Friday, October 31, 2008

TRICK OR TREAT

Many Three readers have requested that I reveal my own image after reading my roadtrip posts where I displayed practically everyone's picture but my own. Because I am a girl who just can't say no people pleaser, I thought it might be an appropriate time to grant your request.


HARLEY HALLOWEEN, EVERYONE!

Without further Ado, I present to you:

Smart Mouth Broad and My Harley Stud

THIS YEAR WE ARE DRESSED AS.........

(***Scroll down***)

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Bikers

In case you're wondering, I'm the one on the right.


I guess that was your trick so here is your Halloween treat, I received this photograph in an email from the Saint and the Tiny Dancer today. It seems that the Biker Nazi and Rainman were doing some ghoulish trick or treating of their own last night, terrorizing drive-thrus and innocent bystanders.


Tiny Dancer had to remind Rainman to remove his signature Packers jacket so as not to give away his identity to the general public.

**Update**
To my readers who have read this post, the Biker Nazi has discovered my blog. We are no longer friends. Nah....he'll get over it. He loves me. He can't deny it. Right BN?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

HER NOSE CAME OFF



This is Daisy Head Mayzie. She was named after the last literary work of Dr. Suess. The book by the same name was found completed but unpublished in Dr. Suess' desk by his wife after his death. It's a delightful story about a little girl who wakes one day feeling a little strange and goes on to find there is a daisy growing out of the top of her head and the drama that ensues.

Our Mayzie doesn't have a daisy growing from the top of her head. But her nose did come off. *gasp* Yes, I know, it's awful. It happened last Easter.

We decided to treat Mayzie by giving her the ham bone from our Easter ham. One of those really big bones from a spiral cut ham. It had plenty of ham scraps still on it. She was beside herself with happiness. She loved that bone. She couldn't think about anything else but the bone. She became obsessed. The ham bone was her crack.

Apparently a side effect of ham bone crack is that it makes you paranoid. Our dear Mayzie, normally a trusting soul, was suddenly suspicious of anyone who looked her way. She worried that they might want to steal her ham bone crack. She went about hiding her treasure. She would dig a hole in the yard and bury it. But she was so addicted to it that she couldn't leave it be. She had to dig it up. She had to have just one more little chew of this Easter yumminess that had become a disgusting, filthy, stringy mess. She would bring it to the door with those puppy dog eyes. She pleaded with me to allow her to bring her ham bone crack into the house. I responded like any normal thinking woman would; telling her there was no way on God's green earth she was bringing that disgusting thing into my house. Off she would go to bury it again. But not before looking all around to make sure that no one was watching. If she saw me looking at her through the window, she would move to an area out of my sight.

If I had to guess, I would say that Mayzie would bury and dig up that darn bone no less than 30 times a day. She had a hole by every tree, stump and fence post in the yard by the end of the week. She would use her paws to dig the hole. Then carefully place the ham bone in the hole. She would then proceed to cover up the hole by using her paws again and then pat it down with her nose. She repeated this routine so many times, that her nose became raw and sore. Then one day, the black just came off. She was left with a shiny pink ball at the end of her snout. It wasn't long after that the ham bone disappeared. I don't know if another animal found it and carried it away or is she finally buried it so many times, she forgot where she left it.

All I know is our little baby is no longer a ham bone crack addict.

And her nose still hasn't grown back yet. Or at least not completely.


Do you know how hard it is to get a very active SUPERDOG like Mayzie to stand still for a picture?


Poor little nose.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

SHUT UP AND PRAY (A Roadtrip with Lucy)



Several years ago, Lucy, aka my mother and I went on a roadtrip together to visit my sister, Snips. I have a few tidbits from the trip that I would like to share with you. My fond memories of Lucy (and there are many) are the treasures I keep close to my heart. They help to ease the pain of losing her far too early.

Lucy had an extraordinary bladder. The woman could drink water the entire trip and never need a bathroom break. I, on the other hand must have the weakest bladder on the planet. It's legendary. If I'm in the car, you need to factor in additional hours to the trip for potty stops. I can't help it. It's not my fault. OK, it probably doesn't help that I can't get in the car without a drink of some sort but I get thirsty, ok? Lucy, clearly annoyed with stopping for the umpteenth time, said to me, "Listen, Smart Mouth, if you would just start peeing in the yard, you could be the solution to the drought we are having."

I'm a little near-sighted. I wear glasses or contacts to correct my vision. But sometimes I just go without correction. Let me explain that I'm not endangering anyone's life by flying blind. It's not that bad. I just can't read signs until I'm right on top of them. It's my turn to drive and Lucy is in the passenger seat. I see what appears to be a dead dog on the side of the road. I say out loud, "Oh, no. I hate to see that." Lucy looks up and asks what I'm talking about. "That dead dog." Lucy starts to laugh. I'm appalled at her lack of compassion. Then as we get closer, it is revealed that it's a strip of rubber from a blown out truck tire. For the rest of the trip, Lucy would taunt me every time she saw a piece of rubber saying, "Oh no, look Smart Mouth, there's another one." And if the piece was small, she would say, "Awww, it's a puppy."

It was now Lucy's turn to drive. We were in downtown Atlanta. It was evening but traffic was still heavy. People were weaving in and out like maniacs. Lucy, who was more accustomed to country driving clearly was not happy. At one point, another driver cut her off. She said, "Asshole!" You need to understand that Lucy didn't swear often. When she did, it was always comical because it was so out of character. Trying to keep a straight face, I told her that just the previous Sunday I had learned in church that when you want to say something unkind, you are supposed to just shut up and pray. Lucy, a woman of faith herself, took one look at me, raised her eyebrows and said, "OK, I'm gonna shut up and pray that asshole doesn't cut off anyone else!"

I miss you, Lucy! MUAHHH!

IT'S AN HONOR TO ACCEPT....

MLS at Midlife Slices has presented me with the very prestigious I love your blog award.

Look, isn't it pretty.



This award like the one I was so fortunate to receive yesterday comes with the same rules.
  1. The winner may display the award on their site.
  2. Link the person who presented you with the award.
  3. Choose 7 blogs to receive the award.
  4. Link to those blogs.
I've tried to select blogs that have not already received this award. Let's hear it for:

Lynn at After the Dust Settles

The Contessa at Haute Flash Contessa

Reader Wil

Tricia at Shout

Rhea at The Boomer Chronicles

Country Girl at Dreams of a Country Girl

Nana at The Nana Diaries


Congratulations, bloggers! I think you are GREAT!

