29 January 2008

Wind!!

After I got out of the shower this morning, (or actually when I got out of bed), I noticed that it was really windy outside. However, it wasn't the usual gust or so that knocked against the screens on the windows, it was a strong, continuous wind. The cats seemed especially interested, but wary, and didn't jump onto the wind sills, but kept their distance, even when I opened the blinds for them. Because we live on the top floor of the building, you can hear wind (or ice or rain) hitting the vent that goes up from the stove top. It sounded like there were little bits of dust and small pebbles or sticks kitting the vent. So I opened the door to check out what was going on. I was blasted in the face with a cool wind. And dust or fine dirt. (Very irritating to the eyes I noticed.) I quickly closed the door, but not before noticing the sun looked like it was blocked a bit from the dust in the sky. In looked brown and fuzzy, not the usual bright and clear. So I went to the bedroom window and looked out and there were blue skies, but they weren't clear. Looking to the west, towards downtown, it looked like there was a layer of light brown dust rising up from the earth, taller than all the buildings around here.

Hmm, is this a dust storm? Certainly not like the pictures of ones I have seen from airmen and soldiers in Iraq. But still . . . so I turned on the internet to check the news. Apparently we are under a wind advisory across the state of Oklahoma until this evening. Winds are about 35mph with gusts to 50 or 60 mph. We are also under a red flag warning for critical fire conditions. I really hope some idiot doesn't decide to throw their cigarette butt out the car window today.

**Power surge . . . hmmm . .. . **

Well, I need to get going and get started on today's reading for school. The wind isn't blowing as fierce as it was a little while ago. The news article also said something about the wind being related to a cold front that is coming through the state this morning. I wonder if it will blow like this all day . . . only time will tell. . . .

27 January 2008

Sandy


This is Sandy. She is a Breyer horse. I think I first acquired Sandy when I was about eight years old. I spend many hours playing with Sandy over the years, along with so many other Breyer horses that I owned. They all have names like Mesteno, Dawn, Kemosabi, Jack, Rugged Lark, Prancer, Gemstone, Snowflake, Star and Figure. I had barns and fence, tack made from real leather and hay bales. I played with my horses before my parents divorced, before boys, before high school, before sports, before jobs, before I owned my first real horse Billy. I had big dreams as a ten year old girl, saving my $2.50 a week allowance. Even though my age and family financial means could not enable me to ride like I wanted, my mind could take me wherever I wanted to: there was no limit to what I would come up with to do with my horses. Sandy was not my first Breyer, but she was my favorite. She was the one I would take on long car rides and the one I brought to other parts of the house to play with. She was the one that got "ridden" by Brenda Breyer the most and the horse used for "experimental" designs of homemade horse blankets and tack made from yarn and bits of cloth I would find laying around. I think perhaps it's the expression on her face. Billy would often have the same expression on his face, years later, looking at me inquisitively with his head cocked to the side like "what are you doing now??" I still have all of my Breyer horses, and I never had a horse that broke a leg from ill-use. My Breyer horses have survived nine moves over three states. I no longer have my real live horse, Billy, but I can still look at my Breyer horses and let my imagination carry me away to where I want to go - on the back of a horse.

A year for my hands

I got the idea to post pictures of hands after I read the email from Sam with the poem (see previous blog) about the different things that your hands do during your lifetime. This year my hands seem to have been doing a lot of loving. :D


In Honduras (above) feeding one of the local children at the school next door.


Mike and I at my apartment over the summer (before we were engaged.)




Mike and I on the drive up to visit family in South Dakota.



The night that Mike proposed. :D



Holding hands with my husband to be on our wedding day. One of the most special moments of my life; one that I look back upon and cherish very deeply.




Mike and I after the ceremony on our wedding day ~ the day we made a covenant with the Lord and each other in front of family and friends. I love that our hands are resting upon the Word of God.




In the kitchen making pumpkin pie (Michelle was there too.) I love to cook and make things for my family and friends to eat.

Hands

Sam sent me this poem on the internet. I was pretty touched by it, so I wanted to share it with those who read my blog. :) (And I have studied my hands pondering things such as is written below.)

GRANDMA'S HANDS


Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench.
She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.

When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence
and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK.

