Thursday, August 14, 2008

Island Weather--It's Crazy

Hurricane season is June to November and usually there are a few depressions, tropical storms, and sometimes even a hurricane that heads in our direction. A few days ago, out of no where, there was a "wave"-- as the news called it-- that was heading our direction. Of course, by the time the "wave" arrived to St. Maarten it grew into a tropical storm. The satellite pictures shows a green area with a red circle--that is right on top of St. Maarten. Well thank goodness for the internet and satellite images because we were able to prepare for it a little. I filled up water bottles and a mop bucket full of water for emergencies. So far the storm has just dropped bucket fulls of water, thunder, and lightning--no heavy winds yet!
One thing I have learned by living on the island is to never underestimate ANYTHING so.....mother nature has decided that we are going to get another tropical storm in a few days. I just hope that we are able to get off the island on Saturday! We've made it to August with no tropical storms--just a few stormy days and here we are two days away from going home and we get TWO STORMS...not 1, but 2!
Jason has very little time sit and worry or track the storms because he has been studying all day for his finals. He is three final exams away from being 4th semester and getting a two week break back home with our friends and family.
Please say a prayer for us as we go into the next few days....finals and tropical storms can be a little intimidating!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

WOW...Time Flys When You're Having Fun!

We've officially been living on St. Maarten for one year and I can't believe it. We excitedly packed up our bags and headed to St. Maarten on August 13, 2007 so Jason could attend medical school and fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor. A lot of things have happened in a year--we got married and became the "Conways", we've completed three semesters of school (minus finals), we've switched apartments, and we bought our very first car together. It seems like time is standing still, especially now that Jason is studying for finals. Time can't move fast enough--we're ready to go home and see everyone! When we look back at how far we've come...we see how fast time is flying! It seems like just yesterday we were attending White Coat...
Because it is getting so close to the end of the semester, a lot of friends are leaving--some are just going home a little bit early--and some of them are leaving for good. Before the fifth semesters leave, they have "free" parties where they put out everything that they won't use before they head out (laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, canned goods, etc) so I've been able to get one last visit in with them before they leave and I've been able find some free goodies! Thanks guys--
Today, I had to do some things that needed to be done before we go home. The dogs had to go to the vet to get a health certificate so they can fly back with us. They love going for rides, but realized shortly after that the ride wasn't to the beach and that is when the nervous shakes and wining started. We got to the vet and realized they each needed a rabies shot, Bazzle needed a tooth pulled, and Muzzy needed allergy pills. They did so good, but they weren't happy with me when we left. When we got back home, they took off and headed to their carriers. I got the carriers down today when I was cleaning/packing and they thought it was time to go home.
Jason is still studying like crazy getting ready for finals, which are 4 days away, and then we're headed home.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Fifth Semester Farewell

Today, the spouses organization threw a fifth semester farewell luncheon at Pineapple Pete's to say goodbye to our fifth semester spouses. It was a great time, but bittersweet at the same time. I can't believe that I have known these girls for a year and now it is time for them to leave the island and start another chapter of their lives. I wish them all the best and I can't wait to hear all the stories that they will have from clinicals and residency. We only have two more semesters (8 more months) and we'll be the ones saying, time is definitely flying! Great location, great friends, and great stories--it's going to be hard to say goodbye!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

How Can Something Smell So Good, But Taste So Bad??

This morning I decided that I would cook a big pot of beans for dinner. Beans and cornbread are something that I miss from mom makes the best! I put the pot of beans on this morning at 10 a.m and let them simmer all day. My mom usually puts some ham in the beans to give a little bit more flavor, so I thought I would add some ham in my pot. Considering that we only have 9 more days left in this semester, we are trying to eat through our food that we have. I didn't have any ham bones like my mom uses, but we did have some deli style ham. I know--not the same thing--but it was ham and I thought that it would work. As the day went on, the beans were smelling so good. I realized that I didn't have any cornbread mix so I ran to the grocery store to grab some. I should have realized that I was on an island....and nothing is that easy. I went to two stores, neither of which had the easy cornbread mix. How can you have beans and not cornbread? So, I decided that I would buy cornmeal and make my own cornbread muffins to go along with the beans. So with the beans simmering and the cornbread in the oven, I realized that Jason won't fill up on beans and cornbread. So I added some fried potatoes with some saurkraut(for me)...that is the usual menu. Beans, cornbread, fried potatoes, and saurkraut are a little bit of home so I thought I would make things feel a little more like home. Ok--so it comes time to sit down and enjoy dinner and there wasn't anything that was suitable to eat. The beans with the added lunchmean slices were horrible. The lunchmeat gave the beans a weird flavor, so they were not eaten. Next, the cornbread was not good and we decided not to eat it. It was so gritty and it had an tasted more like cornmeal than cornbread. Ok, so beans and cornbread were now in the garbage can...time to try the saurkraut and potatoes. I enjoyed the saurkraut and Jason enjoyed the potatoes, but that wasn't enough to fill either one of us up. We decided that we would have the "PB&J" dinner.
I worked so hard on getting everything just perfect, but none of the food turned out good. We threw everything away, but don't worry--the kitties had a good meal. Next time, I think I'm going to leave the difficult meals to the professional. Practice makes perfect, but I think it will be awhile before I do anymore practicing.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bring on the Rain....and the Naps!

Here lately we have been getting some crazy storms. I haven't heard it lightning or thunder very often on the island....usually we just get some liquid sunshine, but I think I have heard it do both, thunder and lightning, a few times this week. We live in the perfect location to see storms blowing in because most of the time they work their way over the hill from Philipsburg and head in our direction. I tried to get some pictures of a few of the rain storms that we've been having--but they don't show things exactly how they were. I was concerned that maybe a hurricane or tropical storm was headed our way, but after checking the weather channel on the internet, nothing was head to St. Maarten (if the weather people know what they are talking about). The pictures are when the storm is working its way over the hill, over the golf course and the lagoon and then when it hits. Because it is an island--we usually get a lot of rain but it doesn't last long. This past week, it has rained just about everyday--on and off all day! I feel bad for Jason and the other students because this is perfect sleeping weather and they are stuck in the books--I think I've taken enough advantage of the rainy afternoon naps for the two of us!!
It was a lot of fun just sitting in the living room watching the storm blow through. I usually keep the windows and door open when I am home and I could tell when it was getting close because the wind picked up and the temperature felt like it dropped 10 degrees. The wind and rain was blowing in the house so I closed the windows so our furniture wouldn't get wet but left the front door open. The dogs loved getting hit with the occassional rain drop.
The timing is perfect--we go home in two weeks so with all the rain (and the naps that tag along) I will be well rested! We don't sit still for ten minutes when we go I'm just telling myself that all the naps I take are just building up my stamina!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Our last Hoo-Rah!

Yesterday morning, the spouses organization had their last fundraiser for the semester and the last fundraiser that had to be organized by the current board. This was the presidency board's last hoo-rah and boy did it feel good. Me, Natalie, and Stephanie have been the board now for two semesters and we were definitely ready to hand the torch off to a new group. We had a great time but we were ready to just enjoy the group again and not have to be the leaders.
Ok now back to our fundraiser--We usually have breakfast burrito sales for the students and they love them. We stuff tortillas with egg, hasbrown, sausage, bacon, and cheese --we heat them up, top them with a little salsa or sour cream and the students go crazy! It is a lot of work to get everyone to help make the burritos...especially so late in the semester so this time we decided we would make HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLLS! We all went to Natalie's apartment at 8:30 a.m. to start making the dough because we knew that it would take a little bit of time to rise....the recipe said 30 minutes and the dough would double...NOT TRUE. We waited almost 2 hours and the dough had puffed up a little but I'm not so sure that it doubled. We had to knead the dough, roll it out, put the cinnamon filling in them, cut them, roll them up, and bake them. You should have seen us girls--licking the icing bowl any chance we could get. We had to keep reminding ourselves of the calories that our yummy treats had. They smelled so good, but we had to refrain from the more rolls we had the more money we could make for the organization. After a long day of roll making (8:30-5) they were finally finished! We took the cinnamon rolls to school the next morning and the students were a little apprehensive. We priced them at $5 and that seemed a little overpriced for some students, until they saw how big and yummy they looked. Once one person got one and the aroma filled the rotunda--we were golden. We started selling them at 8 and we were sold out by 9:30--short and sweet!
Jason bought a cinnamon roll, which surprised me because he isn't big on cinnamon rolls. He said it was so big that he could hardly finish it, but it was so good that he couldn't let it go to waste. I better be careful or he will want me to start making them at home.
After this experience, I definitely have a greater appreciation for homemade food versus food "from a box" The time that goes into making something homemade is so much more, but I think the flavor is so much better too. It felt nice to see that we started out with some flour, water, and a few other ingredients and made something that looked and tasted great. Who knows...I might start turning into a Betty Crocker??