Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stop Moping!

That's my instruction to myself this week. I'm really sorry for neglecting all of you, and this blog to mope. The oldest went back to the Army this week, and I already miss him. The youngest took the ASVAB test and has decided to follow his brother into the Army, and nothing I (or his brother) has said can dissuade him. So, barring a problem with his physical in a few days, he'll ship out later this summer for basic training.

As if that wasn't enough, the middle one thinks he wants to be a Marine. A Marine - my gentle son, a Marine. Let me just go lock myself in the bedroom and scream for a bit, okay? My husband's entire family have been Marines, and Melissa was a Marine, so I know something about that particular branch of the Armed Forces, and that's part of what scares the heck out of me.

So, I'm trying hard to stop moping. I have to study, for one. For two, it doesn't solve anything. For three, I remember being that age and feeling as if life was passing me by and I had to go out and grab it by the horns. In all likelihood, I'll have an empty nest by the end of the summer and in spite of the fact that I have all but chained them to a building at a college, it looks like all of them want to do some time in the military before they start school.

What's a mother to do? Well, this mother has started working out again, with the boys. I was an Army nurse, and although I am old and short I do know a few things about physical training. So, we're running a couple of miles a day, and we're doing push-ups and sit-ups and pull-ups. And, if training with an 18-year old and a 20-year old won't kick your tail, nothing will. With a little work they'll go off to boot camp ready for that initial physical training test and I'll lose a few pounds and get back into some semblance of a shape and fall completely apart when they leave... but that's another post!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Trash Ties

This has got to be the most creative use of trash ties I have ever seen. Truly, it must be seen to be believed. That's all I've got today. I've been rendered speechless by the awesome creativity of the blogosphere.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Asparagus is a great vegetable for the home gardener. Fresh asparagus is a springtime treat that simply can't be beat. Canned asparagus is a pale shadow of the real thing - if you've never tried fresh asparagus I urge you to do so at the earliest opportunity. Today would be good! You can find recipes here: - asparagus

Of course, being self-sufficient types, we have tried growing asparagus here at Clay Hill. And I confess that I've had yet another lesson in patience - somebody is really trying to get that message across, aren't they? Because I gave up on the asparagus this year, and covered it with an herb bed. And the herbs are happy and growing beautifully, and guess what I noticed when I checked on them this afternoon? Yep - asparagus spears, growing up through the soil. I should have given them a couple of more weeks.

So, what am I going to do about it? At the moment, I think I'm going to leave it be and see how the two coexist. The soil is certainly fertile enough to support both, because it's heavily enhanced with our own compost. The asparagus ferns shouldn't be thick enough to shade the herbs too heavily, and the herbs die back in the winter and start coming into their own after asparagus comes up, so this might turn into one of those happy accidents that works out well. Even if it doesn't, though, I think we'll put in more asparagus in the fall. We eat a lot of asparagus in the spring, and if we have too much I'm sure my coworkers won't mind a gift of fresh asparagus along with their eggs!

In school-related news, I finished a semester today - that means I am down to one full semester before I finish. Needless to say, that news calls for a bottle of wine with dinner. Have a great week, everybody, and remember to eat your asparagus!

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Worthy Challenge

I don't have much time today - 16 hour call tonight and a test tomorrow afternoon, so this is just a quick break from studying! I just read this post: Sunday's Heartfelt Challenge, though, at From A Creative Heart and thought it was worth sharing.

We all know people who are struggling with something - take a few minutes this week to reach out and remind them that they have a supportive community of friends and family available. I know it's something that I need to do more often!

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, April 17, 2009


The hummingbirds are back! It's really and truly spring when I can come home and sit on the porch in the evening and there's enough daylight left to watch the hummingbirds flit about. I could watch them for hours!

Ours are savage little things, and they battle it out over the feeders like tiny winged gladiators, even though there is more food in those feeders than all of those little birds could eat in a day. I would say in a week, but in the summer we fill the feeders every 48 hours, so that wouldn't be entirely accurate. Still, theres' clearly no food shortage, but that doesn't matter to the birds! They knock one another off the feeders, and dive at other birds. We have multiple feeders, and we really can't put out any more, so they'll just have to continue fighting it out.

Last year we had a white hummingbird that hung out for several weeks. We'd see her (him? it?) several times a day, and then one day she just stopped coming by. She was so easily visible, though, that you could see her fly away into the trees, so I'm sure some predator took advantage of that. It's sad, but what do you do?

So far this year we've only seen males at the feeders, but the females will be here soon. Let the games begin!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Eighteen Weeks

In eighteen weeks, I'll be finished with school. Eighteen weeks. Just under, actually, because this week is half over. I alternate between being excited about this and being utterly terrified at the prospect. I am very comfortable in the operating room these days, (after 1100 cases, I ought to be!), but there's still a lot of support available in a teaching hospital. I'm sure I'll have available help in another setting, but since I don't really know, it's a source of mild anxiety. Oh, and I think I may have mentioned the little quiz I'm facing when I finish this!

Thank you all for being patient with me as I work through this last stretch. Eighteen weeks - I can do this! :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

It's Easter! Easter is one of my favorite holidays - I love spring, and I love the feeling of renewal and rebirth that accompany this holiday.

I hope you're all having a fabulous day today! I'm enjoying having all my ducks at home for a holiday, finally - probably the last one for some time to come. Later today we're having dinner at Melissa's - that crazy woman insisted on cooking at her house, despite a few challenges, but I'll let her tell that story! For those of you working today, thank you for what you do! Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I'm having a personal energy crisis this week. I have no energy for anything. Really, if I could, I'd spend all day sleeping, but that isn't very conducive to anything, is it? I think it's just stress and a little bit of burnout. And I'm sure it will pass soon, but for the moment a nap sounds like the best idea on the planet.

So, aside from caffeine, which I already consume far too much of, what do you do when you need an energy boost? Share your tips and tricks, if you have any, because I'm hitting the wall here and I have a few miles still to go in this race!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fickle Weather and an Update

Spring in East Tennessee is a beautiful thing. The dogwoods and redbuds are blooming, and daffodils line the sides of little country roads. And if you don't like the current weather, wait a bit - it will change. It was 78 degrees here yesterday and they're predicting snow later tonight. Sigh.

This is why we have to wait until May to plant anything that can't handle the fickle weather. I did well this year - I planted a couple of salad beds, but I successfully resisted the temptation to plant anything else, until it warms a bit more and the risk of frost is past. I do miss warm weather vegetables, though!

So, when I've successfully passed that nasty quiz here in a few months, and I'm back among the ranks of the folks who actually get paid for what they do, guess what my graduation gift to myself is going to be?? A greenhouse. Imagine the damage Melissa and I can do with that puppy! Tomatoes year-round, dwarf citrus trees, fresh herbs in the winter... the possibilities are endless!

The review course was very good, but it highlighted the amount of work I have still to do. And it's a lot. And, frankly, I'm worried. But, you carve an elephant one slice at a time, and that's what I'll do here. For the next four months, one slice at a time.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Weekend Getaway - NOT!

I'll be gone for the weekend, and it won't be any fun, I'm afraid. :( I'm going to an anesthesia review course - thirty hours of lecture over two and a half days... and that's the start of the marathon study session the next four months is going to be.

A friend of mine, though, is just getting ready to start the program - when I think of her journey, my four months is nothing. She would give her eyeteeth to be where I am. It's all about perspective, isn't it?

So, I'll see all of you next week - have a great weekend, everyone!


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tote Giveaway Winner

And, it's time to announce the winner of the Farmer's Market Tote. And the winner is: me! Hooray for me!!!! I'm so happy when I win something! Hey, I left a comment. I did! Go look if you don't believe me! What, I can't win my own giveaway? And you think this is an April Fool's Day joke?

Okay, okay. You're right, I'm not the winner. Man, you guys are good! You should hire yourselves out as private investigators, or something! The real winner is Chicken Herder From Westville, who left the following comments:

Blue is my favorite color and that would go perfectly with me :>)!

March 18, 2009 7:59 PM

Glad you are on a winning streak!

I love when I win something!
March 18, 2009 8:07 PM

Well, my friend, you have just won something in your favorite color. I know you've been sad lately, so I hope this gives you a little lift today, and I hope things start looking up around your house soon. Contact me with your snail address and I'll get this in the mail ASAP!

Thank you to everybody that entered. The whole giveaway was great fun for Melissa and I, especially the skunky comments!