Friday, May 29, 2009

Seven Quick Takes (vol 4)

Merger complete, we started seeing patients at the new-to-us facility this past Tuesday, the day after Memorial Day. That first day on the job was a three-ring circus! A very, very busy day for us in times past (with two providers) would have been 40-45 patients. That would have kept everyone on their toes and exhausted us all by the end of the day.
On Tuesday, we saw 67 patients. Granted, this was spread over three providers - not two - but it was compounded by the fact that their office had been closed for three days (Memorial Day Weekend, of course) and ours had been closed for five to effect the move. (The phones rang off the hook!) This was doubly compounded by the fact that two of the three providers available, one of the nurses, and two of the business office personnel (myself included) were still very much in training and not yet up to speed.
Additionally, the x-ray tech who normally worked there (Mike, aged 62) passed away suddenly of heart failure on Monday afternoon - and a sub was in his place. (God rest his soul.) The final straw to the craziness was the fact that approximately two-thirds of the patients seen on Tuesday were new patients to the practice, requiring much additional paperwork to complete the check-in process. Miraculously, we still got out of there by 5:30 PM! Exhausted and overwhelmed might have been an understatement. :)

Fortunately, on Wednesday, we had only two providers at a time in the morning and afternoon. (Julia and Dad switched off morning and afternoon clinic, because Dad had a hospital delivery in the afternoon. Another nurse practitioner worked a full day.) This reduced the patient volume per force.
Both Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, I worked at home on accounts receivable for the "old clinic."

Yesterday, we had two providers in the morning and three in the afternoon. I only worked a half-day, but when I left at lunch time, we had seen 15 patients in the morning and 30 were scheduled for the afternoon! Today we will have three providers all day, so I expect the pace to increase again somewhat. I get the impression that the "incumbent" staff with whom we have begun working are completely overwhelmed with the patient load. They keep hoping that it will slow back down, but I'm not sure it will... at least, not in the near future.

I am very thankful that it's the weekend! I'm tired!!
Don't miss this brief movie clip! Bob Hope's great. :)

Ordinations in Winona, MN are three weeks from today! There will be 13 ordinands!! Ten for the Society, two for the Benedictines in Silver City, NM, and one Dominican priest for France. What a day that will be! Will any of my readers be there? (Please chime in!)

We have tens of thousands of honey bees in our backyard. On purpose. ;) They're primarily my dad's project and I admit that I was very skeptical and wary of them at first, as I have a horror of all flying, stinging insects... But they've been extremely peaceable and they're fascinating to watch. I don't know too much about them, but we have an acquaintance who has 30+ years experience as a beekeeper. He came and checked on them on Memorial Day and was impressed by the vigor of the hive. I'm looking forward to the honey!

Have a good weekend, all!! Don't miss the other 7 Quick Takes participants at this fantastic blog.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Sunset over the School

our picturesque campus at sundown: the view from our deck ~ May 25, 2009

More Wordless Wednesdays here!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Garden Update

Twenty-five days ago, we transplanted the plants that we had begun from seed indoors: bell peppers, tomatoes, and leeks. We also planted 100 bare-root strawberries that we bought from a local nursery.
Twenty-four days ago, we direct-sowed more seeds into our raised garden beds: lettuce, carrots, green beans, shell peas, beats, and more leeks.
A few days later, Mom planted 13 bare-root asparagus plants.
On May 9, we planted seven tomato plants that I bought in case our started-from-seed bushes didn't hang on.
About ten days ago, I planted more carrots and Mom planted okra, as well as some marigold seeds around the tomato plants.
This past Saturday, I planted another 1/2 row of "heatwave-proof" lettuce and another 1/2 row of carrots (by staggering the plantings, we hope to have a fairly steady harvest over several weeks).

Everything is coming along so well! It's too early still to know how good the harvest is going to be, but it looks pretty promising... I hope I'm not "jinxing" myself, but saying so. ;)

Allow me give you a tour about the place... :)

Asparagus poking through the ground...
Our carrots are still really little, but starting to get the characteristic "frilly" leaves.
Our bush beans are growing like crazy! They're bigger every day!
Leeks are very slow growers. They take about 5 months from planting to harvest...
I'm so excited about our lettuce! It's still relatively tiny, but also beginning to get the characteristic look for lettuce leaves. Ah... salads fresh from the garden. Yum!!
Our okra plants are doing splendidly as well. We'll need to thin them out a little bit soon.
My lovely lavender... I really like it. The fragrance is unbelievably strong and I'm looking forward to making a couple of sachets with the blooms this summer.
Our irises are at their peak. :)
Our tomato plants are looking healthy and growing pretty well. We need to get tomato cages soon!
Our strawberry bed is thriving. We've been pinching the flowers off the plants so far, to allow the plants' energy to go into getting bigger instead of producing fruit... but fresh strawberries are definitely a treat we're all looking forward to!
Beets (left) and peas (right)... The beets are about ready to be thinned and I thinned out the peas a little bit a couple of days ago.

