Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Monday, November 29, 2021


My sister stopped over the other day to show me something...

Look at these cupcakes! She found this cupcake place and picked these up.  Can you believe how beautiful they are?

She left this one for me to try.  I was afraid it would be too sweet, with all that frosting, but it was creamy and not too sweet.  The cupcake was almond flavored.  This decorator is talented!

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Pinecone People

 When the girls were here last week we made some cute little people using pine cones.  

You need little pine cones, wooden beads, colored felt for the hat and scarfs and fine tip markers.

Cut a triangle of felt, and form it into a cone.  Hot glue it onto a wooden bead to make a hat.
Then draw on a face and some hair.

Then choose a pine cone and glue the bead to it.

Cut a long piece of felt to be a scarf, and cut the ends into fringe.
Glue the scarf around the neck, the glue some twine on the back to hang them.

Here's Alaina's little people.

And here is Ruby with her people.

We also made some gnomes, the same way.  We made a felt hat and glued it to a pompom, then added a little pink pompom for a nose, and a white one on top of the hat. 
These were fun and easy to make!

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Monday, November 22, 2021

Work update

(my office)

Most of you have heard me talk about my work, but in case you haven't, I'll tell you about my job.
I'm a nurse at a Skilled Nursing Center.  We have 60 beds; 30 are long term care, 30 are skilled rehab for people who need medical care or therapy before going home.  I've worked there for 31 years!  
I started when my kids were young and I worked on-call.  As they got older I worked different shifts to accommodate what was happening in our lives at the time.  For the last 6 years, I've been the unit manager/infection control nurse.  I've really enjoyed doing this.  I like having contact with our residents and their families, I enjoy working with our doctors and the other staff.  This job means that I have to take a turn at being on call.  When I started, it was one week on, 2 weeks off.  On call means you take calls for any medical issues, 24 hours a day.  It also means if someone calls in, or we are short a nurse, you have to go in and work.
Then Covid hit.

(me in my covid gear)

With Covid came lots more work for me.  Constant monitoring of residents, auditing of staff to make sure they are following the correct infection control measures, covid testing, and lots more documentation.  We've had covid in the building twice, and are just finishing the second round.  When that happens, work is miserable.  You can't stop and say hi to residents, if you are working in the covid unit, you can't come out, and wearing all that gear is miserable.
However, a worse side effect of covid is how many people are getting out of nursing.  We've had issues with shortages before, but what we are now dealing with is unheard of.  And it's all over the country, from what I'm told.  And the state surveyors have been clamping down more, although they tell us that everyone is having the same issue and can't find help.
So - because of this, I am now on call every other week, and those weeks have been brutal.  I am having to work the floor a lot, and have been called numerous times as I go to bed, to be told I need to get up and come to work. Then I have to stay to get my regular work done.  And worse, is telling my family that I can't do something, because I'm on call and will probably have to work.  I had a day recently that I was there for 18 hours.
But then - I got a message from someone who works in the office our doctors are from.  They had someone leaving and felt I would be a good fit.  I went in to talk to them, and they offered me a job on the spot.  Bob and I had been praying and felt there was clear leading to take it.  The person interviewing me even said she's been praying for me because she knew this would be a tough decision.
I said yes, and will be working 4 days a week, 8:30 to 5.  No weekends, no holidays and no on call!
I will stay and help at the facility for a while, but my last official day is Dec 2.  And this Sunday will be my last day on call.
I'm sad to leave because this place has been part of me for so long.  I've made so many friends, both staff, residents and their families, but am excited for something new, and also because it will be so much better for me and my family.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Birthday Party!

 Friday evening we had a birthday party. Both Alaina and Ruby recently had a birthday.  Alaina turned 10 and Ruby turned 7.  Those years have flown by!

Laura had some cute decorations out.

We started by having pizza, mac and cheese and breadsticks - the requests of the birthday girls.

The girls love having a little cousin, and are always so patient and entertaining with Cassie.

Present time!  Bracelet making kit and sand art from Uncle Andrew and Aunt Heather.

