Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Second Semester...Slam!

Well, here I am in second semester of nursing school and slammed is the word.
As Stephani would say.

We are busy, busy and I am worried I will not keep up at times. I sat down this week and put all of my due dates and assignments into my palm to try and keep up. I am sure it will be OK. (Please...?)

On the job front, the newborn hearing thing looks pretty good as I got feedback on that today.
On the teeth front, I need a crown. Yuck.
On the martial arts front, my right foot is better, but still painful. I kicked my instructor and he blocked with his knee, crafty man. Big bruise but dodged the broken bone bullet.

Otherwise, things are doing pretty good. Except the weather is not Moose friendly. This takes the fun out of travel to and fro....

More later!!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Barbaro Passes On...

Sadly, Barbaro, the race horse has been euthanized. A great loss to racing. Micheal Matz is also in the show jumping community, so I was very familiar with him and his philosophy of horse management. If they chose to euthanize Barbaro, it was warranted.
Sad, but at least he is not in pain.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Another manufactured holiday is upon us.

I was wondering where exactly Valentine's day comes from.

I decided to find out. Its history is a bit murky but still wrapped in the lovely blanket of love.

I have never thought much of this holiday. It seems to be yet another method of our over-commercialized society to force people into spending money in yet another frivolous fashion. Make no mistake, I am not a tightwad, I just don't need an entire day, on a national level, to remind me to tell the people in my life that I care about them.

Why can't I do that every day?

In any way I choose?

I know we are all very, very busy and it is easy to take the ones you care about for granted.

Maybe the take-away message for Valentine's Day is this:

Remember the people you love and cherish them everyday. They have a choice as to whether they are in your life or not. Be openly thankful for their presence in your life. People need to know you love, appreciate and value the investment they make in your life.

So say so.

As often as possible.

Valentine's Day is just a reminder.

Komodo Immaculate Conception

This is a great link to the article about the Komodo dragon giving laying fertile eggs that have now began hatching into wonderful little dragons!! Many of you know my penchant for dragons! I have read about the phenomenon of reptiles being able to produce fertile eggs without a male. This is the first documented case for Komodos which are endangered. So far all the baby dragons are doing great. The article fails to state if all the little ones are female. In some reptiles, gender is dependent on incubation temperature. I can't wait to see how they all do!

Cool New Shark!

This is a great link about a Frilled shark. These sharks are very rare to see alive and swimming, but one was filmed in Japan. Sadly, the shark died shortly after being moved to the aquarium for observation.

There have been more and more of “rare” sea creatures coming to the surface or being found. Is it that we now have the technology to see these, or as in this case, the creatures are making their presence know.

This begs the question(s), why are they coming our of their normal habitat of deep in the ocean? Is there no food? Are they becoming ill more and more? Do they do this normally and with the higher population of the planet, people are just noticing them?

I cannot help but think the human race maybe affecting the planet so intensely that we are altering the balance of the ecosystem. There is plenty of theory that states the human race is driving the next major extinction.
Just a thought…

Monday, January 22, 2007

Back in School-Psych!

Yes, this semester is our Psych semester. I have to admit I am not looking forward to this. Having spent time with my father in this setting, I have negative memories of anything to do with Psych. We have to spend rotations at Terrell and Wysong. Both mental institutions. It will be interesting to see the mental health field from the view of a practitioner vs a patient. I am sure there is much to learn, but I will have to get past my uncomfortableness. Growth happens no matter where you are.

I am sure, as happens with all psych-studying students, I will see lots of the definitions of conditions existing in myself or others around me.
Please save me from self-diagnosis!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ice Day in Dallas

School was canceled today. I have been home all day with the exception of the run to the post office. In between movies ( The Illusionist-excellent, Little Miss Sunshine-worth watching just for the last 20 minutes!) I saw lots of info-mercial TV. I never watch TV. Usually it is reading text or reading and listening to music. Or just the music.

So, I have to ask, when did we come up with coloring books for kids that do not require practicing staying in the lines??!!?? Or even crayons?? There is this advertisement for coloring with "any tool, even you finger" and the color appeared in the picture, perfect, in the lines and with texture.
Oh, you mean coloring, aside from being fun, was to help with hand-eye motor control? Oh the horror that we might want the kids to a) imagine a color for the picture, b) color the appropriate section and learn to stay in the lines, or c) take time to finish the picture and make it look nice. No, can't have any imagination or personal interest now can we??

And my all time favorite...we can't possibly want the kid making a mess.
Kid = Mess
That is how it is supposed to be. Just like men are wired to look at women, kids are wired to be messy. Neither of these are bad.
The mess is part of learning.
How else would they learn to clean up??

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Round Two...

I am back at school as of today! Semester Two is underway and we jumped in with both feet practicing inserting Foley catheters. Next week, Nasogastric tubes, then our first scenario check off for this semester. The whirlwind of class is underway.

I am happy to be back. After this semester, I will actually be half way through. I will take the summer to work and restock the funds, and then on into the final stretch. Then I can attempt to have an adult life again.

