Thursday, December 20, 2007


so i started that blog in november, but it was really posted today. ah well

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

walking in a winter wonderland

so, it's been a while since i last posted. oops. the holiday season is upon us and no one is perfect. work has been just that. people complain that our hours aren't good enough (we are open more than 10 hours a day, 7 days a week), that our prices are too expensive (i agree sometimes with that), and that they weren't going to do anything for their pet anyway because, and i quote, "its christmas"... i mean, really, your dog is DYING, and you won't buy it medication because why? oh! yeah, you really need to get a pair of chinos to gift wrap under the tree...

but i have actually gotten a nice little break from all that recently. lets see, what have curt and i really been up to?

ahh, for only a few hundred dollars we managed to insulate the attic... with recycled paper blown insulation that looks like snow... grey tufts of warm snowy dust bunnies to keep us snuggly all winter. best darn day ever. so rewarding. seriously, if you need a date, this was the best date EVER. EVER! the dreaded attic project is FINISHED! it is satisfying to see fluffy stuff fly into empty beams and become useful, we came out of it looking like diminuative grey-hairs, and we saved almost $3,000 by doing it ourselves. and our heat is on a lot less often... and we got a great work-out (i mean, seriously sore the next morning). overall, i think this was the best $500 ever spent. mmm.

that means that since we moved in, we have replaced the back door, the roof, the insulation, the windows, and replaced the crawlspace screens. we have torn down the old-english ivy and replaced the piping from the street to the house! i'm sure there's more, but i can't think of it right now, and this is pretty impressive for only having the house since july!

then mom and dave came to visit. of course, my luck, it rained the whole time, and the heat died the first night they were here (it was a little exciting because this the first time that something needing doing was covered by our home warrenty- but we did not follow the correct procedure by going through them first since they were not available, and ended up paying for the repairs ourseves as heat is just maybe, kind-of, necessary when it is in the low 30's outside). but we OVERCAME!!!! and had a blast. got family time in, some shopping, *enjoyed* the bourbon trail, and saw a most mind-altering movie.... good times.

and most recently, we returned from michigan where leeloo met all of curt's family! carol et al have all moved out to toledo, and are staying with mom and dad for the time being. we stayed at the steph et all household, and leeloo got to spend an agreeable couple days stealing cookies from little hands and cleaning up messes (cereal and crayons and cheese, oh my!). she was really, really well behaved! we had a blast, and set no alarms, and enjoyed good food, good family fun, and lights and snow. i love all my nieces and nephews, but there sure are a lot of them now. concentrated energy, that's what kids are! 4 kids 5 and under. wow. 5 with leeloo.

other new leeloo discoveries: see is making out like a bandit this holiday season. lucky dog! she also loves snow! there was 6-8inches in michigan and she happily trounced through it every chance she got. soo funny.

so, we are all cozy and happy this holiday season. we are happy to be home, and were even happier to have all these adventures. just have to fight off the glums at not going back to now england for the first time ever. just enjoying the high of yummy christmas life right now.

while we are all feeling grateful for how wonderful our lives are now, it is time to take a moment and appreciate just how easy oour lives are. in comparison, mr. snowy, beloved snowman squeeky toy of the masses, has just undergone his tenth, yes tenth, surgery. he has lost his tasselled hat, beautiful bow-tie, and has undergone several amputations. further surgeries to help stabilize him will be funded through the leeloo teething christmas foundation, and recovery time in hospice is covered by all her new toys...

that is about all for this end of the woods. we are both working through christmas and new years this year (being an intern sucks, but no complaints given how much time we did get this year!).

Sunday, November 11, 2007


here are the pictures of our great adventure in underground plumbing! it has been an experience. not only was it wonderfully fun to see the front yard play nice with a backhoe.

we had to pull out a bush to get the pipes changed out. and guess what?! the bush is still alive! i was worried that it wouldn't make it, but so far, so good. (yes i am obcessed about my bush. you may all giggle and tee hee).

so here is what the frony yard looks like now. it's a little hard to see, but the mound is a long way from settling, and there are chunks of clay (yes, i know, i moved from the horridclay of michigan to the clay of kentucky) as big as basketballs (note, the excellent sports mention. this is as close as i'll ever get!) so i need to have a date with a rototiller. and it is time once again to pray for rain.

in other exciting news, i got my time off for "christmas"! it pays to have a hubby who gets his winter break off of the usual cycle of holidays! yippee! oh i am so happy! la la lalalalalaallalalalalala! llama! it also pays to have accrued time off that can be requested. hehehe. life is good.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

always something

first off, continuing the pictures of the house. they are sprinkled throughout. but now, the real gripe:

so, just when we felt on top of things here, our water bill shoots through the roof. turns out we have a leak in the water pipe between the street meter and the house. this is, apparently, our problem and not the city's. we are going to have our yard dug up and the pipes replaced. goodie. just how everyone sees their day off. and, this is not covered by our home-purchasers insurance which covers the house for one year. but not the property, it only covers from the foundation in and up. at least the ground is not frozen yet.

in other trying news, we are really strapped for vets at work. hard thing to imagine in a 4 vet practice, right?! well, part of the comforting idea that if anything happens to you, there will be other vets ready and able to come in and cover your clients until you return is the fact that you will sometimes be that vet for others in the corporation. so, i have been covering for a vet in loisville 2 days a week since she went in for surgery and needs at least 6 weeks medical leave. i work part time now at my own clinic. one of the other 4 vets works only part time in florence and part time in hyde park. hyde park just had a 90 day review with it's only full time vet, and apparently the meeting ended with :don't come back tomorrow! don't come back ever! so, we have to get a full time vet there too. that's one more vet down. so, i'm part time, dr o is part time, and dr j in no more at our clinic until we have a replacement... that leaves an equivalent of 2 full time vets in a practice that should have 2 vets there (maybe 3) 7 days a week.

long story short, were are all a little stressed right now. i get 2 days off for thanksgiving (nice gesture) but curt won't be free. grr. and christmas will be interesting to say the least. i worked my first sunday ALONE! all alone. all emergencies, no scheduled appointments, no other vets. i removed fishhooks and amputated adult dog tails... all went really (suprisingly) well. i rock as a vet! go me! woot! i just wish i had seen it coming, as i found out saturday night and had no time to talk myself down from the rapid rising panic.

leeloo is doing well in puppy class. we've only had 3 so far, but she is responding to me and is not a crazy flying furball at the end of the leash any more. (she is doing great at home, the distrations of other dogs, though, that is much more difficult).

auds (the distracted)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

happy birthday to me!

i did NOTHING! and it was wonderful!

well, i baked a cake (chocolate with cream cheese frosting), and curt got some sleep and we went climbing and out for sushi. SUSHI! yummy, rolled up, happy sushi with interesting food combinations! waahoo!

oh! and the baby bushes i planted are doing just great! here they are! aren't they so cute?! woodgie woodgie woodgie little planties... when they grow up, they will look like this: i can't wait! it will be beautiful!

and yesterday, i saw our roof *oh boy* in the sunlight! no rain, no post-work or pre-work darkness... just warm sunlight and our new roof. which, by the way, looks like this! fantabuloso! mmm, architectural shingles!
happy halloweenie to all of you scary ghouls out there! we had our open haunted house at work, and our work social outing to the haunted uss nightmare in cincinnati was awesome (except for leeloo getting a little separation anxiety and tearing up the floor in tammy's bathroom. i'll go up tomorrow to fix it)! while i will be missing a party tonight (no loss, got to spend the day with my hubby), we are now crashed as a family of 3 in front of the fake fire. okay, curt is right, it is an actual fire, but the logs are very fake. kelly's baby shower and tammy's bathroom are tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

beutifully productive days

ahh, monday was just peachy-perfect. an early morning jump-start to the day... then i had an appt with a blown insulation guy over the sad and pathetic insulation situation in our attic (no wonder the old owners payed almost $300/month to heat this place). learned some good stuff, although it was too expensive and we will probably just tackle this one ourselves too...

then, i cut matting for framing pictures and reduced the size of that project. my desire to actually finish the project has been reduced since anne and sean are no longer visiting (but at least they will be loving a new bundle of joy that they are the proud godparents of!), but now the large mat-board isn't the main attraction of the living room. success in smaller packages!

then, i finalized the roof contractors and the windows. the new roof should be on by friday (in fact, they just dropped off the new tiles today... better than getting a new toy!). the windows, however, will take 5-7 weeks to order and come in. so... no new windows until dec., but at least all my little ducks are in a row.

i did laundry and dishes, played with the dog... THEN i went to the garden center and got bushes for the front of the house. which i brought home and finished the landscaping. i pulled out a small tree and moved boulders... grrr, i am powerful woman, hear me roar! and now the house has a facelift! baby bushes... so nice to have it done...

