Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This Shit Cracks Me Up!

Like many of you, I'm sure, I am a faithful and loyal follower of The Pioneer Woman.

Everyday, sometimes a few times a day, I take a trip to Oklahoma and check in on my friend Ree and her life on the frontier. Today was no different.

I work for a general surgeon. He handles your standard hot gallbladders. The sometimes volatile, thumb-shaped appendix. Those pesky hernias that can pop up in numerous places. Cysts and boils and lipomas, oh my! And...the colon. You know, your poop shoot.

I've never been one to shy away from an uncomfortable conversation, unless it involved money. I don't like to discuss funds. Aside from that, I'll chat with you about anything. Including poop. I mean, everyone poops. There's even a book out there called "Everyone Poops", check it out at the library, I'm sure there's an available copy.

Since I've been working with this physician, I have learned a WEALTH of information on feces and the process our body goes through to expel it. I bet you have no idea the stories your poop can tell about the overall health of your plumbing system! Interested? Let's set a coffee date. I'll even bring a picture book!

So, imagine my excitement when The Pioneer Woman posted about this:

Get it? Poo Pourri!!! Bahahahahahahahaha!!!

And the tag line for the Crap Shooter is "Spray The Bowl First, Guns-A-Blazing, The Smell Is Contained, This Stuff Is Amazing!"

If we're all being honest, we've been in an embarrassing situation where we've left a little evidence behind after leaving the guest bathroom. I mean, despite pooping being a natural act of life, we get silly about it.

So, if you're that self-conscious, visit the crapshooter spray site, pick up a purse-sized bottle and let nature takes its course.

I'm glad I was here to educate you.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Know Your Body Parts

A post-operative patient called in to the office this afternoon. The conversation went something like this (of course, the names have been changed to cover my ass):

Patient: Yes, this is Cornelius Dishwasher. Can I talk to Dr. Warmblood?

Me: I'm sorry but Dr. Warmblood is in surgery today. He'll be calling and checking in before the office closes. I'd be happy to take a message and get back to you once I've spoken with him.

Patient: Yeah, okay. Well he operated on me Monday and I'm out of my pain medicine. I want to get some more.

Me: What medication did Dr. Warmblood have you on Mr. Dishwasher?

Patient: Percocet.

Me: Uh huh...and what type of surgery did you have?

Patient: He took my pancreas

Me: (To myself in my head..." 'bout that...huh..."). Ok. Well, Mr. Dishwasher, I'll relay your request to the doctor and get back to you as soon as I can.

Fast forward one hour...

Dr. Warmblood: Hey Joyce. Anything going on? Got anything for me?

Me: Actually, I operated on Mr. Dishwasher this past Monday?

Dr. Warmblood: Yeah. Yep, sure did.

Me: his pancreas?

Dr. Warmblood: (...without missing a beat)... I did and I'm amazed he's doing so well.

Me & Dr. Warmblood:!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The moral of this story...people are stupid (and oh yeah, by the way, YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT YOUR PANCREAS YOU IDGET!!!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why, Joyce, Why?

Last Saturday, November 12, 2011, I ran the Sun Trust Richmond Marathon. I had something to no one but myself. I had to be redeemed.

I've been training for this event for the last 6 months, starting immediately after getting home from the disaster I like to refer to as Oklahoma. Training for a marathon takes a lot of time, if you do it adequately and your main goal is not only to cross the finish line upright but unharmed. I take my training - no, my health - VERY serious. As such, I followed my training plan to the letter and sprinkled in some much needed cross-training and the occasional yoga class for good measure (and much needed mind rests). I put a lot of my life (the really boring stuff like house cleaning and sleeping in) on the back burner, including my little online diary here...good way to lose what few loyal followers I had! But for good reasons, like these.

I like food. No, I like GOOD food. You know, the kind made with love, heavy cream, cheese and a side of bread...with carrot cake for dessert. It's a constant struggle for me to push these lovies away. I don't deprive myself completely and always, just ask the girls in my book club! I'm all over those sweet confections! So when I partake, I run or I reach for the dumbells or I squeeze into the last spot available at the Saturday 8:00 AM spin class (hence, the no sleeping in part of this message). I think it's an even trade and I believe in everything in moderation.

I also like to feel like a girl. Feel good about myself. Feel a little sexy. And running makes me feel strong and powerful. I am not a super model. I don't have the body of a super model - never have, never will. I don't have a Cindy Crawford mole. I don't have Christy Turlington's cheekbones. I don't have a chiseled chin, almond eyes or a roman nose. I am, however, the female version of my father. And that makes me awesome. Sure, I wish I'd come to this realization years ago. It would've saved me a lot of heartache. Better late than never. My real hope is that young women find something awesome about themselves, too. And stop comparing themselves to what is more than likely an airbrushed photo of unrealistic perfection.