Thanks, MLS! And right back at cha!



Monday, October 27, 2008

AN HONOR BESTOWED UPON………..ME!

My friend, Goodfather, from the Goodfatherblog has bestowed upon me an award for which I am not sure that I'm worthy. But I'm so excited, I'll take it anyway, graciously, of course. GF, I only hope that I can make you proud.

Here it is: My first award

The rules, if I choose to accept this award (and I do, I do, I do) are:

  1. The award may be displayed on the recipient's blog.
  2. Add a link to the person from who you received the award.
  3. Nominate up to seven other blogs.
  4. Add their links to your blog.
  5. Send a message to each of those you awarded to tell them about the award.

I'm going to follow Goodfather's lead and try not to award anyone who has already received this prestigious honor.

Adventures at Midlife

Bear Naked

Manic Mariah

My Life Interrupted

Nothing Fancy

Pseudonymous High School Teacher

The Chicago Blogger


Congrats, bloggers. You're awesome!

Thank so much, GF!





SPRING BREAK 1978 (Girls Gone Stupid)


I was raised in the Midwest. While I enjoy a milder winter climate these days in sunny south Florida, I am no stranger to brutally long winters. The winter of 1978 delivered a blizzard that kept us out of school for several days. I was a junior in high school. We would be out for a week, return to school for half the day, it would start to snow and we would be out again for a few more days. School age kids consider snow days a gift from God. And we were grateful. But after awhile, days off from school get old.

My high school educated kids from many small towns and farms in the area. My friends were spread far and wide. As a teenager, the real problem with a snow day was you couldn't be with your friends unless they lived within walking distance. And let's face it, when you're a teenager with a driver license, everywhere is too far to walk. Before long we were praying for better weather that would see us back at our desks and hanging in the hallways with our friends. Spring was a long time coming that year…..

But eventually spring did arrive and with it came SPRING BREAK. The hot spot for teenagers from our area at the time was Daytona Beach. It was a rite of passage. Our first taste of freedom. The Beauty and her older by one year sister, the Brain and I made our plans to head south to Florida. Before I get too far, let me say that the Beauty is beautiful but she is also smart. And the Brain is smart but she is also beautiful but hey, I had to pick a name and that's just how it worked out. Our parents weren't happy with the Daytona Beach idea but conceded to allow us to go a little further south to Ft. Lauderdale where we could stay with my oldest sister.

We set off on our trip packed to the gills with every piece of summer clothing we owned, swimsuits, sandals and most importantly….our fake I.D.s. Another important item we made sure to have on board was a CB radio. I mentioned before in this post, that CB radios were our teenage version of a cell phone. The fun part of using the radio was that you had to have a handle. My father had bee hives and collected honey so his CB handle was the Beeman. My mother was the Queenbee. I wanted to follow suit, so I took on the name MayBee. It was delicately pointed out to me by Beauty that Maybee might sound a little…uh…well… trashy. I've always been a little naïve when it comes to this sort of thing. It takes me a little longer than the average bear to catch on sometimes. I like to think this is because I am pure of heart. *wink* So anyway, I changed my handle to MayBee NOT. You'll have to forgive my memory lapse but I can't remember the Beauty or the Brain's handles but they did have one.

Once on the road, we had a great time talking to truckers. We reported on smokies in the area and did the unspeakable: We chatted with complete strangers. I'm pretty sure we were taught in kindergarten not to speak to strangers but things were much different then and by the time we were seventeen, we had forgotten that little lesson. Somewhere near Atlanta, we started up a conversation with a young trucker. It was discovered that his destination was Ft. Lauderdale also. We made fast friends with Mr. Trucker. We joked, flirted and had a great time. OK, moms and dads, this is where you might want to stop reading if you've got teenage girls. Or boys for that matter. We asked Mr. Trucker to describe his truck and tell us his 10-20 (trucker talk for location). He did. And we found him. We traveled right alongside, in front of or behind him for the rest of the trip. Now if you put two and two together, you will come up with four. Four being: We got out of our car and met with him. If he stopped for gas, we stopped for gas. We stopped for food and sat with him while we ate. That wasn't so bad, right? Safety in numbers and all.

Then Beauty decided she wanted to ride in the truck with him. I can't really remember if it was her idea or his but the end result was that she climbed up into that big ole truck and rode with the trucker who was a complete stranger to us all. We didn't think it was a big deal. After all the Brain and I were following right behind them. The guy couldn't be too dangerous while driving. Oh, the innocence of youth. Beauty was fine. Nothing happened. In fact, she arranged it so that we could follow him back north on our way home. And yes, she did. She rode with him again.

I forgot to mention that Beauty had a steady boyfriend at the time. Let's call him Will. Will went to Daytona Beach with the rest of the gang. Imagine our surprise when we pulled into a gas station right behind Will and his friends. Beauty was in the truck with Mr. Trucker and had gone on to the truck stop to get a table. (And yes, we let her out of our sight with the trucker) We were to join them after getting our fuel. I was the first to see Will. I was excited. I said to the Brain, "Hey, there's Will!" It took me only a second longer than it took her to realize this was a problem. She is the Brain, you know. The Brain put that car into reverse so fast and got us out of there undetected. All the while I am trying to reach Beauty on the CB to alert her to the situation. We get to the truck just as they are getting out and whisk Beauty off to see her Prince Charming #1, Will. Whew… close call.

After that we left Mr. Trucker in the dust and went about our merry way. No harm done. Beauty was safe. All was well with the world. Until……….

Fast forward twenty three years. My beloved Aunt Mert passed away suddenly. I rode with my parents from Florida to Indiana for the funeral. (Have you ever noticed that no one flies in my family? We drive EVERYWHERE! Even as I write this, we are on a roadtrip travelling north to meet up with Daughters #1 and #2 for Parents Weekend at FSU.) So, I'm riding in the back of my parents' SUV. I'm annoying them by asking, "Are we there yet?" and "Why don't you have a DVD player in this thing?", "I'm hungry." And "I've got to peeeeeeee!" I don't care if I was 40 years old. It's my duty as offspring to annoy my parents on a roadtrip. And I take my duty very seriously. I'm responsible like that.

