Saturday, April 25, 2009


When my mom was here, some good friends treated us to a dinner out at Scott's Bar and Grill in Edmonds. Now, obviously, I love good food, but on top of that, I appreciate food served with nice presentation even more (drilled in by my mom, the college home ec major, and my 8th grade home ec teacher). I started with an amazing French Onion soup. (Sorry it's a bit blurry, but you get the idea!)

Mom had the Almond Crusted Sea Scallops. I am not a shellfish eater, but these were tempting in their beauty! I had the Prime Rib, which was delicious, and had the hottest horseradish ever. The waiter warned me...

We both finished it off with the Burnt Cream. Which obviously I was so excited to get into my mouth that I couldn't wait to start.

The full menu is online. Go there. Eat lots.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Digging a Hole

There is something very personal, final, and rather cathartic about digging a grave. Even for a beloved kitty. Buddy died in his sleep last night. Even though I knew it was coming before I went to bed, I wasn't really prepared for the sight of him this morning. Or how hard it would be to wrap him up in a sheet. Rowdy came in the room and kept nudging him with his nose. That just about put me over the edge.

Here are a few things about my Buddy. I got him at PAWS after my separation. My dad started calling him Buddy since he followed me like a puppy when he first came home. I think he thought I was going to run off. I wanted to name him something noble like Fitzwilliam Darcy or King Henry. But Buddy stuck. He also had the softest fur ever. Bunny fur. If he could have spoken I think he would have had a very posh British accent.

And I loved him.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Credit Where Credit is Due

Earlier this week, I had to take my car into a detail shop to get an exterior cleaning. The new parking garage at the hospital leached lime this winter onto a few of our cars, and Providence sent us to get them cleaned. Having a new was a little frustrating, but not nearly as annoying as the one-inch paint ding that someone left on my front bumper...while in the same garage (and it's employee parking!).

But I digress. Shocking, I know. I headed to Auto Detailers where Glenn did a lovely job and I took my happy little car home. Imagine my surprise when yesterday after work, I noticed that the paint ding was gone. Fixed. And Glenn never mentioned a word to me! How easy it would have been for him to tell me how wonderful he was...but instead, he just did an above-and-beyond job on my car.

If you are in Everett and need auto detailing or body work...I highly recommend them!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ups and Downs...and Up Again

This has been "one of those weeks".

Buddy, the prince of all cats, has been sick this week with a completely blocked urinary tract. After a trip to his vet, and a rush trip to the kitty ER, and two nights in the hospital, he came home Saturday night for a trial run. Essentially, the big question is "will he pee on his own, or is he still blocked?"...and if not, I had decided to put him down the only other option is a $3000 surgery.

The kitty snuggled all night with me. He's really been my baby this past year. And this morning before work, I said my goodbye. Because there was no urine. None. And I was heartbroken as I headed out to work. My dad, who has really been supportive (financially and otherwise) with the cat-thing, agreed to take him to the vet for me.

Dad came and picked him up, took him in to the clinic, and waited out front. Imagine how he must have felt when they came back out with the cat and announced (he says very loudly to a full waiting room) that, "we're not going to euthanize your cat...he just peed all over the tech!" Nice going, Buddy. Dad says he is mortified and never going back there, as he is sure they think he is a heartless killer.

The little guy isn't out of the woods yet. But he is home. And I will be keeping an eye on him. He's still not feeling well. Rowdy knows this and keeps trying to get next to him and groom him. It's sweet. But I'm not sure how much more of the up and down I can take!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I Need These

Well, need might be too strong of a word. But aren't they just the cutest? These were made by Holt Howard in the 1950s and are part of an extensive (adorable and highly impractical) collection. However, I doubt that I can justify a third set of salt and pepper shakers...even if they do meow.

In Christ Alone

...sung at church this morning...

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Back on Track

Isn't it amazing how easy it is to get out of a good rhythm in your habits? I have been going to the gym at work with a friend at least four days a week. Until mom came to visit. Don't worry, Mom, I'm not blaming you.

While mom was here I hit the treadmill once. Only once. And I have no excuse, since there is one in my livingroom.

So I'm going back in this morning with a friend. We need to both get back in sync. My muscles (such as they are) are ready for the pain. It's good.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I went for a hike earlier this week at Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island.

Perhaps "hike" is a bit of a misnomer. I actually just strolled along some very well groomed (but muddy) trails through the woods to Cranberry Lake.

Well, "lake" is a bit of a misnomer as well. The trail ends abrubtly at a marsh. A large marsh, to be sure, but certainly not a lake.
I did see some evidence of beavers. And I startled a mama deer with a spotted little one by tromping loudly through the underbrush to get a picture that didn't even turn out, but my camera wasn't nearly as fast as they were. That's a lie. My camera is very fast. I'm not.
Then I wandered out of the woods and down to the beach. I would like to say that the picture at the bottom does not do this hill justice. It's a killer. So near the top I turned around to "take a picture". What I really needed was to get my breath.

A Follow-up Article to My Medicaid Rant

This article appeared Wednesday in Austin, Texas' American Statesman. It was passed around at work today, and the general consensus was that we have patients who could probably surpass this record. I wish it were an April Fool's joke. But it's not funny.

Just Now on the Radio...

...I heard an advertisement that said, "Does your 401k look more like a 201k?" Uh, yeah. Every time I get my quarterly investment report, I have to remind myself that I can't withdraw it for 22 years...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Born on This Day: Hans Christian Anderson

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was a prolific Danish author of fairy tales. I still have my much-loved copy of tales from my childhood. Many hours were spent losing myself in his marvelous stories.

In Minot's Scandinavian Heritage Park, there is a wonderful sit-by statue that I think really captures the whimsey of Andersen.

My favorite fairy tale was always The Snow Queen. What was yours?

A Rant on Medicaid

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. ~Thomas Jefferson

For those of you who either work with me, or who are subjected to my militant rants regarding the passing out of Medicaid in this state as if it were Halloween candy, bear with me. For the other two of on.

I can only speak for the state of Washington, because that is where I see abuse firsthand, every day. Our Medicaid system is broken, seriously broken, yet our governor wants to expand the program and hand out free health care at an even faster rate.

Let me interrupt here and point out that I am not against helping those who need it. Welfare as a concept was designed for either those truly unable to work, or as a short-term solution; not a lifestyle. I believe that if children need medical attention, they should get it. I also believe that their parents should bear some of that responsibility for their care, in the way of co-pays. And if the elderly need assistance, I'm all for it. Truly, I'm not a heartless wretch.

However, here's what I see every day in the emergency room. The key word is emergency. Off the top of my head, without exaggeration, I would estimate that 60-70% of our patients in the ER are receiving Medicaid assistance. They come to the ER for coughs, colds, ear aches, slight fevers, sprains, etc. They come without having tried Tylenol and rest. And they come without co-pays, without any attempt at home remedies that take time, effort, or out of pocket expense. And they certainly don't want to go to the walk-in clinics. The number one reason given? They don't think they should have to wait. Seriously. This is the biggest frustration that I hear from staff. We have patients that we see...wait for it...3 or 4 times a week. For the flu, for back pain, for that persistant cough. This is in the ER.

So how to fix the problem? It seems simple. If you are unwilling to work, we are unwilling to spend tax dollars on you. Period. If you are down on your luck, and need temporary assistance, fine. Let's set a limit. But when you go to the ER, it will cost you $20. No more going in for free Tylenol. If you need that, go to Walgreens. It's $5. That's what I do.