Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Unexpected Gifts

Merry Christmas everyone! I thought I would drop a note to let you know an unexpected gift the holiday season.

I talked with my brother in New Jersey this morning. He was very excited about his new digital camera he received for a gift.
My brother in his excitement told me, "Kelly (his wife) likes to go do family stuff, and we can take pictures now and send them to everyone, it'll be great! We never did anything like that growing up. It is amazing to go and watch the kids and all, can't wait to send pictures."

I thought it was a great gift, he is having a better life with his family than we did growing up. He figured out how to
have a better life all on his own, and I'm really proud of him!

The gift of family and the gift of enjoying them.

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry, Happy and Everything in Between!

I want to wish everyone a very happy holiday! Best wishes in the new year for happiness and success.

Be safe, laugh lots, and enjoy every day. For each day is a gift.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Order Your Organism

I saw this link from the Washington Post on synthetic DNA and the organisms that are being created. This is big business for the 21st century and beyond.

As a scientist, I have both excitement and trepidation concerning artificial DNA and the organisms it alters or creates. Some of what is discussed in the article simply have added genes to bacteria to produce chemicals needed for an array of different things.

Another side is the actual engineering of a whole genome for an organism that may or may not already exist. A safe guard mentioned in maintaining/controlling genetically altered bacteria is the fact these bugs are engineered with a artificial nutrient dependence and thus would not be able to survive outside the lab.

Where have we heard that before?

Never under estimate the adaptive ability of nature, nor the drive to survive and reproduce. That is all bacteria and viruses are programmed to do.

The article also discusses virus creation. I'd hate for I am Legend (originally The Omega Man)to actually come to fruition. I really enjoyed the movie, by the way.

It is an interesting article. But one last point:
Just because we can, does not always mean we should.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Three Down, One to Go!

I finished my third semester! I have a month to relax and work, then on to the fourth semester--the last one!!

Fourth is supposed to be the hardest, with you having to do several things at once. I think maybe I will finally be busy enough...

Scheduling work will be a bit of a challenge it seems, but there is always the weekend too. I have tried to keep the weekends for sleeping and studying and other things recreational, but I may have to give in this last semester. It will all work out I am sure.

My grades were good, not a s good as I would have liked, but since there were no A's, I can't complain. A few did not make the grade to continue on, so I am counting myself fortunate. We are all having a celebratory night at the Fox and Hound in Richardson tonight. I am looking forward to hanging out with everyone.

It has been a long semester....

One more to go!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gratification of Sweat

I finally got back to martial arts class. I have been hit-or-miss for way too long.
Damn nursing school...

There is such gratification in working out and sweating with other people, all doing the same thing. The class activity is great. Going to the gym is not quite the same, but close.

I hope to attend regularly at least for the month I am off. Then try really hard to come once the ominous fourth semester kicks in. I will need the stress reduction and my behind certainly does not need to get any wider.
Damn nursing school...

I am looking forward to a relaxing time, with skiing!!! Lots of physical activity and lots of down time.
My gosh, maybe I'll read something other than nursing!!??!

Maybe X-men Isn't Too Far Off?

This is a very interesting blurb of an article published in the National Academy of the Proceedings of Science. Human evolution is happening at a break-neck speed.

Apparently our discovery of agriculture and thus a better diet along with culture and community living has spurned on our evolution. Humans are now living in new environments that require fast adaptation.

So what's a Homo sapien to do?


The question is are we E-volving or De-evolving.....

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Quote For the Day


To laugh often and much
to win the respect of intelligent people
and affection of children; to earn the
appreciation of honest critics and
endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty, to find the best
in others; to leave the world a bit
better, whether by a healthy child
a garden patch or redeemed
social condition; to know even
one life has breathed easier because
you have lived. This is to have

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I doubt it will ever be stated better.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Consumerism and Christmas

I have found the commercial that embodies why I dislike Christmas and what it has come to represent in our society.
It is the Dodge Caravan commercial of the mom talking about how her son went to the friend's house and saw his friend's new Dodge Caravan. She states her son came home and asks, "Mommy, why doesn't our van have swivel seats?" and, "Mommy why doesn't our van have dual DVD players?"
At the end of the commercial she plaintively tells her son, "...your Daddy and I are going right over to the Dodge dealer to get a new Caravan, Mommy loves you."

Since when do Christmas presents involve new autos because our kids think we should all have new cars? Why do we have to buy a zillion things and spend money we don't have in the belief that if we don't, we won't be thought of well or loved or something bad would happen?

Is it not gift enough that we have health, family and life? I am all for striving for the best, but to keep our kids happy by purchasing things....what's the point? They have too much already.

For many, I think this is what Christmas has boiled down to: Who spends the most. Gifts are fine, but come on.
Case in point, one year my Ex's niece, all of almost three years old, said on Christmas morning, "Do I have to open more presents, I'm tired." I think it was over kill.

I just don't agree with such consumerism as a replacement for presence in a person's life, especially children's lives.

Be there, the presents go away.
Money is not the most important thing.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Light Grows Brighter...

I have one week, one final left. Then semester three is done! All I have to do is live through the last semester and take the NCLEX-or nursing boards.

I am still not certain about exactly what field of nursing I want to go into. This is the definite "NO" list:
  1. Anything OB: Being all up in another woman's WhooHa is just not my ball of wax. Oh, and catching that critter as it slides or is forceped out of Mom, no thank you. I have no problem with blood and guts, but massaging funduses to make them contract and bleed, um, that's a big no too. And I don't want to inspect your episiotomy for a living. Ew factor to the nth degree. So, no OB.
  2. Psych: I am too afraid I will see my family there. And those people are crazy.
  3. Geriatrics: It is a character flaw, I realize, but I am not cut out for the old person stuff. Or to be groped by the dirty old man when taking his vitals. I like healthy old people because they are a riot, but no sick ones please, I already have one of those.
  4. Med-Surg: Boooorrringgggg. Pass meds, chart, no adrenaline. There are great med-surg nurses out there, but I don't think I am one of them.

So, you wonder, what does the possible yes list hold?? This list is in very faint pencil, so don't hold me to it.

  1. Big person ICU or trauma. This should be no surprise to those who know me. The down side is I would want the best training and it is found at Parkland.....
  2. Research nursing: Just do what I do now only make gobs more $$. Not such a bad deal.
  3. Pediatrics: Shocking, huh? I liked my Children's rotation. I don't know if I could do it full time, but it is not on the No list.
  4. After I have worked for a while, I will go back to university and teach. I have always loved teaching and I know I will end up there.

This is the list so far. Anyone out there with any ideas, I am all ears. It is a little strange for me personally to not be driven in one specific direction. This is why I am getting my RN; choices. I can do anything I want, this was the whole deal.

Go to the light, go to the light!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Words From a Boomer Nursing Student

My monthly copy of Imprint, our nursing student organization magazine arrived today. There is an article about retiring into nursing. Yes, retiring and then going to nursing school. There is a passage in it that really speaks to me. The author discusses what it is that made her want to go back and basically start again, reinvent herself. This is an excerpt from that article that I thoroughly agree with:

Furthermore, a trait that I share with Dan and Gary is a fear of complacency. To be complacent is to be stagnant. In business, stagnation means a failure to thrive, The same holds true in personal life. I don't wish to ever grow complacent or simply happy with the status quo. To do so will have meant that I have lost my competitive spirit, my desire to excel, and my natural curiosity. I will have lost my sense of adventure, my desire for new opportunities and experiences, my "edge." Should complacency ever occur, I would undoubtedly grow mentally and emotionally old.

Really, isn't this what living, really living life is about?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Engineered food for Cats?

It seems that scientists can't keep from jacking with nature. Why do we want a mouse that isn't afraid of a cat??

It seems genetics is a great deal responsible for our reactions to our environment. Makes sense to me, otherwise species would not have been able to thwart predators' for this long.

