Thursday, October 21, 2010

say?"... And than she asked again and again "what'd your mom say?" it was hilarious
reful because there is a wrong way driver on the freeway" I responded to her saying "no Mom tbere are hundreds of them!" so Brooke said "what'd your mom
time a wrong way driver will be in the fast lane thinking its actually the slow lane. So than I said "this one time my mom called me and told me to be ca
Ok so while driving to Disneyland today my sister mentioned how if you ever see a wrong way driver on freeway get out of fast lane. They say most of the

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Magical Experience

So the "Happiest Place on Earth" happens to be one of my favorite places. I mean who wouldn't love Disneyland? Its clean and fun! Relatively smoke free (there are a couple smoking areas but they're mostly away from the general crowd/walking areas) there is no drinking (except Wine from CA Adventure) and so there are generally not any "drunk" people. Unless they're like me and get "drunk" on the happiness/excitement!

So almost 2 weeks ago I won tickets from the radio. I won 4 Disneyland Park Hopper tickets as well as tickets for the same day for a private Disney Villain Halloween Party! Its so exciting because its the trick or treating with Mickey Mouse and stuff and the tickets for that part of it are normally $50 a piece (a little cheaper on some nights for annual passholders but still pricey) So the past few years that they have done this they had it in CA Adventure and this year it is at Disneyland itself. The Halloween fireworks are only for the Halloween parties and like I said this party is PRIVATE! So I am way excited! So they close the park early to the public and only people with the Halloween party tickets get to stay in! Its going to be awesome!

Only thing is I knew they said the tickets were only good for the 28th but I had a few questions so the other night I got to work a little early and so I decided to call Disneyland for some answers. I am the kind of person who goes enough that I have the number for Disneyland programmed in my phone. In fact I have 3 numbers for Disneyland in my phone. One is the number for recorded information like park hours etc. One is an annual passholder line so that you can get recorded annual passholder related info like blackout dates etc and the last one is one that during regular type hours you can speak with someone directly. That's the number I called. It was 4:45 when I called. I got a little message about heavy call volume etc and please hold (you  know how that goes) no big deal. So I was waiting....

There was music for being on hold. But it wasn't like most places and just classical type music or some sort of "current" stuff that is usually the annoying stuff that is either way over-played or the occasional unknown artist with some funky song or something. It was.... I bet you can figure it out if you thought really hard.... of course it was Disney music! It was almost like a station though, not with a DJ exactly but in between the musical songs there was a guy who would talk about the music that was played or about to be played. If there was something specific about the character from the movie or from one of the parks he would share that information. Like before they played "Grim Grinning Ghosts" from the Haunted Mansion he talked about the mansion style of the house at Disneyland and the one in Florida and how they're different and how they're the same (they both have 999 haunting ghosts but there is always room for a thousand... any volunteers?) Of course there was also the occasional lady message about heavy call volume etc....

So I was listening for a bit to the music/announcement/info/call volume message for awhile. Than I got a message  that said "we're sorry for the hold time but we hope you're having a magical experience listening to the music" (the end of that may not be correct) but it literally said we hope you're having a magical experience!!! They even promote a magical time on hold! I have to admit, it made me smile! Anyway I waited on hold for 15 min but than had to clock in and get to work. I called back a day or two later when I had another check and was again on hold for a bit, I didn't get that message yet but around 10min into the wait time it rang through and sounded like it was being answered and I got disconnected! UGH! So i called right back and that time I didn't wait long and was able to get my questions answered! But than after I hung up I thought of a few other questions. but I'm going to see if they're answered either on the tickets for that day or if I can get them answered by Kearth employees when I get the tickets! Which will either be in the morning or maybe Fri morning. Although I just found out today I don't work on Mon now so I could go than too...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Birthday Present...and future...

OK so last month was my birthday.... before my birthday came I received a box in the mail  from my "twin" Renee. She had asked me a few weeks before if I had a book that she had a duplicate of. So when I got this box I figured that was what it was. I opened it up and found a note, I started reading the note (before digging through the packing peanuts.... yup I did truthfully wait!! 

This is what the note said (a shortened version of course) ... Happy Early Birthday!  I've been wanting to get you this for awhile and finally did.... then she told me about her shopping experience at Costco and the different ones they had and why she decided to buy the one she did. She especially picked the one she did because she knows where I go, my camera goes. So she bought one that is water,dust,and shockproof. She figured the added "ruggedness" would come in handy for me! Plus this particular camera came with a 4gb memory card where the rest come with a 2gb.

She also sent me the receipt so I could exchange it for  different camera if I wanted to. So I opened it up and charged the battery. I needed to try it out and see if I liked it. I used it for about a week or 2 and was "trying it out" right off the bat there were kinda a few blurry pictures. I didn't really like the way some of the indoor pictures looked kinda like all the lights were yellow. They weren't always very natural looking. So I played with it in the parking lot at work at night checking out those pictures. I tried playing with the flash and different flash/camera settings. Some looked nice, others not so much.  I tried different settings etc but wasn't always liking the results. Although I did get a few pictures I really liked, I was deleting quite a lot too.

So then I just left it on "auto" and was taking pictures. I liked that it would tell me what setting it was going to use with teh auto function. It was nice to see how it was determining what setting to use. But I realized that pretty much anytime it was dark it went to "night" mode. Even if I was indoor with low light. Shouldn't that be the "low-light" mode?? Than one day (in the afternoon) I was inside and going to tke a picture of my nephew across the room... I zoomed in to him. As I zoomed all the way it went in the the "micro-flower" mode. That setting is usually for close up pictures of small items. Not zoomed pictures across a room! Oh and the camera has shutter sounds. Kinda cool but not always nice. So I turned off the shutter sounds. Than i was trying out some more stuff and the flash wasn't coming on. So I tried to adjust the flash to be on. It told me to turn the shutter stuff back on! So if I want no sound, i automatically havbe to have no flash? That doesn't make any sense! Maybe I just don't want to hear a click with every picture!

So I started looking around. I went to Costco to play with cameras. Than I went to Target and played some more (Costco didn't really have a lot of in store options) I knew I wanted a camera with a longer zoom (I like being able to zoom) I had a friend whose camera had some cool features I had liked with accenting a certain color in a black and white photo etc. So I wanted to see about those options. I wanted something with a decent megapixel (which the one she got me did have... just a minimal zoom strength) I wasn't finding anything I completely liked. Although it was nice seeing some of the modes available. There was one or two t Costco that were pretty cool and had a lot of neat options where you could "add a twinkle" to someone's eye in the photo etc. But playing with the camera in the store I was really struggling to figure out how to use it. I knew I would get a manual etc but I also knew if I wanted someone else to take a picture with my camera I didn't want it to be challenging for them!

So than I got online! I looked at the Costco website first. Than I found a Canon camera it had the color features I wanted, it had a long zoom and was 14 megapixels. It was a little more expensive than the one she had purchased and I knew I could pay the difference. I really liked it but wasn't 100% sure yet. There were very few reviews on the website for it so I just wasn't sure yet. I looked at some of their other cameras. I also checked Walmart, Target, Best Buy and even Sears online. I really wanted to "do my research" and pick a camera I would really enjoy using. I found the same camera on teh Best Buy site and it had a lot mroe reviews. Most of them positive. There were the few complaints, mostly about the pop-up flash and how its on the top left corner where a lot of people hold their camera with their pointer finger. Otherwise it was a lot of positive feedback.

So than I checked my local Best Buy and they actually had the camera in their store so I was able to go and play with it. I tried it out and realized I would need to read the manual a bit to figure out fully how to use some of the features. But overall I liked it. The only thing I still wasn't sure of was how I'd like it for holding etc. This was of course because in the store its hooked up to the little thing for security reasons so I was really holding that more than the camera because it was attached at the bottom of the camera and wasd in the way of holding the camera normal.

So.. i returned the Fujifilm camera and ordered the Canon one online. I ordered it from Costco because it was on sale there and I know the Costco return policies and stuff are better and if anythign goes wrong they have their electronic concierge program and I could get it fixed without paying an extra warranty fee like at Best Buy. Although Best Buy had the camera in a purple color in addition to just the black or gold like Costco had.

Well I must say.... I LOVE my camera! I am so thankful for Renee and this wonderful birthday present! The pictures are so clear and beautiful and yes there have been some deletes but for the most part I love the pictures it takes! So thanks Twinkl!

Speaking Spanish

Ok so one day my nephews were in my room with me (pretty common occurence) and Isaiah (who is 2 1/2) starts jabbering nonsense. It was kinda like dipdipdipdipdip over and over again just random noises. So I turned to talk to him...this is how the conversation went.....