Thank you so much for taking a virtual stroll through the garden with me. :) With a little luck, in a couple of months, I'll be able to post pictures of the fruits of our labors!

Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's a Bird... It's a Plane... No... It's a Sky-Diver!

On Friday night, Dad and Joey left a little after 5 PM for Manhattan, where they and twenty or so other guys from here were going to attend a class to learn a little about sky-diving. The class lasted four hours... They arrived home pretty stoked about jumping from a plane the next day. The mortality rate is, apparently, tiny: they had one death in 1992; none since. Those are pretty good odds! (I might add that they did ask a priest about the ethics and morality of jumping from a plane and got the okay from him, given the safety measures that are taken.)They start out with what's called a static line jump: the parachute is triggered at the time that you leave the plane. It's not up to you and it's pretty much fool-proof. They also start with a jump from about 3500 feet elevation and it takes about 3 1/2 minutes to reach the ground. There's a walkie-talkie type contraption attached to the helmets and the jumper gets talked through the maneuvers that will land him safely on the ground.Saturday morning came and they left the house by 7:30, convoying back to K-State for the second part of the preparatory class and then their virgin jumps. Two or three guys who had attended the Friday night class didn't show up Saturday morning, so the class consisted of 19 students. They were divided into flight groups of three - with one "group" of one. At 11:30, the first group took off and made their jumps. The very first guy to go made a near perfect landing - and, as it turned out, the best landing of the day. Joey got to go up with a couple of his compatriots :) - and was the second of the three to jump.That's he with the orange and black parachute...Dad went up in the group after Joey.There he is!They were pretty pumped about it when they got home and the stories were great! They wanted to go and jump again today, but there was only one instructor available at the jump site and for beginners, two instructors are required. Upon hearing their glowing reports about the rush you get from jumping, I'm half-convinced to try it myself...!! :-O

What do you think? Would you do it?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook (May 2009 edition)

Outside my window... a beautiful May morning - sunny, mid-60's, and the birds are chirping.

I am thinking... about what I want to try my hand at in the kitchen today: a new kind of bread? pasta? muffins? Or maybe I'll just work in the garden today. :)

I am thankful for... the fact that this week is over. The move of the clinic seemed like a long time in coming and, eventually, just like a wedding, it got to the point where everyone would just be glad when it was over! It's not completely over yet, but the majority is done and I'm glad!

From the kitchen... a tall glass of fresh-brewed peach iced sun-tea.

I am wearing... a jean skirt and a bright, turquoise-type polo shirt with some multi-colored stripes as an accent. It feels very summery!

I am reading... my favorite blogs.

I am hoping... that Dad and Joey have a lot of fun (but stay safe) while sky-diving this morning!

I am hearing... the birds chirping and Charlie Rich on my iTunes. :)

Around the house... laundry to do, tons of stuff (from the move) to find places for, tidying, organizing, and cleaning to be done.

One of my favorite things... snail mail letters!

And here's a picture for the day... sweet corn straight from the grill. Doesn't that just scream "summertime"? :) Yummmm!

Have a happy Memorial Day weekend, everybody!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cleared Out and Cleaned Up

This morning, three of us returned to the clinic and dusted, swept, and mopped almost every room. We cleaned out each and every one of the cabinets and "polished" things off. It looks so different!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's Kind of Sad

We boxed everything up at the clinic today. All the cabinets are empty. All the shelves are clear. And after seven years in this building (which, because it was built to taste, suited us all so well), it's a little hard to say goodbye and see it go.

