Saturday, March 31, 2007

Supper Club

Today was day 2 for me at the new job. After yesterday, we ate pizza for dinner and I seriously wondered if I'd ever cook at home again.

But today went much better. Less laundry. Easier meals. Dinner was chicken strips and french fries. I learned how to use a deep fryer for that. Then supper was BBQ Ribs, (ribs so tender they fall off the bones they never had in the first place) augratin potatoes and veggies.

What? You're asking about "supper" and "dinner"? No. They aren't the same meal. Perhaps you've heard about places that call Lunch, "Dinner," or the use of the word "Supper" to mean Dinner. Here, though, if you mistake "Dinner" for "Supper" you seriously mess with peoples' minds. At the top of my training notes I've written in capitol letters, SUPPER, so I can master the local dialect.

Stephan's back at work today- the first of four in a row before we come home. He's staring blankly at me indicating that it was a pretty uneventful day... or that he's really done with me typing and he wants the computer put away so we can watch our first DVD is the new living room, Narnia.

The movie, not the living room. Although... oh, nevermind.

We just want to give a shoutout to our newest friends: the folks at Check their website out. We like them. They're nice. Thanks for the email, Mark!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Don't Laugh

I cooked dinner today.

I cooked dinner today for 20 people. Pork chops, fried potatoes, pickled beets, macaroni salad and cheese cake. 20. People. I changed my first adult diaper. I loaded the dishwasher 6 times. I did (but did not fold) 8 loads of laundry. I dispensed medication. I sat for 45 minutes total between 8am and 6pm.

To make a pork chop so tender you can cut it with a spoon (because that's the mark of good food) dip it in flour, fry it for 10 minutes on each side, cover it in cream of mushroom soup and milk, let it bake at 275 for 2 hours, covered.

I cooked dinner today.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

What would YOU do??

You walk into your bathroom and see blood dripping from the otherwise spotlessly white ceiling. What do you do?

My answer was to grab a bucket to put under the drips, get the dogs in the car and drive into town. The bucket wasn't actually to contain the mess, it was to prove to the authorities (if I needed to) that there actually WAS blood dripping from the ceiling, and I'm not crazy.

I didn't tell Stephan right away. He was having a hard day at work, and I didn't want to upset him. So as we were driving back home and he asked, "How was your day?" he got an unexpected answer. His course of action involved going to the bar before coming home. Once home, we poked a screw driver into the ceiling (which was still white, though there was liquid in the bucket) to make sure that no one was going to come sailing down while we were sleeping.

This morning Stephan opened the ceiling wider and saw... daylight! We knew there was no roof cap, but we had no idea they'd just left it open to the air. Rain water had leaked down overnight and soaked through the pink foam insulation and the brown pressboard covering the ceiling, and onto the floor. 3 cans of Great Stuff later, we have a new access panel up into the attic through the bathroom.

In other news (yeah, the ceiling was bleeding, but life goes on) the internet man came over and I'm typing this from our very own living room! Oh? The living room? Painted a beautifully custom mixed autumn harvest orange. The dogs took one look at the area rug (from Chicago) and just sat on it. Their territory is back. The futon frame came in yesterday so we even have a couch again.

Tomorrow I start my job at Quality Personal Care, a senior assisted living facility. It should be fun- I'll let you know.

We are planning to come home next week for Easter. We leave Tuesday night, arrive Wednesday morning, and stay until Monday night. I don't know where we're staying, or when we're going out or anything so if you have plans and want us to join you please let me know!

And seriously, imagine you walk into your bathroom and the ceiling is bleeding. The ceiling is pure white except for the red droplet that forms and drops onto the floor, leaving no trace on the ceiling. What DO you do??

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Good thing we have friendly neighbors!

Our first night in the house we actually own wasn’t much different. A man came to set up the internet, but his PC crashed while he was here and he couldn’t finish the install. He has sheep that are ‘lambing’ right now, so if everything is going well with the sheep he will be back on Thursday to set us up. With the internet I’ll be updating the blog more often, and we’re planning to get a Vonage home phone. All very exciting.

