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Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Closer View Through My Lens

My Macro Lens lens arrived today!!  
And yes, feel its appropriate to capitalize "Macro Lens" as if it were a pronoun.


This is the first lens I have ever purchased for my camera, ever.  It is a Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact-Macro Lens.  Fancy-smancy, huh?  I am in love.


In true fashion I ripped open the box, read none of the instructions, exchanged my old 18-55mm lens on my camera and headed outside before Shawn even knew what the heck I was up to.  Then I immediately got within 6 inches of everything I could possibly find around our little cabin.  Here are some of the sample from my afternoon of shutter snapping....

This flower somehow made it through yesterday's snow, barely.  

My cat.  This was snapped by pure luck because he did not like me being so close to his face.
Do you blame him?

Oh look, a sign of spring!  Wait... isn't it almost May?

A cliche macro shot, a single drop of water on a leafy green plant.

A drop of water falling off the car and into a puddle beneath it.
This one is my favorite out of all the photos I took today.

If you would like to see how I took this photo please visit my photography blog! 

Also... my brand new Canon 50D was just delivered at my doorstep by the very nice UPS man.  More on that later.  And more importantly, more photos from it later!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What Makes Vermonters Hearty

I have to draw the line at some point during the year where snow becomes unacceptable.  Today seems well past that point.


Here we are in the last few days of April, and the Green Mountain State has been gripped by a snowstorm that would make this past winter envious and us working, commuting, and shoveling adults cry.  Don't worry... the kids also got to cry today.  School wasn't canceled.  They don't cancel school around here unless there is three feet of ice, the bus won't start, or there is no electricity.  You're talking about the state that had one room school houses until the seventies when the federal government required that all public schools have running water.  We raise hearty kids in Vermont.... 


This is the actual school that Shawn's grandmother went to; a little, red, one roomed schoolhouse.   It was a mile downhill from the farmhouse she called home.  Her, along with her brothers and sisters, used to walk to and from school no matter the season.  It was uphill at least one way too.  Everyday the dozen or so other farmer's children that attended the school each brought a portion of lunch.  Some brought bread, others brought stew, or a share of venison from the latest successful hunt.  Shawn's grandmother and her siblings often brought a giant pot of potatoes.  The pot was so large that she and her sister each had to hold a handle and carry it down the hill together, trying hard not to go faster than the other or trip and spill the pot!  Those were different times and those times did produce some hearty Vermonters.  Shawn's grandmother and her stories have passed on years ago, but every time I drive past this school I think of her and wish that I had listened just a little more. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Labor and Delivery

Childbirth is probably the one part of medicine where I know nothing.  I do not have any children, have never been pregnant, and don't even really have any exposure to babies under the age of toddler-hood since my sister was born...that was eighteen years ago.  So last week when I was thrust through the secure double doors of the Birthing Center I was more than nervous.  I hadn't the slightest idea what I was doing, but that didn't stop me from still being excited.  Getting to see a birth during your OB rotation in a small rural hospital would be the equivalent of seeing Aurora in Florida.  Having a chance to see a laboring mom is one thing, but then to have the birth actually occur in our small window of clinical time, that would be a miracle.  So when I walked in and found the birthing center empty I was a little disappointed.  No expectant momma's, no newly birthed babies, no complicated pregnancies on observation.  And then the phone rang....


A woman who was three days from he due date was having horribly painful contractions just a few minutes apart.  They told her to come right in and before I knew it she was being whisked into the Birthing Center in a wheelchair.  I had already been well informed that only one student was allowed to care for a patient, but there was a problem.  There were two of us in the Birthing Center that day doing our labor and delivery rotation.  My classmate and I glanced back and forth at one another as the laboring woman was wheeled into room three.  We knew only one of us was going to get the chance to take care of her and shadow her nurse.  

Before either of us could begin an argument one of the staff nurses noticed our glances and declared "We will have a coin toss."  I groaned inside.... I had such a defeatist attitude before we even declared heads or tails.  My classmate eagerly grabbed a penny and handed it to me.  "You toss it!" she said with a smile.  I felt like throwing that damn penny across the room.  I just knew that it wouldn't be me that would get to observe this patient.  I'd be the one stuck sitting at the nurses station with no patient to care for all day long.  That's how my luck goes. 


