Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Adventure Continues

Hello from Romania, again. I am sitting in the lobby of this amazing hotel up on the mountains sipping tea as I wait for Sorin (Dr.Dracos) to finish his talk. We toured more castles and saw lots of  Dracula key chain souvenirs. My talks went well. I feel sad that much of Europe lacks resources for Palliative Care. Many Doctors don't understand what it is. The need is so great here. The audience was receptive to the movie we are making. Whenever I talk about it all admit the film is very needed but, the support stops there. Once the need for money is mentioned everyone gets quiet. Speaking of money, I did not get the seed grant money 😢. Oh well, we will find other resources. Tamir is working on all of this. We just need to stay hopeful.

Allen is having a great time taking pictures and trying new foods. Yeasterday, he had raw marinated steak (steak tar tar) and goose liver (foie gras). He is sooo brave. I stayed with pizza and a spinach salad. So much for adventure. Our guide for all of this is a woman called Niko, we thought that was pretty amazing!

This time off is nice, and I like the relaxed atmosphere of being in an area that is a cross between a Ricola commercial and the Sound of Music. The weather is cooler than normal, so of course I don't have the right clothes, and I cannot bring myself to buy anything since I will never use it again in California.

Well, so much for whining, you all take care. Will be home on Monday.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Staring at the Mountains

My feet have given out and I decided to rest in the car as Sorin, Marianna, and our guide try to find Allen who has wandered off in a photographer's stupor. We are still in Romania and today we toured a castle and now we are at a Monestary. Hey, maybe Allen is converting, he already has the balding head! Allen is actually in photography heaven. We are still in touch with our producers and can't wait to get back to filming, but first dinner. More of the traditional palenta, chicken livers, and bread. Home soon.

Monday, September 25, 2017

In the Land of Dracula

Allen helped me maneuver Blogger so I could keep writing. I could not get out of their Romanian format, so thanks to him I can continue. I am so lucky that our movie's own Dr. Dracos (Dr. Sorin Buga) invited me to lecture with him. His wife, Marianna is the best reservation expert ever! Allen and I have this amazing room and just enjoyed s day of checking out Bucharest. The city is a wonderful eclectic mix of cultures and Sorin and Marianna's interpreting abilities have made the trip so far an amazing experience. Today we are taking a tour that will include the island that is believed to be the resting place of Vlad the Impaler. Looking forward to understanding how the stories of Dracula evolved. Still in touch with our producers, and Allen finished working on a business card for the movie project before we left.
Well, it's 4am here, more later!
Take care,

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Off to Romania

Getting a few errands done before leaving for the airport. It feels weird not to be filming on a Saturday! The producers and directors are trying to make the most of this time off to organize the final shooting schedule. We are hoping to finish at City of Hope by the third weekend  in October. That will mean about three scenes a day. Hope it works out. I just hate to get into the holidays. Kailei returned home Tuesday to Kentucky and has been surrounded by her classmates wanting to know what it is like to be a movie star! Kenna said the best part of filming was the dog she got to play with!! I am not sure if I can keep blogging from Romania, so just in case keep thinking those good thoughts and please continue those prayers! I want to keep the enthusiasm for this project high. We are actually nearing the finish line!
Final thought: Niko shared a name of a gentleman who came into his bar last week and started a tab. His name was Michael Cooper!!! Now that has to be a positive omen!!
Take Care!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Back Again

Back to work and on the train. Got Anna and the girls to LAX, what a nightmare. Had to park and help with the luggage. Ended up walking several blocks with Kenna yelling about how tired she was. Finally got to the Frontier terminal only to read their signs that said no one would be helped until 2 hours before their flight. We had an hour to wait, but it did allow time for Kenna to figure out how to strap herself to the luggage. We finally got tickets and I helped Anna drag the girls to the elevator, and I immediately started to miss them. I sent Allen to go get the car as my "Disney" legs were about to give out. Allen got upset because he couldn't find me. After 2 trips around the airport we realized he was on the upper departure level and I was waiting on the lower arrival area. Over an hour later we finally connected. It was 4:30 now and we were stuck in traffic. We finally got home two hours later!
Taking a 2 week break from the movie will feel weird, but I need to focus on the conference in Romania. I thought I would give my readers homework to do to cover the time off. I need you to check out Norman Greenbaum. He sang Spirit in the Sky. It was a big hit in the late 60's. I want to use the song in our movie. You can email Norman at his web site and put in a good word for us.
That's all for now, take care!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Time for Disneyland

