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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Tree is Just A Tree

 

I had just dropped my youngest two in their elementary school when I saw this tree. My two older kids were still in the car.  They were not that impressed with this tree.  I forgave them.  They are teenagers and too cool for trees.  I was struck by how much character this tree has.  And that bright left-over yellow leaves is just so pretty.  I pulled over, got out of my car and took a picture of it with my iPhone 6+ camera.  It was an overcast, and a bit cold and I think my hands might have been shaking some.

 

 The trunk itself has more character than some people I met.  Really.  That sounded really mean, but if you had meet the same people I did, you would agree.  You might not blogged about it, but you would agree.  

I still have two finals to finish.  I should be working on it.  I get the hives every time I look at it.  I am finishing the one I am currently working on.  I just needed a break.  I wonder if it is like saying -"I needed a vacation"- but really you have not been working at all.  How it is vacation from work when, well, you are not working.  It is simply relocating your non-working self to somewhere that requires money.  Oh, bitter, much?  

But back to the trunk.  I it is really a lovely trunk.  I wonder if I should go back there on a good day and take my better camera and take another shot at it.  Hopefully, I will not freak the owner of the house.  I wonder if they would believe me if I say I am just fascinated with their front tree.

 

I have not learned the art of editing a picture will.  As in, take out the background so I am left with just the parts that I want.  I am rambling. Absolutely.  I bet if I were to read this over, I have so many grammatical errors, it will not be funny.  Also, I am article-blind.  I am working on using my articles in my sentences. Really.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Postcards This Week

This is from Finland. I think it's greeting me for the holidays.

This is from Germany. I would love to see these castles someday.

This is from Romania. The building looks grand.

Today was my evidence finals. I am very much worried that I did not do well for the first time. There's nothing I can do  about it now. I guess I'll know for sure in January. Yes. It takes that long to find out about exam results. 

Ten minutes before exam begins, I found out that my electronic blue book has expired. Thank goodness for fast download and update. Otherwise, disaster. 

Then, four minutes before exam starts, I found out that I forgot to bring my exam number and I had to dash to the registrars office to get one. I should just have opened my email, but my blue book was already taking over my laptop. 

First time ever that I was caught flat footed like that. I hope that with all that dashing around, I didn't dislodged something important from my brain. Especially the parts holding on to my analysis of the rules in order to apply it to 75-multiple choice exam. I wanted to cry afterwards because of the stress and pressure. 

This is the card I'm sending to Germany. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Skywatch Friday



I took this picture from our family walk last Sunday at Cedar Hill State Park.  It was a lovely day.  It was wonderful.

I finally woke up from a long nap. I worked all night last night.  I got home around 8am this morning and was too tired to do any Thanksgiving celebration.  My three youngest children went to my little sister's house.  I thought I would post for Skywatch this week before settling down to draft my Settlement Agreement and client letter.

I am thankful for so many things.  The main things are health, blessings, family love, great children, lovely husband, and all things in between.  In our household, we celebrate thanksgiving is Friday night.  So, I still have that to look forward to.

I just realized that as procrastinator as I am, I am thankful that I have been finishing what I am supposed to be doing right on time.  I would like to work on getting things down a little earlier next time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Disconcerting


 

Disconcerting - (adjective) - 1. disturbing to one's composure or self-possession; upsetting, discomfiting.  2. confusing, usually in the face of something totally unexpected; perplexing.

I think I feel more like the first definition.  Today is the last day of our one-day-a-week classes.  We have a professor with an excellent credentials.  I have learned so much from him.  However, he appears very intimidating.  I believe that he is kind, but he expects perfection and places a high value on our learning the subject the right way.

That is the good part.  The not-so-good part is when we have to perform to that standard.  We are just starting on this new subject, and therefore have so much to learn.  Yet, this subject is only 2-credit-hours.  Out of 16-hour semester, this does not allow for ample learning time.  The result is that we feel like we always come up short.  I certainly feel that way.

Most days, I do not want to even try.  I thought it would be pointless if my effort is not going to be good enough anyway.  My personality does not allow for giving up without trying. So, I try and try.  I have already called the professor and explain my concerns.  I could have complained some more.  In my opinion, though, there is whining and there is complaining in order to make a difference.  I have complained once, and got result.

While I still feel overwhelmed about the whole class, it was a manageable situation.  I guess I was the only one who stopped complaining.  The school did not renew the contract for the professor.  I think he is a great professor for making student aspire to a higher standard.  Someone from administration should have looked at his syllabus and asked him to explain how he is going to accomplished everything in the time we have.

No one did, and now, I feel, that as students, we lost someone who could have taught us so much more. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Movie: Mockingjay Part 1



 

Movie was fantastic. Enjoyed watching it. I took my daughter and my two youngest boys to see it last Saturday. We had a good time. The move is over two hours long.  But we enjoyed ourselves and hardly noticed the time.

Worried.  I am worried that every time I come home, I do not feel like doing school things. How am I supposed to write a 15 thousand paper by January 5 if most of that time I am at home during winter break? Answer me that.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Movie: Big Hero 6



I took my family to see a movie at the new AMC Theater in town. What wonderful seats they have. It reclines. 

Big Hero is an inspiring and enjoyable movie. I was so invested in the characters, I forgot it was animated film. I highly recommend this movie.  

Friday, October 31, 2014

Outbreak… Breakdown: Guest Author Post




A Forensic/Medical Author’s Take on Ebola and the CDC

My book, Louisiana Fever, involves the spread of a bleeding disease known as Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever. This is a real disease that, like its close relative, Ebola, is caused by an infectious virus.  And having researched this thoroughly (and having come from a forensic/health background) I feel compelled to weigh in on the Ebola outbreak.

When I was plotting Louisiana Fever, I figured I ought to have a character in the book that was once an infectious disease specialist at the CDC.  It seemed like a logical idea because the CDC is this country’s unquestioned champion against virulent organisms, an organization staffed with experts that know every nuance of tropical viruses and how they can be controlled.

To make sure my writing about the CDC would have an authentic ring to it, I asked the public relations office of the CDC if I might be given a tour of the place.  “Sorry,” I was told.  “We don’t give tours.”  Considering how many dangerous viruses are stored in the various labs there, that seemed like a good policy, even to me.  So there would be no tour.  But then I heard from someone in my department at the U. of Tennessee Medical Center that one of our former graduate students now worked at the CDC.  I began to wonder if this connection might work to my advantage. 

And it certainly did.  The former student was now a virology section chief. A SECTION CHIEF…. Holy cow! This could be my way in.  But would the man be generous by nature and sympathetic to writers?  He proved to be both of those.

On the day of my visit, I reported to the security office as instructed.  There, I had to wait until my host came to escort me into the bowels of the place… no wandering around on my own with a visitor’s badge.  That day I saw the hot zone in action and spoke with experts in many fields of virology, even spent some time with the world expert on porcine retroviruses.  At the end of my visit—including all the cumbersome clinical protocols I had to engage in both before and during said visit—I not only left feeling more educated, but actually more safe and secure that no tropical virus would ever be a threat to this country… not with the meticulous, detail-oriented, security conscious, microbe fighters at the CDC watching out for us.      

So, it’s with much regret and… yes, even a little fear, that I witnessed the head of the CDC recently assuring us that the Ebola virus is very difficult to transmit and that we know exactly how to control it.  Instead of (what looked like) his clumsy attempts to soothe an ignorant and paranoid public, the CDC head should have given a blunt assessment, educated everyone like adults, and encouraged them to exercise precaution. Then, seemingly in answer, two nurses who cared for the index patient from Liberia become Ebola positive.  And the CDC clears one of those nurses to take a commercial airline flight, even though she was in the early stages of Ebola infection…depressing.  From a medical professional standpoint, this was practically criminal negligence. At present, the disease is not transmitted by air ("airborne"), but any scientist worth his/her salt cannot account for mutations the virus may undergo.  This is why the job of the CDC is to contain harmful microbes, issue protocols to protect the public against them and ultimately eradicate them... period.  It is not to be PR professionals for television cameras and fostering carelessness.

I’m still convinced that the combined knowledge and brainpower of the CDC staff will be a major impediment to any virus taking over this country.  But Ebola probably has some tricks we haven’t seen yet. That means we may lose a few more battles before we can declare that this particular threat is behind us.

Meanwhile, how is development of that Ebola vaccine coming?


