Thursday, January 29, 2009

Almost Finished

One more day of class! I have to admit it I learned quite a bit. I think it's very helpful to give us "old" nurses the textbook brush up. The new grads in this class have impressed me they are smart as a whip! They have learned a lot of things that I only learned after I started working.

I met another "older" new nurse who just moved here from Pennsylvania to be near her daughter, son in law and grandkids. She is pretty funny. We compared Labor & Delivery stories today at lunch. The memorable deliveries we helped with and a bit about our own, you know typical table talk. It could've been worse like about enemas, wait we included that; always good for a couple of centimeters. What surprised me is that it seems like most of the hospitals pick the worst doctors to be Chief. The good ones who do really nice deliveries never seem to get anywhere in the hierarchy of things. It's politics. I laughed when she told me about the arrogant doc who didn't come when she told him too and got his nice expensive suit and shoes "splashed." He never ignored her again and actually had the humility to admit that she had called him in plenty of time, instead of blessing her out.

When I started nursing school I thought it was because I wanted to be a nurse midwife. I worked 6 months in L&D. I didn't have the stomach for all that blood exposure. I also worked at that time for another Catholic hospital that did about 230 deliveries a month, mostly for poor women and people of other nationalities. Ninety percent of the patients we served didn't speak any English. I learned how to ask how many babies have you had, in 4 different languages. We were all good at gestures and hollering poooohaaa! I don't convert for hepatitis immunity and we were exposed on an almost daily basis. Not to mention that hospital deliveries, at least at that time, still looked like a war zone. Everything was so stinkin technical and fast you barely had time to write your documentation much less admire the new little one. Not for me. I hurt my shoulder and that cinched the deal. Moving along to the next nursing experience which was pediatrics.
The parents will make you crazy, they are so freaked out. Calming down freaked out parents is the number one challenge in pediatrics and it's understandable.

A very big raise at a different hospital convinced me to try adult care, neuro-ortho. That is a strange combination but it's put together commonly. Now that is hard work! Total care neuro patients, require a great deal of assessments and interventions, they are also very rewarding when they get better. Orthopedic patients have pain and mobility issues and you can really break your back lifting all the gear that goes with total knees, and broken hips, setting up traction, moving patients etc,... definitely sweat equity.

When we had a prolonged period of low census instead of lay offs they rearranged the staffing. We were asked to voluntarily go to other units to keep our full time jobs. That was how I found myself in oncology. Never did I imagine working there. My mother died when I was 26 of breast cancer that had metastasized to the rest of her body. Her pain and nausea were not managed. She had terrible care, it was the way thigs were done then. I didn't think I could handle seeing other people have the same problems my mom had. Imagine my surprise when I found out that not only did my personal experience make me a better oncology nurse, but my patients appreciated when I shared with them. I have a very strong commitment to manage pain and suffering. My mothers experience fueled my energy and determination to do everything in my power and on my shift to solve problems. I did go the extra mile, give the extra touch. The best aspect of oncology nursing was the use of humor. These patients NEED to laugh. Many are in the hospital for long periods of time and we get to know the whole family. Being able to joke and "cut up" are life savers for these people. Staying serious and upset will bury people. Levity also deeply reassures critically ill people that this day is a good day, this day is a day of life. These patients are the most appreciative of any that a nurse can ever encounter. It was natural to spend some time at hospice too. Like I said before I'm a professional job hopper. Actually each of these moves were a minimum of one year to a maximum of 5.

Which brings us to the present day, orientation for a new job in medical/surgical ICU. It's a bit scary. The ventilators don't worry me. What worries me may seem strange. I worry about how I will handle seeing hospice appropriate patients in the ICU, it happens all the time. I'm skilled at bringing up the subject of death and dying with families. I'm not there to decrease how many patients we have in our beds, but I always want to do the RIGHT thing for the patient. I'm sorry but it's never right to code people in their 80's, it's barbaric. On the other hand life is sweet when it's your own and everybody deserves a chance.

The other thing I worry about is living on the technical end of nursing. What kind of relationships do ICU nurses develop? What if I'm not smart enough? Sometimes my mind won't fetch and retrieve words I'm looking for, what if I start stammering all over myself, and get the fumble fingers? I've always thought that critical care nurses have nerves of steel.