When we got home yesterday we realized that the 40 mile per hour wind had picked up some of the walls of the former chicken coop and flipped them into the neighbor’s yard. The walls, made of dense wood with metal poles tying it together, were almost too heavy for Stephan and I to flip over. The wind did it in seconds. The bags of garbage we’d packed Monday with stuff from the inside of the coop had opened up and were basically just gone. Stephan ran around the town trying to pick up the garbage, but I think Canada will be the owner of some trash in a day or so.

The fun news from this morning was that Stephan had left the keys in the cars last night, and the battery was dead this morning. Stephan hitched a ride from another nurse, and if you’re reading this, it means that I found someone to jump the car so I could get into town. That’s what I’m hoping for!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Where the Deer and the Antelope...

I'm a little stunned. Apparently we bought our house today.

We stopped at the Credit Union to check on our application, and ended up signing all the paperwork, taking half of it over to the lawyer's place, where he handed us a small check for the difference between the loan and the closing costs, and sent us on our way. We were still really confused, so I asked, "Okay, what do we do now?"

His answer was, "get insurance."

So we own the house! We're still not sure what the correct street address is. I'll have to check back on the paperwork. But we're in town for a few minutes, just getting more plaster to repair the walls, checking on bills and doing a load of laundry. Stephan had yesterday and today off. We're trying really hard to make the living room livable before we leave for Chicago next Tuesday night. There's a lot of sanding left, and a fair amount of painting, but Stephan has Thursday AND Friday off- so woo hoo!

Wow. We own a house. Crazy.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Overheard: In the Bedroom

Me: Why does Besa eat poop?

Him: I don't know. She's your dog.

Me: What?!

Him: Red is my dog and Besa is your dog.

Me: You know that's not true.

Him: Yes it is.

Me: How do you figure?

Him: Your dog eats poop.

Friday, March 23, 2007


I think it’s a hunting club.

Have I talked recently about the radio stations here? Since I’ve been painting an average of 6-8 hours a day for the last two weeks, I’ve been able to listen intently to the radio. On FM, we only get one station, 100.5. It plays Classic Rock. That’s all it plays, 24 hours a day. There are breaks for banter, news, weather, etc. But all the music is Classic Rock.

The weather? They actually report the weather for the entire state of Montana. From Baker to Kallispel, to Billings, all the way through North Dakota, Fargo and Bismark, and South Dakota. It would be like getting the weather report for Green Bay, St. Louis and Detroit every 30 minutes in Chicago.

I just heard there’s another station, on AM, that plays country music. And that, folks, is it for the radio. I’m actually excited to find the country station, since I’m about done with carrying on, since I’m not a wayward son.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Our big night out

Stephan got his first night totally off in a long time Tuesday night. He was in a training class that morning, so he was finished at about 12:30. He figured we'd go back and work on the house that afternoon, but when I picked him up, the bags were packed, tarp, cooler, dogs, firewood, etc. We drove South out of town and spent the day hiking Medicine Rocks with the girls. He was so surprised and excited to be going camping that he set the car alarm off in the supermarket and didn't realize he had the car keys. I don't think I'd ever seen him so giddy.

So we drove out there, set up camp in a nice little spot (for photos please see the Flickr site), and set off to hike the park. I'd packed the new boots I'd bought Stephan for Valentine's Day 2006. Since school ended he hadn't had a chance to wear them. Finally, we got our boots dirty! We didn't find any artifacts this trip. Most of the area we were hiking was very well travelled. We scoped out where we want to camp next time a bit away from the picnic areas. The girls LOVED the trip. Look for the photo of Stephan literally pulling Besa up a steep part of the trek. They ran and ran and ran. Even when they were exhausted, they wouldn't sit still.

We got back to camp and made a good fire, cooked brats, ate chips, drank... um... stuff. Watched the sunset from the top of one of the rock formations (there are photos of this too), called family that we hadn't talked to in a while, and fell asleep watching the stars slide down the sky.

