Sunday, December 13, 2009

The sun’s aftermath

Tonight I started a new facial cleansing routine. I made the silly decision years ago to lay out in the sun (on purpose) to try to get a beautiful (in fashion) golden tan. I have fair skin. The outcome was one that I have regretted for years. I did not get that golden tan.

I remember at that time that my face became very red, I had blisters, and was literally sick with fever and chills. My skin suffered the damage and my forehead, since that time has had dry skin. Even when I put moisturizers on it, it seems it can never get enough moisture.

Never since that time have I intentionally laid out in the sun. It is awful for the skin and damages it even if you do not notice it straight away.

I am trying a product called “CeraVe” hydrating cleanser. I followed that with Avon’s rich moisture face cream. CeraVe is dermatologist recommended for dry skin and several dry skin related conditions. I will let you know what results I have with this routine. I am hopeful for good results.


I hope somebody reads my post and if nothing else, it helps save them from the mistake of damaging their own skin.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A Medical Transcriptionist Christmas Poem

An MT Christmas poem

‘Twas the night before Christmas

And in MT town

Tired MTs were longing

To lay their keys down.

Their earphones were hung

On their skull caps with care.

In hopes that new words

Wouldn’t bring them despair.

Some in their sweatpants

And some in their tights

Had just settled down

For a long evening’s type.

When over their headsets

The sounds were so jumbled

They couldn’t quite make out

The words that were mumbled.

They hit the fast forward

Reverse, stop, and slow

Trying to make out

The message below.

They checked in their Dorland’s,

Drug books and spellers,

Some called class buddies

Or even asked their fellers.

If they had an inkling

Of what the tape said

Or why someone was trying

To mess with their head.

When no one could answer

They listened less quick

And suddenly knew

The “doc” was St. Nick.

Now he spoke very plainly

Since they needed to hear

For his message was urgent

As Christmas drew near.

It was quite simple

No long words to spell

Dictated but heartfelt

And clear as a bell.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays

Best wishes and cheer

And thanks from Doc Santa

For your hard work all year.

Monday, November 30, 2009



IMGP4681 Ave Maria Grotto 2008 Cullman, Alabama


18 years I have lived in this place. It is the longest time that I have ever lived anywhere. This state has offered me many great moments. You know every place has its own special beauty. I am happy that I had the chance to live here so long. I think it enriched me as a person.

Perhaps the thing I liked the most about Alabama was living in a rural setting and feeling free to just exhale without that crowded feeling that one often gets inside the city. Feeling fine to sit on the porch all day if I desired (with coffee cup in hand) and not feeling guilty about happily listening to the birds and the crickets. The pace is slower here. I am sure I will have to remind myself to slow down and remember to take notice of those simple pleasures no matter where I live.

I am looking forward and imagining the rich experiences that await me in my new home. I am also quite excited to join my husband whom I have missed for many months now. We must carve out our niche and find special places to explore and enjoy there. We need this. We need to be together and have a fresh start. We are very blessed to have a place and a job and such opportunities.

Come January, I will pack up my cats, some things and head to Texas… where everything is bigger.

I am ready!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Flower crochet

A crochet flower

From the “Crochet Inspiration” book by Sasha Kagan.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chochi on my lap



Life is too short not to treasure the small precious moments (like this) together.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Cookie in a basket on a shelf on my computer table. While this was not my original intention for the basket; I cannot bring myself to use it now.
Cookie and Chochi take turns resting there and find it perfect for daytime napping.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Getting Closer

What is left of my studies.


72%  Clinic Notes
9%    Enhancing Productivity
1%    Basic Acute Care
0%    Advanced Acute Care
27%  Final Exam Preparation

It seems my blogging has slowed to a creep lately.

Here is a small summary of what I have been up to lately.

  • Brief hospitalization, but I am all better now! :)
  • Monday – Friday 8.5 hours of transcribing medical reports. (This goes well with the exception of the dictations containing speed talkers, loud noises that are of a higher frequency than the doctor’s voice, and foreign accents which my ears are unaccustomed to hearing. Spanish, Indian, and British accents are fine. Australian really is difficult and I never knew I had a problem with Australian accents before now.)
  • Online/Phone time with Armando when time allows, especially on Sundays, which is both of our off day.
  • 4 day visit with Armando which was heaven, but way too short for the both of us.
  • Applying for a job in TX.
  • Sorting through our things and packing stuff up.
  • Daily spoiling of our cats.

