Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What little I have done

It's been hot here for the last couple of weeks. I mean H.O.T. D*mn hot! Crotch-pot cookin' hot! Even worse, the humidity has been killer. Everyday for a week, the news people would say that the heat advisory had been extended ANOTHER day. It has become something of a joke around here.

So, basically, my days have entailed closing all the drapes, turning on the fans, and hiding out reading or playing a game on my computer. Not very motivated or motivating!

But here are a few things that have been going on:

1) Run outside at 3 AM with the dogs, realize that it is already 80 degrees, and run back inside.

2) Run outside to turn on the water in the ignored and neglected vegetable garden. Run back inside.

3) Turn off the water and hunt around to find any veggies that have grown in spite of my neglect.

4) Eat endless cucumber salads with (bought) tomatoes and feta cheese.

5) Start buying feta at Sam's Club in the jumbo economy tub.

6) Try to convince Stud Muffin that no-cook meals are the way to go. Succeed for breakfast and lunch. Give up and cook something quick for dinner.

7) Continue to wait (and hold breath) about program admission. (I'm turning blue here, folks!)

8) Investigate Plan B in case program admission is mysteriously withheld for incomprehensible and nonsensical reasons.

9) Start reading an out-dated ACT prep book in the event that Plan B must be activated, since I never took the test and it is a major requirement of Plan B.

Image by media.whooschools.org

10) Peer at Stud Muffin through the drapes as he moves furniture and de-molds and pressure washes the porches.

11) Pretend that I don't hear him when he asks if I "want" to help.

12) Hose off Naughty Nick when he returns for yet another adventure that ends with a submarine act in the creek.

Old photo! I assure you that I am NOT wearing long sleeves these days.

13) Rinse, and repeat the list the very next day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cross your fingers for me!

Well, I had my interview for the radiography program on Monday. I think I did pretty well. But I am worried about the competition.

See, they invited 74 applicants to the interviews (instead of the 60 they told me they were) and there are only 13 available spots in the program. They even invited a girl who can't figure out how to send a complete application after trying for the last 3 years! (I think I may have her beat!) Many of these applicants (they aren't really people, just spot stealers!) have applied before, gone and gotten more education or job experience, and are back to try again.

Stud Muffin and I prepared as best we could, imagining likely questions and answers. The committee of 3 threw me with a question or two, but otherwise I felt prepared.

When they asked me what my weaknesses were, Studly had suggested I respond with, "Other than my deep and abiding fear of radiation?" LOL He really cracks me up, which is good so he can provide entertainment when I don't get into the program for being a wiseass and am sitting desolate on the couch refusing to leave the house! And, no, I did really use his quote, but it was a good one!

I am working on a plan B, in the unlikely and unfair event that I don't get in. Mostly, I am keeping it under wraps for now, but I do have an appointment with someone this afternoon to discuss it. No, MYS, it isn't a shrink, although I probably need one!

The super-bummer is that I have to wait another two weeks to find out if I got into the program. This is where you come in. At your convenience, would you please either think good thoughts for me, make the committee pick me, or send a hex out for some of the other applicants and make them drop out??

By www.geldpress.com

Much appreciated.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I'm baaaaack!

Did ya miss me?!? Hello? *tap, tap* Is this thing on??

Okay, I'll just talk to myself. My mother always said, "Be your own best friend, that way, you'll never be alone!"

I have safely returned from visiting my girls, and although I had a great trip, I am happy to be home! While in Reno, I got a chance to meet the girl's boyfriends, and see their new apartments.

This is Almost Grown and her boyfriend, Clint.

This is her new studio apartment.

It has a kitchenette that is shared by four apartments. I know!! I'd never heard of that either, but it seems to be working out just fine!

This is Practically Grown and her boyfriend, Ray.

This is them being domestic in their new apartment.

This is her cat, Tabitha, and his dog, Zombie. They are best friends.



Tabitha thinks "hiding" between the glass door and the screen is a great place to swat at Zombie where he can't get to her!

Practically Grown cooks for her mother... a nice change of pace!

Almost grown helps clean up...

and does laundry!

She is also the pitcher for the company softball team. She is one of those hateful great athletic people who can do any sport well the first time they try.

Ray and Clint play on the team too!

Quit moving, Clint!

Practically Grown and I sat in the cold and rain to cheer them on, and take nasty, blurry pictures.

