Sunday, May 31, 2009

live for experiences

What an experience this has been! After praising Firefox I soon ate my words. For the life of me I was unable to post here on Blogger while on Firefox, or even Internet Explorer, yet had no problem saving on Verizon Yahoo. VY is a browser I don't care to use now that I've found Firefox. I've had a lot of problems with VY and now that I know Blackboard works best with Firefox it is my browser of choice. Since I'm taking online classes through Blackboard and spend so much time on it it seemed fitting to stick with Firefox. When I tried posting and would click on the "save" button it would go to dark gray and say "saving" but it wouldn't stop, and it wasn't saving. To fix the problem I had to go in and change the name of the cookie file for Firefox.

A Friend in Need
Back in late January I'd posted about aiding and abetting someone who left their husband. The adulteress is still out West. It's not a match made in Heaven by any means. It seems she and Romeo are having their fair share of difficulties. Whatever. They are not my concern. I do not have time for the drama that festers there.

Big B and I (more so Big B than I) have taken to making sure our Friend is ok from time to time. Last night was one of those times. Big B and I had dropped LB off at the Relay (more on that to follow) and then took advantage of the gift cards Big B had one in a trivia game, to Outback Steakhouse. After returning home Big B called Friend and invited him over for some beer. Friend brought Jim...Jim Beam. We started out inside watching the Nascar race, as they're both fans. Then Friend decided to go out on the patio for a smoke, and we all ended up out there for the remainder of the evening. Big B stuck with his beer, Friend had Jim and Cokes, and I attempted to make a Whiskey Sour substitute. I used the JB, Coke, and Apple Pucker Schnapps we have in our house, the only sour liquor we have. Eh, it wasn't quite the same, but it was drinkable. We lit the fire in our fire pit, AW and his friend came out and made smores, and we all had a fun, relaxing evening.

Relay for Life
Every year our county puts on a Relay for Life event. LB decided to take part and joined one of his friend's teams. They've been working on the arrangements and made team t-shirts, after school. Last night all their work came to fruition for the main event.

I guess neither he, nor I, had said anything about this to Big B. So of course after we'd dropped LB off and sat down at the restaurant he started asking about it. I pulled out my handy dandy Blackberry to look up the event list so he could read it.

While looking at the list I recognized the name of the speaker as someone who I thought may have been a young woman who'd just lost her mother recently to cancer. I wasn't quite sure because the name listed was her full first name, and she usually goes by her initials. I texted LB to find out and sure enough it was her. Wow.

I had to hold back tears because being a very visual person I envisioned her up there speaking amongst the good-sized crowd I knew was in attendance, and how raw her grief still must be, that and the fact that I didn't want to ruin mine and Big B's dinner.

I can't help but feel a slight connection to the girl and her family, although I don't really know them. The time I actually did meet her I probably wont forget because it was so comedic. We were at a mutual friend's house one night for a party. I was in attendance as one of the parent chaperones, if you will. She, another girl, and I ended up in line at the powder room. I know the other girl, since she knows LB. The other girl introduced me to her as this is "LB Studmuffin's (name changed to preserve semi-anonymity) mom". The girl pipes up and says "I'm the eagle!" She happens to be the cheerleader who plays the part of the high school's mascot. She was so cute and endearing when she said it.

The connection I speak of is only felt since reading the girl's mom's obituary. It turns out she'd spent some time in the military and we have that in common, that and being mothers.

I texted and told LB, after he'd confirmed it was the girl I thought it was, that when she gave her speech he needed to listen to her. Somehow I don't think he would have had a choice as I'm sure everyone there would be silent and listening.

The experiences of the past few days wouldn't be complete if I didn't tell of the colorful experience AW and I had the other night. Since before we had AW's hair dyed black he's been asking to put color in it as well. He at first wanted red, as in fire-engine red, but then changed his mind to blue. Earlier this month we had bought the bleaching powder, developer and the blue dye, but because he was having trouble with his grades Big B and I refused to succumb to his wishes. Since then he's been working hard to try and get his grades up, and I thought it was time to reward him.

I am not a colorist. We do not have a hair washing sink. Like a dumbass I started the process later in the evening Friday. That all adds up to YOU SHOULD NOT GET WITHIN ONE HUNDRED FEET OF YOUR SON'S HAIR WITH ANY TYPE OF CHEMICALS. The things we do for our kids...and to save a buck.

Talk about comedic occurrences. I decided it was best to touch his roots up with the black dye before bleaching the small section of hair he wanted dyed blue. After the first process, when it was time to rinse the black dye out, he had to get into the shower with his boxer shorts on and I stood there for a very long time rinsing...and rinsing...and rinsing some more. After towel drying his hair I applied the bleach paste to the small section we had tied off. I decided rather than chance burning his hair I would only leave it on for about 20 minutes, tops. Dumb move #225.

