Saturday, April 30, 2011

First Game of the Season

Today was the first game of the season for the Murphysboro Clarkes vintage baseball team. The game was held in Jackson, MO against a group of guys who were interested in starting a team there.

Brandon "Junior" Shultz
Both Brandon and his dad played. Here is Brandon scoring a run:
 This little guy was entertaining me for most of the game:
His mom is dressed in period costume
The Clarkes did well and won both of their games. It was cold and windy though, and even sprinkled some rain at one point. The restrooms were just a short walk away but the stalls had no doors - I might have well just used a bush! Everyone was really friendly and seemed to enjoy themselves and after 3 hours it was over.

Our next stop was Lambert's Cafe, in Sikeston, MO, home of the throwed roll. Yeah, I didn't get it at first either ... a waiter (in suspenders and bow tie) literally throws dinner rolls to you across the dining room. It is a crazy free for all. Because, in addition to the all you can eat bread, they also come around offering unlimited side dishes like mac and tomatoes, black-eyed peas, fried okra and my favorite, potatoes and onions. Then, they give you a to-go box so you can take home all the leftovers. Wow we really pigged out. Check out the size of these rolls.
 I ordered fried chicken with coleslaw and peaches.
Ok, Mom, I know you will get a kick out of this ... remember the Fudrucker's salad that came in a big seashell bowl? Sorta like this:
Well, I've found a more embarrasing salad:
Do not attempt to eat this alone! And in that photo you can also see the beverage cups. Drinks are served in 40+ oz cups. The atmosphere was great and definitely worth the wait to get in :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Water Water Everywhere

The waters are rising! Thanks to the nonstop rain these past few weeks, this was my view on the way to work:
Flooding just off of Route 13 between the Jackson Co. Health Dept. and the Southern Illinois Airport. This pooling water is coming from the Big Muddy River.
For those who need to know about road closures, click here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ophthalmology Lessons

So, I've been getting a lot of cool eye experiences lately. Yesterday, I assisted with a PRP and observed an Avastin injection. 

PRP is a laser treatment that zaps the retina multiple times in order to seal off leaky blood vessels. A big needle full of anesthetic is injected into the back of the eye before the laser so that the patient will only feel a dull pain during the treatment. This treatment is used for people with diabetes who are having complications with their vision.
Patients with wet macular degeneration suffer from blood vessel growth and leakage on the retina and macula. Avastin is a medication that is injected into the eye that prevents blood vessels from growing. This procedure is a bit faster and less painful. A topical anesthetic is applied at the area of injection.
My learning spree continued today at work when we had a staff seminar on canaloplasty. This meant free lunch from the drug rep, well in this case the procedure rep? 
This is a new procedure for those with open angle glaucoma. Glaucoma is high pressure in the eye that is normally treated with eye drops that must be used for the rest of the patient's life. However, with this procedure, patients have a chance of getting off drops for good. The rep really wanted us to learn all about the procedure since one of our docs is being trained to perform them. So she shared a video of the surgery. I almost considered posting a photo but they are a bit bloody and not for the faint of heart. See photos of the procedure here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weather Radio

Guess who got an emergency weather radio for Easter? I did:

Dang thing went off just a few minutes after I took the picture - "tornado watch warning" came across the screen and a horrible alarm sounded, you have to go to it and press "snooze" and then the weather alert plays.

People are serious about storms out here! My first inclination was to roll my eyes and tell them to get on with their lives but with the recent tornado that ripped through St. Louis, my view has changed a bit. Back in DC we would just ignore weather warnings, but then again the severity of the storms just isn't the same as it is out here - and now I have proof. I mean the last tornado shut down the airport and took away my only way out of here!

The same tornado also ripped through a nice sub-division.
While the houses were demolished, there were no fatalities - amazing. Reports indicate that the families were given a tornado warning and headed to their basements. ... So I guess those alerts DO work. Therefore, my weather radio will happily reside on my living room floor.
Could the antenna be any longer?

Happy Birthday D!

Happy 15th Birthday Darius! This means I'll be turning 25 this year, yikes!