Let to natural selection, I doubt this new genetically engineered mouse would survive. Cats are not chanting, "Mice are friends, not food."

Poor mouse!

China Deserves our Attention

It seems China has decided it will not go disrespected or underestimated any longer. A Song class submarine surfaced within firing range of several US battleship practicing in the Pacific.

Whether we like it our not, the world as a whole must accept that China is an up and coming new world power. With 1/3 the world's population and a very well controlled population, recognition of their potential needs to be acknowledged.

Quite the wake up call if you ask me.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I Found My Next Bike!!

We went to the International Motor Cycle Show on Sunday. After sitting on practically everything there, I found it. Then I went and sat on everything again, but still came back to it.

Why am I attracted to some of the most expensive things out there??

My next bike will be a BMW F800ST. With the lower seat option, I am flat footed on both sides of the bike. It weights the same as Moose, but the engine is lower and you sit on the gas tank which lowers its center of gravity.
I loved it.
It is also expensive...dammit!

Of course, I have to have the Electric blue color!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Only 11 classes left...

I have 11 actual classes left in this semester of school. The light grows brighter at the end of the tunnel. I cannot wait till it is all over. Just think, after this, there is only one more semester left!!
A more pressing question is what field of nursing do I want to go into? I have just about settled on an ICU rotation. Parkland, most likely since their internship is one of the best around and you get rotations in all ICU fields: Neuro, Burn, Emergency, Cardiac and one more that I can't think of right now.
Obviously, no laboring moms, no NICU and no postpartum-yuck! Peds was OK, but I think I would get bored. That leaves trauma and ICU.

I have to start hunting for a job in January. This is why I need to narrow it down fairly soon! Wish me luck.

Friday, November 02, 2007

More Answers From Science

I love this stuff!! Scientists have discovered a laser that can obliterate viral particles of the tobacco mosiac virus without harming surrounding "good" stuff.

Kong-Thon Tsen, a professor of physics at Arizona State University, has shown a super fast laser to be able to basically molecular 'undo' the viral capsid or "packaging" of the virus thereby inactivating it.

We just have to keep looking and trying to figure it all out. Great stuff!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

More Answers From Nature

I get so excited about finding answers to biological and technical questions right in our own backyard--literally.
Here is an article on slash dot about the use of capsaicin for pain control. Yes, that's right, when you bite that pepper and your tongue goes numb, there is a medical use for that.
Who woulda thunk it?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Moose Can Bite!

This is what your leg looks like when you fall over in the drive way and your motorcycle of 410 lbs slides down your leg. The drive way is on an angle and by the time the foot got to the ground it was too late. This was the final straw on admitting my bike is just too damn tall no matter how much I love it. I am shopping for something shorter. This was at a standstill too and this pic is a week old.

Oh, and feel free to see my add on Craig's list!
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Happy Birthday Jen!!!

Happy Birthday to one of my bestest friends!!

Hope your day is great!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Technology Moves Forward Again

Apparently we an now make chromosomes to order. The Chicago Tribune published an article about researchers at Chromatin Inc., making chromosomes artificially for corn.

These mini chromosomes seem to be accepted by the corn's genetic machinery and are passed on like the natural chromosomes.
What will we engineer next?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Nature, Nurture or Technology

I have almost finished my Pediatric rotation. I am now intimately familiar with the horrific things that can go wrong with little ones. It is amazing what our technology can fix, prolong or just sustain.

This begs the question: Is our technology ahead of our humanity? should some of these kids really be here?

I realize this is as charged a subject matter as possible, but I have to ask; should we be saving all of these kids?

When a child is born at 24 weeks gestation and has to be measured in grams, can't breathe, and will never be able to breathe correctly, or develop mentally normally; should we be saving this child?

On the flip side, whose choice is it? Most of the time, these parents are not able to financially suport these high needs kiddos. If the parent is willing and able, who is to tell them no, they cannot save their child?

There are no real answers, but I think the day will come where we will have to answer this question: Who do we save? And why?

Some questions are very difficult indeed.

Friday, October 12, 2007


I have started to have many thoughts on horses. It has been several years now since I have ridden. Certain circumstances surrounding the sale of my last horse, Silvey, left me without the energy or desire to pursue my four-legged, velvet-muzzled friends.

I have started looking at pictures again and thinking it would be nice to go for a little ride. Just a little one. I miss riding terribly and I miss horses - their smell, their fuzzy noses and their way of just being with you.

Of course I still have friends that ride and have horses, so I could go out and ride. I guess I will when I am ready.
In the mean time, I can hear them trotting in my head, hear their breath puff in time with their stride and hear the clomp-clomp-clomp of their hooves down the barn alley.

Eventually, I guess I go riding some again.

The Leader Who Chooses Not To Lead

With the impending elections coming up in 2008, our choices, in my humble opinion, are not awe inspiring.

Although I would not wish the presidency on anyone, I wish Al gore would run. With his award of the Nobel prize in peace, what better person to step forward and at least make the right steps to correct the fiasco that has been the War in Iraq. Just think, a leader who is a visionary, interested in the health and preservation of our earth, a leader who is a diplomat and yet strong willed and also well respected by our global counterparts, such a concept.

We have so much to repair as far as our image and the damaged respect in the eyes of so many nations.

We have a serious problem with climate change. My career is in science, and I have to tell everyone, the current administration is as friendly as a rabid dog to the world of science.

How do we expect to step forward in the years to come as a nation, as a people, as a world, without research and education not to mention a safe, healthy place to live?

I have always said, the people who should be leading this country are the ones who won't stomach the environment.

Just once, can't the person who is poised to make a true impact step up to the plate?
Al Gore, if you ever read this, please run for president in 2008. I would like to believe we would re-elect you.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Done with Italy

Sadly, I am choosing to sell my motorcycle to buy a different one. I have not made any decisions on what to buy, but I am sure I will figure that out in the near future.

I am done with Italy. I am done with waiting a friggin year (9 days) for something simple like an air filter.

The top of the list of qualifications for the new bike will be that it is shorter than my current bike. It really is too tall. There are all kinds of things I love about it, but I am tired of waiting for parts and I am tired of having to be ever-vigilant about where my feet will be landing.

So far, here are some bikes I will be looking at:

Triumph Daytona 600
Honda VFR 675(I think?)
Suzuki SV 650

It is a hard thing to pick out. I like the up-right seating position of my Multistrada. However, I am not a cruiser person. I like it sporty. The Honda CBR's are too tall. I like the narrow feel of my MS as I don't feel like there is this huge tank I have to reach around. I want something light weight as possible. A Triumph Bonneville has been suggested but it weighs 465lbs and I just don't like the look of it. I like the BMW's but wow the $$$$ and most of them are WAY too tall. Some of them I can't even reach the ground.

It looks like there is lots of shopping in my future. I have a check list of things to look for and of course, I have to sell my bike. Even though I will take a hit on it since it isn't mint, I don't care. It is time to get rid of it. I need a different horse in the stable!!

No Move for YOU!!

Considering I make almost nothing right now, I did not get the go-through on the condo financing despite my original pre-approval. It is possible the current mortgage/lending environment had something to do with it.

I am actually fine with it. My devout belief in "things happen for a reason" leads me to believe it was just not the right time. Timing is everything you know.

Now that I won't be moving, I have to re-think some things and have talked things over with some people and now know what to do. I will stay with friends that I have stayed with before and help them finish out the remodel on their home. I really like the whole remodel thing. My friends seem to be quite excited about my staying there again and I know if the past two years is any indication, 8 months will scream by. At the end of it all, I will have an RN, have a career I can do anything with and go anywhere as well. I think things will be in a much better situation for buying when I graduate.

I'm excited. What's not to be excited about? It is just another path in the journey of life. I like my life!

