Thursday, September 29, 2011

More crafts ...

Following the theme of the week I've continued to craft.  I made a fabric pumpkin inspired by this pin.

And organized my floss inspired by this one

And whipped up a quick last minute scarf/necklace.  Tutorial here.  

I also realized I have no idea where my halloween decor is.  Somewhere in the garage -- that much I can tell you.  Clearly I've got some cleaning and organizing to do.

 I'd like to find this guy and get him on my mantle.  And find our beetle juice to put on display.

I did pull out the Witch Craft book.  The girls and I will pour over it and pick our next project.  But for now I must shower and get ready for work.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bigger Than My Body

It's 4:00 pm and I am fading fast.  I've worked the last four nights and stayed up today (with hopes of sleeping tonight and feeling human tomorrow).

The only way for me to stay awake is to stay busy.  As such I picked tomatoes (black cherry are my new favorite), made a cake stand/sponge holder (inspired by this), picked flowers from the yard and arranged some newly felted acorns.  The acorns must be kept under glass to protect them from evil felt grabbing paws.

I also cleaned the kitchen and started a load of laundry.  I meant to cut some material for a quilt and really want to give this project a go. Oh yes and I'd like to make a plum cake and, perhaps, can some jam.  But, alas, my ambition is bigger than my body.  I am simply too tired.

There in lies the problem of three am pinning -- too many beauties to capture my attention and so much that I *need* to do.   If only I could craft and bake and write for a living.  Perhaps someday.  For now I think I'll take a nap.


Friday, September 23, 2011

The Trouble with Being a Nerdy Nerd

 I am a type A nerdy nerd when it comes to tests.  I want to do well.  I want to pass.  No, not just pass, I want to pass with flying colors. This neurosis applies not only to academics but to medical testing as well.  As a result this week was chock full of anxiety.

First I had an MRI.  A brain scan.  I am not claustrophobic, thankfully, and had no fear of the procedure. They packed my head neatly into a head rest and rolled me into the machine.  There was a mirror that showed a view of the outside. The view, however, was less than exciting (a fence) so I simply closed my eyes.  I did my best to be still and regulate my breathing.  All sorts of sounds emanated from the machine and, truth be told, it felt silly.  I could hardly imagine how the grunting and groaning around my head was going to elucidate any viable information.

Halfway through the exam they pulled me out of the tube for a injection of contrast material (gadolinium).  I expected to feel something, anything, beyond the prick of the needle.  But I didn't.  The remaining scan was uneventful and I went home to await the results.

And the results were good, the all clear, I think.  I can definitively tell you there is no mass or tumor in my head.  This is a very good thing.  I do have "asymmetry of the temporal horn to the lateral ventricles".  My doctor felt he needed to point this out to me.  He could not tell me what, if anything, it meant and I was left to do my own research.

From what I can tell this can be a normal variant on an MRI (especially if the positioning were a touch off).  It could also be an indication of schizophrenia or early parkinson's disease.  Schizophrenia I'm ruling out -- I think by now that would have reared it's ugly head.  Parkinsons?  We'll have to wait and see.  I do have a family history and do not want to dismiss it off hand.  But chances are it's nothing.

 I am clinging to two parts of the report.  1) "there is no significant difference in the size of the hippocampus between sides" -- i.e. my brain isn't squished and 2) there is no retrocochlear mass or other finding of significance.

This week I also had another test, a hearing test.  They put me in a sound proof booth and put on head phones.  That was the moment, when all was quiet, I realized how much noise was in my head.  My left ear was (is) a cacophony of sound with both low and high pitched ringing, as if someone left the radio on between stations.

In my hand was a buzzer, one like the contestants on Jeopardy hold.  I was to press it each time I heard a beep.  Anxious to do well I held the buzzer at the ready.  It was hard, though, to distinguish the beeps from  the noise in my head.  Was that beep?  Or was that ringing of my own accord?  I was once again struck by the idea that deafness is not an absence of sound.

Soon enough I figured out the sounds from the headphones caused a vibration in and around my ear.  Then I could distinguish external beeps from internal sound.  Has my body compensated that much that I am now feeling sound as much or more than I am hearing it?

At any rate I completed my test and was deflated to find that my hearing loss is just the same as before.  I took some solace knowing it hadn't worsened.  I am to return in six months for a recheck.

And that, my friends, is what I was up to this week.  I am now looking forward to delving into normal life.  Filling my autumn with baking and crafts and all the things that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.   To start I need to figure out what is for dinner -- something appropriate for the first day of fall, yet simple and quick.  Hmmmm ....


Thursday, September 15, 2011

On the Road Again ...

I am at a conference. Here.  At the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.  This place is HUGE.  As in 50 indoor acres huge.

Right now I'm on my lunch break and Mr. Peculiar (who came with me -- thanks Grandma and Grandpa) is out galavanting.

Thus far I have learned a few things unrelated to veterinary medicine and I thought I'd share them with you.

  • Our room rests at the intersection of the red and green carpets.  If you're on brown carpet you've gone too far.  Double back.  Run if necessary. 
  • If you want to sit on the patio of a restaurant inside this massive unit ask for a patio seat; technically the patio is not outdoors. 
  • I like wearing knee high leather boots and v-neck cashmere sweaters and long gray skirts.
  • I especially like wearing the above because they are thrifted.
  • I ought not stay here too long or I might come home with a drawl.
  • There are not enough hallway seats outside the conference hall.
  • One can sit on the floor in a skirt.
  • The line for a free lunch is inappropriately long.
  • A smoothie and walk are an excellent substitute.
  • When using your computer in a public place mute the sound, preferably before the loud ad pops up on your screen.
  • I like taking notes on my computer.
  • I wouldn't mind being a student again.
And now off to my next class -- "It's for the birds!  Clinical ER Cases in Avian Medicine."  I need to boogie -- it's a long walk back.  


Monday, September 12, 2011

Walty alty alty alty ...

I am a big dog person.  Labradors are my breed.  Hearty family dogs that can just as easily take a long hike or lounge about the house.

I'm not so much a little dog person.  They seem floofy. Too girly.  I especially swore I would never get a dog that needed haircuts.  I mean really.

And then came Walter.  And, yes, I am a sucker.

Today was the day for his bi-annual hair cut.  I dare say he looks spiffy.  And you know?  Little dogs aren't so bad ...


Friday, September 9, 2011

On work and kids and travel and life

Driving in to work this evening I made some mental calculations -- I will log 70 hours at the clinic in a seven day span (Monday to Sunday). If I include the weekend before the number jumps to 96. Yup -- 96 hours in nine days. No wonder I'm tired.

Why am I working so much? Because next week I'll be traveling. I'm attending a conference in Nashville. Mr. Peculiar will be going with me and the grandparents will be coming to stay with the kids. It will be a lovely and much needed change of pace.

In order to get time off several of my shifts have been squished into a short period of time. The downside being I don't have a lot of time to prepare for this trip.

Our house is, ahem, a disaster. And my parents are coming. I'd really, really, really like it to be somewhat clean. I am hoping the family will clean this weekend whilst I sleep the day away (and work the nights). If you don't include the night shifts that sounds terribly luxurious -- sleeping while others clean around you. If this doesn't happen (honestly it's a pipe dream - they have water polo and thrifting and other events to attend) then I'll be scrambling on Monday to instill some order in our chaotic world.

Of course this stretch of work also coincides with the beginning of school. Which, in a way, is nice as I have time during the day to sleep. But I feel guilty for doing so (and then I feel guilty for feeling guilty -- what a vicious cycle) . There is so much to do at home.

I can say the crock pot is my friend -- last night we had Honey-Mustard Rosemary Chicken with Sweet Potatoes. But today I did not manage to cook. Mr. Peculiar will be delivering take out. Which is, in and of itself, guilt inducing as this does not fit into our budget. Oh economy will you ever turn around?

I have managed to provide after school snacks. Wednesday was pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Yesterday we had fun apple slices, peanut butter and marshmallows. Today was easy peasy sweet and salty popcorn.

Ah and now it seems I have a flurry of emergencies to attend to here at work. I must bid you adieu.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

The "Mama Has to Work Book Club"

Yesterday afternoon was rough for Middle. She'd had a bad day. She was grouchy. And when she's grouchy she treats us to a litany of complaints. The subjects most often addressed are:
  • Why do you have to work? I hate it when you work. You should be home.
  • Why don't you cook the things I want to eat?
  • Why don't you buy me the things I want like a cell phone or ipod or a new computer?
  • Why does brother get the star treatment and you treat me like dirt?
  • I'm bored. Why don't you entertain me?
My answers go like this:
  • Do you like living in a house? Do you like eating? Do you like wearing clothing? If so then I must work. If not we could take to the streets.
  • I cook fresh healthy meals for the family. I'm sorry they are not to your taste. I am not a short order cook and child can not live on noodles alone.
  • If you want an ipod you may buy it for yourself. You will get a phone in due time (your brother didn't get one until he was fourteen). You have a computer. Actually two. Which is two more than your father. Be grateful for what you've got. And what do I look like? A money tree?
  • If, by star treatment, you mean your brother has a phone then yes -- he gets the star treatment. He gets it by virtue of his age. You, too, will get such treatment when you are older. And if, by star treatment, you mean I bought your brother a new computer keyboard from the Goodwill then yes. YOU have a nice keyboard. His was ruined by a suspicious incident involving his sisters. I did buy you a skirt. Something I did not purchase for your brother. Ponder that.
  • You are a bright, inventive, creative child hence perfectly capable of entertaining yourself.
To be honest I am flabbergasted by the lack of gratitude from my children. They are SO lucky. They have food on the table, a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs. And yet they don't care one iota (that is until such things are taken away, hmmm ...)

I know (well at least I hope) some gratitude will come with age. As these children go out into the world and make their way I presume they will begin to appreciate the effort and sacrifice that has been made on their behalf. Obviously there are no guarantees.

In the meantime I've begun a project that will, hopefully, a) stave off boredom while I'm at work b) make Middle feel singled out and appreciated and c) foster some appreciation (i.e. middle has a great life).

Introducing the "Mama Has to Work Book Club". Our first read? The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I plan to read this in conjunction with Middle -- me during the day and her while I'm at work. Then, as time permits in between clients, we can discuss the book via email.

I created a PDF document to direct our first meeting. Hopefully it will be met with a positive reception.

On another note -- the MRI machine is down. My scan has been rescheduled for a week from Monday. Ah well -- such is life.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for two of three kids. I found the time to putter. To straighten up, to garden and to bake. One child came home and immediately did her homework. Now she has gone out to play.

The second child did not fare so well. She ended up on the wrong bus and had to walk part way home. The contents of her backpack spilled. Now she is bored and tired and hungry. And she is making sure the rest of us are acutely aware of her cantankerous mood (lucky us).

Mama is just plain tired -- up at dawn and running around all day. I am ready to curl up with a book and a glass of wine. But there are children to attend to, dinner to serve and miles to go before I sleep.

Middle is begging, however, to go for a ride. And wine truly does sound good. Perhaps I might do something to appease the both of us -- a quick trip to the market for an inexpensive screw top.

Tomorrow is my MRI. A brain scan to look for a rare tumor. Something I probably don't have. Honestly I am looking forward to the scan -- a spot of time tucked into a machine. An hour all my own. Silly? Perhaps. But true nonetheless. The time could only be spent better if a book were involved.

For now I bid you adieu -- back to the work of the house (and a trip to market). I hope you had a lovely day.


Friday, September 2, 2011

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Play along with SouleMama.