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28 Mar 2013


As I near the end of the online course that gave me the most angst as a student in the PIDP program at the VCC School of Instructor Education, I realize that many obstacles are self-imposed (a wise person's recent comment).

My mindset going into the course was that it would bring me as close to being keel-hauled as I would ever experience.  What a relief that, despite some challenges and a few salt-stung scrapes along the way, I came out on the other side of a falsely perceived barnacled barge under blue skies and with fresh air to spare!

At the end of the day, the amount of learning and growth was measurable in freighter-length scale (it's also a wonderful assurance that the sea monster under the boat is only in your mind).  We often blow things out of proportion and end up with only a wee tempest in a teapot.   I don't want to minimize that while in the teapot, there were moments I felt like a whaler in nor-easterly blow, but happily there was always a fellow classmate or instructor not far away to throw me a life ring.

With this experience now behind me, and a boost of confidence that I can tackle yet more, things are definately looking up!  A final big thank you to my 3240 learning community for all the support and guidance through it all.

26 Mar 2013

Doing things that matter ...

I am only one, but I am one.
I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
What I can do,
I ought to do,
And by the grace of God, I shall do.

Edward Everett Hale

Volunteer for a medical or dental charity group. Seven years ago, I volunteered with Kindness In Action for a week long commitment in Urubamba, Peru.  I went with an open mind and came back truly blessed .....

Below are several charity groups that regulary go overseas.  You can offer your services or simply donate to one of them.  These are "grass roots" organizations that do not have large administrative overhead so your donations are optimized for the need of the citizens.

Online Dental Hygiene Instrumentation Videos

Am I ever glad to see this!  Since I have recently started instructing clinical dental hygiene, I have been looking for high quality instructional videos on instrumentation. 

The videos offered by Pattison Institute are exceptional and I am confident that adding this educational resource will be valued by both student and instructor.
I listened to Anna M. Pattison speak at a Dental Hygiene Course in Banff, Alberta several years ago and she was an engaging and highly reputable speaker (internationally recognized speaker on Advanced Periodontal Instrumentation).  She is a dental hygiene educator at University of North Carolina, has co-authored the textbook Periodontal Instrumentation: A Clinical Manual and has also contributed to Glickman's and Carranza's Clinical Periodontology.  You can visit the Pattison Institute website at:


I love storms (but not as much as peonies)

Watching a storm is thrilling and freaky at the same time

agitation, murmuring, grumbling
there is power, flashes of light, shock, trepidation

shrieking, howling, objects hurled

it terrifies without harm, supercharges the senses
it is intense, raw (I love raw)

rain slackens
wind quietens
thunder muffles
blue sky hints
ground glistens

can't wait for the next one . . .

Written by Loni Spletzer June 27, 2006

25 Mar 2013

changes .....

changes ....

the seasons
the color of our eyes after we cry
my son's shoe size
my daughter's best friend at school

changes stretch us 

written by Loni Spletzer, June 2006

Praise for the Peony

Things that Make Me GRIN!

A very kind gentleman bought me "thank-you flowers" not long ago and I enjoyed the bright summer colors as a welcome contrast to the grey skies and snow still hanging on outside.

In thinking about flowers, I definately have a penchant for any type of plant that is a prolific bloomer and boasts colossal blossoms - more is more in this category!

A friend introduced me to the writings of Anais Nin. As nature often provides metaphors in life, here is a piece that I can connect with on so many levels:

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

For this reason, I cannot resist peonies.   In late spring, I am in blooming heaven when they broadcast their behomothic, blousy blossoms that can get as big as your face.  Can you look at these exhibitionists and not smile?!

Schwäbish Smile

My Oma was a great cook.  Never overly fancy, but always LARGE portions of rustic fare with plenty of schmeck (great taste)!

I  love to prepare Swabian dishes that come from the south western part of Germany.  Here, I made Linsen, Kartoffeln und Saiten (lentils, potatoes and sausages).  Normally, this is served with Spätzle, a home-made German noodle, but this time I just boiled up some potatoes in their jackets and then peeled and coarsely mashed them.

The European wieners are fun to eat because the skin cracks as you bite into them. This kind of comfort food is easy to make with simple cheap ingredients and HUGE on flavour.


I served this with a cucumber salad made with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and dill weed.