Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Year in Review

As 2009 closes, I find myself looking back at the year.
  • I bought a house
  • I renovated it
  • I moved my mother to assisted living
  • I gave my sister a place to crash for a while - she is on her own road to home ownership!
  • Still lovin' my job
  • Still lovin' my motorcycle
  • Majorly lovin' my man (How did I get so lucky??)
  • I actually put up two strands of holiday lights - get back!!
  • Made substantial progress on my debt, still working on it though
  • Every single day reminds me how precious my health is.
What do I want to do next year??
  • Dive, dammit
  • Buy a second house (My current one is almost done, what will I do with my spare time??)
  • Go to Sturgis
  • Eat better, buy closer to home, more healthy
  • Ride the motorcycle a lot
  • Go back to school for my masters (may not get to this, but it is a good goal)
Oh, and laugh as often as possible. Mostly at myself.

Food for Thought

I have done a lot of reading and have come to the conclusion I must change my eating habits.

I will do my best to purchase as locally as I can, and purchase those things in season.

I think the American people have decided they do not have any control over big business or how our food is brought to us.
But we do.

We vote with our dollars. If everyone decided to buy local and organic (such on overused word), the agribusiness machine would shift and upheaval would ensue. This needs to happen. If we as a population voted with our dollars, we CAN change how our food is grown, and how the people who grow and harvest it are treated. By making a conscious effort to buy only local, and buy from those who treat the animals they slaughter and the people whom they employee with respect and dignity, we can change how the food business runs.
  • Buy at your local farmers' market: There are several throughout the metroplex.
  • Plant a garden, even small one.
  • Buy what's in season, that way there is less expense going into making the produce/product in the first place.
Buying making small changes in your purchases, we, as a whole, can change things.
It's about supply and demand.
If we demand it -with our dollars- it will be supplied.
Hold big business accountable for how they treat their livestock, their employees and you, their customers.
You do have a voice, you do have a vote.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The gift that keeps on giving

For Christmas, John gave me a Nook. I had been drooling over the Kindle and Nook for a long time and I think he did spectacularly on the gift!

Consequently, I was wish list shopping to build my reading list.

So. Many. Choices.

One of the titles I rolled across was "Survival of the Sickest, Why we need disease."

We do so need disease and as a society, we need to become OK with getting sick, slowing down so our bodies can heal and basically exercising our immune systems.

Disease keeps us healthy. Sounds strange, but it does. Us and our species.

Do yourself a favor and rest when you are sick, only take antibiotics when you have no other choice.

Even when sick, you are exercising....

You are exercising your immune system!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

This is to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday. Spend it with people who are important to you and realize that today, now, is the present.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The catalogs found me!

I have moved so many times over the last three years, most all of the catalogs and extraneous mail I used to get went away.

But alas, this holiday season they are back! Amazing how they find me...they are even addressed to me too. I mean, yes, I understand 'mail forwarding' but still....

One that has returned is Dover Saddlery. I have to admit, flipping through it (I cannot seem to resist) brought on pangs of sadness as I looked over all the cool horsey gear and clothing. It reminded me how much I miss it. It also reminded me how expensive it is.

I would like to start riding again, and with my house almost finished, I hope this next year I will have whatever it takes to get to do just that.

Of course I am thinking of renting my house out and buying a new one...The house stuff may never end...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Motorcycle Dilemma

John and I have decided to take a trip to Sturgis, one of the oldest motorcycle gatherings. It is South Dakota.
And yes, we intend to RIDE the whole way.

Considering I love my little Italian Pony, I have a hard decision to make....

Do I sell my beloved Ducati Monster 800 to buy something more fitting to the 4100 some-odd miles that lie ahead of us?

Or do I keep it, and rent (very expensive!) a bike to ride. (this option does not appeal, but rationally I have to keep it on the table).

Lastly, do I buy a cruiser and have two bikes? (Seems outlandish and I can't justify two bikes)

My frugal nature does not like any of these options. Since I also have a problem "settling" I am stuck.