Eventually even I got bored with whining and I started to reminisce. I began to tell my parents of a trip down that very same road many years ago. I was 40 years old. It would be fun to tell them what I had kept from them at the time. We could laugh about it now, right?

I'm grounded. STILL!

And that wasn't the end of it, either. Daddy went straight to Beauty's house when we got to Indiana and grounded her too. "What were you thinking!" He kept saying over and over and over.

And that, my friends, is why my daughters were never allowed to go anywhere without me on spring break.

What are your spring break stories? If you have children, what stupid stunts did you pull as a teenager that you are careful not to let them repeat?


Oh, and since he is one of my readers, let me say just one more time: Sorry, Daddy!


Saturday, October 25, 2008

THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR

My friend, Janie at Midlife Slices needs your prayers for her daughter. Please visit her site HERE and lift this young mother up in prayer.

Friday, October 24, 2008

ROADTRIP: PART IV - THE ERASER

Aging is a funny thing. I have gradually come to appreciate the lined face that greets me in the mirror every morning. But while I can see the changes in my own appearance, if I haven't seen you in awhile, I expect you to stay the same. Logically, I know this is not possible but logic plays only a bit part in the production in my mind.

Recently on a visit to my hometown, I had the opportunity to spend time with my best friend since middle school, who I will call Beauty. (She was voted prettiest girl in our class, senior year) James Dean was from our home town and there was an annual festival being held in his honor. The event, called Museum Days, brings thousands of tourists into our tiny town but it also brings the people who are from this little town together. My Harley Stud has gone back for the event for years but this year was the first time since I've moved from there that I was able to attend. I've always been a little jealous when MHS comes back with his stories of how many of our old friends he saw while walking around town. So I was excited to walk through town with Beauty and had great expectations that we would run into old friends.

As we walked thru the booths of venders and organizations, Beauty would point out different acquaintances to me as they walked past us. I recognized almost no one. I quickly realized that I was looking for an eighteen year old face on a forty-eight year old body. Oh, sure there were a few that I recognized but so many more that I didn't. I didn't want to stop to talk to these people because I figured if I didn't recognize them because they looked so much older, I sure as heck didn't want to hear what they thought of me.

After walking through town, we decided to head for the park where a huge car show is held every year. The car show hosts many food vendors offering fair type food and local delicacies such as a breaded pork tenderloins. (This is a piece of pork that has been pounded until it almost paper thin and then breaded, deep fried and served on a bun. No trip back home would be complete without one.) So, Beauty and I were walking toward the park. There were many people walking to and from the different events being held around town. Beauty and I were giggling like school girls, cutting up, making fun and just having ourselves a real good time.

I would like to point out that no alcohol was consumed on this day.

Suddenly, Beauty trips on something and falls to the ground. It was like it was in slow motion. My reaction time was not quick enough and down she went. I was very concerned. I quickly helped her to her feet and made sure she wasn't hurt. She commented that she was surprised I didn't laugh at her because let's face it; it is funny to watch someone fall. I explained to her that now that she's a grandmother, I had more respect for her and would never laugh at a grandma falling to the ground. She took one look at me and we both cracked up.

We continued on our way and were still having our giggle fest which had only gotten louder and more obnoxious as we went along. Then we saw an old friend sitting in the yard in front of his childhood home with his family. J was a very cute boy when we were growing up and I have to say he has turned into a very handsome man. Beauty has always had a bit of a crush on J and I knew immediately we would be spending some time there. Don't get me wrong, J is married and has a family who were all in attendance. It's a very harmless crush.

Beauty and I began to tell J how I couldn't recognize anyone we grew up with. We're laughing our heads off while trying to tell him about Beauty's fall from lack of grace. (Just kidding, Beauty) Eventually I realize that J's mother is not all that amused at our story telling. I'm a bit confused about this because 1. I know we are funny. *wink* And 2. J's mother was a friend of my mother's and I had been welcomed with a very warm embrace earlier in the day when I ran into her during the parade. Later, Beauty pointed out to me that she probably thought we were drunk. No, loud and crazy behavior just comes naturally to us. No alcohol required. We can be stupid all by ourselves. But we probably did appear that way.

After we had entertained the troops just about as much as they could take, we turned to leave and J's older brother came walking up the sidewalk with his children. J asked him if he knew who Beauty and I were. Now Beauty still lives in town and in fact lives in the house where I was raised. She bought the house from my parents. J's brother who I will call Bubba recognized Beauty right away but looked completely confused when he looked at me. "No, I don't believe I do.", he confessed. I revealed that I am Smart Mouth Broad. He said, "Oh, of course. I see it now. Actually you haven't changed a bit. I think I must have just completely erased you from my memory." What the…? I smiled and said, "Why, Bubba, I do believe that's the most charming thing anyone has ever said to me."

Just then we were joined by another fellow who claimed to be in our graduating class and recognized both Beauty and me but we still have no idea who he was even after he told us. He did mention that he planned to come and see Beauty about a business matter so we are hoping she will be able to determine his identity at that time.

But even now, I'm still bothered by Bubba's remark. I mean what kind of comment was that! I don't think I ever said two words to the guy in my whole, entire life. (before that night) He was just J's older brother.

Completely.ERASED.me.from.his.memory. Well,……….I never!

Tell me, what's the most "charming" thing anyone has ever said to you?


Thursday, October 23, 2008

I GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS


I need your help. It's been brought to my attention that my site may be hard on my readers' sight. I need a little feedback. Please comment and let me know if you find the new template, hard to see. Or is it my font size or color? Come on, peeps, let me have it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A LETTER TO MY PEEPS

Dear friends,

It was a rough day at the office. I work for a breast surgeon. Since it is October and breast cancer awareness month, I have a bit of advice for my readers again. I normally try to make this blog a place where you can come and hopefully be amused but today I'm tired, cranky, still not feeling great (But better thanks to all your well wishes and Goodfather, that virtual soup was awesome. But the bowl was so big it took forevvvvvvver to download) so I 'm going to get straight to the point and then I'm off to bed for some much needed rest.

We've talked about getting your annual mammogram. But to that I want to add a little tidbit:

When choosing the facility in which to have your mammogram, choose a dedicated breast center whenever possible. I realize that many people who read this blog may live in rural areas where a breast center may be many miles from where you live. Find one. Go there. It's worth the trip. It's important to have a radiologist who specializes in reading breast imaging. If you go to a dedicated breast center, the chances are that there is enough breast imaging business generated there that they will have a radiologist who reads breast images exclusively.

