Turkey-day disasters

The Working Mom by Kay Luna, from the Quad-City Times

November 3, 2009

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Hey, why don't they tell you to look in BOTH ends of the frozen turkey before you cook it (or do they, and I just ignored it???!!!)? Ha! Because I nearly cooked a plastic bag full of giblets (eeeuuuwwwww!!!) the last time I attempted to cook a turkey for the holidays. Therefore, that was the last time I ever attempted such a thing. TEEHEE! Thank goodness, my mother-in-law was there as I got ready to put the turkey into the oven, and she happened to check inside the bird and found the bag. Disaster averted. But I remember one year when we couldn't avoid disaster. That was the year when the oven's pilot light blew out and Mom couldn't relight it - and we couldn't think of anyone to call for help. So, she pulled out the electric skillet. Oh, yes, I said ELECTRIC SKILLET. And that's where she cooked our Thanksgiving turkey. Yeah. Not so good. Ha! So, what's YOUR biggest turkey-cooking/Thanksgiving Day meal disaster (or near-disaster)????  

Candy, candy, everywhere

The Working Mom by Kay Luna, from the Quad-City Times

November 2, 2009

Filed under Working Mom

So, I was the one who ended up sick at our house over Halloween. Go figure. We didn't go anywhere the entire weekend, period. We even missed trick-or-treating. Luckily, Babycakes is 2 and didn't know the difference. She felt quite satisfied with the Halloween parties and trick-or-treating she did Friday at daycare and the Quad-City Times. And you know what? She was actually happy that we "got to stay home," instead of going somewhere every day (I felt guilt over that one). Plus, she had fun by dressing up as Cinderella almost non-stop all weekend, which was adorable. We still ended up with just enough candy to make her CRAZY (Haha!), asking all the time when she could have a treat. We let her choose one piece after each meal, which made her happy. But I was just talking to a co-worker who says she has always told her daughter that the "Candy Witch" comes to some kids' houses, and collects half of your candy loot, much like the "Tooth Fairy." In exchange for taking the candy, the "Candy Witch" leaves a special gift. I've never heard of that one. She said her own Mom did the same thing when she was a little girl, and she always looked forward to it. Some dentists and doctors across the country also collect kids' Halloween candy, in exchange for healthy alternatives or money, according to stories I've read online. How do you deal with the constant begging for candy after Halloween? Do you restrict how much your kids eat somehow? I know when my son was young, my husband was always more than happy to "help" by eating some of his chocolate (with the boy's permission!). Ha! What do you do?    

I love Lucy

The Working Mom by Kay Luna, from the Quad-City Times

November 2, 2009

Filed under Working Mom

Well, I think I do. I haven't met her in real life yet. But my sister is friends with baby Lucy's mom, Heather Kernan of Rock Island. So, I've heard a lot about her. I've listened to my sister cry and worry about Lucy, who was a few days shy of turning one month old when she suddenly got very sick. On Aug. 22, Lucy was taken to the hospital because she didn't want to eat, and soon was flown to Peoria's OSF St. Francis Medical Center. She was diagnosed with meningitis. And then, little Lucy suffered a stroke. "Her stroke has cost her her eyesight, and possibly given her cerebral palsy (we won't know for a few months)," her mother wrote to me in an e-mail. "Her glands aren't working right, and she has a rare form of diabetes. Her worst-case scenario, according to her doctors, could leave her only with the ability to eat and breath on her own." A benefit fundraiser for Lucy and her family is set from 4-10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Eagles Lodge, 4401 W. Locust St., Davenport. The event - which includes food, a silent auction, bake sale, 50/50 raffle and music - is meant to raise money to help offset travel expenses for Lucy's numerous medical appointments in Peoria, and for developmental tools to help prevent delays. We run information about lots of benefit events for very worthy people all the time, and they all touch my heart. But this little girl holds a special place in there, after listening to my sister talk about her family's plight for so many months. So, if you have it in your heart to help Lucy, or just want more information, you can e-mail loveforlittlelucy@yahoo.com or call (563) 349-6889.  

