Thursday, March 24, 2011

Three More Days... :(

It's Thursday night, only three more days before school starts again. Sigh. There are many things that have not gotten done, and perhaps will not get done by Monday, but that's ok. Max and I have spent a lot of time at the vets office this week. We made hot pot for dinner tonight, and there are blueberry bars in the oven! We are also watching Star Trek, the new movie, with the young guns in it. Yay Anton Yelchin!!! If you haven't seen the movie Charlie Bartlett I highly recommend it! It's one of the best movies ever, with a great cast!!!

Currently we are waiting for a storm to hit us, although it may have passed over by now. About an hour ago we had a small hail storm and lightning, but it has been quiet ever since. Hopefully it won't wait until tomorrow, because we have an early morning doing some Vet work at a certain zoo!!! We got an invite this morning when we happened to run into our Zoo Animal Medicine teacher. He really likes Max, and our relationship seems to amuse him somewhat. So tomorrow, early we are headed to the zoo. What will we be working on you may ask? Hmm, perhaps a picture?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Break!!!

Spring Break!!! Spring Break!!! It's Wednesday, and so far it has been a good weekend. On Friday and Saturday, Christine and I went to the vets office and played with cows and a lot of cats!

On Sunday Max and I made soft pretzels for breakfast, from scratch! After a relaxing morning we went for a nine mile walk around the city! Yikes! It was intense, but fun. We pretty much walked all afternoon, from 1:00 - 4:30. By the end of the day we were both worn out. Hmm...maybe that walk wasn't such a great idea, but it was pretty fun!

On Monday and Tuesday we went back to the vets office for more cows, dogs and cats. We got to preg check 130 cows, do Breeding Soundness Exams, and look at some sick calves. We also saw a cow with a full breach of her calf. It was great, but Max and I were both exhausted by the end of the day. We both pretty much collapsed on the couch and fell asleep watching TV.

SO this morning we finally managed to start getting things done. After a good nights rest we got up early made breakfast (Blueberry cornmeal scones), and started washing laundry and dishes. We have also finally been able to give the cats some attention, because they have been very bewildered about everyone being gone.

Monday, March 14, 2011


So I am mad....and this is why. I'm not really good at talking. I can't carry a conversation about one topic for very, and I don't know how to gracefully leave a conversation. I always feel rude interrupting someone and leaving. I have done it in the past, and the person always looks so disappointed when I go, as if they had so much more to say.

The same is true of phone conversations. Everything past hello is risky business. I mean who knows what will happen! Gahhh!!! If you know someone you end up filling awkward silences with I love yous....but you can't really say that to someone randomly calling you out of the blue (nothing like creepy love to heighten the sense of awkwardness to epic proportions).

The problem is, I am surrounded by people who want to talk! I get in trouble for not calling my family...but I have nothing to say! All I have to tell them could be summed up in a 30 second phone message! Also, I am in a profession where it is expected for you to be gabby. Which means many, smart intelligent people who could spend hours talking about barn swallow fighting laws!!! Thus when I inadvertently wander into one of these pestilent word volleys, I have no choice but to smile and nod, smile and nod, smile and nod. While inside all hell is breaking loose. Seriously, the crew that runs my mental bridge has to hang on and hold the shields at maximum so that all the out of control nerves firing don't make me have a stroke!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Love starts with You!

So, it's been awhile since I posted on my blog, but luckily we only have one test this week, which means blog time! Yay!!! This is great because this past week I have been thinking about something that I think is blog worthy....and I hope it doesn't seem like just a bunch of psycho babble...but it may....we'll see.

The thing that I want to say is this...we all need to start liking who we are, even when we make mistakes. We need to start acknowledging to ourselves that we are interesting, likable individuals. We need to take all the psychological mishmash in our brains, all those nasty comments from classmates, or those insulting, hurtful comments from our families, and chuck them. We need to set old prejudices aside, deal with our jealousy and anger, and be free. Because the more we give in to the things that hurt us, even the little things, the more we drag ourselves down. Let me illustrate with my own life.

I have a great family. Growing up I had a lot of support, and love. I was also pretty lucky that I never got made fun of in school. So you would think I would have turned out a happy, confident individual....mmm...not so much. I really don't know why my self esteem has been so horrible through the years, but I can definitely pinpoint some things that led up to it, and the day I started sabotaging myself.

I went to a Christian school, so we talked about God every day, we even had chapel on Fridays. However, the one thing I learned from my school was that I should be terrified of God. The first chapel that terrified me, was the one where our speaker decided the best way to educate elementary school students on Jesus, was to teach us all about the horrific way he died. The man went in depth describing the crucifixion, pain, blood, nails, thorns, spears....everything. He told us about the cat o'nine tails, that had shards of glass and pottery in it, and how the cross was full of splinters so that the person being crucified would be flayed as they lifted themselves up to breathe. Yeah. I was like 8 years old. Add to this the fact that movies Hocus Pocus terrified me (We had to leave the theater because I started sobbing in LITTLE brother was so mad we had to leave.) so you can see how I might have been a bit scarred (and scared). I spent the whole chapel with my ears covered. Every so often I would uncover them, listen in horror for a minute or so and then go back to blocking it out. I began to be a little afraid of God. The second horror came when a man told us a story about accepting God as our savior before it was too late. He told us the story of a man who was dieing of cancer that he went to visit. As the man lay there gasping for his last breath he started screaming, "Please get my feet out of the fire!!! Please get my feet out of the fire!!!" Thus, the man obviously went to hell, and we were taught that you should be a Christian if you wanted to avoid pain and torment. Once again...God seemed pretty scary. Add to these all the other fire and brimstone stories and you can see how I began to be absolutely terrified of God. So when I was getting older and getting concerned with my appearance I began to worry that if I liked myself, or thought I was pretty, or had nice hair, or anything like that...I would be smote by the wrathful hand of God. Every time I looked at myself in the mirror I told myself that I was ugly, or fat. If I got a good grade on a test I told myself I was stupid, and it didn't matter. So eventually, I believed everything I told myself. I began hating myself, and thinking I was stupid, I thought I would never amount to anything, and I assumed everybody else thought the same as I did.

I don't think it was entirely due to those things. When I was younger I had some family problems too. My parents got divorced. I also always felt like I didn't physically fit in with the females in my family. While my mom, aunt and grandma, were all thin, delicate, brown haired women, I was the chubby, red head with rounded features. So many of these things came from my own mind, and just built up over the years, until now.

For 16 years or so, I haven't been able to accept myself fully. I say fully because I am half way in between. Honestly, I am really proud of being me. I like my soul. I like what I have done so far with my life (well except for all these psychological things, eating disorders, my strange fear of talking in high school, and my tendency to lapse into awkward silences.), and I like the plans I have for the future. True there are some things I could change about myself, change is important as we grow after all, but I need to accept that I am fine just the way I am now. I don't have to feel guilty for being human. I can make mistakes, I can be happy when I do things well, mediocre, or even poorly! I don't have to be perfect to be a worthy individual. I don't have to disagree every time someone compliments me, or point out my flaws if someone says I am pretty. I've been making a conscious effort these past couple of days to accept myself, and the happy things people say to me. It's been difficult to smother the voice in my head that pops up to criticize me, but it's interesting how quickly it has been fading. I'm hoping I can keep working toward being happy. Luckily I have great friends and a wonderful boyfriend to help me get through.

So, if you're like me, and have problems accepting yourself, break free!!! Life is too short and there is already too much pain in the world. Begin to love yourself for who you are, and everything will get much better.

Finally, here are some interesting links I found that pertain to this post:

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Every morning this week I have been wakened by the sounds of birds outside my window! There have also been little groups of male robins flitting around looking confused. Maybe the females still aren't back yet? Or maybe they are wondering when all their turf got taken over by crows...hmm. Needless to say, I am very excited the warm weather is coming back. I love winter, but all sorts of great things happen this spring plants, birds, calving, White Coat ceremony, the end of my classroom career, yes!!!!

I still have a long way to go, but at least the weather is putting me in a better mood. Now I just need to start working out again. I would like to not look like a Christmas goose for white coat ceremony....and even though I only have about a month and a half to do anything, I think some exercise will work wonders. I am recruiting Max to help me, since he always feels out of shape. That means running again, yay! Now I just have to figure out the weight lifting thing.
Well nothing much else to report. Back to zoonosis stuff. I hope to blog about a very important birthday party soon! Until then please don't fault me ofr all these blurry pictures of Twitch! :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lost my First Patient.? + Animal Guilt

So yesterday we did a C-section on a cow. We were hoping it would be succesful, and I suppose it was on some level because the cow is fine, but unfortunately her calf didn't make it. As soon as we saw it coming we knew it was about one month pre-mature. Luckily the residents were there to help us, because the little calf needed epinephrine, dopram, and oxygen. We tried everything to save it, we did everything right, but she was too weak to make it. One resident even tried doing chest compressions to re-start her heart after she died, but it didn't help. So that was that.
It was really awful, and of course the tears sprang up, as usual. Luckily I didn't cry in front of any extreme large animal people. Still I think the teachers knew what was up, so that's a bit shameful. And I blame myself for the calf dieing. Even though it wasn't really my specific patient (the residents knew what they were doing so I feel like it was theirs), and we worked so hard to save it. I know the calf couldn't survive, but I still feel bad about it, and I probably will for the rest of my life.