Recent real-life scenario:
  • Mammogram and breast ultrasound both negative.
  • Breast MRI is recommended.
  • Breast MRI is read as negative.
  • Surgeon thinks she sees something on film and asks for MRI to be re-read by radiologist who specializes in breast imaging.
  • I take call today from breast radiologist saying that abnormality was there. A breast MRI guided biopsy was performed and the pathology shows the patient has breast cancer.
  • Patient was called in immediately and since you can't leave a hysterical woman crying in your waiting room (or shouldn't) with other patients, she was brought to me so that I could comfort, hug, hold and reassure her while the doctor finished with another patient. Her cancer is in the very early stages and by all accounts she should be fine. That doesn't mean much to the patient when she or he first hears those words though.
That's it. I'm sorry if you were looking to be entertained here today and I've brought you down instead. It's important. I had to say it. I feel better that you know.

Note: I don't mean to imply that there aren't many qualified radiologists who read all types of films and accurately read breast images as well. I've just seen things missed and feel the odds are more in your favor at a dedicated breast facility.

Take care,
Love,
Smart Mouth Broad

Monday, October 20, 2008

SEVEN FASCINATING (or not so much) FACTS


I've been tagged by Jason at the Jason Show to list seven, count them, seven interesting/random pieces of information about myself. I would say that I'm not all that interesting but that's not really true. The truth is I could be a study in weirdness when you REALLY get to know me.

It has been said that EVERYONE is weird, once you get to know them. Weird is a relative thing. Or is it; relatives are a weird thing? HAHA. I crack myself up, sometimes.

Note: I'm not feeling all that great tonite. I may be coming down with something. Chills, fever, droopy eyes (not to be confused with the bags that are there everyday) Anyway, don't stand too close. I don't want you to catch anything. So, I'm cheating a little here. Midlife Slices had to list 6 things yesterday on her site. She asked for readers to list theirs too. I've copied some that I listed in my comment to her yesterday because I'm lazy SICK. Maybe someone could make me some virtual chicken soup? Anyone?

Jason, you asked for it:

  1. I have an evil twin. His name is Skippy. I'm all Mary Sunshine, hearts and flowers. Skippy is a JACKASS! (not like MHS). If you ever think I've said something that offends you or is unkind or insensitive or biatchy. That's Skippy. Nope, not me. I swear.
  2. I communicate with my neighbor's goats by bleating across the fence. They love me. They think I'm a really weird-looking goat.
  3. My favorite food combo is chocolate chip cookies and beer.
  4. I can stand on my head for as long as I want.
  5. Whenever I'm in a long hallway, I long to do cartwheels. So sometimes, I do.
  6. I married my seventh grade boyfriend.
  7. I once performed in a Miami Dolphin half-time show.

OK, so now, I think I'm supposed to tag seven more people to do the same.

Tag, you're it!

OF THISTLES AND MAPLE LEAVES
Because she taught me what a meme is (and I think she really likes them).

NOTHING FANCY
Because inquiring minds want to know.

SLICK SUMBICH
Because it will make him so happy to do it.

MY LIFE INTERRUPTED
Because I've never known her to do one.

NANA DIARIES
Because I know she will make me laugh.

GOODFATHER
Because he's always on board for things like this. (and he can cheat if he wants to like I did)

THE CHICAGO BLOGGER
Because she is young and full of life and I find her refreshing.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A NEW CANDIDATE


Note: I attempted to post this on Friday after Thistle mentioned my announcement but encountered technical difficulties. I think it may work this time. Cross your fingers:

During my rant about UPS PSU last week, I ended by announcing my candidacy for President of the United States. I was a little disappointed that no one mentioned their support or lack thereof in their comments. Then I received this email from Midlife Slices:

I thought you might need this in light of your recent announcement.


Subject:
New Presidential Candidate... It's someone we know!

Hi,

There's an effort to elect an unknown random person as President... and it's someone we know! Watch this online video about the surprising new nominee:



http://www.tsgnet.com/pres.php?id=370617&altf=Tnbsu1Npvui&altl=Cspbe


Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

SO GRATEFUL SUNDAY IV


While I am always grateful for the blessings mentioned here that make my life complete, today I am counting the simple joys in my life that add a little kick and make it interesting. (At least to me) As you will see, it doesn't take much to make me happy.

  1. My brother, Smitty, who is having a birthday today! He used to be twelve years older than me but now it's more like thirty. How does that happen? I will leave that question for better mathematical minds than mine.
  2. Chocolate. Not just chocolate but deeply dark, luxurious chocolate. I didn't appreciate dark chocolate until I turned twenty-nine (just last year) but now I won't even be bothered with milk chocolate. It's just not worth the calories. But give me deep, dark bits of heaven and it's almost impossible to pass up.
  3. My hairstylist, Stacy. She is a miracle worker.
  4. The return of Midlife Slices to Bloggersville. Welcome back, girl. We've missed you.
  5. Fresh tomatoes off the vine. I am a tomato snob. If you can't smell the vine, I just say no. I suppose it comes from being raised eating the best tomatoes in the world grown in Indiana by my very own Daddy.
  6. The Stairmaster. Man, I hate this machine. But I love what it does for me.
  7. Netflix. D1 set up our queue. I never know what's coming. It's almost like Christmas. And just like Christmas presents: Some are hits, some are misses. But I love it just the same.
  8. The musical stylings of Lynard Skynard. Turn it UP!
  9. Drives along the beach at night. Whether we're on the bike or in the convertible, it's a great way to spend an evening.
  10. FSU Seminoles' 5-1 season this year! Go NOLES! Next week is Parents' Weekend and we have tickets to the game!


Friday, October 17, 2008

BUSINESS MEETINGS – Who’d a thunk it?

I'm a woman of the new millennium. I'm fairly techno-savvy. I can make my fingers fly on my laptop and produce the desired results most of the time. I can program my TiVo dvr with ease. I have a Blackberry which provides me with email, internet and my new fascination, Twitter, from anywhere in the world. The point I'm trying to make is that even though I'm up to speed with mainstream technology, the realization of how far we've come is not lost on me. When I think about where we were, technologically speaking, when I was a kid and where we are now; I am in AWE!

