Saturday, March 31, 2012

10 & gone

1. New family room furniture finally being delivered today.

2. Made an amaaahzing dinner yesterday: Spicy stewed beef & cheesy grits.

3. Slept great last night, almost 7 hours.

4. I have such great kids. The older they get the more I see this depth of character that is so humbling.

5. Ordered a bra online.

6. Ordered mascara & brow pencil online.

7. I love ordering online.

8. The sofa we inherited when my Grandma Tookie passed is now blessing a family who didn't have any furniture. :)

9. I know I said I'm staying offline, and I am going to...

10. Right now!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I reserve the right...

I just e mailed the boss telling her that I am hereby unavailable until Monday. I took a long weekend (a long overdue long weekend.) I can't turn my blackberry off, I'm on 24/7 call and no way around it. But I am unplugging that which can be unplugged. I even set my work e mail to auto-reply; "Out of office until Monday."
With much introspection and conversation, I've realized that among those things that keep me up at night is an inability to turn off my work brain. Just having my blackberry on all of the time puts me into hyper vigilant mode, waiting for it to ring. Not that it rings all that much, I'm just always waiting. Some of my peers have helped me to understand that my usual too "responsible" self got even more too responsible after Mac's injury almost a year ago. I really can't put work into a neat little package out of sight and mind when my kid is still there until 11:30 at night. And of course, Mac needs to talk about work when he comes home so...
The Mr. has been trying to intercept the work talk on my behalf but it's just not the same trying to explain things to his dad as it is to his mom.
Mac would like to move to another facility but right now, due to the economy, there aren't that many positions. And the ones that exist are frozen to accommodate people displaced from other hospitals that are closing down. So maybe when that door opens (which it will when God ordains it), I'll relax a little more easily.
Therefore, until Monday morning, I reserve the right to be unplugged, disconnected and unavailable. I may or may not be on blogs or Facebook or e mail. I really need to have some external and internal silence. Because this lack of sleep is just not gonna work for me much longer. I guess you'd say I'm having a bit of a personal retreat this weekend. We were thinking of taking a little trip but we have a family event on Sunday so I'm retreating into my house. That's ok, I like it here.
In case I actually exercise the discipline to unplug until Monday, have a good weekend.
And if not, well, I'll see you sooner.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Oh For Sythia's Sake

I awoke on Saturday morning feeling gloomy. My limbs even felt heavy, no motivation and frankly I was short on joy. I attributed my Eeyore-attitude to the weather. The sunny warmth we've been enjoying here in the Mitten had turned a little cooler and much grayer. Add to that my lack of coffee (I know!) I had forgotten to pick some up and was completely out, I blame my sleepless week.

The Mr. & I decided to take a little road trip to Marshall, MI. Lovely little town on my favorite stretch of I-94 which takes you out of metro Detroit and into the prettiest farmland in Michigan. If that wouldn't lighten your mood, what would? We stopped for lunch, did a little shopping and headed home again.

On the way back I soaked in the greening pastures and leafing trees and one of my absolute favorite sights; forsythia in glorious yellow full bloom. Forsythias remind me of childhood and white picket fences around sweet little houses. As we got closer to home the island separating west and eastbound I-94 was a field of forsythia, thick and lush and glorious. All of the unseasonable March warmth has teased our spring flowers into blooms around here. In my own yard I have a few forsythias along our south fence line, I always plan to plant more in the spring and haven't yet turned thought into action. There's a house 2 doors to our north with some out of control forsythias. I mean, these are monster forsythias. These huge shrubs are what convinces the Mr. that we shouldn't plant them, look what they become! Of course, this is just exactly why I want them. :)

On Sunday morning I was less gloomy. I had a cup of Starbuck's Tribute coffee in my hand (the Mr. having restocked my coffee canister.) The weather was warmish, the sun trying to peak through. My mood was better.

I looked out my kitchen window sipping my coffee and admiring the monster forsythias in the neighbor's yard. Then I sat in the family room and admired our few on the southern fence line and guesstimating how many more would fill in the entire length and making my plans, again, to plant them in May when the risk of frost was over.

On Saturday I would've been discouraged by all of those beautiful yellow bushes everywhere and the few lonely ones in my yard. I'd have thought to myself that if I'd started that plan of mine in 2008 I'd ben looking at my own wall of forsythia where I still had empty ugly fence to look at.

On Sunday I had a different thought.

I considered the monster shrubs in the neighbors yard, the carpet of yellow on the interstate and the few in my back yard all my own. All for my pleasure. Everything that I can soak in with my senses is mine for the joy of it. I sat with my cup of coffee and thanked God for the seeing of it, those forsythias of the world. The ones anchored in my own dirt and the ones growing out of control two doors down. And the ones along the interstate. And any I happen to lay eyes on anywhere else. All mine to look at and smile about.

