Sunday, December 06, 2009

A Very Feminine Christmas

When it comes to home decorating, Leonard gives me full reign. Perhaps because he understands the joy I feel when it comes to choosing furniture and home accessories, he allows me complete executive decision-making power in this area. I couldn't be happier with the arrangement and express my gratitude frequently. Not wanting to take unfair advantage of the situation, I try to take Leonard into account when making home decorating decisions. Before purchasing our light grey sofa, I imagined a hoodied Leonard lounging comfortably on its textured fabric. Likewise, when choosing our plaid green entryway rug, I happily felt it would compliment a sock-footed Leonard ruling his roost.

Any considerations of Leonard were abandoned, however, when it came to choosing this year's Christmas tree.

The soft pink branches beckoned.

The bright pink lights begged to brighten up my family room.

Ultimately I fell helplessly into the bubblegum pink tree's sugary sweet trap. The pull was so strong, I never put Leonard into the equation. In the end, I think he looks adorable in front of the tree, and he really didn't mind too much.

The tree is (obviously) fake. The manufacturer promises durable commercial-grade PVC plastic branches that are destined to last years. Which means that for Leonard, Christmas will symbolize not only faith, family, and celebration, but also, perhaps, an abuse of power.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Daring Bakers Challenge October 2009

Better late than never!

The 2009 October Daring Bakers' challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

French macarons, a dessert I had never before tried, comprised October's Daring Bakers Challenge. I was very excited for this challenge as I had seen the small, colorful macarons on various food blogs. They have a reputation of being very finicky, requiring meringue at just the right firmness, whipping in the almond flour with a spatula but not overwhipping, and baking at the right temperature. In the end (after a couple of tries), they turned out great! I chose to make the basic recipe and fill with buttercream.
Many of the Daring Bakers were having difficulty with the original recipe, so I ended up using this one.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Leonard Husbandry

Man is frequently messing with nature for his own benefit. Left to their own devices, animals will perform tasks to suit themselves under specific conditions. For example, in nature the honeybee will arrange its hexagonal honeycomb into clusters of whatever shape dictated by instinct or maybe even artistry. However, when placed into the modern hive, the honeycomb will be arranged in an orderly fashion onto the provided foundation slats, making it easy for the beekeeper to slip out those slats and take the honey as needed.

Leonardism: Having worked for years as a tool man at Sears to help put himself through school, my Leonard is handy. He doesn't shun from the necessary "man-chores" around the house, and actually seems to enjoy them. With level and drill in hand, he keeps our home in tip-top shape. Leonard prefers to work his magic during his downtime, such as a late Saturday morning after adequate sleeping in or on a lazy day off. Under those conditions, Leonard will happily hum as he busily tends to our home's needs. When a job is finished, we'll both admire his handiwork as I sing his praises and he smiles and puffs out his chest. It's a nice arrangement. Every now and then, however, I feel the need to ask for his handy skills at a not so convenient time.

Documentation is vital to every good experiment

Last week I decided I'd had it with our utility closet. Low on the priority list after we moved in, we'd been using it as a receptacle for anything related to cleaning, with mops, broom, and ironing board leaning against the walls. Disorg
anized and not living up to its functionality potential, I couldn't stand it anymore. I had bought some organizational accessories awhile back, and decided that I couldn't wait another day before they were hung. It was an evening after work, and I knew this wouldn't sit well with Leonard. My mind raced back to my Undergrad days in Biology. I had the perfect specimen for the job at hand, but the wrong conditions. If I could only manipulate those conditions to become more favorable, perhaps the test subject would perform. It was a good hypothesis. I mentally listed the needed conditions:

Condition 1: baseline overall feeling of contentment

Condition 2: accessibility of needed supplies

Condition 3: sense of importance and need

Condition 4: post-task praising, to ensure future success

Dinner was made. I waited for Leonard's compliment: "Th
anks, Honey that was great!" he said smiling. Condition 1 - accomplished. Quickly, before he was able to maneuver to the couch for well-deserved resting, I diverted him to the laundry room, where his tools awaited, organized and ready. Condition 2 - check. I could sense his unwillingness, so I smoothly transitioned to reminding him how grateful I was that he was so handy and our home wouldn't function so well were it not for his skills. Condition 3: condition met, with a smattering of guilt. Leonard sighed, picked up his tools, and went to work. When he was finished we had a perfectly organized utility closet. Hands on hips, I shook my head in wonder saying things like "Wow, that's amazing," "Handy, handy man!" and "look at you go!" Leonard's reluctant exterior faded, and he bashfully smiled. Condition 4 - cemented.

