Saturday, December 31, 2011

By the by, I haven't been around much...

And there've been multiple reasons for that.  Part of it is school, of course.  That kept me pretty busy, but it was worth it--I got 4 A's and an A- this semester, and now I'm applying for what the college calls its "Fresh Start option."  Basically, I get to boost my GPA by having the GPAs from 2 semesters wiped out.  The grades are still there, but the poor grades no longer count against me.  The really nice thing is that one semester will be gone entirely, and the other will now count as a 4.0, since I get to keep the A from that semester.

The other reason I've been away is that Dave went to the hospital in October with really bad pneumonia, and came out with a few other, really damn scary things, the scariest being congestive heart failure.  The doctors told him that the right side of his heart (which is the back side, in case y'all didn't know--I didn't) was enlarged to about the size of a football.  They also told him that they just don't see that size heart in a living patient, and that he'd be lucky to make it to Thanksgiving.   He's got a post about it on his blog, here.

...I'm really scared, y'all.  I'm not ready to be without Dave.  Don't get me wrong, I can do anything that needs to be done.  But I don't think I can be the center of the family that he is.  And I know that without him, every day I'll just be going through the motions, waiting until it's my turn.  I know that might sound corny, or stupid, or whatever, but yeah, that's pretty much how it'll be.  Everything will be...hollow.

But for now, we're making Plans, with a capital P.  We're going to be applying for our passports within the next couple of weeks, because we have Very Important People to go meet.  We're planning to go see our friends Flora and Rowenna in Scotland--probably after I graduate from college, so not this summer but next!  And then we need to go to Australia to see Nettie and Sarah, and have them show us how to avoid the drop bears.  :-)  And somewhere in there, we need to go see Dave's brother Bill in Sweden.  I figure we might as well get as much mileage out of those passports as we can!  lol

Anyway, I should probably head to bed, since it's nearly 4 a.m.  Hopefully this next year I'll check in more often.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Oh, hey, I didn't wait so long this time!

Just over a month between posts this time around, woohoo! 

So, what's new, you ask?  Not a whole lot.  Oldest son Daniel is living out at oldest daughter Rachele's place now, Kaila has moved back in with us, Jake is due home from overseas any time now, Matt is looking for a new place, and Heather started 8th grade last week.  Oh, and my oldest grandson, Aidan, is 9 today! :-)

Heather is enjoying school so far, which is good.  We're planning on doing a birthday party of some kind in a few weeks (yes, I know her birthday was on the 16th) so that she can invite friends from school.  She wants to have it at the roller stating rink, which reminds me, I need to call them and check on prices!  Should be a good time, though!

Rachele, Kaila, and I all start back to school next Wednesday.  Rachele hasn't had much of a break, since she's been taking classes all summer.  She had a couple that were prerequisites for classes she wanted to take this fall, but weren't offered in the fall, so she took them over the summer instead.  I have to say, I don't think I'd want to do that for most classes, because they're so condensed during the summer session.  The spring and fall semesters are 14 weeks long, but summer classes are only 6 to 8 weeks.  And I'm not sure, but I think some of them are as short as 3 or 4 weeks long!  That said, I may take one or two of my English classes next summer, to free up space during the year for my minor classes.  Hard to believe that I may only have 4 more semesters of college!  Depends on me getting all of my required credits in, though, including the ones I need for my minor. 

I'm not entirely sure which classes Kaila's taking, with the exception of a basic drawing class.  And that one she was originally going to take from a certain professor that I'd had in the past and seriously dislike.  I don't like his style of art, and I don't like how he grades his students.  He very much gives the impression that if someone's art isn't exactly like his, then it isn't worthy of a good grade.  I'm not the only person who feels this way about him, evidently, considering that quite a few students who'd had him previously urged Kaila to take the class from another professor.  Art is not Kaila's strong point (she knows this), but she wants to learn the techniques and have fun with it, and a class with this particular professor would be anything but fun.  As for her other classes, I know she's still working on her Human Services degree.

