Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bored of anemic white factory farm eggs

I want- in fact I crave the day when I can wake up in the morning, step out through my front door, and collect myself a basket that looks like this one:

Friday, May 27, 2011


This chubby little fella has been showing up nightly lately to gobble up the whatever the alley cats don't. He tips the bowl over, uses his nimble little fingers to pick up the food and eat it, the rights the bowl again and scampers off into the dark. I'm not sure we should be encouraging him to get too terribly comfortable with people, but I have to admit he's awfully darn cute.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Good News

I PASSED!!!! Everything!! No re-writes, no re-do's, Thursday June 16th I will be walking across that stage and I will be receiving my diploma.

The last three years have been a huge learning curve, a physical and emotional journey. I find myself nostalgic looking back on who I was then, and who I have become. I think the girl in the mirror and I are a little easier with each other now. I like that.

I have become a care giver. A nurturer. I learned the obvious, how to massage, but I learned so much more too. I am a Doula. I can help mothers and their doctors/midwives bring babies into this world. And heck, I can make the process run a little smoother and more comfortable and cathartic for mom and baby both. I like that.

I also learned a way to finally make a living working with animals. I can rehabilitate racehorses, treat sore dressage horses, work with canine and equine athletes on soft tissue injuries, and also work on their stress and anxiety and emotional well being. I like that too.

I know I'm not quite done until the fat lady sings, or in this case, until I get my registration number from the CMTO in September, but I can't help but feel done. Feel like I made it. I made it.

And I'm so grateful for all the people who have helped me get where I am. For parents, there every step of the way, and grandparents, eager to see me succeed. For girlfriends who got me started down this path, and the boyfriend who stayed with me and helped me keep true to it. For friends who scraped me up off the floor at exam time and offered tea or booze (or both in the same cup). For classmates that bake the world's best guinness cup cakes, and others who give the best hugs I've ever hugged. For the classmates who cried big fat real tears the first time I found out I'd failed a class. For the teachers, weird and wonderful, who truly only want to see us succeed. It truly takes a village to raise a person, and that doesn't stop once you can be trusted not to play in traffic. I needed each and every one of you, and I'm so thankful that you helped me get where I am.

I made it. We made it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Loooooooong Weekend.

Well, exams are done and over with. Friday after the last exam my classmates and I went out to the madison and got out drink on for a little while. I discovered I love magners hard cider. Then my best friend from class came back to my place for tequila rose and good music. Introduced her to the likes of Andy McKee and Iron and Wine. Much to my surprise, she was already familiar with I&W. Cheers to good friends with good taste. My parents were at ikea here in the city, so they gave me a lift home rather than having to take the bus to Orangeville. Kudos to them. Zack met us in Orangeville.
Saturday morning Zack and I went to the market, then came home and helped mom plant her vegetable garden. We now have a 12x20 plot with 4 varieties of tomatoes, 3 varieties of peas, bush beans, zucchini, pumpkins, pickling cucumbers, carrots, radishes, 2 types of onions, butter crunch lettuce, basil, bell peppers and sunflowers. We spent the afternoon running errands, went for a walk with my grandparents in the early evening, and had steak for dinner. Overall a pretty good day.
On Sunday the same friend who shared my tequila rose on friday came to mom's place with her fiancee. They brought burgers for lunch, and we put on a local meal for dinner. Venison shot at a nearby farm and processed by a local butcher into sausages, roasted baby red potatoes and asparagus from the market, and home made iced tea. We spent the day lounging about and chatting, and just unwinding from our stressful week. In the evening we got a fire going with whatever wood we could find laying about. We tried to lie on blankets spread out on the grass, but the ground is still too soggy in the back yard, the blankets got soaked in minutes, so instead we dragged around the patio furniture. It worked. We told creepy stories and roasted marshmallows... I brought out the fiddle, but it wasn't very well received. Guess I should practice some more before another public appearance. They didn't leave till after midnight... about the time we ran out of wood.
Monday and Tuesday were lazy days. Now I'm back in the city.
Today is the day that I find out if I passed all my exams or not... Wish me luck?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Old Joe Clark

this is what I'm working on today...

Lazy Day

Today's exams were over with by 10, and I came home and made myself eggs and leftover garlic toast, drank orange juice and coffee and ate a grapefruit (the only way to eat a grapefruit properly of course is to cut it in half widthwise, sprinkle with sugar and eat the wedges with a spoon). I finished a book that I've been working on reading for over a month now. Then I came outside with the cats to pull some weeds from the garden and play my fiddle. Amazing grace and twinkle twinkle were getting a little old, but I thought surely there must be an intermediary step between that and "real" fiddle tunes right? Not so much. Or at least I can't find it. I did however find a youtube tutorial of a fellow breaking "Old Joe Clark" down into its constituent parts for me, and its coming along nicely. I wouldn't get up on stage tomorrow with it, but at least the neighbors have stopped cringing when I bring the case out.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Apple Rhubarb Crisp

Here's the recipe as near as I can tell it from the rhubarb crisp I made on the weekend. I didn't follow a recipe, I kinda made it up on the fly, and I'm notorious for not measuring these things. We did have a really deep dish pie plate, so if it's looking like far too much fruit to you, that could be why. It will cook down in volume though, so being full is ok, just have a cookie sheet under it.

The fruit:
approx. 6 medium stalks rhubarb, sliced like celery
7 apples (we used a mix of granny smith and red delicious. Just what we had on hand.) peeled, cored, sliced
sweeten to taste if your rhubarb is bitter and your apples tart. We found we didn't need to add any sugar at all.
crisps are very forgiving and most fruits do well together. This time, we also had about 3/4 of a cup of blueberries in the freezer we wanted to eat up. We tossed them in too.

The crisp:
2 cups of quick oats
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter/margarine

sprinkle the crumbly mixture over the fruits in a pie plate, bake at 350 for an hour or until golden brown and bubbling

p.s. Happy Birthday Zack!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Weekend In the Life

Only 13 exams left now... and 5 of them are tomorrow. We'll get through this, and then I'll post more. Promise.

Went to the farmer's market in Orangeville on Saturday with my mom. I need to teach her how to shop the market properly. She stands in the middle of the whole affair, spies out the things she needs, bee-lines to the assorted booths in the most efficient trajectory, and skedaddles out of there. That simply won't do. The market is all about the tastes, textures and smells. It's about hearing where frost still lingers, and what a hard time your meat providers had lambing out this spring. Its about making the meaningful connections, and hearing exactly how your dinner ended up on the table, from planting/conception, to harvest, whether it be honey extractors or butcher knives. It's not just about assuming that the food is local because, well, it came from the market, but knowing and truly appreciating the people who make your belly full. It's thanksgiving every Saturday. And I savour it. As a first market experience for the season, I have to say I'm very disappointed with being dragged through it military style. I did however manage to get a few words in edgewise to a sweet lass who's new this year and selling yogurt, cheese and ice cream, all made with sheep's milk. Dairy products in general have been sorely lacking at our market, she was certainly a fresh face in the crowd. I bought a sharp cheese called egweda ecru that is reminiscent of a really old cheddar from her. I also snatched up a bottle of raw honey, and managed to slow mom down enough so she could hear the explanation of raw versus liquid honey, and I could tell her why I prefer the raw.

When we got home I realized that we had apples going wrinkly in the fruit bowl, past their prime bananas a-plenty in the fridge, and fresh rhubarb growing up tall and crisp in the garden. What's a poor girl to do, study? With all that going on around me? Heck no. I made an apple rhubarb crisp, and since mom and I were butting heads over who made the better banana muffins, and we had a plethora of nice brown mushy ones, we decided to each bake a batch of our favorites and see what the family thought was best. Mine won, hands down. Wasn't a fair fight. Mine have chocolate chips and walnuts.

All this foodie adventuring was finished by noon however, and I spent the afternoon studying. Didn't feel too guilty about it. After all, some mornings last week I hardly woke up before noon.

Sunday we took the Pathfinders on a hike. We followed the bruce trail from Hockley road at 2nd line, then took the Glen Cross, and Tom East side trails on the way back, for a total of 11.5 km. The trail was breathtaking, and awe inspiring. There were giant moss covered rocks, and piles of fieldstone tossed aside by farmers. Open meadows and dense forests. Tiny sandy banked streams, and raging rocky rivers with wooden bridges. Coniferous forest, deciduous forest, and everything in between. An ascent so steep it was aided by a cable, and stiles for crossing fence lines. It never ceases to amaze me what a wonderful, diverse landscape we have in Dufferin county. (is that part of the trail in Dufferin? I think so.) We stopped at about half way and ate a lunch of pancakes with chocolate chips and bananas and turkey bacon. The girls kept exclaiming at how fresh the air smelled, how beautiful the view was, and how nice it was that we weren't overheating as we hiked along. I think the weather might have hit a high of 10 degrees all day, and drizzled almost the whole time, but we were properly dressed for it, and it actually felt refreshing. We are definitely planning on doing more hiking in the future. Pictures to come I promise. I found a digital camera I haven't touched in about a year and took the pics with that. Now I just have to find the uploader cord.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Going Insane

