Friday, April 18, 2014


This is a picture of one of the ER docs that I used to work with. I retired in 2001 after working with him for more than 15 years. “Moose” (as we irreverently and affectionately called him) was/is a good Dr. and he really keeps the ER moving.
In September of 1990 my husband of 32 years passed away. I dreaded going back to work but was glad to see that Dr. M. was on duty the day that I returned. It was one of the longest days of my life but I found comfort in the hustle and bustle of things that I was used to doing. If I concentrated on each task as it came up I found that I could get through without crying; but, it was very taxing and I was exhausted when my shift finally ended.
It was a very strange feeling to approach my empty house and tears were streaming down my face as I unlocked the door. Giving in to my exhaustion I headed for the bedroom and that’s when I noticed that the light was blinking on my answering machine. I was so tired I almost didn’t listen to it but I did ... and here’s what it said:
“Hi, Ginnie, this is Moose. I knew you’d be walking into an empty house and just wanted you to know that you’re not alone. We love you and are here for you. See you in the morning.”
I have never forgotten how much that simple message meant to me.
(I wrote and posted this in 2009 but I repeat it here because I wanted you to “meet” Dr. M. Now, almost 24 years later, I once again have good reason to pay tribute to him …and I do so in my next blog entry … Stay tuned !)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

My April “Christmas gift” …

Each year my children ask me what I want for Christmas so this year I decided to actually tell them. Since they are all in the building business I asked if they could replace the old deck on the side of my house. I would provide all the materials if they would be the labor !

Needless to say this was a win/win situation all around and here is how it went:

If you look carefully you will see three workers. My son-in-law on the left, my oldest son on the right and my younger son in the white cap between them peeking over the deck from the rear. And my daughter got in the act too … clean-up being her part.

With all of them working it took just about two days and here is the result.
This is the best Christmas gift that I’ve ever received but I do have one problem. I have to wait 6 months for the wood to “cure” before I can stain it ! (Some people are never satisfied.)  

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Shakin' it up...

I don’t know about the rest of you guys but I find that I have less and less of an appetite the older I get. Living alone just exacerbates the situation. I know that I need to keep up my strength but it took a loving daughter to get me on the right track.

She introduced me to this Protein Shake and now it is my breakfast of choice every morning. It was obvious that I didn’t have the will power to eat right consistently and this is an easy way for me to get the essential vitamins and nutrients that I had been missing.

My daughter was careful to choose just the right combination of ingredients for me. She knew that I was on a restricted diet that did not include soy, milk, whites (such as white potatoes, white rice etc.) and that also cut way back on sugars. The 4 items that you see in the picture are the ones she chose and they work well for me.

Here is my recipe. I take the juice of one orange, ½ large banana and one tablespoon each of the Vegan Rice Protein, the Aloe Vera juice, the Flax Oil and the Source of Life Liquid and combine them all in my blender. I then add about ½ cup of unsweetened Silk Almond milk and 4 ice cubes. When it’s all mixed together this is what I get:

I have to admit that it took me a few tries to get used to the flavor but now it is part of my morning routine and I look forward to it.

I owe my daughter a lot for doing all the research and thought I would show my thanks by featuring the Protein shake in this cute glass that promotes the business that she and her husband have in Stanfordville, New York. If you are ever in the vicinity searching for antiques or used items drop in to Bowen Barn and tell them “Ginnie sent me.”

Friday, April 04, 2014

The “F” word…

As some of you know from reading my blog I spent many years as a secretary in our local emergency room. (The picture shows me in 1979 with one of the nurses and Dr. Jacques.) Most of the time I was fulfilling the orders of the harried staff … ordering labs, xrays, calls to specialists, etc. Since our ER was often overloaded it was a challenge to keep ahead of it all and I thrived on it.

I was older than most of the nurses and even many of the doctors; however, this didn’t seem to matter. I was good at what I did and they appreciated that. Over the years I took on kind of a mother figure there. They knew that I was of the generation that finds the “F” word shocking and they rarely used it in my presence. I appreciated their consideration. I was also sure that they would never hear that word from my lips. I will never forget the day that this came to an end !

The nurses did very well with the ER Docs but as soon as a staff Dr. showed up the whole atmosphere would change. These doctors were very demanding and expected the nurses to drop everything (no matter what was going on with the other ER patients) and to be at their beck and call.

This particular day it was exceptionally busy. All 18 rooms were full, 3 staff doctors had arrived at the same time and none of the ordered lab results had come back. When I called the lab they explained that a technician was out sick and they were doing the best they could.

I relayed this info but the staff doctors wouldn’t accept it. They had the poor nurses almost in tears and I couldn’t believe the words that were being yelled at them, the patient charts that were being banged down and the overall disruption of the ER.

Of course this ultimately came down upon my head, the messenger of the bad news. I knew that none of the patients were critical and could see no reason for all the turmoil. I was completely fed up and had as much as I could take so I stood up and yelled …“Everyone just F_ _king shut up.”

