Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Countdown - #1 - Oh, Holy Night

If I could sing, I would sing this song all the time.  
The range of the music is incredible.
And only so many singers can do justice to the words and sentiment...
Like Josh Grobin...


Thank you for reading my blog,
and I hope you enjoyed this countdown...!

I wish you and your family and friends
a most Peaceful and Loving 
Merry Christmas!!




Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Countdown - #2 - Little Drummer Boy

There are some images that just get stuck in your head, and this version of "Little Drummer Boy" is permanently etched into my brain.



It's from the TV series "West Wing," and Toby Ziegler arranges a military burial for a homeless vet that died from exposure at the Vietnam Memorial wearing a coat that Zeigler donated to charity.

Tears, chills, this scene does it to me every time...
That's why it's my #2.

I hope this Christmas Eve finds you and your loved ones safe, warm and protected.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Countdown - #3 - Santa Baby

Ok, this is my one naughty song of the bunch....
and my number 3 most favorite Christmas song ever.
Props to Eartha Kitt, but I always liked Madonna's version just a little better...


My favorite line, of course,
"Come and trim my Christmas tree, with some decorations bought at Tiffany's."

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Countdown - #4 - Christmas Child


I searched the web for a long time for this song.
I only remembered singing it once during a 
Christmas music presentation at our church when
I was in high school.

And the only words I remembered well
was the opening lines,
"I heard a knock upon my door,
midnight Christmas Eve."

Our version was soft and slow,
with bells and pianos and guitars.
And, I never forgot it...
And, am glad I found a version of it.

"I heard a knock upon my door
Midnight Christmas Eve
Half asleep I hurried down
My visitor to receive

At first I thought no one was there
Then all at once I saw
A little baby lying there
Crying there at my door

Refrain:
Loo, loo, loo, loo, loo, loo-lee
Loo, loo, loo, loo, loo lie.
Loo, loo, loo, loo, loo, loo-lee
Loo, loo, loo, loo, loo lie.

I took the baby in my arms
On that winter’s night
The church bells never rang so clear
The stars never shone so bright

And as I gazed upon the face
Of the foundling child
It seemed the angels on my tree
Looked down at me and smiled

Refrain:
Loo, loo, loo, loo, loo, loo-lee
Loo, loo, loo, loo, loo lie.
Loo, loo, loo, loo, loo, loo-lee
Loo, loo, loo, loo, loo lie.

I thought about the Holy Child
That Christmas long ago
And that was when I saw the note
Lying there in the snow

“Please whoever finds my child,
Be good to him and kind.
God Bless You.” That was all it said
“Mary” it was signed"


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Countdown - #5 - Carol of the Bells

As I move into my Top Five of Christmas song....

There is some music that can just move you in a certain way.
That can bring out the full emotion of the season.
Every year, this song does it for me.
And, this version is both chilling and inspiring...



"Hark how the bells,
Sweet silver bells,
All seem to say,
Throw cares away

Christmas is here,
Bringing good cheer,
To young and old,
Meek and the bold,

Oh how they pound,
Raising the sound,
O'er hill and dale,
Telling their tale,

Gaily they ring
While people sing
Songs of good cheer,
Christmas is here,

Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas,
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas,
On on they send ,
On without end,
Their joyful tone to every home
Dong Ding dong ding, dong Bong"

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Countdown - #6 - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas


As I stated in a prior post,
I've spent a lot of Christmases away from home.

During the lean years, we managed to somehow
always afford a tree...
and, when I was too busy to decorate,
somehow my now-hubby still managed to make 
Christmas special...

Like searching through the boxes while I was at work
this one Christmas Eve, so I'd have a little surprise
when I got home and could share a few
precious hours with him until the next overnight shift.


"Through the years we all will be together
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now"


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Countdown - #7 - Wizards of Winter


Before I saw the original video many years ago, 
I had never ever heard of Trans Siberian Orchestra. 
Now I am a fan. 
I still love this song. 
Love, love, love this video. 
And can't wait to be able to create my own light display like this...  
I keep dreaming... 
and collecting lights...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Countdown - #8 - Sleigh Ride


I don't know why, but I actually prefer the acoustical version moreso
than the sung one.... just my preference...



