Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why I love the Outlander Series...

I'm currently taking a break from the Outlander series in an attempt to read two smaller books before I start Drums of Autumn. I miss Jamie and Claire, and the series in general so much. Other than Diana Gabaldon's great writing, there are so many things that I love... I love anything Celtic, so that's a plus. Historical fiction is my favorite genre. Claire is a strong-willed woman who happens to have a medical background (ah-hem). There's plenty of a love story. Plus, Gabaldon was actually trained as a scientist so the thinks a lot like I think. I wish school allowed me more time to read, but such is life.

Monday, January 26, 2009

"Dating is setting you up for divorce; courtship prepares for marriage"

I recently heard something along those lines on TV and I just want to put my two cents on the matter. I so hardheartedly disagree!!! I could have misheard the guy, but still... So what I think he was saying was that people go into dating with the expectation that this relationship may not be "the one" and when you determine it's not "the one" you're teaching yourself how to separate from a person dear to you and all the emotions you shared. On top of that, you may have been intimate with the person and then "spoiled" yourself for your "true mate."

Ok, my thoughts on dating and heart break. I'll be the first to admit I don't have the most experience in break-ups and heartache since Joe and I started dating when I was 16, but...I was in 1 serious relationship and several minor ones before Joe. Through that 1 serious relationship I didn't only learn how to deal with heartbreak, I learned tons about myself and how I deal with things. I learned who I can turn to as a friend and how my mother can also great source of relationship advice. I learned I can't believe everything someone says. I learned how I deal with being lied to and how to love a person not in my family. Honestly, do I regret that relationship? No. Am I glad that he's not the one I married, hell yes! Am I going to discourage my kids from dating. No way in hell. I hope they are smart about it and yes, it's going to break my heart when I see my child crying over a guy or girl, but I'll know that heartbreak will make them explore facets of themselves that I as a parent can not force them to explore. People can love their friends, people can love their families, and people can love someone they met on the streets, but that's not unconditional and takes more work. Only dating can teach them how to deal with conditional love and the efforts, compromises, and communication it takes to make it work while giving them a sense of ownership and independence.

Does any of that make sense?

If I could change one thing about my husband... would be his eating. He's working super late tonight so I was on my own for dinner tonight. I heated up a Healthy Choice French onion soup and melted some provolone cheese on top. Being healthy choice it was not nearly as yummy as some other french onion soup I've had. I've never made French onion soup so one of the first things that popped in my mind was, "oh, I'd love to try to make this." Then I remembered Joe wouldn't eat it. Ugh. It's so tough trying new recipes when only 1 of 2 people in the household will try them. I'm hoping another benefit of kids is having more people in the house to eat the recipes I cook.

Now, more on Joe's eating. He's picky. Simple enough. He doesn't like things mixed, so that rules out a lot of casseroles. He's also not big on trying anything with a lot of spices. Oh, and don't get me started on vegetables. Don't get me wrong, he could be much pickier, it's just that he's married to a wife who likes to cook, loves ethnic foods, and will try almost anything. But hey, if being a picky eater is my only complaint about Joe, I think we'll be a-ok.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pediatrics vs. Geriatrics

This past week at the VA hospital our service had several WWII vets. I truly enjoyed working with these men and caring for this population. The elderly have a wisdom and air of fulfilled lives about them. That being said, I still don't want to do geriatrics. Summer of '07 I did a geriatrics program and enjoyed my time but realized I couldn't handle knowing all of my patients are going to die in the near future. On top of that, if I were a geriatrician, I'd know that one day I'd be my patients' peer, meaning that I'm getting old myself. As a pediatrician, I know I'm going to have kids who die on me, but I will never be their peer and they'll always be innocent children to me. Plus, kids have generally healthier constitutions, so there's not as much poly-pharmacy and co-morbid conditions. Pediatrics, here I come!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

More Camera Fun

It's a little too cold to go looking for shots outside, oh well.

