Welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming! One day I hope my little piece of internet real estate will be home to lots of family photos, pictures of my scrapbook and card art, with some random thoughts and memories posted on a somewhat regular basis. Mostly my world is very predictable, but occasionally some excitement will find me, so visit often. Who knows what useful (or useless) information you may find here.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Alphie For President!!!

It’s not about race. Or is it? Early voting in a couple of counties in the Atlanta area has been a real challenge. Long lines winding through chilly parking lots, sometimes as long as six to eight hours. I am delighted that people are getting involved in the election process and are exercising their right/privilege/responsibility to vote. What I have noticed, though, is the proportion of black to white voters waiting in these long lines. (At least when the news cameras were on hand, there were very few white faces seen among a sea of black faces.) I have recently been educated to the fact that black voters, for the most part, have a history of voting a democratic ticket. That’s fine. Whatever. What I can’t help but question, though, in my mind is this: Would those same black voters be willing to wait six to eight hours to vote for Hillary if she had been the democratic nominee? I’m not so sure they would. If Obama were white and McCain black, would they be voting republican instead? I’m thinking yes on that one. I think the vast number of white voters who are supporting Obama lends credence to the observation that race doesn’t factor into the white vote as much as it does the black vote. For a large number of us, it isn’t about race or even party lines. It is about choosing which of these two (dare I say sometimes-morons???) is the better candidate. The black folks who scream the loudest (and granted, not all of them do)just need to stop with all the "racist" accusations in every other aspect of life in this country, if they are not willing to admit that racism is alive and well in their own hearts as well. If that statement confuses you, please read the paragraph again.

My friend Mac forwarded a link to a video of an amazing young black man, Alphonso Rachel. It's a great video. Absolutely not what you expect. In this video he explains, with humor and candor, why he is voting McCain/Palin. But there is a much bigger picture within the message of this video. It’s about 9 minutes long, so I'll also add the link directly to the site in case you don’t have time to watch it while visiting my blog. I invite you to watch the video, even if you are an O supporter- even if you have already voted for him. I think I have been fair in lending an equal ear to the sales pitches of both parties, and am willing to concede that some of the things O says sound pretty good, and some of the things Mc says are pretty crappy. But the opposite is also true, and, in my opinion, far outweighs the former. Obviously you'll be cheering this video if you're a Mc supporter, and not so much if you're an O supporter- but put on your big girl/boy britches and watch it anyway. I think even an O supporter would have to agree with some of what this guy says. Okay- here ya go:

Hmmmm... how about Alphonso Rachel for President 2012???

Monday, October 27, 2008

Kitty Surprise!

DJ called last night on the way home from choir and wanted me to meet her in my driveway. When I out out there, she was grinnin' like a cheshire cat. And speaking of cats, she had a special suprise for me from The Boys. (I kitty-sat while they were at the beach, popping in every day to give The Boys fresh water and canned kitty cuisine) It seems that KoKo and Kobe had her pick up a thank-you surprise for me while she was gone. Lo and Behold.... a fabulous new beach umbrella!! I guess she has never forgotten that traumatic day (for me) at the beach when my umbrella went psycho, and caused me all manner of distress. I finally threw it in the trash. I was so sad. I searched and searched for a new one before I took my trip back in September, but couldn't find one. Now I have a brightly-colored personal umbrella that has pouch thingies on the base so you can fill them with sand, or your favorite beverage or whatever ballast you choose, to keep it steady in the ocean breezes. What fun! I can't wait to try it out. Thanks DJ and David! Errrrr.. I mean.. Thanks KoKo and Kobe!!!


Well time sure flies. Just ask my cousin Sharon, who today turns fifty-something. (I won't say her exact age, but she is two years older than me!) I have many stories to write about growing up with my cousins, so be sure to tune in later to catch the scoop. Our version of being a kid in the late 50s, 60s and 70s. I've got some good ones!!

In the meantime, it's Monday again, which means it's my longest work day of the week, so time doesn't permit me to write much tonight.

As for my trip to Athens yesterday to purchase a new transcriber- well that was a bust- the Office Max where I have always got them no longer carries them. At all. That meant I had to call around to find one. Fortunately, Staples in Buford at MOG had one in stock, and agreed to hold it for me. After visiting with mom and dad at the hospital for a while, I trekked off to Buford to buy my desperately-needed equipment. (Dad came home today and is doing fine. Will follow up with Dr. West in December.) Now some of you, my crafty friends, will realize that Staples is like two doors down from.... ARCHIVER'S... and it would have indeed been a travesty to be so close and not go in for a look-see. All I can say is OUCH. Good thing I put in a little extra time at the hospital yesterday morning to cover my spending spree. But, I anticipate gorgeous Christmas cards, and I found a gadget that I've had on my wish list-- and I ran across a mini-version (less expensive too!) that was even better than what I thought I wanted. So, the afternoon turned out better than I expected it would. And my new transcriber worked so well that I got all my Dr. F. dictation done too!! Now it's back to the hospital computer and let's get this evening over with. Happy Monday everyone- and Happy Birthday Sharon!! I love you!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hop On Pop

