Thursday, July 5, 2012

Canoeing, long john underwear and fluffy white freaks.

Move mountains/try to not kill anyone in the ER.
Right now I'm deciding whether I will write this blog post or take a nap. Considering I'm already in bed under the covers, I anticipate that the nap might win. But in the meantime, I'll get started anyways.

I'm home for the afternoon after morning clinic with a new preceptor that I just started working with this week. We work overnight in the ER tonight and so I have a few hours between to catch some z's and relax before going in. 

I figured maybe I'd take this time to update about our wicked amazing most awesome camping trip in Jasper this past weekend. So much has happened since my last blog post and I want to talk about all of it, but that would make this blog post considerably too long and so I'll try to just touch on the best parts :)

The Mr/Camper Extraordinaire
This post I will talk mostly about the camping trip, and in the next few I'll talk about all the other stuff like the crazy girls Rodeo night I had and my recent medical adventures in Small Town.

I knew we were going to have a good trip when The Mr. texted me the following:
Ugh I am so seepy

"I just drugged the sh*t outta Whimsey and she doesn't even know it." 

Best first words of camping trip ever.

The drugs he's referring to are the sedatives that our vet prescribed for Miss. Thing (who's most recent nicknames include Miss. Mims, Mimseltin and Delicate Princess Flower due to her penchant for being a sensitive and delicate Princess). 
Let's just say Miss. Mims has a certain amount of anxiety (WHO ME IM NOT ANXIOUS WHAT DO YOU MEAN) for being in the car. For any length of time. In fact, she pants and freaks out so much that the whole car smells of her stinky dog breath and The Mr. is miserable before we've often even left the driveway. 

Hazards of the Daddy job.
(Note the face haha)
So we thought we'd call in some pharmacological reinforcements and were given the equivalent of doggy benzodiazepines. WIN.

Suffice to say that she needed more than one dose, but was definitely sedated for the majority of the trip. She managed to sleep and only stink up the car with her breath for a short while in the beginning. In fact, we were struggling more with The Little Stink's toots. He's such a tooty little walrus.

During our time living in Alberta, we have sadly yet to see a Grizzly bear (the zoo doesn't count) and decided that this would be the trip. It was going to happen. 
In the battle with the weedwacker,
I'm pretty sure the weed wacker won.

I won't leave you hanging to think that at the end of this blog post I'm going to say this happened and we saw the elusive Grizzly. In fact, this isn't like one of those good stories where at the end the wish comes true. We still haven't seen a damn Grizzly but we did see a considerable amount of mountain goats and mountain sheep, and lots and lots of caribou.

Fluffy white freak. You're even
missing a horn. Lame.
Those mountain goats/sheeps/fluffy white freaks sure are pests. For one, they're everywhere. They just roam around the road like they own the place, leave disgusting fluff around from their weedwacked hair-dos and are far too familiar with people. 

We had a picnic lunch at Miette Hot Springs one day and we had to use our big black Destructo to ward off the pesky beasts who were so bold as to come right up to your very cooler and stick their ugly heads inside. One family was fit to be tied when the freaks were not even going away despite their frantic yelling and waving of their arms trying to make them flee the scene of the crime. It didn't take much for Destructo to get them on their merry way though. Just one of the many benefits of having a big dog I guess. :)
Look at them just climbing on people's stuff. How rude.
So we love camping a whole lot, and a big part of why we love it is the food of course. We love coming up with new ideas of meals to make o'er the fire and we do not believe in cans of beans for meals. Alas, the majority of this post will detail the delicious meals we made this trip.
Ahhh, home sweet campsite.
A tarping job that even Mom C and Aunt Bev would be proud of!
 The first morning we had planned to have these ingenious "campurritos" from the Ninth and Bird Blog. They are make-ahead breakfast wraps that you can cook over the fire. The Mr. made them the day before we left and we anticipated that we would have them the first morning as we were finishing the set up of our temporary wilderness home (read: campsite). 
We filled them with Spolumbo's sausage (an Alberta classic), scrambled eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and cheese. Yummo.

Campurritos a la campfire
Note to self and others wanting to try these: Wrap them at least 2-3 times in tin foil and only cook for maybe 10 minutes over the fire. We were upset that ours were seriously smoky tasting and some of the wrap had burned because we only wrapped them once. 

Oh and let's not forget, the coffee of course. The Mr. had purchased a camping-style drip coffee maker made by GSI that we used to make coffee on the trip. Awesome idea and super easy to clean.

