About Me

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I wear many hats. I am a Wife, Mother, Daughter, Granddaughter, Friend, Dental Assistant, Student, Big Sister, Daughter-in-law, Sister-in-law, Chef, Gardener, Nurse, Maid, Plumber, Seamstress...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Lesson in Judging Others

I have a patient who has been struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. I've nick named him "my druggie patient" whenever I am talking about him to others because I didn't want to say what his real name was. However after speaking to him last week I don't think I will call him that anymore. Yes, it is a fact that he is a "druggie" but I realize now that it's not an appropriate nick name. In addition to his substance abuse problem he has developed some other problems as well such as mental health problems. However, I will now call him "B". Let me explain why...

Over the years that I have worked in our dental office "B" and I have butted heads a few times due to his drug and alcohol problems. He has either come in for an appointment or showed up unannounced while he was high or drunk. This is simply unacceptable...period. So I turn him away and ask him to leave. He has pushed the limit a few times. So his last few appointments he has done really well. He has showed up sober. He is trying to clean up his life. I pray for him and I really hope he does. He is so young and has a young child to think about. I wish him the best in life. I told him last week that I was proud of him and glad to see him trying so hard this time. I told him that this is the "B" that I like to see and talk too. He said, "I can tell!" I thought this was funny because he was probably not used to have an actual conversation with me since we usually just butted heads. Somehow we got on the topic of judging others. While talking to sober "B" and listening to him tell me of his time being sober vs his time being high, trying to weed out his bad influence friends, bad influence girlfriends, his job search and everything else, I could see just how smart and insightful he really is. "B" told me how he once had a house, a decent car and a job. He told me how he would drive around in his decent car and see others in a crappy car, with no job or even homeless and think to himself "that will never be me". Then "B" told me that exactly the opposite came true. He lost his house, his car, his family and himself. He became homeless. He got into a lot of trouble. He's been to jail a number of times due to his bad choices. He told me how he knows that it is all his fault. That he blames no one but himself. He told me of a teacher he knows, who is now in big trouble, that is addicted to the same things he is...heavy drugs. He told me how through his journey he's met people that he always thought were "normal" and had it all together yet they had these secret lives. Secret lives that could cause them to lose everything like he did. He told me how stupid he thinks these people are and how he wishes he knew all this before it happened to him. He said, I know how people see me. I know how people look at me. I don't blame them. I try very hard not to judge anyone anymore and yet sometimes I still find myself doing it. I guess everyone has their story.

So this conversation has stuck with me since talking with "B". I was just so struck by his words. It wasn't something I'd ever expected him to say. You see when "B" comes to our office I never know what to expect. Will he be high today? Will he be drunk? How will he behave? I won't lie..."B" makes me nervous and I don't trust him. I have every right not to trust him. His past behavior has proven that I shouldn't. When he walks into our office I instantly judge him to see if he is on anything. I have too because we can not work or someone in that condition and it puts me in an unsafe position. I look at how he is walking. I look at how he is acting and talking. I make sure he is looking me in the eye. I do this because I know the sober "B" and I know the high/drunk "B". While I am sure "B" knows what I am doing when I am doing this I have to admire his courage to endure it and to learn from it everyday. Sure, "B" has had some set backs but this is the furthest I've seen him come. I really hope that he is on a new path now. A good path.

So learn from "B" and watch your judgmental thoughts. We are always so quick to judge others. It's human nature but it's still not right.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Painting Fun

This week Pasha and I helped Shonda and Michael do some painting in their bedroom. A while back we removed the old wallpaper. Then Michael and his friend Karl added a wall in their room. We've been calling it the "Friendship Wall"! Cute huh?! Here are some pics from this weeks painting.

In the Hallway Shonda did the sanding.
Michael was helping too until he began to feel ill from being in the heat all day at work.

Pasha is all ready to prime (Monday).

Here is Pasha getting started on the painting (Tuesday).

Pasha (our soon to be sister-in-law!), me and Shonda.

Group Shot!
Me, Pasha, Shonda, Michael and Karl.

Aw, isn't that sweet! It's Michael and Karl's "Friendship Wall"!

I have no idea what they were doing here.
Sometimes it's best not to ask.

I, being to goof that I am, couldn't help but to do a little goofing around so I put my hands in primer and made a little art of my own! Ha, ha! Art on Shonda's rear! Hey! You can't be serious all the time!

My Favorite Patient

Meet Sherman! He is my absolute favorite patient in the entire world! I love him! He is 85 years old and legally blind. He is in great shape and of great mind too. Sherman walks everywhere. He is the sweetest gentleman I've ever met! I am sure most of you have already read my post from last year about my lunch date with Sherman. If you haven't, be sure to look back and read it. It was the best lunch date I've ever had! Sherman always makes my day with his smiling face, hugs and kisses!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Angels in Disguse

Today was just a normal Monday for me until approximately 6:40pm. Three days a week I go exercising with my sister, Shonda, and my soon to be sister-in-law, Pasha, at the local park. Sometimes Pasha's mom, Val, joins us and today was one of those days. At the local park is a small lake with lots of ducks and geese.

So we were doing our normal exercise routine. As we were walking around the lake we come across a duck that looks a bit odd. As we walk closer to it we notice that it's leg looks broken. Upon further inspection we realize that it's head is bleeding (almost like a skinned knee would looked) and underneath it's wings it looked even worse. It looked as if it had been drug on the cement and a bunch of it's feathers where plucked out. It didn't look good. At first we thought to leave it and let nature take it's course. As we started to walk away a big black duck comes over to the injured duck and start biting it's feathers off. That jerk! So I decided that I couldn't just leave it there to suffer and tell the girls. So we stand there discussing what we could do for it.

The plan: Me and Pasha were going to sit with it while Val and Shonda hurried to the car to get a cell phone and call animal control.

Before the girls could head to the car a man pulled up and I asked if he had a cell phone. No such luck. Then this lady feeding the ducks with her kids hollers that she has a cell phone. God bless her! She calls animal control. They're closed. So she calls the police station and they give her some other numbers to call. Every place she called was closed. Me being a big emotional softie begins to cry saying that we can't just leave the poor thing laying there to suffer as we walk away. In the mean time Shonda, being the wonderful nurse that she is, manages to get the duck to drink some water from the lid of her water bottle and the man with no cell phone offers up some bread which the duck eats willingly. God bless Shonda and the man with no cell phone! The woman who was on the phone trying to find anyone to help this poor duck starts to explain to us that she spoke to her mother on the phone and that her mother raises ducks on her farm in Oklahoma and has agreed to met the woman half way and get the duck to nurse it back to health. God bless the woman with the cell phone and her mother in Oklahoma!

Just as this is all going on a woman, God's special angel in disguise...a Super Hero, pulls up as if she some how knew what was going on. She climbs out of her truck ( a small rough looking elderly woman) and marches right over to us and takes one look at the duck and says, "This is a new duck! It's not from here!" We explain what has been going on. I am still sobbing quietly like a baby. The elderly woman says, "I come to this park every day to feed the ducks and I have never met this duck before. It isn't from here." She looks closer at it, presses on it's tiny skull a little bit to see if it's broken, lifts it's wing and picks it up as if holding ducks is an everyday event for her. Then she tells us, "It's not as bad as it looks. He's just been drug under a car or something. Someone must have dropped him off here after they hit him hoping he'd find help from someone. I've raised ducks for 25 years. I can splint his leg and I have ointment that will helps his missing feathers." We thanked her about a million times as she walked away. I don't even think the woman looked at our faces. It was like she only had eyes for that duck. Then she quickly walks off to her truck and puts the duck inside and leaves. God bless that woman! I felt so much better. Still being a big softie I had to cry a few tears of relief. I felt better knowing that the duck was in caring hands. That woman was a true angel!