We are more poor than we know and more rich than we imagine. With so much at our fingertips we have become riddled with the disease of ownership. If the flowers bloom on the other side of the fence line, instead of breathing in the beauty of it, I'm sad that they are not on my side. We are destitute of recognizing that all of the world is God's and all created by loving hands for the people he loves to bless. The forsythia in my yard are no more my own than the ones on the side of the highway. They are the property of Abba, shared with the jewel of his

Do I still want to plant forsythias along my southern fence line? Absolutely. And lilacs around my back porch while I'm at it.

In the meantime, I will look at them in the back yards of my neighbors and the embankments of the freeways and consider them my own. At least for the moment when I am enjoying the beauty of them from afar.

And may I, in my dreaming, dream more of my heavenly home surrounded by forsythia than my earthly home and southern fence line. This is where I will find my joy.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

1. Slept without medication last night! Of course, awake at 4:30 but...still!
2. 3 loads of laundry done.
3. Going to Marshall for the drive and some Mr. time.
4. Mentioned in passing that I was 2 years behind on my gyno exam and my co-workers stopped a meeting and made me get on the phone and make an appointment. Blessed? Yes!
5. Not in the mood for computer time today, ready for a cup of Timmy's and an afternoon road trip with my boyfriend so...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Awake, awake, awake, awake, awake,...

I spent hours, and I do mean hours, last night asking the Lord, "What is up with this?" By this I mean my insomnia. I am heading to work this morning on literally zero sleep. I've been up 24 hours, never fell asleep last night. I thought I was losing it when I heard the birds singing and hadn't yet gone to sleep!
I've never been a "good" sleeper and perimenopause is sure to be contributing but no sleep at all? That just ain't acceptable! I know a doctor would prescribe sleep meds but I'm just not feeling that is the answer yet. Melatonin gave me horrific nightmares, I'd rather be awake. All I can say is that I feel pretty good all things considered; at the moment at least. I see an extra cup or two of coffee in my morning but I can't count on it to get me through the day or I'll have a repeat tonight.
I have to say that I had a peaceful night, strangely enough. I had the bedrooms windows open and the cool breezes were lovely. I listened to my sounds of rain CD, which is an hour long, 3 times before I gave up on it. But I laid in bed feeling very at ease and relaxed and just certain I was about to drift off any moment.
I'm hoping that the Lord and I did some work on my insomnia problem during the long night. I have figured out that a major source of sleeplessness is thinking about work, once those thoughts kick in I can feel the anxiety creeping up my body and grabbing my mind. So I prayed and spent hours snatching those thoughts as they came to mind and casting them away in Jesus name. I also sleep very lightly and have hyper sensitive hearing so as the distant sounds of the neighborhood disturbed me, I asked God to give me greater tolerance and lower my frustration level. I usually need utter darkness to even consider resting and again, I faced that dragon by leaving my blinds up a little to allow the cool breezes through.
So as I rolled out of bed this morning, I sort of thought of myself as having spent the night wrestling with an angel, like Jacob! Maybe my all night battle will have gained a victory for future nights. I'm going to iron my scrubs for tomorrow this morning before I leave and have made up my mind that tonight will be a quiet early evening for me and I presume I'll be ready for bed when the sun goes down.
In any case, the Mr. got about six hours of prayer last night since he was laying there snoozing away. I put a hand on him and blessed him up on side and down the other!
Pray for me and all of my fellow insomniacs if you think of us, it really is the pits.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Years ago, Oprah Winfrey interviewed Bill Cosby and asked him about growing older with his wife. How does marriage change over so many years together when the children are grown and you're left with just the two of you? His answer was, "We're in a groove, not a rut."
That's just the perfect description of this time in life. We're in a groove. We not only know each other, we are willing to be known. And willing to be accountable for what we know about one another. We know what makes the other irritated and we have grown beyond arguing that it shouldn't. We've made ourselves vulnerable with our secrets and our fears and trusted our hearts to one another; even the ugly parts. We've embraced God's command that we love one another with a sacred love. That means it is love expressed in prayer. We pray each other through the days and someday, into heaven.
Yesterday our forsythias blossomed, this morning the Mr. pointed them out to me. He knows I love that. I had a stressful day at work and came home with a tension headache, he rubbed my shoulders and shooed me into a long hot shower and pajamas.
Today he surprised me by taking a vacation day to spend Monday with me since I worked over the weekend. We're enjoying coffee and Irish soda bread toast and he's stripped the bed linens so that I can put on fresh ones. In a minute I'm going to dust (undust!) and Dean is going to sweep and vacuum. Then we're going to continue our hunt for a sofa and out to lunch. Later we'll pull out a few chairs and sit on the back porch and grill dinner.
Nothing exciting from the outside, you might even say we're in a rut.
Nope. We're in a groove. A sacred, safe & sexy groove.
On a Monday afternoon.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine.
Psalm 50:11

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I Heart...

