Oh hi, blog! I’m back! #busy #iamback

Dear blog,

I miss you! How are you? I realize that things have changed a little since the last time I blogged, which, according to wordpress, was about a month ago. A month! Holy crap! I used to blog so often. Did I mention I miss you?

You see, blog, I am chasing a goal. It’s a difficult goal, and I’m trying to catch it. Catching it involves doing things like studying cell respiration and naming chemical reactions. My goal is to become a nurse.

But I digress. 

Blog, my bigger regrets in life (other than my tattoos) are the fact that I spent most of my teens and 20s taking the path of least resistance. If there was an opportunity to do something cool or new or DIFFERENT, I did not take it. Instead, I opted for the path of Stuff I’d Already Done Before and Felt Comfortable With. Like a pair of jeggings or well-worn yoga pants, I did not put on skinny jeans and heels and rock it.

Now I’m trying to rock it. It’s hard.

And when it feels overwhelming, which it often does, I remind myself that not only am I chasing a dream, I’m doing something NEW AND DIFFERENT AND CHALLENGING AND SCARY and that is a good thing. This is definitely the path of (most?) resistance and that is something completely new for me. But I won’t regret this. 

So, Blog, I can’t guarantee I’ll blog more often or regularly, or even continue you much. But I’ll try. 

Wish me luck, blog!



PS. See, I’m still nursing, so some things never change. 



Throwback Thursday #throwbackthursday

This picture is from 10 years ago this week…


Maya ring sling

There’s My (Babywearing) Chemical Romance with Animal (I think. It’s pretty difficult to tell them apart in old pics). He was in our apartment in San Diego.



Animal and Mineral

10 years later and he has facial hair — and grey hair!


School Starts #firstdayofschool

Today (yesterday; I’m posting this on Tuesday) is my first day of school, Fall Semester 2013. Yeah, I took two classes during summer term, but they were both on topics I’d taken previously: English and math.

This semester I’m taking Chemistry 1 and Anatomy/Physiology 1. I’m also taking a Certified Nursing Assistant class in Raleigh.

(Flickr: Jumfer)

(Flickr: Jumfer)

I can totally do this but, wow. I’m mostly nervous about A/P because it’s a class that weeds out the strong from the weak. And I want to stay at the top of the pack. I’ve downloaded an app for recording lectures (I’ll ask the prof if we can record lectures before I do it), and I’m going to study like crazy.

Of course I’m also still homeschooling. I’m lucky to live only 7 minutes from school and to have a great babysitter for this semester. Also, I am married to My Chemical Romance, whose bachelor’s degree is in Chemistry and Biochemistry. Unfortunately I worry that my chemistry and A/P will be too basic for him to help! Plus he can’t take tests for me, obviously. So I need to learn this on my own.

This is all part of my plan to enter an accelerated nursing program in May 2015. It’s a program for students who already have their bachelor’s degree in another discipline and have experience working as a CNA in a facility. Which means I’ll need to start working once I pass my CNA test and clinical exam.

I am kind of scared, but I’m also excited about the opportunities that are coming my way, for my family, while I learn what it takes to become a nurse! A career I’ve wanted to pursue for years!

Emergency Preparedness for the Next Storm #emergencyprep #wellwater

So, there was a storm last week. This was kind of a new thing because it’s the first time we’ve lost electricity while living on a well.

Of course, immediately I was like, “wow, I am SO THIRSTY.” And I wanted WATER.

When My Chemical Romance got home from his business trip — this was really poor planning on the part of the storm; we hadn’t seen him all week — I dashed off to the closest grocery store that had power. I drove past three before I found one and I bought them out of water. I also bought a bunch of soup (gluten free), flashlights, gf chips and more water.

The power was out for a total of 16 hours, and in that time I started our emergency preparedness corner in our back room. (It’s indoors and finished but not insulated. It’s just a porch room, I guess? I freaking LOVE this house.) Here’s what I’ve got:

  • Water! Probably not enough for seven people and two dogs, but it’s a start. Next time there’s a bad storm, I’ll fill the bathtub so we can use that water to flush the toilets.
  • Soup
  • Canned fruit
  • can opener (we upgraded to an electric for the kitchen!)
  • 4 flashlights with batteries (and long lives, allegedly).
  • Three candles
  • matches
  • Roll of paper towel
  • Paper plates, paper bowls, plastic cups and plastic utensils

I think this will be enough to get us through 24 hours of no electricity, which was about as long as it lasted for the worst of those who didn’t have power. We’re not that far from bigger cities that we’d haul out if we needed to. We actually planned to go to Charlotte for the day but when we stopped home to get swimsuits, the power was back on.

I also recently made an emergency kit for me, appropos of nothing except my kids always raid the actual first-aid kit for bandaids and then I have a fully stocked first-aid kit minus bandaids, which are the ONLY thing I’ve ever needed. Here’s what’s in it, per instructions of a EMT on reddit.com :

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Tylenol
  • Benadryl
  • Bandaids 😀
  • Neosporin
  • Saline solution/salt wash
  • Maxi pads (to use as bandages)
  • Duct tape

I also want to make a car emergency kit. My car is ollllllllllllld (I’m hoping to get a Ford Transit Wagon when they come out, in diesel! They seat 10!) and falling apart. At home I have plug-in jumper cables but that doesn’t help when I’m out so I want those. Also, flares, a multitool and a small fire extinguisher.

