Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Yesterday was an exhausting day. I only saw 8 patients, but each one was quite complicated and by the end of the day, both my nurse and I were exhausted.

But, I've been planning to paint my kitchen (Mom bought the paint as a birthday present for me), so I stopped by Home Depot on the way home to pick up some paint. Joe and I had previously discussed color choices, so I pointed to the color on the paint chip, the guy mixed it and away I went.

But, when I got home, I looked at the paint, looked at the walls, and looked at the paint again. The paint was the same freakin' color as the paint I already had on the walls!! I must have pointed to the wrong color on the chip.

Fortunately, Joe saved the day. He took the paint back to Home Depot, where the guy was nice enough to retint it for free. Moral of the story: Marry a good guy and don't buy paint when you are tired.

SPAM scam

Just wanted to spread the word about an email I received. I've received a lot of SPAM in my life, but this one I could not believe! I got an email from someone supposedly in the Catholic Church. The guy said I'd been selected to receive a $650,000 donation as part of the Church's efforts to raise the standard of living worldwide.

Being a Catholic and having some idea of the Church's financial picture (which is not great given all the scandals that have been happening), I knew this was not realistic. Why would the Church be giving away huge sums of money to an individual? AND, the email told me to send information to nun and not reveal any details about being notified about this money until after the process had completed.

So, I emailed the Diocese of Boise about this, and they were like, "Uh, no, not from the Church." So, I'm spreading the word!

Monday, August 27, 2007

A home for Stranger

Well, Stranger has left the Kaufman Home for Wayward Dogs...but she didn't go to the Humane Society. Nope, instead she found a permanent home with our friends, Rich and Melissa, who are opening up a bird range and were looking for a hunting dog. They were encouraged by Stranger's young age, birdiness, and sealed the deal when we all went out to shoot clay pigeons and found out she wasn't the least bit gun-shy.

We're glad Stranger has a home...and a future job of bird hunting all day!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Kaufman Home for Wayward Dogs

As mentioned before, we've taken in a third dog (temporarily). "Stranger" followed us home from a morning walk and has been our guest for a week and a half. After posting fliers, running an ad in the newspaper, calling the pound, and checking to see if she's microchipped, we've given up on her owners claiming her. I didn't want to take her to the pound because I was worried that they'd end up putting her to sleep. So, I contacted the Humane Society about our plight. Stranger is a great dog, smart, birdy...but she doesn't get along with Schatzi, so she can't stay here.

So, after an evaluation that proved she was adoptable (which, of course, she is), they agreed to take her as long as:
1. We gave her her shots.
2. We kept her for 7 more days until the shots became effective.

We're so thankful because:
1. The Humane Society will keep her until she is adopted and finds a home.
2. That home won't be ours.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

nurse practitioner---CERTIFIED!

I finally got the official results of my boards...and I PASSED! Not just passed, but in the 97th percentile!! :)

So, it's official, I'm certified and a full NP now.

San Francisco (continued)

More about our San Francisco adventure...

By Wednesday at noon, my brain was full, so I played hooky and met Joe and A. Gina downtown for some Vietnamese food. Joe and I shopped a little and then headed down to Pier 39, where we met up with Jason (my cousin) and Alma and their two kids, Elizabeth and Derek. (They must really like us...they made the 2 hour drive from Sacramento and braved SF rush hour traffic just to hang out with us for the evening!). It was brrr-so cold, so after a walk around the pier and a quick carousel ride, we headed down to Ripley's Believe It or Not museum, which was great fun. Derek thought Joe was the coolest thing since sliced bread (Believe It or Not!) and they had a great time together.

I decided I was not going back to the conference after all, since there was only a half day left. So, Joe and I kept up with our plan to eat our way through San Francisco and found Goldilock's Bakery, where we chowed down "Aunt Becca style" on pansit, kare-kare, and ensaymada galore. I was so full I could barely drive, but we made our way to San Jose to the Winchester Mystery House, which I'd wanted to see for a long time (ever since Tony Pehanich told me about it when we were in college). It was everything I'd hoped it would be, but it's not the sort of thing you need to see twice in your life. After an afternoon of walking around this winding mansion, I was exhausted and famished (and who wants to pay for a $5 hot dog at the WMH?), so Joe drove us back to San Francisco and we went to a delicious crab dinner at the Stinking Rose (as a testimony for my love of garlic), followed by dessert at Ghiradelli Square. Again, brrr! on the waterfront, but who can resist ice cream from Ghiradellis?


We decided to extend our stay a few extra days to see Napa VAlley and do a little wine tasting. We started at COPIA, which came highly recommended by Team Eddy, where we took a few classes on some white wines and a cooking class. The issue with these wine tasting classes is you have to drink a lot of wine (darn!), so lightweight Jen gets drunk a little quick. Fortunately, there was great food to eat and we were back to drinking wine and sampling food like pros. We ended up spending 5 hours at COPIA, so it became our only stop in Napa Valley, but we learned a lot about the fine art of pairing food and wine.

We packed up and got ready to fly home. Since we had 2 hours to wait before our flight, we put our newly acquired knowledge of wine and food pairing to the test and drank a great bottle of Sauvignon Blanc while eating calamari and rosemary grilled steak (great food at the SF airport...especially compared to IF's and Salt Lake's airports!). The wine was great and it made me sleep the whole flight to Salt Lake. We got back home close to midnight and enjoyed a good night's sleep in our own bed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco". --Mark Twain

Truer words were never written! But, in spite of the cool weather, Joe and I really enjoyed ourselves. Here is Part 1 of the blog series on our San Francisco trip.

