Wednesday, November 16, 2011

First Ultrasound

These are the first ultrasound pictures of our little bean.  The pictures don't give the experience justice.  Watching the ultrasound we got to see this little one bounce around... they currently have quite a bit of room-- but we know that will change!  In these pictures the baby is 4 cm long from top of head to bottom of bum.

According to the measurements I'm told that the baby was 11 weeks and 1 day at the time of the ultrasound (sound unbelievably specific to me!) which gives us a due date of June 1st.  I'm taking that with a grain of salt since this is not a very early ultrasound I figure it looses accuracy with the passage of time.

This does mean that I am further along than I thought and that while we didn't know it I have been pregnant the entire time that we have lived in our new house.  It won't be long until I'm in the second trimester either which will hopefully mean I'll feel better and be able to get some work done.

Yay Baby!

I look forward to getting to meet this little person!  Oh there is so much to do!

Monday, October 31, 2011


I hope everyone is having a happy Halloween!  We are wrapping up our first Halloween in our new city and we've encountered some odd trick-or-treating behavior.   Does anyone else live where a large percentage of the kids don't knock on the door?  They walk onto the porch and say 'trick-or-treat.'  Which I really couldn't hear through the door past the living room and into the kitchen where I was working on dinner... because trick-or-treaters come while it's time to make dinner.  I don't mind stopping and handing out candy, I just don't know how many kids I may have missed because there was no knocking involved. Sometimes I would check because I heard a suspicious noise and often there would be no one there and once a bunch of kids were almost off the steps heading to the next house and the grown up called them back explaining that the the door is open now...  I then made a sign for the front door to aide in communication.

This increased the knocking, mostly, but things still seemed odd.  I remember trick-or-treating following a reliable protocol: knock-- door opens-- 'trick-or-treat'-- get candy (while the resident would say their comments i.e. Happy Halloween, or Brush Your Teeth)-- then we say 'thank you' and move on.  To be honest when I was young enough to require a parent I remember we had the rule that we were only allowed to go to the houses of people we knew... which weren't that many in walking distance.  But I digress.  Here even with the help of the sign it went more like: knock-- 'trick-or-treat' -- door opens-- they stare at me-- I give them candy and wish them a good night-- they were pretty good at saying 'thank you'.  Just kind of odd to me and I wonder if this is normal other places and I'm the odd one.

Other things I noticed included the practice of trick-or-treating for the absent or infantile, using a backpack as a collection vessel, and I noticed several of the neighbors (three I could see without leaving the front door) would hang out in their yard to distribute the candy.  The last one makes a certain amount of sense if there's a rush or if you have a member of the family designated for that job-- but it never seemed quite that busy and I was trying to multitask.  We had around 75 trick-or-treaters over a 2 1/2-3 hour evening.  All in all it was fun.  Yay Halloween.  And yay for not having too much candy left over.

Friday, October 21, 2011

We're Expecting a Baby

That's right!  It's very early still and all I know is that I should be due in June (basic math)... but I haven't seen the doctor that gives us the date.  I've seen the "the lab tells us you're pregnant" doctor, as well as "we're going to have to watch your thyroid levels very carefully" doctor, but not the "this is how your baby is doing" doctor... but I have an appointment.

So in keeping with blogging tradition I shall post the home pregnancy test photo.  I know some folks think it's gross-- whatever-- for me it's the first tangible reason for why I've been sick for weeks.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

So... ... We are Moving

My sweet husband got a new job-- yay!  So we are moving to Bay City Michigan, about 2 hours north of Lansing.  The job is tenure-track (yay again) so for the first time we could potentially live in one spot for more than a few years-- yay!  We tried to find a house to rent that was reasonably nice, reasonably priced and in a safe neighborhood.  It proved to be difficult so we started to shop for houses to buy instead.  It didn't hurt that there were more houses for sale than for rent.

To make things extra tricky the whole process took place while I was working in California.  In my defense when I left I thought we would be renting.  So, long story short, after looking at around 40 houses, many long phone conversations, and photo tours of the top candidates, we put an offer in on a house before I came home (so would could stand a chance to move in before classes start).  I'm so glad to have a husband I can trust with this sort of thing... he's pretty picky.

I did get to see the house during the inspection and I think he did a good job shopping.  We just closed on this house so now that it's too late to jinx it all I would like to show you the photos that he showed me through his flickr account during our decision making process... I'll spare you the photos of the runner ups.  Here is a tour of our house with somebody else's stuff inside.

