Positives in the Tunnel

I wish I could say there is a light at the end of my tunnel of insanity.

But alas, there isn’t one.

Sometimes being a resident and a wife and having a life is discouraging.  Sometimes because it is so hard to do it all.

But, on a bright side to my frustrations, I do have a supportive program.  I may have a million expectations and things to do.  But, it is also a place where the staff person I worked with on call this weekend offered (insisted, really) to take my pager overnight for a few hours so baby and I can get some sleep.  And where I get encouraged to go to appointments and eat.

And I have a supportive husband.  Who picks me up late and is okay with a haphazard supper (again).  Who puts up with my hours of studying and pauses the TV when the pager beeps and who lets me take the car when I have a chance to go to a church ladies’ movie night.

Plus, I have outside friends who try to get it.

And a kind of cuddly and entertaining cat (with a bald spot that is finally growing in (that is a story for another time)).

And of course, I have a great Saviour who is the reason I can do and be all of these things and get through the day.

There are lots of things to be thankful for amidst the crazy.

The Happy In My Halloween

Today was a happy in my Halloween.

I managed to arrange for transfer for one of my patients.  It is always good to get people back to home hospital, but it is especially good when it also makes my day start off well.

I presented Morbidity and Mortality rounds today and people actually kind of participated.

It is Friday half day, which means an afternoon of lectures, which is tough at the best of times, but especially on Fridays.  This week, I was supposed to have Radiobiology from 4-5, which is the most potent form of educational torture there is.  Unfortunately, our instructor went home sick with the flu.  Fortunately, that meant we didn’t have that lecture and although it has to be rescheduled, I was glad to not sit through it at 4 on Friday.

Also in Friday half day, the radiologist who taught us an awesome head and neck lecture brought us Halloween candy.  And not just any Halloween candy… The good stuff with peanuts in it that can kill people but tastes soooooo good.

I realized in said head and neck lecture that I am finally beginning to figure out head and neck and knew things in the lecture.  It was an exciting “ah ha” moment for me.  And thank goodness it is starting to come together because I have a treatment planning exam this week and it is yet again on head and neck (the universe or at least my staff seem to hate me on this front).

Patrick and his class went on a field trip today and had a good party afterwards (complete with cookies he made last night).  I was impressed at his craftiness and ability to get through Halloween with a classroom full of third graders.

We went to a Mexican restaurant tonight for supper where I got to feed my most recent craving… Spicy chilli.  I love a good burrito.

It is Jeter’s “birthday.”  The anniversary of when we inherited him two years ago.  He threw up on the carpet for us when we got home from work and is now happily carrying around his new “birthday” replacement feather on a stick.

We are settling in for a night of watching Charlie Brown and other relevant specials while waiting for the kids that never come to our apartment. It is to bed early tonight for band and a day full of studying, house cleaning and a potential games night!

Happy Halloween!

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 Joy of Renting


We had some horrendous wind and rain, which led to some sleep deprivation in the M household last night.

Why gratitude, you ask?  I’ll tell you…

When your barbecue cover somehow flies off into oblivion (despite it being bungee corded to both the deck and the BBQ), but your husband notices and rescues the barbecue of the balcony before it projectiles off as well.

When a chunk of your living room ceiling (that has never leaked before) caves in sometime in the wee hours of the morning, but does not hit your TV, other electronics or wedding photos. Also, that your husband is awake to clean up said chunk and the water that fell with it, put down buckets and call the rental office (who are coming today to survey the damage and do some repairs because apparently we aren’t the only ones who had that happen last night).

Image from strifeinc.com

When the window you swore was leaking last year during one storm, but then the maintenance person came and looked at it and said it was fine and it never seemed to cause a problem again (until now) starts dripping like a sieve, but you have enough towels to sop it up and the landlord is conveniently already coming in the morning to tend to our other leak.

When you realize that all of this went down in one night and probably won’t again until the next storm where the wind and rain blow just right.  At least you hope so.  Preferably, you hope it never happens again.