Additionally, I don't mind being alone. Over the last 6 months, I have covered hundreds of miles on foot and seen backroads in Bear Creek I've never been on during the almost 10 years I've lived here. During that time, I've taken in the beauty I call home. I've watched calves grow into heifers. I've watched the trees go from barren to green to brilliant golds and reds. I've watched the farmers plant their hay and then climb in the Combine to harvest their bounty. I've watched my neighbor boys scream with excitement over the last day of school and then witness them doing their impression of "dead man walking" as they made their way to the bus stop for the first day of school this past September. I've watched time go by one quiet mile at a time. All by myself. And it's helped me get closer to me, to my surroundings, to the physical world I live in. It's afforded me ample time to breath deeply and often and when I needed it most. Running gives me time to reflect. It gives me an opportunity to look into my heart and realize just how much the people in my life mean to me, how much I love them. It also gives me an opportunity to find anger and sadness in my heart - this isn't always so's hard to run and cry at the same time.

But maybe the biggest reason I took on this challenge, and will do it again, is the feeling of complete accomplishment when I cross the finish line. Because the finish, no matter how good or ugly, is the summation and culmination of so much effort.

And despite the sport being so solitary, it really is a team effort when it's all said and done. Over these last 6 months, I have had the support and encouragement of the staff at my local YMCA and the Ladies Fitness Center. I have had the doctor I work for ask me faithfully, every Monday morning, how far was my long run this weekend and how did it feel? I've had friends and acquaintenances wish me nothing but the best. I've had my mom ask me to take up baking cookies instead (which really is code for "good job, please be careful"). I've had my daughter be...well, be my daughter - my beacon of light, my golden ring, my cheerleader, my biggest fan. And I've had my husband. My husband, who signed me up for 4 races, including a half marathon, over 6 weeks - 6 weeks prior to my marathon. My husband, who wanted to know if I was going to run my next long run faster than my last. My husband, who wanted to know if I REALLY wanted that 4th piece of pizza. My husband, the toughest coach I never I asked for.

And I've had my dad. Who was just simply there. And never said a word. He just was. He just is.

And because I'm his, that makes me awesome.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Day The Music Died

For a number of weeks/posts now, I have refrained from writing about my daily walks in, around and through my neighboring memorial gardens. You know, the cemetery. I was getting hints that you, my loyal followers, were contemplating calling the local authorities because of your concern with my almost addiction to the place. So, I backed off. Which limited my story lines. Cause this place is riddled with good material!

I cannot contain myself any more. I have to share my most recent "episode" with said funerary grounds!

The other evening, BK and I were taking our customary 6:00 PM stroll. That dog sure does show up in a lot of my churchyard stories. I'm beginning to think that crazy canine is the key to these orb, gray-haze filled occurrences. Hmm. I should look into fencing an acre or two and turn that nut job out by herself! Is there such a thing as a dog exorcism?

Anyway, as we approached the A.M.E. Zion structure, we heard music. She heard it, too. She told me so. Actually, it was a great rhythm of beating drums. Not like The Black Eyed Peas kind of beat. More along the lines of a Jamie Foxx slow jam. I bobbed my head. I adjusted my stride to the beat. And as we approached the parking area for the City of the Dead, there wasn't a car to be seen. Not a car. Not a moped. Not a Vespa. Not a riding lawn mower. Not a bicycle. Not a soul - at least not a living one.

For sure, you are chuckling. You've decided that, clearly, there is an easy explanation for this. And, perhaps you're correct. Except for this. One MUST pass my house to get to the sanctuary - and, of course, again when one leaves. I never saw anyone or anything come or go.

And I'll leave you with this to ponder, too. As B and I passed the driveway entrance, the music - the beating drums - stopped. No longer a sound. Not a beat. Not a tap. Not a dropping of a drum stick.

Foolishly, we lingered, waiting to see who'd leave the building. I'm still waiting to see someone come out of that I'm-never-setting-foot-in-that-place place of worship. Yep, still waiting. And I haven't heard the drums since.

But I have picked up a few dollars in change that just randomly appears on the rarely traveled road in front of the necropolis.

I like to refer to the found money as simply pennies from heaven.

I could share that little tidbit with you, too, but I don't look good in solid white with my arms tied behind my back.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Dark Thought

I have been struggling spiritually for over a year now. My anger is directed at a select few. And I feel like I'm in a war in which I'm the only one on my team - and I'm the defense... I think I need to stop waiting for one of the select few to notice this battle I'm fighting because it's becoming a daily disappointment.

I was in the middle of my long run yesterday and "hitting the wall". I was hot, frustrated and feeling very inept. And I thought, "Why am I bothering with this? Why am I working so hard at being the healthiest I can be? Because, after all, in the end, I will be dead just like the person who abused their body with drugs and alcohol."

Wasn't that a dark thought, Internet? Wasn't that grim?

When it was all said and done, I felt ashamed for having the thought. There's no denying the inevitable - yes, we are all going to die. But I thought if I allowed that thought to linger any longer or allowed myself to dwell on it or, worse yet, allowed the thought to change my current lifestyle in any negative fashion, then I would have surely lost my war.

I pushed through yesterday's wall (and I will do the same with the one's I've yet to face) and reminded myself that it's all about the journey. And I want to enjoy my journey, no matter how long or short it will be.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


(Disclaimer: The names have been changed in this post to protect the innocent - that's me. The last thing I need is HIPPA man knocking on my door).

Me: "Thank you for calling Carolina Pines Surgery, this is Joyce. May I help you?"

Her: "Yes. I'd like to make an appointment with the doctor, please."

