Monday, March 31, 2014

baby steps

Made it through a colossal gauntlet of beastly deadlines for all my classes on Thursday through Saturday, and I had a test in basic nursing this morning.  After being fried on all the frantic desperation on all that other stuff, I had not much left over with which to focus on today's test.  I still managed to study, some, but it may be more important that I got some good sleep this weekend, and didn't have insomnia last night.  I made a high C, to my relief. Amazingly, half the class did worse than I did-- 19 students made Ds and 13 made Fs on that exam-- kind of staggering.

So I'm baby-stepping away.  My on-site clinicals concluded last week. I have a major assignment due related to that in a couple of weeks, but after tomorrow, I only have one simulation lab clinical remaining for the semester. The mile markers are passing and it's starting to feel like I may pull a squeaker after all.

My house is a mess.  The dining/living area are actually not bad, except for two substantial piles of clean clothes and school papers strung across every horizontal surface. I've managed to smooth my feathers enough to deal with most of the clothes, and I think I can at least punch some of the papers into a semblance of order.  Even if there's a lot to be done, it feels much less manic if there's a  tidy place to work. I found an empty classroom this afternoon that was very quiet, and I made a lot of progress there, so there must be something to that.

For now, though, baby steps, and watching the mile markers go by...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: little miss doopie-drawers

If you had such cuddle-bugs to snuggle up with, you'd still be in bed, too. I am ready to be judged!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Bit by bit

I managed to get my final assessment for my clinical submitted Thursday night. Friday afternoon I completed my pharmacology mid-term and finished compiling the data of my research group's project. I need to add my findings and get that submitted Saturday and Bob's yer uncle. After all the grind of the week, I had nothing left over for studying the 150 or so pages for dosage calculation, the quiz being due before midnight on Friday. I took an intense hour to skim through the book, doing quiz questions here and there to make sure I understood  how the calculations were done. To my bafflement, I whizzed through with an 80. *whew* better than I had a right to expect. 

I really need an A on my pharmacology test, and I hope all the hours I spent on it pay off. 

Sorry- I just realized that me fretting out loud must be crushingly dull to read. I'm just relieved that the heaviest deadlines of my weekend have been met. 

I decided that one reason I'm so fried lately is that I have no down- time to recharge my batteries. Decided I'm going to insist on this. Starting to read a Neil Gaiman book on Saturday. I think this will help me break out of the perpetual feeling that life had become one big pressure-filled series of world-crushing dominoes. 

So. Yeah. Puppies! I have sweet, furballs. Life is good, anyway. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Whelmed some kind of way

I had 4 major assignments due in a 48 hour period, one which is a final for one segment of one course- if I don't pass that, I have to take the entire course again.

Foolishly, I agreed some time ago to have this week as my turn to lead a group project for Research.  Ugh.

I was up working on school until midnight last night, and woke up and hit it again.  I'll probably be up until Midnight again, but soon I'll have the 3rd of the 4 things submitted.  The remainder of the 4th thing will be just to submit the final work for the group project.  I'm so tired.  I hope I pass all of this.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

What I've learned lately:

Buttermilk is probiotic!
Yes, it keeps your gut flora healthy while your antibiotics do their thing. 

Dad always liked an occasional glass of buttermilk, and I thought it was gross. Now I get it-- love this stuff. 

I'm ready for stopped-up ear and ear ringing to go away. 4 days of horse pills and still I have that. Meh. 

Taking a pic of my glass, Chuy took a swipe, and he likes buttermilk, too!
I was careful thereafter to drink from the unmolested side of the buttermilk. I love the streaks on the glass as it dries. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Where did Spring break go?

I hoped to end spring break with a cleaner house, but I think I just about broke even. Got sick last week. I can deal with the head cold, and I'm grateful the antibiotics have knocked out the pain a bit, but I'm seriously tired of the tinnitus related to the ear infection. I hope it's gone when I wAke up in the morning. 

Major test in pharmacology in the morning. Ugh. 

