Saturday, December 19, 2015

Two Book Series I've Really Enjoyed this Year - Lunar Chronicles and the Reckless Series

Have you noticed that I stopped keeping track of the books I was reading.  When we were getting ready to move I just didn't have time and then by the time I did I had forgotten what I'd been reading.  It got me so stressed out I finally just decided to stop keeping track.  Sometimes I feel a little guilty, especially when I think about the beautiful book review Bridget puts together at the end of the year but I also feel free.  I can just read my books and enjoy them and don't have to worry about remember the titles or taking pictures are summarizing it up.  I also don't have to worry about continuing to read books I hate.  Because I set a yearly goal of books I wanted to read each month I found myself continuing to read books I hated just to get the number.  Now I have the freedom to say forget it.  That being said I really should mention and keep track of books I've really enjoyed.  There are two series I've read this year that I've just loved.

The first is the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer 
The first book was Cinder, I read it back in September of 2014 and I felt so so on it.  It was a futuristic version of Cinderella where Cinderella was a cyborg.  It was interesting but I didn't think it was that special.  When I found out it was going to be a multi book series I didn't really plan on reading any of the others but then January I was looking for something new to read so I picked up the next book Scarlet.  I loved Scarlet so much.  Scarlet added a new heroine, a French farm girl who represented little red riding hood.  She came with her own love interest, a soldier with spliced in wolf genes who happens to be called Wolf.  Wolf was delicious.  Please, please, please tell me that when they turn these books into movies that Liam Hemsworth plays Wolf. Yum!  At this point I was hooked on the books.  A few months later I got my hands on Cress.  Cress follows a new character, a hacker locked up in a satellite around the moon.  She is Rapunzel. Her job is to find the Cinder and Scarlet for the evil lunar queen but she soon becomes irrelevant to her master and is dropped to earth with her love interest, Carswell Thorne, a fugitive republic "Captain" who escaped from prison with Cinder.  He is a rake and equally Wolf delicious.  Think Orlando bloom in pretty much anything he has ever been in.  Good grief I wish he wasn't so old (and by old I mean my age) because he would have been perfect to play Carswell in the movie....or young Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can or Titanic.  But since age is catching up with us, maybe Ansel Elgort.  By this point I was just hooked.  Two delicious romantic interest, (there are actually three, Prince Kaito as well but he is just always so indecisive, he just isn't my type), three heroins, it was fun.  The next book in the series was Fairest.  It was at this point that Meyer won me over forever.  Fairest is actually a prequel and tells the story of Queen Levana the antagonist of the whole series, the evil Lunar Queen.  It is still perfect to read right after Cress.  The story explains what makes Levana so evil, what drives her madness, and explains some of the antagonism toward Cinder.  I'm not going to say it justifies all her behavior but it gives you another perspective and it definitely left me torn.  It is one of the saddest stories in a series of sad stories and I really loved that Meyer included it, she didn't have to but for me it really elevated the whole series.  Now the final book Winter is out.  It is actually sitting on my dresser right now.  I immediately ordered it but I ordered it for the kids to give me for Christmas and so I've kept my hands off of it.  It is killing me but I promise I will have it finished by the end of the year.  This is a great series and if you like young adult lit I highly recommend it.  There is a lot of girl power, there is this quirky futuristic fairy-tale angle and there is a lot of love interest.  It is sort of the perfect teen girl book or grown up lady who enjoys teen girl books.  It feels a lot to me like the Hunger Games appeal but I need to see if I can get J to read one so I can see if it is cross gender interesting.

Another series I've devoured this month is the Reckless Series by Cornelia Funke.  The first book is Reckless and follows two brothers after their father disappears from their lives.  The older one is Jacob Reckless who has been entering a mirror world in his father's study since he was twelve years old.  The Mirrorworld is sort of a Grimm based fairy-tale land.  The land is being overrun by Goyl, a humanoid race from underground who are made of stone.  The king of this group has a fairy mistress who has made a way for his soldiers to turn humans into Goyl.  After years Jacob's brother Will finally follows him through the mirror and is turned into a Goyl, but he is a Jade Goyl, one who has been prophesied to be the savior the the King of the Goyl.  Jacob makes it his mission to heal Will.  The second book was Fearless.  In this story Jacob has to save himself from a curse he had to take on to save Will.  I'm now in the middle of the third book which came out this week, The Golden Yarn.  I'm loving this one as well.  These books have romance, political intrigue, magic, familial love, fairy-tale references.  I have really enjoyed them.  Supposedly this is suppose to be a five book series.  I don't know if it is actually going to make it to five and it doesn't help that Funke writes them German and I have to wait for them to be translated but I'm really hoping she finishes them.  This series is better than the Inkheart trilogy in my opinion!

A Few Christmas Traditions

No fancy Residency Christmas Parties to attend this year, boy those pediatricians knew how to party, but we did have a grown up Christmas dinner last night with some of the doctors and staff J works with.  We didn't come together.  J was at work and even though they had another doctor come in to cover the floor they had a baby born at over ten pounds who was having some trouble getting his sugar regulated so J was late.  All the doctors were teasing about how he is always like, "I just have one more thing to get done," and I was like "Guys this has been the last fourteen years of my life.  Let me tell you about how he was late to my endowment session."  It was still great though.  I hired a babysitter so we were without kids and it was just nice to sit and talk to other adults and enjoy eating without having to worry about kids spilling things or spitting out green beans or such.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy kids parties as well but J's boss is a German woman a few years older than us whose partner is a German botanist, they have no kids and their very beautiful, very expensive home on the lake is full of things like 500 year old bibles so it was nice not to have to worry.  We had dinner, then the docs had a quick team meeting while the botanist and the wife of the medical officer, the head guy, washed dishes.  I spent my time listening to the dish washers discuss a son out on a mission and the team meeting.  I learned that my husband's other day guy was actually a national swimmer for Kenya which explains why we all chipped in on a baby swimsuit in December.  I also learned that in Germany the game Sorry (which by the way is the worst game ever, because no one ever likes hearing that condescending sorry) is called Don't Make Me Angry.  I kind of like that better.  Then everyone came back to the tables and we ate desert.  Chocolate covered cheese cake, yes please!

At dinner two of the five other guys at the party shared a name with my husband.  It apparently was very popular in the 70s when their parents gave it to them although my husband's mom claims she knew no one with that name.  Go figure.  We were sitting at the same table they were and there was an awkward moment when one of the wives asked a J to pass the butter and all three reached for it.  

Yesterday was a day full of Christmas things for us.  I also was the room mom for Peach's class Christmas Party.  Did I ever mention how crazy the Halloween one was.  I had split my time between the two classrooms.  I started in Gigi's class.  There were like 12 parent helpers, six stations, two parents at each.  I was helping kids make monster magnets until I had to leave for Peach's classroom.  When I got to Peach's party it was just her teacher and his wife.  The kids were running around screaming and throwing candy everywhere.  I had sent in little things like play-dough, bubbles, and monster magnets.  He had given them to Peach to pass out.  She asked who wanted them and then just handed over the whole unwrapped packaged thing to one or two kids.  When I tried to separate out the bubbles and playdough a few kids threw a fit.   I was seriously so annoyed.  I mean sometimes I think the highly structured parties are a little much but this was just too crazy.  I came home and thought about it for a day.  I've always managed to avoid being the room mom because there has always been someone nicer and more talented who would do it but this I just could not take, so I sent an e-mail to her teacher and offered to take over all of his parties for him and he'd like.

