June 30, 2007
To my friends and family who visit this blogsite, I'm happy to report that an interview article I wrote about working as a LPN has been accepted and published on the web. You may put the link on your website, but we can't reprint the article on our blogs. It's a first for me, and I'm quite excited about it!
Click HERE for the story. This is the entire link... http://blogs.payscale.com/salarystories/2007/06/duties-of-a-lpn.html
Take Care on the Journey,
June 27, 2007
June 25, 2007
Simon is my regular nail tech at “Nails-R-Us”. His ‘born-in-Vietnam advice always amuses me with its profound accuracy.
Today Simon was restraining me from going after the Tire & Oil man at the Wal-Mart on Morse Road in Columbus, Ohio.
I had eased up to the “Customer’s Only” sign on a chain link across the entrance to the garage at the back of my (usually) favorite Wal-Mart. Quickly, a bright-faced young black man stepped out offering to assist.
“Do you want an oil change today, “ he asked politely. Saturn filters are not always available so he continued, “What is the year of your car? How big is the engine? What type of Saturn is this?” he questioned as I reached for the manual book from the glove box because I didn’t know any of the answers.
If you’ve ever gotten your oil changed at Wal-Mart, remember how you used to park and go inside to the desk to tell them what you wanted done? Then you’d go shopping until you hear your name mispronounced over the loudspeaker. (Unless you have an easy name like, “Linda Cash” which I don’t have anymore…) Now, those details are taken care in a little station out in the parking lot.
As the inquisitive young man stood waiting for me to provide birth info about my car, his boss (I assume) stepped out of the office followed by a young woman and a small child. (It seems the young man had sent the women to the office to ask about repairing a tire instead of attending to those details at his station in the parking lot.)
The older man’s voice was angry, demeaning and demanding although I couldn’t make out his exact words. The look of pure anger on the older man’s face was more shocking than his shock of white/gray crew-style haircut.
“You should…You didn't…You can't…” he yelled at the young man who was assisting me. I rolled up my car window and started backing away.
Just then my helper came to the window and calmly stated that he had to, “go inside”. He looked somewhat confused and embarrassed.
Shaken but unafraid, I rolled the window down a few inches and looked at him with a knowing smile, “It’s terrible when you have an ass-hole for a boss, isn’t it.”
Well, it wasn’t fair. This wasn’t suppose to happen at Wal-Mart, and while I was shocked at my own words, I was glad I said them because the young man needed me to say what he couldn't at that moment.
I drove around to the front of Wal-Mart to park and go in for an overdue nail appt. with my friend, Simon.
“Hello Miss Linda. I make nails short for work. Vacation over,” Simon said with a beaming smile.
I asked about his children and greeted his pretty wife who also works there.
As his nail buffer whirled around my fingertips, I told the story of my ill-fated oil change.
“I think I should go back there and tell that man he shouldn’t have done that. It was rude and mean.”
Simon had instant advice. “No, you not know whole story. Maybe a family matter make him unhappy and he feel it at work. One person cannot change the world!”
Not completely in agreement with Simon, I told him that sometimes one person has made a big difference in the world, but I doubt it will ever be me.
Not able to leave well enough alone and disregarding Simon’s good advice, I take a grocery cart and move toward the back of Wal-Mart when my nails are dry.
“Just a peek to see what he looks like up close,” I argue with myself as I push the cart through the vegetable section.
Closer and closer to the big sign “Auto Service”. I scan the area for the old man....
“Can I help you?"
Now how often does someone at Wal-Mart ask if they can help you when you aren’t even asking for help?
His nametag said, "Assist. Mgr”, so I belted right in with my story about the incident at the oil change area.
“That was wrong. He had no right to yell at the young man who was trying to help me,” I repeated for the third time with tears in my eyes.
Mr. “Assist. Mgr” seemed to know who I was talking about. “An older man with a crew cut?” he asked.
“I’ll take care of the matter in private. It should not have happened here,” he earnestly assured me.
Glancing around to see if Simon had spotted me disobeying his wise counsel, I quickly headed out of the store and over to Firestone where Jim had asked me to go in the first place.
There, they gave me a “multiple visit” discount, and after waiting for almost 1 and 1/2 hours, they said I need new tires.
