Thursday, December 30, 2004

Control Freak or Student of Life?

Remember back in the day when gas stations would pump the gasoline for you? Well my Father would be outside of the vehicle dutifully watching over the attendant. I mean like a hawk. I would ask my Dad what exactly he was watching for when he finally got back into the car? He would always say, I always try to learn new things. Well one would think that by the time self service gas stations came around he’d be an expert at pumping it. Not so much.

Then there'd be the heating and air repair tech making the bi-annual visit to service the furnace and compressor. My Dad would be right there in the guy's workspace usually in his way. My Dad is quite charming so it makes perfect sense that he is able to shadow anyone who appears at the house for repair duties. He explains how he is a student of life and he lives to learn new stuff. How can you argue with that?

When it was time for me to move out of the house, my Dad decided to give me a quick lesson on the inner workings of a car. Being a physician he tends to relate all his lessons around the human body. So he would label the parts of the engine after the parts of the body. You mean you didn't get this same lesson?? Battery = the heart, radiator = lungs, carburetor = liver and so on.

As he gets older, it's more about lack of trust versus wanting control over all things. We try to schedule repair visits when Dad is not home. It seems this new generation does not find my Father's quest for enlightenment all that charming. We tried to hire a teen to mow the lawn so that my 78 year old Father doesn't have to deal with that especially in the hot summer. As you may have guessed after about the second time he went out to learn how the kid's lawnmower functioned, we never saw the young man again. I am pretty sure the Jiffy Lube Team specifically added the "no more standing with us in the service bay" clause to keep him from his thirst for knowledge.

So for all those service related people that will eventually meet my Father, please be kind to your elder.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Happy Christmakwanzikah!!!!!

My wish to all of you is good health and happiness.

Hope all your Holiday wishes come true.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Tis the Season…..

..for wacko shoppers.

It is not a secret that I may be one of a few females on the planet who dislikes, no hates, shopping. For me to be able to go out and procure seasonal gifts is a big deal. I must strike when the shopping mood hits. I have been known to lose that mood even before I get to the store. If that happens, I just turn around and go back home.

This brings me to last years shopping excursion. A local chain department store had a big deal, Ram-a-lama-ding-dang sale. The store was open till midnight. I purposely waited to arrive at the store after 10:30 pm thinking all the normal people who had to get up for work the next day would have already left. That’s what I get for thinking. So there I was with my shopping mood in full force. I was prepared for the crowds and people bumping into me and trying to navigate around the tightly spaced racks of stuff. I was happily going about my gift procurement minding my own business. I had picked up a sweater and was holding it at eye level, trying to decide if my sister would like it. When all of a sudden I find myself wrestling with a much shorter woman (MSW) who has a firm grasp on the hem of the sweater. She is pulling with all her might. Here then is our exchange:

Wicked H: (while swiftly yanking the sweater back into my possession) Do you mind?
MSW: I want that sweater!!
Wicked H: Did you notice that I was in possession of the sweater when you tried snatching it away?
MSW: I didn’t notice that.
Wicked H: Oh, did you think the sweater was levitating magically?
MSW: ( stupid stare)
Wicked H: Lady, as you can see, there is a whole rack right next to where you are standing with the exact sweater.
MSW: I want that one.
Wicked H: If you don’t back off, you are going to die!
MSW: (while taking 10 steps backwards) Well! Happy holidays to you too.
Wicked H: Yea, yea…BITE ME!

The Holidays bring out the best in everyone, don’t they? Be careful shopping out there! You never know which store and what type of mood I’ll be in. I have thought about online shopping, but I have waited too long, yet again.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Top 10 Reasons My Trip to the Beach was Perfect:

#10 - NO shopping!! Outlets schmoutlets.
# 9 - Unplanned itinerary. Who schedules every meal before you leave for the trip???
# 8 - Uncontrolled giggling complete with snorting. Especially during the un-savories versus savories discussion. ( okay, maybe I was the only one snorting…)
# 7 – At least one phone call per day to hear how much you are being missed – SIGH
# 6 – Unlimited evening cocktails imbibed on the balcony with the waves crashing below.
# 5 – Three and a half mile trek on the beach each morning during which time all bad things are purged from my head.
# 4 – Heated indoor lazy river. I had forgotten the joy of reading while floating in a pool.
#3 – The picture perfect weather for early December. Sunny, clear skies, light winds.
# 2 – Independence Airlines – I highly recommend them people! Cannot beat the price and service.

And the #1 reason my trip to the Beach was perfect. My traveling partners: HFS and HFS Jr. It could not have gotten better than that…..


...what a concept?

I am back to reality after 5 days of complete rest and relaxation. Let me catch up with reality and I will post details later. Oh, Howard - I promise to send you an e-mail with the details you requested. No worries!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

What Happens at the Office Christmas Party.....

...stays at the office Christmas party.

That's all I am saying.

Hello! Freaking, Ding DING

The other day I was trying to get in touch with my Mom. I try to call her a few times a week while at work. I should do it every day. Trust me I am trying to do better. I had tried for an hour straight. I kept getting the internal answering system message. Now you have to understand that my parents are 78 years old. Low maintenance technology works best for them. They have a normal answering machine which took the better part of a year to master. Why my brother-in-law signed them up for the answering service through the local phone company is beyond me. They never check those message because it involves too many steps.

In any case, it became clear to me that 1) my Mom accidentally forgot to hit the end button on the cordless phone or 2) something happened to her. Bridezilla lives 2 minutes away and is currently unemployed. I thought I would call her and ask her to check on Mom. I told her that I figured Mom left the phone off the hook could she please go over there and make sure everything was alright. She agreed.

A couple minutes later my cell phone rings. Bridezilla is reporting back:

Bridezilla: I went by the house, Mom is not home.
Wicked: Did you hang up the phone?
Bridezilla: No, I didn’t go in. I saw that her car was not in the garage and left.
Wicked: If you got out of your car to walk into the breezeway and open up the interior garage door to see if her car was there, why couldn’t you go into the house and hang up the phone?
Bridezilla: I didn’t want to disturb the house.
Wicked: Huh?!?!?!?!?!
Bridezilla: (Silence on her end - it was such a stupid excuse even she did not have a come back)
Wicked: Please go back and hang up the phone. The last thing we want is for Dad to try to call, panic and race home. ( He has done this several times, she forgets to hit end a lot)
Bridezilla: Well, okay. If that is what you want.....

I swear I am adopted

Monday, December 06, 2004

Southern Fried Happiness...

Twelve years ago today, the best thing that ever entered my life was born. You guessed it, my golden retriever turns 12 today. Happy Birthday Dexter!!!

Dexter is southern fried, he was born in Charlotte North Carolina. We have been together since he was six weeks old. I was honored to be picked by him. I went to pick out my pup from the owner and asked her to only show me the males. She brought 5 of them to me and as I sat on the floor among them all, Dexter was the first to crawl up and give me a big ole kiss. It was love at first site. Too bad it isn’t this easy with the non-furry male variety. (Another post for another time)

Dexter has been through not one but two very scary medical emergencies. I thought I was going to lose him both times. Thank goodness he survived. How it was possible for him to be livelier after the second illness at age 9 is still a mystery to me. He is a very healthy 12, knock on wood. I am the proud Granny of 16 grand pups. Dexter was quite the stud in his day.

My parents will tell you that they currently have 2 grand kids; one furry and one not. I am proud to announce that I gave them their first grand kid, furry but not loved any less than Little Mermaid. Although I have noticed that lately Little Mermaid is racking up more gifts than Dexter. What’s up with that? I guess if you count all the food scraps that Dexter is surely receiving when in his Grand Parents charge, then the gift ratio is more equal. Does anyone else out there have a furry kid who’s Grand Father gives them a report of how many centimeters pooped and liters peed? I didn’t think so. Dexter is one lucky dog!!

Happy 12th Dexie!!! May the rest of your years be very healthy and happy.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Puppy Love

Remember your first serious crush? I do, Phillip S. ( you never know who reads these things..). Phillip was the first boy to give me his ID bracelet. Yes, I am that old.

It was all very sweet. He would walk me to class and we’d hold hands during lunch. I know, cavities are forming. It was that warm fuzzy feeling to have someone care about you. Of course situations like these were frowned upon by my parental units. So it was a big secret that I had possession of the ID bracelet. Don’t get me wrong, I would always wear it but it would be hidden from Mom and Dad.

My older sister was away at college during that time of my life. For the record we were not too close then. When she would come home on weekends she was too busy to spend time with me. She was going through her college growing pains and I was going through my adolescent ones. We bickered back then more than anything else. However, I felt the need of sharing my news with her. So one night when she was home I showed her Phillip’s ID bracelet. She didn’t seem too amused by it but she did promise not to tell Mom and Dad. I felt better letting the cat out of the bag.

As siblings will do, we had some type of altercation that visit. I don’t remember what it was but it obviously annoyed her to the point of revenge. That night at dinner we were having our normal family catch up session. My sister asked Mom and Dad if they heard of my news. Gulp! Here is how the conversation went:

Dad: What’s your news?
Me: Oh , nothing really.
Dad: Tell us.
Me: Well, I have a friend, Phillip.
Dad: And?
Me: Um, well, we are going together.
Dad: Going where?
Me: No where, just together.
Sister: Show them your bracelet.
Me: No, it’s not important.
Dad/Mom: What bracelet?

After a long lecture on how my having Phillip’s ID bracelet was inappropriate, I was told to return it to him. Poor Phillip, I don’t think he understood why I was returning it. To be honest, I didn’t even understand why. Unfortunately , in my house you didn’t ask why, you were required to do it.

So there you have it. I blame my older sister for the fact that I remain single after all these years. I have to blame someone!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The Season for Counting Blessings

I know it’s cliché, but I wanted to take a moment to begin the season by counting my blessings. It is the perfect time for it after all. I promise to return to sarcasm and wit, try to at least, after this post.

