Saturday, September 25, 2010

Iron Sheff

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I feel really lucky (and a little chubbier) knowing that I married a man who likes to cook. Abe’s specialty is dessert, which is great for my sweet tooth and bad on my waist line.

Ironically, when we first met he told me he didn’t really like cake. The first 2 or more years I knew him I made him ice cream cakes for his birthday. Now, he loves making cakes and they are always fantastic.

When I saw our little town was having a cake baking party I urged him to enter. Here is his entry. I don’t know how he chose which recipe, but it turned out great.

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It was Maya Angelou’s Old Fashioned Carmel Cake. He even made this decorative sugar to go on top.

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He took 2nd place. I don’t think the winner's cake was anywhere close to as good as his (although it was beautiful).

Check out this award winning cake and his other treats on his blog.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The pergola—a story, okay a novel

Cute little house, right?


But as you come around the side, if you are like everyone else i have talked to, you are probably thinking: What IS that?


I used to wonder the very same thing as I walked by the house last year. It just looks so out of place and very weather-torn.

Well, IT is a pergola, which is basically a shade structure. And although it is a nice idea, we haven’t been too pleased with it.

So, we decided to take some action. The plants were helping, but not enough…and then they died.


I started painting probably 6 weeks ago. However, it was a much bigger job than I could handle on my own, and with a brush. This weekend seemed like the perfect time to tackle it. No football tailgating traffic, no work, still warmer weather. So last night we spent hours preparing by hanging up plastic tarps. We rented an air-spray gun and were waiting for morning.

I was sick this morning when I woke up and it was raining. After some discussion with my dad, who is a pro painter, we decided to chance it when the weather held and go for it.

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I think we are still looking a little unsure. And our neighbors all gave us funny looks. I felt like we were in a haunted house with all of the sheeting.

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The prep work was time consuming…can you tell, and Abe had to climb all over the roof to do an adequate job.

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We were just about ready to go. I think we were rocking our best lunch lady outfits. Then we turned on the machine and it wouldn’t work! More drama as the machine was due back by 3 and rain was on its way, forecasted for 12. We took it back and luckily they gave us a new machine and an extension.

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Funny, this is almost exactly what I wear in the OR.

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What a huge mess! We also took down a rotting shelf on this corner.

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Abe was glad we were done!

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We did get some rain after and I could tell it was dripping some but overall I think it held up.

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So, what do you think of the finished product? Was it worth it?

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Craigs List

Do you “do Craig’s list?”

I only recently started even checking Craig’s list. Since we’ve moved there have been a few things here and there that I have been hoping to pick up for cheap. It is an interesting experience. I am starting to learn a few key concepts:

-“retro” means really old and ugly, it does not mean cool

-things that are very affordable are probably actually worth the money, the people asking for a lot probably have a lot of junk

-act fast if you find something you like

-do your wheeling and dealing on the phone or by email if you are a chicken, like me


Abe found a really nice cedar chest for a great price.

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I also found this little end table that I thought could be fun for our living room. I should have talked the guy down a bit more (I get nervous about offending people, even ones I don’t know) but I think it is pretty cute. Any ideas on what I should do with it? I am thinking of painting it a kind of sky blue.

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But, it has been very frustrating, as well. I have been looking for filing cabinets and found one for $5 that was supposedly in good shape. It was up in N. Liberty so I made the drive, a 20 minute deal, on a busy evening. When we arrived, it wasn’t what we were hoping for but I felt silly for saying no for $5. Stupid of me. So now, I am $5 poorer and now have a filing cabinet I have the stress of having to get rid of. Oops…and still find another.

I also let a few things slip through my fingers. I found a great desk that I thought I had the deal sealed on. A large 6 foot long oak desk and delivery from Burlington, IA for $50. All of the other desks I have seen have been Walmart specials for $100+. It was going to go great in our second bedroom which I am hoping to convert for an office for Abe to spend his long hours on PhD thesis writing. The guy hasn’t responded for a few weeks after I thought we had it almost all settled. :(

I also found a few really nice oak chairs (to go with the new desk). I emailed the guy but he wanted a phone call and I didn’t want to call until I was ready to come get them (and I was busy). The day I finally called (my N. Liberty trip day), he said he has just taken them to the thrift store. Bummer.


So, I am still looking for a desk if anyone has any ideas.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I have completed almost two weeks of internal medicine. So far, I am enjoying it quite a bit. I still feel out of my element…there are so many complex physiological, pharmacological, logistical elements of medicine that I will never come close to understanding. But, I am really glad for what I have learned so far. I hope I will learn enough to be a good oral surgeon. I want to be able to take good care of my patient's health, not just focus on their teeth.


