Sunday, November 22, 2009

a brief hiatus.

i'll be on an away-rotation until Dec. 19th. limited internet access (aside from email)...means limited blog posting.

i'll try shops will be my friend ;)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

thrifty: the transformed chair {#2}

korryn & i went yard-saling this summer. the same day we found this frame, i snagged a chair. yes, another chair.

my original intent (& current intent as well) was/is to use them as photography "props" during photoshoots. chairs always make things a bit more interesting, yes??!!

so back to the chair. we stopped by a rather-crummy-looking-yard-sale outside an old, run-down apartment complex. apparently one tenant had just left all his stuff in the apartment...& the landlords were trying to get rid of it.


my sympathy got the best of me...and $5 later, (instead of the $2 i should have offered) the chair was in my car.

nice, huh?

steps are always the same...

#1. find the chair. dust enhances the "thrifted" look.



#2. find cute sisters to pose for you with the chair.



#3. decide you kind of look cute too (i got dressed! in real clothes!) & get in a picture by the chair with one sister. (look at the photo later & realize your torso looks as long as the Mississippi River...).


#4. remove chair cushion.


#5. start sanding.


#6. keep sanding.


#7. eat some energy-food. in this case, artery-clogging food is fine.


#8. prime it.


#9. paint it (twice.) ...actually thrice because you might have accidentally grabbed a can of SILVER spraypaint for "touchups" instead of black.

#10. remove cushion cover & use as pattern.

#11. attach newly sewn fabric to cushion. with staples!

#12. attach to chair with screws.

#13. pose again.

#14. be proud of yourself for another cute chair (with many, many flaws...but pretend i didn't tell you, okay?!)

the end.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


It isn’t often that I publicly change my opinion. And really? Most often, it is because I deliberately think through my words, my thoughts, my actions before making them public. But I’m finding that more days than not, my opinion of life, of people, of faith, of stuff is just changing. The changes are largely out of my control... fed by my experiences, resurrected by my stories.

And tonight? You deserve to hear more of the story. Instead of changing my opinion, however, I’m going to make an addendum.

To this post.

You see, when I wrote this story about this giggling girl’s mommy, I was writing mostly out of frustration. Because it IS frustrating to see patients that don’t have emergent (or even urgent!) problems, that are not sick, not in pain, not needing immediate medical attention in what is supposed to be the emergency room. In my ideal world, we’d see emergencies in the ER. And if you talk to “old-time” physicians, you might find that Emergency medicine has mercilessly changed. In most community (read: smaller hospitals without advanced trauma units) medical centers, the ER is filled with a myriad of patients on any given night. And what used to be a population of patients with what, in my opinion, were true emergencies or urgencies have now become patients with minor medical problems that very-well could have waited for tomorrow…or 2 days from now…or next week when they could have gotten an appointment with their primary care doctor.

I fully (FULLY!) realize that other issues are present in many of these cases. Patients may not have insurance. They may truly be worried…& in many cases, the patient truly does know best & their concerns are fully warranted. They may have an underlying condition or problem that would not have been discovered had they not come into the ER. But for the most part, the patients I was referring to in my post were those who did need medical attention…eventually.

Such was the case with giggling girl & her mommy. It wasn’t the fact that the little girl had a reddened throat that bothered me so. In fact, literature (& Grey’s Anatomy, for the record) cites cases where red throats turned into something much, much more serious. But such cases are, largely, outside the norm. And giggling girl had nothing more than a red throat. No fever. No cough. No signs of infection. But her impatient mother decided to forego waiting for her pediatric appointment just a few days following & rush her to the ER because it might be something serious. That "common sense" doesn't seem to be common anymore...

The patients I was speaking of were those who coming in for toenail trims. Or for hangnail removal. Or who want to “be fixed” in less than an hour after 19 years of pain.

And, more likely than not, the patients I was speaking of…ARE NOT YOU.

So PLEASE….go to the Emergency Room if there is an ioda of concern, of anxiety about your situation that arises in the midst of whatever medical chaos you might be experiencing. Use your best judgement. Think through the situation. Ask yourself if it really is EMERGENT…or even URGENT. I certainly can’t go through each diagnosis here (we’d all be dead by the time I was halfway done)…& that is not my intent. I write to vent, to share my now-feelings with my 40-year-old-self in a couple of decades, & to remind myself that there is PURPOSE, greater purpose, behind the sometimes frustrating-monotony of my days with patients.

I cannot be the judge of your medical decisions. And I cannot be the decisive voice in your care. That responsibility belongs to you. What I can do, however, is share: my opinions, my experiences, my HOPE.