It's another chilly morning here in NE Ga. I imagine there will soon be frost on the pumpkins. This is my all-time favorite season of the year, but unfortunately this time I've had a nasty sinus cold for almost four weeks now, that I just can't seem to shake. I've been cooped up inside working like a demon for the past few weeks as well, so I haven't been able to enjoy the season, or the scents associated with it that I love so. But I'm sure I must be on the mend, and by next weekend I plan to be all better. DJ and David (and the rest of the crowd) are back from the beach. That makes me feel better already. :::smile:::

A quick shout-out to my aunt Peg! She underwent a breast biopsy this past Monday, and on Thursday got an all-clear report! Thank you Jesus!!!

I'm missing church today- my dad is in the hospital and will be undergoing an endoscopy procedure around noon today, and I want to be there. He started bleeding again on Wednesday, but since this is not unusual for him, he knows what to do, and started his liquid diet. He thought it had stopped, but on Friday night it returned with a vengeance, requring a trip to the ER, where they promptly did a workup and admitted him. His gastroenterologist wasn't on call, so he's seeing the GI guy covering the weekend, who will be doing the procedure today. My mom said that after dropping him off at the ER entrance, parking the car and returning to the ER, they already were taking him back to a room and at times there were four or five folks in there working with him. They really hopped to it! The ER doctor was in the room before he even had time to take off his shirt!! We're certainly not accustomed to that kind of service. Normally in our ERs there is a three to four-hour wait. We figured it would be really bad on a Friday night. However, I am sure his recent open-heart surgery puts him a little higher on the triage list. At any rate, I'll be spending some time at the hospital this afternoon. Hopefully it's just the diverticulitis acting up again and not something new. We'd appreciate some prayers for Pop today!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! More powerful than any elected official! Able to change the future with the spoken or printed word! Look, on the internet, on the television, on the radio, in the newspaper- it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman, no… it’s the MEDIA!!!! Most will agree, I think, that it’s not the President, nor is it congress or even the Supreme Court who hold the greatest influence on our nation. Yes, ultimately these people will govern our land, but it is the media who hold the power to truly change the course of the future (by dictating to the voting public who to elect to those offices). The media tells us what to wear, what to eat, what is “in” and what is “out”. Our expectations of how much is “too much” to pay for gasoline or what makes for a successful day on Wall Street. The media decided early on that Barak Obama would be our next president. Watch any news show, read most any newspaper or magazine and you will find the assumption that it is already a done deal. In the bag. I’m sure Michelle has already contracted with her design team for her inaugural ball gown. She probably already has the window measurements of the White House and will soon be ordering new drapes and china. I had an interesting conversation with my boss the other day, and he thinks that McCain is going to pull it off. My shock and surprise at his statement just confirmed that I, too, have been brainwashed by the media to be resigned to the fact that O will probably be elected. The two magazines that I read weekly are Time and Newsweek- both of which should be relegated to the status of the Sears catalog (for you city folk, that’s what country folk used for personal hygiene products in the days of the outhouse). But I digress. Both these magazines are so flaming liberal, and of course have pretty much elected him all by themselves. Now here we are 12 days out from the election, and the media have come up with a new scare tactic that seems “safe” and nonbiased. Long lines at the polls. Oh my goodness. Now we have millions of Americans who have had it drilled into their heads that Obama is leading, it’s not even close any more, and now not only are we inundated with how much money the NRC has spent on the Palines’ wardrobes (who cares?), now we are being told to expect six to eight-hour waits at the polls. This is sure to discourage McCain voters to stay home in their warm fuzzy house-robes and drink coffee instead of waiting for hours in the (many places) cold weather to cast their vote for a man who hasn’t a snowflake’s chance in Hades to win anyway. Right? Supposedly even the early-voting polls are experiencing one to three-hour waits. Like many other tactics, it is a very cleverly-disguised shot aimed at a large group of McCain supporters- the older generation. I my own personal old self would find it difficult to stand in line for longer than an hour (and wouldn’t be very patient even then!), so I don’t imagine there are many of the really older generation who would be willing or even able to stand in line for that long. So, in predicting excruciatingly long waits, the media are guaranteeing that many McCain voters will be discouraged from voting. Call it the Fear Factor. What a brilliant strategy. Let’s hope the old folks will prove them wrong and get up early, eat their Wheaties, grab their ear muffs and head on out to the polls. Maybe take their folding lawn chairs and a good book. Or Newsweek and TIME magazine. I’m sure there will be Porta Potty stops along the way.

