04 October 2010

moving on up

life of piefairy is closing up, and moving on.

because even though i am the piefairy, it's not just my life anymore, and actually hasn't been the whole time i've been writing this (seeing as "me" became "us" oh, one year, one month and fifteen days ago...ish).

which is why we've been sitting on a domain name since last fall, and working on a website since i found out i got into medical school, and why i am now very pleased to introduce to you...


doesn't yet have all the bells and whistles, but it'll get there. =) i'll still be doing everything i'm doing here, with some hopes for a bit more here and there.

so, update your readers and feeds and follow me on over to doctorsterry.com, for the [mis]adventures of a physicist and a physician-in-training. =)

30 September 2010

how i spent my fall vacation

ansel adams wilderness, inyo national forest
local maximum near agnew pass
approximately 10,000 feet above sea level

24 September 2010

book club bloggers - maniac magee

where do legends come from? are they born, or made? how do they grow? how do they fade?

maniac magee is the story of a twelve-year-old boy named jeffrey who becomes a legend in the highly-segregated [pennsylvanian?] city of two mills. after running away from a stifling home with his aunt and uncle eight years after his parents died, he shows up in two mills and people start talking immediately. he's the kids who runs everywhere. the kid who out-plays the high school sports stars at their own games. the kid who unties all knots. the kid who isn't afraid of finsterwall. the kid who isn't afraid of anything. the kid who doesn't see, or doesn't understand, the sharp, self-imposed distinctions between white and black.

the story is a cycle of gains and losses. at the beginning, jeffrey has lost everything. the first thing he gains back is a friend (amanda beale), and then notoriety and the nickname "maniac." he gains a home. he gains enemies. he gains understanding, and loses naivete. he loses one home, then slowly gains another, and a friend and co-mentor, with the has-been baseball player earl grayson. when jeffrey loses grayson, he gives himself up for lost as well, but it is then that we start to see that, after all that he has gained and lost, he has much now to give. not bad, for a twelve-year-old kid.

i first read maniac magee when i was around ten years old, and re-read it occasionally through middle and early high school. i don't remember much of my initial reactions, other than that it was a book worth reading again. i haven't ever seen the made-for-tv movie, though i'm slightly intrigued (though i think a "real," cinema-oriented movie would be more likely to do it justice, i think...). i could also see this being a good play--the juxtaposition of the intimate theatrical setting and the larger-than-life legend would work really well, i think.

i came up with the questions to consider for this story having not read the book in years, but since re-reading it all i keep coming back to the legend and young hero archetypes throughout the story. i had forgotten that jeffrey was orphaned young, and "re-orphaned"/abandoned/isolated several times throughout the story -- emotionally by his aunt and uncle, literally with the passing of grayson, and socially with the east and west sides' inability to accept his acceptance of everyone. that isolation and orphaning is a powerful tool, one that we see over and over again in literature (harry potter, anyone?). with the lack of parental oversight and expectations, the boy has opportunities to push boundaries beyond what others have. here, what jeffrey perhaps does not do himself, his "maniac" legend does for him.

i don't think that, in any younger readings, i had ever noticed the writing under the story. i really enjoyed it, and i especially enjoyed the tone of the narrator. it called to mind the way kids swap ghost stories or tall tales -- all contributing to the "legend" qualities of the narration -- and i especially enjoyed the way i could get a feel for an unfamiliar storytelling voice ("packing candy," for example -- like "packing heat," a phrase i wasn't familiar with before). in reading through last month's reviews, i recall one blogger saying that she preferred to listen to her books. i think that that would be an intriguing way to experience maniac magee, but i would want my book on tape to be done a certain way. the vocalizations of white and black urbania would have to be done properly to get a true experience; no polished professional readers would be able to be true to the story. in that respect, i think that simply reading the book also doesn't do full justice -- i know that as a white midwestern girl, in all my previous readings the characters' voices sounded to me like midwestern folk. it wasn't until this reading, when i was being intentional about it, when i could hear the "badness" and blackness in mars bar's scowls, imagine grayson with the vestiges of a slow southern drawl, or hear the indignation in amanda when she was provoked into using "ain't" and other colloqualisms in her discomposure.

all in all, this is a book i think i'll always enjoy, and will keeping coming back to every decade or so. =) jeffrey magee could have been any fairly ordinary orphaned kid, but maniac is a legend. he -- or social perception of who he was -- challenged those around him to question whether the way things were needed to be so.

be sure to head on over to the daily snapshot and check out what everyone else has to say!

