Adventure's of a volunteer.......

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Well if you have been reading my blog, you know that I thought I bought 4 zucchini plant when I really bought 8. Well zucchini and I have become friends. I have made 6 loaves (so far) of bread. I wonder if the staff at Meriter 3-North is getting sick of it yet. I LOVE to share. I have made fried zucchini, and baked zucchini. I was in the mood for a salad, and thought hmmmm, how can I use up more zucchini. Yep, picked 4 more yesterday! So I made this zucchini salad. And it is SO good. I have never tried raw zucchini and although it does not have much flavor, it has crunch. I shared some with my friend Cindy, and she loved it too. It is a sweet/sour type salad. And the sky is the limit as to what you could put in it.
  • Joan's Zucchini Salad
  • 1 ( 1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 7 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 med red onion, chopped
  • 1 can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • In a mixing bowl soak the onion soup mix with the white wine vinegar. Let stand 5 minutes. Combine the green pepper, celery, zucchini, red onion and kidney beans in a bowl. Add the white sugar, salt, pepper, vegetable oil and apple cider vinegar to the bowl with the soup mix and white wine vinegar. Mix well. Pour over vegetables.
  • Chill at least 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Drain off any extra liquid before serving.
Let me know if you try this, and how your family likes it. It has been so hot here in Wisconsin for the past 3 weeks, so this is a nice refreshing salad.
Thanks for stopping by, have a GREAT day!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ok, so not my best work....

I was cruising the web the other day and found the neatest blog. I thought I would try her challenge and make a card using kraft card stock. I have NEVER used this before. This is what I came up with. You should go check The Spotted Chick. She has some AWESOME cards on there.
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Volunteering adventures!

Friday did not start out to be a good day at volunteering. When I got to the volunteer office my "boss" gave me a list of patients that he thought I would enjoy. He was heading to a meeting to discuss our budget. I told him to let them know that I did not need a raise. He did not get it, and I told him, I am a volunteer, they don't pay me! Then he chuckled and out the door. My first stop was to room 804, Mrs C. Mrs C was all hunkered down in about 5 blankets. I walked in and said, "Good Morning, how are you doing today/" She got this look in her eyes, and snapped "I am in the god dam hospital, how do you think I am doing?" Well I guess the nursing staff forgot to give her some happy pills with her morning meds. I asked her if I could get her anything, and she snapped back with a firm NOPE! I left her room, and took a deep breath hoping this would not be the way the whole day was going. Next stop room 1108. Mrs W. I took a deep breath before walking in, getting ready to whatever might happen. Mrs W was sitting up in bed, looking out the window. I asked her how she was doing this morning and her  reply "oh, pretty good." WHEW, this would be a nice visit. Mrs W had just ordered her lunch and was waiting for it to come. As we got her all ready we chatted about my garden. Mrs W had gardened for years. And canned. I told her how my mom and dad had canned for years, and with my mom's recent passing, I hoped to carry on the tradition of canning. Mrs W said she would like a warm wash cloth to wash her face before lunch arrived. Just as we finished that, her lunch came. She had ordered fish, mashed potatoes, peas and a brownie. We uncovered and opened everything up and she looked around at her plate. Grabbed her fork and headed for that brownie. I asked her if it was good. And she told me that she always tastes her dessert first. Then if she starts getting full on the healthy stuff, she will know when to stop so she can still have room for dessert. She asked me to put on the news, and I left her to enjoy her lunch. Next stop was Mrs B. She was in room 818. I walked in and she had a visitor. They were just starting to eat their lunch. I asked if she minded if I sat and visited while they ate. They both welcomed the company. I knew Mrs B, she was my patient a couple weeks ago and I got to visit with her while she ate that day. She was so excited that day because she was going home. She remembered me, and was telling her husband about the great visit we had the last time. Her husband is blind, and has been since the age of 15. They have such a fairy tale romance. They met when they were both young adults. Her father would not let her marry this man because of his blindness. Her father was afraid he could never provide a life for his daughter. They both went their separate ways, married other people. As fate would have it, they were both getting kicked to the curb (as her husband tells the story) at the same time from their respective spouses. Mary had moved to Arizona. So, Mary moved back to Wisconsin. And when she got to Madison, she thought she would look in the phone book and see if she could find him. She found his phone number and gave him a call...the rest they say is history! In the 20 years they were apart, they never spoke to each other. But according to Mr B once they met up again, it was like they were never apart. It was nice to see her again. I had thought about her a lot since I had first met her. I told her that I hoped she was better and home by the next time I came in to volunteer, but if not, I looked forward to visiting with her again. I went back to the volunteer office, and I told my boss that one of the things I don't like about my volunteering is that once a patient leave the hospital, we don't have any contact. I hope that my little visit has helped make their day a little brighter. I know most of the patients I see, have helped make my days a little brighter!
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bring on the heat wave.....

We are at the beginning of a heat wave here in Wisconsin. For at least the next 8 days we will have temps over 90 degrees. The lows at night are the high 70's. A great week to stay inside and craft! I think we have the only lab in Wisconsin that does not like to get wet. Although she loves baths. Bryan put her favorite "chew log" in our sprinkler and tried to get her to get it. She barked and looked at Bryan as if to say..."you put it in get it out!"

As far as the garden. It is going GREAT! My next goal is to get the stuff I pick to the kitchen. I love to pick and eat. I have picked zucchini, green beans, peas, cucumbers and tomatoes. And, speaking of tomatoes. Candy has taken a liking to them. We have to watch her when we have her outside as she will run for the garden and starts eating the tomatoes. She never paid any attention to them until they started turning red. The only thing I can think of is that she has a ball that is red, and she thinks I have a plant that grows red balls for her!
Thanks for taking time to stop by. Hope you come back again soon.
Have a GREAT day!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My first mini album...and video!

I so admire the work Mary does at She made a mini album of her herb garden. You should go check it out. I thought I would give a try a making my first mini album and video. I have a feeling there will be lots more mini albums in my for video, not so sure!
Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Update, update...update!

I realized that in my last few posts, I have not talked about my volunteer adventures. Last Friday was a pretty slow day. Which is good because not a lot of sick, hurting people. My first visit was to an 85 year old woman. Mrs B. She was having a great day as she was going home. She really missed her garden and her cat. I helped her order her lunch. At first she was not hungry but I helped her look at the menu. I then picked up the phone and placed her order. She wanted a V-8 juice, hot chocolate, beef broth, a turkey sandwich, jello (only if it came without any fruit in it) brownie and ice cream. I went to do a few things and told her I would try to be back when her tray arrived. Got her all ready to eat. Went back the volunteer office and did the paper work for my visit. Food services told me that Mrs B's lunch would take about 30 minutes to arrive. I went to visit a 50 year old named Mrs. K. She had taken a fall and was still pretty sore. Her lunch had just arrived so I helped her open all the packets. She had ordered a taco salad, and I must admit, it looked REALLY good. She wanted to sit facing the window while she ate. She had a great view of the lake, and wanted to enjoy that while she ate. After getting her all set, I went back to check on Mrs B. Mrs B tray had not yet arrived, so we talked about the "olden days." After about 10 minutes a knock on the door and food services was there with her lunch. Oh she sat straight up, ready. Hmmm for someone who was not sure if they were hungry or not. I opened everything up and asked her what she wanted to start with. She gave me a look  and said, "silly, I have to start with the brownie and ice cream...what if the ice cream melts?" Made perfectly good sense to me. So she had a couple bites of brownie and ice cream. Then had some of her turkey sandwich. She thought she better eat something healthy. I sat with her for a while bit while she ate and then her soap opera came on. She was very interested in that, so I left her to enjoy her lunch and her soap. On the way back to the volunteer office, I noticed a lady in the family lounge struggling with her lunch. I asked her if she needed any help and she gave me a big sigh and gladly accepted the help. She did not have silverware or napkin. I gathered those and got her something to drink. I asked her if there was anything else I could do for her, and she touched my hand and asked if I could sit with her while she ate. She was there to visit her sister who was not doing well. We had a very nice visit. She finished eating and sat back and said that was the best meal she has had in a long time. But wished she would have gotten something sweet. Ah...I can take care of that. I went to the nutrition room on the floor and got her some orange sherbet. Took that back to her and the smile on her face was priceless! These are the interactions that make me love my job as a volunteer!
I can't believe how much our garden has grown on the past couple weeks. I will take some pictures later today and update you on that. I helped my friend (and neighbor) can some green beans from her garden last night. We did 4 pints. My beans are not big enough for that...yet. But I am going to try my hand at canning this year! I loved going to my parents and helping them can. Now that my mom is gone, I hope I can keep the tradition of canning and having great canned goods all winter long!
Thanks for stopping by!
Have a GREAT day!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The challenge this Friday at was to make a birthday card for a child. This is what I came up with. I have noticed that the elderly and children love cards with sparkle on them.  Thanks so much for looking!   Joan

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Saying good-bye is so hard....

On June 27, 2011 my mom walked home to Jesus,with love, grace and strength.. She has suffered for years with COPD. She showed us how to face death with a happy open heart. She was such a giving person that she donated her body to science. She never liked the attention on her, and did not want a funeral. We gathered as a family to celebrate her life. I am so grateful for my dad, sisters and brother for taking such good care of her in her final days. I appreciate all they did for mom. And I know I can never repay them for that.  I have learned so many lessons from her, lessons that you can't learn from a book. She gave me my love of cooking, baking and gardening. My love for letter writing and card sending also came from her. (my sweet tooth, that is thanks to my dad!) I am at peace knowing that she is in a much, much better place. Free to feed her birds, work in her garden and enjoy her lake with no difficulty breathing. I hear a lot of women complain that they have become their mother, I am proud to say that I hope I can become my mother! Godspeed mom, I look forward to seeing you again. I love you!