On a much more brighter note, I had the pleasure of sharing a dinner table at the Subway last night with an old friend, whom I have become reacquainted with. He was actually probably my very first next-door-neighbor. My parents rented a house next door to his, and that’s where they were living when I was born. We grew up in a small town, though it had been many years since I had seen him. A while back I saw him at church, and now we usually chat for a few minutes before or after the service on Sundays. Between jobs last night, I ran in to Subway for a sandwich, and found him just sitting down for dinner. I invited myself to join him, and we had a really nice visit. It was a wonderful change to have a real, live, adult conversation with someone other than Whitney. Of course we talked about much the same thing as I have written about above, the political challenges we are facing, and decided that he and I need to run the country and straighten things out. I think I’ll order some campaign buttons and bumper stickers. Now if we could just get the media on our side.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Calling In Sick

Man, I hate to call in sick to work. Doesn't matter how badly I feel, and I feel rotten today, I still hate it. My boss usually isn't pleased about it either. Not just for me, but whenever anyone is out sick, he doesn't like it. I don't like it either. If I'm not at work, I'd rather it be a vacation day- not a day that I don't feel like doing anything. All that aside, today was one of those days. I've been nursing a sinus cold for almost two weeks, but thought I was much better. I woke up around 4 this morning with my head throbbing, my sinuses pouring and in general feeling bad all over. To make things worse, around 10:30 last night Whitney discovered that Leyland was burning up with fever (103.5) and having shaking chills. She had been fine all evening. She was feverish all night and again this morning. Corey has a stuffy nose and has been irritable, and Whitney isn't feeling well either. So, it has been a REALLY FUN day here at our house. Leyland went to the doctor this afternoon, and she has a red, tender throat, (Rapid-Strep negative, thank goodness!), but she has the virus that causes conjunctivitis (or chunkyvitis, as Whitney used to call it), and her eye is starting to "pink" up. He prescribed eye drops for that, but the viral thing will just have to run its course, and he told Whitney to expect the fever to go up again. She's just now home from the doctor and already starting to warm up. Poor bunny. It's almost time for my evening shift at the hospital, and I'm really dreading it. What I'd like more than anything this evening is a nice cup of hot chocolate, a darkened room and my comfy bed. Oh and my miracle bottle of Afrin.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Very Busy Day!

The day started pretty early at my house, like all my Saturdays. After my morning shift for the hospital ended, it was time for some major cleaning. Whitney and Dustin took the kids to the Fall Festival in Watkinsville today. (Mary is here this weekend and was so excited about going!!) So I had the house to myself for a few hours, which made it easier to get some chores done. I'm still looking at a pretty big mess in my office, though, and I haven't seen the top of my desk in days. I'm about to take care of that right now, do some work for Dr. F., then perhaps I might actually make it to the craft room later this evening. Unless I'm just too doggone tired to attempt it. Leyland has so much fun when Mary comes to visit. For some reason, she has always called her "B". Now she has advanced to "Maaeee" (Mary without the r sound). She just shrieks and howls with laughter and gets so excited she looks like she will jump out of her skin. They're really cute together. I got a few good photos of them this morning watching tv and "reading". I'll post them here as soon as I get them uploaded. Tomorrow will be another busy day- church in the morning, then work in the afternoon/evening. Monday will be here before I know it, and time to start all over again!! I'm wondering how Joe The Plumber is doing this weekend. He's had a pretty rough couple of days, I'll bet. He probably wishes he had never heard of Obama or McCain. Enough procrastinating- I must finish my chores and settle in for the evening. I hope I can stay awake for Sarah's debut on SNL. That will hafta be hilarious. Happy Saturday Night!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe The Plumber