Raising Toby

Katie Bradford

December 8, 2008

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My eight month old son Toby had been tugging at his ear for a few days. Normally that is a sure sign of an ear infection. His ear was not visibly red, nor was he running a fever. Toby is my first and only child. I am a single mother and a college student. He is my little partner in crime and I hate to see him sick. So, I made an appointment for him to go see his regular pediatrician. After the usual physical, the doctor concluded that Toby did indeed have an ear infection and prescribed him two medications. An antibiotic and some sort of cough medicine. Now, I suppose I should let you in on a secret. I have always been afraid that this doctor of his will drop dead at any minute. This fellow is up there in age. I suspect that he might be about 3 days older than dirt. He graduated medical school in 1948. My grandparents weren't even married at that point. He was practicing medicine when the Dead Sea was just sick. He might have been the pediatrician for Jesus. I mean, this man is OLD. So you figure he knows his stuff right? Yeah. I thought so too. Back to the story. I dropped his prescription off at our pharmacy of choice and then off to lunch we went. After a lovely BLT and a cup of soup that was so hot I would call it nuclear, we went to pick up his prescriptions. To my surprise, they were not ready. There was something wrong with the prescription. The directions weren't clear, the strength was wrong and one of the medicines was taken off the market recently. OK, no big deal. Whoa. Wait. *screech* Back up a second. The strength was wrong. What the deuce? I always had suspicions that this particular doctor was a few twists short of a slinky, but he surely could not have made a mistake like that. Lucky for me, Bob at Walgreens noticed this particular error. He decided that pumping my child full of twice the recommended amount of antibiotics would be a BAD idea. He tried to contact the doctor's office to no avail. Having a few more errands to run, I left Bob to his work. Shift change. Bob goes home, Dale comes in. Dale calls and gets things straightened out for me. Poor Dale. He had to listen to the crazy man rant about jelly beans and Zocor. Had they given me the prescription at full strength, poor Toby probably would have turned inside out. We would have had really bad Hershey's squirts. (I am so articulate.) After a little bit of investigating and a tip from a lady at the store, come to find out that this particular doctor had his controlled substance license revoked. When I say that, think of all the fancy pain killers like Vicodin, Hydrocodone and Oxycodon. This crazy bastard was SELLING prescriptions for highly addictive painkillers to any clown that walked through the door. Come to find out that was not the good doctor's first offense. He had been caught multiple times. I was trusting Texarkana's biggest drug lord with the health of my son. I am sooo glad he was assigned to us by the state. Needless to say, it makes me wonder why he is still practicing medicine. Toby will NOT be going back to see this particular gentleman. I am on the hunt for a new pediatrician; preferably one that doesn't have a list of drug felonies.

The Small Town Enviromentalist

Elisha Allen

November 24, 2008

Filed under Blogs

The semester is winding to a close. So is this blog. This will be the last installment. Over this semester I have discussed friends, forgetfulness and tips for "going green." It is my sincerest hope that it has helped someone....