The Completed Closet

Look out, Leonard. Next time I might decide to rearrange the living room furniture at 2 a.m.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Farm Girl, City Girl

The view from my parent's front porch

I grew up out in the country. My family moved from our red brick house on a quiet street to an 80 acre span of hillside 5 miles outside of our small rural town when I was 11 years old. Growing up on a hill surrounded by fields was a wonderful experience. I'd hop off the bus and walk home, then go exploring the countryside with Sherman and Betsy, the world's two best dogs. In the fall if my mom needed an onion for a recipe, it was only a matter of grabbing one from a nearby field. In the summertime I'd awaken to the sound of crop duster planes flying close to our house. On my then-tween little sister's birthday, we sang karaoke late into the night without any worry of neighbors being disturbed. Although the situation turned my mom into a 24 hour taxi service into town, the advantages of the peaceful country life had me convinced that was what I wanted in the future.

Me and my roommate Anica on the balcony of our apartment in Spain, 2001

This conviction was challenged when I spent six months abroad in Spain. Although the city I was living in wasn't a metropolis, it was large and compact. I learned that what the city lacked in space it made up for in accessibility and culture. Within a half of a block of my apartment I had access to a bread store, coffee shop, candy store, and park. I spent hours walking the streets of the city, stopping occasionally to sit with the old men at the train station or to drink a glass of peach juice at a cafe while people-watching. Every open space was shared, and I never felt more social.

When Leonard and I became serious, we'd talk a lot about our future. What would life be like after school? Who would be in charge of the dishes? What would work be like? But most of our conversations settled around the question, Where would we live? I tried to convince Leonard to live in a city, at least for a few years. I even tried talking him into applying to P.A. schools in New York City but it just wasn't his thing. So I painted a picture of life in the country, with chickens and an overabundant garden. He'd be fine with that, just unsure if it would work out right away. "What about the suburbs?" he'd say. "We'd be close to things, but still have a nice yard, and our kids could have friends nearby." I'd suddenly get a case of the 'dry heaving because the thought of that disgusts me' attacks. Leonard would smile, and we'd move on to musing over whether our firstborn would have dimples or facial hair. For me, future home location was either city or country, black or white. I wasn't open to anything in between.

A chilly fall morning in the 'burbs

We now live in the suburbs. In the most suburby of subdivisions in the first and largest suburb of a not so large city. We live on a street where mailbox stands are shared between neighbors, and if the weeds in your lawn get out of control you get a friendly notice in the mail. But we also live 5 minutes from work and just a short trip to the nearest Costco. Walks around the neighborhood result in a minimum of three conversations with people who are also out and about. Neighbors are more than happy to lend their tall ladder or give a cup of sugar when needed. Afternoons are filled with people riding bikes and the sound of kids playing basketball. I still occasionally dream of skyscrapers and chickens, but I've come to learn that maybe I am a Suburb girl after all.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Daring Bakers Challenge September 2009

The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

I've been stalking the Daring Bakers for over a year now, and finally got the courage to join. Every month includes a challenge with specific restrictions. The terms of the challenge this month were to create the cup-shaped Vols-au-Vent pastries, but I had full reign over how to fill them.

I chose two different types of fillings: sweet and savory.

My sweet filling consists of a hardened layer of dark chocolate with a central dolop of vanilla mousse. I was inspired by a pastry I enjoyed while living in Spain.

This is my savory pastry - the cup is filled with a layer of thin small potatoes topped with a layer of thinly sliced Spanish Sweet onions and drizzled with a balsamic syrup. I was inspired by the bag of humongous onions I have in my pantry that came straight from my Dad's shed. Thanks Dad!

I knew they were a success when Leonard asked, "Do they have a challenge every week?" I've never made puff pastry before and the whole experience was a lot of fun. The pastry is very versatile and I look forward to being more creative with it in the future.

For more info on Daring Bakers, go here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wigging Out

Today my patient told me my hair looks like a wig.