The next morning we drove down to Ekalaka for breakfast. Stephan did wash the trucks yesterday, and we didn't get any house work done really, but who really cares? It'll be there later. We had an amazine day together. Yet another day when I can't believe we actually live here. Medicine rocks is a 30 minute drive away from Plevna- so when you look at the photos, remember that's 30 minutes away from us.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007


This is Stephan wearing his nursing uniform AND the helmet they gave him last night at the Plevna Volunteer Firefighters meeting. So, they voted him in and his training begins any time he can answer one of the calls over the radio. They got him all geared up right on the spot, and he offered to powerwash all the trucks tomorrow (on his one day off of work this week). It all happened very quickly, so I didn't get any photos of all the trucks or other cool gear. I had always just imagined a Volunteer fire department as a truck and a few buckets, but here, the fire department is the biggest thing in town. Way bigger than the school. They have three or four buildings, a few garages, and I think about 12 trucks. I'll confirm that later.

They asked if I wanted to join and I told them not yet. Here are a list of reasons why I don't think I'll be joining the fire department:

-I don't know how to clean my fingernails with a 4" knife
-I didn't wear a ball cap to the meeting
-I don't know any dirty Anna Nicole Smith jokes
-I don't have a mustache

I offered to help Karla cook the meals and organize supplies and help out with fund raising. But I don't know if I EVER want to attend a meeting completely 'organized' by men ever again.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Poll: Which do you like better?

These are the two doors in our bedroom. One is painted the same orange that's going to be in the living room, the other is painted the green color of the rest of the room. I can't decide which I like better. What do you think? Red door or green door?

Did you think the house ate us?

Red, with a hat on.

Well, it almost did. After two full weeks of chipping, filling, sanding, and painting and painting and painting and re-painting the trim since the original color really did look like baby-puke, believe me, I’ve seen baby puke recently, the bedroom is finally finished! When Stephan got home from work we trekked out to the garage and brought in the dressers. That was made especially exciting since it was pitch dark, and the yard is full of pot holes.

Next is the bathroom paint, which should go fairly quickly, if we both agree that purple is the way to go in that room.

Stephan has been working his butt off, almost literally. Last week his only day off was Thursday, and now this week his only day off is Wednesday. That’s a touch schedule for anyone, but he works from 5:30am to 7:30pm or later. Recently he’s admitted that there isn’t time for him to eat anything during the day. I’m having an IV put in him tomorrow so he can just take straight glucose into his bloodstream. He still does like the job, and especially the people, but he’s tired, and overworked, and tired.

I had a great day on Saturday at a Spirit of Women event. It’s a group sponsored by the hospital that educates women about their health, and has a ton of fun. I met a few dozen women, got 23 of them on the chair, and gave away a 60-minute massage as a door prize. Everyone was so kind and friendly, as if we’d known each other for years. AND I got to hear a lot of town gossip. I’m really excited to start taking clients. I got a phone call this morning that my LLC paperwork is ready to be signed- that’s exciting too! We still don’t have internet access at home, which is a lot less exciting, but they say sometime next week the guy will be over to hook it up.

The dogs are good. Besa is green on her right side, from deciding to lean against the wall and slide down it to get comfortable. And just today I saw that Red has orange wiskers. I can only imagine.

Trivia: (kind of) What are the answers to the following: “Never marry a parts man because________.” “Never marry a nurse because ____________.” “Never marry a teacher because ______________.”

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Farm

It's true that a large part of Montana smells like cows and farms. Most of the people we meet here are involved in some way in the farming or ranching business. Our visit to Cindy and Larry's farm on Saturday was amazing. We met a herding dog, which wasn't really trained, he just knew how to help seperate and herd them. We saw, of course, the new calves and their heiffer moms (heiffer means a cow who is giving birth for the first time). There were peacocks roaming around, chickens walking to and fro, and about two dozen barn cats (that we didn't see but just heard about). Oh, and the horses. There were horses there that are actually used to herd cattle. Larry is really a cowboy. He rides "Red" his horse around to check on the cows. Some people have lambs, which, I'm told, usually have twins. It's where the phrase, "the third lamb" comes from. You know that phrase, don't you? No? I didn't either.