Can't wait for this semester to be in the rear view mirror. 

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: my sweetings

When I'm feeling ill, these puppies are more sweet and attentive than you can imagine. Love my furballs!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I did it!

I went to a blog for 5 minutes and I actually posted a comment. I wanted to do more on Spring Break, but maybe I'll get to make the blog rounds this summer. For now, that's all I've got.

I have no time for the rounds. No time for social life. No time for anything. Can't believe I'm in school with dozens of people all the time and this is the most isolated period of my entire life. I felt more sociable working from home. I at least had occasional conversations with people. I'm grateful for the opportunity, but I thought at least with school I'd have a sense of striving toward a common goal with people, but I really don't. I just feel like I'm barely keeping the water out of my lungs.

Speaking of, I've had allergies for a couple of weeks, but today this feels like a headcold. Blarg.  My knee is better. I did have a phone convo with my dear FarmMom, and I will be going to the dr about my knee. 

For now, though, I'm back to studies for the rest of the day.

The Voices Of Spring

I'm sure it's purely coincidental that I've killed the first mosquito of the year today.

Lucia Popp was at the top of her form when this was recorded in 1965. Normally I'm not a big Strauss* fan, but this is the most visually pleasing rendition** I've seen, and it's the only one I found with a chandelier.

Frühlingsstimmenwaltzer by Johann Strauss II

*none of the Strausses, really, Richard, whoever.  They are superb, I admit and glorious, just not my preferred flavor

**though I truly wish she'd left out that very high note at the end - it goes a bit thin and pushed, and a proper vocal coach would have discouraged its inclusion

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A comfort level with contradictions

I have noticed on Facebook that people I know who are anti-vaccination fanatics are also big fans of Obamacare.  This seems a massive contradiction to me. They go off on rabid tirades about the louche/illegal/unsafe practices of the entire pharmaceutical industry and the FDA allowing them to get away with it, and yet they are comfortable with another federal agency running every aspect of their healthcare?  There's no polite or delicate way to describe this order of stupidity.

The idea of something is more easily managed than the actual fact.

Since the second week of January, I've had this fantasy about the mighty, hallowed SPRING BREAK.  The idea of it was a vast, uncommitted week that would stretch out for a whopping 9 days and I'd get so much done, including cleaning/reorganizing stuff in my house, I'd do some sewing and nap until noon every day and knit a sweater for every puppy on the planet.

Today is technically day 4 of that 9 day stretch.  The first two days were entirely consumed by a commitment at an antique shop, but that was productive, as well. Yesterday my primary accomplishment was study, but I didn't sleep til noon either yesterday or today.

My knee is presenting a major obstacle, so I'm going to be a trifle less of a domestic Tasmanian Devil than planned. Settle for minor cleaning and probably nil on the organizing bit. I have SO so so much study to do for my pharmacology test on Monday. I hope to do well on this test-- I've already put in a great deal of very productive study-- but it's so dense and there's so much to remember. Not easy. I've been feeling pretty discouraged about that one, and profoundly stressed about it. Nursing school is an endurance test, I've decided. A load of towels is drying on the line and another is in the washer. It's dry, breezy and warm today, so I should be able to get several loads done today.  This week is all forecast for sunny and 50/60/70s, so it should be a nice, relaxing week, somewhat. 

The pups are hale and hardy, and the same great joy that brightens every day. I'll put my book on the coffee table for study today so they can make their little horseshoe formation around me on the sofa. 

I'm off to Do Things.  The puppies of the planet will have to forego the pleasure of sweaters from me for the time being.

Ugh. My knee!

Best I can figure, I wrenched my knee sometime last week. It hurt at the time, but the real killer was several days (like sim lab clinical) where I had to stand for hours without being able to move around much-- until that, even a fair but of walking didn't feel bad. Trying to rest it up this week. Monday seemed much better, but I keep waking up with ouches. Took half a pain pill to sleep tonight, and it's helped a bit, but not much. I'm awake now at 1:15.  Hoping this is not the harbinger of major knee problems to come. I can't afford infirmities! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Say hello to my leetle Fran!

