a tear fest when I found out and another one when I e mailed my mom and a third one when she e mailed me back. You'd think I'd be dehydrated! I'm not all that much of a cryer usually.
I ordered my L L Bean clogs and picked up two cute new sweaters, so it's not all gloom, despair and agony on me. I've commissioned Kelly to be our 25th anniversary photographer. I'm considering a shorter hair cut. And my cookies smell really good!
Have a great Monday!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Esther 8:16
The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


1. My partner at work, Natosha (pictured at left demonstrating proper use of a papoose restraint.) I seriously could not face the daily grind without her.

2. My anniversary present! Don't got it yet but when I do, you will be the first (or third or fourth) to know.

3. My dog.

4. My home my home my sweet sweet home!

5. Good hair days.

6. OK, this is a crazy one, but I have gained lots of weight but not all of it back. I don't like the extra weight but I still know there's a different me inside of here than the one who weighed 260 pounds. That's wonderful.

7. Autumn is my favorite.

8. Greenfield Village is right around the corner.

9. Daboyz. I like 'em.

10. The Mr.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Notes from a woman who is boring and tired but has a great husband who makes her smile and who gets better at making her happy every year~

Friday Friday Friday...
Off this morning, working this afternoon and then working the weekend. Good grief!
I feel like I don't have a whole lot to blog about because lately it would only consist of me whining about work overload. Frankly, even I don't find that interesting!
So what else can I tell you about?
I got a mani last night.
The Mr. surprised me with tickets to Haunted Weekends at Greenfield Village. Love that guy.
We are planning our anniversary trip. Our plans to go on a cruise are on hold for a bit, finances only go so far. That's ok. I think we'll head back to the Lake Michigan Coast for a few days. No complaints!
Donny is going to the groomer today because he smells like a farm dog.
It's cold in the Mitten! I kinda like it. Used the fireplace last night, I think we'll build an outside fire this evening and snuggle up for a bit.
On Monday I am changing my bathroom to Autumn accessories, and yes, I find that very exciting. I am also making cookies for a friend at work whose son's birthday is Tuesday.
I am making my LL Bean's order today! Stand by for updates.
And that pretty much catches you up on Sara's Life. Happy Friday :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Good evening~

How quickly my days off seem to pass, this one already drawing to a close. I did all of my chores today including two batches of cookies. The oatmeal scotchies are in a gift bag to take to work, a birthday treat for a friend. Milk chocolate & peanut butter chip for the men folk to enjoy with tall glasses of milk as they watch football this evening.
I did a little rearranging of furniture, can't say I improved on matters but a new view is nice for a change. I also brought out a few of my Autumn knick knacks. Fresh sheets wait on all of the beds. The coffee pot is ready for the morning and scrubs are pressed and waiting.
I am a happy football widow because this time of year I scramble into bed with a book or to watch old movies while daboyz and the Mr. watch sports. As you know, I don't mind a little alone time.
As I walk through my home, evening breezes in the windows and pumpkin spice candles on the tables, I'm happy and sad. Happy for this wonderful place and sad that I have to spend so much time away from it. Allow me a melancholy moment, a little envy for those women who did not rush out the doors with travel cups of coffee in the mornings. I'm sure they weren't perfect but there was a lot of good in those old days.
So off I go through the little rooms of this old old bungalow and enjoy the final hours of this day off. How quickly they go by!
And how lovely tomorrow morning will be, when I wake up to this wonderful place. Even if it is for just long enough to grab my travel cup and head out the door.


At home~

Oh what a beautiful morning! Cool & crisp, a specialty in the Mitten. Sunshiney. And the cherry on top-I am off today. I do hereby declare this "rest my mind day!"
I have housework to do today and then I am going to make oatmeal scotchies for a friend's birthday. I'm very likely to end up at some point laying on my hammock with a book.
I find myself today filled with thankfulness for my quiet little house. I realize that not everyone has a refuge, not everyone even realizes they need one. So many people are continually frazzled and art of homemaking has almost become extinct. People have become so over-scheduled that the care and nurturing of the rooms we live in has become another chore on the list instead of the pleasure it should be.
I'm thankful to have been descended from women who loved home and family. I'm blessed that I was taught by example to build a place for soul renewal. I believe with all of my heart that this is also part of what holds our family together, we all gravitate here because it's the best place we know.
So off I go with a silly smile to change my sheets, do my laundry and dust the furniture.
What a great day is in store!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Deliver us from evil

You don't have to watch the whole video, just give it a few moments.Do you hear the crickets? The whistles?Those aren't crickets or whistles. They are PASS alarms, they sound when a firefighter stops moving for 30 seconds.