That day we decided to do a bit of a hike at Maligne Lake, which just happens to be the lake that is featured on some Windows PCs as desktop wallpaper (and it's one on The Mr.'s computer). What a beautiful spot!

Ahhh peace

Moose Lake

The Little Stink loves hiking.
That evening's dinner was steaks, naturally. Cooked over the fire to the perfect medium rare and paired with baked potatoes with green onions and cheese. A Caesar salad makes the meal just right.


One day on the trip we biked into the town of Jasper, with faithful Destructo running along side and only twice causing a near death dog-meets-bike collision for me. 

After those two, I handed him off to The Mr. who has both more control of his bike and more control over Destructo. Miss. Thing ran most of the way alongside but about 4km in we decided it was probably far enough for her. 
I love camping.
And I am so handsome.
We walked around the town which was busy with tourists (being that it was the Canada Day long weekend) and quickly and often became our own tourist attraction. 

It always happens something like this:
We're quite the sight.
People walk by and see Miss. Thing and Destructo and coo and ahh about them and how cute they are (naturals). Then they continue walking and within seconds you hear whispering, giggles and "there's another one in the backpack!". The Little Stink is something like a celebrity in his backpack. Because honestly, when's the last time you've seen a 6lb (ok, 7.5lb but he's pleasantly plump) Yorkie with his tongue sticking out chilling in a backpack with one of his little sloth arms hanging out?

Ya. Seriously.
We had lunch in town and only got rained on once on our way back. Naturally, we saw our share of bous that we had to try to avoid Destructo seeing (since scaring away the fluffy freaks at the luncheon, he has a fetish for chasing large hooved animals- plan backfire).
That evening was delish chicken and pineapple shish kabobs. I had marinated the chicken prior to leaving for the trip in pineapple juice, BBQ sauce, worchestershire, onions and garlic and zipped 'em up in a plastic freezer bag. I had also cut up red peppers, onions, mushrooms and pineapple.
With this we made Jasmine rice and reduced down the remaining marinade to have as a sauce over the rice. O.M.G. So good!

Writing this blog is making me hungry.

That night was a little cool and so naturally Miss. Thing wanted to wear her best long john underwear, and The Little Stink would have felt left out without his. Destructo doesn't have any yet but we noticed him eyeing them. Next online purchase.
What do you mean these aren't flattering?

Desert that night was over a good game of Scrabble, with The Mr. taking the win with words like "minion" and adding a "D" to my 70+ point "require". 
I haven't come up with a name for these little gems but essentially you take 2 Chocolate Fudge Two Bite Brownies and put 2-3 Junior Mints in between them and kind of mush 'em together so they form a ball around the mints. Then you wrap them a few times in tin foil and of course, warm them over the fire.
5-10 mins and you have some delicious little warm fudgey and minty brownie balls. Mmmmm.  

I want some right now.
The highlight of the trip was definitely the canoeing we did on the last day on Pyramid Lake. But it was Canada Day and so on this day of our glorious country turning 145 years old (I think, don't shoot me if that's wrong), there was a pancake breakfast in the town of Jasper. Probably the most efficient pancake breakfast I've ever been to (ok, the only one I've ever been to, but it did move awfully quick and was delish!).

How cute is he.
Flippin' flap jacks!

Happy Birthday Canada! You're looking good for your age!

In preparation for this canoeing adventure, we were sure to purchase the boys each a fitting life jacket similar to Miss. Thing's one that Grandma gave to her. We had never canoed with our dogs before and so were excited to see how they would behave on the water.

Looks cloudy, but the weather actually was pretty good.
Until we got to the other side of the lake.

Despite a few raised eyebrows and "have you done this before?"s from the boat rental staff, we managed to get underway with no one getting wet. The weather was perfect, the sun was shining and the lake was calm and beautiful (if not a little brown because of the heavy rains). Miss. Thing was our mermaid at the helm (you know, like on pirate ships in movies) and The Little Stink hung out in his carrier, as usual. Destructo sat in the back with his Daddy (he's such a sucky Daddy's boy now). Here are some pictures of the adventure:
Miss. Thing at the edge of the world!
I'll just stay in here where it's dry and warm, kay?
Creepy little alien in the back
And alas, dinner on the last night was a delicious buffet style meal with assorted cheeses, meats, spreads, crackers, grapes, etc etc. One of my favourite kinds of meals. We concluded the night with our classic Chocolate Chip Cookie Smores over the new BioLite. Of course!
Fit for Kings (and Queens)

All in all, a wonderful camping trip. I'm sure The Mr. is going to read this post and tell me there is a host of things I left out, and I'll make assorted addendums. In the meantime, I'm going to take this opportunity in this silly storm we're having where the clouds have parted and it seems the sun is shining to run out and get myself a sub before starting my shift in a half hour.

Oh, a sunny hail storm. I get it. ;)

Until next time. Wish me luck I don't kill anyone!

A latte love,


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dogs will tell you things in ways only they can.

I think things like this happening to me are the universe's way of saying "Your life is not interesting enough for a blog, so here you go."

Way before I began this blog and my journey of making and creating, my very first creative project was this beautiful and functional jewellery organizer.

I love my organizer much more than my previous one (which was a shoebox) as it so beautifully displayed everything without tangles or messes. 

I should say, I loved this organizer.

Today my PIC and I spent a good chunk of our day studying for our exams tomorrow at the small coffee shop in town, which happens to be one of two coffee shops. Once we finished studying, we decided we would have dinner together and so down I went with my pot of pasta and box of 6 remaining Oreos, oh, about an hour or two ago.

Now since moving to Small Town, my beloved organizer was left lying on the bedroom floor as I am "not allowed" to put nails in the walls.  Typically, I leave all the doors to the rooms with carpet closed while I'm away to prevent fur and whatnot from being in those rooms. 

This time, I apparently forgot to close my bedroom door.

I'll just get right to the punchline:

Do you see what I see?

Just in case you don't see it, here's a closer view.

What's brown and stinky and is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ON MY JEWELLERY RACK?

At this point in time, I'd like to thank my two furry devil children for whoever deposited this little gem onto my beloved jewellery organizer and sealed its fate.

I have an idea of which furchild it was, but the other must've been an accomplice to the plan, and so I'm mad at them both for right now. 

Must be their way of telling me they really don't like to be left up here while I'm happily dining with my PIC downstairs.

So, the last 40 minutes or so were spent trying to both clean and detangle the majority of my necklaces and earrings that were fouled by this act of rebellion.

No big deal. Nothing I was really going to do anyways. Humph.

A latte irritation,


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Butter knife = screw driver

Also, unrelated to this post.
I am well aware of the fact that neither the following blog post, nor the activities described herein constitute studying in any way. (But in my defense, I really hate studying and spent much of the afternoon studying already (minus that hour I spent napping)).

I have made something that is both budget friendly, practical and helps you have nice hair!

Bottom line -I have made something! YAY!

I have heard more and more about these "curling wands" girls are using lately. I really have no idea how they are different from curling irons or if it even makes a difference, but naturally, I want one.

However, due to the strict (and I mean really strict) budget The Mr. and I are currently trying to maintain, a $150 new curling wand just didn't quite make the cut.

Ingenuity is the sister of budgeting however (haha, whatever that's supposed to mean).

I just happened to have this lowly little curling iron lying around, not doing a whole lot of anything. 

Mission: remove top holder thingy that holds the hair down. 

Voila, DIY curling wand!

Let's get started.

First problem I encountered is the fact that I have yet to acquire my own set of handy screwdrivers (I'm sure you're surprised), and this house seems completely devoid of such tools. 

So, what is a girl to do without a screwdriver or a Husband around?

Be creative of course!

Well, the big screws holding on the holder thingy came off easy enough with the infamous butter knife, in my opinion, an invaluable tool and the woman's universal screwdriver (Phillips? Flat head? Allen key? Who the heck is Allen anyways? Bah! Let's not get bogged down in the details!)

Next step was removal of the spring. This apparatus had a smaller, less accessible screw attaching it, so on went the hunt for an even more appropriate tool to remove said screw. However this time, despite my thorough hunt through the house for any object/utensil/tool/bobby pin/earring/steak knife/hemostats/scissors/tweezers, the spring remains.

You may have won the battle spring, but you won't win the war. Wait until I get The Mr. out here with a real screw driver. Then we'll see who's boss.

Again, let's not get bogged down in the details.

Of course, I needed to test out my new tool immediately, with or without the presence of the pesky spring. 

Yes, I am aware that not only am I supposed to be studying, but I have absolutely no need to have beautiful curly hair for either tonight or tomorrow because I have the day off (to do the same thing I've successfully avoided tonight, which is study). 

But who really needs a reason to have pretty hair anyways? Besides, this is a new innovation and who knows how it will turn out!

