Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day 23: September 19th, 2009

Quote of the Day: "Enlightenment is the "quiet acceptance of what is". I believe the truly enlightened beings are those who refuse to allow themselves to be distressed over things that simply are the way they are. - Wayne Dyer"

What a great day today has been. Most of today was, once again, spent at the laptop trying to copy my class notes onto a file so that I can have them arranged the way I like them... easy to read! The way I take notes in class, it's like looking at chickenscratch! Who wants to spend half their study time wondering "What does that say?" So it's become an obsession with me. The gals in my study group and I are going to exchange what notes we have taken and combine them all into one study guide, since no two people catch the same thing and can write it down. Especially with the speed the instructor speaks at!

And speaking of my study group, I called today and made the reservation for the cabin up at Lake Texoma for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of October for our study group. None of us are sure yet whether we'll be able to do a campout on that weekend, or whether we'd rather go to Lake Kickapoo and stay in the tent if we do, or whether we want to stay 2 nights or 3 nights, but I figured I'd better make the appointment before all the cabins were rented out. As it is, we got extremely lucky and one of the new cabins was available. The ones with the giant loft upstairs where someone can throw a sleeping bag and just chill out. And it has a screened in porch, too, so the bugs won't even be an issue! Good thinking! :) So now, all I need is for Delia, Carol Ann, Amy, and Laurie all to come to an agreement on what we want to do and when we want to do it. I only have until the 25th to cancel the reservation if we decide to stay in the tent or just not go at all, so we'd better hurry. I've sent out an email to let them know, and am hoping we can all get together on Monday at Denny's and decide everything over some coffee or brunch.

We'll see!

My phone is fixed, by the way! Thank heavens! I am still so angry with AT&T that I can hardly see straight, but that's okay. I'll deal with it. I'm looking into other options, such as Vonage, so we'll see. It really sounds like a good deal, except we would have to get a new phone number. That part stinks. But then again, maybe those collections calls we've been getting for some lady named Amy Bragg since we got the phone number issued to us in 2005 will finally stop. I have no idea who she is, but I'm pretty sure that she's on my bad list for having to put up with her collectors calling ME at MY home, and not believing that she does not live at this number anymore. I really wish there was some sort of law against changing your phone number if you have unpaid debts. Save all the rest of us decent people who DO pay our bills on time a little bit of the hassle of worrying about your messes, would you people? Geez! It is really sad when YOU'RE BEING HASSLED BY BILL COLLECTORS BECAUSE OF SOMEONE WHO USED TO HAVE YOUR PHONE NUMBER!!!!!

Here is sweet little Chloe, breaking in her new Halloween costume....
she seems to like playing dress-up with her sister, but the poor thing is so big that there are hardly any clothes I can find that fit her. To borrow, of course. There are lots of clothes I can buy, if I want to, but since I'm not going to be dressing the dogs in clothes once Ron gets back and I have no more reason to, why spend the money on it? Let's face it... critter clothes are EX-PEN-SIVE!!!!!


Ain't I cute, Daddy? I'm such a
little princess that I will sit all day long to pose for the camera!

I'm ready for my closeup now, guys... as soon as I finish sunning!

Mocha is just too adorable in her new little dress!

Mocha loves her Cody, too!

What's the most dangerous thing about Mocha?


Chloe, resting confortably on her grass.

And the end-all to end all is......


Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 22: September 18th, 2009

Quote of the Day: "Don't waste your life in doubts and fears: spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours or ages that follow it.-Ralph Waldo Emerson"

Today was a good day, for the most part. I tried to get up and walk, but found that I was too tired and sore to go very far today, so I only went a mile and a half. I don't know why I'm so sore, unless it has something to do with not sleeping well. I know it can have an affect on your body, but still.... maybe tomorrow will be better. Because I have been GAINING weight instead of losing it! GRR!!! I think I am going in the WRONG DIRECTION!!! And it really TICKS ME OFF!!!

