Friday, June 29, 2007


Me: I'm just calling to confirm that I'll be staying at the surgery center for 23 hours, from Tuesday to Wednesday. That's what my doctor told me.
Her: Oh. Well, that's interesting, since we're closed on Wednesday and aren't taking 23-hour-obs[ervation] patients that day.
Me: Huh. Well...
Her: I'll call him and see what's going on.
Me: Thanks!

Why 23 hours? Since Baker is 4 hours away from Billings by car, they wanted me to stay closer to Billings for a few more hours. It would be bad to have to get back there once I'm already here. This is a part of Montana I wasn't expecting- to be so far from the big hospital that something that's normally out-patient is a 23-hour stay.

Kinda makes me glad we didn't go through with our plans to move to Haiti.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Photos are here!

I know, I know, this isn't a blog about our wedding, but l just wanted to let people know how and where to find photos of the various events...

RJ has posted photos of the actual ceremony here, but you'll need passwords and gallery names. The gallery name is koruba, and the password is WILLOWSPRINGS, and please oh please don't make me regret posting all that information. Please only use the information for good.

Lauren has photos of the BBQ party here at Snapfish. She's a professional photographer, and she specializes in pet photography. Check out her website here. Email me for her phone number.

We also have a few versions of the wedding ceremony on DVD, but I haven't figured out how to get that online yet. I may post our vows, since people were so interested in them.

In other non-Montana news, the doctor's visit went really well, and we have a surgery date of July 3rd- Stephan's birthday. They're going to keep me overnight just to make sure things are good. Since it's a 4 hour drive out there, they'd rather have me close by for a few hours. Thanks for all the calls and emails! I promise more about Montana and what's it's like to bale hay later.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Fire

Me: Stephan, tell me about the fire so I can blog about it.
Him: It was a glorified camp fire. I told you about it in the car. Do you really want to hear about me singe-ing off my unibrow again? The only thing about it was that it happened from 2-4 in the morning.

Me: So how was the fire?
Him: Great. Nobody died, but I forgot my s'mores.
Me: Seriously, people want to know what you did at the fire.
Him: [sighing] Okay. We broke apart the hay bale so it would burn while we made sure the fire didn't spread to the surrounding field. When things get dry it'll really get... interesting. That's all I have to say about that.

He's safe. That's all I really care about. We're in Billings tonight and tomorrow waiting to see what the doctor says about my impending operation. Check back for updates!

Sunday, 2:37am


"Plevna Volunteer Fire Department, Plevna Volunteer Fire Department..."

"Please stand by at the Fire House for a possible hay bale fire, Please stand by at the Fire House for a possible hay bale fire...."

So he left, after finding thick socks and taking his cell phone to call me in case they're actually going out there. He's groggy, but I think a little excited, despite everyone's warnings that hay bale fires are boring smoldering messes that can sometimes go on for days. I don't think I'll be sleeping through this one, so if anyone's up, feel free to call me!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hear me roar

I have 2 more days until I get to talk to a medical professional (ask me later about the first ENT I went to) about what's going on with this salivary gland, (it's actually sub-mandibular, not sub-lingual) and I'm counting every minute. Yesterday I booked a short day for myself, and went home early.

What did I do at home?

Mowed 1/4 of the lawn, then passed out asleep when the hydrocodone kicked in. Stephan called, waking me up, and asked if it was okay to BBQ out at Matt & Kayle's. In my haze, I said of course, I had some chicken marinating, so why not? The 65 minutes that followed involved me mowing the last 1/4 of the lawn, making brownies, stir frying a rice & vegitable dish, doing 2 loads of laundry, finishing up a loaf of bread, showering, packing it all up, and getting myself and 2 dogs out of the house.

Not only am I a hard-working, stubborn Gavula-Martinelli, I'm a crazy do-it-all Koruba now. I have three family names to live up to!!

As I pulled into the hospital parking lot, I got hit with a migraine that pretty much knocked me on my butt for the rest of the night. So much for efficiency.

Friday, June 22, 2007

FAQ: How was the wedding?

