Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving weekend recap

What a great Thanksgiving break! Here's a quick recap:

Thurs: Joe & I made complete Thanksgiving dinner. I was surprised at the amount of pride I felt welling up inside me as I looked at our kitchen table and the feast we'd made. It was a little challenging because, as renters, we are stuck with an oven whose temperature dial doesn't work and it's always a guessing game...but we made it! :) While our turkey cooked, Joe & I took Schatzi out bird hunting for a couple of hours and we got home just in time to take the turkey out of the oven. It was so tender, it fell right off the bones. After eating (and eating, and eating), we sacked out on the couch for an afternoon of movie watching: MI 3 (the best MI yet) and the Da Vinci Code (not as good as the book).

Fri: Joe had to work, so I decided to be industrious, too. I avoided the crazy shopping malls and wrote a paper. Schatzi is feeling better, so we went for a long walk around the neighborhood to burn some energy.

Sat: A lazy day with turkey sandwiches and an afternoon nap. Saturday evening, after Joe got back from taking Schatzi for a hike, I kicked his butt at Scrabble, which is always satisfying (especially since whenever we play Dominoes, I lose...badly).

Sun: After going to Mass, we loaded our bikes in the truck and took Schatzi for a bike ride/run in some grassy fields. was cold and windy, but great to be outside. Man, I'm out of shape! It's hard enough riding a bike when you haven't done it for awhile; it's even harder riding one in dirt and grass! Schatzi ran and ran, bounding over the sagebrush. Then, we came home and used our leftover turkey to make turkey noodle soup with homemade noodles. It was great! After eating soup, we had a fun evening at our friends' Erica & Ryan, drinking rootbeer floats and playing pinochle.

And now, we're back to the regular grind of school and work. Good thing Christmas break is only 2 weeks away.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving dinner

Joe and I are having our first Thanksgiving away from home and we decided to cook a whole turkey dinner to help us stay in the holiday spirit.

The Menu
Roasted turkey with a brown sugar dry rub and stuffing
Cranberry sauce
Spicy hot mustard (a traditional Kaufman condiment)
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Carrots with a brown sugar glaze
Homemade bread with butter and Karen Eddy's homemade jam
Spice cake (from scratch!)
Coffee ice cream
Egg nog
So, as a first time Thanksgiving chef, I've immersed myself in numerous planning guides with schedules and recipes. They all make it sound like quite the ordeal! Following Betty Crocker's orders, I've cooked the carrots, made the cranberry sauce, and Joe has rubbed the turkey down.
I'm looking forward to tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sick puppy

There are two types of nurses in the world in regard to their attitudes about sick people. The first type believes people aren't really that sick; after all, they've seen worse. The second type believes people are that sick; after all, they've seen it get worse. As much as I would like to belong to the first group of nurses, I tend to fall into the second and think the worst about every common ailment that comes along.

So, when Schatzi started settling down early this weekend and napping all day, I hoped it was a sign that she was growing up, but feared she was deathly sick (my crazy Brittany NOT want to play? She must be sick). Sunday, she started having diarrhea, trying to go to the bathroom, but couldn't and wanting to sleep outside (in addition to being eerily well-behaved). I whipped out my stethoscope and did an abdominal exam, finding nothing really wrong, but I was still worried that she might have a little bit of a bowel obstruction or something. Feeling confident (mostly) that she would be okay overnight, I decided to wait till Monday to take her in.

Turns out, Schatzi wasn't growing into the good dog we hoped she would be...she was actually sick. She was running a fever and didn't want to lick the vet's face off like she usually does. The vet said she had colitis and a urinary tract infection and put her on 2 antibiotics. So, now our daily challenge is trying to talk Schatzi into swallowing her pills and only eating rice and chicken until she gets better.

Today, though, she's starting to look like her old self. She slept inside for most of the night before having to go out for the early morning hours and she found her squeaky toy and is playing with gusto as I write this. She's easily distractible, barks at the neighbors, and is looking for new things to chew on. So, there's hope. :)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Shoot 'em up!

So, my Kaufman brothers are here and we've been having a blast. They got here Saturday night after a long day of driving and we had dinner with their college friend, Emma...who is currently a physical therapist student at ISU and is a great girl. We had a great time at dinner and later playing Mexican Train dominoes.

Today, we went to Mass this morning after a great breakfast of elk steak, biscuits and gravy (so long diet!) and then went out shooting for the afternoon. Schatzi joined us and enjoyed running through the grass and sagebrush, but soon tired (I think she's still exhausted after a week of daycare) and took a nap in the truck. We shot pistols, had mock shooting competitions and then the boys shot some clay pigeons. A good time was had by all...and I'm getting better at not flinching when I shoot. :)

Then, we did a little shopping and came home for some soup and freshly baked bread. The boys are heading home tomorrow, but I'm really glad they came for the visit (too bad it is so short) makes the week seem more like a holiday week than it otherwise would have (since we are staying here in Idaho Falls for Thanksgiving).

Friday, November 17, 2006

skinny jeans

Have you tried skinny jeans? It's a flash from the 80s and I've been trying to figure out how to wear them for a LONG time. Everyone was wearing them in Europe and I must have tried on 50 pairs. But, unlike those slender tall Europeans, this short, bootylicious girl just couldn't make them look good. (A classmate of mine calls them "womanly thighs", a phrase I like better than heavy thighs). So, I gave up.

