It seems as the days go by, the weaker, more fatigued, more tired I am.  I go to bed tired, wake up exhausted, and yet I manage to go to work and put in a full 8 hours, Monday – Friday.

Most people my age are just getting started, they are in the prime of their lives and all I want to do is medicate and sleep, even eating is a chore.

I have chickens and dogs to care for, and here lately, I’ve contemplated selling off the chickens, so I don’t have to get up so early in the morning to feed them, nor spend the time it takes after I get home from work giving them fresh water. Here in the south, fresh water is a must, it should be every day and I used to, until my fusion, now they are lucky to get fresh water every other day because I’m in too much pain to bend, stoop, undo the water containers, fill up, and walk them back to the the pens.  Sorry, I know, but I’m only being honest, for who ever cares, smile.

I can’t get rid of my dogs, they are my children, I just wish I had help with the three that aren’t mine.  I put their feed in their plates every morning, get on the floor (and wallow around a few minutes before managing to get up) and beg them to eat.  My two will always eat (Chichi’s) but the other three, I’ve given to picking up their food, putting in back in the containers, putting it in the frig, and moving on to the next task of the morning – getting ready for work.  I keep dry dog food down, so if they want to eat before I get home, they can eat dry food, the wet food is a treat, to give them something different, but if they don’t want it, I’m not going to beg them.

Life was going fine until I was rear-ended, 2 Aug 2011, then everything changed.  I couldn’t exercise, I started gaining weight, I had surgery, and now I can’t seem to get out of this slump I’m in.  I’ve tried, to no avail, the ever present pain keeps me down and when I do try to walk/do yoga the next day is even more painful than the day before.

I beg God do heal me, or just take some of the pain away, so I can function and get my life back, but apparently, He’s too busy dealing with ding-dongs who are trying to hurt/kill/take over the world and He knows I’ll keep plugging along, even if it’s at a snails pace.  I won’t quit, He didn’t make me that way, and my parents didn’t rear me that way either, so it’s ‘Onward, ho!” pain and all.

And then I see people, read about people, who are in worse shape than me and I feel SOOOO freakin’ bad for feeling bad. However, I’m human, and pain is pain, I just have to find a way to be an overcomer, again!

God bless and Namaste!



Welcome Week on the Southern Miss Gulf Coast…

By Melissa Ravencraft

Study Abroad was invited to participate in Welcome Week on the Long Beach campus. We were so excited; we packed up our things and…ROAD TRIP!

Jess and I made the drive down, found the Rotunda, and then found the perfect parking spot only to discover it was “reserved”. We decided that reservation was for us (grin).

We grabbed our gear and walked inside to set up at the best table with our name on it – thank you Christy Bjork Elias! Shortly after the event began two of our international exchange students from Spain walked up to say hi! They are taking a class on the coast twice a week and commute from Hattiesburg – hola amigos!

Our table was certainly an attention grabber, it always is! With so many colorful rack cards for each of our programs and destinations for students to earn USM credit around the world, who wouldn’t be interested in at least hearing more? Many students stopped on their way to classes and seemed genuinely interested in studying abroad. Of course we were stoked, it’s our favorite thing to talk about!

It was a fantastic day, with plenty of chances to talk about the many opportunities available for Southern Miss students to study abroad.

BUT, the next time we visit our sister campus, I think some of our study abroad alumni should come with us! Students like to hear from students, and our gulf coast friends need more opportunities to reap the benefit of talking with students who’ve actually studied abroad!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful fall semester, and make sure you sign up for “The Scoop”, so you are in the know about all things study abroad!

Hasta la vez próxima…