I had a pretty big health scare in the summer so I am thankful that all that went well. I am happy that my parents are still around and healthy and for the most part our family gatherings are fun. Dexter is around and quite healthy which makes me very happy. Even though she remains a terror, I am very glad to see that Bridezilla is now happy and will remain so ever after. I am quite pleased to see the bond between me and Nutcracker Sweet get stronger and stronger each day, hard to imagine her not in my life. Then there is Little Mermaid who is the brightest of forces in my life. Since I can no longer have kids, she is the next best thing. I am glad to have weeded out the negative influences in my life and gained a very positive albeit challenging one. What’s life without challenge, right? Of course I am thankful for Michael Bolton because without him I would have never met and become friends for life with HFS and her daughter HFS, Jr. Thank you Michael Bolton!!!

I hope as all of you travel over the river and through the woods to Granny’s house you have a safe journey. Please, take a moment to count your blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2004


Otherwise known as Holiday gatherings for Family Wicked. This Thanksgiving will differ slightly from our norm. Who am I kidding? We don’t have a norm, it is part of our charm after all. But the difference this year will be the addition of Uncle Fun, my new brother-in-law, as well as my favorite Aunt and Uncle. Another seemingly major difference is the annoying habit that is being demonstrated by our parental units, more so this year than last. Of course if you ask Nutcracker Sweet, she will tell you that I am in denial and that it has been happening for quite some time. ( I keep urging her to get her own blog going…) What a surprise, I digressed.

So the annoying habit referred to above are miscommunications which lead to all sorts of oddities. You have to know that my folks are 78 years old. Personally I think that if you have lived that long you have the right to act odd. I mean think of all the headaches I alone have caused my parents. My Father will tell anyone who will listen, and the list is getting shorter and shorter, that I am the cause of all the gray hairs on his head. He is right, at least I didn’t cause his hair to fall out. There IS always a silver lining. Pun intended!!!

See, I come by this miscommunication thing honestly. I come from a long line of digressers. Anyway, the issue is this. My folks can’t seem to remember too many details of extended conversations anymore. This alone is driving us batty. I could go on endlessly but lucky for you I won’t. I will say that my older sister and I have divvied up the menu for Thanksgiving so as not to tax my Mom too much this year. So far, all my Mom is responsible for is the bird. Me and nutcracker Sweet will do the rest and bring it over to Mom & Dad’s house. Sounds simple enough. This morning my Mom called me at work to see how I was and to remind me that I didn’t check in over the weekend. More gray hairs!!! I asked what time dinner was on Thursday and she said she didn’t know. I asked if she could give me a ballpark figure. She said I don’t care, pick a time. I suggested that she confer with Dad, he is usually the picky one when it comes to the time of any meal. She said fine and hung up.

Hopefully she will remember to let me know…..

Thursday, November 18, 2004


My new favorite word. I am the first to admit that in my younger years I was tudalicious. It was ugly, especially around the surging hormonal years between 11-13. I was awful. Thankfully with age came wisdom and a huge attitude adjustment. Pouting is not even on my list of emotions anymore. I am still a very giving person. It’s part of who I am and of course I have good and bad days. I am human after all.

Lately I have come across many tudalicious people. Divas with tudes, dudes with tudes, it has been a virtual tude-o-rama. Maybe it was ignited with the time and season change. I am not sure but I knew these same people or ran into these same strangers and things were different a few months ago.

I wish I had the time and energy to try and sit and talk with the tudicapped individuals in my vicinity. Don’t get me wrong, I have tried the whole olive branch scenario. But we are talking some serious problems here. I hope that these folks are able to work out whatever their demons are because I am not sure how much longer the rest of us are going to have sympathy. There comes a time when you have to stop and take inventory of yourself and use the power you have within you to either ask for help or get better.

Until then, Prozac cocktails for everyone!!!!

Monday, November 15, 2004

This Little Piggy....

…wasn’t supposed to do that!!

My first job in a doctor’s office was with a double board certified internist/endocrinologist. A highly intelligent woman. I learned so much working with her. She remains my Mother’s physician to this day.

We saw many diabetic patients. Part of their exam included a thorough check of the feet. The rule was if the patient was diabetic, their shoes and socks needed to be off before the doctor came in to see them. I was rooming a middle aged diabetic woman in a wheel chair. Her main caretaker was her husband who seemed to be quite attentive. We got the patient onto the exam table together and he removed her sweater. I asked if he could also remove her shoes and socks and I was headed out the door. He said he would prefer it if I removed them. So I came back into the room and removed her shoes and then her left sock first. I have a quirky way of removing other’s socks. I will pull the sock off over the heel and bunch it up at the toes, then grab the toe portion of the sock and yank it off in one swift motion. As I was pulling off the right sock, I noticed 2 things. The first was that I have something else in my fingers besides the sock and the second was the smell of rotted flesh. The reason the husband did not want to remove her shoes and socks was because she had a gangrenous toe which I had just proceeded to amputate while pulling off her sock.

It all seemed to happen so slowly. I panicked and with the sock and TOE still in my hand backed out of the room and nearly ran over the Doctor. She looked at me and asked what was wrong. I told her I pulled the patient’s toe off and she needed to excuse me while I went to loose my breakfast. She took the sock and toe and rushed into the room.

I will never forget that day. I felt horrible about the lady’s toe. The Doctor spent the better part of that day trying to convince me that the patient’s toe was barely hanging on. Although I was told how not to remove patient’s socks from that day forward. I am happy to report that I have not repeated that mistake an hopefully never will.

Friday, November 12, 2004

More Wacky Medical Tales

Back in East Jesus NC, I had another unusual encounter with a member of the community. Keep in mind that due to the size of the town, microscopic, all of us knew each other quite well. Sometimes whether we wanted to or not, one of the perks of small town living.

This brings us to the town florist, married with three young boys. He was quite the talented flower arranger, a stellar member of his church and very active in the community theatre. He shows up at the general surgeon’s office one day stating he has a problem. Part of my job is to asses the patient before the surgeon sees him so that I can have the proper equipment prepared. I learned quickly that if the problem involved male parts, the patient was not going to discuss the actual problem with me. Fair enough. When he began to stammer and stutter when I inquired as to the nature of his problem , I told him that he did not have to discuss it with me. The doctor would be in shortly. As I passed the surgeon in the hall I told him that it was most likely a “male” issue so the room was not prepared. He smiled and went on into the exam room.

I went about my other tasks in the office. A few minutes later the surgeon popped his head into my office and said we have a slight problem. It seems the florist has an infected piercing and the Doctor needs an extra pair of hands to remove the object. My assistance is needed. Oh goodie! He told me that the florist is aware that I will be present during the procedure and that although he isn’t thrilled about it, he has agreed.

By the time I get into the exam room, the florist’s member is fully anesthetized and he is in position for the procedure. I can honestly say that knowing this gentleman, I would have never guessed that he would have a piercing. Never judge a book by its cover, shame on me. So we carefully remove the ring/post and unfortunately have to complete the circumcision as he was partially gangrened. Why did he wait so long? Things could have turned out better had he acted more quickly. Some lessons are learned the hard way I suppose.

From that day on, if I needed to order flowers from him I made sure I placed the order by phone. You see he would not look me in the eye after that visit. I guess I can’t blame him

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


One of my all time favorite vacations took place in 1984. My Uncle took my cousin and I camping along the Mediterranean and Aegean Coastline. This was my first time camping. Come to think of it, it was a maiden camping voyage. None of us had pitched a tent before that trip.

Before we got underway, we stopped off and picked up the tent from another Uncle. When we arrived at his house he wasn’t home. So my Aunt pointed us in the direction of the camping supplies. She told us to take whatever we needed and that she guessed everything was in place. We had no reason to think what we grabbed wasn’t all we needed. (Yes, mistake #1)

After driving for 6 hours we arrived at our first campsite. A beachfront camp ground as each of them were on that trip. So beautiful, top of the line cooking and bathing facilities at a very reasonable cost. The goal was the more reasonable the cost, the longer our trip would last. I can’t remember the itinerary, but I know we were gone for at least 12 days.

We picked our location and started to unload our supplies. We set forth putting up the frame of the tent (keep in mind that I am not a seasoned camper, my terminology of the parts is probably way off). It was huge. I was expecting something much smaller. It looked like it had sitting area in front and then 2 bedrooms in the back. The frame was up and the 2 rooms were up. The material of the bedrooms was gauzy, very similar to mosquito netting with durable flooring. The bedrooms were fully enclosed complete with zippered doors. We inflated the 2 air mattresses and placed them in each bedroom as well. My cousin and I would share one room and my Uncle would have the other. It was at this point that we realized our mistake. We did not have the tarp that would act as a roof for the frame. So what we had was a large frame which housed 2 see through bedrooms. We had 2 choices. Spend the night in a hotel and then return home canceling the entire trip or continuing on with our modified tent.

My Uncle and cousin were leaving the final decision up to me. I knew we didn’t have the funds to complete our trip and spend the nights in hotels. I am not a very high maintenance person and when would I ever have the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful beaches and sites along those coastlines again? My suggestion was to keep our original plan and enjoy our trip. It was summer time so the fact that our sleeping quarters would allow the ocean breezes through was a big plus for me. Let me be near water and hear the tides come in and go out and I am one happy camper. (Pun intended) Our only problem would be if it ever rained, then we would not be able to use our tent as shelter. We all agreed to take that chance.

We basically spent 2 nights at each campsite during our trip. I am not sure how it was possible, but each campground was nicer than the last. I am talking marbled kitchen and shower areas. No wonder there are happy campers, who knew. By the time we got to campsite 2 we had whittled our tent frame to the portion that help up only the bedrooms. It just didn’t make sense to keep erecting the whole structure when we couldn’t use it. We became quite good at the assembly and even better at explaining why our tent was so unusual. We had several different scenarios to explain our plight. We got creative as the days went by. Our fellow campers seemed to be sympathetic. One night we did endure a pretty fierce windstorm. That night I could feel the sand coming in through the gauzy walls of our bedroom. It wasn’t the most comfortable feeling but isn’t that part of the whole camping experience? We decided to tell anyone who asked after that night that our tarp was taken by the wind thus rendering us topless. My cousin and I would take turns holding up a sheet as a shield to keep everyone from watching us get dressed and undressed. My Uncle was on his own, he either dressed in the bathroom facilities or he was giving everyone a free show. I never asked. It might explain why he always had a gaggle of European females on his heels.

