Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect

As my mother has been going through her EMT class, I’ve been learning right along side of her.  And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that everything is a guess.  I mean, let’s think about it.  When you tell a doctor your symptoms, they don’t automatically tell you what is wrong.  They have to do tests, whether that’s just listening to your heart or your lungs, or taking x-rays.  It’s to confirm what they “know” is wrong, but even still, they have to confirm it.

People in the medical field practice medicine.  It’s not an exact science.  A lot of the things that an EMT encounters have the same signs and symptoms.  The diagnosis depends on other factors, such as medicine, body chemistry, etc.

If someone is having a hard time breathing, they could be allergic to something, have asthma, or have fluid in their lungs.  People trained in the medical field have to practice reading the signs.

If doctors practice medicine, why on Earth do you think you need to struggle with practicing to get perfect?  Is it taking you four years to get good at something?  Doctors, who go to school for a minimum of four years, and have three-seven years of training, will spend the rest of their lives learning, practicing, and training.  New technology is coming out all the time, new procedures, new laws and regulations.  They have to learn all of that.

How about practicing law?  It takes seven to eight years to become a lawyer, and they have to practice too!

My last blog post was about best writing practices.  Writing is a practice too!

If it takes you a “long time” to understand something, to perfect something, to finish something, that’s ok, you’re just practicing.  And you’re in good company.  You will be practicing for the rest of your life.

So give yourself a break, take a deep breath, and remember: the best in the field still practice.

  • You haven’t made the bestseller list?
  • Nope, I’m still practicing.


  • You haven’t sold any paintings yet?
  • Nope, I’m still practicing.


  • You haven’t…

Nope, I’m still practicing.


Life, Part 2

When I wrote the blog post Life, I had no idea there was going to be a part two.  The post is about a patient in the ER who died when Mom was there.  What I didn’t mention was that, they most likely died because of a blood clot.

Blood clots are highly dangerous.  Because a blood clot is in the vein, if it breaks loose, it gets swept up in the blood flow and will either move to the lungs (pulmonary embolism), or the heart (cariogenic embolism).  They can also travel to the brain, kidneys, pretty much anywhere blood flows to.

A week or so ago, one of my co-workers was complaining about a blood clot in her leg. She lifted up her pant leg to show me.

“I get them all the time,” she said.  This was before Mom had her ER experience, but I still knew that this was serious business.

“You need to go to the ER,” I told her.

“I can’t afford it.  I’ll just wait for it to go away.”

I didn’t press the issue.  I told her it was serious, she shrugged it off, and I moved on.  But after Mom’s ER experience, you better believe I told everyone about it.

“Blood clots are dangerous,” I told my other co-workers, “she could die.”  They all knew it, whether they wanted to or not.

My mom found an article about someone getting their feet and fingers amputated because of (a) blood clot(s).  Again, I warned a couple of my co-workers.

And then, my co-worker missed multiple days of work.  She began to experience symptoms which she diagnosed as pneumonia.  Still, she never went to the doctors.  She couldn’t afford it, nor did she have transportation.

We all told her to go.  Even her boyfriend.  Finally, I heard from someone at work, my co-worker’s closest friend, that she was going to go to the ER today.

I came home to six messages on my answering machine.  Six.  I usually come home to zero.  No one ever calls me.

My co-worker never made it to the ER.  She died right on her porch.

I called her closest friend.  I didn’t mean to, but I was so distraught that I dialed the wrong number.  Or the right one.  I’m glad I talked to her first.  She was fine for a minute, but then she stopped talking.  I couldn’t do it.  Thankfully, she was at work so our conversation was short.

I then called who I wanted to call, my deli co-worker.  She was the one who kept calling me.  Her last message said that she didn’t want to tell me what was going on in a message, but she did it anyway, which I’m thankful for.  That way, I had time to react instead of reacting while talking to her.  I told her how much I appreciated that.  We talked for about fifteen minutes, and after we hung up, I drove up to the store to talk to everyone.