When I was little I made a lot of mistakes with animals. I found a lot of sick and injured wild life, as there was no shortage of baby birds, squirrels, and rabbits around our house. I remember finding a squirrel that was paralyzed in it's hind limbs. Of course we took it to the vet, and the vet asked us if we wanted to euthanize it or take it back home with us. Knowing what I do now, the vet probably should have insisted on euthanasia. First, the squirrel could have been rabid (Although it is highly unlikely to have rabies in squirrels, any neurologic wildlife should be treated with caution, and should not be allowed near children.) and second, being a child I thought death was just the worst possible option so I took the squirrel home and released it. That poor squirrel probably died a slow painful death because of me. Great.
The second incident involved my pet parakeets...they all died because I didn't know enough about them. Knowing what I do now, they were on the wrong diet, the wrong vitamins, everything! I also didn't have any patience with one particular bird. She was very skittish. With most of my parakeets I could put my hand in the cage, and after a few days they would approach and/or let me handle them. This bird however, would never let me touch her. I should have been patient and taken my time. Instead, after a few months I thought it would be best to let her go...into the wild. Once again I killed an animal with starvation/exposure. As a child I remember imagining she made it to Florida and was living in the everglades....phht!
The last incident actually happened when I was in high school. I found two baby birds and decided to raise them. I took them to the vet and cared for them for a few weeks. As they grew I became worried that I wasn't doing the right thing for them, because I knew I could never teach them to fly or hunt. Then one of them flew, and I thought maybe I was wrong. So I kept them for about 2 more months, and got very attached to them. Then one morning I came in, and one of them was dead. I was horrified, because neither had looked sick the day before. That afternoon when I checked on the other bird it was on the floor of the cage, dieing. I tried desperately to revive it, but of course it didn't work. I'm sure that with my lack of knowledge and skills I killed those poor birds as well.
So that is my sordid past with animals, and yes, I do still feel guilty about all of those incidents. I really hope when I have kids I can give them better guidance on animal care. I wish my mom would have been a bit more firm with me on my choices. In the end, I feel like I made a lot of mistakes that could have been prevented if I had just known better. As a vet, maybe I can help prevent people from making some of the same mistakes I did.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Heart Large Animal Medicine

So today we had Large Animal Surgery lab, and it was fantastic!!! It wasn't a train wreck like small animal surgery was!!! The teachers were much more patient and taught me all sorts of interesting things. I also actually learned how to use a balling gun, I felt stuff when I palpated, I learned to tie knots, I answered questions right, I got to draw blood. It was an epic win!!! It really makes me want to be a large animal vet, but unfortunately I have very little experience in large animal. Maybe I can get some somehow....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm still alive...

I'm still alive, but now that school has started I probably won't be blogging much. I have about 30 hours of school work to do each day and I need to work out, and eat, and etc. However, my biggest quest is to stop Face booking all the time. I have decided that February 23 I am signing off until school is over, and until then I will definitely be limiting my time. So sorry for the lameness of teh blog, I will post when I can and/or have something I want to say. :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sitting in the Corner Muttering (Well...not really...)

So today we had Grand Rounds, and it sucked. Why? Because if there is any time that you will figure out you don't know anything it is during Grand Rounds. The teacher will present a case and then ask questions, and it makes you feel like a prize idiot. Being crazy and paranoid, I usually assume people who don't answer questions simply do so because they don't like public speaking, or are giving others a chance to answer. I know that can't possibly be true, but it's just the same as grades. My grades are abhorrent, and I feel like I am the only one. So basically school feels like a giant cluster of information, and not only am I failing at it, everyone else is succeeding. Then I feel like I am doing everything wrong with my life.
You always see shows on tv about parents pushing there kids to become doctors and lawyers. High paid and high powered achievers, who at the end of the day go home to a pristine house, park their expensive, green, new model car in the garage next to the boat, and then sip expensive whiskey in front of the roaring fire while reviewing their latest journal article on the ease of curing cancer. Yeah, it's not feasible. Try the person who loses a patient during the day, and then comes home exhausted. Someone who has over $200,000.00 in student loans to pay off, who can't afford to do anything but work and sleep, and who finds every day more hopeless than the last. I feel like that is the reality. Really, why do we push people so hard to achieve? Why can't we all just try to be happy?
The sad reality however, is that I am not even that person who lost a patient. I'm just a student that doesn't know anything, and is worried about the future. I mean, how am I ever going to save an animal, let alone not kill one? The odds don't look good. So now that I have come off depressed, hopeless, and probably very unorganized in my thought processes, I am going to go study. Yay.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Murkiness of the Mind

