Clean House Day!

>> Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I find myself in a wonderful position today. A free day off! Normally to get a day off in the middle of the week, I have been on call for the previous weekend. But... 4 times a year I cover Saturday clinic only without all the blasted call, and I STILL GET THE DAY OFF! This is bonus in my world. So I usually lay around, cook and read, but today I am going to be productive. It is clean house day!

I have a mission.

1. Clean the fridge. I am not sure how the shelves get so gross. I don't put leaky gross stuff in my fridge. I will blame it on my husband. And the dirty fridge fairies.

2. Laundry. This is usually done every week, however for the last 5 weeks in a row, my step son has visited from college, along with a lot of dirty laundry. Thus allowing my laundry to pile up.

3. Bug Bombs. I live in the country, in an old house, in Iowa. That is the perfect recipe for a bug infested house in the fall. Asian lady beetles and flies, enjoy your last few breaths cause you are going to be gone in a few hours...

4. Vacuum. Gotta pick up those bugs.

5. Get Rid of the Crap. I have to go to town anyways. I will bring a load to the local free store.

6. Clean the Desk. Geez, there is a lot of stuff in piles here.

Should be enough to get through my free day off.

What is high on your to do list. Ever get Free Days? What do you do with them?

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Flu Attack! How A Virus Invades Your Body

>> Monday, October 26, 2009



NPR's Robert Krulwich explains how the flu is spread, and epidemics develop.
When you get the flu, viruses turn your cells into tiny factories that help spread the disease. In this animation, NPR's Robert Krulwich and medical animator David Bolinsky explain how a flu virus can trick a single cell into making a million more viruses.

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Deweys 24 Hour Read-a-Thon Final Report

>> Sunday, October 25, 2009

Well I made it through, about 12 hours of reading in total.  Completed one book: The Banquet Bug


I enjoyed it.  I thought about posting on the Feed Me Seymour

mini-challenge.  This book was all about food.  But, I couldn't find pictures of Frog Uterus, which is what they where eating at the time of the challenge.  This book was about Socialism in China, through the eyes of Dan Dong, a poor factory worker who has been underemployed and living on the factories roof with the other employees.  He decided that he needs to get another job, and accidentally finds himself at a lavish banquet, meant for reporters.  These banquets are common to entice favorable stories, and include "money for your trouble"  Dan finds himself sucked into the life of pretending to be a reporter, for the food and money.  But he ends up getting tangled in the lives of those he meets at the banquets.
I found it interesting that the author Geling Yan, has written several other books, but this was the first she has written in English.  She left China in the 1970's and is now currently living in Abuja, Nigeria, a place that I was lucky enough to visit last November.  Good solid book, I would reccomend it.

I made it almost all the way through, The Indian in the Cupboard.  What a joy to re-read a childhood favorite.  I put it on my bedside, and even read a few pages when I could not sleep in the middle of the night.  I should finish it no problem this morning with my coffee.

I read about 300 pages of The Pretties.  It has just been okay.  It is the second in a series.  I read the first book The Ulgies 2 or 3 years ago, and I just don't remember enough of the plot to fully enjoy the book.  But it to was great light reading.

I didn't get to commit myself as fully as I would have like to reading, because of the distractions at home.  Iowa football (Go Hawks!), my husband wanted me to cut his hair, I had to make dinner, etc. etc. etc.

Next year, I think I will plan to go somewhere for the majority of the read.  Even just to the library...  Too many distractions at home.  I also wish I had some easier books, so that I could have the sense of accomplishment of finishing several books during the read-a-thon.

All in all great experience.  Thanks Dewey.  Thanks Cheerleaders.  It was exciting to have so many people check out my blog.  It is usually a pretty low traffic place.  Oh the excitment of people commenting!  I think I will have to publicize more...

Gotta go, my unfinished books are calling me.

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Deweys 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

>> Saturday, October 24, 2009

Going well!

Time reading:  4 hours
Pages read:  286
Audible.com minutes: 49

Almost done with The Banquet Bug, 1/2 way through The Pretties.  Enjoying this immensly.