I know if it doesn't work out that I can change areas and go back to floor nursing, but it is really hard for me now. The truth is I am getting older and running those halls beats me up. I do pee when I need too, but no one ever gets enough to drink and it's not infequent to miss lunch break.
Especially in oncology where you are always hanging blood, platelets, chemo, and giving pain and nausea meds. You might be attempting to take a lunch break but when your call lights go off you get up, unless some one helps you out. Lunch is 10 minutes to eat. Charting is a break ( not really), to sit down and try to get your mind together. People don't realize what all goes on in a shift.

One evening I was having a very busy "group" of patients. One woman with metastasized breast cancer was taking a severe turn for the worse. I saw the signs of imminent death and notified her doctor, who notified her husband to come, and we changed her to be a "do not resuscitate." Considering how bad the cancer was, it had even surfaced to the outside of her chest and was visible, coding her would have been a terrible cruelty. It was not really expected though. Often patients take a good bit of time to go through the process of dying, it can be months. She went from answering my questions to leaving us in one shift, it happens but it's not usual. There was no real difference in medications , nothing out of the ordinary. Within the hour of my getting her status changed she died. I was very busy with her family preparing them, helping them, and making sure my patient didn't suffer. There is a whole lot that has to happen after a death, very time consuming, above all else the family must be supported.

While all of this was going on, one of my patients had used his call light to ask for assistance. No one had answered his light and when I went into his room he was really mad. I apologized and asked him what I could do for him. He wanted his nightstand moved so it would be more convenient for him to reach his things. That was fine, I moved it, but he continued to rave about the poor response time to his request. Finally I couldn't help myself I said, " I'm sorry sir but I had a patient die." He quit complaining, he didn't know anything about the person specifically to protect privacy, and he got a little much needed reality check. The hospital is not a hotel. We still have to prioritize, it's why the person at the desk asks if the nurse can bring something with her when she comes to your room, it's why we try to find out the need when the call light goes off. Nausea, vomiting, pain, bleeding, falls, dying, are all rapid response, hopefully help to the bathroom is in there too. I know everybody has a story about the terrible care they got in a hospital, but it's a tough job, somebody has to do it. It is important to remember the somebody is a human in a sea of suffering. There is no excuse for laziness but we all need to bear with each other in trying circumstances, for everybody's sake.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dog Dreamin

I once loved a dog, a big, tall, black, standard poodle. He was gorgeous. He was smart. He was better than most people, and he lived for 10 years. That's all, 10 years. But for those ten years he was always by my side. We were stuck at the hip and the heart, until my husband stole him from me.

It was just the natural thing to have happen because he was home all the time and I was working. They just started hanging out together a lot.

Winning over my husband was a tall order for Rasmus. My husband has a firm commitment to his "no pets," policy, that is why we have 2 cats and 1 dog. The girls have pets; well one of those cats has adopted me. But there is no special dog here for me. Not that I didn't try. I shopped on the Internet until I was crazy from looking at puppies and checking out breeders. The only local person I could find wore animal prints and seemed on the odd side, in an Elvira kind of way. Not my first choice to get a pet from. I spent the big bucks and it was a flop from the start. I finally surrendered to defeat and gave that dog away, to a good home.

So here we are. October marked the first anniversary of my dog's death. I thought over time it would get better. I find that sometimes it seems he was just in the corner of my vision, or a bark outside that sounded just like his. Papa doesn't ever want another dog. I never heard a man cry like he did when we put our dog down.

It is something I can't really comprehend, never having another dog. I'm hoping my next dog will find me, or we will happen on each other some how. I need another dog that doesn't shed, and I like big dogs, the bigger the better. They have to smile big goofy grins and be really really smart. You know, Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, Old Yeller, Big Red, the stuff dog heroes are made of. When you've had one of those you can't settle for less; but maybe one of those is all anyone can ask for in a lifetime.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sometimes There Are No Words

More accurately, no ideas. Orientation is taking all my brain cells and pulverizing them. I never have writers block. I do now.

I have thought of posting about cooking, and haven't taken any pictures. I made a pot of soup, whooppeee...

We had a couple of daffodils bloom one day and freeze the next, with the fluctuating temperatures from 70 to 20 and flip flop , but no pictures...

Animal antics? Haven't noticed any.

Honey stories? Not lately.

New Years Resolutions for losing weight? Haven't got the heart for it, just the rump.

