Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas this year.....

Christmas is kind of strange this year. We are travelling to Canada, which is very exciting, but also makes Christmas at home weird.

We are sort of parcelling out the gifts to the kids, so they can open them and enjoy them before we leave, because we are not taking them with us. My parents have gifts waiting for us in Canada, so we did not get the boys very much. Plus when we get back, we will celebrate with Hubby's family, too.

Needless to say, Christmas has taken on a Hanukkah feel at our house.

That's okay, we are open to diversity!

T-shirt Blanket

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Every time I see this little container I ask myself "why?" a lot.

Why did someone think that it was necessary to create a special little container to hold lime wedges?

Why did they discriminate against lemons?

Why does it have a handle?

Why did they choose to make it narrower at the bottom, causing it to topple over easily?

Why, why, why did we think that this was something that we could not live without?

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Zombie Apocalyse

So, we've been watching and reading The Walking Dead. Now, I have never been much of a fan of zombies, in fact the movies scare the hell out of me, so I typically avoid them.

Well, the big boys in the house are not afraid of zombies. In fact they are on a mission to prepare for a zombie apocalypse. This has gotten me thinking. What would and could i do in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

I am pretty handy, if I do say so myself. And spunky. I think that I would be useful. albeit, there are some skills that I need to improve upon. Domestic, but also practical.

I need to get over my issues with shooting. It's not like I have never shot a gun. I have - hand gun, shot gun and rifle. (yes, Canadians will handle firearms and not break out into hives) I just don't like guns because I am not comfortable with them. I do not wish to shoot my foot, or any one else's.

I need to learn how to can. I kind of know how. I grew up watching my parents do it. I just have not ever had a reason to try. I also do not have the equipment.

I have conquered socks. So, for that reason alone, I would be useful during the zombie apocalypse. People need socks. And I can make them. (I wonder where one finds yarn during the zombie apocalypse?? Details, details....) I can also sew, quite well, and I can and have used a tredle machine in the event that there is no electricity.

What about soap? Also on my list of useless things to learn to make from scratch. The world might be about to end, but by George, me and the boys will be clean and smell good. (Uh, that might actually be bad, the zombies would probably be able to smell us....)

We need to get a generator and a solar charger. I know that there would not be any Internet, but it would be nice to be able to charge the old ipod and actually have music. The world might be about to end, but by George, me and the boys want our tunes. (Uh, that would probably be bad, too, the zombies would hear it, or sneak up and we wouldn't hear them....)

All in all, things are not looking so good for me, but we will be wearing awesome hand knit socks!!!

A new post next door...,

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Companion Blog

I decided to create a companion blog to this one.

Why? Because I am a geek, that's why. Nuff said. (and maybe a teeny bit narcissistic, but isn't that what social media is all about??)

Anyway, the companion blog - Little House on the Freeway -, will be my personal project tracker. What I've tried, what has worked well, what has been an epic failure and so on.

I clearly have too much free time. I should be studying, or exercising, or reading, or doing housework, or cooking (wait - I'll blog about that one!) and so on.... and so on....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving.... the finale

Ok, so I did pretty well on posting something for every day before thanksgiving. I kind of ran out of gas there at the end (having a truly awful head cold did not help my motivation to do anything at all, except forge ahead), but I will wrap it up today.

Our Thanksgiving was a nice day spent with family, enjoying food and football. We got to see many members of my hubby's extended family that we really only see once or twice a year. We all live fairly close, but life just gets in the way.

So, I am thankful that a holiday like Thanksgiving forces us to slow down for a couple days, enjoy time with our family and extended family, enjoy some good eats and take a break from the Rat Race.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thirft Store Gold!!!!

It has been a while since we have scored thrift store gold like this.

Behold the golden unicorn!!!

It is an awesome sight.

We just wish that we could have found its matching golden dolphin counterpart and have a perfect set.

(there may be a dual over who gets the put this picture in their office)


15. I am thankful for my parents and that they are very well and healthy into their retirement years. They are now in their seventies and are so healthy and active. I often see folks 20 years younger than them that look at act older. Did I mention that I am ecstatic to be able to go home for Christmas and see them!

16. I am thankful for my doggie. He is crazy and messy and drives hubby up the wall, but he is the best, sweetest doggie in the whole world and he loves the boys soooo much and they love him too. Especially the little boy, he and the doggie are two of a kind. They both act like squirrelly Australian Shepherds, ha!

17. I am thankful for being given the opportunity to discover and meet my biological family and that is a long story for another time.

18. Preemptive thankfulness - I will be thankful when I get past this horrific head cold. this sucks!!! I have not have a cold this bad in a really long time and it sucks!!! Did I mention this sucks!!!!! (Oh yeah, I am thankful for NyQuil and DayQuil, too, and hot tea with lemon and honey)

Monday, November 14, 2011


12. I am thankful for my children. I choose this for the 12th, because it is my oldest's 14th birthday. He changed my life 14 years ago and then 3 1/2 years ago another son came along and changed it again. They are my biggest joys and my biggest challenges. They are so very different, but then similar, too. Both of them are truly neat people and I look forward to watching them grow and become neat adults.

13. I know I've already been thankful for family, but now I am going to single out my husband. He is the most interesting person I know. He encourages me to push myself and be a better person. His diversity prompts me to conform less and become more diverse myself. And I really like him alot. He is my best friend. What more can you ask for in your spouse.