Of course there were the turkeys from the other day- we see antelope all the time as well as deer. I haven't yet seen any squirrels. I don't know if we have them here. We do have rattle snakes apparently, and they tell me to just make sure I don't stick my hands where I can't see, and wear shoes every time I go outside.

Larry offered to show Stephan how to break horses, since he has a few that need breaking. I'm nervous about that, but Stephan can't wait. Life on the farm promises to be really interesting. More photos will be on their way, I'm sure!

Trivia: How many seconds do we have to hold the lever down on our toilet before it flushes?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Early Thanksgiving

I did take this photo, out the back door of our house.

I took a long drive into Miles City yesterday to pick up more things that you can't find in Baker: tofu, internet router, cordless phones, chili powder, etc. It was neat to make the drive by myself. I really enjoyed the scenery, the quiet. On the way back I saw, seriously, about two dozen wild turkeys crossing the road. Like, big turkeys. Like, the ones you normally find naked at the Jewel. But these had feathers, and were slowly making their way across highway 12. I wanted to get my camera, but I knew they'd be gone by the time I got it out.

So yeah, we have turkeys here.

Stephan and I talked again about how he likes his job. He told me the great thing is the variety. He can have the spontaneaty of an emergency, then see the patient through their hospital care, and see them discharged. He said he's seen people heal from amazing things, pull through when he thought they were done. He's learning about every medical disapline, from very creative and brilliant health care practitioners.

He's tired, of course, from waking up at 4:30am three days in a row, and working until 6pm... or 9pm, whichever. There's very little sitting down now that he's the floor nurse. In fact, he often doesn't get to eat lunch (or supper as they call it here) until after 3pm. And even then, he eats standing up, or filling out paperwork. There's lots of paperwork in his job. They don't have computerized charting here (I don't know what that means really).

Check out the Flickr site for photos of the house, the ranch experience, and the dogs.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

In Plevna, which is in Montana, where there are no phones and nothing grows

Here is the outhouse. I'm in a rush today to get out to Miles City to get a router so I can get internet in the house. Whew! Well, my cell phone doesn't work at all in the house, and Stephan's is pretty good, but he left it at the hospital last night. I promise to upload the new cow photos tomorrow. Tonight and tomorrow look like more painting, more moving furniture, and more cleaning!

As I saw on another website as an expression of happiness: woot.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Busy Weekend

Sorry that I left you hanging! We were so busy it was hard to fit in updates.

Friday: Off to the hospital to watch the fax machine and wait for the last piece of paper to send off his application for the NELRP scholarship. Bringing the final package with all the documentation and the Montana license number to the post office I was giddy. All that work and worry, and all of the sudden it was out of my hands. What a miracle. We later made a list of miracles that happened to help us along the way here. It's a very long list. Travis and Stephanie won the "Best Friends of the Week" award when we received Lou-2-Go Chicago Pizza in the mail! I was so excited I wanted to thaw them right away, but we decided to be patient and wait for them to defrost in the fridge... Off to the house to continue the plaster wall repair. It was a long day, with cabinet varnishing thrown in for good measure. Dinner at the Plevna Bar, and more work!

Saturday:Started at Cindy and Larry's farm where I fed a bottle to a newborn calf. I held a 3-month old baby boy for a while, while Stephan learned how to break a horse from Larry. I'm sure we'll be back there soon to learn more about life on the farm. Look for photos soon. More home repair, and our first dinner in our home, the wonderful pizza from the Harrisons!! We left that night to spend one more night at the Prince's.

Sunday:Packed up the rest of our stuff out of the Baker garage, painted the bedroom, and put together our IKEA bed. It was much easier this the second time. We slept there last night, and Stephan got up to work at 4:30 this morning. I'm putting together some promotional materials today, and finishing up some trim painting this afternoon. We don't have internet access at the Plevna house yet, so please be patient with updates for the next few days.

Since prayers and good thoughts worked so well for us the last few weeks, we'd like to ask people to turn their thoughts to our friends and family members who are having a hard time right now.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Hero's Journey

(I did not take this photo)

I read Joseph Campbell's "Hero with a Thousand Faces" last summer, and it really made an impression on me. It helped to know that inherent in every epic journey is a moment when you doubt yourself, your plan, and your decisions. Everything can be going along just fine when, out of nowhere, you start wondering what on Earth you're doing.