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check
on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK.
She raised her head and looked at me and smiled.
"Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking," she
said in a clear voice strong.

"I didn't mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just
sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure
you were OK," I explained to her.

"Have you ever looked at your hands," she asked.
"I mean really looked at your hands?"

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them.
I turned them over, palms up and then palms down.
No, I guess I had never really looked at
my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and related this story:

"Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have,
how they have served you well throughout your years.
These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been
the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab
and embrace life.

"They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I
crashed upon the floor.

They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back.
As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer.
They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots.
They held my husband and wiped my tears when
he went off to war.
"They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent.
They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my
newborn son.

Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world
that I was married and loved someone special

They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I
buried my parents and spouse.

"They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors,
and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand.

They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed
and cleansed the rest of my body.
They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken,dried
and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else
of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down,
and again continue to fold in prayer.

"These hands are the mark of where I've been
and the ruggedness of life.

But more important ly it will be these hands
that God will reach out and take when he leads me home.

And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I
will use these hands to touch the face of Christ."

I will never look at my hands the same again.

But I remember God reached out and took my grandma's hands
and led her home.

When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face
of my children and husband I think of grandma.
I know she has been stroked and caressed and
held by the hands of God.

I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands
upon my face.

26 January 2008

Spoiled?

Last semester in nursing school, for the first week of tests, it just so happened that all four classes that the first semester juniors took had their first test in the same week/week and a half (depending if you had mon or thurs/fri psych and physical assessment). So the instructors were kind enough to rearrange the entire semesters test schedule so this wouldn't happen again. We students were very grateful, although in my opinion, I thought that was catering a bit much.

This semester I'm taking pharmacology, with the second semester juniors (which I would have been with if I hadn't gotten sick), the new first semester juniors and a few sophomores taking their first nursing courses. So of course during the first/second (depending if you were the thurs or fri class), it was discovered that almost all of the exams fall on the same day or week as some of other classes. And LOTS of students complained, rather verbally. Prof Fister was kind enough to at first change the syllabus according to last weeks' complaints from the mostly first semester juniors who have psych exams the same week. At first, she started to hear the complaints, then stopped and said the exams were when they were. (I was glad. I don't think that the professors should cater to the students like that. Personal opinion.) There are three different graduating classes taking pharmacology (Spr 09, Fall 09 and Spr 10), and those students are taking one or two of five different courses, or more. That's a lot of rearranging.

Anyway, the whole thing I thought was rather foolish and a waste of time, but I kept silent rather than contribute to the rising voices struggling to make their opinion heard above the others. We wasted at least 10, maybe 15, minutes discussing the matter. That's a lot of time that we could have been taught pharmacology, which looks likes is going to be a pretty tough class.

Anyway, it was really gracious for the professors last semester to rearrange the schedule for us, but I don't think it's really necessary for every class, every semester. Sometimes life is just going to hand you a lot of tough situations to face at one time. School is wear you learn to prepare for them, and the stress that goes along with them.


** On a side note, I really miss working. I miss being in the professional world, coordinating clinical trials, being a part of something. I didn't realize what a big adjustment it would be to quit working and just focus on school. I feel isolated from my profession and out of touch with what's going on in the research world. I didn't go to the annual SOCRA conference in Denver last September, and I doubt I'll go this year because it's in Canada. I do want to make it a priority to start going back to the monthly meetings. Maybe I can use the CE credit for my leadership class senior year. I do get the SOCRA Source though, so I still read my profession's journal. I should be getting the next issue pretty soon, actually, speaking of that . . . And of course, I get the online subscription to a few research journals.

I always felt inadequate in the research world because I didn't have a degree. A lot of co-workers, especially Clinical Research Associates who worked for various pharm companies or CRO's said I knew what I was doing (not that I was asking/fishing for things of such nature) . . . and I did feel better after I got my certification.

Perhaps after I graduate I will go back in research full time. I would like to utilize my skills on the floor. Maybe I'll work at a hospital part time. Research is fun and exciting though. You get to learn about new products/procedures and such years (up to 10 years) before they hit the market. I liked that. I always was an advocate for the pharm companies . . . lol . . . I used to say that one day I wanted to work for Merck. (Personally, they're one of my favorite pharm companies to coordinate trials for. They're just really with it. J&J is good to, but their recent switch from InForm to Medidata for eCRF's was not, well, I didn't like it. They both have their bugs though . . . Even the regulatory stuff in interesting. And the history of research is pretty fascinating. Perhaps I'll post some stuff on the history of research in the United States on another blog. . . .


