March 30, 2007

Father Time - Part 2

(This morning my computer won't add pictures or use any of the buttons like spell-check, bold or the link button at the top of my screen. )

...While my private duty case is in the hospital, and with Jim working now, I’ve suddenly felt the freedom of setting my own schedule, and it’s almost overwhelming.

My sister, on the otherhand, isn’t working after a series accidents and surgery. She loves being at home. She does her shopping, learns new things on the Internet, hangs out with her friends and makes a comfortable home for her family. Time Management comes naturally for her.

Me. I feel guilty over so many things. A reflection over feeling responsible for the protection of Sandy and myself while growing up, I’m sure. But, feeling guilty for staying home and doing whatever you want, isn’t natural! So I’m compromising and trying to get just enough done to feel good about my day and still enjoy the roses!

Remember that quote: Woulda. Coulda. Shoulda.? Meaning. "Don’t whine about it!"

In order for me to feel satisfaction for a ‘day well done’, I need to focus on allowing myself to keep busy but also give myself permission to do things I enjoy without feeling so awful about it.

So I make a list:

Will do today.
Should have done yesterday!
Can do tomorrow!

Last fall I planted a large planter of tulips on our second-story balcony expecting beautiful blooms this early spring. During the winter, I noticed the eaves of our building poured rain water over into the planter keeping it full of water or ice all winter. I knew the bulbs would rot in the moist soil, and I kept telling Jim we needed to put holes in the planter to drain it. The drill was in storage, and we kept putting it off, ‘until the weekend’. Guess what? It’s spring, and all my bulbs have floated to the top of the pot and there they lie! Woulda. Shoulda. Can’t do tomorrow!

For months Cingular has been charging me for Mapquest. $3.99 a month. My cell phone won’t run Mapquest, and I should call to discontinue that service. How many months have I paid that $3.99? I dare not think how many. TODAY I’m going to make that call! Would like to do today. Should have done yesterday. CANNOT do tomorrow.

Many nights after a long day at work, my hips hurt so badly I can’t sleep. I toss and turn to find a comfortable spot. Jim says, “Take some Motrin.” He knows that helps my pain. But, I lie there thinking it will quit soon or that I’ll fall asleep. Never happens. If I want that pain to stop, I need to get up and take the pain pills. Sometimes Jim gets up and brings them to me. Then I feel bad!

"Would like a pain pill now. Should get up and take it. Cannot get relief if I don’t take action!" (Good to have a loving husband who will do it for me.) If we want to see action in our life, we need to TAKE ACTION.

Jim’s off today, and he had several important things planned for this morning. He must go to the IRS for more forms so he can finish up taxes. He should take some important paperwork to a client. And, he planned to return some books.

Well, once again he was not able to sleep one wink last night. It’s a worry for us when he can’t sleep. We need to address that serious medical issue in his life, but it’s something foreign to us and he doesn’t like going to doctors and taking all the tests like a sleep study in a medical facility for a night.

So, he finally falls asleep after 6 a.m. this morning, and all those things he should have done this morning will not get done.

This problem takes big action, serious planning and difficult follow-through. I’m sure everyone has something like that in their life. It might not involve being able to sleep. But it’s something you know has to be confronted, and you keep putting it off.

So, eventually, our life can be make up of several goal oriented ‘lists”.

On my goals-list I have many things I want to start doing or do better!

Weekly visits to Curves.
Regular haircuts at the same place.
Appointments to the dentist.
Make inroads into photography contacts.
Go to Social Security to inquire about retirement.
Visit former patients I know who are lonely.
Clean out the bathroom cabinets.
Organize my walk-in closet.
Make a list of all my photography equipment.
Finish setting up the studio.
Move my keyboard piano away from the window.
Bring my refrigerator in from storage.
Give away all my clothes that don’t fit anymore!
Play the keyboard piano!
Finish my second book.

I have to do more than make a list. I have to TAKE ACTION on my list, or it will never happen.

Today’s List.

Mail those packages. (Will do today)
Dentist appt. at 1 p.m. (Will do today)
Water the indoor plants. (Should have done yesterday.)
Get uniforms ready for the weekend job. (Will do today)
Call about MapQuest. (Should have done yesterday.)
Play the keyboard. (Can do tomorrow)

But before even thinking about my today’s list, I had to decide how much time I could stay at the computer because I love learning and writing. I could do that all day! As I passed by the computer, I turned it on. Almost sitting down at the keyboard, I scolded myself. "No. Get dressed and take the dogs out first. Then decide what you're going to do this morning, this afternoon and this evening."

Sheba and Ching-Ching are now happy at my feet. I'm fully dressed for the day and the packages are all set to mail. I'm off running my errands before the dentist appointment in 1 hour and 40 minutes! See ya later!

