poppin' the TAG cherry

Since I'm fairly new to blogging, I didn't know what a TAG was, until lizzythebotantist threw one my way. Perhaps one day I will share her disdain for TAGs, but I will indulge this once :)

3 joys:
  • rainy afternoons spent on the couch with a good novel
  • making Jake laugh
  • Family dinners with mom, dad, sister, hubby, bro-in-law

3 fears:

  • infertility
  • death of a family member. Yes, I'm at peace with death and God and yet I'm not willing to share my loved ones with death.
  • making an enemy

3 goals:

  • save enough money over the next 2 years to have a nice deposit for land or home
  • do something innovative and creative with my career
  • get healthy! I've started with my weekly yoga class :)

3 obsessions: this is a hard one!

  • reading
  • blogging/ internet play time
  • making financial planning spreadsheets

3 random surprises:

  • i own my own electric drill and can use it better than most men I meet. Thanks dad!
  • i never went on a Spring Break trip in college
  • i do not say the Pledge of Allegiance (and haven't since about 11th grade)

To pass on the love: I'm tagging MOK, Kelly, and Winona


it's a secret

If you are like me and my sister, you are addicted to internet tv. We have now entered the last week before premiere week and it has been a long, dry, boring life without The Office and Ugly Betty to entertain me (this was written somewhat sarcastically). So, without new tv shows, I have spent a lot of time staring at blogs waiting for them to update and looking for new internet addictions.

Jake invited his friend Kathy over the other night and I overheard them talking about "Stumble". "What is that?", I asked ruining my incognito eavesdropping pose. It's a search engine that you download, choose your interests, and view random web pages according to those interests. Now there is a bar at the top of my screen and when I am bored, I hit "Stumble" and a random web page pops up that I might be interested in! GENIUS! I haven't made my own account yet, so I stumble through Jake's interests. Luckily, we share many interests, but I have had to throw acid in my eyes to erase the political and peak oil websites from my mind.

This was one of my first stumbles and I L-O-V-E it!


garbage insights

While browsing through the newest Real Simple magazine, the following quote made me RUN to my garbage can in search of self revelations:

The things people discard tell more about them than the things they keep.

hilda lawrence

This is what I found out (in all 4 disposal areas which include dump truck trash, paper recycling, compost, and glass/metal/plastic recycling):

  • My cat poops a lot. I mean A LOT.
  • This household has a thing for cranberry juice and tuna.
  • I should buy stock in Monistat 3. (TMI again?)
  • I compulsively open and glance at junk mail before recycling it... SUCKER!
  • I have very little trash. I'm pretty sure this is because I hate to shop and therefore rarely bring new items home.



You may remember the posting a few weeks ago entitled "Uh, Thanks?". Well, though I still prefer to think of the miniature plastic rooster cups as fertility cups as my dad suggested, here is a tale about their real use.

For my birthday, I wanted to go on a car camping trip. For those of you that don't know the difference, car camping is when you load up your car with a cooler, camp kitchen (probably only if you're married to my husband), pillows from your bed, chairs, etc. You go to a campground that has running water and pay a small fee to have your own piece of land with a picnic table. The other type of camping involves carrying your gear on your back and walking to a primitive site in the woods... no cooler, no pillows, no picnic table. I love them both, but sometimes I crave posh camping.

We invited our new friends, JP and Brit, and headed to the Columbia Gorge. We shared meal duty and the Koskers were in charge of Saturday morning breakfast. In the spirit of missing my sister and wanting to try out my favorite birthday gift, Jake and I prepared a German breakfast (please note the table cloth- I thought it was a classy and authentic touch). We served baguette with meat, cheese, fruit, tea in our German tea pot (I don't want to get JP and Brit in trouble with the LDS patrol- they did not drink our caffeinated devil tea ;), and SOFT BOILED EGGS! That is what the rooster cups are for.

What is a soft boiled egg you ask Uncle Sam? Here is my sister's recipe- I did not get her permission to share this with the World Wide Web, so if you ever use or distribute this recipe, please send her $100 yen.

"How to eat German soft-boiled eggs"

1. With a disinfected thumbtack, make a small hole in the big end of a raw egg.

2. Boil the egg for 4 minutes. The yolk will be runny, but warm.

3. Place the egg, hole up, in an egg cup. (shot glasses work)

4. Cover with egg warmer until ready to eat (you losers probably don't have egg warmers- we were given these for Christmas... I said it before and I'll say it again- Germans are obsessed with eggs!)

