24 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

May your Christmas be filled with joy, peace, and beautiful holiday music!
Scott and Katie Chandler

21 December 2012

A Christmas Miracle

After my car accident in August, I had to cancel a summer trip to Utah to visit my best friend, Maura. It was sad to cancel, but rescheduling turned out to be better than I expected! I was able to visit Maura and her family this month with all the holiday festivities! I even got to enjoy the white Christmas feel with some snowfall after I arrived! This rescheduled trip turned out to be so wonderful!

I  had amazing one-on-one time with Maura and her son Crew, who quickly became unshy and was so cute to include me in all his games of "playing guys!" Maura, Crew, and I visited temple square in SLC to see the beautiful Christmas lights and manger scenes from all over the world.

I also visited with my Bukey family and my good friend Jandee and her boys! The whole trip was the best birthday and Christmas present a girl could ask for! Now if only we could find a way to spend more time in Utah with some of our favorite people!

03 December 2012

Grass Roots Books and Music - Corvallis

I won a gift certificate to Grass Roots Books and Music at a campus event this Fall. I will admit that despite the conversations I've had in my MBA classes about the future of books and the fall of local brick-and-mortar book stores, I continue to shop online and hadn't bothered to investigate of Grass Roots previously. I wasn't sure if I would even be able to find anything in this small Corvallis shop inventory that I wanted.

Boy was I wrong! While this downtown bookstore had little space, they filled it to the max with a fantastic selection. I was searching for children's books for my nieces Christmas gifts. They had many lovely books that I was considering, but in-store did not have the exact books I had in mind. I checked out their online inventory access and found so many options and at decent prices! AND my book purchases were shipped for free to the store for pick-up in only a couple of days! Marvelous!

I'm all about supporting local, and I would be especially sad to see brick-and-mortar bookstores extinct! So take this as my official seal of approval for Grass Roots Books and Music. Fantastic service, excellent inventory, quick shipping if needed, and lovely atmosphere!

28 November 2012

Med School Update: Semester 3

It has been a busy semester for Scott, as the students jumped right back where they left off in Year 1, Semester 2, reviewing each of the body systems. The system courses are intense, usually two to four weeks long with one or two major exams covering the material.

So here goes my attempted interview with Scott...

Q: What systems have you reviewed so far this year? 
A: Endocrine (hormones), Cardio (heart), and just finished Renal (kidney).

Q: What kind of information are you tested on with each of the body systems?
A: I don't know how to answer that. There's a lot of information to learn - like function, diseases that affect the system, presenting symptoms, and drugs for treatment.

Q: Which system did you enjoy learning about the most (note: that doesn't necessarily mean that you scored well or it was easy, just most interesting to you)?
A: Cardio, because its the most relevant.

Q: What has been the most difficult part about school this semester?
A: Studying. There's a lot of it.

Q: What was your favorite moment from this semester so far?
A: I dressed up like Waldo for Halloween. A lot of the students dressed up for Halloween this year. We had a professor who was visiting from the California campus and likes to call on unsuspecting students to answer questions in the lecture. Knowing that I could be called on, I studied hard the night before his lecture. I ended up being called on to answer a question [which he answered correctly], and then after the break I moved seats so the professor would have to find me again to call on me. He was cracking up when he had to say, "Where's Waldo?"

Q: I hear you've taken on some new leadership responsibilities. What are they?
A: I was elected to be my class vice president for the rest of the school year. I help the president and attend meetings. Not sure what other responsibilities I may have.

Q: What do we have to look forward to the rest of this semester and next?
A: There's respitory (lungs), gi (intestines), and derm (skin) systems. We also have the rotation lottery coming up at the beginning of next semester. We will get more information on this in December, but basically the school tells us all the rotation tracks for third year, we choose our top preferences for what city we will be based out of and what rotation schedule we want, and then the school randomly assigns the rotations based on preferences.

Q: Anything you'd like to add?
A: Nope.

What Scott didn't mention was that he recently gave a fantastic presentation on the symptom "shortness of breath" as part of his Essentials of Clinical Medicing course (ECM, practice clinicals). He's extremely proud of it because he did a fantastic job putting together a summary of the potential causes for this presenting symptom and treatment. The ECM professor even complemented Scott on his presentation skills - particularly he said Scott was funny. It made Scott's day so much he made me watch the whole presentation like he was giving it for real when I got home from work that day.