When you realize a 330 in the morning all of these things happened and you slept through them because your husband is a superhero night-hawk.

Image from sprudge.com.

When, at 330 in the morning, you and your husband can laugh about the fact, that we have never had problems with our apartment except for a broken drawer until RIGHT NOW.

When, at 330 in the morning, you and your husband realize that although we need to clean up the mess and protect the place from further damage, we are not responsible to fix it because that, my friends, is the beauty of renting.  And with that, we high-fived our prolonged schooling and general lack of funds to own a house with its added responsibility.

Image from giphy.com.

When you see that it is kind of funny that I need to go drop off my signed lease sometime this week.

When you realize you have a home with heat that is mostly dry and things to protect and all of the things that many people don’t have.

Things That Make Me (Patrick) Thankful

It is time for another Patrick guest post.  For you new folks out there, Patrick is my husband.  Every once in a while, he feels so compelled to write a blog post of his very own.  Today, I am sick with a cold and he was not working, so he volunteered his blog post writing services.

Yes, I know that I’m a little late for Canadian Thanksgiving, which was this past weekend but I’m more than a month early for American Thanksgiving, so I think it balances out.  In all seriousness, I don’t think Thanksgiving should be the only time people are thankful any more than Valentine’s day should be the only day people are romantic with their significant others.  God has blessed me with far too much to contain my gratefulness to only one day. So here is a list of the main things of what I’m thankful for.

Disclaimer: If you don’t like mushy stuff or would rather focus on the things you don’t have than this post is not for you. Side effects may include warm fuzzy feelings and overall better moods.


The first person I need to mention is my best friend, biggest fan and only person I can spend inordinate amounts of time around without needing a break……..my cat.   Just kidding, I’m referring to my wonderful wife. I couldn’t imagine my life without her and am glad we can still make each other laugh hysterically, cheer each other up and drive each other crazy.

As she mentioned last week my older brother D came to visit us for the first time in our semi-new location. It was nice to show him around town and treat him to a meal at one of our favorite restaurants. But more than that it was great to simply hang out together doing things we’ve always enjoyed like playing basketball, watching hockey games and talking about our childhood shenanigans.

We then went home for the long weekend and saw all of our family there.  We drove up with Trisha’s parents to visit her Aunt and Uncles’ farm, which includes a goose (well did until this weekend…), chickens, goats, rabbits, barn cats and dogs. Not to mention 3 fun kids who we played with and helped carve Halloween pumpkins. As we ate a delicious farm fresh Thanksgiving dinner, I thought about the saying “when you marry someone you marry their family” and how glad I married the family that I did.

We had another Turkey day dinner with my immediate family the next day which included my 91 year-old “Granky,” who is always a pleasure to see. Before we started eating my sister insisted we take a family photo, which was carrying on my Grandmothers’ tradition only Grammy usually suggested it just as we were taking our first bites. Our family has a lot to be thankful in the past year alone including my sisters new/better job, multiple pay raises, and my brother finding a special someone who recently started a new job herself.

We had a third turkey day dinner on Monday with Trisha’s parents and her two grandmothers to conclude our family dinner tour.

Of course I have to mention our crazy cat Jeter because he has brought a lot of laughs and aw moments since we got him last Halloween. He’ll soon start the terrible twos but that doesn’t apply to cats… Right?


While we were home, we also managed to see one of our best couple friends L & C and catch up on how their recent move and C’s new job has been going. We stuffed our faces and laughed a lot.

This time last year, we were just starting to get settled here ourselves and barely knew anyone. Since then another one of our favorite couples moved near us for a job, which has been great. Trisha now has someone to share her coffee addiction with I have a movie buddy again. We also share a lot of other interests including our love of cats, which comes in handy as we can cat-sit for each other when we go away.