"Diet" Blueberry Scones

If anyone's looking for a great resource to help with dieting/lifestyle change, check out Spark People. They also have a great site for recipes. I found a blueberry scone recipe and I have to admit, they are quite tasty. I added some almond extract and I highly recommend that. They're not as rich as the fat laden ones in bakeries, but they're a nice treat none the less.

Here's the recipe with my modifications:

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. rolled oats
1/4 c. sugar
1 tbs. baking powder
1/2 c. skim milk
3 tbs. cooking oil
1 tps. almond extract
1 egg white
1 c. blueberries (I used frozen)


Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, stir together milk, oil, almond extract, and egg white. Add liquid mixture and blueberries to dry mixture and stir until just moistened.
Knead dough 10 times. Pat "12 balls" to 3/4 inch thickness and transfer to baking sheet. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack and serve warm. Makes 12 servings.

Sticking with Tollhouse...

A while back a Baltimore Nestie posted a new recipe for chocolate chip cookies using vanilla pudding. I finally got around to baking some last night. Don't get me wrong, they are tasty, but I still prefer the Tollhouse recipe. I think Tollhouse are more rich and a little sweeter. That being said, I proceeded to take a detour from my "diet" and eat half a dozen. Plus, I got to use my new camera to take some pictures.

Here's the recipe if you want to try it:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

30 degrees warm?!?

Never in my entire life would I think a temperature of 30 degrees Fahrenheit is warm. Last Thursday our high was -7 and that wasn't factoring in the windchill, which took it down to -24. A short walk from the parking lot to the hospital left me with tingling fingers to defrost. I could only imagine how cold the homeless were.

On top of it being freezing cold, I had a total blond moment. Tuesday I had ran out of windshield wiper fluid and I could only see if I manually wiped my windshield with a snow-moistened napkin. I finally mustered the courage to bear the cold long enough to refill my fluid. Well, I didn't check to see it's temperature range. I should have known I was in trouble when it started to ice over before I even closed the hood... Needless to say I still couldn't see out of my window. Fortunately it warmed up Saturday to 30 degrees and the fluid melted. It's supposed to be in the 30s the whole week, but I'll make sure to add freeze resistant fluid before it gets uber cold again.

Forgot Jen's Birthday AGAIN!

I'm such a horrible friend. I just realized today I forgot Jen's birthday for the 2nd year in a rough. I hate that. We don't really exchange gifts, but a text or email is always nice. I'm usually so good with that AND getting cards in the mail. Hmm...a phone call is most definitely due and a belated gift, not just to decide what to get her...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Update on Resolutions...

Thank God 2009 is 12 months long because I'm definitely not meeting all of my resolutions. School is so busy right now and I need to be studying much more, but I'm so freaking tired. I feel like I hardly see Joe since I'm in bed by 9 every night...but enough of that. So working out 3x a week, yeah umm...I think that's on hold for another 3.5 months. When I get off early and if I'm not on call on the weekends, I'm trying to work out, but it's usually not 3x a week. What sucks is I love food so much and since I'm not burning calories working out, I have to cut back on food even more. I've lost 4 pounds since the first of the month, but I haven't redeveloped any of my muscle tone back...

Reading for leisure...about 10 pages a night. I'm glad I can do some, but it's not on pace with my 25 in 2009. It doesn't help that the book is 1000 pages.

Church/faith. One of my friends out here said it best, "Faith takes work." I've yet to put the work into redeveloping my faith. I used to have a "religious high" after church and I haven't had that for months now. Any unsolicited advice great appreciated.

Joe's So Cute with His Videogames

Having married him, of course there are several things I love about Joe, I just choose not to write about each one. This is the first whole football season where we've lived together and I've discovered a cute little thing he does. Joe loves Madden and playing videogames. Now what's so "cute" about his hobby? Each week the Ravens play whomever they're playing in real life that upcoming Sunday. So, since Saturday, he's been playing Ravens vs. Steelers every day. Last week it was Ravens vs. Titans.

