Saturday, November 24, 2012

Grand Teton

I’m evidently stuck in the past because I’m skipping back to last month. Part of our October trip included some time in Grand Teton National Park.
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These are a few photos from our way to Jackson, Wyoming. What a beautiful drive! While I have been to Yellowstone a two or three times in the past, I had never made my way to Grand Teton (except in passing through to Yellowstone). We were able to spend a quick day there while on our trip. We felt pretty at home as we entered the park…
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Here is the amazing Sheffield Creek behind me…
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Since we had only one partial day in the park, we chose to spend it hiking Jenny Lake. This seems to be one of the major sites of the park.
Here are some bald eagles nesting in a tree above us above the trail.
Bald Eagles
Our original plan was to make it to the falls and then head back.
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The beauty of the lake convinced us to keep going in a loop around the lake. Hours later, we finally made it back. I was glad we didn’t run into any bears on our way (or get stuck in the dark!). We didn’t follow the recommendations to carry bear spray or wear bear bells or any other precautions but we did think it was fun to make our presence known periodically, “Hey bear!” I really wanted to see a bear (from the safety of our car) but I’m relieved the only close encounter I had was to a mule deer I didn’t see right away.
He actually gave me quite the fright. And he didn’t have to do anything but sit there. But to my credit, in an unexpected place just at the top of a hill. This is after I recovered.
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The famous Tetons. One thing I miss most about home is the mountains. Even though these weren’t “my mountains” I feel pretty sentimental about being closer to home and among the rocks. I couldn't help but remember the stories we learned about in Utah history of the mountain men (like losing ears to bears). I really don't know my Iowa history...what did those kids learn about instead?
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It’s really cool to see these animals that were such a huge part of American history. It is strange to think they were everywhere and now can only be seen in a few places. I think he thought we were pretty interesting, too!
These houses in the park are known as “Mormon Row.” Evidently a group of Mormon settlers made this their home. Even today it looks like pretty harsh, bleak conditions. I think natural selection helped make us a little more genetically tough…hardy pioneer stock…in pink houses.
Mormon Row

Friday, November 23, 2012

Prison tats 2

We treat a lot of inmates in our clinic. Surprisingly, they are actually some of our best patients but can also provide some of the best stories. Many of these involve ‘prison tats’ (you may remember this reader favorite post

I was joking around with my orange jump-suited patient of the day a few weeks ago. He, like many of the other prisoners, had many tattoos. One the tattoos included one of some guns and a saying like “shoot ‘em up” although I don’t remember the exact phrase. I asked him about this and was assured it was some kind of tribute to a friend and not a threat, at least to me. I mentioned he seemed to have a lot of tattoos and wondered how one chooses so many things to put on your body permanently. I asked if he had any tats he regretted.

He told me, no, not really, except he had his girlfriend’s name on his chest. This was his least favorite tattoo as he wasn’t sure on the status of their relationship. Evidently the hard-time was taking its toll on the relationship. He mentioned that he had been in jail three times now for marijuana charges. He stated that when he gets out, he should probably move somewhere like Colorado or California, “because they have more lenient laws on marijuana.”

“Or, you could just stop using marijuana,” I suggested.

“Um, I think I’ll just move…”

(I guess now that is a better idea than ever with Colorado’s progressive new law.)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

We have the best patients…

Another doctor at work relayed this story to me a few days ago. I just couldn’t resist.

He was evaluating a patient for a routine dental extraction. Before starting the procedure, the patient showed a picture to the doctor.


“Look at this, this is what I have to look forward to going home to tonight. What do you think of that? That’s my wife.”

The doctor took a look, “Oh, that’s nice.”

Pulling up a second picture on his phone, “And what do you think of that?” (He holds up a picture of his wife’s bare breasts)

I’m pretty sure my doctor friend was speechless…



Another example of our wonderful patients. I’m grateful that they keep things interesting.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Basement redo

The week we moved in to our house, there was about a foot of water in our basement. It’s an old house and I guess that’s pretty typical for this area (although being from the desert of Utah, this was a bit of a concerning thing to me). We figured we would never be able to keep anything important down there (at least not on the floor) and combined with the low ceilings, steep stairs, etc, wrote it off as much more than a dank laundry dungeon.

We knew we needed to get the radon fixed. When we had a consultation for that, the man suggested waterproofing the basement. That got the wheels turning and after about one year of simmering on it, we decided to go for it.

Here are a few before photos.

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We started with installing a french drain system. Oh, and getting rid of the really awesome shower we had down there. What a sacrifice. To think we never had the chance to use it…

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It got worse before it got better. Then went the framing, electrical, insulation, sheetrock, etc. Choosing the paint colors was one of the hardest parts.

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We went for the green, which was a little scary at first…

And had to repaint the cabinets so they would actually be white…                                    2012-09-19 18.51.29

We were making progress and it’s amazing how something as simple as a laundry sink or a hanging bar for clothes can make you so pleased!

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And finally after weeks, it’s practically done! Because it is a basement we didn’t try to make it the most luxurious room in the house. We painted the concrete floor and left the ceiling exposed for the sake of ceiling height (especially for Abe) but I’m pleased with the result, especially when compared to before.

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So here’s the before and after results, side by side:

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Anyone up for laundry? Now we just need to figure out what to do with the extra space.