Friday, February 27, 2015

Blessed to be Texan (Happy Texas Independence Day) - Part 2

Due to the unexpected popularity of "I'm from Texas, What Country are you From?", the post I wrote last year for Texas Independence Day, I am publishing a sequel featuring more things all Texans should love. Enjoy!

You might be a [true] Texan if...

  • You actually knew before reading this blog post that March 2nd is Texas Independence Day.
  • If you know what that even means.
  • If you actually celebrate it. 
  • If you know important Texas History tidbits by heart.
  • If you consume any of the following at least once a month, if not once a week:
- Chicken Fried Steak
- Steak
- Mexican Food
- Pecan Pie
- Blue Bell
-Dr. Pepper
  • If no summer is complete until you've tubed the Comal, Frio, Guadalupe, and San Marcos rivers. 
  • Or if your favorite place to swim isn't your local pool, because you have access to Barton Springs, Blue Hole, Hamilton Pool, Jacob's Well, and Krause Springs!
  • If you actually know how to pronounce Krause Springs. 
  • If you've driven on highways (big and small) and the speed limit is 85.
  • If you can get any object you want in the shape of your state and not think its too prideful.
  • If you believe in state pride, and that belief is obvious to everyone around you.
  • If someone offers you assistance in a store and they don't even work there. 
  • If you've worn shorts and a heavy-weight jacket at the same time.
  • If your a girl and you wear cowboy boots with your sundresses and/or shorts and its perfectly in style.
  • If "there might be sleet" is an excuse for your school district to call a "snow day". 
  • If you or someone you know has security lights installed on their house but doesn't bother locking the door.
  • If you're a female who carries jumper cables in your truck and knows how to use them. 
  • If you call all cars trucks, regardless of whether they actually are or not!
  • If "vacation" means going anywhere other than your own town for the weekend. 
  • If you find 70 degrees a "little chilly". 
  • If you or someone you know have hit a deer, more than once, on the highway. 
  • If you consider camo to be your unofficial state color. 
  • If you or someone you know has worn a camo formal gown or tux to prom. 
  • If the following restaurant scenarios get on your nerves:
-  they do not serve sweet tea
- they charge extra for chips and salsa 
- they only carry off-brand 'Dr. Pepper'
- they serve melted cheese instead of queso

  • If you've gotten caught up in a "Whataburger vs. In-N-Out" argument.
  • If you secretly hate people who constantly complain about hating living here.
  • If you know George Strait really is our state king. 
  • If you know how to correctly pronounce the following Texas places and things:
- Corsicana, Tx
- Decatur, Tx
-Gruene, Tx
- Burnet, Tx
- Refugio, Tx 
- Mexia, Tx
- Humble, Tx
- New Braunfels, Tx
-Waxahachie, Tx
-Nacogdoches, Tx
- Palestine, Tx
-Pflugervile, Tx
 -Bexar County
-Kuykendahl Road (in Houston) 
- Pedernales

  • If you have manners that include saying "please", "thank you", " excuse me" "yes ma'am", and "yes sir" and get mad when other people don't use them or give you funny looks when you do. 
  • If you know that the true value of a parking space is determined by level of shade, not distance. 
  • If you've been in a traffic jam that involves two cars at a 4-way stop trying to be polite to each other by letting the other-one have the right of way even if its technically their own turn.
  • If a Meredes Benz is not a status symbol, but a lifted Ford F-350 is. 
  • If you've ever had this conversation: "You wanna coke?" "Yeah." "What Kind?" "Dr. Pepper."
  • If you follow multiple Texas themed social media accounts. 
  • If you or someone you know believes that Texas should secede. 
  • If you prefer to listen to local artists that make up the genre "Texas Country" music rather than mainstream stuff.
  • If you own and regularly wear a rather large collection of state themed t-shirts. 
  • If people think your accent is "cute";
  • If you either support the Dallas Cowboys or Houston Texans, not both, and you don't switch between who's doing better. 
  • If you still love the Cowboys even when they're doing less than great.
  • If  you've seen a Jaguarundi or a black panther or  a mountain lion in the wild. 
  • If you or someone you know gets paid to hunt wild hogs. 
  • If you or someone you know participates in  Rattlesnake Roundups. 
  • If your town goes all out for Homecoming.
  • If when you go to a high school dance the only thing anybody can do is the Texas two-step.
  • If you don't have a problem staying in-state for college because you have so many amazing in-state choices. 
  • If you would never consider moving out-of-state. 
  • If you consider hunting/shooting to be your sport. 
    • Christmas shopping involves a trip to Calela's, Cavenders, Bass Pro Shop or a local general store. 
    • If you've received gifts such as: 
    - cowboy boots
    - belt buckles
    - Schlitterbahn tickets/season passes
    - boxes of Pangburn's Millionaires
    -  Texas themed Ugly Sweater
    - a Collin Street Bakery fruit cake
    - a gift card to a steak house
    -something made from horse shoes
    - college football jerseys/t-shirts or game tickets (either UT or A&M)