That is pretty much it. See why I have not been blogging?

I have summed up about 3 months in one entry. :p


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Historic Home

(Click to see it larger)
A beautiful historic home in Guntersville, Alabama.
I have passed by this home for years.
Only today did I stop to photograph it.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Color scheme?

I recently figured out an easy and simple way to check out a color scheme for crochet projects beforehand with using the Paint program.

I did not draw with much care. I just wanted to see how the colors looked together. Here is the color scheme I plan to use for the Granny square blanket I am making.

Crochet Turtle

I recently finished this tiny turtle for Armando's Amigurumi collection.
You can find the pattern on the Lion Brand Yarn website.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Improvement YAY!

I am happy to report that Mom has improved a lot. She is still having problems with her memory and confusion at times.

In our family therapy appointment today she was given some more memory tests. This showed that Mom is having trouble with her short term memory and analysis. She did well with synthesis but analysis was very hard for her. I asked the therapist if I could look up some games or exercises for short term memory and analysis to help Mom improve and she said yes. She also told me an exercise we can do to help with analysis. The therapist is very good. She tries to help Mom, Dad and I find new ways to do things and that is so helpful.

This therapist has seen Mom from the beginning and when she was hospitalized. Today she said how happy she was to see Mom improving more. She admitted that when Mom was in the hospital how she was really concerned for us because she was afraid that Mom would not improve and that with her condition at that time, that we would have not been able to keep her at home.

I feel so blessed to have Mom improving and doing better. Will she return to the way she was before all of this happened? We do not know at this time. What is hopeful is that Mom is learning new ways to cope and do things with her condition as it is now and I am proud of her.

I see some light shining at the end of the tunnel.

Photo taken by me in Chile -2008

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Self- Reminder for Later

Try this recipe:

Baked Potato Soup.

Has anybody ever made this recipe before?
If so, Does it taste as good as it looks?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Terrarium ideas

The other weekend I found a terrarium/tabletop planter for $5.00. I was very happy because I have thought about making a terrarium for quite a while now. The terrarium I bought looks similar to the picture above but mine has more detailing on the sides.

I found a few websites with information on how to make terrariums.

This one is cute, a terrarium in a jar:

Great How to's here for all kinds of terrariums:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My absence

Please forgive my absence recently. I may not be posting as much as normal for a while.

My Mom is not well and has a rapid onset of dementia. I have always been very close with my Mom. This diagnosis and what we will have to face is one of the hardest things that I have ever been through in my life. It is a cruel brain disorder that robs the family and the person with it of so much. Mom is only sixty years old.

Dad and I are the main caretakers of Mom right now. Eventually, I will be moving to Texas where my husband has been working for many weeks now.

Right now, I am here trying to get quality time with Mom while I can and she recognizes me and help support Dad too. I am still not well from my past surgeries and was overdoing it at first when Mom was in the hospital twice so I am trying to help but doing a two hours up and two hours in bed rotation all day.

Mom has started forgetting me and my sister's names and it has only been three weeks. She is very confused. It is heartbreaking but I have to try to be strong.

I am very thankful that I have a supportive husband and wonderful friends who have allowed me to talk when I was upset and cry with them as I am trying to cope with this. Thank you for listening and being here. It has helped me more than you can ever know.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Etsy Store & Such

I just opened an etsy store to sell some of my handmade items. I plan to add more stock in the future, including crochet cat toys.

You can visit my store through the link at the right of my blog.

If you have any recommendations or comments about my store or items, please feel free to let me know!

I am still healing from surgery. I can sit up a little in the day but it amazes me how fast I get tired after being in the bed so many weeks after these past few surgeries.

This weekend I went out and enjoyed the weather and had so much fun but I laid down upon returning home and crashed immediately and slept until late evening. I could not believe how tired I got. When I woke up from my nap, my face, neck, hands and arms had big red itchy spots/whelps. I am having major allergy issues and don't know for sure what is causing the rash. I took a benadryl and it helped the itching.

I also went to my Aunt's house and saw her flowers (after the benadryl) that she had planted in her yard. I threatened to steal some of her snowballs from her bush for a flower arrangement but I did not because it was dark by the time I left. They were very pretty with big white blooms. I saw a frog in my Aunt's grass and I could not remember when the last time was that I had seen a frog just hopping around.

