Big Stuf Prime Session 1

The first four hours of the bus ride were awful to the point I was thinking that maybe I was too old to be on the bus. The driver we had drives like I do. She was swerving back and forth and jamming on the brakes and running off the side of the road over the tracks that make the noise. Trying to sleep was a nightmare and whichever side I was laying on my hip would go numb. I seriously considered giving up on the seat and laying on the floor but by this time my spot had been overtaken by a teenager so I struggled on. Dan (my favorite kid, who really isn’t a kid anymore) was my bus leader again this year. He is hilarious and always has me cracking up. He makes the time go by a lot faster. He also didn’t make us play the get to know your bus neighbor game which always gives me horrible anxiety. The outside seats rotate around the bus and you have to talk to each other. I seriously am shy when it comes to talking to new people so this is a way out of my comfort zone experience. However had it not been for this game I would not have met my two favorite Dan’s. My very first year I met Dan P who told me I didn’t look over 22. What a charmer! I still keep up with him through Facebook. I met Dan the bus leader four years ago when I put my favorite restaurant was Steak n shake, and his was subway. He said something like we skinny people need to stick together. I said time out I am not naturally skinny. That was at the prime of my running when I was super thin. Anyway calling me 22 and skinny makes me love you forever! So Dan persuaded us all to watch Star Wars 7 since he had never seen it. The movie played with sound until it started and then it went silent. So he restarted it and the same thing so he started it with subtitles. He then started reading us the words over the microphone and acting out the sounds. It was awesome and hilarious. He is such a good kid. The sound finally started working and I can say I watched the entire thing waiting for them to find Luke. Can I just say all those people look so old and yet I am still in sixth grade when the original movie came out. It’s funny how everyone ages and gets older except for me.

This year the theme for Big Stuf is Prime and I forgot my ink pen to take notes so I had to take pictures of what was written on the screen so I could write this note. On a side note, I forgot all kinds of stuff this trip. I forgot my headphones, a sports bra, I lost my phone on the bus and I also lost my charger. I almost lost my fitbit charger as well. Next year I am going to rethink what bags I bring so that I am not dropping stuff and losing it. Stuart Hall spoke for the first session and he was awesome as always. The kids can relate to him and tune in nicely. I am sure a few weren’t listening but I would bet at least eight percent of the room was tuned in. The bible verse tonight was actually Herc’s life verse John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. He focused on the last part that Jesus wants us to live our life to the full. He put this really cool diagram up about strength and weakness and how people think strength is what you need and those people are usually so obnoxious no one likes them. But he talked about people who withdraw and that was me a good part of my life. I really wish I would have had a pen to take notes because it made perfect sense then and now I cannot even think of a way to explain it. Here are some key talking points.

God had a purpose for your life before anyone else had an opinion. I wonder if his purpose matched how I turned out. I mean was his purpose for me to be a nurse and on the women’s health floor. Most days I feel that is right where I am supposed to be.

Your best life is found only by placing it in the best hands. That would be Jesus’s hands and not the worlds. That’s easy to spout off but not always so easy to try to live out. The world offers fun and excitement that usually turns into a nightmare. Jesus offers a harder way but a life with fewer regrets.

Lastly, ten years from now make sure you can say that you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it. I really feel I chose most of my life. I chose to go to nursing school, I chose to get married, I chose to have kids, I chose to work at Mercy, I chose to take the kids to Kid Stuf and become involved with Oak Bridge, I chose to be the camp nurse. I could probably go on and on. Maybe I need to think of some stuff that happened that I didn’t choose. I am sure I blocked all of that but I bet my mom can come up with a ton of stuff!

Session one has come to a close and I am totally excited for tomorrow to see what it brings.


Mole Moral ~ I am saying this for the hundredth time, it’s the best week of the year and I wish every single teenager in America coud experience this camp just one time in their life!