"Just hear those sleigh bells jingle-ing 
Ring ting tingle-ing too
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you


Outside the snow is falling
And friends are calling "Yoo Hoo"
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you



Giddy-yap giddy-yap giddy-yap
let's go
Let's look at the snow
We're riding in a wonderland of snow



Giddy-yap giddy-yap giddy-yap it's grand
Just holding your hand
We're gliding along with the song
Of a wintry fairy land



Our cheeks are nice and rosy
And comfy cozy are we
We're snuggled up together like two
Birds of a feather would be



Let's take the road before us
And sing a chorus or two
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you



There's a birthday party at the home of Farmer Gray
It'll be the perfect ending of a perfect day
We'll be singing the songs we love to sing without a single stop
At the fireplace while we watch the chestnuts pop
Pop! Pop! Pop!



There's a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy
When they pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie
It'll nearly be like a picture print by Currier and Ives
These wonderful things are the things
We remember all through our lives."

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Countdown - #9 - It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas


I hate to admit it, but
I really miss snow.

I grew up in Southern California where the 
weather varied from warm to hot
to warm to rainy and
then back again.

I really knew nothing about seasons until I moved to
the midwest during med school
I then proceeded to stay in cold places like
Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, Buffalo.

After 10 years you really get used to changes in seasons.
Now I'm back in Northern California where the weather
is luke warm, foggy, pleasant, then the rain starts
in October and ends around March.

Christmas to me means snow...
and, I miss it...



Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Countdown - #10 - I'll Be Home For Christmas


I've traveled a lot over the last several years.
From College to med school to internship and residency,
there's been a lot of times that just the thought of being home for
Christmas made the journey worthwhile.

I think that on every trip home, I probably 
had this song running through my head.
I'm sure that a lot of people can certainly relate.

This year, it's another trip away from home to work
in Sacramento over this next week.
I'll be driving home to arrive just before Christmas Eve.
You can be sure I'll be thinking of a nice warm fire,
all my decorations, and my hubby and fur kids waiting for me
there in our wonderful home...



"Christmas Eve will find me
where the love light gleams.
I'll be home for Christmas,
if only in my dreams."

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Countdown - #11 - Holly Jolly Christmas

Who doesn't love Rudolph...?
And, reindeer??

I have a collection of silver reindeer that I've been
slowly building up over the years...


The herd is back and bigger than ever...
and this song from "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
is definitely a Christmas favorite...!




"Have a holly jolly Christmas
And when you walk down the street
Say hello to friends you know
And everyone you meet!"



Before tomorrow's entry heading into the Top 10,
here's a bonus Honorable Mention...

Remember this almost 30 years ago...??
Do They Know It's Christmas..?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Countdown - #12 - Happy Holidays


This song always puts me in the mood
for Christmas...!

"It's the holiday season,
with the whoop-de-do and hickory dock,
and don't forget to hang up your sock,
cause just exactly at twelve o'clock
he'll be coming down the chimney,
coming down the chimney,
coming down the chimney down!"


Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Countdown - #13 - Do You Hear What I Hear...?

Christmas is my most favorite holiday and time of year...
I LOVE to decorate, and bake, and eat, and buy presents, and and and.... And, I do love the music... but, please, not until the day AFTER Thanksgiving...

This year, I thought I would do a countdown to Christmas, and share with you my 13 mostest favorite Christmas songs...


#13  - Do You See What I See?


I can still remember this song from first grade.
In fact, I think this Bing Crosby recording is the one I remember.
  
I can still imagine the lonely field.
The shepherds, the sheep, a shining star...
I want to say there were finger puppets involved...

"Said the king to the people everywhere, 
"Listen to what I say (what I say, what I say).
Pray for Peace, people everywhere.
Listen to what I say (what I say, what I say)
A child, a child sleeping in the night,
He will bring us goodness and light.
He will bring us goodness and light.""

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Day 30 - Whew!

Painting by local artist Shawn Griggs that will soon hang in my home...

Well, I made it through another NaBloPoMo...

I hope you have enjoyed the postings, and
will stick around and continue to follow my postings.

Tonight I drove back from Sacramento where I have been working for the last week.
It's about a 5 1/2 hour drive back to my home in Humboldt County.
Lots of time to think and ponder over the last month,
and all of the events of the day.

I find it interesting, that I can work at a job where one minute
I am trying to save someone's life with CPR and drugs and electricity,
and in the next minute I am pulling cotton from a cotton swab out of someone's ear.

Where else are you going to find a job like that...?

Well, it's good night for me...
and good night on another year of NaBloPoMo...

I'll continue to post albeit not as frequently,
but do continue to visit!

And thank you for reading my stuff... 
someone...?
anyone...?



Friday, November 29, 2013

Day 29 - Happy Birthday, Dixie!

