The CAR

Laura and the CivicWow, lots of fun stuff this week, Matt & I finally made the decision to purchase a second car. Do the benefits outweigh the negatives?? —- let’s hope so! A second car adds a lot to our monthly bills, but makes life SO MUCH EASIER! And while I’m working at 6:30 for the next month or so, it’ll be much better for poor Matt to get some sleep!

So, we got a 2002 Honda Civic ($600 under Blue Book), the best part is the 36-44 mpg. Simply wow. Not as great as a diesel or a new hybrid, but pretty darn awesome. Boomer, as we named “her” also has a sweet little sound system and a sun roof AND keyless locks, how fun to have the “button”.

The picture was taken at the UofI arboretum, Matt, Jill and I traveled through on Saturday and took lots of pictures. Some to be blown up and put on the wall of the gorgeous foliage.

In other news I’m gearing up to go “solo” (without the previous DM to hold my hand) next week at work. Yikes! Not going to lie, it stresses me out somewhat. I feel like I have 100 questions that I don’t know to ask, but will regret not asking if I don’t have them figured out by Monday. But I know I have the basics down. Paperwork is of UTMOST importance, and not a single T can be left uncrossed. Being watchful and sensitive to any and all needs of the residents is also of extreme importance. I received training to be a “certified” feeding assistant last week, a lot of review on the nutritional ends of things but lots of new information in the social and bureaucracy end.

My prayer for the week:

Father, make me aware of the needs of others, despite my own discomfort, help me to love others in the way they need, give me patience, help me to learn quickly, help me grow into a respectable, trustworthy manager. Thank you for my patient husband as he learns to love his “space cadet” working wife. Thank you for the beautiful rain, thank you for “this” plan. Grow me, show me, teach me. I love you.*

* Hey readers, I’m reminded of Matthew 6:5-6… pharisees, praying loudly in public etc, please know this is honestly not my purpose in writing a short prayer at the end of some of my posts, mostly just to remind myself of the significance of the week, and possibly as a prayer request to my friends. If it ever comes off as more than that, please inform me. I’m hopelessly flawed and arrogant in so many ways that I’m unaware of blinded to.

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The JOB

So, I’ve been neglecting my blog! It’s been a whirlwind two weeks, unfortunately stressful, but (prepare your ears, because I’m going to scream) I GOT A JOB!!!!!!!

And not only a job, or a job in my major, it’s a job, it’s in my major AND I LOVE IT!

It all started on facebook, when Phil Walleck sent me a link on craigslist for a job as a dietary manager at a long term care facility 5 miles from my house, I initially thought “There is no way I’m qualified for this” but I took a look anyway and searched everything I could find about dietary managers. DMs (as they are called) monitor kitchens, hire and fire and manage kitchen staff, interview clients, take food histories, maintain sanitation standards, take nutrition risk assessments, get mighty fine paychecks AND (and this might be the best part require a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition or a similar degree and a DM certification (passing a 500 question exam). WHAHOO!

I sent my application in, without a hope, I have ZERO managing experience and VERY LITTLE cooking experience. But what an ideal job! AND IN PULLMAN!! What are the odds???

I got an immediate e-mail back from the hiring manager, and she set me up with an interview. The interview was… dare I say it… fun?! After the initial awkwardness and the answering of the scary questions I visited the kitchen staff for a while, I ended up getting a hug from a cook, what are the odds of getting a hug at an interview.

So, irresponsibly Matt and I “went off the grid” for a few days and visited Glacier MT, it was so beautiful, and one the first day week took a long hike onto the top of  mountain. It was amazing to see the view from the 3 mile high top of the mountain, seeing a train below trudge on through, the clouds settled into the valleys and the wildflower patches streamed about near rivers and lakes.  I took my phone along for the off chance that I might get cell reception (I did!). I realized I two missed calls from the facility…. I called back on a friend’s phone that accidentally got onto speaker phone… I called back, and WAS OFFERED THE JOB!

So needless to say it was a real “mountain top experience”

I started on Monday, it’s a long term care facility, so some of the things that are seen there can be slighting “jarring”. It’s hard to see people at the end of their lives, unable to show truly who they once were. But the people there and my fellow employees are nothing short of delightful, and I can honestly say, every single one.

The kitchen team is a hoot! Second day there I felt like I belong, checking in an order and filling out nutritional risk assessments. SO FREAKIN AWESOME!!!

I’m overwhelmed what a perfect fit this job was for me! Is it a huge learning curve? yes. Will I stress out over getting every detail accounted for? yes. Am I utterly and totally clueless 90% of the time so far? heck yeah! But I see the potential for loving this job. For getting to know my fellow employees and hopefully making a difference there. For loving people, in a place where love might be not always willingly given.

I’m so so so thankful, and I’m eager to do a stellar job.

God had answers, I just didn’t know what was up with the last job. I was so disappointed, but He had a plan. This job is so much more than I even thought I could have, I had my sights on some cool colored rock, but God had a diamond in mind.

So all in all my brain is totally FRIED, my right arm is sooo sore from writing and I’m contemplating how to wash professional pants, but I’m grinning ear to ear, happy as can be to be to experience this awesome blessing!


Apriums

jpeg apriumsJill, Matt and I went back to my parents house for a partial weekend, we looked at cars and shopped for professional clothes (YAY see next blog post!!)

My Dad came down with the very first fruit off the trees, not cherries or apricots but apriums a strange mixture of plums and apricots which wikipedia states as “75% apricot and 25% plum” after the much anticipated taste the consensus was that apriums are like “bad apriocots”.Very dissapointing when you are just so excited to bite into fresh fruit again for the season!

Well, I hate to let good produce go to waste… what to do with bad apricots? I decided to “muffin em'”. I got a recipe off of Allrecipes.com for Peach muffins and altered it. AND although not gluten free, I came up with some mighty fine muffins.

Aprium Muffins

1/2 vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1.5 cups whole wheat flour

1.5 cups white all purpose flour

2 cups chopped pitted apriums

1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup applesauce

You know the drill mix (but not too much) and plop into greased muffin cups. 25minutes at 350 degrees and volia! Fantastic muffins!

The apriums are quite tart, but they give the muffin a fun tangy flavor, delicious! Also I might add that the recipe made 20 muffins, I should have made 24, but no worries.

better muffin