The down side of pets

I’m an animal lover and especially of dogs. When I was little I had no intention of getting married or having children but was going to own a dog farm instead. Somewhere back in 1985 I met my future husband and the dog farm went out the window. Growing up we had two dogs. The first was fluffy a black and white beagle who was a great dog. My mom didn’t feel it was fair to leave her tied up to the dog house and needed a place to run. She told us she had found a man with a farm to take her. I would find out many years later she gave her to animal control. I am pretty sure everyone knows how that turned out. Our next dog I found in the paper. He was a terrier mix and we named him Frisky. He was a great dog too and one day he was walking with my friend Diane and I to the little store when someone shot off fireworks. Those made him crazy and he shot out across the street and got hit by a car right in front of me. The girl who hit him was actually a neighbor so she took me home to get my mom. By the time we got back he was gone. My mom dug a hole in the backyard with the help of Diane’s mom and buried him later that evening. About six months later she read the book Pet Cemetery and had a heck of a time sleeping knowing he was under her window.

Brian and I were married less than a year when a friend of his at work had a litter of beagles so in April of 1991 we brought Annie home. The stories I could tell of that crazy dog are endless. She ate everything that wasn’t nailed to the floor and lived another day. Some of the most unusual were an entire bar of soap (Irish Spring I do believe), a tub of margarine, 200 Ande’s mints, the top to mine and Brian’s wedding cake (it was chocolate too). She was so good with the kids and one day I locked myself out of the house with Allyson in it by herself. She was maybe 18 months at the time. I had to borrow Beverly’s car to drive to the credit union to get my extra key from my sister. When I got back I found Annie and Allyson underneath her baby bed. Annie left us when she was 15 and I first told the kids she had a brain tumor but I am a horrible liar and they learned I had sent her to heaven. She was walking around pooping and not even knowing it. If you startled her she would attempt to bite you because she couldn’t hear well. She would wake up in the middle of the night howling thinking it was time to eat. It was the hardest thing I ever did, but it was time.

When Emily and Kayla were little we had two Guinea Pigs. They were Wilbur (from Charlotte’s web) and Clumsy. (Don’t let kids name pets). Wilbur was wild hair and brown and white. Clumsy was all white and I wanted Emily to call him Whitey but she would not cooperate. They were great pigs and lived for at least five years. Wilbur died first and then Whitey. For some reason I just wrapped them up in newspaper and put them in the trash. I am not sure what the heck I was thinking. We went through a hermit crab phase and when they passed we buried them where our tomato plants grew. Emily had a rabbit named George that hated everyone except for Allyson. She was the only one who could pick him up. After Emily went to college I would open the door and waited until he jumped out before I would make a mad dash for the bowl before he could come back in and try to bite me. When he passed away I put him in the deep freeze until Emily came home for the funeral. (He was triple wrapped and not near any of the food). It really sucks calling someone to tell them their pet died.

And I got to do that again today. Emily has two Guinea pigs. She got the hairy one first and then started reading about hairless ones. There is a breeder in Red Bud IL so she contacted her and we went and got him one day. That girl lived out in the middle of nowhere and her guinea pig room must have had two hundred pigs in their. Some were hairless and some carried the gene. I just can’t imagine cleaning all of those cages. Emily named them Squeaks and Squawks.


(She’s still a kid with the names). She’s been in Oklahoma this summer doing her first full-time PT clincial’s. They gave her a place to stay for free so she decided to leave the pigs with me. This evening I went down to feed them and found Squeaks gone. I was more upset about having to tell Emily than having to wrap up Squeaks. So I brought Squawks upstairs and held him for a while. Squeaks was laying out in the cage and Squawks had barricaded himself in his hut and put the food dish in the entry way of the hut. I have no idea what that was all about. After that I went running and I hadn’t even hit two miles before Emily started texting me links to Guinea Pigs for sale. I told her Squawks needed time to grieve and she can find him a friend when she is back in Missouri.


Mole moral ~ My friend Meg Barry says Squawks looks like a ballsack so I am happy to say Ballsack lives!


Goodbye Red, Hello Silver

Do not panic, I am not changing my hair color. Although my natural color is probably pretty much silver (aka grey). Anyway I had to say goodbye to my red Saturn VUE. I purchased it eleven years ago next month, hoping to drive it for seven years and then I hoped to make it until Kayla graduated from high school.(Kayla is starting her third year of college this fall.) Then I could take her dance tuition and apply it to a car payment. Well the car lasted two years longer than I had ever dreamed of so I was very happy.

