Friday, September 28, 2007

Think positive

I feel like I've awakened in some bad movie this morning. First thing I did was call the number that was left for me yesterday...for setting up a job interview. I was pretty excited. After not being able to find the person who called me, I was transferred to Human Resources and 'she' was unable to help either. Said the person in charge was out of the office until Monday and NO ONE else would ever call me.
So, okay who called?
Transfer to voice mail. Leave a message.
I feel like I got dumped in voice mail hell.

Next I sign into my school site and click on BEGIN QUIZ! Yippee, I am going to get my midterms done before I leave! I adjust my seat, get my good glasses on, open my books and take a sip of coffee. First question, multiple choice. I hit 'save'.
IE freezes.
So I jump over to firefox and open the school board which tells me I have taken the test!
Eeek gads.
I 'wig' out.
I find my teacher's phone number. Dialed the wrong number. Second call.
Answering machine. Leave a message after pressing *1. Okay I leave a message for the second time this morning.
Okay, so email the instructor! Good idea. Did that and left her my cell phone #.

Now I feel lost in cyberspace and voice mail hell.

Ah, my teacher just called me and I am good to go. At least I can get the exam done.
Yep the day just got a whole lot brighter.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Morris, Traveling dog..

Skid Steer Boss
Originally uploaded by Xena~
Tomorrow we are going on an adventure...
Me and Morris.

We are heading to K-town to see my oldest son and his awesome wife. [yeah she is]
I enjoy visiting them and wish I could do it more often. Our lives are very busy and full of work, but we always seem to be able just to find some rare time and have fun.

Morris is looking forward to his first 'Cav' ride. He adores riding in any type of vehicle. He gets grumpy if I get on bumpy roads too. He grunts and gives me a dirty look.

I'm finishing up my midterms hopefully the testing will be done in the morning before I leave.
Morris is packin' his toys.
We got a full tank of gas...
A pack full of CD's...
We are ready...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Predawn moment

The hush before dawn
Originally uploaded by Xena~
There is this fantastic moment just before the sun actually comes over the horizon. It is a magical time that I've been trying to get out and watch as many mornings as possible.

I take my camera, my dog, Morris, and we walk to the ridge top. Not far, perhaps half a mile. There we can sit in the middle of the road. Morris can smell interesting smells and do his male dog thing of 'watering plants'.
I can sit and sip coffee and ponder the humor of sitting in the middle of the road ... literally with no fear of traffic. I watch the sky turn from an ugly grey and begin to brighten into wonderful colors.
And I think how lucky I must be. I don't think about school, about work, or about the world's problems.

I just sit and enjoy the wonderful show that Mother Nature is handing out...
and I have 'front row seats'.

Monday, September 24, 2007

My computer is down...!!!!

So on Saturday morning I get this phone call form my boss at work.

Him:*Um, the computer is not doing anything.*
Me: *Not doing anything like what?*
Him: *I turned it on and like it went to this place and it is black and I started pushing buttons and now it doesn't do anything, it like is just sitting there.*

[rolling of the eyes]
*And you pushed the buttons because.....?* I wait.

Him: *Well I thought I should DO something. So what do I do? I can't play 'freecell' now.*
[I look over at my computer just humming along nicely]
Me: *Call a tech.*
Him: *Can't you fix it?*
Me: *Um, noooo, I am not a guru, I cannot diagnosis a computer crash over the phone on something I cannot see. This sounds serious, Monday, call a tech first thing.*

Him: *Oh you can't fix it?*

So today I went to the office and turned on the computer waiting for the blue screen of death. To my surprise it booted up fine. When boss came in he said he had punched it off a bunch of times and then it came on so everything was fine....
Until suddenly it went black.
The hard drive is with the 'tech' now in the computer hospital. It probably is in ICU because of a certain person who used the program.... ID 10 T.

People who can't do anything but play freecell and cards, should not be allowed near a computer.

