Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Funny Evening

Some of my patients are emotionally crippled for life because of what they endured during childhood. I know because I hear their stories. Others have dabbled in drugs and become addicted thereby ruining their own lives. Sometimes we have patients who are mean or totally unreasonable in their demands or very manipulative. Then some of our patients are demented or delusional or psychotic. Over the weekend we were full of the psychotic and delusional variety and though I regret having to admit it, we nurses laughed in private til our sides hurt. The thought processes of some of the patients was so out there, so bizarre, that it was hard to keep a straight face while we were talking with them. This was not "gallows humor" as it is often called when a patient is dying or in surgery, but really funny stuff. Too bad there is so much confidentiality or I would pass the comedy along. As for the staff, we had a hilarious evening and that is something to be thankful for.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Learning Takes Time

During my sixty plus years on Planet Earth, I have been through some trials and troubles. I have learned from them and believe I am a better person because of them. I have been to school off and on until five years ago, and I hope to go back sometime. I raised four boys to manhood and have been a nurse for almost a quarter of a century. Still there is an endless amount of knowledge that I will never get and wisdom that I will never have. But I do know some things.

I see new nurses who behave as if they have all the answers and who by doing so, show how little they actually know. I hear talk from people who are discovering life, having problems with relationships, and who struggle with day to day issues. I think...I've been there and this is what I learned about it. Sometimes I will voice a thought or give reassurance, but mostly I let it pass knowing their situations will pass, too. Experience teaches us if we listen.

I am making these comments because of the debate last night. If I did not know about BO's deceit and terrorists ties and all things were equal, I would still see through his lack of knowledge and wisdom. If all things were equal, and if he were a true American, maybe in a decade or two, he would be ready to be president. His diversions and self aggrandizing rhetoric covering for his ignorance were transparent. I have seen it too many times before to fall for it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Baking Bread

Back in the seventies when I was a domestic diva, I learned the joy of bread baking. Why I got into it, I can't remember, but it was a time when the book Diet for a Small Planet was influencing the way we thought about food, and I became a part of the whole earthy thing. Thanks to my my German genes, I took to bread making naturally. As I pressed and turned the warm dough I felt not only a oneness with it but also a connection to all the women who ages before me had done the same. I baked sweet, savory, and hearty loaves, braids and doughnuts, and eventually developed enough confidence to try to duplicate any bread I had tasted with success. After I became a nurse, there was no more time for bread, because time is the main ingredient. Now I have a quieter house and occasionally the time and inclination, so I will get out the flour and yeast and come up with something. It is like riding a bike; you don't forget. But I have recently started learning more about different flours. I have enjoyed adding some spelt flour to yeast breads as well as quick breads and can tell the difference in flavor and texture. Tonight I made the best brownies; best because I used a pastry flour for the very first time. (I must remember to write how I did them.) Tomorrow I will probably use some of the organic whole wheat, with some spelt and bread flour for a healthy loaf.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

One of my favorite things a between seasons day like today. I love it when the clean breeze blows in and out of the open windows of my home, taking any cooped up stale air with it. It is a time to live in the moment, to listen to the sounds of rustling oak leaves, to inhale deeply, to feel the cool of morning on my skin. The only comparison is an equally lovely spring day when we are leaving winter, but today, the breezes sing that winter will be chilling our bones before long. Not yet though. I will hang on to this transition season until I am forced to face the cold.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Brightening the Office

I am back home from working in the assessment office, one of my favorite jobs. Kathy is a nurse who has been there . . . well . . . forever and has the mature indoor foliage to prove it. On her desk and the ledge above, African violets, philodendron, and whatever else are growing their little hearts out. Under the fluorescent lights, a big Christmas cactus is already producing these delicate white blooms. And thanks to Kathy's green thumb, the whole office is always dressed with perpetually blooming African violets. I think they are all so pretty.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Back to the drawing board

About ten years ago when the writing bug bit, I carried around pencil and paper so no new ideas, cool words or analogies would be lost. I was all about the written word. I asked at the library if there were any writing groups I could join. The Writer's Guild of Greenville met monthly on the fourth Tuesday at Barnes and Noble and I became a member. We had a large and interesting group for the years we met in the center of the store where we pulled all available seating into a circle and customers would loiter around listening to bits of our program and conversations. I was always stimulated by whatever happened there among us like-minded folk. As time does to all things, the guild has changed, though it is still kicking. Tonight we few met in the music section in the back of the store and after a bit of chitchat got into the evening's assignment. Jerry had us draw a random topic and write on it. Mine was on the most beautiful sight I ever saw, and, though I have seen many, I chose the night I saw all the stars in the Colorado sky. Generally I am too distractible to write on command, but see...I am stimulated once again. Maybe the bug will last another day or two.