A new icon for the 2008 election was introduced last night. Joe The Plumber. If you haven’t heard of him yet, you will. I thought it was a very effective move on McCain’s part to bring Joe into the picture. Now I don’t argue that big businesses need to pay their share of taxes. Not at all. Everyone should pay taxes. I’m surprised the media didn’t jump on Obama’s statement “I don’t mind paying a little more”. Of course he doesn’t mind. He’s all about Spreading The Wealth. Joe The Plumber made a good point this morning on GMA: (loosely quoted) “Why should I pay a higher tax rate just because I work hard and am successful?” He wouldn’t disclose who he is voting for, which is probably a good thing. Joe is now a famous person, supposedly representative of working-class America, whose endorsement would be huge. Poor Joe. I’ll bet he has already had to change his phone number. For we Average Joes at home, it is so difficult to form an opinion about whose ideas are better, especially on taxes and health care, when the candidates can apparently spout of facts and figures, regardless of their accuracy. I used to hate it when the news commentators would come on afterwards and dissect every word, but now I kind of enjoy it. Especially when they do the Fact Checks. Both candidates are guilty of making false statements. So what does the average Joe Plumber believe? I am a McCain supporter, and as stated above, thought his bringing Joe The Plumber into the ring was a great move. However, wanting to know more, I found the complete Joe/Obama exchange on YouTube. (Watch it here.) Again, remembering that the candidates often don’t tell the truth, and pander to the audience at hand, the entire conversation between Joe and Obama sheds a little different light on the subject than the clips you will see on TV. Joe will pay 33% taxes on his company’s income up to 250K. The money that he makes in excess of 250K will be taxed at 39%. The way the McCain campaign has presented it is that all of Joe’s money would be taxed at a higher rate. So- if Obama is telling the truth, then while it is still unfair and leaning toward a socialist ideology, it’s not quite as bad as I had thought before. However- Joe had another very valid concern this morning: Right now Obama says it is 250K. What if in the future he decides- well 250K is a lot of money, so let’s lower it to 100K. That would hurt a lot more people. How are we supposed to trust that? And how can we trust something we don’t understand? The other day I asked my boss (a very successful orthopedic surgeon) if he understands McCain’s health care/insurance reform proposal. He laughed and said he doesn’t think anyone understands it. I have looked at the websites of both candidates, and I really can’t make heads or tails out of it. Negative campaign? We NEED negative campaigning. Otherwise, we would only see the sugarcoated promises of the candidates. I want to know the down side of McCain’s proposals. I want to know the downside of Obama’s. Do you think THEY are going to tell us? Nuh Uh. Of course, the negative jabs aren’t always true either, but I think it kind of evens it out, and gives us cause to question. My mama used to tell me- If sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. I’m just ready for it to be over. And let the bleeding begin. Because bleed we will. In the meantime, Joe my friend- get out there and do the American thing. Capitalize on your new name. These folks are already doing it. Hurry and copyright Joe The Plumber (think Dale Earnhardt) and make yourself some money. Just be sure you don’t make over 250K and you’ll be fine.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bringin' Home The Bacon

So somebody else can cook it.

Yippeee!! I get to watch the debate!!! I had been trying to figure out how I was going to work four hours tonight, go to ensemble practice, and watch the debate- all within a six-hour period (assuming I would get to bed by midnight). I have been asked by the hospital to work 20 hours per week for them. I had been averaging about 12-15 per week, which sometimes was tough, but I think I have arranged the week to allow me to work the hours they have requested. Dr. Fennell has returned from medical leave, though only part time, so I’m trying to squeeze in a little time each week for him as well. It makes for a pretty grueling work week, but in my line of work, prudence dictates very careful consideration before turning away clients/work opportunities. I know that going into winter and flu season there will probably be enough work to keep me busy those 20 hours, but then there will be times in the spring and summer that I can go back to fewer hours. Though a struggle at times, it really is a win/win for me. The compensation is excellent, and it is work I can do from home in my jammies. I miss sleeping in on Saturdays, but I find as I get older that I simply can’t loll about in the bed until noon anyway. Maybe there is some urgency that I don’t have as many years in front of me as I do behind me, so I don’t want to spend it sleeping in? Maybe. At any rate- this morning there was an e-mail from Tammy, transcription supervisor at the hospital, that the work load is manageable for them today and I can be off tonight! How cool is that!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

Scrapbook pages of children in pumpkin patches are some of my favorites. This year I decided we would have some of those pages in our books. Saturday afternoon, Whitney and Dustin took the babies to the Pumpkin Patch in Watkinsville. Miss Leyland was in a rebellious mood and refused to pose for pictures (except for one, which was worth the wait, it’s so cute!), so we have lots of action shots of her. Corey was strapped to his mommy’s chest in the Snugli, so we don’t have many shots of him. The folks over at the pumpkin patch have got a really good thing going on. For $8.00 a head (no charge for the kidlets), you can pet some farm animals, let the kids roam through a hay-bale-maze, slide down a really big slide (Dustin wouldn’t let Leyland do that), and play in a ball pit- only instead of balls, it’s dried up corn kernels. (Whitney had to stand guard very carefully- we didn’t want any nose-stuffing going on in the corn pit!) There’s also a 30-minute hay ride. They had a really good time, and came home with enough pictures, I think, to do a nice layout. We also hope to get up to Hoschton to see the scarecrows and maybe have some photo ops there. The folks who bought Ms. Grace Roberds’ house have a nice pumpkin/scarecrow display in their yard. Maybe we’ll stop by and ask of we can photograph the babies in their yard. I am GOING to have those layouts! In the meantime, here’s a few pics of the Pumpkin Patch trip.

Monday, October 13, 2008

View From The Top

Well, I guess it's official. I'm an old codger now. Yep, Over The Hill. You know The Hill I'm talking about.

