Monthly Archives: October 2010

Four Years Ago Today

Porkchop was outfitted in this:

Looking good.

And several hours later, she was doing this:

Supporting the Cardinals post-surgery.

Yup, it’s been four years since Porkchop gave a kidney to her dad. Although she still has pain from the surgery, she’s doing great.

Happy Kidney Day, Porkchop!

Even though it hasn’t been updated in three years, her kidney-donation blog still gets hits because it’s such a great resource for potential donors. You can read it at Take My Kidney!!! Check it out to see pictures of the kidney Porkchop gave to her dad!


To Infinity and Beyond

Happy 10 years and 1 week to Porkchop and me!

Porkchop is my best friend, my biggest supporter, and the greatest person in the universe. Each day, I consider myself lucky to be her partner and enjoy this life with her.

Last week, on the 10-year-day proper, we took a day off from our respective works and did fun things. For example, lunching on blue plate specials of fried halibut, hush puppies, and red beans and rice from Farmhaus; having our minds blown by the beautiful yarn at the Loopy Ewe; and watching a movie (Secretariat, which I found surprisingly enjoyable). Fun continued through the weekend with the farmers’ market, a 24-mile bike ride to the Chain of Rocks Bridge, the Blues home opener, and a game of tennis on a perfect Sunday morning.

Way back in September, we took a trip to Albuquerque that was part-work, part-fun, and part-anniversary trip. The fun anniversary leg was to Ojo Caliente, a spa in the middle of nowhere in northern New Mexico. It is seriously isolated and spectacular.

Look at that vivid blue sky…the sky here is never so blue.

Ojo Caliente registration and gift shop. Also gateway to the hot springs.

We couldn’t take pictures of the hot springs because something about guest privacy and blah blah blah, but they were lovely. My favorites were the arsenic pool and the iron pool. The iron pool because it was built right into the cliff side, and the arsenic pool because the water was 109 degrees and made me feel like warm butter.

We had two nights at the springs and spent them soaking under a star-filled sky.


When we go back (and there will be another trip at some point, I hope), I want to spend a full day at the spa so that I can enjoy the mud pool longer. We took a day trip into Taos for lunch and sightseeing, and had only 20 minutes for the mud pool, which isn’t nearly long enough.

On our way to Taos, we crossed over the Rio Grande on the fifth-highest bridge in the US:

Rio Grande. In person, this looks even deeper.

Amanda and me. Not against the railing. That would be too close to the edge.

At Ojo Caliente, we stayed in the “historic hotel” part of the resort:

Outside the restaurant and historic hotel. Built around 1916.

The hotel rooms are the cheapest because they don’t have showers, which isn’t a problem because you can use the bathhouse showers. However, when we go back, I want to stay in one of the cliffside suites with a private outdoor pool and a kiva.

Anyway, I totally recommend a trip out to Ojo Caliente. Soak up the minerals and enjoy the stars.

What Else I’m Doing

Over the summer, I started thinking a lot about the rest of my life. Big thinking.

Somewhere, I ran across this quote by Annie Dillard:

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.

And I started thinking, there is no way in hell I want to spend the rest of my life working at a computer.

So, then I started thinking about how I’ve always been interested in physical therapy, but scared to pick up the prerequisites and scared to commit to an intense 3-year program. The fear came from things like: What about the student debt I’ll pick up? How will we pay our mortgage and bills if I’m not working?

Just for fun, I looked at the prereq lists of a few PT programs and found that I needed to pick up only 5 classes. And then I looked some more and found that I could take most of the classes for free through my university’s evening program!

So, here I am taking Anatomy & Physiology and studying my ass off. SO MUCH INFORMATION! I’m in A&P on Mondays from 4:45 – 9:30 pm (lab and lecture), and then on Thursdays from 4:45 – 6:45 pm (lab). Sometimes I go to the Wednesday lab to finish things and study more. On Monday nights, my head is usually so full of stuff, I can’t get to sleep until 1 am.

I wake up and have phrases like non-keratinized stratified squamous epithelium bouncing around.

I have two quizzes every Monday. And the big test weeks are hard. We have a lab take-home exam, a lab practical exam, and a lecture exam. It’s nuts.

It’s a lot of work and overwhelming at times, but I’m really loving it. It goes back to my roots in physical anthropology, which is what I studied as an undergrad (I picked up feminist studies during my senior year). Currently we’re studying the skeleton and bone histology, and I feel so fortunate that I learned a lot of it as an undergrad. Still, it’s hard. We have to know so much more in lab than I did in my anthro classes.

For real, I am following through on this PT thing. GRE over winter break. A&P II in the spring, along with Abnormal Psych at the community college. Medical terminology over the summer. Physics I and II next year. Before summer 2011, 100 volunteer/observation hours in PT clinics.

It’s my goal to apply to programs over the summer and be admitted somewhere for Fall 2012. We’ll figure out the student loan and mortgage stuff when the time comes.

It’s time to start doing something that I really want to do!