Me: "Wonderful. I can help you with that. What do you need to see the doctor about?"

Her: "My shoulder. I have tendinitis and arthritis in it. I need to see about getting some medication for the pain."

Me: "Ma'am, Dr. Smooth is a general surgeon. So unless you're at the point of surgery for your shoulder, you'll need to contact your primary care physician. Do you have a primary doctor?"

Her: "Yes I do. It's Dr. Rigid. And he referred me to Dr. Smooth."

Me: "Did he? I haven't received any of your medical information yet. Let me call over to Dr. Rigid's office and see what I can learn and I'll be back in touch with you."

Her: "That'll be fine. Thank you. Goodbye"

Me: "Hey Sally, it's Joyce over at Dr. Smooth's office. I just got off the phone with Mrs. Sneaky. She says she's a patient over there and that Dr. Rigid has referred her to us. But I don't have any paperwork on her. Can you pull her chart and send me what I need?"

Sally: "Sure. Hold on and let me just verify the basics..."

Sally: "Um, Joyce. Mrs. Sneaky is a resident at Once Here You Never Leave retirement home. We haven't seen her in months. Her care is being handled by the hospitalist at the facility. Maybe you should call over there and see what this is all about."

Me: "Hmm...okay. Thanks, Sally!"

Me: "Hi. This is Joyce. I'm calling from Carolina Pines Surgery. I need to speak with whomever is handling the care and appointments for one of your residents, Mrs. Sneaky."

Receptionist: "Certainly. Hold please and I'll get the nurse."

Mrs. DON: "Hello? This is Mrs. DON, may I help you?"

Me: "Hi Mrs. DON, this is Joyce over at Carolina Pines Surgery. I've been contacted by Mrs. Sneaky. She's attempting to make an appointment with Dr. Smooth regarding her shoulder. I've verified that she's a patient of Dr. Rigid's. I just hung up speaking with his nurse, who referred me back to you folks. I think there's some confusion regarding the care we provide here. I thought I should call and speak with you about the best course of action for Mrs. Sneaky."

Mrs. DON: "I'm sorry about this, Joyce. And I apologize for any inconvenience. The best course of action for Mrs. Sneaky is for us to go back to her room and unplug her telephone - - - AGAIN."


Do you know where your seniors are...and what they're doing? Might want to check Grandpa's checking account in the slight event he's been hookin' up with his bookie. Just sayin'...

Old people rock!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Can't Decide

I suspect this post is going to be random, at best. Just look at the title.

Random because I can't seem to pull all the thoughts and feelings I have into the order to which I'm accustomed. Bear with me.

I'm in a book club. These ladies and I have been together for, somewhere around 2 years. We meet faithfully once a month. It's a day I look forward to. It's an evening in which I get a little sad because that day now has an X through it on my calendar. And I wait for the next month. Each of these ladies is a wife, a mother, a daughter...some are aunts, sisters, grandmothers, widows. But all are first and foremost a woman.

Women fascinate me. We are extremists. We can be extremely gentle, kind and loving or we can be an extreme bitch if the situation calls for it. I find something fascinating and interesting about each of my club-mates. I'm sure they don't know it, but I pay very close attention to them when I'm with them. I watch their expressions change when they talk about their children. I notice the passion with which they speak when we're discussing politics - national or local. I watch their eyes tear when something or someone has touched their heart harmoniously or with discord. I know each ones laugh now. My life is richer with these women in it. All of this ran through my mind last night as our little entourage took a field trip.

YOU MUST GO NOW! Don't wait for the Red Box to stock it. Don't wait for Net Flix to deliver it to your mail box. Don't stream it on your PC/Laptop. Go to the theater. You deserve it.

Go see The Help. And normally, I would suggest - HIGHLY - reading the book first. But in this case, you'll be fine going in cold.

This book/movie is, ultimately, about women. About the relationships women form. Relationships with the men in their lives - fathers, brothers, lovers, co-workers - and relationships with other women. I believe to my core that there is no other love like that from a woman.

This book/movie is also about race and prejudice and the unjust treatment of humans toward other humans.

This book/movie is about determination in so many forms. About our responsibilities to one another as mankind. About courage and doing what's "right".

This book/movie is about love.

"You is kind, you is smart, you is important."

Each and everyone of you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wearing White Was A Mistake

It was on sale. It was in my size. And I needed it.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I stopped in Old Navy to see what killer bargains they had. There were plenty. We stocked up. One of the best finds I came across was their workout gear; running shorts, yoga pants and sports bras. I grabbed a white one...sports bra, that is. I didn't try it on. I should have.

Fast forward to last week. I was on the treadmill at the gym. The machines face a huge glass window. People can see in. I can see my reflection. I started to sweat. A lot...

"Your whole life you go through painstaking efforts to hide your nipples and then...BOOM! Suddenly 100s of people get their own personal shot of them!!!"

Monday, July 11, 2011

Some Damn Good Advice

My father is a man of VERY few words. He's more of a lead-by-example kinda guy. But it's up to you to take heed and pay attention because he's surely not going to say, "Hey, pay attention here. You're gonna need to know how to do this one day".