And it is wonderful! I'm thankful to have lived one half of a century, and look forward to many more birthday cakes. It has been a lovely life so far, and I have been very blessed. Not without its bumps and rough patches, of course, but they say mistakes are only mistakes if we don't learn from them. I should be brilliant by now. With age comes wisdom. And wrinkles. Things that sag. And empty spots in the brain. I must say, it's rather nice to have something upon which to blame my senility. Honestly- I was so excited yesterday to have gotten so much work done. I worked for the hospital in the morning, for Dr. F. in the afternoon, and in between patients I got my laundry done, and my clothes sorted for the week. Doesn't get much better than that. One of my constant nagging worries is whatever to wear to the office. My wardrobe is not so much to choose from, it is simply finding a clean blouse that will match the clean slacks. And then there is the ever-so-impossible task of finding the proper footwear. I can usually manage to keep up with my shoes, but my socks, hose and trouser socks are another challenge altogether. So you will understand my delight at having all my laundry done, clean socks/hose/trouser socks, and all my shoes tucked nicely away in their respective slots on my over-the-door-shoe-holder-thingy. Ready for the work week. This morning, after the usual girly stuff with the hair and the face, I dressed quickly and efficiently and went about my morning, happy to be on time for work. Oh My Goodness. As I walked across the parking lot, I happened to look down and noticed One Blue Sock and One Black Sock. Too late now, I wasn't about to drive 44 miles round-trip just to change out one sock. So, I just laughed it off, showed my co-workers my faux pas, and marked it up to senility. I can do that. I'm An Old Lady Now.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Goodbye Michelle

Is it possible to love someone you've only "met" through the internet? I'm not talking about internet matchmaking or e-dating. I'm talking about learning to love someone who doesn't even know you exist, except for comments left for her to read. For the past several months, I have faithfully read the blog of a woman named Michelle, a young mother of two children, former university professor at UNC. "Former", because she has been fighting a debilitating, terminal illness called scleroderma. You may have read an earlier post by me describing her blog. If not, you can find it here.

Upon checking her blog for today's entry, I was very saddened to read that her journey ended yesterday afternoon. Sad for very selfish reasons. You see, I have indeed come to love this woman. As a mother, I cannot imagine how horrible it would be to know that you are dying and will leave your children motherless. I remember when Whitney was a little over a year old, finding a lump in my neck and the suffocating fear that I would die. Not because I am afraid of death. I don't WANT to die just yet, but I do not fear it. No, the suffocation that I felt was not my leaving my family, but that my child would never know me, nor the depth of my love for her. Thankfully, obviously, the lump was nothing with which to be concerned, but it took nine different physician opinions to finally convince me of that. At any rate, the thought of dying and leaving one's children motherless has to be one of the most frightening things I (and probably many mothers) have ever experienced.

Michelle has known for a very long time that she would die. She was a professor of public health at UNC, and her husband a physician, so their clinical knowledge of what she was facing was both helpful and discouraging, I would imagine. She decided to keep a blog/journal of her recollections of her childhood, her life's journey through college, marriage, diagnosis of her illness, motherhood, and finally the debilitating part of the disease and the suffering of the latter days. It is not morbid, as one would think. Her writing is very inspiring, often hilarious, sometimes of course sad, thought-provoking, and in general makes me want to be a better person. Most people just go through life "existing" from one day to the next. We are so wrapped up in our own worlds that sadly, when we leave this earth, it is only those within our own world that will miss us or even know we were here. Not so with Michelle. There have been so many "strangers" who have written beautiful comments on her blog, that it is easy to see that her words, her life, her experiences and her willingness to share herself so openly have indeed touched the "worlds" of many, many people. As I stated in my original post about her, her language is sometimes strong, and it is difficult to tell where her religious thoughts go sometimes, but if one can see above the differences in her life and one's own, the blog is an absolute life-changer. I know it rocked my world. I am happy to see that her husband is going to keep the blog up, as many people will continue to discover it even after her death. It is unbelievable how she tried to prepare her family for the inevitable, and she went so far as to create treasure boxes for each of her children with special things to remember her by. She purchased and wrapped gifts, (including cards with letters/notes inside) for special occasions such as birthdays, to be opened at the proper times. She created a slideshow for her funeral. She wrote a goodbye message to be read at her funeral, which will be posted on the blog after the service on Thursday. So many things she did to make it easier for her family after she was gone. I promise you, if you want to be inspired, if you want to learn how, not to DIE, but to LIVE, then check out this blog. You will laugh, and you will cry. And you will read of courage, strength and a mother's love so strong it will amaze you. Yes, it is possible to love someone you only "know" through the internet. Though I am happy that she is now at peace, I loved her, and I will miss her.

