Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Slave Labor

Last weekend was like slave labor camp at our house. I volunteered to be Jim's assistant for the weekend, which ended up involving lifting, loading, unloading, and carrying large amounts of sheetrock from the Home Dep to the second floor; cutting and filing potentially toxic Wonderboard; spending most of my Sunday on the roof installing an exhaust fan; as well as a list of various other small projects involving physical labor and dirt.

I was really nervous to about the roof project. I'm not necessarily afraid of heights, but I am afraid of falling from the roof because I am clumsy and inept. I lack confidence in areas of balance and coordination. Getting onto the roof involved climbing a ladder, scaling over to the shed roof, them leaping onto the garage roof. That's three separate opportunities for me to fall to my death...ok, I don't think I would actually die but still who wants to fall off the roof!? It turned out to be a bigger problem getting down than up. I'll spare you the details but it was about 5 minutes of Jim giggling me with my feet tangling off the roof trying to figure out how to make my legs long enough to reach the shed roof without jumping, frog leaping, or bounding.

End result. After three attempts, the exhaust fan is installed and working, I conquered my fear of the roof, and proved my massive strength, agility, and bravery to my husband.

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Monday, March 21, 2011


"Every now and then go away and have a little relaxation. To remain constantly at work will diminish your judgment. Go some distance away, because work will be perspective and a lack of harmony is more readily seen. "

~Leonardo DaVinci

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spirit of the Irish

Ok. I didn't really start my day with green beer and sparkling beads. I actually wore a lovely polyester scoop neck blouse, cream cardigan, and a handmade brooch that Jim bought me for Christmas.
Being a doctor is serious business.

I spent the morning soliciting myself to other professionals, attempting to convince them that I am not a crazy witch doctor. I am in fact an educated, well trained, and licensed healthcare provider. Breaking through that barrier of misconception is the worst thing about my profession. I hate it. It forces me out of my comfort zone. But, I'm determined to educate the community and change our current healthcare system, so I do it anyways. The weather was beautiful and, with one exception, everyone was actually extremely nice making for a somewhat enjoyable experience.

Driving around with my window down, soaking in the spirit of the Irish reminded me of my trip to Dublin nearly a decade ago....

I really loved visiting Ireland. I felt like it was just as I imagined. Jolly Irishmen hanging out in bars all day long and into the night with only one law enforcement officer in the entire bar district just hanging out on a corner as people roamed the streets signing and dancing.

The countryside is green, green rolling hills, filled with flocks of sheep, castles, and random waterfalls...

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Anything special on your agenda for today? I'm starting my day with a refreshing green beer, a cabbage and corn beef breakfast, then covering myself in shamrocks and flashy, sparkling green beads and heading to the office. It's Ok if your doctor smells like beer on St. Patty's Day, right? It is a special occasion and I am Irish. I mean the dye the whole damn river green in Chicago, I can certainly celebrate the break of dawn with a green beverage.

May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven
half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

When did that happen?

I'm feeling old lately. I was trying to blame it on winter, but I think it might be that I'm actually old. My gray hairs are multiplying by the day it seems; I never get carded even when I hit the wine store in my baseball hat or random T-shirts that are probably inappropriate for my age; patients rarely comment on me looking too young to be a doctor, which was a serious and annoying epidemic for my first few years in practice; and I think I'm just looking a bit aged in all the recent photos of me. It's like baam!!! One day you just wake up, starring in the mirror, thinking "When did this happen?"

In the end it I know it doesn't really matter. Not to mention that I'm just happy to be given another day to enjoy. I really do have a great life. And, I have to remember that it's all relative. My 7 year old nephew has probably always thought of me as old; my friends in their 40s and 50s are just glaring at me, calling me a young pup, and thinking about being 30; and my dad...well my dad probably thinks I'm getting old too, but he's an extremely honest man and known for pointing out imperfections. He also gave me a pep talk when I was 21 about not waiting too long to settle down with a good man and start a family. I think I'm a bit behind schedule.

