Wednesday, August 31, 2005

In Memory of Lois

3 years ago I wrote this for an e-mail
to my friends.... In my process of
cleaning out some old files, I came
across it again. It is just as true
today as it was then.

I have a friend........ her name is Lois......
I met Lois 15 years ago.... her
husband was dying in our facility...
she seem to need a friend. So we
talked on my lunch time. I had lost
Marvin just 9 months before, so I knew
what she was going thru. We talked
about the loneliness. And one of the
big subjects was Social Security. Like
Marvin and I .... she and Leo were on
disablity Social Security. And being
SS had put me thru the ringer at the
end of Marvin's life over their checks.
I wrote down what to do and what not
to do... what to send back. And who to
contact if she had trouble.

I wasn't working the day Leo passed away...
And after the funeral, I wrote her a letter
telling what widowhood was like. How
people treated you and how your emotions
will effect you. And some the dumb
mistakes you can make. And how something
will make you feel like you are losing your
mind. Told her after she read it to put it
away in her draw and take it out in 6 months
or a year later... to see if it would still help her.

I heard from Lois two months after the
funeral. She called me and told me how
much the letter had helped. That everything
I said would happen...did... but she was
prepared because of my letter.

Over the years, Lois and I have gone to
lunch, but as the years pass, it seems like
it was harder for us to pin down a day.
We were always glad to see each other
when we ran into each other at the stores
around town. Each time telling each
other to call to get together for lunch. But
with her being a farmer and my working
at nights...and sleeping days... and winter
were off limits as Lois hated to drive in
the snow or ice. We haven't had lunch
for 3 years. Still seeing each other about
once a year in a store and catching up
on the latest news. I always sent her a
birthday card and Christmas card..

Last night Lois called. I knew she had
been having stomach troubles... has for
years... but she finally got on SS because
she is 65... and finally has insurance, so
she went to the Dr. about that darn
stomach problems, which seems to be
worse...and she was having trouble
with her throat.... her voice goes to
being like a frog after talking quite a
bit. To make a long story shorter....
Lois has throat cancer....

So my message... make sure you
make those calls for lunch and go....
you never know how long you will
have to go to those lunches... you see
Lois only has 6 to 9 months left. And if
that friend ends up like Lois.... go
make what time is left worth while....

The update on this is...Lois passed away
10 months after I wrote this. Lois was the
neatest lady. She was a stunt woman in
Hollywood, in the early 50's. She owed
her own business in California. A weld
shop I believe. Then tired of the whole
California scene she came to Elmira
area. She ran a bar there for a few years.
It has been tore down to make way for
the highway. She had a great laugh.
She was beautiful, wore jeans and
western boots, and usually a western
shirt.She ran that farm of hers for 15 years.
She did all the tractor work, she was
a go getter. And now she rest with her
beloved Leo and their dog.

So remember your friends, make that
coffee break date and keep it. You never
know what turn life will take.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Sleeping In

A few years ago, I was getting a gentleman
up for the day. He wasn't thrilled as it
was 5:30am. So I told him I understood
completely. I told him this:

Yes, Ray, I can understand why you
aren't happy about this. You see when
I was a little girl, my mother would
wake me up really early to get ready for
school. As the school time went by, I
could not wait until I gradutated from
school, so I could sleep in...
But when I graduated from school,
I had to earn an living. So I had to
get up early to go to my job. So I
thought I can't wait until I
get married, so I can sleep in....

Well, I got married.... but I had a lot of kids...
so there was no sleeping in.... So I dreamt
of the day when all my kids would get
thru school and on their own, so I
could sleep in......

Well, then my husband
passed away and I had to get a job.
So I could not sleep in... And do you
know what upsets me now, Ray? He said no...
I said.. what upsets me now is.... I figured
when I retired and was old, I could sleep in.....
but now I know I will probably will end
up in a nursing home, and some young
person is going to come in and say......
time to get up, Cis...

SLEEP IN.......
He thought that was funny....
I'm not so sure I think it is funny.

Monday, August 29, 2005

How Tall are you, Momma

Went Thursday for my 65 year
old check up. The Medicare kind
of pays for a so called free check
up, if you do it within 6 month of your
65th birthday. So I was poked, and
prodded and weight and measured for
height. And that is the kicker...

I have SHRANK a half inch. Now don't
laugh. This isn't funny. Sure it is funny
to you gals who are 5 feet and 7 or 8 inches
tall. But I don't have any to spare
I walked out of high school at
5 foot 3 inches. I stayed there for a few
years. But some where along the way
something happen and I was 5 foot 2 inches.
Now my eyes aren't blue, but I was
satisfied with 5'2". Had a nice sound to it.

I feel like a flaming building. Am
I settling? Like an old building. Now
granted, I am kind of build like a block.
And a lot of it is settling in the lower
half. But I was proud to be 5'2". I stood
up when I walk, not slouched. I can't
be 5'1" and half. All my kids will be
taller than me. At least I was taller
than most of my daughters,
(no wonder I had to look up higher
at my sons when they visited two
weekends ago).

Coming from mostly short people,
I expect this. Kind of...But dang, I thought
I was done shrinking.
Have to rethink this.

Friday, August 26, 2005


part 3 and this is the most
important, in my mind of the 3.

What you need inside yourself
to be a good aide.

And aide is a very special person.She
is the eyes and ears for the nurse. Any
changes at all, you notice and report.
For years she/he did work that many
wouldn't and had a horrible reputation
because of it. If you said you were an
nurses aide, people would tell you, I am
sorry you can't get a better job. Bartender,
waitress something. They thought being
a nurses aide was the bottom of the barrel.
Even some nurses had the same opinion.
If you weren't a nurse then you weren't
much. And even to this day, there are some
who will say, not me. I wouldn't, couldn't
do that job. And that is kind of true. You
really got to love it to be a good aide.

There are several kinds of aides.
1. There are the teens and others
who are there only for the money and
a stepping stone to a better job, a
better paying job. And their job
performance shows it.
2. There are aides who just do the
work, and want the money. They will
do the job well. The resident will be
taken care of. They do what is
required and nothing extra.
3. And then there are the aides whose
whole heart is in it. We love the
residents. Even the badly behave ones.
And you better or else it will never
work for you and you won't last long.

The sweet grandma that people talk
about can slam you against the wall,
pull your hair, spit in your face, and
cuss you out like a trooper. The sweet
grandpa, can make sexual remarks at
you, call you dirty names, punch you,
pinch you, slap you, and throw feces at
you. 15% of them will. So if you can't
take the heat, get out of the kitchen,
as Harry Truman said.

Then there is 20 % who are demanding,
act like you are their maids, have no
respect for you, and are not beneath lying
about you to their families. No amount of
smiles, and yes, ma'am, I will do it right
away ma'am, is going to change their minds.
It is a guilt thing they do on their families
to get out of there. How bad things are
there and how bad you are. And some of
the families know because they watched
20/20 or such, have seen those thieving,
rough, abusive aides on TV and you look
just like them.

The other 65% are a pleasure, they will
break your heart, make you smile, make
you laugh, make you cry, and endure in
your heart for years. They will tell you
thank you. And when you come back from
vacation, they will tell you how much they
missed you. And that is why you are there.
That is why you will last for years at the job.

They say objectivity, you have to have it to
endure in the job. And for the most part
that is true. Because if you don't have it...
you will be eaten alive with stress, hurt,
and take everything to heart. But you
can also have a heart. In fact, if nothing
bothers you, maybe, just maybe you
shouldn't be there. Because you have to
be awful cold hearted not to be affected
by these people.

I have held a lady in my arms as she died.
I have hum Jesus loves Me, as a woman
was dying. I have read passages in the
bible to many residents over the years.
Most the time on my own time the first
10 years. On Noc shift you have more time,
so you can do these things. I have sat near
the bed, and hummed Amazing Grace.
I have sat silently by the bed and held their
hands. I have hugged their family as well.
The family is important as the resident,
but in the last stages, they need us too. We
have laughed with them, we have held
them as they cried. And if they couldn't
be there, we have talked about the last moments.
This is all things we have done because we
wanted to. We didn't have to, we wanted to.