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Deweys 24 Hour Read-a-Thon Snacks!

Here is the recipe for Cranberry Orange Fruit roll ups.

1 bag of cranberries, rinsed
1 whole orange, peels and all
1 cup of sugar


Chop up the whole orange, rind and all and throw it in your blender, along with the cranberries, and sugar.  Blend until it is one big liquid mess.  If it seems a bit dry, toss in some orange juice or water to help liquify it.  Pour them out onto drying surface in 1/2 cup circles.   I dry mine in my food dehydrator, or you could use a cookie sheet lightly greased in your oven on its lowest setting.  The fruit rolls are done when they are slightly sticky, and still pliable.  I dust mine with powdered sugar so they don't stick together when I store them.

Enjoy!

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Dewey's 24 hour Read-a-Thon

Done with work.  With this H1N1 going around, I saw 20 patients in 3 hours...  thus, only 5 minutes of reading done...  On my way home, to read!

I was planning on listening to the end of The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown during my commute, however it finished about 30 seconds into the trip.  So I have added The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell to my listening list.  It was the only audiobook on my Ipod that I hadn't alreay heard

Total Time: 1hr 5min
Total Pages: 59
Time listening to audiobooks:  36 minutes

Having fun with mini-challenges, they where much easier to do between patients.  Just posted my perspective on The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff on Opi's Rambling. 

Now time for some serious reading...

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Deweys 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

And we're off!


Starting a few minutes late this am because I couldn't resist the awesome sunrise.

1st book:  The Banquet Bug

I am starting on page 102, so I hope to finish it before work today.

Total Pages: 0
Total Time: 0 min

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Dewey's 24 hour Read A Thon Book List

>> Friday, October 23, 2009


I am getting excited about this.  Starts in less than 24 hours.  My husband on the otherhand is not so excited.  We had some unexpected work come up for the weekend.  This happens when you live on a farm....  So I have added some audio books from Audible.com to my list, so I can listen to books while working on the Morton Building.    I have decided to read for 8 hours.  Maybe next time, I can get the weekend off work, send my husband out of town (or better yet, maybe I will go out of town ☻) and commit to a longer period of time...


My Reading List

The Banquet Bug by Geling Yan
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown  (Audible.com)
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
The Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Plus I will throw in a few Medical Journals that I need to catch up on, and the Oh So Exciting! Hospice and Palliative Meicine Approach to Life-Limiting Illness, that I am currently studying for my upcoming board certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. 

I have to work on Saturday, so that means several hours of clinic, and with the H1N1 flu rapidly spreading through our community, I anticipate being busy.  I plan to bring The Indian in the cuboard for some light reading between patients (fingers crossed).  

I really have never been interested in reading the Twilight series, but I hear so much of it, and they happened to have it at the library, so I thought I would give it a try.  I havn't known anyone that didn't get absorbed in the book, so this may be a good time for me to check it off my list. 

What are you reading for right now?  Any suggestions on what I could add to my list?

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Deweys 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

>> Tuesday, October 20, 2009



I am really excited about this.  I could possibly devote a whole 24 hours to reading?  Thank You, I would love to.  Unfortunalty my work does not agree with me.  I will be reading at every oportuntity available, and you should to!

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On My Bedside Table: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

That may be a little misleading.  I am listening to this and an Audible Book.  In my car.  When I am driving anyways.




"Reading" a book this way is an acquired taste.  I spent many years with little free time except when I was in the car.  I yearned to read more, and it was killing me to waste my time driving.  I was even known to pull out a book and try to get a few pages in during traffic jams.  Then I discovered the loca library had free books on audio tape and CD.

Score

I went through several in the next few months, never looking back at the sad NPR war stories, and what is our world coming to breaking news.  I could pretend I didn't live in that world any more, and instead live in whatever fictional world I had checked out at the library this week.    I had drifted away from these auidobooks as I have more time for actual reading these days, however will still enjoy one now and then.