5. To eat, crack top off egg and scoop egg out with a small spoon. Add salt and pepper.

6. Enjoy with toast!

closing remarks: which of my readers thought that this post was going to be about penises?


Are you charting?

There is a sub-culture that one only knows of when one is in it. Women who are trying to conceive give subtle clues to each other in order to discuss this conversation taboo. Once a woman gives one of these subtle clues, if the other woman is actively in the sub-culture she will reply with "are you charting?". As a sub-culture newbie, I would say "yes". I had skimmed the books and websites that discussed this, but I always just skimmed it 'cause it was boring. Well, FYI if you answer "yes", but really just mean "I put an x on my calendar when my . starts"- you messed up. You won't get kicked out of the secret, subtle, pseudo club, but you'd better start tracking your ovulation cycle with thermometers, pee sticks, and a handful of old wives tales.



I know that it's kind of taboo to talk about trying to conceive (TTC), but I'm gonna put it out there. My hope it that someone out there will have the magic advice which will change my TTC into an embryo :)

It's been about 5 months now that we Kosker's have been at it (haha) and my good attitude is growing thin. I know that it takes up to a year for the average couple, but I am impatient. Though I have talked to a few people who had to be patient, I also have a few fertility goddesses as friends. Man am I jealous.

Jake and I were so sure of ourselves that we started trying on the month we planned to conceive. Yes, we planned it all out. We had worked out the entire pregnancy to fit perfectly into our scheduled lives. Naive, a bit. Optimistic, a lot!

So, now that I'm 27, I hope that my eggs are perkin' up!


Did it hurt? When you fell from Heaven?

Ok... serious problem in the Kosker marriage! We are nearing the end of Jake's bi-monthly 6-day, 12-hour shifts. After we hurried through our hour together (which includes Jake showering, eating, and any other normal daily to-dos), I informed Jake that though he will be off the next 2 evenings- I won't. He then replied, "I'd like to date you. If we weren't married, I'd date you."

How's that for a look into our marriage? YIKES! Luckily we have a weekend trip planned- so I'll have plenty of opportunities to "date" my husband. Yes, that's what we kids are calling it these days.


I like the ones that dangle.

In the latter years of High School, I made a HUGE shift. I shifted right on over to the neighboring school district and became friends with a great (read: smart and hot) group of guys. Literally, I switched from being completely ignored by the guys at my school to having my pick of invitations every weekend. It's important to mention that though I was surrounded by awesome guys, I was still perpetually single.

After awhile there was one girl from their school district who became my friend. Now that I think of it, it's odd that there was only one girl and about 10 guys that were my friends. For Freudian insight on that refer to the title of this blog ;)

Lizzythebotanist was that friend. I suppose she didn't see me as a threat (she had a boyfriend) and we had some fun times. She is a fellow blogger and I've noticed that in 95% of the photos that she posts, she is wearing huge dangely earrings. They rock! She has since sent ("sent" is not the right word. Let's just move on 'cause that's what I came up with.) her sis-in-law (blogger, Beeta and Peeps) to Oregon. Yup, her sis-in-law is equally stylin' with her awesome earrings.

I recently posted a picture of myself with dangley earrings (post: let's revisit manners). I bought them on my annual shopping trip with my mom and Vicki (my personal shopper). Shannon, an old friend, was quick to notice the un-Julie-like dangles. Shannon and I have mastered the style of nature girl meets outdoorsy girl meets professional girl. We laugh about our style because it is unique yet we dress so much alike.

Anyway, I've decided that it's going to be my new thing. The dangley earrings glam up all of my plain boring clothes and make me feel like a vixen. Watch out Jake! (yikes- there are no parentheses in this paragraph!)


Freezer Teaser

Well my friends, you didn't guess the right answer. The most common guesses revolved around Jake's love of hunting. Yes, I do have a FULL bird (feathers included) in my freezer, but fortunately for my gag-reflex, this freezer teaser was much more benign.

IT WAS FROZEN BANANAS! Let's sing that horrid pop song: "This sh** is bananas. B.A.N.A.N.A.S." Yes, they were peeled bananas and when thawed, they were goo... but bananas nonetheless.

In fact, little did Jake's and my coworkers know when they were enjoying my Suzie Homemaker Banana Bread... they were eating the stuff while trying to solve the Freezer Teaser. Mwahahaha... soon I will conquer the world with my clever irony!


Happy Birthday to me!

