“Holiday” Monday

After a lovely weekend at home, I have a lieu day for working the Thanksgiving holiday last week.  That means long weekend for me!

As a result, I am now making turkey soup from scratch, am catching up on laundry and binge watching Grey’s Anatomy.  I feel very domestic.

I have shared my angst about still watching Grey’s before and it still hasn’t left me.

I cringe at all of the changes, especially the last few seasons.  I hate the drama.  I hate that everyone and yet nobody dies all at the same time.  And yet, I watched it since the first season and I am sticking it out.

As a result, I am curled up on the couch and kind of look like this…

Image from gifsoup.com.

Happy Monday.

Thanksgiving Turkey and “Meeosh”

Yesterday was Thanksgiving here.

I was on call.  It is how I roll these days, it seems.

Despite that,  I thought it would be a good idea to have people over for Thanksgiving dinner.  Because we have a biggish dining room and I like to cook.

It was a good idea.

Some planning ahead and good luck meant that we had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with Child, D and Dr. Bond.

I was ridiculously excited that I found a “decently priced” fresh turkey that was small enough to fit in our oven and the disposable baking pan that would also fit in our oven.

Jeter made it his main goal in life to eat the turkey.  He tried to eat it raw, he tried to pick the chunk of extra skin out of the garbage can and then, once everyone arrived, he proceeded to jump on the counter and try to steal a bite repeatedly.  That cat likes his meat.

I like having some “family” away from biological family.

I also like hosting Thanksgiving because it means we wind up with leftovers… My favourite.

Tonight we had what my family calls “Meeosh.”  The recipe: Take all of the leftovers, mix and fry them together in a frying pan, then put extra gravy on top.  Other people call it hash.  I call it delicious.  Patrick and I both looked forward to it all day.

Interestingly, Patrick had never had “Meeosh” until he married me.  In fact, he never had anything quite like it.  He thought us a bit odd that time as my Mom and I combined everything we pulled from the fridge in a giant frying pan.  He was pleasantly surprised and has never gone back.

Mmmm… Turkey.

The last few weeks in a nutshell.

When it comes to regular blogging, I have been an epic fail lately. Sometimes life is just plain busy and my priorties have been such that sitting down to write has not been a priority.

So, for those of you who care… Some updates on my last couple weeks in a nutshell.

The treatment planning exam I wrote about went decently. It was challenging. I got through it and my score was not good, but was good for a first exam. Plus, that means I met the milestone of doing my first treatment planning exam.

The Child and I started going to Body Pump classes. Once a week. But every week. For those of you who are regular Pump attenders, this may not seem like much, but it is a huge stretch for us to commit to going every week and getting stronger (even if it would be better to go more than once a week, I’d rather set a realistic goal). As a result of attending these classes, we have turned into bigger gym rat-like people, not only discussing our run times at times, but now also plotting out how we could go up on our weights or do a certain move better.

I went wedding dress shopping in a real wedding dress store for the first time ever last week with my sister-in-law. True story. I am married, but I bought my dress online from Sears. I lived away, so I didn’t go dress shopping with any of the friends that I know who got married. It was an experience. I feel okay with never having to do it again.

I am very excited to go see Gone Girl later today. The book freaked the heck out of me (once I got past the first ¼).   I expect the movie could do the same.

Patrick and I went to a produce store yesterday that is known for its ridiculous deals. We have had friends from church recommending the place for ages, but had yet to go. We now understand the beauty that it truly is.

My program changed our academic half days to Friday afternoons. It is a form of torture to sit through 4 hours of lecture on a Friday afternoon. Especially when you have a busy review clinic all morning and no time to see your inpatients until after all the teaching. I discovered caffeine and cookies help, but don’t cure the Friday half-day blues.

I had a post-call day last week because I was stuck in hospital until 2am with a spinal cord compression who, after we treated, started having “new” chest pain (that in retrospect wasn’t new) and then was called several times overnight. I was so excited to have a post call day. And didn’t even feel that guilty for taking it because the night was that kind of ridiculous. Then I remembered, post call days suck when you were actually up most of the night because you need to sleep. Silly.

I love treating head and neck cancers. Even though they tend to get so sick from treatment. And even though some of the patients are tough drinkers/smokers who don’t want to do anything they should. I like a challenge. And I really want to help. And we can cure people with this type of cancer, which is always cool.