His name is Fran.
At an antique market this weekend, someone put this up at the register to purchase, but never claimed him. Between his impish grin and orange fingernails, I decided Fran needed to come home with me.
Funny thing. A lady at the checkout deliberated about buying him. She seemed as taken with Fran as was I. She vexed and vexed, and said "I would take him except that I don't like that it says WHISKEY on the bottle." I assured her that this little fellow has been sober for a very long time. (bottom of the bottle says 1972).  I went on to say that having this in her home wouldn't be to promote whiskey. She finally walked away and I took him home instead. I later learned she was a preacher's wife, and he would have looked askance at this impish vessel entering his humble abode.
Tee hee.
Well, all the better for mine. I think he's adorable. 
I've tons of booze of various stripes that have been collecting dust on a shelf for years, and I've been planning to clear off all but the occasional fliers from the shelf.  That'll make more room for this little guy.
I'm not one to go in for wearing green or big holiday themes, etc, but in this case, I'll make an exception. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: Tissue thief

La Motch has discovered where I tuck the box of tissues near the bed. I often awaken to find my nose running like a faucet quite quickly. Mochi deftly grabs a tissue in her mouth and runs like a little scalded turkey. It's slightly irksome, but mostly it's cute!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spring Break: let the toil begin!

Yesterday was not the grand, elation-giving day I expected, but it's over and that's a good thing. The ending was good with all the warmth of home and cuddly doggies and a side-splitting episode of Malcolm In The Middle on Netflix. (One problem of summarily dismissing all broadcast television is that you never really believe people when they tell you "this show is SO good" and you end up missing the occasional golden chestnut.Thankfully, Netflix is on the case and I'm systematically binge-watching at odd moments.)

This morning I'm to read a chapter from Pharmacology and do a little studying before I leave the house for errands about town. Next 4 days are full to the brim with commitments, but I'm hoping to squeeze a trip to yoga in tomorrow - I've GOT to get back into that and calm myself down a bit. After so long away, I'm worried I'll just have to stay in child's pose the whole time.  We'll see!

It's just above freezing, but the sun is bright and it's supposed to get into the 50s today. I hope it warms up before I have to hang the wash on the line -- fingers get cold fast when hanging laundry.

For your pleasure, I've attached a beautiful photo of Sligachan Bridge on the Isle of Skye*.  Yes, all of Skye is gorgeous and wonderful like this.  You have to love a place where there are Otter Crossing signs! I hope to visit Skye again one day. I did not know at the time I visited, but I am descended from the McCords of Skye.  Neat, eh? No wonder I'm drawn there. Or maybe it's just because it's so incredibly beautiful and has Otter Crossings.
I hope your day is wonderful!
*the photo comes courtesy of Morrison Car Rental, and you can hire a car and tool all over the Highlands, which I recommend. If you are unaccustomed to driving on the left, though, I'd strongly urge you to visit during the off-season, as Skye is crawling with tourists and hikers during the summer, and most of the road around the island is one-laned with lay-bys - could be hairy if you are nervous on top of the crowded roadway. The winterscape there much suits Skye's rugged, desolate beauty, anyway.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A kid on Christmas morning

Today is my last day of classes until the 24th. I have a lot of studying to do over the holiday, but otherwise I'm fwee! Wheeeee! Not quite 4am and I almost wonder if I'll be able to sleep any more before time to get up. 

Loulou's problem turned out to be the starter, and that was fixed yesterday, so I'm mobile again. 

Monday brought our usual 4 glorious hours of Spring, and then it got hot. Yesterday was about 90. There's something cruel about having 9 degrees temp on one day and the having it 90 a week later. All the same, I hold out the naive hope for a mild summer, and some rain would help. We are in drought status, and lawn and garden watering is not allowed, plus water bill has increased by about a third starting last fall, although I'm using less than ever. *crab*

Late Tuesday a bear of a dust storm blew in, and stuff has been rattling and thrashing on the porch like mad. I sleep with a white noise app on, so it's not keeping me up, but the temp has dropped pretty dramatically.