A lot of people who weren't able to make it out to visit with us have been asking how things went. They went really well! The ceremony was beautiful. Our good friend RJ took pictures at the hotel where my family was getting dressed, and at the ceremony. Dad's suit was provided by Men's Warehouse since he grabbed only the jacket (no pants) when he left the house and didn't want to risk the 6 hour traffic delay and miss the ceremony. It was Jimmy's idea to try that store, and everything worked out really well. Look for Dad featured in their next advertising campaign soon.

The ceremony was simple. Dad walked me down the aisle. Stephan's good friend Wayne was the officiant and did a wonderful job making us laugh, and cry. Uncle John played The Wedding Song on the guitar. Our vows were simple, but very true to what we believe. I vowed to tell Stephan when something's bothering me, and to let him help me when I need help. He vowed to always love me, and make me proud of him every day.

Stephan's sister Beth Anne read a poem we love, The Invitation, and tried not to cry. Gary Jr. was our videographer. We gave both sets of parents flowers and thanked them for their love and patience in raising us. That's when I started crying. Wayne had some good advice for us, something about washing dishes (I promise to go back and watch the video so I can remember everything he said), and, luckily, there was a Bible behind the podium he could use to reference a few touching verses.

After we were "man and wife", a string version of Baba O'Reilly played, and we walked out of the church, into married life! That immediately meant family portraits. I've seen 200 head of cattle herded with less effort. The dinner at Greco's of Willow Springs was amazing. Carmalee was fantastic, and, as always, the food was abundant and delicious. Our cake was by Artsy Edibles (anyone have a website for her?) and was, to all who tasted it, the most amazing coconut/chocolate/mini-chip/butter cream wedding cake ever.

Stephan's sisters provided a basket of goodies (including Starbuck's Double Shots and bottles of water) for the night we spent at the Embassy Suites. The next day was filled with preparations celebrating Mom & Pop's 50th wedding anniversary. A beautiful day, I think, for everyone who was there.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Quick Recap!

We have a few new readers this week, and I thought I'd provide a few good links so you can catch up on us without having to sort through all 100+ articles.

In January: we packed our stuff and moved out to Baker, Montana, got hit with really cold weather, and I spent a lot of time looking up statistics before we found a place to live.

February was full of fun, trying to find a place to live, Stephan started his new job, things got really frustrating for a while, and Stephan's nursing license did NOT come in the mail.

In March, Stephan's license did get to us, we moved into our new house, I fed a newborn calf, Stephan joined the Plevna volunteer firefighting team, and the ceiling in our bathroom started bleeding.

April was more low-key, lots of house-painting, a trip home which reminded us why we like living in Montana, but why we love Chicago. There was meat-air, moths, sad dog, and the Schwann's Man.

In May we learned a lot about the culture here, with a fire, a branding for me, Snakes, a branding for Stephan, and a short informational seque into a Brucellosis outbreak.

That brought us to June, a month that's been full of visiting, Tylenol with Codeine, crying, taking photos and drinking. More on that later. Until then, enjoy the above stroll through memory lane- I know I did!

Monday, June 18, 2007

The most important thing...

We've been away from Montana for almost 2 weeks now, and I do miss it. I miss the fresh air. I miss the open spaces. I miss the sky. We've been eating amazing home-cooked food, restaurant food, Taco Bell, pizza, you name it. We shopped. We got married. We hung out with the girls/guys. We threw the biggest party either of us have ever thrown. We laughed, we cried, we drove the car about 100 miles a day. We rarely slept.

It was a pretty stressful trip for me. I'm not used to being around so many people so many days in a row. I'd gotten used to my solitude in Montana. Stephan and I sat together this morning as I was folding and packing clothes, crying. He talked to me for a while, everything I needed to hear and more. It's a hard thing for both of us to leave our families.

Anina, our 3 year old neice, came into the room with a large doll dressed like an American Indian. She sat the doll down next to the couch and started talking to her.

"There are a lot of things and it's okay for those things. No matter what else there is an important thing. The most important thing is that I love you. That is the important thing. I love you very much always. No matter what."

