Sunday, December 21, 2008

Palm Centro & Other Thingamajiggies


Armando and I upgraded to a Palm Centro Smart phone recently. It is so nice to have phone and palm organizer in one instead of having to charge my Palm Zire and the cell phone.

I have not tried the online features yet but Armando has tried the facebook feature and posted a picture and it worked well. I will try  and check out the blogger features on here later and options to see if I can post pictures from the phone here. That will be very fun for when we go places so I can share things with you.

I do not think I told you but I recently sold my handicap van. I was so thankful because I had it up for sale for a long time and I did not use that van. We use the car mostly because gas was very high and I never felt comfortable driving that big van.

My sister and her family are coming down on Christmas Eve. I am so excited!

I am still having wound issues. Two wounds are trying to heal and one was not progressing. I am trying to get used to changing positions every two hours but it is difficult. I am not used to doing that. I started taking a lot of different vitamins recently and Omega 3’s and my appetite has picked up lately which I hope will help the one heal. Armando said it is looking better. I do not want the wound to stay around much longer because the longer I have it, the more chance there is for an infection.

Classes are going well. I did some transcribing in the Pharmacology section. I am beginning to realize how difficult it is to train your ears to hear a doctor racing through a Medication list. What makes it challenging is that I am not yet familiar with the medication names. I am sure that will change as I get more in the habit of hearing the medicines.

Have a great rest of the weekend! It is early morning and I am not sleepy so I thought I would update my blog.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Recent Projects - Part 2

I made the brown teddy bear on the left for my nephew’s Christmas gift.


I am almost finished with Pharmacology in class. Next is Building The Medical Record.


I have been staying busy with the usual things and then making Christmas gifts. I hope next year to start in January and have my gifts finished by Christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Crochet Projects

I said quite a while back that I would show pictures of a few projects that I have been working on. I will share a few pictures over the next few days with you.


For starters, Here is the first doily that I have ever made. It is a small one.


I cannot believe it is less than two weeks until Christmas!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Those of you who follow my blog may remember a post from the past with me mentioning that somebody had left me beautiful sunflowers and a watermelon on my porch. I did not who had done such a sweet thing. I found out tonight. It was my friend Lupi. She came to visit. I invited her and her two children to eat dinner with us. It was cooking as they arrived and almost ready. It was a good chance to practice speaking Spanish since she is Mexican.

I made Beef Stroganoff for our dinner. It was a new recipe I tried and I liked it. My sister gave it to me. Get the recipe HERE

I have had a busy last couple of days. Saturday we went for a wedding photography consultation in Birmingham. Afterward we had lunch with my sister and her family. We went to their house and visited a while. She made us delicious coffee and chocolates. The kids were adorable and had grown so much!

My driver’s license expired last month without me realizing it. I went yesterday and renewed them. The lady in the office was yawning constantly and making me feel like yawning. I just knew my driver’s license photograph was going to be of me with a big yawn!

Let me tell you about some shoes that are light as a feather! They sell men and women shoes. They can be a bit pricey but if you find them on sale or clearance, even better. Armando bought me a pair yesterday and I love them. They are so comfortable and have sheepskin inside.

Look for Patagonia HERE

I am a slacker for two days in a row. I have not studied but I plan to study the rest of the week to make up for it.

Today I attended a Webinar (like a web seminar) called CMT / RMT: Steps to Credentialing. It was very interesting and explained the tests and credentialing process for becoming a Certified or Registered Medical Transcriptionist. The Registered Medical Transcriptionist must re-test every three years whereas The Certified Medical Transcriptionist re-certifies each year with Continued Education credits. It was good to find out more details about how that works.

I have been drinking a Holiday Hot Tea that I got the other day with honey in it. It is really good. It has become my new favorite evening drink but the sad thing is that it is limited edition so I better enjoy it while it lasts. :)

Saturday is my cousin Katrina’s baby shower in a city about 2 hours away. My Mom and I had fun shopping for her and getting to pick out such cute little bitty baby things. I plan to give her a set of my little animal crochet pacifier holders as a gift.

My Aunt lives in California near where the fires are and she told my Mom that the ashes made it look like snow coming down. I feel so much for the people going through the fires. Send your positive thoughts to Medico Musings  and all others directly in or near the fires there.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kite flying

It has been grey, cold and windy for a few days here.

Great weather for flying a kite, which is exactly what we did today.

It is a great way to brighten up a grey sky!