Thank you Shonda, Pasha and Val for putting up with big ol' blubbering me while I fretted over this wild duck and trying to make me feel better! You guys are so sweet!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

On my Soap Box

Today at Walmart Larry couldn't decided what mouth wash to buy so being that I am in the dental field he turned to me for my opinion. I suggested that he just buy the Equate brand of Listerine Antiseptic Mouthwash. He questioned what the difference was in the tarter control vs the regular antiseptic mouthwash. So I start to get on my soap box about my disgust with advertising companies persuading consumers and consumers buying into it. In the end, after I gave Larry a headache, he went with what I suggested. So now that you're already reading this post allow me to tell you all about my opinion. If you don't care to know then may I kindly suggest you exit my blog now.

We all know that advertisements are all geared to specific audiences. I understand that these companies have to make a profit. However, like most of the world Larry and I don't have a ton of money to just shell out buying whatever these companies toss at us through radio, tv or however else. So we cut corners by doing things like buying off brands. A friend of mine insists that off brands are not as good as the name brands so my friend only buys all name brand products. To each their own I guess.

In my opinion...

Food Products:
Not ALL off brand food products taste as good as the name brand...so Larry (I am thankful that he does all of the grocery shopping and not me.) only buys name brand in those few particular products.

Cleaning Products:
I make most of my own cleaning products, however, there are certain ones that I will not skimp on. Such as shower/tile cleaner. I prefer to buy Scrubbing Bubbles or Lysol Bathroom Cleaner. My home made product doesn't work as well as the store bought products do in cutting soap scum. Plus, every time I bought the off brand of Scrubbing Bubbles or Lysol the spray nozzle ends up giving out on me half way through the bottle. As a result, I only buy the Scrubbing Bubbles name brand anymore.

My BIGGEST pet peeve with advertising is dental products.

Mouthwash and Toothpaste:
Technically, people don't even need to use toothpaste. Toothpaste isn't what cleans our teeth. It's the act of brushing our teeth that cleans our teeth and even though you are scrubbing your teeth with a toothbrush doesn't necessarily mean that you are properly cleaning them. There is an art to teeth brushing. The only thing the toothpaste does is act as an abrasive to remove some stain and freshen your breath. So I don't see the point in spending a lot on toothpaste. I buy Aim toothpaste for $0.95. As for mouthwash, according to dental literature I have read over my 11 yrs so far as a dental assistant, I understand that Listerine is the best brand of mouthwash to use for it's antiseptic benefits. However, if you compare the active ingredients on the name brand to the off brand you will see that they are typically the same. I have also seen mouthwashes that claim to take the place of flossing. What a joke!! As far as the "whitening" and "tarter control" mouthwashes...I am not sold on those either. I do not see how a "whitening" mouthwash is going to actually "whiten" teeth within a quick 30 second to 1 minute swish and rinse. I also do not see how a "tarter control" mouthwash is going to help control tarter build up on teeth. If you want to have fairly white teeth that are free of plaque and tarter then the most important thing you need to do is brush properly at least twice a day and floss properly at least once a day. It's as simple as that people! There isn't any miracle rinses or toothpastes.

P.S. I am done now.

P.P.S. If you have made it this far into my post then I thank you for listening to me on my soap box!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

An email from Sue

I received this email from my mother-in-law, Sue. I wanted to share it with you.

In April, Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah on her 70+ birthday. Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older.
And, there on television, she said it was 'exciting...'
Regarding body changes, she said there were many, occurring every day......like her breasts. They seem to be in a race to see which will reach her waist, first. The audience laughed so hard they cried. She is such a simple and honest woman, with so much wisdom in her

Maya Angelou said this :
'I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.'

'I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things : a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.'

'I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.'

'I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as making a life..'

'I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.'

'I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back...'

'I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.'

'I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.'

'I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back....'

'I've learned that I still have a lot to learn..'

'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lets Blow some Stuff Up!!!

Well it's that time of year again when Mylan's baseball team has the fireworks tent. If you've ever done it you know just how exhausting it is and what dirty work it can be. Larry and I usually work the night shifts because we don't like to have to deal with the heat and the general public. However, those night shifts really throw us out of whack. On Friday I worked 2pm to 8pm and then had to turn around to work the Midnight to 4am shift so I decided that there was no point in even going to bed. Phew! I'll never do that again. Larry worked the 4am to 8am shifts this weekend. It looks like Larry and I will be spending July 5th recouping from lack of sleep this weekend.