He of course said yes.  So Friday morning I was hauling a huge suit case full of my griddle, a bowl, spatulas, pretty much half my kitchen.  Apparently it is tradition at the school to do a pancake breakfast so that is what we did.  We also made a Christmas ornament and played bingo.  I had a couple parent helpers and for the most part we kept things smooth.  It was nice to not have a million little kids at home any more so that I could help in this way.  I've helped at most of G and E's parties but I always had a little one or two or three in hand so I just couldn't run it.  Now that I'm almost without little ones I finally felt I could give it my full attention.  The kids had a great time.  The teacher was especially grateful and Peach said the kids said it was the best party ever.  I guess you can't ask for more than that.  It made me so grateful to the other moms and dads who have been doing this for years!  I got zero pictures because I was seriously go, go, go the whole time but I know her teacher got some so maybe I will be able to get my hands on those.  Her teacher has been teaching in downtown LA for the last 12 years and this is the first time he has had a parent helper so I hope he was able to enjoy it.  I have a soft spot for teachers, blame it on my elementary school teaching mom.  

Today J is working so we ran some errands alone.  If you don't have to leave your house don't.  Traffic was crawling for 5 miles before we even reached the mall because people all wanted to use one turn lane even though there were two and there were three other places they could turn after that.  But yesterday E asked me if I could take him to the Dollar Store so he could buy something for all his sister and I agreed so we had to go.  The Dollar Store was seriously so crowded.  I mean really I've never seen that many people in there before.  I'm so glad I have all of my Christmas shopping already done and everything wrapped.  There were no carts left at all but we managed to grab four hand baskets and we walked every aisle in that store three or four times.  Each kid carefully considered the options and then on our second and third rounds started slipping items quietly into their baskets.  After they'd gathered a gift for each family member, switching out a few items we went and paid.  When we got home I had each kid come up to my room individually and I helped them cut out wrapping paper so that they could wrap their gifts.  Then I sang here comes (Peach, E, Gigi, or Cheetah) Claus as they took their presents downstairs.  It was so great.  Without exception each one told me that wrapping gifts was the best, their favorite part of Christmas.  They also were so thoughtful as they considered each gift.  Sure now I own a bunch of crazy stuff from the dollar store but it was seriously the perfect place to take them because the items were all a dollar, everything in the store was something they could buy and I didn't have to steer them at all against items that were too expensive or for the cost not worth bringing home.  Plus they were just overtaken with the joy of giving.  It was probably the best $24 I spent all season.  We will definitely be adding it to our annual Christmas traditions!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Pink Eye

So one of the harder parts of Dr. J's new job is that he works three out of every four weekends.  That means I'm at church alone three out of four weekends.  At some point it probably won't be such a big deal but while my kids are still a little restless it is hard to sit on a bench with them when there is only one of me to separate them. Yesterday I sat between Captain E and Peach, Cheetah was on my lap and Gigi sat beside Peach.  For the most part Gigi just read although during the actual passing of the sacrament I made her put her book away.  Peach kept begging me to cuddle her and tickle her arm and face.  Captain E was mostly quiet but would occasionally do stuff like lick Cheetah's arm to make her angry.  Cheetah was like trying to hold a bag of cats.  That girl was all over the place.

Which explains why when I went to primary during second hour and she asked to sit on my lap I was particularly frustrated.  One of my little girls came in a little late and started to cry.  She only likes to sit by the girls in the class (I teach five year olds) and the only seat available was down by all the boys.  Had I not be arguing with Cheetah at the time I could have rearranged them but I was in a pretty heated whisper conversation with Cheetah.  I'm sure Madison's mom thinks I'm nuts or mean or both but I just wasn't looking forward to another hour of holding Cheetah while she struggled to get away.

Finally she sat on my church bag beside me and was relatively happy for the first five minutes at least.  It was then that I looked down the row and realized that two of the boys in the row had a very pink eye.  My friend Ashley was sitting in front of me (she was subbing the sunbeams).  He son happens to be in my class.  I leaned forward and tapped her on the shoulder.  "Ashley, Ashley," She turned and looked at me.  "Look at R and T," I mouthed, "Pink eye."  I wish you could have seen her eyes.  "Oh my gosh," she said, "This is all my fault.  I took Meela to R's house on Thursday and she was just getting over pink eye."

Oh man it was funny but also a terror fest.  I hate pink eye so much.  We haven't had to deal with it in years and boy has that been a relief.  There is nothing worse than trying to put eye drops in a screaming, writhing, kicking child's eyes.  I had those kids wash their hands a million times.  I'd brought play dough as part of my lesson, the homemade kind.  I separated out a piece for every kid and then said, "That now belongs to you. Take it home."  Mainly just because my other choices was to just throw it out.  When I got home I made all my kids change their clothes and wash their hands before they touched anything :)  Sure it probably was overkill but then I'm pretty sure R got pink eye from an adult who was "getting over it".  Yikes!

Friday, December 4, 2015

FF - The Time I Broke My Arm

I've had three broken bones in my life.  The first one happened when I was probably ten.  My sister Jo and I were latch key kids.  We'd walk home the two blocks from school, let ourselves into the house, eat a snack and then start homework.  Our mom was a teacher and so she'd usually be home about an hour after we were but that hour in between could be a little dicey.  The first time I ever had to get us home from school alone I got completely disoriented.  I walked out of the school and went left instead of going right.  We walked that side of the neighborhood for probably an hour completely confused as to where we were.  At one point Jo was walking on the edging of some guys lawn and he stopped playing his drums to yell at us.  We ran.  Eventually I figured out I needed to go back to school and start over.  That's when I finally realized I'd gone the wrong way and got us home safely.  The problem was I was always forgetting my house key in my desk.  I have no idea why I would take it out of my backpack.  Gigi has a house key in case for some reason I didn't make it home in time to pick her up from school (this has never happened, it is a just in case) and she just keeps it hooked in her backpack.  Maybe I had no hook, maybe I had no backpack but more than once I left it in my desk and didn't realize my mistake until we got home.  It wasn't that big of a deal.  We grew up in Arizona and so it wasn't like I was ever freezing out.  We would just go play in our back yard with our dog Sandy and if it got too hot sit in lawn chairs in our laundry room (it was at the back of the house connected by a porch but had no way into the house.  When our mom got home she'd come and let us in and everything was fine but one day I was running around in the back yard with Sandy and I tripped.  I'm not entirely sure if I tripped over Sandy or the little seeds that came off our eucalyptus tree or just my clumsy big feet but I went down right on my elbow.  I remember crying quite hard and maybe yelling at Sandy a little.  Jo helped me into the laundry room where I promptly sat in a lawn chair and fell asleep. I have no idea why we didn't just go across the street.  Our neighbor would babysit our baby sisters and our mom would pick them up right before she came home.  I'm sure the babysitter would have let us sit at the house while she called her mom but we were young and freaked out and we just decided to take care of it on our own.  When my mom got there, Jo was white as a sheet and told her she thought I was dying.  I wasn't of course but my mom did take me to ER to have X-rays.  The nurse kept trying to force my arm opened and I kept crying and crying.  Finally she just took an x-ray with my arm partially closed.  The doctor looked at the x-ray and sent me home because my ulna and radius looked fine.  The next day they called my mom back.  I had a fracture in the humerus at the elbow.  I wore a splint from fingers to arm pit that was held on with white gauze for a good six weeks.  I remember when I went to the ortho guy to have my cast done they brought a kid in on a stretcher who had been kicked during a soccer game and had a shattered fibula.  That poor kid was sobbing.  I felt especially bad for that kid and felt lucky that I just had to have the only partial splint although that first one I wasn't allowed to take off and boy when he cut it off after six weeks that thing stunk something really awful.  Then for four weeks after that I wore a slightly smaller splint held on with an ace bandage.  The nice thing about it was that I could itch the inside of my elbow and could take it off to shower something my skin was desperate for.  Thank goodness because it was so itchy.  It was actually a great two months for me.  I got out of PE for over two months and typing practice.  Does it seem terrible that I hated PE as a kid.  I'm just terribly clumsy and if balls are involved a total klutz.  That broken arm got me out of a softball chapter which was a miracle.  There is nothing worse than seeing me try to play softball.  It also got me out of typing in computer class and I just got to spend my time playing Oregon Trail which might be why I was so amazing at that game.  I recently asked Dr. J if he thought the Dales and the Columbia River were the river you traveled down in the Oregon Trail right before you won and he told me he'd never actually made it to the river he always starved to death or died of disease.  I actually found this pretty funny because I always tease him that if there was some kind of natural disaster where being fast wasn't important I could last for four months without eating and he'd be gone in three days.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Gigi's Baptism

 One of the things we did while home was baptize Gigi.  I had sort of mixed feelings about the whole thing.  I am totally devoted to being Christian.  I love it.  The idea of Jesus Christ, the teachings, even if you just believed it was a myth it speaks to me on a deeply personal level.  The way I was introduced to Christ though was through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It is the church I've attended my whole life.  There is lots of stuff I like about it, even love, but there are things in its past and present that I don't agree with.  I have wrestled with this a lot lately.  What matters in life?  Is a perfect church necessary or even needed or even possible?  What is the best choice for me and my family?  There have been times when I've thought maybe I should just leave the church but the church is how I came to know Christ and it is a deep part of my history both personal and familial (my father pointed out that Gigi was 6th generation).  It is hard to leave that kind of security, especially if a lot of the good parts in your life have revolved around church.  My sister also likes to point out that I'm a church going kind of person.  It is just something that brings me comfort.  I probably would have made a great Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, or Buddhist, but I was born Mormon and so I make a goodish (I'm probably a little too liberal to be great) Mormon even if I'm not always a totally satisfied one and so that is where I go but this last few years, this month in particular, I've been especially frustrated.  So even up until the day of her baptism I said to my husband, "Are we making the right choice?  Is this something that we will later regret or that she will regret?"  I don't know the answer but I do know that even with all my swirling self doubt and with the fact that who knows what the future holds when I got to the church I was filled with such warmth, with peace, and with calm.  When she was baptized I felt nothing but good and so I'm going with that.  We were lucky to have family to join us.  Grandpa Wid and Grandma Jane were there.  Nana Elizabeth and Papa Rhys were there.  Grandma Linda and Grandpa Bob were there.  Grandpa Bryant and Grandma Deb were there. Leslie my sister in law and her husband Cole and her two little ones were there.  Leslie was kind enough to play the piano.  My cousin Sami, her husband Steve and her kids were there along with my cousin Sam's son Sam.  Uncle Taylor came.  Aunt Toni came and then my friend Nancy's mother in-law came.  I was so grateful that she had taken the time.  I feel like I've created this little family of blogging friends who I can share my frustrations, my hopes, and my dreams with and I've been lucky to be able to include some of their families and friends into our little family.  Karen said when she came up to give me a hug after and give Gigi a necklace that we have to stick together.  That meant a lot to me.  I put together a really cute program but it has everyone's full names on it so I think I'll just save that.  I also did a voice recording of Grandpa Wid's talk.  If I can figure out how to download it I will try and link it up. It was a great day.  She was happy, we were happy, and I'm so grateful to everyone who came out to support Gigi. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

My Favorite X-Files Episodes

When I heard that Fox was going to be releasing six new episodes of my all time favorite show the X-Files I committed myself to watching them all again.  I'm somewhere stuck in the ninth season and honestly I just don't know if I can finish because I just don't like watching Agent Doggett that much but I thought since I'm mostly done (I moved to a new place, have a husband who works really long hours, and have pretty much just one friend) I thought I'd give you the run down.  I always knew I preferred the stand alone episodes, smoking man and aliens just weren't my thing, which is kind of ironic because I suspect the six new episodes will focus heavily there, but this is proof of that preference.  I had forgotten how funny this show was, true it was a dark humor, but it definitely had a comedic aspect to it and those stand alone episodes were some of the funniest.

Season 1
Episode 3-Squeeze
This is about a guy who can stretch his body impossibly far who hibernates and then comes out every thirty years to eat people's livers.  I think you get a pretty good idea here that no one is ever going to believe Mulder.  The bile moment is the best.

Episode 11-Eve
Two little girl's who look to be twins have father's who die in an identical manner at the same time.  Those little girls are seriously creepy!

Episode 20-Darkness Falls
Both loggers and environmentalist bent on stopping them get trapped by an old world insect that swarms when the lights go out.  This one isn't really funny but for some reason I find myself thinking about it often.

Season 2
Episode 14 - Die Hand die Verletzt
Mulder and Scully investigate a town apparently full of devil worshipers.  I like the surprise twist at the end.

Episode 20 - Humbug
Mulder and Scully investigate murders in a small town in Florida where people from side show acts go on the off season or to retire.  There is an interaction with a hotel clerk here that is priceless.

Episode 23 - Soft Light
I'm a huge fan of the show Monk.  This probably explains why I liked this episode so much.  A scientist is literally afraid of his own shadow.

Episode 24 - Our Town
Mulder and Skully investigate a meat packing plan after residents keep disappearing.  Made me reconsider eating chicken for a few days.

Season 3
Episode 4 - Clyde Bruckman's Final Response
A man with psychic powers helps investigate the deaths of other psychic.  This is probably my second favorite episode.  The humor is so dry and there is a scene with Scully and the psychic that cracked me up.

Episode 6 - 2Shy
A man uses the internet to stalk his victims.  I seriously wondered if it would be possible for someone to just suck my own fat off.

Episode 12 - War of the Coprophages
A town is seemingly under attack by cockroaches.

Episode 13 - Syzygy
Mean girls taken to a whole new level.

Episode 14 - Pusher
The agents try and capture a man who can convince people to do what he wants.  I enjoyed seeing Skinner get punched.

Episode 19 - Hell Money
Procurement of transplant organs done wrong, oh so wrong.

Episode 20 - Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'
A famous author researching UFO encounters talks with Scully about Mulder's odd behavior.  Very funny.  The pie eating is my favorite.

Season 4
Episode 2 - Home
Agents investigate a family of inbred farmers.  A lot of x-files are creepy but this one was particularly so!  Yuck, yuck!

Episode 4 - Unruhe
A man's mind eye is captured on film.  I like the ending.

Episode 5 - The Field Where I Died
Reincarnation.  Look I'm not sold on the idea of reincarnation and neither really are the writers because they never bring it up again but I enjoyed this particular episode a lot.  It is a little haunting.

Episode 11 - El Mundo Gira
Migrant worker deaths are attributed to El Chupacabra.  I often think of this episode when I'm cleaning out the Tupperware in my fridge.

Episode 12 - Leonard Betts
A headless man walks out of the morgue.  Did anyone else use to watch ER.  Seriously why isn't ER on netflix?

Episode 20 - Small Potatoes
A man can change his form to look like anyone else.  Funny, funny, funny!  A must see Scully/Mulder interaction.

Season 5
Episode 3 - Unusual Suspects
Anytime the Lone Gunman are around laughter will follow.  This episode shows their original meeting.

Episode 5 - The Post-Modern Prometheus
Small town in Indiana, the whole episode is done in black and white, the great Mutato.  There is a lot to love about this episode.  Probably the chicken lady is my favorite.

Episode 12 - Bad Blood
After Mulder kills a boy suspected of being a vampire the agents each recount their own version of events that lead to the shooting.  This is my all time favorite X-Files episode.  It has been since the first time I watched X-files and it still doesn't disappoint.

Season 6
Episode 3 - Triangle
Mulder ends up on a 1939 luxury liner trapped in the Bermuda triangle.  It is Scully and Mulder and Nazis.  Of course I would love it.

Episode 4-5 Dreamland Part 1 and 2
Mulder switches bodies with a stranger at area 51.  This is the second time you see Mulder try to put the moves on Scully.  They will go back and reference these episode a couple of times in future episodes.  They also reference Mulder's proclivity for pornography here.  I know they reference it more than once but this is one time I remember it.  I only bring it up because I think it is interesting that following this show David Duchovny went to a show where he played a man with a sex addiction.  His real life wife ended up leaving him during this time citing as one of her reasons for leaving, his real life addiction to porn.  It's actually kind of sad but in this particular episode it is portrayed with humor.