A picture of our kite in the air.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Time for Change

I finally did it. I voted for the first time today ever! I have thought about doing it for a while but did not do it until this year. I was so nervous filling out the ballot though. When it was completed, I had my “I voted” sticker on my chest and a smile.

It takes time to overcome long standing reasons of why you are not taking action. My parents did not vote that I ever recall. One day you wake up and think, but I am not my parents! How many people were tortured for this privilege that I am not exercising? If I do not let my voice be heard then I have no right to complain later.

No matter who wins this race, I feel good because I made a change for the better by voting.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Aaahh Weekends!

It is nice to relax on weekends. I slept in and it felt great.

I went to the Dollar Tree which was fun. I got some warm socks and snack food (Tropical trail mix, cashews and banana chips) and wrapping paper.

There is going to be a power outage tonight in our city from 11 p.m. for several hours while they work on some transformers. Since we are night owls we are going to another city to the movie theater to watch a scary late night movie. I am having a better tolerance level for scary movies now. I can handle a lot more than before meeting Armando. He loves scary movies!

I have not been able to read blogs as often lately since I have been studying. I am sorry for that. I miss reading your blogs but I have a lot of material that I need to cover and absorb well in class so most of my time when not doing the normal things that must be done is spent hitting the books. Some nights when I do not have my studying in I will stay up until early a.m. studying to get modules completed. It is so important to me that I reach the goal of completion that I have set for myself. I look at the date every day to motivate me to move forward. I am so thankful for having the opportunity and funding to study that I want to do my very best with it.

I have been making all family Birthday gifts this year. I want to make Christmas gifts too but I am not sure if I will be able to have time to do them all. Perhaps just some will be handmade.

I bought a book that had crochet and knit sock patterns and I tried to make two different crochet sock patterns and I could not do it. I will have to figure out where I am going wrong. I have never made socks before only slippers.

Well, I need to scoot. The lights are out in 30 minutes so that means I need to get my stuff together in preparation.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cookie “Foot” in box

Cat in the box from Armando on Vimeo.


This video shows our cat Cookie. Armando was getting a box ready to send to Chile. Excuse my background noise. I was talking to Armando about a Birthday reminder that came on our cell phone and later realized he was recording! :0

Well, Cookie is funny. Enjoy another video from our Cat saga series! LOL

Monday, October 06, 2008

227 Waterfall video


227 Waterfall Guntersville from Armando on Vimeo.

We saw this beautiful waterfall today.

Armando made this video.


Getting in touch with nature

Last week Armando and I took a stroll in the park. The evening light, exercise, and trees were a spirit booster.


Trees at Arab City Park Originally uploaded by alabamagal

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Weekend is here

I stayed up until the wee hours studying Anatomy. At bedtime I was struck with over-study silliness and telling Armando that I hoped his phalanges and radius were comfortable. :)

We were supposed to do a park photo shoot of a child today but the cloudy day was not the light we had hoped for so I called and rescheduled for tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be better then.

I have a nice study buddy now from Texas. We are both in about the same area of Anatomy. It is encouraging.

I finished my first ever doily and worked out where I had went wrong. I am starting this doily now.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Body Talk

I am studying Anatomy and Disease. It is interesting.I am taking it slow so I learn it well. This will be very important later in Medical Transcription.

I am just beginning and so far I have learned Muscles of the Face and Head. I am working on memorizing the Muscles of Facial Expression and Mastication.

I never knew this before but there are over 600 muscles in the human body.

I have almost finished crocheting an Off The Grid Scarf like this one:


My scarf is in pink though.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

1950s through 2000 Michelle

myYearbookPhoto1950 myYearbookPhoto1952


 myYearbookPhoto1962 myYearbookPhoto1964

myYearbookPhoto1966 myYearbookPhoto1968

myYearbookPhoto1970 myYearbookPhoto1972

myYearbookPhoto1974 myYearbookPhoto1978

myYearbookPhoto1988 myYearbookPhoto1994


Yearbook yourself HERE

(They have it for male or female.)

I hope these pictures made you laugh!

Hi again!

I am sorry I have not posted an entry in a while. I have been busy.

I was struggling with some areas in English Grammar. I made it through the module with help from web sites and a book. Thank heavens! I averaged a 98 on the whole module. I made a 94 the first time I did the final test. I was not happy with that. I re-tested and made a 99. I am pleased with that score. :) The next module is Anatomy and Disease. It should be interesting.

