Monday, March 31, 2008

Bread and inspiration

Delicious! At least it looks good! I got inspired my my Italian bread moment and decided to surprise J with homemade fettuccini alfredo. Should be good!

Bread recipe:

2 3/4 c. organic flour
1 c. water (100-110 degrees F)
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or to taste)
1 Tbsp organic italian seasoning (or to taste)
1/4 c. organic Parmesan cheese

Dissolve yeast in water, add a pinch of sugar to make sure they're working!
Add yeast mixture to flour, garlic powder, italian seasoning, and cheese
Mix together, knead for about 5 minutes
Let rise 45 minutes or until doubled
Knead again for about 3-4 minutes
Let rise another 45 mintues or until doubled
Preheat oven to 450
Bake at 450 for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when knocked on

Hopefully it's good. I'll let you know if it needs to be tweaked!


Well, the stress of preparing for the exam gave way to the relief of it being over. Gotta love it when you have one behind you. I should find out how it went today some time. I did the best I could and under the circumstances I couldn't have asked for anything more.

Altogether, I think I need a creative outlet today. The past week really took the wind out of my sails, and I don't want to get in the habit of being down. So, I decided to spend the afternoon cooking. I love to cook. I haven't always. I used to hate it. I hated it so much that no one in my family thought I was even able to cook. Then I went and became a chemist.

Now, it never occured to me that chemistry was anything like cooking, but J, who was probably just desperate to have a hot meal he didn't have to prepare for the both of us, was kind enough to tell me that if I can follow a lab protocol, I can follow a recipe. I tried, and, what do you know? I can cook.

Not only can I cook, I really like it. It's a good outlet for me. And you get something fun at the end of it. In fact, the kitchen is what sold me on the house we're in right now. So to relax today, I'm busy making bread. From scratch. Like with yeast.

I made this recipe up, so I'm anxious to see how it's going to go. It's an organic (!) italian herbs and cheese bread. I'll post pix when it comes out of the oven, and if it's any good, I'll post a recipe.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

On Family

I've come to think of the blogs I read as my little mini family. Who do I turn to when I'm feeling down and need a pick-me-up? The blogosphere. Some blogs are people I know well (A&B, T&D - I read yours all the time! Same to you maidenmetallurgist!) Others are people I will never meet in a million years, but truly enjoy reading about their lives. There's something a little voyeuristic about it, I'll admit, but I love reading 'em and it's a study break I always look forward to! So keep writing!

I'm starting to feel a bit better about my bad news. To recap: J and I made the decision some time ago we were ready to expand and have a two legged child to go with our giant four-legged hairy one. It's been longer than I had hoped, but we finally got great news, only to have it not work out. I was pretty devastated, and physically incapacitated for a while. But several good things have come of it. First, and probably best, I made the awkward decision to ask my preceptor to be my doc when the time comes. He's all about it. I may have said it would be weird and totally inappropriate, but I've come around. He really is the best doc I know, and I've met a lotta docs. He is even going to help us out so we have a better shot of getting this chance again. Second, we know it's possible. I was starting to worry there was something really wrong with me, but at least it's a possibility. With a little help we should be on the way.

The whole thing is a little unnerving. First of all, I'm in med school. Now, this is not my total identity, but it is a time consuming adventure that more often than not makes me into a hot mess. I can only imagine the hot messiness that a kid in med school will bring. Particularly if my worst fears come true (and they usually do) and he/she makes the big appearance in the middle of my board exam. You know, that one little exam that can pretty much make or break my life... Oh well. You never know what kinds of things will happen. But there's one thing I do know. Life is what happens while I'm getting my degree. And I'm not prepared to let it happen without me.

Oh and I know one more thing. A nice, deep red wine has never tasted so good.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Well, my good news turned out to be bad news. I'd like to say I'm over it, but probably not just yet. Guess the jitters were justified. The tricky thing is getting through all the studying that needs to be done between today and Monday morning. Yikes. I've been at it all day, but I feel like it could take a lot longer than that. I'm saving the easiest stuff for last though so that things will be faster going as the weekend goes on. Today and tomorrow will be the most intense days, after that it should get better.