1. Sleeping with the windows open.

2. Dogs asleep on the back porch.

4. Birdsong.

5. Driving with no jacket.

6. Daydreaming about yard work (always turns out to be much nicer than the actual doing.)

7. A television that is turned off.

8. Capri pants.

9. Pedicures.

10. Grilled salmon burgers.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Shoe People

I'm so disappointed that I don't have a picture of our hospital's clothing closet to post but I keep forgetting to take my camera to work. Suffice it to say, it is bursting at the seams! We went from not having enough to meet the needs, to enough to meet every need, to enough to provide for those with only one set of clothing to enough to....take a cart to the units and offer trade-ins for people who just need something newer or nicer or better fitting!! We are able to provide 2 or 3 complete changes of clothing to people going to shelters and group homes! I wish I had adequate words to express this miracle born of your generosity and love. Packages and monetary donations from all over the United States have found their way to Kingswood and your story has been shared at the highest levels of the Henry Ford administration. We have a local girl scout troop who comes once a month to organize our clothing closet and this month they said they couldn't do it anymore because there isn't enough room for all of the clothes and shoes.

God has used you not only to clothe the needy, but to soften the hearts and encourage the spirits of people who had started to think we'd never be able to meet the needs of our patients. Not that long ago, we admitted a little girl whose mom didn't have a warm jacket and we were able to provide for her needs before she left that day. The families of our patients are benefiting and Jesus is taking back the territory that the devil thought he had conquered. Hallelujah!

So you'd think we'd be satisfied? Well, you have opened a Pandora's box of grace! The medical director of adult services leaned over to me in a meeting and said, "Do you think the Shoe People (that's what you are you know!) would have any purses to donate? I bet our ladies would love to have a purse. Most of them only have a grocery bag to carry their stuff." And I responded without hesitation..."Of course! I'm sure we can find some purses!"

And the staff on the kids' unit? They are wondering if anyone out there has children's sizes to donate. Since we're talking about kids, how about stuffed animals? Would anyone donate a stuffed animal? Or games? The kids want a Bingo game. Or sleeping bags or blankets because some of them don't have blankets at home. Or or or or_____________________.

Your generosity has sparked something at Kingswood. It's called hope, the courage to ask for something because you believe there's a good chance someone will hear. So why not ask? We never thought we'd have enough shoes. Or coats. Or bras or clothing but now we are searching for more rooms to use for our overflow!

So Shoe People, you beautiful anointed God-breathing Shoe People; our hands are outstretched and wide open. It's your project you know; you and the Lord. It's out of our hands, we're just the grateful and amazed recipients of grace with skin on. Is there anything else that you can give us? LOL! We are brazen and without shame! What do you have that a child or adult or older person might love?

Oh, and by the way, just in passing, we just opened a library. Our patients can borrow books and if they want, they can keep them. You see, we aren't worried about running out. The Shoe People have taught us that there are folks out there who care about us. So if you'd like to get rid of books or magazines, we will happily add them to our library and we won't worry about letting people take them home. We know there will be more.

Did I mention Bibles? Patients ask for Bibles every day.

One year ago we were thinking about trying to get a few books on the units and sending patients home without shoes.

Today we have a library with enough books to give away. We have so many shoes and coats and articles of clothing that we are providing to patients and families.

Thank you, Shoe People. For shoes and clothes and money and prayers. You have restored dignity, clothed the poor and reminded the staff that they are not alone in trying to meet a need far greater than our resources.

Our God shall supply all our needs...according to the generosity of The Shoe People.

We love you.

What a friend we have...

