Sunday, April 29, 2007

Cleaning day

Tomorrow we are having our church home group at our house. I'm looking forward to it, but I have been cleaning like crazy today. We haven't had people over in a while, which is a pity. We have gotten out of our habit of having a family from church over once a month. It is always good motivation for cleaning house! :o)

I'm making the main dish and salad. I decided to do both a green salad and a pasta salad that I created and have made several times with raving reviews. I bought a bunch of chicken but I'm not exactly sure what I am going to do with it. It will be in some sort of marinade with rice, I think.

Here's what I put in my pasta salad (no specific quantities):
cooked small shells pasta
cooked salad shrimp
finely chopped
*green onion
*yellow bell pepper
*water chestnuts (rinsed)

stir in a small amount of mayo (not too moist)
season with salt and Mrs. Dash

The Lady's retreat was really good. One of Martha Peace's books was my reading assignment for premarital counseling. And I must honestly say that I didn't follow her writing style very well. But it was really nice to meet the woman behind the book and get to know more about her. Her passion is to teach women to think Biblically about the issues that come up in our daily lives. The four topics that she taught on this weekend were feminism, depression and anxiety, relationships and vanity. Always the focus was putting off worldly wrong thinking and renewing our minds to think according to Scripture. I also really enjoyed the interaction with women who were there. When we talk at church, we never seem to get to talk as long as we want, so it was nice to have less distractions.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Another busy day

Okay, are you ready for another day-in-the-life post? Ready or not here it comes:

I am really tired, but I just want to post something since it's been a while. This weekend is my church's lady's retreat weekend. It is held at a hotel conference area in the neighboring town (20 minute drive). So the problem is that instead of my usual 1/2 day (morning) of work, today I was scheduled to teach an afternoon class. On top of that, my department needed to have a meeting with all of us together at once. This morning was the best time for everyone. So that meant that even though I didn't have to work till the afternoon, I didn't get to sleep in since I had to be at the meeting at 8 AM. So:

6:45 - get up as late as possible (trying to get as much sleep as I could), get dressed, make my usual breakfast/coffee rounds and head to work.
8:00 - meeting with coworkers
9:30 - meeting is over. chat with coworkers, hug coworkers.
10:00 - go home and waste some time before I have to go back.
11:30 - get sleepy but realize that it is too late to try to take a nap now. Fix some lunch and eat.
12:10 - get ready to go, look around for my Bible so that I will be ready to go straight to the retreat after work, search for it in several rooms then finally take Denis' microscopic Bible.
12:30 - arrive back at work, prepare for class.
1:00 - patients arrive, check them in.
1:30-4:30 - teach class while being slightly disoriented by the fact that I'm not used to keeping track of the time going by with afternoon times (ie. I'm used to planning around a 10:30 AM break and how far I should be by then).
4:30 - say goodbye to the patients, answer last minute questions.
4:45 - clean up classroom, start to chart
5:15 - realize that I'm not going to be done in time to carpool with my friends to the retreat.
6:00 - finish with charting, complete timecard, check email, clean up workspace, lock up office.
6:30 - drive to the retreat, realize that my stomach is growling and I need to eat some dinner.
6:45 - go into a quickmart looking for something substantial and only find a Luna bar... Oh well.
6:50 - arrive at the retreat center thinking that I am terribly late and find out that I'm not! :o)
7:15 - regret that i didn't have time to go home and change my clothes because I feel sweaty and gross.
7:30 - enjoy the speaker and the company and have a great time visiting.
9:30 - drive home, take a shower, write on my blog.

I'm tired. I have to get up early tomorrow. I hope you're having a good weekend. Our speaker is Martha Peace. I will add a link to that later so you can find out more about her.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Dogwood Tree

We planted a baby dogwood tree last fall and it is flowering in our yard for the first time now. We both really love the look of a dogwood and we placed it where we can see it from the dining room window. Yesterday, we had rain showers and "sun breaks" - periods where it was beautiful and sunny. The above picture was taken during the rain and the following were taken outside during a sun break.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

It's been a week

Wow! It's been a week since I posted anything. Sorry about that.