I wasn't one of these people that had a strong opinion about this book before it came out.  I didn't eagerly anticipate it as advertised.  I found out about it from a friend, who happens to be a freemason, and was reading it.  I enjoyed  The Da Vinci Code  a lot.  I despised Angels & Demons: A Novel (Robert Langdon).  So this book could be hit or miss.

Did I like it?  Yes
Was it plausable?  No



That is really OK with me.  I don't read books solely for fact, I read them for enjoyability.  I did enjoy this book.  In fact, I found myself looking for places to drive, so I could listen a little longer.  The story was brought me in, and made me think.   Both things I enjoy in a book.  I would recommend it to friends, but I would not put it at the top of my favorite book list.

And darn it, I didn't learn any secrets about my Freemason friends that I didn't already have a good idea about.

Want to know more?  Interested in what others thought?

Discovering The Lost Symbol: The Blog
Secrets of The Lost Symbol
Read Street

Want to snag your own copy?

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Quick, Easy, Dinner in the Crockpot!

>> Monday, October 19, 2009

Inspired by A Year Of Slowcooking I have been using my Crockpot more recently.  Today makes three dinners in a row.  Read this as three nights of no fuss, minimal cleanup, delicious dinners!  My husband has raved about them all.  I am really excited to serve him dinner tonight.  I have been home for about an hour, and cannot stop tasting the delicious spaghetti sauce I made.  It was simple.  While I was cleaning up last night, I set everything out for this morning.  Before I left for work at 5:30 am, I spent 5 minutes tossing everything in the crockpot.  Couldn't be easier, couldn't taste better.
I garden, and have my own tomato sauce, so I started with one pint of that.  While it is fresh from the garden wonderful, it is honestly a little thin, and not so robust on flavor.  So I spiced it up.

1 small can of tomato paste
1 tbls brown sugar
2 tbls soy sauce
1/2 cup of water
1 medium onion coarsely chopped
1 pound thawed hamburger
1 can of mushroom pieces
Italian Herb Mix from Penzey's

Quick shot of cooking spray, dump everything in, place on low, and let simmer for eight hours.  I could not believe how great the house smelled when I walked in.  I tasted it about 5 or 6 times, burned my lip once, and added 1/2 box of spaghetti noodles.  Just broke them in half and poked them under the sauce.  No water to boil.  No greasy pot from browning the ground beef.  No fuss.  I might add a splash of some red wine, if we open a bottle, but it really does not need the extra flavor.  This all day simmer left my already good homemade sauce tasting better than I could have imagined.  Try the same with your favorite store bought brand, and you will never cook spaghetti any other way again.  The secret ingredients are really the soy sauce and the brown sugar.  And just because I love it so much I will probably sprinkle a little Fool's Salt, on top, and over the green salad I am serving with the spaghetti.

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A taste of fall

>> Thursday, October 15, 2009


The gloomy, rainy weather we have been having this week makes me long for the fall I know will be here soon.  This inspired me to dig back to some of my great previous fall photos.  Hopefully I will have the opportunity to get some new pictures before the snow falls!

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On My Bedside Table

>> Tuesday, October 13, 2009

So here is what I'm reading at the moment.  I have about 20 pages left, but I enjoyed this book enough that I thought I would share it with you today. 




The last time I braved a book about the end of the world, I just couldn't stomach it.  The darkness, bleakness, and creepiness factor just sat in my stomach the wrong way.  So with that freshly in my mind,  I was trepidatious about starting Earth Abides.  I shouldn't have been.  It is a reissued book that was originally published in 1949.  It is the story of a plaque that kills off the majority of the worlds poplulation.  The main survivor is "Ish", while he is initially shocked, and wandering aimlessly, once he recovers he settles down and starts his own Tribe.  What follows is a story of how the earth transforms without mankinds intervention.  It made me think about what is important enough in my life that I would want it to be carried on in future generations.  I certianly did not agree with the path the tribe went down.  I would hope that my reality would have been different in this situation.  This book made me think, and I like that.  The reading was fast, and kept my interest.  I liked it enought to reccomend it.