If I could just go do whatever and did not have financial sense, I would sell it and get a BMW F800 ST, which I have drooled over ever since I sat on it at the motorcycle show two years ago...It has just as impressive a price tag...

Sturgis is in August, so I have a little time to think and chose. Gotta start putting the miles in to build up callouses in the right location....

Any thoughts from my riding friends out there??

Monday, November 30, 2009

Who Controls You?

This seems a stupid question... You may think, "I decide things!"
But, in fact, do you?

One of the things I have tried to do, and is so very hard to do, is to make my behavior mine and only mine.
It is not contingent on what I get in return, who does or does not do something for me or who is or is not rude to me.

I want to chose my own behavior regardless of others' actions toward me. I strive to be the person I want to be every day, even if others are not nice to me.

Therefore, I ask again, who controls you?

Do you let rude or mean people alter your behavior?
Are you still carrying baggage around from some previous encounter?
When you see someone does that person's past behavior still affect you in some way?

When you allow someone else's anger, hostility, or negativity alter your own behavior, you are allowing them some level of control over you.

Resist!! It is not futile....

It is very, very hard to pull off all the time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pictures soon...House remodel!

I have done the following to my house:

  • Changed out kitchen counter tops from vintage 1962 to oak butcher block
  • The above required installing a new sink and newer gas stove (as opposed to electric - how can you cook on electric??? Food requires fire!! But I diverge...)
  • Sanded and painted the kitchen cabinets
  • Changed out the hardware on said cabinets
  • Painted the vent -a-hood
  • Installed new bath vanities
  • Reseated both toilets
  • Redone the flooring in both baths
Totally love it! I am assembling the pics as I have been taking before and afters...

Oh! We mustn't forget the GYNORMOUS hole in the backyard that facilitated the city's cleaning out the blockage in the sewer main that forced the faster-than-planned bathroom remodels....

Still have to install the access to the main before I cover it back up....

A Few More Additional Things...

Yes, I stand corrected....

Duct Tape should be added to the "What everyone (woman) should have and know how to use...blog.

Cable Ties
Teflon tape - used to connect plumbing so it does not leak!

Thanks for the correction!

The Month to Reflect

Ah, tis' the month of Thanksgiving!! What are you thankful for? A quick few thoughts on what I am thankful for:
  1. Health - You can't buy it and it is a gift
  2. John
  3. Love - Love of friends, love of family
  4. The ability to learn from my mistakes so that I don't repeat them
  5. The freedom this country offers
  6. My attitude
  7. The fact I really love my job
  8. The fact that I really love my life
  9. Being able to persevere
  10. Being happy with what I have
Give it some thought...what are your really, really glad you have?

Tools every woman should own...And know how to use!

This a list of tools, a basic set, that everyone, especially a woman should own and know how to use:
  1. Hammer
  2. Level
  3. Drill with accompanying drill bits and phillips and flat -head attachment
  4. Tape Measure - good one
  5. Carpet knife
  6. Ratcheting screw driver - these usually come with interchangeable heads for different sizes and flat vs phillips head. A must have.
  7. Picture hanging set - they sell little sets so you can hang your art work/pictures!
  8. Pliers
  9. Channel locks - these are the long-handled pliers with adjustable bite
And last but not least....a desire to get dirty and feel great about your accomplishment!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Latest Movie Suggestion

If you want a moving, engaging movie that has an unlikely setting, Greenfingers is your movie.

It is about prison inmates that end up in an "open" prison. They are transformed by gardening and the trust the warden shows in them. Oh, and they end up entering a gardening show help at Hampton Place.

It is based on a true story and is a beautiful tale of how facing your demons is the only way to progress. Even if those demons are represented in bare earth, rocky, acidic soil and little outside help.

The movie is a definite watch for anyone. A wonderful story about life, learning to nurture one's self by nurturing and loving things around you.

A must watch!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Raw Food

Over the last two months, I have been getting my eggs, milk, beef and chicken from a co-op. Good Stuff Co-Op is a source for raw, unpasteurized, straight-from-the-cow milk, farm fresh eggs, and ranch raised beef and chicken. Usually the chicken is slaughtered the morning of when you pick it up.

