If We Were Having Coffee….

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If we were having coffee, I would ask you how your week was. I hope that it went well. My week was rather blah and unproductive. I’m not actually sure which came first. Did I start to feel low and that caused me to be unproductive? Or, was I unproductive and that caused me to feel low? Regardless, both states are here. I’m glad the coming week is March break. Not only will the university be shut down, but my supervisor will be away for a week. This will give me time to get my mood under control before it dips further (I hope). Hubby has the same March break. It will be nice to spend some time together.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you the new Ph.D. student is no more. He officially left the program this week. I don’t feel so bad for him anymore. Leaving is the right thing for him and I heard through the grapevine that it wont affect his current job back home. He just wont get the higher position he was getting the Ph.D. for.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I haven’t had time to do any more art journaling or drawing. I set up a tumblr account for some reason. I think that is where all my free time went this week. Some of the themes are a little complicated. I still haven’t figured out how to get WordPress to publish over there. It might work this time, I think there was a glitch in the theme I was using. Social media eats up so much time if you aren’t paying attention.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you if you copyright your photos or artwork? The art journal people in the Facebook groups I am in usually type some sort of signature over their work. I haven’t done anything like that with my art journal stuff or with the doodles I display on my blog. Should I? What do you think?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’ve been having nightmares every night. Not scary ones, more anxiety provoking. They cause me to wake up a lot during the night and leave me exhausted in the morning. What do you do to get rid of nightmares?

If we were having coffee, I would probably apologize for cutting it short this week. I’m just not feeling myself. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Here is a photo of my little Ewok to make you smile as you start the rest of your weekend.

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(This conversational coffee post is part of a weekend link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster. Join in the fun!)

If We Were Having Coffee….

If we were having coffee, I’d say let’s go to the coffee shop down the street. The street I live on ends at a little village. It’s a really cute place in the summer because you can see the details of all the old stone buildings and the water lies just behind them. In the winter, I start to miss it. We can drop into Bilboquet. It’s primarily an ice cream shop, but during the winter they get most of their business from coffee and treats. I usually opt for a mini cupcake…or two. They have such fun flavours.

bilboquet

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you how your week was. My week was relatively stressful and I am exhausted, but it was a good week overall. The stress was brought on by my boss’ great time management skills. She gave me some instructions, sent me a list of references and asked me to make a presentation. Normally, I enjoy this sort of thing, but I got all out of sorts for a couple reasons this time.

  1. I hadn’t read most of the journal articles on the list yet which meant a lot of reading
  2. The journal articles were old and I couldn’t access a lot of them
  3. Her instructions and the content of the articles were conflicting
  4. The presentation was to be long, an hour at least.
  5. She gave me less than two days notice so I had to drop all the things I was supposed to be doing in order to get this done.

Being the head honcho, I think she sometimes forgets how long it takes to put things like this together. Plus, I am a perfectionist so I make a lot of trouble for myself. That part isn’t her fault. I finished making the presentation with enough time left over to go figure out how to plug my laptop into the big screen TV in the conference room. Anyway, the presentation was a hit, so much so that I’m going to be presenting it at a conference in the fall for continuing education (CE) credits. This is awesome. When your talk qualifies for CE credits you get your flight, conference registration and two nights in the hotel paid for. While we are on the conference topic, I’d also add that I completely lucked out and was awarded an ARVO travel fellowship! ARVO is the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. They have a huge conference every year that I go to. I always apply for the travel award, but never get it. This is good. Really good.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I spent one night this week on FaceTime with one of my dearest friends. Even though we live about 6 hours apart, she has been one of my best friends since the 6th grade. It was nice to catch up with her and her daughter. I helped her set up a blog on WordPress. She has decided to try blogging as a way to cope with all that’s going on in her life. She is one of the few people from my real life that knows about my blog. Her blog is Sparkles and Darkness. I’m sure she would love it if you stopped by to say hello.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that #1000Speak took place yesterday and it gave me the warm fuzzies, lol. I know people value compassion and wish there wasn’t so much hate and violence going on in the world. Despite this, I still see so little empathy, nevermind altruism. I was comforted to see all these bloggers, people like me, who are conscious of the lack of compassion and try to practice it as often as possible. It has restored some of my faith in humanity. I learned a lot doing some background research on my post, It All Starts With You. I focused on human compassion in society, but other posts talked about self-compassion, which I think I needed a reminder on. How can you continue to be compassionate towards others when you are being so hard on yourself? You can only give so much before you have nothing left. Being kind to yourself prevents that reservoir of compassion from getting too low.

