Giga Alerts Finds New Review of Caring Lessons

So, do you know about Giga Alerts? A free web alerting service that tracks your name, for example, when it shows up on the web? I get an email every few weeks that shows where my name–because that’s what I’ve asked them to track for me–shows up on the web. To get even more results, I can pay for an upgrade to the service.

The alerts are fun things to get. Like tonight for example. I found a new review written on Caring Lessons. With a picture of the book’s cover and everything. I would not have known about it otherwise. Click here and read! This review takes a bit of a new slant that was intriguing to read.

Fun surprises happen every day in this book promotion era of my life. I’ll be telling you more as I go along. Meanwhile, if a service like Giga Alerts would be helpful to you, check it out!

Airlines Promoting Travel Wear

Did you know that airline companies are now advertising travel wear at check-in? The four-piece, wrinkle-free, mix and match ensemble, plus shoes, which will transport you seamlessly from daytime to evening wear?

What? You didn’t know? You haven’t seen the ads?

Well, neither have I–because they are not viewable. They are only implied. By baggage fees.

It’s 11 at night, and I’m 90 minutes from home on one of those airlines. I was supposed to be home 20 minutes ago. But, hey, when a computer system freezes, I’d rather sit in my seat with no food or water or lavatory than be stranded in a pitch black Caribbean Sea in my orange life vest.

But I digress—I’m traveling on an airplane that now charges not only for checked baggage but also for carry-ons.  I’d not heard of this additional way of squeezing fun out of a traveler’s wardrobe until this fling. And this airline, and all others charging the same, need not worry about hearing from me again.

However, if there is no alternative, I’ve had mucho extra minutes this evening to contemplate a solution.  Since I can still take one “personal item” on the plane free—you know the kind you can completely stow away under the seat in front of you, I will buy a travel wear set and pack it in my backpack from my never-ending student days.

And this is how I will arrange things.

Alongside the rear wall of the larger compartment, I will place a loose, slightly flattened roll composed of the four pieces of travel wear, a flat package of disposable undies, and one each of the following: fabric purse and nightgown and bathing suit and cover-up and collapsible wide-brimmed straw hat.

In front of this roll, I will place a transparent one-gallon zipped bag of 3-ounce bottles and tubes, necessities for globetrotting beauty.

In the smaller compartment in the front of the backpack, I will place one paperback, two magazines, and a flat stack of cash and necessary cards–driver’s license and credit and health insurance and public transit. And a fat stack of business cards for Caring Lessons.  Prorities.

In one of the two front zippered slits will go two pens for use in a midnight attack of inspiration to write a travel piece such as this (written on a newspaper airline ad—it has the most white space), while my fellow passengers shield their eyes from my light and snore.

The other slit will hold lipstick and floss and house keys.

As my head fills with a bulging image of my backpack, I’m thinking that for the cost of my baggage fees on this flight alone, I can buy at least 25% of the four-piece travel wear ensemble. Four trips and I’ll have it paid for.

And now, just as I’m thinking I have this baggage fee problem solved, I’m remembering my baby-blue Crocs I wear to the beach. NO way will they fit in my backpack. I suppose I could wear them. But, if I string them together with a shoestring, string the shoestring across the crown of my head, do you think my favorite baby-blue bouncy shoes could pass for earrings?

Bulky, I know. But, could they?

Former Teacher Reviews “Caring Lessons”

I’m happy to share a review of Caring Lessons by Carol Breems, a former teacher and long-time friend of one of my older sisters.
This holiday time, I spent time reading your wonderful book.  Just wanted you to know how meaningful it was to me.  You have found a new career – your style is so informative, yet keeps your interest.

I really did enjoy your life and felt so privileged to be part of it through your book.   Your various positions were most interesting and how good God is to have allowed you all the education to accomplish all you did in these various fields.

Loved your caring, humor, and honesty.  I must say I was relieved when you did retire as I was worn out working so hard with you and shedding many tears.

Thank you sincerely for this opportunity to see God’s hand at work in your life.  May you now move on into new arenas and share the blessings!

To Marv:  Thank you sincerely, Marv, for showing your love, constancy, devotion, and moving boxes so many times for Lois.  I love the lines:  “Guess I’ll have to get the boxes from the attic again.  I’m not going to change your mind anyway!” You are a treasure of a husband, Marv!
Thank you, Carol, for letting me feature your review here!  And before Marv’s head swells up, I’ll make sure he keeps cooking me dinner… On second thought, it’s my birthday today–69!– so I think I’ll remind him that birthdays mean dinner out.

“Just” a mom? NO WAY

“Just.” (Merriam-Webster: only, simply) “Just” a mom? NO, I want to bellow. No one is ever “just” a mom. No one is ever “only” or “simply” a mom. We moms know this is not true. So why, when someone asks us what we do–the standard American question–do we ever say, “I’m just a mom”?

Yesterday, I spoke at a MOPS group on the topic of keeping your ME while being a mom. The gal who led devotions talked about being “just” a mom. Reminding us, in fact, that we are much more.

Her choice of devotions spoke strongly to my heart. As a nursing instructor on clinical units, I would have students tell me that sometimes they’d tell their patients, “I’m just a nursing student.” The “just” would make my rant mode leap to the surface. “Do you realize what it took you to get to this point?” Of course they did. They’d studied and worried and lost sleep to become “just a nursing student.” They did not dare to use that expression in front of me again.

And isn’t the same true for moms? Don’t we study (all the parenting books), worry (something will happen on our watch), and lose sleep (night terrors, feedings, temperatures) in our process of being a mom? There is NO “just” about it.

Think about it. What “just” comes to mind for you? Fill in the blank: I’m just a __________.

Oops, caught ya. You are not “just” anything! You are you. And you are unique. (I feel the rant coming on…) And I’d tell the students that a woman who once spoke to my women’s group at church said, “God don’t make no junk.”  As a young mom at the time, I needed to hear that.  That God created us in his image. So if we say we are “just” something, what does that imply about God’s creation? That we are just, only, or simply human beings? NO WAY!

So thanks to that devotion yesterday about being “just” a mom and from chats I had after my talk with several of the moms in the audience, I was reminded that each one of us is unique and each one of us has a unique me that we must find and hang on to when being submerged (or drowning) in our roles as wife and mom.

Enough rant for today…

“Caring Lessons” Now at Four Christian College Bookstores

FYI. My book, Caring Lessons: A Nursing Professor’s Journey of Faith and Self, is now available in the bookstore at Hope College in Holland, MI.

Other Christian college bookstores where Caring Lessons is available are at  Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI; Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA; and Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL.

Aging, Nature, and Classical Music

My favorite blogs. I’ve seen these listed in the side bar on other blogs, so finally spent a few hours learning how to do it. Had my teenage grandkids been here, they could have figured it out in minutes.

Now I’ve listed three of my own favorite blogs.  I’ve already mentioned the inspiring voices of “aging” folks on ElderChicks. And also Carol Rottman‘s nature-oriented memoir pieces. Now I’ve added marvelous quick lessons in classical music (along with audio) by a new friend I met at church.

Take a few minutes to scroll to these listings on the sidebar. Check them out. Having missed out on a liberal arts education when I was young, I love these ways to expand my learning–about how folks my age are handling life, about the beauty of nature, and about the history and sounds of classical music.