Jamie Oliver

My Post-iPad life and other news

OCT 03 @ 07:10

by WheelieFoodChik

Hey, Y'all---
I bet you thought I fell off the world somewhere! Nope, just been busy. There is a mix of good and bad news to report...so I will just get to it. In school news, I passed my course retake with a B and have gotten OFF academic probation! Three days have passed since I learned this and I am STILL in shock. Before the news came, I had been worried over how long it would take me to get back in...I had been so sure that even though I had raised my GPA from 1.333 to 1.75, it wasn't going to be enough to keep financial aid.

Friday though, I looked over my academic plan and saw  that my GPA had been changed from 1.75 to 2.333! Why does this matter? Because as I undergrad, I needed a 2.0 or higher to get off academic probation. To get off of financial aid probation, I needed to retake a course OR pass a course with a B. At Capella, 80-89 is a B and I got an 84 on a course I retook. Hopefully, I am off both probations but I emailed my academic advisor Friday and I will call Today to double-check my statuses regarding both probations.

I am gonna be so P. O.'d if that 2.333 is a mistake! Oh! That reminds me...I was using the school's course calculator and my W and F's were gone. A grade of F is self-explanatory but a W(withdrawn) is when you officially leave a class at the 60% point. Anyway, I went to use the calculator and they were gone...with those missing my GPA is much higher. I think they were removed because they were related to retakes. I successfully passed one and now the school is waiting for me to pass the other. Through using the course calculator, I can get rough ideas of what my GPA would be if I earned a certain grade. Since, I am already preregistered up to next fall...I plugged  in those classes and started giving myself grades. If I earned back to back B's over the next 4 quarters, I would have a 2.75...high C average. However, if I got back to back A's I would have a 3.286...about a mid-B average (definitely prefer this average!)

I have been working the strategy that I set up in the appeal last quarter and it is paying off. I think the new and improved version of my academic plan is gonna get me where I need to be. Eventhough it looks like it is in no particular order...it actually is, in order by concept. Clever, huh? This way, I won't have to struggle to relearn things from course to course if I take a course where the information is needed immediately after. It'll stay fresh and allow me to get better grades.

In regards to my accommodations, the extra time on assignments...great! PDF and e-version of textbook, not so great. I will skip the alternative texts this quarter...at least those types. My iPad is helping me somewhat, good for working when I need to lay down but it has some drawbacks too. For instance, I can submit discussion posts from it but not assignments because of how Blackboard is configured. I still have get up to submit the assignments by PC. Hopefully, my desktop connect app will eliminate the need for that. Yep, I am still trying to justify owning this budget bomb! The longer I have my iPad 2, the bigger the jackass I feel I am being. I got this thing on August 8th and I am kicking myself nearly two months later. I should've just gotten a laptop! *sigh* If I hadn't gotten it engraved, I could sell it.

Enough about school...Onto the gardens.

In garden news, I got stuff dying not just from lack of water, but from need of grow light and filter replacement. Wasteful though it is, I am gonna start completely over with everything. I am thinking that when I do this overhaul, all the vegetables will get put in the larger gardens since those have two lights in them and might allow for better growth. The herbs will go in the smaller gardens.... I am debating whether or not to have lemon basil in the new version of the garden but if I do...it's getting its own unit(lousy light hog!).

I'm looking for seeds as we speak. Also, when it comes to the gardens--- no more kits! I am gonna focus more on building my own pods. By building my own, I control what gets planted by what gets eaten. Many of the herbs I grow do not get used because I never know what to with them. Though now, I have dehydrating and vacuum packing as storage options...waste not want not.

Speaking of waste, now that I'm organizing all over the house, I'm finding stuff I do not need and could probably sell...just guess what most items were for? The garden, you got it! Those pink watering cans I thought were so cute? Now, that I have the gallon water jug...don't need 'em. That expandable shelf I got calling myself
"rearranging " the gardens for better blog pics? It ended up being too tall so it never got used. As to garden storage, I either need to get more single drawers for my gardening supplies to replace the cart or organize better. Even if I no longer used my cart in the garden room, I can always relocate it to the office.

When it comes to streamlining my garden care, I am getting few ideas:
Make my own pods.
Premixing my feeding solution, of course. I'm considering a switch to nutrient packets to make this easier.
Regular solution changes and pest control.
Regular unit cleaning; Keep a cheap electric toothbrush or designate an old brush head for this.
Keep track of grow light and filter replacement.
Regular pruning and crop storage.

Biggest thing of all: Incorporate garden care into my schedule.

The learning effectively online seminar I took last quarter taught me how to make a schedule, in fact I made two: a weekly schedule and a garden schedule. Now, I just have to merge them together.

In food news, I am still trying to eat healthy but I have been on the sabotage roller coaster this last month and it is not stopping. I'm doing all kinda non healthy crap I shouldn't be doing: drinking iced tea with artificial sweeteners and coke zero. Giving in to all of the junk that has found its way back in...that I don't ask for. The food projects I been working on include: smoothies(though I messed the food revolution version by adding to much oatmeal), the oatmeal cookies came out well...did two versions of that. One was dark chocolate and coconut and the other was dark chocolate, almond, and golden raisins with raspberry extract. I made a another whole wheat pizza that came out better than the first ones. A meatball lasagna that was pretty good tasting though ugly to look at...and a whole wheat "calzone" attempt may regret mentioning.