i started patching the insulation on the heating ducts, then met curtis when he got off of work and we went climbing then out to eat. what a great night... actually sitting down and talking with my husband and eating fabulous dosas at the southern indian restaurant. hmm, heavenly ending to a perfect day!

yesterday, well, that was just work and puppy class... poor leeloo, learning how to behave herself... so sad. teeheehee.

today will be decidedly less productive, although i will be visiting home depot AGAIN.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

tickled pink

amy's wedding was absolutely beautiful... she was a picture of perfection, we all had fabulous updos (i had more than 70 bobbypins in my head) and glorious gowns... no one tripped and fell, the ceremony was just the right length, the reception food was fantastic, and the dj rocked! it was so wonderful to see my vet school friends again!

plus, being in detroit and east lansing, we stocked up on good sushi, bubble tea, and middle eastern. ahhh, tasty vacation.

we were driving home when, much to our surprise, ren called and we found out that we are god-parents to beautiful little jackie! oh great excitment and long distance schmoozing over an 8 lb infant!

then, we also made it down to the smokies for some great backpacking...views, walking in clouds, the at.... so refreshing and desperately needed. it was a great week off, all things said. now we are both back to the grindstone.

sorry no pics, but getting the words up is a good start.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

the MASTER bedroom

here it is, in all it's glory...

it even comes with a full bath! (small)

and i just couldn't resist some more pics of the cutie!
(and her duckie-okay, it is really a phesant)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

i am an auntie!

hooray! jackie was born this past weekend, and both mom carol and baby are happy and healthy.

oh, and here is leeloo, our cutie-pie. i spayed her
on monday, and she is still a little out of it, although nothing beats the vomiting punch-drunk puppy i brought home... today we start her first puppy class.

curt and i had a magical weekend in tenn this past weekend. curt got 2 days off in a row, and we drove off into the middle of nowhere... i mean, literally, nowhere. it is amazing that these places still exist. down a road that turned into dirt after a stream crossing, we pulled into some stranger's driveway- the only available place to camp- hoping it was the right location and we weren't tresspassing because this sort of place i expect shotguns... and pitched our tent (and the dog kennel as leeloo still doesn't sleep through the night).

we had one good day of rockclimbing- curt and i loved the routes down there, and curt decided to end on a 5.11a. bear in mind that we are climbing sport, which means that he is taking the rope up with him and clipping it into the wall as he goes. if he falls, he will fall from where he is, back to his last clip, and then the same distance under the clip... plus a little extra for rope stretching... so most people climb a few grades lower on lead than on top-rope (in the gym where the rope goes all the way to the top and you maybe fall a foot if you don't do the move correctly). curt climbs 5.11a's in the gym. he nearly falls, he dramatically saves himself and scrambles to return to a place of refined balance... he makes it to the top of the route (hooray!) and i lower him down, stopping every 6-10 ft or so to retrieve his gear holding the rope to the wall. the problem is, this route traversed up the wall at about a 45 degree angle, and under a huge ledge... to get his last piece, he had to pull on my end of the rope and haul himself back under the ledge. when he got it off the wall, we BOTH swung waaaaaay out pendulum-style. he, gracefully arching through the air, and i lifting my feet to avoid hitting rocks. no problem, right?

not so. i swing directly into a dead tree stump, breaking it in the process, and swing back into a live tree trunk... thus making all my scrapes andbruises symetrical... all minor, don't worry. this arc takes us right through the line we had set up for leeloo to run on... she is so startled she begins to howl and bark, shaking like mad, upsetting a hornet, and getting stung behind the ear (poor thing!). everyone is fine, i lower curt, and calm the puppy. we pack up and leave, deciding to go for a swim in the stream to clean off. cold, but refreshing. leeloo looks at us expectantly from shore, so i turn on the sweet talk and say "come 'ere". she, apparently thinking she could walk on water, LEAPS! toward me, the look of utter amazement and incomprehension spreading on her face as she sinks up to her neck in cold water...and promptly tries to clamor up me to get out. i turn her around and curt fishes her back onto shore. we dry off, change into warm clothes, and hang out by the fire with the owners we have now met...on sunday, we decide to forgo the climbing for some hiking, and got some great views.
ho0use pictures to follow soon. love!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Mwah ha ha ha ha

i figured out how to change some things on this blog! tee hee, now curt and i can argue pettily over what the name should be. any suggestions? the name may change frequently now. ah, the many problems of an indecisive poster....

okay, after 1230... time for bed. pictures will have to wait.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

the beauty of the changing leaves

sooo far behind in the postings! must bulletpoint to get through in a reawsonable time!

-WE HAVE A PUPPY! her name is Leeloo, she is about 5 months old. she is a mix of (most likely) beagle and deutschund. so cute. brown. untrained from previous home.

-my job rocks! yesterday i saved a kitty on death's doorstep, merely by giving it fluids and passing a urinary catheter! some days this job is truely rewarding... nice kitty.

-curt is on ortho surgery for this month and next. he is working 80+ hours a week and wanders in the closest semblence to a zombie he can muster. but he managed to get acouple days off in a row that line up with mine. he is an angel. hmm, angel-zombie... sounds like a great b movie...

-having a shifting schedule where you never have the same days off is tough because you can't join any groups or classes. i think i went to yoga twice. it met 4 days a week all summer....

-the library is inconveniently placed. everything is when you are doing work/transit for >60 hours a week.

-leeloo loves her duckie. she also has made more friends than me, and often plays with finns, the dog of dr j, and harley, the neighbors boxer.... that said, finns got run over by mom's 4-wheeler today, so play dates may be suspended for a while.

-we still haven't finished unpacking. there will be much celebration when that happens.

-i still haven't figured out how to put up pictures on this blog. once i figure that out, there will be puppy pictures, then a tour of the house in installments.

-i still haven't looked at the spain pictures since we got home. poot : (

-i still haven't learned another foreign language, but banfield is actually working on purchasing a car for me! woot!

-carol is due any time now. giddy excitement! after all, i should call because she is MY sister-in-law (tee hee).

-great excitement in the near futute (besides the baby), includes leeloo's first camping experience, spaying her, and puppy classes starting next week! (i am such a dope-y dog mom!). then close on that tail... amy's wedding, a backpacking trip (sans puppy), mybirthday, annie and sean visiting... world peace, and an end to global warming! can't you just see it now!

-i love my commute. losing the time sucks, losing the energy sucks. wasting the gas sucks. but the time i gain with the people i chat with on the phone is priceless. and so far leeloo sleeps through it fine.

-i'm used to going to bed at 10, and it is now midnight... perhaps there is a bettertime to be doing this.

love you all

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

oh, yeah!

and i finally got my license! woot!

desk destruction!

it was too hot to go climbing, so we moved all the books out of the study and began trying to dismantle the built in desk that the previous owner built with his limited skill. we need the space for shelves for our fun books (to keep them distinct from our medical books, which are not exactly a sure-fire fun read...) and the desk is really an eye-sore. after much fun with our fabulous powerdrill, and a small amount of prying and pushing, and only very minor wall demolition, we regained a part of the office that had been screaming for freedom! no more oddly sized desk for you, little study!

we are now repairing the wall and shopping for shelves that match our medical book shelves.

i cleaned out a lot of old notes and books from undergrad... who knew i would not actually need my beef management notes in the real world? or british empiricism... honestly, i can be such a pack-rat! reading through some of my old notes, though, i realized that i used to be quite smart... and funny! i wonder where that part of my brain went. medicine and philosophy work so differently in my little mind. ah well, off to find more buried treasures...