Episode 8 - The Rain King
A man's moods determine the local weather.  Super sweet.

Episode 14 - Monday
Think groundhog day and a bank robbery.  Que first dreamland reference.

Episode 15 - Arcadia
Mulder and Scully go undercover to investigate the worst HOA ever.

Episode 17 - Trevor
A man can walk through walls after being left out in a storm.  I think this has the best bad guy death scene in the whole series.

Episode 18 - Milagro
Creepy writer voice overs.

Episode 19 - The Unnatural
Alien baseball players.  This episode is definitely in my top five.  It is funny and feel good and it even sort of talks about aliens :)

Episode 20 - Three of a Kind
More lone gunman.

I actually think this season overall was one of my favorites.  It also leads right up to the movie that is released.  They will reference the movie several times in the following seasons.

Season 7
Episode 3 - Hungry
A fast food employee has an insatiable appetite.

Episode 6 - The Goldberg Variation
Does anyone else watch White Collar?  The agents investigate a man who seems to have overwhelmingly good luck.

Episode 8 - The Amazing Maleeni
A magician seemed to magically lose his head.

Episode 12 - X-Cops
The x-files find their way onto the hit show Cops.

Episode 13 - First Person Shooter
The agents get sucked into a first person shooter game.  The Lone Gunman make an appearance.  Scully kicks butt.

Episode 19 - Hollywood A.D.
Skinner's screenwriter friend tags along on an investigation.  Tea Leoni makes a guest appearance. There is a great three way phone call.

Episode 20 - Fight Club
Mormon missionaries make a guest appearance as two woman who like identical seem to be cause chaos whenever their paths' overlap.

Episode 21 - Je Souhaite
A genie seems to be at the center of some impossible wishes.  Scully finally seems to believe and gets burned for it.

Okay so that is pretty much it.  Season 8 and 9 are fine.  I just didn't love them as much.  What can I say.  Seriously looking forward to January.  It is nice to have something in the winter to look forward to because man does winter get me down!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Time to get some Lactase!

Three nights ago we ate some Strawberry ice cream before putting the kids to bed.  I paid dearly for that choice.  I knew almost immediately that my stomach was not happy with me and the pain just continued to build.  I lay in bed for several hours trying to fall asleep.  I got up and visited the Lou.  I put some panaway on my belly.  I wish I would have had some DiGize because people say that works for tummy-aches but I didn't have any.  I searched frantically for some Pepto Bismol.  I wondered allowed if throwing up would make me feel better.  Finally I went downstairs and sipped some Kombucha I keep on hand for stomach emergencies.  Usually it works fairly quickly.  This time it just didn't.  I lay in bed watching Murdoch Mysteries clutching my stomach, swearing off ice cream, and cursing my loving husband who was sleeping so soundly.  I have a tendency to be very hateful toward those who can sleep when I can't.  Finally at 2:30 I slipped away.  The next day I was talking with my sister who suffers from a lot of food intolerance and mentioned how annoying it was but how if it happened every time I would probably stop eating ice cream but since it doesn't I just can't stop.  She started to laugh.  "You do remember that last week you ended up having explosive diarrhea after taking a finishing off Cheetah's milk shake."  How the heck had I forgotten that.  So now I'm pretty convinced I do have a problem with ice cream I just don't eat it often enough to remember I end up in pain every time.  It may be time to get some Lactase.

On a completely unrelated body issue I am apparently terrible with mouth wash.  Dr. J likes using mouth wash so we always have it in our bathroom but I only like using it if I'm feeling sick.  This week my throat started to feel a little sore.  To try and stop a full blown sore throat from starting I decided to use a little mouth wash.  The first night I accidentally swallowed my mouthful.  I don't know how it happened, I just know I leaned back and my throat wasn't closed all the way and the wash just went straight down.  I'm not a drinker and so I'm not really used to the burn of alcohol.  I started sputtering and choking as the burning liquid went down.  Cheetah came running in to see what was wrong.  The second night I was more careful when I was gargling but then when I leaned over to spit into the sink the liquid hit the side with such force that it bounced back and hit me in the eye.  Had I not been instantly hopping around trying to get the alcohol out of my eye I probably would have been completely sicked out but I didn't have time to think about anything but my burning eye ball.  I'm thinking I need to take a break from mouth wash for awhile.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Speaking of music roundup this week!

So yeah I purchased the Adele 25 the day I heard Hello.  It was a two week wait but I finally have it.  For the most part I really enjoy it.  Hello is definitely my favorite but Send My Love, I Miss You, Love in the Dark, and Sweetest Devotion are close contenders.  I'm a little bummed that had I held out until it was in Target, the actual CD, I could have gotten three more songs, but seriously who even buys actually CDs anymore.  Ok technically we do, Dr. J saw a Lynard Skynard cd for $5 in Walmart last week and picked it up but in general almost all my music purchases are digital.  I've been toying with the idea of going old school and getting a record player because doesn't that just seem retro plus I've listened to about 100 NPR stories about how record quality is far superior but the truth is convenience runs supreme in my life and so yeah I just order downloads.

 Another of my favorites is this band Rabbit Wilde.  My sister introduced me when I was in Washington.  They are a local band that plays in her town twice a month but then I ordered their music and made her send me a t-shirt.  My three favorite songs are off their Album The Wild North, Burn the Wide Forest, Grace, and Running up the Coast but they just released a new Album so that list is bound to evolve.

 The other song getting a ridiculous amount of play at my house this week is Justin Bieber's, Sorry.  This song is totally my house cleaning song.  I dance through my sweeping and mopping in no time.  Am I a little embarrassed, perhaps, but that wouldn't keep me from going to see Bieber in concert. 

 Speaking of Justin do you watch James Corden's Carpool Karaoke?  I haven't seen one that hasn't made me laugh out loud but this one was honestly my favorite.  I'm going to pre-warn you at the end they talk about Justin's recent "full exposure" but it is pretty funny. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

An Adele Thanksgiving

Just in case you have a family that runs hot this might be a good way to go.  I'm considering trying it out on my children.  But in all seriousness look how amazing everyone's eyes look.  I think I need to check out an Adele eye make up tutorial.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Link Ups

There is some great stuff on the internet today and I just don't want to overwhelm people on facebook.

Leroy Stolzfus ran a marathon in Harrisburg, Pa in his traditional Amish clothing.  We used to live by a lot of Amish in Illinois and every time I had a baby there was always an Amish woman also in labor, walking the halls with her bonnet and hospital gown on.  I respect that type of dedication.

Adele in an Adele impersonator completion.  Love the whole bum chin bit and her changing her voice to calm and slow.  Awesome, but 1:34 is my favorite along with 3:41.  Adorable, love it!

These mom got her friends together to start a foundation to bring baby carriers to refugees.  What a wonderful group of ladies.  It made me sad that the reporter had to mention there might be some backlash.

Check out this video about Adjunct Professors.  While tuition for college students continues to rise at an alarming rate colleges continue to cut pay for teachers and have more and more of the classes taught by adjunct professors.  We saw this happen with many of our friends.  Lots of people who planned on being professors just can not find the tenured positions that will give their families the security that you think this many years of education would lead to.

I want to be a panda nanny!

Where Syrian refugee children sleep.  Heart breaking but from a photography standpoint beautifully done.