Today was the last day we'll all work together, since some of us will be parting ways after this. Today was the last day that my dad was the boss to whom we looked and to whom we answered. *sniff*

over 50 boxes were necessary to hold the charts that are going over in the move

We saw 39 patients (two providers) yesterday and 22 patients (one provider) today... while trying to get packed up and start moving. The results were sometimes rather comical: Julia and I made a trip over to the SM Clinic with all of our treatment room supplies. When we returned, we found out that while we were delivering those things (which included suture materials), a boy with a chin laceration had walked in! Without the things needed to stitch it up (and it being small enough), my dad steri-stripped it... after having to search for a couple of minutes to find the scissors...!
Just a short while later, we learned that someone was coming in to get a cast removed. This called for a quick trip back over to the other clinic to retrieve the necessary implements which had also been transferred earlier this morning!

After that, we laid off on the actual moving and tried to confine our efforts to organizing what we could in order to box it up and move it out after our last patient of the day left a little before 5. We were pretty efficient, thankfully, with a lot of help from all sides, and managed to box and mark and sort just about everything in about 2 1/2 hours.

the "baby boards" removed from the walls of the lobby

I've worked over 33 hours in the past three days... and I'm very thankful that tomorrow is the feast of the Ascension and a holy day of obligation! ;)

Hope you all have a very happy feast day!

Wordless Wednesday: Geranium

May 14, 2009

You can find other participants' photos listed here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Again? So Soon?!

This past weekend was not really one of the restful variety, unfortunately. A number of things combined to make Saturday and Sunday a wearying couple of days - both physically and emotionally.

I so do not feel up to starting another week.

But, ready or not, here it comes!
This week is the clinic's long-anticipated moving week. We have a lot to do before the major move takes place! Today, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we'll be continuing to see patients (that includes a colonoscopy and an induction in addition to the usual full days of office visits), while we do our best to pack up - and in the evenings, those of us on the clerical side of things have orientation. (Makes me tired just thinking about it!) The moving crew will be hauling stuff to the other facility on Thursday.
This Friday through Memorial Day, we will be unpacking and setting up in the new (to us) building, hoping to be ready to begin clinic as usual at 8 AM on Tuesday, May 26.

It looks like the best that we can do right now is put a shoulder to the grindstone and plow ahead. When we look up, the week will be gone and so will another weekend. And - my goodness! - we'll be staring June in the face!

Better grab another cup of java...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

In the House of the Rising ... Dough

**Updated with Pictures**

I was reading through a couple of articles on The Fresh Loaf a couple of days ago and the thought occurred to me to see how difficult ciabatta bread might be to make. I found a recipe that looked quite straightforward and thought I'd try my hand at it!

My breads (I've made white, honey wheat, and rye) tend to turn out with a crumb that's too dense for my tastes. I'm hoping that the ciabatta bread will be a completely different story.

I started out this morning about 10 AM. So far, it's been incredibly easy: you mostly just let the dough sit and do its thing. :)

As I type, four little ciabatta loaves are on their final rise. I'll slide them into the oven in about 15 minutes and ... time will tell!!

I'll add pictures in a little while, when my experiment is complete. And I'll let you know the results.

The results, for my first try, were quite good! I was really happy with the way the bread turned out. The "holes" in the loaves could have been bigger, but the consistency was pretty good and the crust was classic! Yum! The loaves were little-ish, but one of them is already gone (within five hours of completion). Two others are stashed in the freezer for a little later on. The whole thing was really so easy and so very rewarding, I'll definitely be doing it again!

Have you ever made ciabatta bread? Bread of any kind?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Loose Ends

Our garden is coming along well. I am quite excited about it! :) It's still very much in its 'baby' stages at this point, but if the start is any indication of what the finish is going to be like, we'll have a successful garden this year.
This evening, Mom and I planted okra, a second batch of carrots, marigolds, and calendula. Our shell peas popped through the ground today and the bush beans started to poke through. The beets look fantastic and healthy and our little lettuce plants are off to a good start. Mom planted seven tomato plants yesterday. There are only a couple of leeks up so far; and it looks like our bell peppers are struggling just a little. The strawberries, however, look awesome! Our fruit trees are holding their own.


This article
on taking things (particularly fear) one day at a time is fabulous food for thought and inspiration for action!!! I highly recommend it (and the whole blog)!


The merger and move are nearing extremely rapidly and this means a lot of work to be done in a short amount of time! I can't believe we only have seven more business days as JLFP. We haven't really started packing anything up yet... We definitely have our work cut out for us, with packing, moving, unpacking, and orientation to accomplish in the next ten days or so.


This is just a really fun little video. :) Enjoy! (HT to Linds. :))

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you mommies out there! (Especially those of you for whom this is your first Mother's Day!) My mom is celebrating her 24th (qualifying :)) Mother's Day and my sister is celebrating her 2nd.