Sunday, January 30, 2011

Plot Summaries of Some Stuff I Have Read So Far This Year

"Betty Zane" by Zane Grey, a free ebook:

Fleeing the city for an adventurous life in the country, the young frontier woman in “Betty Zane” encounters battles with Shawnee Indians while while defending Fort Henry and her own private battles of the heart in deciding which brave frontiersman will win her love.  Betty shows formidable grit in this post American Revolutionary story of survival during the dangerous Westward Expansion. Author, Zane Grey, a descendant of Elizabeth "Betty" Zane became famous with this first novel that broke the ground for his career in writing western sagas. 

Mary Phinney Von Olnhausen; The Adventures of an Army nurse in Two Wars; a free ebook:

A descendant of immigrants that stepped off the Mayflower, aristocratic, yet poor and widowed Mary Von Olnhausen is deeply compelled to nurse wounded soldiers for the North at the beginning of the Civil War.   Mary battles against the aristocratic doctors, mistreatment of soldiers, disasterous conditions imposed by the war, and the horrors of corruption found in the running and establishing of Army hospitals in various locations such as Mansion House Hospital in Alexandria outside Washington D.C. I haven't finished reading this one yet!

Wesley the Owl; this book was given to me by my sister and can be found in bookstores.  The book is absolutely absorbing and there is also a website linked to Wesley and his girl. 

Keeping a wild predator as a pet is usually not an ethical decision except in the true story found in the book "Wesley the Owl", where exceptional circumstances take place for Stacey O'Brien, a wildlife biologist, to save a barn owl's life. In the course of near 20 years Stacey documents, records, and has an amazing relationship with Wesley that is unforgettable. 

"Dracula" by Brom Stoker: free ebook.

"Dracula" is an intense look at the "New Woman" in the Victorian era of Nineteenth Century London, England.  Mina Murry fights against an evil that slowly reveals itself once it has been mysteriously transported from it's ancient European roots in Transylvania by boat to London where a devilish vampire sets it's sites on her life blood. Without the devotion she draws from those around her and her clever resourcefulness, the crew of light would not be able to free themselves from their defeat, doubt, and dire straits. (go girl power!)

William Faulkner's short story, "A Rose for Emily": found in many places on the internet. 

Emily, a bossy heir and the last of her family, in Faulkner's short story “A Rose for Emily”, lives in a gossipy town, where she remains alone after years of yearning for love and marriage in post civil war era.   Her high and mighty southern upbringing compels her to keep up appearances even beyond the grave. 

Does this make you want to read?  I think this is really fun.  Here is the game, you have to answer who, what, where, when, why and how in 3 sentences or less without giving the ending away.  I have read other books this year, but these are some of the best ones, or the ones I mostly have finished. 

Leave a comment with your latest read!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Random things I Learned Since Going Back To School

Casio FX 300ES Scientific Calculator

  1. My youngest kiddo is speech delayed (and I thought he liked everyone talking for him!)
  2. Midterms and Finals make bad hair weeks, and makes your family avoid you at all costs.
  3. My eyesight is worse than ever before, not only is there not ENOUGH time to study but now there are eye appointments. (picked up blended bifocals yesterday....bah!)
  4. Kids cannot attend daycare without biannual flu shots
  5. If I knew I was so good at jumping through hoops I might have done this sooner or joined the circus!
  6. Do not ever ever think the worst, or the best of any class until FINAL GRADES are posted. 
  7. Do not  ever click the "I give UP show me the answer" button it weakens your score
  8. There are many ways to curve a test, and professors use that knowledge when you never give up
  9. My husband all of a sudden became a GAME GOURMET CHEF, which was fortunate otherwise we might have starved this past semester.  It was handy but more than that delicious!
  10. How to do permutations and other keys on my calculator.
  11. This one is very IMPORTANT for Nook users....Nookstudy is NOT the same as Nook for pc, get the right free download or you could LOSE YOUR ENTIRE LIBRARY!!!

Applying for School

It is kinda stressful knowing that you are one of 300 people applying for 74 spots in a nursing school.  Here in my local area it is more like 70 people applying for 16 spots.  I am practicing for my nurse entrance exam right now. I found an online website to do this. Plus the TEAS website offers practice problems yet I cannot seem to find them.  The application is 16 pages long. Is that scary or crazy?  SCARY CRAZY!!

It is hard to figure all this out all by yourself.  It is good to talk to lots and lots of people especially administrators.  So often advisors aren't around.  They are pretty busy people and for some reason they are not always the best help. They are important though, because their important signiture is very important at the beginning of each semester.

