Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I just cut up a jalapeno.  And now my hands are burning.  And I made the mistake of touching my right eye, so it is burning too.  I am afraid to look in the mirror in case I look like Quasimodo.  I feel like I am on fire.  Make it stop.  Please.

Oh, and yesterday at physical therapy we did some new stuff.  So I can't walk because my leg and butt on my left side only are very very sore.  Crazy sore.  I am going to have one very buff leg.

Yesterday I actually made the comment "If it is good enough for Emeril, it is good enough for me."  And I don't really like Emeril.  I should have gone with Bobby Flay.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Getting out

I like to make spur-of-the-moment decisions.  Especially when the world around me is spinning.  Best way to deal with the drama- flee the state.
So, I am going to South Bend, Indiana.  What is in South Bend, you may wonder.  My Brother and Sister (in-law) and nephews.  I can't wait.  It is going to be the best.  And I will get to shop in Chicago.  Which is the best.  I need new clothes and nothing here satisfies my need.  So, I found some cheap tickets, and if necessary will call in sick during the days I am gone.  That is how much I need to get out.  What can I say.
My sophomore year I did this sort of thing with a friend.  In that case we flew to California on a whim.  And the last time I went to South Bend it was this sort of trip as well.  And when I went to Mexico (sort of).
Now I just have to wait just under 6 weeks to get a really awesome break.
Maybe when I return all of my problems will have just up and disappeared.  Wouldn't that be awesome.  I guess I shouldn't say problems.  Drama is the right word.  Drama drama.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

#1 and #2 looking slightly better

Here is after approximately 3 seconds of editing.  Blogger doesn't exactly make these photos look great or anything.  And your screen will make them look different than mine too.  And now for the vote.


Or #2:
Or neither?  Or both?  What do you think?  I really want to know.  Should I stop taking pictures of flowers and move onto something more exciting?  Should I get a macro lens so these photos really look great?

Photo Shoot

These are all pictures that I took around the Jordan River Temple on Wednesday.  They are all SOOC (straight out of the camera).  What do you think?

I don't know why, but this one (and several others) looks like one of those black and white photos with color added.  I promise it is not.

Don't you just love the curled petal.

Not my favorite composition, but a cute bud.

These flowers were so vibrant.

Now these next two are very similar.  I was experimenting with shooting the back of a flower with the sun coming through making the flower a little transparent. Which do you prefer?  #1:
or #2:

This one looks much better in full size.

The colors here are kinda fun.

Playing around with depth.
Obviously, I am no expert.  But it is fun for me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

phone calls and BFFs

This guy started talking to me on TRAX.  This is not uncommon.  He was kinda crazy.  This is not uncommon.  Our conversation started based on the fact that I was wearing scrubs.  This is not uncommon.
So anyway, here we are talking about nothing and then he asks if he can use my phone.  This is a difficult thing for me on several levels.  First, he may steal it.  Second, he may call some crazy 900 number and rack up my bill.  Third (and most importantly), he will get his germs on my phone.  And who knows where he has been.  I must have given him a look, because then he asked if I would make a call for him.  Hmm.  He wanted me to call his mom.  This guy was probably in his 40s, and I was calling his mom.  I said okay.  Because I am a gluten for punishment like that.  So anyway, I am calling his mom and he is telling me to tell her who I am and stuff.  Like me and his mom are going to be BFFs.  So I start talking to his mom and telling her that her son, Ernie, would like to be picked up at the TRAX station in 20 minutes (and would it be all right if he went out and played with Billy later on... or that is where it felt like it was going).  Then his mom gets all upset like, why am I always having to take care of my 40-something son.  And here I am sitting there taking all her stress in like we are BFFs.  But we are not.  So then I say, okay well have a nice night.  And she hangs up.  On me.  Seriously, I am just an innocent bystander.  Last time I make a call for a random person.
And last time I give a kid a dollar so he can buy some drugs.  Oh wait that was a different story.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


One of my favorite things to do with my nieces and nephews is to brainwash them.  While my nephew was in town for the summer I taught him something very important, the answer to the question "who is your favorite".  His answer: "Andrea", which actually sounded a lot like uh-die.  Which is exactly how he says "all done", but that is a subject for another day.  The important part is that he was clearly trained that I was his favorite.  Understanding what "favorite" means is a lesson for another day.
Today I taught my niece to say "no, I am a crazy chicken".  Although not quite as beneficial for me, this was still very useful.  It was hilarious every time she said it.  I would say "no, I am a crazy chicken" and she would very ardently state "no, I am a crazy chicken."  Classic.
And this is why God gave us nieces and nephews.  At least one of the reasons.  And the fact that they are more fun that other kids.  As soon as the two babies get old enough I will start brain washing them as well.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Self Discovery

Sometimes it is easier to live life on the surface.  You know, when you don't want to really delve inside yourself and discover who you are, where you are, and where you want to be.  Today was one of the days when I was not on the surface.  I was very much in the deep end.