That reminds me that I need to replant some of my succulents that have seeding and started new shoots.

My husband is in Austin, Texas now. I miss him but am hoping things work out well there.

I am just trying to make myself stay in bed until everything heals and then I can go full force again.

I hope you have a good week.
Enjoy the Spring!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring Flowers

IMGP5790, originally uploaded by alabamagal.

I meant to upload these photos for Easter. ( I forgot. ) I took these photos April 4th while Armando was doing an Easter photo shoot with children.

More Bunnies

Bunnies, originally uploaded by alabamagal.

Spring Flowers

IMGP5762, originally uploaded by alabamagal.


Bunnies, originally uploaded by alabamagal.

Bunnies & Flowers

I took these pictures the weekend before my surgery and meant to post them for Easter.

Oh well. Here they are, either way. :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Strawberries, Etc.

This evening we had company over for dinner. My day was full of cooking fun in the kitchen.

I started my day with ham, scrambled eggs, and biscuits. I ended it with angel food cake, sliced strawberries, and cool whip topping.

I will crochet in bed with some TV time before I sleep. Crochet usually relaxes me.

I have several projects going at the same time (as usual). I completed the black scarf with flowers and made a white baby hat with a small rose. I re-started a hat that I had previously worked on before Christmas. It needs some adjustments and I am trying to make it the right size. I hope it works because I find the stitch very pretty. If it works, I am going to give it to my Mom. I need to get my booty into gear and work on some Christmas projects before time sneaks up on me again.

On April 6th I will have surgery again. It is to try to heal from the last surgery which did not work out as planned. I hope this surgery works. By the time pretty weather arrives, I want to be healed and ready to enjoy it. It is a day surgery so that is good. I prefer being home when I am recovering if at all possible. At least at home I have my books, crochet thread, and my favorite blanket. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Work in Progress #3

Seashells Scarf, originally uploaded by alabamagal.

Seashells Scarf

Free pattern

Work in Progress #2

Scarf, originally uploaded by alabamagal.

Black scarf with flowers

Here is the pattern for the flowers:

Round 1: In Color A, ch 9, sl st in first ch to form ring, ch 3, 2 dc in ring, *ch 6, sl st sideways in last dc made, 3 dc in ring; repeat from * 4 times, ch 6, sl st in last dc, sl st in third ch of ch-3. Fasten off.

Round 2: Attach Color B in any center dc of any 3-dc group, * work 11 dc sts into ch-6 loop, sl st in center dc of next 3-dc group; repeat from * 5 times. Sl st in st where yarn was attached. Fasten off.

If you want to sew the motifs together, sew top edge stitches of petals together.

Work in Progress #1

Granny Blanket, originally uploaded by alabamagal.

The granny square blanket

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spanish Learning Ideas

Here is a free list compiled by many of the "Notes in Spanish" members.

It is filled with Spanish Learning Ideas to help you improve your Spanish.

You can download the PDF by going HERE

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Cathedral Caverns in Woodville, AL

We visited Cathedral Caverns in Woodville, Alabama today. We had
a great time! The good thing about this cave is that it has a walkway
all the way through it so it is wheelchair accessible which is unique.
It is beautiful and worth visiting!
Posted by Picasa
You can see the website by clicking HERE

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Miss. Domino

A picture taken in the wooded area behind our home by Armando.
Miss. Domino is recovering very well after her surgery.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you have had a good Valentine’s Day and that you were able to share it with your loved one. If you are single, I hope you were able to do something special for yourself this holiday.

I like all holidays and love baking, decorating for holidays, and doing fun and thoughtful things but my holiday celebrating does not usually revolve around spending large sums of money. I like to do little things that come from the heart. I do get annoyed with all the pressure to buy/spend money. I do not need diamonds, jewelry, or anything expensive to make me feel loved during Valentine’s Day or other holidays. Pull me some flowers from the yard or just spend time with me. I will be happy. : )

I did not sleep at all last night. I spent most of the night downloading/trying software and trying to find a workable solution to save and keep my important reference materials from class.

I tried many free pdf programs before settling on Cute PDF writer because of its ease of use.

Here are a few of the programs/services that I tried and my ratings of either “Way Cool” or “Not So Much”.

Google notebook – Not So Much

It messed up the formatting on the information I was trying to save.

