Monday, November 30, 2020

It's the big one!

 Last week I had a birthday.  Not just a regular old birthday, but a big one.  I turned 60!

Like everything this year, covid made regular celebrating difficult.  But, it was still a nice day.  I had the day off, and had an appointment to have my hair done.  While I was there, it started snowing, huge flakes coming down and it snowed most of the day.  Although I'm not much of a snow fan, I have to admit it was pretty!

Bob had left me a nice card, flower and some candy.  He had to work until 5, and of course, no restaurants are open to eat out right now in our state.  So, we had chinese take out and some birthday cake at home!

My sister also dropped off this cute little arrangement.

I got cards from Alaina and Ruby, cards in the mail from friends, including some of you. and then was surprised that afternoon when the doorbell rang and the 3 little girls that live next to us brought over cards they had made.  They were very proud of them, all decorated with colored tape and stickers!

We had a quiet evening which included a phone call from our son in Kentucky.

The next morning it was back to work for me.  I am usually the first to arrive in the hall with the offices in it.  I unlocked my office door, stepped in and was shocked!

That's my desk!  It was full of black balloons, and also colored one, each with a message.  I had to start popping balloons before I could even work.  I popped the black ones and set the ones with messages on the other side of the room.
I sent a message out saying I was unable to work as my desk was too full, but that excuse wasn't accepted.

Here's a few of the balloons.  I loved them - such a cute idea.

Later one of the nurses brought me this gift.  A real rose in that globe.  Isn't that cool?

So, it was a nice brithday, and there was still one celebration to come.  I'll share that with you tomorrow.

Sunday, November 29, 2020


 Thanksgiving was different for us this year, as I know it was for many of you.  Usually we would have all of my family over, which amounts to about 25 people.  However, with several people sick with covid, including my Dad, we decided this year to just have our own kids over.  A meal was brought over to Dad and Ann, as he continues to feel pretty crummy.  He is no longer having the fevers, or the body aches, but is exhausted and I think it's going to be hard for him to get his strength back.

So, it was much quieter here this year; just Aaron, Laura and kids, and Andrew and Heather.

Here's the whole group around the table.

After dinner, the girls talked Uncle Andrew into playing a game with them.

Uncle Andrew and Aunt Heather also brought along a gift for the girls.  It was a gingerbread house kit. that they ended up doing later that afternoon when they went home.

We also went outside to take a few photos for our Christmas card this year.  I'll share that with you later.  Aaron and Laura had me take a few of their family; we didn't do any of Heather and Andrew because I have to get out with them soon and do some maternity shots.

Here's Aaron and Laura's cute family.

They all went home later in the afternoon and we had a quiet evening.
Different, but still a nice day, and still much to be thankful for!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving


It's a different sort of Thanksgiving this year.  Usually I'd be having over 20 people at my house for a big dinner.  This year will be quieter.  However, in spite of all that has happened in 2020, it's true - there is so much to be thankful for.  I started thinking of things I'm thankful for as I was writing this, but decided there is so much that I can't list it, and I would surely miss something important.

Wishing you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving, and many things to give thanks for!

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever".

1 Chronicles 16:34

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Monday, November 23, 2020

Work and Covid

First - my Dad does have covid.  He's doing ok and I check him at least daily by phone. Prayers for his recovery are very appreciated!

 Several of you have asked how things are going at work with Covid.

The good news is that although we have had staff test positive, we have had no residents with covid.  Our corporation will not let anyone with active covid be admitted, so I'm thankful for that.  We have had a few admit to rehab following a bad case. They no longer have covid, but are recuperating from the results.  They have feeding tubes, have been on a vent and are very debilatated.  It's wonderful to see them recuperate, get rid of tubes and be able to get around again.  One is going home on Wednesday, so it will be a happy Thanksgiving for her family!

Like health care workers all over the country, we are tired. There is so much extra work that goes with this, and the chronic shortage of staff is even worse.  Every time someone has symptoms, they are unable to work, even if they test negative.  Others have been in contact with someone and can't work because of that.  I am supposed to work about 34 hours a week, last week it was 48.  There is the feeling that you will never get done what you are supposed to do, because more keeps getting added.

Here I am, in my office.  I'm lucky to be in an office, because I can remove the goggles, the mask and the gown in there.  The nurses and aides on the floor have to wear this stuff all the time, and their work is quite physical, so it's hot wearing this.  And it's just hard - you can't see clearly through the goggles, people can't hear you, things sound muffled.  Also - as of Monday, we now have to wear  an N95 mask all the time.  The mask I'm wearing in this photo is so much easier to wear and breath in. The N95 is very tight, hot and causes many people to have skin breakdown where it hits the face.   Many of our residents are scared of this look, they are also sad because they can't see their family.  It's a hard time, and we never thought this would still be happening so many months after it started.

