Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hi. My Name is Laurie and I am an Adrenalin Junky!

     So I went on my first ambulance call today. Finally. And it was a good one to go on, to cut my teeth on, because it was a one-car, no injury, sign-off accident, which means the driver in the accident said there was nothing wrong and he did NOT need ambulance transport, (and he was right) so the EMT in charge took his vitals, checked him over while I filled out the PCR form (Pre-Hospital Care form) - and I was soooo nervous that I filled half of it out wrong, the other EMT was telling me some of what to put in, and I didn't have my reading glasses with me so I couldn't SEE half the form (but there was an extra pair of reading glasses kept on the ambulance - cool! ) 
All in all, it was a VERY calm situation, both EMT's were VERY calm and good, and helped me a ton, and I did ok. Not great, by any means, but ok.  And, I found out something I have been very unsure of for the past 4 months:  I AM an adrenalin junky!  I guess that is going to be something very much in my favor, if I manage to pass the tests, both written and practical.
I STILL can't say I am glad I stuck with it, because I still have about another month to go, and I'm sick to death of classes, sick of studying, sick of doing labs, and, now, TERRIFIED that I will, after all these months, fail the tests, which would make this a HUGE waste of time, but... there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it is growing brighter with each passing week, we are getting closer to done, and I DID stick with it. Not to toot my own horn, because that's really not me, ever, but it is hard to ignore the difficulties that I have endured the past few months WHILE trying to complete this monumental task. I know everyone has their own issues, many of which we simply don't see and never know about, but it is hard NOT to think, upon some reflection, that my row to hoe these past few months might have been one of the more difficult ones of people in my class. I'm not trying to minimize anyone else's accomplishment in finishing this class - 172+ hours of class and lab and clinical time is a huge accomplishment, and a very selfless one, for ANYONE to volunteer to undertake. There is a high school girl in there. God bless her - that's a ton of work when you are only 18 years old. . There are people in there, most of the people, juggling full time jobs and families. The other half of the class is made up of college students. While I personally think theirs might be the easiest of everyone's, I also know it probably isn't. SOME of them are in pre-med, and I know Organic Chemistry has been a tough class for them to get through this semester. Overall, I know it doesn't matter for whom this class has been the biggest challenge. I do know it has been, legitimately, far more of a challenge for me to complete than I ever thought, in January, it would be, simply because I had no idea what else would land on my plate these last few months.  I just need to know I have done well, done my best, despite it all. I NEED to feel good about this, because it is worth feeling good about, not minimizing. My biggest hope, at this point in time, is that I can manage to make the time I need  to study hard, and deep, and well, and that I will pass. I would really like to be an EMT. There, I said it out loud. Now, if I fail, no, wait... no negative thinking allowed. I will NOT fail. 
I would LIKE to be an EMT, and god-willing, in another month, I will know if that is to be. 

Happy Easter

Friday, April 22, 2011

Favorite Easter Book

This book was one of my very, very, very favorites from when I was little.  The illustrations in it, when I look at them now, are like looking at them yesterday, like being 5 years old again, yesterday. 
This was, I think, my favorite illustration, the rooms full of all different kinds of eggs.  It was a double spread, but I could not find a picture that included both pages. 

The egg  Mother Rabbit is holding in her hand is like
the one in the picture below. I remember we had one like
that at home when I was little too. It had yellow frosted
trim on the outside, instead of pink like this one.
You could look inside to a scene, of what I don't remember.
But every time I read this book, I remember that egg. It
used to sit in our cupboard above our stove, wrapped
in a plastic baggy, all year round, only taken out at Easter time.
And I remember the beautiful pink of the sky in this, and from the next illustration, and distinctly I recall the buds on the trees.
     Yesterday, the day before our four day Easter break, I pulled the book off my desk shelf at school and was feeling sad because I didn't have anyone to read it to this year. I totally would have read it to my 5th graders, but we are in the middle of a unit on Fairy Tales and are only a week away from State testing, so I really couldn't justify it, even to myself... 
     ANYWAY, I still had a class with 4 second graders to come, and what I normally do with them is follow a scripted phonics program for 42 minutes in that teacher's classroom. But yesterday, their teacher was in meetings and had a sub, and a terrible student teacher, and it is pretty chaotic in there anyway, so I made an executive decision. I pulled my 4 kids out, went back to my room across the hall, sat on the carpet and read The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes to them, and then we colored pictures of Easter eggs WE would deliver.  I justified it by the realization that, three of the four of them are smart enough to get the new lesson I skipped in ten seconds, and the other one wouldn't get it if I spent ten class periods on it, was a wash. And I got to share my favorite book, and hoped that someday, maybe those kids would see that book at Easter time as adults, and remember the story and the illustrations and be glad that someone read it to them when THEY were little.
And, as an added bonus, while I was looking for pictures of and from this book on google,
I ran across this blog where the woman made these cool little cupcakes to go along with the book.
I won't be doing that THIS Easter, but it is a neat idea I would love to do next year.  The shoes come from a chocolate mold, are chocolate, and just covered with gold luster dust. Even I could handle that, I think!