Things have also been much less busy. I start at 8 am and come home often before 5 pm. It has been really nice to have some extra time and I suddenly don’t feel so bad for all of the things I can’t get a handle on in my life. My house has been a little cleaner, I have been exercising more, cooking more, taking care of Abe more, practicing piano, etc, all things I usually have a very difficult time doing. Today, I was even BORED when I got home. I don’t remember the last time I was bored --usually I am so glad to be doing nothing or have so much to get caught up on, I feel guilty rather than bored. Ha ha.


I also realize how selfish I have been. When you are working 10 or more hours a day, weekends, nights, it is so hard to find time for much of anything—or to have the energy when you do. I have found myself becoming very selfish of my time and my space. I realize now that no matter how busy, I should still find time to be a friend, to help someone out, to be kind. I am sorry I haven’t been this way to you.


I hope I can be better, even when things pick back up.

Monday, September 6, 2010

"It's a Utah thing"

I want to apologize for some of my generalizations in my last post. I used to hate when people back home would say, "That must be a Utah thing," and almost always in a tone of disdain. It seemed like it was very popular to "hate-on" Utah, or BYU, especially in my Freshman year. Even though people chose to come to BYU and to Utah, when I had no choice growing up there, they acted like they were being punished for living in Utah. "Oh, there are too many mormons here...BTW I just got my mission call!" and something I heard from almost every guy I dated, "I NEVER thought I would date a Utah girl." It seemed as we got older, my peers started to appreciate BYU a bit more, but it definitely seemed like there was an anti-Utah, anti-Utah Mormon, and I'm-the-only-one-smart-enough-to-know-how-lame-it-is-here mentality. I always felt like, "Okay Mr. Enlightened One, if you hate it so much, leave." They never did.

Anyway, back to my point which was, learning from experience, I hesitated to make generalizations about Iowa, particularly the Iowa Taco-Pizza sensation. Every non-Iowan I have talked to has been puzzled by the taco pizza thing. I'm sorry I made the jump to "It's an Iowa thing."

It's like saying, "It must be a Utah hymn" (since the hymn books aren't identical across the country?), or Tunnel Singing "must be a Utah thing" or everyone in Utah says "Ya'll" must be a Utah thing. No, it's a church thing, and a BYU thing, or a Texas thing.

Skiing...that's a Utah thing. Fry sauce...yup, also a Utah thing. Maybe even green jello with carrots (okay a Utah thing), or big blonde hair.
On the other hand, corn...that's an Iowa thing, and so are pigs. and the Hawkeyes.

Taco pizza, I guess is still a toss up.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Random Thoughts

*Curtains are the #1 thing item  that can turn a PLACE into a HOME. Something about the $9 curtains I got on sale and spent 5 minutes hanging in my kitchen made a huge difference in the coziness of the room.

*Iowa is different than Utah. Duh! A few not so obvious differences:

  • Gum gets wet and melty here. If you don’t chew it right away it can get sticky and grimey. Hello humidity. In Utah, it stays normal for months.
  • Taco Pizza is an Iowa thing, or maybe a Midwest thing. Don’t ask a non-Iowan where their favorite Taco Pizza place is because they wont have a clue. If you don’t know what it is, basically it is just as it sounds, a pizza with lettuce, tomato, taco chips, etc on it. It is very NORMAL here. Like fry sauce in Utah. People would be shocked not to have it on the menu at a pizza place.
  • Kum and Go is a horrible name for any business. I’m not even going to go there. And what does the “K” mean? If you’d spelled it Come and Go I wouldn’t have thought anything of it.

*Weekends off are great.  I love Saturdays, even Saturdays full of chores. I never get to do them otherwise.

*I was trying on some jeans and noticed a big lump in the back pocket. I pulled out a huge wad of clothes tags. It seemed obvious to me someone had taken advantage of a few free things and stuffed the evidence in my pants. Funny, but I felt a little guilty and I was worried I would get caught.

Finally: Oatmeal pie is awesome. Find the recipe on Abe’s blog.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 1

Today was my first day on Internal Medicine. I am rotating on the surgical co-management team for one month. The team helps manage post operative problems for surgery patients and evaluates and makes recommendations for patients before their surgeries. Very applicable for me.


It is a bit intimidating entering the MD world without an MD.  Basic things like knowing how (and what) labs to order, presenting patients on rounds without a surgical emphasis, etc are all things I get to pick up now.


It was also strange to realize I am not going to be performing surgery on any of these patients. I definitely have the surgical mentality of “find the problem, fix it.” This is the very basis of dentistry (my degree is doctor of dental SURGERY not doctor of dental MEDICINE), not to mention my specialty. It is going to be interesting to do more thinking than doing with my patients.


There is so much for me to learn. I am excited to get a better understanding of how to manage heart problems, diabetes, etc.