Denis and I have been planning some trips for this summer. First, we are going to spend nearly a week in Portland visiting the friends we still have there and getting to some of our favorite city spots. We generally only get up there for a weekend here and there and never seem to have enough time. I imagine that a week won't be enough to time do all that we would like to do either, but it will be fun to try. This trip is in mid-May. On our agenda so far:

1. Going to Saturday Market to browse the handicrafts, listen to live music and eat from the food booths (it's always hard to settle on one choice).
2. Attending the Saturday evening church service that I used to go to regularly.
3. Have a meal with T and GMJ (hopefully sample some of GMJ's specialties).
4. A party with some of my coworkers from my last job before I moved here to Medford.
5. Eat at Le Bistro Montage (cajun) and Pho Van (vietnamese).
6. Ride the tram up to "Hospital Hill" (where the University, Veterans and Shriner's hospitals are all located).
7. See an IMAX movie at OMSI
8. See our good friends' brand new baby girl - she will be two weeks old.
9. Browse the trendy shops on NW 23rd Av.
10. Maybe catch some live music venues.
11. Stay at one of the quirky, historic McMennamin's hotels.
12. Spend some time with as many of our friends that we can fit into the week.

See how long the list gets? Oh dear... we are going to have to prioritize.

OH, the other trip is hopefully going to take place in July - a two week driving trip to Jackson, WY, Missoula, MT, Courdelaine Lake, ID and Yakima, WA. I'll have to write about that one later.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

How to give pill to a cat

Phoebe has kitty irritable bowel disease. Don't ask me why, but it causes vomitting in cats. The treatment is anti-inflammatory pills (prednisone). We generally go through a nightly pill-taking ritual which is a three step process:

Step one: grab your cat and position her so you have access to the mouth end. Have husband get a pill out of the bottle.

Step two: pry open cat's mouth and throw the pill in (preferably towards the back of the throat, or it will be too easy for her to retrieve it with her tongue and spit it out). Hold mouth partially shut with your hand so that her tongue range of motion is limited. If the tongue is thrusting forward, the mouth is open too far.

Step three: once a swallowing motion is detected (generally followed by lip smacking), give praise and reward with some scratching under the chin before releasing.

Monday, April 09, 2007

New Additions

Denis has been hard at work yet again putting in our latest picks for the garden. This is the rhododendron that we chose. It's called Minnetonka and it has lavender flowers with yellow throats. I picked it for the attractive foliage. I dislike rhodies with ugly leaves since the leaves are what you see all year.

And here is the groundskeeper, hard at work.

We also picked a hydrangea to go in the backyard. It is at the corner of our house where it has room to grow tall and wide.

The front yard plant of choice is nandina (common name: heavenly bamboo) . We got the gulf stream variety which is supposed to grow in a "mounded form" rather than tall and spindly like some of the ones we see around town.

These two pictures give you an idea of the layout of the nandina row along the fence with our neighbor. Denis measured the spacing to be exact. (He's a stickler with that stuff) It looks really great!

It is always so exciting to plant new things. We wish we could fast forward time to see what it will all look like in a few years when they are more mature.


This is what is blooming in our garden right now. I had some fun with the macro setting on my camera. My next post will be some pics of the new plants that Denis put in recently (with several of Denis at work just for GMJ.)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Been busy

Hello friends! I have been trying to combat laziness in my life and use my time more productively the last couple of days. (This is the fruit of reading the book Idols of the Heart with my ladies' Bible study group). I'm going to try setting limits for myself on blogging time and prioritize other computer tasks to do first before I get distracted.

Denis was off yesterday and today, so he's been getting some more yard work done. I took some pictures of the blooming flowers so far and I will make a slide show of them soon. He planted a new rose, a rhododendron and a hydrangea in the back yard last week. This week he's working on dividing and moving our daisies to the back yard along with some new purple daisy-like flowers that we bought. He's talking about cosmos and day-lillies so there's lot of moving and shaking going on in our garden right now. The clematis that we planted last fall is growing visibly taller each day. The sweet peas are climbing as well. Hopefully there will be flowers coming soon... The tulips are stunning - the red ones are taller than the orange ones and it looks like we planned it that way! Aren't we geniuses? The creeping flox smells really nice. Lilacs are about to bloom as well.

Anyway, tonight I have another Diabetes Association meeting. Tomorrow I work and I have some reading that I need to do in prep for the day. So I still have to-do's. Catch ya later.