Thursday, November 22, 2007

Anfa's "I Want Rant"

Enough thanks. I have a lot of things I want. This is independent of the list of things I need. Not in any particular order:
I want to:
1. Go back to Ireland. This time I want all my kids with me. We'll get a house and a car and use it as home base and destination. I want to see that look on Dan's face again, and Kate's smile.
2. Go see Black 47- playing in Shirley MA on Dec 14!!!
3. Go see Celtic Sojourn again. I want this to be my new Christmas tradition.
4. Take ceili dance lessons again.
5. Study language again. Enough science, I need to work another part of the brain.
6. Learn to play another instrument: maybe the violin or the Celtic harp. I think violin is more practical, I may have to go to Boston for harp lessons.
7. See more of my friends. And now I have so many more of them to stay in touch with! I have potential visits to Quebec, Colorado, California, Texas, North Carolina and DC.
8. See more of the kids. If my own kids won't give me grandchildren, then dammit, I will just appropriate my sister's.
9. Sing more. I was singing tonight and Sorcha just looked at me with adoring eyes. She loves when I sing. I love when I sing. I need to do it more often. Especially if I have something to sing about.
10. Read more and fill in some of the gaps in my library. Current reading material: a history of Ireland, a compendium of Heinlein short stories and novellas, "The Four Agreements", one of Kate's philosophy books, and "the Fates of the Princes of Dyved", a Mabinogion retelling re-published from the late 1800's. Plus a few pharmacy journals for light reading.
11. Garden more. Obviously this is waiting until spring.
12. Wake up 30 pounds lighter. OK since this one is a non-starter, I want to move more and get fit again. I like being fit and have got way out of the habit. I need to stop being a binge exerciser and make it my lifestyle again.

Anfa's Celtic Thanksgiving

I am gratified and a little startled at the reactions of friends and family over my Thanksgiving plans. Intentions: stay at home in jammies and watch movies- engrave watches if there's a burst of energy.
Thanksgiving is an EvilEx holiday; the evil ex and his family LOVE to cook and love to eat, so TGDay is an orgy as far as they are concerned. The boys would hate to miss it; Dutiful Daughter the vegetarian goes to be the dutiful child she is. ExMIL feels that since she lacks turkey joy, another dish must be provided and has been in the habit of making macaroni and cheese just for Kate (and gobbled by the testosterone-driven mutant contingent).
I am used to the lot wanting to be with the Other Side. The past few years as I was in school, I had no problem with that, and used the day for a nice walk and a nice nap. Now, getting used to working 12 hour shifts several days a week, I still have no problem with my new holiday routine. But everyone else seems to.
I have had more invitations to dine this year. I am so touched. Yet I am a little horrified that people who know me envision me sitting alone with my cats, a solitary tear dripping into my shiraz. Well, ok, I really am sitting here with my cats and shiraz, but I am so totally cool with it. I had rice and beans for dinner and am very satisfied. I love a turkey dinner, and I cook it whenever I have guests in winter. My ancestors were not pilgrims and this holiday has no great attachment for me. I am not a football fan, and the parades in tv have no hold on my attention.
I have no attention span for reading today, so I deleted files on my laptop, burnt cds of pics to share with my friends, and made a few music cds to listen to. I did some prep work for engraving, but need a sunnier day to finish the actual job.
I am watching "A Christmas Celtic Sojourn" on PBS, which I did not get to see live last year becasue Sis had influenza and was hospitalized the entire time I made my preparations for hosting our family Christmas holiday. My heart is full of Irish music and the people on this program are featured in my extensive collection; Karan Casey, Navan, Clancy Bros. My ancestors were healers, craftsmen and musicians. I am all three wrapped up in one. I am content to be myself, at home, with music and pets around me, my exams behind me and my future ahead. My belly is full and so is my wineglass. My heart is full with music and calculations and plans for the coming winter. I have much to give thanks for, and many blessings.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Vibes Roll In