I learned a strategy recently from my last Chemistry homework online by Sapling.  I couldn't figure out a problem for the life of me.  I used my textbook, I used google, and I used the hints available.  Nothing worked, I still got the problem wrong every single time yet......I never hit the button that said "give up and see the answer".  I kept clicking the "try again" button.  After doing the problem 23 times I ended up getting it right and in this case got partial credit for the problem.

Never give up, keep on trying!

Friday, January 28, 2011


So far January has been full of paperwork and me spending whole weeks going from office to office trying to get people to do their jobs. I am convinced that smaller universities and colleges are more efficient.

Nurse clipart

After all the glitches in my student account I have been applying to Nursing school.  The paperwork alone and the to do list took weeks.  The list is getting smaller though.  I can recall real quick some things left to do.

  • Redo CPR training
  • get a new First Aid card that I lost
  • full medical checkup
  • chest x-ray
  • entrance exam
  • get my house ready to sell
  • pack up my house
  • move half my family 4000 miles

I have a detailed list even longer add to that my last four classes that started January 10th!  I didn't get signed up for them until a week after they began and I am still waiting for one book to get here.  I am behind the ball again.  Catching up is something I seem to be good at.

This semester I am taking Lifespan, English, Microbiology, and Computer Systems.

Crossing my fingers that my app is in good standings!

Now back to work, school, Girl Scouts, and kids!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Poop Wars

I have the smartest kid in the world...maybe.  When he was two and a half years old, we purchased tons of training pants for him and taught him how to wee wee in the potty.  All summer long he performed for anyone, as long as he was asked, walked to the bathroom, and as long as he was helped to pull up and down his drawers.  So what is the deal with doing number 2?   His third birthday has come and gone.  We have discussed matters, read books about these matters, and he has even sat in on many expert runs with mom, pop, sis, and big brother.  It hasn't worked.  We have now resorted to buying pull ups with Toy Story characters on them because he likes them. They are always dry...however, sometimes very stinky, and full of well you know, POOP!

How is it a little person can have all the ability to urinate on demand but not defacate?  Why do they hide the fact that they have done it, why do they want to sit in it?  What did I do to my mom to deserve this?

Today, I caught him in the act.  You know the look.  He is quiet...which never happens, he is still...which NEVER happens, and he was in a precariously relaxed squatting position!  So I scoop him up and set him on the pot. After 5 minutes with no poop I relent after much wining to let him leave the bathroom only with no Toy Story pants on his bottom and he has to keep coming back to the potty to continue trying every 5 minutes. Well this commenced into POOP WARS!  He decided to make my life hellahellish for the evening by squealing, whining, tugging, hiding, and refusing to stay seated on the potty. He really wanted his pull-up back on so he could finish his business, the boy was probably getting constipated at this point.  After an hour I resorted to bribery, YES! BRIBERY!!!  I told him he could have a cookie if he would go poopie.  It didn't work.  He snuck the cookie behind my back while I was doing dishes and cleaning up more messes that people make for me from our New Years Celebrations, and when I say people I mean the other children and husband that live here.

After suffering all night through a bare bottomed, terrified to go poop, three year old, and listening to his tears, screaming, and fits, his dad resorted to playing the guitar to him... in the bathroom - YES in the bathroom with a guitar -  while they both sat, and waited........ for poop. I kinda think this is hilarious.  I have potty trained 4 children successfully, you would THINK I would have it all figured out by now.

If you stop by and hear Johnny Cash or Willie songs coming from the bathroom, then just know it is our new potty program to stop the potty wars.  Who knows if this delivery system will work.  For now at least it is a bit more peaceful.  So far no poop.  We will keep trying.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Account on Hold

The holidays are over and it is nearly time to get back to work.  When I say work, I mean working to make people work so that I can continue to go to school.  My mind keeps wondering about that check in the mail that was sent a month ago to my university.  Where could the letter be now? In someone's box, on an assistants desk, in a pile waiting to be discovered or worse....LOST!!!!  Will I be terminally "account on hold"?

The result of my "hold" situation is that I cannot see my grades, sign up for classes that I need to start in a few weeks, AND most importantly apply to the nursing school that starts in August.  I cannot send ANY transcripts.  I thought I fought the registrar and won back in November and AGAIN in December but no.  I lose because they lost paperwork in November or didn't do their job therefore, I am delayed months in getting money to pay off my semester.

I have made all A's, I have paid everything on time in the past yet I now feel frustrated and punished for THEIR paperwork mistake.  I wonder how many people this happens to. I wonder if this is punishment for not taking a student loan.  I wonder how many people have touched the envelope that has my money in it by now.

I cannot wait to stop being the college mommy, so the sooner and faster I can get it done the better. Cross your fingers this week that all things will work out for me!

I go back in to see the Registrar on Monday.