I grabbed the penny and looked at it, checked it to make sure there weren't two heads or some other thing wrong with it, and then gave it a good couple foot toss into the air.  "Heads!" my classmate yelled out.  I caught the penny in my hand, closed my fingers tightly around it, and then slapped it onto the back of my other hand.  I looked down at it and exclaimed "It's tails!"  ...wait... you mean I won?  Then I felt bad as I looked at my classmate's face.  She knew that she'd be the one sitting at the nurses station without a patient to care for.  I didn't have time to have any sort of reaction beyond an a smile before I was snatched by the other staff nurse to follow her into the room to greet and evaluate the momma-to-be.

In the room there was a smiling husband, who had turned on ESPN sport's center, and a young woman holding her belly and taking deep breaths.  The nurse was cautious with me at first, unsure whether I was competent at any nursing skills at all or just a bumbling retard who forgot her helmet.  I don't blame her.  So for a while I just stood back and watched her do the work...  Taking vital signs, putting on the fetal monitor, listening to the fetal heart beat, counting contractions and timing them, feeling the fundus, and checking the cervix.  It was all so foriegn to me, but oh so interesting.  As a person who is obsessed with numbers the heart rate, contractions, and frequency enveloped me.  I could dig this monitoring thing, I said to myself.  

FYI... that is not the patient.  Thanks Google!

Hours went by.  Back labor, they called it.  Up and down the stairs and around and around the birthing center the momma-to-be walked.  Then the nurse midwife (who are the ones who deliver most normal pregnancies up here in Vermont... its a progressive thing) came into the room to check on the patient.  As she walked in I was knee deep in ultrasound jelly trying to find the fetal heartbeat.  Without missing a beat or even asking who I was the nurse midwife took my hand and angled the probe and wa-la!  That tiny little "whoosh whoosh whoosh" going 150 times a minute filled my ears. I was impressed with myself, smiled, and then moved out of the way so that she could assess the momma-to-be. 

The staff nurse handed me a sterile stick in a package.  "Hand this to the midwife when she is ready."  she told me.  I held it like I was holding the spirit stick from the movie Bring it On, praying I didn't do anything dumb and have it end up on the floor.  "Give that to me" the midwife said as she had one hand inside evaluating the cervix and the other reaching.  I opened the package and handed over what looked like a crochet hook.  Then I had a horrible mental reference to the movie Cider House Rules where that girl showed up with an impaled crochet hook after a botched abortion.  (Ok... no more movie references.)  The midwife ruptured the momma-to-be's membranes.  "It won't be long now, Charlie...."  I thought to myself.



After the membranes (bag of waters... what have you..) were broken nothing could have prepared me for the mess that ensued.  The leaky, bloody, uncomfortable mess that all mommas-to-be experience.  I really had no idea and am utterly amazed that the poppa's-to-be don't go running and screaming out into the hallways after witnessing such a sight.  While the contractions intensified I went back and forth from the linen cart with clean towels and blankets, cleaning up everything and trying to make her comfortable.  It was a futile effort. 

Now, it was close to showtime.  I've never witnessed a birth before, but I could tell.  The midwife was vigilant  at the momma-to-be's pelvis and ordered the staff nurse to fetch the birthing cart.  "This is it" she said to the momma-to-be and then stepped away across the room to put on some sterile gloves.  Just as she was on the other side of the room and had her back turned I looked down and saw what was surely a head of hair.  Yes... hair... the baby was right there!  And at that instant I was the only one at the momma-to-be's side.  "Uh, she's crowning" I said to the midwife in what seemed to be the most unintelligent voice ever and immediately she rushed over and exclaimed "Bring in the birthing cart NOW!" since it had yet to make an appearance in the room.

I was ordered to hold a leg and my classmate was ushered into the room and was ordered to hold the other leg.  Nothing like nursing students standing in for the stirrups.  The head was delivered and seconds later a squealing cry ensued.  The midwife instructed us to help the momma-to-be sit up when the baby was halfway delivered.  I thought it was to see the baby as it was being born.  Nope.  The midwife said "deliver your baby!" to the momma-to-be.  A brief moment of "what the heck are you asking me to do?!" crossed her face and then she reached down, pulled out her little squealing boy, and laid him on her chest.  

