Sunday, July 8, 2012


So I am left wondering what's wrong with me...

I found out about a week ago that my sister is living with my dad's friend's son.  That sounds pretty convoluted, but it isn't.  Also, she's pregnant.  Ok, so no big, she's preggo, I will check it out.  So I get home from work, and find out that she's on the way to the hospital to have the baby.  Wow...

Also, none of this information is from her, it came from my dad to start with, and then the info about being on the way to the hospital from her fiancee's mother's wall on FaceBook.  I was incredibly hurt that she hadn't thought enough of me to call me in the last eight months or so.  I mean, really?

The next day I find out from my brother that she's back on Facebook and he has been talking to her, and knew that she was pregnant.  WTF?  Really? I can't figure out why no one has thought it worthwhile to tell me besides my dad.

You may think: "you know, you could call her too."  You're right, I could, if she wasn't known for being irresponsible and disappearing and changing all her phone numbers and email addresses for months at a time.

If we hadn't ever been close, I could understand it.  I really could, but I raised her until she was 6 when I got out of our abusive home.  I have had a tremendous amount of survivor's guilt because I left, and left her there.  I tried to help her when our mom tried to kill her when she was 15ish, when she turned her back on me and chose a life with people who let her do whatever she wanted.  I get that, she's a kid, she wants to have fun and do what she wants to do, not what someone else tells her is best.  Later, I let her and her husband move in with me and my husband because his parents owned the house they lived in and were giving them all kinds of hell.  She never paid rent, she was there for 2 months and never pitched in on anything, but bought groceries once.  She didn't work, and we let her drive our car and move like 4 freaking cats in with us.

When her grandmother died (she and I have different fathers), her Aunt called me so that I could get ahold of her and let her know, first when she was sick, and then when she actually died.  Because they didn't know how to get ahold of her.  When I finally did get ahold of her, after jumping through all kinds of hoops because, finding her and letting her know was the right thing to do: she never even said "Thanks."  Never mind that I went to a lot of trouble to find her.

Now, she has finally friended me on Facebook again, and I go to her page to see what she's been up to and I am hurt all over again.  There are pictures of her at her baby shower and all.  I should be there for those things.  I'm hurt that she doesn't want anything to do with me, and doesn't even seem to care anything about me.

How do I stop caring?  How do I not be hurt?  I don't know, but sometimes I really wish that I could just cut hurtful people out of my life like they have cut me to the bone.  It would be so much easier.

I can't help but wonder if one of the big lessons that I am supposed to learn in this life is pain and suffering, because I sure do get a lot of it.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cleaning out my closet

For years, I have done what a lot of women do: held on to shit I can't wear.   I went shopping one day last week with my husband.  We came to an agreement:  I would try things on and decide what felt good, he told me what looked good.  This worked out well for us since I practically avoided the mirror, and he is the weird man who enjoys shopping.

It made me realize something.  I am hanging on to the past.  I have the past hanging in my closet and taking up space in my drawers.  I am not the past anymore, I am a new woman.  I have new hopes and dreams, and new goals.  It felt good to be in things that actually fit.

As much as it pains me, I will probably never fit into a size 10 anything again.  But that's ok.  I don't need to be a size 10 to be happy.  I will continue to work on my health, through diet and exercise, and as I shrink, I will be rewarded with new clothes.  Clothes that help accentuate who I am today, not who I was a decade or more ago.

I like the person I have become, and while I have a few items that I am hanging on to, I am cleaning out my closets!  Give me time to be realistic and weed it all out, but, I am facing who I am in the mirror, and I am proud to be me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My garden this year

So I've been asked what I am growing this year.  I am going to run down the list.  Also, keep in mind, I am growing all this in a duplex apartment, with no outside faucet.

*Sugar Daddy Peas

*Super Snappy Peas

*Blue Lake Pole Beans

*Red Beefsteak Tomatoes


*Straight Eight Cucumbers


*Mediterranean Oregano


*Mint julep

*Pineapple Mint

*Chocolate Mint

*Golden Cayenne

*Yellow Bell Pepper


*All Seasons Romaine Lettuce

*Looseleaf Lettuce Mix- includes Black Seeded Simpson, Red Salad Bowl, Royal Oak Leaf, Lollo Rossa, & Salad Bowl

*[5 peppers from a Hot Pepper Mix

*[2 Peppers from a Sweet Heirloom Mix

I think that's everything!  If I could figure out how to grow more, I totally would!

