Sunday, June 30, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Another holiday is upon us. I seem to be saddest at holidays, probably because I'm rarely with my family during those times.  I have been lucky the last few years to be able to go home to MT in the summer and be with them, but alas, this year will be a lonely one for me.  Here is one of my favorite 4th of July pictures. I think it was taken about 10 or 11 years go when I went home for a reunion. I try to remember to buy my sister Lisa an Old Navy tank top to match mine each year but I've forgotten to order them the last few years. I must be getting old  - Not!  I'm not sure what was up with my hair on this day (not my best look), but there is something about this photo that I just like. I have it framed and on display in my office. 

Oh yes, I have been baking again - surprise, surprise. Today it is banana bread. One plain for Bill and one with chopped pecans for me.  Yummmmm!

Photo Friday - What I Found

I try to keep a $20 bill somewhere, just in case I ever run out of cash. Whenever I run across that $20 it is kind of a nice surprise.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Photo Friday - "Season of Sun"

I found it fascinating to watch this bee bury himself in the flower of an artichoke trying to get all the pollen possible.  Certainly a "season of sun" kind of task for this little guy.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Cleaning - ugh!

I really hate cleaning... I love things that are sparkling clean, and I love it when my house is that clean, I just don't get there very often.  I remember when my boys were little I used to clean every Saturday morning while they watched cartoons. The most memorable part was wiping the fingerprints off the wall at their hand height, then wiping the line off the wall below that where the dog rubbed on it as he walked by. For a while I paid my Mom to clean for me. She would do her laundry there and bake sometimes, but it just seems wrong to pay your Mom to clean your house. I should have been cleaning hers for free instead.

I just cleaned my refrigerator.  I read somewhere that the fridge is the dirtiest place in the house because no one ever cleans it.  I can truthfully say, it's been a while. I wipe up spills and keep it from being gross but this time I took out every shelf and really cleaned - including getting rid of all the stuff in the back. You know, the jars of jelly that were opened and barely used but you just can't throw them out, even when the expiration date was 18 months ago.  The "medium" and "mild" Pace picante sauce - why did I have 2 anyway? The sour cream that was out dated 2 weeks ago, but then how do you really know when sour cream goes bad? All those extra packets of mustard and ketchup that came with fast food meals - sorry Mom, we'll get you some more when you come back in the fall. And why do the dried up grapes in the bottom of the crisper always look so gross? Not like raisins at all!

Then there is the rest of the house. My husband and I have no pets or kids at home so I don't know how it gets dirty - must be him!  Whenever I get it really clean he asks if we are moving - yes, he's a smart ass! I tend to collect clutter. Probably because I have so many projects going on all the time, and I get lots of catalogs that I can't throw out without perusing them several times. I rarely order anything but I do like to look.

I really need a cleaning lady since I work more-than-full-time and I have other things going on in my life after work most days. Since my husband doesn't do any cleaning I wonder if he's going to freak out when Carlita shows up some day and starts doing all that stuff I don't like to do? oh well....

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Photo Friday - Dad

This week's photo challenge is "Dad" so here's a picture of mine. He passed away in 2004 but he's still with me in so many ways. This photo was taken on the 50th anniversary of him marrying my Mom - the love of his life. This is how I will always remember him.

My Dad was a tough old farmer/cowboy, raised on a farm in NE Montana - the same place where he is now buried. He had 7 children and all of us learned to be tough but loving like he would want us to be.  Our life was not easy, but we always knew that he loved us and wanted the best for us, even when we were teenagers and really didn't see things his way.  I have come to appreciate how really, really smart he was. I'm glad that I had the privilege of being with him through his final illness and to provide what care and comfort I could. I know he would have done the same for me.

Here are a few more of my favorite pictures of him.

My Dad joined the Navy during WWII when he was 17.
He was so handsome with his curly black hair and great smile.
 My Dad loved babies and when his own grandbabies started arriving he delighted in them. Christopher is in this picture - his first grandson. He had 8 more grandsons after that. He also had 5 granddaughters so his life was full.

He loved my Mom so much and they liked to dance together, even into their late 70's.

The picture below was taken by my sister about a year before he died. He had a lot of hats and I think this was one of his favorites. He was a pilot and loved airplanes, guns and motorcycles - things that his boys and grandsons seem to like as well.