Well, I just found out my friend Mike Miller is here in OKC!!! So off the internet . . . :)

Bad kitty!!

There were distracting paper ripping sounds coming from the floor and I looked over and Missy was eating my homework!! Or at least some of my school papers . . . .

Now, why you ask, or the papers on the floors? er, well, . .. I'm organizing . . .

Quote

Hunting is the only sport where the other team doesn't know they're playing.

From Mike's game:

Mike's game character: "Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!" (Presumably from a deathly fall.)

Game commentator (in a cool, calm, collected voice): "Uh-oh, that last step's a doozy."


ROFL!!!!!

Used the stress assessment tool

Okay, so I used the stress assessment too, and big surprise, I scored incredibly high on it. Not as high as I have scored in the past, but in the "high stress" range. No wonder things aren't going as swimmingly at school for me as they always have in the past.

It kind of feels like a catch 22 though. If you've had a lot of life events in the past year that contributed to stress, than you're more likely to have an illness or stress related injury occur in the next two years.

Now: about stress reduction. What can I do to reduce my stress. Not move. Stay in school. Exercise. Try to get back on track with sleeping and eating habits that I had before I got sick last fall. Of course, not all of the stressors listed on this list are bad stressors. For example, getting married is pretty high up there. And a new marriage is a good thing, although it can be stressful adjusting to living with someone. Although I have to say that adjusting to living with Mike has been pretty easy because he is so laid back. It's been really great sharing my life with him. We have a lot of fun together and laugh a lot.

With that said, I'm going to get back to reading . . . :-)

About the stress assessment tool

The stress assessment tool that I previously posted about is a learning tool that we are to complete and incorporate into one of our papers that's due pretty soon. I thought it would be interesting to for any readers interested in taking it. It was all copied from the post from Prof Laubach and Prof Minnich at UCO Nursing School on the webct (Uconnect). I have looked at it, but I have not added up my stress total yet. I'm not sure if I want to. Of course, I'll have to for the paper.

So far, even though I don't have a clue what's going on in class, I like this Success class. No tests, just papers and ATI Exams (which I took last semester). It's a very unique class. We don't meet every week and we meet occasionally in groups. I think it's a really original (and great) idea to add these classes into the nursing curriculum. If I change my mind by the end of the semester, I'll let you know. :~)

Stress Assessment Tool

Stress Assessment Tool
This test, based on the work of mental health experts Thomas H. Holmes and Richard H. Rahe, helps you identify the sources and amount of stress you encounter in your life. The following is a list of stress inducing events, in the order of their Life Change Unit (LCU), from high to low. Note all the items that apply to events you have experienced during the last year and add up their LCU’s. Then take a look at what you can do about your stress level.
Assignment: Incorporate the Life Change Unit (LCU) number and what you will be doing to decrease your stress level in your Individual Plan, which is due to your Success faculty on February 5 or February 7, 2008.
Life Event
LCU
1.
Death of a Spouse
100
2.
Divorce
73
3.
Marital Separation
65
4.
Jail Term
63
5.
Death of a close family member
63
6.
Personal injury or illness
53
7.
Marriage
50
8.
Being fired from work
47
9.
Reconciliation with spouse
45
10.
Retirement
45
11.
Change in health of family member
44
12.
Pregnancy
40
13.
Sexual difficulty
39
14.
Addition of family member
39
15.
Major business adjustment
39
16.
Major change in financial state
38
17.
Death of a close friend
37
18.
Changing to a different line of work
36
19.
Change in frequency of arguments with spouse
35
20.
Mortgage for loan or major purchase over $15,000
31
21.
Foreclosure on a mortgage or loan
30
22.
Major change in responsibilities at work
29
23.
Children leaving home
29
24.
Trouble with in-laws
29
25.
Outstanding personal achievement
28
26.
Spouse begins or stops work
26
27.
Starting or ending school
26
28.
Change in living conditions
25
29.
Revision of personal habits
24
30.
Trouble with boss
23
31.
Change in work hours, conditions
20
32.
Change in residence
20
33.
Change in school
20
34.
Change in recreational activities
19
35.
Change in church activities
19
36.
Change in social activities
18
37.
Mortgage or loan under $15,000
17
38.
Change in sleeping habits
16
39.
Change in number of family gatherings
15
40.
Change in eating habits
15
41.
Vacation
15
42.
Christmas
13
43.
Minor violation of the law
12
If your total is 0-150
Congratulations! At the moment, your stress level is low. Your chance of illness or accident related to your stress is low. Your chance of illness or accident related to your stress with in two years in low. Any change can lead to stress, even enjoyable activities, such as vacations or new forms of recreation.
If your total is 150-300
Take care of yourself now. You have borderline high stress. Your chance of accident or illness related to your stress within two years is moderate. Recommendation: Reduce stress.
If your total is over 300
Warning: You have a high stress level. Your chance of accident or illness related to your stress during the next two years is great. Stress intervention techniques are strongly urged.
http://health.discovery.com/centers/stress/balancing/stress/assessment.html