Kids are just putting one foot in front of the other and doing their thing...nothing really to blab about.

So there you have it. I officially have writers block. Me the Queen of blab without something to say. This is monumental folks. It has never happened before, and may never happen again! So depending on how you feel about my blabbing you can either be sad, or enjoy the peace and quiet.
Rest assured it won't last long. Orientation takes a break after the end of this week for clincial time, then one more week of intense classes where I will disappear totally, To emerge back into full time work and more patient stories, then my words will be superfulous, excessive, descriptive, whatever, hopefully engaging, never to be forgotten, well maybe funny.

Are you still here? Wow I thought I lost you two paragraphs ago. Think I lost myself somewhere in that mess. BUT YA'LL come BACK now HEAR! Never Never Never give up!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saving Money

Everybody is worried these days. Seems like each of us knows some one who has been laid off. The days of living high on the hog and buying whatever we want are over. Spending a lot of money is a bad idea any time, unless you have all you need, no debt and a surplus; and those people are best at budgeting.

I have been reading and catching up on some of my favorite posts and it seems that a lot of young women are really working at learning to be frugal, and being good home makers. In fact I just found a new blog "Paint Splashes," she is a precious young mother and a good writer, go visit her and see what you think.

Other women really encourage me. I used to be very diligent in making food from scratch and either buying second hand or sewing. It seems like you either have time and no money, or money and no time. I had big plans to bake bread today and make some granola but I didn't do anything. My brain was so fizzled that all I wanted to do was, absolutely nothing. Maybe tomorrow.

We really can live on less. I don't buy soda. Most of the time I don't buy any mixes or pre made foods except for lasagna because that is so expensive to make, I think it's a wash. We don't eat out. We don't buy fast food. I avoid the sodium nitrates and am working on the high fructose corn syrup which is in cotton pickin everything! If fresh veggies are too high, I get frozen not canned. I cook and we eat salads. I love to bake which is a big downfall. We ate like pigs over the holidays. The next step is to get off of sugar. If I didn't live in a subdivision it would be fun to have some chickens. In the south where I live it's almost pointless to garden for food. It becomes a bug fest and I'm not into sprays. We also have great produce stands. My husband has convinced me that it's really not economical to try and grow food here. Up north where his relatives are, it does pay off. They have cattle which supply endless amounts of manure to amend this soil with, and a garden for them is a small farming operation. Once it's grown it has to be canned or frozen. I'll stick to the produce stands.

Tackling the big sugar addiction and portion control are big on my list of priorities this year. I'm just plain too heavy. There is a time to enjoy, and a time to tighten your belt. I think it would be fun for everybody to share a couple of their most successful money saving tips. Do you buy nice toilet paper or the cheap stuff? How do some people manage to get their utility bills down? How about phone bills? My husband and I were saying today that if he could just get football we wouldn't have any cable. We spend too much on the TV, cellphones, Internet, all this stuff we think we can't live without. Does anybody use Vonage or something else that works just as well as regular phone service? I use a lot of long distance minutes so I keep a land line. I think it could be fun to see just how little we actually have to purchase. Hang onto your hats and buckle your belts, and share your best secrets, please.

PS I bought men's undershirts to wear under my scrubs. Still thinking on that.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Quest

Somewhere in this world there are nice soft white scrubs that are thick enough to be opaque, as in non transparent. Hopefully they are in manufacture now and somewhere I can help this intelligent person to make some good sales. EVERY NURSE AT THIS HOSPITAL WANTS TO KNOW .
People are doing all kinds of things to cover up, wear tights, which is just way to hot. Wear tee shirts underneath, and jackets on top. Sounds like layering to me which also defeats the pupose of cool comfortable clothing you can work hard in and keep comfortable. I am not comfortable with countable cellulite showing on the back of my pants.
I won't rave tonight. I will thank Grandma J for the brand of baby fpat. But somebody has got to know somebody who wants to make nurses who have to wear white something they can be happy in. Hey is this going to be my new career move? I'll make some and see, start fillling orders and whadaya got? Covered up butts. Ya'll got any ideas speak up, speak out, speak, loud, and say something great! I double dog dare you. I can do that because I passed my tests with 100%'s
thought they were going to be F's but they weren't! whooohooo. Now if we can find some decent scrubs to wear...then life can calm down from this PITCH! You do not want to see pictures of this.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Hard stuff begins

