If we could have gone through the whole state on the back roads what fun that would have been. We have made it back to Charlottesville and I have had a small nap, so ready or not back to work it is.
Monthly Archives: November 2015
Pajama Day, More Games, and Goodbyes
The day after Thanksgivng is such an amazing time out. It does seem kind of strange to have a holiday that is on Thursday every year, why not Friday? My theory is that the brains behind the standardizing of this holiday celebration was giving a gift to us. A quiet friday, surrounded by the friends and family who had gathered with us to celebrate thanks for the many blessings we have been given this year, refrigerators full of the best leftovers anyone could dream up and nothing better to be doing than to just be together. The big meal has already been cooked no reason to stress or slave over meal planning or get dressed for that matter. Everyone saw you yesterday so first impressions aren’t at stake. We didn’t really sleep in, but we stayed in our pajamas. Bacon and steel cut oat meal was for breakfast with a side of pie. The kids played Legos and wipe out on the XBox the grownups played settlers and I crocheted and watched.
We had a late lunch, where Chad and I made bacon wrapped Jalapeño poppers and Roger and Tanya made stuffed mushrooms with a kick of cayenne it was fun to contribute in this way. These two appetizers with sandwiches, sliders really, made from left over rolls and turkey as well as the other left overs was the perfect day after Thanksgiving lunch. We finally showered and dressed. Then packed up all of our things and loaded the car. I think another game or two of settlers was played then the guys turned their attention to the heater in the bathroom and we ladies finished the dishes from lunch and put away the left overs. We gave the kids a 25 min. warning. It was going to be a bit of a challenge pulling them away from all the fun they were having. Eve voiced her frustration and announced that she was not leaving until she had been there 5 days. We said our goodbyes and headed out around 4:30pm. It was not fun saying goodbye. I am so thankful for the family we have been blessed to be related to. As we look to be done traveling in less than a year we know that the miles between Muncie Indiana and Salem Oregon are great and the opportunities to spend time together will be few and far between. It makes me both sad and so greatful that we have been given the time that we have had to spend getting to know this so distant Sherman family. We will have to be purposeful in making plans to get together in the future. Eve has decided after this weekend that she is most surely going to marry Josiah and is upset to have discovered that infact their are laws about that. You can’t marry your second cousin. This text after we left has meant a lot to me.
“Blast was had by all…thank you so much for coming…with your visit last year and this it is clear I have missed much in not being in contact see y’all soon, Michael”
This country of the United States of America is so big and beautiful. I love that about it, but being so spread out from friends, and family. That part is not so fun.
I slept in a little, I often push myself too far with too little sleep. I had turned in early around 11:15pm compared to the rest of the adult crowd. The kids had gone to bed not too far before me, but with being awake all night and most of the day plus fighting a cold it would have been wise to turn in much earlier. Needless to say my tail was dragging a bit. Some tea, toast with apple butter and pineapple went a long way to perk me up. The kids were already immersed in games and were working full time to take advantage of every moment with their cousins and new friends. Michael and Kristen have friends here from Michigan who have a 13 year old son and an 11 year old daughter. So with a boy Caleb’s age (close enough to count at least) and then with Michael and Kristen having three girls ages 13 to 10 Hannah being 8 can run with that group pretty well. Then six year old Josiah and Eve hit it off and have been pretty inseparable since the moment we walked in the door. Really though they all have played so well together. There has been so much laughter and running circles around the house. Some kind of hide and go seek zombie game kept them entertained for hours. That and mine craft, they also played their own game of settlers.
They were running almost all day. I hid out for a little while in the morning to call friends and family and wish them a happy Thanksgivng. When I emerged I helped where I could with dinner preparations resting a bit in the down times enjoying the running conversations.
We snacked all day and had our turkey dinner in the evening. Everything was so good.
Kristen made me a little raspberry creme pie that was amazing. The filing tasted a lot like tapioca pudding with a texture more like haupia. And Michael’s mom, Catherine, whom we met last time we were here made gluten free rolls which can be quite challenging.
I hate to be the one who needs special accommodations for meals. After six years it still bothers me to be an inconvenience to others who have invited us to join them to dine. But on the flip side of that. It does make me feel so loved when people go out of their way to accommodate my restricted diet in a way that I get to eat a meal that is as similar as possible to theirs. After dinner we talked, and I crocheted. When the games started up I stole away into the family room to return a call from Suzanne. Gotta love face timing with my adorable niece and newphew.
The kids and Josiah checked in too as they ran by playing more of their zombie game. After we said good bye I returned to the settlers game to watch, converse, and enjoy some more crocheting. We crashed much earlier than last night. Probably a good thing. This girl was needing some sleep.
