Sunday, September 30, 2007

Overheard: Trying to leave the house

Me: OW! You scratched me!

Him: No I didn't.

Me: Yes, you did!

Him: Where?

Me: Right here!

Him: That's not a scratch, that's a stretchmark.

Me: Excuse me?!

Him: [mumble, mumble] Everyone has stretch marks. I have them... It's... okay... they're.... [mumble mumble]...

Note to Men- No matter what it is, it's always a scratch, it's NEVER a stretchmark.

Him: So can I type a note to women? To tell them that's it's USUALLY a stretchmark.

Me: NO! I'm the one typing. [insert glare here]

Saturday, September 29, 2007


The time in the morning that this guy, right here woke up on a SATURDAY (people, SAT-UR-DAY) to go with a buddy to the shooting range to get ready for hunting season. Much more on hunting season coming soon.

Thursday's Sigh of Relief

Remember this? And then the happiness of this,that culminated in the Friday posting in this post.

Well, after clicking the refresh button relentlessly on the NELRP Scholarship page...

This is THE letter. The letter that says, "Dear Mr. Koruba, I am pleased to inform you that you have been awarded a 2-year contract to participate in the Bureau of Clinician Recruitment and Service, Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program (NELRP)."

Check out the program here if you would like to know more. Essentially, being part of the program means that we won't be paying off student loans when we're both 80. They'll be paid off when we're 60!

Anyway, we've been celebrating, mostly by taking deep breaths and feeling how good the extra space feels. Also by looking around the house and noting all the projects we'd put on hold until we got this letter. And we actually opened the book about traveling to Eastern Europe that we bought back in June. Good stuff!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Open letter of apology to my mom


Remember when I was little and you were always asking me to clean up? Sometimes I would be a brat and ask, "WHY?" and you would say, "Just in case someone stops by." Back then, I thought that it was just silly- no one was going to just 'stop by' without calling first. And as I got older, and lived in apartments and houses near the city, this ideology was confirmed. No one just 'stops by' anymore. So I was safe. The house just needed to be clean enough that you had enough time to straighten up when your geographically closest friend called to say they were coming over. No worries!

Mom, I was wrong. People do 'stop by'. Especially here. I'm learning to always have the dishes clean, dog hair vacuumed off the chairs, clothes put away (the neighbors really don't care what my underware looks like, so having it on the kitchen table just isn't required), and at least something in the fridge to offer guests. Gross bathroom? Not when the mayor or superintendant of schools could stop by in the evening just to say hi. Mom, you were right, the mayor could come over without notice.

I'm going to clean my room right now.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Overheard: In the grocery store +more!

Local: You guys just moved here, right?

Me: Yep.

Local: And you have a couple kids, right?

Me: Nope.

Local: Why not?

Me: ...?

Our friend's suggested answers include:
Me: Because Stephan's sex-change operation didn't allow for procreation.

Me: Because we're afraid they'd turn out like you.

One of our 'friends' said, "Come on now, Anna... Isn't it about time you start calvin' out?"

I don't know what to do with that.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Whatcha doin this weekend?

If Shakira made a workout video I would totally watch it every day.

Otherwise, it's the last of 4 days in a row for Stephan. Since he had to come in two hours early yesterday he got to sleep in until 6:30 this morning (yea!). Things have been busy enough over there, with a few inpatients, and just enough ER's to keep things interesting. He's got that "Day 4" fever though, where he's really just ready to have a day away from sick people.

I was asked to teach a 30 minute intro to Yoga class at the Baker Spirit of Women Breast Cancer Style Show later in October. I'd never thought of myself as qualified to teach yoga, but I guess since I've been doing it for about 7 years and own almost every video that Gaiam makes I'll probably be ok. This weekend I've been researching yoga's roots, the poses, watching videos, and trying to figure out how I'm going to present an entire spiritual discipline in 30 minutes. Oh, and...

Me: How many people?

Her: 130 we hope.

Me: Um, are they all going to bring towels?

Her: Why?

Me: Because yoga is done on the floor.

Her: Well we're going to do it in chairs.

Me: Huh. Ok.

Which has prompted more research into Chair Yoga. Apparently, there's a woman who has created a certification program to teach her own system of chair yoga to immobile people who can't get on the floor. Interesting. I now know more than I ever wanted to.

Have fun in Ohio Dad!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Overheard: In the Car

Dora: Hey little crab! What's wrong?

Little Crab: I want my mommy!

Me: Hey, I want my mommy.

Him: You know, I want your mommy too.

Me: Have things really reached that level?

Him: Yes.

