Sunday, April 30, 2006
I finished this hat last night. It is just like the other, except in a slightly larger size. I've got enough of this color yarn to make one more, and maybe some pom poms for the little ones. I bought three John Wayne movies out of the $5 bin at Wal-mart last week and haven't watched a single one. We've been watching the first season of The Waltons, and finished it last night. We do have the second season, but I'm getting kind of tired of that show.
Scarlett left me a relatively good sized poo this morning. That means she got a little nutrition out of her mouse before the regurge. It's almost like her digestive system gets tired half way through. The medicine I'm giving her is supposed to help strengthen the muscles of the digestive system. The Grapefruit Seed Extract is supposed to keep her bacteria in the correct balance, and the Nutribac adds beneficial bacteria and enzymes. I forgot to add the Nutribac when I fed her Friday. I'm going to make sure to remember this time. Maybe that was they key. Maybe the combination of the three will lick this vomiting thing once and for all.
I won't give up, though I do get discouraged sometimes. I won't give up as long as she has life in her.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
I'm almost resigned to the idea that she will die. I'm not completely giving up. I'm going to continue with the GSE in her water, and the Nutribac and medicine in her food. But usually, once they get into a pattern of regurging, they continue to do so until they essentially starve to death.
Since it is obviously not the SIZE of the food item that is causing her to regurge, I may try to feed her something a little larger next week. I just wish I knew what it was.
It breaks my heart, though. Bloodreds are my dream morph. I wanted one so badly, and now this happens.
Friday, April 28, 2006
But what exactly is a hodgepodge? I had a definition in my head, but I wondered if it was the right one, so I looked it up in a couple of different places.
This is from Funk & Wagnall's Desk Standard Dictionary, 1925 edition:
Hodgepodge, n. Same as HOTCHPOTCH--a pudding made of many mixed ingredients.
This is from BrainyDictionary Online:
Hodgepodge A mixed mass; a medley. See Hotchpot.
And from Dictionary.com:
hodge·podge n. A mixture of dissimilar ingredients; a jumble. [Alteration of Middle English hochepot, from Old French, stew. See hotchpot.]
hodgepodge n 1: a motley assortment of things [syn: odds and ends, oddments, melange, farrago, ragbag, mishmash, mingle-mangle, hotchpotch, omnium-gatherum] 2: a theory or argument made up of miscellaneous or incongruous ideas [syn: patchwork, jumble]
Funny how the definitions change over the years.
On to other news...
I received the Grapefruit Seed Extract yesterday and began putting it into Scarlett's water. I'm beginning to get really worried about her. She doesn't really seem to be losing much weight, and she is still pretty active at night, but she seems to be slowing down some. She seems kind of listless to me. I just wish she could hold her meals down. She needs nutrition. Wednesday will be 10 days from her last regurge, but I'm thinking of trying to feed her tomorrow or Sunday. It's a debate, though. If I do feed her and she regurges again, I'll be kicking myself forever. But what if she doesn't? What if the medicine the doctor gave her works? Decisions, decisions....
Only in this case, it could be a matter of life and death.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
The book I read last week was Not Without My Daughter, by Betty Mahmoody with William Hoffer. For those of you who've seen the movie, let me say this--it barely scratched the surface of what this woman went through. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, male or female.
Apparently the letters I sent to the school haven't done any good. Cody was horribly tormented by this same kid today. This morning, he had his school ID torn up again. On the afternoon run, the student blew a loogie on him. I called the guy who is over the bus drivers, and he said he would "discuss" it with Cody's bus driver. Like that'll do any good. The driver doesn't like Cody, so he tends to turn his head while all this is going on. I told Mr. Bonner that, too.
What we've started doing is documenting what is going on. Nobody seems to want to do anything to stop the bullying, but I will raise HELL until they do.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
At the Memphis Zoo. My own azaleas haven't done anything this year--not even a bud. I think they must be in a bad location. I bought them because I read that they do well in shady places, but apparently someone got his facts mixed up or something. They've always bloomed later than everyone elses, and this year they didn't do anything. They are getting plenty big, just no flowers. I'm thinking about buying some more and planting them along the back of the house where they will get more sun. Maybe they'll do better there.
Scarlett pooped this morning--well sometime last night. It was just a little poop, but it was something. That means she got a little nutrition from the pinky head I fed her Saturday. It also means her digestive system is still working--if she can keep enough down to digest. She's still plenty active, though and doesn't appear to have lost too much weight.
I haven't heard anything back from Dr. A, so maybe the herpitologist he consulted is in agreement with the treatment we are trying.
Why is it always the special ones that have you pulling your hair out?