Let's begin:

 This is the internet, this is not remotely private... you know, with all three readers I have at times, so I'm not going to post a photo of the front of our house... that would just be irresponsible.  But I will post it on facebook or if you're not on facebook you can email me and, assuming I know you and I probably do, I'll email you a picture if you would like.  In case you can't tell from the doodle, it's a little craftsman.  I was told that according to the county assessor, the year it was built is not known but said 1914... but that's zillow.  We'll be safe and say pre-WWII.

On with the tour!

Standing at the front door and looking to your right you see the living room fireplace.

Standing near the fireplace, looking back on the rest of the living room.  The open door to the left is the front door.  The closed door facing us is a half bathroom.  The open doorway to the left leads to the den.  The ground floor has a circular floor plan so we'll get to the den a bit later.   Lynda is our awesome realtor (she's been so great!), she does not come with the house.  But if anyone reading this is in the Bay City area and is looking to buy or sell a house I will totally give you her number because you should totally call her... ... totally!  (remember my reference to the 40 or so houses Dennis looked at? yeah, she's awesome)

Another view of the fireplace wall.  See the arch on the left?

This is a better view of that arch through which you can see the dining room and then, after that, you see the kitchen.  But the kitchen will have to wait until after the dining room.  I know this is exciting but you'll have to patient-- there's a system!

This photo shows the bay-type bump to the side of the dining room.

This is looking back onto the rest the of dining room and gives you a peek at the coffered ceiling.

I like the feeling this ceiling brings to the room and the house, it, and the staircase, are the type of touches we love in older homes.

How here is the first view of the kitchen... it's not as yellow as it looks in the picture.  The kitchen was done in 2008.  It seems to be in good shape and  has significantly more room than our current kitchen.  It has plenty of power outlets along the counters.  I am looking forward to the improved kitchen.  There are things that I would have done differently.  Functionally it's weird that the dishwasher is awkwardly far from the sink and that there is no garbage disposal, just odd for a new kitchen.

Looking back on the kitchen... ahhh the counter space... at long last!  A kitchen in which we can house dishes and food!

To the right you see the door that leads to the stairs that lead to the backdoor that leads to the backyard.  Not visible in that stair well is another cupboard and more stairs that take you to the basement... those will be at the end of the tour.  Now to the left is the breakfast nook.

At first I liked the wainscot but wasn't sure of the benches and table but I think they are growing on me.  Each of the three sides can seat two adults comfortably-- although perhaps some cushions would make it more comfortable.

As we continue to the left from the breakfast nook we arrive at the den.  It's not large so far we think that the tv will go in here.  It is currently pink, something will be done about that.  Through the door you can see the base of the stairs back in the living room.

Now that we have gone full circle we'll take a quick dash upstairs.  The staircase could use a some love but it's sturdy.

What you can't see in this shot are the stairs off to the left and the first bedroom that is behind the camera.  In this shot: the door to the right is the master bedroom, the first door to the left is the bathroom, the second door on the left is a tunnel of a closet and at the end of the hallway is the third and smallest bedroom. 

These windows face the street and I suspect will have the best morning light.  This bedroom is to the right at the top of the stairs.

This view shows the little nook in this room, cozy.

Here we have the master bedroom.  I found it charming.

 The closet on the right-hand wall of the master bedroom.  Yes, the corner of the door is cut away.

Now we've come to the bathroom which is painted green which was a surprise to me because the picture never looked green on my monitor.  While I like the bathroom I think the photo makes it look a little bit nicer than it is.   The floor is vinyl/linoleum and the sink has a few cosmetic issues in person.

The tub/shower and a closet which makes up for the lack of medicine cabinet.  I think the ventilation fan is good so hopefully we can avoid moisture issues.

Like all the upstairs closets this hall closet will need some creative thinking to get the best use from it.  It continues on for another five feet or so.

Now the last bedroom.  It's the smallest and still bigger than any room in our current house-- which speaks less to the bigness of the little room and more to the smallness in which we have been living.

This further illustrates the nature of all of the upstairs closets, slanted and needing a makeover.  The slant is why the house is considered 1 1/2 stories.  These are not as bad as some of the other houses, I believe we can get the closets here to actually function.

--Okay, you made it through all of the living spaces, you've almost made it to the end-- congratulations!

Now here's a photo of part of the basement.  We have more pictures but who really wants to see them right?  I'll sum up in that it's the full footprint of the house, tall enough work in comfortably, and it's delightfully dry.

