Quick Update

•27 June 2011 • Leave a Comment

We have been very busy, so busy Amanda hasn’t had time to blog since August. So in a whirlwind here is the last several months:

August/September: Amanda starts school. Enjoying the challenge and doing very well.

September/October: Getting house ready for winter.  Amanda thriving at school and Aaron fishing and hunting tirelessly.

November/December: New windows and back door in the house. Wow, the difference that made both aesthetically and economically! A trip to Spokane in the snow to visit Aaron’s family and more fishing and hunting.

January/February: Projects continue around the house. Amanda continues to smoke her classes.

March/April: Will the rain ever quit? Aaron rebuilds the front gate between downpours to access the back yard. We also got a firewood permit, so we cut and hauled about 6 cords of wood. When we weren’t hauling wood Amanda was landscaping the front yard and planting this years garden.

May/June: Amanda passed her first year of classes. Then, not having school work to keep her busy she decided to tile the kitchen floor and re-stain the kitchen cabinets. Amanda starts her summer “internship” at the end of the month. Aaron continues to work on the fence, the firewood shed and chasing kokanee and salmon.

Here are a few pics along the way:

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PharmD: White Coat Ceremony

•30 August 2010 • 1 Comment

White coat ceremony a couple of weeks ago. Another white coat – destined to be way too big and soon very dingy. :)

left to right: Sue Stein (Dean of Pharmacy), ME!, Pauline Cawley (my advisor)

Tula

•24 August 2010 • Leave a Comment

We are finally back to being a one-dog family. Off and on for the last 3 weeks we have been dog-watching our neighbors dog, Tula. She’s very sweet, some German Shepard-Mix, and for being less than a year old she is fairly relaxed and minds well. But there was so much that was going on this last week that we didn’t really have a chance to puppy-proof our house. She didn’t end up doing expensive damage, but she did eat a few things I wish she hadn’t. Most notably is the blanket my sister brought me back from England. Sorry sis. I am really bummed out. I am going to try and patch the hole, but I don’t think it will work.
The back yard looks like a general war-zone as Tula and Penny got along great. There was a lot of play-fighting, and fighting over sticks, and chewing sticks, and chasing each other – Tula also managed to dig up one of my hydrangeas (see isn’t Penny a great dog?). I need to go out in the next couple days and pick up the pieces of some frisbee they chewed up, and a different blanket that Tula brought with her that now has it’s stuffing spread over the yard.
I was glad Penny had someone to play with for the last few weeks, but I think both her and I are glad we don’t have to divide our attention any more. Since Aaron was gone on fire last week too, I was trying to walk both of them at the same time… I don’t like being pulled in two directions at once – I am definitely not strong or big enough for that.
I think we took for granted we have the laziest dog on the planet too. Penny gets up to eat her breakfast and then sleeps until her dinner – tough life.
Besides that, life turns to the new normal of school and Aaron back to his day job. This Friday is my first exam. I am a little scared, just because we’ve covered so much and I don’t know exactly what to expect. I am trying to focus in on specific things so I don’t get bogged down with details.
I am also still trying to figure out how to do this with the least amount of weight on my back for my commute. I take all my notes electronically and transfer them to my iPod Touch – which has been nice, but a lot of work. Not sure that is going to continue in the same way. The biggest issue I think is my ridiculously heavy biochem and medchem books. I think they should come up with a lighter version of paper…. you know, like, titanium. If they can make airplanes bigger but lighter, I don’t see what the problem would be for books.
Okay, back to it. Keep me in your prayers – I really want to return to a semi-normal life. So does Aaron I think. Poor guy. I always freak out about the first few exams, and then get into rhythm and stop studying quite as much.
And today it’s supposed to be 90 degrees again!

PharmD: Day 4

•19 August 2010 • Leave a Comment

Well, a lot of you might be wondering how pharmacy school is going so far. I am sorry that I haven’t had a chance to update you yet… it has been overwhelmingly busy and doesn’t show signs of slowing down. In fact, they are trying to crunch 1-2 semesters of Biochemistry into 4 weeks. Ouch.