Today I turn 27! WOW! That sounds strange. 26 was close to half-way between 20 and 30. Now I'm solidly closer to 30. My thoughts might change in the future, but I am still at the point when I am happy about having an older age. I feel as though I'll get more respect when I'm done with my 20s. I also plan to have a family and own a house and land in my 30s. So, BRING IT ON 27--- I've been anxiously awaiting you!

27 things I love about my life:

  1. My hubby. I blog about him a lot, but I never describe the countless thoughtful things he does for me daily. Truly, he does at least one nice thing every day. He might think I don't notice, but I do! Yesterday he cleaned his desk, picked apples and pears for us, AND made the bed (which he almost always does anyway, but it still makes me happy to find a freshly made bed when I crawl in!).
  2. My family. We're not perfect, but we're pretty darn close to one of those happy, loving TV families! I try to not take it for granted.
  3. PICKEL. Despite her current fleas, she still brings joy to my life.
  4. Having a plethora of good friends.
  5. The new friends that I've made in Oregon. I have been so lucky to meet great people at work.
  6. Having an adventurous sister who I will get to see this year!
  7. Being able to afford mini-vacations/ adventures once or twice a month.
  8. Being able to walk, climb, swim, dance. My body is the only SUV I need!
  9. Knowing that my childhood home is still there- it's a nice security blanket.
  10. Knowing that Lutherlyn will always be around.
  11. Eating chocolate hazelnut in every form.
  12. The kids at my school. I'm so happy to see them every day!
  13. Having a lush garden and the roses that I enjoy tending.
  14. READING!
  15. Being able to play the piano and sing.
  16. Having a husband who willingly does the grocery shopping and cooking!
  17. Being married to my best friend and adventure guide.
  18. Being raised next-door to my Krumich grandparents. I feel so lucky to know them so well. Can't wait for their visit next month!
  19. Laughter. I have a lot of that in my life.
  20. My body. It's far from ideal, but it works for me!
  21. Having a lifestyle that allows me to indulge in the things that are important to me.
  22. Being raised in the technology age!
  23. Having 2 college degrees.
  24. Living in Oregon and planning my future in Pennsylvania. The best of both worlds!
  25. Being on-line. I heart the internet!
  26. Living in a world that encourages dreams.

  27. Having people in my life that care about me!

Uh... Thanks?

I received a Birthday Teaser from my sister and brother-in-law. Can anyone give me any clues as what what these miniature plastic rooster cups with matching spoons are for? They said it was from the DDR :) Whatever they are- they're HILARIOUS! I'm going to be serving an once of soup or SOMETHING in them as often as possible!

(sorry for the image quality- it's 5am)


at what price?

Every so often, my hubby has the opportunity to work over-time. As all working middle-class know, over-time pay rocks ones socks off! Since I am equally determined to meet our financial goals each month, I started a part-time job.

I am a Psychiatric Crisis Mental Health Screener. Yup, pretty much as intense as it sounds. Basically I meet with people who are at risk to commit suicide. I then determine whether they need to be hospitalized or if there is a less extreme way to help them. The perks are that there are quite a few awesome people that work there and on slow days- we get to sit around and shoot the shit (quite literally! recently I had a huge discussion about Leave No Trace packing out poop when backpacking.). However, for every slow day, there are multiple crazy days!

Now that school is back in session, I am required to work one 4-hour shift a week which includes being on-call for 15-hours. So, the worst case scenario is that I'll have to work from 5pm- 8am on a school night. YIKES!

Last Friday I was talking to my boss on the phone as he was making his semi-frequent calls to get more coverage (we are mega short staffed!). I was exhausted at 1pm on the first Friday of the school year, but ever wanting to please others- I picked up the nightly on-call shift. That evening as I was trying to focus on the psychotic client that I was screening at 1:30 am in the ER, my thoughts paused on this thought "what price do I put on my own life and what is this job costing me?".

Saturday night is my usual shift and as I was hurriedly finishing up the garden fresh green bean casserole that Jake requested, he and I had a few minutes to chat before both heading off to work. The conversation went like this: "Julie, I want you to quit that job.". I guess it wasn't much of a conversation :) I have ignored his request, but am determined to not pick-up any more shifts out of the kindness of my heart.

Now I must finish this blog as it is time to squeeze a nap into my day!


Freezer Teaser

Here's a little contest for my readers! Whoever comments first with the correct answer will win a snail mail surprise from me (ok, I don't have the prize yet, but there will be a prize and snail mail is so exciting!).

Inside my freezer you will find, delicious treats of every kind. Make your guesses, I won't mind. Tell me what was in my freezer, help me out of this bind.