Wasted day

Out of sheer guilt I checked UCO's Uconnect website to check on any course work for school today, since I am not doing any reading or studying. I copied a document and checked some discussion board posts. Nothing too exciting. I'll probably regret wasting this whole day laying on the couch reading, but I think I need it for my health. At least my laptop is keeping me warm. lol.

Back at it . . .

and I have to say that I love my laptop. I decided that it was time to go back to the gym and start working on getting my strength back. So I woke up this morning, texted Michelle and Sarah about joining Abby and I, ate a mini bagel with cream cheese, forgot to put on deodorant (big surprise there) and headed for Gerrity Fitness Center on base. Abby got there shortly after me, and Michelle followed two or so minutes later. We did our usual routine of stretching beforehand, except I checked my weight to find out exactly how much weight (I usually never get on a scale) I have lost since last August (15 pounds exactly :-( ) and headed for the elliptical. After three minutes I was done, but I pushed myself to 15. (Still pathetic in my book. I was even on level 1.) I had to stop at 15 because I was getting light headed and sick, etc (whatever), and went downstairs to do some sit ups and push ups. I ended up having to leave before Abby and Michelle finished because I was just done. I NEEDED to lay down and the bench in the locker room just wasn't cutting it. So I drove home, got back in bed with Mike (who was still sound asleep ~ awww). Later I migrated over to the couch and that is where I have been for the past four hours trying to recover from my "workout". Mike has been nice enough to agree to make dinner tonight because I absolutely do not plan on moving from this spot until it's time to go to bed. It's going to be a long road until I'm back to where I was last summer.

On the bright side though I've been reading a cool blog and looking at cool pics. :) And Mike is playing some game on his computer that's pretty amusing to listen to.

Also, I have to say that I love laptops. It is really nice to just recline here on the couch with my laptop and browse the internet while laying down. :)

Uncle Sam's Misguided Children


Yes, that is what the US Marines are often called. I was looking at some pictures on a blog that I like to read: she's a Marine stationed overseas and she has a bunch of pics posted. I have to laugh, having been around the Marines almost my whole life, they really are like little children. That have been trained to kill. It's pretty funny.

Even though I, myself, have not been and will not be enlisted in the Marine Corps, I do feel close to most Marines. My brother was a Marine, my Dad retired from the Marines as a Captain, my step-brother is in the Marines, two aunts were Marines, and I dated a Marine. Sort of a family comradery I guess. At least, on a level, I understand them. Most of the time. At least I like to think so.

Anyway . . . Semper Fi! :)

23 January 2008

Still up . . . and not really tired

Hmm, that's a first, in, oh say, seven months or so . . . it's 2205, I'm up and writing because I want to write and because I'm not tired! Imagine that . . .