Indiana Here We Come
After work we packed up the car and drove to Indiana to be with my cousin and his family for Thanksgiving. We had the GPS set to avoid tolls so we saw some amazing side road adventures in West Virginia that we would have been sad to miss. It was another very beautiful state. I always imagined these east coast states to be way more densely populated. They are surprisingly not. We stopped in Charleston West Virginia for lunch. Again we drove by the capitol on the freeway. It looks like a pretty old building. We would have loved to stop and check it out but as it was we weren’t going to make it to our destination before dark.
I took a few naps, it just isn’t as restful sleeping in the car. Also Caleb is getting so big I hate to cramp his style too much by reclining my chair to what would be the most comfortable for me. The kids were listening to an audio book that we have been working on for quite some time now and actually finished it. We switched it over to “Pilgrims Progress” which is one of my favorites. I did however fall asleep after a few hours and woke up to Christmas music. It was the CD the church had given the kids to practice the songs they will be singing for the Christmas program this year. They have been in several programs as we travel. They were in the Christmas program last year in Victorville and then jumped right in to the Easter program in Curtistown. It seems we came to Charlottesville at just the right time for them to participate in the Christmas program this year here. The four songs played again and again as we sang to them. We lost interest in that and focused on on the ETA noted on the GPS as the sun started to set. Less than half an hour. We are so close. The sun set was beautiful!
I wished that I had taken a picture of the beautiful full moon, but as we came closer to their house we found ourselves surrounded by trees and no good shot. Besides that then we were there and preoccupied with enjoying the company of family, I forgot to go back out and try to get a picture. We made it. We may not have had all of our sanity intact though. Actually family and friends just have this affect on me.
Two More Shifts Under my Belt
I worked Monday and Tuesday night. One night I was a preceptor of a newer grad who is really solid on her skills already, and the second night triage. They were both surprisingly slow and I found myself thanking Jesus under my breath for the much needed rest. I was fighting a cold and despite airborn I was getting more and more congested and drippy. I did have a few triage patients but mostly spent the night restocking each room, going through every drawer, cabinet, monitor, and warmer in each un occupied room. It was actually quite therapeutic. Every new half hour would roll around and I would whisper again under my breath. It may not stay like this all night but I still thank you Jesus for the rest you have given me today. After all the rooms were restocked I was asked to restock bassinets which was good for me. All of this restocking teaches me where to find things and what things are normally stocked in the cupboards, the drawers, the bassinets, and where to find them if they are not. I continued to thank my maker. I do not ever expect it to be that slow again, but I sure do appreciate the gift. I am greatful for all the hard moments in my life I know they make me grow and make me stronger. It is so wonderful though when I find my rest in him. (Believe me I find my rest in him in the busy times too, this time it was a physical rest and a spiritual rest…Oh God You are my God and I will forever praise You.)
A Day to Rest
We tried to make it to church with out the GPS and were mostly successful. A wrong turn towards the end put us a few minutes late, but Chad thinks he has it all figured out now so we shouldn’t need it next week. We are studying Romans in Sunday school and we are loving it. After church we found an Awesome pizza place, the best pizza we have had in over a year I’m sure. The waitress was amazing Eve had asked Chad for some of his artichokes and she heard her the next thing we know she had brought a little plate with artichoke hearts on it just for the girls. Then later the girls kids entree came with ice cream and she brought Caleb some as well. After lunch we went back to the house and watched Man vs. Food and just all hung out in the living room together. We practiced tin Whistles playing Christmas music. Eve tooted hers as loud as she possibly could on the back deck. Hannah wrote a book of Jesus’ life mostly with pictures. Caleb read. These kiddos are amazing and I’m so lucky to get to be their mama. Bed time came too quickly…
Second Night, Buisier but Better.
We weren’t making any Guinness Book of World Records records, but it felt like it. Mommys just kept coming in and having their babies with no pause in the action. I was able to get two more deliveries under my belt and both patients were quite pleasant to have. There was a lot of commotion on the unit with so many deliveries happening but my strip required me to stay in the room to keep turning, repositioning, bolusing IV fluids, giving Oxygen-something with pretty much every contraction. It almost saved me from having to be a part of all the craziness around me. I may have a few extra gray hairs now, but my baby besides the cord wrapped around the neck a few times came out vigorous and crying.