Friday, August 10, 2007

en- title-ment

maybe my last name is gale-dyer because i am long-winded and good at staining my clothes...

that last post went on for miles!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

the missing links

so much to say...

had a great time at amy's wedding shower and really appreciated the girl time only such a trip can provide. my friends truely make my life an enjoyable experience... i only wish amy could fully appreciate how truely gorgeous she looks, yes, the awesome make-up and hair help.... but i mean all the time. when she is happy, she glows and she is clueless... it is part of what makes her so sweet and innocent (hahaha)

no but really... what is this epidemic of beautiful, intellegent, totally capable young women who know they are smart because of thier achievements, know they are capable (sometimes) because of their abilities... but apparently never absorbed the fact that they too, are beautiful. even if they are told that they are... they don't believe it. (seriously think about how many women you know who fit this category!) i wonder what would happen if they all suddenly suffered an affliction of suspension of disbelief... and saw what everyone else around them saw. myself included. maybe this needs to be a part of the new feminist movement... helping the next generation accept what they look like, and appreciating just how beautiful they really are. no conceit, just a good self-appreciation. maybe an increase in self-esteem... (the piano elevator music version of what a wonderful world this could be swells in the quiet after the schpiel)

my job is going well. i see real animals and try my best to help them and their owners (sorry.. banfield Pet parents)... i am really happy here. i work with a great bunch of people. they are efficient, funny, fun-loving people and i am blessed to have such a great group... they are letting me choose which sick patients to slowly widen my work and build my confidence....

it is only natural for a new vet to need to build their confidence... they have never worked without someone watching over their shoulder, ensuring they don't make a mistake... someone to talk everything out with and double and triple check before you do anything... it is a bit of a culture shock to suddenly think that you are suddenly solely responsible for the lives and deaths of your patients under your care.

it is one thinkg to know and expect that you are new to this, this is difficult, and you have a low level of confidence due to a lack of experience... it is another to realize that not only is all of this true, but 4 years of degrading, mind-blowing, self-esteem destroying medical education has pussy-whipped me into a blubbering fool incapable of acting on my own knowledge and self-initiative. especially since i still don't have my license and am therefore not endangering my own ability to practice medicine in the future... and at this point, i am only seeing things that i KNOW and am familiar with. for goodness' sake! if i know i am doing it right, why do i need confirmation and back pats to go with it. why isn't my voice good enough? this should dissipate with time. i know it will get better, but i have never been well known for my patience (stop laughing! it's not funny to laugh at the impatient girl...) but i love my job. every day i get better, i am learning the flow well, i am understanding the computer system better... life is good.

anywho, in other exciting news, our bedframe is coming today! yippee!!! no more sleeping on the floor for me! and my paycheck is also coming on saturday! double yippee!!! i plan on dancing across the clinic, butt a wiggling, at the sight of my largest payload ever! it's a real job if they pay you, right?

and in other news, i went to the boone (as in daniel boone) county fair last night with a bunch of girls from work. i ate cotten candy, got to watch the walking horses show (this is extreemely funny and i highly recommmend seeing it for yourself sometime. imagine a horse walking on it's hind legs and flipping it's front legs out as it goes. and the riders are all hunched over like little old men in shriner's cars...), toured the little rides, saw some bad karyoke, and even watched a demolition derby race (yes, i said race... they had to do figure 8s around a track like those toy cars we all had when we werre little... sooo much fun! amazing to see old front wheel drives do some stunts like that in the mud... and 2 cars even caught on fire! i am finding and coming to terms with my inner red-neck hick! and wow, the announcers were something else!) i feel initiated into kentucky life. the state fair is next week... yeehaw! too bad we missed the frog racing contest... one of the girls was going to enter it! tomorrow is the watermellon seed spitting contest... and the boy's pig wrestle... i love this state!

Monday, August 6, 2007

happy anniversary

well, it's been 4 years. 4 long years (although not because of the company). i finally feel like i am setting up shop with my hubby, something traditionally reserved for newly-weds. with each new addition- pictures, furniture, whatever, this place feels more like home. i think having the dining room chairs is what really did it for me. now that they are all here and assembled properly, we can actually sit down and share a meal together, when we're both here at dinner time, and that is precious.

today is one of those days. how we managed to both be free today is beyond me, but it is wonderfully comforting to walk to the store together, pick out ingredients together, and come back andcook... (i'm a sap, i know). it is wonderful just to function as a pair again. cooking together is a large part of what started this relationship. i am truely happy.

so what's on the menu? roast duck breast in a raspberry/red wine sauce, baked root veggies (carrots, potatoes, leeks, and fennel), and our mississippi mud wedding cake (complete with fresh strawberries, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream...) YUM! we have our champagne too... and tickets to go see some live music tonight... i am drunk on happiness.


on the job front, 'cause i know you're all so curious... i love it! they are actually letting me see cases... have been all week. i started seeing sick animals over the past few days. it is still hard, because i don't have my license yet, and have to work "under vet direction"...but it feels real. a real job. real clients... learning the ropes and the computers...

curt is on neuro right now, and it seems fairly laid back. he is on call a lot, but he managed to get some sleep last night, and has not needed a nap yet...

more updates later, i am going to get back to communally living with my hubbie! eep!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


It has been a great week... the last week of freedom. Once i had my start date for work, Dave and I planned a suprise visit to mom's for her 60th birthday! his daughters picked me up at the airport and took me back to Judy's house, and mom was so suprised when she picked me up in addition to Harry Potter 3 and 4 movies. It was great.

We got lots of gab time, an afternoon at the beach, dinner with my bro, a full day of house repair, one infamous banana split from Tredwells, and even the new Harry Potter movie at the IMAX theater in Jordan's Furniture! It was a full 2 days... a great way to spend my last free time before entering the peons of the working world.

Which i now am.... my first day was yesterday, and i just didn't get around to posting then... it is hard to judge the job by yesterday. i didn't see one animal all day! i spent all day on their computers doing learning modules... and not info on the data system they have... this was propaganda to brainwash me into the company (actually, it is not a company, but Banfield, the TEAM... we use SmartTalk at work, not your ordinary english... it helps with a little rose tint, but it does create the urge to strangle....). I learned about the Banfield vision and the barriers to proper health care... my GOD, like i really need this waffle... i went to 4 years of vet school. if i don't know what keeps people from giving their pets the proper amount of healthcare, then i shouldn't have graduated. This is slow and frustrating. the rest of this week is going to be the same. I won't get to be a part of a working hospital until next monday, and then it is just shadowing.... grrr

but all is well. they are at least looking out for me having a good start... i just wish it wasn't so tacky and obvious propoganda.

that said, i have found a pretty good yoga class here. tra la la. and the climbing wall at the UK gym is small, and has frustrating rules, but the routes aren't too bad. life moves on.

and this weekend is amy's wedding shower! happiness!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A musings

i'm still happy about my job. i think.

i have recently realized that i have a job, i own a house (MY house [our house]. not anyone else's), i have my own lawn...i might actually resemble an adult! who ever wouldhave guessed? this is all quite shocking to me. and i feel very successful and self-important (imagine here the internal 3 yearold sticking out her chest and proclaiming to the world her significance...)

i still have no new friends here, but that will take time. it is difficult to force myself to socialize solo when during the day i get funny looks for not having umpteen children that i am staying home to care for, and in the evenings, i want to see my hubby if it's possible. but i am no longer a shut-in. i have been exploring the world around me and will maybe meet people there later...

i think the hardest part of curt's internship is not the hours that he's gone, it's the fact that he's here now, but desperately needs sleep...

i also find it funny that he started this blog, and yet i think he has posted a grand total of 3 times...

i hope that my work schedule will make it easier for us to see each other and not harder, as i will have 3-4 days off a week, and he gets 4 days off a month... they have to overlap at some point, right?

Thursday, July 12, 2007


this is very exciting news! the details:

there are precious few small animal jobs in the area. if i wanted to work exclussively in cows that would be one thing. there are 2 jobs in the area. if i had board certification and about 10 years of experience, there are a few jobs... i get regular e-mails from new job postings over 2 hours drive away! but not much locally. the local options?:

1) a place called heartland, has 2 well established clinics and good mentorship opportunities. willing to train me in any interest i might have, wanting me to become a specialist (although not necessarily board certified) in whatever. lots of back-up help. i would be helping them open a new clinic 15 min from my house. long hours- they want to be open until 11 pm, and i will have to do quite a bit of emergency work during that time.
2) a place 6 miles from home that was recently purchased by a former associate vet, he has no real plans for the future of the clinic. rare staff meetings, old vaccine protocols... bonus is that i would always get a day off midweek and 1.5 days every weekend, with a whole weekend every 3rd week.
3) banfield vet clinic in petsmart. have a good standard of care and lots of staff to help. want me to drive 1.5 hours both directions for a year until the new clinic opens closer to home. downside: this is a nation-wide corperation... yelch! commute is long and BORING. will have to invest in books on tape... yada, yada.

the outcome?:
1)they were very impressed with me, and would love to work with me, but are unable to offer me employment for the next year. no, sorry, not even part-time. after that point they may be able to hire me. MAY. 1 year. so sorry to waste your time and raise your hopes... so sorry to raise your expectations and get you ready for the real world. (losers)
2) they have no direction. they don't return my calls. they don't even have enough exam rooms for the number of vets they have. losers.
3) banfield had me come in to shadow for a half day the saturday after the 4th- ie the busiest they will ever be. we talked. we viewed. we assisted by squishing and restraining animals while they worked away. it was okay. OKAY. then i drove that whole long 1.5 hour commute up to florence and saw them on a slow day. hehe. i walk in and no one can greet me right away because... they are all too busy snibbling home-made cookies someone brought in (score 1 point). then they all introduce themselves, and include me in the conversation (point 2), and have a goodflow of gab, fun, funny, etc. no diamonds forming in their GI tracts, let me tell you! (point 3). they promise me i won't have to work alone for the first couple of months, at least until i'm comfortable. they are all working together well, they help each other out, and hang out together outside of the clinic (another point!).. it was a smooth and enjoyable day. we discussed lots of stuff. i feel comfortable there and happy.

