Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Bitter And The Sweet

We've had a beautiful weather weekend.  Temps finally cooled down and we had to close windows at night or it would have been darn chilly in the house this morning.  Ahhhh Fall! Welcome, welcome.  But along with the sweet is also the bitter.  Being on call on a lovely weather weekend makes going anywhere fun not really possible.  So I stuck close to home.  But I did run and retrieve my photos from the County Fair this morning.
A first, second and third...Sweet!  The bitter part? Well, after the leaving the fairgrounds I stopped at the hospital the check on my car.  My car?  Yes, my car.  After finishing up an emergency surgery around 10:30pm last night I jumped in my dear 15yr old car and it had died...again.  We just had it fixed about 2 weeks ago.   I had hoped maybe it would start this morning but no such luck.  My son's words came back to haunt me after the last repair.  "Mom, are you emotionally attached to that car for some reason?  Are you a hoarder?"  Wait, if I was a hoarder wouldn't I have 50 old cars?  I guess you could call me a hoarder of my checkbook since I haven't had a car payment in years and I don't want to part with any checks monthly!   So with Jack's car I drove up to Church.  I had already dropped Jack up there for some early morning meetings.  Having one car is kind of a pain! Anyway, as I entered the Church my phone went off and it was my sister.  Normally I'd think that was a sweet thing but I knew a call from her on a Sunday morning wasn't good.   She was taking Mom to the hospital.  Mom was in a bad way and kept telling Midge that this trip to the hospital would be her last. Of course we were both upset and I just broke down and cried.  Jack told me to just head back home. I spent the morning on the phone.  Mom has blood clots in both lungs but she's doing good right now.  On meds to get her heart rate normal and blood thinners for the clots.  I'll be making a run to Chicago this week.  It's hard being here when so much is going on there.  She sounded good when I talked with her this evening so I'm hoping this bitter thing will turn sweet and she'll be home soon.  At 90yrs old you just never know...she's a fighter though! Now for something completely different.. I was going to title this post "For the Birds".  The other day I looked out the back door and saw these guys:
The yard was covered with tons and tons of blackbirds!
This is just a tiny corner of them.
Reminded me of one of my favorite scary movies...The Birds.  Seriously, they were flying in from all over.  I think there must have been a ton of bugs or something there that they all ate...weird.   Then I was leaving on Friday to pick up Chubbs from the groomer when I saw these gals:
Chickens in the side yard near the creek!
They saw me and headed for home,  Again, more birds....or maybe I should say, "Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner."   I took off for the groomer and when he brought Chubbs out I almost didn't recognize him!
Usually they leave his hair on his ears and face long.  I like this much better! He seems happy too...maybe it's the ghost scarf they gave him?  Sweet!   So as the sun set slowly over the Pines..
My prayer is for the bitter to leave and the sweet to return.  Prayers for Mom to get over this crisis and get back home soon.  Life is unpredictable...to quote a line from a movie.."It can change with every breath we take"....
But hopefully God in the heavens knows what we need. I have to leave it in His hands.  Sweet.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Surgical Technologist Week