Take Care on the Journey,

March 29, 2007

Father Time

In the past few days my schedule has changed rather radically. As some of you know, Jim got a regular job, and I’m able to stay at home a little more. I went PRN (as I want to!) at the nursing home, and unexpectedly, my private duty case, the little baby, is in the hospital so suddenly I have a LOT more free time than I expected.
(If I work for you and you’re reading this, don’t call me. I’ll call you!)

Time, and my use of it, has become rather important to me

“Sleep in until noon”, Jim urges. While in fact, I wait until I hear the front door click closed before I jump out of bed to start my day. I don’t want to “waste” a minute. So, is this good or bad? Is being organized important, or a noose around one’s neck? Should we really be accountable for every minute of our life? Or, should we drift along smelling the roses and enjoying doing whatever comes to mind when we are not forced into some time control thing called “WORK”?

Just before I left the nursing home, a newly hired nurse came in on her own time to, “watch my organization”. If you’re a nurse reading this article, you know that it's in your best interest and those of the next nurse coming on to be in complete control of your time and hope nothing comes along to upset the thin timeline you have to finish up so you can go home.

Actually, most nurses I know do not finish their work on time and either just leave it for the next nurse or stay over, or even come back in a couple hours to ‘finish up”. But this is for another story.

People ask me (or complain about me) doing too much. I always respond that I don’t think I’m doing too much but just get more done in my 24-hours a day than most people. (Yep, sounds like me.)

Here are some ideas on Time Control that I believe help keep me organized and able to get the most out of each day.

Number 1. A well-organized person must have a timepiece and be aware of each passing hour and what they have done in that hour. Otherwise, we do slip-slide along doing what we’re in the mood for – or we let other things and other people control OUR time.

Maybe this part is easier for me than others because I have an innate ability to know what time it is without looking. Even if I wake up in the night, I can tell you what time it is without looking at the clock. I’ve never gotten up for work at 2 a.m. in the morning unless I was scheduled to do so. Do you know anyone who got up and took a shower at 3 a.m. only to discover it was 4 hours early? Good timekeepers can’t do that. I know only a few other people like that.

Number 1 may actually be impossible for some people to comprehend and follow all the time. If you are like that, don’t be too hard on yourself, but beware of how many hours are ‘wasted’ when you feel like you, ‘aren’t getting anything done’.

Of course for me, wasted time is when I’m not doing at least three things at a time. Before I started writing this story – which I was very anxious to do after a 20-minute imposed nap – I got a pot roast going in the oven; started a load of laundry and set the timer so I wouldn’t write too long to get some ironing done before Jim gets home.

If truth be known, I was fussing at myself because I really wanted to get two packages to the post office by 3:30 p.m. but decided to allow myself the privilege of doing that tomorrow and write my story today!

I found a cute little woolly lamb to send to a friend who collects lambs (Marian), and I’m sending an Easter Care Package to Philip and Shelley because I know they won’t spend money on all the favorite chocolates they love at Easter time. (Billy and Katy live too far away for chocolate!)

Number 2. Set goals. Oh ouch! Many years ago when I listened to Wayne Dyer’s tapes on setting goals I thought I’d never be one of those people! First of all, grandma always said Jesus was going to return before any goals would be reached anyway. And that was the end of that discussion.

But now I firmly believe if we want to be prepared for tomorrow, we need to know in our hearts what we want to be doing (notice I said ‘want to be’ doing) tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, five years from now, 10 years from now, 15 years and ad nauseaum. (I think that’s a word.)

During a simple job interview, a good employer will ask you what your goals are. At least for the next year. Jim has learned this well during the last couple years of constant job interviews. He has his answers written out and memorized, and I think it has actually helped him be more organized – at least in our future planning.

Me. I never even ‘saved’ or ‘planned’ for retirement as most young people are doing today. If so, I would have worked at jobs that provided for such. Or started a 401K (whatever that is). See how much I’ve missed out?

Jim tells me that I’ve worked my limit for what social security will pay when I retire, and I should think about getting a state job that will pay a hefty sum in 10-15 years when I will have to retire because of OLD AGE! Well, that’s long-term planning and this story suppose to be about being organized today. I got off track.

Starting today, write a little list of what you would like to accomplish tomorrow. (Tomorrow is too late.) Get a little book that feels like a warm fuzzy and starting setting goals that are within reason.

I know that setting a goal for me to loose 20 pounds in two months is just not going to happen. Maybe setting a goal to cut meal portions or skip the bread is reasonable for me. So make sure you set goals that are reachable for you.

Make a schedule that you are happy about. If it’s drudgery, it won’t happen.

Let go of people and things that/who take control of your time. This works best if you already know what you are going to do with your time.