When it was time to apply the clue dye, I'd forgotten to grab a pair of gloves, which of course I do have.

Oh, and when it says "do not apply to scalp" you should really heed that warning!! And maybe, just maybe if you leave the bleach on longer therefore lightening the hair sufficently yo just might end up with blue hair and not ....

Live and Learn

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Yet I'm able to post comments. Am I in the Twilight zone again?!
Having trouble posting. It says "saving" terminally and doesn't save. I'm also unable to log out, as it goes right back to the dashboard. Seems to be a Blogger problem.

Friday, May 29, 2009

let dusk ascend

Ever have one of those days where you feel out of sorts? thoroughly discombobulated? That was my day, today. It probably doesn't help that I awakened in the wee hours of the morning, 2 a.m. to be exact. Rather than lie there fitfully trying to go back to sleep I decided to do what I do when insomnia strikes and that is to get on the computer. Module 1A & B were due today for psych class, and I had a bit left to go before it was finished. That I did. After checking my usual stuff on the 'net, I set out to finish writing up what was left.

That has to be the worst thing about not having a laptop. It can get incredibly uncomfy sitting here at the computer desk all day. I could never work at a desk job, that's for sure!


By the time I'd finished it was about 4:30 a.m. and I went into Blackboard, which is our online classroom forum. Wouldn't you know it when I tried submitting the assignment it kept shooting an error message at me, "please enter a valid file".

Excuse moi?!?! I haven't spent hours on this for you to call it invalid!!!

By this time I'd grown weary and decided rather than have a complete and utter meltdown that I would head back to bed. My thought processes at that time were to the effect of, maybe by the time I wake up later in the morning, whatever this glitch is will have miraculously worked itself out.


Because I have to supervise the boys in their morning routine (from my bed) it was about 6:45 a.m. by the time I'd fallen back to sleep. A lot of times I only sleep for about an hour to an hour and 1/2 tops. I slept until 9:45 a.m.!!! That right there is a major reason for my discombobulation, most assuredly!

Miracles didn't happen in the world of Blackboard and of course the assignment wouldn't upload in my later attempts. Grr. I'd emailed my professor earlier, and had received one back. She referred me to the man who is now my favorite techie!! He ended up having to submit the assignment for me after I'd attached it in an email to him. He told me to download Mozilla Firefox, because Blackboard usually works better with it.

Where has Firefox been all my life!!?? Certainly not on my computer, but boy am I glad SuperTechie pointed me to it! Normally I use Verizon Yahoo as my browser, and when it doesn't work for me (which happens quite often) I switch to IE.

I am now converted and happily so!

My whole morning had been thrown off though. Originally I was supposed to go up north and take my first exam for A&PII today. Since I have my opthalmologist appointment in a nearby location to where I have to go for my exam Monday, yesterday I emailed my professor and asked if it was ok to take my exam then. Gas prices are rising for some gosh-darned reason, ya know! And who wants to drive all that way? Certainly not me! Big B's the commuter of the family and we're keeping it that way. (I really hope to not be eating those very words next year about this time, if I have difficulties finding a job nearby).

I just couldn't shake the weird feeling I had all morning. Actually I still feel like my moons aren't in line or something. Harumph!

I either need some serious retail therapy, a vacation, a day at a spa, or heck maybe even psychotherapy! If you've read this entire post...bless you!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

final decision

As many of you that have been with me since the inception of my blog know I had thought about transferring from my current program to a different program.

After careful consideration I have chosen to stick with my current program.


I'll gladly fill you in:

*current program is not privately accredited, although it is state approved
This still holds true. This issue is still important to me, but I believe things are changing. Will it happen during the next (my final) year? I cannot answer that.

*current program is on the July '08 State Board of Nursing report as being one of the programs in the state with a less than 80% NCLEX pass rate
I believe my class, and maybe even the class that just graduated, may be the benchmark for exceeding the pass rate of the July '08 report.

*current program in a state of transition due to previous instructors leaving just prior to classes starting this August
This turned out to be a blessing.

*One of the replacement instructors walked out after being forced to by the second year students because they didn't like her teaching style(yeah, that speaks volumes about so much, but it is not what is at issue here).
Good riddance.

*The dean of nursing, who has been teaching our intro class, has not been able to answer questions from us students, that a dean should be able to answer. Examples of such a question include general information about ATI testing, or information about classes of the upcoming semester.
We no longer deal with the Dean as she's gone back to her perch at the main campus. Any questions I've had since have been, or are being, addressed.