Many of you know that I have two dogs, Dixie and Dillon.  They are Australian Shepherds, and today Dixie celebrates her 2nd birthday!  Since I have no children, and my dogs are like my kids, and since I am the world's greatest Pet Parent Geek, I have made a video for Dixie's birthday... again...




Yeah, just like I did last year...




Don't judge me...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Day 28 - Thank You


You are a person I can talk to,
who understands me and the words I say.
You even hear whatever's left unsaid.
You really accept me.


With you I never need pretending.
Don't have to be someone that I can't be.
When we're together I feel I'm worthwhile.
You really accept me.
You really accept me.


Thank you for loving me as I am, my friend.
Thank you for letting me be myself.
It's so good to know you love me as I am.


You know the good and bad about me.
I don't understand the things you see in me.
Though you know all these things about me
you really accept me.
Yes, you really accept me.



Thank you for loving me as I am, my friend.
Thank you for letting me be myself.
It's so good to know you love me as I am.


When a person's loved for what he does that's not unique,
cause there's always someone who can do what you can do.
When a person's loved for what he is, not what he could or should be
he becomes a special person, that's what you have done for me.


Thank you for loving me as I am, my friend.
Thank you for letting me be myself.
It's so good to know you love me as I am.

 - Music and lyrics (as much as I can remember) by Tom Franzak

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Day 27 - Thanks for the Memories


On this day before Thanksgiving, I thought I would share my
postings from previous years...







I hope you will be sharing tomorrow with loved ones...
I'll be sharing mine with hospital staff and patients.




Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Day 26 - Some Days You're the Squirrel...


I'm doing triage in the ED for the next 2 days,
and today made me want to drink a lot of these...


 I have one more shift to get through....
will probably post more tomorrow...


Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 25 - Jeep Jeep


If you've been following my blog for any length of time, 
you know that I love my Jeep.


I bought it when I started my internship in Chicago, 
and it's come across country with me from Boston to Minneapolis
then onto New York, and then all the way to California.

We've traveled locally...

acted as a livestock vehicle

or as a doggy mobile

But, unfortunately I've been having a few more problems
with it recently.


First the air conditioner died which then led to the 
serpentine belt burning up which led to me and Dixie being
stranded for 3 hours in the middle of nowhere 
waiting for a tow.

The Jeep seems to be better, but now I will be commuting
back and forth more frequently to Sacramento,
and the Jeep nearing 100K might not be the best choice
for making the 600 mile round trip.

So I need to look for a new car...
yuck..

Something small and economical like this:


When what I really would like is something sporty and flashy
like this:

And, I even like the color....

Of course, if I can hold out one more year, 
the new Fiat Jeep crossover should become available...
I've been waiting for it...!
And, it would be the next generation of Jeep!




Sunday, November 24, 2013

Day 24 - Seeing is Believing Even More


I love reading, and I love watching movies.
Kismet is when what I've read comes to life on the big screen,
or on the little screen.
I'm working in Sacramento this week, and so I have a lot
more free time to read.

Did you know that the TV show "Dexter" was from a book?
I didn't, and this week I am reading "Darkly, Dreaming Dexter."
It's awesome, and having seen the first couple of seasons of the series
I can almost imagine Michael C. Hall reading it to me.
But, that's just one of the voices in my head.

Other stories/books I've loved on the big/or small screen:

The Hunger Games (so far.  I'll go see "Catching Fire" this week.)
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (I like the original Swedish version better.)
Shawshank Redemption (I still cringe during parts.)
Hunt for Red October (favorite line:  I will live in Montana. And I will marry a 
round American woman and raise rabbits, and she will cook them for me.)

What are your favorites...?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Day 23 - I Weep For the Future

One of the best lines from the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."



I worked triage over the last couple of days during my ED shifts.  No where can you see the failure of the health care system, and society in my opinion, so readily as on the Front Line of medicine... the Emergency Department triage room.

- patient with three year history of stomach pain who came in because it hurt more the day before while they were driving but they couldn't get a ride to come to the ED until tonight and they came because their mother told them they should have it checked out because there might be something wrong.  Um...

- patient with very high blood pressure can't get needed prescription because insurance won't cover combination med.  Pharmacy has been calling cardiologist for over a week to get new prescription but no one returns their calls.  Insurance will cover meds separately so I write a prescription for them.

 - pregnant patient can't get doctor because they don't have MediCal yet and has to wait to be able to get into a practice that accepts MediCal.  She goes to a free clinic where she can get prenatal vitamins but none of the recommended blood work or other prenatal tests.  She's now almost 5 months' pregnant.