Last week was orientation on Tues-Thur. Incredibly fast-pasted and intensely informational, I felt really insecure because of everything new. It took me 3 days to figure out my morning schedule. The first day I almost missed my MAX by about 30 seconds – which would have made me late for my first day. The next day I was a little earlier, the last day I had finally figured it out.
This last weekend I went shopping and basically packed my lunch for the next two weeks. I have baggies in the fridge with
1. veggies and dip
2. cheese and dry salami
3. fruit
and then out of the fridge there is
4. pretzels
5. dried fruit and almonds
6. mixed nuts.
I make myself breakfast and a sandwich for lunch everyday, but besides that my food is already made and I just have to throw it in a bag.
I’ve never been much of a morning person. I hate early mornings, and if I ever become independently wealthy – I will probably make a point of never starting a morning before 10am – just on principle. I like to wake up slow… what’s wrong with that??
Anyway, so I figured out that showers are just way too time consuming for the morning. I take them at night – which is probably helping our water bill because they only take me 10 minutes instead of 15-20 minutes because I am not falling asleep while shampooing my hair.
I have also figured out the auto-ON function on our coffee maker. We have had the thing for over a year and a half – given to us very generously by the Hitchman-Calquhoun’s for our wedding – and we’ve never taken the time to figure it out. I remember registering for the specific one because it had this function, but honestly I haven’t had much of an incentive to figure it out because Aaron was always the first one up and he made plenty of coffee each morning. He was my auto-ON if you must. Well, now that I am getting up a good half hour before him … there is no way I want to make coffee each morning – INCENTIVE – and voila! – coffee at exactly 5am every morning. Amazing.

Starting Monday and through next Friday, we will be trying to learn (or relearn) Biochemistry. So far I have learned enough to know that I don’t remember anything of my general chemistry (pKa vs. pH) or organic chemistry (functional groups and resonance structures) or Physical Chemistry (rate constants and thermodynamics) – no mystery on the last one I suppose… I don’t think I absorbed anything from that class (sorry Dr. Freisen). Although I somehow remember that dry ice and refrigeration were examples of………………………… something. See, what I mean?
Oh a wonderful undergrad education – I suppose at least it got me INTO this program.

I am now trying to scrape the bottom of the brain barrel and see if there is anything left of proteins and folding and primary – quaternary structure, etc. Apparently at one time I even used to know how to draw every amino acid from memory… really? wow.

Well that is about it. I guess. I leave my house every morning at 5:55am. I get on the 6:16am every morning. I leave at exactly 3:16pm from school and I get home every day around 5:02pm. Aaron has been out on a fire this week doing night duty. He leaves the house about 4:45pm (so I miss his leaving every day) and gets home about 9:30am (so I miss him again). When I get home, the bed covers are in a different up-heaved design than the way I left them – and I sigh, because I miss him.

But tomorrow is Friday. And then the weekend. Oh glorious weekend.

If any of this was way too techy… don’t worry about it. You can just disregard it.

Annual Soup Day

•8 August 2010 • Leave a Comment

Today is Annual Soup Day. Second Annual Soup Day to be exact. It is the day where I finally get overwhelmed with the dozen zucchini and summer squash that I have harvested from the garden (with the prospect of several dozen more) and set out to do something with them. Today’s menu includes the following:

Thai Curried Zucchini Soup – A delicious mix of curry, coconut milk, zucchini and lemongrass that promises to be AMAZING – at least it smells amazing.

Red Pepper Summer Squash – Onions, red pepper, and summer squash combine with lemon and thyme to make a beautiful orange delight!

Zucchini Basil Soup – A personal favorite, I’ve used fresh basil, onion and zucchini and given it just a hint of heat.

Lentil and Kale – Fresh kale from the garden meets red and brown lentils, carrots, celery, onions and tomatoes in this healthful soup.

It smells so good in my house right now. :)

Growing Up

•25 July 2010 • 1 Comment

Well the girls are getting bigger every day, and stinkier! But that’s okay. They are so funny to watch, and provide amusement if nothing else. Meet, for the second time, Henrietta-Mable , Myrtle, and Mildred.

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Glacier National Park Vacation

•11 July 2010 • Leave a Comment

Aaron and I have been in Spokane, Wa and Glacier National Park, MT for the last week or so. These are some of the pictures from our trip. We’ve started an annual tradition to go camping with our good friends Robbie and Steph. Last year we met them at Crater Lake NP, OR on our way back up from our road trip to Arizona. We both needed a vacation, and although it was a lot of driving, it was great to get away from normal life for a little while. The park is absolutely beautiful. And there were no mosquitoes!

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