Monday, January 31, 2022

The Helpers need your help


I belong to an online nursing group where many things are posted; educational things, funny nursing stories, the never ending covid information, people asking for advice and things like that.  A few weeks ago, someone asked a question that got lots of attention.  The question was "What is something you would like to tell patients and their families?"
There were answers like:
Don't go to Google for medical advice
Your pain level isn't 10 if you are talking and laughing
Your Doctor and nurse did graduate and you may want to listen to them...
That is a terrible thing to name your baby!
But one thing came up over and over again and that was:
This is not the Hilton
We are not your servants
Please be nice

Then this week, a new campaign was launched through the group I work for.  This is a huge group - covering numerous hospitals, doctors' offices, urgent care facilities...    And they are all seeing the shortage of staff being made worse because people are quitting due to the rudeness, mean people, entitled family members.  It's a sad situation.
Here is the message we all got about this campaign which will be going up on billboards, signs in the hospitals and offices, and out into the internet.

The Helpers need your help!

This is the new marketing campaign launched this week… although it saddens me that we need to publish this request, I am also thankful that our organization is recognizing the

hurt and supporting us. I have heard many of you say, “I love my job, but the patients are HARD to deal with”. I hear you. There is minimal empathy circulating in our communities

right now. I’m asking you to hold on… focus on those patients who are kind, who you’re saving, and who you can impact in a positive way! YOU GOT THIS!  

I know this is a problem, not just in the medical community but wherever people are dealing with people, and all the things we have been dealt with covid has made it worse.  But, it makes me sad!

Are any of you seeing this issue?

Sunday, January 30, 2022


 Hope you all had a nice weekend!  Mine was busy, and filled with some good, and some not so good...

Friday night, Andrew and Heather came over for pizza.  We were happy to see them - and of course Cassie too!

Having fun with Andrew

Heather said it wasn't easy, but she managed to get a couple of pigtails in her hair.

Her shirt says "worth waiting for"    and she was!

Saturday, my sister Cheri asked if I could come with her to help her pick out a paint color.  As we were leaving the store, I got a call from my Dad asking if I could come over and "check him out".  He said he hadn't been feeling good for a few days.  So, we both went over and found him laying on the couch (which in itself was a concern), and he told us he was having a lot of stomach discomfort, not eating well and felt weak.  He tried to get into the doctor but couldn't get an appointment until Thursday.
We decided to take him to urgent care as Thursday was too long to wait.  Unfortunately, urgent care was closed, so we ended up in the ER.
As you know, nothing is usual in these covid times.  They wouldn't let Cheri in, not even to a waiting room.  She ended up going home, because why wait in the parking lot?  And I went in with Dad.
It was a long afternoon, mostly sitting and waiting.  First waiting for the Doctor, then blood work, then an IV, then a CT scan.  Just getting the results from that scan took 1 1/2 hours.

Dad took advantage of that waiting time to take a nap.

Finally. the doctor came back and said they saw nothing serious but diagnoses him with diverticulitis.  They gave us a prescription for an antibiotic and sent us on our way.

Cheri came back to pick us up and we brought him home, where Ann was very happy to see him.  Our other sister Terri stopped as we got home to check up on him too.  We made it back to our town about 6:30, so the day was certainly spent in a different way than we expected, but we were thankful for the outcome.

Sunday was a very nice day; a very good church service and a relaxing afternoon.  I called my Dad who said he was feeling some better already and just talking to him, I could tell he felt better.

Now I'm getting ready for the week ahead. At the moment they are predicting a huge winter storm mid-week.  I'm hoping it doesn't turn out that way!

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Cooking Thursday

 This is a freezer meal recipe I make frequently. It's nice to have a different variety of chicken soup. Several of you had asked me to share the recipe.  I divide this into 2 containers and freeze it.

Cheesy Chicken Soup

4 chicken breasts
6 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped or slivered carrots
4 cubes chicken bouillon
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Add chicken breast to water and simmer until tender. Remove chicken breast from water and allow to cool. Add celery, onion, carrots and bouillon to water. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Shred cooled chicken and add to soup. Add cream of chicken soup and bring to simmer. You will probably need to add more water at this time if soup is too thick.
Place soup into freezer containers and freeze.
To serve: Thaw soup and heat. Before serving add cheese.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Monday, January 24, 2022

Be an Eagle

I recently saw this on facebook and thought it was such good advice, so I wanted to share it.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

I was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing I noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for me.

