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Welcome to the BOMB.

The Blog Of the "Mother" of Bandit.
Bandit is my Hairless Chinese Crested--he's the "normal" one. I, on the other hand, am unrepentantly "pet-crazy." You know the type--the spinster who lives in the haunted house three blocks over with 72 cats...okay, so I don't have 72 cats, and my house isn't haunted--but my dogs wardrobe is better than mine! Need I say more? :~)
I've never been consistant at journaling, so the timing of my blogs will be sporadic at best. I just hope they are as entertaining to you as they are to me; however, be forewarned: Most of my blogs will be about The BaldOne. In spite of his Don King "do," I think he's just as cute as any of the Brothers B!
Now, if I can just remember not to get him wet--or feed him after midnight...

About Me

My photo
My bags are packed and I'm always ready to seek out an adventure with Bandit and Moggy in tow. Bandit is my thirteen year old Chinese Crested, who I frequently call The Bald One or The BaldOne Boy (like he was one of the Baldwin Brothers). Moggy’s full name is Pip-Moggy. He’s my two year old gansta-resuce kitty. I couldn’t decide between Pip (which are the spots on die and domino tiles) and Moggy (or Moggie when I mistakenly thought he was a she), so I combined the two. Moggy refers to the British term for "cat of unknown parentage .” So in essence, I have an almost bald dog, and I’ve named my cat “Spot.”

Fun Stuff (I'm doing now or have done)

  • Artistic Attempts weekly (alternating between Painting With A Twist, That Art Place, and Peniot's Palette).
  • Bunko with the Belton Bunko Babes monthly.
  • Participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
  • Spades and Liverpool Rummy with the Spadetts weekly.
  • The Mighty Texas Dog Walk, Austin (fund raiser for Service Dogs, Inc--they train shelter dogs to be Service Dogs, then give them free of charge to people with disabilities.)

Friday, January 1, 2016

My Life Line: One Challenge After Another--But The Best Is Yet To Be.

This post is part of ThinkKit by SmallBox.

January 1, 2016 prompt: "Pretend you're writing your autobiography.  Give us your first line, a first chapter, or even just an image.  What's the story of you.”

My Life Line:  One Challenge After Another--But The Best Is Yet To Be.

So I'm doing another challenge. It seems like that's the story of my life:  one challenge after another. Some have been fun.  Some have been educational. And some I have failed.

The first challenge was being born into a military family. Military Life was challenging. But it was also very rewarding. Even if we were only yo-yoed between the panhandles of Texas (my births state) and Florida (where my family lives now, and the state I claimed as home during most of my growing up years), I was still exposed to many more different cultures than my friends who grew up living in the same town as all their relatives. There are pros and cons to both.  Mama once said I had a hard life because of it. I think she was the one who had a hard life of it--she did all the packing, unpacking, and setting up house every 6 months to 2 years.

Another challenge--one faced by everyone: what to be when I grew up.  I graduated from college when I was 17 and I had a hard time seeing myself as anything other than a student. I went to a local junior college but I wasn't invested in learning. As a result I ended up on academic probation. Rather than go back, I decided to enter the workforce. By the time I realized I did not want a job in retail, waitressing, cleaning offices, mucking stalls, or working in a service station, and school might not be so bad, I was much older than the rest of my new classmates.  Because I had wasted  Mama and Daddy's money on the first year of college I was bound and determined not to ask them for money the second time around. Financing would be a challenge.

When I returned to school, the first class I took was a biology class overbooked with a gazillion fresh-faced freshmen. The instructor announced to the class that “most returning students after a certain age failed.” He had statistics to back up his claim. I failed the class. His prophecy seemed to come true.

When I finally got into another community college with an “open door” policy (failing GPAs and GED students were allowed), I knew I'd found the place for me. I worked two jobs and walked away with an Associates in Arts in Pre-Nursing with the plan to transfer to a local university to finish up with a Bachelor of Arts in Nursing. That was the plan.

But the university kept "losing" my application and supporting documents. After two missed deadlines I realized I was just a number to them. I started researching other schools and couldn't make up my mind--there were far too many to choose from. I ended up sending letters of interest to 66 schools.  I asked for four things:  information on tuition cost, housing, finical aide, and a school catalogue. I decided to automatically eliminate all schools that didn't send everything I requested. I finally settled on a school advertised as being “nestled in the foothills of the Alleghenies.” It sounded picturesque and it was affordable. It sounded perfect.

