Sunday, October 16, 2011

Maple Bacon Cookies

1 c. butter or margarine, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. maple extract or 1 T + 1 t. maple syrup
2 1/3 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 - 1 lb. bacon, cooked, crumbled and well drained (I cut the bacon into small pieces first.)

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter or margarine, brown sugar and sugar until fluffy. Stir in eggs and maple extract or syrup. Beat for 1 more minute.

2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine and add in batches to mixing bowl. Beat just long enough to incorporate.

3. By hand, stir in the bacon pieces. Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Running...I should start that again

I haven't been able to run much lately.  Mostly because of being too busy with finishing up my PhD, but also because I am pregnant.  Right now, I'm 28 weeks.  During my first half-marathon, I was passed by a woman who was 8 months pregnant, and I decided at that point that I wanted to be her one day.  So, when I got pregnant, I planned to run the whole time.  Here's the thing I didn't know: IT'S HARD!

I had a rough start.  I was sick for the first 20 or so weeks and completely exhausted with trying to get everything done and all the stress on my body.  Plus, the bouncing on my bladder is really tough.  Additionally, do you have any idea how hard it is to find running clothes if you didn't start off as a size small?  Most women apparently just wear a size large or x-large, but I'm starting at that size.  I'm currently wearing the Brooks Glycerin capri pants and shorts, which have a nice waistband and a looser-fitting leg, so that works really well for my body.

Now that I'm done with my PhD, I'm going to work on getting back to running.  There is an 8k the day of the Richmond Marathon that I would very much like to do.  It's about a month before my due date, but I can totally do this!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Interesting Perspective on Finishing Your PhD

This blog post is really helpful for anyone else who might be struggling with finishing their PhD like I was.  It really is important to remember that the dissertation is only one step along your scientific career!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Trust me, I'm a Doctor

After months of complications and rescheduling, I finally had my PhD thesis defense on Friday (September 2).  The public talk went really well and the closed-door meeting after with my committee was a lot less stressful than I was expecting.  I passed and I'm officially Dr. Drake!

It's definitely a little weird to have people use that at work.  And people at work really like to use it after you first defend!  Now, I'm working as a post-doc in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine department at VCU.

It's also a little strange that this is the first time in 7 years that I am not a student.  And there was only a one-year period between kindergarten and now that I was not in school.  My timing this year in finishing is even more interesting - as people are starting their graduate school careers, I'm finishing mine.  No sadness there, though!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Craft Project: Tie-Dye Baby Onesies

This is my attempt at some non-knitting crafts. While my sister-in-law was in town last weekend, we tie-dyed some baby onesies.

I bought a kit from Dharma Trading Company and some Gerber onesies in sizes from 3 months to 18 months.

All of our supplies laid out.

Step 1: Fold and wrap with rubber bands.

Step 2: Soak for 15 minutes in soda ash.

Step 3: Prepare dye. It was a little tricky to get the dye dissolved properly, but I did the best I could.

Step 4: Apply dye to fabric!  Probably the most fun part despite me soaking my hands in dye.  Pro-tip: wear gloves.  Pro-tip #2: if you don't wear gloves, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser really helps get it out of your hands.

Step 5: Allow dye to sit in fabric overnight.  We wrapped each shirt in a plastic bag (the sort you get from a grocery store or Target).

Step 6: Rinse with cold water, then wash in hot water with textile detergent.  Again, wear gloves for this step.

Finished shirts!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Published Author!!!

After many trials and tribulations, my manuscript is finally published!!  It's my first first-author paper!

Updated PubMed search has me with two papers now!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

March 2011 Knitting Projects

Projects completed for the HPKCHC in March.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Publishing Woes

Remember the manuscript I was discussing about 9 months ago?  Well, it still hasn't been published.  On the plus side, I've learned a lot about scientific writing in the process and am now the first listed author on the paper!!

It's now been to: Nature Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Circulation Research, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (Blue Journal), and American Journal of Respiratory Cellular and Molecular Biology (Red Journal).  The folks at the Blue Journal also publish the Red Journal and were helpful enough to suggest that we should send it there instead.  We got reviewed by the Red Journal.  They asked us to reorganize and resubmit the manuscript, which I did today.  Hopefully v5.2 is the one that gets published.

I also realized that if I had been pregnant at the start of this submission process (April 2010), I would have a 2-month old right now.

Monday, February 14, 2011

New Publication

A review article I helped write is now available in Comprehensive Physiology.

So far, that's two publications available and one more in review.  Not a bad count for a PhD!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Soap Making, 101

Today, I tried making my own soap.  I started with bases, fragrance oils, and colors from Peak Candle Supplies.  The molds are both Wilton molds - one is a snowflake candy mold and the other is a mini brownie mold.  The silicone molds make it really easy to get the finished soap out.

Here are the finished soaps!  I think I could have used more coloring, but the scent is fantastic!!

Square: mango peach salsa cocoa butter soap.  Snowflake: grapefruit goat's milk soap.

Recipes after the break.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Trying to Write a Dissertation

I'm at the stage in my PhD where I am wrapping up my research and starting to write my dissertation.  More accurately, I should have already had a lot more written than I currently do.  Well, there's nothing to do now but press forward and try to get it done quickly.

Writing a dissertation is NOT fun.  It sucks.  A lot.  In fact, I've considered not trying to finish this degree and just quitting now.  Yes, it's stupid, but that's where I'm at mentally with this.

Just a note if you are also crazy enough to try this PhD thing.  Be prepared for how much you will hate it by the end.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

January 2011 Knitting Projects

Trying something new this month and making a collage using Picnik of all the projects I finished this month.  The names are the classes in the HPKCHC for which they were turned in.

Left to right: preemie hat, Brattleboro hat, Clockwork scarf, and Hedera socks.  All knit in Sunshine Yarns.  My goal this year is to knit from my stash rather than buying yarn.  Also, my first pair of socks done for the year (aiming for 9 total).

Monday, January 3, 2011

Training - 2010 Recap and 2011 Preview

My running season did not go as well as hoped last year.  I suffered my second tibial fracture ever - this time in the other leg - and it took quite awhile to heal.  Couple that with a few lung infections, and I'll be glad to not have a repeat of 2010 any time soon!!  Despite that, here are my training totals for the entire year:
  • Bike: 647.41 miles
  • Run: 290.86 miles
  • Swim: 24,100 meters
I'm especially proud that I volunteered a total of 19 hours and 15 minutes at running and triathlon events throughout the year! 

Looking forward to 2011, I'd like to train more in each sport than I did in 2010.  I don't think I'm going to tackle another marathon for awhile.  I'd like to take the time to get healthy and focus on shorter distances.  I'm hoping to go sub 3 hours in a half marathon and maybe beat my PR of 2:39.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Knitting Projects in Review

A collage of my finished knitting projects in 2010