To be honest, I’m more mad than anything.  Everyone knew it was serious, and everyone said something.  Finally, someone said, “If you won’t go for yourself, go for your daughter.”  So she finally agreed, but, finally was too late.

She leaves behind a 20-something year old son, and a 5/6 year old daughter.  That little girl has to grow up without a mom now.

Reader, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: life is precious.  All the times that she complained that the people before her shift didn’t do their job, those complaints don’t mean anything now.  All the times that she complained that other people got more hours than her, those hours don’t mean anything now.  All the minutes she wasted fighting with her boyfriend, she could have used trying to make amends with her son.  All the money she spent on presents for her daughter for Christmas, could have been used toward keeping herself alive.

Life.  Part two.


Mom is going to school to be an EMT, and two of her requirements are going to the fire department and the ER to get some experience.  On Monday, Mom went to the fire department and went out on a run with an EMT.  She said it was ok, but she doesn’t know if she can ride in the back of an ambulance because it rocks too much.  It’s not that she has motion sickness, she just doesn’t like the rocking motion (especially when other drivers don’t know how to drive when an ambulance has on their sirens.  Hint hint).

But yesterday, Mom went to the ER.  When she picked me up from work, I asked her how it went, and she said she loved it.  She said it was exhilarating, but I could tell that wasn’t even a good enough word to explain how she felt.

She saw quite a few patients, but this blog post is only about one.  A guy was rolled in awake, alert, conscious, talking about what was wrong with him.  Thirty-five minutes later, he was dead.  Mom said the person she was following worked their butt off, doing CPR as hard as they could.  She said for twenty minutes, a team of at least four people rotated and tried to revive the guy.  But, to no avail.  The EMT that brought him in said they were familiar with his family.  And now, he’s gone.

Dear reader, I am here to tell you that life is precious.  You never know what could happen in the next day, or even minutes.  Please cherish every tick of the clock that you’re alive.  Hug your friends, kiss your family and loved ones.  Every little drama that you go through, every little thing that stresses you out and that you worry about, put it aside and live your life.

Take care of yourself. Life is way too precious not to.

Rewinding God

Exodus 24:18 (NIV) Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Can we talk about Moses for a minute?  More specifically, can we talk about his memory?

So, here we have a picture of Moses going up on a mountain for quite a long time.  I mean, in our time, he stayed on a mountain, with God, for a month and ten days.  Ok, cool.  Who wouldn’t want to spend some time with the Big Man Upstairs?

But there’s a catch.  You’re not asking Him the important questions in life, like, “Who made You?” or, “What is the meaning of life?” or, “What’s the deal with mustard?”  No, for the next month and ten days, God is giving you instructions.  What kind of instructions?  Here are some things God lays out:

  • Offerings of the tabernacle
    • Gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows
    • Make a sanctuary
    • Make a tabernacle
  • The Ark
    • A chest of acacia wood (plus the length, width, height, wight, shape, size, form, color, density, mass…I’m going a little overboard here)
    • Poles, rings, the Testimony, a covering, cherubim, et cetera
  • The Table
    • Plates, dishes, pitchers, bowls, bread
  • The Lampstand
    • Oh, I’m sure you get it by now
  • The Tabernacle
  • The Alter of Burnt Offering
  • The Courtyard
  • Oil for the Lampstand
  • The Priestly Garments
  • And oh my goodness, the Consecration of the Priests goes on for 46 verses!

God seriously talks to Moses from chapter 25 to 32.  That’s 7 chapters of God talking!

Now, may I turn your attention to us humans for a second?  Put yourself back in school.  How long are high school classes, an hour?  Two hours?  How many times, during a lecture, did you (or the teacher’s pet) say, “Can you repeat that?”  And so the teacher had to rewind and say what they just said so you could complete your notes.

Not one time in those seven chapters does it say, “Moses raised his hand and said, ‘Lord, Thy words have fallen upon human ears, and have entered into a human mind.  May You show mercy upon Thy humble servant and say those words once more?'” as he picked up his stick and prepared to scribble in the dust.

In fact, no where does it say that Moses took notes at all.  He sat there for forty days and forty nights, in the presence of God Himself, and just listened to Him.  It never said that Moses rewound God.

How did he do it?  How did he remember seven chapters of instruction?  Without notes?

We hear God say two words to us, and we do a double take and cry out, “Wait a second! Pause and rewind! Whatchu say?”

Ideas (And Roads) Are Paved With Good Intentions

I don’t feel like it’s a new year.  I really don’t.  I have to tell myself that last night was New Year’s Eve.  It seems like a few other people feel this way too.  It’s like no one cares.  It’s like today was just like any other day.  No, ‘New year, new me,” feeling.

But that doesn’t change the fact that it is a new year.  And with a new year, comes new goals, resolutions, and ‘never agains.’

Now, I have goals, but I’m not holding myself to them.  I’m more of a, “We’ll see what happens,” type of girl, myself.  Go wherever the Spirit leads me.  My goals are more of, “I’d like to,” than, “I will.”  Things I’m going to try to do, but won’t beat myself up if I don’t succeed.

I’d like to read at least six books.  That allows me two months to finish a book, which is perfect because I tend to read a few pages, and then wander off to some craft project.  I already have three books lined up, but let’s see if I even get past the first one, shall we?

I’d also like to publish something this year.  I have an idea or two, but ideas (and roads) are paved with good intentions.  Generating ideas isn’t the hard part (sometimes), it’s going through with it that seems to stop me.

That’s about it for personal goals.  As far as goals for the blog, one of them involves me going against the “rules” which is a piece of cake for me.

They say that, in order to run a successful blog, you need to write on a consistent schedule.  And you know, I tried that.  Every Saturday, I tried to publish a blog post.  And that did work for a while, until I had no ideas, or I had ideas, but it wasn’t Saturday, and by the time I sat down to write said idea, it was gone or I didn’t think it was good enough.  Or, and this happened a lot, I had an idea and I wanted to write it, but then something else came up and I wrote that instead, and then I lost the other idea, and it all went downhill from there.  Why I just didn’t write it and schedule it for Saturday, or the following Saturday, I don’t know.

Which is why I’m going to break the rules.  I’m not going to write on a consistent schedule.  What?!  That’s right!  When I have an idea, I’m going to write it and I’m going to publish it that day, and that’s that.  Plain and simple.  Ipso facto.

Sarah, why don’t you just do what you said and write it and then schedule it?  Because I don’t want to.

Oh, ok.

Now, with the above being said, this gives me freedom to not write at all, does it not?  I can pretend that I don’t have any ideas so I don’t feel bad when I don’t write for a few months (if this happens).

But, this also gives me the freedom to…not write at all.  Wait, didn’t you just say that?  Yes.  But.  With this freedom, I don’t feel confined to one specific day, and, I don’t feel pressured to come up with ideas when I don’t feel like I have any good ones.  With that in mind, I can have the freedom to come and go as I please, which will most likely make me come back more often.  See?  Psychology.

As far as what I will be writing, that I am not sure of.  It will be a surprise for all of us!

And with that, I’m off!  I shall talk to you guys whenever I get an idea.  It’s going to be a very interesting year, blog wise.  I can’t wait to see what pops up.

Happy New Year!

One More Day

Hello.  I know, it’s been a while (since March, I believe).  I will come back and update April through November at some point, but right now, I want to start from where I am.

A lot has been going through my mind lately.  And by lately I mean within the past few months.  I really wish I had written more, and sooner, because I can’t remember a lot that I wanted to share with you.  Which is why there are going to be new “rules” next year.

Tomorrow is the last day of this year.  Can you believe it?  I can’t.  Even though it seems like this year has gone by so fast, this month seems as if it’s gone by faster.

