Thursday, December 27, 2007

McGuiver or Superman? You Decide

My brother...
Part man, part myth, part legend. (He loves it when I talk like this).
Many have heard of the heroic acts this man has performed, and the lives he has saved, but these are stories I never tire of telling.

It all began at work one day. A sunflower seed lodged in the throat of a desperate co-worker. Gasping for air, the co-worker rushed pleadingly into my brothers office, begging for the Heimlich to be performed. And perform it, he did. Life #1 saved.

It was a dark and stormy night, actually maybe it wasn't, but it was dinner time and even heroes need to eat. That is just what our hero was doing, when he heard a familiar, yet horrifying, gag, suck, gasp, clatter! He sprang from his seat to see what was the matter. There stood a husband clutching his unconscious wife, limp in his arms. My brother wrestled the woman from her husband and quickly did the Heimlich. Out flew a chunk of sirloin from deep within the her throat. She fell to the floor, vomited, ran to the bathroom and quickly returned to the table to finish her meal. Life #2...saved.

A warm sunny day in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, our hero is doing the work he does when he isn't saving lives; water quality. He is wading into the deep rapids of the Snake River when an out of control raft carrying two helpless, small boys comes careening down the torrent of water. With no thought to his own well being, he plunges into the depths, hooks the raft with his wand and pulls them to safety. (He possibly did not have a wand, but that's not the point). Lives # 3 and # 4 saved.

Lives #5 and #6 are out on a fishing boat in the middle of a large lake. The motor of the boat stops working and there is nary a soul in sight. Evening is fast approaching and the wind is picking up. The boat is being tossed about on the ice cold waves. How are they going to make it to shore? Well, our hero, who happens to be life #6, quickly fashions a sail, using only a few tattered life vests and an oar. The "sail" catches enough wind to slowly carry the small vessel to safety.

The most recent, and exciting story takes place in a desert landscape far far away. My brother and his partner are out patrolling the land, checking for water of low quality, when up ahead there stands a man. Clutching his throat and dripping in blood. The man's shirt is saturated in the sticky red that is gushing from his throat. He croaks, "I've been shot". My brother quickly loads the dying man into the truck and yells to his partner " call 911 and drive fast". He applies pressure to the bleeding throat, and yet allows air to continue in. The police have received the call and more help is on the way, because let's face it, there is only so much one hero is expected to do. When the helicopter and paramedics arrive, the bleeding man is hanging on by a thread. He is quickly flown to a trauma hospital #7, saved.

And so this humble hero continues to carry on with his every day duties, whilst ever vigilantly keeping his eye on the lookout for the next life he must save. And every Thanksgiving, as I am shoving fist fulls of turkey down my gullet, I have a feeling of safety, because I know, I have strategically placed my dinner setting right across from his.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Some people ask me how I do my job without getting sick. How can I possibly mix poop, pour urine and look at boogers from strangers without retching? Well, I'll tell you, in the beginning, I did my share of gagging, and yes even vomiting just a little in the back of my mouth. But one day I stumbled upon the trick that would serve me well . I can mix the most unusual cup of stool, with not one heave. I can pour off any urine sample with nary a gag. I discovered the trick that makes bodily fluids seem not only blase, but dare I say, possibly delicious? Today I feel like sharing my trick in case the need arises for you ,to one day ,dabble in the stool of strangers.( My nursing school friends may come to rely on this technique one day.)
I think of food. Simple, yet effective. Good old home cookin. Stirring, mixing, serving delectables for a delicious meal. Suddenly a cup of stool becomes a warm cup of...chili. Depending on the color, I could be making brownies, peanut brittle, or a delicious beefy stew. (I overlook the fact there are no potatoes). Corn chowder is a standard, and occasionally it seems as if I am whipping up a batch of no bake coconut cookies!
Time to pour off urine? Oh no it's not! It is a tea party ! I serve cider, apple juice, ice cold lemon aid. Sometimes eggnog is called for and dark red cranberry juice is a must.
Semen becomes a wonderful donut glaze, and sputum...... Well, sputum is difficult. Sputum. Not delicious, not yummy in the least. Nothing mouthwatering comes to mind when I look at a dab of lung boogers, except a little bit of vomit in the back of my throat. I still have a problem with that.
So my method is not perfect. A small flaw. But otherwise a delightful episode of Iron Chef!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Once I asked my boss to rub my corns. I don't have corns, but I wanted to know, would she rub them, if I did? Did she like me, and if so, how much.

I actually don't know what a corn is. Never seen one. But they sound gross. Like something you wouldn't want to touch. I think I will Google it.

And by the way, she said she would rub them.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My Town Christmas Decorations

I have always loved small town Christmas decorations. I remember looking up in the night from the car window and seeing through the snow, glittering wreaths, candy canes and snowmen hanging from streetlights. Each town had a different holiday design and joyous addition. Some had silver bells, some a single red bell with a green bow, Santa heads or Santa in his sleigh; all a variation of favorite Christmas themes. Passing from town to town looking through the snow to see the sparkling lights still makes me smile.
We moved to Herriman last year just before the holidays. I was driving home from work one night and got such a thrill to see the city workers out with their big trucks beginning to hang the city decorations! My own little town was going to put up Christmas lights. I couldn't wait to see the theme my town had chosen. I watched them move up the street hanging first a Christmas candle then a green wreath, a pair of candy canes and then a white covered wagon ........a white ....covered... wagon! Ummm.....a western covered wagon.
Well, I thought, certainly at night, when it is lit, it will take on some type of Christmas flare. So I waited till dark, and still, it was a western covered wagon.
A western, pioneer, Little House on the Prairie, white covered wagon.

So now I am bugged. I want to know why. Who made the decision to buy the wagons?
It was then that I decided there must be a valid reason for the city I reside, in jacking up one of my favorite holiday joys. They must have gotten them at a discounted price! They would use them to decorate in July for "Fort Herriman Days". That must be it. They were stretching the city's money and making the most out of this particular purchase. It helped me to cope knowing they were just being frugal and not expecting us to believe that a covered wagon has a place in Christmas decoration schemes.
And so, come July, I waited for the crews to take to the streets and deck the halls with the pioneer wagons.

But none were hung. Now I am even more bugged. They are wasting perfectly good western, pioneer, days of 47 decorations. I know they are just sitting in a warehouse somewhere waiting for the holiday that doesn't belong to them . Someone has lost their mind in this town.
And so I say to all residents of Herriman... Merry Christmas and Happy Fort Herriman Days!