It seems as if everything has a special week dedicated to it...icecream, milkshakes, donuts, pirates..you name it, it's celebrated!  Well, this week we celebrate National Surgical Technologist week.  I've been a surgtech for 42yrs.  I was in the first class at Triton college for this career.   I was even on the front of the college brochure for it!  I don't have a copy of it or I probably would put it on the blog.  Frankly, you'd never know it was me because, of course, I had a mask, hat, gown and gloves on! Like these pics;
Notice the date? 1998! Time sure flies! I'm sure you can guess where I am!
 I've had the privilege to see surgery go through many changes in the last 40yrs and then go back and pick up some techniques from the "old days".  
I've helped train many RN's to scrub.  Nurses are only given one day in surgery to just observe.  None are trained to be a "scrub nurse".  Techs are trained to scrub and know all the sterile techniques and setups for surgery.  I enjoy the training process and it feels good when they "get  it" and then are able to be on their own.
We work in hazardous conditions when it comes to cords!  One of the reasons my knees got bad was from tripping and hitting the OR floor on a few occasions!
It's pretty overwhelming to outsiders to be in an OR and see all the equipment and also find a place to stay out of the way of the sterile fields....we make sure they're situated in a safe place.  I've been kidded about being a "Sterile Nazi" when students or sales reps would get too close to my back table! Back off!
I've worked with really wonderful Physicians...
And Fun and crazy staff members!
Best friends too!  This is Donna's 45th year at our hospital.  I've see our institution go from a rural hospital to  part of University Hospitals of Cleveland.  Changes are in the air as the merger becomes final in December.  Hopefully, it will be a good move.  Medicine is a business.  Dr. Welby is gone and Docs are now hospital employees just like us...only with a much bigger paycheck!  I'll be done with my career in a few years.  It's a physical job with long hours standing at the OR table and sometimes longer days and nights on call.  I've been with friends who have requested me to be there when they have an operation...it's good to see a familiar face! I've  been there for first breaths of a newborn to last breathes of a patient.  Probably would classify those moments as truly spiritual ones.  Sometimes the job was hard on my family, especially the kids.  I missed some school activities and survived on no sleep!  But all in all it's a wonderful career.  I've learned so much about the human body.  It's amazing how resilient it is even when we treat it so badly.  The nurses I've worked with are really hard working and dedicated.  We snipe at each other when the pressure gets to us but we're strong allies when outside troubles come our way.  We laugh, we cry, we swear we can't do another case until the next emergency comes along and we start over again!  Happy Surgical Tech week to all my fellow Techies!  And when we meet outside the hospital don't forget to say our famous line: "Gee, I didn't recognize you with your clothes on!"

Monday, September 12, 2016

Fall Is Creeping In

As the daylight gets shorter and the night cools down to almost chilly temps..last night was in the 40's..it seems like Fall is doing a trial run before the real date arrives.  I love the cooler days and low humidity but I'm a bit sad that I'll have to close the pool up this weekend.  I say "have to" because when it's that cool at night the water never warms up to be able to swim comfortably.  Once the tarp is on and the winterizing chemicals all in, I guess that's a real indication Summer is done.  Anyway, tonight I took a walk up to the Creepy Woods as the sun was starting to set.  The light looked so pretty.  This shot gives a glimpse into how Fall is creeping into the Creepy Woods:

So as the sun was quickly heading down I snapped a shot through the pines:

Night all!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

No Pix..Just A Rant

Friday I get a text from my sister telling me that they were at the hospital with Mom.  Mom had a 102de temp and was a bit loopy...which isn't unusual for somebody her age to get when they're that sick.  They did a bunch of tests and she seemed better after a bit. Of course they wanted to keep her for observation and of course my Mom was like: "No way, no how".  Which I don't blame her.  Frankly they hadn't found anything and she felt that she would be better at home.  Again, I agree since the worst place to be is in a hospital with even more germs..especially if you're 90.   The other kicker was on the way to getting Mom to the hospital my sweet sister fell on the deck and hurt her knee.  So while Mommo was getting tests done, Midge was getting an x-ray on the knee...which turned out to be a broken patella (knee cap).  Thankfully it was non displaced and didn't involve the quadriceps muscle so they put an immobilizer on and now she'll need to follow up with an Orthopod to make sure she doesn't need anything else done.  So far it was a horrible, no good, very bad day for them.  Now for the rant...This morning my sister was taking her dog out around 7am and noticed her car door open.   Just because the weekend wasn't totally crappy,  somebody thought they would break into her new car.  Thankfully, nothing was taken and nothing was damaged.  When the police came they informed her that there were 20 car break-ins in the neighborhood.  TWENTY!  Seriously?  Sounds like  some trash folks need to get a JOB and quite thinking they are entitled to take other peoples hard earned money or property.  If they would put as much effort into working as they do into finding ways to hurt other people, they could be millionaires!  And since they seem to like working in the dark and late at night I'm sure there are plenty of places to get work..maybe even 2 jobs.  Sorry this is such a downer post.  Chicago has been a hot bed of crime lately.  Now the suburbs seem to be a target.  On the up side Mom seems to be on the mend..well, she has a nasty cold but no pneumonia, and Midge says her knee doesn't hurt too bad and she's been getting around good.  Plus since her car wasn't hurt she can still be mobile.  Guess we need to look on the bright side just a little.  Anyway, if you've lost your "Bad Luck Fairy"....it's at my Mom's house and you're welcome to come and get it back.  Just don't sneak in at night because I think they're packing heat and not afraid to use it!  Rant, Rant, Rant.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Golden Month

