Thursday, June 30, 2011
While the basement is by no means finished, I made some significant progress down there tonight and thought I'd share!  I'm pretty sure none of the rooms are going to be "done" for quite some time, and don't want to wait to show some progress! 

So here we go. 

The basement is definitely the newest part of the house.  The carpet is in good shape, and the walls have a fresh coat of paint on them.  For that reason, I'm not planning on spending any time updating anything down there.  Aside from the office space (which I will post another day), the basement is essentially going to be a training/workout/gear storage area.  Until about 2 hours ago, it was full of boxes, bags, and plastic containers full of random stuff, as well as torn duct tape, disassembled shelves, and a laundry basket full of gear. 

That all got organized, and now it looks like this!

All that stuff (excluding the bikes themselves) used to live in a coat closet... Not a very functional way to organize things!  As my exercise ball was never inflated, which makes it pretty useless. 

This set up will work much better.  Improvements I see coming in the near (or far) future will be the addition of a yoga mat in front of the push up bar/exercise ball, a TV in front of my trainer, my medals hanging on the wall, a collage of race numbers, and various other random things hung on the wall.  I also may throw down a few rubber floor squares and create an area to do maintenance on my bikes without fear of getting grease on the carpet. 

And maybe a treadmill.

And maybe a juice bar with smoothie maker. 

And maybe a personal trainer...

Okay, that might be a little much.

For now, I'm happy to have everything organized and easy to get to!  I'm completely equipped now to go out for a ride, play rugby, soccer, or tennis, go climbing, backpacking, or hiking.  Just in time to start intern year tomorrow and not have the time.

When I'm not working, I guess you can find me in the basement doing crunches on my inflated exercise ball...

Tomorrow I start pediatrics...  hopefully I'll be able to keep the unpacking coming slowly but steadily.  Stay tuned.
It's been a long time since I did gear post, and I thought it was high time I remedy that.  Today, I want to talk about one of my favorite jackets.  First, let's be clear about something.  I have a lot of jackets.  I mean, a LOT.  More than I could possibly need.  I've collected them over the years, mostly through deep discounts and good deals.  So when I talk about this particular jacket and say it's one of my favorites, rest assured that it's being compared to a vast array of other cool and cold weather apparel.

So, on to the EMS Windshear.  This jacket is designed to be a lightweight, windproof, water resistant jacket for activity during cool days.  I've had three of these jackets and have loved each and every one of them.  The first, I lost (I think it was actually stollen, because of it's pure awesomeness, but I have no proof...).  The second one, I temporarily lost, and later rediscovered after replacing it with the THIRD Windshear, which you can see here:

The best uses for the Winshear, in my opinion, are outdoor activities, particularly those in windy locations or on exposed or high trails.  It's definitely not designed for rain, but would do okay in a temporary light sprinkle.  I love this jacket because it provides protection from the elements while keeping you from overheating and without restricting movement at ALL.  Seriously, this thing completely eliminates wind from having any impact on your activity.  I swear it also makes you more aerodynamic.  That's how I feel anyway...

It's lined with a soft thin microfleece lining, has a front chest and two side pockets, all of which have zippers, and has two underarm vents.  My version has velcro adjustable wrist cuffs, but that seems to vary from year to year.  The neck is lined and not scratchy at all, the cut is feminine (read:  narrow shoulders, wide hips), but not so fitted that it's uncomfortable or difficult to move in at all.  I love it.  Other jackets I've had for wind just don't compare.  The Windshear is never stuffy or hot (provided you aren't wearing it in the summer...). 

Unfortunately for you and everyone else in the world, they seem to have stopped making the EMS Windshear (EMS, for those of you who don't know, stands for Eastern Mountain Sports, and is an east coast based outdoor sporting goods store).  They have, however, replaced it with what appears to be the exact same jacket, called the EMS Microburst.  Each year, the style changes a little bit, so the Microburst may be slightly different than my Windshear, but they should be completely comparable.  The Microburst looks like this:
Needless to say, I think it's pretty much the same jacket, with a couple different color options and elastic wrist cuffs.  If you live somewhere where it's ever windy, I recommend you go get this jacket immediately. 

And the wind will disappear.

And you will be happy.

Saturday, June 25, 2011
You'd think I'd want to spend my last couple days of freedom relaxing.  Instead I thought it would be good fun to spend 14 hours working on my house.  Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot to show for those 14 hours of work...  Not yet, at least! 