Our 12-day, topless adventure was perfect. No rain, one windstorm and some of the best memories I could ever ask for.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Uncle Fun, Welcome to the Family

Well, the wedding has taken place. All went well and I now have a new brother-in-law. My 9-year-old niece has dubbed him Uncle Fun. It is actually a very fitting description of him. My niece is so astute; yes she takes after Aunt Wicked. The Bride and Groom are off to St. Lucia. I wish them a lifetime of happily ever after.

For those wondering, the midgets did a fantabulous job. I gave them a huge tip. I know that their arms were tired. It’s nice that weddings bring out the best in people. I can’t tell you how many positive comments I received. I have gone through a transformation of sorts within the last year or so and many of the family’s friends have not seen me. Always great to get your ego stroked. The most backhanded comment I received was this: “Wicked if you cannot snag a man tonight, then you just should kill yourself.” Um...thank you?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Woman Who Cried Wolf

Back in rural NC I worked with a General Surgeon. Because he moved his practice from the Metro DC area to east Jesus NC, he ended up performing more surgical procedures than the regular general surgeon performs. Part of his additional repertoire included GYN procedures. Which brings me to this post.

Basically our patient was a biker dudette who came to our office for consultation. She wanted to have a tubal ligation. Part of the work up for that surgery is a pelvic exam. I got her ready to be examined and then the surgeon joined us in the room to first discuss the procedure and then examine the patient. Once he went over all the details he prepared for the exam. As I had her scoot down to the edge of the exam table I noticed that she had an interesting tattoo. The Doc was explaining where the puncture wounds would be while he was getting ready to examine her. She interrupted and asked if her “wolf” would be injured? (Have I mentioned that it’s not nice to break out in hysterical laughter while assisting a physician during a pelvic exam?) It was extremely difficult to not react to the look the Doc gave me following her inquiry. Because she was already lying down and in the stirrups she couldn’t see his face nor he hers. I was standing next to her at the end of the table. I merely pointed to her pubic region not saying a word. When he removed the drape enough to perform the exam, he understood her question.

Biker Dudette had a very intricate tattoo of a wolf’s head in place of pubic hair. I personally can’t imagine laying there for the amount of time it must have taken to receive the tattoo. Not to mention the discomfort. But I digress. The Doc did not miss a beat and told BK not to worry that the wolf’s left ear would be where that puncture wound would end up. BK seemed ok with this.

A week after her surgery, BK was scheduled for a postoperative visit. She handled the procedure well and was feeling fine. She was quite eager to show off her wolf. I must mention that we did not need to view that part of her anatomy following the surgery. She had a new addition to her wolf tattoo. Since the left ear indeed was where the wound was, BK went ahead and got an earring for the wolf.

Different strokes for different folks.....

Friday, October 29, 2004

Where Does the Time Go?

Sorry gang. It's been a hectic week. Too much going on to have time to write about it. I promise to get back on a schedule next week.

Until then, have a great weekend and Happy Halloween!!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Hot Dog!

Congrats Red Sox!!!

I was told I did win the bet after all. Perhaps things are looking up Nutcrackersweet?

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Mexican Hat Dance

Well we have good news and bad news. The good news is that I did not perform the Mexican Hat Dance at the shower. The bad news is that there was NO marguerita machine. RP, I am going to buy one and you are the first invited to break it in, deal?

More god news: no Bridal shower games - I knew there was a God. Bad news: no bride’s maid dresses in site. (Less than 3 weeks to W-day)Now you see I took this as good news and volunteered to opt out of the whole proceedings. I quickly found out that offer was taken as bad news. Bridezilla was not amused. Well, neither am I but why not make the best of a situation? I told the group of “maids” that we should all go and get burgundy bed sheets and make togas. The dress that we all ordered is strapless so it seemed like a good idea. Strangely, only my older sister and I found this amusing. Clearly, I need to hang out with women with better senses of humor. Oh wait, the women I was surrounded by believe in the archaic wedding ritual nonsense. Of course they’d have no sense of humor. Whatever.

At our Bridal party luncheon today we had the usual polite conversations and very delicious food. Bridezilla handed out our gifts; burgundy stoned dangly earrings. They’d go great with the togas. I talked about hiring 2 midgets to hold up my bodacious ta-tas. The other well-endowed bride’s maid asked if I could get a deal on 2 pair of midgets? I told her I’d look into it. Then the less endowed maids talked about how best to pad their misfortune. Some are opting for water balloons, others for socks. Our waiter was highly amused. Good times!

All in all it was a decent weekend. Friday was spent shopping and preparing all the food for the Shower. If I never see another tortilla wrap, it will be too soon. Then there was the discussion of how to decorate. Who knew there were so many freakin options? We got it all done. Everyone seemed to enjoy the day, there was little food left. As far as I know, we haven’t poisoned anyone. My game plan was if the doorbell rang and the woman had a gift in tow, she gained access to the party. I only knew maybe 10 people there; as for the rest I truly didn’t care. When will I ever lay eyes on these strangers again? Well I might run into them the night I model the burgundy toga but beyond that, not my problem.

I am getting too old for this much, ahem, excitement on the weekends. Maybe I should reserve my room now at Shady Pines Rest Home for Spinsters. Yep, good idea.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

What to do when there are too many options on TV

1. Go over to a friend’s house and debate the validity of channel surfing.
(I hate it when he is right)
2. Eat dinner while only the news is still on.
3. Seinfeld re-run; always a neutral option for the 7:30 slot. You know like Switzerland.
4. Baseball coverage at 8. Not one, but 2 games. At the same time.
5. Make very interesting wagers regarding outcomes of said games.
6. PLEASE, let me win at least on of the bets.
7. Have the honor of control over the remote and be told I am on my game as I strategically flip between games at key plays. ( Damn, I am good!)
8. Did I mention, I was given control of the remote? We need to celebrate this day next year.
9. Try to act all responsible and turn the debates on at 9.
10. Do our best to not make fun of the opposing candidates. We are on opposite sides of the fence but are able to mutually agree on certain issues.
11. Decide that the games are more important and ditch the debate.
12. PLEASE, let me win the bet for the Yankees/Red Sox game.

What did everyone else do?

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


I just got off the phone with HFS. It’s pretty rare that we talk during the day, we are both extremely busy career women, don’t you know. It’s pretty much a given that these daytime conversations can have a wide range of topics.

The conversation began innocently enough, this time it was HFS’ turn to be the venter and me the ventee. But then it happened, thankfully it always does. Her spitfire wit reared its head and I now have a new nickname – Boomerang.

One day I will post about it. Until then, feel free to send me your guesses. HFS is not allowed to participate in the guessing game. Remember folks, this is not a competition simply a demonstration.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming…..

Sunday, October 10, 2004

And so it begins.......

....T minus a few weeks and counting. The younger sister’s wedding festivities are approaching, fast and furious.

Next weekend I will need to be on my best behavior. I have been practicing my ooohs and ahhhhs all weekend long. Why? Next Saturday we will have the Bridal Shower. Who came up with all these archaic traditions? I mean really. I think that if the future couple has already set up house, why have a shower anyway? Whatever!

My older sister and I will be co-hostesses. The best way to get through this shower? Any guesses? We have rented a Marguerita machine. Think Slurpee dispenser but instead of Slurpees we will have Margueritas....Ole!! You think it might be over the top if I keep humming the Mexican Hat Dance while being the hostess with the mostess? You do? Then I must do it.

I draw the line at Bridal Shower games. Shoot me now people. I volunteer to do the dishes. For the love of all that is dignified, give me a king-sized break.

Any of you out there who have ideas on how to keep me calm, besides with the use of alcohol and good drugs, I am open to any and all suggestions.

Ooooohh..............ahhhhhhhhh. What lovely oven mitts!!! How’s that?


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Stop the Presses

I have mentioned in past writings that I used to live in a very small town in rural NC. I spent 5 years in that town and then 4 more years in golf resort town 20 miles east. The job I had in the rural town gave me exposure to most of the residents. If the folks didn’t know me through work then they got to know me while I was working with the Community Theatre. (As you can see my town had great class, not only did we have theater we spelled it all fancy schmancy) The point is that anytime I had friends or family visiting me, the town knew about it. Sometimes even before I knew. I am still trying to figure that out.

A couple of girlfriends who I used to work closely with decided to drive down to visit me. Our plan was for them to drive to me and then the next day we would drive to Holden Beach for a week. We had decided to go ahead and shop for groceries before we left town so that we could eliminate that task. It was only a 2 and a half-hour drive to the Beach, it seemed like a good idea. Now you have to understand that Mimi and Marcella didn’t understand the size of the town I was in. They thought I was joking about how everyone knew my comings and goings. I have to tell you, I did not have much for people to talk about.

Their first clue came when they stopped into the ABC store for the libation purchase for our trip. When they were paying for the liquor the cashier welcomed them to town and told them she had heard much about them. They figured she was simply being polite and made their way to my place. After catching up with each other we got down to the business of making the dreaded grocery list and off we went. I warned them that the second we step foot into the store at least 10 people would come up and initiate conversation. I really believe that they thought I had become conceited since moving south. I made a bet with them. If less than 10 people conversed with us in detail while we were grocery shopping then I would pick up the whole tab. If 10 or more people approached us then Mimi and Marcella would have to be very cordial and polite. Hey the 2 of them are on vacation, cordial and politeness was left 400 miles north.

Sure enough before we could get through the produce section 11 of my town folk greeted us. Most of them addressing Mimi and Marcella by their actual names. I wish I had a camera, they were flabbergasted. You see not only must you converse in the produce section but also in every other isle that you will run into the townies. If you dislike shopping (as I do) it can be excruciating. By the time we got to the feminine hygiene section Marcella decided she would really get into the let’s get acquainted game. By the time I caught up to them, I was busy socializing, I saw that Marcella had depleted the stores supply of condoms and red wine. I found her telling the bank’s Vice president that since we were going to be all liquored up at the Beach we needed to be extra careful.