When you go in and take care of residents
in a health care center, you have to
remember what they gave up. They have
given up their homes. Be it ranches, farms,
big house or apartments in exchange for a
8 by 10 living space. They now share a room
with a total stranger 99% of the time. Some
one who might take their things. Which
talking about their possessions, they go from
rooms of furniture and all their things, to
their clothing, a few knickknacks and if they
are lucky a favorite chair. Only the ones who
can afford a private room, will fair better.
So think about it...8x10 feet. Jails have
probably as much room.

So try to put yourself in their shoes.
When they are short with you, when
they tell you they hate it there. That
their families brought them there to
died, think about it. How would you feel?
A few pictures, clothes, a knickknack
that might be taken, clothes that if your
name is not marked on it, might just
show up on some one walking by. So
you have to understand how they feel.

So it takes a lot of compassion, a lot of
stamina, a lot of heart, endurance, and
when you think you can't do it anymore,
something will give you a boost. A smile,
a thank you, it is small but it will give you
unexpected energy. You will have your
heart pulled, as you deal with death.
Cancer takes it total on a lot of them, yet
they will find a secret place to be brave,
to endure, and be an inspiration to you.
You are suppose to be holding them up,
when it is them who hold you up. It is amazing.
You will applaud as they take their steps,
after a stroke. Any tiny step forward with
a foot, a hand to their mouth, a word that
came out, that meant what they were trying
to say. You are their champion, and they are yours.
I did this job for 17 plus years. I wouldn't
change a thing with the residents. I might
have even still been there, if it wasn't for the
Administration. That is the part that will pull
an aide down to their knees.

I left because I worked for the residents.
I was their advocate, I made sure they kept
their dignity as much as possible. I kept
their confidence. And when it came to being
about the building and not the resident, I
knew it was time to go. I knew I could not
fight the battle anymore. I pray for those aides
who work so hard. They keep going, no matter
how the public or their bosses views them.

I was a Registered Certified Nurses Aide and
I was and am proud of that to this day. On
my last morning, I walked around and hugged
the aides good bye. I walked out of the building.
I stopped and looked back. And thank God for
letting me be his humble servant. I thank God
for letting me do it right. And turn and got in
my truck and drove away. No company party,
which is how I like it... but no letter of thank you,
for your years of service, which that I would
have liked. But it was expected of that company,
that is just they way they are.

Remember you are there for ALL your
residents. You will have favorites, it can't
be helped. But your job is be there for the
ornery ones as well as the sweet ones. If they
are angry, or upset in anyway, it isn't at you.
It is at the situation. You are just the person
that is available to vent against. Also you are
not happy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,
365 days a year. Neither will they be. Do your
work and give them space. If they need an
encouraging word or a hug, give it to them.
It isn't so much your job, it is what you want
to do.... if you have the real heart of an aide...
it is what is inside of you.

I know in the land of computers and on line,
people copy and paste things they see. So I
can't prevent you from doing it. But I do ask,
if you will at least ask me if you can do it. I
don't want it to be used for commerical
purposes. But would be glad to ok use for
yourself, or fellow aides. And gladly
ok it for teachers of nurses aides.
Thank you... the

Thursday, August 25, 2005


The job a health care center

It depends on which shift you work.
There are three shifts. Depending on
which facility you work at, what the
times are. But it averages, shift
2pm...Eve shift... and 10pm...Noc shift.

If you work the 6am. You go in and get
a report from the Noc shift aides. You
want to know if there are any changes
that happen in the last 16 hours since
you left. That can be anything from a
behavior change to, physical change
(stroke, raised temperature and etc.).
You get your supplies to start your shift.
That is linen's cart, dirty linen barrels
and etc. It differs from facility to facility.

Then there is the start of the shift.
If you are working the day shift, it is
your duty with your partner, to get the
residents up, dress, and groomed in
time for breakfast. Some facilities have
the Noc shift help get some of these
residents up. As in the previous blogging,
you have about 5 -7 minutes to totally
get this resident ready. As you have an
average of 20 resident between you and
your partner to get up.

You always knock on the door before
entering the room. Giving a little bit of
time to adjust to you entering. Then
address them by name, and say good
morning, and why you are there. If you
have a person who can respond to you,
you ask them what they would like to wear.
If they don't know, you ask what color
they like for that day. Some of these
residents dress themselves. But they are
in the 10% of the residents. Another 10%
of them can dress the top half or can do
the grooming themselves. The other 80%
you have to totally dress and groom them.
Grooming is washing their faces, brush teeth,
and brush their hair.
Because you are running on a clock
situation, the fastest way to do this is
the following. Pull the curtain around
the bed, so you have privacy.
Put their socks on, then their pants,
and then their shoes, from the bottom
of the bed. Talk to them while doing
this. These are human beings, not logs,
in a bed. Treat them as you would
want to be treated. With dignity. Then
change their Attends (or what ever
brand they use) Be sure to clean that
area well before putting on the fresh one.
After the Attends is in place, pull
up the pants to the waist. Some
who can't move at all, you will have
to roll them over back and forth
until you get this done. Then sit
the resident on the side of the bed.
Place the gait belt around their
waist. Explaining what you are
doing and about to do. Placing
your feet well, so that you have
a solid foundation, you count and
lift, and turn and place the person
in the wheel chair. Put their foot
pedals on the chair. Then start to
change from gown to shirt. This
is easier if you have them placed
in the wheelchair, than it is in the
bed. After getting the upper part
dress, start with the grooming.
Combing hair, rinse off false teeth,
and making sure the person looks
good. If they can do their own teeth
and hair, then set them up with the
side table and you can make the bed
while they do that. Get the call light
where they will be able to reach it.
Make sure their water glass is within
reach and refreshed. When they are
ready to go, then turn on their TV so
they can watch their favorite show,
while you get the rest of the residents
up. As it will be a while before they are
taken down to eat breakfast. Then you
continue on. If the person is a two person
lift, you do the same until it comes time
to get the person up out of bed. Then
you get your partner to help you lift that
person, with gait belt on. Or a Hoyer if
needed. Then continue on. You will also
be called on by your partner to help
them lift their resident that they are

Some facilities have a bath team.
Some don't. If you have a bath team,
then there might be some residents on
your floor that you won't have to get
dressed. As the bath team will after
they bathe them. There is a daily list,
and you are to always be aware of who
and when. Even it is you who will have
to get the resident bathed. If you have
to, then you will know which ones will
get their baths before breakfast, and
which ones after. Their beds are to have
a total change if it is their bath day.
Clean body, clean linens. In the larger
facilities it is on a 4 day rotation
After you have gotten the total floor up
and then into the dining room in the
hour and half that you have had.
Then it is time to get the meals in front
of the resident in a timely fashion.
Some eat by themselves, some need
encouragement to eat by themselves,
some need a limited help, with cutting
food and then there is the restorative
resident who needs help. And then the
ones who are to be fed.

This time is a social like time for
the residents. The more sociable ones
will talk among themselves. If you are
a restorative aide, you talk to your resident
to encourage them to eat, and to
encourage their effort in feeding
themselves. If you are an aide who
feeds a resident then you talk to them.
This is not the social hour for the aides.
You don't talk about what party you went
to last night, what happen at the bar
you were at, the fight between you and
your husband, the fight with your kids
or friends. All of this is inappropriate.
By talking over the resident you are
making them feel like they are not there,
and you don't care about them.
If you want to relate a funny story about
your kids,husband or friends, to the
resident themselves, that is fine. They
want to feel like they belong. And they
can always use a good laugh.

After everyone is done in the dining
room, then it is time to make sure those
residents who need reminding, to go to
the bathroom. The ones who can't go by
themselves, then you take them. Lifting
from the wheel chair to the toilet. And
then there are those who have no control
over their bladder or bowels, so you lay
them down and change them. This has to
be done in about an hour's time, as activity
time comes up about an hour after meals.
Also thru this you and your partner, rotate
to take a quick 15 minute break.

After activities then you get the residents
ready for lunch. Some of your residents
didn't go to activities and were laid down
instead. So this is the time you get them up.
Also thru this time you and your partner
rotate a lunch half hour. Usually getting
the residents you can by yourself, and
leaving the two person lifts to when your
partner returns from lunch.

