Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

There's a lot to be thankful for all the time, but here are a few of my highlights. Sound off in the comments about what you are thankful for this year!

I'm thankful for my husband who supports me in all my craziness and even encourages me. He makes it all worth while!
I'm thankful for my job and the fact that it gives me the opportunity to help people. So far the people I work with have been awesome and I've looked forward to going in each night. Some of them think I'm weird to be so excited to be there, but this place has real potential to be the best and I have the opportunity to help make that happen with them.
I'm thankful that today I get to start evening shift on the locked ward. It's a big deal and I'm going to meet the most interesting people there. Added bonus, my patients will be awake and interactive and I get to sleep with my husband at night! Yay!

I'm thankful that the kittens I first saw in October have come inside and are slowly getting used to us. It's been less than a week and already they will lay out in the open and eat in front of us. They don't like being touched yet, but we can approach them with out them freaking out now. I think they are between 8 and 10 weeks old and we have no idea what their sexes are yet. It'll be a surprise.


Kate our gray chicken hurt her leg, but she's healing up and we're all thankful she is back outside with the other chickens. I don't think she liked being inside and watching her hobble around out there makes me smile. Hopefully in a few weeks she'll be back to normal!

Healing nicely!

Yesterday we discovered our first egg! I think Alexis laid it. It's tiny, but perfectly formed. I hope they stay spotted!

The first egg!
I'm super thankful that my household has come through this year almost intact and has even managed to grow a bit We will never be the same, but we are in the homestretch now and 2015 is going out on a super high note. I'm really thankful for everything I have and the chances we will have. 
Life is great and I get to find the awesome in every day. That is something to be thankful for. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I got a job!

I started my new job at a mental/physical rehab center about a week ago and it's been great! At first I was sad that I had missed my chance at the hospital job, but I'm really glad my second choice had an opening. The only full time they had was graveyards, but I'm grateful to have gotten it.
I'm getting used to working the graveyard shift faster than I thought I would. The first few days I was a zombie and I was so tired I felt nauseous and dizzy. I could only catch 2-3 hours of sleep and it was miserable. My husband drove me for the first few days until I was more accustomed to the shift. I really appreciated that (he probably kept me from squishing myself and others) and now I'm able to sleep an almost normal number of hours in a row and I'm feeling better.
I'm really enjoying getting to know my patients and the other staff there are really helpful. I haven't gotten my access card yet so anytime I need to use the loo or get supplies I have to get someone to let me in. No one has complained or refused me yet and they help me when I ask. I wish the training period was more than 3 days so I could learn the unit better and have my card before I'm on my own, but that's what school was for. I think it's going well though.
I hope I will be happy there and it feels really good to be out in the world again.

It's starting to bloom!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My Book is finished!

Here is the big project I've been working on. I won't admit how long it took, but it took well over a week. Most of that time was me fussing with the paper and getting the folds just right. I love how it came out! I got the know how from Sea Lemon  on YouTube. She has some really great videos that are fun to watch.

All sewn up.

I used upholstery thread in three colors to sew the signatures together. It was soothing and the needle was dull so I couldn't hurt myself. I think that was my favorite part, although after sewing for a while my fingers were sore. 
I needed my husband to help me get it in the press (2 cutting boards with clamps) the first time. Paper can be slippery and I was afraid of popping my stitches.

Pretty ribbons!
In my usual fashion I went a bit overboard with the project. I watched the videos so many times I knew exactly where to stop it for the part I needed. I just wanted it to turn out well and not be like any other Book out there.

I love this fabric!
For the spine wrapping I chose a really pretty print. I wanted something better than an old sheet scrap to hold it together. My knowing that it's there makes me smile.

Super soft cover!
The blue leather I used to cover it was what set off this whole project. I originally got it to make power bags 10 or so years ago. I made the bags I needed then put the rest away, I had forgotten I even had it. 
Then I found it again when I was looking to re-cover my old Book. It's a 3-ring binder that I rarely use because it's hard to hold and bites me when I rearrange the pages. I wanted to breathe new life into it, or at least make peace with it. My poor husband said I should make a Book myself. That started the wheels turning and I was off!

The front paper is great!

On our anniversary weekend he took me to get the ribbons, glue and the end paper so I could finish it. He also got me the little corner caps. He's so sweet!

A little wrinkled, but that's ok.
I added a pen holder to both covers so it will always a pen when I need one. The back paper came out a bit wrinkled. I probably moved it getting it back in the press, but I think it adds character.