Revolving list of places I want to camp/hike

So, if you are curious about where I want to camp and/or hike, check back here frequently.  I will keep adding to this list as I can.  I also plan to try and write on each hike.

*Bald River Falls just outside Tellico and our second favorite campground. North River Campground: Adjacent to North River. Some sites overlook the river. North River is floatable at most of the year Ten tent sites. No flush toilets, no hot showers. Water spigot. Directions: From Tellico Plains, TN, take State Rt. 165 east 9.8 miles to the North River campground sign (Forest Rt. 217). Turn left onto Rt. 217 and go 2.7 miles to campground sign. Turn right into campground. Thanks to my friend Angela Kelsey for the info and inspiration!

* Panther Creek State Park: Maple Arch Double Loop.
   Found in -Five Star Trails Knoxville, Johnny Molloy
   *** difficulty
   5.5 mile double loop
   dogs allowed?

* Smoky Mountains: Alum Cave Bluff.
   Found in -Five Star Trails Knoxville, Johnny Molloy
   *** difficulty
   4.6 miles out and back
   No dogs allowed, don't go on weekends

* Smoky Mountains: White Oak Sink.
   Found in -Five Star Trails Knoxville, Johnny Molloy
   ** difficulty
   4.6 miles out and back
   No dogs allowed, don't go on weekends

*Cherokee National Forrest: Slickrock Creek Loop
   Found in -Five Star Trails Knoxville, Johnny Molloy
   *** difficulty
   6.4 mile balloon loop

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Thoughts on upset folks & family

So I got married.  I had a beautiful ceremony with some of the people I love best in the world in attendance and helping with the ceremony.

I am Pagan.  This means that it was not a traditional Christian ceremony.  I did that once.  This was so much more me and more important to me than that first ceremony ever was.

So, I am getting a lot of hurt feelings vibes from members of my family.  I am trying to figure out how to handle those hurt feelings when I made my own decisions and purposefully didn't invite a bunch of people out of respect for their religion and their comfort.

I wish that my dad could have attended, but let's face it, he would have been intensely uncomfortable and I would have spent a large part of the day worried about him and his comfort and not enjoying my wedding.  That doesn't sound like what this special day was supposed to be to me.  

Since the wedding, or, more accurately, the handfasting,  I feel like I am getting the silent treatment from my dad, his fiancee, and a lot of the rest of my family.  This really hurts me.  I have went out of my way to not offend them or make them feel uncomfortable.  This includes withholding my religion from them.

I know my family, and I know that my dad would be the most understanding of all of them and he would still be very disappointed in me because he feels like the only way to heaven is through Jesus.  It just isn't the way I feel.  It's not my path.

So for my trouble of trying to spare other people's feelings and emotions, I feel like I am being shunned from my family.  My dad hasn't returned my phone calls, and I am worried that he is mad at me, which is what I do- I worry.   So I am almost ready to be over it and come out to my family.  I just hope that I can do it in an appropriate way and not totally alienate everyone.  I do still care what they feel, even if they don't care about what I feel.

I'm just frustrated and hurt.  I thought my family cared more about me than that.   Maybe my true family was with me that day, and those are the only ones that matter.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Trying to remain positive

So, I took some photos today, intending to show myself how I was doing with my diet and exercise.  What ended up happening was me feeling badly about myself.  They look exactly like pictures I took last September.  Maybe a little worse.

What I am trying to get through my head is that right after I took those pics, I fell off the wagon, and I put on a lot of weight.  I also wasn't really weighing myself regularly at that time.

I am trying to keep up positive thoughts by remembering, that at my heaviest, i was 242 pounds, and I refused to log it on my Spark People site because I was in denial.  Something had to be wrong with the scales.  Even though they are the ones the hospital uses every day.  I was retaining water.  Something.  Anything.  I had a real hard time with that.