Lunch pretty much goes by the same as
the breakfast. After lunch it is time for all
the residents to lay down, with the exception
of the more alert ones. You lay down each
one after you toilet each one. Removing
their pants, and getting them under covers.
And if you are the one who bathes the
residents, then you do so and laid them
down. If there is a bath team, they will
do it for you.

If you are the Eve. crew, you start your
shift the same way as the day shift. Report,
supplies and then going to get the residents
up. You have it a little easier as you have
a lot of the residents half dressed already.
Then you get them ready in an hour time
for afternoon activities. During this time
you and your partner rotate your lunch.
Then there is dinner. Same routine as the
day shift has for meals. Some facilities
have an after dinner activities. That is
when you and your partner rotate your
15 minute break. Then there is the rush
to get all residents, clean up, teeth brushed
(false teeth removed and soaking), in a
gown, while on the toilet in hopes the
bowels will move.Otherwise enema's
are given,if it has been more than 3 days.
After they are laid down for the night.

Noc shift starts off like the other two
shifts. Report, supplies, and then going
to check your residents to make sure
they are all ok, and no one has fallen.
Then you get the ice and replace glasses
and pitcher, ice and water at each bed
that each resident is able to have water.
As there are some who have trouble
swallowing, so are not allowed glasses
of water. We do have thicken water
that we can give instead.

Then it is time to make your round.
Rounds are every 2 hours. You check
each and every resident. If they need
changing, you clean and change. If
they need help getting to the toilet, you
help them go. If they just need reminding
then you wake them and remind them.
All the time you are doing this, there are
buzzers going off. As there are those who
are mentally alert, who will turn on their
call light/buzzer(this happens on all shifts)
and want to have something. Anything from
being put on a bedpan, to a drink of water,
or the nurse and etc. You are to answer this
call light as soon as you possible can. Even if that
means you have to stop your round, to answer
those call lights. If you have a good nurse,
they will answer the light while you are on
rounds, if they aren't busy.

Around 1:30am you have a lunch break.
Being the Noc crew does not have two
person per floor, there has to be someone
from the other floor who will watch your
floor while you are on your lunch time.
Also if you have a good nurse they will also
watch over the floor. And then when you
get back.. you watch their floor.

Some faculties require you, at 5:30am,
to start getting some residents up for the
day. It is a harsh time for the elderly as
they have to be occupied for 2 and half
hours before breakfast, and usually fall
asleep in their chairs. So you need to start
your 4 o'clock round and get thru it, do
your paper work and hand in anything the
nurses require of you. So you can start at
5:30am with the getting up residents.

Which brings me to the fact you have
paper work to do, lots of it. There is
documentation for bowels and bladder,
for every shift. There is documentation of
vitals (blood pressure, temps, and pulse)
for each shift. There is I and O's (intake
and output) sheets to fill out for each shift.
These are all extremely important for the
health of the resident. Any which one of
these can fore see a problem before it gets
bad. Bowels, it is blockage, if they aren't
moving at least every other day. Bladder
could be a shut own of the kidneys or liver.
Vitals, will show a raise in temp or blood
pressure. I always like to get the vitals done
as soon as possible into the shift, and give
it to the nurse, so they can be on top of things.

If you have a good partner, and with Noc's
crew, a good crew, your life as an aide is
doable. It is never a picnic. But it goes well.
There is good days and bad days, like with
any other job. Some days are fast but smooth.
And other days, everything that can go wrong,
does. When the flu or virus goes thru the
building it is hell. Not only because of the
residents, being sick and cleaning up after
them, and the extra work that goes with that.
But also the crew gets it as well, and you will
work shorthanded, and it is no ones fault.
That is just life. The difference between an
office job and being an aide, is that in the
office, things can come to a stand still, and
be made up later. Hard but can be done.
In the nursing dept. you have lives that
depend on you. Not just the crew, the
residents have to have some one there
24 hours a day. Many of times, I as well
as a good many others, worked sick.
You knew they had no one else to pull from.
And at least you were still standing. Slow,
but still standing. So you went in and you
got thru the shift. You knew you weren't
going to spread it, because that is where
you got it from. I remember years ago,
there were 3 of us working. One of the girls
went home Her family came and got her.
The other girl and myself, did our rounds
and hers. We didn't have an lunch time.
We didn't care, we didn't want to eat.
We stood against the wall, hoping the
building would stop, moving. But we got
thru that.. there are nurses aides who are
like that. That same aide had a heart attack
one night. One aide went home an hour
earlier, because she was sick to her stomach.
The aide didn't want to say anything, and
had hoped she could last the shift, because
she didn't want to leave them with one aide
and a nurse. Finally she said something to
the nurse... the nurse told her to go, she
would call some one in early. The aide drove
herself to the hospital, and 45 minutes later
a helicopter was taking her to Spokane.

The old time nurses aides are a tough
bunch. And always worried about the
residents or letting their crew down. We
have seen a lot over the years. We have cried,
we have mourn the dying of our residents
as well as some of our fellow workers.
We have laughed. Some times for relief.
Some times because the residents have
been humorous. Some times the times
have been humorous. Maybe I should do
a blog on the humorous times. Have to
gather up some of my former workers,
and start some writings. We have
watched as God kept residents alive for
their family to make it there, to say
good bye. And we have held family
as they cried. And those who didn't
make it in time. And we have hugged
our fellow workers who have gone
thru some bad times themselves.
You also have to remember that it is
good team work that makes the job
go smoothly. It is a team of your nurse,
your partner, and yourself. There are
others who are involved. Restorative
Aides, Physical Therapist, Activity
aides, all of you...You are a team.
Work together. Try to keep a positive
attitude, negativity drags everyone down
and it not in the best interest of the resident.
And that is who you are there for..foremost.

I retired December of 2003, so
some of this has changed. But I doubt
very much has.
Tomorrow... part 3...
"what you need inside yourself to be a good aide."

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


If this comes out right, this should
be 3 parts.
Today is about employment
Tomorrow part 2 will be about the job
and Friday will be part 3 and to me the
most important part. The who you have to
be, to do the job well.

So you want to become a Nurses Aide
part one -


Becoming a nurses aide is relatively easy.
You got to have the money and the time.
Unless you get it under the unemployment
program that they have from time to time.
And then the state will pay for it. It is pretty
expensive now. When I took the classes
thru NIC/Employment Office, it was about
$56. Now it is over $100. But they also get
to do more than we did. They go to hospitals,
different nursing homes, home health,
and even get to go see an autopsy, I have

We sat in a class room for 3 months twice
a week. From 9 to noon. With a mid time
break. We did all book work for the first
month and half. We had a mid-term test
on that. Then we did hands on, but still in
the class room. Meaning they had a bed
there, so we learn how to make it right and
how to make it with some one in it. We
learn to take blood pressures on each other.
Take temperatures and pulse. We learn to
lift from bed to chair and back. And how to
lift with two people lifting and a Hoyer lift.
That is a crane looking thing that is about
5 feet high. All this you get to learn in CNA
(Certified Nurses Aide) classes. When you
get done with CNA classes you will have
two test. One is a class room, paper test.
Then you will have a on hands test.
And now you become registered as well
as certified. They didn't start registering
until 1989, in Idaho.. We had to go thru
classes again, but this time it was shorter
as we were already Certified. So when I
passed my exams, I added an R. to my
name. RCNA. Because I was Registered,
Certified Nurses Aide. Of which the
running joke is we were glorified bed
pan handlers.

But the truth of the matter is, we were
a lot more. We had way more to do with
our resident/patient than the nurses did.
We dressed, groom, bathed, fed, and
did physical therapy with our residents.
The difference between a resident and a
patient was where they were at. If it was
a hospital, it is a patient. If it is a nursing
home like place, then they were residents.
And if it is someone's home, then it was
a client. Also they don't call them nursing
homes anymore. They are called Health
Care Centers. Also there is assisted living
quarters. Which is a place where some
one needs limited help. Usually they serve
meals and have some one do your laundry,
and help in the shower if you need it.