Joe's Learning How to Cook

Med school wise, last semester was the easier one of 3rd year. In general I was home every night by 5 or 5:30 if not way earlier. Right now I'm on my internal medicine inpatient rotation averaging about 10.5 hours a day. This means Joe's home way before I am. Joe's gotten used to eating almost as soon as he comes home from work. The past two nights, I've come home to Joe having made dinner already. He's not liking these long hours of mine, lol. I tease him that this is how residency will be so can he work on making some healthier meals too... Seriously though, I appreciate all the help. I just find it cute he's made dinner the past two nights.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Stuck Up Moment

So, I'm procrastinating from real life and for some reason find surfing the net more enjoyable than reading my book, perhaps it just takes less concentration... After the wedding I did a "trash the dress" shoot. My photographer has a blog of her work so I like to periodically check it out and see her great shots of new weddings, etc. Well, she's updating her website and I'm featured in her "day after" gallery and on her contact page. My head's just a little big right now...oh well, lol. Check it out here.

Gas Bill Craziness

I know I can't complain much about our gas bills in general since they are way way less than our friends' bills on the East Coast but... I was shocked when our bill tripled, yes tripled, since last month! The only thing I hope we have going for us is that our last read was an actual read and this read is an estimate. I so hope they are over estimating!! We don't keep our house extremely warm either, about 72. Joe would like it much warmer, but I'm too cheap. I'm knocking it down to 70 and telling Joe to wear a sweater. I try to remember to turn it down before I leave for the day, but I'm constantly forgetting. Perhaps I'll remember now.

Misspelled names

So, the coordinator of my current rotation misspelled my new last name and it's driving me crazy. I wouldn't mind so much if it was easily correctable, but it's on so many forms and documents it's too big of a hassle. This is something I've never experienced before since my maiden name was so simple and common. I gave Joe a hard time and he said, "well, you better get used to it." Such is life.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New dSLR Camera

After spending hours upon hours looking at our wedding pictures and seeing the difference between my pos point and shoot and a dSLR I took the plunge and bought a Pentax k200D with my Christmas money. I haven't been feeling well the past couple of days, so I haven't had a chance to shoot a lot, but I did get some shots around the house. There is a lot I need to learn about getting great shots--focusing, white balance, etc... I also have to learn how to use a decent photo-editing software--even adobe elements isn't as iniutive as I thought it would be. I have a new respect for professional photographers, especially with how expensive their equipment is.

Here are a few shots from this weekend:

I wanted to start the New Year right with fresh flowers. I like this play with the colors of the flowers.

Playing around with the aperture settings...a nice shot of the fire house in Joe's train garden.

Playing with shutter speed and trying to get "motion" in the picture.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

25 in 2009

With the first two years of medical school behind me, I have a little more time to read for me. I'm loving it! I was reading textbooks for so long it's great to read fiction again. I'm a "nestie" and there's a nest book club. There are several of us aiming to read 25 books in 2009. Others are trying to read 50, but I knew with school I couldn't reach that number. So here's to 25!

New Year's Resolutions

I'm not a fan of resolutions simply because I feel that if I want to change something, I shouldn't wait until the new year. Well this year my I'm going against my norm and making a list of resolutions.

1. Lose 5-10 pounds (gained 10 since wedding, 5 since this time last year)
2. Workout 3 times a week (I did so well Jan 1st, but now I'm sick =( )
3. Learn digital photography with my new dSLR
4. Maintain bikini line and shave legs more often (poor Joe)
5. Read at least 25 pleasure books in 2009
6. Go to church weekly/redevelop my faith life
7. Less clutter and more cleanliness
8. Improve communication with Joe (more of what he needs to work on, but I'm not perfect either, so it's a joint resolution)

Computer Crashed Again...

I've determined I must use and abuse my computers. Last night after trying to open a program I haven't used in about 4 months, my computer decided to crash. I try to repair the disk myself and lo and behold, I have an invalid b-tree node size...aka a crappy hard drive. Fortunately it's under warranty and when I took it to the mac store they were able to give me a new hard drive right away. I could have left it there over night for them to reinstall all of the software, but I opted to save myself a trip and do it myself. What a great way to spend my last two days of vacation, eh?
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