Microsoft Office One Note – Way Cool!

Great System for organizing notes!

Google Documents – Way Cool!

Nice solution for saving documents (supports several different formats) and sharing as well as backing up your documents online.

Windows Live SkyDrive – Waaaaaaaaay Cool!

25 GB of storage space with the capability to share using the Public Folder option.

Crafting update:

The Granny Square blanket:

I have three colors on the granny square afghan so far. The center square is red, then orange and yellow around that. I changed my plan and have now decided to use many different colors on this afghan instead of just going with red, yellow and orange. I will try and get some pictures later of my progress to show you.

Project 2: Amigurumi "Cookie" Creation

This is going to sound funny but anyhow...

I am using features from two different amigurumi patterns and taking different things from each. The patterns are from the book called "Tiny Yarn Animals - Amigurumi Friends to Make and Enjoy by Tamie Snow". I am trying to make a cat Amigurumi stuffed animal that looks like our cat Cookie. (or at least I hope it resembles her in some tiny way when I am finished. Time will tell LOL) So far I have half of the head made.

That is all I can think of to say right now so I will be back later. ;)

Monday, February 09, 2009

Lada dada dee - Lada dada day

Miss Domino's x-ray

Our cat Miss Domino is our oldest cat. We named her that because she is black and white. She came to our house one day many years ago and adopted us as her family. We asked around but nobody seems to know who she belonged to. Miss. Domino is at the veterinarian. We did not know that in her life (before coming to us) she had a broken leg and an operation with two metal pins put in her leg. She got a sore and it was not healing so Armando took her to get checked. The x-rays quickly revealed what the problem was. One of her pins had dislodged itself and was protruding outward. It was bothering her and that is what caused the sore. Tomorrow she will have surgery for removal of the one pin.

Yesterday I went to breathe some fresh air. To say it was glorious would be an understatement. The skies were a beautiful blue with the clouds made of cotton, or so it appeared to my eyes. The past few days have brought spring-like weather, a nice reprieve from the winter coolness. To think that I have permission to sit up a little at this time is a gift to boost my spirits unlike any other!

My incision seems to be holding together pretty well. The last appointment the doctor said he would leave the stitches in two more weeks. I have had some superficial separations but I think it will all heal with time. I just need to take it slow which is hard for me to do sometimes. I like to go full-force.

Yesterday I made Armando French toast. I miss cooking for us a lot.

As far as studies go, I have made my way to Focus on Medical Specialties. I have completed the Cardiology, Gastroenterology and Neurology sections. Now I am studying OB-GYN Obstetrics and Gynecology. Next will be the Mid-term test.

I hope you have a good week!

Monday, February 02, 2009


Cookie, originally uploaded by alabamagal.

test #2

Paper Flowers

Originally uploaded by alabamagal


My blog seems to be a blend of my life, cats and crafts. I like sharing crafts and looking at other people's crafts online. Sometimes I just need a place to release and talk about things that are on my mind. They can be a mixture of feelings depending on what is going on in my life so just hang in there with me. If I seem negative at times it is just me trying to cope with something and releasing it so I can move on. I try to share all sides of myself but sometimes I am not the best at writing it down! 

Another subject that I have been trying to be more open about is paralysis and health. Two friends of mine had mentioned before to me that they wished I would speak more about that so I have been. Life is made up of ups and downs and yes, sometimes being in a wheelchair or the complications that go along with it can be challenging. I find that most of the time I am just fine and just go about trying to live my life like everybody else.  I do not really focus on the wheelchair except when I need to.  Like when I cannot fit it somewhere etc. I am not the typical person in the wheelchair because I have had other health problems since I was thirteen years old and did not become paralyzed until I was fifteen years old. Those other issues mostly involve my back and create more challenges but little by little I find ways to move past them. Necessity is the Mother of invention!

Ok, now onto my recent crafting project. :)

I have been working on a granny square blanket since I had surgery. I am doing it in bright colors, red, orange and yellow. It is easy to do in bed since I am doing it as one big granny square and in rounds versus doing a lot of little granny squares and then joining them. 

If you look back over my past blog entries you will see that I lost pictures with my entries. I lost them because I cancelled my hosting service and beforehand  I did not think of them being casualties. Now you can only reach this blog by is no longer a valid address for me. Sorry about all that.

