Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Last week

Photo by farm3.static.flickr.com

Last week of the school semester. I have 4 hours of exams spread over two days.

Let's see by a show of hands, who thinks it is fair reasonable nice to email extra lecture content to be included in the exam the day before test??? Anyone??

I didn't think so.

Update: The critter contest is officially cancelled. Before the hole could be dug, after the storms and tornadoes passed, some other animal hauled the carcass away!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Busy last couple of days

So yesterday was my last unit test in nursing 110. I had been studying like crazy, but still woke up in a panic at 2AM. (Sad, huh?) Anyway, I went and took the test, and as usual, I did okay but not as well as I thought I should have. I was way too tired and marked answers I KNEW were wrong!

Since the exam was the only thing on the school calendar, I got out of school early. Stud Muffin met me at school and took me out to lunch. Then he dropped me back at school to get my car and I followed him home. I had to stop for gas so I came in some time after he did.

Apparently, I missed the action. Studly let the dogs out and they took off after some forest critter, which climbed a tree. I don't know what kind of animal it was, but Studly shot it out of the tree and killed it before I got home. We need to dig a hole and bury it.

I was so tired that all I wanted to do was take a nap. I ran the dogs down the hill and back for some exercise, and Nick took off to do whatever dogs do in the forest.

This is how he looked when he came home:

Covered in creek water and rolled in bovine excrement. He smelled worse than old gym shoes, with chunks of cr*p hanging off of his fur. Oh joy. Time to get out the hose and the dog wash. No nap for me.

We were warned that we were in for some severe weather last night, and Mother Nature didn't let us down. Violent storms, lightning, and house-shaking thunder. Sassy hates storms and jumps around the bed barking, growling loudly and generally warning the noise off. Back up at 12:30Am hoping to find the radar map on TV so I knew how much longer it would last. No satellite reception, no internet. Nothing but flashes and thunder, with cracking tree sounds mixed in. It was like trying to sleep during a Guns 'n Roses concert.

Today was my last clinical session at the nursing home for the semester. I REALLY didn't want to go. But I did, and everyone brought food. The workload was light, and fun was had, but it was scary with the storms strengthening. There were radios blaring at every nurse's station, and I overheard the staff discussing emergency plans if the tornado sirens started.

The group with our instructor in red. I'm the tired person with her hand on Whitney's shoulder.

Seems like we are one of the few clinical groups that haven't lost any students! Another accomplishment to go with our nutrition win.

So, I am back home now, the storm has subsided for the moment, but there are tornadoes down in Mississippi. We are in for it through Sunday some time. Hope I don't have to take my nap in the storm shelter!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Let's hear it for the high-fiber diet team!!

Well, we did it! We took first place in the Nursing 110 Nutrition activity!

The other vases are filled with berries and nuts (left) and beans, peas, and lentils (middle)

I am so proud of how well this group of 9 people worked together to pull off a gorgeous table display!

What hospital patient wouldn't want a breakfast tray as beautiful as this??

We were awarded Starbucks gift cards, a pair of flip-flops with the hospital logo on it, and a first place ribbon for each. I would have preferred extra points or (my real wish) not to have to take the final, but I just glad that we won. The moral of the story, children, is play with your food!

In a related story, another team was all wearing the same custom t-shirt. On the front was a logo and on the back was the saying, "Riding the ship all the way to the bottom." I didn't understand so I asked my seat-mate who was wearing one.

Cindy explained that their clinical group started with the usual 10 or 11 people, but one by one, people dropped out of the program and now they were down to 5 remaining members. One girl had complained that she thought she was going to fail the program and another girl told her not to quit, but to make them throw her out if they wanted to. She said to "ride the ship all the way to bottom, just like Titanic." And that became their team motto.

I thought it was perfect!

Off to study for my last 3 tests, all happening in the next week!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Homework you can eat!

Like Liz, I'm racing towards the finish line for this school semester. Except she gets to graduate and be done and I don't.

With 1 week to go before finals, we were given a nutrition assignment. A mandatory competition, actually. Each clinical group pulled a slip of paper from a cup, and on it was the name of a diet that might be ordered for patients in the hospital. Our goal was to make a PowerPoint presentation, a tri-fold brochure, a stand-up information board, and a table display with a tray of food for our diet. We got the High-Fiber diet.

My contribution, other than research, was a vegetable arrangement in a vase provided by one of the other girls in the group. This is what I came up with.

Fear not, I did tuck the errant lettuce leaf back into the vase! Stud Muffin removed 2 half shelves from the fridge so this whole thing could spend the night staying cool. Tomorrow I will belt it into the front seat of my car and head for school. I hope we win. It will make being tested on the content of everyone's presentation come Friday all worth while. Plus, I get to bring it home and eat it when I'm done!

