PHOTO GALLERY

I have decided to do a photo gallery on a bi-weekly basis.  Depending on how well it is received, I will continue this as a regular theme. It will be a gallery of photos that I have taken, starting with some photos I have already and some that I will be taking as the weeks go on.  I will be interested in what my readers think of the idea.

Abstract Acrylic on canvas
Abstract
Acrylic on canvas
"Lady with parasol" Acrylic on canvas
“Lady with umbrella”
Acrylic on canvas
The Artist's Studio Acrylic on canvas
The Artist’s Studio
Acrylic on canvas

 

To begin here  are a few  paintings I have done over the years.  I will be showing more  of my paintings from time to time and also photos I have taken in the past, up to recently.  Hope you enjoy.

Got the idea from today’s prompt on Blogging 101.

A Sudden Downpour

Main St. (during a parade)
Main St. (during a parade)

 

I was out walking along Main Street, as I try to do most days, usually for the exercise and sometimes to buy a few things I need.  Main Street  has quite a few stores within the several  blocks I walk.   Several banks, and a Post Office are in the area also which it makes it convenient.  Of course a coffee shop or two just happen to be located on Main Street also,which I have been known to frequent on more than one occasion.

As I was walking along deciding where to go next,  suddenly  a  flash of lightning followed by a great noise of thunder struck, making me jump!    I decided to duck into the library as it was the closest building at hand.  More than a few people had the same idea it seemed as the library was crowded.  Of course I did not have an umbrella with me at the time, so I decided to stay for a while.  I found an empty chair at one of the long tables  and draped my jacket over the back.  The library was one of my favorite places so I decided I would pick out a few books and peruse them while I waited for the storm to abate.

I hadn’t planned on getting any more books because I had several  at home waiting to be read.  It did not take me long to find books by a few authors I enjoy and before long I was deep into the first book I had picked up.  When I really get into a book I sometimes lose all track of time.  So I did not realize how late it was until the lights flickered and a voice announced that the library would be closing soon.  Sure enough it was closing time and a line formed at the take out counter.

As I stood in line, I debated whether I should get any more books at this time.  I decided to take the book and check it out since it was so very interesting to me.  When I left the library with my book in tow, it was still drizzling but the book was nestled in a plastic bag I brought with me; so I decided to go into the coffee shop which was right next to the library.  Maybe the rain would completely stop before I left.

I did manage to finish my latte and also a biscotti before I left the coffee shop  and sure enough the rain had stopped! After my experience first with the storm, then the library and lastly a delicious latte with a pastry, I could not have planned such a pleasant day if I tried!

 

 

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Sister Winifred
Sister Winifred

 

While posting and commenting recently with a blogger I follow, she mentioned that her mother’s name was Marion.  Not too many of us out there spelling it with an “o” instead of an “a.”  Those who spell it with an “o” are usually men.  One in particular, John Wayne, whose name was Marion!  He was one of my favorite actors even when I was a youngster.  So I was reminded of how I came to be named Marion.  There was a story connected to the baptism,  mother tells the story like this.

My family grew up Catholic and my sisters and I also went to Catholic school, graduating from there.  So of course we were baptized in the Catholic Church.  A few weeks after I was born, mother planned a Christening for me, which she did for each one of us kids.  A Christening was a party with food, drinks, the works and all the relatives attending, or at least the ones that mother was speaking to at the time.  The baby was usually taken to the church by the Godparents, both Godfather and Godmother, with the mother also going if she was up to it and as an afterthought, the father.

Well,  mother had a two-year old at home and she was not completely recovered from the childbirth.  So only the Godparents and father went to the church with the baby to be baptized.  The party would be held later in the day, lasting sometimes into the wee hours, depending how long the keg lasted.  Mother and baby would be asleep long before the party ended. As little group arrived at the church, the Godmother, who was one of my mother’s sisters, yelled out;

“I don’t remember what her name is to be,”  she shouted.

“What?”  gasped the Godfather and  father in unison.

“Do you know?” she yelled at father.

“No,” he yelled back.  “I am only  the father, how should I know?  She was supposed to be a boy anyway.”

So the Godparents and father went into a huddle to try to figure out what to do as the priest waited nervously at the church door.

Most people in those days did not have phones and we were numbered among them.  So calling mother was out.  The baby started fussing and everyone was getting agitated.

Out of nowhere the Godmother came up with an idea.  She said, “Well I like Marion Davies, how about we call her Marion?  I don’t think Kate will mind.  What do you both think?”  The two men agreed.  Anything to get the show on the road.

Kate was my mother and as it turns out she did mind but by the time she found out, it was too late.  Marion Davies was a famous movie star of the day and also a mistress to Wm. Randolph Hearst, the newspaper publisher and big shot of that time.  So the little group went into the church and proceeded to get the baptism over with.  So “Marion” it was!

When we arrived home and broke the news to mother, she told everyone that I was to be named Rita, which was my father’s sister’s name.  She also told father in no uncertain terms that she was not happy about the mix up.  However, as far as I was concerned, I certainly did not like the name Rita, much preferring Marion and can’t imagine having any other name.

