Monday, September 29, 2008

Peach Cobbler: Rolled Dumplings the Best!

Ripe, lucious peaches are EVERYwhere in western Colorado this time of year. Sweet, juicy fruit picked straight from the tree of a friend was used to make our latest peach cobbler. Freshly grated nutmeg and cardamom make juices zing.


This season, I tried three recipes for peach cobbler and peach crisp. And the best recipe can be found at Cook.Com, in my humble opinion. Here it is:
OLD FASHIONED PEACH COBBLER
8 or 9 peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. sugar2 tbsp. self-rising flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 c. butter, melted

Cook peaches in water until tender. Mix flour, salt and sugar. Add to peaches. Mix. Add melted butter.

PASTRY FOR COBBLER:1 c. self-rising flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. shortening
4 tbsp. sweet milk, or enough to make a stiff dough

Blend flour, salt, and shortening to coarse meal texture. Add milk. Roll on floured surface. Pour half of peaches in 9x13 inch pan. Cut some dumplings and push dumplings down into the peach juice. Pour remaining peaches in and top with lattice strips. Bake in a 350 degree oven 35 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown. I like to sprinkle a little sugar on top before baking. This should be juicy cobbler, not dry.
This was my favorite because I prefer the rolled texture of the dumpling, and the fact that the self-created thickened sauce is similar to that of an apple dumpling.

A little vanilla ice cream doesn't hurt the taste!

Friday, September 26, 2008

How to Make a Fabric Broach (Christmas Flower)

Molly at Mollychicken gave an easy, fun tutorial on making fabric broaches. That tutorial is complete and easy to read, with great pictures. It gave me an idea for making a broach that I could wear with black and red colors.

Naturally, Christmas comes to mind with the reds and greens traditionally used for the season. I had lots of scrap fabric on hand, so the only fabric I purchased was 1/4 yd. of tartan plaid flannel. Total cost of the project was under $2.00, including the plaid fabric.

Molly says to use hessian backcloth for the broach. Not having any hessian fabric on hand, I resurrected an old piece of needlepoint backing for the broach base. It worked just fine.

I did not pull through the fabric strips, but instead, sewed them onto the pencilled-in concentric circles. Instead of using felt to cover up the stitching on the back, I recycled a plaid collar from a vest previously scavengered for fabric and trimmings. A circle of the plaid fabric was cut out to fit the back, then a clasp was sewn onto the circle, and the completed back was hot glued onto the backing. A more finished plaid backing was the result.
The other finishing step was cutting the ends of the fabric strips at a slant. This was done haphazardly with scissors, but pinking shears could also be used to make the ends look prettily frayed.

I also researched this site for information about making rugs with rag strips. It was a good read and gave me some more ideas about out how to make the Christmas flower broach.

Here is a picture of the back and the front of the broach, using red, green and coordinating colors in the fabric scraps:


The project was an hour well spent, and a different type of craft using old methods incorporating rug making and recycling.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Knitted Knockers

October is almost here. Did you remember that October is "Breast Cancer Awareness Month"? That means: GET YOUR annual MAMMOGRAM, Ladies!

I previously wrote about making knitted knockers in this post Boob Inserts. And now I've come up with a new and improved version on the insert.

But wait, first you might need some background on Knitted Knockers, The Program:
...word soon spread among mastectomy patients and their caregivers, leading most recently to a news story on our knitted knockers effort that was picked up by CNN. As a result, we have been flooded with requests for knitted knockers from survivors, information on where to obtain the pattern, and advice on how to start a knitted knockers group. 
To better help the knitting volunteers and survivors find each other, and hopefully inspire more knitted knockers groups, we have attempted to organize information on the program in one location. While this portion of our website will be a work-in-progress, we hope that you find it helpful and will keep us posted on your knitted knockers!
(photo courtesy of The Knitting Experience)