Mom always called us bookends,  can you see why?
Myrtle Beach, SC 2000

Williamsburg, VA 2008
From little guy to teenager:
Make it a good one!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Key Club Easter Egg Hunt

Despite the rain, the Murphysboro Key Club Easter Egg Hunt was held this morning at Riverside Park. At 10 minutes before 11am, several dozen children and parents were gathered at the front of the park. Even though it was sprinkling a bit, the costumed characters arrived.
Big Muddy Monster
The Easter bunny was also there. At 11 am, Key Club Advisor, Mr. Hall gave everyone the rules of the hunt.
Then the kids went to line up behind their Easter egg hunt areas. Since Brandon and I were Kiwanis volunteers we got inside of the pens first.
I just need an Easter basket
Isn't the stage gorgeous?! I WILL be coming back to see a concert here this summer. Once the sirens sounded, the children rushed the field:
3-5 yr olds are the cutest!
The hunting took a total of 7 minutes. Which was a good thing because the rain started coming down again. My favorite picture of the day:
Captain Applesauce
 Going to see Water for Elephants later this afternoon!

Friday, April 22, 2011


Applebee's Sizzling Asian Shrimp

Skinny White Chocolate Mocha Creamer

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Severe Weather

... does not make for a good night's sleep. Yesterday, starting around noon, the radio started mentioning storms that were to come into the area around 9 pm. It was really windy for most of the day and dark clouds loomed in the sky. When I got home from work, Brandon was watching the weather and his mom was already calling us to come over. Although we live in a first floor apartment, we do not have a basement, so she was worried about us. I wasn't too concerned (sorry, I don't get it yet... I'm Virginian). We decided to make a homemade pizza for dinner - so good! About a half hour later, the regular prime-time shows were being interrupted by the local weatherman and there were tornado warnings in Missouri. That's when we finally decided to go over to Knute and Nancy's. A short drive down the road and a pit stop at DQ later we were at their house. Soon after, the tornado sirens sounded and and we headed to the basement to wait it out. It wasn't too scary, lots of lightening and wind that passed quickly. About an hour later we decided to head home. Unfortunately, on our drive back home we could see that the power was out from just past Hardees to Walmart on Rt 13 - right where we live! So we packed up our clothes and headed back to Brandon's parent's house for the night.

The Southern has a good article summarizing the storm. More storms to come...'tis the season!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Guess who got into college?!

When I got home I had this letter waiting for me:
I've been accepted to John A Logan Community College! I'll be taking some classes this summer and fall to strengthen my applications to Physician Assistant programs. This summer, the plan is to start with Anatomy & Physiology and Genetics. I hope I can do it! I'm not gonna have any free time, as I'll work my full time job from 7:30-4:30 and take night classes 3 times a week.  The school is located in Carterville which is a twenty minute drive from home. As a resident of the school district, classes are $92/credit - very affordable! But, I can't forget textbooks which can get pricey.

Tonight was also a Kiwanis meeting. Check out the agenda:
Our Club President is a Catholic priest, can you tell? I left Kiwanis early for Zumba. So glad I went! The group was in a really good mood and so Joann got creative and had us split into teams and create our own routines. Then we battled it out on the dance floor :-)

What's making you smile today?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sauna Sunday

I went to the gym today for some cardio. The new sauna in the ladies locker room is open for business!
It's teeny, by the way. But, it got me wondering what the health benefits of using a sauna are. From this site, I learned that the heat makes your metabolism and pulse increase. The blood vessels become much more flexible and your extremities benefit from increased circulation. This is a similar effect to vigorous exercise. Sauna use can also aid in stress relief and there is some belief that toxins are released from your sweat.

I think I may try using it sometime. What is the proper etiquette? I know that I should sit on a towel and keep my clothes on, anything else?

Here's what I look like today :)
I just realized that this is pretty much the same pose (and shirt) that I used in my blog photo.

I LOVE Sunday TV. Looking forward to America's Next Great Restaurant, Celebrity Apprentice and The Amazing Race.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Kiwanis Pancake Day

Today was the Murphysboro Kiwanis Club's Annual Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser. Brandon and I volunteered during the first shift 6-8:30 am. It was an early morning! The event was held in the Middle School cafeteria. Check out everyone in the kitchen making pancakes and french toast:

When our shift was over, Nancy and Knute joined us for breakfast.
It was so good to finally eat! Business really picked up and all our tables were full of people. I hope the club made a lot of money. Afterward, we checked out the Carbondale Farmer's Market. Unfortunately, it was rainy and cold so we didn't stay long. Nancy was looking for a fern but they sold out. The farmer's market is open every Saturday from 8-noon. I want to go back when it's warmer.