When that happened to me this afternoon I got in the car and just started driving. Josh Groban was playing on the CD player (because the only radio station in town plays AC/DC 24 hours a day, and I just wasn't in the mood). Stephan was at work, so I adventured down Rt. 7 to Medicine Rocks again. The sun was just starting to set and I thought I would like to see what the sunset is like out there. Here's what I learned: Montana is an amazing place for a lighting designer to live.

I rounded up a hill and, as "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" started to play, the sun hit me full in the face. Everything around me was in shadow, silhouetted against I sky that, I swear, was lit on fire. It was as though the biggest campfire in the world was raging just over the next hill, and all I could see of it was one lick of bright flame. All around me were the oddly shaped monoliths of rock, towering over the little dirt drive. I could see the valley below for about 20 miles. The clouds were red-hot, and the steel blue of the sky just barely managed to keep them from bursting into flames.

Have I made the right decisions? Not always. But deciding to share my life with someone, moving to Montana, adopting two dogs, and following my wildest dreams... definitely on my list of good ones.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Stephan's First Day...

As a nurse by himself on the floor! Since the Montana license came through yesterday, he was able to go out on his own today with no supervision. Here's what he has to say about his first official day as a nurse....

Ouch! I wish the words were coming to me, but after a whirlwind 14 hours, I'm fried. I had 8 patients today...all day. For some reason, two got parked in the ER. Luckily, no other ERs came in today...cuz we only got two beds in the ER. Anyways, everyone was very helpful and I was only about a step behind all day. I made some mistakes, but in the immortal words of my dear old dad..."not bad for a rookie." I got lots to learn, and I look forward to the day when the learning curve isn't quite so steep, but I've found a good place to learn with good people. The variety of patients and conditions is a challenge too. Today I helped take care of a person w/heart palpitations, another suffering from seizures, two people w/emphysema, one patient w/terminal MS, one w/a bum gall bladder, and a patient w/possible brain swelling. Needless to say, I'm looking up a lot of drugs, asking a lot of questions, and wearing out the soles of my shoes.
I gotta get to bed so I can try again tomorrow.

There are other funny stories he's not telling you because he only types with two fingers and we don't have all night. We got the Illinois license in the mail this morning, and are slowly making progress on the scholarship application. It's something I didn't even imagine would be a possibility this time last week. We're sending thank you cards to the people at both the Montana and Illinois licensing boards who helped get this all done. We don't live in our house yet- maybe this weekend!

Anonymous Commenting

Hello. Sorry for the break in interesting posts. Stephan and I just wanted to make it clear that only constructive comments will be shown here, and absolutely no comments will be published 'anonymously'. Please, if you have something to say to us, refer to the next post about how to contact us directly. Our email addresses are listed in our 'Profile' which can be accessed on the menu bar to the left. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

FAQ: How do we get a hold of you?

Well, there are a few ways! You can always email us, though Stephan is notoriously bad at responding to electric mail. You can write us a letter to the PO Box, which is listed at the bottom of the page, or you can call us. Now, the deal with the phones is this- when we got to Baker we realized that we get no service here- not one single bar. So we hopped over to Laurie at Mid Rivers and got new cell phones, and new cell phone numbers. Unfortunately, we can't find our old phone chargers, so our phone books are sitting helplessly inside our dead-battery phones.

I know there are many people Stephan would love to talk to, but he's lost the phone numbers, and until we can dig out the chargers from our packed stuff, we don't know how to call you! If you'd like our phone numbers, please email me and I will be happy to send out the number, but for privacy reasons (and piracy reasons) I'm not posting them on the website. I'm sure you understand.

We have plenty of updates for you- The Director of the Montana Nurses' Association personally called me to tell me Stephan's new MT license number. Hurray!!! And now all we have to do is put together the scholarship application! Thanks again to everyone who was sending prayers and good thoughts. I think they really helped soften the hearts of those working at the Illinois State offices.

We moved a lot of our stuff over into the Plevna garage today, with the help of Matt and Kayle's truck. Woo hoo.

The garage we were keeping our stuff in flooded when everything thawed, so Stephan's brag book and all my Healing Touch documentation are sitting out to dry. We'll see later what is salvageable. I have photos, but my camera is being bad right now.

I applied for a business license in the State of Montana today to start my very own LLC here! The name I applied with is Anjali. It is the name of the gesture that often is associated with the Sanskrit greeting, Namaste. The prayerful nature of the name, and my logo, should help me maintain a respectful attitude toward all my patients and clients.

Stephan works Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week- from 6am-6pm. Long days, but rewarding. Hopefully after this weekend we'll be moved into the house! If anyone sees a cute "The Korubas" sign, please forward it to me, we'd like something other than the Bears Flag to stake our claim in Montana.

I almost forgot! Trivia: How did George Armstrong Custer rank in his class when he graduated from West Point? (I made this one easy, there are PRIZES people!)

Monday, March 5, 2007

Illinois License Came Through!!!!!

Yes. This morning I was literally laying in bed in a nice Dramimine Coma when I decided to check just once before I got up. And, there it was. Look it up for yourself. On the pulldown menu select NURSE, REG PROF (RN) and enter koruba for the business name or last name. Click on Search and it will show you the above miracle.

I'm off to make more phone calls to insure we get the Montana license as soon as possible.


Sunday, March 4, 2007

One Step Off

I want everyone to know that I was raised with a very healthy respect for contact paper. Contact paper is a woman's version of peeing on a house to claim it for her own. It stays in the cabinet, usually for years. It gets layers upon layers of other contact paper on top of it. At the end, the layers of contact paper are like the rings of a tree- you can tell much about what the kitchen has been through when studying the contact paper.

A few layers later, including the one I've featured today, I found that the kitchen cabinets are probably the original ones that the house was built with. In a few places, under the contact paper is just a few 1"x6" boards nailed together.

The last time I had to unload my stuff into a kitchen my mom and Travis were there to help. They put everything where it was supposed to go. I missed that this time. I kept changing my mind about where I wanted dishes and food. It may still change a few times before I'm done, but I really miss the time when I came home and my kitchen was just set up perfectly for me. I have a few more cabinets and drawers to clean out- but all in all I have a lot more space now than in Arlington Heights.

Stephan worked all day again today- and is on the schedule for Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week too. It's possible he and Matt might get motivated to move major furniture at night this week, but I doubt it. There's plaster repair in the bedroom and then painting in the bathroom and bedroom before we can move in. That's about it from out here.

Happy birthday Beth Anne and Sam! Stephan forgot to call you last night, but I'm sure he'll call tonight (I'll make him!)

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Struck Again

Take a look at our Flickr site for the details on this auto-phenomenon...

Friday we took the crazy trip to Miles City, leaving Stephan's license up in the air, waiting to float gracefully down onto the desk of whomever God deems qualified to fulfill our needs.

Yesterday we stopped at the hardware store for supplies to start cleaning up OUR house! The drive out was impressive, lots of blowing snow across the road. But, undaunted, we got 'home' and dug in. Stephan sprayed the perimeter for bugs, helped the water-leak problem with a little tape, and discovered that it was actually snowing in the basement. There's a crack in the foundation large enough for blowing snow to accumulate!

There are a variety of realizations we came to yesterday about 'our' house, most of which were quickly dismissed in that glowing way that buying your first house together dismisses all imperfections (like the bedroom window missing, um, missing a pane of glass and covered up with newspapers and a quilt stapled directly to the window frame). I've been married for less time than it took me to clean that fridge, and Stephan took an equally lengthy amount of time chipping at the plaster walls in order to fix the cracks in the bedroom. Yes, the walls are all plaster.

