January 17, 2019

Thankful Thursday: Too Many Dogs in the Bed

I'm linking up with my sweet blogging friend, Rebecca Jo @ Knit By God's Hand for Thankful Thursday today. Please visit her to read her (always) incredible list and find links to others who are sharing today.

This week I am thankful...

** today is my day off. Things are pretty, um, "active" in the dementia unit these days. It is nice to have a break. Plus, it was really wonderful to sleep in this morning. I haven't been sleeping well since we've been keeping my mom's dog while she's on vacation. She's a bit of a bed hog and there is no moving her once she's picked her spot. Plus, my little diva isn't terribly fond of her so there is plenty of grumping and growling all night. Oh, and add that I'm also really thankful Mom and John are supposed to get home on Saturday so bye-bye to Lacey!

** that all of the winter storms that have rolled through have not amounted to much and if the forecasters can be believed, it looks like the 3 storms rolling across the country in the next few days will continue the trend.

** for Amazon Prime. We get so much stuff from Amazon now because it's so easy and convenient and with the Prime membership the shipping is free and usually within 2 days. Why go running around to a bunch of stores if you don't have to? Just this week we got the power bands for the ABDoer, a big CD case that will hold our whole collection, a smaller crock pot, and a sweet little utility cart for my craft/library room.

** that I am a journal keeper. I love being able to look back at what was going on x-number of years ago, but more than that, it's helpful to see how I handled things or what the Lord was saying to me. It's interesting to see what was tearing me apart emotionally (I've always vented and worked through things in my journals rather than saying things I'd later regret) and see if those things are still a big deal or if they've been worked out or if they never really were a big deal and I only thought they were.

** the perceived blank slate of a new year. It's good to feel that jumpstart in January to eat better, exercise more, read more, be more positive, save more, or whatever is on our resolution list. Even if we don't stick with it, it's still nice to feel inspired and kick things up for as long as it lasts.....and hey, you never know. It just might become a lasting habit.

** A Million Little Things comes back tonight!

** that there are things to make me laugh and things to find joy in even in the seeming hopelessness of working with dementia patients. Yesterday the residents were absolutely delighted when 2 deer came right up to the fence outside the dining room and dug through the snow for grass. They stayed for several minutes and the residents were so excited.

** Pierogies for supper tonight! They are the ultimate winter comfort food. Yum!

** Most of the residents in the rest of the nursing home seem to be getting better from the plague virus (I'm pretty sure it was the norovirus even though the home never officially said so) and I still haven't gotten it. I'm also glad it didn't make its way into the dementia unit because there is no way to contain something like that in there with so many residents wandering around touching everything.

** as always, for each one of you! Have a blessed day and please, stay warm and safe if the winter storms are going to hit your area hard.

January 16, 2019

A Do Nothing Wednesday

It's Wednesday, so that means it's time to link up with Terri @ Your Friend From Florida for the Wednesday Medley. Thanks to Terri for hosting and for coming up with great questions every week. Please visit her blog to see how to play along and find the links to others who are playing.

Wednesday, January 16th, is National Do Nothing Day!! National Nothing Day was proposed in 1972 by columnist Harold Pullman Coffin. This day has been observed annually since 1973. Of course, the way to celebrate it is to do nothing! 

1.  To commemorate Do Nothing Day in SOME way, tell us something about your life (or the life of someone close to you) in 1973!!  I was 9 years old in 1973 and my family was living in a private wildlife preserve as my dad was the manager. The preserve was also a research facility so there was a staff biologist and college students who were working on their master's and doctorate degrees. Much of life inside the fence resembled those grainy old wildlife films from the 1970s. I spent my time outside of school running through the woods and mountains, riding my bike, and studying nature. My constant companions were the research animals. 

2.  Now that we are thinking back, please tell us what your favorite past time was as a child.  I'd have to say it was a tie between reading and riding my bike.

3.  What is the best way to cheer you up on a bad day? Leave me alone to spend some time with God. Really fun, bouncy, happy music is not a bad way, either.

4.  How old were you when you first started dating? Do you remember your first date?  I didn't really start dating until college and I don't remember my first date there because in college we didn't really go out on "official" dates. It was more just hanging out together except for fraternity formals or something.

5.  Today is also National Fig Newton day.  Do you like figs/Fig Newtons?  I think I liked Fig Newtons when I was a kid, but today the answer is no and no.

6.  Tell us something random about your week.  I mentioned yesterday that we had gotten rid of the old wine bar and replaced it with a cube storage unit that we outfitted with X-partitions on the bottom for the wine and canvas cubes for all our movies on the top row. I didn't have a picture of the new unit, though. Today I do.

