Posted in Uncategorized

Susie Homemaker’s Very Fine Day

IMG_3794I think I’m a reasonable shopper. I like a good deal as well as the next person, but I don’t mind paying for items of good quality. All too often though, my shopping list includes laundry detergent and the price of quality brands really bugs me.

Over the years I’ve made my own laundry soap from time to time, with very good cleaning results, but my efforts always petered out because I disliked finely grating the bar soap needed to make the granular recipe I’d been using. A little while ago, still steaming over the price of Tide, I drove home wondering why I couldn’t make laundry soap in liquid form. Continue reading “Susie Homemaker’s Very Fine Day”

Posted in cancer, Uncategorized

When Cancer Came

My story was first published at

When cancer comes to call, it is entirely unexpected. We have spent no anxious days wondering about a suspicious lump, and no sleepless nights waiting for test results. Except in hindsight, there isn’t a single suggestion of cancer’s imminent visit. No, on this raw January day, cancer broadsides our family when it causes my husband to have a seizure in the middle of a Lone Star Cafe where we’re eating lunch. In six hours flat we speed from fajitas and salsa in the suburbs, through two local hospitals, and on to a big downtown ER. There, we’re warehoused until we can see a neurosurgeon about the scary grey mass that shows up on a CT of Paul’s brain. Continue reading “When Cancer Came”

Posted in christmas, gift


Woodburning Kit copyThe year I was ten years old I received a woodburning kit for Christmas. I had never seen one before and my parents had to explain how to use it. I’m pretty sure it got plugged in right after breakfast.

The tool was an unwieldy thing in the hands of a child, although in my mother’s it had looked easy. The hot tip of the tool came with different attachments (as show on the box cover above), and each made a different shape: a circle, an X, a fine line, and so on. The only problem is, the small tool provided for changing tips didn’t fasten then very securely so they were always coming off. But when things went well, it was a lot of fun. Continue reading “THE GIFT OF A CHILD”

Posted in Uncategorized


Today has been a really great day. One of the main reasons I’m enjoying it so much is because days like this seldom happen. For starters, I’m off work and it’s perfect fall weather. The sun is golden and warm breezes  blow through the open doors and windows of the house. It’s also a good day because I realized something important about plain old me.

I’m not extraordinarily well-educated, nor am I a world traveler, unless you count the many vacations I’ve enjoyed via friends’ Facebook photos. I’ve never done anything great or accomplished a monumental feat. Instead, what I am is a fairly down-to-earth collection of small abilities and random bits of knowledge and that’s okay. More than okay, actually, because these small, random, practical things come to my rescue on many occasions. Today was one such day. Continue reading “A BAG OF RANDOM SKILLS”

Posted in Uncategorized

I’m a Small Cog On a Big Wheel

ER-SignI’ve been reading a number of articles lately, written by grateful doctors about nurses who work in the Emergency Department. While I was reading them I pictured the busy ER where I work and I imagined my friends’ faces as they work hard, caring for patients and saving lives. Their collective knowledge and years of experience are vast and impressive and I admire and respect each of them.

After I finished reading these pieces, however, I started to wonder about something. The nurses are, quite rightly, heroes of any emergency department. They deserve all the kudos they receive. But what about the unsung folks toiling behind the scenes? What about the Unit Secretaries who keep it all happening? Continue reading “I’m a Small Cog On a Big Wheel”

Posted in Uncategorized

A Breakfast Adventure

We recently made the long drive from our home near Toronto, Ontario to visit our grandson in Virginia. We also went to see his parents.

Because we don’t get to spend a lot of time with almost-four-year-old Nolan, I try to make our short visits fun. One morning when he woke up he wasn’t ready for breakfast so I asked if he’d like to pack breakfast into his backpack and we’d go on an adventure. He thought that was a great idea, but only if he could bring his drill. Continue reading “A Breakfast Adventure”