Wanted to get my blog in today. It has been crazy busy with the grandchildren, so I thought I would take a few minutes before we head off to Disneyland to let everyone know that filming went well. The girls remembered their lines (most of the time) and had fun with the cast and crew. I am soooooooooooooooooo grateful that my friend Lynda Reed let us use her house to film in. I know she had no idea what she got herself into and was overwhelmed by the mess and people that invaded. Lynda was  a real trouper though and we did our best to get everything back to normal when we finished. The neighbors only called the police once for a complaint that a neighbor was afraid someone was being hurt and was screaming. They were very understanding and we even offered lunch to them. I still can't believe we finished the house scene! I also want to thank Premiere Infusion for bringing lunch one day from Macaroni Grill on Saturday, and for all of Bella and Connie's help with the food and snacks!!

Tamir is headed to Israel over the 2 week break we are taking, and Allen and I are headed to Romania for some lectures I am scheduled to give for area Oncologists with Sorin (Dr. Dracos). So I need to get right back into packing.

Sadly, McKenna, Kailei, and my daughter Anna are headed back home tomorrow. I already miss them and am sad at the thought of their leaving. But, I have Disneyland to focus on now.

Thanks for all of your positive thoughts and prayers!!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Bring on the Weekend!!

Sorry for the silence. Things are a bit crazy with the grand children in town. The whirl-wind time began Tuesday when their plane was 45 minutes early, and hasn't stopped. We checked out the Grove and Kai had to get the latest American Girl doll. Then yesterday we were in Santa Monica and met Niko (Michael) and his lovely wife Genna at the Pier. Kenna (age 4) was fearless on the rollercoaster, but when it came to the loud noise of an arcade shot gun game she dropped the gun back on the counter and shouted "No way". Kai and Kenna bonded with Niko and all got matching costume rings. Then it was on to haircuts by Niko's wife Genna, who is one of the sweetest people you could ever meet. The girls got serious trims much to my Daughters surprise. My daughter Anna loves long hair - and the girls decided it was time for a bob. Then, any one tired yet?? Then it was on to a late dinner with Rupinder. The girls really liked their stage mom, especially the nail art things she brought them. Home finally after a 13 hour day with only 6 hours of it out of the car! Driving was HORRIBLE!!! Finally some quiet time then up for work. I think I'm to old for all this activity! But, I love hugging on my girls. In the meantime we are getting organized for this weekend filming. Lots to do and with Kenna and Kai, it is guatranteed to be interesting!

Final thought, we got a new Paul (David Z Ward) . I am grateful to Rupinder, Niko, and Clare for organizing get together to help him get up to speed with the group. So bring on the Weekend!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Continued Challenges

Back again, blogging while on the train to work. Never realized how helpful that one hour ride can be for getting things done. Had a great weekend filming. So grateful to the nurses helping with bringing food. Learned about some foods from India, and how you can make hard boiled eggs look like potatoes floating in a yellow stew like mixture actually be quite tasty. All the filming went well. Everyone is becoming so relaxed with each other. The set was so calm and the day passed quickly. Very grateful to the actors for their flexibility with scene changes. The family atmosphere is nothing like I've ever experienced. We are becoming very close to the point that actors are asking if they can still come to the set even though they are not in the scenes scheduled for that day! Several want to watch the dinner scene to be filmed next week at a friends house. I am excited for the scene because it will involve my grand daughters Kailei and McKenna! We also were given a new challenge as Jacob, the actor playing the girl's dad had to drop out suddenly. Now we are going to scramble and find a replacement. I am trying not to worry as we have been incredibly lucky with replacements! So this will make for a challenging week. I want to also acknowledge TJ and his efforts to help with the songs for the movie. I never realized what an important role music plays in a film. He was able to put a melody to the words I wrote just off the top of his head, and he shared a song he wrote too. He is an amazing Frank Sinatra impersonator with a beautiful voice. We are so lucky to have him.

