Water Pressure

The M household made an exciting household renovation this week.

We got a new shower head.

I know, we aren’t exciting at all.

Since we’ve moved in here (almost 3 years ago), I have noticed that there has been a small leak where our shower head connects to the pipe.  I also thought our water pressure sucked.

Thursday, when Patrick got home cold and wet from picking up our car from Canadian Tire in the rain/snow craziness that cancelled school for him (he only worked 2 days this week, lucky bugger), he decided to shower to get warm.  He tried to move the head and the hole got epically bigger.  Like non-usable bigger.

So, Patrick did what any good man would do, he Googled how to fix it and when he realized we didn’t have the appropriate plumbing tape, he tried electrical tape (it was stormy out).  Jeter helped.  They both got wet.

Thus, when Patrick picked me up from work that night, he informed me that we needed to make another trip to Canadian Tire.  I was concerned for the car.  But, no, it was because he wanted to replace the shower head (I’m pretty sure our building people would do it, but that would mean waiting a good day or two).

So, in the beginnings of storm of the week number 3 or 4 (depending on when you start counting), we trekked to Canadian Tire (which we have started calling CT for short because it came up in a few texting conversations this week). We selected a shower head (you would not believe the selection).

We came home and installed it.  Jeter supervised.  I got a bit wet, but only because I’m the fool who wanted to check out every setting while standing on the edge of the bathtub while Patrick kept worrying that I was going to fall.

The next morning, I had the best shower at home I’ve had since we’ve moved in.  Seriously.  I didn’t even fully realize what we were missing.  (Poor Jeter is down a leak to sneak water from, though).  It made the morning so much better (despite the heaps of snow and ice outside).

Then, today, I get a text from Patrick while I’m at the gym informing me of how awesome our shower is.  I know.  So freaking awesome.

So, that is our big excitement.  We have water pressure we didn’t even know we had!

The Name’s The Thing

Yesterday’s Daily Post prompt was The Name’s The Thing asking for the story of an object with which we are on a first name basis.

It may be a day late, but I have a few objects with which I am on a first name basis.

To start off, I name my musical instruments.

This one time, at band camp, we were doing an instrument maintenance class and I was learning, disgustingly for the first time in almost 2 years how to properly clean my saxophone. Someone made a joke about not wanting fuzzy saxophones, which I declared mine was, as did another one of the alto sax players. This then turned into an inside joke between the alto saxophone players and tenor saxophone players that altoes smell like fuzzy saxophone.   And from that came the name of my saxophone, “Fuzzy Saxomaphone.” “Fuzzy” for short.

Little C&C meeting Fuzzy for the first time.  That was about 9 years ago (my, how time flies).

Little C&C meeting Fuzzy for the first time. That was about 9 years ago (my, how time flies).

Fuzzy and I have traveled to 4 different provinces. We have been together for 16 years. He has a few scratches and dents (so do I, really). We grew up together. I haven’t played him in a couple years, but we plan to reunite this year, as I really want to join a band and get doing music again.

My flute is named Frank. The story isn’t as good. It just made sense in my head.

We also name our cars. I blame my med school friend H, who insisted we name our car and we concluded that Jag is a sufficiently manly and awesome name for a car (so Patrick wouldn’t hate me for naming our car). We drove Jag for years and confused many people into thinking we drove a Jag only to discover our rusty, older Mazda3.

My first year of residency, Jag was becoming progressively more and more decrepid and we traded him in to get our current car, Chuck. He was named that with the help of our friend DB. He is named like the spy show Chuck. This contrary to my father’s belief he was named after Chuckie the horror movie puppet or some other people’s perception it is Chuck Norris we named our car after. Nope. A comedy spy show is where we got the name.

What inanimate objects have you named?

“Anniversary” antics

So, I wrote a post about how awesome my husband is here.

He is still awesome.  

Our “anniversary”, got ever so slightly less awesome, though.  Although it is a good story.

So, as I said before, our real anniversary isn’t until Friday, but I’m on call this weekend and Patrick’s brother is visiting, so we figured it is just a day, so we’ll celebrate early.

We were leaving town to go out to grab coffee and then supper and (surprise!) Inn (that I have been wanting to check out since we first drove past it a couple years ago) for the night when we stopped for a car stopping in front of us (on what is a really busy main city street).  I watched the van behind us stop just in time.  I then heard a car run into said van and said van ran into us.