*The instructor who came back is actually an awesome teacher, but it's not certain she will remain past the spring semester.
She is remaining as adjunct faculty, and will be teaching the Cardiac portion of material during our 3rd semester.

*When we've been taught skills we're taught one day, tested the following week, and that's it. Those skills are not re-visited, at all, the rest of the semester. There is no skills final. Because of my previous medical training (Air Force medic, and Medical Assistant) I am ok with this, so far. What about later when we're learning other skills that are new even to me? I can't imagine being one of the students in this program who have no experience. Some of them have voiced their concerns over not being sure about their vital signs skills.
What's done is done. The program is being revamped for improvement.

*This semester we were in lecture a total of three hours(two for intro and one for basic skills), and lab 5-6 hours, during the "on" weeks. Our intro class was a "hybrid" class and the off weeks were spent online answering some sort of nursing related question:
The nursing process is defined as being composed of five phases: assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate. Which of these phases do you believe is most important to the delivery of high quality nursing care, and to the achievement of positive client outcomes? Do not respond that all of the phases are equally important – that evades the question. Demonstrate critical thinking in the argument you present to support one phase over the others.
The (worthless) "intro" class we took is no longer a part of the program. Classes have been switched around.

*one hour a week dedicated to basic skills?
They've increased the amount of time dedicated to Nur 105-Basic Nursing Skills lecture from 1 to 3 hours, and lab remains at 6 hours. Pharmacology has been moved from second semester, and only half semester in length, to the first semester. It runs through the entire length of the semester.

*next semester we have two hours for Nursing Principles and Concepts I, six hours for its lab, 1 hour for Principles of Pharmacology, and two hours for Mental Health Nursing. Supposedly this semester they were extending the latter two to span the whole semester, whereas in the past they've been eight week courses, first pharm, and then mental health. I've heard they'll be changing it back?
Once again, what's done is done. In my opinion Mental Helth could have been a hybrid, if not only online class, but that's just because of the way it was taught.

*We start our first clinicals this spring, after which we will no longer be in lab. So we'll go from 6 hours of lab a week, to only clinicals Wednesdays and Thursdays 6:30a-12:30p.
Quite frankly clinicals went well (we learned tons) and I don't think having lab time during would have been anything more than redundant and exhausting. Real world experience beats out working on dummies any day!

*there is no availability for open lab to practice
Wouldn't you know it, they've opened up the lab for summertime use! Hopefully they'll be able to slate times during the regular school year for people to utilize open lab, in case they wish to hone their skills.

This fall we look forward to what we've been told by the departing second years/graduates is our hardest semester. Bring it on! Teach me! We have a full day of lecture on Mondays, to include maternal/baby, med/surg, peds, principles and concepts II, and the different body systems. Tuesdays we have our health assessment class. Wednesdays and Thursdays we spend all day in clinicals.

The changes I've mentioned aren't the only ones taking place. I am working with my director to start a student nurse's association for our program.

Bottom line there is no perfect program. With all the improvements being made in my current program I was leery to transfer and the grass not turn out greener on the other side. I'm comfortable and at peace with my decision.

Change of Shift

Yesterday, Codeblog posted the most recent of Change of Shift. Topics include several items nurses and nursing students might find useful, if not just plain interesting! I've included a link to 100 Useful Job Search Tips for New College Grads over on my sidebar under "Gems for Nursing Students". It's all-inclusive, so even if you're not even graduating with a degree in the nursing field you may find the article useful. Check it out!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

they strike again

Two female Labrador Retrievers for sale....lowest bidder takes both!

The above photo isn't even from today...they were probably being bad some other day a while back.

Please excuse the (bad) quality of the following photos. The point is sure to be fully understood, quality of the photos not withstanding.

Minnie was the only one brave (read::stupid) enough to go investigate what the travesty of CWF (Canine Wrestling Federation) caused today in my living room.

The girls' antics pulled the curtains down and the left-sided curtain bracket clean out of the wall, screws and all!

nurse jackie

Any Edie Falco fans out there? I didn't know who she was until I'd seen a few episodes of The Sopranos that Big B used to watch. I thought she was great as Carmella.

As many can attest the profession of nursing is very poorly represented in the media. I've seen a few blogs on the subject and wrote a post of my own. Around the time of my post, and I don't remember where I saw it, I saw something about a new Showtime show that would be premiering Spring 2009.

It is time. (Said in the solemn, monotone voice of Rafiki from Lion King.)

Nurse Jackie premieres Monday, June 8, 2009, at 10:30 p.m. Hopefully it will do the profession proud! One of the main characters is a first year nursing student, Zoey.