I got started at 7am finishing up some sanding that's been an ongoing project for about three days.  Making things uglier rather than prettier is not very motivating, and it took a LONG time to finish that particular stage of the project.  After the sanding was done, I had quite the mess on my hands.  Like, dust in various rooms and on all surfaces so of a mess.  It took me close to 2 hours to clean it up enough to move onto the next step in project: kitchen.

After a trip to Lowe's for a couple things, I started painting.  It was all detail work, which took FOREVER!  And I can't even tell how it looks because it was dark by the time I finished, so the lighting was all bad.  And it looks pretty sloppy right now because I have a whole lot more paint to add to the room. 

BUT, I got over the sanding hurdle, and things are looking better rather than worse!  I've stalled in my unpacking because I need places to put things, so hopefully when the painting is done and the rooms are all reassembled, I'll be able to unpack and actually settle in!  All before July 1...

Doesn't really sound like progress, does it?  Well it is!  Stay tuned for pictures of the results.  I just thought I'd let you know I'm actually making progress, even though I'm not posting pictures!  I'll have a few rooms read to show you soon!

Tomorrow maybe... 
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
This morning I made my 17th trip to Lowes (that might be a slight exaggeration, but it's pretty close), to get a pair of hedge trimmers so I could do a little yard work.  I was going to bust out my new mower yesterday... and then it rained.  So I postponed that until today and figured I'd get all the outside stuff done at once.  This is the picture was taken that was posted online when the house was for sale:

Since this picture was taken, things have... grown.  Which would be expected.  The ivy has gotten a little out of control, the bushes grew, the grass grew, and some crazy plants grew up around the tree on the right.  Blech.  This is what it looked like when I went outside this morning.

Things just got a little out of control, and the bushes were keeping light out of my big picture windows.  So I went outside with my hedge trimmers, and my Honda mower. 

Lets talk about the mower for JUST a second.  I debated what kind of mower to get a lot.  Reel mower?  Self propelled?  Riding?  (just kidding about that last part....).  My dad recommended a Honda, which is apparently the best in the business as far as mowing lawns goes.  But alas, they were too pricey for me.  Sad, I know. 

And THEN, my friend Ian (who you will meet in future room improvement posts) said he was selling HIS Honda mower to upgrade to a bigger, better Honda mower.  For an affordable price.  I jumped on it!  My dad was pleased to hear that it was a Honda, and self propelled, and all was right in mowing world.

Anyway, I mowed and I clipped and I raked (well, not really... I picked up the big sticks.  I still need to get a rake).  And now, my yard looks like this!

I got everything trimmed down a bit, although I didn't want to overprune and leave naked plants, so they might get a little shorter in a couple days.  And yes, I do realize it looks pretty much like it did in the first picture, with slightly bigger plants.  Now that I've got the existing stuff in decent shape, I'm ready to add some new things!  I need a little color, some interest on the front porch, to tame a little more ivy, and whatever else strikes my fancy.  Anyone with ideas?  Particularly in perennial color.  I like things that come back all on their own :)

Give me ideas!

Oh, and tell me what you think of the front colors!  I have a few changes in mind but I'd like to know what you think about the 1) purple, 2) windows, 3) door/storm door, 4) anything else you have an opinion about.

Suggest away!

Monday, June 20, 2011
I would love to come to you today with the pictures of a room in my house that's totally finished.  Alas, that isn't going to happen.  I'm currently getting beat down by my kitchen cabinets.  So instead, I'll give you the second installment of my posts about Italy.  Today, I'm going to talk about the food.

Ohhhh, the food.

I anticipated there being some tasty pasta and wine, which was true.  But there were also some surprisingly good other things! 

Our routine on the food front went a little like this:

Wake up.  Eat a breakfast/lunch (we woke up late...) of bread, jam, cheese, meat, fruit, coffee, and sometimes fruit tart.  Go out on an adventure.  Get a snack/pizza/gelato.  Continue our adventure.  Go to dinner.  Eat a couple courses out of the many they offer.  Go home.  Go to bed.

I could go on and on about the best things in different meals, but I think it will be better to hit the highlights.

We had gelato every day.  Sometimes twice.

The bread was a little bland... the better to put olive oil on.

I ate more cured meats in a week than I have in my entire life.

Fresh pasta is a totally different food that boxed. 

Italian food seemed to be simple food with simple, fresh, high quality ingredients.  I liked it.

And then, there was "THE MEAL".