So imagine my surprise when he approached me while my husband and I were packing in preparation for our move to NC. "Missy" (Yes, that's right. He called/calls me Missy. Yes, my Dad knows my birth name. He gave it to me. But for my entire life, he's called me Missy). "Missy, promise me this when you leave here. Promise me you will never put a second mortgage on the house - for ANY reason. And find a good mechanic". Funny little pieces of advice, huh? But that's what was on his mind at the time. And that's what he thought I needed to hear and to know before I left him...again. I've heeded this advice. I think he'd be proud.

So over the years, I've learned to watch closely at what my Dad is doing. Doing with his hands, with his tools, with whatever gadget he comes in contact with. Think McGyver and you've got Papa! If I were stranded on an island, my Dad would be one of the three things I would want to have with me. And trust me when I tell you this. If my Dad had've been on the Titanic and he could've found a roll of duct tape in the tool box in the belly of the ship, Leonardo would not have made the millions he did and Kate would've had to settle for Captain Jack Sparrow.

When I went to the lean-to yesterday afternoon to get out the rider to mow the yard, I was met as an unwanted, unwelcome guest by a nest of wasps. After the shock of the threat of attack wore off, I went back in my memory bank of Papa-isms. Hmm...what is it that I've seen Daddy do when met with an angry mob of bees? Hmm...what is it...


I told you - McGyver! Don't ask me why but there is always Brakleen in my shed. Probably because my Dad uses it for everything from, well, cleaning breaks to killing wasps. So I grabbed said product, tested the spray's distance factor and headed back to the combat zone.

One, long, steady stream later, I coated the determined little insects in the acid and saturated they're dream home, too.

My yard looks awesome.

And I'm taking reservations for anyone who wants to join my Dad and me on a deserted island if we ever get stranded on one.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Crotch Parasites"

I had dinner - out - with my husband this past Sunday. This may not seem like a big deal to you, Internet, but it is a rarity and SUPER special for us. And better yet, my husband was on duty and in uniform and, let's face it, a man in uniform is more sexy than a naked one! I love the way people try not to look at him while they're looking at him. And I feel especially safe sitting next to the heat he's packing on his right hip...for it's much bigger and more powerful than what I pack in my little purse. What? You didn't know that about me? You thought I was kidding about that comment in my last post, didn't you? Mmm hmmm.

So, we're in a decent-enough restaurant with plenty of seating available throughout the whole place when this guy selects the table just behind us for his family of 4; him, his wife and his two "crotch parasites". Okay, in his defense, the little boy was a gem. But that little winch of a girl child...all I could think of was Aunt Becky and her totally inappropriate term for offspring. "Crotch Parasites" (saying it just makes me giggle). Sorry, but sometimes it is necessary and more than appropriate! If you have a strong stomach for vulgarity, but the kind that will make you laugh, I encourage you to visit Aunt Becky at "Mommy Wants Vodka". Don't say I didn't warn you.

So my RARE evening out with my always-working husband was all but screwed because of a whiny 5 year old with parents obviously stuck on "reasoning with their children". Sorry, sometimes hand-to-ass is warranted.

Hey, kids are great. I have one myself. But it kills me to watch adults allow their spawn to behave like feral dogs, ESPECIALLY in public.

Do us empty nesters and DINKs a favor; keep 'em at home until you teach them how to behave.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Gym

My husband "won me over" by sitting on my back porch with me, drinking the best wine EVER and telling me I had beautiful legs. Yeah, he was good...

The "dog wines" hold a very special place in my heart and memory and on my taste buds, too. But since moving to North Carolina, finding "Our Dog Blue" and his buddies is like trying to find a twenty in the bottom of my purse - usually never. So imagine my excitement when, of all frickin' places, I totally stumble on the stuff in the damn Mobil frickin' gas station in Pittsboro, NC!! I know, I've said frickin' too many times but it's the only way I can think to express my glee!! And what's even more freakish is that I NEVER go into this place! I've lived here 9 years and I can count on one hand the number of times I've been in this place.

But on this particular morning, I needed change and I needed a bottle of water for my tri-fecta of workouts I was facing at Ladies Fitness. The Mobil station was the closest, hence my quick stop in. As I made my way to the check out counter, the dogs barked out to me... what's that? I looked at Habeeb, the clerk at the register, and said, "I can't believe you SELL this stuff?!" (look at Habeeb, look at the rack of dogs, look at Habeeb - all while donning a grin from ear to ear). Habeeb obviously isn't getting it. But he's being polite and smiling at me just to amuse me because I'm sure he's thinking this is a deterant and I'm really packing heat in the yoga bag slung over my shoulder.

"Our Dog Blue! From Chateau Morrisette! In Virginina! I can't believe you SELL this stuff!! Do you know what you have here, man? Do you know how special this stuff is to me!? This stuff is equivilent to a diamond engagement ring to me (which, by the way Internet, I never received). I can't believe it..."

I could see that Habeeb was now jumping on this bandwagon with me. I could detect a little gleam in his eye. Yep. Then Habeeb leaned over the counter and said, "That'll be $1.32 for the water m'am."

Now that I'm aware of this little gem keeping residence at that frickin' Mobil station in Pittsboro, NC , Habeeb's gonna' be seeing a lot of this "it really takes very little to make me happy" chick!

