Thursday, September 29, 2011

Last Saturday

I missed out on this...
Praise the Lard!
After watching a BBQ Pit Masters episode on this competition I was really bummed I missed out this year! But I really was too lazy to go out in the rain. Things did clear up in the afternoon for the SIU tailgate and football game.

This was my first time at the new stadium. Very niiice! The game was a nail biter. SIU pulled it off with a win 20 to 18 over Missouri State.
Pinch Dragon
We ended the night at Pinch where Hairbanger's Ball was playing in the beer garden. Typical Carbondale behavior? I think yes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Body Parts

The problem with having Anatomy & Physiology once a week is that you might have a quiz and a test on the same day ... like tonight... and then we had lab afterwards! I've never seen someone write on a chalkboard so much:
Things to learn for the Lab Practical
How old do you think these slides are?!
"Skin, Negro"
So earlier today I think a patient was flirting with me... until he told me I looked like the daughter from Mrs. Doubtfire:
Haha! Good night folks.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Scenes from the Apple Festival

Appletime Stage
Fair Food


Apple Festival Parade


Boys in Uniform

Friday, September 23, 2011

60th Apple Festival

The 60th annual Murphysboro Apple Festival was last weekend. This thing is Murphysboro's claim to fame. They love the darn thing! It's basically a carnival that takes over downtown Murphysboro for 5 days. There are a plethora of apple-related events such as apple pie eating contests and pageants.

Brandon was chair of the Kiwanis Appletime Stand this year. Our Kiwanis club sells apple-themed treats to raise money for community projects. Let me tell you, stocking, managing, opening and closing this thing for 5 days takes a LOT of work! This mean I filled in a lot as a volunteer at the stand. We sold candy apples, apple dumplings, apple butter, etc.
I thought Brandon looked adorable carting the boxes of fresh apples around. We sold local apples from Mileur Orchards in Murphysboro. There were 3 types: red delicious, golden delicious and Jonathan. But by far our best sellers were the frozen drinks. We had an apple cider slushie and an apple pie smoothie:

Have a look behind the scenes:
We had a really nice set-up. Check out the cooler trailer:

Brandon did an awesome job. We made thousands for charity!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

School has been keeping me very busy:

Check out my guest post over on the CKI Alumni Blog. I also have some stories to share from the Murphysboro Apple Festival. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sugar Cookies & Other Drugs

The Lumigan guy came by the office today with these cookies:
Something strange about eating a cookie advertising a glaucoma eyedrop... oh well, sugar rush!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Birthday Wish List

Guess who's turning 25 in one month?!! That would be me! I'd thought I give you all a glimpse into what I'd love to receive:

A Haircut
Not much to ask for right? My hair is the longest it's been in probably ever. My last haircut was sometime in February, so first on the list is a good cut. These ladies are my inspiration:


I've also been thinking about keratin straightening for ages - its just so expensive!

A New Tote

An all-purpose bag to go from work to school. Have you checked out the Christian Siriano line for Payless? He is just one year older than me, arg, what am I doing with my life?! A new wallet is also on the list. I may have spilled creamer on my red leather wallet... sigh...

Popcorn Reading
AKA Young Adult Fiction. Hey I still feel like a young adult, don't you? Brandon teases me... It's worth it.
Hunger Games books 2 and 3 please:


Literal popcorn. Check out this latest foodie creation:
Half-popped popcorn, those awesome bits of crunch you find at the bottom of the bag. 

I'm definitely looking forward to October 13. When in doubt send sour punch! (or cash)

Any other October babies out there?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back from Bootcamp

Last night Jamie arrived back home from 13 weeks of Marine bootcamp. We suprised him by lighting up his house and throwing a little welcome home party.
Not a cancer walk, Jamie's back!

It seemed like just yesterday we were saying goodbye. It's hard to believe the summer is over!

Jamie was glad to be home. He showed us pictures of his massive drill instructor (seriously, the guy was straight out of the movies), told us stories about the kids who couldn't make it through and most importantly - did a celebratory whisky shot:
I made Jamie some dark chocolate chip cookies and Jarrod had this awesome bumper magnet made for Dana:
Jamie's in town until Tuesday so it's sure to be a week of fun. Especially, with the Apple Festival this weekend. Brandon is running the Kiwanis Apple Stand. Come visit! We've got apples, apple dumplings, candy apples, and even apple pie slushies for sale!

I'm going to study for a bit before bed. I have my first test of the semester tomorrow in Anatomy. Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Yesterday Brandon and I got up for an early start to our morning. He was a referee for the first Murphysboro Soccer games of the season. He was reffing the 3rd and 4th graders - too cute. This is the first year Murphysboro has had it's own soccer league and they had record breaking registration numbers of 225 kids. I watched for a couple minutes but then I headed downtown for an event with Kiwanis.
The Murphysboro Kiwanis Club arranged for a Saturday Morning Cartoons event at the historic Liberty Theater.
What a beautiful place. It definitely reminds me of the Kimball Theatre in Williamsburg, VA. We had a slow start but people trickled in. We ended up with about 35 children and parents. We gave out free popcorn and orange drink donated by McDonalds.
At the end of the event we handed out pencils as a parting gift. I loved the event and hope that we decide to do it again sometime.  

