Thursday, July 21, 2011

Captain Solo

I have always known that my husband is the most handsome man in the world, but recently other people have taken notice. The other day while walking down the street, a sweet little old lady stopped him. The conversation went something like this....

old lady: "excuse me, you're a medical student right. That sure is a hard road"
Nate: "yeah it is"
old lady: "well I don't know you and you don't know me and I am old enough to be your grandmother, but you are just so handsome it is ridiculous." "I mean your patients are going to see you come into their room and say wow I feel better already!"

So so funny and sweet. It totally made his day.

Then a couple of days ago he was walking down the street again and a gay man muttered: "oh my heavens, I'm sorry but you are just the cutest ephing thing!" But he didn't use the Harry Potter version of the eph word :). Oh and Nate was also checked out by another gay man just yesterday.

Nate and I think this increased attention is due to his present hairstyle, something we like to call the Han Solo. It is longer than he usually wears it (simply because he hasn't had time to get it cut). But on Sunday while watching a little Star Wars episode 2, we realized that it is a dead ringer for Han Solo. So amazing. Apparently the over 60 and homosexual demographics go crazy for the captain solo hair-do.

I guess I have some competition for this handsome fellow. Here he is modeling the Han Solo style and pulling his best Han Solo face.
don't mind the shirtlessness, we're in the midst of a wicked heat wave over here

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Small Triumph

Our urban garden debacle has to be one of the most frustrating things of all time. I now must add obstacle #6 onto the list, squirrels have now also taken an interest in our tomatoes. The other day I caught one munching away on a little roma. So evil. They pick them as soon as they get ripe. Squirrels are now officially my least favorite animal. I didn't even know they liked tomatoes, or that they would wander clear up to our fire escape on the fourth floor to get them. Grrrr.

Amidst all of the frustration, my one small success has been my precious jalapenos. So cute and SOOOO hot. A couple of weeks ago I picked a bunch of them and Nate and I made homemade jalapeno poppers. They were really delicious but oh so spicy! And I am a spicy food freak so you know they had to be pretty extreme. In fact, they were so spicy that when I was scraping the seeds out of them it made some kind of toxic spice aerosol and Nate and I were choking on jalapeno gas for like an hour haha. It was definitely a type I hypersensitivity reaction if I have ever seen one. Increased airway reactivity, increased mucous production, local inflammation and edema. are a few pictures of our babies.
Yes...we're pretty proud.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Miss Saigon

Nate's artsy curtain shot :)

For my birthday, clear back in April, Nate's parents gave us tickets to Miss Saigon at the Walnut Street theater. So last weekend we finally got to use our tickets. Nate and I went with his Mom and our friend Camille.

The seats and company were excellent, the show was ....ok. I really liked the story and the music was pretty good. The main actor had an amazing voice! But it was a little, ok maybe a lot inappropriate. We had no idea that it was going to be so racey! The majority of the play took place in a Vietnamese and then Thai whore house. There were scantily clad women dancing and grinding all over the place. Not too family friendly :). I don't think I have ever seen Nate look so uncomfortable haha, sitting next to his sweet momma while that was going on onstage. Despite all of the dirty dirty, it was still entertaining and we had a really good time. We also hit up Philly Flavors for some water ice on the way home so you know I was happy :). Moral of the story, read reviews of plays before buying tickets.

Independence Day!

This year was our first Fourth of July in Philadelphia. We spent the morning with Nate's family before they flew back to UT. And then in the afternoon we wandered over to the art museum where all the magic was happening. I was super excited because online it described all the delicious food vendors that they were going to have there :). You see, I have been missing "fair food" ever since I left Idaho to go to BYU. I don't think I have been to the Eastern Idaho State Fair, or EISF as we call it, since I was a senior in high school. Consequently, whenever I get a chance to eat fair like food I get pretty excited. Nate and I got a funnel cake and it was seriously sooooo delicious. Mmmm I could go for one of those right now.Camille and I

Besides all of the food vendors, there was also a stage set up for the musical performers and then about a bajillion enthused Philadelphians. We saw The Roots, Sara Barielles, Estelle, and Boys II Men preform. I was actually quite impressed with Sara. She belted it out and played the piano like nobodies business. Boys II Men was probably my favorite though. So many wonderful middle school dance classics. It was always a little awkward when they played "I'll Make Love to You" though ;).see there really were bajillions...

After all of the musical performances they started the firework show. It was really good! I was suprised, since I have pretty high firework standards. They had all these fireworks that were on the ground in front of the art museum and it kind of looked like the fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. I wanted to take pictures but I didn't want to miss any of it. My one gripe with the firework show was that it was put to music and not a single song was patriotic. Maybe it is just me, but Lady Gaga and Britney don't really get me in a "I am so proud to be an American" kind of mood. Oh and I totally called that "Firework" by Katy Perry was going to be the grand finale song. Soooo predictable. I am sure it made an appearance at almost every firework show this year.

But it wasn't just the firework show, the entire evening had absolutely no patriotic tones or messages. I found it very sad and disappointing. I mean we were in the very city where the declaration was drafted and yet no mention of liberty, independence, all of the brave people that have sacrificed for our freedom? Nope not a word. I felt like the City thought that it would be "uncool" or that the masses in attendance would think it was lame. I have been thinking about writing a strongly worded letter to Mayor Nutter about it. We'll see if I actually get around to that.

The whole thing kind of made me miss the West, where people are proud to be American's and aren't ashamed to blast their country songs that talk all about it. I don't ever want to take this country and my freedom for granted. America is such a blessed place, and I am grateful and proud to live here.

Overall the night was pretty fun but the lack of patriotism and all of the smokers made it much less enjoyable. About every third person was sucking on a cig. In fact I don't think we will go back next year due to that fact alone. My airways were seriously burning for the next 2 days. This also made me miss Idaho and Utah where you can gather a huge crowd of people together and not very many of them will be smoking. Awww fresh air....I took you for granted.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Two years ago today Nate asked me to marry him in the cadaver lab at BYU. Specifically the functional anatomy cadaver lab, man that was a great class. It was such a wonderful day. I was totally surprised, I didn't think for one second that he would propose while we were "breaking into" the cadaver lab haha. Watch out for nerd rebellion, it is pretty scary.
Now I am in PA school and am in a new anatomy class with a new cadaver lab. We actually get to dissect the cadavers and I must say that I absolutely love it. It is so amazing to be able to learn on an actual human body. I feel like it is invaluable to my education. No matter how many pictures, diagrams or animals you study it really is not the same as studying it on an actual human body. Our professors teach us about these anatomical relationships and then we get to discover them first hand in our cadavers. A lot of the relationships get disturbed throughout the dissection process and so prosected cadavers, like the ones I used at BYU, are often missing these relationships. When I found the superior mesenteric artery and vein actually coming from behind the pancreas to lie infront of the uncinate of the pancreas and 3rd part of the duodenum I flipped out. It was so cool to me for some reason. The whole abdominal dissection was like a giant treasure hunt for me. I felt like a little kid on a morbid Easter egg hunt.
Experiences like these make me so incredibly grateful for the individuals that volunteer there bodies so that others can learn. The man who is my cadaver didn't have to do that, and there are many good reasons why he wouldn't want to, but he did and I am really thankful to him for that. Some people treat the cadavers lightly but it really is a special thing and almost a spiritual thing for me. He was a man. An actual living person. I can still see the imprint and tan line from his wedding ring. From what I can tell he was a healthy man too. One that cared about his body and took good care of it. His organs and muscles are beautiful! Seriously the best in our class.
I don't know much about him, but I do know that he was selfless enough to volunteer his body to students so that they could poke and prod it and hopefully learn in the process. I hope he knows how grateful I am to him for his allowing me to do this. I have definitely learned so much and I am positive that it will be the highlight of my educational experience.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Adventures in Urban Gardening

Our little garden in happier times

Fresh vegetables are one of the most wonderful things in the world. It is so satisfying to skip out to the garden and fill up your bowl with fresh green goodness to prepare a healthy meal for your family. Well if only my urban gardening experience could have been more like that. When I embarked on this journey I had NO idea that it would be so difficult. Lets just start from the beginning shall we.
There is a tiny plot of dirt behind our apartment building. Who knows how long it has been there ( I would say at least 150 years, since our building was built in 1840), who knows if there is arsenic, lead or millions of other harmful things not to mention the unknown pH or soil content. Well, I decided that those gambles were worth it for a shot at some fresh veggies. So I began looking for gardening supplies. which brings me to obstacle #1. Trying to find gardening supplies in Center City Philly is near impossible. We have a K-mart here but they did not have a single shovel or seeds! I couldn't believe it. I am pretty sure the K-mart in IF has a whole shovel aisle. Luckily I discovered a tiny little hardware store that I now go to when I need things of this nature. It is my best bet.
Once I had most of the supplies rounded up I got started weeding, turning over the soil and mixing in a little good dirt. It took forever but I was holding onto the thought of those sweet veggies. Then it was on to planting. I put the seeds in and hoped and prayed they would grow. A few things started to pop up but sadly the lettuce and spinach never did! I was bummed but quickly rebounded and planted beans in their place. What kind of beans? Oh, just the most difficult kind ever, pole beans. That was an accident and a mistake. I am still just wishing I had ripped the seedlings out of the ground and planted bush beans instead. Oh well.
The glimmer of hope in this though was the peas. They were flourishing, so cute with all there tender green leaves and flowers. I was so excited. Enter obstacle #2. Apparently city mice love to eat peas. Who would have thought? But there was a mouse or a pack of them that would bite off the tender pea-lings and leave them to die. I tried sprinkling them with pest poison but still after a month all fifty pea plants were dead. I only got a handful of pea pods out of them before the evil pack destroyed them all. I may have cried a little. If it weren't for the evil rats of Nimh I could be feasting on peas as we speak.
After the peas were gone, I put all my hope into the tomatoes and jalepenos that I planted in pots on our fire escape. They had been growing really well and had lots of little tomatoes. A few were even turning red. Bring on obstacle #3. One sad day I noticed that my only red little roma had been plucked off and half devoured. Grrr. Then a week later our only big ripe beef steak met the same end. City pigeons are apparently more than happy to snack on plump juicy tomatoes. I almost cried again when Nate told me about or baby becoming flying rat food.
So here is the current tally of our garden. Orginally planted: spinach, lettuce, radishes, peas, herbs, scallions, onions, green beans, tomatoes, jalapenos. What has survived: beans, a few onions, scallions, tomatoes and jalapenos. The herbs held out for a while but after the pack of pea eating mice finished their work there, they just moved right on down the aisle and devoured the herbs. I am glad I could provide that little palate cleanser for them. The beans are growing like mad but they still don't have a single flower or pod so I am beginning to lose faith in them. At least I will still have my jalapenos. Them being as hot as the devil protects them from the city pests who can't handle the heat.
Oh I should also mention that in order to water these little guys Nate and I have to haul water in a watering can from our apartment on the fourth floor to the ground floor. I takes about three trips. Quite a pain in the butt. I guess that when they built buildings in the 1800's they didn't think to put in water spigots. I am just going to go ahead and count that as obstacle #4.
Moral of the story. Urban gardening is pretty rough. I had originally thought that at least there wouldn't be deer and rabbits to munch my babies, but after dealing with mice and pigeons, give me the deer and rabbits any day. At least they are cute and aren't genetically altered freaks that can eat poison without batting an eyelash. This post probably sounds rather bitter, and I have felt that way at points but I am coming to terms with it. I have learned a lot and feel like next year I will be ready! I think tonight I will whip up a batch of homemade jalapeno poppers to salute my mostly failed efforts. Cheers!

Fightin Phils!

whoa check out that beard haha

I am playing major catch-up with these blog posts. It seems that having a nice camera makes for nice pictures, but an abundance of them which makes it hard to want to up-load and organize them :). For my birthday Nate got us Phillies tickets and I was soooo excited! I had wanted to go to a Phils game ever since we moved into the city of brotherly love.
Our tickets were excellent and it was so cool to be so close to the BEST team in the nation. The best part of then night was that we got to see Ryan Howard hit a grand slam!! It was like out of a movie. Bases loaded, Howard up to bat, two strikes and then......WHACK! Awesome!

Here is Howard winding up for the grand slam

I caught the whole grand slam on video but for some reason it won't let me upload it. I will keep working on it because it is awesome! Sadly we haven't been to a Phils game since. I feel so out of touch with my beloved Phils. Guess that is what not having tv and PA school will do to you.