Well, I will work on all these breaks from blogging and try to check in more often. Right now though, back to work.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Well, I think I've had enough of the blog hiatuses (hiati? I don't know). School has been enough to make me exhausted, and I still feel behind. Today we're trying something new. I'm at home, and studying the lectures on my own. I don't know how it will work out, but seeing as I've gone through 2 hours of notes on my own in the last 45 minutes, I think it's going to be a time saver. Only works if the notes are good though. So that makes me nervous but optimistic at the same time.

I'm also staying home because I'm jittery. Way too much so to sit in class. You know when you get good news, but you can't really believe it. That's how I feel right now. I'm waiting on some confirmation of good news, but it's like I feel like I don't deserve it. That something is wrong and it couldn't possibly be true. I'm being probably as illogical as I have ever been on this one, but I swear, in a past life I generated some really bad karma and it keeps on biting back. Anyway, needless to say I'm going a little nuts today.

Altogether, I've had the hardest time ever concentrating these last couple of weeks. I just want to focus, but I'm having a tough time. I think I'm starting to get a bit burnt out in these last few months of school. Hopefully I can get myself on track and not get too side tracked. Gotta finish strong so I can really enjoy my summer. Oh well. 10 weeks (a little less!) to summer.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Good News to Start the Week!

Well, today started a new block at school. We're doing the cardiovascular system first, then pulmonary, then kidneys. THEN SUMMER!!!!! Woo hoo! Looking forward to that, especially because of the horribly monotonous tone of the lecturers I have to look forward to. Ouch.

But, some good news to keep me until friend JT is moving back to the big CO!!! Hooray! He's pretty much the reason I ever tried sushi, which my husband J had been trying to get me to like for quite some time. So J always teases that I only try new things when JT tells me I should. So I called J up at work to tell him the good news, and what does he say? "Good, now you can try new things again...." Sigh.

Well, off to hit the ground running. I've seen this stuff a lot before, but I'm trying to get as far ahead of the game as possible. The fewer freakouts I can have in the next 11 weeks the better, for my blood pressure and everyone else's!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Back to Work

Well, on days like today I remember what it was like to be a kid and miss it. I really loved this last week. I felt more like myself than I have for a while, and knowing that tomorrow is coming along to ruin it bothers me. I feel like I've lost the wonder at starting new things that little kids have but I've retained all the petulance.

Ah well, no sense crying over spilled milk (no matter how much you want to pout and stomp and scream).

It's back to work, but For the time being I have some beautiful flowers to look at!!!!

My brother and his beautiful girlfriend sent me these lovelies for my birthday! I haven't gotten flowers for quite a while so this was pretty exciting for me. J asked me if I'd be taking care of them, and I said "maybe." I'm not exactly the most "green-fingered" gal you're ever going to meet. But if it means looking at these a little longer I will definitely do it. It brings a little spring into the house, and I think we could use it, especially since we are supposed to get up to 8 inches of snow tonight. Disgusting.

J also broke out the surprises this weekend for my birthday, he made a fabulous chocolate desert for me and bought some candles to go with the gorgeous flowers. It was as nice a setup as we've had since he proposed three years ago. It was a really nice night.

I guess we will just have to find fun things like this to look forward to in the midst of all the work that will be the next 11 weeks. But, I fully plan on keeping you all updated on how long before summer vacation is coming! Eleven weeks (a little less, eleven weeks from last Friday) until vacation begins. I got through the last 11 without issue, I should get through the next 11 as well. At least I have a great, relaxing week under my belt to begin with. It'll keep me from being dragged back into it kicking and screaming, but it might not stop me from being a little petulant..

Friday, March 14, 2008

My Birthday!!!

So, yesterday was my birthday! I had big plans for sitting in a nice little internet cafe and blogging away my morning, but my day turned out not to be nearly as solitary as expected, which is excellent. I went to Golden in the morning; one of my favorite places on the planet (not that I've seen a whole lot of the planet, but you know...) to go running along Clear Creek. Everytime I run there I feel like I must look like a crazy fool running along the path because I always have this silly grin on my face the whole time. There's not anything I can think of to make my mood better than to start the day running there. It's beautiful and I love how much more fresh it feels than running on the treadmill staring at the boob tube.

Granted, this picture was taken at the end of May when the creek is high and the leaves are green, but when the sun is shining in mid-March, it's every bit as gorgeous to me.