Since Pheasant season started I pretty much wake to the sound of gun shots every morning .  Check out these dogs.  They look so serious but also like they are having a great time!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Facebook Has Had Me Down Lately

I've been watching this new Netflix mystery series River about this homicide detective who keeps talking to the victims of the crimes he is trying to solve.  I'm honestly loving it.  It stars  Stellan Skarsgard and he does some of the best compassionate acting I've ever seen.  The story line follows the solving of some unrelated mysteries while Skarsgard tries to solve to overarching mystery of who killed his partner.  It leads him to the Somalian community.  A Somalian who died in Skarsgard's arms is now a hallucination talking to Skarsgard from the back seat of his car and he says, "You can't blame yourself.  You saw my color, you saw what was there on the surface and you made assumptions.  Everyone always does.  We come to this country so filled with hope, so grateful for the potential, yet still they say why do we leave our door blindly open to these people, bring in our drugs, criminals, terrorist while we breed, breed.  But you migrated here too.  You see what people here do not see, see the loneliness, the isolation, what it is like to be so far from your country and family, what it is like to try and fit here, how hard it is just to be."  It hit home for me.

I've been having a hard time this month.  First my church clarified some handbook statements about the rights of gay parents to have children baptized into my church.  It put a lot of people on edge on both sides of the debate and I was no exception.  I don't know if I've mentioned this before but I have two baby brothers who are gay.  There was a time in my life when that maybe would have caused me a lot of distress about their eternal salvation but through a series of a lot of seemingly random discoveries that I choose to believe was God's loving hand when this news first came to me I was actually prepared to hear it and just accept them in love.  It did cause me quit a bit of personal distress though on how my support of them would be perceived within my church especially because my church was fighting so hard to prevent the possibility of gay marriage.  I talked with very few people about this over the last four years but within the last year have been much more open about it because I've found that people are more likely to soften their commentary a little bit if they know a particular issue personally affects you.  That being said I did not share this information with any ecclesiastically leaders and for the last two years I had been without my temple recommend because there is a question that ask:
  1. Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

I agonized over this question quit a bit over the last couple of years.  I do support and agree with a group or individual whose teachings are contrary to those accepted by the Church.  I fully support my brothers and I also fully support their right to the government's recognition of their unions should they so choose to make one.  I didn't know how to talk to my leaders about that though and so for years I just didn't.  I had talked with several family members and friends and they had all encouraged me to just rush over that question because they felt it was none of the leader's business but that just felt wrong to me.  I wanted to be honest.  So after all these years I finally got the courage to bring it up and just let the chips fall where they would and so a few months ago I met with my bishop.  When we got to that question I just laid it all out there and do you know what this is what he said, "No one expects you to not be supportive of your family."  And so I was able to get my recommend but then just a few short weeks later we actually had a statement put out by the church saying that if you were a child of gay parents that in order to be baptized you would have to disavow homosexuality and gay marriage first.  The definition of disavow is to deny any responsibility or support for.  So basically we are asking children of gay parents to do something I am not willing to do myself.  It left me very confused about my own place within the church and very sad for any families that this would negatively affect.  Even within my own family it caused a ripple.  I was raised with six of my siblings and am really only one of two who still goes to church but my other siblings still had records with the church.  This was enough though for them to decide they were ready to permanently pull their records.  This is all happening while I'm trying to plan a baptism for Gigi next Saturday.  It has left me emotionally raw.  I feel like I almost need to apologize to my siblings who are leaving for what I'm doing.  I feel like I need to justify myself, to remind them that I will raise her to be like me and that if in the future she or any of my kids are homosexual that I will do everything in my power to protect and support them.  I almost feel like I need to apologize to myself and possibly her future self if this is something she later comes to regret. In some ways I think it would be easier not to baptize her at all, to just let go of this church and my frustrations at it's historical and some current decisions.  But I love church.  I'm a church going girl.  I'm a science girl as well and there is a part of me that recognizes that there is possibility that my brain is just tricking me out but even with that recognition I believe in God and Jesus Christ.  I believe that they are there for me, that the spirit has born witness to me of their existence, that I've seen miracles in my own life and that I will be happiest living a life based on good works and trying to follow the example of Jesus.  I think regardless of where I would have been born I would have been a church going kind of girl.  Some people are just like that.  The Church of Jesus Christ is the church in which I've experienced all of these things.  I don't know if I would have picked it had I just been randomly out there searching for churches but it picked me and I'm just not ready to let that go.  But it does put me in this awkward place were I just don't quite fit and I feel angry and apologetic toward everyone all at the same time.

So this frustration is just the undertone of my life right now and then on top of that we had the terrorist attacks in Paris.  How sad have those been.  They are just horrible.  All those people, all that fear and horror.  It is awful.  The people who have committed those acts are evil.  They are terrible people.  They are the worst.  Their groups and leaders deserve to be hunted out and killed or imprisoned, but along with the anger I have toward them for the crimes against humanity and bodies and souls of all their victims I am also angry at them because they have ignited a firestorm of anti refugee policy and speech, my uncle says it is just anti terrorist policy but it doesn't seem that way to me.  My facebook feed, my neighborhood e-mail site, the conversations among my family and friends has become littered with some of the most hateful ridiculous things I've ever heard them say.  People are using this for political gain under the guise of safety.  They are trying to score political brownie points and in doing so they are frothing people up so that they won't think reasonably.  For the most part I've tried to stay out of it.  I had this one huge blow up on my friend's blog and ended up getting into it a little with her brother-in-law but honestly what is the point.  No one's opinions ever change because of fights on blogs or Facebook or even honestly in person.  Very few people are really willing to listen to anything that doesn't support their own point of view once they've made an opinion about it.  Honestly guys I'm the same so I get it, but on this one thing I'm just asking people to not completely close off the option of having refugees come into this country.  I'm not asking for a free for all, I'm not saying that we shouldn't be cautious, or that people shouldn't be vetted but I am saying that when we look at what is happening in that country and other countries like it, when we see how desperate people are to flee that situation that we have a little compassion and try and figure out what we can do to help them without assuming the worst of all of them.  Also if you see any of the below arguments please don't like them.  They are terrible and I think less of you and the person who wrote them when I see them.

1) This country is great because we are willing to make hard sacrifices like Japanese Internment Camps or the Trail of Tears.  I actually saw a poem about this on one of my extended family member's facebook page.  I'm assuming the guy who posted it didn't write it because I've seen similar ideas coming from varied sources.  I honestly just don't know what to say to people who think it is OK to post this.  Japanese Internment Camps and the Trail of Tears are black eyes on our history.  They were awful things that our ancestors did, the kind of things we study in history not because they should be replicated but because we need to remind ourselves that we should never allow ourselves to get carried away like that again.  The fact that people have turned it into something to be proud of, well it is sickening.  As far as the Internment Camps go there was and is no proof that they were ever necessary for safety.  Instead we ruined the lives of many Japanese Americans, robbing them of property and dignity even while they had sons and husbands fighting for our side in Europe.  And the trail of tears, let's imagine for a second that another country invades our country, like maybe Canada decides to get a little big for it's britches.  They are going to hit us with biological warfare and they are going to push us off our land and they are going to kill us with superior weapons but nope we aren't going to do anything about it because why, because they are obviously stronger and so they have the right to do this.  Yikes.  Read a history book or watch a documentary or help a sixth grader do their history homework and remind yourself that some of the things Americans have done were horrible and we should never do them again.

2) The grape analogy, oh the grape analogy.  It goes something like if you had 100 grapes and you knew one was poison would you eat the grapes.  I guess the idea being that some of these people might be bad so we should not risk our personal safety to save all the other little grapes that aren't.  I just would like to point out that we eat poison grapes all the time.  I mean we literally take and accept risk all the time for things we want.  I'll give you three examples.  First the statistics floating out there say that woman at college have a 1/5-1/3 chance of being raped while they are there.  First off this is horrible.  I mean get our acts together America because it really is shameful, but if we were just going to look at it from say we should avoid all things that put us at risk we would stop sending girls to college or we would just preemptively start locking up men.  We obviously don't.  We obviously think there is some benefit to woman going to college and that we can't just assume all men could become rapist just because some do.  Second, 10,000 people a year die in US from car accidents caused by drunk driving.  10,000 people a year die because we as humans are too stupid to realize we've had enough and we should just sleep it off in the back seat.  Two percent of that amount of people died in a terrorist attack caused by none of the refugees and now people are writing letters to their representatives demanding that we not let any refugees in.  Why don't you write your representatives insisting that alcohol be banned again or that all cars have alcohol readers installed in them or that the consequences for drunk driving be much higher.  You would actually save a lot more lives if you could get some traction there.  Finally what about assault weapons.  Every time there is a mass shooting in this country our president goes on TV and pleads with congress to ban automatic guns and every time we have people get upset and say that he is overreacting, that it isn't the guns fault, that we have a constitutional right to have them, that the answer is actually to arm more citizens and on and on.  Look I'm not going to argue if guns are good or bad.  We actually own a twenty-two and I was raised by a guy who thinks handguns make good birthday gifts.  I don't particularly like guns but I actually see the point of hunting rifles and while I personally don't want a handgun for personal protection I understand that a lot of people do but putting automatic weapons or magazines that shot more than ten rounds in the hands of just your everyday person, why?  Why do we need that?  Sure maybe they are fun to shoot but they also do massive damage when used in these mass shooting.  Yet it is an acceptable risk we are willing to take.  If you hold to the grape analogy you'd say heck no.  I don't ever want another Sandy Hook on my conscious so get rid of all guns, but we don't do that, we accept the risk.  We accept the risk on all of these things and many many more.  We are willing to chance a poison grape now and then for our deeply held convictions, benefit, or conveniences.  We are being told that people are starving to death, that they are drying of exposure, that they are being hunted down and killed, that the countries that have opened their doors to them are swamped and need our help but we are so worried about the one grape that we are willing to let all the others wither on the vein.  It just doesn't hold true to our own personal risk analyses practices.

3) The argument that other Arab countries should be taking care of this problem and not us.  Currently there are between 2 1/2 to 3 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan.  We were committed to taking 10,000.  Even if we were going to take the 250,000 that Donald Trump has been so recklessly throwing around (we aren't) we'd still be taking far less than the number of people who have been displaced and are currently residing in other Arab countries.

4) The argument that we should be helping our homeless vets or our own poor first.  This one really gets my goat.  Do you currently help homeless people or vets or homeless vets or poor people? Do you vote for people who put into place programs to help these people or do you vote for people who gut the money out of these programs and say that people should just pull themselves up by their boot straps?  Are you the kind of person who on more than one occasional has complained that taking care of the poor is not the government's job?  Yeah, I thought so.  There are programs to help homeless vets.  They need more funding and more volunteers and we can all help with that so let's get to it.  Let's volunteer our time and vote for better candidates but while we are at it our country can also still help with this Refugee Crisis.

5) The argument that there is a disproportionate amount of young men fleeing Syria.  Last time I checked you have four main military groups fighting it out there.  There is Asad, there is Isis, there are the Kurds, and there is the Resistance.  What do you think these groups are going to do when they come across your teenage or young adult son?  They are either going to kill them or try and conscript them into their army.  I think people have forgotten that sort of thing used to happen in this country and in Europe all the time to boys that were found alone.  Imagine how much heightened that type of behavior would be during a war.  If you had a son you would want to get him out as well.

These are the things I think about when I see these arguments and they just make me crazy but like I said for the most part I've tried to just discuss it with my friends who I knew held similar opinions because I didn't want to start facebook or blog fights.  Yesterday though my hubby posted a paragraph telling people that he would be willing to sponsor a Syrian family and that people should look at this tragedy from a more humane perspective.  Most people were fairly supportive.  We are friends with a lot of Physicians and people who studied the Middle East in college and as a general rule those types of people tend to be more, I'm just going to say more like us.  His uncle got on though, this is a pretty smart guy but I think he probably is very limited in the news sources he chooses to believe, and basically said that J was naive and uniformed about the risk and that he wouldn't really want refugees in his city or neighborhood.  I let my annoyance get the better of me and I reminded his uncle that we are willing to take those kinds of risk for things we believe in.  I also reminded him that this was a region we've been to before and that J has studied extensively during his undergrad and PhD years and that we discuss quit often and stay current on.  I also pointed out that we aren't looking for a free for all, we are just saying that vetted refugees should have the opportunity to start over, and I concluded my response by saying I didn't think it was fair of him to accuse J of being a hypocrite considering he is one of the best of us.  My cousin then said, "The best of us" humble and modest.... Good grief.  I just had to get the heck out of there.  Look regardless of how you feel about this issue there are people suffering and dying. Some are young men people would rather fear than help I guess but lots of others are old people, woman, and children.  There are babies and pregnant woman.  It is horrible.  We don't have any ability to do anything about the bigger policy or religious issues but regardless of if you are for refugees or against them coming to our country please at least help in any way you can.  Doctor's without borders is there, UNICEF, SAMARITIAN'S Purse, Hand in Hand for Syria, shoot even my own church is collecting money.  Do something, collect something, hold a fund raiser, send a baby carrier, just put a few extra dollars in your tithing envelope, do something anything and then you won't have to feel bad when I say this is a humanitarian effort that we should all be joined together on because you will be doing your part and maybe just maybe we can come to a place where we can help and be as safe as possible.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Live in Nanny

My father called today.  To say I have a strained relationship with the man would be an understatement.  He left when I was seven.  He choose another woman over his wife and four small daughters.  It was a pattern he would repeat many times in his life.  For a few years or so we'd see him occasionally on the weekends.  Our mother would take us to Pat's house, the lady he left for.  Talk about awkward.  He then left that Pat for another Pat and I remember one weekend he didn't bring us back when he was suppose to.  Looking back I'm guessing we were due on a Sunday night but he kept us until Monday and didn't take us to school. Maybe he even kept us until Tuesday.  I remember my mother was furious.  I feel like the cops may have been called but this is something that happened over 25 years ago so I'd have to call her to verify.  For awhile after that our mom didn't let him have us anymore.  It wasn't until he broke up with that Pat and moved back in with his parents that I remember our weekend trips resuming.  He lived there for maybe a year or two.  My grandparents home was actually a really fun place to visit.  Looking back on it now I realize it was in a terrible neighborhood (right by the Mesa, Arizona LDS temple) and rather worn down.  But they had a pool in the back that my dad would swim with us in.  My Papa Perez never put any chemicals in it so it was always full of green water and I used to worry there was a crocodile that lived in it but I'd get in if my father was there.  All of my cousins lived close by and would come over often.  They had tons of orange trees in the back and I'd spend my weekend playing house with my sisters and cousins under the branches and eating the bitter sweet fruit.  They also had a room full of instruments from when my father and uncles thought they could be the Mexican equivalent to the Jackson five and we spent many hours fooling around in there.  In this time he met a lady named Candy and before I turned eleven he moved to San Antonio.  Our weekly visits stopped then.  I think I saw him twice while he lived there with Candy and my half brother and sister.  The first time I was probably 13 and he flew all four of us out.  The second time I had just turned 19  He flew me out to pick up a car from him.  He tried to give me a handgun for my birthday.  I kindly refused.

That was by the way the first time I took a long road trip by myself.  I drove that Volvo all the way from San Antonio, Texas to Glendale, Arizona.  It is almost 1000 miles and I did it in one day, alone, at 19.  I wore an Army hoodie with the hood pulled up so it wouldn't be obvious I was a girl travelling alone.  I only stopped for gas.  I ate M&M's and crackers from ready to eat meals my fathers had filled my trunk with.  When I got tired I would put peanut butter on my lips out of the little squeeze packet and lick it off.  My car tape deck didn't work (you remember when that was the thing, car tape decks????) so I basically just had the radio for company across the entire state of Texas.  There were times when all I had were fuzzy Mexican channels, and then there were times when I had nothing.  The great state of Texas is for the most part rolling hills of emptiness.  I drove for hours wishing to see something, a city, people, some animals, a change in the scenery, anything.  It was cloudy, it had been the entire time I was in San Antonio and I kept hoping that I would make it out of the clouds.  On the horizon I could see a tiny bit of sun light and I drove toward that for hours but it got dark before I made it.  I got stopped going into Albuquerque. The border patrol guy made me jump through some hoops to prove I wasn't illegal and to be honest it left a bad taste in my mouth toward New Mexico that has never really left.  I remember wanting to stop but I was trying to make it home for Christmas Eve and I was determined to make it.