My classes this semester are: Advanced Brit Lit II, French I (hope I do better this time around than I did before!), Creative Writing, Grammar, and Biology 101.  And the only reason I'm taking Biology is because I have to have a life science for my major.  Fortunately, I don't have to take a lab, since I took the Astronomy lab last semester.  I did enough dissecting when I took Biology in high school.  Or Life Science in junior high; I can't really remember which.  But after I finish Biology, then the only general education classes I'll have to take are my foreign language ones, which are covered by French this semester and next, and some other language next year.  Unfortunately, they no longer offer any language for two years with the exception of Spanish, which I don't want to take (interestingly, Heather got signed up for Spanish, which she didn't select as an elective).  So, since I have to take 2 years of a foreign language, I'm going to take French this year, and probably Arabic next year.  My only other option would be German, but Arabic sounds interesting. :-)  So, hopefully the professor teaching that will still be there, or if not, then hopefully someone teaching another interesting language will be.

So, I think that's all that's new around here.  One of these days I'll get around to sharing photos from my trip to Denver, and the wedding I went to in Red Lodge (one of Dave's cousins got married, and it was just a perfect day!), along with random other things I've taken pictures of.  OH!  Also, I finally figured out where Dennis the Dragon and Norman the Knight (from my story blog) are going!  I'll be writing that up soon, I promise!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Really bad at this blogging thing...

Wow.  It's been just over 5 months since my last post.  Sorry about that.  Also, my last post might not make a whole lot of sense, but that's because I deleted the post immediately prior to that.  If you haven't read it, don't worry about it--suffice it to say that I was venting about something that was bothering me and I unintentionally hurt someone's feelings in the process, which was certainly not my intention.  And rather than leave the post up for others to see when they read *this* post, I thought it best to remove the other one.

Okay, now that that's out of the way...
I finished last semester with a 4.0!  Holy smokes, a 4.0!  I am quite amazed at myself, actually. :-)  The new semester starts around the 8th of September, and I'm looking forward to going back.  One of the things I have to do is decide on a minor--why is that, anyway?  Why can't people just do their major and call it good?  I'm sure it has something to do with having a backup plan if you don't get a job utilizing your major, but still.  Anyhow, I will probably minor in art, since that was my major before, and I enjoy it, even if I'm not fantastic at it.  I'm still keeping an eye out for internships--there still aren't any that specifically focus on English.  I'll probably have to go in and talk to someone at the college about helping me find one that'll work for me.

Dave's still trying to find a work from home job through NTI.  He's gotten some training done, and he's working on learning Microsoft Office.  Just have to keep our fingers crossed, I guess.

Other than that, there's really not a whole lot going on.  I'm trying to get (and keep!) the house clean, and get rid of stuff we don't need.  We might possibly get to go camping this summer, but I'm not counting on it.  I do still want to go wandering around Riverfront Park--I may do that this next week.  Oh, and I'm thinking of taking Zumba classes--looks like a fun way to lose some weight! :-)

Guess that's all for now.  Have a good one, y'all!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Now that I've gotten the whining out of my system...

Thinks are actually going pretty well.  I've got decent grades in my classes again this semester (As again for the most part, possibly a B or two).  I'm watching for internships at school, but there are only four at the moment, and they're looking for people who want careers in media and public relations--not exactly what I'm going for.

I'm still doing really well with not drinking a lot of soda (one of my resolutions).  I actually still have more than half of the 24-pack that I got last month. :-)  Haven't been walking the dog, though--it's still been too cold most days.  And I haven't started working out yet--don't know why I keep putting that off.

I really need for interesting things to happen around here, so I can write about them.  I'm sure y'all are tired of hearing me  Maybe if it warms up again soon, I'll head over to Riverfront Park and see if I can take some interesting pictures.  :-)  Also, if anyone has any ideas for something to write about, I'm all ears!

Oh, one thing I do have to share next time--the conclusion to the Gingerbread Murder Mystery!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Deep thoughts this week...

Warning: this post kind of makes me sound heartless and unfeeling, but I'm really not.

My sociology class and my geography class actually tied in together this week.  Pretty interesting stuff, actually--at least to me.

In geography, the professor was talking about the "maquiladoras," or assembly plants built by American companies on the Mexican side of the border.  In these plants (she was telling us about auto plants specifically), an auto worker makes about $10 a day.  A worker doing the same job in the U.S. would be getting paid about $200 a day.  So, understandably, the auto companies would build the plants in Mexico and hire Mexican workers--it saves the company money, they don't have to pay the same (if any) taxes, workman's comp. laws are different, etc., etc.  Also understandably, a Mexican worker with any skill would definitely see the advantage in coming across the river (which apparently is only about knee-deep at most) and getting a job here in the U.S.  (I should note that I am not at all opposed to immigration, I just think that people who want to live here need to do so legally--and I think that should actually pertain to any country in the world.)  Now, I would feel bad for the Mexicans making $10 a day, except for the fact that the professor then went on to say that, especially in interior Mexico, that's actually a pretty good wage.  To me, that means that they're living fairly well and are able to buy the things they need, which is good.

So, on to sociology.  Yesterday the professor was discussing how capitalism originated, and told us that a German sociologist named Max Weber did a study in communities across Europe, and what he found was that capitalism started up in communities that were primarily Protestant, rather than Catholic.  Basically, these Protestant communities believed in predetermination or predestination, and believed that if you were successful at an endeavor, that meant that that was a sign that you were following your calling.  And when people were a little bit successful, they tended to look around and see people who were more successful, and they wanted that, so they'd reinvest in their business, and if they were more successful themselves, then that was further evidence that they were following their calling.  And they'd look around and see people who were still more successful, so they'd reinvest, and become more successful themselves, and so on.   So capitalism, Weber found, stemmed from a religion.  

What I found interesting was that besides Mexico, a lot of the other countries that my geography professor talked about where wages are lower are primarily Catholic, or have had a great deal of Catholic influence.  Now, this is just my impression after a few weeks, and we've only really talked about North America, Central America, and the very beginning of South America, so I could be wrong.  She's also briefly mentioned a few places in Africa, but I seem to remember that there's a good bit of Catholic influence there, too.

And I find myself wondering at what point do we (the more successful countries) stop trying to take care of the rest of the world?  I mean, there are places that receive aid from richer nations in the form of money, food, and other goods, but the government officials don't distribute the materials fairly, so the majority of their own people still suffer.  And in some countries the governments are corrupt, and the people know it, but can't or won't do anything about it.  And then you have situations where a powerful country is asked to help a weaker one to set up a new government, and then the weaker country turns out to be worse off than before the powerful one helped (I'm thinking that's what happened when Saddam Hussein came to power, but I have to look that up to make sure).  Is there ever a time when the powerful countries--the ones with the money and the resources--should look at the weaker ones and say, "Sorry, you're on your own.  We've tried to help you but you refuse to help yourselves, so there's nothing more we can do"?  I definitely don't think the weaker countries should be taken advantage of, but I also don't think that they should always just be handed everything they need--I don't think it helps them, in the long run, to develop as a nation.  I think it makes them too dependent on outside help.

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's January again...

I really should start posting more often, otherwise, why have a blog? 

Most of you probably already know that I finished the fall semester at college with straight As, something I've never done before--yay me!  Spring semester started last Wednesday--I'm taking Intro to Sociology, Intro to Language, Intro to Astronomy (plus the lab), Geography of World Regions, and British Lit. I.  Most of them seem pretty interesting, though my geography professor might drive me insane--her political views are completely opposite of mine.

As far as resolutions...obviously I didn't fulfill mine about posting here more often, so I'm at least going to try for one a week, since I made a whopping TEN posts last year.  *sigh*  I didn't manage to lose the 20 pounds I wanted to, but I think I did manage to lose a few.  At least I didn't gain any, which is good.  :-)  One thing I've decided is that I'm going to cut waaaaaaaaaay back on the Mountain Dew--I was drinking a liter of the stuff almost every day, so I've decided to just drink one can of it a day, which gets rid of 3/4 of the calories (roughly).  So far, I've done really well with that. :-)  I'm also planning on taking Tex for walks again--I don't think I've done that since we moved here, because we've got a fenced yard, and we can just turn him loose out there.  I may wait until it warms up again, or at least until I get my coat fixed (walking in the cold wind with a coat that doesn't zip is NOT my idea of a good time).  Another thing I may do is take advantage of the fact that I'm paying to access all of the buildings at the college, and *actually* access the  They have a pool there, too, but if I go there, it will probably be during the least busy times, at least until I get in better shape (wouldn't want to scare anyone off! lol)

I told Dave that this year I want to go driving to parts of Montana that we haven't been to before, and take pictures.  I keep seeing the beautiful pictures that Flora, Rowenna, Nettie, Sarah, and Acci post, and I realize that mine are kind of boring since there's nothing new to share.

I think that's all for my rambly post today.  I'll try to come up with something better next time!  :-)