Friday, April 24, 2009

Pests, Possums, Potatoes and Potential Postponing?

I haven't blogged in a while so I'm going to spew out some random things that have been going on lately...

First off...BUGS!

Back home in Calgary we used to have the odd mouse problem. I remember my dad used to use peanut butter to bait traps and we caught a few mice in our kitchen with those. Here in Australia, there are bugs and animals EVERYWHERE. It could be due to the hot weather. Or it could be due to the fact that there are so many holes in our house where things can crawl in.

Since the beginning of the year, we've had tons of little ants crawling all over our common-area and kitchen. I don't know what the problem is because we never leave food lying around and we've scrubbed our entire kitchen down with bleach and other cleaning agents. I've discovered that they like to come out at night when we're all asleep (I've gone to get some water to drink in the middle of the night to find our kitchen crawling with ants...accidentally stepped on a bunch while walking to the gross). We taped up a few holes that we think are points of entry. We've tried ant traps, poisons and sprays. Our property manager won't do anything about it because she claims that "everyone in Queensland has ant problems". She pretty much politely told me to suck it up and stop whinging because she's not going to help us. So far, my record for number of ants killed running along our walls from a single swing of a rolled up magazine is 10.

Spiders. One of my flatmates hates spiders. Last year was so gross when hundreds of baby spiders hatched and were running all over our ceiling. We sucked them all up with a vacuum cleaner but it looked like a scene out of some horror movie. *shiver* Anyway, call me crazy but I think the spiders are actually attacking and eating the ants? There's a spider living in the corner of our house where our dining room table is. It's spun a nice sized web and I've watched it capture some of our ants. Since it seems to be helping us control our ant problem, we haven't killed it. Here are some photos of our spider hard at work...

We've just had two animal experts confirm that we have possums and rats that co-inhabit our house. We thought we found some rat poop near our TV but it turned out to be gecko poop according to some rat lady (apparently geckos are good because they eat mosquitos and other bugs? So we like to keep them around). Then we had a rat guy come to our house and look in our attic. Sure enough, there was heaps of rat poop up there. So he tossed some rat poison (probably some form of warfarin) in there and told us that it should do the trick. Next, we had a possum guy come and confirm that we indeed have a possum or family of possums that are getting into our garage and into the ceiling of our first floor (under our upstairs floor). We also took a look in our attic and found some old underwear and a bong. Somebody had been sneaking up into the attic to get high... The possum guy said that the rat guy was an idiot and that you can't just throw a handful of poisoned bait into the attic and call it a job done. You gotta set traps and catch the little critters. Otherwise, how do you confirm that you've actually killed them? They could grab the poison, run off, bury it somewhere, etc. and still be at large.

My mom is an awesome cook. I've been using her scalloped potatoes recipe for a while and it's awesome! Here in Australia I peel and chop up washed potatoes for the recipe. This last Christmas I planned to make it for a potluck dinner and I asked my family about grabbing some white, washed potatoes for me. They laughed at me and didn't know what I was talking about. Apparently there's no such thing as washed potatoes in Canada. I didn't make it up! See... Coles Washed Potatoes

Mrs. Wong's Awesome Scalloped Potatoes
- peel and wash enough potatoes to fill a pan
- cut potatoes into thin slices
- mix in a bit of salt and pepper
- add some milk; it makes the potatoes soft
(I used 2 cups for our super massive pyrex pan)
- put some cheese on top; slices or shredded both work
- bake at 190ÂșC for 1 hr
(keep an eye on the cheese cuz it will burn if you have the temp too high)

In the last few months I've really been vamping up my USMLE Step 1 studying. I do feel things starting to sink in and stick. But after running through almost a full practice exam on Thursday, I was very discouraged with the amount of things that I didn't know. I've only got a month left until my projected exam date and I'm seriously considering pushing the test back another 3 months. Delaying it is the last thing I want to do...right now my whole life is church commitments, class/clinic, consume food, crash the library 'til midnight, collapse in bed, repeat. Can I do this for another 4 months? Ugh... there's no point in getting a mediocre score on the exam either. My next rotation is medicine and I'll probably have to study pretty hardcore for that and put USMLE on hold for a bit. There's no way I'll be able to study almost 3 full days a week for the USMLE like I'm doing right now. I'm still sitting on the fence but I'm thinking long and hard about reorganizing my flights and test dates for an end of August - which means that I'll have to fly down to Melbourne or Sydney from my rural posting in Ayr to write the exam.

I think through it all, I'm avoiding burnout by just constantly trying to focus on God. It might sound like I'm complaining on here but I actually don't mind being busy. God's really given me a sense of peace about it all. He sustains me and hopefully the fruits of my labor will be able to serve Him in the end and not myself. With the day and hour of Christ's return unknown, I often struggle with how to best balance short-term gains and long-term gains? What concerns me is that I'm missing out on opportunities to spread the gospel RIGHT NOW by being so busy working towards THE FUTURE. Because if this is the case, then I need to seriously re-evaluate whether I have my priorities straight. I hope that hard work and spreading the gospel need not be mutually exclusive and that somehow both can be achieved.

"Since, then, you have been raise with Christ,
set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is your life, appears,
then you also will appear with him in glory."
-Colossians 3:1-4

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Blogger billy said...

good on ya bro. keep it up... hang in there :)

7:45 AM  
Blogger ivatch said...

dude that is gross,
My house is not like that!!
Complain more!

4:01 AM  
Blogger iggy said...

ah that was an entertaining read man. welcome to Australia, land of random animals. I esp liked the part where you talk about the possum dude dissing the rat dude's advice haha

stay strong man. i know your load is pretty heavy atm. we don't want you to burn out so let us know how we can help. will be praying

5:31 AM  
Blogger DoJ~ said...

im gonna try cookin that potato thing now. im hungry

7:09 PM  
Anonymous bogaboo said...

whats funny, is im redoing our whole bluefields video and came across pics of the and infestation in the tents and all over the wall

9:23 PM  

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