Although I am having fun right now. I took this last semester and did school only, no job. Having worked since I was 12, this was quite a treat. I must admit, I don't think I was busy enough last semester, so a job is just what the doctor ordered. I will let you know what I end up with, as I am pretty open-minded. My roomie suggested Bone Daddys and now having went there for lunch (the ribs were great!) there is no way on earth I could work there. I require more clothing than that to be at work. Call me old fashioned....

Anyway, I am sure the right thing will come along. It just has to include a reasonable amount of clothing...

Monday, January 15, 2007


We did actually catch our plane and get to come back to Dallas. Not so for the other half of our group, as their flights were canceled. They had to stay over night another day. But they should be on their plane and on their way home.

I must say, after the bunk beds we had to stay in, my bed never felt so amazing! I stretched out in the middle of my bed and loved the fact that it was,um, COMFORTABLE!!

No more sleeping on the couch because of discomfort or the lack of ability to climb into my top bunk bed. That hurt shoulder kept me couch bound a night!

Home is good!

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Well, we are one day away from leaving Denver. And the irony of the whole deal is we may be stuck in Denver because of weather in Dallas!!

How ridiculous is that? We get iced out of Dallas? Who woulda thunk??

My classes start on Tuesday, so I have to find a way to be back in Dallas by then. Please, let us board our airplane home! Staying in the airport overnight just does not sound good at all. But we will do whatever we need to.

Overall, this has been a really great week of snowboarding, pain, drinking, fun and more pain. Did I mention pain? I love to learn new things even at the expense of physical comfort. The scenery here is so stunning. We were blessed with new snow this past night. I want to go boarding again, but I am going to err on the side of caution and be worthless today. Really I think I will just walk around and take pictures of the beautiful snow.

Hope to see you all in Dallas by Sunday evening!!

Friday, January 12, 2007


Well today snowboarding finally came together!

OK, I still suck at it, but I can actually tie my turns together and stop and negotiate terrain.

Vast improvement.

I only boarded half a day today to take it easy, I didn't want to over do it. I did fall another time on my hurt shoulder, but it was not as bad nor as painful. Still not good though.

All in all, snowboarding is much harder to get than skiing. I really love the snowboarding but I do not know if I will ever be comfortable going down the mountain at break-neck speed sideways....

I may go back to skiing. The side-ways thing was more than I had anticipated. Still, I do like it. I would give it another go-'round to see if I can get more comfortable sideways before I bag it and go back to skiing.

If I go back to skiing I will invest in my own knee braces and have fun!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The baptism is complete...

One of my fellow snowboarders stated, “Snowboarding is a baptism is pain.” Well, after today, the baptism is complete.

I had to cut my snowboarding short today. I was getting back into it and then, caught the wrong edge and got bitch-slapped into the snow, on my back only with my left arm to be caught behind me. I managed to not dislocate my shoulder, my left shoulder, you know, the one that actually functions fully, but I did wrench it badly. Having a high tolerance to pain and not prone to crying at all, I was on the verge of tears.

A few deep breaths later and I had a grip again. But, yeah, I was done for the the day. I had to ride over to the Sunspot lodge to meet up for lunch. And of course, I then put most of the snowboarding pieces together. Yes, I was able to keep my board headed down the mountain and could catch my toe and heel edge as needed. I just couldn't move my left arm.

So, I took the pantywaist way down the mountain via the lift, and retired to the house.

Physical assessment:
Both knees black and blue
Wrenched left shoulder
Ass several unnatural colors

Yes, the baptism is complete.

And will I get up and go snowboarding again.


My masochistic little self still wants to master the board.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fear that Creeps in...

This is one of the things that I hate MOST about aging and one of the things that I am most fiercely battling to overcome.


When did it creep in? Why does it creep in? What is it about being early to mid 30's that suddenly makes you resistant to doing new things? Is it only women that have this or do men reach a point too?

I love new things.

So why the fear associated with that?

I was speaking to woman on the ski lift about this subject. She was newly 40, and her two kids were in snowboarding lessons. She decided to learn with them and thus she was in my adult class. We talked briefly about how it was “now or never” for her about learning this new sport. We both hated the fear that seems to just settle in and exist inside your psyche.

I realize that always in life, the true battle rages within.

This is definitely in that category.

I will continue my raging battle with this entity and I know I will overcome it. I did today on the slopes.

I did also with my motorcycle as I was fairly terrified when I first got Moose. But holy crap I love that bike. And although I have a healthy fear when riding, it is of the other drivers, not of my bike.

Fear can be overcome and I don't want it or anything else to limit my life that way.

I am just not ready to roll over and give up.

Fear, be banished!

When everything is willing except the ass....

OK, my second day of snowboarding is here and done. I wanted to keep going but the ass was unwilling. My hips are blue and purple after today. Ouch.

The crazy thing is, I will be doing the same thing tomorrow!!

After lunch today, I switched my feet. I changed my bindings (the things that strap your feet to the board) from “Goofy foot” (Right foot forward) to Regular or left foot forward. What a huge difference!! I can steer so much better! I am now having a bit of a problem with the toe edge, hence the SPECTACULAR flip and hip plant that I actually got applause for. Make that two hip-plants but only one complete with flip and applause...

Thus the bruised hips.

Fortunately, from my martial arts, I have managed to fall on my hips and not my tail bone. I am hoping to keep that going. A hurt tail bone would be really bad.

It is amazing that anything that hurts this bad is still so fun!! And yeah baby, it is painful. But what really good stuff isn't? Anything that is worth doing does come with a price. Sometimes it is bruises. Other times it hurts differently....

I think snowboarding is really worth learning and thus the price is some pain.

OK, a lot of pain.

But hey, it's fun!!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Winter Park Day Two

So I took my snowboard lessons this morning and really enjoyed them. I spent the afternoon practicing my heel and toe edge. After much falling and one spectacular face-plant, I feel like I am doing much better.

Snowboarding is so very much like motorcycle riding. You have to look where you want to go. It is intuitive in that way. If you aren't looking there you are truly not going to go there! So the deal is, equally distribute your weight between both feet, look in the direction you want to go and your hips and shoulders will follow. If you don't have enough momentum, focus more of your weight a bit on the front leg, then you will go more fluidly forward. Don't lean down the mountain!! You will catch an edge and BAM, either a butt plant or a face plant depending on the edge you are on. Not good...

Really, I found snowboarding more to my liking and ability than skiing. The fact that both legs are attached to the same thing is a comfort to me. Snowboarding uses my flexibility and balance even more than skiing. Snowboarding is harder in some ways, but I found it more conducive to the abilities I have.

I love snowboarding!!

My goal now is to just practice and get better at it.

Oh, and not injure myself horribly in the process!!

Hot tub, here I come!!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Winter Park,Colorado

It is another year of skiing! This year the gang is at Winter Park. We are in a huge house and everyone has settled in. Pictures will follow in the next week, I am sure. I am just happy to have this one last reprieve before school starts!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Another Year Upon Us

Another year has come and gone. So much has happened this last year. My hope is the next year will be more peaceful and a lot less hectic. I have school worked out. I know I can find a job, or at least another one. I need to add workouts back into my life. I wasn't tired enough last year. The workouts are a requirement to my sanity.
Does anyone else feel like '06 simply flew by? It didn't even seem to take a breath, it just kept on going.

I want the merry-go-'round to stop for a bit so I can get off.
So, in '07, I vote we take a time out.

As death creeps in...

I have a new job. I am currently doing some time as a home health aid. Basically, this is sitting with people who are at death's door. But they haven't knocked yet. It is just to make sure that all of their needs are met at this crucial time.

And it is really sedentary.

I think our culture is afraid of death. Personally it is not death I fear but the incapacitation that often precedes death. That is what I fear.

Or worse, physical capacity coupled with mental incapacity. Such is the case with my mom, and grows more so every day. I think I would write myself a post-it note to remember to off myself in the event I loose my mind. Unlike my mom, I won't have 4-5 children to help look after me.

But, I diverge.

We covered “Death and Dying” in this last semester of nursing school. This is what I figured it would be like.

Even though the person I am sitting with has only medicaid and medicare, the establishment appears well run. Clean, clean smelling, and a friendly get-the-job-done staff makes the place appear quite nice. Caring for the elderly is a job that few people are cut out to do. I know I won't be doing it as a career path. But everyone deserves to be cared for up until death creeps in.

What did you get for Christmas this year?

For this year, my siblings and I went into together and bought my mom a GPS. We all agreed that her getting lost is becoming a problem and Mom also does not like it at all. Who would? You can't get home? No way.

So we bought a Garmin for her. It is a very basic model but it suites her purpose perfectly. I have already programed it and uploaded all the appropriate maps. Most importantly, I have programed “GO HOME” into it. Verbal directions at the touch of a button.


Discussion with siblings, Time- 45 minutes.

Purchase of GPS, $379

Mom never being brought home by the Dallas Police Department again,


Running: An Update

I have started running again. I am not getting enough exercise and energy expenditure, so running I go. I am also reading a great book on running, ChiRunning, by Danny Dryer. It is instruction on how to run with the principles of Tai Chi. It is great! I have been running for about 5 days now and I have no pain. Granted, I am not running a marathon, nor do I intend to, but normally after the first run, my knees hurt and I generally hurt all over. With this new form, there is no pain. For anyone who wants to run regularly, and without injury, I highly recommend this book. Form is the key; body lean, landing your feet behind you to be more like a wheel in motion instead of slamming your heel down then pushing off with your toes, and relaxation. Hey, I can do that.

And with so much to think about, all those pesky thoughts running through your head go away. You relax, swing your elbows, keep your column straight, lean, and viola! You are running. And you don't hurt.