I want to be like a Boy Scout, minus the exclusion of gay leaders and atheists.

Cleaning Up Playlist #pandora #adulthits

I love Pandora’s Adult Hits channel. I am not embarrassed about it at all. The kids always want music when we clean up (pick up room, throw out trash, put away toys, sweep, vacuum, repeat again in 24 hours because it’s never truly clean) and I agree if it’s Pandora Adult Hits. We have surround sound and I blast it. Here are my top ten songs.

Before cleaning starts: Over My Head (The Fray). That about sums it up.


While We’re Cleaning:

Rolling in the Deep (Adele)

Keep Your Head Up (Andy Grammar)

Pumped up Kicks (Foster the People)

Dog Days Are Over (Florence + the Machine)

Tik Tok (Ke$ha)

Dynamite (Tao Cruz)

Stacy’s Mom (Fountains of Wayne)

Harder to Breathe (Maroon 5)

We Found Love (Rihanna)

Yes, my taste tends toward pop hits that are years old. I like the 80s channel too. Image

What I don’t like about living in the country #countryliving

I would say I 90% LOVE IT here,  5% feel neutral and 5% hate it.

1. Bugs, amphibians and pine needles, oh my!

If I have to pull one more tick off one more child, I’m going to… consider it a day that ends in  y. Because I pull ticks off them constantly. And also the dogs. The dogs are officially banned from sleeping in our room til tick season slows down. Also, I know that I try to be a relatively fun-loving mom, but I DO NOT LIKE BUGS OR FROGS. I act all calm but inside I’m jumping up on a chair and screaming like a banshee when I see a beetle. (I just don’t want the kids to see me freaking out and think it’s okay to freak out. I’d like them to have a more zen attitude toward bugs. They’re already pretty zen about frogs and turtles.)

Pine needles hurt when you’re not wearing shoes. I recently learned why they’re called NEEDLES when one of them stabbed me.


They probably all have lyme disease by now.

2. My little town is OCD about rules

Trash can only be put in front of the house — not actually on the street but SHOWING FROM THE STREET — in town-approved, 32 gallon containers. 32 gallons is very small for my paper-plate-using family. That’s like, literally, ONE bag of trash per container. Also, trash has to be bagged. So does recycling, which also goes in 32 gallon containers (on a different day). Try to tell the difference between a 32 gallon container of bagged trash and a 32 gallon container of bagged recycling. It’s not as easy as it looks because they look exactly the same.

3. It’s not walking-friendly

My car is having some late-life issues. It’s in the shop. My Chemical Romance is on a business trip. His car is at an airport parking lot, 90 minutes away. I’m stuck at home with the kids, other than when my friend Jackie babysits them and I go to class, and run to Harris Teeter on the way home. Anyway, this is NOT a walk-friendly area. There’s, like, no place to go, except the golf course.


Poor us! The indignities we suffer!

That’s really it. I could comment on the lack-of-young-children thing, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a country living thing. Apparently there are children over yonder. But we have to drive to get to them.

The Evolution of Erika and Update on Stronger Than Memory #evolution

When I started blogging, I wrote about being an apprentice to a licensed midwife. Then I wrote about being “just” a stay-at-home mom of four. Then I was a sahm unexpectedly pregnant with #5. Then I was a stay-at-home-mom of five, including one with severe ADHD, who cooked a lot. Then I moved away from my friends and was lonely and homeschooling my kids. Then I wrote a novel during NaNoWriMo last year and planned to edit and publish it.

Now I’m taking community college classes and planning to get my Associate’s Degree in Nursing and work part time as a RN.


I have a lot of things in the air

For the last six months or so, I’ve intended to use this blog as a platform to promote myself as a writer. Yet it would be disingenuous to continue saying I’m going to self-publish this year, because I don’t think I’m going to follow that path. I would like to publish Stronger Than Memory someday, but right now I don’t have the time, money or INCLINATION to get it ready to publish. It’s still in draft form, and while it’s on draft #5436345, it’s not the final draft, or even close. The time and money thing isn’t as much of an issue; the lack of inclination is.

I want to become a nurse because there are people who need medical help, and I want to be someone who can help them. Between the education required for that and my family, I don’t have much free time. I haven’t even read this month’s book club selection and we meet on Wednesday evening!

But I did get a 94 on my most recent math quiz.

On campus in May

On campus in May

So I’m going to change my description on this blog and I’m going to take down my Goodreads profile that lists me as a Goodreads author. I’m going to pat myself on the back for being creative and ambitious and hope that someday I get the time, money and INCLINATION to continue editing Stronger Than Memory until it’s ready to be published.

And then I’m going to go back to refreshing my college course offerings website until I find an open seat in Anatomy and Physiology for the fall.


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