Friday, July 29, 2011


My hallucinating patient has spent most of the morning talking to her (imaginary) dog. After rolling her bedside table over to her so she could eat lunch, she got a hold of her stuffed animal (which is a dog) and has proceeded to pet, talk to, and generally "care" for it throughout the afternoon. Apparently it ate a whole hot dog for lunch. Surprising, considering it's small stature.

As I was watching her with curiosity and listening to her side of the conversation (apparently I am not privy to the world of talking toys), she suddenly looked at me and explained that these dogs are called "Honeybears."

Her explanation:"Honeybears look fake but there is actually a real animal inside. Most people would never know."

Sure fooled me.

I never cease to amazed by delirious patients. The mind is such a curious thing. I am not sure I will ever understand how it can cause us to see/think/believe certain things when it's not functioning properly.

Now if you'll excuse me, Honeybear* wants to go for a walk....

*After several hours, I am still not certain whether Honeybear is a "breed" or this dog's specific name. Or both. I think it's both.**


***I am not convinced this hashtag would ever gain even mild popularity on Twitter, but should I ever create an account (and I doubt I ever will), I am willing to give it a shot.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday: April

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here.)

The April list is a little shorter due to a gatitude-list hiatus that began mid-April and lasted until the end of May. I'll pick up in June next week!

786) The healing power of tears - crying with my mom on the one year anniversary of Grandma's death.
787) Talking to Grandpa. I. Love. That. Man.
788) Communicating well with doctors and NPs.
789) Discovering issues with my patients based on my assessments and being right.
790) Having a patient call me into his room just to tell me how much he enjoyed having me as his nurse.
791) Friends gathering for breakfast - I know some amazing people.
792) Feeling like I am truly laughing.
794) Good chat with Linds - being encouraged and well-loved by my friends.
796) Lazy mornings.
797) Snuggling with Howie.
798) The "at home" feel of the Oostras' home.
799) My small group.
800) Entertaining story-telling by This American Life. I love a good story.
801) My Bible study girls.
802) Emily B's outrageously excited reaction when I told her I might be getting a dog.
803) Loving spicy foods at HuHot.
804) The freedom to be honest.
805) Getting excited about learning about poodles.
806) The sun rising in between the buildings in the development. Beautiful.
807) Enjoying talking to people while presenting at the Nurses' Poster Fair and realizing I actually have that skill despite my introversion.
808) Poetry month - I love posting poems on my blog and getting responses.
809) Getting really, really excited about the possibility of getting this little poodle.
810) Asking for name suggestions and realizing how funny my friends are.
811) Waking up JUST in time to get to my meeting!
812) Contributing at work.
813) Relaxing evenings at home with my roommie.
814) Making people laugh.
815) The sweet relief of laying your head on your pillow when you are so tired your eyes are burning.
816)The rising sun sparkling on the bottom of the pool at the DAHLC.
817) Days at work when I can read magazines.
818) The weight of a two year old in my lap.
819) Getting driven back to work by the shuttle driver on her break because I forgot my keys....
821) Jill!! (Birthday girl :-D)
822) Massages.
823) First Bingo game - I love daubing things!!
824) Giving people gifts. Love.
825) Naps.
826) Eight friends driving up to the cities to spend the day together visiting Ian.
827) Laying in a park with my head on Chinwe's back, bouncing as she laughs.
828) Storyhill, live, in concert. Ahhhhh......
829) The comfort and familiarity of Ira Glass' voice. :-)
830) Long bedtime hugs.
832) Talking to my grandpa and hearing how strong his voice sounds.
833) A gentle, understanding hug from Chinwe while feeling withdrawn from a crowd.
834) Taking time to read.
835) Warm enough days for sitting outside.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Newest discovery: Z-Type

By far the most addicting game I have ever played online.

Stats from my first attempt:
Score: 010509
Accuracy: 95.2%
Cleared: Level 54 (died in level 55)

And if you mute the sound at work, it will sound like you're working really hard!!

How'd you do???

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thankful Thursday: March

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here.)