Monday, April 24, 2006
I found this nifty little hat pattern, and it only takes about 2 oz of yarn. I knitted this one up yesterday while watching TV. It only took a few hours total knitting time, and it will be great for using up small bits of yarn.
Now an update on Scarlett. I fed her Saturday, just a pinky head. Sunday she regurged about half of it. So today I took her to the vet.
It was kind of amusing because Dr Abernathy couldn't find a vet tech who would come in and help him. They were watching from the door, but wouldn't come any closer. I asked them what they would do if I brought one of my big snakes in, and they said they'd watch from the door.
Anyway, Dr A didn't think she had a bacterial infection, because he said she just looked TOO healthy. She is still active and alert and has good muscle tone. He thought she might have a parasite, so he gave her a dose of Ivermectin, which is an animal wormer. I had to hold her so he could give it to her because the techs were watching from the door. He also gave me an anti-vomiting medicine to inject into her mice.
He did call the herpetologist at the Veterinary college in Jackson, but got his voice mail. He said he'd talk it over with him once he got through and if the herpetologist told him anything different, he'd let me know.
So that's where we stand now. I'll continue to post updates.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
I promptly sat down and wrote him a nice long letter detailing some of the things Cody has had to put up with on the bus. I also sent a copy to Mr. Carson--who is over the busses, and Mr. Bonner--who is over the bus drivers. I told Cody to give those copies to his bus driver to deliver. This must have shook the driver up, because the next day when Cody was slapped on the bus, he punched the guy back and the driver didn't say anything to him. He doesn't like Cody, so tends to turn a blind eye to what goes on to him.
Anyway, I decided to expand the letter a bit and send it to the editor of the local newspaper. Not to sound braggadocious, but I was rather pleased with how it turned out. I don't know if it will get published or not, but here is the letter in its entirety:
April 22, 2006
One day last week, I heard on the radio that the authorities had narrowly averted another school shooting. I forget where it was this time.
I wonder sometimes, could such a thing happen in Grenada?
It got me thinking. What is the one thing the shooters at Columbine High, Paducah, KY., Pearl, MS., Jonesboro AR., etc. —have in common? Poor home life? Perhaps. Uninvolved parents? Maybe. But the one thing they all definitely had in common is that those shooters had been bullied incessantly at school. Every day, they had been teased and tormented, mocked and made fun of. Punched. Slapped. Ridiculed. Bullied to the breaking point.
The same kind of thing goes on in Grenada schools—both public and private. Bullying.
I am very concerned about the amount of bullying that is going on, particularly on the school buses. My son rides the bus. He has to. I have no other way to get him to school.
He hates it.
He comes home in tears nearly every day because of the treatment he receives at the hands of bullies on the bus. He shouldn’t have to. He shouldn’t have to put up with this tormenting. He should not feel like he has to fight for his life just to get to and from school. Yet he does.
In ONE WEEK’S time he was hit, slapped, punched--by more than one person, spat on, ridiculed, called names, had his homework thrown out the window (which, according to his teacher, is no excuse for not having it, and yes, he did get a 0 for that day), had someone attempt to look down his pants, had his fingers repeatedly smashed, and had to listen to insults about his mother. (That would be me.)
In the past, he has also been cursed at, threatened, had his personal property stolen from him and/or thrown out the window, had his nose bloodied—multiple times, had his lip split, had gum stuck in his hair, had things thrown at him, had his school ID torn up (I had to pay $5.00 to get him a new one), had someone try to take his pants down, and had someone attempt to strangle him with his ID lanyard.
He has had high school boys hold him down so the little kids could take turns hitting him.
This has got to stop.
No one should have to put up with this kind of bullying. My belief is that those who stand by and allow such behavior to continue are just as guilty as the bullies themselves. Perhaps school authorities have been unaware of the situation, though I doubt it, but they can no longer claim ignorance. We need to take action. We need to have cameras on the busses all the time, not just at random intervals. We need to take disciplinary action against those who bully and teach smaller children to bully. We need to have bus marshals on the busses for each and every bus run. We need to do whatever it takes to stop this bullying, NOW.
Before Grenada, Mississippi is added to the list.
While perusing the newspaper website to find the editor's address, I ran across a wonderful bit of news. It has us all doing the happy dance here in my house. I know you're anxious to know what this information is that is causing us all to celebrate. Well, I'll tell you.
*Strains of the Hallelujah corus waft through the background.*
DR. WHITE IS LEAVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Saturday, April 22, 2006
A scarf made from stash yarn. I don't have a specific recipient in mind.