My Mom and I preserved some fresh tomatoes recently. We had never done that before. I made spaghetti sauce with the tomatoes tonight and it was good. I want to make some salsa next time. We bought a pizza stone and it really does make a big difference in the pizza. I was amazed!

Gas prices have gone WAY up. It is $4.79 a gallon here  for regular. (That is such a bummer for our already tight budget.) How much is the price of gas in your neighborhood?

I have not been crocheting as much as normal. I did tackle trying to make a doily with a star center. All I can say is, some of the stitches were new ones for me and it just was not laying well. Last night I looked over the pattern and had an Uh-Oh moment of realization. I noticed that one spoke in the star was missing in the center. I will try to take the rows out and fix the problem.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


"Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands."


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Good evening!

The last two days I have been a bit “off” on my study schedule. Yesterday I completed my studies at 9 p.m. which is later than I normally study.

I was relieved to learn in the student forums that I was going about my studies wrong. I had been typing endless exercises in Keyboard Kinetics for a few days now because I read you were supposed to do the modules in order. It turns out, I can just move onto the next module and study the keyboard kinetics daily just a little while at a time.

I am seriously happy I will not be typing those drills my whole study time. Imagine five hours a day of jnjnjnjnjnjnjn hnhnhnhnhnhnhnh etc (laugh)

This evening I start on the Medical Word Building module.

I will not attain five hours of study today as usual because my schedule will be different today and tomorrow.

I attended a work at home meeting this morning which was informative. I actually saw a girl I went to high school with at the meeting. It is a small world!

Thank you very much for the sweet comments about my crochet. You made me feel good.

I am off for a coffee and some studying.

Have a great evening!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008



Isn’t this sunflower pretty?

Upon returning home one day, we noticed a bunch

of sunflowers and a watermelon on our porch. It was a very sweet surprise.

Sunflowers are my favorite flower.


I think my cousins probably left them. They came while we were out grocery

shopping. The watermelon was delicious and the sunflowers in vases around

our house made my week brighter!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Today was my first day

I did the Career Step Orientation over the weekend.

Today was my first day studying and I am happy that I met my five hour study goal.

Last night I crocheted a purse and stayed up later than I should have so tonight it is early to bed!

Here is a song for you.

Night Night!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Catching Up

I had two doctor’s appointments on Thursday. One revealed I have lost weight and more than I imagined.

Armando helped me. He weighed first on the scales and then kindly picked me up so we could do my weight on the stand-up doctor’s office scale. Being a paraplegic can sometimes offer plenty of complications in basic life functions. Thank goodness for creativity and problem solving!

I had a few lectures on eating high proteins and eating more. I was honest and just said I have not had an appetite lately. I love to eat in normal circumstances but I usually eat small amounts and often.

Actually, I am quite thankful Armando mentioned getting a weight because even though I knew my pants were not fitting, I never would have guessed my weight had gone down that much. When you know about a problem you can fix it, before it gets to be a big problem. So, now I am trying to gain weight and snack and eat high protein foods to help myself heal.

I got my student ID on Friday so Monday I will start studying at the Career Step Medical Transcription program. I am so excited about this! I can start studying online now while I await my textbooks to arrive in the mail.

Last week I cleaned out part of my closets and gave away two bags of clothes. We feel much better having more space in our closets. I had so many clothes that did not fit anymore and outfits that I did not wear that were just getting in the way. Now our closets have more space and that makes life easier.

This evening we are treating ourselves out to a movie. We are going to see The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. I watched a documentary on China’s First Emperor the other night that was interesting. This movie looks very action packed. I think we will enjoy it.

If you enjoy crocheting and like color, The September/October issue of Crochet Today! magazine has some really beautiful patterns.

See below for a few of my favorites in this issue:

0908_sunburstbowl 0908_rainbowghan

0908_desertpillows 0908_sunsetthrow


I hope you have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Funding YAY!

Monday I register for classes at Career Step!

So soon I will be a student again. I have not been a student since 1994. Yikes! It is amazing how fast time flies. I am very happy though and looking forward to the experience. I have met a few other people on a message board for Medical Transcriptionist’s that are Career Step students so it will be nice to be in touch with classmates.

I have been doing several things lately. Including studying in the Medical transcription manual, helping my Aunt organize a bridal shower, advertising for our wedding photography business, helping my sister sell her antique snooker table, (Does anybody need one? She lives in Birmingham, Alabama, it is a 1920’s Brunswick ) and working on the Craftissima craft projects.