I took note of her bright pink scrunchie and breakfast-encrusted collar and thanked her for the compliment.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Labor Day 2009

This Labor Day Weekend I:

Sutured a scalp laceration

(sorry, picture not available)

Made a birthday cake:

Hung out with family and friends visiting from out of town:


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I Can.

I've decided that canning is going to be a part of my life. I courted it last year with grape juice, applesauce, and apple pie filling. The year apart was tough, and when we finally met up again this summer I realized that I'm not whole without it.

Last week Leonard and I canned peaches. We began at the orchards where we bought 40 lbs of thin-skinned blemish-free peaches from a surprisingly spry old farmer. We chatted as we blanched, peeled, stoned, and heated the fruit. We scrambled while packing the hot fruit into the hot jars. We furrowed our brows and consulted one another as we examined each bottle for air bubbles. Our eyes met with proud smiles when the lids would
plink indicating a seal. Once our 20 quarts were processed they stayed on our table for two days, just so I could look at them.

I think one thing I like about canning is that the attention to every step in the process contributes to the overall quality of the product. I also love the thought of preserving delicious summer and fall flavors for later in the year. I'm definitely a beginner, and I've got a lot to learn.
These are the tomatoes we recently canned. We bought them from our 87 year old neighbor. Behind his house is a huge plot with hundreds of squash and tomato plants. He cares for his wife with Alzheimer's and grows delicious tomatoes he sells for 30 cents/lb. His wife can no longer can, so he does it all himself. Two teaspoons of sugar and one teaspoon of salt for every quart is his preferred recipe. He told us he only buys one tomato per year, when he has a BLT craving in the middle of the winter.
Canning takes effort and patience. I talked to my sisters on the phone while peeling these tomatoes. I also listened to music and spent some time thinking about important things. Like how tomato red would make a great accent color in my kitchen.

I've never really thought of how I would be described when I pass from this world, but I'd like "avid canner" to be in there somewhere.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Garden Dreams

Just over one year ago I was in central Oregon on my General Surgery rotation. When I wasn't doing exciting things like suturing skin back together, clamping arteries, controlling the camera during laparoscopy, inspecting newly resected bowel for tumors, inserting catheters, and being agressively quizzed about the indications for endoscopy, I was standing and waiting. Surgeries can last for hours at a time (the longest was seven!), and sitting is considered wimpy.

During these long stretches of time I became a master daydreamer. While maintaining steady pressure while retracting back layers of tissue, I was designing the perfect birthday cake. As I forced my eyes to appear interested and earnest as I observed the surgeon perform the twentieth gallbladder removal I'd seen, I created throw pillows for my home. While holding up the pannus of a morbidly obese woman during a hernia repair, Leonard and I were on a beach enjoying the perfect vacation.

The majority of my daydreaming time, however, was spent in my future garden. It was huge, with rows upon rows of peas, corn, carrots, and other produce that I had raised from single seeds. In the late morning, wearing my fashionable gardening apron that I had designed during an appendectomy, I would weed, fertilize, and tend my garden. While Leonard looked on sipping homemade lemonade whose recipe I had pondered during a colonoscopy, I was harvesting my crops. While repetitively contracting and relaxing my leg muscles to prevent fatigue from prolonged immobility during a long operation, I was cooking my harvest and pouring the product into canning jars outfitted with labels that bore the name "Farmer George Canned Goods," a title I had come up with during a fine needle biopsy. These moments in my imaginary garden were a respite from the intense, sleep deprived life that I had voluntarily signed up for. The garden represented all things that my life was not: slow, calm, relaxed, balanced. Scolding myself for the infliction I had put myself through, I vowed that my gardening dreams would be a reality the following spring.

Here we are now, over one year later. Leonard and I moved into our home too late in the season for a sizeable garden, and had to settle for a few plants in our backyard flower beds. Next year we plan on having raised beds, and my gardening dreams should come true. Still, some part of me feels I have betrayed my one year younger self. That is, until the other day after work, when Leonard and I were in the backyard. We noticed that a small, green tomato had erupted from one of our tomato plants. Excitedly, we inspected this small fruit and made plans for late summer meals. I realized then that my dream of a slower, more relaxed life had come to pass. There is a season for everything, and now is a time of transition. Over the next year I've got to plan and execute my design for raised beds, and of course sew the perfect fashionable gardening apron. I think surgery Megan with her dark under eye circles would approve.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Carrots and Alcohol

I once read a story about the moment in time when a young mother realized she was truly a mom. She was in the car, husband driving, on the way to a wedding. She was feeding her infant baby food which as expected became a carroty mess all over the baby's cheeks and nose. When they arrived to the wedding she realized that she had forgotten to bring wipes or towels. In a rush and not wanting her child to be a mess at a nice event, she licked the baby's cheeks and nose clean.