This brought on absolute dead silence and it seemed to stay that way forever until a nurse broke the ice by saying, in a timid voice: “Oooh, that’s just as if my mother said that.” That did it. We all broke up laughing, the staff doctors stormed off and we went back to business as usual.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Don’t pay it back ….

… pay it forward !
I remember the first time that I heard that and it’s stayed with me ever since.   The man who said that also said that he never lends money to anyone and before he had a chance to explain that I interrupted and said “I’ve often seen you give money to people”. “You’re right”, he replied, “and GIVE is the operative word.” He went on to explain that money is the cause of more upsets than almost any thing else in the world. When you only give what you can afford and do not expect it to be returned you take the onus out of the transaction.

It reminded me of a situation of my own. I was an AA sponsor for a young girl and she had approached me for a loan. She explained that she needed $120 but could pay me back in 6 months at $20 a month. Since she had just started a good job I didn’t hesitate but we did sign an agreement stating that she would make the payment on the first day of each month.

For the first three months she made prompt payments and I was feeling good about it. Then, all of a sudden, in the 4th month she disappeared. It was pretty obvious that she had relapsed since she left owing a month’s rent and other bills, including mine. I was sad for her but since I had no idea where she was I had no recourse. In time I forgot about it completely.

Then, about three years later, I got a telephone call late at night. It was my gal and I could tell that she was inebriated. While slurring her words and crying she told me that she’d never forgotten her obligation to me. She begged me to forgive her and said that she wanted to pay me the $60 she owed. She wouldn’t tell me where she was but she took my mailing address and swore the check would be in the mail in the morning.

Well, you can probably imagine what happened. I never heard from her again and there was no “check in the mail”. But it was a good lesson. Now I do give, but it’s only what I can afford and I always say to the recipient, “don’t worry about paying me back. Pay it forward” and I’m happy to say that I’ve seen a lot of them do just that !





Sunday, March 23, 2014

My “Aussie” connection …

Here is my blogger friend Cazzie from Australia. I loved getting to know her via her blog “I don’t do mornings” . ( I assume she chose that title because she was an intensive care nurse working nights.) She is also the wife of a goat farmer and mother of four.

In October of 2012 Cazzie wrote that there was turmoil in her life and that the family was being uprooted and they were not looking forward to the move. I felt bad for them but felt even worse when I kept checking back and then realized that she wasn’t writing her blog anymore.

I kept wondering how they were but figured I’d never know. Then the strangest thing happened. At some point I started a Facebook account but I never use it. However I am constantly getting emails from Facebook telling me that I have messages, requests etc. and, lo and behold one of them had a very pretty picture of a lady called Carolyn. Could that possibly be my Cazzie, I wondered … and it was !

I couldn’t wait to get in touch and see how she and the family (including the goats) were doing. She wrote back almost immediately and here is part of her answer: "Things are great. I am waiting to see if I am awarded a grant that I applied for last month in order to study a Graduate Certificate in Breast Cancer Nursing. I can then work as a Breast care nurse for women and men affected by breast cancer. We run a 1000 acre farm (in three allotments) in Little River. Slowly bringing back what has been weed infested land to its natural form. Use of goats and time consuming weed reduction is assisting with that.”

Isn’t that interesting? I’ve often wondered why they don’t use goats for weed reduction of all the Kudzu that takes over buildings and smothers trees here in the Southeast every spring. It keeps getting worse with every year and maybe this will inspire Cazzie (oops, Carolyn) and her husband to write a paper or a book with their results. It could be a bestseller.

My blogs are not usually this long but I couldn’t end without including the last of what Cazzie-Carolyn wrote to me …because it’s how I always felt when I read hers: “I love reading your blog, it always makes me smile xxoo"

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Awareness …

This is not my usual type of entry but I wanted to share it nevertheless. The Lion’s club in our town has started a wonderful project. They have set up a book exchange in our Post Office. People bring in books that they want to pass on and you are free to take whatever strikes you.

Recently I picked up Anita Shreve’s book Strange Fits of Passion. It is about domestic abuse and it really didn’t speak to me until I realized that whoever had the book before me had highlighted certain passages with a yellow marker. Here are just a few of them:

Once you tell your first lie, the first time you lie for him, you are in it with him and then you are lost.

It was because he loved me, because he cared so much. And in the distance my anger would develop, so that what he said about me became a self fulfilling prophesy.

I began to hope that he’d die in an air crash … it was the only way I knew of to get free from him.

Isn’t that chilling? All I could think as I read on was that this book had been in the hands of a person who was, or had been, in an abusive situation. This could be a neighbor or someone that I’ve smiled at as we pass by in the Post Office…smiled at but not really SEEN.

Most likely I will never find out who left that book but it made me realize that life is very difficult, at best, for so many of my fellow travelers on this earth . The very least I can do is to always be aware of this …

A smile, a kind word. Who knows? It’s little enough but it might be the only bright spot in a person’s life that day.