Sunday, January 22, 2006

happiness is...

- the sun, shining all afternoon
- hitting 178,000 miles in my car
- Trader Joe’s salmon in the freezer and dried fruit in the pantry
- a fiber and yarn event at Claudia’s this afternoon

(at this point I’ll have to invite you to head around the web to see pictures – my camera spent the afternoon on my kitchen counter, right where I’d left it so I wouldn’t forget it…)

The gathering this afternoon was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before; the sheer number of cars parked gave me an indication that this was big, but I didn’t expect to hear the laughter and chatting outside from down the street.

I met up with people I’d seen before (I can't even begin to link to all of the knitters that were there), saw several new faces, collected a few new blogs to look up and knit a bit on a new sock. Many of the people there have hundreds of readers, have invented patterns and invoke some sort of “ohmyit’s__fill in blank with your name here___” dumbstruck reaction from me, but my fear of large groups of unkown’ish faces is fading the more people I meet. I had a wonderful time listening to the discussions happening around me - sock heel preferences, swatch-gazing, spindle teaching, and saw several new patterns that I might invest in at some point in time. There was also plenty of food – everything from appetizers to desserts and everything in between!

I brought a dish that my mom and I love, and will make for almost any occasion. I’m a child of the pot-luck era, and know better then to hold back on a recipe when people ask for it….

Carrot Soufflé / Carrot Custard
(when it’s warm it poufs up like a soufflé; when chilled it takes on a more custard texture; we use olive oil and honey instead of the butter and sugar)

1 lb carrots, cooked and drained
3 eggs
1/3 cup sugar (or honey)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup melted butter (or olive oil)
1 Tsp flour
dash of nutmeg and cinnamon (I used a bit more then a dash)

Put all of the above ingredients in blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Pour into greased dish, top with the following:

½ cup cracker crumbs (any type of cracker works)
2 Tsp melted butter (or olive oil)
3 Tsp brown sugar
¼ cup chopped nuts (or more – we use pecans but any nut will work)

Mix together and sprinkle on top of the carrot mixture. Bake at 350 (or higher, depends on your oven) for an hour. (It's done when a knife inserted comes out clean.)

Today was productive in many ways. Not only did I get out of the house, I got out of my own way; something I’ve been trying to do for a long time. I had time to think as I drove today and when I wasn’t concentrating on where the cars around me might be going….

(Dear Greater Boston Area: I realize that speed limits, passing lanes and turn signals are simply suggestions to you, but could you please remember that though I can anticipate which direction they might dart to in their way too big cars, I only have a fifty/fifty chance of being right and my mind reading training isn’t finished yet. Perhaps next time I’ll do better with my guesses….)

….and I finally acknowledged that I do not like doing what I am doing on my current rotation. Up until now, I hadn’t given myself a chance to even consider that possibility. Was I worried about what other people thought about what I thought? Am I supposed to like it simply because the doctors I’m working with love oncology? Or is it that I am constantly hearing that I should specialize and that primary care is a bad choice? Some doctors seem to continually insist that I re-think what I might want to do; I realize that I shouldn’t put all of my eggs in one basket but these experiences are helping me to figure out both what I want to do AND what I don’t want to do. Right now I know that I like working with healthy people, I miss working with kids and really miss labor and delivery.

Right now I’m at the halfway point and after this week is finished I’m 2/3 of the way through this six week rotation. It feels like a loooong time, but with any luck time will start flying and it’ll be over before I can say “psychiatry is next.” I’ll keep on keeping on.

The debacle with the housecleaner will work itself out on Tuesday; it’s been a long time coming and I’m sick of feeling as though we’re being spied on by someone who can’t stand us. Chances are we’ll be told that I have to pack up my yarn and keep it out of sight, and we’ll be required to do a few other things that I find a bit absurd. Tomorrow my roommate (who returns to be with her husband on the weekends) and I plan to sit down and talk about what is next and how we’re going to approach this. Yes, it’s student housing, but we’re unsure of where the lines are and I don’t understand why they care how we live. I miss my apartment from last year, with the claw foot tub and park view…..


