I will be gone to Salt Lake City all next week. Going to attend some required school classes. Also, I will spend several days working with a physician who might hire me if I behave myself and demonstrate that I have some semblance of intelligence. That is going to be very, very difficult. So to concentrate on the task at hand, I am not going to blog while I'm there. And to cope with the withdrawal, I hope to eat at some great restaurants.
See you soon....
Photo credit: Justin Hackworth
Every day except Tuesdays, I go to clinic and see children and adults who want help with their healthcare. Sometimes the doc can help. Sometimes he/she can't.
And sometimes, it seems like as a patient, you are put through so much trying to get to the bottom of things and/or trying one treatment after another that you begin to look back on your original complaint with fondness.
Being a good provider has a lot to do with having a good patient. Learning to be an effective patient is of tremendous help to the NP or MD. So...coming in a future post: Patient tips to maximize the NP's ability to accurately diagnose the problem while minimizing the discomfort.
Scarf from Anthropologie
Are you loving this season's saturation with scarves? A scarf is about as versatile as an Idaho spud. There is no doubt that a great scarf can give any outfit a perky lift (true... the bigger the perks, the higher the lift).
Enjoy this video from Brandi who shows how to tie a scarf. And makes me laugh.
Scarf Conversations from Brandi Wilson on Vimeo.
Winter is definitely time to think about skin care because of the dryness in the environment. Especially here in the desert.
To adequately moisturize dry skin, you should apply nearly an ounce of cream or lotion to your body each day. Most moisturizers come in 8 to 12 ounce containers; therefore, you should be using up your moisturizer within about 2 weeks. This can get expensive, especially if you use the fancy schmancy types. So, here is some info from a dermatologist that I found helpful:
Skin Care Secret #1: All Moisturizers Are Created Equal.
The most important factor in how well a moisturizer works is not its special berry-juice-fish-oil-rare-tropical-flower-$15-dollar/ounce-ingredient. The most important factor in how well a moisturizer works is how you use it.
True, some moisturizers contain alpha hydroxy acids, humectants, or silicones which help soften, moisturize, and protect the skin respectively. However, any moisturizer, even simple mineral oil, can accomplish the basic tasks: 1. lock moisture in your skin and 2. provide a layer of oils to protect it. The important thing is to use it correctly.
1. Take a shower with warm (not hot) water. Use only non-soap cleansers, such as Dove, to wash. Real soaps strip natural oils off your skin unnecessarily.
2. Dry off by patting your skin with your towel.
3. While your skin is still damp from the water that has soaked into its absorbent outer layer, apply a thin coat of inexpensive moisturizer, such as petroleum jelly.
4. Repeat everyday for two weeks. You should go though at least one jar of petroleum jelly in that time.
5. After two weeks look closely at your skin. You will notice that it is smoother, healthier, and even younger looking (dry skin will wrinkle more easily and dull skin always appears older).
Using generic petroleum jelly will cost $4.00 each month. Compare this to other popular moisturizers, such as Aquaphor, which would cost about $43.00 each month. Over a year that amounts to a savings of $468.
If you happen to have been using Creme de la Mer, ($130 / ounce) using Vaseline would save you $40,560 a year. You could buy a new Mercedes with that kind of money.
How much is your moisturizer?
Info from Dr. Benabio @ The Derm Blog
In a few short days, an African American man will move from his private residence into a much larger and infinitely more expensive one owned not by him but by the taxpayers. A vast lawn, a perimeter fence and many well trained security specialists will insulate him from the rest of us but the mere fact that this man will be residing in this house should make us all stop and count our blessings - because it proves we live in a nation where anything is possible.
Many believed this day would never come. Most of us hoped and prayed that it would, but few of us actually believed we would live to see it. Racism is an ugly thing in all of its forms and there is little doubt if this man had moved into this house fifteen years ago, there would have been a great outcry - possibly even rioting in the streets. Today, we can all be both grateful and proud that no such mayhem will take place when this man takes up residency in this house.