The old...

The new...

That's all for today. Have a blessed and wonderful Wednesday!

January 15, 2019

Tuesday 10: A Brain Dump

1. The new girl in activities quit yesterday. She lasted one week. Sigh.

2. Finding that no one in ANY department likes my boss. The CNAs told me last night they are wondering how long I will be able to take her.

3. Tim is miserable to be around when he doesn't feel well.

4. Reading The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler. A national bestseller. It's not really grabbing me so far.

5. I need to kick my Diet Coke habit.

6. I don't want to give up my Diet Coke.

7. Only 5 days until Mom and John get home from their cruise. That went fast!

8. Loving the neat, streamlined look of the cube storage for wine and movies. (I will take a picture one of these days and post it.)

9. Needing to sell the old wine bar and a rotating DVD storage tower. No interest in the Facebook marketplace.

10. My friend gave Megan and Cody her 2-year-old memory foam mattress and topper on Sunday. (She got a new one because her husband didn't like it.) Wondering if the kids like it.

January 14, 2019

In-laws, Wally World Woes & Snow

As promised, Megan, Colton and I met up with two of Tim's sisters, two of our nieces, five of their children (that makes them grand or is it great nieces and nephews?), a family friend, and a partridge in a pear tree for lunch and a fun-filled trip to the cemetery on Saturday. Okay, no bird in a tree, but no one would have noticed in the chaos if there had been. If you are friends with me on Facebook you saw the pictures one of my sisters-in-law posted. Megan, Colton and I were there, but barely. We are just background and not really part of things.

We're the 2 on the far end. My SIL sat like that with her back
to me the entire time...even when she was eating.

We're sort of in the middle here, but standing back further
than the rest. The focus is, as always, on the one sister's
kids and grandkids...who the entire family treats as if they
walk on water. I wouldn't care, but it is blatant and has 
really hurt my kids over the years. 

I'm still not sure why they always insist we must come along...other than I suppose they can pat themselves on the back and feel good that they've done their family duty. The sister-in-law who was visiting from out of state said hello and goodbye to me and that was more than she said to Megan.

If you've been around long enough to know the story, she is the mother of the cousin Megan went to Florida to live with only to be held a virtual prisoner with no way to get anywhere, no businesses nearby to get a job, and they took what money she had...along with stealing from their roommate and they even stole Megan's I.D. I reported it stolen before they could try to use it and they went ballistic on her. I had bought her a plane ticket and had to send her cousin gas money to drive her to the airport because neither she nor her fiancé worked...and they still don't. Both the cousin and the mother posted some very unkind things about Megan on Facebook the day she flew home. They later took them down, but the damage was done. The cousin and Megan can be civil if they run into each other. My sister-in-law just doesn't speak to her. Mature, no?

Anyway, the visiting sister was all about her 5 grandkids and couldn't be bothered to talk to anyone else. I get that we love our grands, but she is going to be here for about a month and has been spending every waking moment with them. She didn't even sit with the adults, but at the kiddie table. I'm not sure she even talked to Colton. The other sister is the one Tim had the huge falling out with that ended with us being excommunicated for a couple of years. We talk now, but it's never been the same. We are still the black sheep of the family and our kids and grandkids are not as wonderful as all the others...and they know it and really don't have much use for that side of the family.

That's all a pretty long-winded way of saying the kids ruled the show (not Colton who is a little younger and didn't know quite what to do with them and they didn't pay him too much attention). They were running all over the place, yelling, not eating, and then one got sick all over the place. I thought for sure we'd skip the cemetery, but nope, we still went. Only to freeze while the boys stomped all over grave markers and picked up things people had sat out on the graves and dropped them or threw them. That only lasted 10 or 15 minutes, thankfully, and then we could make our escape while the rest went on to spend the afternoon together. My duty is done for another good long while.

We stopped at Walmart on the way home to get Tim's prescriptions filled and pick up a few things and that is where the great pharmacy fiasco I described in yesterday's post took place. My already not so great mood, hit rock bottom. Thank goodness I came home to find Tim had put together the 8-cube storage shelf I had ordered. He wasn't feeling that great so it was a surprise. We laid it on its side so it's only 2 cubes high, but 4 long. I found X inserts online for the bottom cubes so we can keep our wine in it and got canvas bins for the top to hold all our movies. I really like how it turned out and it was pretty inexpensive as entertainment cabinets go.

The shelf was missing a couple of screws so we had to make a run to Lowe's for those and we decided to eat out at a local place. Tim had a fish sandwich and I had the lasagna special. Rich, gooey, cheesy....comfort food at its best and exactly what I wanted after my afternoon!

