This Marvelous Life

And make no mistake, it is indeed marvelous!

I’m blessed every day when I wake up and know that I rest in the grip of the One who created the universe and all things it holds.

My journey of late has gone through some intensive self reflection and prayer, as our church was gearing up for a new financial campaign.  Too much to go into but you can watch it all on the church website, and you can download the app, Crossroads Anywhere, from the app stores, for free, and live stream services, do the study with us each week etc., if you are searching for a church home or just want a little extra.

During some intense, self guided prayer a week ago Friday, as part of that campaign, I really felt God was telling me some things.  For one, keeping my spiritual life and ‘other’ life in individual blogs, may not be the best thing.  My faith is part of what defines me.  In fact it DOES define me.  I’m a Christian who happens to be a single senior (per the AARP I am a senior citizen), a CNA, and a host of other hats I wear.  But first and foremost, I’m the daughter of the Most High God.  As such I needed to reevaluate how I use my social media and blogs.

I’ve made all apologies that I have to make. Some accepted them, others opted to ungraciously attack my motives. That is on them, and between them and God to sort out.

One thing I do know is that I’ve asked someone to keep me accountable to stop posting negative things about the goings on in the world, and start using my various social media forums for spreading encouragement, positive, and yes, faith based things.  This may mean it is time to combine my 3 blogs into one (other than my Avon blog).  It will mean a change in the title, URL etc, but never fear, that will be a smooth transition.  Marvelous Martha, AKA – Marvi Marti, just happens to be a prodigal princess.  A royal daughter of God who got lost and is now back where she belongs.  I won’t remove any posts from the past, it is all who I am.

My spiritual journey blog has been renamed, The Prodigal Princess.  It will also become far more active than it has been.  At some point I just might combine both blogs into one, we shall see.

More updates to come, but until then, be MARVELOUS!

What I Am….

unglued_coverWhat I am reading… Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst.  It is the book for Proverbs 31 ministries current online bible study and really very good.  I am thankful I signed up for it as online is about the only way I get to do anything much, keeping up on my lunch and breaks at work.

What I am eating…  Popcorn.  Well at the moment.  Popped on the stove top in canola oil, white popcorn, OH the blissful tastiness!!!!

What I am drinking… Diet coke.  The store brand because it is way less expensive and I swear it is really Diet Coke in a Big K can.

What I am working…  way too much!  Last week I pulled 6 days of 12.5 hour shifts.  I am not sorry it was my turn to opt to go home early on Sunday (though it is so rare we are over staffed, especially weekends).  I am enjoying today, my 2nd full day off in a row, before returning to the madness tomorrow of call lights, dementia residents yelling out insanity, and poop.  Everybody had the poops Saturday and that just stinks, both literally and figuratively.

What I am doing to relax… coloring!!! Talk about great therapy.  For several years I had an adult coloring book (as in for big people, not X rated) in my wish list on Amazon.  I saw a good one at the craft store and bought it and I LOVE it.  I also purchased a set from Crayola.  It really is wonderful to put on music and color for a bit with colored pencils.

What I am listening to… Currently the Soundscapes music channel on the TV.  In the car, it is always KLOVE, Air 1, or our local Christian station.  I need positive lyrics.

What I am finding is a great app… I love the She Reads Truth app.  Great bible study material there.  Also, First 5 from Proverbs 31.  Both a excellent ways to get time in God’s Word if you are like me and a busy bee.

What I am contemplating…

Tiny houses – I think they rock and I’d love to move into one when the time comes that mom is gone and we break up the Diva Den.  Maybe a community of tiny houses so me and sis can be near each other but have our own space still.

My budget – much to go over and trim off the spending to commit to the I’m In campaign at church this coming Sunday.  Much prayer for that one.

What I am regretting…  I have not kept up with my blog or my book writing.  SO many things I want to do, so little left over time.  And my Avon and Jordan Essentials businesses need a swift kick in the rear that I’m not even sure where to find the time to address. UGH!


Breaking Up With B.O.B.

Calm down, BOB = Big Old Bump.  Minds out of the gutter!

Last visit to the doc landed me on a steroid and another mega antibiotic and it seems that BOB is going bye-bye.  The area is no longer angry looking and tender, the redness has faded and I’m rather delighted.  It’s hanging on some but we’ve made some serious improvement.

My leg looks better, and that rocks.  But the steroid is making me put on water weight so I cannot wait for this to be over.  I’m not a fan of feeling puffy.  I don’t do fluffy or puffy, thank you very much.

So, hopefully this means this issue is about over.

On a lighter note, if you are a Scandal fan, and didn’t see last night’s episode?  SPOILER ALERT!

Stop. Reading. Now.

Daddy Pope is loose and just saved Olivia’s butt again.  Go Eli!

Oh and there was no wedding. Thankfully.  Olivia should be married to Jake. Not the douche canoe in the oval office on there. He is no good for her, not man enough to handle.  Again, GO DADDY POPE!

He is the guy I love to hate.

On to The Walking Dead.  By now you shouldn’t need a SPOILER ALERT! Glen died last Sunday.  If he should get out of that one alive, I fail to think of anything remotely believable that could be done to save him.  It sucks, he is a great character but really, odds are impossible in my mind that he isn’t zombie fodder.  We have to accept that, we’ve had beloved main characters die, we’re still watching.  Meanwhile, if the unbelievable happened, a zombie apocalypse, this show is like 6 years of training videos.  Grab all the medications, alcohol with long shelf life, and non-perishable foods you can.  LOADS of guns and ammo, not to mention bow and arrows and start learning to use them. NOW.  Plan to never shower, we’re all going to stink. Bad.  I have no valid solution for that one.

Sorry y’all, that is all I have.   Been working entirely too much (6 of 7 days in a row, 12.5 hours) and my brain is tired.  Body is tired.  But it’s all good.  Car needs tires, brakes, and the holidays are coming up fast with gifts to be purchased. I’ve done some shopping already, more to to be finished!

Don’t be good, be MARVELOUS!

The Continuing Saga Of B.O.B. – Big Old Bump

Today brought me to the doctor again, and this time the diagnosis is:  an edema.  DUH! This we know.  But what we don’t know is what exactly IS that under there?  The mystery continues.

For now, I’m on another mega strong anti-biotic along with a steroid to fight whatever it is in there that is trying to take over my leg.  If this doesn’t do it, I’ll have to go for biopsies.  I’m hoping this works as I really do not want anyone slicing and dicing in my leg.  I cannot afford to be off work so um, too bad, so sad.  I’ll just have to wrap that sucker tight and hit the unit.

So, once again, I’m medicating the unknown and hoping it works.

Isn’t this just fun?

Not so much.

So What Is BOB?

Bob.  That is the name of the bump above the ankle on the inside of my left leg.

My daughter told me I needed to name it.

It is about the size of a silver dollar now, and growing, slow but steady.

In May it was about pea size, I worried it was a blood clot but didn’t worry too much as I didn’t do anything.  Besides, blood clots typically are behind the knee.  And then it grew.

And then it turned color.

No, it isn’t a bug bite as there was not mark on the outside of the skin.  Now it is rather discolored and looks funky.  And the redness is spreading around it.

The PA at the doc’s office put me on a strong antibiotic thinking it was cellulitis.  It got more irritated looking but other than that nothing.  Guess that wasn’t the correct diagnosis.

Today I went for a scan to see if it was a blood clot.  Yes I DO realize if it was a clot this was a ridiculous amount of time to have waited to see if that is the case.  Even though the tech could not say if it is or is not a clot, I was told that if it were to be a blood clot I’d be checked into the hospital and not permitted to leave.  I’m home!  She did mention a cyst would have shown up on the scan as a black ‘hole’ because it is fluid.  No such black area appeared on the scan.  *sigh*

Bob = Big Old Bump

Hence we at least have a name for it, now we just need to go back to the doc next week and see what we can find out about it.  Maybe we can just cut it open and have a look?  Dunno what they will do.  But Bob is not a welcome addition, is tender and most unattractive and therefore needs to pack his bags and depart.

The saga will continued next week with updates on Bob.

Stay tuned.

Wine & Cheese ~ 99th Serving

wineandcheese2Welcome to Wine & Cheese, my weekly, Wednesday whine session.