i returned today for my contract meeting. i actually got hired! someone wants me! i feel so loved! so it is corporate... so it is a commute... the commute is only for one year until the new clinic opens, i have a good group until that time. i have a salary exactly what i expected, no signing bonus (normal for vet med), no moving bonus (had i signed with them before the move it couldhave been up to $2000), yes i get compensation for the miles... they may even give me a car! i had to pee in a cup for them. i can start my training as early as next week. yippee! i feel good about this. i think. there are times i wonder what i'm doing, but hey... if it doesn't work out, i can always start over again. the clinic meets my standards. they may vaccinate more than i like, but they are all about preventative care and client education. i can do my own diet plans... i can do as much CE as i want if i preapprove it (prove it will be of monetary value). i can grow here and stretch my wet little wings. i can learn a foreign language while driving mindlessly on I75. i only have to work 3-4 days a week because the days are long. they are open 7 days a week, so my weekends will not be normal all the time. this is all good.

and look at my other options. i mean seriously, what choice do i have.

i'm happy. at least, i'm giddy. i hope i'm still happy in a couple of weeks. it will be good to get my feet wet again.

i have 3 months to sign the contract. wish me luck!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

treading water

i have reached the point where i can do stuff all day, and at the end of it, nothing looks done! so okay, a few more boxes have been FLATTENED (new source of joy in my life). The clothing drawers are organized and everything fits better now... the laundry is done... there are lots of fresh, organic, locally grown veggies in the fridge that i got when checking out the local farmers market (not entirely disappointing, but small).... but nothing looks better.

maybe i am just frustrated by the lack of hangy things to put up all my pretties! we have no anchors for the pictures that go around the house... we have no heavy duty hooks for the hammock (which will vastly improve my standard of living)

or by the fact that when i go to the store to buy necessities for the new house, they are invariably out of exactly what i wanted!

or by the fact that it is sunday, and many things i want to do cannot happen on sunday here... in fact, i was walking to the farmer's market when i ran into this man who teaches at the local seminary school... he's new to the neighborhood too, and sunday (unlike for everyone else in his profession) was his day off! so, we had a lovely chat, i snoogled his dogs, and went our separate ways. only to run into him again at the store, where neither of us could get what we wanted! :)

but i absolutely love being only 1 hour from the red river gorge... it is beautiful, it is GORGEous (teehee), it is magnificent... it has great hiking and climbing. who could ask for anything more?

on the job front for those who are wondering... i have a lunch interview on tuesday. what was i thinking? i have no table manners, i distinctly lack the ability to look graceful while trying to manhandle a fork, and i have food allergies! what was i thinking? i was thinking, "hey, you're offering to meet me for lunch?? cool! free food, possible job friggin' 6 miles from home... this will be fun!" sometimes i can be the dorkimus maximus. i am DOOMED! oh yeah, i also need a resume printed up... need to see if the printer is hooked up, with the paper i haven't unpacked yet... indeed, haven't found yet... YIPES! getting nervous. hope i don't stain my shirt while i dribble...

time to pull out the old mantra: i am good enough, i am smart enough, and dog-gone it, people LIKE me.

i will get a job, it will be a good one, and i will be rockin'!
sorry for the rant!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

liquor barn

who knew a lawnmower and a new tv could bring so much pleasure? (okay, so really it was the company we had when we bought said items that made my day... but still, how can you resist an opening line like that?)

the dyerdad came for a visit this week, and it has been wonderful to see family again. or really, any familiar face. he was a real trooper when it came time to shop for appliances, and even helped us map out the town a little with the discover of another sporting goods store, and the infamous liquor barn- the ultimate party store! the story:

we were trying out the new grill, and had decided that it was of utmost importance that we have some margaritas as an evening beverage accent... this point was made more resolute by the realization that we were out of jose cuervo (small family party after graduation took care of that bottle and saved us from having to move it...) and needed limade and limes... yes, we prettymuch only had the ice and a few drops of triple sec... so we made for the nearest liquor store: 2 blocks from our house. SCARY! they did have tequila, so not all was lost, but this establishment was a sorry excuse for a liquor store (and this from the girl who is drunk after one drink!). after dinner, curt diligently looked online for a better way to procure future beverages... and discovered, not to far across town, the liquor barn...

upon entering the establishment, we discovered that this place does NOT deserve the name. wewere inundated with fabulous cheeses and meats, an olive bar, and even fabulous international crackers! there were over a dozen isles of alcohol, with wines separated geographically (yes, we got some rioja wine to remind us of our trip), and vast arrays of ever liquor imaginable... w efound spanish 10 year reserve brandy, all sorts of high quality boozes, and goggled at the locked chest contianing brandy at the measly pittance of $5000... there is beer from around the country (good microbrews), especially some of curt's favorite michigan brands!

our larders are now full, we have happily sampled the spanish brandy, and we have discovered a national treasure, contentedly sitting right by our doorstep!

and on a similar note, another fabulous thing about lexington is the recycling! we have a city trash bin, an equally sized recycling bin, and a third for yard waste! we can recycle clear, green and brown glass, and all kinds of cardboard (not to mention the usuals) curbside! i LOVE this town!

oh! and wehave a live rosebush!
i have once again been blown off course, and will write more later about what has been going on here....


Friday, June 22, 2007

watch out, i may have turned my brain on...

house update: we have all amenities, the bedroom and kitchen are mostly unpacked, the living room actually resembles one, curt and i are actually (believe it or not) enjoying life without a tv immensely, and the fridge just made a lovely little noise where the ice drops into the bucket with no human interference (JOY!). many of the address changes have been made, the cable internet has been ordered, the new bank account is open, the loans and mortgage have been addressed, and we will have our first guest (curt's dad) this sunday (WAAHOOO!). just because there is no guest room yet to speak of, and the "study" is a small room with absolutely 2 degrees of movement capable between all the boxes means nothing! NOTHING! we will prevail. there will be a home where once there was a house!

no real buyers remorse yet, more buyers loud exhalations (internal monologue hears Dr. Edie saying, "Heavy sighs... what's up?"). i know we bought a good house. i know the house needs a LOT of work, and i know i am happier here than i would be in every other house we saw, an apartment, or something... but limboland is not a fun place to be, and this is still limboland.

i am still adjusting to not being on camino. i have started driving here, which believe it or not, was a very daunting thing for me... i have no maps, no idea where things are, and i haven't driven in over a month (not to mention the fact that i have never liked driving very much). life makes so much more sense on foot, or even on bike. i can at least live in the happy delusion that my life moves at a pace i enjoy. i miss so much focusing on the road when i drive. i miss flowers and natural breezes. but hey, mobility is a good thing. and i actually had somewhere to go.

speaking of which... the camino... why did 2 unitarians decide to do a catholic pilgrimage across northern spain in their freetime? well, long and complicated answer to that. we wanted a vacation, and another long distance hike. we wanted to see spain, and the best way to get to know a country is to walk through the small towns and talk with the people who live there. live with them as much as possible. cultural immersion. great way to improve and revive my spanish. but there is still a spiritual journey behind it. there is a saying that people do the camino for 3 reasons: to ask for something, to be thankful for something, or they don't know. many people hike because they have lost a loved one, overcome an illness or cancer, because they are NOT overcomeing an illness or cancer, or to see how the camino will change them. It is not all about religion, for some it is only for sport. for me (not talking too much for curt here), i hiked for all three reasons. i am very thankful for my life, my family, my health, everything i have been given and have worked for. my support network is amazing. i needed time to recover from vet school as well. anyone who had to witness my body's odd medical maladies or dealt with me crying over the last few years is well aware of how desperately i needed to "walk away" from it all. but that said, i still don't know why i walk. i have always hiked with a sort of loss for why i do it. i can tell you what i like about hiking: covering long distances is very rewarding. there is a lot of time to contemplate. even if you don't wish to be introspective, you can only sing bohemian rhapsody so many times while you're walking, and you will eventually run out of bad 80's songs to sing. long, quiet hours of you, nature, and the road ahead (and my hubby). nothing could be better. or more painful, or harder work which may not prove rewarding if there are no views. there are many bad analogies that can be made (in life, as on the camino, one will make some wrong turns)... it is rewarding to live with less, to be reduced to the simplicity of a backpack.
the camino is amazing in it's differences to the at. having a bed at the end of every night, and often a volunteer to look after your blisters... a hot and filling meal for only about 12 dollars... the hope of a shower when you arrive. the camino is a road, often a dirt road, but always wide and decently level compared with the mountains of the at. this was a luxery hike for curt and i, but for many others, it was very difficult. it was inspiring to see the challenges others overcame on their camino. one lady broke her arm and continued to walk. old, frail, obese, and ill... many people ho couldnot speak or understand spanish.
there are fabulous old towns, hundreds of years old, with an aging population living a life that hasn't changed much over that time. there are old churches and monestaries, old pilgrims hospitals and hermitages, all offering a dark, quiet, cool place to sit and recoop... reflect, if they weren't in ruins yet. much of the camino is seeing the remains of human efforts: you cross roman bridges and walk on old roman roads. you pass ruins of christianity and churches in use that are decaying, have plants growing on the walls and rooof, and are reminders to the impermanance of human endeavors. the cathedral at santiago is a good example of that. there aren't enough clergy to keep the building free of vegitation, and many of the exterior fascades are grimey and in disrepair. you also pass through big and modern cities. bustling with thousands of people and noise, a reminder of what you have left behind.
but much of the camino is the same as the at. there are views, there is a lot of time to just be with yourself. there are fabulous flowers and people and conversations. there is time to be light and free, time to goof off, and breath the fresh air (and sometimes the pesticides they were spaying on the grapevines...). the camino is a long distance hike like any other, showing the goodness of the people who intersect it. camino literally means "the way" in spanish, and it does have a kind of taoist feel to it. people often asked if we were on "the way" and there is an understanding that, while yes, it is sometimes about the destination, the journey is important too, and should be experienced.
there is a huge push by the church to distinguish what the camino is all about. they are desperately trying to seperate the pilgrim from the tourist. they are trying to set some guidelines and ethics for the camino (something that has spiralled out of their control in the same way that the forest service does not really control the at)... trying to encourage the ever swelling numbers of people not to litter, not to skip ahead and take the bus, not to be demanding of a hotel-lilke accomidation, but to be thankful for the accomidations that are available... this distinction between the tourist and the pilgrim is a very deep issue, and one that reached far beyond the religious observers who were hiking. a famous german comedian hiked one year and wrote a best-selling book that brought many "tourists" this year. they stayed in the towns, and at the alburgues/refugios with the hikers, but they took the bus. they used the system for a cheap vacation. As the european union is spending quite a bit of money to refurbish the communities along the camino, and to plan for the camino's future as a source of touristic revinue, they too are trying to attract a pilgrim and not a tourist. there are exhibits and propoganda everywhere. everyone likes a pilgrim who spends money.
which is part of the issue that many people seem to have forgotten. the original pilgrim was a tourist. this was the first vacation. they travelled by many means: some on foot, yes, but many others took horses or mules, wagons, etc. some traveled in the lap of luxury. some travelled solely on the charity of others (that would be impossible today).
but in the end, both curt and i came away with a long distance hike, a good break from the real world, a chance to be with each other and ourselves, and a better understanding of spain, the provinces we travelled through, and catholicism past and present. we hopefully have found a little more peace and serenity that we can bring back with us, and at the very least, this long and rambling blog that made no point or sense what-so-ever...

sorry, i seem to have gone off the deep end. and i didn't even start to say what i meant to...
but at least i got a good respite from unpacking!
and i get to meet people at a barbque tonight! maybe i'll meet some fabulous new people today (i mean, other than the little man who installed the fridge)

love to all

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

quick update

we have water! i can flush my toilet! yippee!

our stuff has arrived, but is not unpacked. the pods delivery truck is just about the coolest thing ever to watch unload... it squeezed down our narrow driveway, raised the pod up up up, narrowly missing some electrical wires, pulled the truck out, lowered the pod, and moved the braces and truck back and forth, up and down, to put everything back in place and off he drove... missing our roof by less than 2 inches! so impressed!

we have gas and hot water (a real shower! oh boy, i can't wait!)... we even bought a washer, dryer, and fridge, although they won't arrive until friday. boo hoo.

we will grill tomorrow, if i can find the tools to put the grill together. i am soo excited! we also found a middle eastern grocery! my taste buds are happy to be in lexington!

i miss my friends and family dearly... curt had his orientation all day which didn't help, but hey, at least one of us has a job, right? big hugs to all of you!

Monday, June 18, 2007

home again, home again, jiggidy jog

we are home! it has been an event!

we have toured the sites in Santiago de compostella, have smelled the refrshing scents of the ocean (from the other side) and cooled our feet in the waves of the rising tides.

had an uneventful flight back to london (the second most expensive city in the world, currently). there we had an eventful ride on the tube trying to get from the airport to the hostel we had booked a reservation at... only to discover that the reservation had been denied and we were clueless because of our limited internet access! after vainly searching for a new hostel, i turned up the charm and managed to finagle us a "private room with private bath"- otherwise known as the fouton in the basement hang-out room where the pool table was. while there was no door, we managed to slowly edge everyone out and were in bed by 11pm!!! had a great night's sleep, and beds in the real dorms for the following night. i so rock!

sunday, we tried to get a tour of westminster, but no go on a holy day, apparently. we did walk around it again and admired how, in comparison to every cathedral in spain, it was REMARKABLY clean and well restored/preserved. tried to see the changing of the guards at buckingham, but no go with some big schindig happening that evening... tried to see a show with cheap tickies... but no go on a sunday, apparently all the actors take sunday as a day off- except for blueman group and the lion king. ah well. so we went to the clink museum, the tower bridge experience, ate some fabulous indian food and strolled up porobello road (after the booths had closed because- you guessed it, it was sunday!)

flew out in the wee early hours this morning. there were these cool computers in the backs of the seats in front of us... with free complimentary movies- excellent if you have not watched tv for a month! both curt and i saw 3 films and several tv shows each before the plane landed. delta food is actrually quite tasty (suprised? i was!). and we got a free complimentary drink. overall a great time!

then we landed in atlanta... woe! we had to go through customs and recheck our bagage (glass bottles of nummy alcohol still intact)... then manouver and wait for our flight... all well and good... then wonder as we see our bag still sitting on the tarmack as we pull out to take off... then realize (shockand amazement) that our house and car keys are inside that said bag on the tarmack.... and wait at the airport over 2 hours after landing for the next flight to bring us said bag as we could not get into our house or car (location of camping gear) and could do nothing about it as the person who has the spares was not reachabel... we also realized upon arrival, that... hehehe, glass bottles of numminess had broken into many tiny pieces spreading a wealth of alcoholic gifts over our clothes! oops... so, if you thought you might get some good spanish brandy, wine from rioja, or delicate pacharan.... think again!

now we are happily home and typing at the local food co-op (where we are now members! hooray!) with free internet access. we have no water, no phone, and no gas. we have just managed to straighten out our cell phones (don't ask!) and they are working if you need to reach us! (again, YAY! and *phew*) we do have electricity and (can you believe it: air conditioning!). we have no furniture or fridge. i find this highly amusing! i also don't know what i am going to eat tomorrow with these said issues as i must be home to get the water on...

ah well! tired! it is after 2 am in london right now!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


we have arrived! we are in santiago, we have recieved our compostella in our latin names (audrey is etheldrodo and curtis stephen is estebum...teehee), and have heard our arrival blessed in mass in the cathedral at santiago. life is good. we have passed the supposed remains of the apostle and waited in line to hug the back of the wooden statue of the saint... who could ask for anything more? well, it would be cool to see the gargantuine insence burner swing pleasant smelling smoke over the rancid smelling pilgrims, but they only do that on sundays during peak pilgrim season....

tomorrow we are off the finnisterra, the end of the world. hopefully the weather will hold out for us. now to celebrate in true gallician style: tapas, wine, cider, and beer! and pulpo!

now we are tourists again, and for the next week.... here in santiago, then in london for a day before we fly home. unfortunately, there are no bullfights in this area, the national crest in the flag of the country, which elsewhere has a bull, only has a cow in this region. fitting considering the area we walked through for the last 100km. most of the last 100km was down shady dirt roads in the heart of dairy country.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

valdareeeee, valdaraaaahhhhhh!

so, after the coolest ren-fest ever... (somehow better than in michigan because they had shows on how they make clay tiles, how they carve stone, and falconry, etc... not to mention men in tights throwing flags.... ahh, i love eurpoe!)

we continued on with the camino. we passed the meseta (imagine a plain that takes over a week to cross... yelch!), and have returned to a hilly region after criossing 2 mountains. the scenery is MUCH improved. and, to add to interest, we have passed through several more distinct cultures. we started in basque country in the mountains, hit their past enemies and now friends, the castillians in the areas of castilla and leon, and then spent a couple days with a people known as marigatos, with an unknown ancestory who are very proud (read here excellent service and very tasty food!!!) and are now in galacia, land with yet another language that is >NOT spanish, but they seem to understand it fine. it is very nice here.

there are now daily showers, but they don´t last too long. the scenery is fabulous, and we are in our hiking groove with the return of hills and great views. the food is interesting, they are known for their hard cider (oh boy), a special white wine, and pulpo (ocuçtopus!!!!). there is even cabbage in the soup now (read here, more vegitables and tooting up the trail.

we have also witnessed a travestçy to nature. it was not only a mullet, it was a mullet of dirty brown hair with poorly proportioned front hair, and the back hair was placed in cornrolls (braids) that were not well cared for and were starting to get matts BETWEEN the cornrolls! you have been warned, do not let this happen to you or your loved ones. this is not an internet hoax!

we will be in santiago in a couple of days. hard to imagine we are almost done. at this rate we should have time to go to finnesterre (the end of the world!, or at least before the americas were "discovered") and dip our tootsies in the water.

i am starting to have a little anxiety about returning to the real world. we left it so suddenly, i hardly remember the kentucky house we are returning to... but we are still flying home on the 18th!

there was a lot more that was supposed to go in here. we are having a fabulous time!
love to all! and pulpo!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Ren fest!

ok, so i am reading a book set in mideival times, am hiking a midieval pilgrimage, and am currently in a town celebrating a jousting tounament that restored justice to the town... in a 2 dat mideival festival! how cool is that! it is very similar to the ren fest in michigan, or king aurther´s fair in mass, but it is the whole town... everyone in costume (except the bewildered hiking pilgrims)... this is most excellent. we saw flag throwers and the joust is tommorrow on the original jousting field (we will miss it, unfortunately, as it would set us waaaay to far behind).

tomorrow we will goto astorga and see the chocolate museum there (this city was famous for it´s chocolate for MANY a year, back in the day... and the museum will not be missed!).

in other news, curt injured his shin, which swelled most impressively. we took 2 days off in leon, and are moving very slowly. we are going to try hiking tomorrow, and see how it goes. he says he is feelin much better, so no worries!

we are getting a little tired of spanish food. there isn´t as much variation as we are used to.

tomorrow will mark the end of our thrid week on camino. and yes, we look like dirty hikers.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

i found it!!! yay!

Wow! i actually have a properly labeled keyboard! soo happy to get my wxclimation point back! let´s see... where did i leave off...things have picked up nicely since our last post... the rain has not fallen for 2 days. the weather has finally started to get warm, although it was 5 degrees celcius yesterday when we started hiking (0 is freezing). all the townsfolk are complaining about the unseasonably cold, wet, and windy weather. >Curt and I slowwed down for a few days, met some fabulous americans from NYC... and have found a washer (ohh), dryer(ahh), and hot shower!!!!we went through a lovely town with a castle at the top of the hill. we got a great view, and free run of the ruins! it was awesome to climb the stairs in this castle and see the sights from up high! this town also boasted the most sumptuous, romantic dinner on the trail yet. old stone building, 200 year old wooden ceiling, fabulous lights... great atmosphere... sooo romantico! we are currently hiking through plains. it is flat and you can see everything around for kilometers... i mean miles... you can even see the funny line of hikers headed for the next town...the wildflowers have been amazing. whole fields of poppies, daisies, and dandylions. prickly plansts that remind me of indian paintbrush.. and rosemary and lavender growing wild! have recently passed fields of peppers, lentils, snap peas, etc. makes the hike more interesting. i expected the plants to be a little more diverse than from the US, but hey... where else have the invading species come from... have also enjoyed many happy chirping birds, mice, bunnies, and even some martins. LOVE the cuckoos.we mostly sleep in alburgues with about 10-20 to a room, shared (sometimes co-ed) showers and toilets, but a cheap price of 5-7 euros. we have sadly left the good sausage behind.curtis and i are both having a little difficulty adjusting to all the new proteins we have been consuming. makes the hike a LOT more interesting (although not necessarily in a good way). that is all for now...mwaH!


it was really long and good too...

we are in the province of palencia now.

okay... there was a castle ruin that was fun and we got to run around in it. great views and multiple floors! had a romantic meal in an old building run by charming brazilians...

staying in cheap alburgues with 10-20 people to a room, have recently encountered washers, dryers, and >HOT showers (oh my!)

have left the good sausage behind. boo hoo. having trouble with all the new protiens in our diet.

fields contain poppies, daisies, dandylions, beautiful wildflowers and even prickly plants that look like indian paintbrush. have passed more wheat, barley, peppers, greenbeans, lentils, and potatoes... etc. we are currently passin through lots of farm fields on FLAT plains. can see for kilometers.

we are over half-way (yippee!)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

new spanish word for the day

chopsticks: los marillos

doesnçt that just make you happy... some things are the same, greasy food the whole world around.

the rain in spain stays mainly in the mud

it has been raining nearly daily since we started hiking. it makes for some cold days, but great hiking when it finally clears ¿and more cafe con leche for usª? so, we have made some good time these past 3 days, going over 30 km every day. the chorizo sausage is still good, the wine is great, and the company is interesting.

where else in the world can you speak 3 languages and hear 7 before breakfast? ok, well, maybe at the un, youçre right, but this is aclose second. i have never really wished so hard for a german english dictionary in my life in a non=german speakin country. who knew? also, i have started eating small amounts of seafood out of necessity. so far, so good. curtis, asyou can well imagine, is thrilled. i also still continue to like white and rose wine. yum. there is no exclimation point on this keyboard...

we have walked in the mud up to our ankles, on back=dirt roads, through the vinyards= and i do mean through... also on old roman roads, over old roman bridges... along the highway= that was a fun interlude today= and through all the major cities... this keyboard is not labeled properly.

the fun part is when we go through small, old villages where we can see old houses. everyone in the small villages is reallly nice and helpful, and most speak slowly so that i can understand. curtçs spanish is growing by leaps and bounds. i am actually enjoying some compliments about my spanish abilities. people are really impressed when we say we are from the usa. they donçt expect us to know a foreign language. it is hard not to buy an old hpouse in a small village and set up shop here...

almost everyone here has heard of celiacçs disease, so getting food is no issue. that said, i do eat a lot of eggs and french fries... there is an omlette... known as a tortilla here... that has onion and poatato in it... yuym yum yum. there are also large, tasty, cheap hikers meals in most towns. finally had good, homemade paella as well... different, but good. also tried bloodsausage for the first time... again, gross looking, different, but good.

went through atapuerca today, home of the oldest human remains ever found... and have seen some mighty nice churches as well. also passed a fountain that dispences wine instaed of water ... not the best wine ever, but hey, itçs free wine, we cançt be choosy....

more later. i should now be able to give more specific details on our journey since the basics are covered.

watching the hail
audrey and curtis

Monday, May 21, 2007

el camino up-date

okay... 11 minutes... we started in st. jean, pied du port <(france, at the boarder where there is a pass in the pyraneese<) and hiked 27 km uphill the first day, without breakfast, lunch, or snacky-poos!) suprisingly, we were there by 3 pm... good motivation! when we arrived (spanish speakers at last!!!), the food had never been so good! the accomidations were also great! there are hostels for pilgrims here (called alburgues or refugios). and it is hard to hear the word pilgrim <(pelegrino) without hearing the word gringo within it! the first night there were 110 people in one room sleeping! it has been fewer since then. the churches and dining halls, etc. were midieval and from the 12-13th century! we are getting good at aging churtches to the century at a glance.

we have become addicted to several food items here. the cafe con leche <8coffee>VERY good, and we have about 2-4 cups each day! the helado (icecream) is also good, but it is not gellatto. we are addicted to the local cheeses and meats (yes, we are eating meat here, it makes the trip >MUCH easier). there is a local sausage called chirozoz that we can´t get enough of, although it is salty. audrey has started drinking good amounts of both white and rose wine and is currently typing tipsy, which could explain the gramnmer, although the bad keyboard is part of it. more later. love you all!

happy in wine-country
the kids

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

5 minutes on this connection! we are in pamplona right now, and unfortunately, the bulls at not! we bought our house without serious events, and made our flight with tons of timne to spare. we arrived in london early saturday morning (9AM) and spent the day tiredly touring the important sights: london/tower bridge, westim8inster abbey, and big ben, and the tower of london. spent the night in the airport (london is expensive-save money by sleeping at the airport!) and flew out at 630 am for pau, france. had some fun in france- pau, bayonne, and st. jean, pied de port. now on camino. more details later!


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

what a long, strange trip it's been

okay, so we fell off the world.

we found a house. we are closing on it tomorrow! our new address will be

Drs. Audrey and Curtis Gale-Dyer
2404 Southview Drive
Lexington, KY 40503

in other news, both curt and i graduated! graduation was a fantabulous event with lots of family, friends, and tasty food. not to mention booze. it was a much needed chance to sit back and relax (which i appreciated even more since i just finished internal medicine...). I think the coolest part was getting to hood my husband! Many fond memories and lots of pictures. it might be a while before we get the pictures up on the web-page, however, since we are taking a much needed vacation to SPAIN to hike the camino de santiago!!! yes, i will try to keep the blog updated while i am there... pero ahora esta practicando mi espanol. depends on how often we have internet access.

we packed up the house on monday and tuesday, and the movers loaded our little pod tuesday afternoon. we took off this morning after meeting one last time with our ex-landlord, ron. we officially no longer live in michigan (oh the excitement!)- made curt and i a little teary-eyed. long drive behind us (con mis discos compactos que tienen lecciones en espanol) with 2 cars, and we are about to crash into a long-deserved hot tub!

future plans: close on the house tomorrow and pack for spain. i have an interview at a small animal clinic on friday, and we fly out friday night for our wonderful month of walking and eating in spain! soo excited.

it hasn't quite sunk in yet! i'll try an post more later!

DR. Audrey Gale-Dyer (make sure the v in DVM is nice and pointy)

Friday, April 6, 2007

househunting... maybe one will land on me!

so... since we found out we were moving to lexington, ky... things have been hectic. we have driven down 3 weekends in a row, crash upon arrival, and get up sat. to go tour houses with our realator lady, who hence-forth shall be referred to as glinda the good witch. she is very well intentioned, but often sends us on stupid missions of DOOM when what we really need is already on our feet...

at any rate, we found a nice house with a garage and hammock set-up close to 2 parks and a golfcourse on a nice little dead-end in the middle of the city. we have since pieced together in the last week of bidding that said owners are building their new house outside of the city, and are not nearly finished with it as their stove is sitting in the garage as we speak, er, type. So, the fact that this house has been on the market for 6 months already means nothing in their level of desperation, as they can't live in their new place yet... grrrr. and glinda does not understand the first thing about bargaining... she is just too sweet.

so, since there is now a good chance that we will not get this house, we are back on the hunt again. too bad easter is upon us and the market has effectively stopped for this event down in southern kentucky. so... next weekend... and our schedule has been pushed back so far from bidding with people who are not serious about selling that we might have to either give up our vacation to spain, or not buy a house until we get back, living in short term apartments and storing our stuff. (holy run-on sentences batman! does this make any sense?!)

i also might kill something if we have to drive the 7 hours down to lexington too many more times... although, actually, i have been killing lately... we had a mouse in our kitchen! i saw the turds and quickly called curt to see if he had any traps i could use... he said that afore-mentioned turds were probably just seeds (can you believe he said that to moi- self-proclaimed turd expert!) and not to worry... so i bought some traps and vwah-lah! one dead mousey! hehehehehehehe. HA haha ha ha. i win. it does raise the question, though, of why we are bothering to feed the cats (useless miniature beasts of burden)....

in other, more uplifting but equally gross news, my current rotation is derm, where i roll around with greasy, itchy, nasty, dogs who are losing their haircoat... and i get to do lots of skin-tests that will make me more valuable when i get a job (BTW, no one is advertising for a vet job in the lexington area... schmucks). and carrie is on with me, which is a nice change and helpful for helping me reacclimate to the vet clinic.

curt is on rheumatology right now... lots of autoimmune disease fun for him!

only 28 days until graduation! (17 of which i will spend on EVIL internal medicine)
31-41 people will celebrate graduation with carrie, amy, curt, and i at our celebratory dinner!
22 degrees- the temperature it was yesterday... after my garden had turned green and i discovered that my brussel sprouts had overwintered...
1- the number of houses curt and i need to purchase in ky...also the number of good jobs i need to find...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Big New

It is official,
We are moving to Lexington, KY. I have gotten into the physical medicine
and rehabilitation program at UK. We are excited. The first year promises
to be very rough, but more management after that. I have already called a
realtor and will be looking at houses this weekend. We are finally leaving
the state of Michigan.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

a thought on cooking veggies

asparagus should not melt in your mouth. that's all i have to say.

it's puppy class tonight! waahoo!

Monday, March 5, 2007

the wheels on the bus...

i have been covering some serious ground lately! last rotation i was on equine ambulatory, a rotation where you drive around with vets from barn to barn... and let me tell you, february is not a pleasent month for such activities...

i saw a lot and learned bunches too... there were lots of nice horsies, and the vets knew i wasn't an equine person, so i didn't have to go near the mean ones! soo fabulous!

my hands have been EVERYWHERE! if you can imagine a spot to stick your hand in a horse, my hand was there! well, maybe not the ear, but everywhere else! i even stuck it through a hole from the mouth (between 2 molar teeth) up into the nasal cavity! how cool is that?! and i'll tell you, when it is this cold out, it feels good to palpate somewhere warm...

speaking of it being cold... the first week it was so cold (coming up to about 8 degrees as a high) that we couldn't sedate the horses... they wouldn't be able to stay warm enough! and i spent a lot of time shivering and taking hot showers when i got back each night.

times you should not be wet (the original title to this post): we were out collecting a stallion for artificial insemination... (just hang in there, you sick-o's!) and the horse was a bit of an idiot... he didn't want to mount the dummy mare (large padded chez-lounge made specifically for the male horse to hump... ) correctly, choosing instead to try and get on from the side (now i ask you, how effective would that be on a real mare? i mean, come ON!)... at any rate, it took him so long that the warm water in the artificial vagina (it is kept warm and firm with hot water for maximal stallion comfort- isn't this the greatest post EVER....) cooled down, and we had to dump it and get fresh water. there was something wrong with the connection, and i, who was dilligently watching the horse and not the giant tidal wave spray of water that was headed directly towards me, was very suprised but the rapidly cooled shower... BRRRR! as a final point, the stallion was collected, but flipped over the dummy twice in the process and sent the vet i was with rolling in the dirt of the arena. all of us left this experience a little sorer than we came into it... lessons learned: when watching and encouraging stallion masterbation: be fit, be nimble, be hot before you start, and be prepared to get wet! ah, so wrong, so very, very wrong... and yet...

then i got to inseminate the mare! maybe i'll be a daddy in 11 months!

i had a perfect weekend in the middle of this rotation. i went to tenn to visit curtis. we went hiking in the smokies and around the camp where he was staying. it was lovely and, oh yeah, 50 degrees out! it was fabulous, it was wonderful. everyone there was so nice, and the hotel wasn't bad either! we even ate fantastic thai food! so glad i went.

now i am in rochester michigan, outside of detroit, at leader dogs for the blind. for my next rotation (3 weeks), i will be doing vet work under the vets at leader dogs on puppies, well trained dogs, and pregnant breeding dogs. SO GEEKED! today was the first day. i am living in a dorm here so i don't have to commute an hour and a half to 2 hours every day (nice change from my 40 minute commute daily for the ambulatory rotation, then driving all day). it is fun living in the dorm. i have my own room, and get to eat meals with the trainers and people who are getting their leader dogs... so far so good!

days to graduation: 59
days until the match: 10 (when we will know where we will live next year)
rotations before graduation: 3 (including leader dogs)
salads i have eaten today: 2

love to all my peeps!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


and, only 76 days until graduation!


i am currently on equine ambulatory, a rotation where we ride around with horse vets and experience the "real world" of equine medicine... and i'll tell you, i picked a doozie of a time to be out and about! february is the slow season for equine... it is too early for most horses to get thier spring vaccines, and many of the foals here aren't born yet because it is way to cold and snowy for new life to flourish like it could in kentucky or other places further south... normally, there would be a lot of dentals to do, but it has been so cold (with highs in the teens) that it is too cold to sedate the horses and file their teeth back to a happy place... this means that, while i nearly froze to death the first couple of days trying to stock the trucks, i am usually home by 3-4pm and have time for a nap and foot warming. there should be a rush once that 30 degree weather we've been promised shows up...

curtis hasn't posted since he left and that makes me sad, he said he would... poot. so, i guess i will post for him with the most recent news: he did not match to Lansing. this means that we won't be living in michigan next year (YAY!), but also that we have to wait until march 15th to match to a different program through the MD match... so no job hunting for me for a while :) it also means that his name showed up on a list of people who didn't match to a program and we got about 30 calls this week of programs looking for applicants. the phone rang off the hook monday night and i was still recieving calls on friday! nice to know curtis is so sought after...

life is still pretty lonely here, with curtis galavanting around in tennessee, and my vet school friends on internal medicine (very time consuming...) i didn't really hang out with anyone until last night, when carrie and i had a real conversation (ohh, ahh!), dinner, and went to pan's labrynth. good movie but much more dark and depressing than one would imagine. beautiful cinematography. not nearly light hearted enough for depressed and cold vet students though... hopefully i can refill on fun and friends this weekend and feel good about going back to work on monday.

