Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Don't Have A C. O. W!!

If you were asked what is quicker..the pen or the computer..would you believe me if I said the pen? We found that out at our little hospital this week on what I will call "Black" Monday. We went to all computerized medical charting. Sounds like a good idea right? The Government must think so because it will be required by law in 2014. I mean, would we be steered wrong by the Government?? This has taken many months to get set up. First there was the training of some of the staff to be "super users".They took special training on the system our hospital chose to use. Then they in turn trained the rest of the hospital on all the ins and outs. I can't go into all the workings of this because as a surgical technologist I don't really have to know a whole lot about using what we call a COW..computer on wheels. I'm the scrub nurse who works with the Docs doing the surgery and I don't have to chart. I'm thanking the Good Lord every day for this. Our productivity will be cut in half for about 2 weeks while all the kinks are worked out and all the staff is knowledgeable about using the COWS. After that, we will get more up to speed, but never as quick or as busy as we were using paper. So what does this mean? It means our hospital spent 9 million bucks to do this...it will take 12yrs to recoup it..and we will not make as much money or be able to help as many patients as before. Will this mean only the sickest will get treated first?..only the richest? only the most insured? Well, this is a new age and we don't know all the answers but I think I will not be as sad to retire someday..and I will always be grateful that I knew what it was like to work with Doctors who were allowed to practice good medicine and help people get well..Nurses who were allowed to provided patient care, not computer care, patients who were allowed to have procedures they needed done, and not be denied care by an insurance company. Docs who did not have to be computerized technicians who must take extra hours to log in and out. Doctors who actually could look you in the eye while they talked with you about your health concerns without a laptop in front of them while they click away never looking up at you. We have advanced in many areas of surgical care. I've been privileged to see this also. I have worked with and still do work with a great group of people who love what they do, are smart and quick thinkers, and who are trying to embrace this new way of charting with the hope that it will eventually be mastered so they can do what they do and love best...taking care of people.


Meet the C. O. W:

Because of the time it takes for data entry there is lots of this...an Operating Room bed just waiting to be filled..just sitting around empty and getting colder by the minute..just sitting there not earning it's keep!
There is lots of this...a surgery case all set up in an empty OR room just waiting for the patient to be ready..and all the computer data entered. It's been taking about an hour between cases to have all the info logged in. Hopefully someday it will go smoother, and quicker. It's already better today than it was on "black" Monday.
Some other things you will see...a nurse (Donna..Starkey Hollow)working while all around her are the other nurses (see Jen in the background) are logging stuff into the computer. And I guarantee that it's not a blog post!
So what's going on while the sheets get cold? This...sitting, waiting, and looking at the new electronic scheduling board. It tells us what surgeries are being done, where the patient is in the whole process, when the cases start, when they stop, and who won Wimbledon...OK, so I'm just kidding about the tennis.
Anyone out there ever live in the country? What do country kids do when they get bored? Ever hear of "Cow tipping"? Ok Kris..knock it off! If you don't know what cow tipping is..google it.
Here's Becky...She's one of our "Super Users"..she's a go-to computer know it all..when personnel is having a "cow" and gets stuck, she comes a running with the answers! Or just to get yelled at! Just keep on smiling girlfriend!
So where does all this computer business leave me?...Right here in my own little literary world. Dr. M came in the break room on the first day of the "go live" computer disaster and he found me doing this..his words were "Look at you Starko..all relaxed, reading a book, enjoying the day..." All I could say was "You betcha baby!" Now just go and leave me alone before I have a cow.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekend Wonders

