Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: we help mommy with laundry

I dropped this quilt on the floor, staged as it was for laundry. The pups were gleeful that bedclothes were on the floor and accessible in the day. They do love their comforts!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Well, that's what I get for thinking!

Looks like I was happy too soon. Turns out I AM going to have some 5-day weeks, and some of those days will be 12 hour days. It'll be alright. Those weeks will be marathons, though. The hardest weeks will be over by mid-November, which will be here before you know it. Meanwhile...

Thank goodness for puppy therapy!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

One week nearly down...

15 weeks to go...

Tomorrow is an all-day clinical orientation, the first of 4 to take place this week and next.  As far as scheduled required attendance events, next week is THE hump for the semester, with 5 full days of required attendance. (correction - Monday is a holiday so no classes-- HUZZAH! - it's still the fullest week of the semester, though). Then the semester will be 1/8th over with. Yes, I'm breaking it into chunks because it makes the whole thing seem less daunting.

At the beginning of June I ordered doors for my house from Home Depot, and about a month ago they set up the installation.  The installer arrived and one door was the wrong color, and the other swung the wrong way, so both had to be re-ordered.  Hopefully all goes well with the installation. The back door is nearly completed, and so far, so good, but the hardware for the storm door on back was the wrong color.  Fingers crossed on this, but I'll report on that later. The pups are all in a tizzy because there are strangers about, but Himself is here to help manage the livestock and oversee the proceedings, and I'm most grateful.

So far, it's looking like the medical terminology class is going to be fun and very productive. It's a one hour course, so there's dramatically less in the way of assignments/quizzes, etc, but it's going to be quite fruitful since it deconstructs medical terms and fully explains origins and all that jazz, so this should greatly enhance my learning and understanding for the remainder of my school/professional career.  Glad I am taking that.

Today I have cleaned on horizontal surface in my house. The buffet is cleared of non-decorative stuff, and it's been cleaned with a wood polish wipe, and it's like it belongs in someone else's house, or somesuch!

More on the doors later, hopefully completed and with me happy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Day 2 of school and all is well...

I had my first classes in Med/Surg I and in Mental Health yesterday. Med/Surg was basically going over the syllabus the entire 1.5 hours, but MH got in about 30 minutes of lecture.  In the next two weeks, I have 4 entire full-day orientation sessions between these two classes.  Credit hours for these two classes is 10, but with clinical time, study and classroom, these two classes alone will be more than a full-time job. It's ironic to have such huge time-sink classes and only get 10 hours total, but that's life, eh?

This is the first semester I begin school without working a part-time job. In January, I was training for a job where I was working 28 hours a week, and they wanted me for more (even though the job was advertised as 8 hours/week), and the drain on time and energy was palpable, but that only lasted 5 weeks into my semester. It was enough to derail me utterly and I passed the whole semester by the skin of my teeth, I believe. I won't make that mistake again.

This is going to be challenging, but I think I'm better organized than the previous two semesters, and I'm going to make this work. I'm excited. 17 months to go.  Next week on Sept 1, I can begin saying "16 months to go." Baby steps.  Baby steps.

My snuggly boy

Chuy considers snugglings, scritchins and lovvins as his natural due.  He is a dog who has never been dropped, and knows his proper place in the world is one of comfort and ease. Mochi and Praline are farther under the covers, but I usually wake up with Chuy by my torso, ready to get a little extra attention in the morning. He is so blissful and peaceful. I love my boy!

Monday, August 25, 2014

New glasses

Holly's been telling me for years how great her glasses from Zenni are. I but the bullet and ordered some 2 weeks ago today. I wanted something funky and colorful, so I took a chance on this pair. With shipping and an extra scratch coating on my prescription lenses, my total was $35.95. Kind of hard to argue with a bargain like that. 

I just ordered a spare regular pair in red and a sunglasses pair, and my grand total for all 3 (including polarized mirror lenses on the sunglasses) will be about $160. I may never buy designer frames again. 

Oh, and they'll engrave your name inside the arm of the frame. Neat, eh? 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

And just like that, Summer break is over...

Blah de blah blah blah.


My books arrived Friday. I piddled with my classes and updated my calendar. I have to be in class tomorrow at 3pm. Going to the gym in the morning and then home to shower and study, then on to class. 

Wow. Here goes. 17 months to go.  It's supposed to be over 100 degrees every day this week. Hopefully it will at least cool off soon and that will make it slightly less miserable.  On the other hand, I get to wear my cheerful new specs tomorrow.

I feel cautiously optimistic about the semester, but I wonder what I'll feel like this time tomorrow?

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: pardon the nosey-smears!

