Thursday, April 30, 2020

Friday Funny

One minute you're
young and fun.
The next you're turning down 
the stereo in your car
so you can
see better!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Cooking Thursday

When I make baked potatoes, I must admit that I often do them in the microwave.  They are ok, but not like the ones you get in a restaurant.  I saw this recipe for steakhouse potatoes and decided to try them.  They were so good!  They really did taste like restaurant potatoes.  So - when I have time, this is my new method!

Steakhouse Baked Potatoes

2 russet potatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Rub the potato with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Place on baking sheet. Roast the potato whole - don't poke holes in it. (this traps the steam inside and makes it fluffy)
Bake until soft; 45-60 minutes.
Serve with butter, sour cream, chives - toppings of your choice.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Monday, April 27, 2020

The Polish Sisters

Several years ago we had a resident at our Nursing Center named Esther Rose.  She was a character!  She was feisty, she was funny, sometimes she was sad and confused, but when she smiled at you it would make your day.  We get to know some of our family members pretty well, and sometimes a friendship is born.  Occasionally that friendship continues, even when the resident passes and this was the case with Esther Rose.  Our business office manager, Becky and myself became good friends with Esther's daughter Rosalyn and daughter-in-law, Bonnie.  Esther was Polish, so when Becky and I were kind of adopted into the family we called ourselves the Polish sisters.  We even put up with brother Roger and we tease him as all good sisters do!
We've had lots of good times together, but lately haven't been able to see each other as often as we did due to busy schedules.  Both Rosalyn and Bonnie read this blog, so when I saw something funny this week that made me think of the Polish sisters, I knew I had to post it.  The rest of you can just laugh at the funny pictures that follow.

That was a long introduction to explain why these pictures made me laugh. Now here's the rest of the story.
I was at work last week and our therapy director showed me pictures of some of her new chickens.  I thought they were so funny, and asked what kind of chickens they were as I had never seen this variety.  She said they were Polish hens!  That made me think of the Polish sisters.

My friends don't really resemble these hens, but I think Esther Rose may have given me the same look as that top hen a time or two.  And, if this quarantine goes on for too much longer, my hair may look similar to them!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

A little appreciation, a little frustation and a little humor!

First - a little appreciation:
The staff at my facility have had so much appreciation shown to us recently.  I thought I would show you a few nice things that have been done.

 These are shots of our online chart system.  They've added little phrases that are different each time you click in - from We Appreciate you, to Thanks for rising to the challenge...

Kids and adults have been making cards for our residents and for us.  The big one with the grapes is a full sheet of poster board that was brought by one of our families, and with it they brought a smoothie for each staff member.

A local church collected money and gave each staff member a gift certificate to a local restaurant, along with a note that said they were praying for us.

An Italian restaurant about 20 minutes from us brought big pans of lasagna, salad and garlic bread for us.  This was actually featured on our local Fox news as a positive news story, in the middle of all the sad Covid 19 news.

That brings me to the frustration:
We were also on another news station, this one not so nice.  Our state is doing extra inspections of nursing homes because of Covid  Other states have stopped inspections, because if even the doctors shouldn't be coming into the facilities, it doesn't seem like inspectors should be going from place to place, but they are in Michigan.  They have been going in and doing a special inspection on Infection Control.  Since I'm the Infection Control Nurse, it's stressful for me.  We passed the whole Infection Control program, but got a citation because we are wearing fabric masks and people were adjusting them.  I do agree that the masks should fit tightly and not need adjusting, but at the time they came they were not even required and we had just been told to start wearing them.  Everyone was trying to get used to wearing them and how to adjust them so they stay where they are supposed to.  We already had education in process to train on this, along with all the other new education we've been doing because of Covid.
I know the inspections are needed but I feel that instead of always picking at things, they should give ideas on how things could be done better, and focus on serious infractions.
Anyway - apparently our Governor gave out this information to the media, so a local news station did a story on area nursing homes listed.  Our Administrator gave a statement but they didn't use it, and it always ends up sounding worse than it actually is.  They focused on some other places that had bigger issues, so that saved us a bit but we were still mentioned.
I just wish that once someone would do a story on the  staff that love the residents, the aides that don't have much money themselves, but buy things for the residents because no one else does, the kitchen staff that make special treats for people because they know it will bring a smile, the housekeeping staff who sing with and hug the residents, the nurses who come back on their time off to check on someone or spend their break sitting with someone who is lonely instead of going off the floor and relaxing.  I have seen all this and more.  If you have never worked in this type of setting you will never understand the bond that is built, but it's hard to see that side of things, but then so frequently see negative things posted in the media, especially now with all the extra that is being done to keep those residents safe and happy.
Enough of that! I need to just focus on the appreciation I talked about earlier.  It tells me that although the media often focuses on the negative (in many things), people do see good things.

On to the humor!
If you are on facebook with me, you may have seen this, but I thought it was cute!

