Skye’s CELP Adventure

Posted under: family.
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My oldest daughter Skye is an environment enthusiast. She especially loves marine biology and has done much reading and research on the subject. It disturbs her to find trash discarded carelessly, especially plastics washed up on the beach. She has been conscientious about recycling, and is often frustrated by all the plastics being used excessively and unnecessarily, or to see people not bothering to recycle.

Several months ago, Brent and Skye attended a lecture by Waynflete about plastics. There they learned about a program called Rippleffect. Its purpose is “to promote youth development and leadership through adventure, healthy communities and living sustainably.” Skye was very enthusiastic about it, and proceeded to apply for the CELP, the Cow Island Environmental Leadership Program for high school age teens. She was accepted into the program, and excitedly made preparations for her 4-week stay at Cow Island.

CELP students

CELP students

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Comments (0) Jul 24 2014


Mother’s Day: A Great Ending

Posted under: family.
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I absolutely love being a mom. Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and I spent all day at work. Brent and the girls came to visit me for lunch, however, and brought pizza from Otto’s, one of our favorite pizza joints in Portland. It was so nice to see them on my lunch break, and the pizza was a very nice change from the sub-par cafeteria food at Maine Medical Center. Brent told me that Jenna had actually ordered the pizza herself, and paid for it. This was a huge step out of her comfort zone, and I was so impressed! Hayley presented me with a very nice homemade card she’d been working on for much of the day.

The girls and me at MMC

The girls and me at MMC

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Comments (0) May 12 2014


Cambridge Science Festival

Posted under: family, science, technology, travel.
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The girls had spring break from school this past week. I planned my vacation from work the same week as the girls’ school break so we could spend that time together, and perhaps take a short trip.

Brent had sent me an email several weeks ago with information about the Cambridge Science Festival, a celebration showcasing the leading edge in science, technology, engineering and math. The weeklong festival occurs every spring, with the purpose of making science accessible, interactive and fun. Brent suggested I take the girls down to attend this. I thought it was a great idea. After looking at the calendar of events, I decided that Wednesday the 23rd of April had the most activities that we would be particularly interested in. The majority of events were held on the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) campus in Cambridge.

My awesome daughters and me on the Downeaster ride home to Maine.

My awesome daughters and me on the Downeaster ride home to Maine.

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Comments (0) Apr 26 2014


A Freeport Getaway

Posted under: family, travel.
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I like to take the opportunity when I can to get out and away from home with the family. It’s nice to get out of the house (even if it’s only a short 15 miles away), to have someone else clean up after us and prepare our meals, and to swim in a pool and soak in a hot tub.

The girls, especially Jenna, were pleased about having a couch in the hotel room.

The girls, especially Jenna, were pleased about having a couch in the hotel room.

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Comments (3) Mar 22 2014


The Other Side of the Call Bell

Posted under: family, health, nursing, philosophy, psychology.
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I work as a nursing unit secretary in both the intensive care and the step-down cardiology units at the hospital. I think I’m more cynical than I used to be. It’s easy to become complacent, and even judgmental toward patients. During one of my shifts an obese patient requested donuts, cookies and pie. Even if we did stock those items in the cardiology unit, I would not have given them to him. After receiving chest compressions and a defibrillator treatment in CICU, a patient sat up and asked for a cigarette. One night we had a patient suffering from alcohol withdrawals and undergoing detoxification. He kept yelling at everyone to get out of his house, and I had to call security when he jumped out of bed and threatened the nurses. Two rooms over another patient was constantly yelling…all night. She would scream “I want to go to sleep!” and “I want my meds!” After the nurse gave her some, she screamed “That ain’t enough!” Do these patients realize why they were admitted in the first place? I would like to say to them, “You brought this on yourself. I have no sympathy.” Nurse_BettyBoop

I answer the call bell when patients ring out. Patients push a button in their room which rings a box on my desk. I pick up the receiver and ask them what they need, then respond appropriately. It is often frustrating when the same few patients ring out constantly for seemingly trivial matters, monopolizing the time and attention of the RNs and CNAs. As often as I can, I try to help the patients myself rather than to call for the CNAs or nurses. I’ve noticed that the more I interact personally with the patients, the more compassionate and empathetic I feel toward them, and the more eager I am to help them. I understand how a nurse can develop a special bond with his/her patients. When the nurse takes on the responsibility of certain patients, he/she is accountable for them, takes ownership, and forms a connection with them. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (2) May 21 2013


Sound of Music Sing-Along

Posted under: entertainment, family.
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Brent learned that the Merrill Auditorium in Portland was hosting a “Sound of Music” sing-along on Friday night, February 1. He asked me if I would like to take the girls and surprised me with tickets to the event. It was so sweet and thoughtful of him. I love the opportunities I have to spend quality time with the girls, especially now as my health and length of life are deteriorating.

Jenna seemed to be the most excited, especially when she learned that the audience was encouraged to participate and dress up in costumes. She immediately performed a “Google Search” to look at pictures of the characters from the musical and put together an outfit that looked similar to that of the Von Trapp girls. She decided she would be Brigitta. She loves the story and knows many of the songs by heart. She listened to the soundtrack in preparation, knowing she would get to sing along to the songs during the movie. Hayley was excited as well and enthusiastically searched for an appropriate costume to wear to the event, also one of the Von Trapp children. Skye didn’t seem thrilled about it, partly because she knew she’d have to wake early the next morning for a ski trip with her class from school. However, she liked the idea of going out and spending time together. She had no desire to wear a costume, but she did change her clothes to look like a teenager going out for a night on the town. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (2) Feb 03 2013