A week and 2 days ago I was sitting for the last final of my didactic portion of this program. (Technically I had one more final in the afternoon but the one at 8 am was the ‘critical’ final for me and my poor little ego.) After that final I enjoyed a mini liberation…it almost felt like graduating… But after a day or two reality started kicking back in and even during this calm period before clinical starting this Monday I have had my nose in a book each day to prepare for the first round of clinical tests which are slated for one week and one day from now. They keep us hopping for certain.

In this week I was able to do a little crafting. Exhibit A is for a friend of mine who just passed his certification exam. If you do not recognize the profile, the ornament is of Elphalba from the book/broadway musical WICKED. I met my friend Bradd at my first nursing job in the burn unit. We had many a great late night conversation. One such conversation involved WICKED. The novel itself is an excellent read and a twist on the plot of the Wizard of Oz, occurring before Dorothy’s time. READ IT! Or see the musical which I have not yet been lucky enough to catch but I am keeping my eyes open for the opportunity.

The musical has a song called “Defying Gravity”. It is about heading out on your own to pursue goals despite the neigh-sayers. I really could wax on and on about it but I won’t. Longer-story-shorter this song and the character Elphalba is one that both Bradd and I care a lot about. So when he was finished with school and studying for boards and feeling the tension we all do before a make-it-or-break-it-test of any sort he got a little reminder in the mail. Elphalba apparently made an appearance at his examination as a good luck charm. Bradd did not need the luck, he has earn enough through his own hard work, but it is nice to know that he felt he had some cheer-leaders with him (including a reminder of that inner voice cheering him on).

The next craft project is a gift for Ryan and is a workout, I mean, a big knitting project. By big I do not mean big in time consumption or mounds of yarn and technical knitting expertise…I simply mean that I don’t think they make knitting needles in the size shown below. Which is why I went to a hardware store and bought big dowel rods.

It will eventually end up being a rope rug. Maybe even by the end of this day.

Speaking about the handsome devil. Ryan is continuing to swim and get better at it. His sister gifted him some paddles for Christmas and I think they have helped improve the efficiency of his stroke. You can tell he is pulling the water WAY better. I still haven’t figured out what is going on with the lower half. He seems to have his hips up most of the time (which limits drag maximizing each pull’s effort) but he still seems to have a little more he could be getting out of each effort. Maybe it is a “swimmer’s muscle” thing? When he uses a kick board it isn’t what you’d expect so we have something else to problem solve here. Maybe there is a rock/roll body mechanic communication from shoulders to hips? Minus that conundrum, he just keeps getting better that I’m almost tempted to nickname him Dori (as in the “just keep swimming’ Dori). His dedication to training makes me tired just thinking about it and inspired at the same time.

My parents will be landing this afternoon for a weekend visit. We are going to hit up the Everglades National Park and restaurants galore. I hear it is a high in the 30s where they are coming from and they’ll be landing where the night time lows are in the 60s. Think they’ll survive the shock?

Hope these words find you and yours well.