I came across a very interesting blog. Well, most would probably find it repulsive, vulgar and desperate, but I find her writing interesting. It's pretty much the thoughts of a woman in Arizona dealing with her life issues (mostly men and sex issues). But anyway, I found it a very (to me) fascinating read. Why? Because it was like reading about how I used to view (and live) my life. It was eerie. If she had described herself as a monkey from jumping from tree branch to tree branch, than I might have emailed her and said why are you writing about my life? It really made me think how far I've come in the past nine years. It made me realize how completely, totally and utterly my view on life and myself and men and sex and relationships and friends and love has changed. I think that if I met the person that I used to be I wouldn't even recognize her, or she me. She would probably say it isn't possible to morph from her to me. I would marvel that I used to be so dark, twisted, intense, and sexual. Does it leave something to be desired? Things have changed so much. Only Jesus could bring about the kind of change that I have been through. I'm not really talking about the person I was the years after I left my ex, I'm talking about the person I was before I left him. Before I married him. Those empty, frozen months that felt like years. I never talk about her. Ever. Not to anyone that I know now. And everyone except family and two others that knew me then, I have dropped out of my life. Completely. My subconscious took it even a step further to erase faces and names and events and even time from my memory. Or maybe I was too self absorbed to pay attention to anyone or anything around me. In reality, even she was hidden from family. Running around in the dark will hide things from those who only come out during the light. It's so interesting, how things will spark your memory. I still have poetry that I wrote back then. I never read it though. And no one ever finds it to read.

Bright, shiny and new. That's what I have become. We really are NEW creations in Christ. The old really has gone away, and the new really has come. (2 Cor 5:17). No wonder it's my favorite verse and no wonder I cling to it so . . .

Things

It's the second week into the semester and things are going pretty well. I still have 8 or so chapters left to read before tomorrow, but I'm not that worried about it (half way done). I took my first two quizzes of the semester yesterday for my psych/mental health nursing class. (We take quizzes online, so I can take them at home.) I did all right. Not perfect scores. But not too bad. On one of the quizzes, the answers are typed in, instead of multiple choice, and for some reason, they weren't marked as correct (when they are the same answers as what's on our notes). This happened last semester, and I'm sure that Prof. Dyer will rectify the grades after everyone has taken the quizzes (like last semester). I will be sure to ask in class though tomorrow, just in case.

I really enjoy staying home and studying and taking care of the apartment. Since it's so cold outside (it was 11 degrees F last night and this morning), I find myself becoming somewhat of a recluse. I just don't want to venture out into the cold. Not even when it gets up to 30 degrees. No thank you. I'd rather stay inside. Of course, I can't really do that. I do have to go to school, and church, and of course Bible study. And yesterday I had to take Mike's car in for an oil change. And a CV axle repair, as it turns out. I have to take it back today because they forgot to check the brake lights, which decided to stop working. A fellow driver on the road was kind enough to flag us to roll down the window and tell us the other day. And I have to get a prescription filled and go to the grocery store for a few necessary items . . .

I have to say that Florida is looking better and better. I used to enjoy the cold, crisp Oklahoma winters. But this winter I don't. I think it's because I have lost so much weight (almost 15 pounds since August), that it's really hard to keep warm. And actually I lost my wedding band the other night because my rings don't fit anymore. I was taking my gloves off, and it just flew off my finger. Luckily it landed in my purse, and after a few almost frantic minutes of searching with Mike, Mike found it. So now I have a band aid on my ring finger to ensure that doesn't happen again. I want to make it clear that I am not intentionally trying to lose weight. Most of the weight I have lost is muscle mass, and muscle weighs more than fat. Between being sick with mono and having no appetite for about 4 months, and then having my tonsils out and eating maybe 1000 calories over a span of eight days, the weight has just been falling off. I wasn't really that worried until Mike was staring at my torso with a really worried look on his face one day when we were getting ready to take a shower (this was about post op day 5 or 6). I asked him what the big deal was and he just said I can see your ribs! So I guess I need to work on that. I did make a cake with pudding and strawberries and have been eating it regularly. I know, I know, not the best way to gain weight. But it doesn't hurt [my throat] to eat cake . . . . I do plan on going back to the gym sometime this week. Maybe I'll start tonight. I'm two weeks post op. Hmmm . . . I just might do that.

Although, there's the cold to brave . . . I'll ask Abby is she plans on going. It always helps when you know that someone else is going too. And Abby and I have been work out buddies for about a year now. I love that time I get to spend with one of my best friends.