I've been so blessed over the last few months as my relationship with God has been in a period of growth and depth that is so sweet I sometimes have a hard time leaving for work because I don't want to share my attention with other things. As I mentioned a while ago, I downloaded a chrono Bible to my Kindle and it's been the best thing for my scripture reading. This time in the word has naturally affected by prayer time and, in fact, I'd almost go so far as to say that my prayer time is much less. I have discovered my friend, Jesus. Instead of Prayer, I am in conversation with him. I'm finding myself telling him this and that, things which I wouldn't ordinarily have talked about with the Lord being as He would already have known. Or things which wouldn't be important to him. Things like, "Lord, look how cute my hair looks!" or "Lord, I know I should clean the bathroom but I'm just too lazy at the moment."
I've always known that Christ was interested in the details of my life through his great love for me, but I have never elevated my importance to him to such a personal level. Like Abraham, I feel like a friend of God. A new kind of peacefulness has found its way into my heart even though in other ways, my life is a little bit stressful at the moment.
That's all I wanted to say, that Jesus is my friend.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Grouchy Monday is over. I made those two gift baskets despite a serious case of cranky-itis. In fact, I only had to make one and I made an extra. So there!

I was wandering through Michael's looking for baskets and that cellophane stuff you use to wrap gift baskets and guess what I found in the very back corner? Gift basket kits! That's right...basket, that straw like stuff you put in the bottom, cellophane, ribbon and tag for $8! I nearly smiled! I don't mind the basket, the stuff you put in it and even baking a little something; it's the cellophane and ribbbon that gets my goat.

I made a St. Patrick's Day themed basket containing 2 cute coffee cups, Bailey's filled chocolates, a box of breakfast tea, a tea towel with a shamrock, a box of stationary with a shamrocks and pretty green plate and topped it off with a loaf of homemade Irish soda bread.

The second was kind of a spring on the back porch theme. Red pitcher, four red flowery glasses, lemonade mix, a red/yellow/orange striped plate and a loaf of homemade banana nut bread.

Now comes the truly stressful part, the raffle. What if mine are the only ones not chosen? Argh! Now I feel like Charlie Brown!

No, actually I don't. I'm glad I had the means and the ability to make the baskets and I hope that someone enjoys them.

I hope you are still my friend considering my Oscar Monday. I'm pretty confidant you are. So I'll be completely truthful with you, since we're friends and all. I did what I needed to do but I didn't have a whole lot of fun. And I think that's ok. I had obligations to fulfill; housework and gift basket. Sometimes you have responsibilities and you don't want to do it and you feel grouchy and you still have to do it. I know some people think, "If you aren't going to have a good attitude, don't bother." Well, I disagree. I think you can be cranky, happy or downright silly but you gotta do what needs doing whether you want to do it or not.

And if no one wants my Baskets By Oscar, I'll just bring 'em home and enjoy them myself!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Call me Oscar

I'm having a grouchy morning so far. I'm off today (worked the weekend) and although it's only 10 a.m., I feel like I am behind schedule. Much to do and very little motivation. These are the times when the stuff that usually is of little consequence become hugely annoying.
For instance, I usually enjoy housework on my days off. Today? Today I don't feel like doing housework and looking around I have quite a list of chores to complete before going back to work tomorrow. Salt in the wound, the Mr. had a 3 day weekend and, well, I still have a long list of chores to do. I know it's not that he's a bad guy, usually I don't need him to pitch in because it's relaxing to me to play homemaker. Not today. Today all I see is dust and laundry and bathrooms and bed linens that I have to deal with.
I also have to make a gift basket for a raffle at work to raise money for the American Heart Association. The raffle is Wednesday, I work tomorrow, that means I need to make a basket today. I don't have the supplies or even a very good idea of what I'm making. Usually, I'd let my creative juices flow and enjoy the process. Today, it's money I'd rather not spend and time I feel I don't have and let's be honest, pride on the line. I'm "known" for making wonderful things for these kinds of events. Piled high with homemade goodies and fun unusual items. For weeks people have been telling me that they cannot wait to see what I bring in. Pressure and pride.
Whatever he is, the devil is not stupid. So why not throw a little guilt into my grouchy day? What I'd like to do is make a sweet little brunch and have my mom and dad over. With increased work hours and my mom's surgery keeping her shut in I haven't seen them since, well, the eighties I think. But that would require me having groceries and a somewhat presentable house and my gift basket made.
In case you're thinking it'll be ok, I can rest up next weekend? Nope. Working next weekend too.
I know it's not all is bad as I'm envisioning it to be. I know that if I'd just get my behind into the shower and start the day I'd be feeling better in short order. After all, there are few things more satisfying than checking things off the to do list!
Ok, enough of the poor babies over here. I think I'll head out to get that gift basket started. I always feel better once I'm done with errands and back at home.
Could be worse, I could live in a garbage can and have a giant yellow bird living next door.

