The first thing you probably noticed was that I am missing from the photo. I really hate having my photo taken. I don’t need the ten extra pounds, for one thing.
And then, looking into the camera while being told to ignore it is like trying to ignore the glaring light that the optometrist points into my eyes during his examination. Just ignore it. Right.
Maybe a photograph is just too much truth to handle. I know I’m no spring chicken, but imagination is a wonderful thing—ruined by mirrors and photographs.
However, if you must know what I look like, click Publicity.
One of the best things about being a writer is that I do most of my work at home: no dress code. Comfy jeans and loafers, that’s the ticket.
Even when I teach or speak, I will go no further than nicer clothes, jewelry, and a dab of cosmetics. Always slacks. Never high heels. I have a note: a genuine foot doctor’s note.
Chicago Cubs sweatshirt
I read an interesting study in which the researchers asked baseball fans which teams their significant others cheered for during the season. Usually it was the same team.
What was astounding was second place. Across the board, if the significant other did not cheer for the same team, they were Cubs fans! Not the sunshine fans, but the die-hard Cubs fanatics.
The amazed researchers wondered why. They discovered that there was a die-hard Cubs fan persona. These fans were unswervingly loyal, eternally optimistic, and had a great sense of humor. What’s not to like?
(The next time you go to Wrigley Field, look for my brick in the walkway around the stadium!)
Green Bay Packers bear
I grew up in Wisconsin. Of course, I’m a cheese head! Besides the awesome history of the team, the Packers are like the Cubs in their “family” relationships with the fans. In fact, the fans are the shareholders of the Packers.
I have two dreams. Someday, I will watch a Packers-Bears game in Lambeau Field, preferably on the fifty yard line or at the end, where I can shove off any opposing players attempting a Lambeau Leap. Also, I hope to buy a share in the team during the next stock offering.
I married a Chicago Bears fan. If you know football, you know these teams are arch-rivals. Our house is certainly lively when those two teams play!
By the way, did you notice that it is a bear that is wearing a Packer’s jersey?
Old warped metal lockbox under my foot
The box represents my love of history: any history. It’s full of receipts my grandmother kept in the 1920s and 1930s, and I treasure it along with other family memorabilia.
Let’s look at the receipts. Hmm. Union dues for three months: $3. Electricity: $3.15 for the month. Gas bill: $4.14. Two men’s haircuts: $.65. Five gallons of gasoline: $.95. Telephone bill: $3.05.
Okay, this was a bad idea. I’m getting depressed. Lock the box.
Julbok and linen table runner and shoes
Next to the lockbox is a goat made of straw. The name Julbok means Christmas Goat, and it is always on display at a Swedish Christmas. Why? By Swedish tradition, Herod died when he was butted by a goat. A goat is a common symbol of the devil. The devil got Herod “in the end.”
The linen table runner and my rosemaled painted leather upper clogs were made in Sweden and are samples of their fine artwork. After all, I am three-fourths Swedish and proud of it. Ja!
Yes, I am one-fourth German. My maiden name is actually spelled Mackaben, not MacKaben. I changed it for professional reasons because no one can pronounce or spell it. I discovered that Mackaben can be loosely translated as “she has a screw loose.” Family and friends agree the name fits me.
I am a member of the first Sandwich Generation. No, that doesn’t mean that we have eaten more sandwiches than anyone else. It refers to the first generation that cared for both parents and children at the same time.
Before my generation, people married earlier. Grandparents were in the prime of life. When they became old, the grandchildren were independent of their parents. With later marriages and childbirths, longer life expectancy, and children returning home instead of striking out on their own, the Sandwich Generation has faced stressors unknown previously.
Sadly, my mother has died since I took this photo, and now I am the oldest of our family. I have two daughters and two and a half granddaughters. It’s wonderful that everyone lives nearby: an increasing rarity in this world.
I love the arts! Let it be music, three-dimensional arts, literature, photography, or film: I love it all, if it’s good quality. That dismisses slasher films and most chick flicks.
My city is home to one of the original community theaters, and one of the few that has been in business continuously. I’m a Director’s Club member. I especially love to see preschoolers coming for their first live performance, wide-eyed and bursting with excitement, adding their own magic to the production!
The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsay
This Christian bestseller, published in 1970, just when I finished high school, exemplifies two of my facets: the Bookstore Babe and the Library Lady.
During most of my developmental years, my parents owned a Christian bookstore. What a dream for a voracious reader! My first taste of business and marketing was wrapped in boxes of titles fresh off the press.
The Library Lady occurred while I was homeschooling. It began with volunteering—until I realized that I could do the same work on a schedule and get paid for it! I moved through Circulation, Research, and Public Relations departments, gaining an excellent idea of the challenges and pleasures of providing a library for the public.
The Pilgrim’s Regress by C.S. Lewis
Like Lewis, I was brought up in Christianity, rejected it as a teenager because of “reason” and bad behavioral examples of Christians, and was brought back to the faith, kicking and screaming, by reason and critical thinking. Like Lewis, I believe that there is no excuse for a rude Christian but, of course, even Christians aren’t perfect. I know I’m not.
The microphone in the photo represents my teaching and speaking careers, during which I always had more to say than the time allowed. The scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when the bell rings, the students move out, and Dr. Jones continues to get in his last words struck close to home.
The most important things I learned during my time in Toastmasters was to finish on time, finish strong, then shut up.
Informally, I have taught since I was six years old. I wrote my first curriculum in sixth grade. I have been doing both ever since, whether I was paid or not. Curriculum and/or teaching has taken me to private and public collages, homeschool, Sunday school, and Elderhostel.
That brings us to writing. I have written all of my life and I was first published while in nursing school. Writing has been part of my job descriptions in public Rrlations, teacher, and administration.
I have had articles published in national and international magazines, but I could not concentrate on building a career until my children were out of the house.
Now I have branched out as an author!
I was educated as a nurse in a traditional nursing school program that had a progressive idea: take non-nursing courses through a local college so we would have college credits when we graduated!
It worked. Our graduates regularly placed first in the state board licensing exams, but never lower than fifth. Miss Bolin, our director and daughter of a colonel, was especially pleased with commendation plaques from the Army, Navy, and Air Force for “providing outstanding nursing personnel.” (The Marines didn’t want nurses.)
I received an MA with majors in gerontology and nursing. My practical specialties are emergency nursing and gerontology. I worked as a floor nurse, in Inservice, and as Director of Nursing.
I left my nursing career to homeschool my girls. No worries. Once a nurse, always a nurse. Just ask my family and friends.
Nursing + Writing = Charting!
Charting is its own form of communication, yet it still demands that writing be clear, concise, and complete—or it could land you in jail, in the case of a lawsuit. Unlike general writing, which aims to communicate with everyone who speaks the same language, charting has its own readership: health professionals.
It was the fad, at one time, to hang charts at the bedside so patients could read them if they chose. After all, the information was about them.
One evening, I found a patient, who had suffered a heart attack the day before, ripping off his electrodes and climbing over the side rails. His monitor showed an alarming pattern.
“What are you doing?” I asked, trying to get him back into bed.
“I’m leaving. I’m not gonna stay here. I know what you people think of me. I read the chart.”
“Please, lie down and we’ll talk about it. Now, what upset you?”
“It’s right there.” He pointed to a line of charting.
I read it and did not understand why he was upset. Then I read it again with the patient in mind. I understood.
The previous nurse had described the patient’s shortness of breath, using approved abbreviations. “Patient is a little S.O.B.”