The weekend started Friday afternoon after I rushed home from work and Jack and I headed down to Columbus to the Temple. We had to be there by 5:45 at the latest and you never know how the traffic will be. Us country bumpkins forget how crazy rush hour can be! But we made it fine and enjoyed the spiritual uplift we felt there. It's a good way to begin the weekend.
Saturday morning I went out to check on the black raspberries. I found some but I found more of these little guys than anything else. We've noticed this year that we have a ton of Dragonflies all over the place. They are so pretty and even though this shot is blurred, I liked the wing color. They were everywhere on the leaves and as I picked they flew around me and sat and watched like a bunch of magical fairies enjoying the nice morning. They seemed to like posing for me..I just wish I had a better camera to take these shots.
One more of a million.
Ok, now I've become a Dragonfly stalker!
In order to pick I had to make a few trips back to the house..once for my camera, once more for my boots, once more for some gloves. All the protection from the poison ivy, and brambles and any other dangers I might encounter. After a bit I realized I had lost a glove during my picking....I found it as I was leaving..is that an obscene gesture it's making?
I tromped around the Creepy Woods looking for more berries and when I saw this area I had to laugh..it's the area we had the ghost stories around last fall..under all the growth are the hay bales we sat on...hmmm....I wouldn't sit there now!
After working around the house all day I asked Jack if he would make a fire (our first for the summer).
With the wood smoke smell all around, and the heat just perfect for roasting a wiener, we had a quick supper and then sat around the fire enjoying the quiet and the sit down time! The bugs even cooperated and left us alone. The air was pretty cool out tonight too...perfect!
When we went inside for the night I thought I would make some goodies for Sunday. I had the oven heating so I decided to make some caramel corn...the YaYa way. I use puff buttered corn (from a bag) instead of making regular popcorn for this. It's easy, no hulls to worry about breaking a tooth on and frankly it's D-double darn delish good!
Remember the berries? I didn't score that many, but I mixed the cup I picked with some frozen raspberries and made a tasty dessert...atleast I think it will be tasty, I just stuck the spoon in there for the picture..I'll taste and report back later!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm so far behind in posting this week. Not that anything grand has happened, but I like to keep up! Father's Day came and went and I didn't even blog about what great Father's I have in my family..like Jack and our boys! So a belated happy day to them. My camera wasn't cooperating on Sunday and I only got a few pics. This one made me laugh because Jack and our son Jack are just giving poor Cameron the stare down. Not too "Fatherly friendly" looking! It was good to see the boys and some of our Grandkiddos for a few hours. Not having them would have made that day just another Sunday on the calendar!
Phil and Amanda stopped by for lunch with these two characters..the crazy hair gang!
We shouldn't forget this dude...Eddy the Granddog..he stayed with us on Saturday and took a little shade time under the Oak tree.
Father's Day weekend is usually the last day for Green Valley Growers to have a huge, final sale. Everything was 70% off on Friday so I just had to score some goodies...like 7 hanging baskets that I planted...a flat of annuals..a flat of perennials (32 in the flat!) and a black eyed susan plant. I have most of it planted but it's taken me almost a week. Dodging the rain and fighting off the mosquitoes has made it a challenge. But not a bad take for only $24!
We have a ton of these this year. Black raspberry bushes that grow crazy wild all along the paths up to the Creepy Woods. It's a buggy pick, but I think by Saturday many should be ready and then some real "jammin" will take place. Or I should say jelly..black raspberries are too seedy so I like to strain the juice for jelly instead.
On the side of my house is this pretty hydrangea bush. I got it as a Mother's Day gift in 2002. It's really a good bloomer and I do love the color blue! These are fun to cut and put in the house because they last a long time and you can even dry them it you want. (I don't usually do that)
I love this pink hydrangea too..it's on the bottom of the bush. So, the top is blue and the bottom is pink..kinda bi-polar if you ask me.
This looks so innocent...all peaceful like...pretty even..however, across that driveway in that planting area is weed heaven..or YaYa hell...it's been a pain in my...side, trying to keep it up. I have many of those before mentioned perennials that need planting but first I will have to prepare the site. Maybe I need to prepare myself by taking a sit down rest on one of those chairs. It might help...it probably won't.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thanks For Sending a Rainbow


It was a bittersweet day for Jack and I. A good friend passed away and his funeral was today. It was nice to see all his family and friends at the funeral and many friends who had moved away came back for his service. I was happy that my boss let me leave so I could attend. Mark was a good friend, a man with a smile as big as his heart. Jack had served with him in many church callings and enjoyed his sense of humor. Conducting his funeral was not an easy task for Jack. Mark was only 58. To some that may seem old but for us who are the same age, it's pretty young to head to the other side. But when illness, pain and suffering are your new companions, it makes the leaving a blessing. The words and stories about his life brought many to tears as well as laughter. It brought to my mind the saying that everyone has a story to tell...their life so full of chapters. How grateful we should be to have a small role in those chapters. His oldest daughter gave a lovely eulogy and his 3yr old twin grandchildren sang his favorite Primary song: "Give Said The Little Stream"...and Mark did give much to all who knew him. He will be missed. I left work later than I normally do because of being on call. It had been a busy and kind of crazy day. We had an emergency C-section right after I got back from the funeral. Actually, the baby was already born when I walked in the OR to take a look at this tiny new member of the human race. He was born at 23wks and probably weighed about 1-1/2lbs..the smallest one I've ever seen born at our hospital. Of course they shipped him to a bigger facility that has a NICU. He was doing remarkably well when he left and I hope he continues to grow and thrive. Sort of both ends of the spectrum today...Death and birth. As I was heading for my car I looked up and saw this rainbow and it made me smile. Perfect ending for a not so perfect day.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bashful and Frick and Frack

Now for something a bit creepy..Ok, it's not really creepy but it does give credence to the fact that I'm very unobservant. Jack asked me if I had looked at this pic from my previous post on "foliage" here at the Pines...of course I looked at it, I took the pic! Well then, he says, look again...enlarge the photo..what do you see? I laughed when I saw what he was talking about..how did I miss this? See if you can see what we see...

Sunday when I came home from Church I found these two characters romping in the backyard. Then today when I came home from work they were there again having playtime in the back and front yard. What is this..wild kingdom? Well, they are cute but I bet their Mom wasn't too happy about them leaving where ever she is to come visit us. I apologize for the blurry video. I was trying to get the shots from behind windows and windows with screens!
video video

Friday, June 10, 2011

Play Ball!