It started snowing in earnest while we were at dinner and the roads were a little slick on the way home. It was good to get home, get into my jammies and settle in to watch Columbo reruns.

Sunday we got up and did the grocery shopping after breakfast and then just hung out around the house the rest of the day. It was still cold and snowy, though we didn't get much accumulation. It was a nice relaxing break, which Tim needed since he still wasn't feeling 100%. He says I brought the germ home from work. I say I didn't, that he doesn't have what's going around at work. He asked how I knew and I told him because he isn't living in the bathroom! They haven't said, but based on some signs that have shown up in staff areas at work, I think it can be assumed we are dealing with the norovirus. He definitely does not have that. I've had that. Sickest I've ever been in my life!

January 13, 2019

Sunday Stealing: Storywise

I'm linking up with Bev and the rest of the "thieves" at Sunday Stealing today. Of today's questions, Bev says:

This is kind of weird.  It's from a set of "Storywise" cards that were made for Alzheimers patients, which they have at the facility where my mother lives.

Working in the dementia unit of a nursing home I'm very familiar with cards like this. We have several sets, though not this particular one. The name of the game (all the games) is to engage the residents and try to spur their memories. Many "live" in an earlier time in their memories and will talk of things gone by as if it is the present. The rule? Meet them in their reality. If they think they are 18 and getting ready for the sock hop, don't try to convince them of the reality that they are 85 with grown up grandchildren. You will only upset them and cause distress. You will find that many residents in such places are more comfortable and happy knowing family members as friends because if they are that 18 year old, how can their sister be old? Or if they think they are a young mother, how can their sweet baby be in their 50s? Imagine their distress when someone insists on pushing the issue. 

1. The strangest place you've ever been.  I think that honor has to go to Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum, a tacky little roadside place along U.S. Route 30 in Pennsylvania. It's a personal collection of everything and anything to do with elephants, a candy and toy store, and a rather creative garden. See for yourself...

2. Unusual food combinations you enjoy.  I just answered this in another meme the other day, but maybe my thinking cap is on a little straighter today and I can think of something. I know! People like apples with cheese and apples with peanut butter. I like my apples with both at the same time.

3. Your best cure for hiccups. Breathe in deeply through your mouth, hold it for a moment, and then swallow without exhaling. You can exhale after you swallow. If you can manage that, it usually cures the hiccups. I've used that method for years as I get hiccups all the time.

4. Something you have never done but would like to try.  Swimming with dolphins.

5. A routine you do every day without fail. Get up. Go to the bathroom. Let the dog(s) out.

6. Something new you've recently learned.  There's an app called "What's in my refrigerator?" My niece was telling me about it yesterday. You input what's in your fridge and it scans the universe to give you recipes using what you have. I'm going to look for it today.

7. Your keenest sense.  I'm not really sure these days. It used to be my hearing, but if I'm honest, I have to admit that sometimes these days I have a bit of trouble hearing conversation in noisy situations. I guess, maybe, it would be my sense of smell, but again....not so sure since working in a nursing home can really bombard you with odors and I don't always trust my sniffer. I'm also getting pretty good at shutting out smells when I need to.

8. Whether you prefer cooking or cleaning up.  Cooking. Cooking is creative and fun. Cleaning up is drudgery. 

9. Where were you the last time you saw the sun rise.  Here at the house.

10. A recent time you were embarrassed.  One day at work a long strip of toilet tissue got stuck to my shoe and I walked all the way from one side of the building to the other before anyone pointed it out, even though I saw plenty of people along the way. 

11. An everyday sound that delights you.  My grandson's giggles.

12. The last conversation you had with a stranger.  Yesterday afternoon at Walmart. I had a very long "discussion" with the pharmacist concerning the amount of time I had waited for Tim's prescriptions. I dropped them at 2:00 and was told it would be 30 minutes. I went and did some shopping, got Colton's hair cut, browsed, etc. and returned 50 minutes later. The woman at the counter looked it up and said they were nearly done and it wouldn't be long. So Megan, Colton and I sat on the bench to wait. 

We waited and waited and waited. After 30 minutes Megan called her husband to come get her and Colton because she is pregnant and wasn't feeling well. After 40 minutes I started giving the cashier pointed looks...which she tried to avoid. After 60 minutes I finally lost it and went to the counter and demanded to know the reason I had to wait so long. No one could give me an answer and amazingly, they were able to put my prescriptions in a bag right then and hand it to me. 

