Saturday, March 31, 2012

Living the Dream

When I started nursing school I did it in hopes that I could help broken people who really, really needed someone to care.

It's happening.
I have an opportunity to go to Kenya, Africa.

My nursing program takes a group of students
{along with medical students, a dentist and a team of doctors and nurses}
on a mission trip to Kenya twice a year.
My trip is at the end of August and into September.

For two weeks I will get to see a glimpse of my dream coming true.
A small taste of what is in store.
And, mostly, I will get to provide these beautiful people - who have never seen a doctor or nurse, never had a clinic in their slum, never had true medical care - with treatment to meet their real needs.
I have this privilege. 

When I first heard about the trip and sent in my application I was asked if maybe I was a little bit crazy to want to put myself into this mess.
I mean, it's a complete disaster in the areas we will be visiting.
But all I can think about is the people.
The precious people.
I might be crazy...but I really love people.
And they need help that I might be able to provide.
If I can. I will.

I'm absolutely overcome with excitement at this opportunity.
And, knowing my little group of readers, you probably think it's pretty awesome too.
If you want to help, we have a long list of supplies (many you can find at a drug store) that we would love to be able to bring.
The only supplies we can use in the slums are the ones we are able to bring with us.
If you donate I will find a way to pack it in the 2 suitcases I'm allowed.
I may wear the same stinky scrubs all week if I can fill up my space with Tylenol and band-aids.
: )

If you're interested in getting the list of items we need, please email me at
starcrossedserves @ hotmail . com

This trip also comes with a price.
$3,000 to pay for airfare, medical supplies, food and housing for myself and translators.
Though this trip is through my school, the expenses aren't covered by student loans or scholarships.
If you could to donate money for supplies and trip expenses I would be so grateful.
I feel self conscious asking for's not my favorite thing.
But I guess when it comes to these types of things, partnership is the only way they can get done.
You do the part only you can do and I do the part only I can.

If you would like to help in this way, I have a paypal account set up for this purpose.

You can also email me to get information on where to send a check if you'd rather do it that way.

All photos are via the nerdy nurse.

And always pray. 
That is the most useful thing of all.

I will keep you updated, and quite informed.
Maybe even more than you wanted... 
: )
Told you I'm excited.

Video about the mission from past trips:

Oh, and as of right now I am filling my house with the smell of curry-spiced nuts roasting in the crockpot.
Mouthwatering, I tell you.
Recipe coming your way.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nursing School :: An Update

I haven't talked much about school...
buts it's totally ruining ruling my life at the moment.

I think I've left it out of my bloglife because apparently my readers are a bunch of delicate lilly-flowers who cannot handle anything remotely human.
Yes, I'm talking about you.
You, for whom this little post was enough to induce {not really} irate comments accusing me of tyring to "gross you out." 

Relax, you guys.

: ) 

Was that enough melodrama for you?

School is going well.
How well? you ask.

This well...

{a pic taken by my classmate...I have this many too. thanks for sharing, Jess!}

Holy Mother, that's a lot of books.
Those were from last year.
I've got one more year to go.
And another intimidating stack of textbooks, although I think this is the bulk.

I've got a lot of stuff floating around in my head.
You know what is going to be a miracle?
If all of that somehow comes together and produces a passing grade on my boards when I take them in a year.

Right now I'm in the middle of my pediatrics classes and clinicals.
It's precious. would be if the "pediatric" patients I have been taking care of weren't larger than me.
This is a whole different topic. And I'll stop right now.
But...let's just say I have yet to encounter a real pediatric nursing situation.
You know what I would love? 
Is to get my hands on some of those NICU babies. 
Oh my goodness...I peeked in on them one day and they were awesome.

Most of my excitement is bundled up into one eight week class that is coming up in a month or so.
Labor and Delivery clinicals.
You guys. I've been waiting for this moment since I started dreaming about nursing school.
So yeah...just a little bit of anticipation surrounding that one.

I adore school though.
It's so challenging.
So frustrating.
So freaking funny sometimes.
{I really do love my classmates.}
And an absolute dream come true.

Oh yeah...and I've got a 3.82 GPA so...
: )

There's your update.

And I have the most amazing opportunity heading my way that I'm going to be filling up the blog with.
You totally want to know about it.
It's like my whole purpose in going to nursing school is already starting to come together.
So good.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Leek & Gruyere Frittata...For One

On a pretty little morning in March,
one on which i did not have a million to-do's cluttering my list,
{or I was, at least, able to ignore that list...}
I made a frittata.

My very first one.

And it was a success.

I started with the leeks.
Sliced thin.

Those leeks were set to saute nicely in a pan of olive oil and butter.

The new block of Gruyere {a delicious swiss cheese which melts beautifully} was unwrapped and shredded.
And I fetched the eggs...

...the eggs. 
There were two.
The recipe called for six large, organic eggs.
My eggs were not organic...they were medium...and there were only two.
See? There, in the picture.
Two lonely, white, medium eggs.

I would have just given up at that moment...the moment of insufficient eggs.
But my neatly sliced leeks were just getting to the lightly brown stage and they smelled so perfect.

I switched to a smaller pan, removed some of the leeks and pushed on with my two sad eggs and made this a frittata for one.

Here's the pretty little girl ready to pop into the oven.

And here she is plated.

I had prepared Mr. B. for a grand frittata breakfast before he stepped into the shower and by the time he emerged the breakfast for two had shrunk to a breakfast for one.
I hated to break the news that he would only get a few bites of this gorgeous smelling experiement.
{I am a wonderfully giving wife. But when it comes to leeks and swiss cheese...well, I have my limits.}

So, he got three bites {three very large bites} and declared it "very flavorful."
Mr. B. is a tough critic.
Not because his taste buds are so discerning and refined but because...well...they're sort of dull.
He's not picky at all and this culinary vocabulary is a bit lacking.
Usually I get a, "yeah, it's good." after some prodding and guilt-inducing comments.
So, to get an actual descriptive adjective out of him was quite a triumph.

This {less-than} frittata was a success.

I'm going to be generous and assume that your refrigerator is much more abundantly stocked than my sorry  situation.
I'm going to give you the full recipe.

This one is from Gwyneth Paltrow's fantastic cookbook, My Father's Daughter, which I wrote about here.

Leek & Gruyere Frittata

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large leek, washed and thinly sliced
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper
6 organic large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat the butter and oil over med heat in a 10-in cast-iron skillet. Saute the leek slices until soft and just barely browned, 6-8 minutes. Season with plenty of s&p.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs and milk to combine in a mixing bowl. Pour over the leeks. Sprinkle the top with cheese. Let it cook for about 5 minutes, or until just set on the edges {it will still be very runny in the middle}. Stick it in the oven for 8 minutes, it should be just set throughout.

If you've never cooked with leeks before, don't be shy.
They are a wonderful vegetable.
They have a deliciously mild onion taste.

{And be sure to count your eggs...}

Saturday, March 17, 2012

On This Day

On this day there are hot foreheads.

And there are Disney movies playing one after the other.

On this day throats are scratchy and babyhood blankies litter the couches. 

Cheeks are pink and eyes droop sad. 

I am thankful for dye-free children's Tylenol on this day. 

I pull close too-warm bodies with damp heads and rub aching backs. 

On this day thunder mumbles in the far away sky And I am happy to be the mother on this day. 


Let me just tell you how good it feels to be back in this space of creativity.
Can you do me a favor? If you're still reading (my blog has been painfully lackluster these past months) please drop me a quick comment. Just a "hello" will do.
I want to take a bit of an inventory of the place.

 And...have you had the flu yet this year? This thing's not playing around!