This afternoon I'm working on an article summary for microbiology on bacterial infection. Research was done indicating that donor stool transplants (administered through nasogastric tube) helped, yeesh.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

People of Southern Illinois

Can someone please explain?! The baby says "Mom's milk is so dreamy..." as seen at the DuQuoin State Fair

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

DuQuoin State Fair Part 2

The fun continued when we headed back to the fair over Labor day weekend. I requested we go back because I wanted to attend the Illinois Food & Wine Products Show. Turned out to be a great decision!

As we walked in, we were tempted by some fried treats but decided to pass:
Instead we loaded up on free samples at the food and wine expo. There were about 20 booths and every single booth was giving away samples - generous ones at that! We had salsa, noodles, pizza, meatballs, etc... By far the coolest thing we had was yellow watermelon!

After all the food we tried some wines. There were 8 wineries present and a lot of them we hadn't tried yet. Tickets were 50 cents per taste. Pheasant Hollow Winery's Black & Blue was really tasty. Turns out they teamed up with Uncle Joe's to make a delicious pasta sauce. This is what came home with us:
Next, we checked out the Cupcake Competition. Competitors brought 24 of their signature cupcakes, displayed them on stage and presented them to the judges.
Cute stage right?
And the winners were...

1st - Coconut Pecan Cupcake (9 yr old contestant!)
2nd - Chocolate Stout Cupcake with Brown Butter Creme Frosting
3rd - Cherry Dr. Pepper Cupcake with Cool Whip Frosting

The best part was when they invited us up for samples. Here's a look at our tasting plate:
Nom nom! Just as that ended, a food demonstration was starting up. Our chefs gave us a few more good things to eat:
On the way out, my fear of farm tools was validated by some serious machinery:

Monday, September 5, 2011

DuQuoin State Fair Part 1

The DuQuoin State Fair has been going on from August 26 to today. Interestingly, the fairgrounds were built in 1923 by a man who privately owned the "state" fair for 63 years. Illinois holds it's original state fair in Springfield and now also runs this one down south in DuQuoin, IL which is just about a 30 min drive for us. Brandon and I checked it out for a couple of hours last weekend. Mostly we just wanted some good eats!
I have never been to a state fair before. Sorry - city people just don't quite get it. It was neat to see permanent fairgrounds. Check out the Grandstand above.
The first thing we had was the pork kabob. Something is just not right about that!! (ie Muslims are cringing right now) I'm used to seeing chicken on stick at a lot of fairs out east, but pork kabobs were definitely a lot more popular here. These had a nice char and a sweet glaze over them. Next up was this cute stand across the way:
They said, "Would you like butter?" and we said "yes" and then they dunked the entire cob into a vat of melted butter - wow! It was a Paula Deen moment.

Red Velvet Funnel Cake was dessert. OOH yeah! It was topped with cream cheese icing. Mmm.

We returned to the fair yesterday ... to be continued...

PS: I just finished reading The Hunger Games. So good, can't wait for the movie!!  Anybody want to borrow it?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Grand Rivers, KY

Yesterday, Brandon and I traveled to Grand Rivers, KY. His parents and their friends Kathy and Everett have gone down there every Saturday of Labor Day for the past 5 years. They like to go to the Arts & Crafts Festival. It was about a 90 minute drive to get there. Admission was $1. There were a ton of vendors so we took our time walking around the park.

I didn't find anything I absolutely loved but the GIANT wind chime caught my eye (Mom you would've loved it) and I took a picture of the "Gigi" t-shirt for Jeila:
While it was fun to see all the crafts, the real reason we were there was to have lunch at Patti's. I have to admit, this place is worth the drive. The restaurant is more like a theme park with shops, mini-golf and the 1880s theme throughout. Make a reservation before you go! While we waited for our table we heard that the earliest reservation for the day would be at 9pm. Yeesh, luckily we were seated early, a little before our 1:15 reservation. The room we were in was small and dark with lots of family pictures on the wall. Our waitress was nice but the poor thing had to wear a long and unflattering "period" dress. We ordered our dessert first. This is why:

Patti's famous mile-high pies! I went with lemon meringue. Our waitress told us we were the first people to order dessert first in the 2 years she's been there! I made it half-way through my piece when our bread came out baked in a flower pot:
It was served with regular butter and strawberry butter (mmm). For our entree, Brandon and I split the 2 inch pork chop. Awesome decision:

They actually split the meal up for us! Even so, can you see how ridiculously large the pork chop is!!! It was amazingly tender and juicy. The portions are huge, sharing was a great idea, and everyone had lots to take home.

How is your Labor Day going?