I stopped at the ball field on Thursday night to see this sweetie play. This is the second summer that our Grandkiddo, who's name just happens to be "Summer", is playing on a girls softball team. It was the perfect night for a game. It was cool and a slight breeze was blowing and the smell of popcorn and the yell of "hey batter, hey batter, could be heard all over the stands.

There were a few other family members there to cheer Summer's team on..like this little monkey, Cameron the crazy three year old!
Mmmmm...can't go to a ball game and not get a hotdog! I don't think Cameron's so sure about it though.
Sitting in the dug out...never know where YaYa will be with her camera do you? Sorry!
Summer's in the batter's box..GET READY!!
GET SET!!
SWING!!...Oooppss...As you can see, I didn't snap a pic of a hit. But she did have quite a few in this game and they won. So you go girl!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spring Foliage

Taking a walk around the Pines you'll find more than evergreen trees. Going up the side and back of the yard, before you get to our woods, you'll find a ton of foliage that blooms, produces fruit, or will give you poison ivy if you're not careful! Sometimes you'll run into some surprises...Every Spring I find this crazy climbing rose bush in bloom. It only blooms once so it's a gift when they open. It's in the back of the yard near where the wood pile used to be.
The blooms are very pretty and if this area wasn't so shaded, they might even bloom more than once. Or maybe if I pruned them and treated them more like I would the roses I have near the house they would do better. I don't know. I like seeing the wildness of them and wonder why they were there in the first place.
I don't always know what everything is called, but I enjoy the view anyway.
I've blogged about this area a million times this year. This is the entrance to the Creepy Woods and it looks like it would be a lovely path to follow. Deceiving...
The path then turns to this...overgrown. If I would bring up the big weed wacker I could get it under control, but since we don't wander up here in the summer, I like to wait until the fall when it's cooler, less buggy and I'm anticipating a haunted hike for Halloween..more fun!
It's starts to get more lush, dark and, well just a bit creepy, as you go farther in..so I think I'll just turn around and head back!
At the back of the yard, although you can't tell by this photo, there is a path just to the right that will take you to a different entrance to the Creepy Woods. It's lined with black raspberry bushes and elderberry trees. If you can brave the bugs and mosquitoes to pick them, a jam and jelly fest is sure to start!
Getting closer to the house and right near the veggie garden we planted raspberry bushes. I love making jam with them and it looks like a good crop this year! If I can keep the deer away...
Around the house in the front we have a rhododendron bush. The blooms on a rhododendron don't last forever so I wanted to snap a pic of this before it was done. They are so pretty and it's a shame they can't stay like this all summer. Maybe I would take this beauty for granted if it was always around.
We've been redoing the deck this past week..as I was getting ready with the paint Jack spotted this little guy hanging around. I'd seen him before, hanging on the back door and once on the window that looks into my kitchen. Hope he'll enjoy the deck better after the paint job! I know I will.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A June Bride

Do you like surprises? A few months ago a friend from church..Connie...told everyone she was getting married..in June..and moving away..and I think we all were surprised. Connie is retired and in her 60's..her fiancee is an older gentleman she met while serving in the Columbus, Ohio Temple. Being in the Temple makes Connie happier than anything else in life. She wanted to move out West years ago just to be nearer to a Temple. Her house never sold however, and she has stayed in Ashland and went to Columbus (about an 1/12 hr. drive) Temple as often as possible. It's there she met Leo..and the rest is history. The wedding is June 15th in the Manti, Utah Temple. Her really close friend Debbie decided we needed to give her a send off with a surprise shower. No gifts however...another friend, Gayle, hosted the event on Friday. We had some good laughs, good food, good fun.
The table looked lovely with the flowers and the food was simple and delish..thanks for hosting it Gayle!
Connie doesn't like cake so the hostess made pecan pie..Connie's favorite dessert. It was excellent by the way!
Everyone was enjoying the fun, even little Stanley! That would be the baby..not Elyse (who's not his Mom) with her cute, big smile!
Why do we feel the need to embarrass our friends? Well, we couldn't resist this one, so we made Connie stand up and be dressed by the little elves at the shower. I've done this before with toilet paper, but napkins are much more dignified!
Almost done!
I think the dress turned out lovely! Much less painful than the experience she had at a real wedding dress shop..When she walked in and said she was looking for a wedding dress for herself..they rudely stated "We only sell dress up to size 14 here"...Hmmmphhh, I'd probably spit in their eye!
Since the bride and groom both have full households with many items, Connie absolutely said "no gifts please...we need nothing!" So a request went out that everyone please do a good deed with her in mind, write it down and also any marriage advice..she then read the cards that were attached to the helium balloons. I'm not sure they really need advice since both have been married before. But I gleaned some wisdom from all this..it's never too late to be in love, to be happy, to have hope for a future of fun, adventure and new beginnings. All you need is a willing heart, good friends, and a strong faith that God truly is in charge in our life. Best wishes Connie and Leo!