Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Friday, April 30, 2010

Fiction Friday: A Slow Burn

Mary DeMuth continues the Defiance Texas Trilogy with this, the 2nd book. In the first book, Daisy Chain, young Daisy Chance disappears. Her friend, Jed Pepper, feels guilty for abandoning her and her mother, Emory Chance, blames him. In this book, Emory tries to find Daisy’s murderer as questions regarding Daisy’s death continue to mount. And Hixon, the gentle handyman, continues to love Emory. Told from Emory’s point of view, this story is about courageous love, the burden of regret, and bonds that never break. Most of all, it is about the power of forgiveness and what remains when shame no longer holds us captive. It is indeed captivating and poignant. Troubling and redemptive. Passionate and gentle. It’s a great read.

The 3rd book, Life in Defiance, will release in May.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

A ‘Tsunami’ Is In The Forecast For America’s Aging Population

Elizabeth Bahm, reporting for the Association of Health Care Journalists, predicts a “tsunami” as the aging population is set to overload America’s medical resources. Experts predict that a collision is about to occur between a shortage of professionals and an expanding aging population. The aging baby boomer population will mean that the numbers of those 65 and older will leap from 39 million today to a projected 89 million by the 2050. The jump in population will be even greater for those over 85, the fastest growing population. Their numbers will rise from 4 million today to 20 million in 2050.

This rapidly expanding population of aging Americans will put new demands on areas of medicine such as geriatrics and long-term care, yet the numbers of practitioners in these fields are dropping almost as fast as the numbers of their potential patients rise. 
Herbert Sier, associate chief of geriatric medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said that the Alliance for Aging Research projects that 14,000 more geriatricians are needed to address the needs of the current aging population. Yet numbers in the field, which currently counts 7,600 practitioners, are falling, down 22 percent in the last 10 years.  Meanwhile, the culture of geriatric care may be contributing to the shortage of nurses and doctors entering the field.  Low pay and practice settings that appear unattractive may be driving away students.

And that doesn’t begin to consider the impact of the rationing predicted as a result of Obamacare.

Photo Credit: iStockPhoto/deanm1974

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Trial Trip Update

I realized that I never closed the loop on the trial trip we took Mom on earlier this month. We did one short excursion in the late morning of the first day, before checking in to the hotel. Had lunch at a place she remembered. She enjoyed that. As soon as we got to the hotel it was naptime. She slept for a couple of hours, then we went down to happy hour and enjoyed a drink. We decided to go to Old Town for a short walk. We had barely crossed the street when she fell – went sprawling. She hurt her knees and head, but thank God, didn’t break anything.

We took her back to the hotel and she slept a full 12 hours. She usually sleeps four to five hours. The next day we made it to one museum, where she refused to use a wheelchair because she thought she was too heavy for us to push. Back for another nap. She went down for happy hour, but was too tired to go to dinner. The next day we went to two museums, where we insisted on the wheelchair. I think she enjoyed it despite fretting that it was too hard for us.

Unfortunately, we decided the first night that we can’t risk the longer trip. We don’t want to be 400 miles from nowhere and have her take a serious fall. Fortunately, we hadn’t mentioned the possibility to her, so she doesn’t know what she’s missing. Meanwhile, we’ll try to do more local trips to keep her feeling like she’s going someplace.

Labels: ,

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fiction Friday: Her Mother’s Hope

Best-selling author Francine Rivers has penned a sweeping and lyrical two-book saga that explores the depths of grace and forgiveness in one of life’s fiercest bonds—the love between mother and daughter.

 Near the turn of the twentieth century, fiery Marta Schneider is torn between her father’s declaration that she’ll never be more than a servant and her mother’s encouragement to chase her dreams. Determined to fulfill her mother’s hope, Marta leaves home for a better life. Young and alone, she earns her way with a series of housekeeping and cooking jobs that bring her ever closer to her dream of owning an inn. 

Heartbreaking news from home strengthens Marta’s resolve as she moves to England and eventually to Canada. There, she meets handsome Niclas Waltert, a man just as committed as she to forging a better life in a new place. But nothing has prepared her for the sacrifices she must make for marriage and motherhood as she travels first to the Canadian wilderness and finally to the dusty Central Valley of California to raise her family. 

Marta’s hope is to give her children a better life, but experience has taught her that only the strong survive. Her tough love is often misunderstood, especially by her oldest daughter, Hildemara Rose, who craves her mother’s acceptance. Amid the drama of World War II, Hildie falls in love and begins a family of her own. But unexpected and tragic events force mother and daughter to face their own shortcomings and the ever-widening chasm that threatens to separate them forever.

I loved this book, as I do all of Francine’s books, although it seemed more narrative than her other books. Sadly, I saw many similarities to my relationship with my own mother. It reawakened my awareness of her childhood wounding and reminded me of her inability to show me love. Our family was similar to the Waltert family, with some children treated roughly (guess who) and others being favored. I’m looking forward the sequel, Her Daughter’s Dream, to see if the conflicts are resolved. It’s a perfect GenSandwich book.

As part of this blog tour, I’m required to post interview questions.

Where do you get your ideas for your plots?
Almost every story I have written since becoming a Christian has come from a question that regards a struggle in my own faith walk. The plot centers around the different ways that question can be answered by “the world” – but the quest is to find God’s answer.  

Her Mother’s Hope / Her Daughter’s Dream explores what caused the rift between my grandmother and mother. When my grandmother had a stroke, my mother raced from Oregon to the Central Valley of California to be with her.  Grandma died before she arrived.  My mother was heart-broken and said, “I think she willed herself to die just so we wouldn’t have to talk things out.”  I have wondered since:  What causes people (even Christians) to hold grudges?   What might have brought resolution and restoration to these two women?  Could my grandmother have loved my mother without my mother understanding it?   The two books have many personal, family details woven in and I will be sharing this information in my blog.

Tell us about your current work. 
I have just completed the second in a set of two books about mother-daughter relationship over four generations.  This was intended to be one long novel dealing with the different ways generations have lived out their faith – but became so long it needed to be divided.  Her Mother’s Hope was released March 16, 2010.  Her Daughter’s Dream will follow in September.  There are numerous family and personal details woven into both books and I plan to share those things on my blog. You may find out more about my new book and more by visiting my web site.

PLEASE NOTE: A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me as a blog tour host by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for posting this interview on my blog. Please visit Christian Speaker Services at for more information about blog tour management services.

Labels: ,

Monday, April 05, 2010

Trial Trip

Mom turns 89 on Saturday. I have class, so I won’t be able to be with her. So we’ll spend a few days with her during the week. Mom loves to travel. She and her hubby had a motor home they used for years, traveling the country. They even drove to Alaska a couple of times. Since he got sick in 2005 she’s had the wanderlust. She wants to “go.” She hasn’t been able to do more than day trips.

To celebrate her birthday, we’ve arranged to take her to a hotel just an hour from her home. It’s a nice place. Nicer than she’s ever stayed in. We arrived at her home today. She’s looking SO tired. I hope she’ll be able to handle the trip and perhaps a few excursions. Looking at her tonight, I’m not sure …

We had hoped this would be a trial run for a longer summer trip. She is longing to go to Kansas, her home before she was married (in 1946). She has four living friend she wants to visit – one in Idaho, one in Wyoming, and two in Kansas. Three are in nursing home and one is barely managing. She’s lost so many friends and these are all that are left. My hubby and I have been trying to figure out if she could manage a road trip of that magnitude. This will be a trial run – without the 300 miles per day. I’ll keep you posted.

Labels: ,