Praline and Chuy are on the back of the recliner, keeping watch over the yard as per usual. Nothing escapes their notice!

Friday, August 22, 2014

If you see $213 vinegar, this must be Dallas.

Quick trip to Dallas Wednesday through Thursday. Had my hair done so I don't look too tore up at school, had a record-busting 20 minute trip to Ikea for a bookshelf, and got to spend some time with my folks. 

Went to Central Market and gazed with awe upon the oil and vinegar aisle-- one whole side of the aisle. Most of the selection was Middle-Of-The-Road in the $15-$30 range, but I still sort of gasped to see wee teeny bottles of the stuff for hundreds of dollars. The $213 stuff in this photo is aged 30 years. You'd think for that much money, they could provide something fresh, yanno?

Anyhoo- had a delicious meal made by Mom, and moseyed home to my wigglesome pups on Tgursday night. Praline is a mama's girl and nearly levitates when I get home. She wiggled so hard when she was running for me that her backside almost reached me before her frontside. Sweet, nutty girl!

My school books arrive today and I'll start with a chapter or two of my med/surg I textbook today, and tomorrow I'll be able to access my online classes and I'll start working to knock out the self-paced materials as much as possible this weekend to clear the decks for the meatspace classes/clinicals. A bit more organizing and I'll be ready for a successful semester.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bonus pup photo

School books are ordered. 
Health insurance is set up through July 31 and also the next year of car insurance. 

My school schedule took a last minute shuffle for the better. 

Heading to Dallas to get my hair did and see my folks. Wow. So much to do. School starts Monday. 

Reminding myself to stop and take a breath. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

One day I'll post a picture of pups on a freshly vacuumed rug...

...but today is not that day. 100 degrees outside, and my brownlings still have to do their snug-bug routine. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: drowsy doggie

End of a busy weekend, lying on the couch in my slip, Chuy uses me for furniture, and I happily oblige. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Knot Fad Away

I'm loving the recent trend toward hair buns.  Lots of beautiful young women are wearing hair buns because it's easy and, well, it's easy.  It started for me in the Fall semester, but I began wearing a bun to keep my hair out of the way during clinicals.  I try to do it up tastefully in a way that doesn't just look like a wad of hair perched precariously atop my head, but I'm not sure what the overall effect is.  Seems like the last time this was a major trend was the late 70s, and I was a little kid and wouldn't have worn my hair that way if you'd paid me.

Welcome back, bun. Take the load off. Set a spell. Stay a while.

Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Very concerned. :(

I let the pups out a little after 10, and Mochi came back in limping. She is a shrieker, anyway, so it's hard to tell if she  was bitten or stung by something, but her paw was definitely in some pain. Looked repeatedly at her paw with a flashlight and found no injury. To say I'm distressed is to understate. Fingers crossed she'll be okay, but most likely vetting in the morning. :(

Morning update: I have a flouncy-bouncy pup once again. Whew!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

And just like that, the summer school break is almost over...


I've made progress in fits and starts, but I have so so so much work to do before school starts a week from Monday.  My Mental Health clinical is sorted, and I'll have 3 hours of nursing class on Mon/Wed, and Mental health clinical is Tuesdays, but when my med/surg I clinical will be will remain a mystery most likely until the second or third day of class.  It probably seems like a small thing to wait for, but if I knew which day I'd have that clinical, then I could better steel myself for the semester. It's possible it could be Saturday or Sunday night. I'm in for whatever the program serves up, obviously, but waiting to set my chops for my full schedule seems a bit stressful.

But maybe I'm making this more stressful than it has to be? What is, is.  Best to get on with it!

The great news is that in just the past few weeks, my knee with the torn meniscus is dramatically improved! Sometimes I'll go an entire day or two with no pain, and I suddenly notice to miss hurting-- it's a refreshing feeling.  I'm not going to be wearing my very high heels any time soon, but I'm much more steady on my pins, so that's a good thing.

I've been practicing my ukulele more lately, and that's been enjoyable.  I've learned Lucky Ball & Chain by They Might Be Giants and also Amy Winehouse's version of Valerie, and these are fun, rollicking tunes that set well in my vocal range, too.  It's good to be making music again, if only to torment my poor wee pups!

This weekend is my antique market. I'm hoping all goes well and that I make a nice tidy profit.  It would be good to have extra dosh to launch me into the school year. maybe I could even manage to get a fun new pair of shoes? We shall see!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

For fabricophiles and quilties:

My fabulous sister, Blowfuzzy von Sassy, directed me to the blog of a lovely quilter, acraftyfox and I found some other goodies through that link. Also snips snippets has some wonderful things, and you can vote for both their entries in a sewing challenge competition until midnight EST tonight.On Snips be sure and check out her Gypsy Wife quilt- is sublime, and I'm madly in love with her color sensibility on that piece.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Extra pups, just because.