Friends. They are what memories are made of and how reputations get ruined. I am not sure if I had as much fun at the Beach or after I returned. It’s a toss up.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Life Saver

42 years ago today, my Mother was rushed to the hospital. She was eight months pregnant with me and her appendix ruptured. They delivered me with great haste, threw me in an incubator and hoped for the best. I was less than 4 pounds.

They prepared my Mom for surgery; she was not doing very well. The medical staff told my then psychiatric resident Father to bring in his 8 year old daughter to possibly say good bye to her Mother. The odds were not in my Mom’s favor. Thankfully she made it through the surgery and was in the ICU for 6 weeks. I ended up coming home before my Mom.

So there is my Father with an 8-year-old daughter and a pre-mature infant daughter, his wife fighting for her life in the ICU and he must show up for work. We were living on the grounds of a mental institution ( yes for those of you keeping score – I was conceived on the grounds of a mental institution – it explains a lot) and my Father had to find someone to take care of my sister and I. The most logical choice? One of his patients who was institutionalized for stabbing her husband to death and not speaking since that event. Doris was her name. Perhaps my Father didn’t want a family anymore and figured this was the easiest way to get rid of at least 2 of his responsibilities. Or maybe he is really good at what he does and trusted Doris with our well being. I am grateful for the latter. (I promise to tell the story of Doris soon – she was very special and instrumental in my life)

My story has a happy ending. Mom finally came home and of course it took her a while to recover. All of us count our blessings each day. But it wouldn’t be my birthday without my Mom calling me and telling me this story and how it was raining cats and dogs on the way to the hospital. She has always called me her lifesaver. I always thought she was mine.

Either way, I think we deserve at least a flavor named after us. Any suggestions?

Friday, October 01, 2004

Hi, My Name is Wicked H.....

....and I am addicted to full body massages. I am looking for a 12 step program. Anyone out there know of any?

If you will excuse me I am off to get my next fix.

Have a great, relaxing weekend!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

House Rules

My Maternal Grandmother, you remember the prankster, raised 6 children. My Mom and her 3 brothers and 2 sisters, of course there was a Grandfather involved too. He just wasn't amusing. A wise man and quite loving but not fun. Sorry Gramps. Save room for me in heaven, okay? They were raised in an era where it was a luxury to have a refrigerator. Can you imagine being without one? Are we a spoiled generation or what? There I go digressing again, ahem.

My Granny was a stickler about her house rules. They weren't all that cumbersome, basic courtesies really. One of her pet peeves was to reach into the fridge and pull out an empty water pitcher. Every morning at breakfast she would remind everyone to fill the water pitcher. She would even go so far as to demonstrate how easy the task was; I can see my Aunts and Uncles rolling their eyes. I knew I came by that honestly.

Without fail every morning when Granny went to drink her first tall, cold glass of water of the day, you guessed it, empty. Not a drop. She would ask at breakfast for the culprit to come forth and as expected silence. She decided to take matters into her own hands. She conducted her research and found that the pitcher was always full to the brim right before she went to bed and empty in the morning. It had to be one of the sons.

She waited for each of her sons to come home that night. My middle Uncle came home around 2 am after being out with his friends drinking. He would stumble into the kitchen, grab the water pitcher, prop himself up on the refrigerator door, drain the contents and place/toss it back in and shut the door. He'd then stagger into his bedroom and fall asleep. Satisfied with her research, Granny formulated her plan and went off to bed. After refilling the pitcher of course.

The following night Granny set and her trap and waited for her son to get home. Sure enough, he came in went straight to the kitchen and reached for the cold water to quench his drunken thirst. Halfway through the pitcher he realized that he was drinking salted water. With a mouthful of water he turned toward the giggling. There was Granny sitting in the dark kitchen watching her prey.

The pitcher was full from that moment on.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Childhood Events that Shape Personality

Kids can be very mean to each other. Downright ugly at times. I listen to the trials and tribulations that my 9 year old niece goes through with her peers. I have found that the degree of meanness hasn’t changed much it just appears in different forms or with different vocabulary. Let’s face it, kids today are way smarter than the ones of my generation. She asked me if I had any real altercations at her age. I figured while I had it all fresh in my memory I would share it here as well.

My parents raised us to be non-confrontational. The general rule was try to ignore it and they will stop and pick on someone else. If all else fails defend yourself. I was either 9 or 10 had a decent circle of friends from the apartment complex we were living in. We all hung out with each other, rode the bus to and from school together. One day while riding the bus home one of my “friends” decided she was bored and started to pull single strands of hair from my braided pigtails. She was seated behind me on the bus with another girl as her support. The first couple of times, although it was painful, I ignored it. She then began pulling 2 or more strands at a time and it was not only painful but also degrading as the remainder of the bus behind me was now in on the game. Still trying to adhere to the rules set forth by my folks, I decided to get off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way. To my dismay so did Gabby and her friend. I started walking briskly towards our development and Gabby decided to further taunt me by poking me in the rear with part of a long tree branch.

That was my breaking point. On her second pass, I whipped around and grabbed the tree branch and pulled it toward me. It happened so fast that she did not let go of the branch and we ended up nose to nose. I am not sure who was more shocked by this. She dropped her end of the branch and swiftly turned on her heel and began walking away quickly. My instinct was to grab her pony tail and yank with all my might. The force knocked her to the ground. When I let go of her hair I had a hefty handful of her locks. She was stunned, sitting on the ground motionless. Her friend took off running. I calmly shook her hair off my hands and returned to my path towards home. No emotions, no words spoken. I got home, received my regular greeting from my Mom and then I broke down. I don’t think I have ever cried that hard up to that moment.

It is of note that Gabby decided to not pick on me ever again. We remained friends until her family moved away 2 years later. In fact I guess when she got home and told her Mom what had happened, they both came over to apologize. No apology was expected of me but of course I did as well.

To this day, I am not one to fly off the handle. My breaking point remains very high. Once it is broken, watch out.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Avogadro’s Number

My freshman year in college my older sister decided to make a career change. She had already obtained an undergrad degree and needed to go back and receive some Chemistry and Biology credits to fulfill the requirements for her new venture. She and I ended up in 2 classes together. For me it was a source of much comfort and lots of laughs. As a side note, it is of interest to know that my folks decided to have a child once every eight years. (Another post for another day)

Our Chemistry professor was too intelligent to teach general chemistry. I am not sure why he was assigned that task. Seriously, it was the universal opinion of most of the 400 students. To make matters worse my sister was not into the math side of chemistry. She excelled in the Biology classes; she is an intelligent woman. Some people just can't wrap their brain around math. In her case, specifically Avogadro's number. It is and might remain the bane of her existence.

I cannot count the number of hours we spent going over the use and significance of that number. We had innumerable tutoring sessions with our TA (teaching assistant). Basically, if the pressure was off then she had no trouble working the formula into an equation. However, throw her into quiz or exam mode and she lost all confidence.

I will never forget the first exam we had in the lecture hall. 400 plus students strategically seated to avoid the chance of cheating. The exam was 15 pages in length. Anyone else remember having a 15-page general chemistry exam? Everyone is furiously trying to complete the test. The only sounds heard in the lecture hall were the turning of the exam pages and the quiet shuffling of the Proctor's feet. Well until my sister gets to the ever-present Avogadro's number section. Every 10 seconds or so you would hear a deep, heavy sigh. At one point I thought she might be hyperventilating. I was doing my best to concentrate but the sighing was getting deeper and louder. She worked herself into frenzy. Out of the corner of my eye I watched as she tried to take a quick break by wiping her glasses. Then I heard an “OH NO!” Poor thing, there she was frustrated to the max and she now had one of the lenses of her glasses in her hand. In her frantic pace she knocked the lens right out of the frame. She was panicking. One of the Proctors rushed over to see what the problem was, luckily it was our TA. Each time my sister would try to put the lens back in the frame it would pop right out. I was afraid she was going to break the frame entirely. The TA asked if she could help and my sister pleaded with her to let me fix the spectacles. Since Chemistry class, I had become an expert in fixing them. I did pop the lens back into place and told her to stop fooling with her glasses.

I know that my sister had to repeat that class once maybe more, it has been a long time since then. Thankfully she eventually received enough credits to get into her graduate program. In the past 20 years, I have watched my sister attain most of the goals she set out for herself and maybe a few she didn't have mapped out. I am very impressed by her in so many ways. She is highly regarded in her profession. She should be, she has worked damn hard for it. She is the Mom of a fantastic 9-year-old girl. Well, truth be told if it weren't for the set of my genes my niece inherited she would have turned out differently. HA! None the less, my sister is a great Mom. She is probably one of the mentally strongest people I know. There have been many family crises she has been at the helm for, a couple due to my stupidity. I don't think she will ever be able to stay at another southern Day's Inn ever. (Sorry gang, don't think I will ever post about that one - never say never...) I am awed at the evolution of our relationship. I don't know what I'd do without it. I hope I don't have to find out.

I want to take this time to wish my sister a very happy 50th birthday!! Your furry nephew wants you to know that he doesn't sense that “old person” smell yet -I am sure you were worried about it. My wish for you is to never ever encounter another speed bump named Avo-freakin-gadro.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

So Very Difficult

We are having the perfect Indian summer. I can’t tell you how difficult it is to sit at work, look out at the gorgeous weather and not come up with a good excuse to leave.

I just came back from my boss’ office, it seems she is trying real hard not to come down with the vapors. Bummer, there goes my excuse.

At least I have windows. How is it in your corner of the world?

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Pickles that Wiggle

This is the latest of football season Visa commercials. A husband and wife team at the local eatery while watching their favorite football team play. The couple tells us that they order a steak and cheese each week. They found that during one game when they wiggled their pickles their team either scored some points or made a good play. So now it is their good luck charm.

I can say that it might be the dumbest of all commercials. Surely the good people at Visa have more talented advertising marketers than that. Maybe not.