"WOOF" - which is dog for "Cheers"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Twenty Interesting Things About...ME

I have a handful of blogs that I read daily. I am a loyal follower, or stalker depending on your perspective.

One that especially tickles my fancy is this one. I suggest you visit immediately and often. Ree is funny, honest and sincere in her writing and when I read her daily posts, it's almost as if I'm on the ranch with her.

The Pioneer Woman has many facets to her blog, including Homeschooling. Because I have no real interest in this subject, I often times just skim through that section and move on. But recently on the sidebar of the Homeschooling section, I found where a mom did a project with her students where they had to research certain public figures and learn twenty interesting things about them. I took the time to go through a few and found myself amused much and saying, "huh" countless times.

So, because nothing else has come to the forefront of my gray matter, I thought I'd do the same about me! Sign out now if your expectations are too great.

This is me and here we go...

1) I had my daughter when I was 16 years old. I only missed two weeks of school.

2) I am the female version of my, really.

3) I went to college on a full scholarship. No place fancy. Extremely local. But I got that degree, nonetheless.

4) I bought myself a Ford F-150 pick up truck as a gift to me when I graduated from college. I still have it.

5) I don't ever remember spending the night with either set of grandparents. I'll have to confirm this with Mom, but I'm pretty sure this is a factoid.

6) I hate to watch sports on television but will attend any event live and in person.

7) I have lived in California. Hated it...for a number of reasons.

8) I've been horseback riding in Estes Park, CO. LOVED IT!

9) I have a small collection of cowboy boots.

10) I would rather shop for anything but clothes.

11) My favorite sound is my daughter laughing.

12) My favorite smell was the smell of my horse...

13) I will avoid confrontation at any cost.

14) While I am an avid runner now, and love it, I only started 3 years ago.

15) I treasure my family.

16) My mom had me in organ lessons when I was about 7 or 8. I had a German instructor named Jean Letzenheizer. I could only play by ear. She was determined I was going to read my music. We fought. I cried. She did not encourage this "natural talent". I quit. It's the one grudge I still carry and the one person I will never be able to forgive.

17) Truly and honestly, the smallest of things make me very happy.

18) Time, and how and why we measure everything by it, freaks me out.

19) I am terrified of growing old and feeble.

20) I love to people watch.

I thought I was going to have some trouble finding 20 things to write about myself. Turns out, that was pretty easy. And I wouldn't have to try real hard to find 20 more. But you're probably not that interested, right? Of course, my 7 loyal followers are all family and close friends so I've probably not told you anything you don't already know!

But thanks for entertaining me anyway.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bragging Rights

I am a mom. I've been a mom for awhile now and have loved, and continue to love, the journey this role takes me. I am only a mom once-over, meaning I've only birthed one child - naturally, I might add. Natural childbirth, not "naturally, I've birthed only one child". Because I did it right and so well the first time, there was no need to mess with perfection and have any more offspring.

I am not an only child but my daughter has always said it's great! Of course, her opinion is jaded because 1) she was the first and only grandchild for years, 2) she never had to share any of her personal belongings, 3) she was never compared to a brother or sister, 4) although she rarely did, she could watch whatever she wanted on the television, 5) she never had to share a bathroom, 5) she was, is and will always be the center of our universe and...she doesn't like other children.

Because my wee one throws up a little in her mouth whenever she's around other wee, WEE ones, she's opted not to have children of her own. Smart move. Don't go birthin' no babies if you don't like 'em!

As a result, obviously, we will never be grandparents - in the real sense/meaning of the role. We do, however, have three beautiful grandcats. I couldn't be more proud. I could be a little happier if one in particular at least LIKED his grandmother but I have to take what I can get.

Our three, 4-legged grands went for their annual check up today, a trip I'm sure I could write a book about. More on that later.

Our oldest, "Little Bean, Junior"/"Bean"/"Beanie"/"LBJ", got a glowing review. You see, Little Bean suffers with...well, it's his weight...he has a lot of it...and it brings him down...and it worries his physician and family. He's aware of it but, like we all know, the struggle with our waist lines and hips is an ongoing, frustrating one. But this day, we have much to celebrate! You see, Bean is down from 30 lbs to 27.76. That's right, Internet! This cat weighs just less than HALF of my Labrador Retriever!!!

And this is how he's decided to celebrate his recent achievement...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How The Hell Does HE Rate?

I tried to copy and paste the entire email that the hubs forwarded to me. Seeing the entire message would've made this post that much better.

You know the commercial for that bank (yeah, I have no idea what bank they're advertising but the premise stays embedded in my mind) where they have the owner of some dog getting their dog to say "I Love My Bank"? My rendition of said commercial would be "I Love My Vet".

We've been taking our herd of critters to Cole Park Veterinary Clinic for...ever. If I had the money back that we've given this awesome facility, I'd be driving a Mercedes. A Mercedes SUV. A Mercedes SUV with a lifetime subscription to OnStar. A Mercedes SUV with a lifetime subscription to OnStar and one that could self-parallel park. A get the picture.