I probably posted this before, but it's so cute that it bears repeating. I think this was about a year ago, or so.
My house is small, and I have NO closets. Trying to get things shifted in the extra bedroom so I can hopefully have one built by two or three Heroic Fellows this weekend. Fingers crossed that this works out. I'm taking a lot of stuff to a charity bin, and with help from Himself, I've hauled 4 pieces of furniture in to the antique market, and I hope I sell some or all of that this weekend. Trying to clear the decks and reduce chaos.
I've done a tremendous amount of cleaning and organizing lately, and the pups have been very supportive and helpful.  Today, though, we had a rainstorm this morning and me and the pups stayed in bed, snuggling until about 9am. That was beyond wonderful. :)
School starts two weeks from today, and this afternoon I met with a study group to bone up on psych meds and dosage calculation, because we'll have assessments on those early in the semester to see what we've retained. I've got a fair bit of studying to do, but I admit I've dawdled on Facebook quite a bit in recent days. That will have to be curbed dramatically and soon.
I have 17 months until I'm finished with school - December 2015. Yes, I'm counting. I have 3-6pm class on Mon/Wed, Mental Health clinical on Tuesdays, and I'm on tenterhooks awaiting news of my Med/Surg I clinical assignment. I really do hope it's not a weekend assignment, particularly because it will interfere with plans for Blogorado.  Holding my breath on that one.
Sad news today on the death of Robin Williams.  His perpetual energy and sparking mind always made me suspect he felt very sad and was reaching out desperately, trying to please others and to make it all okay. I'm sad he felt that checking out was the only way to fix things. He brought tremendous amusement to the world as he tried to work through it. R.I.P. and NaNu NaNu, Mr. Williams.


Sunday, Puppy Sunday: sweet girls

Praline and Mochi were hanging around as I was on the computer this morning. Praline appears to doze, but it seems she is rarely completely in a sleep state. 

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Why I should never sit down during a cleaning day

Scarf puppy made a scarf and then fell asleep against me. It would be mean to get up and continue cleaning, wouldn't it?

Friday, August 08, 2014

I aim to misbehave with fabric!

Perusing the custom-order fabric prints at Spoonflower, I 'bout dropped my transmission when I saw that several artists have created gorgeous Firefly-inspired fabrics.  I'm totally making a dress out of at least one of these. Cunning hat. Kaylee's Parasol. I call it Vera. There's a Kaylee fabric that has a stylized little character of her in several outfits, including the pink froufrou thing from the shindig. There's also fabric printed with quotes from the show, and one has a scene with the two dinosaurs acting out. (Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!) There's another Kaylee themed one called "Yes, Sir, Cap'n Tight-Pants!". Gotta love it!

Good stuff.  Here's a couple of samples:

The one on top is called Big Damn Heroes and the one below is my favorite, called Leaf On The Wind.

These are fairly pricey, so I'll really mean it when I order some, but they have thousands of glorious prints from which to choose. There are some impressive Doctor Who prints, and Sherlock, and the array goes on and on.  Good stuff.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Sweetie pie

When I sit at the computer and Mochi asks so sweetly to be picked up and cuddled, I can't resist!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The Nomnivore strikes again!

These cork trivets from Ikea are great for putting under hot plates when eating on the coffee table, but I have to remember to always put them up, as the Nomnivorous One is always lurking, waiting for her moment.  Cork is lots of chewy fun!
As per usual, I find it impossible to be mad at her. I know what she is and I'm pretty vigilant about what's within snout-snatching distance for her, since her emergency surgery earlier this year. I am tempted to say she is why I can't have nice things, but in truth, the pups are such nice things that all other material things pale in comparison. 
Still: bratty!

Ignorance may not be bliss, but sometimes you just don't want to know.

I'm glad I don't know which little nose moistened my pajama bottoms right on my backside at 5AM, creating a cold "whoosh" effect with every inhalation. Of course, I forgive the little creature, but it's not my favorite thing. 

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Getting sorted.

Lately I've been idling away some considerable hours playing puzzle games online. I was doing this last summer, too, though at that point I was finishing Microbiology and working full-time. By the time school started in the fall, I ditched puzzle apps on my phone and stopped playing games on Facebook entirely, recognizing same as the time-sink they are. As if FB itself is not enough of a time-waster.

I wonder why we are compelled to do those things, though? I mean, it definitely tips over into compulsion, and I had plenty of occasions when I used up all 5 lives in Candy Crush and had to wait 30 minutes or so for a new life to become available to play another round. This was previously a behavior from which I naively thought I was immune. 