My father worked for and retired from General Motors. I can remember him telling me about a new office machine when I was a teenager. He was working with some visiting GM employees from Japan. He spoke of a machine that could copy an image and send it over telephone lines to be reproduced at the receiving end as an exact duplicate. Yes, we know that now as the fax machine. I was amazed. A few years later, after being told the arrival of D2 would be earlier than planned, we used that very same technology to get a letter from my physician quickly to my parents so they could change their flight plans without additional cost. Of course, I had to go to a friend's house that had a home-based business and fax it to my hometown telephone company. My mother road her bicycle to the telephone company to retrieve the letter. Oh, yes, we are very hi-tech in my family.

I often think that if my grandparents were alive today they would be amazed by all that technology has to offer. Like for instance, try explaining to someone who doesn't live in the today's world that you can go into a public restroom, run your hand under the faucet and water magically flows. Or that I can wave my hand in front of a paper towel holder and the darn thing says to itself, "Gee, Smart Mouth wants a paper towel, here, let me get that for you." Presto….paper towel. WOW!

While I have embraced modern technology, I have had to drag MHS kicking and screaming into this new techno world. A few years ago, a company where he worked bought all new computers and a new software program to run their business. It took months to get all the staff trained on the software and the transition was anything but well-received. There were several snags and the switch took much longer than expected. However the entire staff (except MHS) was thrilled to discover FreeCell. One day while passing his employer's office, MHS made the comment, "Wouldn't it have been cheaper to just buy everyone a deck of cards?" I guess I'm not the only smart mouth in the family. *wink*

Fast forward a few more years. MHS has a home-based business. He uses computers, online services, CNC technology and produces CAD drawings. He also has a cell phone to which he downloaded a weather program that we've all come to depend on for regular updates. (A blog story in itself) MHS's best friend, the Biker Nazi, also has his own business and relies heavily on his cell phone. The Biker Nazi has a real aversion to computers in general but slowly and surely is being dragged into the techno-world too. So it probably shouldn't have struck me as funny as it did…….. but it did. I was recently going over the photos on my laptop and trying to organize my photo albums. I came across several pictures that just made me smile because when I consider the subjects………..Who'd a thunk it!

MHS is a businessman who is outstanding in his field. HAHA. Get it?

But sometimes it takes longer and he has to sit. (This call doesn't look like it's going so well)

The Biker Nazi takes a call from a customer roadside in Wyoming

Thanks to mobile technology, we can even work while on vacation.

The Biker Nazi just can't get a break!

If you use a reader.........

Note to my readers who use a ....uh.....reader or if you came to me from Thistle's post: I put up a post earlier this morning and had to delete it because the video wouldn't load. GRRRRR. Don't you just love technical difficulties!
Sorry about that.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

THE IRON BODY CURSE

At the very beginning of this blog I discussed my experience with tackling the Iron Bodies class at my gym. Since that time, I've been trying to make it back to the class. It's been ten weeks. It's a great work-out. The instructor is an incredible motivator. I can't get there. The class is held once a week. I missed a few opportunities due to work. That's understandable. But every time I think I am going to be able to leave my office in time to get there for the bodily punishment work-out of a lifetime, something gets in the way. One week my boss's youngest son was sick and I had to keep him until she finished with surgery. Another week, an impromptu birthday party was thrown for my niece, Smart Mouth in Training. I could hardly miss that. There have been other excuses reasons I haven't made it back. MHS's birthday was also on the same day the class is held. Obviously I am not suggesting that I would prefer to attend Iron Bodies instead of celebrating my husband's or even my niece's birthday. I'm just saying that every single week since that first week, I can't make it there.

Yesterday, I planned to leave work early to run an errand and then continue on to the gym and be there in plenty of time. I walked out to my car in the parking lot. As I'm walking, I notice that something is not right. The right rear tire on my car is flat. My tires are no more than 90 days old. I stood there and looked to make sure I was not just seeing things. I made the call to MHS to come and rescue me. Assured that my knight in shining armor was on his way, I went back to my office and called a friend. I know, I know, today's woman should be able to change her own tire. Nah, that's why I got married. *wink*

So once again another Wednesday comes and goes without seeing me at the Iron Bodies class. I think I'm cursed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

ONE WORD WEDNESDAY

I am inspired by Thistle's recurring Wednesday post titled Wordless Wednesday but since I can't follow instructions I've modified it to include one word. Oh, now look what I've done. I've gone and posted all these words too. *sigh*



FRIENDSHIP

Monday, October 13, 2008

I LOVE LUCY


Note: The last time I mentioned my mother in this blog it caused quite a ruckus in my family unbeknownst to me at first. My brother, Smitty, who lives on Maui, doesn't read this blog. However his friend, Pualani does. I wrote about having a conversation with my mother in a dream and how heart-warming it was to hear her voice. Pualani shared this with Smitty who promptly called my sister, Snips, in Indiana. He suggested an intervention might be in order as he thought I had dropped my basket because I was hearing voices or at least THE voice of our dear and departed mother. Snips told him she would check out the blog and get back to him. She read it and realized that I was talking about a dream and not hearing voices and assured him that I wasn't in any danger of visiting the funny farm any time soon. Smitty, not completely convinced, called me and said, "What is this b.o.l.g. thing you're doing? Are you OK? You're not going off the deep end, are you?" GEESH! Well, Smitty and Snips, here I go again. I hope you enjoy reminiscing about Mom as much as I do and will not call out the guys in white coats just yet.

I would like to introduce you to Lucy. Lucy is my mother. Lucy is not her real name. Lucy has been gone now for four and a half years. I thought long and hard about what to call Mom on this blog. Like many, I choose to rename my friends and family for the sake of some sort of anonymity. I've chosen the name, Lucy because to describe her to someone who has never met her, my best attempt would be to liken her to a cross between Lucille Ball's character in I Love Lucy and Grace Kelly. She was more Lucy than Princess Grace especially in her later years but there was a definite sophistication and grace to her that was always evident even through her antics. Lucy was a unique individual. I always knew this but it was never more evident than when I listened to countless stories at her memorial services. As children, we view our parents from our perspective only, who they are as a parent. Listening to her friends and mine, I had the opportunity to really see who she was outside of my parent box that I kept her in and how she affected so many others.

Memories of Lucy provide me with a smile daily and usually several times a day. She was so loved and so much a part of my life that even now as I write this, I am having trouble seeing the screen through my tears….four and a half years later.