14. I am thankful for great co-workers. They are my colleagues and also my friends. We have had a couple sad things happen in our office this fall and it is amazing to see everyone pull together and be supportive of one another. It's nice to like the people that you work with and enjoy their company. It's also nice to know that they will be there for you if you should ever need them.

Friday, November 11, 2011


10. I am very thankful for my health. This hit home hard with me today, when I found out a friend has been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. I take my health for granted and don't take the care and maintenance that I should. I will now!

11. I am thankful for all the soldiers, no matter which country they are serving for. They are making a huge sacrifice and I am glad it is them and not me. I am very proud and thankful for my husband, a US Navy veteran. He worked hard when he was in and served his time well. Big boy, who will turn 14 tomorrow is seriously considering serving as well, and we will be proud of him and support him fully, if he does!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


9. I am thankful that I get to go home for Christmas this year. This is a big deal, because my family lives in Canada and we would require 4 airline tickets, which is not a cheap undertaking. It just all came together well and I was able to purchase affordable airfare and have the appropriate vacation time approved at work. It will be so nice for my parents to see the kids for Christmas and for my boys to experience my family's Christmas traditions. Neither of them have been home to my parents for Christmas, ever. Niehter has Hubby. Snow too, hopefully! I can't wait!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


7. I am thankful for thrift stores. I find great things, save money and reduce my carbon footprint by utilizing thrift stores. We usually try to purchase second hand, before we go looking for new items we need. It works out well, for a fraction of the cost and almost zero packaging. Some of what we have gotten second hand - piano, heater for the garage, lawn mower, golf clubs and bag, lazyboy recliner, many books movies and CDs, a lot of our clothes, and toys for the kids.

8. I am thankful for cashmere. This is self indulgent, yes, but I love cashmere sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves mittens, socks.... you get the picture. So, now see above. Where do I find these lovely items. Generally at a good thrift or consignment store or ebay. Trust me on this, I'm not buying cashmere off the rack. It makes the thrift store find twice as sweet.

Monday, November 7, 2011


5. I'm thankful for the fall. I love the cooler weather. Especially this year. It was a horrific summer and I was soooo ready for it to cool off. Fall is the best time of year in Texas. I do miss the color change of the leaves. That doesn't really happen here, but it is cooler with out the severe weather of spring.

Which leads me to #6.

6. I'm thankful for staying safe this spring!!! This spring was a spring of severe weather. Worse than usual. It is the norm to have bad thunder storms and the occasional super-cell with wind and hail, but this year we had tornadoes. Fortunately nothing as severe as in Missouri and Oklahoma, but for the first time since I have lived in Texas (and that is 13 years) I have had times that I was seriously frightened by the weather. If a tornado comes through, we have no where to hide, no basement, storm cellar, shelter, etc. We just can hope and pray that it never happens. It came close this year, but didn't. And I am very very thankful for that!!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011


4. I am thankful for tuition reimbursement. I have an ADN, not a BScN and I have always wanted to finished that degree. I am now finally at a point in my life that I am able to work on my degree. Tuition reimbursement significantly reduces one of the biggest stresses about post-secondary education - the cost factor. I now not only have the financial resources available to complete my bachelors degree, but to also continue on to grad school and complete my MSN.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


3. I'm thankful for my creativity and ingenuity. My Dad asked me a long, long time ago if there was anything that I couldn't figure out how to do. Yes, Dad, algebra.

I am very lucky to have a creative mind. I feel sorry for people who don't, it must be a giant void of nothingness in their head, only to be filled with Jerry Springer and Real Housewives and take-out.

I love to make things and learn how to do new things. I like to figure out how to make things from scratch, build things, learn about new things and how they work. I am so tickled that I can now knit socks! I want to make soap from scratch. And candles. I have never tried canning, but would like to do that as well. So many things, so little time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November Should be for Thanksgiving...

I am a day late, but will start today. I would like try and post everyday, one thing that I am thankful for, during the month of November.

This will be good for me as I do sometimes dwell on the negative and I have no reason to. I am so, so blessed in so many ways and I need to examine this.

1. I am thankful for my beautiful, healthy, family. My two boys and my hubby. Lights of my life! Each one of them is special and wonderful in their own way and I love them all to bits!!

2. I am thankful for my job. There are times that I wished things were different. That I could stay home with the kids, or the I was doing something else, but the truth of the matter is my job allows us to have certain freedoms that we would not otherwise have. I also know that no matter what, at the end of the day, what I do makes a difference in other peoples lives. Not everyone can say that about their job.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Backyard Camping

Well, in an attempt to break our little guy into camping we tried some backyard camping this past weekend. It was somewhat foiled by little guy's little stomach bug, but that crisis passed and we continued on in the afternoon.

We set up the tent.

Made nature crafts.

Planted some fall flowers. I love pansies! Especially the tiny Johnny Jump-ups!

And made a fire in the Chimnea, roasted marshmallows and made smores. Big brother enjoyed playing in the fire, as all boys do.