And school is both the cause and the cure. I can't wait for next week to be over and DONE with. I can almost play amazing grace on the fiddle though, and MSK is the only subject left that I haven't looked at at all. Need to spend some more time with patho, anatomy, neuro and cardio, but at least I've looked at them all once.
Starting to plan for the summer. Working out how much I have to save for a decent down payment on a house in two year's time, cruising the classifieds for a job. Looking up car insurance rates. Trying to fight my way out of the life of a student and into adulthood. Wish me luck, I feel like peter pan is cackling over my shoulder and chanting "Never, Never, Never"

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hey Diddle Diddle take 2

I'd like to introduce you to my newest favourite distraction. Ain't she a beauty? It's a Yamaha fiddle, and it's mine for a month. I rented it from Long and McQuade's, and for only 16 bones a month, I get her, the case, the bow, and roisin. Hoping that maybe I can get good enough by July that I can convince somebody to buy me one for my birthday.
I picked her up yesterday afternoon, and stopped in Garrison Creek park halfway home to try her out. Couldn't wait till I got home. I screeched and scratched my way across the strings, but it was music to my ears.
I went home and studied for a while, and the next time I was ready for a break I took her out to the front porch to fumble my way through a youtube lesson. One of the neighbor's boys was drawn out to see what I was doing. He was enthused to have another "musician" on the street. I told him I was hardly that... yet at least. He just smiled and told me that if I was passionate about it, I was a musician. I liked this kid already. Then he told me that it sounded a little out of tune. I don't have the ear to be able to tune these things myself, but he went and got his guitar, and by plucking that, then plucking my fiddle, he helped me get it back in tune. Then he sat on the front porch steps and played the guitar for a while. He plays 5 instruments and is learning 2 more. I was impressed. The kid is 14. I wished I had a batch of iced tea or something mad up to offer him. Anyways, I've lived here since January, and that was one of the longest conversations I've had with a neighbor. Music really does build communities. So does screeching apparently. He headed back home when his little brother got home from school and I studied Joint mobilizations.
Later on, when it was time for another break, I let all 4 cats out into the backyard and followed them out with freshly made iced tea and the fiddle. I played for about 15 minutes, and then sat studying Neuro in the glorious sunshine. Wearing a tank top. I am so burnt. It felt really good to soak up the vitamin d though.
And now it's morning, and I'm blogging/studying until I'm pretty sure I won't wake anyone up with the fiddle. I think this pattern of study, take a break to fiddle, study some more is gonna work out really well this week.

Loose ends

I realize I kinda left a few cliffhanger posts lately, where I never gave any follow up. Let's try and wrap things up a bit shall we?

The Pathfinder meeting went pretty well last week. None of our little girl guide friends showed up. We had some signals crossed about when exactly they were coming. They will come to the next 2 meetings, and on our hike on Sunday. The pathfinders though learned how to set a table for formal occasions, how to fold fancy napkins in 3 ways, and all the little that I know about flower arranging. I was so grateful to my Nana who made sure that I learned such things. At the time I'm sure I didn't seem very appreciative, but in this day in age where eating out of a plastic tray in front of a television is becoming the new normal, it feels darn good to make sure my 8 girls remember what a real place setting looks like. I also challenged them to set a proper table for mother's day dinner. I've heard back from one girl who said she knocked her mother's socks off. Mommy was so proud. And of course, they all had flower arrangements to take home for a center piece! It was a pricy craft, but one of my favorite ones I've done so far.
Camp this weekend ran SO smoothly, I was amazed. We had one girl who had never spent a night away from her parents, or sleeping outside before. She braved the "wilderness" with us for the first night, and was happy enough to be there all day, but she went home to sleep the second night, then came back to help with pack up Sunday morning. We found a cray fish in the parking lot. There are no streams or rivers anywhere nearby, but hey, there he was. Apparently there it a little stream across the road and back in the woods a bit. Maybe a bird dropped him in our parking lot? He was perfectly intact, aside from missing a leg, and totally dried out. He kinda became the mascot. All of our girls are pretty good cooks, as it turns out, and they were very good about taking turns, and sharing responsibilities. I was very impressed with all of them.

On Sunday Nana and Popa came up for dinner, and my Aunt, Uncle, and three cousins came for a visit. We hadn't seen the oldest cousin since before christmas, so it was really nice to see him doing well. As soon as they left my parents dog was, well, sick as a dog. She spent the remainder of the afternoon barfing up more than I would have guessed could fit in her stomach. Handfuls and handfuls of wood chips. Now, I'm not thinking it's very likely that she suddenly decided to eat the garden mulch, I can't imagine it tastes very good. Much more likely is that she got the hickory chips from the meat smoker somehow. The meat cooks on top of the chips, they would be soaked with grease drippings, and smell just like smoked meat. I might eat them too if I was a dog. Everyone is denying that there were any about for her to find, but the evidence was all over the floor. She barfed it all up, and when it was clear that she was done, I made her up a drink with ginger to settle her stomach. She was shaking, so we swaddled her up like a baby. No, I don't really think that helped her much, but it made us feel better, and she indulges us so well. She's doing just fine now.
Ok, that gets us just about caught up to yesterday. I have one more thing to share, but I think it deserves a separate post. Stay tuned?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

One foot in front of the other

and step by grueling step I should get through the next two weeks. I forgot entirely that my first exam, an oral practical exam, is tomorrow afternoon. In the morning I'm going shopping for camp supplies, in the evening I have clinic. After that I catch a bus to Brampton and my amazingly accommodating parents will pick me up and drive me to their house, where I'll pack the rest of my gear, go grocery shopping for the gang, and stagger into camp for 11 pm. Maybe. Probably more like midnight. Maybe it's not the next 2 weeks that will be so grueling, maybe it's just the next 24 hours. I'm about ready to tear my hair out.

Hey Diddle Diddle

There are certain problems with having an unexpected windfall when you've been living on a shoe string budget: you suddenly feel like a millionaire, and have it spent 5 ways before it hits your hands. Or I do, anyways.
My grandparents gave me some money, apparently to be able to order take-out during my study week. They thought it might free up some more of my time to study with, and hey, everyone's gotta eat right? Well, if I ate that much take-out, I think I'd be a blimp by next friday. I plan on ordering in thai, because I've been craving it lately, and maybe order in a pizza, but even after I go grocery shopping, I'm gonna have a reasonable wad of cash in my hot little hands. What to do with it? My initial though was: for 45$ I can get myself a student violin and bow and case, second hand but barely used. I so badly want to try my hand at fiddling, but will it distract me and keep me from my studies this study week? Probably. I've also wanted to start hula-hooping. A friend of mine does it, and she's been bringing various hoops to school and letting us all try it. Two of my other classmates have bought hoops of their own already, and some of us are starting to learn some pretty fancy tricks. Seems like a good way to exercise too... but again, distraction. Instead maybe I should save that money, and buy a fiddle, or a hoop, once exams are all over. But in the mean time, it should probably be put towards paying off my credit card. But then again, I have mothers day and birthdays coming up. I could actually afford to give some nice gifts if I wanted. Or I could get a new rock/climbing structure for my lizard's tank like I've been meaning to... the more I stop and think about it, the longer the list gets. I guess I need to find a way to sit down and prioritize the list.

... did I mention I really want a fiddle?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Flowers and Tableware

With mother's day just around the corner, tonight with the pathfinders we'll be getting a crash course in flower arranging, and table setting. The girls are each going to get to make a bouquet with 5-7 stems to take home for their moms, and they're going to learn how to properly set a table, so they can set the table for their mother's day dinner. I figure the unit owes a little kiss up to the moms since we're taking their daughters away to camp on their special day. They'll be home in plenty of time to help with dinner sunday night though.
We have special guests coming from the girl guide unit, these girls are in their third year and will be joining us in September as newly minted Pathfinders. They're coming tonight to see what all the buzz is about, hope we don't disappoint.

Only 4 more.

Only 4 more days of classes. That's it. 4 more days of guidance and instruction, and then it's my turn to show them what I know, and then go off and be an RMT. Wow. I kinda can't believe I made it. It seems such a short time ago that I felt like I'd been at the school forever, and I still had forever to go, and now all of a sudden it's over, or the next thing to it.
All I want to do is sleep the whole first week. And start to catch up with all the friendships I've neglected these past 3 years. I love you guys, and miss you!! I think I'd like to get some kind of barn job, as a groom or stable hand. Just for the summer. That way I get a little more hands on experience with horses, I'd really like to pursue the equine massage aspect. I can't actually do massage until my registration exams in September anyways. But I taste it... FREEDOM!!! coming soon to a blogger near you!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

More Frieserons

... this last fella... wow! Had to wipe up a little drool. No lie.

Call it a Crush...

but I call it love. I am head over heels for percheron-friesian crosses. I have decided that if I get a horse, I want this one. It might not be my first horse ever, but I will have one. One that's long in the legs, but solid, not to thin or spindly. Deep, broad chest, short back, full hind quarters, arched neck and all that gorgeous long crimpy friesian hair. Some people have a dream car, I have a dream horse. Sorry bout the sparse posting... exam time. Studying rules my life. Today: Anatomy. Yay.