Most Wednesdays I devote a blog to whining. Despite being a really happy, positive person, I do have things that annoy me at times. I never let anything grate on my nerves for long but thought it would be fun to vent them periodically in my blogs. I also feel that good things, the cheese in life, should be acknowledged as well. I’m even going to throw in a bit of dessert, a piece of virtual chocolate, something that made me laugh or smile just a bit more than normal. If you’d like to read the past editions of Wine & Cheese just click HERE for all of the past postings. Sit back and join me now for the 99th serving of some whine and cheese!

 ~*~ ~*~ ~*~


:(  It is spider season.  That time of year when spiders begin making their way inside because autumn is bringing cooler temperatures and winter is close behind.  I’m less than thrilled.  I will kill them, but they still make my skin crawl and creep me out!  I have taken to spraying all around with peppermint essential oil and water in the hopes of minimizing the number of times I flip on the laundry room light and have a heart attack.

:(  Tomorrow begins a 5 day stretch at work.  UGH.  I am not happy about that part, as I had agreed to a trade and picked up a day without realizing it was going to be back to back 5 days.  I’ll be dead on my feet come Monday evening at 6:30pm when I clock out.  The money will rock but I will be too darn tired to spend it!

:(  Mom is currently in chemo, this is round 2 of the treatments.  We know it won’t save her life, will only MAYBE buy her some extra days/months, but she is giving it a shot.  Meanwhile all prayers are welcome.  We’d love a miracle.

:(  It is also stink bug season here in the tri-state.  I just killed 2 in the past 5 minutes.

:(  Had some blood work done a week or so back now, and my thyroid is very healthy, no issues.  However I scored a 99.5 for being in menopause.  I did not need the blood work to tell me this, as the hot flashes cause me to sweat so much that I dehydrate really easy if not careful.  Why do women get all the fun?


:)  Several friends have praised Black Cohosh for their hot flashes, and even had docs recommending it to them for this stage in life.  I purchased some today and it was buy one, get one free with my grocery store loyalty card.  I am very hopeful this will make me less of a walking tropical climate.

:)  I was able to pick up 6.5 hours yesterday as my unit was working short and 2 of my friends there sent texts asking me to come in and help.  I contacted a supervisor and was told to please come in so I made time and a half for that.  I am already into over time for the next pay check so that made it better.

:)  The Bengals won the first 2 regular season games.  I realize that this means nothing at this point, but I am really happy.  Makes owning those Bengals scrubs worth it on a Sunday when I’m working.  :)

:)  My favorite Tuesday TV shows were back last night! NCIS and NCIS:New Orleans.  That made my day, as I love those shows.  And tomorrow night Scandal is back, and Friday, Blue Bloods.  The only ones missing are The Walking Dead and Downton Abbey.  All in good time though!


Per several women I know, this works.  You can also hide ice cream sandwiches in empty frozen veggie bags in the freezer.  So, our chocolate and ice cream is safe ladies, just disguise it and you never have to worry again.


100 Questions No One Ever Asks

While nosing around for blog topic ideas to store for those days when my brain stops coming up with the million things it usually wants to write about, I found this post over on and decided this would be good to answer. 

Do you want to answer the 100 questions no one ever asks? Here’s the full list:

1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?

Closed!  My cat loves to get in the closet and find places to hide, things to knock off the shelves and I’m afraid I will close her in there and she’ll end up doing her litterbox business on the closet floor.

2. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotels?

Nope. Never use the stuff at all. I always pack my own.

3. Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?

Well, the bottom is tucked in, and I do the hospital corners thing, but being menopausal the blankets and sheet are on and off so much at night that tucking them in would be a waste of time.

4. Have you stolen a street sign before?

Um that would be a no.

5. Do you like to use post-it notes?

Oh I LOVE them!  Have a bunch of different styles, colors etc.  They are like cat nip to me.

6. Do you cut out coupons but then never use them?

No, never cut them at all.  If it isn’t on an app that downloads to my loyalty card or can be scanned on my phone, it isn’t going to to be bothered with.

7. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?

Either is going to be a deadly end no doubt, so thinking the bees with the hope I can find a place to get away from them.

8. Do you have freckles?

I did as a kid, and used to freckle some in the sun but I haven’t gone for a tan in so long I’m not sure.