    If you understand all of these jokes and the ones listed in my first post of this series, congratulations - whether you like it or not, you are a true Texan! 

    For more Texas stuff, follow my Deep In the Heart of Texas Pinterest Board!

    Happy Texas Independance day, Texans! 


    Tuesday, February 3, 2015

    Check Out "The Quirk"!

    During this semester, my homeschool co-op's journalism  class is doing a blog project. Check it out! 

    "The Quirk"

    Here is our first post of the year, written by yours truly!

    I will be writing on it twice a week - a long post on Tuesdays and a short post on Sundays. 

    Thanks for reading!!!


    Tuesday, January 20, 2015

    Cognitive Brain Patterns of Baby Turtles

    So uhhh yesterday I put our on Facebook that I needed ideas for blog posts. My youth pastor commented "Talk about the cognitive brain patterns of baby turtles" . A comment about my knowledge of the topic wasn't satisfactory, because quote " but that wasn't a "blog"". 

    So here ya go Paul, a slightly humerous blog post dedicated to you and your interests in animal science, specifically the branch dealing with baby amphibious reptiles nervous systems. 

    As I stated before, animal science is not my area of knowledge...even though that major is my backup plan if the whole pre-med thing doesn't work out...I figure since I love animals, I'll do something with animals. But I'd probably do something with cattle or cats, neither of which share much in common with turtles. 

    Anyways, back to baby turtles brains and their cognitive patterns. 

    I once had a baby turtle. Once. 

    It's name was Bubbles. I have no clue whether it was a boy or a girl. It was way too small to be able to tell,  I have tiny hands, and there he is in my palm. This is with a macro lens too. Bubbles was a tiny little thing. 

    From what I can tell it was a Slider Turtle, which are commonly found in warmer Texas rivers. 

    I "rescued" (that would be up to you to determine) it. Well, by rescue I mean found him one day while I was snorkeling in the Comal near the chute. That river is 60 degrees year round, which isn't exactly warm, and it was all alone and was having trouble swimming because its back flipper/foot thing was bitten off. So I took it home in an Ozarka Waterbottle (it could easily fit through the opening) and emptied it into a fishbowl on my desk. 

    He/she made a pretty good desktop companion. It loved to throw the pebbles around and would re-arrange them everyday into new cave-like hiding places. So I guess that was a cognitive pattern it had: instinct to hide from the blonde lady who cries over math. He seemed quite content living in that fishbowl, even though it was constantly swimming into the sides of it and was always ramming its head into the rocks. From that  pattern I say that my hypothesis is that it had a cognitive disability commonly referred to as simple retardedness (that's my new word of the day since auto correct has never heard of it). Whenever I'd change the water every-other day and when I did that he/she got to play in the sink, which it seemed to thoroughly enjoy. Not that I actually know how to tell when a turtle is having a good time. I can't even tell that about myself, much less a turtle the size of a half dollar! 

    I had the turtle from August until March. I am uncertain of its cause of death. I'm honestly surprised that I kept it alive for that long. 