Nurse Jackie on Showtime

Here's a video from the "From the Behind the Curtain: Real Nurses, Real Stories" page of the Nurse Jackie website:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

ho hum diddly dum

If I would have been one of the chosen ones I would be starting an externship today. In lieu of the pressure of the level of activity (work) my summer classes I know it's a good thing I didn't get either of the positions I applied for. It still hurts. Knowing my girls would be up and at 'em this morning readying for their first day I texted the two I have numbers for and wished them luck. Later on as I was working on my A&PII schtuff I had to reflect on the fact that it is indeed a blessing. There's just no way I could do it all. As is said, things happen for a reason.

Monday, May 25, 2009

duct tape please

I'd posted my status on Facebook recently as something to the effect of "I'm falling apart" and a friend commented "You need duct tape". It made me laugh. If only it were that easy.

work found at

My PCP wrote referrals for GI, ENT and opthalmology. I need to see GI and ENT specialists for my lump in throat sensation, as my CT scan came back clear. I need to see the opthalmologist for my vitreous floater.

It's time to dig out the referral to the OBGYN that my PCP wrote up and make that appointment. I'm convinced that it is time to switch OCPs, or go off them altogether. While taking the generic version of Seasonale is helpful for reducing the number of migraines I suffer from, it is not helping as far as other PMS symptoms go. That's if you could even call it "PMS". About six weeks into the pack I start having rapid mood swings, and basically feel like Queen Bitch. If that's not all bad enough now I'm having spotting, and haven't even missed any pills. That may just be TMI, but along with everything else I'm thinking duct tape is sounding pretty good right about now. It even comes in pretty colors!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

and the emmy goes to...

Ok, it's not an Emmy. It's even better, cuz it's personal! LivingDeadNurse over at Living Dead Nurses Psycho Ward gave me this award:

I am honored! Thanks LivingDeadNurse for making my day!

Friday, May 22, 2009

it's official

I have now received syllabi and greetings for all three of my online classes for this summer. My summer break (which I thought began after finals a couple of weeks ago--ha)will begin around, oh um...August 10th and will promptly end just two short weeks later. It will be glorious. I actually look forward to nursing classes in the Fall, cuz the endeavor I'm about to undertake leaves me feeling like there just might be an undertaker in my very near future. The workload is going to kill me.

Ok, now that I have that off my D-cups...I must mention I don't think I have to take a final exam!! Not in any one of these classes is there a final! Yeehaaw! In my Psych and Nut (from here on out I am not going to refer to Nutrition and Diet Therapy as anything more than Nut....seems somewhat appropriate. It's kind of a play on words wouldn't you say? It could mean that which drives me nuts....or maybe it's talking about nuts, which are actually nutritious. The "Psych" class speaks for itself. Kuh-ray-zee...

Oops, there went that last marble...

Anyway, sorry about the pinging...just a little spazzed out right about now.

The two aforementioned classes have what are either called "modules" (Psych) or "units" (Nut). Within each module/unit there's a crapload of work to accomplish.

Have I mentioned A&PII and everything involved with it? Textbook, study guide, Anatomy and Physiology Revealed CD-Rom, study guide, online classroom labwork, quizzes (7), exams (6)[I have to drive about 30 mins to take them, proctored at the other community college, since that's who I'm taking this class through], and if you really want to you can go to the textbook publisher's website and work some more! I've come to learn that, as the topic of "learning styles" was addressed somewhere in that online classroom, the workload has to do with covering several different learning styles. Some people can read a textbook and learn from that--nope, not me. You then have the study guide to reinforce what you've read/tried to stay awake through. Then you have the CD-Rom and workbook. Being a visual/tactile learner I find it wonderful, as if I've hit the jackpot. It really is cool! It has little videos that cover the info and then you can doing labeling exercises through layers of the cadaver(without the yucky smell of formaldehyde!!) I've also delved into the online lab and it's labeling through dropdown menus, crosswords, all sorts of fun and games. I have yet to do this week's quiz, as I need to do a little more studying.

Now that I've told you all about my wonderful summer I'm feeling a little (minute, eensy, teensy, wee bit) better.

Now I just need a nanny, a maid and a cantina full of wine!

PSA: I had to switch back to moderating my comments since it helps me know when I receive comments.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

vitreous floaters

Nope, I'm not studying the eye in A&PII. For a little while, maybe about two-three weeks, whenever I read or look at a computer screen (more often when I read books with a lamp behind me) I see this little speck. It dances in my line of vision as if it's a child-like ballerina. If I try to focus on it, it jumps out of sight. It's extremely annoying. It's worse when I'm reading with a lamp and not quite noticeable when reading in natural light. As many do, I looked it up on the 'net.