Common sense.

recipe:: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

in the last 3 weeks, we have made TWELVE (12!!!) batches of these. given, i haven't eaten all of them...but trust me when i say i've eaten my fair share. 4 batches were eaten by the young life kids. 3 batches were given away. 3 batches were eaten by hungry teenagers at our house for movies. and the last one? uhh....


the recipe is super simple. and the only recommendation i have is to decrease the flour just a little bit if you are making more than a double batch.


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
{original recipe by Carol Churchill}
1 cup canned pumpkin
1+ 2/3 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted (melted) butter
1 cup chocolate chips (mini chips work best, in my opinion)
Mix sugar, eggs, & pumpkin. (Hint: one large can of pumpkin makes exactly FOUR batches of these muffins). Add dry ingredients. Add melted butter. Then add chocolate chips.
Bake @ 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

EAT. eat a lot.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

thrifty: the transformed chair {#1}

so if you haven't noticed, i've been a bit over-the-top-excited about thrifting lately. and i think that more than getting junky stuff, it is the thrill of the find that keeps me going back. we had our first suitcase...our second suitcase...and now...

a chair.

a whole $2.60 at Goodwill.


but i believed in her...just like the Ugly Duckling.

and i sanded.

and ripped.


and primed.


and painted.

and cut.

and stapled.


and covered.


and voila!!!


{please don't mind the paper towels on the floor...protecting the carpet from spray paint drips...}
let's compare:
aqua chair before.after

i'm officially in love with refinishing chairs. because you always need more chairs, right? this one now sits at my desk. much better than the fold-up one it replaced.

and yes...more re-do's to come!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

thrifty: the repurposed shirt

so i found a blog.

and i kind of fell in love.

because, well, who doesn't love j.crew. and this woman does j.crew. and this woman tells YOU how to do j.crew.

so i took a black shirt i already had--the collar was stretched out from a hanger. and i bought a $3 remnant @ Joann's.


and i used Fray-Check on the edges.


and i gathered & tucked & pinned & sewed.



and voila.


j.crew + my old shirt = new, repurposed shirt!!


[on a side-note, jon told me that it looked like toilet paper. does it really look like toilet paper?...]

{much, much, more to come...}

Thursday, November 12, 2009

recipe:: O'Henry's

chocolate + peanut butter + goodness = GIANT YUM. i haven't met a sweet-toothed person who didn't like these. and i've made them a lot.


prepare yourself--& leave all your healthy habits behind when you enter your kitchen to make these....



{recipe found here}

1 cup light Karo syrup (found with other syrups)
1 cup sugar
1 cup raw peanuts (I prefer unsalted)
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups rice krispies
1 package chocolate chips
1 package butterscotch chips

Mix Karo syrup + sugar. Microwave for 2 minutes.

Add peanuts + peanut butter. Microwave for 1 minute.

Add rice krispies while mixture is still warm.

Spread into 9x13" baking pan (to about 1" thickness)

Combine chocolate + butterscotch chips in bowl (i save myself & use the same one). Microwave for 2 minutes. Stir. Spread on krispie mixture in pan.

Let takes way too long. You can expedite the process in the fridge or freezer (or outside if it is cold enough!!)

In the meantime, take out the garbage, watch 4 episodes of The Office, drool, fold some laundry.

Then drool a bit more.

Cut into SMALL 1-inch squares
(these are super-sweet!).




Simple enough, right?!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


So our choices add up.
Habits into hours.
Decisions into days.
Lists into a life.

--Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience

He shook his head, adamately denying the accusation.

Shirt wet, salty water leaking from pores. Heavy breaths, body struggling against the extra weight.

Ridiculous, I thought.

He was a large, proud man; just a sliver of apprehension between the lines of his bold verbal paragraphs.

“I don’t eat junk,” exasperated.

I sensed his offense at my questioning.

“Mr. Hepp, your blood pressure is still elevated. Your three meds are at their maximum doses. And its been five months.”

I probably should have been more sympathetic.

“Yeah?...and I’m still trying.”

Doubt overwhelmed me.

Really Mr. Hepp? Really? You are still trying?

Judgement shot from my viewpoint.

“Well, let’s talk about what you are trying. We’d really like to see more progress—we are concerned about your health! Both now & long-term. We’ve talked about the consequences of your condition...”

Saccade eye movements disappeared. I’d lost his attention at “let’s talk about it.”

“I really have been trying, you know…”

I bet you have!...

“I cut out the bacon with my biscuits & gravy each morning at Carl’s Jr. And I don’t order fries anymore with my McDonald’s hamburger at lunch. And at least once a week the wife makes me eat a salad, usually at Applebee’s where we eat dinner every night.”