I worked in a Health Care Center. It was
a nursing home when I started. I worked
for 17+ years in the same building. Under
5 different Administrations, 7 different
Director of Nurses, and 5 different owners,
and the staff was a constant turn over.
Very few nurses made it to 10 years in one
place. Very few nurses aides made it to
15 years and rarely made it pass the 25 year
mark. You will see aides who range from
17 to 83 years of age. Yes, I said 83. When
I worked we had 3 different aides who
worked there over the age of 70. There
were at least 10, including myself who
work there over the age of 60. But 2/3
of the group range from 17 to 50.

The job itself, was hard work. If you
think you want to sit and talk to the
resident and help them write letters,
and visit with them, may I suggest
working home health. You have time
there. You have usually 4 hours to do
what you have for each client. In a
health center you have approximately
5 total minutes to totally dress, and
groom each resident. You usually have
20 residents to take care with another
aide. If you are lucky. I say if you are
lucky, because they have so many call-ins,
that it is not uncommon for you to work
alone. You might find some one who will
help you lift the two person lift residents.
But the rest of the time you are on your

Some centers will tell you that this
rarely happens, but I will be honest with
you and tell you it happens often. If you
have steady partners, (a rotation of 3 of
you. you work 2 days with one, and 2 days
with the other... as your rotation is usually
4 days on and 2 days off) If you have good
partners, they will rarely call off. And
work can be pretty good. But if you have
those who will call for the dangest reasons,
or a younger one who parties and calls
every weekend, then work is rough. And
you could be on your own a lot. Also the
turn over gets rough. As they can have
any where from 2 to 10 quit within a
weeks time.

In the days I started, there
was people who were on call. They
were people who were trying to get a
steady job there, and could be called
at 5am to come in at 6am. Or for the
afternoon shift or the late shift. Now
there is so many who come and go,and
higher paying jobs else where, there
isn't a on call list like that. For a while
a on call list was the list of names of
all the aides who had the day off. And
that is why a lot of aides put caller Id
on their phones. An on call list now
consist of people who have been told
that they will have their names on a list,
if called you come in.. and you will
be paid extra for that. Maybe.

In the old days..(lol, that is what us
older ones say) we use to get paid for
anything over 8 hours. No matter
how many days you worked that
week. With a 4/2 rotation, there are
weeks where you work 4 days. Because
you would have the Sunday - Monday
off... and then have Saturday -Sunday
off. Or you would have Saturday - Sunday
off and then Friday-Saturday off. Then
some one in the powers that be, figured
out that they could save money if they
only paid overtime for over 40 hours.
So those who only worked 4 days that
week and were called in to cover for a
weekend day.. got straight time.
We were not happy. You see if you are
on a 4/2 rotation... you only get 9 weekends
off a year. That is 9 out of 52. So your
weekend were precious to you. So you
don't want to give them up for straight
time. (a lot of times you don't want to
give them up for overtime either).
It was especially madden when you
got called in for a weekend.

If you were TOLD you were on call,
you had to stay home until the shift
started. Then you could go do what
ever you wanted to plan. Us older ones,
thought some how that was not legal.
But no one really protested enough to
get it changed, I guess we all knew it
was on deaf ears. And about the time
they put that into service is when I retired.
Also like all service jobs, you don't automatically
get holidays off. If the rotation comes up, like a
lottery, you get it off. Otherwise, you have to
ask for it off 45 days before. And like Christmas
it is the first come first serve deal.

On top of all this you are required
to do what they call IN-SERVICES.
You had to have 24 hours of in-services
a year. In-services were like a class.
You were taught different things that
we were doing in our job. Some of it
was the same thing, or the same movie,
you had been watching for years.
There was one movie, where we older
ones were saying the words for the
actors, we had seen it so much. We
got chilled for that because it was
distracting for the new aides. But
they did finally retire the movie.
And you couldn't just show up for
any in-service... that you liked...
there was a list of required in-services.
CPR, fire fighting, evacuation and a
few others were mandatory. You got
paid for this in-service time. But most
of the time it was on your day off, and
you had to come in at 1 p.m. or 2 p.m.
At the end I was working, what we called,
the Noc shift. Which was from 10 pm
to 6 am. So getting up at noon to make
it in for an in-service was not our idea
of a wonderful thing. We did have one
In-service nurse who did have them at
6:30 am so we could go after work
like the day shift. But that only lasted
as long as she was there, and of course
with the nurses turn over being almost
as bad as the aides, that wasn't long.

We had the best of Administrators/owners
and we had the worse of them. We had
ones who would listen to us. Even if
they didn't agree they still gave the
time to vent. If it was something they
could fix they would try. There were
company picnic's and Christmas
parties away from the building.
And they had good by parties for
long time employees.

Then we had owners who didn't
care what the staff had done in
the past. They had their way. Some
of their ways were good. And some
of their ways were horrible. We had
some people who retired after 15 years
and 20 years, with not so much as
a good bye. If it wasn't for the fellow
employees, they would have nothing.

Well, that is how the employment went.
Next part two...the job itself.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Other People Influence/bad

Eleanor Roosevelt said something like ...
No one can bother you unless you let them....

Seems like all it takes is a few words
of negativity And you are nailed.
You really have to talk to yourself
to turn it around.

To talk yourself out of letting those
negative words hurt you.And what
is really a zinger is the fact it can
be a stranger who will bug you, or
you let bug you... someone who
doesn't even have a clue who you are.

How can they make the remarks
like that, when they don't know how
you feel or react or what kind of person
you are? Yet there you are letting this
person in to tear you apart.They have
left the building, they may have never seen you.
You may never have seen them...
but you are letting this remark get to you.

So how do you let this go?
Consider the source is a starter.
Don't let some one else's
negativity bring you down.

But it goes back to the words.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Life's Enjoyable Times

Running late today, was on
The schools are gearing up for the
opening day. So took my grandson in
early for locker sign up.
Then I got caught up in checking
out my email. And because of this
weekend, there was a LOT of it.

Which brings me to the weekend and
the title.

We were expecting one of our son's
and his family to come from the coast
to see us. And they arrived Friday
afternoon, just about the time that
Sweetie got off work. I was walking
around the front yard with my son and
looking at the fence we put in since
they had been here, when a red car drives
into my drive way. I looked at the driver
and then a flash of recognition. It was
my oldest son and his wife.
What a wonderful surprise.

These two sons (and I do have 4) are
not only brothers but they are soul mates.
I have twins, but most people mistake
these two for the twins. (Or the other two
for the twins, they are both blondes)
And in the line of kids, they are #3
and #7. Or the oldest son and the
youngest son. They have two great wives
who happen to be best friends as well.
So that makes it wonderful for the two boys.
When it comes to in-laws, I have been
blessed with the best. My children have
chosen well. We have a running joke in
our family. No Refunds. That means I
won't take any of my kids back, that my
in-law kids are stuck with them.

So this weekend was just a great laid
back time of visiting. We didn't go anywhere.
They got motel rooms, which had
adjoining pool. The kids had a blast in
the pool. The adults who wanted to, went
to the flea market. The guys worked on
cars. And it was all just good fun. Even
when one of the boys tried to pull Sweetie's
chain by sliding sideways, into the gravel drive
way. (Sweetie didn't see it, but big brother did)
and so did Mom and the rest of the family.

Sweetie is a great cook. He made big
breakfasts for everyone and great B-B-
Q's for dinners. No one left hungry.
The local grandson came over and
spent some time with the coast cousins.
And life is good. Local grandson wants
a family reunion type get together next
year at his house.

You know, as we age, and our children
get older, there is the icing on the cake
of life. And that is when your kids come
to visit. You watch your adult children
handle their own children, which that can
be a blast in itself. And you get to see your
grandchildren starting to turn into
adult themselves.

Yes, life is good... and the chain of life
goes on, and you get to, if you are lucky,
watch as it grows.

Friday, August 19, 2005


Locally here, there is a small town
put up for sale. For the mere price
of $675,000. Which isn't a bad price
considering how the market is going
these days. It is suppose to be a 20
lots/4 acre town. Founded in 1909.
I don't know what kind of town it was
built for years ago? A train
whistle-stop? A logging town, as
most of them are?

