Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A bit of inspiration

I saw these videos and sat crying while I watched them, so I thought I'd share.

These videos are absolutely amazing. If you're feeling emotional grab some tissue before you watch.

I love that this father was willing to do anything to help his child. So very inspiring.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A little thinking from me

Today was church. I teach the 9 and 10 year olds and I absolutely love them. I've been reflecting on the past year I've been their teacher. They've grown up so much in the year. They don't crawl under the chairs, wrap their coat around their head, sit on stacks of chairs, chit chat during the lesson (and yes those are all things they did among other things). They're just good kids.

These kids ask good questions. They give thoughtful answers. They bring their scriptures. Today every one of my kids had their scriptures - I have to say I was one pleased teacher. They read their scriptures. One little girl told me today that she's been trying to read her scriptures everyday. Reading the scriptures with them and explaining the Book of Mormon to them is just an amazing experience. I get to help them learn to love the scriptures and the gospel.

I've always said it's a priviledge to teach in primary and I honestly think that. I have a hard time with people who think it's punishment. I can't think of any place I'd love more than to be with the kids. When I go home to AZ to visit and I sit in Relief Society and I can hear the kids sing the primary songs it just puts a smile on my face and warms my heart and it makes me want to run into the primary room and sing with them. I love it!!

So today after I taught my lesson I had bought each of them a picture of Jesus Christ and the children. We had a lesson a couple weeks ago about when Jesus visited the Nephites and blessed the children. I wanted them each to have a picture of Jesus and the children so they would remember that he loves them. So as I pulled out these pictures to hand out to "my kids" I told them that I wanted them to remember "Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you very much. If they were here they'd put their arms around you and give you a hug and bless you. They can't be here so they've given us parents and leaders and teachers to love you and teach you the gospel so we can be happy." And then I told them how much I loved being their primary teacher and how much I loved each of them and by then I was just crying.

I truly am blessed to be a primary teacher. I get the opportunity to help shape the minds of these kids and there is nothing more important than that. I get to help them understand the gospel and the scriptures and learn to love the gospel and scriptures. I get to help them know how much Heavenly Father and Jesus love them. And in turn I learn to love the gospel and the scriptures and I know how much Heavenly Father loves me because he lets me teach kids.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ever wondered...

...if there are pictures of you out there that you don't know about? And yes I mean that in the creepiest way possible.

So today I was sitting quietly watching the local news. I've been avoiding watching the news lately because I got sick of all the political garbage, but it's died down a lot so I can watch again. Well today the news has a story of a janitor who had planted a camera in a women's restroom in a train station in Connecticut. I thought "hmmm what a sicko". Then they showed some video of the train station and my eyes about popped out of my head. It's the train station in Stamford, Connecticut - which is a train station that I've been through frequently. And yes I've used that restroom about as frequently as I've been through the station. That's just icky! Creepy, creepy, creepy.

So then that made me think of when I was in Rome with friends. I was traveling with Trena (my old roommate) and a couple men. Well we stayed in a hostel in Rome. One of the guys who worked for the hostel also lived in this particular apartment. One of the two bathrooms was what he called "his personal bathroom". When he was showing us around the apartment and explaining things to us he said "only the girls can use my bathroom - you guys need to use the other bathroom." I thought that was a bit odd but still used his shower. As I was showering I was wondering if he was the creepy sort of dude and had a camera in the shower. Of course I started looking for a camera but naturally didn't see one. Don't really know if there was a camera in there or not, but the second day we were there Trena and I used the other shower.

So the next time you go into a public restroom don't forget to look for the camera - say cheese and pick your nose. That's just creepy!!!! And I'm sorry I'm making light of it, but if I don't make light of it, it's really bothersome to me.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gross, gross, gross

Have you ever done something that is just gross? I did yesterday. Here's how it went down.

I woke up early on Saturday morning to get ready for a shift in the E.R. All was well. I got on the subway and sat down and completely fell asleep (it is an hour and 45 minute commute after all). I wasn't feeling good, so I was more tired than normal because while I can doze off, I don't usually fall completely asleep. Anyway, I got to the hospital on time (I hate being late). I was sitting there talking to the attending and she was telling us how the resident had called at 7:30 to tell her he was going to be late for his shift that started at 7:30 (little punk). Anyway she said that she told him to take his time because she didn't want to smell him all day when he rushed and forgot to brush his teeth. Oh my gosh!! That's when it hit me - I forgot to brush my teeth. Yuck!! Suddenly I had visions of my patients passing out when I said hello to them and had to get close enough to use my stethoscope. I had visions of the attending saying "what is that smell?"