He handed me a laminated card and said: 'I'm Wasu, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk I'd like you to read my mission statement.'
Taken aback, I read the card. It said: Wasu's Mission Statement:
To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest, and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.
This blew me away. Especially when I noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!
As he slid behind the wheel, Wasu said, 'Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.'
I said jokingly, 'No, I'd prefer a soft drink.'
Wasu smiled and said, 'No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, lassi, water, and orange juice.'
Almost stuttering, I said, 'I'll take a lassi since I’ve never had one before.'
Handing me my drink, Wasu said, 'If you'd like something to read, I have Good Housekeeping magazine, Reader’s Digest, The Bible, and a Travel + Leisure magazine.'
As they were pulling away, Wasu handed me another laminated card, 'These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio.'
And as if that weren't enough, Wasu told me that he had the heater on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for me.
Then he advised me of the best route to my destination for that time of day. He also let me know that he'd be happy to chat and tell me about some of the sights or, if I preferred, to leave me with my own thoughts.
'Tell me, Wasu,' I was amazed and asked him, 'have you always served customers like this?'
Wasu smiled into the rear view mirror. 'No, not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard about power of choice one day.'
'Power of choice is that you can be a duck or an eagle.'
'If you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. Stop complaining!'
'Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.'
'That hit me right,' said Wasu. He continued and said, 'It is about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.'
'I take it that has paid off for you,' I said.
'It sure has,' Wasu replied. 'My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on it.'
Wasu made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.
Have an eagle life ahead.....
I hope we all decide to soar like an Eagle and not quack like a duck 

Sunday, January 23, 2022

My new drive

 Most of you know I have a new job (which I am loving) and along with that a new drive to work which is quite a bit longer than the old drive.  I've had a few days with bad roads, but most days have been pretty good.  I'm thankful the sun is coming up earlier which has been giving me a pretty drive.  I hate going to work and then coming home in the dark! 
Most of my drive is on country roads - my favorites - and it takes me through the area that I grew up in, so that's enjoyable.  I took some photos on my drive in last Friday to show you some of the scenery I see along the way.

It was a cold, but clear morning.  8 degrees outside, nice and warm in the car!

How do you like that wavy roof?

Lots of farms along the way.

I don't see too much traffic on the drive.

I made it!

It was a pretty day, and the sun was setting on my way home.  This is my uncle and aunt's farm.  It's nice driving past familiar places!
Hope you enjoyed these country roads!

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Cooking Thursday

 I was recently given this recipe by my sister, and had a chance to try it out last week at a party at Bob's workplace.  It was easy to make and was very good.  It's a great thing to bring to a potluck!

Confetti Corn
8 slices bacon, chopped
2 packages (12-ounces each) frozen corn kernels, white or yellow
½ cup chopped onion, white, yellow or red
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
8-ounce package cream cheese, light or regular, cubed
1-2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 green onions, green parts finely chopped (white parts discarded)

In a large nonstick skillet, cook the chopped bacon until golden and crisp. Scoop the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and discard all the bacon grease except for a thin coating on the pan, maybe a teaspoon or so.
Add the corn, onion, and red pepper, and cook over medium heat, stirring every so often, until the vegetables are tender and the corn is heated through, 6-8 minutes. Add the cream cheese and milk, stirring until the cream cheese melts and the mixture is evenly combined.
Stir in the sugar, salt and pepper. Add more salt to taste if needed. Stir in the green onions.
Serve warm topped with the reserved bacon.
This dish can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Scoop the creamy corn mixture into an oven-safe dish, sprinkle with the bacon and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator. When ready to eat, heat the corn dish in a 325 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until heated through.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Monday, January 17, 2022

Basilica of St Adelbert

The city of Grand Rapids, MI is close to me, we are there frequently.  Last month I was there for some training, and on my way home, I found myself in an area I hadn't been in before, with a beautiful building to check out.  I've seen this place from the highway and always wanted to see it closer, and here it was!

This is the Basilica of St Adelbert.  Those domes are visible from the highway and have always intrigued me.

I really like those big doors.

Such beautiful stained glass.
It was nice to see this place close up, and now when I see it from the highway, I can say I've been there!

Sunday, January 16, 2022

A few favorites!

I've got a few things I've really been enjoying lately, and I thought I would share them with you.

The first one I got last year, but in this cold spell we've been having I've been using it a lot!

This is a heated throw blanket.  I seem to spend most of the winter freezing, so settling into my chair with my computer, and wrapping up in a heated blanket is a wonderful thing!

This is The Pink Stuff! I had seen a few people mention it and decided to give it a try.  It's a thick, pink paste and I've used it to clean the tub with amazing results.  I've also used it on sinks and the stove top.  It really works!

This is called a Drying Stone.  I don't know about you, but I often have a few things that I wash by hand and set out on a towel to dry.  This is something that looks nice enough that I can leave it setting behind my cannisters and pull it out to use it when I need it.  It quickly absorbs the water which makes things dry faster.  I know I could just towel things dry and be done with it, but I find this really handy!

This is a Dash Egg Cooker.  It was part of a Christmas gift this year.  I eat boiled eggs almost every morning, and so I frequently had a pan on the stove for them.  This makes it so very easy!  You pop the eggs in, turn it on and it beeps when it's done.  It cooks by steam, so you can adjust how soft or hard boiled your eggs are by how much water you put in it.  It's much quicker than boiling them on the stove.  It does come with inserts to poach eggs or make omelets.  I didn't have success with the poached eggs, so I'm sticking with the boiled eggs, which is why I wanted it in the first place.