Maybe I am miffed that my team did very poorly... At least we won our season opener. Welcome back Joe!!!

Stupid Question

I visited the principal's office often during my elementary school education. Looking back, I have decided that I was most likely bored which lead to me talking too much or otherwise misbehaving. I wasn't hyper, in fact that is not a word that would be used to describe me at any stage of my life. My assessment is that I wasn't intellectually stimulated enough. That's my story and I am sticking to it.

In the third grade, we had just spent the better part of an hour learning all about Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims, the Indians and the fact that it's an American Holiday. We were discussing the lesson afterward when one of my classmates decided to ask me what my family and I ate at Thanksgiving. Being of ethnic heritage and keeping in mind that we had JUST finished learning the reason behind Thanksgiving, I was bothered by the question. So I told Tommie that we ate people.

Instant trip to the Principal's office, do not pass go. My Father was summoned and we had a little meeting. The Principal asked me to relate the story and I did. Both my Father and the Principal could barely hold in their laughter when I got to the punch line. I admitted to being a smart-ass but I also wanted to know why Tommie wasn't being punished for obviously not paying attention in class.

When Dad and I left the Principal’s office, I was happy to see Tommie and his Mom waiting their turn.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Too Close for Comfort

I used to live in Kentucky as a kid and we lived through 2 tornados then. However, for some reason the one that just passed 1/2 a mile from my house was just too close for comfort.

I did check, I am not in Kansas.

Have a safe weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Aint Worth a Flyin Flip

That pretty much describes the day I had.

I am off to drink heavily....


Monday, September 13, 2004

C'est la Vie

As you may have gathered, I was a bit of a troublemaker while in school. Nothing major really but I did spend some time standing in the corner in elementary school, wearing my chewing gum on my nose in the 7th grade; you all got in trouble like that too, right?

My high school French teacher was a trip without luggage. Quite an energetic man with a passion for the French language. Too bad none of his students shared that passion. What we did share was having much fun usually at his expense. We were reading Les Miserables and each time the story mentioned a city; Monsieur would bounce over to the map and give us a brief history of that town. It made him happy and we all tried to be interested.

I walked into French class and was asked by my peers to make sure that I asked Monsieur to point out the first city we came across while reading that day. Seemed harmless enough so I agreed. Sure enough we got to a city and I asked him to show us the location on the map. He was elated that I asked before he volunteered to do. So much in fact that he began giving me a brief synopsis of the town while he pulled down the map. He was facing me the whole time, his back to the map. Once the map was visible, I realized my fate. You see it was the general consensus that Monsieur was gay. Nothing wrong with that but we were teens ready and willing to pick on anyone. My peers had taped a Playgirl centerfold onto the map. When Monsieur turned to face the map he was mortified. He snapped the map back up and then for a split second brought the map down again. He turned to me and ordered me to the Principal’s office.

I honestly was not at fault that time. Try explaining that to the Principal. C’est la Vie.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Whine Fest and Mornings, Mix with Caution

I would like to share a story I am not proud of at all. Not even sure why really. Maybe because the scenario popped into my head following a particularly trying day at wok. Funny how memories get triggered.

Back to rural NC where I am running 5 medical practices. Each clinic had a different preference as to when we would conduct our staff meetings. This particular group enjoyed breakfast whining, I mean meetings. With leadership comes many responsibilities. You know like making sure that they have frosted freakin cinnamon buns and poppy seed bagels and let’s not forget the hazelnut creamer for their caffeine fix. Yes, we had a few Yankee transplants. So where do I find myself at 6:00 am? You guessed it, the local grocery store.

I knew I was headed for a particularly trying meeting, my mood was not great. Did I mention that I had yet to get my caffeine fix that morning? Sad, but true. There I am at the local chain on a mission. Thankfully, the only other patron in the store is a very pleasant elderly man who is having more fun than one person is entitled to in a grocery store. Happy to be alive at 6:00 am, you know the type. I am in the baked good section, my cart strategically parked so that I can grab what I need, toss it over my shoulder and be on my way. On my second blind pass at the bagels, instead of grabbing a package I capture a wrist. I turn to see Mr. Happy smiling and telling me that he believes I have his bagels.

I snapped it really was not pretty. I don’t even have a justifiable excuse. I was wrong. I admit it. I let go of the package of bagels we were sharing and threw 4 more packages in his cart. He was stunned, gone was the smile. I may have even bumped his cart out of my way in my haste to get out of there and onto my meeting.

Fast forward to our staff meeting. Twelve of us intent on solving the clinic’s problems in between juice, buns, bagels and caffeine. We were right in the middle of critical negotiations regarding what height the Sharps container should be on the wall when there was a loud pounding on the clinic’s door. We opened the door to find a woman exclaiming that her husband was having a heart attack. I panicked. Could it be Mr. Happy? I could not get out to see the patient quick enough. Mercifully, it was not Mr. Happy. I have never been so relieved in all my life.

We were able to stabilize the patient till EMS got there to transport him to the hospital. We were able to agree on the height of the Sharps container. We further established that we would use a red post-it flag for any item needing signatures in charts. We managed to squeak out of our budget a subscription to People magazine for our patients. The cost? No more hazel nut creamer.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Hey Batter, Batter

My parents have been happily married for 50 almost 51 years. Part of the secret to their success is their ability to bicker and forget. This is the way they get along. It is rare that they hold grudges towards each other. They are both equally intelligent; watching their mental sparring matches can be both amusing and frustrating. It really depends on the topic of discourse.

One evening, back when I was a teen, we had finished dinner and were going about our normal evening routine. True to form Mom and Dad were debating something, I wish I could remember the subject matter. In any case, my Mom was seated in her chair in the family room and Dad was pacing back and forth in front of her. My Father made his point and to extra drama he play acted kicking dirt onto home plate and walked calmly away. I was also in the family room reading.

When he was out of ear shot my Mother told me that she thought my Father had finally lost it. I, also true to form, was giggling. Mom, not being the baseball fan, asked me what that demonstration was? I explained to her what Dad was acting out as well what the reciprocal action should be. She gave no reaction and continued watching TV.

Dad returned an hour or so later. Mom cleverly brought the subject matter back to discussion. Dad fell for it and repeated his performance complete with dirt kicking. Mom then sprang to her feet, whipped out her imaginary mini broom, swept off home plate and sat back down.

That Christmas I bought them the Abbott and Costello “Whose on First?” video....

Friday, September 03, 2004

Bus Left

When I lived in rural NC, I worked for a newly formed medical corporation. I was responsible for running 5 medical facilities. I had a combined staff of 60 with 32 providers. Because of the way the corporation swooped in there were some growing pains. As an outsider, I did my best to keep everyone comfortable with all the ensuing changes. As we all know, nobody likes change.

For the most part, when taking on a new responsibility, I like to sit back and see how it runs and do some minor tweaking here and there as warranted. There are certain nuances you just don’t want to muck around with – “if it aint broke don't fix it.”

I run into one of the Docs one morning and he is fuming. It seems his nurse is not showing up on time and he is tired of it. Seems rather basic, I did notice that she strolled in at her leisure but he did not appear to mind. Obviously assuming gets me into trouble each time.

Here then is the exchange between the nurse and myself:

WH: "It seems we have a problem with you arriving to work on time. What seems to be the trouble?"

LPN: "Well you wouldn't understand, you don't have children."

WH: "Try me."

LPN: "Well, you see my child is bus left."

WH: "Excuse me?"

LPN: "Bus left. I am late because I need to drive him to school."

WH: "Bus Left? So let me understand, your child is at the bus stop each morning on time and the bus passes him by?"

LPN: "No he isn't, therefore he is bus left."

WH: "In that case your child would be missing the bus. Bus left implies that he is standing there and the bus leaves him behind."

LPN: "Here we call it bus left. I told you, you wouldn't understand."

WH: "Let me try to put this in terms that you and I will both understand, shall we? Starting tomorrow, you need to get here on time. Otherwise you will be JOB LEFT. Are we clear?"

LPN: "Yes Ma’am."

I love a happy ending!!

Monday, August 30, 2004

Lost in Transit

My younger sister and I had taken a trip together to visit our relatives over seas. It was the first time we had gone together. I have always envied all my friends who had the luxury or opportunity to have their relatives nearby. We were only able to enjoy their company once every 2 or 3 years. Because we saw each other so rarely there was plenty of opportunity to be spoiled. Who in their right mind would turn that down? Of course the younger ones always grab more of the spotlight. Rest assured I had plenty of love and attention thrown my way also.

We are fluent in the language but our relatives have a protective side. It took many debates but I finally convinced them that my sister and I could take a night train to visit the next batch of family. There was truly no need for a chaperone to tag along. I was 20 and my sister 12; it was a no brainer really. Get on at the first stop and disembark at the final stop; the whole trip took about 7 hours. My plan was to sleep most of the way.

Our trip begins. We both get settled, she listening to music and I was reading. The train was packed with seasoned travelers. Everyone had his or her routine. Some were snoring before the train left the station, others quietly chatting; some were having a midnight snack. We decided to make a bathroom break before we tried sleeping and we went together. Comfortable in every way possible, we prepare for slumber. It is quite easy on a train; the gentle rocking of the car over the tracks lulls you right into sleep.

I don’t know what it is about the bladder function of my siblings but true to form my sister wakes me up at 4 am to tell me she needs to go to the restroom. Each compartment has a lavatory located in the very front, I reminded her and told her go ahead. She was expecting me to accompany her. I told that it wasn’t a big deal, walk to the front of our compartment, do your business, then walk back and look for row 15. How difficult could it be? I was just too comfy to want to have to hold her hand; she was 12 certainly old enough to accomplish this task. She sat there for 10 more minutes with the saddest eyes hoping I would change my mind. I encouraged her once again off she went.

Of course I didn’t drift back to sleep, I am responsible for her, so I waited for her to return. Finally, after 20 minutes, she returned to her seat. If looks could kill, I’d have been a dead duck. She lunged back into the seat avoiding eye contact with me. She sulked for another half-hour and finally told me what happened. She found the restroom without incident. When she came out, instead of coming back into our compartment she went into the compartment ahead of us. She got to row 15 and saw a middle aged man in my seat. She shook him awake and demanded to know what he had done with Wicked.

