Friday, May 21, 2010

Brenda's Photo Challenge: flowers

Flowers!  My favorite subject...right along with everything else in nature.  :-)

Am on my way to vacation but wanted to join the "Challenge" before I leave.  I will check in with all of you as soon as I get back! Have a great week!


The end of the work week is here.  Not a moment to soon!  It has been one busy week ~ a Murphy's law kind of week.  Still everyone did a good job of moving forward.  The anticipation of actually taking a vacation has helped as well.    My traveling companion made the journey without mishap,  The house is in order.  Trip preparations complete.  Life is good.  

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Pursuit of Perfection?

My friend has a small but wonderful garden.  It has been the object of interest and devotion of she and her retired husband.  The photo above is the beginning of what will become, some time later this summer, a tasty pear.  The tree is stretched out along the side of the house.  Last year, my friend 'severely' cut the tree back.  Actually her husband, a gentle and kind man, said she "hacked it down".  To both their surprise this Spring the tree was covered in blossoms and now those dozens of blossom are  small fruits that will mature to  produce a bounty of  delicious treats  in just a few months time.  Perhaps if one is  to be caught up in the pursuit of perfection is not the garden the place to put one's energy?  Working there is the place where we mere mortals can reach for the Divine and do little harm.

For many decades I have been a member of various quality assurance committees.  Every now and then someone will state that the quality 'bench mark" should be 100% for some care item or other.  I inwardly groan.  100%?  I am so often pleased if the health care system with all its participant  people simply "do no harm".  I do not believe 100% accuracy ( a form of "perfection") is maintainable....just ask Toyota.

This week, on two different days, two different staff nurses each gave insulin  to a patient who had not eaten two meals prior receiving the drug.  Fortunately no harm came to him because his wife was observant and as some of the nurses said "pushy" because she recognized hypoglycemia and demanded to know if her husband had  eaten his meals.  In this case, I applaud "pushy".   I am now working with nurses to help them remember what they should have remembered from nursing school...regular insulin is fast acting with a rapid onset and peaks within one to two hours of administration.  Is it searching for perfection to expect a clinician to  remember basic facts?  I put an insulin information chart in the med administration book along with the signs and symptoms of high and low blood sugar.  There is a mandatory test on the subject of insulin in June.  When the public  will pay for a nursing home nurses to carry a patient assignment of say 6 to 10 people instead of 27 to 30 and every nurse cares passionately about doing his or her job to the best of his or her ability I will adjust the benchmark to something that approaches 'perfect' care...until then I aim for "do no harm".

For the record.  The my usual benchmark is 98% and that is a cliff hanger!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Testing....five more days

"The Socialists believe in two things which are absolutely different and even contradictory: freedom and organization."  ~ Elie Halevy

Why, one might wonder, am I writing about Socialists so early in the morning?   This little musing has nothing to do with political thought.  In fact very little thought of any sort is going in to it.  It was the mention of  contradiction between freedom and organization that caught my mind's eye.  I 've been cleaning and 'organizing' the house.  I was almost ready to buy the myth that I created....the one that spins a little lie that I will always keep the house this tidy and organized.  What a horse's ......      It will be pleasant to come home to a tidy home and my friend from Boston (traveling with me on vacation) will be momentarily be in shock when she sees the hotel like order in the house.  But will I adopt this  as a forever commitment to order and organization...probably not so much.

 Perhaps disorder is the pressure relief valve for the imposed order of my work?  That rationale will work for now.  In any case, the house looks someone with a stay at home wife lives here.  That "look" won't last, but then nothing ever does.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lucretia Peabody Hale

Here's a link about Ms. Hale.  She was the daughter of Nathan Hale.  She was a writer in a family of 'real smart people'.   And yes she was from BOSTON!  :-)  (for some of us that is a redeeming feature....or not).