All kidding aside and with as much seriousness as this zit on the side of my face, the docs and staff ARE moving into their BRAND NEW, STATE-OF-THE-ART facility this weekend. They've invited us to the ribbon cutting ceremony for the wing they've named The Mineers - Suckers.

I love my vet. They take care of those I love. They love them as much as we do.

Even Munchie.

So much so, he got an e-card via my husband's email account wishing him a happy, frickin' birthday! Okay, I'm his human mother and I don't even know when the tree-fearer, freak-of-nature was born! I should be a little ashamed but, instead, I am now even more impressed with these people!


I'll tell you this for free, people...if the staff at Cole Park sends an eb-day card to us for every creature on my place, I'm contacting the media...or anyone left at Dorothea Dix!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

If I Lived in the World of Make Believe

I wouldn't mind spending some time in Underland. I would want to be Iracebeth, aka "Queen of Hearts". Every time someone pissed me off, I'd point my crown-topped saber at them and yell "off with their heads!!!!". I'd start with the women, females, chicks, bitches who refuse to move over when I'm running along the shoulder of the road. Yes, I'd be running in my witch boots and ankle-length, crinoline-lined, corset-tied, accessorized with my crown, gown and I'd quickly turn to the Dodge mini van that narrowly escaped me, point my crown-topped saber at the winch and yell "off with her head"...and it would happen.

(This would be me.)

My husband would be the mad hatter and he'd be trapped in Underland with me at a never-ending tea party because, when he tried to sing for me, I sentenced him to this hell for murdering the time. And, although he can't sing a lick, he does a mean Futterwacken!

(This would be the hubs.)

And then I'd have these two little beeotches at my disposal ALWAYS. If I wanted my lawn mowed, I'd simply holler "Oh fat boys!". My wine glass refilled? "Oh fat boys!". My running shoes laced up? "Oh fat boys!" My car filled with gas? You guessed it..."Oh fat boys!" My dinner cooked? Yep..."Oh fat boys!" It would be like having had twin sons!

(These would be my fat boys.)

But perhaps best of all, my cats could vaporize themselves! Now how frickin' cool would that be? Think "I Dream of Jeannie". They would literally melt into mist while in my bed and then, "poof", reappear whole in the cat pan! Or...they'd dissolve into a fog from the front porch and then, "poof", show up in 3-D in the front yard stalking snakes!

"A dog's not mad, you'd agree? You see, a dog growls when it's angry and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now, I growl when I'm pleased and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore, I'm mad!" Now this little piece of Chessur philosophy explains a WHOLE lot around here!

(This would be an example of my kitties.)

Yeah, Underland would be some real awesomesauce.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My (Last) Weekend

My weekends tend to be typical. That's cool. But this past weekend was exceptional for me. Not for any particular reason but it just seemed all the stars were aligned, to include beautiful NC weather - for which I am so grateful for.

The kickoff was dinner with the hubs - a RARITY people!! Talk about being grateful!! I simply enjoy being in his presence...I hope he feels the same! We hit the bird - the robin - the nest! Yummers!

Saturday morning met with an early spin class. I was spinning, in more ways than one, at 8:30. I'd resisted this new class being offered at the gym for over 3 months because of a bad experience I had over 20 years ago. No, I don't hold grudges.

I went in with a new attitude and an open mind and the intention to ask the instructor to get me set up adequately so that this experience was a positive one. Check, check and check... And as good as the experience was, it hurt my ego. I am not in as good a shape as I thought, at least not for this type of workout. There were "moves" I could not complete (ouch, that hurt). I'd have to back off and sit and just pedal until I collected myself. Now I'm determined. I'm going back again and again until I reach the spinning sumit.

Then I hit the gym for a round of weight lifting. I am not intimated to "pump some iron" (ha!) at the YMCA on a Saturday morning at 9:00. The teens are sleeping in and the seniors are sipping coffee and reading the paper at McDonalds. I practically have the place to myself!

(Disclaimer: I do not wear unitards to the gym. Just needed to make that clear.)

After all that, it was my turn to drink coffee and read a few lines. This I thouroughly enjoyed at the little coffee house next to our Carolina Brewery in town, whose name escapes me. But it was deelish! And because the weather was purfect, I sat outside and watched the comings and goings of the folks enjoying the farmer's market that was being held in the parking lot (fresh bread and eggs anyone?...I did pick up 2 bars of goats' soap with lavendar. The smell sucked me in. And I'm loving it).

Then, it was back to the ranch where there was work to be done. Time to mow the yard, the acres, the field. I like to mow the yard. Gives me time to think and ponder. And I like the way my kitties lay scattered throughout the place in the cool, freshly cut green stuff. They're silly. I'm easily entertained. I love my kitties.

(Disclaimer: I do not wear a straw hat when I mow the yard.)

And finally on Sunday, after a quick run through town, I met up with a friend and her two girls and we hit the lake. It was glorious. Not only am I fortunate enough to live a few short hours away from the prestine Carolina beaches, I am but a mere 15 mintues away from Jordan Lake. I encourage you to visit the next time you're in town.

I sat. I soaked up the rays, under a layer of sunscreen of course. I was warm to the core. I put my feet in sand, in mud. I floated. I swam. I did the frog move with my legs. I wore my new bathing suit. I ate grapes.