The first challenge to using the curling wand was learning how the heck to even curl the hair. Once I got into a rhythm however, it didn't take long until my hair was all curled :)

The pictures I've included are to give you an idea of what the curls look like, and I am very aware that these are not the greatest pictures ever. You try taking photos of the back of your own head. 

I like it! 
There are a few caveats to using this method of hair curling:

1. You are more likely to burn your fingers multiple times as you have to wrap your hair around the barrel and then hold it still while it curls. Maybe this is not how you're actually supposed to do it, but this is how I did, and I have the burned finger tips to prove it.

2. You have less control over how the curls will turn out, which is both more fun and challenging. If you're looking for a picture perfect head of curls, use a normal curling iron. But if you're happy with a more loose and less organized 'do, I think this might work for you.

Ahh, I can feel my creative insides loosen and breathe. Go ahead and try it out!

(I wish I could take credit for this idea, but I'm not a thief and so will direct you to this wonderful beauty blog I've recently found - This blog is done by three ladies, one of whom is Lauren Conrad, and they share all sorts of good hair and makeup ideas.) 

Oh, and by the way - LETTY IS ALIVE!
I am very happy to report that our dear lettuce is alive and thriving once again. A few days of watering and he's perked back up. Ok, Letty, I take back all those mean things I said about you being weak and I'm so happy you're growing again. YAY LETTY.

Well, now that my hair is curled and I've blogged and wasted sufficient time, I'm certain I'll be more productive now and will start studying.

Maybe with a latte.

Heck, what am I saying, of course with a latte.

More on baby birds and Ultimate Frisbee to come!

A latte love,


Sunday, June 10, 2012

We are still pretty far from the homestretch.

Guess which one is me in this metaphor.
No, it's not the horse.
I have just returned from my weekend rendevous with The Mr. in The Big City. This is getting to be very emotionally trying for me - living out of a suitcase in your own home, packing up every weekend and driving the hour and a quarter just so my family can be together. If it wasn't for The Mr., my rock in this ocean of life, I'd be falling right apart. He's pretty amazing, and I'm not always the easiest to love.

I'm in a Vanilla Mint sort of mood, so I've made a cuppa tea and decided I would take this time (when I should be doing oh, a host of other important things) to write a new, hopefully entertaining blog post (you're welcome). 

Sorry for the dreary start.  

But, the most upsetting thing has happened (OK, maybe just unfortunate).

It's about Letty.

You know, my lettuce. My one and only lettuce.

Recall back one blog post when I introduced you to Letty. Shortly afterwards, The Mr. made clear, "And just so you know, we are going to eat that lettuce." I think that put the fear of God right into Letty, and he cracked under the pressure.

Here's how it went down.

Despite me giving Letty a good pep talk about being responsible over the weekend and taking care of itself prior to my departure to the Big City on Thursday evening, Letty is either playing dead, sleeping or thought he'd remind me how much I suck at taking care of plants (and really kicked the bucket).

Come on, Letty, buck up. You can't handle a mere three days without water? What kind of lettuce are you. Life is hard, you're supposed to just get used to it.

I think it's just sleeping.
As you can see, the herbs seemed unfazed by their mini-drought. Can't say the same thing for Letty. Pfft.

Alas, I think we may have lost Letty. I'm not calling a "code" yet, but we might need some serious resuscitation over here. I will update on his status in the coming days, and your patience is appreciated in this difficult time.

What else is happening these days. Between an Emergency Medicine exam on Friday, a Family Medicine exam in two weeks and somewhere in there finishing and presenting a research project on community initiatives to decrease adolescent suicide in Small Town, working/supposedly learning every day,  and trying to stay fit by evading zombie mobs (I'll get to it), my days and nights are pretty chalk full. 

All I want to do is sew something, damn it. A tea cozy. An apron. SOMETHING. I feel like my creative insides are curling up and dying. For now, I satisfy myself by scouring cute projects on Pinterest and making a list for that long awaited "When I have time to do anything besides being a medical student and sleeping" period. 

I can somewhat see the light at the end of the tunnel however, and it's in the form of our Europe Trip. We started mapping out the exact locations that we have decided to visit while abroad and it's becoming more and more real. We even have a map up on the dining room wall with little pins marking our route to serve as a reminder that there is more to life than medicine (at least that's what it serves for me). Oh, what fun it will be!