I took the car to get inspected last week and they informed me it would be at least seven hundred dollars to get it to pass inspection. I was surprised but I really wasn’t. I was at 184,000 miles and it was running really loudly. Well my husband told the gal I am trading it in and not fixing it. She tried to tell him we needed to fix it to get a good trade in. I looked it up on Kelly Blue Book and saying my car was in fair condition was a stretch which put it at about five hundred dollars. So there was no way that was happening. I really didn’t want to do the haggle thing so I found true value and signed up that way. That put me at the Lou Fuse Mazda dealership about fifteen minutes from work. So they called me while I was at work to set up an appointment. I told them I could come after work and they asked me twice if I was really going to come. I finally said I will be there unless my patient codes and dies at the end of my shift and I will call to reschedule. That totally put the girl on the phone off her rocker. She got so off kilter she could barely reply. Only I would say something like that.

When I walked into the place and told them I had an appointment they said “you really did show up”. I looked them right in the eye and said I told you I would be here unless my patient coded and died and I’m here so they all survived. A great ice-breaker only a nurse would use. The guy I had the appointment with was busy with someone else so I ended up having another guy help me and then he came and helped too. First thing they said was how about an automatic. I said “absolutely not, not going to happen. I picked the Mazda CX-5 because it comes in a stick. This keeps my teenagers from driving my car.” I also informed them I was a cheap skate and not paying for a bunch of unnecessary luxuries. They were dying. So they looked around and found a silver car at another dealer about two hours away so they were going to have to go get it. In the meantime they ran my credit and I didn’t even have to use Brian to get approved. They test drove the red car and wanted to give me a hundred dollars for it but ended up giving me four hundred and if I’m real honest that was probably very generous. So we agreed I would come back Wednesday after work to pick up my new car. It would be the next day before I remembered I had a meeting after work, so Wednesday would be out.

As it turned out with the storms on Wednesday, it was not a good day for the dealership so I said great I have a meeting with my financial advisor early Thursday morning and then I will swing by after that. So today I show up at the office and Marcus is like “um our appointment is next Thursday.” I was like oh crap you are right. So I told him I was purchasing a new car and we would have much to talk about next week. I had some time to kill so I decided to go see what a Pokemon stop was all about. That was kind of lame so I went to the dealership. Right before I was to turn in, I smoked a bird and when I looked in the rearview mirror it was flopping around on the ground. I asked God to kill it right then, so it wouldn’t have to suffer. Now I was the one was off kilter. My salesman said at least I hit it with the old car and not the new. He then shared with me that the guy that test drove it, said there was no way I would make it back. The thing would fall apart. So I think I traded it in just in the nick of time.

After two hours of chatting and paperwork the car was finally mine. I wasn’t really excited until I drove off. And all the guys were right, the clutch was sweet. I quickly realized how crappy my car really was. My new ride is smooth and sweet.


Mole Moral ~ After not having car payments for seven years, I am currently looking for a sugar daddy. Please contact me if you are interested. BAHAHAHAHA


My preceptor

I have no idea how anything works except for nursing and when you graduate and become a new nurse you are assigned to an experienced nurse to show you how things are done. Everyone has a first preceptor and I have remembered mine over the years. Her name was Lisa and I always wondered what happened to her.