Anyways...for now I've committed to the gray hairs at least through the summer. Mostly because the thought of dealing with dying my hair is more painful than the thought of starring at a replicating number of gray strands, but I also know that the sun lightens my hair a bit and think that might help disguise it for a little while. Then maybe I'll have one of those super sweet silver streaks

Monday, March 14, 2011


Saturday night we skipped over to the to the other side of Philly to meet up with friends for a production of Mark Twain's, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at Peoples Light and Theatre.

The theatre is housed in a restored 18th century farmhouse surrounded by seven acres. I really do enjoy live productions and the old farmhouse setting added to the charm of the evening. The temperatures were warm enough to wait outdoors before the productions and attempt a few extended arm self portraits...

Last night we ended a day of work with popcorn and Fargo. Have you seen it? It's a Coen brothers film from the 90's and surprisingly neither Jim or I had seen. It's a crazy story line, which we were lead to believe it truth, but really isn't. Regardless, I really liked it and recommend watching it if you haven't already. It's free on NetFlix.

The accents really cracked me up. I've been pining for an accent of my own recently. There are a lot of lame accents out there that I'm happy to be without (i.e. North Dakota...which is apparently worse than being a damn Canadian), but just think how super cool it would be to rock out a sweet Russian accent...a girl can dream.


"Good luck beats early rising."

~Irish Proverb

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sofee Dog

Sofee is not the biggest fan of our bathroom renovation. She hates when we move furniture. She hates loud noises. She hates that the room formerly known as 'bed' is now off limits due to sharp objects and things a Sofee dog shouldn't eat.

She's an emotional lil pup and seems to be stuck between a state of anxious fear

and disgruntle depression.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pretty in Pink

Now that the kitchen, dining room, and living room areas are functional and under control, it's time to move upstairs. We took a little break over the holidays and were slow getting back in the swing of things in January, but in February we managed to get the office/guest room done (pictures to come) and have moved onto the master bath. Somehow I managed to take no pictures before the destruction started. Just imagine everything in this pink tile....

Personally, I hated this bathroom from day one. It's on the smaller side, which I don't really mind so much but the the whole bathroom was just kind of dark and dingy. The lighting was poor and the layout seemed a bit awkward.

The door from the bedroom opened into the bathroom completely blocking the shower. The first day we were in the house we actually couldn't find the shower. Jim and I were going crazy thinking..."How did we miss the fact that there's not a second shower. I could have sworn the listing was for 2 1/2 baths??"

Silly shower hiding behind the door.

old pink shower minus glass shower door

I've never actually used the shower (we found out it leaked into the basement) and was a little creeped out just cleaning it when we first moved in.

After a little demo work (two weekends worth) we discovered that the previous owners had really lowered the ceiling of the shower and closed in the sides. I think they were hobbits. So our new shower will be much more suitable for the vertically blessed Robinson family.

And I solved the door issues by having a pocket door frame installed by our contractor, George. So no more hidden shower and it eliminates any risk of getting slammed in the ass with the door while standing at the vanity.

Because it's a bit of a messy project and who knows how long it will take to finish, we vacated the master bedroom and are snuggled up in the middle bedroom. Which also gives us a chance to patch up a few things and paint the master bedroom without worrying about the mess.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

One batch of veggies

Sunday I roasted a large batch of veggies including zucchini, squash, onion, yellow pepper, carrots, and celery.
  • Cut veggies. Toss with olive oil and season to preference, 425 degrees 30-45 minutes
I served the veggies with black beans & basmati rice and a salad for dinner Sunday night.
  • Cook rice according to package direction (I use Trader Joe's). Add 1 can of rinsed black beans and a few slabs of butter. Mix. Season with salt & pepper.
I mixed the leftover veggies and rice/bean with 1 lb of ground turkey, goat cheese, and seasoning and made stuffed red peppers and served with roasted kale for Monday nights dinner.
  • Cut off the tops of peppers & clean out seeds. Stuff with ground turkey mix. Stand upright in crockpot and cover with spaghetti sauce. 4-6 hrs depending on your crockpot.
There was too much ground turkey so I smashed into patties and made turkey burgers lunch Served with blue chips and hummus.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Top with swiss cheese.

Bon appetit!

Monday, March 7, 2011


"To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear."


Friday, March 4, 2011

Story Time (*edited)

It's Friday. There is sun shining. I'm wearing pink with strips and a nice little flower....