And this is not the actual baby... again, thanks Google!

The midwife looked at the father, who, despite his experience with laboring and delivering cows, looked as if he was going to faint.  "Do you want to cut the cord?" She asked him.  He just shook his head no and wiped tears from his eyes.  The new momma was asked the same question to which she also said replied no.  The nurse midwife then turned to me with a pair of scissors in hand and said "Do you want to cut the cord?"  I barely let her finish the sentence before I exclaimed "Absolutely!" and took the scissors from her hands.  That's right... I cut the cord!  It was a lot like cutting cardboard, much harder and difficult than it looked or had imagined, but still in just a few short seesawing cuts mom and baby were officially separated into two.  

Then I joined in on the flurry of cleaning, evaluating, assessing, and observing the afterbirth.  Meanwhile, proud poppa and new momma cooed over their little miracle that entered the world with ten fingers and ten toes, as healthy as could be.  And now, once I again, I want a baby terribly.

About my clincial rotations, jobs, and the entering the real world:
Each clinical rotation I do I go into it with the mindset of "Could I do this for work everyday?" And that way of thinking has led me to enjoy about every single clinical rotation, but also made it exceedingly difficult to try and narrow down my thoughts of what specialty or department I'd like to concentrate in.  That is... until this experience.  I know I said I was completely passionate about the OR a while back, but after a lot of thought I am thinking much of my love for the OR stemmed from seeing a birth there too.  I think Obstetrics fits me to a T.  There is just a ton of assessment, numbers, and evaluation.  Much of the environment is positive (so refreshing compared to the EMS world I live in with rampant 911 abuse).  And there is always such new, exciting, and changing information in the field.  I'm actually tentatively applying to a per diem position in the Birthing Center for this summer to work as a nurse assistant when/if they get busy.  The position doesn't exist yet so cross your fingers that they will allot the funding for it and I'll be offered the job!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Trip Down Memory Lane - The Lorax

How many of you remember "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss?   The story of the land full of wonderful, colorful, fluffy Truffula Trees that went horribly awry?  A story about greed and green told in the form of a fable by the Once-ler.  Of course you do!


Heck, I even remember watching it in school.  That was back when television during class was something sent from God as a sign of mercy between all the math and spelling tests.  And now, thanks to the beauty of the internet, the entire half hour movie is online for all of us to enjoy. 


Did you ever watch the Lorax? What were your memories of this wonderful little story?  I don't even remember associating this movie with the Save The Earth movement.  Then again, I am also the child that loved puff the magic dragon and was horrified when I was much older and discovered the not so childish euphanism associated with his namesake. Now that I am older all I am reminded of when I see the Lorax is that one of my coworkers looks just like the little round orange guy.  Mustache and all.  He even "speaks for the trees" just as loudly and boistrously, except by trees he really means guns and the American 'sheep', as he nicely calls us all.  Lord help us if he is right, like the Lorax.



Now did that fill your 'thneed' for a walk down memory lane?  (ha.....aren't I clever? ) 

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I have been constantly catching up on a lack of sleep as I feel the full brunt of nine hour clinical days, almost fifty hours of work, eight hours of lecture, and the rest of my life thrown in there.  So bear with me as I try and sort out exactly what happened this week... it's kind of a blur.


This week was my all anticipated Birthing Center rotation.  Every nursing student hopes to see an actual birth when they are on this rotation.  It's the pinnacle of one's obstetric experience.  Being the type of person that in seven years of full time ambulance work that has never had a fatal car accident or has not had a working cardiac arrest in almost four years I figured that the chance of me seeing a birth were slim to none.  Interesting stuff like that just doesn't happen to me, I told myself.  And then a woman walked into the birthing center, well actually she was wheeled in via wheelchair, in active labor.  Hours later, just in time to grab some lunch, her baby was born and I was right there in the thick of it.  The experience was amazing to say the least and I will post every wonderful, life dawning detail soon.


