Caturday

Memorial Weekend Musing

Sitting on my front porch, I listen to birds chirp, mowers hum, and the wind chimes adding occasional notes as the breeze stirs them. The routine noises of summer belie the stirring in my heart from the week’s news. Friends post their kids’s last day of school photos as the nation mourns over yet another horrific school shooting. A friend’s son died last week unexpectedly; only 22, “his suffering has ended“ is how she prefaced her social media post about when his memorial service and burial would be held. He was 2020 high school graduate; cheated of a graduation ceremony, and for whatever mysterious reason, now he will not realize his full earthly potential.

I guess when Jesus said “in this world you will have trouble,” he wasn’t kidding. I know growing up my mother always talked about enjoying childhood while I could, because “life is hard as a grown up.” Or, as my now young adult daughters say, “adulting is hard.”

So I sit, savoring simple sounds of life around me. I have no answers for the suffering that abounds these days. I just keep praying for peace. Eventually I suppose we will each have it some way. I am grateful for my loved ones, and I do not take our days for granted.

Stress Flowers and Love

It is hardly surprising that healthcare workers are stressed, no matter what their role. I am not at the bedside directly, but my job is to get patients to beds from emergency room, surgery, or wherever they may happen to come from at our facilities. Recent changes to our leadership and processes have made an already difficult situation even worse. My husband works at the same hospital as a BioMed tech, so he understands the atmosphere of the hospital currently. So when I had texted that yesterday was a most definitely awful Monday, I came home to dinner ready and flowers in the table. With me on 12 hour shifts, he has discovered it is most helpful to have dinner prep done or underway by the time I get home if we want dinner before 9 pm. The one consistent thing in my life since our marriage has been dinner with him after I get home. For 30 years we have called when we get off work and said “I am on my way”, whether we are on time or delayed. But the flowers last night were a special surprise that he doesn’t usually do. Valentine’s Day he typically will buy a live rose plant to replant outside rather than “dead flowers,” as he puts it. Our dining room table is usually a chaotic mess of whatever hasn’t found a home in a drawer, file, or the shred box. Projects that he needs to fix, junk mail, books I am reading or want to read (because if those get to a shelf, they may or may not get read…), you name it, it all lays in a pile that would drive most professional home organizers up the wall. Marie Kondo does not live here, I do.

So as I review emails, texts, and my Lent devotional, and sip my coffee, I gaze at the wonder of pink lilies just opening their buds. These are a gentle reminder that my husband loves me and wants to make me happy. I also am reminded that long ago Jesus said, “…even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Matthew 6:29) as he reminded his disciples that worrying is pointless. So I take comfort that I can try again another day to learn from my mistakes, and do better.

How to Bounce Back From Failure – Michael Hyatt

I personally believe that it is in times of failure, that the most important lessons are learned. You find the drive within yourself to get back up, to persevere, to keep going. 
— Read on michaelhyatt.com/how-to-bounce-back-from-failure/

Even though this article is written from a “business” perspective , it is also true of health care professionals dealing with the stresses of work. When patients die in spite of the best efforts of the health care team, we view that as failure, because our goal is healing and returning patients to their loved ones whole. Often we cannot accomplish that, and we become filled with self doubt.

Taking care of ourselves is more important than ever. If we don’t, who will?

Lazy Saturday Morning

I watch the sunlight turn my backyard into a green and gold haven while sipping my steaming coffee. Yes, steaming. Summer or not, my morning caffeine jumpstart just isn’t the same unless it is hot and black.

My ginger kitty lounges on the plastic lawn chair after his morning prowl. Our labradoodle sniffs and nudges him with her nose and he lazily swats at her with one huge paw, not lifting his head or moving the rest of his body, except for a slight twitch of his tail. If only I could be as nonchalant at life’s little aggravations. I savor these mornings when I don’t have to race the clock and be somewhere early.

The humidity and heat drive my adventurers inside. Soon Oliver the ginger tussles with one of our 6 month old kittens who insists on attacking him while he is grooming. It reminds me of when Ollie was the active kitten pestering our gray cat to the point that Viper’s once fluffy tail became a raggedy thinned down version of his once proud plume. Now the tables have turned and Oliver is the wizened elder who only wrestled to teach a lesson; but amazingly is gentle in the process, as though aware of his larger size and potential for injury of his smaller counterpart.