We visited the university where Practically and Ray are getting ejumacated.

They have some seriously nice facilities there. This is the new library.

We ate Mexican and Thai food, saw a couple of movies and went window shopping. We hung out, talked, and slept. Then I flew home on a 6 AM flight surrounded by some people who need to be introduced to deodorant! I fell asleep with my hanky stuffed up my nose. I woke up with my hanky stuffed up my nose.

But when I arrived home, my husband and doggies were so happy to see me! And there were vegetable gifts waiting for me to find. Then I eated them!

And THAT is what I did on my summer vacation.

The End.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm 'a leaving, on a jet plane,

but I do know when I will return again!

I'm off tomorrow to visit my girls in Reno. And, bravely, I am NOT taking my computer, so I will out of touch until next week.

I plan to have fun, and I hope you do too, in my absence!!

Oh, and say a prayer or whatever you do for our dear friend, Marmy. While having her other knee replaced, the doctors broke her femur removing the old screws and plates holding the knee together. When it rains, it tears your head off and sh*ts in your neck!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Summer time!

So the season marches on and we are finally getting some "real" summer weather. I have been thrilled with the cooler-than-normal temps and low humidity, but all good things must come to an end.

I harvested the first thin green beans and made a yummy salad.

A couple of homegrown tomatoes from the framer's market and the first snips of fresh basil!

As usual, salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar finished it off!

I have only harvested a small handful of strawberries from the new bed, but they are the sweetest I have ever tasted! Sassy thinks the garden is quite the buffet and actually jumped into the strawberry bed to get a bite of mine! She knows better, but I guess the sweet smell was too much for her!

I started noticing that my fruit orchard wasn't looking very well in spots. Some online research (thank you, Google!) tells me that I have fire blight in the pear trees and to a lesser extend in the apples.

The branches look like the have burned by fire, and the leaves don't fall out like they do with other diseases.

The fruit, that was recently growing plump, has shriveled and mummified. And the only recourse I have at the moment is to prune away the dead limbs and hope for the best with the rest of the tree. There are treatments, but most seem designed to be applied before the fruit sets.

I had a visitor the other day come strolling up the drive! The dogs were going nuts, so I thought I would try to move him off to the forest. I got a pair of gloves, but as I got closer to picking it up, it wouldn't pull his head in!! Now, you can't expect me to touch a critter if it's staring at me!! "Nature, nature, it's all over me! Get it off, get it off!" (Name that movie!)

Instead, I screamed like a little girl and flapped my glove-clad hands in the air, as Studly laughed at me through the window and the dogs barked. In the end, the turtle wandered away himself and I didn't have to touch the nature!

And finally, I am off on Thursday to go visit my girls in Reno for a few days. I haven't seen Almost Grown since last July, Practically Grown since this past January, and that is just too long for this Mom! It will be a short trip, and both girls have heavy work schedules, but life wasn't gong to open up the schedule any time soon, so I'm going! I can't wait!!!

Hope you all have had a nice weekend!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

10 things about poison ivy that I did not know!

Photo by z.about.com

Leaves of three, let them be...

1. If your husband has a run in with poison ivy and breaks out all over his forearms, then transfers it to his waistline, he really will be miserable, even if he doesn't complain. (And can this sentence be any longer?)

2. It will take about 3 or 4 days of suffering before you can convince said husband to see the doctor for a steroid shot and stronger skin cream.

3. The offending oil in poison ivy, urushiol, is so potent that a drop the size of a pin head can affect 500 people. Really!

4. Anything that comes in contact with urushiol can cross-contaminate other things. If you wash your infected clothes with other stuff, you now have a bigger problem. Soap and solvents won't necessarily eliminate the oil. If you are very sensitive skin, you may have to get rid of anything with the oil on it.

5. The rash and itchiness can last for weeks, even with treatment.

6. The oil can stay on clothes and objects for years.

7. Poison ivy can irritate the skin at any time of the year, with or without leaves, and the plant can be a shrub, spreading vine, or a climbing vine.

8. Burning poison ivy makes the oil go airborne and is potentially fatal if inhaled.

9. Scratching the rash and blisters will not spread the irritation! Where it develops is where the oil touched. Also, the rash can develop over a number of days, making you think it is spreading. Of course, if you keep touching affected articles, you can reinfect yourself until you scratch all your skin off.