Shawn and I met with our mortgage guy "Rob" this week.  He is the type of guy who makes you feel under dressed, even if you aren't, and for that I am annoyed.  In reality, though, he is the best mortgage guy you could ask for.  Did you know that mortgage consultations are free?  Yes, there is something in this world that is worth something and doesn't cost you a dime.  Well, it doesn't cost me a dime, but maybe other mortgage brokers charge.  Seriously, if you are going to buy a home first go see a mortgage broker and if you are in Vermont or New Hampshire go see Rob.  Rob will use his newfangled calculator and figure up all our numbers without pinging our credit, because he's such a nice guy.  Then he'll give us a realistic number to work with when it comes to searching out a new home and send us onto the next step.  We are very pleased with the numbers that his calculator ended up with and are very soon headed onto the next step, listing our home. 


I also am toying with the thought of purchasing a brand new camera.  Now I don't buy anything that is brand new besides underwear and shoes so the thought of spending money on a very expensive, fancy-smancy, shiny, new camera frightens me a little. If you knew why I possibly needed a new camera to begin with you'd be frightened to.  Whatever you do, if you have dust spots in your photos do not take apart your camera and attempt to clean it yourself with a tiny piece of cloth.  If you thought you had a dirt problem before  you haven't seen anything until fuzz has been introduced to that tiny sensor filled camera body.  In case you were wondering... I am functionally retarded.

And of course, because its Sunday....

Week 3 finalists have been chosen!  This time there is only three days to vote before a finalist is chosen.  April is a short month and I have to squeeze in finalist voting before May 1st and the next contest.
  
Speaking of the next contest...
I am looking for some topic ideas so if you have one please don't hesitate to share it!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Calling All Turkeys

Nothing excites my husband more than picking out a new turkey call.  I know... sad isn't it?  Well the other day on our L.L Cote's adventure Shawn mulled over a new turkey call purchase. He used the excuse that "The season is just around the corner" to try and negate the fact that he already had three calls.  Seriously, how many calls does a man need?  Apparently the right number is at least four.  I have so much to learn he says. 

As soon as we reached the truck Shawn tore open the package as if he was a six year old ripping through video game packaging. 


He took out the call, which cost over twenty dollars, used it once, and then immediately broke it.  


I am pretty sure that is an integral piece that shouldn't be sticking out like that.  


In typical guy fashion he then read the instructions after it had already been broken.


Then he shows his displeasure at my giggling and photo snapping. ...this photo makes me laugh.  

The whole ride home he pouted over his newly broken, never used more than once, toy.  He went through all the proper steps of greiving.
  • Denial:  Oh, it's not broken.  I bet I can fix it.  
  • Anger:  What a piece of crap!  I can't believe it broke as soon as I used it.  What a pile of sh--
  • Bargaining:  Just let me get a new turkey call if this one is really broken. They aren't that expensive.
  • Depression:  I don't ever call in turkeys anyway so I guess I don't need one anyway.
  • Acceptance:  I guess I can just watch the instructional video and figure it out when we get home.
If you couldn't tell it was a very productive ride home in terms of psychological growth.

When he sat down to watch the instructional video I tried to secretly video tape him as he tried to figure out how to work the turkey call.  It sounded more like the horn on an old VW bus than anything else and  I couldn't stop laughing.  When he figured out I was taping him (which he hates) he threw a fit and threatened to tear apart my iPhone cord. Typical. 


I bet you feel better about the normalcy of your own marriage or relationship now don't you? And don't worry.  No iPhone cords were harmed in the making of this video.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Looking Up at Things

I find it odd that we don't take more time to look up at things.  We can all sit and stare that the ground, our feet, and what lies beneath us, but we rarely lift our heads to the skies and see what is above us.


This was the view above my head as I ate my lunch outside on a break during my nursing class.  Just to take a moment during this crazy, hectic week and soak in the surroundings was just what I needed. 

And then I remembered that today was also Earth Day...

Do you celebrate Earth Day?  Did you even know it was Earth Day or are you thinking what the heck is Earth Day anyway?  I count enjoying this moment I had looking up at the world rather than down on it as celebrating.  Here's to your moment at looking up.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

You Know You're From a Small Town When...