This man, moving into this house at this time in our nation's history is much more than a simple change of addresses for him - it is proof of a change in our attitude as a nation. It is an amends of sorts - the righting of a great wrong. It is a symbol of our growth, and of our willingness to "judge a man, not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character."
There can be little doubt now that the vast majority of us truly believe this man has earned both his place in history and his new address. His time in this house will not be easy - it will be fraught with danger and he will face many challenges. I am sure there will be many times when he asks himself how in the world he ended up here and like all who have gone before him, the experience will age him greatly. But I for one will not waste an ounce of worry for his sake because in every way a man can, he asked for this. His whole life for the past fifteen years appears to have been inexorably leading this man toward this house. It is highly probable that in the past, despite all of his actions, racism would have kept this man out of this house. Today, I thank the Lord above that I am an American and I live in a nation where wrongs are righted, where justice matters and where truly anything is possible.
Click here to see a picture and finish the story...
Guys are biologically capable of keeping track of huge numbers of television simultaneously by changing the channel the instant something boring happens, such as dialogue.
Whereas women, because of a tragic genetic flaw, feel compelled to watch only one program at a time, the way people did back in the Middles Ages, before the invention of the remote control.
Taken from Classic Dave Barry Calendar
Wanna get prepared for ______ (fill in the blank with any type of calamity) but overwhelmed at the thought of how much there is to do and buy? Why not do a little at a time. Here is a website which will email you a baby-steps checklist every two weeks. If you follow their plan, you will live happily ever after.
It's a peace of mind thing.
And you will have gathered the life essentials of wheat, rice, flashlights, water, etc. I'm just really praying Hot Tamales made their list.
Photo credit: OC Register and photographer David Prince
I didn't get my craft room in the garage organized like I wanted to before school started. That darn University wouldn't put classes on hold for one more week so I could finish. But I did accomplish a great deal. Every cupboard in my house has been de-junked, along with my bedroom, hall closets, half of the garage, and storage room. In the process, I categorized the items to giveaway into piles for DI, the dump, neighbors and Craig's List. I decided to sell some things and start saving up for a new camera with my earnings. (Mine, very rudely, broke.)
I am so happy with the way it makes feel to have things clean. Now I know where anything is at any given moment (if I can just remember where I put it!)
Here are a few more tips I have incorporated in this process:
1. I put some items, brand new nice items and silly items in a plastic container and labeled it "The Giving Box." Now when I need a last minute gift or even a not so-last minute gift, I will check that box first. It consists of brand new books, journals we haven't used, art pads, photo albums, etc. There are also some things in there that will be perfect for white elephant time!
2. Got some darling decorative jars for things such as buttons, ribbons, etc. They look darling on a display shelf and serve a functional purpose as well.
3. Put my spices in a drawer instead of a kitchen cabinet. I labeled the tops of all my spices with a sharpie marker. And alphabetized them, of course! Now I can see at a glance what spices I have instead of having to hunt for spices clear in the back of the cupboard. This is so handy! And should cut down on duplicate purchases. (I'm not a spice rack type of gal. I don't like things like that out on my counters or walls)
4. We put a hanging file folder on our kitchen counter with a folder for each person as well as a folder for coupons, medical records, etc. This has been a huge help with the paper beast. We also purchased a shredder and open the mail when it arrives, helping to keep down on the piles of paper.
5. Use a P-Touch Labeler. I love that little machine!
Now, maybe we should go stay in a hotel, so it will stay clean for at least a week.
For other storage strategies, read here and here.
On New Year's Eve, Otto and Andy, (age 14) were going to their first dance. Daisy Fish (16) and Big Fish (18) gave the twins dancing lessons before they left the house. Big Fish said: "You have GOT to know how to do the Thriller dance!"
It was so tender and touching watching my kiddos dance together, laughing and enjoying one another. I practically ordered Celeste, our friend, to take a picture. Thanks Celeste!!
Once in awhile, the Fishies take a break from their arguing to have a little a fun!