Happy Anniversary, you’ve just been rear-ended.  In fact, you are the front car of a three car pile up.

Nobody was hurt, thank goodness.   Chuck wasn’t hurt either.  He just had a couple scratches on his bumper that buffed right out.   The van and the car behind us on the other hand were pretty dented up, but still drivable.  So, we had to wait for the police and the “quick” reports that took almost an hour.  

How festive.

And only minutes from the nearest Starbucks.  I could have walked there, but instead I just stood there and played 2048 (awesome game, by the way) and listened to the one of the passengers from the van behind us and the guy driving the car who hit us all catch up because as it turns out, they were neighbours (we seriously learned all the neighbourhood gossip from the old dude who had a heart attack the other night to who is going to college where). 

So, eventually, we get sent on our way and grab coffee and go get supper.  

I promptly feel terribly sick after supper.  It shouldn’t be that surprising, I wasn’t feeling well the day before or even that day, but it hit me like a ton of bricks after I ate (timing is impeccable).  It was bad enough Patrick had to go buy me Gravol.  And he had gotten us a room with a jacuzzi as a part of some last minute special.  We spent much of the night with me curled up hyperventilating (sometimes a change in your PaCO2 will alter vomiting signal in your brain… I really hate throwing up) and watching the Muppets movie (thankfully, this is one of Patrick’s favourites).  

Happy Anniversary.

I eventually felt well enough that I though the worst had passed and decided we should try out that jacuzzi.  Because that was a selling point for Patrick.  And because we were there now.  And I already ruined most of the night.  I hate hot water.  Between that and being still sick, I almost passed out.

Happy Anniversary.

The place we stayed was actually really nice and had a pool (that we didn’t use) and a good restaurant (that I feel I didn’t get to thoroughly enjoy).  I would like to one day go back not sick and not sore from being run into an enjoy it.  And getting to chill with the spouse and watch Muppets was actually a good night minus the blinding nausea.

We spent Saturday going for a short drive, then napping and reading until Child and D came over for games.  It was a much better day, even if I still wasn’t feeling great.   I read 2 books and we tried out our new Wii game.

If I believed in karma, I would say it was karma for winning rock paper scissors to get our own cabin when we were away last weekend (because we were one of two couples not doing anything special just the two of us this summer) and then going “away” for our anniversary after all (at least that is what my guilty conscience says).

Patrick joked that for 5 years, we just really wanted to give the “for better, for worse” and “in sickness and in health” thing a good run for its money.

Either way, it makes for a good and memorable story.

Transports and T-Shirts

After a semi-frightening drive home from, well, home last night, I still lack proper energy to write a proper post.

I swear I will write about the wedding we attended in the midst of the blizzard that made the drive home the next day an adventure and such some other time.

I will share this humorous quote from Patrick just after aborting an attempted transport truck pass secondary to the lane being covered in snow and ice.

The pleasure I take in passing big trucks isn’t stronger than my will to live.

We always have a good time on road trips discussing hypotheticals, rocking out to good music and other random shenanigans.   Also, who can’t forget the epicness of my backseat driving (I am sure Patrick wanted to pop me an Ativan or ten last night)…

The fun road trip music combined with this episode of The Big Bang Theory made me decide I clearly need Raj’s shirt.  Or another similar accessory.  Life would be more fun if others could hear the sound track I feel needs to be playing outside of my head.

Goodbye Jag, Hello Chuck!

Yesterday was a mixed emotion day.

The bliss of surviving my first general surgery call was mixed with the overwhelming fatigue of being awake and tearing around the hospital most of the night.

My excitement of discovering the Being Elmo documentary (which I recommend for all) was dampened by my learning the funeral of someone I went to elementary school with was today.

We went out for sushi, which is sheer edible awesomeness, but that meant we got in later than I would like before a 6am morning.

We finally had to say goodbye to Jag (the car) and hello to our new friend, Chuck.

Yes, finally, after 318,000km, many trips around the Maritimes and much love (and money), we had to do the right thing and give Jag up.  A car with that much mileage starts to need more repairs than it is worth and our last visit to the mechanic confirmed that.