I had an awesome weekend. It really takes very little for me.

Looking forward to the start of another good one beginning at 5:00 Friday!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Night Entertainment

Because there's not much else to do in the country and, well, we make 'em earn their keep here in deep Chatham...

Yes, that's an onion ring on her snout.

She's a little gullible and we're easily entertained. It's making for a wonderful relationship.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

"...MMM...Tasted Like Chicken"

Me: "Bailey? This morning I fed 5 indoor cats."

The Dog: "Yes. That's correct. I would agree."

Me: "Tonight, only 4 indoor cats appeared for dinner. Would you happen to know where Munchie is?"

The Dog: "You see, there was a slight altercation. And in the shuffle, the fat, scraggly, long-haired, smelly, black one... Well, let's just say there's no need to fill my bowl this evening."

"Pardon me, but do I have anything in my teeth?...Bahahahahahaha!"

(Disclaimer: No cats were harmed in the creation of this least that I'm aware of.)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Role Reversal

I support and welcome change. Whether it's forced upon me or I seek it out myself, I try to look at it with a positive attitude.

Because of the increased gas prices (that's the forced part of this recent change), I'm finding it hard to justify traveling to Carrboro just to attend a yoga class one or two days per week - - at an average cost of $10 per class (that, and my car has over 300,000 miles on it so I really only ask it to get me back and forth to work anymore! This is the voluntary change part).

I figured I'd give this place a chance. It's MUCH closer to the house.

I've only taken two classes there so far (one at $14, the other at $15). Given the price hike compared to MYCYCO, I'm not sure I'm coming out ahead, aside from the wear and tear on my old car... and I'm not sure I'm getting the most out of the "workouts" or that I'm overly enamored with the teachers.

But none of this has anything to do with this post. It's really just filler to share what I'm really writing about.

What I love about this facility is the room. The expanse of it. The warmth of it. And the bank/wall of windows on the back side. The front wall is all glass and the door is there where we enter and exit. And there's a hallway out there that really only gets the studio traffic. This past Saturday, the instructor had the students facing the glass wall.

He came bounding down the hall. He was jovial. He was smiling. He was super hairy. He was HUGE. He was very well disciplined. And he belonged to the woman who was joining our class - almost ten minutes late. She came in, her wolf of a dog waited outside...he laid there, watching our every move. It was as if I/we were the animals on display at the zoo and he was the spectator, enthralled at the tricks we were doing. I couldn't take my eyes off him. And I couldn't have been more impressed that he just...waited.

Forget the yin/yen balance of THAT class. I was no more interested in alternate nostril breathing than who's going to replace Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men.

I wish I got the number for that tiger-like canine. I'd be sure to bring my whack-nut, head-like-a-brick, "I'll swoon you with my big brown eyes" dog for private lessons on good behavior.

Friday, May 27, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow

When you're driving half-way across the country you'd be surprised at some of the conversations you can have.

As we drove through Knoxville, TN en route to OK, we passed the signs for and outskirts of The University of Tennessee. I mentioned to my husband how beautiful the structures and grounds were and asked if Knoxville was known for anything else important.

In my left ear I heard, "Yeah. They plant dead people there, water and fertilize the earth and come back a few years later to see what they've produced. Better known as The Body Farm."


So for the next hour or so we discussed the pros and cons of turning ones body over for the purpose of medical science.

We decided we wouldn't make good subjects. The students would only learn that I am indecisive, have a warped sense of humor and color the gray in my hair desperately and regularly.

And my husband...he said they'd have to shut the place down because they would've found perfection in him and there would be no reason for any further research.

Then we pulled to the shoulder of the road so I could vomit...(perfection? really? wretch, wretch...)

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Earlier this week I received a text from my husband. The conversation went something like this:

Hubs: (Text #1)..."Day's been productive. Cut grass, redid flower bed by road and ran to the grocery."

Me: (Text #1)..."Sounds like a good day."

Hubs: (Text #2)..."Afraid one of the cats caught a Cardinal. Left it on the porch at the front door. Found it when I got home. Wonder which one is killing the birds?!"

Me: (Text #2)..."Well, based on his history, the results of his last trial and unquestionable evidence used against him...I say it's Ralphie May"


Monday, May 16, 2011

A Blank Space

I need to stay out of the cemetery.

My dog, who I am convinced sees dead people, and I took our daily evening stroll tonight and, like on many of our outings, we ended up in the memorial gardens.

On this trip, I noticed the larger tombstones, the "double bed" version if you will. These are the gravesites built for two, where you can lie eternally next to your spouse (or special someone). On a number of these, I noticed that only one of the two loved ones had died. The other was alive and kicking and their concrete pillow was just waiting for an expiration date to be inscribed.

I spent way too much time thinking about this and ultimately freaked myself out. I mean, it's a proactive action on the part of those left behind. But, friends, loved-ones... don't do me this favor.

I know me and I'd be periodically visiting my pending eternal bedroom just to check and see if I had been date-stamped expired yet.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Old News Now

For no other reason other than life issues has it taken me two weeks to post about an event that was supposed to be one of the most memorable to me and my husband. Unfortunately, our first marathon WAS a most memorable one but, for me anyway, for so many other reasons than the obvious.

