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Showing posts from September, 2009

Gotta love those hoops...

It seems that most every major event in life is surrounded by some sort of hoop that you need to jump through. Becoming a PA is no different.... In addition to FINDING a job (keep praying for that one!), here's my To-do list for actually being able to start practicing...
Finish my rotations. I just finished #3 of 8. Only a few more months then I'll get paid for all this!Study for my boards. Three study books just arrived in the mail--now to actually use them.
Graduation. Somewhat of a gimme, but still....Take my boards. I have to wait at least a week after graduation to take them. Not sure why there's the delay, but anyway. They tell me it's a 6-hour test--and it costs $425. If I don't pass, I have to wait 3 months before I can take it again (no pressure or anything).
Apply for licensure in the state where I want to practice. After looking, Kentucky's application costs me $100, and the time to fill out a 24-page application. (On top of applying for a tem…

Sunday Thoughts

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

~Ephesians 4:31-32

Paige's Highlights

1. Solar Drying. Yes, again, Mother Earth News got me down another rabbit trail with their article. In it they mentioned a book for a plan, but I wanted to see what was already out there for free. I did find some really nice plans on the internet (this link has TONS of links to different plans and also for solar cookers) for various styles of solar dryers. I like this one the best. And here's a better picture I found of it, since this is just a drawing and had spanish translation to boot. haha. Not a bad translation job, I must say. :) Also, I found one at a Mozambique technical school that used this style and they just had a piece of clear plastic in place of the glass sheet.

And a view of the back...I like the little drawers as adjustable vents. 2. Bird and Bat Houses. Birds like Bluebirds, Purple Martins, Swallows, and the tag-along Bat are all great controls for bugs and mosquitoes. I remember my 4-H project of building a bluebird house. To be honest, it was somewhat o…

House-guests

With the autumn comes crisp days and changing of the leaves--as well as some unwanted house-guests, driven in by the coming cold. Well, Dan and I did our best to set some traps for these guests and then had a "spend-over" this weekend for our neighbor's cats. We figured that we had gotten them all, but it was still fun to have the kitties come visit. They were certainly entertaining!

Here's a little video. Hope it brings a smile. And these are the Maine Coon cat breed. They look like a cross between a house-cat and a lynx when they're all the way grown. Very interesting.


Pineapple Updates

Since Dan and I were gone all summer, we moved our houseplants downstairs on the porch and had our neighbors water them for us. When we got back, I was initially a bit disappointed and didn't think that they had grown too much. However, when I looked back at the old pictures--the pineapple has actually almost doubled in size! (Cut me some slack, it's in a pot, and it had been a long time since I saw it.)

Here's a previous picture. And this is how much it's grown! All of the long leaves at the top are all new growth! Now, just about another year and a half and we might be getting our own pineapple! :)

Sunday Thoughts

Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans with succeed.
~Proverbs 16.3

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
~Proverbs 16.9

Paige's Highlights

1. Companion Planting. This was always something that I tried to incorporate into my family's garden. I usually got a really bad case of cabin fever, right about February (and when all the gardening catalogs started arriving in the mail). I would spend hours pouring over Back to Basics (my favorite and most-read book), trying to finagle plantings that would allow me to put certain plants together. I'm sure that you could imagine a 12-year-old me, sitting on my bedroom floor, sheets of graph paper, books, pencils, rulers, and books scattered all over the place, working on my masterpiece of a plan. I never was quite able to get one of my brothers to trudge outside in the cold to take a measurement of the garden....though I did eventually manage to get it done. Wikipedia has a listing that's more complete.

2. Farmscaping for Biological Control. A 40-page guide to encouraging beneficial insects. More suited to a large-scale farm, but the appendices on the end have good charts f…

Keep those Engines Humming...

Ug...I hate how expensive car repairs can be! I can't complain TOOO much, though, because Dan and I have never made a car payment in our lives and we own two cars (and a motorcycle). We've been wonderfully blessed with a wedding gift of a car, and a such a cheap price from a family member on our other vehicle, it might've well been a gift!

So, the Neon was in need of some sort of a valve replaced. $230 and 4 hours later is a an annoying feeling--especially, when the check-engine light comes on again two days after it was in the shop. Dan did take it in again and they hooked it up--apparently Dodge's are notorious for check-engine lights after filling up the gas tank. Give it AT LEAST three clicks or else it will come on. At least something wasn't wrong with it--and we have the inspection sticker all squared away until we move next year! :)

And poor Dudley...he went ker-plunk on us a few weeks ago and Dan and I have been dawdling getting him repaired. (It was an …

Pumpkin Bread

Many thanks to Kentuckians for this recipe! Mmmm...so yummy and it tastes like fall!

Jamie uses this recipe by BHG.com. She recommended adding a 1/2 tsp of cloves to the spices, which I did. I had some leftover Cream Cheese Frosting from the Carrot Cake I made the other day, so Dan wanted to slather his slices in it... Heavenly! :)

Cream Cheese Frosting from the Betty Crocker Cookbook

1-8oz. package of cream cheese (softened)
1/4 c. butter or margerine (softened)
2-3 tsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
4 c. powdered sugar

1. Beat cream cheese, butter, milk, and vanilla together until smooth.
2. Gradually beat in sugar 1 cup at a time until smooth and spreadable.

