Week 2

I am trying my hand at gardening! The last person that lived at the house I am now renting a room from built raised beds out front, and my roommate had a few open bed spots. 

Last week, I planted carrots, beets, and green onions. 

New gloves and seeds.

New gloves and seeds.

 I still haven’t seen anything sprouted yet. It has either rained or sprinkled every day, so there hasn’t been a need for me to water yet. Today has been gorgeous, so I will be sure to give the beds some watering before I head out to work. 

The roommate and I put together an indoor compost after doing some online research and watching a good few YouTube videos. We got two 5-gallon buckets from Home Depot, lined the bottom of one bucket with newspaper, and made multiple layers of dirt from the garden, kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, and dried leaves. We’re going to give it about another five or so weeks and see if we get some rich compost as the result! We also drilled a ton of holes is in the first bucket and drilled holes near the top of the second bucket, which will serve to collect any liquid residue and moisture. 
                I say that “we” drilled holes. That really meant that I watched as my roommate used her friend’s drill on the                             buckets.

As far as work goes, I just had my second night of training last night. It was quite dead, so I didn’t get a lot of work in. Saturday was my first night, and tonight will be my first night on closing and last night of training! I work at a location that serves as a bar and kitchen, so I am still definitely learning a lot about drinks. Mostly I’m learning the computer system, but I almost have it down.

With my bounty from the Farmer’s Market and Kroger last week, I made two Slow Cooker recipes for this week:

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff (link to and recipe courtesy of Granny’s Vital Vittles)

Slow Cooker Chicken and Potato Soup (link to and recipe courtesy of Simple Clean Living)

The Stroganoff was a bit less Stroganoff-y due to the slimy mushrooms that have resided in the produce drawer of the fridge for just a bit too long (therefore, I didn’t use them). However, I think I’m beginning to be obsessed with my roommate’s slow cooker and she has already stated it’s fine for me to use it as much as I want. Famous last words.

Baby carrots!

Baby carrots!

What have I been up to? I went to campus for a field experience presentation that I didn’t technically have to be there for. So, I ran around exploring campus and ran errands instead. I definitely missed my graduate student orientation thanks to only one faulty e-mail date that I wrote in my planner (and completely overlooked the five consecutive e-mails containing the correct date, go me!) in lieu of attending the Aim to Serve class for my ABC Permit. I instead went the next day to be turned away by the University Center staff who sadly told me I missed the orientation by a day. After talking to some classmates, it seems like I didn’t miss anything at all. Win.

Wednesday night, my roommate and I went to Bullman’s Krav Maga and Kickboxing Gym. The first class is free, and she has a gym membership there.

It. Kicked. My. Butt.
And I loved every second of it.

Unfortunately, class prices run a little steep. Until something miraculous happens like me making a ton of money at work, it’s not in the cards for me right now. I do miss martial arts and kickboxing, though. The UTK Rec Sports holds fitness classes (and has a rock wall!) for free, but my roommate told me the kickboxing class is strictly aerobic exercise (no punching and kicking bags! Where is the fun in that?). 

Afterwards, my roommate was extremely kind and treated me out to The Tomato Head off of Kingston. 

Reuben with pickled beets and spinach, tomato chipotle soup, and a Carolina Blonde beer.

Reuben with pickled beets and spinach, tomato chipotle soup, and a Carolina Blonde beer.

We sat next to the kitchen window, and these guys watched over us!

We sat next to the kitchen window, and these guys watched over us!

Ever wonder what a normal morning looks like for me?



This is Jack, my roommate’s dog. He’s the neediest little sweetheart around. He likes short walks to the backyard, likes not being in the dark, and wants you to pet him 24/7. He’s got his old man ways and he’s fun to have around!

Yesterday (Thursday), I attended a session in the morning to discuss a new system being implemented across UTK campus to submit IRB proposals electronically. Yay for efficiency!

I also was able to attend the MPHGSA (Master of Public Health Graduate Student Association) orientation, which was a nice introduction to staff, other students, and expectations in the degree. I was also able to have a lengthy meeting with my advisor discussing just what in the world I’m getting myself into for these next few years. The most common phrase I’ve heard since I’ve been here? 

“Buckle your seat belt, you’re in for a ride!”

Surely they’re talking about the bad drivers here, right? 

The most important thing I learned yesterday was it doesn’t matter if your Chacos match with your nice-looking professional wear. You will wear them or your tennis shoes to trek across campus. My feet surely didn’t appreciate being subjected to cross-campus multi-hill traversing. 

Sorry if you're squeamish. My feet don't care.

Sorry if you’re squeamish. My feet don’t care.

What else? I found this terrifying bugger today-


The insect community here in Tennessee has amazed me thus far. Our kitchen has been subjected to two mass ant attacks, and there is always some creepy crawly in nearly every corner. This little guy above was crawling around right next to me during lunch. Not for long, anyways.

So for now? Going to think about my career goals and what I want out of life before I head off to work.

Until later!


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