Update: Back from my errands and ready to start baking. One loaf of Irish soda bread for one basket, a loaf of banana nut for the second one. Status-still grouchy.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I led them with cords of human kindness; with ties of love I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.
Hosea 11:4

Saturday, March 10, 2012


1. My eye is all better.
2. Bad belly yesterday.
3. 23F this morning.
4. A friend's mom passed yesterday, please pray for the family of Hazel Baily.
5. Ready for Spring!
6. I feel like there is no down time in my life lately.
7. I recommend "I Love You Mrs. Huddleston, & Other Inappropriate Longings of My Indiana Youth" by Philip Gulley.
8. Treating my brain to less computer time so forgive me if I'm MIA here and there.
9. A good friend is experiencing a difficult pregnancy, please pray for her. God knows the details.
10. There is a good chance my schedule will be changing for the better soon!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Book 'em Dano

I'm am just about to try to put in my contacts...oy! Praying all goes well and I'm not forced to scoop my eyeball out with a teaspoon.
So, did I mention that I lost my engagement ring for most of the day yesterday? Yup. I always take it off while I'm doing my hair so it doesn't get hairspray and mousse on it, then I wash my hands and use lotion and then put it back on. Found it on the floor last night. Probably knocked it to the floor in my panic to scrape my contact off of my eye.
Also just remembered I have jury duty...on March 1! Argh! Can you even believe that? I got the notice in January and just completely forgot about it. Do you think I'll be arrested? I wouldn't mind being arrested, that would mean a day off of work.
Off to experiment with my contacts.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Gloom, despair and agony on me~

What a crummy few days I've had! We went to Grand Rapids for a little get-away and I ended up with a migraine mid Saturday afternoon. By 7 p.m. I was in bed with the blankets over my head and on Sunday morning I just wanted to come home. So no fun breakfast out, no window shopping. Drove through Mc Donald's and was home by 11 a.m. :(
Then Monday morning I got up for work and somehow, I'm still not sure how, I ended up with a glob of liquid hand soap in my eye. I seriously don't know what happened, I know I dropped the bottle and then my skull was on fire. This experience made my weekend migraine a walk in the park. Did I mention I had my contacts in at the time? Yup. So I had to dig my contact out of my eye while trying to flush it. It immediately swelled shut so I had to pry it open to flush it, which made it hurt worse yet. I flushed it every 15 minutes for almost 2 hours and kept a cool cloth on it for the rest of the day. Lights and reading made it hurt worse so after dropping e mails to work (that was fun, "I won't be in. I got soap in my eye.") and my mom (Please pray for me!"), I spent the day laying on the couch whimpering. In the dark.
Naturally I'm not wearing my contacts today. But wait! There's more! In my panic of peeling my contact lens off of my eye, I knocked my glasses out of the medicine cabinet and chipped both (yes both!) of the lenses! Which I have to wear to work, chips and all.
This morning my vision is still a tad blurry in my left eye and I have to consciously open it all the way or I have kind of a half drunk/half flirty/half wink thing happening. The redness is gone but it's still achy. Weirdly, the ache is all the way around the orbit of my eye as though I took a right hook to my face. And of course, excessive eye booger production just to round out the attractiveness factor.
My headache is gone but I'm still taking 800 mg Motrin for my eye ball pain. Which does help, so thank you Jesus.
To recap, spent a couple hundred dollars to spend the weekend curled in a ball in a hotel while the Mr. watched Sweet Home Alabama with the sound down.
Experienced a freak accident, still not sure of the details, that resulted in burning the surface of my eye and possibly my eye socket.
Chipped both lenses of my glasses which I will be wearing to work today.
Had to take a soap-in-my-eye call in at work which will surely result in no shortage of "Wait, tell me again what happened?" moments throughout my day.
Lord, you better wrap me in spiritual bubble wrap today or I might just set my hair on fire.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

1. Going to Grand Rapids for the weekend!
2. Also leaving shortly and going out to breakfast, a very important component of a road trip.
3. Down one size jeans!
4. FINALLY have that third manager at work and she's awesome! Relief is in sight!
5. Got some Clinique make-up: mascara is great, eye shadow is good, eye brow pencil is great, eye liner is the pits (but I never do well with eye liner.)
6. Slightly sore throat this morning. Always happens when I am out in the rain (yesterday.) I'm ignoring it.
7. I seriously need new glasses.
8. I know I'm repeating #4, but in about a month, my worklife will be back to normal and I might have a real life again :)
9. My hospital received 3 wonderful boxes of donations to our patent's clothing closet from blogger friend, Ginger. Words cannot express my gratitude. Our closet it overflowing with wonderful clothes, under garments, shoes and coats! This is Jesus in action in the hearts of his people.
10 Please pray for my Aunt Sue in California. She had a heart procedure and was diagnosed with diabetes this week. She remains weak and we are concerned for her.