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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Root Beer Float Therapy




I work in a personal care unit of a small town hospital/nursing home facility in Montana. Days can be long, meals provided can be bland, and visitors can be few for the residents living 24/7 where I work anywhere from 8 hour shifts to 12 hour shifts 5 days a week.

Some times spirits start to sink for these folks. Signs are changes in tones/attitude, less attendance in daily activities provided and finally in eating habits. We offer snacks between meals 3 times a day and for the most part none are accepted. The residents do usually keep something in their cupboards in their rooms but with regular checks (to keep water cups filled) and verbal reminders (asking if they would like a snack), still sometimes extra calories or even enough caloric intake is not done. One thing we (the staff of 4) have noticed is by combining little cups of vanilla ice cream and a partial can of root beer in a coffee cup and including a spoon and straw, there are smiles on faces all around. Only recently one resident said to me, "How did you know that a root beer float was always my favorite drink?"

Just this week, I have been experiencing a sort of loss because one of the residents moved out to be taken care of by her daughter at her home. The resident's physical limitations were deteriorating so that she would have to be moved into the nursing home part of our facility. When I made root beer floats for the other residents today, I had to mentally dedicate it to this now "former" resident. I cherished our many conversations and learned several new things in my 6 months of interactions.

Also as a treat to my family, I stopped at the local market and brought home some vanilla ice cream and root beer to have floats for desserts. All smiles in my house tonight!

Hoping you treat yourself to this simple fun tasting joy some time soon.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Storm Clouds


I usually run outside and snap photos of sunrises or sunset here in the country, but today we had some very interesting storm clouds brewing and strong winds blasting.

My son, Wynston, and I thought we saw an angry looking turtle in one of the clouds. Do you see him?



Still I find the skies very impressive and see art in them no matter whether it is the colors or the shapes or even the trees/silos in the foreground.




Hope you enjoy these pictures. I had to conclude with a beautiful sunset to show the storm passed and evening brought gorgeous sky views again!


Pineapple Memories


Had to pull out my iron skillet last night to prepare a little treat after making a huge pot of turkey noodle soup for the family.

Wish I had some cherries to put on this pineapple upside down cake but couldn't find any at the little local grocery store in Fort Benton, MT.

Usually I don't use dark brown sugar, but the taste is still just as it should be.

The kids made short order of the cake and I spied one slice left this morning before heading to work.



Making pineapple upside down cakes in the iron skillet reminds me of my teenage years and having picnic potlucks in our front yard at our summer/vacation mountain trailor after church on Sundays. Never knew who would show up, but usually there would be around 15 people when all got seated. Been thinking about that time in my life lately, especially sitting in the swing late at night and looking up at the stars . . . having dreams and making secret plans for my future. A future that involved moving across country where I now live in "Big Sky Country" and gaze up at those same million stars in awe of the beauty and in awe of how time has flown so quickly.

I don't feel 43 and am very happy when one of the residents in personal care where I work says I look 23. One said the other day that "you are aging remarkably well." I had to laugh and then look in the mirror and say to myself, "no way". They have older eyes and my "youth" is a long distance memory in their lives. Still we can all smile and be thankful no matter what the view.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chocolate Banana Bread


A perfect way to end a day at home before heading to an overnight shift at work -- do some baking!

Just got a fresh baked loaf of Chocolate Banana Bread out of the oven. Got the recipe in an email from MomsMenu.com -- added a little cinnamon and nutmeg. The house smells wonderful and the taste test divine!!

Savannah Rose Jewelry


I am enjoying my daughter's new interest in working with beads and making jewelry.

She has made a special friend at a local art shoppe that has invited her to come one day on the weekends to work together.

Savannah Rose is learning about the names of jewelry parts, how to use the hand tools, and patterns.

It is sparking visualization. She doesn't admit it or like to have attention told to her about how creative she is.

I sure do love my special young lady and can't believe she is about to turn 18 this May.

The earrings and bracelet pictured above were made by Savannah especially for her Aunt Barb as a birthday present. I hope she smiles when she opens the box.

Tulip Quilt Progress


I am seeing the end in sight on this requested tulip quilt. Just need to make more flower centers and leaves -- then sew them on. A thin strip matching off white border on two sides and then sandwich together to finish. This has been quite a project to do.

Someone requested this for their mother and told me that she will want to use it on her casket in the future. I had never heard of that before. Seemed very strange to me and even hindered me in coming up with a visualization of what I wanted to do.

I talked with a very nice elderly resident in personal care where I work about my project and she said in a rather matter of fact way, "Native Americans have had this tradition for years. Their quilt is usually a star quilt." I guess that sparked me on to get this far and just seeing it laid out with the rest of the tulips pinned will mean completion by next week.

Then it will be onto a stack of unfinished blocks I have laying around the house and tons of embroidery pieces to create into something.

Feels almost like I am Spring cleaning or something!!!

Waiting for Spring



Took a drive with my husband over the weekend to get out of the house where a flu bug has been residing for nearly two weeks now.



I noticed all the brown and found myself thinking -- "I am really wanting and waiting for Spring this year."



I do love green and signs of life!



Did fall in love with this picture of the tree I took. They (trees without leaves) seem to be characters that can move and grab you (just my imagination here) like those in the Wizard of Oz.



I plan on taking another drive when the landscape has gone green and do another post on here.

There is talk in our house of a garden with all family members getting involved. This will be something new for us to try.

My neighbor already has some seedlings started of veggies she has planned for her garden -- am wondering if that is the way to go, better get off here and doing something about it.

How Do You Decide Whom to Marry



HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHOM TO MARRY?
(written by kids)



You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
-- Alan, age 10

-No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.
-- Kristen, age 10

2. WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?
Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then..
-- Camille, age 10




3. HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?
You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
-- Derrick, age 8


4. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?
Both don't want any more kids.
-- Lori, age 8


5. WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?
-Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
-- Lynnette, age 8(isn't she a treasure)

-On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
-- Martin, age 10


6. WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?
-When they're rich.
-- Pam, age 7( Love her )

-The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.
- - Curt, age 7

-The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.
- - Howard, age 8


7. IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED?
It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
-- Anita, age 9 (bless you child )


8. HOW WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN'T GET MARRIED?
There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?
-- Kelvin, age 8

And the #1 Favorite is .......


9. HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK ?
Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck.
-- Ricky, age 10