Monday, August 24, 2015

"Reflecting in Flip Flops" Gina Waite

“Summer afternoon--Summer afternoon; to me those have ALWAYS been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ~Henry James

Amazing how quickly time passes. It seems like yesterday I was expecting my first baby, Jordan. I remember reading ALL the parenting books I could get my hands on and felt very ready to take on the adventure of becoming a parent. My Mom would tell me to enjoy the time I had with my baby because time would pass quickly and before I knew it…he’d be graduating from high school. I’m not sure I believed her when I was up to my elbows in Dirty Diapers and Desitin….but reality has recently set in.

I’m a Mother of a senior in high school. Time passed WAY too quickly…and I’m visualizing the next 9 months that I’ll be much like the Grinch who, after realizing all the terrible things he’d done, dug in his heels and clung to the sled that contained all the Whoville Christmas treasure. I’m going to hang onto these last few months I have with my son! I don’t want him to grow up…AND…I’m so excited for him, that he can grow up! A conundrum that I’ll be reflecting on for the next year!

The summer has been wonderful and I hope it continues to be for everyone! As it’s the last week of summer break, I’ll be talking with my children about their favorite memories of summer 2015. I know I’ve got mine…visiting my sister in Washington, gardening with my daughter, my boxer-briefed son rushing to my rescue to detain satan’s squirrel (it’s its own Nutshell), reflecting and reading while watching the sunset, attending an Imagine Dragons Concert with my kids notably watching my son in the mosh-pit-of-madness (it NEEDS it's own Nutshell), finding the PERFECT Americana flag to place on my Mom’s grave knowing how much she’d love it, watching a 90-year-old Grandpa experience the Flying Aces at Lagoon, watching my children dance together at a summer ballroom camp…Awwwww the list goes on AND on! As much as I agree with Mr. James’ quote above, it’s Kellie Elmore that I’m relating to right now, “Some of the BEST memories are made in flip flops.”

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Monday, August 10, 2015

"A Squirrel, A NUT And A Nutshell" Gina Waite

Life has a funny way of helping you stay humble.  It never fails that the moment I feel confident that I’ve crossed all my “t’s” and dotted all my “i’s”…in reality I’ve probably crossed and my “i’s” and dotted all my “t’s”!  It’s humbling, and very necessary, to realize that we really have very little control over all areas of our life.  However, we DEFINITELY can choose how we THINK and REACT…and I wish I could say I thought and reacted like an “adult” about a month ago.  All I can say is it started with a squirrel…

Love my home…love where I live…and while we were gone for a short get-away to visit my family to the West…an area squirrel  moved into my flower beds and echoed my sentiments.  Imagine my disappointment when I found most of my east-facing flower bed had been victim to a series of underground tunneling…the likes of which could ONLY been compared to Alcatraz!  With much trepidation my family helped me uncover huge holes and underground chambers that were deep enough our biggest concern: the squirrel had possibly laid siege on our food storage in the cellar-like crawl space on the east side of our house. 

Our crawl space…a fantastic storage area that is clean, leveled and well-lit…and on that day, completely void of any tunnels!  However, was also completely under about a half-inch of water!  After the screams of water-discovery, the deductive reasoning that a pipe had burst, a quick emergency call to our trusty plumber and a well-used ShopVac’s magic…the freshly drenched crawl-space was back to its pre-Bellagio state…now back to that squirrel.

Further investigation proved that our newly-acquired neighbor had done damage in EVERY SINGLE GARDEN BED that borders our property!  The destruction to the gardens was such a disappointment to this plant-loving princess that I had to retreat to my house and start unpacking.  As I wheeled our empty luggage to our mechanical room/gym…I was overwhelmed at the sewer-like smell coming from under the door.  As I opened the door, I realized that our sump-pump strap, that had loosened over time, had finally gave way to the pressure that shot unmentionable waste into the sewer system and had loosened a connection that gave way to disgusting sludge on our painted concrete floor.  Scream of discovery then ensued, another quick emergency call to our plumber, quite possibly an entire GALLON of Lysol concentrate, AND a well-used ShopVac’s magic returned the floor to its pre-poop state…now back to that squirrel.

As I called our pest-control servicer and became more aware of the difficulty in finding a pest control servicer that would deal with a squirrel, the beads of sweat began to pool and trickle off my head.  I realized our day had been filled with excitement but it seemed unusually warm and void of any fresh breeze from our air conditioning system…because surely our air conditioning system (tried and true and void of any problems EVER before) was perfectly intact…or was it?  The shock and disbelief that another technical malfunction has besought our recently vacationed household was so acute…I got in my car to drive to the nearest store to by squirrel-bait.  En route to my local Walmart, and minutes after the discovery that my normally smooth-as-silk driving Cadillac was riding more like a Jeep, I pulled off the road and called my mechanic.

As I parked at the mechanic I realized I had only ten minutes to call and schedule a repairman for our air conditioning unit…a unit we were in desperate need of as we were hosting a wedding open house in just three short days!  My phone call to the secretary started off normal and cordial…but as she communicated the difficulty in getting a repairman out BEFORE the open house…I lost all sense of sanity…I BECAME A NUT!  They say about three-quarters of the earth’s surface is covered with water…ABOUT HALF OF THAT CAME FROM MY EYES AND NOSE THAT DAY!!!  As I sat at my mechanics shop, relating the happenings of the day, our dependence on a lovely and cool setting for a wedding open house AND Satan’s squirrel (I actually think I used that definition)…after a long pause and quite possibly phone-covered laughter, that secretary took pity on me and a repairman was scheduled first thing the NEXT morning!