Friday, February 9, 2007

bubbles! my bubbles!

so, i have learned my lesson... those tapioca bubbles that are normally in bubble tea do NOT belong in my hot cocoa. yeeelch. nuf said.

this rotation is a lesson in taking your work home... i have had an extra cat in the house who needed the kind of care that can only be found with constant supervision like in an ICU... and since our budget is zip... well, she came home for the night. and almost stayed. a little daunting when you not only pack up a comatose cat and some supplies, but also the blue juice (euthanasia solution) in case things don't go well. last i saw the kitty, all was punch drunk peaches and cream :) i hope she finds a good home. also almost had an extra bunny abandoned at the clinic. hmmm... maybe the best time to adopt a bunny is when curt isn't here to say no... hmmm.... naughty little ideas forming over here in my brain! lalala!

have a job interview tomorrow... and get to visit our friends paul and julie waaay out in grand rapids at the same time. looking forward to seeing friends again, it has been very lonely here. looking forward to any conversation that does not involve medicating or surgimizing animals, or even just some happy silence with loved ones...

missing curtis who is agonizingly close to the AT right now. so tempting to run away! especially since i've been sick and am now starting to feel better...

number of days until graduation: 83, today is over!
number of surgeries on this rotation: 20 something
number of pets in the house: 2

love to all my peeps!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

eggplant, anyone?

the daily numbers:
temperature when i left the house: -2
temperature when i left work: 10
temperature with wind chill: -22
percentage of people in my rotation who couldn't start their cars this morning: 33%
days until graduation: 87

the world is a lot cleaner! curt has left for his wilderness medicine course in tenn, and i am combating lonliness by scouring the house! all that is left is the pile on my desk (like that'll get cleaned up this lifetime!) and mopping the linolium floors (la la la LINOLIUM!) i have cooked enough food to feed a large italian family, and the garlic store is diminished to prove it! (i am sooo proud i haven't been mope-ing)...

this week has been really great at school too, we get tech student support this week, so there is someone there to order about and satisfy my zesty need for domination and control:) ...i mean... help set up, break down, restrain animals, monitor anesthesia, and clean! MWAH HA HA HA HA

but really, having tech students was awesome today because it meant that we could have 6 surgeries going at once instead of the usual 3. if they had stayed one more hour, we would have been done by noon! as it was, i still got home at an unheard of 330pm! ahhh, the joy of extra hands. the joy of a midday nap when you feel under the weather...

buenas noches!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Curtis's Update

Life is going. I am in my last week of my emergency medicine rotation. What an adventure this has been. But I am learning a lot and seeing just as much. Probably more than I care to remember. Due to patient confidential, no details. Sorry

But on another note, I finished up my last two interview. The first was in Kentucky for a PMR program. Love the area, will how can I not with the Red River Gorge an hour away. Sadly that program is second on my list at the moment. The program was great, but more of an inpatient feel and I would like more outpatient. One thing that came out of it was that Audrey and I got a little vacation out of it. For us finding this time together is rare and we take full advantage of it.

My second interview was in Beaver, PA. Cute, did I say cute, little town 40 north of Pittsburgh. This interview was in a family practice residency. It would be an excellent environment to learn in. I would be ready to handle just about anything if I took this spot. But I not sure how good of a match it is for me. I have till the end of this week to decide on my ranking order for the MD match.

My ranking for the DO match is done. That was easy with only one program, PMR in Lansing.

I leave Saturday for my wilderness medical elective in the Tenn. I am excited, but this will mean I won't see Audrey for 4 weeks.

That it for now. Later.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

back in the saddle, again!

now that i am back at school, all is not so horrible:) lifeis actually pretty good (and here i had been worried). hmmm the sectional updaye (much like a sectional sofa, and equally squishy)

(today i apparently like parentheses)

i am currently on spay/neuter. an awesome rotation where we get to do just that with dogs and cats. it is uber fun and i enjoy doing real surgery again instead of being a retractor/restrainer for other people. it is also nice that many of the animals we do surgery on are shelter animals and this will go a long way toward getting them adopted. there is very little beurocracy on this rotation.

I PASSED BOARDS! (i am so smart. look at my brain shine... oh wait, that's my greasy forehead...)

this weekend was MVC, or the local vet conference in lansing. i got to see some great presentations and see lots of friends from other classes. more importantly, i started interviewing for jobs in the michigan area. most of these jobs will probably be filled before i know if i'm staying in this state, but it was good to get out there and see what is available. there were a couple i am actually excited by and want to go visit. just think, soon, people will pay ME to stick my nose and fingers where they don't belong (ears and butts, respectively... you sick-o's!), instead of the other way around...

so... life is good.

curtis is on emergency right now, and while his shifts are, thankfully, reasonable, he has a lot of 6pm-2am shifts which means that we never see each other. next week he is leaving for his externship in wilderness medicine (read here: camping and backpacking and rock-climbing... oh my!). he'll be off enjoying life for a month and i'll be here sticking my arm deep into the uncharted waters of ambulatory equine medicine... i am so jealous. eventually, i know i will see him sometime before graduation.

most of my friends are gone right now, it is pretty lonely.

the official numbers!
days until graduation: 95 (today is over, right?)
spays/neuters this rotation: 5
number of carrots i ate for dinner while chatting: 35 (it's a LOT)
phone conversations tonight: 4
age of my nephew stephen: 1 YEAR OLD! (happy birthday!)

reveling in the love of family and friend time (in person or on the phone).... happy happy

now all i have to do is go to the store so there is milk and breakfast for tomorrow. hehehe, i'm a slacker!

toodles! audrey

Sunday, January 21, 2007

aud's vacay log

ahhh, home again! there is no place furrier!

winter break was awesome... got to do christmas with all three fams~ whoopee!

went home to Mass/NH after ophtho and arrived just in time for the huge Hannukkah party! too tired for words, Christmas was a smaller, quieter affair this year. once we had regained our momentum, we went hiking, to the human body exhibit at the museum of science, and all around boston in our continuing trek thru the freedom trail. left boston with temps in the 70's (why? why did we leave a warm and happy place?)

curt's fabuluos parents braved the cold, 20 degree weather to pick us up at the airport and fill us up with warm, tasty food.

early the next morning, curt drove me back to the airport for my flight to florida. yes, i went on vacation without him! no, i don't feel guilty. he's been troipsing about the country on interviews without me, and now i am merely returning the favor... hehehe. so, i met up with carrie, one of my good friends from vet school, in orlando for a week of R+R. we went to seaworld, epcot, animal kingdom, ripley's believe it or not museum, la nouba (fantabulous show from circ du soleil), the magic kingdom, horseback riding (i see no animal trend here, do you?), the makahiki luau, food at wolfgang pucks, and even a movie on the one morning it rained... not to mention plenty of time poolside and lounging in the hottub with a frosty, alcoholically enhanced chocolate milkshake.... mmm, heaven!

carrie's aunts are wonderful, and gave us a timeshare at this fancy hotel for a week to make the trip affordable, as well as the most perfect seats for la nouba. we could see the performers glisten (certain people don't sweat) and see details from the costumes... and there was a long trampoline that came right at us!

needless to say, it was difficult to leave heaven behind, since the temps had just climbed back up to nice warm 80's... but i dutifully flew home to the 17 degree weather and icestorms... michigan is not my favorite state right now... AND i know what i will do with my life when i fail out of vet school or run screaming from it to never return again (whichever). i am going to go train dolphins and swim with them every day in shows at seaworld! i am only 6 credits away from the degree, and they'll probably give it to me for all the work i've done in vet school! mwah hah ha ha ha!

a couple relaxing days at home, then i went down to kentucky with curt for another of his interviews... it went well, and i really like the lexington area. they still have 4 seasons, but you can plant a garden in february... there are hills, mountians, the red river gorge (good for rockclimbing and camping). we were going to camp after, but an approaching ice storm made us think better of trying to drive home on icy roads and i am now cozy on the sofa, asphyxiating on belle's hair. i love being home!

and now for the official counts:
breakdowns with crying about having to go back to CVM (only during this break): 9
days until graduation: 103 (including weekends)
number of days off left before graduation: 0

we have posted new pictures for the year! go see them at
there are lots of people we visited that we don't have good pics of, and lots of people we haven't seen that we have no recent pics of. if your pic is missing from our frigde, and we didn't get one in the mail this past month or so, send us one and we'll add it to the collection of happy faces!

loving you all.