Sunday, September 29, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Family's coming over this evening!

Up North, 2011
1.  The Family:  My parents, my sister (Amy) and her husband (Rob.)  My niece (Sarah) and her husband (Tim) and their baby (Mason.)  Daboys (Jay & Mac) and Dagirlz (Kateland & Susan.)  My aunt (Kathy) and her daughter (Brooke.) 
2. We're having a campfire at sunset.
3. The Mr.'s making sloppy joes.
4. Amy's in charge of appetizers, bringing Buffalo dip.
5. S'mores, naturally.
6. My folks are contributing cider & donuts.
7. I'm making cocoa from scratch and creating a cocoa bar with toppings and goodies to stir in.
8. We are going to draw names for Christmas gifts this evening.
9. Mac's girl Susan usually works on Saturdays but she got today off-yay!
10. Any fun stuff going on in your neck of the woods this weekend?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

TDA, collecting donations to eradicate this terrible condition

So last weekend I was all excited to pull out my Autumn decorations.  Love Autumn, love nesting...yay!  The Mr. goes down to the basement (where I have always stored them in a box on the counter) and informs me; they ain't there.  Then he goes up into the attic and comes down with a different box.  It's a nice enough box, a plastic tote.  I was a little impressed.  He must have gotten the pile o'stuff organized last year.  I cleaned and polished and swept the house and then with great happiness, opened the box.  Which contained.  Three items.  A ceramic statue that was my Grandma Trent's.  A ceramic pumpkin that was my Grandma Trent's.  And a sparkly pumpkin that Mac bought at Walgreen's. 
I KNOW I have more items than these.  The Mr., as seems to often happen, has total decoration amnesia and insists this is all there is or ever has been.  Mac even looked around and said, "Where's the Autumn leaf garlands for the curtain rods????  There's more stuff somewhere!"  The little sign that hangs on my back door?  A figment of my imagination apparently.  Mac's girlfriend came over to see my Autumn decorations and said very sweetly, "Your decorations are nice.  I was, kind of, picturing, um, more?"  Yes, Susan, there is more!
Speaking of Susan, she calls my mom's basement Grandma's TJ Maxx basement as there are many many things down there.  Treasures for just such a moment as seasonal decoration when one's husband has total decoration amnesia (TDA.)  If the Mr. doesn't find my goodies, my mom has invited me to shop there.  Mark my word, if my stuff isn't found, it won't bode well.  I had what the Mr. thought was "too much stuff."  Ha!  If I go shopping in Grandma's TJ Maxx basement?  This place is gonna be a showcase that will require more than one little tote! 
I like to call it revenge decorating.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

These are mine

My sister Amy ("MiMI") and her grandson, Mason

Brother-in-law Rob and Jay's GF Kateland

Mac & GF Susan

Kateland & Jay

The Mr., taking the individual pizzas out to grill

Nephew Tim, replacing the brakes on Susan's car while everyone partied :)

Mason and Great Grand Dad (my dad)


The Family

So, these are mine.  My people, my family.  These pics were taken on Labor Day.  One of the presenters during my hospice orientation talked about the philosophy that hospice isn't about mourning.  It's about taking the time remaining and enabling people and families to live with a sense of purpose so that the final breath will be one of peace.  It made me think, a person shouldn't wait for hospice for that, to have the moments that add up to peace.  Those moments should be pursued and treasured. 

With that in mind, I spent a large part of today planning some family time here and there.  We try to have a Sunday dinner or get together at least monthly, but I wanted to KNOW those gatherings are on the books.  People are busy, if we have a common calendar we have a better chance of blocking that time off and if we miss this month, maybe we'll make it next month and at the end of a year we'll have a whole bunch of little laughs and silliness and games and meals and hugs and conversations that will make the days gone by all the better.  So on Saturday we're having sloppy joes and a campfire, a few weeks after that we're celebrating Mac & Susan's October birthdays and we're in the process of planning a girl's baking and old movies day when the holiday season arrives. 