While I was in Wal-mart yesterday, I saw some Bernat Boa on clearance, but I was good and didn't buy any. I'm trying to use up my stash before buying any new yarn. And I've got a lot of stash to use up. I was thinking about doing several projects from stash and sending them to Deana and Nathan in Alaska. Maybe they can use them in their ministry up there. Or maybe donate them to a charity of some sort.
I have been doing my DAUB exercises, but we're kind of back to the basics--basic lines, circles, elipses, etc. Nothing exciting enough to post.
I fed Scarlett today--just a pinky head coated in Nutribac. It left a HUGE lump in her tummy. I'm praying she keeps it down. If she doesn't, I don't know what else I can do.
Friday, April 21, 2006
I should be through with the book by this weekend, and I'll be sure to deliver a thorough report on it.
Meanwhile, here is something a to whet your appetite a little, but not for books:
In just a few weeks, these delicate white blossoms will be blackberries. That means blackberry cobbler, blackberry pie, blackberries and cream, blackberry muffins...
Thursday, April 20, 2006
And for good reason. He is deathly allergic to them. It was a year ago this month that we made a frantic trip to the emergency room with Cody going into anaphlactic shock. It started so quickly, too; within 10 minutes of getting stung he was swelling up. Now we never leave the house without Benadryl and have Epi-pens in both the house and car.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Since we are on the subject, I found some more poo in Scarlett's tank when I was changing her water today. Just a little poo, but poo nonetheless. That means she still had a little bit of food left in her from last time she ate Just a few more days until I try to feed her again. I'll only give her a pinky head this time, rolled in Nutribac. At night when the lights go out, she is out and about, actively exploring her little tank. I'm really optimistic that she will pull through this and be able once again to hold her food down.
Changing the subject, sensei is going to try to schedule our Shodan grading for June 3. We just need the board to confirm the date. I did manage to get vacation for that weekend, so I won't blow my perfect attendance. I just might make it this time.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Yesterday while I was on my walk, I found this big beautiful baby on the road. Yes, the poor thing is dead.
But a little farther down the road, I found these snake tracks.
Something pretty big made them. I started to follow them off into the field, but was stopped in my tracks by this:
Thickly covering the slope, I decided it just wasn't worth it to traipse through this in my shorts and sandalled feet.
This makes the third DOR I've found in two weeks. Sunday I found a Southern Copperhead and last week I found a beautiful speckled king snake. They were all adults. The copperhead was the smallest, measuring in at 3 feet, and the king snake and rat snake were both around 4 feet in length.
Maybe one day I'll get lucky and find a live snake on the road.
Monday, April 17, 2006
Sunday, April 16, 2006
And his head is bigger than mine.
The sea lions were hard to get pictures of because they are so quick, though they seem to glide so leisurely. And yes, this one was swimming upside down.
Meanwhile, it was feeding time for this olive python.
The tiger was absolutely gorgeous.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
At the gorilla enclosure, I wondered who was watching who. Were the people watching the gorilla,
Or was the gorilla watching the people?
Meanwhile, the sea lions were too busy cavorting in their new home to worry about who was watching and who wasn't.
What everyone was watching, however, was the polar bears.
They were quite the hit.
All in all, it was a good trip.
Now for an update on Scarlett--this morning when I changed her water, I noticed she had pooped and peed. This is good news because it means she got some nutrition out of her recently aborted meal. She is still very active and alert, moving about her smaller enclosure, flicking her tongue and checking things out.
Now, if only she starts keeping her food down...
Friday, April 14, 2006
In anticipation of the outing, I've posted two of my absolute favorite zoo photos. Yes, I took both of these.
The first one is a Southern Copperhead, and the second is an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. I wouldn't want to be this up close and personal with these two without a pane of glass between us!
An update on the Scarlett saga...I've moved her into a smaller Kritter Keeper plastic box in order to better monitor her. She has been sleeping nearly all day. I won't be feeding her or handling her until the 24th of this month. All I'll be doing is changing her water daily with fresh, Nutribac enriched water. She seems so small now--
I'm going to start uploading my Italy pictures tonight. The first album will be pictures of Rome. Here is a link to what is there so far.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Speaking of karate, I'm a bit irked at sensei--again. When he first told us that James and I would be testing this spring, I told him to let me know as soon as possible when the test would be because I'd need to put in for my day off. You have to put in two to three months ahead of time to get your vacation approved because they only let 10 people per day--per shift--have vacation time. Anyway, Tuesday night he said we would be testing definitely in May. Then he said, "I need to call and arrange it so you can put in for your day off."
It's too late for that. May is already booked solid. I'll have to call in sick to take the test. Which is really not that big of a deal except that I had a chance at a perfect attendance for the first time in the 11 years I've been working there. (They give perfect attendance every 6 months there.) Heavy sigh....
