We booked tickets to Ireland. I need a break. I think that we both need a vacation. We are too busy to really see each other or enjoy what little free time we have. The tickets were a bit expensive, but you can’t put a price on sanity. Pharmacology is no joke in nursing school. I am learning a ton during volunteering shifts at the hospital. I am loving nursing more than I actually thought I would. I don’t want to get diabetes. Diet and exercise are the best things you can do for yourself. These are my random thoughts for today.
I have given my first injection on a real human being. I think that is all that I am allowed to say about that.
I also was hired as a volunteer at Swedish Hospital in the Emergency Department. I was given a free TB test.
The hallways were empty as there was a parade going on.The view from the 12th floor. Fitting, huh?
I hope to never see any of you as a patient at this place!
So my days consist of school, work , clinicals at the VA, a little soccer to stay sane, and watching fly fishing videos online to remind myself why I am doing this. Thanks, Moldy Chum!
I have been doing my clinicals at the VA this quarter. For those of you not in nursing school, clinicals are:
supervised sessions in real world health care environments which allow nursing students to put their knowledge and skills to work. Clinicals are the nursing equivalent of internships and residencies for doctors, and they are a critical part of medical training, as they give nurses a chance to work with real patients in a supervised setting before being thrust into real nursing work without instructors and guides ready to step in and assist.
That being said, I have been thrown into the world of the military. I stumbled upon this article from the Huffington Post.
In 1916, with World War I looming for the United States, a group of Nebraska residents gathered petition signatures and sent a constitutional amendment to Congress that would have enacted a national referendum before lawmakers could declare war. On top of the national vote, anyone who cast a ballot in favor of war would have been required to register as a volunteer for service in the United States Army.
I like the idea.
I am constantly hearing that it is cheaper to eat from a fast food value menu than it is to eat food from a grocery store. I don’t believe it. This is a fantastic article from Reddit.
Q: I need to eat very cheaply until I can find more work. So I need your help. Should I just eat crappy cheap noodles every meal? Or can I eat better and a bit healthier for not much more cost?
A: The trick to mundane food that is purely for cheap nourishment is to make it different every time, and eat it at a pretty place.
first: eat it at a pretty place. even if it’s crap. take it somewhere. a park, a lake, a river or pond. take it to the roof. eat it in your back yard.
noodles: pesto. chicken and pesto. chicken and a milk/flour/butter sauce. lemon pepper with mayonaise (it sounds weird, but tastes great. this is a macaroni type dish)
rice: rice with milk, sugar and cinnamon. rice with vegetables. rice with butter and salt and an egg. rice with cheese and butter.
use ground beef when you cook with meat that isn’t chicken, and never spend more than 3 dollars per pound on it. actually, if you can find any other meat that is 2 per pound, have them grind it at the counter. then you can put small amounts of meat in food and make it seem hearty.
chicken should be the thing you eat most of as meat is concerned. it’s the cheapest. look for it for a dollar fifty per pound. don’t buy it for much more than that.
potatoes. mashed potatoes, baked potatoes. cut potatoes up and put them in your soups. hash browns in the morning, or chunks with spices and eggs. fries for lunch. cook it with cheese. put it in your rice (hint… throw EVERYTHING in rice… together)
eggs. throw eggs in your ramen. put eggs in your rice. put eggs in your soups.
water. drink a lot of it at every meal.
oatmeal. for every breakfast, and every snack. make sure you splurge on brown sugar, it makes it worth it.
bread. make it yourself. one cup warm water. two tablespoons sugar, two teaspoons yeast (or one package) a quarter cup oil, some salt, and three cups flour. bake it at 350 for a half hour. Flavor it with cinnamon and sugar, or chocolate chips. put dill in it with pepper and garlic powder (I fucking hate garlic, but other people seem to like it) substitute a half cup flour with oatmeal.
eggs with onions, green beans, and chili powder. eat it with tortillas. tortillas: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/homemade-flour-tortillas/ this recipe is alright. instead of lard I use a quarter cup oil, and a little less water. tweak it as you go if you want, or follow it exactly. not just green beans and eggs…. but also re-fried beans with eggs in a tortilla.
yogurt. just buy the one thing. make sure it’s active. put it in any gallon of milk that is going bad. the next day you’ll have yogurt. keep the culture alive and put it in milk. that’s like…2 dollars for a GALLON of yogurt.
make your own laundry detergent. look up recipes online. super cheap. does a reasonable job.
use margarine instead of butter. better yet… just use vegetable oil and salt in your recipes instead.
