Monday, May 31, 2021

Another Update


I can't believe I am updating yet again about covid, but that's what I'm still dealing with! I'm improving, but too slowly to meet my approval.   Right now I have a little dry cough, and sometimes still have a queasy stomach with not much of an appetite.  However, the worst thing I'm dealing with is this weakness and fatigue. I find I need to do tasks in small parts and rest between.

I went back to work for 2 half days last week, and plan to be back to a regular week this week.  I'm concerned about how that will go, and am also not looking forward to what the week brings - a planned visit by the State because of Covid.  As the infection Control nurse, I know I'll have to deal with them, and they are never known to be nice.

As far as our residents, they are doing well.  We only had one resident who got sick enough to go to the hospital and that person has returned.  Most of our residents had no symptoms, so we're thankful for that!

I wanted to share a few things people did for me that I thought were pretty smart and I plan to remember when trying to help out someone else who is sick.
Small portions - my daughter Laura brought over some chicken rice soup in individual servings, perfect for me to just heat and eat.
Toast and jam!  I would never have thought of this, but a friend brought a meal for Bob, and along with that, some bread and homemade strawberry jelly.  I lived on that toast and jam for several days and am still enjoying the jam.
A photo a day - Heather sent me a smiley photo of Cassie every day.  It always brightened my spirits!
Cards and flowers - always a winner and a something that makes a heart happy to see them setting out.
Messages instead of phone calls - I didn't feel like talking on the phone at all, so I appreciated people who just sent a message checking or telling me they were praying.

Thanks to all my blogging friends!  I've appreciated your  messages, prayers, cards.  I hope this is my last covid update,  :)

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Memorial Day 2021

 Honor and Remember

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Cooking Thursday

Today's recipe is for a main dish that cooks up quickly and looks impressive.  It's very tasty too. The sauce is amazing and is what makes the recipe!
This recipe serves 2, so you'll have to double it for a family.

Balsamic Pork with Carrots and Potatoes

2 small pork tenderloins (12 ounces total)
6 small Yukon Gold Potatoes; diced into 1/2 inch pieces
6 carrots; peeled and thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion; finely chopped
Fresh thyme leaves; chopped to total 4 teaspoons
1/4 cup chicken stock concentrate
2 tablespoons nectarine or apricot jam
5 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water
Olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Adjust racks to top and middle positions.
Place potatoes on one side of baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of thyme, and salt and pepper over potatoes.  Put carrots on other side, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over.
Roast on top rack of oven, stir halfway through.  Cook until tender, about 25 minutes.
While the vegetbles roast, pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper,
Heat a little olive oil in large pan, add pork and sear, turning occasionally until browned all over for 4-8 minutes. Place pork on another baking sheet and roast on middle rack until cooked through, about 12 minutes.  When pork is cooked, transfer to a cutting board and let rest a few minutes.
While pork is cooking, heat a little olive oil in pan that was used to brown pork.  Add chopped onion and the remaining thyme.  Cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
Stir in chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, jam and water.  Simmer until thick about 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in butter.
To serve, divide potatoes, carrots and pork between plates.  Drizzle sauce over pork.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Monday, May 24, 2021

Men are happier people

 I got this in an e-mail and thought it was too cute not to share.  Hope it gives you a laugh too!




    * If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and           Sarah.
    * If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy,        Godzilla and Four-eyes.

    * When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it's          only for $32.50.  None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit        they want change back.

    * When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

   * A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
   * A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she  doesn't need but it's on sale.

  * A man has six items in his bathroom:  toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor,       a bar of soap, and a  towel .

  * The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is
      337.  A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these

    * A woman has the last word in  any argument.
    * Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

    * A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
    * A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

    * A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
    * A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

    * A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't..
    * A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she does.

   * A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the           phone, read a  book, and get the mail.
   * A man will dress up for weddings and  funerals.

    * Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
    * Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

    * Ah, children.  A woman knows all about her children.  She knows about  dentist                   appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and             dreams.

    * A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

    A married man should forget his mistakes.  There's no use in two people remembering          the same thing!

