Wednesday, November 25, 2009

An ER Visit

This week's writing prompt from MamaKat is:

An ER Visit...


I teach safety for a living and I like to use real life examples as illustrations what to do and even better-- what not to do. To be fair I tell a few stories about myself.

One summer night Mr. Geek and I were cooking a great dinner -- Steaks on the grill, asparagus with cheese sauce. yum. I was multitasking, checking the steaks out on the patio and making the cheese sauce in the kitchen. I started melting the butter in a pan, added some flour and was ready to slowly add milk. When I open the refrigerator, the milk carton was empty. I grabbed the new gallon of milk and went to untwist the cap, but the stupid safety ring wouldn't give.

This was where I usually go get a fork and pry off the plastic ring, but I looked down and there was a butter knife right there on the counter. How perfect, I thought, I will use the knife to pry off the plastic ring. It will work just like a fork and I will have one less utensil to clean. Who was I fooling, I was not worried about cleaning up I was more thinking about convenience - I was hungry and I was in a hurry. I did not want the steaks or sauce to burn and I WAS HUNGRY. (Did I mention that?)

I took the knife with my right hand and put it into the plastic ring in order to to then pry it off when with out warning, the plastic ring broke. The momentum that I had carried the knife down to where my left hand was holding the gallon of milk. The knife cut into my left pointer finger (Can you picture this?) It was then that I found out that you can indeed cut yourself with a butter knife.


I saw blood. I turned off the stove. I grabbed several papertowels and put pressure on the cut. I held the finger above my heart. Then I thought, I think I should sit down.

Along came Mr. Geek. concern about .... the burning steaks. He was hungry too.

"What happened?"

"I cut myself"

"Well get a band aid."

(Can you feel the concern?)

"I think I might need stitches"

At this point, Mr. Geek finally actually looked at me. He stopped rushing around and said, "Let me see it."

Yes, it was going to need stitches. We were able to call a neighbor girl over to watch the kids (the little geeks were still toddlers) and we went to the ER.

We finally ate our steaks at 10:00 that night.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Memorable Thanksgiving

This week's writing prompt from MamaKat is:

A Thanksgiving to be remembered...

(inspired via Twitter by @knitmyrhino from Crafting With Rhinos)

I can not remember any on particular Thanksgiving but for some reason there is one Thanksgiving scene that is vivid in my memory. Why with all of the memories in my head this one scene stick out? Was it tragic? Was it touching? Wait for it....

First I have to set the scene.

We always had Thanksgiving dinner at my Grandma's house. My Grandma's house was not very big, maybe 900 square foot with a galley kitchen. My Grandfather at some point had added an extra room of the kitchen that we called the Breezeway (yes with a capital B). This was before such inconveniences as Building Codes and Regulations.

The grownup all sat in the Dining Room (also with a capitol D). The point at which you moved from the kid's table in the Breezeway to the grownup table in the Dining room was a decision loaded with controversy. You see it depended on much more than just your age. It really depended more on how much room there was at the adult table. After counting heads and comparing that number to the amount of room at the table, my Grandma then looked for a natural break in age. For example, my two older sisters are 18 months apart, so they would always be seated together. This had some logic behind it but as you can expect it was met with some arguments like - How come Linda got to sit at the grownup table at 14 and I had to wait until I was 16?

Me? I was always content to sit at the kids table. I fell in the middle of a pack of cousins, all two years apart. My cousin Lisa was two years younger than me and my playmate for most of my life. Her brother Mark was two years older and lots of fun when he wasn't teasing me until I cried. Then there was my brother, whom at this point in my life, I tolerated.

The adults were talking and laughing and completely oblivious to anything that was going on just several feet away in the Breezeway. Left to ourselves we came up with our own entertainment.

And the one memory I hold after all these years? Are you ready for it? My cousins and I spent time learning to swallow peas and corn whole. And the stakes got higher eat round. Could you swallow one peas and two kernels of corn? For the record, I was not the best at it because I had a pretty big fear of choking. If I remember correctly (and I doubt very much that I do) the boys ruled this challenge and my cousin Lisa and I claimed moral superiority such like - "What kind of idiot would want to swallow their food without chewing it?"

What do you remember about Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 16, 2009

10 Random Things

This was in my Draft box. I am not sure where I borrowed it from.

1. Your favorite bev
erage: Coffee, Coffee, Coffee. When planning my trip to Haiti, I first packed coffee.



2. Your hometown:




3. Your favorite television show: The Amazing Race

Yes, that is the host Phil Keoghan wi
th Mr. Geek.


4. Your occupation/you are in school for:

5. Your first car: The first car that I drove was my Dad's Chevy Monza.



The First car that I owned was a 1984 Plymouth Colt.


6. Your favorite dish: Any thing made on Top Chef. (Hey I can dream, can't I?)





7. Celebrity you've been told you resemble: Leelee Sobieski - but only when she has a geeky role like the one in Never Been Kissed.



8. Celebrity on your "to do" list: Chef Robert Irvine I was so happy that the Food Network hired him back for Dinner Impossible.



9. Your favorite childhood toy: Stuffed Animals. I owned lots and lots. Each one had a name, a birthday, and a personality. I had them all enrolled in school where I was the one-room schoolhouse teacher.




10. Any random picture


Friday, November 13, 2009

7 Quick Take Friday

I don't have the focus to write a complete blog posting on any one subject. So this is my opportunity to let everyone know what the Geeks have been up.

1. Soccer, Soccer, Soccer. Most of the games were rained out (field too soggy) in October so the weekends in November are packed. Also indoor soccer has started, oh my.


Here is the Middle Geek attempting a trick shot.



2. Lance - the Dog Geek. The little Geeks LOVE playing fetch and soccer with Lance. The do not mind feeding him and giving him water. The walking and cleaning up poop? Not so much.








3. Safety Training - I have been continuing my tour of Missouri in my quest to bring safety education to every county. Only 100 more to go.





4. I have spent too much time searching the web for the perfect obnoxious T-shirt for the College Geeks birthday present.

Please someone, put this on a coffee mug for me!





5. Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) This is an event for 7th and 8th grade girls to meet women with nontraditional careers (for women) and to be encouraged to stay in math and science. Every year my friends and I travel to our Alma mater and put on a workshop. Usually we bring the bridge kit and explain why engineers are the MOST important people in the world.

Unfortunately I missed it this year due to #3 reason. (sob)


6. Making Charcoal Briquettes from Peanut Shells - I am still involved with Engineers Without Borders. Several projects that we started in Haiti are ongoing.

We have successfully carbonized peanut shells. Look at that burning in the picture. We were able to FILL the chimney with shells and with one match the entire contents caught fire.

While that may not sound amazing at first, you have to know that peanut shells pack pretty densely and it is difficult to get enough air for the fire to burn without being smothered. We modified a Weber Chimney Charcoal Starter (Somebody from Weber Grill contact me, we love your design.) Next step is to build a larger model.
















7. I was so lucky to be able to fit in one more mission trip this year. Hugs to Mr. Geek who picks up the slack at the home front while I am away.

This mission trip was close to home (just one county over). The constant October rain drove us inside where we completely made over the Sanctuary of a small church. The average age of the members is over seventy and the church had not been painted since probably the 70's.

When we were done it looked like a beautiful country chapel that would be perfect for a wedding. We hope we were also able to bring some hope and joy to those worshiping there.