If you would like to meet one of my heros, visit her blog, Diary of A Dying Mom.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Few Of My Favorite Things

I’ve celebrated lots of birthdays in my life, and I’ve received some really nice gifts through the years. However, there are two that stand out as my all-time favorites. The first is difficult to describe. It’s a miniature Christmas tree, about 9” tall, made out of strands of tiny glass beads that have been looped or crocheted into a tree form. Tiny little decorations adorn the tree, complete with a star on top and a tiny set of lights, so small you can barely see them even when they are lit. I had seen this kit at Michael’s back in the fall of 1995. I had surgery that October, and while I was recovering, my mom took Whitney shopping, and she bought the kit for me with her very own money. I was so surprised, and even to this day, it’s one of My Favorite Things. Underneath the tiny little tree with the tiny little ornaments, are tiny little gifts, a tiny little rocking horse, and a little tiny train on a little tiny track. My mom and dad gave me the base with the glass-dome thingy that covers it and protects it from the vicious dust bunnies that live with me. This is Favorite Birthday Present Number One. Not because I saw it, I wanted it and I got it… but that my sweet daughter KNEW that I wanted it, and got it for me with her own money. Back up a few years to the time I turned 30 years old. For some strange reason, I have simply never felt my age. (Oh yeah, I’m starting to feel some old-age things NOW, but still don’t feel as old as I really am!) When in high school, the kids one year ahead of me were like… ancient adults, so “mature”. When I entered the work force, I was the “new kid” and everyone else so much older. The doctors coming out of school were older. Yeah… that has changed too. Now I’m old enough to be the mother of the new doctors coming out of school!!! Anyway, I digress. The year I turned 30, it was a mental thing for me, and I remember thinking, “Yippeee, I’m finally an adult now!” Of course it is a rite of passage to be the brunt of all kinds of jokes when one reaches that milestone in life, so I was delighted to turn thirty and think that people would consider me a grown-up now, and enjoyed the Over The Hill jokes and remarks. I don’t remember any great fanfare on the big day, no flashing signs in my yard, no black roses or balloons. I don’t even remember where my husband took me to dinner, but I remember exactly what I wore, which tells me that we didn’t go anywhere fancy. My sister-in-law, Norma, gave me the most perfect gift, and it remained Favorite Gift Number One for all those years, until the Tiny Little Christmas Tree knocked it down to the still highly-esteemed Number Two slot. It was simply a white sweatshirt with a row of fluffy pink bunny rabbits across the front. Right smack in the middle, sticking out like a sore thumb, was a silver bunny. The caption read: (I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now!) OH NO, A GREY HARE!!!!! I laughed and laughed until I thought I would cry when I opened it. I wore it proudly out to dinner that evening, and nearly wore the print off the shirt from all the washin’ and wearin’. I still have that sweatshirt. It is safely packed away in a box somewhere, as I couldn’t convince myself to throw it in the Goodwill bag, no matter how much too small it became, or how threadbare. I wish I could find another one like it. The only difference would be that, 20 years later, those little “hares” have been very fruitful. And multiplied.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Good Week So Far!

Ahhh… my week of culinary delight continues… Birthday dinner at my mom’s last night was not very carb-counter-friendly, but I didn’t do so badly. A family favorite- hot smoke links, mashed potatoes, biscuits and gravy. Can you say YUM-YUM!!! I warned my mom that she needed to buy lots of smoke links in order to avoid a fork-fight. I wasn’t in the mood to be extracting metal objects from the fingers of my loved ones. Thankfully there were plenty to go around and no fork-fighting ensued… though we came close when it was time to divide the spoils and fix doggie bags. After dinner we enjoyed some chill time, and Leyland adopted Ryan to be her Pal For The Night. It was a really nice evening. We were missing Linda and Tori, but all the rest of the gang was there. Making it an even more wonderful evening was the surprise waiting for me at home. My daughter had cleaned my kitchen! I mean CLEANED my kitchen! There’s actually a small countertop beside my fridge! It’s been a while since I’ve seen it. Not only that, she baked the birthday cake for desert, using the old can-of-Sprite-trick, so it wasn’t so fat-and-calorie-laden. She was a busy bee yesterday, even with two little ones underfoot. Thanks, Whit!!!! Tonight Grey’s Anatomy comes on TV, and I’ll get some laundry put away. It has been a good week so far. Wonder what’s for dinner tonight….

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Morning After / Bon Appetit!

My thoughts on the debate last night are surprisingly few. If I had his ear this morning, this is what I would say to our republican candidate: Senator McCain, you should forfeit your spot on the podium this coming Wednesday night and let Sarah do your debating for you. I’m still voting for you, and I still think you’re the lesser of the two evils, as it were, but man you gotta do something about your public persona. Your delivery stinks. I have tried to be very diligent to bone up on policies (both sides, not just yours), and though I’m not crazy about (what I understand of) all your policies, I am even less so with Obama’s. It’s a done deal for me. I’m voting for you. But there are still a large number of undecided people out there, and regardless of your platform, there are people who are going to vote for you (or not) based on how they perceive you as a person. You need to take charisma lessons from Senator Obama, who has fooled millions of people with his smooth-talking, winning ways. Of course running the country is more than being voted “Miss Congeniality”, but before you can hold the office, you’ve got to win the election.