Our one car garage with carport.  Since the garage will most likely be used as a glorified garden shed we will most most likely still have one car that gets snowed on unless we go down to one car which I am giving some thought.  The back yard is pretty much a blank slate and I can't seem to stop myself from thinking about what to do with it-- but I'll save that for later.

Thanks for making it all the way to end!  I know I'm excited but I also know that it's not as exciting when it's not your house.  I'm glad to share and thanks for reading!  Now I need to go pack!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Don't Mess With My Meds!

I should have been for protective, but I didn't know what would happen.  My doctor had me do some blood work to check my thyroid levels.  The nurse practioner called to tell me that my levels where on the high side (which is what the blood work said) and that she would like to prescribe a slightly lower dose of my hormone replacement.  

"Sure" I said... like an idiot.

For each of my thyroid scans I had to go off my replacements completely and during that process I felt mostly fine so my reasoning lead me to believe that just a mere decrease of a mere 25 mg would be hardly perceivable.

Wrong.  Very Wrong.

Now it wasn't all that bad.  The thing about these hormone replacements is that they are long acting.  A change in dose takes a whole six weeks to take full effect.  This can be a very good thing, say, if I forget to take my pill one day it won't make me crash-- that's a very good thing.  But about three weeks after taking the new slightly lower dose I started to drag and it took me a few days to realize why.  But I would have to wait another three weeks before my next round of blood work to show that this was bad and that it needed to be fixed, which I did.

This was a new experience for me.  I've felt tired before, but not like this.  I've been lazy before, yet this was different.  Tired, but not sleepy, and sleep didn't make me less tired.  I faked it, I did what I needed to do and even some things that I just wanted to do when I was coasting on the fake mustered energy.  That actually helped a little, it felt good to get some things done but I would pay for it later in extra tiredness.  I made it a point to get up and still do things.  I know sometimes acting tired or lazy can cause additional tiredness or laziness.  It's an odd sensation to just 'run out of gas' especially when I wasn't trying to do anything extraordinary or physically demanding.  After a while it just got frustrating.  Immensely frustrating.

It was finally time to do blood work again.  The next day I started taking my old pills because at that point I didn't care what the results would say, I concluded the experiment was a failure.  Typically the nurse practitioner calls me the day after I receive my copy of the lab results to make further adjustments.  When no call came that week I made an appointment.  

During the appointment she said that my numbers looked fine and I'm grateful that when I told her that the new dose wasn't working for me and that I felt normal with my old dose she agreed to write a new prescription for my old dose.  Funny, I was half-expecting her to say 'well you're numbers say you're fine' and leave it at that-- not because of my interactions with her in the past but just because I know that medical professionals can do that sometimes.  I was prepared to get defensive... I'm glad that was not necessary... I didn't want to hurt her.

About three weeks after that (long acting is also code for slow acting) I started to feel a slight improvement.  I'm now feeling pretty normal and getting back into the usual swing of things.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fire Starters

Emergency preparedness is a great thing.  There's more I need to do to feel adequately prepared-- but I did make some fire starters.  Some of these were part of a Christmas gift for my brother-in-law (yeah, he's kind of hard to shop for) but having the deadline helped me get it done.  I'm finally getting around to posting about it.  It was a fun experience I would like to share.

First off, fire starters are great to have in your emergency/camping kit.  They function to decrease or eliminate the amount of kindling you need to build a fire because in less-than-ideal situations nice dry kindling can be hard to come across in quantity.  So these little guys are easy to light and help get any larger pieces of wood ablazin'.  But if you go shopping for them online you will find that they can get a bit pricey... especially for a great number of them.

There are several ways to make your own for a lot less.  I made just two kinds (both found in my Cub Scout Leader How-To Book-- handy).  The first is essentially coiled strips of corrugated cardboard with a cotton twine wick nestled inside a shallow can then filled (or mostly filled) with melted wax-- it's called a "buddy burner" in the scout book.

See the wax?  This is an 11 pound block I bought at Micheals.  There might be cheaper places to get large amounts of wax but with a 50% off coupon it wasn't too painful and  not bad considering that the rest of the materials are either found or re-purposed.

Next I called up someone I knew who loves her cats.  You probably already know a person like this.  She has many cats and loves them so much she goes through several small cans of cat food a day (these are also the softest cats I've ever met! seriously).  I asked her to save some for me which she did gladly, she even cleaned them out for me!  So yay for free!