Ridiculous, I thought.
randoms 037

It would have been easier to ignore him…the excess he had. The thousands of extra calories he was consuming each day, the money he’d spent on having his meals prepared, served, & cleaned up for him.

‘Talking about it’ felt like a waste of breath.

To satisfy the world's sanitation and food requirements would cost only US$13 billion- what the people of the United States and the European Union spend on perfume each year.

I could picture them, boney limbs & burgeoning bellies filled with parasites. Forever etched in my mind were their eyes, their dirty faces, their fallen homes. The empty bowls. The matchstick arms.
world vision 2

Ridiculous, I thought.

It would have been easier to ignore them…the poverty they lived in, the dirty & smelly & lonely they felt. The deficit of calories that caused autodestruction of their internal organs. The dried-up wells & trips to the contaminated river each day for water. The hopelessness & lack of opportunity that promised the same life to their great-grandchildren.
world vision 1

“One out of four children in developing countries is underweight, & some 350 to 400 million children are hungry. Worse, it is estimated that a child dies every five seconds from hunger-related causes.” Richard Stearns, The Hole in Our Gospel

I stepped out of the shower & brushed the steam from my face. It was just what I wanted after a long day on my feet. I’d stepped into the steamy stream of water…& emerged 15 minutes later, the days stressors washed down the drain.
shower feet

“As many as five million people die every year of water-related illness. This creates a no-win situation for millions of parents in our world today—they can watch helplessly as their children die for lack of water, or they can watch them die from diarrhea, because the only water they have is tainted.” –Richard Stearns, The Hole in Our Gospel

It would have been easier to ignore that I’d just wasted 21 gallons of water—more than twice the number a person in Africa uses per day. It would have been easier to brush off the contaminants like I’d brushed off the steam. I wanted my steamy solitude.

I can ignore him.

I can ignore them.

But I can’t ignore myself.

When I wiped a small circle from the mirror, I saw her.
I saw him.
I saw them.

I saw the wastefulness.
I saw the excess.
I saw the need.

And I was faced with a decision.

candle in mirror 1

****Change starts in the mirror.****

Defend the cause of the weak & fatherless;
Maintain the rights of the poor & oppressed.
Rescue the weak & needy;
Deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

-Psalm 82:3-4

“We can be a generation that no longer accepts that an accident of latitude determines whether a child lives or dies—but will we be that generation? Will we in the West realize our potential or will we sleep in the comfort of our affluence with apathy & indifference murmuring softly in our ears? Fifteen thousand people dying needlessly every day from AIDS, TB, & malaria. Mothers, fathers, teachers, farmers, nurses, mechanics, children. This is Africa’s criss. That it’s not on the night news, that we do not treat this as an emergency—that’s our crisis.
Future generations flipping through these pages will know whether we answered the key question. The evidence will be the world around them. History will be our judge, but what’s written is up to us. We can’t say our generation didn’t know how to do it. We can’t say our generation couldn’t afford it. And we can’t say our generation didn’t have reason to do it. It’s up to us.”

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

project 365: 11.02-11.08.09

{monday: 11.02.09} i actually decided to make myself presentable in the morning...the "comfortable-ness" didn't last long. i wish they'd come out with "professional sweatpants"...


{tuesday: 11.03.09} so i decided to make jon's christmas present (what else do i get him?!). and in just 3 hours (using this tutorial), i'd ironed, cut, & sewn this ENTIRE quilt top. it still needs to be basted & finished...but it was super fast & super fun :) {all the solid fabrics are pillow cases from value village...& the red back of the quilt is a sheet from [none other than] value village}


{wednesday: 11.04.09} we missed bodypump...& it got dark too fast to run safely. so p90x abs had us at hello. tough stuff, i tell 'ya.


{thursday: 11.05.09} round #2 helping at the high school concession stands. pretty hilarious to see all the high schoolers consume 7.6 cheeseburgers each....if only they knew.


{friday: 11.06.09} my feet. and apparently i was a bit fixated on my feet during these 7 days. i have at least THREE photos of my feet (one not shown here). kind of weird. moving on....i took this while i was waiting for my preceptor during a procedure. i made myself stand in the hallway so i wouldn't fall asleep in the dark, warm, reading room...


{saturday: 11.07.09} i woke up early to head to bodypump. my least favorite instructor taught & i went home somewhat disappointed. the effort is what counts, though...right?!


{sunday: 11.08.09} jon called. we skyped for TWO HOURS. hold on, let me type that again....TWO HOURS. i couldn't believe it. like real conversation. laughter. talking. joking. and God reminded me...i kind of like my husband....i like him a lot, actually.


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin