Wednesday, April 29, 2009

9Health Fair

Last Friday and Saturday my medical specialties students volunteered to help staff Phlebotomy, Centrifuge, and Blood Pressure. They ROCKED! I may be a hard-ass in the classroom, but it pays off out in the "real" world. I'm so proud of all of the hard work my students put in. So far, without all of the time cards in, we've volunteered over 160 hours on Friday and over 180 hours on Saturday. My students completed more than 500 of the 2100 blood draws for the weekend.


Since I couldn't upload pics of Ranger posing the other day, here they are now. That horse cracks me up! I haven't been able to get a good picture of him in years, this time when he heard the camera, the ears went up and he was all sorts of interested. Go figure.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bridal Shower

I've never really been one for "Showers" - just the word, in conjunction with Baby or Bridal, conjures images of sitting around, looking at people I don't know, and playing stupid Shower Games - so when the girls at work asked if I wanted a Bridal Shower, I hesitated before I said yes. But I did say yes. The great thing about the people I work with is that they are very similar to me; they offered to throw me the shower, but then asked if there was anything we could do at the shower to help get ready for the Reception, rather than playing stupid games! Yay!

So the dreaded Shower turned out to be a lot of fun; I got to see my girl, Staci, and her babies (I'm getting ready for mine to leave, and she's just starting), my aunts, grandma and cousin, my future MIL and SILs (not that I don't see them twice a week anyway), Cindy (who I hardly ever see anymore with Kai gone), friends from work and my mom and sister.

It seems that it's much easier to get caught up and re-bond when everyone's working on a project together rather than sitting around staring at each other playing stupid games. We made the cream cheese mints for the reception and got the bud vases ready. All we'll have to do is add water and flowers to the bud vases.

The cake was beautiful and inadvertently answered our question about how we were going to put Gerbera Daisies on our wedding cake (wrap the stems in florist tape to keep the stuff from oozing out - we were looking at the hot glue gun sealing option), and the gifts were amazing. I've got to hand it to my sister, Not A GunDiva, her gift included the sacred words "Victoria's Secret". Can't go wrong with wedding night lingerie (and honeymoon lingerie).

A big THANK YOU to Annie and Cindy for organizing a fun Bridal Shower - it's wonderful to have friends like you!

Monday, April 27, 2009

First Ride '09

The best thing for the inside of a human is the outside of a horse...or something along those lines. Whoever said it was (is?) a wise person, because it's absolutely true.

We moved Estes up to Mom's a few weeks ago, but today was the first time I had a chance to get up to see my baby girl. Last week the weather was beautiful, in the 70s and each day was a wonderful spring day. Today, however, the weather sucked. I woke up to an inch of snow on the ground here in town, which I knew meant that there'd be a whole lot more up at Mom's place. I was right. However, when I called Mom, she said the sun was out and the wind was blowing away the snow. Yay, me!

I finally managed to crawl outta my nice warm bed, into my silk long underwear, and hauled my cookies up the hill. Mom hadn't lied, it was pretty. Still a bit on the brisk side, but the sun was shining and most of the snow had gone. I took my halter and camera out to the pen to gather up Estes. I'm a picture freak when it comes to Estes; she, however, sees the camera come out and gives me a look that says, "are you serious? Another picture?" I can't help it, I love my horse. So, I go out to the pen and pull out my camera to get a picture before our first ride of the year. The minute she hears me turn it on, she gives me the look and walks away. Ranger, however, heard the camera turn on and immediately started posing. I guess he thought that if I had a camera in my hand I couldn't catch him.

I did manage to catch Estes once I put the camera away and got her all tacked up and ready to go. There was a moment of hesitation on my part before I mounted up. What if she had "forgotten" what she learned from the Horse Master? I didn't have a longe line on her and I certainly didn't want to have to remind her of her lesson from Julie Goodnight. I shouldn't have worried; she stood like a champ while I not-so-gracefully climbed up. I would have been more graceful had whoever rode in my saddle last returned my stirrups to their proper settings. Instead, I looked like I was climbing up my horse rather than mounting her properly. Despite my less-than-graceful mount, she never flinched or showed any inclination to move until I got settled. What a great little mare I have!