Bananas. they’re super cheap for fruit. you can get bananas for like… fifty cents per pound. think about that for a second. you can fill yourself on fruit. eat five pounds of it…… two dollars, fifty cents.
when water is hard to drink because everything is tasteless from being miserable and poor…. make kool-aide. cherry kool-aide goes well with rice.
tuck your chin. toughen up. go out every day and do your damnedest to get yourself a job. come home tired, boil up a big plate of pasta, mix in tomato sauce and cheese… and go out to your pretty place to eat it and cry. remember these feelings. remember what foods got you through. remember how cheaply you lived, and how easy it was. when you have a job again…. .this is pretty much how you should eat anyway. with a few adjustments. this diet fed my family of four for a long time. it cost me about a hundred dollars per month. that included shopping for discounts, and sometimes trying to treat ourselves to butter. or cheese that wasn’t “economy muenster”
remember your meals though, remember who ate them with you. remember who got you by the best. hold on to that person. they will know more about you than anyone you happen to tell your story to.
oh, and don’t be ashamed if you need a little help from a food pantry or anything… just be sure to donate back to it when you’re back on your feet. that’s what it’s there for, and people like you, who use it when they’re down are always loyal donators.
There is a terrible lack of snow in our mountains. We drove to a spot where we thought we could go snowshoeing, but it was raining and muddy. We kept going up in elevation until we found some snow. We parked at the Big Four Ice Caves trailhead and followed the dog tracks until we found the caves. It was an easy trail that was wheelchair accessible nearly the whole way. There was bus and RV parking for what must be mayhem in the summer.
When we arrived, I couldn’t help but notice how clear the water was. It was like chocolate milk below here.
This amazing article from National Geographic has me carefully watching my dog poop. According to the article, “under stable magnetic conditions the dogs would always poop and pee while facing either north or south. This provides convincing evidence that dogs can sense magnetic fields and are sensitive to even small magnetic-field variations, say the researchers”.
Now I know that my dog is amazing. Probably more amazing than most children I come across. But this just proves it. In the back yard, Lando has peed facing north 3 times and 1 facing south. We are 4 for 4. However, I don’t know where the sun was. Maybe he didn’t want to stare into the sun. He is a cautious dog and temporary blindness would freak any of us out.
Also, knowing how sensitive a dog’s nose is, I can imagine that he wouldn’t want to be downwind of his poop. I know I try to stay upwind. Don’t worry, I will keep watching to see if this experiment is valid.
Boston had its “Big Dig”. Cost were overrun by 190% and it took 15 years to complete. It included a 3.5 mile tunnel. Here in Seattle, we are digging a small 1.9 mile tunnel. We have purchased the world’s largest boring (bore means making a hole) machine. It has a name (Bertha) and its own Twitter account. Here is her official website. I am a huge fan of this engineering feat. I am not a fan of the tunnel itself. I think that it is a waste of money and resources. I would rather see the money spent on buses, rail, and bike infrastructure.
When this project is complete, I may never drive on the completed road as it will be tolled and I try my hardest not to pay tolls. I would rather have the gas tax increased to pay for roads.
We started digging this summer and we are 5 months into construction. Unfortunately, we are now 3 months behind schedule. Something has been blocking the world’s largest tunneling machine and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) couldn’t figure out what it was. Turns out, it was a metal pipe that WSDOT left in the ground in 2002.
This might be a long project.