speak for compassion

If we were having coffee, we would probably have finished our coffee and goodies a while ago. I’d thank you for the company, bid you happy weekend and we’d be on our merry way until next time. 🙂

(This conversational coffee post is part of a weekend link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster. Join in the fun!

If We Were Having Coffee….

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If we were having coffee, I’d want to get all caught up on the happenings in your life since I missed last week. I’d explain that I was away, in Toronto, for a long-ish weekend. I had planned to still participate in the Weekend Coffee Share, but time got away from me. It seems to be doing that a lot lately. A slippery thing, time.

If we were having coffee, I’d wish you a Happy Valentines Day! I know there are several Valentines Day grinches out there…yes, Happy Valentines Day to you too. Don’t worry, I’m not going to shove how wonderful Valentines Day is down your throat. I’m not an advocate for Valentines Day, but I don’t hate it either. With days designated for the celebration of everything from your nationality to crunchy peanut butter, you can’t go without a day for love. Love is something that should be celebrated, but not on one specific day once a year. It should be celebrated everyday. If you love someone, you should show them as often as you can. That, I am an advocate for.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask if you had any big plans for today? Hubby and I are staying home today. We both have a lot of work and chores and such to catch up on. Hubby made Finish pancakes this morning for breakfast. He doesn’t make them often, so that is my Valentines Day treat. I call them Finish pancakes, but they are really called lettues. They are thin, like crepes, but are more buttery in texture. They are good both hot and cold. We usually spread jam or Nutella on them and roll them up. Yum! We have some left over, would you like to try?

lettues

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you work is really stressing me out. I got the stomach flu…again, so I haven’t even been in. Being ill never stops the phone though. So firstly, we’re working on a new grant application. This one is only available to Quebec researchers working on Age-related Macular Degeneration. We applied last year and didn’t get it, so this year we have to be more cutting edge. The boss lady described a vague idea for the grant that she and a collaborator have been talking about. I don’t really know what to think about it because it is already part of my dissertation! If she applies for a grant with it, does that mean it is no longer my idea? Does that mean I can’t use it towards my Ph.D.? That would be really bad because this part was one of the more simple experiments I had planned out. I called her yesterday to discuss it, but she didn’t pick up. I hope I am jumping to conclusions here. As a person, I can’t imagine her doing that to me, but I have to be certain. I don’t want to sound like a b*tch fighting over intellectual property, but I have to make sure she remembers it was my idea and I’ve been presenting it as part of my dissertation plan.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you the second reason work is stressing me out is the new Ph.D. student. He started last September. I thought he was an angel sent to help relieve my work load. As the only Ph.D. student in the lab, I was running everything which was wayyy too much for me. Having someone to share the load would have been awesome. Then I found out he was only going to be in town part of the year, doh! He is in his 40s and works for a low vision organization in the USA. His job is sending him here (with full salary I might add) to get a Ph.D. in order to fill a promotion when he gets back. Sweet deal right? Anyway, I’ll spare you the long story but, the problem is he can’t handle it and the boss lady is going to ask him to withdraw himself from the program. This doesn’t really affect me at all, but the boss lady has been really upset and stressed about the whole thing. I feel awful for her. She has to tell him to leave without crushing his confidence, but making sure that he understands what went wrong and why he’s not cut out for this. Can you imagine how difficult that would be? This is someone she has known for years and has to continue working with in the future. Even worse, I don’t think he knows what is coming either. In fact, I’m not sure where his brain is at the moment. The way he is handling the situation has left all parties involved (and me) scratching our heads. The boss lady is going to make it look like it was his decision to leave to help him save face going back to work in the US, but I don’t envy his position at all. *sigh*

If we were having coffee, I’d say it’s time to stop worrying about work. It is Saturday after all. It’s time to do something fun…not laundry! Maybe I’ll try to catch up on my art journaling. Have a great Valentine’s Day weekend. Eat some chocolate! Catch you next week!