All the animals are raised on pasture which is free of pesticides and they all roam around, well, like animals are supposed to. I had done lots of research on raw milk and the free range, ranch animals. It all points to a MUCH healthier way of eating.

Two points I can attest to: The milk alone has cured my digestive issues. Regularity and a life free of stomach cramps is my new existence.

My allergies, have virtually vanished. I had suffered for a long time of sneezing fits and watery eyes that itched until I thought it would be better to claw them out.
All gone.

Cooking with the chicken and beef is fantastic as it has only healthy, omega 3 fats and is so much more flavorful. I highly recommend it to anyone.

The down side: Expense. The "good stuff" is pricier but I think it is really worth it. I see all kinds of illness and know first hand that your health is a gift that no amount of money can buy. You have to feed your body the right stuff, and take care of your body, so it can take care of you. In that respect, I guess buying better food is a way to buy your health...

You are what you eat. Make sure it is really, really good stuff.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The List

Does any one else out there have "the list?"
You know, that list of stuff you want to do. People say it all the time, "That is going on the list!"

I keep trying to make progress on my list, but it also keeps growing. There are several things I've done but so much to do!

I hope to sky dive in the near future, toy further with the idea of a tattoo (WHERE?), get back to diving, travel, and do more remodeling on the house.

Oh, and the ever present get out of debt. I am making progress....

What's on your list??

Monday, August 24, 2009


In October I will be going for a CCRN review: Critical Care Registered Nurse certification.

It is a tough test, but I am determined to do well. It will be a nice feather in my cap if all goes well. The test covers everything in critical care, even stuff I don't do a lot of at this time.

What I do will also change soon. In October two of our ICUs are combining; ICU1 (me-neuro) and ICU4 (hearts).

I look forward to learning about cardiovascular ICU but I am a little, well a lot, scared to death as it is serious stuff. There is a lot of gadgetry in heart management, and I like that part. It is heavy duty nursing and I hope I am up to the challenge. So much to learn!!

My hope is the CCRN review and subsequent test will help gear me up for being successful in the new combined unit!
Wish me luck!


I am reminded how much cooking de-stresses me. This last week I work 5 days instead of the normal three. I agreed to work Tuesday as we were short at work, believing I would be canceled later in the week.
Alas, no, our unit was slammed and I worked all five days.
I was so mentally and physically exhausted by the end. Sunday I slept. We did manage to go to the gym and work out. I am pretty adamant about keeping up with my running now.

Today....well, I am cooking. Baking too. My co-workers will be happy!

I enjoy the prep, the smell of the food, the finished product...
I just enjoy cooking. It is a much needed de-stress-er. I made a chicken stir fry with garlic, ginger and soy, lots of veggies and rice on the side. Jasmine rice always smells so good.

Now I have lunch for the next two days for work, and I am content to go back to all the chaos that work can be.

Having problems?? Go Cook!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

A year of reflection

Last month marked 1 year as an RN!

Looking back, I can see just how steep the learning curve was and still is. I feel like I am at mile 4 of those 9 miles out of the Grand Canyon; It has been steep already, but I have 5 miles to go and it is still straight up.
Overall I have tons of fun at work. My colleagues are fantastic people, super knowledgeable and just as crazy and fun as I am. I am very fortunate to work with such an experienced staff.

Even the days like today, where none of us sat down practically all day, ran our behinds off and even someone passed away, we still had great fun, got it done and took excellent care of our charges.

I love what I do, and when/if the day comes where I don't, I will do something else.
I will not torture my fellow coworkers with a bad attitude.
And absolutely not my patients!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Unexpected Thankfullness

Strangely, I have come to really appreciate my difficult childhood. The trials, tribulations and abuse taught me coping mechanisms. Granted not all of them were healthy and thus I had to learn which to keep and which ones to discard. The coping mechanisms I kept have served me well in helping me get to where I am today. Despite my mistakes, I have learned a lot and really like where I am today.