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Promise is Spring

"It was one of the first of the spring days - one of the days that seemed to be promise and fulfillment in one"
~ Lucretia Peabody Hale (1820 - 1900)

We knew that day today.  The  sweet warmth that 'hints of summer'.  Thoughts of other spring days fluttered in the corner of memory.  Savor this moment.  Drink in the color.  Remember the lilac scent on the breeze. Notice the sunlight filtered by trees dense with leafs. Hold this fragile joy to your heart. The moment will pass too soon. Spring is a sprinter and already she is running down the track... 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The next wave of America's Nurses

Thought some of you might be interested in this residency program for RNs in California.  I would love to see one for geriatric nurses!  p://

saturday quiet

Have finally figured out how to import photos to Wildwoods!   "One small step..."  :-)  

Have been up since 3:30 A.M. pondering a dilemma at work.  I think I've figured out how to calm a tense situation down but now I'm tired of problem-solving.  This week-end is devoted to organizing the house and getting packed.  My  travel companion arrives on Thursday and it would probably be the civilized thing pick-up the accumulated clutter from the combination library / guest room.  My home office desk is also a bit (tastefully understated) of a disaster and needs some attention before I leave.  Have to figure out what to pack.  Luckily I'm traveling with someone who isn't into fancy and that is a relief.  My birds are going to a friend's house tomorrow.  The dogs to  kennel on Friday.  Then we just have to get to the pier on Saturday....

Once the business of getting ready to stop working for a while is attended to I will spend more time with photos.  Making this transition (to a Mac) is not as formidable as I thought it would be ~ learning the truth once again of "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself".

The sun is coming up.  The sky to the northwest is a shimmering pale pink.  Another day begins.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday dawn

Progress is being made on the Mac front and I have to admit I am beginning to see why folks are so  loyal. There is a different vocabulary to  remember and those words change some of the basic commands that we use in navigating from task to task on a PC.  Once this begins to click into my brain with something that approaches the familiar this is a fairly seamless system.  Makes the term "user friendly" mean something.  I did retrieve old photos from the net and will be working to organize those in the evening.  iPhoto is straight forward so hopefully by the week-end I will be able to post photos again.  I think this is a good technology switch. 

Safari is a  smooth web browser and I love the way it organizes the sites I frequently visit.  I imported Chrome as a back up but it may not be necessary.  

Pollen is drowning me and every other person I meet here this  week.  Ocean air will be a welcome relief but that is 10 days away. Am sitting in as interim Director of Nursing Service in one building until we find a new person with sufficient leadership skills to operate the Department of Nursing in extremely busy and complex facility.  The building is home to 120 wonderful frail elders and several cats.  Unfortunately I am allergic to cats.  I had a dear old cat for many years and somehow my body adjusted to him.  However, these new critters and pollen are giving my immune system a run for its money (so to speak).   It is difficult to be dignified when your eyes are streaming tears and the nose is running like a faucet.  Ah well, there are worse things.  

I'm writing in a large font because this computer has a smaller screen and I am an old fart and can't read my own writing in "normal" font.  Aging you are a wicked little devil!  It should make the producers of flat screen TVs happy though as I can see (again.."so to speak") that purchase looming on the near horizon,

Alas, once again it is time to enter the stream of activity called 'real life'.  Off to work.  Have a great day all!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Learning Curves

5:30 A.M. and I sit here in a semi-dark room attempting to learn a new computer system.  My son tells me the learning curve for switching from PC to Mac is steep but that I that should feel comfortable in about two weeks.  Steep... feels like the cyber-equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest!  I'm telling myself that this electronic experiment is just the kind of irritation that the brain needs to develop new neural pathways.  In spite of myself, I am having fun (in a slightly frustrated kind of way) ~ learning something akin to a new language. Also having some thought of what I might feel in "two weeks" is intriguing in and of itself.  Part of the learning involves learning how to retrieve photos and attach ....oh yes (note to self), have to take new photos  as the old silent and  dark PC has my more recent photos in lock down.  

Two more weeks until vacation.  The count down beings in earnest.  Am weary to my bone marrow and look forward to spending time 'cruising', talking until the wee hours of the morning with my friend and photographing glaciers.  Cell phones off....ahhhh what a relief that  will be.   

The Northwest is 'doing Spring'.  It is a bit warmer and the trees are completely leafed out.  It is green, fresh and beautiful.  From my little home office window the world seems a serene place ~ far from the trials of rotten economies, political turmoil, global hunger, wars and the tragedy of oil spills.  It would  be so easy to become a hermit.  Not productive, ethical, or even  moral ~ but definitely EASY.  On that note, it is time to suit up and journey into elder care as done in America.  

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Bill ~ Its Over!

My PC has crashed for the last time!  Bill, we are so done!  I've crossed over to the other side.  That's right.... Bill, there are no  'sorry' messages that will work.  Your fixes just plain silly and never last.  Oh by the  way this time when you left me in the dark you took 700 of my photos with you.  I'ld like those back but not you!  MAC World here I come.  Viva competition!!!