New Years Eve, 2008
I have been thinking (and singing with glee...) about some of the wonderfully nice comments made on this blog. (I've also been singing with glee because I used the word GLEE. I mean, when is the last time you saw that word used?)
This positive feedback helped to me to realize two things:
1) You people are really suffering from some sort of chocolate deficiency
2) It's time to tell you a few things about myself.
Because I don't deserve to be put on anybody's pedestal, or even the bottom tier of a triple-tier dessert plate. So for those who think I accomplish a lot, you may want to re-think it after hearing this:
1) I haven't kept in touch with my best friend from high school
2) I don't grind my own wheat
3) Phone books are almost the only thing I recycle
4) I don't compost and I don't stew tomatoes
5) My house is not very decorated
6) I hardly ever floss
7) I often choose homework over cleaning
I do however get my annual mammogram and you should too!
So, there you have it. A non-inclusive list of my inadequacies. Actually, I have so many shortcomings, I could star in a movie called Pygmy People. But isn't it wonderful that we have all been given a slice of something or other in the talent fruit basket? We all have something delicious to contribute! (Now don't go on and think what I think you're thinkin'...that some of us are more fruity than others! Just leave that kind of thinkin' to fruit analysts such as Rush Limbaugh)
Thanks again for your love and support. I hope that we continue to be friends even though you now know my dirty secrets.
Photo credit: ccharmon @ flickr
For now, it's recipes I've made....
I really loved the earthy and aromatic flavor of the Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. And the Lemon Curd Marbled Cheesecake was creamy and decadent with a perfect tang of lemon.
The Onion Straws are a classic favorite. I liked the Bacon and Squash-filled Crepes. Second and third helpings were in order with Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup. I made Pumpkin Waffles with Apple Cider Syrup several times they were so delish and have great fall flavors. Can't beat the slow cooked comfort food of Beef Stroganoff. Roasted Broccoli with Raisin Vinaigrette is a new favorite. Or Lemon Fettucine with Broccoli and Pancetta Croutons. I loved learning how to make Artisan bread...so easy and has a tender, flavorful middle with a crusty outside.
But if I knead to pick a favorite....the one that rises to the top and is raisin' the bar for next year's competition is:
Makes the best toast in the whole world. And I'll share that thar recipe if'n ya just go on an' ask me. (Editorial note: If you are a wonderin', Grandma Dorothy isn't a cowpoke or a hillbilly. She's a mighty fine women, whom I love dearly. I just wanted to write in an accent for no particular reezon, other than it is late at night, an' I sure am wantin' some carrot-raisin bread in the 'ole tumtum. So I am fending off the stress of not having some by gettin' silly! But I don't recommend that as an eeffective means of dietin'. There's no way to silly yourself skinny.)
In those days of car trips, we were not held hostage by DVD's or hand-held video games. So as the traveling minutes turned to hours, our creative juices waned. The license plate and ABC game had been played to exhaustion. To spice things up, I decided to reveal a secret I had been keeping from my brothers since 1968. I was an alien; a true, through and through, real space article sent to spy on them. My brothers will deny it, but they believed me for 32.5 seconds. But then the intelligence, wisdom and discernment kicked in and Justin began to argue saying that I was not an alien. Thanks Justin for believing that your sister wasn't alien-strange. Little did Justin know, that strangely enough, this gave me comfort and I loved him for it.
Then there was the time that David Johnson was bullying Justin. David tried to overcome the fact that he lived in a baby blue house by being a big tough meany. And on this particular summer day he tackled Justin down onto the pavement of our driveway. I can't explain what happened inside me when I saw Justin being beaten up. I had not ever felt that way before, nor since. Like the ability of rising bread dough to pop off a lid, my fulminating anger propelled me to actions not normally in my behavioral library. I ran over to David who was on top of Justin and began pulling his hair as hard as I could. Astonishingly, David didn't flinch. Even more astonishingly, I yanked harder all the while wondering where my violent streak was coming from. I continued to do some other things to David that I am not proud of, but it serves to illustrate the responsibility I felt to protect my younger brother. I felt a deep love for him then, and it has only strengthened through the years.