It's important, because these are mine.  And heaven only knows if any one of us will have a hospice moment to make those connections.  I'd rather not need it.  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

1.  Taking a giant leap out of the 90's, I traded in my flip phone for a smart phone.
2.  I don't like it!
3.  I am assured I will looooooove it when I get used to it, we'll see.
4.  It doesn't have a fancy name like Galaxy or anything so I'm calling it a Nokia Super Duper; NSD for short.
5.  I worked 2 days at hospice last week and then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at the old hospital helping with some administrative projects.  I guess a person can't complain about too many opportunities to work :) 
6.  This week I'm at hospice Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; old hospital on Wednesday cross-training in utilization review.
7.  Got a notice from the city yesterday that on Monday our driveway is being torn out and replaced and our side of the street will have no parking for 2 weeks.  I'm told it's "Good news!!"  Harumph!
8.  I think I shall pull my Autumn decorations out this weekend!!  Yay!
9.  There is a good chance I will not be leaving my house until Monday morning.
10. P.S., I downloaded an app on my new NSD and now I can't get it to stop playing Christmas music.  Do you think that will be a problem at hospice?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Blogger is making me nuts :(  Of course, in between attempting to post, I don't think about it so I don't try to figure out the problem and fix it.  In fact, I'm already losing interest in trouble shooting.
I'm working at the "old" job today where I accepted a contingent position to supplement the "new" job.  Let's talk about the new job; I love it!  Of course, most people love their new jobs during the orientation period but I have a feeling this is going to be a long term love affair.  Hospice is a concept that most people embrace as a wonderful thing but sitting in the caregiver's seat and learning about it in the most detailed sense is so humbling, I am so thankful for this opportunity.  And let me just take a moment to thank the Lord for leading me to this particular hospice agency.  Of course, this is my first experience in hospice so maybe they are all equally wonderful but Angela Hospice is a Catholic organization and I thought I'd do a glory dance (wouldn't they have been surprised!,) when staff meeting started with prayer!  On the information board are posts about training, classes, open positions, policy changes, birthday and prayer requests.  There is actually a group of people who take the prayer requests off of the board to pray over them together.  Jesus is not only mentioned, he is lifted up and celebrated.  Yes, yes, yes I know that I am not Catholic and there are differences in theology but that's not what I'm concerned about.  In this world, a place like Angela is a strong tower.  My spirit feels soothed and my heart is encouraged every time I walk through the doors.  So brace yourselves, I may just be doing some hospice posts in the future-not about death and sadness but about what kind of wonderful things can happen in the middle of it all...after all, isn't that the message of Jesus himself?
Moving on, raise your hand if you love crisp Michigan September weather?  Me too!  Have you had your furnace on?  We turned it on once this week but used it over the weekend Up North.  And speaking of Up North...
Last Wednesday night after work we headed to my mom and dad's cottage for a few days.  Can you believe, we've never gone there without the kids or in the Fall?  I know!!  It was beyond words wonderful.  After three days in my new job soaking in the blessing, it was the perfect bookend  to my new start.  The skies were bright and clear and the weather was just a little cool.  In the evenings we used the fireplace and turned on the furnace at bedtime.  On Friday we drove to Mackinaw and over the bridge and then around the upper peninsula for a while, getting out here and there to take in the scenery and stare and the sky.  We took the Tunnel of Trees drive south on our way back to the cottage.  On Saturday we slept in a bit and then drove to Traverse City for the day where we walked around downtown and had a cup of coffee then drove around the Lelanau Peninsula.  For dinner we went to our favorite Traverse City spot, The North Peak Brewery, where we had whitefish & chips-yum!  On Sunday morning we headed home and guess what?  No Sunday evening dreading work stomach ache!   I was actually happy to be home, had been able to fully relax and enjoy our trip and ready to go to work on Monday morning! 
Today I am excited to head back to the "old  place" for the day and do some of the aspects of that job that I enjoy without the pressures of the stuff I didn't love so much.  It's kind of the best of all worlds.  Plus, I have a wonderful group of friends there that I look forward to seeing.
And that is the exciting news from around here!  Please excuse any typos or mis spellings because, as I mentioned, Blogger is being a jerk. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11 with a grateful heart~