So we're kinda busy lately- Stephan's in the middle of working another 4 day in a row shift. I've signed myself up for more things than I know what to do with. Last night we got home after 8:15, ate leftovers, and fell asleep. Then, of course, we wake up at 4:45am and do it all again. At least the scenery is nice.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Stephan's 18 hour shift

Me: So, how was that 18 hour shift Sunday night?

Him: [yawn] You gotta have some better material than that. This ain't cuttin' it.

Me: Seriously, tell me about what it was like to stay awake for 28 hours straight and be responsible for the lives of an entire county of people.

Him: Luckily we had no ER's. And caffeine. That's it.

Me: ... What else?

Him: Nothing.

Me: ...

Him: ...

Well, all I know is that when I picked him up he was making pac-man's with tennis balls. Complete with the "wocka wocka" noises.

Monday, September 17, 2007

"I think the cat is bulimic..."

Ah yes, phone calls home. They're important, and touching. It's great how just telling Mom or Dad about something that happened can make everything better. And it's nice to know that the world is still turning back on your old block. But sometimes phone calls just can't convey the seriousness of a situation:

Me: Stephan's at a fire meeting and I'm doing dishes.

Parent: I think the cat is bulimic.

Me: What??

Parent: She eats all the food and then throws up right away.

Me: Is she losing weight?

Parent: No. But it's gross to have the pile of half eaten soggy food.

Me: Really?? Wow.

Parent: Well, she eats it again in about an hour.

Me: ... [really] ... [um] ...

Me: An hour? You don't clean it up before then?

Parent: No. Why should I? She eats it and then I don't have to deal with it.

Me: Um. Ew.

Parent: Exactly how do you pronounce BLECHAAAAHIICKK?

Sunday, September 16, 2007


We drove out to Red Lodge Saturday night to check out their Oktoberfest celebration. It was a cute little town, exactly what we imagened Montana would be like. Teva sandals, Earth shoes, Merrell shoes, babies strapped to breast-feeding mothers... it looked like an entire town sprung out of the Lands End catalogue.

Stephan said of the town, "It's where Returned Peace Corps Volunteers go to die." We thought about moving out there for a minute, but realized we'd never live anywhere where we would actually fit in.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dropping the 'F' bomb

I had it. I just couldn't take any more. I'd seen too much. Things were getting out of control.

So I made Stephan clear the house of animals, cover all the food-prep items, and take a day out of the house... after dropping the fog bomb to kill all the bugs. The clean up several hours later involved finding buckets full of spiders. Dead. Good. Huge wolf spiders, and lots of Pholcidae.

Then, inevitably, someone smart comes along and says, "yeah, this is a good time to bomb, but you should do it again in a few weeks after the babies are born."



Monday, September 10, 2007

Return your foreskin to it's proper position.....

Me: I can't write a blog with this title.

Him: Why not?

Me: It's x-rated.

Him: No it's not. It's biology.

Me: I can't have 'foreskin' in the title.

Him: Anyway...

Me: What was I going to blog about? I forget. Oh yeah...

[5 minutes ago, out of the blue]

Him: FYI- if we ever have a little boy, he's getting circumsized.

Me: WTF?!

Him: The other day at work I saw what happens when you don't return the foreskin to it's proper position. And when our boy is old and someone has to wipe his butt, at least he won't have that problem.

Me: Where's the computer?? I need to type something.

**Stephan would like me to point out that, in his defense, we are watching a movie where a male child gets baptized and he thinks it flowed nicely to the story about work.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

35 minutes to Ohare

Subtitled: Homesick

The first few days (or weeks) after coming home are always the hardest. As Stephan said, "you don't feel that warm cocoon of love out here." It's true. It's like getting out of bed on a cold winter morning. You didn't really know how warm it was under the covers until you roll them back and the cool air hits your skin.

Two things hit me hard this week. One was listening to WBBM radio and hearing the traffic report. It's nice in some way to know what the expressways are doing. Is there congestion at the Hinsdale Oasis? What's the travel time to the Circle? Hearing the report put me 1/2 way home. Okay. It made me cry. I mean, traffic has often made me cry, just not from 1,400 miles away.

The second one is something my brother can relate to: a smell. Stephan and I once were purified by a Peruvian Healer using Sage Bark. The scent was wonderful, and did a lot to calm us both down. There was a little shop in Arlington Heights that sold herbs and oils, and Stephan gifted me with a baggie of Sage to burn in the apartment we lived in. In the cool autumn air, the burning sage kept us emotionally warm.

While he was in Great Falls, he found a bundle of sage and we lit it Saturday to fill the house with the familiar scent. Immediately I was brought back to the tiny expensive apartment with two little puppies and cats that peed on the floor. The small kitchen that didn't fit hardly anything so we stacked boxes and dishes on top of the fridge. Weekend drives down to Oak Lawn, or Tinley Park, or Chicago. Needing to shower after volunteering at the foot clinic. Ordering pizza and having it delivered... the old days.