Well, I guess that's it for now. I need to finish up an email, and then get ready to brave the Oklahoma cold. (It probably wouldn't be so bad if there wasn't a 20+ mph northern wind blowing.) :-)

21 January 2008

Praise Report

Thomas got a job on Saturday! He went to Chick-Fil-A and put in an application, and he got hired on the spot! Yay!! I'm so proud of him! He's really excited about it. He started today (Monday) and works Monday - Friday from 0830 to 1630. So he won't miss Bible study and he'll be able to hang out with the guys and take college classes at night and stuff. I am so thankful to the Lord for this. :)

I'm hoping that once a week I'll be able to have lunch with Thomas at Chick-Fil-A on his break, and we can hang out together. Just brother and sister. :)

Hindsight is 20/20

Well, I was reading back to the blog I wrote right after I had my tonsils out (on the 10th). Hmm. Obviously, the anaesethetic had not worn off yet when I wrote that. It was most definitely the worst sore throat (and ear ache and headache) I have ever experienced in my life. Ever. Ever ever ever. Ever. Very bad. After the day after surgery, I couldn't eat anything at all for several days, not even popsicles or ice cream and barely even water. I did have some complications, but no bleeding, so that's a praise. I still think it was worth it though, if I get strep less often and don't get mono again. I guess only time will tell.

It is now Post op day 11, and I have had my voice back for three days and I can eat things besides applesauce (like noodles and such). Yay! You know, the worst part was probably craving all of the foods that I couldn't have when I couldn't eat anything at all. Today, however, I am narcotic free. Yay!!! My throat is still sore, but not so bad that I need to take a narcotic to help. I still have some left, which I'll probably take tonight when I go to sleep. It still hurts to eat and talk, but not as bad. So I'm getting better. :)

Mike and I are going out to eat Friday night before Bible study (or maybe Saturday night) and I'm going to order all the things that I have been craving but haven't been able to eat. :) Like chips and dip. And quesadillas. :)

Hurray for food! Hurray for being able to eat it again! :D

15 January 2008

Grateful

Just wanted to write for a few minutes. I’m not feeling the greatest, and I’m kind of out of it, but I wanted to write for a little while.
I was thinking last night when Mike came home from work, about how grateful I am for Mike. I love being able to share my life with Mike, to share everything that I am, everything that I do, everything that I have in my life with such a wonderful man. And that he shares his life with me, openly and willingly, and with love. He is absolutely amazing. Just this past week, while I’ve been recovering from surgery, his kindness and gentleness has been so awesome. He learned how to make mashed potatoes from scratch for me because that was what I felt that I could eat. He slept on the floor with me all night because I couldn’t sleep in the bed because I had to have the TV (movies) on because it distracted me from the pain. He hasn’t complained at all that he has had to make all of his meals or take care of me. He has sent me encouraging texts from work and held my hand when I was in so much pain I thought I couldn’t take it.
More than just recent thoughts through illness though, I love being Mike’s wife. I love everything about being married to Mike. I love our home that we have made together. I love how we laugh together, how we share life’s joys and fears together, I love to take care of our home for him and to fix food for him, I love to have those intimate little conversations that you have with only those special people in your life, I love that the cats eagerly await for him at the door when he returns home form working. I love how we support each other in whatever we do. I love that I am married to the most wonderful, kind, smart, gentle, funny, strong, handsome man. Truly I could not have drawn up a better man to be my lifelong partner on God’s green Earth in my own dreams. Truly Mike is the Lord’s answer to Jeremiah 33:3. He absolutely is the love of my life and I could picture being married to no other man. I love to feel his strong arms around me and I pray every day that I will be the wife that he needs and wants. I look forward to spending the rest of my life with Mike, going through life with him, hand in hand, taking on life’s trials together. I dream of a day when our little ones will be eagerly awaiting his return from work. What I love most of all though, is how in love with Christ Mike is. He truly wants to do His will in His life and he encourages me and supports me in Christ, as a brother in Christ, and as the Godly, spiritual leader and head of our household. He never ceases to amaze me and I respect him so much.
I often wonder where the Lord will lead us through life. Will we always be in Oklahoma, or will we move from place to place through our lifetimes? Only time will tell. I do know that wherever we go, it will be where the Lord leads us. And I look forward to it.

11 January 2008

Feeling left behind

Well, it's that time at school again. Time for the semester to be getting underway. Clinical rotations are getting assigned. Books are being bought. Students are revving up in nursing school for the grueling semester ahead.