In other areas of my life,
Have you ever had a period of time when you feel like you’ve forgotten something all the time? It’s been driving me crazy and because of that persistent nudging, I assess everything I’ve done or am suppose to do. I check the calendar for work schedule and doctor’s appointments. Birthdays. Thank-you notes I should have sent. Calls I should have made. There something out there waiting for me, and I haven’t thought of it yet!
My friend at the post office told me today that she will retire next week after 30 years. While the rest of us resist going to work and look forward to our days off, I expect her to be behind that counter anytime I go with packages or mail. I know that if I ask, she’ll whip out the latest picture of her grandchild. She’ll look at the address of what I’m mailing because after reading my book, she said she feels like family.
“Oh, this is to your son.” Or, "Your friends! How are they?”
Yep, I’ll miss her on the job.
Have you noticed a new rage these days? Most of your receipts have a number to call to enter for a chance to win anything from $1,000 to $1,000,000 if you answer the survey questions? (That’s one million – I counted the zeros.) I’ve never been lucky at winning anything, but I’m saving my receipts and entering many of them.
Today, gas is highest in Chicago and cheapest in Jackson, Mississippi. Probably not enough to make it worth driving to either city.
I miss my children. I wish I knew where my brother, Thomas “TJ” was, and I still wonder what I’m forgetting….
Take Care on the Journey,
June 20, 2007
The blogger who tagged me (as one of his eight) is "clayfootsteps". I'm one of only a few, I suspect, who read his entire postings - even if it takes me several days! If you enjoy an honest, thought-provoking spiritual message, keep his site in your favorites.
When I told my husband about being tagged, he smiled slowly and shook his head, fearful that I’d spill too much personal baggage on the floor of these pages – as those close to me sometimes complain that I do anyway!
Perhaps I’ll surprise you. Since most of those who read my posting are family and friends, maybe I can tell you some interesting things about myself that even you didn’t know. "My long-time friend "Clayfeet” posted some tid-bits that I’d almost forgotten over the years!
I must list eight things about myself? Where are those cut and paste questions?
1) My naturally curly hair is okay by me. I never wanted to straighten it.
2) Ask me what time it is day or night and I’ll tell you within 5 minutes – Without looking at my watch.
3) It looks like I’m left-handed but writing and eating are the only things I do well with my left hand. Everything else is right-handed.
4) I’ve had four last names in my lifetime, but I’ve been married only twice.
5) On 9/11, I didn’t know what the twin towers were even though I was born in NYC, and a favorite picture of my sister who lived on Staten Island, has them pictured in the background.
6) My shoe size and ring size are the same size. (71/2).
7) I’m not afraid of spiders, mice or snakes but I won’t look at a worm!
8) Allie-Allie-In-Free. (Remember that?)
She won't like this until she gets into it. Then get ready to laugh until your sides hurt.
After this one, I had to do it the hard way and search "next blog" until I found eight that I think are clean and family-oriented. This took me hours, and I will leave a posting on each site that they've been tagged! Hope it works.
"Chuck" Is he a teacher?
June 18, 2007
Bobby and Allison (Sandy's son and wife) enjoyed Sandy's birthday party!
Sandy opens a birthday present - a digital frame from her husband, Craig!
Laurelbrookites meet again after 40 years!! Most anyone who ever attended Laurelbrook knows Dena (left) as the best cook Laurelbrook ever had! Sandra (center) worked in the school kitchen with Dena in 1968; Linda (right) graduated Laurelbrook in 1969. Dena's sister, Janice, (front, center) graduated in 1965 (I think. Please correct me if I'm wrong.)
My playmate, Susan, lived in this house at Avon Park, Florida in 1960. I have often wondered what happened to her. I'm so happy to have found this house again, but I imagined it as quite the mansion back when I was 8 years old!
The Lake at Avon Park where we lived a small children. I almost drowned in the lake near the spot of sand you see across the lake from where this picture was taken. Walker Memorial Hospital and the barracks also stood at the sandy edge of the lake.
"Boiled Peanuts Don't Fly Upsidedown"
My 5-day visit to Tampa is almost over and there's a lot to share - and much we shared!