If you have any questions (or comments from those going through it) about what happens in year two of medical school, please send them my way. I think Scott would be more keen to answer my questions if he knew someone cared about the answer!

26 November 2012

Repurposing Thanksgiving

Yesterday I repurposed the traditional Thanksgiving dinner components that we had in our refrigerator to make a whole new meal. If you're still nursing a craving for that Thanksgiving feast, I highly recommend this combo, served IKEA style:


Scott looked at me in the middle of meal and said, "Is that gruyere?"

"Yes!" I said suprised. "I'm so impressed that you know that!"

"Don't be! That taste is imprinted in my mind after eating a truck load in Switzerland." Still impressed and also a little sad that I can't make gruyere a daily routine because of the hubby's taste buds.

23 November 2012

Christmas With Love, From Oregon

We drove (carefully, mind you) behind your future Christmas tree the other day. I hadn't realized it before I saw this truck filled to the brim with bound pine tree umbrellas, but Oregon is the nation's largest producer of Christmas trees.

Now you can think of Scott and I when you are setting up your Christmas tree, wherever you may be around the United States. Happy Holidays from Oregon!

16 November 2012

Young Womens Weekend

We were fortunate enough to take our small Young Women's group on an overnight temple trip last weekend. I prefaced the trip with a lesson about the parable of the ten virgins from Matthew and how it was written for to us today. As a surprise, we took the young women to Scott's grandparents cabin near Portland for the evening, where they giggled and snacked until early in the morning. Luckily our temple appointment wasn't until later Saturday afternoon!

We arrived at the temple with plenty of time before our appointment, so we visited the new (and extremely interactive) visitor's center, took pictures of the girls, and went out to eat for appetizers. It was a pretty special trip, and I enjoyed seeing the Laurels and the Beehives bonding together that sleepover weekend!

At our next mutual night, we had Young Women in Excellence, where the girls displayed some of their activities from Personal Progress this last year. The theme for the evening was Light Your Lamp, based on Elder Bednar's talk this last general conference. Each of the girls' displays had a lamp next to it, as well as their picture from the temple taken the Saturday before. Their individual accomplishments this last year were impressive, including many hours of service, cross-stitching art, and memorizing The Living Christ. I'm so glad I get to spend time with these ladies every Tuesday and Sunday, as well as some Saturdays!

07 November 2012

How To Pursue a Career in Sports Medicine

Even before medical school began for us a year and a half ago, Scott mentioned that he believes his specialty of preference would be Sports Medicine. Scott is a sports fanatic, in fact, he says if it's a sport, then he plays it. He'd also like to sell that t-shirt slogan to Nike. During his undergraduate studies, Scott worked as an aide in a physical therapy clinic for athletes and LOVED it! He really enjoyed working with active people of all ages who were anxious to get back to the performance level they were at before an injury. He feels like these athletes were more motivated in their recovery than maybe a non-athlete would be.

We are only in the second-year of medical school now - so he's still on-campus hitting the books - but I've already started my attempt to map out what it would take for Scott to become a doctor of sports medicine. I can almost guarantee that it is too early to have this much research done considering that my student-doctor has yet to do a clinical rotation, but it doesn't hurt to have all my resources in one place.

If you're wondering what the process is to become a team physician and if you have what it takes, check out American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM)'s brochure - Sports Medicine Specialist: Could It Be A Career for You?

The brochure linked above says what I've read before - that most team physicians complete family medicine residencies and follow up with a sports medicine fellowship, since "90% of all sports injuries are non-surgical." Family practice residencies are a plenty and often need applicants. Scutwork.com has reviews of programs from around the nation from past/current residents. Since this forum has information provided by residents, it wont be complete or sometimes very detailed, but it will be informative.

To find a list of all accredited Sports Medicine Fellowship programs visit, AMSSM.

And by chance, Morgan stumbled upon this list of open residency postings  at the American Medical Association website which could be invaluable when finding residencies or fellowships that need to be filled later in the game!

Scott had an interview with the Oregon State University team physician to ask him about his path to working with OSU. When the interview was done, Scott felt even more in love with the profession, but he also felt like the path to becoming a collegiate team physician would be more difficult than even becoming an orthopedic surgeon (super competitive!).

Next up: 3rd year rotations lottery!

UPDATE 10/2014: At this point Scott has completed a few audition rotations in his fourth year of medical school and has further insight into what type of residency to apply for in order to better position yourself for a career in sports medicine. Orthopedic surgery, family medicine, and physical medicine rehabilitation are specialties that work with athletes. Each specialty will have some areas of practice that is not sports related, so there are trade-offs with each. Scott has decided to go the family medicine route because of the doors that route opens for overall practice. He had previously considered PM&R, but has heard from residents that it is more difficult to get into a sports medicine fellowship coming from a PM&R residency. This is because many of the sports medicine fellowships are primary care based.

When looking for a family medicine residency that will prepare the resident for acceptance to a fellowship and career in sports medicine, look at the residency curriculum and faculty. This information is found outside of FREIDA, directly on the residency website. Look for sports medicine rotations in multiple years of the curriculum, faculty that have sports medicine research interest or are on a local/national sports medicine boards, and athletic event coverage.

TIP: We had initially looked only at residencies where there was also a sports medicine fellowship; however, we discovered that some of the best preparatory experience was available at unopposed residencies without a connected fellowship. The key here is not having to compete for learning and CV building opportunities with other residents or fellows. Unopposed residencies allow the students to participate in all interesting cases at the hospital, and typically train the residents for more procedures. Without a fellowship connected, students will have more access to sports related events and cases because they don't have to compete with a fellow to participate.

The upside of having a fellowship in the same hospital system as a residency is that it may improve your network and potential to match with that fellowship, but it's not guaranteed. In fact, we've heard from some fellowships that have preferences for selecting outside of their connected residency.

UPDATE 6/2017: Preparing for Fellowship

05 November 2012

Pumpkin Carving

It's November. I know! Most of us would like to move on to Thanksgiving. I didn't really get a Halloween this year, though, because I was in my MBA class that night. So humor me as I show you pictures of our pre-Halloween celebrations.

Early in October Groupon offered a promotion for a local family farm with a corn maze and mini disk golf course. Knowing that I would have a class on Halloween night, but still wanting to have a special Halloween date with my hubby, I bought four passes to this corn maze on Groupon and excitedly awaited a time closer to Halloween when we would frolic through the maze while the autumn leaves of gold and red fell upon our heads.

Know this - you should NEVER pre-pay for Fall outdoor activities in Oregon. The rains came down and the mud came up, and that corn maze was a sloppy disaster. Okay, that's harsh.  We finally found a day where there wasn't any rain and hoped that would be enough for a maze outing. The maze wasn't a disaster, but it was an extreme pile of sloppy mud.

This picture doesn't quite do the stickiness of the mud justice. Our shoes succumbed to mud many times, and I had to  hang on to corn stalks to keep from falling. So many kids left that maze with mud up their backs or on their faces from a good slip!

We survived the maze, and bought two pumpkins at their patch for carving. Go local!

Here is Scott scraping the piles of mud off our shoes.

In an effort to stay warm and dry, but still festive, we invited Brian and Tabetha to carve the pumpkins. Scott actually carved ours, while I worked on toasting the pumpkin seeds.

It was fun to chat with them while we searched for pumpkin styles, ate pumpkin shaped pizza, and gutted our squash. A much better plan for Halloween weather in Oregon!

02 November 2012

Back Track to Birthday Weekend

It's slightly awkward to watch your medical school husbands "manually manipulate" each other, but note that there was studying action on the birthday weekend.

Scott is extremely satisfied with his Men's Warehouse BOGO "birthday suit" purchases. I would say that I am just very satisfied.

You should know that Scott spent a lot of time in his wardrobe that Saturday planning an outfit for the OSU blackout game. There had to be just enough orange poking through.

When I suggested he might freeze to death in shorts, seeing as it IS Oregon and it WAS raining and 40 degrees, Scott scoffed me to the car. Let's just say that on the drive home that night the heater may have been on high.

Thanks to Morgan and Chase who made these birthday outings extra celebratory!

31 October 2012

Halloween Chili Winner

This lovely bowl of goodness brought me a big win at our church harvest festival this last weekend. The harvest festival included a chili cookoff, pie bake-off, Halloween carnival, and Trunk-or-treating. The Young Women in our ward helped with some of the Halloween games, including a blindfolded touch test of "eyeballs" and "intestines." When we asked the kiddos what it felt like they would say things like, "cold" and "sphegetti." They have well established fine motor skills. When the Young Women asked Scott if he would like to test the "intestines" and "eyeballs" he informed them that he had felt real human intestines and eyeballs. That turned the trick on them! They were looking a little squeamish after that.