Justin has always had a fantastic sense of humor. One year when he was away for Christmas, living in Indiana, he sent home a Christmas card that showed him wearing a messy toupee. The caption read, "Hair Piece on Earth."
Yesterday was Justin's birthday and more people sent him birthday greetings on Facebook than voted for Ross Perot. Not only does he have a strong magnetic appeal, but he has a way of making you feel special and a way of making your ribs and cheeks ache from laughing so hard. He is a successful businessman and photographer and has found a way to make a living while acting out his passion. He is sought after for his expertise. Just yesterday, a highly popular blog interviewed him for photography tips. Read it here. He is dependable and disciplined. For example, for one year he took a picture of himself every single day. **Update: Correction - Justin did the daily self-picture for 5 1/2 years without missing even once.
My brother is my idol in every way. In fact, both my husband and I think so highly of Justin, that we named one of our sons after him. Justin invests in people, relationships and friendships and that is something that I too often place on a lower rung of my ladder. But his example reminds me that in the grand scheme of things, it is our connections with people not acheivements that ultimately govern our happiness.
Happy Birthday Justin!! I honor you and am in awe of you!!
PS: Check out Justin's work here.
1975. Ferris (Justin), Reggie and Ms. Fish. Incidentally, you can see the baby blue house in the background.
I still get a kick out of Click and Clack on Car Talk!! (I've been listening for years!)
And who doesn't love the Onion! (Well... Ted Kennedy might not)
Pizzeria Seven Twelve.
Located in beautiful Provo, Utah.
Introduced to me by my shutterbug brother. I'm dying to try the butternut squash and feta pizza.
Greatest Game Ever Played (golf? interesting? I know, I was shocked myself. Camera work was awesome!)
The Namesake (loved everything about this movie. It is basically a string of stills strung together. Beautiful photography. Nicely done story).
Holes (I just keep going back to this movie. What a classic...great lines, memorable characters...original story! "I ain't on stupid pills!")
Miss Potter (Sweet. I even tolerated Renee Zelltailwagger)
Amazing Grace (Fun to see early American history from England's point of view. They had great men leading their country as well!)
World Cup Soccer Highlights
Count of Monte Cristo
Movies I hated: (these don't deserve a link)
The Dark Knight
Documentaries I enjoyed:
The King of Kong
All around fun: photography, cooking, design
The Pioneer Woman
Computer / Graphic Design
Web Designer Wall
Music Notes (sheet music downloads)
Royal Noodle Picture Company
See Jane Work
Daisy Fish. She won $75 dollars to spend at Classic Sports yesterday at school. See, that is what I have been trying to tell my kids all along: Getting an education pays!
Congrats super-girl. Fun, fun!
For Christmas, Ms. Hack gave Ms. Fish a Dave Barry calendar. It's not aesthetically pleasing like this calendar, but it pleases the funny-bone (which is somehow connected to my wish-bone, because I wish I had the ability to be funny like DB.)
Luckily, my blog is going to be the beneficiary of some of the funny dailies that are too great to tear off and throw in the trash! (But I AM throwing them in the trash. I'm on a de-cluttering rampage remember?)
The University of Oregon team nickname is the "Ducks," which led to the following actual headline in the Seattle Times when an Oregon women's team lost to a team from the University of Washington (the "Huskies"): HUSKY WOMEN SUBDUE DUCKS.
I am NOT kidding about the Arson Cat. According to an Associated Press story, investigators conculded that a house fire in Lima, New York, was caused by "a cat playing with matches," prompting us to once again ask ourselves, as concerned citizens, WHEN is the government going to come to its senses and order the mandatory sterilization of ALL cat owners?
Photo credit: d.Sharp
I saw this on a blog today and really liked it. It is a cool phenogram. I like the idea of metaphorically and literally filling my head with those things I want to work on improving.
