My Blog

Posted in Rays Of Sunshine, The Journey

Love and Happily Ever After

So I am sure that many people ponder the true meaning of love! However, I am not sure that everyone is willing to feel vulnerable enough to find any answers. I do believe there are some necessary ingredients in “love”.  For the sake of this particular post I want to point out that I am speaking of the love between 2 people that are either married and or in a committed relationship that is intended to be long term. 

There is more than one way to maintain a committed relationship! Having said that; maintaining a committed relationship that is loving and mutually respectful takes work every single day. It is much like anything else worth while in life: good health/ losing weight, raising well rounded children (sideways glance), a good education, a fulfilling career……it takes hard work, dedication, mindfulness, passion and a ton of patience!!

For me I do not think any of the above is done well on our own, I know that it is because I have a relationship with a very loving, supportive, forgiving and ever present God that makes me the person I am:  I will never pretend to be the spokesperson for most peoples idea of a highly religious individual but I know full well that I couldn’t have made it through the things I have made it through much less continue to strive to be the person I want to be on my own.

I happen to be a hopeless romantic and I have always long for a “happily every after”. It took me years to realize that I can have “Happily Ever After” but it doesn’t fall in your lap and it most definitely won’t occur in a storybook manor and no 2 couples will have nor should they have the same path to get there!

Posted in Healthcare/Nursing/Work

Bringing “home” to the nursing home

It didn’t take long for me to realize and/or be told that the nursing home isn’t a home according to my residents. I’ve been working at my current nursing home for 4 years (in September officially). I’ve worked the same hall all 4 years and 2nd shift for the last 3 years. About a year ago I decided to start taking my residents down the hall after supper and “hang out” with them while I pass meds. Initially I did this to take my residents out of the common area because waiting in the t.v. room until you get your medicine and/or go to bed was loud, obnoxious and very impersonal. This process has evolved since I started.  This affords me more time with my residents, prevents falls and gives me a chance to make sure work is getting done without me following people around. Having said this, there have been many naysayers about my methods but I no longer worry about them.

Our nursing home sits very close to a wooded area so we often see wildlife: deer, raccoon, birds, beavers etc. Lately 4 little baby raccoons have been coming up to the porch where my residents sit. The residents absolutely love their visits, it always puts a smile on their faces. There is about 2 foot of glass between them and the raccoons. Last week it was hot one of the raccoons hid in the bird feeder. I realized they could use some water. Yesterday they showed up and played in the water. Here are the pics…….

Posted in The Journey

Depression, Doom & Gloom, The Dark Cloud

It took me years to recognize when I was depressed.  I was always running on empty, raising the kids, working all the time, going to school and hardly sleeping. As time went on I realized that if I wasn’t taking my medicine I had more days that gave me the constant feeling of impending doom.

After life calmed down I guess I thought I could be depression free. Of course deep down I knew that wasn’t true but I still tried several times to go without medication. I’ve also learned what makes “The Dark Cloud” darker and I’ve tried to keep anything like that at bay. Additionally I have learned what fills up my cup and I desperately try to keep a good balance of those things so that the cloud doesn’t take over.

So, having said all this, it seems as though depression has not acted in a conventional way over the last year. All the things I’ve known to work, to keep that feeling of Doom & Gloom away are failing. I hadn’t been taking my medicine regularly but I have for the last month and I am still waiting for the relief.

Last year, for months on end, I couldn’t get my bearings. I was taking my medicine, staying away from triggers and filling up my cup with very little change in my mood. It seems to have spilled over in to this year. I suppose I could choose to look at it another way! Maybe the feelings of Doom & Gloom, or the inability to get rid of the dark cloud has to do with the fact that my baby just turned 18 and will be going to college in August. Being a mom is all I’ve known for the last 25 years and with everyone leaving I’m not sure where that leaves me.

Posted in The Journey

“Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness”

I would venture to guess that the person that came up with “money doesn’t buy happiness” never had money troubles. It has been my experience that although Happiness isn’t in a bottle for us to run out and buy, being broke makes for a much more miserable existence than not being broke.

Anyone that knows me at all knows that I’m not high maintenance (financially that is). I love to pay my bills, have food in the fridge, buy things for the house and for my family. If/when I don’t have money for these very basic things than I become  very anxious and irritable and difficult to contend with.

I grew up with next to nothing and I have been working ever since I was 16. I’ve never been the one to call in to work. First of all my conscience wouldn’t allow it and secondly neither would my bills. After graduating from nursing school in 2005 I’ve had a handful of nursing jobs and I can guarantee that I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve called in. Not only are my residents and coworkers that important to me, so is my paycheck.

I’m always trying to come up with ways to find financial stability!  I keep thinking that one day soon I will write a book about my life and it will be a best seller and we will have all the money we need! Of course until then, I’ll continue to huff and puff during the times that funds are low!

They say finances are one of the top problems for couples. I can certainly attest to this. With the kids all over 18 with jobs, the only thing left for Rog and I to argue about is money! When he has plenty of work , with me working full time we do fine. (everyone and everything is Happy Happy) During the times that isn’t the case than everyone should stand clear! That alone proves that money DOES buy happiness!