I have in my heart a wealth of Lucy stories. Don't worry, I won't lay them all on you at once. But if you will allow me to (and if you don't I'll do it anyway….it IS my blog) I will share them with you one or two at a time every now and again. I hope you will enjoy them. I hope that you will come to love her too. I wish you could have met her. She would have been the quintessential blogger. Of this, I am sure. And she would have been my biggest fan.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, Lucy, Mother Extraordinaire!

When my mother married my father, she was a recent divorcee, a mother of 3 teenagers and a city girl. My father moved her to his small hometown in Indiana. My mother was a little goofy and her humor was sometimes lost on the very traditional women of our little town.

When I was in the fourth grade, my cousin came to live with us. It was her senior year in high school. She loved to sew. She would sew her own clothes. She would sew clothes for me and my Barbies. One day after several trips that same week to the Ben Franklin store to buy sewing supplies for my cousin, my mother was once again there buying fabric. While the two clerks were measuring and cutting, Lucy started up a conversation. She said, "Sew, sew, sew! All that kid wants to do is sew. You'd think she would go out and smoke pot like the rest of the kids but noooooooooooo, all she wants to do is sew."

It's a small town. I think they're still talking about it.






Sunday, October 12, 2008

I’VE LOST MY MOJO


I WOULD LIKE TO WISH A VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO MY CANADIAN FRIENDS!

I may not have mentioned this before. I'm a foodie. YourDictionary.com defines the word as a noun: slang-a person having an enthusiastic interest in the preparation and consumption of fine foods. Yep, that's me. I am a Food Network addict. I'm on a first name basis with Paula, Giada, Rachael, Tyler and Bobby. (In my own mind) But even before my discovery of the Food Network, I was a foodie. Even before I knew there was a term to describe me, I was a foodie.

I love to dine out. I will find something I think is interesting and new to me on the menu and order it. I love to try new tastes and textures. If I like a dish, I will pick it apart, dissect the flavors with my tongue and go home and try to recreate it or at least my version of it. My friends and family tell me that I'm pretty good at it too. I thought about posting recipes on this blog but the problem is that most of the time, I wing it. I could tell you ingredients. I can't tell you measures. It's a feely thing. You know, whatever I feel like. And usually no two attempts are the same. I like it that way. It keeps it interesting. Though it can be a little frustrating when I really like something and want to recreate it again exactly as it was first prepared but alas, I can't remember how much of anything I included. *sigh* I could blame this on my midlife lack of concentration but the truth is I've always been what my mother described as "a little scatter-brained". I like to think of it as charmingly distracted. I always have a lot on my mind, you know.

Thinking, thinking, I am always thinking about everything. Like right now, as I write this, Mayzie, my good ole' dog, is licking the arm of my living room chair. So excuse me while I go beat her with a spoon, reprimand her in an appropriate fashion.

She got down when she saw me coming but here she is behaving herself on the floor. You can't really get mad at a face like that.

OK, now see what I mean, I got a lot goin' on. Now where was I?......

It's not just restaurant offerings that I like to recreate. I also like to come up with my own delicacies which I affectionately refer to as "Smart Mouth Surprise". These are words that can send spasms of anxiety enthusiastic anticipation into the hearts of my family. Hey, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I think they've relaxed a bit since I received my PhD in culinary arts from the virtual school of the Food Network. Who says television can't be educational? I think my niece, Smart Mouth in Training, said it best: "I'm so glad we came to your house for dinner today, Aunt Smart Mouth, because I've really been craving something weird to eat." To which I replied: "I'm so impressed with your culinary sense of adventure." At this, her brother, GameBoy, lifted his head from his handheld game device of the day and stared at us both with a look of complete confusion. (Proof that he does listen while playing) And Smart Mouth in Training explained: "She likes that I try stuff."

So now I've gotten completely away from the problem at hand. My problem in a nutshell is my avid interest in creating yummy dishes for my family has created an ever-increasing waistline that is NOT desired. As mentioned in my earliest posts, even my doctor, thinks my expanding waistline is was a problem. So I put the wheels in motion. I super-charged my exercise routine. I started decreasing my portions and cut back on excess starches, sugar and fat in my diet. It's been about ten weeks since I've put this plan into action. I've lost 14 lbs, went on vacation, gained a few, came home, lost a few and now I'm kinda stuck. I'm at that unavoidable plateau that all "losers" reach at some point on their weight-loss journey. And my journey is far from complete, folks.

I'm bored. I was able to tough it out over the last ten weeks but lately I'm cheating more. I need new inspiration. I've lost my mojo. The foodie in me wants to create something fabulous. It's hard to produce a "fabulous" dish when you can't use cream, butter, bread, potatoes or pasta. Isn't it? I've found oodles of help at one of my favorite sites, Kalyn's Kitchen, but I'm looking for new inspiration. If I have to slap one more slab of grilled protein on top of a bed of salad, I think I'll scream. Not that I don't like that type of dish. Dang it, I just want my carbs back!

Help me, friends. I'm reaching out into the blogosphere. Take me under your wing. Teach me your secrets. There has got to be a way to have the figure of a goddess and still eat like a king. OK, that's probably not true. It's either one or the other, I know, I know. But while I'm trying to figure out whether I want to be a goddess or a king, please send me your secrets, advice or just let me know that I'm not alone and you feel my pain.

I'm gonna go eat a carrot.

A TERRIBLE LOSS


My friend in the blogosphere, The Nana Diaries, has suffered a terrible loss. Her sister was killed in a car accident. Please visit her site. Watch the video celebrating the life of a very talented and much loved woman. Send her your love and support and I ask that you keep this family in your prayers.

Friday, October 10, 2008

23 DAYS TO TRUE LOVE



I got the text message today. "I'm a girlfriend!" it declared. I can't say I didn't expect it. I've been counting the days.

It was MHS's birthday. We were dining out for the occasion. I felt that little vibration from my purse. Because I have children, even though they are grown, I am always quick to check my messages to make sure all is well with the world. It was a text message from D2. The message read, "NOLE boy doesn't like olives." I turned to MHS and said with a smile, "Oh boy, here we go."

You see we have a true love test in my house. We believe that when you find your own true love *wink*, you will also find someone who feels about olives the exact opposite of how you feel about olives. We believe that God made it this way so that for all time, when you share a pizza or salad or sandwich with your own true love, the olive hater has a place to dispose of said olives and the olive lover gets bonus olives. For instance, MHS is the center of my universe. I love and adore him. (most of the time) I love olives. He hates olives. It's the perfect arrangement.

