Our Blog

An ongoing series of information, thoughts, musings. and a little window into the daily running of a Home Care agency

The Greatest Generation

Dec.4, 2018

Watching the news coverage of the funeral services for President George H.W. Bush,  I am, as always, struck by the courage and sacrifice of his generation.  He was barely 20 when he volunteered for service.  I have been fortunate to know a lot of young service men and women, but cannot remember that at 20 I had that dedication.  His life was dedicated to serving this great county, and no matter your politics, he did that unfailingly throughout his long career.  He and my grandparents were of the same generation, and I am so moved by the Bush family's heartfelt remembrances of him and his wife Barbara. 

We lost a client this week, a veteran of the Korean war.  All our staff was so touched by his daughter's devotion to her father, who had survived internment in a Japanese POW camp.  He was, until the end, a strong soldier, and we had all expected him to rally and come home again.  I hope that he gets to meet the Commander in Chief in the afterlife.  Sometimes, we don't talk about the loss of our clients.  We get to know our families so well, and they become such a big part of our lives, that we also mourn with their families.  I don't ever want us to become too business like, that we loose our human connection.  Those relationships keep us going, and are the most important part of our business and all our lives.

Snow Day!!

Dec. 11 2018

Snow Day!  When you are a child, those words evoke feelings of joy!  No school, playing outside, hot chocolate, it really is a time of such fun.  As an adult, maybe it's not quite that simple.  Most of us have responsibilities that don't necessarily dissolve in the light of inclement weather.  Here in NC, we have two sorts of weather related issues, hurricanes in the fall, and snow and/or ice in the winter.  This past weekend, winter storm Diego (who knew they had names?) arrived, with a ton of wet, heavy snow, freezing rain, and frozen streets.  As a home care agency owner, safety of my clients and caregivers is always at the top of my list.  Sending my aides to work in nasty conditions is just something I will never do.  I try and reach out to clients to make sure they have all that they need before the weather hits, and the beauty of technology is that my aides can get messages as a group, so we are all updated on the weather at once.  A new client, also new to our area, was surprised this week to learn all about how we shut down for a weather event.  I like to think we all get to step back, take a breath, and enjoy the white stuff, at least for a day or two, before we have to jump back into our regular routines. 

Snow Day!!

Happy New Year!!

We are well into the new year, and 2019 is proving to be a productive and busy year.  If you don't know about the Southern tradition of black eyed peas and collards as your New Year meal, you are truly missing out on the best meal of the year! My grandmother always told us that the peas represented the coins and the collards were the paper money, and if you didn't eat a full plate, you wouldn't have any of that in the coming year.  Now that I'm responsible for the luck and money for my family (both business and personal), I make sure that we all get heaping portions on New Year's Day!!  So far, it's working, so who am I to doubt?  I make the cornbread in my great grandmother's black iron skillet, and I cherish the memories and the connections that it brings me, to know that her hands did the same, and that every year, my family has the same wonderful meal, made with love, sending us into a new year. #luckandmoney

Will you be our Valentine?

Who was St. Valentine?  According to the history of the church, he was a 3rd century Roman saint, and is associated with the tradition of courtly love. He was martyred and buried in Rome on February 14, and we now celebrate that day as St. Valentine's Day.  He is considered the patron saint of beekeepers, happy couples, the plague and epilepsy.  If you can figure out how those all correspond, let me know!!    The history goes that the Roman Emperor Claudius was having a difficult time recruiting for the army, no one wanted to join the legions because of family attachments.  So, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome.  Valentine defied the ban, and continued marrying couples in secret. He was arrested, condemned, and sentenced to death.  On Feb. 14, around the year 270, the sentence was carried out.  Legend says he left a note for his jailor's daughter, who he had befriended, and signed it, "From Your Valentine".  So now, we all scurry about before the 14th of February, gathering gifts and tokens for our loved ones.  I've always thought of the day as a sweet holiday, and try and make sure to reach out to all my loved ones, romantic or not, to make sure they know how much I appreciate them.  Chocolate is always appreciated it seems, particularly with an almost all female staff!!  My staff are the backbone of this agency, and I could not do what we do, and do it so well, without them. 

Laissez les bons temps rouler!!!

Shrove Tuesday.  Fat Tuesday.  Mardi Gras.  Lent.  Ash Wednesday. 

Lots of different names for the same couple of days.  If you are Roman Catholic or Episcopalian (like I am), Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday) and Lent have been around a long long time.  Today is traditionally the day that all the bread and fat were consumed, so the Lenten fasting could begin.  Pancakes are a perfect way to use up the stores.  Hard to think of a time when fat and bread were considered non-essential luxuries, but there is also the denial component associated with the Lenten fast.  I was taught that giving up something for Lent was a sacrifice.  You will hear many people talk about giving up chocolate, meat, wine, mostly food items.  But, what if we added something on instead?  What if we added on a promise to check on our neighbors to see what aide we can give?  What if we promised to give the amount of a daily Starbucks to a local charity?  I love the idea of adding on a little something extra (also known as lagniappe in creole).  Ash Wednesday's ashes are the burned palms of the last Palm Sunday.   The ashes are a biblical symbol of repentance and grief, and usher in the 40 days of Lenten fasting and prayer before Easter.   My Lenten sacrifice this year is still up in the air, but in the most recent years, I have been more successful at adding on rather than sticking to a giving up.  I find the quiet of Lent gives me a little extra brain space as well.