Me: Isiaih I don't understand what you're saying
Elijah: (who is now 4!!) That's because its spanish
Me: He speaks Spanish!!?!!?!
Elijah: Yeah
Me: How did he learn spanish?
Elijah: From me and from Aldo (Deann's hispanic ex-boyfriend who is staying here)
Me: You speak spanish too??
Elijah: Yeah (kinda giggle/laughing)
Me: How do you say hello in spanish?
Elijah: Hello spanish!
Me: How do you say goodbye in spanish?
Elijah: Goodbye spanish
Me: Now you're being silly! What does Hola Amigo mean?
Elijah: la-ago (trying to repeat hola amigo)

...

a few hours later.....

...

Me: Grandma did you know Elijah and Isaiah know how to speak spanish?
Grandma: They do??
Elijah: Laughing--- No!!!!
Me: But you said earlier you do!
Elijah: continually laughing---- he doesn't respond but with the laughter!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Journey Marie

Journey Marie


We see someone so tiny
And yet who is so strong
A beautiful person indeed
We’ve waited for you so long

You’re here with us now
We smile to have you near
Heavenly Father strengthens us somehow
As we wait to hold you dear

You’re a blessing in disguise
A fighter all along
Your strength opens our eyes
You’re helping us all stay strong


You don’t deserve this struggle
Its one you’ll overcome
Get through the NICU “bubble”
Come share in life’s great fun

Life isn’t always easy
You’ve had to learn so young
Continue to get stronger
Because its here you do belong

In life you’ll have more trials
There is a lot you’ll learn and do
Remember to always smile
We’re here to smile with you

You’re starting out so small
But yet are loved by so many
Someday you’ll stand so tall
In you we found a lucky penny

You’re a Daughter of God
God loves you so
Remember to keep Him close
Don’t ever let Him go

You’re in our hearts
We’re praying for you
With such a rough start
Its all we can do

Stay strong little one
Fight hard everyday
This race will be won
As you grow day by day

Listen to the doctors
Though you may not understand
Listen to the doctors
Do everything you can

We will be here waiting
Praying day by day
Each update keeps us saying
“She’s going to be ok”

Life is not always this hard
There’ll be much fun for you too
You’ll learn someday to play cards
We’ll see animals at the zoo

Keep fighting little Journey
We’re here fighting for you too
Heavenly Father has a plan
He’s going to see it through

Its ok to cry, we’re crying too
Life is full of adventures
We want to share with you
So Journey please do all you can do

We won’t stop praying
We’ll love you forever
Someday we’ll teach you the saying
We never say never

We know you will overcome
This fight is temporary
Someday you’ll play and run
And dress up like a princess or a fairy

This poem is all wrong
My words don’t show my complete emotion
An angel like you deserves a song
That’s heard from ocean to ocean

So stay in the fight
We’ll fight too
Its going to be alright
We’ll always love you!


Renee L Conaway
10-03-2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Long Vacation

Ok I was lying on my bed just now thinking about how I am going to rearrange my room (yes again) and my nephew comes running down the hall and as he went into the bathroom  this was our conversation:

Elijah: (while runnning into bathroom) We're gonna go on a long vacation because we have lots of work to do!

Me: Really? Who is going on a long vacation?
Elijah: Mommy and me because we got a lot of work to do!
Me: Where are you going on vacation to?
Elijah: All the way to Walmart!
Me: All the way to Walmart?
Elijah: Yeah
Me: And what kind of work do you have to do on vacation?
Elijah: Tie up the bad guys, because we have a lot of work to do!
Me: Wow
Elijah: Wanna go on vacation?


.... this all transpired as he was peeing and I was lying on my bed. Wow that's going to be a long vacation and some hard work! There sure are a lot of bad guys! I hope he has enough rope to tie them up! Maybe that's why the vacation is at Walmart??

Too healthy???

So on Fri I went to the appointment at Dr Billy's office. It was interesting. I really felt comfortable there. Everyone was really friendly and telling me good luck etc. It was nice. I noticed a few other people come in that were part f teh top 20 as well (because they were given the contest rules etc like I was) and they didn't (to me) seem as friendly with the staff. Nor did I notice the staff offer them congrats like they did me. Anyway I met with the nurse and then Dr Billy, then got an EKG. At one point the nurse told me that other than my knee stuff I am fairly healthy. Dr Billy made a comment about how nothing I had said would determine whether I made it to the top 5. He said most of the time the difference between #5 and # 6 is nothing. But they have to choose. Then the top 5 have to do radio stuff etc and the winner is chosen by the voting public. He was really nice but kinda made me feel as if I was lying about the small changes I have already been trying to make. He made it seem like I just eat all the time and don't realize it etc. He was like "I am sure if I followed yu around for a month I would see you eating for no reason and not making right choices....yadda yadda yadda" .... ok I never said I am perfect and I didn't say I always make the right choices. Obviously I didn't get to be this way because I eat carrots all the time and never have a candy bar. But when I said I am ready to make the changes I meant it.

Anyway I did not get a phone call that night. :-( I did get an email telling me I wasn't chosen for the top 5 at this time. :-( so it doesn't mean its over for me. I still intend to do all I can. I know I am not perfect but I know that I CAN do this. I can lose weight and keep it off. I have already started trying to implement small changes and I will continue to do so. I will continue to do what walking I can for exercise and to really watch my food intake. Either him or the nurse made a comment that my metabolic rate is good, and that it is possible for me to do it. So I will and I will show Dr Billy I don't need him or this contest. That it doesn't matter if he stalks me I can still lose weight! I won't give up! If he was right and that it had nothing to do with what I had to say in the "interview" portions I have determined I must just be too healthy. Maybe that is what the difference between number 5 and number 6 is. Maybe I was number 6... but number 5 has more health issues that can only be resolved with the weight loss. Maybe because as of right now (knock on wood) I don't have the hypertension (high blood pressure) or diabetes or other health/weight related issues that is why I wasn't chosen. But I do need to make the changes in my life now so that I don't get those issues! I will do my best. Not just for me but for my family and especially for my future family! Life does go on even without weight loss surgery! WEight loss still happens without it too!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Top 20... for now

Ok so recently Khay 100.7 (country station) was announcing a contest, last year they did this same contest and decided to do it again. It is a contest where they together with Dr Billy Helmuth of Ventura (he goes by Dr Billy) do a contest for a free lap-band procedure, plus one year of follow-up appointments (since that is an important part of the procedure). So at first I didn't think much of it. I had always kinda been weary of surgery. It feels like the "lazy" way out. I think a lot of people use it but don't change their habits and so in the long run it doesn't end up being beneficial. I've always wanted to be the person who loses weight "the right way" slowly and on my own. They said its the best way and that its the best way to be able to keep it off etc etc. I've done that a little in the past. I've lost some weight and done fairly well keeping it off and slowly working on losing more.

Then I messed up my knee. Right before i messed it up I had lost about 30 pounds. I was riding my bike between 3 and 5 nights a week after work. I would ride for a minimum of an hour or so. I would basically ride from one end of town to the other and home again. It averaged about 15 miles for the ride. I loved it. After my day at work I was outside getting the fresh air and it gave me a chance to relax and just think. Then it all went downhill. I've since gained that weight back and then some. I continue to have knee problems and not only do I miss my old job as an EMT which I can't do because of the knee pain but I especially miss my bike rides.

So recently I've been trying to watch my portion sizes again. I've been trying not to go back for seconds. I've been trying to buy "healthier" snacks and not junk food or fast food as often.  I have been trying to walk as much as I can since it's about all I seem to be able to manage with my knee (but even that is making it super sore now, there is no "working through the pain" either, it gets so sharp and feels like my knee is falling apart and I can barely walk) I know I need to do something and I figure every little change I can muster will make a difference. I'm doing what I can.

Well one night I guess a few weeks ago maybe a month... I honestly can't remember... I can remember the night but not when it was... it was 3 room changes ago... and with my last bed... so it's been awhile I suppose. I had gotten ready for bed and said my prayers and everything. I was in bed and ready to go to sleep. I was tired and I was getting in bed later than I had anticipated and I knew I had to get up early for work. But it hit me, I knew I needed help. I knew that I was struggling with my weight and I knew I wasn't happy. I got out of bed and with tears in my eyes I got online and signed up for the contest. I didn't think twice. I wrote my responses to the questions and hit send. After I was done I read the "terms and conditions" I know you're supposed to do that first but I didn't. I am kind of glad I didn't because it may have stopped me. It stated that the winner will be responsible for doing radio station advertising for the contest. Will be required to appear at so many events and Dr Billy seminars etc.... hmmm ok. I went to bed.