15 September 2010

a question of ethics

a week or two ago, we had a lecture and then a lab/seminar/discussion on codes, ethics and regulations. among the many topics discussed was academic and professional integrity. what is right and wrong? are these answers absolute, or subjective? how do morals and the law intersect? how would you respond to a patient who asked you to help them in a way that was illegal? how would you respond to a classmate who asked for information on an assessment that you took before they did?

today we had one such practical skills assessment. to prepare, we were told we would be assigned a partner and each asked to identify ten surface anatomy items from a study list of about fifty. we each would be timed, and graded based on our professionalism and demeanor as well as accuracy of identifications.

i came in feeling pretty good -- i knew my landmarks and could palpate almost all of the pulses, and i was beginning to understand the positioning of the lungs and how to listen to each lobe. as classmates ahead of me finished and rejoined us in the common area, i kept reviewing all the items on the study list. all around me, classmates were sharing the exact items they were tested on, and it soon became clear that there were only two sets of landmarks being assessed, one for each student doctor in the pair.

is it wrong that this bothered me? was i stupid not to take advantage of it? though i couldn't help but overhear, i still kept reviewing everything i was stumbling on, not just the limited material that was actually being tested. when my turn to test came, i nailed every aspect perfectly, but because i studied it, not because someone told me what the doctors wanted to hear.

was the administration trying to set us up for this? logistically, the set-up could have been handled much differently...it seems like they didn't even try that hard. didn't they foresee this happening? did they care? my partner, when it was his turn to be assessed, started right in and correctly found all his marks without the proctor even telling him which landmarks to identify. (i was dumbfounded. dude! you couldn't possibly have been more blatant about knowing the exam questions ahead of time!)

i'm a compassionate person -- if someone asks me for help, i'll do pretty much anything in my power to do so. however, while i'm not going to turn someone in for something like this, for myself, i always play by the rules. while i'm not about to apologize for it, i have noticed -- throughout my education, and echoed again today -- that not compromising that integrity has social consequences and, not infrequently, gets me left out of things.

is this just a little thing? is this not a "real" issue of academic integrity? am i too uptight? or should it be bothersome that many of my peers so nonchalantly defied instructions, and that the instructors themselves didn't seem to mind? this really bothers me...

13 September 2010

block exams, take one.

five exams in four days.

two practical skills assessments, two written theory exams and one lab test.

i am 80% confident on 50% of the material for one of the theory exams...

this does not bode well. =/

06 September 2010

almost feels like home...

little by little, the familiar is finding its place in this new home.

for all that i was freaking out about everything in my life is going to change!, since the mister has [finally!] moved out west with me, it's been far more subtle than i expected. this weekend, for example, was a pretty typical weekend for us. we went to the farmer's market on saturday morning, and dancing on saturday night. we had french toast for breakfast on sunday and checked out a church nearby.

still, some things just aren't the same...

the farmer's market simply cannot hold a candle to the wonder that is madison's. i have to admit my disappointment -- we'd been anticipating berkeley being a foodie haven with excellent local produce options (hello, year-round growing season!). the truth? the markets are waaaaay smaller, the selection narrower (with the notable exception of stone fruits -- i am in peach/pluot/plum ecstasy right now), the prices higher (!!!), and produce goes bad much more quickly. not impressed, berkeley, not impressed.

and the dancing? i'm holding out with the hope that the event just happened to draw more of the east coast scene than lindy hoppers. the band was great fun, but the crowd wouldn't have felt the energy if it slapped them upside the head. maybe the lindy lives in the city, and the divorcee- and college-kid-heavy east bay swings (hah) more toward the east coast? realistically, how often will i get a chance to go dancing if medical school is kicking my butt (which it totally is)? not much. so really, the scene doesn't matter.