Last night I got a call from a good friend. At first, while I was delighted to hear from this person and probably could have talked for hours, I knew that it was nearing suppertime, and Jim was just in from work. Jim would have been understanding and probably after awhile might have gotten himself a snack and not worried about me talking on the phone. But, the call would have distracted from my plan to enjoy some time with Jim, so I was able to pleasantly bring the conversation to an end with a promise to talk more soon.

I’m bringing this to a close because I want my sister to enjoy this (just teasing) and because I don’t want to bore you, the happy reader.

Later, we will discuss things that control your time. Like, reading the mail, watching TV, working on hobbies and even sleeping. I’ll explain how having a place for everything and everything in its place will also open up time for things you want and love to do!

If you enjoyed reading this, please click the flower.

Take Care on the Journey

March 28, 2007

Perfection and Loneliness are Intimately Related

New Directions – Notice the “s” in directions. Today is the first day of new directions for me and for the family as well. Jim started a new job this week. It was fantastic to kiss him off this morning and lock the door behind him instead of the other way around as it’s been for the last 3 years or so!

Of course I’m still ‘working’, but it’s in new directions that I’ve wanted to go for some time! Yesterday was my last ‘regular’ day at the nursing home where those 12-hour+ days were literally killing me – at least my hips, back and feet were killing me anyway. Don’t get me wrong. I love taking care of my patients, and some I will miss dearly. When a few family members realize I’m not going to be there, they may fuss a little, but time marches on and they will get accustomed to new faces.

Some co-workers hugged me good-by so hard it hurt my ribcage. Others had to have one last “spat”, and many didn’t even know they wouldn’t see my smiling face around the place after yesterday. If the D.O.N knew, she never let on. It was business as usual for her as she passed me in the hallway and gave a few orders about the new computer program and walked on. She isn’t the cheery, “How are you today, Linda” person. I missed that in a supervisor, but it was my expectations that caused the disappointment – not her.

Most surprising was the wonderful ‘camaraderie-like’ attitude from my immediate supervisor who only last month wrote me up in a stinging, disrespectul manner about things that were totally false and even out of character for me. It was that last write-up that caused me to fear for my license and pushed me to get out of there. I believe she thought she was doing the right thing based on what others had told her without finding out the true facts - or even all the facts!

Last Christmas my sister gave me one of those Calendars for Busy Women, and sometimes there are quotes that I’ve really enjoyed and related to. The one for yesterday, March 27, 2007 is one I’ll cut out and paste on my wall. It says, “Perfectionism and Loneliness Are Intimately Related.”

Perhaps I’m too much of a perfectionist. Actually I’m quite the perfectionist! That’s what makes me tick, but it does get me into trouble with others who don’t have a clue what a perfectionist is! My troubles always seem to revolve around me trying to get those I supervise to be organized, stay busy and abide by the rules. When I told several aides they had to get off the phone and not sit at the desk so much, the whole establishment revolted against me. (Shock-Shock).

How did I get to be the “bad person”? But, I was! I got wrote up for being “unprofessional” “lazy” and “disorganized”. Ha! Everything I pride myself in being!!!! Funny how life works that way!

My last month at the nursing home was pretty much a new me! I didn’t push for perfection! I enjoyed the camaraderie of my co-workers even when they were sitting at the desk reading the newspaper. When they talked on the business phone and on their cell phones, I called home on the business phone and answered personal calls on my cell phone! They took breaks and I took the same breaks and forced myself to stay the allotted time. I took shortcuts in my charting (like everyone else) and didn’t clean out the med cart and empty the trash on every shift. If meds needed to go back to pharmacy, well that job belongs to the night shift! If the doctor didn’t call for his board, I didn’t call him to ‘give him his board’. If I had enough supplies for my shift, I didn’t go looking for supplies for the next shift. I didn’t rush to get the meds passed in record time (dare I say “on time”?) and sipped a cup of hot chocolate while I passed meds early in the morning. The list could go on forever!

Actually, I was getting used to the rather laid-back disorganization and pleasant relationships I was developing with my co-workers. Perhaps now that I’m 56-years old, I should learn new habits and better ways to relate to people. Is that what the world is coming to - or has it been that way all along?
I am by nature the perfect Virgo - The Perfectionist. How about this quote from the Internet…

Modest and shy
Meticulous and reliable
Practical and diligent
Intelligent and analytical
Fussy and a worrier

Overcritical and harsh
Perfectionist and conservative

I don't expect I'll change universal law! But, it was nice trying!

Click here if you enjoyed this story.

March 24, 2007

The Child Within...

My friends Floyd and his sister, Olive, have spiritual websites that I enjoy reflecting on most every day. Reading one today made me think about all we still need to learn and become...While surfing tonight I came upon this artwork that seemed to fit that thought.

Take Care on the Journey,

EnglishRose Is Alive and Well

EnglishRose Photography is alive and well albeit ‘restructured’. We’ve moved the office area to our home where technical matters are handled conveniently by Jim and Linda 24/7.