1 In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. 2 Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. 3 Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. 4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. 5 Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the LORD.7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. 8 You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.9 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. 10 My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak. 11 Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors and an object of dread to my closest friends— those who see me on the street flee from me. 12 I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery. 13 For I hear many whispering, “Terror on every side!” They conspire against me and plot to take my life. 14 But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.” 15 My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me. 16 Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love. 17 Let me not be put to shame, LORD, for I have cried out to you; but let the wicked be put to shame and be silent in the realm of the dead. 18 Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous. 19 How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. 20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues.21 Praise be to the LORD, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege. 22 In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.23 Love the LORD, all his faithful people! The LORD preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full. 24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A time for pumpkins and a time for hoodies~

About this time every year as summer rolls away and Fall rolls in, there are a few things that I need to do.


First I clean and straighten the house, for this is always step one.

Then I go into the basement and pull out my Autumn decorations. I don't have a lot. I have just a few items that I inherited when my Grandma Trent passed, a little ceramic ghost and pumpkin. A door wreath. I start changing my home scent items from summery crisp florals to Autumny (yes, I know the word is Autumnal.) Cinnamon, clove and apple scents. Mmmm. Pretty soon I go looking for just one or two new items to add to my Fall collection and these must be inexpensive. Don't ask me why, it's just a rule. Garden Ridge or Hobby Lobby or Big Lots. Target is out of the budget range.

Slowly slowly my flowers are cleaned away and my house plants come indoors. The lawn furniture piece by piece is covered and stored leaving just a few chairs around the fire pit that will last us until it's just too doggone cold and then we'll move inside for fireplace fires.

I usually stock my pantry with decaf hot drinks for the evenings after spice tea, chamomile, hot cider...

I nest nest nest until my house is the coziest place in town and happily await cold crisp days and bright sunshine and jeans and sweatshirts. I usually receive an LL Bean catalog around this time and here, I break my Autumn budge. I treat myself to $100 worth of LL Bean stuffs. Last year I got a red barn coat and duck shoes. This year? Well, I don't know. I haven't looked at the catalog yet. But the LL Bean portion of the tradition might explain the Big Lot requirement!

It's a slow process, usually taking a few weeks because I want to draw it out, I enjoy every moment. The initial cool days that trigger the instinct are always temporary and Indian Summer shines down on a house filled with pumpkins and Indian corn. That's ok. It's how I do what I do. When I do it.

Does Autumn bring any changes to your perspective?

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


We're home from a whirlwind trip to Alabama last weekend. We left Thursday night, drove halfway and stopped for some sleep. Back on the road Friday morning and into Alabama at about 2:00 p.m. We showered, took a nap and met our friends for dinner and had a great time walking around town and catching up.

On Saturday morning we attended the final interment for the Mr.'s dad. He is laid to rest in the family cemetery behind Fairview Baptist Church next to his grand parents, parents and family members who have gone before him. After the burial service we went out to lunch at the restaurant where Ben celebrated his 80th birthday just 4 years ago. Those memories were gone a year later.

Sunday morning we attended the annual Smith Family Reunion at the Fairview City Hall. As you can see, the city hall is as humble as this small southern town. We had a blessed afternoon of seeing the surviving siblings of the oldest generation as well as meeting family Dean had never known before. If you are blessed to have descended from a God-loving family, you know how wonderful it is to sit around and listen to the stories of his provision through generations. Ben had always asked the blessing and this year, Dean was asked to say a few words about his dad and say grace.