Merry Christmas. I thought about sending out a card, but decided this would be better. Easier on the environment, better for my bank account, and easier for you to reply. I remember when people would send a letter updating our family about what has happened with their family. These days, we all know what is going on as soon as it happens. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and personal websites have made sure of that. If you missed any of those, click on them and you can be updated.
Here is a short recap of the year if you aren’t as addicted to the world wide web as I am. Last winter, I got a gyotaku kit and began the Japanese art of “fish rubbing”.
The problem is I usually let my fish go after catching them, so I don’t get to practice much. I did fish quite a bit despite the cold temperatures and there being some decent snow on the ground.
When the snow fell heavily, we went cross country skiing. Amanda got us skis for Christmas last year and we used them quite a bit.
In the spring, we built a couple of fun things. One is an aquaponic set up inside a pallet. We found a used pallet, lined it with plastic pipes and ran a pump up the inside. The fish below poops and provides nutrients for the plants on the wall. I built the light to save money and energy.
We also built a chicken coop. It looked great and would have been amazing if our landlord had not sold the house. This forced us to move and leave this amazing coop. Unfortunately, it was destroyed before the house was sold.
We had an amazing summer this year. Months of warm temperatures and sunshine in then Northwest is apparently rare. We went to our first Seattle Sounders soccer match.
We caught dungeness and red rock crab.
We caught salmon and smoked them. In fact we will probably eat them during the holidays!
The highlight of my summer was twofold. The first thing that happened is that I was accepted to nursing school. Yay! That was big news. For one last hurrah, we headed east. First Walla Walla, Washington for some wine, then onto Idaho for cutthroat trout fishing. We had some big hungry fish come play with us that left smiles on our faces for days. We hit hot springs and then moved on to Missoula, Montana.
For Amanda’s birthday we headed west. We hot the Washington coast and we razor clam digging. It was an absolutely gorgeous evening and we even got some clams.
After half a decade, I caught up with my cousin Hunter for a too short of a time. I feel like most of us cousins can stay in touch via Facebook, Instagram, etc. and it somehow brings us closer without seeing each other.
Amanda is still working at Woodland Park Zoo and growing a successful dog running business.
Now, I am in nursing school and have very little time to do anything fun. I spend two days a week in school, two days a week at the VA hospital, and two days a week at work. Every other minutes seems to be spent studying. I am loving it though. It seems to be flying by and creeping along at the same time.
So from up here in Seattle, have a Merry Christmas or whatever you celebrate. Thank you very much to everyone that helped make life possible this year.
With a day off, fishing was on my brain. Weird, I know. Trout fishing in Western Washington is terrible. It is worse in the winter. We allegedly have steelhead here, but the number of native returning fish is diminishing. Despite all of this bad news, we headed to the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River hoping for a few small fish. The river was too fast to cross safely and we never saw a fish.
Feeling like a pretty poor angler I thought that there must be some place to catch something. There are rumors of squid in Puget Sound. We rounded the troops and hit the Edmonds pier at about midnight. We wore almost every piece of clothing that we had. It began snowing. There was a full moon (bad for squidding), the tide was super low (bad for squidding), and a baby harbor seal eating something below us (bad for squidding). Needless to say, we did not catch any squid.
We “celebrated” St. Nicholas Day this year (December 6th). For those of you that only think (like I did) that St. Nick is another name for Santa, apparently he is another reason to get gifts. It has some similarities. You leave out your shoes by the door and St. Nicholas puts treats, candy, fruit or coal in my case in them. I guess that stockings or socks work as well.
Amanda cut material and made stockings. Four of them. One for each human, one for the dog, and even one for our fish. She really likes this holiday.
While reading about St. Nicholas Day, I also learned of Krampus.
He is the Yin to the Yang, the dark to the light, the evil to the good. According to the best source for facts on the internet:
Krampus is a beast-like creature from the folklore of Alpine countries thought to punish children during the Yule season who had misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved ones with gifts. Krampus is said to capture particularly naughty children in his sack and carry them away to his lair.
This was the best way to prepare myself for the best movie of the season.