Wow! It’s been several months … okay, JANUARY … since I wrote the last post! So much has happened in 8 months. This update will comprise everything from health to food to business and work. I’ll try to keep it to the Cliff Notes version.

In January, I left work at the University of Iowa (National Birth Defects Registry) for a position at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids. Since then, I have been employed as a histology tech-in-training. A histologist prepares and stains tissues from surgical procedures. Get your gallbaldder removed? We get it. Knee replacement? Hip? Tonsils removed? Yep, we get all of those, too! It’s a lot of fun!! And things change EVERY DAY. Honestly, I never imagined me on this path. And before the intervie, I had to look up what a histologist was!! However, I thoroughly enjoy my position and love learning new tasks.

In March, my husband and I opened up a gluten-free bakery based out of our home. It’s called the Maple Tree Bakery. We do mostly custom orders of breads, cookies, cakes, pies, and the like. Around this time, I started eating grains and a little dairy again. If you recall, in September 2011, our physician put us on a paleo diet. March also brought St. Patty’s day and my very first kidney infection. I’m blessed that for my first kidney infection (worst one ever), I work at Mercy and was able to be seen right away by employee health and my husband happened to take that day off work. After a good round of antibiotics, I was fully recovered. March was also planting season for the garden. We planted cherry tomatoes, Brandywine (heirloom tomato), banana pepper, jalapenos, habaneros (which never bloomed), three English rose bushes, green beans, garlic (planted last fall), lettuce, carrots, and onions. Unlike last year, I actually had to water our garden this year due to the drought. Normally our garden – at the bottom of the hill – gets enough water naturally.

April brought a few showers (the beginning of the drought in Iowa) and another kidney infection – exactly one month after the first. In fact, I had a total of 4 kidney infections, a month apart. Two doctors – actually working together – finally figured out the cause. They went through 20 questions … has anything changed – Sex? Condoms? Positions? Soap? Toilet paper? Nope. Nothing changed. I’m a creature of habit. Come to find out my hormones were out of whack. My progesterone and DHEA were low. After about 6 weeks of treatment and returning to the Paleo lifestyle to reduce inflammation, my levels are much better and as of the writing of this post, I have been infection free for 2 months!!!

In July we decided to make the bakery strictly a farmer’s market venue. We’re still filling a few orders – here and there – for friends/family. We had to get a few more thing in order before we start attending. We have a nice, large canopy. We have a folding table & chairs. And a company banner is being printed as I type. I also need to order small, farmer’s market appropriate containers. We may be able to get in a few farmer’s markets this season, but will definitely be participating next season.

In addition to business changes in July, Mercy also lost a cytologist (screens cells for abnormalities) and our supervisor. As such, we have been short staffed by 3 people since August 3rd. In order to “fill-the-gap,” I’ve been putting in more hours. I’m guaranteed 24 hours per week, but I’ve been working closer to 30. I enjoy the extra hours and I’m learning so many new things! It’s a lot of fun.

Now August is almost over and I realized how I’ve truly neglected the blog. I’ll try to start posting more often …. more than a few times a year. The blog will start to include book reviews (when I actually have time to finish a book!), environmentally-friendly cleaning and yard work, organic gardening, and delicious recipes. I hope you’re excited about it and looking forward to it as I am!


About ALM Tree

Bachelor's degree in biology-chemistry; Masters in public health. Science nerd (and proud of it!). Wine-o, beer snob, and foodie! Always has a sense of humor and looks on the bright side.
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