My computer at work was giving me the blue screen of death and shutting down intermittently. It got to the point that I couldn’t get any work done and had to use someone else’s computer. The helpdesk person had no real explaination as to why my computer blew up in my face like it did. He had to reload everything back on it from scratch (and I lost everything that was saved on the computer itself (not much)). In retrostpect, I like to rest my feet on the computer console thing under my desk and twice in the last few weeks I accidentally kicked it over. That might be related. Whoops.

I have been attempting to read The Maze Runner for two weeks. Much like my blogging, life has gotten in the way of my fun reading. Silly.

I have been obsessed with listening to Needtobreathe lately. Not sure why, but their mellow has been drawing me in. Like this song:

What is new with you? Anything exciting?

Happy Birthday Patrick

Patrick turned the big 3-0 yesterday.

He is almost fully grown, as his uncle would say.

We celebrated with a steak dinner, Chapters date and then started on his birthday gift from me (the first 4 seasons of Boy Meets World).

His parents and sister showed up on his real birthday and we got to go out to eat again and celebrate with them.  Oh, and we went out for free for Patrick birthday lunch too (it doesn’t count in the budget as eating out three times if one meal is free and two were free for Patrick thanks to Pizza Delight and my parents, right?).

I must admit, I like his birthday because it is pretty fun for me too (not just for the food).  Plus, I got to have a just plain normal people(ish) weekend this weekend without doing something work related more often than not and that was nice.

BAND!

I joined a band.

Not a cool, I’m a hipster singing with my banjo band.  Or a rock band.  Let’s face it… I love music, but I’m not that kind of awesome.

I joined a concert band.

Yup.  Bring back the band geek.

As I have said before on here, I am super in to music and play a few instruments.  In fact, I even went to band camp.

Unfortunately, med school ate my life.  As a result, I haven’t played in a formal band in about 6 years.  I also realized I haven’t played my saxophone (my first love) in at least 4.  Seriously.

I haven’t been happy with this trend.  I vowed I would pick it back up in med 4, but the travel got the best of me.  I said I would join something after my first year of residency, but given the fact that my program likes to basically force us to do not one, but two years of internship of sorts, that was near impossible.  My time is consumed by all kinds of things.  I might love music, but often I was too tired to go through the effort of getting stuff together to play.  Patrick was starting to get tired of me always saying I wanted to play but never playing.

But, now I am in the coveted R3 year.  That means I am on-service.  Which means I am insanely busy, but it also means my life is slightly more predictable.

So, I started looking into bands.  For living in a bigger city, this was no easy task.  Especially because the only band in town meets on a night I am often on call and isn’t looking for my instrument and wants people to be at almost every practice and concert (I agree this is a fair expectation, but anybody who knows anyone in residency knows that this is almost impossible).  So, then I looked in the surrounding areas.  I must say, some people really need to hit the internet era.  There were at least 2 groups with non existent or out of date web pages with no clear contact info.  Apparently word of mouth works for them.

I ended up finding out that a town about 25 minutes from my house has both a formal concert band made up of people from the city and surrounding areas.  They also have a “feeder” band called the 9am band.  This group is for anyone who has a year of band experience who wants to play music/become better musicians.  Anyone.  No specific instruments.  No big contracts.  No tryouts.

As someone who was studying high level band stuff, this is everything I never had.  And everything I want right now.

Confession… I cracked out my sax, Fuzzy, out for the first time last night.  Much to the horror of Jeter.  It is like riding a bike.  I’m a bit unsteady, but it all comes back so fast.  Music is like a language to me.

So, Fuzzy and I went to my first rehearsal this morning.

Yes, Saturday morning.  At 9 am.  And it is a half hour drive… Took me 40 minutes today because I got lost a million times.  The timing sucks, but Saturdays also means that I am only working that day one weekend a month and I still have the evenings to do homework or spend time with people and such.

The band was welcoming.  People were friendly.  It was a diverse group.  Mostly tweens and teens.  And probably their musical parents.  But also some older folks too.

The saxophone section consisted of a female tenor sax player and 6 altos including me.  I was the only girl.  There was a middle aged man.  3 boys that couldn’t be older than 14 and another boy just starting high school.  There were some wrong notes happening, but the good part is they are all playing and were happy to be there.

The music is mostly simple.  The songs range from really easy to some fun concert arrangements that would be on the easier side at the band I played with back home.  Apparently the concert band is really good and their easiest stuff is often closer to the hard stuff this one plays.  In a way, I want that.  In another way, I’m glad to start out slow.