They call it an abandoned 4 acre
town. But for those of us around here,
it is very much alive. Granted, it is
mainly a one building to us. It is a
combo store, and restaurant. The
best food. The best breakfast around
and hamburger. And it only seats
about 24. To most of us locals, it is
the secret we don't want to let out.
As there was one in Ponderay, Idaho
called Hoot Owl, that was like this
and now you can't get a seat there.
This is one of the last Mom and Pop
type places around here.

And now they are going to sell the
area. I don't know if the store/restaurant
is part of the deal or not. Probably.
As the traveler on Highway 95, only
sees this part. There is quite a bit to
Elmira. Land wise. The town is a
small part of the Elmira area. If you
blink your eyes, you will be pass it,
the town itself.

But I can see what progress will do
to this little town. The owner or real
estate agent have in mind a western
town. Maybe a pioneer theme town.
But I can see some one from down
south, having visions of a truckstop
complex. There really isn't one for
about 100 miles or more around.
And this is one of the main trucking
routes from Boise, Spokane, and etc,
to the Canadian border.

Reminds me of Roger Miller's song,
King of the Road...
Small town for sale or rent.... .........

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Wasted Words, Wasted Time....

"Should have"
"Could have"
"If Only"
And "If I were you"...

Shoulda, and Coulda the slang for
the first two, are word pals. Some
times used in place of each other,
or with each other.

"Should have"... we say with regrets of
something we did or did not do.
"Could have"... we say with regrets of
something you could have done,
and didn't.
Regrets is a place we should not
spend a long time at. Instead of
"Should have"/"Could have"...
we should replace it with ...
Next time I will do it better.
Next time... and then let go of it.

"If Only" is worse than Should
have/could have. Because we
spend so much time there. I use
to, when I was in my 30's spend
many nights... Hours of the night..
many hours of the night. Hashing over
IF ONLY I had done it this way.
IF ONLY, I had said this,
IF ONLY I had found the strength
to stick it out longer, MAYBE,
(which follows IF ONLY around a lot).
IF ONLY, I had done this, or said
that, MAYBE he wouldn't have gone
and done this. MAYBE the kids would
have done this or that. After about
4 years and so many restless sleep,
so many wasted hours, I decided not
to spend time on IF ONLY anymore.
I learn that if I did something, I did it
with the best judgement I had at the time.
So spending hours second guessing
myself was a waste and to get over it.
So every time I found myself start with
IF ONLY, I would tell myself to STOP.
It is over, it can't be redone. You made
a decision, now live with it. If you don't
like how it turn out, next time take
longer judging. Which allowed
me to sleep. It isn't easy, because we
beat ourselves up, far more than anyone
else would. But it can be done.

Then there is the dumb remark.
No one can be me, no one can
have my feelings about things,
my direction in life. Been where
I have been, and that is what makes
me. Just as I can never ever be
you. Yet people use that phase,
over and over. Why it was never
replaced with, if that were to happen
to me, I would handle it this way.

Myself, I try not to tell anyone how to
do anything unless they ask me.
And those who know me well, don't
ask me, because I don't have tact
and usually tell people exactly what
I think. I don't say it rudely, just I say
it how I see it. But I usually start it off
with, have you thought of it this way?
Hopefully that is better.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Puzzle....36 years of unknown....
Connect the dots... all names of
what to call today's blog. I settled on
Goosebumps because the story
gives me goosebumps still. This is a
true story. I promise you it is. I don't
have the permission of the two men
to use their names. Without that,
I won't say who they are.
But the story I need to tell you...

And article in a newspaper,
an aftermath remark,
an email,
and phone call.
Connecting the dots. This is going to
be a long blog today... But hang in there,
it will be worth the ride.

A couple of days ago, a local paper ran
an article about a farmer and how he is
selling his property, save 4 acres. So I
asked someone if they knew the farmer
as this person knows most of the old farmers
in the area. He looked and said yes,
even told where the farm was, and
different things about it. Then as the
person walked away, he said and the
son was a friend of Man1. That Son
and Man1 had hunted together as teens,
and went to school together.
Then he walked away. .

Peaking my interest, I emailed Man1.
Asked him if he remember this childhood
relationship. A while later, I got a email
back that was goosebumps. Yes, he
remember the childhood friend. So very
well. And here is where the goose
bumps started.
He thought the childhood friend was dead.

See after school both join the Army.
But ended up in two different units.
One went to Sniper school and the other
Ranger school. They came across each
other in Vietnam. Man 1 had a picture
somewhere in an album of the last time
he saw him. And could I find an address
or phone number for this son. I quickly
ran and got the phone book for the area
that son was now living in. And there was
one name in the book. So I emailed the
phone number and the parents incase
that wasn't the son.

The next day, Man1's wife called the
number and handed it to her husband.
And 36 year gap was filling in. Both thinking
the other was dead. Such joy for both
of them. Man1 is not going to be available
for 2 weeks. But they have decided as soon
as Man1 is done, he will travel to the area
where Son is living and they will meet
face to face after 36 years.

Why did they think each one was gone?
Man1 had some time off (3 days) so he
went to see if he could find Son and his unit.
What he found out was Son's unit had been
in a battle and all were killed. Leaving
Man1 devastated, and a 2 day drunk.

What actually had happen, was Son
was transfer temporary to another unit
as they needed help, just 2 days before
the battle. When he got back, he found
out his unit was gone, so stayed with the
temporary unit. Man1's unit had trouble
too, and Son was under the impression
that Man1, also was dead.

So in 2 weeks, 2 men will meet....
filling the black hole that they have
had in their lives, that has opened up
and filled with light.

Caused by a newspaper article,
aftermath remark,
email, and
a phone call.

I wish I could be there. I wish
I could get pictures of this joy.
But being a person of privacy,
I think this is one where just two men
and their wives, should be the ones there
....and besides who can take pictures
with tears in their eyes....

GOD is good........................

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Things We Shouldn't do..But We Use to........

1. Go without shoes, and be dirty
from playing...
Because someone will turn in your
parents for negligent.

2. Don't swing out over the water
on a rope.
It is not safe and there is the insurance
part.Besides it probably is on someone's
private property

3. Don't walk thru the woods.
Probably private property and there
is the safety issue.

4. Don't go walking the lake or river side.
Probably own by private people,and
they will prosecute.

5. Don't walk home alone after 10 pm.
Curfew or chance of bodily harm

6. Don't steal watermelon or ears of corn.
That is against the law and owners will prosecute.

7. Don't walk in a church by yourself during
the week....
It is locked now, too much vandalism

8. Don't ride any school bus except your own.
You have to have a note from your parents.

9. Don't put stuffing in the turkey and
cook it all night long on low.
They say there is a threat of salmonella

10. Don't give chocolate to dogs. Or pork
chop bones.
They say it will kill the dog

11. Don't let your kids run the neighborhood.
There are people out there who will do bodily
harm to them

12. Don't play dodge ball
It hurts, and could cause low self esteem

13. Don't ride your bike on either side of the road.
You will get a ticket from the police officer.

14. Don't let your buddy ride on the bike with you.
See #13.

15. Don't let people ride in the back, in the
pickup bed of your truck.
See #13

16. Don't roller-skate down the sidewalk or road.
see #13

17. Don't let your kids sell lemonade,
without a license, for pocket money.
SEE #13.....

I sure am glad I was a child of the 1940's

Monday, August 15, 2005

Maybe I am Not in Tune

I don't know if it is me or Sandpoint.
I know it is tourist season, but I get a
feeling I don't belong down there anymore.
There are a few times a year during
the summer that I will go thru the
merry-go-around, music chairs of
traffic to see something down there.
1. is the 4th of July parade.
2. is the Arts and Crafts fair.

I went down this Saturday about 1pm.
That is mean time in Sandpoint. No, I
don't mean the word meantime...
I mean the two separate words...
mean as in horrible, and time as
well, you know what I mean. Boy,
there is a lot of mean word in that
Anyway, it was wicked traffic...
Played the game of hop scotch thru
the traffic until I turn down towards
the Beach. Because I live life on the
positive side. I knew I would find a
close parking spot. But it was musical
chairs as we drove around and around
and around the parking lot. But finally
I found one. I walked thru the parking
lot and dodging cars. And then for an
hour and half I walked thru the Arts and
Craft show. I walked around it 4 times
to make sure I saw everything.

