Monday, September 29, 2008

Hurricane Ike Shelters: from a nurse's point of view

Wow I started looking up Hurricane Ike blogs and seeing what pictures people had posted and ran across an article I found VERY interesting since Nick and I talk about the same thing at home. I have made the title a link to the blog itself but thought I would just directly post it here for you.

Taken from "Daily Kos" blog:

Hurricane Ike Horrors
by martygrn
Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 07:15:34 AM PDT
I am a nurse who has just completed volunteer working approximately 120 hours as the clinic director in a Hurricane Ike evacuation shelter in Houston, Texas. I would love to see someone look at the evacuee situation from a new perspective. Local and national news channels have covered the evacuation and "horrible" conditions the evacuees had to endure during Hurricane Ike. True - some things were not optimal for the evacuation and the shelters need some modification.
At any point, does anyone address the responsibility (or irresponsibility) of the evacuees?
martygrn's diary :: ::
Does it seem wrong that one would remember their cell phone, charger, cigarettes and lighter but forget their child's insulin? Is something amiss when an evacuee gets off the bus, walks immediately to the medical area, and requests immediate free refills on all medicines for which they cannot provide a prescription or current bottle (most of which are narcotics)?
Isn't the system flawed when an evacuee says they cannot afford a $3 co pay for a refill that will be delivered to them in the shelter yet they can take a city-provided bus to the store, buy 5 bottles of Vodka, and return to consume them secretly in the shelter?
Is it fair to stop performing luggage checks on incoming evacuees so as not to delay the registration process but endanger the volunteer staff and other persons with the very realistic truth of drugs, alcohol and weapons being brought into the shelter?
Am I less than compassionate when it frustrates me to scrub emesis from the floor near a nauseated child while his mother lies nearby, watching me work 26 hours straight, not even raising her head from the pillow to comfort her own son?
Why does it insense me to hear a man say "I ain't goin' home 'til I get my FEMA check" when I would love to just go home and see my family who I haven't only seen this week?
Is the system flawed when the privately insured patient must find a way to get to the pharmacy, fill his prescription and pay his co pay while the FEMA declaration allows the uninsured person to acquire free medications under the disaster rules?
Does it seem odd that the people volunteering at the shelter are paying for childcare while the evacuee sits on a cot during the day as the shelter provides a "daycare"?
Have government entitlements created this mentality and am I facilitating it with my work?
Will I be a bad person, merciless nurse or poor Christian if I hesitate to work at the next shelter because I have worked for 7 days being called every curse word imaginable, feeling threatened and fearing for my personal safety in the shelter?
I am really curious at to the thoughts of the people here. Why is this side of the problem not shown on newscasts? I know I have asked a lot of questions, but it is the only way I know to make the point. Again, the main question is where does the responsibility on the part of the evacuee's themselves start?

Silent Monday!

So I forgot!! And I was on here and suddenly thought who says I still can't post my pictures for my own sake! So here is my Silent Monday for all of you! (even though I already broke the rule of being"silent". This was this last thursday - it was too beautiful of a day so we went for a picnic at the park for lunch! It was so much fun!

Economic Crisis Video

Hey I was checking out a new favorite blog of mine and she had a very interesting video on her post today that is worth watching! Please check it out at Smellin' Coffee blog.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A weeekend retreat to Tuscon Arizona!

Well I have been trying to wait for the pictures from my dad's camera so I could do an entire post of my weekend get-away to Tuscon Arizona for an old family friend's wedding however I can't contain it any longer so it will come in two pieces now: 1 about where I stayed and where I ate and 2. The wedding (to come later)

First of all I must say God really had his hand of favor on me to even make it over there since my flight was supposed to leave out of Houston on Friday evening which of course was right when Hurricane Ike had begun to make landfall so the airport was shut down. I was in San Antonio and my wonderful parents heard the determination in my voice LATE Thursday night and hopped on their computer and found me a flight to El Paso instead where they picked me up and we all drove to Tuscon together.

This really was a bonus for me because my dad picked me up about 10:oo AM their time and asked if I was hungry and since I'd only eaten a small thing of oatmeal from the airports Starbucks I was starving by now. So of course my daddy took me to Si Senor Restaurant in Las Cruces, New Mexico which of course is THE restaurant if you grew up in Deming. You see it is THE restaurant in Deming and they put a bigger Si Senor's in Las Cruces years later so I was able to have my delicious Huevos Rancheros - green, over easy, and with no onions! (translation for non Si Senor eaters: I want green chile, not red, I want my eggs over easy, and please leave out the onions!)

Then once we were home I put some laundry in and was supposed to nap while my laundry was being done but I first HAD to go outside and see my parents raspberry bushes and see how much their vine had grown. It was beautiful as always and my dad told me they have to pick their raspberry bushes about every three days they are so plenteous this summer! So I went and grabbed a bowl and started picking! These raspberries were so delicious I kid you not they were 10 times better than any I have ever eaten! Even if you pick one a little early they are still not sour like the ones you buy at the store. It's always sweet it just depends on HOW sweet and juicy and delicious! They were SO good I ate quite a few handfuls and still filled an ENORMOUS bowl full of them.

Okay so on to Tuscon...when we got there we went and picked up my cousin Andrea who is the same age as me and is attending U of A there. We were all going to go out to dinner and started discussing where we should go. Andrea said she heard of a restaurant that has been voted the BEST Italian restaurant in Tuscon for the last three years and she has heard is very good. Well taken we ARE Italian we couldn't pass this up. So we called ahead and got ourselves on the waiting list while we checked into the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa.

Here are a couple pictures from their website. If you ever get a chance to stay here you truly MUST. It is a retreat like none other! Anyways, like I said we checked in, received our beautiful gift basket from the Shiflett's welcoming us to the wedding and headed out to our restaurant, Gavi Italian Restaurant (the piazza location).

We arrived to the piazza location and walked in to a cozy, inviting scene with laughter and conversations everywhere! It really did seem like a hot spot in Tuscon. My favorite part of the design was the ceiling: they had draped shimmery material starting in one corner and flowed out covering the rest of the roof. The lights were above it so it made for a romantic ambiance!! lol, it was so fun and there were wine bottle EVERYWHERE! Their wine menu was bigger than their regular menu! Everything looked so good and I found out later that everything is prepared fresh and from scratch for every meal served.

I couldn't decide what to order but when the waitress came around she rattled off the specials for the night and one I could not resist. I should have written it down because i don't remember it all but it was a spaghetti like pasta with salmon, mushrooms, spinach, shrimp, umm....a couple other things (sorry I don't remember) all in a creme sauce and either a wine sauce combined or it was cooked in a wine sorry I know something had wine in it or cooked in it. Anyways I DO know it was SOOOOOOOO delicious!!!! It was the best pasta I have probably ever eaten and that's saying a LOT for me. The other thing I REALLY liked about the restaurant is they stayed very true to a true Italian meal starting with bread with oil and vinegar to dip in. Second they brought a cold antipasta (which is rarely seen anymore in Italian meals) and then the main course and of course who can leave out dessert when you are at such a good restaurant. My dad ordered Affogato, which is gelato alla crema in a strong freshly brewed espresso. And my mom ordered the Tiramisu so my cousin could try a true Italian dessert. The Tiramisu was good but the Affogato was DELICIOUS!! OOOHH I So want another one right now! I couldn't eat the espresso without the ice-cream because it was so strong but with the ice-cream mixed in it was so good!

So if you ever go to Tuscon please try both places they are both awesome and I could spend another two hours talking about the Westin and everything there but I will put some in my next post about the wedding. However motherhood calls to make my hungry kids some lunch and ooohh change my stinky daughter's diaper. Ciao till next time!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I've been tagged!

I have been playing catch up since the hurricane and vacation and we are fairing pretty well. We now officially have our electricity back (even though many friends of ours still do not :( ) and we have milk, eggs, cheese, and some deli turkey meat now in our fridge! YEAH!! Although the lovely smell (yes I am being completely sarcastic) is still looming in and around our fridge from the food spoiling over a week ago! I have baking soda in there but if anyone knows a quicker way to get rid of the smell please let me know!

Anyways the reason for this blog post is that I have been TAGGED by Elizabeth so I now have, excuse me, GET to share 7 weird or random things about me with all of you! So here we go:

1. I am a goal setter. I actually have so many goals that it frustrates me that I can not accomplish them as quick as I want to. Every thing I put my mind to I WILL have a goal in mind and will have it broken down into a game plan and individual actions that must be taken to get there. I suppose it is from being involved in several "leader" positions and organizations such as 4-H and FFA growing up and them DRILLING goals into your mind. Well okay that and that I have two wonderful teachers as parents who also strongly believe in and have taught me the value of goal setting.

2. When I get an idea in my head I want to do it RIGHT NOW! My husband will often look at me in disbelief or roll his eyes at me when I am casually talking about how I need to take the toilet paper holder off the wall because it is loosening and get some paint putty to fill in the screw holes and then paint over it and THEN probably buy a toilet paper pedestal instead because it would be easier and I like the look of them better anyway...AND then inform him I am going to Home Depot or Lowe's RIGHT NOW to get the materials needed. He usually responds with something along the lines of "I thought you were just discussing this with me? You mean you want to go do this right now??" Of course he grew up almost two hours away from common stores, well ANY stores, so I still don't think his mindset has adjusted to "city - we can go get something at the drop of a hat whenever we want".

3. I LOVE photography! I am not that great at it YET, but I plan to keep learning! That is actually one of my goals is to advance my photography skills. I love pictures, I love looking at things thinking what angle would make the best picture of that, and I love the story pictures can tell, and the history that is able to be passed on through them!

4. I sponsor a child in Ecuador! His name is Jeffersson U. Mero Vizueta and he will be turning 11 on October 21st! He loves soccer and eating seafood. My husband and I love sponsoring him and if it were up to me (and we had the money to do it) I would sponsor 20 to 30 children! I love getting letters and pictures from them and knowing I am helping a child LIVE and giving him a chance to go to school with very little of my money. If anyone is interested in sponsoring a child you can check out my website through Children International and sign up!

5. I am addicted to notes. I live by lists, notebooks, and sticky notes. I have a meal list, a shopping list, a "Need to get" list, a day by day chore list (just of main chores around the house), and a day to day to do list. I also have a youth group notebook with all our meeting notes and my ideas, a Internet notepad with all my Internet "stuff" with corresponding passwords and user names so I won't forget, and I also have memory verses in different places in my room to remind me of certain things God is teaching me lately. I know it's bad...and there are probably more laying around that I forgot to mention.

6. I love leading. I like to be the one organizing and planning and giving out jobs. I like public speaking or performing and I do not get embarrassed easily. I like to solve problems and help people solve theirs (although God is showing me I'm not always allowed to do this) I like coming up with meeting agendas and brainstorming. I like trying something new and am not afraid of it not working out or causing problems. If it sounds good let's try it! Go for it! Now I'm not stupid either I use wisdom in decisions I am just saying I like implementing new things and changing things up!

7. My fight style is "to solve the problem". I took a quiz one time in one of my bible studies that revealed what your fighting style was. Mine was very accurate in that I like to solve the problem. They gave scenarios and options of how you would respond. Every time something difficult comes my way my reaction is to figure out what is the problem and then how do I fix it? I usually have to go away by myself and either cool down or just think before I can respond too. I don't like to just respond with my initial reaction, I will go away, think and ponder and mull it over until my emotions are down and not clouding my thinking and then I process, evaluate and decide upon my solution. THEN I will go and address my problem. My reasoning to this is your problems usually aren't going anywhere so they can wait a minute until you have time to think it through.

Okay there you go! And I really am sorry but I only know two other bloggers personally that I CAN tag and one of them, Elizabeth tagged me. I'm not into tagging strangers so TAG Elisa you're it!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Just so you know

Hey guys,
I have not been on in a long time and may not be on very often for awhile. But I wanted to let you know our home did not suffer any damage from Hurricane Ike. Our fence did get a little but Nick and his Dad have already fixed it. The kids and I are at my brother's in San Antonio until further notice and are considering going to my parents until we know we have electricity back up.

Nick is at our house in Willis and there is no power anywhere to be seen besides one gas station that has a generator backup power system. However there is no gas, water, food really anywhere to be found. Nick will be bringing his parents to San Antonio tommorow to catch a rerouted flight out of here and will be stocking up on gas and water before returning to help our neighbors. Our neighbor right across from us had a tree take out the back wall of their home so they are in pretty bad shape. The neighborhood is helping out by passing out meat to everyone before it spoils and one will take a trip to get FEMA food and supplies and will come pass it out to everyone.

Entergy has 99% of their customers without electricity and it may take weeks to restore it all. There isn't a whole lot else I can think of to let you know right now and you have probably already seen, heard or read most of what I can tell you from the news. So I am just writing to ask for prayer for us and our area. It is in pretty bad shape and may be for at least a couple more weeks. If you have any specific questions about anything regarding Hurricane Ike damage or restoration you can ask and I'll try to answer as best I can. I am in contact with Nick back in Willis, however it is VERY hard to get through on cell phones right now. Anyways hope everyone is okay and I'll TRY to keep you updated. Thank you for your prayers.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

What my kids were doing while we were in Galveston...

Join us in Silent Sundays.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A few things on my mind...

First of all I just spent three days down in Galveston, TX at a Pator's Retreat. Yes they treat us to a beachhouse and even took us on a guided fishing trip (thus ALL the fishing pics you saw in my last post). It was just beautiful and I had a blast out on the ocean catching the vast array of fish in the sea. A few included: Bull Red, Shark (two types but couldn't tell you the names), Stingrays, Spanish Mackerel, and King Mackerel. It was so fun! can I say that again? It was SO fun! We were able to get to know two new pastor's and their wives and relax a little bit.

When we got back I was so excited because my brother and his family met us at our house (with our kids whom they watched while we were gone) and stayed with us to go to our church and check it out for the first time. They really enjoyed it and we had a short but very good visit! My side of the family are big gamers so we stayed up playing Scattegories Saturday night!

Then after socializing for 5 straight days and coming home from our youth group's Hip Hop Dance Crew practice I had officially had it and went to bed at 9:30 pm with food still on plates and dishes in the sink, toys on the floor, you name it. I CRASHED and slept in until 7:15 (I'm usually up by 6) and got VERY busy to clean everything before my in-laws arrived that afternoon. I got most of my work done thankfully due to my husband being home because of the holiday and helping me out tremendously! (He was even a little sick from allergies but never complained one bit! Just kept sneezing VERY loudly throughout his tasks, lol) They arrived and Tyler, my son, was bouncing off the walls excited ALL day, never stopped talking or I should say yelling! My kids were excited to see their grandparents to say the least.

Then after finally going to the back and grocery store after being gone for awhile I set in on my computer during naptime/quiet time (for my oldest who no longer takes naps) to try and catch up on ALL internet "stuff" so I can devote tommorow's naptime to youth work that will need to be done before our service at 7 pm tommorow. I ran over time a little but thankfully Grandad and Grandma came to my rescue and went for a walk, with the kids, down to the ice cream place a few blocks away. So it is quiet in my house as I finish this post and I hope it lasts awhile because I will be having company in and out until the 17th of this month, which includes a wekk long trip to Port Aransas and a flight to Tuscon Arizona for a friend's wedding! So I will try to keep up but no promises!

Before I go I must say I read some posts today that got me riled up although a whole 15 minutes later I am already over it, about the upcoming election. I should've known better because this is why I don't watch the news most of the time or search for debates online. I LOVE to debate with family and close friends but anyone outside of that I would just rather not know what people think or why they feel this way about that. Sorry just not who I am. I prefer to keep my thoughts positive and on God, not on what people SAY about God! If we would just take care of our OWN relationship with God the rest would take care of itself through the conviction of Christ and Christ alone, noone else! Okay I'm REALLY done now. Hope I can keep up during my social buzz the next few weeks. I'm enjoying every minute so far and it should only get better! Toodles!

P.S. I took this funny quiz through an email someone sent me. Check it out it is fun and doesn't take long AT ALL! It tells you whether you speak Dixie or Yank.