Monday, June 11, 2007

How to Visit Home

Tuesday: Leave Baker at 10pm
Wednesday: Arrive home at 2pm, get marriage license, arrive at sister's, Stephan goes out, Anna goes to sleep.
Thursday: Meet with minister and his wife to plan ceremony, put together gifts for family.
Friday: Get married, go to hotel, .... .... ....
Saturday: Buy nice clothes for parent's 50th anniversary party, attend/help with party until midnight. Crash.
Sunday: Host wedding shower for friend, go to parent's, watch frustrating Soprano's Finale, bleach & rinse & dry 120 glass bottles.
Monday: Help cook 2 cases of eggplant, fall dead asleep with 2 year old watching Aristo Cats, clean out rotting bananas from car, try to seperate clean from dirty clothes to do laundry, upload a few photos and try to summarize our crazy week.

Friday, June 8, 2007

June 8th, 2007

I love you too!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


As the partner of an RN who works in an emergency room, I've gotten used to dealing with strange things- like having to deliver more clothes to him during the middle of the day because of bodily fluids.

Last night Stephan handed me a clear plastic bag with scrubs in it.

Me: What's this?
Him: Pants.
Me: Why are they in a bag?
Him: Just put the pants in the wash... with bleach...
Me: ... ???
Him: ... and don't touch them.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Maybe I'm the Racist

It came to my attention this morning that it's gay pride month. I overheard a few weeks ago that there is actually a gay couple living in Baker. The comment was, "They keep really low profile, which is good. Remember a few years ago when [that person] was really gay?" Whatever you feel about gay people, imagine what it must be like to be that person that everyone in the town knows.

Then I thought about the lack of diversity in general here. There is one african-american family, one mexican family, and one asian family, who owns the Chinese restaurant. And, I have to admit, the first few weeks here I thought things were really weird. It was weird that the baggers at the grocery store were regular kids, not people involved in a work program. People cooking in restaurants are all caucasion. I miss the weekends when people are working on their cars in their driveways, blasting music "hecho en Mexico" while cooking food on their little BBQ's.

It's a fact that I expect certain people to be in certain places- it bothers me that our gas station doesn't smell like Nag Champa. I like to think of myself as more worldly because I'm used to hanging out with people from all sorts of ethnic backgrounds. But, if I expect to see them only in specific situations, does that make me a racist?


Sunday, June 3, 2007

The roof, the roof...

Is finally patched! Laurie and Donald and their son Cameron spent the day with us yesterday putting the ridge cap on, and adding various other essential pieces of roofing material to our house. This means the ceiling shouldn't bleed anymore.

There goes all the tourism revenue we were counting on.

Anyway, Stephan's working, I'm at home relaxing, trying to get ready to come home. Although the Codeine is NOT helping be get organized.

A word on rural health care: while it may still be lacking in personel, I much prefer the personal attention we get out here than the 3-minute office visit that's so common in the city. Maybe we don't have the most high-tech equipment, but we have primary care practitioners who take all the time they need to help you out with whatever is going on. We don't have a 3-D ultrasound, we have people. It makes a big difference.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Happy June 1st

Yesterday I was part of a discussion that started with, "I think we don't know how lucky we are to live here." I was eating lunch at the hospital with a table full of health care workers, and one of them spoke up about how unique and safe and beautiful our area is, and how uncommon that is in the U.S. today. It's true, I could walk down main street, or any street, while counting out a hundred dollars outloud, and people may walk up and talk to me about my life, but nothing bad would happen. If I needed to, I would feel perfectly safe walking around after dark here, or even sleeping outside on the sidewalk! Although, if I did try to sleep outside, no doubt many people would offer me a place to stay, a good meal, and some friendship.

I could walk up to the front or back door of any house here, knock and ask for anything (money, sugar, a power tool, keys to their vehicle, a babysitter, a tractor) and they'd be happy to help out.

Yesterday's discussion turned to the phenomenon of gated communities in urban areas, and how strange of a concept that is to folks who live in the country. Gates don't keep people out here. Gates keep livestock in. They asked me, does the gate really stop crime? Does it make the people who live inside better friends or neighbors? How much do people pay to live inside those gates?

It's still amazing how different life is here. Every day I'm grateful to be where I am. Most days I even appreciate the rooster next door that starts crowing at 5:30 in the morning!