651) Slow mornings - time to workout, linger over breakfast and spend time in the Word.
652) Napping in the sun.
655) Impressionist comedians. So entertaining! :-)
656) Watching the whales play while I run on the treadmill. Amazing.
657) Beautiful beach day at St. John's.
659) Sitting in the game room with all 16 members of our group engaged in 4 different Rook games. :-)
660) Watching our captain parallel park the ship. Unbelievable.
661) The beauty of pearls.
662) Mudslides.
663) Discovering dirty martinis. It's like drinking an olive. Genius.
664) Finding new jewelry that I love.
665) The sound and darkness of the ocean as observed from our balcony at night.
670) AMAZING ice show. I love watching people perform, especially when they excel at what they do.
672) Getting updates from my dad on how far along he is in the book I recommended to him. :-)
673) Making some good plays in Rook and realizing I am still getting better.
674) A beautiful week of cruising.
676) A gentle kiss on my forearm from my dad as I stretched my arms over his seat on the bus.
677) Having Terry tell me he can't figure out why I can't find a guy who would appreciate me. So sweet.
678) Kyle filling my tires with air and loading my car while I sit in the kitchen and chat with his wife. What a servant.
679) Convos with Jules. What a blessing to know and be known.
680) Coming home to Chinwe - long convos on the couch - laughs over Modern Family - it's good having her as a roommate.
681) The feeling of getting back in the pool after a week away.
682) Time to spend in the Word.
683) The Bible study girls.
684) Gemstones.
685) Good hair days. :-)
686) Affirming words spoken by dear friends - knowing I am loved and accepted.
687) My dear roommate praying Scripture over me.
688) Serving a God who delights in me and the comfort/rest I find in that.
689) Talking to Grandpa on his 92nd birthday, having him read me a list of people who called him and hearing him choke up at the end while telling me he loves me.
690) Bedtime hugs.
691) Having a lovely group of women excited about going to quilt retreat together.
692) Having Alice McMurray and Lisa Abeler both comment separately on how great my friends are.
693) Having my Rochester, cities and LP lives cross, even if just in pieces and bits.
694) Watching Julie and Melissa learn and get excited about quilting.
695) Listening to Sally sing.
697) Being back at the Brennas for a game night - momentarily feeling like they are back in Roch.
698) My sweet Grandpa being excited to walk & swim with me in AZ and hearing him cry when he tells me he loves me.
699) Knowing that even when I feel like I am not loved the way I want to be loved, I am still outrageously blessed in friendships.
700) Even more so, knowing that should all friendships, all family, all earthly love be stripped from me, Christ is still sufficient.
701) Grandpa choking up when he greeted me at the airport.
702) Crying in Denny's as I remembered how sweet it is to hear my grandpa pray.
703) Sweet friends like Kristy - so easy to travel with , so fun to talk to, so pleasant to be around.
704) Seeing Kristy ask Grandpa questions and pursue him in conversation. So sweet.
705) Naps by the pool.
706) Freshly-picked grapefruit, freshly-squeezed orange juice and homemade lemonade.
707) Getting the full-works pedicure courtesy of Faith's generosity.
708) Julie & Kristy going for a walk together while I showered - I love seeing my friends get to know each other.
709) Listening to Kristy & Julie ask my grandpa questions about his life and family. I am friends with some of the dearest women.
710) Grandma Haaland patting my leg and calling me "honey."
712) Enjoying my first meal of corned beef & cabbage.
713) The cool of the evening after a hot day.