In the end, we did not sleep in the tent. As the evening wore on, little boy decided he wanted to sleep in his own bed. Which turned out to be a good thing, as there was a horrific thunderstorm that blew in after midnight, complete with penny sized hail. We would not have wanted to be in the tent, even if it was just in the backyard. Fortunately, I had the foresight to stake the tent and put the rainfly on before it got dark. the tent remained upright and the sleeping bags were dry inside. Not a bad little tent, I must say!

We will be outdoorsy, dammit!! I want my kids to experience and love the outdoors, whether they like it or not!

They really do. We have much fun when we make the time to play outside. We just have to make the effort. I need to ensure that we make the effort. (It sux to live in suburbia!!)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Making Home Made Laundry Soap

I've made my own laundry soap before, but did the liquid variety where you grate the soap and melt it in hot water on the stove, add the other stuff and it looks like egg drop soap when you are finished. It worked pretty well, but the process was labour intensive.

I was excited to find reference to home made dry laundry soap the other day on another blog I follow - The Sitting Tree. It is the same basic ingredients, you just don't have add any liquid.

So, I used 1 bar of Dr. Bronner's soap, I like the lavender scent, but there are others and un-scented as well. It is totally vegetable based, so no petro chemicals. I know lot of web sites refer to Fels Naptha and Zote soap, but I wanted to get as natural as I could. And then the other standard ingredients are washing soda and borax.

1 bar soap - grated finely
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda

Mix well. I found the finely grated soap incorporated easily with the powders and it smells awesome!! The whole process took about 20 minutes from beginning to end.

Mix well and store in an air tight container. I happened to have a large plastic tub left over from some take out Hot and Sour Soup that worked perfectly. (I guess it was probably 1 quart, sized?)

I have been using 2 tablespoons in my machine, which is a HE front loader and it works great. the clothes are clean and smell very fresh. the lavender scent is not strong at all when it's all said and done.

My next green laundry project is to make some felted dryer balls. They are supposed to significantly cut down drying time and wrinkles and no more fabric softener. One more chemical to get out of my house.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Grey vs Gray

I didn't really think about this until I was spell checking a previous entry where I typed grey. It got me to thinking about which is correct, grey or gray and if there is a difference in how they are to be used in context.

I am a Canadian ex-pat, transplanted to Texas, USA. I have now been here for 15 plus years and have definitely linguistically assimilated. (somewhat to my dismay) I suppose I have retained some of my Canadian accent, but a lot has been lost. I must qualify that I am from Western Canada, where the accent is not as strong as Eastern Canada - think Bob and Doug Mackenzie from SCTV. I do still drop a lot of "oh yeahs" and "oot and aboot", but the famous "eh!" was dropped from my vocabulary after living in the States for approximately six weeks. I was routinely savaged for using it and quit promptly. But, truth be known, I still think it in my head when I am speaking.

I digress...

Spelling required some re-training as well. It took me some time to drop the "our" and the "re" from words like colour and centre. I noticed recently that I still write cheque if I am in a hurry and not thinking. Also, I will have an occasional Canadian moment when writing the date for example, October 13th would be written as 10-13-11 in Texas, but 13-10-11 in Saskatchewan. Old habits die hard, as these things occur when I am busy, rushed, distracted or tired. (apparently also when I have been drinking)

So back to grey vs gray. After doing a bit of research I discovered what I thought to be true. Grey is the UK spelling, thus Canadian spelling, too and Gray is the American spelling. There was some historical explanation as to how this evolution occurred, but I am not going to get into that. If you are truly that interested, Google it, lots of info out there in cyber land.

Bottom line...

Grey is a colour.


Gray is a color.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Trask Project Part Deux - Dream Groovy Chunky

Dream Groovy Chunky - ha!! Makes me think of a Ben and Jerry's flavor, anyway...

So, part deux of the Trask Project - I received one gorgeous, sumptuous, stupendous skein of Dream Groovy chunky yarn, which is this awesome hand painted, super wash, Australian merino, from my blogpal Mrs. Lawton-Trask. It is cream with very subtle pinks and blues. It was calling to me, saying "Mommy needs a new hat!!" (It was, seriously, I kid you not!)

So, a perfect hat was created. It is only missing a tassel. Now, all my boys want the same hat, but different colours, not pink and cream, ha! Sometimes it's fun to be the only girl in the house, I never have to share the cute stuff.

The finished product with my doggie Joey and the Rangers vs Tigers game on the tube in the blinding background. Go Rangers!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Trask Project in Noro Silk

A blogging friend - Mrs. Lawton-Trask at Knit Like You Mean It, was stash busting and I was a lucky recipient not once, but three times. I am now beginning part one of my "Trask Projects", a cowl/scarf using the most awesome yarn - Noro Silk - it is silk, mohair and merino from Japan and has the most amazing colorway. It self striping in a crazy combination of purple, grey and green.

Kathleen sent me two skeins, one in cream/ecru and one in the grey/green/purple. I was able to find two more skeins on-line of the grey/green/purple and thus began the cowl. It is just a plain stockinette, with an occasional reverse, just to do this yarn justice. The pictures just don't represent how lovely this really is. Almost finished. Adding the last of the cream today and will be ready to cast off.

Soon it might be cool enough to use it - ha ha!! Wishful thinking on my part!

BTW - Thank-you again Kathleen, you are the best, I hope you are settling in and having the time of your life!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chai Rice Pudding!!!

Since I am on the VegHead theme today, here is the bestest recipe ever for rice pudding. I must give credit where credit is due, this comes from Vegetarian Times magazine.

3 1/2 cups soymilk or low fat milk - divided
4 chai tea bags
1 cup short or medium grain white rice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 med sized apple peeled and diced
1/4 cup raisins
Sprinkle with cinnamon to garnish

- Bring 2 cups of water and 1 cup of milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove from heat and add teabags. Steep for 5 min, remove teabags and squeeze out liquid.
- Stir rice, sugar and salt into tea mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat, cover, simmer for 10 min.
- Add remaining milk and simmer uncovered for 20 more min or until rice is soft. Add apples and raisins, remove from heat, cover and let sit for 10 min.
- Serve warm or cold. Sprinkle with cinnamon if you like.

Sooooo yummy!!!! I want to try it next time with brown rice in the slow cooker,if I think of it I'll add an update.

Veg Head for 6 Months

Well, its been six months and I'm still basically meat free. I do occasionally have sushi or a tuna sandwich and did have a taste of some Texas BBQ (does a couple of bites count, ha ha! I'm not doing it for religious reasons so whatever, haters), but all things considered, I have been off the meat wagon. I don't miss it. (except for maybe pulled pork, I miss that a little bit)

I don't even know why really, it's not an ethics thing exactly (but I do object to inhumane treatment of animals and I guess eating them falls into that category), it kinda of a sustainability thing (I do know for a fact that it's much better for the environment), it's mostly a health thing, it's not a trendy thing (in fact I feel a little silly about it) so, I can't really say why I did it. It started out as a "give it up for lent" project and I just continued it. I am really self conscious about it, though. I don't like to draw attention to it or make a big deal about it. It does bug me at work that they very rarely have meat free options (I know I am not the only VegHead in the place), but I have not complained about it. I guess I should just get off my butt and pack my own lunch. I get sick of eating the same salad all the time for lunch. There's a Whole Foods and Tom Thumb very close that I could drive over to on the days I have the car, but that takes up half my lunch time in transit.

So, about the self conscious thing, what's that all about? I guess I'm just getting old. I feel like I'm too old to be doing this. That it is a college student's game and agenda not something a forty-something year old does. It doesn't really make a whole heap of difference if I have an agenda or not, but I still don't want to make a big deal out of it or push it off on other people or even appear like I might be considering pushing off on other people.

Good Gracious!!!!! I need to lighten up!!! Really!!!

It's never too late to make a positive change.

Vive la VegHeads!!! VegHeads of the world unite!!! Haters can go suck it!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011


I will say this one thing and then I am finished, there will be no more about this.... (see princess post below for reference as needed)

When a certain associate says "yay!! its my birthday month, {insert name here}apalooza is about to begin, it makes me want to gag. This particular individual is not 6 or 16 years old, for the record.

That is all....

Friday, September 30, 2011

I would like to be a Princess, just for a day....

Ugh, this poor blog has turned into a giant gripe session. Bitch bitch bitch!!!! Oh well, I will just go with it and be done. Then perhaps I can focus on something more positive. This negative stuff is a downer and probably bad karma and will come back to bite me in the ass someday. I shouldn't judge what I do not know, nothing is ever how it appears on the surface.

that being said....

I would like to be a high maintenance princess for just one day. What would it be like to do what ever I wanted, get my own way every time, have people dance to my tune for a change, say "I don't have to do that, why, because I'm me, that's why", be all "look at me, look at me, look at me", start every sentence with "I" and end it with "me".

that being said again...

I hope that I do enough self-reflection that I would know if I was like this. I think some people do not know that they are like this at all. It makes me think back to the old "When Harry Met Sally Movie" and when Harry tells Sally that she is the worst kind of high maintenance, the type that thinks she is low maintenance, but is really extremely high maintenance.

Self-reflection is the key, I think. I know some people that are awfully self-absorbed and they know it and are proud of it. Yuck!! And I also know some that just think they are pretty smart and like to share that, ALOT, yuck again!! (although, this is the category that I am afraid I may fall into sometimes, I hope not too often, because it is really annoying) Or the people that just cry, until they get ther own way.

I don't want to operate that way at all, but I would like one day of it, just to see what it is like, then go back to my old self.

I bet it's not as good as I think it would. the grass is alwways greener, right?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Haters take a seat!!

Do you ever wonder if anyone is really like what they say they are like?

I suppose that social media really causes this phenomenon to run rampant. In the virtual world you can be anything you want to be. You can tailor your posts to craft an alternative reality. Blogging too, for that matter.

I always wonder if people really do all the things they preach about. Do they really put their money where their mouth is.

What really set this off for me was some stupid little chippy taking a pot shot at me on a Facebook page about being a labeler and how I shouldn't judge and so on. Pretty funny, because where I sit it seemed like she was the one doing the labeling and judging and telling me what an awful, stupid and narrow minded person I am.

This all had to do with Vegan vs Vegetarian. I know, I know, I stepped right in it even making a comment about such a sensitive area. Well, I just asked if veganism is really a truly healthy alternative or more of a social statement. (Ya, I admit , I was kinda poking these folks with a stick, my bad!) I have not been eating meat (except for the very rare occasions - like sushi once in a blue moon) for 6 months now. I probably will not ever be vegan because I would miss the variety of foods that I would lose. I promise the next time I see a Jersey cow I'll kiss it on the lips and apologize for drinking her milk, but I won't be giving up milk products anytime soon.

I have know idea where I was going with this. Anyway....

The bottom line is DON'T BE A HATER!! We are all trying our best to do our best. One of my good friends goes to the same UU as I do and has commented on feeling judged by some of the folks there. Good Grief!! If we are on a vegetarian facebook page or at a UU Church, WE ARE OPEN MINDED!! Ugh!! Lets celebrate what we have in common and be understanding about our differences and respectful of each others opinions.

Unless you are a Right Wing Fundamentalist..... I draw the line there, sorry.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Positivity Breeds Happiness

What I love about my life today....

  • my boys! Hubby and the 2 kids are my world!!

  • little boy hugged me and told me I have "powers"

  • that first cup of coffee

  • planning my weekend projects in my head, instead of working

  • air conditioning

  • flip flops and jeans day

  • pandora

What I'll love about my life later today....

  • my boys!

  • hard cider

  • hummus

  • Hadery's??? (here's hoping)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Operation Clutter Bust

For a week we have been diligently trying to fix, sort, straighten or discard something from the house every day. Things are looking better. Toys are still breeding and swarming in the living room, but I have a remedy in store for that already. I am prepared to add before and after pictures. Yikes!!

I have again been utilizing Freecycle to clear out some items and will clear more, soon. I cannot sing the praises of Freecycle enough, I think that it is a really great concept. I did also post some baby items on Craig's list and plan to post more, soon. If I can make a little money from some things, why not. We can put it in the "hard wood floor fund".

I have my running list at the bottom of the page to remind me what I have done. Hopefully it will motivate me to keep on it a little at a time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

10th Circle of Hell

Ever been in Dallas in high summer? This has got to be the tenth circle of Hell. (for many reasons)

It is too hot for humans. When I go to my car and the thermometer reads 111F sitting in the driveway that tells me that this is a bad, bad place to live. The worst of it is this will last for 6 months. Ok, exaggeration, but triple digit temperatures can last for 3 months. It could be like this until October.

It used to snow in October where I grew up.

Which leads me to the big question?? Why on earth do we live here?? The easy answer to that is that the big boy is in school here and his Dad lives here. The good new is that he is starting grade 8, which means 5 more years and he is done.

This makes me think that it is time to start a five year plan to get the hell out of Dodge. We have no particular ties here, besides a few family that we rarely see and our house. I am a nurse, Hubby is a teacher/writer, we have portable jobs. Little boy will be young enough that it won't matter if we move. I should be done with university in 5 years. Nuff said...

I want to live somewhere where I can actually do things outside and enjoy being outdoors. I like 4 seasons. I hate air conditioning. I like snow and snow activities. I also miss my family and friends. My parents are not young any more. I have 3 nieces that I do not really know. I am lucky if I see them once a year. I want to have a basement, again. Hubby has friends up north that he would love to see regularly. There are a lot of reasons to go north.

Waa, waa, waa, I hear the world's smallest violin playing a song, just for me....

Hubby and I really need to think seriously about this. He wants to go, too. We just have to decide if we really want to make it happen or stay in the 10th circle.

Monday, July 11, 2011

3 in 30, whatever... So, I'm an underachiever...

So about 3 in 30. That's not going so well. In fact it is not going at all. I have not been able to do one single thing on the list of 3 measly things. Pah, I can't even remember what they, something about writing a letter and cleaning my closet.

Well, I am going to try again, but this time it's going to be 6 in 180. Aim low and hope for the best.

1. Hand write letters to my friend in Ottawa. I can't say how often, but I know that she needs this as a pick me up. She is not well and I know that a real letter in the mail is something that will make her smile. I think she will appreciate the sentiment.

2. Complete 6 more credit hours of school. (This is a done deal, just registered for fall semester!) I wasn't going to count this, but school is a major time eater, so yes, will count.

3. Feng Shui the house. At least bedroom and living room. This is already in progress, but needs to continue to completion.

4. Keep on with the reading. I have so many books I want to read and so little time. I really really miss reading for pleasure.

5. Lose that 20 pounds. If I can do that in 6 months it would be awesome!!!

6. Unclutter by one thing everyday. Just one little thing, everyday.

We shall see. I know that the fall semester should feel like a breeze, since I will only be taking one class. Maybe I can get some stuff done.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gaining Momentum...

So, school is moving right along. I am taking 2 summer sessions courses, which is challenging because it is a lot of work crammed into a very short time, but it is a good way to rack up credit hours.

I just finished my fine arts elective and will start my first of 2 core curriculum government classes on Monday. I will only have a few more electives, hopefully completed in the next 2 semesters and then I can actually start taking my nursing classes.

I think I do know what I want to be when I grow up, now. The more I think and think and think about it, the more I want to pursue a Nurse Practitioner certification, probably in Family Medicine. (this is really a misnomer, it is not a certification, but a graduate degree) I keep thinking that as an NP, I could work when and where I wanted, I could actually help practice preventative medicine and be proactive instead of reactive. I could actually do something for the greater good. I have not done that kind of nursing for a while. Don't get me wrong, my current job is a sweet gig, but I miss patients.

sooooooo.... For the first time since I started back to university I feel like I am actually getting somewhere. I know I can do it, I just don't it to take so long that I need a walker to get across the stage and collect my diploma!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Baby Weight vs Lazy Weight

I don't like to be vocal about my weight because it pisses people off that are bigger than I am, cause I'm not that big. I get those "really!! you are bitching about your weight!!" looks. Well, I am not happy with where I am right now. I look in the mirror and I don't like what I see. Worse yet, I see a photo of myself and OMG!!

I can tell myself it's baby weight. ha! whatever That said baby is 3 1/2 years old. What I have now has crossed the line to lazy weight. I just don't wanna make the effort to cook healthy and don't wanna make the effort to really exercise.

I go to the gym at least once or twice a week, but I don't really work out. Doing 20 min on the elliptical and then walking on the treadmill for 45 min is a joke. It is not a work out if I don't even break a sweat. I need to make my body complain when I work out! I am being lazy.

I have never been into fad diets. I am a firm believer in Weight Watchers. I've used it before and it works. Weight Watchers does take some planning, forethought and effort until you get it hardwired, but it's worth it.

So, time to lose 20 pounds. That would be good.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Books #4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9

I've been a blogging lump lately. Will have to get back on the bandwagon.

At any rate, I have been reading. I am chalking up 3 books from my Spring semester classes I took and then 3 more fluffy books I read in the short break between Spring session and Summer session. (will not disclose the names or author of these books out of sheer embarrassment for reading such mindless crap, but I never said I read brain food all the time, now did I)

So, I am up to a total of 9, so far. I think that's not too shabby.

More posts coming soon....

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Nurses Day!!

In honor of my profession and our National day (well, la dee da!!) I am re-posting some pictures and commentary from a Medscape e-mail I got this morning.

Nurses fastening and admiring their caps, 1950.

"From the day a girl contemplates entering training, she looks forward to the day when she has successfully passed the long, hard trials and tribulations of a probationer and has earned the privilege of having the symbol of dignity placed upon her head. That moment is the acme of her training school career."[6] (Courtesy of University of Virginia School of Nursing Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry)

Dorothy Woodhouse Dalenberg, Hackensack Hospital School of Nursing, 1968.

Dorothy remembers that "at our freshman capping ceremony, we received the cap with one thin blue felt stripe. Each year another thin blue stripe was added. We received a single, thicker black stripe when we graduated. My daughter, Kimberly, is also an RN and now has possession of my cap." (Courtesy of Dorothy Woodhouse Dalenberg)

Mary Koslap-Petraco, Bellevue School of Nursing, New York City, 1969.

Mary, who was in the last diploma class to graduate from Bellevue, shares the history of the "Bellevue Fluff."
"Bellevue was the first nursing program in the United States to follow the Nightingale model. In 1872, Florence Nightingale sent a letter outlining her paradigm for nursing education. The school opened on May 1, 1873. For the first several years there was no standardized uniform or cap. Euphemia Van Rensselaer took it upon herself to design a blue and white striped uniform and cap. As the years passed the cap became smaller but was the same design as the original. The organdy Bellevue "cupcake" came to symbolize the highest standards for the registered professional nurse and has been proudly worn by thousands of graduates." (Courtesy of Mary Koslap-Petraco)

I am very nostalgic about the nursing cap and white uniform. My nursing class- Class of 1990, was the last class at my school to graduate with a white cap and white dress. I still have my cap and school pin and white dress.

I don't work out on the floor any more and don't wear a uniform. Although uniforms are not what they were. We all were scrubs now. Yes, very comfortable and practical, but I do think that they take away the professional competent image of the nurse in her white dress and starched cap.

I never wore my cap after graduation, I did wear dresses and white hose and white "duty shoes". Now that has all gone away.

Alas, perhaps I was born into the wrong generation.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Book #3 - Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Ya, so this was a weird book. Very well written and funny as all get out. But... Not for the squeamish. It grossed me out in several parts and I just don't really ever get grossed out. Come on - RN for 20+ years - not too much out there makes me cringe. (well, actually some stuff does, but I don't think that I am going to make a list of it, except to mention that bile is on the you catch my drift) Anyway... If you ever wondered what happens when people donate their bodies to science, this book is for you. Oh ya, and also lots of informative information regarding historical and modern enbalming and funeral practices.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Giving up meat for Lent...

This was not intially my own idea. Hubby suggested that he would do it and I glommed onto the idea myself. I wasn't going to do anything for Lent at all, but this seemed like a good idea. Maybe I'll lose a few pounds in the meantime, too. Not exactly the reason for giving up something for Lent, but the end product might be nice.

The point is supposed to be a certain amount of self sacrifice. The sacrifice will be having to be mindful about what we are eating and the meals I am preparing. I've given up meat before and was pretty good about actually being a healthy vegatarian. I wasn't just a cheese pizza and icecream veghead. I like beans and lentils and tofu. It just takes a certain amount of time and planning to make healthy, tastey, interesting vegitarian meals. One cannot live by stirfries alone. I am also not giving up milk or eggs, I don't think I could do the vegan thing. Not enough variety of protein sources.

I am not very far into it yet, and am still suffering the "starvation" feeling of not having meat to fill your belly. I will not make the mistake of filling up on bread either. That will sabatoage any weight loss right there if I am not careful. I do wanna raid the girl scout cookie stash, but will settle for a cup of tea instead.