 - patient with kidney stone blocking their ureter gets sent home with scripts for antibiotics and pain medication and told to follow up in urology clinic to have stone removed.  They never get a follow up appointment because they don't have insurance and their MediCal application wasn't filled out because they neglected to do it.  They didn't fill their prescriptions because they "don't have any money to pay for medication."  Crystal meth, alcohol and "pain medication they borrowed from someone else with kidney stones" are what they've been using to help with the pain until tonight when 3 weeks later "the pain is like the first time."

 - patient with gallbladder pain who tells me they "can't just change my diet that easy" and who wants to see if they are "sick enough to have it taken out" because they are "tired of waiting for the referral from my doctor" to see a surgeon to schedule surgery.

 - child brought in with a cold.  They have a "runny nose and are congested."  Do they have a fever? "No."  Are they eating/drinking/peeing/pooping normally? "Yes."  What are you concerned about? "Well, I wanted them checked out."  Did you call your pediatrician? "Yeah, but they can't see them until Monday, and I didn't want to wait."

 - patient with chronic pain who was upset that they had to change doctors and insurance because of the ACA (affordable care act) and who now can't get the pain medication they were used to because it is no longer on their insurance formulary.  "Can you write me a script for it?"  Are you going to pay out of pocket for it?  "No, I don't have any money." Um...



**please read my disclaimer that these views are my own and do not reflect the medical groups for whom I work nor the professional organizations with which I am affiliated.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Day 22 - Stress Relief

If it wasn't for these:



I would need a lot more of these:


I am addicted to games on my iPhone and iPad.
You might wonder why a well-educated, well-traveled
40ish woman would be doing playing Angry Birds,
but it really helps me to unwind after a crazy day.

For a few moments, I don't have to think about anything except launching
those crazy birds across the screen and blasting the heck
out of a bunch of insubordinate piggies.

My husband thinks I'm crazy and asks,
"how can you sit there and play that thing?"
I simply answer,
"very easily."

My younger patients find it funny that I can talk to them 
about Angry Birds, and Plants vs Zombies,
and Candy Crush (although a lot of adults play that),
and Jetpack Joyride, 
and... and... and....


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day 21 - Road Tunes...


I drove to Sacramento today to start a ten day run of shifts in two of the local ED's here.  I've been making the same drive over the last 10 months, and it looks like I'll be doing this over the next year.

It's about a 5 1/2 hour drive, and I carry my trusty iPod and iPad with me to play plenty of music since there are several hundred miles of hills and forests with no radio signal.  Well, no decent music radio signal.

I've written before about my eclectic taste in music.  In fact, every year during my birthday month for the last several years, I write a post a day based on taking a spin on the old iPod wheel.


As you can see, very varied...

So today, I thought I would share with you a sampling of the musical accompaniment to my 5 1/2 hour long drove... I started with the song, "Living in the Moment" and didn't hit shuffle, so all of the songs were alphabetical through to the letter "M."  

"Living in the Moment" - Jason Mraz - my new "soundtrack" for life
So I just let go of what I know I don't know
And I know I'll only do this by
Living in the moment
Living our life
Easy and breezy
With peace in my mind
With peace in my heart
Peace in my soul
Wherever I'm going, I'm already home
Living in the moment

"Living Proof" - Gregory Isakov - one of those Starbuck's freebies

"Locked Out of Heaven" - Bruno Mars - love the beat
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
Ooh!
Oh, yeah, yeah,
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
Ooh!

"Lollipop" - The Chordettes - classic favorite
Call my baby lollipop 
Tell you why 
His kiss is sweeter than an apple pie 
And when he does his shaky rockin' dance 
Man, I haven't got a chance

"(The) Look" - Roxette - from my college days
Loving is the ocean,
Kissing is the wet sand,
she's got the look.

"(The) Look of Love" - ABC - high school song

"Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well" - Mike Doughty - "Grey's Anatomy Sountrack"

"Lookout Weekend" - Debbie Deb - college dance favorite

"Looks Like We Made It" - Barry Manilow - yeah, maybe, but still

"Lose Yourself" - Eminem - 
Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted. one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?

