My Husband "Subvet" says that when our first son "Sonshine" was born the sun rose on our world, when our second son "Gator" was born the sun laughed and when our daughter "Sugars" was born all the flowers bloomed. That says it all.

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."

Your mind is the garden, your
thoughts are the seeds, the harvest can either be flowers or weeds. — William

Thursday, December 3, 2009

popcorn snow and dishpan hands

So last night I'm sitting in my alcove pretending to chart and suddenly the hall smells like popcorn.

for the record, I don't like popcorn. unless it's covered in caramel or toffee.

and I really don't like the SMELL of popcorn.

But it reminded me of my first nursing job at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. I love that place.

They were given an enormous donation in order to build a new building by a single person years ago. I mean enormous in the range of millions of dollars (I've forgotten the exact figure) However, the money came with a stipulation. The hospital absolutely could NOT look, sound, feel or SMELL like a hospital. No exceptions. In order to accomodate this stipulation and get the funds several things were done in the building of the non-hospital.

2 floors are below ground level and 3 above so that the building doesn't look institutional. Each area of the hospital is themed, not given medical names. For example. The physicians are full time employees of the hospital and their only "office" is in the clinics on the first floor. They rotate through the various clinic areas throughout the week. So that, as an example Dr Dodge who works with the Spina Bifida population (and was one of my favs) would see patients in the Red clinic Mondays, the Green clinic Wednesdays and the Rainbow clinic Fridays.

The radiology area was labeled and decorated something to do with fish...I've forgotten the exact name now. But families would be told "you're going to Fish land (or whatever) for an xray can find it by following the trail of fish on the floor (true--no signs saying radiology with an arrow...instead trails on the floor)"

So you get the idea right?, now, how to keep a hospital from SMELLING like a hospital? In the center of the sprawling building is a large area that is open to all 3 floors. you get across this open area by large bridges or catwalks on the upper floors. it's all open air. and for the record, I worked on the 3rd floor and am scared of heights but crossed this daily without a care cuz it's just THAT well done. Suspended from the ceiling of this 3 story open space is the coolest perpetual motion sculpture I've ever seen. For stress relief I would stand on the 3rd floor catwalk/bridge and just watch this thing....always something new to find. On the first floor is an enormous fountain and play area (remember it couldn't SOUND like a hospital either and the water and laughter would echo around the whole hospital during peak times) Just inside this open area during all daytime hours you could find a volunteer (they have more volunteers than employees....HONEST) sitting at a movie theater popcorn machine popping corn. nickel for a small bag quarter for a large one. If the bags started getting stale they'd pile a cart and hand them out to whoever they ran into. Because it wasn't the SALE of the popcorn that was was the SMELL of fresh popping popcorn that ~~due to the very intentional design of the building~~ wafted into all areas of the hospital.

As I left work this morning it was snowing. almost horizontally which was cool. what I'd call a "light dusting" and what folks further north wouldn't even register as snowing. But for us, it was way cool. 33 degrees in fact....which is WAY COOL!....made me rethink the whole relocate to Alaska thing....South Dakota maybe???

So, a few days ago hubby asks me to look at his hand. Seems one of his fingers had a crack right at the edge of the fingernail that was really bothering him. He wanted to know what to put on it. Knowing that he eschews the dishwasher whenever possible I told him he was developing dishpan hands and should put lotion on daily and see if that helped.

I wish I had a picture of the look he gave me.

trust me. that WASN'T the diagnosis he had in mind.

A week's worth of baby lotion more cracks.

Advent Calendar scripture for today


Lori in South Dakota said...

ROFL--Poor hubby--you could at least get him some non-smelly MANLY hand creme! Popcorn, I probably love the smell move than the eating. My mother loved popcorn, I swear she made it every evening. And I'm old enough to remember being sent as a kid "out to the shed" to shell some for the grownups. It was always nasty cold for some reason! And Sarah--33 is WARM this time of year in SD!! The highs this week will be 20 I think I heard!

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Must be something in the air. My hubby has terrible dishpan hands right now. Or chill blains as we call them around here. My hands get pretty bad in the Winter and I don't even wash that many dishes. If I do, mine bleed, literally. No matter what kind if hand soap or dish soap I use. Ugh.

Stephanie D said...

Get him some of that farmer/rancher hand stuff--what's it called? Oh, yeah, bag balm. Sounds more manly than baby oil.

Welcome to woman's world, Subvet.

That hospital sounds like it was right up Patch Adams' alley, doesn't it? I swear, if the man ever builds the hospital the movie talks about, I'm applying for a job there!

As for popcorn, I really like it layered in lots of butter, but can't stand it getting trapped between my teeth so I don't eat it anymore. LOve to smell it though.

Mary Ellen said...

I love the smell of popcorn! The only problem is that I like it with lots of butter and that's not good for my diet, so I only eat it occasionally as a treat...maybe once every couple of months.

Poor hubby. I keep a pump bottle of lotion right at my sink and use it whenever I'm too lazy to put on rubber gloves to do the dishes. It really does help.

(Sorry I haven't had the chance to get here often, I've been up to my eyeballs in work at home and just trying to get up a post every day has been tough---oh, and btw, I've been praying for you and your family every day and lit a candle at the Adoration Chapel. Hope it helps. )

ellen b. said...

Have him wear gloves when washing those dishes :0) I'm sure there will be a "look" when you suggest this, too. So you got the snow we got when we were in New Mexico...
I don't know how I'd feel about smelling popcorn nonstop...

Adrienne said...

The hospital sounds lovely - including the popcorn smell, which I love.

As to those pesky little cracks on the edges of your nails. Take a file and buff the dry skin off before putting on lotion. The pain will stop immediately

Don't believe me? Try it before passing judgment...

... said...

sounds like a heck of a place to visit, work, and be a patient in. but it doesn't explain why you don't like the smell of popcorn. was it that you just smelled it all the time? or did you not like it before you worked there?

as for me, i l.o.v.e. the smell of popcorn. if i smell it, i want to eat it =)

do you like kettle corn? not quite the same as having caramel or toffee poured over it.

Mary said...

Sarah, the hospital sounds like a magnificient place. The smell of popcorn, the sound of running water and laughter is balm for the soul.

Glad your hubby got his dishpan hands cleared up. Those cracks hurt.

Hope all is well with you and yours.