Basically, I sat for an hour waiting while they continued to fill prescriptions for people who weren't sitting there waiting. I sent Walmart a complaint and told the pharmacist I wouldn't be using their pharmacy any longer. His response? I'm no where near the first person to say that and then he confided that he doesn't even use it.  

I told Tim he was lucky he didn't have to come bail me out. If ever there was a time I felt like punching someone in the face...

January 12, 2019

Saturday 9: I Forgot to Remember to Forget

Saturday 9: I Forgot to Remember to Forget (1955)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
In honor of Elvis' birthday (January 8.)

1) Elvis sings that he thinks about this girl all the time. What person or topic is on your mind this Saturday?  I guess I'm thinking about meeting up with a couple of my sisters-in-law, nieces, and grand-nieces and nephews for lunch and a trip to the cemetery where my inlaws are buried. They are all into the whole family visiting together. Me? Not so much. Also, it's really cold and snow is on the way...kind of miserable weather to be standing around in the cemetery.

2) He wants to forget the day he met his girl, but simply can't. Think about someone very important in your life. Did you know right away that they were going to be influential?  I didn't. I actually met the woman who is now one of my best friends and my Bible teacher several times over several years before we even connected and began to talk. 

Since this week's song is about memories, let's check on how well you recall events in your own life.

3) What was the first concert you ever attended?  Pure Prairie League. It was 1981 or 82 and they played at the local college.

4) Where did you get your first piercing? (Not only where on your body, but who did the deed and where did they do it?)  I got my ears pierced when I was 10 at the Piercing Pagoda at the mall.

5) What's the name of the bank where you had your first checking account?  Banks change names and ownership so much around here that I have no idea.

6) Tell us about your first bicycle.  It was a little red and white one with training wheels. I remember going to get it at the Western Auto hardware store. I'm thinking it was a Radio Flyer (like the wagons).

7) Who received the first text you ever sent?  Apparently, this was a milestone I should have remembered? Sorry, but I don't. I would guess it was either my husband or one of my kids, but I'm just not sure.

8) What had you been drinking when you suffered your first hangover?  Fruit punch with grain alcohol. It was popular at the frat parties in college.

9) Whose was the first wedding you ever attended?  Probably my aunt's when I was 5. I was her flower girl.

If you thought this was fun, please be sure to pay a visit to Sam @ The Saturday 9 for the links to the others playing and to find the rules so you can join in, too!

January 11, 2019

Thankful Thursday on Friday

Good morning! I know I am a day late with this post, but I tried to get it done twice yesterday morning before work and each time I'd get to a certain point and then....pfffft….the post would disappear. I finally ran out of time and had to give up. Megan and Colton were here after work and I just didn't have time. Sooooo, that's why you're getting Thankful Thursday on Friday. And I don't start work until noon today so I have plenty of time to deal with wonky laptops.

The plague intestinal virus is still sweeping through the nursing home. I had a break from worrying about it yesterday as I was back working in the dementia unit. The fact that it's a lock-down unit helps keep the residents isolated, which is a very good thing because there is really no way to contain a bug in there. It would most likely just run rampant for a couple of months until it died out.

Things are not so good on the other side of the building. When I worked over there on Wednesday I found that group activities were running again, but hardly anyone came to them because all the residents were either down with the crud or hiding in their rooms trying to avoid getting it. I also found that 2 more residents had gone to the hospital for GI bleeds caused by it and the hardest blow, my favorite resident, Joe, passed away unexpectedly and presumably from complications of the virus.

Joe was 95 years young, a rosy-cheeked cherub with sparkling blue eyes and a ready laugh. He was a favorite of all the ladies at the home...even though he shared a room with his wife of 67 years and was devoted to her. Not that he didn't enjoy all the ladies flirting with him. He is going to be missed very much.

Okay....'nuff of the sad stuff. This is supposed to be about stuff I'm thankful for. So...

This week I am thankful...

* that I haven't caught the bug going around at the home! Really, really, REALLY thankful.

* for a couple of perfectly timed readings in my devotions that were exactly what I needed to hear at exactly the right time.

* the new activities girl started this week! So, hopefully, my schedule will improve next month.

* things seem to be going a bit better with my boss. She hasn't seemed to be quite so hyper-critical, but then she really needs me right now and I'm also not seeing too much of her since I've been mostly in the dementia unit while we've been short-handed. Praying it continues, though.

* my dog and my mom's dog have mostly worked out a truce and have even been seen playing together once or twice. I wouldn't say they are best buddies (my dog's choice) but at least the constant fighting has ended. Now if only they'd stop barking at everything that moves or makes a sound because the pitch of Mom's dog's bark is exactly like a spike through the brain!