So after that I honestly didn't think again about the contest or about my entry. I think at the time I figured there are people who are worse off than I am. Who probably are in worse health than me and who need the procedure more than I do. Heck in my own family there is my Dad who would benefit more than me (if he is willing to change his habits so its long lasting. He is kinda one of those who would take it for granted and mess up afterwards anyway... as much as I hate to say that its true) So I figured they would have a lot of entries and someone else who deserves it will win the prize and be skinny before I will on my reduced portions and minimal exercises.

Than last week I got a phone call. I didn't recognize the number but it was local and I answered it. ... it was Alia from Dr Billy's office. She told me I was chosen as one of the top 20 for the lap band contest and was I still interested? YES! I am... wow I got chosen?? That's crazy! So she asked me if I was available to come in on Fri the 6th for an initial appointment. That after they have the initial appt with the top 20 they will narrow it down to the top 5. The top 5 will then have to go next week for 2 more appointments. One will be with their dietitian, and one will be a psych evaluation. She confirmed my email address and said she would email me some paperwork to fill out and bring on Fri. I got that email... its 20 pages of medical history, dieting history and other questions that are pertinent to the procedure I suppose.

So here I am getting ready to go in and potentially get a weight loss surgery! It seems so surreal! I honestly never thought I would be chosen! I really felt like I didn't deserve it or that others need it more than me. Before Alia called me I really had forgotten I even entered. I never really considered surgery before but I know it will help in so many ways. I know that it will make a huge difference in my life if I am chosen as the final winner! I know that I will do everything in my power to follow the program exactly as I am supposed to and to make the best of this opportunity! I asked Alia when she called me yesterday to see if I could change my appointment time to a little later on Fri how many entries they received and she said 88. So maybe its not as many as I thought they might get, but that is still quite a bit. That still means I got chosen in the top 20 over 68 others! Who I am sure all are just as willing to undergo this procedure. Who are just as much in need as me, maybe more. I don't really know but I am thankful none the less.

This last week I was starting to feel a little down. My knee has been extra sore and I was looking at myself in the mirror and I knew I needed to step it up a bit. I know I have been making changes but I knew I needed to work harder and stay strong. I was not doubting myself and I know that although I have moments of low self-esteem I am not depressed. I am not always hating myself, but I don't care for the way I look and I was kinda in one of my ruts. I was kind of feeling like I am ugly... and then I got the call! This really will change my life! Wish me luck! I don't even know what its like to be skinny! I cannot remember it from my childhood because even in elementary school I was chunky! I spent my Jr high and high school years without dating and feeling bad about it because I was heavy! That can all change very soon!

What an incredible blessing this will be in my life if I win! I never thought I would be chosen and now I really hope I win! I don't want to be selfish because I do know there are 87 others who felt like I did, that maybe this was there one good chance at a real change! I know that it will be hard to go to all the appointments and responsibilities that come with winning. It will be interesting being on the air with the DJ's and telling my story (if I win) but it will be so wonderful too! WOW! I guess for now that is all I can really say... just WOW!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Power of the Priesthood

I don't know if its because I have been on my feet a lot more for work (just walking mostly) which I love and am glad about. Or its the up and down from my chair at work or what. But unfortunately my knee has been getting sore again. I went in back on June 7th and got a cortisone injection to try and help settle it down. At first it seemed like it was helping. I was still getting a little bit achy but not as much as before the shot. I was thinking wow for the first time ever it seems like the injection is working!

  Than last week happened! I am not sure why but than in the past week maybe almost 2 weeks now it started getting worse again. I've been having more and more problems with being able to do a squat type position and just in general any type of bending was making it sore. I was at Costco a week or so ago trying to do some shopping and every few min or so I had to just stop and lift my leg so there was no weight on it to help settle it down because I was getting sharp pains. I had even started taking the prescription pain pills again. It is so frustrating!

To make matters worse I am working in the ER admitting mostly (which i prefer over the front admitting so its nice) so I have been seeing a lot of my old coworkers come in with their patients and it makes me miss working as an EMT that much more and makes my heart ache just s much if not more than my knee! I really do miss it. Even though the pay wasn't spectacular its still so nice to have that feeling of being helpful! To know I was making a difference every day at work! To know that I could touch the life of someone else for the better and I learned so much from mt patients! I loved taking the little old ladies or gentlemen to the hospital and hearing their stories of "back in the day".

So I was hurting even just by walking and a week ago I was at FHE on Mon night and that was my 3rd day straight of taking pain pills I think. A friend of mine Shawna noticed that when I walked out during the lesson/video presentation and came back. Maybe she noticed me shifting in my seat a lot too, I'm not sure but she texted to see what was wrong. I told her I've been hurting and stuff and she mentioned getting a blessing. I told her maybe. My home teacher was there that night and I thought about asking him after the lesson but he took off before I got the chance to talk to him, and he was in his work uniform so I knew he was on the clock too. I figured I would wait and see anyway.

I tend to struggle to ask for a Priesthood blessing. I really have a hard time asking for several reasons. I sometimes feel like maybe I don't deserve one or that its something I don't need a blessing for. Than sometimes I just worry that I am inconveniencing the priesthood by asking them, or that I will interrupt something else they need to do or could be doing. I don't know i just in general have a really hard time asking! So my friend S has actually got the ball rolling for me a few times for a blessing. She has done the asking a few times. I guess she has noticed my hesitance! But she is so observant and has recognized the need and its importance for me. I sometimes wonder if I had grown up in the church to where I was more "exposed" to the priesthood and the blessings as a kid if it would be any easier for me to ask now? Anyway I am thankful to her for again putting the thought into my mind this time around.

So Mon night I hadn't asked my home teacher for a blessing and was going to just wait and see what happens but then as I was getting in my car it was hurting again, I almost felt like I wasn't going to be able to get in because I felt like I couldn't bend it to get in the car door. So once I got in my car I just sat in the driver seat and cried for like 5 min. Crying is easy, its a way to handle things for me. Its way easier to sit in my car and cry alone than it is to ask for a blessing. But I decided at that moment I did in fact want a blessing. I knew it was time. So it was right around 9pm at that time. I already knew my home teacher was working, and so I tried to call the elders. They didn't answer and I didn't leave a message. I tried to call the Elders Quorum President but he didn't answer either. I knew he had been in Hawaii though so I knew he might not. I drove home and instead I cried myself to sleep.

I was working during he week and so I was still sore but I had a job to do so I was doing it. I was taking the vicodin and trying to keep it from getting really sore. I knew I only needed to work until Weds and then I had 2 days off. Thurs it was hurting really bad again and I was thankful I wasn't at work that day, I texted the elders that night and asked if they would give me a blessing when they came over on Fri to do some service. Than on Thurs night I was hurting so bad I couldn't get to sleep. Once I finally did I was awake like an hour later and struggled again to get back to sleep. Fri morning came around and I ran some errands or something and took care of some things before the elders came over at 2. When they came over they installed a window shade thing for my family. I was hurting enough on Fri morning too that I had already called and spoke with the Physicians Assistant again at my Dr office and he said he would give me some anti-inflammatory medication samples. He told me to start using my cane again while walking (except at work because I can't really use it than) He told me it sounds like I re-injured the meniscus (which is what he said last month when I got the injection) To be sure I would need to get a new MRI. But since I have no insurance that will cost me nearly $1000 to pay out of pocket and that is only if I can pay cash up front at the time of service. If I want to make payments on the cost it will be closer to the actual cost of the MRI which is several thousand dollars. I don't have the money to get it done. Even if I did, if they determine its going to require surgery or any other type of treatment I don't have the money for that either!

 So after the elders had finished installing the shade (I wanted to help so much but my knee wouldn't allow it) I had them give me a blessing. My parents were watching TV inside so we were out back on the patio. They asked if it was a healing blessing and I said yes please. Then they asked me to pray for the spirit beforehand... I said ok and started to pray and I had to pause partly because of the tears and partly because the words weren't coming to me yet. I wasn't sure what I was praying for! I asked for the spirit and to have the faith to be healed, I can't remember it all. I had been praying all week and then some and had some powerful prayers but this one was the strongest prayer I've had in awhile!  It was time for the blessing. Elder Blair did the anointing and Elder Peterson did the sealing. I was already crying but the tears continued. When they put their hands on my head to me it felt like their hands were shaking. I am not sure if they really were or not. For me though it seems like the times when it felt like the priesthood holders hands were shaking the blessing has always felt more powerful to me. Not that I didn't feel the power or the spirit in the other blessings but I think to me its a gentle reminder that they are only human like me and that they have to be ready to listen to the spirit and be guided in the things to say. I know he was!

