Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stress.

That is what my life consists of right now. I had 19 patients to see this morning, including three ICU patients. I think this is what it must be like at most people's residency programs, coming in early, staying late, rushing to get everything done and not having even a minute to yourself. Thankfully, there are just three more weeks of this madness, so I'm praising the Lord, again, for his wisdom in bringing me to a place where my life isn't like this all the time.

I also realize that there are some things I need to help me with the stress. (In no particular order)
1. My sweet husband, who encourages me and loves me even when all I feel like doing is getting in bed and eating cereal.

2. Exercise. It had been several days since I'd gotten any and I could feel it. I decided I should swim last night, so got there just before 9, and swam until the pool closed at 9:30. That was just what the doctor ordered.

3. More planning. This morning was much less stressful than yesterday, mostly because I made some lunch last night and laid out the clothes I was going to wear today. A little forethought does me a lot of good.

4. Prayer. Part of why my swim was so refreshing is because it gave me time to think and pray and lay down some things I've been carrying. Which I realize I just do not do enough. But especially during this crazy, somewhat awful week I've had, God has been good to us - in the big things and in the small things, reminding me constantly that he is here, and he is taking care of me, and he even sent his son for me, knowing that there would be many, many times like this one where I would think I could do it all myself. So even though this last week was tough, it is good to get a reminder of just how much I need him. I just wish I could get this into my head faster, so I wouldn't need these little "lessons" anymore.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bloggettes

In consideration of short attention spans, and knowing no one has time for a full blog post, I offer instead this collection of short bloggettes.

1. So I drove past a auto repair shop here in Greenwood the other day, and it has one of those church sign style signs out front with a changeable message. The message of the week was, "Happiness begins by accepting what is." Nice. Pithy. But I couldn't help but think how unsuited it is to the repair business. Do they really want people to be accepting what is?

2. I think "worcestershire" is my least favorite word. It's hard to say, and impossible to spell. I think it has at least 5 silent letters, plus 2 implied letters. "Pianist" is my second least favorite word. I just say "piano player," less chance of confusion that way.

3. I've occasionally wondered if the Cubs could field a team of nine players whose names all end in -o. Naturally, Zambrano would take the mound. Soto would be catching, and the infield would be Cedeno, Theriot (silent t), Fontenot (ditto), and Blanco at first. Our weakness would be the outfield, where I guess Soriano would have to cover the whole thing. Do I spend to much time thinking about the Cubs? No. I don't. Its an appropriate amount.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Two days down.

I just started my month of medicine as an upper level. I've been on it for two days.

I've decided that is enough for now.

Only 26 more days to go.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lunch food that works for me.

Since I've been bringing my lunch to work lately, I've stumbled on a few essentials that help make my lunch both tasty and healthy.

1. La Banderita low carb whole wheat tortillas. (I got mine at Walmart, in the produce area where they have lots of other tacos and tortillas.) These babies are super soft, unlike many other low carb or whole wheat tortillas. And they are delicious. Most importantly, though, they are only 81 calories per tortilla, with 6 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. Take some chicken and veggies and avocado and wrap it up in one of these, maybe add a smear of dressing or hummus or a sprinkle of cheese (or nothing)- and it's a delicious and portable item.

2. Homemade hummus or white bean dip. Every day I eat at least a serving of cut up veggies with dip - this dip is also low in fat, high in protein and fiber.

3. Snack cheese to go. Few calories, but high in protein. I love eating these with an apple.

4. Some version of a 100-calorie snack pack, preferably of something chocolate.

A delicious lunch that makes everyone jealous? That works for me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How I know I'm married to a seminarian....

Jeff recently finished the written portion of the licensure exam so he can be licensed to preach in this presbytery. Sort of like James Bond. Or something.

Anyway.... he "made a wild guess" for one of the questions and was pleased to discover he got it right.

His "wild guess"?

Sanballat. That's right - he wildly guessed Sanballat right out of the blue.