Making my Dad proud with every post....

Fact #1: We live in Montana

Fact #2: We don't have TV

Fact #3: We do have the internet

Fact #4: We can stream TV, movies, music, even conference calls

Fact #5: According to the NFL we live in a "restricted territory" and cannot stream football

Question: Wtf?

Restricted territory?! What does that mean? If you check out nfl.gamepass you will see a list of restricted territories: the US, Canada, Mexico... I would like to know where on the planet I would need to be to stream NFL games. Why is this web page even in English?

Breathing. Slowly. In. Out. I guess I'll just have to refresh the Bears home page every few minutes to keep up to date. Stephan's working today anyway- so I guess we'll both just have to keep breathing.

Friday, September 7, 2007


What exactly does a Brave Warrior Princess wear to evict intruders from the fortress? Long pants, sweatshirt, boots, gloves (with the sleeves of the sweatshirt tucked inside), and for a weapon? BBQ tongs.

I found this one first thing in the morning in the cats' water dish. Go ahead- take out a quarter. See for yourself. This is getting to be too much. The exterminator promised to call Stephan back, but they haven't yet.

Oh, and Harold and Maude is a movie for hippies.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Maybe I should invest in cable TV

With Stephan gone for a few days, things definitely feel different here. Ignoring the severe diet changes, the lack of grilled meat, etc, I've been getting a lot more sleep. No 4:30am wake up calls. The dogs, however, haven't been sleeping well at all. They bark at every little noise. I don't know if they think they're protecting me, or if they are just nervous. Often one or the other will lay their head on my knee, look up with 'sad eyes' and wimper a little.

All 4 animals slept on the bed last night. Two dogs on my feet, a cat at my tummy, and another near my neck. Everyone was exactly in the same place when the fire radio (which doubles as a bus driver radio) lit up at 7am to tell me that so-and-so wasn't going to be riding the bus today.

Since we don't have cable, and there's nothing we can get via antenna, I often watch YouTube videos. Or, like tonight, put on a movie we own, and just let it run in the background. So far I've seen: Father's Little Dividend, Scrooged, Kingdom of Heaven, Memoirs of a Geisha, Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers, Cars, and the special features for each. The next movie on the list is Kung Fu Hustle.

If anyone wants to watch it with me, let me know!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


*Not really.

Two weeks ago Stephan agreed to attend a meeting on oe of his days off. He didn't read the agenda. He showed up in dirty shorts and a ball cap. He expected to be there for about an hour. About 5 hours after the meeting started, he came out with a new title: Trauma Coordinator. Immediately he was given several books to read, and told to attend two conferences as soon as possible. This week he is at one of them run by the state of Montana's Departments of EMS & Trauma Systems".

Essentially, from the moment a person unfortunatelly requires Emergency Assistance, to minute they arrive in the ER, the possibility of a trip (via ambulance or airplane) to another facility, to the final health outcome, the Trauma Coordinator is there. Not physically there, but he needs to know the players, the systems, the vocabulary, and make sure that everyone has everything they need, and that they're all speaking the same language.

The job involves creating procedures, teaching those to everyone, creating paperwork to track the procedures, and keeping track of all the paperwork. He also must track inventory and supplies and be sure they always adhere to state standards. He follows via the paperwork and phone calls the path of the patient. He will make sure that the way we "package" our patients when we send them out makes it easy for the next location to treat them. It is a very involved job, one that he was at first a little nervous about, but now is very excited for. It integrates his community development skill set into the health care knowledge he is still learning to use.

Of course, this means he will be even more busy on his days off, a fact that is easier now that we're done with road trips until Christmas. If you want to see us, please let us know when you're planning to be here!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

You're getting very sleepy....

What a crazy few days, and they are far from over! After the deer, then being stranded in Salt Lake City for an extra day, I arrived back in Chicago to see Stephan for about 2 hours before spending some much needed time with my friend. One night with my parents, then a busy, bustling two days of wedding preparations. It was a beautiful event.

The morning after the wedding, with headaches to prove our enjoyment of the reception, we spent time with family and friends at a Labor Day meal, then headed back to Montana by 5pm. We got to Baker safely around 9am, when Stephan had just enough time to repack, shower, and get into a car with another nurse to travel to Great Falls for a conference about Trauma Nursing. He should be back around 2am on Saturday morning, in time for his shift to begin at 5:30am.

I'm working on a post describing Stephan's new appointment as the Trauma Coordinator for our hospital- a job that involves coordinating all the emergency medical responders in the county. Until then, it's my turn to eat Raman and tuna, and try to stay busy until he gets home again.