At work I see so many people who had a nice, easy, spoiled, 'got whatever they wanted' childhood. They have no coping mechanisms and cannot deal very well when thrown into adult life. They turn to drugs, mostly, either illegal or prescription in order to function. Many also turn to food or destructive behaviors.

As horrible and difficult as it is, you have to face what you don't like about yourself, your choices and your life, deal with it - either with help or by yourself. The drugs don't solve the real problem, the food only makes you more unhealthy and more depressed, and still, there is a hole inside you.

Strangely, I have come to appreciate all the things I learned to do as a kid. Granted these things were in self preservation, but now as an adult, I love my life and have the attitude there is nothing I cannot accomplish if I really want it.

I do not see that attitude all people of my generation and definitely not in a generation after me.

Sometimes difficult is necessary. Pain is usually the best teacher whether that is physical or emotional.

My thoughts to parents?
Let your kids fail and have to try again, and maybe even again and again.
They learn how to do it and that they can.
There will not always be someone to solve their problems for them.

Friday, June 26, 2009

It is not PC, but I don't care...

I just finished reading an aritcle in CNN about how airlines are about to start charging people who are too fat to fit into one seat. There was this disenting comment:

Still, some larger passengers who need more than one seat believe being charged extra is discriminatory and the airlines are not accommodating the growing American waistline.
"The airlines need to be making bigger seats," said Peggy Howell, a spokeswoman for the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, a group based in San Francisco, California. "It's not safe to be cramming us into two seats."

Really...there is an association to promote accepting fatness??? Where is the society for acceptance for hypertension? Or to accept congestive heart failure??

If you are fat, deal with the fact you are fat, pay for the extra seat or whatever and decide to do something about it. Join weight watchers, count calories, something, but accepting your lack of health is not an option. Educate yourself on nutition, do something proactive before you develop diabetes and your extremities start to rot off.

The fact that America has just decided to accept being fat...well, I cannot abide by that. Obesity is so detrimental to one's health and well being. Not to mention it does not kill you out right, but slowly, at great expense and at great pain; to you and your family.

How can we have a National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance???

It is time to throw polically correct out the damn window and face up to realities. If you take more than one seat on an airpane you are are too large and it is no one else's problem but your own. Get your MD on board, get a plan and work your plan for weight managment. It won't be easy but the benefits are limitless.

to hell with PC!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Humans need animals

This is a hear-warming story of puppies in prison. There isn't enough space to go into all the things that I think are wrong with our prison system, but this is something that is very right.
Puppies in Prison

Please take a moment to read. It brings up something important....unconditional love. I think in order to be well balanced, whole people, we all need to know what it is to be loved unconditionally. I think few people really understand what that truly means.

The Path of Alzheimers

As Alzheimer's progresses, you find yourself asking awful, bizarre questions:
  1. At what point is it best to have professionals assit/perform the care of your family member?
  2. When is the quality of life compromised to the point of not having quality?
  3. Would your family member want to live like this?
  4. How the hell will the average person afford any kind of dementia care?
  5. Can someone please euthanize me in the event I get to the point of not knowing anything and not being able to care for myself....?
Our health care system is in no way, shape, form or fashion set up to deal with the coming onslaught of dementia care that is going to be needed. People will suffer, and families will suffer simply because no one knows what the hell to do.

Example: Right now my mother is at a lovely assisted living facility that I would recommend to anyone, Apple Tree Court in Richardson, Tx. The cost for the services there are about $2700-$3000 per month. Needless to say, my siblings and I pick up some of that tab. However, as she declines, as she is showing signs of doing, she may necessitate leaving there and being in a memory facility. These are a minimum of $5000-$8000 per month. A tab we cannot afford. Most people cannot afford this unless they have planned very well for their future.

I wonder, at what point would my mom not want to participate in life. Depression is a major problem because of the lack of mobility (can't drive) and because your life does not have fluid memories any more. We are no more than a collection of our memories....

I am thankful Mom can still do all the things she needs to do; bathing, grooming, feeding herself. What a blessing. But what is next? And worse....I feel 'next' is going to be less than good...