I won't bore anyone with a step-by-step narrative of the ride, but it was amazing, as it always is, and I ended the ride in much better spirits than I woke up in. The mountains were gorgeous covered in snow, a sight I'm sure I'll miss in just a few short weeks, and there were even patches of snow we had to break trail through - always a good time.
Aw, heck, the computer's not reading my disk full of pictures, so I guess everyone's off the hook as far as oohing and aahhing over my pictures goes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

If I was a grill, I'd have this grill's babies!

I fell in love with this grill 6 weeks ago at Sam's Club and knew we had to have it for the reception. It's very basic, just eight burners, two propane tanks (sold separately), 10,000 BTUs, 1001 square inches of grill space. Nothing fancy at all. Except that it can cook 64 1/4 lb hamburgers or 126 hot dogs at a time! And it collapses down to be semi-portable. It doesn't take long at all to collapse down and get ready to move, but it does require two strong people. The dang thing weighs well over 100# (without the propane tanks) and putting it into the truck or taking it out can be a bit of a chore, but one that's well worth it. Once it's collapsed down and in its cover, it looks a lot like a casket in the back of the truck *grin* - actually, it feels like we're loading and unloading a casket, too, when we move it. But I love it. And we've used it twice already. It's big trial is the Fort Collins 9Health Fair this weekend when we have to feed 200 people off of it; burgers, hot dogs, and veggie burgers. I'm sure it's up to it...and once it's broken in from the Health Fair, we'll be firing it up for the wedding reception just three weeks later. Jeez, I already feel like we've gotten our money's worth.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Loveland 9Health Fair

I have to take some blogging space to brag about my students. For those of you who don't know, I'm the Medical Department Chair at a Career College and a large part of my job is teaching (at least that's the part I love the most - I could do without some of the administrative headache) future Medical Assistants the skills they will need for work. Each year, my students volunteer for the 9Health Fairs in Loveland and Fort Collins. They work in a variety of positions: phlebotomy, centrifuge, and blood pressure. The Health Fairs are something that we spend an entire year talking up and preparing the students for - there is no better work experience than actually working and there is no better feeling than volunteering your time to a worthy cause.

This year, because of the weather, we only saw about 600 patients, but between students, staff, and family members, we donated over 155 hours of volunteer time. My students basically staffed the Fair, with almost 20 phlebotomists, 6 centrifugists, and 24 BP takers. It was amazing and they did a phenomenal job. The Loveland Fair is basically a warm up for the Fort Collins Fair that occurs on the 24th and 25th. We're expecting to put over 3,000 people through the Fort Collins Fair and I'm so proud of my students for participating in such a worthy event.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Four Weeks from Today

It's kind of sobering how quickly time moves when you're not paying attention. For weeks from today, I'll be Mrs. RockCrawlinChef. I've been measuring time, as I do every year, in 9Health Fair time. From February until the end of April my life revolves around the Health Fair, so I've been thinking about the wedding in Health Fair time as in, "two weeks 'til the MCR fair, then the FC fair, then a weekend off, then the wedding stuff". Suddenly, though, the MCR fair is in two days, which means the FC fair is in eight days, then a weekend off, then Monster comes home, RCC's birthday/Mother's day, two days of work, a girls' day, wedding, a day to prep, and reception.

Where the hell did the time go? I thought we had plenty of time.

Luckily, the wedding itself is very small, just RCC's family and mine and very informal. The reception is just a glorified BBQ, but still, there's a lot to be done! The kids haven't even started on the slide show, we haven't mapped out the backyard to figure out where everything goes, I haven't even picked up RCC's ring yet! (But I did get the phone call that it is in, I just need to go get it - that will probably be best left until the last week so I don't lose it somewhere in the commotion).

Thank God for good friends and family who are helping out. Ann is helping round up tents and planning the bridal shower. Oonah is creating the wedding ceremony itself. RCC's friend Matt is planning the bachelor party. Amanda's mom, Donna, whom I've only met once, gave me a great tip on where to get flowers. Scott, Cindy, and Ann are gearing up to help get everything set up for the reception...the list goes on and on. RCC's friend from culinary school, Scott, is flying out to do our cooking and Mom is making the wedding cake. No wonder it's been so easy to let time slip by and not worry about anything.

Wow. Before we know it, the whole thing will be over.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

An Easter to Remember

Well, my family has always been kind of strange and today's Easter dinner was, yet again, proof of the fact. Until this year, we've always had a "normal" Easter dinner. But not this year. Oh, no. Not this year.

When Mom asked Grandma what she wanted to do for Easter dinner, Grandma replied that she wanted McDonald's. Yup, you heard me. McDonald's. For Easter.

I didn't really believe it until we actually arrived at McDonald's. But that's what we had. Mom, Bill, Junior, Not A GunDiva, NAGD's husband, Niece #1, Nephew, Niece #2, RockCrawlinChef, Ashee-butt, Digger, and myself joined Grandma at McDonald's to enjoy a delicious (?) meal prepared by the staff members who had drawn the short straw and had to work on Easter Sunday. Wonder how much spit was in our burgers? (For the record, RCC says he didn't taste any spit on his burger.)

Wasn't really what I had in mind for Easter, but it wasn't too horrible. But do you think Grandma's trying to kill us all off by contributing to our hardening arteries? Now she says she wants to go to McDonald's again for her birthday in two weeks. In case you're wondering, she's not senile and she gets out of the house a couple of times a week, so it's not like Micky D's is a rare treat for her like it would be for Grandma Mary.

I think she's secretly (or not so secretly) wondering how far she can take this McDonald's thing before we all revolt.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Estee's Move, A New Baby, and A Great Present

Yesterday the weather was beautiful, in the low 70's, with a clear sky and no wind. I'm pretty sure the Heavens opened up and were smiling on me since yesterday was the day Estee moved back to Mom and Bill's. Even if the weather had been crappy, I would have felt good. I love my horse almost as much as I love RockCrawlinChef and I feel better when she's home - even if home is 50 miles away.

I cut out of work early yesterday and Mom, Junior and I loaded up into the car to meet Bill at the Hall's place in Lyons. I didn't even bother changing out of my work clothes, I was so eager to see my girl, so off I went in bright pink scrub bottoms and an equally obnoxious scrub top in my new sneakers to get my girl. Heck, a little horse dirt never hurt any one and I have a washing machine. We called Bill to tell him we were on our way, but forgot to tell Ida. We pulled up at the Hall's place an hour ahead of schedule before any of us realized that we'd forgotten to tell Ida we were coming early. Oops. So Mom called Ida who was, luckily, just down the road and was kind enough to hop in her truck to meet us. She told us that Estes was in the back pasture and that we could head out there if we wanted to, so we did, only to find ourselves in a boggy cow pasture. Hmmm...ranch gates and lay-outs can be kind of confusing. Of course once Ida got there she hollered that we could just "come this way, it's drier". So off we trotted to meet up with her in a drier pasture and walked on back to Estes and her daughter Meeker, who is so heavily pregnant we mistook her for another of Ida's horses, Dutch. I feel bad that I didn't recognize Meeks from a distance; after all, she was the horse I leased from Ida before I bought Estes and I absolutely love Missy Meeker (but not as much as I love Estes).

Estes gave us a little attitude about being caught, but it still didn't take too terribly long - less than five minutes to get her caught and haltered. Though she's shaggy, she's still absolutely beautiful. Ida said that she'd intended to get Estes and Meeker curried out the day before, but didn't get around to it, which turned out to be perfect because there's a lot of cold and snow still up at the lodge and I want Estes to have as much of her coat as possible. We've got a storm moving in on Thursday (so they say) and we wanted Estee to get to acclimate for a day or two before it got really cold and snowy.

As we were crossing the cow pasture, Ida told us to hold up because her dad wanted to move one of the cows who was due to calf (calve? what's the verb for giving birth to a baby cow?). So we stood and waited while she and John moved just a handful of cows, then took Estes to the trailer. I had noticed that Bill was towing a two-horse, bumper-pull trailer rather than their three-horse gooseneck, but just assumed that he'd bought it for things like this. It's a Bill thing to do. Tired of hauling the gooseneck for just one or two horses? Tired of hauling the long gooseneck to the trail head? Buy a smaller, more compact trailer. It's what he does. So I thought nothing of it.

It took some persuading to get Estee to load into that small little trailer - she's been raised in stock trailers with lots of open space and that little two-horse jobbie with a middle divider didn't much appeal to her. But, the good horse she is, she loaded up (after some coaxing) and Mom, Thomas and I headed back around the Hall's to tell them goodbye. We weren't gone more than 15 minutes getting Estee loaded and settled, but when we got back around the house we saw Daddy Hall leaving the lean-to and Ida messing with a cow inside. We thought they were just getting the cow settled, but when Ida came out of the lean-to Mom took another look and asked if that was a baby in there. Turns out in the short time it took us to load Estes, she and John had moved the mommy cow into the lean-to and pulled the calf. As Daddy Hall said, "it's amazing what happens when you go around the house."

Bill headed up the hill with Estes in the new trailer when it dawned on me...wait...that wasn't his trailer! When I had commented on the new trailer Bill had replied, "it wouldn't be a surprise if we told you," but I was still in the it's Bill's new trailer thing and hadn't paid attention. Later, Mom said something about it needing a "Tinkerbell paint job", but I'd not paid attention to that either. It wasn't until we were in the car headed back to Fort Collins that it dawned on me...
"Hey, Mom. Is that our wedding present?"

Guess, what? It was! Yay!

Hectic, hectic life

Wow. It's been a long time since I had thirty seconds to sit and blog and so much has happened in the last almost-month. Let's see if I can't condense it down:

  • Went shopping with RockCrawlinChef to look for a cake topper. Couldn't find one anywhere, and we went into stores I didn't even know existed! Finally gave up and decided we'd look on-line. Jackpot! At our second or third site, a topper jumped out at us as THE topper. It's absolutely perfect. We couldn't have designed one better. Unless, of course, we could have figured out how to fit Estes and Allie-bird, too. Took F-O-R-E-V-E-R to arrive, but it finally got here and it's even better in person!
  • Spent an entire day with RCC addressing invitations and making our own guest book for the reception. We had a great time playing with our custom stamps - did you know you could make your own stamps? Sure, you pay through the nose for them, but they're so worth it. Of course we over-estimated how many we'd need, and now we've got sixty left-over postcard stamps. Guess who will be sending out lots of postcards this year?
  • Finally caved and registered at Bed, Bath and Beyond. We had no intention of registering anywhere, but plenty of whining from my friends and some pearls of wisdom from family convinced us to "just do it." So...we set off for the store, thinking it would only take a short time to do all the registry stuff. Wrong. Over two hours later we staggered out of the store, completely shopped out. Well, at least I was. RCC, however, can shop for a very, very long time without whining (unlike me). I had no idea that you had to have 12 formal and informal dinner settings; to me formal means clean "real" plates, and informal means paper plates. I was thinking that once the kids moved out, we'd be happy to have four place settings. But 12 is proper. Who knew? We did register for some really cool stuff that we so DON'T expect to get. Except maybe the Margaritaville frozen drink maker - that would be really cool. Oh, and the Kitchen Aid whatchamacallit. That would be really cool, too. In all honestly, I'd pull the list from the registry and take it on over to Wal-Mart and save myself some money :)
  • No one's going to believe it since I've been so stead-fast in getting married in jeans and boots, but I broke down and bought a dress. Not a wedding dress, but a nice, white sundress to wear at the wedding (Ross, $19.95 - what can I say, the price was right). I couldn't have bought new jeans (which would be more functional) and a nice shirt (again, more functional) for that price. Don't know what I was thinking and I may still revert back to the jeans and boots after I come to my senses. Actually, I do know what I was thinking. I was thinking that in 20 years when I look back at my wedding pictures, I don't want them to look like "just" a picture of the two of us; I do actually want wedding pictures.
  • I also bought a sundress for the reception. Please don't faint dead away at the thought of me in a dress twice in one week. Though the reception is totally an informal BBQ, I thought it would be nice to not look like my typical sloppy self. And I can take the sundress to Hawai'i in case RCC and I end up wanting to go someplace that requires something other than shorts and flip-flops.
  • Best news for last...well, best for me anyway. We moved Estes up the hill yesterday. Even though she's physically a farther distance from me, psychologically she's much closer since she's with Mom and Bill's horses and I don't need permission to go out and see her. I can just hop in the car and zip up to the lodge to spend some time with my baby girl. Of course, time is something I'm sorely lacking for the next few months, but I'll do my best to get up there at least once a week to see her. The Estes move will get it's own blog, I'm sure. 'Cause, as Deejo says, we horse people are crazy and can only talk about our horses.