Here is one with the cardboard coiled inside.  I first did a test strip to figure out wide and long each strip needed to be.  These were 1 1/4" wide and 29" in length but it can be several strips to add up to 29" not just one long piece.  It's not hard to find a beat up cardboard box and I cut them with my rotary cutter which made the operation fast and easy.  The wicks are cotton twine (used our used garden twine) with a knot at the bottom to help it not slip out.

I then broke up the big block of wax and melted pieces in a double boiler.  Now you don't want to use your food pots for this.  I have a pot that I have designated for non-food use (dying small pieces of fabric, shaping thermoplastic etc.) that I boiled the water in and used a large can in which I melted the wax and then poured into the prepared cat food cans.  In the future I would use another coupon and just get the metal pitcher designed for making candles-- I suspect it wouldn't dribble as much as the big tomato juice can, that was a problem.

The second type of fire starter (also found in the cub scout book) I made with cardboard egg carton flats, filled with sawdust and then filled with melted wax.  *tip* keep the plastic top that comes with the eggs and place it under the carton part so they nest together to catch any wax that may seep through the cardboard (when it cools it can be chipped out and melted down again).

So this is how many fire starters 11 pounds of wax makes... okay maybe more like 10.8 pounds-- I had a little left over and spilled some on my floor (so if you're ever in my kitchen watch out for the slick spots).  51 buddy burners and 60 egg cup starters.  Not bad.

Okay so I made fire starters to help be prepared for an emergency or even just to go camping or backpacking.  It would be plain irresponsible to neglect to test them!  hee hee!  For some reason I had it in my head that the book said the tuna can sized buddy burner would burn for about 40 minutes.  As I check the book now it says no such thing... curious.  But at the time that was what I was expecting.  This is what a timed trial showed:

So while I did get chilly (I was in Sacramento at the time so it wasn't as bad as it would have been in Michigan) I was pleasantly surprised how long and how strong the flame was from the buddy burner.  Three of them together could form a small campfire. The egg cup starter went up really quickly which can be nice if your fire only need a little help and is pretty dry.  

Of course a starter such as these would be useless if you don't have a way to ignite them.  For that we have strike anywhere matches made water resistant by painting them with clear nail polish stored in a waterproof container with a strip of sand paper (although Dennis can light them with his thumb-- more cool than the dudes that crush aluminum cans on their foreheads for sure).  We also have flint and steel with a ziplock bag of dryer lint as well as a few water resistant lighters.

So figuring that each buddy burner lasts an average of 1:05 and each egg cup starter lasts 9 minutes then the total fire time form this batch of starters would be about 64 hours and 15 minutes.  sweet!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Too Bad... ... So Sad


Oh Drat!  I'm a little sad to have this glass break.  We received a set of eight of these adorable glasses (each one is different) as a wedding gift from my mother-in-law's neighbor who had them wrapped up for decades.  I don't know how old they are but I like them quite a lot.  I understand why people never use their favorite things, in order to preserve and protect those things, but in another way it is also sad to have favorite things that never see the light of day.  All in all they are just things and it makes me happy to use them... and I do try to be careful with them.  Oh well... no more blue bells.

Our set of eight is now a set of six.  This one broke while I was washing it and the first one was bitten to death by a child a couple of Thanksgivings ago (thankfully the child was not injured).  I had misgiving about a youngster using one of the glasses I like so well, true, but I did not want to offend the parents, and the child did seem to be very mellow.  It wasn't done on purpose... and I have never heard of such a thing so I didn't think to ask if they were a biter.  Everyone was surprised by that one.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Grandma's Rolls

A Phillips family favorite.  My Grandma Lucy made wonderful rolls that made Thanksgiving complete.  When I was a kid the Phillips family would meet at Grandma's house for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.  To keep up busy (and out of trouble) Grandma would give us kids the scraps of this dough to play with at the counter (in sight but out of the way).  If we wanted we could for the dough into festive shapes (snowmen and reindeer etc.) and then she would put them in pans and bake them for us.  I thought this was great!

This past holiday season my uncle Merritt shared his recipe the Grandma's Rolls on facebook.  It didn't take long until other members of the family noticed that his recipe that he had gotten form Lucy was different than other Grandma's Rolls recipes (all from Lucy).  Some year we will need to do a rolls bake-off to find the winner but until then I will share with you the recipe for Grandma's Rolls (the real recipe of course!).  I  am bias toward this recipe because 1) it is the only one I have used and 2) my mother wrote the recipe while watching Grandma make rolls so I trust it knowing that, in fact, she did make rolls this way-- at least once.