I am strangely relieved on the condo thing. I feel good about it in the second brain that is my gut.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Buying or not, that is the Question

And this is a question I really don't have an answer to.

Yes, the mortgage fiasco that has befallen the industry, does take a toll. I have just resigned myself to not really knowing if I will close and/or get funded until they tell me to show up and sign.
Heavy sigh....

I have stopped worrying about it, for there is nothing I can do. I have done all the things I can and covered all the questions. If I am supposed to go thru with this, it will happen. This is the only attitude I can take.

Who knows....
I certainly don't.

Missing the Sweat

Busy, busy!! I really am missing my workouts! Although I make up for them in other ways, I miss going to my martial arts class and sweating with my workout buddies. You just can't replace the group workout thing. If if you don't really socialize a lot with those you work out with, the shared energy of the workout is well worth it.

I missed all of it this week due to school or work. I am hoping to get a grip on things here shortly. Lots of class work!

A New Nursing Diagnosis

I have come up with a new nursing diagnosis :
PSP Syndrome
Piece of Shit Parent Syndrome

Several of the kids I have seen so far suffer horribly from this disorder. It is no wonder to me how beautiful, perfectly healthy babies can grow up to be such an integral part of our welfare, criminal legal system and impoverished sect of society.

Sometimes, this is all you know.

Until we make progress on either people being better parents or not having the kid in the first place, our nation is doomed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It is Improving

Well, this week is better. My car is still parked, and will be till I close on the Condo. Yes, the deal is back on. "OH, we just forgot to send over the signed addendum, so sorry..." Once they knew we would cancel, things got done.
So I am still buying a condo. Yeah!

I get to pick up my bike tomorrow, thankfully! It will be so nice to ride again. Things are on the upswing.

Clinicals went well too. No one tried to stop breathing! I really like Children's and could see me working there. I really like the little patients, even the ones that look at you like you are the monster from under the bed. Those little ones usually have been through the wringer and you kinda are the monster under the bed.

So far, this is my favorite. Children's is a great environment too. We will see!

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Really Bad Week - Is it Over?

Let's recap last week:
  • Wrecked car on Tuesday - car is now parked
  • Inspection on condo found AC not working downstairs and dishwasher not working
  • Bike STILL in the shop for airfilter that is MIA
  • Pt tried to stop breathing on Wednesday
  • Couldn't find boyfriend's car in parking garage Wednesday after work
  • Took Pharmacology test Thursday AM: told test was open book and all my references are on my PDA. Get to test and find that "no electronic devices" as of that morning 8:30 am
  • Passed test anyway, just barely
  • Friday still no bike, signed addendum to have seller fix condo stuff
  • Saturday: work at Baylor, 20 kids, damage control, could not possibly finish all Patients
  • Sunday OK, till I got home and Realtor called and said we had to cancel the pending purchase of my condo b/c seller did not sign to fix AC and dishwasher

Is the week from hell over yet??!!??

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Brutatlity of 0430

Everyone who knows me, knows I am NOT a morning person. Unless, of course, you just are still up from the night before.

I have had two weeks now of 0430 to get ready for clinicals on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

It is brutal, utterly brutal. Once I finsih with working Wednesday afternoon, I am destroyed. I am usually in bed before the 9 leaves the clock. For me, that is unheard of.

Just thought I would give ya'll an update on how "before butt crack in the morning" was going.

It is brutal.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Maturity - ?

Throughout our young lives we constantly hear things like, "you will have to grow up" or "take care of your responsibilities."
Really, what exactly does this mean?

First of all, why grow up, totally, in all aspects of your psyche? I love being able to be a huge kid and go hell bent for leather into the unknown.
I also love being an adult and paying my bills, and having an adult life that offers so many choices. I guess I like balancing those two. Growing up does have its advantages but keeping my kid parts makes adulthood more fun.

As far as taking care of my responsibilities, I am doing that too. However, I think maturity is a lot about facing your day-to-day reality. You can't just ignore things and think, "I will deal with that later," or "if I wait long enough maybe it will go away."
It does not go away or get better, but instead, only worse.

Although I will take care of my mom for however long and to whatever end, I have days where I want to be 4 again and say, "you can't make me!!" and run screaming from the DFW metroplex. In looking back, if I had not turned around and faced that whole situation, it would have been so much worse.

Thus, is "growing up" or "being mature" about acting a different way or loosing your kiddo sense of fun? I don't think so. Actually, my child's sense of adventure is what keeps me sane especially dealing with my mom. (How else do you laugh at Baking Shoes??) The maturity and the brutal honesty with myself is what allows me to remain "one" with the kid parts.

Yes, brutal honesty. It is hardest to be honest with one's self. I think this is the greatest challenge in maturity. For if you are not honest with yourself, you will never be honest with anyone else. Even if you think you are or you think you want to be.

Opinion Poll

For those of you who read who are also associated with the martial arts I have a question:

As a fund raiser, what about a calendar of "Women and Weapons 2008" ?
We could have photos done with women and their favorite weapon (tasteful photos!) either in kata or kumite and make a calendar to sell instead of T-shirts.

I thought I would get an opinion poll before actually presenting the idea further.

Or maybe a slightly scandalous calendar would be more fun??

What do ya'll think?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Mean People Suck!

In light of the nicer weather, I took the opportunity to ride my motorcycle to work instead of taking the train. I had to go take a test as well, and the time on the train just wouldn't do.

So I parked my bike, on campus at UTSW in the visitor lot.

When I cam out to leave, I hopped on and took off. Setting at the red light, I looked down and, holy crap, my frame sliders were no longer where they belonged!! One was gone and the other was barely on and the rod attaching them was almost dislodged out from the right side of my bike!

Who is so determined to steal frame sliders off my bike??!!

Who ever it was really had to work at it as they are not installed lightly, they are screwed on tight.
I limped home, and later called the European Cycle Sport to bring it in. There was much profanity directed at the thief!

Anyway, I am safe and the guys at the shop are, as usual, taking excellent care of my bike. Such great service!!

I must say I was surprised at this attempted theft. Ok half completed theft.
I can't wait to have my Moose back!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Baking Shoes

I just thought I would pass along info to everyone out there: Baking shoes does not seem to increase their wear-ability.

I got a call from my mom today:

"Lisa, is this Lisa?"
I thought who else would answer my phone....?
"Hey Mom, how ya doin'?"
"Were are you? Are you at work today?"
"Yes, mom, I'm at work, it's Wednesday afternoon."

"Oh, OK, well, I'm fine, I need new shoes! I know I have been talking about new shoes, but I need some now. You know how you can't tell if the grass has water or not? Well it had lots of water and I stepped off into it and my shoes got real wet. So I tried to dry them. I put them in the thing...you know that thing to get hot and dry."
"So you put them in the clothes dryer?" I offered.
"No, well, I shoulda I guess, but no, that thing that's in the kitchen."
(Oh shit...)
"Mom, do you mean the oven? You cook food in the oven."
"Yes, that's it. I put them in the oven. Well, they didn't do so good in there."
( No kidding...)
"They hurt now when I try to wear them, so I need new ones."
"OK, mom, that was not the best thing to do. Shoes don't go in the oven."
"(Laughing) Well, I knew that, I don't know what I was thinking..."
"OK, well, it will have to wait till this weekend, because I work all week and Saturday."
"You work the rest of the week? I didn't know that."

Word to the wise, shoes and oven don't mix. It seems to lower the functionality of the shoes.
All I can do is laugh, because the crying would be too exhausting...

Housing Update

I currently have a signed contract on a condo. I am hopefully that all will go well. I already had the loan pre-approved, so maybe I have a chance at all going well.
It would be nice to have my stuff out of storage and be able to cook lots again!

The prospective closing date is Oct 1st. This is after my first big test of the semester and hopefully will be a little calmer.