9. Do you always smile for pictures?

Yes and no?  Not a big teethy smile, as my ex-husband made me horribly self conscious about my teeth. They are not pearly white because of some antibiotic I had as a kid or mom took while pregnant that left them with a kind of slightly grey color and I cannot afford to cap them and whitener doesn’t work on this.

10. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Just one??? like folks who need a handicap parking spot to park but can walk the entire mega store?  Or the ones who leave their cart in the parking spot because they are too lazy to walk 25 more feet to put it where it belongs?

11. Do you ever count your steps when you walk?

I have a step tracker for that so it keeps track for me. Average work day I range between 17,000 and 20,000.

12. Have you peed in the woods?

Yep I sure have.

13. Have you ever pooped in the woods?

Um nope. My luck, I’d end up using poison ivy to wipe.

14. Do you ever dance even if theres no music playing?

ALL the time! I dance down the hallway at work, or in resident’s rooms to the song in my head.

15. Do you chew your pens and pencils?


16. How many people have you slept with this week?

Zero. I’m single. 2 cats have slept next to me though.

17. What size is your bed?

It’s a full size, no need for more, it is just me and critters.

18. What is your song of the week?

David Crowder – Lift Your Head Weary Sinner

19. Is it OK for guys to wear pink?

Most men look great in pink. Of course!

20. Do you still watch cartoons?

Nope. None worth my time anymore.

21. What is your least favorite movie?

Any western pretty much.

22. Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?

Um it wouldn’t be hidden if I shared that, now, would it!

23. What do you drink with dinner?

Usually water, sometimes iced tea or a diet soda.

24. What do you dip a chicken nugget in?

Nothing, I don’t eat them.

25. What is your favorite food?

So many to narrow down, but usually Chipotle burrito bowls.

26. What movies could you watch over and over again and still love?

Hmm…Harry Potter movies usually.

27. Last person you kissed/kissed you?

Stan, and it was delightful!

28. Were you ever a boy/girl scout?

Oh yes.

29. Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?

Yep, as in did it for an online one once. Not proud of that but the photos were great.

30. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?

About a year ago.

31. Can you change the oil on a car?

I cannot, but I do know how to add it.

32. Ever gotten a speeding ticket?

No, that would require being pulled over and that has not happened to date.

33. Ever ran out of gas?

No, though was with someone who did.

34. What’s your favorite kind of sandwich?

Don’t have a favortie.

35. Best thing to eat for breakfast?

Varies with my mood though old fashioned oatmeal is a good choice.

36. What is your usual bedtime?

If I have to work the next day I try for 9pm which usually results in 9:30 or 10p.

37. Are you lazy?


38. When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween?

Gosh cannot even remember.

39. What is your Chinese astrological sign?

The rabbit.

40. How many languages can you speak?

Speak? English.  I also know American Sign Language though rusty.

41. Do you have any magazine subscriptions?

Yes, to Success Magazine.

42. Which are better: legos or lincoln logs?

Hmm…depends what I’m building.

43. Are you stubborn?

Oh indeed I am.

44. Who is better: Leno or Letterman?

They stink equally in my opinion.

45. Ever watch soap operas?

OH I sure did! Was hooked on General Hospital in high school, and later in life All My Children, One Life To Live, Bold & Beautiful, Young & Restless.

46. Are you afraid of heights?

Very much so.

47. Do you sing in the car?

Yes I do.

48. Do you sing in the shower?

No, I’d wake up everyone else in the house.

49. Do you dance in the car?

Yep while singing!

50. Ever used a gun?

For target practice and kept handy in case of needing it for protection. Haven’t shot anyone.


51. Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer?

Hmm….20+ years ago.

52. Do you think musicals are cheesy?

Some are, some are just fun.

53. Is Christmas stressful?

Not for me, I love it.

54. Ever eat a pierogi?

Um…not that I am aware of.

55. Favorite type of fruit pie?

Usually cherry.

56. Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?

A lawyer.

57. Do you believe in ghosts?

I do, as in spirits of those who have died.

58. Ever have a Deja-vu feeling?

Yes I have, it is kinda weird.

59. Do you take a vitamin daily?

Sometimes, if I remember. I get a lot of vitamins from my Spark energy drink so I don’t stress over it if I forget.

60. Do you wear slippers?

Yes, if I go out to the mailbox or my feet are cold and socks alone aren’t keeping them warm.

61. Do you wear a bath robe?

Don’t own one.

62. What do you wear to bed?

Cute jammies usually.

63. What was your first concert?

Seriously I have no idea.

64. Walmart, Target, or Kmart?


65. Nike or Adidas?

Neither, Skechers all the way.

67. Peanuts or Sunflower seeds?


68. Ever hear of the group Tres Bien?


69. Ever take dance lessons?

Ballet as a child.

70. Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing?

At this point in my life, IF I marry again, I’ll be happy if he is employed and likes whatever it is he does to earn a living, couldn’t care less what it is as long as it is legal.

71. Can you curl your tongue?

Yes I can.

72. Ever won a spelling bee?

Um no, that was not my strong subject in school at all.

73. Have you ever cried because you were so happy?

Many times!

74. Own any record albums?

Not anymore.

75. Own a record player?

Nope not now, long ago I did.

76. Do you regularly burn incense?

No, cannot stand the stuff, it stinks and is too thick.

77. Ever been in love?

Several, wonderful times.

78. Who would you like to see in concert?

No one really.

79. What was the last concert you saw?

Hmm…Kenny G I think.

80. Hot tea or cold tea?

Depends. Hot in winter or hot chamomile before bed, cold if it is hot outside or being drank with a meal.

81. Tea or coffee?

Coffee wins.

82. Sugar cookies or snickerdoodles?

Either rates about the same with me.

83. Can you swim well?


84. Can you hold your breath without holding your nose?


85. Are you patient?

Depends on what I’m waiting for.

86. DJ or band at a wedding?


87. Ever won a contest?

Yes, a few.

88. Have you ever had plastic surgery?

Yes I have, got the boobs enhanced and a tummy tuck.

89. Which are better: black or green olives?

OH black ones!

90. Can you knit or crochet?

Can and do crochet, often, it is like therapy for me.

91. Best room for a fireplace?

Wherever I spend the most time! Any and every room works for me.

92. Do you want to get married?

It would take the right man, and not sure that I will ever find him.

93. If married, how long have you been married?

Was married 22 years before getting divorced.

94. Who was your high school crush?

Hmm…Randy Anderson. Dated even, thought he was amazing.

95. Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way?

Cry? na, and don’t throw a fit. I just do what I want, I’m single, no need to have it any other way but mine.

96. Do you have kids?

Yes, both adults, married with kids of their own.

97. Do you want kids?

No more than I already have thanks.

98. What is your favorite color?

Pink. Always has been, always will be. Had a bubble gum pink room as a child.  Purple ran a close second but pink will always be number one.

99. Do you miss anyone right now?

Oh a number of people, some died, some just moved on.

100. Who are you going to tag to do this next?

No one, you all are free to do it/not do it. I just figured it would be something different to do today myself.

Top 10 Things I’ve Learned From Criminal Minds

  1. ALWAYS be ready to go in 30 minutes or less.  How many times after being briefed on a case do you hear “wheels up in 30″ meaning the plane will depart in 30 minutes, profilers, be on it.  Life has a way of throwing wrenches in the middle of the day so always be ready to switch gears, fast.
  2. Have your own sense of style.  Seriously, Penelope Garcia is the queen of pulling of the craziest looks with hair, eye wear, and fashion. She has no rules, just what works for her.  I LOVE her flair, zing, pop, pizzazz…whatever you call it, she is true to herself when it comes to wearing what she loves.  Oh, and she submitted her resume on pink stationary, she knows how to command attention.
  3. Use code phrases with your kids for safety. No fan can forget when Hotch’s son, Jack, had his life spared because his daddy had taught him a phrase that when heard, he knew where to go hide and not move.  In this messed up world we live in, having such phrases is a great idea.  Kids practice it over and over like a game so that in an emergency you can get them to do what needs to be done.
  4. Keep your gun handy, even in the bathroom.  How many times do we see it, the victim is in the bathroom, hears a noise, and goes investigating only to be murdered in their own home.  Seriously, lock the damn door, call the cops and sit in the dark with the gun aimed at the door. Shoot first, ask questions later.
  5. Stay in school.  There are few like Spencer Reed, so stick to school and get an education.  You won’t be able to recall the details like he can but your odds are better in this world if you are educated.
  6. NEVER trust anyone.
  7. If you car breaks down it will likely be in the middle of nowhere and a psycho killer will be nearby.  Lock and load and call for help but lock the doors first.
  8. If they are driving a van, do not get near them.  They do not need your help, it’s a trap.  Run, don’t walk, in the opposite direction causing a scene to draw attention from others.  But NEVER help them.
  9. Trust your gut.  Really, I mean it! If you are positive you locked the door when you left and come home to an unlocked door, window open, photo moved from it’s location…whatever it is, run like hell and get OUT.  Oh, but draw that gun first and get ready to shoot whoever is hiding in the shadows.
  10. Agent Morgan is the perfect man, hence a fantasy.  Built like a dream, passionate, and calls ya ‘baby girl’, yep he is total fantasy material. But ahhhh, what a fantasy!

