TagDaily Notes

The Lost Edition: Change of Shift Vol. No.

Once upon a time, an over ambitious blogger had a dream. A goal really. To achieve the blogging version of a hat trick. She did the easy first, calling into the Dr. Anonymous Show. Bragging about doing the blogging trinity. His show, Grand Rounds and Change of Shift.

The show was a riot as usual.

Grand Rounds was a bit late.

Change of Shift?

Volunteering at the last minute was an opportunity I couldn’t resist. It fell near Veterans Day. A day near and dear to my heart as, most of you know, I continue to proudly serve. It came shortly after one of the most horrible tragedies in Army history.

It also fell on my blogging anniversary.

And the edition was almost lost to the depths of my failure.

Almost, but not quite.
As I reread the submissions for the edition, I was struck by the solemn nature of the posts. They were very unlike the majority of posts submitted to me in the past. The bulk submissions were absolutely non-existant. Instead, the posts are thick with introspection, contemplation and raw emotion.

I am confident in saying that this is one of the best collections of Change of Shift ever.

I would like to close with a few personal notes.

Thank you all for your support of not only myself, but all who are serving, and who have served. Sacrificing for the freedoms we all enjoy is much easier when it is done for a grateful nation.

I received permission from one of my dearest friends who served as an Army Medic and who currently serves as a civilian medic in Iraq to post the following, which he wrote.

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Unknown “DUSTOFF” soldier
Viet Nam Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C.
photo by E. McGee

. . . to my brothers that are no longer with me, those that still serve and work with me and those that are still in harms way, your forever on my mind.

If I ever

If I ever
heard the sound
stillness in the moment of the news
The silent heart that lays
the quite of the men as I walk

If I ever
felt the warmth leave, the hand that lays
held on tight, nothing I can do to save the warmth
the warmth leaves, coldness comes..

If I ever
had to wash away the tears
clean the faces, clear the pockets
close the eyes

If I ever
witnessed life so true and bright
carried on by others in red white and blue
the eagle flies the heads bow

If I ever
looked into the face of mothers
eyes of warmth and tears
looked in the face of fathers
eyes of warmth and tears

If I ever
had to stand at the side
hands on brass, covered in white
felt the tightness of the tie
the weight of ribbons and names

If I ever
once stood with them
laughed with them
drank with them
sweat with them
cried with them

If I ever
had to look into the face of their children
held their hands
told them stories

If I ever
folded the flag
passed it over
raised my hand high, lowered it once more
held my tears back as I say goodbye

If I ever
walked behind the trees
shed my tears
remembered the faces
remembered their family

If I ever
looked to the sky
prayed for them
talked to them
as that sun fades

If I ever
placed the ribbons around the trees
placed the flags in front of white stones
read the names in rows and rows
found the few names that made me cry

If I ever
walked amongst white crosses
names of past names of present
the the union jack draped head high
surrounded by six
headed by one

if I ever
heard the 21 rounds
in honor of my friend
the drizzle of the rain
the sobbing of mothers

If I ever
could bring them back
take them home
bring them peace
know they are safe

If I ever
could make sure
not another one
goes in vain
but are held in peace and warmth
for everything they gave
for everything they left

If I ever
could open deaf ears
there are men here
they give and gave their lives
so others did not

If I ever
could make sure
the rich paid their debt
took care of their families
gave full honors to their name

If I ever let them forget
it is time for someone to take my place
I am VET

God be with my brothers and sisters
that are already gone before me
those that I knew
those that I never knew

Its time to open deaf ears, all of us together
open up deaf ears
warriors in charge to open up deaf ears
I am a vet

God take care of them If I ever…….

—-Kip Bradley

Her Words

Her footsteps echo rhythmically, the first two hesitant, the rest intentionally systematic so as to not seem rushed.  The lights glaring should be the source of her perspiration, but the cold air vent blowing from the ceiling chill her bare arms against the nerves causing her sweat soaked blouse.

Although she braces herself for the echo, her voice startles her as she speaks into the microphone.  She was told they were waiting patiently for her, but she was unsure.

She hoped there was at least one left to hear her words.

My Weekend in Cartoon

My day was spent painting, assembling lamps (more complicated then it sounds!) and ordering counter top for the Conex—aka, my office. Needless to say I am whipped.

How the heck did my office get such a name? This morning, John was roped into painting with mom and I. He declared that my office looks like the inside of a Conex. Think the name is going to stick, unlike “The Dungeon,” which will disappoint some of you. *pointed looks*

So, with little brain power to finish the lengthy post on HEMS safety that I started at 0430 today, I leave you with some Army humor as I will be wearing that hat (or beret as it were) this weekend.