We left NC on schedule after a quick, early morning good bye to my folks who had arrived the night before to hold down our fort. That was a Thursday morning. As we drove west, the weather improved and we settled into our seats for the long drive. Our first stop for the night was Memphis where Michael had lovingly made reservations for us for dinner at BB King's and wanted to stroll the famous Beale Street. And this is where it all began...

I'm gonna give the short version and then simply share the pictures below.

I had a headache. Not just a "wow, my head hurts" headache. A pain in my head I can't begin to explain. I didn't tell my husband. I try to enjoy the evening - I wasn't successful. Friday we drive some more and make it to Oklahoma. I've popped pain relievers the entire way every 4 hours. He notices and asks me what's up? I simply say I have a headache. I go through the motions all afternoon/evening Friday and dress for dinner at Toby Keith's where my husband has made reservations. I am in excruciating pain. I don't tell my husband. We hit the first of many stops my husband has on his list of places to see. I am literally falling asleep at the table because my head has simply worn me out. We cancel a show my husband has purchased tickets for earlier so that I can go to the hotel and lay down. I am now popping sudafed and zyrtec - maybe it's allergies/sinuses? Saturday comes and we have an exciting day planned. Expect I wake up to my husband telling me my grandmother (in Maryland) has had a major stroke that morning. Do I get on a plane and head home? Do I stay? After a heart wrenching conversation with my mom, we all agree that I stay and see my trip and adventure through. I try with all I have to get through the day but by 4:00 I simply can't go on...I ask him to take me to an emergency room. I can no longer stand the pain. I was given fluids and Toradol for the pain and the cat scan showed nothing concerning. Maybe stress and worry for the upcoming race? Don't know, don't care, just don't happen again!

We wake up Sunday, race day, to pouring rain, thunder, lightening, wind gusts and my head eased but not feeling well at all! A dull pain still pounding. I run. I am miserable. I am sad. I am worrying about my grandmother. I am guilt-ridden thinking I should've gotten on a plane home. My head is killing me. I am cold. I am soaked to the bone. And then I get the shakes. By mile 20 or 22, can't remember, the shakes are uncontrollable. I slow to a shuffle and finally a complete walk. What a complete disappointment my body has become to me at this point. A big fat let down...I was ready for this. I was prepared. And now I can't run any further. I walk across the finish line completely humiliated and heart broken. It was not the event I had envisioned in my head. Oh, I was glad I finished! I was proud of that I suppose. But I had other husband, on the other hand, did a beautiful job and I am so proud of him!

Oddly enough, by the end of the day Sunday, my head is feeling much better. But then this funny feeling starts in my gut. Oh joy. Don't pay much attention to it....until...

We make it home Tuesday evening uneventfully and thankfully. I go back to work that Wednesday and my belly is "not right". Friday morning at 4:30 I wake up with a fever of 101. What the hell??? The pain in my gut is unrelentless. Not a belly-ache, not even a feeling like labor pains. More like a knife - stick, stick, stick...oh my lord make it stop. Things moved/happened Sunday morning about 6:30 and by noon that day I was feeling much better.

Monday at work, I shared my experience with the doc I work for. He told me it makes no sense at all but what I described was exactly what a diverticulitis attack sounds like! I don't fit the bill - too young, too good of a diet, too healthy...BUT, it happens!! Too late now, but if it happens again, I'll have a CAT Scan done of my abdomen to see what's going on in there. Really body? Really?? I've taken such good care of you!! And you turn on me!! Ugh!!

I'm feeling much better now and I think I'm back on track. Oklahoma will forever be an experience I won't forget but I've convinced my husband to run another marathon in hopes that one will be the event I still have pictured in my mind!

And the main reason we selected the Run to Remember...see below.

Love him! Club on Beale St. in Memphis

Mural in the gift shop at BB King's Restaurant

Some of the night life

We made it!!

The OK City skyline as we are driving in.

My first time ever being in this line...I was pretty proud.

Toby Keith's Restaurant in OK City. Awesome. Great food!

The OK City National Museum. We toured it Monday morning before leaving.

In case you'd forgotten. The Murah building post bombing.

The wall of victims...notice the box of tissues...Mike and I both needed several...

A cabinet with caps representing all of the rescue teams that came to help.

A photo of one of the search and rescue dogs. Notice his protective booties.

Eventually, the reality of it all does set in.

I sobbed in front of this photo. This officer is overwhelmed, overcome...and he could've been my husband...

I have only vague memories of this horrific event in our history. Unfortunately, I remember more about the trials and conviction than the event. Touring this tastefully mastered museum brought it all to the forefront of my mind and memory. More than anything, the facility focused on how the people of Oklahoma came together during a time of need. Really, how people around the country came together during a time of need. But that's what we do best, right? We rally. We rise to the occasion when we have to.

Because, after all, when it comes right down to it, we really have only each other...

The survivors' tree.

Michael and me.

The field of chairs. One for each victim. The smaller ones are for the children who were murdered. 19 of them. 19.

One end of the reflecting pool. Note the time on the wall - 9:01. It was still quiet then. At the other end of the pool is the same wall, only 9:03 is etched on it. The time the bomb exploded and life as we all knew it changed.