November 28

November 28

Two days and counting…  If you are just joining in, I challenged myself to post once a day, everyday in the month of November.  Why? Well I wanted to get back into the habit of posting to my blog, and also wanted to make carving out time for writing a habit.  I haven’t been as intentional about my posts as I would have liked, but I am learning from the process and it has helped me process a great deal of thoughts and feelings.  I didn’t know when I started this challenge that Covid-19 would blow up again and pretty much dominate the narrative of my life for the past 28 days, I should have known; but I didn’t really think things through when I jumped into this self imposed challenge.  I think that is something I am learning this year, to stop waiting for conditions to be perfect before jumping into something. If I had actually thought through this challenge I probably would have pulled the plug and not gone through with it.  But I had the idea and just jumped in and 28 days I am still going. 

Next week I am jumping headlong into another challenge, solo camping with a teardrop trailer.  Yes, I am going camping all by myself and yes I know it’s December, but again if I wait for the conditions to be just right I will keep waiting for someday instead of giving this a try.  For several years I’ve harborded this dream of going camping and of owning a teardrop trailer that I could take out anytime I felt like; and for years I’ve thought of all the things that could go wrong and just put it off, saying maybe someday.  Well, this year I’ve decided that some day is going to be today.  I had a lovely new tow bar hitch installed on my Volvo and I found a T@G Max that fits within my tow capacity available for rent on  I’ve hemmed and hawed on this for weeks, but finally pulled the trigger on the reservations for the teardrop this past week. I am super nervous, I’ve never pulled a trailer before, I’ve never set one up on my own before, I’ve never camped solo before; I know enough to know that I have no clue what I am doing and that it’s going to be cold; but I am tired of waiting for someday.  I want to give this a try and if it goes well I am going to consider investing in my own little trailer and I am already starting to plan a birthday trip to South Texas.  

So now I have something to write about in December, instead of a race report I am going to post a camping trip recap; what worked and what didn’t.  What I wish I knew and what I learned.  I’m not going too far from home and I promise I am taking my pepper spray, my Garmin InReach Mini and I’ll keep my cell phone charged. But this is something I’ve longed to do and I am tired of sitting on the sidelines watching other people out doing the things I want to do. So now it’s out there, and now I have to make this happen; because I’ve committed not only to myself but all of you.  That’s kind of scary too.  Well, stay tuned for more on my first solo camping trip.  I am not going to post specifics until I am home safe and sound, but watch this space for more  to come! 

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November 27

November 27 

Blah!  That pretty much sums up how I feel right now.  Even though I know that I actually accomplished a lot on my day off; ie I worked from home for only 3-4 hrs, I don’t feel like I accomplished anything.  My house isn’t really clean, the bed never got made, I didn’t make time to work on my writing practice (other than this post) and my choice of consuming leftovers and chips and salsa have left me feeling more than a little bloated and achy.  I woke up this morning and just felt out of sorts, it happens. I found myself drawn time and time again to that stupid little device known as my phone mindlessly searching social media for the answers to life.  I know better and I know that my, “no facebook,” until after I have exercised, prayed/mediated, and planned my day serves me well; but for some reason I broke that rule today and I feel like I’ve lost the better part of a day down the rabbit hole.  I suppose that my brain is probably trying to tell me it needs a real break, not a pseudo break and I need to learn to listen to that message and actually rest instead of feeding the endorphin cycle of apps and likes and posts of beautiful places and things on the book of face and Instagram.  

I know better, I know the answers I am seeking aren’t there.  That I am in a waiting period as things germinate and that I need to be patient.  I need to wait and continue to flesh out things, to let things settle and all will be well. So I’ve put the phone away.  I’ll allow myself to set my alarm right before I take Eloise out for our last potty walk of the night and that will be it.  No more endless scrolling through posts, looking for what I don’t know. And tomorrow morning?  Tomorrow morning I am committing to getting back into my morning routine that works for me: make coffee (actually Mud\WTR), walk Eloise, feed Eloise, plan my day, journal, mediate, run with some core work all before I will allow myself to check work emails and anything else on my phone.  I need to set myself up to have a great day.  I realize that sometimes it’s good to not have a plan for the day, but I also recognize I won’t start to make progress to get the answers I am seeking without forward progress, or movement. I am figuring this out one day, one step at a time. 