MOT (Man on train): “Which Wicked?”
YS ( Younger sis): “My Wicked! My sister! Where is she???”
MOT: “Well I don’t know. I’d be happy to help you find her.”
YS: “Why are you in her seat??? What have you done with her?”
MOT: “Maybe you are in the wrong compartment? Let’s go find her.”

After successfully waking up everyone in that compartment, her light bulb went off. She realized she should have gone back into the other car instead of forward into that one. She apologized meekly and stomped back to me. I have never in my life tried SO hard not to laugh. It was painful. I was biting my lip, gripping my book with all my might I tried everything. Thankfully she lost it first. I can’t remember the last time we had laughed that heartily. Of course in the process we had now woken up everyone in our compartment as well. Once MOT came back to see if she was all right and found me, the rest of our compartment was joining in on the merriment. We giggled, quietly, the rest of the ride.

You know her wedding is coming up. I might just have to make one of the toasts and let my future brother-in-law know about her train escapade. Hmmmmm. An excellent idea

End of the Olympics

I don’t know about all of you, but the Olympics were just plain weird this time. I think the Greeks did a fantastic job getting everything done just in time. Everything looked great, how could it not? Greece is a beautiful backdrop for any event.

The rest of it seemed bland. The men’s basketball team was an embarrassment. Besides the mediocre play, how do you not know which uniform to wear to your final event? Wardrobe malfunction indeed. If I were Janet Jackson, I’d want my money back. Then there was the whack job in a kilt who disrupted the men’s marathon. I am so impressed at the Brazilian runner’s composure; he most certainly deserved the Pierre de Coubertin Medal.

Kudos to all who participated and bravo to all our American athletes who won medals. The Olympics were not as moving as I had hoped for but inspirational none the less.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Bruno's Wild Adventure

Back to more on my Spring Break story, told you it would generate more than one post.

You may remember that we drove the 22 plus hours down to the Keys, a pretty exhausting trip even in your early 20's. We settled into our hotel, procured our groceries for the week with each meal expertly planned by my older sister and then we began the process of relaxing. If I remember correctly we just hung out by the pool until it was time to turn in. It was our version of recovering from the long ride.

As expected we turned in early that night. I was probably asleep before my head even hit the pillow. I was looking forward to sleeping in. I had no agenda other than catching some rays, reading a couple of good trashy novels and lots and lots of relaxation. I was on vacation dammit!

Around 3 am my sister shakes me awake. She is in complete panic mode. She tells me between gasps of breath that I need to drive her to a gas station so she can go to the bathroom. HUH?!?!? I told her she was crazy and that if she took 5 steps to the right that she could use the facilities IN OUR ROOM!!! I am trying to sleep here. She is now on my bed pacing back and forth. She is ranting uncontrollably about something; it takes me a long while to wake up even in the best of circumstances. I sit up and try to understand the situation. While wringing her hands she is giving me the details of how she has secured the bathroom and that it is not fit for use, I must take her to a gas station pronto. Still sleep sitting, I reminded her that if she truly could not use our bathroom then the keys to the car were in my purse, have at it. I then got back under the covers and went back to sleep.

In the morning I wake up to a muffled SCREAM. WTF? I get out of bed and find my sister is on top of one of the dining room chairs almost in tears. Tina comes out of the bathroom obviously refreshed and ready to start her vacation. Why shouldn't she? She slept all night! So we calm my sister down long enough to get her off the chair and begin to tackle her problem. My sister is interrogating Tina about the note she left on the bathroom door clearly stating DO NOT ENTER. Tina said she saw the note but needed to use the facilities.

All of us have fears. I don't particularly care for mice or snakes. Yes, I will admit that I jump up on a chair and scream like a girl at the site of a mouse. I know they are just as afraid of me as I am of them but it is one of my weaknesses. My sister is deathly afraid of spiders and roaches. Turns out that when she went into the bathroom at 3 am she came face to face with a rather large roach. I think they are called palmetto bugs, they are huge. So my sister grabbed all the towels in the room and stuffed them into every crevice she could think of to keep Bruno (she named him) securely in the bathroom. Hence the second panic attack when she awoke to find all the towels removed from the frame of the bathroom door and Tina calmly emerging.

We eventually reassured my sister; she came down off the chair. Tina and I vowed to exterminate any future Brunos should they appear. We made a compromise; we would give my sister the all clear before letting her go into the bathroom from that point on if she would refrain from using the facilities at 3 am.

The rest of the week went well. FYI, for any of you preparing to travel to the land of palmetto bugs, Bruno was caught in the bottom of a juice glass. Tina forgot to rinse out her OJ glass and we found Bruno in the bottom of the glass getting his daily dose of vitamins. Fearless Tina took him outside and stomped on him. I will never forget that crunching sound.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Furry Family Members

I took my 11-year-old golden to the Vet today for his annual physical. A comprehensive lab panel and an extended consult charge yielded a very good report for my pooch. Good times. I know that there is health insurance available for dogs and cats but I really haven't done the homework to see if it is a logical expense. Plus at this point I have a senior dog and I would bet that any insurance I purchased for him now would have limited coverage.

Ever sit down and figure out the cost of owning a furry kid? Don't get me wrong, they are worth every penny but it makes you wonder.

Why is it that we cannot claim our furry kids as dependents? Think about it, they require regular medical attention mandated by county and local government statutes. Why then can we not deduct their expenses? There seems to be something wrong with this equation.

Monday, August 23, 2004


I've mentioned before that I have a jokester/recalcitrant side. I come by it honestly, would I lie to you? I wanted to share one of my Grandmother's escapades. She was truly a wonderful woman.

My Grandparents raised their children with the meager means. My Mom describes her childhood with such fondness I wish I could have been there to experience it. The recounting of events is the next best thing.

The house that they lived in was quite modest but weak floorboards and all, they made do. A portion of the hardwood floor above the lower level bathroom had a major hole in it. My Grandmother actually fell through the floor while trying to drag the old pickle barrel, doubling as a bathtub, filled with dirty bath water out to the back door. The family knew which spot to avoid and it was conspicuously covered with a rug. One day my middle Aunt was using the lower level bathroom. Reassured with the fact that she had chosen a quiet time in the house to visit the restroom, she made herself comfortable. Just then she was doused with a pitcher of ice water. The culprit? Granny!! My Grandmother was laughing so hard she fell over. My highly agitated Aunt vowed revenge. She gave her Mom one warning.

My Aunt systematically plotted her revenge. Weeks went by before she enacted her plan. Then it happened, she heard my Grandmother settle into the lower level lavatory. My Aunt found the largest container in the house, a bucket. She filled it with water, pulled back the rug and emptied its contents through the hole in the floor. She was expecting to hear my Grandmother protest the deluge. Instead she heard the water bounce off the umbrella that my Grandmother was armed with. Ha!! The poor woman was taking care of business with an umbrella ever since the threat of retribution.

I really miss my Grandmother. I am proud to have inherited the mischievous genes.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Stalker Extraordinaire

The American Idol auditions are being held in DC this week/weekend. Something different for our political epi-center, good luck to all the participants.

This post is all about the old adage, you'll never know unless you try. Let me explain. My good friend Hot for Simon (HFS) has devoted a good portion of the last 3 years to the goal of one day meeting Simon Cowell. She is quite the devoted fan. Check out her link down there on my page very impressive indeed.

Well it happened, today. I'd like to add that she is not a contestant. I just got off the phone with her. She made the drive up from the South and arrived at my place last night. She was on a mission. She had all her accoutrements ready. My job in this venture was to get her to the Renaissance Hotel early Saturday morning. Unfortunately, I am not at my full capacity to be able to accompany her on this endeavor. I wished her luck, dropped her off and said a little prayer.

By the time I got home, she had called to tell me that she had already met the stylist for the American Idol judges. I am telling you the girl does her homework. She is a seasoned groupie and I say that in only the most loving way. Phone call #2, while talking to me the main producer of the show walked past her and she said hello to him shook his hand and engaged him in conversation. I witnessed it via cell phone. HFS' next call was to inform me that she had just had an exchange with Ryan Seacrest. She was bordering on giddy. Our last chat involved a step by step account of THE meeting. I am going to let her expound on all the details but I had to share this momentous event.

I am so happy for her. You can actually hear the joy in her voice. Way to go HFS!!!!! You rock!

I do have bail money ready just in case......

Friday, August 20, 2004

Morning Person? Not So Much

Back in the day when I would ride the Metro to work, it was intriguing watching my fellow passengers morning rituals. Generally you would end up riding with at least a familiar group of 8-10 commuters. I didn't have a ritual other than trying to wake up on my 40 plus minute ride into DC. In fact I enjoyed the privacy of keeping my sunglasses on the entire ride. I was really hiding the fact that I had not a stitch of makeup on; 5:45 am is simply way too early for me to be wrestling with mascara and eyeliner. I would accomplish that task in the ladies room before settling into my office. There you go, that was my ritual.

On one of my commutes in, an impeccably dressed young man sat down next to me. He was a very happy go lucky guy, good for him I thought to myself. Then it happened, he was trying to initiate conversation. Please, it is 5:45 am and I am neither fully awake nor in any kind of mood to converse. One of the golden rules taught to me was ignore them and they will leave you alone. I was stubborn and he persistent. He was nice enough; I just didn't want to be bothered. He did not get the hint. So I moved to phase 2 of my plan. We are now underground and he changed his tactics a bit. He said something like “ you can take your glasses off now. I'd really love to see those eyes.” I kept ignoring him. The problem was that now the entire train was engrossed in our conversation. I also do not like to be the focus of attention in any situation. He too notices that he has an audience and is relentless. He repeats loudly that I no longer need my sunglasses since we are underground. Since my cardinal rule of not drawing attention to myself has been thrown out the window, I take a deep breath and proceed. “ I am BLIND, do you mind?” Loud enough for our audience to participate, why not? I have never seen such a confident person become systematically unraveled till that moment. He profusely apologized and made his way to another seat.