But, now the trend has hit Idaho Falls (hardly the fashion capital of the world...a whole year behind the trend, but hey, if it hits Idaho Falls, then I really do have to embrace the fashion). I've found a lot of skinny high school girls wearing the trend with ballet flats, which looked awful on me, so I looked at some blogs online for tips. Tons of self-proclaimed short, heavy girls said they loved their skinny was just a matter of finding the right pair and balancing the line with boots to make the ankle look wider.

So, with my wonderful husband in tow, I hit the mall and tried on every pair of skinny jeans I could find. Too many low, low rise expensive pairs at Gap and American Eagle. I was about to give up, but found this pair of skinny Levis at Dillars...for only thirty bucks! And, I got the ankle boots at Old Navy for a mere thirty bucks as well!

I look a little wider in the picture than I do in the mirror, but I attribute that to the fact that I'm not a fashion model nor is my husband a fashion photographer. This jeans are really comfortable and actually help suck some extra flab in, too. It also looks good with a white button down shirt and structured jacket.

So, that's my new fashion find. Being around all these cute young Mormon moms has been pushing me to take more effort in my cuteness...which means doing my hair and make up every day...and buying skinny jeans. :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bird hunting

Joe and Schatzi had the adventure of their first bird hunt together today. Joe and his friend, Ryan, took Schatzi out to Deer Park, an old farm, and scouted for pheasants. The grass was much taller than Schatzi (and, in some cases, taller than Joe!), so she had quite the work out, bounding through the grass and occasionally standing on her hind feet to see what was going on.

They got one pheasant. Schatzi wasn't quite sure about the bird. After all, when it stands up, it's as tall as she is. She went to check it out after it was down, but got scared after it had a few dying wing beats. Once Ryan picked up the bird, though, she got close enough to smell it. Joe says she has really good instincts and was good at tracking birds, although they flew away before she was anywhere close to them. She needs practice, but there is hope! We're proud of our little bird dog. :)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Getting ready...

...for some fun Kaufman brother time! I have to say, I have been missing my two Kaufman brothers--Phil and Steve--for a little while now. It's been awhile since I've seen them and a longer while since we did anything fun together (I think since our Europe trip!). But all that is about to change because they are coming to visit us next weekend...whoo hoo! I'm not sure what we'll do, but I'm sure there will be plenty of beer drinking involved...and eating massive amounts of food. After living with Steve and Phil for the better part of a year, I coined the phrase "eating like a Kaufman" I'd better stock up.

Other than that, I'm doing homework (as usual). I'm glad the semester is winding down, but why does it have to be so busy all at once? Next week, my major project of the semester is due (is it done? well, no...), I have an intensive clinical workshop, a standardized patient exam, and 3 days of clinicals. It's times like these when I wonder why I haven't learned that procrastinating is BAD.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to my dear old roomie, Deanna! She's 26 today. Tell her happy birthday on her blog (

In other birthday news, Joe got his birthday present this weekend, even though he doesn't turn 26 until December 9th. (I'm a pushover). He's been shooting with a marksmanship group here in Idaho Falls and didn't really have a pistol to compete with, so he got a Glock 9mm to practice with. I told him it was his birthday, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwaanza, Valentine's...(you get the idea) present. :)

So, today, of course, we had to go try out the new pistol. I shot a little with my backpacking pistol, but thought Joe's 9mm kicked more than I liked. We tried to get Schatzi used to gun shots, so every time a shot was fired, we fed her a treat. She did okay, preferring to be inside the truck rather than outside. To the left is a picture of me with one of my targets, shot with my Smith and Wesson model 60 5-shot revolver. Joe wanted me to post this picture since he loves the dichotomy of his liberal wife shooting a gun. :) Can you see my 3 shots? I put a white piece of paper behind the plate so you can see the contrast. The taped holes are Joe's...he's still needs some practice. :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Stitchin' 'em up!

Ok, I really do have to take a break from my homework and tell you all the big news: I sutured yesterday! On a real live person! And nothing bad happened!

I've been simultaneously dreading and anxiously awaiting the day that I would be faced with the challenge of suturing on a real person. Last year, I went to a suturing workshop, where we learned how to do various stitches and biopsies, and then practiced those newly acquired skills on pigs feet. I struggled, but it was okay. I mean, you can move the pigs foot into whatever position best suits you, the pig's foot can't scream, it doesn't look up at you with tearful eyes, it doesn't jerk away when you inject it with local anesthetic. But, I knew it would be quite a feat (pun intended) to practice those skills on a living, breathing, concious person.

Yesterday, my preceptor came and got me from my little makeshift office at the clinic. We'd had a busy day and I just wanted to chart, but she said, "I know you're busy, but you don't want to miss this." A girl with 2 blue moles (one on her cheek and one on her arm) came in and needed them removed. So, I watched my preceptor punch-biopsy and suture the one on her face and then she watched (and encouraged!) while I did the one on her arm. Two stitches! Whoo hoo!

It's great getting that first experience behind me. Now, I feel like I could suture without any problems (even though, I have to admit, those two stitches were probably the easiest anyone would ever have to do). Watch out world...I'm ready for any lacerations that come my way.