don't take my complaints out of proportion. i like berkeley. i like school. (one of these days, i'll sit down and articulate why i'm feeling more and more convicted every day that i was born to be an osteopath...) i'm excited about the prospect of finding a church that feeds us in a real spiritual way. as the mister wrangles what was just a week ago an apartment full of boxes into a functional household (we have a kitchen! o happy day!), i'm feeling more and more like this could be home. it isn't, yet, but it could be. coming from someone who's only really moved once before in her life, and that's out of the house she grew up in, (changing apartments within madison doesn't count, and neither does going to peru and back), that's significant.

this almost feels like home.

26 August 2010

book club bloggers - the giver

well, here we are, with my contribution to the first monthly installment of the book club bloggers: lois lowry's young adult novel the giver. be sure to visit the daily snapshot to see what everyone else has to say!

the basic premise of the story is the coming-of-age of a twelve-year-old boy, jonas, in a world that has removed weather variations, color vision, animals, controversy, individuality and self-determination -- as well as any true emotion -- in the consensus that the absence of all these sorts of things brings a simpler, easier, safer life for everyone. at the age of twelve, all children are assigned their adult role in their community and begin the training that moves them beyond childhood to a productive, responsible member of society. jonas receives a special, prestigious assignment that exposes him to the entire human legacy: pain, fury and desperation as well as joy, love and hope. jonas and his mentor make the decision to lead their community away from the sheltered existence they'd known for generations back to the full potential of mankind's experience.

i first read the giver in sixth grade. i don't recall if it was within the school curriculum, or something i read on my own, seeing as i was reading everything and anything that had printed word and stayed still long enough for me to take a look at it. =) i don't remember much of my initial reaction to the book -- i know that i really enjoyed it, and that the idea that "equality doesn't mean everyone is the same" really resonated with me.

reading it again, my reaction has the added depth that ten years' worth of education bring, including having read other political-utopia-focused science fiction (1984, brave new world, and animal farm all come immediately to mind). lumping the giver in with the rest of these works may seem strange, given the very dark nature the adult books possess. however, i think it is just as compelling, and that the lighter tone of the giver makes the sinister nature of the world it describes that much more chilling.

i was also intrigued in this reading to note the ethnocentrism visible in the homology of the community described. if we were to "average" humanity today together into one homologous race we'd be some shade of brown; however, the community only included one non-english name, and jonas had never even heard of a dark-skinned person before inheriting the memories of prior generations. i am pretty confident that this was intentional, as it reinforces the stark contrasts -- or rather, lack thereof -- in the story. i hope also that, as our nation and our experiences become more diverse, the association of social homology with an intrinsically flawed society, however perfect it may appear superficially, will contribute to the development of acceptance and value in our young minds.

speaking of young minds, i certainly believe that this book is a valuable contribution to a 5th or 6th grade classroom. i know it has received controversy, particularly regarding the protagonist's first recognitions of sexual maturation. however, we start teaching public school kids about puberty and their upcoming physiological developments as early as fourth grade (at least, my district did) -- and well we should! to do so without addressing the psychosocial development that they may also experience is a disservice and an incomplete preparation. besides, it's very tastefully handled, and any potentially controversial content -- a discussion of a dream that jonas is confused and uneasy about -- occurs in the initially benign context of the suppressive, rule-abiding community. kids are more likely to glom onto the far more shocking discussions of death and ritualized homicide, which are also presented in an age-appropriate manner. one mention of an incident of adolescent suicide may raise a red flag, but i think presenting this book in an academic setting with a guided discussion to help kids work through these difficult but important concepts would be far "safer," if there is any concern, than banning it, having kids encounter these ideas on their own, and not have an opportunity to process in a productive way.

regarding the ending of the book, i think i always assumed in earlier readings that the boys had died, but hoped that i was wrong. it's a bittersweet but hopeful ending, and just ambiguous enough to allow for several interpretations. when i snagged this from the library i also picked up gathering blue by the same author -- a story of another society, though very different, that has a sinister secret rippling under the surface -- which mentions in passing a youth who may or may not be one of the boys whose fates are uncertain at the end of the giver. i like that (though, honestly, i'm not certain that the two worlds described in those books can exist together), i like the ambiguity. with no concrete ending, this story retains its might-have-been/might-yet-be quality, serving then not just as a novel but also a cautionary tale, and one of hope.