Sunday, May 23, 2021



It's been a long week with covid.  I'm someone who rarely gets sick.  I've actually worked at my job for 31 years and have only called in once, when my mom passed away. So, being off and not feeling well is not my norm.
This illness has just dragged on.  I had a horrible headach for several days, achy muscles and a fever at night. I was also very tired. Then on Thursday, the headache started getting better, but I had GI upset and lost my sense of taste and smell. Friday I thought I was over it, then had a fever again at night and spent Saturday feeling awful! Sunday I continue with nausea and tiredness.
Bob never tested positive, but ended up with a chest cold, so we sat around together.
At work several more people tested positive, many with no symptoms.  None of the staff are very ill either, so we are very thankful for that.
I was supposed to get tested on Monday and Tuesday, and if they were negative, I would go back on Tuesday.  Now, I'm not sure, and will just wait to feel better.
I'm very thankful for that I haven't had a worse case.  It's a strange virus and I know several of you have had terrible experiences with it.
Thanks for the prayers and cards!  I greatly appreciate it!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Cooking Thursday

 The recipe I'm sharing today is an oldie.  This is a cookie recipe that my mom used to make,  It's an easy recipe that makes a light, crispy cookie.  My mom always added either M&M's or chocolate chips.  I made this batch to take along on our trip because everyone likes them.  It makes a good size batch, so I usually freeze half of them to eat later.

Angel Cookies

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup Crisco
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
16 ounces M&M's or chocolate chips

Cream shortening and sugars.  Add egg and vanilla, then blend in dry ingredients.
Stir in M&M's or chocolate chips.  Drop on ungreased cookie sheet. 
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Wordless Wednesday

(Maple Tree seeds are ready to fall)

Monday, May 17, 2021

What's been happening here...


You probably all recognize this picture.  It's been in the news way too much this year!
Yes - that is the covid 19 virus.

Most of you know that I'm a nurse in a skilled nursing facility.  We've been so thankful that our building has avoided covid for this whole year!  However, this past week, it made it's way in.  A few weeks ago, one of our nurses worked and was fine, but that night she got sick and tested positive the next day.
We've been wearing N95 masks, but it doesn't always protect you.  Most people have been vaccinated but that doesn't always protect you either!
A little over a week later, our first resident tested positive and since then, there have been several others.  A few days after the residents tested positive, several staff members started getting sick.
Thankfully, none of our staff or residents have been critically ill.
I have been telling Bob to stay far from me at home, as I figured it was just a matter of time until I tested positive.  When you work with people who are confused, it's hard to keep an arms length away. I had to help another staff member dress someone who was positive, and she was fighting and spitting at us, so gowns and masks don't always do the job!
Anyway, I've been testing daily and on Friday, my test came up positive.  I was feeling fine, but had to go home.  Unfortunately, Bob also had to leave work because he lives with me.
I now have a low grade temp, headache and cough.  I'm also quite tired, but I've had worse illnesses before.  We'll see what the next week brings. 

When I left work, I packed up a bunch of my folders, notebooks and rolodex so I could try to keep up with things!  This is my work area for now, all that's missing is my computer.  (And for those of you who have been telling me to rest - Jenny, Diana, Rose, Bonnie - I'm doing that too!) They also sent me home with some rapid tests so I could keep an eye on Bob.  So far he tests negtive. 
And that's what's happening in my corner of the world this week!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Mothers Day - a little late

 I'm a little late in sharing some Mothers Day things, but it was a little different this year.  I was on call for the weekend but the hours were covered.  The girls and families planned to stop over at sometime during the day.  But, the best laid plans don't always work!  Our night nurse ended up in the hospital with a kidney infection so I ended up working all weekend and our plans were cancelled.
However, it really isn't about the day. I did talk to all my kids that day, and I have to show a few cute things that came later.

These adorable cookies arrived in the mail from Andy and Nikki.  Nikki is very talented and often does cookie orders for people in their area.  These are so cute - and tasty too!

Tuesday night, Heather, Andrew and Cassie came over with these beautiful roses, a cute key chain and some chocolate.  Aren't these a pretty color?

We planned to see Laura, Aaron and girls but more craziness happened at work, which I'll tell you about tomorrow, so that will happen later.  However, a neat gift certificate arrived in the mail from them.  It's a membership to a Botanical Garden about an hour from here.  I've always wanted to go there as the gardens are supposed to be beautiful and they have great trails to hike.  This membership also applies to several places in our area and will be fun to visit and photograph.

So, things don't always go as planned, but this just stretches out the fun, right?

