Tuesday, May 26, 2009


It stormed this evening. 
In Texas it threatens...threatens...
and the heavens open. 
The only time I know where the pipes are located in my house
is when it hails. 
They are echo chambers lurking behind my walls
banging out one sharp plunk after another. 

I stepped out on the back patio 
and the smell was a rush of memory.
Dad on the dark back porch,
the squeak of the swing's back and forth 
drowned out by the thunder of water on the tin roof. 
The brilliant flashes that made me jump out of the warmth of his arm
to say "Woah! It's like daytime" 
and peer into the dark greyness hoping it would happen again. 

I love the way thunderstorms smell
dirt, grass, wet, moss,
and my dad on the back porch. 

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I'm thinking about posting a few recipes here simply because I can never remember which book has which recipe, and what I did to change it, or substitute or make do if I don't have the right ingredients, if I read the recipe halfway.  If I post them here, then I can always find them. 

I have tried really complicated recipes for Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas that were totally not worth the effort. I found this simple one and modified it. 

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

4 oz cream cheese softened (I used reduced fat, only because I accidentally bought it.)
1/3-1/2 cup of sour cream (approximating)
1 lb cooked chicken shredded (well seasoned)
1 onion chopped
1 can green chilies
12 flour tortillas
1 can green sauce ( I just saw that the original recipe called for 2. Learn something new every day.)
shredded monterey jack or colby/jack cheese

Saute onions in a bit of oil, when soft, add green chilies and chicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in cream cheese and sour cream. Roll tortillas with mixture inside and place in a 13 x 9 inch pan. Spoon green sauce on top (now that I think of it, two cans would probably be better) and sprinkle with cheese (be generous.)

Bake @ 350 for 15-20 minutes. 

Because these are naturally served best with rice and refried beans, but those are a major pain in the butt to make and the canned beans are gag-o-magic, I usually serve with a large green salad. 

Also, I happen to think that this recipe would be really good with Mexican Crema as opposed to cream cheese and sour cream, but it would be a bit less tangy. If you have not tried La Crema, I suggest you do so only if people surrounding you make the appropriate tostatas for it to be applied to. If you have these resources, then you are one lucky son of a gun! 

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Here are the quilt squares put together for Emma. I have to add a background color, because I apparently continue to be bad at reading directions and made the squares for a crib quilt. But making do is what I do best. Just ask any of the people I feed. 
On second thought,

So anyway I'm on a sewing jag. I've made three of these to go with it. 

I was gonna blog about something else...what was it? 


8 school days left. 

Which is a perfectly lovely countdown. 

And now Em is dancing her way to bed ala So You Think You Can Dance style. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

This one is about periods.

But it's scientific.

In preparing for my growth and development talk with fourth grade girls, I was wondering if there is any evidence I can give them to show that "starting your period" doesn't mean "ready to have a baby."

I googled it.

Rabbit trail: Remember doing research in the LIBRARY? Dewey Decimal System ring any bells? Micro Fische anyone?

One result that came up was fascinating to me. Now while abc does a stellar job of LOST, I can't say that I feel strongly about the validity of their research. They claimed here that studies show the absence of a father is consistent with early menarche in young girls. (starting your period)


Ok. So I googled again, and got this. For those of you (like me) who are never gonna read all that, here is the abstract:

In this study we examined the relationship between menarche and interest in infants among adolescent girls, and the effects of early environment, particularly of father absence from home, on both variables. Eighty-three girls ranging in age from between 11 and 14 years served as study participants. Interest in infants was assessed through their preferences for photos and silhouettes of animal and human faces of infants versus adults. Information on menarche and the early family environment was obtained with questionnaires and interviews. Variation in menarcheal status or timing of menarche was associated with some differences in interest in infants. There was little or no evidence, however, that suggested a direct causal relationship between these variables. Instead, both menarche and interest in infants were independently associated with early father absence from home such that father-absent girls exhibited earlier menarche and greater attraction to infant visual stimuli than father-present girls. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that father absence is associated with a developmental trajectory characterized by earlier readiness for reproduction and parenting.

For those of you who need the one sentence version, it says that they are making a reasonable guess supported by evidence that father absenteeism is associated with early maturation and readiness for reproduction.

My thoughts were as follows:

"Is this because there is some invisible chain connecting us and testosterone or lack thereof is sensed and the body naturally tries to gather/produce more of it?"

"Thank goodness that Bill is such a good and present father to Em."

"Yet one more reason to appreciate my own father."

"Wait. What if it is simple psychology, and the desire for parenting is translated into a desire to be a parent?"

"There is no hope for alot of my girls at school. How can I help them?"

"I'm so ready for the weekend."

I did not say they were great thoughts. Just thoughts.

Do you have anything to share? I would appreciate.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

My Dream Job

I love my job.

There have been moments of supreme hatred and loathing, but that usually
was not related to the job itself,but to the people with whom I was attempting to work.

I have wanted to do this job since I was seven.

I remember confirming that moment when I was 17.

I watched in the hospital while my sisters had her babies. I remember when she had Mary in Florida, I was watching the other four. I spent the night with her in the hospital while Bryan was home, and the next morning the nurse came in and asked me to leave for a moment. I think I cried a little, but managed to eat breakfast in the cafeteria. I'm fairly certain it was biscuits and gravy. And hot chocolate. When I came back, there sat my newly operated on, dearly adored, mama of a sister sitting on the edge of a delicious looking, fluffed up, pristinely white bed with the sun shining in the window. She was eating breakfast in a new gown with her hair and teeth brushed. Baby Mary was cocooned up in the bassinet sleeping peacefully.

I had an epiphany. It's such a clear memory. I wanted to be the magician who stayed in the room and made THAT happen. It seemed like a miracle to me.

Nursing school was two of the worst years ever. It was HARD. No one could sleep before clinicals, and we would ride up the elevator to 9 Roberts, nauseous and sweating in our white uniforms, with Brandi muttering "I hate our lives."

I liked home health. Mostly. I loved my patients, and I liked seeing them and caring for them in their homes. That was a special experience. I grew frustrated though, by the fact that I could not really make anyone better. I found myself saying "I just need that magic wand!"

I liked post-partum. Loved taking care of the babies, mother-baby care, teaching and comforting new moms. Straightening the trays, opening the blinds and snuggling the newborns. I don't get to make that particular magic happen anymore.

I was ok with floating through med-surg. I learned alot. If you had a bad day, you just moved to a different floor the next time you came in for a shift. But I just hated working at that time. My babies were babies. I wanted to be home with them, even if I was only gone two days a week. I still get a sick feeling in my stomach when I remember pulling out of the driveway on Miller St. and pulling in to the parking lot at Crawford Long.

But it kept me in nursing. That mattered a lot.

It matters because now that both of my kids are in school, I can work full time, and I can be home with them when they are home. Schedule, though a huge part of it, is not all of the reason I love this job.

It's walking through the doors, saying good morning to all the sleepy, grumpy, happy, sneezy (yes, and dopey doc and bashful) faces...calling out as many names as I possibly can. It's having a girl waiting by my clinic door just to say "hi" or ask me a question. It's putting bandaids on owies. It's feeling small arms around my waist as I walk through the cafeteria to get ice each day. It's a line of 70 kindergarteners with big smiles to show me that they brushed their teeth. It's pulling lice out a girls hair, while teaching her older sisters how to do it too, because if they don't, no one will. It's joking and laughing with my friends through the course of the day.

Ok. Ok. I admit it. It's all the Mexican food.

Just kidding.


I like joking with the older kids, comforting the sick ones who's parents have more pressing matters (real and imagined) to attend to. I like teaching about health and deodorant and lice and periods. I like screening 4 year olds for vision and hearing.

I love pulling out splinters. Very satisfying.
I'm not terribly fond of nosebleeds. Or diarrhea.
Vomitting I'm ok with. And earaches. I like looking in ears and listening to lungs.
I get kinda panicky with asthma, because, well, breathing is kind of important for living, you know. There's a life or death aspect there that has always kept me out of the ICU and the ER.

It's really rare when people find a job they love. I feel so grateful to the Lord for putting it in my heart from a very young age, and to my parents who never doubted for a second, educated, supported and paid my way. I know that I have been richly blessed.

I consider it a privilege.

Happy Nurses Day to all my cohorts out there. In the words of a first grader today: "You Rok Alot"

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Just playing with Picnik. That's good times.