Mr Tedder really worked with James and me tonight, and I'm starting to feel better about the test. If he works with us like that every class until the test, I feel I'll be much better prepared. Next week, we'll do self defense and bunkai.
It was kind of funny because we started doing our kata with the kiais in them. We are so used to not doing them, that we kept forgetting to put them where they belong. (For those who don't know, a "kiai" is a spirit yell.) We used to do full focus kata with spirit all the time, but have kind of gotten away from them these last couple of years. Every time we would kiai, she would run off the floor crying.
Bad news...Scarlett regurgitated her mouse today. This is the second meal in a row. I'm going to switch her with Blaze. She may do better in his tank since it is in a much quieter area of the house.
Good news...Blaze shed this evening. Perfect shed in every way. Going to measure and feed him tomorrow, then clean out his tank really well and put Scarlett in there.
Why is it always the special ones that have the problems?
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
I'm having a really hard time getting motivated to work through this book. I finally got the last bit of homework from chapter 1 done. Maybe the book will get better as it goes on. The first chapter wasn't nearly as fun as the first chapter of Drawing for Dummies.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Growing wild in the woods at Grenada Lake. It looks so much nicer there than in a basket, don't you think?
I didn't really have time to post yesterday because Cody needed the computer for a science project. He did really well, I thought. He drew a full color picture of the solar system, then looked up all sorts of facts about each planet and put them on the poster next to the planet they pertain to. It looked very nice when he was done, but irony of ironies, his teacher was absent today and he didn't even have to turn it in.
My little bloodred baby Scarlett had really been worrying me this last week. She regurgitated her meal last time I fed her, and after that, has just not been active or anything. I was really worried that she might be sick. I got home from work yesterday, and she had presented me with an absolutely perfect shed! No wonder she'd been hiding so much. I'd completely missed the signs of impending shed. What a relief. Tonight when we got home from karate, she was out and about, cruising her tank like always. I usually measure my snakes each time they shed, and this time was no exception. She is 17.66 inches long. She'd grown an inch and a half since I got her! This is great! I'd been worried because she and Blaze both are so tiny.
Blaze is also getting ready to shed, but he is perfectly obvious about it.
Tonight in karate we did sanchin kata with the lights out. Those who didn't know sanchin did slow motion kicks. Sensei says that is a good way to practice sanchin, but since I usually take my glasses off for it, I can't see anyway. So it didn't make that much difference to me.
I wrote a bit last week about how aggravated I was with Sensei. Well, I finally got around to filling out my dojo feedback form. Sensei had put them out a couple of months ago. When I asked him about them, he said, "Be brutally honest." So I did. I told him exactly what I thought. I won't go into detail here, but my main points were:
a) be more consistent and stop showing favoritism,
b) establish a minimum time in rank and stick to it,
c) start keeping student records, and
d) make the kids behave in class.
I also added for him not to forget that his higher ranking students still need instruction, too. I doubt it will change anything, but at least now he knows that people notice what he is doing. I wrote in a couple of places describing what he does that is inconsistent, and I put "this is favoritism and it does get noticed." Well, we'll see if it helps...
Sunday, April 09, 2006
I love this picture of an Italian house that was built along the Amalfi Coast. I thought it was the niftiest house, built right into the side of the cliff like it was. It reminds me a bit of a castle. I made my ex (before he was my ex) stop so I could get out and take this picture.
This was so cute. Someone had made a model of a little village or something right in this little cave on the side of a road, which was on the side of a cliff. Again, I made my ex (before he was my ex) stop so I could take this picture.
And they also built real villages on the sides of cliffs also. This one is a touristy spot. I don't know which village it is, but by the way the buildings are painted, you can tell it was built for tourists. Real Italian houses are usually left unfinished on the outside. That way, they can avoid paying the higher tax rate for a finished building.
It's a pretty little place, where ever it is.
I'll let you know as I get all my pictures uploaded to my Webshots albums.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
is back. We had some humdingers of storms last night, complete with tornadoes and hail. This was the same storm system that killed 12 people in Tennessee. Fortunately, we had no damage, other than a limb down, and it was a small one.
A bit about movies. Last week I found Not Without My Daughter in the $5.50 bin at Wal-mart. Very good movie. Of course, the Arab anti-defamation leagues had a field day when this movie came out. But as much as they want to whoop and holler, it is a true story. That is, the BOOK is a true story, the movie is Hollywood's idea of truth. Which means it may have very little resemblance to reality. The public library has the book. I'm going to have to read it.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe came out Tuesday. This is one of only two movies Cody and I went and saw at the theater last year. (The other one was Star Wars III.) This movie is destined to become one of our family favorites, right up there with The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
I got home from work today and Cody was watching Iron Eagle. Now, Cody loves this movie. After watching it, he decided he wanted to join the Air Force and become a fighter pilot. That lasted only until he watched Top Gun. Now, of course, he wants to join the real military. The NAVY.
But back to Iron Eagle. This has got to be the silliest movie I've ever seen. I can suspend disbelief in most situations, but does anyone really expect a teenage boy still in high school to hop into an F-16, fly it into an enemy military base (most likely Libya seeing it was made in the '80s), LAND the plane, get out and rescue his prisoner father, get back into the plane and make it safely back to the States all without crashing, getting shot down, or captured himself? Granted, the boy knew how to fly a Cessna, but there's a world of difference between a Cessna and an F-16.
I suppose if you like unrealistic movies that don't even have that much action in them, this is your movie.
And you can have it.
Friday, April 07, 2006
Wait for Barrett??? Why????
I was ready, and there was opportunity. I knew all my requirements long before then. Plus, he gave a rank test during the six weeks Barrett was gone, but he wouldn't test me then, even though it had been 6 months since my last test. He made me wait two more months, for Barrett to get back and get ready for his promotion. It ended up being 8 months between my promotions, because I had to wait for Barrett. Why? Why make me wait?
If it was because he thought I wasn't ready, that would be one thing. But why did I have to wait for Barrett?
And now, he's letting Barrett test for Ni-kyu this month. He only got promoted to san-kyu in February. I had all my requirements for ni-kyu long before I even tested for san-kyu, yet Sensei still made me wait 8 months between my tests. (I had to wait for Barrett to finish fire fighter academy...) And now he is letting Barrett test for ni-kyu after only two months? What's fair about that? If James and I had to wait 6-8 months between advancements, then ALL the brown belts should have to wait that long. But it seems the rules don't apply to everybody.
Cody nearly cried last night when Sensei told him he would be testing for his black stripe on his purple belt. He thought he would be testing for his brown belt. You see, not every child in the dojo has to go through so many stripes.
Ok, the ranking system for kids under 12 are :
White with one sideways green stripe
White with two sideways green stripes
White with a yellow stripe
Yellow with a white stripe
Yellow with a black stripe
White with a blue stripe
Blue with a white stripe
Blue with a black stripe
White with a lengthwise green stripe
Green with a white stripe
Green with a black stripe
White with a purple stripe
Purple with a white stripe
Purple with a black stripe
I don't know where it goes from there, because that is the highest ranking kid we have. Chad Aurell is purple with black stripe, and Cody is solid purple. The next highest kid we have, with one notable exception) is blue with a black stripe.
Now, on the one hand, there are all these ten, eleven, and twelve year olds that are having to go through all these in-between ranks and extra stripes and such. On the other hand, you have one eleven year old that has gone straight from solid rank to solid rank with never a stripe on his belt. Now, after training for barely over a year, he is testing for purple belt. There are better students, the same age and older, that have taken two and three years to get to the same spot. Danny Ruth, for example. He's a very good student, the same age as the other one--well, within a few months at least, and has been training over two years--close to three, yet he is still a blue/black stripe. Cody and Chad--both purple belts, ages 12 and 11 respectively--have been training for nearly four years, and this other kid, 11 years old, mind you, is testing for his purple after barely a year? It seems the rules don't apply to everybody. What's fair about that?
Sensei has been watching me do kusanku kata since November, yet when Mr. Tedder went over it in class with me last night, I found out I was doing most of the kata wrong. If Mr. T hadn't pointed several things out to me, I'd have done them wrong on the black belt test, because Sensei never said anything about them. Boy, would that have been embarrassing. I feel like I'm going to have to relearn the whole kata before next month. I honestly don't feel like I'm ready to test for shodan--for reasons like these. When I express my concerns to Sensei, he just says, "Oh, you'll do ok." I feel like he's brushing me off--not taking my concerns seriously.
It's getting to the point that I'm about ready to walk away and not look back. If Sensei keeps on like he's going, he's going to end up losing his dojo.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
I transplanted a few that were starting to creep out into the yard, and pulled a few weeds, including the grass you see in the picture above.
At one time, I had quite extensive gardens, including daffodils, tulips, gladiolus, crocus, iris, roses, day lilies, tiger lilies, and bleeding hearts. Most of them have died by now. I don't have time to cultivate like they needed to be. Gardening is a lot more work than I thought it would be.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Now, some of you may be wondering why I'm posting so many pictures here lately.It's because I haven't got a thing to say.