The truth is that for some reason last fall, I put on about 20 pounds in about 3 months.  That's hard on a body.  Anyone's body. I keep telling myself that I have come a long way from 242 pounds, and am now at 228.7 (as of yesterday) and that I need to keep up the good work!

I mean, really, losing 14 pounds is no small feat.  That took a lot of sweat, a lot of good choices, and I can lose even more.  I just have to keep reminding myself, keep up the will power and drive and get off my butt and exercise.

Hey, I got into a size smaller pants yesterday :)  That should keep me going for a while!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Feeling disappointed and let down

So, I worked hard and got accepted to Walter State's LPN to RN bridge that starts in a week and a half.  My advisor at the career center referred me to a lady in a different department for some possible sponsorship for my fees and all.

That lady told me (and my friend) that there should be no problem getting us sponsored because they had not helped us with anything.

Today is the deadline to have my tuition and fees paid.  I can't get a student loan, not eligible for financial aid like pell grants, and I can't get the lady on the phone.  The last time I talked to her was Tuesday when I was on my way up for orientation.  I feel like she is avoiding talking to me. I really just want to know one way or the other.

I think that's fair.  I appreciate that she is trying to get me some sponsorship, but I think she should return my phone calls or answer my emails or something.  Just tell me- what did the head boss man in Atlanta say?  Have we even heard back from him?  Anything would be helpful.

Depression is creeping up on me since I'm not hearing back form her, because if she can't help, then I can't go.

I don't want to have to wait and be in a program that takes longer.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Getting healthier... little things leading to success

So, I thought it might be good for me to sit down and write about the things that are adding up to success for me and what they mean to me right now.

First thing is, I have been asking Raven nonstop if he notices a difference in my body since I have been losing weight.  What I keep hearing is "Not really, I see you everyday."  That changed Sunday afternoon.  With out being asked or anything, he finally saw a huge change in how I look and what my body is doing.  All he had to say was "DAYUM BABY!"


I had another a-ha moment at school today when a class mate asked me how much weight I have lost, and told me that is shows and I look great.  While I still don't feel like I have lost a huge amount (12 pounds), I know it does make a difference, and I can't wait until I have lost a lot more.

Some of the things that are making me successful are knowing that I need to portion things.  When I started playing at trying to lose weight last year, i invested in a digital scale from Walmart.  Some of the best money I have spent.  While $20 is not a lot, it has sure been worth it to me.  I have found that if I portion things out and have snacks and meals ready, i do a lot better.  I don't have to guess what a portion is, or spend time getting it all ready every morning before I leave.  I have a basket of snacks ready to go on the table, and my lunches made up in the fridge.  I throw it in my lunch box and head out the door.

Taking the extra time to cook up food and portion it is a big time saver, and a waist saver.  When I come home from the store, any snack that is not already in individual portions gets put that way fast.  I refuse to chance eating a whole bag of snack mix and ruining my diet for the week by being lazy.  It also doesn't take me any longer to cook 4 chicken breasts than it does to cook 2, and I have at least 2 lunches done for the next couple of days.

Learning to weigh and measure things has been a big step for me.  It takes dedication to make yourself weigh or measure everything you put in to your body.  Committing to doing it, and following through is making my goals turn in to realities.  I had this conversation today with another class mate who asked me what I was doing to lose weight.  Measuring what you put in to your body is crucial.

Not circling the parking lot for a close space.  I don't mind the walking any more.  Even if I'm in a hurry, I still park where ever I happen to find a space and just go on in.  It may not seem like a lot of extra walking, but every step adds up.

Being dedicated to getting my workouts in during the week.  I know that in order to be successful at my goals, I have to work for it.  I didn't gain all this weight overnight and there is no magic pill or word that is going to take it off overnight.  I have to earn it.  It's not going to be easy.  It is going to require continued dedication, sweat, and probably a few unkind names to my treadmill.  It's ok, she can take it.

Anyway, those are some things I have thought about lately, and I thought it might help someone else... or inspire someone to get to work themselves.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Role modeling

I've come to a conclusion lately.

Being a role model is kind of awesome.

I've had several people tell me that I have inspired them to start exercising more.  That makes me feel fabulous.  I can't even begin to describe the pride I have in myself thinking that I have led people to get healthier.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Woe is my beans...

