Sunday, August 31, 2008


This week is going to be interesting for the good people of Louisiana. The evacuation orders have been issued for the southern cities and the north-bound traffic in our area is heavy with several shelters here in Shreveport. Every public school is closed until at least Thursday because they sent all the buses down south to help evacuate people. David said they are slammed at the hospital with all the transfers from New Orleans.

We got out our 72-hour kits on Thursday when it was announced that Gustav was projected to hit Louisiana. We had a few things that needed to be replaced so we went to Wal-Mart and it was a mad house with jugs of water in short supply. Fortunately, we were able to get the things we needed without too much trouble. People at church today were talking about trying to go to the grocery store last night (just 2 days after our shopping trip) and being told by the Fire Marshall that no more people were allowed in the building.

It looks Gustav should be a tropical storm by the time it hits us in northern Louisiana on Tuesday/Wednesday so we’ll only get 75 mph winds instead of 150mph…phew! We’re bracing ourselves for a lot of rain, flooding and potential power outages, but should be just fine. Thank you to those who have called, emailed, posted blog comments or just sent thoughts our way to see if we’re OK. We will be sure to keep you updated.

Does this mean we have to cross “Gustav” off our list of potential names for our first-born son?

By the way, when updating our 72-hour kits I came across the most delectable, high-calorie snack: those construction-zone orange crackers held together by highly processed cheddar cheese filling. David noticed the empty wrappers (yes, that is ‘wrappers’ with a plural ‘s’) on the coffee table and said, “What happened to the crackers?” I sheepishly replied, “The baby thought they looked good.”

Does this picture make your mouth water, or is it just me?

PS-Yes, I did publish 3 posts in 24 hours. Can you tell that David is pretty busy at the hospital?:)

Gems from the E.R.

Tonight is David’s last night on the Emergency Room service. He has gleaned some valuable tidbits in the last month which I include for your reading pleasure.

  • If you ever get in trouble with the law and the cops have a dog with them…don’t try to run away!
  • When confronted by a paranoid schizophrenic who is high on cocaine, keep a safe distance in case he takes a swing at you.
  • If you’re native language is Chinese and you’re learning English, stay away from telling the lady at the gambling hot line, “I want to start life ova” as this can land you in the ER on protective custody under a suicide watch regardless of what was intended by the comment.
  • When conducting a rectal exam, reassure the patient by saying, “Trust me, this ain't fun for me either, buddy!”

My favorite text messages I received from David while in the ER:

  • Great day…just got exposed to lice!!!
  • If I have to look at one more vagina, I’m gonna scream!

Sounds like fun, don’t you think?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Service project

We have a friend here who is also a first year ENT resident at LSU named Jeff. He bought a house when he moved to Louisiana and when we were over at his place the other night he was lamenting the fact that the weeds in his front yard have gotten to be quite unruly. Being no strangers to unruly weeds, we ourselves owe a massive thanks to the young men of the Foothill Ward and their leaders for clearing our backyard so we could landscape before we moved. In an effort to pay it forward, we surprised Jeff by pulling all of his weeds while he was working at the hospital on Friday. We learned several valuable lessons from this experience which you will find below titled, “Things to consider when doing an outdoor service project in Shreveport in August”:

*Start at 5am instead of 7am as there is no escaping the blistering rays of the sun after 7:30am.
*Wear sunscreen…duh!
*Apply a generous amount of bug spray prior to rummaging through flower beds to avoid the lovely appearance of red dots covering your calves, shins and ankles the next day.
*Bring one complete pair of gloves for each member of your party. If you only have one pair and are forced to split the gloves between two people, be sure that you are not both right-hand dominant. If this cannot be avoided, be prepared for spasms throughout the muscles surrounding your phalanges after 4 hours of intense, one-handed weed-pulling.
*Bring an endless supply of cool beverages; preferably a combination of water and electrolyte replacing sports drinks.
*Keep said beverages in a cooler and do not leave in direct sunlight as doing so will turn the beverages to the temperature of snake pee within a matter of minutes thereby decreasing the extent to which they will refresh you.
*Have access to a car bigger than a Civic to haul away the 9 huge trash bags full of weeds.
*Check intensity of neighborhood watch program in advance of your project to avoid having the cops called on you. If this reconnaissance is not available, stuff your belly with padding so you look like you’re 6 months pregnant. This will make you appear less menacing and therefore less likely to scale the wall to crawl through a second-story window.
*Reward yourself with an Icee afterward and ignore the woman working at the register when she looks you up and down and says, “Wow, ya’ll been…runnin’???”

Despite the things that didn’t go so smoothly, we were quite happy with our work at the end of our 4 hours. Now if we could just get the lactic acid buildup to drain from our back and finger muscles, we’d be in good shape!

Here are the before shots…

The after shots…

And one of He-man with his spoils…

Monday, August 25, 2008

7 years, 70 degrees and 7, 000 choices!