Another way I know they are the best rolls ever... I'm eating one right now. 

Here is a half recipe (for when you don't have a dozen people to feed)  Now it's a little involved but it's worth it!

Grandma's Rolls via Kristen
yields one full 9x13 pan of dinner rolls and a pan of cinnamon rolls (also tradition) but it varies based on how thick you roll the the dough etc.

You will need 1/2 Cup Mashed Potatoes (no lumps)if you don't already have some you'll want to start that first.

pour 1 can Evaporated Milk in a large liquid measuring cup, then add regular milk until you have 2 1/4 Cups --- then in a saucepan scald the milk and let it cool until it is now longer hot, but still warm.

Proof the yeast by dissolving 2 Tbs. Yeast into 1/4 Cup Warm Water and 1/2 Tbs. Sugar
While the yeast gets puffy,
Ideally in a large mixer (Grandma had a Bosch, I have a KitchenAid)
Beat 3 Eggs and combine with 1/2 Cup + 1/3 Cup Vegetable or Canola Oil

Add the mashed potatoes and the now just warm scalded milk and the puffy yeast
Once those are incorporated
Add 3/4 Cups Sugar and 1/2 Tbs. Salt
Slowly we add the Flour (6-8 Cups of it) 1/2 cup at a time allowing the flour to mix in between.  You want to be careful not to add more flour than is necessary to keep the lightness of the rolls we are looking for.  I try to add just enough flour so the dough is no longer shiny.  It will still be a bit sticky but will not stick to the side of the bowl.

Dab the top of the dough with a small amount of oil, cover with plastic wrap or towel and let rise until about double (about half and hour in a nice warm spot but it can take longer). 

When the dough is about ready you want to prep the space that you will form the rolls.  Liberally apply flour to a clean smooth surface (a counter top or a very large cutting board).  Melt a stick of butter and brush the bottom and sides of the pans you will be using (I like to have a butter assistant).

With flour on your hands pull off a portion of dough and roll approximately 3/8-1/2" thick with a rolling pin or a cylindrical drinking glass. With a biscuit cutter or the opening of of a drinking glass cut out as many circles that you can (my uncle Merritt cuts them into squares... he's very efficient, but I have not tried it that way).  Dip the bottom half of the circle of dough in the melted butter and place in the pan buttered side down and fold the unbuttered half on top (I just brush butter between the layers as I fold them over).  Transfer the unused dough from counter top to a plate to wait.  Repeat until you have filled the pan with rolls.  Brush the tops with butter and cover to let rise until they are the size you want your dinner rolls to be (it's disappointing if your in a hurry and put them in too soon hoping they'll rise a little more while they're in the oven).

If you only want dinner rolls just keep going until you run out of dough (you can re-roll the scrap dough).  Since the scrap dough will have slightly more flour incorporated I like to use it for cinnamon rolls.  To do so I roll out a large rectangle of dough as thin as I am comfortably able.  The thinner the dough the more layers in the finished roll and the less space between sweet cinnamonny goodness.

Then slather it with melted butter, it helps the goodies stick.  There are a few ways it can go from here.  I typically apply a cinnamon and sugar mixture (fresh cinnamon is best)-- enough to soak up the butter but not dry-- and crumble on some brown sugar.  If you want you can add raisins and/or chopped walnuts/pecans etc.

Before you roll it up decide whether you want a smaller number of large cinnamon rolls or if you want a larger number of smaller rolls-- that will determine which way you roll up your rectangle of dough.  (starting with the long side for small rolls or starting with the short side for larger rolls... it's all in the number of revolutions)  When you roll it up you want to keep it snug and even forming a log shape.  To get a few more rolls out of it I sometimes roll the log back and forth to stretch it out a little more.

(you could toss this baby into a buttered loaf pan to get very tasty bread with a cinnamon sugar swirl-- my sister has done this-- when she used to eat gluten-- she liked it)

For rolls you take about 12" of sturdy thread and slide it under the log about an inch from the end.  Bring the ends of the thread upward and around the log so they align on the top.  Now pull the ends of the thread to slice a disc off the end.  Place the disc swirly side up in a buttered pan.  Repeat the thread action until you're out of dough.  The first and last disc turn out a little wonky but no body cares.  When the pan is full pat the tops with melted butter and sprinkle on some more of the cinnamon/sugar mixture.  Cover. put in a warm place and let rise.