Benefit for Breastless Women says
My sister knits like there's no tomorrow. Really - she can knit sitting, standing, walking, lounging, and maybe even sleeping. She sent me this story about a gal who is a breast cancer survivor, and owns a yarn shop, The Knitting Experience. Chesley, the shop's owner, was recently featured on TV for her knitting Boob-A-Thon. Her shop gathered up knitters from all around who were willing to knit boobs in front of TV cameras, to raise awareness for breast cancer, and to create knitted breast prostheses for charity. I'm starting to think seriously about knitting again. Anyone want to join me? The original Beryl Tsang pattern can be found online, and many other variations are on Ravelry. If you can't get interested in knitting knockers, perhaps you'd rather create other items, to be donated to Knitting for Knockers, an online shop that sells handmade items and in turn, "donates the total purchase price of each item sold (minus Etsy and/or Paypal fees) to Breast Cancer Action." British women have also been knitting breasts, to teach new mothers how to breastfeed. Their pattern calls for wool, but I'd skip that, for a breast prosthesis!
Another and different pattern can be found at Arpelia's Blog.

The "new and improved" model that I fiddled with uses only one side of the knitted circle. Fill the cup with fiberfill and sew a fabric circle onto the filled cup with a running stitch, using cotton fabric for the backing. This saves time because only one side of the insert is knitted, and it makes for a more comfortable fit on a reconstructed breast.

Here is my final product.

It works for me!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

For Everything There is A Time and a Season

For everything, there is a time and a season. Ecclesiastes, Chapter Three:
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
The past week has been high drama for family and friends with health crises and simultaneous emotional upheavals. I have been away from home for a while, trying to help. I don't know how much help I gave, but at least I offered distraction and prayer.

Podcasts of craftlit and pray-as-you-go and knitting, of course, are some of my coping mechanisms to help maintain mental stability. Time to just listen to meditations and time for reflection are gifts which I have been given during this time. While knitting, I have been able to offer prayers and selected thoughts for family and friends facing difficult situations.

And I've decided over the past week that for this new autumnal season, I want to tackle a different and challenging project: an (easily) knit lace shawl.

I found a complete tutorial which sounds like it would be pretty and one that I could finish within a reasonable time frame. Never mind that I still have one beaded sock and a sweater to finish before starting the shawl!

A preview of (white) simple lace knitting is shown on the right, photo courtesy of Knitters' Review.

Here is the site I found: Making an Easy Lace Scarf. It looks like all the essentails are there: an easy lace scarf pattern, how-to's, and lots of links to patterns, tutorials, books and yarns. Once I master the "making of lace" technique, maybe a shawl will be on the list for another project for the winter.

Now to decide on the yarn to be used for the scarf. For everything there is a time and a season. Maybe next season will be the time to start the referenced lace shawl.

For Donna, may God's peace be with you. For Mary, Julie and Jack, may God's will leave you with strength and purpose. For Kathy, may God's peace shine on you. For anyone reading this post, may your time be purposeful.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

How to Make Air Fresheners Yourself: Go Green

Home-and-Garden says
Few people realize how easy it is to make your own air fresheners and how much safer these alternatives are compared to the store-bought versions that are full of chemicals. There are a lot of options when it comes to freshening your home for less money and with all-natural ingredients. However, figuring out where to begin can be a little bit confusing. You can make a great air freshener and linen spray very inexpensively.
So I went on a hunt for home made air fresheners that were cheap, effective and Green! Here are a few sites and recipes that I found:

Ehow gives this recipe:

Step1 Heat 1 c. water.
Step2 Add four packages unflavored gelatin.
Step3 Stir until dissolved.
Step4 Remove from heat and add 1 c. distilled water.
Step5 Add 10 to 20 drops of scented oil.
Step6 Add a few drops of food coloring (optional).
Step7 Let the mixture cool, then pour it into clean baby-food jars.
Step8 Let gel set overnight.
Step9 Decorate jars with fabric, ribbon or stickers.

Or, how about this one:

Things You’ll Need: Witch Hazel, 30-40 dried bay leaves, 4 tbsp. dried sage

Step1 Gather the following ingredients: 4 tbsp. dried sage; 30 to 40 crumbled, dried bay leaves; and 1 c. witch hazel (liquid)

Step2 Combine ingredients in a medium-sized glass jar.

Step3 Mix well and cover with a lid.

Step4 Let mixture sit at room temperature for three days.

Step5 Mix again.

Step6 Strain herb leaves from mixture.