    To conclude, from the minimal research and personal experience I've gained for this silly post, I have found out that that is the basic cognitive pattern that baby turtles posses is instinct. Instinct is defined as  "any behavior which did not require cognition or consciousness to perform." So I believe this proves my hypothesis that baby turtles have enough of a brain to be retarded. I'm sure they are very smart in the wild, but they just don't have the instinct to be a pet.  

    That's all I have to say about that... 


    (new year, new monogram design!)

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

    6 Week Post-op Update (Post-op left hip)

    I'm amazed that it has been 6 weeks already!!!

    Everything is going very well. I had my second post-op appointment with my surgeon this past Tuesday. The appointment involved the final set of images to be taken! The x-rays looked fabulous- there is absolutely no sign of impingement left whatsoever! How exciting is that!?!?

    This journey has definitely strengthened me, in many many ways. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually I have grown.  I'd write more, but honestly I'm so done with all this FAI crap! Its CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

    So that means that this blog's chapter titled "My Journey Through FAI" will be coming to a close. I am so very thankful for that. Its been long and rough, but surgery has payed off! I may occasionally post updates of further improvements over the next year, as that is the expected time frame for full recovery, but I will start back to posting more creative and thoughtful posts very soon.

    Merry Christmas to you, my lovely anonymous blog reader!!!


    Friday, November 21, 2014

    2 Week Post-op Update (Post-op left hip)

    Hey y'all!
    Just here to give the skinny on what all happened and how I'm doing!

    First, I'm happy to say I'm doing really well overall. Going through a bit of a temporary hiccup due to my sensitivity to medications which have built up in my system on top of seasonal allergies, which is not fun but I'll be fine soon. 

    The surgery took place on the 3rd of this month. 

     Like I had suspected from the pain I was feeling and the noises I was hearing, both the labrum (cartilage gasket sealing the joint) and the articular cartilage (cartilage lining the joint) were damaged pretty badly. Luckily, the labrum itself turned out to be larger/thicker than the original MRI's predicted, and thus I did not need a transplant from a cadaver. So they simply shaved the fraying away and made it smooth again. They fixed the impingement by taking off the entire Cam lesion (ball/femur side) and  the small Pincer (socket/acetabulum side) lesion as well. They did all that through only 2 small incisions! 
    Its amazing what doctors can do - I can already tell the difference from what if feels like now compared to what it felt like before! I am so thankful that I made the decision for surgery.

    Recovery has gone much better this time. This is probably because we knew what to expect and therefore what to do and what not to do. Like the little things that most teenage patients shouldn't have to deal with such as  preventing bed sores that occur really easily due to my circulation disorder. Or having to take 80mg of Nexium a day to prevent a re-occurrence of the stomach ulcer that happened with the last surgery since I'm required to take both Asprin and Ibuprophen (slightly dangerous, but necessary). But other than those things, it was just a basic recovery: Living in my families living room on the sleeper sofa watching Netflix while gelling on the CPM and DVT machines and napping in between medication/meal reminders! 

    This week I went to my 2 week post-op appointment. I am now to the "crutches optional" and "no more mandatory medication" status. Meaning if it doesn't hurt too much I am free to walk as much as I'd like, but if it hurts use the crutches and take an Ibuprophen. The first day I must have walked a little too much and ended up very much in pain. Since then I've been taking it easy aside from my physical therapy exercises and have my crutches if I need to go somewhere. 

    So thats where I'm at for now! I'll post updates every now and then as I progress and see how it is having two normal hips! Thanks so much for all of y'alls prayers! I can feel 'em!!!  Have a happy Thanksgiving!


    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

    Surgery reschedule is scheduled! (Pre-op, left hip)

    Sorry for any confusion!!!
    I am over my cold and ear infection and the surgery reschedule has been scheduled:
    It'll be this coming Monday (Nov. 3rd)

    Details and my  specific prayer requests for this surgery are here.

    Table of contents of my FAI story is here.