That's how I think of September...the golden month.  I look around me and see faint signs of Fall and the turning of leaves.  Many of my Hostas have turned yellow and brown.  We haven't had a ton of rain this Summer so that has a bit to do with that happening.  This weekend the nights have been in the 50's and no humidity! Love it!
Look closely and you can see the faint yellowing of the leaves near the Creepy Woods.
Saturday we made our usual morning stop at the Farmer's Market but then decided it was time to head to the Orchard and check out the fruit.
The apples were crisp and juicy and sweet! I love a good Honey Crisp!  The peaches are also wonderful...the best we've had since last year. They will get made into a cobbler for tomorrow on Labor Day.  That's a day when I won't be laboring!  But I did do some laboring 39 years ago today and delivered this fabulous guy:
Happy Birthday to my #2 son, Craig!  He's a wonderful son, dad, brother, and anything else he chooses to do!  He and his family live in Oregon and we sure miss them.  Hugs Craig!  To celebrate the lovely cool weather we put a fire in the pit last night.
Warm and cozy and perfect for making something that I hadn't made in a long time...pie iron dinners!
You put bread and fillings of your choice in the irons and hopefully don't keep them on the fire too long for burned outcomes!
This one had pizza fillings and we also did cheese ones and for dessert we made fruit pies with the irons...totally fun and totally yummy!
 Throw in a cold rootbeer and it was perfect.
We put out a sleeping bag so Chubbs would be comfy sitting with us on this cool night.  We sat around the fire eating, chatting and sitting quietly watching the flames until it was dark and then the stars came out for another round of  star gazing.  Yes, I'll enjoy this long weekend.  I guess you could say it was "Golden"!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August Finale

This last day of August is always special to me.  It's our anniversary...42yrs ago I married a really cool, fun, hard working, smart, handsome guy... and my best friend!  Happy Anniversary Babe! Wow, time has flown!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Very Filled Up Week

This week and weekend certainly have buzzed by quickly.  We've been busy doing normal, everyday things.  You know, work, home, work, home....Oh,  did I mention a birthday was celebrated this week?  I  kept telling Jack that this was his birthday week. I made his favorite dishes for dinner all week and on Thursday we had his usual bday dinner of Shrimp Creole followed by Texas Sheet cake.
Big cake!  Most of the cake ended up going to work with me the next day.  They were very glad Jack had a birthday!   I posted it on Facebook.  Jack doesn't do Facebook and when some friends texted him  birthday wishes he finally figured it out that I told the whole world!  Hey, it's a celebration right? Happy Birthday Babe!  Saturday brought us the opportunity to do a little service for a very worthy cause.
Associated Charities feeds hundreds of hungry folks and also helps cloth them and make sure every child has new school supplies and backpacks.  Christmas brings many out for help with food and gifts. To accommodate  all the needs a new location was needed.  This building was in much need of repair and funds were raised to make it happen.
The original, historic front of the building was kept, but the inside and back were all remodeled and updated.  What a wonderful place for families to go for help.  Saturday we went over and helped unload many boxes of food and get it ready to be organized on shelves.  Most of the work will be done this week and be ready for the public open house.
This is just a small section to show where foods will be kept shelved.  There's also a room with coats, gloves, hats and boots.  School supplies lined another area and there's a Christmas room that already has gifts that have been donated.  Sometimes it's easy to think there is no good going on in the world, and then you realize how generous a community can be for those less fortunate.
The truck arrived with the goods.
We were ready to start unloading.
A fun group of Ashland University students loaded up the boxes from the old area and brought them to the new facility.  They were the nicest kiddos!
Unloading.
Sorting and shelving.
Jack just observing!  He really did work too!  All in all it was a good day.  It was hot but we weren't too uncomfortable in the building.  It's amazing how much work can be done when many pitch in.  A few final thoughts for today.   I went out and picked the very first apple we've gotten off our very first apple tree here at the Pines.
I'm sure it will taste even sweeter knowing we grew it ourselves...well, with the help of the tree, the weather, and of course God!  Less we forget, it was National Dog Day this week too.
We don't regret getting this guy into the family! He's been a good buddy, sweet friend.  I love the sign that said "We were rescued by our shelter dog"...Thanks Chubbs!  Now for the real final thought.  Ashland schools start the new year tomorrow.  Some of the surrounding areas started last week.  I found this pic of my first day of Kindergarten 58yrs ago...1958.  I remember it clearly.  I really wasn't excited to go!
Can you tell?