This appeared in our mailbox the other day.


What's so significant about this piece of mail?  Well, first of all that is not my post office box number.  In fact, the that mailbox isn't even registered anymore.  Brighton Rescue also hasn't existed since 2005 when it was dissolved and taken over by a neighboring municipal ambulance company.  Everything about this address is wrong.

This is a common occurrence in my town.  The Post Master knows Shawn and I personally so he knows we are members of the fire department and ambulance squad so he just throws stuff into our personal mailbox that doesn't otherwise have a place to be delivered to.  Its quite convenient and I know that in a larger town they would just return mail like this to the sender or it would be lost forever in the post office vortex.

They even figured out that this "Sharon Hannox" person who received a gift subscription to Golf Digest is really my husband.  My mother either doesn't know I am married to a man name Shawn or her handwriting her handwriting was so bad on the form that they couldn't correctly decipher it.  I'm hoping its the latter.


Sharon, really mom? I guess its sort of close to Shawn.

Monday, April 19, 2010

"Hi, Babies have fingernails. Fingernails!"

**Disclaimer: Some of this story and some of these photos may bother certain people.**

I have very little obstetrical experience, and I mean little.  When my youngest sister was born I was seven.  My experience caring for her as a newborn consisted of sitting in a chair, holding out my arms, and being told "now don't move!".  So when I was shoved into the birthing center for a few hours due to unplanned meetings where I was suppose to observe in the womens clinic I was caught off guard.  

Immediately a short, happy, little, old nurse greeted me and led me into a room with two very young parents that were sound asleep and a baby that was nine hours old.  Yes, nine hours.  Not even through her first day of life on this planet.  The nurse said "the parent's are asleep, but she needs to be changed so get a set of vital signs, change her diaper, and then dress her."  I nodded and my eyes must have become the size of saucers.  Before I could stammer on about my inexperience with babies she had stepped out of the room.  I was alone.  No one was in there but me, two sleeping parents, and the newborn. Yikes!


Somehow my hands stopped shaking enough to pick her up and unswaddled her.  I just kept thinking, how am I going to reswaddle her this nicely? And then I understood why they have parenting classes.  I started with what I knew best, an assessment.  That was easy. Counting her little pulse through the miniature stethoscope, looking at her skin, listening to her lung sounds. Then, after a bumbling couple of minutes, I change the diaper, put a new one on correctly, and figured out the puzzle of snaps on the little set of pajamas set out for her to wear. Everything about her was perfect and I now want a baby more than ever.  

Then the telephone rang.  There was an emergency case in the Operating Room.  A woman who was only 14 weeks pregnant had become septic following an emergency surgery.  Once she became septic her body soon began rejecting the pregnancy and early that morning she lost her babies.  Yes, babies.  The woman was barely 14 weeks pregnant with twins.  The reason for the call to the birthing center was because the fetuses that were removed in emergency surgery needed to be photographed, measured, and examined.  A baby, no matter what gestation, is regarded and treated as an actual baby by the hospital staff.  Data has to be recorded just like a normal birth so myself and two other nursing students went down to the lab with an obstetrics nurse to examine the babies.  Nothing could have prepared me for this experience. 


The lab was cold and clean.  We gloved up and put on surgical masks as the babies were brought into the room in a little plastic container.  The nurse opened the lid and we peered in.  Inside was a single placenta (meaning they were identical twins) and two small babies.  Each baby was brought out and placed before us.
  
I had a lump in my throat.  Never would I have guessed that at just 14 weeks a fetus would resemble a newborn baby so clearly.  I had imagined something like those lizard-like photos they show you in textbooks, but that was not the case.  These babies looked just like a full term baby, only in miniature, about eight inches long.  You could see the lips clearly, little ears, and each one's tiny nose.  They even had fingernails!  Yes, fingernails.  The little hands still haunt me.  


We professionally took photos, footprints, fingerprints, head circumference, and length, naming them 'Baby A' and 'Baby B' as we recorded the information.  Then we put the babies back in the plastic container, closed the lid, and left them in the lab for whatever other procedures awaited them.  

And now my view on abortion will forever be pro-life.
If you've held the hands that I have then you'd be pro-life too... 