I looked into the back yard the other day and saw this ball.  It had been quite windy and blew over.  I just thought it was funny that it ended up with the face looking right at our windows.  
I said something about reporting it for breaking quarantine, but people said I should let it run free - since none of us can!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Cooking Thursday

One of Bob's favorite meals is meatloaf.  I came across this recipe that used Stove Top Stuffing instead of bread crumbs and decided to try it.
It was so easy to mix up and we really liked the flavor.

Stove Top Stuffing Meatloaf

1 pkg Stove Top stuffing, any flavor
1 cup hot water
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 envelope brown gravy mix
1 scant cup cold water
2 eggs
1/2 cup catsup
1/4 cup brown sugar

In a medium bowl, stir stuffing mix and hot water.  Let rest 5 minutes
In another bowl, stir together the ground beef, gravy mix, water and eggs.
Stir stuffing mix and meat mix together.
Spray a large loaf pan with non stick cooking spray.  Press meat mix into pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes.
Mix catsup and brown sugar and pour over top of meatloaf.  Bake another 5-10 minutes.
Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Monday, April 20, 2020

Shine the light!

I have a little flip calendar on my desk at work, that has a verse or thought for each day of the year.
Last Friday I got to work and flipped the page and found this.

I thought this was very fitting as we all go through this Coronavirus/social distancing thing.
It's such a good reminder to me that no matter where I am, or what I'm doing, my actions should be reflecting God's love and shining bright!  And right now, many people need to see that light.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Spring is coming?

We've had some crazy weather here, and I know several of you have had too.
Last week, we had a day with temps in the low 60's - just gorgeous.

The next day we had this snow!  When I got up the next day, everything was covered in white, but thankfully the sun came out and melted it.

I wandered around the yard, checking to see what might be coming up.  These are flowers on our oak leaf hydrangea, still hanging on after the winter.  Isn't this little flower pretty?

Hydrangea's must be tough, because this is our hydrangea tree, which also has some flowers hanging on.

In the front, we have several clusters of crocus blooming.

 There are some wild violets growing in the lawn.

 This is a lilac bud.  Isn't it amazing to think of all the beauty that is packed into that one little bud?

 I don't know what these are, but we have a patch planted in the back yard.  They are always one of the first things to bloom in the Spring.

 A sure sign on Spring - the robin is back and in this nest out by Bob's shop.

Look at these sweet little buds on our Viburnum.
Spring is my favorite season!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Cooking Thursday

Something I often make with leftover roast is Shepherds Pie.  A few weeks ago I made a turkey roast and decided to try Shepherds Pie with turkey.   It turned out really good.  I have something new to use leftover turkey on!

Turkey Shepherds Pie

Leftover turkey, cubed
Leftover veggies - I use green beans or corn
Leftover gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Seasoned salt

Cube the turkey and put it in a 9x9 or 9x13 pan, depending on how much you have left.  Pour gravy over turkey and then spread your veggies over the meat and gravy.
At this point I cover it and put it in the freezer.  A week or two later, I take it out and thaw it.
Place in 350 degree over for 30-45 minutes.
You can make your own mashed potatoes, but for something quick, I used Bob Evans potatoes, found in the refrigerator section of your store.  Prepare them as directed.
Spread over the meat and veggies, sprinkle with seasoned salt and place back in over for 10 minutes.

That's it!  You have a whole new meal from leftovers!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Monday, April 13, 2020

More fun at work!

Here's another report from work.
Things are going well.  We actually hired 2 more nurses, who will start next week.  If all goes well, I think we will be all set for nurses.  Thank you to all of you who were praying and checking on me.  It was a rough few months, but God took care of me and the others as well.
We remain healthy.  No residents or staff are sick with Covid 19 or anything else. It could still happen, but we are very thankful that we've made it this far and our residents are healthy and they are happy too.  They miss their families, but we've had lots of window visits, phone calls, facetime visits...
Something new that is happening now is that our doctors can't come in the building.  I have downloaded skype on my phone and will go room to room to do visits, the Dr will be at home and be on his computer.  He will let me know any new orders and will fax his notes over to me.  I'll have to fax info to him prior to the visits.  So, this makes me think that some of my days will be a bit longer!
We continue to get support from the community.  People have been making lots of masks for us.

Some neighbors dropped these at our front door this week.

Several families from my church put their kids to work making cards for our residents. They loved them!

I've told you we've been trying to do fun things every week for the residents.  Here's a few things we did this week.

One day we did post it note day.  People could put up notes for anyone they wanted to.  Here are a few notes I found in my room.  The best thing was that notes were put in residents room, on their wheelchairs...   It was fun!

Another thing we did that was worked on for most of the week was a door decorating contest.  Lots of people joined in, and on Friday the residents and staff voted for a favorite.
(Warning  - lots of pics)

 You are my sunshine - on a residents door.