So what did I do you're asking yourself. Well I dug into my bag and pulled out some gum and promptly began chewing and wishing that my sweet mint gum had been powerful mint gum. After chewing some gum for a while I went to the restroom and rinsed my mouth then chewed some more gum. Good grief what can you do when you forgot to brush your teeth and you can't run to the store and buy a toothbrush? And not only that, but it's a 10 hour shift - good thing it wasn't a 12 hour shift.

So all day long I kept thinking about my teeth and how I'd love to brush them. On the way home from the hospital my frustration level grew as I waited for the subway because the longer the subway took, the longer I had to wait to brush my teeth. I walked into the door of my apartment and said to my roommate "you want to hear something gross?" She was a bit apprehensive since I've told her some gross stories. I told her MY story and then headed to the bathroom to brush my teeth.

Just in case you're wondering - no I didn't have super bad breath or I may have brushed before I left for the day.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A girl needs good family and friends

So I've had a pretty crappy week this week. Yes it involved my fair share of crying and stress.

I've had the week off from the hospital because the lady I work with has been on vacation. So, I decided it was a great time to work on the paper I have to do for my program. Yes this is the same paper I've mentioned in previous posts. I think I've referred to it as the ugly black cloud that hangs over my head. This isn't your average, everyday paper - it is supposed to be a publishable article (publishable in a scholarly journal). It's my programs version of a masters thesis. It is due the first week of November and I've been working diligently on it this week, and I'm happy to say I'm almost done with it. But if you want to know how much stress it's caused - I'll tell you. When I get really stressed out my muscles start twitching - arms, legs, eyes, really wherever. It's not some grotesque twitch that deforms me or anything like that. It's just a slight twitch that I feel and you can sometimes see and feel if you put your hand on it. I don't know why, but this is my indication of my stress level. If I'm twitching I'm on overload. Well the muscles in both of my legs are twitching. It makes me crazy. Try going to sleep with your legs twitching. They twitch until the stress is gone. Crazy I know, but true nonetheless. So there has been that this week among other things.

So my mom called the other day to talk and see how my paper was going, and I was venting about my stress over my paper. I wasn't in a very good mood to say the least. But I appreciate her listening to me and trying to understand. Then she asked about a fellow I've told her about and that's when I lost it and started crying. It's really not a big deal but with everything else it sent me over the edge to tears. Again my patient mom who listens and tries to understand and make things better. See what I mean about "a girl needs good family and friends"? So I told her that I just needed to get out of town and be with friends and relax a little. I told her I needed to go visit Shelly.

Shelly is my very best friend who happens to live in Connecticut. We were companions on our missions and then roommates. and that's been about 16 years now. We live very different lives - she's a wife and mom of 4 and I'm a single woman making the most of my life. She listens to me lament the life of a single woman and the annoyances involved with men and dating, and I listen to her lament the life of a mom of 4 and the challenges of getting her daughter to remember the states and their capitols. We both envy each other's lives at times. I think we help each other appreciate the lives we both live. Anyway her family has been my family since I moved to New York. Rick, her husband, makes sure I'm safe and sound and makes time for her and I to do things together. He's a good man. Her kids are the kids I need to be around when I need a kid fix and my nieces and nephews are 2000 miles away. Something just feels really good when you have a kid who is excited to talk to you on the phone or excited when you come to visit or wants to play something on the violin for you. And then Shelly just helps make things better. I always - and I mean always - laugh when I'm on the phone with Shelly. I hope she knows how much I've appreciated the support of her and her family since I've been here. Shoot she's the reason I'm here and doing what I'm doing. I owe her an awful lot. Again see what I mean about needing good family and friends?

And then today I had the pleasure of going to visit teach Mildred. When I first moved to New York and didn't really know a soul, I decided that visiting teaching was going to be the way I'd get to know people. I can actually say that was the first time I've really been excited to visit teach. I had the best companion and the two ladies we were assigned to visit were such a pleasure. My companion moved a couple years ago (I think it's been that long), and the ladies I visit have been changed except for Mildred. She's a 67 year old African American woman that I really don't have much in common with but I love visiting her. She's got such faith that Heavenly Father will take care of her. She's a convert to the church and just has a strong testimony. She's a good, good woman that really tries to do her best. It's inspiring. And to be able to go visit her just makes me feel better. Plus she tells me "Jodi you've got it going on". She's got some serious requirements for whatever fellow decides he wants to marry me. Now who wouldn't like that.