I have vague memories of my parents deciding to renovate the Palatine house when I was little. I remember hitting the wall with a sledge hammer, wearing dust masks, Dad getting blood poisoning, pink foam insulation, and wall-fairies. What I don't remember seeing is the part that must have happened at some point- my parents looking at how much there was left to be done, and looking at how much money they had left to do it, and the inevitable, "Let's go to the bar because I need a break." Our house is perfect, as each of us are, in its own way. It's perfect for us, just as every house is perfect for its owners at the time it's being lived in.

What has "struck again?" Well, I hit my head last night and attributed the resulting dizziness to the blow, but today Kayle took a look in my ears and saw that a eustachian tube has done something it's not supposed to do (flattened or sucked in or something medical) and is causing my balance to be off. It's an ear infection basically. So I'm on antibiotics and Dramamine and sitting in bed today, with one foot on the floor and one hand on the wall (remember that, Jimmy?) to steady myself. The painting will have to wait until tomorrow.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

This is a Snowball

Theoretically, with enough of the proper insulation and care, and if the snowball was travelling at a high enough rate of speed both into and out of, a warm southern climate, it could potentially have a chance. At least, that's what we spent the day experimenting with.

Our snowball is a verification letter from the State of Illinois of Stephan's passing grade on the NCLEX exam. It's destination is the desk of the Montana Board of Nursing. If the snowball arrives at the destination, it will then be in the hands of a human being. A living, breathing, caring, loving human being. There is a rule in Montana that in order to qualify as a "new nurse", without requiring licensure in another state (see previous post about getting the Illinois license), you must take and pass the NCLEX exam IN Montana. It's the exact same test, folks, that Stephan took in Illinois. What we are counting on, what our dear little snowball needs to survive, is for the person sitting at that desk to think to themselves, "Well, he's sent everything he needs to in order to qualify, and, although he didn't take the test here, he does already have a job here. So, what the heck, we can bend the rules for this one."

They will issue him a license, we will get that before March 9th, and we will apply for the scholarship that day. Everything will be postmarked by the 9th, and we will breath full deep breaths.

A related problem that the medical center has is that without a state license, Stephan is not allowed to cover a shift by himself. They have him on the schedule for the month of March on his own, so today the Director of Nursing (DON) was scrambling to get supervision for Stephan as long as he will need it. That's costing FMC more money, and more time. Not a happy thing for them- DON Michelle spent some time on the phone today as well with the Montana Board of Nursing, trying to plead our case.

If you're involved in a prayer group, please remember our little snowball on its journey this week.

Trivia: In the Butte mines, why were unstable slabs of rock that were prone to collapse without warning known as "duggans?"

Only in Montana

This is an email that Melanie sent me last night in response to yesterday's post. When I read it I cried so hard I was sobbing. I have her permission to share it with you...

Only in Montana…

…can major home repair be put on hold because of a cow giving birth.

…can tourists watch 12 foot tall fake bulls peeing.

…can a town multiply in size because of a fair.

…tight blue jeans, denim shirt, cowboy boots and hat are the top fashion.

…can you get two alcoholic drinks for under $5.

…there are more cows then people…3 to 1.

…can you buy a house.

…you need heaters for you car so it doesn’t get too cold at night.

…can you learn everyone’s name in your town.

…is liquor still regulated by the state.

…you can find 3 bars, but 12 churches.

…may your car actually be more expensive then your house.

…are the sweaters that your mother gave to Salvation Army 10 years ago are still in fashion.

…can you buy a house that comes with a chicken coop.

…can you call up Illinois Department of Big Jerks and get hung-up on and then call up Montana and talk to someone nice and then realize Montana, with all it quarks and laid back nature, might be exactly were you need to be at this point in your life. That people might be way different then where you came from, but they are very welcoming. You realize that this is going to be your home for a while so might as well start acting like it is home. You come to the conclusion that your life has been thrown up side down and that, even though you don’t have all your underwear or the shampoo and conditioner you would usually use, you are truly a survivor. Although there have been tears, you’ve wiped them away and have carried on. Suddenly a feeling comes over you. No longer a feeling of sadness or self-pity, but strength that you did it. And then the Dora the Explorer song runs through your head as you gently close your eyes and go to sleep.

At Melanie's request, here is more trivia: How long can a moose keep its head under water? (we have moose in Montana!!)