We arrived in San Francisco to our lovely, lovely room at the Ritz Carlton. Being on a grad student budget for so long, you can imagine that we'd never thought it worth paying that 4-star luxury hotel price. Oh, my friends, we didn't know what we were missing! In spite of a few awkward moments (like when I had to ask the bellboy how much he usually got tipped...and then really push him to give me a specific dollar amount), we didn't act too Beverly-hillbilly-ish and learned to love our life at the Ritz: valet service with bottled water and directions put in our car; being greeted by name when we returned to the hotel; having our bed turned down for us and mood music on when we returned to our room in the's the lifestyle I was born to live! :) Thank goodness my generous office picked up the tab because this Ritzy life comes with quite a price tag! We decided to offset our big-spender style by donning our sweaters and heading out to eat cheap in Chinatown, where we found a great Vietnamese restaurant and spent less than $20 eating our fill!

Like a good employee, I attended the first day of the conference I was supposed to go to. While I was sitting in a huge ballroom, listening to speakers, Joe was out and about exploring the city. (It was his first time in SF and he became more of an expert on the city than I was!). He found a street named after some of our favorite people, a great pizza place for us to meet for lunch, and some pigeons enjoying the view of Alcatraz.

I sat through another day of conference while Joe got to play, but the evening was fun. We braved the California traffic (although it actually wasn't as bad as we feared) and drove to Milbrae to meet the Suals, who are relatives on my mom's dad's side of the family. The Suals have been the main reason for all of my previous trips to SF. A fun bunch of Filipinos who know how to eat and how to have just can't go wrong with an evening with them. We met them at a restaurant called Thai Stick, where we visited with Auntie Gina, Auntie Pinky, and their parents, Auntie Gloria and Uncle Mario. Auntie Gloria is hard of hearing, so she didn't participate much in the conversation, but I guess that gave her ample time to study Joe. Later, she told Auntie Gina to tell me that "that Joe is very, very handsome". :) Here's a photo of A. Gina and Joe on the left...what do YOU think??
Stay tuned...the rest of our trip is coming up!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Patience, people (AMY), patience!

Gentle readers,
I promise to post numerous pictures of our trip. However, our life has once again been turned upside down. We had a stray dog follow us home from our morning walk and we are trying to find her owners. No, I don't think we'll be taking a third dog into the Kaufman house, but she is a pretty sweet dog. :)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

San Francisco treat

Joe and I are in San Francisco for an AGA conference. We'll post pictures when we get home. So far, I've sat in seminars for two days while Joe has explored downtown SF (hhmmm...rough life, right?). Tonight, we're meeting up with the Suals (my mom's cousins) for dinner and tomorrow, we're meeting up with some Altmillers (Justin and Alma) in Valejo. My conference ends on Thursday, so Thursday afternoon, I'll be ready to play! We'll be checking out of our luxurious hotel (if you can afford it, you can't beat the Ritz Carlton...unfortunately, when my clinic is not picking up the tab, we can't afford it) and will be heading to a Quality Inn and spend a few days touring Napa Valley.

My goals for this trip: introduce Joe to northern California (it's his first trip to California ever), see the Winchester mystery house (something I've wanted to see ever since I met Tony Pehanich), learn some new GI stuff (my office might think I should list it as my number one goal), and eat, EAT, EAT all the great food to be found in an urban area. :)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A few more road trip pictures

We were happily surprised with an opportunity to meet up with Tony and Laurel in Seattle. Tony is a good friend from college and he married Laurel, who was both my friend and RA (and she never wrote me up for drinking underage in the dorm after that one Quadstock misadventure!). We just had time for a quick breakfast at Xena's, but it was great to catch up with them. I keep telling them they need a blog, but they haven't made the conversion yet.

Although our roadtrip had a sad purpose, we enjoyed our time with Team Eddy. Amy and I sat in the back, sang songs to Noah, played silly baby games, and slept while the boys sat in the front and talked about politics (of course...a red red Republican and a true blue liberal...who could resist??).

Band of brothers

On our trip back home from Tacoma, we decided to take the chance to visit Phil and the L-town Kaufmans. Being the lone girl among a bunch of boys is quite an adventure, but I love it! :) We stopped to see Phil and his apartment in Othello. He fixed us lunch and then took us out to shoot trap. Phil is quite a good shot and scored 23/25. Joe caught on quickly and ended up with a 22/25 on the last round. I came in last at 6/25, but proud of myself that I'd hit any at all. I still have a bruise on my shoulder from the recoil of the gun, but Joe tells me I should be proud and call it "my badge of honor". (I'm just glad I didn't end up with a black eye like the last time I shot clay pigeons; I chalk up my success to Phil's expert coaching this time). Phil also gave us a tour of the seed plant where he works. I didn't realize so much effort went into growing corn!

Then, it was on to Lewiston, where we arrived in time for a birthday dinner for Steve and Mom Kaufman. It was a good, but short visit. Jeff has been working full time this harvest and the crew is getting ready to wrap up harvest this week.

In Jeff's spare time, he has been riding his new dirt bike and he graciously offered to teach me how to ride it as well. I didn't make it past first gear, but Jeff was an encouraging teacher. He didn't even get mad at me when I popped an unexpected wheelie, crashed, and scratched his beloved bike. I fared okay in the crash, with just a few scrapes and sore arms...mostly a bruised ego.

Keeping up with this band of brothers is hard work and I've got the bruises and scrapes to prove it! But, I had a great time with my brothers, who were good sports about my newbie efforts, and I'll be ready for the next trap-shooting, dirt-bike-riding, brother adventure the next time opportunity knocks.