Anyway so with all the crappyness this week I've also had a good week and it's made me realize just how blessed I am. It's that whole opposition in all things. I truly am blessed to be here doing what I'm doing - even with the stress it causes me (I'll have to post a blog about how this all came to be cause it's a great story). And, I have the best family and friends this girl could ask for. And really I'm a happy, happy girl. Next week is a whole new week with whole new adventures in store for me to make the most of.

Now I better get back to my paper!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The fate of the peanut butter sandwich

So the other day I was on my way home from the E.R. I was sitting on the subway trying to snooze a bit. There is a section of my ride where we skip a bunch of stops, so there is about 10 minutes of no stopping. It is usually during this time that the people who ask for money do their little spiel where they ask for food or money.

Well, the guy on our train decided to stop right in front of me and he, like most of them, asked for food or money. I sort of ignored him because I was trying to sleep. But, as usually happens I started thinking. I remembered that I had a peanut butter and jam sandwich that I hadn't eaten at the hospital and I considered giving it to him. My thinking went something like this - I'm going to go home and throw this sandwich away and if I don't attempt to give it to this guy then I'll feel bad. I have to tell you about this sandwich. I usually only have a half a sandwich (not much for a man to eat). And then I wrap it in a paper towel (my brain thinks this helps keep the bread from drying out), but the jam usually leaks out onto it so it looks like my sandwich is bleeding whatever color jam I use (this particular time it was boysenberry purple). So, then I considered not giving it to him. But, remember I said I had started thinking. So I pulled out my sandwich and held it out for this guy. Actually I have to say I also offered him my 100 calorie package of Lorna Doone cookies (that was the sacrifice because I quite like those cookies). Just guess what he did.

If you're like me you just guessed wrong. I figured the guy would tell me no, because even though he asked for food or money, what he really wanted was money. What happened is that the guy initally said no thanks, but then I think he realized that a lot of the people on the train were looking at him. So, first he rejected my cookies. What kind of crazy passes up Lorna Doone cookies? But, he walked over and took my sandwich that looked like it was bleeding purple. And then of course I kept thinking. This time my thinking went something like this - "I wonder what this guy is going to do with my sandwich?"

He walked back over to the doorway where he had been standing. I kept slyly eyeing him because, of course, I was quite curious if he would actually eat the sandwich. After a couple minutes he opened up the sandwich, unwrapped the paper towel and pulled the whole wheat bread apart and smelled the sandwich. He then put the sandwich back together and wrapped it up in the paper towel and put it back into the baggie. I thought "hmm if you were really hungry I'd think you'd dig right in with that toothless mouth of yours". Maybe it was the wheat bread, maybe it was the kind of jam, or maybe I used the wrong kind of peanut butter - whatever it was he didn't seem terribly interested in my sandwich. But my entertainment and curiosity continued.

We finally got the the 125th St and this fellow had made another pass through the train car, so he was at the other end of the car when we stopped. I thought "dang it! now I won't know what he does with the sandwich", and I even considered getting off the train just so I could watch him (but it had already been a 14 hour day for me and I was tired). Imagine my surprise when I saw this fellow bounding down the train platform in my direction. There just happened to be a garbage can right in front of me where the train door had opened. This fellow bounding along the platform happily tossed my peanut butter sandwich into the garbage can. So what was my thought then? Well, it went something like this - "At least he threw it in the garbage can and not on the ground." And then I thought about the fact that I could sleep well tonight knowing I had tried to help someone and didn't just toss the sandwich into my own garbage. And really I was sort of glad to know what the fellow had actually done with the sandwich.

I never claimed to be saintly, so if you're disappointed at my lack of saintly thoughts - I'm sorry. I'll try harder next time.

And just for your information, there are signs in the subway that tell riders to not give people money. There are also programs for homeless and there are even social workers that purely work the subways (I have a social worker friend who explained that to me).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mickey Mouse

We've lived in our apartment for almost 3 years now. And over those 3 years I think we've caught 3 or 4 mice. Mice are just something you deal with in the city and to only have 3 or 4 in 3 years is pretty good. Well that was until just recently. There was an old guy downstairs that died. He had lived there for probably 40 or 50 years, so as you can imagine there were a lot of creatures displaced when they started renovating his apartment. For some reason his displaced creatures decided that "up" was a good way to go, so they headed to the 4th floor.

One morning I was getting my backpack ready to head out to school. I went to pick it up off the floor by my bed and what do I see - a chewed up granola bar. Just shreaded the wrapper and went to town on the granola. Nice to know that the mice in New York enjoy granolad and not only that it was a Fiber One bar so that little mouse had some serious fiber intake for the night. Anyway, I cleaned up the granola all the while annoyed that the little creature had found his way into my bag and attacked a wrapped granola bar (I made the bad assumption that wrapper would deter).

Well a couple days later I was thinking about my little mouse experience and I thought to myself "I wonder if that little creature has found my chocolate stash in my dresser drawer." As my family is aware, and regularly makes fun of me for, I sometimes have a stash of chocolate in my drawer. This particular stash was some chocolate my dad had given me in January and it was in a ziplock bag. Well imagine my dismay when I opened the drawer to find that the dang little creature had indeed found his was into my stash. Now not only am I mad that it touched my clothes, but he ate MY CHOCOLATE!!!

So it's time to set some traps and get rid of the little creature. I bought some of those handy little snap traps and spent a Sunday evening setting them with my beloved chocolate (mice like chocolate - I know). I had lots of difficulty setting the traps. Everytime I'd get everything all set and I'd gently place the chocolate on it's little perch and SNAP! the thing would go off on my finger. Or I'd have the chocolate in place and set the snap thing and then as I was setting it down the chocolate would roll off the SNAP - on my fingers!! I had bruises on my finger and thumb the next day. Those things hurt!!

So after some pain and a long time I got the traps set. I decided two was good - I'd get him from either direction he came from.

The next morning I woke and moved my drawer so I could check the traps. What do I see? The dang little creature had stolen my chocolate and he didn't set off the trap. Don't ask me how I couldn't set the trap without snapping my fingers but the mouse could take my chocolate and it didn't snap him.

So I left the other trap which was primed and ready to snap (or so I thought) for the next night. In the middle of the night I was awakened by the snapping of the trap. Just in case you've never experienced this before, let me tell you it's a little difficult to sleep after you've awoken to the snap. You lie there wondering if the little creature is really caught and if it's icky or not and I certainly didn't want to jump right up and check the trap. I finally fell back to sleep and then next morning I woke to check my trap. What did I see? The dang little creature had stolen my chocolate, set off the trap and evaded capture (or death) by the trap.

Okay so now I'm mad. First the little creature steals my chocolate and completely escapes uncaptured, then he steals my chocolate and sets off the trap but again escapes capture. Mostly maybe I'm mad because he keeps stealing my chocolate!

So night three I was a determined woman. The dang creature had outwitted me twice already. So I put peanut butter on the trap and then chocolate on the peanut butter. That way when he was stealing the chocolate, my chocolate, he'd have to pull it off of the peanut butter and set off the trap. Presto!! Again I was awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of snapping. It worked! But just by a nose - that's what got caught in the trap.
So that's what I saw in the morning when I moved my drawer to check the trap. Dang little creature! Now I had to clean him up which I have to say is just icky. This is my roommate Marin and you can see she's not too happy about her early morning greeting.

Marin and I usually do this type of thing together to give moral support (not that it happens a lot or anything). But when there have been little creatures to take care of, Marin and I have done it together (except the first time when Jared took care of it for us). Can't tell it from this pic but I really did need moral support.

While that may appear to be a normal smile (kinda), it's more a smile of fear and disgust, and the look of a woman who really doesn't want to clean up the mouse. Where is a man when I need one? So I decided it was less gross to pick up the trap then it was to scoot the dust pan under it's dead little body. I finally got him all scooped up and kept him at arms length while I took him out to the garbage closet in the hallway.

So that was in the morning and I got ready and left for work at the clinic. On my way home 10 hours later, I got a message from my roommate that another trap we had set snapped a mouse. Only this time he was messy and she called our home teacher to clean him up. We have a good home teacher. THEN a few days later another trap I had set snapped in the middle of the night and we caught another of Mickey's relatives.

Is that just gross or what!! I'm so tired of mice.

And so there you go... another New York City adventure.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm Back!!!
Alright so my sister Lezlie has been hounding me to update my blog. I guess it has been a while. Interesting that it takes me months to update and it's not for a lack of things to blog - it's more a lack of time.

So here's the short update. I spent the month of August at home in Arizona. Quite enjoyed myself. Then the beginning of September I started my final semester of school. It's quite exciting and quite scary all at the same time. I very much enjoy taking care of kids, but the thought of doing it without the input of a preceptor really scares me. Hopefully I can find a job with doctors that will be patient and take time to teach me. In addition to starting my final semester, I started my final clinical assignment. I'm working in a local pediatric E.R. So far, so good. I'm pretty sure I'm going to come away with several illnesses passed along from the kids or some serious antibodies to the illnesses. Nothing like doing a rapid strep test on kids and having them gag and hack in your face while you try and swab their throat. Believe me it's not funner for me than it is for them.