As an introvert, I don’t make friends easily but thankfully our church has fun events such as bonfires and men’s events, which help a lot. I’m also excited that our new small group has finally started up and the new friendships that will spawn as a result. I’ve also joined a Recreational basketball league with total strangers and am getting to know some cool people as a result. We are possibly the worst team in the league but that’s okay because we are named the “Honey badgers”. I still believe that to make a friend you have to be a friend and I’m confident that when we look back a year from now we will have a lot of great memories with both new and old friends.

**If you don’t know where the name Honey Badgers comes from, check out this YouTube video that inspired their name (heads up… the narrator does swear).  


For the first time ever when someone asks me what I do for a living I can answer, “I am a Teacher” and just a teacher.  Up until this year I’ve worked many different jobs at the same time including teaching but this year I decided it was time to finally focus on my actual career.  There are many reasons for why I did so and that’s a story for another time, but I know I made the right decision. Yes, I am a substitute teacher, not full-time but that is still a decent job in itself. In fact, I didn’t even realize I got an almost 5 % raise in my pay until I got my first pay cheque because the Teachers union signed a new contract.  September was busier than expected for the first month of school and October has been slow so far. But up and down is how it goes and as bad as it sounds I am looking forward to cold and flu season which is coming up fast. The fact that I “just” substitute teach confuses many well-meaning people who don’t fully understand why I can’t get a full-time teaching position or why I would do something that isn’t a guaranteed job every day or. The reality is that there are far more teachers out there than jobs and I can’t work a normal 9-5 job that would prevent me from taking teaching jobs that come up.  I have applied to a couple tutoring jobs that wouldn’t interfere but haven’t had any luck so far. I could work retail or other unrelated job as long as they understand that teaching is my priority. I’m thankful that I have the luxury of not having to work multiple jobs because of Trisha’s job, which also confuses people.

Both our careers have very dismal job market projection for the next few years but I’m glad that unlike many careers, we are still able to work in them in different capacitates.  Plus as the Biblical proverb says worrying will not make us any taller or live longer. We can only trust that God will take care of us has he always has in the past.

Everything else

I could keep going on and on about things like good health and Canada and material things, but I’ll give you a chance to think about what you are thankful for instead of reading more about me. I’ll end with an illustration that personally really put things in perspective and I should think about more often instead of focusing on the negatives.  After all, there are far more positives and it’s much more fun to focus on them!  We once did a video series that talked about how if you have a fridge or a car you are rich compared to most of the world.  This is along the same lines.

Image from sendmeusemechangeme.blogspot.com

Thank You For Research Month

 Yesterday’s prompt with the daily post was to be thankful for something or someone.  Because the internet is full of rants.

I like it.

So, here goes some day late (or month early) thankfulness.

I am thankful for research month.  It means a time of actually getting sufficient sleep, having a chance to see my husband and cat and friends without as many time limits and opportunities to do things like go to appointments.  It is an opportunity to set my own schedule (kind of).  I get to focus on my research (kind of).  It is almost like being a student again.  Or a normal person again.

It is a lovely concept.  I am sad it is now half done.  But thankful that it means I still have half to go.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful

The Weekly Photo Challenge this week with the Daily Post is entitled “Thankful.” Although Thanksgiving is long gone for me, today is a day on which I feel thankful.

It is my mother’s birthday.

So, my picture that means thankful is a picture of us together on a day that I think meant more to her than to me, my graduation day.  It was a day that reminded me how grateful I am for my family and how I was raised.

I am thankful that she was born.  And that she, despite some of the weirdness that was her childhood, turned out to be okay.  And a great Mom, not only to me, but to my friends and Patrick.

She raised me well.  I think I turned out half decent.  And one day, I hope to be an equally good mother.

Thus, I am thankful.

Top Ten Books/Authors I Am Thankful For

It is American Thanksgiving time.  I differentiate because, as a Canadian, we celebrate Thanksgiving in October except a change in TV schedule and some bargains in online shopping.  It also apparently means a thankful theme for the Broke and Bookish Top Ten Tuesday list.  I can always stand for some extra thankfulness, so I am going along with it.  Especially since I am living just a few short hours from the U.S.