Anyway, I am a proud winner of a cardstock certificate that reads "Best White Bean Chili." This recipe is really so good that I only ate my own chili out of the 20 options that were available. I wonder if they judged based on whose crockpot was empty? If that's the case I may need to go confess.

To be posted: our family portrait taken at the harvest festival.

26 October 2012

Election Year

With the presidential election on our doorstep, I have been thinking a lot about voting and the responsibilities of leaders.

I was reminded of my junior year in high school. At the end of the school year I decided to run for a study body office and prepared a speech. I detailed all of my qualifications and wrote witty lines in between, though not laugh out loud funny. I was quite proud of my speech, and I'm sure I made some signage as well to hang around the school.

Speeches were given at a school assembly from the lowest study body position to the highest ranking candidates. When my turn came to speak, I was nervous but felt well prepared. My opponent had the opportunity after me to give a speech, but that's not exactly what happened. Instead of speaking, my opponent did a strip tease dance to music. I can't remember him saying anything except, maybe a "Vote for me!" at the end. He won.

Is it any surprise? Of course it was high school, but I would say that attitude about voting is fairly comparable with our society today. Marketing is big - who's name do you remember when you're at the booth to vote? What one word misspoken in the debate changed your opinion of the whole race? The candidates are so opinionated in the beginning and yet middle-of-the-road near the end that it's hard to tell what anyone really stands for - and they are doing it because "that's what the people want." I'll still vote, though, because it's my responsibility and privilege.

With all this in mind I read this quote from my MBA case study about Interface, Inc. - a company that has pledged to be oil-free by 2020:

"Paul Hawken (author of The Ecology of Commerce) argued that business people alone could reverse the trend of environmental degradation from industrialization. Individuals did not possess the collective power to do so. Governments were typically reactive rather than proactive and thus were unequipped to provide the transformation change. Thus, said Hawken, it was up to capitalist business, 'the only institution large enough, wealthy enough, and pervasive and powerful enough to lead humankind out of the mess we are making.'" - Strategic Management: Concepts & Cases by Frank T. Rothaermel

Statements like this remind me that I have the opportunity to make a positive impact on society through business, even when our political leaders are incapable.

While we're on the topic of speeches, voting, and making a difference you should know that this week the hubby ran for Vice President of his class.

He says that he's more than prepared to take over for the student government president and protect the school, should the student president ever be promoted to Washington.

22 October 2012

Birthday Weekend

It's the hubbie's birthday today and we have been celebrating all weekend long - including traveling to Eugene for some birthday shopping, watching the Beavs achieve 6-0, and making this special breakfast from Pinterest! Not to mention Group Power at the gym tonight and dessert and games with friends.

Good birthday? I think so.

I will post more pictures later this week.

The crepes were delish, BTW. I've decided that all my crepes should involve sweet potatoe or pumpkin puree from now on.

12 October 2012

Best Pizza Dough Recipe

"I DID IT!" I yelled to Scott as he come home from school with dinner ready on the table. I found it! The BEST pizza dough recipe yet. Thank you America's Test Kitchen! You're the best.

The crust has the perfect crunch on the edge and foldable center. My favorite part - it has to sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Obviously that won't work if your craving for pizza requires you to eat it immediately, but it's the perfect solution for Pizza Fridays.

The long search is over. Now I just need to make Scott's favorite crust - pan. Maybe I'll use this recipe from cdKitchen that I pinned.

08 October 2012

Brew BQ - Corvallis

It's not very often that I can say I have tried a new restaurant in the Corvallis area. Most restaurants have been around much longer than I have and keep a stream of foodie clientel coming through the doors. However, just the other day we heard that a southern-like BBQ shack with Pacific Northwest flare opened in Corvallis. Of course, Morgan being from Texas was anxious to try, and I being an avid blogger was anxious to document.

Brew BQ is located in downtown Corvallis where I recall a french restaurant once resided.  Meats are smoked daily and can be ordered on the side, in combos, or on sandwiches with 6 sauces to choose from. Sauces like "Blackberry Bourbon BBQ" or "Sweet and Sticky." The sauces are available for every table and are numbered, with numbering system outline on their napkin dispensers.

Morgan ordered a quarter pound of brisket. I ordered a brisket sandwich and we split some piggy tails (curly fries). There was plenty of food between the two of us, and enough fries and meat to try out all of the sauces.