Not to worry...

Even though I believe this election is perhaps the most significant in my lifetime and that the lifeblood of America is at stake, I am only one average citizen and am limited in what I can do. But I pray the candidate with a true allegiance to America, the desire to a do what is right, and the discernment to choose the most knowledgeable support people will be our next president.

Today our country is in the midst of a huge financial crisis, and again I am limited in my understanding of what to do. Shamefully the only thing I really know about money is how to earn and manage my own. Thank goodness I am not the one responsible for making decisions about someone elses! However someone somewhere who knows how the economy works and who has more vision than I is making decisions for me concerning my 403B and my state retirement, and I, as a financial dummy, must trust the system to work. I expect that when the time comes for me to need it, the money will be there to take care of me. But what if it is not?

Not knowing how either of these precipitous situations will play out feels a little disturbing, frightening, but then I remember these words of Jesus: "In this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What is worth fighting for?

I found this on line and considered it pertinent for America today:

"War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

John Stuart Mill

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Fall Vegetable

Taken the day we went apple picking, I think this is a pile of turban squash. I have no idea what to do with them, but their shapes and colors are really nice.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The yard is in transition

On Saturday, Stuart and Jacob came to visit and work in the yard. They did such a great job that I can't call it a backyard jungle anymore. Stuart pulled honeysuckle and ivy off the fence, transplanted a little cedar and an aucuba suckling, and dug a hole for a pear tree that will be planted in a couple of months. (I ordered it today.) Jacob cut the tall grass and Stuart mowed back over it again. The tree guy trimmed lower branches from the oaks and carted away all the limbs and other yard waste. Now after a soaking rain this week, I am left with a yard blossoming with mounds of buttery looking mushrooms. A couple of years ago, I was into taking pictures of mushrooms and got in close to get macros of their gills. Hence I learned what mushrooms smell like. Tonight the whole back yard has that not totally unpleasant musty odor. I figure the yard is trying to reestablish its ecosystem and I will let it. Eleven years ago when we moved here, it had been untouched and was full of trees, mostly sweet gums and their sticky balls. As we had them removed and raked the layers of natural mulch, various weeds came and proliferated, taking their places. Now I think the yard is finally begin to come into its own and I can envision a lovely place someday.

Friday, September 12, 2008

We need to be informed.

I am curious about BO and have been looking up such things on the web. I have googled topics such as "who paid for obama's education" and "obama is a puppet" - which he obviously is - and have found some answers. Via youtube, I have seen some of his appearances that I did not see on television. I saw him say, "My Muslim faith" and be corrected by the interviewer to say "My Christian faith." I saw his hesitancy and stammering in speaking without a teleprompter. There are many such occurrences that the mainstream media has chosen to disregard. This morning I saw a BO ad that states the true Americans on the Republican ticket are "out of touch." May I comment that he has a running mate who has held the same job for 35 years. Talk about out of touch. At this point, I believe the only ones who support this man for America's leader are deluded, deceived, ignorant, blinded, bitter, or anti-American. We need to know the facts before we go to the voting booth, and facts are tough to come by for the Democratic candidate.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11

It is really hard to keep up a blog on a regular basis without interjecting some opinions. And it is hard to refer to the attack on our country by radical Islam terrorists seven years ago without having some feelings about it. I saw it as an act of war and we as a country responded in kind. I am personally quite pleased that we have had no further attacks on our soil, that any such plans have thus far been thwarted, and that we have a president and a military that have worked to protect us for the past seven years. Since I am not an expert, I put some trust in the government leaders who make such decisions. I have my areas of expertise but world politics is not one of them. Persons who have jobs in the entertainment field may have opinions, but until they have served in the military, worked alongside diplomats and generals, been educated in government and politics, their opinions are no more valid than mine, and I am not interested in hearing them. Neither do I need to constantly hear opinions from any Tom, Dick, or Harry. To me, that is not news. It is a media ploy to sensationalize and divide. After the attack on September 11, 2001, shock united us for a while as we had no idea what would happen to us individually or as a country. We need to become United once again and and not fall prey to forces that seek to fragment and weaken us.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Common Cold

I was surprised when I came down with a cold this week, at this time of year. Usually I get my annual post Christmas, post stress season cold as the new year is starting but never in September. Years ago when I was taking Anatomy, I learned that there were thousands of viruses that cause colds. Since then, I have been aware that no two colds are alike. This one started with a dreaded sore throat but has turned out to be a mild garden variety rhinovirus. My main regret is that I worked when the symptoms were new and could have infected many people. I tried to keep a physical distance from others and minimize the obnoxious sneezing and blowing, but it was hard. It used to be that when people got "sick" they stayed in until they were no longer contagious. Now in our fast paced world, the show must go on. Next...I will have to see who of those I have come in contact this week will be sniffling and sneezing next week. I'm sorry.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Friendly Mantis