Computer learning modules are designed to teach you at your own pace, you and the machine that you can't talk too and would like to cuss at. Especially when it's super ticky about stupid things that in real life don't matter. That was frustrating but holy cow the math test flipped me right out of my tree. Yooo hooo crazy farm where are you? I had THE hardest math test since nursing school that I was current in 1992, what the math for that? This is 2009-1992=17years ago. what the hec does anybody remember from 17 years ago much less 17 minutes ago?
We are talking brutal here, gtts (drops) per minute for flow rates on IV's that aren't going to be on a pump.RIGHT When does that happen? And on the sheer chance that it might there is this nifty little gadget called dial a flow. NOBODY does these calculations so even if they aren't hard I can't remember them. They had a bunch of real dozers it took me until 2pm to finish these modules. The nursing students were kickin butt, they were done with everything, they had gone home feeling sorry for the poor old brain dead nurses. Wait until the day, they are out there in wide eyed terror and we come to the rescue and know exactly what to do! HA sweet,...who am I kidding?
Tomorrow is another day of these computer module classes, I'll be doing EKG,
My brain feels like scrambled eggs, no grits, really mushy grits...

So much for knowing hard stuff. Would anybody consider that a whammy? I'm not whining I'm in shock my brain is having unusual activity it's a bit glitchy trying to search and retrieve old rusty files, we are in need of an upgrade.

Speaking of upgrades some one out there needs to upgrade the quality of white fabric for white scrubs and uniforms. They are ALL STINKIN SEE THROUGH! What's up with that? You want to count the dimples on your nurses a-- you aren't sick enough to stay. You get me, the number of dimples in my butt will scar you for life! This is serious business here. Who decided and when did this come about that white scrubs no longer provide modest coverage? BBBBBOOOOO
BAD BAD and Stupid. When I go to work as a nurse that is going to be working with blood, guts, vomit, poop, pee, and many more precious forms of body fluids, taking care of lines and getting close to people and next to their beds etc,... I WANT SOME CLOTHES ON!! Clothes you can't STINKIN SEE through!!!!! Can you tell this has got my goat? Can you tell I am peeved?

QUESTION OF MAJOR IMPORTANCE Does anyone out there know of a scrub manufacture for WHITES ONLY that uses a thick enough soft material for scrubs? Come on you lurkers save the day!! I'm serious I can't bloody believe me own eyes. There I stand with my bra and panties showing through like I'm wearing thin lingerie, bring back starched dresses, at least they cover you up! Rats! It's always something. Who knows the answer to this one????

Positively I passed my work today, I struggled with it but I won. Tenacious little booger that I am.
Yes, Winda my friend I am going to medical/surgical/ICU...wowie

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I started my new job and the first 2 weeks are orientation, 3 weeks in the classroom total. For all of you stable employees who aren't job hoppers like me, that means you sit in a classroom and listen to people talk ALL day long. I am brain dead, totally fried, and any semblance of creativity is shot to h---.
My mind may re-enter my body at a later date but it is more like a scrambled egg at the moment.
We haven't done anything hard yet. I hope by the time I actually have to start learning intensive care skills that I am not drooling and in a catatonic state. That would not inspire confidence from the patient, to have a strange drooling nurse looking them over.

I suppose that having an orientation of this length is beneficial for employment retention, no one in their right mind would want to go through it again.

On the other hand it may cause permanent damage.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

California Dreamin

I am pretending that I am still there.

The trouble with great vacations is that they end!

IT All Started with...

Meet Vine Hill Woman. She's inspirational. Why, you say? Because she is a plethora, an endless supply of artistic ideas and creations. She may be one of the most productive women I have ever had the pleasure to know.

Vine Hill woman has a love affair with wool and glass. She hunts wool. She finds it in thrift stores and bargain bins. Old coats, skirts and blankets, get transformed into something new. Under her skillful fingers they become braided rugs, and hooked rugs. Her hooked rugs are unbelievable, how I managed to not get a picture is also unbelievable. Idiot. The hand hooked rugs are made with small strips of recycled wool that has been hand dyed again into brighter richer colors. She showed me her study of "marrying" the wools by mixing the different fabrics together and letting them bleed into each other and then fixing the new dyed shade. The next step is to draw a canvass into some sort of pleasing design or picture. This is the wow part. Currently she is working on a design of one of the waterfalls of Yosemite! These rugs are stunning. so is the amount of work that goes into them, like I said it's a love affair.

As if that isn't enough for one woman to do she also makes stain glass and stain glass art pieces like the picture of the birdbath in my header. If your not impressed yet, she is a great cook. How about, she can sew? Her houses are also works of art and just too cool?
She gardens, decorates, and designs? She's just plain fun. Am I spoiled or what? Nobody has more interesting cool girlfriends. I am just spoiled rotten.

Vine Hill Woman got me on a thrift store shopping spree. All I need is a gentle push and I'll go bonzos in that direction. I have been having a ball. Granted, shopping for cheap thrills is not on par to creating great works of art, but it's fun. It's about my speed. I am making a present for Vine Hill Woman, for all the lovely food she made us and staying in her beloved little cabin.

Would you like to see some of my finds? Thought you might. I found some cornices for $6 my vote is undecided yet about the fabric that is currently on them. It works but it's not the best idea, recovering may be the next project. Feel free to voice your opinion.

The wooden object that I think might be a tie rack, or spool was a nifty little find for $1.50 I mounted it on the bathroom wall for Piglets vast collections of necklaces, she thinks it's cool.

The fun thing about these pictures is the sizes. The brown chest is a small jewelry box about 12" tall, that I gave to Tigger. The white chest is next to my bed and its about 3 and 1/2 feet tall, it's a nice piece. Having all those drawers next to my bed is stinkin fabulous. I have junk to hide you know.

The ceramic piece looks like one that my girls would do, it was also a bargain from the thrift store. This is by no means an exhaustive list, there are the books, the 4 red plates from Spain, the 12 English teacups and saucers, the amber glasses, and assorted other little gotta have its.

I am going back to work on Monday before we end up in the poorhouse. I am not going to mention dieting from eating to many cookies. You get the drift. I can get into this thrift store bargain hunting as much as a kid in a candy shop, a little restraint please!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Interview by the Flea

Interview - here we go! I recieved 5 questions from Flea. If you want to be interviewed let me know and I'll ask you five questions.

1. Why did you choose to go into nursing? Was there someone who inspired you or served as a mentor?

I started out putting band aids on my dolls. Nursing for me is a way of life and a calling. My husband actually paid for me to go to college in my late thirties. I went to San Jose State University and some of the instructors there were awesome mentors. Nursing is a mentoring profession and many people have contributed to my skills. The most inspiration I have received
came in a different form though; personal illness gave me a depth of compassion that no schooling could provide. I understand the perspective of the ill, and can honestly say that it has been the patients that I have cared for that I have learned the most from.

2. Do you like living in the South? Why or why not, and if you could, would you move elsewhere?

I do like living in the South, much more than I anticipated. When we came here I felt like I was coming to a foreign land, practically a different country. The accent's were so hard for me to understand that I bought a hearing aide, thinking that might help. Imagine my surprise when it didn't! One day I quit hearing the accent and discovered that I have one.

If I could move, California would be tempting, because of the people we left behind there. Where to settle would be a tough issue. Umm maybe next door to Debbie or back to Soquel or Felton. How about my old house in Felton? The problem would be that we would now be leaving people we love here! One of the blessings of living in the South has been good health. Sooo I suppose that I really wouldn't move. Frequent vacations would be nice.

3. Dream vacation - where would it be and who with?

I just had one really, this last trip was just great. The next time I go to Colombia I'd like to stay in Cartehegna for longer when the mission trip is over. The Carribean is an awesome place and snorkeling in those waters is amazing. I think a vacation with best girlfriends would be fun. Lucy and I would love to go see a friend in Sayulita Mexico.

4. What is your "love language"?

Acts of service. It figures since my main spiritual gift is mercy. Touch is pretty high on the list too, I am a hugger. I will find a way to pat you or hug you if I like you even a little bit.

5. What is your favorite thing about your husband?

His faithfulness and he tells the same stupid jokes over and over.


1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview
someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask
them five questions.

Thanks for playing! Hope you have fun with this!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Little House in the Big Woods

We had to drive by our home in Felton. I used to have that whole hill landscaped. It's just a weed patch now but the house looks great. It's 4 stories and it was one of our most favorite places too live. It was a kids paradise with all those nooks and crannies.