The portrait studio has moved and has been given a ‘make over’ to conform to a remodeled studio garage very close to our home.

We painted one wall of the new studio wall a light blue and hung the hand-painted backdrop there. The back wall of the studio is perfect for the backdrop rods to cover the entire end, and we gave enough depth to create a small dressing room. Later this week we’ll add mirrors and shelves. It's cozy but adequate. Simple but complete. Warm and welcome!

Linda still holds to her motto of “Photography With A Woman’s Touch”, and enjoys many (many) years of photography experience. Our equipment includes many cameras, various lens and filters. We offer unlimited backdrops and various lighting effects. We do film and digital photography. Your pictures can be printed while you wait or we provide professional color lab portraits. On-location shoots are always FREE with any studio setting. We also travel nationwide to do photography shoots including weddings.

Everyone is welcome to reach us through our website and make an appointment for portraits or weddings. We know you will appreciate the many beautiful on-location sites in the local area and you can enjoy unique, fun times at EnglishRose Photography in New Albany, Ohio.

Please visit our website at
Take Care on the Journey,

March 20, 2007

How Far Is It to Springfield?

My cell phone and Sandy’s computer say it’s 41 degrees in our little Midwest town near Columbus, Ohio. I could look out the window and see the sunshine or open the front door and sniff the air, but I’ve been told it’s the first day of spring – and it looks like a beauty!

The last six days have been the end of the beginning for me. I finally turned in my notice to go contingent "on-call" at the nursing home where I work those back-breaking, mind-killing, exhausting, frustrating, demanding 12-14 hour shifts.

It looks like Jim will be starting a new job on March 26, but that wasn't what cemented this commitment to change my schedule.

Yesterday, as I reset the snooze alarm for as many times as I dared, and longer than I’ve ever pushed the limit for getting ready for work, I made up my mind to stop this insane schedule. Working until midnight with the private duty baby case, and then holding my back in pain as I limp out of bed at 5 a.m. to start another hectic day at a place where no supervisor has ever said “thank-you” out loud, suddenly appeared so insignificant compared to how I was feeling physically and mentally. (To be truthful, once my supervisor did mouth the words ‘thank-you’ so no one else would hear.)

I re-dated my two-month old notice and slipped it into my uniform pocket as I kissed a peacefully sleeping Jim good-by and told Sheba, “mommy go to work” so she wouldn’t wait at the door for me to come back.

Fighting the urge to park in the Employee-of-the-Month parking spot right by the employee entrance, I pulled in next to a nurse who has locked her keys into her running car.

“Do you have AAA?" she pleads.

“No. I used it so many times to help other people they raised my rates,” I answer empathetically.

Inside at the first nurses’ station, I notice all the staff gathered around the phone. They’re looking up numbers to call in more staff aides, and others are using the agency book to call for extra nurses. “At least one person has called off. Maybe two,” I muse as I walk on over to my unit where it is still and quiet for a change.

Later, I’m told that two aides and one nurse have called off. A critical shortage!

Soon, I observe the director of nurses (DON) and the acting assistant director of nurses (ADON) rushing around barking orders with a body language that does not look happy! It’s not too long before the DON bangs through the double doors to my unit and demands to know where my aids are.

“Probably getting patients out of bed,” I respond with an even politeness.

Apparently the DON is using her authority to reassign everyone in the building.

She orders my supervisor to pass ice on the other unit even though she was discharging a patient home and the family is waiting for her paperwork.

She sends the Human Resource (HR) out to take dinner menu’s to patients even though it’s payday Monday and that person should be sending her reports to corporate so we can get paid on Thursday!

The ADON is assigned to start passing meds, but then pulled off that hall to do something else and the billing nurse picks up where she left off passing meds. (Impossible, I think.) Later, an agency nurse comes in as the third nurse in four hours to pass meds on that hall….

Then, the administrator arrives and yells at the DON because she doesn’t like how everyone is being used, and she immediately starts reassigning everyone again - her way…

I believe you get the picture here.

I, in the meantime, take over the discharge and start passing ice on my unit as I keep up with my morning med pass and answer call lights.

Right in the middle of this confusion and frustration, I walk back through the double doors to where the DON is still rushing around.

Ignoring the wild look in her eyes, I hand the envelope to the DON.
“I know there’s never a good time for this, but I’m handing you my two-week notice to go contingent” I announce as I place my envelope on the pile of paperwork she holds in her hands.

“I don’t know if I can accept this,” she says with a tone of confusion in her voice as she walks away.

Well, I know she can accept my two-week notice to quit, so I walk back to my unit without another word.

Later, a supervisor’s comment took me by shock when I told her the first thing to go will be those 3-days in a row 12-hour shifts.

“You’re the only nurse I know of that’s been able to do that schedule for more than a month,” she said. “And, you’ve done it for over a year! It’s too stressful and demanding,” she added with a sly smile.

