Wednesday, May 24, 2006

First week in Wisconsin

After one week worth of unpacking what seemed like unless piles of boxes, I have finally made it back here to blogger to update the whole experience. Let's jump back to last Tuesday morning -- Moving day. Nathan and I had set up the air mattress in the family room for our last night in Oklahoma. We were utterly exhausted and sore from loading the Budget truck all day. But we had to stay up just long enough for Nathan to watch the West Wing Series finale and for us both to watch Gray's Anatomy.
As a side note -- part of me knew that Denny was going to die but it was still a sad way to end the season. And let's not get into the poor portrayal of the veterinary profession...

Ok back to moving. It was early morning -- still dark out and we were sleeping as well as one could on a air matress and the looming 14 hour trip. But we were abruptly awoken by a **BANG** as Oscar fell out of some cupboard in the kitchen. I turn around and see Oscar's eyes, completely dilated in the dark (this is his signal for warning us that he is in "on" mode). As I shut my eyes I feel a wiff of air streak by my head and then silence. I am too tired to be aware of Oscar's next move. As I slowly fall back to sleep, I feel a chomp on my toes. Yes, Oscar was awake and thus everyone else was.....I look at my watch and it was 5:15 am.

We got up and were on the road by 6:45am. By this time Oscar had decided it was a great time for a nap. Mason was nervous and I tried to calm him with a few pats on the head. As we headed out of Stillwater, I radioed to "toothpick" in the truck -- See ya Stillwater! Four years ago when we drove out of Madison I was sad to be leaving the town but that day I was excited to finally be leaving Stillwater.

Midway through Missouri, I let Oscar out of his cat bag. He soon discovered that the back window dash was the most excellent of places to catch the afternoon sunlight and to watch all the trucks and cars. And so there he stayed until 30 miles outside of Chicago. My back window got several double looks and a few honks. By the time we hit Chicago, it was after rush hour, it was dark, and people were driving like you were in the middle of a "Grant Theft Auto" game. Of course this is when Oscar yearns to sit on my lap and take a nap with the occasional peaks out the driver side window when we approach tolls booths.

At 10:30 pm we finally reached our new home. Luckily the hotel had a couple of extra non-smoking rooms that allowed animals. Nathan went up the stairs ahead of me with the suitcase, litter box and pet food. Mason and I tried to follow but he was having a hard time getting up the stairs and kept slipping. While Nathan was trying to offer some advice, he lost control of the litterbox and pet food which went tumbling down the stairs along with Mason. I take Mason to the front desk and I ask if they have an elevator. They do not. Nor do they have a room on the first floor. So we try another flight of stairs. After alot of encouragement he finally made it up. Nathan was still busy trying to sweep litter back into the box with his hands, obvoiusly well beyond amused at the whole situation. Let's just say it wasn't hard to fall asleep that night.

The next morning, while Nathan still slept I slipped on a coat over my pjs and took Mason ot for a walk. As Mason was walking around on the grass, I notice a little white dog in a semi barking his head off. A few minutes later I see a man approaching me from the semi. And he begins to talk, while he pets Mason. He talks about his truck business, his love of collecting gems, and then about his own dog (in the truck) and how he gets in trouble in doggie daycare. Then he asks me if I want to come over to his truck to see his dog. A little memory pops into my head. My mother said to be a couple of years ago as I was about to make a trip by myself: Now if stranger asks you if you want to see their puppy in their car...don't go... and I remember rolling my eyes pretty far back into my head and would every say that. But I disregarded her advice and walked over the the truck. Yes I know, a pretty stupid desicion on my part but I am going to blame it on the lack of sleep and the lack of coffee. I petted his dog and then decided it was really time to part ways.

Later that morning Nathan's parents and Cameron joined us to help unload the truck. And later that afternoon Logan and Kristin arrived from Michigan and we started unpacking boxes. We made a fairly good dent in the unpacking before heading to dinner. We decided on this random little pub that was listed in the phonebook. The food was fair. Cameron ordered a grilled cheese sandwhich but really ended up with a grilled bread sandwhich with a pinch of cheese that couldn't be seen without carefully the inner seams of the sandwhich. For the rest of the week and weekend Nathan and I worked hard to turn an apartment full of boxes into our new temporary home.

A couple days after moving in Mason introduced himself to the piles of kids living in this complex. I was so proud at how patient he was with all the kids who were a little overly excited at having a dog around that someone actually allowed them to play with. Other than that he is so very content to sit in lawn and watch all the happenings throughout the day while nibbling his stuffed animal.

Now that everything is unpacked, I finally have a chance to play with my camera, order some accessories, and do a little scrapbooking. I will put pictures of the final product up later tonight along with pictures of the new apartment.

Also, I got a phone call last night from my new boss saying that my licensure has finally been approved and I can start work we settled on June 5th. That will give me a few days to head to NJ to cash in on my graduation gift (see previous posts) and to help my mom pack up my old room.

Until next time :-D

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Graduation Day

Hello, if you haven't heard from my various ways of contact, I am finally a doctor. Who hoo!!! So I thought I would give you the highlights of last week.

For my graduation dinner/lunch we ate at Kyoto Japanese Restaurant (which is a hibachi grill). Mom, Granny, and I were the first to arrive so we started the celebration right with some alcoholic drinks in souvenir Buddha cups. Here is a picture of Granny sipping out of Buddha's belly.

Also joining us for dinner was Nathan, my dad, Nathan's parents, and Marcia and John (my dad's cousin and cousin in law).

Our chef for the night arrived right on time. Mom thought he looked alot like Owen Wilson. He dazzled and amazed us with his repitoir of cooking tricks. But I was impressed that he could crack and egg without little pieces of egg shell falling into the goo (a skill I am still trying to Master).
But who could end a good hibachi meal without the flaming onion?!

It was next back to the house so that Mom could iron my gown one last time and then we scadaddled off to the gradation which had been moved ahead to 6:30pm due to Pres. Bush's commencement speech earlier that morning.

Then came the usual graduation picture, walking into the stadium, speaker talking, walking on stage, and shaking a bazillion hands, receptions, pictures with friends. Pictures can be seen at our photo site.

Then back to the house for CAKE! Now the following cake is a Nathan and Brooke creation. Nathan baked up a strawberry cake -- using a bunt cake and some muffins. I was incharge of icing the whole thing (which turned into a green mess but turned out pretty good). Not too bad considering this is my second cake that I made. But I couldn't have done it without the inspiration of srmaxwell on Cake

Now to the best part! The presents. I received a very cute snowglobe from Marcia and John and some very generous monetary gifts from various family members.

From my parents I received the following letter:

Special Graduation Gift


Dr. Brooke Pitel Lewis


Rules for redemption:

1. All Wal-Mart clothes must be burnt beyond recognition.

2. New clothes will have limited animal images and NO cat images

3. All shopping much be done with the expert advice of recipient's mother

4. All purchases will be made regardless of whether or not the item is on sale

5. All purchases shall be made at fine East Coast stores

6. Shopping at Wal-mart, Target, and Costco is strictly forbidden.

So look out NJ here I come!

And finally it was time for me to open Nathan's gift. Now a little background history. For the last couple of years I have been slightly hinting (ok fine often begging) for an SLR digital camera. Two weeks before graduation I opened the study door (which is NEVER shut) to find a macro lens on Nathan's computer screen. Ok...back to Saturday. Nathan went to the garage, rummaged through some of our boxes and brought in a box labeled chess stuff and statues, cut open the box to reveal a smaller box that was the perfect size of a digital camera. But I have been so busy with the packing this week I haven't gotten much of a chance to play with it.

So that is about it for graduation day. Most of this week has been spent packing. We are down to the bare bones. Bed, TiVo, my computer. Oscar can't figure out what happen to his pink lounge chairs, and then his lounge bed by the window, then the shelf next to the window, or his towel next under the sink. Mason won't stay outside for too long for fear of being left behind. But anyway the big travel day is on Tuesday! I guess I will write you from Wisconsin :-D