It opens well!

The real test was opening and shuffling the pages. The Book worked like a charm and nothing fell out. It even opens nice and flat for easy writing and reading. I was a little worried it would be stiff; I went a bit crazy with the glue.

The perfect touch of  bling.

I love the little brass corner protectors. They are pretty and functional. I want to try and emboss a swirly pattern on the cover to really finish it off. I hope it works, if not it still looks great!

It's a big Book!
I'm really proud of how it turned out, especially since this was my first time making a Book. It's around 500 leaves and is 11" x 8" x 3". It's the perfect size for recording a lot of info while still being manageable. I can comfortably hold it while standing if I want. 
I am very happy with my Book and now I need to find my ruler so I can start using it! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

I can't believe it's been so long!

Yesterday was our 11th wedding anniversary and I was lucky enough to spend it having fun with my husband. I can't believe it's been so long, it feels like only yesterday that we got married.
 He got us a chocolate mousse cake from Costco that I had been wanting for a few months. He even made sure to get the one with the least amount of white on it because I like chocolate better. It was the perfect cake, very rich, I hope it freezes well because it's huge. We had sandwiches and watched the movie Hocus Pocus. It was a great day!

Super tasty!

Over the weekend he helped me with a project I have been working on for almost 3 weeks now. He made it fit when I had trouble squishing it in the press and lining everything up at the same time. Thanks to him it will be better than if I had done it all myself. I'm glad he helps me when I need it!

It's going to be a big book!
He kept the chickens occupied while I tidied their yard (I think they like him better, he has bigger hands and can feed more of them at once). He's so patient with all our animals.
All in all it was a super great weekend and I'm really glad we got to spend it together. I plan to keep him for at least another 11 years!!!

They like him too!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Actively searching elsewhere now

It's been almost a week since I applied for more positions at the hospital and I haven't heard anything yet. Since that's where I really want to be I gave them all the time I could, but times up. I still have hope (it just won't die!), but maybe that's not going to happen for me at this time in my life. I'm still obsessively checking my job page there for any changes though.
I'm researching other places to work more thoroughly and have started applying. I'm pacing myself to about 4 a day so the number grows steadily until A: I run out of places in a 10 mile radius; or B: I get a job. There are a ton of places here if I'm not to picky.
In the meantime, my dear husband and I have decided to take up yoga and got some disks for clearance to try out. I'm not very good at it yet, but it's only been about 6 days and I'm already noticing an improvement in my flexibility. Even my knee seems happier now.
I feel great when I do it and it lasts almost the whole day. Plus, the scenery they have in the background helps to pull me out of the tiny world I live in. I'm trying to do it for 3 days then take a day off, that way I don't over do and it seems to be working for me.
The little grasshopper is still here and I've named it Jimmy. I've found out that it's not full grown and will probably stay until it is. Today it's been raining all day and the little thing really seems to be loving it.
Jimmy likes the rain.

The chooks don't like the rain very much and every time I go check on them they are hanging out in their house.

Is it dry yet?

However they all come out to eat from my hand, well almost all of them.

Snack time run.

They gather eagerly under the overhang while I scoop some out, then they peck my hand empty before going back inside.

It is snack time!

All of them except Kate, who's normally the friendliest. I wonder if she's put off by the big, blue laundry basket on my head (I can't find my umbrella).

She's having none of this nonsense!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I didn't get the position.

Sadly, I didn't get the position I applied for at the hospital. I really liked the person who interviewed me and I'm sure he just found someone with better qualifications than me. So, after finding out that I didn't get my first pick of spots I consoled myself with pizza and ice cream while making a new plan. Next time I'll play it cool and pretend I'm not super excited. I'm just grateful I found out so fast and can try again.
This morning I applied for the 4 positions the hospital has that I'm even remotely qualified for. I hope I get one! I really want the hospital because it offers the best benefits and will work with my schooling when I go back for the nursing degree. It's also where I worked for most of my life and I want to go home.
If I don't I will be applying to long term care and rehab facilities. I'm sure I would be happy with one of them, but I'm a stubborn little booger. If I don't try I can't succeed, right?
Now the waiting is on and I have cold pizza to munch for lunch!
Wish me luck please!
Bombs away!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I interviewed at the hospital!!