Step7 Pour the liquid

But, MY FAVORITE air freshener is this one from Green Living:

The vanilla bean has properties that reduce odors. Try this trick to remove unwanted smells and make your home fresh and sweetly-scented:

Just put 1 to 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract in a small cup anywhere you want air freshening. That’s it!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Beading on Fabric

If you like to work with beads, eventually you may want to try sewing beads onto fabric.

Several years ago, I made a lined jacket and wanted to embellish the lapel with beads. I tried various methods, and ended up sewing the beads onto the jacket with nylon fishing line. If I were to do this over again, regular cotton floss would work just as well.

I decided to put an iguana likeness onto the lapel. It was just a basic tracing from a picture of an iguana, and the beads were sewn on in a more or less random fashion.

Here is a picture of the close up of the beaded iguana, and then the entire jacket:

The edging of the jacket also has attached beads.

For a tutorial on stitches, here is a good website I found: Coats and Clark

Basic Beading requires only a needle, thread and beads. There are just two stitches to learn—a stop stitch and a running stitch. Other stitches are variations of these.Basic Beading requires only a needle, thread and beads. There are just two stitches two basics.

Running Stitch: This is a stitch with a bead in it. Cut a length of thread no longer than 15”. Knot one end of the thread. Bring needle up through the fabric to the right side and thread a bead onto the needle. Bring the needle back through the fabric to the wrong side right next to the bead. Continue sewing beads using this running stitch. On straight lines, depending on the size of the bead, several beads can be threaded on the needle and sewn on in a single stitch. Every 3 or 4 beads, take a back stitch to secure.

Stop Stitch: This is for attaching two beads-usually a large and a small bead. Bring needle up through the fabric to the right side and thread first the larger then the smaller bead onto the needle. The small bead is the “stop”. Bring the needle back through the first larger bead to the wrong side of the fabric.Fence Stitch Bring needle up through the fabric to the right side and thread a bugle bead, a seed beadand another bugle bead onto the needle. Take a short stitch so that the bugle beads stand up creating a “fence”.

Loop Stitch: Create a dramatic edging with this stitch. Bring needle up through the fabric to the right side and thread several (8 to 10 depending on the size). Use the last 6 or 7 beads as the “stop”. Bring the needle down through the first couple of beads and to the wrong side of the fabric.

Vermicelli Stitch: This is the basic running stitch, but each stitch is taken in a different direction. It can be a pattern such as a zig zag or completely random.

This winter, I want to try more bead embellishment on vintage blouses and shirts. And THIS time I'll follow the directions.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Notes on Palin's UpDo Hairstyle

I've been curious about Sarah Palin's hair style. Did you notice that soon after the GOP VP selection, and when was starting receiving national media coverage, her bangs got a new slash cut? I did! Naturally, I wanted to figure out how she arrived at her current hair-do. Dumb me, I always thought women of a certain age did not wear their hair long....well, she does not! She keeps it up, usually.

But, wait, let's see what others think about Palin's new (old) "do":

The Roots of Sarah Palin's Hair talks about


… the iconoclastic updo of our favorite she-mav, Sarah Palin. But the true story of that hairstyle's humble beginning will move you.

According to The New York Times, "The ballerina-pink Beehive, in a 1,400-square-foot ranch house, is a cut-and-color shop. A haircut is $30, discounted to $20 if you get the $95 color treatment. In a downstairs nursery, the stylists’ babies play with mannequin heads. In a phone interview, Mrs. Steele, 37, described a kind of “Steel Magnolias” on permafrost, featuring Ms. Palin as a recurring presence."

What follows is a heartwarming and utterly pointless tale of one woman and the fact that she has a hairdo: "With more established salons throughout the valley, the Beehive would seem a surprising choice for Wasilla’s then-mayor. Mrs. Steele started the salon in 1997 when she, a recently separated mother of two, put a salon chair in her garage and painted the interior Barbie pink. The two experimented with full bangs, side-swept bangs, clips, curls, twists and blond streaks.

So that is how she and her hairdresser arrived at her look. And I would bet that when she is back on her home turf in Wasilla, the Beehive is buzzing with activity, including Palin's being there for a touch up.