I can't remember most of my life, and I find this unusual. I think about the fact that I have lived in 5 different places in the past 7 years, and I wonder what I have forgotten. I have random images in my mind of places I've been or things that I've done...but it doesn't feel like it was me. It's like watching a blurry movie of someone else. Sometimes I wish I was like Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory), with a didactic memory so that I could remember everything I had ever done. Of course, memory itself is often flawed. Many things we remember didn't actually happen as we remember. There was a study done that showed if people were asked about a specific memory (that they had actually never experienced) they would "remember" experiencing it and be able to very vividly describe the place, etc. Of course these weren't things like being held at gun point or being in prison. They were things like being lost when they were children or going to play in a park . Interesting what are minds are capable of.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ice Cream Recipe #2: Brownie Fudge Ice Cream

The secret to this recipe is real, chocolaty, chewy gooey brownies in the ice cream. I simply bought a package of (insert favorite brownie mix here) and cooked it for the shortest time suggested on the box so it was extra soft. Then I made the following ice cream recipe which I found originally here:
I was very pleased with the results, and so were my friends!

Brownie Fudge Ice Cream


1 Box of Brownie Mix (Make sure you have everything to make the brownies.)

Ice Cream:
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips


Bake the brownies according to the package directions. When they are done baking take a fork and run it through half of the brownies so that they get crumbly. If they are cool you can use your fingers, but please don't burn yourself on the brownies or the pan! I would wait a good 20 minutes before using your fingers to touch anything that has come out of the oven without hot pads. Set brownies aside.

To prepare ice cream, combine 1 1/3 cups sugar and 1/3 cup cocoa in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring well with a whisk. Stir in 1/2 cup milk and egg yolks. Stir in remaining 3 cups milk. Cook 12 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Place half-and-half in a medium microwave-safe bowl; microwave at high 1 1/2 minutes or until half-and-half boils. Add 2 1/2 ounces chocolate; stir until smooth. Stir half-and-half mixture into milk mixture. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl, or cover and place outside in the snow! Cool completely, stirring occasionally. If you do place it outside in the snow (I did make this in January) make sure you can keep an eye on it! You don't want any squirrels making your ice cream into a delicious hot tub.

Now that the mix is cool, and squirrel free, pour it into the freezer bowl of your ice cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. I added in the brownie bits as it was mixing, and it gave it a much better taste than simply freezing the brownies in the ice cream when placed in the refrigerator.

My Favorite Boys: Mighty Max !!!

Behold my wonderful boyfriend!!! This is the man that keeps me out of trouble (generally), picks me up when I fall down, and supports all of my craziness (Sometime participating himself.). Before we started going out I was pretty emotionally distressed. I was probably at the lowest point in my life actually. Max came along and helped me see that I did have value, as myself. The great thing is he didn't even have to try extra hard to do this, he just did it because he is a superb fellow. I can't brag enough about him, so lets move on.

Isn't he handsome!!! He is also a talented chef, D&D player, all around tech genius, writer, barrista, artist, music aficionado (Rock, not classical, as most people think), traveler, and soon to be Veterinarian. Did I mention he sings? Oh yeah, he's awesome!

And all the animals love him too!

And even though it's against his "No animals on the furniture" policy, I think he enjoys having the cats around to cuddle with.

And he likes playing with the dogs. He can run almost as fast as they can, so he can wear them out pretty quickly! :)

Max always laughs at my crazy jokes and shenanigans. Yay!!! We can be quite crazy when put together, as we both tend to have a darker side to our humor. Most people think Max is very prim and proper. Hahaahaaaaahahaaahaaaaa!!! No! While Max is polite and friendly with a lot of knowledge he is quite laid back, and doesn't mind getting his hands dirty, being lazy, or acting crazy.

He also willingly (?) goes along with the posing for all the photo ops, even if he is too tall to fit in some of them. :)

Here is Max being an engineer, just like his dad. He has a really close relationship with his family which I think is really important! His family is really great, and they always make me feel welcome and happy when I go visit them. They are fun and adventuresome, classy and tough, and all in all a great group of people.

Max is an Eagle Scout, and like me he enjoys being outside hiking, camping, and kayaking. He started college when he was 15, because he got bored in high school, and studied abroad in Scotland for a whole year. We hope to do more traveling together in the future.