It was a quick trip to the compost bin. But headed back, I did a double take when I saw a brown stick like thing on a big pink zinnia. Even without my glasses, I could see there was a new critter in the garden, and maybe I could be lucky enough to get a closer look. I went in for my camera and my glasses. The brown praying mantis was still sitting comfortably in the flower when I came back. Bees beware. I took my little camera out of my pocket and started snapping. I never knew a mantis would have so much personality! When I turned, this ET creature turned, keeping his eyes on me. He cocked his head, and when I got closer, he lifted his front paws at me as if he wanted to play - or maybe punch me or warn of his ferocity. Stretching his long spiky legs, he climbed from flower to leaf and back and seemed as curious about me as I was of him. I had showered earlier and was ready to go to work. All of a sudden I realized how hot and sweaty I had gotten outside. I hated to meet a new group of students without being sparkling clean but I had no choice.
Since being home, I have done my mantis/mantid research. I think this September visitor is a male Carolina Mantis. Isn't he pretty! I have enjoyed the cycle of bug life in my yard this year.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Apple Picking

Last week the Farmer's Market. This week an apple orchard. What nice experiences of late summer. Today we drove only eighteen miles to Niven's, a peaceful little farm in Moore that is open to the public. Their market was selling fresh produce and giving samples of cool, sweet apple cider. In the fenced in area nearby, a variety of goats, a pony, a turkey, and I don't remember what else were amicably sharing spaces. A maize maze in the shape of South Carolina was in the center of the farmland. I didn't attempt it even though I am quite familiar with all the interstates that were replicated throughout. The pumpkins were not quite ready for picking, but the red and green delicious and the mutsu apples were. Supper will be a pie, apple ala mode.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Excerpt from John McCain's Speech

Since I was doing my Republican-American duty last night and working, I missed the speech. When I got home at midnight, I could not find it being replayed on television as Gov. Palin's was the night before. So this morning I searched for it on youtube. It was powerfully moving.

"I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn't my own man anymore. I was my country's.

I'm not running for president because I think I'm blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God.

If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If you're disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and work to correct them. Enlist in our Armed Forces. Become a teacher. Enter the ministry. Run for public office. Feed a hungry child. Teach an illiterate adult to read. Comfort the afflicted. Defend the rights of the oppressed. Our country will be the better, and you will be the happier. Because nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thanks, Sarah.

The Republicans have been ignited. Their speeches were spirited and superb. How the election will play out in November is unknown. One one side, we have knowledge, experience, truth, and courage and on the other, a comedic emptiness. Unfortunately however there are a lot of blind and ignorant Americans who vote. (I'm a nurse. I know these things.) Honestly I wonder how a campaign based on nothingness can do anything but unravel within the next sixty days. Now I's the enabling media that must work to keep it afloat. I have caught a few ridiculous TV moments from BO and Biden that are "potatoe" worthy, yet rather than being exposed to ridicule they are ignored, denied. But then - like substance dependence - denial is key in their operations, and they are dependent on the left wing media. I hope more and more people will begin to see through the sham. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Thoughts during the RNC

*Laura Bush said we have a true American hero in McCain. And she looked even prettier than when she became first lady eight years ago.

*Why should McCain's age be an issue? Have you seen his amazing ninety-six year old mother? Where is Obama's mother? Dead. Family history is important.

*McCain's daughter Meghan has a cool blog. Her photos of her dad show him much livelier and cuter than the media portrays.

*Did you see the sloppy kiss that Blue Lips planted on Biden's wife? Gross...

*Cindy McCain is not just an ornament but a fine, compassionate woman.

*My grandmother would be astonished at some of today's issues. Could marriage be anything except between a man and a woman? Who would think of killing babies before they are born?

*My daddy said that Americans are like mongrel dogs. But mongrels are the strongest and healthiest dogs.

*People - including me - are excited about Sarah Palin.

*Fred Thompson said that BO is the most inexperienced nominee ever to run for president. BO stinks.

*I would have voted for Joe Lieberman as I consider him to be the voice of reason in the Senate.

*I don't detect mass trickery, deceit, or stupidity tonight.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Morning Glory

Morning glories are climbing around on this fine but overcast Carolina day. So far there hasn't been enough sun to fully awaken them but I am glad to have dabs of their pretty colors brightening my jungle of a back yard. They took last year off due to the lack of rain and I hoped they would return. When I was a little girl, on some mornings the first words I heard from my mother were, "Morning, Glory," as she tried to rouse me from a sound sleep. And on this Labor Day, I have been a little like these wildflowers, slow to awaken and blossom.