Thursday, November 19, 2015

So much to do! :)

The last couple weeks have been busy -- I have been able to get home twice in the last month or so (I think first time ever since moving away), and we will be having quite a bit of company in the coming weeks! :) I am so looking forward to that!

However, holidays away are certainly different than holidays near family... Last year, for instance... Pete and I had Christmas dinner in the hospital cafeteria, and New Year's feast as well. I was working both days, and they provided meal tickets to those who had to work. The food was not bad, but the ambiance of the hospital cafeteria left much to be desired. This year, I will be working on Christmas as well... it is what it is! And I know I am not the only one who has to do this!

Fall in our area! :) We still have some leaves on trees... 
 Headed out to a Halloween party a few weeks back... we do what we can to mark our time while we're here! :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Living away

More than a year has past since I last wrote anything... The last year and couple months has been crazy... All the things they say about residency are true, at least in my experience which is limited to my current program here... I work long hours. I am away from home a lot (and at times feel for Pete, because many days I see him for only minutes between coming home and going to bed!). I don't always have a chance to eat or rest, so when I do... I take full advantage of it! And time off is precious, as it does not come at regular intervals (i.e. I can't just look forward to the weekend), so whatever I get... I treasure...

And through it all, I have learned so much. I still find it a privilege to be able to help patients. I am gaining more independence with time, and find small thrills when I do something independently and it turns out well! :)

Anyway, I have decided to restart writing on the blog because although life where we are living is not horrible (and sometimes I even enjoy it), living away from the people you have known all your life at times gets lonely. Having a blog is certainly no substitute for calling up old friends on a random Tuesday and meeting for coffee, but it helps to share the experience, process whats going on through the writing, and having the occasional comment at times begins to feel like a long drawn out conversation.

So here it goes...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Last few weeks of summer vacation

Yesterday, I began orientation for residency. The transition from being relatively "free" to working once again, got me thinking about the remainder of my brief and busy summer vacation.

After my last post, I was able visit both families in far away states, and spent the 4 days between the two trips crazy busy with errands and becoming legal residents of our new location!

The drive to visit my family was surprisingly beautiful, making the drive pretty easy. I spent Tuesday through Friday after Memorial Day there, and was able to see both of my sister's homes, the nieces and nephews that live there, my immediate family, and our extended families. It felt great to visit everyone.

Wednesday through Saturday of last week we were visiting Pete's family. It was a very enjoyable couple days, complete with lots of visiting both friends and family, having the opportunity to help with some of his sister's graduation things, and was productive time for Pete at work as well. We ended up coming home on Saturday because the weather started to look rainy/bad on forecast for Sunday (and we were moving many soft things back here in the back of an open pick-up truck), and in part because I needed to get back.

We spent Sunday unpacking a load of things from the truck, and taking care of many little things that needed to be done before beginning orientation. I started to worry about finding my work clothes and glasses because they were not easy to locate in the boxes we had taken back from Michigan... With a big sigh of relief, we located located these items late Sunday night intermixed in the recently moved boxes, as well as boxes that had been storing other items at our house! I was beginning to get nervous that I was going to have to show up my first day in shorts and a tee-shirt (so glad that this was not the case)!

Sorry for the paucity of pictures, I was enjoying my time visiting over the final weeks of break! Hope all of you are enjoying your Summer breaks! :) I apologize in advance, but life in the next couple weeks is going to again get crazy busy! Take care!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Moving (continued)

Since my last post in Mid-May, I feel like a lot has been accomplished on behalf of Pete and myself.

We went back to our apartment on a Sunday, I was convinced that we could be moved out and moved into our house by Tuesday of that week, and had big plans for the remainder of the week (involving a circle tour to get to a graduation and a shower)... but I was wrong!

Pete helped me start with the packing on Sunday/Monday, and help figure out where the rest of our stuff was going to go... storage (at his mom & dad's), donation to some cause, trash, other. It was a big job. Then, he took off to St. Louis in his plane... taking advantage of nice flight conditions. I stuck around until Thursday of that week, and packed, allocated, and disposed of things with the help of my in-laws and cleaned my apartment. I headed back to our house on Thursday, and arrived Thursday evening to a whole bunch of projects completed! He had been so busy working while I was gone, and it showed! He had finished the living room closet and started to unpack (this is after I finished unpacking):

He had painted the guest bedroom an olive green (previously a really bright baby yellow color), assembled the bed my grandpa had made me as a teenager, purchased a mattress, and hauled in the accompanying desk (made by my grandpa) and bookshelf (made by my dad). This gave me the opportunity to unpack many of our books, and start assembling my little office area.

I ended up getting sheets for this bed (as we have not had a twin sized bed ever), and finding a chair for myself on good sales over this weekend! :) Always fun to find good deals!

He had also purchased a mattress for our room, and bedframe with built in dresser. Due to the size of the room, we can no longer use a king sized mattress. I will post photos after the bedframe arrives/we have assembled it! :)

Friday, we spent much of the day unpacking. I refilled my spice rack (which had come with pre-filled spices) with ones that I actually use. It was kind of a fun project. I put this picture of our kitchen washcloths and towels up to say again thank you everyone for everything at our wedding many, many years ago. Its amazing how much stuff we get as we are married, and I am reminded of the generosity especially as I move/unpack the many wedding gifts that we had received.

Saturday, after much of the stuff had been put away (we still have a few boxes laying about, and have not put things up on the walls as all of our furniture is not yet here), we went shopping. We found a kitchen table at a garage sale (score!), and kitchen chairs at Habitat for Humanity. We have decided to go with a variety of kitchen chairs as Pete favors that look. We also found some rugs, my chair, storage units for the garage, and a few other odds and ends.

 It is really shaping up to look like a house! Kinda fun to start feeling settled once again! :)

Saturday, May 17, 2014


On Monday, Pete and I headed to our new home. 2 vehicles loaded with stuff, and altogether too much stuff left at the apartment, basement storage unit and hanger. I had planned on returning early in the week, only to discover that the closets were in dire need of painting and remembering that I don't want to empty the hanger because what-if-I-hit-the-plane... Pete's toy. I would feel awful. Better let him do that job. So off he went early in the week for a turnaround trip to pick up the large items.

So I stayed for the week with nothing but a change of clothes, a puppy that was intent on getting into all things dangerous, and many, many tubs and boxes that needed to be unloaded.

At first unpacking was fun -- much of my kitchen stuff, for instance had been packed away for the last 3.5 years, since leaving the house, so opening each of the tubs marked "kitchen stuff" was a bit like opening the Cracker Jack box as a kid... Who knows what surprise lay in store! After I ran out of space though as I could not unpack to my cupboards, the duty quickly became frustrating... So here I sit in my sea of boxes waiting for cupboards to be complete in order to unpack.
Kitchen stuff that was fun to unpack

More kitchen stuff that was fun to unpack
Curtains that I made for the kitchen (had planned to use the fabric in my last house, but finally got around to making them)
Curtains that we had in a former apt that fit the guest bedroom window... sometimes you just have to use what fits. 

I spent the week fixing the cupboards -- repairing holes in the wall, removing layers of paint, muddying, sanding, taping, priming and finally painting. Most of the cupboard work is now complete, just waiting on shelves to be built for the front closet to make it more functional (the shelves previously were haphazardly nailed into the walls, rendering most of the space unusable).

Living room closet Before -- at time of original posting, closet had not been completed

Master Bedroom Closet #1 Before/After (Duckling card covered hole in the wall)

Master Bedroom Closet #2 Before/After

Guest Bedroom Closet Before/After (most of the shelves in the house had decades old contact paper covering the boards)

It took 4 days for me to break down and buy food for this place -- that long for me to decide that I actually live here now and that my trip here was not a quick stop on my way back home. Bittersweet feelings -- leaving our whole support network / starting something new.The current plan is to head back tomorrow to empty the apartment, hanger, etc and wrap up our dealings in Michigan.

Monday, May 12, 2014


This past weekend was graduation. After 4 years of studying, many examinations, and hours of patient care in the clinics and hospital carefully watched/guided/nurtured by caring and compassionate physician educators... there is now an MD following my name from here on out.

This was not a single person endeavor. It was something that took the love and support of my dear husband, our dogs, and family and friends. Without these other people and things in our lives, I would not have made it through intact, whole, and stronger/more resilient for this experience. So thank you all for this support and encouragement, because while I enjoyed the vast majority of this experience... there were times that were hard emotionally/mentally/physically, things that I had to miss, and times I just needed to just "feel human" for a couple hours and the coffee nights, saunas, attending church, etc really helped with that. So thank you all!

On that note...

My family arrived Thursday night -- even grandma came with my parents and 2 sisters! It was so fun to visit with everyone in our home, and have company this last weekend that we live in this apartment.

The party Friday night was so fun. Thank you to all that attended this graduation / going away shindig. It was nice to visit with everyone that was there. It was so nice that even some of my out of town family could come -- 2 of Pete's sister's from MN came with 2 of my nieces, and a sister came en route to home from a business trip despite some airport frustrations!

And Saturday... I don't know how quite to describe the feeling of walking into a crowded stadium with the people filled with those that myself and my classmates all love to celebrate the attainment of our new title of Doctor. I thought I had prepared for this experience -- felt that my excitement had peaked around the time my diploma came in the mail with the ceremony was mere formality and something I should attend/do. But, was I ever wrong. I think the ceremony made me realize that 1) finishing medical school was an accomplishment, and 2) I did earn my MD and should not feel bad/ashamed about using it. There was definitely a part that belittled the work that I put into getting this degree, and had a hard time as recognizing myself as one of "the doctor's" -- I think the ceremony served to make me realize that I truly have earned this degree and that have joined the ranks of the others that have earned this title that have gone before me. And even the speeches were meaningful and sweet... not verbose, fluffy addresses without any substance.

And Sunday, Mother's day was relatively quiet. Family left real early, we got a start on the packing/moving that will be going down this week, and were able to meet my in-laws for ice cream, coffee, sauna in the evening.

All in all, a very nice weekend! So happy to be done! :)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Well, after a long hiatus,,, I figured I better come back to the world of blogging. As some of  you may, or may not know, Pete and I will soon be moving out of our apartment and into another old house in another state which we closed on yesterday! This one is considerably newer -- 100 years newer, in fact -- than the last house. But, an 86 year old house... is still an old house, and so I figured I could again blog from time to time on this site without feeling like the blog title was deceptive!

This house is in considerably better shape, with no projects at the present that "have" to be done... that being said, we have started a to-do list of projects that we would like done in the future. Most of the house has been really nicely re-done, and it will be an easy place to live. But like our other house... features in the bones of the house remind us of its age... the metal mail slot to the left of the main door, the plaster walls on the main level, knob and tube wiring evident in the attic (which appears to be disconnected from the main electrical supply to the house - not pictured below), old doors in the basement, an old ceramic laundry sink. Things that are still functional and perfectly useful, but remind us that the house is no spring chicken!

The interior all looks pretty similar to the picture of the living room below. Tastefully decorated, well maintained, nice and functional. The floors are predominantly hardwood on the main level. The rooms are cozy -- like the bathroom below, but should suit our lifestyle perfectly for the next 5 or so years while I do residency.

This is Amelia, our only dog at the present. She is about 10 months old, still definitely a puppy. 

I will post more pictures of the place in the future... but in the meantime, I'm back! :) This is the beginning to the next part of this adventure!