Good Friday

copied from

I just really liked this, thought it was worth reposting, and is something I will want to keep to reflect back on this time of year in other years

Good Friday: a time of trust and blessing

I don’t know about you, but if I knew someone was planning to betray me and that others planned to murder me – and soon – I’d be inclined to get out of town by the fastest possible means. On the day that has since been designated Good Friday, Christ Jesus knew that betrayal and death were coming his way.

But he didn’t run out of town. Instead, he went to the garden of Gethsemane and prayed. In doing this, he was presenting a totally different model for human life and hopes. His model is described in this passage from Matthew’s account of Jesus’ prayer that night: “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (26:39).
Jesus had spent three years healing people with all kinds of diseases and verbally sparring with Jewish officials who didn’t especially appreciate his ministry. He had even raised people from death. Now he was facing the final examination of all he had stood for and all that he wanted humanity to perceive about God’s love and power. The crucifixion at first looked as if he had failed. Many of his disciples were terrified and went into hiding.
But hatred symbolized by the crucifixion didn’t have the final word.
Buried by grieving followers, Jesus was free of the tomb three days later. 
This is a message that bears repeating in a world where sorrow, sickness, dishonesty, and hatred seem to have full sway in so many places. So often Good Friday is seen as a day commemorating sorrow only. But there is a profound reason for remembering its spiritual message of ultimate hope.
Through his willingness to yield his own will to the will of God, which is always good, Jesus shined a light on the divine power and authority he had already proved in his healing work. He was ready to stake his life on God’s ability to save. Despite the hate that was directed at him so much of the time, and despite any fear he may have felt as the hour of reckoning drew nearer, he was ready to prove that Love was the master of hate. And his success showed that trust in God’s goodness, in the inevitable triumph of divine law, was not in vain.

By Rosalie E. Dunbar, News editor for the Christian Science magazines / April 22, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?"

The Dead Sea Scrolls:
And God came down from the heavens, and He said unto the chicken, "Thou shalt cross the road." And the Chicken crossed the road, and there was much rejoicing.

If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken nature. 

Albert Camus:
It doesn't matter; the chicken's actions have no meaning except to him.

Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically predisposed to cross roads 

Emily Dickinson:
Because it could not stop for death. 

The fact that you thought that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity.

In my day, we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken had crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

Ernest Hemingway:
To die. In the rain.

Martin Luther King, Jr.:
I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.

Dr. Seuss:
Did the chicken cross the road?
Did he cross it with a toad?
Yes the chicken crossed the road,
but why he crossed, I've not been told!

And my favorite?
Colonel Sanders:
I missed one?

Astrological Chickens

Zodiacal Influence on Chicken Crossing Behaviour

PISCES (February 19 to March 20):

Pisces chickens are dreamy and sensitive. They are blessed with deep intuition and a wealth of emotion. Pisces are romantic, creative and full of love with a potential for great happiness and lasting joy. Their imagination is so strong that it frequently merges with fantasy. They usually cross because they had a vision telling them that this is the means to the happiness they are striving to achieve.

Two weeks ago tomorrow, while my dad was undergoing surgery and I was waiting for hours on end in the hospital waiting room, my friend and "roomie" from school, was sending me random chicken jokes via text messages (clearly neither of us are SOMETIMES very focused on our work, but it makes for better days, believe me! In our defense, she said she missed me that day....) I was reading her texts and chuckling away, but BURST OUT LAUGHING when she sent me the above horoscope for my chickens, which she prefaced by stating, accurately enough, that she bet I had never thought about what my chickens' horoscope said about them.... and you know, she was right. I had never given it a thought. But found it VERY funny to think about my chickens HAVING a horoscope.  AND, she picked the accurate sign under which they were born. Now THAT"S a true friend, someone who remembers your chickens' birthday.
All jokes and horoscope taken from:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Break

Are you kidding me? I just spent a delightful, wonderful hour, sipping coffee, typing up my "spring break."  I wanted to correct an out-of-place apostrophe, hit "backspace" and my ENTIRE POST was deleted. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Friday, April 15, 2011

You'd Never Know Now My Dad Was the Son of a Very Strict English Minister!

So apparently the alphabet game has a new twist added to it when you are 90 years old, and partially senile. It goes like this. My sister writes down each letter of the alphabet on a notebook sheet of paper, and, in an attempt to help occupy our dad during his most recent recovery time in the hospital, says, "Name a food that starts with each letter of the alphabet."  Blank look from dad.  "Like, this, " she says, "A. Apple.  Your turn. Name a food that starts with B."
Dad:  "Sonofabitch." 
Sister, laughing, "No dad, that starts with S. You need to use a B word."
Dad, "Bitch."
Good thing we didn't state the category as "Curse Words."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Why Yes, I WOULD Like Some Whine with my Pneumonia...

I am just running out of energy. I feel like I am hanging off a ledge and just barely holding on by my fingernails. I
also feel like I have no right to complain or feel bad, but by denying myself even that, I feel worse. Maybe it's ok to whine JUST a little, to wallow JUST a little, and then to go back to being strong and positive again? 
It's been a really long month or so, it seems; a really long winter. If I just had more energy to deal with it all, it'd be fine, but since I am so prone to debilitating anxiety, not doing, not being able to Do, just adds MORE stress.
Thinking and worrying are my two worst enemies. Doing is positive, and I'm too stressed and too sick at the moment to DO anything.
A couple weeks ago was my brother's severe life-threatening accident, which I have tried to write about, and have not yet been able to. With lack of sleep and stress that week, I came down with a terrible, terrible cold. No real big deal, but I haven't been able to pull it back together, health wise, mentally OR physically, since then. I don't know why.
Last Friday, I took my dad to Rochester for a pre-surgery appointment. It went well, but apparently was also more stressful when all was said and done than I had anticipated, and I got sicker, MUCH sicker, last weekend. So I started out this past week down on energy. I went to EMT class Tuesday night, but felt really crappy. By Thursday morning, after getting dressed for school and then sitting on the couch and crying for a few minutes because I just felt SO BAD, I realized, "Oh, you know? If you feel this bad, maybe you should make a doctor's appointment."  That was sort of a revelation, since I don't often go to, or think of, the dr.  So, after school I did, only to find that I have pneumonia. Again. I'm not unfamiliar with it, being prone to it, but haven't had it in a couple of years. I tried to get a chest xray and bloodwork done right after, only to find the lab already closed, and by yesterday, I was just too sick to get up off the couch and drive myself there, so I skipped that. I hope it doesn't really matter. I also skipped class on Thursday night. 
Now, I'm just totally stressing over school work that I am waaaay behind on, the EMT class work which is SO draining to me - twice a week, four hours each - which is part of why I am SO far behind in my lesson plans and correcting, and probably why I am not getting any healthier.
In addition, my house is not only a mess, but dirty as well. 19 chickens in the bathroom who need to be moved to the barn, but I've been too sick and too busy to put the coop back up in the barn.  The carpets all need to be not only thoroughly vacuumed but steam clea
ned, and I simply have no energy to even contemplate that. The entire house is a disaster. And in another week or so, I don't even remember when, my oldest is coming home from college with 4 of his friends for a night on their way to somewhere else, and I can't imagine letting ANYONE in this house right now. I would die of embarrassment. But how, and when, will I POSSIBLY find time to get it clean again?
My dad goes in for surgery this coming Friday, so normal routine gets turned upside down yet again.
     Usually I can figure out how to slow things down, make choices, drop things, fix things. Right now, I don't know how to do that. Common sense tells me to drop the EMT class, since that is the most stressful thing on my plate right now. And honestly, I'd LOVE to, since I can imagine the relief it would bring me, almost instantly.  But I only have til mid May until I'm done. Should I have put in this much time already, and drop it now? Seems a waste. But I don't know what else I can do. I can't drop teaching - and grades are due no matter what else in my life is going on. The parents of my students don't want to hear hear about MY life for the past month or two - they just want me to do my job. I'd like to do it, too.
I can't NOT be with my dad for his surgery and after care time in the hospital. That would leave my sister all alone with that, and that's not fair. At least I have the week off - for her, it's the week before her break.
I'd hire a cleaning person, except I don't know any, I can't afford one, and my house is seriously too messy and too dirty to even allow a cleaning person in. And the chickens? I don't even KNOW what to do with them, but they can't stay in my bathroom much longer. I KNOW that's part of what is making my house smell, in addition to the carpets needing to be scrubbed.
I can hope, and assume, that I will feel better from the pneumonia, after another few days of antibiotics, but meanwhile, grades are due Tuesday, I need lesson plans for Monday, the State ELA tests are coming up, I'm behind on my EMT stuff and feeling too crappy and sick and tired to take in any more information anyway.
I just don't quite know what to do. I'm hoping a small amount of feeling sorry for myself today will be the kick in the butt I need to see things more clearly tomorrow. Othewise, I just don't know what to do.
June is my salvation, but June is just too far away to be of any use right now.