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It was a cold dark night

>> Monday, October 12, 2009


Wish I would have had a tripod to get more pictures of these amazing clouds. Good thing I like clouds so much, being that I live in Iowa. It seems we have mostly clouds here. I am captivated by them, and love to photograph them. I try to keep my camera in the car with me, so that I can pull off to the side of the road when I see ones I like.

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Tastespotting is my friend

>> Sunday, October 11, 2009

This is about the greatest site I have seen in a while.  Just can't stop looking at it.  Oh, the things I could cook.

http://www.tastespotting.com/

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What bookclub is eating tomorrow...

It’s pumpkin time! Great foods can be made with pumpkins. One easy, delicious dessert is a pumpkin bar! It can be changed up by adding some chopped nuts, chopped apples, dried cranberries, or my favorite, chocolate chips.  The original recipe calls for 1 cup oil, but if you want a lighter version, substitute half the oil with applesauce. The end result will be the same, just less calories, but still the same moist bar. A little less sugar could be added, but being this is an old recipe when people ate and cared less about the sugar and fats and just enjoyed their food but dropped dead at the ripe ole age of 50, it calls for quite a bit. I would just use 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2  cup white sugar. ( I’d like to bail out at the ripe ole age of 96 or so). I also use fresh pumpkin but canned pumpkin works perfectly without the added work. This recipe also works great with zucchini instead of the pumpkin, using 2 cups shredded zucchini.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2 cups cooked pumpkin
1 1/2 cups sugar (this is where I made the change to 1/2 c. brown and 1/2 cup white sugar)
1 cup oil (can use 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce)
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips, nuts, or dried cranberries or raisins
1. Combine the 1st 5 ingredients. Set aside.
2. Mix together eggs, pumpkin, sugar, and oil. Beat well.
3. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Spread in an ungreased 15 x 10 pan. Bake in a 350* oven for aobut 25-30 minutes.

Found this recipe today at http://www.cookwomanfood.com/2009/10/11/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-bars/
I think I will make it for book club tomorrow.  Yummy

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Hy-Vee - Helpful Ideas - Coupon Match-Ups 10/07/09

Hy-Vee - Helpful Ideas - Coupon Match-Ups 10/07/09

Shared via AddThis

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Take a Picture

>> Saturday, October 10, 2009


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Photographs from home


This is a photograph from the backyard.  More pictures to come

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Photographing Food

Two of my favorite things combined in one. Cooking and photography. I love presentation of food, and capturing it to remember. This is a Tortilla Espanola. Made with fresh potatoes and onions from the garden, and farm fresh eggs. The tomatoes and herbs are from the garden too. Give it a try, you won't be dissapointed.



Tortilla Espanola
6 potatoes peeled
1/2 onion
3 garlic cloves
6 eggs
Olive Oil
2 Tbls milk
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

1. Slice potatoes thinly
2. Add potatoes onion and sliced garlic to a 10 inch frying pan
3. Cover with oil and cook until potatoes are tender but not brown
4. Drain the oil reserving about 2 tablespoons
5. Mix the eggs and milk together in a medium size bowl
6. Add the potatoes to the egg mixture (it is important to add the potatoes to the eggs, and not the eggs to the potatoes)
7. Let sit for 15 minutes
8. Season with salt and pepper
9. Put the reserved oil into the frying pan and add egg and potato mixture
10. Cook over medium heat until set
11. Very carefully flip using the lid of the pan. Place the lid on the pan, invert, then carefully slide the tortilla back into the pan
12. Cook two to three minutes after flipping

This can be served both warm or room temperature. We like to add sour cream and tomatoes.
Always a hit to bring to a party.

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My latest project

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Photography

It's all in the camera

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Be You

>> Saturday, October 3, 2009


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Sunset in September



I enjoy photography.  Luckily I have the perfect picture right out my backdoor.




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