Our conclusion was that this was an extremely tasty BBQ place, and we definitely had to bring the hubbies back someday soon! We also concluded that 1/4 lb of meat looked really small on their massive plates, and that the sauces were a bit on the runny side. We imagined that was for getting in all the nooks and crannies of sandwiches and the like.

Now that we've tried and verified the brisket, we may need to try the specials, because house-made smoked chicken and bacon macaroni and cheese sounded lovely.

05 October 2012

15 Minutes of Paper Magic

Sometimes work is slow and Arby's toys become an addition to my OSU cubicle shrine. This bad boy must have added some good mojo because OSU is doing better than ever in the football world. Actually, they really came out of nowhere compared to last year! But with co-workers, students, and donors happy, I'm not complaining.

BTW, if anyone wants to join up with me on a business plan/graphic design scheme to create these paper toys for sale at university bookstores, send me a line! I'm seeing little dollar signs. Maybe their actually cent symbols, but cents can add up.

03 October 2012

Ground Breaking Changes

The field next to Western University's Lebanon campus has seen better days. Maybe I should just say more peaceful days, because hopefully the tearing-up occurring now in the field will bring about great things for this community.

The field is now home to a Central Willamette Credit Union and construction site for a 16-bed dialysis center.

The construction doesn't end there. In our neck of the field, there's construction on additional Cascade Ridge office buildings with "luxury" apartments above those offices.

And across the street from the bank, next to the elementary school where there used to be another peaceful field, there are a multitude (really too many to be practical) of dump trucks and digger machines ready to create the foundation for the new veteran's home.

Lebanon is growing in leaps and bounds. Now we just need a franchise sit-down restaurant. Any takers?

26 September 2012

Foster Farms House Party

If you were hungry last Saturday and in Lebanon, you should have been at my Foster Farms  Always Natural Always Fresh Chicken House Party! Each year Foster Farms sponsors a Cooking Contest where chefs (amateur or professional, I don't know) from around the west coast are invited to submit new and improved chicken recipes using fresh, local ingredients. Of course I volunteered to host a party where we would cook up some of these award-winning chicken recipes and feast like kings! As a party host I was given a recipe booklet from the 2011 Cooking Contest and recipes from the 2012 Third Annual Cooking Contest, that has not yet taken place.

I was chicken-cooking-crazy on Saturday, making three dishes from the 2011 cook-off and two from the new 2012 recipes. Actually, I first had to go to the grocery store Saturday to get the freshest ingredients. I snagged some cherry tomatoes and fennel from our local co-op for my recipes. Shopping for Foster Farms chicken was pretty fun too, because House Party sent me coupons for $50 worth of Foster Farms chicken trays. That turned out to be about six trays of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts. Seriously a LOT a LOT of chicken!

I made "Crispy Orange Chicken with Fennel, Avocado and Orange Salad," the 2011 Grand Prize winning recipe, "Olive and Lemon Poached Tuscan Chicken on Grilled Pitas with Spinach Spread," and "Pulled Chicken Sliders with Hoisin BBQ Sauce & Pickled Slaw." From the new recipes I tried "Cumin Chicken Paillards with Grape Tomatoes and Scallions" and "Lemon-Hoisin Glazed Chicken on Roasted Asparagus and Cherry Sesame Rice."

The eight of us were all on chicken overload! We were able to determine, though, of all the dishes we preferred the "Lemon-Hoisin Glazed Chicken on Roasted Asparagus and Cherry Sesame Rice." I thought it was even better than the 2011 Grand Prize dish! I asked Scott which one was his favorite, and he chose the Hoisin Glazed Chicken, saying "...because it reminds me of Chinese food, but better." All of the dishes were delectable and gourmet. I would say that they didn't take a lot of time, for all the compliments I received. But I can't say that because I literally spent all day prepping these five dishes. Maybe one gourmet chicken recipe is incredibly manageable. You should try that out and let me know. The recipes highlighted some fantastic flavor combinations I hadn't thought to try before.

Now that the party's over I have a fridge full of gourmet leftovers. Scott is going to be eatin' pretty this next week of lunches at school!

If you'd like to snag a copy of these 2012 recipes, visit the link here. You definitely want to try some of this deliciousness the next time you are eating chicken. You can also find the 2011 recipes and more on Foster Farms site!

24 September 2012

Audrey Two at OSU

I drove over to campus the other day to drop off some documents at Snell Hall, just in front of the baseball stadium. When I came out I found this plump looking flower looking rather pathetic.

My eyes may be deceiving me, but I don't remember this flower being there when I walked in. Pretty sure I would have noticed a beast of a sunflower growing all by itself.

Of course, I had to take a picture of this celebrity siting of Audrey II at OSU. It's not very often that you see a carnivorous flower this big! But seriously?! Who's idea was it to grow a single giant sunflower next to a sewer outside this old dormitory?

19 September 2012

High School Football

Would you believe it if I said I went to my first ever high school football game last weekend?

It's true. Sitka High School didn't even have a football team until I was a senior, and even then, who wants to sit out in the rain to watch our new team get crushed by the long standing Juneau team. Not I!

Scott and I have talked about going to a Lebanon High School football game since we moved here last year. The stadium always is crowded on game nights because I'm pretty sure most if not all of the town is out to support the team. The stadium also is host to a new turf field, which caught Scott's eye early on. We decided since this is maybe the nicest weather of the season in Oregon and possibly the last year we'll for sure be in Lebanon, to carpe diem and go to a game.

We were joined by two other med school families and had a ball! Tickets to watch the game were $6 for adults or $8 for reserved seats. Being frugal and five minutes late, that meant we were sitting right between the student section and the band.

I'm really into headbands right now. They push back awkward hair days and show off that my broken nose doesn't look too abnormal. Scott clearly is excited to be at a football game.
Scott and the band. Winston in the back is demonstrating what a nail biter this game was!
This football game might have been the biggest media story of the week... Maybe. 
The younger boys found their favorite attraction.

LHS beat South Albany by who knows how many points. We actually left the game right before the end of fourth quarter... so I really don't know how many points. Lebanon was quite a ways ahead when we left, and we were worried that since the whole town was at the stadium it might be difficult to leave. We were able to witness the many, many, many, many two point conversations that Lebanon achieved without fail over South Albany. ALSO, we watched an amazing attempt at a come back where South Albany successfully completed a hail mary! I wish I had that on video.

 Instead, here is one of the MANY two point conversions:

14 September 2012

Lebanon Dance Walk

I'm driving home from work yesterday, going through downtown Lebanon, and I see two teenage boys shaking arrow signs next to the hospital. Teenage boys shaking signs is not unusual anywhere, especially for thrift stores in Lebanon.

But the hospital?! I'm thinking... blood drive? ... hospital gift store clearance? As I get closer I see the words on their sign read "Dance Walk." Say what?!

As soon as I walk into the apartment, I say to my studying husband, "Did you hear that there was a DANCE walk today starting at the hospital?"

"Oh... yeah. I guess I did."

"AND you didn't TELL me?!" I was flabergasted! I'm thinking that since we've never really danced since our wedding day that my husband may have forgotten who I am.

Or maybe he didn't want to walk next to me, when I was dancing like this...

I might need to get my pink leg warmers back from the young woman who borrowed them so I can make a video, and STAT.

Also, please tell me that we can do this in SLC when I come to visit!

12 September 2012

Youth Temple Trip

Right before Scott came back from Europe, the youth in my ward had a "Super Activity" where the group went to Medford for a temple trip and white water rafting the next day. Since my parents are in the Medford area and I would be home alone anyway, I opted to go with the youth to the temple and opted out of the white water rafting. As I explained to one of the 12 year-old beehive girls, "I'm more of a lazy river sort of girl."

Our little Lebanon ward is actually in the Portland temple district, so we typically take the youth there to do baptisms for the dead. It was fun to take the group to Medford, where it is a smaller temple with fewer volunteers and more responsibility in serving. We have such a great group of young men and women, and it was fun to be a part of their spiritual experiences that night.

10 September 2012

A Few Words for the Matrix

"It was a good car... while you had it." My dad had just helped me take all of my belongings out of the Matrix, and with trash bags in hand, we were staring at the smashed remains of my first car.

I purchased the Matrix only a few days after moving to Utah, and just after I had written the first post on this blog. Having returned from Europe a few months before, I had it in my mind that I wanted to own a Smart Car, or something equal in size and European flare. My mom was test driving new cars with me, and we were in a time crunch. She would return to Alaska in a few days, and I would begin my new life in "the bubble." We had driven the Honda Fit, the Toyota Yaris, and the Scion Xa. Of course my mom was there to make sure that my first car was equipped with all the air bags I could possibly need. She was also concerned for passenger comfort.

"The Xa is so stiff and low! No one will want to drive with you... And what if you go on a road trip?"

"Mom! I'm not going on any road trips. Where would I go? This car is for to and from work, and maybe it will go with me wherever I do my MBA." My mom clearly had the bigger picture in mind when she suggested we test drive the Matrix, while I was still worried about just getting acquainted with "the valley" and finding income.

With absolutely no European flare, the Matrix won out after exclaimations of how much more comfortable it was compared with the smaller, smarter cars. Driving off the lot that day, I may not have been extatic, but I wasn't feeling any buyer's remorse. My mom was right, I needed to picture myself in my first car for more than a couple years.

I had imagined owning the Matrix possibly until the day it broke down. It gave me a good six years, almost to the day. I barely drove the car anywhere in the beginning, just to and from my new job, which happened to be a block away from my new apartment. I also drove to Salt Lake for Gilmore Girl Tuesdays with my best friend. My well-below-average mileage really paid off when I met Scott and we started taking multiple road trips to California. Then Oregon. Then a somewhat long, and now seemingly dangerous, commute to work in Corvallis.

The Matrix really did serve me well, as long as it was mine. So I guess I forgive you, Matrix, for breaking my nose... and I applogize for putting the Princess sticker on your bumper in the beginning. It really didn't fit you.

17 August 2012

No Sé

It's been quite some time since my last blog post. At first that was because we had a lot going on. Scott was in Europe with his dad and brother, and I was occupying myself at home. Despite how much I rolled my eyes when I informed everyone why Scott was missing, I am extremely excited that he was able to travel Europe and especially glad that he visited Paris, even if I wasn't his tour guide!

There's another reason why I have been absent from the internet. On Tuesday I was in a car accident on my way to work. I was the driver of the third car of a chain reaction rear ender. Scary time, but I walked away with my first fractured nose and the chance to car shop again. I have been resting for the last few days, and Scott and I have been blessed with great friends who are so willing to help us in any way they can!

Most of Scott's medical school class knows what has been going on because Morgan and I were car pooling together on the day of the accident (Morgan, thankfully, is recovering well, too!). Not to mention that word travels fast in Lebanon! A few of Scott's closest buddies wrote me a Get Well Soon card with this cartoon:

It's pretty punny! If you don't get it (like me when I first read it), you may need some Spanish translation and a reminder of where my fracture is. Thanks to everyone for the well wishes. I hope to be fully recovered soon! Then maybe I'll feel confident enough to post a picture of my bruises and smooshed car.

03 August 2012

Springbank Farm - Lebanon

When my parents so graciously brought Scott back from Medford, I took advantage of their trip and knees by having them come out with me to pick blueberries. Both of my parents are expert berry pickers, harvesting berries from coast to coast. We decided to try a new berry picking spot this year and went to Springbank Farm in Lebanon, Oregon.

The farm is family-owned and employs local teens to help with the picking and sorting of the many varieties of blueberries on their farm. Something I noticed that was interesting about the farm was that they didn't have any nets covering their blueberries, even though I'm sure there are many birds. Instead, they have a speaker system throughout the 12-acres of blueberries that periodically plays a tune of raptor bird songs, I'm assuming to keep the berries on the bush.

When we arrived at the farm there was a sign showing which varieties and rows were available for u-pick that day. My husband turned to me and said, "Did you call ahead to let them know we were coming?"

There must have been an influencial Chandler in the agriculture industry because there are chandler varieties of so many fruits: chandler strawberries, chandler walnuts, chandler pomelos, and chandler blueberries.

We chose to pick in a lane that had Legacy blueberries on one side and Chandler blueberries on the other. After eating and picking and eating and picking, I'm not sure that I can say with certainty what the difference between the two varieties is, but I can say that I very much enjoyed the Chandler blueberries. My mom even said she "really liked the Chandlers." We obviously took that as a compliment.

U-pick at Springbank Farm was $1.75/lb this summer (or at least on the day we picked). There were so many blueberries to pick and many of the blueberries were very large. I prefer picking small to medium size berries as they are  sweet, tart, and almost candy-like. With my parents help, and even with their cut of the berries, we were able to fill our freezer with bags and bags of fresh blueberries for pancakes, and blueberry compote, and muffins all winter long!

Many, many thanks for your manual labor coming, Mom and Dad!