* Chinese take out on a cold, snowy evening when I'm late getting home.

* New books!

* My boss is okay with not scheduling me late on Tuesdays so I can go to Bible study! We'll start that next month. Yay!

* being in the dementia unit yesterday and today got me out of having to take down the tons and tons of Christmas decorations. Another big YAY! I hate undecorating at home, let alone on that scale.

* and of course, for each one of you!

Please be sure to visit Rebecca Jo @ Knit By God's Hand to join in the thankfulness.

I am off this weekend and so looking forward to it! You all have a blessed Friday and a good weekend with your families and friends. I'll see you tomorrow for the Saturday 9.

January 9, 2019

A Shocking Wednesday Medley

1.  It may be a little shocking, but National Static Electricity Day is January 9!!  Do you often get shocked often when you touch metal?  Here are some things to avoid!  Yes! I hate the dry winter months as I am one who gets zapped every time I get in and out of the car, every time I get up from the sofa, and in a new development...nearly every time I touch a resident at the home. I feel so bad for them! (and me!) Metal isn't even required to get zapped except for the car. With the car, I am very careful to always do like the directions at the gas station say and touch the car to get rid of the charge before I start pumping gas.

How to Avoid the Shock of Static Electricity

  • The drier air of winter months is a better insulator than the more humid air of summer.  To help prevent static electricity, use a humidifier to put moister back into the air in your home during the winter months.
  • Our skin is drier in the winter months, too.  Putting on moisturizer before getting dressed is recommended.
  • Synthetic fabrics are better insulators than natural fibers. Wearing materials made from natural fibers such as cotton will help reduce the amount of static electricity that’s stirred up.
  • While walking around the house, at work or shopping, holding a key or a metal pen in your hand will help discharge the build-up of static electricity painlessly.
  • Switching to leather soled shoes versus rubber-soled shoes will help reduce the amount of static that is built up.

2.  There are actually two "National" days worthy of mention! It is also National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.  Our men and women working in many areas of law enforcement put their lives on the line for us daily.  Do you know someone working in law enforcement who you can thank today?  I don't think I personally know anyone these days. I did know a couple, but one has retired and the other went to a career that paid more. I would gladly thank an officer I don't know if I saw one, but that is unlikely. I'll just say a prayer for all law enforcement.
3.  At our house right now it is all about football.  Joe's Philadelphia Eagles barely won their game on Sunday to move forward in the playoffs and another chance to play in the Super Bowl this year.  Do you have a favorite team in the playoffs or does football make you yawn?  Is there a Super Bowl party in your future, no matter the teams playing?  No Super Bowl excitement here. My Steelers didn't make the playoffs. Tim grew up in a home where sports weren't watched and he continues that tradition. I like to watch the Steelers and a little college football now and then (Sooners and Crimson Tide), but otherwise I don't really care too much. I think Super Bowl weekend is a working one for me, anyway. 

4.  Speaking of parties, there is always lots of food at parties I attend.  Tell us a weird food combination that you really enjoy (or have enjoyed).  It doesn't have to be party food.  I'm drawing a blank this morning. I can't think of anything that seems weird...to me, at least. I like to eat my sauerkraut on mashed potatoes, which is normal around here but was seen as weird when we lived in Florida. I learned to eat my ham and bean soup on a thick slice of homemade bread on a plate from my dad. He also taught me to put sugar on cottage cheese and tomatoes. Sorry, that's all I can think of.

5.  Since we are on games and parties, what game have you spent the most hours playing?  Lately, that honor goes to UNO and bingo. Those are definitely the two most popular games at the home. We run bingo three afternoons a week for the residents and UNO is played most evenings and now and then during the afternoon.

6.  Tell us something random about your week so far.  I got a call from one of Tim's sisters yesterday. His sister who lives in Mississippi is back to stay with her oldest daughter while her husband is away for military training. They invited me and Megan to meet up with them on Saturday for lunch and to visit the cemetery where Tim's parents and both siblings who have passed on are buried. Megan and I kind of hate the group cemetery thing, but the sisters get kind of put out if we don't go, so go we will. Tim isn't planning to work, but he will not go. He doesn't care how much it upsets his sisters. He hates the family visits to the cemetery. In looking at the weather forecast for Saturday, Megan and I better dig out the long underwear. It's supposed to be in the 20s for a high and possibly be snowing!

Well, I am off to get ready for work. If you thought this was fun and would like to join in with Terri today, you can do so at her blog, Your Friend From Florida. Have a wonderful day!