After a careful in-depth study, we have found this olive theory to be true among all the successful relationships we encountered in our research. Oh sure, there are rare exceptions. We didn't encounter any in our study but there is always an exception to the rule.

While on vacation in Indiana, I received another text message saying, "NOLE boy thinks Paul Newman is just a salad dressing guy too." I smiled to myself and told MHS that things must be progressing.

After receiving the "I'm a girlfriend" message today, I quickly replied: "Who's the lucky guy?" I received the response, "WHAT!". I smiled my most evil smile. Then I quickly quoted a lyric from Little Big Town's Welcome to the Family and texted "Does NOLE boy know that Mama has a real bad temper and Daddy's got a shotgun?" The reply came quickly…….."MoMMMMM!"

It's been twenty-three days since the olive message. I knew it was coming. Oh boy. Here we go.



THE LOST ART OF CUSTOMER SERVICE

As I write this, Daughter #1 is winging her way to the west coast. Safe travels, Baby. She is going to San Diego for the weekend where she will attend a Naval Ball. D1's boyfriend is an Ensign in the United States Navy. He is an Officer and a Gentleman. D1 has been going crazy with preparations for the trip over the last week. Never one to prepare much in advance, she has been busy getting settled into her new career as a 6th grade teacher and living in a new state.

At the eleventh hour, it was decided that she would borrow Daughter #2's shoes for the occasion. They are a beautiful sparkly pair of golden high-heeled sandals that will be perfect for the dress that D1 is wearing. The problem was that D2 was home last weekend and the shoes were still in Tallahassee. MHS has a home-based business and has an account with a shipping company that for the sake of anonymity I will call PSU. No worries, a package and shipping label were sent with D2 when she returned to school on Sunday. She was instructed to put said shoes into the box, seal it and deliver it to the PSU store on Monday morning. D2 notified us on Monday morning that the mission was accomplished and confirmed that she had taken the package to the PSU store and placed the precious cargo into the hands of a PSU employee. There was some talk of simply putting the packing into one of the many PSU boxes throughout Tallahassee but that plan was discarded as we wanted to make sure it was scanned into the PSU system as soon as possible since the timing of delivery was critical. The PSU online system showed us that the package would be delivered to D1 no later than Wednesday giving her just enough time to get the shoes into her suitcase which would be taken with her to school the next day. The schedule was tight and she would have to leave for the airport in Charlotte straight from work.

Yesterday, we received a distress call from D1 that the shoes had not arrived. After checking the tracking online, it was discovered that an error had been made. The package had been mis-sorted and had traveled from Tallahassee to Jacksonville to North Carolina and then back to Jacksonville. The new delivery date was rescheduled for Friday, Oct 10th. This date of course would be of no use to D1 as her flight to San Diego is today, Thursday, Oct 9th. I spent much of last night on the phone with PSU trying to determine where, when and how the package could be intercepted and if there was a way to get it to D1 by this afternoon. I was instructed to call first thing in the morning as by that time, the package would no longer be in transit and they would have a better idea of what could be done.

This morning, I called PSU early and after being transferred to several departments was told that we had two options: 1. the package would be delivered to D1's home in NC on Friday or 2. They could intercept the package and it would be delivered to OG's apartment in San Diego on Friday, Oct 17th. Obviously neither was an acceptable option. I asked to speak to a supervisor. After holding for some time, I handed off the phone to MHS as the hour was getting late and I had to get ready for work. The supervisor was very polite but little help at first. He kept repeating that while they could intercept the package and re-route it for San Diego, they could do nothing about the delivery date of Oct. 17th.

Apparently the reason for this is because we selected ground rather than overnight shipping. Our reason for this was obvious: money. To ship the package overnight, the shipping charges were $64 and change. Ground was just under $12 and had a delivery date of two days which was within our plan. I don't want to sound cheap here but for a $52.00 she could have purchased a new pair of shoes. But she wanted these shoes.

MHS was relentless. He continued to ask for an explanation for why the package could not be intercepted and overnighted to California. After all, the mistake was clearly theirs. The tracking of the package was right there on line and could not be denied. The supervisor continued to tell him that he was limited to the policies put in place by his company. As I was leaving for work, I heard MHS saying that while this shipment was personal, he used PSU for business and would hate to think this was the type of service he could look forward to with critical shipments to his customers. Obviously, they had made a mistake and were doing nothing to fix it. Still, an acceptable solution was not offered. That's when MHS dropped the bomb. He simply said, "Maybe I should give my business to FedEx. Maybe they will be more accommodating to my shipping needs."

MHS called me on my cell a little while later. He said that the supervisor will take it upon himself to re-route the package to San Diego and send it over-night so that D1 will have the shoes on Saturday morning. The ball is Saturday night.

They came through in the end. (And it still remains to be seen, if the package arrives in San Diego in time) But my point is this. Isn't it sad that until being threatened with losing business to a competitor, no solution to the problem was offered. When did customer service become such a low priority? I wish this was an isolated case but sadly, it is not. I was raised in my personal life and trained in my business life that when you screw up, it's your responsibility to rectify the situation. As a nation, we have lowered our standards so low that we no longer even expect customer service. It's a rare pleasure when a clerk at a retail establishment or a check-out person at the grocery store actually engages me in pleasant conversation, counts change back to me and sends me on my way with a wish for a good day. Instead most of my transactions are made while listening to the clerk complain to a co-worker about the demands of their job or have a discussion about the party they attended the night before.

At the risk of sounding like a crotchety old woman saying, "Back in my day..."; Am I alone in saying this is not how it's supposed to be? Is anyone else as disgusted as I am with the complete lack of concern with customer satisfaction? If the economy is truly as bad as "they" tell us it is, shouldn't businesses be making customer service priority one? Mistakes are made. I understand that. I certainly make my fair share of them. But when you make a mistake, you're responsible for doing your best to make it right. Right?

As D1 told me years ago, the problem with me is that I expect all the skies in my world to be blue all the time. Maybe so. I just want to do my job to the best of my ability. I want the people who depend on me to do my job not to feel cheated. And I want everyone else to do the same. Goodness, this is starting to sound like a campaign speech, isn't it?