Friday Confessional

Yep, it is Friday.  TGIF and all that associated hoopla that says we are so grateful for the end of the ‘normal’ work week.

I confess…

I am thankful that today is Friday but only because this is an off day for me.  My schedule is far from normal.  I worked 5 straight days, was off 2, worked one, and now off today before headed back tomorrow to work 2 again.  I’m not a normal person so why have a normal schedule?  I could have worked in a facility that was less physical (in an assisted living facility) and had normal, 5 day, 8 hours a day, but it wasn’t close to home and I love being closer to where I live.  5 minute drive to work and that means less gas.  I see it as a huge financial savings.

I confess…

It is 10:10am, I just got up an hour ago and other than making coffee and having the first cup, I haven’t done a darn thing that is the least bit productive.  I think I am just mentally and emotionally exhausted.  There is the whole thing with mom’s cancer and such, and yesterday we sent dad out 911 from the facility with issues that may or may not be related to his recent back surgery.  I’m struggling financially to get caught up on bills that mounted while I was unemployed, trying to wrap my head around what to do when mom’s gone as far as do we keep the house, down size etc.  My faith is already stretched and I’m trying to get back to regular prayer and bible reading, not easy with this abnormal work schedule.  I’m building my Avon business for the umptenth time, and started a new direct sales company, Jordan Essentials, and well I’m just ready to curl up in a corner and suck my thumb.  Not because it is so much, but because it is so much not working out and the future is a big dark unknown right now.

I confess…

I have allergies or a cold or come such combo of the two.  Residents and aides all seem to have come down with it in the past few days at work so it’s either a bunch of us have serious allergies or we’re all fighting a cold virus.  Oh the joy of working in the open air with lots and lots of people.  You can bet I’ll not miss my flu shot this year.  Stocking up on various essential oils so that during flu season I can boost my immune system and keep the airways clear.

I confess…

I lost yet another pound, 21 down. Loving that little side effect of this job.  It is hard to not shed the pounds when working where I am averaging 17,000-20,000 steps a day.  I still need to utilize the gym the other 3 days a week but lately I am in that “hide in my corner” mode so really not all that enthused with the idea of going anywhere.

I confess…

Despite all the ‘negative’ circumstances I am happy.  Terribly confusing I know.  But I find the silver lining in just about any situation and as soon as I look at the blessings in my life I’m smiling.  The window is open and a cool breeze is blowing across my face while I write this, the coffee is hot, the mailman just came and he scanned a package so someone got goodies in the mail, I can hear cicadas and birds thanks to the open window, my new grandson is chubbing up nicely as he is a good little eater and cute as they come, it is still summer even if not for long, I’m surrounded by strong women who love me and cheer me on when the going gets tough, I’m losing weight and getting fit, we still laugh every day in this crazy household…it’s weird but I’m really very happy.  Maybe now is a good time to go curl up with God and His Word?  :)

Y’all enjoy your Friday!

Just Me, My Cat, And My Coffee

Close up of cup of coffee with pink roseIt is 10:30am on Tuesday.  Last night when I walked out of the facility at 6:30pm, I ended a 5 day stretch of back to back 12.5 hour shifts.  I felt energetic, accomplished, and really felt as if I had made a small difference in the lives of my residents. This morning, I’m beat. My back took a bit to relax as I stretched those sore muscles, my hands hurt, my feet hurt.  And I’d not trade a single moment for being painless today.