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

End of vacation

 All good things must come to an end.  We had a wonderful time together, saw so much beauty, had lots of laughs!  Some of the family saw some animals - herds of elk and bear.  Andy and Nikki even saw a mama bear with 2 cubs - from a distance!  Bob and I only saw a few turkeys, the raccoon on our deck and 2 dead coyotes.  :)  We drove 1490 miles and were in in 6 states - Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina.  

While we were together, we set the camera up on a tripod to get a few family photos. 

The whole bunch!

Aaron, Laura, Alaina, Ruby

Andrew, Heather, Cassie

Andy and Nikki

Alain, Ruby and Cassie

Bob and I

"No amount of money or success can take the place of time spent with your family"

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Some good things!

 One of our joys during the last week was seeing Alaina and Ruby with Cassie.  They just love her, and she smiled and squealed at them so I think she loves them back!

Here they are early in the morning, bedhead and all!

Alaina said she got lost in the couch...

This melted our hearts.  When Alaina was little, she loved the book Snuggle Puppy, by Sandra Boynton.  We read it to her so often, that we could recite it by memory. (I still can!)  Here's Alaina reading it to Cassie while Ruby turns the pages.

Here's Alaina and Cassie.

Another fun outing that Bob and I had was eating at the Paula Deen restaurant.

These cheddar biscuits were so good!

Everything tasted wonderful, but it's probably good there isn't one near us!

Bob found a new cook!   (He said - the things I do for you and your camera!)

Monday, May 10, 2021

Cataract Falls

We took a hike to Cataract Falls in the Smoky Mountain National Park. It was one of the prettiest hikes we took, along a rocky mountain stream with trees surrounding us.  We all started this morning together, but Andy and Nikki had been here several times so they set off for Pigeon Forge and the rest of us went on this hike.

Andy and Nikki had gotten these sunglasses for Miss Cassie and she was looking stylish in her carrier and ready for the hike!

Parts of this hike had a nice trail to walk on.

We made it to the falls.

Ruby was collecting these fronds along the way.

Alaina crawled onto this rock on the edge of the stream

Then Ruby had to do it too!

It was so beautiful!

We found a bridge over the stream along the way.

One last view of the pretty stream.

Bob and I went off to visit Pigeon Forge. Laura and Heather and families went to the Aquarium.
The aquarium was fun for all, but the highlight was the penguin parade.  Every day some penguins are taken out and the make a walk through the aquarium.

A few of the penguins were pulled in a wagon.

And others walked the parade on their own.

Cassie took it all in!  Alaina and Ru by thought it was pretty cool too.

Another fun day!


Sunday, May 9, 2021

A day with Andy and Nikki

 We spent one day with Andy and Nikki.  They live only 4 hours away and enjoy staying in the area, so they had some good tips on places to go.

We started the day with breakfast at a place that known for their giant cinnamon rolls.

Here it is - about the size of a plate!  We split it into 4 and still didn't eat the whole thing!

We went to the historic district of Pigeon Forge and visited the old mill.  It's still working and they sell the grain the grind here.

Aren't these old windows cool?

We watched them forging knives here.

Then we went on to something Nikki had planned.  She found someone who offered flights in a 1927 Waco biplane over Pigeon Forge.  Bob and Andy have shared a love of aviation and historic planes all of Andy's life, and he now works on Apache helicopters at Fort Campbell. This was a flight of a lifetime for them both.

Bob and Andy ready for their flights.

Bob, looking excited before his flight.

Ready to take off

There he goes!

Andy ready for his flight.

While we were waiting, this huge helicopter landed.  It's a fire fighting helicopter.  You can see the hose laying out it front of it.  It's able to get water out of a lake or river and then spray it over a fire.  There were some forest fires they were fighting in the park.  It was very interesting to see.

After the flight, Andy drove us to see more sights in the park.

An old barn

This is a spot that was burned in the big fires that happened in 2016.

Isn't this a beautiful spot?  I think I could live in one of these old cabins!  However, I don't think they'll be standing for too long.

Andy and Nikki

Another old cabin.

When we got back to the cabin, we grilled hot dogs for supper.

Then the girls talked Grandpa into going into the hot tub with them.  Somehow the temp had gotten turned down and it was a chilly tub!  But they had fun anyway!



The end of another fun day!