Well, we are continuing to move forward and the challenges keep coming, but we are getting things done. Thank to all for their love, help, and support!!! Keep the prayers and good thoughts coming!

Thursday, September 7, 2017


Really grateful for those following my blog. It's just nice to know I have company on this movie journey. It is interesting how different organizing a filming project is from what I do as a nurse practitioner. I am use to persons just joining in to help and not necessarily waiting to be asked. With a film crew everyone has specific tasks and no one is to "help" . Boundaries are to be respected, and strict union protocol followed. Even if you are a non-union film. Either way, film or health care, communication is the key. There must be a respect for an individual's personal time, and expectations should be clear and not altered unless an emergency arises, and again that is where communication comes in. I really want to remain open and approachable, and I don't want to add confusion. I have such respect for our actors and crew that I feel again, communication needs to be as clear as possible. This movie production is work, and it forces you to verbalize your opinions and hold people to standards. Sometimes it feels more like the military than a creative project. It all is so much more than I ever expected. The trade offs are the making of new friendships that I hope will last a lifetime, the opportunity to help a career advance, and have dreams of helping others become a reality. I don't want politics and financial concerns to muddy our focus. We are part of something very special and communication is essential.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Miss You Guys

Very quiet long weekend. Got caught up on some sleep and finished a few projects. I started moving things around to make space for air mattresses and the ton of stuff my grand children need room for. Cannot believe my daughter and the girls will be here next week! Glad I had the movie as an excuse to get Kai out of school. She is letting all her friends know she is a movie star! Kenna just wants to see palm trees again! Glad I finished the stuffed palm tree I was making. The movie cast and crew had fun playing with it. Hope she enjoys it just as much. We confirmed a new site for the house we will be using in the movie. It is much closer to Hollywood, so I am sure that will make a lot of people happy. Tried to look at the remaining weeks for scheduling, we may actually finish in October! Fingers crossed. Speaking of fingers crossed, I applied for a grant to help support the film. Should hear something in a few weeks. Really missed working on the movie and all the cast and crew. Allen and I had a normal weekend for once, but it felt weird. I really felt like I was going through Resilient Hearts withdrawal!
Time to get back to work! Really miss you guys!!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

A Revolution?

Took yesterday off from blogging and now I am finding it weird not to be filming today. This is my first Saturday off in over a month and what do I do? I work on my blog about the movie. I am now encountering a new form of anxiety regarding this film. The response from our promo has been extremely positive and I am even getting feedback that it could be "ground breaking", and could help to "revolutionize" society's perceptions on end of life care. GULP!, I would be happy if just one family knew enough to ask for a palliative care team to be involved with their loved one's care. To know that a dying person was helped to not feel abandoned, and that their health care provider embraced our collaborative efforts and brought a palliative care team in to help support their patients and families.

My motivation is for no one to experience what I went through when my Mother died. I can make many excuses for the care, or lack of it, because no one was ever trained on what to do or say to a family of a dying patient, yet alone a 48 year old female with five children. When I reflect on my Mother's death I don't understand why basic human kindness didn't dictate how the nurses and medical team should act. I think death is just too close, to overwhelming even for health care providers. The need to ignore and avoid the sadness and loss seems to be overwhelming. All sense of humanity is removed when the first time you have a group of nurses walk into the room is when your mother has died, and they ask you to step out as they open their morgue kit to prepare her body for transport to the funeral home.

If Resilient Hearts can help emphasize the need for basic human compassion, our continued presence, and support for the dying and their families then I say BRING ON THE REVOLUTION!! and if I can do it with both tears and laughter, then so be it.

Check out our promo at: