Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday Musings

Well folks, it's Monday evening and I don't feel as though I got much accomplished at all today! Don't you just hate days like that? I got called to work the telemetry floor at the hospital yesterday so I was just plain tired which didn't help!

Funny notes I have been meaning to post: Missy is on the toilet (we have the most interesting conversations there!)

Missy: Mommy, we pra-tissed for the BIG tomato today!
Me: You did? Why whatever did you do?
Missy: Well, we all went in to the gulls bafroom - even da BOYS - and then Miss. Bwenda camed with the fwashwight!
Me: What were you practicing for again?
Missy: The big tomato!
Me: What is a tomato?
Missy: It is very big and it comes outside!...And THEN we practice for the fire dwill! We go stand by the fence on the playground until Miss Cwista comes to tell us it is all okay!
Me: Oh, it's a great idea to have a fire drill. But what is a tomato?
Missy: We alweady talked about that!

I finally figured out that the "tomato" was a tornado drill! We have those here in the south so I asked Miss Christa and yes, they had had a tornado drill at her preschool that day! I get such a kick out of my little girl though!

Yesterday I was working at the hospital (oh yeah, I already told you that, huh? See.... I am tired!) Anyway, we admitted several patients and I was running like crazy to get everything done. I walked into this one room and the patient was lying in bed with nary a tooth in her head! She turned around as she was gumming her supper and asked me if I knew how her bowels were gonna work! I guess I looked puzzled because she felt the need to clarify: "Well, they gave me a nin-uh-mah in the ER and I was wonderin' if I could use my bowels" - I had to run get something from the medication room in a hurry!

I ended this rather strange day by stumbling across this Christian comedian. If you have heard or seen Tim Hawkins, you can just skip right down and post a comment about the rest of my blog and make my day. For the rest of you, go check out his website and watch some of these clips: here. I guarantee a good belly laugh to finish up your day! And then you can still go post on my blog!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Okay, okay! I will satisfy your curiosity! Many of you may be aware that I have enjoyed making dolls in various mediums over the years. I began making porcelain dolls around 1991 and enjoyed that for quite some time. Mother makes dolls occasionally with the few doll molds I have but that is far away and that process is so complicated and time consuming I just haven't done anything for years.

I have tried my hand at a few other dolls over the years but haven't found one that really suits me (I guess I am too detail-oriented!) until I ran across a photograph of a "Steiner" doll (also called a "Waldorf" doll). It has taken some research and digging, but I have finally cobbled together how to make these little darlin's and a wee bit of history behind them.

The origins of this type of doll are European, possibly German in the late 19th century (maybe early 20th). A lady named Kathe Kruse began producing cloth dolls with papier-mache heads that were covered with stockinette cloth. They are no longer made this way but are a combination of the needle sculpting techniques (remember Cabbage Patch Kids?) which are then covered with stockingette which makes them SO much cuter! The original concept was to keep the details to a minimum to stimulate the child's imagination. I think they are stinkin' cute! You know the little kids on the Kleenex commercials? Steiner dolls! Anyway, I am experimenting so keep watching! If I get good results, you might see some for sale!

For now, you can see my inspiration:

Let me know what you think!
More later...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Don't you just love... new look? My wonderful sister Karla designed this just for me for my second graduation present. You'll have to go ask her about the first! If you click on the link on the right for Ramblin' Roads to Everywhere, you will find her - and I promise you will enjoy your time in her neck of the woods - she is a gifted writer and blogs a lot more often than I do!

Andrew had an orchestra concert this week. He plays the cello and is right good at it if I do say so myself! He started playing last August when school started and his teacher is talking like he will be able to skip philharmonic and go straight into the symphony orchestra! Apparently you move from first year orchestra (6th grade) into philharmonic (7th grade) and then into symphony (8th) as long as your skill is high enough to get you in. Andrew is good enough to skip the middle one and go straight into the symphony - even though he will only be in 7th grade next year! He really has a gift and I am so proud of him - can you tell?
I need to run take the kiddos to basketball practice, but I will try to write again soon to tell you about my latest project - my creative juices are just a flowin' and I promise you will love what I am cooking up now...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Rachel!

