Tuesday, January 27, 2009

January, check, February, . . .

Miranda posted a lovely blog entry about our ongoing gym time. She sums up my feelings perfectly.

(Oh my gosh. My mom laughed at me and Kristin in high school because we often dressed alike. This photo is going to make her chuckle again. I never noticed our dark pants, green jackets, and short, dark hair made us look so twinny. At least MY sigg water bottle is black. So there. We don't match :-P )

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Catching up 2009 in photos...

New Year's Eve was spent with friends playing Scene It on the Xbox. Jem was pooped well before midnight.

(bonus goofy dog photo)

My felted owl was dismembered by the beagle. I could piece him together again, if I ever have a stall in my craft queue to-dos.

I wanted to show everyone that for the most part I'm still cooking! Last week I made grilled pork kabobs from MS Everyday Food, they were alarmingly good. The warm weather afforded us a second night of grilling, so I made some pizzas. One has tomatoes, zucchini, and goat cheese, the other is more traditional with artichoke and hearts of palm (from Sunflower's marinated olive bar) with asiago cheese, marinara, and basil.

Last weekend I made angel food cake with lemon curd and blueberries. I made angel food cupcakes the week before for Cooking Club and they didn't quite work out. Probably because I didn't use cake flour, I halved the recipe, I didn't whip the eggs long enough, and I tried to bake them in cupcakes instead of a traditional round. They were still tasty, but not big and fluffy. This one makes up for them.

I finished my gloves right after break. I skipped blocking so I could wear them right away. They are super warm and soft. I might try to shrink them slightly in a warm bath.

I finished my beret with the yarn that I spun. My gauge was WAY off.

As Brian and I model, you clearly need dreadlocks to pull off this hat. So I ripped it out and started a different pattern. I'm not so keen on this new one either, so I might let the yarn hibernate so I can start working with the yarns I got in Ogden.

Saturday was a fantastically relaxing day. It started with a solid work-out with Miranda. I benched 45 pounds with 4 reps of 4! The first time we tried I could hardly do 4 singles. After lunch and Animal Crossing (duh duh duhhhhh, I'm addicted again) we took old Jemmer to the dog park.

Apparently we weren't the only one with that notion. There were so many dogs!

Later we met with the Walkers, Amanda, and Brian for dinner at Zaidy's deli. Zaley was into the sauerkraut hardcore.

Beautiful cakes and pickles...

After dinner we watched Stardust at Amanda's recommendation. FANTASTIC movie. I remember seeing trailers for it a couple years ago, and boy, did they miss the mark with their advertising. If you haven't seen it please go watch it! Between this and Coraline, I might have to start reading Neil Gaiman's stuff.

A goat chariot? LOVE it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Doughnut recipe

A recipe for making doughnuts from a patient who clearly uses meth and introduces herself, "Hi, I'm _____. I have bipolar. And I'm suicidal."

"You take a can of biscuits and cut out the centers with a ketchup bottle cap, you know, to make the little hole. Fry it up in a lot of oil and then roll it in a lot of sugar. Mmmm."

I thought that was a clever little recipe. Seems like something Joy from My Name is Earl would make. On second thought, maybe it's more of a Randy recipe.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Math fail

Good ideas =
A. Exercising after work
B. Eating ice cream at the end of a long day
C. Calling back the student you agreed to mentor (who left you a panicky voicemail) taking 30+ min to talk

Bad idea = [A + B + C / sleep] + needing to wake up at 5:45 am.

Back to the broken brain

I started my clinical for Mental Health today. I'm working at an inpatient facility that's part of the hospital where I did my OB rotation (but it's in a physically separate building). They have three units, one for severe-moderate psychosis, one for depression and other milder disorders, and one for chemical dependency. I'm working them in that order, so my first three days are with the craziest. Today was mostly orientation. In terms of "work" this will be a breeze. Mostly we talk to the patients, listen to their group sessions, and then watch movies or guest lectures with just us students. We have to do "Process Recordings" and NCPs (nursing care plans) but those are easier than doing prep sheets on patients the night before, like some other clinicals require.

Ok, I typed that first part right when I got home and was motivated to blog. Now it's almost bedtime and I don't want to hash out any more details. Let me sum up the night:

1) I spent 30 minutes coloring pictures at a table with genuine psychotics while we listened to Metallica.
2) Miranda and I made an unusual evening gym visit, squeezing in 15 min on the elliptical and 15 minutes of weights. Better than nothing!
3) ZOMG! I took Jem for a jog when I got home and I ran longer than ever before! I haven't lost any weight yet but I definitely have more energy and stamina.
4) Ugh, I don't want to go back tomorrow.
5) 30 Rock was awesome again. "That's just a white man myth, like Larry Bird and Colorado."

Monday, January 19, 2009

This morning

Shoes, originally uploaded by rachelsmason.

The school gave us MLK day off, basically our last vacation until we graduation in fourteen weeks (14 weeks!). So far I have accomplished:
1) one hour at the gym with Miranda
2) tracking down a lemon curd recipe using only yolks
3) throwing out old shoes because they were too worn out and/or the cat barfed on them

I'm down to 29 pairs of shoes, not all pictured, and not counting various ballet slippers. You can't really see but on the top rack at the far right end are my newest acquisition with Christmas money, patent leather black pumps. Here it is online, but mine are shiny.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

3rd place, not bad

Monday I went to trivia, since my Tuesday classes are in the afternoon I have no need to hurry to bed. We were a small team but we pulled form 7th to 3rd place throughout the night. Nate has a funny face in our picture. (Apparently that link is busted. I think you can see our pic here but the post has to be manually found on their blog, scroll back to date 1/13.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I wish everyday was Thursday

Jack Donaghy: The Quiz

Score: 87% (13 out of 15)

I' m ashamed, but this was sort of hard. The had good false choices.

School and Ears

Aw, you guys are all so nice! Thank you for all the compliments, solicited and not. I'm a lot better at styling now and it's grown out just slightly how I like it.

Back to school, Mental Health to be exact. What a breeze. The teacher might be a nut but the material should be fairly simple, so I can work with her. My Roles class should be very helpful for resume building and getting a job. The cool thing about my schedule is they shifted T-Th classes to the afternoons, so I have the mornings to continue going to the gym.

As promised, here I am getting my ears pierced at The Retina Center. This might be the most sterile ear piercing ever performed.

We spent a good deal of time getting the placement right. Because of my gimpy left ear it was tricky to determine what looked the most centered and symmetrical. Then Mom and Dad took out an array of needles to determine what the best gauge would be. We started with the easy right ear, numbing it with ice.

The needle easily went through. The red is the iodine, not blood. Unfortunately the needle was too perfect of a match with the stud, and we needed something larger to work the stud through. After a second poke and a lot of wiggling the stud around my ear hurt. The ice had worn off and re-icing only stung it more.

So here I am getting a happy anesthetic shot for the other ear. Here's the larger needle in the left ear. Pain-free this time.

Mom jumped in to assess and make sure the stud was straight. Ta da! Pierced ears. We did a final check in the mirror and determined they were just about perfect.

Friday, January 09, 2009

It stops now

BEFORE------------------------------------------ AFTER

I need to know: is my new haircut that bad?

One week ago I went to a new stylist and she chopped off most of my hair. The only comment I have had is from Brian, who said, "Whoa, did you cut off a bunch of hair?" Aside from that I have had no feedback.

Now, I'm not so vain that I need everyone to ooh and aah. But usually you can expect a few nice words after a new style. Which leads me to believe that my new hair-do must be SO horrible that everyone is pretending it didn't happen.

Okay, okay. Probably no one has said anything because it was snowy the day after so I had bad hat hair, then I got sick and didn't do my hair or even lip gloss for four days. But that is over! So the next time you see me I could use some reassurance.

Peace out.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Not so clever cat

This has changed my life:

Dubbed the "Clever Cat" litter box, it's a top-entry poophouse for your cat.