I have been struggling lately with a lot of things. I have been having problems at home and there is a lot of contention here. It is hard to be here most of the time and I really struggle to remain strong and to not "blow my top". I really enjoy every moment that I get to be somewhere else and especially when I get to be at  church related activity or with members of the church because it reminds me that life isn't always full of the contention. Its also nice having people over too because I think it keeps my family a little calmer as well) It helps me to know that when I get sealed in the Temple and have my own home and family that life although it will still have its struggles doesn't have to be full of the contention and anger. I've been struggling to read my scriptures daily but I have been slowly getting back into that routine. I've been praying more meaningfully again and sometimes that is hard when all you want to do is sleep or get out or whatever.

All those things were brought up in the blessing. Its the little things like that which remind me how amazing our Heavenly Father is. Helps me to know for sure that he does love me. Elder Peterson shared the love HF has for me through that blessing. I know he was guided by the spirit. How else would he know to tell me that I will overcome my trials and not just the health trials. How else would he have known to remind me of my divinity and that I am in fact a daughter of God. To remind me to continue to read and to pray daily. That blessing was incredible. I cannot explain it any other way.

I am so thankful for the missionaries. For all the priesthood holders in the church! I am so thankful for all that they have done for me and especially for my family. I know that this church is true! I know that they have the Power of God. I know for sure that the priesthood power is real! I know that they are guided by the Spirit and that I can be healed through faith! Since then although I have still been sore it hasn't been as bad as last week was. I know this post is about my knee but I want to say that I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church on earth today. I know that I have been blessed in so many ways and that I can return to live with my Heavenly Father again someday. I know that the scriptures come from God and I am so thankful for them. For the Bible, the Book of Mormon, also the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. I love to read them and I don't know why I don't make reading more of a priority in my life (but I am trying to). I am thankful for every week that I get to go to church. To feel of the spirit and to learn the things my Heavenly Father wants me to learn. I am so blessed with great leaders in the church and great friends! I know that I will be sealed in the Temple someday to a worthy Priesthood holder for time and all eternity and although we will have trials we will be blessed through that sealing power! I am grateful for that and look forward to that day! I am grateful to all of you who read my blog! I know that you are very close to me and you love me or you wouldn't be reading! Thanks for that! Thanks for always being there for me! Every time I get another great priesthood blessing I tell myself that I won't hesitate to ask the next time around. I remind myself that I am a daughter of God and he would want me to ask. I tell myself that by not asking I am denying the priesthood members a chance to serve. I really hope that next time around I won't hesitate again! I know the power of the Priesthood is real! I am ever thankful for that! I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ... Amen

Mi Vida Loca

   Well there is a ton to say but I don't know how much I will actually remember to put into words. Work has been mostly good to me lately. Almost the entire month of July I was working full time hours (40 hours/week) which  was great, for my sanity and for my paycheck. The only tricky part was that I am still an "on-call" employee and so I was working whatever shifts needed covered so one day I was there on a morning shift and the next it was the afternoon. Sometimes it was a graveyard shift or a late shift followed by a morning shift. Its hard when you have no stability/regularity in the days and times but like I said the paychecks were nice for paying bills.
The only kicker was I was also scheduled every weekend, Sat and Sun. I told them in my interview I would prefer Sundays off. I told them that I do understand it is a hospital and a 24/7 operation so I know once in awhile I would need to and they said ok. But now I am regularly getting scheduled. They had told me I would be scheduled for one weekend in the month sof June, so I was ok with that. But then I got a printed schedule and it was every weekend! But then not only was it every weekend I was scheduled to work from 6:30am until 3pm. WHich unfortunately goes right through church time for my ward and every other ward in the area! So I told them that I can't do every weekend. That if I missed 4 weeks of church I would go crazy and not only that but I have responsibilities at church and need to be there. So they told me I could check with the afternoon girl and see if she would trade me. But then because the afternoon shift is 3p-11:30 it meant I would have to change Sat and Sun because they couldn't work until 11:30 p and be back at 6:30am. There has to be 8 hours between shifts. SO I had to trade both days in order to go to church. It was ok with me. But then I missed the wedding receptions of several friends. In fact since I began working at the end of April I have missed every wedding I was invited to! There have been 5 so far! (two more coming up... I know I can attend one, not sure on the other yet)
   SO then so far in July I had the 4th off but I am thinking maybe that was because of Holiday pay? Then I worked the graveyard shift on Sat the 10th and so I had Sun the 11th off. But last night I was back at work! this time I started at 5pm. She asked if that would be better than the 3 and I said well ideally I'd like to not work at all or if its absolutely necessary give me the graveyard shift so I don't start until 10pm and can enjoy church and any activities. But nope 5pm it is... which means as i finish church at 4:15 I have to book it out the door and straight to Ventura. I was 5 min late yesterday! Oh well I told her I might be! Its the same for next weekend and I did a sneak peek at the Aug schedule and I am working every weekend! Thats it~not even any shifts during the week...unless some get added by front admitting! I have been talking with some of my coworkers and they've told me that everybody works every other weekend that unfortunately in order to keep everyone happy that is the way it goes. So ok... why am I getting EVERY weekend than? Especially when I told them in my interview and since I've been working I want Sunday's off? UGH! Like I said I even told them I don't mind the graveyard shift on Sat and SUn if I have to if it means I get the day off on Sun but I keep getting scheduled! So then not only that but I still don't get any benefits either because I am an "on-call" employee! I really hope another full time job with benefits comes along soon! If I am lucky that one will be Sunday free! I really do love it at CMH but not if they are going to force me to either miss church (or part of it like last month, I went to another ward then hurried over to work kinda like now) and I am not getting any benefits. I really need the stability with my schedule, the days/hours and shifts. I don't mind the all over the place once in awhile but when its constant and I cannot have any kind of regular sleep schedule I was getting pretty worn out. Espcially when you factor in my 38mile commute each way!

Ok well enoug on my venting for that! I have something else I want to write about but I decided to post it in its own post!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wow....

So you know how Bill Cosby had that show "kids say the darndest things" and before that someone else hosted the same show but I wasn't old enough to watch or understand it than so I am not sure who its host was. Maybe Art Linkletter? Anyway its not just kids sometimes.... these are some work stories from this past weekend...

So the other day while I was at work I was checking in a patient for the emergency room. I asked for his date of birth and then his name because that's the easiest way to find an account if someone has been there before. So I found him and put in a few things that I needed to put in, and then asked him his reason he needed to be seen... he told me "when I eat my stomach gets bigger" (he was also using his hands to explain this)... so now I wanted to say "yeah it happens to the best of us" or maybe "yeah me too" or "don't eat so much" or something along those lines because it seemed too funny a moment. But I had to remain professional and maintain my face and instead I just said "so bloating?" or something along those lines. So then he proceeded to tell and show me that his feet have gotten bigger too. So I listed his reason for visit as "abdominal bloating, and pedal edema". I was able to laugh about it later when he wasn't sitting right in front of me but for the moment I maintained composure and translated his regular/comedic way of speaking into proper medical terminology.

Ok so this one isn't a saying but it is a true story and it also happend at work... so the ambulance came in, which is fairly common considering I work in the emergency room... but they didn't leave their patient in the ER. They had brought in a mother and her baby. The baby was delivered in a car. The baby was pre-mature at around 33 weeks. The mother had no pre-natal care. I am not sure why she didn't but she didn't. So then the medics after having dropped off mom and baby came to the ER admitting to get a face sheet (it has the patient information on it) and they told us about the situation. They told us it was the mothers 4th child. Then they told us that she is only 20 years old!! So either all of her kids are really really close in age or she started having children at a really young age. Either way I feel bad for her and her situation and especially for those kids and I really hope the baby is ok! The most interesting part of this true story is the mothers name is... are you ready for this?? Her name is Concepcion.... WOW! That's all I can say for that one!

There was also another guy brought in by ambulance from a nursing facility in the area. I am not sure what exactly why he was brought in since I didn't check him in, but he has HIV, Hepatitis C, Cirrhosis and Ascitis of the liver adn many other live debilitating diseases that are not fun alone let alone mixed with many others. I guess it's the result of a life full of alcoholic beverages. So then as the medic was giving my co-worker the face sheet from the facility there wasn't really any information on it and he said "oh that's because he is new there, he just got out of jail." So she asked "why was he in jail?" to which the medic replied "child molestation"... I think that is so horrible! I mean I feel bad for the guy because nobody should have to suffer with those horrible diseases but its hard to completely have compassion for a guy who would do something like that! I am not sure how I would've handled the situation had I been required to take care of him knowing that! I would like to think that I would still treat him with respect but I think at the same time I would have quite the bitter taste in my mouth and be biting my tongue!