9/11, always such a deep quietness in this day, isn't there?  Well, for me at least there is.  I reminisce not just about the "where were you" of it, but of the time before and after.  I can barely remember the world minus the impact of those planes sometimes.  I hope all of us take some time to call out to God today, on behalf of this country and its leaders as well as for comfort for those whose grief is personal.
Today I finish day three of orientation in my new position, which I love :)  The organization I know work for is Catholic and it's like some kind of spiritual luxury to be in a workplace where Jesus is central and staff meetings open in prayer!  I knew hospice was an important call in my life but I've also found myself more excited about the true work of it as I've settled in day by day.  Lesson number one...hospice isn't sad!
This evening after work the Mr. and I are headed Up North until Sunday for some quiet time together and to soak in the fresh air.  I'm hoping this humid heat will have gone on its muggy way and we might have that crisp cold air that only Northern Michigan produces, it demands a fire and a s'more!
Time to don those scrubs I've missed for the last six years and go to work with a smile on my face and deep gratitude.  Gratitude for this new job, gratitude for my husband and the cottage in the woods where we'll spend a few days and deeply grateful for God's hand on this country that surely grieves Him daily.   

Saturday, September 07, 2013


1.  Spent hours and hours trying to incorporate my hospital office into my home office.
2.  Awakened rested and peaceful after eleven hours of sleep last night.
3.  Cleaned house in starts and stops and coffee breaks alllll day long.
4.  Listened to my Ipod, danced and sang really loud during #3.
5.  Actually stepped out onto my front porch to break up two neighbors fighting before I realized I'm not at work and also, I don't work there anymore.
6.  Transferred all of the photos I had on our PC onto our laptop.
7.  Laundrocized.
8.  Organized all of my school/career documentation.
9.  Sat down and read all of the cards and notes I've accumulated over my years as a nurse.
10.  Had a lovely day of peaceful thankfulness.  I resigned my position as a nurse supervisor yesterday and start a new chapter as a hospice nurse on Monday.  Life is good.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013


Back row: Rob, Amy, Kate, Jay, Mac, Susan, Sara, Dean
Middled seated:  Pat & Hal
Front seated:  Sarah, Mason, Time
 Yes, I'm still out here!  Living an increasingly less complicated life over the last few months which has included less time in the cyber world and more time in the three dimensional world.  I've come out of hiding to wish you all a happy end of the summer and beginning to another year, the school year does feel like the start of a new year, doesn't it?  I awakened today with prayer on my heart as little kids and college kids head back to school.  In years past, I've prayed for their safety and protection and of course I prayed that this morning.  But I prayed with a new focus this year, that our kids would go out into the world and make an impact.  That they would shine Jesus into dark places.  The fields are white unto harvest and missionaries in backpacks are headed into the field this morning. 

Some changes are unfolding in our lives this week as well as I am in my final week as a nurse supervisor.  On Monday of next week, I will start a new chapter as a hospice nurse.  That is one of the "real world" things that the Lord has done in our lives over the summer.  With much prayer and thought and conversation, we are taking a major turn in our lives by reducing my income and I am going back to bedside nursing.  On Saturday I did something I haven't done in ten years...went shopping for new job supplies!  Scrubs (I wear business attire in my present job,) a stethoscope, pen light, bandage shears and even a cool clip on watch for my stethoscope!  Many years ago, the Lord revealed to me that one day my behavioral health career would be complete and I'd go to hospice nursing and here we are.  I'm excited and now that the time is drawing so near, a bit nervous!

My new job is part time so next week the Mr. and I are taking a few days in the second half of the week to go Up North alone.  We were not able to go to Alabama over the Labor Day weekend due to work schedules so we're looking forward to some time in the quiet woods of northern Michigan.

We're looking forward to what's ahead in our lives.  With a more flexible work schedule I'm feeling happy anticipation of days that are a bit less stressful and maybe even just a few more mornings of coffee in a quiet house without the demand of rushing out the door.  My time in management has been a blessing in more ways that I can adequately express but my heart has remained hungry for hands-on nursing and I'm anxious to connect to patients and their families one to one again.  Not to mention, ready to put in an eight hour day and then go home without a blackberry attached to my hip :)  Days off without a phone call from work?  Yes please!

Since today is not one of those days for moving slowly and lingering over coffee, I'll say good bye for the moment.  Wishing you all a blessed day and a wonderful first week back to school.  Oh, the picture at the top?  The Family came over yesterday for Labor Day and flat bread pizzas on the grill so we finally got ourselves organized, dug out tripods and decoded the timer on the camera and got a family photograph. It leaves one wondering...why didn't we do this before?