That next morning, cleaning up my bedroom and in full view of the backyard…I can neither confirm NOR deny that seeing the state of his mother, and knowing of her dependence on a squirrel-free environment, that my son (clad only in boxer-briefs and holding his paint ball gun) recognized the squirrel had surfaced in the backyard garden directly under his window and had a brief opportunity to take him out.  Out of the corner of my eye, recognizing the scantily-clad, stealthy-stalker, the realization that ALL my neighbor’s teenage daughters were in view of said stalker, I ran to the backyard to better understand the situation…only to witness the demise of the squirrel.  Now I realize these were ALL first world problems I was experiencing that weekend, and I suppose it’s a necessary evil to understand how blessed we are in having modern conveniences to NOT have them for a time…but what I DO know with a surety…that weekend inspired how a squirrel, AND a NUT, became a perfectly entertaining NUTSHELL…hope you agree!!!!!

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Monday, August 3, 2015

"Gettin' Old Ain't For Sissies" Jim Terry

Getting older, I have noticed a few things that are really starting to annoy me but at the same timeand in the right moodalso make me laugh.  One of the things that annoy me is the fact that I used to be able to run five miles a day without a problem.  Having been exposed to several twisted ankles and a continually dislocated right knee over the years now due to sports and other activities, only seems to bring doubt to my mind that I can even accomplish such a feat now. Also associated with this feat, once accomplished, comes the probability that there might be a couple to a few days of recovery time once that task is completed. Another thing that seems to bother me as I age is my tendency to forget things. Being a type A personality, I should be able to control EVERYTHING shouldn’t I?  This is why, and in order to make myself feel better, that I now blame my forgetfulness on my increased responsibility as an adult verses what my reality really is…I am plainly and simply just getting older.  Just the other day I had one of those experiences that annoyed me but also made me laugh and cry at the same time.  Let me explain...

While I was working on a patient performing a routine dental cleaning, we started to discuss aging and how that can affect us.  My patient, a young woman in her sixties, began to talk to me about forgetfulness and how much that bothered her in her life.

She continued by saying, “Gettin’ old ain’t for sissies!”

As I began to polish her teeth and towards the end of her appointment, I told her I understood how she felt. It wasn’t until just seconds later that I realized what had been happening for about the last five minutes of her dental procedure.

First, and so you can get a better understanding of what the scene was, let’s define the “instrument cluster.”  An instrument cluster is located at the end of that arm attached to the dental chair that your dental professional will swing around into the working area where the drill, the suction and all the rest of the handpieces are located.  If the operator, the dental professional, does not place each of the instruments back in their proper location after each use on the module at the end of the arm, this then means they are not “grounded.”
And if instruments are not grounded properly, that can then produce a blast of air, or with certain instruments, a trickle or a gentle stream of water that will then flow from the instrument that is not properly placed. The instrument cluster during this particular procedure was located just to my side and a little behind my peripheral vision. 

Interestingly enough, as I hit the button on the chair to set my patient up at the conclusion of her appointment, I started to feel a bit of dampness on my chair. Apparently the entire last segment of her cleaning, as far as I could tell, encompassed one hand piece that was not properly placed. And as luck would have it, water not air, was streaming from the ungrounded handpiece. And guess where it was aimed?  It was aimed just perfectly to hit my lower back and then formed an amazing pond on the chair in which I sat on.

Once the water finally started to penetrate my “water resistant” scrubs is when I quickly jumped up and said, "what the heck?" As I stood there in silence with a bewildered and confused look on my face still trying to ascertain what had just happened to me, my patient then slowly turned around.  What did she see you might ask?  Well have you ever seen a beautiful waterfall?  This one not so beautiful but it was at that moment when she turned around that we both witnessed a small cascading waterfall that was gently, yet moderately, flowing from my lower back and derrière onto the floor below.  As she moved her eyes from mine and slowly moved them to the puddle in which I now stood, she reiterated with a chuckle, "As I said before, gettin’ old ain’t for sissies.”   

A commotion being created by laughter and tears—tears only created from both of us laughing so hard—coming from the operatory in which my patient and I were located, became an infectious positive influence throughout the rest of my day and certainly something I will carry with me throughout the rest of my life. So with a wet backside and tears of joy in both our eyes as I walked my patient to the front, I put my arm around this sweet patient who taught me a powerful lesson that day and conveyed to her a big "thank you." 

She may never fully comprehend or understand the full meaning of why I said "thank you" to her that day because it was so much more than the laughter and joy we experienced together.  If you simply read between the lines of her statement of "gettin' old ain't for sissies," one might also be able to uncover a hidden message. This message, which has a much more insightful and powerful meaning, simply may be..."DO NOT regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.” 

Also in helping someone attain this privilege of growing older, PLEASE SIGN UP. It's never too late to help someone in need. It's FREE for people 44 years old and younger and a small fee for someone 45 years old and older. My friend Steph still needs a match for her bone marrow transplant. Simply signing up can change a person's life forever!!!

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