So remind me sometime to tell you about my EMT experience for the drunk hispanic midget! That's another fun story! :-)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Alone

Sometimes I laugh.
Sometimes I drive
Sometimes I am
Sometimes I cry
All alone.

Other times I laugh
Other times I drive
Other times I am
Other times I cry
With friends

Tonight I sit
Tonight I cry
Tonight I am
Tonight I feel
On my own

I want to laugh with
I want to drive with
I want to be with
I want to have
Some company

I could sit
I could cry
I could dance
I could run
With someone

Here I am
Here I sit
Here I cry
Here I feel
All alone

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Journey Of Friends

Ok so awhile ago I wrote a poem. I wrote it in a red ink pen (and made a few changes in pencil) on a small sheet of paper. I am not sure when I wrote it because I never signed or dated my small piece of paper. In fact I am not sure who I wrote it about, but from the wording I clearly wrote it with someone particular in mind. The thing that makes me sad is the person obviuously had a positive influence on me at the time, but yet I cannot remember who it is now. I think I might know but can't get my own confirmation that the person I am thinking of was the person who influenced it for sure.... I do have several friends that it actually could be about in a long term sense of the poem though. SO maybe it was a poem written with a compilation of friends in mind. I have so many great friends and examples around me constantly! I am so blessed in that part of my life!

I cannot remember when I was using a regular red ink pen or when I had small pieces of paper the particular size it was written on. Anyway I was going through some papers I came across in my room last night and found this poem. I read through it a couple times and decided not to make any changes to it. I don't have the actual written date or approx date for it so I went ahead and wrote 2010 since I like dating my work. I also hadn't titled it. I decided I like "Journey Of Friends" I think it fits. Anyway since awhile ago I decided to start adding all my poetry, (not that I write it frequently) to my blog so here is my latest (yet older) piece of work!


JOURNEY OF FRIENDSYour eyes sparkle like stars at night.
The glow of your face is like a beautiful pale moonlight.
The warmth of your smile is like the sun at midday.
You light up a room in every way.

There’s safety in your hugs.
I feel like I’m “snug as a bug”
Your friendship gives me comfort,
It helps me overcome lifes hurts.

When you are nearby there’s music everywhere.
Such a beautiful tune, I’ve no reason to fear.
You let me be myself, no need to pretend.
This feeling you give me, shall never end

How you’ve inspired me to grow.
I’m afraid you’ll never know.
When doing bigger and better things
You’ve shown me what love can bring.

You gave me a new start.
When you opened my heart.
You taught me to look and to see.
You made me appreciate what I can be.

My road ahead will be hard to follow.
I’ll continue traveling with each new tomorrow.
When I feel as if I’ve had enough
I know you taught me to remain tough.

I’m never turning back
You put me on the right track
I’m praying for eternity
Someday it will come for both you and me

I’m thankful for you
For all we’ve been through
When this journey ends
Eternally we’ll always be friends

Renee L Conaway


2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Update on Fish...

My tank with the nighttime blue light on! You can kind of see some of the white about 2 1/2 month old fish in the picture. Although they're kind of blurry and at the top is the breeder box with the babies in it. On the back wall is an oxygen tubing thing and also where the water comes down from the filter so that's why its kinda full of bubbles and not super clear to see.


Well I figured I need to update about my growing number of fish. As I was finishing my last blog about the camera tragedy I was planning to blog about my fish. Then I was thirsty so I decided to go get a drink. As I went towards the kitchen I realized the day light was still on the fish tank. So I leaned down and as I was reaching into the cabinet to turn off the light I noticed a small white something in the tank. I quickly identified it as a dead fry! I thought oh man someone is having babies again! But I have been watching my fish and none looked especially pregnant lately. Not even the silver molly anymore. But she had undergone some trauma recently. (I had some serious cloudy tank issues that are finally resolved and in that time trying to clear the water I put a pump in there hoping to help the circulation so that the filter could work better, I didn't realize that the pump was super power and she got sucked in, but survived) I then noticed over in another spot of the tank what looked like an underdeveloped egg. I knew it was true! There was a fish having underdeveloped babies! Or was miscarrying them! I didn't know which one it was. None looked "boxed" like they get before birth, the mickey mouse platies had been chilling in the bottom of the plants lately but they both looked extremely skinny to be having babies. The silver molly didn't look boxy by any means and she also had her anal fin out which I had read they bring in for birthing. So I had no clue who it was.

My mom had gone to bed not too long before so I went in to tell her someone was having babies! She got out of bed which i told her she didn't need to do.  So her and my dad (he has to be involved and "supervise" everything,but he doesn't usually help much) came out and they were kind watching the mickey's thinking it was one of them and I was still suspicious of silver molly. Then I saw it happen I saw a fry "pop" out of her and knew she was the one! So I got the breeder ready, got my net and actually fairly easily got her into it. I was surprised how easy it was considering the size of the tank and how she is kinda too big for that net. But I didn't really use the net but to guide her to where I could put the breeder up under her. Within a few seconds of "catching" her there was another egg sack in the bottom of the breeder. I knew I had my girl! I am not sure if the fry I saw her birth was alive or not but I can't really catch it in that big of a tank either way so it'll have to either survive (be tough little fry) on its own in the plants or will be defeated (if its even alive) So it will be interesting to see how many more babies we may end up with. But it looks like maybe she is stressed or ill or something since so far I have only seen egg sacks and a few dead fry from her. I don't know if she will have any viable babies.

In the meanwhile my other 38 babies are doing well. They are still fairly tiny. The ones that are about 2 months old are getting pretty big. They are not full size yet but they are growing. We still have the 8 white ones and only 2 of the black ones. The black ones are still reasonably smaller than the white ones but they're hanging tough! Only a couple of the white ones have spots on them. The babies are kinda grayish still but a few look like they may be spotted. Or will be anyway. Let me get my ghetto camera and get some recent pictures to post for ya! Ok so I got the camera and was taking some pictures when I noticed a fry. He was swimming! I was excited. But then I learned although I was hoping he would be tough I learned he was more of a dare devil. I saw him, and I saw him trying to get back to the safety of the plants then I saw him get eaten alive! Not even by one of the fully grown fish either! It was by one of the 2 month old ones! He was actually attacked simultaneously by 2 of them but only one got to enjoy the treat! I was taking some pictures and trying to get some comparison shots of the white ones with an adult one and the little black ones (who I will remind you are only 2 days younger than the white ones) next to the white ones. But they were not swimming cooperatively. So I will have to see what pictures I got that are worth posting. I also took some of the babies to show you their tiny-ness! As I was photographing I decided to check somewhere else for my Moms camera too. I found it so I made the switch! I would rather use her 8.2mp one than the ghetto 4mp one! :-) ooohh and I just discovered her battery does come out! It was kinda hidden! So I can purchase an extra one to have on hand! Woohoo! So I am uploading pictures to the computer now and then I will see the quality and if I got anything good to post! Oh so i should also mention that I added a pleco to the tank. (and algae eater) and in the bedroom goldfish tank I am down to just 4 survivors! So its still kinda too many for the 10gal tank but its better than 11!

This first picture in the bottom right corner is one of the 2 little black fish.
This is a black one swimming slightly behind the white one who is about 2 days older.
Here is the full size adult dalmation molly swimming behind the approx 2 week old babies. It may be hard to tell but they are quite a bit bigger than their birth size!