Instead of taking time to enjoy my day off after work I crashed and didn’t wake up until 5:00pm which was good because I had only been able to sleep from 9:00am to 2:00pm the day before. (A maintainence man was in our apartment changing the air filter. I didn’t hear him knock on the door and he had just come in after that. There had been a note on the door so we knew he was coming sometime today. I woke up as he announced he was there and opened the door to our room surprising us both. I groggily said, “I’m sorry I’m a night shifter I didn’t hear you knock.” And pulled the covers over my head falling back asleep hearing Chad return shortly after that.) When I got up the kids told me excitedly that they had gone to the White House today meaning our apartment. Since it is kind of white. They enjoyed their down day of watching Star Trek with their daddy. Chad made a special muscle dinner for everyone and after the kids went to bed we had rootbeer floats and watched “Baby Mama” for a date night.
First Night on My Own
I started out as triage and that was great, but didn’t last long. I ended up having a multip wanting to labor naturally. It was a long night of things not going as planned, and me being a fish out of water. It can be so fun when you are meeting all new providers all night and they don’t know you, you don’t know their preferences, and have a very hands on patient that makes it some what challenging to have all my ducks in a row. Especially in the case of an epidural where you don’t know what ducks need to be in a row and they so aren’t in a row. “Oh you need that, ok I’m going to grab it.” Getting back only to find out you don’t have something else that you need and don’t know how to get it. The patient and her family were so greatful for my care. That meant a lot since I felt like I must look incompetent like in the situation above. Also when providers keep introducing themselves to you they have to know that you haven’t been there long. I didn’t get fired by my patient, the providers or other nurses. So I think I passed. Good grief let tonight be better than last night.
Home to Virginia
Having La Quinta points paid off for the last night of our Maine trip. We were able to get a completely free one night stay in Harrison Pennsylvania. After getting a shipment of crocheted washrags in the mail. We headed to the Hershey Chocolate factory in Hershey PA.
The tour of the factory is free, but I was kind of disappointed because it was an automated Disneyland type ride and did not show the actual workers, actually machines, and actual chocolate being produced. Tillamook cheese factory and the Jelly Belly factory tours are much more informative and educational. The kids however loved it.
Hershey World appeared closed for the season, I wasn’t too sad about that. We had a suprise on the drive home and actually got to drive through the upper “fingers” of West Virginia. We didn’t think we would make it through WV until next week when we go to Indiana.
I believe we drove through 12 new states on this trip, and we did see some sights. The friend time and variety show in Maine were all of our favorites hands down. Making it home in time for me to have a two hour nap before work. Yay. Naps before work make me feel so much better through the night.
Vermont Should Be Beautiful This Time of Year
We were all up early this morning so that we could have breakfast with Pam and the kids before they headed off to school. We said thank you and goodbye to Bonny, Kelby’s mom, and headed out across the river. The steam hovered above the glassy still water reflecting perfectly the white houses and flora from the opposite bank.
The phone camera does not due it justice, the sunrise over the fields and forest was so beautiful.
The chickens, turkeys, ducks and guinies were taking full advantage of their free range this morning and were all the way up at the house. I love their guard turkey, definitely earning his keep. Well at least enough to save him from being Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
Caleb was standing close to the turkey for a size comparison. Reese loved Hannah’s hair, it doesn’t look like she minded Reese playing with her hair either. Again I should have taken more pictures, but I was enjoying the visit and didn’t take very many.
The girls loved this little duckling sticking so close to it’s parents. We said our goodbyes shortly after the bus came for the kids. We needed to get a move on as I had to get home to work Thursday. We are all hoping we can make it back up to Maine before the first of the year as we hear that is when the bad weather hits and they have below freezing temperatures until Easter.
Driving across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont was amazing with the mountains and lakes. Enough evergreens to have beautiful color and even a few fall leaves were left on the trees. The houses and old churches were all so amazing and even the dilapidated ones had charm. In Vermont we decided to tour a Maple farm instead of the Capitol.
Maple farms came about during WWII as a way to help with meeting sugar needs due to the sugar rationing.
Maple season is only two weeks long at the end of March and beginning of April. It is no longer harvested via buckets but via a plumbing system about 8 feet off the ground. A 1.5 inch hole is drilled into the tree and a spigot is placed that feeds into a tube connecting the trees and drains into a bigger and bigger pipe. It is collected all in one place. At the end of the season the spigots are removed and the tree heals over the spot. It is drilled in a different part of the tree each year.
The farm was just outside of Montpelier where we turned the car south back towards Virginia.
Up state New York was also nice although not as charming, it was most definitely completely different than NYC. I don’t know about you but I always think about NYC when I picture New York and really that is such a small portion of the state. We will stay the night here in Pennsylvania and go the rest of the way home tomorrow.