Oh, and I can't forget to mention...micro-loaf! Crazy me, I read an article on surprising ways to use the microwave and one was allegedly proofing bread dough. Well, I tried it and got a shocking result: I had managed to BAKE the bread in the plastic bowl it was rising in! Yes, I know what microwaves typically do to bread but somehow that didn't happen. It came out moist and fully baked though it didn't rise much. How did I do it? Well, by putting the microwave on its lowest power setting for about 14 mins...also, helps to make the dough a little wetter than normal. If you use a silicone loaf pan instead of the plastic bowl, you could probably really psych people out! LOL. Accidental discoveries...gotta love 'em, right?

And Ma is STILL offering me food when I'm eating or have just finished. I had hoped that I had gotten her to stop. I'm starting to think that that old woman wants to either keep me or kill me. Sounds paranoid I know but in the back of her mind, she knows if I ever get healthy enough to be fully independent, I'm gone.

Which reminds me of yet something else... I now have 3 electronics on the fritz, the latest being my t.v. so no Nintendo Wii workouts or workout DVDs. Now, I need a new tv, dvd recorder, and printer. Sounds like an excuse for being lazy but I just prefer the structure a workout program provides. Speaking of fitness, I have thinking about handbikes lately--- those are adapted bicycle devices for the physically disabled.

Anyway, I had thought about saving up and getting one until I saw a new option. A company called Rio Mobility makes an attachment(either motorized and non motorized) that turns a manual "push" wheelchair into a handbike! I even saw a video on their site on how to give the device more grip, just use a different style of bike tire. The tire on this thing is just a regular bike tire. This would mean that I might get some more use outta that old green monster sitting in the hallway if I could temporarily convert it into a handbike.

I will have to go to Sunrise Medical's website and see if I can find the parts I need to fix up old "Growlin' Green" (yes, my manual chair has a name...lol). Let's see, 'ol double G needs: bigger casters(the small wheels in front), new sides panels, a seatbelt(as she was one of the last made when they were optional; they became mandatory in '06), a new cushion and new footrests. Her tires aren't bald, so that good. Even so, I might see if I can get her some different tires anyway. Her older "sister" was red and her wheels were removable... Her middle sister was blue and had desk arms so I could fit under tables, she was more compact. If I could make double G more like the two of them, she'd actually be a decent chair overall.

Before you ask, "Ruby" and "Kabluey" are already long gone so I can't salvage parts off them (For the record, my previous chairs did not have names...I gave them those just now!). I could just imagine the Christmas jokes if I put Ruby's old footrests on double G! Even so, It wouldn't be the first time that decked out a chair for Christmas. I once had Ma put some dollar store tinsel in Kabluey's spokes and even added a 2ft string of battery operated lights, too!

Getting back on topic, souping up double G...I wonder if Ma tossed their footrests too...considering they were the only decent parts left of either Ruby or Kabluey. I know it sounds like a lot of trouble but if I thought they made handbikes in my size(or double G's size rather) and we had the storage, I'd save up and get one already made. Why even go here? Because I need some new fitness options and going for handbike rides would give me a purpose for being outside and prolonged exposure to sunlight which would eventually get me off vitamin D pills.

I know this is a ridiculously long post but the more I think of, the more memories it triggers.

Which reminds me: it's chair-ordering time! Speedy II(my powerchair) is turning five this coming summer, so it's time for her replacement. I'm not going to let her die in the garage like Speedy I, though. Speedy I died in the garage because we stopped charging her when "Twoey" replaced her. The new chair will be a Permobil chair instead of a Jazzy or Quickie(those are chair lines from Pride Mobility and Sunrise Medical respectively). I will try to see if I can get a powerseat on her too so she will tilt and elevate. I'm not sure what model she'll be or what body color she'll have, so no name yet.

What I do know is that by the time I get ready to replace this new kid in 2017, hopefully she and all her sisters will be too big for me to use.

All in all, I am renewing all my commitments to myself: in  my time management, my health, my finances, my fitness, and my studies. Sounds weird to order them like that but if I don't get a serious handle on the first three the other two may end up not mattering. Because of passing that retake, I have seen the good that comes with successful strategizing and following through. Success will be like hot sauce...I wanna put it on everything! (Okay, that was corny but it is no less true).

This one victory has renewed that spark in me to fight for everything I want and deserve in life. I am still working with the career counselor at school, working out résumé (c.v.) stuff. I am also thinking of building an employment book library of sorts, finding anything and everything I can find on employing disabled people...in and out of their homes. Right now, I'd still like to adapt Avon into a mostly web business so I started with self-employment books. However, realistically I gotta be looking everywhere I can for work. My school loans aren't going to pay themselves and I don't want to be 40 and still stuck living with relatives. By the time I get out, I want to have stripped away every excuse my family could use to keep me down. It is not that I don't love them but I get enough crap from everyday folks just for daring to be out of my house, I don't need that garbage from my family too. Not gonna think about that...I'll beat down the troll on that bridge when I  come to him.

In meantime, I have a schedule to merge, follow up calls to make, and other things to do. So wish me luck!

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OCT 05 @ 00:02

by Luvmegrub

Lots of good news there WFC thumbsup  You are busy busy busy!!  Wishing you all the best in ... everything, you've got so much going on big_smile

OCT 05 @ 13:58

by WheelieFoodChik

@ Luvmegrub:yeah, there was a lot to say...especially since I have been away so long. Busy, busy, busy...it's best way to be. I get that from my Ma-- usually lots of stuff going on at once! I did check on that grade point average---it's legit, so I am returning this quarter. Thank goodness for the new financial aid policy! The school adds in your transfer credits to your GPA now(yay!) I'm not going back to one- point -anything this term, dang it! LOL Thanks for the luck...I most certainly need it!wave

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