Wish me luck! It is in a development I have always liked and that has remained very constant in condition. I would have some things to update, but I can do most of it over time. The downstairs carpet, though, has to go if it becomes mine.

It will serve its purpose just perfectly!!
I will keep you posted!

First Kiddo Procedure

Today was my first day handling kiddos. I really, really liked it so far. The very first thing I got to do was remove an IV from an adorable 10 month old boy. It is so great he was feeling better and more active! But, wow, getting the 10 month old to sit still long enough for me to undo the tape, peel off the tegaderm, and then occlude the vein after removing the IV...whew!

He was a great little patient playing games with me and examining my stethoscope and name badges. So cute!

On a less fun note, I had to help restrain a child for upper respiratory suctioning today. He did not like us!! I don't blame him one bit. Also, 10 months old, he was very vocal about his dissatisfaction with our procedure! Afterward, though, Mommy and Daddy were able to make it all better. And he could breath....
Breathing is important!!

I am interested to see how the semester plays out. Peds is still on the list.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Managing the New Schedule

Today we discussed our clinical assignments and all the expectations that went along with these. the cluster that is our new schedule was also discussed.
So the new schedule is thus:
Monday, class 8:30 to 14:30, thereafter study like crazy and go to Children's at 15:30 and get patient data. Stay up till all hours getting that ready.

Tuesday: Catch the rail at 0515, arrive at Children's at 06:15, update data, get report and start the day. Leave at 13:30.
Go home do more paperwork and hopefully get in bed by midnight. Hopefully...

Wednesday: Same as Tuesday only we have to have all the paperwork done and turned in my noon. Yeah...

Wednesday afternoon: work at UTSW. The good news is I just walk across the road and I am at work. I guess that is good news.

Thursday and Friday work at UTSW.

I am still PRN weekends at Baylor too.
I am feeling a little too busy....

I may or may not bag the Baylor thing. We will have to see how I fair.
maybe I can loose some weight....
That would be a good note since my mom informed me I had gotten "big"!
Don't you just love moms....?

The REALLY good news is I only have eight more months....

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Two to Go!!

I am back in school on semester three! One more after this!!

This semester is OB/GYN and Pediatrics. I am looking forward to Peds, but not so much to the OB/GYN part.

It isn’t that I don’t like babies; I really love babies, especially when I can give them back to their parents!
I just have no experience with pregnancy or labor or having a baby, nor will I. I know I do not want to take care of pregnant or laboring moms, so I am not looking forward to this part of the semester. I have already discovered the fact of new moms think there is something wrong with you if you do not want to have children.

I have already gotten, “Do you have any children?” When I respond “no,” they ask when I will have them. When I respond that I don’t want kids they look at me as if I have grown a third eyeball or suddenly grown fangs.

I understand these moms are all excited to be in this amazing experience of childbirth so they most likely are so excited to having this baby and could not understand why anyone would not want to go thru this same event.

In short, I feel like I cannot identify. Nor do I want to.

However, I am really looking forward to Peds. Peds is still on the list for things I may do after I graduate. I know the parents are the worst problem in the equation, so I will have to see how I deal with that.

Obviously, what I do upon graduation is still completely up in the air!!

Post 36 day

The birthday went well. The people who really wanted to be there were able to be there, yeah! It was nice, simple and fun.

Everyone, I really appreciate you being there!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Another Year Gone!

My birthday will be Wednesday.

I have found I do not have any of the trepidation that others seem to have about growing a year older. I have one friend that had a very difficult time with turning 30. I'll be 36 and am loving it!

People seem to take you more seriously (as a woman, this took time) now that I am a bit older. Yes, it could be my demeanor but, I think simple chronological age has some to do with it.

I like getting a little older. I am sure there will come a day when I want to press the STOP button, but that time is not yet here.
I really, really like my life.

Number Three Soon to Start!

Semester three of four is about to start! I am actually really anxious to get back to it. I want it to be over with so I can figure out what the heck I want to do with my RN.

This semester is Pediatrics and Obstetrics/Gynocology. Basically kids and new moms and babies. After having worked now testing newborn hearing for Baylor downtown, I found that I did not have as much issue with this as I thought. It really isn't that bad. Almost everyone is happy, for they have just had a new baby. Additionally, most everyone is healthy and going home in a couple days. It could be much worse.

Although I do not want kids, the babies are so cute! They are easy to take care of and don't fuss too much. You do have to be on your toes though. Babies can go south very, very fast.

I am excited to see what the semester brings!

Motorcycle Fever is Catching!

I helped John pick up his new bike today! I think he got tired of everyone we ran into telling him something along the lines of, "Oh, your girl rides but you don't? Dude, you gotta get a bike!"

Actually, I'm pretty sure he just wants one himself! He used to ride some in college, and thus, bought the same bike for his first bike, a wise decision--buy something you know and are comfortable on!

His new toy is a '96 Yamaha Virago. He is very pleased with it and pretty much tickled pink. He is signing up for the motorcycle class so he can be all official. It will be nice to have someone to ride with! And yes, he is an "all gear" person like I am!! Safety first!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Motorcycles Everywhere!!

While we were in CA there was a motorcycle race, the Mazda Raceway Laguna Sec. Consequently, there were motorcycles EVERYWHERE. All kinds! It was so much fun! We talked to lots of motorcyclists and I was insanely jealous that Moose was back in Dallas! Beautiful! The roads beg for a bike as well as a Porsche. Great riding!

California 2007

The vacation this year had to be financially minimal considering the student status.

One thing I have wanted to do for a long time is drive Highway 1 north, up the coast of California. John and I decided it sounded like a great idea. I made the plane reservations and the first night’s camping reservation (yes, camping!) and away we went.

Our first night in Sugar Loaf Ridge State Park was lovely. We ate dinner with deer just across the stream and had a lovely view all around the park. This park overlooks the Napa valley. Beautiful!

The next day was a drive north on the coast. One could stop every 15 minutes with the jaw-dropping vistas that you could see. The camera shutter was seldom still. With absolutely no plan, we continued on wherever our fancy drove us. We had decided there were a few things we had to see:

  1. The Redwood Forests
  2. Old Growth Sequias
  3. Highway 1
  4. Undecided

Hwy 1 was the first order of business. Our next stop was one element of the coast I was adamant about, Point Reyes Seashore State Park. We arrived at one of the Ranger stations and inquired about camping availability. There were a few campsites left. The closest one was a 5.5 mile hike in. We were up for it! WooHoo!

Thus came the first quotable quote for our trip:

Lisa to Park Ranger: “How’s the hike in? Is it straight up or is it fairly OK?”

Park Ranger: “Oh, (after surveying John and I) it’s fairly flat. You both should be just fine. Do you have gear?”

John: “Yes, we brought gear, we should be all good to go.”

“Relatively Flat” must have been with respect to the Sierra Mountains….

Although not a horrible hike, there were several moments we had to stop to catch our breath after lots of straight up and laugh uncontrollably at the quote, “Relatively Flat my a**!”

Such great fun!

The other quotable quote from this park Ranger was thus:

Lisa and John: “Is there water at the camp or do we need to pack it in?”

Ranger: “Yes there is water. It is usually drinkable.”

Both of us: “Wait, usually? What does that mean and is it drinkable now? Water is kinda a big deal.”

Ranger: Well it has been OK for a while now, but they have been know to test and close the water to drinking as is without boiling.”

Lisa: “But it’s drinkable now?”

Ranger: “Yes, it has been good for a while now. You should be just fine.”

Fortunately, “Usually Drinkable” turned out to be just fine.

Thus, the first thing added to the list of “Never travel again without” was a water purifier.

Second thing to add to the list, backpack with a hip strap. John had my large pack and I had a day pack, but it had no hip strap. Never again.