The house is quiet, only me and my cat are hanging out in my room.  Next to me on the desk is my second cup of coffee in my favorite cup, “Crazy Cat Lady, One Cat Just Leads To Another”.  I’m kinda OCD about my coffee cups, there are 3 that I will drink coffee from, any others in the vast collection we have in the Diva Den and the coffee doesn’t taste right.  I know, that is insane but it is just how I am.  I also cannot eat Chipotle unless it is with a plastic fork, no metal fork or I just cannot put it in my mouth.  I’m weird, I know.

Baby sister is in bed sleeping, she pulled the night shift at her facility last night.  Difference is she is an RN with a BSN in nursing, and a master’s in finance, and also the D.O.N. (Director Of Nursing) at her facility.  They were short a night nurse so she pulled the shift.  Her first of several this week.  Her employees are always in awe of her, as she will put on scrubs and work next to her aides changing diapers, feeding residents, spotting when a lift is in use, even sitting on the floor cleaning wheel chairs!  She’ll pass meds, comfort weeping residents, sit with the confused soul who refuses to stay in their chair and is a fall risk so the nurses and aides can do their job.  All this and more, while her own work waits for her to get back to it.  They love working for her because she doesn’t see any task as  beneath her title and salary.  She knows her aides are the backbone of that facility, the muscle behind the nurses getting to do their job, and ultimately the reason her facility is top notch.  I wish she was over our facility.

I know that we both get our work ethic from mom.  She too will do anything to make a resident more comfortable.  It speaks volumes to me that while she works for hospice and isn’t employed at my facility the majority of her patients reside here and everyone is tearful at the news of her retirement and return of her cancer that will take her from us entirely too soon. SO many have come up to tell me how much they will miss her, that she is not replaceable, is one of a kind, and to offer support and prayers for my family as we face this part of her journey.  She kicks butt at her job, and her compassion and heart for these old people, dying or not, cannot be measured.

When I finally did decide to get into this field I pulled from that drive she instilled in me and my siblings.  It has taken me a while to adjust to this job to get done just the absolutely necessary tasks, but it has been worth it.  NO one hits the unit floor for the first time able to leap tall blow out bowel movements in a single bound, shave the men, get folks up and dressed who cannot move, clean the finger nails of all your assigned folks, change diapers every 2 hours, feed 3 meals, shower each twice a week and so on.  Even seasoned aides have trouble just doing the basics, time and Murphy’s Law work against us every shift.  But we sure try.  We complain, roll our eyes, mutter to each other and ourselves, and yet we come back the next shift and do it all over again because something inside most of us would rather do this for far less money than some of the jobs we’ve left behind or could be doing for far better pay.

Yesterday I was brushing someone’s dentures, fresh from their mouth (this one sleeps with the teeth in), all slimy with spital and food bits, and realizing that the majority of the stuff I clean off of my glasses multiple times in a day is just that, second hand spital and things I do not want to even think about.  And yet it doesn’t gross me out.  It is part of the hazard of the job of doing for someone else the very basic daily life activities that they can no longer do for themselves.  Our pay sucks, but the glowing smiles of thanks make it worth it.  Throughout the day we manage to laugh through it all (that or we’d run for the time clock and tell the place to kiss our dimpled rears) at the antics and insanity of it all.  And some days we cry, because there is no way if you have an ounce of compassion for these people that your heart isn’t totally and completely attached to them, and we see them slipping ever so slightly away each day and eventually one day they are gone.  I’ve lost 2 so far and I know the turnover will be continuous.  One I care for has my heart wrapped so tightly around her sweet self that when she goes I’m going to be a puddle of tears for days.

I’m thankful as I sit here, with my cat and my coffee, realizing just how blessed I am to have woken up in my own bed, in my own room, in this house I share with my mom, sister and niece.  Grateful that I can go shower myself, use the bathroom without assistance, and feed myself without someone else’s hand to guide mine or put the food in my mouth for me.  No call lights going off, no one yelling things unaware from their confused minds, no chaos of 5 aides getting 48 people dressed, changed and to a meal….just peace and quiet, coffee and occasional purrs.  And looking forward to my next shift.