When I got to Metro Center, I gathered my belongings, took off my sunglasses and walked off the train. As I watched the train continue on, I witnessed my would be suitor shaking his head and his audience laughing hysterically.

The name is Wicked, Wicked H. If you know what’s good for you, do not bother me in the morning.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Fear Factor

Is there anyone out there who is not afraid of the Dentist? If so, let me hear from you. We are all adults; most of rational humans who lead productive lives. Why is it that the thought of going to a Dentist triggers our anxieties? Pain. Yes, I think that is it. The pain it may cause you and most definitely your wallet.

I have not seen a dentist in let’s just say several years. My bad. My main reason was the cost. I went ahead and made an appointment since I have all this free time right now. Maybe I should return to work. I am beginning to enjoy shopping now too, bizarre. I digress.

There I am in the dreaded chaise lounge chair. Hands sweating heart palpitating. I am sure you have experienced this. In comes the Doogie Howser of Dentists. A very nice, definitely handsome young man. We did the typical review of dental/medical history. He seemed to be knowledgeable of my prior ailments and allergies. You’d be surprised whom I have come across in the past. Scary really. Then comes the pitch to salvage my chops. I patiently listen to his game plan: Titanium rod implants at 3K a pop (uh, NO), bone grafts to rebuild the cavernous loss (get serious) and an array of other bionic mentions. When he asked me what I thought about all this I very calmly told him that I was not planning on putting his child through college. Thanks, but no thanks. I am here for a simple quadrant ultra-sonic scaling; I do appreciate the concern though.

The rest of my visit went as well as can be expected. You know the typical high pitch sounds that reverberate through your mouth while your face is being sprayed with who knows what. The conversation that requires more than an uh huh while he has all 10 fingers in your mouth as well as a couple of dental implements. How do they know what your are saying? Doogie was quite the conversationalist. He told me he was quite enamored with the Women’s Olympic Volleyball team. He told me that he is afraid of visiting the Doctor. He told me that because he gave his 18-month-old daughter a cashew, he and his wife now know that she is allergic to cashews. He feels much guilt for being the one who supplied said cashew. He hates being bored, that is his reason for selecting General Dentistry. He is not a dog person but a cat person; the only reason he puts up with the dog is because it is the wife’s dog. (Major loss of points for that remark) He is deathly afraid of flying yet is taking off for Vegas tomorrow. These are all items he volunteered; I cannot make this stuff up. Is it just me or is he this forthcoming with all his patients?

His ramblings certainly made the time pass quicker. I am happy to report that 1/4 of my mouth is now tartar free and I get to do all this again next week. Woo hoo. Will I still have to drive past the parking lot at least twice before being able to park? Will I still have sweaty palms and palpitations while waiting to be taken back to the chaise lounge. You betcha. But I am looking forward to hearing all about Sin City.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Confessions of a Sedated Mind

About 15 years ago, my Mom underwent a minor surgical procedure. Of everyone in my family, Mom is the most uncomfortable in the medical setting. Strong in every other sense but keep her away from doctor-patient encounters.

The surgery took place under local and IV sedation. For her particular procedure, Mom had to be awake in order to respond to commands- she was thoroughly sedated. My older sister was also present in the operating room I can't remember if she was there strictly for comfort or if she was assisting. Either way, Mom felt more at ease knowing her daughter was at her side.

The preparations were completed and Mom was given the happy juice, Versaid. Here are a few snippets of my Mom's exclamations during her procedure:

* Here we go again!!! What was my BP? (She said this each time her blood pressure was automatically taken - I am told she wouldn't stop asking till someone told her)

* Hey! It is cold in here.

* Where is my husband? Are you still here, oldest daughter? Where is Wicked? Where is the youngest?

* Did you all remember to walk the dog?

* Here we go again! What's my pressure?

* Did you know that I have 3 daughters?

* The eldest is the prettiest one but you DON’T want to see her without any makeup.

* Here we go again! Are the numbers good?

* Oh, please don't tell her I said that. It's our secret, okay?

* You all need to hurry up because I am getting tired of this. Eldest daughter, tell them to hurry up.

* Guess what? My husband and I are going out dancing after this and we will eat filet mignon.

* Here we go again! Let me guess this time, 140/90. Am I right?

I was not present in the operating room but I was present when they wheeled my Mom into the recovery room. Needless to say, the team that brought her there was snickering the whole time. My sister look embarrassed.

Mom and Versaid an enlightening combination.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

At The Speed of Geriatric Light

I generally don't like to take family vacations. Don't get me wrong, I love my family. However, when you confine that many adults with as many varied personalities it becomes more than stressful. So I have devised a plan to be able to participate in the family time share vacation. I show up for 3 days, 4 tops. I avoid at all costs the day of check in. If I can steer clear of the whole grocery shopping challenge, who gets which bedroom debate and itinerary planning, believe me I do.

This particular post is about our trip to Sanibel Island Florida. I met the family there as I was still living in NC. By the time I arrived on Wednesday, the gang was looking a bit on edge. As the peacekeeper I did my best to keep everyone laughing and for the most part I handled my task pretty well. The spirit-lifting award goes to my Dad.

We were swimming in the gulf. My niece and I were snorkeling looking for starfish and sand dollars. She is quite the mermaid, my niece. Because she doesn't realize when she gets tired, you basically have to drag her out of the water every 30 minutes or so. We have always had the buddy system when swimming, so my niece and I were sitting on the shoreline and my Father went in for a swim. It's fun to watch him splash around. I guess he has this unwritten agenda while in the water. He takes about 5 freestyle strokes, stops, stands, wipes the water from his face, continues with the breaststroke for 8 strokes, stops and flips over and floats on his back. While floating he typically is facing the shore and casually throws both of his arms over his head every now and then.

My niece and I are enjoy his antics, of course we are quietly making fun of him. He waves, we wave back. It's all good and relaxing. That is when I see it. There is a huge shadow slowly approaching my Dad. I knew from the shape that it wasn't a shark it had to be a manatee. Before I could calmly tell him, he took one of his backstrokes and touched the manatee full on. I heard a girly squeal and watched my Father sprint out of the water. The look of panic on his face was priceless. My niece and I were laughing so hard we could not contain our selves. I never knew he could move that fast. Geriatric Lightening, that is what we called him for the remainder of the trip.

To this day, anytime we see a manatee on TV we all break into hysterical laughter. Dad is usually the first to recount the tale. Of course his version excludes the girly squeal and panic.

You go, Geriatric Lightening!!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Yes, I Really Did Do That...

Yep, I am the first to announce that as the middle child, I was the one responsible for most of my parent's gray hairs. To this day, most of the things I managed to get away with are still tucked away in the ole cranium. The tales pop up during family dinners when my 9-year-old niece wants to here yet another account of how I misbehaved at her age. Much to her Dad's chagrin, those naughty behavior genes were passed from me to her. It is really interesting how my niece has inherited certain traits from her Mother, my younger sister and me.

But I digress.

When I was 7 years old and still the youngest child of the household our family bought a chocolate colored toy poodle. We all fell in love with him immediately. My Mom became pregnant with my younger sister soon after the poodle entered the family. Once my younger sister was born, the poodle became extremely jealous of the baby. The result was him leaving presents on every step of the town house each time Mom was feeding the baby. Needless to say, Mom was not amused. Within a couple of weeks we had to return the poodle. I know now that everyone in the family was as upset about it as myself, but at age 8 I viewed it as double punishment. Not only was I no longer the youngest, the baby was the reason my puppy had to go back. The baby got all the attention when I had to come inside from playtime to take her for a ride in the stroller. The baby generated oohs and ahhhs amongst my group of friends. The green-eyed monster was present and accounted for.

Fast-forward 5 months. My Mom had to run a very quick errand. My older sister was next door at a friend's house. My younger sister was in her playpen and I was reading. Mom told me that she had to run out and would return in 10 minutes tops. She told me that the baby was fine and just to keep an eye on her, she was quite content in her playpen. I watched my Mom's car pull out of the parking lot and as soon as she was out of sight, I went to the playpen and picked up my younger sister and went up to my room. I deposited her in my 6-inch high trashcan. Much to my chagrin, not only did she not fit into the trash can she also uttered her first giggle in my presence. So there she was wide-eyed, giggling and half-flopping out of my trash can. The whole scenario made me giggle too. I lovingly removed her from the trashcan and returned her to the playpen, no one was the wiser. Of course I never mentioned it to anyone. My attitude towards her changed at that moment in time, I slowly became the proud, protective sister. I even started feeling joy over all the attention she generated.

Fast forward 18 years to a weekend family breakfast. We always use the time around the table to reminisce. Of course the topic was things that Wicked H always got in trouble for, I am able to laugh a myself. I’d like to think that I have learned from all of the mistakes, big and small, of my lifetime. Each family member was taking turns reciting his or her favorite Wicked H tale. When it was my turn, I started with “remember the time I threw baby sis into the trash.....” Halfway through my sentence and after seeing the look on her face as well as my parents, I realized that they had not heard this particular recount before that day.

I gave them the details of the event. When I was done, my Father asked me why I didn't throw her away in the kitchen trashcan? My response: “ you emptied that one every day, you would have found her! Nobody ever emptied the trash in my room...” It was not a proud moment for my folks. Luckily, baby sis was able to laugh it off.

Yep, I did do that.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Happy Triskaidekaphobia!!!

Now that I have your attention, please join me in wishing HFS a very, Happy Birthday!

Is she afraid of the number 13? Not that I am aware of. She may prefer that number to her actual chronological age. (Did I actually write that down??? Ruh Roh!)

Hurry up and get here already! The libations are chilled and ready to flow.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone! I know we will.


The Power of the Pedicure

I have never been a girly girl. But I now officially have a new addiction, the Spa Pedicure.