Besides the ones mentioned, an additional thing I would like to do this year is to spend less time in frivolity and more time in matters of significance. I'm curious...which category does blogging fit into? Thoughts?
Food Storage Sites
Everyday Food Storage
Food Storage Made Easy
The Derm Blog
Sumer's Radiology Site
Bring the Rain
Mrs. Olsen, I Presume?
Oh Happy Day
Sarah's Cucina Bella
My Baking Addiction
The Hungry Housewife
A Year of Crockpotting
Floggers (a term I use for to describe family bloggers)
I ain't on stupid pills (no playing favorites here.... I'm an equal opportunity family supporter!)
Froggers (a term I devised to mean friend bloggers)
Here I Speak
Enough is Enough
by Ms. Fish
One day I thought, I've a problem to face;
a serious situation of having no space.
It's really not your fault, or my fault you see,
STUFF has snuck in while we've all been asleep.
Well...ok...I have helped this predicament some.
For when there's a sale, you can bet I will come.
For example, think of the school supply sale each Fall
with the pencils and folders and markers and all.
Why! notebooks are always on sale for a dime.
I can't pass that up! I buy eighty nine.
A bargain is something I love to have struck.
It gives me a feeling of fortune and luck.
No matter if I need the item or not,
a steal of a deal is where I will be caught.
Besides the collecting, I don't throw away.
You just never know, we may need it someday.
It's okay if I haven't used it in years....
our children may want it. It'll move them to tears.
It's not in my nature to toss out in haste.
I don't like to see anything going to waste.
You say you are taking a load to DI?
Could I take a look and and give your stuff a try?
Our house is now bulging with folders of files,
chipped china from grandma and yarn stretching miles.
Our corners and closets and each little nook
store papers and gadgets and gizmos and books.
The storage shed (formerly called a Garage)
is piled with miles of boxes to dodge.
This shelters our junk piles from snow and from dust,
while our costly vehicles stay outside to rust.
Now, maybe I just shouldn't make such a fuss.
The problem is, though, there is no room for us!
Jenni Fisher Copyright 2009
So....the new year's improvement bug bit me. Inspired by my mom and my friend, Annie Oakley, who is a whiz kid at organizing, I decided it might be nice to 1) be able to know where any given item is in my house and 2) stop buying repeat items. "Oh will you look at that? I already have three bottles of red wine vinegar! If only I had checked in the hall closet before I bought more"
And then Wal-Mart dangled further appeal by putting 29-gallon Rubbermaid tubs on sale for only 5 bucks. With that kind of temptation, and no job, and another week until I start school again, I realized my deep well of excuses had run dry . So, I have been moving through my home like a chimney sweep in love! I have tackled closets, drawers, rooms and cupboards. Nothing is immune to my cleaning fury.
The problem is that in order to clean, one first finds themselves in an obligatory disaster zone. Just like the proverbial calm before the storm, the mess comes before the clean. This can be discouraging, (especially if you change your mind or run out of steam!)
I am happy to report that I am making good progress. The way I keep from being overwhelmed is by taking toddler steps: tackling a small section of the house each day. Then as I finish that section, I eat a piece of pie. Even sitting here typing this, I feel good and satisfied (having just devoured a piece of sour cream lemon pie is purely coincidental). There is something so invigorating and stress-relieving about being organized and de-cluttered.
Three things I have learned in this enormous project:
1) Label containers, drawers and binders. I borrowed my mom's labeler (BROTHER brand name), which is so slick. Now, everything has a place and it is known by all household members. Labeling also comes in handy if say, for example, you have a coveted can of Almond Roca. Simply place the candy in a small opaque tub, label the tub --cleaning supplies-- and your candy will remain undisturbed except by you! Now if you want to keep from getting into the Almond Roca yourself, label the box --exercise equipment--.
2) Do NOT accidentally throw out your husband's precious gold book.
3) Be prepared for the snowball effect. In the end, you will be thankful for it.
