Archive for January, 2010

We did it!!!

In just under a week…we raised over $1224 dollars to Send Dr. Al to Haiti.  Everyone was so supportive.  There are not even words for how grateful  I am to everyone who gave money, harassed their friends for me, or sent me messages of encouragement.  If you donated – THANK YOU!!! Your money will be directly helping the people of Haiti.  I plan on having as many pictures as I can manage between seeing patients.  I may have to put one of our non-medical people in charge of snapping photos.  Rest assured there will be stories and pictures.  You’ll see how that money went to help people.

There are over 200 members in the facebook group.  Some of them people I’ve never met.  They are friends of friends… and thank you for supporting this cause.  It really means a lot to me.

Thanks to Kristen Weaver and Susan Pandorf for offering their services.  There’s still time to donate if you haven’t had a chance. 

I know I am blessed.  I have great friends, a roof over my head, and food in the cabinet.  But this week.. I’ve felt especially loved and blessed.  To have friends that cheer you on and support you (even if they don’t really understand your need to travel to developing countries)… well it’s fantastic. 

If you didn’t get a chance to donate.. don’t worry there’s still time.  Any extra monies will be going toward additional medical supplies and medications. Anti malarial medication isn’t cheap and for some reason insurance doesn’t cover it… you know I think getting malaria will cost them more money but they seem to disagree.

Next week I will be going to the Travel Clinic at Yale – need a tetanus booster and a bunch of prescriptions.  Catching Malaria and Cholera are generally considered bad ideas.  Now I just need our flight times to be verified and we’ll be all set to go.

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1.  Knitting

2.  Sleeping


Ok I knitted on Sunday night with Jacie… but I still fell with all the recent traveling/planning/being crazy busy I haven’t been able to dedicate any real time to the yarn.  And that makes me sad.

Saturday I had my date with the Penguins at the Mystic Aquarium.  I was reminded by boyfriend that I was not allowed to steal a penguin and despite how cute they are Salem did not want to be friends with a Penguin.  I think they would have been bff.  They could have bonded over fish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Hi we are super cute…..

After the Penguin encounter we met up with the greatest SnB on Planet Earth.  Yes, I am totally biased.  I often hear of knitters that have no group, no SnB, no LYs.  I cry a little for them.  How would they have enabling friends that make them own cashmere sock yarn, and travel across state lines to purchase spinning wheels?  Man, those people are missing out because my SnB is filled with some of the most awesome people EVER!!!  Aaron’s organized two hockey nights so far.  I was sadly disappointed in the first one as there were NO fights.  Come on… it’s hockey.  There needs to be carnage and blood.  New dental work and a few broken bones… that’s what I wanted.  So we planned hockey night 2.  I was promised fights because of the rivalry between Springfield and Hartford.  They managed a good minute before someone was in the penalty box for fighting.  Way to bring the violence and it was awesome.  I danced to YMCA and other random songs with Jacie and Heidi.  There is a virdeo that Aaron posted on facebook of us being silly, it’s highly amusing if you have the extra minute to spare.  During the rest of the game I worked on the toe-up beaded rib socks.

I cast them on toe up – on two circs.  What on earth was I thinking??? I hate knitting with two circs.  I prefer DPN’s and will do magic loop, but often get annoyed with the constant shifting of the stitches across the needles.  I know there are people who love the two circ thing, more power to you.   Maybe I need shorter circs.  All I ever had was a twisted disaster.  Sometime I’d end up magic looping, but with two socks the cables were just a tad too short to make the circle without atrocious laddering.  The two balls of yarn were always twisted.  I’m still not sure how I managed to twist the cable so the front of one sock was on the needle with the back of the second sock but I did – a couple times.  I turned the heels last week so at least that was done.  During the hockey game after the 75th time untangling the mess known as my socks.  I separated them – each on it’s own little magic loop of happiness.  At least knitting cuffs it doesn’t matter if the socks are off by a row.  So a few more inches of cuff and it’s back to sock two.  I’ll probably get distracted by another WIP before any of that actually happens.  But they are definitely closer to being done.


For those of you following the Haiti trip updates:

Check out the previous posts about pattern raffles and free photo sessions.

Amount collected as of right now $880.  That’s amazing – and in less than a week.  I hope to be over the goal by the end of the weekend.  I’ve gotten a lot of “waiting on payday” comments… so I think well get there this weekend.

If you still want to contribute there’s still time… and don’t worry we can always use more money to buy more supplies/food/water to take with us.

Join our facebook group – we are at almost 200 members.  I think there may need to be some baked goods for our 200th member… just saying.


The other thing I haven’t done is sleeping.  I’ve been crazy girl the last week or so.   Traveling across the world, penguins, hockey, babysitting, working with the KD’s at Sacred Heart until 3 am.  I love having free time to oh, I don’t know… ENJOY life.  But I sometimes forget that sleep is important.  There is a very happy and cuddly cat who is very excited I am home and sleeping in my own bed tonight.

And now it’s time for a nice little coma while listening to furball snore….ahh life is good.

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It only takes a spark, to get a fire going.
And soon all those around, can warm up it it’s glowing.

Please take a few minutes to watch this video and remember the power that one person can have.

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Kristen (one of my dear college friends and sorority sisters) from Kristen Weaver Photography has graciously offered a FREE mini session to anyone who donates $100 or more to the “Send Dr. Al to Haiti to Save Lives” fund.

She is based out of Orlando, Florida.  So for most of the people reading this you may not ever be in the area.  But go check out her beautiful pictures, she is an amazing photographer.  If you have friends or family in the Orlando area pass along the information to them.  Or plan your next vacation to the Sunshine state.  It sure beats the snow I hear we are getting this weekend.

Kristen – Thanks for being the amazing sister that you are.


Dr. Al

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Susan (pandosu) on Ravelry has graciously agreed to raffle a few of her patterns for any knitter that donates to the “Send Dr. Al to Haiti to Save Lives” fund.

Here’s how to win a fantastic pattern.

1.  Donate money – send in ANY amount by check (see previous post or ask for info) or through paypal (kaydgirl@gmail.com).

2.  Let me know you sent money.

3.  Make sure I have your email address..

4.  I put your name in raffle

5.  For every 10 people that donate Susan will pick one winner.

6.  Get “YAY I WON PATTERN” email.  Let Susan know which of her lovely patterns you want and she’ll send it to you.

See look easy.  Susan has some really beautiful patterns.. Chrysanthemum, Everythings coming up Roses, and Mehndi are just a few.  The finishing project is killing me with all the pretty things I could start…. must go work on sporty little number, must go work on sporty little number.

If you already donated money – just let me know if you want your name in the raffle.


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edmond and me

I went on my first mission trip to Puerto Rico when I was 15 years old. I wasn’t exactly sure why I wanted to go but I knew I needed to.  We worked on repairing a house for one of the local Pastor’s.  They lived on top of a mountain and in an area that was constantly hit by hurricanes.  We roofed, painted, tiled, built new furniture, distributed clothes to local children, and anything else we could do just to make things a little nicer.  The city of San Juan was having a water shortage at the time and shut off all out going water.  So for most of the trip we had to hike down the mountain with buckets, fill them from the river, carry them back up, and boil the water so we could use it.  As traumatic as that was to my 15 year old self, it sure was memorable.  I knew I had it easy in America.  I’ve always had running water when I turned the sink on.  I’ve never gone a day hungry or without a roof over my head.  I kept a detailed account of that trip that I still have on my book shelf.  I may have written it like a science log, but really were you expecting anything less from me? I’m a big science nerd.  So every minute of everyday, who was doing what is recorded.  There’s a couple funny stories about cows being in the road and the search for peanut butter in Spanish.

Once I decided I wanted to be a doctor I knew medical missions would be part of my career.  I was in the middle of the application cycle to medical school.  During my interview day at VCOM I sat down with Dr. Cacioppo (aka Dr. Joe)– the Director of Medical Missions.  Dr. Joe and I chatted about the various mission work I had already been on.  He told me about the trips he had planned for the students and when we would get the chance to travel.  They had plans to set up clinics for 3rd and 4th year electives and trips during the breaks between 1st and 2nd year.  He started listing countries… Kenya, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Honduras. Um… can I come to your school right now? I did have to wait a few weeks for my acceptance letter but I truly believe that God (or the universe if you don’t believe) puts us in the right place at the right time for specific reasons.

During medical school I had the opportunity to travel to Kenya twice with Dr. Joe. We did fundraisers for months, I asked all my friends and family for donations.  I raised all the money I needed to go.  clinic 5

On our first trip, we treated over 3,000 patients in 10 days and 1,500 patients in a week during the second trip.  I treated diseases I had only read about to that point.  Things that my text books reminded were not problems because of inventions such as vaccines and mosquito management.

aids baby 2

We fed, clothed and gave medical care to orphaned street children.  Even with our limited supplies and time people walked miles and waited all day to been seen in the clinic.  The towns we visited welcomed us with open arms.  I have never met people with so much joy who had so little.  Much of who I am as a doctor was learned in the little town of Lara Njoro Kenya.  I am forever grateful to these people for teaching me compassion and how to truly be a doctor.

kids 9

As you are aware on January 12th at 4:53 p.m. a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit 10 miles west of Porte-au-Prince, Haiti and its 2 million inhabitants. The USGS has called it the strongest earthquake since 1770 in what is now Haiti. The quake sent 33 after shocks ranging from 4.2 to 5.9. There are now 3 million people in need of emergency aid.

I will be traveling with Dr. Joe and 3 other physicians to Port-au-Prince and Les Cayes to deliver medical care from February 15-22.  You can go to any news page to see the devastation in Port-au-Prince.  Les Cayes is on the southwest coast.  Many of the refugees from Port-au-Prince have traveled there and are now living on the streets.  We will be taking medications and supplies with us to care for as many people as we can see.

We need about $1,100 per person going to bring enough supplies with us.  We are collecting money through his non-profit organization:

International Christian Resources

2008 Hardwick Street, Blacksburg VA USA 24060



Tax ID# 73 1642066

I’ve made a facebook group Send Dr. Al to Haiti to Save Lives.  Every little bit helps – even $5 they can add up quickly.  I am very thankful to all my friends and family who supported my mission trips in the past and I am grateful for the support I have so far for this up coming trip.  If you’d like to help our cause please join our facebook group.  Donations can be sent to ICR.  They are tax decticuble, just write my name in the “for” box so it is designated to me.  If you can’t support us financially send us happy thoughts/prayers for safety as we travel.

Thank you.

Dr. Al

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Paris Recap

Well we made it to Paris (finally) and back safely.  I did manage to catch a cold along the way somewhere, but overall had a great time.


We had some dramas getting there.  Things included on lists: Tried to check in with Air France – no tickets, sent to Delta.  Walked all over JFK airport.  Delta says oh noes tickets are no good.  Delta says they reissued tickets (after travel company mess up), but Air France didn’t give you actual ticket numbers.   Jack (new BFF) called up Air France and said need new ticket numbers now.  Jack made everything better ticket wise.  YAY JACK!!!  Check in.  Go through security.  Drink margaritas at chili’s.  Go wait for airplane.  Airplane has broken thing-a-majig that tells the pilot the elevation of the plane… kinda seems like an important part.  Decide new plane is better than broken plane.  New plane is gotten out of storage.  Truck driving over said plane catches on fire – Port Authority show up.  Make friends with people in the airport.  Go back to fixing first plane.  Many hours go by.  Finally fix plane 1, get on plane.  Stupid man on plane decides he no longer wants to fly on said fixed plane at 1 am (departure was suppose to be at 930p) so must go through ALL luggage to find his so he can go home.  If I had been awake would have wanted to kick said man.  Miss connecting flight in Dublin.

Connect in Dublin – relatively drama free.  Air France already had us booked on the next flight out.  Did have mini freak out when sign says “NO KNITTING NEEDLES ON PLANE”… wut??? Knitting needles did in fact go through security and either that sign is old or they don’t care.  And this is the reason the Signature needles stayed at home. 

Arrived in Paris.  Found train to take us to the metro.  Got on broken train.  Moved at snail pace, stopped for unknown amount of time.  Tried sleeping over small child yelling in British English “Daddy.. I’m hungry”.  Which after the first 30 times or so, is no longer cute.

Arrived in Hotel, passed out.

Day 1: Louvre and Musee d’Orsay –saw lots of beautiful art (Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Winged Victory, blue hippo, Lace Maker, Degas, Monet, Van Gogh), St. Germain Street – hot chocolate at Cafe de Flore – melted chocolate bar in a cup o’ deliciousness is what they should call it.  Found Yarn at Le bon Marche.  Got rained on.  Tried to find Christian Louboutin store for Jacie.  No such luck.  Then planned on napping then going to dinner… hahaha.  No dinner that night.  Oh well – did get lots of sleep.  Drank wine and ate chocolate for dinner instead.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Spinning Wheel Art

Day 2:   Went to Notre Dame.  Saw the beginning of mass and heard the pipe organ – AWESOME!!! Took a million pictures.  Climbed the 400 stairs to the top of Notre Dame.  Saw awesome gargoyles, took more pictures.  Thought my legs were going to fall off.  Walked down the 400 stairs.  Saw the archeological crypts of Notre Dame.  Was amazed on stuff being from the 3rd century – that’s crazy old. Ate delicious cheese quiche and chocolate tart for lunch.  Went to Sainte Chapelle.  Took another million pictures.  Up a few more flights of stairs.  Walked up Avenue des Champs-Élysées.  Looked at fancy stores that we could not afford.  Petted wall o’cashmere.  Climbed another 300+ stairs to the top of the Arc de Triomphe.  Took more pictures.  Legs said I hate you for climbing a billion stairs.  Reminded legs we still had to go down another 300 stairs before they could give out.  Found my new French po-po boyfriends (the story is far funnier in person).  Ate foie gras, did not die.  Went to the Eiffel Tower – took more pictures.  Was told elevator was broken, no can go to top.  Insert sad face.  Went back to hotel and drank more wine and ate pastries.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Arc de Triomphe

Day 3:  Went to Montmartre.  Was pleasantly surprised that we were in the fabric district.  Epic failure on the guide book for not mentioning this. Petted fabric – accidently ran into yarn a few times.  We can smell it – I swear.  Walked up a million more stairs to the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur.  Walked around the crypts – saw tombs of Cardinals, slightly creepy.  Decided we did not to see the tower – it was foggy and really a million more stairs was not going to happen.  Found more yarn stores.  Visited the Hard Rock.  Bestest has a thing about with their hurricane glasses.  Talked to Bartender who’s family is from Lyme, CT.  Went on fancy boat dinner cruise on the Seine.  Ate delicious food and drank fabulous wine.  Took blurry pictures through boat glass.

P1183541 Sace Coueur

Day 4: Found yarn stores, walked around random parts of the city.  Took pictures of fire department, the Opera House, random stuff I liked.  Got stuff from hotel – took metro/trains back to airport.  Walked all over airport.  Half checked in with Air France.  Printer ate some boarding passes and what not.  Went through security check point one.  Shoes made xray machine unhappy.  Got patted down.  Cleared security.  Had passport checked 8 times between check in and plane boarding.  Went to gate.  Went through security check point 2.  Contents of bag emptied on to table.  Patted down a second time.  I think I should get dinner or something before all that….maybe I should have brought my French Po-Po boyfriends.  Wait for plane.  Get passport checked a few more times.  Get on plane – watch movies.  Try to turn heel of sock.  Drop stitch, put knitting away.  Finally get home at some un-godly hour.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Bestest and me at Notre Dame

More pictures here or on facebook.  I really liked Notre Dame in case you don’t pick up on it from the number of pictures I took of it.

New fancy computer has Photoshop which makes editing pictures very fun.


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It sucks to live in Haiti at the moment.   

Most of you know that I have a fondness for developing countries and helping out those in need.  I’ve been to Kenya twice and spent a month in
Honduras serving the poorest of the poor.  While in medical school I also helped out with some flood relief in Missouri after the mighty Mississippi decided to flood our Dean’s hometown.  VCOM also supported post Katrina clean up and medical clinics, even if they didn’t let my year go – something about going to class was important.  blah blah.  When tragedy hits I need to do something.  I am hoping my school is putting together a group to go down there, but until then I have money.

Anyway… I’m a big fan of Doctors Without Borders, I even own some Doctors without Borders sock yarn.  But mostly I love them because I want to work for them later on in life.  Hurry up residency… I have developing countries to visit and lives to save.  The Yarn Harlot is also a big fan of them.. one more reason why knitters are awesome.  She put up the The Knit Signal yesterday asking people to find that extra couple dollars that would have been spent at Starbucks and send it to an organization to help out in Haiti.  The news reports that they are sending inflatable OR’s to Haiti because the buildings were so badly damaged.  Is it wrong if I now want my very own inflatable OR?  How handy would that be.  What… shiny things.  Ok back on topic.  The Yarn Harlot keeps a ruining tally of all the knitters that donate, because knitters are awesome like that.  So go search under the couch cousins go through the giant cup of change sitting around your place and help out the people in Haiti.  I gave them a few bucks.

In the process of donating money I found this nifty website – Pennies per Hour of Pleasure.  Another knitting group that is supporting Doctors without borders.  They have free patterns available for download and all they ask if that you donate pennies per hour of pleasure.  The company is based out of the UK and made it’s way all the way over here.  When I am allowed to knit new items again…the Trinity Shawlette will be awesome in one of the thousands of socks yarns I have sitting around… or maybe some handspun.  Check out their patterns.  I linked them on the side… also knitters without borders is there too.

An infamous group on Ravelry… LSG has already collectively donated over $6,000 to various organizations supporting Haiti in about 24 hours.  That number is still climbing.  And with that group, nothing shocks me any more.

Never underestimate the power of the needles.

I responded to the Knit-Signal… will you?

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And off we go….

Time sure has flown by the last couple of months, and I wasn’t even too sleep deprived to enjoy it.  Bestest and I booked a trip WAY back in July to Paris.  Why may you ask?  Because it was dirt cheap, and really does one need a reason to go to Paris other than that.

After many months of waiting… the time has finally come, we leave tonight.  I have my suitcase mostly packed – minus the hand knit socks that are not drying fast enough to pack them, passport, travel book, French phrase book, and the obligatory yarn all ready to go.   Oh.. the camera is packed too.. don’t worry Jacie I didn’t leave it at home this time.

Karen’s already mapped out a few yarn stores and I am pretty sure one afternoon will consist of coffee/wine/croissants and yarn in a cafe.  I can’t think of a better afternoon.  There will be museums, delicious food and wine…I can hardly wait. 

In case you don’t follow Jacie…and you should because she’s made of awesome.  It is in fact been scientifically proven.  She made a beautiful tam made from Malabrigo and Mulberry Merino.  Seeing as she’s been in a hat knitting craze and it matches my pretty moss stitch scarf, she gave me said awesomeness.  Guess what’s going to be on my head while I am in Paris?  It’s ridiculously soft and hand knit by one of my favorite people in the world.  Be on the look out for the hat making random appearances at well known Paris destinations.

Well I should probably go finish my errands and pretend to do a few hours of work before we leave.  Enjoy the long weekend.


WIPs making the trip – Nefertiti and Blue/brown Regia toe up socks.

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So part of my kick ass job involves a budget.  Yes the NIH pays me to work at Yale and gives me money to spend.  I love my job.  So anyway… I have a shiny new 17inch screen Dell in Red.  We all know I love red and I love new things.  So right now I am setting it up to do all the cool stuff windows 7 promises it can do.  Part of that is Windows Live writer…so of course I need to set it up for the blog.  Can’t you see I am working hard today.

The 2×2 alternating socks are coming along well.  I worked up sock2 to the same point as sock1.  This morning I put them on size 2 addi turbos.  Which makes me happy on several reasons.  If I increase more, change the ribbing or whatever my little heart desires I can do it at the same time, and I do not need to write notes down that I will not pay attention to later.  And most importantly I am no longer using the too short addi dpns that make me cranky.  I hardly ever use those needles, but I decided to try to keep the tension the same for both when I cast on.  The dpns are either size 3’s or 2.5’s, either way the top will be knit a little tighter and seeing as they are going to end up being knee socks I don’t think that’s a bad thing.


I need to remind Linda to mail the camera cord to me.  I am going to have a million pictures of Pairs that will do me no good on my camera.

I almost forgot to eat lunch today.  See what happens when shiny things cross my path.

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