714) Good convos with Julie - being able to lay my thoughts bare without fear of rejection and receiving wise & encouraging thoughts in return.
715) Watching a movie (Get Low) and being reminded of the sweetness of not having to work for my redemption.
716) Getting nice pictures with my grandpa.
717) Playing hymns on the piano for Grandpa and Grandma Haaland while they sang along.
718) Listening to Grandma Haaland pray.
719) The gentle shake in Grandma Haaland's voice that is so familiar and dear to me.
720) Skirts.
721) Watching everyone at the yacht races in the pool in Yuma. So fun/funny. :-)
722) Going to a movie in the movie theater. I love the environment.
723) Playing cards with Grandpa.
724) Listening to Grandpa tell jokes.
725) Overhearing my grandpa tell Kristy that when he thinks about me not being married he just thinks about all the men who are missing out on such a good thing. :-) I adore him.
726) Crying with Grandpa as we said goodbye.
727) Faith tearing up as she told us how neat it was to hear us girls laughing last night.
728) Learning all kinds of things about Faith's life on our drive to Phoenix.
729) Good convos with Kristy as we traveled together.
730) Dad getting Mom to the hospital in time to get her heart looked at - knowing she's safe being monitored in the ICU - friends in Roch (Jill) who insist I call no matter what time my plane lands. My mom is doing well and I feel well cared for. I am blessed, indeed.
731) Reminders that in His grace, God takes our holy intentions and makes them fact.
732) The way God speaks through music - being brought to tears by a song.
733) The feeling of tired legs after a hard workout.
734) Massages.
735) Hearty laughs at Bible study.
736) Calming anxious patients.
737) Mom going home from the hospital.
739) Follow-up texts from friends who are praying for my mom.
741) The feeling of a runner's high.
743) Interesting egg crate designs. :-)
744) Poetry.
745) Planning birthday presents! :-)
746) Lavender.
747) Baths.
748) My God never lets go.
749) Swimming 40 laps and deciding I am no longer a "poser." :-)
750) Grace sufficient for the day.
751) The squishyness of new running shoes.
752) The way Kyle treats me like a lady.
753) Howie following me around everywhere. So sweet. :-)
754) Howie curled up on my lap - I love the weight of a dog in my lap!
755) Being Markie's Bezzerwhizzer teammate. So much fun.
756) The joy I find in making dinner for people.
757) The way Howie jumps into your hand when he wants to sit on your lap. SO cute.
758) Sweet little doggie whimpers.
759) Watching the boys (Kyle, Mark & Bjorn) pull their sweatpants up to their nipple line, stick their arms down their pants and start bumping into each other. So. Stinkin. Funny.
760) Game weekend - being blessed with family and like-family who enjoy hanging out with each other.
761) Howie. I. love. that. dog. He makes me smile. :-)
762) Flowers from Jill waiting for me when I got home.
763) My mom's willingness to faithfully act as my on-call cookbook.
770) Rum cake. Specifically Jill's rum cake. :-)
771) Playing facebook Scrabble with my mom.
772) Hannah calling me just to tell me they are opening a palindrome restaurant in the cities. :-)
773) My God is a promise-fulfiller.
776) Getting help.
778) The weight of a big dog in my lap.
779) Long, strong hugs and the freedom to cry.
780) Having an obnoxious number of people to list under the category of "supportive relationships." I am so loved.
781) The feeling I get when I know I have established good rapport with a patient.
783) Being able to calm a patient's anxieties.
784) Winning over "difficult" patients. Love.
785) Having all three of my patients ask if I would be back tomorrow and then express disappointment when I explain I am a float.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thankful Thursday: February