Until an offer came in from a school in New York.  They were even more affordable. And they had snow skiing.  Living in Florida most of my life (where it snows one morning every 3-4 years and melts before it turns grey and slushy) I remembered the Texas snow fondly and thought I might like to take up snow skiing. But I never had a real peace about the New York  school. It was part of a huge system and I could see myself getting lost in the crowd. Again.

Then one day the mailman brought a newspaper for a school I had knocked out of the running because they didn't send a catalogue.  I later found out it was a banner enrollment year for them and they were having to print more. I read that school newspaper from cover to cover. It sounded wonderful. The back page was the clincher--it was a letter from an International Student thanking the university for four years of being his Family away from home. A place where the instructors knew him by name. I'm a praying person and I prayed, "God, this is where I want to be--if this is where YOU want me to be, You're going to have to open some pretty big doors."  It was less than two weeks before school was supposed to start.

I had already missed most university deadlines for admissions. I called. They didn't have a deadline.

Most Nursing programs deadlines were long since past. I asked to be transferred to the Nursing Department. The Nursing Program also didn't have a deadline.

Most financial Aide offices needed the national application in order to figure out your financial aide package. I had turned in the information for schools that had sent me everything I requested--not to this school. The Financial Aide Officer talked with me about what the other schools cost and what the packages were that they offered and she compared those numbers to the cost of this school and What she said was, “the first year will be heavy on the loan and work-study side, but the remainder of your time will be much heavier on scholarships and grants.” That first semester took everything I had saved from my two jobs.

The day before I left Florida I still hadn't received an official acceptance letter, so I called the admissions office and asked which direction I should point my car:  New York or Texas?  They said, "Texas!"

When I arrived I found out a little known fact:  this Nursing School was one of the top 10 NCLEX performers in the nation and hospitals from all over wooed the students. My confirmation (if I needed more) that this was the place I needed to be.

Because it was a small school they only had one start time into the Nursing Program--in the summer that had just passed. But that was okay, because some of my credits didn't meet their requirements (I had planned on transferring into a program that required algebra--this one required statistics, the other program required one chemistry--this program required a different one, this private university required chapel each semester and two religion courses, the state school only required a humanities), so I fleshed out the new requirements with classes for a double major.

Because I came to school so late, I had no place to live that first semester except the dorm. I wasn't keen on that because I was several years older.  Then I met a couple of dorm students even older than me. I asked that they not give me a kid for a roommate. I received a straight out of high school roommate. However, she was also a nursing student and was studious. We, and a couple other friends looked at off campus housing and actually found something we could afford, with the intention of moving out of the dorm the next semester. They made it out. But I was offered a job at the Campus Health Center, that was even better than the RA jobs (room, board, and a stipend)--but the stipulation was I had to live on campus (my senior year I lived in the health center apartment so that was really nice).

All of that to say this:  at the ripe old age of 30 I finally graduated from college. Another challenge accomplished.

There have also been the challenges I've failed: NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) springs to mind--I've entered four or five times. I'm still not writing the same stalled novel. Then there was the year is entered NaNo AND a photo a day challenge, AND a blogging challenge. All held during the same month. I completed the photo and blogging challenges by cheating (making up days I missed).  And I once again failed NaNo.

So here I am starting another blogging challenge. During the last blogging challenge I resurrected my defunct blog. And realized (sort of) a post-blogging challenge goal:  to continue blogging at least 2-3 times each week. I say sort of because for the most part I've managed to do that. But I've not been really strict about it.

With this blogging challenge my personal goals are threefold:  to hone this craft; to embrace technology (resurrect my defunct Twitter account--actually learn how to tweet!); and increase my blog “readership.”  During the last blog challenge I actually got my first follower. A total stranger. After I got over being freaked out I was thrilled! And I noticed a few other people have me on their radar. When I say a few, I mean mayby 10-15. The number varies from post to post. They are anonymous. But my heart is happy when I see their number. And I fret when they take a while to return.

I wonder who they are. I hope they are friends or other long as they enjoy what I write from time to time and are not students looking for examples of what NOT to do with a blog I’m happy. (If that's who you are please tell me how to improve.)

Okay, this is totally off the topic I was going to blog for this first day. I really was going to write that my life line is “The best is yet to be.” That's the truth. My life, with its ups and downs continues to get better daily. Despite failed challenges. And I hope to continue to get better at this blogging thing. And by better I mean shorter and more interesting posts.

And maybe I'll improve at this storytelling thing...and tackle the stalled novel.

Thanks for reading!

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