And, they don’t know that I’ve held another nursing job and did photography at the same time! I must be part-angel – or indestructible! Or just plain stupid! They knew it, ‘couldn’t be done’, but let me take the bull by the horns and plow on every other weekend with that schedule.

In room 55 I hear what sounds like heartbreaking sobs of distress.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” I ask as I put my arm around the shaking shoulders of an old lady in tears.
“Did you know my husband died and no one told me?” she asks through tears rolling down her face.

Ohhhh no honey. You forgot. He died four months ago. And, you were in a car accident and you’re in this little hospital until you broken bones heal.”

“I did not! He’s sick and I need to get home to him. Will you take me home now? My husband needs me.”
“Right now I can’t take you home, but in a little while we’ll call your daughter. Maybe she can come see you.”

“I’ll do no such thing. My daughter is at work. You can call her there. But right now I need to get home to my husband!”

Just then another staff person comes into the room and says, “Your husband died four months ago. You have to stay here and get well.” (Not everyone knows how to talk to an Alzheimer’s patient.)
As tears roll down her face and her voice crumbles in grief, the little old 75-year old lady cries out, “My husband died and no one told me. Why didn’t anyone tell me?”

We finally take the out to the nurses’ station area where there is a TV and large table and other people to distract her.

“Have you seen my pocket book?” she asks now.
“Your daughter has your pocketbook and she’ll be here soon.”
“Will she take me home. I need to get to my husband. He needs me.”
“You’re husband died. Don’t you remember?” another staff member tries to help.
“You mean he died and no one told me?” And the wailing and tears start all over again.

In the meantime, someone has left the double doors open the long-term care unit and those patients are wandering to our dining room.

One very very old women shuffles towards a new upholstered chair. She has on a large diaper that is full of stinky brown BM. It hangs loosely and heavily at her sides. I rush to throw a large blanket over the chair before she sits down.

“Oh you go on now and leave me alone,” she yells at me.
Several visitors squirm in discomfort at the odor.

Another patient from the long-term unit makes her way to the nurses’ station area propelling herself along in a wheelchair. Clean and well dressed she looks happy and cheerful.
“Does anyone know how far it is to Springfield?” she asks pleasantly.
“About 55 miles from this area of town,” someone answers.
“Well, I have a Thunderbird out there with a bad transmission but I think it can make it to Springfield. The problem is that someone took my car keys.”
The visitor squirms again.

“Have you seen my pocketbook?”
“Your daughter has it and she’ll be here soon.”
“Will she take me home. My husband is sick and he needs me.”
Before I can “shush” everyone it starts again.
“Don’t you remember? You’re husband had a stroke. You took care of him for a long time but he died four months ago. You were with him when he died.”
“You mean my husband died and no one told me?”

I get on the phone with her doctor asking some something to calm her down. He complains because no one told him she was upset, but reluctantly orders an anti-anxiety pill that may last a couple hours. By the time the night nurse gets here, she will be right back to the forgetful stage of Alzheimers where every fresh memory brings a wave or heartbreak and sad tears.

Finally, after giving a long and lengthy report to the agency nurse relieving me for duty, I call Jim and we agree that we deserve a good meal at “O’Charley’s tonight.
He’s been doing our taxes all day and is cross-eyed and somewhat stressed too.
A tired-looking but pleasant waitress arrives to take our order.

“First, I want a piece of chocolate-chocolate cake with six layers of chocolate frosting covered with dark chocolate fudge. Then I’ll place my dinner order,” I say with pure pleasure.

“You deserve it” Jim says as he reaches for my hand across the table.

Take Care on the Journey,

March 16, 2007

Angelwings - Not In this Dream!

All my life I have, at unexpected times, had the same dream. As I reflect back, it's usually during times of intense emotional stress such as grandma's wrath and damaging physical force against my body with a sharp object. Or, when deep distressing issues are being demanded from my mind.

I don't have wings, as pictured here . Nor do I feel anything like an angelic being, but I am transported back to some ancient time when people were capable of transporting themselves up into the sky and away from danger or trouble! There's a secret physical-ness about and in our bodies, that if one could only remember how, we could lift our arms into the air and with a strange wiggling of the fingers, could make our bodies become weightless and able to float upwards or downward. There's always a moment of faith and confidence when one has floated to a great height and needs to return to earth, that one will not crash land in a downward rush. But in all my dreams, this has never happened!

Night before last this dream occurred once again and it was related to yesterday and today. Jim's Aunt (who died last year) called me to answer a call for help out on the highway at a simple traffic accident that could have easily become dangerous. A truck pulling a trailer had lost it's load during a tire blowout. I was able to safely transport myself over the objects in the highway and gently remove them before fast moving cars and trucks hit them.