I entered in "seeing spot when reading". The search came back with many entries like See Spot Read. Great, children's books. That's with Yahoo....time for Google! This article pointed me in the direction I needed, Seeing Spots and Floaters. There is actually a phenomenon of what is called "spots or floaters" that happens when particles in vitreous fluid collect.

So now along with the lump in throat sensation I am seeing spots, well actually only just one, but yeah, lucky me! My spot could be an indication of retinal or vitreal detachment so it's time to make another appointment. I still haven't heard back on my CT scan.

One of the websites I looked at said it could be aggravated by stress. Ya, think?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

powerful medicine

This is a trailer for Fighting for Life, a movie to air on PBS, Memorial Day Weekend.

From the website:

Fighting for Life is a powerful, sobering and emotional feature documentary portrait of American military medicine interweaving three stories:

Military doctors, nurses and medics, working with skill, compassion and dedication amidst the vortex of the Iraq War.

Wounded soldiers and marines reacting with courage, dignity and determination to survive and to heal.

Students at USU, the “West Point” of military medicine, on their journey toward becoming career military physicians.

The film follows 21 year-old Army Specialist Crystal Davis, from Iraq to Germany to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC, as she fights to recover and “bounce back” from the loss of a leg.

The filmmakers had extraordinary access to combat support hospitals in Iraq, medevac flights with wounded soldiers, and military hospitals in Germany and the United States.

so not ready for it

Big B calls and informs LB, who just had to answer the phone, that his grandfather, my father-in-law, is offering to sell us his 2002 Chevy Malibu for LB to have. Wouldn't it be nice to have random cars sitting around that you could just sell off? That's my F-i-L for ya! Although he has his paper license, that affords him the ability to drive once he's eligible (JUNE 12TH) LB is only eligible to drive legally after that date. He's itching to and practically begs to drive...on that paper license....every chance he gets. I am so not ready for JUNE 12TH. In my eyes JUNE 12TH is kindred to a sort of D-Day.

What happened to my babies?

Really? Where did those innocent little boys go? AW stands just about eye-to-eye with me. He'll be going into 8th grade this coming school year (God willing he make it out of the 7th grade.)

Earlier today I was thinking to myself "I just can't wait until the end of this summer....until next May...."

So not ready for it

Sure I'll be graduating nursing school...again God willing...

Next May my babies will be looking forward to their Senior (LB) and Freshman (AW) years in high school.

Hug your babies and savor every little tantrum, scrape, smile, hug, school project (those cute projects stop after elementary school), diaper change, potty training episode, little fingers wrapped around yours, pout, first teeth, first time losing teeth, ring around the rosey, stories before bedtime...cherish it all, because in the blink of an eye it's all but a memory.

My left-hand man/study buddy. He's imparting brain waves toward me to help me learn about the lymphatic system.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Take 3...

I attempted to write a post yesterday but my Internet connection kept failing so I can only hope it'll go more smoothly today. If more days go by without me posting I may not know where to begin, not that I do now.

From Take 2:
It's really very frustrating to write out nearly a whole post, Blogger says it's saving it, and then you try and post pictures onto it when you develop problems doing so. You sign out and sign back in only to discover the lengthy post was not even saved!!!!

Rather than trying to go into the recesses of my brain to drag out a similar post I will now just give the highlights.

I've been pretty busy this past week. The week ended at midnight, Friday night, after I'd sat through a total of 51 innings of baseball for the five-day span between Monday and Friday. The majority of them were spent watching LB and his high school JV team. Monday he played up to Varsity, and we were fortunate to see them win their, what I believe was, last win of the regular season.

Back to Take 3:
Tuesday the JV team played one game and walked away winners. We had double-headers, both nights, Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday they played the area rival high school and were smashed 15-0 in the first game. They didn't let it phase them, came back and opened up a can of whoop ass for the second game, with an 8-2 win. Thursday they rocked all night long. I have to laugh at what one of the other moms told me about the Wednesday night DH. That night us parents, minus Big B as he was out-of-town until Friday, had tons of fun. We were loud. No, let me rephrase that...we were downright rowdy, but not the kind of rowdy you might see on the news concerning sports parents. We just had a good time. Apparently the catcher on the opposing team told my friend's son that we were so loud we sounded like a big, Greek family. It's the stuff memories are made of. It was great to see the guys finish off their season with some wins. They should be proud. I took photos throughout the season and have forwarded copies to the other parents via email.

With the upcoming Varsity tournament scheduled LB was notified he had to go to practice Friday afternoon. No biggie, except we'd bought 4 tickets to the Phillies/Nationals game for Friday night. If you learn nothing else in the military, you learn to adapt and Big B and I made it a date night! We were able to sell off the other two tickets after arriving at the stadium.

Saturday was a big day in our house as I walked at my university commencement. I'd made the trip to MD earlier in the day on Thursday to pick up my cap and gown, so along with that trip, Friday's game in DC and my graduation Saturday I've spent more than enough time in the DC/MD/VA area! If you don't live in the area or have never been here, please understand, after living in the country for about 8 years, between my current residence and Italy, it's very frustrating being consumed in traffic and congested areas.

Yesterday, my online Anatomy and Physiology 2 class started. As is par for my course, every semester I have to have mild feelings of anxiety up until I get the swing of the schedule and workload. My other two online classes don't start until Friday, so it'll take a bit longer to adjust than normal but by next Friday I should be golden.

Last night Big B, AW and I headed out for the last high school baseball game of the year. Tournaments started, and our team fell after round one. They lost 2-1. Next week starts the American Legion season with try-outs and practices. So today through then we have a bit of a break.

Today I finally went and had a CT scan done of my neck, to try and find out what is causing me to have the lump in my throat feeling I've been having, going on two months. I don't know what to expect. Part of me hopes they see something, because then we can go from there to fix it. Otherwise I don't know what'll happen.

As much as I hate to say this, I better get back to the books. The A&P class promises to be incredibly interesting. We do our lab by CD-Rom. It's truly facinating! As the CD-ROm says, "An interactive cadaver dissection experience". It's not the real thing, but pretty darn close and no smelling any formaldehyde!! There is a lot of reading, but after nursing classes it should be a breeze!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

reading for pleasure

No! It can't be! Shouldn't I be reading about ABGs or pharmacokinetics. Nope! Hole's Anatomy and Physiology? Not quite yet.

Right now I'm reading More than Fiends. I don't exactly remember where I picked it up, but it was on my bookshelf and it's the book of the day. So it's not War and Peace or To Kill A Mockingbird. I'm far from being a book snob who can only read classics. I enjoy a good classic as much as anyone, but I also enjoy chick lit! It's easy and fun, not to mention typically more contemporary.

More than Fiends is a great read to fill my current reading for pleasure needs. It's raw, sarcastic and keeps me laughing. It's written in first person and is almost a sort of dialogue between the main character, Cassidy Burke, and the reader.

Serious reading will soon commence. I received an email from my A&P 2 professor and she's advised us to begin reading. Classes start May 18-22. I'm attending two schools online. Besides A&P 2, I'm taking Nutrition and Diet Therapy (I personally know my professor for this class as she's one of the instructors in my nursing program), and Developmental Psych-since I haven't taken it yet, even if my degree is in Psych! Go figure. The latter two courses are being taken through my home community college, and A&P 2 is from a nearby CC.

For right now I'm sticking with easy, entertaining reads!

Monday, May 11, 2009

rock and roll


Phase 1, Backyard Landscaping, Complete

This past weekend, amidst the low-key celebration of my role as mother, I laid pavers. Big B had dug up the wanna-be sod from the area, and then LB, his friend, ZA, and I took turns digging up enough of the remaining soil to even out the area. I then laid the pavers, planted the shrubs, and mulched. Yesterday morning I woke up feeling as if I'd aged 100 years, while also having been run over by a large automobile. I wasn't quite 100% pleased with how it turned out after all the work on Saturday, so yesterday Big B and I laid the edging. We recycled some old edging from the previous owner's landscape attempts. It's just been sitting, stacked up, at the side of our house since I took it up a few years ago. It's actually set in upside down as it is the scalloped sort of edging. I think we did a pretty good job, especially considering our extremely limited hardscape abilities.

The next phase involves using retaining wall blocks to edge off the semi-circle spaces on either side of the patio and the back of the house. At the back of the house it will come out and go around in a curve to the end of the house, forming a garden plot.

To be continued...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

sangria y mis amigos

One thing's for sure, I can no longer drink red wine, even if it's just Sangria. Red wine gives me headaches. It's like suffering from a hangover the same night you've been drinking. I had three. They weren't large glasses either. Still I ended up with a same-night hangover by about 8:45 p.m. Guess it'll just be white wine or the hard stuff if I want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage from now on.

There only ended up being 10 of us who showed up. MB brought his wife. We all had a great time rehashing some of the things that irritated us. It's pretty much a consensus, we have one classmate and one instructor that we all find troublesome. As I've taken up saying lately, they're all speed bumps to RN! In the top picture you might notice there are only 8 of us. MB's wife was gracious enough to play photographer, and one of our classmates left before we started the photo shoot. I really wish we'd have started before as I love the classmate who left to death! She was my "roommate". In other words she took care of the resident with whom my resident roomed with at the LTC facility. All in all it ended up being an enjoyable evening and I look forward to getting together over the summer.
This Mother's Day
I don't think being a mother means only the woman who has given birth. Many women are physically unable to bare children. Many choose not to have children. Is this to say they have no maternal instinct? Hardly not.

