Archive for tag: nature

Hanging Onto Summer

I walked into the store this weekend and saw Christmas decorations. Can you believe it? Christmas decorations?!?! I never know whether I should be excited and festive or mortified at the consumerism of having things out 3 months in advance. Seriously. Who starts buying and decorating for Christmas 3 months before the holiday? I guess it's just a reminder, though, that the end of the trimester will be here before we know it. We're already looking at midterms. My first one, in lab diagnosis, is this coming Friday.

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Banyan Tree on Beach Drive in downtown St. Pete

I hear that the rest of the world is starting to cool off in honor of the season--but here in Florida we're still averaging upper 80s or lower 90s. It's. Been. Hot.  I find I'm a little envious of my friends and loved ones that are donning sweaters and complaining about it being chilly. I haven't owned a sweater in nearly 8 years. The closest to needing one has been dealing with crazy air conditioning issues in the Annex. Sometimes it gets downright chilly in there! We're threatening to bring teapots and mittens. I can see it happening. It might start cooling off by the end of October. For now, even though we're technically in Autumn, it still feels like Summer--rain, heat, and all.

I'm getting into the Marketing project with planning my future clinic. I spend a little bit of time every day, it seems, pondering how things will be--how I want them. I know I need to do a lot more research on my geographic regions and desired demographics, etc. It's actually a pretty big project--but I think it will help me tremendously when the time comes. I've even been working on putting a logo together. I have no idea if that's what it will end up as--but I think it's a good start.

I've started clearing the yard for a fall garden. I'm wondering how long the growing season will be. I've never had a fall garden before--having grown up in the Midwest. I will let all of you know how that works out. If all works well, I could have fresh herbs and veggies around Christmas. Maybe I'll decorate with them instead of glitz and glitter from the store.

I'm still working on some pretty intense research topics. My Pubmed list grows just about every day. Here is a listing of my topics: oxytocin, C reactive protein, eicosanoids, anti-inflammatory diet, food allergy, gluten, celiac, botanical, functional medicine, vitamin D and asthma, stress, and naturopathic medicine. There may be a couple of others--ones that I don't get search returns on daily. There's amazing research that comes through every day. Pieces of the puzzle come together. I'm learning things about bloodwork that I never knew, how biochemistry is affected by nearly everything, and what we can do (and what we're doing and not doing) to fix it all. Fascinating.

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Banyan Tree in Crescent Lake
One of the biggest I've ever seen (a little bit like the "Tree of Life" from Disney)

Since I'm boycotting Christmas trees for at least another two months, here are some Banyan tree pictures. Banyans are actually fig trees and sometimes known as strangler figs. In some places they're considered invasives. Here in this part of Florida, we've got some Banyan trees that are OLD--REALLY, REALLY old. There are several places around town where Banyan trees can be seen--there's even a "Banyan Tree Motel"--although the only Banyan tree there is on the sign. I've always found them to be majestic, spirited trees that are absolutely beautiful.

Have a great week everybody!

And We're Underway

I can't believe we're already going on the 3rd week of school! How did that happen? This week not only marks Week 3 of school, but also the Tri Mixer. Friday night, members from all (I hope) tris will convene for a wee bit of team building. It never fails that I meet someone I didn't know from another class. It should be an interesting time. (Don't worry; I'll take pictures--but not incriminating ones.)

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An egret at the Coffee Pot Bayou.

I'm still REALLY enjoying botanical medicine. It's encouraging me to review everything I've learned before. In fact, I'm reviewing old books and notes right now (as I'm writing this for all of you). I'm always amazed at what we can do with what comes naturally. Of course with each bit of reading that I do, the list for my medicinal herb garden grows. I should have a nice start here in a few weeks. Even with the Florida sun and heat I hope to put in some seed soon. My father was kind enough to contribute some mullein (lamb's ear). I planted it today, in fact. If you're not familiar with mullein, there are two parts of the plant that are commonly used: the flowers and the leaves. I like the leaves because they're VERY fuzzy and good for topical treatments (and also fun to pet). The flowers are used for respiratory tract issues. Don't try this at home without consulting some references first. Plants are medicine too!

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A manatee at the Coffee Pot Bayou.

I'm happy to report that I'll be the student research assistant for Dr. Mabel Chang! I met with her last week about some of the projects she has going. One, in particular, I'm extremely excited about. She's collected a lot of information about scope of practice throughout the U.S. and provinces. I was thrilled when I found out! I've been starting to research where to practice myself--looking at scope, rights, and contemplating all the implications. I can't wait to get my hands on the data.

I wonder what will come next. Always an adventure...

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The Coffee Pot Bayou.