Monday, May 18, 2009

My Rockin' Garden

I just thought I would share a few photos of my latest project. The stars have all aligned...finally... to provide me with a camera (with charged batteries) in the same place as the subject, so here goes.

These are still not very big plants, but these are my tomatoes, beats, Swiss chard, 3 types of lettuce, 2 types of cabbage, onions, celery, and spinach. We also have a few token pea plants that the birds didn't eat. Yesterday we added our baby pepper cute.

How sweet of a broccoli patch is that? I didn't even like broccoli, but I guess I do now.

These are all the baby peaches and cherries I pulled off my new little trees. My garden guru neighbor said that if you take off the fruit the first year, the tree will put it's production capabilities into the roots, branches, etc...basic structure so that the crop will be more productive next year. Isn't my cherry tree beautiful? I have ALWAYS wanted one of those.

These are the planters where my potatoes are going. It is sort of an experiment to see if we can grow them vertically by stacking tires up on top of one another. We'll let you know how it goes. Also in the background is one of my two new apple trees.

This is Andrew inspecting my beautiful grape vines that we just barely trellised on Saturday, just in time for them to accidentally get sprayed for weeds with the lawn and meet an oh-so-unfortunate demise. Start over? Dang! Otherwise, I have another five or six that seem to be doing okay. They are actually even starting to get little tiny grapes on them.

There you have it. The grand tour thus far. Stay tuned. I will try to update as things either move forward...or not. I suppose that "two steps forward and one step back" is still better than no steps.


Doesn't this look amazing? I cut these lettuce and spinach leaves out of my own garden yesterday. They are the first anything to get picked out of garden this year (besides the tiny fruit off my trees). They were so yummy. I put them all together for a salad for Sunday dinner. It looked so pretty that I couldn't resist the temptation to photo shoot (not shop). It's not every day that you get picture perfect bread and salad. I mean, come on. In fact, I don't think it has ever happened before at my house. Thanks for humoring me...those of you that are regular garden gurus.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I realize that I may be celebrating a tad early, but in order to earn my blog makeover (okay, I already did it - so much for delayed gratification) I have to post today rather than waiting until tomorrow. In any case, I am celebrating the fact that tomorrow is the LAST DAY OF CLASS for Tom in his first semester back to school. Whew!!! I can't believe he (we) made it.

I was going to a post a photo of the man, but he was concerned it would compromise the protection of his identity, and thus the mission, in this world of technosavvy teenagers. You know, can't have too much information out there on the world wide web.

I freely admit that we are crazy (insane), but right before Christmas, completely out of the blue, my husband decided to go back to school...full time...16.5 credit hours full time. That on top of his full time job, job as a scout master, and did I mention he's a joyful dad of nine? (Maybe joyful isn't the word he would use, but in any case...) We survived!

The semester was complicated by the fact that he was unable to get time off in order to go to class. He carefully arranged his schedule to go to whichever classes he could fit in on his lunch hour. David and I took turns picking him up from work, driving him to class (so he wouldn't have to find a place to park), picking him up, and driving him back to work. Some of his classes he couldn't get to, so I went in his place, took notes, turned in papers (that he wrote - just wanted to clarify), etc. His professors were extra accommodating and good to work with. One even came to our home twice to go over things with him and offer excellent suggestions.

Aside from Tom's studying and David's driving, this has truly been a family project. All of our kids have taken on the responsibility for most of the meals. Carmen took on Chamane's laundry, and Kirk did his share of extra little boys' loads. They've all pitched in by getting (sort of) their work done without being asked (as much).

All and all, it's been a great semester, full of all kinds of blessings. After finals, we will have a few silly days of celebration (cleaning our house and doing more jobs) before we start over. The best thing is that now we know we can do it. We know if we all work together, we can pull off a miracle in order to help our dad fulfill his dreams and goals. That's a pretty great family project!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sound Familiar??

Sorry, but I couldn't resist.

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of wastelands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc., etc.

-- The Communist Manifesto -- Marx

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Josh's History and Physical Examination

1. Subungual hematoma of the 1st finger, left hand.
2. Status post dyspilectomy and clipping. See link for details.

The patient is a 6-year-old white male who was brought in by his mother and seen in consultation for ecchymotic discoloration and mild tenderness of the subungual region of the distal phalanx of the 1st finger, left hand, secondary to blunt trauma. There is an area of subcutaneous bleeding in the proximal portion of the nail that measures approximately 4.5 x 4 cm. Patient is no longer experiencing any significant pain at rest. His mother states that she has no idea what caused the bleeding. Patient himself states "I'm just not that good with a hammer."

Past medical history is positive for head injury with epidermal sutures.

Mother's ambivalence is probably due to the fact that the patient lives with his parents, 6 brothers and 2 sisters. He does not drink or smoke. He does however work, vacuuming the floor in his family's home.



GENERAL: Patient is a well-nourished, well-developed white male in no acute distress.
HEENT: Pupils are round and reactive to light. Extraocular muscles are intact. Sclarae are clear, nonicteric. Tympanic membranes intact. Nares patent. Oropharynx clear.
NECK: Supple, without adenopathy. No carotid bruits are heard.
LUNGS: Lungs clear to auscultation. No rhonchi, rales, or wheezing.
CHEST: Heart is regular rate and rhythm, without murmur.
ABDOMEN: Slightly distended secondary to lunch x2.
EXTREMITIES: Extremities without edema. Regular pulses bilaterally. There is an ecchymotic discoloration over the dorsum of the base of the distal phalynx just above the lunula, measuring approximately 4.5 x 5 cm. No onycholysis is noted. No apparent avulsion of extensor tendon.
RECTAL: Deferred.

1. Subungual hematoma of the left distal phalynx of the 1st finger of the left hand, with good hemostasis.
2. Status post dyspilectomy and clipping.

Recommend treating the patient with Children's Tylenol 80 mg 1 tablet p.o. t.i.d. p.r.n. pain. It is felt that since there is no longer any significant pain, trephination at the base of the nail is not recommended at this time. Mother will bring him back if there is any further indication of infection or swelling. Otherwise, followup in my office in 2 weeks' time.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


This is David, my oldest son. Though it looks like he is practicing the piano, he is really performing a Russia. He has been gone for about a month and comes home tomorrow. Needless-to-say, even though he hasn't missed us much, we have missed him a ton while he has been away.

David has had the super cool opportunity to travel with his grandpa who travels periodically on church assignments. This trip he went to Yeketerinburg. He also got to go to St. Petersburg and even spent a day in Moscow, where he hopefully met my brother's fiance for the first time. By the looks of things, David has managed to stay pretty busy making new friends and performing recitals and firesides on the piano.

Even though he was a little nervous before he left, he seems to have adapted well. We keep reminding ourselves that "no news is good news." David isn't really the type to write home much, so we've been grateful for facebook. We can tell what cities he's visited by the comments and messages left by his new Russian friends.

Before he left, David had the pleasure of signing all sorts of official legal documents (i.e. passport, visa application, etc.) He even lost his drivers' license and had to go through all that again, all the while moaning about why on earth you would ever need a signature. Shouldn't you just be able to write or type your name? Apparently, since he's been gone, he has had some practice working on his signature. His autograph is in hot demand. I'm excited to see how much it has improved when he gets home.

He also looks like he's grown. Dang, he's tall!

Time for a Makeover

I have recently become reinspired in my blogging efforts (thanks Allie). I have been through a few months of crazy busy schedule - bad enough that I had to put a few things on the hold. Unfortunately, my blogging was one of the things that went by the wayside (along with showering), but no more. I am recommitting to follow the examples of my blogging friends and post at least once a week.

Now, that being said, I fully recognize that this blog looks terrible. TERRIBLE! In an attempt to fix the sad, sorry state of my blog, as well as post more...posts, I have decided to set up a reward system of sorts for myself. Here it is...(drum roll)...if I write at least one post per week, I am going to treat myself to a blog makeover. Just wait. It will be awesome. There is only one little problem. I'm not that great at computer stuff. That means I need some help. The only thing to do is to throw this dilemma out to all of you CUTE bloggers. I am now taking volunteers for anyone willing to help me with my blog makeover. In the event that I really follow through and post every week (or more), let's get together and see what we can come up with . It will be fun, but most importantly, I'll have a blog I can be proud of, and we all know that that is what really matters, afterall.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Only Difference by Panic at the Disco

I just thought I would show what David has been working on in his days and nights. He has pretty primitive equipment, hence why the audio and video aren't perfectly aligned. Just think what he could do with some serious stuff. Enjoy! (I would recommend watching in high quality.)