I've had more congratulatory messages lately, but today took the cake. Around 2 pm my phone rang, and a voice asked "Is this Kate's Mom?" After a second, I realized, yes, I am her mom, and gave an affirmative. Then I got a singing telegram from India, courtesy of Kate, that made me laugh so hard. It was earnest and sweetly sung and very different-all about deserving a cookie, maybe two, and maybe the whole bag...
I'm still laughing, it just cracked me up so much., check it out.
Rich and Cori sent me a beautiful dracaena "lucky bamboo" plant that is twisted and trained and looks like Celtic knotwork. Daimhnhait enjoyed the box and is delightedly nesting on the styrofoam beans and then chasing them, so I haven't the heart to toss them yet.
So many people have sent such lovely sentiments. It's nice to have such a relief.
Tomorrow is MPJE and hopefully I'll be done. Bring on the cookies!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

How I Took The NAPLEX and Maintained My Sanity (Recipe Included)

I am so incredibly relieved my exam is over. I just freaked myself out to discover that the paperwork to transfer my score to my home state (I did it first in the neighboring state, meaning to have both primary licenses) had to be done BEFORE the day I took the exam and is not valid if received AFTER. Done deal. Now I have to wait a year and practice and then apply to reciprocate my license. Maybe God had a reason for inducing my brain fart. Of course, the fact that I had pneumonia when I got the paperwork and signed up had nothing to do with it...:) I'll get over it.
I felt the exam was awful! A few times, I wondered if anyone ever ran from the place screaming. You get thumbprinted, they take your picture and they tape the whole room at all times. But the staff was so nice and had soothing music in the wait room, beautiful artwork and very kind demeanors. All my friends got questions on rarer disease states and said they struggled, so I boned up on those, and health literacy and the usual top morbidities. I had many calculations, which take longer than case questions, drug names and classes. I like them and am usually very good at them, I just think I got an abnormally large amount. I finished with 10 minutes to spare. My favourite question was what is the generic name for … the drug I did my poster on.
ALL my friends from school called the night before. Nana set up a conference call with Michelle to pray with me- incredibly sweet & very appreciated. I emailed out for prayers and received many back- I could feel everyone thinking of me as I worked my way through. Thank you all, it helped me to know I wasn’t alone. Kate met me at home and took me out to dinner at a favourite Mexican restaurant, and we shopped a little for some crafts we are planning. It was a great way to wind down.
In spite of the stress, I am enjoying a beautiful fall. I love this time of year. I am burning apple-scented candles at night with my star lights on, listening to Irish music while the burner kicks in down in the cellar, and the cats find cozy places out of the draft. I have autumn leaves in the vases and they look like fire in the bay window in the pewter vases Buck gave me. I can hear the leaves hitting the windows and sounding like ice. When it rains, the mice try and burrow in and Sorcha stands guard in the cellar. I love the chill even when I have to leave a little earlier and scrape ice off the windshield. After a few days. I'll be used to it and it will be part of my routine, but right now it isn't; it makes me take stock of the fall mornings and notice everything more clearly. I am cooking a bit more, and more nutritiously because I obviously needed it. Michelle stayed with me when we went to a wedding, and we ate our way through the weekend. It's a beautiful time.
Here’s our favourite fall recipe: take a package of cranberries, and pick out all the stems and bad ones, rinse, and put in a saucepan with 2/3 cup of orange juice and two tablespoons of sugar. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium and cook 20-30 minutes until reduced to a nice sauce. Put a wedge of Brie in the oven or toaster oven to warm until it gets a little runny. Then slice up a couple of Granny Smith apples into thin wedges and arrange on a platter. Place a spoonful of Brie and a spoonful of cranberries on top and serve immediately. It’s so pretty and the textures and tastes meld so well. It’s a Kate recipe. Great stuff, and so good for you too. It takes about 30 minutes to make, and looks so impressive. Enjoy!
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