Now, a shout-out to my lovely daughter!For the past two evenings, my palate has been delighted with the culinary achievements of my firstborn. Actually, my only-born. Like her ability to solve math problems even in her sleep, she has swam outside my DNA pool to inherit a knack for cooking. And doggone it, she has surpassed even my mom on two dishes. Well, one’s a dish, one’s a bowl. Her chicken stew could pass muster with even Daddy Bill, I believe, and her meatloaf is to die for. She was a bit distressed last night, saying she didn’t have enough bread crumbs, so she substituted crushed up Corn Flakes. (We decided not to tell Dustin until after he ate it. He packed it for lunch today, so I’m guessing he liked it.) Not only was it an acceptable substitute, it was exceptionally delicious!! Perfect texture and moistness factor. Way to go Whitney!! I had a Heavenly David Steak on Saturday night and enough for leftovers on Sunday night. We’re having dinner at GiGi’s tonight for Ryan’s birthday, so that will be five nights in a row of scrumptious, home-cooked meals. So, what’s for dinner on Thursday, Whit?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's Just A Number, It's Just A Number, It's just.....

A couple of years ago my physician expressed concern over my fasting blood sugars and A1Cs, as they seemed to be trending upward each year. She finally convinced me to attend a diabetes education class at the hospital. This was a very intense program, consisting of consultations with a dietitian, a fitness nurse, and several evenings of classes with other patients. It was somewhat informative- but at the time I was in such a state of denial that my attitude was “That doesn’t apply to me.” Honestly. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around the fact that it DID apply to me. It has been a source of frustration for me to know, deep in the recesses of my heart, that I must face the issue. A very dear friend of mine (sister by adoption) has been battling cancer for what seems like forever, and just keeps on fighting for all she’s got. What I don’t understand about myself is this- If I were given the diagnosis of a terminal illness, I know that, like my friend, I would fight and fight and do everything within my power to beat the disease. Well, diabetes is a terminal illness. Not as menacingly aggressive like cancer, rather a slow-burning, behind-the-scenes monster that will wreak havoc on every organ in the body if not kept under tight control. One of the most amazing things I learned in the class was this: it’s not that the pancreas of a diabetic person doesn’t produce insulin. Rather, our blood cells are surrounded by tiny little things called insulin receptors. In the diabetic, these receptors form a barrier that will not allow the insulin to enter into the cell. Now- the AMAZING thing… exercise does something to those little receptors that removes (or lowers) the barrier, to allow insulin to enter the blood stream. There’s so much that I don’t understand about it, and medical folks might balk at my description, but that’s my interpretation of how it works. Anyway, HOW COOL IS THAT, that there is actually a weapon, a huge line of defense to fight the effects of this disease! And how UNCOOL is it that I have failed to embrace the power. I have, in reality, been diagnosed with a terminal illness. And I have not even begun to fight. Well, that’s not entirely true either. Before I went to the beach, I had a few days where I felt pretty crummy, and started checking my blood sugar at home. It was not good. Finally the realization hit me that it is time to take ownership of my neglect, apathy, denial, and get busy fighting. I scheduled an appointment with Kay Melvin’s daughter-in-law, Beth, a delightful young woman who is a diabetes educator/dietitian at the hospital where I work. Perhaps the most valuable part of the consultation was her helping me to understand that an ongoing blood sugar of 165 is a TERRIBLE thing- when I had thought it not so bad. I came away with a renewed determination to make a conscious effort to get it under control. This would include counting carbs, exercising, and most importantly, taking the medication that had been sitting unopened in a drawer for over a year. I am so proud of myself! I check my blood sugar every morning before breakfast, I count carbs, I am taking my medication, and Cortney and I walk 1.2 miles three times a week during lunch. My blood sugar is showing signs of improvement, though I may need further medication to get tighter control. Last Tuesday Cortney, Mary and I went downstairs to the physical therapy office and weighed in. We decided to weigh once a week. So that means today is weigh-in day. Mary lost a couple of pounds, Cortney stayed the same, and yours truly GAINED THREE POUNDS!! Now tell me- how in the world could that possibly be???? I’m not wearing heavy clothes, I took my shoes off, all the usual things that one would do when weighing. Okay, so the old me would drive over to McDonalds and order a Super-Sized breakfast meal with lots of fried stuff, biscuits and a large order of pancakes with lots of syrup. I’m counting it as a victory that the *new* me, though disappointed in the number on the scale, returned to the break room and had my normal breakfast of a mini-bagel with WW whipped cream cheese, coffee and a sugar-free, noncaloric drink. Aren’t you proud of me?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Autum In the Air

