Archive for December 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!

Dear family, friends, and random stranger that may be reading this…

Merry Christmas!!  I cannot believe that it is this time of year again, 2011 is almost over and it seems like just yesterday that we were ringing in the new year.  So much and so little has happened this year that I do not know where to start.  At one time I was a great corresponder, I would write out Christmas cards make my ‘holiday’ letter and send them to people I barely knew as long as your address was in my address book and I kinda/sorta knew you.  Now you’re lucky if you get a ‘howdy’.  I’m terrible.  I’m also a broke college student with very little time on my hands; therefore I’m going the easy route and writing a blog that I will make available to everyone (via email, facebook, or if you know my web address) and I’ll call it even ~ though for those that sent me cards and letters I do feel guilty for not returning the favor.  Just know that you are WORTH .44 cents, the cost of an envelope and paper to me…but to get you updated and to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year within this year, this was my route I had to take.  (Please forgive me!!)

This year was very random and also structured for me.  After finally deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up, at the age of 33,  I started the year off by testing for the RN Nursing program at Three Rivers College.  I tested in February and then had to wait until April to find out if I made it into the program; that was a VERY long two months.  I finally received my acceptance letter and knew that fall of 2011 was planned out for me; I would be starting the RN nursing program and hopefully the career that would take me into retirement.  I started the semester in August, and I’m pretty sure I will never be the same.  I knew it was going to be hard, and the work load was going to be more than in the past, but can honestly say that I was not prepared for what hit me that first morning of classes…nor the four months that followed.  Every day was a learning experience, with some highs and lows.  But I made it!!  I passed my first semester and we will continue on.

This is the uniform I get to wear for clinical days during school.  It’s better than some, and probably worse than some.  The top is a half-zipper shirt, instead of unzipping all the way down, it stops at about navel level…therefore you’re still pulling it off over your head.  Sometimes I feel like a gym contortionist.  And don’t miss the WHITE hose and shoes that top the outfit off, they add that special umph.  :)

In June my mom’s family (The Phillips) did a family reunion in Van Buren, MO.  It was great getting to meet everyone and spend the day/weekend with them.  Family is a great commodity!!  Some of her cousin’s couldn’t make it down for the reunion, so in July we hopped in the car and did a mini-vacation to Michigan to spend Fourth of July weekend with the Rowe’s.  It was a GREAT weekend spent with family, eating way to much food, adding a ‘CITY’ to my list of places I’ve been, and relaxing.

School started shortly after and I basically did nothing but eat, breath, and live school.  It was so bad that I didn’t step into a store other than Wal-Mart for four months.  In December (actually October when practices started), I took the part of Petunia in the annual Dinner Theater our church does (Christmas At Our House), we went for nine nights with approximately 350/night.  So we performed in front of about 3100 people that week, the women in the kitchen feed them (that’s A LOT of food), and the hard working people from the church pitched in and gave of themselves to bring joy to people in our community to kick off their Christmas season.  Sometimes I question my own sanity in taking on that endeavor with everything else (school, two jobs, and life in general); but it was worth it.  I love getting to see everyone from year to year, and being in the play is a lot of fun…and I survived so it’s all o.k. :)

When school let out after finals I took another mini-vacation to St. Louis and Columbia, MO.  I took a side trip to Devils ]Icebox one day.  It was a great time to relax, bum around the city, and do nothing.  Trying to regroup so I can start fresh com January 17 (when classes open again).  The time in God’s Country USA (otherwise known as National Forest), was great.  It was beautiful.

That wraps up my year of 2011.  Hope you enjoyed the update.  I would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!  May we never forget the meaning of the Season, and give Him the acknowledgement He deserves for all He does for us behind the scenes and openly; not only during this Season but throughout the year.  God has been good to me this year, He has supplied my needs (financially and physically) and He has been there to help me through the lows and to walk with me through the highs of the past year.  Without Him I would be nothing.  I may not always be what I need to be, or the perfect person…but I know that He loves me.

I do hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year…

ERM

My mini-vaca…hermit-hood!!

Ah!  I love sitting down and knowing that I have nothing what-so-ever that I have to do at this moment.  The past month or so has been beyond crazy (CAOH practice, school, work…Nine-night run of CAOH, finals, work).  I had started grinding my teeth to the point that I had hamburger for cheeks in the mornings (Hello Night Guard!!), my arm and face were numb (due to the MS), and I was telling my-self ‘just a day at a time’.  That’s really all we can do, is take it a day at a time…if we succeed that day then we can mark the day off with pride.  If we mess up and make mistakes then we just have to say ‘tomorrow’s a new day’ and face it with all the determination to do it right.  Enough about all that, I’m on VACATION!! Or have joined the hermit-hood for five days.

My mini-vaca started with a day and a-half in St. Louis.  Thursday was a monumental day…I stepped into a store that was something other than Wal-Mart for the first time in four months.  I live in a part of the world that it’s a good two hours to get to any type of shopping; and every time that I attempted to get out of town for a day something came up…or more often than not my bed held more appeal to me than getting into a vehicle and driving for two hours.  I hit goodwill, Plato’s closet, TJMax…all the good stores that are easy on the pocket book but still have good deals.  I topped Thursday night off with dinner with Mel (we viewed pics from her trip to Vietnam and caught up) and then some quiet TV time.