I didn't see my dad for another two years.  When I married Dr. J we threw a reception in Arizona.  It was the last time I went back to the state of my birth.  He came with Candy and my half brother and sister but then decided not to show.  Things were starting to get rocky between him and Candy and I don't know, I guess he was just in a mood.  My younger sister went by the house and insisted he come.  They might have been a little late but he did show up to the reception, along with most of my family although he left my brother and sister and step mom at the house, something that made me extremely sad.  He left Candy shortly after that and that was the last time I saw my dad.  For years I didn't hear from him but I continued to send pictures and letters to his parents asking them to pass info on to him and occasionally I'd hear from my uncle about what he was up to.  Then in 2011 on my 31st birthday when I was pregnant with Cheetah my water broke at 27 weeks.  My mom called all my family, we put the news on Facebook and someone called my dad.  I've had his number since then and we occasionally chat.  We are also now Facebook friends and while he never post anything he apparently keeps up on me and my sisters via that media.  When my sister's heart stopped two summers ago he sent money to help with medical bills.  He has started to send me text on Holidays and just this month when he felt like my Facebook post were getting particularly negative he started to send me encouraging text.  It must be getting bad because today he actually called me.  He said, "You need to stay strong.  You are the trunk for your family.  I haven't done it.  You have to do it.  Have you considered getting a live in nanny to help with the kids.  Who is going to be the strong one for the family if you get to tired to do it.  Who is going to be the support."  I almost chocked and then I laughingly said, "Well yes, but only an old lady."  He instantly knew what I was referencing and then after a pause said, "You can never be too careful."  But then he told me in all seriousness that I should bring one of my older aunts or second cousins to the states from Mexico to cook and clean and to help watch my kids.  I have to admit there is something about that that does seem appealing or maybe I could find a Syrian babuska to sponsor.  Ironically though it is the words of my own father that negatively rattle through my ears when I consider thoughts like that.  I can still remember being at his house when I was 19 and how annoyed he was that my step mother had a live in nanny even though she only worked the weekends (she was a nurse).  "What is wrong with her, why doesn't she want to be with her kids?"  I don't even work the weekends and while the kids do plenty to keep my busy isn't that the choice I made when I choose to be a stay at home mom.  Didn't I commit myself, my time, and my talents to raising these children, and on the side doing laundry and dishes and keeping the house picked up.  Isn't that my job?  On the other hand my kids could learn Spanish...maybe it is something to consider.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

College Part 1

 I've been reading Bridget's Mom's Blog since she put it up as a link on her Friday Link Up.  The last two post she had mentioned her college years and it made me remissness on my own.  We lived in the same dorms that have now been torn down.  When I was typing her about them I actually remembered them quite fondly but now going back through pictures I realize they were quite grim.  Maybe it is best they were torn down, but in the years they were up they housed lots of happy memories.  I lived with five other girls, two to a room and we shared one bathroom although if I remember correctly it had two showers and two toilets in it.  We also had a kitchen with a dinning room table and a small couch where we could have visitors.  I hadn't originally planned on going to Brigham Young University.  I really didn't have any plans for college at all besides the fact that I wanted to go.  I'd just been enjoying my sophomore year of college when my family life exploded.  My step-father ended up going to prison, my mom and I were fighting all the time, all my friend were going to go to college the next year and I was just feeling very alone and so I decided to leave high school early.  I skipped Junior year, did Senior year at a totally different school, randomly applied to three colleges, Arizona State, Northern Arizona University, and Brigham Young University.  I'd been there once before to visit my friend Robby before he left on his mission.  Brigham Young offered me the best scholarship and so at seventeen years old my mom packed all my stuff into a van and drove me up to college.  She left me with my grandma and then headed back to Arizona.

The first person I met when I moved in to my new dorm was my bedroom mate Amy.  She was from Northern California and honestly we got along really great.  We also had Candace next and Becca.  Candace was only 17 as well and came with her associates degree already completed.  She went to medical school and is now a ER doctor in Nashville.  She married an attorney and they have two kids who I swear are just mini versions of themselves.  Her room roommate was Becca.  Becca had an early birthday so she turned nineteen shortly after we moved in.  Her father was a religious teacher at BYU and her parents lived only a few miles away but she had craved some independence.  Her little brother was a junior in high school and we were close in age. He used to come by a lot and one of my favorite memories from that year was when he showed up at a party we were throwing with a date and then spent a little too much time talking with me.  His sister came over to giving him a little lecture about it and he yelled out, "You are my Delila." Becca was the second one of our group to get married.  She went off to California to do the Mormon wife thing but a few years ago she went back to college, started writing stories, and cut her hair short.  A few months ago she rainbowed her Facebook picture and I wished desperately I'd kept in better contact.  Being a liberal Mormon can be super isolating.  You don't want to miss out on friendships with others like you.  Whitney was the first in our group to get married.  The summer after Freshmen year she and I worked at Heritage Halls manning the buildings for visiting groups.  We had a boss who took a liking to her and she took a liking to him and they were engaged before the summer was out.  He teaches high school band and they live in Iowa somewhere.  The last roomate was Shana but at Christmas she moved out and Jessie moved in.  I honestly don't know what happened to Jessie.  I know Shana married a dentist but I lost contact after that.   

We were also really close to the girls who lived next door, although I've only kept in contact with two of them and then last year when I did a major facebook purge I lost contact.  Kristin right next to me is married with kids.  Lindsey with the BYU sweatshirt married a guy who is a music professor at LSU.  These girls were my lifeline during this first year of being away from home.  They also weren't always that great for my grades.  I would go to class in the mornings, go to work in the afternoons and then get home and want to play.  There was always someone who wanted to play when I got home.  Sometimes I was good and did homework and sometimes I just wanted to play. 
 Me at my 18th birthday.  My mom always wanted to throw birthday parties for me but I was just not into it so the year I left for college she decided to throw one for me.  She got my one friend from home to take me out to dinner while my roommates decorated.  When I came home my house was full.  Thanks mom.  It was embarrassing but fun!
 Me, Amy, and Kristin
My dorm room.  It certainly was colorful.  Oh look a boom box.  I can't believe my kids will never know what that is.  Oh and look at that super old computer.  It didn't even work.  I had to go to a computer lab to type all my papers.  It is had to imagine a kid going college now without one.  I guess things were harder back then ;)

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Future Of Medicine

This is the future of medicine...a job opportunity that came across our desk recently.

Northeast Healthcare Recruitment - Boise, ID
$300,000 a year
Location: Boise, ID Seeking Pediatricians to provide concierge medical services to employees of large, self-insured employers based nationwide. Work from home using this organizations telemedical platform.

Join this growing virtual medical practice enabling medical providers to see and care for patients online. This organization recruits patients and handles the mechanics of your online practice.

Over the next 24 months they contracted to deploy with 31 hospital systems and more than 2,000 large self-insured employers. They will be serving greater than 300,000 employees.

You will be provided with $1M/$3M medical malpractice insurance at no cost to you. Set your own rates, work whenever convenient and build an online practice. Through this platform providers will able to diagnose and prescribe. There is an integrated EHR system that allows you to order blood work and imaging. Engage your patient population through face-to-face live video, text+ and traditional in-person consultations. Doctors may dedicate themselves to the practice of online medicine or use as a complement to your existing traditional practice. This organization earns a small fee when commerce is conducted on the platform. An individual Doctor with no admin overhead (that's our job) can earn greater than $300,000* annually if based on a fully developed online practice. 