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November 26

November 26 

Happy Thanksgiving! I know for many this Thanksgiving has been anything but normal, but I hope that something good happened for you today. For me it was a good day, work was minimally intrusive – I didn’t have to go in at all and only needed to manage a few emails and text messages for which I am grateful.  My belly is full of turkey and pie and I am sleepy, so I am keeping this short and sweet with my gratitude list: 

  • I am grateful that I was able to talk to my Aunt today.  I haven’t seen her since February and it is a true treat when she calls!  Worth turning my run into a walk to have the time to talk to her. 
  • Time to rest, work has been pretty intense so I am grateful that things slowed down today. 
  • Sunshine and fresh air; I am like a plant I feel better with adequate water, sunshine and fresh air.  I am grateful for every step and every breath of my run/walk this morning. 
  • Pie! 
  • Time with people I love – virtual time and real life time, I am grateful that I can connect with others even when we aren’t together.

I hope you can each find something to be grateful for.  Happy Thanksgiving! 

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November 25

November 25  – Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.

Tonight, on this Thanksgiving Eve; I wish I had more to say, more to share.  But I am tapped out.  I can’t think of anything else to share than my thoughts that I posted to Facebook earlier this evening. Now is the time to think about others, to understand your impact on the bigger world. 

Friends, I don’t know how else to say this; but please understand YOUR actions have direct consequences for people you don’t know.  The increased spread of Covid-19 is directly impacting me, my staff and the residents we care for everyday. I have residents that cannot see their family members on Thanksgiving, I have staff that are choosing to forgo family gatherings because its NOT SAFE or we need them to work because staffing levels are approaching critical.   Hospitals and Long term care facilities throughout the DFW Metroplex are being hit hard. Please think twice before meeting up with friends.  And just because an event is allowed to happen doesn’t mean it’s necessarily safe. “Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial.” 1 Cor 10:23

𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗠𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗧𝗼 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗙𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝗛𝗼𝘀𝗽𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗣𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁  

“Our caregivers have gone on record asking you to do what you can to contain the virus. We expressed concern in public forums based on facts and our first-hand experience in the hospital. We asked you then to follow CDC guidelines: wear a mask, socially distance, stay out of mass gatherings, and wash your hands…Now we have 72 people needing beds in our 60-bed hospital while the rest of the Metroplex hospitals fill up. We are asking again that for the safety of everyone you help us slow this surge.” ~ 𝑪𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒚 𝑷𝒆𝒓𝒓𝒊𝒏, 𝑻𝒆𝒙𝒂𝒔 𝑯𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒕𝒉 𝑹𝒐𝒄𝒌𝒘𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝑷𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒏𝒕


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November 24

Squeezing this one in, just under the wire…

November 24

Wow, it’s late and I almost forgot about my post for today.  It has been a busy night, I made my first Pumpkin Chiffon Pie of the holiday season (yes occasionally I bake), did a little bit of storm spotting for work, when 2020 decided to give us a Tornado Warning tonight, and I’ve been researching ball mounts for my tow hitch as I prepare to embark on my very first camping trip with a teardrop style camper (I promise more details on that later).  So lots going on here and I have to work tomorrow so this post is short and sweet.  I just want to say that today for about 5 minutes, I felt it… I felt hope.  Hope that somehow we would see our way through this current wilderness period, that we were starting to get a handle on things.  That we might, dare I say it, be okay.  When you haven’t had much to be hopeful for it’s a pretty amazing and uplifting feeling.  If you happen to feel it I strongly suggest that you reach out and grab it with both hands and don’t let go.  Hold on to it for as long as you can. I feel like I’ve written these words a lot, but we have to find the light.  I certainly don’t want to make light of anyone’s situation, there is no possible way to directly compare our experiences in the wilderness that is 2020; but there has to be some light, some hope.  That an employee returns from bereavement leave at exactly the right time, that others are willing to flex their schedules and fill in the gaps, that not having our huge blowout Christmas party will allow us to decorate and light up our interior courtyards and maybe even have a special appearance from Santa and a living, breathing reindeer. I am not sticking my head in the sand and pretending that everything is okay, I am just looking for the pockets of hope and light.  They aren’t always easy to find, but they are there. Keep looking. 

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November 23.

One week and counting until I complete the challenge I gave myself, to post everyday in the month of November. I realize I need to start plotting out the future for this blog; figuring out a theme other than my random ramblings or maybe that is the theme, but piecing together an outline and a plan to move this forward after the month of November. But I also need to sit down and connect all the pieces, the glimmer of ideas that I have for life in general. But for now, its time for bed and its been another day on the front lines of Covid-19.

I’d like to congratulate Collin County Texas for surpassing the 10% Positivity rate (don’t ask me where that number comes from but its the one the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid use to determine how much misery they will inflict on long term care facilities in a given week,) for me that number means I have to figure out how to start testing my staff twice a week, how to communicate to family members the week of a holiday that certain visits have to be canceled, and how to respond to the pressures that other peoples behavior is placing on my residents and staff. Anyway, even if you don’t think masks make a difference would you considering wearing one to make my life and the life of my residents a little better? And may considering actually listening too and following the CDC Guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19, please?