10. It can take days for the rash to develop, so you have no idea what things you own are affected, thus necessitating massive and repeated laundry sessions and the possibility of throwing out everything you have touched in the last week. A full load of shoes, belts, and hats makes a heck of a racket in the machines!!

Now everyone go out and have fun this summer! Just look out for anything that looks like a shrub or plant or vine, especially if it has leaves on it or not!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Jumping through hoops

Well, Monday was a very interesting day, in that stop-your-heart, sweat-bullets, soil-yourself kinda way! It didn't start out that way, though. Monday was the day that my local doctor had graciously agreed to let me pester his radiographer by shadowing her for as long as I liked! Cool, huh? It truly is amazing what you can get people to agree to when you are lying on a table with your caboose exposed and waiting for a shot of painkiller!

So, I dressed like the grown-up I pretend to be and went off to "work." Dotty was nice and friendly and didn't seem the least bit put out that she was going to have me following her around scrutinizing her as she worked. When I arrived, she had just hooked up an IV to a lady having a CT scan of the blood-flow patterns in her head. The glass enclosed workspace we were in had 4 computer monitors, and a bunch of other important looking stuff. She found me a chair, which effectively blocked her way in and out of her "office" so she had to step over me endlessly.

Photo by www.ducksportnews.com

In a matter of minutes, the computer had dispensed a contrast material through the IV and had taken a 360 degree digital recording of the contrast flowing through the patient's veins and arteries. From this recording, about 600 separate images of cross-sections of her head would be transmitted to the radiologists at the local hospital for review. But first, Dotty had to run the recording backwards and forwards to isolate the images that showed the best view of a particular artery. Because of this patient's individual anatomy, this "post-production" process took hours!

Towards the end, Dotty worked on the most amazing full color, 3-D images! These were better than any photos I have seen in books, or even on medical TV shows! She could turn the images in any direction and spent over an hour using a Photoshop-type feature to erase unwanted parts of the image. She started by simply erasing the top of the head, making it possible to see right inside. I, of course, wisely contributed that I had identified the source of the woman's symptoms! The top of her head was missing!! God, I'm going to sooo good at this!!

Image by www.zib.de. Kinda like this, only way cooler!

An hour later, Dotty had erased every bit of bone and cartilage in this poor woman's head and was left with nothing but the parts necessary for the doctors to evaluate. She transmitted this whole load of images and within minutes, the typed doctor's report came back. It took longer for Dotty to prepare the images, than it did for the doctor to review and diagnose!!

Okay, that was the fun part of the day. The doctor invited me back for another day to hang out with his X-ray techs. Boy, I bet they are looking forward to that, huh??

So, as I am walking to my car upon leaving the clinic, I checked my voicemail. On it was a message for the guy in charge of the radiography program I am trying to get into, say that upon review, my application wasn't complete because it was missing a transcript from the Canadian university I had done Study-Abroad with. What?!?! ARG!!!

I called him back and was told that even though the grades had been on my main college transcript, they still needed at least an unofficial one from the university itself. Oh, and I had until midnight to get it to them or I was out of the running for the year. Double doo-doo!

Cartoon by illustrationboard.com

Have you ever tried getting a transcript from any college of university in a timely manner? Can't be done! But I logged onto the website and found that all of their transcripts can be printed from the web... as long as you remember you school ID number. Huh? Let's see, I attended that school in 1980. Do I have/remember the number? Not in a million lifetimes using Einstein's brain!!

Ten or so international calls to the school finally netted me someone who would provide the needed number, if only I could fax or email them a copy of my Driver's License. Now, I may be able to post on a blog, but scanning, attaching and emailing were pretty far out of my comfort zone.

Miracle of miracles, I managed to provide them with an illegible copy of the the photo ID and a very nice supervisor (taking huge pity on my plight) actually read me the number over the (expensive) phone. A quick print job, Studly driving me like a maniac to the office to turn this in, and it's done!

The man who had left the original message could not believe that I had gotten the required document in a matter of hours! He said that if I needed this information from the his community college, I couldn't have gotten it that fast. I asked for a few extra points for my incredible feat, but was declined. However, I will get an interview with the hospital board and am still in the race for a slot.

Never let it be said that I won't move mountains to get what I need!