Sunday, April 18, 2010


One week down and only nine more to go for my final semester of nursing school, the LPN year anyway. This week was the first week of the third semester where we begin studying obstetrics, pediatrics, and mental health. Our clinical rotations have been lengthened to nine hours rather than six and I've experienced some incredible things already (which I will get around to posting, promise). 


Shawn and I have officially begun the process of selling our home.  We are going to be having a sit down with a mortgage broker this week to discuss what we can and can't finance.  Somehow we have managed to find a mortgage broker that is a straight shooter, honest, and realistic.  I know, its a miracle, right?


It snowed this week and it is actually snowing right now.  The fact that I took my snow tires off my car and set up the deck furniture a week ago is quite disappointing. I should have known better, just like last year when I planted my garden the first week of May and then nothing grew.  Its difficult to remember that spring doesn't really begin up here until May, which lasts about two days, and then black fly season begins. 

The other day I posted about a woman's "Very Unhappy Birthday".  A lot of you shared the same thoughts that I had with this experience.  I did follow this woman's story and wanted to update all of you.  She did make it through a very difficult surgery, but unfortunately she passed a way just a few days after., during recovery  My hopes are that her family and her were at least able to have a few wonderful last moments together.  

I've sorted through a multitude of new photos and added them to my photo web page, catalog, and facebook fan page.  The amount of time that goes into watermarking, resizing, and editing photos is a job within itself, but I very much enjoy it.  Most of all I greatly enjoy all the compliments and emails I receive about them.  They are always welcome.

And of course, because its Sunday...

The week two finalists for the April photo contest have been chosen!  Don't forget that this is the last week you can enter the contest so be sure to vote for your favorite week two photo and submit your own.  I am contemplating ideas for the May photo contest.  Do you have any suggestions?  I'd love to hear them!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Very Unhappy Birthday

It was midday.  She was on the phone with a relative who had called to wish her happy birthday.  Suddenly she broke out in a full sweat.  Nausea overwhelmed her.  The person on the other line became concerned and called 911 from halfway across the country.  Our pagers went off for us to respond. 

When we arrived the woman was bent over a basin, vomiting.  She clearly looked sick, the kind of sick that after years of countless nonsense 911 calls you know that this just wasn't one of them.  "My back, my chest.",  She moaned.  Her color was ghostlike and she was as drenched as if she had just finished running a marathon while wearing a sweatsuit in July.  We didn't waste time.  After grabbing a quick assessment, heart rate, blood pressure, respirations, lungs sounds, the normal head to toe exam, we helped her stand and walk down four steps to the stretcher that was waiting for her.

Not often do I tell my partner "Go get up front and drive, now." as soon as I get into the ambulance, but this time I did.  The hospital was only a ten minute drive with lights and sirens blaring.  I had a lot to do in a short period of time.  EKG, Oxygen, IV, nitroglycerine, and find time to tell the hospital what was going on.  The whole time she couldn't get comfortable.  "My chest, my back!" she exclaimed this time clearly becoming frustrated and scared.  "Its a heart attack!  I know it is."  and then she began to sob.  I tried to comfort her, but felt so inadequate.  Empathy only goes so far and to be honest, she looked like she was having a heart attack.

At the hospital her condition hadn't changed.  If anything she looked worse.  Right into Room 2, the Emergency Department's "sick" room, we went.  When you wheel a patient into that room you know you have a sick patient.  Its where the crash cart, vent, and all the other very intimidating, but cool machines lie.  Not just anyone goes into Room 2 and no patient wants that honor. 

As we transferred care and I rattled off my report to the ER nurse the patient interrupted my heart attack suspicions by saying "I have a burning and tearing pulsation between my shoulder blades now."  The nurse and I stopped in our tracks.  We looked at the patient and then back at one another mouthing "dissection" simultaneously.  If you look up "symptoms of an aortic dissection" in a textbook I am pretty sure you will find her exact sentence. 

From that moment on Room 2 was a flurry of activity.  The doctor wheeled in an ultrasound machine and confirmed what we all feared was happening.  She wasn't having a heart attack at all.  Rather, the woman's aorta (this biggest, main blood vessel in the body) was tearing apart right in front of us.  Most people die from this before reaching the hospital, or even calling 911.