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here.)

511) Well-written books that are difficult/disturbing to read but good for my soul as they open my eyes to important issues and bring me to tears for the gratitude of the life I have (or, in some cases, do not have, thankfully). (Tom Davis' "Priceless").
512) Lazy mornings with ample time in the Word.
513) Meaningful conversations (and, even more so, friends with whom I am free to have meaningful conversations).
514) A father whose love I have never questioned.
515) Spiritual lessons learned over dinner - a stomach satiated too early due to my pre-dinner snacking and need for immediate gratification - realizing I do the same thing in my spiritual life - take the "lesser" thing now and lose out on the better things that I wouldn't wait for.
516) Bubble baths with relaxing music and a good glass of wine.
517) Five girls sitting around a jacuzzi in their swimsuits drinking wine and soaking weary feet. I love my friends.
518) The opportunity to visit Chichen Itza, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Breathtaking.
519) Feeling hot and sweaty in February.
520) Another beautiful day in Mexico.
521) AMAZING red-wine-braised short rib with mushrooms at Tramondo restaurant.
522) AMAZING Norton Malbec wine from Argentina.
523) AMAZING creme brulee.
524) An extravagant God who would choose to bless us even in the details of delighting in the food we eat. So unnecessary. So amazing.
525) Snuggling/laughing/chatting on the bed with Rach and Linds. I love those girls. I am blessed to have them in my life, no matter the distance.
526) Christian fellowship - dear women who spend time in prayer together.
527) Good talks and long cries with Linds. Seems out pattern is one good sobfest every time we're together. :-) Feels good to have someone I can be so honest with.
529) Knowing I have been chosen (by the KING, no less.....amazing!!!).
530) My parents' generosity in letting us come stay in this place - the accommodations are amazing!
531) The relaxing scent of eucalyptus and mint essential oils. Again, such unnecessary detail for such a big God - I am stunned at the delight we find in our senses.
532) Massages.
533) Another beautiful day in Mexico despite the forecasted rain.
534) Long goodbye embrace from the treasured Lindsay Lou.
535) Cards, laughter, creme brulee, Malbec wine, hugs, stories....a lovely end to a lovely week in Mexico!
536) Laughing over This American Life with Chinwe on the plane. What a delightful show.
537) One. Last. Mudslide.
538) Safe travels.
539) Jimmy Johns.
540) Still sad to have left an AMAZING week in Mexico, but it's always nice to get home to a familiar bed.
541) Having my back hold up for my first post-injury workout.
544) My Bible study girls - what a delight to see them again.
545) Praying God would give me words to say and then feeling like he is speaking through me.
546) Freedom to approach the throne in confidence.
547) Extra time in the morning that allowed me a moment to play the piano and sing a few hymns before work.
548) Surrendering my day to the Lord and meaning it.
550) My amazingly generous and hospitable parents.
551) The joy and challenge of writing poetry.
552) Sweet time in prayer.
553) Knowing the system well enough to write an ENR on a patient I've never met.
554) Working on the Hem/Onc/BMT floors and realizing how healthy and blessed I am.
555) Blessing others (like Faith) with a birthday accordion serenade. :-)
556) Long swims where I feel myself getting faster and stronger.
557) Exodus 33-35 - realizing that the very times when I want to hide from God's presence are the times when I need to most earnestly plead for him to be in my midst.
558) Enjoying my poetry. Writing something and realizing I said something exactly how I wanted to say it.
559) Louie Giglio video at SNL - being reminded of how abundantly blessed I am in Christ.
560) Meeting new friends like Jamie. I think I'm gonna like her. :-)
561) Dropping off my poetry at Crossings and feeling that mild anxiety of really wanting something.
562) Visiting Crowsers at the hospital - thrilled that Caleb is doing well and proud of myself for mustering up the energy for a non-awkward visit.
563) My first attempt at BBQ ribs - SUCCESS! So, so yummy.
564) A house full of well-fed company and laughter.
565) Meeting new, interesting people (Misha) - hearing and telling stories.
566) Rocking a 90-minute cycle class. Bring it, Saturday morning!
567) The sound of my mother's laughter.
569) Friendships that can be maintained despite half a world of distance.
570) Coffee shops.
571) Time to write cards. I love writing cards.
572) Surprise friends to go to church with (Ian came and Jill was working at Gillette, so she stopped over).
573) Small group fellowship - the bond we have in Christ even when friendships are new.
574) The soft heart I feel when sitting at BBC - being assured of the truth of this gospel and wanting to more and more of Christ.
575) That Christ died once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous... (1 Peter 3:18)
576) My family - four great reasons to celebrate on Valentine's Day.