Next, there are paralysed patients being given water therapy. While in this fast flowing river, the patients can move and swim. But, there are dangerous objects under the water that they can't see. I'm able to float overhead and call out places they should avoid to be safe. At one point, I warn them of a large black spider with many sharp tentacles that waits on the right hand side of the river to sting them.

Then, I'm helping with a simple chimney problem where smoke is being prevented from coming out the chimney top because of large rocks that are obstructing the opening. It's a simple slow-motion upward drift to the tall rooftop, but the interesting part is that moment of indecision when it's time to get back down. In a leap of faith, I am once again satisfied that I will arrive safely back to earth as my weightless body sinks to earth.

This dream is perhaps once again activated because of several significant decisions we're making about our life today.

We invested time and money into EnglishRose Studio. Now the physical plant is being dismantled. It's heart wrenching to see this happen to my happy dreams of working a busy photography studio again. In fact, Jim has done most of the heavy moving, saving me the added grief and sadness. After one hard day of labor and six Tylenol for pain, he has moved most everything out.

And we wait once again for the final news after another job interview that indicated he would be asked to take the position. But, of course, the last step has not taken place in that official written offer. Maybe today we will know about that. Or, maybe nothing and we must decide at what point he is not going to get the job...

At my second job, Maxim asks when I'm going to be able to work for them full time. "We could work you everyday," Lee said yesterday. At the nursing home job, I stay so busy the time goes by quickly and the money is good. But mentally I'm stressed beyond belief! (And oh my aching feet!) Right now I'm selfishly working both!

Then there's beautiful Virginia and our friends Olive and Duane. They have offered an opportunity to live on their little 'farm' with Jim helping finish several building projects in exchange for rent. (To make a long story shorter.)

Now, one should take note here that Olive and I share many dreams! Not of flying, but of helping others and using our talents to give back some of what has been given to us. Our emails fly back and forth as we discover more and more ways that we think alike. (Somewhat like my sister Sandy and Wendy have discovered.)

The question is: Should we pull up roots and take the offer from Olive and Duane? (Pulling up the roots is never easy. Remember pulling up those tall plants with little thorns on each branch and long deep roots from the garden?) We have made so many difficult decisions since Jim and I got married, but we feel that in each one we have not made mistakes, but learned lessons we would have never known had we not been willing to take the chances that came along.

There's no pressure from Olive and Duane to make this choice. They believe help will come to them, but it does not have to be us. I just keep wondering if this will take the pressure off for me to have to work so hard at nursing for us to make ends meet? Maybe it will open opportunities for me to do more things I enjoy such as new photography opportunities, helping with community projects and being a part of a community of friends - none of which I have here!

This is work that Jim is good at. Experiences he has enjoyed in the past. And, it's not the exhausting 8-5 city job that has always beat him down.

While we do not have to make an immediate decision, and we will not make any new move quickly, it is heavy on our minds and has an anxious awaiting.

On the downside, Sandy has some major objections and concerns that she has promised to be very vocal about. (See comments soon.) Billy has encouraged us to think wisely and not make any sudden moves. Philip didn't call me back yet so I could inform him of what's happening, so this will be a new information for him. Katy always has sound advice (and maybe more questions). Others are welcome to comment on how you see this picture and offer new thoughts. (If you can fly, special consideration will be applied to your comments!)

All of us are on the same journey but not always on the same path, so we are open to honest objectivity and direction, but we know the final ending is up to me and Jim.

Take Care on the Journey,


March 15, 2007

Hot chocolate, anyone?