D.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center—where he taught and published dozens of papers on wound-healing and other health issues.  He is the author of Louisiana Fever, one of the seven in the Andy Broussard/Kit Franklyn series of forensic mystery thrillers.

Louisiana Fever:  http://bit.ly/1u5ohGC

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

MOVIE: Equalizer

Denzel rocks as the equalizer. He's just so good

Saw it Sunday night with my hubby. The night of our 23rd wedding anniversary. 

Picture from Galleria Ice. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bone Daddy's

Boy, was I surprise. Lovely place to done for barbecue. Servers in skimpiest outfit but really great looking. Better than Hooters. Food and view.  I like the tailpipes appetizer. 




Sunday, October 19, 2014

Movie: FURY

 

Excellent movie. War movie. Brad Pitt did great. Saw it with my hubby and two oldest kids. It is about war and winner and dying.  But, it was entertaining.  If you have not seen it, perhaps you would enjoy it.

It's about being afraid, yet still have to do what you must do because there is no one else to do it.  It is about courage while quaking in your boots.  It is about making sure others will be brave despite the atrocious and scary situation.

It is about hope.  Being lucky - because sometimes, there are just no other words for it but luck.


Friday, October 17, 2014

A Week in Movies



Luke Evans was great in Dracula. Saw it with my whole family except my second son. He went with my Mom to her house.

Friday, October 10 = Walk Among the Tombstones. Liam Neeson, but I did not like the movie as much. My 1st son came with us. 
Sunday, October 12: Maze Runner with the whole Family. Fun movie. 

Friday, October 17: Dracula. Great!


Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick

This sounded like a great book with a good premise. There are many things that I would prefer not to do, even if it is for my own good. Yet, I do some of them because my mother ask me. 

This sounds like a book that at least the female half of the population can relate.  At least those with mothers and mother-figure in their life. 

The bad news is, I'm so short on time, it will take forever to listen this. But first, I have to write an outline for my scholarly paper. 


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Flex Perks Rewards is a Punishment

Flex Perks is the rewards program for US Bank. Every time you spend a dollar you get a point. 

Redemption is very strict. You can never change your order once placed, even if it is a mistake. 

However, when they are the ones who send you a wrong item, it will take at least 10 (ten) phone calls and a wait of not less than 6-10 (six to ten) weeks before they can decide what to do with it. 

Really, Flex Perks. You can do better than this. Do not make your rewards into a living hell punishment. It is your fault. Fix it speedily - at least as fast as you apply your numerous penalties to your unfortunate customers. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Post Cards From All Over


 
I forgot which European country I got this from, but if you look at it - isn't it a rather charming place? I would like to go here one day if such a place exist.





 
My sister, Happy, gave me a book of postcard by Dennis Hopper. She and I went to an exhibit of his work. We enjoyed it very much.  Postcrossing allows my sister and I have to mail from all over, but still live our busy lives. That is the genus of postcrossing.

 
This postcard did not arrive with identification number.  I told postcrossing about it, gave them the characteristics of the card, and they found it for me.  It was great.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Does It?


I wonder if this lovely fish ever have a moment of insecurity where it wonders if it's gut is too big.  

Does it ever look at another fish and think, "Do I look as good as that?" Or


Better yet, "Do I need to go to the gym because that picture that my 8-yr old took showed my arms were fat and it needed muscle definition?"

Maybe not. This fish do not have arms. Duh!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips



It was Friday when I got back home from Costa Rica.  I have Payment Systems finals on Monday.  I had been reading my notes, but it was not what you call "real studying." I was tired, out of sorts, so I thought I'd buy a novel off my kindle to read for a bit then go to the library to study.

I bought THE GREAT ESCAPE! I lay down on my favorite comfortable couch and started reading.  Then two hours later, I am still reading.  And the 4 hours later, I am still reading.  I thought to myself that I would just go to the library on Sunday.  I did not.  I was watching PRIDE AND PREJUDICE instead.

This story picked up where Lucy, a former president's daughter ran out before  her wedding ceremony to the most perfect man.  She was picked up by a Panda.  He's a biker and he's crass and drunk.  However, the longer Lucy was in his company, the more she saw glimpses of his personality that did not quite matched up with this persona.

I just love how their story progress.  Maybe it is because I have been starved of romantic books for so long.  Law school has a way of taking over my life and leaving it devoid of time to read my first love: romantic fiction.

This is probably one of SEP's best.  But then, I think that of almost every book I read that was writtenbh her.  I cried when Panda and Lucy fought.  I was engrossed with the secondary characters in the book.  Mike and Bree have a lovely story.  I admit, I find Mike very off-putting at first - then, I just love him as a person.  This is the beauty of reading SEP.  You get two story in one, and both are fleshed out perfectly.  

Now, I wanted to read the book about Toby.  He's an incredible kid.  I wonder whom I wanted him to marry.  I'll have to give it some thought.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves love, life, and romance.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Galveston Trip

I had so much fun driving my family to Galveston and staying overnight. We swam in the ocean til it's too dark to see. Then, in the morning, swam at the swimming pool.

We fed the seagulls. I also gave my leftover chicken tenders to see if it gets eaten. It was. I hope it won't turn the seagulls into carnivore. 

We saw a PTSD help dog in training. What a sweet dog. We stopped by a few other places in the way home and ended up home before 1am Tuesday.




Friday, June 20, 2014

Majestic View from a Bike

Pikes Peak, Colorado
When we went on vacation to Colorado last year, we noticed that most of the interesting roads can be easily accessed by bikes. Cars, not so much. There are many people who took advantages of the ease of using bikes.  It is not a problem if you have a breakdown, there are always honda motorcycle oem parts you can buy to fix what you're missing.  Besides, look at the spectacular view! It is worth riding bikes for.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

What We Have Been Up To

In about 3 more weeks, I will have another exams.  My summer semester is in full swing. I have full time internship, my usual job, and my full time school.  I am afraid that I am hardly spending time with my children.  I hope that they understand why mommy is away so much.

Also got my grades. They are good, but not brilliant.  I guess the full time school and working too took a tool...but not to worry. I am still on Deans List, even with a not so brilliant grade.  It means I got some Bs!  The horror!

On a brighter note, my son told me that he can see the tiny melons and squash growing.  Yeah! I will be sure to check up on it tomorrow...right before I to my internship...and afterwards, more work.  Sunday, I plan to catch up on reading Payment Systems.  Then I need to get my outline on my comment paper started.  I think my time is shrinking fast. 
took the family for portraits

taking lots of naps when we can

growing fruits and veggies

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Baby Its You Blog Tour


Read an excerpt of Jane Grave's newest offering. I meant to review this book, but I could not access my netgalley copy.  However, I read many of Jane Graves's books and she never fails to entertain.  She has strong female characters and admirable and sexy male leads. I cannot wait to read this one. Will post review when I finish.  Probably, last week in July - after summer law school. Unless I get it read before then.

Rafflecopter giveaway for the blog tour: a Rafflecopter giveaway

About BABY IT’S YOU:
With only the wedding dress on her back and her honeymoon luggage in the car, Kari Worthington is running away. Determined to put her controlling father, her rigidly structured life, and the uptight groom she left at the altar in her rearview mirror, she escapes to the Texas Hill country . . . and lands on a tall, dark, and gorgeous winery owner's doorstep. All she needs is a job and a place to live until she can get back on her feet. So why is she fantasizing about losing herself in his powerful arms?

For Marc Cordero, freedom is so close he can taste it. He's devoted his life to managing the family business and being a single dad. Now with his daughter away at college and his brother taking over the winery, Marc is ready to hop on his Harley for parts unknown-until a runaway bride bursts onto the scene. Free-spirited and tantalizingly sexy, Kari excites him like no other woman has before. But when irresistible passion turns into something more, will Marc give up his future to take a chance on love?

About Jane Graves:
New York Times bestselling author Jane Graves is a nine-time finalist for Romance Writers of America's RITA Award, the industry's highest honor, and is the recipient of two National Readers' Choice Awards, the Booksellers' Best Award, and the Golden Quill, among others.  Jane lives in the Dallas area with her husband and a very sweet kitty who kindly keeps her lap warm while she writes. You can write to her at jane@janegraves.com.  She'd love to hear from you!

Jane’s social media:
@JaneGraves

Buy links:
Barnes and Noble: http://tiny.cc/v21bgx
IndieBound: http://tiny.cc/g31bgx