This is my portable Fit testing station.  I got to work last Monday and was told that I had to fit test all employees for N95 masks by Thursday.  Up till now, we could wear the dispoable masks, but with the latest surge, we are being required to wear the N95s and there is a procedure that needs to be gone through to ensure that the mask fits properly to protect the wearer.

This hood goes over the head, and a bitter scent is instilled via something that aerosols it.  Once I know they can smell or taste it, we fit the mask, then go through a series of motions to ensure the mask stays tight and they don't smell anything.

I did about 80 of them last week.  I just need a few people who work on call to come in for testing and I can cross that off the list.  Of course, doing all this got me behind in other places.  
So - that's what things are looking like for us, it seems to be one step forward, 2 back.

However - one other piece of exciting news for us, was that our little facility was listed in US News and World report as one of the 50 best Rehab facilities in the United States!  We aren't sure how we even got noticed, but it made us all happy!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

A few updates

 I thought I'd start the week with some updates to things I shared with you last week.

Thank you for your sweet notes of encouragement, and also your prayers.  My blog friends are truly a blessing!

My friend Becky's funeral was Saturday.  It was a wonderful time of sharing memories of her, but most of all, sharing her love of the Lord and how she wanted all her loved ones to share that joy!

I am doing much better as far as pain from the rheumatoid arthritis.  The prednisone is helping.  I'm now tapering down on it and am feeling some of it come back, but it's so much more tolerable than it was; walking and work is easier.  I go to the specialist on the 30th, so am looking forward to his recommendations.

My dad is still sick.  He was tested for Covid on Wed, but they are telling us it can take up to 7 days to get results back.  I've been checking on him daily by phone, so I knew he was doing ok, but on Saturday I masked and gowned up and checked on him in person.  I picked up a little machine that checks O2 sats and made sure his lungs were clear.  He's still achy, still has recurrent fevers, but his lungs are ok.  So I guess we just take it a day at a time. Thanks for your prayers for him, and Ann too.  So far she is doing ok.

In other news - the crib is taking shape!  Bob and Andrew keep plugging away at it.  Heather is doing well, right now it seems she is at the Dr all the time.  Because she is high risk with type one diabetes, she has ultrasounds every other week and they say baby is growing well and has lots of hair!  There is a possibility that she will be induced before the end of the year, so the crib is high priority!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

And the leaves came down!

 We have a lot of trees in our yard.  In the front yard are large, old oak trees with lots of leaves.  We've lived here for 30 years and although some of those leaves come down as Fall progresses, most hang on and drop with the snow.

This year was like no other.  I guess it's 2020, right?   Sunday we were sitting in the living room and Bob said - "it's raining leaves".  And it was.  Leaves were falling like crazy.

By the time I came home on Monday, almost every leaf was off the trees.

And it looked like this!

Poor Bob - they were almost knee deep in some spots.

Thank goodness he has a good leaf blower.  And next spring, the ground won't be covered in wet leaves!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Monday, November 16, 2020

Girls shopping trip

 Many of you will remember that my sisters and I always go away for a Christmas shopping trip in early November. This past weekend was the time for it.

It was very different from our normal trips.  First - covid!  Need I say more?  Shopping is not usual.  Then there is the fact that our families are getting older and gift giving becomes different so there aren't as many gifts to buy.  And then, as I mentioned yesterday, I've been having lots of joint pain and difficulty walking, my sister Cheri is having back issues and Terri is having knee issues.  A fine lot we are!

So we planned to do more online shopping and just stop at a few places.  We left later in the morning than we usually do.

My sisters were very patient and helpful, with just a little teasing directed at me!

We always have fun together and this was no exception.  It's good to talk and laugh!

Here we are in the restaurant at the end of shopping.  It was only 4:30 - a record for us!  Cheri is on the left, Terri is on the right, and I couldn't get her to behave for even one picture!

It used to be that we had to take several trips to haul stuff up to the hotel room and sort it, but it was different this year.  We had a really nice room, and had more fun talking and laughing.  The tv never got turned on.

We had a treat for later on - such a yummy cupcake.

This is another thing I'm thankful for - the blessing of a wonderful family and sisters that I can count on to support me, tease me and make me laugh!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

The week that was

 Last week was not one of my better weeks.  I posted just a little about it on FB, and have had several of you reach out to ask if I'm ok.  And I am ok, but I so appreciate your concern and prayers.  Here's a little of what's been going on in my life.

I have a dear friend named Becky who I first met when she came to work as the business office manager at my facility.  A sweeter, more loving person, you would not find.  She was the most welcoming person as people came in and often came out to spend time with our residents.  I remember sitting with her and singing to a man who was dying.  That was just Becky.  We became even closer when she started to come to the ladies Bible studies at our church, and joined.  She was also a member of our small group at church. She was found to have thyroid cancer about 6 years ago, and they couldn't get it all.  It was very slow growing and was monitored regularly. She did well until early this summer when it began to grow aggresively in her esophagus.  She ended up with a feeding tube as she couldn't swallow, but was going through chemo and appeared to be improving.  Through all this she was just a joy and a blessing to all around her, and always testified to God's faithfulness.  Monday night I talked to her and she was having increased throat pain.  They had checked a few things, were going to draw labs and she was to see the Dr again.  However, God took her home early Tuesday morning.  I was saddened and shocked to get that call before I was even out of bed, since I had talked to her a few hours earlier.  I am sad for myself, her family and many friends, but am thankful she went quickly and I know she is rejoicing in the precense of the Lord!