Blogger Pumpkinmama said...

Sounds like a vey fun time. Glad you've gained some clarity on this rotation - I hope it goes by quickly for you.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Finding out what you don't like is just as important as finding out what you do. I mean, just because oncology is the best field ever . . . just kidding.

I went to Trader Joe's yesterday, too. I love Trader Joe's.

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

The rotations are for learning ALL those things. Using them to avoid career mistakes is part of it.

That carrot souffle was out of this world. Thanks for the recipe, or for caving in to Subway Knitter's demands.

I think the housekeeper is out of line. You can compromise and delineate a no clean zone with yarn in it. That might placate her, get you mostly cleaned, and stop the politically incorrect intrusion in your life. Student housing is not equal to dictatorship and loss of all subsequent rights and privileges.

Wonderful to see you as always. Don't forget to read Norma's quote of Cate: camnesia

7:56 AM  
Blogger Norma said...

It was WONDERFUL to finally meet you, and the carrot souffle was a taste sensation. Thanks for the recipe!

Wasn't it the most amazing time? Laurie is so wise.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

I think it's great that you have the opportunity to decide what you like and what you don't. Most people don't get that in their careers.

Driving in the Boston area is one of those things that takes years to master, I think. ;)

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Amber said...

I was looking for you to get the carrot souffle recipe! I make my dad carrot cake every year for his birthday, and after trying this, knew that it was that "something different' I've been wanting to do!


9:37 AM  
Anonymous mia said...

I always think it is interesting when docs tell you that you should do ___ (fill in blank with whatever they say). It is a powerful thing to hear someone telling you that you are good at this, you should do this, it is what you need to do...blah blah blah. The challenge is to sort out where your own heart is and find the right thing for you!

9:41 AM  
Blogger Carole said...

I think I barely got to say hello yesterday but it was great to see you. As for the other advice, I'd listen to Laurie. She's the smart one.

9:56 AM  
Blogger claudia said...

Kristen, thanks so much for coming and driving all that way. It was wonderful to see you.

Knowing what you don't want to do is a real gift, as are strong likes and dislikes. I feel the sorriest for the folks who don't feel strongly about ANY of the their work choices.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sad I didn't get a chance to talk with you yesterday. I'm glad to hear that you were able to get some loving and warmth from the group.

I work at a cancer reasearch hospital. My exchange with patients is surely different than yours (I work in research.) I am constantly in awe of the joy and hope around this place. But, I marvel at the doctors that take care of the patients. It's something I could NEVER do.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Bookish Wendy said...

that was me!

10:18 AM  
Anonymous colleen said...

Thank you, thank you for that recipe! MMMMMMM! I want to run home right now and grab some carrots.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous jess said...

It sounds like your career training gives you the chance to really find out what you want to do (mine doesn't particularly, as you train to be a researcher and then have to wing it on the teaching and admin). So take advatage and keep finding out. Happiness is more important than following the 'right' choice.

5:21 AM  
Blogger --Deb said...

Mmmm, that sounds yummy! I'm going to have to try that one...

10:27 AM  
Blogger Jocele said...

Part of 3rd year is figuring out what you DON'T want to do. Now you know that this is one of those things, but will take this experience with you into other rotations and the rest of your career. Glad you had a good day.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Anne-Caroline said...

You are awesome, girl! I love the package - more about it on my blog soon...Thanks a million trillion!

7:50 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Sounds like it was a great day at Claudia's!

I wandered over from Theresa's and am here to pester you to show pictures of your Rogue-in-progress. :)

8:44 AM  
Blogger Nikki said...

I hear you about the primary care-bashing. It drives me crazy. Good for you for allowing yourself to realize that you don't like oncology, and that that's okay.

10:01 PM  

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