The 5.5miles took right at 2.5hrs and we arrived just before sundown with time to set up camp. Hiking with 6’6” as a hiking partner means hoofing it for my short little legs! But I think I kept up fine. Once settled we had time to meet those we were sharing the campsite with. Great, fun people! We had great conversation and lots of laughs. Everyone is sweaty and disheveled, but all of us enjoyed the company. We all hiked out together the next morning and had a lovely hike back. With no pressure of darkness, we were leisurely, and, it was more down than up.

Meeting these people clenched our decision of our final destination after the Redwoods: Yosemite.

The drive north was nothing short of exhilarating. The rocky shore, with waves crashing and the fresh scent of ocean wipes away anything that may be bothering you and frees the spirit. I have always loved the ocean, mostly from being submerged in it making bubbles, but to watch its raw power and to see how it has carved the shore’s edge is remarkable.

The driving was just as fantastic. The road begs for a great sports car! John and I managed to not fight over who got to drive as we shared the driving. We both love to drive, so it was great fun. There were curves and switchbacks enough for both of us. Sad we did not have a proper car, e.g., something out of the Porsche line, but the Volvo was nimble, manual/automatic transmission and plenty comfortable. It was all good. At one point, I noticed John braced against the console, the door and the roof of the car. I asked if I should slow down. He simply said, “You’re having fun, go for it!” He got his turn too, have no doubt!

Arriving in the Redwood forests is like traveling back in time. There is a sense of awe and wonder that words cannot do justice by. These trees are some of the oldest living things known on earth. As linear, short-lived humans, wrapping your mind around 1500 to 2000 years of life is very hard to do. As you stare up at their 300ft+ height, you can’t help but wish these trees could talk. I would love to sit and talk to them about what they have seen, what they have survived, and what it is like to stand for 1500 years, just existing. There is majesty that is unparalleled by anything humans have ever tried to accomplish. Of course, I had to know more about the trees, so when we got home, we looked up lots of things. Another post, I promise. Rest assured, the experience of standing with these giants is beyond description. One of the highlights was the Avenue of Giants. This 32-mile stretch of old Hwy 101 curves thru virgin, old growth forests of Redwoods. I wish I could adequately describe the immensity of driving through the forests and the calm that seemed to pervade the air that breezed through the trees and the forest undergrowth. For me, this was a spiritual cathedral like no other.

32 miles took 5 hours. It was that good.

Once we had our fill of Redwoods, OK when we just decided to leave, we went south on HWY 5 and over to Yosemite National Park. This place is huge! I had not really planned for this part of the trip as we had not really thought we would get that far east. But here we were, entering the park. We got there a bit late, but ended up with a great campsite in White Wolf on the northern part of Yosemite. This park is home to Mountain Lion, Brown Bear, Wolves, Coyotes and everything else in between. 90% of Yosemite is wild and undeveloped. It is gorgeous! Gathering firewood is allowed so once shelter was erected; we went off to gather firewood. I must admit, my senses were on high alert. It was utterly silent and with each drop of firewood, it was as if you fired a rifle. I kept thinking we looked like prime mountain lion food. I was sorta happy to have gathered firewood and be back in the car. Puts things in perspective, I would say. Once back at camp, John, a.k.a., Pyro-man, got a roaring fire started and I got dinner cooking. Simple fair, but yummy. Of course, we burned anything we could find as we had the whole trip. Pyro is in both of our names!

We slept really well as the temperature at 8000 feet got pretty chilly. Top quality gear is a must and our sleeping bags and the sleeping mats were great! Breakfast was cooked the next morning and the day of hiking began. We went to the base of Yosemite Falls. The falls were not so much falls as there is a drought in CA. Dallas seems to be getting all of CA’s rain. So the falls were a trickle. Our next adventure was Vernal Falls via Mist Trail. This hike is 3 miles round trip and labeled as “moderate.” So it took about 2 hours to go up, and I mean up every step of the way, and about 40 minutes to go down. It was straight up! The falls were spectacular and the water very cold! We played in the water and drenched our shirts so as not to over heat. Once at the top of the falls, we stayed and watched people play in Emerald Lake, a beautiful, emerald green pool that is just ahead of the falls. There is enough room to stay clear of the rushing falls and everyone seemed to be having lots of fun.

Here, we encountered possibly the fattest squirrels I have ever seen. They were grossly obese! Obviously people fed them even though you are educated not to. And so very bold! We have pics of one of the larger, most fat squirrels on my pack, pulling and biting at the mesh to get to the trash! I was sitting right there next to him! He just looked at me with a “you don’t mind do you?” look on his little face and went after it! Really funny fat squirrels!!

We hiked down after a bite, some water and some much needed relaxation. By the end of the trek down, my legs were shaking but I was happy to have seen something so beautiful.

The last day, we agreed that we should make it a full tour of “B.A.T.” (Big Ass Trees) and go see one of the three stands of giant Sequoias. There are three groves of them in Yosemite and we chose to go to Mariposa Grove, on the southern side of Yosemite. This was also home to the largest of the giant Sequoias in Yosemite, the Grizzly tree. Sequoias and Redwoods are of the same family. They differ in some very unique ways that I’ll post about later. However the Sequoias’ majesty is just as impressive if not more so than the Redwoods. Although not as tall as the Redwoods, they have larger trunks and denser wood. Again, spectacular! And so endangered. It seems they could endure the last 2000 to 3000 years but humans seem to be exceptionally destructive to them. Amazing how we seem to have that affect on things. We spent a couple hours touring the Sequoias and were still sad to part from their company.

Our drive out of Yosemite proved to be another adventure in and of itself! John had packed the GPS, which proved to be invaluable, the whole trip. Don’t get me wrong, I had maps and I know how to use them, but this little jewel is just great! We were on the south side of Yosemite and requested the shortest route to San Jose. We proceeded on and the GPS began telling me (I was driving at the time) of an up-coming left turn. John and GPS in unison began saying “turn left! Here!” I missed the turn and looked back once I had pulled into a parking lot. Turn where? “On that road back there,” replied John. “What road? That’s not a road!”

Oh, but it was.

It was a mountain road, with a warning sign reading, “Not recommended for two-wheel drive vehicles.”

What the hell?

Off we went.

Thus, quote number three: “That’s not a road!!”

This was a sand and dirt road with trees on once side and mountain drop off on the other in the middle of nowhere. At one point the GPS totally lost signal at which point John said WTF, just drive on! Adventure is so good! It was a great deal of fun!

The best part?

We realized we were traversing the Sierra Mountains after we saw a couple of Sierra park signs. At one point we topped a turn and the trees opened up and the most jaw-dropping spectacular vista ever was open to view. Layers of purple, blue, red, pink and gold dressed the valley as far as the eye could see. The mountain sides and trees could all be seen drenched in color from the ever-lowering sun. Picture after picture we took and then just stood there in awe. It was incredible. I couldn’t speak from trying to take in the beauty of it all. We did finally decide to push on as we still had no clue as to where we really were and it was getting late. We figured the worst that could happen was we would have to camp again. We had all the gear, no big deal! As we started to get back into the car, John asks, “Do you mind if I drive?”

Well, of course not. But I had to quip, “Is my driving making you nervous?” “Yes, a little,” came his answer. I just laughed and threw the keys over. To his defense, I had run over a couple things because I was looking at scenery. It was just so beautiful!

We did finally get back to civilization and realized we found a free, unmonitored way in and out of Yosemite. Who knew?

The rest of the drive was pretty plain Jane except I became totally fascinated by the wind farms along the side of I-140. Wind Farms…farming wind. That is just funny! I took pics of these and again, had to look up how they work when we got back.

Maybe I am easily amused….

Always ask the question, I suppose.

I will try to get pics posted later, as we have over 1000 to go thru. Yes, I really mean over 1000 photos.

The beauty of digital!!

In summary:

Things to not go again without:

Water purifier

More socks

Pack with hip strap & chest strap

Camel back!