I went in to this expecting it to take some time to get back in the groove.  I picked this as the group to try because it worked time wise and I had less guilt about commitment in a group with fewer concert commitments and less stringent requirements.

I loved it.  Sure, at times it felt like school again.  But it was so great to actually be playing in a group.

I had to laugh because I went in with no expectations except to play.  The kid next to me informed me he was a 1st sax.  This was funny to me because being 1st was such a big deal to me around that age.  It is an accomplishment.  It means you are often one of the better players of the section.  For me, it was a pride thing.  Today, I could care less.  Which is good because he informed me that I would probably end up being a 2nd because I’m new.  I’m just happy to play. Whatever.  But, I had to share music with him today, which did not thrill him.  And I confess, I did harbour some pride when we played a more complicated piece and I didn’t miss as many notes as he did (yes, I am a terrible person).

I think the Saturday mornings will be rough sometimes.  I think this is a very different group than some of the ones I have played with.  But, I think this is the right place for me.  Where I can shake the rust off and just simply enjoy the music again without the pressures that sometimes come with it in more “professional” groups.

I love enjoying the music again.  Sitting with my sax in the middle of a band feels like home (even in a room full of strangers).

Some Photo Favourites (from our island adventure)

Last week, we had a chance to go back to some of our favourite places in a city where we once lived.  

Thus brings me to a very photo-full post.

My highlight was going back to one of my favourite views in town.  I love getting to have a little “hike” in the middle (sort of) of town.  The history at that place is pretty neat too.  

We also went back to the most easterly point in Canada.  Because that is what one has to do when you are in that part of the world.  Even if it is so foggy you can barely see the water.  And you are one of 4 cars there because the only people there are either making out or have limited “tourist” time like us.

Oh yes, and we went to our favourite used bookstore where we spent just under an hour digging through the shelves for a couple new books.IMG_0387

Good trip.

“BIFFs’ Weekend”

Last weekend, we had yet another awesome weekend.

We went away to a place near Kouchibouguac National Park with two of my best friends and their husbands (Child&D and L&C).  We decided last year to make it an annual tradition to go on a “BIFFs’ trip” (BIFFs is a word we made out of the abbreviation best friends forever back when we were in very early undergrad… We don’t really use it anymore, but it works in the context of naming the trip).  A trip where V&D, L&C and Child&D and Patrick and I could go away just (kind of) like old times no matter where we were in this world.  

Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out that all of us could go.  I was very disappointed.  Such is life.  But, we went to the park from our separate corners of country and met for a weekend adventure.  It was all the more exciting for me because it was most of their first times there and it was where I spent a large chunk of my childhood summers.

Although it was my second weekend full of people, it was worthwhile.  We saw lots of beautiful scenery (and Child too tons of pictures).   I took people on random back road adventures.  I got to eat scallops at this place we always stopped at when I was a kid.  We took L and Child for their first trips on kayaks.  We saw giant man-eating (okay, not really man-eating that we know of) jellyfish and caught all kinds of marine life at the beach.  We ate a ton of food.  Played some games, including one of my favourites, Bang where the other outlaws and I won, read books and laughed a bunch. IMG_0202 IMG_0214IMG_0197IMG_0219

A highlight of the trip was the fact that the house next door seemed to be particularly sketchy and had a lot of animals.   We think that a very feral looking cat who hung around while we cooked and barbecued was part of that household.  When we went out for a bonfire that evening, we acquired a very adorable kitten, who crawled into all of our laps and ate our hot dogs (she stole them from beside someone while she snubbed him).  Patrick had to try really hard to get her to go back to what we thought was her home, only to have her show up crying at our cabin door.  She wasn’t the only one, as it turned out, cats started appearing everywhere once night fell.  IMG_0230 IMG_0224 IMG_0226

I’m lucky to have friends who have been around since I was an awkward teenager (or even tween… ugh), or who I have stuck with since they were awkward teenagers.  I know not everyone is so fortunate.  Yes, that proves to be challenging because people do grow up, get married and change, but they are the closest things I have to siblings, so I’m stuck with them for life.  Even if it is sometimes insanely difficult for some and suspiciously easy for others.

A terribly embarrassing "selfie" from Christmas vacation 2007.  Back when the Child was still literally a Child.