Even better, after my run I went to breakfast/lunch with my friend LD. I haven't seen her in at least 6 months, maybe more like a year (med school seems to change the time line for me...) and I missed her. We went to this great health food restaurant called Blue Sky Cafe (restaurant by morning, yoga by evening) and had a nice leisurely time. I had breakfast and she had lunch, and altogether I was full of food for quite some time. It always makes me happy to see that my friends are doing so well. I forget sometimes there is a life that doesn't involve school forever and LD embraced that and became a part time yoga instructor. She's hoping to eventually do it full time, and is hoping to go into therapeutic yoga some day. I have a lot of faith in the therapeutic value of yoga and maybe someday I'll be able to utilize her talents in my future practice. If you are looking for some great classes in Golden, or some private yoga instruction check out Mountain Moon Yoga, or email

After I got home and cleaned up from my run, I met my friend, also an LG like me, for ice cream at Bonnie Brae by University of Denver. Best ice cream ever. It was even nice enough to eat it outside. Afterward, we wandered through the shops of Wash Park. I definitely now have more activities to bribe myself with for studying. I always set goals and then tell myself if I reach them, I can go do "x". Well, now visiting the shops at Wash Park can be X sometimes too. If anyone ever wants to join, let me know!

After we grilled up some dinner, J's fam came over for some coffee and desert. I made a really awesome chocolate desert with peppermint frosting and J made Irish coffees for everyone but me (I'm sticking to decaf and no booze for the moment). We developed a taste for irish coffees when we were in San Francisco last summer. It was so much fun there, and the Buena Vista had the best Irish Coffee's of anywhere we tried.

If you're interested, go to for directions on how to make a great Irish Coffee!

Since J had to work today, we decided not to go out for my birthday yesterday and save it for today. So tonight we're having dinner at the trattoria at Whole Foods. Whole Foods is pretty much my favorite place to eat so it should be a great night! I've always loved my birthday, it's great to have a whole day party just for yourself. But it's even better to have a several day party just to yourself!

Well, I might be another year older, but I can only think that's a good thing! I think the last year has helped me to grow a lot. I'm starting to see more than ever what I'm made of, and I find myself smiling a lot more often and frowning a whole lot less. I don't think I'll ever dread my birthday, even though I'm now closer to 30 than I am to 20, because every year marks a landmark in how far I've really come. And that is always a good thing to me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Well, long time no blog. But it's been a wonderful time! My last final was over on Friday morning, and it was BY FAR the easiest exam I've ever taken in med school. Let me give you all a little taste:

What is one way to reduce your risk of malignant melanoma?
A-C: ridiculous choices like stay out in the sun all the time so you get enough vitamin D...

D: seek shade.

Wow, I'm glad I'm becoming a doctor to learn things like that.... I really shouldn't complain. There were harder questions than that, as cancer chemo drugs were also on this one, but there's really no reason that I should have done as well as I did seeing as I studied about a total of 8 hours for that exam, 10 tops. I got lucky. But I'll take it!

Then spring break started!!! It's been so nice to have time to myself without worrying aobut getting behind for the next exam. Over the weekend J and I went "away" to a hotel here in Denver, and it was a great time. I finally went to the Tattered Cover downtown. I can't believe I haven't been there before. I also read two giant fantasy books, finishing the books that are currently available in the Dresden Files series. I will miss them! There's a new one coming out within the month though, so there's more to look forward to!

On Sunday we came home to our giant doggy, who the in-laws took care of for the weekend. He always loves spending the weekend with Dween! Yesterday I hardly even got off the couch because I was reading all day. It's easy to forget how much you love to read when all you get a chance to read is text books. But it makes it so much more fun when you get that chance. When I finally did get off the couch I did the shopping for this week and got dinner going, can't believe that was my whole day. Worth it.

This will be a fun week, though. I have some plans to get the house cleaned up. In fact, now that I'm up and moving, it's time to get rid of some clothes that I haven't worn in ages. Since we got our new furniture, I still haven't taken the time to get my clothes situated into the new dresser. I'm excited to have some more space and to be able to find the clothes that I really want to wear underneath all that other junk. It's also going to be spring cleaning around here, floorboards, bathrooms, dusting, all that stuff. I definitely owe J that much, since he's pretty much been holding things together for me while I have been holding school together. Oh, and lots of walks with the big guy, he's earned it too. I hope everyone's weekend was as relaxing as mine, and (as a future finally feels like I will be one) make sure you all take some of that time to yourself too, charged batteries just run better!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I can taste the freedom...

Twenty four hours from now I will be a seriously happy camper. One final down, one to go. The first one went well, which is good since it's the only one I've really studied for thus far. Oops. Today will be an exercise in cramming. Luckily it is dermatology. I can't really imagine anything more worthless. After all, why is it necessary to call something: "a linearly arranged group of pustules on an erythematous base" when all that's really required is "red rash?"

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I'll miss it...

So, tomorrow morning brings immunology to an end for me, but not without providing me one more little gem.

Without going into too much molecular detail, the reason that people get traveler's diarrhea is a nasty little E. coli bug that releases a toxin into your gut. You get it in places you've never been before because your immune system has never seen this and hasn't been able to make antibodies to it yet. Some super smart immunologists in Australia figured out that if you inject the bacteria into cows, the cows will make antibodies to the bugs. Even better, they'll put the antibodies in their milk. Lucky us, we milk cows. So they took the milk and separated out the antibodies and shoved them into (I imagine) a very profitable little pill. It's been over the counter in Australia for 3 years now. Check out their website: Very cool.

I'm almost sad to get this test over with. How else am I going to find neat side tracks that I can still consider studying?

Study Day

So, being finals week, we were given the day off today to study for our exams tomorrow and Friday. My great intentions of hitting the ground running at 6 fell through, but I feel like I'm in a pretty good place, so the extra sleep was probably worth it. Besides, there's something about sitting down to study and knowing you won't be getting up for the rest of the day that makes me want to vomit.

I had originally thought I would go to my preceptor today. Just wishful thinking that I could put aside my competitive drive for a day and realize that just because my classmates had the whole day to study didn't mean I necessarily needed it too. After all, I don't need to do that well on these exams to be where I want to be this block. But, after a large group session yesterday, I hit the panic button and paged Dr. B to let him know I would come in next week (during spring break, but I didn't tell him that) instead since I have finals on Thursday and Friday. He called me back and said of course, but "I won't let you come in on your spring break!" I asked him if he was sure and his response was "of course, you're ridiculous. Get out, have fun!" I know I told him when spring break was a long time ago, but I didn't think he'd even remember. I love my preceptor. I am really lucky, my classmates, not so much. I think I might bake up something delicious next week and bring it in for him and the rest of the people at the practice. They are really great over there, and if anyone is looking for a referral to a great OB/GYN, let me know and I'll give you the info.

Well, having the day securely empty to study, I did what any college student would do during finals week:

bought junk food. Very reminiscent of undergrad days for me. Sure, the soda's now diet, and the chips are baked, but there's something comforting in the combination, reminding me of the utility of cramming until your eyeballs feel like they might pop out.

Well, the phone just started ringing, it's the Lupus Foundation asking for a donation. Seeing as I won't be giving any money, and that Lupus is on the exam tomorrow, I think it's an omen. Time to get started. Catch you on the flip side.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


I don't know what it is about studying for immunology that makes me want to wax philosophical, but there's something about the area that makes for good discussion. Everyone has different feelings about day care for kids. Some people say, absolutely not, no way not ever. Others have no choice but to use it, though they may rather not. Others wouldn't have it any other way. Everyone has good reasons for how they feel about it, and I'm not about to discredit anyone's opinion. However, one reason that I hear a lot about not doing day care with kids is the higher incidence of illness in those kids. I don't have any kids yet, so I can't really add a lot of insight into that, other than some science. It turns out that the more exposure children under the age of 6 months get to infection, the less likely they are to develop asthma in their lives. The studies show that 6 months is the magic age, after which the benefits go down. The same thing can be said about living in a crowded polluted city. Counterintuitive maybe, but interesting none-the-less.

Personally I don't have any problems with day care. I think that not only the exposure to microbes (which, it turns out, are our friends) but the exposure to other kids is a good thing. And I think that even when day care is not the route-of-choice, kids should get some exposure to our friends the bugs and other babies too. Oh, and the best news of all, early exposure to dogs (or other four legged pets, which will never be in our house) also leads to less allergies and athsma, cool.