It's finally really sinking in that I am not continuing on with my original nursing class, Spring 09 graduates. Bulletins are being posted about OB/Peds clinicals. And I won't be there. For another year.

I do feel like I am being left behind. I was, in reality, left behind. By my choice though. Although not really. I did get sick, afterall. That wasn't really a choice.

I was only going to have three semesters left. One summer. A year and a half.

But I don't. I have five semesters. Two summers. Two and a half years. Or more . . .

When will I be finished? Sometimes it seems like never.

I'm trying to put on a brave face. I just don't like being left behind.

Anyway, I'm all hopped up on pain meds right now because my throat has really been hurting me today ~ way more than it was yesterday. And because of that I have been unusually emotional for the last few days. Oh well. Hopefully it won't take the full two weeks to recover . . .

10 January 2008

Surgery went well

Yesterday I had my tonsils removed at Deaconess Hospital here in OKC. The surgery went pretty well and I'm feeling a lot better than I thought I would. The nurse at the doctor's office had told me that I would be feeling pretty groggy for 7 - 10 days, so much so that I probably wouldn't feel like even doing anything around the house. But I actually feel not too bad. I've been resting a lot, watching movies and such. Betty Novak from church came to pray with us before the surgery, which was really great. She came to visit me when I was in the hospital in October too. Last night Jimmy and Jeff from our Sunday school class brought over dinner for Mike and icecream and shakes for me. I thought that was so sweet of them. Michelle, Sarah, Betsy and Abby all came over today to visit me and it was really great to hang out with them. I didn't say too much because it still hurts to talk, but not too bad. I was told that this would be the worst sore throat of my life. Actually, it's not. I've had a whole lot worse sore throats before. I wouldn't even say this is third worst on the list. But anyway . . . I haven't had any complications yet, not even nausea. And I am very grateful for that.

Well, my wonderful smart sexy husband just got home so I'm going to sign off for now. He's been taking wonderful care of me and I am so grateful for him and his care.

08 January 2008

Brink of war???

