Thursday Mishmash

I love aliens.  Little green men.

Like this guy:

It all started with a little television show called The X-Files. I was obsessed.  Of course aliens are real and have been visiting our planet for decades! Of course the American government covered up the events in Roswell, New Mexico.  Now, before my fellow physician colleagues out there call for a psych consult, let me be clear that I don’t really believe any of that.  Sure, sometimes it’s nice to think that we, humans, are not alone in this vast universe, but I certainly don’t believe that we are being visited on a regular basis by other intelligent creatures from far away galaxies. Nor are select individuals being abducted from their homes and experimented on in spaceships.  (Though, as an aside, have you ever been in an MRI machine?  The bangs and clicks those machines make are startling similar to the sounds that abductees often describe. I’m just saying.) The concept of “We are not alone” is an intriguing one.  One pervasive human trait is our fear of being alone.  I think we pair bond for that reason (and of course to reproduce, but really I think, to avoid being alone).  How can we be the only intelligent life in the universe? What makes us special? Was it happenstance? Divine intervention? A fluke?

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Speaking of mish mash.  On a trip to Montreal about 8 years ago, husband did some research on where to eat and what to do in the city.  He found a little greasy spoon outside the city that had a wonderful reputation for something called the mish mash. Apparently this was the place to go to for a hangover breakfast. And that’s exactly what we did.  The restaurant was called Cosmos. Run by a Greek family, the house specialty was the mish mash – fried mashed potatoes, bacon, sausage, eggs and anything else you wanted, all mashed up together.  Seriously, it was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had.

Shockingly, we found out a few years ago that Tony (top) was killed in his home, his son a suspect in the murder. So sad and tragic.

tonycosmo

cosmo

mishmash

 

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I started this blog in September, 2011.  I was a month away from starting back to work after my second maternity leave.  I felt like I had learned so much from experiencing pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum depression that I realized how much it helped make me a better doctor and wanted to share some of that experience.  Little did I know that three and a half years later, I’d still be writing and would have close to 350 followers!  It’s been fun being able to see where all my visitors are from. Some of you are thousands of miles away, others are just hop, skip and a jump from my back door, and some are from cities I’ve never heard of! Some of you are active contributors, others merely quiet observers.
Thank you all again for visiting.

 

A Welcome Reprieve

Family medicine is great. Earlier in the week I was completely slammed, double booked almost every hour. This morning two people no-showed and I have cleared my inbox in record time.  I’ve paid the office bills that piled up on my desk all week, I’ve already had two coffees and am feeling the caffeine buzz.  The phones at the front desk are pretty quiet.

The calm before the storm?

You betcha!

Mornings like this are nice especially when they follow a couple of crazy weeks of non-stop patients. It gives me time to reflect and regroup. It also makes me wish I had my cross-stitching tucked away in my desk. I have several projects on the go and being able to work on something while at the office would be great, especially on days like today when I have done all the work I can do and am just waiting for patients to show up.

I started cross-stitching in medical school.  I was never a crafty person and can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, so this was something I was quite surprised I took to so well.  Counted cross stitching is methodical, it’s relatively easy to learn and hard to mess up.  Having said that, on more than one occasion I have miscounted my stitches and while it can be really frustrating at the time, for the most part it is a relaxing and meditative hobby that I absolutely love.  When I haven’t had an opportunity to stitch I get cranky and irritable.  So at times like this, when the office is unusually quiet, I really wish I had my hobby to go to.

Back to Doing What I Love.

I did something last night I haven’t done in months.

I cross-stitched.

Most of my new followers probably don’t know this, but I am an avid cross-stitcher.  I started in medical school, wanting to have a hobby of sorts.  I was staying at my girlfriend’s house for a week one summer and she is quite crafty.  She and her mom took me to a local craft store and showed me around. I saw a picture of a cat asleep on a chair and was immediately drawn to it.  It was a beginner’s cross-stitch kit.  My friend’s mom thought it was something I could learn pretty quickly, so I bought it and I’ve been stitching ever since.

That first cross stitch design was this:

It has several mistakes, the most glaring of which is the “w” and “r” in “where” and the spacing between that and “the”.  Still, not too bad for a first try.  It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship between me and cat-themed cross stitch kits.

I’ve completed eight or so kits since I started stitching back in 2002.  I currently have three works-in-progress.  I stopped stitching sometime in July, mostly because my belly was getting far too big to hold the fabric for any length of time, not to mention sitting for hours at a time was just impossible.  And of course, since the baby was born my hands have been full of him and so it’s been next to impossible to find any decent chunk of time to work on my projects.

That is, until last night.

For the past few weeks, the baby is starting to get into a more predictable sleep pattern. I put him in his crib around 5-6pm for the night.  He will usually sleep 3 hours and wake for a feed, after which I put him right back to bed.  When I go up to bed, I take him out of his room and he sleeps in the bassinet next to my bedside.  So, for a few hours every night, I am now baby-free and can cross stitch.  Yay!  I started a kit for him a few months after I found out I was pregnant.  All the kids have a birth record framed cross stitch in their rooms, which I had completed by their first birthday.  For baby J, it’s no different.

Last night, I pulled out the kit for his birth record and went to work.  I lasted about an hour.  I hold the fabric in my left hand and after about 15 minutes, my thumb, index finger and the thenar eminence all started to go numb. My hands are clearly out of shape!  I’m not kidding!  Some nights I’m holding the fabric for several hours with no issues whatsoever.  Not last night though.  My eyes also got tired pretty quickly too.

I felt the calmness come over me, which I only get with stitching. I am so glad I worked on it, even if it was for a short period of time. My mind turned off and all I thought about was which cross I was going to do next. It calms me after a stressful day at work and it centers me when I’m in doubt.

It’s what I love to do.