I feel like I should reflect on this past year, but honestly, there really isn’t anything to reflect on.  I rode a horse for the first time, Mom started taking an EMT class, and I did some craft projects.  But really, it was just work and sleep.  And drama.  Not my drama, of course, because I don’t get out enough to have drama.

I really have no idea what to expect with this new year.  I’m not even going to say what I want it to be like.  I don’t even know what I want from it, really.

As far as this blog, I’d like to try some new and different things.  I don’t know what will stick (if anything), and I don’t know what I’m going to come up with in the middle of the year.  I have ideas, maybe even some good intentions.  We’ll see what happens.

I’m spending my New Years Eve in church (again).  The past two years’ messages have been really good, so I’m looking forward to hearing what Pastor Steven will be preaching.  And then it’s back to work for four days.

What are your plans for New Years Eve?


Music, Painting, And Horses

Our Church’s new worship album came out!  Oh my goodness, it is SO beautiful!  To think, we were a part of it, and we didn’t really enjoy the experience.  It’s still so beautiful!  And I loved the decorations the volunteers put up.

Aside from that, Mom and I painted plates.  I had done it before, years ago, and Mom wanted to do it.  She had been wanting to since that, and now, she got to!  We had so much fun. The owner was there, and she showed us how to do the design/technique we wanted to do.  I think they’re going to turn out awesome.

AND, I finally went horseback riding!  Mom was going to get a picture, but she didn’t because the instructor was going to upload the ones she took, but she never did.  I guess we’ll have to go back!  It was awesome!  All these years of riding Epona in Ocarina of Time, and now, I actually got the chance to be Link!

Well, not really, but one day!

(Lots of exclamation points.  It was just an exciting month)!

Let’s Color Shaving Cream!

Mom and I did a thing.  We like to try out hand at (some) crafts we see on Facebook.  Some turn out, some don’t.

I like some of these, but others, not so much.  Mom loves them.  I really wish I had her eyes.  She just likes the fact that we got up and attempted it.  She looks at the action, I look at the outcome.


Here’s what you need:

  • A shallow baking pan
  • Shaving Cream-We used dollar store stuff, which was kind of watery, but we achieved our desired effect (we think).  Try different brands to see what works best for you
  • Thick card stock (we used printer paper, just to figure out what we were doing.  We also grabbed canvas later on, along with some towels, as an experiment).
  • Food coloring (we also used acrylic paint, which also worked).
  • Some sort of smoother/mixer (we used a spatula).
  • I think the wax paper was to put the spatulas on/wipe them off.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Spray a layer of shaving cream into the baking pan.IMG_4499
  2. Put drops of desired color(s) of food coloring onto the shaving cream.IMG_4500IMG_4501
  3. Use your smoother to make a design in the shaving cream.IMG_4502
  4. Firmly push card stock/canvas into the shaving cream (so the design goes onto whatever you’re using).
  5. Scrape off shaving cream with…something.  I can’t remember what we used, maybe the other spatula.  No…a bread cutter?
    1. You can also let the design sit for a minute to let it “dry” on the surface.  Experiment to see what works best for you.
  6. Tada!  Let it sit before you do anything with it.IMG_4515

It was messy, but it was fun!  The ones on the towel didn’t turn out, but the canvases are pretty cool.

If you decide to try it out, I want to see pictures!

*No, picture 3 does not go with picture 6.

Formal Admission Day

Some of my favorite adventures in life are the ones that belong under the category, I did it once, I never have to do it again.  If I did it once, I can mark it off my Bucket List.  And, I don’t have the agony of waiting until an appointed time, or until I gain a certain amount of money, to do the thing again.

We got to cross of one the things on our (combined) Bucket List: go to a Presidential inauguration.

Mother was blessed enough to get two free tickets for the inauguration, so we decided take the leap and go on an adventure.

We drove to D.C. and rode the subway/train.  It was very easy to understand, and fun to ride (like the underground in England).  It wasn’t that packed, maybe towards the end of our trip, but it was still pleasant.

There were a lot of people, which made me happy.  Even the protesters, the ones who booed him and yelled while he was making his speech made the time entertaining.  I enjoyed it.

Before it was over, Mom and I booked it (to beat the crowed), and hoped back on the subway to head to the zoo.  It was a nice zoo, for being free.  It was a colder day, as you can see in the picture, but we dressed accordingly (something you become quite good at, living up North).

Overall, it was a very eventful day.  We have the pictures, and the memories, and that’s really all that we need.


Good Morning, Midnight!

Have you ever been in a confused place?  Where the best you know how, you’re doing what you think God wants you to do but you can’t get any clarity on the situation?  That’s midnight.

The Praise Party was on fire!  I’m so glad that my co-worker and her boyfriend enjoyed it.  Old folks can like this church too (jk on the old folks stuff).

I still have up my front page, year description thing (I have no idea what to call it).  And this message goes right along with how I was feeling last year (gee, that’s weird to say).

  • I will not let this year be like last year.

We say that every year, some in a positive way, (this year will be better), or in a negative way, (this year sucked).  But, seriously, I won’t let this year be like last year.  It is going to be better!  The year I stop wanting my life to improve is the year I need to re-evaluate my life.

  • This year I will prosper, I will grow, I will have more faith; and if that means I will face more adversity, bring it on, because I can’t prosper and grow if I’m not moving.

I don’t know if I did.  For a lot of us, we don’t see that we’ve grown until years down the road when we look back and see how far we’ve come.  But it sneaks up on us.

I went through adversity.  Most of it I didn’t post about, probably because it was the same ol’, same ol’ that I had been in the past years.  Most of it was probably little stuff that fell off of my back in a few days, that I didn’t feel needed mentioning.  And then there were other adversities that I shared (like the skink that bit my finger in April, or the live recording for the new album in September, or the fact that I had a lot of posts that stated that a lot of nothing happened).  And, yes, there were some adversities that I never mentioned because, maybe, I’m still dealing with them.

One of the things my pastor talked about in his message was remembrance.  That reminds me of when I went to my great grandparents’ graves.  I wasn’t around when they were, so I can’t remember them.  But I can remember what they did (according to my research on Ancestry, and what my dad can remember through his research).  They chose to come over here, to get away from whatever fighting was going on in Scotland.  And now, I’m here.  I’m here because they risked their lives.

The other post that reminds me of remembering is The Legend Of The Symphony.

I start off with remembering the pain:

  • I spent a lot of time collecting every Zelda game. Then someone had to break in and steal all of it.
    • I lost a passion that day.  I lost a love.  I couldn’t look at anything Zelda related.  I based a lot of my life around it.  Ocarina of Time is what made me start writing.  Link’s Awakening is what made me believe I was supposed to be a writer.

Then, I turned my focus to a new spark:

  • A little bit of that joy came back into my life the day I got Twilight Princess.  It had been years since I played a Zelda game, but that was a good thing.  That made this moment all the more special.
    • I got a spark back.  My love for the series came peeking out from behind the hurt and loss I built up around my feelings.  I was happy once more.
      • I bought Ocarina of Time to play on the Wii.  Talk about nostalgia.  I was a kid again.  My love poked its head out a little more, and the wall cracked.

Then, the fire:

  • I fell in love again.  The loss was restored. […]now I can look around and not remember how much I miss all of it.  Now the memories come first.
    • I sat there and cried as I remembered how much I loved the series.  I remembered the love I had when I first discovered Hyrule.  I remembered and felt like I did as a kid.

The difference between midnight and morning is the way you choose to see it.

Remember, midnight is still considered morning.  Even though it’s pitch black, it’s still morning.  It all depends on what you want to call it: midnight, or morning.

Good morning, Midnight!  And happy New Year!