Split Personality

My favorite way to relax is to work on one of my crafts.  And, yes, I have been doing that a lot.

But, today was a day to do something very different.  With the temperature in the low 70s, low humidity and, most importantly No Bugs, it was a day to work outside.  I was able to crossed something off of my to-do list that has been on the list for a while (okay, so actually a couple years).

img_3697A few years ago, we had three large oak trees taken down by a local arborist (Branch and Bough, if you are in MN, is a great tree service).  These trees were hanging far over our driveway and the concern was that they might fall onto our vehicles. At the time, we had the tree crew take the trees down and then cut them into 1 foot length intending to split the wood to use in our firepit and fireplace.  Since then, these large pieces of wood have been stacked by our driveway.

Well, today I finally got around to splitting the wood.

img_3699.jpgWe made a trip to Home Depot last night to rent a log splitter for a day (my husband was kind enough to help with this since I am not confident towing something behind my vehicle).  Then around 7:30 this morning, I started working through the stack of logs.   Eight hours later and I had about a full cord of wood (8 ft x 4 ft by 4 ft) split and stacked.  At the current rate of $550/cord, I’d say it was a productive day.

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But, boy am I tired.

I think I’ll go back to my craft room before tackling another task like today.  But, it was certainly nice to get the log splitting off of my to-do list!

 

Birthdays, Weather and Walks

Very early this morning, I returned from Phoenix where I spent a few days with my parents.  My father’s 83rd birthday was last Thursday and I flew down to celebrate with him. Happy Birthday Dad!!

For his birthday, I made him a quilt to use when he is sitting in his recliner and/or sleeping.  Because he really likes eagles, I purchased two different fabric panels from Amazon and incorporated the printed eagle pictures into a pieced quilt. The other fabrics were pieces I already had in my fabric stash.

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By using panels, this was a really quick quilt to make.  I think I spent a total of 12 hours cutting, piecing, quilting and binding the quilt.  That’s certainly a lot quicker than most of the quilts I make!

To celebrate his birthday, we went to Thee Pitts Again in Glendale, AZ.  This restaurant has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and is well known for their tasty BBQ.

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When planning my trip, I was looking forward to some warm, sunny weather in Arizona.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.  The news headlines while I was visiting my parents was all about the record levels of snowfall throughout the state of Arizona. While no snow fell in Glendale, where my parents live, it did rain almost the entire time I was there.

Poor weather seems to like to create havoc with my recent travels. My departure on Wednesday fell on the day of a snow storm.  All of the schools in the Twin Cities were closed that day due to the storm.  After working in the morning, I went straight to the airport, only to find out that my flight was delayed by about two hours due to the weather.  Again last night, my return flight was during a snow storm with another two hour delay.

Both of these were better than the flight I took to Tampa two weeks ago.  My departure flight for that trip also fell on the day of a major snow storm.  That time I was delay five hours.

Dealing with weather delays in an airport calls for creative ways to help pass the time.  Waiting for my flight to Tampa, I was sitting near the gate working on a hat.  Knitting was a good way to fill the time, but when another major flight was posted, I realized that I  needed to move around rather than sit for so long. So, I set out on a challenge to discovered the distance that a person could  walk in Terminal 1 of the MSP airport.  Utilizing my Fitbit, I discovered that if a person walks to each gate of all of the concourses (A-G) it involves 11,266 steps (4.6 miles) and takes  two hours and 15 minutes.

This was a great way to fill the time and do some people watching.  And, until setting out on my walk, I had never been to Concourses A or B. Now I know where they are if I ever need to quickly get to one of their gates.

On Wednesday, learning that my flight was once again delayed, I completed my walking circuit again.  This time my goal was to try to walk faster  – kinda hard to do in a crowded, busy, snow-delayed airport.  I did, however, successfully reduced the time to 1 hour, 45 minutes.

Last night, being delayed yet again, I decided to do the same thing at the Phoenix airport.  Starting at gate A30, walking to the end of each concourse, and returning to gate A30 required 6,951 steps (2.8 miles) and took just over an hour to complete.  Terminal 4 of the PHX airport is definately smaller than Terminal 1 at MSP.

I may have started a new challenge for my self!  Whenever I am in an airport for longer than two hours, I think I will set out to measure the airport walking distance.

Christmas Treats – a village, some trees, and a whole lot of Grinches.

With Christmas just a few days away, I decided to show some holiday treats I have recently shared with my staff.

Christmas Village

For our December Saturday clinic, the staff enjoyed an eatable village that included:

Pound cake houses (each staff member could have their own house):

  • Pound Cake (recipe found here)
  • Cookie glazing frosting (recipe found here)
  • Mini M&Ms, chocolate chips, colored sugar, almond slivers, Andes candies, lemon wafers, green frosting, and sugar flakes.

Spritz cookie Trees (recipe found here, peppermint extract used instead of fiori di sicilia)

Marshmallow cereal trees (recipe found here, shaped into trees rather than wreaths)

Cream wafer cookies (recipe found here) – these are really good!!

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Meat and Cheese Tree

On another day, a demonstration of a new piece of equipment we are considering, was held over our lunch break. So, I brought in some meat and cheese for the staff to eat.  Keeping with the holiday spirit, these were put together in a decorative fashion.

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Grinch Poppers

After seeing the idea in an ADA Morning Huddle email, I also made a tray of fun fruit treats.  These Grinch Poppers (original idea posted here) were enjoyed by everyone.

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Merry Christmas to everyone who reads my blog!!

Fall in Minnesota

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What a difference a week makes!

Last Sunday, I was in Arizona visiting my parents.  With a high temperature was 102 degrees, I was wearing a skort, sleeveless shirt and sandals.

Today, back in Minnesota, the temperature is 51 degrees.  I am wearing a sleeveless shirt this week, it’s just accompanied by a sweater, slacks and warm socks.

My week off of work started by spending a few days with my parents.  Having recently relocated to a new retirement community, I went to Arizona to see how they were doing.  Glencroft Retirement has many nice features – fountains, library, exercise room, etc.

 

And entertainment!

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After spending a few days with my parents, I returned midweek to Minnesota.

The later part of my week was spent on fall yard projects.  After picking apples, I spent countless hours making applesauce and dehydrated apple slices – 36 cups of apple chips and 39 pints of applesauce!

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I also cleaned up some of my flower beds and planted about 400 bulbs for spring flowers.  It will be nice to see how things grow!

I guess it’s back to work tomorrow 😒.

 

Minnesota Mission of Mercy 2018

img_2478It’s a beautiful, sunny day and I’m at home relaxing after three incredibly busy days.

The sixth Minnesota Mission of Mercy wrapped up yesterday.  About 1,500 volunteers including dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, dental therapists, translators, and lay volunteers worked together to provide free dental care for patients who would otherwise not be able to afford treatment. Services included cleanings, fillings, root canals on select teeth, extractions, and oral hygiene instruction. Patients were seen from 5:30 am to 5:00 pm. In two days of the event, 1492 patient encounters and over $900,000 dental care was provided.

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Dr. Loren Taple and I have worked together as X-ray co-leads for the past five MnMOM events.

 

As a co-lead of the X-ray, I spent most of Thursday setting up our department.  We had three intraoral X-ray machines and six panoramic machines donated for use at the event and well as nine computer/monitor setups for running the machines and printing images. On Friday and Saturday, we saw over 800 patients for radiographs.

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Kelli and I

Kelli, the clinic supervisor of my dental practice (Dentistry for Children and Adolescents), has volunteered in the X-ray department every year.  She is an awesome employee who is really fun to work side-by-side with.

For me, it is a nice change to work in X-ray rather than treating pediatric patients.  One of my partners, however, does volunteer in the Kid’s Clinic.  Dr. Sally Schuette, along with two of our office assistants, Wendi and Teum, spent several hours treating kids.  And, when the pediatric patients were all treated, they even treated a couple adult patients. img_2470

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It was an fulfilling weekend.  May God Bless all the volunteers!

 

 

Happy 90th Birthday, Bruce.

Today would have been my father-in-law’s ninetieth birthday. In honor of his birthday, I am posting a poem I wrote six years ago.   1988.Bruce

Welcomed home by his Heavenly Father,
Last night he breathed his last breath.
My father-in-law, Bruce,
Now lives eternal, after his death.

He now walks with his Lord,
And plays heavenly pianos.
He may even joke with the angels.
Who knows?

In heaven, a cup of coffee,
May seem a bit trivial;
But his God will probably say,
Why of course, it is possible.

If asked in heaven to do
One thing or another,
He will probably still say
“I need to go ask my mother.”

His wit, charm and humor,
All around him could see,
Was certainly more important
Than a fictitious medical degree.

Nothing gave him more pleasure
Than Faith, Family and Friends;
All still should feel cherished,
His love never ends.

I cannot even begin to express
How truly blessed I have been.
Though I was not born his daughter,
He treated me like one from beginning to end.

He would call me “Doll”.
Yes – I know he probably called you that too;
But that’s just how he was,
His love, to all, through and through.

An example here on earth
Of our loving Heavenly Father to me;
A small glimpse of the Love
I will someday see.

For this truly wonderful man,
Though his life has come to an end;
His eternal reward will surely be great,
God’s love will transcend.