So, I have asked at few different places how to get rid of rolly pollies.  I planted my Kentucky Wonders in the same pots and place that I had them last year, and one of the pots was overrun with rolly pollies who were demolishing my tender new bean plants!  I was furious!  Those little buggers can eat a lot of things in my yard, but not my veggies!

This has posed quite a problem for me since I hate using chemicals on my garden, which is why I don't even try to grow broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage any longer.

Any way, I read that I should sink a little jelly jar into the dirt there, and fill it with stale beer and make sure the dirt goes right up to the edge.  The idea is that the little buggers will go up for a drink, fall in, and drown.

Guess what?  It worked.  I no longer have a heard of rolly pollies devouring my beans!  YAY!

Next problem to fix

Now, I need to come up with an inexpensive way to disguise the unsightly storage area next to the house.  We rent, so there is not a lot I can do, and I have to keep the garbage cans and the grill here.

See what I mean, it's UG-LEE!

I also would like to have a cheap way to fix the atrocity that the landlord calls a storage shed.  It is a structure with four sides, a roof and a floor; however, the roof leaks horribly and the floor is rotting out.  This is a problem too, since that is where we keep the weed eater and the lawn mower.

Good news though, I think the majority of my flowers will be here tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


So, today I got a lot more done in the gardens outside!  I finished cleaning out the bed i made last year, and I finished putting down the landscaping fabric and edging the new bed along the back of the house.  I also built the frame for my hot pepper bed.

I was quite please with myself building the bed.  A friend donated the lumber for it, and let me borrow a circular saw so I could cut the boards to length.  I pretended not to notice when the older gentleman in Lowe's was trying not to laugh at the idea of lil ole me building anything with a hammer, nails and a power saw.  I didn't cut myself any and I only smashed my thumb once!  YAY ME!

View from the front.
So this is the new hot pepper bed.  Now I just need to get raven to dig up the grass from under it, and flip the whole thing over, driving the little corner posts into the ground.  That will hold the bed still and keep it from getting bumped and moved around.

This is the new bed along the back of the house.  You can see the two new Heirloom Beefsteak tomato plants already in the ground.  I am also planning on putting my sweet pepper plants in this bed.  I had originally wanted to put some peas and a cucumber plant in there too and let them climb frames.  I just don't know if I have the room there or not now that it's done.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Before" pics of the yard.

Well, sort of before, LOL.  I did make the bed in front of the wooden fence today, and all the other stuff is more or less, left over from last year.  

The flower bed I put in today

This picture was made from the front of our place.  The rain barrel sits on the corner of the porch directly to the right, the driveway is right there also.  This bed has 2 roses in it currently, though I have some things ordered for it. I can't wait until they get here.  The things included for this bed are :  a zebra grass for the back corner, a passion flower clematis to climb the fencing, some balloon flowers, Ithuriel's spears,a purple d'Oro lily, poppy anemones, some lewisia, and a sedum border.  Some of the items came in a larger amount that I will use, so I may end up giving some of the extra plants away if I don't find a spot for them all in the other spots. 

Future location of raised bed.
This photo shows the side yard of the house and the lumber that a friend donated to me so that I can build a raised bed to keep my hot peppers away from everything else.   Incidentally, this is where I am going to put that raised bed. 

You can kind of see the side area here.  That big pot on the right of the frame has Sugar Daddy peas in it.  There are some smaller pots that you can sort of see to the left that have Kentucky wonder pole beans in them.  

In this picture, you can see one of the pots that has beans in it.  The window box planter on the ground has spinach in it, the two on the table have 2 kinds of lettuce in them.  There is a small pot next to the house on that table that has oregano in it.   The bed to the left of this picture still needs some work coming out of the spring.  The 3 pots in the front of it have 3 kinds of mint: mint julep, chocolate mint, and pineapple mint.  There is also a basil plant there, as well as a citronella with marigolds planted all around it in the big pot (back right of the bed) and the big pot to the left has evening primrose, the beige pot in front of that has white sage planted in it.   Immediately next to this bed, you can see the bamboo stakes where my tomatoes go.  

