February 27, 2010

The Salad

This is the salad I made to go with the lasagna I made for Tracey & Bruce's anniversary. I'd never made a salad quite like it before but it sure tasted good. Looked good too hey?? ;)

Here's the recipe:

Stuffed Mushroom Salad

-20 button mushrooms
-1/4 c. pesto, chilled
-3+1/4 oz. rocket leaves
-1 green oakleaf lettuce
-12 small black olives
-1/3 c. sliced semi-dried or sun-dried tomatoes
-1T. coarsely chopped basil
-Parmesan shavings, to serve

-1/3c. olive oil
-1T. white wine vinegar
-1 tsp. dijon mustard

1. Trim the mushroom stalks level with the caps and scoop out the remaining stalk using a melon baller. Spoon the pesto into the mushrooms.
2. To make the dressing, place the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Arrange the rocket and lettuce leaves on a serving plate and top with the mushrooms, olives, tomato and basil. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and top with the parmesan shavings. Serve immediately.

*note: Semi sun-dried tomatoes are brighter and more succulent than sun-dried tomatoes, giving your salad more color.*

Apple Crisp = YUM!

I finally made an apple crisp for my friends here in Australia. I try to think of typical America food to make when I take a turn cooking, so they are trying things they normally don't run in to here.

I had the Apple Crisp in the oven while we ate dinner, which was a really good lasagna that I made, for the first time. By the time we finished and picked up it was time for warm apple crisp and ice cream.

Do I even need to say they LOVED it? ;)

Happy Anniversary Tracey & Bruce :)


Next up I want to make a small batch of rice crispy bars for them to try....

February 20, 2010

Notes and more notes...study and more study...

So I've gotten through the first three chapters of my book now, though in a way I'm at the beginning because I decided to put all my notes online in that skydrive thing for safe keeping. So I'm typing them up in notepad files. It's good because it's like reviewing the material again as I type it :)

So far I've learned the EMS System and the various components, the different types of EMT's and first responders. I've learned about medical direction and how it's helpful in the field. I've learned about the steps to what EMT's do, on a basic level, from arriving on scene right up until they transfer care at the hospital.

I've learned about how important it is to my own personal safety to eat healthy, not smoke, stay in decent shape and have hobbies and interests outside of being an EMT. I've learned about taking BSI precautions, about Critical Incident Stress Debriefing and about some of the situations that cause EMT's the most stress, like mass casualty and child trauma.

I've learned about death and dying, including the Kubler-Ross definitions of human reaction to death and dying, which consists of five steps but not everyone goes through each phase and everyone goes through them in their own order.... and also what i can do as an EMT to help the patient and family through those kinds of stresses.

I've learned about the other agencies I'll have to work in conjuction with, such as fire departments, police, hazmat etc. I've learned that my safety priorities, in order, are: myself, my crew, my patient, bystanders. It is my responsibility to keep myself safe and not put myself in an extreme position, like if a car is dangling on a cliff and the fire dept. hasn't arrived yet, that I have to be able wait for them and not risk my own personal safety. (which would be hard to do but rules are rules)

I've learned about some of the medicolegal issues and ethical issues related to my job. I'll have to deal with patients who have DNR (do not resuscitate) orders or advance directives and some families may have durable power of attorney. I have to know what the standard of care and scope of practice are and strictly follow it. I need to follow HIPAA at all times and sometimes be an advocate for my patient. I'm going to have to deal with patients that refuse to be treated, are angry to be treated and some patients that really don't even need treatment... just a little TLC instead.

There will be cases I have to report to the authorities, such as gunshot, sexual assault, child abuse...even when the patient doesn't want me to but legally I am required. I maybe have to deal with patients who have requested on their ID card or through family that they wanted to be an organ donor. I also have to watch for violence and ask for police assistance or my partner any time it is needed.

Those are some of the things I've learned so far :) It's rather interesting! I don't mind this time of reviewing as I type up notes because the next chapter will be harder, with a LOT of memorization...... it's the Anatomy & Phys. chapter, where I will not only learn the basics to the human body but also some medical terminology like directional terms. Should be interesting!


February 17, 2010

Sydney, Friends, A Glove and a Jacket.

I had such a wonderful day today. I went into the city and met up with two of my buddies on the MJ message board that I am on. We were on a mission to see some "items" and the mission was acoomplished ;)

I left the house pretty early. I was so excited, not just about the day with Nay and Kel, but to be venturing into Sydney, which I love. I didn't have time to eat breakfast at the house at all so I walked through the mall on my way to the train station. Naughty me... I got a breakfast value thing at McDonald's (nicknamed Maccas in Australia)... but it was fast and easy and 6 dollars (very cheap!). I ended up with a Flat White, hashbrown & Sausage/Egg McMuffin.

I took it with me and I'm glad I did. I got my train ticket (Sydney & return) and went to the platform a few minutes before it showed up. It was the Airport/East Hills line so it wasn't as long as taking the long way around on the South Line. Partway through my journey, with my headphones on, reading my book and eating my breakfast, I realized there was a lady sitting next to me. And she was a little........ odd (Tracey will remember me texting her about it - watch the comments of this post haha). She spent over half the trip praying and doing the cross on her face and chest. It was funny because a few times I would look over at her real quick and she's seem me do it and start doing the cross again lol (I couldn't help it...)

I arrived into Sydney around one hour after getting on the train. I decided to get off the train at Circular Quay because Kel was coming on the ferry anyhow and it wasn't too far from where Nay would get off her bus - and it's such an amazing place to visit. You can walk along and see every type of person of almost any country; you see runners, tourists taking photos, suits on their break, kids running around, dancers, musicians, mimes; hear the sounds of boats, water lapping against the docks, seagulls, people talking, laughter, music... it's just all wonderful.

Nay text me a couple times letting me know when she was arriving and I walked up and met her. We had a funny couple minutes trying to find each other. Then we walked around by the Opera House for a bit waiting for Kel, who was coming in on the Manly ferry. Because Nay was a recent transplant to Sydney, she'd been without much internet access, so we spent our time watching the comings and goings of the ferry boats, all the while I caught her up on the latest in the MJ case that she'd missed out on. It was weird talking about such sad things while surrounded by so much beauty and life.

Eventually we made our way over to wharf 3 and I text her and told her to look for the short blonde and tall brunette ;) Once we all met properly we were off. First off, was the Powerhouse Museum on Harris St. It took a bit to get there by foot but it was good exercise. Was a little hot in black top and jeans though!

When we got there it didn't take us long to find what we were looking for. They have an 80's section going on right know which is huge. We did look around at everything that was there, but we spent a good amount of time located at a certain area.... The museum managed to aquire to MJ items we were extremely interested in seeing with our own eyes. The white rhinestone glove he wore when accepting his record number of Grammy's in 1984 and the black sequin jacket he wore when he did the moonwalk for the first time, to Billie Jean, on the Motown 25th special in 1983.

Both were very cool! We took a lot of photos and a few video clips and even commandeered a fellow patron to get a couple pics of the three of us all together, which was awesome :D At one point we were even sitting on the floor together, so that you could see the glove and jacket behind us properly :) Security kept a moderate eye on us too. I was happy to be there and joking around but secretly I was also sad...and humbled. Looking at that jacket I could picture MJ doing that Billie Jean routine, with the band guys behind him clapping, tapping and smiling at what they were seeing; the crowd in front of him freaking out and on their feet; and MJ just trying to make it perfect to make everyone happy....and coming pretty close. I've heard many times how he was upset because after the spin where he then goes up on his toes and into what is now a signature MJ move... he didn't keep it on point long enough. In practice he'd held it longer. Always wanting it perfect.... Well, the jacket sure was perfect. It was beautiful! It and the glove sparkled nonstop because even the smallest bits of light were hitting it. In my pictures it has little colored sparks... in the video I took it's like a diamond... glistening and beaming colors.

Afterwards we had to walk Kel to Central Station because she was on her way to flying back to Melbourne :( It was short and sweet but Kel is such a cool gal, I'm so glad I got to meet her! Central is a tad nuts so it was cool to walk her in there. She hopped on the Airport line, the same line I came in on, except it's more expensive if you actually get off at the airport.

After goodbyes Nay and I decided to walk back over to Darling Harbour. Anyone who knows Sydney, knows already that we were doing a boatload of walking! I wore my black, larger heeled shoes and by that time I was regretting it already. When we got to Darling Harbour we decided we were roasting and needed a Boost drink to cool us down and add some energy. Not sure if they have them in America but if they do I'd love it. They are SO delicious. I ended up getting a large Berry Crush (raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, apple juice, sorbet & ice) with an Energizer Booster Pack (guarana, ginseng, & vitamin E). It's pretty much the one I always get (Otherwise I get the Berry Berry Light Smoothie).

We sat on some steps to rest for a bit and I took off one of my shoes to see my feet and I had a couple blisters on both feet... including a fairly large on the ball of my feet. *grrrrrr* After a few minutes rest we decided to head towards Martin's Place. We stopped in to David Jones so Nay could show me the perfume MJ was known to wear quite a bit. We made our way through all the perfume/cologne sections, which was funny because she knew EXACTLY where to go haha, and finally we found the Tom Ford section and what we were looking for.... Black Orchid. She sprayed some on a card for me and you know what? It's really nice! I don't care who wore it, it smells really nice and sweet. I wear a lot of vanilla but once in a while I'll get something completely different. It's more expensive in Australia so I'll wait until I'm in the States. At some point I would love to get a small bottle. If anyone needs a gift idea for my next birthday.... *kidding*! :P

We headed over to the Apple Store which is the coolest store... visually it's impressive on the outside and on the inside. It's three levels of fun and exploration of all that is Apple.... Macs, Ipods, Iphones.... the outside has a wall of glass that goes three floors straight up with a giant apple in the middle of it. Once inside, we made a beeline for the computers. They let you get on and play so it's perfect to quick check email or send off a quick Twitter or update your Facebook. I popped on Facebook and typed this: Havin fun in Sydney :) Messing around at the Apple store again :P

Once we got done checking our stuff out online, we headed over to Virgin Mobile so Nay could set up her internet service. She was worried because it took a while but I was fine. They had computers there too so I nosed around on a certain MJ board while I was waiting and checked the train tables as well. They had a notification that there were delays because someone knocked down a rail traffic signal pole and took off with it. I was like.... what? lol But I figured by the time I got on it would be fine. Yeah... or so I thought!

After she had it all sorted we made our way over by Wynyard Station so I could catch my train. It was late afternoon so it was a good time because a lot of trains are running. I quickly consulted with Tracey as to which one to catch, thinking it would be faster... no clue that everything was delayed all to hell...

It ended up taking me something like two hours to get home. At times, the train was at a complete and utter standstill. The driver kept coming on the P.A. apologizing. By the time I was halfway home he was saying it wasn't the original problem anymore, that it was now everything being so backed up from the original problem. Ugh. I just wanted to get home and take my shoes off and put my feet up! Finally it did get moving and Bruce was amazing and picked me up and as soon as I got in the door the shoes were OFF. My feet were not happy.... and either was I as I'd realized that at some point I'd lost my awesome black hat :( I had it strapped to the outside of my bag and it must have come off somewhere in the city.

But it was still an amazing day ;)


(The MJ glove and jacket, on display at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia)

February 10, 2010

Thinkin about my Uncle ♥

My uncle on my mom's side is out of surgery after having a kidney transplant. So far everyone has went well and he's recovering very nicely :D What an amazing gift that someone shared with him.

Talked to the consulate today

So out of curiosity I emailed the US consulate in Sydney today, just to see what happens if I don't have the money to go home, if i can extend my visa, can they help, etc.

They emailed back asking for my phone number so a lady could talk to me more about it so I emailed back with the number.

Like 15 minutes later they called and it was good because I never did register with the consulate when I got here, well now my details are registered. So at least that part is good :)

As far as the rest, I can not extend or renew my Visa, which I knew but wanted to make sure, because you never know until you ask. After that I asked about any kind of assistance and basically it's like this...

The consulate won't help you unless you are on the street with absolutely no money, your visa is expiring and you are about to be illegal. Then, they have to interview at least three family members of yours and go through all these checks, then they will give you a temporary loan to fly you home, once you are there they confiscate your passport until you pay the loan off and you have three months to do that. But you don't even make it through the first step unless you are, on the day your visa is set to expire and you have no cash or anything and are in a very desperate situation.

They did wish me good luck though.


So much for help that way....