"Louie Louie" - The Kingsmen - college staple

"Love is in the Air" - John Paul Young - fav from "Simply Ballroom"

"Love of My Life" - Jim Brickman - sigh

"Love on the Rocks" - Neil Diamond - sigh on the rocks

"Love Shack" - The B-52's - my friends and I had a whole room dancing 
to this one on a New Year's Eve in Laughlin
Huggin' and a-kissin'
Dancin' and a-lovin'
Wearin' next to nothin'
'Cause it's hot as an oven
The whole shack shimmies
Yeah, the whole shack shimmies
The whole shack shimmies when everybody's
Movin' around and around and around and around

"Love Song" - 311 - sultry cover hit from fav movie "50 First Dates"

"Love Story" - Taylor Swift - yes, I like Taylor Swift

"Love Would Never Do Without You" - Janet Jackson - I remember this video full of eye candy
There's no easy explanation for it
But whenever there's a problem
We always work it out somehow
Work it out somehow

"Lover Come Back to Me" - Dead or Alive - another college dance staple

"Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" - Journey - mmmhmm... 
You make me weep and wanna die
Just when you said we'd try
Lovin', touchin', squeezin' each other

"Low" - Flo Rida - if I could hip hop, it would be to this
Shawty had them apple bottom jeans (jeans)
Boots with the fur (with the fur)
The whole club was looking at her
She hit the floor (she hit the floor)
Next thing you know
Shawty got low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low

"Luck Be a Lady" - Frank Sinatra - Vegas/gambling theme song

"Lucky" - Jason Mraz - just a fun song

"Lullaby" - Dixie Chicks - our wedding "gathering song" and one of "our songs"
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

"Lump" - Presidents of the United States - don't ask em where I first heard it, but I love it!
Lump lingered last in line for brains
and the one she got was sorta rotten and insane
Small things so sad that birds could land
Is lump fast asleep or rockin' out with the band?

Hope you enjoy them... maybe you'll add a little variety to your music collection...!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 20 - Felt Good on My Lips


Since we moved to NorCal, we've spent a lot of time in the Wine Country.
We're only about 3 1/2 hours north of Sonoma County,
and from there it's a short drive to Napa.
We became members of the Coppola Winery
and have been getting wine shipments.

It gives us an opportunity to try new wines
and learn to refine our palate.

Of course, we've also gotten familiar with a lot of other wineries
in the Napa Valley...

My husband and I have had several discussions about the price of wines.
He's asked how could one wine possibly be worth
more than another of a similar vintage.
Is it the label?  
Is the taste really that different between 
a $100 bottle and a $20 bottle.

Then I tried these...


We had a wine and mushroom party at our home
a couple of weeks ago, and one of my guests who is a 
wine aficionado, brought these to share.

The one on the left was a red, 
very "loamy" with currant undertones.
The one on the right was a white,
deep yellow in color and sweet like a brandy.

Both tasted as good and amazing as could be
for about ...um... a $$$ a bottle.

My husband tasted them too...
and he agreed,
there really is a difference...

And, you have to taste a lot of different bottles
to appreciate it... 

 No fear, this is the collection after the party...
and, a good time was had by all...!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 19 - Counting Chickens...


We bought our home in the Spring of 2011,
and it wasn't until later that summer that we got
our first chickens to put into the existing chicken coop...


A bantam rooster and two hens.
The rooster and one hen were promptly eaten by a bobcat.

I then started collecting more bantams
which we called the "mutant chickens."

We added some guinea fowl,
six of them...
two females and 4 males.
Two males went back to the breeder and
the two females
were killed by a bobcat.

I detailed most of this in a post
involving goats and a bear.
At that time I tallied up all the new chickens and fowl.

Somewhere in here we got two dogs,
and there have been no more bears or bobcats;
 that we've seen close to the property, at least.

Then this February we got turkeys...
six of them,
Unfortunately, both males.


Then we had the chick explosion a couple of weeks ago,
adding 22 new chicks to the group,
of which 1 mysteriously disappeared.
I hope another bobcat isn't around,
but maybe another hawk..?

So, we have a LOT of chickens...
but we thinned the herd down a bit 
voluntarily over the last couple of days.

Yesterday, 5 of the pullets and 3 of the younger chicks
went to a new home.
Today, a turkey and the remaining 4 "mutant" bantams
went to a new home.
The remaining turkey will be gone next week...
a friend has bought him.

So, as of today, we have
one remaining male guinea fowl
the "fluffy chicken" - one of the original "big chickens" we got
the "chicklets" - Hawkeye, Muffin Top and Madge (they're our best layers)
Roosters - big white Frederico & the "pocket rooster" Ollie
Hawkeye's Twins - two cockerels that just crowed for the first time this week
the pullets - of which 5 remain
the new chicks - of which 8 remain including
Sunshine (who will remain on the farm)


We'll have to see how many of the pullets and chicks
turn into hens and roosters...

If anything we'll get some more of these....