Monday, October 31, 2011

NaNoWriMo shoutout


In all my insanity, I'm going to try to do NaNoWriMo this year! I'm friends with many of you from last year, but if you're new and would like to buddy me, my user id is summerbp.

Anyone else doing it this year?

You should probably look at this picture of my cat Magoo helping me study instead of thinking about what a waste of web space this post was. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Tried to Resist...

So about two months ago, a girl in my nursing program had a little accident in her house and ended up fracturing her foot.

She was asked to withdraw from the program.

They expect you to be in peak physical condition for the duration of the program, which includes being able to bear full weight on both feet--thus, the withdrawal of the broken foot.

This freaked out a lot of us, especially me. My husband will be the first to tell you that I'm accident prone, and while it maybe true that I trip a lot, I've never *knock on wood* broken anything or gotten seriously hurt more than a couple times (sprained my ankle jumping out of a swing when I was an elementary school tutor, but the kids thought I was awesome).

So I stopped running. I was having serious shin splint problems anyway, and the running was aggravating them to the point of constant pain--I even went to the doctor about it.

I switched my workouts to aerobics and yoga, which are great. I like them, I do.

But I miss running.

And now that the weather is cool, the siren call of the pavement is growing stronger. Running in the summer here is terrible, but as soon as the humidity breaks it's the best thing in the world.

So, here I am. About to do some power yoga and then sneak outside and go for a run. *sigh*

Please don't let me break my ankle, running gods!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Random Thoughts for a Rainy Day

We went almost the entire summer without rain, but it's rained three times this week already. No one is complaining--it seems that we just recovered from the terrible drought of the last decade, only for the lake to be down several feet again. (At the height of our drought, our local water (and water that went to Florida) supply, Lake Lanier, was down almost 30 feet.)

Like any good writer, I love a dreary day! Sadly I can't spend it writing--I'm supposed to be studying muscles, bones, joints, and skin for my next anatomy exam tomorrow. So far I've slept in, worked out, and am finally eating breakfast and thinking about Christmas.

I've noticed that people are posting Nordstrom's sign a lot on Facebook:

I get it. I really do. But personally, I love Christmas. I'd like to live in a Christmas-decorated world for about 9 months out of the year, with the other 3 months decorated for fall.

This will be my first Christmas as a homeowner. I've already decided where to put my tree. As for whether or not it will be an artificial tree, I still haven't decided. The kittens destroyed last year's tree so hard that I'm loathe to go through that again, especially since it'll be on carpet instead of tile. They may be a year older, but they're not any more mature, let me assure you.

And along the Christmas thoughts, I've decided that I'm going to try and do most of my Christmas shopping in support of small business, whether local brick and mortars, or through shops like Etsy. I'm also going to try and finish most of it by the first week in December so that A) I can spend December writing, and B) those whose items I'm buying can have plenty of time to use my money to do their own Christmas shopping.

Holidays should be interesting this year. I haven't talked about it before, but my grandmother (mom's mom) has been in a terrible battle with her third round of breast cancer for the last two years. This time it metastacized in her bones. She's doing better now than she was for a while, but she's still not in great shape. For the past 3 years, my parents have gone to stay with her for Thanksgiving (she lives in Florida), but this year they've gotten her to agree to come up before Thanksgiving and stay through Christmas. So I fully expect Evan and I will be doing the double Thanksgiving this year, which we've not done before. Even worse, we'll probably be doing damage control with his parents, as it's still very iffy whether or not Evan's brother and his wife will be able to come for the holidays.

Thanksgiving, of course, will be a blur for me, since it's the final week of class before the semester ends and we have finals. I'm just going to eat my turkey and take a nap, and this year I won't be doing the Black Friday thing, unless my MIL really wants my company.

And now that I've had an internal conversation on my blog, I'm going to eat my grapefruit now...

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Thrilling Conclusion

Thanks for all the response to my ridiculous age poll! I think the general consensus was probably around 23. Which makes sense, as I still think of myself as 23 for some reason. I guess I exude the 23-year-old vibe.

As for my actual age, I'm on the downhill slope of 25. I like to hold myself against impossible standards for 25-year-olds. I mean, it's always 25 that gets the comparison, isn't it?

"He left me for his 25-year-old secretary!"

"She has the body of a 25-year-old!"

"I wish I was 25 again!"

You see?

Currently I feel more around 55 than 25, but that's stress for you. I cut off my hair out of laziness, because I don't like the way ponytails pull on my hair, and up-do's require too much time, and I have to have my hair out of the way for clinicals. Not holding myself up to the standard too well, am I?

I did some fun things this weekend. You should look at my pictures and compliment me.*

Me and my brother being silly. "TRAPPED IN THE CORN!"

Me and el husband. 

This is what a corn maze looks like from the interior. 

That's right, we were carving pumpkins like it's 1992!
And that's my girl cat, eviscerating Evan's pumpkin throat. Poor pumpkin.

What fun thing did you all do this weekend?
Oh, and I thought the season premiere of The Walking Dead was great! How about you other fans??

*you don't have to compliment me. Really. 

Friday, October 14, 2011


Very straightforward and completely unnecessary. Recent events have led me to wonder: how old do I really look? And for those of you who know how old I am, just pretend.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This time 6 months ago I was in the final stretches of finishing up my fourth novel, writing an average of 2k per day and generally not knowing how good I had it. 

These days I write 2k, but it's all in the form of nursing notes, care plans, interventions, or papers. 