It was the year 1988 and I graduated from Deaconess College of Nursing in May. I had been working on 4 north as a student nurse assistant for over a year. That was the isolation floor so I was well versed in wound care, infection and isolation. HIV and AIDS was brand new back then and people were convinced you could transmit it from kissing. I took care of my first AIDS patient on that floor, he was down the isolation hall. I remember after he passed away his call light came on after he was gone from the room and we all swore it was his way of saying goodbye. So my first nursing job was on 5 north. This floor was mainly ENT, GU and all the inpatient dialysis patients. It was a tough medical surgical floor but I was a new graduate nurse and free from isolation so I was excited about the change. My preceptor was Lisa and she lived closed to me. She was awesome. Our first day together could have left me running screaming from the building. We had a laryngectomy patient who coughed out his trach tube just as we walked in his room. I know my eyes bugged out of my head but Lisa just went over picked it up, rinsed it off, grabbed the obdurator off of the wall, put it in and stuck the thing back in the guys neck as if it happened all the time. She was great to work with. Actually I have fond memories of everyone I worked with during those two years. However after two years I found myself ready for a change. The dialysis patients tended to be admitted over and over again and they became like family members to me and then they started passing away. I couldn’t take it and decided to move on to the burn unit at Mercy. So I left Lisa and everyone behind and never saw them again. This was long before the internet, email, texting and Facebook. The only way we had to keep in touch was to call someone on the telephone or write a letter and send it through the mail (oh the horrors)!

I’ve looked for Lisa a couple of times on Facebook and today I finally found her. I heard back from her today and I was very excited. I had been thinking about her a lot recently because we have so many new girls on our floor and so many straight out of nursing school. I have found their newness  refreshing. However I have never been a preceptor. There are a few reasons for this. The hours that I work make it impossible. I have the eleven in the morning shift and sometimes come in as early as eight or not at all. New nurses have to have guaranteed work hours. I also take all new surgeries which is not what anyone in their right mind would sign up to do. I however love it. I also don’t teach well. I have been told by three different people that I don’t think like a normal person which makes it harder for me to teach anyone anything. It totally explained why I understood logic but couldn’t really help anyone with it.  I do tell all the new people they can ask me anything and I will answer and help them. It’s just best not to leave me to educate on my own because I have a crazy way of doing things.


Mole Moral ~ Techonology is awesome because I found Lisa who was so instrumental in my becoming the nurse that I am today!


My day with Rob Bell

It has taken me a while to write this blog because Rob Bell is so controversial. This will not be about his controversy or a debate about him. If you have no idea what I am speaking about google him and you will be enlightened within seconds.

I was first introduced to Rob Bell (he is one of the people who I always refer to with both names, just like my best friend Meg Barry) back in 2003. My church showed his first Nooma video, Rain during service. It was ten minutes long and so interesting and good that I probably fell in love with him right then and there. He would eventually release another 23 Nooma’s for the series. I would be in two different small groups that did a study on some of the films. His first Everything is Spiritual tour was in 2006 and I went to it. I will never forget it was at Mississippi Nights on the landing. He had this gigantic white board that he talked and wrote all over. I looked around and the workers were totally enthralled in what he was saying and listened to every word. Afterwards my friend Dianne and I went up  and asked him to sign our copies of his first book, Velvet Elvis. He looked at my book and said this is one of those illegal copies I heard about, but have never seen. I could have died right there and crawled into the floor if it were possible. I had gotten the book from a Crossings, a Christian website so after that all of his books have come from Amazon. Only I would have an illegal copy and then ask Rob Bell to sign it.

Once podcasts became available I started downloading his sermons and burning to CD’s to listen in my car. If he wasn’t speaking that week, I listened anyway. It’s how I heard about Ed Dobson. I do believe he was a retired preacher that guest spoke. He also had been battling ALS for eight years at the time. He was still doing well and had a lot of mobility. He spoke about it one week and I remember burning a copy and sending it to my friends husband who has since passed from ALS. I just looked Ed up and discovered he passed away 12/26/2015 and lived with ALS for 15 years. This makes me sad as I never did meet him but I remember the year he attempted to live as Jesus did. It’s crazy to think of burning CD’s to listen to as now I can just load them in my phone and listen to them via my radio. Technology has really gone crazy in the last twenty years.