Now, you can see the back of the apartment.  I plan on closing in a narrow bed around the tomatoes and running it along the back of the apartment and I have sweet peppers to go in there, and a cucumber, some dill and super snappy peas.  

i think I have my hands full this year, but it sure does feel good!

Rain barrel and spring gardening

So, the little bit of gardening that I did last year reminded me of how much I love it and how badly I was missing it.  With that said, to benefit my mental and spiritual health (not to mention that it's great exercise!), I have decided to invest in gardening this year.

I should say that I really don't know how to do anything half way, so I am transforming the little yard around my duplex and making it a lush. crop yielding oasis.  I took lots of pictures today after I was pretty sure I'd finished for the evening, so that there can be some measure of what all I have done.

The first thing I am going to post is about the rain barrel.  Since my water is included in my rent, the last thing I needed was for the landlord to start complaining about me running up the water bill, even though I am improving his property value. So, I have created a rain barrel.  I'm just going to give you all a link to the article I used to make mine.

I bought a cheap plastic garbage can with a lid from Lowe's along with the other supplies.

I have less that $20 in it all told, and I am sitting it on some upside down Pepsi crates so that it is above ground level (water can't run uphill).  I've uploaded some pics of it via the blogger app on my phone, so you guys can see them.

Rain barrel

Here is an up close look at the spigot I put on the rain barrel, and the Pepsi crates I have it sitting on.

And a picture that shows the whole thing. It is sitting underneath where the downspout from the gutter is supposed to be.  Last time it rained, it filled up the barrel in about 20 minutes.

My neighbor tells me that her husband is always throwing out food grade barrels at work.  I told her to have him bring me one and I will have a big one and an overflow so when we hit the dry part of the season, it won't be a big deal to water.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shocked and Apalled

I really should be sleeping but I can't get my mind of of the last thing I did at school today. I'm doing my mental health rotation, and today I was with the mobile crisis ten of oak ridge.

There want really anything going on, and you can't schedule a crisis so I spent some time going through old call sheets. They keep a record of every call they receive, and I saw that a lot of calls are for people seeking drug and alcohol rehab. most of the records show that the client was advised to go to the ER to be evaluated so I asked the team what kind of treatment options are out there.

There are very few places that most people would consider 'rehab.' Most programs are a few days in the hospital to stabilize clients and then they are discharged and expected to do out patient treatment.

There are NO rehab programs available for meth. As big a problem that the hillbilly heroin is, if you get on it, there is no help if you want to get off of it. I was horrified.

I just needed to take a minute to get that out because it had been bothering me ever since I heard it.

What do you guys think?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Genetic Engineering and Eugenics in Modern Obstetrics

An important topic for discussion for any nurse considering women’s health nursing is genetic engineering and eugenics.  Many people may choose to ignore the reality of this topic, citing religious beliefs. However, science and technology is rapidly approaching a time when many things that were once considered science fiction are becoming a reality. The modern obstetrical nurse needs to be prepared to face these issues when she enters the work force.
            Science is taking us farther every day, and it is far from finished with the journey.  A medical fact that is discussed in doctor’s offices far more than we probably realize is genetic engineering.  The subject matter can be presented in several lights.  It can be as unimpeachable as checking the genetic markers in a fetus for their likelihood of developing Huntington’s disease or as blatant as designing one’s own child right down to their eye color.  
BBC News reports about a six year old boy who had a rare and serious illness.  Neither his parents nor his younger sister were a good enough genetic match for treating his disorder with a bone marrow transplant, so they made a sibling who was a good match.  His parents made a match for him.  That’s right; they just threw together the scientific magic and test tube mixing that created a baby specifically to be a donor child for their ill son. 
            Even the most open minded individuals can be caught off guard when confronted with the realities of modern genetic engineering. It is not something that we often think of, but society as a whole is moving towards the acceptance of it. There are references to genetic engineering in ObamaCare in as much as using eugenics for its cost savings benefits.  It is a valid point.  Think about this:  they are weighing the cost effectiveness of determining in utero whether a person will make a productive adult or be dependent their entire lives.
            An article in Forbes suggests that science will never be able to write the complete genetic code from the ground up, but the Human Genome Project is making progress every day.  There are plenty of scientists and ethicists who claim that eugenics and gene therapy is and is not moral and/or ethical.  There are pamphlets available to anyone who cares to see about how exactly cloning, genetic engineering and stem cell harvesting can be done and how it can benefit an ailing family.  One can assume that as your bank account grows, so too do your options for creating the perfect little family and the pamphlets for gene therapy may be stacked right alongside the ones for STIs and planned parenthood.  Eugenics does bring a whole new connotation to “planned parenthood” doesn’t it?
            Simple eugenics is already in action in our town, in the offices of every obstetrician in practice when we test fetuses for Down’s Syndrome, or view an ultrasound and make the decision to abort a fetus that has severe congenital anomalies. Human kind is already benefitting from this, and can benefit further if we can prevent diseases such as Tay-Sach’s, Sickle Cell Anemia, and Cystic Fibrosis.  We must recognize that these are not the only implications and sometimes we will be hard pressed to maintain our composure and keep our opinions to ourselves.  It will become part of the essence of professional nursing care to recognize elective surgeries and procedures no matter what form they come in and carry out our duties to our clients.
            This topic was not intended to pit one side against the other, or to vilify anyone; merely to raise the issue that as professionals we will be providing care for these women and their babies.  We owe it to our clients and ourselves to stay apprised of advances in medicine that make it more and more likely that we will encounter this.  We cannot hide from technology, but we can embrace it and enrich ourselves and the lives of our clients if we are better educated.

