Wendy Ankrom Comisar
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Craig

Wendy

Baby Isaac

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My Biography

I was born on February 20, 1979 in Marietta, OH. My parents Linda and Randy should have known I was going to have a mind of my own. My conception defied all of the modern contraceptive odds, and I survived my birth after being strangled (we’re talking almost no heartbeat) by my umbilical cord.

            

 

 

After my mom finished graduate school at Ohio University, my family moved to Marietta permanently. I grew up there at 106 Muskingum Dr. In 1984 my dearest wish finally came true when I became the big sister of Kimberly. I always took my responsibilities as a big sister very seriously.

Kim would be smiling more if she only knew what great fun I had in store for her.

I loved to be read to by my Dad, to cook, and to do craft projects. My dad would read to me for hours at a time…as long as I would comb his hair for him. If he stopped for a minute to rest, I commanded, “Read!” 

I threw my first dinner party at about age 6 after receiving The New Junior Cookbook as a gift. My special repertoire was cornflake chicken, green bean casserole and no-knead yeast rolls. I also cooked my father’s birthday dinner—it must have been his 35th or so—complete with a birthday cake made from scratch. 

I was also always dreaming up new projects…not much has changed. Today, after I finished decorating our house and designing our garden and decorating my parent's new house, my newest projects are for the new baby. I always laugh when people ask if we’ve started putting together the baby’s room. A more appropriate question would be, “How long before conception was Isaac’s room ready?”

In 1995/1996 I spent my junior year in Eisleben, Germany in the former GDR. I don’t know how I first got the idea to be an exchange student, but I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to do that when I grew up. My mom was pretty supportive of the prospect, minus the high price (~$7000), but my dad was dead-set against it. His ultimatum was that I could apply for a Congress-Bundestag scholarship to study in Germany. If I got the scholarship (which I wasn’t going to, he said), I could go. Thanks to my lucky Tweetie Bird underwear I wore to my interview and blowing out all of my birthday candles a few days later, I got the scholarship. After a rocky start with my first host family, I moved in with a girl from my class Kathi Stutz. Her mom Susanne and Susanne’s partner Uwe welcomed me with open arms. I left Germany with a second family. Last fall, I finally got to take Craig to meet them. (Someday when we get our vacation page up, you can see some photographs of the trip.)

 

In 1997, I graduated from high school…valedictorian. (I have to brag here because after 13 years of busting my butt, I only got about 10 minutes of glory.) Of course, Craig’s only requirement for a wife was that she was smart, so maybe being valedictorian got me a husband. 

 

After graduation, I moved to Cincinnati to attend University of Cincinnati. I majored in chemical engineering. In 1998 I was introduced to this nice Jewish guy named Craig right before a Physics exam. Two and a half years later, we were married. Yes, I got my M.r.s. two years before my B.S.—much to the horror of my “finish college first” family.

While at U.C. I co-oped for Hillshire Farm and Kahn’s as a sausage engineer. I worked for several quarters on food safety, weenie packaging, testing a Top-Secret-Weenie-Machine, and finally designing my very own Top-Secret-Weenie-Machine (for which management wanted to apply for a patent). I got a new boss eventually who decided I looked more like a secretary than an engineer. He gave me bad performance reviews because I wouldn’t type his memos fast enough (I was busy designing, building, and testing the second T-S-W-M). So, I quit and got a job at Procter & Gamble making $12 more per hour. It was a great move. At P&G I worked on Charmin process development and on a Top-Secret-Tampon-Tester. I probably would have accepted a job in the Tampax division, but toilet paper “owned me” (their words) and offered me a job. I went to graduate school instead.

I graduated from UC in 2002 and entered the PhD program in Chemical Engineering at University of Michigan. I was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship. It turned out that one of my co-workers at Tampax Clare decided to quit P & G and go back to graduate school. She had been very good friends with my boss, but I knew her really only from sight and from testing some tampons for her in the T-S-T-T. We met again in U of M’s chemical engineering department and have become fast friends.

Today I am about half-way finished with my degree. I do bone tissue engineering—meaning I try to grow replacement bone tissue in the lab. This involves lots of cell biology, polymer science, and computer modeling. To read more about my work, click here: Linderman Group Webpage. Here I am in the lab at 39 weeks pregnant.

 

Here I am with our foster kittens in 2002. We adopted the gray one Kinsa permanently and found a home for the orange one. I couldn't do anything for a few months without having little fur balls climb up my clothes onto my shoulders. 

Me with Orion at 37 weeks pregnant. Everyone asks how the cats will handle the new baby. Since Orion and Sox hate little kids but love kittens (i.e. babies that need to be cared for), it is hard to say. For the time being, they view my belly as a convenient stepping stool to get to my face.

Me with my parents in Ypsilanti. I was 36 weeks pregnant. This was their last chance to see me before the baby comes.

My Projects

I always have a project, so I thought I should probably add some photos. For now, all of the baby-related projects are on the Baby projects page. I'm planning to start two new quilts very soon...we'll see how that goes with the baby. 

This is a wall-hanging I made to decorate for the High Holy Days. I adapted a pattern title "Holiday Hexagons" from a Quilt for Christmas magazine. I instead emphasized the triangles surrounding the hexagons so that they form interconnected stars of David. I then appliqued symbols from each holiday in the hexagons. The top is a shofar and apple (Rosh Hashanah), clockwise are candles and a prayerbook (Yom Kippur), a torah scroll (Simchat Torah), adn a lulav and etrog (Sukkot).

And the dried flower arrangement for the holidays.

I also made a quilt for our friends' new baby: Simeon David Develvis who was born in Texas on August 3, 2005. We're happy to say Simeon, his Mom Megan and Dad Josh, his bunny brother Dexter and the quilt made it through Rita without a scratch. I took an idea I found on a website and combined it with a baby quilt pattern I found from a book. The internet quilt is called "bad hare day" and has an appliqued bunny running across the quilt holding one of the quilt pieces in his mouth. The "missing" square contains border fabric. In my version, the bunny is much larger and looks like Dexter. For those of you who have had pet rabbits, this quilt makes total sense. The first time we met Dexter, we were playing scrabble at Megan's apartment. Dexter hopped over, grabbed a letter and ran away. Megan then proceeded to show us where Dexter had eaten the buttons off the remote control. On subsequent visits, I had to rescue both my coat and grass purse from Dexter. 

 

My Recipes

I get asked a lot for recipes. I have posted the ones here for which I have modified the original recipe (I don’t want anyone to sue me for copyright infringement). I’m going to go with the programmer’s rule: if you change more than 10%, it is yours. If you want recipes that I use exactly from cookbooks, you’ll have to email me.

Appetizers/Snacks

Ruth's Israeli Humus

Spinach Balls

Aunt Jean's Granola

Not-So-Bad-For-You Chex Mix

Breads

Challah (Bagels, French Toast, Breadpudding)

Sunflower Bread

Pumpkin Waffles

Main Dishes

Pastitsio 

Zucchini Souffle

Chili

My Mom's Spaghetti (Meat, Vegetarian)

Rinderroulade/Beef Rolls

Black Eyed Peas with Paneer

Thai Stir Fried Noodles

Roasted Chicken with Cornbread Stuffing

Salads and Dressings

No-Mayo Coleslaw

Carrot Salad

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Creamy Vinaigrette