Press the 'any' key.
'My clipart is down!'
Why did the screen turn blue?
Oh happy days.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Okay so that is not a word. But today I make it a word. This afternoon I decided enough was enough. I went to Badger [who needs a haircut very much bad!!!!!] and decided to get out and ride. We were going to see what the storm did to our neighbor's land. What better way than to take a great mule?
The bottom photo is a picture of WHERE our trail used to be. See Badger's ears are back and he is thinking...hmmm, what is she getting me into now????

We found that Mother Nature had altered the creek enough so that we had a hard time finding safe places to cross. What I mean by that is we got into a 'suck hole' one time. Badger kept his head level and used good ol' mule power to get us out of it. I had mud splashed on my back and saddle! Woooo Weeee! Yep, I had fun with that.

The middle photo is a place where I asked Mr. Mule to cross. There was a drop, but I didn't think it was too bad. Badger refused...he got close to the edge and backed up. I urged him a second time...the second time was a charm. The edge of the bank fell away while his hooves were on it, and he did some sort of mule-move that put us back on solid ground. [Did I say I love this guy?]

The top photo is going through the broken tops maze. To find your way home Mr. Mule, you must take me safely through this nasty maze of broken oak and maple tree tops.

Oh he did too. Carefully stepping here and there, he didn't mind it at all if the branches scraped me. I really didn't mind either, we were having a ball and an adventure. We added a spice of mud and slippery slopes to the deal and it was a fantastic good time.

And people actually do other things on a Sunday afternoon?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Hawaii 2001 revisited

I spent a good part of last night thinking about my adventures with dad in Hawaii and some of the 'funnies' we had together.

Dad needed a cane to help out with his balance a bit. He did not go anywhere without it. One night I got dressed up in an old Hawaiian muumuu that had been made for my mother in 1965. I picked out the green shirt that dad had gotten from the very same trip. We were retro styling! I think we had a special dinner date that night, something a little extravagant. We headed out the door from King Kam's and started down Ali'i Drive. When we got on the rough sidewalk near the 'breaker' wall, water was splashing and things were a bit tricky for Dad.
He realized he didn't have his cane. I reached over and put my arm through his. To which he immediately pulled away saying-- *Oh don't do that, people will think I'm an old fool who can't even keep his balance.*
I had to think quick.
I was not going to have him fall and get hurt, yet I wasn't about to go back to the hotel either.

So, I put my arm firmly in his and patted his hand.

*Say, you DO know we are in Kona where NO one knows who we are. If we stroll nonchalantly down the street arm in arm, you know what all these folks are going to think?*
Dad said, *I'm an old fool and you have to hang on to me.*

*Nope,* I said, * they are going to look at you and then look at me and wonder. What the heck does that smart dressed elderly guy have that he has a young gal on his arm? They'll say 'wow, look at him, he's got something special'. In other words, Dad...*
I leaned in close and spoke into his ear. *They are thinking you are one hot fella to have a girl like me!*

Dad grinned ear to ear. *How about that?* He took my arm and we strolled down Ali'i Drive.

He forgot his cane more often in the evenings, after that. And he sure smiled a lot.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Gone Fishing...

Tying a hook
Originally uploaded by Xena~
Well today I said enough is enough! Three solid weeks of cleaning up after Mother Nature was getting to me -- yeah --

So I said to dear hubby while I made him a steak and egg 'brunch'--*What are we doing today?* I'd run the idea of going fishing past him the night before and he'd shook his head no...he simply had too much...we
work to do!

So he looked up from his plate and leaned back and said.
*Looks like we need to start...*he paused, then grinned, *getting ready to go fishing!*
I could say I would have rather gone riding. But fishing is something we both like as it is relaxing.

We took the 'little' car and loaded it up with gear and headed to the Mississippi. We spent the afternoon on the river bank, feeding worms to the fish--as we call it. We however did catch enough for a Friday night fish fry.