Yesterday I had an interview at the hospital and I think it went well. I was a bit nervous when I got there because I want this position sooooo badly. I was probably a bit hyper seeming when we started, but I was just so excited to be there.
 I answered his questions honestly and tried to stress the facts that I'm flexible, friendly, and dependable. I let him know that I would happily work any shift and the holidays and I look forward to overtime. I hope the fact that I've worked in the building before will be a plus now that they are a different company.
I really liked the man who interviewed me, he was friendly and very informative about what to expect if I got the job. It sounds like the new company is all about the patient which is what I want too.  I really feel like this is the place for me.
The problem was that he had answered my questions so well while we were talking that when he asked if I had any questions I just stared at him like an idiot. My mind went blank and I froze. It had been going so well until then. (Smack self in head!)
We wrapped up the interview and he said he had more interviews this week, but I should know sometime next week if I got the position. I really hope I get it! I know there are other ones in the hospital, but I applied for this one because I think I could learn a lot from it. Wish me luck!

On a side note, this little grasshopper has been hanging out on my rose bush for the last 3 days and I think it's adorable! It's a beautiful florescent green. and goes well with my bush.
He's cute!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

I got my number!!!!!

I got my CNA number today!!!! I applied where I want to work immediately then realized that Monday is a holiday and I may not hear anything until Tuesday or Wednesday at the soonest. It's ok though because I'm back in the running!!!! Yay!!!!
I hated the waiting and I'm glad it's over now. On to the next adventure in life, this time with a paycheck!!!!
I hung in there!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

They are so cute!

I can't believe it's been a week now. I'm still just as fascinated by my chooks as the day we brought them home. Actually, I think I'm more fascinated with them now. They have grown so much in just the past week, Bessie is almost as tall as my knee and they are starting to peep less and bock more.
They even talk to me when I'm with them, I just wish I knew what they were saying.

Bathing beauties. (Ms. Fisher in front, Alexis in back)

They are making themselves at home and that makes my heart glad. They like to rearrange their bedding after I clean and fluff it everyday. They seem to have a schedule worked out, I get chirped at if I'm late in the morning and they have enforced nap time at around 1100 every morning. Kate calls them to roost and Ms. Fisher rounds up any stragglers.

Get on the perch! (Clockwise from top left: Kate, Dot, Bessie, Fisher, Alexis)

All 5 of them will eat out of my hand and Kate (the gray one) will follow me around as I tidy up until I sit down with her snack. It's funny to see her avoid me and chase me at the same time. Earlier today she was pecking at something and I touched her to shoo her away and she didn't even flinch. Maybe she will let me pet her soon.

Got snacks? ( Kate facing you.)
Life is good here with the chickens. Now I'm off to study them some more! 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Our chicken coop

We have our pretty little chooks in the side yard. It's about 480 square feet (400' for the chooks to run around in, the other 80' or so has the turtle pond). It's surrounded on 2 sides by a 6' high corrugated steel fence. One of the other sides is the house and the final side is chain link facing the rest of the back yard. We enclosed the entire top of it in deer netting at 7'-8' feet high so nothing can get in from above. The bottom of the steel is buried several inches deep to keep out diggers.
The netting is the only new feature back there because it used to be our garden, then we had to move the turtle pond there and they ate most of the plants. So far the birds have stayed away from the pond, but it should be ok if they want to go in, there's lots of ledges for them to stand on and Freya, Odin, and the others won't hurt them.

Nice and cozy
The chooks house is 6' high, 6' wide, and 5' deep. It started out open on three sides, but we've added shade cloth to the sides for better protection from the sun and rain. The bottoms and tops of the sides are still open though to allow as much air flow as possible. We had a nesting box, but Ms. Fisher was sleeping in it so we now use it to hold the waterer. It works great and she now sleeps with the others.
The paint makes it easy to wipe down in the mornings. We left the perches bare for their comfort, paint would have made it slippery. 
Bed time is so cute, they all peep like baby chicks and try to cuddle under each others wings. That was what Bessie was doing when she was shoving everyone off the perches. They just want to snuggle even though it's hot out.

Clever food holder!

Nice water dispenser!
Alexis figured it out first.
My husband got the idea for these great food and water dispensers from Rob Bob's Backyard Farming. That site is great and I love the way he explains things. My chooks love the feeder, but we're still trying to teach them the waterer. I made the mistake of catching them and tapping their beaks on the nipples to try and show them. They hated that and ran from me for awhile afterward. I've since learned I shouldn't have chased them if I want them to be tamed. Now I make chucking noises as I make the nipples drip water, I hope they get it soon.
They have ice water in pans that they drink and splash in as well so they are doing well. We also have a mister system that they enjoy and I put ice packs in their bedding to help keep them cool.