Well, I gotta write a history paper. Enough procrastinating already!!!!

Maybe we'll save some money on groceries. If we do, we'll donate it. That's a good Lenten thing to do.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Nalgene Rocks!!

I just have to give a shout out to Nalgene, water bottle maker company. They ROCK!!

We had a kids water bottle for the Little Boy with the sippy type lid. Well, doggy got a hold of it and chewed up the spout. I was pissed!! This bottle was not a $2 WalMart special. I hung onto the lid thinking I will look online and see if they sell replacement lids for the kids cups. (They do sell replacements lids for the big water bottles, I know I've bought them at REI before.)

Anyway, I finally got around to looking on the Nalgene website the other day and they did not sell the lids, but there was a customer service 1-800 number, so I called. After negotiating through a relatively simple phone tree I got a live person.

She laughed when I told her the dog story and said that the cups must be appealing to pooches because I was definitely not the first person who has called for a replacement lid for the exact same reason. Then she asked for my shipping address and she said she'd send a lid out to me that day.

Wait a sec?? what about my credit card number? Nothing, they sent the replacement lid out to me for free and no shipping either. It took less than a week to arrive.

Like I said, Nalgene ROCKS!!!! Buy their stuff, they now have BPA free, too.

Friday, March 4, 2011

I Heart Mittens

I do like knittin' mittens. Or gloves. They are portable, quick to make up and ultimately useful, albeit for a short season here in Texas.

I finished up two sets, of course just in time for Spring. Meh, there will be at least one more short cold snap before be have to start wearing shorts.

Hubby's gloves...

And some texting friendly mittens. I don't know where these will find a home yet, they were an experiment. I think they will ultimately be gifted.

I am all set to start a new project now. Another set of mittens, ha!

I need to learn how to turn a heel, dammit and try some socks. Or does it go more like, try some socks and learn how to turn a heel. How hard can it be?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

3 in 30, well 28... Fail!!

Tis my sad little 3 in 28 update. I didn't get one single thing on my list done. Nope, Nah Dah. I suck. I did have a heavy homework month and am pleased to report a 4.0 in both classes currently, so there is something. I finished Hubby's gloves, too. (Just in time for it to warm up, sigh)

So, moving forward.... I am trying again. Write 3 real letters, organize my closet, finish Little Boy's room.


Monday, February 28, 2011

Wabbit's new friend, Bart the Bear

Woodland Wabbit has a new friend. Bart the Bear. He's a mellow little fellow, but keeps inquiring about his lack of pants. I never thought bears were concerned with such things. Wabbit says he's "metro".

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Woodland Wabbit

Introducing Woodland Wabbit, seen here hanging out in his natural habitat. He is Little Boy's sullen new little friend. He is born from the Anything Animals Pattern found at Petite Purls , designed byRachel Borello Carroll.

He has assimilated quite well into our household, taking time to bond with the Spooky Cat.

Perusing our CD collection. Contemplating contemporary music.

And enjoying an outing to the ever popular cultural destination - Target.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hours in the day... Days in the week...

There are not enough hours in the day to do everything. Granted, working and commuting takes up 50 or so hours of my week right off the bat.

Taking 2 classes this semester is challenging, but definitely do-able. I am managing to stay organized and get everything turned in and doing a quality job of the work, so I am very pleased with that accomplishment. I am getting into the groove of it and that helps. It's been a long time since I was in University and for the record folks, it is not like riding a bike.

I am taking my knitting to work with me now. I'm such a geek. I knit in the break room over lunch. The cool part is that one of my co-workers wants me to teach her to knit. I've always wanted to teach someone to knit, but alas, I was meant to birth only boys. Also, another co-worker is now bringing her crochet to work on, too. It's the Kool Kids Krafty Klub.

I want to learn about dying my own yarn. I don't want to get into the spinning thing, at least right now, maybe someday. I think it would be fun to mess with colouring the yarn, but I have to figure out where to squeeze that in. I still have a household to maintain, children to take care of, books to read, movies to watch, places to go, things to do, oh yeah, thrift stores, Hubby and I want to start going to estate sales, I have 2 half finished quilts just sitting there, housework to do, dogs to walk.......ARRRRRRRRGH!!! I want, I want, I want, I want!!!!

I want to learn how to dye my own yarn. Maybe with plants....?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Book #2 - Whip It - Shauna Cross

Yup , same book as the movie, but the movie was based on the book that was actually called Derby Girl before the movie, which is a much better title.


So, Derby Girl. I initially picked this book up at a thrift store for a friend that loves roller derby. I thought it might be fun for her to read and then wound up reading it myself. It is a pretty cute book. Fun feel good story, in a rebellious kind of way. It is based in Texas and talks of things that are distinctively Texan - BBQ, Blue Bell Ice cream, UT Austin and Beauty Pageants. I think it is supposed to be young adult, but it does have some adult subject matter. Super easy read.

I have not watched the movie yet. We do have it recorded on the DVR, but I wanted to finish the book first. I'm done! Gonna pass it along, now.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Book #1 Freedom - Jonathan Franzen

This was an excellent book. I highly recommend it. It is a stout 562 pages, but worth the read. Hubby read and told me once I started I wouldn't be able to put it down. He was right.