It is amazing the amount of money some people will spend on fireworks! They may as well just light several hundred dollar bills on fire! It's nuts! Being that we have a 10 yr old boy, that boys like fire and to blow things up we can't get away with not spending anything on fireworks. So we set a budget and let Mylan pick some things out. It's also nice that we get a discount from working the tent. Although I am not one to get too excited about fireworks I do enjoy fireworks when Mylan is around. It's hard not to share in his excitement! Our favorite thing to do together is to buy some firecrackers called "Little Dynamite" and blow up old pop cans or old water bottles. We fill them up with water and then light a few Little Dynamites, stick them in the bottle or can and then run before it flies into the air and explodes! This year we not only bought the Little Dynamites but we also got some bigger ones too so that we can blow up old milk jugs and laundry detergent jugs! Woo-Hoo!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Golfing Buddies

Yesterday Larry and Mylan had their Father's Day golf outing using Larry's golf gift certificates and wearing their matching shirts that Mylan gave Larry! They had a great day and Larry said that Mylan played very well!

Friday, July 2, 2010


I am 30. This week I seem to have been struggling with that. When my 30th birthday came and went I was okay with it. Another year older. Another year wiser. Right? Then slowly 30 has been creeping up on me. A few gray hairs here and there. A gigantic grey eyebrow hair (which I wasted no time and plucked that sucker right out of there!). When I look in the mirror at myself things just don't look the same anymore. Sigh. This whole growing my hair process isn't helping things either. In the last few weeks I've felt like age has just been creeping up on me and not in a good way. The other day my mother made my day! She called to see if I wanted to have lunch. I told her that I didn't feel social and that I just wanted to sit and read my book. She wasn't letting up so I finally agreed to lunch but warned her that I wasn't good company. My mother showed up with a bouquet of flowers and a book for me. Ironically the book was titled, "The Opposite of Me." We talked about aging and the changes that go along with it. How our bodies are no longer the bodies of a 20 year old. How one day you look in the mirror and think to yourself, "Who are you?" By the time lunch was over my mother had made me feel a lot better. She told me that at age 30 how my life is a lot different than her's was when she was 30. She also told me about a song she'd once heard. She said, "If you knew the exact day you'd die how would you live your life differently? Would you be fretting about being 30 and how things are changing?" The answer was no. If I knew the exact day that I would die I would not be sitting here feeling down on myself about getting older. Which got me thinking about an earlier conversation I had with Larry on the phone when he asked if I wanted to go to the Twins game with him and Mylan that night. I automatically said no. The first thoughts to my head were, "More baseball? I still have dishes to wash, floors to vacuum, laundry to do, to shower, to eat dinner, to clean the car windows, trash to take out...." These are the things that constantly rattle in my head. Welcome to my brain. So after my conversation with my mother I thought, "I should go to the game with them even though more baseball is the last thing I want to do. If Larry isn't worried that the house isn't in prefect order (our house never is) then why should I?" So I went to the game and we had fun!

So while I am still going to have some adjustments to learning this new curve ball, called age, that life is throwing at me I plan to beat it at it's own game...or at least try. I am not one who likes change. I like to plan and know what is coming before it ever arrives. However, that just isn't the way life is. So I guess I'll just have to embrace it as best I can.

Hair Progress

My hair is growing....slllloooowwwwllllyyy. I am finding it very frustrating. This is my third attempt to grow my hair out. While I loved my short hair I was getting bored with it. It's been a long time since I've had long hair. I kind of miss it. I miss being able to run my fingers through it and doing different things with it. When I had short hair there wasn't anything I could do with it except the same old style all the time. So this is the progress I've made so far. I hate it right now because it has no style whatsoever. I am making progress though!

The other day I came so close the giving up but then I thought, "I can't give up now or it'd just be in vain." The least I could do is keep going and grow it out. Then if I don't like it I can cut it off again and donate it. At least then it wouldn't be in vain.