A terribly unflattering photo from Christmas vacation 2006(?).  Back when the Child was still literally a Child.

So, I have someone who gets up early, drinks coffee by the pound and discusses things like books, life and music.  I have someone else who hugs me more than anyone else I know (less my mother and my husband) and somehow understands my crazy and knows what I actually am feeling even when I don’t.  I have someone who will always laugh hard and long at stories with me (even if they shouldn’t be that funny).  The cool part is that although everyone is unique, they all crossover too.  

Pretty cool, huh?

Reuniting With Some Favourites

I had the best weekend.

We spent time with the core group from our small group from when we lived on that lovely island for med school.  The 7 of us were together for basically 3 years and other people came and went.  It is the first time we were ALL together in 2 years.  I have been looking forward to this time, since I found out it would happen in May.

There are people that life is simple with.  There are people that, for introverts like me, barely count as people.  Who you can just exist with and not feel completely drained.  The kind of people you can just pick up where you left off and hardly miss a beat.

These are those people. 

We went to Magic Mountain, a pretty awesome water park.  We played mini golf.  We made up our very own road trip game to drive to one couple’s home complete with mid-trip car switches.  We stayed up until 2 in the morning playing Sing Star and were up and off to the races again at 10.  We explored a market and watched Highland games.  We grocery shopped and went to games stores.  We BBQed and lounged around just talking for hours.  We played a million new board games until almost 2 in the morning again.  We went to church, we went to lunch and had a great discussion.  

I barely took any pictures except at the Highland games.  

I love that we can be real with each other.  Really, truly honest and open about where we are.  That we can talk about tough stuff.  And in the next breath crack jokes about being “tied and pleasured” (long story).

It was a full weekend.

I was sad it was over.  

We are blessed to have many good friends.  Despite that, we have been feeling discouraged because we don’t have as many close friends where we live currently (but we still have a few we are attached at the hip to), but part of that is because it is so rare to have the kind of friendships we have with this crew we spent the weekend with.  God provided us with great people when we needed them in a certain way and I know He is doing the same here, just in different ways.  It has been a slow go feeling like we are a part of things here.  And part of that is because it was so easy when we were there.  And maybe that is because we needed it to be at that time.

Community stretches you and grows you.  Spending time with what was our main community was amazing.  And comforting.  And a true testament to how awesome God is.  Our church here encourages community, and I can sense the community, but it is bigger and broader than what I once knew in some ways and the relationships, like people are different.  But, then again, so are we.  It is a good thing.  

I am thankful for full weekends.  And friends who change and yet stay the same.  And for the comfort that comes from really loving and knowing people.

We get to go away with some other very special friends this weekend.    People we have known and loved much of our lives. I am super excited.  So, really, we are very fortunate.  Two awesome weekends in a row!

I have a musical interlude for this post.  A song that was stuck in my head the whole weekend and, well, is still stuck in my head.  It isn’t quite about amazing friends or community and yet, in some ways, it fits because of the concept of coming together.  

Milestones

I was walking to work the other day when the thought struck me… I have met a milestone.

What milestone, might you ask?

I was wearing normal people shoes (not my fake Toms and not sandals).

This wouldn’t be such a big deal except that I have not worn normal shoes in a month and a half since I broke my toe.  It is very exciting stuff.  I was super sore last night as a result, but still, it is a gain.

I also thought of a few other milestones…

I finally figured out how to take the bus to a few key locations in the city without getting lost and knowing where to get on and off the bus.  Taking the bus used to be a huge adventure and I considered it a big inconvenience here.  But, now it is normal.

I passed junior physics.  Yes, I got an 86%, despite the question I knew I got wrong because I circled the wrong answer and despite me forgetting to put units on one of my long answer questions.  If I got those marks back, it would have been a 90.

I used the first of my herb garden this weekend… Chives on our pizza and a couple pieces of coriander in my “Asian noodle bowls.”  I decided to focus on the coriander and ditched the chives because they weren’t growing well anyway.

I am back to the gym.  Still not running, but getting some good rowing and cycling in.  On a related note, I can now walk to and from work without wanting to die (I really didn’t know how important toes were, but I also think a tarsal was involved, not just the toe).

Monday will be my last day of PGY2.  That is a big milestone.

It will also be the end of Patrick’s first adventure as a long-term substitute teacher.  Tonight was his first grade 6 graduation (well, his second if you count his own).

What milestones are you celebrating?