(This conversational coffee post is part of a weekend link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster. Join in the fun!)

If We Were Having Coffee….

If we were having coffee, this week, I would be having tea and it would probably be at home. I haven’t had any coffee in almost a week. I miss it so much, but I don’t think I’m ready for it yet. I’ve been plagued by the stomach flu (I think) this week. 😦 I’ve been feeling awful for so long that I’m pretty sure it’s not contagious. Would you have tea this week with me instead?

If we were having coffee tea, I’d probably be having something of the green or peppermint variety. I hear those are good for your stomach. I would pass on any of the goodies that typically accompany tea. I’d recommend birthday cake tea for you. It’s my favourite. It tastes like freshly baked vanilla cake and the tea even has rainbow sprinkles in it. I can’t help but smile every time I fill the tea ball. I’d also offer you a scone. We get them from a bakery in Ottawa, The Scone Witch. They are scrumptious! I have a variety of their sweet ones; lemon poppy seed, orange cranberry, vanilla and oatmeal. Take your pick!

Scone Witch batch

If we were having tea, I’d ask how you week went and how you were feeling. I’m hoping to hear that you, unlike me, have avoided the stomach bug that I’ve heard has been going around. I’ve been unwell since Monday. I attempted to have a somewhat normal meal last night. It was a mistake. Although I haven’t been sick yet, I feel a lot worse! As a result of this bug, a lot of things have gotten messed up. I had a pretty long To-Do list for this past week and nothing got done. It all has to be jammed into the beginning of next week before I leave for Toronto on Thursday. My sleep is all out of whack too. Not that my sleep patterns are ever that good, but I haven’t been using my happy light and I’ve been napping a lot. What else can you do when you feel so unwell? Even worse, my medication is all messed up. I wasn’t able to keep it down most of the week. Now, I am in a state of semi-withdrawal. I’m on antidepressants, a SNRI with an atypical. SNRI withdrawal can get pretty bad for me. I know I am in withdrawal and that’s why I am overly emotional, irrational and feeling like a worthless human being, but that logic is bringing little comfort. I still feel the way I feel, whether it makes sense or not.

monster shadow

If we were having tea, I’d show you my art journal. Since we’re here (my home) this week, it’s probably sitting right in front of you on the coffee table anyway. I haven’t done any of the prompts for this week (#4). I just haven’t been well enough. The prompts for week#5 are already out. I hope I’ll find the time to catch up. I’d also ask about your artistic endeavors. Drawing? Collage? Music? Verses? Fiction? There are a few people in my family with artistic talents, but few of my friends or colleagues have any interest. My coworkers were pretty much shell-shocked to find me drawing in my sketchbook one day. It’s funny the parts of ourselves we elect to share with certain groups of people. I never really though about it before. I’m all about my doodles and what not here. To them, I’m a research scientist with a background in genomics. Now, you’re thinking “g-what?!!?” Yea, that’s what I mean. Don’t worry, I wont get into it.

If we were having tea, I’d tell you that the Blog for Mental Health Project has relaunched. I plan to pledge again this year, but I’m not sure about what to say yet. I did start blogging with the thought that it might help with my mental health. My head is just in such a different place from where it was at this time last year.

If we were having tea, I’d also mention that the A to Z Blogging Challenge is gearing up too. You write a post every weekday in April starting with a letter of the alphabet (going in alphabetical order of course). Some people have a theme to their posts, other talk about whatever they feel like. Last year, I stuck to a mental health theme. I shared some of the research I read about and some personal experiences. I’m debating if I should do that again, with new material, or if I should pick random things for each letter. What do you think?

If we were having tea, I’d probably let you get back to life about now. I’ve sure babbled on for someone who hasn’t done anything all week. I hope you’ve enjoyed your tea and scones. See you net week for coffee!! Hopefully coffee.

(This conversational coffee post is part of a weekend link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster. Join in the fun!)

If We Were Having Coffee…..

