Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Searching for a New Look

I am trying to find a template that I like. It would be so cool to be skilled at design and be able to make my own, but I'll just have to make do with what Blogger supplies. This particular template is nicer than the most recent one.

This is typical for me in Spring. It's the time of year when I want a new hairstyle, new makeup, new clothes, etc. Now I want a new template.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Something Old, Something New

Renee and Matt Joseph on our wall

We had our Wall Warming and Bike Rodeo yesterday. Sadly, I was on call and was there only for the last hour. We had a pretty good turnout, and I hear a good time was had by all.

Rowdy was in Salt Lake last week, spending time with the kids, his parents, his sister Tory and her husband Tyler, and his brother Jamie and his wife and kids. Just before he left, we invited an insidious influence into our home--yep, we got cable.

I thought that it would be nice to have cable again, just for background noise. What I had forgotten is how much of a time waster it is. There were tons of things I could've gotten done during the week, but I mainly just sat on the sofa and watched--whatever. Of course, I watched stuff on BBCA. Friday night is comedy night, plus there's Cash in the Attic.

What fascinates me about those British antiques-oriented shows like Antiques Roadshow, Bargain Hunt or CITA is how ordinary people will have things lying around their house that are centuries old. "Oh, that old thing?", they'll say, "I've barely noticed it. It's been in my parents' house for ages." And it ends up being a Georgian sideboard or a teapot given to the family by King Henry VIII. There is nothing in my home more than...oh...65 years old at most. I have an embroidered picture that my great-(great?)-aunt Irene made in the 40's (I think), my grandpa Dahlstrom's Idaho chauffer license from 1941 (it was so he could drive the Coke plant's delivery trucks), and a silver bowl that he was awarded by the Coca-Cola Co. for sales in the early 50's. We're just not an heirloomy family.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Four Things You Might Not Know About Me

(Thanks to my lovely and talented friend, Liz Smith!)

Four Jobs I Have Had in My Life

1. Hostess at Red Robin for a summer while I was in college. I haven't eaten at a Red Robin since.
2. Bank teller and branch secretary. It's been more than 15 years ago, but I still prefer never to walk into a bank.
3. "Dishwasher" for an organic chemistry lab at BYU. It was pretty fun, but I had base burns on my arms all the time.
4. Artists' model. Also at BYU, so I wore a flesh-colored bikini rather than posed nekkid.

Four Places I Have Lived

1. Charleston, SC
2. Overland Park, KS
3. Pocatello, ID
4. Eugene, OR

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch
(I haven't had TV for about two years, but I rent stuff, and there are things that I like to watch when I am visiting somewhere else)

1. Bargain Hunt
2. Footballers' Wives (sooooo trashy!!)
3. British comedies, like The Vicar of Dibley or Little Britain (let's face it, I'm an Anglophile when it comes to TV.)
4. Aqua Teen Hunger Force

Four Places I Have Been On Vacation

1. Costa Rica
2. St. Barth's
3. Maui and Kauai
4. Anna Maria Island, FL

Four of My Favorite Foods

1. Mint Oreos (I so have to agree with you on that one, Lizzie!)
2. Great Italian food (Oh, and that one, too!)
3. Baked potatoes and yams
4. Meatloaf. Yes, meatloaf. From Cracker Barrel.

Four Places I Would Like to Be Right Now

1. Anywhere with Rowdy
2. In a hot tub
3. In Bed (It's 10pm, after all, and I have to be at Ward Council at 8:30 in the morning.)
4. At a reunion of all of my friends

Friday, March 9, 2007

The Pied Piper of Halifax Street

My husband, Rowdy, is a fun guy. He likes to do fun things. He likes to do rowdy things. He likes to include other people in the fun. Because of these traits, he is a great favorite of the neighborhood kids. Matt, 11, lives at the top of the street. He is the son of Renee and Pat, who welcomed us to the neighborhood with open arms before we had actually closed on our house. Johnny, 8, and Jason, 5, live two houses down from us. Their mom, Irina, and dad, ?, are Russian Jewish emigres and kind of keep to themselves.

We moved into our house last May. One day soon after, the doorbell rang. It was Johnny. He said, "Can Rowdy come out and play?" I think Rowdy was taking a nap or was otherwise occupied, so I told Johnny that, no, Rowdy could not come out and play. A couple of days later, Johnny said to Rowdy, "I asked your sister if you could come out and play, and she said no!" When Rowdy explained that I was, in fact, his wife, and that he was not 10, but 33, Johnny was gobsmacked. "You're the same age as my mom?!?"