I'm hoping for a strong finish to the semester, but I've so much to learn. 

I'm off to snuggle some puppies, now. 

6:20 update.
Aaaaaand it's 39 degrees now. 

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: we have company!!!

Puppies were so excited when Uncle JimJim arrived earlier this week. 

Friday, March 07, 2014

Living in the gap between past and future

For friends who grapple with life's greatest terrors daily. You are not alone, and you are loved. The sun will shine another day, and you'll be there to soak it all in:

When it's so deep and dark that you can't speak about it
Don't ever think that you can't change the past and future

Dumber than a tater.

Misspelling "respect" is at least as dumb as "potatoe".

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Hopefully working smarter

Taking my car into town for some tests today (hopefully).

It's a cool 40 degrees here now, but should be sunny and closer to 60 soon. I should be able to get at least a couple loads of laundry dried on the line today. Clean sheets are on the bed, dirty are in the washer. Trying to get into a tidy-up habit for Thursday mornings.  I still have several hours of online course work, but my classes in town are over for the week. Huzzah!  Got an email from a great teacher this morning that I need to tweak my nursing diagnoses write-ups, so I'm going in to see her tomorrow morning to get on the straight and narrow with that. She said it's generally good, but needs a nudge here and there. I love having a professor who cares enough to let me know how I can improve.

Pharmacology exam is on the 24th, and I begin my prep work for that test today - I'd really like to hit it out of the park, so I need to do the wood-shedding up front.  I've got about 20 prototypes to really learn, so I'm going to start with a brief overview of all, and do big index cards for each, and tackle about one a day and then add into the stack bit by bit.  I'm hoping this method will work. I wish I could find some sort of flash card program on line I could use, but it seems not all programs go through the same meds at the same time. :(

Pups are larking about, and I opened a bag of mini marshmallows.  As everyone knows, alligators love marshmallows, and everyone knows that puppies are just furry alligators. I resisted the temptation to overdo it, but they had such a grand time, and it was very cute.  They are looking a little skinny lately...

I have two tests to complete and I hope to be finished with both by this time tomorrow.  This semester has been rough, but I'm glad it's about halfway over. After next week, I have Spring Break, and that couldn't come too soon!

Have a great weekend!

Wheel in the er- cage- keeps on turning...

Snarkybytes brought this to my attention, and it's given me quite a few giggles.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014


Looks like my car problem may only be battery or electrical. Hopefully battery!

Monday, March 03, 2014


School opening was delayed until 10:00 AM.  On a normal day it takes me about 17 minutes to get to school.  Went to my car at 9:00 and started it.  It sounded funny, but I thought "it's just cold(9 degrees, actually).  Funny sound continued.  Got out to scrape ice, left car running.  Sound changed, sounded more normal for a bit and then the dash lights flickered and it went off and won't come back on. 

Oh. And there's a smell.  Nearly an hour later I can still smell the smell on my hands-- I'm praying I haven't burned up another engine. 

I KNEW I shouldn't try to make it in for that 50 minutes of lecture - school opening was delayed to 10 AM.  My street looks like solid ice. 

But the professor is a tyrant and talks smack to the class and to other classes about anyone who doesn't risk life and limb to get there for whatever paltry time is allowed.

I am worried sick. :(

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: Chuy keeps watch

We've been hit with yet another winter storm. I know it will ring hollow for all you folks who never thawed out for the past several weeks, but it was about 80 here Friday and I needed my car air conditioner. Now it's bloody cold. Fortunately, I have the superior insulating powers of puppies. 

A test is scheduled for tomorrow, but I'm hoping for school cancel at least until noon. Yes, I know that is weasel-esque. 

Today we've had thunder sleet, replete with lightning, which is surreal.