I found that this more than amply covered a 13x9 cake--the extra we used on the pumpkin bread! So halve it at least if that's the only thing you'll be using it for. Enjoy!

Sunday Thoughts

18 "Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43: 18-19

Paige's Highlights

As a kid, the Highlight's magazine was always part-and-parcel of dentist visits--they ALWAYS had them in the offices. Well, to steal their name, I've decided that I should at least be productive with all this planning and gleaning of information that I've been gathering over the past few weeks. I want to be able to enjoy actually DOING all the gardening and homesteading when we arrive and not losing time in the book-learning phase. Plus, I can't stand waiting and this is the nearest I can come to scratching my itch for some land! Here's my weekly list of interesting things I found, sources, tidbits of information, fun factoids, or other information for the aspiring homesteader--we'll see how long this keeps going!

1. Trees of Antiquity. Heirloom Acres seeds is a wonderful source of heirloom, open-pollinated (can anyone say, "I'm saving my own seeds!!!" :) ) varieties that were cultivated for the flavor, not necessarily for commercial production…

Yay! It came!!!

Recently, I've been an aficionado of The Deliberate Agrarian's blog. Herrick Kimball has many words of wisdom to share along with many of his "whizbang" ideas. Dan and I decided that we wanted to go ahead and buy a few of his books and to start, we chose the Whizbang Apple Grinder and Cider Press. His ideas are ingenious! If you're close-by and would like to borrow our copy (after we're done pouring over it!), we'd be more than happy to share with you. But we will be careful to protect Mr. Kimball's book and ideas. He's a very honest hard-working man, but since he just made some tweaks to better pre-existing designs, he can't patent his ideas--so we don't want to take away from his home business at all. The book was less than $20, including the shipping and handling--Dan and I just decided to buy a book rather than have a date night. I was very excited! :)

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

A childhood favorite of mine--I can't believe that I haven't posted this one! Dan would like you to know that he baked these--he's more careful about making sure that they're nicely rounded before baking. :)

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. shortening (or butter, or even better--LARD! see my earlier post that talks about how it's better for you than butter. No joke).
3/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs
1 tsp. hot water
1 c. nuts (finely chopped) (opt.)
1/2-1 pkg chocolate chips
2 c. quick-cook oatmeal
1 tsp. vanilla.

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream shortening (or butter or lard) until fluffy. Add sugars and cream again well. Beat in eggs and add hot water.
3. Sift together flour, soda, and salt. Add to above mix. Add nuts, oatmeal, chocolate chips, and vanilla. Beat well.
4. Roll into 1" balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Flatten with sugared glass bottom. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Shepherd's Pie

Ok, I was going to have my own pretty picture up here, but alas, my camera wasn't cooperating with me, so it made the topping look a bit on the overly "smoked" side, as a then-much-younger-little-brother liked to put it.... So, thank goodness for google...

Anyway, I hadn't had Shepherd's pie in years and I was seriously wondering why by the time I got the fork to my mouth! I loosely followed this recipe by Rachel Ray on Food Network, but the beauty of Shepherd's pie is that it's SOOO easy, SOOO yummy, and SOOO wonderful for cleaning out the fridge.

Basically, there are three steps...

1. Brown about 1 lb. of ground beef and add about 2 c. of a brown gravy.
2. Add your meat to a baking dish along with a conglomerations of veggies--green beans, corn, diced tomatoes, etc.
3. Top with a layer of mashed potatoes, prepared however you like it. If you've prepared it before, put it in the oven on bake, other wise, broil for about 6-10 minutes until the mashed pot…

And in the end....

No matter how much glamor the medical field gets, for all the shows with the good-looking stars, apparently epitomizing the ER or OR or medical floor--reality is always so far from TV. I knew it was going to happen and I knew that it was going to be hard, and it was the start of my week. I had my first patient die that was in my "care," or whatever you might call it as a student. Not really my care, but I was involved. To be quite honest, it was somewhat perfuctory as the paramedics had already done most everything that needed to be done--now just for a doctor to pronounce the time of death.

It just highlighted the bottom-line futility of medicine. No matter what you do, no matter how much time or money or research we spend--the mortality rate is still 100% and for thousands of years, nothing has ever changed that. Yes, our quality of life is better, and we live our lives longer and in more comfort, but we can't change the bottom line. Don't get me wrong, I lov…

Fetuccini Alfredo

One of Dan and my favorites....

2 Tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
4 1/2 tsp. flour
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. parmesan cheese (grated)
3 1/2 tsp. Neufchatel cheese
1/4 tsp white pepper
4 oz. fettuccine (cooked and drained)
1/4 c. fresh parsley (chopped)

Melt butter in sauce pan and add garlic. Cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in four. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook until sauce thickens, stirring constantly. Add cheese and pepper. Cook until melted. Serve on fettuccine, top with parsley.

Dan and I found that this recipe needed a bit of salt (we rarely add salt to anything) and we like to add some chicken to the sauce. Enjoy!

