Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Car

We attended sacrament meeting today with my parents and siblings. During the last talk, the speaker was connecting pride and ingratitude. His example culminated in his sentence, "Have you ever said, `Have you seen the Johnson's car? What a piece of Junk.'"

We all started laughing (reverently). Of course, Nick and I and my family have all seen our car and to one degree or another, have thought "What a piece of junk." The most common time that thought crosses my mind is when the car won't start. However, for a 1992 Honda, it's doing great. We're grateful for it and love it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Trip So Far

We've had a great time on our Thanksgiving break. We spent Thanksgiving day with Nick's mom, and since Debbie is an excellent cook it was a particularly delicious Thanksgiving. Caesar came with us. He had a great time chasing and hanging out with Sophie, Debbie's dog. They both loved a rolled down window.

We spent Friday with Nick's dad and little brother, S. We watched S play a game of football with the neighborhood kids. He's the one in camouflage, so it's like you can't see him. S came with us to my mom's house for a sleepover, and we stopped at Temple Square on the way home to look at the lights. We're making good use of our too-short time here.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mopping, Part 2

I mentioned that something always happens to the floor right after you mop. I realize Saturday to Wednesday is not right after you mop, but I do feel the floor has been cursed this week. I dropped more things than usual. Moments before the incident pictured above, a spice jar rolled off the fridge and shattered on the floor. I spilled my spaghetti dinner. I would like to give Nick just a titch of blame for adding oil to the noodles, which aided them in their efforts to escape the containment of my plate. Heat was also a factor. You can't stop food that's too hot to touch. Just let it go.
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Caesar- We're Coming!

Caesar, cheer up! We're going to be there in the morning. We're going to have so much fun!

Actually, he's despondent because he's wearing a T-shirt. He does get very excited when we come for a visit, even though I think he's happy most of the time even when we're gone.

And Caesar, we promise not to dress you up in people clothes.

Caution: Totally Gross

I emptied my new vacuum for the first time, and took a picture of all the fabulous things it had caught in its trap. Nick was surprised and disgusted by how much of the ball consisted of my hair. I was disgusted but not surprised.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quick Photo Updates

I had a small back load of photos to upload to the computer. Now I can share my favorite moments with you. We attended the Ward Thanksgiving party on November 15. Nick and I made the recipe of green bean casserole that states it makes 54 servings. It took two #10 cans of green beans, six cans of soup, and 1 1/2 pounds of french friend onions. Pictured above is the most impressive jell-o layering I have seen in some time, which was featured at that party.
This picture is not from Halloween. It's from last week. When we went to the Mills (a mall here) we got Miss A a Crown at Burger King. She added the pumpkin herself.
The Douglas Family refinished the wooden floor in their dining room. When they moved in, it was carpeting, which was reportedly in bad shape. They tore out the carpeting to reveal a thick layer of glue. You wouldn't know from looking at it that there was a beautiful oak floor underneath. Now that it's all finished, it's gorgeous.
This is my lab experiment from last week. I distilled the essential oil from cloves. It took absolutely forever, but is really the only experiment that I've done that is easily explainable. After obtaining a very small amount of the essential oil, we ran it through the IR Spectrometer. I know you're all excited.
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Monday, November 24, 2008

End of Autumn

I visited the botanical garden on Wednesday, and these were about the only leaves left on any trees. After we had a particularly cold Friday, I'm convinced that almost all weather I would identify as Autumn is gone. Winter is upon us, but the then the high yesterday was nearly 50, so savor these above-freezing days while you can.

In the last couple of months, I've replaced my mop, brooms, and most recently vacuum (thanks mom). You'd expect my apartment to be really clean now. I'm working on it. Because the new vacuum has a hose, something I've always wanted, I've been able to vacuum in all sorts of places that had never before been suctioned. There are now no dead flies in the crevasse of any window, there's no build-up of dust between the slats of my banister, and my blinds have never looked whiter.

I also mopped the kitchen for the first time in quite a while on Saturday. I recently replaced the mop I bought when we first got married. I hated it from the first time I used it, and because I don't need to mop all that often I didn't do anything about it until now. I got the foam head roller mop from Costco. It's a huge improvement.
So after the semi-annual mopping, a garbage bag broke open and spewed junk, including egg whites all over the floor. Murphy's law I guess. But it is all cleaned up now and likely to stay that way for a while. But it does seem like things happen to the floor JUST after you mop. Last time, the morning after I mopped I had work men tromp through the kitchen when it was wet outside, so the floor was quickly dirtied with muddy footprints. The egg whites were way worse.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Just Can't Make This Stuff Up

Be sure to vote in the Utah Baby Name's Poll, boys edition.

A few weird things have happened to us in St. Louis, and today I have another one to add to the list.

I was with my friend Sarah who had just had her braces taken off (Hurray!) and we were celebrating with her first post-alignment meal. Sarah made a comment that the helicopters sure sounded loud today. Since Sarah and I both live near two trauma-one hospitals and two children's hospitals, you might be surprised by how many helicopters and ambulances we're accustomed to hearing in a day.

