Over 2,000 year…

Over 2,000 years ago, our Lord left his heavenly throne to join us at the table of our humanity. He became our friend and kept us company. He was God in our midst.

~ Nancy Jo Sullivan blogs at NancyJoSullivan.com

Taking time out from the hustle and bustle of Advent…to enjoy the purpose of this season, and one another.


Reading the Gospel – Themselves

Image representing YouVersion as depicted in C...
Image by None via CrunchBase
John 2:1-5
“On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3  And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
Today’s Scripture from John spoke to me at several levels; doesn’t Jesus always do that?
  1. Preparation: one needs to put in the work to be ready when “the time comes.” Jesus tells his mother his time has not yet come; his preparation is not complete (for his earthly ministry). In today’s world, I read and hear of the “magic” 10,000 hours of practice, learning, study needed to achieve “overnight” success. Mary steps up Jesus’s “game.” 
  2. Willingness: though he says, in effect, I’m not ready, he obeys his mother, exhibiting love and filial piety for her in his first miracle, and demonstrating, to me who grew up in a Jewish neighborhood, the archetypical Jewish mother – she expected much of her son. 
  3. Consequences: how about those servants? They knew about the water now wine. Are these servants the first believers besides John the Baptist, Jesus’s family, and the disciples? How much do they understand? I wonder if they are able to follow him through the next few years.

I’ve started reading the Gospels to better understand the God and Savior who reached down, no, stepped down into the miasma of humanity to claim my life. Online, I’m using the Daily Office as my basic hours site but to delve into the Gospels themselves, I’m using YouVersion. It has varied Bible reading plans in a variety of translations, one of which is the Gospels in a month. I’m not interested “in a month,” though it will help keep me on track.

Help me better learn about my Lord. I’m a skeptical person at heart; it is hard for me to effectively believe, trust, and follow, but I want to know Him as Lord.

Health Care in Flux – Again

English: Electronic Health Records flow chart.jpg
English: Electronic Health Records flow chart.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Healthcare is in flux again.

I work as a night shift float RN; I qualify to work ICU as well as all the “zones” in my hospital. The only place i’m not comfortable is babies. And I don’t need to work there unless they are in a real bind and then, I will be a helper, not take patients.

Sunday night I was on surgical. Sure, it was Sunday, a day traditionally without many surgeries, but still, the census was half what it was the last time I was there. Tonight, I’m on “ETO standby.” This means I stay available to come into work till 11;30 PM. Since I’m writing this at home, I didn’t get called in.

The census dropped dramatically. This is not a normal low census time and yet, over the early to mid summer, we saw a drop and now, with ACCRA struggling out of the gate, we again are seeing more fluctuations than normal. I read of nurses being laid off. NURSES! Those of us who are baby-boomers are coming on strong and yet, we are being laid off.

The last really huge fluctuation I remember in census and my hours being affected was DRGs. DRG is Diagnostic Related Groups. As a speaker I recently heard said, “it was the end of health care as we know it.” Sure, things changed but for that first summer, I took lots of vacation days because my hospital and others didn’t know what to expect.

I presume a similar thrill is threading through providers today – insurances are cancelling on people, maybe some are covered but until the end of March 2014, we won’t know squat. CMS, the Medicare/Medicaid part of the Fed. Govt., is no longer paying fee for service, but pay for performance – and we need to perform and prove through out care but even more so (sadly but necessarily) through our documentation.

And don’t get me started about electronic records. Sure, I like charting on a computer but reading paper records spit out by someone else’s system is crazy, plus, systems don’t talk to one another. I heard hope by the same speaker above from Apple, working with two very large medical records firms. I hope so.

Too bad they weren’t brought in for ACCRA.

BTW, I don’t mind being home tonight and the heat cycles, noted in previous entries, is ending. TBTG.


I am a lazy person. Getting up for church should be a joyous occasion, yet I struggle. I always have a good time once I’m there, but it’s the effort. I’m not saying it’s “the Devil” or anything like that. I just wonder why. After all these years, after all this faith, why do I struggle going to corporate worship in my later years?

That’s all. It bothers me.


Juggling Dogs

I looked up the definition of sequestration. I’ve been separating dogs for a week and wanted to be sure my context was correct. I was wrong – it’s all about debt or withholding of funds, etc. It sounded so good.

Part One – Intact Male named Crimson:


Crimson, now also known as the Red Baron, is a very nice, male dog with Beagle, Lab, and various other breeds in his background. He came to us with a hunting collar on, in good flesh, and won’t leave. Oh, he leaves, but over the porch and then quickly back. He is in the final week of heart worm treatment. He is intact, He can make puppies, which,  until last week, was not a problem….

Part Two – Peanut, Intact Female in heat:


Peanut is a senior Weim/Lab mix. She is the short hair dog with golden Weimaraner fur of the previous poem. Peanut is heart worm negative; however, she has multiple mammary tumors from being frequently bred. I don’t want puppies…..

Part Three – Lucy, Intact Female Beagle in heat:


Lucy is very heart worm positive with a massive, pendulous mammary tumor. She came with Ricky Beagle, and I had Ethel, a Beagle puppy who since is adopted. Ricky was also heavily heat worm positive. He was neutered; he did not tolerate the surgery, the anesthesia, or the heart worm med given; he declined and went to Heaven in my arms. I elected to not spay Lucy even though she could be pregnant. She was not – and she, too, is again in a heat along with Peanut…..

Part Four – Sophie Tucker, Spayed Female Beagle:


Sophie arrived two weeks ago. She is charming…she is an escape artist. Her first few days here were fine since, when I was home, she stayed home. Then she followed? found her way? up and over the chain link fence, and down the highway. She is now kept up when I’m not home in a crate or, preferably, the Front Room.

Jugglers have nothing, NOTHING, over a Beagle Sanctuary with intact dogs, two of whom are in heat, one of whom could effectively make puppies, and one who doesn’t quite get the concept of “home.” The girls are in a hallway most of the day; Crimson is outside or in a crate; Sophie is in the Front Room or on a leash with me.

I’m trying to attend to all 20 dogs and juggle those who need separation (see, “sequestration” sounds so much better and is in the news) without losing one.

I’ll let you know in another week if I’m successful. Crimson already hooked up with Peanut once. I’m praying hard for no pregnancy…and furiously juggling.

Two Yellow Dogs

Russian Yellow Retriever from 1915
Russian Yellow Retriever from 1915 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two yellow dogs sleep on a painted floor.

One fluffy, tufts of fur ripe for brushing or plucking,

Fur not long but dense,

thick, a cozy coat craving cooler weather.

She quivers in her sleep,

gently puffing her cheeks, flipping her paws,

traversing a landscape unknown,

perhaps dreaming of a puppyhood long, long ago.

The other with short fur sleeps full-out flat,

sporadically stretching her limbs straight.

This dog’s fur glistens in the light,

a brilliant gold startling in its reminder of her Weimaraner heritage

gently blended with other breeds,

a sweet yellow gold gleaming girl

in her twilight years, whose days ebb and flow with energy and ennui.

Two yellow dogs sleep on a painted floor.

~ Roberta Beach

Other Worlds, Other Peoples

Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura.
Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In her most recent program, “On Exoplanets and Love,” of On Being, Krista Tippett makes, to me, a startling observation – that, should we find life on other planets, the find would negate our view and reverence for God.

I may need to edit my assertion, but I heard something similar and was astounded.

I grew up a Sci Fi fan (not SyFy!) and a devotee of the original Star Trek series, of which there was a program that, indeed, on an M class planet, evidence of Son worship was noted, but not the Sun, as clarified by Lt. Uhura, but the Son of God. Of course, God would offer salvation to any and all who are in need, or, perhaps, we are the only sinners. How can finding or even the possibility of sentient life on other planets or galaxies threaten our belief in God?

I plan to listen to this program again tonight. Sometimes, I offend people by insisting God is asexual/without gender. A good friend asserted to me “God is a man.” He is also a woman depicted by the creation of Eve and the evidence of the feminine Wisdom in the wisdom literature and the Holy Spirit.

God tells us “my thoughts are not your thoughts nor my ways your ways.” We have NO CLUE of the true majesty of God. I believe – and certainly others, who may look and be very different from us, surely also believe. Jesus had “other sheep.” To me, they were those on other planets. God bringing salvation not only to our world but to the whole of Creation fills me with awe and humility.

Holy Dying – Engaged

Jeremy Taylor is depicted in this portrait at ...
Jeremy Taylor is depicted in this portrait at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This past Saturday, I attended a workshop on dying, holy dying, with several other members of my church. Both lay, clergy, and nursing/medical professionals were there. The title comes from Jeremy Taylor‘s two books on Holy Living and Holy Dying. His premise was and cont. in these classic works that to die well, we must live well.

Carpe diem to the max.

My tug this day, though I deal with many dying patients and their families in my work, was another workshop on dog rescue in TN. If I had to leave my home at 0600, then I could get to TN just as fast as St. Louis (or, as the Mapquest voice says, “Saint Louie“).

But I didn’t – I drove my car with two friends. My friends are gracious women – they accepted my eccentricities with good humor – “Don’t touch my side mirrors; they are set up for no blind spots.” “This is how you set up the cruise control.” And my practice of getting up to speed in the on-ramp before entering a freeway – Driving 101.

The workshop was joyful and informative, diverse in topic:

  • Advanced directives (decide NOW how you want treatments you do NOT want and in what circumstances when you truly are dying).
  • Disposition of your body – to science, to the grave, to cremation.
  • Hospice care
  • Volunteering for the dying – GREAT point: not everyone can handle bedside care but one person called and offered her accounting expertise to help get all papers in order; another shoveled snow, etc.
  • Avoiding probate – prepare and let your family know.

Please consider your end of life here on Earth. Be prepared not only in your paperwork and wishes, but by fully living every day.

Inspired by WP

What was the one experience that completely changed your life? What happened? How did it change your life?


I didn’t go to college out of high school. Despite a double scholarship offer (German and English) plus state paid (disability) tuition, I was/am so introverted I couldn’t imagine how I would pay for room and board away from home. Instead, I went to a business school, majored in medical assistant, and took a job as a surgery technician (now operating room tech). My new boss was so impressed by my resume, she asked if there was anyone else in my class interested in moving out with me and three others came along.

After working  in Gordon, NE for a year, I found a position in my new home town still as a surgery tech, a job I loved. After a few years, when I was very unofficially the “head” tech, an anesthetist told me I should do more. Looking back, I wish I would have said, “Yes, but am not yet sure what…” and kept working while I explored.

I went to nursing school and again short-changed myself because of my perceived need for hands on education, went to a diploma school and not a baccalaureate program.

I’ve been employed ever since – worked up to a nurse manager, helped design and furnish a new unit, moved back to staff nurse after cancer (again) and am retiring in about 5-7 years. I’m beginning a float position, which means I’ll move throughout the hospital where I’m needed on night shifts, 8 hrs instead of 12 hrs, and full-time at top of the scale.

In retrospect, despite wishing things different, I realize God was in charge, putting me in a field for which, in high school, I had no desire and showing me how to share my gifts in a difficult and stressful environment.