I've actually been continuing to work on my latest WIP, but since school started I think I've eeked out what? 2 chapters? 3? And each one is taking me at least 2 weeks to write, just a few bursts at a time. Since I finished the last chapter almost 2 weeks ago, I've managed to write about 300 words, and it was the night before my second nursing exam. I was so wired from studying all day that I couldn't quiet my brain for sleep, so I pulled out my netbook and wrote an introduction for the next chapter. Of course, as soon as I started that, I got sleepy. 

I got so used to having time to write that now that I'm lucky to squeeze in 30 minutes every few weeks, I'm cranky. It makes me resent nursing school, housework, laundry, dishes (let's be honest--I resented those anyway.) 

I have irrational fears that the more I stuff into my brain about muscle anatomy and the stages of infection (for example), the more writing stuff is dribbling out. I'm afraid that at the end of these two years, my fiction writing will read like a textbook. 

I had my hospital orientation this morning. Have I mentioned how ridiculous our scrub uniforms are? I attend a military university, and our scrubs are very retro-military-esque. PURE white, and I mean WHITE. Zip-up collared smocks with patches and bars on the sleeves. The nursing students are called the "marshmallow crew" by the hospital employees. You can certainly spot us from a distance, that's for sure. 

Anyway, I'm assigned one of the big hospitals in the region. And whoa, is it nice! I'm going to be on the ortho/neuro floor for the year (sweet!), and you wouldn't believe the technology that's in these places. Even the toilets are smart. 

I'm afraid I won't be able to talk much about my clinical experiences (HIPPA and all that), other than in vague terms. But I'll certainly share anything extra exciting! 

So. I have two nursing exams down (A's on both!), two plus the final to go. One final big paper, my dietary analysis for nutrition and a teaching plan on lactose intolerance. My next A&P exam is in a week, and my cadaver lab is next Tuesday! (I also can't talk much about that, because the cadavers are still considered patients with HIPPA rights.) 

The semester has absolutely FLOWN by. Seriously, I feel like every time I wake up, three more weeks have passed. 

I'm living for December 6th. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

In Which a Post is Not About Nursing School

I took a mental health day this past Saturday and gave myself permission to do some much-needed yardwork.

Two weeks ago, we bought quite a few plants at a garden expo, but most of them have been sitting around, dying bit by bit because I've been too busy to plant them.

We also finally got the first half of the weed pit cleared! Evan made a fire that burned for about 7 hours, and with his trusty machete cleared all the jungle weeds away. It looks so crazy-different that we can't stop gawking at it.

Now the picture show begins. I didn't take explicit "before" photos, stupidly, but I have a couple that will get pretty close.

Exhibit 1: The Weed Pit (or as I like to think of it, the Sarlacc Pit.)

If you look past the end of the deck, all that mess is the "before." 

And now, the after! A clear view into the neighbor's yard. 

Exhibit 2: The Water-Logged Spot

What I thought was a before picture turned out to be a video clip. Oh well! it was weedy and dank before, how about that? 

Exhibit 3: The Deck

We're planning to build a corner trellis/pagoda on this end of the deck. The confederate jasmine will eventually cover it, we hope, and provide some nice shade. Soon there will be lattice covering the junk, too. 

Exhibit 4: The Front Flower Bed

The first of several incarnations. 

Current. Notice how the lantana has eaten most of the bed. That will be moved in the spring. 
Lining the walkway we have nandina, 24 dianthus/violas, and underneath waiting for spring about 3 dozen bulbs. 

And for the remaining photos:

I love violas almost to a fault.

Black tupelo tree, turning a beautiful purplish-red. 

Beginnings of our vegetable garden, currently hosting chocolate mint, creeping rosemary, and Provence lavender. Oh, and Monty. 

Finally, the view-from-the-road before and after pictures. 


Four months in. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I'm Not Gonna Lie...

The past 2 weeks really have made me question if nursing school was the right choice. Nothing I can specifically put my finger on, and hopefully something that will go away as my knowledge base and skills set improves.

I'm in the critical few days before my next nursing fundamentals exam. Time has shrunk so that each hour only lasts for 5 minutes, and it's exponentially related to how much $*&#% I have to get done by next Wednesday, October 12.

So why the #@$% am I on Blogger? GOOD QUESTION.

Mostly because I need a quick break from typing out my notes on Oxygenation!

So my test on Monday will cover 11 chapters of fundamentals, 3 chapters of medical math, and 3 chapters of medical terminology!

Fundamentals chapters this time around include 3 over community-based nursing, oxygenation in regards to respiratory function, safety, body mechanics and mobility, disaster preparedness, sensory and cognitive processes, asepsis and infection control!

No, these things don't really go together. Yes, it makes it more difficult to remember it all. Sort of.

Anyway, this video sums up how I'm feeling pretty well:


Monday, October 3, 2011

Today is...

A special day in my household.

Today, my husband starts what I hope will be a job that he will love.

Today, my husband also turns 28. It's hard to believe the first time I laid eyes on him, he was 20. Where has all the time gone?

Doing stuff like this, I hope. (I know the picture is bad, but it's absolutely one of the cutest pictures we ever took of the kittens.)

According to the Interwebz, today is also the day that Abraham Lincoln designated that the last Thursday in November be Thanksgiving. Pretty cool!

It's also Nicole Ducleroir's birthday. You should go send her well wishes, because she's one of the best people I'm lucky to know.

Happy Monday, people! Spread the love.