Nice place to explore.
So far they seem happy. The heat doesn't seem to bother them much. They peck and scratch most of the day, Dot found several grubs today. Alexis stole the first one, The second one was to big so she threw it away and Kate ate it , then she finally got one. It was fun to watch them chase each other for the prize. 
They haven't gone past the small bush next to the tree yet, but they are still getting used to it here. They aren't tame yet, but they let me get closer each time I go out there. They have no problem touching me and hit me with their wings when they scratch around my feet. Alexis even rubbed against my leg yesterday and Kate sat on my shoe for a minute. I can't wait until they let me pet them and maybe hold them! I'm trying to be patient, but they are so cute.  


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

We got dinosaurs!

Ok, technically they're chickens, but they are related to the T-Rex so it counts in my world.
My husband and I had been talking and thinking about getting chooks for a few years now, but it never seemed to be the right time. There was always something going on.
Then we went to the store to get groceries and saw the price of eggs. There was no way I was paying that much for the pack. We got the rest of what we needed and went home where we once again had the chicken talk.
This time everything lined up. My husband had 6 days off in a row so he could build the coop, older chicks/pullets were available instead of the chicks, and the side garden had been fallow for a long time because the turtles ate everything except the pomegranate bush and the mesquite tree. It was perfect.
We did our research and found out we could have up to 24 hens, but we decided on 5. Then we went to various feed/livestock stores to compare prices and see how they kept their chickens. Some where only a couple of dollars and we found some chooks that were $50. The range of prices and living conditions was mind blowing. We decided on OK Feed and Supply for the chickens and their feed. They had the best looking and friendliest bird out of the places we visited. They also gave them lots of room to run around and I liked that. On Monday morning we went and picked out our birds!
Now on to the chooks!:

First photo!

Ms. Fisher
Ms. Fisher is an Easter Egger, heavy on the Ameraucana breed. She was hatched on June 17, 2015. She likes boxes. She's the most mellow of the flock and likes to do her own thing.

Bessie is a Silver Wyandotte. She was hatched on May 28, 2015. She is the largest and likes to get on the roost on one end and push everyone else off the other. When she reaches that end she will go to sleep.

Alexis is a Rhode Island Red. She was hatched on June 17, 2015. She was the first to figure out the feeder. She is also the best at bug catching so far.

Kate is a Blue Andalusian. She was hatched on June 17, 2015. She is the bossiest of the group and likes to snatch things away. When the sun goes down she starts peeping to tell them to go to bed and even leads the way.

Dot is Golden Campine. She was hatched on June 17, 2015. She is a bit temperamental and likes to peck and run. She is also the tamest so far and will eat the food that falls from my hand. Hopefully soon she'll eat from my hand.

It's a lot of fun watching them and learning about them. They each have distinct personalities and preferences. It'll be awhile before they start laying eggs, but that's fine. We are happy getting to know each other for now.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I cut it off!

I decided it was time for a change. I've been growing my hair for the past several years. I wanted to see what I looked like with long hair, but I was getting annoyed by it. It's really fine, but there's a ton of the skinny suckers and they like to tie themselves into knots any chance they get. It had even wrapped itself around my neck and tried to strangle me in my sleep! I rarely let it down and very few people ever got to see it. Here's what it looked like: (Looks so pretty and innocent doesn't it?)

The beginning
Yesterday I decided to chop it off. I soaked it down and pulled it back into the last tail it would ever form. Then I picked up my shears and chopped right through the soggy mass. I didn't care about even, I just wanted it gone.

The first cut
That first cut felt sooooo good. It splatted when it hit the floor and I laughed. Then with a snip snip here and a chop chop there I shaped the remaining hair into a funky chunky pixie.
I was having was much fun that I almost got carried away so I didn't let myself use the clippers (last time I used them I came out with less than an inch all over.). My husband tidied up the back for me.

The outcome.
After the cut was done I went outside and felt the wind in my hair for the first time in years. It was a beautiful feeling. I am now free!