For many years, I've played solitaire on the computer. I have always considered this a meditative tool, constantly planning things I want to make, things I want to do while playing-- I'm never in a passive vegetative state at such times, and I also don't focus so intently on card moves that I maintain very high win ratios-- that's not what I'm aiming for. I'm wondering, though, if my mental state during such play has changed over time, because playing more suddenly seems so important?

When school is in, I'm focused on objectives, and I'm linear about attacking deadlines, etc., but given the school's-out option of idling, I idle far more than I tell myself I prefer. Even on days when I don't have a test next Tuesday, I want to have objectives toward which I make at least a molecular advancement. Lately, though, I've piddled about to a degree wherein I disappoint myself.

After the intensity of the school session and in anticipation of another which begins in 3 weeks, I will admit I feel no shame about frittering away a bit of time-- the brain needs idle time, too-- but I grow suspicious that this compulsion to not think and to check out with brainless activity is related to the same rationale (or lack thereof) that keeps me from ruthlessly weeding out the outdated/worn/ill-fitting from my wardrobe, or from attacking my files to weed out and destroy the old and unnecessary among my papers.

Idle time is not a problem, but not thinking productively (and realistically) is a problem. I need to rethink this. And I'm attacking that wardrobe and those papers today, by golly!

Doors, best laid planes, and stuff.

When I purchased my house in early 2010, I knew that the doors and windows needed to be updated for the sake of heating/cooling efficiency as well as security.  The windows were all re-done in 2011 (I think?), and the doors have been in holding pattern, but I realized earlier this summer I needed to address the door issue. I mentioned here a couple months ago that I was arranging for new doors at Home Depot. I knew at that point that receiving them before the July 4 holiday would be unlikely, but after all the care, planning and expense, I didn't expect it to take until August 4. This house is 1930s era, and the portals are not a standard size, so custom-measure doors would have to be built.

Yesterday, the door installer came, and a thought flashed into my head at one point that I should go out and eyeball the doors, but I pushed this thought aside with some other pressing detail. I had reviewed every detail with the salesman who set up the order, including the direction each door would swing, inside and outside colors, etc.  Both doors swing the same way, and the front door is a dark green while the back door is a custard sort of color.  [I know this probably sounds odd, but I didn't want the light color for the front door, and I didn't want a dark door in the broad expanse of pale siding on the back. You are free to think me a ninny for that, but I think concessions to slavish uniformity on this point (having both doors the same color) would be aesthetically jarring. After all, you can only look at two planes of my house at one time, and at no time would you be able to do a side-by-side comparison of the two doors, so don't trouble me about this!]


The doors they sent were both green on the exterior  *sigh*  AND the back door was the wrong measure, and the installer figured this out after the dilapidated old door was already removed. AND the front door swings the wrong way.  SO, the installer improvised and put one door on the back space, left off the storm door for now, and both doors are having to be re-ordered.  *sigh*
He said he'd press them to put a rush on the order, since it was a factory goof, but now I'm wondering if it will be October before all my doors are squared away. *sigh*

The good thing is that my house is appreciably cooler since late in the afternoon for having the sieve-like old back door removed. I think it was original from 1935, and I could see daylight at certain points around the frame.  During big snows, a stiletto of snow/ice would form on the floor in the laundry area extending from the corner of the door about a foot into the house, so, yeah, far from airtight. I suspect the back door, followed closely by the front, was where my house loses most heating/cooling efficiency since new windows and a mountain of attic insulation.

The redneck fix is up for now and will have to do, but it's far from complete. The crablike/sidewise movement toward completion of the task is, I suppose, better than nothing, but it's a nuisance, to say the least. I'm actually not furious or even angry- we all make mistakes- but I'm disappointed.  That said, this new, wrong door is better than the door I woke up to at that portal yesterday. 

Often have I joked that by the time you're all done with doing the needful to maintain a house, it's like you built a whole new one. Intellectually, I have to deal with the fact that what I spend on windows and doors and one day on a new roof is money I will never see back out of the place. But there is inherent value in keeping me and my pups dry and secure, and preferably in a comfortable environment which insulates us from the harsh temperatures of the arid baked plain on which we reside. Baby steps, eh?

Friday, August 01, 2014


Monday was my last day on the summer job, and now I'm in Dallas visiting family and friends. It's been a blast, but I'm missing my doggies, and I'm heading home Monday night. Saw this horrid graffiti at a bar on Harwood. Loved it! There's something mystical, otherworldly about this tableau. And totally messed up. 
Sorry! I guess it's not graffiti if it has been intentionally done by the owner. I guess this is a mural? Advertising? What? Whatever it is, it's rather astonishing.