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you how you felt about cats. There are two different Cat Cafes in Montreal. I haven’t been to either and I’d really like to go. Of course, none of the cafe cats could ever be a cute as my Ewok, but I think it would be a fun experience and it’s something I could check off my life list. We would go to Cafe Chat L’Heureux. It looks like this cafe lets you hold the cats, the other one doesn’t. I’d get a coffee with one of their lemon raspberry marshmallow kitty paws. What are you in the mood for this week? A cat-pucchio perhaps? Haha! I’m not kidding, that’s on the menu!

marshmallow cat paw

Here is my order! Coffee and marshmallow cat paw. This is a picture from their menu.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you how you were and how your week went….after I finished gawking at the cute furry beasts. Sorry! I swear, you’ve got my full attention now!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my week went by pretty fast. I did get some bad news from my friend Lynne though. She was diagnosed with colorectal cancer last spring. By the time they found it, it was a stage IV liver metastasis. She has been on chemo all this time and handled it really well. She kept her strength and only felt sick when she was actually plugged in to the drug. The tumor in her colon is pretty much gone and the one in her liver has shrunk significantly. The next step is surgery. This is the bad news. They have to take out 70% of her liver. Removing this much means it will not regenerate and if the cancer returns, they can’t remove anymore. The surgery is also risky (8% mortality) because the excision site is right by the portal vein. If she makes it through the surgery there is a high chance of liver failure afterwards. When she asked about the colorectal surgery she also needs, they told her to forget about it. They wanted to get though the liver first. It’s really not sounding good. Lynne is a quiet and kind person. She looks after animals for a living. She doesn’t deserve this.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I spent the first half of the week tied in knots and completely dreading going to work on Wednesday. I had a list of patients from a previous study (a few years ago) that I could use for my study. I had to go to their retina clinic and find out who was dead and who was still alive. A rather morbid task, but this is something you have to do when you work with a geriatric population. I was dreading this because I knew a rather nasty ophthalmologist was going to be on duty and he always sneers at my genetics research. Also, the last time I tried to do this, the clinic staff was just annoyed with my presence and refused to show me how to use the computer system. I anticipated the same thing this time. To my surprise, it wasn’t like that at all (probably because my supervisor came with me). Dr. Nasty didn’t say anything about my research and the clinic staff were very helpful. I got into the computer system and determined about half of my list had future appointments booked. There may be hope for my research yet.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I am still loving the art journaling. I had brunch with a friend last weekend and we went to a scrapbook store afterwards. I bought some new stencils to try, some metallic watercolour pencil crayons, a waterproof pen and a cute little cupcake stamp. I love cupcakes. I’m hoping to have a chance to play with my new goodies later today. I’m also going to participate in “Happy Mail” with one of my art journal groups. Happy Mail is basically a trade of scraps of unique paper, stamps, stickers, charms or anything else you can journal with between artists via snail mail. Different things are available in different parts of the world. It’ll be fun to see what I can get and make some other people happy.

2015-01-23 10.59.21If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Thursday was really zen. After getting over the shock of Lynne’s news and my work anxieties, I was able to relax a little. I spent the day at home with Ewok and got caught up on research articles and blog stuff. Ewok was really sweet. She sat with me all day drifting in and out of nap land. She got up only a few times to play, snack or drink. We have a water fountain for her to drink out of. When she was just a little thing, she was always desperate to get to the tap whenever we turned it on. So we thought getting her a tap-like water fountain would be a good idea. She’s a little weirdo with it though! Before she drinks from it, she swipes her slipper paw through the stream of water. It’s like she is testing the temperature or something. Even weirder, she sticks her head right under the falling stream of water! I thought cats weren’t supposed to like getting wet. Ewok hated the two times she got a bath, but she gets her head soaking wet! I often pick her up and kiss her on the head between her ears. Sometimes when I do this, it’s like kissing a puddle. Silly kitty.

2015-01-23 10.57.20If we were having coffee, I’d thank you for joining me and tell you I think it’s time we go. There is so much to do on a weekend. I’d probably grab a souvenir to take home to little Ewok and we would bid adieu to our new feline friends as we head out.

2014-09-04 09.25.35(This conversational coffee post is part of a weekend link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster. Join in the fun!)

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