(2010). Disease Elimination. Future Human Evolution.  Retrieved from
(2010). Eugenics, Genetic Engineering Lite. Future Human Evolution.  Retrieved from
Brochures for Patients: Human Cloning and Genetic Modification. Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. Retrieved from
Knapp, Alex. (September 15, 2011). Is Ethical Human Genetic Enhancement Possible.  Forbes. Retrieved from
Taranto, James. (March 15, 2010). ObamaCare and Eugenics.  The Wall Street Journal.  Retrieved from
Walsh, Fergus. (October 20, 2004). Brother’s tissue ‘cures’ sick boy.  BBC News. Retrieved from
Wilcken, B. (September 27, 2011). Ethical issues in genetics. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 47(9), 668-671. Doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2011.02168.x Retrieved from

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thought provoking

So I am coming off of a stomach bug that may or may not have been the cause of my three day migraine from hell last week. I felt awful, I couldn't get anything done and I felt like a narcoleptic in class.  It sucked. I am however, thankful to be more back to my old self today.  I still have some residual nausea, but I am able to think and concentrate.

That sure does make it easier to study and make progress on projects for school.

So the current project that I am up to is a research paper for Obstetrics.  I don't really know that I could count it as a research paper since it is only supposed to be two pages long, but it is on current trends in modern obstetrics.  There are several suggestions that we can use, or we can come up with our own, and leave it to me to come up with something controversial and, I think, thought provoking.

I am sure that it will do it's fair share of pissing people off and making them call me all sorts of names. It's ok, I can take it, at least I will make people think.  I think that once I'm finished with the paper, I'll post it here for who ever is interested to read.

The topic I have chosen is "Genetic Engineering and Eugenics in Modern Obstetrics."

Hehehe, what do you think?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Any HTC geniuses listening?

I can't get my phone to sync, still, and it's making me nuts.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Totally frustrated!

So Raven and I got some spiffy new phones on black Friday. I love my phone. It's the first one I've ever had that was Android. However, I'm having trouble with sync. I have my brain in my calendar and I can't get freaking google Cal to sync. I can put stuff on the phone and it never shows up on the net and vice versa. I can't even get it to connect to my computer. This is getting being annoying...

Part picture point of google calendar was so that Raven and I could see the other one's schedule and not have to constantly update our remind or something. Good grief!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Good things

So, a friends has given me the suggestion that each day I should write something good about me and something good about someone else.

I am waaay too tired to get into why right now but I will go ahead and start this today.

Me: today I made a classmate smile because I made a point to tell her about observing Hogmanay. She's Scottish and I knew she'd get a kick out of it.

Other: my new teacher gave me the benefit of the doubt and let me turn in assignments that she'd given grades on, even though I was the only student who couldn't get to school because of the weather yesterday.

I are totally exhausted now and going to pass out now.