February Ramblings

I’m sipping on some hot peppermint tea and gazing outside my window.  It’s raining.  Again (Insert big sigh).  The wind blowing the heavy rain against the bedroom window woke me around 3 am.  Our front yard is looking more and more like a swamp.  One night last week, our backyard was resembling Niagara Falls and it sounded like it too.  Water came right up to the garage door and I was holding my breath.  It’s only done that one other time in the 28 years we’ve lived here and that was in the big flood of 2010.  Our family spent some panicky minutes more than once that day with brooms and a squeegee pushing water right back out that garage door.  It made its way into the garage and hubby’s workshop and even made it as far as the stairwell in the basement before it finally started receding.  That was a scary day.


rain boots

I’ve seen many blog writers posting about snow this week and showing gorgeous snow photos and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tad bit jealous.  I’ve given up on getting snow in these parts here.  While other states are closing schools due to snow, our county schools have been closed but certainly not because of snow.  First they were closed due to illness (it seems we’re having a late flu season this year) and then they closed due to rain and flooding.  I can only remember that happening a time or two in the past but with these recent heavy rains, roads have washed out, sinkholes have formed, and rivers and creeks are out of their banks.  Yep, I’d much rather have snow.  Just one good pretty snow to admire.  That’s all I ask for God.



Photo by Aaron Wilson on Unsplash

I did get my grocery shopping done yesterday when there was a break in the rain and I was thrilled.  And the nicest man who was parked next to me, waited for me to finish unloading my groceries into my trunk, and then put his hand on my shopping cart (or buggy as we say here in the south) and said, “Ma’am, may I take this back for you?”  And he not only took my cart back, but also the elderly lady’s beside me.  What a nice man he was, and I made sure I told him so. He thanked me with a humble grin and went on his way.

While shopping in the store, I ran into a young man stocking groceries who used to take karate with my sons.  I hadn’t seen him in years and so I stopped and had a nice talk with him.  He asked about my sons and remembered both their names.  His mom and I used to sit and chat while our boys attended class.  He caught me up on both his parents.  We sure had some good times at that karate center (which has since burnt down).  I miss those days.

My niece came over a couple of weeks ago.  She’s in her second year of veterinary school and as I told her, it’s the year you get into the meat and potatoes of veterinary medicine.  This semester she’s taking an Introduction to Surgery class and so she’s learning surgical knots and suture patterns.  When I was in veterinary school, we learned to suture on pig’s feet.  We were all given a pig’s foot to practice our different suture patterns on.  When I came home on weekends, I brought my pig’s foot home in a little foam cooler and kept it in my parent’s refrigerator.  I remember sitting on their patio for hours suturing.  When learning to suture in veterinary school, I also used a square of foam rubber.  That worked okay but I liked the pig’s foot better because it’s real skin. It’s funny, I find suturing very soothing and calming but can’t stand to sew.  Nothing gets my blood pressure up faster than having to sew a button on a shirt.

When my niece came over one day last fall, I told her I would get us a pig’s foot to practice on.  I went to three different grocery stores and no one had any pig’s feet!  I even asked the butchers if they had any in the back and they looked at me like I had three heads.  What’s up with that?  So I ended up having to get a pack of four ham hocks and that worked just fine.  We also used some foam rubber, and just for the fun of it, we tried suturing on a banana and an orange.  I had worked at a veterinary clinic before going to veterinary school and the veterinarian there taught me how to suture.  It’s a little awkward when you’re first learning and trying to get used to the instrumentation.  I felt like I had two left hands back when I was learning to suture.  I’m left-handed so maybe that was part of the problem.  But my niece got the hang of it quickly and did well.


suturing an orange


Suturing a ham hock…. this girl is concentrating!



All done!

Now that she’s in her surgery class, I learned that they have “suture pads” now for medical and veterinary students to practice on (I guess pig’s feet and oranges are so yesterday).  They mimic all the layers of the skin and the one she had actually had a mole on it (I guess to practice mole biopsy/excision).  Some of the pads actually have wounds of various shapes and sizes to practice closing.  Pretty cool, huh?  I love that my niece is causing me to review long ago forgotten things and teaching me some new things!!

suture pads

Suture pads.  Photo credit: Amazon

I just checked the giraffe cam at Animal Adventure Park and April the Giraffe is expecting another calf sometime in March.  So it looks like I’ll be on April watch again very soon.  April’s looking like the happy, healthy expectant mama.  I do so love that giraffe family– April, Oliver, and little Taj (who’s not so little anymore).

Well, the wind is picking up and it’s raining hard again.  It was supposed to be moving out of here at noon but it’s hanging on.  I just saw the mailman go down the street so I think I’ll grab an umbrella and mosey on outside to get the mail and get a little fresh air.  Hopefully, I won’t drown.

Until next time.


About Gail

I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, veterinarian, and wanna be writer. I love nature and animals of all kinds, music, cooking, and spending time with my family.
This entry was posted in Life, Ramblings and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to February Ramblings

  1. Shelley says:

    Loved reading and catching up on what you’ve been up to. I had a recent suture done on my scalp, so it’s interesting to read how doctors may or may not have practiced! LOL! I smiled when you talked about April having another giraffe – I sadly spent way too much time waiting and watching for Taj to be born. but I did see it the birth happened! I hope the rain stops for you soon – I’d send snow if I could!

    • Gail says:

      Eww…. sutures in the scalp. I bet that was NOT fun! Hope you are all nicely healed Shelley! Oh April…. that sweet giraffe. I was SO addicted last year and spent WAY too many hours watching too but it was so worth it to see the birth live. I hope your snow stops and our rain stops soon! I just heard that we’ve already had 6 inches of rain in February but are due for another “soaking rain” both Friday and Saturday. Geez, we just can’t get a break from the heavy rains. I might have to start building the ark!

  2. Mary Mangee says:

    Gail, I completely enjoyed reading about your day with your niece. I think that was a very special thing to share with her. I too, am an April the Giraffe fan. I was glued to my screen while waiting for Tajiri to be born and I am so excited to go through this amazing process again. Did you hear? April is having a girl. They did a gender reveal yesterday, I think. I’m happy that you were able to accomplish a lot of things on this rainy day. Give yourself a big pat on the back. As always, it’s great to hear from you.

    • Gail says:

      Thank you Mary. I did see the video of April picking the sex of the baby and that she went to the pink”It’s a Girl” sign. Well, she chose the Patriots over the Rams, so maybe she’ll be right about this too! I hope it is a little girl!

  3. You covered a lot in this post Gail! Sorry the weather is being a pain. I’m surprised that vets practice suturing on oranges, but I guess it’s kinda close to cow hide. So many different animals vets work on! Did you watch the Westminster Dog show this week? It’s become tradition here at our house. 🙂

    • Gail says:

      Actually, we never practiced suturing on oranges when I was in school but I had always heard that they could be used. My niece has a friend who is attending another veterinary school, and she said they are learning to suture on bananas. I’ve heard that tattoo artists actually practice tattooing on oranges as it is so similar to human skin. I have a nephew who is a tattoo artist and I’ve never thought to ask him how they practice or what they practice on. I’ll have to be sure to ask him! Personally, I like the pig’s feet the best for suture practice. But pig’s feet aren’t nearly as plentiful in stores like they used to be and are hard to find. I’ve heard of students using tangerines, grapes, and turkey legs. When I was in school, there was this one butcher who used to give me pigs feet (once he learned what I wanted them for) so he kept me supplied.

      No unfortunately, I didn’t get to watch the Westminster Dog show but read about it online. What were your thoughts?

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