Monday, September 17, 2012

in which I feel very busy

Busy week.
I started work at Christiana Care on Monday the 10th and was mostly able to plunge right in. It was easy to set up the office and even though the window looks out over the parking lot, I continue to gloat about it. I also have a personal thermostat, and while it requires constant fiddling, having an office at a consistent temperature is priceless. But, I didn’t accept the job for the office. I didn’t even know about the office when I accepted. The job is going to be developing, evolving and discovering its definition for some time, but the process is shaping up to be a lot of fun. There are a lot of people interested in health services research, an institution well poised to be a focus of such research, a leadership willing to put resources into leveraging the ambitions of the researchers and the positioning of the health system, and free parking (this last from my great amusement with the statement – and if anyone knows the attribution, please let me know – “a faculty is a group of highly intelligent and superbly trained individuals who come together in an institution to argue over parking”).
Sandy Schwartz is serving as a consultant to the development of the Value Institute so I get to meet with him on an ongoing basis. I’m also still in contact with Penn colleagues about our ongoing work on the role of the Electronic Health Record in patient communication and how we might improve that. I’m trying to decide if I can get all of my ducks in a row to submit an October 15th PCORI (patient centered outcomes research institute) letter of intent and I’m looking forward to ongoing meetings with colleagues here, including attending the Department of Emergency Medicine Research Retreat next week. I’m also determined to write my writing book this year.

Solo SWF has joined the Blue Hill Team as anticipated in last week’s blog. Rachel jumped him in a lesson with me on Sunday morning and he looked great. We’re pretty sure that he thinks he has gone to boot camp (wait he says, I didn’t enlist). Lots of hills and trot sets and the like that haven’t been previously part of his life, but he seems in good spirits about all of it and has settled in after seeming a little anxious the first couple of days. Yesterday, he joined us as we headed to Carousel Park for a cross country school. He really is a jumping machine. Banks, good. Ditches, no worries. Coops, tables, logs (including log on a lump) totally sailed over. Water, not really interested. He didn’t seem terribly worried, just thought it was a stupid idea to go in the (admittedly pretty mucky looking) water, so we’ll be working on that with more preparation on the next schooling outing, but all in all, he was super and is going to be great fun for Rachel riding him and for me getting to watch his development as an eventer.

Being in the new house at least part of the time and with the new job means figuring out where/when/how to fit in workouts. One real plus in that Christiana Care has a decent fitness center onsite. They even have classes including spinning, step and yoga. I’ve also found a yoga studio that is conveniently in Wilmington, a good place to stop for an hour on the mat while traffic chills out. I’m hoping to continue with yoga at Yoga Secrets in Kennett and am considering whether Focus Fitness of the Brandywine Valley might be a useful addition. I’m also scoping out running options. Bonnie Kibbie went for a run in the Cheslen preserve and reported back that as long as you don’t get lost getting from the parking area to the trail, it is a good option. I’ve also run some on the roads and am hoping to get to the Laurels for some hill work soon.

Saturday, I had the super fun of being the cross-country starter at the Fair Hill unrecognized event. I hear we ran over 200 horses through. The ambulance never rolled, although Tom was kept busy enough making sure that everyone who popped off was ok. There were lots of green horses and riders, so it happened with some frequency, but no injuries. In addition, lots of really cute ponies, some lovely horses, Erin Sylvester back out there with her gang, Molly Rosin on a succession of some of those cute ponies, and many others. I am forced to admit that there are two or three trainers I know through volunteering, but am embarrassed to say I don’t know their names. One of these weekends, I’ll need to put the embarrassment away and just say, “I know we’ve been chatting in warm-up for 5 years, would you mind reminding me who you are?” The weather was lovely, although the wind was quite fierce. I had my fleece vest on through the entire day, until it finally warmed up around 4:30 pm. It is possible that the chilly wind contributed to some of the pop-offs as we have had warm, muggy weather for so long.

Meanwhile, other events were happening all over the place. Lynn Cronin took her lovely mare Bonnie to a local Michigan event and won the blue ribbon with her best dressage score ever! Lots of Area 2 folks were showing at Seneca. Karen O'Connor won 2 intermediate divisions and Sally Cousins was 2nd in both and also 3rd in one of them. Kaiti Saunders lovely boys were both there. Fugitive, who is super cool (anyone need a great upper level prospect brought home a pretty ribbon, hoping it could be traded for treats and/or cuddles. The cute pony, Gloria that boards at Blue Hill went to her first event with Sarah Connell and took 5th place. Many others there as well, results here: Meanwhile, in area 8, Flying Cross was happening. There don't seem to be results yet, but I know some of the Ann Arbor Crowd was there and "Riderboy" posted a great helmet cam on the Chronicle Forums So many events, so little time to stalk follow results.

Saturday evening, I had dinner with Caitlin Silliman and got to talk horses, specifically about Remington . I have been entrusted with the first ribbon earned by the partnership, the first place from the preliminary at Maryland Horse Trials. I also somehow scored the saddle pad. Have to love it when other people are giving me their hard earned swag.

Sunday, I put in a few hours at the new job then headed off to go cross country schooling. In addition to Solo (see above), we took Keegan, Dylan (Steph Cauffman) and Ike (Missy). It was a great outing, complemented by really lovely weather. Keegan earned extra gold stars, for not only being really, really good about everything, but also playing lead horse over the ditch for all of the other horses and for standing patiently and trying to help Solo go in the water, occasioning about 20 trips through the water for Keegan. He was quiet, focused and jumping brilliantly throughout the afternoon. I am ever more impressed by this boy, and given how much I liked him to start, the scale is going to run out of space soon. The only bad part of the day was at the very end when both Dylan and Keegan were morons about getting off the trailer at Blue Hill Farm, but no permanent damage.
Jeff Kibbie and Loki are back at Blue Hill. Bonnie Kibbie had her first jumping lesson in some time, on a lovely (but very big) sales horse - We also have visiting dressage horses, and a travelling student and her horse in to prepare for Plantation.

Looking forward to continuing to explore the new job and continue working out ways to fit in the riding and gym time along with the totally new to me concept of commuting to work. I’m trying the train tonight.

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