A minor tragedy

  Well I am a photographer. Ok not professionally and maybe not always that good at it. But I love to take pictures. I love to have pictures on my walls and to remember fun times with friends and family through those pictures. I love to photograph nature (flowers, birds, sunsets, the waves at the beach etc) IO also for some reason love to photograph flags blowing in the wind! I will stop the car in random locations because something looks fun to stand by, or for a funny sign. I have my camera with me constantly and extra batteries just in case! I don't leave home without it! I love to take pictures!
   Well on Thurs afternoon my nephew was not being very nice. He was not listening and was not behaving. I was trying to punish him. He did not like that. Well then my dad said he was going to "veto" my punishing him because he was crying and screaming. At that point I had put him into the crib, which he likely could've crawled out of. I had tried to go into the room and see if he was ready to talk about having been in trouble and he blew me off, so I left him there. Anyway like I said my dad disagreed with my handling of the punishment. It escalated (not going to go into all the details) but I got pretty upset, took my nephew out of the crib put on some shoes grabbed my purse and keys and left the house. I was in tears and not in any mood to go back home. I drove around the corner and parked in the church parking lot. I shed some tears, said a prayer and just kinda sat there for awhile. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to go to the park and read scriptures. If I wanted to call a friend to hang out or what my plan was going to be. I knew though that I was not going home any time soon. Finally I decided to go to the beach. I texted a friend who was going to be off work soon and invited her to join me. She said yes. So I picked her up and we were on the road. It was nice to have someone to talk to who wasn't going to judge me or hold any contempt against my dad either. I needed some simple support and that she gave! It was nice! So we drove, taking various routes just for fun and not really sure where we wanted to get dinner we just kinda drove around. We ate than went to a spot to park. By this time it was almost sunset. We walked down to the water and took some pictures. When it started getting closer to the setting of the sun we sat and watched. We watched the birds flying and joked about them dive-bombing into the water. After the sun was gone and it started getting colder we decided we should go. As we excited the sand and got back into the parking lot area my feet were uncomfortable so I wanted to put on my shoes. I had them in my hand and dropped them. Well in the meanwhile I managed to drop my camera too! I picked it up dusted it off and put it into my pocket.
     Later as I was wanting to take a picture of something in a store we were in my camera lens wouldn't open when I turned it on. I was thinking it was the battery as it would do that sometimes when the batteries were low. I changed the battery pack and it still wouldn't work. Nor with a third pack. I was kind of bummed! Although at the time I didn't think about the fact I had dropped my camera in the parking lot! It wasn't until a few days later that I remembered that little detail! After I had recharged the battery packs and it still wouldn't open. The light would come on and it would start to go but not completely open or turn on! I tried brand new batteries and it still wouldn't work! SO I went for several days without a camera! I tried to grab it a few times too then sadly remembered its tragic end! The worst part is I knew it was getting temperamental but I knew I couldn't afford to replace it yet so I was waiting. I also had told my friend that evening at the beach that once I did replace it she could have it. She has no camera so even a temperamental one is better than none at all. Now I cannot still pass it on!
     So tragically I still cannot afford a replacement yet. :-( I wasn't sure what I was going to do. My mom offered to let me use hers but then I reminded her I keep mine with me at all times and she might need it from time to time. So its nice knowing when I have something specific I can use hers but I still need one for myself! I then had a thought. When I got this particular camera it was an upgrade for an older camera. I still have that camera in storage. So the other day I went and retrieved the old camera. Hoping it would still work.
  It does. Its definitely older. Its only a 4 mega pixel instead of my 12mp! Instead of the 2.7" display screen or whatever size it is, its only got like a tiny 1inch screen or so. Maybe 1.5 its small none the less! There is not a 5xoptical and 5x digital zoom. But it does zoom a little bit. Oh and it weighs twice as much and is pretty clunky! Its kinda ghetto camera! But it works! So I am thankful for that! At least it doesn't require film still! :-) I was telling my mom how ghetto it is. She offered to let me use hers and leave that one here for her to use since she has her phone camera and doesn't take as many pictures as I do. Than I can use hers until we get me a replacement. But I am not sure where her camera is to switch them out. Maybe once I find it I will do that though! It will be nice to have a decent camera to use again! Hers doesn't have replaceable batteries though. Once it's low I have to charge the camera itself. So that's the only bummer part! I will never know how long it will last!

Ok update on the camera situation.... I found my mom's camera and decided to make the switch. Then as I was hooking it up to upload the pictures to the computer I found the battery in it! It does come out which means I can buy a replacement and have an extra one to take with me! Woohoo! Maybe I won't have to replace my camera so soon after all! Hers is an 8.2 mp which is better than the 4mp ghetto one! and its tiny with a decent size screen for viewing/editing etc! Yeah! Thanks Mom! I will have to tell her I made the switch!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

CMH

GOOD NEWS!!! I got a job! A little over a month ago my friend Laura called me, she was at work in Ventura and one of her regular customers "G" was there. He asked her if she knew anyone who might be interested in working on-call status in the hospital to admit patients. She called me. I said definitely. She told me she would have him call me, but instead she called me back about 10 min later and told me I had an interview the next morning! Woohoo! So I went to the interview that Fri morning. It went really well and "G" told me that Patsy would call me Mon morning and likely do a phone interview and that he was sure she would like me and would start the paperwork for me to be hired. So Mon rolled around and I didn't get a call, but then on Mon night I had a couple girls over and we were watching a movie and just hanging out. Laura stopped by to pick something up and she asked me if I heard anything. I told her no that they said Patsy would call but I hadn't gotten called yet. She told me G had been back into the restaurant and told her I got the job. So I continued waiting for the call. Finally on Fri afternoon I got a call from Human resources and was asked to come in and fill out new hire paperwork. Then I had to wait 3 days for a "background check" and after that I had to do blood work and a urine test and a TB test etc. SO I did all that.
 I started last week. There is another girl who started the same day as I did. Her name is Raegina. She is also going to be on-call status and she told me how hard it was to be hired and how she had several interviews and all kinds of stuff. I felt kinda bad saying I only had one and hadn't even applied yet when I did that interview.
  So for the job we are doing ER admitting, front desk admitting (surgeries, labor and delivery etc) lab admitting, and will also be in the PBX, which is the hospital phone operator. We also collect money for bills and co-pays etc.  So far I have done the front office admitting, the PBX and just observed for a few hours in the ER last week. Rae has done ER mostly and observed a little in PBX and up front.  I love it so far! I really hope things go well enough and that they like me and decide to make me more permanent. So that way I know I will get more hours as well as benefits! But I don't want to go into it too much ! But I really do love the job so far! I still really miss being on the ambulance but maybe I will eventually be able to go into the ER as an EMT and work there...we shall see what time will bring! Anyway I am so happy! I got my first paycheck today! It was nice! I have to pay bills now, give some to my mom and I bought some scrubs for work. We can wear scrubs but unfortunately they can only be solid blue. I don't get to have fun with the designs...oh well at least I will be comfy when working!

More Mouths to Feed

Here is a fish story update~ So a month ago I had some fish... and as you know my fish had some fish.... well I don't remember if I updated it then but 2 days later my fish had some more fish. I think it was 7 or 8 more to be exact. So I had a bunch of fish.... I started looking online to find a bigger fish tank since that many babies (aka fry) once fully grown in addition to the fish I already had would completely overcrowd my 10gal fish tank.  Eventually I found one that I managed to be the first person to respond for and got a 45gall hexagon tank with lights and a stand for FREE!!! It was perfect, it also came with an air pump and timers for the lights and a spare bulb (it had 2 blue bulbs and one big white one, the spare is another blue one) and I didn't see it at first but it had a heater too. It was originally by the previous owners used for saltwater. I cleaned it out really good and it sat for what seemed like forever and about 2 weeks ago I set it up. Then we got some gravel and a couple decorations as well as a new filter for it. I set it to go and got it all done and ready and let it cycle for a couple days. Then last weekend I moved the fish that had survived into it. Well mostly. I moved a total of 11 babies, 8 of which were white a couple have started showing some spots on them, these were 8 of the fry from the first day half of which looked gray in the beginning. Then there were 4 smaller black colored ones which were from the 2 days later as well. They were (and still are) a lot smaller than the white ones even though they are only 2 days younger. I also moved the 2 Mickey Mouse Platy, One of the Dalmatian Molly, and the silver molly. (Of the original 8 fish I had, the 2 black mollies had died by this time, as well as one silver molly) the second Dalmatian was looking more and more pregnant each day and since I knew I would have to separate her and the babies anyway I didn't want to put her in the huge tank.  So what I did was put her into the small 1 gal tank so she could give birth there and put the sole goldfish survivor back into the 10gal so he would have room to move around since he has grown quite a bit as well.
   It had been the 28 days since the previous births and so I was expecting the Dalmatian to give birth any time. (Most of the websites I have looked at said about every 28 days they would give birth once they were pregnant because they are live bearers they could only incubate so many eggs at a time and would continue to give birth for about 5 or 6 months from one pregnancy) She didn't. But I started to notice her side was looking funny and stuff and begin to think she might be sick. So then I was worried. I was doing all that I could to try and get her to feel better and to have her babies.
     Well 2 days ago on the 5th in the evening after I got home from work I noticed extra goldfish in the tank in my room. I said Mom I think my goldfish multiplied... She told me that Jennifer and joey brought over 10 goldfish because they were on sale 5/ $1.00(they are the feeder fish, so technically the same ones I got before anyway) so they bought 10. My mom said "what the heck are we going to do with these?" and they said put them in the tank and she told them she didn't think they could go in the big tank with those fish (which they can't because they like different temperatures of water and a few other reasons) so now I have an overcrowded 10gal tank again. Then as we were getting ready to eat dinner my sister Deann said "did the other fish have babies yet?" and I was like "I haven't checked" and so I did and sure enough there were fry!!! So everyone comes running into the bathroom (where the 1g was temporarily set up) to see. I counted about 18 in the plant area and Rhonda counted about 4 or 5 near the heater. Then my mom said "I think I just saw her have another one" so we left her alone to do her thing.... Well later because I knew she had seemed sick and didn't want them all affected I figured I should move the babies. Plus I hadn't thought ahead enough and realised I should've left her and the goldfish where they were (her in the 10g and him in the 1g) because the babies have to grow and there isn't a decent filter in the small tank and there wouldn't be much room. So I decided I needed to move the babies. So that night I carefully fished out all the babies with the net to put them into the bigger tank. I put them into the breeder box thing in the same water in a baggie and put it into the other tank so the temperature could acclimate. Then transferred them without transferring the water (since it was contaminated from sick momma) I put 39 fry in the box and had found 4 or 5 dead ones that went to the trash! So I gained 49 new fish in one day!!!!! Can you believe it?!! Craziness!
     Yesterday momma died! :-( its sad but I have plenty of fry to remember her by! I also lost one goldfish. Then today I lost 2 more goldfish. But since they were inexpensive and I had too many anyway I am not worried about it.
So here are some current new fish pictures! Don't mind the cloudy water, I am planning on doing a partial water change tomorrow afternoon to help with that. I also I think may need to go get some more chemicals for the water. The pictures are not the greatest because photographing through the aquarium and into water doesn't seem to be a good setting for my camera.... but here they are... oh and don't worry about the stuff at the bottom of the breeder box it's ok, it kinda food stuff they haven't really eaten but I found with the other guys as they got bigger they chose to finish what they hadn't eaten before if it didn't filter its way out the sides.