 Bugs and viruses - housekeeping

Spring flowers - Medical Data Entry office

 Be a Rainbow!  Assistant Director of Nursing

 The Tigers baseball - Our Director of Nursing is a huge fan.

Flying High with Activities

 Now Playing - Quarantine 2020 - Business Office Manager

 You are Essential - Administrator

Every flower has to grow through a little dirt - Dietary Services

Falling in Love with You! (each raindrop has a residents name on it) - Admissions

Operation! - Infection Control Nurse/Unit Manager.  (that's me)

These were so fun!  I thought some people were so creative.  The winner was - me!  No prize, it was just for fun.

One other fun thing this week was a little gift I got from a resident.  I love to fool around and tease the residents and I often bop them on the head with a clipboard if I'm walking near them.  Apparently when our Administrator was decorating her door, this resident insisted on taking the cardboard tube that her paper had been on. The next day she told me she had something for me.

Here's the tube with my name on it.  She said I can now bop people but keep the 6 foot distance.
So - you see we are still having fun at our place.  However, I hope that it isn't too long before people can come back to visit!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Window Visit!

We've been missing our girlies!  We haven't been able to see them since this lock-in started.
I had gotten an Easter bag together for them, and Bob and I went to drop it off.  We told them we were coming and that we would see them through the window.

 Here's Bob poking at them.  The sun was shining and we couldn't see, so we went to a side window.

 They opened this window to show us their fingernails.  (Opening the window kind of defeated the purpose of the window visit, but we maintained our distance!) They were having a spa day on this day.  This was supposed to be their Spring Break week, so Laura was trying to do something fun every day.

 This is their dog Remie - he was happy to see us too!

They had fun opening their Easter things.  This card played music which they thought was pretty cool.
It was so good to see them.  I think we can make it through a few more weeks now.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Cooking Thursday

This week I made a new recipe that we really enjoyed  I know a lot of you use cast iron pans, but it's not something I've ever used.  This was my first attempt and I really liked it.  The dinner was tasty and the pan was so easy to clean!  I'm looking forward to using it more.
My picture didn't turn out very good - it tasted better than this looks!

Stove Top Steak and Potato Bites

1 pound sirloin steak, cut into 1" cubes
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
3 teaspoons butter, divided
2 teaspoons olive oil

Heat cast iron pan on stove.  Add olive oil and 2 teaspoons butter.
Stir in potatoes and fresh herbs. Cook for about 7 minutes, flipping potatoes so they are cooked through.
Remove potatoes from the pan, add the remaining 1 teaspoon of butter.  Stir in steak cubes, season with salt and pepper and sear, then flip and sear again until meat is cooked.
Drain any extra juice from meat and stir in potatoes.  Sprinkle more fresh herbs over top before serving if desired.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Monday, April 6, 2020

Home Decor

I wanted to share a few things I have had up in our house for a few months - before the stay at home orders came out.  I think they are pretty fitting for what's going on!

 I bought the tulips on Saturday for a little cheer, but the other sign says "Be Still, and Know that I am God".     Good reminder right now!

This sign in our living room says "lets stay home".  And that's just what we are doing!

Sunday, April 5, 2020

What's going on at work?

I thought I would give you another update from work.  For anyone new who is reading, I'm a nurse at a Skilled Nursing Facility.  We have one section for long term care (nursing home) and another section for skilled nursing.  This is for people who have recently had surgery and need rehab, they may need IV antibiotics for a period of time, have a wound that needs more care that can be given at home...  My position is unit manager/infection control nurse.   The infection control part has been very busy with the Covid 19 going on.
We don't have anyone sick with it in our facility or our staff, but it's probably just a matter of time until we do.  Because people can spread it for 2 weeks before they are symptomatic, it's very hard to avoid.
To try to keep it out, our front doors are locked.  We can have no visitors.  Even the beautician can't come.  Only regular staff, the doctor and the lab are allowed in.  Each of us has to take our temp and do a mini health survey when we come, after 8 hours and again when we leave.  All of our residents are also checked every 8 hours.
The latest thing is that all staff have to wear a mask all the time.

Here I am in my mask.  Excuse the selfie with the hand in the way.  (I'm no good at them).  Excuse the hair too - I need a haircut and can't get one!
Anyway - we are also using cloth masks to save on supplies.  We've had a wonderful outpouring of help.  People in our town are making us masks, a friend from church had her bible study ladies sewing masks.  It takes a bunch to take care of everyone in the facility!

We're also trying to do fun things for our residents. They can talk to their family but can only see them if they come to the window to wave at them.  They are already trying to recuperate and now they can't have visitors.
We are having special themes every day. We also have special treats that some people bring around every afternoon. Every day we print a little booklet of word searches, jokes, trivia that gets handed out.

This was crazy hair day.

This was sports day - passing out popcorn.
Our residents are really handling things well so far.  We hope it doesn't last too long!