Contest how-to: Post a comment with your answer. If you don't think that I have your address, please email me your address. My email is: koskersidlewild@gmail.com. IF the comment feature isn't working, you can email your answer and I will still be able to tell what time each person posted or emailed their answer. The winner will also be featured in an upcoming blog.

Please note: my husband, the household chef, is not eligible for this contest.


PETA, this is not what it looks like

Creepy, crawly, critters have taken up shop in my cats fur.
Last month we noticed the flea problem, dropped some goo on Pickel's neck, and patted ourselves on the back for being good parents. However, when we returned home from a recent road trip, we noticed flea dirt everywhere. OOPS!!! So, despite our end-of-a-roadtrip fatique, Jake jumped back in the car to buy some reinforcements.

Pickel was so good about it! The shampoo helped a lot and she let us pick a gazillion more off of her while she was still wet. Currently she is curled up in my lap enjoying some rest after her days of relentless itching. Either she has no memory and therefore cannot hold a grudge, or is smart enough to fully appreciate why we tortured her and is being affectionate to show her gratitude. I know that we have not yet conquered the fleas, but soon, very soon!


let's revisit manners

So, my first mega concert in over 10 years was fun, HOWEVER I will not be attending another (the only exception would be for Jack Johnson). Unfortunately we missed OAR and I'm a bigger fan of them than I am of Dave Matthews (don't spit on me- I like them too). I'm not sure when OAR played, we were only a 40 minutes late and they were already taking the stage down from the intro band to prepare for DMB. Perhaps the time on the ticket was wrong? Bummer.

Jake and I were aggressive and weaseled ourselves into a spot that we thought would be perfect. It was about as close as you can get with lawn seats and we were on the edge of our step- so we thought we'd have a great view for the evening while sitting in our Crazy Creek chairs munching on baguette and cheese. We're high class.

When I pay money for a concert, I want to hear the concert. I do NOT want to hear 10,000 drunk fraternity/sorority kids (not to stereotype, but let's face it- that's who primarily goes to these things) yelling the lyrics and "woooooo yeah" every 5 seconds. Jake was the one that noticed that every "wooo" is followed by a "yeah". This fact should be interesting to future anthropologists.

Additionally, it is not polite to stand during concerts- specifically, it is not polite to stand in front of me. Even once I stood with 3 inches of ground between me and a huge step, people still butted in front of me. I don't care where we are- that is rude. I also hate 2nd hand smoke, whatever it is your smoking next to me. I do not think you're cool, I do not want to smile at you, and I do not want to share my blanket or food with you.

My mama is proud that she raised me to be annoyed by these things. I'm afraid that I'm destined for a life of classical music concerts. So, my kids may not know who Jimi Hendrix was, is that so bad???

Though I have my complaints about the concert, the venue was breathtaking!


this is how I roll... in the hay

So, as promised it is time for me to share WHERE I SLEPT this weekend :) First I want to set the story up...

A few weeks ago we were in PA celebrating the wedding of Heath and Jess.

Since they are a fellow Lutherlyn (http://www.lutherlyn.com/) couple, we share A LOT of friends. Their wedding was truly the highlight of my summer. Yes I'm super happy that Heath found his match, but really the wedding for me was all about old friends. The Lutherlyners at the wedding are known among camp as the "Lifers", people who never really leave summer camp. These people range in age from 21-60 (ok, I don't know how old everyone is... we might be past the 60 mark!) and yet they are the most wonderful group of people. Being around them is like wearing my lucky underwear. I feel comfortable, at ease, inspired (yeah, my undies are that good), and everything just fits. I think the last one is the biggest for me- I can be around a lot of diverse people and have a good time, but rarely do I truly fit-in. Here's a pic of some of them:

I think they're telling me to shove a fork in it and put the camera away!

Since we are camp people, of course there was a group of us that camped after the wedding (it helps that the wedding was held at the farm co-owned by Heath http://www.blackberrymeadows.com/). Jake and I were in a tent borrowed from my sister (oh, Marianne- we borrowed your tent. Please and Thank You.) The other 20-40 year olds were also in tents. My parents on the other hand were in this:

They admitted that for a fraction of a second they felt silly that they were the only 50-year-olds camping out, but I think they quickly realized that that just made them cool.

So, inspired by the VW bus idea, Jake and I turned our small Toyota Matrix into a fabulous traveling bed!! We can both lay flat and it has many perks over tenting in certain situations. The DMB concert was one such occasion as were the naps we took in shaded parking lots throughout our weekend roadtrip!