Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Shopping Makes My Year

The Author of this post is Darius Boone

I love going Christmas shopping every year. As a mother who has a four year old, I can honestly say that it brings me a lot of joy to buy presents that will make my son's face light up. I usually head to the local mall and start my shopping. I always have a budget and have an idea of what I am looking for before my feet even enter the front doors. It can be maddening to shop alone during the holiday season so I take my friends Kim and Ashley with me. We all have kids about the same age and they are expecting also so we chat and help each other find gifts for our children.

We often compare notes on which items that we already have and which items we think are huge wastes of money. For example, we all agreed that buying things such as puzzles with more than thirty pieces was a waste of time because the pieces always end up missing. We prefer things that have very few moving parts to be safe.

I always set my home security alarm from Linus before I leave to go Christmas shopping because many home invasions happen during the holidays and I like to be safe. I love Christmas shopping, but unfortunately for me my wallet does not enjoy the festivities very much.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Record Rainfall And Seasonal Snow

Authored by Greg Fletcher

It happened just the other day after it had been raining all night and most of the day. The first snow of the winter began coming down, at first just a few flakes and then much heavier until we had a ground cover of snow more than 4 inches deep. I thought it was incredible just the way this first snowfall happened.

Of course, since it was early in the season yet, this precious gift of beauty melted away quickly due to the high temperatures that had left the ground too warm to accommodate the icy flakes. Just getting to see this wonderful sight for just a short time was a sight to behold. I have always enjoyed the awesome beauty of freshly fallen snow, before the world gets out there to destroy it.

After spending time watching the drips begin to take their toll on this winter wonderland, I thought I should be getting back to my daily routine. Part of that routine is catching up on the latest news and weather reports, so I turned on my TV and heard about the record rainfall and the unseasonal snow that had just blanked our area of the state. That was kind of funny because I could have told everyone about that.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Relatives That Smoke But Not On Purpose!

That's right, they don't smoke on purpose because it's their house that smoked. Last week my 2nd cousin Steve in Austin decided to make a deep fried turkey, like I often do. The only differences between myself frying a bird and Steve is that I don't use propane and if I did I wouldn't do it on my back porch. See where I'm going with this folks? The good news is that the house he owns with his wife Danielle and their 2 sons(I hope they don't learn to cook from daddy) is still in one piece but a bit dark in a few spots and smells like a wood smoker has been placed in the kitchen. Oh joy, Danielle is off her chain over this because that house 'was' here pride and joy for the past 8 years. I've been searching around for them for some restoration companies because their insurance agent is as useful as a piece of dried wood. I found a few that can handle smoke damage austin area servicing and clean fire damage austin area as well. I suppose I should also try to find Steve a cooking teacher as well.

I really feel bad for Danni and the kids though as it's been a huge disruption in their lives, not to mention the scare they had not knowing if they were going to have a home to go back to after the fire. Fortunately, the austin fire dept did a remarkable job in suppressing the conflagration and kept the damage isolated to the kitchen area of the house. However, smoke knows no boundaries when it comes to permeating the walls and furniture in adjacent rooms. That brings me to the final, and most effected, area being the smoke damage. I don't know how bad it is as I haven't been able to get to see them since the fire but I do remember when the downstairs kitchen of the 2 family house I grew up in in the north caught fire. Even the upstairs smelled like smoke for weeks and there was no damage at all on our floor. The steam cleaning restoration company I found can clean smoke damage austin residents have said and Texans are a pretty tight bunch when it comes to taking care of their own.

I'm going to try to take a drive to see how they're doing after the holidays when I can get a few days off from work and lend a hand where needed. I know the pro's can do it better than I can but every little bit helps, especially when it come to family in need.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Get Your Gear Going.

Recently, a very close relative of mine went into the hospital for a small surgical procedure. The condition that they entered into having this done was that they needed to be put to sleep. I went in the back with them while they were being prepared for their meeting with the surgeon and was surprised at the nurses in the back. The scrubs of old were gone and all these new, colorful scrubs were everywhere, even with the male nurses. Looking at them the last thing I would have thought was that they were cheap nursing scrubs or something, mainly because of the way they fit and looked. I know cotton scrub uniforms would be great for the staff because of the comfort and breath-ability of the natural fabric as opposed to the synthetics of the past. I think this would work because they're always looking for some new ways to lift the spirits of the patients. Nothing looks more depressing than everyone in the same scrubs. I looks too sterile!

I really feel for the patients in the post operative area where family or close friends tend to be while the patients regain their wits. This is a tough time for most patients since they usually have an IV in one arm and they're trying desperately to keep their drafty gown closed closed only to be reminded of where they are, especially so if everyone looks like a military unit in the same uniforms. Even if they made nursing uniforms according to the rank of the nurses so patients, and visitors, could pick out the level of staff they're looking for to answer appropriate questions or obtain needed services. It may seem a small issue to some but little things add up when it comes to patient morale. Waiting in the waiting room thinking about things and this was just one of them.