The ER doctor let me observe the ultrasound, explaining everything he found and what he was doing during the procedure.  He added "I've never had the privilege of seeing a case like this outside of a textbook." Then he instructed me to immediately get manual blood pressures on all four extremities.  Never before have I taken a blood pressure on a thigh, but in all honesty its the exact same as using the arm.  Just put your stethoscope under the knee to listen. 

The medic helicopter that services the Level I hospital an hour south was contacted.  A vascular surgeon was put on call.  This case was going right to the operating room. 

When the helicopter crew arrived the woman began to crash.  I stood by and watched as the flight nurse intubated the patient.  With a blood pressure now circling the toilet it was uncertain if she would now make the eighteen minute flight to the Level I hospital.  I prayed to myself in my head. 

It was her birthday.  Her husband of over half a century stood outside the door of Room 2, refusing to sit, constantly vigilant, and softly crying.  He didn't know how to live without her he had told me when we were at their home as we helped her onto the stretcher.  As they wheeled her out of Room 2 to head to the helicopter, breathing for her through a tube and ambu-bag, he kissed her on the forehead and said "I will see you later."

I went outside.  I needed fresh air. 

We did all we could and the outcome was now out of our hands.  As I watched the helicopter take off minutes later my prayers and thoughts were lifted up with it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fun for a North Woods Married Couple

Have you ever heard of L.L.Cote's?  Unless you are from or happened to visit east-bumble-shoe then you probably have no idea what I am talking about.  Well, to Shawn and I this place is the holy grail of shopping and enjoyment as a married couple.  Every time he says to me "Let's go to Cote's" I immediately begin giggling and jumping up and down like a four year old going to Chuck-E-Cheese.  I guarantee that you'll soon understand and want to hastily book a direct flight to the Errol International Airport.  


I wasn't kidding.  Its no La Guardia, but it'll get the job done.  


Going to L.L. Cote's is an event in itself.  You'd never know by looking at this impressive entrance that this massive commercial masterpiece is in a town of just a few hundred people.  But, as monumental as the outside is, just wait until you see the inside.  Trust me. 


As soon as you walk in you're greeted by the stuffed albino moose.  He is the "mascot" of L.L. Cote's and is a heck of a lot cooler than anything L.L. Bean has.  Yes, even that live trout pond in the Freeport Maine store isn't as cool.  Then again, if you've seen my living room you'll know I'm a little bias towards moose.


On the ground floor you will find a lot of toys.  Since its springtime the floor is full of all terrain vehicles that make me drool and turns my husband into a five year old with a credit card that makes bad financial decisions.  In the winter its full of snowmobiles.  Oh, be still my aching heart.  I have to stay away during the colder months. 


Around the corner is "Housewares".  I have bought many things from this section of the store.  Eventually my living room is going to resemble this photo, complete with the rout iron staircase if they ever put a price tag on it.  We've already got the random snowshoes hanging on our living room wall so we're well on our way. 


Fishing?  I don't fish.  Actually, I do, just without the catching fish part.  So what do you call that? Pole holding.  Wait... do not comment on that.  


Guns?  Yes.  They have a few of them.  And does your husband take you to this section and test you on whether the gun is a bolt action or semi automatic? Winchester or Browning.  Mine does.  I am completely aware that that is weird.  We have a very unusual relationship.


Speaking of unusual relationships...


And of course there is camo to go with your gun.  This is THE place to buy womens camo.  In fact, it is about the only place I know where to buy womens camo that you can take seriously. 


In case you were looking for an example, this is and example of camo that you cannot take seriously.  And yes that is a camo nightie.  If you were wondering...  no, I did not wear anything resembling this on my honeymoon.


When we do make a day of going over to L.L. Cote's we take our time enjoying the wildlife and the drive. Then we make dozens of impulse buys of things we never needed to begin with.  Him buying hunting accessories and me by cabin related decor and flannel Woolrich shirts.  Its just something him and I do.  Its our thing.

So what's your thing?  Where do you make your day trips to and how do you spend it with your significant other?