Recordings show Iran-US Clash in the Gulf
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080108/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/iran_us_navy
By LOLITA C. BALDOR and SEBASTIAN ABBOT, Associated Press Writer 3 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Small Iranian fast boats swarmed around massive U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf, and a man speaking heavily accented English threatened, "I am coming to you. ... You will explode," according to a video released Tuesday by the Pentagon.
The Iranian boats appeared to ignore repeated warnings from the U.S. ships, including horn blasts and radio transmissions, as the ships moved through the Strait of Hormuz into the Gulf.
In a four-minute, 20-second video, shot from the bridge of the destroyer USS Hopper, the small boats — including a bright blue one — can be seen racing near the wake the U.S. ships and crossing close to each other.
From the Hopper's bridge, after spotting the approaching Iranian boats, a Navy crew member says over the radio: "This is coalition warship. I am engaged in transit passage in accordance with international law. I intend no harm. Over."
Often uneven and shaky, the video condenses what Navy officials have said was a 20-minute or so clash early Sunday between three Navy warships and five Iranian fast boats. It ends with a blank screen, as only the audio of the Navy's final warning can be heard, just after the voice warns that they are coming.
"Inbound small craft: You are approaching a coalition warship operating in international waters. Your identity in unknown; your intentions are unclear," the unidentified Navy crew member says. He then cautions the Iranians that if they do no steer clear they will be "subject to defensive measures."
"Request that you alter course immediately to remain clear," the crew member says.
After a pause, the man with the accent issues a final threat: "You will explode after (indecipherable) minutes."
A Navy crew member then repeated the threat as he heard it: "You will explode after a few minutes?"
President Bush on Tuesday denounced the incident as a "provocative act."
"It is a dangerous situation," Bush said during a White House news conference. "They should not have done it, pure and simple. ... I don't know what their thinking was, but I'm telling you what my thinking was. I think it was a provocative act."
The audio and video recordings were made separately but were pulled together by the Navy. Internal U.S. Navy transmissions can also be heard on the tape. The Hopper was in the lead, followed by the cruiser USS Port Royal and the frigate USS Ingraham.
The top Navy commander in the Gulf said the Iranian fleet of high-speed boats charged at and threatened to blow up the Navy convoy as it passed near but outside Iranian waters on Monday. The Iranian fleet "maneuvered aggressively" and then fled as the American ship commanders were preparing to open fire, Vice Adm. Kevin Cosgriff said. No shots were fired.
In Tehran, Iran's Foreign Ministry suggested that the Iranian boats had not recognized the U.S. vessels. Spokesman Mohammed Ali Hosseini played down the incident. "That is something normal that takes place every now and then for each party," he told the state news agency IRNA.
Cosgriff disputed Iranian claims that the incident was a routine encounter, saying Iran's "provocative" actions were "deadly serious" to the U.S. military.
The confrontation was an unusual flare-up of U.S.-Iranian tensions in the Persian Gulf as Bush prepared for an eight-day Mideast trip designed in part to counter Iran's influence in the region. He is expected to discuss the U.S. posture toward Tehran with Arab allies also worried about Tehran's desire for greater regional power.
Many Arab countries fear the Iranian-American rivalry could erupt into a military confrontation that would put them in the crossfire and hurt vital oil traffic through the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards said that its high-speed boats never threatened the U.S. vessels during the encounter, insisting it only asked them to identify themselves, then let them continue into the Gulf. A Guards commander defended his force's right to identify ships in the sensitive waterway.
Cosgriff, the commander of U.S. 5th Fleet, which patrols the Gulf and is based in nearby Bahrain, said the American vessels had been identified by Iranian authorities earlier in the day.
"The group had been successfully queried by an Iranian ship, possibly a Revolutionary Guards ship, and two or three Iranian (shore) stations and an Omani station," Cosgriff told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday.
The U.S. commander also said that the American ships were clearly marked and the incident took place during the day when they could be seen. "I can't help but conclude that it was provocative," Cosgriff said.
The Pentagon has said the U.S. ships were on the verge of opening fire on the Iranian boats when they fled.
Cosgriff said the five Iranian boats were outfitted with outboard motors and carrying three to four people each.
Two of the Iranian boats went to the ship's left side, three to the right, he said. The two on the left "were more energetic and made a number of runs toward the lead ship, the USS Hopper." The two boats dumped boxes into the water.
U.S. military officials, including Cosgriff, cautioned, however, that they have not been able to connect definitively the radio call with one of the Revolutionary Guards boats.
"The ships were close enough to shore that the call could have come from a shore station, it could have come from another boat," said Cdr. Lydia Robertson, the 5th Fleet spokeswoman. "But the call did happen while the small boats were there."
Senior Revolutionary Guards commander Ali Reza Tangsiri said Iran had the right to ask any ships to identify themselves upon entering or leaving the Persian Gulf.
"It is a basic responsibility of patrolling units of the Revolutionary Guards to take necessary interception measures toward any vessels entering into the waters of the Persian Gulf," Tangsiri said, according to the Mehr news agency.
Cosgriff objected to Iranian attempts to downplay the incident.
"I hope from this lesson they realize that we are concerned by small, high-speed vessels," said Cosgriff. "I hope they understand we will take those actions we deem appropriate to defend our ships and our sailors."
Riad Kahwaji, a Dubai-based analyst with the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, said Iran may have been seeking to send a "political message" to Arab Gulf states to highlight the dangers of military confrontation.
"When somebody gets so close to a big ship then he's very likely asking for trouble or trying to provoke something," he said. "Opening fire means sparking a war. ... Does anyone really want to take that risk?"
___
Abbot reported from Cairo. Associated Press writers Ali Akbar Dareini in Tehran and Barbara Surk in Dubai contributed to this report.


My commentary:
I find it very interesting that Iran keeps insisting that they were only querying the ships for identification. As the article states, the ships had been identified previously. And who does not recognize the Flag of the United States of America??? The Muslim culture has no problem with lying to anyone's face ~ it's part of their "culture". The insisting on a dis-proven statement only shows the true decay of some members of that country and it's culture. Of course, I'm sure there were even more details, most likely top secret, that were left out. I guess we shall see what happens. I think it will be very interesting to see what the Democrats (who have no regard for the sanctity of any human life) will say if it happens again and shots are fired. To me, it feels like the tension that was present before the Iraqi War began in 2003.
And yes, I have done business with Iranians, and they will lie to your face. Through their smile.