I like fishing. I can stare at the water and let my mind wander. Today I did a lot of reminiscing. I thought about Dad and our trip to Hawaii. I thought about how much I missed telling him things that happened in my life. And I thought about how content I was sitting on the bank,
in the warm sun, on a September afternoon.

What a splendid way to spend the day. Just goofing off.


Whew getting into these two classes CPT coding and Intermediate ICD-9 coding is getting tough. Both classes require a lot of reading of medical dictionaries, medical cases, and figuring out what a doctor may scribble down or dictate. The difference in instructors is interesting to note. One instructor just slides by with little or no interaction with the class.
Our ICD-9 instructor is a hand's on gal. She is there, questioning, guiding, and teaching. It doesn't matter where she is, she is wired to her laptop and phone --she has them turned off while she is in meetings and at a convention for coders...but every day she is available!
This is probably my biggest work load yet at school and it is really wearing me down with all the storm clean up still looming overhead, along with job interviews!

Yesterday I found 45 minutes to myself and took a walk. I think I need more of that to keep the cobwebs from getting too thick upstairs.

Okay, nothing really interesting. But I did happen upon a very nice trophy buck late yesterday. I know this fellow and see where he beds down and where he likes to walk. My goal is to catch him with film or digital.

The leaves are changing rapidly now and I get this feeling each fall of time slipping away on me. Does anyone else ever feel like that?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

One Coyote's Song...Coyote Ugly?

I love fall evening sounds, they are mostly the song of crickets and coyotes.

This isn't actually a video, but an audio I took out the window the other night ... a pack of coyotes makes a lot of noise, yet each night we hear this solitary coyote who barks and barks. He/she never seems to have anyone with him. So we are wondering if this coyote is an outcast. Hubby said this coyote sounds like he is lost.
Every night this same coyote comes and barks and barks for about 20 minutes in our creek bottom before moving off.
None of the other coyotes ever answer him/her.

[you may have to turn up the is scratchy and faint...but interesting]

Suppose he/she is
Coyote UGLY???????

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cleanup Day

There is not a lot to offer up on today's news. We worked on storm clean up. Rich did some amazing and [to me] frightening things with his tractor and skid steer. He used his tractor and the hay forks to push a tree over. Okay, the tree was dead, but dang if the tractor's front end didn't come off the ground!
Can we say--geeze I'm having a heart attack now?
Another time, I looked up from mowing the lawn in time to see little branches raining down on top of the skid steer's cab as he was pulling another one down. This tree was hung up -- a widow maker and he pulled it with a logging chain so it would fall safely to the ground. Branches caught on other branches and dead wood was flying everywhere.
But he knows what he is doing and doesn't really take any chances. [hmmm, I hope]

Morris, our JRT was in seventh heaven. He loves to ride in trucks, on tractors, and yes he adores the skid steer also. When it was time for 'dinner' I walked up to where hubby was working and motioned him in. He drove up in the skid steer and said he'd give us a ride. So I got in the bucket...but Morris did not want to ride in the bucket. He wanted to be up in the cab and 'navigate'!!! Silly dog. Talk about being in Jack Russell heaven...he stood with his back feet under hubby's seat and his front feet on the front of the cab, looking very much like he was supposed to ride there.

And my husband? The fellow who always calls Morris a dilbert, a dork, a dufus? He was grinning too.
In fact when we put things away tonight, he grabbed the dog and they rode off together in the skid steer.
I hate to say it, we worked hard today, but we also had fun.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pinky Promise Part II

Grandchildren are as precious as can be. Now after we made the Pinky Promise, Miss Ariel was an absolute doll for us, she took her nap, went to bed without a fuss...and was able to spend the night with Grandma.