I have been using Microsoft Office Access and learning how to use it for our contacts and that is a very nice program. I would recommend it if you need a database system.

It is a stormy day here and I slept way too late. But it felt good and I know I won’t get to do that as often when I start studying. I am having a lazy day today and the cats are as well. Chochi and her baby Fluffy are curled up sleeping in my lap as I write this.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Early Morning Ramblings

Saturday was Armando’s Birthday. I made him a traditional Chileno dish. It was called Pastel de Choclo (Corn and Meat Pie), with Ensalada de Chilena (Chileno Salad) and we enjoyed a glass of wine. I made him Boston Cream cupcakes and put sprinkles with candles on them. It was my first time making Pastel de Choclo and I enjoyed preparing it. I had tasted that dish made by his Mom and Sister and I was only hoping mine met up to Armando’s expectations and gave him a little taste of home.

Here are some pictures I found showing:



A traditional Pastel de Choclo cooked in clay dish.


Ensalada de Chilena


In the evening we rented and watched a movie and that was fun. We had not done that in a long time.

I crocheted Armando a little bear. Armando and I both like the amigurumi crochet animals. So it was enjoyable to try a new pattern. I will show you a picture of the bear later. The next thing I want to make for Armando is a crochet dragon.

I am having a few issues with wounds again. Only this time I have three. One I have is the same wound on my ribcage that I had previously. I went to see the wound nurse and she said it was pressure from the bone on the inside. I do not have a lot of fatty tissue to pad in that area and surgery is out completely to shave the bone because it would mess up my seating alignment which is already compromised from past surgeries and scoliosis. Arrgh.

Only thing to do is eat well and get protein which doesn’t bother me, (because I enjoy food) treat the wounds and try to be very aware of positioning to prevent pressure points. I wish I could prevent these skin problems but I cannot. I had to have reconstructive surgery years ago on my back so these are just problems that could not be fixed and the aftermath. Just so you understand why this happens to me from time to time. I do not think I ever mentioned that about myself before on my blog although I know I have mentioned wound problems before.

I hope you have a good rest of the weekend!

I am off to bed. Night Night. :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Announcing Armando Loyola Photography website

We just opened the Armando Loyola Photography website and are ready to start in the Alabama Wedding Photography Business.


The website is also in Spanish since Armando  speaks Spanish and I can speak Spanish (some) too.

Please take a look and let us know what you think about it. We tried to make it elegant yet easy to navigate.

Thank you!

Alabama Wedding Photography

Sunday fun

I went with my parents early Sunday morning to a flea market. I emptied the monkey piggy bank of some change so I did not have to feel guilty for spending anything other than change.

I got four pens for 50 cents each

A big pack of post it notes for $5.00

A new in the package pink apron with strawberries, a pot holder and oven mitt for $1.00

A small ovenware dish for $1.00

A hand painted black floral trinket box for $1.00

My favorite things were a small and a medium size domed glass covered plates (similar to the one below  but mine are not pedestal type) for 50 cents each! The small one has an etched glass cover.

glass plate

I put my shell collection in the smallest one and the other one is on the table for cookies,etc.

In the evening my Aunt Elizabeth invited us over for dinner. We discussed an upcoming bridal shower that we are hosting. I will make the invitations out and send them. I came home and looked up some party games.

I love parties! One of these days when we are in our own house with a more accessible kitchen, I want to start back decorating cakes again. My Aunt used to run her own catering business and she kindly taught me the basics. I admire her work. I would like to take more classes and learn how to do more advanced techniques. I have only done Christmas cakes and Birthday cakes mostly.

It was always so rewarding making cakes for little children!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ryan's Monkey

I just completed a monkey for my nephew Ryan.

I free-handed the pattern on paper and cut it out. Then, I hand-sewed the monkey in felt so it would be very soft.

I finished by crocheting him a scarf.



I call it "Monkey Face". (laugh)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekend of Family & Nature

On Saturday some of our family from Ohio visited us. We visited this creek was that my cousins enjoyed playing in as children and wanted to revisit.


Later that evening Armando and I tried to find our first geocache but didn't find anything.

Look at Armando's blog for a picture of that area.

Sunday was spent at Noccalula Falls Park in Gadsden, Alabama for a family reunion.

We enjoyed the park area with animals. We got to ride the train.


Me riding the train.


Picture I took of Armando at one of the historic buildings.


I got my first ever deer "kiss". :)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


I was awake at around 2 a.m. nauseated and then sick. At 9 a.m. I was sick again. I took medicine. I feel somewhat better now.