So that's the quick update. Now for a fun little thing my roommate, a couple friends and I got to do. We got to go the the New York premiere of the movie "Forever Strong". The director of the movie is my brother-in-law Geoff's cousin. Geoff and Lezlie and my parents went to the premiere in Phoenix and my mom unwittingly invited my to the NYC premiere. Apparently after the movie they had a little question and answer session with Ryan Little, the director. Someone said something about a premiere in NYC and so afterward my mom went to talk to Ryan about where it was going to be and told him "I want my daugher to go see it". He said he had tickets to the premiere and that was that. My mom actually didn't intend to get me invited to the premiere she thought they were talking about the opening of the film. Anyway, Geoff arranged for us to be put on the guest list.

I've never been to an event where there was a red carpet (not really but there was some cameras and people) and guest list, and neither had my friends. We showed up at the hotel where they were showing the movie. There was acutally a guy who wasn't letting people pass unless they were on the guest list (I think they call that a bouncer). We were among that special group. So we went in and there was a little lounge area where people were chatting and having drinks. We chatted a bit and then I spotted Ryan. I went and introduced myself and he asked if I had been able to invite friends to which I replied yes and pointed them out. He graciously said he'd like to say hi to them and then went and chatted with my friends and I for quite a while. So then it was movie time. They had popcorn and a candy bar for us. YIPEE!! No over priced treats during this movie - it's all free! So we got our snacks and notice a tall, blonde girl (not me) stuffing her face with candy. It ended up being Blake Lively (from gossip girls). I had no clue who she was, but my friends did. Anyway funny to see some skinny little thang stuffing her face. Anyway, we watched the movie with most of the actors in the movie. The main character sat right in front of us with his date who had been poured into her dress and was pouring out the top. After the movie we were invited to the after party in a penthouse of a different hotel. We graciously declined since we all had to work the next day and it was already after 10:00 p.m. and we had an hour train ride home. But again we were talking with the director and told him we wanted to get pictures in front of the "Forever Strong" wall - you know like all the stars. He said "Oh yes we need pictures with these lovely ladies" and then proceeded to take pics with us and offered to take pics of us. And with that our New York City movie premiere night was done. We did quite enjoy ourselves.

And yes I'm quite aware that I look like a dork in my imitation of a superstar. Guess I better stick to being a nurse practitioner.

Oh and by the way you should go see the movie. It's a feel good kind.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

It's coming to an end...

...the semester that is. I'm such a happy happy girl. I finished my paper on methamphetamine and got rid of that black cloud hanging over my head. I finished 2 classes this past week and I have two more to go. I'll be in Arizona for vacation before I know it - I hope anyway.

So aside from that I have a few funny things to tell. One happened the other day at my Friday clinic. All day long they were testing the fire alarm system. That means that periodically during the day the alarm would sound and we'd have bright flashing lights. Not to scary until... I went to use the restroom. As I dropped my pants and got into air seat position there was a sudden flash of light. Of course my first thought wasn't about the fire alarm but more about that idea that some one just took a picture of me air seating over the pot. Took me a second to remember that it was the fire alarm test but it just about scared the pee out of me!

Next is actually from a few weeks ago, but kinda funny nonetheless. I've started playing volleyball at the YMCA that I work out at. Volleyball is Wednesday nights and it's mostly fun. I end up being the only girl most times playing with a bunch of Russian men and I've had work to get the guys to actually let me play. They're getting better and some of them are even getting friendly. So a few weeks ago I was playing and during a break between games I looked over at the door and saw this tiny woman and thought "she sure looks like Dr. Ruth" but I wasn't sure and none of the guys seemed to notice her (didn't cross my mind that they're Russian and probably don't know who she is). So I came home and asked Marin if Dr. Ruth was alive. Neither one of us knew so I did a Google search and found a biography page about her. After reading about all the teaching and such that she does at the bottom I saw a sentence about how she is on the board of directors for the Washington Heights YMCA. Yep you guessed it - that's my YMCA. The little midget woman in the doorway was indeed Dr. Ruth. That may be my celebrity sighting for this year.

My old roommate Julie came to town for a few days to visit. She and I had the pleasure of walking through Central Park on Saturday. Yes indeed we walked the park end to end and it truly was a pleasure. Not only was it beautiful but it was nice to not worry about school (although I do have tests to study for).

Oh goodness I'm sure I had other things that I wanted to tell you all but I can't remember. I think my brain has gone on vacation already. So I guess that's it until next time.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

It's been forever...