The kittens soon race around and around the racetrack that is our kitchen, dining room and living room. Up the cat tree in front of the picture window, down and around the corner to the kitchen, then back to a box in the dining room that needs transferred outside to the recycle pile. One a mini panther, the other a white pawed tuxedo kitty, they scurry and pounce in perpetual motion, Val the labradoodle joining in the raucous chase. Peace and quiet recede, waiting patiently for my return; it is time to get back to my own motion of household tasks.

10 of the Best Ballads in English Literature

10 of the Best Ballads in English Literature

10 of the Best Ballads in English Literature


— Read on interestingliterature.com/2020/06/best-british-border-ballads-poems/

I have always found old literature interesting. These ballads/poems have many versions, but the snippets given here are entertaining.

A Needed Break

I needed a break in my routine. I felt cynicism and negativity creeping in and taking root. It took me a couple days to settle in and give my mind …

A Needed Break

I can so relate to this post! Feeling very pinched right now in my own work. Needed some words of wisdom and guidance myself.

To God Be the Glory

www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/39

This is one of my favorite hymns. I enjoy modern praise music, but every once in a while I just want to hear one of the hymns I grew up singing. I was reading Psalm 96 this morning and the chorus from this song kept ringing through my head. Could not go upstairs and play it myself at the moment because daughter is on a conference call with her work.

We hear enough negativity every day in the news. A friend posted a video this morning talking about being grateful for regaining strength enough to walk to her living room couch today after being sick for NINE WEEKS. With COVID. She has been either in bed at home or in the hospital twice during that period of time. She has a long recuperation ahead of her. But today she sounded MUCH better than in previous weeks when she could barely talk without gasping for breath. And she is thankful.

A blessing indeed in the midst of all the diatribes I see daily.

What is Knowledge?

Recent events and changes have made one thing clear.

I am not an expert in anything. Seniority means nothing. And if something happens in the near future, this place will go on without me as if I never existed.

So really, what is knowledge? Just a farcical way of making us believe we really have any influence. It changes with time, people, circumstances, and whims. I am learning to reserve my opinion the hard way. It is a lesson long in coming.

My daughters make decisions based on their perceptions of what fits. To those in our church, we have failed in our faith-based upbringing of our girls. But seeds were planted. They have chosen helping careers and I still suspect that God had a hand in that. They have not totally denied their faith, but they continually question why those who claim to be “faithful” act otherwise. They are realistic in their approach to dealing with brokenness in families. This, in itself, is knowledge in action.

So I carry on and adjust my sails. I kneel in prayer and search for direction. Like Peter who began sinking when he stepped out of the boat, fear threatens to drag me down. But I hang on, gripping the invisible hand that continues to guide me. He has guided me before, and when all else is gone, my faith in God’s knowledge is all I have left.

Sunny with Storms Forecast

During the upheaval of the novel coronavirus’s march across continents , much has changed in the last week here in the Midwest. People rant on social media about decisions they disagree with, and about the yahoos who hoard toilet paper (of all things!) and necessary items like baby formula and diapers and wipes (really??? Some people would like to still feed their babies!!)

Meanwhile I am ruminating. Much as I would love to work from home, that is not an option at this time. Hospital employees don’t get that option. Well, some in office jobs do. But even though my job is “desk based” as an RN in a call/transfer center, the expense of running special lines for computer and phones for staff to be home based is out of the question. Right now my area is not experiencing high rates of coronavirus, but that is about to change soon I am sure. Especially as people disregard regulations and travel anyway.

So, on this day off, I am enjoying the lack of need to be somewhere at a certain time. That will change I am sure in the next few weeks. Journaling is usually something I keep to myself, but I felt the need to share what I scribbled earlier today.

Coronavirus has suddenly changed how we do things-but to be honest, I have long thought “whatever happened to quarantining people?” Influenza rates have been high regardless of vaccination rates. I am not a statistician, so will not purport to quote numbers here. But as society became more group oriented and vaccines controlled or eradicated communicable diseases, we have become falsely lulled into a sense of security and well being—invincibility, if you will. The virus may be a tool the devil uses to his advantage, but God is allowing it to occur because humans need to recognize they are not the ones in control. Never have been. God gives talent to people to work through these things, but they didn’t get it on their own. Nonbelievers in God will continue the drum beat of “How can you believe in a God who allows such things to happen?” As a believer in God, my answer is “How can we not believe?” To think we suffer through calamities for nothing? God will win in the end. We already know things happen in this world and our lives will end. I choose to hang on to the belief that no matter what, there is a hereafter and it will be far better than anything we currently know or understand.

(Photo of my backyard view .)

I find peace for the moment knowing that a storm is still coming. There is much work to be done. But for now I will enjoy my view.

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