Starting with Sandy's birthday party (pictured); Our visit with Laurelbrook friends, Dena and her sister, Janice and others (pictured); a reminiscent trip back to Avon Park, Florida where we lived almost 50 years ago (pictured). (It's where the Avon Park SDA Church is currently located). We went shopping at the LakeShore Mall in Sebring, Florida where we were adopted by grandma and grandpa Mascunana on June 29, 1962. We met up with Teresa Lucas at the mall. I was employed by Teresa at Teresa's Country Homes in Berrien Springs, Michigan for several years. (Whew a lot for one paragraph!) But, it's been a busy and surreal vacation.
Today Sandy and I got up early and drove to Avon Park from Tampa. We weren't sure we'd recognise the place where Walker Memorial Hospital once stood across the lake from the SDA church school where we enjoyed about one year of formal education before grandma whisked us off to Carver Creek, Missouri in 1960.
Nervously we peered at every lake we passed on the right-hand side of the road as we drove in the rain to Avon Park, but then we saw the little sign for the Avon Park SDA church and knew we were on the right track! We counted the years and decided it had been almost 50 years, so we could be forgiven for not remembering every detail!
What we found was a whole lot of sand where Walker Memorial Hospital and the army barracks we lived in, had once stood! (Sand pictured). We stopped at the next closest building that happened to be a walk-in clinic to ask if anyone remembered the army barracks. For a few moments, we wondered if that clinic had been the building we lived in, but we remembered it as being on the right-hand side of the hospital and not the left.
Anyway, as I waited for someone 'older' in the clinic to come out and talk to us, I noticed a 3-inch 'cock-roach' on the ceiling right above where a patient was sitting.
"This must have been it," I said to everyone in the room. "We used to have cock-roaches like that where we lived." Of course everybody jumped up, and the doctor came running out to get rid of the cock roach! But then he wouldn't talk to me, and we left to go ask someone else!
We got our information at the mall. An older man we asked said the hospital had been torn down about a year ago, but the army barracks had been torn down 'about 20 years ago". Guess Sandy and I were a few years too late!
Back at the Avon Park lake - The only part that hadn't changed very much - ...We were pleased to discover our favorite swimming holes (now full of alligators, we're sure), and to find the home of our friends where we used to go and play! You may recall in my book that I lost contact with my little playmate, Susan, (last name forgotten) when grandma left without letting us say good-bye to any of our friends. Today I took a picture of Susan's old house! What memories!!!!! (Click in and notice a little black dog in the window. I think Susan had a small dog! A coincidence?)
Well, there's alot more I'll write about including the great home cooked meal Dena made for us!!!! And the WOW deals we found shopping with Teresa in Sebring! But to keep this short enough for Sandy to read and not quite as long as my friend Floyd's web postings, I'll end with telling about the boiled peanuts.
Anyone who knows me well, knows that when I visit in Florida, I always look for boiled peanuts at the roadside fruit stands! Today on the way to Avon Park we noticed several, but one that boasted of "the best boiled peanuts in the county". We decided to stop in on the way back. When we arrived and I asked about the boiled peanuts the nice man said, "Not the best in the county, but the best in the state!" He offered to fix me up with some to take back to Ohio. "I'll sell you a gallon," the entrepreneur offered. And, how could I refuse!
Packing all those hot salty boiled peanuts in bags and securing them in a fruit box, he suggested that I put them in the carry-on luggage. He gave instructions for heating them up when I get back to Ohio and said as we waved good-bye, "Just don't fly upside down with them".
(To Hubby, Sheba and Ching-Ching. I miss you and I'll be home soon!)
Take Care On The Journey,
June 12, 2007
At some point, I'll stop posting the new book on this website, but if you would like to read the book as I write it, please add your request and email (if I don't have it) in the comment section.
By the way, you should know 'the rest of the story' about the write-up, but that will be added as a PS at the end of this posting.
The Laughing Place - Chapter 1
“Welcome home, darling. Thank-you for going to work for us,” were his calming words as Samantha carefully hung her lab coat in the closet. Without speaking. She kissed him softly and held up several sheets of a printed report.
“I’ve been written up! They are threatening to send me to another unit if I keep my ‘attitude’; Samantha fell onto the couch with sobs in her voice and tears in her eyes.
“My annual review, and I never saw it coming”.
I thought they liked me!” she wailed in frustration and disbelief.
Cletus reached for the report, but Samantha held it back.
“No. Don’t read it now. You’ll get too angry and I need you to be calm and supportive right now.
It was a three-page employee education/re-education report compiled by the unit manager (her supervisor) with CC to the director of nurses and human resources. This was all done, of course, without Samantha’s knowledge.
She was described as “unprofessional” “taking actions that are in direct violations of HIPPA regulations’, a pattern of behavior that cannot continue”.
“You leave jobs undone with the excuse, “I didn’t know how to _______”. Your request co-workers function outside their position responsibilities to assist you in your duties…Basic duties such as admissions, supply location, procedures to obtain meds, batteries, Jevity.. etc. continue to be either partially completed or not done at all.”
“There’s a palpable uneasiness between you and your staff.”
“The conflicts that occurred on 2/4 and 2/5 involving staff are only the latest examples of what has become a pattern of behavior that cannot continue on this unit.”
There was much more, but Samantha had been unable to read further. She knew exactly what this report was based on, and it wasn’t her attitude, behavior or work performance! It was another night nurse with a bad attitude and a day-shift nurses aide who resented Samantha taking the place of her favorite nurse who was out with a work related injury.
Samantha would respond to this cruel and unfair write-up, but not tonight. This was the worse thing that had ever happened to her in the four decades of nursing. The most crushing was that she loved working at the Old Gardens Place. For the first time in her nursing career, she had been working the night shift full-time and loved it.
Most frustrating of all was that she worked alone with another aide at night, and they got along very well together. So, the staff who reported whatever they reported to the supervisor knew very little about Samantha’s personality and work ethics! Which were, by the way, quite the opposite of this report!
Samantha had always upheld high professional nursing standards. She possessed true and honest work ethics and was a faithful, dependable nurse. In her 40-year span of nursing, Samantha had always received typical positive reviews accompanied with letters of appreciation. Many times, she was the supervisor to write the staff reports, and she always tried to find the best in everyone. Certainly, there were never any ‘surprises’ like this!
“Take a warm bath. Here’s some dark chocolates and a Dr. Pepper for you while you soak,” Cletus coached. “Forget those assholes!”
By the way, I think you got a letter today. It’s on the table. You can check it out when you’ve rested. Samantha noticed a plain white envelope on the kitchen table. It was addressed to her previously married name. The return address was someone she didn’t know.
“Just toss it. It’s probably junk mail,” Samantha commented. She wasn’t interested in mail from someone who didn’t know her current married name -10 years after her marriage to Cletus!
She soaked and sulked and felt generally sorry for herself for about an hour. Afterwards, she told Cletus she was going straight to bed if he didn’t mind. She wouldn’t bother fixing supper.
Twelve hours later she woke with sunlight streaming through the window and her dog on guard at the foot of her bed. Had Cletus left for work without kissing her good-bye? She jumped out of bed and raced to the living room.
Cletus sat in his favorite chair. A stunned look on his drained face.
“Why didn’t you wake me up? Shouldn’t you be at work? What time is it?” Samantha asked anxiously.
“Neither of us are going to work today.”
He held up the letter she had asked him to throw away.
“ You are the richest woman in the world,” Cletus murmured as he walked across the room and took his bewildered wife into his arms..
June 11, 2007
Here's a tidbit FROM the MIDDLE book I'm writing. (They say it's okay to tantalize.)
THE GLEAM IN HER EYE
Samantha ignored the ringing of the telephone. Years ago she would have ran for the jingle, but life had shown her that telephones, cellphones, I-Pods, computers and other encumbering devices have a way of deceiving you into an urgency that is usually not there.
"Sorry, but they say it's an urgent call from your son," the voice at the end of the receiver said in a calm but worried tone.
At The Laughing Place, Samantha's strong business skills, commanding attitude and loving guidance had accomplished what no one had done before in Alzheimer's research and development. She and her wise and wonderful husband had developed a magical place of beauty and serene care for those devastated by the ravaging effects of this strange mind-killing disease.