During that time I came across one friend.
Which was odd as I usually see at least 6 to
8 friends there each year. Also as I walked
around, the crafts were not the usual...
For one thing I did not see anything under
$20 and most of it was over $50. Way
more than this country girl had in her
pocket. But it was not what I call practical
things. Meaning it was things to decorate
your house or yard. But not something
that you would use every day. Like they
use to have towels with the knitted deal on
it so you could hang it on your drawer
handle. Shirts, and stuff like that.

It was all nice things. But I would
classify it under the objects of.....
I can appreciate the work in the objects
but I wouldn't want to own one.
$35 and up for a glass ball to hang on
my porch, or where ever. Antlers for
lamps and etc. I don't think I would be
exaggerating if I said 90% of it was in the
$50 to $200 price range. That just isn't
me. Nor a lot of my friends... (maybe
that is why they weren't there.) Use to
have tie dye shirts and I don't know, just
some neat stuff with lower price range.
I heard that Bayview's was a lot better.
Also the music, was not like in the past.
They had a great variety but not like the
ones of the past. No, country, blues, and
etc. Most of it was wall paper music.
The guy playing a steel guitar was more
like the music you play that has sounds
of nature, that you go to sleep with. Even
the people were different. Can't explain it.

So I left. 2 people were poised to jump
to my parking space and it took me 15
minutes of slowly inching forward to get
to the bridge. Stopping on the bridge
several times. Long enough to get a picture
of the geese and swans on the creek.
Then, of course,the rat race of getting out
of town. But at the last minute I went down
Second Ave. and parked near the hospital
and walked down to the Coldwater Creek
area. 1 Park Place I think they call it.
And listen to some group, I have no idea
who they were, but they were good(kind
of like Grateful Dead type) and the small
group of people enjoyed it. I stayed about
45 minutes and headed for home.

So I guess I will count that one off my
list of "worth fighting the traffic for".

Friday, August 12, 2005

Nice Day for Yard Work

Sorry to be so late blogging today.
But the weather is finally nice enough,
that I don't need fans, nor ac and I can
work outside. So after my walking to
the post office, I have been working out
there, trying to get the yard in some
kind of order. Sweetie is going to have
a party for some friends the 27th.
So now I have to get weeding seriously.

I am leaving the weedwacker for him
to do. The garden is on the down hill side.
Wasn't a good year. We usually have
great lines of fava beans. This year we
have one lone plant. Which we left so
we can use the beans for seeds for next year.
We kept one of the little bags from our
supply. But after putting them in 3 times,
Sweetie decided it was a bust and had to
admit defeat. The cabbage did great and
he has picked, grated, and soaking it for
sauerkraut. So in about 8 weeks we
should have some great stuff.

It is nice to work out side. Been the
pits not to get things done. Tried to
do it after it cooled off, but the mosquitoes
have been wicked. And I got that cute
little lantern that is suppose to keep
them at bay for 15 feet. Ha! like in NOT.
I am not like a kid any more, so I can't
just say the heck with it. Now I take them
serious. And West Nile Virus doesn't
help either. I wonder where that was
when we were kids. Sure a lot of stuff we
can't do, that we could do when we were
kids. I will have to work up a list and
do a blog on that some day.

Well, I am heading back out. Took a coffee
break, and figured I better write something.
So the yard beckons me...
Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Drivers...Here's Your Sign

People when they are driving, what
are they thinking?

Yesterday, as I head in for my
daily run. At the Bonner Mall
entrance/exit on the Highway 200,
sat a small car, waiting to get out on
to Highway 200. I see a very large
(smaller than a semi) truck heading
north and I am heading south. This car
sat there for a while, as I saw it for quite
some time. For about 4 blocks the
traffic was clear for him. Then as the
truck approached the area, the car darts
out in front of him, heading north. I could
not believe it. I am hitting the brakes as
I see an accident about to happen. In the
seconds during and after I saw... A man
in a small car who was not concern about
what he had just done, and he was talking
on the cell phone as he did it. I saw the
look on the truck driver of disbelief and
who threw up one hand. All the traffic
behind me could see what was going on,
and were braking as well. Where was that
man's brain? Here is his sign, "dumb driver."

On Monday as I was driving out of town,
and it is heavy traffic. I saw a driver who
left his brain home. He came down the hill
along side of the highway from AutoHaus,
passes the car that was sitting at the stop sign,
happen to find a car length space between cars
that are going 20+mph that are southbound,
and doesn't slow down in the turning lane,
and jump into the northbound lane, someone
ahead of me decided to let this idiot live and
threw on his brakes. He evidently saw it
coming, so could stop. Another driver of no
concern of the traffic problems he had caused,
or didn't care. And yes, I did smile as I went
by him, as I went straight and he sat in the
line waiting for the light that just changed
to red.

Yesterday morning, I am heading out of
town where the road by the Chamber of
Commerce narrows down. I always, well,
just about always, slow down and let the
guy next to me merge. Yesterday,
there was an Indiana license pickup and trailer,
so I slowed way down, to block the traffic, so he
could come over. Then I saw him do the dumbest
thing. He was heading up Highway 95, so was
in the turn lane for the signal. And he blew
the orange light with his truck and red light
with his trailer. What was he thinking? He was
doing about 15 mph, as he approach the signal.
He saw the orange light, and still kept going.
It wasn't like he had a tiny car. He had a full
size travel trailer.

Then on the way home, after picking up my
grandson, I am heading out the same road.
The traffic is heavy and fast. A pickup truck
kept going faster and faster along side of me
as if to beat the two cars in front of me before
the narrow spot. They wouldn't let him in.
By this time I am at the narrow spot, and he
is coming in on me. I had already started
to slow down, to be able to let him in, but
he isn't waiting for that, he comes closer
and closer, and I had to throw on the brakes.
My grandson said, "wow, Nana, I think he
would have hit you. I never seen anyone
do that before."

All you can do, is shake your head. And
pray for them. Mothers with vans full of
children, talking on the cell phone.
For at least a mile or so. I just don't get it.

Here is your sign.... "Beware... I think am invincible."....

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

One of Sandpoint's Secrets

One of Sandpoint's Secrets

It isn't really a secret as they do
advertise it. But people don't seem
to catch on.

See SWAC, to us in town... Sandpoint
West Athletic Club to others, has a
summer program. It is for kids, boys
and girls, ages 10 to 12. But they have
let others older who are well behaved join
them if there is empty spots available.
As they can only take a certain amount of
kids. They have the best of counselors that
run this daycamp.

My grandson is finishing up his 5th
year there. He is one of the well behaved
that has been allowed to continue pass
the 12 year old age bracket.

It amazes me that more don't take
advantage of this. It is cheap at $50 a
week. You get one week free if you pay
up front for the whole season. You can't
get a babysitter for that. They also
provide lunch.

What do these kids get to do? Wonderful
things. Archery, sailing, hiking, fishing,
biking, swimming, and that is the 4 days
a week part.

See on Friday, it is a special day. They get
on a school bus and head to Coeur d' Alene
and get to go to several places. Some of them
twice a season. These are Triple-play (it is a
game area, with inside and outside games),
Silverwood, Skating rink, Wild Waters, are
just a few I can remember. And once a
season, they get to go watch the Spokane
baseball club, the Indians, play baseball.

It is a wonderful program. The kids really
enjoy it, they drag their heels as they head
to their parent's cars, who are there to pick
them up. They yell back, "see you tomorrow".
When they are dropped off, they jump out
of the car and run to join those who got there
before them. It takes couch potato kids and
makes them into tan, lean, playing, healthy
kids who have a blast. What a summer.
Great opportunity
Don't know why more kids don't take
advantage of it. I believe there is even a
financial aid program for it. So those who
can't afford the full price. This is so wonderful,
that my grandson wants to come back in two
years and be one of the counselors.

The owner of SWAC should be given award
for his service over the years, for this program.
I believe this is the 7th year. He gets business
men to sponsor this. And probably not the
easiest of tasks. He gets a program together
each year, that not only has the kids exercising,
but having fun doing it.

My hat is off to Don and his crew at SWAC!!!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Childhood Memories Squashed

One of the nice things about this
blog is that I have gotten a chance to
meet nice new people. One of which
is Ken E. from Roslyn. In our email
talks he put me on to a site called which is a resort area
that is in the Bullfrog road area of Roslyn.

