I’m about 85% moved in! I’m saying this with a lot more gusto than I’m actually feeling because, as luck would have it, I managed to get sick over the weekend (sigh). What a great way to start my rotations, right? :'( I actually had to stop 1/3 of the way into my drive to park in a hospital lot, where I promptly passed out for 2 hours (…).
The weekend was pretty darn awesome though–aside from chilling with the cats, I got to go hang out with the dogs at the shelter for the first time in ages, and took a bunch of them out for runs/walks/jogs. I also gave Raisin and Char Char a rather thorough grooming session, because hot and humid summers are definitely not their best friend.
After church, I went over to a friend’s neighbor’s place to go swimming before heading over to his house for a cookout/BBQ. (He’s heading to CA to start med school.) We went out to the corn fields and picked a whole ton to bring back to shuck/cook up. I unfortunately forgot to take pictures of all the awesome food that was there, but I did get a couple shots of the pool noodle wars!
My friend happens to grow a whole ton of different veggies/herbs to sell, so at around midnight, he handed me a plastic bag and asked if I wanted to go on a “midnight raid.”
F: What do you mean?
A: We’re going to the Garden of Eden! You can take whatever you want!
(Sorry if blaspheming. It was all in good fun.)
Hence, how I ended up with eggplant, some kind of super-spicy pepper (forgot what they called it :[ ), tomatoes, beets, and huge bunches of fresh basil, Thai basil + cilantro. I’ve never prepared beets before, but…what better time to start, right? :O
Despite my being sick and somewhat starved-out state (forgot to keep food/water next to me in the car; poor life choices :[ ), I managed to drag everything up to the third floor without any help. (I tend to dislike asking for help if I know I’m capable of doing it on my own.) Everything has been put away and I now have a mattress to sleep on! :D
It was my birthday last week, which is slightly bittersweet because it means that I now officially have to pay for my own health insurance (nooooo!!!). Parting is such sweet sorrow. :[! However, I have pretty much the coolest friends ever, so…three birthday celebrations later, I am finally actually writing about it. :O
On the actual day of, we had plans to go to the Chinese buffet in town because it was right after Easter and my friend was craving General Tso’s chicken (she gave up meat for Lent). Monika and Hira were about two steps from getting me a gift card to Kroger for my birthday (yes, such is my love for food and grocery-shopping), but decided instead to get me a curling iron for my “future cosmetic endeavors.” (They reasoned that I was much more likely to buy myself food vs. a curling iron, and they are indeed correct.) Mayhaps I can finally start learning how to do all of these hairstyles! <3 It’d be a great improvement from my current state (…I rarely comb my hair).
On Friday, the gang (our band) and I were going to head to Stardust Cafe, a farm to table restaurant that’s probably one of my favorite eateries here…but we neglected to remember that it was Friday and that reservations might have been a good idea. (Oops.) We tried Food & Friends, but the wait was equally as long and we were all hungry, so I suggested we go to When Pigs Fly, which was not downtown and thus, less likely to not have a wait. It’s another one of my favorite restaurants in town because the owners are super friendly and welcoming, and they have awesome portions. And pulled chicken. PULLED CHICKEN. <3 (Every other place on earth seems to serve just pulled pork, which I cannot consume, hence my enthusiasm.) When they heard that we were out to celebrate my birthday, they asked if I wanted them to sing for me, while including as an aside that I probably would not want to hear it because they couldn’t sing very well.
: How ’bout this? Why don’t we give you free ice cream instead? That’ll be better for your ears anyway.
F: Deal! :O!
(They have homemade ice cream that I’ve been meaning to try.) It was hard to decide on a flavor. I sampled the black raspberry, blueberry pomegranate, orange cream and strawberry cheesecake and they were all equally amazing. *-* After dinner, we went back to our respective study hovels and I eventually returned to what I refer to as my crazy kids (aka the 80-ish cats at the shelter). I completely embrace the term, “crazy cat lady.” I’m fast headed in that direction and very much love it here. :]
The next morning, I got in some studying before running off to church. (I’m the pianist about 50% of the time.)
I disappeared back into the catacombs to stuff in 5 lectures so that I could actually enjoy myself later on. My pastor invited a bunch of people over to his place to have a birthday party for me. :O!
Jennifer made me an amazingly delicious chocolate cake with shredded coconut and pecans. We ate it with sliced bananas. <3
I hadn’t played Settlers since grad school. We used to gather every weekend at someone’s house and play until we hated each other (for serious, this game gets pretty personal and breaks up friendships like no other–except Munchkin, which may well be the ultimate game of backstabbery). In spring semester, it got to the point where we actually brought the game to school to play during our study breaks.
I managed to win, but just barely! If Jennifer had not traded a card with me, she would’ve won right after my turn.
The day after I finished my last final ever (it still feels unreal) and after I’d recovered from my Once-Upon-A-Time Netflix marathon-coma, I went to go help out at Please Save A Cat. :D Linda is pretty much like my mom here and I love getting to help out/hang out with her whenever I have the chance to. We share a lot of the same loves (animals, sushi, California, salmon, avocado…food of all sorts), and now that classes are over and done with, it makes being able to set my own schedule of studying/meals/working out/breaks a lot easier.
While I was out poop-scooping and feeding the cats, Linda put some salmon on the grill.
We had a late dinner of grilled salmon with lime & celery, brown rice cooked in chicken broth, a bed of organic spring greens and half an avocado in the living room (while covered in happy, snuggly pets). :]! There really is no better way to spend my downtime. <3 I’m going to miss it here so much.
Her owner recently passed away from cancer and she’s been rather depressed, but lately, she’s been coming out of her shell and she apparently loves me. The only thing stopping me from actually taking her is the fact that I don’t want her to have to be moved around every couple months for wherever I happen to end up. I don’t stay anywhere long enough to settle down anywhere long enough right now. :[
Somewhere back in the spring, I signed up to volunteer at a women’s health retreat. There were some definite communication issues, but in the end, we managed to get everything straightened out, and I showed up at the right location (hooray!) at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning. I bring this up only because I was really proud of myself for being awake and functional at that hour (I’ve been severely lacking in sleep lately, but what else is new?).
Kosina and I borrowed someone’s van and went around town putting up signs to direct people to the right location. We did blood pressure screenings (seeing as how I’ve been doing this since 2008, I’m getting to be a pro! :P ) for the participants. Originally, we were going to switch halfway through so we could do finger sticks (to check for their blood glucose and total cholesterol), but the first years weren’t all that comfortable with taking blood pressures for people yet since they’d just learned it, so we just stuck with our original jobs.
One of the ladies was apparently a nurse for “a very long time,” so she was telling me about the medications she was on. (I’m not sure I ever learned that there were transdermal patches you could use to help control blood pressure, or maybe it just wasn’t stressed and I forgot about it.) In any case, she told me she’d come back to me later since she’d been running around all morning and it was probably a lot higher than it should have been.
When she came back, I re-checked her BP (it had indeed decreased) and she thanked me and said, “You’re going to make it.”
F: Thank you! I really hope so!
M: It’s your personality–I know you need the skill too, of course, but your personality really matters a lot. You’re going to be great at what you do.
She made my day. :]