It moves!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A better way to carry my bike locks

I've been looking for a better way to carry my bike locks for a while now. I had been carrying them strapped to the rear rack, but they got in the way and the amount of Velcro I had holding them down was a hassle to take on and off. Plus if I wanted to use my rack I had to either put stuff on the locks and not be able to make any other stops or put the locks in the front basket where they bounce and slide around affecting my steering.
After much web searching and brain wracking I came across this Instructables post. It seemed like the way to go. It's not elegant, but it is efficient and that was what I was looking for.

Inside view.

I was able to mount both my U locks on the inside of my rear rack, one on either side. They no longer get in my way or claim space that I can use to carry things and best of all they don't rattle, clank, or shift at all. So far it's working great!!!
When I get a paycheck coming in I plan to paint the PVC to make it look nicer. (Yep, I'm still waiting.) I added the slant to the cuts to make it easier to engage the lock Now I just have to figure out what to do with my cable, It won't fit with the other locks.
It only took me the weekend and a bit of help from my husband to get it finished, and I only lost a few ounces blood so it's a win. If Sylvia is ever lost we can DNA test her to prove shes mine. Friendly warning, hose clamps are very sharp and will screw the skin off your fingers if your not careful use gloves when holding them steady. Also, if you do this start with the bottom clamps and not the top ones. Then you won't be constantly rubbing against the already placed ones and will have more room to work. I wish I'd thought of that before I'd finished!

The finished look.

On a side note, my husband likes to tease me about how crowded my handlebars are so when I saw this bike while we were out shopping I had to take a picture. I love the little chipmunk! I may have to strap a furry creature to Sylvia now.

So cute!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

And the wait goes on.....

I'm still waiting on State Board for my number and it's driving me crazy. They say I need better fingerprints and they sent the packet on the 3rd. It's the 5th and it should have been here today if they had sent it that day, but it's not. This is after they sat on the unusable prints for a month or so. I really wish I knew what was going on there. I just have to keep being patient though, there's nothing else I can do. I have no power to make it go faster or better. I am at the mercy of the slow bureaucracy. Hopefully it will be in my box tomorrow and I can get it sent back fast.
On the plus side, my school is being really supportive and even tried to get the place I want to work to take me on without my number. It didn't work, but I appreciate the try. It also let me know that they still want me once this is done. It's good to be wanted! I'm also getting a good amount of writing done while I wait. I've been told that what I really want to do is a bad idea, and not very nice, so I'm making do the best I can.
I'm sure this will be over soon and I will once again be a useful member of society. Until then I'm hitting the ice cream!
Have fun!

What my mind feels like.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Some of the food we've made recently!

Since I'm still waiting on my number I've been trying out cooking and I think I'm getting pretty good at it! It's exciting to learn new techniques and make something that doesn't take up space in the house.
Here are a few things I've made that my husband and I really enjoyed.

Yummy curry!
I got the recipe for this curry from the book Supermarket Vegan by Donna Klein. It's a great recipe with coconut lime rice and a really tasty and savory chickpea curry on top. It even reheated well and helped me find a way I will eat beans.

Stuffed acorn squash!

Stuffed globe squash!
My mom in law gave us this adorable globe squash and I wanted to try stuffing it. We got a small acorn squash to go with it because there's two of us. I had trouble finding a vegetarian recipe for stuffed squash that actually sounded good so I made up my own. It was the first time we had had stuffed squash and I was a bit worried. However it came out great! Here's how I did it.

Stuffed Squash Filling:
Cooked rice
Bell pepper, chopped
Mushroom, chopped
Onion, chopped
Garlic, minced
Tomato, small chopped and seeded.
Parmesan cheese
I suck at measuring things, just use the amounts needed to stuff the squash you're using. Saute the vegis in a pan until soft, I used 2 tbsp of water. When soft add rice and mix well. Let stuffing cool. Add in the Parmesan and mix well. Then stuff the heck out of your squash with it! Sprinkle cheese on top and bake as per the type of squash you are using.
Next up I want to try this in tomatoes or peppers!

Kung Pao Tofu!
This one was last nights dinner. My husband did most of this meal and it came out great! The recipe came from the Supermarket Vegan  cookbook again. I really like that book! It's an actual tasty way to eat tofu. It's a nice garlicky sauce that has a bit of spice that sneaks up on you. I added more vegis than the recipe called for, but it still came out great.
I'm really enjoying learning to cook. It's more fun than I thought it would be. If you make the stuffing let me know how it turns out for you!
Have fun!