I should be cuddled up in our king-size bed with Sheba keeping my feet warm and Jim burrowed beside me with his pillow wrapped around his ears to keep them warm. But, he's finishing the paper and Sheba hasn't had her last walk of the night, so I'll stop by here and say and hi to my family and website friends.
Did you ever have one of those days when you fumbled everything you tried to do? It started last night while I was doing private duty with the baby. (We got a rocking chair - Thanks Juanita for pointing me in the right direction.)
I broke my tooth and he broke the cord connecting him to his oxygen machine. (Actually, the pulse ox machine that measures his oxygen.) If the baby isn't connected to his machine, one has to watch his face and fingernails constantly to see if they are turning blue - and if so - get some oxygen into his nose at all costs.
After I put the rest of my front tooth in to my uniform pocket, scolding myself for not going back to the dentist like I was suppose to have the last time it broke, I held the baby in my arms while I tried to repair the cord attached to his big toe. (It measures his oxygen level.)
In desperation, I finally called the day nurse to ask if she had ever had a problem like this. She immediately understood my situation of having to constantly monitor the baby, so she got out of bed - and got her husband out of bed to drive her - to the baby's house and work on the big toe wiring problem!
That is dedication and I thank her profusely, although I doubt she'll ever see this story.
Getting home after midnight, I took a few minutes to check my email and set the clock for 5 a.m. as I crawled - wide awake - into bed! You know how it is when you know that you will have to get up in a few hours. I suspect my friend Floyd understands that feeling all to well while he's doing an early morning paper route!
But, this morning I woke up at 3 minutes before my alarm was set to go off. That's not to say I wasn't still sleepy and feeling a bit sorry for myself, but as I tell Jim, "I'm awake when I turn on the bathroom light." He takes several hours to 'wake up'. Neither of us are coffee people, though.
Later, while pouring hot water into my favorite mug for hot chocolate, I bumped the hot water pot and dumped it all over my legs! Jumping back from that, I knocked over my (favorite) mug and it landed with a crash on the kitchen floor splattering my last packet of hot chocolate and what was left of the hot water, all over the kitchen!
"Are you all right in there?" Jim called from the bedroom.
"I just made a mess!" I yelled back as I ran out the door - several minutes late for work.
Outside I was shocked by a winter blast of cold rain and blowing wind! A few hours before it was a balmy 70 degrees. Now it was 38 and spitting show in my face. That's winter in Ohio! Something about coming in like a Lion. That must be what that means!
And I hadn't even started my work day at the nursing home..... You don't want to know.
There's lots more going on in our life. I want to post a story about a dream I had about a secret way to fly that we've all forgotten, but will have to get to that tomorrow. Of course, I have a dentist appoint to contend with and work with the baby at 4 p.m. Then, three full days of 12-hour shifts at the nursing home.
But I'll be back as soon as I can. If I get to bed now, maybe I'll wake up early enough to come back and meet you here.

Take Care on the Journey,

A Test. Can You Read This?

My sister posted this test on her website.
I can read it. I must have a sgtrane mnid!

Tihs is for all us piss poor spellers!!!!!
I hvae asboutely no porbelm radeing tihs.
Don't even think about using spell check!!!!!!!!
fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too.
Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.
i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrdwaht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy,
it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are,
the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteerbe in the rghit pclae.
The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed itwhotuit a pboerlm.
Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter byistlef,
but the wrod as a wlohe.
Azanmig huh?
yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

March 13, 2007

Shelley has almost completed the new photography website. I'm thrilled with her work and happy that she would donate her time creating the beautiful, professional EnglishRose website. I've asked her to give herself some credit for a job well done. I know I mentioned this before, but it deserves to be noticed again.
Thanks Shelley!

Diarist Has Spring Fever

In case you don't like snakes, I made this small...In tribute to the one I stepped on in Virginia.

Greetings from the warm, sunny Ohio Valley that has been without our presence over the weekend and into Monday afternoon. But, we have returned from a safe and sound and fruitful trip to and through the hills of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and into the rolling farmland of Virginia. Everyone safe and sound except for one little green and black garter snake that had the unfortunate position to be under my foot as I stepped out of the van at the home of our friends, Olive and Duane.

We spent a few hours sitting in the sun, reminiscing and looking back into the world of our lives over the last 30 years and beyond into the future of who knows what will bring.

Jim is on a second job interview for a not-for-profit company that is looking for a grants administrator (I think). When he returns, I will stop writing and we’ll discuss what the prospects look like for this job and we must decide on the status of our photography business and the direction we should go there.

Sandy suggests I start writing about the Ten Commandments and how they hold true today. I’m itching to do a story of what to take and what is not allowed in a nursing home if one finds themselves in a position to be moving there. Pack a pocketknife and can opener…Leave your medicines and good shoes behind, for starters.

It’s hard for me to get back into the ‘work” mode after a few days off. I’m so glad we went to Virginia and will be writing more about the ramifications of that trip when the time is right. Jim and I enjoyed the uninterrupted time together. After my night driving on the way there in the pouring rain frightened us both, he drove home through the mountains showing me how the cruise control keeps one from riding the brakes all the time. We took the camera but didn’t take any pictures. I took my flute but didn’t play any music. Sheba and Ching-Ching behaved better than most small children. No barking in the motel room at night and sleeping in their assigned seats most of the time as we drove. Not once did they ask, “Are we there yet.” Nor did either one whine, “I have to go to the bathroom.”

Olive and Duane live on about 10 acres that nestles a large man-made lake and has a creek flowing through the back. There’s a brown horse named Mary who has a star on her nose and sniffs your pockets for sweet carrots and apples if you come close. We walked with Mary in her pasture and she kicked her heels and rolled on her back for us.

Olive and Duane haven't changed much since I photographed their wedding 34 years ago. (Was it me or BC but who cares?) It was nice to spend some time sitting in their front yard listening to singing birds and enjoying friendship time. Culpeper is a couple hours from Washington D.C

It’s finally warm and I want to do some spring-cleaning. I’ve opened some windows for the first time this year. The dogs are sleeping on the patio. Sheets are drying and towels are washing. Today, I’m missing my boys, Billy and Philip. I wish we didn’t live so far and could be with them more often. But tomorrow I’ll be busy, busy, busy again like everyone else.