I had a great day at work.  I took care of the same girl yesterday and today.  She was a doll.  And the family was great!  It was so fun.  I was actually really sad to see them go.  Happy that they went home, but sad at the same time.  Bitter sweet.  I enjoy that.  It is good to make connections with people.  I have found that some very valuable connections are made when one is vulnerable.  It is so important to be kind to people.  Sometimes you have no idea how vulnerable they may be feeling.  I am writing of much more than my experiences today.  Just in general, kindness matters.

It is easy to talk all the time and yet say nothing at all.  And it is a waste of time.  The last week or so I have tried to talk to people who have been busy, which is the way life is sometimes.  And I have talked a lot to people in conversations where nothing of significance is said.  I have realized yet again that it is important to have connections with people.  Deep and real connections.  Everyone needs someone.  In the Ensign last month there were lots of articles about single adults.  One talked about how it is important for single people to have someone to talk to every day.  It is so true.  That support means everything.  And yet it means nothing if it is not sincere.  However, I am reminded yet again that I always have the Lord.  I can talk to Him every day and have that connection.

It is better to love openly.  My current roommate is so open about saying "I love you," something I have never been very good at.  I learned how important saying "I love you" is from my roommate freshman year.  She probably doesn't even realize that she taught me this.  Thank you, Shanna.  I am not good about talking about my feelings when it really counts.  I am not good at opening my heart, yet I have such a vulnerable heart.  Tonight I opened my heart and it really hurt, but it is okay.  Sometimes the pain is good.

Friendships are so important to me.  I am not very good at keeping in touch with people.  Part of that has to do with the fact that I don't like getting hurt.  I don't open myself to deep relationships for fear that it may lead to deep pain.  But I realized (yet again) this week that all the pain is part of the joy.  My friends are so important to me.  I am not very good at expressing this.  I am not very good at being there.  I am not very good at supporting people no matter what.  But, when it comes down to it, I am a fierce defender of my friends.  And it hurts me so much when people say hurtful things about my friends.  I will continue to defend my friends, and to feel that those who care about me should care enough to care about my friends.  And vise versa.

I am sorry to wax on like this.  Sometimes we all need a little self-reflection.  And today was one of those days for me.  I am trying to become a better person, and I appreciate that you will stick with me through my bad days.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Eosinophilic Esophagitis and why it is not fun

I was just realizing yesterday that I am not sure if I could tolerate a mental illness, but physical problems I can handle.  I guess that is why I have been blessed with so many physical trials.  It is okay, I am a better person because of these things.

I was recently diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis.  Exactly.  It is about as confusing and obscure as it sounds.  I finally got into the allergist that knows what he is doing (and is a world expert, if anyone can be called an expert, on EE).  Unfortunately he is not covered by my insurance, so I had the opportunity of experiencing self-pay.  Almost $400 later...

Anyway, what this means for me is that my esophagus is inflamed severely, meaning that it is now much too small.  It is fun.  I chew a lot.  A lot a lot.  I have to take a bunch of meds that they hope will help, but they don't know if they will.  Any by "take meds" I mean that I have to either chew the pills or get the meds as syrups so that they don't get stuck in my throat.  And they did a bunch of skin allergen testing.  Luckily (or unluckily depending on your view) I did not react significantly to anything.  Soy sort of reacted, but only sort of.  So for now, no change in my diet.  Although an elemental diet has not been ruled out for future treatment.  Think how much easier it would be to be able to drink all of my food.  That sounds really nice.

So, no real answers on that front.  The amusing thing is that I will probably start being treated at Primary Children's because my doctor is going to start there and my insurance will cover my treatment there.  He suggested we just pretend I am a teenager.  Shouldn't be too hard.
In other news, he said I have cholinergic urticaria.  What that means is that I get hives a lot.  It is not fun.  I am going to have to take medicine for this.  And, since I can't swallow much of anything, I get to take the medicine as a liquid.  Sweet.  Hopefully this will make it so that I can start going to the gym again without getting so itchy.

As always, I am just keeping it real.  At least it is nothing that is going to kill me or shorten my life.  I may sound discouraged, but I am not.  It is going to be okay.  Everything always works out.  I have faith and hope.  And until then I chew very thoroughly.  It is a good weight loss plan.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


I have to take everything I can as a milestone these days.  I guess it is a good way to remember all the blessings I have.  Here are some of my recent accomplishments:
  • I worked a 6 hour half shift on Friday day
  • I worked a 12 hour shift on Sunday night
  • I cleaned my tub today (very difficult to do if you can not kneel)
  • I actually got things knocked of my list of physical therapy exercises
  • I made a serious real meal today, and it tasted great
  • I impressed the physical therapists with my flexibility and range of motion
  • I made it home safely last night (I have to park at the church next door and then walk home alone in the dark)
  • I have chilled out on talking on my phone, and thus have not caused us to go over our minutes.  Yay for more minutes starting at the end of this week.
  • I have not turned on my heater yet even though it is freezing.  Instead I just wear thermals to bed.
  • I have been given the go-ahead to slowly start back into my normal activities.
It is a good life.