Who guesses something like Sanballat?? I've never even heard that word. And I've read the Bible. The whole thing. And I went to Christian School. And go to church a lot. And was on a bible quiz team that went to a national competition. (Seriously.)

Sanballat. (She repeats, while shaking her head.)

He never ceases to impress.

Friday, September 19, 2008

C.C. no Cy

I haven't ever had a lot of sports related posts on the ol' blog here. But we recently got ESPN at the house, so I'm a bit more informed and opinionated regarding the sports world now. My first opinion is that all this talk of C.C. Sabathia being a Cy Young contender is ridiculous. Sure, he's 9-1 with the Brewers this season, threw a one-hitter, and is an ok pitcher. But here are several reasons why he's not that good.

1. Of his 14 starts for the Brewers this year, the team has won 12 of them. Not bad. But it is never pointed out that those two losses were both against the Cubs. Their main division rivals this year. Those were the most important two games he has pitched, and his team lost both of them.

2. Also, no one points out that 10 of his 14 starts were against sub-.500 teams. Only 4 times has he faced a team having a good year. And in his start against the Astro's (a winning record team) he got hit more than any other start. He also beat St. Louis, and did I mention two losses to the Cubs? So while he is dominant against losing teams, when he pitches against good teams he is only average.

3. His one-hitter is not nearly as cool as Zambrano's no-hitter.

4. And while every one says he is 9-1 with the Brewers this year, you can't just count half the year. Count his whole year and he's 15-9. Good, but not great.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Birth.

I got to take part in one of the sweetest deliveries this morning. One of my OB patients delivered, a 16-year-old girl recently moved here from Mexico. Of course, it's always a little hard when your patient is only 16 - I certainly do not want to encourage that kind of thing, and I always am saddened to see one so young have to suddenly take on big responsibility. But during this birth, her boyfriend was right there beside her the whole time. He was incredibly gentle and loving, holding her hand, getting excited to see the baby's hair starting to show. Right after birth, he gave her a sweet kiss, then proudly held his new daughter with a few happy tears glistening in his eyes. My patient's mother and sister were also there, and everyone was crying at the wonderful sound of that baby taking her first loud squawk. This situation is sadly fairly rare with most of our patients. Usually, the baby's father is nowhere to be seen - or worse, he tries to deny the baby is his own. Even though in some ways this birth situation was not ideal, it was still wonderfully moving to see such a caring father right there going through it along side her, and know that precious little girl has a family who already loves her deeply.

It was also nice that this little girl decided to arrive right in the middle of the day, during a very convenient time, and not hang out to long inside her mom, making me stay for long hours at the hospital waiting on her.

Sigh.

After my post yesterday, I remembered that this particular patient actually got Chlamydia during her pregnancy. And *she* only had one partner. (At least that's what she told me, and I believed her.) So while I was still glad that her boyfriend was there, being all sweet to her.... he did give her chlamydia.

While she was pregnant.

Which made me want to walk over to the hospital and hit him.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Open Letter

Dear Mr. (or Mrs.) Sandwich thief:

I certainly hope you enjoyed the tasty sandwich you ate last night, a sandwich I was actually saving for my husband to eat for lunch today. I would hate if it caused you something like heartburn. I just wanted to point out that when a person writes their name on a box in the refrigerator, they are actually laying claim to all the contents of that box, and not just the box itself. So while I appreciate you leaving me the box, the napkin, and the mustard packet, next time I would prefer that you actually do not bother anything inside the box, which does, in fact, include the cookie and the pickle and, last but not least, the actual sandwich. I realize this may be a big stretch, but if you can remember, the bag of chips that was next the box that was clearly labeled with my name, that also went along with the box. I guess I assumed that its geographic proximity to my name would have made it clear, but perhaps not. So if it's not too much trouble, maybe next time you could not eat the chips either? Thanks for your help in this matter.

Sincerely,
Aubrey

Monday, September 15, 2008

Best Cake Ever.

For as long as Jeff and I have been married, I have made him a German Chocolate Cake for his birthday. I'm not really sure why we started this little tradition, but now I always just make this cake for him, without even bothering to ask if he wants it. Because I know he does. (Jeff can back me up here.) It also doesn't hurt that I, too, love this cake. This is the one my grandmother and mom always made growing up. If I remember correctly, mostly this cake was made for Andrew for his birthday. I always got the Texas Sheet Cake (still do, in fact). Austin usually got something strawberry. And I don't remember if Abram had a cake. He and Austin often shared, since their birthdays are only 3 days apart. But he did call this one the "snot cake" - as you can see, it wasn't one of his favorites. (There is no accounting for taste, but he did have a way with words.)
Without further ado, here is our not-so-secret family recipe. Not secret because my grandma always used the recipe right inside the German's chocolate box. And there are lots of steps, but they are totally worth it as this is the most moist (moistest??) chocolate cake around.


For the Cake:
1 4oz. box German's chocolate
1/2 cup Water, boiling
1 cup Butter or margarine
2 cup Sugar
4 Eggs, separated
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
2 cups Flour, all-purpose
1 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Buttermilk

1. Melt chocolate in water and cool.

2. Cream butter and Sugar.

3. Beat in egg yolks.

4. Stir in vanilla and chocolate.

5. Mix flour, soda and salt. beat in flour mixture, alternately with buttermilk.

6. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Pour batter into three 9-inch layer pans, lined on bottoms with waxed paper.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed in
center Cool 15 minutes; remove and cool on rack.

For the Coconut-Pecan filling and frosting:

1 12-oz can evaporated milk

1.5 cup sugar

3/4 c. butter

4 egg yolks, slightly beaten

1.5 tsp vanilla

7 oz flaked coconut

1.5 c. chopped pecans.

Heat the first five ingredients in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat 12 min. or until thick and golden brown. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut and pecans. Cool to room temperature and then spread between the layers.

Eat and Enjoy.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Marketing

I just ate a *light* Hannah Montana string cheese stick.

Something is wrong with using the face of the ultimate Tween Queen to sell a light cheese stick.

Any cheese stick, really, for that matter.

Regardless, though, of whose name was on the wrapper, there is something satisfying about slowly tearing your food into long strings before eating it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Reason #245 why I love family medicine

During clinic today, I saw:
1. 2 post partum women whose babies I delivered.
2. One precious little baby who looked a little yellow
3. One lady with knee pain whose knee I got to inject, while teaching a medical student how to do the procedure.
4. One pregnant lady at 32 weeks whom I ultrasounded and watched in amazement as her baby's mouth opened and (I think) was sucking on her umbilical cord
5. A 17 year old smoker with some pain in his chest - I got to encourage him in his attempt to quit.
6. A college student with a UTI
7. A 23 year old with palpitations, who also smokes (See what I mean about telling people to quit??)

Doesn't this sound like a fun afternoon?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lunch Boxes work for me.

Several weeks ago, I decided to start taking my lunch to work. This has been one of the best decisions for me. See, at my job, they actually provide lunch for us. One of the nice ladies who works in our office orders lunch every single day from a different local restaurant or catering place, or sometimes just from the hospital cafeteria. The problem, though, was that I often found myself being grumpy about what I was eating because I like to try to eat somewhat healthily, and while we occasionally we'd have healthy things like salad, usually it's some kind of huge sandwich on white bread, or fried chicken, or chicken fingers, or pizza. I decided that instead of being annoyed, there was an easy remedy. Getting a lunch box and bringing something with me. So now, while everyone around me is eating some heavy, less-than-healthy lunch, I get to munch on carrots with homemade hummus, veggie sandwiches on wheat bread, and yogurt. (For example.)

I did buy this great thing I bring my lunch in, and I wanted to share it here.


I bought mine from Target for 5-10$. That little blue thing the small boxes are sitting on? That's an ice pack. There's room for something in the bottom part - a sandwich, leftovers from last night's dinner, or whatever else you'd like to put there. Then the ice pack goes on top of that, then the little boxes fit on top of that. Then you close it up. And you have a nice, compact, lunch that stays cold. I usually put veggies in one little box and yogurt in the other.

So now I'm eating healthier and never find myself grumbling about what's for lunch. Because since I brought it, it's delicious every day. And that definitely works for me. For other ideas and very, very cute lunches, check out this site.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Vegetable trouble.

For two or three terror-filled seconds today, while innocently munching on some home-grown carrots with hummus, I nearly inhaled a chunk right into my lung. For several seconds I really thought I was choking and might have to get up in a room filled with doctors and find someone to do the heimleich maneuver on me. I also thought back to my kindergarten classroom where I once puked right in the middle of the floor because I couldn't make it to the bathroom. Thankfully, I neither died nor threw up.

There is something a little ironic about choking in a room full of doctors. But if you have to do it, I guess that's the place you'd pick.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Why Baseball is better than Football.

Whereas it is the weekend, and one cannot watch Sportscenter without being bombarded by football news,

and whereas despite the fact that the Cubs have started playing like the Royals,

and whereas honor must be defended,

I hereby state my case as to why baseball is a superior sport.

1. Football is too much of a production. Football teams have rosters of 80-100 people, (of which the casual fan can name 5-10) and coaching staffs of 15-20 all armed with headsets so they can communicate. Ridiculous. When baseball players want to communicate they walk over and talk.

2. Football is over specialized, while baseball exhibits a pleasant parity. Football teams have players who, if they ever get to play, have a ridiculously specific task(the "long-snapper?"). Baseball, on the other hand, requires a complete athlete. If you play defense, you also have to bat (at least in the superior National League.)

3. Football teams have a designated person whose job it is to squirt Gatorade into the players mouths. Baseball players drink their own beverages.

4. Football players can get penalized for excessive celebration. How lame is that?

5. Football rules are overly complex. Granted, this point might be subjective, but why else would the referee's need microphones so that they can explain to the crowd exactly which invisible infraction has been breached. Today some player got called for "illegal formation" and according to the explanation it had something to do with the position of one person's waist in relation to someone else's head. Baseball players are granted much more latitude for where they put their waist.

6. In football they "bring out the chains." Need I explain why this is ridiculous?

7. Baseball is the perfect mix of strategy and athleticism.

Enough griping about football. Perhaps in a subsequent post I will extol more of the virtues of baseball. For now, I'm in for a long fall of attending football parties and trying not to lose man points by appearing not to like/know much about football.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Garden Update

These are a couple of our recent harvests from the garden o' plenty...

This one included tomatoes and basil, which was used in the construction of homemade pizza, and well as the most juicy and delicious cantaloupe ever. It was actually the second cantaloupe out of our garden, the first was not as big or as sweet, but this second one was just right!

















This harvest includes the Zinnias in the vase. Also some sage we used in pasta that night, and 3 carrots. The carrot harvest was not impressive this year. Also more peppers and tomatoes.





















And here are a couple of pictures of the wildly uncontrollable growth of the garden. This first one is the box located in the corner by the fence. You can barely see the wood border for the expansion of the zinnias and unstoppable cantaloupe vines. The middle is mostly basil, the wispy thing in the top right is rosemary, the bottom has a large dahlia.

















And note the tenacious tomato plants. To keep them off the ground I tied them to the fence, now some of the vines are almost back down to the ground again.

















And for reference, here is the same garden containing the same plants back in April. Everything in the corner box was still just seeds in the ground at this point.

I hate it....

when you spend a little too much time outside in the sun, leaving your face a little too pink, and everyone you see that day feels compelled to either 1) ask you whether or not you got too much sun (obviously) or 2) express sudden interest in your weekend activities.

Yes, in fact, I am sunburned. Yes, I was outside yesterday. On the boat. Without sunscreen.

I feel like I need a sign.