You might enjoy this blog "Are You Having Trouble Understanding Sarah Palin's Hairdo?" It is complete with pictures that are worth a thousand words. Catch it here: Althouse Blogspot. (By the way, Althouse has taken a vow of cruel neutrality.)

Personally, I can’t wait to see Mrs. Palin’s hair put up in a French roll. Remember those?

However she styles her hair, I like her!


############################################

Now, for the next thought: Marie at Knitted Gems (a daily read for me) was sweet enough to mention my blog as one she recommends. She gave me this award button:

(Can you see me blush? Thank you, Marie!)

Now it is my turn to chose seven other blogs which I enjoy reading. It seems unfair to pick so few, but in no particular order, please go check out these blogs and have an enjoyable read from these lovely lady bloggers:

We Do Not Have A Knitting Problem

Giggle Face Studios

Lovely Sweet William

Imminent Metaphor

Little Orange Kitchen

Grace Beading

Loopy Lou's Adventures Into Handicrafts
and even though this makes eight:
Cindy Lietz' Beads

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dogs and a Bewildered Toad; Cosmos


video

A little video from me to you, with music by Iris Dement


this is how we spent our weekend (on the lookout for snakes and toads)...

Relating to nature, above is a picture of one of our cosmos plants that is over 60 inches tall! The usual height for a cosmos plant is between 2-4 feet. A bit of information about these plants from Texas A&M says:

Spanish priests grew cosmos in their mission gardens in Mexico. The evenly placed petals led them to christen the flower "Cosmos," the Greek word for harmony or ordered universe. Cosmos, like many of our warm weather annuals such as marigolds, originated in Mexico and South America.

Have a nice Monday!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sewing T Shirt Purses

From 10 Easy Steps to a T Shirt Purse, you can read about how to make a purse from a T shirt. However, it seemed pretty complicated to me, so I kept searching the internet for an easier way to make this little catch-all.

Here is another site with easier directions for making a T shirt purse: Craftbits.

Finally, my favorite, and the EASIEST way I found to make a T shirt Bag was found at this site. Go to How-to-Make-a-Sporty-Grocery-Bag for the directions.

I swear it only took me ten minutes to make this one. An old blue Hawaiian keepsake T shirt, overwashed and overshunk, was crying to be used for this project.

With a few modifications and a black ribbon sewn on for handles, here is my NEW t shirt purse which holds a sweater knitting project:


If you want to PURCHASE a T Shirt Purse, over 420 ETSY SHOP OWNERS ("everything hand made") will sell you a refurbished and/or new T Shirt Purse for prices ranging from $8 to $35 each.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Repairing a Beaded Watch Band

Wouldn't you know that the watch band I made here at beading-watch-bands a few months ago broke? Luckily, most of the beads were recovered from off the floor. (I hit my wrist against a heavy suitcase, and only injured my pride instead of the watch.)

No worries; a simple repair put it right. This time, however, I used fishing line (black, 14 lb. weight and thin). The fishing line is sturdier than the stretchy bracelet cord I previously used for the watch band. It is also smaller in diameter than lots of the plastic types of threads used in beading. Even very small beads can be strung on fishing line.

Then the beads were re-strung on double strands of the fishing line, knot tied between beads, and finished off with a circle and arm closure link from the craft store. A dot of jewelry glue at the junction of the last bead and the end link sealed the deal.



Ta da! Fixed! And it should be even stronger than the first watch made with stretchy plastic cord.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dogs as Helpers; Animals in Heaven

On Monday, therapy dog Libby Sweetpea, Cathy, her two therapy dogs and I visited the Grand Junction Regional Center operated by Colorado's Dept. of Human Services.

We two adults and our three pets visited the 32 people receiving highly specialized care in one section at the Center. Most of the people receiving care, although non-verbal, seemed to be highly receptive to the animals, and a few petted the dogs with enthusiasm and gentleness. I was very much impressed with the excellent care provided by the direct patient providers.

Previously, I have written about Therapy Dogs International here in an earlier post and here after Libby received her official Therapy Dog certification.

While on a visit last week to St. Mary's Hospital, Libby and I visited with a woman whose dog had died several years ago.

That conversation brought up the subject of "animals in heaven."