How does a Spa pedicure differ from your average pedicure? Well I found out today. Forget that I should not have been driving until tomorrow, it will be our little secret. Okay? Promise? A Spa pedicure involves a couple extra steps to include a double course of exfoliation of the entire lower leg and foot which leads to an extremely relaxing massage. We are talking fall asleep in the pedicure chair with the massage mode on steady. Maybe all of the pain medicine is still metabolizing its way out of my body, but I am telling you I woke myself up with my snoring and drooling. Told ya, not a girly girl.

I will indulge this addiction probably once more while in recuperation mode. It does take longer than the average pedicure so there is a reason to not feed this habit. When I return to the real world again I simply won’t have the time. It might have to go on the to do splurge list, we'll see.

Believe it or not I am a relatively shy person. I am intrigued by people who can jump into a conversation with a complete stranger. Somehow writing about things on the Internet seems different. Don't ask me to explain it, this is how my head works. Anyway, while getting my pedicure my nail technician was asking me why I was there in the middle of the day. I told her that I recently had surgery and went into very little detail. The woman doesn't have a good command of the English language so there was not a need for much detail. Apparently the 4 other patrons needed and expected every detail. Who needs doctors when you can receive unsolicited advice from pedicure patrons? Next time I'll know. I don’t remember asking any of them about their complete medical history, but I certainly am well educated now.

The power of the pedicure: relaxation, medical advice and of course pretty toes.

Thursday, August 12, 2004


The Spring Break post stirred a few recollections. So bear with me as I stroll down memory lane.

I attend the University of Maryland - GO TERPS!! Because I was a commuter and a freshman (yea dork central - I know) I had to park in the lot on the very fringe of Campus. It had to be a good mile and a 1/2 away from any building. You also had to pass the dairy farm to get to the main Campus, which added insult to injury on the warm days. Although I got very good at cow tipping (I'll talk about that one later).

I finished up classes one afternoon, stopped by the Student Union to grab a soda and started the trek back to my car. As I near the dairy farm I noticed a guy right in step with me. He is trying his best to start up a conversation with me; I am doing my best to ignore him. Not interested at all. He is persistent and asks for my phone number. I decided I could give him a number and then he'd magically disappear. So I told him sure. He proceeded to hand me a notebook and a pen. He took the drink out of my hand so I could jot a number down. I gave him back his notebook and he returned my drink. We continue walking and he has slowed his pace a bit. I am now approaching my car and thinking I don't really want him to know which vehicle is mine. My guard is up. So I pass my car thinking he will eventually find his car and go away. While I continue to amble through the freshman lot, I go to take a sip of my soda. As I put the open cup to my lips, I remember that as I was writing down the phone number my hand got wet. I drop the drink onto the pavement and to my horror I see a pill half disintegrated in the soda puddle. I turn around to see where he is and find him diving into the passenger side of a car that was following along and they zoom off. I have never been so rattled in my life. Was I smart enough to get the tag number? Of course not. I hate the cliche “it all happened so fast“, but that is truly how it went down.

It took me a week to let go of the question - what would have happened if I had taken the sip? It also took me about a month and a couple hundred dollars worth of parking tickets to be able to park in that lot again. I never saw him after that day. Was my guard up at all times, sure. Thankfully, the rest of my time at Maryland was uneventful and pleasant.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Spring Break - 1983

Not sure why this popped into my head but here it is. I will give you the Reader's Digest version.

My older sister, my good friend Tina and I headed to the Florida Keys. Knowing that we had a 22 hour drive back starting at 6 am - yes we drove from Maryland to the Keys - we decided it would be a great idea to go to the local nightclub our last night. We were young and invincible and stupid, you all have been there. The locals were raving about the band that plays there so how could we go wrong? Well the evening involved fantastic music, great company and an endless amount of banana shake-esque libations that the Bartender was creating.

At 2 am we decided we needed to go. We each hopped off our barstools and to my dismay I found both my sister and Tina in a heap at the base of their respective stools. I was able to drag each of them to the elevator. Did I mention we are on the top floor? Well we were. Did you know that the elevator does this bouncy thing before starting it’s descent? Well it did. Which accelerated both my sister's and Tina's spewing. I am telling you we had non -stop action from those 2 all night long. At around 3:30 I decided one of us needed to be able to operate the vehicle for the journey home so I went to bed. When the alarm went off at 5:30, you guessed it, they were still sick. I drove from the Keys to the Georgia/South Carolina border. I was plagued with the worst hangover I had ever or since experienced. Thankfully, they were both feeling up to driving by then. I hopped in the back seat and awoke in my parent’s driveway.

The lesson learned from this? Well many lessons. The most important one for me was stay away from sweet, banana flavored drinks for life.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Calling All Epicureans

I need your help - please!

My Mom spent the week taking care of me. Before leaving, she made a grocery run. A huge help because 1) I am not able to drive yet and 2) I hate grocery shopping. In fact, I hate all forms of shopping. I might be the only female on the planet that hates shopping. Someone, please, call Guinness.

The problem is this; I took inventory of my fridge today. Here is what I found:

- Enough fresh chives to choke all of China
- More fresh mint than the Kentucky Derby Bartenders could possibly use
- Fresh parsley in such abundance it could overtake Portugal (similar to Kudzu in the South)
- A whole gallon sized ziploc bag filled with fresh peeled garlic. Can you say Transylvania 6500?

I promise I am not exaggerating. My Mom lives to grocery shop. I am sure I am adopted.

I am sending out a plea for recipes or storage methods for the list above. I have nothing but time and ingredients on my hands.

Thanks Mom!!!

Sunday, August 08, 2004

I’m Baaaaaaack!!! Thanks for Waiting

Where to begin? On July 30th I had major surgery. Going into the surgery, it was not known what the Doctor might find. What was known was that I had something growing rapidly inside me that should not have been. Thankfully, the least of all evils ended up being the diagnosis. I am missing some parts and have a scar that housed about 15 staples but beyond that, I am in good shape.

I want to officially thank everyone who sent good thoughts my way. I believe in the power of good thoughts and well wishes. Hats off to HFS! Besides being a source of positive energy for me, she herself was recuperating from her own recent ordeal. Also, her flower arrangement was the envy of my floor. I can't tell you how many times I had to wrestle it away from the hospital staff. I want to thank my older sister for taking the brunt of my panic and being a very stable force for me during all this. Unfortunately for her, things like this always become her responsibility in our family. Call it pecking order or the fact that she is quite a talented medical practitioner, whatever the reason my life was made easier because of her. I am happy to know that I am never too old to need my Mom. She has been with me this past week and it was a tremendous help. If it weren't for her spoiling and pampering, I wouldn't be back on my feet so fast. My Dad, although a very respected psychiatrist, does not handle personal family medical crises very well. However, he was quite instrumental in taking care of his furry Grandson while I recuperated. Today he brought back my dog and took Mom and they went back to their normal lives. ( I thought Dad and I were going to have to go to court so I could regain custody of my dog. But that is another blog for another day. R.P. I almost sent you an e-mail for advice)

I'll be home for a while so I hope to get my creative juices flowing again. I am proud to report that I was quite a good patient. I only threw up once on a nurse's assistant and she deserved it for making me get up and give myself a sponge bath only 12 hours after surgery. Oh, did I mention that I was in the wheelchair with all my belongings ready to leave BEFORE my Doctor got there on Sunday? I didn't? OK good - we'll just pretend it didn't happen then.

Thanks again to everyone. I have read all the comments and e-mails. I appreciate you hanging in there.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Out For Repairs...

Not my site, me.

I am more than a little terrified but hopefully all will go well. I don’t know how long I will be in the hospital but I promise to whine all about it when I return. For those of you keeping score, I enjoy a sharp, cheddar cheese with my whine.

Talk amongst yourselves. Hope to be back soon.....

Thursday, July 29, 2004

My Version of the Welcome Wagon

I live in an area where the predominant forms of housing are Town Homes. Anyone who lives in such a development is well aware of the parking regulations. In a nut shell, when you purchase a town home you also purchase the 2 parking spaces designated by the Home Owner's Association. In case you are foreign to the concept, upon entering any town home community there are signs posted alerting you to the fact that the spaces are assigned and if you should venture into someone else’s spot, they have every right to tow your vehicle.

 Simple, right?

I am a single person who owns a single vehicle and 2 parking spaces. Lucky me! Anytime I have a guest I don't have to deal with a designated guest spot because my other spot should be clear. Think again. It seems that the members of my development thought that since I am one person with one vehicle my other spot magically became a guest spot for my neighbors. I will admit that in the beginning,  I made an effort to try and find out who owned the vehicle in my spot. Yes, I would actually go door to door to see who the offender was visiting. My goal was to not offend any neighbor by towing their friend's vehicles. Believe it or not, this got really old really fast. I quickly began to exercise my right to tow anyone in my spot. My general rule is this: ask me to use my spot and I will gladly oblige. Assume that I don't need or use my second spot and use it at your pleasure and I will most certainly tow you. With no guilt and much glee if you must know.

I return after being away for the 4th of July weekend, early Monday afternoon. What do I find when I return to my abode? BOTH of my spaces are occupied. I double park behind the 2 offenders and as I am unloading my car someone from my neighbors house walks out. I ask this person if they might know who own the 2 cars in my spot and without blinking she says she has no idea. Did I mention that these are new neighbors they are in fact moving in as we speak? So I replied quite cheerfully, "great thanks - then you won't mind when I have these 2 cars towed away." To try and be nice I did spend about 20 minutes outside unloading my car, walking my dog in hopes that the owners would come out and ask me to move so they could move. Once inside, I grabbed my cell phone and speed dialed Tommy the Tow Truck Operator he answers Hey Wicked, what's up. I told him to bring the flat bed thing because he has 2 to remove.

Tommy shows up within 10 minutes, miraculously the 2 owners of the vehicles appear, from next door thank you, and we have a towing summit outside. I am watching from the safety of my home. What I witness is some frantic arm flailing, lots of pacing and finally the exchange of wads of cash between said owners and Tommy. He all but bounces up my stairs asks for my key so he can move my vehicle back to it's rightful spot once the offenders move from my spots. I asked Tommy how he did, he replied that it was the easiest cash he has made without breaking a sweat. I believe I may be putting his kids through school....

So, welcome to the neighborhood.