So I went to look at it Friday night.
My heart sank. As I went thru the
different areas of the site, I came
across one that was the map. It showed
a map of the resort and where Bullfrog
Road is and where Highway 90 is and
where the river is. The words heavy heart
came to mind.
I sent the site to my kids and told them
to be sure to click on the map.

As each one of the kids checks in, they,
too, are a cross from being angry and sad.
You see we use to go camping in that
area. We camped across the highway
just pass the sawmill that was there.
But we also climb the powerline hills,
just off Bullfrog before you got to
Highway 90. We did the old fashion
camping. We didn't have a camper
or even tents. We slept outside in our
sleeping bags. Usually about 10 feet from
the river. We had found a spot near a
bend what had a little cove like to it.
We loved that place. The kids use to
get up at daylight and go fishing. Nice
trout in that river. We got to see wildlife
as well, birds and deer mostly. We didn't
bother them and they didn't bother us.
Mostly a staring contest and then they
moved on. My kids ranged from 4 to 11
at that time. We always found something
to do. Read, games and etc. We stayed
there for weekends mostly. Once or twice
for a week. God, I wish I had taken a
camera on those trips.... I wish I had
photos of those times. But we were busy
just living and loving the camping, fishing
and etc. Who thought about the future
and photo's... we had our minds...

Looking at the map, it appears that
their lodge is right where we camp.

The resort is 3 golf course and 6,000
acres strong.
And we are memories deep and weak.

Sad when progress squashes childhood
dreams and fun.
I don't think I like progress anymore...

Monday, August 08, 2005


Most of us who live in Bonner county
know not to go near downtown
Sandpoint in any fashion during
the summer.

But the county has decided to tear
up our escape route better known as
Boyer Street which takes us back and
forth from the outskirts of Sandpoint
down the back road, to the back of
Sandpoint. So we can just jump 2 or 3
blocks, get to where we have to go
that is near downtown, and then we
jump back to Boyer and out we go.
With this road tore up, we are at the
mercy of the traffic.

Which Friday was one of the recent
worse ones. I got to town just before
the accident at the north end of the
bridge. But my grandson was in a
school bus at the south end. Which
was a blessing in a way. As they had
the Long Bridge Bar and Grill to use
For bathroom and water purposes.
After all these 20+ kids just came back
from CdA. So to wait in a hot bus for
over hour and half, was horrible.

Coming into the North side of town,
I was sitting under the railroad tracks
before you get to the Chamber of
Commerce building. It took 5 times of
stopping, meaning the light had to go
thru 5 changes before I could go thru.
And there you gamble... do you dash
down Larch street or do you try for
Cedar where it is easier to get to Division.
I decided because I was a little early,
I would take a chance. Got as far as
the street just past Safeway, stop...
so I dashed down Fir Street to get to
Boyer, as I could see it was going to be
at least 2 changes of lights before I
would get thru.

I arrived at the club about 10 minutes
ahead of the arrival time of the bus.
I listen to the radio as I was reading a
book.The engine running to keep cool.
When the announcer came and told of
how there was an accident on the North
end of the bridge. And traffic was
stopped. And it look like it would be
for quite some time. I got out and
told the rest of the parents. Some
of them already heard. So I shut off
the engine and open the windows
and read my book.

About a hour or so later, they said
the traffic was going again. So gave
an up sign to the parents. 20 minutes
later the bus pulled in. I had started
up the Bronco and had the AC going
when my grandson got in. "Oh, Nana,
this feels so good." We started out
and I figured the easiest way out of
town would be Division, Cedar, Boyer,
and then hit Larch. Great plan. I got
thru the Larch signal at 2 change of
signal. But it was weird as the
North/South did not use the light,
because the traffic was stuck there.
I drove out of town, the Y was
standing still going North on 95,
and coming South on 200. As I
drove thru Ponderay, the traffic
was backed up to the Hoot Owl.
Some were even going thru the mall
in disgust. Which I am sure they
really were upset when they saw 95..

I only pray those who want to stop
the bypass were stuck down town in this mess....

Friday, August 05, 2005

Letting go and Let God

We think that when our children
become adults that the worries are

And for the most part that is true.
If we laid the foundation well, then the
child grows up to be a pretty solid adult.
While I don't take credit for my
children's good deeds, and the good
that they do for themselves, their family
and others, I am glad that my foundation
held up.

I have always told everyone who says
nice things about my children, that I
only laid the foundation, what they see
is what my child did with that foundation.
So the adult they see deserves the credit, not I.

But as they grow, there are times they
do something that could be.... I said,
could be, dangerous. Even with the odds
of 99% safe, there is still the 1%. And this
is where I really depend on God. For many
years I have hung on with dear life. My
child was not aware, but I was very much
aware of my clinging. I worried from the
moment they left my presence until they
return. Losing sleep, wondering, hoping,
they were ok. But now that I am older,
and hopeful faithfully wiser... I have learn
to let go and let God.

And it has been tested. I was doing fine
when one of my son's was talking to me
about how he very well could go to Desert
Storm. He had all this possession taken
care of. Where they were going and who
would watch them. (he was on the East
Coast and I was on the West Coast, so it
was his friends in charge of them). I was
doing fine. I was proud of my son and
his attitude about going. They didn't
have to ask him (he was in reserves),
he offered to go. The kicker was when
he told me, he had his WILL all taken
care of. A moment of silence as he talked,
a deep breath of air, and I tried to keep
the worry out of my voice. I knew the
possiblity was there. Just the word WILL
hit like a brick building. We talked and
joked, and he left the conversation with
how he would call before he left, if they
took him. I got off the phone and cried.
I had never faced the mortality of my
children before. God had a serious
talk with me. As it was, they ended
the war 2 weeks later, so he didn't
have to go. But I was ready to let

As your children come with their
families to visit and leave, you worry
about the traveling and sigh with
relief and thank God for his grace,
when they arrive here or home,
depending which way it is.
When they have surgery, you give it to God
When they go somewhere that is
a wonderful adventure, but can be

You have to let go, and let God.
Not an easy lesson for most of us...

But I have learn it, now we will see this week... how well..

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Blank Page Day or A.D.D.????

This is my second shot at this.....
After my first shot.... I read the paper...
and there was a cartoon that nailed it
on the head. It was the cartoon called.
Non Sequitur and the guy is looking
at a empty canvass and says.....
"Sign.... I just don't seem to have it today"
And that sums up what I felt like at 6am
when I looked at the screen.

Must be one of those blah days. Even
my walking. I couldn't get into it. So I
walked around town, figuring a 20
minute walk was better than no walk.

And on my return, I walk by the garden
and think, I really should do some
adjusting to my tomato plants. They are
in the green house because our weather
was so weird when I started them.And
last year I did it that way and they came
out great, so many tomatoes. Now
they are just there. With a few yellow buds.
But not very promising this year. Last year
it was like a jungle in there. Barely room
for me to walk in. I had a self watering
system in there. All I had to do was switch
the hose connector with the timer to the
one for the green house and the mist came out.
This year, I haven't gotten into rerigging it.

With the whole garden questionable, and
my thinking all the time, how I want to
switch it around for next year. I just can't
get it going. My mind is to when my grandson
is out of day camp in two weeks, he can
help me remove the one fence and place it
down further... oh, well. Not today...

Then I look at the Bronco and remember
I told Sweetie I would clean it out, and
besides I got to get the garbage cans to the

Oh, yea I want to change my walk
thru garden... but can't do that either..
grape vines have taken over the whole area.
Put up something for it to climb. It climbed
all right. Up about 5 feet and then headed
across the area to the house. Feels like the
movie, Little Shop of Horrors. So this fall
when things die down, I am going to put
another brace up, and force it to go up...
but then I need something to go across
for an arbor deal.

So many things to do... so little time.
But wait, I am retired... I am suppose to
have all this time. lol....Or is this what
adult AAD is ... Adult Attention Deficiency.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

New Day ...New Shape

Whip into shape....
Lean Mean machine,
spare tires...
Love handles...
all about getting healthy?