[Thanks Greybeard!]

Captain McGee
as in ARRRRR Matey!

This is a very VERY long story, and Vijay needs all the props for this one. I really do need to frame this and put it on my desk at the Army. Think it may ruin a bit of my command presence though.

With that, I am racking out (going to sleep for all of you civilian types!).


Caliente y Eskimos

Does anyone else come across random things during daily O2 life and think about friends in your digital life?

For example….

Img 0583
For Rico

I took this while at the market today knowing it would crack up @medpiano.

His response:

@crzegrl15 Aiaiai….estoy sudando con la pura mirada, ¡y no por los chiles!

I *heart* Twitter.


@crzegrl15 (“I’m sweating just looking, and not because of the chiles!”) hehe 😉

So, on that hot pepper tip……

Img 0586
Me & my Baby Sister Kate

We didn’t plan this. Just happened to have similar coats in the freezing, great white north. Oh, and showed up to dinner at mom and dad’s tonight.

See? Not such a crazy life.

How to Host a Blog Carnival, Part One

I am here to recruit you to become a Change of Shift Blog Carnival Host!

Yeah, ok, I am not all about the hard sell, but in working on this edition I thought I would capture the process I have found for making my carnival hosting duties a bit easier. It is all about organization.

Although this is my devised step by step plan, I would love to hear all you other bloggers who have hosted as well. So, pipe in and let us know your tricks of the trade!

How to host Change of Shift: A Step By Step Guide

The Prep Phase

  1. Volunteer–That’s right, take the plunge! Email Kim at Emergiblog and ask to host! Whew that step was rough!
  2. Watch your email. If you are like me, the date will creep up and all of the sudden you will start getting email with ‘Change of Shift’ in the subject line with submissions in the body!
  3. Set up a folder in your inbox. I label it for CoS and make sure all the emails get priority movement there so I don’t lose them or delete them.
  4. Send an email to each submitter so they know it was received. This is something I started this edition and have gotten to know some new bloggers because of it.
  5. Promote your edition. Mention it on your blog. Talk about deadlines, and of COURSE mention it on Twitter!

Reviewing and Publication Set Up

  1. Open all entries from email list in order received in same web browser window with tabs. I use FireFox and have quite a few tabs open simultaneously. Opening them in order of emails received allows me to cross reference and ensure no entry is missed.
  2. BOOKMARK THEM. In my browser there is an awesome option to bookmark “All Tabs” which allows me to create a new folder and save all the opened entries in the same place. This saved me tons of time when my browser crashed not once, but twice.
  3. Print emails in order. That is right. I print each and every entry so I can read them, makes notes on them, and work on ordering them in a logical fashion for my final post.
  4. Re-verify that no one is missed. I actually go through the paper copies and cross reference between email and the post tabs in my browser. (Can you say anal retentive ICU nurse?)
  5. Read and make notes. I actually write the following at the top of each version of the paper post: Blog (title), Post (title), Author (screen name as posted on blog, NOT email). By having the information in my handwriting it is much easier to reference and I will be less likely to twist something around incorrectly.

Writing the Carnival Entry, Determining a Theme

  1. Review the posts, look at the emails and take a look at what everyone has done in the past, especially when the date falls near a holiday. The exciting part of hosting is coming up with something unique. The scary part of hosting is finding something unique!
  2. _I_ hope a theme just comes to me. Heh.

Tricks, Bits and Bobs for Publishing Links

  1. Open all of the entries in one browser window from your bookmarked folder that you saved earlier.
  2. Arrange the tabs and therefore the pages in the order you are writing about them.
  3. As you write out your post make mental notes of where you want to add the links. Either add in the links as you go, or do them all at once after the document is finished.
  4. SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! I know that goes without saying, but there, I said it anyways.
  5. Don’t forget to link to the next host at the bottom of your post! That information can be found on the Change of Shift archive page.

Finishing Touches

  1. Email Kim the link to the edition. She is great about promoting it!
  2. Promote the edition as well by sending Tweets.

Benefits of Hosting

  • You are exposed to new blogs and new bloggers.
  • It drives traffic to your site introducing you to new readers.
  • It promotes nursing and multi-profession harmony.
  • You get to read some really awesome posts!

I hope that this takes some of the anxiety away for those of you considering volunteering for hosting duties. It has been an awesome part of my blogging and would love to see some of you “newbies” and some of you old crusty bloggers step up!

Oh, last word of advice? Yeah, plan a few more hours then you think you will need to get the edition up. 😉