That story made me laugh and wonder if I would ever have that type of relationship with someone needing my help.

Recently in clinic I saw a patient I've been seeing frequently since starting my new job. He has a history of alcohol abuse and I was concerned that he had started drinking again, though he denied this. While doing his abdominal exam, I pressed on his liver. "Take a deep breath in," I instructed. He did so, and then I further instructed "Good, now breathe slowly out of your mouth." At this point I leaned in as closely as possible to his face while still being inconspicuous. As he breathed out I took a slow, deep breath in through my nose. There it was, the nasty smell of stale alcohol on his breath and I had just inhaled it all. My suspicions were confirmed. The freaky thing is that instead of being disgusted I was happy that I had found this clue.

I don't have children yet like this young mother. But I think I get it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend 2009

This Memorial Day weekend Leonard's parents came to visit:

We had a wonderful time with them, as usual. Please come back soon, Ron and Irene! We loved having you here!

We also hosted our first dinner party at our house, complete with family from both sides:

It was the first dinner party, but it won't be the last - mark my words!

Staged photo with excellent acting, or two sisters in-law congenially having a good time or both? You decide:

We also celebrated my Dad's birthday along with the birthday of this guy, my brother Joey. I love you so much it hurts, Joey!:

The End.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Maybe House" No More

Leonard and I have bought a house.

When we finally found it among what seemed like the millions that we toured, we dubbed it "Favorite House" for obvious reasons. When our offer was accepted, we started simply calling it "The House" and then when the typical bumps in the road until closing began to appear it was known as "Maybe House." One week before closing it's status upgraded to "Likely House" and today it is now "Our House."
There is one "Twin House" in our neighborhood.

As you can see, Leonard and I are into nicknames for things.

Like when I get into the passenger side of the car and he places a mountain of books, papers, movies to be returned, etc. onto my lap and says "Here you go, Shelf."

Or when we drive to my parent's house in Nyssa and know that we will lose cell phone coverage once we pass "Horse Hill," where sad-looking horses are balancing precariously on the steep incline of a hillside. "Honey, you might want to finish that call, we're almost at Horse Hill."

Here is our favorite tree in front of our house. It's shape looks exaggerated like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, so it is now known as "Dr. Seuss Tree." I don't yet know it's real genus and species, but even when I find that out, it's name won't change.

The day we got the keys, Leonard surprised me by wrapping a big red bow around the front door. We ran into the house and walked around forever. I began to wonder how long it would take for this house to feel like home. When Leonard started making loud chicken noises to see how they would echo, I knew it was a done deal.

Eventually we laid in the living room with our feet on the fireplace. Immediately both of us noticed it - the lights above the fireplace looked like eyes and the mantle a mouth, leading to a face with a serious expression. Right then and there those particular lights became christened "The Eyes." Last nigh Leonard reminded me, "Sweetheart, don't forget to turn off The Eyes before bed."

I can't wait for the years we are going to spend in this house, along with all the nicknames yet to be formed. I'll continue to post photos as we get settled, but for now I need to go to Bedroom #1 and unpack some boxes.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

D-Backs and Dragons

Leonard and I are relaxing with the George's here in Arizona.
Perks of being a member of this family include delicious Irene-cooked meals, Ronnieisms, and laying out by the pool for hours at a time.

Last night I enjoyed my first major league baseball game.