We both agreed that when/if we get back again to Yosemite, backpacking is the way to go. We want to hike the half dome in the event we return. It is a strenuous 17 mile round trip hike that is very straight up.

I feel the same way about Yellowstone. When I return I will backpack. I think it would be the best way to see the park, on its terms.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Miniature Pinscher-Defined

The AKC states this dogs has the following description:

General Appearance The Miniature Pinscher is structurally a well balanced, sturdy, compact, short-coupled, smooth-coated dog. He naturally is well groomed, proud, vigorous and alert. Characteristic traits are his hackney-like action, fearless animation, complete self-possession, and his spirited presence.

Having lived with one for a bit now, his is my new definition of Min-Pin's characteristics:
  • Small dog of black and tan coloring that believes he is 100lbs and bullet proof
  • "vigorous" should translate into "snorts one-to-two lines of cocaine every morning"
  • No matter how hard you try, you cannot locate the stash of cocaine
  • Believes 0520 is the best time to sing at the top of his lungs
  • Advice for above, sleep with the bedroom door shut
  • Loves chew toys that are twice his size
  • A show of affection is grooming you for fleas: doing that front teeth only bite-bite-bite thing on you and/or your $300 Pottery Barn duvet!
  • Advice for above: Do Not allow on bed
  • Walk on leash at your own risk, cat-like reflexes are necessary so as not to become ensnarded in leash by dog
  • Advice for above, walk anyway, it wears off the cocaine
  • Best advice, when you can't hear the dog, GO LOOK, because he is digging out of the yard!
  • He loves mud
  • Did I mention he loves mud, espcially the slimy kind??

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It is all about Respect

I have been thinking about this for a long time.
Those of you who know me might be surprised at this post for I do not discuss my private life.
This will be the first and last time I do.

I have thought a great deal about my divorce, now settled for slightly more than two years. One complaint my Ex had was his perception I did not respect him.

I have thought a lot about this. Was that true? Or was it yet again a judgment of me with a measure stick that did not apply?

I have come to this conclusion. In order for someone to be in a relationship that is mutually beneficial, mutually loving and mutually supportive, both people have to have respect for one another as individuals.

That respect begins within one's self. If you do not have self respect, your counter part will not respect you --he/she may not even be aware that they don't respect you.

My Ex did not make it a priority to take care of himself mentally, physically or psychologically. I think he was right in the idea that I did not respect him.
For if you do not take care of you, you do not take care of "us."

The things that garnered respect in his eyes were not the things I most respected personally and vice versa.

He also, I think, had a lack of respect for me in some areas too. This was somewhat my fault as well. I did not fight like he did.

For someone to respect you, you have to speak to them in a language they "hear." I use words to express myself that are generally devoid of emotion especially in a heated situation. He was just the opposite.

So when decisions were made and my foot was put down about something, if he did it anyway that was a flagrant F****!! You to my face. But because I did not go nuclear about it, I got ran over and disrespected even though I don't think he really meant it that way.
I just did not believe nor do I now, that his behavior was my responsibility.

But we did not speak the same language. He could only hear drama and emotive arguments that could be loud and accusatory. I was really capable of only words and and a lack of emotion, as I get quieter the more angry I become. Because of the violent temper I do possess, I do not continue to allow things to escalate, I would rather quite and come back later calmer. He liked the fireworks.

Do not mistake the fact I am truly happily divorced and know I made the right decision albeit a horrifically difficult one.

My Ex did admit one time that if I had acted the way he did in many of our fights, we would not have stayed married as long as we did. He was right on that.
But how unfair. You get to be ballistic and I can't?
Even if I had wanted to, this is not the type of interaction I wanted to live with.

Not only is respect of paramount importance but so is fairness. However your mate acts, you should get to as well. Otherwise, why bother?

People treat you how you allow them to.

Our family/spouse (s) can take advantage of that. They can take advantage of the fact we are close to them.
This is a mistake I do not intend to repeat.
It is my responsibility to speak up and be heard. I just have a much better education on how to pick someone who speaks the same language.

So far, I think I have picked really well.

Monday, July 09, 2007

When is it time to give up?

My mom has always said she would never give up on any of her kids. I commend her on such strength.

Everyone one of my siblings has surmounted the raising we endured and put a life together with the exception of my sister.

That is what I had thought until I got a phone call from her this evening.
I guess you should never give up on people.
Basically she called for some moral support on choosing to drastically change her life.
I cannot be more ecstatic!!

Everyone deserves to be happy and to have a life they choose and that they love. She is not different. Regardless of the decisions one makes and the mistakes we are part of (I have some whoppers of my own), everyone deserves to have a good life and be happy, safe and loved.

I have faith that she will do well. She has a plan. She has a time frame.
I told her I loved her and that I had faith in her.
I am so happy for her.

So, is there a time when you should ever give up on someone?
I don't really know. I do know that I can still have hope without letting someone cause me pain. It is hard to distance yourself, especially when it is family or someone you know is so deserving of something better, but you have to be able to let it go. I am so happy she finally has chosen for herself to have something better!!

When people want to change, you can help. When they don't or don't see any reason to, nothing you do can be useful.
I think when it is at that point, you walk away. I had walked away from her and her lifestyle for many years. I am here if she wants to make different decisions.
Sister, you go girl!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Dogs will be Dogs

I am house-sitting for the summer for a nursing school buddy of mine. The arrangement is working out great!

I do have to write about a little occurrence this week.
It involved mud via the rain and an increase in my blood pressure.

The rain has been incessant for a while now and thus, the one spot the dogs have previously dug around in is muddy. All along I thought the majority of the digging (they have escaped twice, once they were retrieved, this last time, they were promptly put back in the yard even though I was in the shower).
Gabe, the older Lab and one I had blamed the majority of the digging on was in the kitchen happily chewing on his rawhide. I was sorting mail, paying bills, all that jazz, also in the kitchen.
Then, suddenly, my brain says, "Hey what is that on the floor over there-wriggling?"
I looked over only to find a small mud-slicked statue that vaguely resembled the miniature pinschure I was also looking after. After screaming "OUTSIDE" the statue deftly got up from rolling all over the carpet and bolted outside.
Little monster.
Little mud-slathered mud statue.
Oh, half mud-slathered statue since the other half was now all over the carpet!!

After two doggy baths, and a fun toweling off (I forgot how fun that is!) for the dogs that is, the house is back to normal.
And the carpet is too!
Dogs are so doggy!!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Advice of the day:

Do as much as you can then let it go.

You have done all you can do.

No sense in abusing yourself because you can’t do anything more.

Just move forward.
Be the best you can be and know that you have done the best you can.

Who's your Momma??

I traveled this past weekend with my mom and my brother to one of my other brother's wedding ( I have three brothers). My mother had never been on a commercial airline before, so this was a huge adventure. I have never really traveled with her before this weekend. So many things were made evident.
  1. I know where I get my wriggles from. She could not sit still the entire trip. Up/down/up/down/up/down with the window seat window.
  2. Rearranging the blanket and bumping me: I was so glad she was not riding next to a stranger.
  3. “What was that??!!” At every new noise that happened on the airline. And because has Alzheimer’s, none of this knowledge stayed in her memory, so it was repeated ad nauseum.
  4. Questions like, “Can we go to the bathroom while the plane is moving,” I learned to accept. If you don’t know, you gotta ask. Another quality she and I share.
  5. OCD cleaning. Yes, she and I clean obsessively at the same rate. She regularly “swiffered” my brother’s house ( 5 cats and one dog = lots of hair).
  6. My love of sleeping in regardless of the previous night's festivities....yep, got that from her too.
Basically, I found that most of my science qualities I gleaned from Mom. Some good, some bad.
I am my mother’s daughter.
If I can PLEASE just avoid that loosing your mind thing....