Which means it's story time!

Actually it means that I'm trying to trick myself into being cheerful and not dwell on the fact that it's still so very cold out and I'm starting to have the transparent, death walking skin tone. But, since no one wants to hear me whine about winter another second, I shall entertain you, as well as myself, with some tales of old.

(* My maiden name was Stidd. Because I realized the story doesn't make sense unless you know that, but that probably means you don't actually know me in which case most of what I say doesn't make sense.)

A Case of the Flaming Stidds

It was the eve of my second trimester of chiropractic school and I was settling into a new house rented with several of my classmates. There was a welcome dinner on campus for the incoming class and I had volunteered to be mentor to help guide a new student through the strange and unusual path they had chosen. The house was very close to campus and a group of fellow mentors had gathered ahead of time to catch up on happenings over break and relax before heading over to the dinner. Laughter and chattered filled the living room.

I leaned forward over the pink pedestal sink brushing my teeth vigorously. My short mushroom cut curls hair tousled lightly over my face. I leaned further forward to move it away from my eyes. Spit, rinse, tap the brush over the edge of the sink in a routine pattern. A strange scent started to filtrate my nostrils. Standing erect, now staring directly into the mirror with flames bursting from the crown of my head. Screams developed from my gut before I even realized what was really happening. A crowd quickly gathered with hands and shirt sleeves covering their mouths to avoid inhaling the terrible smell of burning hair. Tears were streaming down my face as a patted away at the scorch area and chunks of curly, seared locks fell to the floor.

There had been a candle lit by my roommate on the ledge of the sink. As I was leaning forward my hair had fallen just enough to catch the edge of the flame. As luck would have it, the small bald and fire seared patch was easily covered by the rest of my thick, crazy curls. Expression of shock, terror, and disgust quickly transformed to grins of laughter.

Dinner came and went. The trimester instantly in full swing. An intense course schedule that allowed for no warm up period. The days consumed with hour after hour of lecture. Lectures filled with all the same classmates. The same faces that you survived the tortures of the previous trimester. The same people that you study with, each lunch with, and spend Thursday nights drinking $2 beers with at the one local bar. A crowd that clearly knows your business, like it or not. As class president, my business seemed even more available to the public, if that was possible.

As luck would further have it, several weeks into the trimester I was noted to be exiting classes on a frequent and urgent basis. Urgency that lead me to bounds of blood work, dietary changes, a gastroenterologist with a funny accent, stool samples, a colonoscopy, and a large group of people taking note of it all. Somewhere along the line a clever friend and fellow classmate recalled the night, only a few months before, when he stood at the doorway of the pink tile bathroom, gagging over the smell of burning hair. And it was born. An urgent need to relieve ones bowels otherwise known as 'a case of the Flaming Stidds'

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Waiting for comprehension

I'm currently reading The Brothers Karamazov by Fydodor Dostoevsky. I think Jim claims it to be his favorite book, definitely one of his favorite. So, I started it a few months ago but got off to a slow start. My reading time was limited due to work, holidays, and various other excuses and I was having trouble getting into the story. There are a lots of different characters with difficult to pronounce names and all of them also have nicknames, which just adds to the confusion. I stuck with it and now with a bit more time on my hands, I'm finally rolling and anxious to get through it. But, it's a looong one, which has caused me to neglect my miscellaneous reading materials.

My pile includes: the last 2 volumes of Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, you really have to be in the mode to dive into that stuff; the current issue of ACA News, more chiropractic stuff; the latest issue of Whole Living; several articles about herbal therapies given to me by my acupuncturist; and the stack of brochures and bookmarked websites about various models of boiler units and gas conversion.

Sofee dog is getting drowsy just looking at the stack...

Actually she just loves sunbathing. As do I. I just happen to prefer outdoor temperatures over 30 degrees. Which is why we have southbound plans for a Stidd family vacation to help us make it through this last stretch of winter. My goal is to catch up on everything and finish The Brothers Karamazov before vacation, which gives me exactly three weeks. There's just nothing better then mindless, trashy, and/or romantic novels while digging your toes into the sand.

Any recommendations?