I put this one in because He loved to
read and always had a book or magazine handy.
I like this one because of his smile. The boys and I were in a Madrigal play
at church and he and Mom came to see it. He got a kick out of our costumes.
I think this is the last picture we have of the 9 of us together. Everyone went home to MT to celebrate Mom and Daddy's 50th wedding anniversary. He didn't want a party, he just wanted to be with his family - I think that's the way it should be.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Technology - hmmmmm?

Ever notice how technology that is supposed to help us, really becomes a pain in the you know what? For instance, I never wanted a cell phone, I resisted as long as I could without my kids and husband disowning me.  I remember Nick telling me once that I needed a cell phone, not because I was important, but that he was, and that meant I had to be available if he needed me. I think he just wanted to be able to use it - which he did! Anyway, now I have an iPhone with lots of aps and a camera and my work can page me on the damn thing 24/7.  What has happened to me? Last month I went to MT where AT&T has no cell service and I couldn't use the fancy thing for calling. For some reason texting still works - I never figured that out. My husband discovered that if I connected to Mom's wifi he could call me through his iPad using Facetime, which I think is Apple's version of Skype. Will wonders never cease?  I did get a kick out of the message I got when Mom and I went to Scobey, MT which is about 12 miles south of the Canadian border.  It said "Welcome abroad. If you would like to call the US plesae dial ...."  Apparently the closest cell tower is in Canada. Just so you know, sometimes I do turn the thing off and hide out. But don't ask me to give up my iPad, I'm kind of addicted to it!

The government has forced hospitals to have EHR - electronic medical records - in order to receive  funding that hospitals desparately need. (Another reason is so the government can mine data from the hospital records) The premise is that with EHR a person's medical records can be accessed by care providers anywhere, thereby resulting in continuity of care. Hmmm - good idea until you get into the weeds. If everyone had the same EHR system maybe that would work, but even in our hospital, the different programs don't talk to each other so how can they communicate with the entire world? And then there is the problem of people being able to view records that they shouldn't so we have to have the compliance police. YIKES!  The newest thing is CPOE with means the doctors enter their orders into the computer without going througth the nurse and unit secretary (a second set of eyes that helps to prevent mistakes). A whole new set of problems come with that.  Think of your 70 year old family doctor trying to enter a page of orders into the computer - it won't be easy. My dad hated computers and said they would be the ruination of the world and he may just be right, but we just can't seem to manage without them.

On a lighter note, I have been baking again.  Last week I made cherry scones and bread, and yesterday day I made shortbread cookies for my hubby - his favorite treat.  Maybe baking and gardening are my escapes from the technology, although I oftern use my phone to take the pictures of the food and flowers.  Maybe I should just use it as a camera!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Photo Friday - Yellowstone Lake

This week's photo challenge is "body of water". I took this in May when my brother and Mom and I went to Yellowstone Park. I've always thought Yellowstone Lake was a beautiful place and I'm glad I was able to get this shot.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

You Can Go Home Again

I'm sure you've heard people say "you can't go home again", and I know what they mean. That once you leave things are not the same when you go back. I've been "gone" from my farm home since 1974 when I left for college. But every time I go back, no matter how things have changed, it is still home. I guess it's because a lot of the people I loved then are still there and I still love them, and I'm pretty sure they still love me.  I miss my dad, he passed away in 2004 and is buried on the farm, and I had a long talk with him while I was there - sat right there on the bench by the gravesite.  I could always count on him for good advice.  It was great to see the family that loves me unconditionally, no matter what, and spend time just talking and being together, being real, being ourselves with the freedom to say whatever we want.  Yep, I love my family.

And coming back to Arizona was coming home too.  It's where my home is now, my husband, children and grandbabies, my work family.  I kind of missed it when I was in MT, believe it or not.

Almost to the middle of nowhere!
I want to give a special thanks to my sister's-in-law, Laurie and Alice for being my taxi service. MT is a huge state and with the closest airport a 5 hour drive from home, it's great to have willing family to haul you around!  I love you guys like you are my real sisters - I hope you know that.

Photo Friday - Shades of Gray

 Iris don't have to be in color to be beautiful!