With your oven rack in the middle position, preheat your oven to 400 degrees while the rolls are rising and when they are about doubled in size bake for 15-20 minutes (but start checking them around 10 minutes just in case, you don't want to go though all this and then burn them... that's really no fun).

The cinnamon rolls in the back had not been baked yet and needed to rise a bit more.  Turkeys are still 99 cents per pound around here so we're having a mini Thanksgiving this week-- yay for cooking a lot one day to feed us for a week.  It's weird to cook a turkey and not have company over... but I guess it's weird to cook a turkey for a Monday night.

Oh, and you can freeze the dough too!  So far I've had it work best to freeze it just before the first rise, thaw it in the fridge overnight then shape into rolls, rise, bake, yum!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fun with Contact Paper

When the weather is not very friendly outside it's good to have some things to do inside. In elementary school it was called a "rainy day schedule" meaning that we couldn't go outside to play which we were always bummed about but that we could play board games and the like in our classroom. While this wasn't exactly appealing I was often surprised how it ended up being quite fun and how we still didn't want recess (in any form) to end.

Now that I'm big I have several options of things to keep me busy when doing much of anything outside would not be great fun. I had been thinking about it for quite a while so it was fun to take a morning and do it.

I decorated my living room wall with stylized dandelion fluff. I cut the shapes out of white contact paper (shelf/drawer liner) then applied them to the wall making sure that a few of the seeds were visible through the floating frames that hold a couple of our wedding pictures.

Using contact paper to make wall decals is a very affordable DIY alternative to vinyl transfers. It was it's drawbacks, for instance it's harder to evenly space letters if your putting up words although it can still be done, I feel the MUCH lower price of the contact paper outweighs any hassles.

And of course because no decorating post would be complete without a dreary before picture complete with bad lighting-- like the infomercials that make the most ordinary tasks (like washing your car) back breaking work. Oh, the jars of tomato sauce on the dining room table were being used as paperweights to hold the contact paper nice and flat.

Here is a close up of one of the seeds. The toys in front is part of the collection of toys we found while working in the garden.

I made a stencil to make things go faster and so each one would be roughly the same size and shape. I flipped the stencil over so the stems weren't all curving the same direction because that would look weird.

So as I'm just about finished sticking them to the wall I'm pretty jazzed and I call my sister to share my jazz-ed-ness. She likes to do projects and I knew she could relate to how I was feeling with almost being done and happy with the results. "That's been around for, like, two years" wasn't the response I was expecting. So yeah, while the idea is not entirely new, mine look different, I like them, they make me happy, I did it in one morning and it cost me 50 cents in materials.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Nina Pinckard Fechtner


I'm still in shock. Today I learned that my friend Nina passed away. It doesn't feel real. I've work with her for every summer for over ten years. Nina worked at the CSUS doing everything for the costume shop. She's amazing. The first thing I learned from Nina was about circular cuffs and the last thing I learned was about fabric flowers... and there is a lot in between.

She was smart and concise with a great attention to detail. Last summer at the Fair she made the overalls for the farmer on the ladder in one of the small window displays (she did most of the figurine costumes) and made tiny clasps on the overall straps and was a little bummed that the size of the brads that she used for the buttons to a bit to large to allow the clasp to actually function as a real one would.

It seems a little wrong that out of the vast vastness of Nina's wonderful work I would pick this to demonstrate her attention to detail.

As a freshman I was intimidated by her because she was so busy and possessed knowledge and skills I could not fathom. Over time I found her to be my friend and a source of information and inspiration. She helped me become a better at my craft. She taught me through her example to not rush and slap a project together (although there are times when that is called for) but to work on improving my skills and that speed will come but quality can seldom be added later. Her costumes looked great on the inside as well as the outside. She was about Quality. I really enjoyed working with her.

When I see pictures of my wedding dress (which is daily when I am home) I think of her. I was planning on making my own and she said she would help me with it. I met her in the costume shop and we started sketching. After establishing a vintage feeling silhouette Nina paused and said "let me see what we have." She disappeared into the room of closets and emerged with a vintage lace dress that they have had for years and never used. More amazingly, it fit. Nina made some slight alterations and sold me the dress for $75 (which she used to take the students who worked in the costume shop to the end of the year drama banquet). I would really like to know how many wedding dressing Nina worked over the years, I'm sure the number is astounding.

I am glad to have known her and sad to think that I won't get to continue to know her better. My heart goes out to her family during this time of unexpected loss.