Thus, the top ten list is the top ten books/authors I am thankful for.

  1. The Bible.  Given that this is the book written by God (well, God used people to write it) and it is chalk full of all sorts of good and useful and relevant (yes, relevant) stuff, it must be on the list.
  2. Massachusetts General Hospital Handbook of internal Medicine by Marc Sabatine and colleagues.  This was a handbook I was told to get at the start of clerkship and it has helped with the management of all sorts of problems on all sorts of rotations.  I have it on my iPhone where it acts as one of the many appendages of my artificial brain.
  3. Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom.  I love this book.  I know some people say it is just a bunch of obvious facts.  And really, it is.  But, I love how it writes about the relationship and the notion of dying and such.
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  This is one of those books that is forced on high school students everywhere.  And I am glad it is.  It talks about a lot of important stuff and is so well written you want to read it.
  5. Author Judy Blume.  Her books grow up with you in all age groups and through all phases.  I loved that they addressed issues I was going through or going to go through (especially when I started reading books that were way too old for me).  Plus, her style of writing made me want to write too.
  6. Author Ann Martin.  The Babysitter’s Club books are some of the books that first got me in to reading novels and kept me loving reading through most of my younger years.  I think they were a good intro to reading for many people and for that I am very grateful.
  7. Author L.M. Montgomery.  She is an author that I loved as a child and continue to love as an adult.  She was another big motivator for me to love writing and continue to love writing.  Plus, I used her books to write my big giant IB paper in grade 12… Glad that happened.  Furthermore, she is another author who wrote books that are loved the world over and introduced many to the joy of reading.
  8. Author Roald Dahl.  I know I have a small obsession with him.  But his books are so entertaining and bizarre, how can you not?
  9. Author Dr. Seuss.  Excessive rhyming.  Nonsensical randomness.  Dr. Seuss is always a good time and can brighten my day all the time!
  10. Author Robert Munsch.  This Canadian gem (although he is apparently American born) write hilarious and random children’s books.  I want his anthology for my kids when I have them (more for me than the kids, I think).  His books start a love of reading from an early age and one can always be glad for that.   Plus, hearing him read live is an extra special treat!

I am thankful for these books and authors and also many more!

What bookish paraphernalia are you thankful for?

Thanksgiving Happiness

This week’s photo challenge with the Daily Press is entitled “Happiness.”  I don’t really consider myself a photographer or a photo blogger, but the post I was going to write for today actually goes well with the challenge to post photos of things that make you happy.  So, I am posting it and saying it is also part of the challenge. **Thanks to my Dad who took all of these pictures.

This weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving.  The thing that made this particular Thanksgiving awesome was that not only were we home with family, but we actually got to spend Thanksgiving with both of our families, something that we haven’t been able to do in a leisurely fashion since we have been together.

We had a lovely traditional turkey dinner with Patrick’s siblings and his Mom’s side of the family complete with watching football (I thought that made us a little multi-cultural with the American football tradition) and crazy pet stories.

We had dessert out with my three best friends from home and their husbands.  It was one of the first times we all hung out as an entirety in ages not at a wedding-related event. We actually closed down the restaurant (mind you, it was a Sunday and Thanksgiving, so the restaurant closed at 10).

And then, we went to the lovely farm where my Aunt, Uncle and cousins live for Thanksgiving there with my family.

They have been having Thanksgiving-like festivities together up there for a while.  This was the first year we got to go and it was sheer happiness.  The day came complete with lots of talking, food, a grand tour of the barn (with the ENTIRE group of us… If you knew my grandmother, the fact she came would blow your mind) and lots of playing around.  The pictures tell the story well on their own.

It is wonderful to be close to family and friends to actually get to do these sorts of things together.  Also, having some vacation time helps.