To all the women out there who know what it feels like to give your heart and soul unconditionally, may you have a blessed day today, and everyday. May those you hold close cherish you always.

Friday, May 8, 2009

fun, fun friday

Just came in from working outside. I wanted to amend the soil in my flower pots so I dumped the contents of each into my wheelbarrow, along with a humus/manure mixture, and got to mixing. I planted some crimson colored Morning Glory seeds and some purple Petunia seeds. We'll see how well they do. That's one area of gardening I haven't mastered, but it usually has to do with the whole instant gratification thing. We don't have anywhere in our house to start seeds indoors, so that leaves it to be done straight outside.

I had to replace some cacti I had planted, last year, as they died over the winter.

Here you can see the lovely Dwarf Maple that is the focal point of this part of the garden.

The demise of my Rosemary bush left a large open space, now filled with Lavendar, Salvia, and a few other plants. More pictures to come as the gardens fill up and different flowers bloom.

Some of the more established plants coming up. We've had buckets upon buckets of rain here lately and all the vegetation is thriving wildly. Centered in the foreground you may see one of my Azalea bushes, trying hard to come back from last year when I added too much fertilizer. Brown thumb moments happen to me just like blonde moments do!

The slender, conical evergreen in the bottom right of the photo needs to be pruned. It's supposed to have a spiral shape. This intimidates me. Eventually I will get my pruners out and give it the old college try!

Speaking of college, tonight I'm headed out to celebrate with some of my classmates. We're convening at a local Mexican restaurant. It seems to be a popular place around here, and it is pretty good. After living in Texas and Colorado a good bit of my life it pales in comparison to some of the Mexican food I've had in the past. That being said I'm not really going for the food, I'm going for the company and some drinks. Many of us have gone to lunch together, amidst classes, but we've never, as a large group hit the town. Now that our first year is over we have some celebrating to do! Somehow I think I'll be able to write another post after tonight's events! There will be about 12 of my classmates who are women, and the one guy in the class is coming. He's bringing his wife. I can't say as if I blame him!! Can you imagine if he was out, solo amongst us women, and friends of his saw him!?

Until later!


early mudder's day surprise

This came for me yesterday....remember a few posts ago when I admitted to my oopsy, after confronting Big B about a entry on our bank accunt??? Voila!!! Ain't it sweet!?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

sunshine, bloom and purr

from my gardens

jasper, my garden helper

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

couldn't have planned it better!

Today is Nurses Day, the beginning of Nurses Week. Every year Nurses Week starts on the 6th of May and ends on the 12th of May, Florence Nightingale's birthday. Today is my first official day as a Second Year nursing student. It's just coincindental that it fell on Nurses Day, but it feels very appropriate. Other than that, a follow-up with my FNP and a pedicure the day's been pretty uneventful. Exhaustion has caught up with me, and left me with little motivation to do much else today. I did weed through the basket we keep in our office where mail and other paperwork piles up. Most of the paper in it went straight into the recycle pile that will be taken to the local high school to support their recycling efforts.

The drippy, drizzly, grayness of the outside world left little to be desired other than curling up on the couch catching up on TV shows we DVRed. A nap soon followed. We were supposed to have LB's double header this afternoon, but once again Mother Nature thwarted the game schedule. Next week we'll have so many baseball games to go to, to play catch up, that we'll be at some field, somewhere nearly every afternoon/evening. For the love of the game....and the family ball player...

I did witness another very weird occurence today as I was leaving the town I live in to take the highway north. I followed a pick-up truck pulling a trailer, and in front of him was a van/truck kind of thing that was piled high with all sorts of crap. Seriously, the crap was piled on the roof of the vehicle. Along with the crap was a dog kennel. It wasn't empty. Inside a frantic German Shepherd twisted and turned, probably in fear of plummeting to serious injury, if not death.

We all ended up at a stop sign and waited for a clump of traffic to pass. Wouldn't you know a police officer rolls up behind me. We're sitting there waiting and the car that was in front of the van/truck thing pulled out and entered traffic, leaving us to sit and wait. Then the guy in the van/truck thing, still sitting where he was puts it into park, gets out and walks back to talk to the guy pulling the trailer, in front of me. Um, hello. We have things to do here!!! He gets back in and it's about that same time I think to take a picture of the horrifying spectacle of the dog, in the kennel, on the roof of the van/truck thing. Once he got going he was out of there, and my small window of opportunity sped by quicker than the flash of a camera. Bummer.