So anyways that is my latest fishy story! Wowzers! If I knew I was going to end up with so many I might not have bought the ones i did! As I realized she was pregnant and still pregnant etc and started reading about it more online I realized this is pretty common with Molly, Platy and Guppy fish all tropical fish. I never had this problem when we had tropical fish before but maybe i just wasn't observant enough than and the fry got attacked? Who knows! Anyway I hope you've enjoyed my story and maybe someday you can see my fish live if you come over. But don't ask me to name them because even if I did I probably couldn't tell you who was who or remember all the names! :-)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Fishie Story

**Disclaimer** this story may involve some details unenjoyable to the standard reader. Nothing too graphic or gross, but I am issuing a warning none-the-less. Please use caution when reading :-)

Well let me start this story about a month or so ago, maybe even up to 6 weeks ago. I don't recall exactly when it was... my mom and I went out to Thousand Oaks and we took my nephews. So once we were there we asked the boys where would they  like to go. My nephew Elijah said "to see the fish". We talked about maybe going to a pet store. At the same time it gave me an idea. I used to have fish tanks in my room. Way back when and I knew that I had my old fish tanks/supplies in a box in the garage. So I told my mom "I do have tanks in the garage, maybe I should get one out again" so then Elijah said "Nay- you have fish in garage?" to which I replied "No I don't sorry" and he said "Nay you tricked me" apparantly he knew what I was talking about when I mentioned the tanks. So need less to say, the idea of putting up a fish tank in my room again so that my nephews could enjoy it (and myself of course) was now in my head again.

So a couple weeks ago I decided to do it. I rearranged my bedroom furniture, found a spot to put up the tank and got it cleaned up and ready to go. knowing the water temperature is supposed to be stable and at room temperature at least I set it up about a day before I knew I would be able to get fish. I had my old 10 gal tank and a 1 gal tank. I set up the 1 gal. The next day I decided since I had enough room on the shelf I was going to use I wanted to use the bigger tank. So I switched it all out and set up the 10 gal tank. I left it for another day so the water could stabilize. We went the next day to buy fish.

We are at the pet store and I was showing Elijah the fish. I was showing him the tropical fish because that was what I had always gotten in the past and I love the variety of colors and looks of the fish. They're easy to maintain and really cool. Then the lady told me without a heater in the tank I'd have to get goldfish. But I knew I never had a heater before and my fish weren't cold! But we looked at the goldfish anyway. Elijah decided he liked the cheap-o 27c feeder goldfish bettter than any other fish I showed him to possibly buy. Including a small red and white Oranda goldfish that looked way cool, that they were discontinuing carrying so they were only $3.50 instead of the normal $13.99. So Elijah picked 4 "feeder" fish and we brought them home.  The lady was really sweet too because she would catch the ones he pointed to even though there were a ton of fish in that tank and he wouldn't have known the difference. They were all slightly different and you could actually tell them apart from one another.  It's not as easy in these pictures to tell,  but one was really dark orange with a whiter belly. One was a lighter orange/yellow and then there is the orange with the dark stripe on it's back, and I don't have a picture of our first casualty but he was a lighter color almost gray with a dark stripe.

Things were going well with our fish. Than about 3 days later we had our first loss. I told Elijah what happened and we flushed the fish to swim with Nemo. The pet store has a 14 day return policy on the fish, but it was 27c and so the gas would cost me more than buying a new fish another day when I am already in that area. So then about 3 days after that we lost our 2nd fish. We flushed him as well. There was a tiny part of me that was secretly hoping that they would all eventually visit Nemo so I could go and pick new fish from the tropical section. I had been watching the temperature on the tank and with the lights it was staying well within the range needed for tropical fish without having a heater. So I knew if they asked again I could tell them I knew the temperature was stable enough without one. So another day or so later (maybe more I don't exactly remember) we lost a 3rd fish. We were down to the last fish. It wasn't even the coolest looking one either. But he looked really lonely in the tank. I was almost wondering if maybe he had picked on the other fish and that's why he was such a survivor after all the time. He seemed way too happy to be alone. Swimming all over and all fast. Ugh...

So last week I needed to go to the bank. I asked Elijah if he wanted to go bye with me. He asked me where I was going and I said the bank. So then he said "to buy fish?" and I said "ok we can get more fish" I was hoping that they would still have the discontinued oranda's. So we got ready and got Isaiah ready too and we went to the bank and back to the fish store. When we got there I noticed signs for some of the tropical fish.  Assorted Molly; Platy; and Guppy fish were 10/$10. Most of the molly, guppy and platy fish are $2.49 -$3.99 each normally. I was kinda happy about this! I was actually really excited because they no longer had the oranda's. So we looked at the sale fish now! I knew I still had the one goldfish at home but I also knew I had a 1 gal tank I could put him in. But I also know technically that tank is too small for him because they say 1 gal tank size per inch of adult size fish. The goldfish can actually get really big! The tropical fish stay small! So even though I wanted to get guppies, mollies, and Mickey Mouse platy fish Elijah didn't seem to want the guppies! So we decided on 2 silver Molly, 2 black Molly, 2 Dalmation Molly and 2 Mickey Mouse Platy fish. (It has a mickey mouse head design on it's tail fin!) We put about 8 inches of fish in a 10gal tank! Perfect it won't be overcrowded  and they all have a friend!

So on the way home both boys fell asleep. Which worked out since I needed to transfer fish and stuff, so I put together the 1gal tank again for our goldfish who is properly named "Fishie" and got the bag into the 10 gal with the new tropical fish. So they were all in their tanks and in their bags so the water could acclimate. Eventually I transferred them in. Later that night or the next day as my mom was looking at the fish I told her that I thought the one Mickey Mouse Platy looked really fat and could maybe be pregnant. But not knowing for sure I left it alone after that. So the next day I noticed  that same platy with a pretty long (**disclaimer** here) poop as it was swimming around. I thought "maybe it was just a little constipated".  So then I think it was yesterday, maybe the day before in the morning when I went to feed the fish one of the dalmation mollies was in the little rock cave thing I have. It didn't seem very eager to swim around or to even eat with the rest of the fish. I thought to myself "maybe that one is sick and going to die" It made me a little nervous and sad because the dalmations are pretty. Elijah's favorites are the silver Mollies. I think if I would've let him he would've chosen all silver mollies! Then last night the dalmation molly was swimming around just fine. Phew what a relief! I didn't want to send any more fish to Nemo.
So this afternoon I was kinda looking in the tank and I noticed something small swimming in the corner! I took a second glance and realized it was a baby fish! Then I was like "Oh my goodness!" and I saw a second one! I hollered for my mom and told her there were 2 babies in the back corner and said I better go get the breeder cage thing from my box of fish stuff. Luckily I had one from before. I was actually supposed to be getting picked up any minute at this point to go to the baseball game tonight! So I was a little panicked. Got the cage thing and rinsed it out. Came in and my mom said she saw 3 babies! So I caught the 3 babies and separated them from the big fish. (They will eat the babies if they are not separated) I wasn't seeing any more but when I had came back with the breeder cage thing the babies were swimming in the same rock cave thing as the dalmation yesterday! Then I realized I thought I saw something that looked like a baby yesterday but it was late and it was after I had fed them so I brushed it off as food and didn't investigate it much! I went to bed instead. So then I thought "well if it was from yesterday these 3 were lucky they survived without the other fish eating them." so I went to the game and was kinda surprised I had baby fish! Except I don't know who the mother is! I don't know if it's the dalmation molly, or the mickey mouse platy!! Or maybe neither!