Here's Becky - love that smile!

Here she is a few years ago with Alaina.  Alaina had made something for her and brought it to the facility.  The girls loved her too and called her Miss Becky.

As for me - on that same day, I had an appointment with the Dr.  I have been having a lot of joint pain; knees, hips, shoulders. Knee pain is not unsual for me, hip and shoulder pain is not something I've had, and it's been bad enough that I haven't been able to sleep in bed and it's hard to dress sometimes.
The Dr's initial thought was that it was an auto immune disease that flares up occasionally.  I had to go for blood work to confirm this.  But, when the labs came back, they point to rheumatoid arthritis.  I will be going to a specialist on the 30th.  In the meantime, they started me on Prednisone Friday and I am feeling some relief.

When I came home from that appointment, these beautiful flowers were waiting from our daughter Laura and family.  So pretty, so sweet!

To end the week, my Dad is having some covid sx.  We're praying he just has a bad cold, but a telephone visit is set up with possible testing.  He's 89 and has a lot of risks, so prayers for him are also appreicated.

So, it's been rough.  But, through it all, there is the knowledge that God is in control!  He has a plan, His plan is best, although it may not seem that way to me.  Isn't that a great comfort?

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Cooking Thursday

 Last week in one of my posts I shared a photo of the chicken rice soup I made and several of you asked for the recipe, so here it is!  This may be one of the easiest soups you have ever made.  The only cutting you have to do is chopping the celery. (and chopping chicken if you don't have that ready ahead of time) The rest is just open and pour.  And it's so tasty!

Chicken Rice Soup

2 boxes (32 ounces each) Chicken Broth

2 C. chopped, cooked chicken 

1 bag sliced frozen carrots

1 C. chopped celery

salt, pepper to taste

1 box chicken and wild rice Rice-a-roni. 

Stir all ingredients together in Crock Pot and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Wordless Wednesday

 This was one week ago - before the wind blew all the pretty red leaves off our Japanese Maple.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Acorn necklaces

 I found a cute craft to do with the girls using acorns.  You know - we always have a lot of them around here!

We started with these acorns.  I had gathered them earlier, washed them and baked them for about 20 minutes (recommended just in case there are any bugs in them!)   I then seperated the caps.  Bob drilled 2 little holes in each one and I painted 2 pink, and 2 blue.

I had the girls practice drawing some eyes and a mouth on paper, then let them draw with it on the acorns with a fine sharpie.

Alaina's little tongue always pops out when she is concentrating.

Then we took jute and put one end through each hole in the acorn cap.  We made sure it was long enough to slip over their heads when tied.  I tied the end, making sure the end was in the cap.

I then used hot glue to glue the cap onto the acorn.  We tilted a few to the side so they looked liked berets.

Here's Alaina with her 2 necklaces.

And here's Ruy with her 2 necklaces.

Here they are!  The 2 on the left are the ones Alaina did.  I like the mustache on the blue guy.  Ruby's are on the right.
Aren't they cute?

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Happy Birthday!

 Both of my girlies had a birthday in the last few weeks.  Alaina turned 9 and Ruby turned 6.  We had a birthday party Friday night.

We started with pizza!

The girls enjoyed it!

Uncle Andrew and Aunt Heather were there too.

Alaina was trying to raise just one eyebrow at me, which kept ending with her laughing!

Fun opening presents!

We had a giant cookie instead of cake.

After eating cookies and ice cream, the girls had some fun with Aaron.

They came home with us to spend the night.  They had new pj's to show off!

The next morning, I found Alaina reading and showing Ruby photos in this book.
We had a fun day.  I'll show you what we made tomorrow.

We stopped by Great Grandpa and Great Grandmas to have lunch with them on the way home.

It was another good day!

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Cooking Thursday

 It's the time of year for pumpkin.  I know some people love all things pumpkin.  I like pumpkin in small doses.  One thing I really like is pumpkin bread. I tried a new recipe last week with a crumble top and some icing that was really good!  In the future, I'll probably skip the icing, but I was bringing this to a Bible study, so it was nice to have it looking fancy.

Crumble Topped Pumpkin Bread

  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 13/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
Combine all ingredients and place in large, greased loaf pan.
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter

Stir together flour, sugar and cinnamon.  Cut in cold butter and and sprinkle over batter in pain.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes until bread tests done.

Cool, then drizzle with powdered sugar glaze if desired.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020