Sunday, May 25, 2008

Chochi's kittens today

Here is an updated picture of the two kittens.

One is so tiny. We are doing supplemental feedings for the smallest one. It is a little fighter. They are both very precious.

There is such a big difference in their size, it is hard to believe they are siblings.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Shop opening soon!

Today was spent finishing up some flower orders, cleaning house, putting up laundry and… injuring two toes by banging into our bathroom cabinet. How clumsy can one gal be?

I decided to take Kat’s suggestion and sell some of the cat toys I enjoy making and a few other handcrafts.

Soon I will be opening an etsy shop.

I do not have anything up yet, except a banner that Armando kindly made for me.

Here will be the address for my Shop:

I will let you know when I have an inventory!

I will go for testing over the next few weeks in another city, so hopefully before too long I can go back to school. Yay!

This weekend is going to be busy for us. My cousin is graduating from high school in Ellijay, Georgia so we will travel there Saturday. Sunday is our “Decoration” and then a family gathering at my Aunt Elizabeth’s with a bbq.

If I do not get to post before the weekend...

Have a happy weekend!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Flower Power!

I've spent a few days making flower arrangements. It is "Decoration time" here. I got sunburned today. We planted some of our flowers in the flower beds. One area needs to be tilled first and we have to build a flower bed for some perennials.

I got some green plants called "Hens and chicks" or Sempervivum.

Some research for pictures on the Internet showed many great ideas for planting them. You can plant them in Strawberry planters or pots or in beds. They multiply and have little plants that shoot off to the sides that can be propagated. [ To propagate, simply split off the "chicks" from the "hen" parent plant and transplant them. You can transplant them directly into soil.]

This was my favorite picture. I think they look very pretty planted together like this around rocks.



Picture from The Urban Homesteaders blog HERE

Our cat Chochi who was attacked recently by a dog/ or coyote was pregnant! Bless her heart. All those internal injuries and then a birth.

We were very concerned over her pregnancy. At first we thought she was just fat because we had fed her a lot of canned food during the time when she was healing after the attack. As time passed we realized she was pregnant.

She had a rough birth late Thursday night and Friday morning. We were close by. Three kittens died and two very small ones lived. She is a good Mom but very different than my other Mom cat, Pollyanna was with her babies. Pollyanna always liked to be left alone with her kittens. We thought Chochi would want privacy too, but she did not. When we left her alone she kept meowing and coming to us and then wanting us to follow her to her kittens. Later we realized she needed help and was nervous as a first time Mother. The babies are so small they have a hard time staying in place to eat. There little heads wobble and they lose their place. One is extremely tiny and the other is somewhat bigger. One is grey and dark, one is orange.

Chochi  is very much dependent on us. She is a good Mother but needs help at feeding time. When the babies cry, she meows and then comes to Armando or me and then takes us to her babies and gets inside her bed and rolls on her back. We have to place the babies to eat and hold them there sometimes. I am glad she lets us help her, because the babies are so small, it is important that they get enough nutrition.

See a video here of Chochi with her babies.


Well, I am off to start cleaning my hard drive of files and backing stuff up...

A Girl's Gotta Do, What a Girl's Gotta Do!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Virtual Makeover

This web site lets you test out makeup, different eye colors and hairstyles.

It is very entertaining. Just upload a photo of yourself and play away!

See me below:




Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lightening Up

I am sorry that my blog has been rather heavy lately. Now I want to lighten it up a bit and show you some of the flowers that we will plant.


  A Yellow Rose Bush


These assorted flowers


This one is a very nice flowing ground cover.

I am off to the store for potting soil and to spend some time outdoors today!


Sunday, May 11, 2008


Please join me on Facebook.

My username is Michelle Loyola and I am in the Huntsville/Decatur AL Network.

Just go to the webpage above and look for the search box and type in Michelle Loyola and I am the only one that shows up in the Huntsville/Decatur network.

It is a fun place to share with friends, play games and find new friends with similar interests.

The Miami Project

Since I have been paralyzed I focus most of my energy on trying to just live with it and I try not to get overly-excited about cures because it would be very hurtful to live on false hopes. When I first became paralyzed I used to spend many emotionally charged hours trying to focus and mentally make my legs and feet move. Needless to say, I could not “make it happen” by sheer mental wishing. That was the outlook I had as a fifteen year old. I felt that like most other things in my life, I could overcome it, if I just tried hard enough. Also, it did not help much the statements made to me by some religious family members: If you want to walk, you will get up out of that wheelchair and walk. Have faith, Pray, Try to wiggle your toes, etc.

Having said the above, I still do keep an eye out for new research. So I guess I have not lost all hope. I am on The Miami Project’s mailing list to stay in tune with new research and possible cures for paralysis. They have done some very interesting work and the last letter I received has made me feel very hopeful for the future of me and others living with spinal cord injuries. Some of the latest findings helped animals regain 70% of normal walking function. Look at all this research!