How are we to live out our days?
Where are we to do that?
So many questions and no answers, or at least, very poor answers.

Monday, June 08, 2009


It has been too long since I have blogged!

I am back to the grind of day-to-day, but am loving it none the less. I have only the back splash to do in the kitchen and it will be complete...OK, a little touch up paint here and there, but done otherwise!


Probably the guest bath. It needs caulking and texture/paint. So much to do!

I picked up my bike today, I am very excited to start mountain biking. With 20lbs to lose, I need all the exercise I can get!
When the kitchen is officially finished, I will post more pics!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

This is not the best pic, but you can see petroglyphs on the rocks, especially if you look on the dark, farthest back rock. These were very old art left by the Indians that lived in the painted desert before it was so completely a desert. These rocks were very far away and it was hard to get good pics of them.
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Monument Valley to the Petrified Forest…

I really enjoyed the Petrified Forest which was coupled with the Painted Desert. It was easy to see where the Southwestern palette of colors comes from. Pinks, whites, sand and red stripes decorate these hills. The bands of color are so perfectly arranged, so consistent; one could think these hills were painted, thus the name.

The petrified forest was just down the road a bit. I loved the colors the wood takes on once petrified. It fascinated me how the wood still appeared to be wood, except for the colors and lack of branches. The bark appears normal until you touch it. I loved looking at all the different colors. The samples of polished petrified wood were so beautiful.
However, even what appears to be a regular size piece weighs a ton. The piece we looked at was coffee table top size, beautifully polished and weighed 800lbs. It’s easy to see why the big pieces don’t run away! Sadly, the forest has been plundered and continues to be prayed upon. Leave the wood at the park!! A lovely time!
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Monument Valley was on the list as well!
Grand Canyon to Monument Valley…
Our next park was Monument Valley. These huge monoliths of sand and rock are beautiful in their own, desolate way. Many photographers were there taking pictures. Here are the few I took…
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Just a couple more shots...The hike out was BRUTAL, for anyone who has not tried it. It was about three days before we could walk normally again.
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The Grand Canyon

Words cannot do justice to this natural wonder. Here are a couple of my favorite pics so far. John’s will no doubt be even better, feel free to view his website, they should be up in a week or so: www.johnwilkins.smugmug.com

We spent three nights and four days at the Grand Canyon. We camped on the rim for two nights and hiked to the river for the night of third camping. Backpacking in was fantastic with expansive views. However, the last 2 miles, were straight down and by the time we got to the bottom, our knees and calves were screaming.
Phantom ranch was lovely and the Ranger programs we attended were great. One was on the recovery and reintroduction of California Condors into the wild. The other was on bats and how essential these little critters are to our ecosystem. Of course, they were preaching to the choir on both accounts! An interesting point I wanted to tell everyone about; Condors were devastated by lead poisoning. Studies performed on how lead shot behaves once shot into an animal were very revealing. Any hunter who hunts and shoots an animal then brings this animal home to eat will be bringing home lead to poison his family if he has not change over to the copper shot that is being promoted now. The lead scatters and fragments once it enters the flesh. These microscopic fragments will accumulate in the body of whatever eats the contaminated flesh.Food for thought…
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Annual Driving Trip

Below are some pictures of the driving trip so far!

This is a few of the early bloomers.
So pretty from something so prickly!
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I fell in love with the Saguaro Catus. I found them interesting in their own right as well as beautiful. All of the vegetation's ability to survive in such a harsh climate was really impressive. We were a little early for the cactus blooms that happen every year. We did catch a few early bloomers.
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View from Saguaro National Park

This is a vista from Saguaro National Park. We are on our annual driving holiday. This year the destination is the Grand Canyon. We have several other things to see along the way. So far the weather has been fabulous, and the radar detector usefull!
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

almost done

I have my sink installed. I got the deeper one, as you really need the room if you cook lots.

Here is a view of painted and new hardware. I have one section of counter top to mount.