Ron of course was dressed for the occasion:

Here's the crew:

On the way home from the game, Leonard's sister Mandy was telling us about her new Bishop. "He told me I was a spit-fire. He doesn't even really know me yet, how can he know that about me? I mean, I AM a spit-fire, but you know what I mean." Leonard broke the ensuing silence as each in the car tried to figure out how to respond. "Maybe he thought you looked like a dragon?!."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

On Making Do

During the times of World War II, my grandma Dorothy would paint her legs black with shoe polish every Sunday for church to mimic the look of hose. She'd even draw a line up the backs of her legs for the seam. The generation that lived through that time made do with what they had, and even though my own generation is spoiled in comparison, I am always pleasantly surprised at the creative things people will do to get by with what they've got. Once my brother Jimmy and his family visited us in Portland, and both of his adorable sons were impressively in a good mood after the 3 hour drive from Seattle. As I helped unload the car I noted a portable DVD player, duct taped backwards to the front seat console to allow the boys to watch cartoons.

As a teenager, I once rode with Jimmy in the "farm pickup" to irrigate the fields. As I shut the passenger side door it swung back open immediately. Jimmy reached over and hooked a bungie cord from his door to mine to keep them closed. It worked well for the job at hand.

Financial strain is an obvious reason for making do. I see this frequently when doing physical exams on my patients in clinic. I've seen newborns wearing clothes for a 6 month old, frayed bras held together with safety pins, suspenders holding up pants that are 4 sizes too big.

Laziness is another common culprit. I've been wearing my last pair of 2 week disposable contacts for the past 3 months, simply because the thought of finding a new optometrist, scheduling an appointment at a convenient time, etc. etc. takes too much energy.

Recently Leonard's cell phone malfunctioned for a few days. He was able to hear me but I couldn't hear him. Luckily, I could hear the beeping sound made when he would push a button on the keypad.

Our conversations went something like this:

Me: Hi sweetheart, are you on your way to pick me up? Press a button once for yes and twice for no.

Him: Beep.

Me: Oh, that's nice. I had a pretty good day today, I'm almost done with my charts. I was thinking about Cuban Mojito chicken for dinner, what do you think? Press a button once if you think this sounds good.

Him: Beep.

Me: Great! Are you very far away? Press a button once if you are more than 5 minutes away, twice if you're closer than that.

Him: Beep, Beep.

Me: Oh, I didn't realize that! Are you in the parking lot right now waiting for me? Press a button once for yes.

Him: Beep.

Me: Oh, o.k. I love you. Press a button if you love me too.

Him: Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!

Me (laughing): Aw, shucks. I'll be right out. Press a button once for goodbye.

Him: Beep.

Me: Goodbye.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I work at one of those clinics

The kind of clinic where:

I have to sternly tell a 21 year old patient with a mohawk: "Hey, don't punch our walls!" as his temper flares as I'm trying to remove a foreign body from his eye.

I go to the local homeless shelter after work to hand deliver appointment information to my patient with recently diagnosed lung cancer, because there is no other way to get a hold of him.

I walk into a room and think "hmmm...KFC and wet dog" when greeting my new patient. The latter is confirmed as I notice copious dog hair on the back of her shirt.

The building is old and rickety, I don't stretch my legs too far under my desk for fear of spider webs.

And I love it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Yesterday Two Birthdays Were Celebrated

Birthday #1 - The Relief Society of the LDS Church

Though technically founded on March 17, yesterday our Relief Society met for a 167th birthday bash. I've always been so impressed with the way a group of women from the Relief Society can get things done efficiently, such as pulling off a post-funeral luncheon with only a short day's notice or sewing a hundred quilts for families in a war ravaged nation in a month's time.

I had signed up to decorate a birthday table, mostly to force myself to get to know other ladies. The theme could be whatever I wanted. I considered cool themes like 1970s disco party or Space Invaders. When my mom informed me that she was making spring cupcakes for her ward's birthday bash, I decided to tag along and turn my table into a Spring Themed Birthday.

The cupcakes were fun to make. I especially liked the chocolate butterflies.

Birthday #2 - Chuck Norris

I had no idea it was Chuck's birthday yesterday until Leonard informed me in a serious tone, almost as though he expected me to feel guilty that I hadn't yet called him and it was getting late. I've never been into Chuck Norris movies, but Leonard thinks they're cool and celebrated by telling me "Chuck Norris is Tough" jokes.

Here are a few of my favorites:
-There is no such thing as evolution, just a list of species that Chuck Norris has allowed to survive.
-They say the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Unless Chuck Norris is on the other side, in which case the grass is soaked with blood and tears.
-Chuck Norris counted to infinity....twice.
-Little kids wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas.
-Chuck Norris once kicked a horse in the chin. It's descendants were known as giraffes.