577) Long chat with Julie after 2+ weeks of vacay and phone tag. I love listening to her process and I enjoy being in a place where I feel like I can offer godly feedback. I cherish her friendship.
578) Long, spontaneous, funny chats with Chinwe. It's a blessing to have someone to share the insignificant stories with.
579) Fully blooming orange roses (even if I did buy them for myself). Flowers make me happy. :-)
580) High-energy days. I like who I am (especially conversationally) when I have something to give.
581) Patients who approach new cancer diagnoses with humor and strong family support.
582) Running hard, sweating a lot and feeling sore.
583) Casual morning chats with Chinwe when she works from home.
584) Spicy chili.
585) Patterns in the egg crate. :-)
586) Being able to use my dad's lymphoma course to encourage my patient in her cancer diagnosis.
587) Liking who I am when I am in my nurse role.
588) Limerick invitations from Julie. :-)
589) Long swims.
590) Things falling in place for making a chiropractor appointment tomorrow - hoping I can get rid of this pain!
591) Large, full moon rising just over the downtown building. Beautiful.
592) The crazy/amazing things we can do to our bodies - surviving my first chiropractor appointment. :-)
593) Knowing the ups and downs of my emotions are not ins and outs of Christ. My God is constant and faithful.
594) A praying roommate.
595) Loooooooooooooooooong bedtime hugs.
596) Eggs and toast in the morning. What a lovely breakfast routine.
597) Smiles from dying patients.
603) Time serving to get to know my small group.
604) The Oostras.
605) Kyle carrying my bags for me.
606) A wonderfully relaxing snow day with a fabulous roommate.
607) Being forced to rest (by the weather).
608) Fried plantains.
609) Long conversations with a lot of easy laughter.
610) Feeling delighted in a relationship. I am so blessed.
611) Eight hours as the resource nurse with one page.
612) Time to get organized for Chinwe's birthday scavenger hunt and the cruise.
613) The pure and utter joy I find in planning surprises for people.
614) Jimmy John's.
615) 6 days until the cruise!
616) Getting excited about the books I got for the cruise.
617) Watching how hard Chinwe laughed when she saw my accordion-playing-mexican-wrestling-pinata-Happy-Birthday video. :-)
618) Good talk with a friend about mood swings and negative thought patterns - realizing that I can empathize and give decent advice only because I have been there (and in some ways still am there) myself.
619) A lovely dinner celebrating Emily B's new job - an answered prayer and a mark of God's faithfulness in her life.
620) Laughter.
621) Finding my lost phone by my seat in the car - NOT run over and NOT lost forever.
622) Realizing how much a dying patient and a distraught family put the "agony" of a lost phone in perspective.
623) Hearing my mom laugh over how much she delights in the humor of us girls.
624) A scavenger hunt birthday video that turned out WAY creepier (and, therefore, way funnier) than planned.
625) One more day of work before the cruise!
627) Finishing plans for the scavenger hunt. SO EXCITED!
628) Working with the nicest doctor I have ever met.
631) Laughing hysterically over sagging candles in the birthday pancake and blowing out Chinwe's candles for her because they were dripping wax. Epic fail.
632) Secrets. :-)
633) A WONDERFUL scavenger hunt...seeing Chinwe love it....finishing at 7:57 when our dinner reservation was at 8. :-)
634) Realizing how much joy I derive from planning things for people (especially when it's a secret!) and trying to communicate to them that they are known and loved.
635) Chinwe. I love that girl. What a blessing she is to me! And what a joy to celebrate the marking of another year for her. #happybirthdayroomie
636) Prayer conference - feeling like I got my $10 worth after the intro. :-) So encouraging.
637) Naps.
638) A lovely goodbye from Chinwe - feeling missed.
639) Wine and chocolate cake with the Oostras - love that couple.
640) Cruising tomorrow!!!!
641) Kyle being willing to get up at the crack of dawn to take us to the airport. What a guy.
642) On-time planes and no-stress travels (for us, at least...)
643) Sam and Kara making it to the ship - answered prayers for a tailwind - landed 20 minutes early and got to the boat with 5 minutes to spare.
644) My mom's excited exclamation when she saw us at the airport. Oh, how she loves us!
645) Laughing with my sisters.
646) Hammocks.
647) Malbec.
648) Jane singing songs on stage for Battle of the Sexes.
649) Walking up to any counter and getting any food item and not having to pay for it.
650) Sitting on our balcony reading the Word while being gently rocked by the ocean.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Well, apparently blogging once between each Thursday is a little too difficult for me. I'm just not used to blogging that often. Uffda. But I'll keep trying.

In an effort to blog something in between I've decided to just tell you what is on my mind at this very moment: I'm sitting on my couch beside the precious Lindsay Lou - she's actually here physically beside me. Here with her strong hugs and delightful laughter and sweet joy and articulate thoughts and painted toe nails.

And I couldn't be happier.