One night, the wife of the gentleman we were renting the villa from cooked us dinner.  We sat outside at our little villa table, and she brought us food that she cooked at her house, one course at a time.  The menu was:

Appetizers:  Tomato and mozzarella, bruschetta (x3), prosciutto and melon.
Pasta:  White spinach lasagna, spaghetti with fresh sauce
Entree(s):  Cinghiali (wild boar) with green beans, roasted chicken and mutton with potatoes and salad
Dessert:  Fruit tart

We were full by the second course, but we just kept eating because she kept bringing more food!  Here are the pictures I took from the night!  They pretty much exemplify the dining experience of Italy.  Enjoy!

Just eatin', outside in Tuscany.
Mmmmm, wine!

Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Spinach lasagna pasta stuff.

Mmmmm, more wine!

Some sort of appetizer thingy.

Cinghiale.  Sorry folks, wild boar just doesn't photograph well.

Chicken, mutton, and potatoes.

Giant fruit tart.  We ate it for breakfast for like 4 days.

It was light when we started... It was dark at the end.  The sign of a good meal.
Wish I had some of that food right now!  It's cheerios and Jimmy Johns until my kitchen is put back together.....
Sunday, June 19, 2011
I've had a busy 5 day hiatus from blog world.  After I told you all about our villa in Italy (which happened at 4am, in case you didn't note the time that last post went up), I spent about 5 hours trying to kill time before starting the process of closing on my first house.  Exciting, huh!?!? 

At 9 on Thursday morning, I ran to the bank to get a cashiers check for the closing costs, and then at 10, I closed on my house!  It went completely smoothly, and I was out of there with keys and garage door opener in hand by 11:30.  I ran back to my hotel to pick up Wyatt, and then stopped by the post office on the way to my house to get money orders for the movers.  Turns out all my stuff got delivered the day I moved in, rather than 3-14 days afterwards, like they said it might be.  I got to my house at about 12:30, and unloaded the car while Wyatt roamed around the house trying to figure out where he was. 

This is the pile of stuff that came out of my car... minus the stuff I'd already put in the kitchen.  I'd say I'm a pretty good car packer.

The movers came in the afternoon, and unloaded everything into the house.  But since I have some projects planned, I'm not going to unpack until each room is finished with the work I want to do!

The last few days have been filled with lots of work and many trips to Lowes.  Things are starting to look like home!  I figured I'd post pictures of the house as it was when I moved in, and then post updates in each room as I finish them!  So here are all the before pictures... sorry for the poor quality.  I snapped them quickly when I first got in, before everything became a total mess. 

This is my house.  The hedges aren't that nicely trimmed right now though....

Dining room

View into the living room from the entry way.

View into the dining room from the entry way.

Living room

Down the back hall into the sun room towards the garage.


Other view of kitchen

Guest bedroom... I think I'll keep the airplanes.

Full bathroom

Master bedroom.

Master bedroom from another angle

Deck, from the sunroom.
So that's the house... most of it anyway.  I'll keep you posted on the updates as they happen!  Right now, I'm focused on getting things to the point where I can unpack and settle in before starting orientation on Wednesday.

Tomorrow is a big day... My new washer and dryer AND my internet get hooked up! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011
If you haven't figured it out by now, our vacation was to Italy.  We got back on Monday evening, and since then I've been sorting through photos, packing, and trying to get my sleep schedule back on track.  I figure instead of telling you about the WHOLE trip at once (what's the fun in that??), I'd split it into different parts.  Today, I'll talk about our villa.

We spent the majority of our time in Tuscany.  We stayed in a villa in the agricultural area near a small town called Cetona, and took day trips from there to other towns and areas in Tuscany.  Renting a villa for a week was a way better option than staying in a hotel for a week.  It made out schedule much more flexible, and our time at home was fun and awesome and not boring like at a hotel.

We got to Cetona on Saturday about midday.  When we arrived, there were homemade bottles of wine and olive oil, and a freshly baked fruit tart.  Tell me that's not the sign of a great vacation to come...

Our cute little villa was a one story, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1 swimming pool stone building nestled amidst the olive groves, grape vines, and Cyprus trees.  It also had rosemary bushes, lavender, and artichoke plants. 

It was awesome.  Let me show you some pictures and they will speak for themselves... except where I put captions...
View from out patio on arrival day.

Looking down in the direction of the pool.

Kitchen:  Tricky people hid the fridge and dishwasher with wood paneling!