The Intern Chronicles

Elissa Erwin

November 17, 2008

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Ugh. My alarm went of at 7 a.m. on June 1. Just for clarification that is summer vacation. I should be sleeping, not waking up to go to work. Wait, can you actually say you're going to work if you don't get paid? I parked my car in the dingy little parking lot that faced the dingy little building I was going to be working in. Could they not afford to put windows in it? I could feel the blood rushing to my face; my nerves were getting the best of me now. I think I have already established I have a problem my nerves; I get way too nervous about things. Even though this isn't my dream internship I still want to do a good job. What if they hate me? What if I can't write well? Stop stop stop. You are going to be fine, and plus it is just for one month. Surely you can survive one month. I walked in the building and looked around at all the little cubicles with outdated computers sitting on them. This is definitely going to be an experience. Everyone looked pretty stressed. I guess I never realized how stressed newspaper people get a few hours before the paper goes to press. Great. I'm just going to be in the way. Well isn't this just lovely, they probably don't even want me here. They sent me back to the editor's office. He was pretty nice, but very distracted; I think press was messed up. After a brief introduction from the editor I left the small office with a camera in my hand. My first assignment as a Hope Star intern was to take pictures. Pictures of what? I don't know. How long am I supposed to be gone? Don't know that one either. What a way to start out the day. This is the scene from the first day of my internship at the Hope Star. The first internship I did after my sophomore year. So your probably wondering what happened. And I will go ahead and tell you that I didn't have a nervous breakdown. I actually came back with a ton of pictures, and a story about the opening day of the community pool. Exciting stuff right? Sadly, in a small town it actually is the highlight of the week. To my utter shock and surprise, the article and one of my photos made it on the front page of the next days paper. Not a bad start, and definitely a boost for my portfolio. It was then that I realized that even though I was just the "intern" I could still contribute to the paper, I simply had to come up with my own stuff to do and not wait to be given an assignment. Being an intern is a pretty confusing thing, you are still a college student, and yet you are in a professional work environment. They don't exactly have a class to tell you how to handle things; like being sent out with a camera with no further instructions. I know you would probably never guess this, but I'm kind of a timid person. Shocker right? But the most valuable thing that I learned is to just roll with punches, people are busy, and sometimes they don't have time to give specific instructions. When my internship at the Hope Star was finished the editor pulled me in his office and told me I had a job after graduation if I wanted it. Now I don't know about that, but I do know that he sent me a good letter of recommendation. What else can an intern ask for?

Reddie for Faith

Holly Parker

November 17, 2008

Filed under Blogs

It's something that has been on my mind for a while. No matter what is going on in my life or where I am at, it's been there. That feeling of emptiness. Most teenagers go through the same things. It's hard to go against the crowd, to stick with your beliefs, and to not fall into peer pressure. Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt. But, it's no excuse. I knew better. I'd been taught better. Heck, I taught others better! It's sad to say that it has taken me about nine years to get back a part of me. I have felt so incomplete for the last nine years. And I haven't been able to figure out why. So why now? Why now that I'm twenty-four years old and a senior in college? Who knows? Maybe I had to mature. Maybe it's what God had planned. All I know is that for the first time in a long time I'm feeling like Holly, and I'm believing more and more each day in "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13, AKJV) With this awesome summer of life changing experiences behind me, I feel the need to get involved , involved with other believers. This is a problem. To most people it's not. Although I am a full-time college student, I must also have a full-time job. And what better days to work that full-time job than on the weekends? Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! Joy. However, there is another way! I feel like a retard that I have been an HSU student for four years and I've never experienced the religious student organizations! And there are so many to choose from! There are the: Angelic Voices of Christ Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) Fellowship of Christian Athletes Latter Day Saints Student Association Missionary Baptist Student Fellowship (MBSF) Reddies for Christ Wesley Foundation Okay. So, I now know 4 things. 1. I need God. 2. I need fellowship with other believers. 3. I need to fellowship during the week, after classes, since I work on weekends. 4. HSU offers seven religious student organizations to choose from. As easy as this looks, it's not. Each organization meets at different times on different days, and just like there's more than one way to skin a cat each organization has its own particular way of how they run their meetings and services. Take "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," for instance. Goldilocks liked her porridge, her chair, and her bed all a certain way. She had to try out each bowl of porridge, each chair, and each bed to find the one that she liked best - the one that made her feel most comfortable. That's where I am. I am trying out each organization to find one (or two or maybe even three) that I like best - that makes me feel most comfortable. I will share my experiences as I check out these organizations. Maybe this will make this process not quite as scary to you (and hopefully me). I just hope that I don't feel like the new kid in school......