Going to a wig party later tonight ...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

El Greco

It was a long, 9 hour day at work today. But, the payoff was that I got to see a cool in-office procedure: chalazion excision. A chalazion is another name for a stye, or swollen gland on the eyelid. Typically people will get them occasionally and they will last 2-3 days. However, the patient today had two, one which had been around for a year. The procedure was cool and a bit bloody. It was crazy to see how far the eyelid can be flipped back. This website does a really good job of showing what I saw.

For dinner tonight, I picked up gyros from El Greco in Carbondale. The restaurant was busy with a lot of people picking up orders to go. Next time I will call ahead! While I was waiting for my carry out, I checked out the t-shirts. Cute!
The best part was coming home and eating the delicious food!
This is the gyro platter which was the daily special today - you get the gyro, fries and a drink for $5.99. I had my fries upgraded to onion rings. Unfortunately, this was a bad choice. Although, the onion rings are homemade, they just didn't taste good - they tasted somewhat chalky, too much flour in the batter perhaps? The gyro meat was delish - a mixture of beef and lamb. The special sauce was also good, but it is sour cream based instead of yogurt. Brandon also enjoyed his meal and shared my feelings on the onion rings.

I have been posting my restaurant reviews on Not too many people use it out here but they should :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

People of Southern Illinois

Ok, sorry for the really lame photo but I didn't want to seem too stalkerish. These two were fishing in the cemetery lake! As far as I know, this is just a decorative lake to provide visitors of their loved ones a nice landscape, but to go fishing in it? really?!

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Office

Our second bedroom is an office that Brandon and I share. This weekend, I was finally able to set up my side the way I want it. Do you like?
My favorite part is my butterfly collection.
Come visit! The middle of the room is wide open, with lots of room for an air mattress :-)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pickles and Meatloaf Oh My!

I'm having a relaxing weekend, anybody else?
Last night Brandon and I watched The American. And by watched, I meant I fell asleep to it. I need more talking in my movies!

Saturday started with Zumba at 1pm with Joann Waclawek. This girl rocks. Today class started a little slow, but by the time we did the "Wiggle" I was sweating all over! I also learned about the secret gym schedule...on Monday and Wednesday evenings Body Combat is held from 6-6:30 pm at Gold's in Carbondale. Later in the day we went to borrow a friend's truck because ... we're finally getting a washer and dryer tomorrow!!! Then we stopped by TJ Maxx and the mall but were unsucessful in our search for shoes and sunglasses.

Dinner tonight started with an appetizer of baked pickles. The recipe was from the Healthy Tipping Point blog.
Such a simple receipe and my first time buying Panko bread crumbs. I'm definetly a Panko fan, I love that crunch!
As for the pickles, well they're pickles, of course they were good! I wasn't sure what sauce to serve with them so I made a trio of ketchup, ranch and mayo+ketchup.

Ranch wins! The main entree was also inspired by a blog, BBQ Meatloaf as seen on Peanut Butter Fingers. I didn't take a picture but it looked like meatloaf and Brandon ate it right up.  

What are you up to this weekend? I see laundry in my future!

Friday, April 8, 2011

A New Magnet

Look what I got in the mail:
A "Save the Date" for my friend Mandy's upcoming wedding. I have known the girl since elementary school when I rocked the clarinet and she rocked the oboe. Here's a picture of us at our 6th grade band concert in 1998:
I'm so happy for her! The wedding will be held in Blue Ridge Summit, PA. I'm guessing that her colors will be orange and maroon to show her VT love but I will have to wait to find out. Her Save the Date magnet looks great on my fridge and it's fitting that it's next to the MHS Band magnet, hehe.

In other news, my mom is giving a tour of Arlington Cemetery today. I hope it goes well. Back to work I go on this lovely Friday afternoon!