 

Writing for Someone in Particular

Mother with my sister
Mother with my sister

This is about an “Ideal” Reader for today’s prompt.    It is a video of Engelbert Humperdinck singing “Please Release Me” which was one of my mother’s favorites both him and the song.  Enjoy!

 

While I don’t think I write for anyone in particular at least not that I am aware.  I know I don’t consciously think about it when I am writing but I suppose I want my mother to like and enjoy whatever I am writing.  She was an avid reader herself, becoming more so in her old age.  She was living with my sister when she was in her eighties and she started having health problems.

My sister did not have any children and she and her husband had a large home with plenty of room and time to take mother to her doctor’s appointments and out to lunch, which they both dearly loved.  The lunch part, not the doctors.

As my mother aged, she read more than ever, so my sister said it was easier going to the library, than buying all those books.  Mother also kept up with the politics of the day and could speak on almost any subject.  She had opinions on just about everything also, but she would only share them if someone was interested.

So I like to think that she would like my writing and be happy that I am sharing some of our family’s stories with the world at large.  My father would not be happy with a lot of my writing which included himself and was definitely not flattering.

Mother was a great storyteller herself and when she was in the mood and had an audience, she could hold people in rapt attention.  When I was in high school, my girlfriends would come to visit just to hear mother’s stories.

So I hope she’s enjoying my writing now and is happy that I am carrying on a tradition that she started.

 

 

I AM BACK!

Me and Merlin
Me and Merlin

Well I am back at Blogging 101 once again!  I have taken this course several times and even though I thought I was signing up for the Longreads Course this time, here I am.  I must admit I have always gotten something valuable out of any and all the courses I have taken with Word Press.  So I will do my best to learn and contribute something while I am here.  Luck and success to all my fellow bloggers!

So glad to be back at Blogging 101

As once again I take up my pen

I hope you like my writing and poems

As I put out the effort once more

To follow the prompts as best I can

And read others blogs and comment on them.

A One Time Blogging Event – 2015

Cultivate for Illo FridayToday’s lesson/challenge from Blogging 101 is to choose one Blog Event from the Community Event Listings. I chose a One Time Event called Around the World Reading Event Challenge.

You have to read at least six books in 2015. The author has to be one from every Continent and then do a blog about each of the books. I am interested and excited to be joining a community of like-minded people who love to read. I love to read and could not even remember the number of books I have read over the years. I mostly get my books from the library or the Friends of the Library Bookstore in the library. Otherwise I could not afford all the books.

Remembering the stories, titles and authors is something else again. Unless I have read the book more than once (sometimes I do this) or for some reason the book has made a lasting impression on me, I will not remember the book. I think joining this community and then blogging about the book will help me remember the stories. It is nice to be able to discuss the book with friends if they are interested.

So I am happy and looking forward to this challenge. Happy reading everyone!

A Day On The Inpatient Unit Continues…

Light of the full moon!
Light of the full moon!

The stories I am going to tell you are based on real events. The names have been changed due to the confidential nature of the subject matter. Also, some other changes have been made to make the story flow. These events happened during the late 1980’s through the early 1990’s. I worked on the Mental Health Inpatient Unit as a Clerk. I was working a three-day weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It was a twelve-hour day for three days, totaling thirty-six hours. The hours were grueling but we had four days off which more than made up for the long hours that we worked.

My story begins on a bright October Sunday afternoon. We got the call that a patient had gone AWOL, which I promptly told the Charge Nurse who then told me to announce it over the loudspeaker. This was standard procedure, first the announcement, then everyone who wasn’t busy would gather at the Nurse’s Station, which was right behind my station. Both my station and the Nurse’s Station were enclosed with sliding glass windows which enabled us to see out into the Day Room and beyond. This was important so that we could see all the activity and interaction between the patients.

The Charge Nurse would decide who was going to go after the patient. The patient who went AWOL was male and a regular on the Unit. Most of the people chasing him, knew him well as he had been admitted into the Inpatient Unit on many occasions. So a few of the HT’s, PT’s and sometimes the Charge Nurse herself, would go after the patient if we were shorthanded. This time the Charge Nurse decided she was going to join the others to go after the AWOL patient. Security was also alerted, usually consisting of one person who patrolled the parking lot for patients who may be wandering around. We kept in touch through walkie talkies then, since it was the early 1990’s.

There were four people plus security looking for the AWOL patient. He was spotted running through the parking lot, heading towards the ER (emergency room). The hospital was a short distance from the Unit and the ER entrance was the first door you came to from the parking lot. The patient was running at a pretty good clip and had almost reached the door to the ER, when Jennifer, the Charge Nurse, who was the closest to the patient, fell down on one knee.

She threw her hands down to break her fall and let out a cry as her knee hit the pavement. Blood started to spurt out of her injured knee when all of a sudden the patient, instead of running into the ER as he intended, stopped in his tracks, turned toward the injured Charge Nurse as though he wanted to help. He said, “You better be careful Jennifer.”