We were driving home from Utah at Christmastime and happened upon a fireworks store just outside of Las Vegas. It was housed in a double-wide trailer, basically, that also contained a liquor store and a casino. There were rows and rows of fireworks. Rowdy looked like he was going to pass out from rapture. He was very restrained and only bought $75 worth of fireworks--M80's, bottle rockets, Roman candles, bees, flowers, and bunches of firecrackers. Now, fireworks are illegal in San Diego, but you can be sure that Rowdy and the boys (and me) have shot off plenty in the last four months. Matt's GI Joe suffered heinous war wounds a couple of weeks ago when Max was visiting. Ever wonder what an M80 will do to a GI Joe? It will light his uniform on fire and blacken his plastic torso.

Rowdy and I decided that it would be awesome to have a climbing wall in our garage, so he and two friends from the ward built it one Saturday. We bought a gymnastics pad for the garage floor, plus we have our bouldering pad should we need it. Whenever our garage door is open, you can be sure that at Johnny and Jason are over, asking if they can climb on the wall. I'm sure their mom hates the chalk they bring home on their hands and clothes.

I have been trying to be a better, more courageous mountain biker, so Rowdy built two teeter-totters and two ramps for me to practice skills on. My sister, Karen, was visiting us when I was learning how to take a ramp. Despite being padded, gloved and helmeted, I still managed to get a road rash on my elbow that has left a gnarly scar. (I should write a post cataloging the scars I've developed since we've been married.) Karen took pictures.

Johnny could barely ride a bike last summer, and Jason couldn't at all. Because of the ramps and teeter-totters, they became pretty decent little bike-riders. Matt's a pretty game kid and fairly athletic, so he was usually the first one to try things out. One day, he had his friend, Artie, over. Matt and Artie borrowed a ramp and put it on the hill between our houses. Matt jumped first--no problem. Artie took at crack at it, and the next thing we knew, he was sprawled in the street, screaming bloody murder. My response was, "Oh, you poor thing! Are you okay? Where does it hurt?" Rowdy and Pat's response was, "Walk it off!!" Artie was actually okay, but his bike helmet was severely dented. Thank goodness he actually had it on! Another neighbor kid borrowed the ramp so that he and his buddies could jump their skateboards off of it as they flew down the hill to what I call "Lower Halifax". They were not wearing protective equipment, but Providence being what it is, no one was injured.

The other day, Irina came over to talk to Rowdy. She said, "Jason had to write an essay about the most important person in his life. He didn't write about his mom, or his dad. He wrote about you. I thought you'd want to know that before you leave."

I don't think that I can be the Pied Piper of Halifax while Rowdy's gone. I'm the big sister that won't let people come out and play, remember. I will try to keep the garage door open from time to time. I'll bring out the ramps and teeter-totter. I may even shoot off a firecracker or two. But it won't be the same. I'll miss the Pied Piper as much as they will.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Wall Warming Party Planned!

We're having a climbing wall warming and bike rodeo in a couple of weeks. I guess you're what you might call our neighborhood's attractive nuisance.

I really should be working...

One of the nice things about blogs is the way they can pseudoreconnect you with far-away or long-lost friends. It started with Amberly, and through her blog I found Maren's blog. And through Maren, I found Darrell's blog. This blogging thing is pretty cool after all!

Looking at my friends' blogs, I feel a keen sense of inadequacy. How did they get their pictures to look like that? How did Darrell add in those news clippings? Why don't I have better fonts? I really need to be a better writer. Dang. Oh well. It's a learning process.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

When One Door Closes

People often ask me what I do for work. "I'm an interventional radiologist," I reply. Blank stare. "A minimally-invasive surgeon--?" A slight glimmer of recognition at the word "surgeon". I go on to explain that I use needles, thin wires and tubes with the help of x-rays, ultrasound or CT to diagnose and/or treat various conditions. I do biopsies; drain things (very stinky things some of the time); look at blood flow everywhere in the body except the heart; open up blood flow where it's needed, like in the arms and legs, and in dialysis access; and stop blood flow in places it's not, like in tumors or in cases of trauma.

The most rewarding procedures for me are the embolizations, which usually requires snaking a very tiny tube over an even-tinier wire through some twisty-turny vessels. I sometimes start one of those cases thinking, "I have no idea how I'm going to get to where I need to go!". So when I eventually do get there, take out the vessel and "close the door" as it were, it's incredibly fulfilling. I had such a case yesterday. I had spent a week planning the procedure, talking to my colleagues about how I could get the embolization accomplished, looking at the old films and praying for guidance. The procedure went completely smoothly and was a great success (so far!).

Experiences like that make me so grateful to Heavenly Father for the inspiration, education, experience, and talents he's given me, and also that He's given me a very talented support staff and helpful colleagues. I'm so grateful that I can do something that blesses the lives of others. Hopefully, when I "close the door" for my patients, I'm opening a door to a healthier life!
My Rad Life!