So, we started the arduous process of car shopping (well, that and convincing me that it was fiscally feasible to get a new car right now).

Last week, we went for some test-drives and Saturday we confirmed that we were indeed getting a new member of our little family, Chuck.

Chuck is a 2009 Toyota Corolla.  He is black and clean and has working air conditioning and an auxillary jack.  He is a big win.

He didn’t come named Chuck… Patrick and I had to choose a name for him and the Saturday we learned he was going to be ours we and our friend DB had a discussion about car names and tried to find something that would work.  We suspected Chuck might be good.  Like the TV show with the spy, Chuck is black and sleek, but pretty regular and yet awesome.  And it is a cool name.  Once we got in him and drove away, he confirmed it (okay, really, he was just fully functional and not making stalling type noises at stop signs, but we considered it a sign).

It was sad to leave Jag behind with his yellow “racing stripes” from when Patrick bumped a pole in the parking garage and the funky smell in the trunk from milk spilled last year and the broken volume knob that I tried not once but twice to superglue back together.  I guess the good thing is that Jag served us well.  He got us through our first three years of marriage.  He moved us to and from the Rock.  He carted us through four provinces and many a road trip without a hitch.  He kept us safe and warm (not always cool towards the end) and gave us the odd laugh.

We took Jag for a final spin and took some farewell pictures and then dropped him off.  Maybe he will love someone else.  Or bits of him will go on to provide parts for other cars (kind of like a transplant donor).

We will miss Jag, but we are grateful for Chuck.

Such is life with highs and lows, hellos and goodbyes.

Beautiful notions in a new rotation

I just started a new rotation in another city.  And even better… It is my hometown where I grew up.

But, better than that, I am getting to experience a few beautiful notions.

One… The travel day.  As a part of our contract, we are given 24 hours to relocate to a new hospital outside of our base city.  So, I was off from noon yesterday until 2pm today.  We drove up last night and had the morning to sleep in, unpack and even get some groceries.  This is much better than the regular dash I have made in the past during clerkship over a weekend.  Okay, it is less time, but it feels better than coming in the evening and starting first thing the next morning,

Two… Self scheduling.  This particular rotation allows me to self schedule my call.  Now, this is wonderful for a number of reasons… Actually knowing my schedule for the next two months is a big one.  But also, I get to choose which weekend I work and what nights I do according to my other plans or potential plans.  This optimizes my remaining summer.    And also, the self scheduling helped me to be sure that I got only 7 call in per month, thus reducing the risk for having to explain myself to payroll.

Three… Cloud coverage.  It sounds foolish, but it has been so ridiculously nice for so long where we have been living, we have hardly had any rain and it has been so hot, we have been always roasting.  This was even more defined after Jag’s air conditioning decided to cease functioning for the four hour drive home in the sun.  Today somehow, it is cloudy and a bit rainy.  And there is a slight breeze.  It may still be humid, but this is the weather I grew up with and was starting to miss a bit.  It is nice to not sweat and breathe a bit.

Four… Because I am from here and happen to have done electives here in the past year, I got to skip out on a ton of hospital orientation.  This left even more of the day to see my husband and have birthday cake for his uncle with his family.  Big win.

Five… I am home.  And although everyone is busy in their own ways, it is nice to at least have the option to see people every now and again.  At least the theoretical option is there.  I just need to convince people that one can take breaks from studying and weddings and all that good stuff to relax (Strange coming from the intern… My work ethic is just a bit “different” by times).

Thus, the awesomeness of my new rotation.  That and our rather nice accommodations.  I am actually surprised that they are this good given what I heard from some of the others.  It will be a good couple months.

Just like Mom and Dad

I think most people would agree that at some point in their teens and early twenties, they vow to never be anything like their parents.

I sure did.

And now, that is a little funny.  Because in some ways, Patrick and I are just like them.  And that is okay now.

My parents have this thing where they really like to go out for drives.  Like, really.  In fact, they do it regularly, just for something to do.  They will just get in the car and go somewhere random just because and then turn around and come back.

When I was a little kid, this was cool… Then, it got lame.  But now, it is cool again.

They say that some people smoke and others drink and still others shop or go on expensive fancy trips… They drive.   And eat.  But mostly drive.

Patrick and I both grew up with parents who drive.  My parents, however are renowned for their driving… er… habit.  And I think we learned from them that driving is entertaining and relaxing and yes, fun.

Even when we were first dating, we would go for drives.  We would play this game where Patrick would pick which direction to turn and I would go and we would see where we wound up.  We still do this… It turns out, it is way more adventurous when we are living in a new city than it was within the confines of our hometown.

There is a reason why Jag is now well over the 300,000km mark.  Adventures are to be had.  There is just nothing more fun than getting in the car and going (okay, there are a few things more fun, but it is a pretty good time).

It wasn’t until recently we realized we are just like my parents.  We went for a drive to one town and decided we wanted ice cream.  But somewhere else.  So we hopped on a random back road and went to another town… A half hour away.  Just for fun.  To see what we can see.

As we are driving along the road, Patrick looks at me and says, “We are your parents.”  Why yes, we are.  We are also like my grandparents… Who also still go for drives, though they are usually just within the city these days.

And that is fine.  My parents have been married for more than 30 years.  They are happy.  They are pals.  They are attached at the hip.  And it works.  I hope we are the same in 30 plus years.


What, might you ask, is a 300,000-iversary?

Well, that is what we celebrated yesterday… And the festivities continue.

You see, yesterday, our lovely car, Jag, reached the 300,000km mark.  Quite a milestone in the life of our little car.  We were just driving along on our new usual trek between home-home and our new home and it happened.  The event that the guy at the Mazda dealership in St. John’s has been looking forward to with shock and awe (seriously, Patrick joked about calling them).

Jag got all decked out for our wedding day. We drew attention… So did Patrick’s uncle telling the strange man pictured here at our window that we just got married. So, he came to congratulate us. Not my favourite Jag adventure in the last 300,000km. But a funny one.

Anyway, today, if Jag survives his motor vehicle inspection, we are taking him for new license plates and a good bath.  How festive.

300,000km is a lot of driving. Most of which was done by my parents when they owned the car prior to us.  We only put on the last not quite 100,000.

Interestingly, people have driven around the world. The route is more roundabout… Jag would have only done this one about times. Image via apple.copydesk.org.

I decided to look up what and where 300,000km would get us.

300,000km is the distance light travels in about one second.  It is 186,411 miles.   Almost 7 times around the earth, apparently, if the circumference of the earth is 40,075km.  300,000km is almost to the moon… Almost, but not quite.


Happy 300,000-iversary to Jag.

Sheila’s Brush?

Trisha, Patrick and Jag, meet Sheila’s Brush.

Yesterday, we had an appointment to take Jag, our beloved 8 year old (car) to get her winter boots taken off, and get a check/up and such (for more explanation on why Jag is called Jag refer to the post here).  Jag did great and we somehow managed to come out not significantly poorer than when we went in… Always a good day.

Anyway, when Patrick dropped him off, the guy at the garage kindly pointed out that we are to have a snowstorm tomorrow (today).  Despite this and remembering that the last two years we haven’t had our winter tires off until mid-May because we waited until the April rush, we opted to get Jag’s shoes changed and hope for the best.

**On a completely unrelated note, when I was picking Jag up, the guy at the garage who is fascinated with the fact that our car has so much mileage asked if we were going to have a party when we reach 300,000km.  I said probably.  I told Patrick this.  He thinks it is a great idea.**

Alright, back to the main story…

So, last night at small group, we watched for the snow to start (which it did at approximately 11pm) and discussed the pending “Snowmegeddon” as we call it.  This year, we have had a few storms that were so-called “Snowmegeddons,” but most kind of turned out to be not much of anything.  There should be a qualifier that “not much of anything” is still definitely something.  But, perhaps this would be a big Snowmegeddon… And almost in April.  We got strangely excited, the sick people we are.

All of this late March/early April snow is not unusual.  One year, we had two late March snow days.  There is always a good April storm or two.  Snow keeps falling from time to time until at least May.  One year, I remember there being a couple centimeters the last week in May.  Ugh.

One of our friends is from Florida and she was telling us how she used to pray that God would send them snow.  I think He listened… He just waited a few years until she moved.  Too funny.  Especially when as soon as the snow started, she bolted out to go home before it accumulated at all.

Out our front door this morning. Oh, how delightful.