Our partners in crime

As a single person, I have lately become very thoughtful about how one picks a mate for the duration of one’s life.

If you look at life, generally most people have three stages of life: young adulthood- making your way, discovering who you are; Middle adulthood- finding a mate, raising children, and finally, Late adulthood- retiring and enjoying a life of looking back and looking forward to enjoying that which you have planned for.

So, how do you pick a mate? I think this is one of the most difficult things to do. I think, it is very difficult to pick one person whom you can grown thru all three (if not more) stages of life with.

I thoroughly believe it is possible to do: pick someone who can grow with you and you with them. Yet, it requires the person and you obviously, to be brutally honest with one’s goals and aspirations. It requires a level of self-awareness that a great many people are not capable of until much later. Hence the divorce rate we see.

Finding one’s identity is very difficult and very time consuming; especially if you have not had a very good example as a child.

By the time you figure it out, say around 28-35 years of age, you have already gotten married. Maybe you wake up and think, “Wow, what the hell have I married?” Or maybe you get to late adulthood and think, “I don’t want to spend 24/7 with this person.”

It is really very difficult. Yet, the most important things do seem to be very difficult to get correct. Trial and error…

I guess that is why they say, “Why is divorce so expensive?” “Because it is SO worth it!!”

Being able to retain who you are and what you are is priceless. Finding someone who is interested in nurturing that in you and you are interested in nurturing that in them is the key. This takes a great level of self confidence and that in and of itself is hard to come by. Growth and change is scary. Harder still, taking that good, long, hard look in the mirror and asking, “What can I do better with me?”

Growth, personal growth through the lifetime, is where the real challenge lies. Picking someone who really wants to grow at the same level and life-time rate is where the challenge lies.

It requires that everyone involved by honest. Brutally honest at a level that most find distasteful or uncomfortable. But this level is necessary for long term happiness.

So: Take a long, hard look in the mirror and speak the truth, regardless of its unattractiveness!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Adult Card.

As I mentioned earlier, my mother’s privilege to drive has been revoked. She went and tried the driving test (written) twice, and still has yet to pass it. Obviously she won’t.

This is so hard on so many levels. There are many activities she still does and she needs to keep attending them. My siblings and I are trying to work it out so we can get her to some of her events. But, it looks impossible to do everything.

The revocation of driving privilege is a huge adjustment, not only for Mom but for me too. Ever had to take the keys from your mom? Trust me, it is not something you want to have to do. It will work out, but it is depressing and awful. It is like turning in your adult card. Sad…

Decompensation in Real Time

My mother’s progression through Alzheimer’s has accelerated at an alarming rate. For all the heart ache and tears it causes me emotionally, I have to admit that it interests me on a scientific level.

My mom’s nouns are gone. Apparently, when you begin to decompensate neurologically certain sets of neurons hold up their little axons and dendrites and say, “Oh, we are nouns, we will just blink off now.”

And that’s it, all the nouns go away.

Ever try to communicate without nouns? Or, have you ever tried to understand someone who is trying to tell you a story without nouns?


My mom stopped recently and asked point blank, “Where have all my words gone?”

I wish to hell I knew. I’d go get the little devils and put them back in her brain. The emotional pain of watching this happen in real time is a fate I would not wish on my worst enemy. And yet, it is amazing, really, how and in what order the brain falls apart. How is it that the nouns are affected? Why not random words? Or words from all parts of grammar? How did the brain know all these were nouns?

The cognition is starting to go as well. That’s why I know she won’t pass her driving test…

At first, I wanted to believe it was attention seeking behavior. But no, her inability to understand and integrate new processes is real.

It kills me, inside and out.

And yet, there is still something interesting going on.

Such conflict…

Latest on the Nomadic Life…

I have officially taken residence in Wylie.

My goodness I live almost in Louisiana….

I had forgotten how far away from everything you are when you are out that way.

It’s only till August, but still.

Next, a search for my own residence…..


What's on for this Summer!

Back at UT

One of the summer jobs I have is working part time for the lab I worked for at UTSW. I have returned to the pathology lab to do brain genotyping and synaptophysin protein assays on post mortem samples. Basically, it consists of finding out what genetic makeup a person had for the genes involved in neural degeneration that we associate with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The protein assay is just that; looking at the quantity of synaptophysin in different regions of the brain. Synaptophysin is associated with synaptic health. As the synapses in the brain breakdown, so declines the quantity of synaptophysin. I am getting my science fix this summer!

Two Down, Two to GO!!!!

Well my second semester is down for the count! Great grades and I am so happy summer is here! I have decided to take no classes this summer and just work…work on that being broke thing! But, man I am happy I am doing what I am doing.

Next semester is OBGYN and Peds as in Pediatrics. I would love to just skip the OBGYN section, but I am very much looking forward to the Peds rotation. I adore kids even though I don’t want any of my own. They are great! I'll see if I take to the sick kid / stressed parent thing or not. Who knows? The possibilities abound.

This is the most convincing reason I decided to take the plunge and get my RN: choices.

With an RN I can do anything. I am already thinking about an advanced degree after I work for a bit. First of all, where I work with pay for it. Bonus! Maybe a nurse practitioner or OR first assistant, I just have to see.

I can also foresee doing something else I truly love once I am at a later date of my career; teach. I think teaching nursing and nursing related classes when I am tired of everything else would be “just what the Dr ordered!” I already love to teach and nursing is so hands on and quite mechanical in a lot of ways. I could teach it, I’m sure.

Another facet of nursing that calls to me is being the organizer of academic research and its application to patient care or medical uses. I can speak the different languages necessary to communicate with the doctors, the scientist (I do speak geek!), and organize the data. The down side with this avenue is that it leads out of Dallas. The cutting edge science that is being applied to medicine is not in the southern part of the US. Lots to think about….

I have time. Why hurry? Life is too short.
Life is too short to be miserable, to hurry or to be in the wrong place.
I know my path is right.
It’s a great place.

The Best Line So Far…

So, um…..Can I waste drugs with you??

This STILL cracks me up! All narcotic medications have to be disposed of with supervision for obvious reasons. The above line is the usual line I heard while doing my OR rotation. It always made me giggle!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Two Down Two to Go!!

Yes, the final tests are over and we have had the happy hours celebration! WooHoo! Two down, two to go.

Finals were not so bad. I did well in th skills and clinicals. I did passable in lecture as did the vast majority of the class. The bottom line, is, I am still in the program. Sadly, not everyone can say that.
At happy hour, we all discussed how well our class has meshed. We have a great class of a wonderful mix of people. We all work together, party together and generally have great time. A rare thing I believe.

Nursing school is just a blast for me. I love the people, the patients, the learning and the unknown. Fear is really such a hindrance. I don't look at things as fearful, just the next adventure.
What does the next semester hold??
I will let you know.

Just a Body Part…

My last rotation this semester in nursing school was OR, that is, the Operating Room. I loved it. I did find some things quite interesting about it.

Namely, once you are anesthetized, you are, in fact, just a body part. You are draped and covered so that nothing appears except the offending region of your person that needs to be operated on. This made me both comfortable and slightly uneasy. Of course, this allows the surgeons to do what they need to do, operate without any distractions. However, if does remove the fact that there is a whole person under all those drapes. So, it is good and bad in numerous ways. The anesthesiologist keeps tract of the whole person, i.e., is that person under all that still breathing and is the person still asleep! Out cold is very important!

I did really love OR. I liked the teamwork: everyone has a job and everyone does it. I liked knowing that all the instruments had to be arranged and accounted for. Yes, I am an organizational nerd. I liked the music too, surgery is a great place for good tunes. I was able to get past the cold. The room is 60 degrees F. So, yes, you freeze your ass off if you are not careful.

But I did really enjoy my OR rotation. OR ranks high on the list of possible avenues of nursing once I graduate.

Yeah, gotta graduate fist!!