Autumn. My absolute favorite time of the year! Back in the olden days, before global warming and drought conditions left the southeast such a tinderbox, leaf disposal was a major factor in the atmosphere of our little town. Literally. Every house up and down Broad Street, and all the side streets, had little piles of dried, red, orange, brown, and yellow leaves raked out beside the road. We didn’t have paved sidewalks in those days, just the sweet Georgia dirt, often interrupted by roots of the oak trees that had stood sentinel for decades. Between the dirt sidewalks and the wide lane of the street, the little piles of leaves would sit. Late afternoon would find these little mounds of leaves crackling with unseen flames, simmering with acorns, tiny wisps of smoke drifting upward. We didn't worry so much about air pollution in those days, and it was not uncommon to look down the street and notice a light haze floating about tree-top level. And the smell. Oh my goodness. Few things beckon memories of my childhood so vividly as the smell of burning leaves. It is nearly a lost “art” these days, what with air-quality concerns, drought conditions, watering restrictions, and an aging population now unable to rake the yard themselves. The younger generation hires out lawn maintenance services, or at the least, big riding mowers with mulchers so that there is no longer the need to rake one’s yard. Our parents “let” us rake the leaves, (how very clever of them!) only so that we could run wildly into the pile and scatter them all over again. Just so we left the leaves neatly piled beside my dad’s garden. You see, I enjoyed this leaf-burning ritual only as an observer (or sniffer). My dad was a gardener/greenhouse owner, and wouldn’t let us burn the leaves. He used them for mulch. How boring. I believe, though, this personal deprivation allowed me to enjoy the smells of the season even more. The smell would waft into our open windows in the crisp night air, and I remember many evenings sitting on the porch swing at BJ's or Lisa's house, watching the little curls of smoke and enjoying my favorite end-of-summer tradition. Nowadays, it is the rare treasured moment to walk or drive through a patch of air heavy with the scent of smoldering autumn leaves. By chance when it happens, I am a little girl again, taken back in time by the simple delights of home-grown memories.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


My nephew Ryan's birthday is today. I remember vividly the night he was born. I had no idea the flood of emotion that would fill me as my brother proudly picked him up, kissed him, then turned him toward the window for us to see. They say that babies fill a place in your heart that you didn't know was empty. That little place in my heart was filled that night. Happy Birthday kiddo! I love you!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Doin' The Sarah Happy Dance

I can’t believe I’m beating Ryan to the punch with a blog post! I figured he would be up all night writing about the VP debate. Let me just say- THANK YOU SARAH for redeeming yourself from the recent press disasters, and being well-prepared. Yes, we still saw some issue-evading, but isn’t that part of the mantle of politics? My favorite part was when she said (paraphrased) “I’m not from Washington and I may not answer questions the way you want me to” I loved it!Quite frankly, I was a bit nervous going in- nervous in her behalf, for surely she knew the stakes were much higher and her “performance” at this debate could be a deal breaker. Do I believe she is ready to become President should the unthinkable befall McCain? Absolutely not. But you know what does impress me? Her ability to learn as much as she has learned in the past five weeks. I am not saying that the office of President is one that should offer on-the-job training. That concerns me a little bit. To her advantage, is the “new face in Washington” line of thinking. She doesn’t owe anyone anything, and she is strong enough to avoid those who would try to mold her into what they want. I am still more comfortable with a McCain-Palin White House than I am an Obama-Biden White House. I’m still voting for McCain (sorry Ryan!) but I’m also willing to concede that there things about his platform that concern me. The prospects of a McCain-Palen White House are growing dimmer, I am afraid, and I’m trying to prepare myself for a disappointment. I think I can suffer an Obama presidency with Biden as his wing man. Though I don’t know much about him, his 30+ years of experience will do well for Obama’s on-the-job training. I guess this morning I’m just breathing a sigh of relief that Sarah survived the debate without imploding the entire campaign. Now I’ll just watch McCain and Obama duke it out two more times, and hope the same thing can be said of him.

Did this debate change the minds of the undecided voters? Perhaps not. It’s hard for me to say, though, because I don’t fall into that category; I’m not among the undecided. However, we must recognize that the average, Main-Street American Dick and Jane are not politically savvy, policy-aware citizens. There are folks like me, who have been intrigued by this election year, and folks who are so apathetic that they won’t even vote. Somewhere in the middle lies the population of people who will vote for someone because they “like” or “trust” them. To that end, I think Sarah has an advantage. Caution tells us that she is without national/international expertise, but our hearts tell us that she is likeable and she can be trusted to be a strong, new force in Washington. Granted, electoral votes will be the deciding factor, but I think it is the very attitude that “enough is enough” of the same-old-same-old thing, that will give Sarah an advantage with the everyday folks who take minimal interest in the election.

On a lighter note, I want to add that apparently I am not the only person who sees all math as Fuzzy Math. Yesterday I went to the websites of my state officials and my US Senators & representatives. There are feedback forums on these websites, and I was amazed at some of the comments I read there. I have to admit that I totally laughed out loud when I saw over and over again where people had posted the very same bailout alternative that I had posted on my blog. The very same post that my daughter pointed out was a mathematical impossibility. Someone even changed the formula to use the 700B figure and suggested that every American should be given 1M. I forget how many zeros that ended up, but it was in the trillions of dollars. So. I feel somewhat relieved (or should I be WORRIED) that I’m not the only one who fell for that without checking the math. But at least I posted it on my blog, where only a handful of people might see it, as opposed to on the website of an elected official for all the world to see. Right???