Sunday, May 31, 2015

It's that time of year...

Some of you may remember that I posted this picture, after some people at work posted it as an April Fools joke.  Each Nursing Home in Michigan get's a visit from the state survey team yearly and it's something we all dread!
We have a window of about 5 months time that they can show up, but other than that we really don't know when they are coming.  They usually spend 4 days in our facility, and while they are there they follow us around, ask numerous questions, look through charts, check about everything in the facility, watch treatments, med pass, care being given, food being served...   It's a nerve wracking week, and many of the inspectors can be quite intimidating.  I know it's something that needs to be done, but I often question their methods and some of the crazy things they write places up for.
This past week they showed up at our facility.  I have to say, that in the 25 years I've worked here, this is probably the nicest team I remember.  They didn't try to intimidate us, and seemed quite down to earth.  I was also lucky that the day I had off, was the day they watched nurses do a med pass (which I think is the scariest thing to do in front of them!) so I was off that hook.
They left Friday and gave us a glowing report! They said we were a great team and worked well together.  They talked to many residents and they got no complaints. Many residents said they liked it here and if they couldn't be home, they wanted to be here. The surveyors said the staff worked like they weren't being watched and they could tell the staff really cared about the residents.  We did get 2 citations (which is a wonderful number).  One was because a therapy person opened a door to a room while a resident was being transferred.  That one is a dignity issue.  The other cite was for a toilet seat riser which was placed on the floor in a bathroom, which is under infection control.  Those things are easily fixed!
Everyone is happy at our place.  We truly do feel like we take good care of our people, but hearing it from a survey team is a great compliment.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cooking Thursday

Today I have one last recipe to share from the bridal shower a few weeks ago.  This is a hot chicken salad that my friend Bonnie made.  It was delicious and I'll be making it again!
You'll have to excuse this poor picture.  I forgot to take a picture of it, and had to enlarge this off a shot of the whole table.  :)

Chicken Salad Bake

1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup real mayonaisse
3/4 cup half and half
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups cooked, cubed chicken
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
5 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
chow mein noodles

Saute celery and onion in 2 tablespoons butter until tender.
Combine mayo, half and half, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic powder in 1 1/2 quart casserole.  Stir together, then stir in celery and onion.  Add in the chicken, shredded cheese and water chestnuts.
Bake at 425 for 30-35 minutes. Start covered with foil, remove foil after 15 minutes.  After another 15 minutes sprinkle chow mein noodles over top to taste.  Bake another 5 minutes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

A trip or maybe two, to the greenhouse

We are lucky to have one of the biggest greenhouses around, just 10 minutes down the road.  People come from all over, even other states to visit this greenhouse.  The road it's on, is one you want to avoid on a nice Saturday in the Spring, because traffic gets pretty backed up!
I was there last week to buy a few hanging baskets, and a small planter.  Bob and I, along with Alaina stopped Friday night to get some perennials. It's so fun to just wander around!

Here is the front section.  There are 8 acres of greenhouse here!

There is a playground for the kids.  They also sell hot dogs, caramel corn, popcorn...

These cats live here; you may run into one or two as you walk the aisles.

 I'm standing near the middle here, and there are flowers as far as you can see.

Such pretty colors!
This side is the annuals, the other side is perennials, and next to that is a 2 acre nursery.

Here's a few of our purchases.  I'm sure we'll be going back before long!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day

"Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er,
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking;
Dream of battled fields no more,
Days of danger, nights of waking" 
Sir Walter Scott 

Memorial Day is often seen as the holiday that marks the beginning of Summer, but it's so much more than that.
Thanks to all who served, and especially those who gave their lives, so I might enjoy the freedoms we have today.
(credit - Jo Coates)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Nursing Home Week

Last week was National Nursing Home Week. Every year during this week, we do lots of fun things at the Nursing home I work at. This year was called Fiesta week with many activities pulled from that theme. There was a day when everyone was supposed to dress in fiesta style. Another day the residents made a pinata and the next day they all knocked it till it broke. They also had virgin Sangria's one afternoon. Another thing that happened was an old car show. This is always enjoyed by all, and many of the resident remember driving some of these old cars.

This one was my favorite.

Another thing that happens during this week is staff dressing up.

These are several of our department heads dressed up for 'Dress in the decade you were born day'
From the left - Laundry, MDS coordinator, Director of Nursing, Admission Coordinator, Activity Director, Social Worker.  Don't they look great?

It was a fun week.  It's nice for the residents to have some special fun!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cooking Thursday

I told you I would be sharing more recipes from the bridal shower I helped with a few weeks ago.  Here's the veggie tray I brought.  I'm sharing my recipe for Vegetable Dip today.  I got this from a nurse I used to work with and we always enjoy it!  It's very easy to stir together and is very good!