New dishwasher! The original was older than the house, I think!!
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This is a view of the oak counter tops. I thought oak butcher block would be more in keeping with the vintage nature of the 1962 house. I love my little house with its old quirks! It has kept me busy, happily so!
The back splash will be the same vintage copper tile. I think I have it located at Elliot's.
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During part 2

For those of you who have witnessed my painting...you will know this is NOT overkill!! Sadly, the paint sprayer was a big giant waste of time and I just painted it all by hand. I got better at the painting as it went on. By the end I hardly got paint anywhere it was not supposed to be.

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These were during the whole deal. I was going to do the dishwasher myself, but once pulled out, realized it would require a blowtorch and electrical...so I had it installed.

The before pictures...

Here are the before pics... The cabinets are in good shape, but that counter top has to go!!
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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A movie to watch

I recently watched a very thought provoking movie, The Beautiful Truth. It is an independent film about the benefits of a fresh, veggie filled diet in treating disease. It centers around the teachings of Dr. Max Gerson, who practiced in the 1920's. It is very controversial, but brings to light very interesting points about our diet.

The other interesting points are in regard to the American Cancer society and the FDA. It is a worth while watch for anyone, especially those interested in health.

You are what you eat.

Kitchen Remodel...

The kitchen was one of two areas of the house that needed overhauling. I started the kitchen this week. I have not gotten as far as I wanted, but pics are to follow once I locate the camera again. the kitchen is in plastic and I pain today. Everything is sanded, the oven is the only thing other than cabinets that remains and it is draped for painting. Some of you know how, well, awful I am at painting, wish me luck! Especially since I borrowed the BF's paint sprayer....
Look out! I hopefully will paint things needing painting and not just everything else.
Now where is that camera??

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sometimes it is no one's fault

Sadly, sometimes bad things happen to good people.
However, it is not always someone's fault. In our litigious, "the world has to be perfect all the time" society, we forget that sometimes, shit happens.
It is unpleasant and it hurts and maybe we loose a loved one. Yet sometimes people just die. It is their time and their number was up.

That doesn't mean there is someone to blame. We see this lots in labor and delivery which is why lots of MDs are choosing to avoid this type of practice.

As sad as it is, sometimes awful things happen and it just is what it is.

A breather...

After moving, moving my mom, being sick, unpacking myself and working lots of overtime, I have finally had two days to sleep in, rest and simply take a deep breath.
So busy!!
It is nice to home and enjoy one's surroundings. I still have opted for no cable TV at the house. It is just not something I am used to doing: I don't sit still very well.

I think it is important to just enjoy where you are. I am certainly doing that! I intend to take time to smell the roses too. Namely, the ones in my backyard and at John's house!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Work, work and more work...

I have started working lots of over time. The money is great, and we are short at work. Plus, it is just that much more experience. I am so glad I am on days! It is much easier to go be with my mom and do things with her.
I am still having a great time at the nursing thing. I learn tons every day and have a great time doing it. The people dynamic is interesting as well.

One day I will get back to research, but with a stint toward nursing. I will have to see just how that pans out. Until then, I am having a great time.

Finally Moved!!

Yes, drum roll please, I am finally moved into my house! I am so happy about it! The floors look fantastic, as I had them done before I moved in. NO carpet ANYWHERE! Original oak floors are so very nice.
It is a lovely quiet neighborhood. I am putting in my garden tomorrow. I have tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and lots of herbs. The trees and rose bush are busily making new leaves. I will lots of shade too!

I have some updates to do, and some of it I can do myself. I will be installing my oak butcher block counter tops and painting the cabinets as they are not appropriate to be sanded and refinished...Bummer, I would prefer to sand and stain another color.

The bathroom floor, however, I will hiring. I want tile, but with a pier and beam house, it is more involved. I am also pretty sure the sub-flooring will need to be replaced as it most likely has water damage. That is a little more than I want to do. I just don't have all the tools...
I love tools.
Both baths will need to be painted, but they are not humongous, so that should be fine. There is caulk work in the guest bath, but I have done that before.

I am going to have lots of fun! This also gives me something to do on my days off.

The lawn was done today, wow, was that an improvement!! Along with the garden tomorrow, I have hedge trimming. Nice to have stuff to do!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Housing update

I have not yet closed.
Due to appraisal drama, I do not have a current, useful appraisal. It is getting rectified, but it has been really awful. This is no fault of mine, so my hands are tied, I just have to sit and deal and wait for people to get their 'stuff' together. Sucks.

Mom, however, is moved. She seems to be really good in her new digs. She is in a very social assisted living environment in Richardson. She is close to all of the kids, so we can check on her lots.

I hope, with magic and the stars aligned, I might close tomorrow. Then I could move this weekend. Living in such disarray is not good for my energy. I can't even cook! Everything is packed!

I can't do anything about it so I am just going to go to Yoga.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Adding things back in

I am adding things back into my life. I close this Wednesday and will move the following weekend. The floors are being refinished, so I can't actually live there for a few days as every surface is oak wood floors except the baths and kitchen.

Martial arts is now a weekly part of my life, I am so happy! There are classes available three days a week, but I have to see how the work schedule goes.

I have also started at the gym near the new house. John and I both go and it is really great. No meat market, just lots of sweating. I signed up for a few personal trainer sessions as well. I always wanted to do the gym thing, and I am liking it as I thought I would. It is excellent motivation and the my trainer thinks of wonderful, new ways to torture me. I have one session a week and I will go to the gym additionally on my own or with John.

My next attempt will be a regular mountain biking day. It is really a lot of fun and a great work out! I have friends that go and the group biking makes for a fun-filled day.

Maybe, by the end of 6 months or a year, I will have my life all back to its "running at full tilt" regime again!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Day Two of a New School

My second class at the new martial arts school was great. We spent the entire class doing exercises to solidify front stance and the use of one's hips for connection in punching and stance.

I really love the attention to the smaller details. The instructor (this time the head of the school) is very simple and straight forward in his description: Verbalize the exercise, illustrate, then do it for the next 15 minutes. Then, add one tiny new move and do that for the next 15 minutes. I am a little sore the next day, but I feel like I am adding new layers to my existing solid foundation. Changing to a new vein or martial arts (Karate vs Tae Kwon Do) just shows me how intertwined all the martial arts are and yet how they can all be so individual.

I am working hard to empty my cup, so that I may refill it.

Trying something new...

I tried a kickboxing class.
It was entirely not my thing.
I did sweat and breathe a little, but it was just so "rah, rah, rah" and reeked of aerobics class.
And no one could punch.
Or kick.
Yes, yes, they aren't supposed to know that, really, but I just can't go back.
I love my yoga and I love my martial arts, but nooooo kickboxing.

The other really strange thing: I have trained in a gi for so long, putting on a t-shirt and work out pants to train feels like I am naked. I know I'm not, everyone else is wearing close fitting stuff, but it feels so weird.
If I am going to be up, kicking, punching and sweating, I need canvas.
Lots of canvas.

Day Shift

I have officially moved back to day shift. Although I am NOT a morning person, this is so much better for me and the responsibilities of my life. The most delightful thing is the day I have off...I sleep till I wake up!
Days are much busier, but I love that! Someone did finally die, my patient even, but I had lots of help and gained lots of experience in the code. Although very tiring, it is great to look up and see that it is 4 or 5 o'clock in the afternoon. The day just screams by. Busy is good!


I have started to pack...again. I am really looking forward to settling into my little house. I never seemed to "bond" with my apartment, but I think the house will be better.

I am not looking forward to the beating that is moving, especially since I know it won't be the last time, but I am looking forward to more space and less cost. The neighborhood is very quite and the huge trees will be nice in the summer.

Moving weekend is the last weekend in February, as I have given notice at my apartments. I dread moving my fish tank yet again, but hopefully the fish will do OK.

I hope to take pictures when I get there!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Update on the house

We have a signed contract and the inspection is Wednesday. I think this will go very well and I will most likely be moving the last weekend in February. It is not the location I originally wanted but the house is so cute and the trees so old, I think I will really like it. Still close to the train so all is well there. Wish me luck on the inspection! With a pier and beam house, I know the foundation won't be an issue!

