Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Story for Another Day...

Have you seen The Wire?

No?! I recommended it almost a year ago! Why are you even reading if you're not planning to follow my advice?

Well, this post probably won't resonate as much if you haven't either
A) seen The Wire
) lived or worked in the ghetto

If neither apply I recommend coming back to read the rest after you've accomplished one or the other....

My office is located in a lower income area. The office itself is in an Ok part of the city. It's not great, but it's Ok. Especially in the daylight. After dark it gets a bit questionable. (Let's just say it's not uncommon to find used syringes, dime bags, random articles of clothing, or even a homeless man in the dark corner of our parking lot). Leaving the office, in route to the highway, is a different story. It involves 10 long blocks down 4th Street.

Barred windows and porches.
Exchanges. Pass-offs. Runners.
Long deliberate hand shakes.
Desperate faces. Searching, begging, needing.
Gatherings in a sketchy chinese take-out place.
An occasional Escalade or a car with a really nice rims delayed on the side street.

(And that's just what I've observed with guick glances each night. I'm not exactly gawking)

In the winter, when it's pitch dark on my way home, I locked my door and pray to hit all the green lights.

Now that it's staying light longer, there are still loads of little kids running around and the roughest of the crowd hasn't taken over. The corners are still full, but the vibe is better. Safer. I allow myself to keep my window down. (I don't think the window matters really. If I'm in the way of some stray gun fire, a little glass isn't going to help.)

A few weeks ago on the first nice night, I was cruising down 4th Street enjoying the fact that there was still sunlight and a nice warm breeze. It seemed to hit me that my normal choice of music is not exactly appropriate for the neighborhood. Being a me (white. women.) is bad enough. I'm not really trying to draw extra attention to myself with Bob Dylan blaring from my Subaru.

So, I asked one of the guys from work if he could get me some rap music. After a bit of discussion of my choices (of which include a copy of an ex-employee, shirt less on the front of his debut album) I decided on Paper Trail.

And that is how I came to own a copy of the latest T.I. CD for my evening cruise down 4th Street...

Monday, March 29, 2010


"If you haven't learned what friendship means than you haven't learned anything."

~Muhammad Ali


Another surprise party over the weekend! It was on the road to Connecticut for a 30th birthday bash for my dearest friends Sarah.

Sarah's sweet husband, Rob, did all the planning. He was sneaking around on Facebook for the last few months coordinating all the guests and even convinced her that he had to clean the entire house on Saturday morning because it "smelled funny." She had no clue! She was off shopping with her mom for the day and came home to a house full of friends and family.

It was soo fun to be there for her special day. It would have been even more fun to stay, but it was back home to start tossing, organizing, and packaging up for the big move!

Happy Birthday Sarah!

P.S. XOxo to my little man Jake!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dress up

If I had three adorable little girls to play dress up with for Easter, these fun spring dresses from Target would definitely on be on my list.

I love the mix of bright, fun colors.
Aren't they so freakin' adorable?

And pink shoes! Little girl heaven.

My spring wardrobe definitely needs a makeover...Maybe Design Mom will adopt me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This is serious business.

Being a doctor is serious job. Of course being a chiropractor is a bit less serious than a cardiac surgeon, but I'm still expected to be a responsible member of the health care community and need to be on my 'A' game at all times. I take my job very seriously.

That being said. I'm just not a very serious person.

Thankfully my profession also provides a dash on comedy on a daily basis.

Upon reviewing medical records from another provider...."complains of urinary frequency. Drinks 20 cups of coffee daily." WOW. I'm feeling really good about my caffeine intake now.

From an independent medical examination (basically a doctor that doesn't know the patient and is hired by the insurance company to determine whether ongoing care is necessary)...."the patient has acquired a hot tub at home and finds relief, which is similar to chiropractic treatment." I can't really comment on this without losing the humor in it. But, I will say if you've never experienced chiropractic, it is NOTHING like a hot tub.

When asking a patient to further describe his pain...."when I lay on my back I don't feel anything and when I lay on my stomach it feels like I'm laying on my back." I still don't know what this means. I've been searching through my old text books to find some kind of weird ass syndrome that makes you feel topsy-turvy. Still looking.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gym bag

I'm in the market for a new gym bag. I'm planning a 360 on my morning routine by getting a gym membership in grand ole Delaware. Yes, that means getting up early, driving 1 hr to the gym, working out, showering in a possibly crudy gym locker room, then straight to the office.

Major positive, I'll be missing all the traffic jams. Major negative, I'll be lugging around all my make-up, hair-dryer, and work clothes (that will have to be planned out and ironed ahead of time!). Hence, the need for a new gym bag.

This one seems practical with all it's little compartments and pre-locker shape. But, honestly I think it's ugly.

This Puma bag definitely scores better in terms of style, but I think a little too small for all my stuff.

Sherpani has a full line of bags of every shapes and size. I'm partial to this messenger bag with lots of pockets and an external strap for a yoga mat. Bonus: it's made from 67% recycled fabric...and FREE SHIPPING. I do love a a bargain.

Monday, March 22, 2010


"Every man is said to have his own peculiar ambition"

~Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Don't forget your hat.

Last year during our vacation to Aruba, Jim and I snagged a couple of awesome sun hats.

When we returned back to Philly, being that it was mid-October, there was no immediate use for the new hats. Jim decided that storing it in the back window of his car was the best place to ensure it wouldn't get smashed up waiting for summer to come around again. I agreed. Jim likes to pile stuff up without regard to what's on the bottom of the pile. The hat would never have survived winter in his closet. It has been a great plan, up until today.

I took Jim's car over to Jersey today so he could wax up the Forester while I was spending the afternoon at a bridal shower. The weather is absolutely beautiful. I'm a definite windows down kind of girl. All the windows... and the sunroof! I've been waiting all winter for fresh air and I plan to get every breath! At just the right moment my eye catches a glimpse of the famous hat fluttering up over the seat back and heading toward the window to be lost and gone forever.

Don't worry. My lightening speed reaction saved the day. I closed the window just in time. All-in-all the windows weren't my best plan. My hair was blown into some sort of birds nest by the time I got there. I had take extra care and even used rollers before leaving the house, but ended up with flat and frizzy. Particularly when dealing with a hair crisis, I should be more considerate about external factors that make it even worse.

But the shower was lovely.

The bride-to-be was really surprised.

She had on great boots.

And this little guy let me hold him for a good half hour.
Then went home with his mommy.
I really love returnables.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

a little secret...

Have some extra Maxwell House from your grandma's last get together that needs used up?

Looking to spice up your the hum-drum of your daily home brewed coffee?

Love the smell of cinnamon in the morning?

Here's a little secret I learned back in my waitressing days. Sprinkle a little (or a lot) of cinnamon on top of the coffee grounds in the filter before brewing.


Ok. So it looks just like any other coffee I've ever brewed in this house. I haven't figured out how to capture smells in my blog yet. Give me a break...I'm still learning. But trust me! It tastes and smells like I snuck over to Starbucks and married my coffee with a cinnamon dulce latte.

Personal reminder

Finding an excessive number of hair pins, clips, and barrettes of every size in the bottom of my purse at the end of one week is a major red flag.

Growing out my hair is the worst! I'm now reminded that the last time I went through the pain staking years of getting my hair past my shoulders, I vowed to never cut it short again. Of course, back then I didn't have the blog to document suck personal vows.

So, let this serve as a personal reminders. It's not that I don't like my hair when it's shorter. I certainly love my hair when it's long. But, the in between is an absolute disaster. That big chunk that won't stay put when your hair's pulled back. That same chuck that looks ridiculous when you're hair is down because it hits at just the wrong place on your neck or shoulder. Not wanting to put too many layers in it because they'll take forever to grow out, but knowing that you can't really wear your hair curly if there aren't a lot of layers. That's right Rachelle. You have chosen this torture. Self-inflicted. Stay strong. Fight the urge to cut it shorter. You're long flowing locks will grow back in a year or two.

At least you already snagged a husband.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Decisions, decisions.

Yesterday I decided on a classical music station to help sooth my morning road rage. Good Decision.

When the station signal faded I switched over to the T.I. CD one of the drivers from work let me borrow for my evening cruise down 4th Street (a story for another day...) Nothing like a little bass pumping rap before 9am to clear your head. Good Decision (although I'll admit a bit unusual for me)

T.I. - Paper Trail [Explicit]

I went to Target without my list. Bad Decision. Have you ever tried to share one roll of toilet paper with your husband in two separate bathroom? Not to mention that morning coffee is like our substitute for fiber. enough said.

I attempted to attack Jim in some kind of playful 'monkey on your back, head lock' move in the kitchen. Somehow I manage to flip myself over and land straight on my back. That's right I manged to flip myself. Jim was standing completely still. Bad decision.

Ordering the chop salad at Solaris. My best decision in the last 24 hours. "chopped asparagus, snap peas, cucumber, avocado, bleu cheese, bacon, roasted red peppers and a balsamic vinaigrette." It is heaven. There was no sharing.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Commuting. Construction. Chaos.

Last night was my first evening drive in what seems like years when I had the window day, the music blaring, and my sunglasses on. Commuting is so much more bearable when there is actually daylight and fresh air!

Thanks to a little channel surfing my playlist included: Fleetwood Mac, DMB, Ween, She & Him, SugarRay, The Fruit Bats, Billy Joel, Bob Marley, The Allman Brothers, Michael Jackson, Charday, some Indie pop bands , and some oldies that I either can't remember or just don't know. It was a solid 45 minutes of loud off key shouting, mumbling through the lyrics I don't know but pretend to, and steering wheel drumming. I'm sure I was quite the sight for my fellow commuters. But, I didn't care. Sunny skies after 6pm make me a little crazy.

(image courtesy of waltsense.com)

Today was a different story. There is major construction on the Blue Route. There has been construction in the same area for quite some time now. I'm typically fairly tolerable to construction. I come from a construction family.

Union men. Men who rise early, drive far, eat from a 'bucket', come home dirty, and are disappointed without 20 hours of overtime. It is part of the reason I didn't starve to death as a child (Thanks Kokosing!). It is the reason my little niece and nephew aren't currently starving to death and instead are prancing around like little GapKids models in sweater vests and fashion denim (shout out to my big brother and Beaver Excavating. woot woot).

But, today I hate construction. I hate new traffic patterns and cattle shoot lanes. I hate commuting even when there's daylight and fresh air. I can't even care about all the little kids not starving because there are what seems like hundreds of hard hats and fluorescent vests working.

The first 3-4 miles of my morning journey now will likely take 20-25 minutes. There's really no avoiding it. Today is a bad day for my relationship with suburbia. If this relationship doesn't start being a little more about give and take, I might have to consider moving on.

Calling all cold salads.

Boy, I'm a little long winded these days....

In addition to my secret fig bars, I scooped a few different cold salads from the prepared foods area in Whole Foods last night. I think the ceaser salad with bowtie pasta was my favorite. Another interesting choice I made was a chiptole apple cucumber salad. It had potential but just didn't do it for me.

Then today I spotted Barefoot Contessa whipping up a delicious pesto, pea, and pasta salad (I have Food Network on the waiting room TV today.)

Point being, I'm inspired to learn some new cold salad recipes for the upcoming spring & summer seasons. The new house will not only bring along lots of wallpaper removal and renovation projects, but it comes complete with a designated poolside break area. Add in an endless supply of fresh yummy salads and Coronas and I might be able to convince a few of our friends and family to lend a helping hand. So.....

Please send me the quinoa recipe you made last summer.
I know it was super easy but I need a refresher.

If anyone else actually reads my blog,
send along your favorite summer sides and salad recipes.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Help Wanted

I try really hard to be a good doctor. Although, I suppose good is a relative term. I try to be systemic and thorough, as well as assume that the patient knows nothing when I'm explaining procedures or recommendations.

After a brief introduction, I start off a first visit explaining how things are going to proceed..."I'm going to ask you a lot of questions about your pain and symptoms, how you were injured, and review your medical history. We'll move onto an exam to help me determine exactly what's going on. Following the exam I'll explain my findings and my recommendations for care, then answers any questions you might have." The better the patient stays on track with me, the easier it is to get through the torture of the first visit.

On occasion there is a patient who just doesn't want to follow allow. Let's call her Mary. Before I could even get a proper introduction out of my mouth I knew she was going to annoy me. Mary was the type that already knew what was wrong with her. She had arthritis. And wanted an MRI. She interrupted me a million times. She was side track on EVERY questions, providing me with lots of information a didn't need a very little of what I wanted to know. Mary was seriously testing my patience. Not to mention it was the end of my day, so my patience is already pretty thin.

But, I wanted to help her.

She was too young to have the pain she was relaying to me. Pain that was intefering with her young life and her young daughter. Too young to be pumping herself full of Vicodin, steriods, anti-inflammatories, and hoping for injections. Arthritis wasn't her problem. She didn't need an MRI. She needed conservative treatment. She needed to change her lifestyle.

I wanted to help change her life.
This is why I love being a doctor.
I wanted to help her.

I was at the office 40 minutes after closing trying to get through to Mary. I used all my best examples, anagolgies, testimonies, and even gave a stab at a little guilt. She interrupted and made excuses, in the hopes of widdling me down. As if I was withholding my secret magic band-aid cure. Ultimately, I think Mary is in denial. I don't think she'll be complient. She's probably calling another doctor's office today.

In the end I drove homein the rain, frustrated and mentally exhausted. I committed my best skills and it still wasn't enough. I stopped at Whole Foods and treated myself to fig bars from the bulk food section. I get them every time I go. I eat one (maybe two!) on the drive home and hide the rest in my car for the next day's commute. I never tell Jim. Hopefully he got bored halfway through this post and still doesn't know about my secret litttle treat.


I've been thinking about motherhood lately. Maybe it's the thought of our soon-to-be first home and all it's empty bedrooms; the fact that over half of my female friends are pregnant right now; reading too many mom blogs; or the excessive number of patients and co-workers that have asked me if I'm pregnant over the two weeks (guess I need to get back to the gym!).

I've also been thinking about road trips, backpacking excursions, and exotic beach vacations; my career and my future as a healthcare provider; mint juleps, margaritas, Coronas, and other cool, refreshing summertime beverages; and new spring fashions.

They seem to be opposites; contradictions almost; two worlds that would surely collide.

I do love the way a baby skin is so soft...
and those sweet little snotty faces.

I do also love that the ones I know go home with someone else...


" I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

~Douglas Adams

Pioneer Woman

Last night I finally finished up the sweet and endearing love story of accidental country girl, Ree Drummond aka Pioneer Woman.


We have a really GREAT recycling program in our township through RecycleBank. They provide you will a huge bar-coded bin. They except cardboard, newspaper, junk mail, plus your typical glass, cans, and plastics with no sorting required. The bin is weighed each week and coverted to a point system. You redeem the points under your online account for coupons, movie passes, and lots of great discounts. It's a dream come true for a tree-hugging, recycling fanatic like myselft. That is until a spring nor'easter blows the entire weeks worth of recycling all over your yard.

This is how we started our Saturday morning.

Monday, March 8, 2010


"There is no better time than now. The time to live is now. The time to dream is now. The time to imagine and forget the past is now. The time to shine is now. The time to bleed, sweat, and determine yourself for the things you want most is now."


Friday, March 5, 2010

Timmer goes to the Philippines

(photo courtesy of lonelyplanet.com)

The littlest Robinson (ok, so Jim actually only has one sibling) is leaving for a month long trip to the Philippines. CRAZY! He'll be traveling with the New Jersey Rotary Group Study Exchange program. You'll find his impressive bio here. The group will be documented their experiences on the blog as well.

Bon Voyage Timmer! I hope you have an exciting and safe adventure.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


It was still twilight when I left work last night.
I had fresh strawberries for breakfast.
There is sun today. My mood is a bit lighter.

I'm still wearing predominantly black though, including my black hip slung trousers from Gap, which are my favorite.

Other things making me happy right now....

Kim's rainbow cake. Is almost seems to lovely to eat...almost!

Booking a trip to Charlotte in April to visit my oldest, dearest gal (Nicolette, there better be ALL sun and NO rain this time!)

Filling up my March weekend calendar so that April seems to arrive even faster.

Lots of red wine. Enjoying Blackstone Merlot lately. Maybe I'll plan a trip to their winery as well.

....and Cadbury Mini Eggs. I can only buy 1-2 of the travel size mini bags at a time because I will over consume otherwise.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Winter Haiku

by Rachelle

Dark and dreary skies
Winter makes my eyes weepy.
Sun please come back soon.


"My favorite weather is bird-chirping weather."

~Loire Hartwould