They are huge Lego lovers so they got this big kit to share from us.

All the activity tired out their pup!

Cassie wasn't tired.  There was lots of new things to see and places to explore.

Then we had an oreo ice cream cake.  Yummy!

After that, the girls came home with us and spent the night.  Fun times!

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Cooking Thursday

My sister Cheri told me she had made the best chocolate chip cookies ever! She shared the recipe with me, and I had to agree.  They were really good!  Crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle.  And - this recipe only makes 8 cookies, perfect if you want a treat without having a bunch left over.  

Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 large egg yolk at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Ghirardelli large chocolate baking chips
sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Beat butter, brown sugar and white sugar together for 2 minutes or until well combined.
Mix in the egg yolk and vanilla until well combined.
Add flour, baking soda and salt until mixed well, then stir in the chocolate chips.
Cover tightly and place in freezer for 10 minutes.
Divide into 8 portions, roll into balls and place on baking sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes until edges are golden and tops are set.
Remove cookies from oven, sprinkle with sea salt and allow to cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Monday, November 15, 2021

More park pics

 I told you how beautiful it was at the park last week.  Yesterday I showed you the kids.  Today I'll share some pics of the park.

"This is the Lord's doing.  It is marvelous in our eyes."
Psalm 118:23

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Kids and pics

 Last Sunday was a gorgeous day.  The sky was blue, the sun was shining, the weather was nice.  I'd been wanting a photo of us with the grandkids for our Christmas card, so we all gathered at a local park in the afternoon.

Here's a few of the fun shots we got.

Bob and Alaina walking out to the woods

Cassie wasn't thrilled about this whole situation.

It's not easy to get a good pic, when you're dealing with a baby!

Alaina was practicing her balance skills.

Cassie having fun.

Alaina checking out a leaf.

Alaina and Ruby, being silly!

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Cooking Thursday

 Several of you asked for my recipe for Chai tea, after I mentioned making it.  It's very easy to make, and it really is good!  It also makes a nice gift, if you package it in little jars.  I made it last year to give to the other managers in our building.
I try to keep it around during the cold weather.  It's a perfect warm up drink!

Chai Tea

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea, regular or decaf, a powdered mix that's sometimes called "unsweetened iced tea"
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 cup powdered nondairy creamer
  • 1 cup French vanilla-flavored powdered nondairy creamer

  • Measure all dry ingredients into a blender or food processor. Pulse or puree until well-combined and mixture becomes a fine powder. Transfer to an air-tight jar or container or spoon into gift jars.
  • To make the tea stir 2 heaping tablespoons of mix into a mug of boiling water. 
  • Makes 6 cups mix

  • Tuesday, November 9, 2021

    Monday, November 8, 2021

    Sisters shopping Trip!

     Those of  you that have been with me for a while, will remember that every year my sisters and I do a Christmas shopping trip together.
    We did that this past weekend.

    I'm blessed to have 2 sisters, and we have fun together.  This is something we've been doing since our kids were young, so it's been a lot of years.  We go out in early November, to try and beat the rush and the bad weather.  It was quite busy this year, but we had beautiful weather.

    We start in the morning, at some stores like Target and Meijer.  Here are Terri and Cheri, checking their lists.

    A little after noon, we stopped for lunch at Panera.  It's a good time to check things off lists and figure out what's still needed.

    After that we hit the mall. 

    It was already beautifully decorated.

    After going to the mall and a few stores around it, we went for supper.

    After supper we had to make 2 more stops, one of which was Hobby Lobby.  We ran into Terri's 3 girls there!

    Cheri's car was getting pretty full by this time.  This is Cheri and my stuff, Terri's was filling the back seat.

    Then it was off to the hotel for the night.

    Lots of talking and laughing happened here - and there may have been a piece of cheesecake for a late night snack!

    The next morning, we made a few more stops.  We also stopped to see our Dad and do a little pill set up.

    I did a lot of wrapping on Saturday evening. My shopping is nearly done - just waiting on a few gifts I ordered to arrive.  That feels good!