Armando is so comforting when I do not feel well. I am glad I have him in my life. :)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Our Day & Geocaching

We went to Huntsville to get an item from FedEx because two days in a row they could not find our house and we had a feeling the third time would be no different!

Then since I am crazy for Mexican food, we stopped by Taco Bell. I had a Chicken Chalupa and Nachos. Yum. Yum. Armando is not so crazy about Mexican food so he had something else.

We stopped by the office store and bookstore and had a yummy coffee.

The other night I signed us up at

I thought it would be something fun for Armando and I to do on the weekends.

You basically search using your GPS unit and have coordinates for caches or “hidden packages”. I am still reading on how it works. But, so far I think you sign a logbook inside the cache and take something from the cache and leave something in the cache. Cool, a treasure hunt. I will let you know how it goes in the future. :)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Spoiled cats

We do not know how this happened but… the two kittens are very spoiled. They climb into our laps and give the most pitiful cries when they come near wanting to be picked up and held until they inevitably fall asleep and when you lay them into their beds, they cry wanting to be back in your lap again!

Fluffy is asleep in my lap right now.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Random Pictures

That I took at my cousin's Lake House on the 4th of July.






Thursday, July 03, 2008


All the people who gave me the tests felt like I was a good candidate for Medical Transcription so I am relieved and happy.

Now, I wait for some reports to come back to my counselor, chart out a plan with my counselor and then await authorization and funding.


Happy Independence Weekend To All!


Photo taken by me July 4, 2004 at Lake Guntersville, AL

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A Leaking Coffee Pot

Yesterday I noticed that our coffee pot seemed to be leaking. Yep, it had broken. So today had us looking for a new coffee pot, but not a complete new coffee maker because our coffee maker works ok. Wow! It is amazing how much they charge just for the glass pot. We could not find our exact model (Black and Decker Versabrew)




and did not want to buy a whole new coffee maker. I like our coffee pot because it is programmable and has an automatic shutoff which is a good thing for forgettable me! We ended up buying a replacement glass coffee pot and crossing our fingers that it worked for our coffee maker.

Sure enough, it did work! Yay! It was the cheapest one we saw at $9.97.

We had a fresh pot of coffee when we got home. I cannot imagine our days without coffee. We are both big coffee lovers.

We also have our own favorite cups. I like a big cup with frogs on it that my sister bought for me and Armando likes his Waffle House cup or Dunkin’ Donuts cup. Armando likes two spoons of sugar in his coffee whereas I am a cream only coffee person.  I love French vanilla and hazelnut coffee but only buy it as a treat because it is rather expensive.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Wedding Photography

Armando usually works in Information Technology. So far, we have not had much luck in finding him a job in his field in our area or surrounding areas. So, we are going into another direction. We both have always loved photography. It was one of the ways we shared our lives with one another when we lived in two seperate countries before we married.

Armando is starting as a Wedding Photographer. I am very excited for him. He is very creative and I have always admired his photography.We got his business license today.

I will be his secretary. :)

Check out his blog at:

I will add more later as we get the business started.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Life is fragile

A distant cousin of mine who was just 25 committed suicide. It is heartbreaking really. I went to the funeral home tonight.

He donated his organs and helped five other people.

This is a somber reminder of how fragile life is…

May his close family and children find strength during these difficult times.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

IQ test completed

I completed the Intelligence test. Simply said, I am glad that is over with!

I decided to go ahead into Medical Transcription. I do appreciate the advice of the people who have told me the possible risks of that field with voice recognition and outsourcing. I hope I am making the right choice. If in the future, I realize that the field is beginning to become slow I can always switch over to medical coding or possibly start a Personal Assistant business.

I have a few friends who do Medical Transcription now and they seem to be doing ok . I have also been monitoring message boards and I joined an email group with a lot of Medical Transcriptionists and they seem to be getting accounts and working at this time.

Suzanne sent me some GREAT textbooks in the mail today! I was so happy to receive them so I can go ahead and start diving in more  and learning the technical parts of the job. So far, I have just done a few general transcriptions using Amazon's Mechanical Turk. The pay is not much working there, but it is experience in transcribing!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Semi-Recycled Necklace & Kitten Update

Yesterday I made this necklace.

Some of the beads are made from recycled magazines.


Here is an updated picture of Chochina's kittens.

The grey one is a girl and Armando named her Mundo Nuevo which means New World.

I am still thinking of a name for the orange one. Any suggestions?