So tonight after the game I came in and was checking on my fish again, and the babies. While doing so I noticed a dead baby fish in between the rocks and the glass near the front of the tank. So I got out my net to clean it out and saw another baby swimming! So I caught it. Then caught a second baby! So I had 5 babies! Then I noticed a third but it got away by going to the back where the plant was. So I took out the plant and the rock cave and the other rock, not knowing where it was hiding. Then I kinda waved my net around near the bottom so it kind of stirred up the water and found the baby! So I had 6 babies! I was surprised! So then I went to go make some cupcakes I need for church tomorrow and when I got them in the oven and came into my room I did a quick glance to find another baby fish swimming in the tank, caught it and then another! So now I have 8 babies in the cage! 4 of them are kinda white colored, and 4 are mostly gray. Of the 4 gray ones though one is really dark gray, 2 are gray, and the last one is almost invisible he is such a light gray! They all have clear tails and so they're hard to see anyway! Well that and they are barely like a half a centimeter long maybe 3/4 centimeter!

So again I have no idea who is the mother fish! I have no idea how many babies were initially born! But I have 8 now and had 1 casualty! It's incredible, there were at least 9! I was looking online and it said for their first birth they can have anywhere from 12-30 babies and that they can have babies about a month apart for up to 5 or 6 months. But that the number of babies will decrease each time! So we will see if I end up with more! It says to keep the females separate for that time from the males, but I don't even know which are which. Except I think the one MM Platy is a female! This could be a longer-lasting fish story. Oh and in the meanwhile as I was hunting down babies tonight I noticed I lost a black Molly. I sent him out with Nemo. I figured if my babies survive I really don't need a replacement for him because my tank is about to get pretty darn full! Oh and I also noticed tonight after my final round-up that both a dalmation and a MM platy were kinda going at the breeder cage. So I don't know if they were looking to try and eat the babies or if they were trying to get at them because they are possibly both mothers or what but it was interesting to see! In the meanwhile I am leaving the decorations out of the tank for a couple days until I know for sure I have no more babies hiding in the rocks!

I tried to post some more pictures of all the new fish and of the babies but my camera is being lame-o. So check back to this blog later if they are not here yet. I will edit this post and add them asap! I am sure there will be more to come of this fishy tale! Especially if a month from now I end up with more babies!  Oh and in case you're wondering, the goldfish is doing fine! He is the one in the 3rd picture. He is probably not enjoying his smaller home but he hasn't committed suicide because of it.... yet....

Oh and a funny side note: last night as I was lying in bed going to sleep I thought to myself "I wonder if when I turn out the fish tank light if the fish run into the glass of the tank? Or into the other decorations for that matter?" Things that make you go hmmmm

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Decade and a Crick in the Neck

Hello Everyone! March 29, 2010




Ok so I am 3 days late in writing this year! I was completely planning on writing on Fri and then there was some problems in my life and I didn’t get anything done I had hoped to do! I am sure you know why I am writing…. it’s my baptism anniversary! I cannot believe it has been a whole decade! 10 years! It makes me think of the Genie from Aladdin! 10,000 years will give you such a crick in the neck! This has been an amazing 10 years of my life! There have been so many amazing blessings I have received! I cannot say it hasn’t been without an equal number of trials (cricks in the neck) though! It has been especially rough this past year! But I can say that no matter what has happened to me this year I have continued to keep the faith! I have realized that no matter what happens with the gospel I can overcome it all! That is the most amazing feeling ever!

That has been the greatest blessing I have received! It’s incredible to realize the true power that is found when you know that you are a child of God! To realize the true divine destiny we each have being here as His children! It’s overwhelming sometimes! I cannot tell you how many times while in a sacrament meeting, institute or some other church activity/meeting when we sing a hymn like “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” or “How Great Thou Art” or so many others and I am just balling. I cannot even sing sometimes because the spirit is so strong and the tears are so numerous! What a blessing that has been in my life. It’s really been a testimony to me of the Savior of the Atonement and what He has suffered on my behalf! Wow! I really cannot put that into words! I’ve had many experiences like that in institute class this semester and last semester. Where Brother Manwaring will ask me a question and I cannot even answer it. I just start crying. I try so hard not to sometimes but the tears still come!

I am still serving at church as the 1st counselor in the Relief Society Presidency! I absolutely love it! It has been incredible to serve the sisters in the ward. I have had so many great opportunities to teach lessons, to visit with sisters. To meet new girls, to plan activities and to really build great friendships! I’ve gotten to welcome girls to RS at their baptisms, to welcome girls to Relief Society and just had so many great opportunities because of this calling! I love it! I love that I have gotten to serve along side an amazing sister as the RS President. She has been such an example to me. We have also had a few girls in the presidency that have moved and I miss them so much, but at the same time I love the girls serving now! It’s incredible the friendships we build. Also serving along side with what has been now two different great Stake RS Presidencies! You can never know who is going to teach you in this life! The examples of all the sisters I have served with have been great! They have all been great women and have really set good examples to me! So I want to let you all know: Laura, Janelle, Emily, Kelly and Ashley, thank you so much for being there and serving so well! You are all an inspiration to me in so many ways! I cannot explain the love I have for each of you for the people you are! I’ve loved the opportunities I have had to serve with you all! This coming Nov will actually be the start of a 3rd year for Laura and I in the presidency so there is likely a change to come! It will be so different to not be serving as the 1st counselor anymore! I have no idea what is in store for me but I am sure by this time next year my anniversary letter will be full of new experiences yet again!

This year for me has again been a big struggle! At this time last year I was about a month post-op from my 2nd knee surgery. I unfortunately had 2 knee surgeries on the same knee about 10 months apart! It has not been a fun journey for me and I am sad to say it is not a story that has ended well. I am still having knee problems but have lost my job because of the injury. I am especially sad since I cannot return to EMS work. I miss it so much! I really miss the opportunities I had to serve people on a daily basis. To be able help them, and to treat them in the ambulance. Those experiences are some I will never forget! I really wish I was feeling better and there again. But as I said I lost my job, my disability ran out and I was only temporarily qualified for unemployment so financially I’ve struggled a lot. I owe a lot to my parent’s. They’ve helped me a lot this past year and have kept me chugging along. It’s been a struggle for the entire family but I know for at least me I’ve learned a lot from it. I treasure so much more in my life now. I really have learned so many lessons. I have been looking for work since last summer. I have been trying to get a dispatcher job and have been unsuccessful, but I have also applied for several positions in customer service as well. I have applied for Costco, Target, CVS Pharmacy, Walgreen’s, and at several ambulance companies for dispatch jobs, West Hills and Los Robles Hospitals for different positions and so far I have not been hired. It is not a trial I am enjoying. I am trying to see what I am meant to learn but so far have not fully figured it out. I am sure there are more places I’ve applied but I cannot remember them all right now! I just hope something comes up soon!

It’s also been about a year and a half since I have worked in the Temple because of my knee. I really miss being an ordinance worker but I try to still go and do ordinances as often as I can. I have caught up with all the names in my file for my genealogy and have no more names to do Temple work for. But there are a lot of names I still need to obtain. There is plenty of work left for me to do and so I am excited for that! What a blessing that has been as well! I love being able to bring my own names to the Temple. To see those names on the card and know that I will be with them in the celestial kingdom someday is incredible. I can’t seem to do temple work enough, or without tears either! Its incredible!

Well as for my family, they are all doing well. Everyone has their own trials and struggles but I love that when it comes down to it we do what we can for each other. My nephews are incredible. They are now 3 ½ and 2. They are so smart and that has been one blessing of being out of work is I get to spend so much time with them. I love them so much. I love my family and that they continue to love and support me in the church! I don’t know where I would be if they didn’t! That would be a trial that would be hard to overcome. I know that I am not perfect and neither are they and so I am trying to be the best I can and not let things get to me as much. It’s really helped me to try and keep a happier focus. Life is good!

Well if you are reading this than you are special to me in some way or another! I love you all! I would normally mail this out but considering my financial situation I don’t have enough stamps right now. So I hope you will forgive me on that! Thanks so much for being my family and friends! For helping me to learn and to grow and for giving me the love and support that you do! I couldn’t make it through this life without you!





Love Always

Renee