Hello Real World

Kyrie Lantz

November 17, 2008

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I guess it's almost about that time for me to say goodbye to the college life and enter the real world. I'm Kyrie Lantz, and I am a senior mass media major. Sounds kind of like an introduction in an AA meeting. Anyways, I plan on graduating in December and from there I am not quite sure what to expect. I honestly have no clue as to what I want to do. Yeah yeah, I know. I seem like this organized person that has everything planned out. There was once a time when I did, but now I am not so sure. I am unsure about what job I want, where I want to live and a variety of other things I haven't even thought about. First of all, I have to make it to graduation. That shouldn't be a problem since I have already made it through three years, and this semester shouldn't be too stressful because I am only taking fifteen hours. By the way, did I mention that I don't have classes on Monday and Friday? Pretty sweet! With all this extra time I have plenty of time to contemplate my future and plans. Let's see, where should I start? As I mentioned earlier, I have quite a few decisions I need to make before graduation in December. The main decision is where do I want to work. I have considered a few places. I interned this summer at the Channel 7 News station and at StoneWard in the public communications department. These two internships were extremely helpful in introducing me to work in the media. You know, long painful hours of working late and interviewing uninteresting people. Not really, it was great fun!! At Channel 7 I got to follow reporters through their daily process of brainstorming story ideas. "So reporters, let's talk about your story ideas," said news director. "Well there isn't much going on today," said reporter #1. "Hopefully someone gets shot," said reporter #2. I did hear a conversation similar to this one this summer. You know the kind of boring news day. That's when everyone hopes someone gets shot. This internship was a great experience, but while interning at Channel 7 I realized news was not the career for me. I loved learning everything at the station but I felt that I should be doing something else. This realization shocked me because I had entered college wanting to be a reporter and news anchor at a television station. "So Kyrie, what do you want to be when you grow up?" My parents would always ask me this question as a little girl. I went through stages. I wanted to be a princess, a doctor and even an architect. As I got older, I realized being a princess was no longer an option. When I graduated from high school, I decided I wanted to be a news anchor and reporter. I was a little upset that what I had planned on becoming wasn't exactly what I had expected it to be. After my internship I felt that I would not enjoy going to work everyday as a news reporter. Even though my first internship was not what I hoped it would be, I loved my second internship at StoneWard. It was an excellent learning experience - an experience that I will elaborate on more next time!

Daily Demons

Jillian Allison

November 10, 2008

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I know last week was not so great with the whole freaking out over my scales, but this week was GREAT! My doctors would definitely disagree but I had a good week and I feel much better despite what my doctors would think. I got back from my mom's Saturday and went completely OCD as far as exercise. I did cardio till I damn near passed out and worked on my 6 Second Abs machine till my muscles burned and that was just Saturday and Sunday. I got a call Monday morning from my favorite person in the world, B, and started running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I had to make sure everything was in order. I worked all day long trying to get things in order around the house and make sure I had the things we needed for our trip. I was so excited and nervous that I completely spaced as far as eating.I was going to see B! Finally-' after what seemed like forever I got to the hotel, got our room, walked out of the office, and saw that big beautiful, bubbly smile. I didn't run into her arms for a big bear hug like I wanted. Instead, I walked calmly to her and that warm smile, looked into her big brown eyes, and grabbed her for a big hug before we went into 119. After we cooled the room off, had a few beers, and caught up it was time for dinner. B was hungry and I was, too. but I wasn't. It's like there was no room left in my belly after the Bud Light. After we found out the Mexican restaurant was closed, we went to Taco Bell/KFC. It's in the same building in that town. She knew I wouldn't eat so I bought her food and we went back to the room. After we talked longer and watched a movie it was time to go, so we said our goodbyes and went back to our homes. Seeing her made my whole week, but seeing her and not eating after all that exercise got my head all twisted. I even missed a class Tuesday because I was too weak to walk up three flights of stairs. I was scared that if I went up the stairs I would pass out again like the first day of class my second semester here. I ended up going home after my first class of the day to lay on the couch and sip Gatorade. That's my drink of choice when I feel shitty due to my disorder. The orange Gatorade helped and I made it to the rest of my classes Tuesday, but my friends were all over my ass that night. Even my neighbor "Grandma" was on to me. "Jill, you know you needs to eat baby!" Grandma said. "I been in the kitchen all day you needs to come over and get you a plate." Although I didn't eat at Grandma's I did end up having half a cheeseburger at Shawna's. She talked to Mandy, my ex, and they basically double teamed me. Not to mention Shawna threatened to tell B about how I wasn't eating right. I had the other half of the burger Wednesday, but not before Shawna's kids kept bugging me about why I wouldn't eat dinner with them. Finally she told them I ate before I got there and told me I better eat when I left, she knows I only eat when I am hungry and I damn sure don't like having to eat around a ton of people like there were for dinner. Thursday was different. I honestly did not have time to eat between class, taking a nap before the volleyball game, and then having to meet my deadline. I just forgot about food and by the time I finished it was almost midnight and I didn't want anything. So far I've lost about five pounds this week which makes me happy as all hell, but the doctors will see it a different way. I have things under complete control as far as that but they will see it as regression and I have not regressed. I just had a busy week.