Posted in Rays Of Sunshine

The Weird Category

I read some where (don’t quote me) that nurses have one of the highest rates of mental illness. I can understand why! Anyone that has a heart doesn’t stay in long term care unless they care! Of course there are some nurses that play tough (fuzzy wuzzy) but for the most part you don’t make it any length of time as a LTC nurse without having a heart. I would like to add that the home I work at now far surpasses any other facilities I have worked at in the past when it comes to caring nurses, CNA’s and caring families! So props to us for that!

So: The Weird Category. I was getting report from a nurse this week and some how the term weird came up. I told her that I would put myself in “The Weird Category”. I think it causes me just a little bit of trouble and it requires a lot of patience!! My personality seems to be associated with a Big Heart . Unfortunately they don’t pay well for “Having A Big Heart”.  I find the term: Weird to be endearing for some reason. I think it means that people these days are far more accepting toward people that aren’t in the “normal” category. So although I have little love for what “Politically Correct” has gotten us, I absolutely love that fact that my children are far more open minded toward people than my generation.

At any rate if you show up on our door step with one of our children rest assure we will waive you in no matter, race, gender, sexual orientation.

Posted in The Journey

Pondering Life

I have this ever present longing, for what I am not sure, to do something great I guess. The funny thing is that if I come across a situation or cause that I can do nothing about it really bothers me! Whether it be in my personal life, something I see happening at work,  or something I have heard about on the news that I feel passionate about. I just feel like I want to help in some way and I just don’t know how.

I am sure this drive is directly related to my becoming a nurse. Unfortunately this has been a good and bad choice. Good because I love to help people and bad because often my hands are tied as a nurse. I spend so much of my time advocating for my residents that I feel exhausted.

Every cause I come across: Nursing Homes, Poverty, Mental Health, Overcrowded Prisons & Mandatory Minimums. I research for hours on end and I’m not quite sure why but I’m sure it’s because I feel  I can make a difference somehow. I have done a handful of things to do my little part. I work in a nursing home so I’ve presented several ideas to my supervisors to make things better. I go out of my way to make things bearable for my residents!! As far as the other causes mentioned, I have sent several letters to politicians pleading for change as well as educating myself about the politicians so I can feel good when I go to vote. I joined FAMM: families against mandatory minimums and allows you to sign petitions that directly affect people and their causes. Lastly I started this blog in hopes that I will say something or provide information to someone that will be of help and/or make a difference!



Posted in Rays Of Sunshine

Shame isn’t a must


There are so many great blogs/articles that cover/explain the shame associated with childhood abuse. I will try to create links to them because I think the single worst cruelty to occur to an abuse victim is the feeling of shame. Shame leads to so many other negative thoughts and feelings about our self worth that it creates a terrible downhill spiral for victims.

The truth is that the abuser robs us and in my opinion they win if we feel shame, guilt, self doubt and/or feel that we have to keep it all a secret or else others will look down on us.

Just like depression is a dirty word so is: victim, rape , domestic violence, addiction and/or any other form of abuse. If we could find a way to change the way we look at these words, these people, looking at them like they aren’t poor pathetic soles may  help to encourage them to behave in a new way: they may feel as though they are : “normal, confident, smart, assertive and so on. Everyone should own their own feelings, but we could all do our part in lessening the stigma associated with survivors of abuse!!

If someone that you know or love has been abused, please do what you can to help them feel empowered!! It may be a challenge at first but it is worth it!!

Posted in Healthcare/Nursing/Work

2nd Shift

While the kids were growing up I worked day shift. So from 1993-2013 I never slept (OK maybe a little) but I certainly never slept in!  When I became a nurse in 2005 I had to work day shift because I had to have the kids in daycare. Of course getting a daycare to take kids at 5:30 am wasn’t easy and getting them there was much more difficult!!

In 2013 when I moved back to Decatur I worked 6 pm – 6 am for a year and then when to 2 pm – 10 pm. I had no idea how much I would love these hours. Needless to say morning time is not my friend. I try to steer away from morning appointments when at all possible.

Being a nurse on 2nd shift especially in long-term care brings its own special set of negatives/positives. It often means more interaction with the family members. It also means fewer staff members. Very little ancillary staff. And thanks to sundowning a remarkable amount of increased behaviors. I often feel like I am in an episode of Twilight Zone, I am not saying this in a negative way. All the excitement makes the time go quicker!! LOL


Posted in The Journey

Openly Depressed

Depression is a big part of my life. I’ve been going to counseling for most of my life.  I know full well a big part of warding off the negative feelings associated with depression is to take my medicine regularly. So why is it I feel it is OK to go days and even weeks without taking my medicine?  I am a nurse so that is just one more reason I should know better but for some reason it doesn’t work like that. At times going to appointments, keeping up with scripts and working through the awful world of health insurance requires more effort than I am willing to put in to anything. After going a month without any medicine and several months without taking anything consistently I finally made it back to the Dr. and went back to taking Wellbutrin. Of course the Dr. office called the script into the wrong pharmacy and it was a holiday weekend so it took FOREVER to get it straightened out but I got it! Yeah me! One small victory! Woo Woo!!

I’ve come to realize that openly working through depression helps in several ways.

1: I have a larger support system

2: I have more people to help hold me accountable (taking my medicine and going to appts)

3: Depression comes with such a terrible stigma and if openly sharing my struggle helps even one person than I am thrilled!