Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ducks vs Hawkeyes!

Sarah is one of my favorite people! I love the time we spend together :) Last weekend Brian and I had the chance to go to Eugene with our Iowa Alumni friends Sarah and CJ for a basketball game with when the Oregon Ducks played the Iowa Hawkeyes .

We had so much fun with them! It was awsome to spend time with them! Our time is always filled with so much laughter. Please notice the pretty awesome Iowa Letterman jackets!

When in Eugene, we got to see my parents as well!

So much fun! Hopefully we will have many more fun trips in the future.

Pull out the ladder... the fireman. Champ was stuck in a tree.

Seriously. Not awesome.

Tuesday night I didn't see Champ when I got home from work, which was not the most unusual. But Wednesay before work when I took out his food, when he is usually there in 2 seconds, he didn't come up to the door. I walked outside and heard him meowing, but didn't see anything. I thought maybe he was hiding under the BBQ cover since it was snowing, so I thought he was just being weird.

Then Wednesday after work, when Brian said he thought Champ was on a vacation because he hadn't seen him yet, I went outside and I heard him meowing again but didn't see him. I went out the in the snow and finally tracked down his meowing and he was up in a tree. I felt like the worst cat owner ever because obviously he had been there all  day in the snow.

So I showed Brian where he was, and I was about to get a ladder and get the poor guy down, but Brian made a good point that it was snowing and rocky and on hill and about 10 o'clock at night.

So we  decided to wait out the night, but you could see him and hear him by our second story windows. So sad! Before I went to sleep, I googled different ways to get a cat out of the tree, and I saw everything from climbing up there and putting him in a pillowcase, to bribing him with food, to calling the fire department. A few different websites said that if a cat was chased up there by a predator, then the cat won't come down if ther predator is still there. Holy Crap!

In the morning, Brian said he saw a lot of cat foot prints in the snow so he probably got down. I went out there to feed the poor little guy and found him still up in the tree! Then I couldn't figure out whose footprints those were. Predator? Kitty friend? Poor Champ!

I was able to coax him down low enough to grab his scruff and bring him down, but he was all wet from the snow, and from being out there for over 36 hours. I felt so bad. I dried him off, fed him, and pet him for almost an hour. He's safe and sound now, but I feel sorry for the little guy... and I'm hoping it wasn't a bobcat or something that chased him up there...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Luck O' The Irish

I think of St Patrick's Day as an Irish Catholic Holiday. Both sides of my family are Irish, and Brian is Catholic, so St Patty's Day is pretty much a holiday that Brian and I need to celebrate!

I'll take any reason to celebrate and hang out with Brian though :) We tried to get into Kell's but the line was 2 blocks long (wishful thinking right?) So we then went to Life of Riley's and got some drinks:

Starting with our signature drinks:
Whiskey Coke & Dirty Shirley
We tried to coordinate with lots of different friends, but it was kind of like a wild goose chase. We couldn't coordinate with Brian's sister- who we had actual plans with, and then I sent some friends to the wrong bar, sorry Shannon! Then we found Kell's NW on 21st and it was fun! We tried to bring a group back there, but then it closed by the time we got people there. It was kind of a trainwreck.

We randomly ran into friends just on the street, and it ended up being a really fun night!

When we were trying to head back home, we ran into another friend in town from Seattle who was looking for a cab back to Beaverton. We didn't want to leave her alone, so we suggested her coming to Taco Bell with us, and then us calling a cab. It sounded like a great idea, but it ended up being about 2 hours we were waiting for this dumb cab. Her parent's house is the exact opposite way than our home, so I didn't want to drive her home because I thought it would take too long, but seriously we could have done that and been home in the amount of time we were waiting at Taco Bell.  We ended up flagging down a cab, but you would be surprised at how hard it is to get a cab to stop when you are flagging them down from a car. Kind of ridiculous, but really funny in hindsight.

Now that we live about an hour away, it is pretty unusual to make it out in Portland with friends, and even though it was kind of unorganized, and didn't go as planned, it ended up being a fun night!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chevy's Corn Mush

This is BY FAR Brian's favorite new homemade food. Have you ever been to Chevy's? Have you ever tried that delicious ice cream looking scoop of yellow corn mush they put on your plate? You either love it or you hate it... and my husband loves it.

This is also known as Sweet Corn Tomalito, thank you google for enlightening us. When we were at the store, we headed to the Mexican Food section and found the ingredients to try this on our own. It was a huge hit, and now currently one of Brian's favorites! I found this recipe, and it worked out well:  

Chevy's Corn Mush


1/2 Cup Softened Butter
1/2 Cup Masa Harina (Corn Flour- we found it in the Hispanic Section at our local Safeway)
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Cans Creamed Corn (~15 oz/can)
1 Can Corn (~15 oz)
1 Cup Cornmeal
2 Heaping Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Milk


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix together the margarine/butter, masa harina and sugar.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together well.  
(Try not not spill on the counter like I did!) 

4. Spread out the mixture onto a 9x13 glass pyrex dish (other pans may work as well).

Also, use a BIG Pyrex. This one I used was too small and I had to scoop out about 2 cups to finish cooking.

5. Place the dish with the mixture on top of another dish that is filled halfway with water.

6. Cover the dishes with aluminum foil.

7. Carefully place the dishes into the oven and bake for 1 hr.

8. Take off aluminum foil and cook an additional 15 minutes if you enjoy a little crispy on the top.

9. Check with a toothpick if the dish is done. When done, the toothpick will come out clean.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Hard Lesson

As part of my training, I have to learn to care for moms and dads who are going through the process of losing their baby, sometimes even halfway through their pregnancy. Being still so new to this job, I am trying to absorb what words to say to the families and how to care for them. In my first experience, I listened to their questions, and had I no idea what to say. I listened to their doctor talk about the real facts and sequence of events, and I had no idea what to feel. I listened to my preceptor talk about what was happening and what the next step was, and I had no idea how this family could erase those images and plans they created when they were counting on this little baby being part of their future.

I learned that I had to bite my tounge to not say "have a great night," and I had to learn to be calm and empathetic. I had to be present for them.

I also had to take a break and go to the locker room... and I had to cry.

This is a hard lesson. I have so much to learn, but this is one lesson that weighs heavy on my heart and brings tears to my eyes. I can only hope to comfort the hearts and support the tears of families experiencing this pain. I know it will make me a stronger nurse in the bad times and the good. I love my job in the shadows and the sunshine.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Crock Pot Brown Sugar Chicken

The Crock Pot is my favorite kitchen tool out of any that I have - without any doubt. I have been trying new recipes and adapting old ones to use my Crock Pot as much as possible. I grew up eating Brown Sugar Chicken from my mom's skillet recipe, and then I came across this recipe for a Crock Pot version:

 Combining the two recipes, I have created a new favorite for The VanHoy household!


3-4 Chicken Breasts (thawed and cut in half)
1/2 cup onion and bell peppers (I used frozen, and pre-cut)
1 cup brown sugar
1 Teaspoon black pepper
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 can (6 oz) pineapple juice

Place chicken in the bottom, and pile the rest of the ingredients on top. Cook on low  for 6-9 hours, or high for 4-5 hours.  We like it served with rice. It's sweet, tender, and delicious! Please Enjoy!