more parenting in a land of monsters

It’s hard to believe that just six days ago this was shared on my Facebook timeline

Shared by family and friends living in the Santa Cruz-Monterey Bay area and soon posted by people literally everywhere and by news and media all over California as well as local and state police agencies. As it became viral, the search for this little girl who disappeared while playing in and around her apartment complex intensified. Even the FBI became involved in the investigation of 8 year old Madyson’s disappearance.

And I then recalled the little girl in my neck of the woods who vanished while skipping along the street where she lived.

Then literally 24 hours later, the most tragic of outcomes was realized.

The worst possible monstrous outcome.

Which led me to think back – way back – to another 8 year old and 15 year old sadistic monster. A young monster who beat, tortured, stabbed and eventually murdered little, pajama-clad Melvin Ancheta, ignoring the little boy’s pleas for his life offering all that he had – sixty cents. Twenty two years ago, people in Northern California were shocked over such violent cruelty as we held our own children closer to us. It was this case in particular that led to the tougher laws that will allow for Madyson’s killer to be tried as an adult. 

None of this will bring back little Madyson, nor help us understand just as we can never really understand anytime a murderous, senseless tragedy happens no matter how close to us or that we are removed from. Still, one can hope for, at the very least for justice for another child taken so violently while at play as happy, innocent children do. As a community mourns and parents hug their children even more, all we can hope for from this is justice for Madyson.

the lives that matter

It seems that lately we need to be reminded what lives matter because, it seems that some lives matter more than others. At least that’s the way that it seems in the news and all over social media.

  • Some conservatives are outraged and demanding the shut down of Planned Parenthood because #unbornlivesmatter and #ppsellsbabyparts – factually wrong.
  • Some liberals are incensed because #blacklivesmatter  yes, get it…preaching to the choir.
  • The privileged are aggrieved because #alllivesmatter – um, clueless? Yes, clueless.
  • Others are fired up because #crueltyfree#righttobeararms#banalltheguns…and on and on and on
  • and then #CeciltheLion

Here’s the thing, the way that I see it – one can be outraged by all the atrocities we perceive happening right now in and around our globe – and yet be moved by the senseless killing of a beautiful animal.

It is one thing to kill an animal in order to eat and sustain one’s life. It’s another to kill an animal simply because they are MAJESTIC. To think to one’s self that this thing, this animal, this work of art is so majestic that I need to kill/destroy it so that it can no longer thrive in its own life, have offspring, nurture its existing dependents – and to PREVENT ANYONE ELSE from experiencing/appreciating its beauty.

Oh my god! This is not just the epitome of hubris – it’s intentionally, actively, and at great expense, taking away something from the rest of us. It’s deciding that your momentary pleasure in destroying something beautiful is more important than everyone else’s joy/pleasure at seeing that individual, majestic animal alive.

I personally believe that people who kill random wildlife for shits and giggles and grins are asshats. Sorry, not sorry. I grew up with y’all and I believed then as I do now that yes, y’all are asshats – but that’s in a different league than a “sportsman” paying top dollar to kill a rare, endangered animal.

In the grand scheme of things, Cecil does not matter to human lives lost to the worst of human atrocities, war and violence – insert appropriate hashtag here. However the thought  of someone killing an animal they have no intention of eating – PAYING to kill an animal they have no intention of using to provide for their own sustainability galls me.

So yes – other societal issues take priority for me – and yet, I can still be maddened by what happened to this beautiful creature, to Cecil the Lion.

~ photo credit – Diane Davis Maas

and this too

And this too I’m going to leave here.

history can’t be a sword to justify injustice or a shield against progress. It must be a manual for how to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, how to break the cycle, a roadway toward a better world. He knew that the path of grace involves an open mind. But more importantly, an open heart. ~ President Barack Obama eulogizing the Reverend Clementa Pinckney

meeting, living, enjoying

Saw this on my social media feed late last night and, well, I’m going to leave it here.

However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are.It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise.Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in the poorhouse. ~ Thoreau

At the end of the day, I am just going to enjoy the pleasant, the thrilling, the glorious and, especially today all the rainbows.

thinkers and dreamers we are

And just in case I have not been paying attention to what’s in the news in and around the Central Valley over the last couple of weeks, I have acquaintances to remind me…especially if it is news that might indirectly affect me, is indirectly about me or what might be important to me…bonus points if it is perceived to be news in a negative light.

Aren’t some acquaintances and friends good for things like that?


In the news recently here in the Central Valley was a recent article that suggests certain hospitals in the Valley are price gouging. Of course some people I know want to know how do I feel about being a price gouger?


Because while caring for critically ill babies, I am jacking up the prices of the care and services that I provide?

Here’s the thing, even the authors of this recently released study concede that they are not including discounts offered for care and services to the uninsured and insured patients. Factoring in these these discounts would have had a significant effect on the cost-to-charge ratio reported, and therefore the implications of the study’s results. Which goes to show you that one can not and should not just accept a study, any study as valid and absolute truth based on its conclusions…“Dr.” Wakefield’s study linking autism to vaccinespatients’ perceptions of nurses with tattoos and body piercings immediately come to mind.

For what it’s worth, as a nurse at the bedside, I am not setting the prices for the care I give, the medications I deliver, the equipment I use while doing my job. I’m too busy saving lives, providing healing care, providing education to my patients’ family members of their babies diagnosis, condition along with how the medications I administer and the care I give will help their baby and how to take care of their own baby while in the NICU and after discharge.

My workplace is the only hospital in the community of Modesto and Stanislaus County to provide care for everyone, regardless of ability to pay; that’s millions of dollars of uncompensated and charity care provided rather than charged. My workplace employs over 2,100 people, contributes well over $250 million to the local workforce annually as well as contributes over $3.7 million in local taxes every year. Our hospital and employees this year have provided over 50 educational seminars for local schools and community groups, participated in more than 70 community events and regularly contribute to over 50 local non-profit and charitable organizations.

Thinkers. Dreamers. That’s us.

It is what drives us all to serve our community the way that we do at the bedside directly and in and around the community and out-lying areas. It is being thinkers and dreamers that inspires us every day to do what we do and even do it better.

Our hospital continues to receive top grades in patient safety including our overall performance on safety outcomes, including preventing errors, accidents and infections. The unit I work in has had more than 6 years of ZERO CABSI incidents. It was thinkers and dreamers in our unit who dared to imagine that it was possible to have absolutely no catheter line associated bacterial infections. Such strong work has been recognized nationally and even within our hospital as the staff who cared for my darling husband talked about what we are doing in the NICU and how they are hoping to implement the same. Lucky for them, and other local agencies in the valley, one of my colleagues will be providing education next month on our journey to zero and how it is possible. Fellow employees at my workplace provide the type of trauma, stroke and cardiac care that is literally the Gold standard of care here in this Valley which Silver and Bronze awarded local facilities strive to emulate…something I am proud of and most definitely thankful for, you know, since they saved my darling husband’s life.

Yes, one study might contort and twist and suggest less than favorable things about where I work but, dear acquaintances and friends quick to point that out, I would counter do your homework and check the facts especially when you decide where you want to be when you need to be in the hospital. Me, I’m choosing a place with thinkers and dreamers who are providing the very best of care and often times making the impossible possible.