I have been watching tv & movies, reading, sleeping , studying and crocheting a lot since the 19th. I am so ready to heal and get back to my normal routine. I have forgotten how to be a good patient! I am trying though. ;)

I may have gained some pounds after all this with inactivity, bedrest, and frequent bowls of chocolate icecream. :P

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stitched up

I had some complications over the weekend. I've been lying in bed being careful & first one stitch broke and seperated, then I awoke Monday with the incision opened more and more stitches not holding. Not good.

On the way to the doc office another area opened.

The doc injected medicine to numb and stitched me up again. 

The problem is I have scars and he had to stitch to them so it did not hold well. I am laying to one side now and trying not to move around much. I want this to heal well and I am nervous for the stitches to not hold. 

I have had a lot of surgeries before but never had this happen. You just never know.

I've been up and down emotionally but trying to keep positive and be patient.

Armando is so good to me.  I really appreciate him for sticking by me through all this!

Thank you to all my friends who have checked on me and left messages. It has meant a lot to me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm home!

All went very well with my surgery and I came home yesterday. I only had to stay in the hospital two days. I know it was not that long but when they said I may get to go home I clung to that thought. I did not even have my IV out yet and I was ready to get dressed for home. :)

I need to be careful with my back ( the incision is pretty big, up and down my back). I must keep the pressure off that area so for now I am on bed rest mostly and cannot lay on my back, just my left and right side. 

I will be back to normal in several weeks time.

I am so happy that I had a consultation for a new wheelchair while in the hospital which I have needed for over a year now. It will take several months to start the insurance process over and get approval again since the last company dropped the ball.  I feel relieved because without proper seating and pressure relief this surgery would have been for nothing in the long term.

So, all is looking up!

When I get the new wheelchair I will take a picture of it to show you because you have heard me babbling on for so long in frustration over it.

Armando has been the BEST through all of this. I am so lucky to have him.I feel bad for being more dependent now during recovery and he just calms me and tells me to relax and helps me through. 

What have you been up to the last few days?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Operation # ??

Honestly, I have lost count of how many surgeries that I have had. At least I am not a newbie so I know what to expect. (But is that a positive, I ask myself?) I should be in the hospital only a few days if all goes well.

I have to be there at 9 a.m. tomorrow and the surgery is not until sometime after that. I wish I had been the first case so I could zip in and zip out before the nervousness sets in. But it is not to be. One strange thing is that I have not even spoken with an anesthesiologist yet. I guess I speak to him/her the morning of surgery.

I got a good book to read and a brain teaser puzzle book. Armando arrived home and will be here for my surgery which is a big comfort to me.

Have a good several days and I will be back shortly! ;)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Just me chit-chatting

Armando arrived to Austin, Texas safely. I am glad that we can be in contact while he is there. We are so attached to one another.

I am not quite sure if I am having surgery on Monday yet or not. I will have a CAT scan tomorrow to see if all is clear there. If that comes out clear then I will be having the surgery. If not, I must postpone the back surgery and have another procedure first. 

The last few days have been cold here. Today the day looked so pretty but the cold air would cut right through you.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Beloved Pets

Our little four-legged critters are very much part of our lives. We try to spoil them as much as possible because you have to cherish the time you have together. Sadly, two of our cats have parted ways recently.


Our cat Macaruchi was run over by a car. He was very intelligent, extremely lovable and will be missed. He liked to help me scrapbook or would help me “arrange” my papers. Macaruchi is brother to Pumpkin Muffin. Pumpkin Muffin is Mundo Nuevo and Fluffy’s Daddy. We will miss his sweet presence.



Armando and Macaruchi

Chochi’s kitten Mundo Nuevo also came up missing. She is Fluffy’s brother. Her and her brother stay inside mostly but sometimes outside. Armando put her and her brother out on the porch the other night and in the morning the brother was there but no Mundo Nuevo. We called and have searched everywhere for two days and no sign of her. It is very sad but I hope whatever happened to her that she did not suffer.  I guess I must accept the fact that she is gone from us also… but it still hurts.


Fluffy on the left and Mundo Nuevo on the right.

Armando has a job interview in another state next week. I hope all goes well. If he gets the job we will be moving to Texas.

I will be having surgery on January 19th. The wound is not healing and it has been nearly a year so I am having a procedure to hopefully help me.

Thursday, January 08, 2009