Jim just called…The interview went great, but he says he didn’t do good on the Excel test, and he TEACHES Excel!!!!!!

He says he just wants to come home and go take a walk with me and the dogs.

As the funny voice says, “That’s all, folks”.

Take Care on the Journey,

March 8, 2007

Change of Plans

Short and Sweet - as I'm between two jobs with very little sleep time tonight.

I always listen to the advice of my boys, and my youngest reminded me how much I love photography. He worked with me several years as my assistant so he knows his mother quite well.

His advice is not to give up so soon. So, we're keeping the studio at least another month.

One great reason to reconsider the studio is the birth of a revised website for the photography business. Philip's wife, Shelley just posted our new EnglishRose site that is breathtaking! Please click to see our new website and Shelley's wonderful handiwork! Click HERE.

Thank-you Shelley.


March 6, 2007

Changing Times

It seems like a year since I’ve rested a spell at my website and spoken with fellow travelers. But, three 14-hour workdays can do that. I work the private duty case until midnight, then I’m up at 5 a.m. for the nursing home job. At least I’m too tired to have bad dreams. Today was one day in between jobs, and I didn’t accomplish nearly as much as I had hoped!

Jim and I have made some major decisions in the last few days during the little moments we had together. “Regrouping” as Jim calls it. And, we are in the process of making some more that I cannot talk about yet. (Nothing bad...)

Sadly, we know we must give up the photography studio. (Our landlord doesn’t know yet because he’s in Florida – sorry Bonnie.) I already talked to him last month so it shouldn’t be a surprise. He’ll be just as disappointed as we are. But, I’ve faced a city already flooded with professional photographers who know how to get through the red tape and make the big contracts. We’re going on three months with not one appointment. Our new goal is to make a stab into wedding photography and on-location senior and family portraits. I have soooo much equipment that needs to be put to good use. Still, it feels like walking backwards when I want to run forward. We made such an investment too. I’m sure we aren’t the only small business to falter! “Not giving up! Just changing course,” I say!
Jim has been doing a few business tax jobs – some coming back after he did them last year. It’s not only great that his customers returned, but he says doing taxes is, “like a walk in the park”. Something not very many of us care to challenge!

He has another job interview tomorrow. Not that I’m encouraged anymore by job interviews. But he’s researched the company and its leaders so he will be knowledgeable about the company tomorrow. Another $35 haircut, and bring out the good suit and white shirt!

On another note, He applied for a manager’s position at a very large place where rich people build summer homes, vacation cottages and retirement homes. It’s located on over 1,000 acres of private land in the hills of Ohio. We drove to the gates of the property but security wouldn’t let us in. I asked Jim if we should tell them why we were there but he said not.

The more impressive thing was we passed some property for sale very close to the site. It’s a beautiful little cove set between two wooded hills and across the road from a lake. It had a small building set against one hill. We called the phone number on the posted sign, and it’s 7 acres for $75,000. Four lots are part of the private land that could be sold. We came home dreaming of that wildwood setting with a new log cabin as our ‘retirement home’. We got online to look up the cost of log cabins and gather more information about the property. It’s a dreamer, we know. We’ve already decided not to invest in property and a home at our age. We don’t want to go into that much debt. But, as I said, It’s a dreamer! (The picture posted is not the place but somewhat like it.)

Well, the baby still does not have a rocking chair and Jim has lost his reading glasses. The computer program at work isn’t any better than last time I complained about it. In fact, the night nurse still can’t log on at all. I have a bitter enemy as a co-worker who doesn’t want to contract on any kind of resolution. There are bombs in Baghdad, an earthquake in Indonesia and another tragic airline crash. Libby is going to jail, and Atlanta isn’t planning to do anything about the killer intersection.

The good news is that we have friends in places we never expected and a loving and supportive family. I have work, and the car is expected to start and get me there on time tomorrow. The furnace is spitting out warm air and the pantry is full of food. If we are not in control of this world, we have the assurance that it is in control.

Sandy posted a really cute video of her little dog, Star chasing our former kitty cat, Ringo. Enjoy that comedy HERE.

My friend, Olive posted the answer to the question, “What happens if another mind does not accept (our) offer to come into unity?” HERE

Floyd writes an amazing analogy HERE.

Take Care on the Journey,


Diarist Is Awake

Goood-morning. I'm awake now and finally have a whole day off from nursing! I'm working on a story, so check back later today for my thoughts of the last few days.
Have a great day!
I'm walking in your footsteps!

March 2, 2007

I'm A Real Person Again

It looks like I won over the Blogger Robots!

I have to go to work now but for more information on where I've been, please read the comments at the end of the last couple stories.

Take Care on the Journey