...since I've posted anything and Shelly has let me know it. Really though how can I say I'm going to do this and not really do it. Well let me tell you. My sanity has been hanging by a thread at times during this semester. I can't tell you how much I look forward to the end of this semester. I'm told this is the worst semester of the masters portion. I certainly hope so.

So I have a "publishable" paper that is due April 17th. I'm almost done with that and then I can relax a bit. As for the "publishable" part of it I have my serious doubts but at this point I don't care - I just want it done! That's the latest and greatest with school - along with my tests and the multitude of other assignments that never end. I swear while I'm working on one assignment the others are multiplying.
Anyway, I was able to go to Arizona for spring break during the middle of March. Such a needed break, and tons of fun to be home. The weather was perfect and I relaxed and enjoyed. Not to mention having some really good dates! I spent time with some very nice men playing tennis, making homemade pasta, playing volleyball, and going to dinner and the symphony. Wowie good times for Jodi.

I also went to Knott's Berry Farm with my parents and one of my sisters and her family. Lots of fun. One of the best parts was getting a little pay back with my dad. You see when I was younger and we'd go to the state fair and such, my dad would pick the scariest ride he could find and put me and my sisters on it (I think it helped give me some of my adventurous spirit). Anyway, while we were at Knott's there were some scary rides and I actually got my dad to go on them with me. I almost peed my pants on one of them cause I was laughing so hard hearing him yell all the way down. I kinda figured out that if a 12 year old boy would like it, then I probably will too.

Up we go!
See how tightly my pops is holding on
Love that wind blown look!
We also went to see my grandpa and grandma while we were in CA. I think it was grandpa's 89th birthday (couple days after we were there) so we went to dinner to celebrate. I don't like seeing him get older, although I did enjoy having him on my arm as we walked to the car and having a little one on one time with grandpa.
All in all spring break was a blast and it helped me get a bit of my sanity back. Now I look forward to another weekend trip to AZ for a singles conference the day after my paper is due, and then just a few weeks after that the semester is done and I get to go back to AZ for a couple weeks. Boy if I'm not living trip to trip.
Until next time...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Coriander and Lime Chicken

This is the new recipe I tried out last week. It's yummy but you need to like sweet for dinner.

2/3 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup chicken stock
1-1/2 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
4 chicken breast fillets
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro (coriander) leaves
cilantro leaves to garnish

Whisk the coconut cream, stock, lime juice and ginger together in a medium bowl. Cut the chicken across the grain in 1/2 inch slices and lightly coat with flour. Heat about 2 Tbsp oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Add the coconut cream mixture to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced by half and thickened slightly. Return the chicken strips to the pan, add the cilantro and simmer for 1 minute to heat the chicken through. Garnish with the extra cilantro leaves. Serve with steamed rice.

You could also add stir-fried carrot strips and snowpeas.

Tasty tasty!!

Learning patience from my patients

If you couldn't tell for previous posts, I haven't been super comfortable at my clinical placements. Last semester I was in a clinic where we saw mostly babies and little kids. It may sound funny, but I feel like I have a connection with little kids. I can make friends with them pretty easily - even the difficult ones. I recently had a little girl (2 yr) in clinic waiting to do a test. Her mom and the PA were talking so I started talking to the little girl. She was very shy at first but warmed up and eventually she was crawling into my lap asking me questions. What a cutie. So now that one of my main clinical placements deals with adolescents it scares me. I try to not let on how much teenagers scare me, but they do. Mostly I guess because I've never really dealt with them in this setting. But I'm doing alright so far. I had a girl come in the other day who was just sporting an attitude. I thought "boy is this going to be fun". In the end we were friends and I got her to smile. So the challenge this semester is going to be to learn how to build relationships with adolescents. The interesting thing is that the article I'm writing is on methamphetamine abuse among adolescents. In my research so far I've learned that one of the most important things in preventing drug abuse in adolescents is their relationships with the adults in their life. And healthcare providers can play an important part in it all. And after all that, I have to say I'm really starting to enjoy my clinical placements. I have a TON to learn but I enjoy it.

So along the lines of adolescents here's a funny for you. As some of you may know (and the rest of you will know shortly) I can't stand hearing someone smack their lips. If there is anything that will send me through the roof it's the sound of smacking lips. Silly I know. So the other day I had a kid (12 yr) come in to the exam room with a WAD of gum in his mouth just a smacking away. I was just watching this kid and hearing him smack. Finally I said "I think you have too much gum in your mouth buddy". He said "why?" I said "because you can't close your mouth" to which he said "yes I can" and proceeded to try and close his lips. I said "the problem is you can't close your lips while you're chewing". He said "I like chewing like this" and went walking around the room smack smack smacking away. Boy oh boy if I'm not going to learn patience.