And just think, by then if all goes as planned, I'll have an MD behind my name. Yet, for some reason, I can't seem to think that those letters will make me any more knowledgeable or less petrified about being a doctor. In fact, come residency, despite being called a "resident," let's face it -  I'll really still be a clerk, who just got back from a 6 week European vacation. Frightening, isn't it?

We helped the Oh/Cho family move into a nice new apartment this weekend as well, and concluded Saturday night playing a good ol' fashioned game of Spoons. Mix in a few wobbly pops and cut to myself lying across the living room table wrestling The Mr. for the last spoon, all four of us laughing so hard that I'm both hiccuping and burping (it happens only when I laugh really hard). Ah, I needed that. My abs hurt and my head was screaming this morning, but what a good night.

For those of you who have no idea what "Spoons" is, oh come on. Google.

I must share one of my new favourite things in life. Which considering running is involved, that's saying a lot. It's not that I hate running, I'm just not very good at it. You know? You hear all those real runners, "Oh when I get to 7km, that's when I really start to get into it." No, I'm the, "Oh, when I get to 7km, I'm not even running anymore because I was dying and stopped 5km ago." Get the picture?

So what luck I am told about this amazing running app (yes, there's even an app for getting my ass running) called Zombies, Run! I normally do not shamelessly plug things on my blog because I believe my readers able to make good choices for their lives without me telling them what to do, but this is a good one. You gotta try this. It's $7.99 from the App store, which is steep, but I'm telling you it's worth it. Although I am too lazy to describe it right now but you have to try it. 

Ok fine, it's called an "ultra-immersive" running game played through your iPhone headphones where you're in a post-apocalyptic Zombie infested world where the only way to escape the zombies is to run. You're "Runner 5" on various missions from Abel Township, a small clump of survivors in the middle of nowhere, and they give you directions through your headphones. A quite elaborate and well designed story unfolds between the songs on a playlist of your own choosing (your own music). The zombies even chase you and you have to speed up otherwise they eat you, or something. I've only gotten caught once and just dropped the supplies I had been "carrying" (see, ultra immersive) to distract them. Aren't I smart?

Ok, the game does that for you, but just try it. I don't recommend many things so this has got to be good. If you like running or not, even if you can't run, you can walk and still evade the zombies. Your zombies are just really slow ones in that case, I guess. So far I've evaded 2 zombie mobs and have come out unscathed. Impressive. Even Destructo likes it, although being the laziest Border Collie we know (which we tell him frequently), he doesn't like running for very long (maybe it "runs" in the family...womp womp). 

As an aside, I just spent the better part of 15 minutes trying to take a picture of an INCHWORM that just crawled across the table. Which begs the question, how the heck does an inchworm get all the way up on the table! Well, quite obviously, it inches it's way, but wow, talk about motivation.

Puts me, my attempts at running, and Letty to shame.

Alas, here's the product of my efforts. Meet Inchie. 
Ya that's right, I'm a bad ass inchworm.
Be jealous of me.
Then I spent a good 5 minutes trying to coax this little feller onto a sticky note so that he could be safely transported to the back porch and out into the wilderness. Of course, I happened to be seen doing this selfless act by the husband of my Partner In Crime, who now most certainly thinks I'm even more crazy than he already knew I was. Save Inchie, look like a lunatic. I just can't win. 

Maybe I should've taken The Mr.'s advice via text message after hearing about Inchie, and "Keel heeeeem." But I'm a lover, not a fighter. 

Maybe I should've taken Inchie as a pet, because inchworms have got to be more hardy than lettuces. His name is Inchie and he will be mine. He will be my Inchie. 

Maybe the inchworm was a metaphor for my life. This is about to get real deep.

Maybe, because inchworms turn into butterflies (OK, moths - but I really hate  moths), this little incher crawling across my table is the universe reminding me that I will, eventually, metamorphasize into a person who feels like they actually know what they're doing, but first I have to just inch my way along these huge obstacles. The inchworm doesn't go far each step, but it sure can cover lots of ground with lots of determination.

Shit, I should write hallmark cards or motivational speeches or something.

Well, I think that's about enough for tonight. I feel better already, maybe its the lifesaving heroics of the inchworm, maybe it's the Vanilla Mint tea. I'd have to say it's probably the blogging too - it's one of my coping mechanisms, I told The Mr. earlier. 

It seems that when you sarcastically evaluate the happenings of your own life, you realize that nothing is really as big of a deal as you are making it out to be.

I could be on to something here.

A latte love,