It does get a tiny bit draggy in the middle, but that doesn't last long. It is just a great commentary on the modern family. All the more interesting when you consider it is written by a man, so it has a male perspective quality. Especially since about have the story is told by the wife.

BTW, we did not read it because it was an Oprah book. Just had to state that for the record.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Another Thrift Store Score

Hubby wins the prize this week for thrift store gold. He found this CD. It is Mozart done by the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra with traditional Egyptian music interspersed. There is some singing in Arabic as well on several of the tracks. The effect is very interesting. Soothing sounds of Mozart with a "what the heck is this" component. Well done!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Day

Day four of the Texas deep freeze. We added 6 inches of snow to the ice we already had. Another snow day for the family.

My poor Rosemary.

What ever shall we do??

Reading.... with tea.

And some scratch Sweet rolls.

Worked on another knitting project. Gloves for Hubby. (more to come)

A nice fire in the fireplace. Some good music to listen to. Worked on my classwork. A lovely quiet day was had by all.

But, I'm ready for it to warm up.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Warm woolies, just in time, too...

It is really, really, really cold here right now!!! It doesn't ever get this cold here.

I made up a little pair of mittens for the Little Boy, just because I like to knit mittens. Nothing fancy, but he likes them. He showed them to his teacher and told her "my Mama" and pointed to me. Poor teacher didn't have a clue what he was talking about, but I did. He watched me make them. And wore one around the house while #2 was under construction. Cute! To me anyway.

So, then I thought about a hat to match. I like the beanie. A little too big, though. If I do this one again I'll make it a couple inches shorter. I like the decreases, they look pretty cool. All in all, not bad for a couple days work. Little Boy likes them.
Did I mention how cold it is here?

Monday, January 31, 2011

3 in 30 Check in...

Shelf up in the dining room - check!
Dry Cleaning addressed - check!
Ironing - continual work in progress, but at least it's getting done now, so - check!

Goals for February: Finish decorating Little Boy's room
Clean out and organize my closet
Write 3 letters - real ones, of the snail mail variety

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thrift Store Treasure

I went over to my local neighbourhood thrift store this weekend and scored some cool stuff. The best of the lot was this beauty!!

It's a hand quilted little bag from vintage fabrics. It's going to be perfect for toting my knitting in the car. I like to knit during the commute to work. (I'm not driving, Hubby is, just for the record.)

I can't believe someone would give this away. Their loss, my gain. I would like to assure whoever put the time and effort into making this that I appreciate their effort.

Both sides are different patchwork patterns and the fabrics are so cool. If I was going to take a guess, early seventies. The pictures don't do justice.

Did I mention I love thrift stores! My perfect little bag was a whole $2.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Don't blog angry...

Another pearl of wisdom to be added to the list of many don'ts.

I believe yesterday was a combination of projecting and perhaps (don't groan) PMS?? Frustration manifests itself in curious ways. Apparently I write nasty things about total strangers I know nothing about. Not that they didn't deserve it.

I'm still frustrated, defensive, feel under appreciated, unheard, micromanaged.....

I will soldier on. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. (Right?)

On that note...

Don't wash towels with darks
Don't drink and dial
Don't forget a frozen turkey in the trunk of your car
Don't buy a leather couch, even though it looks cool
Don't wear a dress and heels to a hockey game
Don't eat Indian food and Sushi the same day and then go to the pub
Don't sleep in your contacts
Don't blog angry

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Furry Happy Monsters

But the World is my Living Room...

People are weird. (translated - RUDE)

Or maybe I am intolerant. (translated - POLITE)

Hubby and I went to the theater this past weekend to see the opening performance of a musical.

It was in a small venue, maybe 100 seats. Close quarters. First row of seats was level with the performance area.

Where should I start... Taking pictures with a cellphone (and flash) during the performance, a dude in the front row was sleeping, talking during the performance (not whispering, full on talking), dropped beer bottle on the concrete floor during a song, spilled drink flowing freely into the actors path....

The world is not your living room, people!!! Have some respect for the actors and actresses or just stay home to burp and fart and scratch your ass where the rest of us don't have to witness it.

Thank-you.... that is all.

Monday, January 10, 2011

3 in 30

I am not usually a new years resolution kind of gurl. I'll jokingly make a couple, like be nicer, stop using the snooze alarm or to not make any resolutions.


A couple weeks ago I happened to see a post on another blog that referred to 3 in 30. Hello? What's this? Complete 3 goals in 30 days. This I can do. A monthly teeny tiny bucket list. Ha!

So, here is my tiny little to do list for January: finish the stupid ironing, drop off and pick-up dry cleaning, put up the shelf in the dining area

Baby steps. It is almost halfway through the month, don't want to overwhelm myself, now.

I really do have one serious resolution for 2011. I will try and complete 18 credit hours towards my degree. Starting with 2 classes this semester, next week. This will be an exercise in time management, ugh!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

50 Book Wrap-up

So, 50 books was a little ambitious. In the end I did actually finish 19 altogether. I am counting the text book from the history class I took last semester because I pretty much read it cover to cover.

Now that it is a new year, time to start again. Aiming a bit lower this time.

Let's see.... how about 24. Two a month, I think that is doable.

Ready, set, go........