A moment later, I commented to Sarah that yes, the helicopter was really loud, sounding like a lawnmower just outside her window or like a helicopter just overhead. In that instant, Sarah leaped out of her seat as she pointed outside. I turned around in time to see a cop in a bullet-proof vest disappear out of the corner of the courtyard. (I'm not sure if he jumped over the fence or what.)

We moved upstairs, for a couple reasons. It stands to logic that stray bullets are usually not that high (we hope, but fortunately we heard no shots fired.) And most importantly, I wanted to get a better view of the action. Nothing more happened in the front yard, but several minutes later we saw the cops, all in the vests, haul off a teenaged-looking suspect in cuffs. The helicopter continued to zoom overhead for at least fifteen more minutes. I decided to stay inside until the coast was clear. Going to your car in the middle of a manhunt seems like a great way to be carjacked.

Mom, we're fine. We love it here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Greatest Disapointment of Nick's Life

Now, it's not exactly fair to say that Nick is a picky eater. You can definitely say he is a particular eater. In addition to the list of things/flavors he doesn't eat [pickles, beans, mustard, olives, tomatoes, etc] there is a list of things he eats only under special conditions. Top on this list is mayonnaise.

Nick would NEVER put mayonnaise on a sandwich, but he will eat Ranch dressing. Even though Ranch is 1/2 mayonnaise, he claims it doesn't taste like mayonnaise to him. However, for this discussion it is assumed he's talking about Kraft Ranch. No other Ranch will do. But now there's a problem.

Recently I bought a new bottle of Kraft Ranch. We had salad as part of dinner, and Nick kept double checking with me, "This is the Kraft Ranch? It doesn't taste like Kraft. It tastes like mayonnaise." Usually I would understand his paranoia, as I have made many generic substitutions to his diet. But I know that both macaroni and cheese and Ranch dressing must always be Kraft.

Despite my reassurance that I had indeed bought regular Kraft Ranch, he went to the fridge and got out the bottle. If Nick ever cried, I'm sure he would have right then, as he found the "New Fresh Taste!" disclaimer on the part of the label that breaks when you twist the cap off. He only had one dressing, and now they had taken it away. He's been in mourning ever since.

Today we went to Sam's Club and found ourselves in the commercial foods section as we gathered the ingredients to make 54 servings of green bean casserole for our ward Thanksgiving party tonight. Nick spotted their commercial Kraft Ranch dressing. The label was not the new design. The bottle made no claims of "Fresh New Taste!"
Just in case it is still the old Ranch formula that allegedly does not taste like mayonnaise, we are now the proud owners of one gallon of Kraft Ranch dressing.
Anybody having salad soon? We would love to share our dressing with you.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weekend Wedding

Saturday Nick and I attended the wedding of my former workmate. It was the first Catholic wedding I've been to. Everyone looked beautiful, especially the bride. It was really fun to see several of the nurses I worked with. While I've never caught myself thinking, "man, I really wished I was taking care of very sick people and had an overwhelming day at work," I do catch myself wishing I was with the nurses there. I met a lot of really great people during my time at St. Mary's. This picture is me with some of them (and the bride was one of the greatest, but Crystal is not in this picture so we'll mention her specifically.) Pictured is me, Micah, Kim, Tara, and Nicole.
The reception was in an art gallery, but I felt as if much of the art could have been done in a collaborative project between V and O.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chem Lab . . . Again

As I sat here preparing for tomorrow's lab class, I remembered I took pictures of my products from last week. Most of the time, all my hard work results in white flaky powder, no matter what the chemical is. This most recent experiment, involving halogenated organic compounds, resulted in yellow liquids with white precipitate. So exciting! My experiment tomorrow will begin with a liquid that looks like water, but isn't. It will end with a liquid that looks like water, and might be.
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Headstone Like This

My mother paid us a surprise visit. On Sunday we drove through the two enormous cemeteries north of the city. There were a lot of very large monuments. I'm sure a lot of it is Barre granite, our favorite. I found a headstone that I'd like for my grave someday. I've always wanted either an obelisk or a pyramid, and with an inscription like this, it's perfect. I don't know if I'd need mine to be 30 feet tall though. 20 feet might be tall enough.

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So someday, it can be said of me, "Errected by her associates as a tribute to her Genius."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Starting the Week Off Right

Last week was rough. I was sicker and more miserable than I can remember. I can't recall when I have been knocked down for a straight week by an illness before. Nick was on his night rotation for Labor and Delivery, so I didn't see a lot of him. He may have been home for much of the day, but he was asleep. As a result of illness, I missed class and have fallen far behind, and there's a test on Tuesday.
But now we get a fresh start as we begin a new week. I'm feeling so much better, even if I still have a loud forceful cough. Nick is back on a daytime schedule, so we can return to some sort of routine. I'm going to study A LOT over the next two days to get ready for my test. Things are looking up, and as usual, it all turns out OK in the end.
Thanksgiving is still weeks away, but I'm finding myself counting the days. We're both so excited to see family and play with our dog. We'll fly to Salt Lake on Thanksgiving morning and stay until Sunday. We're there for such a short period of time, we won't be able to visit everyone we would like. Luckily, we'll be back again for Christmas. It's the first Christmas in Utah since 2005, because this year I'm not going to be at the hospital working on major holidays.