Monthly Archives: April 2013

Nurse’s Notes








but I

feel I

can tell

you, that I

have often

found some

of the most



things in

life quite

often do

occur quite

by chance.

For the most

part, all of

these  were

written years ago.

When they were,

there was always

a song playing

in the back

of my mind.

I could not

share the song.


as much as I wanted to,

I never learned how to read or write music, but I feel it.

I don’t sing very often or very well.

I write

books now.

Though some of my writings,

even in books,

are lyrical


Some are blues.

Some are rock.

Some are psychotic headbeats

louder than my own heart!

These are my “Nurse’s Notes”.

~ S. K. Nicholls 1984

Soul Cycle

Fields of amber swaying in the breeze
At a child’s eye height memory of tops dancing
How fast it grew being knee high in spring
Summer passed so quickly gone
Did not see it growing there so green
So long and lush blooming in a blink
Topped out rustling fruits brushing
Against one another sun parched
Wrinkles out its seeds withering
In the heat with age fading soul
Turns gray and returns to earth
Barren deceivingly so for a season
Peeps its offspring through the frost
Green tendrils seeking for a glimpse of sun
For the sake of repeating itself in
Fields of amber swaying in the breeze

~ S. K. Nicholls 1986

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I have added links on my novel page to purchasing sources for Red Clay and Roses: a novel by S.K. Nicholls. I will also be adding reviews as they are published. I love reading and writing. This was my first novel and I already have ideas for two or three more and one is currently in the works. I like to have my literary works critiqued and reviewed and I enjoy critiquing and reviewing the literary works of others. I like a variety of books and try not to stay in just one genre. For that reason I have joined a book club. I enjoy seeing different styles of writing. I always learn from the critiques and discussions by members of the book club. I would recommend joining a book club to anyone who loves reading or writing. As I read new books, I will be posting book reviews. Happy reading! Happy writing!

Plant Something

Recently there has been a lot of media attention on people with front yard vegetable gardens in my area of the country. I think it is grand, but some home owners associations and county commissioners don’t think so.  Neighbors do not have a problem with it, they love it.  Neighbors are frequently thought of and gifted at harvest time.  One couple takes their surplus produce during harvest time and makes a big pot of soup.  They take it down to Lake Eola Park and feed the homeless (another practice some folk aren’t to happy about).  I think everyone should have a garden, whether it is in the front yard or the back.  Image
It doesn’t matter whether it is a garden of vegetables or flowers. It makes the world a little bit better place.  Gardening doesn’t always require a lot of space.  When my father was living in a little basement apartment during his divorce, he took seeds and planted them all around his apartment complex. (You may want to get permission from your landlord or groundskeeper.)  He had peppers, all variety of squash; zucchini  yellow crookneck, acorn and butternut, tomatoes etc..and he gleefully handed them out to his co-dwellers who were most appreciative.  There is not much that is more satisfying than digging a hole in the earth, planting a seed or a starter plant and watching it take root and send out greenery and flower and fruit to reach for the the sun.  It adds color and beauty to the landscape.  It can feed the hungry.  It restores the soul.  Plant something, anything, and watch it grow.  It is the perfect time of year.  Watch it progress from nothing to something.


Women’s Rights to Equal Pay

Lilly Ledbetter was recently honored on her birthday by the National Women’s Law Center.  She is an equal pay advocate who championed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act for which she is the namesake.  I applaud her.

I am currently reading a book called, “The Psychopath Test”, by Jon Ronson.  This read, coupled with Lilly Ledbetter’s kudos brought to mind a particular incident that occurred while I was employed as an RN Charge Nurse at West Central Georgia Regional Hospital, a State Mental Hospital known by locals as simply, Shataulga Road.  If someone tells you that you need to go to Shataulga Rd, they are inferring that you are somehow “crazy”.

There was a Director of Nursing there by the name of Joyce Morelock.  I admired her.  She was tough and like a mentor to me in that she had an air of professionalism, seriously required in that environment, despite the fact that she was always overdressed for that type of work in her heels, stockings and suit-skirts.  Although I did not dress like her, I was called J.J. for Joyce Junior, in part, because I was Charge Nurse and had the charge of maintaining order in her absence.  We worked the forensic unit, Unit 6, where the craziest of the crazies were located.  These were often patients from the jails and we were expected to determine if they were actually sane or actually insane.

On one particular night, we had a male patient who stripped naked and proceeded to jump around on the furniture with his penis stretched out strumming it like a guitar.  He was screaming something about Donkey Kong, various obscenities, and displaying his martial arts moves as he bounded from furniture to furniture to the top of the nursing station where an L.P.N. named Donna and I sat in a state of shock.  We called a Code Stress, which was supposed to bring assistance to deal with just such crises, and it was a crisis.  Five strapping young men arrived and lined against the wall refusing to help to get this man under control.  One actually said it was against his religion to put his hands on another man.  When asked, “Why did you bother showing up?”  He responded, “I use the ‘talk down’ approach.”  Well, it was obvious that Donkey Kong was not about to be talked down. So these big tall strong men stood against the wall and did nothing.  The patient ran into the bathroom and jumped in the shower.  He knew exactly what he was doing.  He lathered himself up with soap to make himself impossible (he thought) to grasp.  I sent Donna to the med room to fill a syringe and told her to meet me at the bathroom door.  I ran and grabbed a blanket off of a patient’s bed and tossed it over Donkey Kong’s head as he exited the bathroom.  Donna and I took him down and shot him with enough emergency narcotic to adequately sedate him.  Once sedated, the men placed him into an ambulance to carry him to the VA hospital. This former marine, trained in martial arts, broke out of four point leather restraints and fled the scene in a hurry, running past the men who thought they had him detained, jumped the fence and was gone.

I later learned that Donna, an L.P.N. was paid less than these Psychiatric Technicians who lined the wall on that night.  J.J. strengthened her tough reputation, but also found out that there were four male Nurses on duty that night at the hospital that had not responded to the Code Stress.  She also found out that they were all paid significantly more than her.  I was sorely disappointed.

Later, while working on a med-surg. unit in another hospital, I learned that the male nurses at that hospital received 30% more pay than the female nurses.  When us ladies asked the Unit. Manager why that was so, she said that male nurses functioned both as nurses and as orderlies, doing a lot of the heavy lifting and transport.  I wasn’t buying that.  We female nurses functioned as Nursing assistants also, giving baths, doing heavy lifting, transport and diapering adults.  It was something we just had to accept.

Tremendous strides have been made in the workforce of woman over the past fifty years.  There was a time, except during times of war, when women did not work outside the home unless they had been abandoned by their spouses, divorced or widowed.  They took menial jobs for little pay.  A few respectable women were teachers, nurses and secretaries. Happy Birthday Lilly Ledbetter,  I am glad you were born. We have come a long way, but it is social progress, not social perfection. 


Many people today suffer from the delusion that we are “post racial”. With the bombing during the Boston Marathon a person of interest was held…simply because he was Arab and was running away from the scene…please…everyone was running away from the scene. There is a flip side to this coin. My daughter’s fiance, who happens to be Hispanic and they share two racially mixed children, does not speak Spanish, but everywhere he goes here in Orlando, people speak to him in Spanish because he “looks” Spanish. We have to stop this. Until we are one people, speaking one language with one spiritual consciousness and no poverty…lines will continue to be drawn in the sand. We teach our children to draw lines through our own words and behaviors without intending to, but they learn racism. They are not born with it. What can we do as a united people to stop this?