He then turned back towards the hospital door which opened automatically and disappeared through the ER entrance with the others following closely at his heels.

A Day On The Inpatient Unit

I worked at the Mental Health Inpatient Unit for a number of years and during that time many things happened both funny and serious, even dangerous. My usual shift was from 3:30pm to Midnight! Ours was the busiest shift for admitting patients, mostly patients brought in by the police, who wrote a 5150, which was a 72 hour Hold on a patient, who then could be held, as being either a Danger to himself or Others or Gravely Disabled.

I worked in a clerical position as a Ward Clerk, doing all the necessary paperwork, making announcements over the loudspeaker and taking calls. I worked closely with the Charge Nurse who as the name implies was in charge of everyone and every thing on the Unit. There were a number of Psychiatric Technicians, (PT),  which depended on the number of patients and each PT was responsible for so many patients. Also there were a number of Health Technicians (Health Techs.) again depending on the number of patients we had, but usually we had about three or four Health Techs, (HT).  They did just about everything from helping a patient to and from the bathroom to helping the PT’s put a patient in seclusion. Sometimes in restraints, sometimes not. There were two Psychiatrists on the Unit during the day shift which was 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and one doctor on the evening shift, 3:30 to midnight. We had beds for 34 patients with sometimes an overflow of up to 40 patients. Then for the NOX shift which was from 11:30 p.m. to 7 a.m., a doctor was on call. Also, the Crisis Team was in the building next to the Mental Health Inpatient Unit building. The Crisis Team interviewed anyone coming in on their own and not with the police: They were also available to the staff on the Unit whenever an emergency arose.

So, as you can see the Unit was a very serious place for everyone involved, workers, patients, families and doctors. But as often happens even in emergency or crisis situations, sometime funny things do happen and you have to laugh if only to relieve the tension which usually abounded in such places.

To be continued.

To Use The Prompt or Not Use the Prompt? That is The Question!

The prompts are very useful but sometimes they just don’t click or give you any ideas for a post. Then it is best to just go about your business and do a post on something that blows up your skirt or pants, whatever you happen to be wearing at the time. I would say for me the prompts sometimes give me an idea and I can roll with it, with no problem; then I just type like a demon. Then again, which is usually the case, I go with my own ideas and I find that usually I start typing and either do something that I think is good, or other times I have a problem coming up with ideas and struggle and maybe just give up or produce something that I think is crap. Of course it helps to be in the Zone and when that happens I can go on and on forever it seems and it all feels good. We all know how that feels.

Even with non fiction which I have been doing lately, I think it is mostly depending on your memory to come up with the stories, you still need to put it in a story form that will keep people interested and want to read your work. Otherwise it is not good!

So while I like to have the prompts to maybe help me come up with ideas when I am fresh out, I really do not depend on them for a post. But an idea may spring from a prompt that you may have never had without it,

The Time Mother Was In The Hospital continues…

When I turned around and saw the neighbor standing in her yard looking directly at us, I almost froze in my tracks.  It was such a surprise to have someone catch us in the act of running away, was not my idea of what was supposed to happen.  She continued to stare at us expecting an answer.  We were related to her through my Grandmother and she and her family lived next door, although I really did not know her that well.  Then something came over me and I thought to myself, ‘It’s really none of her business where we were going and why.’  I decided to be nice about it and said, “Oh I am taking the kids for a picnic,” and I waved the bags we had and said, “There’s some goodies here we are going to eat and have a really nice time.”

That seemed to satisfy her and she replied, “You kids have a good time then.”  With a wave she turned and went inside.  I was never so relieved in my life to see her go inside her house.  But I knew she would be sure to tell the Aunts the next time she saw them, but by then it would be too late.  We hurried down the street and headed for home.

It really wasn’t that far but when we reached our house it was a sight for sore eyes and we ran inside and did a little jig.  We were so happy to be home even though it was still a shack in every sense of the word but Mother had made it a comfortable, cozy place and we loved it.  I looked in the ice box and saw that it was empty and not even any ice to keep things cold.  I was wondering what we would eat but then I thought of Mrs. D. and I told the kids to stay inside and I would be back with food.

When our neighbor, Mrs. D. saw me she laughed and said, “Your Mother told me that you were unhappy with your Aunts but I didn’t think you would come home before she did.”  I told her what had happened and that we needed food and ice immediately because we were starving.  Mrs. D. told me to go home with the kids and she would be over shortly with provisions for us.  True to her word, she was there within the hour with food for us, and her husband in tow with a block of ice for the ice box.  She said she would let Mother know and also let my Father know in case he was interested in helping us out.  In addition she said she would come over and stay with us that night and do whatever else it took to keep us comfortable.

Father came by the next day with a bag of cookies and made a big pitcher of lemonade which we loved.  I knew then that everything would be okay and Mother would be home soon.  We also found out from Mrs. D., when she came over that evening after giving her family their supper, that Mother was just fine.  Her tumors were benign and the surgery just removed the tumors, and she would be up and around in no time.

The end.