...well, this was fun! what's next?

24 August 2010


do you want to know one of my favorite places to browse through online?

shabby apple.

lovely dresses. classy and modest but oh-so-fun. i don't remember where i originally came across the site, but i've kept an eye on it ever since.

so when i saw the current giveaway of the cider dress, i had to participate. (hence this post!) something that lovely? cider, an autumnal staple (which i fear i will be missing this fall =/) with a special place in our household? yes please.

and so, pretties. things of inconsequence that let my brain rest from medical school. =)

21 August 2010

365 days ago...

it's been a wonderful year.

(see more wedding photos here; re-posting seemed redundant)

18 August 2010

checking in

medical school is everything i thought i would be, and more. including the i'm-barely-keeping-my-head-above-water feeling. (yikes!)

i've heard a professor describe the pancreas as "flirtatious." (actually, his initial description was "lascivious," which is an excellent word.)

i have another professor who frequently professes his love for the liver. he's also swiss; someday, i'm going to wear my ich liebe meine leiber shirt, and maybe i'll get extra credit.

i have [unintentionally] dropped nasty dissection bits down the inside of my shirt.

i have actually gotten tired of mac-and-cheese...after eating it two meals a day for a week straight.

i have made so many trips to target and ikea that i've lost count.

i've somehow broken the new blog i was going to debut for friends and family to keep in touch with us. =/

i've only gotten more than six hours of sleep one night since the beginning of august, and that was when i went back home to madison for the weekend.

i've had to get over my inherent trepidation of city highway driving.

i've been told i "should charge admission to see [my] dissections." =)

i've already used up my 500-page printing credit. (?!?)

i have a scheduling/organization system that WORKS! =)
...and not enough hours in the day to do all the studying i schedule for myself. =/

i have honed my craigslisting skills and acquired new furniture...for free.

i've gone through oakland, and i survived.

i've learned crazy-awesome things about my own body, and how to use omm to help it heal.

i have a mid-term exam on monday.

medical school, and life on the left west coast is everything i'd hoped for,
and like nothing i could have expected,
and i have no idea what i'm doing,
but there's nowhere else i'd rather be.

06 August 2010

happy feet

this is a story about my first week of medical school, but really, it's a story about shoes.

medical school began for me this week on monday, the first of three days of orientation. since the dress was business casual, i wore the nicest shoes i have with me, which were sandals. however, since my feet are my temperature regulators and they were exposed all day in the actually-rather-chilly bay area climate, i was freezing. unacceptable.

i got a cheap-o pair of closed toe shoes at target for the other two business casual days. these have absolutely nothing to them, structure-wise, and we were doing a lot more walking up and down the campus hills these two days. at the end of day one, my feet were aching; day two made me want to cry. also unacceptable.

thursday was our first day of actual medical school classes (!) and my first class was a multi-hour anatomy cadaver dissection lab, dress code: scrubs. i wore my running shoes with custom orthotics, which i haven't used that much before. bad idea--half an hour into lab my feet were screaming, and there was still a full day to go. absolutely miserable, and completely unacceptable.