Friday morning I went to see my neurologist, to see how things were going with my central nervous system.  He was happy with were I was, I passed the sobriety style test (touch nose with finger, then touch dr finger; walk a straight line heel to toe; muscle strength, etc.)…he wants me to keep up with the gym/exercise/and diet.  I just need to get committed and do this without delays.  Regardless, this is my life and health that I’m dealing with.

I left St. Louis and headed to Columbia.  More discount stores, goodwills, and consignment shops.  I have fallen in love with Columbia.  It’s a small-big city, with a lot of character.  I stepped into a mall for the first time today (Saturday) ~ CRAZY.  It was a little crowded.  I can’t imagine why, it’s only eight days before Christmas…but wow, I had forgotten how crazy it could be.  But a cool thing happened, I went to the food court to find some substance so I could continue on my way and I sat down to eat and a girl I went to college with at Gateway (who lives in Mexico, MO) came up and asked if I wanted to join her and her daughter.  We haven’t seen one another in awhile…it was cool, and great to catch up.  It’s a small world we live in!!

I ate Indian food for the first time on Friday night with Dust-Man.  We meet at the India House in COMO.  It’s not what I was expecting at all.  The appetizer we had was great (cheese stuffed bread, can’t go wrong there); but my actual food was a spinach/chicken dish…that basically looked like baby food with chunks in it.  It wasn’t very stove hot when it came out, so I was eating lukewarm baby food.  It was o.k., but maybe next time I’ll try something new with someone that knows what to order. :)  No more baby food!!

I went to Devil’s Icebox today (Sat, Dec 17).  It’s part of the Rock Bridge Mark Twain National Forest Park.  It was pretty cool.  There are trails everywhere and they’ve built a board walk through the wood that you can follow, and you get miles and step climbing that made for a great work-out for the day.  I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t allowed down into where the cave was, but it was still pretty cool.  Want to come back when it’s a little warmer and I have a companion, so in-case I get turned around I won’t be alone, nor be lost for ever without anyone knowing. :)

I passed my first semester of RN school.  I came out with two B’s.  I’m a little bummed, but hey they are better than C’s and I will accept them at this point.  I just have to try harder next semester, and the fact that I get to continue is GREAT.  Looking forward to next semester, we’re going into Mental Health and Med Surge.

I have two days left of my vacation, i.e. hermit-hood.  One will be spent on travel.  It’s been a good weekend.  Good time off.  Now to buckle down and get as much work in as possible, save some money, and get ready to head back to school in three weeks.  Fill some scholarship forms out…and find a pot of gold!

Here’s to relaxation, vacation, old/new friends…it’s what life is all about sometimes!!  Now I need to go put all my receipts in my check-book and see where I stand financially! :)

ERM

Life After CAOH…

Well, my life isn’t so much in two’s anymore…we’ve accomplished our nine night dinner theater with positive feedback from the crowd’s.  We survived, as far as I know, and are now walking zombies with real life ahead of us the next couple of days.  I have my nursing final tomorrow, that I have yet to really study for (yikes), and then final conferences, and then ~ HOLD YOUR BREATH ~ DRUM ROLL ~ I have a five day stint of being a hermit.  I kick it off with a visit to my doctor in STL then I’m finding me some fuzzy pj’s and some books (non nurse related) and going to hide out at a friend’s house for four days doing absolutely nothing.

We did a post-play cast party at Steak-n-Shake last night (for those w/o children) with some other friends/workers of the cast and crew…at midnight.  Kinda crazy I know, I’m getting to old for this.  But my peppermint shake was very tasty and it was great getting to relax and hang out with friends.  Then of course we had to hit Wal-Mart; if you go to PB you have to go to Wally-World ~ we have nothing else. :)

Things that went down while we were immersed in CAOH:

Albert Pujols left the Cardinals.  It was actually very humorous to see the reactions of all the ‘fans’ about this.  My take on the situation:  He’s getting older, who in their right mind would not lock in a ten year deal where they are making $25 mil MORE than they are now, have the guarantee to get paid regardless if he plays or not, and will more than likely be a DH getting paid that much.  Is the price crazy?  Yes.  Do I wish I could make that much a year doing something that I like with thousands of people cheering me on?  Yes.  I see it as a win for Pujols ~ he secured his future.  We’re still the Cardinals regardless of who is on the team…and we’ll be just as good/bad without him as we were with him.  Go CARDS!!!

I took two HESI exams (something like achievement test in grade school) and I passed them.  I have found that I will more than likely not be a first responder nurse; I have issues picking the ‘What I Will Do First’ option of the answers ~ that was a low point in my overall grading.  But other than that I will be a safe nurse, follow the rules, and have great patient care…according to the test.

Well…I’ve wasted enough time.  My dryer buzzer is telling me it’s time to get moving, my clock is telling me I’m going to be late for church, and my mind is mush and not sure what I’m typing anymore.  Hope everyone has a great week, I’m looking forward to mine ~ final and all!!

ERM