Show me the....APPLE PIE!

I've mentioned multiple times how New England is just much more different than the "good ol' Southern hospitality" that I grew up with/reminiscing about. It's not that Mainer's aren't friendly, it's just that they tend to keep you at arm's length. Visiting with friends is more done "out" at a restaurant or an event, not "in" at home, on the porch, or around the dinner table. Even though my travels to Latin America had me in an entirely different culture and language, they also had this same value of "breaking bread" with friends and family. I never visited anywhere without a veritable feast prepared. In some ways, I felt more at home there than I have in another region of my own country. This past week was no exception.

One of my classmates and his wife just had a baby and since we're at the same site, we've seen a lot of each other the past few weeks. I saw some of the news on Facebook and mentioned b…

Who, me? Plan? Not I.....

*feigns a shocked expression*

Ok, ok. I give, I was born a planner. It's in my genes. It's how God created me and I have "stewarded" and "cultivated" this skill to an art-form--much to Dan's chagrin. Not that Dan doesn't like to plan....Dan just, umm...well, he has a more take-it-as-it comes approach to life. We're opposites in every meaning of the word when it comes to this that's for sure.

Well, I have been scouring the internet for about the past week for any and all things farming, homesteading, do-it-yourself, and agrarian. As soon as I finish one thing, I stumble across another....my week (ok, maybe week-and-a-half or two-week) tour has had me on the following topics.

Paige's Top 10 Topics

1. Apple Cider producing by Herrick Kimball, The Deliberate Agrarian. Not only am I highly interested and asked Dan if we could buy a plan book as opposed to a "date night" dinner out, I've also had a bit of a chat with Mr. Kimball…

Missions

This is a link to the mission that I visited on both of my trips to Nicaragua. It was a great experience and some short-term mission trips are something that Dan and I hope to do one day. This ministry is called Metanoia Mission and the Fergusons are wonderful people.

Also, here is the blog from some good friends of my mom's--the Kubaki's--who serve in northern Brasil. Dr. Kubaki served for many years in Ohio as an ER doc and he and his wife decided to move to Brasil with their 4 children several years ago. His blog has been a blessing in my life and I can't wait to visit them some time!

It's what's for dinner

Many thanks to Three Fold Cord for sharing some websites for recipes and culinary delectableness! I'd added hers to some of my own that I've stumbled across--a master list of recipe sources.

I taken her advice and begun to plan out my meals; when I get home from work, if I don't have a plan for dinner, I tend to wander aimlessly around the kitchen and scrounge up something either not-so-nutricious or not-so-delicious. I used my google Documents to make a list, so I can edit them also from work, and Dan can add to it as well, easily. I've also made a "master list" of my recipes that I often use so that I have something to go on in the event I get stuck!

Bon Appetit!

The Food Network
Copycat Recipes
The Nest--Asian Recipes
The Nest--Main Link for Recipes
CHOW

Restaurants--Good for Menu Ideas and the occasional Recipe
Olive Garden
Chili's
Cracker Barrel
Red Lobster--Check out Chef's Kitchen for recipes!

Blogs with Great Recipes
Three Fold Cord
Concetta's Cafe
Men…

Crepes and Breakfast Bowls

Growing up, I always loved visiting our friends in Tennessee. The mountains and fellowship was perfectly wonderful--as was the food! Here are two recipes, one from our friends and one from a friend of hers. She loves Concett'a Cafe's cooking and I'd take Three Fold Cord's cooking recommendations any day. Both wonderful and easy! :)

Home-made Breakfast Bowls by Three Fold Cord

Home-made French Crepes by Concetta's Cafe

Hurricane Bill

About a week ago, Dan's family was here to visit and we had an AMAZING time at the beach and Portland Headlight! We ended up going to one of the few beaches that didn't close as Hurricane Bill came in on Sunday. It made for some massive waves and a lot of fun--unfortunately, we got all the sunscreen blasted off of us and Dan and I are still peeling from our sunburns. :(

Here's link from the local news--we thought we'd be in the clip because they were filming us, but I didn't see us in any of the pictures. Bummer... :(

Keren has all the pictures from Higgins, but here are some videos from Portland Lighthouse the day before Bill hit. It was LOTS of fun! Dan and I had never seen the waves that high--and there were still a few hours to go before high tide! :)



I think I've found a little bit of heaven...

Ok, maybe that's pushing it a bit, but what else is a girl, longing for the country and some good time playing in the dirt, climbing a few trees, and feeding some animals do when she's cooped up in suburbia, sad to see her last bits of summer slipping away to the ever encroaching Northern New England winter? DREAM! And for those of you who know me at all--PLAN! (No comment, Dan. *stern look*)

So, as I sit in my little apartment on my day off, with really not too much to do and all by my lonesome since the man is bringing home the bacon--Dan's been visibly getting stressed by all the food I've been cooking up the past few days and the ritual of trying to find SOMEWHERE in our undersized refrigerator for all the leftovers has left him more frazzled after countless times of doing the dance. You know--the dance when you have to jump like a spider on a hot stove when a frozen block of something you thought was nicely wedged in actually was just waiting for your unsuspecti…