Spoons, Beans and the Science of Crash Calculations!

Spoons, Sailing, CRPS and Penguins

Chronic fatigue crashesFrom Sweet Briars Sisters blog

I have mentioned the Spoon Theory before, however I came across this lovely little visual piece that uses beans.  Although the writer of this piece mentions CFS this can be applied to other medical conditions such as CRPS, Fibromyalgia, etc. too.  

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Front Window

(Ironically, I was distracted by the snow and forgot to post this poem earlier today when I wrote it and added the photos. It has now snowed quite a bit more!)


Snow storm of the season!
Six inches to eighteen inches possible!
Stay at home!
Services cancelled!

These are the sound bytes we’ve
been hearing since Thursday
here in Colorado.

Has it snowed? Sure!
Has it been the storm of the season?
Maybe? It has had its moments.
Are we staying at home?
Well, yes, today we are.

I find it amusing how “SENSATIONAL”
news has become over the years.
When I was a child, we listened
to farm weather reports on the radio
every morning because my dad
was a former farmer.

The weather report was delivered
in a monotonic voice with very basic facts,
when the next precipitation was expected,
and maybe if the
temperature was going to drop below zero
or over 107, the reporter would speak a little louder.
We got the point, nonetheless.
Imagine that!

These are things I’m thinking as I watch
it snow intermittently this morning,
first in almost microscopic fine flakes
and then in the big, gorgeous Santa Claus flakes
we see on Christmas specials in December.

My front patio has been redecorated by the
hands of old man winter, and, for once,
looks rather stylish with the added
layer of snow.

I thought I’d share it with you before
the next sensational weather event occurs
and erases it all with its carelessness.

©Elaine Wood-Lane 2/22/15





Red Tape, Red Tape

Red tape, red tape,
it’s everywhere today.

The more we try to
sort it out, the harder
it becomes to get away.

I’ve dealt with red tape
today that wasn’t even mine,
and found myself
defensive when they
seemed to think
I was lyin’.

I know that policies, procedures,
rules, and laws,
are meant to be
for our own good,
but like I told my mother once,
when she tried to give me
iron tonic to build me up
for my own good,
if this is what it takes to live
and be all safe and sound,
I think I’ll just pass on this one,
and catch the second round.

©Elaine Wood-Lane


Sunshine Soaked Brain

High mountain sunshine,
so bright and light
this morning,
it tempted
my winter white skin.

There had been
too many clouds,
too many days,
both inside and out.

While elsewhere
others freeze and gaze
at blinding white light,
reflecting deep snow,

I walked in joy in
high mountain sunshine,
my dog at my side.

Returning home,
wondering what I was
supposed to do next,
smiling inanely,

I realized,
I had sunshine
soaked brain,
nothing going in,
nothing going out.

It was worth it…
One lovely day
of sunshine soaked brain.

©Elaine Wood-Lane


Counting Blessings….

Still in pjs and housecoat,
Sipping coffee,
Listening to iTunes shuffle,
opera to the Cranberries,
Looking at the family budget,
Dog dreaming on my lap,
Minor fibromyalgia pain so far,
Husband in the home office,
Son sleeping downstairs,
Healthy grandson, papa and mama
In Illinois.

Count your many blessings,
Name them one by one.
Life is good and
God is on His throne.

©Elaine Wood-Lane

We really are so blessed and fortunate. Even though life isn’t always easy and we all go through some very hard times, we have to remember the good times that were and that will be once again. Life isn’t static. It doesn’t stay in the valleys forever, but it doesn’t stay on the mountain tops forever either. Without the valleys, we wouldn’t appreciate the mountain tops, and without the mountain tops, we couldn’t bear the time in the valleys. Right now, I think I’m living on a mesa somewhere in the middle and I am very, very grateful for where I am right this moment. Hugs and love, Elaine

Christmas Eve at Walmart, Lubbock, Texas, 2000 Something

It was Christmas Eve, late in the evening, when I realized there were still some things I needed to buy for Christmas dinner the next day so my sons and I drove over to our regular Walmart. The store aisles weren’t nearly as congested as I expected, but did look like someone had thrown a hand grenade in the middle just to see what would happen. Every aisle looked like it had been looted. Shelves were fairly empty, stuff was all over the floor, and it was a mess! I didn’t even head over towards the toy or Christmas sections of the store because I was afraid those might be where everyone was located given that the parking lot was full and the east side of the store, the grocery section, was so quiet.

I hurried through the aisles, trying to get everything as quickly as possible, because I wanted to do a little baking that night before I went to bed. We were living with my dad then, partly to keep him company after my mother passed away, partly to combine household expenses to a more economic level for both of us, and partly to watch after my dad who was getting a little bit forgetful and confused. He would receive the bills and I would write the checks and pay them. He was so afraid he’d forget to pay a bill that on the day he received a bill of any kind, the moment I walked in the door, he’d hand it to me and have the checkbook waiting on the kitchen table for me to write it out and put the payment out on the mailbox for the next day’s mail. Besides being a little forgetful, he had macular degeneration so could only see the periphery of everything, which greatly limited him for many things.

After I picked up all I needed in the grocery section, my sons and I met at the front and found the shortest line, but still had about three people in front of us, some with groceries, but most with toys or gifts of various and sundry types. The register clerk seemed to be moving rather slowly so the person right ahead of me, snapped at her very rudely. I hate seeing this happen ever and usually try to lighten things up when I get to the clerk.

When I moved up in line, I on an upbeat, chirpy note, said, “Hi! How are you doing? Are you ready for Christmas?!” The young woman said “No,” and then started crying! She was trying her best not to cry, but still, there were tears flowing down her cheeks and she had to clear her throat twice before she could answer. “No! I’m not ready for Christmas and I guess I won’t be this year at all!”

I felt badly for obviously reopening a very new wound, but as the silence stretched between us for a minute, I could tell she really needed someone to just listen to her. I gently said, “What’s wrong, hon?” That’s all the encouragement she needed. “I was working this part-time job at Walmart just to make extra Christmas money so my kids could have a good Christmas this year. I’m a nurse at ** Hospital and I just found out this morning, with no prior warning, that I’m being laid off, effective today! What in the world am I going to do now? This part-time job at Walmart isn’t going to support me and my kids!” Then she started crying in earnest. She had finished checking out my items and I had already paid, but felt she needed a few moments more. I had just learned of the layoffs at the hospital on the evening news a couple of hours before. They were letting over 60 people go due to budget cutbacks. No warning had been given, although some of the employees had heard rumors. This young woman had obviously not heard the rumor.

“Well,” I replied, “Are you a registered nurse or an LVN? Either way, you should be able to find some job in nursing soon, don’t you think? I mean, at least you have good credentials, right?”

“I’m an LVN and I do have good credentials and a good reference, but if the main hospital in town is laying people off, I don’t know if there will be any good nursing jobs in town available.”

“Oh, I had not thought of that,” I said. One thing I did know was that healthcare workers were usually in high demand. I couldn’t understand why the hospital had laid off that many people when healthcare workers are in such high demand, especially LVN’s and RN’s. Suddenly struck by inspiration, I asked, “What about jobs in home health agencies? Have you thought of that? We have a nurse from a home health agency who stops in to see my dad a couple of times a week to treat a knee he hurt when he fell out of a tree recently.”

“What?! Your dad fell out of a tree? How old is he anyway?”

“Oh, he’s 90 years old and if I’ve told him once, I’ve told him a hundred times to stay off the roof of the house and to quit trying to trim his trees by himself! But did he listen? Oh no! He decides while I’m at work that he’ll climb up that old maple tree and cut out the deadwood in it. In the process, the ladder slipped, he started falling, and the only thing that stopped him was the fence. He landed on the fence, hung by his knees, totally upside down with his feet on the outside of the fence. He’s a strong old guy, but he didn’t have the strength to pull himself upright on the fence and get down. If his mail lady hadn’t happened to see his feet and know him, I don’t know what would have happened to him! She helped him down, took him inside the house, and found my emergency number. I went home immediately and looked at the damage. The spikes on his fence had dug into the backs of his knees and left bad, deep wounds. So, I took him to the doctor and the doctor prescribed a home health nurse to give him antibiotics by injection and to keep an eye on the wound. She loves her job, by the way. She said she has been much happier in home health than she ever was working at a hospital. I know the name of the agency where she works and could give you a referral there if you like. My husband used to be their accountant.”

At that point, the clerk came right around the counter, grabbed me, and started crying again, but this time with hope and relief. “Do you really think I could get a job at that home health agency? You’re not just saying that?” “Yes, I do think you could get a job there. How long did you work at the hospital?” “15 years.” “Oh, wow, then sure I think they’d hire you! Call Brad at ** Home Health and tell him that Dee Lane suggested you apply there. Tell him everything! It’s worth a shot anyway, right?” The clerk hugged me and I hugged her back. I told her not to ever give up hope because there was always hope and a way to get back on track. Then I said, “I know I just met you, but I really care and God cares even more for you!”

My sons had already gone outside. They were embarrassed, I think, by one more instance of their mother getting caught up in an emotional moment with a total stranger. I gave the clerk one last hug and then followed them outside, tears rolling down my cheeks. “Mom! What are you crying for and what took you so long?” I pulled out a tissue to wipe my face, handed off our shopping basket to one of them and as we headed for the car, I told them about the clerk’s predicament. “You know, boys, I just received my Christmas present for this year. I was honored that she talked to me and that I could be there to offer her encouragement and hope. You know we’ve been in dire straits before and people have popped up out of nowhere to help me all along. It was nice to be able to be the person offering help and hope for a change. Besides, your mom is a crazy lady who loves to talk to people! You should be used to it by now!” We all laughed as we got into the car and drove away.

I learned later that the young lady did call the home health agency, she was hired, and they were really happy with her! So what she thought was a disaster ended up being a blessing for her and her children. Just another example of when God closes one door, He leaves a window open to the next adventure. Never forget to really listen to people and pay attention to them. I spent 15 minutes with that young woman and I’ve never regretted it. I mean, really, are we truly in such a hurry that we can’t pay attention to those around us? I know more times than I can even count, people have taken time and trouble to help me, so it’s my turn to pay it forward…

Stories…The Fabric of My Life

Stories really are the fabric of my life, both stories told and stories written.  I love to read, listen to, and tell stories.  I think I come by this honestly.  Mother was a natural born storyteller and would tell anyone anything they wanted to know about family history, old or current, including things we didn’t want her to tell!  Imagine my surprise when I realized several years ago that I am just like Mother.  I can talk the socks off of people without even trying, telling stories, giving examples of similar events, or just being excited to meet someone new.  This drives my sons, daughter-in-law, and husband nuts sometimes.  Somehow I’ve gone from being a quiet, shy little girl to a middle-aged woman who never met a stranger.  I’m one of those women who can see an interesting person at the grocery store and just start visiting with them OR, and this has happened a lot too, someone will just start visiting with me!  It’s delightful!  There are so many wonderful, interesting people out there in the world and each and every one of them has a story.  I guess I love listening to their story.  Sometimes they just need to tell their story because no one has ever listened, or they are in a very stressful or sad time in their life, or they are so excited about something new in their life that they just have to tell someone!

In the interest of preserving good relationships with my family and friends by not driving them crazy telling stories, I’ve decided I am going to write them here and share them with you.  On the plus side, the people who have shared their stories with me, just to be heard, will be heard again, anonymously of course, because most of them never even told me their names or I’ve forgotten.  I find it interesting that often I don’t recall names of people who have told me their stories, but I never forget their face or their story.  So, without further ado, later today, I will post my first short story about a woman I met at Walmart many years ago on Christmas Eve.  I hope you come back to read it!