(i have a sinking feeling that i threw out the original inserts for these running shoes, figuring i would only wear the orthotics going forward. i sincerely hope not, because the shoes are new and nice and i liked their original inserts worlds better than my current ones.)

i came home yesterday and really did cry. it's been a long, lonely week. i got some majorly disappointing news right as i was leaving school. i haven't had a good, home-cooked meal in who-knows-how-long. and, my feet hurt. making-me-miserable, completely-destroying-my-ability-to-concentrate hurt. i threw on my chacos and went out to run errands.

i stopped in to rei to check out some shoe inserts i'd tried there before and liked. i never made it to the inserts, because before i got to them i saw this:
do you know what that is? that's a chaco.

chacos now makes clogs. closed-toe, leather, professional-looking shoes (or, slightly less-professional, if you get the open-back clog) with the awesome, anatomically-beneficial footbed that makes me love my sandals so very much. i put them on and started leaking tears of joy. solid plastic-rubber doesn't seem like it would be the source of blissed-out foot nirvana, but believe me, it was. i like this footbed even better than my sandals (the arch seem slightly higher), wearing them made the aches and sores the week had inflicted on my poor feet go away, and their solid shoe nature meant that i could appropriately wear them to anatomy lab, clinical rotations, or even interviews. and you know i'm going to. they got me through today--with all the same scheduled stressors as yesterday--with no aching feet. incredibly wonderful!

this was in no way a solicited endorsement; i paid every cent of the rei retail price for these shoes. this is just my way to express supreme satisfaction with my discovery of a new product, declare my brand loyalty, and share my frustration at finally having years of abusing my feet catch up with me.

31 July 2010

book club!

that's right--as if a cross-country move and beginning medical school weren't enough (two days, people!!!), i'm joining a[n online] book club!

you can, too! read all about it from charlotte, the host, and chime in if you're interested! i already know what i'm going to pick when it's my turn to select, and i can't wait to see what everyone else chooses for us.

yay, book club! it's been a while since i've had a chance/reason/excuse/opportunity to read for fun...

27 July 2010

america, the beautiful

o beautiful, for spacious skies
for amber waves of grain
for purple mountain majesties
above the fruited plain...

we saw everything mentioned in that song, and more.

because we've been saying for ages that we wanted to take a trip, just the two of us, and because my husband and i moving to california provided the perfect opportunity, my best friend and i spent four days on the road, driving over 2,300 miles from the nation's heartland all the way to the left west coast.

we saw the familiar woods and farmlands of wisconsin. we saw the endless plains of iowa and nebraska.

we saw mountains upon mountains upon mountains--and every range completely different!

we saw expanses of majestic beauty that made us feel oh so very small, and put us in awe of the Creator of it all.

(by the way, mountains don't fit in the camera, so you'll just have to go see it yourself.)

we went nearly 100 miles with no sign of civilization but the road stretching out before us under the stars. we saw so many incredibly beautiful sights, we longed for suburbia to re-appear so we could have something mediocre to look at for once...and even that was interesting.

and finally, we came to my new home.

oh, p.s.? that best friend i mentioned?

you should go say hi. it's her birthday! =)

18 July 2010

summer fashion week - sunday

the end of summer fashion week...boo! be sure to get over to moms are for everyone! to check out what everybody has come up with--there's some great stuff! it's been so fun to be a part of. =)

shirt: h&m
jeans: thrifted
sandals: kohl's (though i've also seen them at target)

this isn't an outfit i've actually worn yet, but it's planned for a day that's technically still summer, although the start of school always seems to herald the start of autumn. i'd like your feedback...

people, i start medical school in two weeks. two weeks!!! and i think this is what i want to wear on the first day. i haven't worried about what i wore to the start of school since i started high school, so i feel silly about it now, but...this is medical school! i'm going to be one of the youngest people there! we're supposed to be real adults now! there's a lot of pressure! =)

so, tell me what you think--first-day-of-(medical!)-school appropriate? casual, but not overly so? fun and flattering? does it say "i'm smart! i'm fun! be my friend! join my study group!"? please be honest. =)

thanks for playing along. let's all keep up the encouragement we've been showering on each other all week! it's been awesome.

17 July 2010

summer fashion week - saturday

sorry for the blank posting initially - i was attempting to post from an iphone...it did not go well. =)

it's been really great to see everyone's different take on summer as well as the way this online community of mostly strangers comes together to encourage and complement and congratulate. check out all the rest of the fun of summer fashion week over at moms are for everyone!

saturday was one of the busiest days i've had in a very long time--i was the personal attendant, aka "make-stuff-happen girl," at a friend's wedding. it was a long day. it was a hot (!) day. it was a joyful day. most importantly =), here's how i looked:

dress: this dress from david's bridal, in "sangria."

seriously, people, probably my favorite dress ever! i didn't *have* to wear it, my attendant's clothing wasn't dictated like the bridesmaids' dresses were, but this was a perfect choice and more. it's 100% COTTON (perfect on a hot july day!), has a flattering cut with which i could wear a normal bra (albeit a change-the-straps-around-a-gazillion-ways one), and it has pockets! i carried the bride's iphone (same one i unsuccessfully attempted to blog on) around all day with the master list of what was happening--as well as sunscreen, duct tape, matches and my wallet--and no one could tell. i LOVE pockets! =)

i also got to wear flowers in my hair all day, and a wrist corsage that i made myself (i did all the of the flowers for this wedding). the hair stayed up and in place all the way through the night! how did that happen?!?

the best part of this wedding--other than the lovely couple, of course--was something that was also a major hit at our wedding last august: a photobooth! =) great fun...

i love weddings! =)

15 July 2010

summer fashion week - friday

vest: target
dress: see story below
belt: thrifted
shoes: who wears shoes?

there's a wedding rehearsal this evening that i am excited about wearing a lovely summer dress to. this dress is particularly special--it was hand-made just for me by a bunch of girls at an orphanage that i became friends with when i lived in peru. hand-made! by a 14-year-old! seriously, check out the embroidery and smocking detailing that cover the entire front of the bodice...

i love how you can see the color gradient in the embroidery. my mum and i brought beads and embroidery floss up the wazoo down to the orphanage when we first went down to peru, and the girls used some from that stash in my dress. =) i love the wandering white-yellow-green zigzags...

be sure to go check out the rest of summer fashion week's lovely ladies at moms are for everyone!

bumbleberry pie

inspired by shabby apple's "pie in the sky" contest, i'm writing up the story of how i became the piefairy and developed my "signature" pie.

i am the piefairy. that's a nickname/title/identity i've held for probably four or five years. the origin of the name is my father. having developed a habit of making pies with a friend for special occasions during my senior year of high school, whenever i came back from college i would find ingredients sitting on the kitchen counter waiting for me. the logical response is to make a pie--and since said pies always showed up whenever i did, my dad dubbed me the piefairy. (i have a hunch he was the ingredient fairy, but that name never really took.)

this pie was inspired by a few recipes in my most-used and much-loved cookbook, pie by ken haedrich. i've adapted it with whatever i have on hand at the time and incorporate some techniques i've picked up over my last five pie-making years.

i call this pie "bumbleberry," which is nice because it's not a specific berry and therefore you can put in whatever you wish. which i do. it's different every time. =) i've made this so often, i have the recipe memorized. it's a very satisfying feeling.

2 cups flour
3/4 stick of butter, frozen (but if you forget to freeze it, cold from the fridge works well too)
cold water
1/3 cup sugar, brown or granulated
1 large green apple
~4 cups mixed berries of choice, fresh or frozen (exact amount will depend on the size of your pie plate)
2 tablespoons cornstarch OR 1-2 packets unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1 egg
granulated sugar

making the crust:
put the flour in a large mixing bowl. grate the frozen butter over the flour with a coarse cheese grater. (it gets kind of messy, but that's okay; if you minded food messes, you wouldn't be baking, now would you?) rub in with your fingertips--the goal is to get all the butter thoroughly coated in flour, and all the flour rubbed into butter. you should end up with the "pea-sized" chunks so frequently described in recipes.

add cold water (cold is important!) one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork. stop adding water before you think you should--i usually do about four tablespoons, though it feels like i should add nearly half a cup. stick it in the fridge to chill, (honestly, i usually skip that step), then roll half of the dough out on a floured surface and transfer to your pie plate. ball up the other half of the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer.

everyone has their favorite method for transferring pastry to the plate--waxed paper, rolling it up on the rolling pin, what-have-you. my way involved gently folding my circle-ish-shaped dough into fourths, then unfolding it in the pan. do what works for you. then stick it in the fridge (again, i usually forget). you can pre-bake the crust if you like--about 10 minutes at 350 degrees should do. if you don't pre-bake, then pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

making the filling:
peel and core your apple, then cut it up into roughly 1/2 inch cubes. put this in a medium-sized bowl. add your berries of choice--strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, mulberries, and blueberries are all perfectly acceptable options--and top with sugar. dissolve your cornstarch or gelatin in the lime or lemon juice, then pour over fruit. toss everything (and by "toss" i usually mean "mix gently with your bare hands") and set aside for ~10 minutes to let the fruit juice.

making the topping:
remember how you stashed half the dough in the freezer? when your bottom crust is ready (cool, if pre-baked) and your filling has juiced, pour the filling into the crust and let's make the topping. this is a great pie for a standard top crust, and beautiful (dark purple-y red!) for a lattice crust, but i usually make a crumble crust. take the frozen-ish dough, and grate coarsely with a cheese grater over the pie. cover as much as you can, all the way to the edges. add cinnamon or other spices if you so choose.

bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. at that time, remove any crust-rim-cover you may have put on, rotate the pie 180 degrees so the back is now at the front, and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees. beat the egg and brush onto the pie to glaze; sprinkle granulated sugar on top of that. bake for 25-30 minutes more (at 350 degrees) until the top is golden brown.

cool completely (difficult, i know!) so the filling can thicken. enjoy with ice cream, whipped cream, or straight out of the pan!

summer fashion week - thursday

check out what everyone's got going on during the summer fashion week! =)

this outfit is from going out dancing last night. we swing dance, which means that ease of movement and willingness to get clothing sweaty and gross is necessary. sadly, last night was my last night swing dancing in our local scene. =/ there's plenty of dancing to be had where we'll be moving to, but this is my scene and these are my people, you know? this was the first thing i got plugged into when i moved to madison, and has been the source of much enjoyment and great friendships (and my husband!).

vest: target (it swirled around like a cape when i was dancing! awesome!)
tank top: probably target?
gauchos: also target (i think they're technically pajama bottoms, but i wear them all over)
ginormous pearl earrings: free from an etsy seller when i bought a necklace
pearl & gem bracelet: gift from a friend recently returned from china

oh, hey, check out my shoes, too:

i call them my "there might be dancing shoes." they're not "real" dance shoes, but rather a sweet pair of wedges (naturalizer brand, bought on zappos) that i had re-soled with hard leather for dancing. they're cute and functional and non-dance-specific, so i can wear them to events (such as weddings) where i may want good shoes for dancing, while not having to bring a second pair, since "real" dance shoes often can't be worn as street shoes, since you'll damage the soles and the "real" dance floors at "real" dance venues. =) i got these for our wedding, and can't figure why i didn't do it sooner!

13 July 2010

summer fashion week - wednesday

day three of the summer fashion week blog fun, hosted by emery jo! i'm really enjoying seeing what everyone puts together. =)

this outfit is actually from sunday. seeing as today's agenda was moving furniture and vacuuming a decade's worth of dust and debris, my attire was man-shorts and a gym shirt. not fashionable in the least. (but it's not like i didn't warn you...)

sunday was church in the park, and then madison's art fair on the square. this means: comfortable, walk-able, and a big hat to protect me from that glowing orb in the sky that burns:

shirt: modcloth
awesome purple shorts: thrifted
chacos: ebay?
hat: ???

and hey look, my hair is finally long enough to braid again!

12 July 2010

summer fashion week - tuesday

and now for the second installment of summer fashion week, hosted by emery jo...

terribly blurry, but...so it goes.

dress: target
shoes: boston store, on massive clearance
earrings: modcloth (they came as a free surprise when i bought this dress)

this not-particularly-summery getup is me dressing up for an indefinite time frame girls' night.
we've done this a few times since graduating high school and "growing up"...at least this time, we didn't break any stemware. =)

and hey look, here's our group photos...on the eve of going off to college (2005)...celebrating major life milestones (2009)...

...and, three weddings, a baby, three continents and an imminent trans-continental move later:
today. (well, yesterday).
love these girls!

(and yes, we did intentionally line up in the same order every time. =)

summer fashion week - monday

here's the thing about summer fashion:

i don't do it.

i spend most of my summer in just-slop-something-on-because-it's-not-socially-acceptable-not-to clothing, and avoiding the HOT at all costs. and the SUN. gah. i don't do very well with either one.

however, this week i am making an exception, because i do so love to play dress-up, and because there happened to fall quite a number of exceptional events that all pull me out of my normal tank-top-and-gym-shorts summer attire. (however, as i observed this evening at a Gathering of Good Friends, i'm still firmly stuck in the boho-flower-child revamp that was fashionable when i was in high school. but you know what? i'm okay with that.)

first off: this was actually last saturday's outfit, for attending a wedding. (you see what i mean with the flower-child?)
dress: modcloth (summer 2009)
earrings: some random place in madison
bracelet: ????

and oh, hey, look:

*linking up with emery jo's summer fashion week - yay!*

11 July 2010

black caps

black raspberries, aka black caps. these grow wild in south central wisconsin. there's a giant patch near our house, on public land and free for the taking, and nobody seems to know about it but us. (yay!)

we've picked all the ripe ones we could find a couple times now this summer, and have come home with nearly a gallon altogether. some get eaten fresh, and the rest are frozen for later use in jam, pancake syrup, and similar delicious endeavors...

...the most recent of which, on the holy-cow-why-must-it-be-so-hot days of last week, was heaven.

07 July 2010

sinking in

it finally sunk in today (or at least started to) that, very very soon, everything in my life is going to change.

what brought this on? it was my last day of work.

this seems...kind of silly. i mean, i enjoyed my job, and i liked [most of] the people i worked with, but it was a part-time student position--it's not like it's part of my identity. am i going to miss my administrative/research office work, or pine after the good times with my coworkers? no. so why is this affecting me so much?

my best guess is because i've had this job for two and a half years. two and a half years, people! that's more than 10% of my life! and because of the nature of the company--highly successful healthcare IT--the environment and culture were very edifying for those of us who wear the label "geek."

i planned on taking time after i clocked out today to explore all of our campus (which has expanded significantly since the last time i did that, two years ago). this was inspired by the sign that's been sitting outside my office for the past week or so:

(i suppose i should explain: our office buildings--11 thus far--are named alphabetically after celestial entities. i work in building A, andromeda; the cafeteria is building C, cassiopeia, etc. building H was just recently opened--and there's significant construction still going on--and so people are still trying to find their way around.)

don't say that doesn't make you smile! people made jokes about it being a stairway instead of a tunnel, and about staying away from the light at the end. it's cute. plus, you just know that whoever makes the signs was having a good time with it:

so i went off to explore buildings H, I, J and K. except, i forgot that "last day of employment" meant that i had to turn in my access card, which meant that i couldn't unlock any outer doors after 6pm, which is when i finished work and went wandering around. so, i only made it inside H (heaven) and K (kohoutek). bummer.

the buildings are all themed. my first office was in a NYC-themed building; others have jungle, garden, western, and other themes. when i explored kohoutek, it was pretty easy to recognize its asian theme:

(can you see the wire sculptures in this picture? they're elephants! they'll be topiaries when the vines grow up.)

however, as for heaven's theme, the best guess i have is SHINY!

i'm sure those little white things don't show well in the picture, but those are all fiber optic cables. the ceiling is sparkly!

and check this out--

instead of taking the stairs or the elevator, you can take the slide!


it's a cool place. a neat environment--encouraging creativity and fun. not bad for a bunch of dorks. =)

oh, and rather randomly, here's a photo of our office's recycling bin on top of the bookshelf next to my desk. it was raining rather hard this afternoon, and then it started to rain through the ceiling. onto me. and my computer. =)