Samantha was well respected by the community and her family, but The Laughing Place was her whole life. She hadn't been away from her business in more than five years.
But it wasn't her son on the phone. It was his wife who didn't sound like her usual pleasant, confident self.
"There's been a terrible accident. Ruben got caught in a freak updraft while hang-gliding, and he's been hurt. They say he will recover, but he has a lot of broken bones. He's in surgery and we really need you here now."
"I'll be on the first plane there," Samantha assured her daughter-in-law without thought as to how that would be accomplished on such short notice.
...WE SKIP THE PART ABOUT THE TRIP AND SAMANTHA'S RESPONSE TO HER SON'S ACCIDENT. SAMANTHA PLANS TO RETURN HOME AFTER A FEW DAYS ....
"Why can't you stay for a few more days and oversee my therapy? I do so much better with your explanations of everything they're doing, and when you push me to take one more step," Ruben urged his mother.
"I'm wish I could stay longer. Oh how I really wish I could," Samantha said with deep sympathy.
"You don't love me! All you care about is that nasty nursing home for crazy people. Why did you even come here? I thought you were a real mother!"
Taking a deep shuttering sigh, Samantha knew it was time. She must confide a sacred secret that might bring down everything she and Cletus had worked for these past five years in the twilight of their life's journey.
Ignoring the stony silence and stiffened body language, Samantha nodded in affirmation at her first-born son with eyes of blue and a heart of gold. With a touch soft as a fledgling's feather, she knelt gently beside the hospital bed.
"It's called the mother of all computer chips, and it's embedded in my left eye," she said impassively.
Leaning closer to his bruised face, she added, "It's what keeps The Laughing Place alive. All functions will cease if I'm away for more than six days! On the seventh day, all functions there are irreversibly damaged. You and Cletus are the only people in the world who know this secret and no one else must ever know. But, that's why I must return now. And you will go with me to recover and heal there!"
Stunned and silent, Ruben stared intently into his mother's dark brown eyes. "I-don't-see-anything", he said slowly.
Gently pulling down the lower eyelid, Samantha leaned even closer to her son's unbelieving face. Ruben's body rippled with a slight shiver as he looked stupefied and mesmerized at the tiny golden speck of pulsating light previously hidden by his mother's long eyelashes.
"OMG" was all the Ruben could murmur as he bowed his head in shame.
"I'm so sorry, mom," Ruben choked as Samantha gathered his traction-encased body into her arms.
"Now can I go home?" she asked with a smiling giggle....
PS - You know the government is going to try and take my computer chip, don't you?
But, wait until you read about the magical properties of The Laughing Place! Have you guessed the reason for the name? Maybe something to do with laughing gas....???
Take Care on the Journey,
June 10, 2007
"True stories of Alzheimer's Disease based in a perfect mystical setting"The story revolves around my beautiful, fully functional facility for severe Alzheimer's patients. Putting together the best of everything I've learned in my long years of nursing experience, I have designed my dream facility, and I'm creating the people who will work and live there.
This unusual one-of-a-kind unique setting is a safe haven for those who are confused and have lost the ability to function in the family unit. There's the walk-through 'nature' shower rooms. A secure circular 'walk-around' enclosure that circles the entire perimeter. Well, I don't want to let too many cats out of the bag, but you can view my previous postings, the 5 series of articles called, The Adam and Eve Place. I will incorporate the best from these postings in the book too.
I'm also making a list of possible titles for the book.
Learning lessons from publishing, "Dusty Angels", I've searched Google with the possible titles to see how that name relates on engine searches.
"Beyond Love" is already a book about dementia, and there's a foundation for the same called the TSAO Foundation!
"Healing Time" is a thought. (One doesn't heal from Alzheimer's, but families often do!)
"The Adam and Eve Place" is already a place in Texas!
I was going to name it, "Crying Baby" but now I've decided that will be one of the chapters of the book!
John Denver's song, "Healing Time" has words I'd like to use in the book. When you think of it in the context of real people who experience step-by-step the Living Death of someone they love, this poem takes on more meaning.
Let the mountains talk, let the river run.
There's a wisdom here, there is much to learn.
There's much to know, much to understand
In this healing time,all across the land.