And finally here's a not so funny story. Friday night I was sleeping away. Oh so soundly and I'm sure quite enjoying it. Then I had a dream. What was my dream you ask. I had a dream that one of my patients (one of the older kids) was sitting in the corner of my bedroom just a few feet away, watching me sleep. CREEPY!!!! Of course I startled myself awake and went to the bathroom. When I went back to bed I had to make a point of looking in the corner and making certain there was nobody there (because it was so real). I certainly hope this doesn't become a recurrent nightmare like my spider dream.
So now I think I've brought you up to date with the happenings of this week. Oh wait that's the happenings of the work week. The enjoyable stuff is that I went with some friends to see that U2 3D movie. Way cool! It was like being at the concert without actually being there. The only problem is that I wanted to start jumping around, singing and clapping and no one else in the theater was - so I couldn't really. Oh and I tried a new recipe - Coriander chicken with lime. I'll have to post it later. It was tasty!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Watch out for the crack

Like myself, I'm sure many of you have experienced seeing the plumber's crack. It can be humorous or pretty dang scary depending on the situation. For instance, when my little 6 year old niece Cody bends over and her little crack pops out, it's funny. On the other hand, when a rather large man who is working on your house bends over, this goes in the pretty dang scary category. Now that I've got that all cleared up, think about the times when you've seen the crack. Usually associated with blue collar type jobs - right? Has something to do with the tool belt wrapped around the waist? Not so!!! No, apparently the plumbers crack has found it's way into the hospital in the form of a physician assistant. Imagine my surprise when I showed up at my 3rd new clinical site and was greeted by bum cheek. Yes indeed! The fellow has a belly that prevents him from actually tying his scrubs the way he should. This results in them slipping down and revealing "the crack". All day long I'd turn around to do something and there it was - the crack - looking at me over the top of his scrubs. My goodness!! And to answer the burning question in your mind - YES! it is scary!

And with that you've now been let in on a little known secret - the crack can creep up on you anywhere.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

My life as a comedy

Alright so I bet you've just been dying to know how my first week of school was. Well let me tell you it was rough stuff.

My program director has kindly made it so that all of our classes through the entire program are on Thursdays. Pretty nice huh. It makes it easy to make plans to take off for weekends and such. Except that this semester my Thursdays are going to be marathon days. Here's how it goes: class starts at 9 am and lasts until noon, then I run over to the hospital real quick to do 4 hours in the pulmonary clinic (should be an interesting clinical experience), then at 4 pm I run back to school for class that starts at 4 pm and lasts until 6:30, at 6:30 my last class starts and lasts until 7:30. Doesn't that sound like a pleasure. And where, you ask, do I have time to eat lunch, dinner or pee. I figure I'll live on slimfast shakes and power bars since they can be eaten on the go. Needless to say, Thursday was a pretty overwhelming day. The good thing is that at the beginning of every semester so far I've had a hard time seeing how I was going to do all that I had to do, but in the end I've always gotten it done. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping my prayers and yours keep working.

During my Christmas break I told some of you that I didn't know if I'd be able to take a spring break. I've changed that and now I've decided that I AM taking a spring break no matter what. I may even purchase my ticket sometime soon so that I really have something to look forward to. I love working toward the next vacation. And the next few vacations are spring break, last 2 weeks of May and the whole month of August. Arizona here I come!!! When I think of it that way, it seems that the year will move pretty quickly.

So now are you wondering why I've titled this post "My life as a comedy"? Well let me tell you it's because of my clinical. I've decided that my life would make a great comedy if they showed what I do but the words were what I was thinking. On Friday I went to another of my new clinical assignments. I walked into the clinic and asked for my preceptor. He wasn't in yet so they told me to have a seat and wait. As I turned to sit down I made the observation that the waiting room - which was mostly full - was full of young men. I'm thinking "hmm that's interesting I wonder where the girls are". After a few minutes I was told to go back to where the exam rooms were to meet my preceptor. Very nice man that I get to work with. He then gave me the run down of the clinic. He told me that on Fridays, the clinic was just for young men. I was smiling as I was thinking "WHAT!?!? that means that the only exams I'm going to be doing is with young men - AHHHHH!!!!" Imagine my relief when he told me that we have a specialty population that will include girls. What kind of crazy finds relief in the probability of doing pelvic exams when I've never done them before? I suppose that's one way to make me more comfortable with it. There's a reason I decided on pediatrics and it wasn't because it included all this although I knew I'd have to do some of it. Hello!!! Anyway during the rest of my day I had the experience of doing exams and appearing professional while thinking "I'm a nice Mormon girl!! I shouldn't be doing this." It makes me wonder what look I have on my face. I'm pretty sure I don't have a good poker face. Imagine if the person doing your exam had a look of fear on her face and her eyes looked like they may pop out of her head. My poor patients. Good grief!!!!!!! I won't be posting specifics about what I do, however, if you're curious and you ask, I may tell. I got to do my first PPD test on Friday. Now I'm a pro - anybody want one? I haven't stuck someone with a needle for a long time and I feel kinda bad for these people that I've trying stuff out on. I even told my preceptor, with the patient sitting right there, that I had never done a PPD and the patient still agreed to let me do it. Just wait for the first time I do an injection in somebody's bum cheek. I'll have all kinds of firsts at this clinic.

So now it's on to the adventures of next week.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Welcome back to New York

I decided that since this is my last year in NYC I should write some of my adventures. This way you can kind of experience it with me but I can also look back and maybe have another laugh, cry or rant. I'll share my experiences at school, home, neighborhood, church, you know - life in general. By the way, feel free to comment on whatever you like. I like the idea of this being a sort of conversation.

So what better way to start it then with my welcome back to the neighborhood. I've been in Arizona for a month and thoroughly enjoyed my time. Yesterday morning after I got back, it was a beautiful, clear, cold day (34 degrees) and I decided it was perfect for a run. I don't LOVE living in the cold but it has it's benefits and running on a day like yesterday was definitely one of the benefits. It was exhilarating!! One of those days that motivates you to do more. So, I've decided to run a marathon by the end of the year. Anyone want to join me in training/running? I'm thinking of doing the one in Logan since it's in September. I thought about the one in St. George, but it's the weekend I'll be volunteering for the breast cancer walk here. See I'm already feeling motivated, I'm off to a good start with my return to NYC.

Then, later in the day yesterday, I went to Target to get some groceries and such. As I was gathering my bags to leave there was a man a little ways behind me gathering his bags. A woman, who looked liked she'd been around the block and time or twenty, walked up to him and asked if he was married. He said no and she said "you want to go party baby?" Naturally that put a smile on his face and he kindly told her no. She walked off to find another unsuspecting victim. Hmmm interesting to hear someone propositioned in the entryway to Target in the middle of the afternoon. I think that might be something I only experience here - at least I hope so. Come on baby let's go!!!! (shimmy shimmy)

And now I'm at today. I went to our local YMCA today to work out. Marin and I joined last summer and I really like going there. It's one of those places where people know your name - at least they do if you go often enough. Anyway Cliff is the security guard who greets us when we check in. Said my hellos to Cliff and went to sweat my guts out. Had a good workout and did indeed sweat my guts out and was on my way home. Now I have to explain a bit about the street we have to walk on to get to and from the YMCA. It's not a nice street. It's a filthy street with mostly apartment buildings except for the bodegas on the corners. There are usually guys hanging out in front of the buildings and I've seen drug deals going down on the corner. I do get nervous walking on that street if it's dark. So anyway, I was walking home and saw a couple of gang bangers standing on the corner a ways up the street. And as I walked closer my thinking went something like this "I wonder if they're fighting. I wonder if one of them is going to pull a gun or knife. I wonder if I'll see another drug deal". Thankfully they were not fighting, no weapons were pulled and no drugs were exchanged. As I got closer they separated a bit to let me pass between them and as I passed one of them said "God bless you gorgeous!" And with that I feel welcomed back to my neighborhood. I'm not sure what is gorgeous about a sweaty girl with her hair pulled back in a ponytail and no make-up on but whatever. I know it's because I'm a tall, blonde in a hispanic neighborhood but I'm surprised at how bold the men are. It makes me chuckle everytime that happens. I'm not sure I should say anything to the gang bangers but usually I smile and say thank you. I suppose it couldn't be all bad to make friends with the local gang bangers. I do like my neighborhood though and if I ever need an ego boost I just go take a walk. I once was asked to dance by a guy on the sidewalk, I had a guy on the subway ask me out to dinner, and my all time favorite is when a guy in a van pulled over to the side of the road and yelled out "God bless your parents!" How could you not laugh at that?

Anyway I feel welcomed back to NYC and my neighborhood. Now we'll see how my welcome goes at school tomorrow. Yowza!!