Rob swears he came to St. Louis last year but if he did I missed it. All of the other times he has been out on speaking tours they have been too far away. This year however, I discovered he was going to be in Tulsa Oklahoma at the same time Emily was going to be in Norman Oklahoma for Physical Therapy clinical’s. So I googled how close they were and informed her I would come visit her while she was there because I would miss her. She said nice try, you just want to see Rob Bell. Busted! The night before the event I made the mistake of googling him because it had been a while. The controversy surrounding him was now off the charts. It seems as if  Love Wins was just the beginning. I hadn’t really followed him much after he left Mars Hills, after all he wasn’t preaching so I had no CD’s to make. Anyway I started questioning if I should even go the next day. I mean I might get sucked in and come out a horrible person or something. However I paid a hundred dollars for this eight-hour event so I was going simply because of that. I did the math wrong in my head and left too late from Emily’s to make it on time. It was an hour and forty-five minute from her place to the event. I showed up ten minutes late but he had just started. I of course had to run to the bathroom because I had drunk 24 ounces of coffee on the way over. His venue was Cains and looked like it would be the perfect place for country line dancing. It very much reminded me of Mississippi Nights ten years ago in Saint Louis only this time the chairs were in a square with him in the middle. It was how Mars Hill was set up. (I visited his church back in 2009 on the way home from Niagara Falls.) I quickly realized I was glad I had come.

The day was about his book How to be Here and he said a lot of people leave and quit their jobs. That at some point every one will have their ah ha moment and he then said you’re welcome. Well I couldn’t imagine quitting my job because I love it. I have also tried to leave at least three times and I got a big fat NO from God. No he didn’t speak to me but other things happened that were directly related and I knew I needed to stay right where I was. So in October I will be on Women’s Health for sixteen years. I am not sure where the time went. The day came and went and I never had that moment until the next day when I was driving home trying to take in everything I heard the day before. Hello, my moment was ten minutes in when I knew I made the right decision to show up. Rob Bell was still the Rob Bell I remembered from the videos and the sermons. And yes he has said some crazy off the wall stuff but don’t you think people said the same thing about Jesus back in his day. No I am not saying Rob Bell is Jesus (look I am crazy but not that crazy) and I am not saying if he is right or wrong, I am just simply pointing out that some of the same stuff said about Rob, may have been said about Jesus. There is one thing he said that really made me think and still has me freaked out. He said to the people who believe in Left Behind, he does not. He feels that Jesus already came back when the temple was destroyed in 70 AD. that he was supposed to return in the disciples lifetime and that would be his way of doing it. I was like wait a minute, you mean I have no hope of Jesus returning now and saving me from this crap known as the mess of the world we created. That sucks. But I have also had an issue with Left Behind theory anyway. Why would the people who rejected him who are still living get a second chance to accept him when everyone else who died were already sent to hell. Talk about unfair. However it just shows how little anyone really knows about what is to come. Maybe he’s right, maybe he’s wrong. Maybe he is a whack a doodle sent by the devil, maybe he’s a great speaker sent by God.

One last thing and then I’m going to stop typing. He spoke a little bit about what happened after Love Wins came out. It was weird while he was talking I could feel his pain. I feel this is most likely because I never realized what it might have been like for him when the Christian community (many who were close friends) just cut him off and acted like he no longer existed. He said churches would contact him stating they had written seven page papers about why his book was wrong. There were actually people picketing him and I got the feeling (just my feeling) that he was pretty much run out of the town we grew up in. And no matter who you are, how close you are to God that has to hurt! My own church never mentioned his name again after the book came out. I spoke to him after the talk and had my picture taken with him. I told him I did not bring a book because of what happened the last time. He cracked up laughing. We discussed his leaving the church and he says it seems like so long ago and he’s glad to be gone. I bet he is because the longer you are in a church the more and more things you tend to find wrong. Everyone criticizes everyone and it just gets stupid. I am sure he is more happy just going around meeting people and talking in this environment. How did Jesus interact with people? In a building with rules and religion? Nope out in the crowds. Again Rob Bell is not Jesus it’s just interesting the parallel. I swear if anyone publishes something saying I called Rob Bell the next Jesus I will lose my mind. Oh wait I lost it years ago.


Mole Moral ~ I’m glad I listened to my gut and went. Rob Bell no longer calls himself a pastor as he does not have a “church” with a set group of members. It was thought provoking eight hours.