Wanting to check out this line of thinking, here are a few sites I visited:

(photo courtesy of saintfrancisfoundation)

Do Animals Go to Heaven? and reassurances can be found here.

Both sites give assurances that life with beloved pets are valuable in many ways. This was certainly validated yesterday when I saw the positive interaction our dogs provided those with many special physical needs.

Here is a sweet poem given us upon the death of our older pet several years ago. The office staff of the veterinarian all signed the card that said:

Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food and water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they miss someone very special to them; who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. The bright eyes are intent; the eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to break away from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together......."
Anonymous

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Disastrous Experience with Faceted Rib Knit Technique

It is all better now. After close to three weeks of sporadically knitting a pair of socks from an easy pattern found in The Little Box of Socks, I finally understand the pattern directions{ (love this box of patterns)... available at Amazon through the sidebar}

The directions were easy enough, if you know how to just hold the darn yarn. I had to go to my Knitting for Dummies (KFD) book to see why I kept repeating my knitting mistake. I remembered the Weight Watchers' slogan: "If you keep on doing the same thing, you will keep on getting the same results." Often, I need to be hit on the head to keep that truth in mind.

The KFD book helped me to literally "see" my mistake. Once I looked at the reference book, and saw how the diagram pictured holding the yarn, the written directions became clear.
I also incorporated some beads into the cuff of the sock, using another reference book which is an excellent guide. That book is Easy Beaded Knits by Jeanette Trotman. This book is not only a handy reference for beading, but also has lovely patterns.

While ripping out many inches of incorrect stitches on the beginning of this sock, I reflected on Chaucer's quote:
The lyf so shorte, the crafte so long to lerne...
Susan Lyden, in her book The Knitting Sutra-Craft as Spiritual Practice, says it well:
I thought ... that the aim of craft was to become proficient and to spend a lifetime creating beautiful things. It seemed like something was wrong with a plan whereby you took a lifetime to achieve mastery over difficult techniques then died just when you had become really good. I learned ... that the purpose of the craft is not so much to make beautiful things as it is to become beautiful inside while you are making those things.
Isn't that true? Just the act of knitting is a Zen experience for me. I have just lately found that it really does not matter so much when I have to rip out stitches for correction: the act of knitting in itself is the process of acquiring stillness in one's heart and mind.
********************
Knitting Notes: 100% Superwashed merino ShiBuiknits from Webs online store ($9.30/skein; 2 skeins) 191 yd/ball; machine wash on gentle cycle; dry flat; hand dyed; made in Peru; item #4103 Sock Shibui (Roggongi); size 1 needles (5 double point)

Monday, September 8, 2008

How to Make Altered Beaded Broach Jewelry

In Friday's blog post, Carol's Pin Swap was mentioned. Over the weekend, I made two altered art broaches for this exchange. One piece was made from a silver heart broach, and one from a polymer based "sun face" pin.

The two broaches are altered art projects. Heavy cardboard was cut from scrap material to make the backing, and also for stability of the pin. On the back of each broach, coordinating fabric was cut in the shape of the back base, glued to the cardboard and trimmed when dry.

Black, white, blue and green were the predominant colors in the sun faced broach, surrounded by coordinating colored glass and polymer beads threaded onto head pins; those threaded beads and more tiny green seed glass beads were glued to the plastic backing around the sun face.

The silver pin was a heart shaped broach which I altered by using a photograph of my mom, then embellishing it with gold leaf and the burnished photo cut to fit the inside of the heart. Beads were threaded onto headpins, turned for closing with needle nosed pliers, and then attached to the silver base heart with jump rings. Further embellishment with gold colored glass beads were then glued onto the photo face.