We all get to pull out by this time though. I pull out using my turn signal into the close lane, as I'm supposed to, especially when a police officer is tailing you. I signal and get into the left lane. Mr. Policeman speeds by me and turns onto the same road to follow the weirdos driving the van/truck thing, and the truck pulling the trailer. If I wasn't pressed for time I probably would have followed to see if he was in fact going after them. Alas, I had to get to town and sit for my pedi, which actually made me a wee bit late for my appointment. Thank goodness for 15 minutes of free time before being declared late! As it was I had to have the girl give me the speedy version of a pedicure.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

it's official!

I am a second year nursing student!!!! Too elated to say much more! Good luck to everyone else finishing up their first, second, final year(s) of nursing school!
The boys and I are on the road north to meet Big B at The Cheesecake Factory. The MH exam was better than I thought it would be; received a 97 on my care plan, and a 98 for my LTC clinical rotation grade!

the end of mental health

Today I take my Mental Health exam and therefore I am thrilled to say that the class will be over. Big grins! I did pretty well on the final yesterday in Nur108 Nursing Principles and Concepts, coming away with a 93. The MH exam will most certainly give me a bigger run for my money. I may be crazy toward the end of it. With all the studying I did for ATIs it's been hard to not be burned out for finals. Sad, sad, sad...

The celebrations are plentiful today, not just being Cinco de Mayo, it's Big B's 40th birthday. We're supposed to have LB's double-header this afternoon, but the weather hasn't been very cooperative as of late. Go figure. It seems to be the norm this Spring. Winter in April, April showers in May. If the weather doesn't hold up I'm grabbing LB from practice (they have practice when games are cancelled) and he, AW and I are going to head up to Northern VA to take Daddy out to dinner. I suggested Cheesecake Factory, as I've never been, but of course it's up to the old guy!

Tomorrow's the big day of freedom and the day I, and many others, get to wake up and say we're second year nursing students. One down, one to go! I have a follow-up appointment with my FNP, and will take advantage of the location and go for a mani/pedi. I also need to get my hair's trimmed, but that'll wait for some other day. I haven't been to the commissary in eons and we're way overdue for some serious grocery shopping. That'll take up part of my day on Thursday. We also have landscaping to finish up, so I'm hoping the weather will give way to some sunshine....or at least dryness, for the weekend.

Next week I get to make the horrid trip to Maryland to pick up my cap and gown. I walk at commencement for my university degree on the 16th. They don't mail our regalia to us, so it's up to me to make two trips to the other side of the area, one for the pick up and one for the walk. It's no fun! I still have announcements sitting on my dining room table to be addressed and sent out. I'm not expecting anyone to be there except for my guys, so they truly are just announcements, not invites anyway.

Eh well...I better go grab a bite to eat and skim over the MH material once more. Wish me luck! I need it!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

a peace of morning

This morning I awakened to a house filled with mostly silence, with close to nothing making any noise. This is remarkable because, right now, as I type, there are 5 boys lying within my humble abode, ranging in age from twelve to sixteen. We can't forget the furry creatures. Minnie is sitting on the ottoman by the window, not three feet away from me, just looking out the window. DC is slinking around as only cats can. Sandi is taking one of many morning snoozes on the living room couch. As usual Jasper's outside. Now that the weather's warmed up a bit he can oftentimes be found sleeping on the porch swing out front. Viva, our nocturnal, little hamster is very likely also asleep. Our scaley friend Irwin? Good question. I should check on him and turn his light on for the day.

Big B is in Richmond for the day for the CROWN ROYAL Presents The Russ Friedman 400 at the Richmond International Raceway. Later on two of the twelve year olds will depart, and even later than that I will put on my hat as family taxi-driver and take the two 16 year olds to a friend's house to crash. I'll be left with AW and will somehow have to find a way to entertain him.

Right now, at this early hour, I should really be outside throwing around somemore mulch, and probably will head out there in a few. The rest of the weekend will be spent studying. For several days now I've been posting a countdown on my Facebook status, counting down to the end of my first year of nursing school. Oh, what a feeling that is to know it's now just down to three days!

I just wanted to take a few minutes and breathe, and to acknowledge my peaceful surroundings. From outside I can hear a bird screeching off in the distance, the breeze as it blows softly and the foliage swaying against its slight force, the wind chimes tinkling every so often as the breeze catches them just right, and the dogs scurrying around once something peaks their curiosity. Mostly it's quiet.

My reverie has been halted as the girls have decided now is the time for Deathmatch 200. Time to get busy, it's only three more days until I become a second year nursing student!