Art and Soul

Jamie Melton

November 10, 2008

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If I could wear pigtails I would. I look into the mirror and check my calendar. I can make it if I run. With ice cream cone and tablet in hand I rush to the Russell Fine Arts gallery. The art gallery is currently hosting the work of HSU Art faculty. The art show opening reception was held on Tuesday, September 2, 2008. The art will be on exhibit Sept. 2 through Sept. 24. Entrance to the gallery is free and you will be surrounded by entertainment from paper lamps to teapot collections and strange metal objects otherwise known as sculpture. Isn't strange how eyes on paintings seem to follow you everywhere you go? That is how I felt as I walked by Katherine Strause's oil paintings, which were based on found photos. Distinct features of strangers and those shiny oily eyes followed me all the way to David Warren's mystical section of the gallery. Did I just see a mayfly or a faerie buzz by? His work makes you feel like you were scooped up and dropped into a Harry Potter novel. I could almost hear Fantasia in the background as I moved across his series. What just touched my leg? AHHH! Cold, foreign object!!! Oh, it's a sculpture by Mac Hornecker. His series is made from aluminum and resembles things you would see just sitting in the middle of a river, put there just to make you wonder.. The series by Summer Bruch are sculptures made from Terracotta with engobes. These pieces are small, but have intricate patterns. They could be added to any centerpiece to make for great conversation at almost any dinner party. Gold leaf has never struck me deep until today. I love collages by Betsy Fulmer. The artist did an outstanding job of making her elements flow. It's versatile yet simple, a great concept.

Small Town Environmentalist

Elisha Allen

November 10, 2008

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There are a lot of things to deal with when trying to become more eco-friendly You have to change habits. You have to put forth more effort. You have to think about things you do. It is not a light effort, though it is worth ...

A Choreographer’s Experience

Amy Damron

November 10, 2008

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Thoughts running through my head: Sweating out the fears and troubles clears my mind, Working hard makes me think, I want to break down the walls, Thinking too traditionally hurts, I break down my barriers, I think on my own, Not caring what others think, Being myself is all I have, I can depend on no one else, But myself. This week, I made a lot of progress on my dance. I have finally picked a song to start the piece out and I am pretty sure that I know all of the dancers I will be using. On Wednesday of this week, I was in the dance studio for five hours. I worked realy hard with one of my dancers and she inspired me. I have taken pictures and made sketches of my dance. When I say sketches, I mean little scrawny stick figures that are in odd shapes in different places on a sheet of paper. The song starts with one dancer moving all alone, she has the look of being in love. The second dancer begins to move and you find out that it is the one that loves the first dancer. They are the couple that is in love and has no worries, cares, or fears. The next couple, which are standing in the shadows, are the ones with problems in their relationship. That's what I always tell them. I explain to them as they embody the character to look like they are trying to work on what relationship they have left. They will have their own song that bleeds from the other song. They appear in the first song, but only so that the audience can see the difference between the two couples. There will also be an additional dancer in the second song. She represents the thought process that is going through the head of female dancer's character. She is the audiences insider as to what is really going on. I have not picked the second song, but I have several good choices that have come to mind. I just have to pick one. I went to Juanita's this week and saw four different bands. They were so influential to me. The way that the bands worked the crowd and the music that they played was such a window into the creative mind. I cannot wait for my piece to be done, so that I may show everyone how hard my dancers and I have worked. The dance will always edit and reform, edit and reform.

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