Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Yum ~ is all I really have to say!

My friend Heather and I went to lunch today at Rutabegorz.
We went to the one in Old Towne Orange - it is in a old converted house. We ate outside though since the weather was just perfect today!
I so needed the break. I had been working on statistics homework all morning and needed to take a mind cleanse! So when Heather asked, I gladly said yes.

Rutabegorz is a semi-vegetarian restaurant. They have so many salads and lots of healthy food choices that you can not find at other restaurants. They do have some meat dishes too~
I like to be adventurous when we go here - and one of my favorite items is their fondue. But it is served at night, and needs to be shared since the portion servings are so big. The menu reads like a newspaper - it has like 10 pages...almost too many choices for me! A page for drinks, two for salads, two for sandwiches and wraps, pasta meals, smoothies - you get th
e idea. It just goes on and on! I always have a hard time deciding what I want!!The salads are huge! This picture doesn't even do it justice. They are served in big plastic bowls and could easily be shared! Heather ordered a salad - it looked so yummy ~And I ordered off of the seasonal summer menu. I had roasted vegetable tacos (or twocos as they are called here - you get two - get it?!?) It had roasted zucchini, roasted bell peppers and onions, lettuce, cheese and a special sauce. It was messy but sure filled me up! The best part about going to lunch was catching up with my girlfriend, Heather. We can go weeks and months without seeing each other, then just start back off where we last talked :)
I met Heather years ago when I delivered her niece. She was not yet married back then. After she got married and starting having children she searched me out. I was lucky enough to care for her when she gave birth to all 3 of her boys.

I remember being taught in nursing school that you were not supposed to make friends with your patients. Patients are to be patients and your personal life is to be your personal life. Work and personal life should not mix. I am forever thankful that I did not listen to that advice! I would have missed out on so much if I had. We have a special relationship. Our friendship was forever sealed! My daughter, Michelle then went on to be a steady baby-sitter for her. Heather's boys are old enough now that they don't need Michelle to watch them anymore, but Heather and I will continue our friendship over the years...

Thanks for inviting me out today Heather - you knew that I needed the break and I am glad that you are my friend!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hume Lake

I have been on the 'per-diem' staff at Hume Lake Christian Camps for a few years now. Originally I started working up there so that I could go with my daughters to camp. I could be where they were but not working directly in their cabin. I could still be involved in their lives without actually being so much in their face...I could meet their friends. I could get to know other young people from church. I didn't have to be in a cabin 24/7 with a bunch of teenagers. And my daughters got to go to camp for half price (which really helped in my single mom days).

But then I fell in love with Hume Lake Christian camp. Fell in love with the beauty of the place. It is up in the Sequoia's. Fell in love with the view, the trees, the clean air. Fell in love with the mission of the camp and the difference they make in people's lives. Fell in love with the people who run the place. Fell in love with the food. Just plain ole' got Hume Lake in my system.

I have worked summer camps, singles camp, New Year's family camp, Thanksgiving family camp, winter camp. I have taken my niece and other friends so that they can get to know Hume Lake. The work is challenging for it is different than what I do everyday. I have to think and react in ways that I don't when I am in a hospital. It keeps me on my toes. It challenges my first aid skills and advanced cardiac skills. You just see so many different types of injuries and illnesses up there. And one day - I think it would be fun to actually deliver a baby while I am there. Now wouldn't that be exciting??

I haven't been able to go up much in the past year or two. It is a 6 hour drive for me and with working and going to school there just hasn't been the opportunity to go. But that is changing :) Buzz and I are going up September 16-18th for the next couples conference. We are excited for a bit of a break. Excited to see old friends. Maybe even learn a thing or two. If you are free you should join us. We stay in the infirmary but they have lovely rooms in the lodge and great food. You definitely don't walk away hungry! Take a sneak peak below and don't forget to turn down the volume on my play list so that the two don't compete for your listening attention!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Seeing it in Print

I was on the Biola web site tonight. Just looking around to see what was new there. My daughter Erika graduated this past spring from Biola and is now joining the adult working force. She is out on her own, living with friends. I am proud of her for starting the next stage of her life.
I clicked around the site a bit. Looked to see if they were starting a master's in nursing program yet (nope - not yet).
Decided to check out the athletic tab ~ an low and behold, look whose name I got to see in print.....
Coaching Staff
Jonathan ZimmermanHead Cross Country Coach
Erika PerezAssistant Cross Country Coach
Kris RossVolunteer Cross Country Coach
Sharon ZimmermanVolunteer Cross Country Coach

Have fun working oh daughter of mine! You are going to be an awesome coach!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Statistics Class

Oh my gosh...I am starting a new class - STATISTICS...and I do not, I repeat ~do not like math. But I will survive.
So - we have an assignment already which I need help with.
If you can answer the following questions for me I would greatly appreciate it. You can email me or answer in the comments.
Thanks in advance for any help.
The questions:
A) How old are you? 1) 21-35 2) 26-50 3) greater than 50
B) How often do you drink alcohol? 1) never 2) 1-6 times/month 3) greater than 6 times a month.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Perinatal Loss Support Group

The hospital where I work has an excellent support group for people who have experienced the death of an infant. You do not have to deliver where I work to be able to join the group. The group alternates in English and Spanish. The English group starts in September. If you live in the area and are in need of support this may be the place for you. See below for more information or feel free to email me or leave a comment. I am supportive of this program for I know that it helps those who do attend...

Always Together

Perinatal Bereavement Support Group

The goal of this group is to provide support to parents facing infant loss and help them strengthen their spirit in a safe and compassionate environment.

The support group is FREE of charge to the community and will meet once a week for 8 consecutive weeks during the following dates of 2011:

Thursday, September 01st

Thursday, September 08th

Thursday, September 15th

Thursday, September 22nd

Thursday, September 29th

Thursday, October 06th

Thursday, October 13th

Thursday, October 20th

Sessions will be held from 6:00 to 7:30 PM

Place: Sister Francis Dunn Building, Room # 3

1100 W. Stewart Drive, Orange, California 92868

For additional information or to register, please call Marjorie Mac Donald, MSW

(714) 771-8000 Ext. 13295

New Hope Grief Support Community 3443 San Anseline Ave., Long Beach, CA 90808

(562) 429-0075


Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Help

I read the book when it came out and this weekend Erika and I had a mother - daughter date and went to see the movie.
It was very good.
Well, not quite as good as the book but I will probably buy the DVD version when it is released. It is so hard to imagine that people actually lived like these black housekeepers did. In our country. And not so long ago.

I grew up with, and still have, many black friends. When I was in high school, I played on a field hockey team that only had two white girls on the team. So to see a film where the was such division is a little foreign to me. I know that it was and probably still is like this in many areas of our country. But, to me, they were all my friends. There were no differences based on skin color. I am glad that I was able to grow up in an area that is so diverse. It has helped me be a nurse that can give care ~ regardless of race or status.

Being a bit of a rebel that I am, I think I would have been like Skeeter. I would have been looking for the truth and trying to make a difference. I could never see myself as one of the bridge club players or having a maid to raise my children. I'd be the one trying to expose the lies of that time...
If you want to see a good chick flick - The Help is one to see.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Just a Dream

Have you ever had one of those dreams that seems so real that when you wake up you can't shake it??

Well, I had one of those.

I haven't been sleeping well lately (yes, I'm in that age where hormones start to go wacky again). I seem to be able to fall asleep but wake up and spend most of the night watching the clock. So, I have been using a little unasom or Tylenol pm to help me get some decent rest.

And I know that I have been a little stressed with Dad having surgery, Mom having some weird kidney problem, and other family things. I am the one in the family who tends to worry about all of the family members. I know it is the nurse in me. The one who wants to fix everything and make it all better.

So, I had this dream last night....odd thing was that in my dream my parents still lived on the old street that we grew up on (they haven't lived there for 20 years!!).
In my dream, my younger sister had a suspicious growth on an ultrasound or something. She is taken to surgery where they find cancer every where and just close her back up. They tell me there is nothing they can do and I feel that I have to find a way to get her home. There is no way I'm going to let her stay in the hospital so I start formulating a plan as to how to get her home where I can care for her as she is dying. My mom and I consult with a neighbor who have their dying daughter at home.

I fight to wake up...
I think, "wow, where did that dream come from?"

I have been "off" all day...disturbed and worried.

I finally texted my sister while she was at work - asking if she was ok. "You are not sick or anything are you?" I tell her I had such a strange dream about her. "like a cold or what?" she asks. "Naw, I say - no worries...just wanted to be sure you were ok and encourage you to get any unusual symptoms checked out."
She responds back ~ "Yes, dear"

I know that it was just a dream, but is sure seemed real!
Maybe I need a vacation!
~ Debbie ~

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Final Surgery

Dad has had his final surgery (we hope) for his cancer on his nose.

I am so comforted knowing that my friends are giving him the best care that he can receive. It makes it easier for me to watch him be wheeled off to surgery knowing that his doctors and nurses are people who I care about and care about me and my family. I know that they will treat him as one of their own.
He normally has the same anesthesiologist (whom we all love!)
His plastic surgeon is the sweet, tiny, unassuming young lady. She wouldn't let us take photos of her...even when we promised we wouldn't post any on the internet. She is one of the best plastic surgeons around but is not pompous or arrogant. She is like family now to us and they all love my dad. They say he is "so calm and easy going". The anesthesiologist said we could "probably just give him a stick to bite on." I just tell them that Dad has always been like this. But as someone who works in the patient care industry it is nice to have easy going patients on occasion.

Dad is going to heal up just fine. He already looks so much better without the nose flap and you you can hardly see the scar that crosses his entire forehead. The plastic surgeon will probably still thin out the nostril area where the graft was done. First he has to undergo some radiation treatments. Once we see how that affects things then his plastic surgeon will clean it up just a bit. She said that could be done in the office though, using local anesthetic.

Here's a picture of my Dad in the recovery room...smiling just an hour post-op!
I am glad this part of his treatment is behind us. I love you dad and am glad you are healing up well! Can't wait to see what it all looks like 6 months from now.
Dad - you are a rock star and a hero in my book!
Love you bunches, Debbie

Monday, August 15, 2011

Perinatal Hospice

I ran across this video tonight while I was doing some research. It explains a bit about the type of work that I do and rationale for this work. Yes, it is sometimes emotionally draining ~ but it is oh so important.

Be sure to silence my playlist down below so the two sounds don't compete with each other.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Compliment

Tonight in class we were handed back two of our papers.

The instructor says to me, "You need to be in grad school."
I asked her what made her say that and she said that my papers were so well written, so well thought out and were of "grad school quality." She said I had an excellent writing talent.
She also said that those that God gives a talent to should not waste that talent...

I will take that as a compliment and will think about going to grad school - have to finish my BSN first!
~ Debbie ~

Saturday, August 6, 2011

She's a Grandma

My good friend Lori has joined the ranks of grandma-hood!!

Her daughter, Brittany, gave birth to a little baby boy and he is just absolutely precious.
We went over to visit and snuggle ~ I love, love, love newborns. It just never gets old for me.
But we didn't get to hold him long. Like many newborns he wanted to eat and be with his mommy.

Welcome to the world baby Kaden! Your grandma and I are going to have so much fun playing with you. Thanks for making her a grandma. She is so loving and kind and will spoil you rotten. You are lucky to have her as your grandma and I am lucky to have her as my friend!
~ Debbie ~

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hats for Hannah

Do you know any one who is having a baby?
These little hats sure make cute gifts.
They are made by a mother who was expecting a little girl, to be named Hannah. In honor of that little girl she makes these very sweet hats.

Check out her website - hats for

Debbie ~

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dad's Surgeries

My father has been dealing with some skin cancers recently.
Even with all of the doctor's visits, pokes and biopsies, surgeries, and dressing changes he has remained in good spirits.

A year ago he had a cancer on his cheek - this was taken care of and a graft of skin was taken from his thigh. He healed well and went on with life.
Then they found more.
One on his neck, one on the chest and one on the side of his nose.

Now Dad was never a sun worshipper. He did not hang out at the beach or go to tanning salons. He only had normal sun exposure. He did grow up on a farm where he spent time out in the sun while he did the farming. He also did not wear sunscreen. Would this have made a difference? Who knows, but it does make me think twice before I head out the door. I don't typically use sunscreen either unless I plan to be out in the sun for long periods of time. Yet, watching my dad struggle through all of this has given me pause.

His most recent cancer was found on the right side of his nose. They were able to remove most of the bad cells, then did a forehead flap nasal reconstruction. So far he has had two surgeries, with one more scheduled to remove the flap. It has been an interesting procedure to see. They take a flap of skin off of the forehead ~ flip it around (leaving it attached right by the eyebrow) and attach the other end to the nostril area of the nose. If you are really interested in the procedure you can read about it by clicking here.

The first surgery so far was the longest and hardest.
And it does look pretty weird.
But we still love him.
I promised I wouldn't post actual pictures of him. I found some pretty good examples on line though (they are a bit graphic so beware if you are sensitive to medical photos)

We will all be glad when this fight is over.
And we are ever so thankful for the wonderful doctors and nurses who have cared for him. He gets to request the same anesthesiologist each time and the same staff care for him when he comes in...they have all become like family.
One more surgery to go and the flap will be gone! Whoo Hoo!