The Feel-Good Week

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— 1 —

My new chiropractor is spectacular. His office runs like a well-oiled machine, everyone there is kind and sincere, and I’ve made incredible progress in just four visits. The stretches and strengthening exercises he recommended loosen my muscles up enough that some days I can actually do something productive before noon. Sadly, that’s a huge improvement.

— 2 —

John is working and hanging out with friends, staying up late and sleeping late. A movie theater job if perfect for my night owl. He’s got another LAN party coming up on a nearby college campus, and I’d love to host another one here this summer as well.

— 3 —

Things are finally falling into place for Michael at work. There have been a lot of small but incredibly annoying issues he’s had to deal with the past year or so, but the nice guys evidently don’t always finish last, because he’s now much more satisfied with his job, and under less stress. I wish he didn’t have to work six days a week, but I suspect that won’t change until SSI finally agrees with all my doctors that I cannot work and my condition will only deteriorate as time passes (as they’ve been documenting since 2012). Then and only then will I be able to receive disability benefits, which will include not only financial help, but access to facilities and treatments I can’t get otherwise.

— 4 —

We added my grandmother’s kitchen table and chairs to our house, which necessitated moving a few pieces of furniture. Really, just a few. But the dogs are not happy about the new furniture placement. We’re working on it. Goodness knows it’s all about keeping the dogs happy!

— 5 —

I’m really excited about Nerium’s latest announcements, one of which gives any new Brand Partners who sign up in June a chance to earn an all-expense paid trip to a resort in Mexico next summer! If you’ve even casually considered owning your own small business that you can put as much or as little time into as you like, that you can run from your phone (literally) and that provides not only financial freedom, but time freedom to do what you like when you like – this is it. Call me. It’s also perfect for Homeschooling families with at least one child doing middle-school level work in Math. The kids can learn Business skills, Marketing, Accounting, Public Speaking, Communications, and how to work together as a team in a real business.  And at age 18 they can sign up as a Brand Partner on their own. How great would owning your own business look on a college application? And lessons learned while working as a part of the family business would make for a compelling college entrance essay! Plus, instead of paying for a curriculum on these topics you actually make money. I’d love to help some homeschooling parents set this up, with a goal of creating a Private FB Group exclusively for Homeschooling Nerium families.

— 6 —

I’ve been fighting my first UTI in a decade this week. Yes, I know that’s oversharing, but I do have a reason for bringing it up. After being on broad-spectrum high-dose antibiotics both by mouth and via IV for an entire month between my third and fourth cervical disc surgeries I will do nearly anything to avoid antibiotics in general. Some situations make them necessary, but if I can avoid them I will. I tried cranberry juice, but a gallon later I was still fairly miserable. So I did some Pinterest research. Yeah, I know, not usually the best place to look for medical information. But I found a winner! Alka-seltzer. I sipped it very slowly because of my gastric sleeve, but evidently the Sodium Bicarbonate was enough to make the pH in my urinary tract more basic, and just two doses fixed me right up. Props to Pinterest!

— 7 —

Finally returning to babysitting tonight. I have missed those two sweet boys so much! I can’t wait to squeeze the stuffings out of them and hear all about their beach adventures from their GiGi. Team babysitting is the best 🙂

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

Mickey Mouse Classes

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That’s what they called them when I was in college: Mickey Mouse classes.  You may have heard them referred to as bunny classes, or maybe just easy-As. I have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, but the program was re-vamped between my Sophomore and Junior years. If you’ve ever been midway through a course of study when it gets redesigned you understand that this translates to all students as, “You are SO screwed!” This was the first thing that came to mind when I read the “college” prompt for Mama Kat’s Witers’ Workshop.

So, as a girl with a four-year scholarship and summers that had to be filled with full-time work to pay for things like shampoo and toilet paper throughout the year I carried 18-21 credit hours a semester during my Junior and Senior year. As a Nursing major my Tuesdays and Thursdays were taken. I had clinicals from seven to three. Then I’d usually speed over to the UK med center, where I was a tech in the CCU. I’d work 4-12 there, and then get up in time to be ready for 8a.m. classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Somehow our clinical hours, which were spent actually doing things to real patients, didn’t count as much as class time. So 16 hours of clinical time would translate into maybe four hours of credit.

So my Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays were booked solid. And I had to choose my classes carefully to make sure they fulfilled the new requirements.  That’s when I discarded any hopes I had of getting a well-rounded education (Creative Writing, Art History, Anthropology, more Psych than just Intro to. . .) and started asking around for classes that either 1) I didn’t have to actually attend, 2) did not require a book, or 3) didn’t have tests. I found enough that I was actually able to get about four hours sleep a night and could afford to have two packets of saltine crackers for lunch every day (ten cents, 4 crackers total).  There were lots of people getting by on less sleep and no crackers.

A Brontosaurus was our shuttlebus when I enrolled at UK, so I suspect these classes no longer exist, or exist under a different name. From recent reports about the University of North Carolina you just have to look hard enough. I bet I could get my Master’s in something from UNC without ever leaving my little Kentucky home!