Well, I have fought the weight
battle for years. And all these words
have come up in the conversations
of losing weight. They sound more
like they are beating Jell-O to a
shape, or maybe that is how I feel
trying to get into shape.

Which by the way, what is in shape?
I have been in all kinds of shapes.
So which one do I chose. I started off
as a pencil. Even in high school you
couldn't tell if I was coming or going
or was I side stepping. Straight up and
down until I was 17. I was active
(farm life does that to you) so
maybe fat couldn't keep up with me.

Then over the years I had children ..8
in 10 years, so I was holding my own.
Had gotten round but still had indents
where apical. Then after the last one,
it started shifting.. But because there
was muscle there, it wasn't quite so

Then I decided to get the scale to read
better numbers. Well, it did that ok.
Everyone thought I was one of the kids,
I lost so much. I was 46 at that time and
got down to 114. I ate toast and salads..
that is it... And walked miles. And exercise
tape. Not really a good plan, as that weight
comes back like throwing warm fat at a
Then I went to work. And it started to add.
I had to have food to keep up the energy to work.
So then I became pear shape. After 17
years of running the floors of the building,
I have really got a pear shape. You would
think I would have been in good shape.
But I guess the working from 10 p.m. to
6 a.m. Sleeping short hours, eating at
odd hours doesn't help.

So since Feb. I have been trying to
shape up that pear shape. But what
shape am I going for? Surely not an
apple shape. I am not even trying to
head for some ridiculous low poundage.
While all this walking has been great
for me, I don't feel like it is doing anything
great. . It has helped my breathing, and
I feel better all the way around. And
some even have said they think I am
thinner. But the scale is still holding
the fort.

I am not a breakfast eater. I have to
be up for about 3 hours before food
even sound remotely interesting. And
I have been told this is not good. So my
cousin has been kind enough to send
me a better way of eating paper work.
It has worked great for her. As I read it,
I think ...holy cow.. that is a lot of food
to eat. See I am a toast in the morning.
and coffee.... Salad and meat for dinner.
And coffee...So I am going to give that
better way of eating a try.

Now if I could just figure out what
shape I wanted to be.............
Apple and pear just doesn't sound right.
And hourglass is like a sack of potatoes
tied in the I will pass on that one too.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I am Going to Do It

I am going to do it.... do it?
Yes, I am going to do it...
I am going to stop being so reserve...
No, I am not going to do anything illegal...
but I am going to have fun... I have
lived life inside the lines. Doing what
is proper... doing what others think is
proper. I think the Red Hat ladies have
it right. I would join them... but I am
not a joiner.. Never have...

My daughter will tell people about my
scrap with the Brownies... Never should
have told her that story. Some things
you just shouldn't tell your kids.People
shouldn't know about your past...... Oh,
heck.. why not.

See when I was about 8, I join the
Brownies.. Or did my mother send me
to Brownies? Doesn't really matter.
I only lasted about 5 months, if that.
You see between my house and the
school where I went to Brownie's,
there was a candy store... A penny candy store.

Now for those of you who aren't old
enough... a penny candy store was
about as big as a living room. And
from one end to the other there was
a glass display counter. Inside this
counter there were rows of boxes.
At least 5, some times more rows.
And each row about 15 boxes.. Filled
with every kids dream of candy. There
were Mary Jane's, which had peanut butter
inside. There were Double Bubble gum,
that was the size or your thumb. There
were jelly bean types, Tootsies Rolls,
taffy types, hard rock candy types, and
wax types.

Wax types were big red lips, mustaches,
tongues, big teeth. These would fit into
your mouth, behind your lips but not
completely in your mouth with the rest
outside of your mouth on your face. .
And sometimes it changed. Like at
Halloween. When they had fang teeth.
You would wear this and laugh with
your friends until you got tired of it
and then you would chew it like gum,
until you got tired of that, and spit it out.

There were all kinds of favors, banana,
raspberry, tutti fruitti, cherry, licorices
(which turn your teeth black... which
was soooooooo cooooool..parents didn't
think so.)vanilla and of course, chocolate.

The curses of curses for me was..... Double
Bubble Gum. I loved that stuff. I would
blow the biggest bubble with it. And of
course, drove my mother nuts with my
constant chewing with it. Of course it is
hard to chew it with your mouth shut,
when you got at least 2 wads of it in there.
Some times 3 or 4. Sadly, it only took a
few times, and Mom would make me spit
it out.

And that is where Brownies came in.
I would take my 10 cents dues and stop
at the candy store. I would buy 10 Double
Bubbles. And I would go to Brownies and
give it to 9 others. But after about 5 months,
the leaders complain to my mother that she
was not sending my dues. (I think I kept
telling them, I would bring it next time).
When the leaders and my mother matched
stories... it seems the weak link was
Because the Brownie leader didn't not find
that taking my dues and buying gum with it,
was within the moral code,and I am sure
that lying was in there somewhere too. So I
got dumped. I thought maybe the fact I
shared each time might be worthy defense,
but they decided not. So there it is... my shady
past. My one and only fraud career. Dashed.
And I am sure my mother was very persuasive
in her usual way. Which sent me on the
road of honesty...

And all penny candy store owners are
in Heaven. That is the only place that they
could go with the patience they had as
each child in the neighborhood, day after
day, many times a day, would change their
minds at least 20 times each, of which
one they wanted.
"I want the red one... no, not that one, the
other one, and a green one, ok, no I don't
think I want a red one, give me a yellow
one instead. Is the black one good? Ok, give
me a black one and put the green one back."
Yep, candy store owners are in heaven alright.
Other wise there would be a stack of
strangled children behind the store.

So, I have decided... to splash my feet
in puddles. After all, I am going to get a
cold anyway. I am going to walk thru the
rain with my hands held high and enjoy
each drop. I am going to color trees purple,
or maybe red. And color the grass in swirls...
And if I feel a little quick step or a jig when
I hear music... I am going to do a quick
step or a little dance step... why not...
Yep, I am going to do it...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Retirement 101

Aging.... what to do... Retirement...
and how to survive...

I haven't master this yet... aging...
I don't think of myself aging...
getting older maybe... but not aging..
See, remember I am only 45 in my head.

And retirement I seem to have that
down pretty pat. It has been great. I
get to do pretty much what I want to do.
I do have one little job on Tuesday
mornings. But the rest of the time, I
pretty much do what I want. When
I want.

I still have to do the part of the team
work in the household. You know ...
Inside work women's work......
Outside's work.
At least that is how it works in our house.

The part I am little disgusted with, is
how the government does the health
thing. Yes, I have Medicare. Yes, I
got myself a supplement insurance
to pick up where they leave off. But
my concern is about what isn't covered.

Do you know the government doesn't
care if you go blind, eat puree food,
and go deaf? Because Medicare doesn't
cover teeth... false or the real ones.
Medicare does not cover glasses or
eye exams. and Medicare does not
cover hearing test or hearing aides.

This all comes out of your pocket. That
is unless you are dirt poor, so qualify
for Medicaid. And that covers some of
this. If you have a spouse who is still
working, then you earn too much. You
are in the poverty level according to the
government..remember $125,000 is the
average middle class. Which we didn't even
come close to that with both of us working.
Now that is the pits.
The glasses aren't too bad as they cost
below $300 most of the time.
The dental for maintence can be under $200.

But the hearing aides... well, they start
at $900 and they are the flunky ones that
looks like some alien growing out of your
ear. If you want one that cuts out the
wind and traffic, or noisy people in a
hall, well, folks you are talking $1,500
to $5,000 EACH. By the way, all these
prices are each.

And yes, my mother did tell me
that I would go deaf playing Gene
Krupa and Buddy Rich's drum records
on high. And some of Bill Hailey records.
But I didn't believe her. Not sure I do now.
It is just part of the aging deal. And I
am sticking to that. Maybe it was the
speakers of my kids when I had teenagers.
Theirs was louder than mine. In my
days they didn't make the cool speakers
my kids had, with woofers and all the
rest of the stuff. Besides I thought it
was as my kids use to accuse me of...I
had selective hearing. They swore I could
hear a whisper at 1000 feet, especially
if they were trying to get away with something.

So if you hear me say HUH?, you will
know I didn't win the Lottery yet, so I can't
afford the hearing aides.