I am Smart Mouth Broad. And I am running for President. *wink*


Update: D1 arrived safely in the wee hours of the morning (our time). She has plans for a mani/pedi and beach time while OG is busy working today. PSU contacted MHS this morning to say the package has been intercepted. We are expecting a call to confirm it is on it's way to San Diego. Still keeping my fingers crossed. Worst case scenario, she has to buy shoes or she could go as the Barefoot Contessa. But it's the principle of the thing that gets me all......grrrrrr.

Update #2: 10/11/08 12:00pm PST. Still no shoes.

Update #3: 10/11/08 3:30pm PST. D1 got the shoes. She will not have to go to the ball as the Barefoot Contessa afterall. Better late than never. *sigh*



Thursday, October 9, 2008

CRANKY OLD BROAD

I'm in a funk. And I've got no good reason. PMS? Maybe. Whatever it is, it ain't pretty. Normally, I'm Mary Sunshine (or at least I used to be) but the last few days have me cranky, unreasonable, foul and here's a new word I've learned in the blogosphere: snarky. I'm not even sure what that means but I think it just sounds fitting. Let me know if I'm using it inappropriately. In honor of my less than cheerful mood, I am going to declare today: Ornery Thursday. I'm gonna get down and wallow in it. Let the crabbiness squish up between my toes. I realize that many use this day to be thankful. Not me, not today. I do that on Sundays (when I remember). Today and just today or until this nasty mood strikes me again, I'm gonna let rip with my Top Ten Seven Pet Peeves or at least the ones that I can think of at the moment.

  1. People who keep hitting the elevator button. (Like it's going to come to your floor faster if you hit the dang button 500 times) I was told by a New Yorker that this is a New York thing. Great, now I"ve got a whole huge city of people who p*ss me off.
  2. People who rush into the elevator before the people inside have a chance to exit. (I'm having elevator issues today)
  3. When people say, "It's always in the last place you look." Well, duh! Why would you continue to look if you found it. So of course it's the LAST place! (I'm guilty of using this phrase myself but that doesn't change the fact that it's a dumb thing to say.)
  4. The election. The media talking about the election. Commercials about the election. Phone messages on my machine about the election. The election, again, because I really mean it.
  5. Sarah Palin's glasses. I really like her glasses. I wish they were mine. They're not. So that's why they're on this list. Hate the nonsense…. (both sides) …Love the glasses.
  6. Breast cancer. Nuff said.
  7. Gas stations that advertise low prices and then when you pull up to the pump find that the low price is for cash only. Who carries that kind of cash around?Who goes inside anymore unless you need coffee or a drink?
  8. Uhhhhhhh. Hmmmmm? I give up. Maybe I'm not as cranky as I thought I was. I feel better now.
Now that I feel better, what's bugging you?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

THE OTHER SIDE OF BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

Several of my friends in the blogosphere have blogged about Breast Cancer Awareness month. It occurred to me after reading this and this and this and this that I might have something to add to this topic. I usually try to keep my job separate from my blogging world…..But…..By day I am the office manager of a breast surgery practice. Before you get all excited, Slick, it is not a plastic surgery practice. We treat breast cancer and other diseases of the breast. As you can probably imagine, I am very aware of breast cancer as I encounter women and men daily who are diagnosed with this terrible disease. I would be remiss if I didn't join ranks with the others to encourage you to have your annual mammogram and I most certainly urge you to do so. But heres a few other random little bits of advice that I would like to offer:

  • Once you've had the recommended mammogram, follow up if you haven't heard back from the ordering physician in a week. NEVER assume that no news is good news. While 99 % of the time, any abnormality will be brought to your attention, you cannot disregard the possibilities of a glitch with the fax machine, email or other mode of communication between the diagnostic facility and the referring physician. You also can never assume that all healthcare workers are conscientious and or competent. Be pro-active. If you haven't received word of your results within a week, call and ask about them.
  • Not all abnormalities are cancer. And not all abnormalities are an emergency. I know, I know….when it's your breast, it's an emergency. Between 30-40% of all women have fibrocystic breast disease. This accounts for the majority of call-backs for additional imaging. It is sometimes painful but almost always benign.
  • If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, please take a family member or friend with you to your doctor appointments. After hearing the words, "you have cancer" most people only hear, "blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah" after that. You will need someone with you that will remember what you're supposed to do next.
  • Write down your questions as you think of them and take the list with you to your appointment. Once in the examination room, you will no doubt forget what you wanted to ask without the list to remind you.
  • If you're recommended for a biopsy, whenever possible, ask the referring doctor's office to make your appointment with the surgeon. They will be much more effective in getting you an appointment that is in line with the urgency of your case.
  • If your doctor calls you in earlier than your original appointment, do NOT put them off because you have to meet the cable guy, take your horse to the dentist, attend a luncheon with the girls or you have to work. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, this is just the first of many appointments you will have to make. You, your cable guy, your horse, the dentist, your friends and your employer will all just have to get used to it. (These are just some of the real life excuses we have been told when trying to work a patient in earlier after receiving suspicious diagnostic reports.)
  • Never be afraid to get a second opinion. It's never a bad idea and any physician worth their salt should not be offended by your desire to have one.
  • There is no excuse for a healthcare worker to be rude or insensitive to you. Most offices are under-staffed and over-worked but that is no excuse. You are the reason they have a job. I tell people when I interview for a position (which thankfully hasn't happened in awhile) that the job requires them to always be courteous, respectful and pleasant regardless of how the patient is behaving. (with the exception of abusive behavior) Our patients are at the worst time in their life and if they are a little cranky, they're entitled to it. (cookies make up very nicely for bad behavior)
  • Never hesitate to give expensive gifts to the office manager. If expensive gifts are not in your budget, flattery will do wonders also. This is a person who can write off your bill. *wink*

I could probably come up with more but it's past my bedtime and I really NEED my beauty sleep. So make your mammogram appointment immediately. Do not stop, do not pass GO, just do it. RIGHT NOW! You heard me. What are you waiting for?

I neglected to mention when I posted this that I know a little bit about the other side of the desk also. A few years back abnormalities were found in my mammogram. I had five different areas in both breasts biopsied. Thankfully, all were benign.

***Note***

If you landed here as a result of a link from Bear Naked (Don't you just love the Bear), I hope you find this post worthy of her praise. And don't forget: Get your mammogram!