Goodbye, my friend

A very dear person passed away over the weekend.

I met Karen when I worked with her at Sirona several years ago. We worked together via the telephone, so actually our voices met first! As many of you may know, you can tell a lot about someone by their voice. I liked her right away.

She was a supervisor, but she was every inch one of the gang as well. She was always a calm, reassuring, even loving presence at work. If Karen was on the job, I always felt better knowing that. When I was new in my role, of course I made some mistakes. When Karen was the person in charge and I needed to reach out for help, she was one hundred percent there for me. She somehow made me feel like she had made that exact same mistake dozens of times, just last week in fact. And hey, it was no big deal! Oh, and here’s how to fix it. And by the way, here’s  how to do it better next time. You may have heard that “Nurses eat their young.” Well, Karen never got that memo. Karen nurtured her young.

There is little that is more comforting in nursing than knowing that your supervisor has your back.

I did get to meet her in person as well, in 2013. We were part of the Sirona Seedlings at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. I was new to the company and didn’t know a lot of people yet. My daughter came with me, and we walked the track for a while, and we lit votives to honor my parents who had both died from cancer. My mother had the same cancer that Karen endured. Anyway, I was humbled by the grace of this woman who, just a short time after the event, sent out a heartfelt email message to thank each of us for coming, by name, and she included what it was that each of us had done to participate.

I still have this message. I still have my Sirona Seedlings T-shirt. And I still have Karen in my heart.

Farewell, Karen. Like so many, many others, I am better for having known you.

Birthday Week CakeWalk (BWCW) Day 5

Day 5! Today’s cake had to be great to make up for yesterday’s fail. I went to Mike’s Clamshack Fish Market. My friend Barney said, “It’s that time again already?!”

I bought cakes here for last year’s cakewalk too.


Anyway, I got the Lemon Blueberry Cake with Lemon Buttercream made by Something Different. This is a tried and true cake. No indecision or angst here.

I am further celebrating by eating it at the ocean! Sublime. This cake surely is a ‘pass’ on the pass/fail scale, and then some.
I am taking a chance and posting third from my phone, so apologies if it’s not looking right. I’ll check it on the computer later.
Onward!

Birthday Week CakeWalk (BWCW) Day 1

Last year I had a blast doing a Birthday Week CakeWalk. I had a different cake for every day leading up to my birthday.  Seven cakes in seven days! Yay!

Never heard of this? That’s because I made this up (hmm, maybe I should trademark that term…). I had a lot of fun. I also had a lot of cake. I got creative some days, when work (or whatever) prevented me from getting the cake I wanted.
I was bummed because it turned out that I must have just posted the photos of them on FB and now they are gone forever. So, this year I am going to memorialize the cakes in my blog. I will also be rating them as I go, pass or fail. Keeping it simple.

Chambord Cake from Market Basket

Day 1 is from Market Basket: Chambord Cake. Hello!! You had me at chocolate!

This is my opinion: Swoon. There is a layer of cream cheese and a thin layer of raspberry filling (jam?) that balances the chocolate very well. And the frosting? Excellent. Cake #1 is a pass. One improvement would be if they had strained out the seeds, but it’s not a deal breaker.

Okay! One cake down, six to go!

Who am I really?

My husband was very inspired this year with his choice of birthday gift for me.

He got me the MyHeritage DNA kit.

 

Me: How did you know I wanted to do that?!

He: Because every time a commercial for it came on or anyone was saying they did it for the last year, you said, “I want to do that!”

Me: Oh. Right.

Lesson: Repetition is your friend, married people. 🙂

Anyway, this will be the gift that keeps on giving, because I decided to write about it. I did the (pretty easy) test the next morning. The directions said not to eat or drink anything for an hour before you do it, so first thing upon arising was my best bet. Sure, I had to defer my first sip of morning coffee for twenty minutes, but it’s a small price to pay! I am going to find out what I’m made of!

Fear: What if I’m not really Italian?

I am feeling the fear! I am doing it anyway!

Stay tuned.

The BRAVE Interview #10 April 2017: Andrea

Please enjoy this month’s BRAVE Interview with Andrea!

WHO are you? My name is Andrea Maffeo and I am Karen’s sister-in-law.  LOL! I am a medical secretary and have worked for MGH Medical Group for 18 years now. I have been married for over 25 years to the most patient man a wife could ever ask for.  Honestly don’t know what I would do without him.

WHAT is your One Brave Thing? My one brave thing is not something you would expect…….but to me it was my one brave thing.  It’s not something I did for myself like overcome a fear, it’s something I did for someone else.

WHEN did you do it? I did it in July 2016.

WHERE did it occur? Melrose Wakefield Hospital

HOW did you make it happen? Well, that’s a tough one.  I just had to say the dreaded words………’It’s time to let her go.’

WHY did you do it? My mom has never been a well woman, at least not for the past few years.  She was in a rehab/nursing home when she became ill.  She was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a small bowel obstruction.  While having a CT scan she vomited and aspirated.  She ended up in the ICU and all her organs started to fail.  She went into septic shock due to the aspiration.  The only thing that was keeping her alive was the ventilator.  So the decision had to be made.  And since I was her healthcare proxy, my poor dad couldn’t make the decision at the time, I had to make the decision to let her go.  It was the hardest decision I ever had to make in my life, but I knew it was the right one.  I didn’t want her suffering anymore and I knew neither did she.  This is my One Brave Thing.

Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story, Andrea!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites.com, or message me on my Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/k.m.creamer.author/!

A friend of Kevin

I was lucky enough to be invited to be on Kevin Willett’s TV program, Business as Usual. I met Kevin on Facebook when I responded to a video he shared. I started following his page because the topics he was discussing resonated with me. One day, he mentioned that he had a TV show, and if anyone was interested in being on it, message him.

Was I interested in being on his TV show?

Duh.

I messaged  him. The next thing I knew, I was driving to Dracut. My husband came with me and watched from the booth. We arrived several hours early, as is my way, so we scouted out places to eat. I wanted Italian (so what else is new?) but Bill wanted the Chinese buffet, and when I saw that they had a dance floor, I was intrigued. We went.

The best part of the meal was the Hot and Sour Soup. And the Fortune Cookie. Isn’t this the best fortune ever?


Too bad it wasn’t mine.

Bill kindly agreed to share it with me with me.

Taping the show was so much fun! Kevin put me at ease right away, and the 28 minute taping went by in a blink. We talked about writing, publishing, and selling books. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to be a guest on the show. If you live in Dracut, you can watch it on DATV! If not, I will have a link to it at some point and will post it here on my website.

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P.S. The dance floor had a DISCO BALL!!! I couldn’t convince Bill to dance with me, though.

#stillpouting

A dream come true

I have always loved the library since I was a little girl. My dad would drive me every week and I would load up my arms with as many books as I could carry, and then stack them all around my bed when I got home, deciding which one to read first.

I was beyond excited last year when I was invited to give a reading at the Wells Public Library from my first novel, One Brave Thing, and when I saw it on the “New Fiction” shelf! I have stopped in to visit my first novel from time to time, but it’s always been checked out. Tonight it was there! I noticed it was little worse for wear. I decided to ask how many times it had been checked out. Twenty times over the past ten months! Plus two renewals! That’s twenty-two! YAY! I replaced it with a shiny new copy.

Also, I was going to donate a copy of my new book, What if Bebe Stays with Steven? I was thrilled when the librarian told me that they already have it! And even better, it was checked out!  I have been invited back to give a reading from this novel, scheduled for Tuesday evening, June 27th at 6pm. I am hoping that my new book will also be wearing out from being read so often and I will get to replace this one as well.

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