Molly never grasped the concept of putting her bum inside the litter box. She prefers hanging her tail over the edge while sitting in the box, presumably thinking that all four feet are inside the box and that's good enough. After having her for a couple weeks I bought a box top to create three walls, but she still managed to dribble out the door flap occasionally. So I come in every couple weeks to clean up the spilled pee. (Yes, I put a mat underneath but still. Gross.)

Years later I find this box. FOUR walls! She adapted right away and we have been mess free for a week. I don't know that the fancy top mat with hole is necessary. Once I set it up I realized I could have bought a large rubbermaid tub and it probably would have worked just as well. But the idea of catching her with her head poking out makes me laugh. Sort of like this rest stop we used to visit in Wyoming or Utah on our family roadtrips. The stalls were short so you could see your neighbors' heads while peeing, like this:

Monday, January 05, 2009


How come I'm finally wide awake now that it's time to go to bed? I skipped trivia because of this and now I hardly feet sick? So not fair.

Saturday is all-appetizers cooking club and I have no idea what to make. Someone should point me to some links.

My favorite time of year

I love going home to my parents' house in Grand Junction for the holidays. There's good company and food, comfort and support, and time sort of stands still. With a week and a half left of school vacation I forced myself home New Year's Eve, a blessedly uneventful drive. A Saturday night itchy throat turned into a full blown head cold Sunday morning. Today I'm feeling on the mend with the help of chicken soup, sprite, and a mountain of moist tissue balls. Ick. Last night around 3:20 AM when I got up to get a warm washcloth for my head I decided that today would be my computer-working day. I would upload photos, blog, look for a good note-taking iphone app, upload music and movies, and update my resume. Here are some select photos, the rest will be on flickr shortly. Some were taken from Ben's flickr photostream.

The snowy view from my the back balcony. Those criss-crossing tracks are from the deer. They swoop in at night and nibble in the garden like it's a salad bar.

There was a lot of this. And waffles.

After a day in GJ we drove up to Salt Lake to visit family. Grandma made a feast for our arrival. The next day we had a heavy winter storm. I read a book and knit the day away. Ogden offered a nice knitting shop where I got some gorgeous yarn. We had to stop at the Arctic Circle for fries with fry sauce on the way home. By night the roads were clear enough to see the Temple Square lights. They have the best tree lights. No one else knows how to wrap a tree so well. At the end of the night we met Andy and Jen at a french bistro where I had a wonderful beet and goat cheese salad. I'm going to try to recreate it at home this week.

We were back in GJ for Christmas. Andy came down too with Linus. Ben drove over from Denver with Jem, so my parents' house had two cats and two dogs. They behaved surprisingly well with only a few claw-fights. Ben's mom had trouble coming in from Maine because of winter weather. Richard drove her over the mountains late Christmas morning. We opened presents at my folks house on the 25th and at the Masons on the 26th.

I love sharing presents with my family. I like to give handmade gifts when possible. My folks always have a few surprises for us. I knew that we would be getting iphones for Christmas (and I LOVE mine!). But they also found a 1940s nurse's cape and a vintage copy of Julia's Child's French Cooking book. Mom, Amanda, and I have been passing around Child's memoir "My Life in France" all year. It's so funny to read the final recipe book that she spent so much of her life trying to perfect.

The biggest surprise came from Ben. He presented me with a box of sparkly earrings and a card that read "I changed my mind." I've been thinking about getting my ears pierced for months and the only thing holding me back was Ben's insistance that he liked the fact that I didn't have pierced ears. With his go-ahead I had my ears done at the Retina Center. More pictures to come in a later post.

Grandma came down a few days after Christmas on her way to St. George. She helped me figure out how to use my cheese making kit that was under the tree. (Note the lovely anthro apron from Amanda, that has it's own apron! Oh, the cuteness!)

I tried to make the scones from Cooks Illustrated twice. This second version with blackberries and candied orange peel would have been perfect if I'd pulled them out of the oven a bit sooner.

I was able to get together with old friends to catch up.

Funny, it feels like I did so much more than I have pictures to show for. Oh well. Like I said, good food, good friends and family, lots of games and sleeping and knitting. What more could I ask for?