This is a cricut joy.  You've probably heard of the regular cricuts that people use in cutting and lettering.  This is the newest version - a little size that is more reasonable in cost and a lot easier to store.
Bob gave it to me for Christmas and I've been having fun figuring it out.

This is the first project I made - a baby gift for a couple from our church.  I'm looking forward to doing some fun things for and with my granddaughters!

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Cooking Thursday

Todays recipe is another one I made at Christmas.  You might not make this now, but you need to save it because this is so easy and so good!  You know those soft, gooey, salted caramels you can buy?  Well, these are as good, if not better! The hardest part of making these is cutting and wrapping them. 

10  Minute Microwave Caramels

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
sea salt

Butter an 8-inch square pan, or for thicker caramels, a 9x5 inch loaf pan. If you like, you can then line the buttered pan with foil and butter the foil.
Melt butter in a large microwaveable bowl (microwave for about 1 minute).
Stir in the corn syrup, both sugars and sweetened condensed milk. Continue stirring until most of the sugar is dissolved.
Microwave on high for 3 minutes and 5 to 15 seconds. ( I recommend starting with the shorter time of 3 minutes 5 seconds, since I'd rather have my caramels too soft than too hard). Remove from microwave and stir and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Return to microwave and cook on high for another 3 minutes and 5 to 15 seconds. Stir in the vanilla. Pour immediately into the buttered dish.
After about 15 -30 minutes, sprinkle sea salt crystals over the caramels.
Allow to sit for several hours until cooled and set. Cut into squares and wrap in waxed paper.

I found it was easier to cut the caramels with kitchen shears than a knife.  Also - I used these wrappers I found on Amazon for $6.99, so much easier than cutting all those squares of wax paper.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Monday, January 10, 2022

Fun Weekend!

 We had a fun filled weekend.  We had Cassie overnight Friday.  She is such a happy kid, smiles a lot and rarely cries.  The crying happens when she is trying to fight going to sleep and when you try to change her clothes.  She's not a fan of that!

She is walking around furniture a lot but hasn't quite realized she can do it on her own yet.

She slept all night - didn't get up until almost 8 am.

Peanut butter toast at lunch time.  It's best to just take the clothes off ahead of time!

On Saturday afternoon we had an open house for my nephew Nick and his new bride.  It was a lovely venue, with a very nice lunch and time with friends and family.  We handed off Cassie to Heather and Andrew and then made another stop.

The doctor I worked with at the skilled nursing facility is retiring.  I've talked to him a few times since leaving there, and since the reception was in the area where he lives, he and his wife wanted us to stop over to see a project he'd recently finished at his house.

That worked well, as we had a retirement gift for him.

Doc is an avid birdwatcher, so Bob did a carving of him, out in nature, looking for birds.

I had talked to his wife some time ago to get an idea of what he wears when he goes out birding, so she wasn't surprised, but he was and really liked it.

We had a nice visit, and then he said he had something for me as well, to thank me for the years of working with him.

Aren't they beautiful?  I was blessed to work with him for many years.  He taught me a lot and was always an excellent doctor.  I'm happy for him to enjoy retirement and I'm sure we'll talk occasionally.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

A little winter weather!

 We had some crazy weather last week with lots of snow!  There was a big storm predicted for Wednesday.  It was fine going in, but soon the snow started.  By 12:30 they told those of us in the office who didn't live close by to leave.
My drive home was brutal.  I didn't want to take the back roads so got on the highway.  That was probably a mistake.  The wind was really blowing and the visibility was terrible.  There were 2 tracks on one side of the road, and when a semi came by, things got even worse.  It took me an hour to get home, and my commute is usually 30 minutes.

Looking out the front window when I arrived home.

The view out the back windows.

By late Wednesday afternoon, I had a call from our office manager telling me that they were closing the office on Thursday, and I could work from home that day.  What a blessing!

It just kept snowing.  Bob had a late shift on Thursday, so he did the driveway that morning and measured 13 inches of snow on it!
I was set up on my computer and in touch with the other girls from the office.  I worked all day and was so thankful to be working somewhere that allows this option.

By Thursday night we had another 7 inches of snow - so 20 inches in all!

Friday morning I bundled up and left early for work.  It was again, not a nice drive and took me almost an hour, but at least the snow had stopped.  Soon the sun came out.

This is a photo taken out of the windows at the office.  Those are all deer tracks.  They keep a bird feeder filled with bird seed, but the deer have discovered it and keep emptying it out.  It makes an easy meal in the snow!

My drive home was much better!  The sky was blue, and the main roads were fairly clear.
I've had enough snow for a while now!