Nonetheless, leave it to us to get our tires off (yes, by choice) before the snow is over.   It has just been that kind of winter.  We also got our winter tires on the day after the first giant snowstorm.   Epic fail.  At least we are fairly well adjusted to winter driving.  Unfortunately, we live in the middle of a hill.

So, what is with the Sheila’s Brush thing?  Well, I was trying to check the weather online and I found this article on The Weather Network.  Apparently Sheila’s Brush is a winter storm that traditionally falls on St. Patrick’s day (but can fall on other days in early spring) that is supposed to sweep away the rest of winter.  I sure hope it does.  But, being realistic, I think we still have a bit of winter to go.  Just not quite as much as we are getting in one giant heap here.

It sometimes seems frustrating the weather we get on this blasted island.  Everyone else is starting to get sunshine and warmth and we get a small blizzard.  But, on the bright side, it is generally really beautiful.  And friendly.  And unique.  I think it makes up for the disgusting weather.

Out one of our kitchen windows. The beauty of living in a basement apartment in this lovely land.

Plus, the weather always gives you something to talk about.  When you live in the city that was deemed to have the worst weather in the country, it has to be of some sort of benefit.

So, enjoy your sunshine.  We will be possibly going sledding later today.  And I have to try to make my way out to get a hair cut (sounds ridiculous, but it will be SO worth it).  The beauty of snow days is that when there is nowhere you really have to be, you have no choice but to relax and have a bit of fun (minus the shoveling).

Jag’s Winter Boots

Today is the day Jag goes to the doctor for a check-up and to get his winter boots on. Translation: Patrick is taking the car (our 2004 Mazda 3) to the dealership for an inspection, oil change and winter tires. Further translation: we will be significantly poorer in a few short hours, but slightly less likely to die.

One thing you should know is we named our car “Jag.” I picked the name along with one of my good friends from school. The selection occurred on a 6am drive to the airport. Patrick was actually opposed to naming the car, but said friend had her car named and I have also been known to name turkeys and instruments, so it was appropriate. It was a sufficiently cool and masculine name for a car. Eventually the name caught on.

Now, poor Jag is getting up there. He may not be old, but he has about 300,000km. Thus, things go wrong with Jag. My parents (Jag’s original owners) are quite amazed Jag has gotten us this far. We are rooting for him to make it until I start residency. Where we live, cars do not need routine motor vehicle inspections, but our paranoia and some inconvenient break downs have led us to take Jag in for check-ups every second oil change or so. Thus it is time for a check-up. Recently, I have heard some shrill noises from the engine region and our driver’s side window does not always want to roll up once they go down. Suspicious. I suspect we will be down a few week’s pay for this trip.

In addition, it is now winter in Canada. Usually, I am keen and preemptively remind Patrick (the car is his responsibility) to get winter tires on prior to the snow flying. Unfortunately, I was adventuring around Canada (foolish schooling) and forgot until I was back home in late October. By the time he called, the next available appointment was December 4. EPIC FAIL! I could guarantee snow and ice will strike before then. But, then, Jag started squealing on occasion, so we had an excuse to go to the dealership and acquired an appointment a week earlier. But still… In late November. I could sense that mother nature would spite us.

We got off fairly scot free until last Friday night… WHABAM! Snow and ice. We live on a hill. We have 4 year old kind of questionable all-season tires. Good times.

Yesterday was when we were truly toasted by procrastination. The day before the snow tires, we had a very large record-breaking snow storm. It snowed 29.5cm before 1pm. Thankfully, schools were closed, so Patrick didn’t have to make his 20min trek out of the city to work at his afterschool program and there were no worries of him getting an elusive call to substitute teach. I, however, was expecting to scale snow banks to get to work. Fortunately and shockingly, the university administration decided to close the university (a rare move) and as a clerk, I am not obligated to go to work when the university is closed, unless I am on call… which I was not!

This morning, we begrudginly dug the car out and crawled to my 7am start at the hospital. The roads weren’t too terrible, however there was still a certain degree of slipping and sliding. Patrick then made his way to get the tires on (ah, the beauty of having a substitute teacher as a spouse with time to do those things) while I go to work and wait for patients to come in (of note, it is a particularly slow day in Gyne Oncology, thus the mid-day post).

Now, like nervous parents, we await the verdict about Jag’s health and look forward to him sporting his winter boots.