Vegetable Dip

2/3 cups our cream
2/3 cup Hellman's mayonaisse
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 tablespoon minced onions
5 drops Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon Accent

Stir all ingredients together and refrigerate.  This tastes best if allowed to refrigerate overnight before eating.
*I always use low fat sour cream and mayonaisse, and have never noticed a difference in taste.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tulip Time

We live about 20 minutes from Holland Michigan.  Every year, in May, Holland hosts a Tulip Time Festival and people come from all over our country, and some even come from other countries.  Tulip Time  is a celebration of Dutch heritage and culture, and it's been happening since 1929.  There are about 500,000 visitors, representing 40 countries.  One of the highlights of the week is the tulips - over 6 million bulbs are planted each year.  Another highlight is the Dutch Dancing, over 900 dancers in the traditional clothes worn in the late 1800's to early 1900's, including wooden shoes.
I usually try to visit Holland to see the tulips after the Festival is done, so I don't have to fight the crowds.  This year, Tulip Time was from May 2-9, so last week, when Heather and I both had a day off, we visited Holland.

 Welcome to Holland!

 So many tulips...

 Seen in every color!

 This is DeZwaan, an authentic Dutch windmill that is 125 feet tall.  It was built in the Netherlands in 1761, and was moved to Holland in 1964., and it's the last windmill to leave the Netherlands. It is a working windmill.

 The streets of downtown Holland are so charming.

 There are tulips planted everywhere!
It was a fun day!   In case you wondered what the dutch dancers look like, here is a little snapshot of them, that I grabbed from the website,

Hope this gives you an idea of Tulip Time.  If you're even in the area in May, stop and check it out

Sunday, May 17, 2015


We had a graduation last week.  Alaina graduated from Three-school.  As you can imagine, a graduation ceremony with 17 three year olds is a fun event.  It wasn't long.  The kids sang some songs, each one got a diploma, showed a few photos,  and then they got a treat - best graduation I've been to for a while.  :)

Here's some pictures of them singing.  Alaina is on the far right in pink. Take note of the little boy and girl on the left.

Aren't they funny?  In this last picture, Alaina is being a monkey.

After the singing, each child was to walk through an arch, step up on on a platform on the stage, and wave to the people.  We weren't sure if Alaina would do the waving.

 Through the arch...

 A wave...

 And one more!

 A hug for the teacher..

Then a hug for the other teacher, and a diploma.

They put pictures on the screen of things that had happened during the year.  Here's Laura with Alaina on a field trip.  She sure has changed!

 Afterward there was time for a picture with the teachers.

 And one with Dad and Mom.

 The best part of the night - cake!

Ruby came to graduation too.  She behaved very well through the whole thing, but there was a small mishap afterwards.  Aaron was holding her, her turned his head for a moment and she grabbed for his cake, which ended up on the floor.  Guess she wanted some too!

We're so proud of Alaina.  She learned lots this year!  She's going to miss it this summer.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cooking Thursday

I told you I had some recipes to share from the bridal shower last week.  This is one that was an absolute hit.  This is a coffee slush punch.  It was so good and refreshing!  The funny thing is, there were several people there, including me who didn't like coffee, but we all loved this.  It's perfect for an occasion like this, and it's a bonus that it can be made ahead of time and then just taken out to thaw.  Another bonus is that any that's left over can be refrozen and used later.

Cafe Des' Amies Punch

3 cups strong coffee
2 cups sugar
1 pint half and half
1 quart milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Stir together and freeze.  Take out of freezer several hours before you need it; it will take more time if it's frozen in a big block, less if in a shallow pan.  Enjoy!

* I double this recipe to make enough for one punch bowl.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bridal Shower

On Saturday, I helped give a bridal shower for my friends daughter-in-law to be.  I was supposed to be at another friends house at 10am to get things ready, but at 10am, this is where I was:

Stopped on the road, wondering what was going on ahead of me.  We don't usually have major traffic jams in this area, unless there's a bad accident.  I soon found out traffic was stopped because it was the day of the River Bank Run.  It was kind a a dreary day for a run with rain all morning. This was the 38th annual event. People come from all over the world to do a 5K, 10K or 25K.  Ahead of me is the Grand River, and there was a lane closed for runners there.  It held me up for 20 minutes, so I was a little late, but we got set up without trouble.

Here's a few pictures from the shower.

 My friend Bonnie ordered these strawberries for the shower.  They are called tuxedo strawberries.  Aren't they cute?  They made a special one for the bride and groom, then you put a picture of their heads into the top.  They were yummy too!

 Here is the lovely bride-to-be with her mom.  (Her mom is wearing a name tag from a game we played, where people had to guess what character you were.)

 Here's my friend Rosalyn, the grooms mom.

 Everyone was enjoying their lunch.

 Time for gifts!  The bride-to-be and the grooms sister, unwrapping and writing.

 This is the grooms niece, having fun playing with a bag.

 I have to show you my friends back yard.  Isn't this the cutest planter?

 Here's her pretty back yard.  When you sit on her patio, you feel like you are in a park.
It was a nice shower and we all had a good time.  I'll be sharing recipes of some of the yummy food later!