Yeah, Chuck Norris is pretty tough and it makes you wonder if there's ever an opponent that could beat him. I wonder, though, how he'd fare against a few seasoned Relief Society sisters.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Best Investment

"You're more picky about a house than you were about your mate."

Leonard spoke these words tonight, trying to get me to smile after another day of frustrations with house hunting. His other tactics included washing the dishes, dancing in the kitchen, and singing about his probiotic yogurt in falsetto: "Here comes acidophilus, into my a-stomagus!"

It worked, of course.

His statement got me thinking.

When we drive up to a home I've pretty much already made up my mind. I'll smile pleasantly while thinking things like "What's that weird chunk of brick doing stuck on the side there?" or "Where's the house, all I see is garage." Don't even get me started on columns. I'll drop all considerations of a house based on the shape of the windows or the angle of the kitchen counter. If I don't feel like I can live with the color of the cabinets, there's really no need to continue the tour.

It's a curse, but one I will protect at all cost.

If only I could find a house the way I found Leonard. His curb appeal was fantastic. He got me interested with his baby face good looks and chivalrous manners. He was a little shy during our first interactions, which kept me intrigued to see what was inside. Every door I finally opened was a pleasant surprise. "Wow, I had no idea utmost respect for his mother was even in there!" "No way! Hand holding in public? I've always wanted that!" And oh, the upgrades! Humor beyond what I'd ever interacted with. Superb sincerity. Sweeping good naturedness. Sustainable goofiness.

I didn't need to be picky about Leonard because I was blown away by all that he had to offer. I'm just lucky the deal worked out.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

By Royal Decree...

I married into royalty.

My father in-law has been lovingly and respectfully referred to as "King Ron" for years. Just as truth turns to legend which in turn becomes myth, it is unclear how exactly this nickname came about. Whatever the origin, it fits perfectly. Regally cloaked in his Big Dog t-shirt with his trusty wooden back scratcher as scepter, he pronounces his wise and merciful judgments on all aspects of life at the George household. His lessons, opinions, and commentary have stuck with me.
"I'll never forgive what he did to that sweet little Kidman girl," he'll pronounce whenever Tom Cruise is mentioned.
"It can't be worse than 8 years of Bozo" whenever current politics are discussed.
"Ron likes it cold. Cold. Cold. Cold." he'll sing and whistle merrily if anyone mentions the ambient temperature while piling on another blanket.
(Similarly, he'll croon "Ron likes toast. Toast. Toast. Toast." while making breakfast).
"Come on in! Take off your skin! And rattle around in your bones!!" This welcoming call will greet a a high school friend of Leonard's when they come by to visit.

During our last visit I had the great opportunity of spending afternoon upon afternoon watching various daytime Judge shows with Ron. Although the defendants and plaintiffs were ridiculous and therefore very amusing, it was Ron's commentary and excitement about what was taking place that kept me entertained. Sitting on the couch, watching King Ron in his throne-recliner become worked up over the legal disputes that somehow continually involved cuts of meat, I was filled with overwhelming admiration and respect for this noble man. I felt fortunate and blessed, passing hours of time at his side.

And just as a royal subject feels the need to express admiration through words such as "sire" and actions like tipping a feathered hat while bowing, I too felt the need to praise my King Ron. Attempt after attempt however, fell flat, and I only had myself to blame. Teasing Ron has become a favorite past time of myself and Leonard. I won't go into the specifics of our teasing here, but suffice it to say that in addition to being benevolent and gracious, Ron is also patient. "Ronnie, I had so much fun today watching Judge Joe Brown with you," I'd attempt. Ron would raise his eyebrows and wait for the punchline. Frustrated, I'd try again later. "Ron, this really has been a fun trip, spending so much time together... and stuff." Ron, frowning, would search my face, wondering what I was up to.

Words wouldn't work, and my years of witty jokes at Ron's expense were the cause. But I just couldn't let it go, I needed to express my feelings. So I did the next best thing I could think of. Recipes were gathered, decorating tips were polished, and pastry bags unfurled. Hours were spent in the kitchen, every second of my labor a testament to Ron's rightful place at the head of the George line.

And when King Ron placed my sugary sweet crown atop his stately head, I knew my appreciation was well received.

All hail Ron, King of the Georges.