You have heard my songs, oh so many years
You have left with me, washed away my tears
You have shared my joy, you have felt my pain
In this healing time, walk with me again
Through these darker days on this narrow line
Help me find my way, help me see the signs
I'm not afraid, I'm not alone
You have thought me well, you have brought me home
Let the mountain speak, let the rivers run
As the world awakes to the rising sun
In each brand new day, in our own rebirth
In this healing time on our mother earth
Let the mountains talk, let the rivers run
There's a wisdom here, there's so much to learn
In each brand new day, in our own rebirth
In this healing time for our mother earth.
Jim is my sounding board and a very supportive one! He listens as if this is a real story that I've already experienced. His comments add depth and definition.
Well, more later! I'm also excited and planning for my trip to visit Sandy this week!
Take Care on the Journey, (lindasbookshelf.com)
June 7, 2007
I finally learned not to set the plants under the eaves, and that they must be watered every day. The rose is a plant I purchased in Michigan.
The seedlings are flowers seeds I planted and continue to nurture! Last year the seedlings all died.
Click each picture for a more detailed view.
Enjoy my garden!
Remember to "Stop and Smell the Roses" and...
Take Care on the Journey
June 5, 2007
Most of the time, I can immediately put my fingers on just about any thing anyone wants. I have files from when the kids were little. (And, they're grown and married now!) Medical files. Nursing files. Education files. Even files for the plants we bought from Lowes last year!
Well, today I found something that has been “lost’ for over 5 years. It was very important to me. In fact, I had said to myself, “That’s something I’d surely like to find in my lifetime!” It’s not replaceable. It's One-of-a-kind. Uniquely special to me.
It is the original letter my mother wrote to my sister and me when we were in the New York City Orphanage. We discovered it in the old orphanage files 35 years after she wrote it! Now it was lost again, and I just couldn’t believe it wasn’t going to turn up in that file labeled “letter from our mom”. But every time I looked, the file was as empty as the last time I looked!
I asked my sister if she had it. I searched all the files I had created during the years of searching for our mother. I looked again! I pulled out every box and opened every drawer and looked in every file folder! I couldn’t believe I had lost that treasured letter!
Today, I suspected something special was going to happen. There were absolutely too many number 55’s all around me. I woke up at 6:55 a.m. The temperature was 55 degrees. Every time I glanced at the clock, there was a 55 somewhere in the time! At one point, the odometer said 95555 as a car passed me with 55 in the license plate.
So, a few minutes after I got home, I begrudgingly went to work in the garage unpacking studio boxes. Now, these boxes were suppose to have been sorted at least a couple times since our move from Florida. Once when we unloaded and decided what went to the garage and what went to the apartment. Then, when we set up the studio, we sorted again. The boxes waiting for me today had been checked (again) by Jim and set aside for me to sort as more personal items.
I almost put off the project today because I got called to work at the nursing home tomorrow, but I gave myself an hour to get started. Right there on top of the first box I opened was that brown envelope marked on the outside, “Letter from our mother”.
“Ohhh, I found it,” I said as I sank into a chair and almost cried. Inside was not only the faded 53-year old letter from our mother, but also all the legal adoption papers when grandma and grandpa Mascunana adopted us.
Happily, I called my sister! I waved it in Jim's face when he got home. I'm afraid to put it away. It's almost as exciting as the first time I saw it!
Now if I could just find my nursing license and social security card….Take Care on the Journey
June 4, 2007
The Mountain Laurel in the Tennessee hills is as dear to my heart as the memories of living on Walden's Ridge near Dayton, Tennessee where my two sons were born. The cool misty mountain air; hiking the winding trails with friends; listening to the soft bird calls or thunder of the waterfalls!
The Mountain Laurel is also the state flower of Connecticut where I found my long-lost mother.
And, I discovered a website by that name where you can take a journey into the heart of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains where we used to live and where the Mountain Laurel flourish! The site http://www.mtnlaurel.com/ is called The Mountain Laurel.
These are very positive vibes that I hope to always pass on to you, my reader!
Take Care on the Journey,
June 3, 2007
Click the link for information about "Healing Paintings". They promote and offer them for sale, but the message is interesting too. Enjoy.
Take Care on the Journey,