The garden continues to improve. This is going to be a good year for fruit! Baby strawberries forming.

"Puzzy" peaches on the trees. I have sprayed with sulfur to try and cure the brown rot that plagued them last year. I want to actually eat a peach from these trees this year!

There will be apples and pears too.

I planted some of the vining plants out behind the orchard. The soil there is mostly clay, but I added some composted manure, and am hoping for the best. That is, if the deer don't eat the plants.

All-in-all, things are starting to look pretty good!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The view from my window

and my garden and my porch, and, and, and.

Just a few thousand pictures of the outdoors this week.

Steve the Shed has some new finery.

Got some baskets for the front porch. The price was too good to bother planting my own this year!

In the garden, the garlic is looking mighty fine.

I planted out the cabbages and broccoli, with celery at the far end.

Last year, my celery didn't do very well. I think they need much more water than most other plants, so I ran soaker hose around these. Next to the celery you can barely see the carrots I planted using those paper strips I made this winter.

The lettuces, spinach, beets and chard have started sprouting.

Do you think the strawberries need thinning??? When should I do that? These plants are covered with flowers so I expect some good eating soon.

The apple trees are in full bloom.

A little friend even dropped by to visit!

Well, I had a few more photos to share, but Blogger is being painfully slow to load, even at o'dark thirty in the morning!

I will tell you that Stud Muffin has been mowing and mowing and mowing! He fertilized the lawns, and we both have been taking turns weed-whacking the flower beds. This morning (after the sun rises) we are going to drag a cedar log from the woods behind my studio to help control water drainage in front of veggie garden fence. I have been pondering how to keep rainwater from washing the mulch out of the beds and this is what I have come up with. If this works as I hope, the water will be directed onto the grassy area above the raised beds, instead of detouring through the bed area where it currently creates long trenches for me to trip in.

Hope everyone has a great day!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

To update my daughter...

Dear Courtney,

Thank you for your kind words of concern. I am indeed still alive (contain your disappointment, please!) Since my last post, the following has occurred, in no particular order:

1. The seedlings are still on the porch hardening off. Well, I think they are pretty hard right now, but haven't had the time to plant them out in the beds.

2. Turned on the vegetable bed sprinkler system to find that two riser/valve/spray head assemblies had cracked in the winter weather. This in spite of closing and draining the system for the winter.

3. Tried to fire up the garden tiller for the first time this season. Won't start. Yanked manual starter until my arm hurt. Pushed, shoved, and cajoled tiller back into the shed.

4. Replaced dull chain on chain saw. Cleaned endless oily sawdust out of crevices on saw. Attempted to diagnose source of bar oil leak. Failed at diagnosis. Put chain saw on newspaper to prevent oil leak from staining concrete.

5. Acquired replacement sprinkler parts, in between registering for summer and fall classes and returning to school for lab.

6. Cut off and reassembled sprinkler system (gluing two fingers together), only to find another crack, requiring more parts. The dogs drove me to Simmons Lumber for more parts even before Dad woke up for the day.

7. Installed more sprinkler parts. Let dry, tested system. Applied more plumber's tape to leaking spray heads.

8. Watered strawberries for the first time this season. Sprayed the fruit trees with sulfur to prevent brown rot on fruit.

9. Attended lecture, lab and clinicals since my last post. Got sprayed full in the face by nursing home resident who wanted to rinse off by herself during shower. Continued clinical day with dripping hair and wet uniform.

10. Wrote questionable paper on useless article due the day of exam.

11. Studied my a$$ off for exam yesterday. Passed exam okay, but not with the grade I wanted (or thought I deserved.)

12. Provided quicky meals from limited menu, including frozen pizza and frozen chicken piccata, for Dad and myself.

13. Washed dogs, including one swamp- and sand-covered Nick, out in yard. Watched Sassy roll in grass to get shampoo smell off and put "good" bug and dirt smell back on.

14. Determined that the generator still not maintaining battery power. Worked with Dad to test system, then listened while Dad "discussed" with generator expert as to what was wrong and how to fix it. Got bit by bugs standing by generator in sandals.

15. Suffered through a couple of nights of bad, loud, sleep-disturbing weather, forced to listen to squawking emergency radio.

16. Enjoyed sunshine (see previous post), fresh air, cool breezes and opened windows for most of the week.

17. Watched Dad stub his baby toe on the sofa leg. Toe broken, Dad limping. Toe better now.

18. Missed a call from you. Was in school. Again. Talked to your sister lots (she calls more frequently!)

19. Participated with at least half a mind to general activities of daily living.

20. Wrote this post.

So there you go. My top 20 things since my last post. Your turn. What's up in your world?

As always, it was a pleasure to hear from you. My best to you and yours.