I have decided to do a "memory blog" for each person in my close family as they have their birthday. Today the lucky winner is my Aunt Rachel!

Rachel is a little more than three years older than I and thus made a wonderful playmate! Daddy is a pastor and in the church we were in that meant moving every few years. Mother will correct me if I am wrong, but I believe we moved into the trailer at the end of Grandmother's driveway when I was four or five.

Mountainburg did not have kindergarten at that time so I started first grade while we lived there. School was fun - I don't remember a single child in my class, but I can tell you that Rachel and I often had the same recess time together and she always seemed to have candy! Especially bubble gum cigars! AND she shared them - always! I am sure it must have greatly impressed the other first graders that little Naomi hung out with a big third grader - I know I was! I can still remember the sweet, tart taste of that voilent purple cigar in my mouth after she broke off a hunk big enough to choke a horse, for me to enjoy.

Uncle David was in high school already and he had regaled us with stories of the electric paddle kept in the principal's office. I had visions of an electric ceiling fan-like contraption into which a child would be strapped and the beating would commence! Rachel reassured me that he was only pretending - but I still spent first grade being VERY good! I didn't want to take any chances! Hmmm..... I wonder if my boys would fall for the electric paddle story?

Sometime before that year was over we moved to the red house just up the mountain from the school. Now I couldn't even ride the same bus with Aunt Rachel! But sometimes.... Mother would call the school and tell the secretary to have the Ezell girls ride home with Rachel so we could spend the afternoon with Grandmother! Oh how we all loved those days! We had no idea we were being babysat - we just thought we were getting a treat!

Apparently Rachel got lonely one fine day. She came to my school bus and hollered through the window "You are supposed to come to my house!". I hollered back: "Did Mother call the secketary?" Her reply: "Let me go check..." She trundled off and came back a very short while later and told me "I think she forgot, but you still need to come". So I climbed off the little tiny bus tha drove to my house and boarded the really long one that went to Grandmother's. (I have no idea where my sisters were that day - sick maybe?) Now, it takes a great deal longer to get to Grandmother's house in the big woods than it did to my little red house just up the mountain from the school. And in those days there were no cell phones to contact a bus driver to see if he has a stow-away! Needless to say, when Rachel and I climbed off her bus an hour later, there were so not-so-happy relatives there to greet us!

I remember the summer she made sandals for all of us from the naugahyde she found in Grandaddy's workshop. They were SO totally cool! Mother thought between-the-toes sandals must surely be bad for growing feet so she never bought us any, but Rachel could make them and we loved them even if they weren't all that durable!

I still smile when I think of this episode and many like it - it always seemed to me a bit of an awesome thing that Rachel, my aunt, would choose to spend time playing with her younger niece! We had such a great time making red clay animals to bake in the sun, picking up rocks for Grandaddy, hiding under the upstairs bed to listen out the front window when when we were big enough to know better, playing in the creek, and eating popcorn with a piece of Aunt Esther's fudge hidden at the bottom! I remember being there when she met the man she would later marry and being so pround of my pretty, popular aunt!

Now I don't get to talk to her enough or see her anywhere NEAR enough, but I still enjoy every minute I get to spend with her. Happy Birthday Aunt Rachel! Enjoy your day so much that you have to crawl across the floor and flop bonelessly into your soft bed to enjoy sweet dreams!

Friday, May 9, 2008

It's Official!

My mother and I. Hopefully this is the LAST time I have to wear this hideous white uniform!
This is my "gang" Deborah Champagne, Pat Smith (The most Awesome Obstetrics Instructor), me and Leah Anderson.

Our nurses pinning ceremony was this morning at 11:00. It was a beautiful moving ceremony with a lamp lighting before we did the Nightengale Oath. We were allowed 8 invitations each - Randy and the children were there along with my mother (who drove from Arkansas to attend!), Grace and Charles Laird, Joy Lou Hursh, and Don and Theda Jaggers (all loved friends from church).

We have had a glitch in our finals process. We all passed the courses required to take the state boards, but the school has chosen to make the students take a national standardized exam known as the HESI. This has proven to be a huge hurdle for us. I took the thing last semester and got a score of 1022. We needed an 880 to be allowed to take the NCLEX-RN (state boards). I took a three day (eight hours per day) course reviewing the HESI content as well as spent many hours studying for the stupid thing. When my score popped up on Wednesday, I nearly passed out - I got an 828!! Now I found out that out of 107 students only 34 passed the studpid thing!! Apparently the HESI was purchased by another company and the exam and content were changed completely. When they sent us the study books (which we paid for when we paid the $500-something to take the course) they sent the old books - but we were TESTED on the new exam! Soooo.... we are in the process of finding an appeals option. Please pray for us as we go through this - we are all VERY discouraged and frustrated. We have earned a degree in nursing, but they are holding it hostage for one exam - that really has nothing to do with whether we have completed our courses or not. It is simply a money-maker for the college because they can get higher funding when they have good scores on the exams. We are still graduating, they just won't release our temporary license or our authorization to take the state boards until we pass that stupid exam - and they won't let us take it until JUNE!!

Okay, forgive my rant, and just pray for us! Anyway, here are a few pictures of today's ceremonies. Love to you all...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Eight days and counting...

I know it has been a while since I took a moment to chat - I have been studying my hiney off!! Our brilliant team of instructors in the nursing program chose to schedule SEVEN exams in two weeks so we have been in a bit of a panic! We had a team of six professors when we began the downhill slide to graduation and in the middle of it all two of them retired! They passed their notes off to the remaining four professors and sailed merrily off into oblivion with no thought to the chaos that would ensue. The remaining four professors tried gamely to teach us the things we needed to know, but alas, this has proved to be a difficult task. You see, the questions for the exams are already written and logged into a database in the testing computers and apparently no one has a clue how to retrieve the aformentioned questions and actually get an idea of what the tests will be about! So we poor students spend hours industriously studying for exams on say how to interpret a "right bundle branch block" on an EKG and when the exam gets here we are instead tested on valve replacement surgeries! This is just an example of the semester crazies we have had. The cumulative GPA of the class has dropped significantly as you can imagine. Why don't we just study the whole book, you ask? Weeeelllll.... this semester involves about five textbooks varying in thickness from one inch to a full five inches! And I have discovered that there is a point where your memory is full and something must be deleted before you can add more! In other words, we can't memorize everything! So it has been frustrating to say the least and I have been in more than a bit of a panic.

It seems as though this is too long to be one paragraph so I am starting a new one even though I am really continuing on the same rant - bear with me! So I am praying and asking everyone I know to pray with me that the Lord will help me to study the right things and to pass these exams. I am not concerned in the least about the state boards - on the sample exams I keep taking every week I am ranking over 90% so I am good there - just need to graduate to get to take the thing! I have three exams left - only one is a problem. Tomorrow I have an exam in clinical practicum. This will involve things like showing the instructor that I can start an IV, do a neuro, respiratory and cardiac assessment on a patient and do a central line dressing change. They give us a paper when we arrive in the lab showing us a random list of things and we have to do them - so we don't know until we get there which of the skills we are performing. Not worried about that one - I have an A in clinical now anyway so I can totally flub up this one and still be okay! Starting an IV in a dummy arm is a no-brainer anyway! If I am not in a vein, we will never know! Next Monday is the one that really worries me. I need at least a 79 on that one and it is one of the ones that we are struggling with not having appropriate information to study. Prayers are greatly appreciated. Then Wednesday we have an Exit Review exam that will take about four hours. Again, not really worried about that one. I got the highest grade in the class when we took a sample of this one last semester.

Then on Friday is GRADUATION!! I really am having a difficult time wrapping my poor over-taxed brain around that one! It seems so strange that after three years this journey is coming to a close. My friend Lynnette recently took some pictures to use on an invitation for a celebration bash she is organizing:

On a different note, we finally did get out to play in the bluebonnets a couple of weekends ago. The kids had a ball. The boys enjoyed laying on the ground and rolling down the hill. I had fun taking pictures of them doing that - then they complained all the way home about itching! The sun was in our eyes, so the pictures aren't great, but still fun.