Anyway, this was the list back then:

Pharmacy 222: This was held in the largest classroom on campus, and there were still people sitting in the aisles. The Pharmacy professors took turns teaching it just for fun. It actually was very educational, no matter what your major. One day he compared aspirin, acetomenaphine (Tylenol), and ibuprofen (Advil).  Aspirin won’t bring down a fever. Tylenol won’t help with swelling/inflammation. We covered Spanish Fly (which just makes your genitals itch), and one of the questions on the final was, “What number is stamped on a qualude?” For those not familiar with the song Superfreak by Rick James. . . it’s 714. It was easy to tell when each person got to that question, because they’d bob their head or hum 🙂 Another favorite of mine was Medical Terminology from Greek and Latin. Sounds hard, right? Not so much. Super-cheap book that the professor had used for years. Class was him telling us which words would be on the test. We just highlighted them. After high school Latin I could have aced it in my sleep. The professor was retirement-age, and every day he showed up with his fly unzipped and a dirty shoestring tied around his neck like a bolo tie. His first announcement to the class was that he didn’t think student athletes should have to go to class, so if there were any student athletes present they just needed to come on up and give him their name and they’d get an A without ever showing up again. The line was long.

I took Military History. I know nothing about history or geography or the military, but if I showed up and said, “Present!” and then showed up for the Pershing Rifle demo I got an A. It worked for me. Greek and Roman Mythology was awesome. I’d had an awesome Latin teacher in high school, and I’d always found mythology fascinating. No book, I only showed up for tests, and I only got one question wrong the entire semester. And the professor (actually an administrator who gave tests in his office) gave me 1/2 credit for creativity 🙂 There was a class called Marriage, Family and Sexuality that didn’t require a book, and that one was great. The only awkward moment was when we were grading our tests ourselves and there was some question about the size of a penis. Another girl and I both raised our hands at the same time to ask why our answer was wrong. He laughed, then flushed beet-red under our serious stares and said, “Um, the correct answer can be either B or C on that question.” Philosophy was much harder than I’d expected. And Astronomy was also a bust since it was only offered at 1 p.m.  The lights were out for 50 minutes, I’d just had lunch, and I was sleep-deprived.

What were your Mickey-Mouse classes? Do you remember them fondly, or just as a waste of your time? I’m especially interested if you went to EKU or UK – those are the only in-state schools that offer the Major and Minor my youngest wants!

This Crazy Roller-Coaster Week

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— 1 —

School is finally over for the year. John is officially a Senior! And Band is officially over until college, for which I could not be more thankful. Love those kids, band kids are the best! But since so many of them won’t be returning to the band next year I have a feeling I’ll still be seeing a lot of them. One of John’s last projects was this video, shot at a friend’s house. John’s the clean-shaven one with darker skin and lighter hair.

— 2 —

I found a new chiropractor, and he’s awesome.  He’s passionate about his work and his patients, and he has the most brilliant analogies he uses to explain things. My favorite so for is the head as a ten-pound ball held up by your hand. Grab a ball and do this. As long as your wrist stays curved it’s not that hard to hold onto the ball. Now straighten out your wrist as if someone had, say, screwed metal plates into your wrists and made it perfectly straight.  Really hard to do, right? That’s me, just trying to hold my head upright. And my X-rays also show moderate lumbar scoliosis. Who develops scoliosis at forty-nine? I guess I’m special. But we ended up crying together on my second visit, so we’ve bonded. If you’re in the Louisville, KY area his name is Drew Anderson.

— 3 —

Finally, after all these years, I went to a chronic pain support group.  I don’t know what I expected, but it certainly wasn’t the enthusiastic, welcoming, positive group of people I met. I’m only sad they just meet once a month!

— 4 —

I’m totally conflicted about the mid-season finale of Fear the Walking Dead, which I finally watched yesterday.  Nick is such an amazingly complex character. I’m looking forward to August, but I probably need until then to process it all in my mind and be ready for whatever’s next.

— 5 —

This baby withdrawal is really bad. I need my friend Lisa and her family to return immediately from vacation. I need someone to sit in my lap and listen to a book and someone smaller to let me feed him his bottle. I suspect if I go door-to-door in the neighborhood with these requests I’ll end up needing to be bailed out pretty quickly.

— 6 —

With school ending I guess this has been our week to catch up on DVRd TV shows. All three of us watched the premier episode of The Preacher on AMC. We all agreed we were very confused, but intrigued. And thank you, AMC, for adding “Talking Preacher” for the next episode. I’ll clearly need that. If you haven’t seen it yet try to find it On Demand or stream it. I can best describe it as a combination of Men in Black, Pulp Fiction, and True Blood with Chuck Norris in the starring role. Oh, and a great soundtrack: Willie Nelson, Carlie Simon, and Johnny Cash! By far the best actor in the whole cast is a little boy in the congregation who wants the preacher to beat up his father for abusing his mother. He only has maybe four lines, and his face never changes, but his delivery when he says, “Pray for me, preacher”  – WOW! It was like Jack Nicholson was in this kid’s body. Incredible!

— 7 —

At the risk of over-sharing I just want to say I had my first Brazilian Wax today. It was quick and I was able to make conversation throughout. I thought for a quick second I’d lost a strip of skin in a tender spot, but then everything was fine. Tara at Elements salon in Middletown is fabulous. And she has a little room chock-full of handmade jewelry, soap, baskets, textiles, etc. I could probably do all my Christmas shopping there! I did forget to ask how often this typically needs repeating. Anyone willing to share?

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

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