One of our favorite beaches , Twin Lakes.

Redwoods grow big in this area and these aren't even that large.

A cozy bed, such pretty pillows.

This is calamari from Carpo's in Soquel with the double dip, it's to die for......too yummy.

One of my favorite and most missed delights in Santa Cruz.

This is the cabin we were privileged to stay in, at our friends place. It was delightful! I did have a couple of raccoons observe me in the bathroom; one couldn't believe his eyes he pressed his face up next to the glass. I could only assume that I impressed him.

The wood stove is the only source of heat, and an electric blanket. We were quite cozy. Loved not having a TV in here. We watched a bit of TV but not here. She is a fabulous cook. We ate, and ate, and ate, everywhere we went.

For those of you who were jealous of my visit with Debbie and family; well your jealousy was well founded. We had too great of a time. She fixed the pork stew from Cathy's at Noble Pig and it was excellent, very rich. and just delicious. That would be the dish with the whole bottle of wine and cranberry sauce. We drank potfuls of delicious tea, and gabbed every waking moment. I loved seeing the family again, and one of the most special treats of all, was Matthew's welcome. He is really a young man now, and I wasn't too sure if he would really remember me. He lit up like the Christmas tree AND allowed a hug! Now that was special! Rachel Kaye is still Aunt Nannie's girl and we snuggled every opportune moment, watching home theatre. We watched the Polar Bear Express, with Tom Hanks playing 7 different parts, it is fantastic on a large screen. That movie is a completely different experience with the right sound system and large screen. The train fairly rumbled the whole house and arrived into the front room. All aboard! Very fun.

The girls played music for me. It's hard to keep a dry eye while listening to "Oh Holy Night," on the harp. RK can just plain boogey down on her piano, she is an amazing child. If you thought the sock toys she made were cute in the photo's you should see them in real life. I was partial to a pink and white striped zebra. I took her an animal origami kit and she started making little paper dinosaurs like a pro.

We stayed up till after midnight on New Years Eve and played a very fun game called, "In A Pickle." Debbie "cheats" she charms most of her answers with a little smile and a nod, basically going unchallenged for even the largest stretches of imagination. It does pay to be charming. The evening went by too fast and our one day, also flew by. We toured the gardens in winter imagining blooms. Watched RK ride her bicycle like the wind over hill and dale. Miss Lydia also likes to ride but it seems her first love is the swing, or maybe the kitties.

I know of bee charmers and decided their should also be tea charmers. The art of soothing one with cupfuls of warm tea is magical in the right hands. The experience one of satisfied relaxation.

Debbie's husband kindly drove me to San Jose all too soon to meet up with my hubby. Then our schedule went into hyper drive; but we loved every minute of it. This was quite possibly the best trip we have ever taken together. Each day was a treat and the visits too short but full of love and laughter.
Not to tell all in one fell swoop, you'll have to come back by for more details be continued.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Howdy from the West Coast

Hi ya'll we are in Elk Grove and I am getting to use a computer! Papa didn't want to bring our laptop with us. I seriously have not had time to even read anything, much less write. We are having a great trip, it's too short. Each place we have visited has been just a little taste of joy and love and not nearly enough. It is very hard to return to a place where you have lived and visit all the people without having an entire month to do it in. Today we are getting to see the little baby girl! She is so cute I'll post photos when we get back.

Tomorrow we head back to the Santa Cruz area. I have been freezing to death! But it's worth it. You know I had a wonderful visit with Debbie and her family. My heart nearly popped hearing Lydia play "Oh Holy Night," on her harp. Rachel Kaye is my little luv bunny, she has so many talents, but charm is very high on the list. We bonded when she was a little newborn baby and still had her little belly button cord on. She's still one of my babies. A huge highlight of the visit was Matthew's recognition of me when I came in and greeted him, he lit up! I was allowed to give him a hug too! We had a wonderful time and it was too short.

The life celebration for our friend was incredible, he was such a great man very touching. I'll dedicate an entire post to him when we return. Our girls had one melt down while we were gone and we refereed on the phone. Suggesting having someone show up sort of motivated them to get it settled. One of our friends has a new puppy that nearly did me in, he is so cute! I need a dog. I am not getting anywhere with Pa on that. Hope ya'll are having a happy new year and will get back into the bloggin groove when we get home. Just wanted to say hi.