Fruit tart and fresh cherries, anyone?

Sorry it's sideways... took too long to upload on my slow hotel internet, so it's staying!  Rosemary bushes along the side of the house.

View on a sunnier day.  Not bad, huh?

Don't mind me... I'm just a fruit tart hanging out by some flowers on the patio in Tuscany.  Ho hum.

My sister drinking wine and laughing on our patio... with a pretty decent background.

Another view of our view.

Our pool.  I LOVE Cyprus trees. 

Last day before we left :(

View of the villa.  Ignore the drying clothes. 
Well, there you have it, folks.  Our Tuscan villa.  Tomorrow I'll give you more details on castles, villages, food, ancient Romans, or something like that. 

Friday, June 3, 2011
And I'll be back in 10 days.

Wanna know where I'm going?  I'll give you some clues.  When I come home, I'll be full of:



and Wine. 

I promise to bring you lots of pictures. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011
Of all the fruit and veggie seasons I look forward to, I think I look forward to strawberry season the most.  Maybe, it's because strawberries and sweet and juicy and delicious.  Or maybe it's because it's only about two weeks long, so the days it's here are SUPER exciting.  Or MAYBE, it's because during strawberry season, I can make strawberry pie.  And not just any strawberry pie, but the best strawberry pie in the entire world: my mom's strawberry pie. 

No, your mom's is not better than mine.  It's just not.  Stop pretending and make this pie instead.  You'll be happy you did. 

I'll even be kind and share the recipe, step by step, so you can make it yourself. 

First, you must go to a strawberry field (preferably one in Lancaster, PA), and pick strawberries.  You will need one quart, but you should pick more than that.  Because they are delicious, and because you only have two weeks to pick them, and then they'll be gone.  And you'll have to wait another year.  So pick at least a gallon.  Then you'll have this:
Once you have strawberries, you can make a pie.  You'll also need:
          One pie crust, baked (I recommend Pioneer Woman's Pie Crust Recipe)

          3/4 C water
          1 C sugar
          3 T cornstarch
          1 T lemon juice
          6 oz cream cheese
          4 T sour cream    

Stir together cream cheese and sour cream until smooth.  Spread evenly over cooled pie crust.

Mash 1 cup (out of your quart) of strawberries.  In a saucepan, combine mashed berries and water.  Heat until simmering, then simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir cornstarch into sugar, then add to berries while stirring.  Cook over slow heat, stirring frequently, until thickened (about 10 minutes).  Stir in lemon juice and take off heat to cool slightly. 

While the berry mixture is cooling, cut the remaining berries and place on the cream cheese layer of the pie.  Pour the berry sauce over the strawberries and spread evenly.  Place in refrigerator to cool completely.  It will look something like this:

Slice (or not...).


Be Happy.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Today marks one month until I start working... and keep working for the rest of my life!  I'm going to try very hard to enjoy it...

I have big plans for my last month of freedom, so I figured I'd put a list up here, and can gleefully cross them off as they happen!

Things Do To Before Starting Residency And Thereby No Longer Having Any Free Time Until I Retire
Wash my car
Get in shape by running and riding more
Go to Italy for family vacation (this will not be gleefully crossed off... more like sadly, and with lots of tears)
Close on my house
Refinish cabinets
Refinish dining room table
Paint kitchen, dining room, living room, bedroom
Open new bank accounts
Powerwash and stain deck
Find a grocery store
Unpack all 28 boxes and 8 plastic containers of my stuff (once it gets delivered!)
Activate all my utilities

I'm sure the list is actually much longer, but I'm pretty sure that's already more than I cant actually do in 30 days, so I'm gonna leave it at that!  The month is going to fly by, and then I'll officially start working.  I'm actually excited to start, get comfortable, and fall into a routine.

Also, I'll be working on de-4thyearifying my blog and updating it with new info about the upcoming year, so look out for that!

Peace out,
Dr. Kari

PS.  I won't sign Dr Kari anymore, I promise.  I just thought it would be fun to do it once.  I was right... it was fun.

About Me

I am a Family Medicine intern at a community hospital in Indiana, navigating the new world of being a physician. I am privileged to work in a field I love, where every day is a new and unpredictable challenge.
I am not only a doctor, but also a cyclist, runner, DIYer in the making, lover of the outdoors, traveler, and human.
Human, MD is a glimpse into the world of a young doctor who is just trying to stay true to herself through the grueling whirlwind of residency.


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