So that is a snap shot of Max! He is my inspiration to be both myself and a better self, and I am very happy he is traveling down the same road as I am, and decided to walk with me.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Favorite Boys: Tas the Sea Cat

Once there was a cat named Tas. Tas lived on a beautiful farm in a lovely town in Illinois. There he had everything he desired: Many friends, a loving family, delicious cat food, and all the water he could drink. One day, while Tas was sleeping at home, he had a magical dream. In his dream Tas was a mighty sea captain. Him and his band of wild sea cats roamed the seven seas in search of a mighty pirate booty, of the likes which had never been found by any pirates before (We're talking loads of fish heads people. Cat nip, bells, lightsabers, you name it!!!). Yes, the legendary Treasure of Captain Purrrse Strings. Tas awoke from his dream eager to find his pirate crew and set out on his epic journey. Alas, Tas was destined to go to the landlocked state of Kansas. Cursing his fate he made every attempt to get to the sea. He became obsessed with water, sleeping in sinks, plundering bath tubs, and lapping at any water he could find. It is said that if you sleep downstairs in a certain apartment in Kansas, you may hear the lonely yowl of captain Tas in the wee hours of the morning, as he calls to his lost crew. Below we show some pictures of Tas the Sea Cat, along with his story of his captivity.

Call me Tas the Sea cat. For many years ( 3 to be exact) I have suffered in this wretched waste land known as Kansas. Surely I am happy to have my human mistress by my side, and yet, the wild sea calls to me.
Ahemm, but I digress. I shall now tell you my tale. It is a tale of searching for the sea, in every nook and cranny of my prison. This small apartment in which I live must have a secret access point somewhere. And I am sure that with enough searching I will find it. Come, scout the perimeter with me!!!
Is the sea here? Alas, no. I smell the cat known as Danger. Once my first mate, he has grown restless, and is now in constant pursuit of me.

The sea is not up here where three of the human girls sleep (The fourth human creature lives downstairs, she seems to be mostly human, but often meows at me in random sentences. Perhaps she is a human raised by a strange tribe of cats? She is very strange, and possibly dumb. I try not to bite her as she seems ignorant.). Sometimes I sleep in the sinks up here so I can hear the sea through the pipes.

"Hi Tas! Oh boy! Ithink Jenna is giving me tuna today for lunch!!! I can't wait!!! Ohhh!!! Did you see the squirrels today??? They were talking and I heard them say....

Follow me quickly! Danger is extremely talkative today. Come, I will show you my plan to get to the sea. It is bound to work!

Ah, yes. As you can see this box is the perfect size for me. My current plan is to mail myself to the sea shore, where my crew will find me. I plan to enlist the help of Danger. If need be a bribe of tuna may be procured from the refrigerator or pantry.

In a few short weeks perhaps my plan can finally come to fruition. I can only hope, and pray.

Here is the "Sink" I believe this is short for sink hole. The humans probably do not know the proper terminology and mistake this whirl pool maker for a common hole in the ground. A vain hope is that someday when the water is deep enough I may be sucked down and then deposited far out to sea.

What's that you say?

The sink does not lead to the sea, but is in fact merely a plumbing apparatus that ends at the sewage treatment plant?!?!


Moving on! Here is the "Bathroom". I know what you're thinking. It's just another sink. Am I right? Wrong!!!

If you walk over this way, I will show you something quite extraordinary!!! You may scoff at the sinks, but this is something totally different!

Oh yes, the bath tub!!! This magical device, while intimidating, is the closest I have gotten to the sea yet!!! Daily the human girls come here and turn on the water for long periods of time. While I have only observed this phenomena a few times, I am convinced that aside from the mail ploy, this is my next best shot at reaching the sea. Now let me show you my regimen for staying in peak physical condition in preparation for my voyage.

Ahh yes. Nothing like a warm lap, and a nice rest after a hard hour of exploration. Personally I enjoy about 15 minutes of massage followed by a nice 3-5 hour nap. Of course, the humans are not very understanding of this, and often disturb me, but this is easily rectified with a change in location. As a sea I.....


My Favorite Boys: The Danger File

I love taking pictures of the animals. Maybe a little too much. Out of everyone though, Danger (Jenna's cat) is usually the one who is at hand to pose, or be extra cute. Danger likes hanging out in my room for part of the day. He sleeps on my bed, sits on my desk, and watches birds and squirrels that flit outside of my window. More than once he has spilled a few things, but how can you not forgive this face?

What? I'm just laying here.

Hellooooooooo!!! Pet me!!!

Squirrel? Squirrel? Squirrel???

Christmas Montage!!!

What? Ice Cream Maker??? I thought this was my box?!?!

Why do you disturb my nap?

Oh yeah. This is a good position.