If I keep up my pace, I will have completed my New Year's Resolution by Jan. 12. Wow. That leaves 11.5 months to slide back into the status quo before making another NY resolution! And I will also be able to slide along my newly cleaned garage floor. And that, my dear friends, is a rare (for Mr. Fish and I) and beautiful thing!
Photo credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
The Utes WON tonight!!! 31-17 against Alabama. They are the nation's ONLY unbeaten team! Sing out the Utah Fight song. I can't hear you.... sing louder!
They all saw it coming and shook their head in dismay. "Why?" they asked, "when things had been going so well?" There was nothing they could do about it. The onslaught was inevitable because it was New Year's Eve. And so, both the large and microvasculature housed within the Fisher bodies prepared for the barrage of saturated carbon chains which were soon to enter their world.
Now, since I am trying to be culturally food sensitive, I must warn you: IF you are squeamish around fried foods, or you are a cardiologist, do not read on. What follows is a harrowing tale of nightmarish fare for individuals who are health conscious or who are popping STATINS or other lipid-lowering agents like they are Smarties.
And for the rest of us, read on because you might enjoy hearing about our fat last supper of 2008. Our dinner consisted of homemade french fries, onion straws, scones and marinated Filet Mignon finger steaks: all fried to golden perfection in something other than water. Now before you keel over with an elevated LDL just by reading this, I will say that we at least used Canola oil. That cancels out some of the badness. Added to those foods were embellishments of fry sauce and creamy honey butter! Then we topped it off with sweet creamy orange rolls!
We have this meal once a year and call it...prepare to be wowed by originality.......
"GREASY DINNER!" And it is sooooo good! You see having this serves two purposes: 1) Makes us shiver with delight as we [onion] ring in the New Year! 2) Makes us feel like we will be eating so healthy in the New Year because we certainly couldn't get any worse.
Janessa's great friend, Celeste, joined us in our greasy indulgence as well as the rest of the evening's festivities. You can read what she had to say about it here. It was really great to have her with us and hope that next time we have something healthy like tofu and eggplant she will be here to witness it. Come to think of it, I hope I'll be around to witness it!
If you would like to make a New Year's Resolution to taste the most delicious onion straws ever - I'm talking better than the Bloomin' Onion - give this recipe a whirl! Then take your little tushy for a whirl!
Onion Straws Delicioso
Begin by slicing one large onion very thinly. Separate the onion slices into rings and place them into baking dish such as a 9 x 13 glass pan. Measure 2 cups buttermilk (or you can make your own buttermilk by adding a couple tablespoons of white vinegar to just under 2 cups of milk). Pour over the onions. Press the onions down so that they’re as submerged as possible. Let them soak for at least one hour.
Next in bowl, mix:
2 cups flour
a little less than 1 Tbls salt (don't worry if this seems like a lot of salt. It is! Accept it and move on!)
pepper to taste - don't be shy
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne
Pour 2 quarts canola oil into deep dutch oven or deep-fat fryer. Heat oil to 375.
With tongs (or your fingers if no one is watching), remove a handful of onions from the buttermilk and place into the flour mixture. Lift the rings and give ‘em a quick tap on the side of the bowl, just to shake off the excess.
Can you almost taste them? I'm drooling just typing this...
Grab a handful of onions and drop them into the hot oil. With a spoon, break them up. Fry until a beautiful golden brown. Repeat the process until all the onions are cooked.
Then make a second batch to share with everyone else, because by the time they are all cooked, you might have eaten them all gone!
Now I can be content, knowing that I started the New Year off right by sharing something that will most definitely make tastebuds happy. And cause massive amounts of salivating. Heck, I might even be flooded with thank you notes and job offers!
Favorite Movie to Hate:
The Dark Knight
Five Guys Burger and Fries
Favorite Casual Restaraunt:
Hmmm...I didn't read much except management of diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, autims, child with a limp, traumatic brain injury, parkinson's disease, depression, substance abuse, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers, anemia and on and on....