I did explain though that we had to continue with her excellent behavior...and that Grandma, because of her shoulder pain would only lay down in bed with her until she fell asleep...then Grandma would go downstairs and sleep on the love-seat. This was not a problem either.
But Little Miss Ariel wanted to see Badger the mule so badly that she braved the big big yard by herself and went down to the water tank by 'the big muddy muddy place'. [I think that is a little Dora lingo there]. She hollered and hollered and hollered.
Lo and Behold a great big bay mule ambled up to the fence and stood. I watched from up by the house. MY mule came to this little girl!
This is when I knew that the next morning I was going to let Ariel ride Badger SOLO. Okay, not totally solo, but I'd let her be by herself on Badger, and I would lead him.

Bright and early the next morning, Miss Ariel was awake and cheery. She was anxious to get outside and ate a quick breakfast. She even urged Grandpa to hurry up and get moving as 'daylight' was burning! [not exactly her words]

Little did she know she was going to ride Badger. When I brought him out of the pasture, Ariel ran and got her helmet. She put it on and stood in the horse trailer doorway and asked over a dozen questions as only someone who will be 4 can do.

With Grandpa's help, we jury-rigged the buddy saddle to fit on Badger. Miss Ariel was ready to ride!

Here is her first ride, earned by the Pinky Promise.

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Pinky Promise

Lets Go Outside
Originally uploaded by Xena~
Ariel wanted to stay overnight with grandma and have a sleep over. Of course being a good grandma, I relented.
I invoked the 'Pinkie Promise'. Ariel wasn't going to stay until Sunday night so Saturday when she came over, we went for a little walk by the 'big' scary woods. I knelt down on the ground and had the following discussion with her.

Ariel, I have a special thing for just you and is a secret. But before we go into that there are a couple of things you must do for mom and dad in order to come and spend tomorrow night with me.
Ariel frowns.
What you have to do is take a nap with NO fussing what-so-ever today on Grandma's bed when I tell you it is time to take a nap, okay?
Ariel shakes her head up and down--so far so good.
Tonight Ariel when mom and dad take you to Great Grandma's house, there must be absolutely no fussing or misbehaving about going to bed.
Ariel is now getting nervous, this is a lot of stuff for a girl who will be 4 in a month and a half.

Okay, Grandma, I promise...I will. Ariel tells me.

Ah but Ariel we have a very very special way of keeping promises just between you and me, I tell her. I raise my hand and stick out my pinkie finger.
Somberly I say,
We must take the Pinky Promise Shake.

It takes Ariel a moment to figure out how to make her pinkie finger stand up...then we
And the Pinky Promise is now valid.

To Ariel's credit, she did not reveal any portion of her Pinky Promise...nor what our special shake was all about when we parted ways later that night. She reached out to hug and kiss me then stood back a bit and lifted her hand...with the Pinky out.
We shook.

And she kept her promises.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Welcome Back to School

I'm sort of doing things backwards here, first talking about my going back to school again full time. This summer's class was not difficult which was really nice because of the shoulder surgery...and the '1,000 year storm'. [I wonder who figured that one out!]
Both of my classes are medical coding. Eeek gads how terribly boring, you say. Well actually it isn't. Think of it like this. It is like talking in secret code. Telling a story of a patient with numbers. You are given a situation and have to puzzle out codes from volumes of books to tell a proper story in the proper sequence.
I find that mentally challenging which actually is good.

I'm trying a new routine now. First thing in the morning, make the coffee and bypass the computer. Take a travel cup and either catch Mr. Mule and ride him for a while, or take Morris the Terrific and walk with him to watch the sunrise on the ridgetop.
Either way it is a winning situation. I find that it clears my mind for the day and actually makes me happy to get up and going at an early hour!
This morning I was blessed with a beautiful fog that overlayed the crop land.
The sunrise wasn't actually that spectacular, but hey not each one is.

I was soaked to my knees with the morning dew. I felt refreshed. Morris was just plain soaked. He was exhausted. He went promptly to his recliner and went to sleep.

Well back at the books!