Cody has a dance tonight at his school that he is attending. It's the first dance of the season. Evidently, though, dances have changed since I was in middle school, because he just threw on an old shirt and shorts. Remember when these things were like a fashion show? Or maybe it was just the girls that were like that, I don't know. And Ron's not here, so I can't even ask him. But I can remember that he didn't really dress up in middle school, soooo... yeah, I guess it was a girl thing. Either way, he supposedly had fun. I asked him how it went, and he said "I don't know,.... dancey?" Sigh. I really should have tried for that girl!

Cody getting ready to go to the middle school "back to school dance" tonight.

Yet another Mocha picture. No outfit tonight, just a little red bandana. She wasn't feeling particularly dressy tonight. Must have been Cody rubbing off on her.

Today I have spent a good 90 percent of my day sitting at this laptop and transcribing my lecture notes from class on Wednesday onto my laptop. I have been finding the subject matter somewhat tedious in comparison to my interest I found in all things cardiac, but then something really strange happened. One of the components of this particular module is the various types of anemias that can be found, and one of them in particular caught my attention. It is called Sickle Cell Anemia, and it is found primarily in African and Black Americans. It is a inherited blood disorder. It causes many various problems, one of which is malformation of bone. Why, you may ask, does this particular information catch my attention? Briefly put, because of an old XRay I recently found of my mother's left hand.

Her whole life my mother had this problem with her left hand... her left ring finger was EXACTLY as long as her pinky finger on the same hand. She was born that way. I used to notice how self-conscious it made her, and how she was always wearing big rings to distract people from the fact. But what really got me thinking was how, in this particular XRay, it shows why her hand was "deformed" as she called it. In the XRay, pictured below, you can clearly see that one of the bones in her hand is shorter than all the others. And it really made me wonder, is it possible for a caucasian female to have hereditary Sickle Cell Anemia? Was she ever told WHY her finger was shorter? What made it shorter? And if not, then what did cause it?

This is an XRay of my mother's left hand... notice the shortened metacarpal bone of her ring finger? (you are looking at it palm-up)

This picture was found embedded in an article at, showing the same shortening of the same metacarpal bone on a patient who suffers with Sickle Cell Anemia. What do you think?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 21: September 17th, 2009

Quote of the Day: "Within you I lose myself...Without you I find myself, Wanting to be lost again.~Author Unknown"

I went out there last night, and lo and behold there they were! Three, at least, that I could see in my hurried search because I was running out of daylight. I am SO EXCITED, maybe there's hope of getting some good ones after all. I went ahead and put up a little temporary fence around them to protect them from Dummy, so maybe they will actually be able to mature. I really wish the dog didn't like vegetables, but what can I say? At least I had the fence lying around. It wasn't too hard. Now, I just have to make sure that she doesn't get to them anyways.

See how tiny my little peppers are? I can't wait to see what they turn into. Maybe they don't actually get that big... I can't remember what kind I planted.


Today was the first day of clinicals for this semester, and I guess that it could have been worse. I had a rotation in the CCU today (cardiac intensive care unit), and it wasn't actually that bad. It was slow, so it made for a REALLY long day, but I guess it wasn't that bad. I have been told that it's not always that slow there, but it was every bit as slow as the regular ICU. I did pretty well, though. I told the nurse I was assigned to that one of the patients' EKGs was looking like she was going into heart block, and the nurse said that she wasn't, she was just in regular sinus bradycardia (that's an extremely slow heart rate). Then later, when the doctor showed up on the floor he just happened to mention that the lady was starting to go into heart block. I was so proud of me! Evidently all that marathon studying actually did some good! The rest of the day was uneventful, however, and I was glad to get back home where I could wind down and take a look at the homework that goes along with the CCU. I have a lot of work to do on it, but since I have found that I actually am interested in cardio I don't think it will be too bad. It's fascinating, how the heart works and how many things can affect it. I never thought it would be something I'd enjoy, but that shows you what I know!

I'm still doing the "Mocha's Outfit-of-the-Day" for Ron, and will continue to keep on doing it until I run out of outfits to borrow, so for the lastest outfit here is the little Gym Dog. She looks all ready to head out for some serious exercise, doesn't she? She didn't seem to like this outfit as much as some of the other ones I've tried on her. I still have a couple of cute little dresses for her, but I'm trying to space out all the "girly" ones to make it more interesting. And let's face it, even if I was the kind of person who would NORMALLY dress a dog I would understand that we can't all have "pretty days" all the time. Sometimes we all just want to "bum around"! ;)

I am going to make her a coat for this winter, sometime when (I mean, IF) I have free time, because I will be leaving them outside this winter while I am at school and clinicals, and she barely has any fur. I know that they have the dog door into the garage and everything, but it still stays really cold in the garage. I'd feel better about keeping her out if I could know that she was warm. I've looked at the store for coats for her, but they all only have a little tiny strip under their belly, and Mocha has literally NO fur on her belly. It would be like us being outside in the middle of winter with OUR belly open to the air! I shiver just to think about it. But once I get it done, and if it doesn't turn out too horribly, I will be taking pictures of it to put on here for you. Just, beware... the words "Carmen" and "sewing" usually don't belong in the same sentence... I haven't ever been accused of being good at it!

Here is Mocha sporting a very basic doggie sweatshirt.....

Doesn't she still look sweet?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 20: September 16th, 2009

Quote of the Day:
“How like a winter hath my absence beenFrom thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!What old December's bareness everywhere!~William Shakespeare, "Sonnet XCVII" ”

Today has been one heck of a day. It was my turn to drive to school today, 45 miles from my house, and Laurie lives in Henrietta which is about a 30 minute drive in the opposite direction. So…. I came up with this really great idea: why didn’t Laurie come stay here last night so that we can study really well and not have to leave for school so early. A good idea, in theory, right? Laurie and I ended up staying up until midnight studying, then headed to take a quick power-nap. She was able to fall asleep by around 12:30, the lucky dog, but by the time I could get my head to clear up and quit going over the study material here came Cody to my door…. “Mom, I don’t feel good,” he says, and he’s off to the bathroom with a bout of the stomach flu. So I was up for that, which meant that I didn’t fall asleep until sometime around 2am. And we were up at 4:30 am to finish studying before our test. Incidentally, Laurie and I have both decided that if we have another night-before-the-test study session, we’ll be going to sleep around 8 or 9pm, and then getting up around 3 or 4 am to study.

We did end up getting a lot of good studying done, though. And I personally think that I did really well on the test! It’s the first one I’ve taken in nursing school that I walked away from feeling happy and confident. There were only one or two questions where I was either doubting my knowledge or just didn’t know the right answer. I can’t wait to see if I really did that great, or if it’s just my sleep-deprived mind trying to make me think that I did well so that I’ll let it rest! We’ll see, the instructor said that she would be able to upload our grades to the school’s online system by Monday at the latest, which means anytime from now until Monday. So I’m going to keep checking back. Makes me kind of hopeful that maybe that GPA will go back up after all!

After class I have come home and am so tired that I can barely think straight. My head feels like it’s stuffed full of lead from all the sinus pressure in it, my body aches from lack of sleep , and my phone isn’t working right, which means that Ron can’t call me. And my stomach doesn’t feel too hot, so I’m terrified that I’m getting the stomach bug that’s been going around… the night before my clinicals!!!!! Which I can’t miss or I’ll get a demerit. You’re only allowed three of those before you’re kicked out of the program. I haven’t earned any yet, but it still worries me. Other than all that it was a really good day. I was going to try to stay awake until Ron tried to call around 10pm or so, but I think I really do need to lay down and get at least a little bit of rest. I feel like my whole system is about to shut down, so it’s nighty-night time, for sure.
But in typical tradition, here are your parting pictures:

"Aww, how sweet! Mommy changed out that rug she threw in MY cat bed with a nice, soft fleece blankie just because I was mad at her! I guess I'll forgive her for her mistake this time. But she'd better not let it happen again!"

Today, I was getting into my car and noticed this tiny, nearly insignificant flower on my Chinese Fringe Flower plant. Looks like the relief from the heat is making it bloom again. I'll keep an eye out, and if it becomes a proliferant bloomer I'll take another picture for you.

"Hey, aren't you in my 'A Dog's Guide to Looking Cute and Getting Your Way 101' class?"

What's harder to believe, the fact that I found matching outfits that fit both dogs.....

Or the fact that I made them WEAR the outfits?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day 19: September 15th, 2009

Quote of the Day: "Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing. -William Arthur Ward"

Hello! My name is Kalamena Big-Tooth Tiki... Welcome to the backyard! There's been lots going on around here today.

The bees are out pollinating....

the baby pineapple plant is growing VERY well, unlike the parent plant which seems to have seen better days...

And FINALLY ... My owner Ron's bright yellow daylilies have FINALLY begun to bloom. Not bad... the rest of them were done in the spring. **********

And the sun has been hiding behind clouds again today. But that is a story for another time, for I am tired of the weather. Whatever happened to the saying "This is Texas, if you don't like the weather wait five minutes." The good news is that the Red River has finally come back up just a little bit. Now, if we could just get a little more cool weather.....

As for Carmen, today has been a very busy day for me. I spent it fluttering around like a chicken with my head cut off between trying to prepare Ron's care package to be sent, and studying. Our test is tomorrow, so Laurie has come over tonight to pull an all-nighter. We are bound and determined to get a good grade on the test, and I figure that since I've been so sleep-deprived ever since Ron left I figure I'm not going to miss out on much. We just figured that we could get a lot of good studying in, take a little nap, then study some more on the way to school. We've been studying so much lately that it's not anything out of our usual. I've been going to bed anywhere from midnight to two am every night, so this is no big change for me. Incidentally, I have to make this blog short tonight, so I'll leave you with Mocha's outfit of the day.... Goodbye until tomorrow! :)

Mocha wearing a "Tuff Dog" shirt... Yeah, REAL TOUGH. ;)

Yeah, okay, I get it... Mocha loves to be a lap dog!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 18: September 14th, 2009

Quote of the Day: "Can miles truly separate you from friends.... If you want to be with someone you love, aren't you already there? ~Richard Bach"
I woke up this morning to *gasp* more rainy weather. I am so tired of rain, but I know we really need it, so I'm biting my tongue. At least it made for some cooler weather, and I really love that. But it also makes for something else, too, something so annoying and that spreads so quickly that you can be quickly overcome before you even realize it! And I'm not talking about a flood, either. I'm talking about mushrooms. Only around here, these things can get enormous. Know the old adage that says "everything's bigger in Texas"? Well, it sure does apply to the mushrooms! I walked out back with the dogs looking at all my plants, and there they were... mocking me... just sitting there all big and puffy. And, of course, already open, so all the fungus spores have already spread. Oh, boy. And they say the only way to get rid of them is to try to dig them out and hope you get them all! Like anyone actually has time for that?

Here they are in all their glory: Our new giant mushrooms

Here's an amazing fact that someone forgot to tell me: did you know that an Elephant Ear plant will bloom? I had no idea until I was puttering around outside one day and saw what looked like a withered, dried up flower in the middle of my Elephant Ear plant I planted this spring as a lowly little bulb. I was happy enough that one out of the two I planted actually grew, but the flower thing astonished me. So I've been waiting and biding my time, and sure enough here came another one! I took a picture of it for you all to see, just so you don't think I am crazy! (But mostly because Ron asked for one, and I can NEVER refuse his puppy dog eyes, even if they aren't visible... you can hear it in his voice! :)

My Elephant Ear Plant in bloom!!! Oh, and by the way... I LOVE this plant! The mature leaves are at least 2 feet!



As you can see, little miss Mocha is still into "fashion mode", and sporting a sweet little denim vest in honor of the cooler weather. Ain't she sweet? As far as the other critters go, I haven't really seen Mika all day because she's been snoozing on the window seat in my office, and Tiny's been very distant most of the day. I think he's angry with me because I disassembled his "bed".... The story goes like this: Mom makes Cody clean out his closet and drawers and get rid of all the clothes that do not fit any more. The clothes were given away to people that needed them, but the socks weren't fit for anyone to wear. So Mom throws them all into a box that she just happened to have brought home that day from Sam's Club and sits it next to the back door to take outside. And lo and behold, Tiny found it within 5 minutes and laid claim to it, so I didn't have the heart to get rid of it. But I couldn't stand having a cardboard box full of socks sitting there, so today I did something about it. And now he's mad at me and won't go near it. Oh, dear. And here I thought it turned out really cute!

Don't you think it looks like a really cute, really cozy kitty bed?

But anyways, back to the love part: Miss Chloe was hit especially hard, leading me to be able to capture some pretty adorable little pictures. I guess the rain really has gotten to everyone! :)

Puppy love: Chloe giving Mocha a quick smoochie

You may recall that Chloe and tiger are best friends. Well, let me tell you! They played for like an hour before they finally got bored with it and went their separate ways to take a snooze in their various locations. It was pretty entertaining, as usual, and I was able to catch a really cute picture or two of them playing together today. I was going to put a different one on here, but Damien told me that since Chloe's eyes had reflected red because of the flash, it looked like she was trying to eat him. Hmm. Well... actually, I think I'll put it on here anyways!

Chloe and Tiger, in the process of playing

The Devil Dog and the Mistreated Kitty

Don't worry, though... Tiger always gives as good as he gets! He loves his "big sister."

I was going to put more on here, but I suddenly realized how long today's post is becoming, so I'll leave you with just a few more words.... HAVE A GREAT DAY, ALL, AND I'LL HAVE MORE TO TELL YOU TOMORROW!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Day 17: September 13th, 2009

Quote of the Day: All days are nights to see till I see thee,And nights bright days when dreams do show thee to me.~William Shakespeare, "Sonnet XLIII"

As promised, here it is... my shiny new bicycle! This morning I went to Academy and bought some workout clothes, so that I can have something to wear when walking and biking. I was completely floored by how much things cost now! You can tell that I very seldom go there for clothing. But I only have 4 pairs of shorts that fit me now, so I got some cheapies that will be comfortable but that I won’t feel guilty about not fitting into if I lose weight, which I’d really like to do. I did splurge on several items, too, but I’m having a major case of buyer’s remorse over the amount of money I spend, and I think that a lot of them will be going back. I still have to try them on, so maybe they won’t fit and it’ll make the decision for me. Right? Sounds good to me.

The rain needs to stop so that I actually CAN exercise, though. It’s now day two, and it’s rained most of the day. Again. For the last hour it’s actually dried up a little, but the winds are now blowing a little harder, and when the wind blows here with rain clouds in the sky it only means one of two things: it’s either blowing the storm away, or it’s about to get bad. I checked the Weather Channel, and it says 100% chance for rain tonight with thunderstorms. And incidentally, they have put us into flood watch. Could make driving interesting! The good news is that tomorrow’s only a 30% chance, so maybe there’s hope of me riding my new bike after all! LOL

I have spent the vast majority of today attempting to study for my upcoming test on Wednesday, but it seems that without my study group I can’t seem to focus. Not that we have that much focus when we’re studying, but at least we will make each other think about the subject and analyze it. Usually we come up with the correct answers that way, too, so I’ve been thinking of how nice it would be if we could do that for the test. I’d have a much better grade, for sure. I’m the kind of person who tends to rush through and not think about my answers before I choose them. I’ve tried to stop, but I just can’t seem to do it. And every time I change answers on a test it never fails that the first one I had was the correct answer, and I would have gotten a higher grade if I didn’t own an eraser. My goal this semester is to try and take at least an hour to take my test, instead of the normal 15-minutes-and-I’m-done routine I have been doing. I really want to get my GPA higher, nursing school has brought it down WAY LOW. As a matter of fact, my GPA now says that I’m AVERAGE. YUK! Who wants that???? And I owe it all to their extremely strict scoring. Thanks, Vernon College Nursing Program…. Couldn’t you just leave my transcripts as the normal grade point system, and use the Nursing grade point system just to determine whether I’m passing or not? I mean, really… do you have to kick us after you’ve knocked us down? Just a thought.
Oh, and here is proof that Mocha has adjusted... she now drinks from the pool! LOL