After lunch it was back on the road for 6 hours. Spent the night in Elizabethtown, Kentucky and hit the road in the morning to arrive in the Mitten Monday afternoon. Mac had done his laundry and kept the place straightened! My mom had provided him with chicken paprikash and chicken noodle soup to aid in his recovery from strep and he had settled in and enjoyed his time at home (he's his mother's son.) I threw a few loads of laundry in, unpacked and we had pizza for dinner with daboyz.

The early Autumn coolness is kind of nice to come home to. I love Autumn, first of all. And somehow it felt like turning a corner to another season...Ben is buried back home where he wanted to be. Dean's mom is doing well living with his sister. Our boys are happy and blessed. We settled in last night with a cup of hot tea and a fire in the fireplace (yes, it is that chilly!)

Good trip, good to be home.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Back to School prayer~

Gracious Heavenly Father,
Once again we send our children out into the world. We know it's a place that won't love them like we do and won't always encourage them to love you. But Lord, greater are you in them than what they will face in the world. We ask you to place a hedge around their physical bodies and give them safety and strength. Guard their hearts from doubt, fear and emotional attacks of the enemy. Give them wisdom and minds that always seek you in what they are being told and let them learn to compare the information they receive with your word. Give them victories that they can praise you for. Give them failures that will teach them to be humble but not break their spirits. Give them friends who love you that they can learn to serve you along side of. Give them teachers who follow you. Bless the buildings they will sit in and the people they will be with.
Father, if there is any person, adult or child, out there who might intend harm toward these precious kids; stop that plan now in the name of Jesus Christ. Put a barrier in front of that intent of destruction before it can materialize. Expose those individuals that they might be helped and saved from themselves.
Finally my Savior, I ask that you would lay a cloak of peace and joy around our children. And do a good work in us as parents that we might become worthy of this great gift you've placed in our hands.
Thank you God; for kindergartners and high schoolers and college students who will love you with their whole hearts and live lives to your glory.
In Jesus name.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

1. Arrived safely in Alabama Friday afternoon.
2. Had dinner and then walked around town with Jerry & Heather, friends we last saw about 25 years ago. So wonderful!
3. This morning having coffee in our hotel room and then headed to the Mr.'s dad's interment around 10.
4. Speaking of this hotel room, it's very nice.
5. Speaking of the coffee, it's not as good as mine at home.
6. Speaking of home, I like it there better than anywhere else.
7. Mac has strep.
8. Remember that dress? I am wearing it today.
9. Number 7 seems very random.
10. Have a great day!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Leaving the Mitten for minute~

Leaving in just a few minutes for Alabama. Actually leaving for a mani and from there, to Alabama. This is the weekend we are interring the Mr.'s dad so we'll drive there this evening and back Sunday.
My hospital which usually has 3 full time day shift managers has been pretty stressful the last few weeks. One of the managers resigned and my usual partner has had lots of days off for good things...moved into a new house, got engaged and started the doctoral program at U of M! That has left lil' old me running the place alone and getting ready for our survey by The Joint Commission (google that if you have absolutely nothing more interesting to read, like the back of a shampoo bottle.) Our inspection will be next week. And we are in hyper mode because they changed our designation so there's lots of different new things to think about.
ANYWAY, I've told you all of that.
I have a new boss named Cheryl. Cheryl is a serious boss nurse type person. Nobody works harder than she does and she works really hard. Today she looked at me and said, "What are you most concerned about with the Joint Commission?"
And I said, "I"m just so fried. Seriously, I can't even organize my thoughts enough to tell you what I'm worried about."
And she said, at noon, "Go home."
As in, she would run the place for me. As in she could see how exhausted I am and it mattered to her. As in, "You've done a great job and I noticed."
I didn't actually leave until 2, it's never that easy to leave early. But still. I haven't had a boss like that in a long time.
So I'm going to get a mani and then I intend to recline my seat and let the Mitten fade in the rear view mirror. In fact, my boss has given me a directive to stop all hospital thoughts until Tuesday. In fact, she said if the inspectors aren't there until Wednesday, I am to stay home on Tuesday and relax.
I'm nothing if not a good employee. ;)Image: