Sunday, December 20, 2015

Just Sayin'

In the past year, I have been striving for living today living authentically.
I know ... this picture really says it all...

Mamma told me recently, after I had a little stress meltdown during our most recent program preparation:  "Anna Grace, the things that are worth something often take alot of work." There are days when I want to quit... so very much. However, there are daily things that are worth the effort.
I have to constantly remind myself to keep doing the things that will be authentic and that are worth the work... And they are.
Whether it is planning a program for my sisters and myself,  creating little pieces of beauty for the home, or coercing daddy to read out-loud, they ARE worth the effort.....Every time.

Sometimes we think that fun means no work. But the mindset shapes experience and lovely times are to be had if only we seek them out. 
The fun is found in "the today" . Even reminiscing over the past is not as joyous as being in the present. So I hope to better savor the experiences presented daily.  


Friday, October 23, 2015

learning how to die

After a hectic nonstop week, clothes lie in piles , waiting for me to fold and put away, papers to be filed and dishes to be washed... But, I have been wanting to jot down these thoughts for a long while and sometimes the things happening in life must indeed be put on hold, in order to reflect on life itself.
In the last several months, death has been recurring element in my life. In addition to several persons dear to my heart, the acute care setting presents death in frequent and raw situations.  the acute care setting, this is something that we have to have our own grip of, in order to help others to grip hold onto something.

As my sisters #rayofsunshine(Gabrielle), #mymolly, Melody, Merry, Abi... are the most important people in my life, my heart  torn for several families in the last two weeks whose young sisters have been dying. I cannot imagine watching any of my dear sisters die at all much less at a young age; but this is the reality these sisters are facing.
I held one of those sisters in my arms last week as she wept at the death of her sister.... So much love, and sorrow and confusion and anger, all combined.

Yet, there is something sacred about death. Last month, my sisters and I sang our dear Mr. Henderson to his forever sleep. He was ventilated and so very sick but that sacredness of life and death meeting was present. The struggle as a soul comes closer to eternity.

So much of life we spend learning how to live the good life. How to be strong and how to live well. But the more I have seen of death, I think that maybe we are all learning how die...How to die well.

The more I have seen of life and death (in my VERY limited time), the more I have desired to live today well. I am not promised any tomorrow, but there is TODAY, to be thankful, to love, to be kind and caring. There does exist a today in which to appreciate those around me.

That was Super long... and RAMBLING :: LIVETODAY <3

~Anne of The Grey Submarine

#livewell #livetoday #liveauthentic

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sunny Saturday's and Molly's lists.

We got back from vacation and it was ,of course, lovely and precious to see the new family  dynamics with the married couples and baby Bella on board.

However, I love Sunny Saturdays at home. The morning light filtering upon lengthy conversations that last through the meal and up to an hour thereafter.
Abe coming home always adds an extra flair of happy to the mix. As he gives generous conversational excerpts on a wide variety of topics.
As we sat in this filtering morning light pondering Tolstoy vs. Dostoevsky, listening laughingly to perilous tales from Abe's recent trip to a Phytopathology conference in California..... Moriah(Molly)  hops into the kitchen with a wide grin and excited eyes. "ANNE!!?? Guess what? I have some exciting news about my stamp list!" (You see , Molly has a list that records all of the places to which her personalized wax letter stamp has sent letters and the number of letters sent.)
So she announces happily that she now has 11 states and 1 country that her stamp has gone!

Molly Inspires me in so many ways(Don't be surprised if another Molly post comes in the near future) . Letter writing is not the least of these. She faithfully  has remained the last of the breed. She writes faithfully and enchantingly.
She has inspired me to begin writing snail mail letters again.
There is something so personal and special in that little piece of white paper with a little mark in the right hand corner. The time it takes to invest in a letter means so much more than a like on facebook or a love on instagram.
Molly lives this kind of special and personable life. She adds  sunshine and personality to whatever she does. I am thankful to call her my sister.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Its what puts the breath of "LIFE" into living //Growing pains.

I drove home after a long day yesterday. My thoughts went to the previous three days of 13 and 14 hours inside the hospital world and several tears finally escaped... They had been captive all day. Experiencing life has the opportunity to be overwhelming. If one is to open up the soul to truly living... then the high's the low's, the warmth and the raw all have to be experienced.
My mind went to this last day of my week...

Two scenes came to mind. First: I had just transferred a man to a room via bed and I knew that something was not right ... I called calmly to the  family and preacher who stood near by... " I want you all to gather over here now. I do not know how much time is left but please start saying your goodbyes . And preacher... pray over him and this family." We gathered in a circle around the bed. I grabbed his wife's hand and then everyone tightly enjoined hands. The preacher started praying... My dusky , labored breathing patient took a  last heaving breath as we finished the prayer. Slow motion took over as I did what I knew I must do. I listened to his heart , turned to his wife and took her into my arms in a hug. as she sobbed.
But there was not time to process it. I had to get them settled and cry with them for a moment, only to rush back to the unit and take care of another patient coming from surgery. So tears must be held and patients cared for still... while death has just occurred.

Secondly, a vivid picture of another patient who coded at the end of shift. She was discharged from the hospital, ready to go home with her daughter and son in law. But she coded and when her family came in, it was almost the end without any hope of living. The daughter was broken. How unexpected it was.
I went over to her and asked if she was christian she said she was. We talked of her mother's strong life of encouragement to others and faithful living. We cried and laughed about her memories.
She asked if I would pray. I gathered her hand in my one hand and her husband's in my other. We prayed that woman to death.

The tasks will be endless in living. day by day there are a million things to do.. There is always another patient to care for, always another thing to do, yet, it is those moments that breathe a breath of life into living this life.

My dear friend @underthesycamoretree (Elisabeth Sayre) was reminding me today that often these times... The times that stretch us to the utmost, are the growing pains that are necessary to becoming who we need to be.

When are open to the moments that breathe life into daily living... It is then we will truly experience living.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Eternal Revolution

Let me be candid for a moment:
      Yesterday, harvesting blueberries and turning the earth around the plants in our garden, I was thinking about repentance and some of the struggles , I have been trying to overcome. 
I was at first frustrated thinking about the number of times a week or a day that I have to repent.... And then come back a couple of minutes and repent again.  It is an ongoing revolution of 360's and 180's that seems to never steady and stay the same! 
But as I was turning the earth, the thought struck me...
In physical examples I see that the things that move and have power are in a constant state of revolution 180"s and 360's happening all the time. .
*Earth that is turned for better crops.
*Automobiles increase the revolutions when the power is increased. 
*The Americans created a revolution with power
*Windmills turn constantly generated power
*Watermills turn to generate power
It requires labor to turn away from a force and create revolutions. But the labor of turning causes power.  Stagnant states have no power. 

As in physical life  the metaphysical life may be similar. 
Lives lived with power may actually be those lived in a state that is constantly turning....turning away from things that hinder and beset. 
So my daily revolutions could be seen without hope and could surely discourage... 
However this revolutionizing daily, moment by moment, for freedom of soul could be a great hope of a powerful life.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Sometimes people ask me excitedly... "DO you LOVE nursing?????!!!!! .... I do not immediately squelch all of the beautiful ideals of nurse life and the supposed nurses in "shining scrub-wear" as I recall the pain pill Pamela's, the Call light Crazy Cathy's , the Overdose Olivers, the vomiting alcoholics, or the sharp tongued men, the 16 hour shifts.
Nooo..... I usually just say... WEllll.... There are days that make it worth it.... As I try to rack my brain of all the good things.
But today a vivid thought of  "this .... This makes today worth it." occurred to me.

Ventilator Mouthcare....I love it.
I love getting all the nasty goopy stuff out. taking a moment to make the patient like a human, to  give ease to a dry mouth, to make that patient feel cared for and FURTHERMORE... to prevent ventilator associated pneumonia..

Mouthcare... makes it worth it.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Ordinary Revolution

Sometimes, I want to revolutionize the world , my world, everyone's world....(easy-peasy, right) 
Today I was reminded of the importance of the mundane , in an off handed fashion by one of my favorite Authors. 

                                              “As long as the vision of heaven is always changing, the vision of earth will be                                                      exactly the same. No ideal will remain long enough to be realized, or even partly                                                realized. The modern young man will never change his environment; for he will always change his mind.― 

G.K. ChestertonOrthodoxy

The importance of being consistent in doing the daily mundane things of life, is often under-rated. 
However, revolutions that have brought lasting change have been borne by individuals who have lived consistent with their ideas, convictions and it has furthermore come by hard work...every day, character-building hard work. 
It is difficult to see revolution in daily life but that is the only way it will come. 
So, in weeding the garden, gathering vegetables, playing the instruments, killing the flies, running, learning...This is the character building ground for change to be able to occur. 
Live your revolution every day! 
~ AG

Friday, May 29, 2015


I Love flowers and plants and anything in the soil... so the following analogous thought somehow suits.
When I was younger, about 15,  and trying to figure out what I was going to do with my future I would be so worried about the future that I would loose myself in the future and become stagnant in the present.  My wise mamma often had to remind me "Anna Grace, you are not promised tomorrow, Bloom where you are planted today." "You can choose to enjoy it.. or you can waste your time worrying about something that you may actually never experience."

Those wise words  have stuck with me and I sometimes have to re-evaluate life and reinforce those words.

The question has never left me. It comes off and on, even as a "grown up "who is supposed to have it figured. I wonder... am I planted where I want to be planted?!!!
But Mamma's words come back and remind me... I may not know if I am planted in the exact soil that I want... I may be transplanted later...

However, I am indeed in this soil of life... Today. I can choose to bloom. I can choose to be the most powerful , fragrant bloom, today... Or I can stay a closed bud waiting on soil that I may never have.
Today is the opportunity we are given to bloom. Not tomorrow. Not in the five year strategic plan.
Live today. "Bloom where you are planted, Anna Grace"... Or whoever you are, dear reader.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It's worth ten minutes

Ever since I can remember, the 5 little girls of our family would say our good-nights to daddy, then several minutes later run into mama and daddy's room, jump on the bed, clamoring for daddy to tell us a story about "when you were little".
I am sure he was always tired an had a long day of work in front of him, but, he would laugh and say "That sounds like it might be too far and snaky for tonight". After more pleas, he would settle down for 10, 15, sometimes 30 minutes, and let his deep rumbling voice, echo the things of his past, telling us story after story about when he was little. We were always entranced, even if we had heard it for the 20th time.
One familiar tale, he told us again tonight.

"You know, they always say that preacher's kids are the worst but...
I always say its because they leaned it from the deacon's kids. Well, any way
I was one of the worst of the preacher's kids. I remember one Sunday an old lady
who always wore her pink hat, shook her purse at me and told me brusquely that I 
just like to show out. Well, I decided to show her. That Sunday, while my 
daddy was preaching, I crawled under all of the pews, under the lady's skirts 
and around the men's shoes and went into the bathroom. 
Back then you know,  all the men wore hats and left them in hooks in the bathroom. 
Well, I switched all the hats and threw the cigars out the window.  Just about that time, 
my DADDY walks in and takes off his skinny little belt about .. ----- yea long
and worked me over real good ...Then he just went back to preaching... "

As we have grown older, we have all created our inlets of social media and social lives, some of the little girls have gotten married and are having little girls of their own. But in the last several months, we at home, have been reviving the tradition.
And tonight, the dishes were piled high, my room was in the midst of the re-organizational frenzy ... So when daddy said good night, I hesitated for a moment but rounded up the two sisters left at home and said "let's get daddy to tell us about when he was little.... It's worth ten minutes"

And truly, listening to his rumbling warm voice, I was assured..
It's worth ten minutes

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Life the panoramic view

This week a new adventure began as I started working in the ICU.
Of the many scenes from my first week, one in particular comes to mind.

Wednesday as we were all working late after shift change one of the patients coded.  The patient came back  to life  and we left the patient alive and stabilizing.

       Thursday Morning I walked past the patient's room on my way to my own patients. The room had an eastern facing window and I could see by the gray of the coming dawn that he was still alive.

We conducted the 6 and 7 am assessments. As we were charting, the emergency alarms in a room sounded and the monitor tech asked "Hey! what is going on with this room? IS THE PATIENT A DNR!?"
My preceptor and I quickly went to the patient's room from the previous night and  I do not think  I will forget that sight.
....The ICU is circular with glass windows for the sake of visibility... In one room I could see a nurse who had just spiked a bag and was reaching up on her tip-toes to hang the bag of IV fluids; in another room the nurse was repositioning a patient on a ventilator; in a third room the nurse and a security
were holding down and trying to restrain a combative patient going through withdraws.
And in the middle room the lights from the rising dawn showed a sobbing family huddled together hugging each other and the nurse as they absorbed the fact that the end was now a reality.

We returned to our station. I turned to the monitor tech. "Yes he is a DNR"
I wanted to stop and just take in the thoughts about death and the ongoing cycle of life... To appreciate the fact that the man had just greeted the sun alone for the first and last time.

I do not understand everything about the vastness of death nor the reality of living. It is both mysterious and beautiful.

We spend all of our time here on earth, just trying to "live" but really are we just trying to prepare for death? One day we will all greet the Sun or the Son for the first and last time.

There was not time to stop Thursday and reflect, because there was still life to live and lives to keep living. The life cycle persists.

My question to you good reader. Are we learning how to live or how to die?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Proper Russian Shout Out


One of the cool aspects of blogging is the little icon that shows me where you readers are.

So tonight I want to give a shout out to all my russian readers. You all made the highest hits of the month stats!

Excited to see that mark!

Friday, February 20, 2015

A heart large enough to love them all.

Today marks a month since I went to visit my dear sister in Texas. That being the case, I was reflecting upon the trip, and travel in general. 
I enjoy traveling for many reasons, but there is a vast sense of being "a part" of something huge and un-named.
Travel can seem overwhelming because there are so many people to meet and so many that I come to love. 
It is a good time to realize how big the world is, how many various life stories and problems create the melange of this world.

During my last trip,  the people that brought this feeling to mind in a particularly acute manner were my little soccer friend Izak and his brother Malachi . 
There is always a time for firsts, and this trip brought a "first" with street soccer. 
My little friends, introduced me to the sport and welcomed me into the inner ring of the little neighborhood group of 30th and Garry Street. 
I have noticed that there is something especially connecting, in entering into someone else's culture without judgment on things being done differently than my own culture. 
Whether that be accepting street soccer as being just as cool as a "real" soccer game; playing with children as if a child's culture is just as great as that of an adult; or doing all I can in Spain to speak their language eat their food and appreciate their practices. 

There are so many people to love, it is almost too painful to open my arms any wider... but at the same  instant fills with a bursting fullness that aches to add even more love on top of it. 
I think it is somewhat of a picture of Christ's love in us. It is so beautiful that it nearly hurts, yet in Christ's love there is always room for more. We can never be too full of his love but the more it fills us, the more we will feel the pain of beautiful loving. A loving that shadows eternity.
So, to wholly open my arms and experience life, I must open them to experience that achingly beautiful love. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Texan Cowboys and Tiny Teacups

There are times when people's actions just sweep in and knock down all of my predictive preconceptions or stereotypes.
I love to observe those moments in life that show me the way that humans of every type enjoy incorporating beauty into life.

While visiting my ray of sunshine sister recently, I frequented one of my favorite coffee shops, J&B coffee CO.
(Photo cred: firefly)

Sitting by the window studying, I happened to glance up as two rustic looking men enter the J&B, who looked to have been at their jobs since before sun-up. Their jeans were dusty, well oiled and torn in some places, and their wrinkled tan skin stuck out like a gnarled oak.
Being the people watcher that I am, my first thought was "Ohhhh, cowboys that is odd to see here... I bet they will a medium, dark roast, black coffee in cups to go...Typical." After they ordered , they sat at the table across from me, to wait for their coffee. When their order was finished names were called. Did they return with back coffee? ........ No, they returned to their seats with tiny espresso cups on tiny saucers. And they actually took the time to sit and sip their espresso's.
I was for some reason beautifully taken aback.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Grey Submarine Sees Change and 2014 Comes to a Farewell Party.

Folding an old year to put it away on the shelf, is always a process that brings much reflection but this year even more, perhaps.
2014 turned out to be a dynamic year full of transition. 
Graduating college was the last big change but the oddest. 
Tears formed in  my eyes when I walked out and looked into the stands.
Seeing my family waving and realizing that it really was ME.. 
not someone else's girl but my family's girl
made tears well and and my heart swell. 
God has been faithful and oh so very, very good. 

Micah proposed to my youngest sister February and we have steadily enjoyed getting to know him as a brother in law. 
It seems to have been the year of races with Micah, as we started it off with the Warrior Dash and did several group five K's and ended with a Marathon. 

Being in two of my best friend's weddings in the earlier part of the summer was a surreal time. Realizing the fact that everyone is old enough to undergo these milestones is beautiful, exciting and sobering.

Melody's Graduation in May, creeped up and slightly took my breath away... However nothing came as large of a shock as the engagement of the oldest, Gabrielle, the week thereafter.
There was not a great deal that cold prepare me for saying goodbye to this lady. 
Parting with my very best friend and life-long companion
was one of the hardest things that had to come this year
Life often does not teach us how to laugh and live...
It's how to say goodbye. 

Merry's wedding came like a familiar friend.
We have been expecting Micah and Merry to Marry since they were 14. 
Needles to say, excitement filled the months of August and September as we all readied Merry's 
very hand-crafted wedding. 

While reflecting with my girls last night, we all had to say that we had some of the best teams working on the events of this summer. For each event, all of these people were consistent and ever ready to help. A shout out to the core-group! 

So, You may ask.... Who is left to run the operations at home?... Yep you are right if you guessed the terrific trio. It has been a huge blessing to spend more time with theses ladies. They inspire me, correct me, humble, me.... Watch out, a future post may come concerning them.
They make the change bearable as we all transition into this new life  in the Grey Submarine. 
CHANGE... It's like a woman in labor. It is so unbearably bearable. 
And millions have gone through the laboring process before us. 
I pray that we all grow through it.
Learn with it
become better by it. 

Yours Truly, AG BSN

About Me

My photo
I started "Annalogies" as an outlet of creativity for an overly scientific, logically minded life. I love people. I enjoy the simple things in life. My aspiration is that this outlet can allow me to grow in expression. So go with me and grow with me, if you like. I am just a sculpture still in the making.