Obsessive Lists

I have several changes coming up in the next few months and foresee a great sense of overwhelmed-ness in my future.
Out comes the pad and pencil.
Despite my love of technology and my iPhone, I still can't seem to let lose of the small spiral and pen.
I love the act of writing and of scratching "done" things off the list. I do still use electronic lists (gmail lists and my 'ToDo' on the iPhone) but that paper list I cannot escape.

I don't just have a single list, I organize my lists according to project. Granted, this makes me even more nerdy, but it is the coping mechanism that works for me. Maybe this is similar to my reading multiple books at the same time...

Make your list, scratch off, and conquer!

Friday, January 16, 2009

This past Tuesday

I went to a new martial arts school this past Tuesday. It was just what I have been looking for. Lots of sweat, solid foundation and a no frills, *come if you can and if you don't, oh well* attitude. There is a great deal of experience in different disciplines in the three instructors I met. I will see how it goes with my work schedule. I will have to work to keep Tuesday night open and then pick whether to go Thur or Sat. It will be a bit of a juggle at first. Once I go back to days, morning sword can resume as well. This excites me greatly!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Care for our aging parents

There will soon be a grave problem in this country: Care for our aging parents.

I and my siblings are in that "rock and a hard place" right now with our mom. As her Alzheimer's progresses, we are faced with the decision to opt for an assisted living environment. The average monthly cost for this is between $2500 and $3000 per month. Granted, it includes all meals, medication administration and a safe, community environment, but---wow, it ain't cheap.

There is also the issue of the individual you are desperately trying to make the safest, best decisions for is really resentful for being told she can't live independently.
No good dead goes unpunished....

My siblings and I will have to split up the cost that is the difference between what Mom's pension pays and what the costs are.
But it is only going to get worse. Alzheimer's care is about twice that....

If Mom were mentally with it, she could stay with one of us, but, sadly, that is not the case. Working full time means the equivalent of leaving your 7 year old at home alone.
Not an option. Such a convoluted issue...

What of the people out there who do not have kids who care about them or the financial wherewithal to have care?
What are we to do with our elderly population? Our nation does not have the services set up to deal with this. This is just the beginning of the onslaught that is to come. I fear the worst as the gap between medicaid/medicare and financial capability of an individual widens. The cost of medications alone can really harm an elder's "fixed income."

So many issues we have to face in the coming future.

House bidding continued

I submitted yet another offer today. I think this one will go well. It is a pier and beam house and hopefully we can circumvent the foundation issue.
It is also not a foreclosure, it is an estate and it needs to be sold. It has the original oak wood floors throughout and will need tile laid in the baths and kitchen. After a new vanity in each bath and new counter tops, it will be ideal. The house is adorable with the old-loved feel I have so been looking for. It is in excellent shape which is drastically better than many of the foreclosures I have looked at. Hopefully all will go well and this can be the first of 2 that I purchase this year.

Keep your fingers crossed!!

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Face Book Experiment

I did it. I joined Face Book. So many people I know are on it and since joining (72hrs ago) I have found several people from high school and others I did not know had FB account.

I am having fun with it! We will see how it goes. I have stuck with the blog b/c I really love blogging too.

Ski trip coming to close

It is Friday and our annual ski trip is coming to a close. I have both snowboarded and skied this trip. Sadly, I don't think I will have the time on a once a year week long ski trip to become proficient enough at snowboarding to be able to hang with my friends. So for the last two days, I went back to skiing. I really enjoyed skiing with everyone! That is what this trip is about, hanging with the friends and my man.

A great week of relaxing!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Keystone Park

I am actually SNOWBOARDING!! Yes, that means I am making it down the mountain, connecting my turns and not on my ass the entire trip!! I am still kinda bruised - especially the knees- but overall, much better and loving every minute of it! The learning curve is so very steep, but I am on my way to being a real snowboarder.