Again, the The Sassy Art Goddess' rules for this swap are:

Create a brooch/pin no larger that 2 ½ x 2 ½ inches. Anything goes for the faceas long as it implies a human face and has some beads. Polymer clay, buttons, paper, clay, felting, image transfer, bead or regular embroidery, what ever strikes your fancy. This is a 1 -1 swap. Due to me by September 26th. You must include return postage of $5.00 or a Priority Stamp and return mailing label. If you do not send return postage, your pin is mine. International swappers welcome and encouraged. Please include a note with your real name and screen name, mailing address, title of your piece and any other info you think might be nice to know about your piece. All pins/broaches will be swapped and mailed the first 2 weeks of October. This is a fun, fast swap and great opportunity for all you newbies to try your hand at creating something.
Can't wait to see what comes back to me in the mail in October!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Blogger Follow Feature

Blogger is rolling out some great new features. Not available to everyone yet, mine just came available last week. "Follow" is a new feature, you'll see it on my left sidebar. If you're a regular reader, just click on 'Follow this blog" and your icon will show up once you confirm.

Also, there is a list of blogs that you follow and you can import those from your Google Reader or enter the url's. The list of blogs that you follow will show up on your dashboard below your list of blogs. Here's a blog post explaining Blogger's new features.

Beaded Pins and Broach Contest

The Sassy Art Goddess is having her fourth annual beaded face pin contest. Click on her link and see the darling entrants from the 2007 exchange. All you need to do is send in one "faced object" of any medium and $5 in return postage, and you will get back a whimsical piece of art someone else has created in exchange for your own.

This is such a fun idea. More information about this contest can be obtained here; then click on the Yahoo Group to join.

Here is one broach submitted by Maggie Robinson last year that would be fun to wear:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Note from Denver International Airport

Julie is in stable condition.

This marks the last leg of the United Airline return jaunt from North Carolina.

I'm sitting at United's Gate B92 using the DIA "free" wi-fi for connectivity. Other than a tight keyboard, the Little Asus Eee PC works fine for travel. It is short on memory, so toggling between windows makes it difficult to make links. That is a problem easily solved by adding a few extra dollars to the memory for an upgrade.

And I was disappointed that the hospital which I visited had a strong firewall which made emailing a hassle.Otherwise, the Eee PC worked fine.

A few random thoughts while on the plane from Chicago to Denver:

My cell phone was virtually unusable this trip because I brought the wrong phone battery charger, so this trip was similar to traveling 20 years ago without cellular service. My bad for not getting the correct charger. I heard yesterday that Cindy McCain has three blackberries to keep up with her seven children. I could not manage even keeping one cell phone energized.

Sarah Palin puts down her IPhone and picks up the breast pump at any given hour in her life; I barely wended my way back and forth from the motel to the hospital without making lots of wrong turns and missteps on exits. Speaking of Sarah Palin. I. Love. Her. Can you image relating to H.R. Clinton on that level? Uh uh.

Much more later; my flight is boarding.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Reflections from the Bedside

Update on daughter Julie: lab reports are good, appliances are working, except for her shunt which diverts CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) for her hydrocephalous.

Chair side observations IMHO:

1) Nurses are overworked and stressed;
2) Hospital food is generally tasty;
3) The general public does not understand the importance of hand washing;
4) Hierarchical symbolism in the hospital has changed over the past few years -- every direct patient care provider slings a stethoscope around their neck and wears scrubs. Therefore, doctors distinguish themselves as "physicians" by wearing a sport coats over their scrubs, and leave steths to the assistants
5) RN's are the only nurses employed here at Carolinas Medical Center; LPN's are a thing of the past;
6) 12 hr. shifts are the norm for RNs; charting is half their workload;
7) Lab results still get misplaced/lost. (Julie's most important CSF labs are still "missing" after five days, and the risk of tapping her shunt for more lab work is risky.)
8) Drama is constant; one does not get too excited over minor crises;
9) Common courtesy is often overlooked by patients; a sense of entitlement often pervades the patient's outlook;
10) Ensure that the patient visitor can take care of themselves in all ways before "visiting" the patient, or the visitor will be a burden to all concerned;
11) An hallucinating patient can almost make one believe an outlandish story, simply because they are so convinced of their own reality;
11) In general, people surely do complain about minor annoyances;
12) Pain control is better managed.

Update on daughter Julie: lab reports are good, appliances are working, except for her shunt which diverts CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) for her hydrocephalous. She is to have more x-rays this hour to determine the amount of CSF fluid around her lungs.

Julie is stapled all the way from her clavicle to her bottom. She is quite coherent and the hallucinations have abated. She is not in pain.

Hurricanes, the Republican National Convention, and life goes on.