In order to take it to the FDA approval level and then start human trials, they will need to raise a lot of money. So, just take a look at their website and if you do know somebody who likes to give toward good causes, please mention this project to them.

This research with proper funding could change the lives of many people, not just those living with paralysis but newly injured people as well.


P.S. I added a new song to the player on the right.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Photo Saturday



Cookie cat and the pillow I made my Mom for Mother's Day.


My new bright cactus garden. :)


Lucy and plant on porch.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Dinner and a movie etc.

Today I have an appointment with Vocational Rehab. I have to fill out some paperwork. I hope soon I get the necessary evaluations and get to start studying. I am still so happy that I get funding and the chance to study.

This evening is my Aunt Elizabeth's Birthday. We are going out for a celebration dinner with her and afterwards, Armando and I are going to go see a movie at the theater.

My Dad surprised me with some bonus pay for work I had done for him and it really came in handy. Armando is searching for a job in Information Technology. I am awaiting funding for studying. Things have been tight for us lately, with a capital T! So, needless to say, it is quite nice to have an evening out on the town to boost our spirits.

I completed Mom's pillow for Mother's Day last night. As usual, I could not hold the gift until Mother's Day so I gave it to her last night. She liked it. :) Later, I will take a picture of it and post here so you can see, but beware, I am a sewing newbie!

The other day my Dad sold a truck to some people originally from Guatemala. I became brave and went outside and introduced myself and tried to speak with them in Spanish. With some "improv" on the words I did not know, we understood each other and thank goodness, the lady was nice enough to help me when I had trouble with pronouncing words.

I had the best conversation on the telephone yesterday with Stephen. We have so much in common and he is such a great friend.

Have a good evening!


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Thank You

Thank you to everyone who left kind comments when I was coping with the death of my Grandma. She will be missed but I am holding onto the good memories because I believe she would want me to do that.

Today I had a doctor's appointment in Birmingham at University of Alabama Hospital. I saw a new doctor this time. My Doctor (Hematologist/Oncologist) that I had seen since high school left to another state. I will miss him. He was a good doctor.

My new doctor is female and seemed nice today. I was happy today when she told me we I can try to take the Neupogen injections every other day and see if that kept my white blood count in ok ranges. I will have to get my blood tested in July to be sure so I hope it works. Today my white blood count was 3400 and I had missed a few doses of the Neupogen injection.

Yesterday I practiced sewing. It is quite challenging sewing and using your elbow to push the pedal but I did practice and sewed straight enough lines to complete a pillow for my Mom for Mother's Day. Well, at least the sewn part is complete. I have to iron it, crochet some flowers for the front, sew them on and then stuff it and sew up the edge. It is a start. I want to keep practicing sewing and hopefully improve.

I think the foot pedal with my elbow sewing  is going to be as challenging as a foot pedal if I have to use it for Medical Transcription. I hope most companies/doctors will allow me to use software instead since I am paralyzed, but I do not know how that works.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Rambling sobre todo...

Today I did more laps than I ever have down our long gravel driveway with what I call a “killer hill” in it. At least, for me, in the wheelchair that hill has always been difficult. It is a workout and when I stop doing it, I am like I used to be when I would go jogging (pre-paralysis of course) and was out of shape, I’d lose my breath and feel like my heart would explode. But then after I work at it and get more in shape, I enjoy the sunshine and the challenge of making it up the hill one more time. Also, I would like to think that this effort will make me healthier and tone up my arms at least.

I have always had one big fear since being paralyzed and that is, fear of gaining weight in my stomach and then being unable to get the weight off. So far, well, as far as I know, I am ok as far as weight goes. I do not think I am skinny at all, but I am not extremely fat either. I like to think I am ok for my height. But, the truth is, I cannot weigh myself because I have no way to and most of the time that does not bother me much, but sometimes I wish I had one of those cool scales like they have at the rehab center where you can weigh yourself in the wheelchair and then weigh the wheelchair and find out your weight, but… I do not and I am guessing that would be very expensive. (laugh)

Change of subject.

I have cried several times today because my Grandma died this morning. I keep telling myself that she lived a long life and got to see not only her children and grandchildren accomplish many things but also her great grandchildren. But, even so, I then think of her and I cry. I know she was very sick and had lost her quality of life and that it is good she no longer is suffering, but I will miss many things about her. I am so sensitive. I never handle it well when people die. I try to hold it all together but end up crying anyway.

Change of subject again.

I have been learning the right way to type with a computer program. I had become used to typing the wrong way, without a technique, just by using the computer. I am sure with practice and knowing where to put my fingers that my speed will increase. I am trying to improve before taking the Medical Transcription classes. I have also been studying Medical Terminology online here. The Medical Transcription classes through Career Step take 640 hours total. I know they will be challenging but I am ready!

Have a good weekend...

Goodbye Grandma


Rest in Peace. 

I love you.