Seven seems to be a popular number for us lately starting with our 7 year anniversary! When we were in Reno we loved to go dancing so I found a local studio where we took a Cha-cha lesson. We were approximately 40 years younger than everyone else in the class, but it was a blast. As we were leaving, the sun was setting so I convinced David to take this picture. What I failed to notice was the very large fire ant hill (a real nice feature of the south) right next to the sign and on which I managed to step. Fortunately, I made it away unscathed.
Speaking of fire ants, David and I are realizing that owning a home in Louisiana is quite a bit different than owning a home in Nevada. In Reno, our yard was fairly low maintenance with the biggest issue being the insanely large weeds in our backyard (a product of our own neglect and lack of landscaping). Here, however, the dreaded fire ant hills are quite a challenge making yard work like playing a game of whack-a-mole. These ants are amazing! Just when you cover one hill with poisonous pellets, they build another one somewhere else within 12 hours. The poison we bought claimed that it was “guaranteed to kill the queen ant” which is supposedly key to destroying the colony. Apparently, our queen is heavily guarded and must have a poison-proof mask her soldier ants put on her when someone sounds the alarm that the poison pellets have arrived. We have yet to succeed in annihilating these little critters. Maybe our hotter-than-the-surface-of-the-sun climate diminishes the effectiveness of the “treatments.” The directions on the poison say “It’s best to apply the pellets when temperatures are cool (below 70 degrees).” Considering the fact that it's about 700 degrees here right now, I’d have to wait until February to get anywhere near 70 degrees. By then I think the whole yard would be covered in ant hills!
Speaking of our hotter-than-the-surface-of-the-sun climate here in good ol’ Shreveport, David and I were doing yard work last week and it was so stinking hot that I feared the brain development of our unborn child was in jeopardy. The only way I could figure to cope was to douse myself with water from the hose every 3-5 minutes. I quickly learned that it’s not a good idea to point the hose directly at your flesh when you’re turning it on for the first time in several hours b/c the water is SCALDING! I had to let it run for a minute before getting to the luke-warm stuff that was cooler than the outside temp. Here’s the approach we found works best: Now another 7, related to baby gear. For a date night we thought it would be a good idea to start looking at baby stuff. I felt like Ariel from the “Little Mermaid” looking at the 7,000 + products in front of us (“A whole new world…”). We quickly realized we know NOTHING about this realm and were completely overwhelmed by the infinite models and brands of car seats, baby monitors, bathing gear, etc. Fortunately, we have wise friends and family who have gone before and are relying on them for input.

David as he compares the weight of two different infant seats.

Our conclusion: they're all too heavy!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Alligator Park, meat pies, and Dallas

David is on the Emergency Room service this month which means he has several days off at a time (a nice change from general surgery). To celebrate this luxury of having time together we headed off on a road trip this weekend. Our first stop was in the town of Natchitoches, LA (pronounced nak-a-dish if you can believe it) about an hour south of Shreveport. Natchitoches is home to the Alligator Park and famous for their meat pies, so our trip included stops to experience each of these.

The Alligator Park was a riot. During the feeding shows they dangled chickens over the water and 20+ gators gathered round trying to get a piece of the delectable treat. It was a sight to behold.

Here we are holding a very menacing teenage gator. Disregard the electrical tape securing his jaws shut…trust me, our lives were in peril! Note how I let David hold the more menacing end just in case our gator friend got a little excited and needed a potty break.

Here are some more photos from the Park...

We stopped at the snack shop for some “gator tots” before we left. They weren’t as yummy as the alligator we ate at the Peach Festival in June, but still pretty good. With our appetizer out of the way, we headed to Lasyone’s Meat Pie Kitchen in downtown Natchitoches for none other than a…meat pie. “What is a meat pie?” you may be asking yourself. Well, if you imagine taking a slab of meatloaf, wrapping it in dough and then deep frying it, you get the essence of these little goodies. They were quite tasty and came with a guarantee to clog your arteries.
After our Natchitoches adventures, it was off to Dallas to hang out with my brother, Cory, and his family. He, his wife, Kerri, and three girls moved there a few weeks ago and we are SO excited to have them only three hours away. While in Dallas, we attended the temple with some people from our ward which was wonderful. We were spoiled in Reno with the temple so close.
We’re back home now and had a great time exploring some of the hot spots of this area…well, everywhere is a hot spot this time of year, but you get my point!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Boy, oh, boy!

Today was attempt #2 at determining the sex of our unborn child. Fortunately, the baby was more cooperative than last time and gave us a nice view of the essential area. As the image was enlarged, David said, “Wait a minute. That’s a hot dog, not a hamburger!” (see post from July 9th for explanation). The ultrasound tech responded, “Well, at this point it’s more like a nugget!” Much to our surprise, we’re having a boy! Never mind my visions (O.K. just very vivid dreams) of having our first child be a girl. So much for my motherly intuition. We are really excited and can’t wait to welcome this special little one into our family.
Here is his adorable profile.
Thus begins a mother's right to show embarrassing pictures of her child. I introduce to you...the boy parts:)

July travels

I spent the last three weeks traveling in Utah and California. It was a great trip complete with time at Bear Lake, swimming in my parents’ pool in Farmington, making raspberry jam and helping my mom can her beans, beets and corn for the year.

Here is a snapshot of me with my two youngest sisters, Caitlyn and Ali, listening to some tunes on the beach.

The baby bump continues to grow.

I also took a side-trip to Palo Alto to celebrate the 80th birthday of a good friend of ours, Dr. Dement. The Dements were like grandparents to us when we lived in Palo Alto and it was great to be a part of the celebration.

Here I am with Dr. D and the Stanford tree (one of the many distinguished guests at the party:)
Good friends Kathy, Liz, and Clarence at the party (thanks for your hospitality, Clarence).Meanwhile, David was holding down the fort at home which Kathy labeled “Shreveport…the other LA.” Kind of catchy, don’t you think?