Anyway, today was a moderately good day! I had to share bad news, another employee has tested positive; but also some good news, one resident is no longer testing positive and has no symptoms so she gets to move back to her apartment, by far the best phone call I’ve made in a while. I realize that relatively speaking we are in pretty good shape; I have the staff, supplies and resources I need to weather this storm; I worry so much about providers that are trying to manage with less. I wonder where we will end up as profession when all is said and done. I can’t say that I would willing recommend that any take up a career in Long Term Care right now, but I also feel a responsibility to help educate and prepare those that will one day take my place. To sit back and throw my hands up in the air would not be responsible; many, many people took the time to help me grow and develop as an administrator and I would not be where I am without them, so I need to start thinking about how I grow and cultivate the next generation. It’s just hard to be forward thinking when all you’re really focused on is the latest test round, the latest positivity rates, the latest staff quarantine, and the latest update to the regs. I guess I know what one of my goals for 2021 needs to focus on, developing a succession plan for myself, not that I am going anywhere anytime soon; but some day…

Alright friends I think that’s enough rambling for now, its well past bed time and I am ready to snuggle up under my new weighted blanket, which I LOVE! Stay safe and healthy.

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November 22

Happy Sunday! ‘Tis the season of giving thanks. Even though this year looks very different for most of us, there is still much to be grateful for. And my bedtime clock is saying its time to get ready for bed so I am giving a list of things I am grateful today:

  1. Time to read, the past few weeks have been very busy so it was nice to have some time to breathe today and sit and read.
  2. I am grateful for my teammates that did work today and made it possible for me to have a day of rest. The people I work with are amazing.
  3. I am grateful my company is allowing me to put my employees back in N95 masks; yes they are uncomfortable, but it is an increased layer of protection for my residents and employees.
  4. Christmas Wishes, everyone needs a little Christmas magic in their lives. If you have the means get out there and find a way to make someone’s Christmas wish come true.
  5. Holiday Traditions – I am used to the holidays looking a little different, I work in healthcare. But one thing I can always count on are our traditions so this week I am going to make my Grandma Reese’s Pumpkin Chiffon Pies. I am grateful for the holidays we when we would make these pies together. After her stroke, it became my job to help Grandma with the pies. Now that she’s gone, making these pies keeps her spirit alive.

Friends, I know it can seem like dark days with Covid rates rising and an election cycle that will not end; but there is still good in the world. We can still create good in the world. I hope you have something to be grateful for this week.

Helping Mom make the bed

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November 21

I need to have some fun tonight, do some dreaming and scheming. 

I wish…

I wish I was in the woods, sitting in front of a campfire that I built. 

I wish I knew where I wanted to live and if I really wanted to buy a house or just keep renting. 

I wish I had a teardrop camper to take out into the woods for a quick weekend getaway. 

I wish I lived in Colorado; or maybe not, maybe it is possible that actually living there would ruin the beauty and the magic? I doubt it. 

I wish Covid would go away and life would go back to normal for my residents and family members. 

I wish I could go to Las Vegas with my friends for New Years Eve. 

I wish the people that lived in my apartment building would wear masks. 

I wish I was independently wealthy so I didn’t have to go to work everyday. 

I wish I wasn’t so tired. 

I wish both OU and OSU could win tonight, but I know it doesn’t work that way. 

I wish I could spend another magical weekend in Oregon running, writing, and spending time with an amazing group of women. 

I wish my Mom could see my Aunt and that we were all together to celebrate the holidays. 

I wish I was brave enough to turn my wishes into reality.  

What do you wish for?  

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November 20

November 20

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I thought I knew what I was going to write about tonight, its Friday and Friday is my official weigh in day so I thought I would probably write about my weight loss journey that currently looks more like a board for the game Chutes and Ladders. But tonight I am working on “feeling my feelings,” and not trying to push them back below the surface with food, wine and either zoning out in front of the TV or getting lost in other people’s posts on social media.  I am working on feeling the feelings, allowing them space because I understand all too well that if I don’t I won’t loose weight.  Food is my drug, food is my security blanket, food is my companion and I am working on learning how to eat when I am hungry and stop when I am satisfied and that’s not so easy to do when there is a part of your brain screaming at you to JUST PUT THE COOKIE IN YOUR MOUTH! because that’s what you always do when things get tough and the cookie will make you feel better for about 5 seconds.  

So here’s the deal, because I know my Mom and Sister might actually read this I want to start off by saying that while I am not 100% Okay, I am actually okay. Am I tired after 3 solid weeks of work with 1 day off and averaging 10 hr days, yes. Do I feel a sense of responsibility – guilt, anxiety, even a little depression – about the fact that 7 of my residents have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 2 ½ weeks?  Yes, I do and you know what, that’s okay.  It is okay for me to feel those things; what I am learning and working on is how I create space for those feelings, how I offer them a seat at the table, but I don’t allow them to drive the bus.  I can have those feelings, but I don’t have to allow them to change how I show up, how I choose to take care of myself and how I react at work.  Yesterday was not a good day, I let anxiety take over and my responses weren’t always what they should have been. What I am grateful for is that I am much more self aware and open to noticing when this happens, learning from my response and working to be better prepared for the next time because I am certain there will be a next time and it could very well be tomorrow. 

Tonight I am tired and I am angry that the world seems to be continuing to carry on like 250,000 people didn’t die from Covid-19, that my company has to compete with the likes of the NFL and the NCAA for testing supplies, that I spend more time on tracking, reporting and keeping up with the regulations than I do actually caring for the people that call my community home.  I feel guilty that this most recent outbreak happened on my watch, I think through all the things and wonder what did we miss, where was the gap, how did we let this in; even though my rational brain understands that I can’t control all of the variables, it’s still how I feel tonight.  But instead of letting myself drift slowly into the dark place I am welcoming those feelings in, I am allowing them to be, but not dwelling in them.  They are there, I know they probably won’t just go away anytime soon, but I don’t have to let them pull me down.  Keep me from taking care of myself and stop me from reaching my goals.  

Putting these words and my darker thoughts on paper is a little scary, but it also feels good to just put it out there, to write it down and let it go into the universe.  And know that if you are struggling tonight, struggling with heartache, uncertainty, fear, and anxiety; you are not alone.  I see you, I love you and you are not alone even though we are not together.

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November 19

Authors Note: One of the things I’ve wanted to be more brave about is sharing my faith. I know that I have friends that don’t neseccarily think well of “the church,” and Christians, but I do self identify as a Christian and it is a part of who I am. So tonight I am choosing to be brave and to share a little bit about what I believe.

I believe 

I believe in God the Father almighty Maker of Heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord.  I believe in the Virgin Mary.  I believe. I believe that there is still good in the world.  I believe that there are courageous leaders in the church willing to speak up for what is right and working to help the institution that is the United Methodist Church truly be the church of Open Hearts, Open Minds and Open Doors.  I believe that Y’all means ALL, not just those that look like us, act like us, love like us, live like us.  I believe. I read the bible which is full of flawed people picked by God to change the world.  God loves imperfect people and while I can only speak for myself I am definitely an imperfect person; I believe that I am a child of God and that God loves me. 

I was born and raised in the United Methodist Church, worse than that I am the child of a United Methodist Minister.  I’ve survived the crisis of faith that can occur when one learns first hand that their Minister (ie Dad) is not a perfect person either.  I had a brief stint as an ordained elder in the Presbyterina Church, but always seemed to find my way back home to the UMC despite its many flaws.   I still believe.  I have a 90 day streak going in the Bible App, my record being 390 days, and I am proud. I pray, I pray hard, I pray for miracles and fully expect them to happen.  I keep a Virgin of Guadalupe candle to burn, next to my Buddah and Krishna candle holders.  I believe in the power of Holy Water and the intercession of the Saints.  I believe I can make my own choices, and sometimes I make choices that aren’t as good as others; but somehow I always find my way back to where I belong.  I believe. 

I love Christmas music; hymns and carols, songs of joy and hope, the promise of peace on earth and good will to men.  I love the story these songs tell and the message that has been passed down for centuries.  I believe that Christmas is not over until the wise men come.  I believe.  I believe that it is my job to figure out how to share a message of love, of light and hope.  To feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give to the poor, heal the sick.  I can’t profess that I do any of this well, more often than naught I fall very short.  I am not well connected to my professed church home, probably miss virtual church more than I attend, and I haven’t done much to help the poor, sick, naked, and hungry people in my community.  I also believe that God is not always found in the walls of a church, that God is in us and with us and that worship, true worship can occur wherever you are. Some of my favorite “churches,” do not have walls. I believe. I believe that I will find my way, that we are all children of God and that we will find our way through the wilderness.  I believe that there should and can be room at the table for all and I want to speak up and move my chair over to help create that space. I believe.  

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