Two semesters down, 2 to go!!

Monday, April 30, 2007

My Nomadic Life

Yet again, my things are in storage. I am getting used to it. The moving part sucks, but since I am a “no stuff” person, it is not as bad as it could be. I am house sitting this summer for a fellow nursing student. He and the kids are going to be with his wife as she is out of town with her job till October.

I really believe that when you are on the right path in life, a way makes itself available to you. This is a good example of that. I had to move very unexpectedly from where I was ( the house I was renting sold) and was kinda stuck as to where to go. So this has worked out for both me and my fellow student. He knows his home and 2 dogs will be loved and well cared for and I can stay somewhere and take my time as to where to live next.

I hope to stay for a bit where ever I land this time around. At least for a while…

My one desire when I finally land in my own place this fall is a cat.
I want a cat.

So I am torturing myself looking on Petfinder.com!!

Home again, home again, jiggidy-jig…

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Almost Done with Number Two!

I have only 4.5 weeks of school left. That includes one more lecture test, the lecture final, one more skills lab hands on check off and the skills lab final. I have two more major assignments due in the next two weeks.

I cannot wait to be done with this semester. So far, the grades are great, and I am having a blast. I have work lined up for the summer to keep me busy and to keep me funded. So far, I am keeping my head above water.

All of this still includes martial arts and some tiny bit of personal life.

However, between now and finals, I have to pack, move, somehow gently sell my mom's car as she is having her license revoked (how does one do that gently??), figure out how to get her around and re-schedule her life, plan to attend my brother's wedding in June (lives in New Jersey) and organize three part-time work schedules.

Oh and taxes.....crap. Can anyone say extension??

Thank the gods for my palm pilot.
I seem sorta busy, but I am having a great deal of fun. I kinda like the challenge of keeping it all going. I am really looking forward to getting away this summer somewhere and somehow. That is in the beginning stages of planning.

I really miss diving. But it will have to wait for a bit.

It is really quite busy but I like it.
I am still the one driving the car of life.

More Analogies to the Animal World

It is Spring yet again.
Considering what normally happens in spring...

Male posturing and competition.

That is very obvious in the animal world. How does it relate in the human world?
Human beings are one of the few species where the females can be more flambouyant than the males. Typically it is the males that have the colorful plumage, large, fluffy coats, or horns with which to compete for females with. Generally, this makes the males more visible and thus, more susceptible to being eaten.

However in the human world, both genders are generally more visible with the females being more visible than some of us would wish at times. This is one difference.

I have also come to understand that after battle, often times men have a major increase in libido. Why is that? I think it may have to do with the age old fact that males at battle usually battled for breeding rights. At the end of the battle the victorious have rights to breed.

Our civilation, our culture has leaped ahead of our evolution through our technology, food production and the like. Our biology has yet to catch up with our society's evolution. Biology just does not move that fast.

Maybe males going through battle still have that biological memory if you will, that the reward for battle involves rights to females. Just a thought. Maybe this also has something to do with why in raging battles, the raping of women also happens. A horrible thing, but similar behaviors can be seen in numerous animal specieswhen taking over other groups' females.

I also have known of women who are very taken with men who fight over them. Some of these women often encourage such situations. Not healthy, but a fact.

So the idea of battle being a prelude to rights to females and the right to propogate genes may not be so removed from our species.

Just some random thoughts.....

Update after Terrell

I realize I have not blogged in a while. So here goes to rectify this!!

I have finished with Terrell! I cannot communicate how happy I am to have that all done. I never thought the words, “I can’t wait to get back to med-surg,” would ever cross my lips but they have with relief. Terrell was not somewhere I ever want to return to. I did live through the experience. I will say in the defense of Terrell, the staff were very interested in caring for the patients. Most of these people did really need to be there. It was unusual that a patient at Terrell did not need to be there. I ran across one, but it was unusual.

Monday, April 02, 2007

New Job!

I am now a hearing screener for newborns at Baylor downtown.

This is really a great deal of fun. Mostly the babies are adorable and the people there are happy; new baby and all. I have only wanted to run from the room with two children so far. I feel badly for some of these babies and what they are obviously born into.

I do really believe we should have requirements for child bearing. By and large, the job is great and the hourse very flexible.

Reasons for comfort:

Through life, you find some people you can be yourself around and some you can’t.

Why is that? I have come to the cursory decision that it is acceptance, a lack of judgment, love; that defines this comfort. Those people you can be around, those who will not judge you, those who will trust you beyond doubt believing you will make decisions that are good and that you have the strength to make those good decisions regardless of the situation- these are the people that we find comfort in being around. There are no “uncomfortable silences” b/c they know you just need time to think and be quite. They let you come to the time to talk in your own time.

These things sound so small and so easy. But these are very difficult things to do: not judge people, be patient, trust them, have faith and love unconditionally. So very hard to do.

When you find such people hold gently and nurture them. You should be able to be the same person no matter who you are around. This I think is the best goal. It is such comfort to just be who and what you are no matter.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Purtis Creek

Camping this past weekend was at Purtis Creek . Sometimes you just have to get out of town for the weekend!
All things were packed into the car and off we went. Of course, there is always one thing forgotten and this trip was no exception. The infamous green bucket of cooking utensils, headlamp, and camp soap was left behind. Alas, the best laid plans....

Since it was the last weekend in February, the trees were not yet green with foliage. However, there was the cutest of light green "fluff" to them as they were just beginning to sprout forth new leaves. Everything had the appearance of fuzz. As night fell, the stark, leave-less trees silently stated one word to me: patience.
Simple because they were waiting.
I liked the stark contrast of naked branches against the waning sunlight. We saw birds galore and we still have several to identify.

The Saturday dust/wind storm was something else. The morning began with, "Wow, it is all hazy outside." Walking throughout the day proved to have grit attached to it but you didn't notice until you got back to camp because you were so distracted with trying not to take flight in the high winds. When we did get back to camp, several tree branches had landed very near the tent. We decided that since Mother Nature had provided firewood in such an obvious fashion, gathering and burning it all would be just fine. We had a grand fire.

Purtis Creek is a small camp ground but we had practically the whole camp ground to ourselves. We camped in spot #60, on the other side of the dam and there was not a soul around us. Perfect.

We have another trip scheduled for Dinosaur Valley. Who's in??

One Down, 5 to go…Psych!

I have just come home from my first day on the psych unit. As some of you know, I was not looking forward to this. Between personal family experience and recent friend experience, I was simply not looking forward to going through the psych rotation.

The first day has come and gone, and really it was not that bad. Granted, I have not been to Terrell yet, that is next week, but so far, it’s ok. We sat in on group therapy today. This entails the patients all coming together to discuss what they are feeling, fears and other thoughts. The vast majority of people were there because of severe depression and/or having attempted suicide.

The real theme I heard in this group of sad, depressed people was a lack of connection to other human beings. “I am just so lonely since my husband died,” or “I just feel the loneliness come over me,” were both common statements.

What I heard from these people is this: they don’t feel like people care about them. What’s more, they don’t know how to go about changing that feeling. Many of the people there had been abused or taken advantage of in terrible ways. Honestly, I could relate on some level to how some of the patients were feeling.

Why is it that we can be so mean to each other? Are our lives so busy that we forget to care about our friends or about our families? The therapist said something sadly very funny: “Yeah, any major family holiday can make anyone want to starting using [drugs/alcohol] again.”

So very sad, and yet so very true.

I think the part I have the hardest time with is the simple fact I identify with some of these people. I know how they are feeling and what they are going through because I have walked their path.

Of course, it begs the question, why am I not also in their shoes? Why am I not also sitting here on the other side of the table? Why is it that I have not been on that other side of the table at least once before?

To me, there is only one obvious answer to that: Friends

A gift I seem to have in abundance.

Ya’ll, I am thankful for every one of you.

Yes, you too…