Eventually the future of medicine will be computers making most of the decisions for you and a lot fewer physicians actually making decisions or doing anything hands on but before we get to that point we have this step in between.  Rather then actually going to an office most of our common problems can be diagnosed or triage via a Skype call.  We will go to places like Walgreen to have our basic blood test done.  If you haven't heard of the company Theranos you should check it out.  It is amazing...well if it works it is amazing.  Basically you can go to a testing box (sort of like a red box) in a Walgreen, give a drop of blood and from that drop of blood they can do 30 plus test that used to take vials of blood at a fraction of the cost we now pay.  I know this because when I first heard about this company I had my sister pull up some recent blood work and we went to the online site of the two current facilities doing these test and we compared the prices.  The amount of information the can gather and the cost is truly amazing.  There is some skepticism among other scientist, although considering they are now in testing in two locations, one in California and one in Arizona I think it is maybe just a little bit of good caution of anything new and a little professional jealousy because if Elizabeth Holmes really did what she says she did (and the FDA has given her approval and she is in a trial market so I'm pretty sure she did) then she has changed the way medicine is done forever!  It is amazing.  And so here we are at a point where we are actually going to need fewer and fewer people to go into medicine.  The plus on this is there is actually a people shortage in medicine and this will honestly help.  The negative is we are talking about another professional that will need less people to man it and I don't know where that will equilibrium out.  At a time in our history when the worlds populations have grown to bigger then they ever have been before we continue to make scientific breakthroughs that make such a large population unnecessary.  It sounds great, we can all just sit on the beach drinking Mai Tais (virgin in my case) but we are still a society built on money for services and goods and in order to get that money people need actual jobs.  So while I'm definitely excited about this I'm also a little hesitant of where it will lead.  I'm also a little worried about a system that values how many patients you see and how little overhead you can generate over the actual quality of care you give.  I have a hard time believing that Skype doctoring on a productivity based incentive scale will lead to good bed side manner.    

Sunday, November 15, 2015

No Doctor in the Doctor's House

I was helping Captain E with math today when Cheetah decided it would be fun to empty out our entire pepper shaker.  She then rubbed it all over the table, drew a bunch of pictures in it and spilled quite a bit on the floor.  I came out of the office and there may have been a little muttering or yelling as I removed her from the table and started sweeping the pepper up.  The problem is I didn't really think about what would happen next.  My daughter whose hands were still covered in pepper promptly touched her eyes and then she started to scream.  I turned to her and realizing what had happened yelled out, "Don't touch your eyes," as I crossed the living room but it was too late.  She had immediately started to rub both of them aggressively.  I grabbed her and took her to the sink, prying her hands away from her face.  At this point she was screaming.  I've actually never heard her so distraught.  I trust her hands under the water and then my hands and then I started scooping fistfuls of water into her eye.  Her screams cycled with whimpers and she frantically tried to get away.  This went on for probably five minutes then I put her sobbing on the floor with a towel and frantically called Dr. J while I searched online to see if I needed to take her to the doctor.  Guys Dr. J didn't answer.  I'm sure that he had much bigger emergencies going on but I'm not going to lie I muttered some swear words under my breathe.  I live with a doctor but very rarely do I actually get to benefit from that medical knowledge.  It can be a little frustrating.  Dr. Google though is always available and told me that she would probably be fine unless of course she scratched her corneas up with the grains of pepper.  I tried to get her to let me look but every time she tried to open her eyes her screams got louder, so I put her under the sink again.  This time I made sure the water was a little warmer and I had her face up toward the stream.  I let the water roll over her closed eyes and gently kept trying to ease them a little open so that water could get in.  We did this for another five minutes until her shrieks subsided.  Then I wrapped her in a towel and placed her on the couch.  She lay there for probably ten minutes with her eyes closed, exhausted.  Then she jumped off the couch and acted like nothing had ever happened.  I'm glad she is ok but wish I would have had my partner in crime to take care of this emergency.  I guess if I wanted to always have a doctor around I should have become one myself...

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sleep Collateral Damage

A lot of doctors don't sleep very much and when my husband is on his working weeks that is totally true about him as well.  For example he started working on Thursday.  Thursday he got home at 8:30, Thursday was a good day.  Friday he got home at 1:30 in the morning.  Saturday he was lucky and got home at 10:00 pm. Yesterday he was also lucky and got home at 8:30.  He helped me read stories to the kids and wash the dishes.  We were in bed by 10:00.  We'd been asleep about an hour when his pager went off.  The first time it went off though neither of us realized what it was.  We looked around for a sec and then fell back asleep.  Five minutes later it went off again.  "Babe I think that is for you?"  He sits up, turns the lights on and then makes a phone call.  "Dr. J here...ok yes...I would admit I need to come in...ok I will just put orders in from here."  Then he disappears downstairs to take care of business.  I have no idea when he came back to bed.  I had downloaded the audio of Mocking Jay and about fifteen minutes in I was out.  Then this morning I woke up to his alarm clock a half hour late.  That means he woke up a half hour late and the clock was still going.  He needed me to start talking to him to get him motivated to get up.  While he was putting on scrubs I pulled out my phone and checked facebook.  My friend Michelle is buying a new house in a new town.  I'm excited for her.  My friend Melanie gave me a toy review on Goldieblocks.  I got sucked into a clickbate and then almost got sucked into another and then realized it was probably a fishing scam.  He came out of the bathroom with his ipad and his electric razor.  "Hey babe, do you want me to turn the light off?"  "No, it's fine."  "Are you sure, I can just shut them off?"  "No, don't worry about it, I'm up."  See that's the thing about living with a person who doesn't get a lot of sleep, you don't get a lot of sleep either.  You are sleep collateral damage ;)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Horse Care Lessons

 Pretty much the second we knew we were going to move out West Gigi started asking when she could start taking horse back riding lessons.  I put her off for the summer but when school started again she became more insistent. Through a homeschooling group I'm still a member of we found this little ranch for her to go to that teaches "Horse Care".  It is horse back riding but she also spends about half her class learning how to care for horses, growing them, feeding them, cleaning up their poop, learning about their anatomy, about saddle, and bridle care, the works.  Her teacher calls them farm chores and Gigi loves it.  Her teacher says she has never seen a kid so excited about shoveling poop.  Even I have to admit it is rare to see a child so excited about poop.  I offered lessons to her brother as well and he absolutely refused. His exact words were, "Oh gross I don't want to shovel poop!"  But Gigi doesn't mind.  Then the second half of the class she gets to ride.  This is not just sitting on a horse and letting it take you around, this is learning how to control the horse.  In fact my two youngest desperately wish they could be in class but the teacher won't start teaching them until eight because it isn't until then that she believes they have the weight and muscle needed to direct the horses.  I don't know.  She is probably right.  Sometimes when I watch Gigi kicking her heels in to get the horse to start I just have to laugh.  Her little legs are so tiny and the horse is so big, she really has to exert a lot of force for the horse to even realize she is up there :)  Next week will be her last week for the winter.  I'm sure the girls will all be super sad.  Even though Cheetah and Peach don't get to rid they spend their mornings on the farm playing with chickens, in the kids coral, and petting horses.  I will be relieved to get some time to sleep in on Saturdays but I will also miss seeing these girls with the horses and also spending time on this beautiful piece of property.  I feel very lucky to have found this class for Gigi and hope she enjoys it as much as I enjoy watching her. 

 "When this dog saw us he just dropped down because he knew we absolutely had to pet him."  Peach about the dog.  This farm dog cracks me up.  She will actually howl along if anyone sings happy birthday and she has this grimace grin she gives when she is happy.  It is seriously so creepy because on any other dog it would be a sign of aggression but on this weirdo little farm dog that is how she tells you she is happy :)


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